Submission #7490: ShesChardcore's A2600 Haunted House in 00:14.49

Atari 2600
BizHawk 2.8.0
Submitted by ShesChardcore on 5/17/2022 4:52 PM
Submission Comments
This submission is for Haunted House for the Atari 2600, which is considered the first horror game. You are tasked with retrieving 3 pieces of an urn and escaping whilst being chased by spiders, a bat, and a ghost. We retrieve the urn and get out of there on the hardest difficulty in under 15s.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.8
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Uses hardest difficulty
  • Avoids the spoopy ghost entirely


This game is pretty similar to Adventure but with a different setting. There are 6 rooms on each of the 4 floors, plenty of locked doors scattered about, and numerous things trying to kill you. You can mitigate the doors by using a key (or RNG seed manip like this run to not have to bother) and you can find a scepter that makes you invincible to everything but the ghost while you hold it. We don't need that either.
What we do need are the urn pieces. In game 9 (hardest difficulty which we use) things move faster, there are more of them, locked doors are scattered around, it's pitch black and we can't use the torch while enemies are on screen. This is extremely important. You can only pick up items with a torch lit. Ergo, we can't start building the urn until the enemies are dealt with.
Unfortunately, we can't kill them. You can take an intentional death to clear a room but the death costs 255 frames. That's not efficient. So we use a route that manips stuff out of our way.
In this seed, all 3 pieces are on floor 1 (middle left room, bottom left and bottom right rooms) which is convenient, but we can't get into the middle left room without either the key or a detour to the stairs. Stairs are faster, so let's walk through explaining this run.
We spawn on floor 1 in the middle right room. We go down, there's a spider. We avoid it, go left, there's another spider. We avoid that one and go down, which is a staircase to level 2. We will grab the urn pieces on the way back, so we head upwards to the middle left room, which has a staircase to the third piece on level 1. However, a bat guards this room (why do I enjoy Atari games with bats so much?) Luckily for us, looking at his position in the RAM, he's moving to a spot where he'll be off the screen and we can go in and grab the piece. We go in on the first possible frame. This burns about 2 seconds, but is 2 seconds faster than taking a death, because it also manips the spiders out of our way on the first floor. We retrace our steps to the first floor, grab the last two pieces since the spiders are gone, and we exit victoriously in about 14.5s
I tried a few other seeds but couldn't find anything faster than this one. It's a short enough game to where even if a better one exists it may not be worth it due to the upfront time loss, but I'm happy with this run as it is.

arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.
arkiandruski: Looks good. Accepting for publication.
fsvgm777: Processing.
Last Edited by fsvgm777 on 6/5/2022 4:15 PM
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