This submission is for the Atari 2600 game Krull, a game I've never played based on a movie I've never seen with a cast of people I've mostly never heard of. Also there's a spider.
- Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.8
- Aims for fastest time
- Completes one loop of the game on hardest difficulty
- Uses intentional deaths and damage
This was actually kind of a neat game to TAS. There are 5 stages. The first one is to hold out against a nonstop wave of enemies so they don't capture the princess. Would be a great level for score chasing but this is a speedrun so we let the abduction occur. Don't worry, we'll get her back.
There are two stages where we ride a horse of some sort and can collect glaives. Glaives are used in the final fight, which we'll get to later.
The second "main" stage is a spider's lair. Why does every fantasy story in existence use spiders? I know they're creepy and scary but it's a played out trope imo. Anyway, we need to get to the top to activate the "correct" exit from the lair to get to the final castle. There are 8 exits and even if you "know" which one is correct, you still have to hit the cocoon thing at the top to "reveal" it. Once revealed you can ride out toward the castle.
However... the castle will despawn if you take too long because this game has day/night cycles, and if you're even one frame too slow but you've ridden 99.99% of the way, you're screwed, lose a life, and have to take a ride of shame back to the spider. Luckily, we go fast enough that this isn't a problem, but this section is probably infuriating RTA.
We do all the things, we collect two glaives, we go to the final castle and play a Yars' Revenge/Breakout style mini game to save the princess. We also come one frame away from a game over, which adds to the drama and just looks neat.
Stage by stage comments
Stage 1 - Unsave the Princess
Little demon dudes come down from the top of the screen infinitely, some of which have neon weapons that can kill you. If one enemy reaches the bottom, the princess is kidnapped and the stage ends. As I mentioned, in a speedrun setting we just skip it as no benefits are conferred other than points.
Stage 2 - The first ride
This is basically an auto-scroller, but it's short and all we really need to do is pick up a glaive, so we do.
Stage 3 - Charlotte's web
(It's not actually called that, but my name is Charlotte and it was worth the joke. Maybe.)
This stage is awful. You can walk freely in all 8 directions unless you're being pushed or pulled by the constantly pulsating web. Getting grabbed by it will make you lose control and essentially undoes all your progress in getting to the top. You basically have to jump over every strand with a good position and cadence. One mistake and back to the edge you go.
There are 8 exits, 4 on each side, numbered 0-7 in the code. Memory address 03 shows you the correct exit but the game also flashes a sparkle for you in-game to guide you to the right one. However, before you touch the cocoon memory address 03 is actually useless. You HAVE to touch the cocoon to trigger the exit to work. On this seed, we've manipulated exit 6 (bottom left) which is also where you enter the stage...
I tried numerous ways and angles, but nothing was as as good as what I used in the TAS. The path we take to the top has a couple minor hesitations but it forces 2 things. Spider movement and spider position. The spider can be in our way if we're not careful, and when we hit the cocoon we immediately reset the spider to the dead center of the room AND with where we're at in the web cycle we get pushed down into it for a death warp. We respawn where we came in. Exit 6. We exit and strike out toward the castle.
Stage 4 - Horse
Horse. Glaive. Castle.
Stage 5 - Revenge of Yars' Revenge?
And here we are. The princess is shielded in a ceiling cage that sort of resembles the Qotile's shield in Yars' Revenge. It even takes damage similarly, one pixel based on where you hit it.
There's also a bear? I don't know what it is but I'm calling it a bear. It throws glowy things at you which kill you, and his body can block glaives from either direction. When you hit with a glaive you need to catch it on the rebound, else you lose one. Since this is a very finite resource we have to be careful. You can also guide your shots left and right while it's moving upward but NOT while downward. Running out of glaives is bad. Don't do that.
The goal here is to open a space in the shield wide enough to hit the princess with a glaive. This doesn't kill her or anything but we have to do it to win. Glaives are 2 pixels wide but do 1 pixel of damage. We can win in 9 shots. 8 to break through, 9 to hit the princess. Once this is done, she gives you a fireball which kills the glaive-immune bear.
You can shoot a glaive 22 frames after you catch it, regardless of how far it travels. I take an intentional death for positioning that doesn't actually lose any time for that very reason. I'm back up and running before the next glaive can be thrown. I also intentionally burn a glaive that actually saves a couple frames since the second one spawns in our hand quicker than catching the first one would have.
We get the fire, and for the hugely suspenseful ending we hit the bear on a frame where it looks like we're catching his bullet. That's not a mechanic, it's just me adding artistry and swag to the run. Reality is the next frame we'd be killed. But we didn't be killed. We won.
Had fun with this one actually. If there's a chunk of frames left anywhere it'd be probably in the web section but I put more than a few hours into that and tried a lot of lines.
feos: Claiming for judging.
This game has no ending, but there doesn't seem to be any new content after the first loop, so 1 loop if enough. Optimization looks good too, accepting.