Submission #7699: adelikat's NES Zanac in 34:00.99

(Link to video)
Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator BizHawk 2.8
Game Version USA Frame Count 122661 (Cycle Count 10958710650)
ROM Filename Zanac (U) [!].nes Frame Rate 60.09885273319081
Branch Rerecord Count 11599
PowerOn Authors adelikat
Submitted by adelikat on 9/17/2022 5:30:36 PM

Submission Comments
It was nearly 18 years that I finished my first TAS and submitted it to TASVideos, wow. That TAS was a full run of Zanac, and the quality was well...2004 was a different time. It also was not entertaining (nor is this TAS, sorry) for someone who does not know the game, since it is an auto-scroller. However, the music is awesome :)
That TAS objectively should not have been published, based on entertainment standards of the day. An attempt to correct that was to submit a movie that broke site rules but played just a single level. By modern site rules, this single level run is the outlier. This submission improves the full run by quite a lot, 13791 input frames (notice I said input frames, we will talk more about that later). My suggestion is that this obsolete the currently published movie that is in moons due to rules violations. We could have both, but this would the Standard tier verison.

Tricks

This is an auto-scroller, that rarely lags so most of the actual TAS content is in the boss fights.

Get rapid fire ASAP

This TAS manipulates luck to get 1-up icons, that can be shot to upgrade your fire rate. One might think this isn't important in a TAS since you can push the button at 30hz. But, the fastest fire rate is 60hz. For single turret boss fights, this allows the fastest possible time, since you can not do more than 1 HP of damage per frame on a turret. Also, when I say manipulates luck, that's somewhat not true, this TAS uses the same strategy as what RTA attempts do. In my previous TAS, I upgraded weapon 6 to get a bunch of 1-ups on the screen at once. This happens later in game but not before a multi-turret boss fight, however it requires at least 1 use of weapon 6 which causes a flash on the screen, costing at least 5 whole frames.

Use fairies optimally

Well, there's a cool glitch we will talk about later, otherwise, I make the same decisions as RTA. You want to know where all these fairies are that insta-kill a boss, but also activate them on the slower bosses.

De-spawn turrets

The game can only have so many objects loaded at once. It does a good job slowing down enemy spawns leading to a boss fight and even despawning enemies to free space for the boss turrets. However, this can be manipulated such that some turrets are never loaded. Doing this greatly speeds up boss fights of course. (This is not a viable RTA strat to my knowledge)

The GLITCH

The feature presentation of this TAS is a new glitch! On Area 12 (excuse me, Arer 12, who desinded this game anyway?) you can get the hidden fairy at the beginning of level in a way that glitches it into a weird state where it will not be despawned after the 1st boss form, allowing it to insta-kill all 3 forms. It requires a very specific enemy to be on the screen and at the correct location at the time of spawning the fairy. It's the enemy with the flashing pink shield that circles around them. Specifically that pink shield is what causes this. The mechanics are not clear to me but if both are on the screen at the correct time, it glitches an enemy position memory address to get stuck at a certain value. Basically the game thinks there is another fairy loaded in memory, from what I can tell.
This glitch of course saves a lot of time on the boss fight, but it also allows some input frame shenanigans. If you have enough lives (which I intentionally collect throughout the TAS), you can input as soon as the fairy is activated, and then you can enjoy the chaos as the Armageddon of the hero ships ensues until the boss is reached and the game is beaten anyway. Congratulations, you are the messiah of earth.

Special thanks

Charlie9631 for his Speedrun and the strat for getting rapid fire without a weapon 6 upgrade.

Last Edited by adelikat 19 days ago
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