Submission #8860: EZGames69 & Samsara's Arcade Splatterhouse in 12:49.79

BizHawk 2.9.1
Submitted by EZGames69 on 1/22/2024 2:36 PM
Submission Comments
It's a Splattering good time!
Samsara: Tom Clancy's Splatter House tells the story of Sam Fisher as he stealthily punches his way through Dr. Re-Animator's House of the Eradicated.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 2.9.1
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Splatters things
  • Splatters more things
  • Splatters too much things


When MAME was talked about being ported to BizHawk, one of the first games we wanted to do was Splatterhouse after doing the PCE version of the game. It took awhile but it is finally out in all of it's splattering glory.
This run uses what I think is the 2nd revision of the game (labeled as SH2, not to be confused with "Splatterhouse 2"). Make sure you also have the base file "" when running the game.
Samsara: While the original game's mechanics and physics are mostly in line with the extremely faithful PCE port, there are a few notable changes that differentiate it. I'd cover them in more detail, but this run was delayed by nearly a year for various reasons and I mostly just did bad MS Paint artwork instead of actual input file work. Just keep in mind that there are more than enough tweaks to rooms and enemy behaviors to not make a 1:1 conversion of the PCE input possible.

Stage by stage comments

Here we get to see the basic movement for the game. For refrence: walking is slower than moving while jumping, but slide kicking is faster. We can actually get a speedboost by jumping from a slide kick if we are on the edge of a platform, but is not done too often. That same boost happens if we are slide kicking while suspended in the air, this is only for a few frames for normal slide kicking, but we can do a screed wrap near the end of the first room to get a few extra frames of this in.
Boreworm room is just an autoscroller, we don't have to do much until the very end when the last boreworm jumps out.
Samsara: Much like in the PCE port, one of the most important ways to save time is by slide routing. Rick accelerates faster on the ground than in midair, but he moves faster while jumping and even faster while sliding, but also slides can't be stopped early and you need to be able to jump out of them effectively, but also midair sliding is ever so slightly faster than ground sliding but usually doesn't save any time at all because of the movement cycles... It's honestly a lot more complicated than it looks to find an optimal path through each non-autoscroller room.
Originally, I put dumb little titles in all of my bad art pieces, but I decided against it since they're already cringy enough without them. Also, lmao, "age 32".
First room we slow down a bit since slide kicking with this many enemies can lag the game.
second room we can get Rick to carry the stick up the ladder in a suspicious way.
Poltergeist room can have some lag too, but is avoided by briefly crouching. Chairs and Knifes are fought here, the paining at the end usually has more health to it, but can be instantly killed by a perfectly timed slide kick.
Samsara: This area was done a while back but I remember both of us spending a lot of time trying to get that first room to go better. Balancing the lag (which was hardly ever a problem on PCE) with everything else going on proved to be a challenge that, like most TASes I've worked on, was already the best we could get on the first time around, resulting in several hours of testing that amounted to nothing. Let's just call it a metaphor for life and carry on.
This is sort of where I accidentally started trying with the stage art pics.
Single room stage, in here we want to avoid touching the spotlights on the bridge as we get dragged down.
For the boss (biggieman), his behavior in this version of the game is a little chaotic, but we can lock him in place with a kick and then use the gun to do lots of damage, then finish him off with a slide kick.
Samsara: Pretty much identical to PCE apart from the aesthetics and brand new music track. Art still bad.
First two rooms are just autoscrollers, important to note for the 2nd room that sometimes the player will lose control at the end of some rooms, as it forces him to move to the right. this is why we delay the final hit on mirror rick, so we can perfectly time a slide kick at the exit.
For the church boss, it doesn't behave exactly like in the PCE version, but we can still affect it's pattern by dealing damage in a weird way. The teleporting is due to the game trying to keep it on an arch movement, but can't do it if the vertical movement is still active, this lets us more easily do damage.
Samsara: And this is where I, uh, intentionally started trying on the stage art. I got so carried away trying to make it look good that I realized I wasn't comfortable throwing down my dumb ._. things onto it. Thankfully, this is also where I stopped caring and I'm back to bad art going forward!
First room is just getting around Chairs.
2nd room is interesting. The only area in the game that has sliding platforms that affect Rick's speed. We can do slide kicks on the left leaning platforms, and if we jump on the edge after a slidekick, we can preserve some of that sliding speed. On the right leaning platforms, it can set Rick to the fastest speed in the game, also has an interesting property that jumping on the edge of the platform still allows us to preserve that faster speed.
Next room is too short to mention anything.
The Necromancer room is slightly different than the PCE version, for one he does not move low enough to the floor to be hit with a slide kick, which means we can only do one hit at a time, this makes this room technically not an autoscroller since we end up reaching a pause in the room scrolling.
Next room has not much, although I did find a slightly amusing bug where hitting the ghost and the skull she's holding causes it to glitch out.
For the Jennifer room, we want to kill her on the right side of the screen so the cutscene afterwards can end faster. RTA kills Jennifer on the left just because it's easier to pull off. It's important to note that Jennifer will temporarily transform back if she has specific health points, we avoid this by alternating between slide kicks and normal attacks so we can bypass these health values.
Samsara: Yeah, I don't have much more to add here. I believe the physics in the second room are very slightly different to PCE, slides on the left-leaning platforms are slightly slower than normal since the game is constantly trying to move you back, and if you don't clip the very edge of the platform when you jump out of them then you'll get hit with another speed reduction for the duration of the jump. The edges of the long platforms will retain whatever speed you're going, which is used going into the final set of leaning platforms to carry momentum through a ground attack to deal with the head.
For those of you familiar with the PCE TAS, you may notice that Jennifer is dealt with much more easily here. I was admittedly hoping for a cool dynamic strategy like the PCE TAS, but a quick and easy fight is also much appreciated. Unfortunately, no knee drop at the end. You're gonna have to make up for it with heavily bitcrushed speech samples.
Speaking of heavily bitcrushed speech samples, rest in peace to my main man, The Ghouler. He's The Ghouler. He's The Ghouler. He's The Ghouler.
This stage is kinda annoying since we have to manage the spawn positions of the bubbles. We don't want it to spawn in areas that will cause Rick to take damage, but some of the bubble spawns appear to be pre-determined and not based on RNG. The one hit we do take on the end stage boss seems to be a pre-determined bubble spawn, so I believe it's unavoidable.
Samsara: Enemy spawns in general appear to be increased compared to PCE, leading to things like this and what you're about to see in the next stage.
If you look closely at the picture, you can pinpoint precisely where I said "I don't feel like doing art of the normal stage". Correct! It was right before I started!!!
Once again, another stage with some lag to it. After we do some tricky damage boosting and peform a slide kick before the final boss, we are faced with Mozzerella man himself, or Hell Chaos. This boss will retreat after it reaches certain checkpoints in its health, we can deal more damage in the first cycle by doing a slide kick on the last hit, which shortens the next cycle by 1 health point. This isn't the case for the next few cycles, although for the 2nd to last cycle, a hand pops up which prevents us from doing slide kicks immediately (doesn't help that we are on our last heart), but by doing 1 hit attacks before a slide kick, we can lower his health to 6 instead of 7, which lets us perform the last slide kick with early end inputs, AND we can avoid taking damage at the end too.

Other comments

Big thanks to the Splatterhouse speedrunning community, I'd like to thank Zallard1 for providing some useful advice for the Arcade game.
Also special thanks to Samsara for collaborating on this project, and for all the amazing drawings for each stage.
Samsara: I mean, thanks for doing like 95% of the work and pretending it was more of an active collab as opposed to me saying "yeah i'll take a look tonight" and then proceeding to do literally anything else for several months ._.
Regardless of my relative lack of contribution, I'm happy to get this submitted finally. TASing the PCE version was always kind of my way of coping with the fact that the superior Arcade original was out of my grasp, as it didn't work on FBA-rr back in the day and MAME-rr didn't work for me back in the day, and I wasn't about to jump to Hourglass like that one TAS on Nicovideo used. With this run, I have officially become the most prevalent Splatterhouse TASer on TASvideos, unless this is rejected for some reason, in which case I will probably scream twice and return to my normal life. The screaming twice is unrelated, I just have some weird rituals.

nymx: Claiming for judging.
nymx: Well done to the dynamic duo, with another installment of Splatterhouse! I remember years ago, when EZ messaged me directly, with his excitement on the Genesis version (I believe)....and I can see why. This game has quite a bit to exploit in technical movement. Compared with the human run, you provide the perfect example of these exploits...ending with about 43 seconds cut over human effort. This run also takes advantage of the "Down Time", during the auto-scroller areas, to perform some neat play-around tricks. Your optimization was very solid, as every place I checked was quickly shutdown to improvements....some of which were really weird timing tricks.
Anyway, I congratulate the two of you on another great collaboration! It was my honor to finally have the opportunity to judge my first TAS of either of you.

despoa: Processing...
Last Edited by despoa on 2/13/2024 3:07 AM
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