Update: I'm redoing this run. 68 frames saved in Level 1 (1-1, 1-2 + boss) so far.
(Almost 15 seconds better than the previous cancled version! Levels 1-3 remain the same. Minor improvents in stages 4-1, 4-2, several rooms in 5, final boss. Major improvement in boss 4.)
- Aims for fastest time
- Played on highest difficult level (3)
- Runs into enemies to save time
- Minor bug abuse (Level 2-2 ends without actually reaching the exit)
- Contains lots of ninja abuse: kicking them off the ground, kicking them out of the air, tricking them into jumping off of buildings, shoving them off buildings, etc.
(Not my previously planned pacifist run. That's still on hold for now, sorry.)
One of the lesser known Shinobi games, Shadow Dancer is still a solid entry in that series. I had a blast with this game in my teens--three difficulty levels and lots of ninja fighting action. The game sure looks different in a TAS though--there's quite a few enemies that a TASer can run from that a normal player can't.
All attacks that start from a standing position (be they sword or shuriken) force you to stand still for a few frames and are therefore rarely used.
All attacks that start in mid-air (jumpkicks, shuriken or sword (if you walk off a ledge, you can do a midair sword attack)) will let you keep your momentum. If you hit the ground while still in the attack animation, you can still glide forwards.
Dog--can be used to momentarily stun most non-boss/non-ninja foes. Completely unused as it takes too long to set up. (You have to both charge a gauge and wait for the dog to notice an enemy and the dog tends to be slow on the uptake.)
Ninja Magic: Does 2 points of damage to bosses (most of the time), kills everything else. Only used to end the game--just too slow to use in any other situation.
Lots of jumpkicking. One sniper taken out with a crouching star. This doesn't cost frames as I have to stop for the Manhole of Fire anyways. (I don't want to know what's in that sewer.)
There's some enemies that fail to show up at the end of the stage--the game sometimes drops enemies if there are already several on the screen.
I have to slow down a few frames at the start or the game gets confused and destroys the first hostage (this phenomeon is later refered to as "missing hostage glitch"), making the round unwinnable. Bumping into the last shieldman gives me invunerablity to get the last hostage without having to stop and fight.
I'm constantly adjusting the distance between the boss and I so that I can time the stars properly. He gets in only one attack--you can't stop the first earthquake.
First bonus round
Boring. Unfortunately, there's four bonus rounds that can't be sped up at all. I shoot a few ninja sequences out of the order in which the appear for an attempt at entertainment.
Back to the regularly schedules hostage-freeing, jump-kicking action!
This level is pretty much just a nice stroll across the bridge with the occasional jumpkick to keep the riffraff in line. Other than backtracking slightly to pick up hostages, you can run right through this stage.
I bump the gunman--have to jump to keep him from shooting me and the jump is too big to make cleanly. At 2:44 (on the level clock) I shoot a knifeman--I think a jumpkick would look better, but I just get the missing hostage glitch if I use a jumpkick here. Oh, and I get close enough to trigger the exit before I get bumped away.
Not much to say. I manipulate the boss a bit--where he appears depends on where you stand. His hand attacks can be (and are) manipulated even more.
Still boring. I get in a few 2-ninja-with-one-star shots, though. Big whoop.
At 2:50, I jump on a box I'd rather jump over to prevent the missing hostage glitch from occuring.
Fixed scrolling stage. Can't speed things up, so I kick the ninjas around for fun.
- Four jumpkicks that connect with four targets in one jump.
- One jumpkick that connects with four targets in one jump.
- Little known fact: Ninjas who never figured out the game of Peek A Boo when they were babies are forced to wear yellow. These poor souls are so traumatized by their turbulent infancies that they will jump off the nearest building if you refuse to look at them.
Hope that the people running Ellis Island don't mind a splatted ninja here and there. Look out below!
Special thanks to Neofix for showing how to beat this boss quickly.
I bump into Ms. Buzzsaw at the end (to show that she's still solid) and them jump through her off the stage (to show that she's not solid any more). Since the jump is done at the last second, falling off of the stage doesn't count as a death.
Yawn. Four consecutive two-in-one shots near the end if anyone cares.
There's a rare standing sword attack here--it's either stand still for a few frames or do a forward jump attack and get caught on the next ledge, losing even more frames. There's also a jumpkick in the second half of the stage that hits a green mutant that's 'behind' Shinobi.
The last hostage rescue is a bit tricky--have to jump far enough behind the green mutant to avoid him and then veer left in midair to reach the platform. (In the canceled version, I stop and shoot this mutant.)
You can always see the floor but you frequently cannot see your ninja or enemies. If you use the Game Genie code AAPA-CASG, you can never see the floor but you can always see your player and all enemies. I did the whole level with it on. When I turned off the code, the movie didn't desync. (Note to be 100% clear: No Game Genie codes are needed to play back this movie.)
Normally, this is an annoying boss that's invincible most of the time. Using frame states, you can keep him in hitstun until he's dead the moment he becomes vunerable.
50 ninjas go poof. Big whoop. Oh, and I barely move from side to side this time to get in a two-in-one shot.
Lots of running, very little fighting.
Not much to comment on--gunmen aren't good closeup fighters.
The sword may be slow but that works to my advantage here, as it damages a large and slightly spread out group roly poly guys. At the end, it's faster to let the roly-poly guys shove Shinobi out the exit instead of jumping or fighting the last one.
There's a mid-air sword attack in the middle of this room.
Just before the first jump, I walk forwards, stop for one frame and resume walking fowards. That one extra frame means the difference between kicking the first two ninjas and harmlessly bouncing away. Can't do anything about the lag--killing ninjas takes a long time.
More ninjas, more running, one more section of lag as Shinobi leads the parade.
Another boss that's both invincible unless attacking and takes a long time to attack. This boss is even immune to ninja magic most of the time.
Ninjas that roll off the screen disappear. Ninjas knocked off the screen eventually return, so I frequently kick ninjas towards the middle of the screen, thus allowing me to kick them again once they get up.
I end the game with ninja magic--this saves a bunch of frames as activating the fatal ninja magic clinches the game, allowing me to quit the movie as soon as I release the button.
Bisqwit: Fixed the erratic use of headers and added back author's real name.