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In this game a pair of teenagers must use their jumping, punching and javelin skills to defeat the man who creates lethal Nightmare(s) on Elm Streetâ„¢ and save the day. This run is a 3959 frame (65.98 seconds) improvement over Randil's 1 Player run a 10131 frame (168.85 second) improvement over chupapi's 4 Player run.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: fceux 2.1.6 with TAS Editor
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Abuses programming errors in the game
  • Controls two players
  • Genre: Platform

Game Description

In Nightmare on Elm Street there are a few different objectives to accomplish to complete the game. First you must traverse the exterior of Elm Street moving between 4 houses, a cemetery, a junkyard and finally Elm Street High School where Frederick Charles "Freddy" Krueger is located. In each of the buildings there are between one and four rooms you must travel through collecting the bones spread throughout. After the bones are collected you can either move on to the next room or, if you are in the final room, continue on to the level boss. When you encounter the boss you can transform into a "Dream Warrior" if you collected one of the tokens earlier in the level which give you special powers. Regardless of which token you pick up you can transform into any form of the Warrior in the boss so only the most convenient are picked up even though the only Warrior used is the acrobat. The acrobat is chosen as he can fire every 3-4 frames drastically reducing the boss fight length.
You also have the choice of how many players to use ranging from 1 Player up to 4 Players using the NES Four Score accessory. The differences between having 1 or more than 1 player are:
1) Boss life is uniform across 2-4 players but is between 2X and 3X larger than the 1 player version.
2) You save a great deal of time as you no longer have to back track with multiple players as you can collect bones located directly above each other in 1 pass.
3) Due to poor programming the more players you use leads to greatly increased amounts of lag with 4 player nearly coming to a standstill at some points.
I was recently re-watching the old runs and it was clear that if the lag wasn't ridiculous the 4 player run would be much faster due to the quicker bone collection and that only the exteriors and bosses could be slower. I was reading the submissions texts and it said that the majority of the lag occurs when 6 or more items are on screen, so I thought why not try with with 2 less objects on screen at any time? It gives the best of both worlds since lag is close to non-existent (at least far less prevalent) and you can collect all of the bones quickly.
With that in mind I set out to use the tricks present in Randil's run that were not present in the 4-player version, along with optimizing the path and strategy used in the 4-player run, to try to create the fastest possible play through of this game. As stated above this yielded great results as the 1-player run was beat by over a minute. Also the improvements over the 4-player version is not just through less lag due to less players. Overall there are 8425 frames (140.4 seconds) less lag present between the 4-player and this 2-player game. This means that if lag carried over identically regardless of movement (which is a slight exaggeration) the 4-player run was improved by 1706 frames or 28.433 real seconds. This is good news for this 2-player run, but also great news for a potential 4-player improvement because it means it could potentially be improved by almost 30 seconds.

Tricks, glitches, and playing strategies (stolen with some edits from Randil's submission description)

Common Tricks

  • In most situations jumping down ledges is faster than walking off due to the increased falling velocity.
  • If you've hit an enemy you can walk through them without taking damage for a small amount of time. This helps allow to continue forward momentum.
  • If you get hit, you will become invulnerable for a few frames, allowing you to pass through enemies.
  • As in so many other games, you can't attack and move forward at the same time on the ground. But if you're in mid-air, you keep your horizontal movement when you attack. That's why I avoid attacking enemies while on the ground.
  • It's faster to jump up or down a stair rather than walking on them. Your speed is 1.5 pixels per frames normally, on stairs it's 1.2857... pixels per frame.

Glitches

  • If you enter a new room through a hole in the ground the game believes you are on the ground for the first frame of the new room allowing you to jump in midair which is used on three levels to pass through the roof. This trick is used in the 3rd room of house 3, the 4th house and in the high school.

Boss Strategies

As stated earlier when fighting bosses the ideal situation configuration is to have two acrobats due to their extremely fast firing rate. The best strategy is to follow around the boss staying as close as possible rapidly firing in mid-air. When bosses are hit you are able to pass through them without taking damage so the majority of the boss fights take place with acrobats actually within the boss reducing firing times.
Due to the extra hp boss fights along with exterior is the only portion of the game (excluding exterior) that is sometimes slower than the 1 player run. Though in some cases (like the final boss room where you must re-fight all of the bosses) the two player run is actually faster by almost a second.

Luck manipulation

The only manipulation present in the game is during and directly before the boss fights. For most boss fights your position directly controls the path that the enemy takes which can save a lot of time during the fight.
For the first boss on the last level the boss' movement is actually controlled by a 5 frame cycle of when you exit the previous room so 4 frames are lost to speed up that boss fight.

Time saved

Level2 Player1 Player Frames Saved4 Player Frames Saved
Introduction449-10
Exterior7376-12432
House 12572540333
House 231451511053
House 33744721729
Junkyard3709120832
Graveyard394531577
House 41011014422485
High School133639663690
 

Other comments

Thanks to Randil for your previous run for tricks and strategies to use. Also thanks for the ram addresses as that saved me a ton of time and was quite useful.
Thanks to chupapi for your previous run as it gave me a nice comparison and strategy to improve.
In regard to which run this should obsolete should it be accepted I do not have a preference. DarkKobold and Randil have both expressed that they feel it should obsolete the 1 player run due to the unique case that this game is essentially the only TAS'able 4-Player game on the NES. The only qualms I find with this is that the 4-Player and 2-Player would be much closer from a game play and strategy perspective than a 1-Player and 2-Player would. This is up to the community and judges to decide though.
I hope you all enjoy

feos: HD encoded.

DarkKobold: Accepting as an improvement to [780] NES A Nightmare On Elm Street "1 player" by Randil in 14:32.88. This will not obsolete the 4 player version. That run is the only foreseeable NES 4 player run, and provides a different viewing experience.

Brandon: Doing primary encodes / publication underway.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #3509: goofydylan8's NES Nightmare On Elm Street, A in 13:25.57
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I can't format apparently so if someone is able to fix that so that it is a table it would be amazing. If I have misread and tables can't be put into submission texts than just remove it. I just thought it would look nice.
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An improvement of 1 minute? This looks good. I'm gonna watch it RIGHT NOW.
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NES TAS of 2011
Making HD.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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Exotic platforms TAS of 2015TASer of 2011Arcade TASer of 2011Arcade TAS of 2011
Looking forward to a 4-player improvement.
Do the work.
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feos wrote:
Making HD.
Thanks for the encode
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That was awesome! Good use of the second player to keep the audience entertained during waits. Very entertaining. Yes vote.
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Yes vote. Loved playing this game 2 player mode back when I was a kid.
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Nice! If you only started this run shortly after submitting Gargoyle's Quest II, goofydylan8, then you work really quickly! Also, this is a pretty impressive run for your first 2-player submission. This run is pretty entertaining. I think you've pretty much proven that two players is optimal speed-wise, to strike a balance between route efficiency, boss health, and lag. It's also generally more entertaining than a 1-player run, so I'd say this should definitely obsolete the 1-player run. As for obsoleting 4-players, I'm not convinced that should happen. The 4-player run usually has more playaround than can happen in this run. If I had to pick, I'd say this run should not obsolete the 4-player run. For one thing, the 4-player run still has an incredible "Wow" factor of how much gets done by the characters at once... this run doesn't give that same impression.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
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hopper: Thanks. I tried to keep it as entertaining as possible without hurting the time. ObadiahtheSlim: Thanks. I hadn't actually played it before this and had just seen the other runs. It is definitely a different game that I would imagine could get pretty damn difficult at points in real time. mklip2001: I had the ram values about 3 days before submitting but work didn't start until after it was submitted. The quick work is definitely a combination of TAS Editor being extremely quick to edit and having way more free time than I could have imagined. Final semester of senior year of college is by far the simplest semester I have ever had and there is only so much time a day I can spend applying for jobs. Glad you enjoyed it, that is what I was thinking too. Most definitely. This is most likely the only 4-player run that would be entertaining at all for the NES so obsoleting it would not be a good idea. Though that may be my next movie if I can't find a new idea soon.
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I think it should obsolete all the other runs. Even though I really like that 4-player run, this just beats it.
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NES TAS of 2011
Obsolete 1 & 2. 4 player obsoletion is yet to come if Dylan would have interest.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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Dwedit wrote:
I think it should obsolete all the other runs. Even though I really like that 4-player run, this just beats it.
Thanks. I am not sure about the 4-player run because even if the 4-player didn't exist as a speedrun it still is just a technical feat of beating a 4-player NES game.
feos wrote:
Obsolete 1 & 2. 4 player obsoletion is yet to come if Dylan would have interest.
I just started a game that I am 99% will be rejected for bad game choice but it is fun and pretty quick going, but once I finish that I am either starting 4-player or Lone Ranger. Regardless the 4-player run is on my list of goals, I will just need to learn a little lua beforehand so that I won't have to have "Ram Watch" with 60 addresses open in a window (Which is especially bad since I can't find out a way to change the size of the Ram Watch window so to see all of those addresses you have to scroll up and down.)
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So, was it common practice for LJN to grab a license, throw together something that ranged from awful to passable yet generic, and then hire on a sound programmer that knew what he was doing? The music and sounds are almost always the best parts of their games.
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Would using three players help in any way? The lead character could scroll the screen at constant pace while the other two would pick up bones with minimal interruption.
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Ferret Warlord wrote:
So, was it common practice for LJN to grab a license, throw together something that ranged from awful to passable yet generic, and then hire on a sound programmer that knew what he was doing? The music and sounds are almost always the best parts of their games.
So who made LJN's games? NOT LJN. They are a Publisher, not a developer. Their games were developed by Atlus, Rare, Sanritsu, Beam Software, Software Creations, Sculptured Software, and a few other companies. Some of those companies simply had really good musicians. For example, Rare had David Wise, and Sculptured Software had Tim Follin. Trivia: Sculptured Software's sound engine ended up in Action 52.
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Dwedit wrote:
Ferret Warlord wrote:
So, was it common practice for LJN to grab a license, throw together something that ranged from awful to passable yet generic, and then hire on a sound programmer that knew what he was doing? The music and sounds are almost always the best parts of their games.
So who made LJN's games? NOT LJN. They are a Publisher, not a developer. Their games were developed by Atlus, Rare, Sanritsu, Beam Software, Software Creations, Sculptured Software, and a few other companies. Some of those companies simply had really good musicians. For example, Rare had David Wise, and Sculptured Software had Tim Follin. Trivia: Sculptured Software's sound engine ended up in Action 52.
They did in fact make a few games. For example "Uncanny X-Men" (plug for my boring awesome rejected movie, I was robbed) was developed and published by them (though that is the only game that they developed that has been submitted here or I even recognize the name of). This one was actually made by Rare. Though the point still stands that they published a ton of terrible movie ports.
moozooh wrote:
Would using three players help in any way? The lead character could scroll the screen at constant pace while the other two would pick up bones with minimal interruption.
I am not sure. It would be helpful to have the third scrolling as he would never have to stop. The major issue I see with it is that in a lot of scenes in this game lag started popping up if I didn't kill off an enemy. This means that an extra character would probably push it over into the six object limit a lot more frequently so the lag could cancel out the increase. I will admit I haven't actually tested (as to test I would need to test quite a bit of the game) but I feel two player would be optimal.
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This page says that Uncanny X-Men was made by Bothtec or Pixel.
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Dwedit wrote:
This page says that Uncanny X-Men was made by Bothtec or Pixel.
Neither the manual nor the box-art implies that it was made by anyone other than LJN. The NesCartDB says it was developed by Atlus but no website about Atlus claims that game as their own. Regardless that was just an example as there are other games by them that no one else claims at all. I was mainly trying to show off my old movie.
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goofydylan8 wrote:
Regardless that was just an example as there are other games by them that no one else claims at all.
Would you claim responsibility for that game?
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Ferret Warlord wrote:
Would you claim responsibility for that game?
I spent at least 5 minutes on that game and based on keen observation of the game quality I assume that is twice as long as they did.
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Since this is strictly better than the 1-player run, I suppose it should obsolete it, but not the 4-player run because that's its own category.
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Great work, Dylan! it is really entertain run. Yes vote...
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Since this is going to be accepted as a replacement for the 1-Player run I have a question before I move to the 4-Player improvement. Is there any particular movement or moments of entertainment present in the 4-Player run that I definitely move over to this new one? Or from viewing my other TASes do you trust that I can come up with entertainment without simply imitating? (Posting here so that it gets exposure. WIP's will be posted in the NES games section once work begins)
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I should have published this a while ago. I'll try to this weekend. Sorry, I've been caught up with so many other things.
All the best, Brandon Evans