In the process of completing my all instrument run, I noticed there were several possible improvements to the any% and decided to look into this again. I originally finished a run of this with a time of 3:48.7 when I had just started working on that playaround, but I decided to not submit that in case I found anything during that run, and….I found nothing…except a little more lag reduction and a slightly different boss fight.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: VisualBoyAdvance re-recording v22
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses glitches
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time
This is an improvement of 34 frames over my last run. I initially only though I could save a max of around 9 frames, so saving over triple that was nice.

Tricks used


By pressing select right as link exits the screen he is on, it will warp him to the other side of the next screen, allowing large portions of the game to be skipped.

Up/down + A or B combos

This allows link to do a variety of glitchy things. The most notable use in this is picking up the sword with this trick. It can also be used for effects like turning link dark or making his sword or shield look strange.

Corner Boosts

When you walk past a corner you can walk into one to boost link forwards slightly. This was only used a few times.


From exiting the house, getting the sword, and entering level 8, I saved two frames due to better movement.
After the reset, Swordless Link told me of a trick he found that saved 1 frame right before the screen warping started by having Link enter the top screen diagonally, thus having his position closer to the bottom of the screen allowing the warp to start earlier. Also by corner boosting off the side wall and then later corner boosting off a wall when you are warping to the boss, I saved another frame.
The Agahnim form of the nightmare boss was what first got me started in redoing this run. A little while after my last run was published, I tried hex editing the entire nightmare boss from Swordless Link’s run and it synched. What this meant was that it was possible to make up the 2 frames I lost in my last run. After playing around with his run, I finally found that pressing b and then down for 1 frame at the right time reduced lag for whatever reason. With that in mind, because I warped into the boss room with Link in quite a different position, I was able to make Agahnim start his attack cycle a lot earlier, and each time I damaged it there were a few less frames of lag. This put me a nice 75 frames ahead of my last run after defeating it and encountering slightly more lag when it died. Sadly…the phase after that took a lot longer to load the Ganon form so I lost 66 frames -.- only leaving me 9 frames ahead. I actually tested the old route, and with it optimized, it tied this new one, so I just left the new one.
During the next phase, I used several tricks. From my all instrument run I found that avoiding some damage could save 6 frames, at least in that run. When I looked into it in this run, I found ways to manipulate the lag better. Only moving on certain frames during lag heavy situations allowed link to avoid some of the lag frames speeding the fight up. Also taking damage in specific ways in certain positions reduced overall lag. A note of interest is that I was able to save 3 lag frames by taking damage a 3rd time from the bats, but I couldn’t find a way to maintain the health needed to survive going up the ladder and dodging Ganon’s pole. This put me a total of 27 frames ahead. An interesting little thing I noticed was when link deals damage, he sometimes creates lag, mostly when extra sprites are on the screen. After the bat phase, a frame of lag can be saved each time while damaging Ganon based on where Link is standing
Right after defeating the Ganon form, I found standing in the corner saved like 2 frames, and I saved 5 frames in the final form by manipulating the location of the boss, plus bringing up the save screen at a specific time. This ended up putting me a total of 34 frames ahead.
As a side note, the glitchy charged sword swings I used didn’t save or loose anytime. I hex edited them in after completing the run for entertainment.
For the heck of it I tried hex editing the input in this run into a .vbm from the (J) rom and it all synched perfectly (besides text which I easily edited the input for) having the time on that be 3:25.57 total. I just did this for reference.
Thanks to Swordless Link for his run again, and thanks for telling me about the trick described after the reset.
Also thanks to Brandon for encoding this, looks great!

Nahoc: Shotgunned!!!!
Nahoc: Accepting as an improvement over the published movie.

Brandon: Publication underway.

Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 15151
Active player (494)
Joined: 1/12/2007
Posts: 682
Solid improvement and fun to watch. Great job, bob.
Player (26)
Joined: 8/29/2011
Posts: 1206
Location: Amsterdam
Could you explain how the boss fight works? I thought he had more forms than that, so why does the ladder up appear in the middle of the fight? Is this memory corruption or something else?
Joined: 8/23/2008
Posts: 417
Nicely done. This game continues to be improved every so often despite its willingness to eat up saved frames in the lagfest that is the boss fight; now, it almost looks "normal" (for a loose definition of the word). Radiant: The final boss has six forms in a normal playthrough. In this case, screenwarping in, out, and back into the boss room duplicates the boss, which more or less breaks how the game handles the code for the fight. I don't know the exact technical reason this happens, but I suspect beating phases of the boss when there's two in the room is incrementing a value in memory tied to what phase the boss is in twice instead of once, resulting in half as many "kills" needed to make the game think the fight is over.
I will not use self-reference in my signature.
Editor, Experienced player (566)
Joined: 11/8/2010
Posts: 4017
Nice improvement. Yes vote!
Former player
Joined: 1/19/2011
Posts: 260
Location: France
Very nice improvements!
Experienced player (529)
Joined: 2/5/2012
Posts: 1725
Location: Brasil
frame wars.
TAS i'm interested: megaman series: mmbn1 all chips fighting games with speed goals in general
Editor, Player (190)
Joined: 11/21/2010
Posts: 913
Location: Tennessee
Note that nanogyth has provided suggestions and a test encode that fixes the issues I found with rendering the credits. These should be implemented before publication (Probably by me). Edit: Done. Will publish shortly after uploading.
All the best, Brandon Evans
Post subject: Movie published
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 15151
This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [2076] GB The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening by Bobmario511 in 03:48.55
Editor, Publisher, Player (47)
Joined: 10/15/2021
Posts: 375
4K 60 FPS YouTube encode: Link to video
Site Admin, Skilled player (1242)
Joined: 4/17/2010
Posts: 11372
Location: RU
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.