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Wizards and Warriors 2 is an action platformer developed by Rare. The basic idea of the game is to collect a magic scroll to defeat each level's boss.
While not particularly noteworthy in itself, this game has the distinction of being the longest non-obsoleted NES game, despite several started and cancelled attempts to create a new run.
The current run accumulates the already heavily optimized and partially completed runs by Aglar and Randil (themselves from nearly 5 years ago) and completes the game with a few additional improvements.
Game objectives
  • Emulator used: FCEUX 2.2.2
  • Completes the game as quickly as possible
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Manipulates Luck
Comments
Scubed's original run of this game already contained the significant glitches used in this run. They are the infinite magic glitch, whereby if you get 255 magic, your magic will constantly refill when drained due to sloppy programming, and a glitch in the second boss which lets you skip getting the magic ordinarily needed to beat him. Aside from this, the improvements are platforming optimization and luck manipulation to get infinite magic as quickly as possible. I would say also that a lot of this improvement is also attributable to improved tools available in the form of FCEUX compared to 10 years ago.
Luck manipulation on this game is perhaps as easy and convenient as possible. It's usually just holding the up button until you get what you want. It doesn't always work (as in the geysers), but for harvesting magic is certainly not as hard as it could be.
A final note is that this run drops the 'takes no damage' tag of the original movie, as there was consensus (even by the original author Scubed) that it was unnecessary.
Stage by stage comments
Stage 1: This stage was heavily optimized by Aglar and Randil. The current run uses it directly and manipulates the boss to get the required level of magic. About half of the overall improvement in the run comes from this level.
Stage 2: A little more manipulation to get the infinite magic glitch activated here and a slightly better boss fight.
Stage 3: From here on it is almost pure platforming. I do manipulate the geysers in the first part of the stage to save a few frames, although they are not always useful, especially since they always shoot you to the left. I also improved the boss fight slightly.
Stage 4: Pure platforming and an easy boss fight here.
Stage 5: The boss fight here was pretty tricky. The basic idea is that if you are shooting magic in the same direction as each boss is moving it will stay in contact with them longer and damage them significantly more. Only 1 boss is 'activated' at a time however (actively maneuvering around you and attacking) so making opportunities for this to happen takes patience.
Author's Comments
When I read through the game thread and looked over the WIPs, I was quite surprised at how much was done despite there being no final product, and the improvement over the existing run being so great. About 95% of this run is directly attributable to Aglar and Randil, so I can hardly take any of the credit. Indeed it seems that it just needed one final push to get to completion. I can't help but wonder how many other projects out there exist in this state, as personally all of my movies to date have relied heavily on existing work that has basically been lying around waiting to be finished.
I am not sure what other possible improvements might be. Maybe the last boss can be done quicker, but it's not clear to me what a perfect fight would look like, so I don't know how far away from that the current run is.
I would like to thank rchokler for looking over my WIPs and pointing out improvements. Also thanks to Samsara and rchokler for dramatically improving the last boss fight.

feos: Fixed platform, judging...
feos: Updated the movie.
feos: Accepting to Moons as a notable improvement.
fsvgm777: Fixed game name to match that of the previous publication, publishing.

TASVideoAgent
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This desyncs for me in the room starting at about 14400. (Using FCEUX 2.2.2) Anyone else have any better luck getting this to sync?
I might finish another TAS some day...
Alyosha
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Oh you are right, I played back the fm2 and it desyns, hmmm strange since the fm3 works fine, let me try again. Oh and apologies I didn't give you a chance to team up with this game, it was much further along then I thought once I first started. Edit: Oh I found the problem, I think, I have a stray down press on player 2 at that point. I had no idea player 2 input would effect the RNG. I only exported 1 player inputs to the FM2. Interesting. I will upload a 2 player fm2 and work to patch the file to one player. Luckily RNG is easy on this game. http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20204478884032547 There this one works, while I remove that press. Shouldn't effect anything else really. Strange a player 2 input would effect RNG in a one player game.
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The 2 player wip still syncs if you switch the down input from player 2 to player 1.
I might finish another TAS some day...
Alyosha
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ok cool, that is convenient. here is a fixed submission file: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20205024969766768 well that was interesting : )
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The end doesn't look quite as polished as the early parts, but it doesn't seem bad to me. I'd say this is definitely technically solid enough for publication. It's a much more interesting run than the currently-published movie too. The highlights for me were the fire boss and the elements on IceFire mountain. With the fire boss, you did a good job making the hits varied and ending the fight in a great way. The final fight here is way faster than the published run's fight.
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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Link to video Temp encode. Give it a while for HD/60fps.
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Looks good, I enjoyed this. Yes vote.
I might finish another TAS some day...
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Great improvement to an old run. Definitely a yes. I never managed to defeat the end boss as a kid. That was one rough battle in real time.
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My only concern is in the final battle - that's a lot of hits. Is there a way to avoid the hits or does that make it much slower?
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Haha, looks like I'm still active on this forum without me knowing it. :) Great job on this, I know how hard this game is to optimize. Yes vote from me.
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electricslide wrote:
My only concern is in the final battle - that's a lot of hits. Is there a way to avoid the hits or does that make it much slower?
This is an interesting question. Unlike every other enemy in the game, it seems you can't manipulate the elementals to stop them from shooting you (they attack at regular intervals.) Simply dodging would have been far slower, as many of the critical hits were pixel perfect (look at 7:06-7:07 in the video for a good example.) Many of the hits come from Kuros' feet, which can't be blocked, unfortunately. One hit is intentional, at about frame 25445. You can't see it, but the fire elemental is behind the mountain and collides with Kuros knocking him into the air (this sets up the important critical hits later.) This isn't to say that a radically different approach to the fight wouldn't have yielded less hits and a faster time, I just couldn't find one. More generally, I would even bet that the number of plausibly optimal ways to approach this fight is greater then that for entire games (e.x. NES Shinobi.) There are many factors to consider and many paths to go down. I would gladly add as co-author anyone who could produce a faster fight.
Randil wrote:
Haha, looks like I'm still active on this forum without me knowing it. :) Great job on this, I know how hard this game is to optimize. Yes vote from me.
Do you have any other projects that I could take credit for help get finished? : )
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Alyosha wrote:
Randil wrote:
Haha, looks like I'm still active on this forum without me knowing it. :) Great job on this, I know how hard this game is to optimize. Yes vote from me.
Do you have any other projects that I could take credit for help get finished? : )
Yes! I suggest you take a look at one of these: *Kid Icarus *Little Nemo *Goof Troop All of the published TASes for these games are quite improvable, and Kid Icarus in particular has this new wall hack glitch. The latest Kid Icarus WIP is available in the forum thread. Oh, and check out Speed Demos Archive's progress as well, the guys over there have made some nice progress on the game.
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Randil wrote:
Alyosha wrote:
Randil wrote:
Haha, looks like I'm still active on this forum without me knowing it. :) Great job on this, I know how hard this game is to optimize. Yes vote from me.
Do you have any other projects that I could take credit for help get finished? : )
Yes! I suggest you take a look at one of these: *Kid Icarus *Little Nemo *Goof Troop All of the published TASes for these games are quite improvable, and Kid Icarus in particular has this new wall hack glitch. The latest Kid Icarus WIP is available in the forum thread. Oh, and check out Speed Demos Archive's progress as well, the guys over there have made some nice progress on the game.
*ahem* http://tasvideos.org/842M.html
Alyosha
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Thanks for these ideas, I will definitely be looking into them. Especially kid Icarus.
ars4326
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Watched the two runs side-by-side, and I was impressed with the improvements! Good job, man! Not sure if that final battle could be improvable, but it was leaps and bounds better than the prior run.
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9
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More generally, I would even bet that the number of plausibly optimal ways to approach this fight is greater then that for entire games (e.x. NES Shinobi.) There are many factors to consider and many paths to go down. I would gladly add as co-author anyone who could produce a faster fight.
Thank you for answering my question.
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That was a fun and enjoyable run. Yes vote.
adelikat wrote:
I very much agree with this post.
Bobmario511 wrote:
Forget party hats, Christmas tree hats all the way man.
Post subject: Boss improvement
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I was playing around with the boss fight and it turns out to be improvable, if only just slightly. I verified my attempt by playing back my version to make sure it syncs. Frame wars anyone? Rerecord count is now 21997 Movie length now: 07:16.31 (26222 Frames) http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20308457084957722 Great job Alyosha! I almost was about to tear my hair out in search of the improvement. It took me several hours yesterday and today with many close calls along the way. That is how well optimized it was.
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Well done! I'm not at all surprised an improvement was found, since there are so many ways someone might approach this fight, and its right at the end of the run. I wouldn't even be surprised if yet another improvement is found. Well as I mentioned earlier an improved fight certainly deserves co-authorship, I will add rchokler as coauthor and ask the file be replaced unless an even better fight is presented within the next day or so.
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Alyosha wrote:
I will add rchokler as coauthor and ask the file be replaced unless an even better fight is presented within the next day or so.
I'll wait for a few days before updating the file and judging, so that you guys could try out more ideas.
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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Not sure how many more frames could be saved on the final boss, but regardless of the outcome when the submission is accepted, I am glad that we will now have a much more optimized publication for the game. Like the others, I voted Yes.
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Well, if you guys won't be trying to improve it this time, just tell.
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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feos wrote:
Well, if you guys won't be trying to improve it this time, just tell.
Even if they're done, I'm taking a shot at it.
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Oh competition : )) who will win that coveted(?) last co-author spot! I'm not sure I can think of another game that has a boss quite like this one. If someone can think of another similar example I would be interested to take a look.