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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.

Samsara
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User movie #20320707903080519 Alternate strategies weren't working out for me, so I just made a couple small modifications to rchokler's last file and improved it by 13 more frames. E: To clarify, it's still mostly rchokler's input, I just changed the final hit slightly.
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I will try to squeeze more out in the fight tomorrow. I 'm not sure if even the final version of the fight will be optimal though, due to so much uncertainty.
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And 1 more frame saved over Samsara's attempt. Now we probably will need to discover a different route to get more improvement. http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20328404088202288
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Seems like a really complex game with that overworld map and co. Never played it. Nice work.
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Nice!
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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I will try to give the fight one more push. If it doesn't produce any result then I think we can safely say that the frame war is over. Edit: Okay, I admit that the previous post may be a bit unfair to Samsara as the one frame improvement was made by trivially moving the last line of the input up one spot where Kuros still would gladly fire his weapon and defeat the last elemental of the fight. Thus it was a trivial adjustment. The following is a more fair response that shaves another 7 frames over the other one by a not-so-trivial modification. Now we are clocking at less than 7:16. http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20338379539004966
Samsara
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rchokler wrote:
Okay, I admit that the previous post may be a bit unfair to Samsara as the one frame improvement was made by trivially moving the last line of the input up one spot where Kuros still would gladly fire his weapon and defeat the last elemental of the fight. Thus it was a trivial adjustment.
Two can play at that game! User movie #20343166755079523 The third to last shot was done a frame earlier, with some very minor modifications to the input to make everything work again.
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In that case, here is another frame down: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20351047306603533
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Maybe you already know this, but the locations of the four bosses starts at 0220 and their HP starts at 00C8. Each boss has 128 HP. Each frame the game considers magic to be in contact with the boss takes away 4 HP. This is why critical shots are so valuable. Shooting at the correct frame can significantly increase damage per shot.
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I can attempt to improve the hits with RAM watch. I do admit though that one of the complexities of this fight is that often a slightly less damaging hit is better because it allows for the next shot to be fired on a frame that makes it much more damaging. In theory, this tradeoff philosophy extends to sets of 3 or more consecutive shots, which is why I agree that this boss is a pain to optimize. If my current path is a perfect fight already, we may never find out.
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RAM Watch paid off, saving another 97 frames. Thank you Alyosha. http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20400621271745531
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Wow, impressive work! If you improve this much more I will have to put your name ahead of mine in the author list : )
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Out of curiosity, what's the loss for picking up the Fleetfoot spell? I thought it did the same thing as the Seven League Boots (thus negating the need to get them since Fleetfoot's literally in your way) but could be misremembering. Seems like it could save time regardless unless another key's that hard to come by or the speed gain's that minimal.
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Tangent wrote:
Out of curiosity, what's the loss for picking up the Fleetfoot spell? I thought it did the same thing as the Seven League Boots (thus negating the need to get them since Fleetfoot's literally in your way) but could be misremembering. Seems like it could save time regardless unless another key's that hard to come by or the speed gain's that minimal.
The seven league boots are permanent. The spell is only active for one area. Since you need the speed for all 3 areas of the last level, its not enough to get the spell. It's unfortunate that spells are so useless in this game. For example the geyser would dramatically change things except it can only be used in that single area in level 2.
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Thank you. I was surprised myself that this much improvement was even possible. It's now probably much closer to a perfect fight since many of the blows dealt are fairly big, including one shot that dealt 80 HP damage to the Earth elemental and 3 shots that each hit two elementals. This latest fight may be the one to have in the publication since with such great luck with the hits, it is hard to imagine another major improvement.
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Alyosha wrote:
Tangent wrote:
Out of curiosity, what's the loss for picking up the Fleetfoot spell? I thought it did the same thing as the Seven League Boots (thus negating the need to get them since Fleetfoot's literally in your way) but could be misremembering. Seems like it could save time regardless unless another key's that hard to come by or the speed gain's that minimal.
The seven league boots are permanent. The spell is only active for one area. Since you need the speed for all 3 areas of the last level, its not enough to get the spell. It's unfortunate that spells are so useless in this game. For example the geyser would dramatically change things except it can only be used in that single area in level 2.
I had thought that the glitch that let you keep keys and element spells also let you keep those. Thanks. Edit: Wait, no, I'm sort of right. Familiar, Fleece, Asp, and Dragon at least are all normally carried over as seen here (30 minute mark). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPQu3-LXAHA I really don't want to test things myself, but I remember Spout being kind of glitchy and arbitrarily taken away from you by random things anyway. From a cursory search, it looks like it was opening chests or getting other spells (or the gold objects?) that would remove it (and maybe same for Fleet Foot too), probably a half-assed way to avoid those kinds of exploits.
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Hmmm maybe I am not explaining clearly. What I mean to say is that the effect of increased speed / jump is needed in 3 sections of the last level, scaling the mountain , the crystal cave, and the summit. Fleetfoot the spell only lasts in one section once you use it, you are right it carries over if you don't use it though. So I would need 3 instances of the spell.
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@feos: I believe a final boss fight has been reached. Please replace the submission file with rchokler's: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20400621271745531 I will add him as coauthor as well.
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Alyosha wrote:
@feos: I believe a final boss fight has been reached. Please replace the submission file with rchokler's: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20400621271745531 I will add him as coauthor as well.
What about Samsara?
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:
Alyosha wrote:
@feos: I believe a final boss fight has been reached. Please replace the submission file with rchokler's: http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/20400621271745531 I will add him as coauthor as well.
What about Samsara?
I don't think any of my input remains, so my technically my only contribution in this file is just having pushed rchokler to optimize his work further. Not enough for co-author credit in my opinion, but in all honesty I can't say I wouldn't be happy if it happened.
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I agree that competition drove the success of getting this fight optimized. I will add Samsara. Monopolies are bad in TAS too!
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Could you guys PM Aglar about this submission? Possibly he also had some ideas he never posted anywhere.
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:
Could you guys PM Aglar about this submission? Possibly he also had some ideas he never posted anywhere.
Well he did post all his WIPs and ideas in the game thread back when rachelB was going to try this game.
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feos wrote:
Could you guys PM Aglar about this submission? Possibly he also had some ideas he never posted anywhere.
I'll let him know if he goes on Skype
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So how much faster now is this movie compared to the original submission? Crazy amount of improvement, everyone.
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.