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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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Encode of this most recent file: Link to video Previous movie for improvement comparison: [283] NES Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II by scubed in 08:28.73
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Post subject: Movie published
TASVideoAgent
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This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [2777] NES Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II by Aglar, Randil, Alyosha, rchokler, Samsara in 07:14.32
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When the bird takes you to the clouds, does the controller input matter at all? Because I totally remember using the sword to try to attack the bird when it was carrying me :P It would add entertainment value for one person if not more :P
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Hey guys. I speed run this game about 2 months ago and was excited to see this game got a new TAS! Anyways, there's at least 1 way this TAS can be improved on: 1) Final boss - when he dies, you actually don't have to wait for the last elemental to slowly float down off the screen. To do this, you have to kill the final elemental waaaaay off the screen. This triggers the final cutscene instantly because the game sees that there's no more elementals on screen. Here's a video to demonstrate this, skip to 9:15: Link to video 2) Assembling the Iron Sword skip - there's a way to skip the message half way through the song... although I've never been able to do it consistently and could never do it on my real runs. Maybe a button needs to be pressed on a certain frame? Anyways, there's an alternate consistent way of doing it, but you need to have a spell with you, so that's not relevant here. You can check out 6:32 in the video to see what I mean.
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The boss floating down the screen doesn't make a difference for the timing since its based on the input file, which stops as soon as the last shot is fired. Timing for TAS's are based on the input file only, and the input file ends, in general, when no further input is needed to reach the end.
Samsara
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EDIT: Beaten to it. I shouldn't take so long to post. That other improvement with skipping the song may be worth looking into further, though. EDIT2: It can't be an input thing, as it's all lag frames, so it'd have to be something done beforehand...
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warmCabin wrote:
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Samsara wrote:
EDIT: Beaten to it. I shouldn't take so long to post. That other improvement with skipping the song may be worth looking into further, though. EDIT2: It can't be an input thing, as it's all lag frames, so it'd have to be something done beforehand...
Ah right, I forgot that TAS work differently. But as far as the Iron Sword skip, I felt like holding a direction before hand made a difference? I'm not sure, it never felt consistent.
Samsara
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I haven't had any luck working out the song skip. If holding a direction makes it work occasionally, it might actually be RNG-based. No idea why it would be like that, but that would explain a lot. I did manage to leave the room/activate the Ironsword cutscene 2 frames earlier, though, so that's another minor improvement to work in if there's a V3 movie to be made.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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It's great to see such a big improvement. Luck manipulation makes getting enough magic much faster. The final boss fight is so much better. This is a fantastic way to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
Spikestuff
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Should neaten up this frame war into one post: Alyosha 7:16.56 - Resync rchokler 7:16.31 Samsara 7:16.1 rchokler 07:16.08 - One FRAME rchokler 7:15.96 Samsara 7:15.95 - One FRAME rchokler 7:15.93 - Jesus, another frame rchokler 7:14.32 - It's Over
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Disables Comments and Ratings for the YouTube account. These colours are pretty neato, and also these.
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Since it's a Rare game, it's very possible that RNG can be adjusted by adding random inputs, just like in Battletoads and some other games from them.
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 guess the next thing to do is to try to console-verify this fresh TAS just as was done with the original run by Scubed.