Submission Text Full Submission Page
Pinocchio is a game about a wooden puppet trying to become a real boy by gaining 3 magic badges from the Blue Fairy. Pinocchio skips, spins, jumps, dances, and swims his way to save his father in 16:24.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk
  • Fastest Time
  • Hard Mode


This platformer offers 9 levels, each with unique rules. The art is pretty good too. The game attempts to stay true to the story of the movie, which sometimes doesn't match what the designers had in mind. As a result, the manual helps clear up what you are supposed to do, and what the power ups do, which are actually pretty hard to figure out from just playing.
Altogether, the various methods of movement, and varying techniques needed (some levels need heavy RNG manipulations, others are straight optimization of movement) makes this an enjoyable game to TAS.
There was a previous easy mode submission by Archanfel which I based some of my paths on. Many of the hard mode levels are made harder by having more obstacles, and harder requirements for beating a level.
However, either due to different emulator choice, or actually-different-jump-height for hard mode, some of the shortcuts and tricks used in the easy mode run simply don't work (trust me I tried). This results in some lost time in level 5, but otherwise didn't effect the run.

Stage by stage comments

Level 1: An Actor's Life For Me

In this stage, you navigate the town trying to get to school. There are various doorways you can enter to progress, but if you enter the door marked "Easy Street" you'll get sent back to the beginning!
The level is broken into 3 screens. On easy mode, the level ends after the first screen. On screen 1.1, I even manager to save a couple frames compared to the easy run with some slightly different jump timings.
Powerups: White Page: I picked it up, which lets Pinocchio sink on Level 6 for longer. I'm not sure if it really matters, but it doesn't cost me any frames.
Yellow Page: I skipped it, it lets the Balloons in Level 4 last longer before popping. Obvious this doesn't matter since we're not hanging around.
Blue Page: I picked it up. It supposedly lets Pinocchio jump higher, but even with it, I can't reach the same height as in the Easy Mode run.
Red Page: This one lets you spin attack. It up appears about 1 second before the end of the level. I skipped it, but the game isn't fooled, and forces you to pick it up anyway while the cinematic plays. You need this to beat the game. I'm not sure why they didn't just unlock the attack from the start.
This stage offers some various different types of boosters. Signposts, shutters, and water pumps can be used to spring around the level. Entering the signpost or shutter facing the opposite direction of where you are heading will result in a few pixel boost as Pinocchio snaps into place.
I use a couple other tricks, like taking damage for a boost, wiggling to clip through a chimney a bit faster, and falling through a roof so I can get access to a shutter boost.
In general, your horizontal speed is constant, so hopping here and there is just for fun. Most jumps however are to get the right animation/collision frame for hitting the booster as efficiently as possible.
As a reward for getting to school without delay, I get a Red Badge of Truth. This fox guy is having none of that, so I'm not going to school today anyway.

Level 2: Lampside Seating

Jiminy Cricket heard that Pinocchio is going to be in a marionette show, so he wants the best seat in the house. And he'll kill other species while he waits, because, why not.
On hard mode you must kill 5 months, each with progressively more HP. This level is tedious to optimize. The trick is to set it up so that it turns back towards the lamp so you can hit it again as soon as possible. This means finicking with your position, and sometimes delaying a few frames to alter the flying pattern.
In the mean time, earwigs, pillbugs, and flies will try to wage war on you. Their AI is basically set as soon as they spawn, so altering the direction they are spawning in is usually enough to be able to ignore them.
Jiminy also has an umbrella which he can use to float, or as a shield to reflect incoming bugs. After this, we never see him again. It's kind of strange.

Level 3: The Marionette Show

Dance minigame. There are 4 scenes, and there is really no speeding it up. Unfortunately on hard mode, each dancer does 6 moves instead of 4. This takes a while and is not very interesting to watch or TAS :(. At this point, the game design feels very disconnected. But not to worry, we fix that soon.

Level 4: Pleasure Island

Kids play games of "Brick-face" while Pinocchio tries to catch a balloon and fly away. Then we ride a roller coaster which doesn't meet safety standards.
I use the rollercoaster shortcuts from the easy mode run. Ringing the bell switches the tracks so you can get to the fireworks display.
The fireworks drops wands, books, and hats. Wands restore health, 5 books is a continue, and 5 hats is a life. I run into the fireworks wildly because it turns out, to beat this level you have to collect a bunch of items. Why does this beat the level? To quote a walk through, "Only the programmers know".

Level 5: Escape from Pleasure Island

In this level, the jump-height difference between easy and hard becomes apparent. There are several shortcuts that the easy mode run makes easily. In this run, even on the first jump, I need to wiggle to set the collision box so I don't fall. Other jumps, I give up on and take a slightly longer route.
Not sure if this is an emulator problem, but I'd guess on Hard-mode, even with the Blue Page power up, you don't jump as high as on easy mode with no blue page. And if you are wondering "Well maybe the manual got it wrong, and the yellow page is the jump upgrade" nope, tried that too.
We kick an old man off a cliff and get a Yellow Badge of Bravery.

Level 6: Search for Monstro

In this level, you float because you are made of wood! Eat enough clams and you sink to the bottom instead. This is kind of neat, there is a lot of traps and enemies that you can use for boosts, and planning which clams to pick up (and RNG controls where they spawn) can result in an interesting challenge.

Level 7: Fish!

Fish! In this level, you grab fishtails and jump left. Repeat until a cat-man in a suit swims from right to left. After he's offscreen, you can decide life isn't worth it and fall off the right edge. However! If you do so before the cat-man has made his exit, then you die. Why? "Only the programmers know". This one isn't even explained in the manual.
On easy mode, you can skip this level by giving up immediately. *shrug*

Level 8: Inside Monstro

Here you have to break crates to collect 25 pieces of firewood. That's 25 more than on easy. There are more than 25 crates, so you have some choice on which ones you want to get. After you collect them, you must kick over a lamp and set the ship on fire.
After some jumping over deathpits, you and Geppetto mean up on a raft, and the whale spits you out.

Level 9: Escape from Monstro

This level is requires you to jump over low rocks, and duck under high ones. When Monstro shows up, whirlwinds appear out of nowhere and though they look like obsticles, they are actually collectables that hurt the boss. That's also not explained in the manual and why does picking up a whirlwind hurt a whale?
At the end of the level, Geppetto decides to go for a swim, but you must stop him from having fun by jumping in yourself. The manual hints that this is what you're supposed to do. If you wait to long you die with no explanation, other than what is in the manual. So "remember to think of someone else's safety before your own".
As a reward, you get the Blue Badge of Unselfishness, and become a real boy.

Other comments

There is some room for improvement, specifically in level 2. Manipulating the AI can definitely earn a few frames here and there, but it would require reoptimizing the entire fight scene (and as a result, any RNG dependent stuff like fireworks and clams later in the game). But, it might be worth it.
On level 5, if anyone figures out how to take the shortcuts, a few second can be saved.

Samsara: I'd say I don't have a joke for this, but I'd be lying. Judging.
Samsara: I didn't see any immediately obvious problems with optimization, so I'm accepting this to Vault. This will obsolete the easy mode run, as it is a more complete run of the game.
feos seems to have pre-claimed this for publication.
feos: Right!

Experienced Forum User, Moderator
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 13025
This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5099: Meerkov's Genesis Pinocchio in 16:25.29
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 2/5/2014
Posts: 776
I normally enjoy TASes that don't skip levels/play on the hardest difficulty. I don't enjoy this one, largely because stage 3 exists. I can't fault the runner for that, it's just the nature of increasing-length simon says minigames.
Adventures in Lua When did I get a vest?
Experienced Forum User, Site Admin, Skilled player (1411)
Joined: 3/20/2014
Posts: 1704
Location: Dumpster
Is it just me or is the posted encode only 15 seconds of the TAS?
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 2/5/2014
Posts: 776
It is; I'm working on a replacement temp encode as we speak.
Adventures in Lua When did I get a vest?
Active player, Experienced Forum User (347)
Joined: 10/4/2015
Posts: 88
Doh... I'm uploading the correct video now as well.
Experienced Forum User, Player (157)
Joined: 5/25/2015
Posts: 49
What's going on here? Sometimes I need to learn to read stuff.
Editor, Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1885)
Joined: 8/25/2013
Posts: 1186
Giving this a No. The choice of a harder difficulty comes at a cost of more boring levels and less tricks.
effort on the first draft means less effort on any draft thereafter - some loser
Active player, Experienced Forum User (347)
Joined: 10/4/2015
Posts: 88
@arandomgameTASer there's definitely tradeoffs. Some of the levels are longer and boring (e.g. the dance minigame), but others have additional content (playing through the full level 1 and 7 and 8). The easy mode skipped major portions of those levels. It's hard to see, but I do actually use some new tricks that weren't present in the original run, such as clipping through certain objects, using the boosters in lv1 more efficiently by turning around before hitting them, and new strategy for fighting the moths. Some positives, some negatives to be sure.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1391)
Joined: 11/26/2011
Posts: 655
Location: RU
Nice to see someone that tried this game again :) Well done, Meerkov! Well, since it should be accepted as improvement to my movie i forced to play devil's advocate and to ask at least something: For example about Level 6 *Search for Monstro*. Seems for this underwater level difficulty have no effects on gameplay (or at least vanishingly small), however you had lost 3 seconds (181 frames if i counted correctly) without valid reasons. Why? Also at end of Level 4 Pleasure Island i saw that you had few empty (without useful item) fireworks explosions. I remember this place is absolute nightmare to manipulate. Obviously all explosions should give item, and it just the first layer of optimisation. Second layer was to find best sequence of explosions. But in new movie unfortunately i not saw even first layer done... My vote meh.
I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Current projects: NES: Tetris "fastest 999999" (improvement, with r57shell) Genesis: Adventures of Batman & Robin (with Truncated); Pocahontas; Comix Zone (improvement); Mickey Mania (improvement); RoboCop versus The Terminator (improvement); Gargoyles (with feos)
Editor, Experienced Forum User, Expert player (2175)
Joined: 5/15/2007
Posts: 3831
Location: Germany
Meerkov wrote:
Some of the levels are longer and boring (e.g. the dance minigame), but others have additional content (playing through the full level 1 and 7 and 8). The easy mode skipped major portions of those levels.
Can you explain why playing through full levels rather than skipping through them is better?
It's hard to see, but I do actually use some new tricks that weren't present in the original run, (...) using the boosters in lv1 more efficiently by turning around before hitting them, and new strategy for fighting the moths.
So, those are possible improvements to the Easy run? I'm thinking, just because your run didn't miss out on those strats it doesn't count as new content that you will never see in the Easy category (because you will when that run gets improved). If those strats don't work in Easy, however, disregard this post.
Experienced Forum User, Skilled player (1567)
Joined: 7/1/2013
Posts: 433
It's good to see you challenge this game on Hard Difficulty, Meerkov. You will benefit from it as well.
Active player, Experienced Forum User (347)
Joined: 10/4/2015
Posts: 88
@Mugg Playing on hard is what is better, not the lack of skipping. Some of the longer levels are boring (dance minigame) but others can be interesting (fish level). This is of course, the problem with trying to compare an easy playthrough to a hard playthrough. @Archanfel 3 seconds? :( I think it's partially because I couldn't jump onto the stingray near the end of the level (timestamp 11:06 you can see I try to jump on it, but on hardmode again, I jump a few pixels lower than on easy). As for the fireworks, Mmm yeah, I was having a hard time there. Once for example, I had both the 1st and 6th explode almost at the same time, and I couldn't pick both up before one would disappear. Tricky spot, but I did manipulate the ones I could reach in time. Likely room for improvement like you suggest.
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 3/9/2009
Posts: 530
MUGG wrote:
Meerkov wrote:
Some of the levels are longer and boring (e.g. the dance minigame), but others have additional content (playing through the full level 1 and 7 and 8). The easy mode skipped major portions of those levels.
Can you explain why playing through full levels rather than skipping through them is better?
To make sure it's clear, it's skipping levels (or removing objectives such as "reach end of level") BECAUSE it's on Easy, not a choice separate to that. Compare stage one for example. On Easy, it's one room. On Normal and Hard, it's that same room followed by two more. On the fish stage, if you die on Normal or Hard, you lose a life and have to try again. On Easy, you're automatically advanced to the next stage. Also, the judge's decision on the previous one included:
the next run for this game (if it's done) should be on the hardest difficulty, and would obsolete this one.
Not that it should be the final word in matters, but I really didn't like that the previous one was accepted despite Easy mode skipping entire stages, removing nearly all the stage objectives, and handing out most of the powerups for free, so I definitely think this should obsolete the old, even if there are a few iffy spots, especially if this shows the old run had similarly iffy ones.
Experienced Forum User, Player (25)
Joined: 8/29/2011
Posts: 1206
Location: Amsterdam
Solid run; that the game has one boring level is not the fault of the run of course. And I completely agree that this run should obsolete the earlier run, because the other run skips large parts of the game via chooing the easiest difficulty mode, and this one does not. Hard difficulty is preferable.
Experienced Forum User, Experienced player (657)
Joined: 1/9/2011
Posts: 192
Fine run. Yes vote from me. Just one tiny thing I noticed; on Level 1, when you paused at the chimney to fall through the roof tile, would it be a couple frames faster to do a mini-jump before the tile crumbles away so that you fall through the gap even faster?
Active player, Experienced Forum User (347)
Joined: 10/4/2015
Posts: 88
@WarHippy: Actually I tried that, but falling is actually faster. It's actually a pretty neat trick. It turns out jumping from the windowsill to the shutter is really quick, because by falling, we actually are within the acceptable limits to continue moving without playing a landing animation. So I'm not sure if there were that many frames to save by this method (maybe a few)... but! In addition, due to having basically perfect pixel/subpixel combination, we can boost from the shutters directly to the signpost booster below. In every other attempt I made, such as jumping like you suggest, I couldn't get those extra few pixels or subpixels that I needed to trigger the boost, and would be forced to play a landing animation and subsequently jump to reach the spinning signpost. I tried a bunch of various timings, but falling was definitely the fastest as a result.
Active player, Experienced Forum User (305)
Joined: 2/5/2012
Posts: 1527
Location: Brasil
yes vote,obsoletes the old one,the way the stages were shorter before is by removal of obstacles and parts of the stage
TAS i'm interested: megaman series: mmbn1 100% mmx3 any% psx glitched, mmx command mission pokemon XD fighting games with speed goals in general
Experienced Forum User, Site Admin, Skilled player (1153)
Joined: 4/17/2010
Posts: 10792
Location: RU
I'll be publishing this.
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!
Post subject: Movie published
Experienced Forum User, Moderator
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 13025
This movie has been published. The posts before this message apply to the submission, and posts after this message apply to the published movie. ---- [3129] Genesis Pinocchio, Disney's by Meerkov in 16:25.29