Bible Adventures is a collection of three platformer games in one. Each game is (very loosely) based on a story from the Bible. Gameplay itself has very little biblical connection.
- Noah's Ark - Noah collects animals and food in preparation for the flood.
- Baby Moses - Moses' mother must carry baby Moses past Egyptian guards, spiders, and birds to reach a safe place to put him in the Nile.
- David & Goliath - David must first gather sheep that have wandered off, then he can go to battle against Goliath.
Why Bible Adventures?
While watching recorded videos from SGDQ 2014, I saw Brossentia do a run of the David & Goliath portion of this game. I remembered playing through this as a child and finding it quite difficult at the time. Playing through it again in preparation for this TAS I realized that the game's difficulty lied in its control system. Movement and actions are delayed multiple frames after button presses, so controller inputs must be performed further in advance of when it would seem to be intuitively necessary.
During Brossentia's run someone in the audience jokingly challenged him to run the Noah's Ark story. He laughed it off exclaiming
Never Noah's Ark! That was challenge enough for me.
It did not take me long to realize that I'm probably not cut out for unassisted speedrunning of video games; my skills just aren't up to par. However the idea of tool-assistance intrigued me and I thought this game would be an ideal candidate. Seeing that there were no published videos of this I was ready to attack.
Prior submissions have only covered the Baby Moses story and have been rejected essentially due to the Run Right for Justice gameplay of this segment; more on this later.
It is my hope that this submission will not only be more entertaining, but also be more apt to be published considering it contains all three stories in succession.
- A minor glitch resulting from throwing objects during a couple frame window of jumps is used at times to gain slightly extra height allowing the playable character to land on platforms that would normally be to high to reach with a normal jump. This can appear at first to be sloppy play, but is intentional.
- GOAL = Get objects/animals into the ark.
- Probably the most difficult of the three games due to length and complexity.
- The jump glitch described above is used most here to speed up routes to goal objects/animals; especially in stage two.
- The jump glitch results in much greater height when jumping off trees.
- Jumping with large animals typically causes Noah to drop them. The item stack is rotated at times because keeping the large animals above smaller objects seems to sometimes prevent this drop.
- During the third stage, Noah must wait for monkeys to throw him various fruits. I could not figure out how to manipulate luck to result in a specific fruit being thrown and thus was forced to have Noah dance to the music while waiting for the appropriate fruit.
- If someone is able to deduce how to manipulate this in a future submission, many frames would be saved.
- During the fourth stage, Noah is required to catch animals at night using a jar of lightning bugs for light. When it is lost, this the screen background goes black making only sprites visible except during random lightning flashes. The jar itself is used as an object to knock out certain animals making them easier to obtain. The last portion of this stage is performed in the blackness without the jar for added difficulty and entertainment value.
- GOAL = Get baby Moses to the right side of the level.
- A glitch exists where picking up an object from the edge of the tiles by the Nile as you are falling into the river allows you to
jump over the Nile river to the far side where no enemies can get you.
- As this story is very Run Right for Justice based, I chose to sacrifice time slightly to demonstrate that this
Nile Jump glitch can be performed in any of the story's six stages.
- This is the least entertaining portion of the run, but is included for completeness of having all three stories in one video. Sorry.
David & Goliath
- Collect the sheep scattered about the stage for the first four stages.
- Climb the mountain and Kill Goliath.
- The glitch jump/throw described above is used to reach platforms with sheep for faster routing.
- Frame perfect use of the slingshot prevents damage from falling boulders.
- The TAS video final input to kill Goliath actually occurs before he is even on the screen.
'I hope you enjoy the video!'
- "And they peered upon the Bible Game, and so it shall be judged."
- "Lo, for the Bible Game had too much information within its name and branch, and thus the Judge brought down the hammer."
- "And the Judge looked upon their words. And it was middling at best. And probably offensive in some way. The Judge wept."
: Yea, for I dropped this gimmick because I ran out of material before I'd even started it. Also, that gimmick would be ridiculously hard to keep up for the amount of information I have to dole out to explain my decision.
There are three issues with this submission, and I'll start with the most obvious one: There's a bit of issue with optimization, with Baby Moses being something like 2-3 seconds slower than an optimized version. Personally... It's three seconds over a movie of 1095 seconds, so I wouldn't consider the entire movie suboptimal by any stretch, especially since some of that time lost is a minor speed/entertainment tradeoff. "But Samsara," you ask, and immediately I regret ever asking to become a Judge, "This is a Vault movie, so shouldn't it be rejected for using speed/entertainment tradeoffs?" It's maybe a second or two, it's essentially meaningless in regards to rejection over it being done.
Overall, I think the level of optimization in the movie is just fine. There was a lot of thought put into the weird movement physics, routing, glitch/exploit usage, and for a first publication, that counts more for me than being a few frames late in reaching the end of the level.
That leaves two other weird issues, the first of which being: Is it worth having this run as a "100%" run alongside, potentially, 3 separate runs of the individual stories? If it's either this or the 3 individual runs, which option would fit in better? My gut's leaning toward all stories in one file, personally. It's not a long movie by any stretch, even with the bulk of it being taken up by Big Noah's Animal Sho-ah, and having the single movie also makes more sense for Vault purposes, giving 1 movie more overall meaning than 3 individual movies.
That just leaves the last issue: What do we do with the Genesis run of Baby Moses
? Well... I'm not entirely sure, myself. It feels a little strange to obsolete it, considering it's a purely Vault-oriented optimized run whereas this is a more entertainment-based (and slightly slower) run, but this run does have more overall content with the other stories included. Huh. Leave it to me to pick up a Bible game submission and have it turn into two
weird publication precedents.
I think overall it's safe to leave the Genesis run published for now. If an improvement to this run comes along, whether it be on the Nintendo Exodus System or the Sega Deuteronomy, then we can discuss the obsoletion of the standalone Baby Moses run further.
I admittedly feel a bit iffy about this decision, but I'm accepting it to Vault.