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  • Used FCE Ultra 0.98.12
  • No passwords, no Warps
  • If it counts as a programming error: If you step next to a bug or under a falling rock with just the right timing, you will not get killed.
  • No death.
  • Aiming for fastest time possible.
  • I like the red outfit. So sue me. (Seriously, it makes me play better. Or something.)
In case you're not familiar with the Boulder Dash games, the object of the game is to run through a maze collecting diamonds. Collect your diamond quota and the exit will appear on one of the wall bricks. On each stage, you must get to the exit without letting something fall on you, touching a bug, getting trapped, or letting time run out.
This game has been my all-time favorite NES game ever since childhood, and it's the first game I played fully when I got into emulation. Completing this run in 2 days was quite a rush.
This game is HARD. It has 96 levels. It repeats the same 24 levels 4 times. The second time the levels repeat, the level design is identical except that you must collect more diamonds in less time. The 3rd time the levels repeat, the level design is tweaked for a little more difficulty- extra bugs are added, passageways are sealed up. The 4th time can only be described with one word: HELL.
Two notes:
  • If the movie de-synchs on level 9-1... crap. You see, I noticed something weird on the first sand world levels (3-1, 9-1, 15-1, and 21-1). There are two extra bricks there that weren't on the cartridge. They're a diamond and a wall brick, and they start in the room on the right. Luckily they're out of the way enough that they almost have no effect on gameplay, but it still doesn't change the fact that I picked up that diamond to make room for the big avalanche. On 3-1, I collected an extra diamond in case other people's versions of the rom didn't have this extra thing... But on 9-1, I forgot. So if the movie de-synchs there, it means I have a bad rom and I have to redo the whole run... (Or, better yet, find the "boulder.nes" rom that I used...)
  • You may want to fast-forward through the levels 6-3, 12-3, 18-3, and 24-3. Most of the time spent on that level was just waiting for the amebas to fill up the space. I searched very hard but was unable to find a method to significantly speed those things up, so you'll just have to live with it for now.
Overall, I'm very proud of this run. I'm proud of all the crazy stunts I pulled off with the emulator. Playing slow-mo on an emulator and abusing save states is so much different than the cartridge I played on all these years. It literally becomes a whole new game. Even though I think there are a few places that could possibly be improved, I'm amazed every time I watch the replay. I hope you find this run entertaining. Hopefully it can be appreciated by people who don't know the game themselves. It really is an experience.
Anyway, I really hope you enjoy this...

Bisqwit: Rejecting this submission, because:
  • It's five times too long for its genre.
  • It's not really interesting.
  • It doesn't look superhuman at all. My no-experience with this game might be illusiating, but I think a well-trained speedrunner could probably do the same as in this movie, at least for a few levels.

TASVideoAgent
They/Them
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #565: CtrlAltDestroy's NES Boulder Dash in 1:43:04.72
Experienced Forum User, Experienced player, Judge (888)
Joined: 4/17/2004
Posts: 3101
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Sega TASer of 2021Sega TAS of 2021
I haven't watched this. Is there any way to only play the fourth variant? 2 hours is too long for a game like this, in my opinion. About different ROM versions - get GoodNES, and make it rename your rom to the correct (full) name, which should include which region it is (JUE), if it's a verified good dump with no errors, version and stuff like that. This should be included in the submission field Game Version. Having the wrong ROM often causes the video to desync.
Experienced Forum User, Player (62)
Joined: 3/11/2004
Posts: 1058
Location: Reykjaví­k, Ísland
I only watched the first 30 or so levels. I'm sorry to say this (really!), but what I watched did not impress me much. The movie is full of small errors and long waits that all add up. You can do much better than this. Because of the extreme length of the game, I think you should use a password and skip the first three versions of those 24 levels. The movie is currently too long, in my opinion. If it skips straight to the good stuff (obscenely hard levels), it has a much better chance to be entertaining. Please don't be discouraged to try again. Now that you have gained experience from making this version, your next will be so much better. Optimize each level to the fullest, and take your time. Don't rush through it. It is very important to make the waits as short as possible. Etc, etc, etc... Good luck, and have fun! By the way, the ROM you used just happens to be a good one. My "Boulder Dash (U).nes" matches the one you used and it most likely would not have desynced anywhere. Don't worry about ROM diferences, just optimize movies for the exact ROM that you're using.
Experienced Forum User
Joined: 8/12/2004
Posts: 651
Location: Alberta, Canada
Well, i'm at 11-1 right now, and I have to agree with the other guys. The game itself was interesting to watch, but watching you do all the levels again as their more difficult versions makes the run seem very long. If you use a password to skip through to the "hard" versions of the levels, and the little pauses/waste movements then I wouldn't hesitate to vote yes. Although now i'm not so sure. A question though: What causes those purple amobea things to turn into diamonds?
Active player, Experienced Forum User (271)
Joined: 2/23/2005
Posts: 785
The amebas turn to diamonds when they no longer have room to multiply. And I see you criticize me for little pauses everywhere... True, about 15% of those pauses are hesitation mistakes, and another 10% are savestate-related. However, if you've played the game yourself, you'd know that a very important element in this game is precise timing. Sometimes I'd stop for a second just so I'd synch myself with an event that happens later- such as being able to destroy a bug in less than a second of letting it out. That's mostly what you're seeing. Bugs are not friendly. Normally you die instantly if you're one square away from them. Sometimes you have to pause. You can't just keep moving. For example, I can't just run into a bunch of stars created when I just killed a bug- I'd die. I also can't move quickly through a pile of diamonds- those can crush you too, just like rocks. And yea, Maybe it would be a good idea to record a run of just the final 6 worlds. I didn't think of that, I thought that it would be considered incomplete. I think I'll just go ahead and record a speed run of the final levels. Also, I'll do a "normal" run through them too, with no emu cheats- just so people can have a better idea of what effort needs to be done to beat the game normally :D
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Joined: 2/5/2005
Posts: 44
Location: Germany
CtrlAltDestroy wrote:
True, about 15% of those pauses are hesitation mistakes, and another 10% are savestate-related.
So 25% of those waits could easily be avoided. Savestates shouldn't cost you any time, and if they do, you're doing something wrong. However, this is not so bad as this is your first try. The 15% hesitation waits are worse. If you hesitate, you're uncertain. If you're uncertain, that means you're worried that you might do something wrong. And if that's the case, you're showing that you do not know all too much about the game. I'm not trying to say that you don't know much about the game. I'm just trying to say that there should not be hesitation pauses in a movie. If you're not sure if the move you're doing is correct that means you havn't planned ahead enough. Hell, if it turns out that what you did was wrong, you can just rewind to before your mistake. Less than 1000 rerecords for over 300000 frames is usually NOT enough to make a superhuman movie.
CtrlAltDestroy wrote:
I also can't move quickly through a pile of diamonds- those can crush you too, just like rocks.
Just because it seems like you can't doesn't mean you can't. If we'd let us get stopped by seemingly impossible tasks most movies on this page would not even be half as good as they are right now. I'm sure that for some of the larger diamond piles you can find routes that are faster than just waiting. In general, I have to say that after watching the first 7 worlds, I was disappointed with your planning. You often seem to get diamonds that look longer to grab than others on your way. For instance, I fastforwarded to 9-1 just to see what it's like, and at the end you grab some diamonds in the top left corner, then go DOWN to the new pyramid and grab ONE diamond there, followed by going UP to the exit. I don't know too much about the game, but wouldn't just getting more diamonds down there be faster? There's many similar things in many other levels, including extra steps (like in one level you go down, then right a bit, then up one field to avoid a stone, continue right and go down to the exit. You could have just move right one field earlier and save two steps...) A good run? Sure. "Superhuman" as you claim it to be? No. I'm sure you can and will do better, so I'll vote no. I hope you'll put a bit more effort in your next run because 2 days for a 1:43:05 long run with just 651 rerecords doesn't seem like much effort to me. Good Luck on your next try.
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Joined: 12/13/2004
Posts: 103
Some unneccesary waiting, sometimes you do not walk the straight way to the exit (that really was the fastest) and some routes that (at least on first sight) aren't the fastest. This is a no-vote, but I would like to see a version with just the hardest levels, as mentioned.