Bonk's Adventure is the first game of the Bonk series and was a major flagship title of the PC Engine/Turbografx16. It stars Bonk on his quest to rescue Princess Za and defeat the evil King Drool. He mainly uses headbutts or "bonking" to attack.
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- Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.2.2
- Takes damage to save time
I was thinking of picking this game up after watching the original TAS by Jerfo because I noticed some things that looked improvable but ultimately ended up picking the NES version first when Vilsol submitted his TAS of that game. However I later found out there was a huge skip that was not implemented in the PCE TAS and decided why not.
The mechanics were fairly similar to that of the NES version (with some key differences) which allowed me to create this TAS much faster than my NES movie.
I ultimately finished this TAS nearly two months ago but waited to submit so I could premiere it at Power Up With Pride Winter Pride 2018 (VOD coming when it is available).
- Flower Boosting: Bonking off a flower bud will cause you to recoil backwards at speed 7, can be combined with hovering, bouncing and damage boosts to last entire screens. For whatever reason, it only registers if you start to Bonk a flower every other frame, the other frames you will fail to connect for whatever reason.
- Hovering: Actually completely intended. If you spam the attack button in midair, your vertical speed will repeatedly be reset back to 0 briefly.
- Bouncing: Hitting an enemy from above with a midair Bonk will cause you to bounce off the enemy and deals double damage to it. It gives less height than damage boosting, but doesn't cost HP.
- Damage boosting: Bonk will get a bunch of height off damage boosts and will maintain his previous horizontal speed. Which direction you move is dependent on what side of the enemy or projectile you get hit by: if you get hit by the left side of an enemy you move left, if right, you move right.
- Large meat (or eating two small meats consecutively) will make you temporarily invincible, allow you to build up to 6 speed by running/jumping and allows you to jump higher.
- Ropes will push you forward a good amount of distance while swinging from one and set you to speed 6 when you leap off.
- Walking off a ledge will reset Bonk's horizontal speed to 0 so it is preferable to jump off if possible.
- Landing on ice after doing any midair flips (even if you cancel the attack and land on your feet) will cause you to slip along the ice at speed 5 and you will not stop unless you press the opposite direction and jump which will freeze you in place for a while or simply slide off a ledge or into a slope. Usually not worth it because sliding off a ledge reduces your speed to 0 and if you need to jump you will have to wait a while but can be worth it in key situations.
- The longer you slide down an ice slope, the more speed builds up.
Stage by stage comments
Minor timesave at the start where I build up speed to the right a little faster than the published run but otherwise nearly identical.
I managed to damage boost over the flower bud where I had to land on the ground but it required me to slow down to actually get damage boosted in the correct direction off the right enemy so it ended up being slower.
Has a bunch of lag frames that don't seem to slow down the game but eat inputs.
I couldn't carry a flower boost throughout the entire level so I needed the meat to maintain speed at the end of the level.
I collected 1 smiley face here because it saves time after the boss.
Landing on the ground resets your speed to 3 temporarily so I try to avoid that as much as possible here.
I think I build up speed a little faster at the start compared to the published run. I also have cleaner movement in the water segments.
I flip once to build up speed to get to the boss. Flipping twice would allow me to get more speed but I would get caught on the wall and can't take advantage of it.
I try to end the fight such that Bonk and the boss are much closer to their ending positions for the cutscene after the boss ends. Both Bonk and the boss will always move for a minimum of 1 frame to get into a new position even if they are seemingly on a valid position prior.
Collecting a smiley causes it to take longer to get to the Round 1 End screen but it causes the Round Begin screen to go away much sooner and so it is worth collecting one smiley in each world.
Not much new here. I try to reduce the amount of jumping on the ground at the start and collect a smiley at the end of the level.
The heart drop at the start was fairly lucky, manipulating drops is basically impossible in this game and is highly dependent on what items you have collected prior. Health is nice because it allows me to perform additional damage boosts.
The level mostly used the same strategy as the published run but it still managed to be fairly tricky to replicate.
Extremely laggy level. I try to reduce the amount of sprites from appearing on screen to reduce lag and saved 8 frames here.
Picking up the meat here barely saves time making it to the first flower boost but it allows me to skip one landing by allowing me to jump higher after one of the flower boosts. Otherwise fairly similar to the published run which was a difficult strategy to replicate.
It was faster to simply flower boost through most the level instead of abusing the rope swing pushing you forward a bit.
Take an extra damage boost here to save time.
Rotating around branches isn't handled as eloquently in the NES version. You can sometimes rotate into a horizontal section of branch and get zipped upwards the next frame. Once I was low enough that I had to jump first before it zipped me upwards, but I forget if that made it into the final TAS.
Bouncing off a cloud (and off any of the bouncy flower buds) will set your speed to 5. It isn't worth picking up an earlier meat I discovered, it's best to wait until the end to grab one so you have more time with it active for the boss. It's also not worth picking up two due to how long the meat animation takes.
After I grab the meat, I need to head left to exit the two clouds because moving right will cause bonk to repeatedly get his speed set to 0 whenever he hits his head on the bottom of the top cloud for whatever reason.
Absolutely destroyed by the later meat grab.
I briefly slow down to grab a heart drop off the first enemy. Health is a precious commodity and it is almost always worth it to collect what pickups you can. It also sets up a favorable smiley drop in 3-5.
I found that doing a damage boost at the end of this level like the published run does is completely unnecessary. I have no idea why the published run did a damage boost instead of bouncing.
Falling down through the crumbling bone bridge forces you to do 3-3 and 3-4, two slow water stages. Making it across allows you to skip straight to 3-5.
This is the stage that when I watched the original TAS for the first time made me think "I can do better than this".
The smiley drop off the enemy at the start only happened after grabbing the heart drop on 3-1.
I found that slipping at speed 5 was generally not worth it for extremely small ledges, there needs to be a decent amount of distance for it to be worth it.
I generally found building up as much speed as possible off of ice slopes to be more worth it than jumping off them sooner and possibly maintaining a little bit of that speed for slightly longer. I get up to 9 speed here off the first slope I take.
Jumping off the ice slope to get to the ledge with the flower was a nice skip compared to the intended strat of jumping off an ice block.
You can still recoil off the flower before the waterfall despite it being slightly higher than normal. Not sure why the published TAS just landed on it which makes it spit out an item and disappear.
Bouncing twice off Egghead Errols requires first bonking it on the left side of the enemy to send it to the right and then doing the second when you can, preferably as late as possible to get as much height as possible. This allowed me to carry a flower boost past the ice steps: something that the current TAS lost a lot of time landing on.
Unfortunately I could not manage to carry a flower boost and land on any of the clouds, so I was forced to land towards the end of series of ice blocks.
The lightning cloud was timed perfectly to strike if I tried to pass through without stopping so I simply took the damage and abused it to hit the bottom of that cloud and fall faster and setup the next flower boost.
Sliding into the arena allowed me to trigger the boss fight a bit faster.
The most important hit of each phase is the one that causes the boss to dive back into the ground, it's important to arrange all the other hits in such a way that that hit happens as soon as possible.
If you kill the first two enemies and allow them to properly disappear, you can have an enemy that is guaranteed to drop a large meat appear. The previous TAS messed around with juggling instead and caused it to lose quite a bit of time.
Setting up the boss in a loop so it repeatedly bounces off the wall allowed for me to attack it again as soon as possible after each hit.
Getting the boss and Bonk in the proper positions to reduce the amount of time walking was tricky.
Slightly different strats here allowed me to save some additional time.
Landing on the first flower seemed to not impact the time I could start to flower boost but it pushed me slightly forward ahead.
Replicating the strategy here from the publication was extremely difficult. Enemies could fail to spawn depending on which enemies you had previously killed or left alive. Figuring out the right pattern was key.
I make a platform cycle the previous TAS failed to make. Really not sure why it didn't go for that platform cycle, it was fairly easy to make.
Entirely trivialized by hovering over the wall to where the elevator exit is. It was first known to be used in DK28's SDA run. The stage is absolutely awful normally so it's really nice to be able to skip it.
I slow down slightly to get an extra heart drop and perform an extra damage boost at the end. Unfortunately this seemed to prevent me from getting an additional heart drop later on but I still saved time overall.
I timed an attack on the skeleton enemy before the first flower such that it moved to the right but was unable to spit a third bubble, allowing me to reach the flower a little faster.
Aside from the flips at the very start to build up speed, this section was identical to the publication.
For whatever reason if you jump such that you barely get enough height to land on one of the splitting platforms and then jump again as soon as possible, you will start rising BEFORE you actually jump.
Slight differences here and there to save time when possible. I wasn't able to perform one of the damage boosts here that the published run was able to due to health differences, but I still saved time on this screen overall.
Really interesting segment.
The waterfall screen
In this game you jump after enough button taps climbing a waterfall. Combining this with bounces and damage boosts allowed me to scale the level much faster than the published run.
The "Pre-Boss Rush" screen
I take a detour here to grab a large meat before the boss rush. This allows me to...
The Boss Rush
Save a bunch of time on the first boss and skip one duplication attack on the second boss which has a really long animation.
There's an additional small meat before the 4th boss of this boss rush, but it's not worth it because it only lasts for that one fight and does not save enough time on that fight to justify.
I manage to cause Bonk to hit the shurikens from below causing Bonk to get forced to stay lower and allowed attacking the boss again sooner.
The rest of the run is fairly self-explantory.
Thanks to Jerfo for his published run that I took inspiration of, DK28's run on SDA for demonstrating the water level skip, the Bonk and TAS communities for being supportive, Latt Mackey who helped me commentate during the marathon, and my girlfriend Allie for her constant support.
I'd recommend frame 32793 or 32794 for a screenshot for publication.