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Montezuma's Revenge - for C64

You play as Panama Joe; fearless explorer and treasure hunter. You have decided to brave the trap-filled pyramids of the ancient Aztecs in search of Montezuma's treasure.

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Game Basics

  • The game consists of 9 pyramids that must be explored from top to bottom to reach a treasure room at the bottom of each pyramid.
  • Each pyramid gets progressively harder and each pyramid (while similar to the others) is unique:
    • Walls are moved around from stage to stage
    • Enemies are added
    • Traps are added
    • More dark rooms are added
  • Once the 9th stage is beaten, the game loops on Stage 9
  • Various items/tools can be collected
    • Gold Coins - Add points only
    • Amulet - Turns enemies grey and unable to harm you for a limited period of time. Activates upon pickup.
    • Sword/Dagger - Kills either a skull or spider. Once used it is lost. Snakes cannot be killed with this item.
    • Torch - Lights up rooms that would otherwise be dark.
    • Keys - Used to open doors of like color
  • Only 5 of these items can be held at any one time.

Pertinent Version Differences

We currently have a publication of this game for the Sega Master System. The following are differences in the C64 port.
  • Graphics
  • SMS has 11 pyramids, C64 only has 9
  • Treasure rooms
    • SMS are singular rooms; C64 are multiple screens wide and theoretically infinite screens vertically
    • SMS contain traps; C64 do not.
    • SMS can be finished by death or by exiting either side of the room.
    • C64 can be finished by reaching a pole on either extreme left or right side of the room.
      • There is also a time limit in the C64 version. Exceeding the time limit in the treasure room causes Joe to jump directly to the pole, finishing the stage.

TAS Notes

  • This submission uses a similar ladder glitch to that seen the current SMS publication.
  • Glitch differences
    • In SMS the glitch is triggered by pressing U+D simultaneously at the top of a ladder; this submission the glitch also uses U+D but can only be accomplished at the bottom of a ladder.
    • SMS goes immediately from the starting room to the treasure room; C64 has one extra screen which must be climbed through to reach the treasure room.
    • SMS allows for movement after entering treasure room; C64 only allows downward movement (no lateral movement is possible). Moving down off the screen in C64 just enters another treasure room.
  • As no lateral movement is possible upon entering the treasure room in the C64 version, a boring stationary position is forced upon us as we wait for the timer to kick us to the pole.
  • Thought there are not normally enemies in the treasure rooms in this C64 port. The glitch allows them to be there and numerous skulls will be present in the treasure rooms of this run.

Potential Improvements

  • Finding a way to initiate the glitch at an earlier position on the ladder, or at a higher position in the room not on a ladder.
  • Finding a way to move laterally in the treasure rooms - allowing for earlier completion of these rooms by avoiding the timer wait.
  • Starting on level 3 instead of level 1. (as allowed at the game's title screen)
    • While the easiest of these possibilities to implement, this one is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. Even though very little of each pyramid is seen in this run due to the glitch. All the pyramids are, in fact, unique; and Stages 1 & 2 should be played in my opinion.

Other notes

Special thanks goes out to NYMX:
I had posted a WIP of a couple stages of this game EZgames69 pointed out that NYMX was also working on a port of this game. I contacted NYMX regarding his work (which was on the Coleco port). We discussed things briefly and decided to work on our individual ports and attempt to submit around the same time. I completed my entire run. While waiting on NYMX, I discovered the ladder glitch for the C64 port. I quickly re-did my run, drastically shortening the movie. NYMX expressed concern that he had a lot of work yet to do on his port, and was concerned he was holding up my submission. It was decided to work together on the Coleco port...see this submission. Without the communication with NYMX, I would likely have not found the C64 glitch.

Recommended Screenshot

Frame 2882 - Title Screen

feos: Updating the movie and accepting to Vault, as described here.
fsvgm777: Processing.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #6375: DrD2k9's C64 Montezuma's Revenge in 04:25.74
nymx
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Nice work on the glitch discovery. Thanks for the collaboration also. Yes vote.
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Nice discovery, but the movie is kinda weird. The glitch makes the movie consist of holding Down for some seconds and then Up for some seconds, repeated 9 times.
  • You can start holding Down way before it's needed.
  • You can release Down way after it's not needed anymore.
  • You can release Up way after it's not needed anymore.
  • The only gimmick is in a 1-2 frame window when you need to start holding Up while still holding Down.
This is obviously trivial to TAS, like in Duck Hunt where all you need is finding the first frame to shoot and the spot to aim. Then you can be sure that within the existing knowledge base you will always be getting a frame perfect movie. In theory, a new glitch could be found that would make the movie even faster. Overall there are quite a few more possibilities in this game than in Duck Hunt, so in the end it can be considered not as trivial, though borderline. I think it's passable. As for the starting level, due to the glitch all the unique content and all the difficulty changes have been rendered irrelevant and don't affect gameplay in any way. I made this movie pick option 3, adjusted every level's Up/Down glitch by a single frame, and the movie completed level 9 without problems. In the ports without this glitch, gameplay differences actually play a role, but not here. Since this game does loop at level 9 which is still the hardest, it can be considered a valid ending point for a movie. If the game kept incrementing the level count indefinitely, we'd likely accept a movie that only plays through the first loop, because difficulty and new content are irrelevant here (provided they are indeed irrelevant in every future loop too). But this movie's ending point is fine. What I would prefer tho is starting from level 3. As I already tested it syncs just fine after a few trivial adjustments, so there's no technical problem with that. DrD2k9, do you have thoughts on that?
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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feos wrote:
[a bunch of stuff] DrD2k9, do you have thoughts on that?
Runs where the difference in the stages is still present (for example, the Coleco version) would still need started at level 1. As the level changes are made irrelevant because of the glitch in this case, I'm cool with a run starting at Level 3. It'd be a similar decision to that which was made on C64 Congo Bongo where glitched movement patterns nullified difficulty increases. Do you need a new .bk2 from me, or do you just want to use the one you made?
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Coleco is good since gameplay actually matters there. And please post your updated movie.
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!
DrD2k9
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feos wrote:
And please post your updated movie.
http://tasvideos.org/userfiles/info/55132359772289408
Post subject: Movie published
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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. ---- [3961] C64 Montezuma's Revenge by DrD2k9 in 04:25.74
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I would like to see a glitchless 100% tas of this game. a 100% tas means the following 1) every room that is reachable on each level is entered at least once. (not all rooms are reachable) Fully exploring the pyramid shows more gameplay. 2) every gem is collected, with an exception for the final room, since it's impossible to collect all gems from the arrow in one jump) 3) every sword is collected and used. yes this includes the ones that require deaths to collect. 4) every amulet is collected 5) every key is collected and used, if possible (this may not be possible if there aren't enough doors to go around. if you can' use all keys, then try to collect all keys. if neither is possible, then collect as many as possible, and if that fills up your inventory, you may avoid gems in the final jump room, but must still collect all other items) 6) all torches collected, unless it interferes with objective 5. Then at least one must be collected. TAS ends as soon as final jump to level 9 treasure room is made. This would show unique gameplay. This is, effectively, a maximum score TAS, with the exceptions that you may exit the treasure rooms early for speed, and that a full inventory may prevent you from collecting gems in the jump off room. i think it would be entertaining. :)
EZGames69
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zaphod77 wrote:
I would like to see a glitchless 100% tas of this game. a 100% tas means the following 1) every room that is reachable on each level is entered at least once. (not all rooms are reachable) Fulyl exploring the pyramid shows more gameplay 2) every gem is collected, with an exception for the final room, since it's impossible to collect all gems from the arrow in one jump) 3) every sword is collected and used 4) every amulet is collected 5) every key is collected and used, if possible (this may not be possible if there arent' enough doors to go around. if yo can' use all key, then try to collect all keys. if neither is possible, then collect as many as possible, and if that fills up yoor inventory, you may avoid gems in the final jump room) 6) all torches collected, unless it interferes with objective 5. TAS ends as soon as final jump to level 9 treasure room is made. This would show unique gameplay. This is, effectively, a maximum score TAS, with the exception that you may exit the treasure rooms early for speed. i think it would be entertaining. :)
does the recently published Coleco version meet these requirements?
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no it does not. it only beats each level glitchless, taking the shortest route. I've beaten level 9 realtime on actual hardware, and while breezing through the game as fast as possible is impressive, a greater exploration would be more interesting i think. also there is an atari 8 bit version that is near identical to the c64 version. If atari 8 bit is TASable, then perhaps use this version for my proposed TAS.
DrD2k9
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As I mentioned in the discussion on the Coleco version: 100% routing would be an insane challenge to optimize, require significant backtracking, and be much, much longer of a run. Personally, I don't think it would be any more entertaining than the now published Coleco run. Frankly, I think a 100% run would be less entertaining due to the significantly extended time/backtracking. I do feel it would be vault eligible though. Side note: There are currently no RTA runs of this game listed on either speedrun.com or speeddemosarchive.com.
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i think a 100% run on level 3 alone might be short enough to not become boring. (3 is the first level with the entire pyramid available) interestingly enough, it seems that every door has it's key, and there are no extra keys. so collecting all items in every level is in fact possible. the interesting task is collecting all FOUR torches in levels 3 through 8, where you can only hold five items. so yeah. a run of level three, with all items collected, with the exception of the gems in the final room.