#6419: DrD2k9 & Memory's C64 Punchy in 09:59.3

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Punchy

Punchy is a clone of the 1983 arcade game Hunchback.
While using themes and elements from the classic puppet theater Punch & Judy, the game's protagonist is not Punch himself, but Police Constable Bobby.
For reference, in a classic Punch & Judy performance the constable is a common minor character who attempts to break up the domestic violence between the titular characters over Punch's lack of adequate childcare with their baby. Unfortunately, the constable (as with many other minor characters) is typically beaten senseless (or to death) by Punch in a violent manner.

The Game's Story/Basics

You are Police Constable Bobby trying to rescue Judy from her notoriously violent/abusive husband Punch, who (in this game) has locked Judy in a box. You are tasked with guiding PC Bobby across 16 stages (from both the theatrical and video game definition) to reach Judy's box. Along the way, you must rock the baby's cradle at the end of each stage to keep it asleep.
Throughout the stages are various obstacles that attempt to prevent you from accomplishing your goal. Contact with any of these will knock PC Bobby off the stage and cause him to lose a life.
  • Flying Tomatoes
  • Flying Custard Pies
  • Pits (with and without alligators)
  • Punch himself with his stick
There are also collectible sausages floating around some of the stages. Once three are collected, they can be 'activated' by pulling back on the joystick. This causes PC Bobby to shoot straight across the stage directly to the baby's cradle. Enemies/obstacles do not affect him during the use of sausages.
I'm not sure why sausages power Bobby across the stage in such a way....perhaps they have a high bean content that induces rapid and powerfully explosive flatulence???

Temp Encode

This video contains gameplay portions only; loading time is omitted.

TAS Notes

  • Aims for fastest completion
  • Uses hardest/fastest difficulty
    • It is allowed to select level 1-5 at the beginning of the game, this simply affects the speed at which everything in the game moves. As 5 is fastest, it was selected
    • No new obstacles/challenges exist at higher difficulty levels.
The biggest challenge in TASing this game was to determine on which stages to utilize the sausages. The first few uses were easy, as stages with sausages available alternated. For other uses it was necessary to determine how many stages existed between opportunities to collect sausages. Then when multiple stages existed between these opportunities, it was necessary to determine how long it took to complete each of those stages normally. The longest of these stages was then selected to be the stage the sausages were used in.
Movement Mechanics:
  • All horizontal movement must be performed by direct controller input.
  • Pressing the jump button only initiates movement of PC Bobby up and back down.
    • Horizontal movement during jumps must be actively performed as there is no horizontal momentum.
    • Horizontal direction during jumps is changeable at any moment throughout the jump.
Game End:
  • After rescuing Judy, the game loops back to stage one.
  • The difficulty/speed remain at Level 5, thus only one loop of the 16 stages is necessary to experience all unique content and complete this game.
  • As there is no retained horizontal momentum in the movement mechanics, it's not possible to end the run earlier by jumping into the end trigger.

Media Format

While there are disk images of this game available, I could not find reference to an official release on disk medium. Thus this run is done using a tape image.

Region (PAL vs NTSC)

For what it's worth, many C64 games released in one region work perfectly well in the other region with no glitches or impact to gameplay. This includes real media, not just emulation; while there were differences in the NTSC/PAL hardware, media from one region could be used on a system from the other region. The only times games tend to have issues being run on an out-of-region system is if the game is specially coded to deal with a particular region's frame rate.
Punchy runs equally well using either PAL or NTSC sync settings with no obvious glitches resulting from being played in one setting over the other. As NTSC runs at a bit higher framerate than PAL, the game can be completed faster in NTSC mode. Other than gameplay speed, the only other notable difference is the pitch of various sound effects being slightly higher pitch in NTSC mode.
While I was able to find one reference to a North American release of this game, I have (as yet) been unable to confirm this elsewhere; therefore the submitted file uses PAL sync settings. If the judge/staff feel this one reference is enough to warrant the game being run in NTSC mode for publication purposes, I have also created a .bk2 using NTSC sync settings which is available in userfiles. The gameplay portion of the NTSC run is approximately 3:02 and the submitted PAL version is approximately 3:08. Total times including loading is roughly 10:21 for PAL and 9:58 for NTSC.
Here is a comparison video of the run two regions. PAL is on the left; NTSC is on the right.

Memory: Judging
Memory: Replacing file with version that uses NTSC region settings for the reasons mentioned in this post.
Memory: Dropping claim due to personally finding improvements.
ThunderAxe31: Replacing movie file for a 14 frames improvement and adding Memory to the author list.
ThunderAxe31: Judging.
ThunderAxe31: I confirm that there is no difficulty available higher than the one cleared in the submitted movie. Also, the game counts as beaten because it reaches its supposed ending, according to the plot.
While there are little evidences pointing that this game was officially commercialized for the North American market, I have to note that on the other hand there is nothing that suggest the opposite. Also, the game plays perfectly fine and very similarly in both PAL and NTSC modes, so both are allowed.
For the rest, gameplay resulted very play and audience response was mediocre, so I'm accepting it for Vault.
Dacicus: Processing...

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #6419: DrD2k9, Memory's C64 Punchy in 09:59.30
mklip2001
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I was not familiar with much about Punch & Judy; I didn't know Punch was quite so violent! As for this game, PC Bobby made some annoying noises with his foot shuffling, but some of the gameplay antics looked impressive. WTF about sausages being used to fly over levels :-) I'm voting Meh though because the game ran out of variety pretty early.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically. Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.) Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html) Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature! Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
Shoutouts and thanks to mklip2001 for arguably being the nicest and most supportive person on the forums.
DrD2k9
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mklip2001 wrote:
I didn't know Punch was quite so violent!
In many variations of Punch & Judy performances, Punch beats up/kills multiple other characters with his stick; including even the devil himself in some of those story lines.
nymx
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I have worked with DrD2k9 before and I know the effort he puts behind his work. Aside from the places where the main character gets halted (apparently a limitation of the game), it seems to be optimized. The Commodore Vic-20 and 64 were my childhood...almost all the games bring back the memories I had back then. So...Yes to entertainment...Yes to optimization.
SOYZA: Are you playing a game? NYMX: I'm not playing a game, I'm TASing. SOYZA: Oh...so its not a game...Its for real? ------------------------------------------------- Anybody got a Quantum computer I can borrow for 20 minutes?
Memory
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So I talked to feos about it and we essentially came to the understanding that NTSC is preferred as long as the game runs correctly for it and the rules have been updated accordingly. DrD2k9, any objections to me updating the submission with the NTSC file?
[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
GoddessMaria, Samsara, and fsvgm777 are my sisters <3
DrD2k9
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No objections here. I think accepting NTSC runs even for C64 games that weren't released in NTSC regions should be acceptable as most of the actual C64 software would work on systems of either region anyway. Just because the game wasn't made/sold in an NTSC region doesn't mean that it wasn't played on NTSC machines. I'm currently putting ideas together for a guide to set up and TAS C64 games, so I'll make sure to include this clarification in that guide as well. EDIT: I do support maintaining original release format images though.
Memory
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Is there any particular reason Player 2 is used instead of Player 1? EDIT: Improvement by 14 frames, mostly by not slowing down as much and using a better jump pattern on stage 10: User movie #56061314166218832
[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
GoddessMaria, Samsara, and fsvgm777 are my sisters <3
DrD2k9
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Memory wrote:
Is there any particular reason Player 2 is used instead of Player 1? EDIT: Improvement by 14 frames, mostly by not slowing down as much and using a better jump pattern on stage 10: User movie #56061314166218832
Many games on C64 default to using Joyport 2. It's a game specific thing. Often a game's manual will tell which port to use. Other times, it's trial and error. Sadly, sometimes even the wrong port will have some effect making things even more confusing at times.
EZGames69
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I can confirm the 2nd controller port case to be true, iirc it was the same way for my snoopy tas.
[14:15] <feos> WinDOES what DOSn't 12:33:44 PM <Mothrayas> "I got an oof with my game!" Mothrayas Today at 12:22: <Colin> thank you for supporting noble causes such as my feet MemoryTAS Today at 11:55 AM: you wouldn't know beauty if it slapped you in the face with a giant fish [Today at 4:51 PM] Mothrayas: although if you like your own tweets that's the online equivalent of sniffing your own farts and probably tells a lot about you as a person MemoryTAS Today at 7:01 PM: But I exert big staff energy honestly lol Samsara Today at 1:20 PM: wouldn't ACE in a real life TAS just stand for Actually Cease Existing
Memory
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Do you want to try to find additional improvements, or would you like to use the updated file for the improvement and add me as coauthor? I will drop my claim over the submission if the latter.
[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
GoddessMaria, Samsara, and fsvgm777 are my sisters <3
DrD2k9
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Memory wrote:
Do you want to try to find additional improvements, or would you like to use the updated file for the improvement and add me as coauthor? I will drop my claim over the submission if the latter.
I'm a bit surprised you were able to find improvements, so I'm good with you being co-author. Collaboration is one of the aspects of this community I enjoy most. I am curious if it's something I missed in both versions or if it's something that was only improvable in the NTSC mode.
Memory
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I just checked and the PAL version was able to be improved in the same way. Can someone update the submission file with mine: User movie #56061314166218832
[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
GoddessMaria, Samsara, and fsvgm777 are my sisters <3
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This title reminds me of that Hunchback game that was submitted some time ago.
A hundred years from now, they will gaze upon my work and marvel at my skills but never know my name. And that will be good enough for me.
Post subject: Movie published
TASVideoAgent
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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. ---- [3981] C64 Punchy by DrD2k9, Memory in 09:59.30