Precedent for the legitimacy of the game and branch was established by 2012 adelikat 1163
. The previous run was accepted to the Vault, and the justification was that the game lacks variety.
This TAS is about 1:44 faster than the currently published TAS. It is similarly faster than the best time on the speedrun.com leaderboard. The movie satisfies the “not slower than” condition.
The game qualifies for the Metroidvania
platform-adventure genre. The film on which the game is based—Rambo: First Blood Part II—is a classic of the 1980s action genre. The combination of these two facts should theoretically yield a vastly entertaining game. 92 percent of Metroidvania movies are Moons or Stars, yet the currently published Rambo movie is one of the few in the Vault. The viewers agreed with the tier placement; the previous movie has unanimous low entertainment ratings.
But does this new movie change the entertainment value significantly? It is certainly an improvement to some degree. The gameplay is almost identical to Zelda II’s gameplay, which is well-liked enough that more games aside from this one have copied it. The problem in the previous movie was that there was too much continuous running around in an unclear manner, as if the entire game were nothing more than one long Zelda II random encounter screen. The multiple uses of the vertical wall glitch in the new movie provide a pleasant surprise and cut down on some of the endless running. However, the game is still not close to Zelda II’s entertainment level (as a game, not regarding any particular run), since Zelda II involves not just its gameplay mechanics but also the boss/enemy variety, item discovery, puzzle-solving, assortment of glitches, and route exploration. This game also suffers from the fact that the speedrun does not visually appear significantly different from the TAS. Much of the time lost in the speedrun compared to the TAS is from taking enemy damage, as opposed to any TAS-exclusive demonstrations.
Talking to the final two characters appears optimized. Rambo could move further left to initiate the talk with Murdock earlier, but the backtracking afterward would add too much time. Rambo moves the minimal distance left needed to initiate conversation. However, I believe that there are at least minor optimization flaws in the movie. For example, early in the game (starting at frame 4700), Rambo changes direction at an exit, goes left for a little while, changes direction again at the next exit, and walks right for a while. In the current movie, the black screen comes up at the end of this sequence on frame 5755. When I tried it, I knocked four frames off and the black screen came up on frame 5751. I believe this part is a genuine timesave rather than an intentional delay to change RNG. But the author is correct to note that enemy placement can be bothersome and cause delays.
Other feedback noted the AVGN glitch, in which Rambo took damage and fell through the floor. It appears to be an extension of the vertical wall glitch, except it is horizontal. When Rambo reaches the edge of the screen, the game has to eject him somewhere. For example, around frame 8100 in this movie, the author creates a right-side exit that shouldn’t exist, and so the game figures out somewhere to place him. In the AVGN glitch, it is oversimplified to say that it is a mere warp back to the beginning. AVGN first lands on a screen in the same industrial area, and then it appears that he triggers an exit in the ceiling rather than the floor. The game may be unsure where to eject him at this point and returns him to the beginning by default. It may operate similar to the fairy ceiling glitch in Zelda II. The Battle of Olympus, which is also very similar to Zelda II, has glitchy ceilings
too. Although the glitch ultimately may not yield any shortcuts, it seems that it should at least be investigated further.
It is worth noting that the author’s real life return to TASing this game after 14 years away (the previous movie was submitted in 2006) is a perfect parallel to the plot of First Blood Part II (1985), in which Rambo returns to Vietnam to search for POWs at the camp from which he escaped in 1971. The author deserves a standing ovation for this extraordinary effort to immerse himself in the psychological state of the character that he controls in the game.
For the reasons stated above, this movie deserves to be Accepted into the Vault.