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Kid Niki was one of the very first third-party games for the US release of the NES, a port of the arcade game of the same name, and the first in a trilogy of games, the other two of which weren't released outsie of Japan.
The story: the hero must rescue the girl and defeat the evil boss. Pretty basic, that it is.
Being an early game, Kid Niki is pretty darn simple. You have two moves: attack, and jump. The only attack consists of Niki spinning his little blade in a fashion that makes it resemble (and often mistaken for) a throwing star. When he jumps, it's always the same height, no matter how long the button is pressed. This makes this a somewhat easy game to do a TAS of, so I went ahead and did it.
This game is also quite buggy, another trait of early NES games. The collision detection is pretty substandard on the whole, and it makes this already tough game even tougher.
Also, one hit kills. Yikes.
There are eight stages, each filled with a combination of pre-positioned enemies, and enemies that come at you from both sides of the screen. Then there's a boss at the end of each stage, wherein a unique touch of this game shines through. All the bosses are tough enough to knock your blade away whenever you strike them, and you must go back to retrieve it, adding a new layer of strategy to their fights.
General notes and strategies:
  • There's a slight pause when attacking, unless Niki attacks while jumping, so you'll see him doing a lot of jump attacks in this video.
  • There are some moments when I seem to stop moving forward for a few frames for no apparent reason (especially in the final stage). This is just due to a game glitch where the player is temporarily blocked from moving forward in certain areas. It's always the same spots where this happens, and there's no way to get around them.
  • The NES version of this game has several bonus areas, but very few of them work well as shortcuts.
Stage 1: Not much to this one. Occasionally I'll manage to strike the boss without losing my blade, but it's really hard to determine when it can be done (it's just a game glitch), so it only happens every so often.
Stage 2: Not much to say about stage 2. Moving on...
Stage 3: One of the few "shortcuts" that actually consumes less frames than the regular route is in this stage. It helps that it lets you leave the bonus area early, and you're dropped near the end of the stage no matter where you fall down. The boss is rather glitchy and I manage to affect her so that parts of her get destroyed quicker than they should.
Stage 4: Mercifully, this stage gives you a break from the regular, insanely repetitive stage tune. The rising platforms in the last half of the stage are weird in that they don't move up and down at regular intervals, and their movement could be affected. They also seemed to stay underwater longer when I jumped above them! Really annoying. There's a really cool bonus area here that involves turning a rock into a fish and jumping into it. Sadly, it's much slower than just going the regular way.
Stage 5: This level is so buggy! It may look like I mess up a few times but trust me, I get through pretty much as fast as possible. There are walls in the stage that simply can't be jumped over on the first try, due to sloppy programming. Also, Mad Monk is a horrible boss, and he's usually the reason no one was ever able to beat this game before there was savestating. He usually sends out various projectiles that kill Niki when he touches them, or comes within fifty pixels of them, or tries to jump over them. It's nuts. He's one of the cheapest bosses ever. It's fortunate that Niki can be cheap right back and exploit a position where his blade doesn't get knocked away more than a few pixels.
Stage 6: This is a neat stage. I'm rather proud that as platformy as it is, I manage to get through it without pausing once. The boss is sorta complicated. You're supposed to wait for him to attack you before you can attack him, otherwise, both his and your weapons get knocked away, and the whole fight slows down as y'all scramble to retrieve them. But there's an exploit where if you just attack in really close range, it connects.
Stage 7: The original arcade version of this stage was full of enemies.. pretty much every type you experienced during the game so far. They all had to be removed from the NES version due to system limitations, and we're left with a really sparse, dull stage. Thank goodness for shortcuts. Also, the boss is a real loser.
Stage 8: The whole stage is a boss stage! The first phase is a rerun of the previous stage's boss fight. In Phase 2, he sends out a little floating head to complicate things. It can be destroyed, but doing so knocks Niki's blade away, and he just immediately sends out another floating head to replace it. The third phase is just the boss standing around as bubbles float up (in the arcade version, he summons cool energy spheres instead of bubbles). The final phase is like the first one, except he'll try to run away whenever you get too close, which makes him kind of a pain, unless you have savestates.
I played this game a lot in my youth. I'm not sure why, it's so frustrating and terrible. I'm not sure, but I don't think I ever got past stage 4.
  • Used FCEU 0.98.12 Blip
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Abuses programming errors in the game

adelikat: Rejecting. This game has many problematic spots and is most likely a bad game choice. Reasons for this rejection are thoroughly explained in the discussion.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #1105: josh l.'s NES Kid Niki - The Radical Ninja in 10:33.85
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This game is so easy, that I think only a pacifist version (if possible) could be entertaining, same situation as for Yo! Noid. I wasn't entertained at all so I have to vote no.
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I was thinking of just voting meh until I saw round 5. Very unoptimized, three times you had to stop to jump walls that you should have cleared the first time. I'm gonna have to vote no. --reading your submission text, it sounds like you knew that was going to happen. It really didn't look very good though, even if that was the only way. The movie was just boring all around, pick a better game and you'll get better responses
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What the Christ. Already two "no" votes based more on the opinion of the game than the actual quality of the run? Whatever. Videos of infinitely more boring games have already been published on this site, but if this trend continues, I'll go ahead and withdraw this.
http://girlyyy.com/ The El Viento TAS is the only decent thing I submitted here.
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josh l. wrote:
What the Christ. Already two "no" votes based more on the opinion of the game than the actual quality of the run?
The question asks "Did you like watching the run?" not "was the quality good?". The game is boring and way too easy, do a pacifist run and we'll see if it's more entertaining.
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josh l. wrote:
Videos of infinitely more boring games have already been published on this site
This is probably true, but that doesn't mean we want more of them. Maybe it would be fine if more of the things that look like mistakes and time-wasters (such as jumping twice to get over walls and going back a long distance to retrieve a knocked-away sword) can be avoided somehow...
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You've never actually tried playing this game on an NES, obviously. There are many ways to describe Kid Niki... mostly involving words like "rad" and "irritating" and also "extremely rad".... but "way too easy" is certainly not one of them. Back in the 80s this game drove kids crazy, and nobody ever saw the final few stages due to the one-hit-kill and random nature of the collision detection and enemy patterns. Much sadness and rage ensued, but it was one of the 35 or so games that were around at the time and we had to make do with it as we waited for better games to come out. I know the game is old and relatively simple, but I don't think it's THAT boring. But maybe nostaligia is clouding my judgement, I dunno. I still think decent runs that are disliked due to personal tastes are what the "Meh" vote is for. If not, what IS it for?
http://girlyyy.com/ The El Viento TAS is the only decent thing I submitted here.
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I voted yes because the game looked really hard (IMO) and the hitboxes on monsters seem to be weird as in some places i thought they touched you and they didn't and in other places you jumped to avoid them when i thought you didn't need to,etc. Wasn't the most entertaining movie i've ever seen but it was good enough to be published, especially considering some other movies in this site
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I meant that this game is way too easy to TAS, because you don't really have to do anything else than run and jump and sometimes even kill enemies(!!), and this could easily be done at 25% emulation speed or some levels on even 50%.
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Ohhh.. Well, I can't argue with that. =|
nitsuja wrote:
josh l. wrote:
Videos of infinitely more boring games have already been published on this site
This is probably true, but that doesn't mean we want more of them.
THAT'S A LIE AND YOU KNOW IT. >=3
Maybe it would be fine if more of the things that look like mistakes and time-wasters (such as jumping twice to get over walls and going back a long distance to retrieve a knocked-away sword) can be avoided somehow...
I tried everything I could to get over those damn walls. If anyone else manages to find a way to do it, I'll pay them a million dollars. It's not really a big deal if this run isn't liked, but frankly I am a little shocked and appalled at how few of you seem to remember or know about Kid Niki. =(
http://girlyyy.com/ The El Viento TAS is the only decent thing I submitted here.
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The movie desyncs within five seconds of gameplay start. EDIT: Never mind. I had the wrong version of FCEU.
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josh l. wrote:
THAT'S A LIE AND YOU KNOW IT.
I'm not sure what you're denying there... I wasn't calling this run infinitely boring, if that's what you mean.
josh l. wrote:
I tried everything I could to get over those damn walls.
I'm pretty sure you're right that it's impossible, since the game stops your character from continuing while it's loading and unloading certain things (like that big statue). I was mostly saying that it's too bad the game doesn't let you do more interesting things and apparently even makes perfect playing look clumsy.
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nitsuja wrote:
josh l. wrote:
THAT'S A LIE AND YOU KNOW IT.
I'm not sure what you're denying there... I wasn't calling this run infinitely boring, if that's what you mean.
I was just joking around, though I'm not sure what I meant by that either. I'll just leave this submission up for a week for people to see if they want, then withdraw it. Oh well.. no love for Niki.
http://girlyyy.com/ The El Viento TAS is the only decent thing I submitted here.
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josh l. wrote:
Ohhh.. Well, I can't argue with that. =|
nitsuja wrote:
josh l. wrote:
Videos of infinitely more boring games have already been published on this site
This is probably true, but that doesn't mean we want more of them.
THAT'S A LIE AND YOU KNOW IT. >=3
Maybe it would be fine if more of the things that look like mistakes and time-wasters (such as jumping twice to get over walls and going back a long distance to retrieve a knocked-away sword) can be avoided somehow...
I tried everything I could to get over those damn walls. If anyone else manages to find a way to do it, I'll pay them a million dollars. It's not really a big deal if this run isn't liked, but frankly I am a little shocked and appalled at how few of you seem to remember or know about Kid Niki. =(
I remember Kid Niki quite well--as an arcade game at a local supermarket and at the amusement park. Getting to Death Breath was fun and it wasn't too hard but I didn't fare too well against him. I may have gotten to stage 2 occasionally--it's been too long and as far as I know, Kid Niki was only a minor and very brief hit in the arcades. Unlike other platformers like Strider and Rolling Thunder, I don't remember any Kid Niki machines in arcades for well over a decade. I played the NES port once or twice years ago and wasn't very impressed. Too bad MAME does not support rerecording yet.
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I played this game back when I owned a NES, and I will tell you, you cannot jump over those walls. For some reason, it will not let you. Tell you what, run his movie until you reach those points, and see what it lets you do. It will not let you clear those walls on the first jump. Personally, this is a quality run, based on the fact that I played and completed it when I was a kid. Honestly, I was scared of Death Breath for some reason when I was a kid. I kept hitting him upside the head and it did no damage to him. Later on, I learned how to kill him, but then the problem with those stupid frogs came along. I'd get torched in the head many times. And then if you clear one by jumping over him, he flips upside down and torches you in the head. It was very frustrating. I give it a yes vote because, given the game's bug content, he did a very good job of running it as quickly as possible.
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Heheh, they forgot to change his hairdo on the life number icon.
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Funnier still, did anyone ever see the box art for this game? Zomg, that was funny, scary, and dumb all at the same time. And the background surrounding the picture was PINK!
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First of all, I'm sure the quality is quite good and that you can't jump over the walls but however it doesn't look good or impressive even if it is perfect because I think the game just plain lacks of "tool-assitence." The only interesting about the run is the bad collision check and some bosses. "Meh" vote
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I guess I am harsher than Arne, I am voting no ;) Some comments: 1) Guybrush's pacifist comment is a very insightful one. If you are determined to make a good run of this game, I would seriously consider it. 2) This game is basically just running (if you can call it that) right and stabbing stuff. Because of this the moments you have to "backtrack" and kill something or stop momentarily are greatly amplified. They look much more unpotimized in a game like this. Sure these are probably unavoidable but see point 5). 3) As mentioned, there is one place where you jump miss the ledge and jump again. This may be unavoidable but again see 5). Also, why is the first jump necessary if you can get on the ledge. Perhaps I don't fully understand that part. 4) The boss fights look unoptimized. You hit them with a knife then backtrack to get it. The problem is that the knife is sometimes further away. In one fight you sometimes had to fall off a ledge to get it which costs time. Surely you can manipulate it so that it is always in the closest spot. If not, see 5) 5) A lot of these problems could be unavoidable and just part of the game. But that doesn't mean that they don't look sloppy. Perhaps then, don't pick a game that makes the author look bad ;) Anyone who would watch this run would certainly see this as an unoptimized run. This makes it a bad game choice. As the guidelines say: It is better to leave your audience asking “how” rather than “why”.
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1) Nah, it would probably suck just as much. 2) There are some moments where it could have been avoided in the first stage and it does indeed look awful. 3) I don't really know, quite frankly, but that's just how it is. I tried everything to not have to do that, such as running up against the ledge for a few seconds, then jumping. No dice. This game probably didn't get much playtesting, I imagine. 4) I guess you're talking about the Stage 7 boss, which was defeated pretty much as fast as possible. Once he's struck, you have to wait before you can attack him again anyway. Bad example, but there probably ARE ways to optimize the fights further. It's really hard to affect where the knife lands though; I think I did about as good as I could. 5) Agreed! But still, it was fun. =)
http://girlyyy.com/ The El Viento TAS is the only decent thing I submitted here.
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So the second game's good, but not the first one? How about the third one?
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It's a shame this submission was rejected. I'm considering speed running it and TAS comparison would be really helpful. I know this discussion is super old, but the enjoyment of a TAS run being the biggest factor doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I was under the impression that the purpose for TAS was to complete a run as fast as the game will allow not to make the run aesthetically pleasant. I guess I'll just have to route without TAS assistance. Oh well.
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First, please keep in mind that the decision was made back before we had the Vault tier, when we held games up to higher standards for publication than we do now. Second, you do have the option of downloading FCEU and and the input file provided by this submission if you wish to watch this movie.
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Since the movie was rejected, not cancelled, we could theoretically unreject it and re-judge it as a Vault candidate as we did with a number of other movies back when the Vault was introduced. It's a possibility, though admittedly a dubious one.
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