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Overview

This is a TAS of the USA version of Ninja Spirit (Japanese Saigo No Nindou), finishing with a time of 5:40. The emulator used for recording was VBA 1.7.2 (Nitsuja rev. 10), and the run itself was completed (not including breaks) over the course of approximately two weeks.

Features

  • Aims for fastest time.
  • Takes no damage.
  • Plays at hardest level.
  • No predefined saves.
  • Genre: Platform.
Allow Left+Right/Up+Down checked.

Description

Setting: Ancient Japan. An evil force has entered the land, and has corrupted all ninjas. Only you, Tsukikage, the spirit of the Great White Wolf remain unaffected. Taking ninja form, you set out to defeat the evil forces and return peace to your land.
There are four weapons:
  1. Righteous Cloud - the Magic Sword
  2. Swirling Leaf - the Throwing Knife
  3. Bamboo Thunder - the Bomb
  4. Rising Dragon - Sickle and Chain
Each weapon can be powered up by having the weapon selected while grabing the power-up. If the weapon it already powered up, one of the other weapons will be powered up instead. For raw damage, the sword is the most powerful, and I use it for all boss battles. I make it a point to showcase each of the weapons in at least one of the seven stages.
Power-ups only drop from certain enemies (in stage one, they are the flashing enemies hanging from the walls). Moreover, where they appear and which power-up they drop seems to be hard-coded (think Mario Bros. question mark bricks, in enemy form). Another power-up is a shadow ninja, which follows your path exactly and does the same moves you do. There is another powerup which destroys all enemies on the screen for about three seconds.
Other general information:
  • You may only have up to two shadow clones.
  • Shadow clones stop moving exactly when you stop moving. This means that sometimes you can make them stop in mid-air.
  • Shadow clones attack exactly when you attack, even if they are stopped in mid-air.
  • Attacking while running causes you to stop. Attacking in mid-air does not.
  • Jumping multiple times does not slow you down.
There are also two difficulties for this game, Arcade mode and Gameboy mode. In Gameboy mode, you have a health meter, and can get hit four or five times without dying. In Arcade mode, each hit kills you instantly. I chose Arcade mode because in general, killing or avoiding enemies does not slow you down, and taking damage is to no advantage (there is no knock-back effect).

Luck Manipulation

Which enemies appear and where can often be manipulated by changing input slightly. In general, I manipulate more enemies to appear so that I can kill more at once. The exception to this is in a few places where it caused lag. I also manipulate the explosions after each boss battle. The time between them is a random value belonging to the set (3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, 31), which means an average value of 17 frames. There are 30 explosion, so by manipulating a 3 value for everyone, one can save an average of 420 frames.

Stages

Stage 1 - House of Ninja

The first part of the stage is pretty straight forward. I make sure to power-up both my Sword and my Shurikens, and to get the shadow ninja. At the end of the stage, there are enemies jumping out of well-like structures. You don't even have to kill any, just wait for a certain amount to appear. However, the game only allows 3 to be on the screen at a time. By killing at least one before a fourth wants to appear, you can make it progress a lot faster (about 300 frames faster than not killing any at all). The boss, Asura, is a giant statue. I don't manipulate the explosions after this stage, because the next level is timed with the descent of the statue.

Stage 2 - Forest of Ninken

During the stage, I pick up my second shadow companion, and finish upgrading my weapons. The enemies which fall from the sky are supposed to be wolves. The boss, known only as "The Two-axed Ogre", alternates between doing three charge passes, and then crawling on the wall. I kill him just after he starts his second pass, but he doesn't die until after finishing that pass. I don't think it's possible to kill him in just one pass, so this is likely optimal. Here you can notice how fast the explosions go when manipulated.

Stage 3 - Valley of Tsuki

I choose shurikens for this stage. The reason is the gun-wielding foes which only appear here, as it helps to take them out quickly. The boss, Hanzo the Fiend, is very slow moving, but carries a big sword. I kill him before he is completely visible.

Stage 4 - Cave of Ishi

This stage is unique, because it has enemies on both the floor and the ceiling. I chose to use the Sickle and Chain, which I think was the right choice. The boss battle is kind of weird... it's two boxes ("The Enchanted Stones") which try to crush you. In order for it to die, you need to do lethal damage to both boxes; because they start so far apart, I basically do them one at a time.

Stage 5 - Shadow of Tako

This stage is just a vertical ascent. I'm pretty sure I use the best route. The boss, "Evil Wind", consists of 5 enemies on a kite. The only one you need to kill is the center one. This battle lags quite badly, but I was unable to minimize it more than it is.

Stage 6 - Battle of Ronin

I use bombs for this stage because it allows me to attack both arial opponents and those on the ground at the same time. No shots are missed from either me or my shadows. The boss, "Ghosts of Fugitive Warriors", consists of four ghost warriors. If you don't kill one in a certain amount of time, the next will spawn, but not as quickly as by killing each one as soon as possible.

Stage 7 - World of Kessen

The first part of this stage is very short. I avoid killing the monk that's chasing me, because I couldn't do so without wasting time (and attacking without killing something looks dumb, right?). After you jump of the ledge, there are several ninjas in mid-air with swords extended. Naturally, landing on the swords kills you. These ninjas can also not be killed (otherwise I would have ;). Once I get to the bottom of the pit, it looks like I'm wasting time, and I am. The game gives you a few seconds to pick up the power-ups on either side. The boss only appears after entering the center of the pit after a certain amount of time has passed. I do so at the earliest possible moment.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to SXL, for not only suggesting this run, but also for reviewing my WIPs.

adelikat: A nice game and nice TAS. It is reasonably fast paced and not too long. The votes were all positive. Accepting for publication.

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #1196: primorial#soup's GB Ninja Spirit in 05:40.42
Twisted Eye
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I've never played this game before, but you showed everything this game has to offer without dropping a frame. Manipulating those ending explosions was smart; I'm glad I read the first half of your submission text. You even played around with those spirit followers on top of downright awesome playing. Easy easy yes vote!
JXQ
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Wow, what a well-done game for Game Boy! It seems to me that certain things make the music lag in this game, but not the actual gameplay. Is this right? I thought this was very good and it kept my interest for all five minutes :)
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JXQ wrote:
It seems to me that certain things make the music lag in this game, but not the actual gameplay. Is this right?
For the most part. There's a few places which cause the music to lag, but don't lag the gameplay. Stage 3 does contain three frames of actual lag though. I decided to leave these parts in because I thought they looked impressive.
print reduce(lambda x,p:p/2*x/p+2*10**1000,range(6643,1,-2))
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What is the name of the ROM used? "Ninja Spirit" doesn't exist from what I can tell -- not in the GoodSet GB/USA, SGB/USA, nor GBC/USA. (please put the actual ROM name there, extension and all, not just the name of the game, arghghgh)
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The name of the rom I used was "Ninja Spirit (J).gb", although I know it's mislabelled, because it is very clearly the english version. A correctly labelled version I was unable to find.
print reduce(lambda x,p:p/2*x/p+2*10**1000,range(6643,1,-2))
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Why are you so sure it's the English version? Many Japanese games have English text in them... In any case, voting yes.
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SXL
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glad to see this idea for a game is appreciated :) for those who don't know the game : the character can pick an updgrade where a shadow clone follow him and repeats his actions (jumps, attacks) with a slight delay. you may have several clones, and manipulate them to hit more enemies at the same time. this is done brilliantly here by primo. yes vote, nice work pal ;)
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adelikat
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This was a pretty cool little run :) Very ninja gaiden-like with the 2 shadows... and of course the NINJA. It was fast paced (for gb standards at least), had variety, and wasn't too long. Yes vote.
It's hard to look this good. My TAS projects
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. ---- [729] GB Ninja Spirit by primorial#soup in 05:40.42
Post subject: Re: Movie published
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Movie Description wrote:
In this movie, we watch a Ninja who transcends to outer space and steals the options from Gradius then proceeds to wipe out a bunch of other Ninjas and evil spirits. This movie also contains many Ninjas, need I say more?
Not to be picky, but would it be possible to change the movie description to something that actually describes the movie? Perhaps mentioning the shadow ninjas, the variety of weaponry, and perhaps that the setting is ancient Japan (which, although similar to outer space, is not quite the same).
print reduce(lambda x,p:p/2*x/p+2*10**1000,range(6643,1,-2))
Post subject: Re: Movie published
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primorial#soup wrote:
Not to be picky, but would it be possible to change the movie description to something that actually describes the movie?
Well tell me what you want, and I'll add it.
primorial#soup wrote:
Perhaps mentioning the shadow ninjas
That was mentioned.
transcends to outer space and steals the options from Gradius
primorial#soup wrote:
the variety of weaponry
Can you list some of them?
primorial#soup wrote:
and perhaps that the setting is ancient Japan (which, although similar to outer space, is not quite the same).
It doesn't say the setting is outer space.
Warning: Opinions expressed by Nach or others in this post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or position of Nach himself on the matter(s) being discussed therein.