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This is a 4.05 seconds (243 frames) improvement to the published run of this game. The improvements come mostly from a faster boss fight on stage 2-3, the rest comes from small optimizations here and there.
  • Emulator used: FCEU 0.98.28 (the submitted movie file is an .fm2 that synchs with FCEUX.)
  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Manipulates luck.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Genre: Platform
The published run is tagged with "Abuses programming errors in the game", but I don't see where any of that is used in either this run or the published run.
The published run is also tagged with "Uses death as a shortcut", probably refering to when Gizmo falls down the ledge and starts flying around with the balloon. To be picky, you don't lose a life by doing this, you just take 1 point of damage, just like when you get hit by an enemy. So this action falls under the "Takes damage to save time" category, I think.

General strategy and tricks

The goal in this game is very simple - make your way to the end of the level to continue to the next one. You can walk and run horizontally, vertically and diagonally. You'll always move at speed 1.5 pixels per frame in the direction you're moving in - so if you are running NW, you'll move 1.5p/f up and 1.5p/f left.
There is no lag in this game, which is very nice, so if I, for example, need to walk from point A to B along a vertical line, I can do it in a zig-zag pattern or just run straight up, it's exactly as fast.
Gizmo is armed with a weapon, he starts with tomatoes, and after each boss fight he gets a new weapon. Whenever you attack you stop for a few frames (with every weapon), so generally it's not a good idea to stop and kill any enemies along the way.
Some enemies I kill drop crystal orbs. This is the currency in this game, and you can buy stuff in the shop. You reach the shop by entering a wooden door (you can see it in a few of the levels in this TAS). Here you can buy extra lives and more hearts, and stuff that are useful if you take a lot of damage. The only thing that is necessary in this TAS is the power canister, which I buy on stage 2-2, just like Blublu does. This item upgrades my weapon so that I shoot more projectiles with each shot. This is very effective against bosses. I collect orbs while waiting for platforms to move, so it doesn't waste any time to collect enough orbs to buy this item.
There is usually a lot of enemies in each level, so it is sometimes tricky to avoid getting hit. Luckily, enemies are very manipulatable (is that a word?), by just moving differently for 1 frame, you can change their entire behaviour. This is both good and bad, because sometimes I want an enemy to behave in a very specific way, and it can take a lot of rerecords to make that happen.
I take damage to save time in a few places, just like in the published run. while falling backwards after taking a hit, you move at the speed 1p/f for a while, so it's a little slower to take a hit than running normally, but it still saves time where I use it.
Stage finish boost: When you've beaten a stage, you can walk around while the ending tune is playing. When it stops, you will stop too. Now, the trick here is how Gizmo is facing when he stops: He will get a 1 frame boost in that direction when the next level starts. For example, after the first level, I make sure Gizmo is facing SW after the ending tune. When stage 1-2 starts, Gizmo will get a small boost to the SW at the very beginning of the stage, which is good, because that is the direction I want to move in at the start of the stage. This trick did not save many frames at all, perhaps 10-15 or so, but I still think it's a cool trick!
The nature of this game leaves quite a lot of room for performing antics. However, since I can't fire my weapon because it wastes time, there aren't many interesting things to do except moving really close to enemies, just barely dodging them. Just like Blublu, I avoided wobbling, because I think that would become quite annoying after a while.

Improvements

The biggest improvement in this run comes from killing the first boss faster. It's possible to deal 3 damage per shot on him if you stand really close to him when you're shooting. This allows me to kill him in less shots.
All levels have ben improved by at least a few frames.
Overall, I was very impressed by the level of optimization in the published run. It was very hard to improve overall, and some parts were extremely hard just to replicate. I looked for new routes and new places to take damage boosts, but without any luck.
Below is a table with how many frames each level has been improved:
StageImprovement
1-14
1-224
2-112
2-212
2-3132
3-116
3-24
4-18
4-24
4-38
5-14
5-215
Thanks to Blublu for his published run.
Enjoy!

adelikat: Accepting for publication as an improvement to the published movie.
ShinyDoofy: Processing...

TASVideoAgent
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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #2333: Randil's NES Gremlins 2: The New Batch in 07:00.07
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Dang, I didn't think anyone would go improving this game. Seriously.
mklip2001
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I'm glad to see this game back on the queue. This was really hard, and the TAS makes it look near effortless, especially the risky strategy with the 3-3 boss. Nice discovery as well with the facing directions at the end of stages, even if that meant you couldn't do as many stage-finishing antics. Yes vote.
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.
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A nice improvement to a quick movie. This game is really bad :) Here's an encode.
I make a comic with no image files and you should read it. While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. -Eugene Debs
mklip2001
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How is it really bad? Sure, it's pretty darn hard, but the controls are alright, the music is catchy, the graphics are average, and the game doesn't ever lag. Besides, nobody really expects a video game of a movie to have much in common with the movie plot. I guess the worst thing about it was the game mechanic that a death during a boss fight sent you back to the beginning of the previous stage.
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.
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Thank you for the encode, alden. I uploaded the video to my youtube channel, for your viewing pleasure. Here you go. I'll add this youtube link to the author's comments too. Personally, I think this is a pretty good game, for the reasons mklip2001 stated. Sure, sometimes you just want to scream when the screen is packed with enemies and you only have half a heart left, but that's life, I guess.
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Looked good. All credit to Blublu for making a 2004 movie that Randil could only beat by 4 seconds. Voting yes.
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Voting No because the length of the movie isn't 07:07.07 [/lie]
<klmz> it reminds me of that people used to keep quoting adelikat's IRC statements in the old good days <adelikat> no doubt <adelikat> klmz, they still do
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Is it possible to end input sooner by standing back further from the final boss (and presumably still having the game end just as fast)? It seems like quite a shame to be just over 7 minutes. Regardless, a solid run, and an improvement to a published movie. Easy yes Vote.
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Kirkq wrote:
Is it possible to end input sooner by standing back further from the final boss (and presumably still having the game end just as fast)? It seems like quite a shame to be just over 7 minutes. Regardless, a solid run, and an improvement to a published movie. Easy yes Vote.
Good idea, but I don't think it will work - the cooldown for the weapon will be the same, so if I stand further away from the boss, the last shot will be fired on the same frame, the only difference will be that it hits the boss slightly later. If I remember correctly, the final weapon (the one you have on the final boss) can be fired every 16 frames, and after I fire the the first shot, I fire my weapon every 16 frames, and end input as soon as I have fired my last shot. In math terms, if I fire my first shot on frame F and the boss takes N shots to kill, the input will end on frame F+16*(N-1), no matter where I stand on the last shot. As I see it, the only way to improve that boss fight would be to fire the first shot sooner. Hopefully that made sense. Thanks for the yes vote. :)
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. ---- [1325] NES Gremlins 2: The New Batch by Randil in 07:00.07
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Wow, that's a surprise. Uh, nice job, I guess! It's a good run because it's almost identical to mine. :) Although to be honest, you could have made your movements more TAS-like. ie make a little dance at the end of bosses, never walk in a straight line for long, never jump unless it is necessary, etc. It's more aesthetically pleasing and makes the game feel more pwned. But really, very good job! I thought I had squeezed every last frame out of this game, but I guess I was wrong! This must have required quite a lot of patience. I'll now give you 5 or so years and then get this below 7 minutes. :)