Blaster Master in 4:38:68

This run uses the E rom! It will not run correctly with any other!
  • Uses FCEUX 2.1
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses no deaths or continues
  • Heavily abuses programming errors and glitches
  • Manipulates luck

The Game

If you don't know Blaster Master, learn it. It is widely considered one of the greatest action platformers on the NES. The music, controls, graphics and stages provide excellent replay value and backs it up with enough difficulty and depth to keep you coming back over and over until you one day, finally, defeat it.
Blaster Master's published run, made expertly by Namflow, is one of the older ones on this site, dating back to mid-2005. This run, however, will not be obsoleting it.
This run uses extensive glitches discovered recently to exist in only the European version of the rom to beat the game so quickly that Jason's tank never even leaves the beginning room! The rest of the run is a journey of zipping through walls and transporting through wormholes, finding elusive seams that lead directly to the final bosses in record time.

The glitch

Traveling outside the tank but still in the overworld screens, when you reach a door to another room, there is a short time frame where if you suddenly reverse direction, Jason will do his pre-programmed walk-through-door action in the wrong direction--not only vaulting him several tiles across the room, but also dislocating his graphical location from his programmed location by a whole tile.
This disconnect can be stacked up to five or even six times before the game will try to fix itself, leaving unexpected results to follow. This all applies to the other versions of the rom as well.
What makes the Europe version special is that when Jason is stuck inside a solid tile, he zips upward 16 pixels per frame until he is ejected out the top. Crouching or pausing will stop the movement, allowing the game to catch up to you graphically. With enough of a head start, the game can even get so confused that might zip you up through the air as well--ducking or pausing here will let the game catch up and stop the zip, giving you the option to regain control over Jason at opportune times or to keep zipping. Another interesting feature is that if Jason touches a door tile, he can walk through it in a fashion similar to the original disconnecting door glitch. The overall strength of this glitch is clearly immense!
The other Europe specific glitch used here is that when returning from the pause screen, Jason's movement is entirely negated and he is treated like he is standing on solid ground for exactly one frame. Thusly you can jump again to gain infinite air, and thusly negate all falling velocity so that you can land lightly like a feather, avoiding damage.

Area by Area

Area 1
  • Tank? What tank?
  • Pausing in between room transitions saves roughly a dozen frames per use.
  • The first example of the zipping glitch can be used to put us right next to the passageway to Area 2; thanks to Lord Tom for finding this.
Area 2
  • The third pit jump was the first real obstacle to this final work--the worm falls to close to kill without jumping, but the flying monster kept getting in the way. I ended up having to take fall damage (obnoxiously easy to do outside the tank) to continue on without losing time.
  • Disconnecting graphical from programmed locations just once is enough to get Jason close to the boss room door, but since the Crusher item is no longer needed in Area 8, I went right past it all.
  • That last flying eyeball didn't want to get out of my way! I barely snuck past him.
  • A minor glitch you'll notice is that if you pause in the air while touching a door, you can enter it even though you're not on the ground. Nifty for a couple frames of improvement, but just for show otherwise.
  • The movements in the Area 3 passageway room look weird, but they really are the fastest way to get to the door.
Area 3
  • Manipulating the little bomb spitters to drop a small number of bombs was tricky, but necessary to reduce lag.
  • I wanted to try zipping upwards, running to the left, and zipping up again to get to the Area 8 passageway, but neither of the first two doorways are usable for the glitch in either direction, and using the third door ended up so far behind in time that I decided to go the direct way, pause screens be damned.
Area 8
  • Getting to the boss dungeon was the final key to this entire stinking run. Beyond the walls in the second to last room, unlike the rest of the game, is open air. Glitching into this space let me get to the bottom right corner of the room with the boss dungeon. I couldn't carry enough tiles of disconnect to just skip right into the hall, though. Eventually I got the idea that if going through rooms horizontally or vertically in unintended places confused the game this much, how screwed up would it get if I went at a corner and came back up from the bottom? The result gave me a couple tiles of walking while the game desperately reoriented, and I could then walk through the wall after a short zip right to the boss dungeon! One problem though: In the final run, I had little health and a mass of spikes to zip through! By crouching to pause the zipping just long enough for the game to reorient the spikes right out of the room but not so long that the game zips me past the dungeon and upwards into the bottom of an enormous spike pit, I was able to just walk right out of the zipping wall and right into the doorway with confidence!
  • Those rotating lever monsters got in the way of my gun about twice, making it trickier to get through the already awkward destructible solid tiles.
  • I could not use the pause screen to cut frames when entering the final boss room. It glitched me out of existence no matter what I did. I'm not sure if this is Europe specific or a result of glitching.
  • In boss fights, the optimal rate for firing grenades is one every 6 frames. This does the most damage possible (2 every other frame for 6 frames) while causing no lag that may arise from unused explosions during standard turboing.
  • Between bosses, any weapon blasts on screen are carried over to the next fight, and there's also two frames of movement allowed at the very moment between the two fights. I use these facts to start the murdering grenade cycle the very frame the final boss appears fully.

Thanks to

  • Youtube user Joescoma for posting the video of the original major glitch discovery, and Sp00ky for bringing it to the boards's attention.
  • Lord Tom for the discovery of how breakable the Europe rom is, and for his demo run.
  • UraniumAnchor for his excellent maps. They made hunting for places to zip very easy and accessible!
  • Everyone on the forums who helped in the process of figuring out the details of the glitches used.
  • Tasvideos.org itself! I can't believe it's been a year since I last submitted a run, and it was another year before since my prior; unbelievable how fast everything goes.

mmbossman: Accepting this movie as a new "European version" category, as discussed here.

Raiscan: Processing under a new category.


TASVideoAgent
They/Them
Moderator
Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 15168
Location: 127.0.0.1
Samsara
She/They
Senior Judge, Site Admin, Expert player (2137)
Joined: 11/13/2006
Posts: 2799
Location: Northern California
I have no idea what just happened, and it's brilliant. Yes vote.
TASvideos Admin and acting Senior Judge 💙 Currently on indefinite hiatus, taking care of family. Very infrequently posting on Cohost
warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
Joined: 4/2/2008
Posts: 70
My maps helped, don't even pretend otherwise. ;)
Twisted_Eye
He/Him
Active player (334)
Joined: 10/17/2005
Posts: 630
Location: Seattle, WA
Oh did you make those? Nice, sorry about that, I thought they were just linked from somewhere else. Into the thanks section you go! I posted my own encode to youtube to share with friends; it's good for anyone here until an official one is made up by one of you sexy experts! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGExkxq4CQQ
Joined: 4/2/2008
Posts: 70
Twisted Eye wrote:
Oh did you make those? Nice, sorry about that, I thought they were just linked from somewhere else. Into the thanks section you go!
Yeah, I wrote a map editor for this game about five years ago, and one of the first features I added to it, before it was even an editor, was a map dumper. Some jackass on one of those random VG maps sites stole them, edited out parts of them, and slapped his name on them. Made me a little upset when I found those. http://bck.sf.net/ if you want to take a look.
Joined: 7/2/2007
Posts: 3960
It's everything I expected from reading the thread, and more. Very nice. A pity Jason walks so slowly, though. Oh, well.
Pyrel - an open-source rewrite of the Angband roguelike game in Python.
Joined: 11/4/2007
Posts: 1772
Location: Australia, Victoria
Twisted Eye wrote:
I posted my own encode to youtube to share with friends; it's good for anyone here until an official one is made up by one of you sexy experts!
And who is sexier then your local Flygon! Also, Yes voted. I just have a question... Was this games title screen designed to give people seizures?
Joined: 5/13/2009
Posts: 141
What. Yes. For some reason the pause glitch made me giggle every time you used it.
Publisher
Joined: 4/23/2009
Posts: 1283
Here is an encode: http://www.archive.org/download/TwistedEyesNesBlasterMasterIn0434.24/twistedeye-blaster-master.mkv http://www.archive.org/download/TwistedEyesNesBlasterMasterIn0434.24/twistedeye-blaster-master.mp4 Edit: MP4 posted. Edit 2: Links now point to v2 of the encode. Same exact quality as previous encode but ~ 4 MB smaller. Edit 3: MKV remade due to missing option.
Joined: 6/23/2009
Posts: 150
Wow! Nice job breaking that game. Very impressive run.
Joined: 11/4/2007
Posts: 1772
Location: Australia, Victoria
Aktanusa's encode will be higher quality, but mine is half the size. Video data: 6.21 megabytes, encoded at 130. Audio data: 2.89 megabytes, encoded at quality -1. Final MKV size: 9.19 megabytes, I guess MKV's like a bit of 90 byte overhead. Mediafire Archive.org DailyMotion And I can't be stuffed making a torrent. Minor note of the encode: Half the artifacts there are, they are actually in the original lossless H.264 dump. I need to get off my ass and start encoding in the lossless CamStudio codec soon. Also, if anyone makes a lua script removing all the pausing, I'll be a very happy Flygon (Enough to encode again).
mklip2001
He/Him
Editor
Joined: 6/23/2009
Posts: 2227
Location: Georgia, USA
Umm... was this Blaster Master I was just watching? It's hilarious to watch Jason going after the few baddies he finds in Areas 2 and 3 on foot, let alone getting over the obstacles using the jumping glitch and of course the zipping. Very amusing, and 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.
PCachu
He/Him
Joined: 10/1/2009
Posts: 166
Wait! What's that sound? Why, that's the sound of a venerated console game screaming for mercy as it's cornholed into submission through ruthless abuse of its own hidden logic holes. Very Yes. I'm-a call this the "EuroGlitch" version in my personal run stash.
Skilled player (1720)
Joined: 9/17/2009
Posts: 4956
Location: ̶C̶a̶n̶a̶d̶a̶ "Kanatah"
Blaster Master's published run, made expertly by Namflow, is one of the older ones on this site, dating back to mid-2005. This run, however, will not be obsoleting it.
There's one problem. If this run doesn't obsolete Namflow's run, what catagory will it be in? It cant be "glitched" run, as Namflow's run also used glitches, so what will it be catagorized when it gets published?
Joined: 11/4/2007
Posts: 1772
Location: Australia, Victoria
Perhaps it could be called the 'Glitched European' run?
Publisher
Joined: 4/23/2009
Posts: 1283
Glitch galore! Voted yes.
Sir_VG
He/Him
Player (39)
Joined: 10/9/2004
Posts: 1911
Location: Floating Tower
Aktanusa wrote:
Here is an encode: http://www.archive.org/download/TwistedEyesNesBlasterMasterIn0434.24/twistedeye-blaster-master.mkv http://www.archive.org/download/TwistedEyesNesBlasterMasterIn0434.24/twistedeye-blaster-master.mp4 Edit: MP4 posted.
Don't know why, but the MP4 screws up badly at about 3:04 in the recording. In fact, it screws up so bad, it causes Media Player Classic to crash. VLC doesn't fare much better. I'll try the MKV and see if I get better results. Edit: Yeah, the MKV is fine.
Taking over the world, one game at a time. Currently TASing: Nothing
Publisher
Joined: 4/23/2009
Posts: 1283
Sir VG wrote:
Don't know why, but the MP4 screws up badly at about 3:04 in the recording. In fact, it screws up so bad, it causes Media Player Classic to crash. VLC doesn't fare much better. I'll try the MKV and see if I get better results.
That's interesting, I tested the MP4 in MPC from start to finish and no problems. Let me try again in both MPC and VLC. Edit: Tested in both around 3:04 (start of last level right?) and both MPC and VLC is fine. Re-downloading from archive to see if it got corrupted on upload. Edit 2: Well the downloaded version is fine also. But I just noticed I messed up big on the settings causing the encode to be huge. Redoing it! The file size should be a lot smaller!
Emulator Coder, Former player
Joined: 10/2/2005
Posts: 563
Location: Toronto, Ontario
um ... WOW. Good job on destroying that game :P
Publisher
Joined: 4/23/2009
Posts: 1283
Sir VG, I've uploaded another version of the MP4 in my post above if you would like to try that out.
Sir_VG
He/Him
Player (39)
Joined: 10/9/2004
Posts: 1911
Location: Floating Tower
Nah, I already watched via the MKV. The game is just WTF. All that craziness over a frog. ^^;; (Congrats to me on 1100 posts?)
Taking over the world, one game at a time. Currently TASing: Nothing
Joined: 5/29/2004
Posts: 757
Until I saw the final boss.. I almost coulda sworn this was some new unreleased Nes game just recently found and TAS'd. That was absolutely INSANE! Definite Yes vote! Mr. Kelly R. Flewin
Mr. Kelly R. Flewin Just another random gamer ---- <OmnipotentEntity> How do you people get bored in the span of 10 seconds? Worst ADD ever.
Twisted_Eye
He/Him
Active player (334)
Joined: 10/17/2005
Posts: 630
Location: Seattle, WA
jlun2 wrote:
Blaster Master's published run, made expertly by Namflow, is one of the older ones on this site, dating back to mid-2005. This run, however, will not be obsoleting it.
There's one problem. If this run doesn't obsolete Namflow's run, what catagory will it be in? It cant be "glitched" run, as Namflow's run also used glitches, so what will it be catagorized when it gets published?
I figure this run is the any% compared to Namflow's 100%. It's up for debate obviously but I feel like this game deserves a full run alongside a 'warp' run. Given the new techniques and such, it could be probably be improved by more than a couple minutes easily--I have an old WIP that gets to the first boss a few seconds faster already, and that's before the boss-related glitches start to dismantle the graphics again, all in the name of dying at a better time to save frames later.
Joined: 4/2/2008
Posts: 70
Twisted Eye wrote:
Given the new techniques and such, it could be probably be improved by more than a couple minutes easily--I have an old WIP that gets to the first boss a few seconds faster already, and that's before the boss-related glitches start to dismantle the graphics again, all in the name of dying at a better time to save frames later.
Once you add in skipping the key gate and getting down into the depths of level 5 without needing the tank, I would be surprised if you couldn't get the U version under half an hour. I've killed the two level 8 bosses faster in real time than the old TAS just because leaning on the grenade button is a bad idea. By the way, I've been hacking apart the collision and movement routines lately (including wall ejection) so I might be able to offer some tips if you end up working on the U version again.
Active player (434)
Joined: 4/21/2004
Posts: 3517
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Yes vote. Lovely run.
Nitrogenesis wrote:
Guys I come from the DidyKnogRacist communite, and you are all wrong, tihs is the run of the mileniun and everyone who says otherwise dosnt know any bater! I found this run vary ease to masturbate too!!!! Don't fuck with me, I know this game so that mean I'm always right!StupedfackincommunityTASVideoz!!!!!!
Arc wrote:
I enjoyed this movie in which hands firmly gripping a shaft lead to balls deep in multiple holes.
natt wrote:
I don't want to get involved in this discussion, but as a point of fact C# is literally the first goddamn thing on that fucking page you linked did you even fucking read it
Cooljay wrote:
Mayor Haggar and Cody are such nice people for the community. Metro City's hospitals reached an all time new record of incoming patients due to their great efforts :P