Emulator used: FCEUX 2.1.4a
Settings used (important for the movie to play correctly): Config -> PPU -> Old PPU
I actually started this movie file on the ROM "Action 52 (USA) (Unl).nes", despite the fact that in order to play it back, it must be played on "Action 52 (USA) (Unl) (Rev A).nes". This was the only way I could get it to work, so I hope that's not an issue. When it says the ROM checksums don't match, just play it anyway, it will work. Also, make sure to close and reopen the emulator before each subsequent playthrough of the movie, because otherwise, it will desynch at the game selection screen.
Common Tricks and Glitches
This only works as the first cheetahman. If you jump and then attack in the air, you can jump again after attacking. You can do this as many times as you like. It only has 1 use in this run, and that's at the start of level 2 to get to the bottom of the first screen quicker. Whenever you're in an area where the screen is moving horizontally, doing this will kill you.
This has no use in the run, although it might seem like it should have after you read what it is. On level 2, when falling down from the start, it's possible to be even more to the right when the screen starts moving. This allows you to walk over the pits that are in your path, but eventually, you get stuck, and the only way out of it is to keep jumping, and go left a bit to calibrate the screen, which ends up being slower overall.
When climbing a ladder, if you jump at a certain point, the cheetah will boost up, skipping a large portion of it very quickly. This is actually useless a lot of the time because you need to wait for the screen to catch up before you can get off the ladder anyway, but it does see some use in this run. It can be done any number of times on a ladder as the second cheetah, but only once per ladder (at the start) with the third cheetah.
In this game, taking damage from an enemy doesn't slow you down at all. Jumping, however, does (by 2 frames). It's therefore fastest to take as many well-placed hits as possible while still remaining alive (you can take 4 hits before dying, and bosses kill you in 1 hit no matter how much life you have when you fight them). Killing the enemies is also slower than just taking damage from them.
Opening and Cutscenes
It's possible to end some of the cutscenes right after the text has finished displaying, but it seems the only ones it works on are the ones that talk about the cheetah you're about to play as. All the ones from the opening can't be sped up at all.
Not much to say here. I took the shortcut in the second waterfall that takes us to level 9, and then to the start of level 2.
I use the infinite jump to get to the second area quickly since it's a bit faster than just falling down there normally. The rest of the level is straightforward. Towards the end, I head left very slightly to calibrate the screen so that the boss didn't instantly kill me when he appeared. This was the fastest way to do this level because had I been any more to the left prior to that point, I would've gotten killed.
I kill the boss really quickly in 5 hits by jumping with him so I don't have to wait for him to land.
I minimised the amount of jumping while maximising the amount of damage taken. I took the shortcut in the second hole that leads to level 9 again, and then to level 3 (which I'll refer to as "level 4").
Level 4 (Level 3)
I ladder boosted twice here. Had I done it a third time, I would've shot off the top of the screen and died. Ladder boosting was faster in this case because it meant I was higher up when the game let me move to the right, meaning I could land on a further away platform. The conveyer belts and water boost me slightly to the right too.
I kill the boss in 4 hits. Using the method that the Angry Video Game Nerd recommended, it would take 8 hits, but by jumping over him and attacking him as soon as possible each time, it's possible in 4 hits.
Level 5 (Level 4)
This was the only level that required any real sort of planning. I had to carefully select which enemies to kill and which to take damage from. Remember, you can only take 3 hits and the next one kills you. Fortunately, killing enemies with arrows isn't nearly as slow as killing them with the other two cheetahmen.
There's another shortcut that leads to level 9 in this level by jumping down any of the pits before the end of the level, but this one takes you to level 10, which is just a garbled mess that can't be completed, so it's avoided.
Level 6 (Level 5)
Not much to say about this one, just a straight route to the boss. Ladder boosting only saved time on the final ladder here.
I stayed next to the boss during the entire battle to minimise the distance the arrows had to travel before he died. It takes 18 hits to kill him. As far as I know, there's no way to reduce this number, but this seems to be the best strat anyway.
The game ends when the boss dies, so the last input on this run is the last arrow shot at him.
- Bloobiebla, LinksDarkArrows, and Tompa for "critiquing" some WIPs I showed them.
- phantom321, for his TAS of this game which reminded me that I wanted to make one myself.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd, for bringing this amazing game to my attention in the first place and inspiring me to TAS it.
: What's wrong with you people this is the worst game ever made! I guess it is one of those its so bad its good for a TAS. Accepting due to very positive viewer response.