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  • Jason goes eco-friendly, gets frog back in under 5 minutes

    Posted on April 14th, 2010 keving 1 comment

    He doesn’t need to spend hundreds on diesel fuel to drive his cool futuristic tank, SOPHIA THE 3RD, through the Plutonium Underworld or whatever the manual called it. He can just get with the green generation and hoof it. That, and warp in and out of existence at unexpected (but oddly beneficial) times.

    It turns out that the PAL version of Blaster Master (released three years after the game’s 1988 debut) introduced some timing bugs that allow skillful players to perform tricks like mid-air double jumps and going through doors that aren’t really there and other Rod Serling-type stuff. Programming bugs like these cropped up now and then on US or Japan-made games that were later ported to European NESes, where  — like with the Commodore 64 and Atari 2600 — the system ran at a different video-output speed (50hz versus 60hz). This meant that some games required extensive recoding to to work in foreign NESes, and it’s also the reason why European-exclusive games like Asterix and Mr. Gimmick suffer assorted dealbreaking bugs when you plug a real PAL cartridge into a real NTSC NES. (These timing differences are also why the music is pitched lower than you might remember it in this video.)

    The maker of this TAS has posted a long file explaining everything going on in the video.

    Something else I discovered as I was writing this: Area 4 is a lot easier in the US/Europe version than in the Japanese original. I remember gamers having enough trouble with the lock-and-key sequence that Nintendo Power did a whole bit on it, but Sunsoft actually made the solution a lot more obvious for America, didn’t they? Metafight’s take on that room makes it look like there’s a bug in the level data or something.