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Batman
Released in 1989, Batman is one of those games that made gamers smash their controllers in frustration due to its difficulty. Loosely following the plot of the movie, Batman avenges his parents' death by hunting down the Joker.

 

Run: 0:11:44 by Josh 'LigerOfFortune' Styger

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Notes: Alfred had put Bruces cape and cowl in the wash with Robins arguably homosexual costume and the dye ran into it. As a result Batman looks like a purple blob throughout the entire run. Also note that Batman makes the best punching noise ever designed into a video game -  professional text mimicry: "Chochocho."

I have not played this game since the run was completed, it is often the fate of a game I speed run. However I should say that if I ever seriously tried to beat my own run I would have to wear a matching purple cape and cowl over grey latex and a bright yellow utility belt. When the run was completed I would ask the game 'ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?' ofcourse, my voice would be remnant of that of Christian bale's in the dark knight. I would then proceed to transform into a jet plane and crash into it repeatedly, just like my mentor Optimus Prime. Smoke yewwwww his firetruck can fly, haters gonna hate.

Scenario 2: I would then proceed to whip it against the wall softly and with the quiet dignity of a mech poodle sporting a top hat, blazer, and monocle thus transforming me into a dewmander. What is a dewmander? I'm not sure you're ready... it's quite powerful. Warning - If you think you can draw good this might make you a little jealous - .art.

Note that everything passed this point in the comments will make more sense than the dewmander and mech poodle and that whatever possessed me to draw such a foul creature has surely ought to been vanquished. Also note that whatever possesed me to say the jet plane bit I would welcome back into my life 100% of the time and if you dun like it then change the channel and come at me bro. I keed I keed.

Semi seriousness starts now suckas, okay now.

Compared to the last run one of the big reasons why this run is faster is because I tank damage in boss fights and somewhat more during the levels to go faster when available. Basic strategy - bash the bosses as they bash me, but do it faster. This general strategy is extra risky for this game as unlike most every other side scrolling platformer your health is not fully replenished after completing a level. At the end of each stage you gain 4 points of life back, and with your total life bar being 8 that's only equal to half your health restored. Now combine that with using riskier health strategies and those gosh darned sewer trolls and it can pose some problems. After a small ponder I realize I have done another speed run for a game that is very similar in this way (Shadow of the ninja). This formula for restoring health seems very uncommon among games though.

I should also mention that this run was completed 2 years ago and have only recently submitted it to SDA so some reasonings/explanations behind my tactics might be a little vague.

Prologue
The night was young
The wind was howling
No songs to be sung
Fierce men were growling

The joker cackled
Casting a sinister smile over gotham city
His plans, chaotic
No remorse, no pity

The city in terror
It's people flailing
Batman stood strong
His resolve unwavering

A signal to light the sky
Of a bat so dreaded
To Gotham city
The batmobile headed

Chapter 1: It's butter to spread panic with a knife

Into the chaos
Garb, body, and mind as one
The Joker has succeeded
And gotham has been overrun

Fun fact: Though it may look like the first boss exploded he actually survived and went on to becoming one of the protagonists of that old (s)hit show 'Big Bad Beetleborgs'.

Chapter 2: Run of the mill, chemical spill

I make 3 small mistakes during this level, the most notable being that I dive straight into the saws at the start of the boss fight (not completely uncommon as the game is paused for the start of any boss and can throw off the timing of your first actions, particularly an issue with this boss and the Joker).

Side note: This boss is unique in that it is not your typical man, monster, alien, cyborg, or badass like most games typically have trapped in a bosses chambers but more a sort of danger room like in X-men. I am also reminded of a Wily castle boss in MM2, yeah the one where if you fuck up with your crush missiles you're just straight fucked.

Chapter 3: Dancing with the trolls in the poor-lit shit

Sewer trolls are abominations, I hate them with the steaming fury of a karate sensai ready to break brick over head. Not like Miyagi son though, his fury is all silent but deadly with no relation to the infamous fart. Well, sewer trolls aren't actually that bad but they are ugly which is always a good reason to hate someone or something, am I right fellas? Har har har I jape.

That first screen with the sewer trolls I must have practiced in 3 different ways. They all seemed to yield the same time however. One way looked very slick as I jumped with and through the trolls as if we were dancing in mid sewer poop air. And even though it looked much faster it yielded the same time and was just as smelly. However if I ever run this game again I will make sure to use the more entertaining strategy, even if I did deem it riskier. Gotta follow my motto: balls to the wall or you gots none at all! Har har har I jest.

I should mention this level is a horror in casual gaming aswell, which for speed running makes it a horror movie at the drive in with no one to hold during the scary parts but another dood in the passenger seat. By the way that doesn't count for me, i'm so manly that when threatened or scared my beard actually envelopes my entire body creating a disgusting and food filled shield-trap that none would dare seek to approach.

Side notes: Whilst scaling the red pipe in 3-2 that first little jump I perform is merely for timing against the flammers awaiting me, I didn't wimp out and decide I couldn't make it or anything like that.Also know that keeping such great health throughout this stage was quite atypical a circumstance.

Back to what matters - F&*@ the sewer trolls, they jump around mindlessly and almost always manage to hit you only because they are so fat. Their pixel-taker-upage is like 4 times that of Batman. I mean, compared to Batman almost every crime goon is dumb, but sewer trolls are big and dumb who's only attack is to leap like a monkey and hope they land on you. Batman must feel shittier than a Goomba everytime he gets squished by one of those overgrown mutated dufuses, guess that's why these guys were introduced in the sewers.

Chapter 4: Pandamonium, laaaaag

Lag up the ass in this level, I try to kill groups of enemies with the batarang to reduce on lag + get them out of my cowl as many of them fall under the category of fast/jumpy/dufus or all 3.

As you could of guessed some of the sewer trolls escaped their rightful home and I provoke them to jump at me so I can be in a better position to attack. Luckily i'm pretty certain their mind works like this - "Grog see Batman? Grog jump at Batman, agawouu!" So I was able to successfully taunt most of them into becoming less of an obstacle. Note that where and if they jump is not always completely certain it seems but I do believe they can be manipulated to an extent depending on your positioning and movement. Moving right along to the obvious need for the Joker to get a better signal for his t.v's, they've got worse reception than a dial t.v with bunny ears. I don't know what purpose the t.v screens actually have other than to show that the Joker seems to be enjoying a meal, om nom nom. Perhaps those 'mini and funny and oh so delish, the joyful and jolly Joker fish' - bonus points to anyone who gets that reference.

4-2: Now this is where I came up with faster strategies after the run was already completed. It involves tanking a few points of damage but will allow you to get passed the saw-floor sequence faster if done correctly albeit it is not without its risks as I need to be minding my health at all times. If I knew about said strategy and incorporated it into the run I think I could have saved around 5 seconds, I certainly had the health for it in this run. Also note that I almost never had this kind of health as chapter 3 had been known to kick my ass and pummel my health bar which as I already explained can transfer over to this level via non fully restored health at the end of each stage. I am however glad to say I performed nicely on both stages and kept my ass un-kicked.

Those mini robots that shuffle/scuttle at you in a hurry at the end of the stage can be taken out  in a much more poetic manor. How you ask? By throwing a batarang whilst jumping forward I wouldn't have to tap back in mid air, it saves little time but I think it's doable and it just looks neat-o.

Mini robots that shuffle/scuttle - I would compare their unique style of erm 'running' to that of Caleb in 'LowGMan' (yet another game that I have a speed run) and am not beside myself to henceforth name them 'Schuttlers'.

Chapter 5: Doesn't time just grind your gears?

I've always loved when games play the opening stages song for the final stage as well, it feels more epic and as if all things have come around. Reminds me of a Smashing pumpkins song titled ' The end is the beginning is the end', irrevelent you say? The song was actually made for the terribad movie: Batman and Robin. Coincidence? Up to you.

Note - Off the top of my head I can list some other games that use the same song for the first and final stage (or opening credits and final stage/boss),they are: megaman x 2, ninja gaiden, ninja gaiden II, final fight 2, final fight, king of dragons, super castlevania IV, the death and return of superman, final fantasy 2, super double dragon, streets of rage 2 and many more im sure.

Anyways, here is the eyesore of this run, and I want to say that it should never have happened. Normally,those red flaming assholes take 2 punches to die, at the third floor of the clock tower I came across a red dood so I punched that dood in the face twice but he clearly uses game genie and took dem dere punches no sweat all the while preparing for his sinister plan which was to counter my heroic punches with a fire to burn me down 1 level of the clock tower (whether he used his flame thrower or harsh words is up to you). Albeit luckily for me I managed to get a batarang out before being sent down, producing the third hit and killing that game genie usin', fire abusin', son of a gun (reverse batarang from arkham city anyone?). You'll notice about 10 seconds later that I come across another red guy and kill him with two punches.. I guess I could of reacted to the cheater better than I did, but I was in no way expecting this outcome, ofcourse letting fly that batarang before falling really helped me recover. Had it not been for the aforementioned batarang I could see a whole different scenario: In a frantic haze to get back up to where I had fallen I get hit back down again by the still very alive crouchsauce tomato which would have likely resulted in a reset.

In my travels to my thoughts 2 years past I have stummbled upon my original reaction to the red antagonists arrogance posted over 2 years ago on the sda forums, I feel it's worth sharing, in italics. Alright so I just got another run, this one clocks in at 11:44. No deaths but with a ridonkulous mistake costing about 5 seconds. Anyone who's played batman knows that normal enemies normally take 2 hits to kill, well not this guy. He was doing what a normal red flame thrower guard normally does with his day - wait for Batman to enter the clock tower and periodically fire his flamethrower. I jumped up to him; hit him twice and said "you're dead" what he said shocked me... it appauled me... and sent me flying to the lower levels. His reply... was "no". Unknowing to this mad man I had also been throwing batarangs and consequently he sucombed to them short after. A worthy foe this red antagonist, but I defeated him. Yes. I defeated him.

Scaling the clock tower
For anyone who knows of AVGN and has seen the batman episodes, he says it's impossible to get through those tight gear jumps without taking a hit, mind you it is tough, but you just have to be exact with your jumping and he really needs to see this. Much respect to AVGN, if you enjoy old school gaming, chortling, and have somehow never heard of 'The nerd' check him out at cinnemascre or youtube. I digress, to the bat finale, viewers!

Mr. J
Jumping over his first bullet blast is essential but somewhat difficult (from a vague recollection I can't say that he always opens with it), those bullets can ruin your health bar and throw off the timing to making it into chochocho range. Thankfully I leap over his opening attacks and commence pummeling him. I hide inside the Joker as he uses his new found Zeus-like abilities while making sure as to not move too far into him as to make him turn around (I can't remember exactly why I don't want this outcome but it is likely that it either triggers his escape and shoot pattern or the lightning will come down starting from the opposite side resulting in a fried Bat. Overall this was a great Joker fight.

Ps. Doesn't it look like the Jokers wearing a black clergy shirt under his purple trench coat?

Epilogue: That jest didn't fly

I spent two days total on this game practicing and recording. I could do better back then if I kept at it and also found out a few faster strategies soon after finishing the run. As I love this game I may have to revisit it and try for a better time incorporating said strategies.

Thanks to Daniel L. Henry for his preceding speed run which I surely took a few strategies from. Also thanks to Aglar for his tool assisted speed run which I also gleamed some strategies from. I must also thank DC for making such a wonderful character, and sunsoft for translating what we all love about Batman so nicely into a tiny in memory but fat in size nes cartridge. Oh and thanks to that run-saving batarang for giving the flaming flamer a nice POW to the back of the head.

Thanks for watching, tune in for more nes Josh Styger goodness. Same super fast bat times, same bat sda channel!

One last thing - I'm Batman, Har har har I Josh.

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