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Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a sleeper hit released for the SNES and the Genesis in September 1993. As the name suggests, Zombies are terrorizing the neighborhood, and it's up to you to rescue the neighbors.

 

Run (Single Segment): 0:35:38 by Giancarlo André 'gia' Rivas De Amat

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Zombies Ate My neighbors is a fun game to play, specially with someone else, it is not that fun to watch if you at least haven't played the game. I don't think this will be a huge problem on this run, as I blaze through the levels, a very big chunk of the video will be spent on level intro and endings.

Since I played this a lot with my brother and during the time these horror movies starting showing on tv (at least on my country) it has become my all time fav. game, I didn't only play the game to find more monsters, but I also kept an eye on the tv to catch their movies :) Anyway, my brother used to pick Zeke, that is why I used Julie here, even though I lose some time selecting her.

Runs for this game more than skill require memory. Not only to memorize the routes and what items to pick, but also to memorize what areas are likely to have certain monster, from where I shouldn't approach a victim, etc, basically what are the usual -and unusual- ways each level plays out. In that regard I got the game pretty much memorized.

My test runs were emulated runs however, the keyboard differs a lot from the SNES controller since I can press single and diagonal directions without worrying of mispresses. When recording the actual runs with the actual controller however, this became a problem as I had a drunk-like character. I picked the best controller I had and finally managed to control the character most of the time, at the cost of concentration... that costed me three ugly mistakes I hate, and others I don't mind. I do have good character control here, tend not to mispress, and still fire the bazooka in diagonals and stuff. Something odd is that this runs stays faster even though later I did more emulated runs _with_ savestates to test some shortcuts, boss battles were lucky I guess.

Every 40,000 points you get a bonus, an extra victim if you have less than 10. If I didn't kill anything I could get this bonus _very_ late in the game, however that means losing time while evading monsters, and later when killing the extra victim (in the later levels they are quite apart from each other). Instead I kill monsters and trigger it a bit past the first boss, in a level where both victims are extremely close. The window of error is about 750 points, that means I earn 750 points on the level before the goal, so I HAVE to leave the level before that with points between 39,250 and 39,999 to be sure to make it.

I have this run since a long time ago, didn't send it because I wanted to get a dvd recorder because I did not like the video quality. Hmm, actually the avi looks much better than on my tv so I guess it's my vhs. Since I yet don't have a dvd and the VHS submission deadline had arrived I just sent it.

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All Victims Saved run (Single Segment): 2:17:16 by Tom 'rdrunner' Votava

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I did a speed run of a "horror" game on Halloween night! How cool is that? :)

The goal of this run was to rescue EVERY possible victim in the game, including the bonus levels. There's already a nice "100%" run on this site, but that one allows for victims to die, so long as all 10 are alive after the last stage.

Here's the victim breakdown:
480 - 48 normal levels
60 - 6 bonus levels
10 - the "Credits" level
3 - Defeating the "Titanic Toddlers" turns them into normal victims
MINUS 1 - Impossible victim behind a solid wall on Level 22B ("Son of Dr. Tongue")
TOTAL: 552

As shown above, it's NOT QUITE possible to get every single victim, so some may think that this isn't a "true" 100% run. However, since that one victim is absolutely impossible, I don't think that it counts. Call it a 99.8% run if you have to (552/553), but this is as good as it gets!

The first problem in doing this run comes right away in Level 1. There's a bonus stage pickup behind a cracked wall and the only way to get the necessary weapon is to be lucky. After about two hours of retries, I was able to get a Monster Potion as a random item from one of the cupboards. Worse yet, this bonus stage ("Day of the Tentacle") is easy to lose victims on. The pattern I used helps a lot with their survival, but you can still be unlucky and have something bad appear right on top of someone.

After this initial challenge, it gets a lot easier. Wherever possible, I used a calculated pattern of movements to "force" monsters to appear at a safe distance away from the victims.

I also had to take care to collect a bunch of items, but I did my best not to waste too much time doing this. One thing I was able to completely avoid was the cupboards/trash cans with the random items. A TAS person might try abusing those to perfect this run, but for a human, there's no way this can be useful. Anyway, there are enough items out there in plain sight not to worry about this.

Unfortunately, on some levels, the only sure strategy for perfection is the "boring" way. I sometimes stand around for a bit so I can make a bunch of monsters follow me around. The game can only spawn so many enemies at a time, so this keeps them from appearing on top of the victims. There are some places that the probability of this is simply too high to risk playing it "straight", particularly since it takes so much effort to get a run started. I try to keep this tactic down to a minimum, but bear with me when you see it.

Enjoy! :)

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