The Big 20 is a speed running competition where players race twenty NES titles back to back. The 6th race will be live on March 4th, 2017 with players from around the world competing. Anyone can participate, including maybe me!
The list of games is only revealed a month in advance, which can make training for the event a bit frantic. This year is no exception, as all the games are Japanese Famicom releases. Since I was able to grab a powerpak recently, I’ll be able to compete!
Let’s take a peek:
Yume Penguin Monogatari
Yume Penguin is a cute speedrunner favorite of the past few years that features a classic story of penguin love. Boy meets Girl, Girl rejects Boy because he’s too fat, Boy drinks fitness shakes to lose weight and steal Girl back from Pirate Penguin. I’ve watched Arcus87 play this a bit so I’m already a little familiar and can complete the game.
Regardless of whether or not I end up competing I do plan on learning the route for Yume because the game is a lot of fun.
Mini Put Put
A golf game that doesn’t look surprisingly difficult. I can’t imagine this one causing too much trouble. There’s a couple things to keep in mind with it:
- No matter the power of the stroke, the ball is instantly in once it hits the hole. No bouncing out or going past!
- If you take 10 strokes, it auto skips to the next hole.
- There’s a wall clip on Hole 9 that’s possible, although very difficult.
Another cute game where you are a mama bird that needs to feed her young. Not much to say here beyond try avoiding hawks and squirrels and you’re set. If it weren’t for Metro-cross, I’d say this is one of the faster games on the list.
An arcade style runner and the Big 20 win condition is to only complete Round 3. With the early discovery that Round 3 can be best completed by holding down the A button and running into the ramps this has become one of the easier games on the list. It’s also important not to miss the skateboards in Round 2 as it doesn’t lose speed on the green tiles.
King Kong 2
This was released to coincide with the King Kong Lives film that came out in 1986. The film is historically bad and flopped pretty hard despite featuring Linda Hamilton and what I felt were impressive special effects at the time. The game mostly ignores all of the movie save for Kong needing to save Lady Kong and is played from a top-down action perspective.
The objective is to beat the entire game, which would normally require the collection of 8 keys and beating 8 bosses, entering the final 9th world and using the final key to enter the final boss room.
You can learn warp routes to get the the 9th world without fighting any of the prior bosses. To get through the final locked door, you can stand beside it until damaged, and clip through the door.
Cosmo Police Galivan
It’s almost a metroidvania type game, as it has a open platformer world to explore and bosses to battle. However, the game is real quick to complete as there is an elevator clip glitch near the end that you can watch InfestedRiche perform.
This selection really feels like Super Pitfall from Big 20 #5. It’s more a matter of learning the route and executing it as perfectly as possible than anything.
The Mysterious Murasame Castle
The first of the two Famicom Disk System games on the list, this game will feel familiar to anyone that’s played Legend of Zelda. Replace Link with a Samurai and there’s little difference from there out.
Sadly, this is another game where I’m going to have some routing to memorize.
This is a bizarre puzzle-SHMUP that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around yet. It might be best to look at this Quarth TAS and study real hard before I give it much of a go.
Should be pretty short though as you only have to be round 1 as part of the Big 20.
A cute puzzle-platformer where you play as a Moai head (think Easter Island). The goal is to beat stage 15, and like Quarth and Kickle Cubicle from Big 20 #5, this should come down to pathing and solution memorization.
The Moai Kun TAS is a little over 15 minutes, which is a little disheartening. That makes this one of the longer games on the list at this point.
Week of Garfield
I couldn’t even figure out how to play this damn game so I’m going straight to the AGDQ 2014 Week of Garfield Speed Run.
Apparently every item is hidden, so it’s going to be a lot of memorization.
Holy Diver is famously difficult. It’s a good thing that the objective for this Big 20 is to only beat the stage 3 boss!
Here’s the Holy Diver SGDQ 2013 run.
At first glance, the game kind of appears like a Castlevania type clone, but there isn’t any subweapon management. I’m entirely unfamiliar with the game so I’ll be learning this from scratch, which is a huge disadvantage.
Choijin Sentai Jetman
The 15th Super Sentai series has a really fun Famicom title. I’ve played around with it a bit, but I haven’t learned any routes or even completed it at this time. The game was ran during the [SGDQ 2014] with an estimate of 15 minutes.
Interesting tidbit I learned while googling around:
Super Sentai 15 was the last Sentai series created before Saban started cannibalizing the series for American audiences and turning it into Power Rangers. The more you know!
A lot of us will remember the more famous arcade or genesis version of Splatterhouse, with its grueling difficulty and extremely gorey graphics. The Famicom version is pretty different, as it’s a bit… cuter.
Not only do we get a chibi main character, but the first “boss” of sorts is a chibi Dracula that does his own interpretation of the Thriller dance that you have to watch before you’re able to proceed.
If you can’t tell at this point I’m pretty excited to learn the run.
Samurai Pizza Cats
I absolutely loved the cartoon series Samurai Pizza Cats as a kid. I have never played the game from what I’ve seen so far there appears to be some fun area skips to learn.
It plays similarly to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game in that it’s an action platformer where you can change characters.
An open world exploration adventure game that’s going to require I take a lot of time to memorize the route. One unique feature is that you can change characters to get through different areas, so that’s kind of neat.
Mitsume Ga Tooru
An action platformer where you shoot stuff from your head! What’s not to like? It’s got a clean, fun art style and from what I’ve played it’s not exactly Mega Man levels of difficulty so this shouldn’t be too bad.
I sat down and played this little action platformer for a few minutes last night and it’s animations and pixel are flat out beautiful. I can’t wait to jump back in and play through as way more effort went into this game’s style than was necessary for its time.
Gimmick has been a fun run to watch at AGDQ the past few years, as it has a lot of high skill platforming tricks used.
I am absolutely horrible at it. So, there’s that. 🙁
Super Mario Bros: Lost Levels
F this game. Seriously. I’m pretty horrible at SMB to begin with so I was not pleased to discover the much more difficult and bullshitty version of the game that never saw a US release on NES was on the list.