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Contra III: The Alien Wars (ntscus) (snes) [Any %] [Single Segment] [Hard]

Verifier Responses

Quote from ZELLLOOO:
AV good, no cheating seen. Timing appears to be 14:14 from gaining control in Stage 1 to losing control on the helicopter at the end.

Contra III has been in need of a Hard any% improvement on SDA for some time now and this run definitely delivers on that front. I won't do a full stage-by-stage breakdown but Stage 1 is the only stage that loses time to the current run and even then it's only a second due to bad luck on the first boss, every other stage was improved quite a bit from as little as 2.5 seconds to as large as 10 thanks to new strats (stage 5 deathwarp was cool!) and better execution across the board. A little unfortunate the death happened at the end of Stage 4 but it looks to have cost no time since only one Crush is needed for 5 and a second one is picked up right before the boss. Definitely a great run worth an accept, congrats to the runner!

Quote from Hurblat:
I have this as 14:14.
All around great execution!

A+ lag management (sniper tower in stage 1, going prone after defeating bosses, double tapping to turn around quickly after defeating turrets in stage 2).

Glad that standing a bit further away from the stage 1 boss is a thing now Cheesy
More runs past stage 1 = more chances at glory.

Tightrope guy was a pain, but that’s about par for the course.

Was that a jump buffer to get the timing right for the walker miniboss in stage 4? Good stuff.

When anticipating the jetpack guy, I think it’s slightly more reliable to weapon swap with a slow and steady rhythm (three missiles from one gun, swap, three missiles from the other, etc). This way the crush distribution is more predictable. I’ve had pretty much 100% kills before he reaches the helicopter doing it this way.

Loved the all-out stage 4 and 5 boss fights!

Crazy to think that we have a run with the stage 5 death abuse in it. I thought of that when I did runs but never went for it for obvious reasons Cheesy

Clinical gargoyle and brain fights. Shame about the arms.

This is an absolutely fantastic run, and I’m so happy it exists. Props for going the extra mile with the capture!
Accept accept accept

A/V: The runner has clearly gone to some length to achieve the best possible quality of their capture. And the result is nothing short of amazing. This does however also mean that the aspect ratio has become 8/7.

Gameplay: No comments provided, so I decided to compare the submitted run with Hurblat's run that's currently on SDA.

Stage 1 - The new run was half a second faster during the stage. I couldn't immediately tell if this was due to any specific new strats or just tighter play.
The boss fight was 1.5s slower though due to a safer strat being used.

Stage 2 - 2.5s faster stage thanks to better movement and better enemy RNG (less enemies blocking the path).
The boss was dispatched in about the same time in the two runs.

Stage 3 - Around 3s faster stage. Contributors to the time save were the quick kill on the 1st phase of the 1st mini-boss and improved routing in the last climbing section.
2.5 additional seconds then saved against the boss by a faster 1st phase (I assume it was because of the different strats used in the new run).

Stage 4 - While the walker miniboss fight was around 1.5s faster, the latch guy was around 1.5s slower. The slower fight somehow didn't lead to any time loss though. Is there some kind of frame rule for when the phase with the stage boss starts?
A very aggressive boss fight then added two more seconds saved to the account. The aggressiveness led to the first of two deaths in the run. While this death didn't look intentional, it didn't cost any time from what I could see either.

Stage 5 - Very impressive stage. 7.5s saved by less hesitations, better enemy RNG and a death warp near the end. The death warp is fairly obvious from looking at the map, so it would be interesting to get some more background to why it hasn't always been included. Does it require very precise positioning?
The boss fight was 1.5s slower. Not entirely sure why? Did the smart bomb create additional lag? It would have been nice to hear why the strat now includes the smart bomb.

Stage 6 - Most of the mini bosses had time saved, but also 0.5-1s lost against the crawler. The last mini boss is also worth mentioning. Despite a very bad pattern with the right arm shielding the brain both times (none in the current SDA-run), time was still saved thanks to what appears to have been more efficient mashing (and targeting?). Overall 4s saved during the stage, but I'm guessing this is the stage where the most time could still potentially be saved in the run.
The last boss was 6.5s faster. Instead of relying on gray orbs in the first phase (like in the current SDA-run), red orbs were used (considerably faster cycle than the gray orb). Considering how the damage on the last boss works, I wonder if this is just a new and better strat or a known, but riskier/more aggressive, one. Regardless, it paid off big time.

Overall, a fantastic run and a 28s improvement over the current SDA-run. Hurblat's run still looks very good on its own, but comparing the two shows a lot of optimizations on many levels. Improved strats, tighter execution in many places and more favorable RNG.
It looks like a few more seconds is still up for the grabs, but good luck to anyone trying to push the time lower. It's not going to be easy to top this!


Not much to say really. It's Contra III, and it's been utterly destroyed. Nice to finally see an update to the hard mode run on the site.


Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'FCJ2000'!
Thread title:  
Grats and thanks for the submission!