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I joined this site for the sole intention of eventually submitting a speed run for Mission Impossible for the NES.

This game has a bit of nostalgic value for me - when I was like 10 years old, I got an NES for Christmas and 2 games - Super Mario/Duck Hunt, and....Mission Impossible.  I think it was years before I ever beat the game, and countless attempts specifically to beat the final level.  This is one of my favorite games for the system, and sadly it seems to get very little attention from those in the retro gaming community.  While the game is full of traps and game-ending deaths, the stage design, graphics, music, and gameplay are all excellent IMO, as is hit detection and controls.  A very challenging, but not unfair game.

As for speed running, altogether there are 6 stages, though stages 2 and 5 are scrolling stages simply requiring survival.  Of the other 4 stages, I'd rank them in difficulty as 4 being the easiest, then 3, then 1, then 6.

3 of these 4 stages rely on a 50/50 chance of a required street pass being the right place.  Luckily level 1's pass is very early in the game, so once you get it, your odds already improve to 1 in 4 of finishing out a full run.  Other than this, RNG is not crucially important anywhere else in the game.  There are some places where it can add a few seconds to your run with bad luck, but nothing that is a deal-breaker.

There are 2 keys to a good run.  First is knowing which enemies to kill and which ones to leave alone (or stun) not only for minimal loss of time, but also for leaving enough enemies active on the screen that other enemies (or even obstacles such as the flowing sewage) won't spawn.  The second key is, with this being an overhead game, taking advantage of diagonal movement whenever possible.  This is easier said than done.

I'm to the point where I can run each level well by itself, but putting together a full, uninterrupted run of all 6 levels is proving to be nearly impossible.  The best time on SDA is at 30:59 (nearly 13 years old! ), and the best time I found on youtube of a non-tool-assisted run is 27:51.  I'm fairly confident I can do a sub-27 minute run.

I'm starting out with a video for levels 1 and 2.  This was close to a flawless run with bad luck hitting in stage 3 for the street pass.

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/mi-level1.mp4

Level 1 notes -

0:39 to 0:41 in the alley - best killing sequence for minimizing spawned enemies.
1:23 - best to kill him there so to avoid fire on the way back through.
1:41 to 1:43 - one pixel higher on those bridges and you avoid all damage.  I missed it here but it is not critical - it just gives you more margin for error later.
1:58 to 2:09 - not only is stunning the quickest way through here, but it also prevents both sewers from spawning.
3:02 - all other runs I've seen take the other route.  While going my way is slightly longer, we're only talking 1 or 2 seconds which are more than made up for by being able to get the first aid kit and take damage later.
3:56 - probably the most difficult part of the level.  Very tough to squeeze around the corners without getting caught.
5:01 - a pixel-perfect move with Grant lets you walk right over the claws, eliminating the need to deactivate them saving a ton of time.
Thread title:  
Good job so far! So this was an actual attempt, right?
At 4:03, is it too precise to go up instead of going around?
If you stream (channel?), I'm definitely going to show up. If not, I hope to at least read more about your progress here in the forum.
This was a casual attempt....basically when I sit down to practice, I turn my recorder on, and if I end up starting out well, then I do try to keep going as a serious run...but those are almost always cut short with bad luck in stage 3 or 4 with the pass not being where I need it to be.

The hardest part in the security room at 3:56 is that you need to make precise moves going in both directions and there is some RNG associated with the on/off position of the trip-alarms when you enter the room, so its not easy to get perfectly lined up for moving both down and then back up.

However, if you watch the pattern of the alarms, the path I took is only marginally longer than going up through the middle because you have to stop twice vs barreling right on through the way I went.  The only time that could be gained is being able to go through the top-right alarm as soon as it shuts off vs catching it at the tail end of that same cycle - our about 0.7 seconds.  I have managed that a few times....just a matter of luck and hitting the precise stop points at the right times.

No I don't stream, though I suppose my hardware would be capable of live-streaming to my youtube account.  If I ever intend to do that I'll post here - otherwise I'll just post videos of each level individually in this post.
Edit history:
bmw: 2018-02-04 08:55:18 am
bmw: 2018-02-04 08:55:07 am
bmw: 2018-02-04 08:55:07 am
bmw: 2018-02-04 08:52:14 am
Had a new record run, made it into stage 6, got a little sloppy (but no deal breakers) and then....made a mistake I don't think I've ever made while practicing this level - I let one of the fire shooting guys get under me off-screen.  What a painful way for a good run to end, especially considering this is only the 2nd time ever I've made it all the way to stage 6 from the beginning in a serious run - checked my times and I was a full 56 seconds ahead of the best non-TAS run on youtube at the time I died.  Definitely in sub-27-minute territory

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/mi-1-6.mp4

Just a few notes on the run

Stage 1 was solid.  Tripped the alarm but got out quickly, I don't think I lost much time here.

Stage 2 - survived

Stage 3 - straight-forward stage, no real tricks to pull off here - other than needing the pass in the correct place, the key to a good time is a good end-boss fight.  You can kill the end boss by either 9 hits or by  destroying the floor he is standing on.  Neither is particularly easy to pull off - hitting him 9 times, you can reasonably expect 2 to 3 hits on each respawn making a perfect run 3 respawns.  But this is extremely difficult to pull off because you need quite a bit of luck with him respawning close to you each time AND you need to make sure not to fall through the floor yourself.  The other method (which I chose) is more straight-forward and less risky, but does depend on him respawning on a rectangle you draw out.  Here I got pretty lucky with him respawning on it on only the 2nd spawn after the rectangle was drawn.  Altogether the boss spawned 5 times, which while not perfect is acceptable, particularly considering I killed him while standing right next to the exit and didn't need to wait for my guy to get to the exit after the kill.

Stage 4 - This one is actually pretty straight forward.  Toughest part is not getting pushed off the cliff at any point while using the shield enemy to speed you to the top.  With some practice at this I've gotten pretty good at it and can consistently pull it off.  There's room for improvement in the room where the pass is - it IS possible to get the pass fast enough to get out before the security camera makes another vertical run, but you have to diagonally and perfectly destroy the door box first.  I can't consistently pull this off so I don't bother trying.  The end boss is just a brute-force attack when you get right up next to him.

Stage 5 - survived

Stage 6 - Most of the tricks to a fast time here were in the part before I died.  In the intro part you can save a bunch of time by taking advantage of the enemy spawn limit and just taking the bottom path instead of trying to kill every line of enemies.  The other huge key is to survive the moving wall instead of disabling it first.  This was not my best effort but I did survive it.  You can get hit up to 3 times and still be good (1/2 the life of each of your characters).  Usually I can get through here with 1 or 2 hits.  I sustained 3 meaning the added time later is getting the first aid kit just before the room with the pass door.

I couldn't believe my bad luck where I died because the rest of the run would have been pretty straight forward.  Shoot the fire shooters until they get more plentiful on the screen, then use Grant's disguise to go the rest of the way up.  Shoot the chains, hit the illusion switch,  blast through a second time, survive the collapsing floor, fall through the floor pit.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Then survive the final few rooms.

Video link again - http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/mi-1-6.mp4
Honestly, this is starting to look really good. Thanks also for the notes. I had a bunch of questions while watching, but you answered nearly all of them already...
I have just two things left that I'm wondering about at the moment.
1) Was it really a bad thing to trip the alarm in stage 1? Have you timed it out and compared with the big detour you're otherwise forced to make?
2) What's your thoughts on using the heavy/slow guy first against the ninja boss? He breaks the floor on the first loop. When you're almost done, change to the fast guy and wait for the boss to spawn in the right place.
re - tripping the alarm.  Yes it does add some time.  The detour route is still faster than tripping the alarm, and again the direct route is only  about 3/4 of an alarm cycle faster than the detour route.  In fact the alarm adds more time compared to the detour than the detour does compared to direct.  In the end we're talking about 0.7 or so seconds because this room is really counted in alarm cycles, not distance traveled (because the direct route requires several stops along the way).

re - "ninja" boss - actually the slow guy only does 2/3 damage to the floor, so he requires a second loop.  Now you can use the fast guy for a loop and then the slow guy to finish it but that really gains nothing.  I time this room in terms of respawns - 3 being perfect, 4 being the target, and 5 being acceptable.  I had a blistering pace going today, would have been exactly 10 seconds faster than the one I posted as of the conclusion of stage 3, but this happened.....

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/mi3.mp4

Had a bit of bad luck with the boss spawning in my way but I got out of that then got perfect luck on the 4th spawn and then....stupid last 2 floor tiles DIDN'T BREAK.::)
I sat down and played around in these areas myself.

I agree about the room with the alarm. It's slower to trip the alarm. But the lasers seem to have so weird hit detection that it was more consistent for me to trip the alarm on purpose than trying to deal with the lasers. If you've found a somewhat reliable way to get through that room that is also faster, you should of course stick to that.

I don't completely agree with you about the ninja boss. The fast guy walks 50% faster than the slow, but only deals half the floor damage. So the "floor damage per time unit" is higher for the slow guy. I even have a suggestion for making it even faster. Stutter walk with the big guy. That was the highest "floor damage per time unit" I could get. The following shows the idea: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5R4n9DK679c (temporary video - will be removed). At the time of the third appearance, it was basically a 50/50 whether the boss would appear on the part with the collapsing floor. If I compare with your latest video, you're one whole cycle slower (first possibility to make the floor collapse on the boss' 4th appearance) and the area covered was considerably lower (-> a bit below a 50/50 chance of the boss appearing there).
Your  method for killing the stage 3 boss is pretty solid.  I've practiced it a bit and am not good at it but did pull it off a few times.

My bigger problem right now is getting that far.  Stage 1 is eating me alive - keep making stupid mistakes, and the few times I'm getting to stage 3, the pass is NOT there.  It is seriously there like 1 out 5 times I get that far.  Stupid mistakes + bad RNG making this very difficult.
Finally broke the youtube record of 27:51 - I managed a 27:43 but this is not ready for submission.  Here is a low-quality link, just trying to keep the file size down:

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/mi-full.mp4

My stage 3 boss death added 53 seconds and my stage 6 deaths added 22 seconds, plus additional time added to stage 6 because I lost my fastest character.  I now have a target time of somewhere around 26:30 for a submission.
Edit history:
bmw: 2018-02-24 05:28:05 pm
...and....I just did a 26:20!!!  FINALLY.  And even here I made some mistakes in stage 4.  When I post it you'll have to give me an opinion on whether to submit.  Stage 4 mistakes aside, it was an almost flawless run.

Here is the video (youtbe)

Huge congrats on getting the first deathless run and to a very good time!
I admit that I first didn't see you posted twice on the same day. I saw your first post, downloaded the video and planned to watch it later, which I also did. When I opened the thread again, I saw your second post. I have now obviously watched both your latest runs!

Before addressing your question, let me take the time to write down some comments I made while watching:
(time stamps referencing your first video, "mi-full")
- At 1:28, you've changed the route and talked to the brown dude. That's half a second slower compared to your previous route.
- At 8:33, you go down instead of up. This allows you to fuel up on health for the fast guy. I assume this is a route decision that originates from when you fought the ninja boss with the fast guy. However, since you're now using the slow guy, the health of the fast guy is no longer critical. Going up at said junction saves you 9 seconds. The TAS uses the faster route and has a good path for clearing the room with the mechanical spiders that is consistent also in real time.
- On the ninja boss, you really got screwed over in your first run. The ninja's appearances are random as far as location goes, but the time for each appearance is always the same. So breaking the floor as fast as possible is clearly in your interest. You save a bit of time by breaking the floor tile you appear on and then go from there. It went fine in the 26:20 run, so maybe this is no longer a problem. You should have switched character earlier though in that run.
- At 12:53, you walked up and then right, instead of diagonal. You did the same thing in your 26:20 run. Most of the time, you otherwise walk diagonally, so I thought it was odd that you made the same unforced mistake in two different runs.
- At the start of stage 6, you go down a bit to get a straight line on the lower enemies instead of aiming for the middle, which would have allowed you to take out two enemies with each punch. By allowing more enemies on screen, you create a bit of lag (maybe half a second?). Was this a conscious decision because of the difficulty of taking out two enemies at a time?
- At 16:40, it's faster to go down and then right, instead of right and then down. See the TAS for the faster solution.
- 24:55, it costs you an additional lag frame to keep three flame-throwers alive. I know it's incredibly small, but taking out one additional flame thrower is literally without any risk at all, so there is no reason not to do it.

With reference to the 26:20 run:
- What happens at 18:01? Do you accidentally pick up the red briefcase, even though it's not visible on screen? Speaking of that auto-scroller, it feels like there should be a better way to deal with them. It looked by far too many menu changes. Each menu change isn't too costly, but there is always the risk of messing up and losing more time. Can you keep the briefcase until the third visit? In that case, you should be able to do it with only the slow and the boomerang guy, without involving the fast guy. So start out with the slow guy. Kill as many flame-throwers as possible and don't hesitate to use bombs either. You don't seem to have use for all of them later on anyways. Once you're cornered, switch to the boomerang guy and disguise yourself out of trouble until the end of the room. The best would be to pick up the briefcase during the third visit, but at the very least not during the first pass.

As for your question regarding whether you should settle with this run or not. Well, I could have pointed out a number of execution mistakes (including the 9 secs lost by not being pushed by the shield guy in stage 4), but I'm sure you're already aware of them. A run of this difficulty is going to have a number of execution mistakes and I think overall you pulled off a nice feat with this run. Regarding the route, I've listed a number of ideas for improvement. With one exception, they're very minor and don't add much time. If they're easy to implement without adding any risk, one should of course go for them, but they're not a big deal in hindsight. The one exception is the route choice before the ninja boss. If I were in your shoes, I would seriously consider how special this run felt execution-wise compared to a free 9-second save that anyone trying to beat your time will have over your run from now on.
Edit history:
bmw: 2018-03-01 05:36:05 pm
Quote:
- At 1:28, you've changed the route and talked to the brown dude. That's half a second slower compared to your previous route.


This was done because I was taking a bullet far too often going up and around.  The life bars are more valuable at the 2:50 to 2:55 area (note a pixel perfect vertical position in the second run avoiding all damage, but that isn't always the case).  My strategy in the first half of stage 1 is to maintain as much health as possible and then tear through that particular area.

Quote:
- At 8:33, you go down instead of up. This allows you to fuel up on health for the fast guy. I assume this is a route decision that originates from when you fought the ninja boss with the fast guy. However, since you're now using the slow guy, the health of the fast guy is no longer critical. Going up at said junction saves you 9 seconds. The TAS uses the faster route and has a good path for clearing the room with the mechanical spiders that is consistent also in real time.


You are largely correct - note though that there is a floor pit in the top path, just left of the shooting flame.  I admit I was not aware how easy it was to get around it - going and watching the TAS run I see if you stay low you can get around it.  Not quite a 9 second gain because the TAS is very difficult to pull off an avoidance of the shooting flame without positioning yourself and letting it shoot once, but I do think 5 or 6 seconds could be gained here, so I now agree this is the faster path.

Quote:
- On the ninja boss, you really got screwed over in your first run. The ninja's appearances are random as far as location goes, but the time for each appearance is always the same. So breaking the floor as fast as possible is clearly in your interest. You save a bit of time by breaking the floor tile you appear on and then go from there. It went fine in the 26:20 run, so maybe this is no longer a problem. You should have switched character earlier though in that run.


I keep the fast guy until the bottom of the screen because he does do 1/3 damage to those tiles, then when I get the slow guy over there I don't have to stutter-step, I can just walk over those tiles at full speed.  Probably no time difference either way, I just find this easier to pull off.

Quote:
- At 12:53, you walked up and then right, instead of diagonal. You did the same thing in your 26:20 run. Most of the time, you otherwise walk diagonally, so I thought it was odd that you made the same unforced mistake in two different runs.


This is intentional.  There is a floor pit there.

Quote:
- At the start of stage 6, you go down a bit to get a straight line on the lower enemies instead of aiming for the middle, which would have allowed you to take out two enemies with each punch. By allowing more enemies on screen, you create a bit of lag (maybe half a second?). Was this a conscious decision because of the difficulty of taking out two enemies at a time?


It is actually (a lot) slower to take out 2 enemies at a time for a few reasons - not only does that take a bit more time, but that also doesn't fully take advantage of the spawn limits.  I've found the particular path I took to be CONSIDERABLY faster because once you get a few bad guys chasing you, it is those bottom enemies that seem to be the casualties of the spawn limit, so you'll see that I have a quite clear path through there.  Look at my record run - you'll see my path was clear through EIGHT enemies that didn't spawn.

Quote:
- At 16:40, it's faster to go down and then right, instead of right and then down. See the TAS for the faster solution.


Minor, but correct.

Quote:
- 24:55, it costs you an additional lag frame to keep three flame-throwers alive. I know it's incredibly small, but taking out one additional flame thrower is literally without any risk at all, so there is no reason not to do it.


Wasn't aware of that.

Quote:
With reference to the 26:20 run:
- What happens at 18:01? Do you accidentally pick up the red briefcase, even though it's not visible on screen? Speaking of that auto-scroller, it feels like there should be a better way to deal with them. It looked by far too many menu changes. Each menu change isn't too costly, but there is always the risk of messing up and losing more time. Can you keep the briefcase until the third visit? In that case, you should be able to do it with only the slow and the boomerang guy, without involving the fast guy. So start out with the slow guy. Kill as many flame-throwers as possible and don't hesitate to use bombs either. You don't seem to have use for all of them later on anyways. Once you're cornered, switch to the boomerang guy and disguise yourself out of trouble until the end of the room. The best would be to pick up the briefcase during the third visit, but at the very least not during the first pass.


Ok here's the deal here.  The briefcase only spawns if you kill not only the first 5 or so single enemies, but also about 3 of the enemies once they start doubling up.  And with the enemy reset after the 2nd time, it is almost impossible to get it to spawn on the 1st or 3rd time because it is very difficult (or at least too risky) to kill enough of the enemies to get it to spawn.  On the 2nd time through, however, since the enemies from the first time are now gone, it is those first few that spawn that you need to kill and with a clear screen leading up to that, they are easy enough to take out to get the briefcase.  In my record run (and for that matter the first one as well), the bit of disguise that my 3rd guy had was leftover from earlier in the stage.  When you pick up a briefcase with the disguise guy, if you are wearing a disguise when you pick it up, you effectly get 6 disguises.  Here I had a partial one left at the 17:21 mark.  Some runs I use 1 disguise through its entirety leading up to 17:21, so I push B just before picking it up giving me almost 6 full ones.  Overall I thought my 3 times through the scrolling part were solid - only reason I invoked the fast guy at all was I got myself into a bit of trouble midway through the 2nd time.  That was really my only error here.

I've tried running this area with just the fast guy, but that is a very risky way to play it (though I do note that the guy on youtube with the 27:51 run did a good job doing that).  It is so hard to get to stage 6 as it is that once you're there, you kinda have to play at least a little more conservatively than say in stages 1 through 4.
----------------------------------

I'm gonna shoot for a sub-26 run.  Near perfection throughout will be required but it might be achievable.
Re the floor pit at 12:53
I think you should try this again (walking diagonally). If you truly have trouble avoiding the floor pit or that you occasionally miss the medkit, then fine. I tried it myself and I had no trouble getting the medkit and avoiding the pit though.

Re autoscroller with flamethrowers
I've played around a bit in this room from a save state. From what I can tell, the flamethrowers' spawn points and movements are 100% predictable as long as you don't disturb them. It should therefore be possible to route this room in more detail.
For me, the slow guy was pretty much the worst character to use. His bullets are slow, have a low firing rate and as a result often miss their mark. The slow movement was also a problem for me.
I think the boomerang guy was by far the easiest to clear the room with. The boomerangs are fairly fast, you can have three on screen at a time and the same boomerang can hit multiple enemies. While nothing fundamentally new, this is my approach to this room:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcIhXPibFyw (temporary upload)
- Instead of camping around at the bottom of the screen, I approach the enemies diagonally.
- I tried to attack when the enemies anyways stopped, making them easier to hit.
- A critical point is when more enemies start to appear (after the 6th flame thrower). With the correct positioning, you can take out three flame throwers with the same volley of boomerangs. This prevents the screen from getting overcrowded, leading to no briefcase, lag, risk and what not.
- I'm getting both the medkit and the briefcase in pretty much every attempt. Compared to your 26:20, that's two more medkits and two more briefcases along the route. I'm not sure how much of a difference that makes, but thought it was worth mentioning.
- Some of the last enemies spawn in somewhat awkward positions, so one might want to leave them alone. However, too many enemies at the end will create lag. We're not talking about a lot of time though, so it's basically what one is comfortable with.

Re sub-26
Good luck... That would make for one very impressive run!
By the way, how much have you studied the tas recently? While I made some comparisons with the tas in my previous post, it was simply because I saw something in your run and then looked at the tas. I haven't compared the two room for room. If you're planning to push the game further, it might be worth taking a new look and see if anything else can be picked up from it. Just a thought...
Ran a 26:08 today, and that was despite having 5 spawns for the Stage 3 ninja boss and losing the shield guy early in Stage 4 and quite a few minor execution errors in Stage 6.  A sub-26 is very doable.
Woulda had roughly a 25:15 (yes - that's correct - a twenty-five and fifteen seconds) were it not for the pass being in the wrong spot in Stage 4.

Stage 6 can be beaten with only 2 trips through the vertical scrolling section - saving about 45 seconds.
Damn! Are you keeping your findings to yourself until you have a run you're happy with or is there anything you can disclose already now? Even the TAS goes through that section three times, so it must be something completely new. Either way, good job!
Edit history:
bmw: 2018-04-05 07:45:15 am
It is thanks to a stage 6 glitch that was brought to my attention by one of my youtube viewers - the viewer of which who is apparently the only person ever to discover it.  There are 3 rooms that all use the same storage block within the rom, just that they load different data sets depending on which room you're supposed to be in - these are the room with the illusion switch (the scrolling room with the chains at the top and bottom trying to throw you down the holes), the room that appears after you trip the illusion switch (with the constantly appearing and disappearing ninjas), and also the room immediately preceding the vertical scrolling room (that is, the room with the blowers and flame shooters).

The glitch is that after you destroy the block hiding the illusion switch (and it doesn't matter whether you trip the switch or not, though not doing so saves some time), after you then go get your pass and head down for your second time through the blower/fire room, the illusion switch is still active in the same (x,y) location as it was in its original room - ie, up in the top-left part of the room.  If you simply walk your character up and push against the wall in just the right spot, the illusion switch will trip again and basically "teleport" you to the ninja room, thereby skipping the bulk of the flame/blower room and the entire vertical scroll (the 2nd time through).  The ninja room is glitchy though - the ninjas come and go as normal but they don't render properly on screen so you're basically going blind through the room - with a little luck you can traverse the room left to right without running into any of them and then go up into the collapsing floor room.

I've been experimenting with this glitch trying to figure out the limits of what you can pull off with it and have determined that  the glitch switch is only active after you destroy the part of the wall hiding the original switch and go back to inactive after you go through the floor pit (the action of which resets most variables in the stage, apparently including this one), so you still have to go through the vertical scroller the 1st and 3rd time.  It would theoretically exist on the first and third times through the room, but since there's no object up there to destroy to uncover it, there's just no way to press it.
Man this game's really starting to get on my nerves.  It is always just one stupid thing keeping me from completing a submittable run.

I'm not a speedrunner, btw.  Just curious where this particular game ranks in speedrun execution difficulty compared to other NES titles?
Very nice. I'm looking forward to see the new strats in action then!

The difficulty of a speedrun obviously depends on a number of factors. RNG (both run-ending, like in your case, and where you just have to react to whatever the game throws at you), number of tight tricks, length of the run etc etc. I'm not sure anyone would dare to quantify these in order to make a list (although it's at least an interesting thought-experiment). Since pretty much every speedrun route ends up being a compromise between risk and reward, you can also fine-tune even seemingly simple games to become much more difficult. That being said, playing Mission Impossible on the level you're at now is definitely not a walk in the park. Just don't expect to be the headline whenever you get the run you're looking for, but the community of NES-speedrunners will at least know what you have done and appreciate the effort that went into it.
I'm well aware that this is one of the more obscure titles for the NES so I know speedruns won't get all that much attention. 

Given that the game was made by Konami, released in middle of the NES lifecycle, and that it was (to my recollection) one of the less expensive games on store shelves back in the day, I'm a little surprised this game isn't considered one of the classics.  The game controls very well, the graphics are pretty good for the time, the music is some of the best on the system (IMO) and gameplay is sufficiently varied from stage to stage.  Perhaps it was just too difficult that people who bought it gave up pretty quickly after getting destroyed in the first level?  The difficulty level could have been brought down by making this an 8-stage game instead of 6 - stages 1 and 6 could easily have been split in half - stage 1 at the point where the moving floor connects up and stage 6 right at the entry to the blower/flame room.
Just did a 25:25.

Pulled off an incredibly good Stage 1 through 5 run.  RNG was on my side everywhere.

Then came Stage 6.  Every last little thing that could go wrong in stage 6 went wrong in stage 6.  Cumulatively added 5 to 6 seconds to my run until the 2nd to last room before the final room.  Just before the staircase I died.  That added anywhere from 25 to 30 seconds to my time from having to re-traverse that part to not having my fastest guy post-death.  I think I woulda just cracked a 24:58 or 24:59 run not for my late death.  UGHHHH.

I have it encoding now.  Will post within the next 24 hours.
Boo yah!  24:53!

http://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/yua.mp4 (just a low quality upload for now)

Still room for improvement in the run, though this one is certainly submission-worthy IMO.  Let me know your thoughts.  You'll note I've made a lot of tweaks to the run since my last video post.
I finally managed to sit down and watch the latest run. I really enjoyed the watch. Honestly speaking, that is very good speedrun! I saw lots of new time-saving strats and it was great seeing all things come together. It's crazy how far you've managed to push this game.

If you decide to submit this run here, it would be an easy accept. I still have to nitpick about a few things. In my opinion, it's nothing even close to demanding redoing the run for. But if you for other reasons decide to continue playing, it could be worth considering:
* At 8:30, you should change to the fast guy before leaving the room. You also looked very cautious around the floor pit. The hitbox of the pit is quite a bit smaller than that. Not sure if it was a routing decision or just an execution mistake though. If you've lost attempts in that area, I can of course understand the minor detour.
* I've been questioning the part around 11:38 in previous attempts as well. The hitbox of the medkit is bigger than it looks, while the hitbox of the pit is smaller. In my opinion you could take a more direct route than what you did here without really adding any risk.
* At 20:40, it would be better to use a smokebomb on the shield guy instead of bombing him with the slow guy. Or do you sometimes run out of smokebombs near the end? This time you had two left.
* At 22:30, you can throw the smokebomb later and get past the shield guy without having to bomb him as well.
Edit history:
bmw: 2018-04-14 01:54:25 pm
bmw: 2018-04-14 01:54:01 pm
bmw: 2018-04-14 11:03:49 am
I'm going to have to do a new run anyways - I accidentally recorded over the source file.  I use VirtualDub for my video capture and you have to set a capture file.  I normally just leave the software open in the background on my computer and before using it again after I did that run, I forgot to change to a new recording file.  So all I have is that low quality encode, and I'm very nitpicky about the a/v quality of anything I publish so I will be re-doing this.

On a side unfortunate note, the same recording I was making that destroyed the source file also destroyed my holy grail CRT monitor - the 24-inch Sony GDM-FW900.  The monitor never really liked the output from my xRGB3 box, I think because of the non-standard timing and non-standard sync that the NES puts out - the flywheel in the CRT always made some noise when playing the NES, but that particular day it was noisier than normal and then suddenly the monitor lost focus and went blurry - I turned it off for a few hours and when I turned it back on, I heard a nice loud internal ZAP and the monitor was dead.  And I just can't speedrun on an LCD due to the input lag, so until I replace the monitor (I have a 21-inch CRT in storage I want to dig out soon) my speedrunning is on pause.

As to the 2 floor pits, my reason for being cautious (in both instances) is I've twice been burned in falling down them, and both occur late enough in the game (especially the stage 4 pit) that the risk v. reward is not worth it.  However, I do think I can improve my route in the stage 3 pit area.

The 20:40 shield guy is NOT spawned more often than he is, and when he spawns my gut reaction is just to bomb him.  The space is fairly narrow and I guess I haven't experimented with the smoke bomb to see how easy he is to get around.  I suspect I would waste as much time trying to navigate around him stunned than just blowing him up.  The one at 22:30 is dangerous on that falling floor.  ESPECIALLY this late in the game I play it safe.

Honestly it was my stage 1 play that was not that good.  I even almost reset the game in the blower room after my major screw up in the upper-right.

I may also practice the pass room in stage 4 trying to get past that security camera without it having to do a full vertical cycle a second time.  So far I have really struggled making that happen.  At least I got the stage 1 security room (the one with the switch and the security lasers) down to a fine art.  It was a matter of using that wall to safely position myself going down and again coming back up - I can do that very consistently now.

I think I have a target time of 24:49.
Well, losing the recording can effectively be an influencing factor in continuing to push the time lower... I'm sorry to hear about that and the loss of the monitor. I've always played on LCD and it's only been an issue for me in my most recent game, proam 2, which requires quick reactions when the green light shows at the start of the race. I don't really see much of an issue with Mission Impossible, but it would obviously still going to feel weird in the beginning if you're used to CRT.

I can sort of see the issue with the floor pit in stage 3, since you need to squeeze below the crates as well. I'm having more trouble understanding what the issue is with the pit in stage 4. I've only tested it on emulator, but it seems like you can steer well out of range of the pit and still collect the medkit. But if you've tried it out and there is a risk, I completely agree that there is not enough time to gain by cutting corners in that area.

I don't know how much variation there is in the number of smoke bombs you use from one attempts to the other, but if you always end with two to spare, you might just throw one at the 20:40 area just in case?

I understand the concern about the 22:30 area. You could throw a second smoke bomb instead of bombing him. Other than the menu change, the shield guys also risk pushing you back a little.

I've also played around in the pass room in stage 4 thinking the same thing. My movement isn't very good, but that skip seems very hard. Big props if you manage to get it in a run.