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A 1991 NES title that follows a standard lesser platformer formula: everything hurts and much of it is trial-and-error. As Betelgeuse/Beetlejuice you're commissioned a scare-away of insiduous new occupants of a deceased couple's old residence. There are obviously shops in and around the house for purchasing special scare-quiptment.

Beetlejuice   Beetlejuice

Best Time with Deaths: 0:10:52 by 'ktwo' on 2023-05-04

Author's comments:

I did this run on a Powerpak. In case it matters for future reference, I used a ROM with checksum 36f9c268d5152085c914eb732392848e.

SDA history
29-Jun-2018 - 0:11:29 by ktwo (

Speedrun information
For information about speedrunning Beetlejuice and to get a better understanding of what's going on in this run, go to the guide in the SDA knowledge base (referred to as sdakb in my comments below):

After I made my previous run for Beetlejuice, 'Bartaan' found a time save in level 2 that was big enough (~5s) for me to consider working on an improvement. However, with my previous run having (imo) been a bit rushed, I wanted to make sure I could allocate enough time if I got back to the game. It therefore took nearly 5 years before it was time again. When relearning the route, I discovered very early that you could jump over the lights in the house at the start of the game, for a time save of ~3s. With the new strats, I soon lowered my pb to 11:28, 11:25 and then 11:07, but none of them worth remembering.

At this point I found a somewhat viable way to kill the two sweepers in Attic II with one potion. This was a 7-8s time save. While this strat added a lot of run-ending RNG near the end of the game, it also relieved the RNG requirements earlier on for a sub-11 min run. Overall, it felt worth going for. Some time after, I lowered the time to 11:05, which was an all around solid run, with no big execution mistakes and decent RNG throughout. I felt I could do better though and decided to keep playing.

More 11:1x and a few 11:0x runs followed, as well as plenty of failed attempts that were on sub-11 pace (3 of them failing to kill the sweepers in Attic II with the one potion). I then eventually achieved a 10:53 the 1st of May-23. I was really happy with the time and considered very hard to settle there. The issue was that the run relied on the most amazing fly room in the Attic for a massive time save, but then lost a chunk of time in the graveyard due to poor execution. It felt really dissatisfying to end with a run that wasn't well played and only relied on godly RNG.

After sleeping on it, I still felt motivated to try and lower the pb one more time. If successful, hopefully resulting in a better-looking run. Three days later, (to my surprise) I achieved the submitted run.

Run comments

Stage 1 (Town)
* New strat in the house from jumping over and damage-boosting through the lights, saving ~3s.
* I got an uncommon opportunity outside the shop with both a blue (worth 25 vouchers) and a yellow (worth 75) beetle being within range. You need at least 25 vouchers to buy the skeleton scare, but if you get at least 100 vouchers, you can skip jumping on a fly in the next level, saving just over a second.
* I reset for almost anything not going my way in level 1, so all attempts getting past this point should be pretty similar. There will always be a bit of variation from the beetle farming outside the shop though. This was on the better end of the scale, with an added bonus of collecting 100 vouchers from the beetles.

Stage 2 (Stormdrains)
* Thanks to the additional vouchers collected in the first level, I didn't have to jump on the second fly when floating on the raft.
* Got a knockback against the first cavern monster. The cavern monster fights are random and "only" getting a knockback isn't too bad, even though it's of course a time loss.
* By manipulating the screen after the first cavern monster fight, a shortcut to the right opens up. The time save over the "intended" route, which climbs to the top of the level, is ~5s.
* Because of the knockback at the first cavern monster, the frog to the left was a bit out of sync and I took an unintentional hit from it. The time loss was probably pretty small though as I normally need to wait for it when jumping back up, but that was not needed this time since the frog was frozen after the hit.
* Unintentional death against the second cavern monster. I only rarely get through the first two fights without getting hit, so this was pretty much average RNG.
* There is a 50% chance that Beetlejuice can jump through the octopus after the second cavern monster (see sdakb). I got lucky this time and got through (a death here costs ~3s).
* One knockback and one unintentional death is better than average for me in this level, but of course still time losses that leave room for improvement. Nice to get the fly skip in the raft section in this run though.

Stage 3-1 (Basement, overhead)
Very short stage. The saws move in pre-determined patterns and start when you enter the room. So for once no RNG with these enemies.
As part of the route, I slowed down ever so slightly on the right side to avoid getting hit by the upper saw.

Stage 3-2 (Kitchen and living rooms, overhead)
* The sweeper fight is one of the more random and time-consuming parts of the run. I've spent quite a bit of time coming up with a plan for this fight. The end result is a 3-potion fight if everything goes well. A lot of things can still go wrong though, so this is a heavy reset-point. Getting hit at the start of the fight is not ideal, but I was soon back on plan again and the rest of the fight went very well. I even managed to regain all hitpoints. (see sdakb for more details)
* I've changed the approach in the yellow room with Delia's art pieces. Instead of randomly throwing a potion and fight my way through the left side, I've studied the possible potion trajectories and now aim to take out the two art pieces to the left with a potion and then fight the right piece with the hammer. The most important in this fight is for the potion to take care of the two art pieces on the left side, which it did in this attempt (~50% chance?). With the amount of RNG in play in this (and many other!) room, it's pretty much never going to be a perfect fight, but this was actually pretty close to it. (see sdakb for more details)
* Slightly bad luck against the stools that I didn't regain any health and instead got hit, but in the end a good fight, where the health situation didn't really matter.
* Overall, very good stage.

Stage 3-3 (Attic I, overhead)
* Taking two hits in the room with the footballers' legs is the standard outcome (it's sometimes possible to get through by only taking one hit, but that's a rare exception).
* The fly room is maybe the most random part of the game. Very good fight this time and far above average. I even managed to re-collect the swatter, which came to good use later on.
* The mouse room is another very random room, almost on the same level as the fly room. Unfortunately, not the best outcome this time. I had to chase the mouse a bit on the far right side. The perfect outcome here is if the mouse runs through the narrow corridor to the left room, but that is a very uncommon event. I'd say this room is the most improvable part of the run. The improvement potential mainly lies in using the reset button until the mouse decides to behave though and not through better execution.
* The fly swatter came to good use in the last room thanks to a bug in the flies' hit detection (see sdakb). Likely saved me a life in the end. Unfortunately, a somewhat ugly execution mistake when throwing the swatter and then having some trouble getting through the mirror.
* Overall, decent stage. Could have been great with a better mouse room though.

Stage 3-4 (Graveyard)
* The only RNG-element in the graveyard stage is whether you get an invincibility flower or not in the tower. It's still possible to get through the tower without flower and only minor time losses. Getting the flower is still much preferred though. Fortunately, I got the flower in this run.
* For some reason, I tend to have trouble with the execution in this level (it doesn't feel like it should be that difficult). This was a good runthrough that I'm happy with though.

Stage 4 (Attic II, overhead)
This level used to be relaxing and safe, but is now a major run-breaker. In my previous SDA-run, I saved two potions for the sweeper fight. This is not 100% guaranteed to work, but still very consistent. The downside is that only one potion can be active at once. Waiting for the first potion to exhaust before throwing the second one is ~7s slower. After having analyzed the situation and possible potion trajectories, I eventually started attempting 1-potion fights (see sdakb). I lost a few attempts on sub-11 pace to this, but still decided to keep trying until the stars aligned.

Stage 5 (Afterlife)
* Got slightly stuck on the controls when in the menu at the start of the level. Not completely sure what happened there.
* Slightly new route towards the first ticket (actually #4), saving 0.5-1s over the old route.
* It's possible to avoid the frog on right side (above the "crane"). I haven't found a consistent setup for it though and don't have a high success rate. Getting hit (1s loss) is definitely standard.
* Acceptable/average final level.

Final thoughts
I'm happy with this run. I was actually very close to settle with my previous pb (the one with crazy good RNG and poor execution), which I know would have continued to annoy me. While the submitted run is far from perfect, it's definitely a much better-looking run and one that doesn't make me cringe when watching. I feel like I can leave this behind as a final product without any big regrets (even though one of course always in hindsight wish that some parts had been even better).

A few of the strats used in this run were picked up from other runners, who deserve to be mentioned:
* 'Bartaan' - discovered the shortcut between the first and second cavern monsters in stage 2
* 'bassguy' - discovered that the fly swatter could be put to good use in the last room in the attic
* 'JSR' - for finding a new setup in the graveyard by letting the octopus pass by before jumping (around 8:55 in the video). This is a spot I've had trouble with in the past and JSR's method is more consistent for me and might even be slightly faster than the previous method I used.

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