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Ninja Baseball Bat Man, is a 1993 beat 'em up developed and published by Irem Corporation in association with its North American division Irem America exclusively as an arcade game. It unfolds with you playing as 1 of 4 Baseball bat (or Ball) wielding characters each with their own pros and cons, it is their task to save the world from evil baseball equipment which has come to life along with a few other things ... was that a a plane?.

NinjaBaseballBatMan   NinjaBaseballBatMan

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Multiplayer : 0:29:32 by Travis 'Klaige' Nible, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman, Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare .

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Author's comments:

MURPHAGATOR! here, Im going to give some background information about this run. This happened shortly after PJ and I finally got our superguns, opening a whole new world of timewasting impossible video games for us to run. That said, this particular run was performed at SGDQ 2014 after we ran it for the marathon. As with most brawlers, there is a lot of randomness to doing runs, and reacting to situations is as important as having a gameplan. However, since netplay for this game is finnicky, basically all the planning and practice had to be done on site. Having 4 players dramatically increases the number of enemies the game spawns and increases some of their health values, so significant planning based on single player routes wasnt really possible. Additional time to play and do attempts would have allowed us more planning in the best time to use super attacks, where everyone should be, and to take riskier boss strategies instead of taking the ones that reduced risk, but such is the nature of organizing four people in a very limited timeframe.

Anyways, some basic information about each character thats useful for why certain strategies were used.

Captain Jose - played by MechaRichter. Jose is the 'balanced' character of the cast, being good at most things and great at none in particular. His fire kick attack is notable since it will instantly kill enemies who burn. His other special attack is mediocre since it requires running to perform and is fairly slow to startup. His super is useful since the explosions linger, and his OTG attack is extremely fast.

Twinbats Ryno - played by MURPHAGATOR!. Ryno is the 'speed' character of the group. He has the ability to walljump and to effectively double jump using his flying attack. He has by far the best special attack in thunder kick. This attack does big damage, is very fast, and can be performed at heights and distances that the AI is very poor at responding to. It also can hit most enemies when they are on the ground. His super attack is generally not very useful since only the last attack does damage, and that attack tends to miss when there are large groups of enemies or when other players are attacking enemies. Rynos OTG attack is also extremely fast.

Beanball Rogar - played by PJDicesare. Rogar is the 'power' character of the group, but has some attacks with unusual properties that let him get away with very odd tactics. His belly shove attack does extremely high damage to enemies who cant be knocked down. His belly splash attack leaves him completely invulnerable while he recovers from it, which lets him setup situations like the one against ghost buffalo at the start of the fight. His special attack, foil buster, grabs an enemy for good damage, but sometimes likes to grab nothing and go through the animation anyways. He can also purposefully miss the grab initiation part to setup infinite combos. His super attack is extremely useful since the only hit does good damage, has no gaps on the screen, and lasts a long time so other players cant really make it miss.

Stick Strawberry - played by Klaige. Stick is focused on his long reaching attacks. The last hit of his standing attack string, in particular, reaches both in front and behind him about 1/3 of the screen length. His poke attack does fantastic damage if both hits connect, but is somewhat limited by the range required for both hits and its short vertacle hitbox. His special, royal stinger, does good damage like the other specials, but has a high tendacy to be interrupted during the startup due to the height and angle he approaches at, and has a long delay between the rapid hits and the bomb dropped at the end. His super attack is the best of the bunch, summoning a dragon that can hit multiple times for its full damage and covering the whole screen for an extremely long duration.

Onto stage specific stuff.

Stage 1 - introduces most of the common foes that persist through the game. Theres honestly not a lot interesting during the stage itself.

The boss, Windy Plane, is mostly harmless, but whenever he is knocked down or a part of him breaks off, he counterattacks with an uppercut that is completely invulnerable, so we have to back off until he completes the uppercut.

Stage 2 - San Fransico, California. The first appearance of the cars, which are silly and overpowered. Also the jackolanterns, who cant be hit on the ground but otherwise are pretty basic grunts. The formation baseball also shows up here. He can do some pretty insane patterns where he punches backwards and hits with the startup of the attack, so he is a big potential risk. Theres also smoke clouds and mini bikes which are both instantly killed by any attack, even ones that normally dont do damage. Finally, the squids, who are complete jerks who have tons of health and interrupt everything given half a chance.

Mad Lax rounds out the stage. This is the first boss where the standing attacks can be effectively used to lock down indefinitely, so he is mostly harmless.

Bonus stage - mash hard to squeeze ball.

Stage 3 - Las Vegas, Nevada. The casinos introduces some interesting enemies. The playing cards act differently by color, but are all instantly killed by fire or forward throw attacks. The robots cant be knocked down in any way.

Deffending Slot is the boss here. Mostly he can be handled the same way as Mad Lax, but instead of having random enemies spawn, he is automatically knocked down and made invulnerable at several points during the fight. In theory, we could let him attack in hopes of getting the slots attack and start doing big damage moves, but the timeframe restriction to get this run made it an infeasible decision for us.

Stqge 4 - Houston, Texas. The horror theme modifies the basic baseball sprites but they act the same way. Most of the living objects are one hit kills, with the exceptions of the armoir and the fridges. The flying jackolantern is a huge pain to attacks, but thunder kick can hit him regardless of height. The spinning room is extremely obnoxious since when the explosive baseballs spawn it becomes nearly impossible for everyone to dodge the explosions.

Ghost Buffalo leads the spooks. He has 4 distinct phases, between which he teleports to a random location. Rogar takes care of the first form nicely, the rest are spent scrambling for someone to score a good hit.

Stage 5 - Miami Florida. This stage is interesting since at the time of the games creation, it is the only one of the stages which did not host a major baseball team. This stage introduces the drill baseballs and electric baseballs, both of whom have quite a bit of health and can dish out major pain. The flip side is that the drill baseballs can drop health if hit after they throw the drill, and if killed before they escape, their corpses can be thrown as very powerful weapons. The crabwalkers are also introduced here, but they are mostly harmless. The fire kick here might be the greatest strat we found in the entire game.

Mechanical Alligator is the head of this group. His primary attacks include spinning in place and one of the fastest ground punches possible. Thunder kick gives this boss a pretty tough time, especially with help from OTG attacks from the others.

Bonus stage - punch the ball! PJ purposefully sandbagged here to allow Klaige to get the 1up. We required that we 1cc the game for submission, so based on our lives we felt this was the best play.

Stage 6 - Chicago Illinois. Chicago is the home of crime dogs who like to shoot guns and bite. Most of these guys health values are just above what the standing attack string does, so we try to use OTG attacks to finish them off. They are also one of the few enemes that thunder kick doesnt hit when on the ground.

Makeshift Villain is the alpha dog in the territory. This fight looked pretty sloppy because we dealt so much damage at the start of the fight that it triggered his last phase (where he goes completely nuts) earlier than intended.

Stage 7 - New York. This whole stage is complete chaos. We try to make the most of our super attacks to kill the biggest waves, including intentionally dying to get more uses. The boss rush here is odd since it consists only of the formation baseballs and Windy Plane.

King Babe is the big boss man of the game. If this guy gets loose its an automatic disaster. His hitboxes are all completely unfair, and his targetting is so agressive and random in 4 players that regrouping is almost impossible. Fortunately, he has no way to escape getting full comboed by the entire team.

Ryno : 0:21:14 by Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy .

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Author's comments:

So after the 4 player run was finished at SGDQ, I committed myself to getting a single player run of the game with Ryno. Single player is different from multiplayer in two key ways. The first is that multiplayer has significantly more spawns than single player, and the second is that bosses have more health in multiplayer. These things together with the huge amount of slowdown created in multiplayer resulted in this run being 8 minutes faster than the single player run.

There are several places in the game where there are large frame rules due to animations happening in the background, especially when there is a blimp. Rynos ability to move quickly while attacking with thunder kick in conjunction with Ryno's super attack means very few waves survive longer than it takes them to spawn, so a significant portion of the run is just waiting for these frame rules or for spawning waves to complete. Of course, this relies on Ryno's super to hit all the enemies correctly, which it frequently does not.

Another item of note is that Ryno has two different versions of the thunder kick available to him. The default method, jumping and inputting up, down, jump, results in Ryno firing several bullets which do no damage before kicking. By using Rynos command fly during a jump before the input, it changes to an instant version which skips the bullets. The height reached while doing this input is high enough to evade many enemies scripted counter-attacks for jumps, and combined with the angle of the kick means Ryno constantly threatens enemies on his plane regardless of the distance. The downside is that the bullets are useful in many situations for getting basic enemies to group up to all get hit at once by a single kick.

Stage 1 - There’s not really a whole lot of interesting stuff going on here, the stage is kind on an intro to the game and so most enemies are introduced one or two at a time to let you learn what they do. It is possibly to hit both of the catchers mitts with the first thunder kick but it depends on where the second on land. At the end after clearing out the baseball bats, I break as many seats as possible to reduce lag.
Windy Plane is pretty much a joke for Ryno. Jumping near him forces his AI to attempt to counter-attack, but the fly into thunder kick goes over his counter. I purposefully drop the loop once to manipulate his health; otherwise he breaks at an odd time and requires two additional thunder kicks, as well as dropping out of the loop anyways.

Stage 2 - I avoid all the enemies at the start in order to reduce lag frames from car collisions. This stage introduces squids, which are a completely obnoxious enemy. They try to move behind you very aggressively, and are one of the few enemies with an effective counter to jumping. The first set are easy to dispatch with thunder kick since they spawn one at a time, but the second set can be a gigantic headache. Fortunately they grouped up very well this time.
Mad Lax is the single most random boss for Ryno. If Mad Lax stops off-plane from me, he will spawn several enemies who will create huge amounts of lag. This is the fewest enemies I’ve ever seen Mad Lax spawn, which probably saved 10 seconds just in lag frames.
Bonus stage is just mashing. I could save a couple seconds here if I was better at mashing, but such is life.

Stage 3 - This stage introduces the card enemies, who are pretty great since several attacks can instantly kill them. Otherwise the stage is mostly positioning and knowing when to use supers, so there’s not much to say.
Deffending [sic] Slot is a completely determinate fight for Ryno. The first phase I basically thunder kick him as early as possible. During the second phase, I delay the kick slightly so it hits just after he stands to create a nice loop. The third phase is a single thunder kick so it basically is just an earlier kick compared to the second phase.

Stage 4 - This stage has a lot of food available, and a lot of enemies who die instantly from any hit. Since Rynos super starts hitting as soon as it starts, this means he gets effective use out of doing his super at almost every possible opportunity.
Ghost Buffalo is the second most random boss. He has 4 phases, and teleports to a random location after each phase. I stood in an incorrect location at the start, and got pretty mediocre luck overall during the fight, but nothing too drastic after the good luck thus far in the run.

Stage 5 - This stage introduces several odd enemies who can be a pretty big pain, primarily the drill baseballs and electric baseballs. Fortunately, the drill baseballs leave their skeletons behind, which can be thrown as a powerful weapon. The floor just before the boss is very chaotic and has a lot of health available, so I use multiple supers even though it releases several additional enemies.
Mechanical Alligator is very vulnerable to thunder kick loops. His biggest thing of note is that at about half health, his tail breaks off and begins flailing around to attack you. I missed the boss multiple times due to his deceptively small hitbox on the ground, but recovered well enough to make it not amount to too much.
Another bonus game follows, again mashing better would be good.

Stage 6 - The mafia dogs here are interesting since they generally have fairly limited spawn rates. They also are notable as one of the few enemies who cannot be hit on the ground by thunder kick. That said, the blue dogs are fairly passive while the red ones are very aggressive, so usually attacking blue dogs can catch red ones piling in.
Makeshift Villain is an interesting boss. His first phase is fairly passive, wandering slowly to get in position and fire. Once he loses his hat, he speeds up dramatically to get into proper range for his gun. He's the only enemy I know of that can actually outrun Ryno during a thunder kick (which he does once during this fight). None of this makes him particularly difficult for Ryno, but he is at least interesting.

Stage 7 - This stage pretty much just throws massive swarms of enemies at you. Fortunately, most of them can grouped pretty well by thunder kick, and the stragglers with super attacks. This particular run goes mostly better than how I plan it to go, which lets me conserve health for later in the stage.
The Windy Plane refight is mostly different due to drastically increased health and additional enemy spawns. The extra spawns gave me very bad luck and interrupted me, but Windy Plane himself didn’t give me any trouble.
The King Babe is a pretty easy but still stressful fight for Ryno. The first kick requires fairly precise timing without a great cue in order to prevent him from escaping. After that, I hit him on the ground with thunder kick and use the cyclone follow-up. Babe only has two possible actions to respond to this with. He can stand up and try to swing at me, which results in him getting hit by the cyclone and knocked down into the same situation. The other possibility is him jumping away. If he does this, I wait for him to jump at me and thunderkick him, once again leading to the same situation. This is pretty tense because if I miss-time the kick and Babe lands, he will swing and hit me out of the kick. I have no idea which pattern is faster, but ultimately it doesn’t amount to too much since its random.

So ends the quest for the golden statue. I'd like to thank PJ, MechaRichter, and Klaige for doing the co-op run with me and giving me the motivation to complete this run. Thanks to all the SDA staff for maintaining such an awesome site for runners to post videos to. And thank you to everyone who checks this run out and enjoys it.

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