54. Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy (1990, NES) by Bandai

Current Any% Leaderboard (speedrun.com)

This game is impossible.  That is what I was told.

I gotta say, casually, this game is pretty damned hard.  The clues are abstract and hidden behind tough enemies, the guns are hard to aim, the ammo is limited.  To top it all off, you only get one Dick and if you lose him, it’s Riparooni, as there’s no extra lives or continues (there is a password system, but it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it screen, and it doesn’t save your inventory or mid-mission progress). It’s a shame, as this is a pretty game with decent music and controls.  Dick Tracy is based on a film starring Warren Beatty, Madonna, and Al Pacino, and the movie is a lot of fun; the game does an alright job of following the story, despite major characters missing and the settings not necessarily coming from the movie.

Learning this would’ve been hard without Zerfall’s work in the (current as of the Trial’s end) WR run.  This is a BIG game for the NES.  Luckily, the game doesn’t allow you to stray too far, as most buildings are empty if there’s nothing inside of them for you to explore.  The speedrun skips all of the unnecessary hints and clues and weapons.  Instead, you go directly to the areas that hold evidence to convict the bosses, and a few weapons and first aid kits are around for you to rely on.  These are godsends, although your gun is enough to get by with, it becomes a very tough game near the end as the enemies begin brandishing Tommy guns and the game struggles to keep up with the NES hardware’s sprite limit.

This game was easy to route, tough to learn, and EASY to speedrun.  I can not believe that there is (well, was) only one run on this leaderboard.  It’s not a hidden gem of the NES library or anything, but man this is better than a LOT of the NES’ library, and it has an awful reputation for no reason.  Are you an NES speedrunner?  You could do FAR worse…

Leave a reply