For information about speedrunning Adventure Island 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):
2013-Jun-28 - 0:37:21 by ktwo (http://archive.org/download/2013-10-27-SDA_Speed_Runs/
This game and me go back a long time. According to my first post in the forum, I started speedrunning it some time during the summer of 2011. At that time, I was playing on PAL. It took me pretty much a year and a great deal of effort before I got a run I was happy with.
The following year, I finally took the step over to NTSC (better late than never). One of the first games I then tried my hands on was Adventure Island. My goal was simply to put up a time for the NTSC-version. After two weeks or so, I got a deathless run that was the fastest reported run (although there wasn't really anyone speedrunning this game properly then). The run itself was pretty terrible though and the recording even worse. I was experimenting with recording with my Dazzle, which ended up with a lot of inserted frames. I still decided it achieved the goal I had.
As time passed on, I felt more and more that my NTSC-run was a mistake that I had to correct at some point in time. Eventually, I decided that it would be my next game after I was done with Ikari Warriors. I therefore began working on this game again late summer 2017 to finally be able to lay this game to rest. The attempt that ended up in this submission was quite unexpected. After a break of around 2 months, I was slowly picking up from where I left off. This run basically came without being completely up-to-speed. Unfortunately, I feel this can be noticed in some areas, where I made mistakes that I usually manage to avoid.
While speedrunning this game, I posted short updates in the bio section of my twitch page. To preserve some of the history this run has gone through, I'll just copy-paste those notes here:
Edit (2017-08-19): I should have most of the levels memorized enough for starting to make full-game attempts. I'll probably still continue playing on good attempts instead of resetting so I can get more practice of later levels.
Edit (2017-09-08): My first completed attempt since I picked this game up again ended with a 37:29. It included a death that cost ~21 seconds. Based on that attempt, a 37:05 would probably look very good, while over 37:10 would probably start looking questionable.
Edit (2017-09-10): A good attempt (~37:07 pace) that ended in 8-3 is my pb so far in terms of proper attempts go.
Edit (2017-09-26): I managed to get my first completed attempt without deaths, 37:08 (offline). The execution was a bit rough and I lost the skateboard in 6-1, so I hope that I can bring the time down by another 5 seconds or so. (I've found several new time savers, so my estimate is a bit lower than what I wrote in one of my previous edits)
Edit (2017-09-28): My best online attempt was completed in 37:25. It had a death in 8-1, but was otherwise good and probably on pace for around 37:02.
Edit (2017-11-12): The first stream in a while. I've continued doing offstream attempts though. I've found several new time savers, but all of them are small, so there is no change to the estimate (I would probably be content with a 37:03, pretty happy with a 37:02, happy with a 37:01, and so on). I'm now up to 5 proper attempts reaching world 8.
Edit (2018-02-10): I'm making a new attempt to complete a run I'm happy with of this game. There are only a few very minor changes to the route since my last update.
I'll comment here on noteworthy events of this particular attempt. For more detailed level comments, refer to the guide in the sdakb linked above. It's not possible to go into detail of what has changed since my previous run. The changes are simply too numerous to list. I'm guessing it's in the vicinity of 70 changes or so that I've made to the routes. While the new run is better executed, the vast majority of the time save comes from the improved routes. Maybe 13 seconds or so (give or take)?
1-2 It's possible to save half a second by using riskier strats (see sdakb). Even though it's early, the tricks needed were too precise for me to include.
1-4 I collected a carrot before the first rolling boulder. The jump in between the fruits is somewhat precise and I miss it fairly frequently. The same jump has to be done three more times in the run. I got the other jumps. 3 out of 4 is ok-ish.
2-1 I always attempt a speed manipulation in the last section. There is no consistent way to speed manipulate on foot, so it's random if you get it or not, but on average it's definitely worth going for it. I didn't get the speed manipulation in this attempt, which would have saved around a quarter of a second.
2-2 I always attempt a speed manipulation in this stage as well. It's difficult to say for sure if I got it, but I believe I didn't get it in this attempt. Only a handful of frames lost though.
2-4 A 5-jump boss fight is always a let-down, but sadly something that happens most of the time. To do it in 4 jumps, you can only miss one fireball. Around half a second lost.
3-1 I didn't land properly on the second to last platform in the moving platform section and had to make a "brake jump" to avoid falling down. A little over half a second lost.
3-3 It's possible to save a little less than half a second by using riskier strats (see sdakb). The tricks required were a bit too tight for me to use in attempts though.
3-4 5 jumps on the boss is the best I can do with the setup I use.
4-2 One unintentional apple collected at the end of section 3 (8 frames lost). It's somewhat tight to avoid it, but I still rarely pick it up, so a bit disappointed here. The carrot at the end can be avoided, but appears to depend on the sub-pixel. I haven't been able to figure out a method to manipulate it so it's basically a coin toss. Or actually, I probably skip it only like one out of three or four, so it's not too surprising that I collected it here.
4-3 A few days after this run was completed, I figured out a virtually risk-free way of avoiding one more fruit for a cost of 1 frame. See in the sdakb.
4-4 Disaster... I unintentionally collected a fruit during the jump before the line of frogs. This distracted me and I didn't speed manipulate, which resulted in me riding at 80 speed for too long. I also lost my board right before the very end, which is painful to look back on. Almost one second lost in total. At least the boss fight was decent. 6 jumps is to be expected (5 jumps is very tough and requires no missed attacks).
5-1 By jumping from the last cloud over the fruit, you can avoid the last small jump, which would save around 8 frames. That jump isn't too hard, but failing it will either lead to collecting the fruit or dropping into the sea. It's late enough in the run that I don't want to add any risk of that kind for such a small time save.
5-3 16 frames lost due to two unintentional fruits collected (the last banana in the moving platform section and the banana in the last platform section). It's also possible to save half a second in the moving platform section (see sdakb). I feel that it should be possible with enough work to include it in a speedrun attempt, but I never got consistent enough to really go for it.
5-4 A mistake half-way through at the first racoon. I missed shooting a rock, which almost always results in me crashing into it instead (= reset). I managed to save it this time, but for a bit of lost time and an additional fruit collected. The boss fight was awkward. I started attacking too early and got misaligned with the first boss attack. Normally, you can just keep attacking and the boss's fireball will pass below Higgins. Anyway, I had to steer out of the way and ended up with a 7-jump fight. I would have liked a 6-jump fight. A little over a second lost on the fight alone.
6-2 Unnecessary mistake near the end. Which fruits to collect have been carefully planned out. I messed up and collected a fruit too many (at the very end of the ice section). Because of the eggplant, I needed to brake near the top to fix the situation or the energy would have run out. Half a second lost.
6-3 The beginning is very risky and after a lot of trying back and forth, I settled with a compromise where I traded half a second for safety. The faster route is shown in the sdakb. I also had some trouble scaling the steps in section 2, which cost me around half a second. This stage is one of the tougher and something usually goes wrong, so I'm not too upset.
6-4 Terrible boss fight. 10 jumps is far too much. I use a slightly different approach for this fight by starting to attack as early and far away as possible, so it's normal to have a few extra jumps, but 10 that's at least one too many.
7-3 I mistimed the jump on the moving platform before the three birds and had to brake or I would have jumped into the fire. Small time loss though. Half a second could be saved when entering the bonus room (see sdakb). I go for the faster strat in 2-3, but it involves a certain failure rate, which I've decided was not worth having as late in the game as 7-3.
7-4 A 10-jump boss fight is on the high end. I'm also using a fairly conservative strat with only two jumps between each of the boss's fireballs. With the right spacing, it's possible to squeeze in another jump. I often get hit with that strat, so I'm playing it safe at that point.
8-1 In my opinion the hardest stage in the run. Especially when considering how late it comes in the game. However, the stage went pretty much perfect this time. I even got the speed manipulation in the second half of section 2. It only saves a quarter of a second, but still nice.
8-2 I collected a bit too much fruit and the very end can be done faster by not shooting the octopus and bird (to avoid lag). Still, it's a lot about survival at this point, so I'm not complaining.
8-3 Very good stage. I finished with the minimum amount of bonus with the route I'm using. There is another half a second to save in the moving platform section (same as 5-3, see sdakb).
8-4 The last boss fight might look a bit conservative, but it was a good fight for my standards (even though I admit that it can be done faster by being more aggressive and getting 3 attacks to connect per jump).
Once the routes started to settle, I felt that a time I would be happy with would be around 37:03. My sum of best is currently 36:47, so a sub-37 time is very possible to achieve. Very hard though and I'm not sure I've been on a pace, where I could clearly say that it would have been a sub-37 had I only finished. The (very low) 37:05 of this run is therefore partly disappointing. As mentioned above, this run came a bit out of nowhere, while getting back into the game. So there are mistakes I think would have been avoided if I had had more practice. I'm almost certain that another completion without any costly mistakes would beat this time. However, lately this speedrun has sadly been more about "getting the run done" than enjoying a good game to speedrun. So even though I'm not completely satisfied with this run, this is likely my last pb for quite some time.
The amount of hidden eggs appearing in this run is not purely a coincidence. I tried to use every opportunity to show off hidden eggs, where it didn't cost any time. Out of the 58 hidden eggs in the game, I had a chance to reveal 35. I ended up with 31 though (missed ones in 4-4, 6-2 and 2x8-1).