Released in November, 2001, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a first-person shooter and a reboot of one of the granddaddies of the genre - Wolfenstein 3D. Just like the predecessor, it features a lot of Nazis being killed and a lot of technology one might classify as anachronistic. However, the parallels end when you realise RtCW lets you move your head in two dimensions. And also when you notice it actually has a semblance of a plot.
Best time, I am Death Incarnate difficulty (hard): 0:36:58 by Dmitry 'KhanFusion' K. on 2010-06-27, done in 26 segments.
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This run is based on and inspired by s1cksyst3m's(InsaneB4st4rd) run posted on youtube. Without his run I wouldn't even have played this game. RtCW isn't particularly speed run friendly game and even though it's based on id Tech 3 engine and allows you to strafe jump just like in Quake 3 or Quake Live, it's completely devoid of rocket jumping. Also map designers filled the levels with invisible walls and auto kill triggers so there are not too many shortcuts and most of the time you go through the game using the intended routes.
Mission 1 Part 2. Before you can trigger the first door to unlock, almost all enemies must be killed in the first area. The problem is that two of them (an officer and a radioman) usually remain hidden on the second floor and you have to go there to clear them up. I'm not even sure that making more noise helps here as the radioman always gets alerted, but most of the time he seems to get stuck.
Mission 1 Part 3. The tramcar starts moving when you run up the stairs, not when you pull the lever.
Mission 2 Part 2. I take a quick look at the corpse-eating zombie to time when to go and throw a lever so that the zombie is right under the grated gate when it falls. I then step into the passage you exit from if you don't take the shortcut or two zombies in the next room won't spawn. And there is, of course, an invisible wall right after the collapsing bridge.
Mission 2 Part 4. Four elite guards in the hall right after the dialog are spawned at random locations so this place is a pain even if you don't speed run it. Mauser rifle remedies the situation drawing them out in the open and to the door.
Mission 2 Part 5. This is where dynamite picked up in part one comes into play. You must resist the temptation to use it against the zombies. Killing Olaric quickly causes all the zombies to spawn immediately and their positions will be more or less predictable.
Mission 3 Part 1. The final time for this mission is determined at the 20th second when I reach a trigger and the truck starts moving. Guards at the first house must be dealt with or they will raise the alarm. And at the end I mistook some of the boxes for a technician which cost me 12 health.
Mission 3 Part 3. Keeping to the left wall at the start allows you to approach the squad of soldiers unseen so that most of them don't even notice you slip by.
Mission 3 Part 4. Could have built some momentum before the gate lowered.
Mission 4 features several shortcuts, but otherwise is very straightforward.
Mission 5 Part 2. The first protosoldier barely returns fire since he is participating in a scripted event. There are lots of such events and if earlier in the game they were merely convenient, like when you first meet several zombies and can bypass them completely, from now on they become life and time savers.
Mission 5 Part 3. Getting to the platform above the super soldier guarantees that he will only use his weak tesla gun and it allows you to proceed to the exit immediately after you kill him. Unfortunately it's shielded by an invisible wall so you can't just strafe jump to it. However, a walkway to the right is left open and there are some gas tanks beneath that do reasonable amount of damage and could be used to reach the walkway. But the level designers in their never ending solicitude placed a kill trigger right on top of the tanks so that if you are above them when they explode you will get some nice vertical boost but not before you get torn into pieces. Well, la-dee-da.
Mission 6 Part 1. Jumping in the air shaft depletes your stamina but is a bit faster than walking. It's a fair trade off.
Mission 6 Part 2. In this heavily scripted stealth level alarm gets sounded not when noise is made but only when some of the enemies are alerted and not killed quickly enough. The first victim officer has two conflicting needs: to check out what is going on downstairs and to hide in his room. For the former to prevail you need to shoot constantly. The fifth officer dies when he runs out of his room right into the flames.
Mission 6 Part 3. In the storeroom it's possible to run past the soldiers unnoticed instead of dropping barrels on their heads. Lost 1.5 seconds here. Then I intentionally raise the alarm to cause some more enemies to spawn including one armed with a venom gun. Getting some venom gun ammo is crucial for the upcoming bossfight, but this whole mission has only two boxes of it and they are not along the route.
Mission 6 Part 4. Most significant AI abuse in the run. When the second soldier steps out of the tunnel where he spawns he is given the order to go to the pillars and just like the protosoldier from the previous mission he does not pay much attention to anything else.
Mission 7 Part 2. The zombies in the first room are invincible while they are unburrowing. It is possible to cancel their unburrowing animation earlier but it does not make them vulnerable. The third zombie is the last you can kill and the dynamite goes off as soon as that zombie digs out. Also there was no need to use the flamethrower at all, I just felt like it.
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