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Serious Sam: The First Encounter HD, a 2009 remake of a 2001 PC game developed by Croteam, is the first game in the Serious Series. There's a plot involving an alien overlord named Mental, but really, it's just an excuse to shoot large numbers of ridiculous enemies. The game pioneers the series trademark: dumping you in huge arenas with hordes of enemies, and then sending more enemies against you at once than many other games have total.


Individual-levels run on Tourist difficulty in 0:37:23:

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Level name Time Date Player
Hatshepsut 0:00:34 2012-06-02 'Freezard'
Sand Canyon 0:01:20 2012-06-02 'Freezard'
Tomb of Ramses III 0:01:32 2012-06-02 'Freezard'
Valley of the Kings 0:02:26 2012-06-02 'Freezard'
Moon Mountains 0:01:05 2014-10-20 Yoann 'Yoyoshi' Decamps
Oasis 0:00:46 2014-09-29 Nikita 'Tezur0' Buriak
Dunes 0:01:49 2012-06-03 'Freezard'
Suburbs 0:00:53 2012-04-14 'Freezard'
Sewers 0:01:00 2009-12-31 Mirko Brown
Metropolis 0:06:35 2014-09-29 Nikita 'Tezur0' Buriak
Alley of the Sphinxes 0:04:10 2012-06-03 'Freezard'
Karnak 0:05:24 2012-04-17 'Freezard'
Luxor 0:02:21 2012-06-03 'Freezard'
Sacred Yards 0:01:46 2012-04-20 'Freezard'
The Great Pyramid 0:05:42 2012-04-20 'Freezard'

Freezard's comments:

For information about tricks and a list of changes compared to the original game, visit the SDA Strategy Wiki.

This all started after having watched ShadowWraith's 49:15 non-HD run. Since I had recently been playing HD: TFE a lot I was wondering if I could improve his time with some new tricks, considering the run was a bit old. Eventually I got a sub-40 minute single-segment run which I also submitted, but at the same time I had been improving the IL times over at SSDQ significantly. I realized I was happier about those than my SS run, so I pulled it and submitted my IL runs instead. Although the IL table is a few seconds slower than my SS run, it includes both of the secret levels, which in reality makes it over 3 minutes faster. I want to thank Mirko Brown for completing the IL table with his impressive Sewers run - that level really is a lot more difficult to run than it looks.

A straightforward level, I don't see how you can improve this one.

Sand Canyon
I thought 1:21 was good, but then I got 1:20 while running single-segmented. It's a bit luck based because sometimes the three Kamikazes won't die in one shot due to different positioning. The Kleer boost pattern is the fastest possible, and the hopper fight was quick.

Tomb of Ramses III
The first trick involves getting a Gnaar to follow you and help you over a door. It can take some time before one decides to do so, but it's usually not a big problem. The second trick is more difficult, as I'm doing a series of jumps to quickly get up on the platform above. You don't see it, but the last jump is on a floating Gnaar. If I didn't have to wait for the Kleer to skip the final room, it would have been a 1:31, but I haven't found a consistent way of doing that part.

Valley of the Kings
The bull riding could have been better, but the boss fight went perfect. I'm getting the Gold ankh without pressing any buttons thanks to floating Gnaars, then I use one to not only get me out of the level, but also to float me to the ending part, which saves about 1:40.

Getting to the arena went pretty well, but can be done faster. The arena battle is all about killing the green Reptiloids as soon as possible. Normally you would use three rockets each to kill them, but the turbo laser trick used here is much faster. Optimally it would take one second to kill each Reptiloid so there's room for improvement.

Killing the first Minor Biomechanoid spawns a Kleer that can boost you through the whole level if lucky, as happened in this run. Falling down the well without hitting anything is actually extremely difficult; the developers added extra geometry to it in the HD game and the 'secret platform' is now gigantic just so won't be able to miss it. I think this might actually be the only time I managed to fall through cleanly.

Out of nowhere, Freezard showed up and rampaged through the game. Luckily this run survived. The first tricky thing is getting out of the water, as fast as possible. While diving to the switch, you need to kill some of the fishes. Otherwise they will push you in every direction, but not in the direction you need. The biggest time saver in this level is the Kleer boost towards the wall, which goes down while approaching it. You get a bigger boost than in the non-HD version, so you can get through it before the wall blocks the entrance. While underwater you just need to go straight forward and try to get boosted into a fish, otherwise they will boost you in the wrong direction.

Alley of the Sphinxes
This is probably the most boring level to run due to the slow beginning. The first bull jump happened automagically which I have no complaints against, and then a very sweet Werebull transported me to the wall and let me over. I mistimed the first jump, but it only cost me a couple of seconds. The arena battle is basically about killing everything you see while placing out all four items, followed by a Lava Golem fight which sometimes causes trouble, but luckily not in this run.

Getting the Werebull to follow you is really annoying, as it often gets stuck or just rushes straight forward, dumb as it is. The arena battle is much like in Metropolis - only a few things matter: killing the final Kamikaze, killing both Arachnoids, killing the final waves of Harpies, killing both Arachnoids, and finally killing three Major Biomechanoids. Since I'm timing the spawns to kill the enemies instantly with the Cannon, the hardest part is the Harpies, but overall it went really well.

This level has had a series of improvements compared to the 3:53 run by Ewil. The biggest one came from getting on top of the roof by jumping on Harpies, which allows you to skip a few events, bringing down the time to 2:58. After I discovered the floating Gnaar tricks I realized it was possible to go out of bounds directly to the exit in the final area, skipping the final event entirely. This made it even more difficult though since you have to do another Harpy jump to jump down to a room and gather the Gnaars, then manipulate a Gnaar in the end to get you high up and then down through the unclipped wall. The good thing is that all the jumps went perfect in this run. The bad thing is I got no boosts by the Gnaars whatsoever, and the last Gnaar wasn't helpful in dropping me down to the exit (yes, you're right - most of the time he will try to kill you). Along with these skips, I'm also using a Kleer to get me to the statue which triggers the Harpies a few seconds faster.

Sacred Yards
First you will be boosted by Harpies, then by Fish when coming up the water. They were all pretty good. The button room is skipped by pressing one of the buttons in order to spawn some helpful Kleers and withdraw one of the metal bars from the door. I knock back a Kleer and then jump on him while he's charging to get onto the metal bars and over the door, which is one of the most difficult tricks in the game. After grabbing the first statue I stun another Kleer for some more boosting. Unfortunately I killed him by accident when I tried to lure him to boost me some more, but other than that it went pretty much perfect.

The Great Pyramid
Normally you have to endure a 10 minute long battle here, but you can escape it by killing all the Kleers until Werebulls appear and perform a double bull jump over the wall. It's actually pretty easy to do, and will give you a final time of ~9 minutes instead of 15. However, I found a way to get out already during the Kleer waves, which cuts off another 3 minutes. It involves running on Kleers to build up enough momentum to get boosted against the slope and over the wall. It's very random in how fast you get it, but I got it on the second try here - insanely fast. When out of the arena, you face yet another random part - bull boosting galore. Luckily I got some nice boosts in this run. Once you reach the pyramid, the health bar of the final boss will appear and there is a roughly 2 minutes and 10 seconds countdown until the door opens. Taking care of Ugh-Zan III himself is actually really easy. The only problem is that he will heal back up if you damage him too much, but I've never failed using the strategy shown here.

Thanks to:

Yoann Decamps's comments:

Moon Mountains

So I've got 1:05 by using the trick at the pit. I've discovered that trick randomly by jumping on the edge. It's a big time-save of 21 seconds from the previous route done by Freezard. I don't think 1:04 is possible because I finish at the end of the second.
The trick is not so hard. You have to jump when you touch the edge of the ground to by pushed over the void. And because you did a jump, you can move and go back on the left. Thanks to that, you reach directly the end.
Thanks for reading and watching, this is my first submission on SDA !

Nikita 'Tezur0' Buriak's comments:


that one is tricky, because the position where you "catch" the harpy is very special and you can get stuck there. Also the chance of Harpy throwing you off while rising is higher than normally. You need to go over trigger as you start rising here, so that you don't get teleported at the beginning of a stage. When you crouch all your momentum goes to 0, that's how I slow down.


that stage has 3 difficult parts: first is the harpy manipulation -> you want to kill arachnid at the very special spot, so that harpy will be just under you at the required moment of time. Second is the Harpy Flight itself, it wasn't brilliant in here, but this is the best IL I've gotten so w/e. Third is harpy fight. It is just hard to do fast. Also using turbo laser trick.

Shoutouts to BigJim for showing off Harpy Flight in action.

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