Released in 2001 by Infogrames for the PlayStation, Sheep Dog 'n' Wolf (or Sheep Raider) is a game about a Wolf that steals sheep and his interactions with various Warner Bros. cartoon characters. His name is Ralph. The poor bugger.
Individual-levels run on the European version in 0:56:59:
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|Intro||0:02:53||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 1||0:01:23||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 2||0:01:24||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 3||0:01:34||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 4||0:01:17||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 5||0:02:12||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 6||0:02:50||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 7||0:02:41||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 8||0:04:13||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 9||0:01:35||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 10||0:05:35||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 11||0:05:23||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 12||0:06:34||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 13||0:03:29||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 14||0:01:46||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level 15||0:05:46||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level B-1||0:02:53||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
|Level B-2||0:03:31||2013-07-24||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
This game is also known as Sheep Raider in the US and came out late in the lifespan of the PS1. The first time I played it myself was on a demo shortly before it was released in September 2001, and when I picked it up about 11½ years later, it was still as fun as I remembered. I started recording this run in June 2013 and got the final level done in late July the same year. All levels were played on a PS2 and recorded with a HDD DVD.
When I first started planning routes and testing out different glitches and such, there wasn't much material present. Apart from the floating raft glitch in B1 and small portions of strats on some other levels, I pretty much came up with all strats single-handed, which was a fun task to do. The things I did borrow came from footage on YT uploaded a user called "poomrus", which I, to some extent, owe this run to. The funny thing is that we both seem to have come up with similar, if not the exact same routes for a number of levels, despite the fact that I had no footage uploaded or recorded before I started running, and I came up with most of the routes about a month or two before I discovered his/hers channel. Nevertheless, credits for the parts I've been influenced by goes out in the level comments below.
There are some things that affect the playability of this game, which may be good to know before you start watching (especially if you're not familiar with this game).
With that said, enough with the rambling and let's head for the individual level comments!
Not much to comment, you just run through the map as fast as possible. I should maybe have turned a bit before launching with the rocket, but other than that it's pretty self-explanatory.
Luring the sheep over the bridge in one take saved a good amount of time. You can get the sheep to move over the entire bridge so that you would not have to run back as far to get it, but that's hard to do while maintaining a fast pace. Using a tree in order to reach higher grounds is quite efficient and there will be more examples of this later on as well.
This level was featured on a demo disc back in 2001 and it was the first level I ever played. It was pretty much the same level as I remembered it and there aren't really any shortcuts here that I know of. Running across the field without getting caught is quite tricky, and Sam will catch up with you sometimes and sometimes not, even if you're running the exact same way all the time. Guess that have to do with how much he gets stuck on his flock while trying to reach you.
I redid this segment a couple of times since the sheep wouldn't always move that fast when attracted by the scent, and the sequence when you fling the sheep inside the goal could sometimes make Ralph stand still for about 2 seconds for some reason.
Stopping at the edge of the seesawwas not intended at all, pure luck there. Sneaking up close on Sam and luring a sheep from there is possible, but I decided not to go for that strat since I didn't think that it would save me any time. It's very important to sync Sam's field of vision with your movement so that minimal waiting time is required before sneaking around the rocks. Launching off and landing directly inside the goal looks cool too.
This is possibly the best segment in the entire run. The idea behind the wall skip came to me when I was loading the level and noticed that there wasn't much space between the start area and the mailbox area. It sure felt good when I got through the first time, although it took some training to be able to get all jumps done as fast as possible. Skipping the flute is another nice addition. I got the idea from poomrus videos who used a similar tactic and reworked it a bit to fit a speedrun. Solid run overall, and I'm really happy with how much time I saved.
Even though the bull will throw you through the air, you will complete the level once you and the sheep are inside the goal. It may not look like that from the images, but in terms of speedrunning this is a nice feature that saves a couple of seconds since you don't have to sneak around like you would do normally.
Skipping the flute here by trolling Sam with Ralph's exquisite jump technique is a really nice timesaver. I discovered this trick the first time I played the game when I tried to stand on the small rock next to Sam, with the result of Sam running around like crazy without reaching you. It was easier and faster to just jump over him rather than trying to land on the rock and then run towards the bomb area.
You don't actually think of it at first, but all bombs (that can be disarmed) are possible to jump over or get past in other ways without disarming them first. This saves a great amount of time and it was quite a relief when I noticed that the last two on this level (just by the seesaw) could be skipped too. It's also possible to set off bombs without blowing yourself up, but unfortunately I didn't get any footage of that here.
You might notice that the catapult goes off right after I launched the sheep. The reason for this was that I tried to jump on top of the catapult but landed on the button instead for some unintentional comical effect.
A somewhat irritating level the first time I played it. I skip a huge part of the level by not picking up the mine detector, which is located in a cave underneath the level just to the right of the starting position. Going through the minefield without it is really easy, and Sam sure looks stupid when he runs back and forth across the fence. Man, this game AI is one to watch!
Mentioning the weird camera angels before, this is one level where I got screwed over by it. Near the end the camera turns around in a really strange way so I had to stop for a brief moment, kind of frustrating when that happens. I managed to save up a couple of seconds later when I push the ice block from another bizarre camera angle, but it bugs me out a bit that I had to stop at the first one.
Running across the two floes in the beginning and hitting the geyser right after makes up for a good start. The jump from the crane to the nearby rock is very, very hard to do that fast – basically you have about an inch to stand on and reaching up to the rock with minimal approach takes and endless amount of tries before you actually make it. It may look like it's easy but trust me; it's not. It saves a good amount of time though so it's well worth the wait.
Apart from hitting the mailbox unintentionally I really like this segment. Dashing around the corner where Sam is standing and managing to time it perfectly with the "warp holes" was a chance that turned out great and everything after that went well too.
The first time-travel level out of two. Utterly boring and somewhat anti-speedrun, I think it turned out OK after all. The lava that's flying all over the place can hit you when you least expect it, and I was really having the frames on my side while moving the rock that you use to reach the seesaw while holding the sheep. You may notice how careful I approach the bull with Gossamer behind me; you may get run over by them once the bull start chasing Gossamer around the goal which is not that funny when you've practically done the whole level already.
One of my favorite levels in the game, wide and open with no real obstacles. Jumping past a bunch of bombs and sneaking up on Sam is really efficient when it comes to saving time but I was really lucky that he didn't hear me when I moved towards the sheep. Getting the sheep with you at the first try with the elasticis a bit tricky but nothing out of the ordinary.
This one was believed to be one of the levels that would take most tries, but I got it down much faster than I thought I would. Since you can't do anything special here it comes down to plainly memorize which way to go and what do to in which order. Missed the jump to the seesaw which was bad, but that's nothing major on a level this tedious. The boss itself is chapter of its own; I don't know about you, but the fact that you have to jump in on his territory and THEN run around in circles doesn't make sense to me. The wheels are also way too small to stand on and it's very easy to fall off if you're not careful. I got them rolling pretty fast still, and there aren't any significant mistakes worth mentioning here.
As the first level in the game where you can combine different items to help you in your quest, this one was fun but hard. To bring up the screen where you combine items you have to press SELECT and take it as slow, but fast, as possible, due to the fact that the navigation in this menu seems to be suffering from some latency. It looks like I'm taking it slowly when combining items, but that's about as fast as I can go without doing it wrong. All other menus apart from this are rapid fast so it takes some time to get used to the lack of speed here.
Other than the slow menu system, almost everything went well here. I tried to use the robot as little as possible (e.g. using it as few times as I could) and apart from some screwed up camera work it worked out great. The reason I picked up the second lettuce is because the sheep will ignore the lift and jump straight to it, even if it never comes to any use at all.
At the very last button – the one that you'll place the robot on to make the lift go up – is it possible to place the robot on the edge and therefore not having to use the platform to get there, but the rewarded time is too small to make it worth trying.
To stir things up a bit, here we get a ghost level where Ralph vacuums ghosts in pure Ghostbusters-style and infiltrates some sheep-worshiping ghouls in order to fulfill his mission. It's nice with a little break from the usual gameplay and the scenery looks alright too. Why Sam can't see a robot grinding around from two feet away is still a mystery, but hey, I'm not complaining.
The rhythm section took a healthy amount of tries since my LCD TV couldn't catch up with the beat properly. If I had own a good ol' CRT TV I would have used that for this level at least, but it worked out with a LCD too. I haven't really tested out with a different set of TVs but I'm pretty sure that the beat is not metronome precise either– for me it seemed that I had to be a little off-beat every time to get by.
The only real shortcut here is the sheep drop just by the elevator. Jumping across the edge at a certain angle makes the sheep follow it (or to be specific, the lettuce), miss the edge and fall down right in front of Ralph. I found this skip by mistake when I was practicing and the sheep suddenly jumped down and started jumping around the button.
One thing I should mention is that I was really tired when I recorded this segment and the wrong turn I took with the robot coming out of the prison would not have been made otherwise. For some reason I nailed the rhythm section much more continuously in this state though, which is why I ended up using this take despite the small mistakes.
This level starts off with some mailbox action before approaching the second minefield in the game. As opposed to Level 5, this field is smaller and much tighter to navigate through. I stopped for a brief moment right after blowing up the sheep to make sure that I didn't run too far; a tiny, tiny bit further and you're toasted.
The sheep area went really well. The reason Sam won't attack is because he gets stuck on the other sheep, which in return lets you stand on the button unharmed, setting up the escape perfectly. I almost missed the jump to the raft but got it sorted out.
The final part of the level consists of a jail, lots of gold and one angry pirate. The idea is that you should find the gold coins (10 in total), set them up in a straight line toward the jail, open the gate and lure Yosemite Sam into the jail in order to exit the level safely. I immediately thought about how many gold coins it would take to get past him, and as you can see, one coin did the trick. If the timing is perfect you could clear the level the same time as he starts to shoot at you; if this happens, the Daffy cutscene won't appear at all and you will go back to the menu a couple of seconds faster. That doesn't matter much here but it might be useful in a SS run.
Stop the train, jump off, pick up the sheep costume, disguise yourself, call for the sheep and – with Sam behind your back – head for the exit. Credit goes to poomrus for this one since that was where I first saw this tactic being deployed. Before knowing this, I came up with a similar strat where I would call for the sheep from the same place and head back again to make Sam run towards the goal. In the meantime as he tried to do this, I had stopped the train to block Sam's path so that he would run up and down against it without any real direction. You can then get out of the costume, pick up the sheep and squeeze past Sam right behind the train and then head for the goal. It does really do the same thing as the tactic I used for the run, and despite it not being faster I'm quite happy that I came up with it anyways.
By far the hardest level in the game. In this one you capture Marvin the Martian's instant martians instead of the usual wooly creatures. The first one is easy, but the rest all have something that makes them hard in one way or another. This is going to be the lengthiest comment so far, so hold on tight!
Initially I would go to the right after dealing with the first martian, the reason for this being that the martian standing on a ledge past the black holes was the one that caused the most trouble. Upon realizing that the three martians in the beam section to the left was tougher to deal with I switched the route and went clockwise instead. I don't think that any way is faster than the other really, it just comes down to which one you're comfortable starting with.
I stopped briefly while going for the third martian and also managed to end the dash a bit too early before I was in the room where he/she/it is standing. Bummer there, but both nr 3 and 4 went down pretty quick. The next beam section is the one with the best skips, you can jump over all beams and thus not having to deal with shrinking back and forth which is really irritating. You can go a bit faster than this here, but otherwise this section was fine.
I thought that I was closer to the next island when I got out of the second beam room which explains the sharp turn I had to take to make sure that I wouldn't fall down. It's highly important that you don't get too close to the martian here since you can chase each other around for ages if he gets out of his starting position. I came a bit too close, but luckily enough he didn't run away so far so it worked out after all. The black hole section went fine but the last two could have been a tad bit faster.
The floating raft glitch is by far one of the most usable glitches in the game and it looks ridiculous when you're drifting around in mid-air. Credit goes to poomrus for this one as well since that's where I first saw it, even though there are several other videos of this glitch out there. On the PC version of the game, it's possible to cancel Sam's alert up on the ledge with the lettuce by jumping in the corner, but no matter how I tried, that did not work on my copy. With this in mind you have to bring the bush with you in order to get to the ledge. I figured that you wouldn't really need to get across the gap in order to complete the level and even though I couldn't do this one the way I had hoped for, it turned out pretty good under the given circumstances. It still bugs me that Ralph wanted to go for the lettuce first before picking up the sheep, and if you look closely you can actually see that I tried to move away a bit to avoid this. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
As the second time travel level in the game, this one is similar to Level 11 in terms that emphasis is put on planning the route and what to do in what order, rather than being technical with lots of jumps, timed events and glitches. Many resets were required due to the lava in the beginning of the level and this must be one of the easiest levels to screw up since there are so many things that could go wrong.
Apart from accidently face-planting the wall in the end I'm satisfied with this one. I should have used the right analog stick to move the camera myself here, but I got used to that technique later on.
That concludes my comments for this run. I would like to thank J.Y for continuous support and the entire SDA staff for making this community the greatest one on the entire internet. I hope you had as much fun watching as I had running this game, and to all of you out there who haven't played this yet; do it. It may look like a childish game, but it's more challenging and fun than what one would ever expect.
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