Often voted amongst the top 3 Sonic games, Sonic CD and this 2011 rerelease sport a stylish time travel mechanic by which, similar to Back to the Future's DeLorean, Sonic/Tails can hop into a different time by doing what they do well [on flat, uncluttered tracks]: hit a sign that's clearly in the backdrop and accelerate to warp speed. Finding robo-assemblers hidden in the past and decommisioning them, the player can cause a better future for the area. The 2011 version has small and large scale readjustments, it's built on a different engine that alters its physics, has online leaderboards, widescreen modes, and gives you access to both of the JP/EU and NA soundtracks.
Best Time with Tails: 0:11:46.75 by Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez on 2016-11-29
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Well…umm…oh dear. I’m not exactly sure where to start with this one if I’m going to be perfectly honest. I’d dare say that this game needs no introduction. This is Sonic CD, hailed as one of the best Sonic games ever made as well as being a personal favorite by many people. Me personally, I didn’t really care too much aside from some nice music to listen to back in the 90s. However, you probably wouldn’t know the power of its popularity given the state of the speed running scene around CD.
So if you know anything about the Sonic Speed running Community, you will come to notice that CD is one of the lesser ran games. I figured this may be due to the popularity of other Sonic games (SADX and Sonic 2 come to mind.), but Sonic CD tends to not have many runners, let alone active runners. Fast forward a few months later and the scene has almost completely changed. Not only has the previous record fallen, but there has been a dramatic increase in runners as well as new categories.
This run is the result of not only my idiotic persistence for a fast run with Tails, but also the culmination of the renewed interest for Sonic CD in general.
With all being said, I very hope you enjoy.
Tricks and Important Tidbits:
Slope-Gliding/Spindash-Flying: By doing a single tap spindash and going into the air, the game will think you are in the middle of a jump rather than rolling. This can be useful in certain areas because by pressing jump in the air, you can fly while using the momentum from the spindash to beat levels much faster than intended. This is especially useful for Collision Chaos when in tandem with Speed Shoes to fly straight to the goal.
Timer Glitch: This is actually an unfortunate glitch that I have to deal with in this version. Centiseconds are additive in this version in that the centiseconds that you end with in one level will be immediately added to the start of the next level. This means that some levels will appear to have taken longer than they actually are. It’s because of this that IGT is computed by only seconds/minutes for all stages, with centiseconds only added at the end of Metallic Madness 3.
Palmtree Panic 1:
This level is fairly straight forward. Not much to say here.
Palmtree Panic 2:
The bounce off the Speed-Shoes Monitor is a lot more nuanced than what you’d think. I have to make sure that I have enough horizontal speed to make it to the end of the stage as well as keeping my height in mind when gliding. If I have too much or too little height, then there is a chance of landing on the platform or hitting the spikes at the end.
Palmtree Panic 3:
The boss in this stage is interesting in that he as a very slight set of invincibility frames (I’d predict ~20-30 per hit) that are hard to notice when playing casually. Other than that, this boss is fairly simple. I jump and get damaged behind him so that I can quickly kill him from behind.
Getting a 0:20 is pretty solid for this stage. It is possible to get a 0:19 with optimal spindashing after the boss, but it’s not fairly consistent with Tails nearly as much as with Sonic.
Collision Chaos 1:
Pretty solid overall. I hit the wall at around 0:11-0:12, so I didn’t have as much speed going to the right as I wanted, but I made it to the end and got a 0:24. 0:23 is possible but not usually common.
Collision Chaos 2:
Same as Act 1. I do a spindash from the top of the stage to bounce off the badnik and make it towards the Speed Shoes. By doing a slope-glide off the spring and up the ramp, I can simply hold right to the end of the level.
Collision Chaos 3:
This is perhaps without a doubt the worst boss in the run due to simply how sensitive it is in terms of movement. With that being said, getting a 0:15 on this stage is nothing short of incredible.
Tidal Tempest 1:
The trick that I do at the beginning here has to do with an inherent property of certain stages, including this one. Certain stages in this version have invisible ceilings that make it impossible to fly over the top of the stage. However, you can still go over them in ball form. So what I did is basically charge a spindash with enough speed to jump onto the badnik and go over the right wall. This route saves ~15 seconds over doing the stage normally.
Other than that, the rest of the stage went okay. At 0:18, I made a mistake and didn’t hit the ceiling when I flew out of my spindash. This ended up messing with my movements a little bit towards the end. I could probably save another second here with more optimal play, but other than that this stage is fairly solid.
Tidal Tempest 2:
At the beginning of the stage, I do a 1-rev spindash off the platform in order to land properly at a passageway to the right. This route is faster as it has less water for me to traverse. Later on when I submerge into the water and pass the moving blocks, I do a 1-rev spindash followed by a glide to make it onto a ledge that’s a bit out of my reach with a simple jump.
At around 0:39 I was supposed to land on the Ring Monitor after I hit the switch, do a short 1-rev spindash and jump to make it over the pit. However, I accidently went too far to the left and ended up breaking the monitor, causing me to bounce and landed before the pit, costing some time. Other than that, this was a fairly solid level.
Tidal Tempest 3:
So…yeah. I guess this is a boss.
There’s not really much to say about this boss. After I hit Robotnik 4 times, I grab the invincibility instead of heading straight to the boss. This is because with Tails you can simply swim straight up to the boss, killing him in one hit rather than having to wait for his bubble shield to go down with Sonic. It’s one of the quirks about Tails that makes him oh so much fun to run. ;)
Quartz Quadrant 1:
I immediately start going left to hit the red spring as this in combination with the slope allows for much faster speed right from the start.
Taking the high route allows me to head straight to the Speed Shoes. I then take the low route as I do have to slow down for a slight sec. There is a chance I won’t have enough time to adjust my speed if I take the top route as if I go too far to the right, I’d have to wait for the floor to crumble and avoid the badniks at the bottom, wasting 1-2 seconds.
This route does bring me in contact with a diagonal red spring here, so I tend to fly over it in order to avoid being bounced right back up.
NOTE: To all the verifiers, there is a visual glitch 20 seconds into the stage that cuts out a few frames. Unfortunately this was an issue with the raw encode, so there’s not really much I can do. I hope this is not too much of an inconvenience.
Quartz Quadrant 2:
At around 0:15, I lose 1 second by getting hit by a badnik and losing speed.Other than that, this is a fairly solid stage. The shortcut I do at 0:19 is exclusive to Tails and saves ~1-2 seconds from having to bounce down and jump off the spring back up.
Quartz Quadrant 3:
The only thing you have to worry about is to make sure you don’t get hit by the falling bombs as you lose ~4 seconds per hit. Otherwise, this stage is fairly straight forward with the only bit of optimization that needed to be noted was at the beginning with the 1-rev spindash jump up to the ledge to the right of the slope.
Wacky Workbench 1:
Undoubtedly the worst stage in the entire run and for the wrong reasons. Thankfully with Tails, I can fly over most of the crap.
There is a strat where I can spindash off a platform straight to the goal; however it’s horribly inconsistent because of the timing with moving platforms varying considerably.
Wacky Workbench 2:
This level is fairly straight forward as long as you follow the right path. I decide to take the bottom route through the tube as it leads me closer towards the Speed Shoes. These in combination with the bouncy floor allow me to take the high route in the latter half of the level. This route is much faster than the bottom route as it skips through several obstacles that you have to wait for in order to proceed.
0:36 is actually pretty good. 0:35 is possible but it all depends entirely on the centiseconds that I had before this act so it’s nothing reset worthy.
Wacky Workbench 3:
Aside from CC3, This is by far the hardest boss in the entire run. The strategy here is to fly up to the blocks that fall the moment they spawn. Once you are on the block, you then quickly fly up to the next level. The optimal strat for this boss involves you doing this for a total of 3 times. This strat is difficult because the timing varies for landing on the block depending on when you start flying. If you don’t fly fast enough, you fall down to the bottom of the floor and have to wait for the blocks to go up because you automatically stop flying when you reach a certain height on the current floor you’re on.
The fact that I got this all 3 times is nothing short of incredible. This strat saves ~20s in total over doing this stage normally, so I’m glad that I got this in a single segment run.
Stardust Speedway 1:
I do a short glide partway through the level as by falling down to the speed booster from the top will allow you to stay on the ground and roll right into the Speed Shoes monitor. If I take the speed booster from the bottom, I will fly into the air and lose my horizontal momentum. From there I just head right to the goal.
Stardust Speedway 2:
Taking the top route is much faster as the bottom route funnels me up eventually anyway. The glide that I do at 0:13 saves roughly a second or two if you fly up to both ceilings as it helps preserve your speed from the slope beforehand.
This stage went really well all things considered. The only slip up was at 0:20 where I missed the jump to land on the red spring slightly sooner, but even with that mistake I still got a 0:24. So I am perfectly satisfied.
Stardust Speedway 3:
Like QQ3, The majority of optimization in this stage comes from the beginning by doing an optimal spindash when the stage starts. Other than that, this stage is basically a glorified autoscroller in this version. Metal Sonic rubber band you depending on your position and Robotnik moves at a constant rate to the right, so either way I have to wait for him to come to the end before I can proceed.
Metallic Madness 1:
The beginning of the stage has the most noticeable mistake by far. I do a 6-rev stage off the slope at the beginning, but I ended up having not enough flight to make the ledge to the right with the buzzsaws. So I ended up flying higher than needed, almost causing me to get hit and losing lots of time.
After the buzzsaws, it’s more just holding right to the end of the stage. I have to slow down for a sec to not trigger time travel after hitting the Past sign. Other than that, 0:25 is ok given the mistake at the beginning. It could probably be a low-0:24/high-0:23 if all goes well.
Metallic Madness 2:
This the last stage in which I just go to the top of the stage and just fly to the right. Major optimization comes from properly making it to the top in time. Getting a 0:30 on this stage is actually really good given what I have to do.
Metallic Madness 3:
A tricky bounce off the Invincibility box allows me to take the invincibility toward the firefly badniks, easily killing them quickly.
The double hit that I do here saves 6 seconds over doing this boss normally. The only problem is that I have a very small window to do the second hit as the invincibility frames on the boss are dependent by how long it takes between him reaching the ground and when you do the first hit. The fact that I got this in a SS run is nothing short of a miracle.
Final Thoughts & Special Thanks:
This run is perhaps the single best speed run I have ever done in all my years of speed running. This was a run that I kind of just jumped on after I finished Knuckle’s Story from SADX. At first I wasn’t even expecting to get a decent time considering the high skill curve associated with the classic Sonic runs. And yet as of this submission, this is the WR for this category. But it’s not the fact that this is the WR, rather the journey that was undertaken to come to this position as well as the change in the speed running scene.
After doing several attempts of CD on stream, things started to change when I got noticed by the WR holder at that time, flying fox. With her encouragement, I was able to push my times down much further than expected. Soon after, new and returning runners began to propagate. chronoon and Madtaz64 would pop up doing runs of Sonic and Sonic Good Future respectively. As time went on, more and more people started to play CD while I continued to get my time lower and lower, eventually beating the record set by flying fox. It was a truly awe inspiring thing happening. It felt as if a new speed game was being created in front of my very eyes, complete with runners actively enthusiastic about actually playing CD for a change. Best of all, it completely lined up with my reasons for speed running in the first place.
Some of you may have been aware from previous AGDQ events or from personal exchange, but I have had to deal with depression on many accounts due to the severe amount of racial isolation that I have had to face. As a result, I went into speed running in hopes that I may actually fit in with a group of people that appreciate my existence and my contributions towards a unified goal. Of course I have done a myriad of speed runs before, some already on the site. But this was the first time that a run I was doing actually helped inspire people to start running Sonic CD in combination from others such as flying fox trying to bring more attention to CD as well. There were even some people that that have actually told me they began running CD simply from just watching my attempts from my stream.
That’s what makes this run special to me. To be actively involved in encouraging people after all these years is nothing short of incredible. It felt as if I actually contributed to some sort of positive impact on somebody. It actually felt like I did something that was perceived as meaningful. It actually felt like I fit in with my peers, regardless of my external identity. It was a feeling of acceptance that only speed runners can provide and is one of the main reasons why I consider the speed running community to be one of the best communities out there.
Therefore, I give nothing but my sincerest admirations and gratitude towards flying fox, chronoon, Madtaz64, uematsufreak, as well as all of the stream viewers and new runners that have helped me achieve this run, whether it be insight from previous runs or helping me with strat for specific stages to even just general encouragement. It is because of guys like you that have made me keep up with this hobby and help me continue doing the things that I love.
With that being said, like all other runs there are definitely some improvements that can be done to this run. If you were to take into account all of the mistakes done and summate them up, I believe that there may be a total of 6 seconds left to save, disregarding tricks that rely on strict platform cycles. However given the nature of this version, those are 6 seconds that may be lost in translation throughout a run due to the timer glitch. As a result, I don’t believe that it’s really an endeavor worth pursuing at the time being unless I decide to start running the PC version.
Thank you for coping with this exuberant wall of text. I very much hope you enjoy the run.
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