Released in the US by NEC on the Turbografx 16, Splatterhouse is an arcade home port which some credit with starting the ball rolling for the ESRB rating system. Players take control of Rick, an ordinary guy granted superhuman strength from a possessed mask. With his new strength, Rick charges into a haunted mansion to save his girlfriend by kicking, punching, and bludgeoning every single otherworldly horror that gets in his way.
Best time: 0:13:19 by Zack 'zallard1' Allard on 2011-10-13.
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Thanks are in order before talking about this run.
At first, I felt my previous run of this game was enough. Splatterhouse has a few random elements to where I didn't think I could fix them all in 1 run, or if it fixing them was worth it. The main offender was the stage 5 boss. The fight was dictated by how high she jumps, which could cost anywhere from 5-30 seconds, which is a ton of time in a 13 minute run. But out of the blue, literally weeks after submitting my first run, I find the absolute BEST possible strategy for this boss by human input, and wouldn't you know it, it's 100% consistent! This changes the run of the game dramatically, because now that the most random element of the game is gone, the luck manipulation of the run is shifted elsewhere, in this case, the stage 2 boss and the first 2 rooms of stage 5.
Stage 1: The position of the puke is a little random to where it has a 2/3 chance of hitting you if you don't stop. Me stopping lowers the probability of getting damaged to 1/3. Still had to wait on that one section because that puke was trollin' me that day. It's like it knows when I give up on trying to get the "good luck puke", then it just gives it to me to make me look like a dope. Aside from that, this stage went well.
Stage 2: I'm able to fit more slides in the first room and I don't miss a single one. As for the boss, the chair went down in an average time... but the knife strategy I used here is one that I cannot replicate for the life of me. Literally before I did it in this run, I thought to myself "Hm, I wonder if that will work" then the slide was timed just late enough to hit both knives simultaneously. This alternate strategy saved me a full 6 seconds alone, which is huge. I'm not sure if I'm just getting bad luck with the knives, or if the timing/positioning in this run was some kind of miracle fluke, but it's very tough to replicate this.
Stage 3: Nothin' special compared to last time. Biggyman jumped quickly after the 8th shot which cost me half a second. Not much I could've done about it.
Stage 4: Everyone loves autoscrollers! Right? ...right? :/
The boss fight was a little weak cause I kept getting garbage head spawn positions that I didn't want, but the fight is actually a few frames faster than the fight in the last run, even though it looks uglier.
Stage 5: This stage went awesome. GREAT luck on the chair room and above average luck in the hand room; I even got a damage boost somehow, in Splatterhouse of all games! I did hesitate on the first demon, because I've literally never seen him jump over me after a single kick before. I was dumbfounded to see that, so I didn't react right away. Despite the necromancer room looking ugly, it is actually 1/3 of a second faster than the last one, only because in the last run I slid into the back of the screen which halted the scroll for a brief moment. I missed the slide (again) in the dog room, but by some miracle the dog spawned behind me, which only wasted a couple of frames from not completing the autoscroller asap. The Jennifer fight went down perfect, just perfect. This fight was the basis of me wanting to improve this run and I'm really glad I got it down in this attempt. For those that don't know, Jennifer has 3 phases in this fight, all of which have 6HP (I'll refer to her health like this: 6/6/6, with slashes separating phases). Now, slide kicks do 2 HP of damage instead of 1, and will force her against the wall and hit her twice. Now here's the kicker, if you get her HP to 1/6/6 THEN do a slide kick, instead of her HP reading 0/6/6, it's now 0/5/6. Now why is that important? Phases are separated by a 8 second cutscene with Jennifer transforming back into her normal self and saying "Help me!" then transforming back. Doing this effectively SKIPS that cutscene entirely! This fight lasts 8.775 seconds from when I gain control again to the score rolling over, which is my best time on this boss.
Stage 6: You know what? This stage sucks. It becomes more apparent how much this stage sucks after playing through this game as many times as I have. Lemme tell you the only way to get "good" at this stage:
1) Stage select code -> Stage 6
2) Play it all the way through pretending you only have 3 HP
3) Repeat until disgusted with the level for that particular day
4) Repeat indefinitely
This stage is 100% random spawns, so you gotta just be incredibly familiar with what it will throw at you. Also, I swear this stage is a sentient being that knows when I have a good run in progress. This level can range anywhere from being a breeze to to a nightmare and it's usually the latter during any important run. Because of this, you need to know how these little bastards think to stand a chance at surviving consistently with minimum health. These guys always find ways to surprise me, like sometimes they'll appear to have a "dormant" flight trajectory that's slow, then shift to a fast "aggressive" path about 3/4's down that can hit you in the knees. They can strategically spawn on top of each other as you kick one of them, making it look like you killed one, then another one just flies at your face. These guys know how to mindgame; you need to be ready for anything. One thing to keep in mind is to let the ones near the left end of the room do their thing. If they land off screen, you'll de-spawn them. Even when you finally get through this damn tunnel, this level will still most likely give you terrible spawns during the boss fight, which is the only part that matters in the speedrun. The luck needed to get a "great" fight is pretty damn rare, like maybe 1/300 fights will net you a fight where you can wail on the heart nonstop. Most of the time it's just ugly looking, like how it is in this run. You'll see me walking away from the heart twice, which is because the bubbles above picked paths that would have collided with me if I had stayed still, or only walked a little, then go back. Because of the luck needed in the next stage, I ended up wasting a few seconds to conserve health in terms of completing the fight "fast". As for how it compares to my last run, I know you won't believe this, but this run was literally dead even identical to the old fight right down to the frame. Both fights from the time the score appears to when it rolls over from killing the boss, is 1:21.949 (2456 frames). It's so bizarre.
Stage 7: Still a ridiculously easy level. The final boss strategy has been improved quite a bit. I noticed that Rick's punch will stay out for a while (6 frames or so) and any enemy hitbox that overlaps with Rick's fist will receive 1 damage when vulnerable. This isn't noticeable throughout this run because I'm almost always sliding, but it will be evident here. I time my punches to where each consecutive punch will be out during the frame the boss is vulnerable again after receiving the last punch. Aside from the one time I jump, the boss goes down as fast as it possibly could using normal punches. I got beautiful luck with the rocks and perfect luck on the hands in this fight. Hands can swipe 2-3 times for the first 2 cycles; both times it was 2.
All in all, this run is far better than my first improvement goal of 13:30 with the new stage 5 strategy. The blunders that did happen were for the most part, out of my control. The ones that were in my control cost about 1-3 seconds total. Speedrunning this game was incredibly fun to me, even with those bumps of frustration here and there. Hope you enjoy this run!
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