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.
Runs on the TurboGrafx-16 version:
Runs on the Japanese Virtual Console version:
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TurboGrafx-16 version: 0:13:02 by Zack Allard.
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Thanks are in order before talking about this run.
So, due to the various new finds in the arcade version of Splatterhouse, I ended up testing them on this version just out of curiosity, and mostly all of them work! However they are somehow more difficult to pull off in this version, which is kind of ironic considering this version is easier by FAR to beat casually when compared to the arcade game.
As another side note, TG16 games seem to run at a slower framerate than 29.97, so due to this, the timing on the video file is not accurate to real time (framecount reports a 13:02 despite being a 13:02). Thankfully I streamed this attempt which reveals what the timing should have been around.
Stage I: 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 is pretty irritating.
Stage II: My last run had a stupidly lucky knife fight that was basically a fluke. I could not recreate it for the life of me, so I adapted the arcade strategy to the poltergeist room, but in reverse order. You also need a particular pattern in this version so while you kick one knife across the room, the other one doesn't cross over and hit you. Also for some reason if you slide the painting on the left side, it is easier to land the quick kill on arcade but harder on TG16; right side is easier on TG16 & harder on arcade. Funny how that worked out.
Stage III: Ok, this stage is completely overhauled. This is the first Splatterhouse route for stage 3 I have ever done without the dual shotgun trick! Completely pass over it to fit in more slides at the start, then over the gap, I have just enough speed to push the zombie back to where I can slide it. The rest of the stage is slides until I get the shotgun, then I slide into the boss, get damaged & drop the gun, pick it up, turn around and fire left while jumping. the jumps let me fire faster and propel me closer to the door without having to walk there, shortening the section after the boss. This saved like something over 3 seconds alone over the old run because I used to stop and shoot things over the gap to set up the double shotgun Biggy kill, but now it isn't a problem!
Stage IV: Autoscroller dance sequence initiated. I harpooned a bat just because I could.
The boss fight was a little weak cause got really bad spawn positions that I didn't want, but the fight is still a little faster than my old run, but this would probably where you could gain the most time over this run if you get amazing luck.
Stage V: This stage was so-so, despite me getting a gold split (that gold was a lie). Decent chair room, but got dumb luck on the first demon. I was able to damage boost through the 3rd demon off of 2nd demon's head, so that was somewhat lucky. The Jennifer fight went down perfect. 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 VI: This stage sucks & is 100% random spawns, so you gotta just be incredibly familiar with what it will throw at you. 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. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this was the best stage 6 boss I have had EVER in BOTH versions of this game. The boss cooperated SOOOOO WELL and I pulled off EVERY backward momentum slide & jumpkick. The boss died within 7 seconds of the scrolling stopping; I've never seen it die that fast. This stage saved like 6-7 seconds alone.
Stage VII: So, you can indeed slide through the boss like in the arcade version, but to link your slide into the standing punches is WAYYY more difficult than the arcade version. I don't like saying this just because I don't know for sure, but the window feels like it is frame perfect, and from all my fights with Mike Tyson on MTPO (fight requires on the order of 10-20 frame perfect hits), this feels very similar in its strictness. I managed to land exactly one cycle where I successfully get the standing punch after the slide, which is kind of all I really wanted out of this fight. I expected to get hit pretty much every cycle I slid into him, but that one was a little bonus. I had messed up one cycle a tiny bit that cost a fraction of a second, but aside from that, this was a decent fight.
So that is Turbo-Grafx 16 Splatterhouse. I might try sub 13 one day, but it would be incredibly brutal comparing to that stage 6 fight in future runs. I'm glad to see both the arcade version and the TG16 versions up on SDA with updated strategies, so I will probably leave these alone for a very long time. I hope you check out both runs, especially since both versions have a commentary track!
Japanese Virtual Console Arcade version: 0:13:51 by Zack Allard.
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So first things first, I have some shoutouts to give. DK28 for encouragement ever since I started running the TG16 version. TheKeeperSA for constant feedback for all things Splatterhouse when I was still in the routing stage. Funkdoc and Greenk4 for being awesome enough to pick the arcade version up for running, and finally the folks who organized the Sandython. That online marathon was the first marathon of any sort that I was a part of and ultimately this run owes alot to it!
I was able to complete this run on stream, so here is the twitch VOD if you want to see splits & live commentary:
I should also have a commentary track with Funkdoc, so check that out too!
Here's a bit of a story in how this run came about. If you want details on the run itself, skip to the bottom for the level by level breakdowns.
So, I ran the Turbo Grafx 16 version of Splatterhouse back in 2010. I was really happy about finishing that run because I completely routed the game from the ground up. There were no other speedrunners, no speedruns, not even a TAS! The stage 5 bossfight was one of my favorite finds in this game since it completely skips a few cutscenes. Once I finally completed the initial 13:53 and submitted it, I messed with the arcade version and found that some of the boss fights had the same kind of strategies that the TG16 version had, but they needed to be implemented differently. I had gotten a really rough arcade run and did not consider picking it up for quite a while.
Jump forward to November 2012, now Greenk4 and Funkdoc have both picked up the game with the intention to race each other at the the online Sandython marathon. Funkdoc learned some of the basics from my old TG16 run on SDA, but when I saw him running it on stream, I gave him advice directly on how to do alot of the arcade-only tricks. Soon after, they wanted me to join in the race, so I practiced too. I ended up getting a 13:54 while getting ready for the race, however since I wanted to practice with the health that the race would have, I had 4 health set on the arcade dip switch settings instead of 2 HP on the hardest difficulty.
The link below should direct you to the race if the VOD is still archived by the time you read this.
Funkdoc and I were neck and neck until his stage 6 death & Greenk4 put up a damn good effort and finished the race with a good attitude despite the situation he was in. I was very surprised how well my side of the race went even though I made some goofy mistakes on some parts.
So I did not want to submit the 13:54 based solely on the fact that I wanted the hardest dip switch settings if I am going to submit a run to SDA. There were other mistakes too, but they were not bad enough to prevent submission or anything. It's more of an aesthetic thing to want the harder difficulty, but I figure I might as well go for it since if I play well enough I will have my health restored by the time I reach the levels that need it.
I finally revisited this game to get a run in 2014 and finally got one that I am happy with. So let's get to the run itself!
Stage I - Pretty standard stuff. There is pretty much no way to lose or gain time here other than slowing down for the puke and delaying on hitting the final boreworm; I did neither.
Stage II - The route to minimize lag in the first room is vital. Enemies must die as you progress through the stage, or else the game will slow down to a crawl and cripple the ability for the game to read your inputs. The room lagged slightly when I slid the demon near the end, but that is normal. Boss strategy to deal with the knives and painting is a bit new and more consistent overall. Real happy with this stage.
Stage III - This was a gold split (i.e. the fastest I have ever beaten this stage). The stage itself was executed perfectly and the boss went fantastic. Funkdoc found that if Biggyman's hitpoints are an odd number, he will not attempt to jump up over your shots, so it is vital that my jumpkick lands so I can land all of my shots. It's important to note that on MAME you can rapidfire Biggy to where he will take all of the shots without any jumps, but on VC and the reboot releases of the arcade version, Biggy has a bug where if you do not fire in a rhythm, half your bullets will miss.
Stage IV - The first 2 sections are autoscrollers and the boss went pretty well. I wanted the final hit to be at the height of my jump, but I hit the head instead, so I lost a fraction of a second there.
Stage V - Got greedy in the first room and tried to slide the last set of chairs, but they hopped immediately and I took a hit. Next room I got bad luck, but my slides still killed the demon guys to where I could keep moving. The necromancer room went perfect, which I'm really happy about, since I had a 13:53 a day earlier that had a bad necro room. The boss requires a bit of explanation. There are usually 3 phases of this fight separated by an 8 second cutscene of Jennifer transforming to human and back to a monster. Each phase has 6 HP, but slide kicks deal 2 damage, so if you get her to 5 HP in any phase and then slide kick, you skip the cutscene completely. The reason I am not getting hit by Jen is because she has no hitbox until the frame her feet hit the ground, so if I have an attack out as her feet hit the floor, my attack hits first. I got a bad pattern at the start of the fight to where she didn't hop to the left wall instantly, but aside from that, the fight was fine.
Stage VI - This could have been better if I were more aggressive, but I was getting some really hard to read patterns on the way to the boss that cost some health. Another discovery that Funkdoc found was that if you jump backward, but hold down-forward, you can do forward momentum slides with backward momentum. This is huge for this fight because now I don't need running starts to deal multiple hits of slide damage. Once I started the sliding in this fight, I didn't mess up any of the inputs or stop, which was pretty great.
Stage VII - Thank god I got every cycle on this run so my lost HP didn't matter as much. I had juuust enough HP to where if I got bad luck on the last 2 cycles to where his hands pop up ASAP, I'd have the HP to survive. I got the bad luck on the final 2 cycles, but did not get killed by a rock on the final one.
So yeah, I suppose that's that! I hope you enjoy this run as much as I did making it!
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