Released in 1992, Streets of Rage 2 continues the story a year later from its predecessor where the mysterious 'Mr. X' was defeated. Adam, Axel and Blaze all moved on with their lives but met on the anniversary to talk about their vigilante crusade a year ago. The next day, Adam's younger brother, Skate, finds their home trashed and a picture of Adam chained to a wall at the feet of Mr. X. As criminals once again took over the city, it is up to the new heroes as well as a friend of theirs called Max to once again to not only save the city, by Adam as well.
Best time as Max: 0:26:35 by 'galedog' on 2014-07-28.
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Streets of Rage 2 Normal Mode speed run with Max
Some stuff to note:
Everything in this game seems to be RNG based. The AI is extremely chaotic. I "routed" the game as much as I possibly could to eliminate variables, but the AI is just too random for any kind of consistency.
The game suffers from extreme lag when too many things are on screen, this causes tons of input failure. If you hit more than one enemy at a time, it causes a sort of "storage" of whatever your last hit was. For example, if I hit 2+ enemies with a sword attack or atomic drop, the game seems to stick part of the animation with you until you clear it by jumping or something. This will make sliding feel stiff and often fail, and it will cause your jump animation to take longer than usual which can really screw up timings for a lot of things(Shiva and Zamza especially).
At the beggining of each stage and a lot of scene transitions, your character walks into the area before you take control of them. If you press buttons during this time, it can cause a weird laggy animation of whichever buttons you pressed, so you have to wait until you see your character stop walking before you begin pressing -> -> B to slide or whatever.
Screen 1: The very first wave of enemies of the game actually cause a lot of resets. It's moderately consistent with the setup I use here, but sometimes the garcias just go for a walk way off screen. I technically made a mistake by using the thunder tackle too early on that yellow signal, but the main purpose is to kill a blue garcia standing behind him and I can tell if I was a split second late with the tackle her, the garcia probably would have went for a walk. It's better to have a signal floating around anyway because his AI is much easier to deal with. Lost like a second, whatever.
Screen 2: After "go" appears it's important to kill that donovan asap because it triggers a spawn of another punk. Then I need to just kill the two signals asap because they have lots of health and it can waste a lot of time knocking them down over and over. Also grabbing the apple is pretty necessary as you have to thunder tackle a lot and sometimes even more than you plan to because of crazy AI.
Screen 3:On the next screen, slide everyone to death, grab the pipe, kill the knife-garcia, etc.
Screen 4: Slide everyone to death at the top of the screen, then prepare for a backwards jump to grab the remaining signal and kill him. This part with Jack can cause a lot of resets. Basically you need to focus on slamming jack asap because he has so much health and is hard to grab if you don't have him against the wall to trick his AI with a jump.
Screen 5: It probably looks weird to move up before moving right, but it sets the enemies up for a quicker kill than anything else I could find while testing.
Screen 6: Normally I would catch the donovans and garcias to the right off screen with a slide, but I wasn't close enough to the right edge when "Go" appeared. Electra has a ton of health, likes to dodge you, and is invincible for a second upon rising. So you don't want to knock her down. Thankfully she has extremely slow attacks so you can stunlock her with your punch combo without using the knockdown hit. Getting on her right side usually keeps you safe from the punks but not always.
Barbon Boss: Significant amount of resets happen here. You can grab him as soon as he activates if you're close enough. So typically the best thing to do is spawn donovan/garcia and thunder tackle them so you land near Barbon. Sometimes they act really crazy, circle around you, and punch you as soon as Barbon activates, so he throws you and it's lights out. After you knock Barbon down, if you wait for him to punch you once and hit him with a thunder tackle, there is a good chance he will try to block it which causes the notorious block glitch which does tons of damage. But it greatly depends on your timing, positioning, and whatever mood his AI is in. I got lucky this time.
Screen 1: This screen used to cause so many resets until I decided to chill out and use a backup strat. Ideally you slide kick the garcia on the right, then quickly do a thunder tackle+slide to catch both the donovan and garcia to the left, then finish them with a single thunder tackle. So many times their AI would hide off screen, or be just far away enough that only the second part of the thunder tackle hit them, which leaves donovan wandering around offscreen with a tiny pixel of health. So basically I just started punching them before using the thunder tackle to make sure they die.
Screen 2: I have a setup that usually kills the donovan and garcia to the right. After the third "go" appears, sliding will usually catch donovan so I can give him a few hits before garcia walks up to me. But sometimes they just act crazy.
Screen 3: This part is annoying. Ideally you want to kill the first donovan and garcia so the bikers spawn immediately. Otherwise they will show up after you kill everyone and waste a bunch of time. I got lucky here and the final biker didn't spawn for whatever reason. I guess it has to do with memory.
Screen 4: The bottom of the screen is completely safe here. Usually I just walk forward until the green biker spawns, hit him with a thunder tackle, which USUALLY breaks the bottom trash can AND hits the signal so I can then atomic drop them both, but it didn't happen here.
Screen 5: Kill the ninja, grab the first biker and slam him, other than that there isn't any consistency here. If your timing is perfect you can thunder tackle out of the truck and cause the scene to end faster, I got it this time.
Screen 6: Ideally a slide connects with the donovan, then a thunder tackle kills him, sometimes AI screws it up, yadda yadda.
Jet Boss: If the planets align perfectly, you can bait Jet into doing a dive kick at you, thunder tackle to where he will land, then combo him to death or near death. Not so lucky here but it could have been much worse.
Screen 1: Not a lot to say, kill the punks asap.
Screen 2: Welcome to Lag Zone. A lot of resets happen here purely due to input/output failure. You COULD reduce it by wasting a bunch of time breaking all the arcade cabinets and picking up the items, but, well this is a speed run so I don't do that. You wanna sneak up on the dudes playing games by moving down first so they don't activate, this way you can immediately grab them. I got lucky and the garcia chased me as soon as I activated him, so I nailed both him and the signal with a jump attack to finish them both. If your positioning is right, you can slide the bottom signal and remain far away enough to jump attack and grab him.
Screen 3: This screen is dumb because of that knife laying around, if you pick it up, it's basically a reset no matter how you slice it.
Screen 4: Ideally you want to slide past the first garcia, grab the second one, then atomic drop him into the first one, but that didn't happen thanks to his passive AI. Then usually you can punch+thunder tackle the donovans and land right by the ninja. It generally still worked this time.
Screen 5: Welcome to Hyper Lag Zone. Getting more than 70% of your input to work here is a miracle. Even if I remove the crates/items I still notice some lag and it just wastes a lot of time to do so. There isn't much of a strat for this. Just grab the sword if you can get your hands on it.
Screen 6: This screen can go anywhere from instant reset to complete miracle, it went somewhere in the middle here. The electra must die asap.
Screen 7: Need the sword. Grab it. Slice people. If you're lucky you can kill all the punks quickly, then get a backwards jump+slam on the signal to finish him really fast, but usually there is so much stiffness from using the sword that the backwards jump will fail and waste time so I don't bother with it.
Screen 8: I stay on the bottom right and hope Vehelits behaves so you can hit it with the back of the sword without getting surrounded by punks. It pretty much worked.
Zamza Boss: Ninja must die asap. You can always slide him as soon as he spawns. There is a really risky time-sensitive strat to kill Zamza that is about 3 seconds faster than the atomic drop loop. But I don't bother with it here.
Screen 1: Usually I can catch the first donovan in my combo on the signal, but I didn't get so lucky here. I also failed my slide timing on the last donovan on this screen and wasted a couple seconds.
Screen 2: Not much strategy here. Kill the dudes on the bench, then get the ninja asap and finish everyone else. I failed hardcore on that last garcia. I totally thought I grabbed him and tried to do a jump slam. wasted a couple seconds.
Screen 3: Slide, combo, yadda yadda.
Screen 4: This part was sort of bad. I got a lot of damage on the electras early on, then completely wasted it. Though I must say I really did not think I was close enough for her to use the shock attack on me. I was expecting a jump kick and planned on doing a slide -> special combo on the red one which would also hit the blue one.
Screen 5: This part was sort of dumb with the AI avoiding me but I improvised decently.
Screen 6: Not much to say about this elevator. You can tell I have the spawn positions memorized and exploit it as much as I can.
Abadede Boss: Abadede is an annoying idiot. Right from the start his AI did this stupid frozen thing he often does and screwed up the strat just a bit. I luckily improvised pretty well and got him stuck in the slam loop quickly. Though you can see he froze again for a second, which made me have no choice but to stand there and eat a hit from him before continuing the slams.
Screen 1: The tackle+slide strat to catch the knife garcia is strangely 100% consistent in my experience. This part can be really bad if the AI is too passive. Luckily they were aggressive enough here that I killed them all quickly.
Screen 2: It's really important to catch the garcia and donovans off screen here so they die quickly. Sometimes they don't behave this well and waste a ton of time. I line myself up with the dots in the background so I can slide -> jump attack -> grab the ninja and get rid of him. There is a donovan that won't spawn unless you go all the way to the right of the screen and stand there for a sec. If you're unlucky he will he hide north/south of you off screen until you move far away.
Screen 3: 3 slides put you in exactly the right position to catch a falling kickboxer. Usually this strat works, but sometimes the garcia wanders around and comes back just in time to prevent you from grabbing the kickboxer after you slam him. Usually causes a reset because it's really tough to get ahold of him again without spawning the Barbon clone to the right. Speaking of which, if you position yourself correctly, you can jump kick him before he spawns. This prevents him from wandering around and screwing things up.
Screen 4: I got lucky enough for Jet to let me kill him quickly with the sword here. The punks were also decently aggressive and didn't go hide off screen.
Screen 5: Bikers were being stupidly passive here. I also screwed up by being too experimental when I held that yellow ninja. I thought maybe I could atomic drop him into the blue one after he landed. Honestly I didn't waste very much time despite getting knocked down because even if I killed the ninjas quickly, the grenades and bikers everywhere always take a long time.
R. Bear Boss: In theory you could do this faster by activating R. Bear before the Bongo is dead, but every time I tried it, he got me killed. I you special at the same time R. Bear stands up after a knockdown, it causes him to uppercut. This takes enough time for his rising invincibility to end. Sometimes his AI is stupid and does the uppercut a bit late. That garcia saved the run by letting me grab him when I had no health.
Screen 1: Might seem like a weird strat but I intentionally let the ninja hit me. This way I know exactly what he's going to do next depending on how far he's standing from Max's body.
Screen 2: Slide. The kickboxers went a bit slowly. I've seriously never seen them block so much on normal mode. I also accidentally frame perfectly pressed right+A which caused max to do a thunder tackle to the left when there was only one boxer left.
Screen 3: I screwed up a bit and spawned the second ninja too early. But I improvised enough to only lose 5-10 seconds on this screen. I just wish at least one of those signals had been near the atomic drop on the last ninja.
Screen 4: Not much strategy. Just try to kill the Bongo asap and react to whatever the bikers do.
Screen 5: This went pretty well. Having one of the electras get knocked toward me from the bike explosion was really lucky.
Zamza/Jet Boss: This is 100% luck based. On a scale of 1 to 10 in luckiness, I got like a 6 here. Zamza SHOULD have tried to uppercut me when I jumped away from him, but he just stood there. Amazingly enough Jet basically left me alone and let me kill zamza after I knocked him down again.
Screen 1: AI was ridiculously passive here and I did not improvise well. I could have killed the bongo probably 5 seconds faster.
Screen 2: I spawn the biker by sliding to him but not hitting him so I can thunder tackle him and finish him easily. If your slide hits him, he usually gets stunned and then quickly grabs you. Then I spawn the pipe-biker by jumping toward him so I can grab him and slam him. After that it's really chaotic and 100% improvised every single run.
Screen 3: Got really lucky here and the ninja walked right into my suplex, so I got a quick kill on him. Sometimes he likes to jump around off screen and waste a bunch of time. It might seem like it's slow to walk across that conveyer belt like that, but you do NOT want to spawn the ninja AND electra at the same time. It WILL kill the run. Thunder tackling from the conveyer belt puts me in exactly the right position to grab the ninja.
Screen 4: This got annoyingly sloppy. I don't know how that donovan on the right let me nail him with a backwards jump. The signals were being really passive and stupid here.
Screen 5: This went ridiculously well. I just so happened to time a jump attack on the punks and made Jet miss me with his kick, then I grabbed him and killed him instantly. That NEVER happens.
Screen 6: This screen completely wasted any time I might have saved. The idea is to atomic drop the first ninja into the one of the left, then move up slightly and thunder tackle everyone into the wall. But the sword-ninja ruined it by standing still like an idiot, this has never happened to me before. Usually you have to thunder tackle immediately to catch him, and the delay from hitting him makes you also hit all the others as they stand, so waiting isn't a sound strategy here. Typically if you wait, he's gonna stab you instantly.
Screen 7: This went really well. I don't know how or why the boxers didn't block me when I thunder tackled everyone on the wall. But it saved a lot of time.
Screen 8: This screen also went really well. I got lucky by getting the jack clone against the wall so early.
Robot Boss: This was pretty much perfect. I got the second robot stuck in a loop that doesn't always happen.
Screen 1: Disaster. I'm not entirely sure if I could have killed the robot by throwing my sword at him, he might have had a pixel of health left, so I decided to try kamikaze. Didn't work out very well. I wasted a good 10 seconds on R. Bear.
Screen 2: Strat should be self-explanatory
Screen 3: The punks must die immediately. This strat basically always works. Zamza is no problem with the uppercut bait loop.
Screen 4: Strat should be self-explanatory. You usually cannot grab abadede as soon as he falls, he'll break out of it. So I just jump attack him first.
Screen 5: The punks wasted 5 or so seconds by acting differently than usual.
Shiva Boss: I got screwed, plain and simple. Got the first atomic drop. Then on the second grab, shiva somehow slipped away from me. He is invincible for 20 frames upon standing, max should have collided with him after 20 frames here, there was no way I already completely passed his hitbox. In fact, I recreated this exact situation down to the same exact pixel and did the same exact inputs on the same exact frames with an emulator, and I grabbed shiva. So that should tell you how inconsistent this game really is. I honestly have no explanation for what happened. Thankfully I have a backup strat, but it wastes a lot of health, which resulted in me dying on mr x.
Final Boss: This fight was about as bad as I am willing to accept for a run. Even one more knockdown and I probably would have went ballistic and reset. Basically the idea is to bait him into shooting by standing just a little to the left of where he shoots, then punch+special him. Unfortuntely my health was so low that I couldn't take any damage. It was going to work if I had more HP. It could have been worse. The "backup strat" is basically just using a special during his invincible frames after standing, then hopefully grabbing/hitting him afterward.
Well that's it. Sub 26 is possible in theory, but I highly doubt it will ever happen.
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