Released in 1993, Sunset Riders is Konami's attempt to prove to soccer moms that their company isn't all about slaughtering aliens barechested or slaying vampires under the full moon. Instead, Konami made a game featuring Brokeback Mountain star Cormano and his platonic quest to save waitresses and stop criminal empires. By shooting them in the face, of course.
Note about the category: Categories for this game aren't separated by characters, but rather by the weapon they use.
Best Hard difficulty time with Shotgun: 0:18:19 by Mike Uyama on 2011-06-02.
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If you want to see this run with live commentary from my stream then go here.
This is a run I got 3 days before this run that I didn't submit: http://ustre.am/_11ent:K1W
Frezy_man: For being supportive of this run, despite not being around SDA nowadays. :( He also taught me how to get through Chief Wigwam's stage more quickly by making sure I'm at the right edge when I start moving along the rope.
KevinGraillot on youtube: His run is just barely faster than my run, despite cutting out the bonus stages and half of the Richard Rose battle (yep, really). However, I did take a couple of strategies from him, most importantly, his Chief Wigwam strategy. I never thought of jumping over wigwam's slashes while firing at him before I saw his run on youtube.
Everyone who watched my stream: You made running this game a lot more tolerable. I'm not kidding, if I didn't have stream chat to look at and talk to, then I would give up on attempts a lot faster.
This is by far my laziest speedrun project. It took me over five years to complete this run from the day I decided to run this game. Yes, I decided to run this game before I took over Radix's duties at SDA, and I've completed at least five runs before finishing this one, that's how long I've been planning this run. I would play around with the game and maybe put in 3-5 hours of attempts every 4-6 months or so.
I figured since I retired from SDA, I should at least complete this run, especially since I've only said I would do it since the first SDA meetup. Well, a week after retirement, we have this run. I should consider retiring more often.
With all of the time I took, every time I returned to the game I found a small timesaver here and there. The time I spent only made the run better, so it's probably for the best that I took so long to complete this run. There was one timesaver I didn't discover until a week or two before I got this run.
I'm not going to say this run is perfect, or there are no timesavers left, but I feel like there really aren't any big time savers left to discover. The only way I could see the run going down to sub-18 minutes is if someone gets perfect Sir Richard Rose luck on top of a lot of good luck for the entire game, or figures out how to insta-kill him like I did by complete fluke on emulator (once out of maybe 1000 tries).
If you have to ask why I pick Cormano, then what's wrong with you? Even if you're being serious, Shotguns are better than pistols for a speedrun. Also, Cormano is better than Bob for a run, because all of his bullets hit Paco Loco when he shoots from below, whereas half of Bob's miss.
The movement in this game is very basic. Sliding doesn't even make you go faster, since the screen scrolls at a fixed pace as long as if you're moving forward, or you're close enough to the edge of the screen. Yes, it's like Contra 3, you don't necessarily have to be moving forward constantly, you just have to make sure the screen is always scrolling.
This is one run where Frezy_Man and Heidman can't beat me through button mashing, because the gold star powerup grants turbo-fire. The silver star powerup gives me dual shotguns, which not only gives me double firepower, but it makes my guns poke out slightly farther, and gives me better spread when firing diagonally. And yes, those two properties actually help in some boss battles, specifically El Greco and Paco Laco.
Anytime you start a stage or collect an item, you're momentarily invincible, a property I abuse in a couple of stages.
The comments for each stage won't be long because my performance in every stage (not boss) was perfect. I made sure the screen was always scrolling, and I didn't screw up enough to stop the scrolling.
Stage 1: Bury me in my restarts
The biggest source of restarts is this stage, mainly because of the trick at the start. I slide up to where you would normally enter a door, but if up and jump are pressed at exactly the same time, then I jump up to the higher platform instead of entering the door. Sometimes I would nail this trick constantly, but other times I would struggle to pull it off once every 4 or 5 tries. The trick saves about half a second, since you're far enough to the right while jumping up to make sure the screen still scrolls. Yes, I did restart a lot for such a small time saver, but it's also at the very beginning of the run, so it's not a big deal.
Don't ask me why I don't die from those bullets during the first stampede. Let's just say hitboxes and I found a use for the stupid hop. :P
Boss: You can tell how many bullets Greedwell fires by looking at what he does before he shoots. If Greedwell cocks his gun, he'll shoot two bullets, and if he does nothing, then he'll fire four. Greedwell will always cock his gun for the first three bullet salvos, which lets me get quickly get rid of the barrels protecting him. This was a very good fight. In theory it could be a little faster if I shot upwards some more instead of jumping up to finish him, but it's hard to tell exactly when he dies because the flashing is a vague indicator.
Stage 2: Drawing Pilgrims
This is a terrible thing to admit, but everyone who watched my streams knows this already. I die in this stage a lot, not because it's difficult, but because I get bored and distracted.
There's really nothing you can do to speed this stage up, it's an easy boring autoscroller.
Boss: This is where you can lose the most time in a run, aside from Sir Richard Rose. Hatfield is a very random boss who can hide out and dive for as long as he wants. Fortunately, my luck was pretty good this battle, despite Hatfield hiding for a little while before I could defeat him.
Bonus Stage: It's faster to shoot nothing here, so I just keep these guys honest.
Stage 3: Big Heap of American Dream
The flames under the rope don't kill you until they're fully formed, in case if you were wondering.
That knife guy, he'll never catch the american dream. :'(
Boss: You can kill Dark Horse before he moves to the right,
but that requires really good luck, because you have to fire at him every opportunity you get, and hope no one pops out of the windows while you're firing. There's actually a new quick kill strategy that is faster and more reliable, and would save at least 5-6 seconds.
As a side note, it's impossible to hit Dark Horse when he moves from one side of the screen to another, because he's invincible while running off the screen.
Stage 4: Blown away - How I learned to love the bomb and burning lantern
This strategy is 100% consistent as long as if I'm fully powered up. There's really not much else to say here, except I am ridiculously close to the lantern flame when I jumped to the left. I don't think I've been so close to the flame and lived.
Stage 5: Die Amigo, or how to say, "The Amigo", in German
The beginning of this stage is actually the most complicated part. You would think that sliding twice at the beginning is faster, but the second slide will mostly get stuck on the crate, so it's better slide once, then start jumping. I also have to make a precise jump over a gap to make sure I don't lose any time when I shoot and wait for the bomb thrower to die.
Once I get past the bomb thrower, the rest of the stage is pretty simple, I just have to make sure I jump over the posts and watch out for any bullets coming my way.
Boss: One reason why shotgun wielders are faster than pistol wielders. Nice oversight on Konami's part. Occasionally, El Greco will jump out of the way, screwing me out of a run, but that's pretty rare.
The shoot through the shield strategy only works if you have two shotguns, because the shotguns poke out a little farther if you have two of them.
Bonus Stage: Same as the last one. I wish these stages were less boring.
Stage 6: Please, don't shoot shoot my brother, he's only taken 100 bullets
The hardest stage to speedrun. There's a lot of enemies after going up the cliffs, all of them dangerous, and I have to make sure I'm far enough to the right to collect the silver star powerup before the boulders appear. If I don't collect the powerup in time, I either have to wait for the boulders to fall, or I get crushed by them.
I also have to make sure I'm far enough to the right when I start traveling along the rope, which is why I wait to shoot the bomb thrower until I can walk past the explosion (if I shoot him earlier the explosion kills me). If I'm not far enough to the right while moving along the rope, I lose too much time dodging bullets.
Boss: My execution here is pretty much perfect, but my luck isn't so hot. Basically, I want Chief Wigwam to slash three times after landing, but every time he landed, he only slashed once. If he slashed three times at one point, the battle would have been about 2-3 seconds faster.
Stage 7: Hasta la bye-bye
Another stage that's hard to get through. Unlike the second stage, the autoscroller in this one is difficult, and it's really easy to die if you don't quickly shoot the horse riders.
The only way I know to prevent the wagon from exploding is simply not shooting the enemies on it. However, that's easier said than done, and I'm not sure if the wagon exploding causes more than a half second of lag, if it even causes lag.
The second area is also fairly tough, because you have to know where every bomb thrower spawns. If you shoot a bomb thrower too early, you have to immediately go left and waste time or else you die.
Boss: This is the second to last boss, really. This quick kill technique you see here is the trick I discovered only a week or two before recording this run. I guess the five years paid off. ;)
Final stage: I say, a bit of decent luck.
Not a terribly challenging stage after the last two stages. The only two things to point out about the first part is yet again the flames under the rope don't kill you until they're fully formed, and the bullet at the end of the first area doesn't hit me because I already touched the trigger to transition to the second area.
Boss: My luck here is not perfect, but I never expect perfect luck during this battle because that's about a 1 out of 100 chance. My luck was still very good. I managed to get a good amount of shots on Rose while his minions were still alive, and I managed to take out his minions quickly.
After I took out Rose's minions, the battle goes smoothly, and I'm able to get a clear shot on him after each slide or jump. Personally, I'm pleased with how this battle went because it is very easy to die here. You can even play perfectly and still die from bad luck from an enemy spawn or where Richard Rose decides to aim.
This fight is about 8 or 9 seconds faster than a previous run I had. That's how random this battle is.
Potential areas for improvement:
Yes, this entire list is bosses. The stages have very little randomness, and none that can affect your time, whereas most of the bosses in this game are very random and can have a significant effect on your time.
Did I lose time against these bosses because I screwed up? Nope, I lost time from average or bad luck, which is why I submitted this run. I actually had a run with better luck, but a slower time because it had more mistakes and a worse Sir Richard Rose battle (the time was roughly 18:36).
I think the only way to beat this run is through better luck, and I'm not willing to reset simply because of a couple of bad patterns. Now that I've retired I'll have more time for speedrunning, so check out my stream at http://www.twitch.tv/mikwuyma
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