Released in November 2000 by Eidos and developed by Core Design, Tomb Raider: Chronicles is the fifth installment in the Tomb Raider series. This time, Lara must escape being buried alive to pursue more precious artifacts that belong in a museum.
Best time: 1:13:28 by Jarek 'j.calling.2bad' Hanzelka on 2012-03-31, done in 33 segments.
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Whaddup. Welcome to my TRC speedrun text comments.
First and foremost, how come a run of this game is only about fifteen minutes shorter than the one of TRIV you ask? There's a simple answer to that - TRC has WAY more cutscenes which are all WAY longer than in any other TR classic. In fact, its ridiculousness got over my head while running the game so much I decided to do a little math - of the 01:13:28 it took me to complete the game, only about 44 minutes is actual gameplay, meaning the cutscenes across these short 13 levels make almost a half an hour worth of a show. And that's not even counting all the unskippable flybys, such as the one at the start of 13th Floor, so the show would actually be well longer than that, and the actual gameplay even shorter. You know, I enjoy the cutscenes in the classics. But I partially enjoy them because they're quite rare in the other games, whereas here in TRC it's almost as bad as in the modern games. Actually, it's not half as bad in the modern games, as in those you CAN SKIP THE CUTSCENES! I'm not really surprised it took this long for someone to come by and do an SDA run of the game. As far as I can tell, this one is easily the most frustrating one to run, even if the game itself is actually the easiest of the classics (though even that is debatable when running it, with all the luck manipulation going on here and there, but more on that later).
There are more differences between this game and TRIV than many people realise. The ones prominent to this run include:
- Broken manual aiming - in TRIV, if you switched the function on you could UZI-shoot the pistols dealing all the damage much faster than normally, which is always greatly useful against human-sized or oversized enemies which don't have any special weak spots. It would be very awesome for this run as well as there are quite a few enemies I can't avoid killing, but in this game, even with the function on, Lara still automatically locks onto the first enemy she hits, rendering it completely useless.
- The in-game timer - I'm not *entirely* sure about this one, but I do believe the timer would stop in the inventory screen in TRIV. It doesn't in TRC, meaning I actually did have to hurry up whenever I needed to combine items, switch weapons, etc. Speaking of which...
- Hotkeys - The medipack hotkeys work all the same as in the previous games, but the weapon ones don't, which is rather sad.
There are other differences but most of them have no effect on the run itself, so I shan't go into those.
Special thanks to all the people without which this run wouldn't exist in this shape and form, before I forget them:
- rr_carroll - for generally being awesome and for installing the game the moment I mentioned I wanna run it. He's one of the strongest icons in the world of classic tombrunning. He's responsible for finding way more stuff within the classics than I could ever comprehend, and as such he's one of the main reasons why I even picked up on classic tombrunning all those years ago. As for this run, he found every single ALT if I'm not mistaken, among other things.
- xXApelaumXx - for raping the entirety of the Ireland section of the game. Wasn't it for this guy, I'd never bother even trying to run this game as I bloody hate the Ireland section and if I had to put up with more of it than I did, I simply wouldn't.
- Visst - for his glitched run of the game which inspired me to make one of my own in the first place.
- Wyster - for his TAS run of the game, which provided couple ace route optimizers.
- MMAN and EwilCZ - for their TRIII and TRIV runs (seperately). They both had an equal effect on me, and they both were an equal inspiration to start running things myself. And they're awesome.
- xRikux89 - for being very supportive from the get-go and for trying very hard to find something useful, and even though he tried to speak some of his wisdom into me, I didn't really listen. Still love him, and he onced told me to continue spamming his screenname in my comments, so there you go. ^_^
- Stella - for her fantastic walkthrough, which proved helpful while figuring out which medipacks would be best to collect (I didn't collect a single one in the end, but that's irrelevant).
- and then to everyone who's been supportive one way or another, to all the verifiers who accepted the run, and to everyone I forgot to mention, and sorry if I did.
My eternal gratitude also goes out to these little pieces of software which were greatly helpful for planning out the routes:
- fexInspect: for revealing every single trigger in every single room of every single level.
- TombViewer: for allowing me to take quick trips across all the levels in their entirety. This made finding possible ALTs much, much easier.
- TRSEdit: for allowing me to edit my saves. That way I was able to add flares/medipacks/ammo and junk and see about other ALT/FW/creeping possibilites. This research was fruitless, but nevermind that.
I probably should now go ahead and list all the tricks and glitches used throughout the run, but since Ewil has done such a nice job at that in his TRIV comments and the tricks don't really differ, let me just refer you to his run and you can read all about that funky stuff there.
Alternatively, I could list all the *new* tricks and glitches that were found since Ewil's latest TRIV run, but none of those has been found useful in this run, so there'd be no point. ;_;
Instead, let me just say that most of my effort was put into optimising the route and forcing some crazy luck throughout the game. One of the results of that is that I didn't have to collect a *single* extra medipack across the entire run. Nor did I collect a single pack of flares, but seeing how flares are only in the first two sections of the game and in the second one there's not a single extra pack to collect anyway, the impressive part of it is probably just the medipacks. Still, good enough! (I wonder if anyone would notice it if I didn't point it out...)
One last note before getting to the segments themselves - These text comments were written only after the audio commentary was recorded as I knew I was much more likely to forget stuff while spitting on my microphone. So, all the stuff I forgot to mention in the audio commentary is mentioned here, and vice versa. So if at any point of reading these you'll be like "dude, wtf, how the, dude, explain!" I probably talk about just that in the audio commentary. And vice versa. >_>
Streets of Rome - 5:52
Segment 01 (00:00:12 - 00:01:51)
To start off I was holding down the Up arrow key during the loading to move forward as soon as the loading finished. You can spot that it made Lara step forward halfway across the square. Then I performed a simple corner bug and followed it by the trickiest ALT of the run.
Segment 02 (00:01:51 - 00:06:10)
This segment starts off with another simple corner bug followed by the single hardest jump of the entire run. From there on it's basically a moderately screwable piece of cake. Collected the revolver and the lasersight as they'll be needed in the next level (and they'll be pretty useful in the level after that as well).
Trajan's Markets - 0:58
Segment 03 (00:06:10 - 00:07:12)
Snatched the crowbar as it's needed in the next level. Crawled through a corner and proceeded to the statue head, went down pretty quickly. The Mars stone turns into the gemstone in the next level, which is why I grabbed it. Didn't use a flare to perform the ALT as I needed the last flare for the ALT in the next level, and the sucking corner provided a very fast method anyway.
The Colloseum - 6:35
Segment 04 (00:07:12 - 00:11:25)
In order to drop and grab the crawlspace directly it's necessary to sommersault from the sprint at the very last moment. After leaving it I jumb by a corner to skip triggering one lion in the room below, kill the other lion and the gladiator and perform the ALT.
Segment 05 (00:11:25 - 00:13:57)
It's possible to partially embed the righthand collapsing tile to ensure that Lara would drop at the first frame possible, but that would make little to no difference. The original idea behind leaving the lion alive and entering the statue battle directly was to leave the lion alive for good, but the idiot just wouldn't stop getting in the way. I *do* believe it saved some time to kill him only after the statue had been damaged itself, though.
The Base - 6:16
Segment 06 (00:13:57 - 00:15:37)
The trigger square I target with the ALT is 24 squares away, which is *a lot*. This is the fastest attempt I ever got.
Segment 07 (00:15:37 - 00:16:46)
Killing the guy with the swipecard went just the way I wanted it to go. Outside the base I SHOULD'VE used a pair of corner bugs to get on top of the crates and on the other side instead of the flare, which would've proved better useful on one of the ladders in the submarine. Oh well...
Segment 08 (00:16:47 - 00:20:23)
Segmented here because of the two dogs that make Lara a pleasant company for the rest of the level. There was one time when the first dog got stuck in the showers and never ran out to play with me, but I never got that again so in order to maintain my sanity I decided to make this a *little* easier on myself and just wait in front of the corner for the dog to make his move (the dog's behaviour is still unpredictable, though, so there's actually no truly reliable way to do this). The second corner bug is even worse since that corner requires a much greater precision and the guard actually often kills Lara before she makes it.
The Submarine - 8:42
Segment 09 (00:20:24 - 00:22:01)
Probably the easiest, laziest segment of the run, and therefore also the most boring one to play (and watch, I'd assume). Segmented because of the ALT in the following segment.
Segment 10 (00:22:22 - 00:23:46)
The ALT itself. Despite a short distance between the spot and the trigger square it's very random.
Segment 11 (00:23:46 - 00:25:58)
The naive optimist in me still believes it's possible to take the cook down faster, as he still believes it's possible to get onto his square with three steps only. Never pulled that off, though. The rest went smooth enough, except for that tiny little cute bump that actually might be hard to even notice.
Segment 12 (00:25:59 - 00:29:16)
Segmented here because the following jump onto the box is incredibly easy to screw up one way or another. Everything went rather smooth, the crawling sequences were nailed, some luck was manipulated with couple enemies, so I'm happy.
Deepsea Dive - 4:05
Segment 13 (00:29:16 - 00:33:26)
Perhaps the most magical segment of the entire run, even if it may not look like it at first. Further explained in the audio commentary.
Sinking Submarine - 7:48
Segment 14 (00:33:27 - 00:41:21)
Figured I should be able to nail the whole level in one segment since all the tricky parts take place before the first cutscene. Then I got crazy lucky and therefore decided to keep the attempt despite some confusion towards the end.
Gallows Tree - 0:08
Segment 15 (00:41:22 - 00:41:35)
A ledge bug to skip the entire level. Yup.
The Labyrinth - 3:25
Segment 16 (00:41:36 - 00:42:30)
This level *sucks* . It suffers from the worst, most unfriendly object placement ever, has the worst trap-ish enemies ever, has the stupidest puzzle to start with ever, has the...well, you get the point. Segmented because I run through a corner to bypass a trigger of a 40sec cutscene TWICE. And bypassing triggers by running through corners is one of the hardest things you can pull off in a classic TR game.
Segment 17 (00:42:31 - 00:45:08)
Just a note: Sprinting through a corner to bypass a trigger is even harder than just running through it. All in all things went well, except I bumped a door frame which thankfully was actually an object, so it didn't stop me from moving. Adjusting for the trigger bug doesn't have to be rushed as the bats need to disappear anyway and if their sound effect is anything to go by, I nailed it pretty much perfectly.
Old Mill - 7:31
Segment 18 (00:45:08 - 00:51:45)
Another ledge bug to skip 2-3 minutes. This one was much, much harder than the one two levels ago for some reason. Sprinting straight through the corner into the house demands some sick portion of luck and is nowhere near easy even when you save after the cutscene, so getting it all done in a single segment is something I'm rather proud of.
The 13th Floor - 6:39
Segment 19 (00:51:46 - 00:53:31)
...and people actually complain about TRL's Zip while THIS Zip exists. Seriously, he *is* the single most annoying, frustrating, useless, pointless, worthless, pus-filled bubo who has all the wit, charm and self-possession of an Alsatian dog after a head-swap operation. You can actually tell all that is true the moment you SEE him as well. Anyway, the shit gets real here, and the segmenting gets excessive. For a good reason.
Segment 20 (00:53:32 - 00:54:42)
The corner bug up the ladder is easy, but shooting the grated crawlspace is NOT. It took me approximately a hundred retries each time I screwed something up before I actually made the shot. Then, the headshot went extremely well. It could've gone even better if I happened to align Lara to face precisely and exactly the sleeping douche, but that never happened.
Segment 21 (00:54:43 - 00:56:27)
Things went smooth brother! Except I probably could've gone down the exploding shaft at the end somewhat faster.
Segment 22 (00:56:28 - 00:58:31)
Could've shot the laser guy couple frames sooner, but it's always hard to tell when does he become killable. Shooting the second laser guy went as quick as possible. Triggering the two following cutscenes simultaneously is something I didn't entirely plan on busting my arse over as I used to think the main cutscene has a solid trigger to it, but then I realised it doesn't and that there's no guarantee it would actually start instantly as soon as I'd approach the other-card-guy, and therefore I just kept retrying the segment over and over until the mash-up would occur. Plus, invisible Lara is always fun. Also worth a note is the regular guard who I just ran past and ignored while sommersaulting into the cutscene - he likes to hang about and shoot Lara dead during the cutscene, so not killing him was one of the first actually significant luck manips.
Escape with the Iris - 8:22
Segment 23 (00:58:32 - 00:59:33)
The initial plan was to do this segment along with the next one in one go, but then I just kept screwing up on the crawlspace and the pole jump, and listening to Zip's gibberish at the beginning there gets *really* sickening after a thousand re-listens, so...yeah.
Segment 24 (00:59:33 - 01:01:39)
I tried my best explaining the elevator awkwardness in the audio commentary, so refer to that. Jumping onto the platform at the end is impossible any sooner without rolling mid-air, grabbing and climbing up, which would ultimately be slower.
Segment 25 (01:01:39 - 01:02:06)
Now here's where the continuity is slightly disturbed, but NOT broken. This will probably be difficult to explain but before going any further let me just assure you I did *not* benefit in any way from doing this because the run is NOT timed manually. To help portray that, I unintentionally edited out a chunk a bit too large out of the video, which results in Lara climbing up faster than normally. This, too, could potentially be beneficial only if the run was timed manually, which it isn't and won't be. Ok, now let me explain exactly what happened:
There was a different attempt of the level in which I actually finished the level without segmenting here and got the time of 8:27. I couldn't help but feel I could definitely improve the time, so I returned to the end of segment 24 and started retrying. I eventually came to the decision of segmenting one more time, making this segment. Then I ran the rest of the level (segment 26) and got what is actually used in the run with a time of 8:22. But then I accidentally deleted the original segment 25 instead of one of the previous attempts, meaning I was left with the raw videos of segment 24 and segment 26 and nothing to fill the 01:01:39 - 01:02:06 with. But the level was done and seeing how lucky I was, I eventually decided to take the video of the previous attempt (the one where I finished the level in 8:27) and use the beginning part of that as a replacement for the original segment 25. That's why I start the segment 26 with a slightly higher health (simply because the guard didn't hit me as many times as originally which is what you do see in the run), and why I appear to climb more to the right. That's it.
My wording of all that is probably comparable to a traditional British pudding, but I hope you understand, and that you won't see it as a big of a problem.
Segment 26 (01:02:06 - 01:07:00)
Now for all the sick luck manip and how super well it all went, which convinced me to do what I described above. First off, the aquarium - that *is* the fastest the guard can ever shoot it broken. The only way this could've gone even better was if I didn't stop and look at him and ran for the button sooner instead. The rest of the luck manip is thoroughly enough explained in the audio commentary, so I won't babble about it in here. Just one more thing - ending a level while being on fire is awesome, don't you agree?
Red Alert! - 8:07
Segment 27 (01:07:01 - 01:07:51)
This level is...argh. For starters, I needed to avoid being hit by the laser guy as that little water gun of his can deal some *great* damage, or kill me instantly, of course. You must be very lucky not to get hit. The headshot by the end of the segment could've been done couple frames faster, but whateverrr...
Segment 28 (01:07:51- 01:08:23)
A segment dedicated entirely to the lasers. I tried hundreds of times to just keep playing from the beginning of the level but the lasers never played out in this pattern. Yes, I said pattern. The lasers have patterns of behaviour. Cute, huh? The one I abuse in this attempt is the most beneficial one I could find.
Segment 29 (01:08:23 - 01:09:35)
A segment dedicated mostly to the target practice. Seriously, that shit sucks. Aiming with arrow keys with a fucked up sensitivity like that sucks in general, actually. The trigger I bypass by jumping through the corner in the grapple room saves well over one minute, by the way. My second visit to the lasers hallway didn't go as sexy as the first one, but, once again, I never arrived at a better pattern than this. And I didn't want to segment *again* because at this point I knew the segmenting would be excessive as it is and an additional segment here could potentially mess with the guard's behaviour, which would be unwanted, no?
Segment 30 (01:09:35 - 01:10:17)
This is where the random luck manipulation gets ridiculously extreme. The room I drop into has a human guard messing about, and a turret. Both are entirely random, apparently. Sometimes when you drop into the room, the turret comes out and starts shooting at you before you even land, and the guards starts firing at you before he even sees you. Then there are times when the turret comes out while you pull the wallswitch. And then there are those rare times when the guard is blind and deaf and the turret doesn't come out at all, or it comes out a bit too late. I needed this to happen in order to maintain all the health I possibly could in order to avoid collecting an extra medipack AND using the last medipack I'd have via the inventory screen (because, as you may or may not know, hotkeys don't work with medipacks when you only have one left, and as I mentioned before the in-game timer doesn't stop in the inventory, so it would cost time).
Segment 31 (01:10:17 - 01:11:12)
I really only decided to utilize the above described after finding that if you save right here, all the enemy triggers in this room...break. If I didn't save here and entered one of the next squares, two enemies would spawn from the ceiling and upon jumping into the shaft it would open and another enemy would spawn. But since I saved, not only does the game ignore the two jumpers, it also ignores the one in the shaft (is it a shaft? I've always had issues telling that in these games...>_>), meaning it does NOT open which not only looks sexy, it's faster that way. Killing the first cyborg this way is tricky because Lara likes to randomly stop aiming at him for no apparent reason. This time he went down very fast.
Segment 32 (01:11:12 - 01:11:52)
Originally I was going to do the last two segments in one go, but then the game said "no" and presented a problem I really, *really* didn't see coming. The grapple ropes. They are...asldkjghsdlfjkbhaskfbaspbaskpjfbakpsfh. I would never imagine it would be THIS part of the game that would ultimately become the single most frustrating one. The ropes are buggy. Really, REALLY *buggy*. How so, you ask? Well, there's no way to jump on them in such a way that would make Lara's swing reliably strong for me to jump off instantly. It may seem it does, but it actually doesn't. You see, it sometimes simply works, sometimes doesn't. Riku brought forth an interesting theory, let me quote him for you: "Yes, the ropes can act strange. It seems to me that there could be some addresses that are not reset when loading a game, so that the next time you grab a rope, it is pulling something from "old" memory. Of course, this would mean there's a way to manipulate it to your advantage somehow... but don't ask me how to do that. :')" gotta love that guy, huh? To give you an idea, out of exactly 3046 attempts starting here, the swing worked on both of the ropes *4* times only. 4!
Segment 33 (01:11:52 - till the eeeend)
This segment was surprisingly quite easy, though of course I kept screwing up on the easiest parts, mostly due to my impatience (pulling the wallswitch trying to imprison the other cyborg to soon resulting in the cyborg still being free; pulling the wallswitch releasing the poisonous gas from the cyborg's room a bit too soon resulting in the key item's disappearence, etc.). That tiny mistake at the end is just a reminder it was *me* who ran the game, and it cost me a second at worst, so...let's just overlook that.
So, that about sums it up. I miss the game already. ;_; (lolno). Seriously though, thanks for watching if you did, and see you by some other run. Take care.
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