Released in May 2014, Transistor is an isometric action game, developed by Supergiant Games, the same group who developed the 2011 game Bastion. In Transistor, you play as Red, a famous singer, who must defeat an evil robotic army, with the great sword called the Transistor. Despite having a similar camera angle to that of Bastion, the gameplay of Transistor was noted as having a more strategic feel as opposed to the more straightforward action game feel that was Bastion. The game was well received by critics, and was nominated for numerous year end awards.
Best time with resets: Single-segment 0:37:01 by Maik 'Onin' Biekart on 2015-01-25.
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Finally, a run of Transistor I deem worthy of submission. Much credit goes to Sockfolder, for his immaculate glitch hunting skills, Vulajin, for being a cool dude, and anyone else who ever ran Transistor, because you're automatically cool.
Speedrunning Transistor mostly comes down to just not doing things the game was designed to do. It has a really interesting pseudo-turn-based combat system, which I rarely use because it's often slower. It has a great story in a wonderful world, which I rush past. It offers interesting combat, most of which I skip.
For the most part, speedrunning Transistor has come down to skipping as many fights as is useful. There is a wide variety of ways to skip fights, and there's barely any consistency about which method works where. A lot of research went into this route, and there are still many areas where we wish we could skip things, but sadly can't.
Enjoy the run, and enjoy the award-winning aesthetic and music!
- The Bay -
The start of the run is rather dull, but still pretty technical. The strategies are obviously straight-forward, having only two or three skills, but in the first three fights require some good positioning to hit every enemy simultaneously.
The Young Lady is the first (and one of the only) matters of RNG; when hit, she teleports to a completely random location, and the cells she releases also move rather randomly. It'd require extremely bad luck to reset over this, but gaining or losing a second is easy.
The save point insists I put Bounce() onto a skill, and the loadout Crash(Bounce) is easily the fastest for the first two areas. It's the only way to spread the Crash debuff without losing out on Spark damage.
- Goldwalk -
These three fights can get pretty messy. The Creeps have very inconsistent movement, and while I'd like for them to stick together so they can both get Crashed and take damage from Spark, they rarely want to.
Especially the last fight went very awry. Optimally, both Creeps would walk around at the top, allowing me to throw the packet at them and blow them up instantly. This time, the first Creep woke up far too early and they both went the wrong way. The recovery is still decent, but it's not a good fight.
It's possible to skip every single Goldwalk fight through some nifty tricks, but I really just want the experience. These three fights get me level 3, and the Load skill, which is by far the most powerful skill in the game. I switch to a Load(Breach) / Spark(Crash) loadout, which I'll be using for the majority of the run.
- Empty Set -
Another Young Lady, another RNG-reliant fight. Killing her isn't too difficult; she stops teleporting when she has three illusions, and she dies pretty quickly to Load. But it's much harder to clean up her cells in this area, and those little squirts can run rampant if they want to.
A simple Jaunt through a fence skips a trigger that disables abilities, allowing me to further Jaunt through the area. The camera doesn't really like this, but it cooperates eventually.
Sybil offers the first boss fight, and obvious proof why Load is overpowered. She comes in three phases, which can be described as follows:
Phase 1: Dies in 2 Loads. Phase 2: Dies in 3 Loads. Phase 3: Dies in 4 Loads. The fourth has to be placed during Turn, because she will spawn Cheerleaders, and if she isn't blown up fast enough she will survive and heal up. But, no problem.
I get level 4, which teaches Help(), which won't be useful until the very end of the game.
- The Canals -
Finally, the fight skips start, and with a bang. The first Canals area is skipped entirely. By activating Turn() as quickly as possible after entering the passage, the triggered movement is interrupted. This movement removes collision detection, and when cancelled, it doesn't reinitiate. And so, it's a bee-line to the exit. Sadly, this glitch doesn't transfer between levels.
The second Canals area showcases two other methods of skipping fights. First is the boundary glitch. On some fights, Jaunting across the trigger but ending up outside of its normal boundaries prevents the blue walls from forming, and allows me to just move past. And since I'm already in combat, most other fights also fail to stop me. On this past, I have to jaunt around specifically to avoid a few bad triggers so the skip works properly.
The downside to being in combat is that many passages are disabled. That's why I clear the third fight in the area to end combat, and proceed. The fourth cannot be skipped by itself. The fifth is avoided entirely by Jaunting around a corner and completely avoiding the triggers.
- Highrise -
The first area of Highrise consists of a lengthy elevator ride, which can't really be sped up, followed by a pretty tight boundary glitch on the second fight that allows the entire area to be skipped. Pretty simple.
The second area requires a more intricate setup. First, I want the Spine to deal full damage to me, so my movement is specific to ensure he hits with every tail strike. Then, I backtrack to the OVC terminal earlier in the area. Using the terminal leaves you immobile, but entering Emergency Turn by taking damage regains control while the screen stays up. This sets up for the OVC glitch.
Exiting the OVC screen while in the middle of the forced movement of a passage gives back the ability to use Turn(). This causes the same glitch that happened in The Bay, though with a lot more complicated setup required. Either way, the result is zero collision detection, Jaunting through the entire level (making sure to hit a few triggers to move the camera), and only fighting the Spine. His tail can kind of screw with the fight, so I use an easy skill rotation rather than the absolute fastest, and it works fine.
While it would be nice to skip the Spine as well, going through this route would cause the game to soft-lock. There is a method of skipping the Spine, but it requires a very strange setup that makes it about the same speed as not skipping him, while being a lot harder.
- Bracket Towers -
First, Maintenance. The first fight is skipped with a deceptively simple jaunt past - it's actually a pretty small visual cue to get it in two jaunts instead of three. The second fight cannot be skipped with this route. The third has a pretty weird setup for an OVC glitch: by mashing E, I can activate the terminal and the bounce pad at the same time, which also restores movement and lets me break collision for the last part.
Then, Archives. The first fight is Jaunted around. The second isn't so much skipped, as manipulated. By Jaunting across the edge, I can hit only the trigger that causes the two Snapshots at the top to spawn, and quickly kill them to end the fight. This prevents two more Snapshots and a Cheerleader from spawning at the bottom. Then, the third fight is also skipped with easy jaunts; I'm sure people have skipped that fight accidentally in casual playthroughs.
Finally, the Concourse fight is too distracted to attack me, giving me ample time to set up enough Loads to blow everything up at once.
Spoiler alert: Asher and Grant aren't bosses. They're just ordinary guys, and they couldn't handle their own failure. :(
- Return to Goldwalk -
The first fight is forced. By immediately Jaunting to the side, I can avoid the Fetch's aggro, then set up to quickly kill him. At this point, Fetch learned to stun me on hit, so this fight can be really annoying without this setup. Afterward, I quickly Turn before I lose the ability to use it, setting up a long Jaunt chain to save a bit of movement time.
The second fight requires another very tricky visual cue. I line myself up vertically against the wall, then line up the cursor with the other wall, which barely causes a boundary glitch on the fight. It's very easy for the Jaunt to not extend far enough, and force you to clear the fight manually.
I'm not sure what the intent was for the rest of this area, but neither the Creeps nor the Spine really care about you. After the passage, another fight is skipped by Jaunting past it, and then some prior setup blows up the first Man.
- Return to The Bay -
The Jerk has a pretty odd pathing. The corner you automatically get stuck in also confuses him and makes him trail off, giving time to set up enough Loads to demolish him.
Now, the Men become annoying. Really annoying. Every Man within a fight shares its ability with the other Men: attack range, heath regen, movement speed, and Stealth. The latter two are the worst. The leeway to hit a Man while it's attacking you and dropped its Stealth is really small. In addition, its projectiles explode, which can throw away your Loads causing it to survive anyway.
I didn't mention a couple other fights in earlier areas that could've been skipped to save a few seconds. This is the reason why I don't. This last fight on Bay gives me level 6, which teaches Get(). I'll be using this on the upcoming fights with Men to significantly increase their consistency, which automatically saves more time than those possible skips combined.
- Fairview -
Two more fights to go. The first fight requires an immediate Jaunt to the left, then an immediate Turn() afterward, before they can hide in stealth and before the second Man has fired his Haircut. Normally, a single Load wouldn't kill both of them, but the extra explosion of a Haircut seals the deal. Usually. There's a chance one of the Men survives with anywhere between 1 to 10 health, which would waste some time, but luckily that didn't happen.
The second fight shows the final skipping method, which Sockfolder coined as SaveQQ. By clicking an object but interrupting the movement, the action to use that object stays queued. If you then Turn() and move up to it, it will be used, but your Turn() queue will resolve as well. Thus, I save the game after Jaunting into combat. One reload later, the fight has disappeared and I can continue.
The third fight used to be one of the worst. While these Men aren't stealthed, they love to run away from you, constantly spawn haircuts, and stay away from each other. Without Get(), they're a nightmare to dispose of. With Get, they all die with a single setup, consistently. Easily worth the extra experience requirement.
The fourth fight is Jaunted past very easily. The fifth fight is Jaunted past a little less easily. Again, tight visual cues, slightly too far and I'm locked in a terrible fight that costs loads of time.
Finally, I set up another SaveQQ before entering Royce's catwalk. This allows me to reload and keep my ability to Jaunt, rather than having to wait for him to lower all of those firewalls.
- Royce -
Finally, the last of the Camerata. Royce will always get the first Turn, and will try his best to use more of them whenever possible. Which is never.
The loadout I pick is specifically tailored to quick-kill Royce. Load() and Crash() are obvious for their high damage. Get() is to force Royce into a close position if he decided to run off; this run, he actually stayed as close as possible, like he wanted me to get a good time. Jaunt() is put on a passive slot in order to speed up Turn() recovery, shortening the time wasted between Royce's phases.
Finally, Help() is the core of the quick-kill. For some reason, the dog is able to detonate packets that don't exist yet. Once I get my Turn(), I queue up a single Load() and a Crash(), which doesn't cost much Turn() energy (and thus recharges faster). But because the dog Barks at the packet three times, I get four explosions in total, instantly killing Royce's phase. Four of the exact same setups, and Royce is dead.
A little bit of clean-up later, Red is reunited with her boyfriend. Sort of.
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