TotD: Overkill is the second typing version of a House of the Dead game since 1999's Typing of the Dead. It was developed by a British company called Blitz Games Studios whose bankruptcy during production didn't prevent the game to be finished after acquiring a new licence from Sega and forming a new studio, Modern Dream. After release for Halloween 2013 the game sold well despite zero marketing. The idea is to type instead of shoot zombies that lunge at you from every point of entrance, while enjoying the campy plot and settings.
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Motherf***er (hardest): 1:43:51
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|Papa's Palace of Pain||0:08:41||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Naked Terror||0:09:01||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Ballistic Trauma||0:11:30||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Carny||0:13:57||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Creeping Flesh||0:09:07||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Scream Train||0:11:47||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|The Fetid Waters||0:13:57||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Jailhouse Judgment||0:13:39||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Overkill||0:12:12||2014-10-20||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
This Typing of the Dead: Overkill submission was recorded as a series of individual levels after getting feedback from SDA verifiers and staff following my original single segment rejection.
I implemented the verifier suggestions and managed to put together a MUCH nicer looking set of runs. All 9 levels are faster than their counterpart from the original single segment submission, most of them quite significantly so.
Adding it up, this total time of this submission is 3 minutes and 55 seconds faster than its predecessor - far and away more than I ever originally thought could be saved even by grinding out the individual levels.
Please see https://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/the_typing_of_the_dead_overkill__may_15_2014.html for the history of the original submission.
General comments and information about speedrunning TotD:O
About speed vs. accuracy:
The difference between my very best high score runs and my very fastest speedruns (PBs), is quite significant. While the comparisons below put my single segment speedrun against the much improved IL times, comparing them to my old high score runs shows an even greater difference. The play style ends up being entirely different.
High scores concern themselves with getting a full-combo on the stage without any typos. Obviously doing this requires slowing down WPM significantly. In a speedrun, the primary concern is clearing out the mutants from the screen *as quickly as humanly possible* above all things. This means combo will break quite often... but the gain is that the average WPM can be MUCH higher.
I found on average my speedruns of any given level ended up being 45 to 60 seconds faster than the standard playthroughs which had gotten me to the top of the leaderboard. There are a few reasons for this, and here's what you're going to see in the run:
You're going to see me take a lot of damage in this run. Getting hit drops your combo... but in a speed run this is irrelevant, and in fact hitpoints are a resource. You will see a number of situations where a mutant throws a projectile (a single character). Waiting for the throw, or backspacing out to hit the single letter and starting again both cost precious time. Instead, my strat was to dispatch the mutants as quickly as possible even if it cost me lifebar.
Similarly, there are a number of sections where a far-away mutant is available to attack first... and then a closer mutant emerges and deals damage if you don't backspace out to kill it. The fastest thing to do in a speedrun is to soak this damage. There are even a couple of places in the latter sections of the game where taking damage intentionally from exploders is the fastest way to clear the screen.
"Slow Time" Powerup:
There are a number of sections where the game throws at you a dense horde of mutants and expects you to use the red "slow time" powerup to kill them without taking damage. This is simply not an option in a speedrun, and is never used.
While a small number of mutants have static words / phrases assigned to them, the difficulty of the phrases can be highly variable. While I found that this tends to average out in a single segment run of the whole game, redoing this as ILs allowed me to play the odds. My experience was that performing very well with "bad" (long) RNG phrases is unfortunately still slower than performing just okay with "very good" (short) RNG phrases. For these ILs I didn't stop playing a level until I had managed to get a strong performance AND better than average RNG. (Developing multiple midpoint splits for each individual level really helped me button this down.)
Another place where you REALLY want concentratedly good RNG (and of course still good play) is on the bosses where you get a finite amount of *real time* to bang out as much damage (as many phrases) as you can before they go through another cycle, usually in the form of "grey phrases" that keep appearing while the boss is in hitstun. Doing this as ILs allowed me to only turn in levels where I got the optimum performance on the boss runs, and only after I was already satisfied with the time of the main stage.
Individual Level Information:
(note, all given times calculated include the interum loading time between stage and boss - this should be removed for comparisons between mine and other runs on disparate PCs, but is consistent across all of my runs as they were captured on the same machine)
Great stage overall, not a lot of variance on the boss unless you flub something. My single segment, which I thought was already very fast, was a 9:07 here.
My single segment was a 9:22 and had a ludicrously good first split that I was always behind on by a few seconds. Managed to shave all my time on the latter section. Again this boss fight is pretty uniform if you don't stumble on phrases.
Just minor improvements here, the single segment submission had an 11:59. Boss is uninteresting. Don't choke. (Seven Days.)
Huge 30 second improvement here! The old single segment was 14:58. I was never happy with that boss fight because I didn't get enough damage in for the minimum amount of cycles. Getting the "two dives" finish on Nigel & Sebastian by itself saved 10 seconds from the old run. This means the main stage was separately 20 seconds faster than the old run. Part of that came from smarter survivor strats, and the rest was just solid typesmanship.
This level is a nightmare to get a perfect score on, but luckily we don't care about taking damage in this run. The single segment time was 9:39 and the 18 second difference comes primarily for an optimized boss fight with Meat Katie. The old run had 5 chops (3 chops, charge, 2 chops) - this run does it in 4. It's very difficult to get three "grey" phrases in after each chop, but necessary to reduce the number of boss cycles.
The old time was 12:31, and all of the time save came from a faster main stage. By this point in the single segment run I was suffering from fatigue and soreness in my tendons... and obviously doing it as an IL avoids this. The other advantage to IL is that I was able to play the stage a fair number of times until I had reasonable RNG. Barring major mistakes (dropped phrases) the boss fight takes more or less the same amount of time every time.
You're looking at damn near a full minute time save from the old submission! First off, I knocked 16 seconds off of the main stage time. The optimum survivor strats here are really nebulous, it really seems to depend on the difficulty of the phrases whether or not it's best to let them eat it or not. I did, however, find an erroneous trigger / intentional damage strat where you get the camera to move on even though mutants are still alive. Mostly though, the old Single Segment time of 15:16 was due to a 3-lobs boss fight with Lobber. It is absolutely imperative that you not let lobber go through three lob-puke cycles. It can range from somewhat difficult to functionally impossible to get two grey phrases in during his hitstun, depending on the RNG. You don't have to get two phrases in *every* time, but if you fall short too often he'll have just enough life left to go through the lengthy lob-puke cycle a third time. This lobber was done in two lobs and the boss fight alone saved an additional 42 seconds.
The old single segment time of 14:27 had a flawless Brutus (no dropped damage opportunities), but after a lot of trial and error I discovered that it seems faster to take one hit on this boss. This gets to the "There he goes" pattern which allows more damage to be put on him prior to him summoning mutants and this means he only summons once. Although this boss fight looks sloppier due to the dropped phrase, it is 4 seconds faster than my "perfect" run from the single segment. The stage by itself is also 28 seconds faster, partly due to faster typing - and party due to letting all of the survivors die and avoiding the particularly lengthy cutscenes you earn from saving them.
Old single segment was 13:34. The time save of 47 seconds was almost entirely due to the stage, only about 4 seconds came from improving the boss. Letting the survivors die was helpful, but I found an intentional damage strat and a few other specific mutant order sections that boosted this run further.
Bitch (easiest): 1:17:27
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|Papa's Palace of Pain||0:07:25||2016-06-16||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Naked Terror||0:08:01||2016-06-22||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Ballistic Trauma||0:09:56||2016-06-18||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Carny||0:11:49||2016-06-26||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Creeping Flesh||0:07:35||2016-06-27||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Scream Train||0:10:22||2016-06-30||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|The Fetid Waters||0:11:57||2016-07-09||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Jailhouse Judgment||0:12:05||2016-07-09||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
|Overkill||0:10:10||2016-07-09||Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios|
General comments and information about speedrunning TotD:O in addition to what was previously published with my Motherf***er run from 2014.
The difference between a "Bitch" speedrun versus "Motherf***er" is quite noticeable. This is due to the phrase length and complexity increase throughout both the main level and boss fights. It is functionally impossible to execute the typing required to save some of the boss cycles on other difficulties that are seen on the Bitch difficulty.
Even More About RNG:
I discovered an agitating amount of RNG on the "3 word" mutants that first appear in Carny. There are a total of four possible animations that trigger after each successful attack, two out of the four (the left and right hook) take less than a second - whereas in contrast one of the four animations (the knee) takes at least four seconds. This means that the "perfect" encounter with one of these mutants happens one out of every eight times, and that the battle can have anywhere from ~3 to 12 seconds of animation time added to it depending on RNG. For the purposes of competitive IL times, this can lead to a reset all by itself, and is very frustrating.
In many cases, it is optimum to kill rather than save survivors. Quite a few of them have "thank you" animations that waste more time than it takes for the mutant to walk to them and deliver a lethal blow. Some of these situations are not black and white, and can depend on mutant phrase and movement speed (also somewhat random). As a generalization, it is generally best to let them die, and you will see instances of deliberate hesitation in this run to allow them to claim their victims.
It was the boss of this level that proved to be a real nightmare and serious grind. There is a pretty important (8 second) cycle skip possible if and only if you can manage to get in 16 yellow phrases and 4 gray phrases. I had many a run die to not meeting these requirements, and was finally able to put Jasper down on optimum cycles at the end of this effort.
You'll notice a long section of me doing nothing early on here, as I discovered that "Red Shift" (the phrase of the mutant in this run) is the last mutant in a long stretch who you actually have to kill to progress the game. Given that I was making many attempts at this, I ignored the optional mutants to avoid the increased risk of RSI. The next thing to note is the "Terrible" sign, which instantly kills all 3 mutants below and saves more time. There are some challenging "throw skips" seen later in this run. Mutants who throw projectiles will waste a couple of seconds even if you kill them right after they launch the attack, but if you can kill them before this things will advance immediately. "okokok" and "Salty Air" were two mutants who I saved a couple of seconds each on by dispatching them very quickly. There is also an extremely hard throw skip that RNG helped me out on by giving me the word "In".
Coco & Sindy also have the potential to kill a run with random animations between phrases that can waste time. The worst of those thankfully did not take place here, allowing this run to take the IL WR.
Both this level and boss fight are reasonably straightforward. You'll see a throw skip on "Sunshine", and a standard issue fight with Screamer.
This is probably my least favorite level, it is very long and has a lot of randomness to it. There is also a minute plus section where the characters are literally on-rails, and there is nothing to be done at all. (You can kill the mutants to avoid taking damage, but it won't speed up the run.) The highlight of this run is my triple throwskip with "wtf" "skin" "fireman" - which will almost certainly never happen again. This level also introduces the miserable RNG component of the aforementioned three word mutants. In this run, I managed to get 2 out of 3 fast animations on the first mutant, and all 3 on the third - overall a very fortunate run.
This is not the greatest Nigel & Sebastian fight unfortunately, as I have done it a few seconds faster. I was actually one phrase short of entirely missing the fast one-dive kill, which would have cost me an enormous amount of time (20-seconds) and meant that the run died here. Fortunately, I finished him off just in time, preserving this run's amazing main-stage time.
This is a short and sweet level, with the biggest challenge coming during the Meat Katie boss fight. You can cause her to skip an entire phase of her pattern if and only if you managed to get four gray words in after *every* chop. Missing even one of these will cause her to waste another 15 seconds. I was just barely able to do this here, but doing so lead to a fantastic time.
There are a ton of reasons to reset this level, but fortunately they all take place in the beginning. There is an early three word mutant, follows by many possible throw skips ("monsoon", "jerk", and more) on the linear train section. These mutants add up to the possibility of a big time save and I was extremely happy with this run going into the second three word mutant. Unfortunately, I only got 2 out of 3 possible fast animations on him, preventing the run from being quite perfect.
There isn't much to speak of against Crawler, as the bug takes approximately the same amount of time to kill each playthrough unless you make a catastrophic mistake.
This level requires a lot of raw typing speed and the optimum survivor strats are rather nebulous (I experimented with both save and kill runs). I also discovered an intentional damage boost strat here that glitches into a minor sequence break. You'll see this when I type "owls" and move on from the other mutant even though he is still standing.
The big decider here is Lobber. You have to get two gray phrases against him multiple times during the fight to guarantee that he only goes through the "lob and puke" sequence twice. Speedrunner ArcticRevrus demonstrated that it is (barely) possible to get three gray phrases here, and if this could be done consistently it may very well be within the realm of possibility to do this in *one* "lob and puke" cycle, which would save a massive 45 seconds. Things went well enough in this IL, although I was a far cry off from that theoretical next-level time save.
This is another agitating level with three (!) different three word mutants, and survivors that waste 20 seconds if you save them. Only 1 in every 512 runs is going to give perfect RNG here, which is a grind that my tendons won't hold out for. In my run, out of a total of 9 animations, 3 of them were big time-wasting knees. However, execution on the main level was well-beyond my standard performance, leading to a much improved time of any previous efforts.
Even on the easiest difficult, it is relatively likely to take a hit from Brutus. A good run will get all the gray phrases possible (which is three) , and prevent him from going into the "summon" or "he's charging" patterns more than once.
The titular level of The Typing of the Dead: Overkill is thankfully reasonably consistent. You'll see a damage boost early on as I intentionally *don't* type "dung" and let that mutant clear the stage for me. Even on Bitch Difficulty, the game gives reasonably long phrases on the final level. There are some throw skips and other more traditional time saves, as well as one three word mutant who gave me pretty average RNG this time around.
Mother is a real treat, and puts ones mashing speed to the test. That's right, the final boss of the game relies on mashing wildly on the keyboard. Apparently I am exceedingly fast at this, and manage to put her down before she enters parts of her cycle that most other runners seem to have to put up with. There is also a 10 second "instruction skip" timesave discovered by Seak1NG that is *not* featured in this IL due to it... well... simply not working properly on my machine. (Not sure if it's a patch version thing, or what.) Of all the levels in my IL table, this is the one I am mostly likely to come back and try to improve.
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