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Monday, August 31, 2015 by Judgy
Me, Myself And Soliduz
It feels strange to write an update where I am involved twice along with another that I worked with to stratagize and route one of the two following games with. One of these games has a very 'Wild West' theme to it so I intend to compartmentalize my update in the style of the title of a well known Wild-West movie 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' So let's do that!
'The Me' - First up on my list is a game which has it's own list of Scallawags, Drunkards, Notorious Outlaws and Questionable Gunslingers, the story of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Is a self narrated tale of 'Silas Greaves' a self proclaimed legendary outlaw who enters a tavern in Abilene, Kansas to recite his stories about encounters with legendary Gunslingers such as 'Billy the Kid', 'John Wesley Hardin', 'Jesse James', 'Butch Cassidy' and the 'Sundance Kid' and many more in order to gain information about the killer of his two brothers (and gain some alcohol at the same time). The 'Me' part of all of this is that I, Tim 'Judgy' Kedge, Ran each of the 15 missions of this frankly underrated and under-known game in 1:11:45 under the New Game + category allow access to the full range of special powers that we all know the TRUE Wild West legends actually had.
'The Myself' - During one of my insane periods of life I decided to pick up Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 which I personally would describe as speedrunning hell namely due to the fact that Tom Clancy games and in particular the First Person Shooter ones are notoriously difficult to play normally then consider trying to play them saving as much time as possible on what can be 6 minute to 15 minute missions, it makes for an unforgiving speedrun. However, Even after all of this the first mission required improving so for the second time in this update Tim 'Judgy' Kedge (whoever he is) with an improvement of 33 seconds reducing the time for the 1st mission down to 1:15:38 which drops the PC Individual Levels tabel to a time of 1:15:38
Now! this needs to be clarified!, This post was originally going to me titled 'Me, Myself and Irena' However the game involved is the second in the series and not the first which DID involve the antagonist "Irena" Which would have made for a better and wittier title, the latter in the series however involves the betrayal of former Team member Gabrial (Gabe) who gets abducted during the events of the first game and turns rogue on his former team mates... but enough clarification! on with the update!.
'The Soliduz' - The main reason that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2's first mission even has a time save is due to the fact that 'Soliduz Znake' found that while playing the first mission it could end earlier if you were to stand as far into the final room as possible, (I'm not really sure why) however!, due to this discovery which saves around 30 seconds adding to this far riskier strategies than his previous attempt bring his time down from 8:40 to 7:41 which might seem longer than my PC Version but when you consider that the PS3 Version has a loading screen halfway through the level which is included in the play time which the PC does not it makes you realize how good of a run this was. this update brings the PS3 Individual Levels table down to 1:48:33.
Also while on the topic of Mr 'Soliduz Znake' be sure to look out for two further improvements to his Individual Levels table for this game as these are in queue for verification currently so if you enjoyed watching these be sure to check those out also!
Friday, August 28, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun
It's a me, a Mario update!
In case you're not a fan of the fan-made stuff, then no worries, cause I've got just the official game for you. No, it's not the actual Super Mario 64, instead it's the water nozzle backpack thing game Super Mario Sunshine (yes I know it's called FLUDD, but I like saying water nozzle backpack thing). In a suprising twist, Princess Peach IS NOT kidnapped by Bowser, but instead by Shadow Mario, a graffiti spraying criminal imitating Mario. I guess Bowser must have had the day off. Anyway, 'PowderedMilk' apparently hates going on tropical island vacations, and decides to saves Peach in just 1:20:32, a huge 32 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008.
While our last game may not specifically focus on our Italian amico (that's friend in Italian, because why not?), he is featured on the box art of Super Smash Bros., so, I'll just say it counts. Yes, this is indeed the original Smash Bros game, all the way back from 1999 (hopefully you don't feel old when reading that). Despite having a cast of just 12 playable characters, it's still a fun as hell game to play, even if it isn't able to compete with Super Smash Melee, Brawl, or whatever the kids are playing nowadays. 'pikashy' shows off some incredible fighting skills in this 0:05:34 run, playing as everyone's favorite pink ball of joy Kirby.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by IsraeliRD
Hi Speedrun, I'm Dad.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 by LotBlind
The Official Truth on All of the Things
The first thought I had seeing the in-race HUD was "no automap, is that to sneakily cover up extreme rubberbanding?" but later you see the others getting lapped, so I'm guessing it's all for real. There's nitro boosts so continuous that I didn't even notice them at first, gross mishandlings of hazardous chemicals, scaring boss characters so much they can't talk, and I think every time the racer goes "Ow!" she's actually just given herself whiplash. I suspect it's all in the day's work for 'Karlie', who - while not quite delivering a world record (it's some 20 seconds off apparently) - makes the SDA record in this category, any% adventure mode, a pleasing 5 minutes 18 seconds better for a speedy 0:51:35. If you wanted to see more of this game, I found this site for you. Looks like top times are being exchanged on a daily basis!
Actually, now that I think about it, can you technically lap someone if your laps are a completely different shape from theirs? :P
If the brevity of the Wiki page is a measure of a game's obscurity, Nosferatu, a 1994 SNES exclusive, is obscu' fo shizzle. Viewing the submission we see the game has three difficulty settings and this 0:23:11 is on "easy" mode. Gameplay looks a lot like Prince of Persia but with werewolves and floating eyeballs that rudely knock you over like the Hell's Grannies from that Monty Python sketch. There's a time limit for each stage. There's pressure plates and timed gates... Alright, it IS Prince of Persia, but refurnished, improved in many many ways and with all the style of an average Castlevania romp. It looks like it doesn't deserve the oubliette it's been kept in for the past 20 years. The criticism seems to center around unresponsive controls and no save points (at all!) but that's stuff us speedrunnin' lot can make do with.
Quote from 'GreenKnight1294''s run comments: "On 2-B you can save up to 4~5 seconds by sliding under the Frankenstein."
As a little addendum I want to mention the game creators were SETA, who mostly ever made games for the Japanese market, but turns out they're the very guys who brought us Bio Force Ape, a name I recalled from one of the past GDQs.
The Real-Time Strategy genre, I'd like to argue, is the King of All Genres in speedrunning. The ideal example is one that just gives you a fresh start and a goal of destroying everything wearing colors that are not the one you've dressed all your own tanks and infantry in. There doesn't tend to be a single moment when you can't do SOMETHING to help bring this ambition into fruition a tad bit faster. Even the most broken platformers, the most hectic first person shooters have moments when you're just holding down a button or two waiting to get to the next junction or choke point. If the goal is just to defeat the A.I., the means of doing so in an RTS game is highly resemblant to playing against a human opponent, except on the level of strategy, where those abstract thinking skills are only possessed by the latter, but in the best case scenario the runner will still have some improvisation to do on each attempt as well as deciding what the best overarching approach is. Today's last run is a mere one mission (Zerg 10 to be exact) for Starcraft: Brood War, which first-time submitter Sergey '4p)MickeyMouse' Kitaev hereby improves by a full minute and 34 seconds into a 16:54. The new record (individual missions completion now takes 2:20:25) was obtained mostly by starting more bases earlier, more intelligent microing of units and fighting on multiple fronts at once.
Because I didn't want to assert my views on genres vs. speedruns in such a monopolar way, I started a thread on the topic earlier to angle for more opinions. It's been running for a week now and I wanted to summarize what everyone had written as well as include some more comments of my own, so unless I forgot, I should now have updated the first post inside that thread to act as both those two things.
Monday, August 17, 2015 by wickedcodeferret
Cecil Steampunk and the Underworlds
Monday, August 10, 2015 by LotBlind
Escapology Without Apology
Psychon is also a game about an escape. You're trapped in a 2D top-down space station with a killer virus threatening to spread to Earth unless you can incinerate the infestation through the use of provided self-destruct switches. It comes from an unexpected place: it's a home-knit entry into the PS1 catalogue created with a software development kit called Net Yaroze. The best of these third-party games were mailed to subscribers, including Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll & Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll, of Official UK Playstation Magazine in backsleeve demo discs. Well, might have been front sleeve. The runners complete a 0:07:54 tour of the station's 10 decks with their windy corridors, keycards and health packs, wiping away half of the former humans on their way. The run is simple but fast-paced and does involve some neat routing that makes it look like the two are bound together by invisible rubber bands.
This last game is the ultimate form of escape-ism: you go to a third-world country (sorry Venezuela!) to work for a multinational oil company just doing what it needs to to control the deposits, destroy the local infrastructure, quench the guerilla resistance movement, and generally act unbelievably irresponsible on countless different fronts. Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is both my personal power fantasy and a game that took way too long to beach - like a joyously iridescent spillage of a non-renewable source of HAPPINESS - on the depressingly decorous shores of SDA. This 1:32:19 demolition job has to be at least as entertaining as any GTA run you ever saw, the sandbox furnishing complete leveling of targets up to 10 stories high. And it looks spectacular! 'Tigger77' chooses the attituded Jennifer out of three possible avatars and makes the best of the sundry tactics available proving the optimal solutions are far from the most conventional, and usually involve air-striking something. The only minus this segmented run gets is from the video quality up to segment 11/24, but I think we can forgive it that.
Friday, August 7, 2015 by LotBlind
What happens when there's no run comments...
This very first RoboCop video game has an interesting history in that the video game rights for the movie were bought by Ocean before the movie had even been made, and though the company went on to publish (though not create) multitudinous sequels itself, this original arcade version of the game was licenced out to Data East and Nihon Bussan, who made it a year after the movie in 1988. And that's very interesting! Otherwise seeing this game reminds me why gaming arcades were so popular back in the day: the games had all the memory and processing power and fancy input devices in the world to set them apart from what was possible on consoles or PCs of that era. Explosions everywhere, bad guys being hurled left and right, hardly any lag with dozens of sprites on the screen - it's just baller! The digitized voice clips on the other hand may have just passed their best-by date... The runner, Tim 'iast' Treichel, fires his robogun in various orthogonal and diagonal directions and rights every wrong with violence in a blazing 0:09:09. I'd like to add the ZX Spectrum version was apparently particularly successful out of all the multiple ports so if you can somehow set up recording for it, maybe you'd like to give that one a go!
This next run came with no run comments and it's too long to watch just for the sake of this update, so my approach on it here is to enact the karmic revenge the runners, 'StingerPA' & 'Yagamoth', plainly deserve.
Secret of Mana probably requires no introduction to most, and if JRPGs are not your cup of tea, I'm sorry, I walnut go out of my way for you! I'm Sylphid up with people wanting full expositions. In this two-person single-segment 1:52:41 run there are a few moments of herb-a-derping when the runners get themselves into a royal jam, but all in all it goes fairiely well. Whenever there's a scary boss Lumina head, the players get ready to hammer it with supercharged attacks. It eats their health away in great big rabites. "Gnome, gnome, gnome!". If you ever get thwarted by a red drop and/or a blue drop, I think the same trick works fine. Otherwise just drum something up. In-between fights, you'll stare at the game moogle-eyed, because it does offer some serious eye candy in all different shades. I'm surprised it never exceeds the sprite limit! The run relies heavily on Dyluck and the runners just have to wish for no flammies, but at least there's money duping so they don't have to spend a long time rummidgeing through treasure chests. If you're wondering Watts left to improve in this run, maybe roping in a third runner could cut some more time. Don't be illusioned though - while the runners don't have to be best palace forever or confess Undine love, cooperation and good manas can save a minotaur at least a few seconds. Aside from that you'll only find more tricks if you're ready to do empireical research yourself.
In case someone wanted to actually know something about the run, presume it features heavily in this stuff. Also you can watch the run in the same category by the same runners at ADGQ'14 for a commentary.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun
Boxing Matches, Superhero Movies, and Clothing Store ads
The Punch Out games have always been popular among the speedrunning community. In fact, it's gotten to the point where improvements to individual levels for any game in the series are usually less than a fraction of a second, and rely on some of the most insane RNG known to man (maybe I'm over exaggerating things, but Punch Out runs still need a lot of luck). But even with times becoming evere so increasingly shorter (with some levels literally matching the time of the TAS runs), runners are still putting hundreds of attempts into these levels. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard, Terry 'klar' Heard & 'Pottoww' show off their boxing skills in Punch-Out!! (Wii), improving quite a few levels in the process, bringing the total IL time down from 20:06.66 to 0:19:50.76. The improvements are:
Oh, but that's not all! In case you wanted to see more Punch Out fun, then this new single segment run for Punch Out!! has got just what you need. Zack 'Zallard1' Allard is at it again, delivering the same sucker punchers and KO's as always, with the run clocking in at a final time of 0:22:27.45.
Being able to control time seems like a really cool super power to have. Being able to slow down, stop, or even reverse time would make my life so much easier, though, realistically any super power would make life easier. Even though super powers like that don't exist in real life (or do they? DUN DUN DUUUUUN!), it's nice to know that videogames are more than happy to let you fufill your time-bending dreams. Next up on the update is TimeShift, a game that couldn't have a more literal title if it tried. 'HeRMe' is able to find the perfect balance between aiming for the fastest time, and slowing down time to break the game, and completes TimeShift in 1:07:26, a 22 minute improvement from the previous run from 2008 on Casual difficulty.
I must admit, when I first saw the name of the final game on this update, I wasn't sure what to expect. With a name like First Person Lover, you might be inclined to think that the game revolves around "that," but I can assure you, it's the complete opposite of what you're thinking right now. First Person Lover is a first person shooter where you have to liberate a city from the hate it's been engulfed in. You do this by shooting kiss bullets, bubble guns, throwing teddy bear smoke grenades, and other adorable things to hate filled pedestrians, before zapping off their clothing and replacing it with the newest collection from clothing store Bjorn Borg (yeah, this game is supposed to promote a clothing store). Also, apparently this game is supposed to make fun of Gamergate, or something like that. Yup, I told you this game wasn't at all what you were expecting. However Etienne 'EthanWolfcat' Taschereau doesn't seem to care about the adoreableness, and instead finishes the game in a comfortable time of 0:04:11.
Friday, July 31, 2015 by LotBlind
You're Not Supposed to Be Here
I can't leave this topic before quoting how Mr. P.R. answered my request to get a glance in on his notes: "I've speedrun QfG4 since 1997, so all the notes are in my head".
Something I would never have imagined is that "Eliminator" is an actual brand of motor boats that the game Eliminator Boat Duel (1991, NES) is advertising. Here's what someone says about it on the Amazon page:
"This is the equivalent of finding a diamond in a pile of slugs. Ugly slimy slugs."
I had something of a blast watching the run back in verification, but I did reckon the runner, Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios, had made away with a different interpretation of the title... something like "I'm the 'Eliminator' and I'm the one who's actually going to finish this race", which would explain all the brutally smashing into your progressively more challenging A.I. opponents until their prissy little boats would no longer be seaworthy ON MARS. Aside from this, there's ongoing strategizing related to your upgrades and the usage of nitros and other subtle stuff. Each race runs through multiple legs in a swamp or on a river with 3-4 different kinds of presentations of the action: sometimes a side view, sometimes from directly behind the racers etc. so I can really confirm this is a game to look into, especially since Elipsis has laid down a great portion of the groundwork (even having done some TASing!).
Note that the runs have audio commentary.
Okay, final run. Ready?
That's the essential experience of watching this flash-through of Half-Minute Hero. I think every one of the verifiers suspected the video had been sped up at least 3-5 times. Along with the most recent segmented Half-Life run, this is the only speedrun making me sweat at night thinking what it'd be like if someone submitted another improvement.
It's no surprise though, seeing as there couldn't even have been a game conceived of more speedrunning-oriented. It's a JRPG parody where you have the liberal 30 seconds to up your stats and muster the equipment for charging into the act boss's lair. Well apparently that's just one of its game modes but in my defense it's the relevant one. The runner is attempting to keep up a streak of perfect RNG manipulations from the beginning of each of the 31 stages to the end and often pulls it off. Need I say more?
Meanwhile I've perfectly RNG manipulated this update to come up at a time when SGDQ still has some 1½ days left. That means you're still not supposed to be reading these sneaky during-marathon updates. Tsk, tsk!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by wickedcodeferret
Rocky Splatter Toady Show!