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Saturday, August 20, 2016 by IsraeliRD

Picking things up

Because we don't have the first game on the site (but we do have the third!), I can't really do much spoilers about Mega Man Battle Network 2. What I can say is that the game's RNG has been ripped apart by 'Keizaron' who manipulates just about everything he can get his hands own. Bosses and foes alike are mowed down thanks to powerful attacks that a normal player may not be able to dish out in such manner. Providing us with a Single Segment, with Resets, 2:11:58 is a RNG-wrecking entertainment.

Long time coming is Zack 'Zallard1' Allard's runs for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Mike Tyson is improved by 3 seconds, giving us a run time of 0:02:10, and bringing the table time down to 0:14:02.30. In addition to that, he submitted a Single Segment run that improves the obsoleted run by 27.91 seconds, to 0:15:57.98.

Last one for today is a great improvement to an already outstanding run. If you're still swearing at Dark Souls then it's doing its job to the day, and I suspect that 'CapitaineToinon' dished out more than a few new phrases while improving the previous run by 3:42 minutes, clocking in at 0:21:29, Single Segment with Large Skips and Resets. Turns out the Klin Skip is still possible, just in a different setup...

Monday, July 18, 2016 by LotBlind

Game Titles Too Braindead to Deserve Better

So these two guys showed up in verification one day: Alien Shooter and Zombie Shooter. I thought: "That's gotta be some über-simple one-screen Flash top-down gun 'em downs both from the same uninspired developer", but they might not be reductible to quite that after all.

Let's tackle them one at a time. Alien Shooter is isometric and in the style of Postal or Crusader. Pretty arcadey with weapon shopping in-between missions. However, it is a full-blown PC CD release. It was created by Russian Sigma Team in 2003, but lacked the sort of oomph graphics-wise to meet the expectations of the day - but that's just left CPU for the aliens themselves... and their viscera (we must study zeir anatomy zo we know whaz ze indivijual jiblets are for and 'ow vital zey were for zem). The green has never glown more gaily, and this is a hella fun snacksized speedrun: just 0:14:03 with you a-beaming all the way. That's 3:56 off the existing run also by Mihail 'horned' Petrov.

I think their humongous counts also explain why they're all so desperate to transmigrate into our world.

How about the other guy then? Zombie Shooter? It's really just another-out-of-many similar Sigma Team action games, but this time, the blood is red... Well, I could leave it at that, but actually, if you were starting to get withdrawal symptoms, there is the option of turning it back green. It's so much of the same, horned's notes have dwindled down into one paragraph. As a speedrun, because you no longer have to kill everything that drools, it necessitates more risky strats, and so death ain' nuddin but a heartbeat away on a few occasions. The final boss, brought to ruin in 0:10:34, will bring back memories of Quake.

Now you know what dem Russkies up to. ;)

Three people verified this run, and they all seemed to think there was no cheating involved. I, however, have reason to suspect the runner may have been using external helpers, such as... The Force... to speed through Tony Hawk's Underground 2 in just 0:07:30. I have only circumstantial evidence, but you'll have to admit, calling oneself 'guywithalightsaber' should at least cock a few eyebrows. It's very nearly - and even the pettiest nitpicking becomes laborous here - a flawlessly executed run judging by both verifier respondage and my own estimations. There's even non-times-wasting schenanigans integrated into the route. If there's ever another submission in this category someone's going to be very confused and refer the runner to TASVideos.org instead.

This next RTS came to the world from a short-lived, highly focused team called Cavedog Entertainment whose star-spangled line-up featured such luminaires as Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island) and Chris Taylor (Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander). September 1997 was bang in the middle of the mouse-and-keyboard-powered early RTS hot streak: after Warcraft II and just before Age of Empires. Total Annihilation sold really well despite the toughest competition. If you remember that silly thread I once started about which genre of games is sans pareil in terms of how they speedrun (which is now an intransitive as well as transitive verb - the pleasure is mine), I did give RTS titles the crown with the caveat that they had to be sufficiently freeform, which TA does at least approximate in places. That's why I never baulk at the traverse of run lengths with these things - 2:36:13 is nothing, and the first 10 missions just went by in flash. May have had something to do with the game being in-game timed which runs much faster...

'kakashi12309' has trodden the expected Individual Levels avenue here. One unique thing about Total Annihilation is the way your base is... mobile. Well that's to say one of your units is the "Commander" who can build structures and whose head acts as the mission win condition in multiplayer matches. Lobbing it off ain't that easy though seeing as this unit has enough health and firepower to parry any scrappy offensives all on its own, breaking no mechanoid sweat. Correctly predicting this getting massively abused is about as meritorious as calling Arizona children would rather take the bus than walk the 40 desert miles to school. The run, which plays through the "Core" campaign on "Hard" manages to showcase many other stratagems as well, such as the recurring "Com-bomb". There is a full, annotated, playlist of these ILs on YouTube at your preference.

I did, BTW, call that the soundtrack was by some bungler called Jeremy Soule. Just for the record. And, for the record, it's within the five earliest recorded orchestral soundtracks for any game. Can you beat that?! Yes, you can by naming one of the other four.

Monday, July 11, 2016 by LotBlind

Don Your VR For This One

Infogrames was a highly expansionist more-is-better sort of game publisher. At their peak they had subsidiaries everywhere and as such got their stamp on a stupidly wide variety of titles across multifarious platforms. That type of company is always headed by businessmen, not creators, and thus you can expect their indirect output to come with some jagged edges and loose bits of string if that's the way to hit Christmas sales on time. As such, it'd strike me (did strike me) a bit odd someone's attention should be caught by airing the name, but it's natural you're reflecting on the few good ones you did play (bad ones you'd have forgotten about), not any of the bollocks getting sold on the basis of licencing - though that's not quite the accurate watershed marker either.

But why have I brought this up? I have an update today that consists of five shortish runs that I've been able to sit through and should be able to speak with some modest authority on. The first ones are 0:32:12 and 0:10:34 long, the latter off a prepared file, for Looney Tunes: Taz Express. It verily bears the Infogrames* possum in the opening titles and it verily counter-exemplifies their grandest moments with scores that could be considered too low to matter. That having been said, I couldn't tell you (well without run comments I couldn't) what exactly was the problem with this '00 N64 title. I don't know and don't really care if the tasmanian devil had starred a prior 3D platformer but his signature, the erratic and destructive whirls, make you think they'd have some potential as a unique mechanic. Apparently they went overboard and made "erratic" completely untractable. Some of the gameplay looks sort of pointless too I'll admit, but the soundtrack and overall feel of the game seem to defy the game's ill repute - if it even really has a repute. I'm on one of my waxing days (waxing in the sense "waxing lyrical" not in the sense "bikini wax") and so should probably just leave it at the mention of whose work the two runs are: it's 'Pottoww', and you should at least see the first level in the plain non-NG+ because the way the first warp is set up and executed is one of the most quaint I've ever seen.

It's not that long ago we paid for tickets onboard the mystery tour 'midst the mystifying mists of Myst. Due to a technical mishap, the cars derailed (read: it was the RealMyst version) and we got ushered away through the led-lit emergency exit. Anticipating dissatisfaction, the astute manager Robert 'Gelly' Gelhar has sent everyone cordial handwritten invitations to be the first to tour the foot-trekking redesign (read: it's still the RealMyst version) of the epoch-spanning experience. Those who assume postures aerodynamic enough to withstand the colossal drag described by a formula whose parameters include the distance covered divided by an alarmingly minor time scalar (that's a significant 4:02 faster too) - my way of saying we're probably outstripping charging sailfish - will be richer of sea-proximating memories as if old scurvied salty dogs, woodland ones as if born on verdant Kashyyk, and those of the underworld as if intimate with the perilous Morian caverns where the mighty Balrog... wants to have a go at you. Much irony is contained within the fact that a good portion of this "freerunning" 0:24:18 we're confined in a rail-bound bathysphere.

This next run for Glover, the game I always read as "glower", may not contain any major skips, but it sure does zounds of minor hops and jumps. It stands out amongst N64 platformers alongside Mario 64 as one of those with memorably unique and skill-capping movement - at least when handling those beach balls. The inevitable overlaps are there: star-shaped screen transitions and the overall look of the graphics for instance. Should've hired a more athletic camera guy cause the view seems to be lagging behind a lot of the time... And doesn't the kid sound exactly like Mickey Mouse when he gives that excited "Whoopie!" at the end of levels?

'Yoshipro' has one-shot many challenging jumps and other tricks to shed off as much as 6:32 down to a 0:28:02. In the game, you're the right hand (in a literal sense) of a wizard whose potions (wait is he actually an alchemist then?) have went completely haywire creating the evil sinister glove Cross-Stitch. Can you find the seven crystals that had to be turned into rubber balls instead and restore both the Crystal Kingdom, and the Crystal Castle's Faustian occupant to a state that may safely be succeeded by a lulling credits sequence? That's the plot. Roll up for the blue juggling chicken!

Whoever wrote the game page blurb for Skyblazer labels the game, unheard of by Mister Me, a cult classic. Moving back from the early console 3D era to 2D reminds me of the stark contrast between late SNES/Genesis (Skyblazer is 1994) eye-candy and the N64/PS1 eye-sore to be very unkind to it. Heyyyyy, there's a surprise commentary track! My Christmas come early except with an average period of what's probably less than one full calendar year. So what's new in the life of Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel? Bit less laggy. Better riskier zipping. Inarguably cool bosses. Deep-frying yourself once Scottish Mars Bar style. And this 0:25:48! For some reason, the protagonist's mentor, who remains the rather impersonal "Old Man" all the way, has to be visited at every plot exposition junction even after traveling to the far side of the Earth.

Seeing as this rather incidentally turned into a discussion of 3D graphics in video games, It'd be remiss of me not to point you at something to educate yourself by, mainly because this 30-minute epic gives the low-down on the history of 3D in specific, as relates to arcade machines and home computers (to be marketable, consoles could of course not pack that raw technical punch of 4-D Boxing). Man, does early 3D actually look so cool... I love simple graphics. Seriously, some of these games look like they're every bit as perfect as the austerity of VVVVVV or something cel-shaded. Minus the music, which the first ones hardly had. But I understand 100% why this stuff would have drawn crowds and blown minds. To me, it's STILL The Future.

*I should point out they're still with us today - merged with and nameshifted into Atari. Throughout Infogrames' history so many of the games created by companies they'd acquired don't even list Infogrames as their publisher so it's quite difficult to scry what to blame, or indeed credit, them for. Their top-rated game in a user-voted list I saw, from a time when they seemed to have more clear-cut in-house production, was the muchly lauded and innovative Alone in the Dark - a series whose whole genesis should and only can be rightly ascribed to a lone wolf acting of their own initiative (and initially outside working hours) to create the first memorable PC horror adventure utilizing 3D polygonal graphics, Frederic Raynal. If anything Infogrames nearly messed it up by pressing them to hit... yeah we're full circle with this thing... Christmas sales on time. And that's what I remember them for.

Saturday, July 2, 2016 by LotBlind

Asinine Old Journey Fans Wolf Final Steinfuls of Blood

Whoa! That's quite the provocative picture I've just painted there now isn't it?


Well well well. I'm stuck here again aren't I? It's the syndrome I've long (since 2014) been in search of an apt name for. I want to see the run, it's only going to steal me 0:49:43, but I will not be spoiled for the game just in case I'll have crawled up the long and lonely backlog far enough to see this sufficiently well-received 2015 FPS with mine own eyes before I die of my blood getting transfused into a display case of its own at my local equivalent of a Smithsonian exhibition. Of old, that is, - and in this metaphor - critically misplaced blood. Which is what Wolfenstein: The Old Blood might know a thing or two about. Tim 'Judgy' Kedge, now you know why I may have ignored it in verification.

The Old Blood indeed did not rejuvenate the series any, though the blood splatters on your screen may appear freshly let. It was considered slightly atavistic if anything by contrast to The New Order, and I'm sure such remarks are not missing the Nazi effigy at the end of the rifle range for a game that spawned off two DLCs merged and marketed as an entirely new main series title. Still, I want to see how these contemporary shooters fare in competition with the ones I know of days gone by. I'll betcha they're all new-fangled.

Journey to Silius was probably named after the utterance: "Silly us for thinking we were making a Terminator game" with the "Journey to" referring the development process up to that point. Because that was their plan, but publisher/co-developer Sunsoft's licence expired mid-way through without them ever reacquiring it. You know the game, reminiscent of Contra and Mega Man, has something going for it as their composer Naoki Kodaka (credited as "Mabochan") of e.g. Blaster Master fame wrote the music for it in the trademark Sunsoft style. Many sound effects even sound borrowed straight from ditto. Dang it, even a few sprites and enemy behaviors are recognizable. We stomp through all of it in 0:10:20 together with 'Zakky the Goatragon' whose time surpasses what you've last seen by 48 seconds - pretty nifty when you think how straightforward things [are made to] look. You don't tend to see bad runs for NES games seeing as either they've been taking a mauling by GENERATIONS of runners or at least whoever's picked one up is likely to have played and run a dozen games before. And with guys like Zakky saying "I have come too far to stop now…" Yeah... Just won't someone sometimes check up on the guy and see he's still on his food and sleep? Any gfs or waifus listening?

As is tradition, we leave the long-arse Japanese RPG for last. Does Final Fantasy IX qualify? These games don't just stress fire safety limits as a huddling throng of marathon-goers packs into the room to testify the crowning of the event; their following also extends to those for whom 40 hours is enough commitment so it's no longer worth switching games before commencing to speedrun one. Carefully orienting himself by the druidic ley lines that mark out the optimal running paths and tethering the Random Number Gods closely to the Idol of Ideal Luck, 'Reverv' makes away with around 30 minutes of run time. The 8:03:07 is one cleft into 61 segments, which in case you were wondering lowers that number by 7. The years count for when the last segmented run was induced is increased by 9. The resets? Over 9000. Read yer comments yer! They're 28 pages long-arse.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 by LotBlind

Teh Urrn is Human

What's immediately appealing about the action RTS Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising is it allows you to redesign the composition of your air- and landborne forces at any time and work the nano reassembly gear onboard your carrier to effect the changes. I believe Gray Goo might have done something similar, but this was back in 2001. Hostile Waters itself took its basic concept from a far older game called Carrier Command (from 1988) but you can't blame Rage Games for lack of original ideas when you've been told about the movements of its narrative. Let them not be purportlessly spoiled though. Commandeering the carrier, we've got a first-timer (a surprising number of runners on the front page are that btw) 'BadJim' giving orders and piloting futuristic vehicles through 21 missions in 2:15:54.

And here's another one with an interesting, unique concept. In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent you do indeed tread a fine line in your double service of the terrorists and counter-terrorists of the near future. It's interesting because it's not just a plot point, but a mechanic that you're constantly being evaluated for. You need to find ways to keep the bomb-happy beatniks trusty enough to let you in on their schemes while avoiding extravagant bloodshed. Not finding that line fine enough for their tastes, 'triblast55' makes sure to be 100% stealthy while reaching the good ending on "hard" in 1:45:35, but at least they've been modest enough to segment it. This repeat visit by triblast is for the 360 while the last was PC.

You give a speedrunner a rocket launcher and they'll give you a shortcut. Today's rocket launcher shortcuts cut into run time like a hot knife through cerebra. The in-bounds is deemed uninspiring and jejune by Ivan 'ImFuryPro' Saponenko who goes on a 0:35:33 10-segments promenade across sundry locations of magnificently preserved (and explosion-proof) ancient history in what is part of well-preserved First Person Shooter history, Croteam's Serious Sam: The First Encounter. Half-way through there's one of the most extravagant displays of unmitigated butchery where the first 2 minutes are a test of your memory and the rest of accuracy and correct weapon choices. I'd personally not have thought there was going to be time when rockets were the antidote to flying enemies, but when they flock up closely enough... feathers will be ruffled. I almost feel the whole game should have been nothing but that stuff.

I guess I might just shoutout the Russian YT channel ImFuryPro seems to be associated with - I'm seeing normal Let's Plays as well as how to optimize your Fallout IV aside from FPS speedruns, so all existing and prospective comrades and товарищи hark now!

It was supposed to be a huge improvement of more than 20 minutes, but turns out mistakes can be made. This is the rather unfortunate case in The Godfather: The Don's Edition where 'Soliduz Znake' returned with what was supposed to be a better route, execution and RNG. After it passed verification (where all we could see was the improved execution and RNG) and the run was timed, it turns out our friend Soliduz mistakenly forgot to add the last segment's run length of 20+ minutes into his calculations. Oops. Nonetheless he wanted to run to pass onwards so here we are with a royal six seconds' improvement that nudges the run time down to 3:06:56. IT'S AN ALTERNATIVE TAKE OKAY!? Oh well, I think le Znake will be found grinning about it for a while into the future.

 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 by LotBlind

Fox Hawkin' Projections of 6k8 Stardom: "U N 4 SotN Magical, Tony!"

Your prize for decoding that one is another update later on.


The untrained eye couldn't pick up where exactly this Star Fox 64 run can possibly be gaining on the clock to make it 0:22:45 instead of 23:09, unless the lag reduction stuff is new. The untrained eye CAN, though, read the comments whereupon it is written ... wait they're in Japanese.

For 'Hayate1129''s sake I hope they had an autofire controller and were allowed to use it for the hundred thousand boosts. Any devs listening - make it so holding the button down is enough! If you're not Japanese [enough] to be sustained by the kanas and kanjis on the run page, what zallard1, another Star Fox connoisseur, had to say about it in verification serves a very similar purpose. Turns out it is far more subtle than I thought.

I just realized dem Nippon kids are learning a modicum of English from their games when they use English words in their titles. Try holding up two flash cards, one of which has a fox on it and the other with a turtle, and asking them which one's the fox. I guarantee you they might get it right. Or wrong.

U.N. Squadron for the SNES is another shmup and thus complements Star Fox nicely. So well, in fact, that they're being run by the very same guy. One of its predominantly horizontal stages uses parallax effects to create a tunnel in-between layers of clouds which I like. To speed up a shmup, in this case you look for the best aircraft and weapons from the shop and make sure you don't miss any shots on the bosses holding your run hostage, but as you should realize I speak in simplifications and simplifications only. The seven stages of this originally arcade cabinet Capcom title, and one that has a place in many a player's heart judging by various scores and reviews, are lain waste to as the one called Mickey on Easy mode within a time frame of 0:19:32 give or take a few ticks.

I wonder if more platformers and various types of games in general wouldn't benefit from having fighting game combo moves like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night does. It introduces variety without having to map it to dozens of keys and gives you a skill to work on. 'wild mouse' has continued work on his Saturn version Maria skills for nine seconds' worth. Playing as her looks like you're playing NG+ with all her OP spell swag. The phoenix she slaughters along the way is probably not going to rise from the ashes. The medusa will continue life as a perpetually stoned med-sab-usa. (...I think that one deserves a pause...) The magician will never reappear amidst a stunned audience either. Speaking of stunned audiences, you're joining one if you snatch the 0:07:36 today!

To find out what stuff other than Maria was dumped before SotN's first release check out this extensive interview with Koji Igarashi courtesy of Double Fine.

'Fog' is bringing us the rags 2 riches tale of the century... or maybe they just spent years practising alone in their mom's garage going up and down the same crooked-ass leftover piece of copper pipe with the occasional ollie over the floor drain... fulfilling their lifelong dream of professional skatesmanship in what sneakily IS the 8th of the Tony Hawks, Tony Hawk's Project 8 (played on the GameCube). They begin to spread the virus that is their fame from what's presumably their home turf, and end up on the other side of a merry little town from any white teenage wastrel's daydreams while engaged in a continuous riot of balance, speed, height, and rotation making their name mean something big in 0:47:36. I have, believe me or not, given some thought as to whether you could actually get signed that quickly, and I do believe you could. You'd just post a superhot skate reel on reddit or something making sure the big boys are tuned in, and if it's good enough, they'll sure as hell rush to be the first with the "sign-heres".

Saturday, May 28, 2016 by LotBlind

In the Pink to the Max Till You Dead DX

The DX you need to read from right to left for a horribly dead "smiley".


If you think space is dead, you just need to zoom in rather a long way but you'll eventually start making out the strings, or whatever, oscillating, or whatever, and energy being created from nothingness. And particles and antiparticles are there, and think about the Casimir effect and dark matter and neutrinos and... The space around the game page for Dead Space 2 isn't any deader either, now holding a PS3 Survivalist difficulty New Game+ 2:20:36 to keep the others company. 'ModSquad' makes chop meat out of the dead space is crawling with that I'd imagine the series got some kudos for seeing as they do something a bit more interesting with zombies.

The irony about this 0:04:11 for Metal Max Returns is the game is already set in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi scenario. It's already the bad ending, or A bad ending, or... well a bad development for the human race. To add insult to injury, Marcus 'crazedlink00' Duchow takes the defeatist "4th path", throwing in the towel before anything has even gotten underway. It's because they get emotionally scarred in a fight against a dog with a rocket launcher. It's understandable, but a shame, because there's a lot to do and see in the highly open-ended Metal Max RPGs, but no official translations seem to exist, so it's similar to your Star Ocean 1 or Earthbound Zero in that regard.

If you remember that by Einstein's theory of relativity, time and space are inseparable and depend on the observer's location and velocity. Even though we may come together on causality, the exact time intervals between events passing will vary. Now you know why Sonic Adventure DX has a new improvement for the character called "E-102 γ" of negative 03:06 minutes. That or the new system of timing, I don't claim to get those. Off wherever the telescope was installed, we see Nelson 'Sonikkustar' Martinez crossing the finish line after 0:13:08.

The name of Étranges Libellules ('Strange Dragonflies') was borne by a Norwegian (actually French but it sounded a bit obvious) game developer most widely known amongst those who cherish comic and cartoon tie-ins aimed at kids. The very crème of their crop might have been some Asterix frolic. Some years before, they'd composed Pink Panther Pinkadelic Pursuit, an homage to a spin-off character first seen in a 60's US-French crime comedy. The Pink Panther was originally just the personification (iconification?) of a diamond that acted as the central plot engine, and its instantly memorable theme wasn't even going to be the main one at first. This video game counterpart is a quaint 2D-platformer with key hunting starring familiar characters. The Pink 'wesen' downhill-skates it IN GERMAN ACHTUNG in die Rekordzeit of 0:18:04. So international!

Friday, May 20, 2016 by IsraeliRD

Super Meat Grinders

After destroying Rupture Farms, Abe comes back in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus to grind down Soulstorm Brewery which uses Mudokon bones and tears in order to make their fantastic brew (honestly, give it a go!). Sam 'Samtastic' Locke told us some people didn't like the way he segmented, and he had wrong audio levels throughout anyway, so he re-made the run. Clocking in 0:44:14 and 49 segments, this is an improvement of 13 seconds over his previous run (with 13 less segments), and 1:03 minutes better than Sligfantry's run. Now, to get to the 100% runs...

Playing on PC oftentimes means faster loading times, as seen in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis where the door opening animations or walking down stairs and other bits can barely even play. This helps while making a run because the pace is kept at a high speed and rarely slows down. 'uhTrance' gives us a treat in the form of playing through quite the meaty category, where you fight through every Nemesis encounter. Add to it the Hard difficulty and this Single-Segment run at 0:50:50 is damn impressive.

Appearing on the front page for the third time in as many years is Super Mario 63, a fan-made flash game with too many things to collect, and a super variety of gameplay. 'TheMilkMan47' improves his previous run by 57 seconds, giving us a bite-sized 0:09:00 run. YAHOO!!

Wrapping up this news post is one of our most favourite Super Meat Grinders, that is Super Meat Boy. Ever since he took the thunder from Breakdown, 'vorpal' had practically demolished the any% category for the PC, and has improved his previous run by 1:22 minutes, giving us an insane 0:17:02 run. Watching this run should be done only with the consumption of meat.

Saturday, May 14, 2016 by LotBlind

The Gen-X Neightbors' Gaunt Zombie Kids Let Survive on AMNesty

It's a hard knock life for the Survival Kids, which is NOT an officially sanctioned collective noun for the children starring this shipwrecked reality show. There aren't even a plurality of them on the scene, you choose just one unlucky anklebiter to scrounge and extemporize the means to realize the hopeful title they've been bestowed by an unknown 3rd party. As per Japanese custom, there may never exist a majority of characters in a translated video game whose names are anything normal or sensible. Hence the boy's sensible name Ken being counterbalanced by the girl condemned on the isle in this 0:06:12 being presented as "Mery". The runner tasked with escorting her to safety just went "'MeGotsThis'", and taught her the arts and crafts of surviving by skipping cutscenes, screen warping, and forcing time to progress when it's advantageous to you - this leading her into ending number 1 of many.

The following 1:28:14 has a near non-stop solo audio commentary. Props for that! I wasn't told this by IsraeliRD, who's usually supposed to alert me to such things, but I always hopefully check them anyway. Just to get it outs the ways. Yes Israeli's impossible to work with.

Show me someone less qualified to write about superhero games, and I'll show you a Himalayan troglodyte monk wearing a sleep mask with bananas stuffed in their ears. They do seem all the rage these days, and I've heard lots of the related movies and games aren't all that bad. X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse isn't either. After Raven Software got acquired by Activision, the part that didn't either leave to form Human Head Studios (responsible for stuff like Rune and Prey), or get sacked after the least whelming Wolfenstein from 2009, was proven capable of a respectable 4-player heroes and villains smack-about in the Marvel universe. Because it's half RPG, 'wfp' will be underleveled a lot. Because it's half action game (which is the most generic tag we use for games), the character that's fastest is being controlled the most. Because it was rushed, there's glitches. Those are good to have right? Anyway the AC is waiting so, get your VLC player and tune into channel two, or b2.

We can use "Apocalypse" as the lead-in for this one, as in you know it is one whenever you find undeniable veracity in the statement "Zombies Ate My Neighbors". But wait, this time it's more like "Sorry, Zombies Didn't Eat My Neighbors After All, Not Even Old Fat Ed" because these kids have moral fiber. I was worried for a moment the boy's name "Zeke" was going to ruin my only-Japan-does-names-wrong theory, but some real people have been named that. Check out how ridiculously likely you are to turn into a professional athlete if you're one of its bearers.

Hmm... I was saying something about how in some weird parallel with the survivor simulator discussed earlier, the girl is again deemed the stalwardest stewardess on the staying alive plane, and she's hellbent on keeping others that way too. Martin 'Allbeert' M. racked his brains about as hard as his famous namesake, Herr Einnsteein, to insure the trails followed were exclusively the fastest yet safest, the safest yet fastest, not unlike travelling on said plane. It's not a fair comparison, because the run this obsoletes belies an additional high-scoring intention, but 1:28:18 is still just short of 40 minutes off.

Wouldn't ZAMN have been right about Michael Jackson's favourite game actually? I gotta mention this as well... I never realized we're looking at LucasArts as developer here! That would explain level 1B.

Lastly but not leastly, we're being treated to ANOTHER four-man action game, 2014's Gauntlet from Arrowhead, the Swedes behind Magicka. I could rearrange the games in order of increasing maximum player count, but that would create segment discrepancies. Back before the 'Blind became an institution on this sporadically refreshed front page column, there used to be a trend of choosing runs with something shared between them, but that's now considered a little bit tacky. Instead we go by the far more sophisticated thumb-rule of "first 4 from the top". So there, it's a coincidence, not one of my machinations.

v. 1.02 is awfully early into a game's development cycle, yet they'll hawk that debris on the unsuspecting audience like it's a meal ready to serve. Well, that's great because speedrunners, say Sean 'MURPHAGATOR!' Murphy & Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare here, like it medium rare, nay rare. So long as you let us take it on the road to dissect and analyze in our own, highly experimental kitchen laboratories. According to the expected channel 2 voice-overs, the choice of difficulty ("unfair") was mostly inconsequential, because in 0:46:55:391, you're just not left with all so long for gambolling with the monsters. Allowing yourself and your team-mate to die, however counterintuitive, proved far more meaningful, but you can only find out why by targeting dem links with the dainty cursor of your petite, selective little computer mouse instrument.

Did I mention IsraeliRD does not function? He had one job, that of counting all the updates that have actually been posted so we know where we're at exactly. Instead he herps and he derps and he blows my lofty aspirations down like super-soaking a paper kite. And that's why I can now only congratulate myself, the other posters the site has had, the wiz kids banging it back together after all joints have come apart, all the runners who've submitted runs for posting, and everyone who's still reading about them -- for having reached the thousandth... AND FOURTH OR FIFTH WE'RE NOT EVEN SURE... ever Speed Demos Archive front page update. Send us flowers.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 by LotBlind

Where's a Win Condition?

The shorter your run is the shorter it needs to be. This is the paradox of speedrunning. That is to say, if it's only 0:01:16 in length, it has to not just shine, but as well shimmer, glint, and coruscate in all the colors of rainbows from here to Vinland. Robert 'Gelly' Gelhar took heed of this and conquered Myst's any% category seven seconds faster than previous, but not as fast as the follow-up. If you see what I'm saying. Real Myst is like Myst, a famous progenitor of cinematic puzzle games, but with the camera unhinged (like alighting from a tram) allowing for more intricate routing. It also places a greater emphasis on mouse mechanics, which is something that ups skill caps yet more, which is why the recurrence of improvements is not really any kind of myst-ery.

What is a mystery is what happened to Kris and who exactly is the changeling Lyra? In the wake of Pokémon Silver and Gold there apppeared a relatively tame offshoot called Pokémon Crystal. The target platform was the Game Boy Color and the, by some accounts, scant differences started with the choice of protagonist between the familiar Red and the female, whose name varies between Kris and Crystal. However, she got dumped at a Pokécen somewhere and never made her way back into any later main series installments, which is likely for good seeing as Lyra became her exact double - if not in appearance, certainly by backstory.

So whichever dank oubliette be her wicked fate now, you should realize you've caught a rare one if you give this 3:16 an inspection, for it is verily Kris poking at Poké-stardom tonight. Much like poké-r, Pokémon running entails calculating odds so you know where the edge is you're looking to live on. 'Keizaron' wanted to go vs. Red, which is one of various end goals runners recognize for the game. Now 8 minutes off werster's old time. Audio commentary of sorts to be found here.

It seems our efforts at plying the expansionist trade have been hopelessly ineffective and our whole planet proven a sloth in space-bound propagation; take but a glance at this scientifically accurate simulation of ideal self-elsewherization 'rowrow_' brewed in his petri dish and you'll realize we're behind par by about 4 billion years minus 0:52:50.

There are, however, a few admissions to be made. Firstly, rowrow has simulated a universe where things are characteristically "easy". By current estimates, we might very well be playing on "hard" or "very hard" ourselves. Second of all, some say the Spore model itself has certain caveats when it comes to projecting off it, and that the combinations of biological features and physical laws gleaned in the sample simply fail to concur with those understood by us, suggesting more deviance in initial parameters.

Thirdly, I've been told this is but one of a myriad experiments each leading from the beginnings of life to - or at least some distance towards - the end goal of securing the Staff of Life. The multiverse may well have seen even better and our Adamsian supercomputer is  may not be in the premium crop at all. Frankly, I'd like to place some scrutiny on the possibly quite mal-revered starry staff itself, but apparently, in the larger scheme of things, there doesn't seem to be much else to do.

So my history with Where's an Egg? so far involves getting highly suspicious when the wikipedia search redirected me to an instance I'm mighty familiar with - the capricious and capery, the seditious and savory, the one-of-a-kin homestarrunner.com - and instantly recognizing that a game by that precise name would be exactly up the Brothers' alley-hoo. I then accidentally won at said game in about 60 seconds, by shooting a lady I construed as trying to send me on a pointlessly long Chain of Deals-type inquiry in the suspicious location of Siberia. More than enough to go on. Because the game is of the hint-hunt-find-whodun't type, completion by sheer luck (as per the anecdotal evidence) is not out of the question. Thus the 0:00:00 in which the game timer, indeed, never ticks down once. In Steve 'Elipsis' Barrios's predetermined world, the oviraptor (a merry old granny) was fated to get exposed at the town aquarium. I'm not giving elipsis the patronage of listening to his audio commentary for this cheeky cheeky run. I still require someone to do Peasant Quest and Yon Dungeonman though so get on it!

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