Thursday, December 23, 2004 by Radix
Improving the past
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 by Radix
An eerie coincidence
Next, I have done my own run of Metroid Echoes even though for two weeks after the game was out I said I wouldn't. I decided to do one when the Dark Suit was skipped. There's two other major sequence breaks in the run as well, and I finished in a time of 2:11, something that seemed unlikely a month ago. While it's rather unpolished because I rushed, I feel it's a great example of what will be possible with further refinement.
So what's the big coincidence? Well the times for both of these runs is very close, both 2 hours and 10+ minutes. The games were released on the same day (depending on who you ask), and David and I finished our runs on the same day as well! Enjoy the runs before the universe implodes from such crazy events.
Sunday, December 19, 2004 by Radix
Grand Theft Melee Kart
I've added a new category to the Super Smash Bros. Melee page, 100 Man Melee. It's basically the same stuff as 10 Man Melee, but because there's 10x the wireframes to KO, they last a lot longer (15x longer in fact). All of the vids are by 'PYh189' and you could have got them for months now at his site if you knew about it. Also there's an improvement in Break the Targets, 'Doraki' improved his Fox-PAL vid by 0.03 seconds to get 0:00:07.20. I advise hitting mute before watching. Someone on the forum said it best... why do smash players think they're disk jockeys?
Four more muted vids are available on the Mario Kart 64 page, slight improvements over previous times: Jeffrey Gutierrez improved two of Eric Habrich's times, Frappe Snowland by 0.02 seconds to get 0:01:40.93 and Yoshi Valley lap by 0.03s to get 0:00:26.43. Meanwhile, Eric improved his own times on Royal Raceway by 0.07s to get 0:02:23.29, and Toad's Turnpike lap by 0.20s to 0:00:49.21.
Sunday, December 12, 2004 by Radix
Tuesday, December 7, 2004 by Radix
More Metroid More Metroid
The first 'speed' run on Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, from now on called just Metroid Echoes has been hastiliy done by well-known Prime-player 'kip'. The run is more of a proof of concept video showing that the game is possible on Hard mode in low% conditions. The lowest percentage is 22%, the same as Prime's, but Prime's 22% comes from skipping 7 major items and Echoes has none. It looks very unlikely that anything will be skipped due to the nature of how items are attained and needed. Kip's time is 3:37, nearly twice his similar 'who cares' hard 22% on Prime, showing the extra length of Echoes vs Prime. But the video's total length is only 4.5 hours, a mere 24% longer than the game time, due to loading elevator & portal cutscenes since all other cutscenes can be skipped! If only the credits could be *grumble*.
Monday, December 6, 2004 by Radix
100% Metroid Prime
It's been over a year since I posted my 100% in 1:37 to launch SDA on the path away from being a Quake-only site. In the month afterwards, I wrote up commentary and added up all the mistakes I thought were visible, and in the end I realized that less than 1:30 is possible if you're crazy enough, even with what was known when I did my run. Well there's been a few new things now, and the route has been tweaked a bit, and my run was even beat by one mere minute by kip, but now there is a proper smashing of my run by Paul 'Bartendorsparky' Evans. He took only 3 weeks to do his run (I took 3 months) but the result is even more amazing. The final time is 1:28, available in the usual low/normal/high quality flavors.
Besmir 'miles' Sheqi practiced a bit more and then redid his 100% on the European version and got a time of 1:47, 11 minutes faster than his previous. The route for 100% for pal vs any% gets botched up compared to the ntsc route even more due to the dumb changes that Retro did. Thankfully, there are no such changes in the PAL version of Echoes because of the near simultaneous release.
In keeping with the theme of the previous update, the above runs have some problems. Sparky's run is hung up in a non-moving queue at archive, about 700 minutes unchanged at the time of updating. Miles's run didn't get uploaded to Fileplanet until today, so the FP links for it won't work until around 3:30am Eastern time. Hopefully you can figure out how to get things in the meantime. Also, if you've been having trouble getting the Half-Life 2 run, read my forum post that might help. Oh and if anyone out there can donate some mirrors for the site... it'd help!
Friday, December 3, 2004 by Radix
Nothing is reliable
This run would have been up about 6 hours ago if a few people at archive.org hadn't decided that speed runs and any other movie that's game related didn't belong in the movies section but instead in software. What kind of sense does that make? Many hundreds of items were shifted around with no notice to me or others, such as the Machinima collection's curator, and the result was hundreds of broken links. Thankfully the download links to the files still work, but the 'info pages' do not, so they're temporarily removed from demo.pl. I was unable to add anything new until Simon came online to remind me he's on my side and help out.. so, it's a little late but the run is online for now. Whether it'll still be up when I get out of bed is another question.
There are two new Break the targets vids for SSBM. 'marth1' managed to about smash the Mario time, getting an 0:00:08.36, 0.27 seconds better than 'Senju'. The other vid is another PAL run, on Fox this time, whose aerial forward+a move has a better range on PAL... why Nintendo has to change such tiny things between versions I'll never know... but the result is a 0:00:07.23 by 'Doarki', compared to the 7.28s on NTSC.
Wednesday, December 1, 2004 by Radix
Not dead, just tired
A while back Ben Fitcher did some more runs on Max Payne on a different setting, New York Minute mode. The previous runs were done on Fugitive, or easy skill and didn't display a time, so we just measured the real time of everything including cutscenes. NYM actually keeps track of time by starting you at 1 minute and counting down, and adding time when you get kills. Finding out the actual total time in a level means either keeping track of what was added and doing a bunch of math, or checking the total time at the next level and comparing to the total time at the start and doing a little less math. I've put these off for too long and only realized this tonight, and instead of trying to verify the times I'll just post them... if something is wrong, someone will surely point it out, right?
A run on a game that I honestly never expected to see an improvement on... has been improved! Nathan Jahnke, my helpful capturing sla....err, assistant, decided he didn't really like two deaths on his Alien vs. Predator run as the alien. He really wanted to do it with no deaths at all, but because of a lot of forced damage, determined that just isn't happening... so he settled for one death instead. The result is an 0:08:48 run, 1 minute and 49 seconds faster than the previous one.
The first Single-segment run of Metroid Prime has finally been recorded. I tried some SS 100%s myself, and managed a 1:59 once, and kept meaning to try more but haven't. Anyway, this SS is an any%, and the time is 1:13 by Shawn Jones, better known as 'smilingjack13'. He includes a great many tricks that you wouldn't expect to see in an SS run, especially the one-shot Thardus dash. The famous 'bars' earlier in the run took quite a few tries though. Single-segment runs like this really show how the runner is capable of dealing with true random crap, since normally if you get something really bad you just reset and try the segment again. Shawn also gets shafted by the lack of pb refills, something which will certainly plague runners of Echoes!
Another runner for Mario 64's 16-star completion has come to take the current record, and this time it was by no small amount. Ilari Pekkala beat the run from earlier this month by 4 minutes and 21 seconds to get an amazingly low 0:20:56. He gets yet another set of stars for the 15 before the glitches set in... no one can seem to agree on which ones really are the fastest. The next step for this run would be under 20 minutes, but Ilari's run seems very polished; it will take some dedication to do it!
There haven't been any Mario Kart 64 vids for a while, so I thought maybe the players were all sleeping. Today I received a new record for Yoshi Valley though, 0:01:26.37 by Jeffrey Gutierrez, 0.25 seconds faster than Eric. No sound though :-\
Yeah, that's only half the stuff I have on my plate.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 by Radix
David Gibbons has realized after 2 months of his first year of college that there is still time for playing games, and he whipped up a 100% speed run of Banjo Kazooie, the N64 classic. Single-segment & bladder-stressing as usual, he clocks in at 2:55:01 on the game clock, which isn't counting various cutscenes so the real time is about 3 hours and 10 minutes. The definition of 100% for this game is debatable, but I said he only needed the jiggies, notes and honeycombs because that's what's listed on the game's 'view totals' screens. Collecting all the extra mumbo tokens serves no purpose, and the cheato books are a bit out of the way and not needed.
My copy of Metroid Prime 2 is just hours away from arriving, and here I am posting another run on the original. Benjamin 'Ekarderif' Feng was trying to beat kip's 100% a couple months ago, but managed to screw it over with a fatal mistake... I pulled the same thing back in January. Although I never did another run, Ekard decided he'd try to improve Inferno's hard any% run. After three short weeks he finished up and got a time of 1:24, 8 minutes faster than I_M. I kept nagging him to redo the final part because it's a bit lacking, and I wanted him to equal 1:23 which was the record for any% on normal for a long time last year... but he wouldn't budge... something about playing echoes. The frigate escape has also been improved, but not by 'kip', by a guy in Sweden who got a copy of the NTSC version and a capture card to record (easier said than done). TRH's time is 0:04:29.27, 1.74 seconds faster than kip's. He threw in three more dash jumps to be able to get this much... will the escape ever reach the magic 0:04:30 mark?
Newcomer Mark Korsak has submitted an improvement to the 16-star run on Super Mario 64. He collects a variety of different stars than Brad's run from June and finishes 44 seconds faster in a time of 0:25:17. A bit sloppy here and there, especially with the first 'mips door glitch', but the later stairs glitches go off without a hitch!
I've added a Halo: Combat Evolved page which includes individual-level legendary difficulty runs that have been available for a few months now from the archive speed runs collection. They were part of a speed run competition "Going Nowhere Fast" on bungie.org. The files are all in .mov format and show bad signs of interlacing; so if anyone can improve the times with proper divx files ... :-)
A few weeks ago I received a submission on Donkey Kong 64 from Wouter Jansen, getting all 201 bananas. If you've ever played this game you know it's huge... he took over 13 hours. Now while it's not actually written in the rules, I've told many people that I'd like to limit runs on the site to under 7 hours. I feel that anything longer that that just won't have an audience, and it becomes increasingly difficult to make a truly impressive run when it's that long. Although I never actually watched much of it, two people who did said it wasn't really much of an attempt at a speed run. The game auto saves and you can't copy the file, so you have to take whatever you do on your first try. Although Banjo Kazooie above does the same thing, it's short enough to just SS it and get something great, as David demonstrates. In this case though I just decided to place the video in archive's "game replays" section as a 101% demonstration video, and you can find it here. Although I can put other such 'not quite speed runs' up, I don't want to take away time from actual speed runs to do that. So please don't go rushing out and do hundreds of other 'heres how to do x' in a game and expect me to put it up there for you.
And finally, don't expect another update until probably a week... with Echoes here I'll be playing like crazy, and I got all but three things posted in this update. One of those has been lingering for a while, which I apologize for, but I'll get it up eventually. Another was delayed just because someone didn't write comments in time! The other I simply haven't looked at yet.
Sunday, November 14, 2004 by Radix
Resident Evil blowout
Damien did no less than 5 runs on Resident Evil 2. This game has been released on many platforms, and until I can see others in action to understand their timing eccentricities I'll just list the game as a PlayStation game, since he played on the Dual Shock edition. In all runs he plays on normal skill and achieves an A rank, which for Claire & Leon means not being allowed to use first aid sprays or infinite-ammo weapons. Since it's possible to get faster times on lower ranks, the A rank will act as the '100%' category for this game. Except for Hunk anyway, because the rank there is determined solely on time! In usual Dragondarch fashion, all runs are Single-segment as well!
Next he took on the almost-original-version of Resident Evil. He played on the Arrange mode featured in the Director's Cut version, which just rearranges a few items...I think. If there's any other differences I'm sure he'll tell me when I've explained it wrong. Since I've only played the GameCube REmake, it was interesting for me to see what the original game was like. I especially found it funny that you had to have a 'walking up the stairs' loading cutscene in the opening mansion room.
Since these runs were all captured by Nate, they get the usual low/normal/high quality treatment. For those who've never tried an HQ file, you should know that you need a really good computer to actually watch them without lag. Probably close to 2 GHz. Obviously my mere p3-450 doesn't come close, and is the reason why I want 'normal' quality where it is. Some of these runs are also available on Nate's DVDs, and he has added a free-shipping discount if you buy the entire volume 2 set. If you check the list you might notice a run on disk #8 with the Shinobi 3 run that isn't here yet... well, it'll be in the next update, don't worry. :-p
Finally, Damien wasn't the only Resident Evil runner in this update. Stacy 'Kitty' Corron did a Chris run on the REmake, the first RE game listed at SDA with a run as Jill. I complained that nobody wanted to do a run as Chris, and finally it's been done. She got a time of 1:55:37 and did it in 4 segments.
Thursday, November 11, 2004 by Radix
Attack of the S-games
Mike Uyama took a break from Mega Man X to improve the existing run on the Genesis game Shinobi III and got a time of 0:29:00, over 12 minutes faster than the previous one! He also played on 'extreme' mode but that only gives you less lives, so it has almost no effect and isn't a new category.
The final spectacular S-game is SSBM with a new round of Japanese Break the Targets videos from 'Senju'. Of course, the announcer still says 'Ready'... I guess the japanese are just expected to know that English word?
Monday, November 8, 2004 by Radix
22% new footage
Robert 'Trebor' Nobles was the first to do the crazy 22%, and he had been working on a 22% speed run for a much longer time... he planned it to be the ultimate 22% speed run. In order to not steal the thunder from Trebor's run, the two reached an agreement that Bartendorsparky's run wouldn't be released until Trebor's was finished. Trebor's time is an astounding 1:18, nearly as fast as the old boost-crazed 23% run. For the first time, you can order this run on DVD as soon as you've finished reading his time! So if you're on a modem and don't want to download the 160 MB low quality, 470 MB normal quality, or the crazy 3.26 GB high quality... spare a few bucks and get it in the mail instead!
Another 22% run that was held back a bit is William 'pirate109' Tansley's 22% run on that whacko European version. Thanks to things like the final boss having nearly twice the health, and the weird door locks, etc, it takes a bit longer... but his 1:48 at least proves that the 22% game is indeed possible on the PAL version.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 by Radix
PHEAA + AES can kiss my ass
About the update title: I'm being raped financially by those two organizations. Yes it's sad story time about me, if you don't care about me then feel free to skip... but remember that my mood, free time etc affect the site. You see, three years ago I signed up for this 'New Economy Technology Scholarship' from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. It would pay $3000 a year for my last two years of university for my Computer Engineering degree. It wasn't free money though, it came with the agreement that for each year I had the scholarship, I must get a job in Pennsylvania in my field after graduating. It's obviously an attempt to keep people in the state instead of fleeing to California or elsewhere. Well I graduated in April 2002 after the 'new economy' had gone to the crapper thanks to dot bomb and planes turned bombs. I struggled to find a job, and three months later I finally managed a part-time job with programming & database work, that I only got because I knew the guy who had the job before me, and he was leaving. Fast forward 1.5 years and I still have that job; sometimes it's not much work but it pays the bills and I have enough to buy a few games. PHEAA sends out notice that I must show proof that I have the full-time job in PA that I promised I was getting. Notice the difference? Full-time. I'm sure that that was specified in the original 'contract' but it was certainly not stressed, and I assumed that I was fine! An attempt to plea with them was fruitless, and they said I'd have a 6-month grace period before having to pay back the $6000. The six months actually turned to 7 before they sold the loan to AES who insists on an EIGHT PERCENT interest rate. That might have been a reasonable loan rate in 2001 when the scholarship was created, but at this point in time I could get a freaking mortgage for under 6 percent. I feel it's outrageous to ask something like that, so I have no choice but to pay it off completely before they collect any interest at all. Most of it will be from my mother, putting it on her 5.x% home equity line, and me paying the rest with what I have. So basically, I'll have zero chance of upgrading my computer or moving this site off the hell that GameSpy has become like I desperately want. Soapbox off.
Sunday, October 31, 2004 by Radix
I approved this message!
I learned of a few new improvements to the 10 Man Melee runs of Super Smash Bros. Melee from 'Mario 64 Master'. 'Ravenyte' has improved three of his vids, bringing Ness down to 0:00:07.52 from 7.53s, Zelda to 0:00:07.25 from 7.33s, and Young Link to 0:00:06.82 from 6.87s. Another SBM player, 'Taka', has taken one of Ravenyte's runs; he improved Captain Falcon to 0:00:07.46 from 7.48s.
Saturday, October 23, 2004 by Radix
Addicted to paper
'kip' also improved his MP escape yet again... in fact, he had done it before I posted the previous one, but nobody told me, so you had to wait another week for it muwhaha! The new time is 0:04:27.53, 0.26 seconds faster than the previous.
And for a few more sub-second improvements, I got a bunch of new Super Smash Bros. Melee Break the Target vids by 'marth1'. Now I'll list them in traditional <ul><li></ul> style!
Saturday, October 16, 2004 by Radix
Pikmin 2 pulls a Metroid 2
The Super Mario Bros. run is the most popular download of everything at the archive speed runs collection with over 4000 downloads in the last 5 months. The run had been improved by a second and then two over the summer, but no vid was available. Finally it fell by a third second and the 0:05:07 by Trevor Seguin ended up in my hands. Wonder how long it'll take this one to overtake the 0:05:10?
'kip' decided that his Metroid Prime 0:04:27.15 frigate escape, better than anyone else in the world by over 1.5 seconds, was crap. He went and did it again and managed a 0:04:27.27.
The recently found shortcut in Mario Kart 64's Yoshi Valley has seemingly already been optimized by Myles Bukrim. He got a time of 0:00:05.82, 0.03 seconds faster than the one from Martin, the trick's discoverer.
I've put a link to Nate's DVD page at the top to keep it prominent, so if you want some of this be sure to check them out! Also I've been tinkering with the CSS on various sda pages lately. I check everything in IE and firefox, but it's possible something is totally borked in something else. If so, please let me know.
Monday, October 11, 2004 by Radix
Damn you Columbus!
A new runner of Metroid II: Return of Samus showed up out of the blue at metroid2002. After the usual capturing difficulties and a redo of the run he ended up with the amazing time of 1:09:23, 6 minutes and 9 seconds faster than the previous one from Brightstar. Mr 'carlmmii' did a completely different weapon pickup strategy and threw in a few new tricks like a spring ball bomb jump unmorph jump.
Another category is added to the Metroid Prime page, the frigate escape at the start of the game. The Prime master 'kip' has broken his old record and achieved a finishing time of 0:04:27.15 remaining. Even though that's only about 2.6 minutes of running it's VERY hard to get > 0:04:25 because of all the L jumping, twisty corridor rolling and dash jumps.
A few more vids on the Mario Kart 64 page. The D.K. Jungle Parkway fast lap dropped to 0:00:36.02 by Myles Bukrim, 0.11s faster than the previous. Choco Mountain shortcut now has TWO shortcuts in it, one at the start and the same one near the end, Myles managed a 0:00:20.87, 0.89 seconds faster than the previous one. Yoshi Valley also has a change in the shortcut vid, with a different way to drive into the canyon and smack into the wall, which convinces lakitu to place you right in front of the finish! The new time is 0:00:05.87, 1.61 seconds faster than before!
And now what all your high-ping-bastards out there have been waiting for, you can now buy for real cheap a select number of runs on DVD from Nate. There's six available now/soonish, including the recent Metroid Fusion 1%, Castlevania: AoS, Mega Man X/X4, and older runs like Super Metroid 100% and Metroid Zero Mission any%/10%. Any future run sent to Nate qualifies for this treatment... remember, the DVD quality is even higher than the High Quality files available for download!
Wednesday, October 6, 2004 by Radix
Finally someone actually did it...
Blake 'Spider-Waffle' Piepho has finished his quest for a Single-segment (marathon) run of Half-Life on hard mode. After some technical difficulties of turning such a long .dem into avi, it's finally available in the usual 320x240 and 640x480 versions and Demo File. He includes a good many of the crazy tricks done in the segmented run!
Jonathan 'Brightstar' Fields has done a 'run' on the SNES space shooter HyperZone. This game doesn't seem to have much charm for a speed run since you're mostly going at a constant 448 speed, but if you get hit then you slow down. Since Brightstar got hit quite a bit in the later stages, it's definitely improvable...
Sunday, October 3, 2004 by Radix
48 hours of 1%
After he was done he had just a little bit left on the tape, so he decided to fill it with another run on Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow with a Julius Belmont run. Again he played on hard mode, and completed in a time of 0:11:34. As with all runs cheerfully captured by Nate's uber-card, there's a low, normal and high quality download. The HQ for the 1% is over 3GB! If that's too much to download even for those of you with college connections, you can wait a couple of days and instead buy the run on a DVD from Nate for a very small fee plus shipping. Check back for details.
The shortcut in the Mario Kart 64 Kalimari desert level isn't really that much faster than taking the normal way. Previously the best time for a full race with the shortcut was slower than a normal full race. Now, Steven Gutierrez has managed a 0:01:44.33 for it, 0.13 seconds faster than the full race...
This page is pushing 90K after 7 months, so I've started an oldnews section.