This game is in general a quite solid game, which I think has gotten quite a lot of attention from runners.
Best time on Extreme difficulty: Single-segment 0:31:11 by Robbin 'Timber' Tapper on 2014-02-14.
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This game is in general a quite solid game, which I think have gotten way too little attention from runners. There are two major glitches used in this game:
- Moon Skip - (Sound a bit "on purpose" to keep it consistent to the original game, doesn't it?). This lets you skip around three minutes of gameplay and is easy to perform. You basically spawn a barrier by scrolling it on screen (or at least in memory), and then by despawning the collision of it. This is done by making a quite forgiving jump to quickly scroll it off screen and then back again. This makes Scrooge fall straight through the barrier and let him continue without collecting boring parts of the Gizmo Ducks suit to have him blast it open.
- Mine Glitch - Much like the above, this has to do with despawning blocks. In this particular case, you need to get rid of four specific blocks and is less forgiving than the above. By doing four more or less pixel perfect jumps, you may despawn them one by one. This process may take from five to 30 seconds (30 seconds isn't too bad, but ~15 is normally my limit for resetting). To take the long way around would add about 90 seconds to the run. This is without question the most common run-killer.
Then we have especially two spots where you are in need of luck:
- Himalayas (On the Plane) - Glumgold will shoot Beagle Boys and bombs at you. The best possible pattern is to start off with a bomb, and then get every other bomb, with baddies in between, which is extremely rare. In all my runs, I've had it happen just a few times. Just to guess the percentage of it happening, it probably happens about 2% of cases. Most times, one or two extra enemies can be acceptable, which is still not that common to occur. After Mine Glitch, this is the second most common run-killer.
- Vesuvius (Dracula) - The last boss. What is more suitable than to have the final run-killer here? Between dealing hits to Dracula, Magica summons three different patterns, a total of six times. Two of them are similar in amount of time taken, whilst the third one wastes 18 more seconds. Most common is to get two of each pattern.
Lastly, there is one thing to take into consideration when running. That is the amount of money you collect. Getting a total money amount, where the "ten thousand digit" ends up at "7", will mean that you will get a Bonus level before the next one. This wastes approximately 8 seconds, and is of course not acceptable in a run.
Other comments on the run in general:
A while back, version 1.1 was released of this game. This version removed cutscenes but also a bit more of the run. If you wonder why switches are automatically pressed - cutscene skip is the explanation.
This run is on Extreme Difficulty, which is the hardest and fastest one. The biggest differences is that you have a limited amount of lives, each hit takes one heart, there are very few health refills and that you have to do what's called "hard pogo", meaning that in order to pogo you have to press pogo-button while pressing down. It also removes many of the checkpoints in levels, which is used to our advantage, since dying is quicker than backtracking in a total of three spots in the game. This saves around one minute compared to Easy difficulty of the game.
Comments on individual levels:
This level is very straight forward. Pogo-jumping is quicker than climbing ropes, which explains why I let go off the ropes when possible in the vertical parts. Depending on the timing you get on the huge hammers, some times it's quicker to take a hit and use invulnerability to go past them, but that wasn't needed here in either of the two sections with hammers. Before the second set, there is a Beagle Boy that I manage to kill in a tight passage. This is a bit tricky to get, but can be learnt to do successfully most times.
On the boss, there are two different patterns he can do; one where he throws the globe/bust high and one where he throws it low. When he throws the low pattern, I normally wait a little while before I hit it. This is due to the boss walking quicker than Scrooge, and having him to get closer to center of the screen allows me to deal damage a fraction of a second earlier.
In the first corridor of this level, I need to grab the item in a chest to the far right. The minor slowing down in here is intentional, to have the bats dive towards me, clearing the way ahead.
After the rolling boulder, it's time for Mine Glitch. With 14 seconds to execute, this is an ok one. Normal aim for me is to get it in around ten seconds, but within 13s is considered good by my standards. This wasn't too bad, so I decided to continue playing.
What happens after succeeding with the Mine Glitch, is not so obvious, but it seems to push you down a couple of levels, which means that by walking right, Scrooge will end up quite a bit later in the level.
When continuing walking left, Scrooge triggers a rolling boulder (even if it isn't visible, the game trigger is activated). Therefore, walking over to the next screen will display a cutscene where the boulder eliminates some blocks that are otherwise hindering you from progressing further.
Right before the mine carts, a quite precise pogo is needed in order to avoid slowing down. These plants are very eager to get a bite. For the mine carts, there's not much to do, except to make sure to collect the correct amount of money to not get a bonus level. The next room is also quite straight forward, as well as the next floors until the Boss. At one point, I take intentional damage in order to not wait for the little slug.
Two hearts at the boss is normally enough, even if some of the patterns are very hard to avoid getting hit on. You hurt this boss by pogo-jumping it (of course), five times to defeat it. In between each hit, he will roll around the screen and then jump to the background, where he spawns either falling boulders or enemies rolling, and jumping, towards you. Least time consuming pattern is to get the falling boulders as the first two and the rolling enemies as the last ones. I actually get the opposite, but it still wastes quite a small time.
For this level, there is one spot where you save time by dying, since you will be sent back to the checkpoint. That's why I try to take a few strategic hits on the way up to that point. I will need to have one heart left at that point, collect an item, and then receive the last hit afterwards.
Since I will need to die a total of three times in the run, and Extreme only gives you two extra lifes, I will need to get one extra. I do that on the bottom floor by pogoing three ice blocks. To not waste any time right after that, I need to kill the bunny before he enters the small passage, and collect an item from it.
The first intentional hit I receive is by the very next enemy, on it's way to dive into the snow. This allows me to use a window of invincibility to run through the three falling icicles. For the forth one, I'll need to halt for a small bit.
After that, I continue to save Bubba. In an Easy run, this isn't needed to do at this point, but I believe doing so triggers the checkpoint (might be just by walking into that area, but then freeing Bubba lets you skip doing it later on.
Just after climbing up the rope, it's time for the second hit, by the last of the "Mighty Ducks" in that room. This hit allows me to jump through the spider without taking damage.
The next enemy, the Bunny, holds an item that I need to collect and thereafter backtrack a level down. Straight after taking the item, I get hit on the nearby spikes to get killed, and returned back to the checkpoint comfortably located right where I need to continue.
After this is a rather boring section, where I normally make sure to collect 60 thousand in money (depending on what the money is at before the level), while waiting for Bubba to smash blocks. Two of the blocks can be sped up by Scrooge smashing them before Bubba gets there.
For the coming climb up, I make sure to pogo off the enemy to get high up, before Scrooge starts climbing. In the next room, the quickest way to get through is by hitting the little rabbit, collect the part on the higher platform and then just continue on.
On the rest of the way up to the Plane, I take an intentional hit on a spider, but other than that, it's nothing special.
So, let's see if Glumgold is with me on the Plane this time. Remember, we want to start with a bomb, and then have a bomb again every other time. The two extra Beagle Boys that I get is normally my threshold at this point, and means approximately six seconds lost compared to the optimal.
The road to the boss looks really cool and precise, but isn't too hard to pull off. The boss itself doesn't contain that many elements of surprise. If you're unlucky, the pattern she gives you may waste around five seconds. I get one of the best patterns in this run. Before giving her the final blow, I intentionally wait just a tiny bit, because the rock might miss otherwise (not possible in Easy, afaik). If you deal the last blow in early enough, you'll see the boss floating in the air for the cutscene. Oh, yeah - it also is meaning you have just saved a split second compared to if the boss wasn't floating.
In this level, you will collect eight gold coins, in order to trigger a beam pointing to the ancient ruins. To collect these coins, you will have to backtrack a little bit to get to all of them. On Extreme difficulty, a death skips a good part of this.
The best route for this, is to collect the first coin, which is just in your way at the beginning, taking a hit by the monkey (I'm not an expert, but would call it a gorilla). To be sure to hit the gorilla as early as possible, I wait a moment after taking the first coin. Getting eaten by the plant instead wastes about four seconds and normally means reset.
In the lower part, the second coin is located to the left. After collecting it, the optimal speed is kept by having luck. If the snake rise early enough, it's possible to pogo it without losing any speed. (Bad snake!)
Right before the third coin, I get hit by a spider, since I will need to die after collecting it. You can save almost a second, by taking an earlier hit, but then need to pass below the spider in order to not loose the time, and that is extremely hard to do consistently.
Killing Scrooge after taking the coin warps me to the start of the level. This time I take the top route, climbing up the middle of the first set of ropes and collect the fourth coin.
After dropping down, this is one of the trolliest sections in this game. If lucky, the bees keep spawning behind you, and the gorillas don't appear right before dropping down at the end. Up until the fifth coin, I get bees spawned ahead of me, meaning some fractions of a second is lost due to some minor slowing down. After that, no more bees wanted a fight, and the gorillas were friendly enough to spawn in the desired spots.
Coin six, seven and eight is very close, and easy to collect. Walking to the right will open up a cutscene, which also makes Launchpad McQuack appear to fly you to the ruins. The flight is a 30 second break for most. But of course I need to keep my fingers active and try to match the music beat a bit, which is much easier if you're not using 8-bit music option (even if I personally like the 8-bit track better).
In the next section, after the rolling boulder, it's quite a challenge to be able to not slow down, without having to wait for the spawning enemies in inconvenient positions. Therefore, I wait for one of them to spawn behind me and follow for a bit. It's really consistent and most of the times doing otherwise loses me a couple of seconds due to slowing down.
In next area, blocks will fall towards you. One part of this level is a bit tricky, which is a jump made from the chest over a pit. Jump too high, and you will get hit by the blocks and fall into the pit and die. Jump too low, and you will fall directly into the pit. This saves around a second or two compared to slowing down and destroying the chest.
No comments on the climb up to the next hallway, but in the section I take intentional damage to be able to walk through some enemies. Then it's straight to the boss.
This boss can be a pain in the ass. However, I normally manage to kill it by hitting it in specific spots. Starting of with getting hit is really bad, but I still manage to deal the third hit in the correct spot, meaning I continue getting my desired pattern.
The rest of the fight is entirely as planned. Runners of this game normally take minor slowdowns here and there to be sure, since trying to hit to early will damage you, and too late means the boss might jump and hurt you, but I'd rather just give it 100% on this boss. Fortunately, all went well.
Normally, I'd play this level last of all. However before doing this run, I've had around 10-20 runs ruined by crashing after beating the boss... which have only happened when playing it last.
Not much to say about the first part of this level. I need to save Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the Beagle Boys dressed as very convincing looking ghosts. So I have no real comments up until they are saved. The playing up until that point is pretty much perfect. Before the first mine cart section, it's possible to pogo jump directly from the mirror, but the time window for doing it on Extreme is way too small, and missing it costs several seconds. At the third Beagle Ghost, I get hit intentionally twice in between hitting him.
After entering the MM (Magic Mirror - of course, what else could it stand for?), there is a bothersome hallway with ghosts dropping down. These can easily steal many seconds, either by hitting me many times, or by forcing me to slow down. In this run, I avoid the first one successfully, I fail to spawn the second one behind me, and also fall into some bad spots between a few jumps, but the next ghost is spawned behind me, and I can quickly get to Magica De Spell.
Magica will first attack thrice, with two different patterns. After that, she will spawn somewhere in the room, where the first hit can be dealt. After that, six mirrors will be spawned, and you should hit the one with her in it. Failing three times will deal Scrooge a hit. Then she spawns again somewhere in the room and allows her to take another hit. She will then transform into something that me as an Ornithologist would call a "bird", which can be hit when attacking Scrooge after flying across the room. Magica appears again, shots out some lightning that need to be avoided, and then deal the last hit for this cycle. She then repeats two more times, spawning longer attacks and going quicker for each time. The spawning of Magica and the mirrors were not too bad in this run, and the level was very successful in general.
The first part of this level can be done very consistently by doing well timed jumps. Almost at the end, I stop for a moment. This is the trigger point to create the barrier further down. In order to despawn the collision objects here, you first need to spawn it. A quite precise jump to the left and then back will despawn it. After that, I can walk straight through it and skip all of the top area of the level.
The next three floors are normal (quite simple) platforming. The second of the Beagle Boys on this floor is a bit tricky to hit without getting hit yourself or having to slow down. Then once again it's soon time for the boss.
This boss can be a bit demanding to get all quick cycles. You have to be observant to where he moves and deal damage once before he moves, once in the middle of the next move and once again before he have time to move. If this is missed once, he automatically finishes another movement, which costs around three seconds each. Done perfectly, you probably have quarter of a second to spare. I unfortunately miss this once. Before the very last three hits, I had one heart to spare, meaning I take one intentional hit, just before I can deal damage again. This allows me to quicker do the first point of damage, and the timing for the other two is simpler.
So, the last level. There are normally a lot of nervousity at this stage of a run, both due to the level having quite a few "one hit kills", but also because you need to be in real luck and get the best pattern on the boss, Dracula.
In the first room, I halt quickly for some bats to dive down and not risk of hitting me into any pit. I take one hit on a bony fellow, but it doesn't cost that much time.
The next room is some simple pogo-jumping section. After that we arrive to the dark room, where I normally take a energy refill, but in this run I decided to not play it safe.
The two lit up rooms requires some well timed drops and pogoing, but no worry, we have the nice Mr. Glumgold to help us in the first room.
Now comes three darkened down rooms again. All have a rolling and falling boulder each. In the first one I've had runs destroyed due to bad collision detection, causing the boulder to hit me and I instantly die. That's why I now step a bit further to the side when it falls down. The third room is a bit evil, if you're used to playing on easy, as the same timing for the jumps don't work out in Easy, the rocks simply go a bit quicker.
After these rooms, are even more friction less boulders rolling around. I think one second can be saved here if getting lucky on the boulders starting pattern.
Next section contains more fun mine carts. Now money doesn't matter anymore, so I just collect whatever I feel like. Next room will mix up falling blocks and some ghosts appearing randomly. If you're lucky (like I was) they spawn in good locations, and you won't take damage or have to wait. Next up is Dracula.
For this boss, it's possible to damage him without pogoing bats before, but that normally cost you more time than it earns you, due to how normal it is to take damage and have to wait him to spawn in a new location instead. For extreme this is always out of question for me.
Each time after dealing him a hit, Magica will spawn one of three patterns (see comments in top for details).
For the first pattern, I get what I call "Fangs". For some weird reason, if you jump up on his beak early on, he will only attack twice, instead of the normal five.
For the second pattern, I get the dragon, which is by far the easiest. He just spits five balls of fire, and then disappears. I take an intentional hit here, to use the short invulnerability and deal Dracula with the second hit without bouncing off a bat.
Next pattern is the slow bat pattern. The bats will slowly attack down towards you, and the only thing to do is to get to the gap, repeat three more times.
Next pattern is "Fangs", followed by the Dragon and lastly "Fangs" again. For Draculas last three hits, he will spawn higher and send out two bats, where you are supposed to pogo the lower one first, then the higher one, and lastly Dracula himself. But it is possible to jump on the first bat while it's at its peak, and then Dracula quicker.
Luckily I didn't get a second bat pattern, which would kill the run = HUGE RELIEF.
Now follow two climbing sections. One for Scrooge to get his precious Number One. This first one was executed perfectly.
In the second one, I need to escape the Volcano. At the very beginning, it's possible to do a very precise jump to grab onto the chains to the left. The preciseness of this quite often results in death, which for an Extreme run would mean Game Over. The climb went as planned. After the run, I was very eager to see the In-Game time, but I feel a bit bad about leaving out the theme song and my new PB (and Wii U WR) is a fact, both in regards to In Game Time (31:11) and Real Time (according to my timer ~34:42).
People I would like to thank are all that have been active in the forum thread, but special thanks goes to (in no particular order):
Radman - For always having good things to say.
Capndrake - For the runs you've produced, which inspired me to perfect my gameplay even more.
Satoryu - For being the guy to beat on Wii U for a long time, Extreme mode.
DuckTalesGuru29 - For giving me a great fight on both Easy and Extreme. When you challenge my times, I get even more encouraged to improve.
Mauste - For measuring everything in detail. That have helped a lot!
Also a huge thank to the verifiers. It warms my heart seeing all of you using the word "amazing".
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