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Released in January, 2010, VVVVVV is an action platformer where you control Captain Viridian, who is looking for his lost crew members after crashing landing in an alternate dimension. Instead of jumping, Captain Viridian is capable of controlling the direction of gravity, allowing him to flip between floor and ceiling. Watch out for spikes!


Single-segment: 0:13:03 by Jared Klein

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Author's comments:

The any% run in VVVVVV contains a few interesting glitches that pretty much destroy the intended route of how someone is supposed to play the game. If you're looking for a run that showcases the fastest room strategies that are plausible to put into a single-segement run, this is the run you want to watch. If you're looking for a run that showcases the whole game, go watch either the any% no-death mode or the 100% run. The goal of these comments is not to talk about every single room, but rather to explain certain tricks or to point out possible time savers (all very minor). For timing, we use in-game time to time VVVVVV runs due to the inconsistent frame rate between versions (using in-game time allows for consistency in timing between versions). For example, version 1.2 runs faster than 2.0 (30 fps vs. 29.49 fps). With this timing, the run clocks in at 13 minutes and 3 seconds, 30 seconds slower than the TAS made by Masterjun.

The Tricks

VVVVVV contains several glitches (or unintended features) that were introduced in the latest official release for the PC (version 2.0). I'll detail the most important ones below.

The Suicide Button: By pressing 'r' during the game, Viridian can kill himself. This was introduced in 2.0 due to the inclusion of player levels due to the possibility of getting stuck in a wall. However, the feature was never intended to be used in the main game. The suicide button is used a few times during the run, and its inclusion allows for the two major sequence breaks in this game. The first one occurs as soon as the game starts. By suiciding at the very beginning as soon as Viridian enters Space Station 1, Viridian goes back to the ship and avoids going through all of Space Station 1. The second use is the Cutscene/Intermission Skip, which is described further below. This is only available in version 2.0 (and therefore cannot be done on the 3DS, which runs 2.1b).

Line Clips: If a horizontal gravity line is close enough to a platform that Viridian can flip off of, Viridian can go through the gravity line by pressing flip twice two frames apart (i.e. press flip, wait a frame, press flip again).

Cutscene/Intermission Skip: By pressing 'r' on the same frame you cancel Violet's 'Captain!' dialogue, you can skip Violet's cutscene. Violet's cutscene takes priority over either intermission. Therefore, if we rescue Violet third or fourth, we'll skip Intermission 1 (the escort mission) or Intermission 2 (the gravitron) respectively. In this run, Intermission 2 is skipped because a perfect gravitron is 1:23-1:24 game time while a perfect escort mission is 1:03-1:04 game time. If you fail to suicide, going through Violet's cutscene will cause all the previously rescued crew members to be unrescued, but not set back at their original positions. This fact makes the game unbeatable. If you suicide in the middle of the cutscene, which causes the game to save at the teleporter, and then exit the game, all crew members except for Violet will be saved. However, you cannot resave Violet, once again making the game unbeatable. Therefore, missing the cutscene skip requires the game to be exited (either by pressing escape in the middle of the cutscene or restarting the game) and automatically kills any single-segmented attempt.

The Run

The Laboratory: First try line clip is always very nice. The area could be improved by being a bit more agressive with 'Kids His Age Bounce', which results in Viridian avoiding two extra flips in 'I'm Sorry', which would save less than a half second.

The Warp Zone: Wasted a small amount of time getting to the Warp Zone since Viridian didn't flip immediately up to the ceiling, and instead I just walk into a wall briefly. It's possible to save a little bit of time in "I Love You" by flipping over the spike pits at the end before the heart flies down the screen.

The Tower: Pretty much perfect. During the tower, I kill myself six times to speeed up the autoscroll (5 times by the ceiling spikes and once manually). I was a little bit late with the first death abuse, so it can be improved slightly. The 5 non-manual death abuses can save 5/8ths of a second and the manual death (death #3) saves 3/8ths of a second.

Intermission 1: I don't see this ever being improved. There are slightly faster methods to "Don't Be Afraid" and "...Not as I Do" but there are no consistent set-ups for the faster strats, and the fastest "...Not as I Do" strat is pretty much TAS only. For further information, doing "...Not as I Do" in this way (going on top instead of the alcove) saves a bit more than 4 seconds. I backtrack a bit on the previous room because otherwise it's impossible to cleanly land on the solid ceiling to flip onto the first platform (holding right always results in Viridian falling into the spikes above). It doesn't cost much time at all because you still have to wait for Vermilion to completely clear the room before you can move forward. The room also requires near perfect manipulation of Viridian in order to get Vermilion to cooperate. Not enough momentum originally and Vermilion falls into the spikes. Too much momentum and Viridian is too far to the right on the platform to get Vermilion across (due to lack of momentum).

Space Station: Probably the most technical part of the run. The flip onto the bottom side of the platform is very tight. Furthermore, Viridian's position upside-down is also very important for the flip onto the conveyor belt. The flip onto the conveyor belt to avoid a cycle is pixel perfect, and that pixel is completely dependent on Viridian's momentum, which is governed by the position Viridian is located in when he starts moving upside-down from the platform. Going underneath Gordian Knot saves one second, while the flip onto the conveyor belt saves 0.7 seconds. The cutscene skip occurs during this section. I have to leave the room where I do the cutscene skip because otherwise the teleporter can't be used. Possible time can be saved in three rooms. In 'Spikes Do!' it's possible to flip perfectly between the last two sets of spikes to avoid flipping twice in the next room, 'Chipper Cipher'. The most major improvement can be made in 'V-Stitch' by going through the room more cleanly, but the room is not as simple as it seems due to the awkwardness of the gap width. A third improvement can be made in the transition to Space Station 1 through the "Exhaust Chute". Viridian can flip onto the lower corner spike (the spike doesn't actually exist) and then flip up through the chute instead of waiting for the platform to move all the way over. The time saved is minimal and nearly impossible to do real time, so it is not attempted.

The Final Level: Three perfect line clips. A faster strategy exists in 'On the Waterfront' where Viridian lands on the top platform and goes under one of the flying saucers. The strategy isn't too hard, but requires tight navigation in the rooms before (you pretty much have to hug the spikes as much as possible). 'The Voon Show' could have been taken a little bit tighter as well. The two autoscrollers, 'Panic Room' and 'The Final Challenge' could be left a little bit earlier than it was during this run. Otherwise, the final level was pretty much perfect.

Overall: This run is really solid. Compared to my 13:07, there was not a single moment where I was behind. The Intermission and The Final Level were completed as fast as I have ever completed them. The time is probably the lowest 13:03 possible. However, I do not see this run being improved. Nearly everything in the run went perfectly. I think I can actually say that I'm done with trying to improve the any% category. Thanks to 'Tranquilite' and 'Nitrodon' for the room strategies, 'Blechy' for The Tower death abuse positions, 'Unpronouncable' for finding the Intermission Skip, 'Masterjun' for creating the TAS (which inspired me to improve my old 13:18), and everyone who came and hung out during the streamed attempts. Enjoy the run!

No Death Mode Single-segment: 0:13:56 by Jared Klein.

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Author's comments:

No-Death Mode is an interesting category in that it is the only category that has all the areas in the game played. This is because the cutscene/gravitron skip requires death abuse, which won't work in No-Death Mode. For the record, the 'r' button is not disabled in the mode, but will instantly end your game. Therefore, this is the only run where you get to see Viridian bounce around for a minute (actually a little bit more than a minute due to the odd frame rate that the game runs at, see timing issue described in any%). As a note, I have no idea how I survived the 25-22 second portion of the Gravitron, as I was pixel away from dying twice in that short portion. However, due to all the time I have played this game, I can get through the Gravitron at least 50% of the time that I make it there (which is often with these strategies).

Due to the nature of this mode, I employ many safe, boring strategies for the sake of consistency (including the old "Not As I Do" strategy). To be honest, I am not sure how this run is a 9-second improvement over the previous run on site. There are a fair number of mistakes in this run, including, but not limited to: two-cycling "Traffic Jam", one extra cycle in "Time to get Serious", and missing the gap jump in "That's Why I Have To Kill You." However, my line clips were clean, which is probably where all that time was saved. I do not really have much to say about this run since I really do not care for the category, but this is an improvement over the old run on site, so I figured I should submit it. Enjoy the run.

100% Single-segment: 0:17:27 by Jared Klein.

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Author's comments:

The 100% run of VVVVVV differs from any% in that you have to collect all 20 trinkets located around the game world. The perspective in which I ran this category differs quite a bit from the way I ran any%. In any%, I wanted to complete a run that is almost completely optimized. However, in 100%, that focus shifted away from adding every single optimization, but rather on surviving. Something that becomes apparent almost immediately is that I wasn't too strict with how my run looked compared to the optimal run, as long as it didn't look awful. Regardless, this is 100% VVVVVV done with no unintentional deaths in a single segment, which I didn't think was entirely possible until a couple of weeks before I got this run.

The Laboratory: I grab the first trinket perfectly fine. The first obvious mistakes come in "Three's a Crowd", where it took me 5 times to clip through the line. As a result, I went for a few strategies that I normally don't go for in 100%, such as a quick "Safety Dance" to reach the second trinket's maze faster and getting the two-flip skip by taking "Kids His Age Bounce" more aggressive than normal in 100%. Overall, I didn't actually lose time from a one attempt line clip with the strategies I normally take in 100%.

Before the Warp Zone: I grab trinkets #5, #6, and #7 here. Nothing really stands out as being terrible. You can grab trinket #7 with two flips instead of three, but time wise it doesn't matter. This section as a whole is pretty consistent.

Warp Zone: This section plays almost exactly like any%, with the exception of "Edge Games", which is where trinket #8 is located. In VVVVVV, it is possible to completely avoid an enemy's hitbox by having Viridian wrap around the screen at the same time the enemy wraps around the screen. By doing this edge trick, I get the trinket a cycle earlier than intended, which saves a few seconds. I lost a good 0.5-1 second by failing to flip completely over the gap in "That's Why I Have To Kill You". Overall, the Warp Zone wasn't perfect, but it was decent enough for my standards for the 100% category.

The Tower: I grab trinkets #9 and #10 here. The last spike before trinket #10 is annoying if Viridian gets stuck on the corner of the platform rather than dropping down into the trinket (the beauty of digital controls). I kill myself four times intentionally during this area, each death abuse saving approximately 5/8ths of a second due to the fast scroll.

Intermission 1: I lost 0.8 seconds because I did not press up the correct number of times to cancel the dialogue and I wasn't paying too close attention to the game at that point. For comments about "Not As I Do", see the any% comments. I double take in "Mind Your Head" to avoid most of the possibility that Viridian fails, for some reason, to make it on the platform in "Do Try To Keep Up". I do not lose any time doing this as you still have to wait for Vermilion to leave the room completely.

Before Space Station 2: I grab Victoria's Trinket (#11) at this point as doing it any later (i.e. after the gravitron skip) results in an additional cutscene. Also in this part, I have trouble falling freely to the best thing in this game besides the soundtrack -- the elephant -- which wasted a small amount of time.

Space Station 2: The Space Station areas pretty much represent the breaking point for a 100% run. More so than the rest of the game, a wrong input results in a death. I grab trinket #13 without any problems, though more importantly, I don't die by the truth in "Boldly To Go". On the way to the second trinket in the area, located in "You Just Keep Coming Back", I take a large shortcut in "Gordian Knot" to get to the trinket. In version 2.0, Viridian is able to flip on the frame after he falls off the platform. Using this trick, if Viridian leaves with a decent amount of momentum at the platform's lowest point, he can barely make it to the ceiling on the bottom-side. This trick is illustrated the picture found here: Previously, I did a flip to the upside of Gordian Knot, which actually turned out to be a second slower. I get the trinket located in "Clarion Call" without a problem, as well as the trinket in "Doing Things the Hard Way" (also known more commonly as "Veni, Vidi, Vici"). As a note, I'm much more likely to die trying to go down to the start point in "Getting Here Is Half the Fun" due to not having enough horizontal momentum. I exit the area through the exhaust chute.

Space Station 1: Since I skipped this area by killing myself in the beginning of the game, I have to go back and grab the trinkets located in "Trench Warfare" (#17) and "It's a Secret to Nobody" (#18). Luckily, Space Station 1 is the only area in the game that does not have a mid-level teleport, and therefore is the only area in the game that is able to be completed backwards. Compared to a previous run, I avoid taking two extra flips in "Stop and Reflect" while going backwards, which costs 0.2 seconds, but adds a lot of consistency. I also grab the trinket in "Trench Warfare" without any problems (for once), which requires two precise flips to do quickly. I exit the level normally and use the cutscene/gravitron skip to avoid making the game unbeatable (see any% comments for more information).

Space Station 2: At this point in the run, I was pretty nervous, and it shows. I learned from a previous run that if I take V-stitch too slowly, I die anyways, so I tried to go decently fast through that terrible room. (It's much trickier than it seems.) I waste a bit under a half a second both times I pass through "Down Under" by taking a slower strategy unintentionally, as I could have survived trying to do the faster strategy both ways. However, as I said, I was pretty nervous at this point and didn't want to take a stupid death.

The Final Level: I avoid doing a line clip in "1954 Silverstone Grand V" because I don't think it's worth the possible time loss in 100% (it saves a second if done first try). I do go for both the line clips in "Three's Company", which thankfully I get both first try. This whole area went as well as I could have hoped for at the end of a "deathless" 100% run. As demonstrated by the ending screen, the final game time was 17:27 and the total number of deaths was 21 (all intentional to save time).

Overall: I'm pretty satisfied with the way this run turned out. There were quite a few stupid mistakes throughout the run that cost on the order of 6-7 seconds in total, but overall, a run without any unintentional deaths in this category (in a single segment, no less) is insane. This was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do with this game, so it's good to have it finally done after spending so much time with this game. Enjoy the run.

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