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Released in November 1996, Vectorman 2 follows shortly after the first game. Instead of fighting Warhead and his minions, Vectorman fights the Black Widow Queen and her mutant insect minions. Gameplay is similar to the first game, except Vectorman has some new weapons and forms such as a pulse beam, a rhino form, and a fire ant form.

Vectorman2   Vectorman2

Runs on the Sega Genesis PAL version:

Runs on the PC version:

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Single-segment, Cool Difficulty: 0:14:03 by Mike 'mike89' McKenzie

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Author's comments:

SDA note: this run was later retimed in RTA with the new time being 14:03.

Thanks go out to:

mikwuyma, Breakdown, dex, etc - the SDA updating crew, continually keeping the site awesome
Nate - the tech guru, what would the rest of us do without him?
mmbossman - for another well-made TAS, this time obsoleting my own TAS from 2006, done just after my initial speedrun

In one of those random events that could only happen to a speedrunner, I spent four months (on and off, admittedly) working on a speedrun of Vectorman before I got one I was satisfied with. The sequel, with the same mechanics and at times more annoying level design... took two days, and probably three hours' total recording.

Much like with the first game, I just looked over the speedrun again and saw a bunch of improvements, mostly involving riskier strategies, and probably foresaw 30-40 seconds improvement. The end result (2:11 improvement) once again came as a surprise to me, but doubly so that it only took a couple of days for it to eventuate!

Level comments:

Scene 1 - Geronimo (0:37) [0:00]
This level clearly proves that the only reason Vectorman crashed the Sludge Barge is because he was blind drunk ;)

Scene 2 - Night in the Swamp (0:51) [0:00]
Could've saved a couple of seconds here... Those two turtles have a pretty small window of opportunity to jump over them while they're facing the wrong way. The funny thing is that in practice for the marathon I found the first one much harder to jump over, but in all my attempts for this run I probably hit the first jump 90% of the time, but the second was no better than a 50/50 shot. He played nice and turned around pretty quickly though, if he had gone on further down the tunnel I would have had to restart. 51 is the worst I was going to accept, because that's what I got in my old run. Two seconds lost.

Scene 3 - Bog Jam (0:21) [-0:11]
The nice thing about this level is that not only is there a really fast route through it, but that route happens to go past one of the extra life pieces. It does mean forfeiting the second one, but that's the whole point of doing the run again, redoing it with much riskier strategies!

Scene 4 - In Blackest Night (0:11) [-0:01]
Pretty easy boss, but it can be really nasty with the shots it fires in that they're very difficult to lead, especially if you're in close range (which you should be pretty much all the time). The second hit was kinda BS, but whatever. Three health is enough to survive the next level... just.

Scene 5 - Fired (0:34) [-0:09]
Changed this strat up significantly. I now take two intentional hits, but it may or may not be faster to do it with three: you'll see at 5:52 I take out the enemy in the tunnel. The alternate route would be to go straight through there and take a third hit on the lava, which would result in you being knocked backwards and losing momentum as well. Instead I go over the top and land on the platform in the lava with my double jump (this will always happen, by the way, because those platforms don't start moving until you go past a certain x coordinate). In this case, which one is faster is irrelevant, though, because I only had 3 health to play with.
Incidentally, it is possible to avoid damage by jumping on the exact frame that you land on the lava, but even if I mashed at 10 hits per second (which would be approaching my best) my chances are no better than 20%. I tried and failed both times, but you don't exactly expect that to come off, it's just a nice bonus.

Scene 6 - Magma P.I. (0:15) [-0:07]
Really clean run here. Of course, I didn't pick up the extra life piece, and the next one is in level 13... so I have to be very clean for the next few minutes. I also have to get a bit of luck with health drops, I need to get to 3 health by level 13 because I need to take two intentional hits prior to getting the extra life piece.

Scene 7 - Turn Up the Heat (0:13) [-0:06]
When I did the previous run, I knew that shooting it would make it turn around, I just wasn't good enough at that point to get any benefit out of it. In this run the boss never drops back into the lava. Very good fight, no complaints whatsoever.

Scene 8 - Orbot Express (0:24) [+0:01]
These levels are the big losers from skipping the life piece in stage 6, because I have to dodge all the attacks from above. It's not difficult, just costs a bit of time. I can sneak home in 23 here but 24 isn't so bad. What my real concern is is that there's three enemies that I kill in this level, none of which drop life. There's not many others coming up...
By the way, the shots whilst in the air appear to accomplish nothing, but they are very deliberate: jumping slows you down significantly, but every shot restores you to... not top speed, but a greater speed nonetheless.

Scene 9 - Dirty Job (0:28) [-0:06]
Flawless run of this level. I lifted the ascent strategy straight off the TAS, toned it down a bit of course, but nailed it in relation to my plan. Still no life though...

Scene 10 - Vectorman 1 2 3 (0:24) [+0:01]
Failed to do the shooting after dropping off the first ledge which probably cost me 23, but oh well. What is of much greater concern is that I still have no life drops - there's no enemies in stage 11 and only three in 12. I'm basically preparing to restart at this point.

Scene 11 - I Can Dig It (0:12) [0:00]
Just going through the motions here, this is the simplest level in the game.

Scene 12 - Rollerderby (0:22) [-0:01]
This was fast, but again no help from the RNG. This basically spells game over, but I'll just play level 13 and see what happens...

Scene 13 - Mist Chances (0:22) [0:00]
What happens here is that one of those... enemies with large mouths... attacks you from the right hand side. Normally I'd drop off to the right, but this time I just dropped down the middle to give myself a bit more time to get the shots in... and he didn't appear. So I moved right, and there he was, and two shots killed him! He must have been just off screen and the shots still counted! But it gets better... Life drop! Now I can take my intentional hit on the second one and be on my merry way.
Amazingly, I only lost about half a second to my usual time here. I normally hit high 21s, this was a low 22.

Scene 14 - Cave Fear (0:40) [-0:02]
At 9:37, ducking while shooting keeps the rhino stuck in place. For some reason if you get up and shoot he starts being able to charge at you.
Really the one thing that makes or breaks this level though is the last charge at the end. I managed to just get my charge off before the second rhino got in the way and ended with my best time here.

Scene 15 - Dreamsnake (0:16) [-0:18]
Now it's time for the big time savers. Since jump-boosting is so much better damage-wise than just shooting, I wonder why I didn't do it in the previous run? I was probably too concerned about damage, and I will say that full health out of Cave Fear certainly made this level a lot easier. I've gotten as low as 13, but I'm not going to complain with what I got.

Scene 16 - Recycle or Die (0:18) [+0:01]
I missed the jump to the end of the level. Twice. Screw this game.

Scene 17 - The Shadow Nose (0:34) [-0:05]
Was a little bit unlucky with the ascent, but very lucky to clear the boss in two passes. I thought I was no chance after missing the last hit on the first pass (the boss's shots were positioned very evilly, if that's even a word).

Scene 18 - Shout and Twist (1:08) [-0:22]
This is the one level I'm not really happy with, which might seem an odd thing to say in a level with a 22 second improvement. Most of that, however, comes from a very sweet shortcut at the end.
First things first: For some reason, for the first couple of seconds, this level doesn't seem to recognise that you aren't standing on the ground any more when you press C. That lets you jump over all the obstacles at the start, plus air travel is faster. There's not much difference overall. (PS. for the verifiers: it won't do that if you die, or if you select this level from level select.)
Next, a very tight jump to the first checkpoint. My cue here is the bug that appears on your left: as soon as it hits the top of the screen then you can boost and get through.
9:34 is the real reason I'm not happy with this level. When the second block from the bottom residually destroyed the third, I deviated from the plan and went to take the top one out instead of the bottom one. For reasons unknown to me, if you stand right next to a block and shoot it, apparently the shot goes right through (specifically, it starts from the other side of the block). I also took a hit, compounding matters, as I now had one health, and I didn't trust myself to get through 19 on one health. I therefore activated my contingency plan: taking the route from the old speedrun and picking up the extra health piece on the way. My intended route more closely mirrors the TAS: at 9:23 I would go right, and send the tornado up through a small hole in the ceiling. The problem is that you have to mash C really fast to get up that high, and you only get two shots at it before your tornado runs out (there's another tornado nearby but by that stage you've lost a lot of time). It's probably about five seconds quicker if you hit the tornado jump first go, since you can practically be at the next wall of bricks when the tornado runs out.
Now for the fun part. Instead of going down into one of the gaps and climbing all the way back up, I'm going to go straight across the top. A couple of things make this tricky, but the most obvious one is the fact that the blocks can destroy each other, so you need to be sure that the block you're using for the jump isn't about to be destroyed before you use it. For the second jump, to be assured of getting across you need to start your jump from at least three blocks high. For the third, you have to stand on the brick two below the one at the top: any higher and you hit the ceiling, any lower and you aren't guaranteed to make the distance. You can make it from three below, but it requires a bit of luck with the random wind gusts. In order to get that high in the first place, though, you need to make a gap of three blocks in the wall so that you can jump out and reach the height you're after. So there's a bit of setup involved, but it still saves 20+ seconds over going into the pit.
And then right at the end I deviated from the plan AGAIN and the same thing happened. The fact that I didn't learn from the first time is what really disappoints me.

Scene 19 - Tank You (1:01) [-0:02]
This has to be my favourite part of mmbossman's TAS. Apparently all that you have to do to make those stupid bugs go away is face left! Then they never spawn! How ridiculous, and yet how simple.
I took a lot more damage than I should have in this level, but I did have a lot of damage to take, after all.

Scene 20 - Tank Patrol (0:57) [-0:08]
Being on as low health as I was probably cost me a second pre-extra life piece, but after that it was never a question of if, but how quickly. There's no way I can lose the run from here.

Scene 21 - Bad Eggs (0:17) [-0:13]
Of course, that's what I said last time, and look what happened there! This time I got it clean, no worries.

Scene 22 - Queen For a Day (0:49) [-0:23]
The second and third phase are much quicker this time, since I'm now dealing damage both from the ground and the air. Why I didn't think of this before...
I also had test runs as low as 46 using this strategy on the first phase too, but I immediately launched into the jump-boost one and decided (especially after 18) that sticking with the plan was the best way to go.

TOTAL TIME: 11:14 [-2:11]

Still improvement to be had, of course. My best in level 18 is 1:01, that could be achieved just with better luck (and not losing so much life earlier). A couple of seconds in 2, a couple in 16, one each in 8, 10 and 13, as well as going for a riskier final boss, could see about fifteen seconds' improvement.

Enjoy the run!

Single-segment, Cool Difficulty: 0:10:52 by TheWinslinator

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Author's comments:

Hey everyone!

About a month and a half ago, I got my first PB in this game, which was an 18:06. It was pretty cringeworthy, chock-full of the silliest mistakes imaginable. But now, about 500 attempts later, I got a 10:53 - my sub-11 goal has finally been achieved!

This was ran on the Sega Smash Pack II (PC) version of the game. I had previously streamed attempts on the Steam version, but the streaming was generating so much lag in the game, that I decided to run offline, and with the version I was most comfortable with.

And now for some level notes!

Scene 1: Geronimo
All photons collected boiiii

Scene 2: Night in the Swamp
Would have been a perfect level had the last spider not spawned so far to the right. A little more to the left and I could have damage-boosted past him, but no worries; only lost about a second from that.

Scene 3: Bog Jam
Good level. Kind of an annoying one though, because the branches are actually much harder to land on than it may look.

Scene 4: In Blackest Night
Almost got a super quick kill here, but I missed missed the last head on the fourth jet boost. Although it's a small time loss, I'm happy with the result because I took no damage.

Scene 5: Fired
One of the smoothest scene 5's I've ever had. I take a lot of intentional damage here jumping over lava, because who wants to wait for platforms? :P It's important to note that right before each time I land on the lava, I do a backwards shot to turn the character sprite backwards. Since lava always damage-boosts you in the opposite direction Vectorman is facing, this strat gives a forward boost 100% of the time. It is also important to note that I got excellent RNG here, ending the level with four hit points.

Scene 6: Magma P.I.
More annoying jumps here, a bit like scene 3. Not much to say, was pretty much ideal.

Scene 7: Turn up the Heat
For some inexplicable reason, I erroneously thought I could get another hit in on the boss before he descended into the next pool of lava, so I had to wait around an extra two seconds for the boss to reappear. An unfortunate mistake, but by no means a bad one.

Scene 8: Orbot Express
The goal of these skating levels is to just charge through them while taking as little damage as possible. Since I lost three hit points on the last boss, I decided to play it risky and do a ton of unreliable strats, such as diagonal-shooting the second flying caterpillar thing, and narrowly avoiding acid bombs dropped by other enemies. Very good level.

Scene 9: Dirty Job
Not much to comment on, besides one jump which I don't know how I missed for a small time loss. However, since the rest of the level was pretty much spot-on, the final time was about average.

Scene 10: Vectorman 1 2 3
Excellent level. The jumps past the flying caterpillars at the bottom of the level are actually quite hard to execute without being knocked back to a significant degree, so I'm very happy with this.

Scene 11: I Can Dig It
Probably can't be improved without implementing some crazy TAS strats.

Scene 12: Rollerderby
The easiest of the skating levels. You may have noticed that in these stages, whenever I am airborne, I spam a bunch of photon shots. Well, for some reason, this actually increases your midair speed a lot, even though it may not make any sense as to why.

Scene 13: Mist Chances
Ugh, I absolutely hate the two beetles at the bottom of this level. The way I get past them here is probably the most reliable, even though it looks like it wastes a lot of time. This is actually the only place I know of where the game will sometimes not show your jet boost sprites. Even though you can hear the audio for it, the jets won't appear nor do any damage. If this happens, the beetles will absolutely screw you up, leading to a huge time loss. Later on, I somehow completely miss an easy jump, leading to a two-second time loss.

Scene 14: Cave Fear
There have been a couple sloppy mistakes up to this point in the run, totalling up to about 10 seconds of losses, but this level had god-like RNG. The enemies are placed in the most absolute incovenient places here, but they were so tolerable this time around. To describe how evil the RNG can be sometimes, I entered this level with 5 HP; there's a possibility I could lose all of that before I finish this scene. So the fact that this level actually looked like a cakewalk simply amazes me. Easily saved 4 or 5 seconds here.

Scene 15: Dreamsnake
I hate this boss. It's extremely hard to predict because nearly everything it does is RNG-determined. And forget about a 1-cycle boss here, because that'll only happen like 5% of the time. Well... I don't know how, but I got the 1-cycle! Now, depending on how quickly the second cycle would have started, this 1-cycle saves a good 3-5 seconds.

Scene 16: Recycle or Die
Was very happy to pull off the difficult jump off the platform past the shooting caterpillar early in the level. Gained about a second there. But, that gain was lost when one of my jumps later in the level went a little too far and got knocked back by a beetle. Lost about a second from that, but still a good level.

Scene 17: The Shadow Nose
OH MY GOD the RNG here is absolutely ridiculous sometimes. To climb to the boss at the top of the level, you have to shoot through a whole bunch of bricks, such that you can jump up there in a timely manner. Well, this section is not at all like the block-climbing section in Scene 9. There, the blocks are destroyed very predictably. But here, whenever you shoot a block, a whole bunch of blocks surrounding the one that you just shot COULD break; it's RNG determined. And then, those blocks surrounding the blocks which exploded after shooting a block they were surrounding also have a chance of blowing up. So, you basically have some gigantic chain reaction going on in these sections, where it's nearly impossible to predict where it's safe (and optimal) to jump to. Long story short, I had pretty good RNG here. Yeah, I had to lose a little bit of time jumping to break blocks in the way I wanted, but this section could easily be much worse.

And now for the actual boss. Well, I only 1-cycle this guy about 10% of the time, and I ALMOST did it here. I think I missed it by one jet hit. A 1-cycle would have shaved off about 5 seconds from the time I got, but my performance here was about average, so I'm good with that.

Scene 18: Shout and Twist
HOLY HELL. About 75% of the attempts which make it past Scene 7 end here. This has literally been the bane of my existence, no matter what strat I use to beat it. But here, I absolutely killed the level in a whopping 38 seconds, the best I've ever done. The reason this is so hard is because of the strat I use, which saves about 30 seconds over the next best RTA method. So basically, I have to go for it. The strat involves using two Tornado morphs to just fly over the entire level. Seems easy, until one reaslizes that in order to jump as high and fall as slow as necessary, you have to mash the C button at about 10-11 times per second. Now, this sort of thing usually isn't a problem for me, as I can mash up to 13 times a second, but the nerves are a big problem. See if I'm on good pace at this point, my hands just begin to shake uncontrollably, causing me to button-mash really badly, and almost inevitably fail. It's disgusting to see a run fail in this kind of manner. But for some reason, I just absolutely nailed it this time, better than even every one of my practice attempts. It may not look like it, but to me it was god-like to finally see this level succeed in such a surprising manner. For more in-depth details on this strat, I made a guide for how to carry out Tornado Skip:

Scene 19: Tank You
Everything went exactly according to plan, even with my heart pounding out of my chest after the last level :P

Scene 20: Tank Patrol
Eh, could have been a bit better had I gotten better health drops. The more health I have, the riskier damage boosts I'll take, but since none of the enemies were giving me health, I attempted very few.

Scene 21: Bad Eggs
Well done, as usual. No trolly RNG either as one bad egg spawn might have ended the sub-11 pace.

Scene 22: Queen for a Day
WOW. JUST.... WOW. What the hell was with me getting amazing times on all the hard levels in this run? This is seriously the hardest boss in the game and I killed it so fast. I had some good strats here, including shooting a photon each time I landed on the first phase, and a relatively continuous diagonal stream of photons on the second and third phases. The latter strat really has you risk death here if the Queen can hit you a lot. Luckily though, her aim this time around was pretty terrible, and I was able to shoot her out really fast.

All thanks go out to mmbossman and Cpadolf0 for their TASes which I implemented some strats from into this run, and to mike89, for both his TAS and RTA runs. Sub-11 would not have been possible without them, or anybody else who has contributed knowledge of this game to the speedrunning community.

Enjoy the run!

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