Sunday, May 14, 2023 by LotBlind
360° into Darkslide into Butt Slap into Darkslide into Spaz Gas into Darkslide into Brass Jazz into Darkslide into Darkslide
Quote of the Run: "Buttslaps have been a powerful tool for speedrunners since Tony Hawk's Underground 1, and they are at their most powerful in Project 8."
When you launch a modern console, the home screen is referred to as the dashboard. I've never launched a console newer than a PS2 so how would I know? It evokes a joyride in your pimpmobile compared to the dreary old PC "desktop", which in turn sounds like you're about to get behind the mule, spreading some sheets or editing a dumb news post. Things that happen at an alarming frequency! What took me by storm is the apparent fact updates to the dashboard software implemented between production runs can have a dramatic impact on the handling and acceleration of your joyride ride. I always thought consoles gave the same cookie-cutter experience to every Tom, Dick AND Harry unless you do something funky with 3rd-party peripherals like an SSD, but turns out that's far from the case with XBOX 360s at least.
Yes, the 360. Sounds like the optimum choice for games where going for one is never a bad idea or not conducive to your goals. I suppose the dashboard should just have been called "Skates", not "Blades", for Tony Hawk's Project 8 to nestle in perfectly. "Getting their skate[s] on" we have 'ThePackle' who uses the journaling method (read: "has written awesome commentary filling a void on the gamepage") to guarantee this "joe" skater a Chris Rea upwardly mobile freeway through the ranks of wailin' jazz artist wannabes. And I mean it is like free jazz a lot of the time isn't it? But as with at least the most recent epoch in the history of music, more notes in less time is seen hereabouts as virtuous and virtuosic. And thus ThePackle causes a daring debacle on the gamepage by yanking out over 10 minutes of largo parts from the last record (yowza, that's more than 20%!), letting the tumultuous trombone tootings shred your reservations about what is and isn't musical in just 0:37:24 – like a spiny desert succulent to a wedding gown. Like try this bad boy on for size, Ariel-with-legs!
Now how do you write "There isn't much to talk about that isn't already self-explanatory" in your comments, ThePackle? How?! Is this a "if you have to ask, you'll never know" kind of situation that we're in? Really?
Quote of the Run: "The game, at least to my knowledge, only has one checkpoint, the start/finish line."
Imagine you've been tasked by your agency with headhunting for future speedrunning talent. In keeping with the times, you're sent to try out 4–6-year-olds that haven't yet had their entire lives programmed for them. Now how do you go about that? Simple! Walk into your nearest kindergarten (Waldorf ones are good), make sure everyone's got crayons and an age-appropriate picture to color in with like a princess or a castle or a hobo or something. You're looking for someone that colors in EXACTLY NOTHING within the lines... and EXACTLY EVERYTHING outside of them. If it's in a Waldorf 'garten, there's less chance they'll step in to interfere with das Experiment.
So yeah, if you want your speedrun to look like one, you'll have to have at least one of those kids in your team. And I think that might have been the case with 'arielus05' and his cohorts making short work (literally) of Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity's Heroes Story fork with, if you squint and turn your head, some subtle large-skip glitches included. It's about 0:08:04 in the chronometer and the run is indeed very... meta, which isn't me saying it, it's the game itself breaking the fourth wall like it's from the Silent Hill continuum. :P I couldn't have thought of a better word for it though. Not much help from your master's thesis in formal logic in trying to pin down any sound arguments about the game from this headless chicken dash alone. I think there must have been a leak from a secret military warehouse of some wacky gas that makes you go temporarily guano. Batshit, that is... and that shit somehow ended up in the Heroes team locker room right before the starting gun went "bingo-BANGo-bongo!" I think Knuckles was dozing right by a vent, the poor devil. Echidnat've been any worse for him. If you insist there's any method to the madness here, you may turn to arielus' run comments for confirmation biasing that to your satisfaction. I'm keeping a safe distance!
BTW: I definitely didn't plan out the Ariel-arielus connection but this run's most certainly also got legs, legs for days. Don't think anyone's come close to challenging it so far. And talking of bats, would you believe there's a genus of bats called Arielulus? HAHAHAA! I'm very close to rewriting this to make it look like I did plan it out like one brachiosaur of a brainiac. My god!
Given only a few measly letters separate the last two titles appearing in today's update, and both are 'RockoSonicFan' to thank for, I thought they'd be happy sharing a room without a privacy screen. There's something of a... RUNNING THEME... to this update as we pile on more Sonic Sonic Sonic. The two games in question are both simple Flash miniatures without the luxury to partition off any collateral categories either: there's Sonica finished in 0:01:41 and Sonic Xs in 0:00:08.26. That's two more Flash games down, and like a gazillion to go, but while the front page fanfare might not be as resounding for short 'n' simple... fan fare like these two, that doesn't mean they're not worth speedrunning. Gotta go fast and all that.
Sunday, April 9, 2023 by LotBlind
Frags [High-]Strung[-Out?] Together at the Payne Factory: Yourene for One Hell/Heckuva Treat (1/3 Sugar, Kuz You Only Rive Once)
There's a special category of 2D games where you're looking at the finished product but you can't unsee the editor! Like you can tell exactly how the levels were built, like seeing the individual tiles of the mosaic but not the picture they're supposed to congeal to. I know I've had that feeling when playing Jazz Jackrabbit 2 at least – but not the first one – and also not e.g. when watching Abe's Oddysee runs. I don't know what causes that but I suspect the lack of legitimizing lighting effects may be a tributary. It's a bit tough to make a game like that immersive. Many of these Game Maker type of games are like that.
The premise in Honeycomb Factory Frenzy is you're in the factory where they make the Honeycomb cereal... and you get a little frenzied because ADHD is your God and ADHD demands things of you! And you hurtle into a meshuga sugar rush down the long abstraction of a production line and you win when you... reach the... other... end. It's like one of those childhood "race to the X" kinda affairs except this kid is self-ADHD-motivated in his extracurricular excursion into where his cornholio-o's come from. And that's all fine! We love everyone equally here. But did you not see Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, my little pumpkin pie? I'm pretty sure it took less than 0:06:59 for the first little angel to get... urm... angel'd in that one. There's gotta be a dope Wonka game out there for you to run later, 'RockoSonicFan'. Wonder what kinda skip you'll find in the creepy boat ride. Maybe you just set it on fire like ancient Roman naval warfare. Bitch, I seen Ben-Hur!
While I do not and never have endorsed drug usage of any sort (mmmkay?), I just can't help but think this silly game offers the perfect experience for the stoners even more so than us no-ners.
Quote of the Run: "A few months ago, the runner 'pirohiko' posted a speedrun of this game showing "alternative exits" of some doors. These are reached by pressing down (instead of the standard method of pressing up to enter a door)."
So you hear about that time* when scientists (yes, scientists!) drilled a hole through the earth to a depth of kilometers (yes, kilometers! They work in SI units.) and ran into a surprising cavity down there. Then they lowered a thermometer and a microphone (yes, microphone!) into the hole and found out it was really extra death pepper hot (you know, infernally so) and it sounded really really bad, hellish almost (yes, hell-ish, hellish screams, probably from something burning, e.g. eternally, as if, say, human souls in some hell-like location, which is a location known (known!) to be found somewhere within the bowels of the planet, which is exactly the sort of locale they (those scientists!) had been scouting out at the time... That's quite the coincidence!). Well while all of that (all of it!) really happened of course, they did get some of the data (data!) corrupt and it was only quite recently that they went back and cleaned (cleaned!) the tape properly before playing it back again and whaddya know, it turns out it was actually identical to whatever the heck (yes, "heck"! that's another word for "hell") Nebulus, if you have the wrong sounds setting, emanates at the unsuspecting young players with all the unreasonable rancor of the sun from Super Mario Bros. 3.
Doesn't sound familiar? Well, maybe cause you know this cosmopolitan of a game by one of its other titles, such as "Kyoro-chan Rando", which is the version run here again by 'ktwo'. I have tremendous difficulties myself deciding if the game is ultimately more "nebulus" or more "rando". The wrong sounds setting in question is the RIGHT sounds setting for speedrunning and thus you're all severally invited to tweak the volume in your individually chosen media player to moderate the levels of pain to match your personal "UNGH" threshold and any recent underruns in self-flagellation. This time dip of 47 seconds down to 0:13:19 is largely off the back of the incorporation of one of the stranger sorts of shortcuts I've seen. You just hit a different key at certain doors and... shortcut! It feels like step 2 is missing like gnomes and underpants but hey, the profit is demonstrably there!
* Source, of course.
The last run for this next one was in the Friday, June 25th, 2021 update, and that's one you will want to get revised up on to prep for this one, because it definitely feels like one of those "standing on the shoulders of giants" moments. Only the giant was You, Yourself and Yourene. You can strike that paradoxical pose in Portal you know! Yourene, AKA 'fearZZz' amasses the winning scoreline, increasing brawl-by-brawl, in a spellbinding Tchaikovsky-esque ballet of death across all the 26 pit-like enclosures. It's such a rapturous synthesis of knowledge, stategy and skill to slay the stochastic leviathan that is Quake III Arena! The irony here is you end up seeing maybe 25% of said arena in the average case... This is the kind of game you must be fully warmed-up, brain and body, to play on the kind of level you get with the 0:21:49.46 continuation claim.
So to clarify, these ILs are for the hardest difficulty. The run comments complement those from the easy difficulty from before and introduce you to some of the subtleties of the Nightmare grind. Especially the very last level is one that holds your face down to the pavement and grinds it until it bleeds... until the pavement does, that is. On this difficulty, the bots have superhuman hitscan aim the kind you can only really counter by moving like electricity moves along greased copper wires (but not in a straight line towards or away from them!), or hoping for "if I can't see you, you can't see me" to hold more true today than it did the last 9999 days. Also they're more resilient, the damned vermin, spawning with more "stack", i.e. health and/or armor, meaning the days are long gone when you could erase one with a single rocket or rail. So watching these runs for all of us who remember strapping ourselves into the passion play that is this game's highest difficulty (feeling precisely like an out-of-shape crash test dummy... about to be more out-of-shape than ever) is to take vicarious revenge at it – the best medicine, let's not forget – and coming from the easiest difficulty is to "increase the dose from least to most" to quote some Eminem lyrics here as we often don't. But ought to.
High high up on the list of my personal first-world peeves is the misfortunate gaping hole in my game-sume between Max Payne and Sam & Max Hit the Road (it's organized thematically). The omission is that of the second in the Remedy series, which is probably sufficient so you can understand which game I'm referring to but I'm legally obligated to include these three given links per game in these updates so, here we are! Link numero uno: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Links numeros dos & tres: 'Koci' & 0:17:05.80. The former slightly compressed the New York Minute ILs table time down to the latter, with the poeLEES Station level being traitorously stuck up for 3.03 seconds' worth of Dunkin' donuts. This inside job – and the next link is BECAUSE I LOVE YOU – would therefore clock in at 1:26.90 roundabouts.
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 by LotBlind
Trundle through the Jungle; ya Hear it Rumble? My Storm is Frontal, your Base will Crumble, I'll make you Humble, I'm Contrapunt
Quote of the Run: "Fall damage kicks in at 3.5 blocks and will gradually reduce your health as you fall, making it possible to die before you even hit the ground."
It was a dark and stormy night (in some part of the world) in 1985 when this thing came out on an old desktop data-doodling machine that British school kids of that era will remember more or less fondly, the BBC Micro. Back then you had about ten bytes of RAM and enough CPU to redraw maybe seven pixels out of the 24-ish your monitor could even keep tabs on without crashing and burning. That's why it was fashionable in those days to limit the play area and incorporate static or mostly static elements in your graphics. You can tell Night World is assuming nothing about the player's rig when the collision checks are as primitive as they are, although I have an alternative theory as to why everything seems so infirm. It's also assuming nothing about the player's holding any interest in seeing the majority of it, as evidenced by the decades-long wild goose chase it led its nocturnal suitors on until the first report was finally filed of puncturing that wall of darkness. More on the fascinating details of this daring endeavour in the links provided here by someone who was amongst those who kept their eyes on the glinting prize long enough to allow them to adjust to the lower 'Lum'inosity. Yeah, girl, that's only the first of a potentially endless number of puns on your name! Didn't think this through, did ya?
What's my theory? Well, you all may have seen that scene where in one of the more recent Star Wars debacles a bunch of half-fledged torsos sink into quicksand... and then out of quicksand. :/ There's a cave / macguffin showroom in there having the compact convenience of a Swiss army knife with attached surgically fine-motoric neuro-interfacing robot arms. I put forth THIS game was the necessary predecessor of that location. And I put forth that all the walls are embedded with electromagnetic generators. And I put forth that the sandy material of this subterfuginous subterrane is magnetic. Could be made of something along the lines of... you know... some lunar basalt, some kinda titanomagnetite like, obviously ulvöspinel springs to mind... or just like some honest-to-goodness franklinite. What's wrong with franklinite? AND I put forth that this is how the world of Night World can remain so paradoxically unsound and sound all at once. For good measure, I'll throw in that's how they built all the pyramids, too. Those ancient aliens did.
The amount of tenebrific this game is, it's difficult to shine any light on what constitutes a brilliant speedrun of it in any other sense than the visually verifiable perpetuity of progress inside this network of undiscernible chambers the likes of which served to inspire Sanctum. You just have to accept THIS 0:05:35 is a Banksy. THIS ONE's a van Gogh (The Starry Night perhaps?), an Edward Hopper (Nighthawks maybz??), a Nat Jones (okay, hear me out... there's an American artist by that name who drew the cover art for both some Dark Souls comic book, a Dark Ark one AND the same name appeared in my search for who the Night of the Living Dead poster from '68 was by even though there's no basic chance he's connected with it cause he probably wasn't born yet. Thank you for listening! And also you'll thank yourself for listening to the runner's dulcet and finely calculated audio commentary track.)
'PROX' has kept whittling away at mission completed time stamps and we're keeping pace with him (well, we're doing our best!) on the MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat gamepage. Here's all of the latest and greatest improvements:
Jade Falcon campaign:
Quote of the Run: "boss that is random and sometimes gives you an impossible pattern"
So this next game was last brough up on Thursday, May 28, 2020 (by LotBlind). In that update, I lured you in with something about Contra, then sucker punched your boxing shorts off with Contra III like you're King Hippo from Punch-Out!!. A different king in the ring today, though, and 'K1ngK0opa' to be specific, and I guess you could define this brave 0:09:47 spectacle as "boxing" in a fairly loose sense. Just-attended-four-different-advanced-yoga-classes-while-toked-outta-mah-mind kind of loose. There's not a lot of loose time to shake the any% 1-p category down for (in case there is for any of them) so just 6 seconds are given the boot (punt-all, remember?) and WR it is! In case you didn't know Contra, it's not exactly like yoga. It's not exactly boxing either. It's more like the game equivalent of a 500 kg (1100 lb) deadlift. It's the only passable excuse to pass by gym day. Supposin' something like army service makes you a man... Contra will scale you right up into Overman! Yeah, that Nietzsche Übermensch thing, with no ties to the Nazis preferrably.
It's sort of customary around here to pun around this game's name (and I wrote this part before the title and I've committed enough deletions already) so... I think I'll just quote the English nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary". AHEM!
"Mary, Mary, Quite CONTRAry..."
etc. etc. cause it has "contra" in it. Inside the word "contrary". The first six letters. I could easily have written that into the text organically but I'm DONE with being judged on the basis of how neatly I can knit things together like a... like a damned old maid. Punster not a spinster I tells ye. Punt-ster. Done with knotting things together like a scout or a sailor or something. And I'll have you know I'm burning this bra too. Burn baby burn! Gee, that would have been even more fun with a flamethrower.
*proceeds with disgruntled dark web searches and keyed-up hardware store visits for the rest of the day* <3
Monday, February 6, 2023 by LotBlind
The Most Maniacal Manhunt for Morticia in the Mansion of Macabre Millionaires
Quote of the Run: "The biggest mistake in the run happened in the kitchen... This cost ~0.7s."
In their hit single Black no. 1, parody of youthful identity-seekers of a specific hair-dyeing strain, the late great Type o Negative sap the anthem's sincerity with mocking interspersals of materials from BOTH the 60's main gothic goof-ons, the one being The Addams Family, the other The Munsters. This includes not only the verbal pointer to the matron Lily, but musical mimings of both their merry theme songs as well. The two shows aired alongside each other between '64 and '66, but with The Munsters achieving a higher so-called Nielsen rating (i.e. more views I guess) which must have had to do with factors other than the show's quality. (At this point I'm going to crank the "contrast" setting of my opinions to a setting one higher, but only one). The Addamses had the freakier freaks and odder oddities. AND its satire was more pointed. AND it had actually funny lines and gags like in the first episode when the truant officer is trying to convince Gomez they ought to send their children to school, saying "I was referring to more formal learning... Reading...", and Gomez replies with "What is there for a 6-year-old to read?"*. AND it doesn't repeat itself as much. And can we even begin to measure the stark luster-lack of Lily Munster against the unearthly pulchritude of Carolyn Jones' Morticia Adams? Can we? We... no, we can't. We just can't.
* Try this exchange from episode 3, 16 minutes in, if you're in the mood of doubting the Addamses could pack a comedic whollop. Honestly the comedy of errors that follows that scene is A-tier as well!
While any convictions you had that this was all segueing – with all the grace of a freerunner through the market district of Agrabah – towards Apogee's '93 DOS title Munster Bash (if you see what I did there) would have been justified to the degree of having to award the same points as for what it said on my cue card, there is in fact a different horrorfest setting up stalls in this metaphorical town's metaphorical market district today! Aside from all of the above, there's one last decicive cause as to why the speedrun-planney-outy lobe in runner 'ktwo''s brain, barring a concussive head injury, could not, between the two shows, ever have quantum collapsed into running a Munsters-themed video game. The Munsters video games suck. Let me try that again. The one The Munsters video game sucks. The Addams Family for the NES does not suck. As much. Maybe it does? What money-grubbin' mountain-of-a-man Mr. "K2" does in his 0:11:16 is to Dennis Moore the family's own mansion for virtually every last lupin (this is just required, it's not a 100% run), then reclaim "Tish" from the clutches of a few bozos that didn't know about the clandestine canoe conduit. The sampan circumvent if you will. The gondola go-around if you won't. By this fancy footwork, ktwo not only obsoletes his old PAL w/ deaths run (by about 20 seconds effectively) but also overshadows another w/o deaths effort also by His Truly. So for now, this is the king of the hill. Of the K2 mountain.
BTW: Do check out the Knowledge Base guide linked in ktwo's comments. Up top of the guide, you'll see a very neat diagram showing how open-ended the game is!