|Completion Date||May 5, 2014|
|Runner||Dan 'DanE' Söderhäll|
Played on a PS2 slim, recorded to DVD.
O.D.T. is a third-person action/adventure game with RPG elements that was somewhat anticipated before it's release in 1998, but unfortunately it turned out to be a dissapointment in many ways. I played it as a kid and liked it, but never got past the third level and got tired of it. A healthy number of years later I was going through my game collection looking for games that I own but have never finished and decided to give it another chance. Completing it eventually I saw some speedrun potential in it the first time around, and while playing it through another time and taking notes it was clear that there was a lot of things that could be manipulated, objects that appeared solid but weren't, deathwarps and teleports to take advantage of and lots more. It was surprisingly fun to route the game and as I gradually got better at it, it felt like it would be a waste not doing a run of this forgotten game. Said and done, here's what I came up with.
If you're not familiar with this game, you may need to know a few things before you watch. I'll go through some of the basic techniques, items and such in the following paragraph.
There are four playable characters: Ike, Julia, Maxx and Solaar. All characters have different abilities, stats and weaponry, but apart from that there are no major differences throughout the story. Ike and Maxx are both more powerful in their approach and can withstand much damage, whereas Julia and Solaar can take less physical damage but have greater skills in the magic department. Which character you choose to play with depends on your playing style and if you rather would go around and shoot everything in a classic action style or use spells to eliminate any opposition that stands in your way?.Obviously, there are pros and cons with all characters, but for this run I choose to play with Ike since he's all around and has the best weaponry.
As with players, there are four types of ammo: light (blue), fire (yellow), ionic (green) and fusion (grey). Light ammo is by far the most versitale one out of these, but all types of ammo are useful for different kinds of enemies. Powerups for each type of ammo can be aquired throughout the game and depending on which character you play with, you can upgrade different ammo types different ammount of times. Ike has two powerups for the Light ammo from the start and can also reach the highest possible level for Light ammo, which is nine. Apart from using the gun (which can fire all types of ammo) there's also a punch and/or kick attack available as well as grenades and mines.
Spells comes in the form of crystals that represents each element; earth, water, fire and wind. There's a great number of spells to be found and upgraded, but I only use three spells: Shield, Teleport and Blast. Shield and Teleport are self-explanatory in their workings while Blast boost all weapons to a higher power for a limited amount of time. To cast a spell you also need to collect and use mana which is scattered around each level. Mana is pretty rare compared to other types of pickups and should be used only whenever needed to.
The controls in O.D.T are very, very slow and many times it's faster to just run straight into walls and sorta slide against them than trying to dodge them. You will see this technique a lot in some levels and even if it may look like a mistake, it's the fastest way to move forward at many times.
STAT UPGRADES AND EXPERIENCE POINTS
In order to upgrade Armor, Weapons and Spirit (magic) stats, you need experience. Normally you gather this by fighting and defeating enemies, which takes a lot of time and resources. Fortunaly, there's a glitch in the game which lets you aquire experience simply by applying the experience you have evenly to all three stats. Once this is done, you can remove all the points you added from each row and apply it even again, and repeat the process as many times as you like. This will cause the game to always have some experience left as it can't divide the points evenly when there are three different stats to choose from. I take advantage of this glitch a lot, since it lets you skip a lot of enemies which you would have needed to eliminate in order to get enough experience to learn spells, upgrade weapons etc. Thanks to this, I don't have to visit a number of places in the game where you don't really do anything but collect stuff and overall it makes the run much more pleasant to look at due to the high tempo that can be held for most of the time.
To complete the game you need to collect gas bottles along the way, which you'll need later in the game. Depending on which difficulty level you select, you need to obtain different amounts of bottles to complete the game. Since I'm playing on Easy difficulty I only need to collect 20 bottles in total, whereas selecting a higher difficulty level will increase this number by 10 for each difficulty.
GOOD AND BAD ENDING
Without spoiling all to much, you basically have two different endings in this game and what ending you will be presented with depends on how many gas bottles and container pieces (the latter ones are used to hold the powerful Green Pearl, the key item you're sent out to find) you collect. To get the "bad ending" you only need to collect the least amount of bottles and no container pieces at all, while the good ending requires you to get all bottles and container pieces. If you find enough collectibles you will get to play a bonus level that's pretty short and not really good and the "real" ending will be presented to you once you finish the level. Getting to the bonus level would have taken me a lot more time and it would not have been that much to watch either, which is why I went hunting for the least amount of gas bottles possible. Think of it as the same way as Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee works; if you save enough mudokons you will be celebrated as a hero, whilst the opposite will have him executed for being lazy.
The "Game Over" you get in the end is not a game over by any means – you have still completed the game no matter what the quirky programmers think – and while the credits roll it states what you need to do to gain access to the bonus level.
You may not even notice it, but after you start right next to the ship and fall down at the red arrow, you actually complete the first level, which is (in the save file) named "Level 0". Since you don't need to collect anything at all here to finish the game on Easy difficulty, you can just skip the rest of the level. For an opening level it's quite unforgiving and when you haven't gotten used to the controls you will die a lot here just trying to go the whole way around it.
After dropping down at the red arrow, you begin the next level named "Level 1". Directly to your right after you reach the ground is a crew member that tells you what items you need to bring back in order to escape from the island you're trapped on. Since you don't need to talk to him I just breeze by further into the level.
Knowing when to use the correct weapon and when you can reload without losing time is important to know on this, as any other, level. Reloading your weapon while waiting for a door to open or use the punch/kick attack to break crates without needing to stop first may not look like much but it saves time in the long run. Another important factor is to collect enough – but not to many – bottles on each level, while still maintaining speed and deviate from the shortest route as little as possible. On this level you can just pick them up as you go by, but other levels may have bottles scattered on locations that are hard to reach or requires you to take a detour to reach them.
The rest of the level is pretty straightforward. Apart from getting stuck on a barrel and some other small mishaps everything goes well. You can skip a portion of the map by jumping through a sprite that appears to be solid in the gas room right before the level boss. I discovered this while looking at a speedrun of the first level on YT (which was played on emulator and with savestates though) and combined with picking up the black key that opens the gate right before the boss in a fashion that is not ment, this level is very quickly executed. The boss fight was OK by all means, it's hard to land every single shot on him since the auto-aim function likes to behave badly sometimes. The fire crystal that's aquired right before the level ends contains the Shield spell which is crucial for the rest of the run.
The large turret room in the beginning of the level can be tricky to get through unharmed sometimes. The jump at the end of the staircase just before you reach the walkway is a must, otherwise the long-legged alien to the right and below will hit you. What is intended here is to use the unmanned turret in the center of the room to destroy the other turrets, but running past all of them is of course faster.
The air spell picked up in the next area contains the Teleport spell, which when used takes you back to the last checkpoint you entered. In terms, it works exactly like a deathwarp without having to die at first, and is therefore highly useful. After eliminating an enemy torso equipped with a light gun and picking up a keycard, you head back to the area where you start the level and use the card to open a gate. You're supposed to pull a lever to the left to draw a platform to you and travel with it across the acid pond, but jumping straight over where the door was standing and take some damage is much more efficient.
After taking the elevator down one floor and activating the first lever you can instantly move around while the camera focus on other things, which opens up for a timesaver that may not be that obvious at first. Notable mentions in this area is that it contains a savepoint which I was going to use at first before realising that it wasn't necessary at all.
The drills in the next room move randomly and it's hard to blaze through here in an instant, so having to stop and wait at some point here is expected. When entering the room I collect one Earth spell and an extra life in a secret area. The Earth spell contains Blast which is not crucial for now but will be used late in the game. It's possible to access this area immediately by jumping to the giant door right away from the elevator in the previous room. Sadly enough, the drills won't be moving at all since they haven't been triggered by the lever in the previous room which makes it impossible to continue.
Up until the savepoint are two deathwarps used and one blue powerup is collected. The experience glitch is also performed anytime Ike uses the cranes for travel in order to aquire as much experience as possible. Navigating the narrow corridors and platforms is very hard to do and even the slighest turn can send you straight to your death, especially when going as full speed. A great number of potential runs was destroyed particulary by the enemy encountered right after the checkpoint who sometimes steps forward and blocks the way, effectivly making it even harder to jump across the small but narrow gap behind it.
The area right after the savepoint is quite interesting as you can skip two crane travels which shaves of a lot of time. This was discovered by accident but ended up being a nice skip. If there's one thing I'd like to point out in this level though, it would be the blind jump to the moving crane right before the maze room which is very hard to pull of. It took a lot of tries to get this trick down, but it's worth several minutes of time since you otherwise need to adjust three static cranes and climb them to reach the moving crane. Probably my favorite part in the whole run.
Shortly after the last savepoint, the level boss appears. You can trigger him to appear immediately by running a little further but collecting the rocket that's hidden inside a crate before doing this is easier and gives you more time to evade his attacks. Here you're supposedly going to shoot the skulls in the far end of the room so that the platforms up to the rocket launcher appears, launch a rocket at the boss and then repeat the process until you run out of ammo or the boss dies (a third rocket can be found in a secret area earlier in the level). If you bring up the inventory, select another rocket and rapidly spam the action button right after firing the first rocket, it's possible to hit two rockets in one take as you otherwise would have to shoot the skulls and climb up again. The remaining damage dealt is done by a combination of the Shield spell and the fire ammo. Even if it's tempting to jump from the boss area to the red arrow that marks the exit you will most likely overshoot it and fall to your death instead.
A huge, maze-like level which makes little sense at first. In order to get to the boss you need to find a cogwheel and a key that's divided into three parts which are placed in different sections of the level. Problem here is that you are given no clue what so ever where you should go at first and what you should look for, which makes it quite confusing when there's a great number of doors and pathways to choose from.
At the very start is a Earth spell containing Blast hidden behind a Psygnosis logo cunningly placed on the wall and this one is collected right away. One of my favorite moments in the run is the two skips early in the first part of the level which looks great and saves a couple of minutes each. The first jump from the moving platform was quite obvious and not that hard to execute apart from the bats that tries their best to push you off the platform and to your death. The second jump is actually to a secret area (not so secret when you can see it from this view, eh?) which conveniently is placed right next to a walkway. I take a slight detour to collect a blue powerup, which will be useful later on, before pulling the final lever that opens one of the doors in the room where you first start and return to the above mentioned room again for the next area.
Most of the enemies in the game are just as leathal as the are clever. In other terms, not at all. The giant trees that stomps around in the corridors are to be taken seriously though as they can drop your enegry fast if they get a couple of chews of Ike.
The first key is hidden inside a barrel which I kick to break open. The reason for this is that the enemies that are located within the room will block you on your way out and it's a lot harder to break the barrel fast by shooting at it. The second key is held by a blue devil-looking enemy that resides inside a glass tank. These bastards needs to be taken out with fire or otherwise they will rise from the dead like a zombie shortly after you drop them to the ground. Initially I broke the glass, cast the Shield spell and stood close to the enemy so that he burned to death and released the key, but upon discovering that destroying the equipment in the next room causes the tank to drain and the bluish bugger to collapse right away I changed the route slightly. The good thing about this is that you also save some mana which is quite rare to stumble upon contrary to ammo.
The last key is located in the far-end of the level. In this area I collect mana x2 and one blue powerup before teleporting back to the last checkpoint. Since you have to climb out of the area otherwise, and climbing is not that fast, it's more time consuming to use a teleport instead. Right after the last savepoint and in the beginning of segment 7 I land ontop of a baby dino on my way back, and it looks as silly as it sounds like.
When all three keyparts are collected, there's only a cogwheel left from getting to the end of level boss. It's found in a puzzle where you should look at a collection of spinning cogwheels and decide which one can be removed without harm. While doing this you're standing on top of a trapdoor, so choosing the wrong one will result in death. The correct wheel is always in the same spot and you don't have to look at the puzzle at all, just count how many clicks you need to select the correct cogwheel. This is also a convenient spot for teleporting back to the latest checkpoint.
There's a hidden save station right before the boss in this level which you probaly can hear if you pay attention (they send out a certain type of sound that you can hear from a distance). I was going to use that to save there initially but decided not to as I got better at the previous distance covered. The boss itself is hard to hit properly, and he took one more hit than what I expected. He can walk around almost aimlessly sometimes so that it takes time to even lure him towards the tank so it can be worse, but it's probably the least likeable boss in the game.
A short level which takes place in a prison. The turret gauntlet was ok even though it could have been a little smoother and after inserting the key card into the machine a long wait takes place which is suitable for cranking up some experience points. The prisoner residing inside the glass tube will ask you to help him free all the prisoners that is being kept in captivity, which is sort of a side mission that will give you a Earth spell and maybe some video game karma if you chose to help him. Since this is not mandatory you can just kill him off, grab the crank and open the hatch and drop down into the wilderness below.
Instead of dealing with the boss at first I search up the guard that holds a stone object that is needed later in the level first, kill him off and teleport back to the checkpoint activated earlier. The mini-boss in the egyptian tomb is quite strange and seems a little out of place for the setting. Apart from mines and grenades, no physical weapons works on him, and therefore spells is the way to go here. Once again the Shield spell comes to great use and it's ridiculous easy to defeat the boss once you know how to do it.
After picking up the two objects – one from the guard earlier and one from the tomb – you need to climb the ladder and head west and enter the room where two large platforms arise from the ground. These control the cells doors around the block and to open one, two specific objects needs to be dropped on the corresponding platform. The one that I drop the objects on opens the cell which contains the key needed to progress. If the wrong object is dropped you'll take some damage and need to try again.
After opening the corresponding door, Ike gets captured by the guards and put in a cellar. Breaking out is easy and solving the puzzle to get out is not that hard either, apart from the irrational movement and actions by the guards who run around seemingly aimless and random. This section contains a nice skip as well with a double-jump that takes you one floor down in an instant. The surface where you can launch for the second jump is really small and it took quite some time to figure out exactly when to jump to land on top of the wall instead of in front of it.
Whilst being captured, all your gear was ripped from you and you need to aquire it again. Fortunately, all belonings is stored in a single pack in the same fashion as in Metal Gear Solid and all that needs to be done to get your stuff back is to dodge a few turrets. When you unpack your stuff from the inventory screen the game can crash completley sometimes and even if that doesn't happen you can still suffer from ammo and other objects not being recognized properly. If this happens you need to drop the item and pick it up again and it will – hopefully – work.
The boss is very straightforward and easy to deal with. The stupid jump after the third lever was done by mistake but other than that everything went fine. It's extremely easy to fall down in the pit after the boss is defeated and this is why I go rather slow on my way to the red arrow which marks the exit.
Next up is some sort of meat factory with lots of spiders and other baddies to deal with. Light ammo is very efficient on spiders and as the weapon have grown stronger through powerups each shot will now split up into three and attack from both sides and front. This is very handy when dealing with several enemies at the same time. If you get hit by the spiders they might poison you and if this happens, you're pretty much dead unless you find some antidote. This is also why I grab the antidote a couple of minutes later; even if it might not come to use you'll be sorry if you don't have it for later and need it.
Containing a lot of hard jumps, I knew that this level would be tough. After activating the second layer of platforms in the lava room, a teleport can be used so that you don't have to run all the way back again. The checkpoint that is hidden behind a cracked wall just before the lava room is perfect for this, since it will take you back to the room immediately. Saves about 1.5 minutes approximately.
Everything goes well up until the savepoint. Coming out to the lava room for the last time at SIFFASRASDS I took some time to line up properly due to the low visibility in that specific area. The meathook that travels horizontally back and forth in the center room is possible to skip coming from this side, but the delicate placing of the platforms combined with the highly unlikeable jump physichs made me think twice about it.
This level ends up with the most random boss of the whole game. The thought here is to run back an forth down the room to lure the boss near the rotating knives and repeat the process as many times as neccessary. This takes FOREVER most times, but by manipulating him to throw a knife while being hit it's possible to end the fight rapidly. I was incredibly lucky with that technique here since the first attempt wasn't successful and was just about to restart when a surprise hit that drained his energy rapidly came from nowhere. What a relief!
The area right infront of you is not necessary to go to at all which is why you can head east from the beginning. The pillar jumps are quite tricky to manage and death warping comes to great use here. The prisoner section feels way too slow and quite boring frankly but it's well suited for giving your stats a push while waiting. When you enter the room with the prisoner, the bridge to your right provides access to an anchor and some ammo. The first time playing I thought the anchor was for stopping the bridge to the left to ascend again so that you could pull the lever to open the gates. It turned out that it was just me who didn't stand on the exact spot to pull the lever the first time I tried, and that the anchor is supposed to be used in the next room to open the door to the hidden savepoint. However, the anchor is not useful at all since it's possible to reach the savepoint with a well-timed jump from the backside.
Just after the savepoint is one of the harder puzzles in the game. The first time around you will jump around like crazy trying to figure out how each platform corresponds with the meter and I'm sure that there are other solutions than mine to this puzzle but this one works and it's fast and easy to perform. The following room contains an archaic water cannon that can't be operated without the need of a wrench collected shortly before you reach it. One thing that's mentionable here is that you can jump on top of the fire from the crates blocking it, grab the key and teleport back to the savepoint, thus removing the need for the wrench. Unfortunately, this costs a couple of seconds in comparison to the standard route.
Following another watery-themed puzzle that activates a waterwheel which opens a gate, you approach one of the worst sections in the whole game. The waterwheel piece which you are supposed to break off from the first wheel and push to the second wheel can get caught in mid air or on a enemy, which happens regularly. If this occurs it's basically game over since it takes too much time to correct. Sometimes it's not even possible to pursue ahead since it won't budge at all. Eliminating the fish-like enemy who swims around in the canal is therefore highly important. Climbing the stairway with a couple of jumps is handy for avoiding enemies that blocks your way upwards and I really like the jump to the bridge in the next room: it looks like it shouldn't work, but it does. From here up until the boss everything speaks for itself more or less.
To defeat the boss, you need a lot of ammo and the light ammo powered up to the max. With only 7 out of 9 levels the Blast spell comes to use here. Where and when you can get some shots in on the boss is a little random, but I figured it out good enough to get rid of it before the cycle (that contains of three appearances) starts over again. The last boss does not require any firepower at all and all you need to do is stand behind the pillars and let them take all the damage. The first three pillars have "safe spots" where you can stand perfectly still and let all attacks hit the pillars but the last one does not have one (or at least I did not find it) which makes things a bit more complicated. To add on top of that the area you have to work with is very small and a single hit can throw you off the ledge and into oblivion. Taking a few hits here is crucial for making it all the way to the end and even if it doesn't look too great it's still pretty fast.
The ending is best described as the "bad" ending. Playing on Easy difficulty, this is as far as you can go. On Normal or Hard it is possible to get to a bonus level if you collect enough gas bottles, but it's really short and not much to brag about. An interesting and well hidden easter egg is present in this level though and that alone is well worth checking out if you feel like it.
Thanks for watching and hope you'd enjoyed it!