|Completion Date||April 3, 2014|
I recorded this in lower quality than I should have about a year ago so it's not going to look great but I'm hoping it's at the very least acceptable. Also if the StatID is wrong then I don't mind redoing the encode (or doing whatever is necessary to fix).
Since the expansions use version v1.08 of F.E.A.R. (displayed as "FEAR XP v1.0 - Retail Expansion"), glitches present in early versions of the original F.E.A.R. such as the "holster glitch" and "ladder glitch" do not work and are not present in this run. Although "object boosting" and "people climbing" may still work, they do not have any known use in the speedrun of this expansion.
groobo's submission notes for his segmented F.E.A.R. run (no longer on the website) explained the crouch glitch as follows:
"If you want to move at running speed in areas through which you could fit only by crouching - do this: run up to eg a tunnel's entrance, MAKE SURE YOUR SPEED = 0 IN EVERY DIRECTION, crouch, now release crouch FIRST and start moving towards the tunnel. Nothing more to it."
My explanation would be simply, if you have crouch bound to a scroll wheel direction, all you have to do is push yourself against the surface you want to crouch against, and flick the scroll wheel a notch to activate crouch while moving the direction you want to go (presumably forward). When done correctly, you should maintain full movement speed while inside areas such as ventilation shafts.
The float glitch, or floating, is something I was fortunate enough to have discovered (at least, I am unaware of if anyone noticed it before I did, but someone may have). By holding jump while spamming both "use" (on the ladder) and crouch, you can cause the game to place you in a floating state. You will be unable to jump while in this state, but can float around at a fixed height. You can decrease your height at will by repeatedly crouching, and can increase your height by pushing against surfaces that raise themselves, such as the railings of stairs, or by utilizing the MP-50 which will push you upwards at the cost of health (direct blast = 70 damage).
Binding crouch to scroll wheel, as mentioned before for crouch glitching, can make activating floating easier, and also makes quickly lowering your height while floating a lot easier as well.
You can cancel out part of the animation performed when punching by crouching, allowing you to punch again immediately, and effectively combo enemies with punches. Since punches themselves are similar to rockets in their damage, being able to unleash a flurry of punches due to this trick makes your fists one of the most powerful weapons in the game.
A feature not present in the original F.E.A.R. is the ability to punch open doors. Punching doors is slightly quicker than opening them normally, as when doors are opened normally, the player will usually have to wait on them to fully open to get through. Punching a door will open it as fast as possible. There are certain doors (such as those with windows inside them) that are more difficult to punch open, and are safer to open manually and then 'check' them by stopping forward movement for a split second as they open, as otherwise, you would walk into them before they're fully open and lose time in comparison. It is possible to become stuck inside certain doors if you bump into them before they fully open, which is another reason to 'check' those doors.
Every weapon has its own weight to it, and as a result, it is fastest to move while unarmed, which is why you will see me have my weapon holstered at every opportunity, and holster whatever weapon I was using the moment I think I don't need it anymore.
Health regenerates when it is goes below 40. Health regenerates much more quickly when you are not moving. Body armor basically acts as a second health bar. You can carry up to 10 medkits which heal for 50 each. Abusing the regeneration mechanic can help with conserving medkits. There are times where if you go below 40 health while taking damage and are able to tell that you won't be killed if you don't use a medkit, you will be rewarded by being able to regenerate part of your health back after surviving, which will conserve a medkit.
The stage ends by acquiring the float glitch off of the bottom of the first ladder, and then using objects around the next room to gain the height necessary enough to pass through a wall with no collision, spamming crouch inputs to reduce height, and then floating to the end. You will be seeing this same process a handful of times throughout the run.
Afterward, I take out two of the three office grunts with the same burst, aligned properly. I do something similar later on to safely climb a set of shelves so that I don't have to go around the room instead, saving a few seconds.
At the end, there is a turret sequence where you are expected to fend off a swarm of Replicas, but you can instead intentionally cause the turret to be destroyed, which happens faster if you take out a single grunt to cause a wave of them to spawn. The path to the next stage unlocks the moment the turret explodes, and then you can simply make your way there. This stage probably could have ended a few seconds faster if the grunts had been more aggressive.
This stage gifts the player with the almighty Lightning Arc Weapon, or perhaps amusingly, LAW for short. The LAW is by far the most useful weapon in a speedrun as it not only deals outstanding damage, but when aimed above the head of a target, it will lock on to the head of the target, effectively dealing a headshot, making encounters with Nightcrawler Elites throughout the game less variable.
I accidentally became stuck against a grunt while attempting to obtain some extra armor, wasting a few seconds.
This was one of the first runs to involve climbing the rope after the hallucination to reach the computer required to progress, which saves around 12 seconds. If you normalize your position before climbing these ropes, the ropes won't force you off of them (where you will fall to your death).
The LAW shows why it is the LAW during the Nightcrawler Elite fight - these enemies can potentially die in as little as two proper headshots with this weapon, and I take a certain path into the room initially so it makes it much less likely for the enemies to be alerted to my presence until I begin opening fire, as enemies in an 'unaware' state, in my experience, seem to take more damage from attacks for whatever reason.
The stage ends with an example of the crouch glitch inside a vent, allowing me to run directly through the vent instead of having to slide through.
The frame rate returns to 60 after I turn the corner after the checkpoint before the battlefield.
I crouch glitch through a couple of vents to reach Morrison, then make my way back to the elevators. A neat little trick you can do when you activate the elevator which ends the stage is you can exit the elevator before the doors shut and pick up some extra grenades, including a remote bomb which is vital for a room strategy in a later level.
The LAW is effective against Shades, which can dispose of them in a single headshot.
Chen's death sequence can't be skipped, but you can skip attempting to pull him out of the Scarecrow void. You can also avoid the Scarecrow afterward by pushing yourself against the corner next to the gate. Later on, another Scarecrow is avoided by jumping along the side of a wall. The rest of the stage is spent running from Shades.
Devastation: The Deep
To top off the awkwardness of this stage, I took the pack of grunts blocking the exit stairs cautiously because if one of them tosses a frag as I toss a frag, both can detonate in my face, immediately killing me, and if my frag toss is off (which it was), it won't deal lethal damage, meaning I have to toss a second. Taking out these grunts isn't required, but they can deal a lot of damage and potentially block your path if you try to simply pass by them. If you leave these grunts alive, then they will be firing upon you during most of the way up the stairs back to the surface.
Normally, you're expected to hit a switch to move the train in the middle of the tracks out of the way, but you can squeeze through it instead, which saves close to 20 seconds.
The mine and turret placement are to kill and/or influence the grunts into moving in a manner that makes disposing of them with the LAW easier. Unfortunately, it seems that the mine was not as effective during this run as it could have been, but the turrets basically did what they needed to. This was the best idea for the area that I could come up with after about a dozen hours of testing.
I drop the shotgun for the MP-50, which is another powerful asset - you'll see why in the next stage. The area after the checkpoint can be a bit tense depending on how the group of three grunts position themselves, but it went decently.
I drop the LAW I currently have, pick up the new one at their 'base', and reobtain the previous one I had. Doing this gives me a fresh LAW with 16 ammo and adds the ammo I had from the previous LAW. If I kept the LAW I had and picked up the fresh one, I would have only been brought up to 16 ammo (8/8) instead of 20 (8/12).
This is where the largest error in the run took place with the pack of three Nightcrawler Elites. I lost roughly 13 seconds due to their unfavorable positions. It's possible there was something else I could have done (perhaps some manipulation I could have done with my movement instead) but I simply did what I thought was the best course of action in that situation, which was stay where I was and let them come to me. It was unfortunately compounded by shots not landing properly. This spot is where I think half of the potential time that could be saved in this run can be saved.
It is important to maintain a high health and medkit count as you progress through this stage. If you perform five boosts with the MP-50, you will need a minimum of 71 health and six medkits just to be able to reach the out of bounds entrance, but obviously you'll want more than that left over to survive the remaining stages. Performing the float glitch took a bit longer than usual here. Entering the next stage with 40 health and four medkits is pretty standard for runs.
Extermination: Clone Facility
I slide kick through one of the vents because it can be impossible to crouch glitch into it sometimes, and slide kicking is -at most- one second slower than if you were instantly able to crouch glitch into this particular vent.
I take a path around the medical area that avoids all Scarecrows.
I take out a fire extinguisher when I enter the final room for two reasons - not only can it deal a lot of damage to me if one of the grunts manage to hit it while I pass by, but if I blow it up quickly enough in my entry, it can take out a grunt that can get in my way.
Extermination: Clone Production
Remember the remote bomb I mentioned earlier? I make use of it after Alma disappears to clear out a path. Simple and effective.
It's a tight squeeze to dodge the Scarecrow near the canisters before the checkpoint. I could have been a bit faster in doing so.
I acquire the float glitch before another Scarecrow and dodge it. The LAW is the most effective way of dealing with the upper part of the next room due to the presence of the MP-50 guard. Afterward, I use the float glitch to descend down an entire section of the stage, effectively skipping part of the stage.
As is usually the case, my dispatching of the Nightcrawler Elites could have been a few seconds faster. The first two must perish before the upper door is unlocked.
I plant mines in the location where a grunt descends so that I can break open the ventilation grating and enter the vent right as he dies, since the opening to the vent doesn't open until all enemies that spawn in that room are dead.
The building clip could have been a few seconds faster. I was slow in my initial clipping, and took the remaining adjustment for extra height cautiously so I wouldn't need to boost myself further, which would waste time and health. Once the top of the building is reached, the MP-50 is used to gain that last bit of height needed to float over the entire stage to the end, thus skipping all interaction with the Nightcrawler Commander, including his boss battle and the final battle outdoors.
Thus, the run is completed, ending with a glitched version of the ending sequence involving the protagonist and Chen's ghost sitting inside the nonexistant helicopter, without any dialogue (since Raynes is not present).
Thanks to Freezard, who figured out that the float glitch could be used to access the out of bounds of many stages, which by itself caused over a dozen minutes to be saved over the course of the run for this expansion. He also provided additional ideas and assistance in the development of this speedrun. I couldn't have pulled this off without him around.