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Saturday, October 3, 2015 by ktwo

NES, NES, NES (and then two other runs)

This is my first update, so let me start by introducing myself. I discovered SDA in 2007 by a coincidence. I wasn't famliar to the concept of speedrunning, but I was pretty much immediately hooked by what I found here. The problem was that so many great games were missing in the archives (and still are!). After having watched a majority of the NES-runs (I'm a big NES-fan, by the way) on SDA at the time, I started gathering the courage to take my own first trembling steps in speedrunning and see if I could add a game to the list. My choice eventually fell on a little gem for the NES called Cobra Triangle. It's one of several games by Rare from that era that plays in an isometric view. You control a speedboat and need to complete several different types of objectives that add variety to the game. My run has since been obsoleted and today we have another improvement done by the same runner, 'KHANanaphone', who has pushed the time down from 17:19 to 0:17:11 through a combination of tight execution and few new strats.

If I haven't mentioned it already, I like NES-games. The next one so happens to also be one I'm quite familiar with. Ice Climber dates back to the oldest days of the NES. I think it passed by fairly unnoticed in the US. However, the game was bundled with the NES in my home country, Sweden, and was quite well known there at the time. I have particularly fond memories of the cooperative aspects possible in 2p-mode. So maybe it's not a coincidence that the two speedrunners I could find that have tried their hands on this game are fellow compatriots of mine. Today we post the faster (at least for now) of the two, 'pidipajt', who gets to inaugurate the game page with a time of 0:14:20. Conveniently enough, there has recently been made a tas of this game, Check it out to see some of the hot 2p-action I mentioned. The tas goes to the top of every mountain, so you'll also get to see a bit more of the game.

The last games in today's update is a triplet by the same runner, 'Jaguar King'. This is not a newcomer around here and if you stumble upon his name on one of the game pages, you can rest assured that it will be a particularly well done speedrun and worth the watch. The work he shares with us this time is held to the same high standards as before and consists of the second Metal Gear game for the NES (more NES!), Snake's Revenge, done in 0:42:17 (an improvement of almost 8 minutes) and including audio commentary. He then follows up with two Neo-Geo games (played on the PS2 though). An ancient Japanese story, partly played in contemporary settings, in the form of the beat-em up Sengoku, done in 0:27:11 and a non-linear platformer called Magician Lord that was completed in 0:12:29. The latter one including audio commentary.

To round things off, even though it's maybe a bit early yet, 'KHANanaphone' and 'Jaguar King' will play their respective games in the follow-up of last year's successful "Best of NES" marathon. It's held over the Halloween weekend though, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy the runs in this update in the meanwhile. We'll try to post a reminder about the best of nes when we get closer as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 by LotBlind

I Will Walk You to the Moon and Back TWICE REALLY SLOW!

For some reason, when I watch this fairly straight-forward 0:19:38 of Castlevania: The Adventure for the Game Boy, I'm reminded more of what it was like to play unemulated NES games (my only console) back in the days than with any run that's actually ON that console. Such is the grittiness present here, despite the SNES through the Super Game Boy adapter rendering it in color. If you saw Brental Floss's and Dave Bulmer's musical argument about the merits of Super Mario Land (from the same year), you'll see the same kinda does apply. It's the fact that it's something we were already familiar with but everything is scaled down and can't hope to amount to an equally impressive experience. Well unless you're impressed with its time-lapsed movement, tendency to lag or bad controllability. 'Epryon' gives you right about the cleanest execution one could ask for, improving the record by 5 hard seconds.

There's few runners who go so consistently for the most bonkers of games as Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare & Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman. They're devoted to glitching and then showcasing the most demented, weird, and unexpected titles and have done so live on multiple occasions across the early expanse of the history of GDQ marathons (long live the GDQ!), including with Battletoads & Double Dragon for the SNES. Despite the far more serious nature of this 0:18:23, running as the two Double Dragon guys, much beat'em'uppage takes place. Very chill, cool soundtrack, eyes bulge, how did they do all that parallax stuff and most importantly is that chicken saying his lines or typing them? Or both? Why?

Why is this only the first run for Michael Jackson's Moonwalker??? This game is legendary! Or so I have been told. First-timer Josiah Winslow contemplated on the injustice of the omission and took it upon himself to deliver a neatly packaged 0:23:03 in Single Segment. Delayed IntroductionTM GO! It's a platformer where you play as Michael and you need to find all the cloned children hiding behind doors and inside trash compactor chutes followed by a boss fight, which I find it pretty unique you can trigger seemingly anywhere in the level.

I'm trying to decide whether it's ironically or unironically that people took to the games (similar but distinct titles came out on PC systems and the arcade). It's so squarely Michael's essence, it embodies so exactly his entire character with all the various trademarks and his non-violent philosophy (every bad guy succumbs to the power of his dance moves) that it really comes down to what your attitude towards him is in general. It's probably this Jackson we'd do well to remember and not what surfaced later about his non-public self.

It is in any case un-ironically that I go "Whoop-de-doo!", we've got another...


Sega Master System Big15 race

This event is inspired by Big20 races put on by a community called Best of NES.
Similar approach but this time 15 Sega Master System games.

When is it going to happen:
24th October 2015

Notable games include:
Fantasy Zone,
Wonder Boy,
Psycho Fox,
Sonic The Hedgehog,
Ninja Gaiden,
Alex Kidd in Miracle World and 9 others.

In other news SOMA is already officially being given "The Treatment". I'm not gonna link it because so many unhidden videos... feel sorry for us non-hyper-Internet-bandwidth guys. It's under "PC Games".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by HoboWithaShotgun

I'm not dead yet!

Hey look! It's an SDA update NOT written by LotBlind! Can this be? The other updaters are actually doing there job? Yeah, so me, Judgy, and wickedcodeferret have been out of the loop for a while. The reason? Life sucks. Fortunately, things have started to clear up, for me at least, and now LotBlind can take a much needed break. 

Up first we have Final Fantasy. And yes, that's the original Final Fantasy, the game that spawned god knows how many sequels, spin-offs, and even a movie. To think, an old NES game from 1987 could create a multi-million dollar franchise. Anyway, in the game, you play as fourth youths who must stop an evil forces from destroying the world. Sure, send youths to save the world. That makes total sense. Anyway, Benjamin Lannin decides that the story is boring, and opts to rush through the game in just a mere 2:21:48, nearly an hour and a half faster than the run from 2010. The run is in 89 segments.

For the next run, we fast forward 25 years into the future, where the graphics aren't so pixelated. Hitman: Absolution, the fifth game in the Hitman series, focuses on everyone's favorite bald-headed killer Agent 47. In this game, Agent 47 decides to go rouge, and tries to keep a young girl away from an evil agency. Honestly, I played this game, and that's about all I remember about the story. I do remember there was a point in the game where you could disguise yourself in a chipmunk suit. That was pretty cool. Sadly, Mirko Brown & Bart 'TheVoiid' de Waal don't wear the chipmunk suit in this multi runner speedrun, but does instead beat the game in just 0:47:39, Easy difficulty. I guess that makes up for the chipmunk-less gameplay.

Last but not least, we have my favorite type of run. The WTF just happened type of run. You know, the runs in which everything is normal at first, and then dissolve into utter madness before the game decides it's had enough and throws the credits at the player no questions asked. Yeah, those runs are pretty cool. The Last of Us: Left Behind, in short, is the DLC for The Last of Us, a game that won just about every award under the sun in 2013. The DLC follows Ellie, a survivor of the zombie apocalypse, as she makes her way through an abandoned mall to try and find medical supplies. There's also another part to this DLC, with flashbacks to Ellie's friend, but lets just say, Greg 'The Thrillness' Innes found a way to skip those parts...and complete the DLC in just 0:05:58, on Easy difficulty. Also, if you think this is broken, the main game is just as broken, if not worse. Yeah, The Thrillness has been busy.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 by LotBlind

Drop Your Bombs Between the Minarets

WARNING! BORING HISTORY LESSON. I thought I'd look up the devs behind Sierra's Quest for Glory franchise. Turns out it's a married couple, Corey and Lori Cole, who had the main creative impact in all the five QfG games. Both had a long career at Sierra and influenced the development of many of the various "quest" titles as well as Castle of Doctor Brain. The game you might NOT have heard of is Shannara, published by Legend Entertainment (1995) drawing on the fantasy novels of Terry Brooks. I thought I remembered they were crowd-funding something at some point and yes they were!

When you talk QfG at SDA you talk Paul 'The Reverend' Miller. He's not the only one who played or even ran them, but he does now (I can only assume) hold most of the records. Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero is one of the games his work has helped bring down on its knees. The whipping it receives in a newly (and accidentally) started "major skips" category surely makes it one of the all-time fastest adventure game submissions at a pop-song-length 0:04:14. I also want to point out the run has the most awkward ending sequence since this thing. Because of the new skip, the hero, Graham, never actually frees Elsa the Baron's daughter from the curse that's turned her into a mean-tempered brigand and when he arrives at the castle (packed with all qualities of weirdos including T. Riker from Star Trek, and a dead person), first no-one utters a word for almost a minute, then some guy comes in doing cartwheels and you get a medal. Then there's this shot. Is this possibly the earliest known example of a trollface? Because this guy knows. He knows he just ran, presumably soft-locking the poor girl's AI in the same murderous pose forever. He knows even his score indicates at best a half-assed effort at transcending the common scoundrel.

Okay, let's promptly move onwards now. Or should I say backwards? Unlike QfG 1 (initially named Hero's Quest), Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire is being run in the original shape it appeared in because of an infinite money type trick whereby you sell an item you don't even have multiple times. As it stands, it reminds us that back in 1990, adventure games were still rooted in the days of so called interactive fiction with their purely text-based command input systems. And when you type in short commands like "run" it might actually be faster, in the end, than choosing them from a submenu with the mouse.

Although the Thief is chosen here run comments indicate this doesn't make a difference and the result will always be something similar to the submitted 0:19:58. This run probably takes the "longest wait within a speedrun" award, but I actually wanted to start another thread for sharing similar cases you're aware of. Let's see if we can find something even better/worse! Anyway, if you're a fast and accurate typer you should seriously consider running some text parser games! Just wait for Mr. Miller to route it and then go in for the steal. Tell him regards from me. Also write less typo-riddled run comments.

Despite the great difference in time between this 0:44:01 and the existing segmented 0:49:29, this is for the Japanese version of Bomberman Hero and fends off direct comparison. Run comments indicate it's pretty technical. Every time a bomb gets randomly dropped you can be sure it's for a reason (or not, no guarantees). Runner 'PvtCb''s (the Cb stands for "Cinnanon bun" of course) only previous submission was for System Shock, a PC First-Person Hacker/Shooter out of all things (that's the exact gaming antipode for Bomberman I'm fairly sure). I honestly liked this run never having seen the game that is quite kawaii and simple yet sufficiently freeform with a few subtleties. Kinda like Super Monkey Ball. It's got spikes that make the laser blaster sound when they spring up. Lotsa gameplay and soundtrack variety too. LotBlind approves!

Sunday, September 20, 2015 by LotBlind

Coming Up With This Title Was As Hard As Finishing One of These Games

I had NEVER noticed to this day (I've even played one of them) the puns in the names of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus. I thought I was going crazy with how to spell "odyssey". Sam 'Samtastic' Locke all the while is absolutely nuts about wanting to spell out "major glitches" as legibly as an uncivilized mudokon possibly can. Having previously produced runs with segmentation for both the old '97 and '98 Oddworld games, the new 0:10:28 represents the single-segment any% category. Both the developer Oddworld Inhabitants and the runner have plans for more output in the near future so it's truly a living legacy. There's seriously quite a lot to say about these games. They're (LotBlind Delayed Introduction™) cinematic puzzle platformers with a ton of originality and charm. The runner is using a PC but they're also available for the PS1 and the latest one for the PS3/4/Xbox with further ports and spin-offs on certain handhelds and more platforms I haven't mentioned. They've won over one hundred awards and sold 7 million copies. The major skips I mentioned before are worth reading about in Sam's run comments and seem to have issued from the recent experimentations of multiple enthusiasts. Apparently a new TAS* even is coming up in their wake.

Before I saw the run, I wanted to find out a bit about the origins of Hudson Hawk. I knew it was a movie adaptation but nothing else. Turns out it was a surreal action comedy about a thief getting blackmailed into more crime after entering parole. Bruce Willis and two others got "worst actor" nominations and it actually won "worst picture", "worst director", and "worst script" (that Willis was involved in writing). Metacritic score falls into the "overwhelming dislike" range. It busted with tens of millions deficit. I genuinely want to see it now...

Meanwhile I next watched this quick 0:07:46 and read its notes to discover it "handles like ass" and is very unforgiving in general. Despite this, 'WhiteHat94' hits 3/5 one-frame tricks on the first try and loses minimal time to recover the crystal or whatever. Someone's more detailed review about what's wrong with the game here. I genuinely want to play it now... And actually if you own and can somehow record an Atari ST, that version had much better reviews. And also I have to defend the game a bit: it looks to have a great sense of humor that's instantly apparent in the very first stage in a casual playthrough. It wants you to be the floundering clown, the anti-hero.

Check it out! It's Radical Rex! [scary]IT CAME FROM THE BAD GAME EXCHANGE!!![/scary] and was featured at Awesome Games Done Quick this year. Also it CAME FROM THE '90s and IS A SONIC CLONE though having many ideas of its own: how about you're able to inhale the air out of a blowfish to keep from drowning a little longer... wait, what air? Also you MOVE LIKE 4 TIMES SLOWER whenever you're not on a SKATEBOARD!!! Much budget was blown on art assets (looks and sounds alright) but what I'm guessing got neglected was playtesting, severely hindering playability. This is the cardinal sin of game design and rightfully places the radicalest of SNES platformers into the SCARY VOICE bin. The easy mode 0:23:45 that Eric 'Omnigamer' Koziel squeezed out is a self-improvement (a love improvement) of about 2 minutes.

Verification comments:
"For some reason, Omni improved his run of this game. I'm still never playing Musya again."
"I can't believe Omnigamer subjected himself to this torture again."
"Please stop playing this game."


*In case you haven't heard of TASing... Search for your favourite (mostly console) games here and you'll see what it's about.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 by LotBlind

Trade My Soul For Another Tenth Off

The Slovenian developer Arxel Tribe (later The Arxel Guild) won't be known to many, but let it be disclosed they predominantly created PC adventure games (between 1997 and 2003) set either in alternative historical scenarios or reworked versions of classic stories such as The Ring (Wagner opera) and The Pilgrimage (by Paulo Coelho) and Faust: The Seven Games of the Soul clearly inspired by - though only inspired by - Goethe. None of them seem to have scored very high in reviews, so maybe Andrew 'Bigmanjapan' Bondarenko either received his pick for Christmas in the year 2000 or bought it dirt cheap out a sales bin. Or then he thought: "Well it's a Myst-like, so I can only expect it to take me about 0:12:00 to finish it", which shows you how unexceptional it is for this type of adventure game to be reduced to nothing when you can skip everything and dart around like a cat from view to view. The idea is to collect evidence about 7 different characters and their ethical choices to see how they sort for the afterlife which to me seems pretty intrigueing. Each chapter is treated as a segment of its own, hence the Individual Levels table.

Competition continues to be an agent when improvements are sent for display in the vitrines of velocity at SDA. Sometimes it's the smallest of margins. I know I wouldn't have rest if someone took a record I had worked hard to obtain by .07 of a second. I would never want another to replace my name on what is, as with the previous game, an ILs table if I knew I could overtake them with another .03 dropped... I wouldn't, if I was Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe. Personally I probably couldn't be arsed. Klonoa (Wii), with a tightly contested first boss (Rongo Lango) time of 0:17.51 and one single other improvement of .23 for the third boss, Gelg Balm, now stands at 0:07:52.32 combined boss fights time for the Playstation-to-Wii platformer remake.

The next game is ranked 73rd worst all time by Gamesradar for being too hard and lacking humor. The problem with "worst-ever" lists for games these days is it's too damn easy to create and publish a game, so it's required to be picky about what is eligible to be shortlisted. Ironically, some Steam scamware putrescence only has the power to corrupt a perfectly unsullied hall of shame with their presence. The presence of putrescence now brings us back to Fester's Quest, which you might or might not realize is the very first Addams Family title having appeared in '89 for the NES whereas "The Addams Family" followed on multiple platforms only in 1992. An improvement of 2:53 down to 0:21:43 emerges from 'Zakky the Goatragon' having a better understanding of item drops for an efficient early grind for keys and weapon power-ups. The funniest thing about the game is what you might have realized even without me telling you: it's the Blaster Master overhead sections engine, which for some reason makes a funny juxtaposition in my mind.

Saturday, September 12, 2015 by LotBlind

Don't Dis the Gaia Legging it Through Your Residence

The way our first run of the day passed verification was, admittedly, not the slickest. I want to mention a few things as a caveat for future first-time submitters. Firstly, when you approach the more serious attempts at getting those submittable Personal Best times, you're supposed to be resetting a lot until the first parts of your run have significantly above-average luck. Depending on your game, you might need some seriously good luck if that's the make-it-or-break-it. If it's Single Segment, the rest of the run should aim for at least average luck as a guideline. Secondly, there's a spectrum of complexity and obscurity that games can have, and the more complicated your decision-making (especially if you're having to sacrifice time to regain it later), the more the verifiers will appreciate having a simple set of notes to fall back on. If you don't feel confident writing them in English yourself, you can probably find someone willing to help you translate from your home language just by asking around. That's what the community's for. To be clear it's still not compulsory for every single submission.

With that out the way, the rest of this run-through of Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness was awarded an unhesitated passing mark. In fact to the unexperted me it looks noticeably brisk-paced. It's for the Real Time Attack category and resets are used for faster grinding, which gives us the time of 2:15:31. I shouldn't imply 'elkidwx' is a first-timer either - he seems to have ample experience running, if not submitting, another Disgaea game called Hour of Darkness. I notice I've rather pointlessly fallen out the habit of giving an overview of each game for those uninitiated, which, on average, is most of everyone: it's a 2013 PS3 release best described as a tactical, square-based RPG. Expect fights and menuing, fights and menuing, fights and... The series seems to enjoy some success having been around since 2003. In fact taking a closer look at developer Nippon Ichi's records, I can see they're running since 1991 (I've totally missed them, wow!) with a significant number of international releases in similar genres.

The next one, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, was a natural choice for this update, because I guessed it might have things in common with Disgaea... but not as much as I thought. It has a similar name and is also on a PlayStation system, the PS2. It's a turn-based RPG á la Final Fantasy, but actually has a key press combos battle system like in fighting games. This run looks a bit more story-heavy so I'll wager those cutscenes aren't going nowhere no matter whose controller you're mashing. On the upside you'll get a bit more insight into what's happening and who's related to whom. I'd like to point out the "first event is your mom entering your room and waking you up, reminding you who you are and who's already waiting for you because you like to sleep late" trope is not employed for the first or second time. Although 'Deathtome' is aiming for a simple any% time, the run is still 6:46:18 long. I'm seeing someone from among the verifiers throwing down the gauntlet and saying they're going to beat this time. If you guys are going to have a fight in the town square make sure everyone gets the invitation! Or, you know, stream it.

Verifier comment for Legaia 2: "Honestly great job at breaking a game that has Resident Evil 1 laughably bad voice acting." Now THAT is more link than ever went to or indeed came back from other time periods dressed in stupid and effeminate green tights. 'sshplur' wanted to add one of the latest in HD revivals, Resident Evil HD just from this January, onto the speedrunning firmament (the celerial sphere, from the words celestial and celerity which means swiftness). Mustering all his autoimmunity, he contains the biohazard within 1:29:20 of its outbreak. The final boss is wont to swat aside rockets like a disgruntled playmate might discard a frisbee you hoped would distract them off their bellyache. This is a sad bit of RNG, which - along with other small luck and execution mishaps - makes the run improvable if more people show up sporting inexplicable medieval handgear.

If not, there's always Resident Evil Zero HD in the works.

You'll see the logic by which I tacked on Resident Evil 2 as an addendum to the previous run. In this minuscule 0:01:58.63, 'uhTrance' completes the "Hunk" mini-scenario on a different version (though timing is equivalent) blasting the old record out the water with a minute and 24 seconds of improvement. The guy dodges an entire rugby team's worth of zombies without a single shot fired and only getting hit twice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 by LotBlind

Said the Raven: "Nevermore, Color Dreams, pls!"

The first boss you fight in this Game Boy Advance Mario title - talking about Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - is Bowser himself. However, he doesn't seem the primary culprit this time around. It's some guy from BeanBean Land (they're probably all really awkward) who comes over and does vaguely unpleasant things (text boxes are skipped in a flash) to make the Princess cry rivers and swear mountains, cause that's all she's good for. The artwork is a perfect match to the sweetmeat precipitating my next visit to the dentist's (bet they can't wait!). The run used to be segmented and take over 3 hours but is now finished in one go within 1:18:51 making use of large, or more likely, massive skips. The first and foremost is what is called the "barrel glitch". I wonder if it's anything like Donkey Kong Country then? When I look at the game I can't help feeling like it's got something off-color about it. Anyhoo, the respondage makes up for anything strange like that, everyone seems muchly pleased with Mr. or Mrs. (or Ms.) 'altabiscuit', our hero of the day.

Our second hero of the day is 'Zakky the Goatragon'. The game is Robodemons for the NES from 1989. He says: "This is an example of me running a game because it was there and I could". He points out the developer, Color Dreams, who made a line of games that were all disgusting horrible messes individually and collectively. Includes Bible Adventures and Super Noah's Ark 3D (under a different name because they already suffered a bad reputation by then). But that's only if YOU have to play them. And if the bad doesn't underflow (eventually the wrongs start making a right). Sadly I don't think that's the case here in this 0:08:59 journey through not-quite-incompetent-enough hell-themed autoscrollers and platforming levels which does death warps like it's Jesus.  At the end the guy beats "King Kull" (who was a demon before it was kull).

The next run represents an unusual choice of genre - the visual novel. They technically have endstates and are not autoscrollers, so why - the proverbial - not? Analogue: A Hate Story is a space-themed game that explores misogyny drawing from the actual history of Joseon dynasty Korea. The game written by Christine Love received high praise from critics for intellectual depth and an original user interface, which to me looks like a parser, but apparently there's more to it than that. You're not going to find out much just watching the 0% completion C-ending 0:01:03 speed-typed by 'xVirtualNinjax' that, to my great delight, only assumes a shared 25th place in the list of fastest runs on SDA. Citius, citius, citius!

The sequel to Heretic is called Heretic 2. The first was first-person, the second second-person. Umm... third-person. It looks like a cross between Hexen 2 and Tomb Raider. Melee attacks are present and are being abused heavily to get into places one is not supposed to get yet. I never played the game but am more or less pleased with what I'm seeing both in terms of how it looks like it plays and the amount of bits 'GOODFELLA529' is skipping, more than enough to warrant speedrunning it more than once: This new run is a 0:39:35, an improvement of 04:59 minutes over a year-old run. If you don't know anything about any of the games I've mentioned, they're shooters with more puzzles than Doom in a fantasy setting. They're all by the distinguished old Raven Software.



29th October - 1st November

The Zocktoberfest is a german speedrun marathon dedicated to bring speedrunning to a broader audience in germany. There are quite some german speedrunners, but almost none also stream in german, so the marathon will be held completely in german. Any german-speaking speedrunner is welcome to offer participation here. The event will be hold online on our channel; next year - depending on the success of this event - we're looking forward to organize an event on site. For more information, mail to

Sunday, September 6, 2015 by LotBlind

Would've Made One Helluva Topiary Artist

Today I bring you the most confusing update I have yet had the pleasure to commit upon the fine SDA audience. In fact it's so confusing, that SDA (as became apparent on the day this was originally meant to be published) literally had to revise its protocols to be able to cope with cases like this. It's 3 Clock Tower games, all for the PS1 and they all came out within 1½ years of each other. One of them is a port of the original SNES game, the other two actual sequels, but the port came out AFTER the first sequel. I've given you all the Japanese titles as well as the international so you'll be able to fully appreciate the many ways they'll trip you up - and cut you up.

Clock Tower: The First Fear is the port I mentioned. There are, according to my scant sources, no changes other than adding a few little cutscenes here and there. Like the original, it was never officially translated so it's being run, by Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais, in Japanese. There's hardly anything I could add if you do in fact know the SNES version, but in case you don't, it's got a girl called Jennifer trapped with her friends inside a mansion haunted by a creep with murder scissors - several sizes too large - in hand, probably making his mother rather proud he's not, in fact, ever seen running with them. Looks like there must be other undocumented or incidental differences because the same ending (the bad one - or should I say worst one, out of a possible 8) is now over a minute slower (at 0:03:07), all of which becomes illustrated if you watch them side by side. In fact lemme link the old console run so you can clock them yourself. (wink wink)

Now let's recall that the first Clock Tower game was probably called "Clock Tower" right? Wait a minute LotBlind, didn't you just tell us it never got shipped overseas? Well that's true, so this next PS1 Clock Tower game, the first to brave the briny, is also just called "Clock Tower". In Japan, of course, it's "Clock Tower 2". This one has 10 endings, 5 for each playable character. The 1:03:09 run-through is marked as 100% and does indeed see 'Carcinogen' going for the A ending with all kinds of survivors and generally favourable outcomes. Despite using the platform's 3D capabilities the game otherwise acts as a similar point-'n'-clicker as before. It takes place across multiple locations though, and not nearly all of it is spent getting short of breath frenetically escaping the probably only wildly misunderstood scissors-clacker person. I mean, isn't this exactly what happens when your priggish upper-class parents won't let you start your own jolly little barbershop downtown?

The last run I want to talk about is for Clock Tower Ghost Head, which is "Japanese" for Clock Tower 2: The Struggle Within. This time most ties to the original have been cut and the game takes place in the land of cherry blossoms itself in a house full of things like carpets, dining tables and remote-controlled cameras. This one has 13 endings, allegedly quite complicated to find, and mostly leading protagonist Allen nowheres buts her own demises. I suspect that's precisely what happened with this rather ill-fated 0:09:32 which is for ending I. Maybe once they've found more of them, Ivan 'Kakyoin-Noriaki' Pais will submit more for this game too.

Now there are 3 Clock Tower games left completely uninduced into the collections... 3, Haunting Ground, and Nightcry, which is only coming out this Fall. "Night-cry" is precisely what SDA staffers like to enjoy a bit of every now and then.

Thursday, September 3, 2015 by LotBlind

Send Us Your Briefs [and Me Your Money]

There's many things unique to the 1995 real-time JRPG Secret of Evermore: It was Squaresoft's only ever US production for which an independent team was drafted and afterwards disbanded because the game, despite receiving a by and large warm welcome as an alternative take on the genre especially with its visual representation, wasn't seen as quite up to the company's standards - at the time being typified by games like Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu 3. It was also Jeremy Soule's, then freshly out of high school, first game music project. Its gameplay was partially derived from the Secret of Mana formula but also revamps magic and other aspects. As for what this 1:18:57 single segment run does to the old 22-segmented (!) run from only 4 (!) years ago to improve it by an hour, 27 minutes and 30 seconds (!!!), is probably best descibed as a "reimagining". 'MetaSigma' and his many partners in crime are running at 48 pages of discussion for the game, and it shows. But where's the Strategy Guide, boys?

At times I feel proud of my achievements. That's all the time. At times I feel proud of other people's. That's just days like today. Meet 'Soliduz Znake'! This man was the wettest-eared newcomer what seems like only yesterweek but is already announcing himself (or, well, being announced) on the front page for his second time. For what I can tell, he definitely had zero speedrunning experience before yipping his first yaps of confusion on the speedrun planning Forums of Fortune a year-and-some ago. I don't even know what made me take a peek, seeing I'd never heard of The Godfather: The Don's Edition before. Orienting his bewildered senses with my comforting voice and gentle, but firm instructions, he kept gnawing away at his modest times until from the rough, lusterless black lump... there emerged a shining, exquisite serendibite* necklace of the kind you could pawn off for lollies and smack if - Alas! - it wasn't metaphorical. When frustrated by an utter dependency on luck, don't forget you can segment your run and take it bit by bit, producing a polished 3:06:59 in 14 immaculate pieces that you could wear around your neck if it wasn't, well, a speedrun. Forget about my patent bias and take a look at this run - you'll be surprised how fast-paced and entertaining it is!

* it's a mineral. If you send me a thousand dollars ($1,000), I'll send you a precious unique ring that can detect your magnetic fields for you and make you rich.

To terminate this update (yes! I went there and am not afraid of going many places yet), I have for you another 90's action hero after last update's Robocop in the plainly appellated The Terminator, Genesis version. The game, though criticized for lacking meat, was widely considered a good time. Speaking of, here's an 0:09:18 on normal difficulty by another initiate having passed the time-honoured rite of having your first flailing attempt off-handedly rejected and forcing you to stop pulling punches. And with the over 30 seconds Chris 'thewizard' Jones afterwards shaved off (with the help of after-shave lotion?), the run now doesn't look any amount bad! The four missions all hark back to scenes from the movie: the first one set in the future, the second takes you to the city streets and the klub, the third takes places at the police station... And the fourth is the one where he has to lure the Terminator into the crusher. Read run comments for more. If there were any. I'm not your mom!

On an unrelated but important note, there has for some time been a feature of the site that allows you to submit the SDA staff news tips! Check it out (requires having a user on SDA)! One of the reasons for this is so less people miss the smaller marathons scattered throughout the year (I personally always keep missing everything I might have been into), but other kinds of news are accepted too.

[Old News]