Forum posts

Forum: Introductions

Thread: My first successful speedrun of Columns III!!

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I thought I would put this in Introductions even though I'm not quite brand-new here, because this introduces my first successful speedrun of Columns III! I did it in about 30:17, so I've got the half-hour barrier to go after now for level 2 of speedrunning Columns III (level 1 was beating the 34:45 time, the only one recorded in America.)

I actually "double-recorded" it with a commentated version here:

Here is the uncommentated version with the emulator's recording:

So I thought I would post this here while I wait for approval from @SegaJunkieSegaJunkie.

One possible technicality I could get this rejected on is that I paused emulation BEFORE timing started to move the window on my screen. I never paused during timing or afterwards, though. Some very competitive games have rules that require the run to be from a hard reset.

 

Forum: The Site

Thread: Has anyone actually tried "ban speedrunning" Speedrun.com?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

(edited: )

So these quick ban times are from robots? I guess, like with tool-assisted speedruns, they can do it faster than humans?

I wasn't really seeking such a list to begin with, and I don't even really think it's wise to display such a list. Those who deserved to be banned from Speedrun.com, "ban speedrunning" the site or not, don't deserve to be recognized in this way. It's better to ignore the true jerks and not give any "ban speedrunners" like I described anything they could take as a badge of honor (except possibly a record time, not on Speedrun.com, getting banned from the site), even if they are in fact banned in record time. I just wanted to know if anyone was actually suspected to have pulled this sort of "speedrun" which I thought would be really funny of Speedrun.com.

I guess to be consistent with not wanting names named, I just want to know if it's been done at all - not by whom in any way.

 

Forum: The Site

Thread: Has anyone actually tried "ban speedrunning" Speedrun.com?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I'm not suggesting there's really any rational reason to do this. It's just that "ban speedrunning" is actually a thing and I watched one for Twitter on YouTube. I agree that it's a very bad idea to actually try this unless you really hate the site and never want anything to do with it, and you're willing to accept NEVER being allowed back. Definitely not my motive here.

 

Forum: The Site

Thread: Has anyone actually tried "ban speedrunning" Speedrun.com?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I didn't at all expect Speedrun.com to actually add the "game" of getting banned from their own site to the games. I agree this would be a very bad idea, cluttering the site with unnecessary cheats and troll posts. I was asking more along the lines of, would Speedrun.com just mercilessly ban a strongly suspected "ban speedrunner" even if it gives the "runner" the satisfaction of a record time, or would they have a good laugh and refuse to ban them at all, or would they ban the "runner", albeit more slowly so as to not give this sort of troll any satisfaction?

 

Forum: The Site

Thread: Has anyone actually tried "ban speedrunning" Speedrun.com?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

(edited: )

So I've heard that "ban speedrunning" where you try to get banned from a website as quickly as possible is actually something some people do.

Has anyone tried to get banned from Speedrun.com as quickly as possible - say, by signing up, immediately slapping on a "run" that obviously belongs to someone else, and billing it as their own run, then making troll posts? A laughably bad fake could be preferable if you want to get banned from this site very quickly!

If having an existing account were allowed, I could theoretically get an alt banned even faster by creating another account that's obviously me with a name like MadGamer1984_2, while I still use the legitimate one and make one good forum post to show that it's not because something went wrong with my other account (other than being banned.) I'll never actually try this, because I don't want to troll or cheat, and it also puts my main account, which is still fairly new, at risk.

Also, does anyone know how Speedrun.com would deal with a "ban speedrun" of their site? Would Speedrun.com actually give a suspected "ban speedrunner" the satisfaction of being banned as quickly as possible? And what would it mean if they later wanted to come back for real (as in not cheat, and be nice, respectful and on-topic.)

 

Forum: Columns III

Thread: CPU Crush Strategies

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

Thanks for the additional info, @RoyTheDragonRoyTheDragon! I'll see which version I have by seeing if the sphinx knocks out one of my pieces with three of the same color before reaching 20 while at or below four crush bars (like the scorpion, and I recently edited the zombie part of my post to say a 3 bar tolerance instead of 2) and not in danger of losing, which is what I assume you meant about monocolors, how I'm playing it. I'm actually going to shout out to a 1994, arcade-only game called Stack Columns which you actually seem to have the world top that's been proven on video, at 360,391 while "1 credit clearing" the game and actually getting the truth behind your father's apparent death in that game. And since this is a "quickplay", even though it lets the big time bonus run out at the end, it still makes for a worthwhile speedrun time on this site to me. I've 1CC'd it once, with 214,231, with an attempted video recording but the video was pretty much lost a bit into the run, and it was originally intended only as a test too!

RoyTheDragonRoyTheDragon likes this. 

Forum: Columns

Thread: What do I have to do to connect with any Columns Discord server? Or is mine the first signing up?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I expected there to be some kind of Columns series server on Discord already, but it pretty hard insisted on me making my own, which I did here:

https://discord.gg/d728eAHaeG

I set it so that there would be no time limit for others joining. However, if someone else here already has a server, I would prefer to join that one instead rather than create another, duplicate one. Yet Discord seemed to present my own server as the only option for this, though given relatively few players on here, mine might very well be the only one... I'm just anxious to find out which it is (or even somewhere in between) and figure out what to do with that... I think Columns overall hasn't gotten nearly the attention it deserves versus Tetris.

 

Forum: Speedrunning

Thread: Why do some of the best videos here have heart monitors?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

It's very interesting to see what runners' heart rates are in real time as you watch a speedrun. I just watched the top time in its entirety for Super Mario Land for the Game Boy, Normal + Hard category, glitches allowed, which saw a heart rate bottom out around 70, shown all the way green, it became all the way red at a surprisingly low 90... especially since it got as high as 150 during 4-2 on Hard, indicating that was the most nerve-wracking level in the run, and it climbed higher than with victory, where a lot of people's heart rates seem to shoot up in games in general.

In fact, should I so much as beat the relatively slow time of 34:45 for Columns III, a puzzle game, on Hard, my own heart rate would probably peak there since sometimes, I wouldn't even be all that nervous during battle with the sphinx, and be shocked and delighted to win quickly causing my heart rate to skyrocket. So really, it all depends on the game as to where the heart rate peaks.

Two reasons I can think of for having it are (1) entertainment, to see how "nervous" players are during play, and (2) medical, in case players cannot climb above a certain heart rate without causing problems. I have no medical problems myself necessitating limiting this, so my own reason for showing mine would be for entertainment and insight into how "nervous" I am in real time during play.

Are there any verification reasons to have this, too, or some other reason? Or is it really just entertainment and maybe medical? Are there any real suspicions about runs being faked due to being unnaturally calm during segments the community for the game sees as nerve-wracking and hard, especially near the end?

 

Forum: Columns

Thread: How about Super Columns for the Game Gear for this series?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

Another Columns game I am asking a moderator to add! This one is Super Columns for the Game Gear, and it seems not to be too difficult to beat overall, so more people would be able to put up a time here. I beat it first try despite not being able to use the game's "special attack" since there weren't apparently enough buttons to configure it...

But now I know how to use it, where I haven't found any uses of it on YouTube! What you do is hold UP and press the button you normally use to rotate your pieces into a row in this game - this is the only Columns game in the series that allows you to do this. At least there being /apparently/ not enough buttons explains why no videos I found have had the player use it. It has various effects depending on strength, which this game has five levels of.

 

Forum: Columns

Thread: Can Stack Columns be added on this site?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I read the rules for requesting games, and it looks like a moderator needs to do that. I've discovered a game called Stack Columns, released for arcades in 1994, which is very similar to Columns III with a tournament storyline.

Here, your father has died a mysterious death 10 years ago while he was participating in the "Rose Stack Tournament." And now, you have to win your way to the finals in this tournament, to meet the master and get the truth of your father's death. It's very difficult to 1CC this game, sort of like it's very difficult to get a time worth something at Columns III on Hard.

I've managed the 1CC once with 214,231, and even attempted to record it for a speedrun (in fact it was originally supposed to be only a test, but I turned it into the 1CC!), but the video came in almost non-existent a bit into the game (getting down to one frame per MINUTE) while the audio was intact at least. I was using OBS Studio, and it only seems to be this bad if I go into MAME from Windows PowerShell. It's not perfect for recording, say, Columns III windowed on my desktop, but at least I can see my gameplay and it kind of comes and goes. I can at least use it to get commentary and prove I didn't pause emulation in the emulator's built-in recording, but I'm not sure if "double recording" will slow down the OBS one or even the Fusion one, possibly leaving me without a good video! That will require further testing.

I don't want to spoil the "true" ending here right now.

RoyTheDragon has a "quickplay" video of this on YouTube which scores an amazing 360,391 and 1CC's the game, and because high scores are so closely associated with fast times, it would actually make a good speedrun even with letting the time bonus tick at the end! The time comes in at about 12:05, and it could have been about 11:52 if the last time bonus was skipped. You can watch it here:

It would be left up to a moderator to decide whether the 1CC is required, as well as standards of proof. At least I know now I don't have to jump straight to becoming a moderator to ask for this game! I can do it here and in messages to moderators.

So do you think Stack Columns can be added to this game series on the site with Roy's time here? There are a few other 1CC's on YouTube and Twitch, but the next best score (262,413 by Rubycored) is a "longplay" which shows everything about single-player mode, and the others have lower scores, so they aren't really fit for speedruns. Perhaps someone can put instructions on how to get MAME and Stack Columns to work so people can play!

 

Forum: Columns III

Thread: Another time that can be added?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I found this video on Twitch which beats this game on Hard in about 28:42.75 - there is a three-second timing difference between the rules on this site and how he timed it, stopping the clock right after the sphinx says to go inside the room with the treasure. It takes three more seconds for the screen to go black afterwards.

https://www.twitch.tv/arkild/video/121951323

Arkild is a user on Speedrun.com, so I was wondering if this time could go up on the leaderboard. It would be ranked a better 4th, with video proof. It did have the restriction that items were not allowed, but it still makes a perfectly valid time here!

 

Forum: Speedrunning

Thread: When did you first meet speedrunning?

Started by: DaroachDaroach

For me (at least in the time leading up to when I joined, and I'm still new - I can't request games yet), it was when I got good enough at the Sega Genesis game Columns III to hope to actually complete some sort of run of the game.

This is a "falling block" puzzle game whose original was Sega's answer to Tetris, where you have to navigate columns of three falling gems, which cannot be rotated, but you can "shuffle" the gems around in their column to change in which order they appear. You have to match three or more of the same color in a row horizontally, vertically or diagonally to make the gems disappear. Any other matches resulting from this will also clear and get you more points for them in the original version, and give you more attack power in Columns III, as well as Stack Columns and Hanagumi Taisen Columns which I have my eye on right now for first speedruns.

Well, that's not /technically/ when I first met speedrunning per se. I'd known about the practice for a while, and earlier, in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, I had been lucky enough to work for someone who was good at Super Mario Bros. 3 as well as a lot of other games, and he actually put together two speedrun tournaments of the first world in Mario 3! He's now also very good at Columns III as far as all players go, and he might possibly be able to pull out a time to put up here, though he seems too busy to actually try right now. He's actually the one who gave me the idea for attempting a run like this as my first ever speedrun that would be proven!

This Columns III action is definitely what has inspired me to join this site, in hopes of (and making room for!) setting such a record, and now I have this same idea for Stack Columns and Hanagumi Taisen Columns, though I haven't actually "beaten" them per se yet on one credit. Though since Stack Columns isn't on this site now, that actually opens up the door for me to actually moderate a game on this site, so I have to learn those rules quickly if that is to happen, for Stack Columns to appear. I would probably have to allow continues to be used to encourage some sorts of times on it, though I could still require video proof for it, unlike with Columns III, where the American record, and the only one in the USA, was set at 34:45 - a slow time compared to the three others in the world - without video proof, but with a witness. SegaJunkie approved it.

So now, since Stack Columns only gives you the "true" ending if you beat it on one credit, I would really like to beat it that way for my own run of the game if I actually moderate (or even get up on the site!!) this game.

I actually kind of wish I could use a game series specific handle like "Column1984" for any game in the Columns series! I picked "MadGamer" instead so it could branch out into other games more easily.

SizzylSizzyl likes this. 

Forum: Speedrunning

Thread: Speedrunning Less Popular Games

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

I'm new here and am attempting a speedrun at Columns III on Hard, which has four times on this site. I'm just trying to beat the lowest time right now - still the American record - of 34:45 to win eleven two out of three matches of Columns against opponents placed within a pyramid, in search of a secret treasure said to be buried deep, deep inside the piramid [sic].

I also hope to get Stack Columns, a game released for arcade only a year later in 1994, while I'm going to have to figure out an alternate recording arrangement for it since MAME doesn't have built-in recording. Though being new, I'm going to have to wait a week to request that game. There's a "quick play" from RoyTheDragon that I found on YouTube that gets by far the highest score I've seen here, and would make a decent speedrun, even if skipping cutscenes didn't go quite perfectly.

I am also figuring out things about how the opponents use their "crush bar" attack in the games which raises your floor and lowers theirs if it had been previously raised when they use it, as well as break your current piece if you have one falling, and have put up a post on the forum for Columns III in hopes of getting it to life.

I don't really like to use glitches that skip major parts of the game, so "glitchless" or "no major skip" runs also appeal to me. Fortunately for the Columns games, and probably a lot of other puzzle games including Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, there aren't really any exploitable glitches to be had here! If one is discovered, it would probably have to become a new category, even if there's only one time on it!

With games with few or even no times, standards of proof would probably have to be slightly lower so there are times. The more players there are, the more likely it becomes that someone will cheat, since it's that many more chances for someone to be a cheater! Also, a run like completing Columns III on Hard is very difficult to complete at all, given the difficulty of the final opponent in this mode - the sphinx - to beat at all, even given four tries and some items In the case of where I stand right now, I can use the Fusion emulator's built-in video recording to record it, though it's possible to pause the emulator without the video acting up at all in terms of what looks like a legitimate, single-segment run. Though th e advantage a player could gain from this is slight for this game. The Columns III game on this site did in fact accept the bottom time without video, probably since it at least had a witness.

I would like to hear your thoughts on speedrunning less popular games and getting good new games and speedrun modes up on this site!

 

Forum: Hanagumi Taisen Columns

Thread: Does this game punish you for gaining attack power faster?

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

(edited: )

I found two speedruns of this game on Easy, watched the better one, and thought "I'm better than this..."

So I downloaded Hanagumi Taisen Columns for MAME, and got it to work. What didn't work, however, was my strategy of getting my attack up to level 3 as quickly as possible then using it. I expected those to be fatal to opponents given the video, but they were surviving most of them and throwing powerful attacks back at me when they cleared themselves when the dice blocks ended!

I even tried it with the character used in the video, who dumps something like six rows of dice blocks that last 8 pieces at level 3, but my opponents were STILL surviving it! This character has a weak defense, only clearing one row of gems per level off the bottom of the field, so you should almost never use it defensively with this character!

It's hard to figure out the Japanese character stats without knowing the language, but I do know that each character has different properties with how many rows of dice blocks they drop at each level attack, how long the dice blocks last, how scrambled in colors the dice blocks are, and defensive power (you can use it to clear gems off the bottom of your board as well.)

So could the key here be intentionally playing slower, or not setting up as many chains if the pieces are falling fast, so your opponent builds up more (and/or you build up less!) so that when you use your level 3 attack, it's fatal? It's useful to know that you can ONLY use your attacks right after reaching their requisite levels... and the attack is even LOST if you don't decide quickly! Or could spamming level 1 attacks for a bit before building up a level 3 attack before your opponent be the trick here? I've tried that with a little more success, but they still get me too often.

 

Forum: Columns III

Thread: CPU Crush Strategies

Started by: MadGamer1984MadGamer1984

(edited: )

I just joined Speedrun.com, and I am attempting a speedrun of this game. I thought I would share what I've found out about the CPU crush strategies. Here's the crush score or situation that will normally cause each opponent to use the attack:

Spider: 10
Bat: 10
Skeleton: 20
Treasure Chest: 20
Ghost: 20
Snake: Will always wait for you to use it first, then retaliate
Zombie: 20 unless it has more than 3 crush bars, otherwise 10
Scorpion: 30 unless it has more than 4 crush bars, otherwise 10
Witch: 10
Mummy: 20 unless it's in danger of losing, otherwise 10
Sphinx: 20 unless it's in danger of losing, otherwise 10, and it will intentionally target your magic gems!

I'm not sure about the rules for the skeleton, treasure chest and ghost for switching to using it every chance they get. Still, this is useful for knowing when using your attack will cause your opponent to immediately retaliate - the most glaring one besides the snake is the scorpion exceeding 4 crush bars with an attack. So when it's at "crush tolerance", you should not use your attack when you have a useful piece, as SegaJunkie explains in his guide to speedrunning this game.

I'm doing this on a Fusion emulator which has built-in video recording. However, I must admit that it's easy to pause emulation and not affect the appearance of the video - I've tested it. So you could theoretically stop and think about your next move, but the advantage this would give a player good enough to beat the sphinx at all is small. If anything, it would be detrimental to me, so even if I were morally willing to cheat like this, I would still be better off doing it for real. So it may not be worth worrying about.

Standards of proof for this game might have to be a little lower because this game only has a few players, and it's so hard to get a time at all for Hard mode! In fact, they do seem to be in comparison to more popular speedgames - the American record, and the only one in the USA, does not have video proof, but does have a witness.

I'm tantalizingly close to doing this. A playthrough of mine where I simply tracked play times for each game came VERY close to what would have been the American record after adding in the mandatory delays in the game, which is almost 30 seconds per two out of three match, assuming the first two games are won!
(I recently edited this post to indicate better what what the zombie does.)