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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: HEllo?

Started by: seashoreandmountainsseashoreandmountains

Gnist and others who've been around for ages can give much more detailed information but I can try to write some sort of novel about it..

Since the Sly 2 (any%) is so long majority of runs have been done as ILs, or IEs (Individual Episode runs) as we like to call them, or just Episode runs for short. But this'll concentrate less on those and focus more on full-game when maybe tying some notable episode runs to it.

Oldest run on the boards, 7:51:51 by ZtarZtorm was still done on Disc and on PS2 but the very next one by the pioneer cooopercrisp on a downloaded digital PS3 version on the game. Regardless of the version, NTSC, PAL or NTSC-J: KOR all top level runs from now on were done with a digital version since it saves so much time in loads and such.

The era before Cairo skips didn't see that many full-game runs to be done (or documented). Gamecuber was the only one credited with more than one record lowering time for any%. Last record without the Cairo skips was Gnist's 5:48:05. There was still a lot of skips in this game founded already by this point. Aside from the runners the most notable founder of skips was Zryu. Also guys like Nero and Joky are credited with finding stuff. List of the biggest skips aside from Bentley's slide show skips or the Blimp HQ ending cutscene skip via game resets already used by this point (Before May 2015):
-Breaking and Entering CSS via table clip (credited to Zryu), pre-2015, saves 25 seconds (on Korean)
-Battle the Chopper CSS via cutscene intercept (Zryu), pre-2015, saves 15 seconds (on Korean)
-Boardroom Brawl CSS via fake floor (Zryu), pre-2015, saves 14 seconds (on Korean)
-Spice Grinder Destruction: laser fence destroyed early by a hit from a guard (credited to Sly1020), April 2015, saves 15 seconds (or 3 cycles, on Korean)
-Rip-off the Ruby: Slope jump route (credited to Surreal), founded pre-2015, implemented March 2015 with the new Episode 3 route, saves 17 seconds compared to Slope Jump not existing
-Operation: Trojan Tank - Terminal skip via position update lag in the hacks (credited to Joky for founding and cooopercrisp for figuring out why it happened), February 2015, saves 40 seconds
-Stealing Voices CSS via fake floor (Zryu), pre-2015, saves 12 seconds
-Laser Redirection: Paraglide clip (Zryu), pre-2015, saves 15 seconds

In July 2015 the biggest skips in this game, Cairo skips were found (credited to Zryu/Nero) that allow us to complete the first level in the game by clipping out of bounds and skipping all cutscenes in the area excluding the first. Cairo skips consist of several individual skips but are connected via chained triggers meaning that by doing the first skip, which is Bentley skip you have to do all other skips as well. Cairo skips consist of Bentley skip (saves 1:29), Murray skip, (saves 1:09), Carmelita skip (saves 1:09) and the Van skip/Vanless (saves 3 seconds) = about 3:53 in total (Korean cutscene lenghts).

Other skips found in this time period (after May 2015) were:
Operation: Hippo Drop CSS via cutscene loading lag allowing a death abuse (Zryu), June 2015, saves 24 seconds (on Korean).
Friend in Need CSS via fake floor (Zryu), July 2015, saves 5 seconds but 14 in total when linked to the first lure strat found much later by Hullatant in November 2017.
Charged TNT Run CSS via fake floor (Zryu/Gnist), July 2015, saves 15 seconds (Korean) + gives more convenient guard spawns.

First record gotten with some Cairo skips was 5:45:22 by mikl in October 17th 2015. Mikl did all Cairo skips except Bentley skip, which saves the most amount of time from these. This was the norm for Cairo for some time. (First record run that did all Cairo skips was Gnist's 5:38:07 later in December 7th 2015).

The community had allowed the use of SSDs by this point and Gnist took the record back a couple of weeks later with the first full-game run done with SSD, final time being 5:44:37. This started an extremely long streak for Gnist since nobody else had the record for any% from October 29th 2015 to January 3rd 2018. There of cource were a decent amount of other runners and the one who got the closest to record was Alekhine with his 5:30:02 run (Feb. 15th 2017) when the record by Gnist was 5:29:29. The record was taken down to 5:25:28 by June 12th 2017. This 20 minute progression aside from implementing Bentley skip was basically just movement optimization and getting more consistent with skips and tricks since no new skips were implemented during this time period and the only one found was Code Capture CSS via fake floor (January 2016, Zryu) which to this day is considered too inconsistent to use in full-game runs.

Gnist went to do Sly 3 for a few months after the 5:25:28 run and Sly 2 seemed pretty much lifeless what it came to finding new optimizations and such. 2 years had gone by without any major findings but oh boy, things were about to change. It all started with a new cutscene skip in Blimp HQ Recon. It saves 12 seconds with the Korean version so nothing that groundbreaking but everything has to start with something. This cutscene skip was accidentally found by Jake9 in September 2017. What followed this were several minor optimizations found by Hullatant, like the lure strats in A Friend in Need mentioned earlier. Hulla also found a cutscene skip in Rip-off the Ruby (Nov. 2017) that saves 9 seconds in full-game runs and 12 seconds in episode runs. But the breakthrough was just about to happen. Despite the lack of big findings for 2 years, nowadays 3 of the Top 6 biggest skips in this game (that are implemented to full-game runs) have been found within the last 10 months. We'll come back to those later but now lets talk about the different digital versions of this game:

All time saves from cutscene skips earlier have been listed based on how much they save time on the Korean PSN (digital) version of the game. This is because the PSN NTSC-J: KOR is the fastest version of this game since the audio files for dialogue are shorter meaning that cutscenes go by faster. For the longest of times the game was ran on English since it was concluded at some point that different languages on PAL version of the game didn't give advantages in speedruns since it seemed that all PAL languages had the same speed. This meant that the NTSC version of the game seemed to be equally fast with PAL and so North Americans happily did runs with NTSC and Europeans happily with PAL, no problems, no matter what language you used. Other digital versions of the game weren't known about.

Then at some point the version master of Sly games, Suappi got his hands on the Japanese and Korean PS2 versions of the game and noticed that those versions had shorter cutscene lengths than PAL/NTSC releases. On PAL cutcene lengths weren't affected by language but that wasn't the case for NTSC-J versions, they were clearly faster. But the Japanese version didn't have a digital release meaning that it would inevitably lose the time it saves on cutscenes to dics load times. But other member in the community with the name of Oggyerino found out that there actually was a Korean digital release and managed to get his hands on it with his connections. Then Remo (which is me, 3rd persona used just to make it look like I didn't write this tbh) timed the cutscene lengths on Korean vs. English and the Korean PSN version ended up saving over 9 minutes on English. Other skip for the NTSC version was found shortly after called the H&S skip, which is not explained here but basically making the order of fastest PSN versions to be 1. Korean 2. NTSC and 3. PAL being the slowest.

Gnist dropped the record time instantly by over 7 minutes with his first run on Korean (From 5:24:11 to 5:16:40, the 5:24:11 is still the PAL record since people stopped running on it). From here the record with Korean has taken turns between Gnist and Remo and reached the point of sub 5:10 with Gnist's 5:09:56 on June 15th this year. This was the last record before (kinda) the "new age" for Sly 2 speedrunning again since a total of 3 big skips were optimized and implemented right after this run and also a new Community Gold board for best segments in the community for all Sly games was created.

These 3 new "major" skips are 1. The 2nd Blimp HQ Recon CSS, shortly referred to as "Plan CSS" by Gnist based on the fact that for a long time there wasn't a proper setup for it meaning the runner just kinda had to always plan how to not mess it up and it "always was a bad plan". The skip was found by the same person that found the first Blimp HQ CSS (Jake) and once again accidentally in November 2017 and saves 45 seconds. The proper setup utilizing Alarm Clock was found by Remo June 22nd 2018, on the same day Gnist lowered the record down to 5:07:10 with the help of another big skip and the biggest found since Cairo skips; "(Reload) Ghosted Hacks" that are based on fake floor and extensions of fake collision. The name for the skip is based on its founders and to a Sly 3 skip referred to as "Ghost Hacks" which looks similar to Ghosted Hacks. This skips basically all platforming inside the hacks in the job Bentley/Murray Team Up because the hacking drone can phase through walls and saves a minute to doing all the hacks flawlessly but with normal collision properties. This skip was found by Remo on June 17th 2018 based on the idea/concept by SlyCooperReloadCoded. The last of these 3 was "Fake Floor Disguise Bridge" found by Hekksu near the end of June 2018 (it was announced by him June 28th 2018). IT basically skips the entire job of Disguise Bridge in Episode 4 when all guards die instantly when they spawn. This skip on it's own saves almost 40 seconds but since we had to re-route Episode 4 for full-game runs because the fake collision stays active after the job and we still don't want to do Code Capture Fake Floor CSS in full-game runs it only ended up saving about 24 seconds after the re-routing took place.

The current record that has all these 3 "new" skips (or 2 and 1 old with a new setup) and has all updated strats except the new treasure route in Episode 5 that saves about 14 seconds is by Remo with the time of 5:05:47 (July 8th 2018).

(BTW people please be willing to correct me on these things said if they're not true on who did what)

jacobisen1jacobisen1, DreadmoxDreadmox and 3 others like this. 

Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

Murray has movement tech in this game omg my life is now complete :oooooooo

BazralianBazralian and OggyerinoOggyerino like this. 

Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

This possible breakthrough tho...

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

Kaine CSS is somehow the oldest and least known cutscene skip in this game. Potential reasons for this are 1. when it was found years ago it was considered too hard and 2. it didn't save that much time anyways.... ?

I deem this cutscene skip to be the easiest in the game, even easier than Battery of Peril CSS. You literally just have to run to water. As seen from comparison above, it's not possible to die too early in any% runs since Sly's drowning animation lasts so long.

And you end up skipping more of the cutscene the faster you die.

Saves 9 seconds... or basically 8 since it seems that you can't get an early first hit on Dr. M after the skip.

Top left: any% strat
Bottom left: All Jobs strat
Top right: just barely got the skip
Bottom right: just barely missed the skip

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

A "new" completely RNG dependent but consistent strat that saves about 8.5 seconds when the game gives you the opportunity to use it. Works only for this specific spot as far as I know, which is after the 2nd attack pattern in the final stage of the boss fight IF LeFwee offers you to strike him with using triangle. Chances here are basically 50/50.

You can push him for entire length of his vulnerability animation which lasts for 2 seconds but you don’t need to use all of that and try to strike him in the last possible frame in order to get both pattern cycle skips. Just press triangle right before he puts his hat back on.

As seen from the video, normally the final stage has been possible to complete with 5 strikes on LeFwee but with this strat it's possible to finish him with only 3.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

Eventually when time goes on and speedruns of this game get more optimized we'll start to see this happen constantly in full-game runs as well. Getting killed by the train like this fortunately only loses about 5 seconds.

Left top corner: Best pace I've ever had after the 4th hack. Train hasn't even passed by Bentley yet. Still very close though from being killed by the train.

Right top corner: Basically 1-2 frames away from being killed by the train.

Left bottom corner: Killed by the train.

Right bottom corner: Killed by the train even though exiting the hack happened later than in right top corner clip. This is because I exited the hacks later than in other clips because of mistakes. This affected the train cycles because the train changes its direction every time you exit a hack just like the fans do in ep 8 so your performance won't clearly determine if this death occurs.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant


Saves 4 seconds overall. Movement looks hard at first sight but is not.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

Near flawless Cairo (atm) provided to you by the power of video editing. Cuts at 0:43, 0:56 and 2:05.

New route starting from 0:47 saves 2.5 seconds.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Korean version confirmed fastest known version as of Dec 2017

Started by: GnistGnist

Here are presented the excact time differences between English and Korean in order to make all future runs in Korean more comparable to runs done in English. This analysis does not include cut scenes that runners traditionally attempt to skip in order to save time. Although the skippable cut scene in Disco Demolitions (saves 2.44 seconds in Korean) and the 2nd skippable cut scene in Blimp HQ (saves 5.44 seconds in Korean) are included in this comparison. This comparison was done between Korean PSN and PAL PSN versions for PS3.

For the entire any% speedrun Korean on its own saves 9 minutes and 32 seconds when compared to English. Because of moderately cycle based Episode 6 and heavily cycle based Episode 8 and Episode 7 Operation the most accurate estimation with current strats is about 9:10, +/- 15 seconds, so still likely 9+ minutes.

Cairo is 7 seconds faster in Korean for any% and 29 seconds faster for 100%.

Episode 1 on its own is 64 seconds faster in Korean, 62 seconds faster after excluding the skippable cut scene in Disco Demolitions and the fact that it dosen't save time anymore even with SSD.

Episode 2 is 55 seconds faster in Korean.

Episode 3 is 64 seconds faster in Korean. (Rip-off the Ruby CSS saves only 0.9 seconds less in Korean so still definately worth it.)

Episode 4 is 81 seconds faster in Korean. (Note that the skippable opening cut scene for Code Capture is 9.5 seconds faster so going for CC FF CSS can save only 16-17 seconds on its own in Korean. This analysis did not take the possibility of CC FF CSS into consideration.)

Episode 5 on its own is 89.7 seconds faster in Korean, 83 seconds after excluding the opening cut scenes for Know Your Enemy (-4.97 seconds) and Tank Showdown (-1.97 seconds) due to tank cycles. If we assume that the photo of the blimp can be taken on your way to the tank then an estimation of 85 seconds is the most accurate.

Episode 6 on its own is 57.5 seconds faster in Korean, unfortunately train cycles in several missions exclude the time save in Korean completely or diminish it. The most accurate estimation is 51 seconds, +/- 5 seconds.

Episode 7 on its own is 96 seconds faster in Korean. The only mission where cycles matter in this Episode is the Operation where Korean possibly makes an early cycle possible for Bentley during his Eagle Egg run. Cut scenes leading up to this situation are 7.57 seconds faster in Korean but making that cycle saves a total of 15 seconds from what was ever possible in English. Missing that cycle on the other hand practically saves no time over English. So by not making that cycle Korean can be considered 88.5 seconds faster but by making it 103 seconds faster.

Episode 8 on its own saves 42 seconds when only the 1st cut scenes of Blimp HQ and Charged TNT Run (and the super long Blimp HQ cut scene of course) are excluded, 36 seconds when the 2nd skippable cut scene in Blimp HQ is excluded as well. Fan cycles in this episode make practical estimation very hard and we still haven't yet looked into properly that what we can do with shorter cutscene lenghts for this Episode. After also excluding the final cut scene in Blimp HQ that shows the inducers slowing down (-1.58) and opening cut scenes for Sly/Bentley (-3.45) and Bentley/Murray (-1.82) the solid time save in Korean still stands at 29.5 seconds if basically nothing cycle based is taken into consideration.

This sheet below lists lenghts of cut scenes in frames (59.94 fps) for splits and seconds for speedrunning categories.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tqvKlH4md30owAiR4ym8c6FvXf49U7ZVrtx7GUL8pts/edit?usp=sharing

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

So this absolute clusterfuck of strats somehow saves like 2-3 seconds (SSD) in Episode 5 runs... and if same job order is used then 5-6 seconds in full-game runs but there the current route with the treasure and paraglider stuff make it probably save no time at all.

Or then just use the other pretty fast strat known as Korean PSN Sly 2 where that cs is almost 5 seconds faster... If you can, I mean... majority of runners can't....

Or then just get the treasure as Sly and still save time overall for PAL/NTSC.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

After timing stuff this should save somewhere between 1-2 seconds, its faster by just thinking the basic laws of navigation.. you can also sqaure boost to the balcony where Carmelita should come out from the window and GHJ on the rope.

And I timed some routes for ep 7 and it turns out that doing Bearcave Bugging before Laser Redirection is about 2.5 seconds faster with current transmitter routing (possibly 5 seconds faster if the transmitter phase can somehow be re-routed in order to end the mission to the 4th transmitter location).

Current route:
Safe House --> Laser Redirection = 19.5 seconds
Laser Redirection --> Bearcave Bugging = 5 seconds
= 24.5 seconds in total.

Faster route:
Safe House ---> Bearcave Bugging = 16 seconds.
Transmitter 6 (current route) --> Laser Redirection = 6 seconds
= 22 seconds in total.

How to do a 2:33 Cairo

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

At least I tried.

Experimenting continues though.

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Forum: Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Thread: Sly 2 strats

Started by: HullatantHullatant

Complete routing analysis for ep 4 will take some time because I have to time about 80 routes in total but let me give this in advance for Close to Contessa; since the invincibility frames in this game are so forgiving its clearly faster to just run to the last pickpocketing even with SSD and save some additional time for the movement to Big House Brawl mission trigger.

Top left: current death abuse strat (SSD load)
Top right: movement with successful GSM
Bottom left: movement after being spotted by a guard on the first rooftop (actually fastest, saves 9 seconds when compared to old starts)
Bottom right: movement after being spotted by a guard on the last rooftop and no (faster) spiral jumps towards mission trigger

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vqfnRnNIP5nlPm3-upzz0kBABA2JOtHFZRTyIVAT7Vo/edit#gid=0

ZenthrowZenthrow, OggyerinoOggyerino and 4 others like this. 

Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

Both movements in top corners save 1.5 seconds to old movement (bottom left).

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist


Just looked back at my gold for this split and doing this saves 6 seconds from it.

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

Saves 5 seconds when compared to old route.

I also tried to find a faster route to Vampiric Demise utilizing DJ but the current route still proved to be the fastest.

I just calculated a bit and in this thread approximately 1:50 has been saved from an any% run during the past 5 days.

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

Aaand another 20 seconds gets cut from the run! Inspired by the most recent stream by Gnist which was legendary I got the idea to look closer in to the routing for Get a Job and Grapple-Cam Break-In and holy moly the ancient routing for ep 4 was just brutal. This isn't just due to Disguised Jump because after completion of Get a Job there will always be a boat cycle lining up the same way as in this clip, although Disguised Jump does save a couple of seconds more from what it could've been previously.

GSMing the Bentley route is recommended. Basically same movement applies for Laptop Retrieval so that's neat. GSMming Sly's route at least partially is recommended. Otherwise guards might spawn too early and snipe you all the way to the water. Sly ledge grabs the final roof in this clip which is likely but dosen't happen every time.

I also routed for a "Grapple-Hook" strat with Bentley to the mission trigger and it actually broke even with "normal" route. It's cool but kinda risky so another new technique almost made its way into the run.

Ersen_Ersen_, FurballTheBallFurballTheBall and GnistGnist like this. 

Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

Saves 15+ seconds if gotten first try. In my full game PB I got it 3rd try + died after 1st try and ended up losing only 7 seconds to the old route.

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

So I actually went and tried to optimize Deep Sea Danger. This is the fastest gameplay that I got and it still has a few seconds of time to save because I missed one shot with the sharks. The Dimitri section here is done 28 seconds faster than what my current Any%/IE gold did it (and 26 seconds faster than recent Gnist's gold from his 6:23:46 run).

About the routing for the collars: I do recommend to take the first collar every time the same way as done here but the order for the last 5 collars depends on runner's preference. These six collars I took here are the fastest anyways.

About the routing for the fishes: This clip has 14 second fishes. There are 3 fishes in total swimming their individual routes over and over again down below. I wanted to design a route where the fishes are coming towards me instead of a desperate chase. You can see me making the fast fish cycle easily here because the collar phase was pretty fast. Here I went and chased the other fish but I knew that I could've went ahead from the left and crossed paths with it.

About the routing for the sharks: The fish route I chose has to also deal with where in the map the fish phase ends because I first want to shoot those sharks that have a cycle where they disappear behind some awkward shipwrecks the earliest. In this clip the 3rd shark I shot usually is my 2nd target but here I was ahead of the cycles by a large margin so other intentions came to my mind. You can see that my final 2 targets actually are the first that come out from hiding behind a shipwreck. The shark cycles are always the same.

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Forum: Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves

Thread: Optimizations.

Started by: GnistGnist

lol how this wasn't found before now

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