I reviewed Squid's 43:15 run for time loss primarily to gauge how much further this game could be pushed. Squid is definitely playing better than I've ever played, and this run definitely sets a pretty high bar for anyone looking to take the record. Even though this run is quite good, there is still about a minute to be squeezed out of this game with the current knowledge.
Author's note: I'm estimating tenths of seconds purely based on experience. I might be off by a few, but on average I should be close. I didn't look at the "gold splits doc"
Battle Room: Near Optimal
Hyper Room: Lost 0.5-0.8 due to mediocre bomb throw. Probably lost 0.1-0.2 due to no "Yashi slide" on the stairs.
Heavy Room: Lost 0.3 or so at the shield barrier.
Sky Room: We still don't fully understand the final pillar timing. There's probably a way to do this about 1 second faster, but it's not known.
Blue Cave: Near Optimal
Hole Lake: It's possible but tricky to get one more boost here and save about 0.2
Red Cave: Uses "slow jump" setup, which is about 0.5 slower, but much more consistent.
Dark Wood: It's possible but highly inconsistent to get no ledge grab here and save about 0.8 seconds.
Nitros 1: Near Optimal
Clown Valley: Near Optimal
Great Rock: Second jump was slow, losing about 0.3. The bombing of the platform was slow, losing about 0.4. There are probably faster ways to handle the first fire pillar for 0.4 or so.
Fog Route: No skip, loses 6 seconds I think? The angles at the end were kinda bad, losing about 0.3
Endol 1: Near optimal
Clean Run: 7:34 (+8)
Reasons: 2 seconds could've been saved through cleaner play, and 6 seconds from Fog Route Skip. There may be another 1 second to save from Sky Room, but it's not clear. Strong Bomber, but no Fog Route skip.
Groog Hills: Near Optimal
Bubble Hole: Uses left side at the end instead of the right, losing probably 0.5-0.8 seconds.
Erars Lake: Missed corner boost before Manta. Got the two corner boosts after the warp, nice! If you want to be risky, you can corner boost in the holes the orbs spawn out of. 0.2 for the first corner boost.
WaterWay: I think the last "river" before the warp you want to drop the bomb going off the ledge to save 0.1-0.2. It's possible but rare to skip the ledge grab before the warp for about 0.8.
Rock N Road: Missed an attempted corner boost and got bad dice position, losing about 0.6. Killing the door and specifically entering the exit was quite slow, losing about 0.4
Water Pool: Got caught on the wall at the beginning jump losing about 0.3. Pretty good otherwise.
Warp Room: First try warp room skip. Nice! You could setup a few tenths faster by landing better off the wall (0.3). I think it's slightly faster to take the hit from the barrel at the end (jump into it), but health management is also important. You would've died in Dark Prison if you did.
Dark Prison: Bad bomb drop, lost about 1 second. Hit self on enemy, lost about 1 second. Used aggressive ending, good.
Nitros 2: Let him get away, lost about 2 seconds.
Killer Gate: Having to grab the health here probably loses about 0.5, but it's really risky not to. I think you manipulated the cannon, but angled in a bit too much. Getting hit lost about 0.5 seconds.
Spiral Tower: Near optimal.
Snake Route: Near optimal.
Baruda 1: Going to say you could saved 1-2 seconds, but this was a really good fight.
Clean Run: 16:25 (+7) (+8 Bomber)
Reasons: Dark Prison and Nitros lost about 3 seconds to mistakes, about 4 seconds were lost due minor things or being too careful. Strong Primus with a couple key mistakes.
Hades Crater: Near Optimal
Magma Lake: Near optimal
Magma Dam: Lost about 3 seconds on skip. It is possible to get a "super skip" by being near pixel perfect, which saves a couple seconds by letting you drift into the exit while falling. I've gotten it like 5 times ever. Just pointing out this small detail: After the yellow heart, you can gauge the enemy position to see if you can jump in front of him or not to save a few tenths. In this position, you could not.
Crysta Hole: Lost about 0.2 at the beginning, the platform at the end isn't spawned until you walk right for 1-2 seconds.
Death Temple: You can bomb the switch a little faster by dropping the bomb while running to save about 0.3.
Death Road: First Section, I'm curious if the method used is faster the going to the left and corner boosting. I think you lost about 0.3 here. 0.2 seconds in the second section from being slow off the portal and using not great angles through the middle. Another 0.4 lost on the door.
Float Zone: Lost about 5 seconds. 3 seconds due to missing the switch, 1 second due to missing the enemy, and about 1 second in the last section.
Aqua Tank: Ending could be a little cleaner, 0.3.
Aqua Way: Near optimal
Nitros 3: Pillars lost about 0.5 seconds. No double hit, but it's really hard (4 seconds) Lost about 3 seconds on the last hit.
Hard Coaster: Pretty good, missed the first bomb throw at the end losing about 0.3 seconds.
Dark Maze: A little sketchy at the end, losing about 0.5.
Mad Coaster: You can jump a little sooner at the end, but it's scary for 0.5.
Move Stone: I'm going to pretend the 2 push isn't a thing. It's dumb. For the third block, I think you should bomb the pillar when switching sides of the block for 0.3. The last pillar I don't think you meant to do that, but you might be onto something. Regardless, whatever happened lost about 0.4 or so.
Bolban 1: Quite good but lost about 1 second.
Clean Run: 28:25 (+20) (+15 Primus/Bomber)
Reasons: 11 seconds were lost between Magma Dam, Nitros 3, and Float Zone. For 4 more seconds, Nitros 3 double hit is important but difficult. The other 5 seconds are little things but notable things. Kanatia had some mishaps, but it's a difficult portion of the run.
Hopper Land: Hesitated for a second before the cliff jumps, and then if you angle properly in at the end (slight angle up of straight right, you can hold up. This probably all only lost 0.3 or so.
Junfalls: Near Optimal
Cool Cave: Small hesitation jumping on the first iced guy for 0.2.
Snowland: Near optimal
Storm Valley: Near optimal
Snow Circuit: Beginning is not quite right. Hold right, let go of right to straighten out slightly, jump hit B, hold left. Should save 0.5-1.0 seconds. The angles throughout the level weren't great. Time is lost when you turn too much, I'd say about 0.3.
Heaven Sky: Missed a corner boost at the beginning for 0.1. If you aim for the bottom of the yellow pentagon on the boss, the bombs will hit sooner instead of waiting for the blast radius. I forget if you can accidentally hit his heads like this or not. I'd say 1 second can be saved there.
Eye Snake: Near optimal.
Nitros 4: Near optimal.
Air Room: Slow out of the fan. Count 6 pillars and hold the direction earlier for 0.5. The method of landing on the center may or may not be faster, I never timed it, not going to say time was lost there because I don't know.
Zero G Room: Letting go of directions when falling onto the CD will cause you not to skid forward as much saving about 0.4 or so.
Mirror Room: I think it could be about 0.4 seconds faster on the right side of the stage. Particularly just before bombing the switch and then the jumps right after the portal. Bumping the wall after the portal means you could've lined jumps up better.
Natia 1: No Cronus double hits and did not knock Natia off the level. I think you can only do one of those two things, and I'm not sure what's fastest, but there's about 3 seconds to be saved on first phase probably. Lost 4-5 seconds on Natia phase. We need to find a better way to do this.
Clean Run 37:25 (+11) (+35 First 3 planets)
Reasons: The Natia 1 fight can probably be about 7 seconds faster. 4 seconds of minor stuff. Good Mazone, but the Natia 1 fight has a lot of room for improvement.
Endol 2: Near optimal. Got the eating animation, which is important for style.
Baruda 2: Maybe 0.2-0.3 to save, but pretty good.
Cronus: Could be 5 seconds faster with 3 double hits, but it's difficult.
Nitros 5: Got the double hit through some absurd series of events. Basically the best fight you could get. 9090 lol.
Bolban 2: Missed a hit, losing about 4 seconds.
Natia 2: Lost about 3 seconds to not respecting the whip. Pretty good though.
Bagular Phase 1: Pretty good, but a little slow on throwing bombs after he teleports. I think about 1 second can be saved.
Bagular Phase 2: Pretty good, not sure about the TV meta these days, maybe 2-3 seconds to be saved.
Bagular Phase 3: Mediocre hits on the left-side arm, losing about 2 seconds, but overall pretty good dealing with the arms. Missed his face once losing a second. That last hit was something else. You basically almost died.
Clean Run: 42:11 (+18) (+46 First 4 planets)
Reasons: The missed hit on Bolban, missing Natia, and not getting the extremely fast Cronus kill lost about 12 seconds. The Bagular fight could be about 6 seconds faster maybe. Solid Garaden overall, but a couple key issues lost a chunk of time.
Note on the last hit: The bomb barely leaves Squid's hand, hitting the missile without hitting him. The missile is barely in front of him. Then a few tenths of a second later the radius hits Bagular. If the missile was slightly closer or he threw a few frames later, I think he would've died.