Hebereke Forum  /  On the early history of Ufouria speedrunning
  KennyMan666KennyMan666
(edited: )

So, looking around here, I saw the World Record Progression page under Guides, with the note under Any% that "The early history of this category is very unknown". Well, sit down, make yourself comfortable, and let me tell you about the early history of it - because I am the early history of it! In the west, at any rate - no idea if there were any Japanese Hebereke runners prior to me running Ufouria.

Ufouria was one of the pivotal games of my childhood, so when I got into speedrunning in the early 2000s, it was one of the games I picked to run. This was in the medieval ages of speedrunning - no streaming, no game-centric communities, no cheap and easy capture devices. We had good ol' SDA, and I was the only one interested in running the game, so I had to come up with everything myself. The route, the strats, the tricks. It was kind of the forgotten Sunsoft game at the time - people were running Batman, Journey to Silius, even the holy-shit-this-is-expensive Gimmick, but Ufouria seemed to interest me and me alone. So in 2005, I mailed a VHS tape to nate containing three speedruns: Yoshi's Story, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (which was historic for being the first 2-player run on SDA), and the first, as far as I know, recorded, uh, record of Ufouria.

Any%, deathless, in 41:40: http://speeddemosarchive.com/Ufouria.html

Yeah.

In a pre-Shades skip-world, there wasn't anything super wrong with the route in and of itself, except that I pick up Bop-Louie's secret weapon, but there were a lot of tricks missing. The major one in that one that I had discovered was the way to maintain your speed when walking with Freeon-Leon on ice. Hadn't even figured out the secret weapon switch glitch yet. Since the recording was on VHS tape, it was also a time when it was easier to let some mistakes slide. It's definitely not a run that could be considered good anymore, and not even just by today's standards - I wasn't satisfied with it myself just a few years later. But submitting an improvement was, at the time, problematic for me.

At the end of summer 2006, I moved to a different city to go to university. While I brought the NES with me, I no longer had any means of recording. No VHS, no DVD recorder, no capture device. It was at a NES meetup in the city I moved to very shortly after I had moved there to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the NES in Sweden that the switch glitch was shown to me by someone else - I don't know who. So already there were possible improvements to be had. I just wasn't able to get a new run done.

So there turned out to be one more person who did something with the game - Blublu, who in 2004 had done a TAS I didn't know about (this was in the days before speedrunners and TASers were good friends), and that wasn't on TASVideos. He was the one who found the Shades skip, though he believed at first what he had found only worked because of running the PAL game in NTSC speed. He stopped working on it, until 2006, when Fihlvein demonstrated it as actually possible. Now, this wasn't done with today's crouch-walljump technique - no, it was done by finding that with precise subpixel positioning, you can make the jump after the ice cave with Bop-Louie. It was extremely precise, and I did manage to do it on console, but it was an extremely frustrating trick and the success rate in RTA was very, very low. In late 2006, Blublu resumed work on it, but dropped it. In early 2007, Adebis picked it up, and with comments and encouragement from myself and Blublu, finished and submitted the first Ufouria TAS to be published on TASVideos, any% with deathwarping, in October of 2008. It was still missing a number of tricks, but skipped Shades entirely, and then nothing much happened for about four years.

At ESA 2012, I made what appears to be the first recorded 100% run of the game, in 52:04: The route was supposed to be deathless, but marathons do what marathons do, and I took a death on Unyo. Still.

And then, in April of 2013, with Blublu's find of preserving Bop-Louie's velocity when swimming with Freeon-Leeon as the kickoff point, I found the light switch skip: Primitive method there, but easily the biggest timesave in the game since the Shades skip, which still was pretty TAS-only while this skip was very RTA viable. At this point in time, I did have a Dazzle for recording NES games, but I still never ended up getting a full run recorded and submitted.

At least I did end up improving my deathless any% record in another fashion - by doing it at ESA 2013, making the new WR at the time 35:58: Just before that, Aglar had also submitted an improved TAS, caused by my light switch skip find, after he discovered that going back and grabbing Shades to do that still saved time over bombing down to the light switch.

In 2013 and early 2014, I also wrote the article on Ufouria on the SDA Knowledge Database.

And that's where the early history ends! 2014, roughly a decade after I had gotten into speedrunning it, was when Nudua picked it up, found the crawljump to more consistently skip Shades, and then more people started running it, Zoda in particular.

I hope you've enjoyed this history lesson!

fruitbatsaladfruitbatsalad likes this. 
  [user deleted]

ufouria is not hebereke. Good story tho 🙂

TheTerrificTracyTheTerrificTracy likes this. 
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