[section=Introduction] Congratulations on being one of a very small group interested in running the true any% category! As a bit of warning, this run focuses almost entirely on glitch execution to get good times, with very little playing the game "as intended". If this does not interest you, fireb0rn has made guides for the other two subcategories of any% which may suit you better. If you still have questions after reading this guide, feel free to join the discord server to ask questions. You may also type "?rank speedrunner" in any channel there to gain access to hidden channels related to the various categories.
[section=Setup] [big]Downpatching[/big] The first step to running this category is to obtain version 126.96.36.199 using the downpatching guide here. Technically any version up to 188.8.131.52 can work for this category, but 184.108.40.206 is preferred for the reasons below:
220.127.116.11-18.104.22.168: ● Several extra glitches, but all are irrelevant ● Storage glitches are MUCH harder to execute
22.214.171.124: ● Some glitches patched, but they do not matter for any% ● Storage glitches are extremely lenient
126.96.36.199: ● Uumuu HP increased by 50 ● Must buy map before it can be used
188.8.131.52+: ● Cannot be used, storage OOB is patched (Mostly)
[big]Game Performance[/big] Contrary to what you would imagine, excellent game performance is a large detriment in this category. The biggest factor in this is that several of the out of bounds tricks require a large amount of lag frames when opening inventory. I recommend testing the first few of these oob tricks in the guide then coming back to this point. If you were able to do them, great! If not, you will need to reduce the performance of your game slightly. The common method of doing this is by reducing the amount of CPU cores allocated to the game by using task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) as below. Unfortunately, this must be done on every launch of the game.
The second big thing with performance is framerate. A low framerate makes superslides easier to execute, but also introduces input lag. I recommend reading about superslides in the glitches section then playing around with them while using an external frame limiter to find a framerate that works well for you (Make sure vsync is off). If you would rather not bother with this part, superslides are highly optional unless you are going for the record.
As a final note about game performance: Streaming/recording has a large impact on the game. When practicing/running this category, you should always have your recording software running in order to keep the game consistent across all runs/practice.
[big]In-Game Setup[/big] As far as settings go, not much matters. Vsync is preferred off by almost every player of the game due to the input lag, but it can be used at a high level if you so choose. For this category, the language should be set to english. French is the only other option on 184.108.40.206 and it is slower.
Additionally, when starting a game the mouse should be lined up in a specific position so as to be able to just mash enter (or A if you use controller) after pausing to quit and reload your save. Slot 3 should always be used for runs in order for this to work. The positioning is slightly above the letters in "Steel Soul" when creating a save, as shown below.
[section=Route] TODO: Area route maps
Note: Gifs in this section are not embedded because there are over 50 of them. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I figured a good amount of people's internet/computer would struggle embedding them. Note 2: Many of these gifs are recorded with a modded zoomed out camera to be able to see oob. This is not possible in a normal game, but makes for much better learning gifs.
[section=King's Pass] Dedicating an entire section to a single room may seem silly, but this short tutorial screen actually has a lot of tech. If you watch many other categories, you'll notice that in every one of them the run starts by pausing the game in order to inventory drop into King's Pass. Not this one! On the patch this category is ran on, you can immediately open your map for the same effect. Kings Pass Drop
After this, there is a superslide that can be done to skip the section of the screen after the ground breaks under you. This superslide saves the most time of any in the run (~15s) and is right at the start, so it is a good idea to reset runs until you get it. Crumble Skip Superslide
As a last bit of tech for this area, it is possible to break out of the animation after breaking the giant door at the end by opening your map. Door Animation Skip
[section=Crossroads] On your way towards the crossroads well, it is important to jump through dirtmouth in order to maintain run speed. After reaching the well, a transition storage can be done to skip the animation of falling down into the area. Well Transition Storage
After this, you will want to head to the right past the black egg temple rather than the intended progression. Shortly after, there is the first oob glitch of the run, used to skip a short room near the entrance to crystal peak. This is a very minor time save so I would not bother going back to attempt it again if you miss it. Crossroads oob 1
After this is an oob on a vertical load in order to skip past the unopened shortcut to reach the stag station bench. This oob, due to not yet having dash, is the most reliant on lag frames of any in the run. If you are able to do this one, you will be able to do them all. Immediately after this, you can perform a transition storage to skip the animation of sitting on the bench. If you go for this, be sure to press down to get off the bench before leaving or you will soft lock the next time you open your menu. Crossroads oob 2
Just in case some people are not aware of this, I will also mention that you can skip the False Knight battle by breaking the left wall of the arena after the first stagger. Coming up after that, we have one of the larger skips in the run: The ancestral mound skip. After collecting the fireball spell, the game normally locks you into a tutorial area. This can be avoided by dropping onto the spell pickup with inventory open and leaving the mound. It is important not to leave the mound too early or the character will be invisible and floating. During the wait time before leaving, you should always heal once. This will cause the flies on the way to greenpath to not move, removing a small bit of RNG for no time loss. Ancestral Mound Skip
For a small time save you can float up the large room before greenpath. Fly Room Float
[section=Greenpath] At the entrance to Greenpath is an elder baldur. He is an asshole. Fortunately, we have an easy way to avoid dealing with it. For some reason, shooting a fireball at this specific enemy at the edge of you fireball range will kill it in only one hit instead of 4. There are no other enemies this is known to work with. Baldur One Shot
Immediately after this baldur, there are two things that can be done to save a small amount of time. Option 1: A simple fireball skip. This is recommended as the other option is barely faster, more prone to error, and wastes additional soul. Fireball Skip Option 2: A pfloat instead of the fireball skip, followed by a superslide in the following room. Superslide
After this you again have the choice between a slide and a much easier skip. The float is the recommended option for the same reasons as above. Option 1: A float triggered using transition storage Float Option 2: Use the same storage to instead gain a pfloat and do a superslide in the next room. Superslide
In the next room after the optional superslide, there are some very conveniently placed geo nodes worth 61 geo. We will need 220 geo later in the run to afford a charm, so it is required to get this money. The fastest way to get up to these is by using a pfloat set up in the previous room. If you opted to do the superslide, this is already set up. If not, you must do that before entering this room. Float to Geo Rocks
Shortly after this, there is a moss knight in an arena. It is normally required to fight him, but we have a skip for that section of Greenpath. However, on this patch of the game, he drops double his normal money for a massive 80 geo drop so it is better to kill him anyway. Do this with two fireballs and four nail hits in order to have leftover soul for the upcoming skip. To the left of this moss knight is a shortcut meant for use after going the long way around past Zote. It is easy to get past this shortcut with a float, which can be activated quickly using transition storage from the previous screen. Upper Greenpath Skip
The next trick is to obtain transition storage when entering the Hornet boss room in order to prevent getting locked in place during her dialog. This lets you start the fight slightly closer to her to begin hitting her sooner. After the fight, skip the long animation on picking up the Mothwing Cloak using interaction storage and quit out back to the Crossroads. Hornet Transition Storage Cloak Interaction Storage
TODO: Example Hornet fight and/or strat explanation
[section=Fungal Wastes] Once in the Crossroads, progress left along the lower path towards Fungal Wastes. Since the upper path was taken last time, the aspid arena will still be active. The set of two aspids can be tricked into flying into each other by standing on the bottom right platform as they spawn, allowing them to be killed with a single fireball. Try to get as much of the geo as possible without losing time before the gates open. Now onto Fungal Wastes, the most oob-heavy area in this run. Right before the area, there is an oob that can be done to save a small amount of time. Oob to Fungal
Immediately after this there is a very large vertical room where a large amount of time can be saved with another oob. This is the first oob where you must dash immediately after the glitch in order to get oob. This is easy to do by simply mashing, it does not have to be timed. If you accidentally enter the earlier load zone which leads to Leg Eater, simply do a second oob from his room to get to the proper location. Large Room Oob
After the following horizontal room, there is another vertical room that can be skipped. It is important to note that the acid puddle on the edge of the screen does extend slightly oob and you must move to the left then back to the right to avoid it. Oob past acid
After the screen where Cloth appears is a large room where the exit we want to hit is very inconveniently placed. Thankfully, there is another exit towards city of tears that works almost as well. After hitting it, immediately go back into the previous room and head towards the proper exit in the bottom left. Oob towards City
At this point if you are below ~195 geo it is smart to grab the geo nodes in the next room. After doing this, head back up as there is an oob to be done to skip immediately into mantis village. This is similar to the first vertical load oob in this area as you must again dash upon loading in. If you are unable to get this oob consistently, using the load on the left side above the load which leads to the mantis village is a slightly slower backup. Skip to Mantis Village
In Mantis Village, kill the large mantis guarding the lever you must hit as he drops 12 geo. After this, you can use your nail to pogo on the flying mantises in order to skip running around the area to get back up towards the wall jump pickup. Mantis Pogo
After this, you will of course want to skip the animation of picking up Mantis Claw by using an interaction storage. Before quitting out, there is another pickup we must grab: Dashmaster. On the way to the right out of Mantis Village, there is a superslide that can be done for a minor time save. If you are not yet at 220 geo, it is recommended to instead kill the same large mantis and grab his 12 geo. Mantis Village Superslide
Between Mantis Village and the dashmaster room is a large vertical room. As has been the pattern, it is significantly faster to oob this room instead of traversing it the intended way. Oob to Dashmaster
Because Dashmaster is the first charm pickup of this run, there is normally a charm tutorial message shown that you must wait for. Instead, pick up the charm using an interaction storage and quit out immediately.
[section=Dream Nail] After loading in to Crossroads, equip dashmaster and head down towards gruz mother. Right before her room is a leaper and a soul totem. Use both of these to reach ~2/3 soul and use that to gain pfloat. At this point is the first of many oobs that abuse the mobility dashmaster gives you. In order to skip gruz mother: ● Oob into the room while holding left ● Dash down, then shortly afterwards open menu to stop your momentum ● Wall jump off the area below the load zone to get above the level, then dash down onto it ● Dash across the area, making sure to avoid the load zone on the top ● Dash down into the load to blue lake after crossing the top of the area Gruz Mother Skip
Before heading through blue lake, go back and buy the shaman stone from Salubra, using an interaction storage to leave early. Since you will still have your pfloat at this point, it is trivial to get back to blue lake. In blue lake, we will be doing our first airwalk glitch. This is a powerful glitch that makes the game think you are grounded despite being in the air, allowing you to perform actions such as dash and jump. This is normally done by stopping yourself a short distance above a platform, but for some reason water works as well so that is what we will use here. If you go too high and need to dash down, you can open your inventory to cancel the glitch. Additionally, there is a superslide that can be done using the mosquito over the lake the saves a good amount of time. Airwalk and Superslide
Progress up after blue lake to reach the dream nail item. In the dream nail sequence there is a small platform to the right of the first large one that can be used to easily set up airwalk. After this, wait for the moth to begin moving so you don't miss its first trigger then dash to the end of the sequence. Dream Nail Airwalk
At the end of this sequence, do not interaction storage the moth or dream nail pickup. It is slightly faster to do it, but you will miss out on a larger time save because it causes the pause menu to not be locked. After canceling the dream nail pickup dialog, mash pause until it works then immediately hold right and dash. This will cause you to leave the seer room early, skipping the long wake up animation. There is a much less consistent method of this that can be done by timing a dream nail after the dialog disappears if you have used interaction storage on the moth or dream nail pickup. Seer Skip
[section=Lurien] Now progress back towards blue lake, then head right into the city of tears. Hit the enemies on the way to the elevator to gain a bit of soul for upcoming tricks. Immediately after the elevator is a large vertical room. This is, however, different from the ones in Fungal Wastes in that the desired load zone is on the bottom of the area, rather than the side. Fortunately, it is very near one of the edges of the room. By triggering a float before falling completely past the area, it is possible to hit the load zone by simply holding right. City oob 1
If at this point you are low on health, the King's Station bench may be taken without messing up any routing. Leaving King's Station, take the upper load zone. Once in the City proper, there is a superslide that can be done to reach the spire a good amount faster. Note that getting hit as in the gif is a required part of this superslide because it removes the speed/jump cap on your pfloat. City Superslide
After this slide, there is another oob to do to skip the first room of the spire. This is done using a similar dash down method as the gruz mother skip. For this, however, there is a much smaller area you are able to wall jump off of so the menu must be opened with a more preceise timing. If you did not do the superslide, make sure to set up a pfloat before attempting this oob. Spire Skip
Now for the most important skip in the run: The Watcher Knights skip. There are two methods that can be used to skip this boss: A room dupe or another oob. Whichever method you use it is important to grab the geo from the chest after the Watcher Knights. Option 1: First I will cover the room dupe. This method is slightly faster, but also harder and much more punishing if you fail. To start off, room duping is a glitch that causes the game to load a room twice instead of once. After this, traveling into any load will deload the room that specific load was attached to and load the room it goes to. This results in the previous room overlayed on top of the new room. As should be expected, this makes it very easy to soft lock yourself by getting stuck inside of a wall/floor/whatever. We are not entirely sure as to why this works, but we know it is done by entering a downward vertical load then jumping back up immediately. After you have duped the Watcher Knights room, head down and oob the room below you. Very conveniently, the copy of the Watcher Knights room that stays loaded lines up perfectly with the room below it for this load to put you above the boss fight. If you fail this oob you will soft lock and be forced to quit. Room Dupe Watchers Skip Option 2: Now for the oob method. On the bottom left of the Watcher Knights room is a horizontal load that we will use to skip the room. First, head through it into the long hallway after. This is a unique oob because we want to travel upward but there is nothing below the load to wall jump off of. To make up for this, we will instead do a normal jump off the floor immediately inside the area. Unfortunately, this floor does not stick out far enough to jump off of without hitting the load to go back to the hallway. However, there is a very short period of time after entering an area where you will not activate any load zones. In order to abuse this to jump, we must enter the area holding right then immediately hold left and jump. Oob Watchers Skip
In the Lurien room, there is a very long elevator. Riding this would be very slow, but thankfully there is a way to trigger a failsafe that teleports the elevator to the top. This is done by hitting the call lever at the bottom while the elevator is moving down then immediately hitting the up button inside the elevator. This can be done with either method of the Watchers Skip, but if you have done the room dupe it is a bit trickier due to the weird collision. Normal Televator Room Dupe Televator
After killing Lurien, we must do another oob in order to skip the Watcher Knights arena again. This is a simple vertical oob with dash as was done twice in Fungal Wastes. If you have not yet gotten the geo chest after them, be sure to go down and grab that before leaving. Watchers Descent
[section=Shade Soul] After this there is a small route divergence. You can either go get the shade soul upgrade or simply leave City of Tears without it. Skipping the upgrade is in theory faster by 10-15 seconds if you are able to have a near perfect Uumuu fight later in the run, but personally I prefer the consistency that shade soul offers. Option 1: To skip shade soul, simply oob back down the spire and run to king's station. It is worth noting that the collision above the load you must oob on has a bit of a lip that usually has to be jumped over. No Shade Soul Route Option 2: On the way through the hallway towards shade soul, hit the enemies to gain some soul to set up a pfloat. Immediately after the hallway there are two oobs to do using the dash down method. Oobs to Shade Soul Now for the only oob glitch in the game that isn't done on a room transition. By using the spikes on top of an elevator to teleport away from it, we can make the game think we're still on the elevator. This means that the character will move up and down with the elevator regardless of distance. Opening inventory during this will cause a large lag frame which can clip you through walls. There are many setups people use to clip to shade soul, but what I prefer is to clip into the area right of the door, then dash down to get under it and clip again to reach the pickup. Pick up the shade soul using an interaction storage then break out of the longer animation that triggers using map. Shade Soul Clip After getting shade soul, the city storerooms stag is much closer than king's station. On the way there, an airwalk can be used to save some time. There is no easy way to set this one up, it must be done by downdashing and opening menu to stop yourself right before hitting the ground. Storerooms Airwalk
Once in whichever stag station you've headed to, buy the stag then dash over to the bench to set up the unovercharm glitch while waiting on the toll animation. If you are unaware, this game has a mechanic where attempting to equip a charm that you don't have notches for 5 times will forcefully equip it, but you will take double damage. The goal of this glitch is to equip shaman stone and remove the double damage from your character. This can be done by unequipping the charm as you exit the charm menu. After this, open your map or the game will soft lock on your next menu open. Unovercharm
[section=Monomon] Take the stag to Dirtmouth and begin traveling down the left path of Crossroads to reach Fog Canyon. For the big vertical room with the exploding flies, you can inventory drop between the platforms in the middle and never get hit. After this, there is a very small strat that can be used in the room where Cornifer normally sells the Crossroads map. By opening inventory immediately upon entering the room, you will be able to move with it open, saving a small amount of time on not having to open it for inventory drops. Transition Inventory Storage
At the entrance to Fog Canyon is an acid puddle that you are meant to have Isma's Tear to cross. There are two ways to get across this in this run: An oob or an easier but slower float. Option 1: Getting across with float is as simple as activating float and dashing across the top of the acid puddle. Float Acid Skip Option 2: The oob to be done is similar to the first oob in City of Tears where a float is used to slow fall speed to hit the load. This one is, however, a fair amount harder because the area before the load is slippery and does not slow your fall speed. I recommend using the float instead unless you are going for record. Oob Acid Skip
Immediately after this acid puddle is a vertical room that can be easily skipped with oob. It is important to stay far enough left to not accidentally hit either of the load zones before the desired one at the bottom of the area. Fog Canyon oob
Before entering Teacher's Archives, activate a pfloat in order to skip over the large acid puddle before Uumuu. After Uumuu, there is a similar acid puddle to skip, so you must finish the fight with soul leftover to activate another pfloat. Failing to do this will mean you are forced to either quit or die to leave the boss arena. Dash down into the acid in the boss arena after the pfloat setup to remove the jump height cap. For the actual fight, two cycles is optimal regardless of if you have picked up shade soul. With shade soul, it takes only 6 fireballs to kill Uumuu and it is thus trivial to get a two cycle kill. Without shade soul, a more optimized strategy must be used, which will kill Uumuu on the second to last fireball due to the decreased health on this patch. It is worth noting that Uumuu also has increased knockback on this patch, so you will have to instead use up attacks when fighting him. Uumuu Two Cycle Strategy
After Uumuu, you can use a simple interaction storage on Quirrell to dream nail Monomon earlier. When leaving Teacher's Archives, there is also a convenient platform in the boss arena that can be used to set up an airwalk to leave faster. Teachers Archives Airwalk
[section=Herrah] The final dreamer to kill is Herrah in Deepnest. It is, however, much faster to travel through Queen's Gardens than to go directly to Deepnest at this point. The entrance to Queen's Gardens is guarded by an acid puddle with spikes directly over it, but thankfully the very lenient acid hitbox allows us to float in anyway. Queens Gardens Acid Float
Once in Queen's Gardens, we will be using oob to go the reverse of the intended direction around the area since this is a small amount faster than the proper direction. The first oob to accomplish this is done with a similar down dash method as previous oobs. QG oob 1
The second required oob skip here is a combination of two previously used techniques. First, an immediate dash to get oob on a vertical load, then a float while oob to slow fall speed and hit a load on the bottom of the area. QG oob 2
After entering Deepnest, the first thing you'll likely notice is that it is incredibly dark. Due to the high price of the lantern, it is not realistic to get it in this run. For the first two of these dark rooms there is not much I can say other than that they will require a large amount of practice to get through consistently. I recommend running through them with lantern at least a few times just to figure out the layout of the room. The third and final dark room, however, cannot be progressed through without an oob due to the toll gate present on old patches of the game. Due to the darkness, this oob must be done entirely from audio cues. It is, despite this, a fairly simple down dash oob as has been done many times before in this run. Deepnest oob
Once in Beast's Den, do not sit on the bench as intended. There is actually a shortcut in the ceiling that skips the entire area except for one of the devouts (giant spiders). Of course, without wings we do not have the tools to reach this the intended way, so it must be entered using the pfloat that you should still have from the previous oob. Beasts Den Skip
When leaving Deepnest, there is a small time save that can be done after buying the stag. Looking down a short period after paying the toll will cause the bell to pop up a bit faster. This works to speed up any toll, but is only relevant in this one spot for this category. Toll Glitch
[section=The Hollow Knight] When entering the black egg temple, there is a cutscene that plays where the door opens. This is purely visual, the door is already there. Because of this, it is possible to break out of this cutscene with map and enter immediately. Black Egg Cutscene Skip
Tips for the Hollow Knight battle: ● Staying grounded is ideal. Only jump when he is doing an attack which forces you to jump in order to dodge. ● Try to always have enough soul for a fireball. This is because shooting a fireball in the same direction he is moving during the dash attack will cause two hits for double damage. ● Don't bother shooting fireballs when he stabs himself. All attacks during this do only one damage, use this time to heal up instead. ● Map can be used to break out of any of his screams, but only the last one is worth doing this on. ● Practice this fight a lot! Even if you can kill him consistently, it is likely that it can be done significantly faster.
TODO: Example HK fight to show response for each attack
Title screen may now be shown at any point during a run, so long as you add a timestamp with your submission. IL runs are unaffected.
You may resubmit runs rejected under the old ruling if you wish for them to be verified.
Video evidence must show the Title Scre