Hello there. I've been thinking a lot about categories lately and I think I kinda reach a dead end so I would like to hear some opinions in the matter.
First of all: Any% will remain as the main category with the current ruleset. The discussion in this topic is regarding categories that are not Any%.
Also keep in mind that I will be pretty technical in some parts of the post.
Ok so, I'll order my ideas as following:
- Name and current ruleset of the current categories.
- What I was thinking when I created the category.
- What are the downsides and inconsistencies of the category.
Category: All Moves (estimate 3 to 4 hours) Ruleset
Same rules of Any%, plus:
Perform and land every* move of the game at least once .
*note 1: This includes moves you can't get explicitly: Kick Reversal, Head Kick Reversal, Rolling Savate Kick, Jumping Axe Kick, Rising Uppercut and Charged Punch.
*note 2: Because we can't learn every single move in the game, the requirement for the category is just land all of them, meaning is not necessary to learn reversal techniques: Knee Kick, Shoulder Toss, Reversal Elbow, Brainbuster, Bridge Suplex, Side Throw and Lift Up Vertical Drop.
When I created this category I thought in some sort of 100% moveset. You see, in this game there's no really a % of completion. Items are just consumables and one of the few things that the game keep track of (other than general stats) are 'moves' or 'techniques'. I wanted to create a category that demands getting all the moves. The problem was that it is actually impossible to get every single one (here, "getting" means learning, you get hit a certain number of times in battle by that move, then you have access to it's name and skill level counter in the pause menu).
Technical part: The game moveset consist in 14 Punches, 20 Kicks, 40 Techniques and 9 Special Techniques. Every move except for the Special Techs can be done manually when fighting. The 9 Special techs can only be done through reversals, counter and special combos.
Only 3 of those 9 can be learnt from enemies, these are: Knee Kick, Shoulder Toss and Reversal Elbow. Even while you can't directly use them in battle, they WILL show up in your pause menu with their skill level after bieng learnt.
The other 6 Special Techniques are the 2 reversal kicks (floor counters) and the 4 combo finishers. There's no enemy in the game that does the combo finishers, and while you can get hit by reversal kicks, there seems to be no way to learn them (I tried getting hit more than 100 times in a row in a max level file in emulator. To give an idea, the tech that takes the longest to learn is Back Neck Lock, requiring 20 hits, and the second longest is Toe and Face Lock, requiring 10).
So ¿what's the big deal? Well, the thing is that the game actually allows you to perform reversal and counter techniques and special techniques without learning them. In that sense, the only moves 'useful' (or meaningful for a category) to get are the ones that cannot be performed otherwise. The thing is that the very existence of reversal techs makes a category like this super hard to define. For example: some normal Techs can be done through both attacking and reversal, such as Bridge Suplex, Brainbuster, Side Throw and Lift Up Vertical Drop. When doing that reversal, your character will actually increase the skill level of that tech, even before learning it, even without having it in your Pause Menu!
Basically I had two options:
1- The importance of the move is having it unlocked in the pause menu: With this one you only have to learn every learnable move in the game (14 Punches, 20 Kicks, 40 Techs and 3 Special Techs), it doesn't matter wether you use them or not. This keep the rest of the special techs out of the equation.
2- The importance of the move is the performance: With this one it doesn't matter what your Pause menu says, what matters is to perform and land every single technique.
I basically chose the second option months ago because I thought the game learning mechanic was inconsistent with special techs, and also because I wanted the finishing combos to be part of the run. In top of that, I still think the concept is quite inconsistent and also it would be a little lame to 'have' to do every single move, since a lot of them would just look bad or wont do anything (depending on how you level up) and if it is just for 'showing off', then the enemies already did those moves a couple of times when you were trying to learn them.
Category: Max Battles (estimate 7 to 8 hours) Ruleset
Same rules of Any%, plus:
Kill the maximum amount of Hybrids possible (332 battles).
Ring Erasers are not allowed to skip battles, but they can be used on respawners to get extra grind.
I created this category to show off the maximum amount of fights possible in the game. There's actually one more battle in area 2, but you have to choose between a path with one Naos, or a path with 5 Seginus and 1 Kitalpha. For this reason I called this 'Max Battles' instead of 'All Battles'. Also, at the time I thought that it would be pointless to allow Ring Erasers out of respawners since the point of the category is to beat every battle (note: the amount of enemies in a respawner does not decrease when you use a Ring Eraser on them).
Any problems? Yes. Today I discovered that 332 IS NOT the maximum amount of battles that you can get in the final screen of the game. In theory you can get a much bigger number, maybe up to 600, and in practice on a normal run you can get a consisten 336 and then go up to 340 or 350.
How? Well, the thing is that the game counts the amount of battle you 'enter', not the amount of battles you 'complete'. So, it is no new that Ring Erasers out of respawners increase the final amount, since after using the item, the Hybrid is gone forever from the overworld. But on the other hand Ring Erasers don't decrease the amount of enemies in a respawner (you can use infinite Ring Erasers in a respawner, and it will never deplete).
So for me it was obvious that delete hybrids for respawners didn't increase the total amount of battles (because you don't even level up when isung an Eraser). BUT THEY DO INCREASE THE COUNTER. So basically if you obtain an Eraser in every single battle before Area 9, then you can use all those in the Area 8 respawners and increase the counter to way more than 332 battles.
So, how do we fix this? One option is just forget about the counter and call this a "Max intended battles". In this case I would ban ring erasers in respawners so we have 332 battles at the end (that way is also way easier to know if the run is complete) and probably allow ring erasers in battles out of respawners because whatever.
Note: naming this category 'Max storymode level' is also inconsistent since raisers change the way Offense, Defense and Speed level up through the game. We actually don't know what is the maximum theoretical level in storymode. That's why I would now allow erasers out of respawners, since the level at the end is already inconsistent.
TL;DR: Any% will remain the same, but the other categories are inconsistent and kind of lame. Since nobody is running the other categories, I want opinions on how to make better ones or just get rid of them.
So, any ideas?
We can destroy, change or even merge these two categories.
Want my opinion? ok here it goes: After completing a 'Max Battles' run (7:35 hours IGT), I can say that the category is quite fun. I think it would be ok to allow ring erasers (out of respawners) just to give some more RNG and item management to the route. Also, I would like to merge some aspects of the categories and maybe turn this into a "Max%" category, so that way there's only two categories (Any% and this one). 'Max%' would be what I just said plus learning every learnable move (doesn't matter if you perform all of them or not). The thing is, in Max Battles I got a lot of moves to optimize my stats and skill levels, and also is like the perfect scenario to learn everything since is like a normal full completion of the game (but speedrunned). Learning everything should add no more than 1 hour to the category (so estimate of 8 to 9 hours).
I guess I will put down the empty categories until we either have this discussion or we made more test to see which category is worth putting =x
After discussing in the Discord we took the decision to make a 'No Items' category (Any% without using items).
Also, we reach a consensus for a definition of 100%. We consider that what defines 100% are all the things that you can "unlock" in the game and that are save for post-game clear (creature battle).
These are only two key things:
- Learning every technique that CAN be learnt (every punch, kick, and technique except the kick reversals and finishing moves). It is not necessary to execute all of them, just unlocking them in the Technique Menu.
- Fight at least once against every kind of Hybrid, so all 40 get unlocked in Survival.
I'm still routing 100%, so I wont put it on the leaderboards yet (unless someone shows interest on it).