For a few months now I have been tinkering on the possibility of maybe having these two categories on the leaderboards.
The All 21 Big Life Potions seems like a good enough category to try, given that in the optimal Any% run, you might not even grab a single potion, so going out of your way to take them all will certainly add a different spin and routing speedrun-wise.
100% category, I feel would be very interesting and challenging to try, because, in my mind (and based on the existing 100% PoP1 DOS category), 100% would be to kill all the guards, defeat at least once the ones that are immortal and cannot be knocked off-screen/killed by a trap and drink all the potions in the game (including the warp and kill one, the latter only needed to be drank once). It's quite a lengthy challenge, but one that I think might be fun and worthy to do runs.
There is some interest by at least a few runners for both categories, so maybe we could consider add those categories to the leaderboard after completing a run for each.
There's only 20 collectible Big Life Potions in the game. The 21st would be the one the Ghost grabs on Level 7, which is unobtainable unless you perform a warp glitch to activate kill button, or allow debug mode code input.
I have documented a very simple warp glitch that activates kill button without sprite corruption, and only takes a minute. So after performing this quick task at the beginning of the run, you could go through the game using kill button on all enemies.
Now, if we were going to allow simple glitches, like the one mentioned above, which only activates kill button, and does nothing else (like sprite corruption or warping to later levels), we could also use the Invincibility warp glitch on Level 8, and make it a 100% + deathless category, so you can drink the Big Kill Potion without dying. lol.
Anyway, without glitches, it'd be 20 bottles for All Life Potions, and 25 bottles for 100%, including the 2 upside-down bottles on level 14.
I'm a little skeptical about the attractiveness of a category where you have to climb to the far corners of every level, looking for every single guard everywhere. Seems tedious. But on the other hand, I could also ask, why not make it more tedious, and also drink all small bottles, both health and poison?
I might be interested in seeing a Thirsty category where you have to drink all bottles, large and small. lol.
I'd also say, if kill button glitch was allowed for killing all enemies, we'd still want to specify that collecting the sword is mandatory, as 100% implies collecting all collectible items.
Oh true, I was counting that extra one by mistake, but you technically get it when merging with the shadow. But yeah, 20 All Life Potions should be a category; and an extra sub-category where we allow kill button for 21.
And 100%, will have to be to kill all the guards (knock the immortals once at least) and drink every single potion in the game (Life, upside-down, healing, poison, warp and kill potion - once at least for this last one so that it counts). We could also have a sub-category with kill button so it allows killing those immortal skeletons.
All in all, we might have to do two separate categories like the DOS version, one with major glitches/kill button allowed and another with No Major Glitches (NMG).
Deathless might be an optional one, because optimally, in the NMG one you wouldn't want to die anyway.
Well, I have been routing both categories to soon submit runs for them, and while All Life Potions has pretty much no issues in completing it, the 100% on the other hand has a couple of levels that makes a deathless 100% impossible.
The levels in question are 11 and 18. I explained and proposed a solution for 18 in a previous post here, so I'll focus on the only other level that also has a similar issue.
Level 11 has a heal potion that can only be accessed and grabbed from the top side, and if taken, it makes at least two red guards and another heal potion impossible to grab as the gates to access them are closed.
Here I enclosed the problematic heal potion:
My proposed solution is a similar one to Level 18's Kill Potion, in that we drink that potion once, get killed, and kill/take the remaining guards/potions.
Perhaps for this category, we could allow that as long you have killed/defeated every guard and have taken every potion once, it counts.
Another way of phrasing the problem is that the throttle point is the first lower gate. You must pass through it in order to access both the lower guards and the button to open the Big Bottle cage. Once past it though, you can no longer get back through it to access the top part of the level. And as you mentioned, once you drop from the top side to get the secret bottle, you can no longer access the lower part of the level, being past the final gate -- and if you drop from the top side early, you are past the throttle gate, and can't get back to the top side again.
So the focal point for the route is that the secret potion, and Big Bottle, must be obtained on different lives. We would have to determine which is faster, to do the Big Bottle segment first, or the secret bottle segment first. At a glance, I think it'd be faster to die after the secret potion, and obtain the Big Potion on the 2nd pass-through.
A glitched category solves this problem by having a Gate Thief who could go back through locked gates, and do the whole level in one life. Also, an Invincibility glitch from Level 8 could possibly expedite things by falling down the long pit, and have the loose panel knock you back up.
Well, after a sort of first full test run, here's my first submission so the 100% category is created. Everywhere I unintenionally died, I re-grabbed every potion and re-killed every guard. The only intentional deaths were on Level 11 (after killing the second red guard) and the Kill Potion on Level 18. With no unintentional deaths and less sloppiness, sub-1 hour is doable, but barely (at least within my skills). I'll keep improving it until I get a 'no unintentional deaths' run and see how close I can get there.
If I had a vote, I would say the rules could clarify that every bottle and guard must be checked off just once, regardless of when any unintentional deaths occur. So if a death causes you to go back, you don't need to redo everything from the previous life.
However, I suppose we must defer to redos if that is standard practice for other games. (I know consistency across the community is important.)
I was considering that possibility given that we have to allow at least two intentional deaths for the 100% to be possible. I was under assumption that PoP1 DOS had this rule of retaking everything if a death happen but it seems that it's not there. It would certainly make it easier and have more possible runs submitted, and maybe some strats can be developed by dying/using game end. I'll leave it to the moderators to decide this, but I'm fine either way.
Rules about 100% DOS doesn't say explicitly about to redo everything when you die unintentionally, but I think all runners assumed they should do that
We have this interesting thing in PoP:WW where it's allowed to death abuse or quit and load save after getting chests. That's primarily because the game tracks the unlocked item in a gallery in the main menu and it doesn't reset after quitting or dying. If this game has such a gallery, then maybe it can be defined around that.
Sadly no, the game doesn't keep track anywhere of the stuff you grab except for the life potions after each level (and checkpoints too, though each level that has checkpoint makes sure you cannot go back, probably to prevent grabbing infinite life potions). Unless we make a sort of external image checklist, we might have to abide by getting them without dying (except for levels 11 and 18).
Or maybe we could find the info in the game's inner memory?
No, this game doesn't track any items in memory. It loads levels based on the stored password. The stored password tells the game what level is loaded, how much health is available, and how much time has elapsed.
The only temporary item that might be stored in memory is the sword, during level 1. If you start level 1, you do not have the sword until you pick it up. If you start any other level, you automatically have the sword.
We have established here, and on the TAS forums, that you can legitimately use Exit & Continue as a strategy in this game for saving time. For the 100% category, it would make sense to use it on Level 11 to quickly restart and move to the secondary route.
Any checklists would be strictly outside the game, and subject to peer review, as to whether or not all items were acquired. Therefore, I don't think it necessarily matters whether they are acquired once, or multiple times, depending on unintentional deaths. Seems like an unnecessary obstacle to require re-grabs.
It's just that the whole aesthetic of the 100% runs is that your character is as powerful as possible, and all the world events have been triggered in the current save. IMO unless the game tracks the collectibles after death, re-grab should be mandatory. Whether the said death is intentional or unintentional is out of question.
I do agree on that GMP; even on the run I did and submitted here almost a week ago (which I'm bumping again here so the category is created), I retook everything whenever I died unintentionally. The only issue this 100% has is that two deaths will have to be intentional; the first of them because we cannot grab one of the heal potions without redoing the level, and the second one because it's a kill potion (this one is after the checkpoint and one cannot go back).
(I created a 100% category on the board, for now without any rules just to act as a placeholder. If you want to submit your run already you may do so, and we can figure out the exact rules as we go)
@Shauing Ok, I understand the level 18 death better now. IMO the kill potion shouldn't even be mandatory. In DOS we make damaging potions mandatory because even though it's a detrimental potion taking them allows us to clear the level map more thoroughly before finishing it. Seems like the kill potion is completely missing this point as it's just going to respawn on level restart. (Correct me if I am wrong).
I also don't understand why the level 11 death is necessary. I watched the video and you were talking about some paths. Is it really only possible to choose one path in a run, or is the death just to avoid some backtracking?
Edit: Ok, I understand the image post above in this threat. Sounds like an interesting problem. The solution for now sounds reasonable but let's say we hypothetically find a "real" solution, then all runs prior to that would suddenly become invalid.
Yes, kill potion respawns if you die (just like every other potion), so if we go by that logic, we should skip it. That being said, if the objective includes to drink every single potion at least once, then probably this one should be included as well.
I really think there's no solution for a deathless Level 11 besides that gate glitch Akuma suggests, but that is considered a major glitch. I tried to route a complete Level 11 solution, but the closest one is this one where all guards are killed and all but that heal potion can be taken.
I asked David at the princed forum if inside the code there was something that would kept track of the potions and guards. And this is what he had to say:
''These are kept track only for the current level, so a potion you've already drunk won't reappear and such. They are reset when you restart the level.
The level objects (including potions) are stored starting from RAM address 7F:E170, on 24*30 bytes (one byte for each tile of each room). When the player drinks a potion, the corresponding byte changes to zero.
For example, consider the first potion on level 1, under the green guard. It's in room 8, at tile 27 (row 2, column 7), so its RAM address is 0x7FE170 + 8*30+27 == 0x7FE27B. (This calculation assumes that rooms, rows, and columns are all counted from 0, as in Pr1SnesLevEd.) When that byte changes to 0 (from 0x12), you know the player picked up this potion.
In an AutoSplit file, that offset translates into this:
byte Potion_1_8_27 : "snes9x-x64.exe", 0x008D8C38, 0x1E27B; // 7F:E27B
(Assuming you are using snes9x-1.60-win32-x64.)
The final offset is calculated as: 0x7FE27B - 0x7E0000 = 0x1E27B.
Now of course you need to check if the current level is level 1 before checking any potions on level 1.
Here is the AutoSplit offset for the current level:
byte CurrentLevel : "snes9x-x64.exe", 0x008D8C38, 0x0579; // 7E:0579
He will try to find something related to the guards.
After the last rule change from May 30th, 2023 the runner @Akuma_apn has brought forth some compelling arguments as to why the run should start "on the first frame of the first active screen of the game (after the title screen)" (see ). As