Hello everybody. I am currently working on making a full-game TAS for Star Fox Adventures. As such, I have made this thread so that I can post all routing ideas/questions I may have. Furthermore, this thread will allow other people to see what I've done so far and offer their own suggestions.
To see a crude demonstration of what the full TAS route will look like, you can check out this video here:
There are 2 minor differences in routing between this video and what the final TAS will do:
- We will collect the fuel cell under Garunda Te instead of the one at the top of Ice Mountain.
- We will grab the fire gem from the room below the fire gem door, rather than getting the fire gem from the lightfoot (saves b/w 45 seconds to a minute).
Whenever I finish a new segment of my TAS, I will post a video of it here, along with a description of what I did. So far, I have 2 segments finished that I am going to post as replies (although admittedly, the definition of what a segment is is completely arbitrary).
This is part 1 of my TAS, which covers from power-on/file creation up to when Fox meets the Queen Earthwalker. In total, this is around 20 minutes.
The basic route for this section:
- Beat the flying ship.
- Beat Scale's Galleon.
- Play through KP and enter the K1 shrine.
- Release K1.
- Fly to Dinosaur Planet.
- Grab the staff, kill the group of 4 sharpclaws, get the fire blaster, and savewarp back out.
- Grab 10 scarabs (for the rock candy) and 3 bomb spores, open the Queen's door, and start the cutscene where Fox meets the queen.
Now, I'll list some timesaves, optimizations and highlights for this segment, along with a timestamp for where to find them in the linked video:
1:47 - Every shot I fire hits/damages the ship. Additionally, I fire my first shot on the first frame that the ship is vulnerable to damage, and I fire each shot as soon as possible (which is about once every 23 frames, if I recall correctly). Thus, I kill the ship very fast. Note that all sections of the ship (the flame boxes, the propeller blades, and the head) take 4 shots to kill.
3:15 - I equip the gold key to Y. The reason for this is that Krystal is forced to read some text describing how to use an item when she reaches the key door in Krazoa Palace before she can use the key, which also closes the C-menu. Thus, this allows us to use the key as soon as the cutscene ends, instead of having to wait for the C-menu to re-appear.
5:28 - Unlike in BvQr's TAS, I delay reading the text for the exploding barrel generator until I actually come back to the generator to pick up a barrel, which saves a small amount of time, since I move in a more direct path towards the key door.
5:42 - Sadly, I couldn't find any way to avoid getting this health here, or the other health at the next section where you blow up crates. If we could avoid those, we could skip those "you-got-an-item cutscenes" entirely, since they get disabled if you manage to make it to Ice Mountain without collecting one.
6:13 - It's faster to destroy the crates with a box instead of an explosive, since this skips needing to backtrack for the next explosive barrel.
6:24 - I made it through the flames frame-perfectly here - if I was a frame or two later or a few pixels off, the barrel would have exploded. This was pure luck, since the flames are RNG-based. If I was playing on a different version of Dolphin, I could have easily gotten a different RNG-seed by the time I reached this point. Almost all RNG I could have gotten would have been worse than what I got here, since I didn't need to slow down at all. It could only have been faster if the flames moved so that I didn't need to move out of the center of the room.
9:29 - We finally reach the Test of Observation! Since this is basically an auto-scroller, I tried to make it entertaining by doing different things during each of the 3 sections where I'm waiting for the barrels to stop moving. For the first barrel, Krystal runs around the diamond shape in the center of the room repeatedly until the barrel stops. For the second barrel, Krystal goes to the center of the room and spins around in a circle over and over again. For the final barrel, Krystal does sprints back and forth from one end of the diamond to the other (also known as "suicides" in basketball).
11:41 - I tried to make the last turn without brushing past the wall, but every time I didn't touch the wall, it ended up being like 4-5 frames slower. As such, it was faster to do this movement, even though (annoyingly) it looks slow.
15:03 - The first Arwing section! For this part, I tried to kill as many enemies as possible, and collect as many rings and powerups as possible - all while moving as little as possible from side-to-side. I also used my turbo-booster whenever it became available to move as fast as possible, and I prioritized speed first and foremost - so there are times where I skipped killing certain enemies in order to use my turbo-boosters and move faster through the level. Don't worry - we're going to be flying to Dinosaur Planet many times in this TAS, so I'll have to come up with new ideas for stuff to do here to keep things entertaining. If you have any ideas for what I should do next time, feel free to post them in this thread!
18:43 - The first sharpclaw fights! I use side rolls to kill each sharpclaw, since this is the fastest way of attacking them (it only takes 2 hits to kill them). To do this, you just roll and then hold either left or right and press A. The sharpclaw almost always block this attack if they aren't knocked down on the ground from a previous attack. As such it requires a lot of RNG-manipulation to make this work (basically changing the direction you move or the frame you attack on or the direction you hold the control stick while rolling to manipulate the sharpclaws not to block you). Also, at 18:50 , I need to do a neutral slash on one of the sharpclaws (holding nothing on the control stick and pressing A). This is the only way to get the sharpclaw to drop magic gems - if you don't do this slash, they will never drop them. Strangely, it also allows subsequent sharpclaws you kill in the same combat-session to drop magic gems, as you can see here (since the last 2 both drop magic gems, but only the 2nd to last one was neutral-slashed).
18:55 - We collect our first magic gem on the same frame that the Krystal cutscene starts, which lets us overlap the cutscenes, and therefore saves time. I let Fox stay in the "holding-his-hands-up-for-a-new-item" state for most of this cutscene, since I think it looks funny.
19:45 - After getting fire blaster, we savewarp out of the cave. This skips both having to open the gate to get back out and having to walk back across TTH to the queen's house.
20:17 - I manipulate the scarabs to be as close to Fox as possible (we only need 10 for the whole TAS - which we use to buy the Rock Candy). Then, I blow up the bomb spore plant, and manipulate where the spores fall so that I can get all 3 during the cutscene of Fox picking up his first bomb spore. This is very precise (and I probably spent close to a day just working on manipulating where the bomb spores would land - which is why I move really weirdly while the spores are falling), and this skips having to blow up the plant an extra time, since we only need 6 bomb spores for the whole TAS.
20:38 - Funny story - the first time TASing this segment, I thought we could skip the intro text for a bomb flower by rolling around it, so I spent a lot of time optimizing that. Then, after I finished the whole section, I tried planting a bomb plant in the next section, and realized that the plant that grows makes you trigger the intro text for a bomb flower, and is unavoidable. Thus, I had to re-do this section. Also, after further timing, it turns out that avoiding the initial bomb flower trigger made me go so far out of the way into the water that even if I could have permanently skipped the text, it still would have been faster to just trigger the text, lol.
20:43 - I wanted to shoot the switch to open the queen's door while waiting for the bomb spores to land. However, the fire blaster switch doesn't have collision until you're very close to it, so that was sadly impossible... In any event, after hitting the switch, we meet the Queen Earthwalker, and with that, the first segment ends.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this thread, and stay tuned for part 2!
And now for part 2. This segment starts when we finish talking to the queen earthwalker, and ends when we create a new file for ESW. This whole section is about 3 minutes.
The basic route for this section is:
- Grab 3 fuel cells from behind the bombable wall on the ledge by the queen's house.
- Open the gate to Cape Claw (this is the closest we get to this switch before going to Cape Claw, so it makes the most sense to do it now).
- Grab the 2 fuel cells on the climbable pillar.
- Grab 3 more bomb spores (these are our last bomb spores for the whole TAS).
- Enter the shop, buy the Rock Candy, and savewarp.
- Create a new file for ESW later on, and hit start.
Now, I'll list some timesaves, optimizations and highlights for this segment, along with a timestamp for where to find them in the linked video:
1:00 - We intentionally take damage here and throughout this section to set up a death warp that will occur in Ice Mountain shortly after we get Tricky.
1:10 - Certain grabbable walls and ladders can be skipped in this game by holding neutral while rolling over them. The wall to climb down into the shop doesn't work that way, however, since there's an invisible one-way wall in front of the shop entrance to prevent you from rolling in, and entering the climb-down state (which you do when you're near the edge) puts you on the other side of this wall. However, we can start to climb down to get past this wall, and then climb back up and neutral roll down into the shop to save about a second or two. Note that we have to land a little bit closer to the wall than we could land if we held right all the way, since otherwise, the game will lag/freeze for 2 seconds when we hit the load trigger for the shop.
2:28 - After buying the rock candy, the game forces us to wait 1.5 seconds before we can pause again (although we can move around during this time). Fox takes advantage of that time to spin in a circle before savewarping out of the shop.
2:40 - We now create the 2nd file that will be used for ESW. This could have been made after any savewarp prior to reaching Dark Ice Mines, but I arbitrarily decided to do it here. Note that by hitting OK without typing in a filename, our filename gets set to "FOX". In any event, we start the Krystal section on this new file, and with that, this segment is over.
And that's all she wrote for part 2! Part 3 doesn't have a video out yet - because I haven't made it yet. Stay tuned! (although if you've seen the first 6 minutes of part 1, you should have a pretty good idea of what part 3 will look like :D )
Now for part 3. This section covers the Krystal section on the 2nd file that we make for ESW. It starts during the intro cutscene for this file, and ends when we save+quit at Krazoa Palace and switch back to the main file. Krazoa Palace is the first place where we can savewarp and the first place where we can die, which is why we need to reach that point before we can use this file for ESW. This whole section is about 4 minutes.
Note that the whole TAS from power-on up to the end of this segment is about 30 minutes and 8 seconds.
The route for this section is:
- Kill the flying ship.
- Talk to the bird on Scale's Galleon, grab the gold key, and trigger the General Scales cutscene.
- Save+quit at Krazoa Palace, and switch back to the main file.
0:11 - Start of the fight against the flying ship. 1:15 - Start of the section of walking on Scale's Galleon 3:51 - Regaining control of Krystal at Krazoa Palace
Hopefully, the next section will be a little more eventful.
Part 4 is now here. This section starts when I savewarp at the end of the Krystal section (on the 2nd file), and ends when Fox starts the race at the top of Ice Mountain.
The route for this section is:
- Get a magic refill near the waterfall
- Get the 4 fuel cells from under the waterfall.
- Give the Warpstone the rock candy, and warp to Ice Mountain (it's faster to get the fuel cells behind the bombable wall near the warpstone later on).
- Kill the 2 sharpclaws in IM with the fire blaster through the blocks.
- Grab a magic refill and open the gate.
- Perform explosive barrel clip, get OOB, and move the camera out-of-bounds so that the next area won't load properly.
- Fall into the room with Tricky, grab the 2 fuel cells, and hit the trigger for the cutscene starting.
Now then, on to the highlights and noteworthy sections with timestamps:
0:05 - We grab a magic gem refill here, since we don't have enough mana left to kill the 2 sharpclaws in IM without first grabbing a refill.
0:17 - We grab the 4 fuel cells from under the waterfall.
0:42 - We give the gift to the Warpstone. Note that we go around the right-hand side of the Warpstone and jump to the platform in front of the Warpstone, since this was measured by Dark X-Rane to be faster than either going to the left or going right and jumping in the water at the end and climbing up onto the platform.
2:42 - We take damage on the flame here in order to get down to 1/2 heart left, which will allows us to die when we fall to the ground at the section after we rescue Tricky.
3:36 - We kill the 2 sharpclaws through the boxes here, which skips having to use the explosive barrel to blow up the wall. Each one takes 4 hits to kill, so it takes 8 shots total. It was a little tricky to find a spot where I could hit both Sharpclaws, since they spawn in opposite ends of the area, but I eventually figured it out. Also, we have to aim the fireblaster past the 2nd sharpclaw for a few frames in order to make Fox turn, which gives us an angle that allows us to hit the 2nd sharpclaw without needing to wait.
3:39 - By hitting the magic gem plant right as the cutscene starts, we are able to grab the magic gem as soon as the cutscene ends, without needing to wait for the gem to fall.
3:47 - The cannon fires where Fox previously was 2-3 seconds earlier. As such, I stand on the spot that I want the cannon to fire while I shoot the switch. That way, when I come back with the explosive barrel, the cannon ball will land on the right spot.
3:53 - And now, for the only 1.0-exclusive trick in this whole TAS - explosive barrel clip! What happens here is as follows: the cannon ball knocks the barrel out of Fox's hands, and pushes us a little forwards. We then roll to get in front of the explosive barrel before it falls to the ground and explodes. The collision on the gate is really bad, so the extra speed/momentum we get from the explosion from the barrel is enough to push us through the corner of the gate, which let's us get out of bounds. We do this in order to box-load the next area at the bottom of Ice Mountain, and to get the 2 fuel cells in the room that Tricky is in without needing to savewarp.
4:00 - I looked, but unfortunately, I couldn't find an earlier spot to get up on the OOB ledge. Once we get up there, we need to navigate to a spot above the hallway where the IM warp portal is. We then fall and land half in the wall, and roll (followed by shielding to cancel the roll) as soon as we land in order to avoid taking fall damage. From here, we navigate along this wall until we reach the rocky OOB edge of the map.
4:10 - We move the camera OOB here, which creates some lag and temporarily de-loads the area. We then reload the area by entering first-person mode, which allows us to move again. This all has the effect of making the next area not load properly, which will let us skip having Tricky dig to hit the switch after we rescue him. Note that we get the camera OOB by getting close to the edge of the map, getting the camera to face towards this edge initially, and then turning the opposite direction and targeting. This is about 30 frames faster than entering first person mode to get the camera OOB, since it generates a bit less lag. Also, I couldn't find a way to get the camera oob and re-load the map with only entering first-person mode one time - it always took either 2 first person modes or 1 L-target and 1 first-person mode. It seems that holding shield while we hold L allows us to press Z while we're frozen in the unloaded map, even though normally you can't press Z if you held L while a map unloaded. Also note that we need to move the camera a little to the right after entering first-person mode in order to re-load the map.
4:15 - We now fall into the room where Tricky is, which let's us grab the 2 fuel cells in this room before starting the race. If we didn't do this, we would need to savewarp after the start of the race, walk all the way back to this room for the fuel cells, and get on the bike and start the cutscene that plays at the start of the race all over again in order to get these fuel cells. Note that we once again roll (followed by shielding) as we land in order to avoid taking fall damage.
4:23 - The trigger to start this cutscene is moving towards the interior of the room while crossing over a certain spot on the floor. Thus, once we reach this point, we quickly turn around and roll the opposite direction in order to trigger this cutscene to start. After this cutscene ends, we will have to do the race to rescue Tricky.
And that's all she wrote! I hope you all enjoyed this section of the TAS!
Part 5 is now finished. This was a longer section than the previous few ones. The section starts at the beginning of the Ice Mountain race, and ends when we talk to Garunda Te to start the frostweed event.
The route for this section is:
- Win the IM race to unlock Tricky.
- Navigate through the box-loaded Ice Mountain, grab 2 grubtubs, pull the switch for the platform, and deathwarp to re-load the map.
- Dig the tunnel to escape, and grab 2 more blue grubtubs in the process.
- Kill the 3 sharpclaw to get the heel command.
- Dig up the first alpine root, and grab 2 health refills (which gets us to 2.5 hearts).
- Dig up the 2nd alpine root, and grab 3 blue grubtubs.
- Dig to the first mana upgrade entrance, and grab another grubtub and a red magic gem.
- Get the first mana upgrade.
- Give the alpine roots to the snowhorn, push the ice block, and climb up to the next area.
- Do shield hovers to get OOB.
- Navigate to the area that Garunda Te is in, and talk to him.
Now, I'll list some timesaves, optimizations and highlights for this segment, along with a timestamp for where to find them in the linked video:
0:27 - As it turns out, we can ride in the center/the median of the race course here. I found this by accident, and it turns out that it saves about 10 frames or so to do this. In general, all optimizations for the rest of the race come from making my turns and angles as direct as possible.
1:10 - As can be seen here, Ice Mountain is now box-loaded. This happened because in the previous section, we entered first-person mode while out-of-bounds. As a consequence of this, various objects in Ice Mountain now won't load.
2:22 - The 2 blue grubtubs here are invisible (even in first-person mode), but they still exist, and we collect them here. Also, the gate that blocks the switch to raise up the platform fails to load here, which lets us turn the switch without needing to have Tricky dig for the button and standing on it (which is why we did the box-loading glitch in the first place. Explosive barrel clip thus had 2 purposes - letting us get the 2 fuel cells by the bike without needing to savewarp and come back, and letting us skip digging for the button here).
2:46 - When we roll off the platform here, we hit a save trigger on our way down into the lava. When we hit the lava, we lose 1/2 heart, which causes us to die. This is the reason why I intentionally took damage up to this point - I needed 1/2 heart left to die here. This deathwarp was done because the platform to get across the lava fails to load when IM is box-loaded, so we need to re-load the area to fix this (and deathwarping is the fastest way to do this). Note that hitting the save trigger here allows us to skip needing to save and continue. Otherwise, not saving would cause us to lose our grubtubs and undo turning the switch.
3:09 - This blue grubtub is on the way, so we grab it. Note that we could skip the text where Tricky tells you to dig a hole in the wall by feeding Tricky for the first time right next to the wall, since Tricky's dialog after feeding him for the first time takes priority over the wall text. However, we don't have the heel command yet, and the wall text only takes 3/4 seconds. As such, it's faster to just go through it than to wait 3 seconds for Tricky to walk far enough forwards to skip the text.
3:26 - This blue grubtub is also right on our way, so we grab it.
3:36 - We have enough mana for 11 fire blaster shots here, and it takes 4 shots to kill each of the 3 sharpclaws. Since we are 1 shot short of being able to kill them all with the fire blaster, we do 1 side roll on the first sharpclaw, which does 2 fireblaster-shots-worth of damage. We then finish him off with 2 fire blaster shots, followed by shooting each of the next 2 sharpclaws 4 times apiece. After this, we unlock the heel command (note that we also need to kill these sharpclaw before we can get Tricky to dig for the alpine roots, so there's no way to skip this).
3:56 - While Tricky is digging for the first alpine root, we use this time to grab 2 more hearts, which gets us up to 2.5 hearts. The reason why we need to do this is that in a few minutes, we are going to do an OOB glitch to get back to TTH while skipping some cutscenes, but this trick will consume about 2 hearts total. Thus, our 1/2 heart wouldn't be enough to make this work.
4:11 - We make a quick detour to grab an extra blue grubtub and to feed Tricky. The reason why we do this is that if we fed Tricky immediately (with 2 blue grubtubs), then we would need to feed him an extra time later in the TAS. By grabbing the 3rd blue grubtub first, we are able to skip feeding him one time, since we only need to collect 10 additional blue grubtubs for the rest of the TAS, and you can feed Tricky 5 blue grubtubs at a time.
4:20 - While we're waiting for Tricky to dig up the 2nd alpine root, we grab 2 extra blue grubtubs. These are pretty much the least out-of-the-way grubtubs in the whole TAS since we grab them while waiting for Tricky to finish digging, which means they cost us 0 frames to get. It doesn't get a whole lot more free than that!
4:31 - While Tricky is digging the hole for the first mana upgrade, we grab another blue grubtub and a red mana crystal. Note that we need 2 mana upgrades in order to perform an important glitch at the end of the TAS that saves 10-15 minutes, so we can't skip over this upgrade. Actually, even if it wasn't for that glitch, it would still save more time than it costs for us to get the mana upgrade here, so it would be worth it anyways.
4:46 - We grab our first mana upgrade.
5:09 - We turn in the 2 alpine roots. This gives us the small scarab bag (which we'll never use - since we're already done using scarabs for the rest of the TAS after using them one time to buy the rock candy), and also drops the ice block down.
6:11 - By pressing X to roll after we finish climbing up onto the ice block (without touching the control stick), Fox will teleport upwards when he hits the next ledge, which skips half of Fox's slow climb-up animation on the ledge, and saves a little time (to clarify, this skips part of the climb-up animation on the climb up the ledge where we walk after this - not the climb onto the ice block).
6:18 - Finally, our first major sequence break of the whole TAS! By alternating between shield and rolling every other frame, Fox is able to hover above the ground briefly - provided that there is a slope/ground close under him. Using this technique (which is called shield hovering), we can get onto the OOB ledge. From there, we do a 2nd shield hover to get over the fence, which works because this fence wasn't intended to be reachable in normal gameplay, and therefore has terrible collision that only extends like an inch off the ground. After that, we are past all barriers, and can walk around the map to the Garunda Te area. Once we get there, we fall in past the gate. This skips needing to make an extra trip back to Thorn Tail Hollow, and it also skips the white grubtub quest in the well in TTH. However, we will still have to go to the well briefly later on in order to get the rocket boost upgrade, which is required at various points in order to beat the game.
6:42 - We talk to Garunda Te to start the frostweed event, and with that, this section is over!
This is one of the more technically-complicated sections of the whole TAS. Join me next time to see how the frostweed section turns out!
After a lot of work, part 6 is now done! This segment covers the Garunda Te frostweed event, farming fuel cells in Snowhorn Wastes, and making it back to the arwing in Thorntail Thollow to fly to Dark Ice Mines:
The route for this section is:
- Feed Garunda Te 3 frostweeds, and shoot the tree as the cutscene of Garunda breaking free starts to play to skip having to watch the cutscene of the tree falling.
- Grab 2 more blue grubtubs and a red mana crystal. I believe we can get the rest of the blue grub tubs while Tricky is digging at various points in the TAS, but we need to get to 5 grubtubs before this point, since we only have 1 grubtub left in Tricky's bar (this gets us to 5 blue grubtubs in our inventory)
- Grab the fuel cells from up on the climbable ledge.
- Shoot the fireblaster switch to make another fuel cell appear.
- Grab the fuel cell at the end of the river, and grab a health refill of 1 heart from the crate.
- Grab the 3 fuel cells up on the top of the hill.
- Shield hover into the cage in the cave where Garunda Te was trapped, grab the 2 fuel cells there, and then savewarp (note that one of these fuel cells shares a collection flag with a fuel cell by the switch in SHW due to a programming error, so when we reach those cells, there will only be 1 left instead of the usual 2).
- Use shield hover to get OOB, navigate through the walls, and fall into the water OOB to start an airswim.
- Cancel this airswim on the other side of the wall at the edge of the map, fall into the SHW link map, navigate through the walls OOB, and start an airswim once we reach the water in the sewers.
- Cancel the airswim at the end of the water section, and then navigate OOB around the trigger for Tricky to run to his mom.
- Run to the arwing, and enter orbit.
0:10 - We need to feed Garunda Te 3 frostweeds in order for him to break free. The frostweeds are programmed to always move away from Fox. As such, we can manipulate 2 of the frostweeds to be right next to each other. Then, while Tricky is pushing one frostweed, Fox can push 2 frostweeds at the same time. The 2nd frostweed reaches Garunda Te approximately 30 frames after the first frame where the next frostweed can be sucked in by Garunda Te, while the 3rd frostweed reaches Garunda Te on the first frame that it can get sucked in. This section could therefore theoretically be 30 frames faster, but I couldn't find a way to get the frostweeds to Garunda Te any faster, and I spent several days on TASing these 20 seconds...
0:23 - We shoot the tree as the cutscene of Garunda Te breaking free starts. This allows the 6 second cutscene of the tree falling to get interrupted/skipped by the Garunda Te cutscene, which saves 6 seconds. This tree needs to be shot in order to create a path to reach the 2 fuel cells up on the climbable ledge later on.
2:01 - Now, we start the Snowhorn Wastes fuel cell farming section of the TAS! First, however, we grab 2 blue grubtubs and a red mana crystal refill. We hit the plant and then grab the 2nd blue grubtub while waiting for the magic gem to fall, which saves a few frames. This all results in us having 5 blue grubtubs, which means we can feed Tricky as soon as Tricky uses his last grubtub. The remaining 5 grubtubs we need for the rest of the TAS can all be grabbed while Tricky is digging in Cape Claw (I think? I'm planning to test this later on - we might need to grab 1 grubtub outside of the times when Tricky is digging), although we need to dig a few times before we reach Cape Claw, so we have to get to 5 grubtubs before picking up these free (from a timesave perspective) grubtubs.
2:08 - Remember that tree we shot 2 minutes ago? This was what that was for! We use the fallen tree to cross over the river, and grab the 2 fuel cells at the top of the ledge.
2:32 - We shoot the fireblaster switch here, which makes another fuel cell spawn. We jump into the water as the cutscene showing the new fuel cell spawning starts to play, which lets us save a little time on swimming.
2:46 - We grab 1 fuel cell at the end of the river, and then grab 1 heart from the crate. This should give us enough health to make it to the end of K3 - at which point we need to die for an ESW.
2:58 - We grab 3 fuel cells at the top of the hill (one of these cells spawned as a result of hitting the fireblaster switch). Conveniently, one of the floating ice platforms happens to be right next to us when we reach the top of the hill. As such, we can jump onto the ice and then jump from the ice to the ledge, which saves some time by cutting out swimming (swimming is very slow in this game). Also, since the current is strong here, we would have to either swim against the current or walk a lot further forward before entering the water if we didn't land on this platform. Note that this platform is programmed so that Fox can only grab onto the edge of it when he is climbing out of water - he can't jump and grab the edge of the platform in midair, no matter how high up he jumps. As such, the fastest thing to do is to jump from the hill to the ice platform, jump into the water next to the edge, and then climb up onto the ledge when Fox surfaces.
3:09 - The cage in the cave where Garunda Te was trapped has very poor collision, and it doesn't extend more than a few inches above the ground. The collision is so poor, in fact, that we can just shield hover starting from the height from the slope in front of the cage, and make it through to the other side. Once inside the cage, we grab the 2 fuel cells here, and then savewarp. Note that due to a programming error, one of the fuel cells in the cage here shares a collection flag with a fuel cell that you get from turning the switch to raise the platform in SHW. As a result, when we reach those fuel cells later on in the TAS, there will be only 1 fuel cell there instead of the usual 2 (basically, even though we can see 4 fuel cells in these 2 areas, we can really only collect 3 of them). And with that, the SHW fuel cell farming section is over! Now to get back to Thorntail Hollow...
3:32 - You may have noticed that we never collected any scarabs to get past the BribeClaw. That decision was intentional - as we are going to skip the BribeClaw, the cutscene of Tricky running away, walking to the queen's house, and the cutscene of Fox and Tricky discovering that the queen is sick. Doing this skip saves between 12-15 seconds, although even if it was slower than going back to Thorntail Hollow normally, I probably would have done this trick anyways, since I think it looks really cool, lol! To start things off, we once again do shield hovers to get OOB, just like we did to get around the key-locked-gate blocking the area where Garunda Te was trapped.
3:38 - This wall has no collision from behind, so once we get past it, we can get Fox to be half inside of the wall. From here, we navigate back to the area where we pushed the ice block. Then, we fall into the water near the blue Woolly Mammoth while OOB, which lets us start an airswim. After that, we cancel our airswim while half inside the wall at the edge of the map (the whole point behind going through the OOB walls through the ice block area and starting the airswim was to get behind this wall, since you will fall OOB if you try to just walk to behind this wall directly).
4:30 - We fall down here and land half in the wall in the SHW link map. This accomplishes half of the goals of this trick: it skips the BribeClaw. However, we are planning to also skip the Tricky running away cutscene (which in turn prevents needing to watch the cutscene where the queen is revealed to be sick), which we will accomplish by navigating OOB around the trigger for this cutscene.
4:36 - Since we missed hitting various loading triggers, we need to hit the unloaded map and go into first-person mode in order to make the rest of the SHW link map load. After that, we keep navigating half inside the wall until we reach the water. We walk along the ground next to the water, since walking is faster than swimming. Once the ground runs out, we start an airswim in the water while inside the wall. From this point on, we need to move carefully at 3 points in order to hit various loading triggers. Otherwise, Thorntail Hollow will fail to load (or it will load without any objects, including the arwing). I will point out where the 3 triggers are below.
4:58 - At the point where Fox moves closer to the water/toward being in-bounds, we hit the first trigger. If we missed this trigger, then when we reached Thorntail Hollow, the map would fail to load, and we would be stuck in place.
5:06 - At the point where Fox moves slightly closer to the water/toward being in-bounds, we hit the second trigger. If we missed this, then when we reached Thorntail Hollow, the map would fail to load, and we would be stuck in place.
5:11 - We cancel our airswim here while half inside the wall on the opposite side of the hall. We then keep navigating half inside the wall around the map.
5:26 - We hit the third and final trigger for loading Thorntail Hollow here. If we missed this, Thorntail Hollow itself would load, but there would be no objects inside of it (including the arwing). We move slightly to the left/closer to in-bounds to hit the trigger. Then, we go around the switch and the gate, and go back in-bounds once we're past the point where trigger for the cutscene of Tricky running away ends.
5:36 - This bird here is really annoying and hard to avoid. I let it hit me once, since this is faster than weaving to dodge it, attacking it, or shielding it. In any event, we need to die after we get K3 in order to ESW, so we actually needed to take an extra quarter heart of damage at some point anyways - we just take it now instead of via the birds in K3. And with that, we enter the arwing, and head on over to the Dark Ice Mines!
I hope you enjoyed this section of the TAS! I'm going to make a test TAS from this point onwards to make sure that this whole route works before I continue with TASing, so it might take a little longer than usual for me to finish the next segment.
I finally finished routing the rest of the TAS, and completed making my test TAS for the rest of the route. Now that everything has been fully tested, I have confirmed that this route will fully work (and I also figured out where to get all magic gem refills and health refills for the rest of the TAS as well).
I have posted the route I created on this pastebin here:
Hello again everybody. It took me a while to finish this segment, since I took a short break from working on this TAS in order to work on the new SFA Any% TAS.
"Huh? Isn't this TAS supposed to be THE Any% TAS for SFA?"
This is where I should probably explain what's happened in the last month. After some extensive research and testing, Zac Cannan was able to discover a way to hit an ESW respawn trigger after doing the void travel glitch. Using this, we can effectively swim from Ice Mountain directly to the K5 shrine. After this, we can die and respawn in K5 with the glitched-state deactivated, and can then grab K5 and beat the game! This trick is excruciatingly precise and technical, and involves newly allocated objects overwriting a pointer which is used after its associated memory has been freed. The resulting TAS is also somewhat short and boring to watch, since a lot of it is just swimming into the void or cutscenes. As such, I'm still planning to keep working on this TAS. Therefore, the new name for the branch of this TAS is the Star Fox Adventures "No Void Travel Glitch" TAS. At the same time, I am also working with Zac to create a full any% TAS which uses the new glitch (although this might take some time, due to how precise and difficult to setup the trick is). Note that no glitch has been discovered since my last post which would affect the "No Void Travel" TAS route, so the basic route I posted above is still in effect for this TAS.
With that out of the way, let's get back to the current segment at hand! This segment covers flying to DIM, performing a RESW to get 2 files in DIM, getting the flame command, and walking back to the arwing so that we can fly to TTH in the next segment:
The route for this section is:
- Fly to DIM.
- Walk through DIM until we hit the ESW trigger, and then savewarp.
- Load the Krystal file, and void out. This will activate a RESW that will cause us to now have 2 identical files in DIM (the 2 files are copies of each other at this point, although future changes in 1 file won't have any effect on the other file - unless we do another ESW of course!).
- Walk through the lava section, and do the cool roll trick to get past an edge to skip some platforming at the end of the lava section (will be explained more below).
- Have Tricky dig the tunnel into the room.
- Kill the 2 sharpclaws with fire blaster.
- Hit the red mana crystal plant near the shackles key, and grab the shackles key while waiting for the crystal to fall. After the "Get Item" cutscene finishes playing, go grab the red mana crystal.
- Free the shackled Snowhorn, and get the cog.
- Place the cog and turn the switch to activate the bridge.
- Cross the bridge, and kill the 2 sharpclaws that are attacking the Snowhorn using the fire blaster.
- Feed Tricky (x5) on the same frame that the flame command cutscene starts. This will allow both cutscenes to overlap, which will save us 2-3 seconds.
- After getting the flame command, walk back to the arwing and enter it (we will fly to TTH at the start of the next segment).
0:14 - My goal for each of the flying sections in this TAS is to make them all unique from each other in some way. In the first flying section where I flew to TTH, I made it a goal to fly as fast as possible while getting all gold rings, and killing every flying enemy I could which I encountered (while avoiding destroying any avoidable asteroids - thus letting me use as few shots as possible to kill the enemies). In this flight to DIM, my goal was to fly as fast as possible while getting all gold rings, and destroying every enemy and asteroid that I could hit without slowing down. Every shot I fire in this section hits something, which is why I finish with a nice high score at the end of this segment.
1:27 - Once we reach the surface of DIM, we proceed to walk to the ESW trigger. Note that while doing this, we will hit a save trigger at the start of the ramp next to the arwing. This detail doesn't really matter now, but I'm just mentioning it to explain why I won't respawn at the arwing when I reload my DIM save file after getting K3. Anyways, back to the important stuff! Shortly after getting past where the gate comes down (after you beat DIM), I hit the ESW trigger (To see when I hit the ESW trigger, I set a memory breakpoint on address 0X803DE114, which is the ESW Respawn Y coordinate, which gets written to on the frame that Fox hits the ESW trigger). On the same frame that I hit the ESW trigger, I savewarped back to the main menu (doing this fast isn't necessary for the RESW to work - I just did that to save time).
1:53 - Now, we see the purpose of savewarping after hitting the ESW trigger - to perform a RESW and get 2 files in DIM! Before continuing, I should briefly explain how ESW actually works, since this is our first time encountering it in the TAS (and this is also the only reason why I needed to make a 2nd file/play through the Krystal segment for a 2nd time).
In a nutshell, there are about 23 or so ESW triggers throughout the game, which are invisible planes. When Fox collides with an ESW trigger, the coordinates of the ESW trigger are set to be his respawn location if Fox dies or voids out. If Fox collides with a save checkpoint after hitting an ESW checkpoint, then the ESW checkpoint data is cleared. Most importantly, however, due to a programming oversight by the devs, quitting to the main menu and selecting a different file does NOT clear the ESW checkpoint data! As a result, we end up in an interesting situation, where if we die or void out without clearing the ESW checkpoint, then when Fox respawns, the following will happen:
Fox's respawn location and some of the general game progression flags from the file that hit the ESW trigger will be copied over to the current file (with the values they had on the frame where Fox hit the trigger). In other words, if Fox hits an ESW trigger in DIM and then voids out in Krazoa Palace, he would respawn in DIM.
Fox's inventory will be copied over from the last time that he saved to the current file. In other words, in the above example, if Fox hit an ESW trigger in DIM and then voided out in Krazoa Palace, and if Fox's had Krazoa Spirit 3 in his inventory the last time the game was saved, then when Fox respawns, he would respawn in DIM with Krazoa Spirit 3. Note that a wide range of flags and items are grouped under the more general term of "Inventory" here. Things that get copied over in this category include: items (ex. the sunstone and the sharpclaw disguise) health, mana, Tricky's grubtub meter level, collected item state (ex. how many fuel cells and grubtubs Fox currently has), collected upgrades (ex. the mana bar upgrades), bomb flower statuses (ex. plants placed, walls blown up, walls still intact, etc.), flight progression (which locations in the game Fox has already flown to/unlocked), save location, various minor game flags, and file name.
The next time we save, the file which was last selected on the main menu will be overwritten with the new data (this is because the game doesn't think we have changed files - it just thinks we respawned after dying). As an example, if Fox hits an ESW trigger in DIM and then loaded a file in Krazoa Palace and voided out, then if Fox hit a save trigger after respawning in DIM and saved and quit, then the result of this would be that we would have 2 files in DIM.
(Note: the reason why some minor flags could be in either category 1 or category 2 above is that only the first 1300 or so flags get copied over from inventory, and the higher-addresses are from the ESW file. As such, I will refer to the flags that are copied with ESW data as "High Address Flags" later on in this thread).
...Finally, with all of that lengthy technical background out of the way, I am able to explain what happens here!
As I mentioned before, there is an ESW trigger in DIM around where the gate is that comes down after beating DIM. Fox hits the ESW trigger, and then I savewarp back to the main menu. As a result of this, Fox's next respawn position is set to be the DIM ESW trigger, and Fox's inventory state is set to be copied from the last time the game was saved (which is when we saved just after hitting the ESW checkpoint to go to the main menu). Then, we load the Krystal file and void out. The result of this is that we will respawn in DIM with all of the inventory and game flags of the first file - except we are now on the 2nd file. The next time we save, this information will get copied to the 2nd file. In effect, doing this trick duplicates our first file, as we now have 2 identical files in DIM.
In other words, the only reason why we had to play through the Krystal segment a 2nd time was that:
- The devs were too lazy to add a "Copy File" option to the game like in Ocarina Of Time.
- The first place where we can void out and die is in Krazoa Palace, so we have to play up to that point. Additionally, a save checkpoint is activated when we first arrive at Krazoa Palace, so we have to have this file created and up to Krazoa Palace before hitting the ESW trigger (otherwise, we would clear the ESW trigger when we reach Krazoa Palace, and the trick wouldn't work).
Now that we have one file at the DIM ESW checkpoint, the other file can progress through the game, and when we need to ESW, we can hit the ESW trigger on the first file again. This is the main reason why we needed to duplicate our file here. This technique of creating a duplicate file using ESW is known as RESW (ESW stands for "Event Storage Warp", and RESW stands for "Reverse Event Storage Warp". This naming doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it was made before we understood how ESW works. It makes more sense to just call any trick which involves using the ESW triggers as ESW).
1:54 - ...One more thing I need to mention here. Normally, Krystal can't fall off the edge of Krazoa Palace without first grabbing onto the edge, which is slow. However, by walking at a precise angle, we can get close enough to the edge that the game will let Krystal fall of the ledge without grabbing onto it, which saves about a second (credits to BvQr for discovering this and pointing it out to me). Unfortunately, since Krystal doesn't have the ability to shield (since she has no staff), we need to approach the edge slower than we could if we were playing as Fox. With that all done, after voiding out, we respawn in DIM with all data from the first file copied into the second file. Until the next ESW, we will continue playing on this second file (in other words, we were previously making all of our progress on the first file. Then, we ESWd on the 2nd file which had Krystal in KP. After respawning in DIM, we will continue playing on this 2nd file). Note that the 2 files are independent of each other, which means that the first file will remain at DIM with the save data of when we savewarped right after hitting the ESW trigger, regardless of where we go or where we save on this 2nd file. Thus, although we initially have 2 identical files, the files will diverge as we do new things in the game.
2:11 - Normally, you can't roll past the edge where the platforms meet in 2 triangles, since you are forced to grab onto the edge, which prevents you from crossing over. However, by using the aforementioned trick to bypass grabbable edges, we can roll past the edge and land on the other side. This shortcut saves us a few seconds.
2:16 - Tricky doesn't appear until after you exit the lava area, which is why the menu options for him are initially disabled. He also spawns really far away at first, so if you just use his call command right away, you'll have to wait a really long time for him to reach the tunnel. However, there are various "Tricky Triggers" throughout the game that Tricky can teleport to when you turn the camera around to face them and are near them. As a result, we can turn around and get Tricky to spawn pretty close to the tunnel. We then use his dig command to enter the tunnel.
2:32 - We kill the 2 sharpclaws using 4 fireblaster shots apiece. Nothing new about this - just some more fast killings.
2:37 - We need a mana refill (and the one right here is very conveniently located next to the shackles key), so we slash the plant and grab the shackles key while the mana crystal is falling. Then, after we get the shackles key, we can pick up the red mana crystal without waiting for it to fall.
3:47 - We use the shackles key to free the Snowhorn (the Woolly Mammoth-like things), and she gives us the bridge cog in return.
4:01 - This sharpclaw is positioned very annoyingly, but I do my best to get around him quickly.
4:05 - We place the bridge cog and turn the switch, which activates the bridge.
4:40 - I need Tricky to be close to me for reasons that I will explain momentarily. However, there's no close-by Tricky Trigger. As such, I just need to use Tricky's call command several times while far away from the Snowhorn, so that Tricky will start running to me earlier on. Once I get to just outside the range of the trigger for the flame cutscene starting, I kill the 2 sharpclaws with the fireblaster.
4:44 - I simultaneously roll and press Y to feed Tricky on the same frame that I enter the cutscene where I unlock the flame command. As a result, the 2 cutscenes overlap, which is good - since the Tricky feeding cutscene normally takes 2-3 seconds. After the cutscene, you can see that Tricky will be fully-fed, and I will have lost my 5 blue grubtubs. Note that I needed to wait 25 frames after the earliest point I could trigger the flame cutscene in order to wait for Tricky to catch up to me, but this is still 1.5-2.5 seconds faster than watching the flame cutscene and then feeding Tricky. After this cutscene ends, we will have the flame command unlocked, and Tricky will be fully-fed. Note that getting the flame command is the only reason we continued onwards in DIM after performing the RESW. Otherwise, as soon as we got 2 files in DIM (right after respawning from the RESW), we would have just walked back to the arwing and flown to TTH.
To put it simply, we had 3 reasons for coming to DIM:
- We need to spend our fuel cells and go to orbit to unlock DIM in order to be able to fly to future levels. If we never did this, then the game would not let us fly to Cloudrunner's Fortress, Walled City, or Dragon Rock after unlocking them.
- We need to do a RESW to get 2 identical files in DIM. Besides getting us out of the Krystal tutorial much faster, this also sets up a file which is near the ESW trigger in DIM, which can stay there while the other file does other things, and can eventually be used to set up future ESWs.
- We need to unlock the flame command to beat the game.
Now that we've done all 3 of these, we can leave. Note that ESWing back to the DIM ESW checkpoint and then running from there back to the arwing would be about 5-10 seconds slower than walking back to the arwing normally. Thus, we just have to run back to the arwing on foot, the good old fashioned way, just like our grandparents used to have to do to reach their arwings before everything got so easy!
5:24 - This weasel thing can spawn in a random location. I had to shield for one frame to block its shot - since I need to have exactly 1 heart left for the next section after reaching TTH.
5:28 - This sharpclaw is a lot easier to dodge when going in the opposite direction, so I could move around him a little bit faster.
5:38 - "Wait - why didn't you do the ledge-grab cancel trick to roll back over the edge like you did on the way in to save time?" I can already hear you asking that question! Unfortunately, this side of the ledge is programmed such that Fox isn't allowed to walk over the edge or to grab onto the edge, whereas the other side is programmed so that Fox can go over the edge and he has to grab onto the edge (unless you do the trick). As such, we now have to go around the long way - which is about 3-5 seconds slower.
5:56 - These annoying bats keep trolling me. This one came within a few frames of hitting me, but I was able to just barely avoid it without going out of the way by more than 1 or 2 frames from the fastest path to the arwing. I actually did a quick playthrough of flying to TTH after this, just to make sure that I didn't take damage as I entered the arwing. Doing this, I was able to confirm that I still had 1 heart after landing, which means that I didn't take any damage here.
And that's the end! Join me next time to see Fox get the rocket boost upgrade, the 2nd mana bar upgrade, and for Fox to do the K3 early trick to enter the K3 shrine without doing the lightfoot village trials!
Hello everybody. This section covers flying back to Thorntail Hollow from DIM, getting the rocket boost upgrade, getting the 2nd mana upgrade, and airswimming to the K3 warp portal:
The route for this section is:
- Fly to Thorntail Hollow.
- Hit the save trigger by the shop at Thorntail Hollow.
- Dig the hole to the well.
- Bomb the hole for the rocket boost upgrade, and grab the rocket boost upgrade (along with 1 red mana crystal next to the upgrade).
- Rocket boost up to the 2 fuel cells in the well, and then fall off the platform and die + save and continue in order to respawn by the shop entrance.
- Rocket boost up to above the shop, and plant the bomb spore by the 2nd mana upgrade cave.
- Grab the 2 fuel cells above the shop, and shoot the bomb plant.
- Open the 2nd mana upgrade cave (needs 4 fireblaster shots), and get the 2nd mana upgrade.
- Grab the red mana crystal by the waterfall.
- Start the airswim in the TTH waterfall, and airswim to K3.
0:15 - In this flying segment, I tried to destroy as many objects as I could. I also skipped 1 gold ring in order to hit more objects.
1:37 - "Why did you randomly walk to the shop first instead of going straight to the well." That is a good question. The answer to it is that when Fox dies and saves + continues, he respawns in front of the last save checkpoint he touched. When I land at TTH, the save checkpoint by the arwing is activated, so that is where I would respawn if I died immediately. However, I make sure to touch the save trigger in front of the shop here. That way, when I die and savewarp, I will respawn in front of the shop. This saves me about 6 seconds compared to running straight towards the well. Note that I have 1 heart of health when I hit the save trigger. This fact will become relevant very soon.
1:38 - I walk by the rocket boost pad here to trigger the rocket boost pad intro text. If you wait until after getting the rocket boost upgrade to approach a rocket boost pad, then it actually skips this text. However, the game still pauses in front of the rocket boost pad, and makes you wait about a second before you can move again (even though no text appears on screen - sort of like the game wants to force you to look at the rocket boost pad). I timed it out, and it takes just as much time to go through the rocket boost pad intro text as it does to sit through the 1 second cutscene of looking at the pad after getting the rocket boost upgrade. As such, since the pad is on the shortest path to the well entrance, I just trigger the text here.
1:44 - Tricky digs us the hole to the well - and I use this short break while waiting for him to finish digging the hole to kill 1 of those damn bats at long last :D
2:06 - We use the ledge-grab-cancelling trick described earlier in order to fall off the edge of the platform at the top of the well without grabbing onto the ledge. Also, falling off the edge here instead of using the ladder lets us skip hitting a save trigger. That way, when we die later, we will respawn in front of the shop, instead of back in the well. Falling off the ledge deals 1/2 heart damage, which takes us from 1 heart left down to 1/2 heart left.
2:15 - We plant another bomb plant, and use the fire blaster to blow it up in order to open the rocket boost upgrade cave. Blowing up the plant does 1/4 heart damage, and leaves us with 1/4 heart left.
2:35 - We grab a red mana crystal here, and then grab the rocket boost upgrade. We need the rocket boost upgrade at multiple spots in order to complete this TAS. For example, we can't collect Krazoa Spirit 3 without the rocket boost upgrade, and we need to get the 3rd Krazoa Spirit in order to finish this TAS.
3:07 - We break the crate, rocket boost up the ledge, and grab the 2 fuel cells up there. Then, we jump off the ledge and land in the pit, which deals 1/4 heart of damage and kills us (I made sure to manage my health so that I would have exactly 1/4 heart left here). In order to actually take damage, Fox needs to land at the very bottom of the pit/slope - otherwise, he won't have fallen far enough to take fall damage. As such, I have to jump in a kind of precise angle to actually land in the pit here.
3:16 - We save and continue here, which makes us respawn at the last save trigger we hit (which is the shop entrance in TTH). Here's something interesting about Star Fox Adventures: if you hit a save checkpoint, take some damage, and then save and quit back to the main menu (without dying), then when you reload the file, you'll spawn at the save checkpoint with the exact amount of health you had when you saved the game. If you hit a save checkpoint, and then take enough damage to die, then if you save and continue, you will respawn at the save checkpoint with the exact amount of health you had when you touched the save checkpoint. Also, if you hit a save checkpoint and then get some fuel cells and a staff upgrade, and then die and don't save and continue, then you'll respawn at the last save checkpoint you hit, but without any of the fuel cells and staff upgrades that you got after touching the save checkpoint (in other words, your inventory reverts back to what it was at the moment when you touched the save checkpoint).
What this all means for us is this - If we save and quit back to the main menu after grabbing the 2 fuel cells in the well, then we will respawn in front of the shop with 1/4 heart (since that's how much health we had left when we saved). If we grab the 2 fuel cells and die and save and continue, then we will respawn in front of the shop with 1 heart left (since that's how much health we had when we touched the shop save checkpoint). If we grab the 2 fuel cells and then die and don't save and then continue, then we will respawn in front of the shop with 1 heart, without the 2 fuel cells, and without the rocket boost upgrade (so obviously, we have to save in order to keep the rocket boost upgrade). Death warping is actually about 5 seconds faster than savewarping to the main menu, since it skips some loading time, which means, all other things being equal, death warping is faster. Also, we want to have more than 1/4 heart left so that we can take damage later on while in the Krazoa Spirit 3 Shrine. Thus, it works out conveniently for us that the fastest way out of the well also gives us the exact amount of health we want. What a combo!
3:22 - We rocket boost up the ledge above the shop, and then plant the bomb plant. However, since we don't want to take damage from the bomb exploding, we don't blow up the plant just yet.
3:36 - We grab the 2 fuel cells from the ledge above the shop, and then use the fireblaster to blow up the bomb plant (while at a safe distance to avoid taking damage).
3:42 - We need to shoot these 4 fireblaster switches in order to open up the cave to get the 2nd mana upgrade. While aiming my fireblaster around the room, I make sure to not hold up or down above a certain threshold, since going outside this threshold causes Fox to move the fireblaster a lot slower, and everything inside this certain range (plus or minus ~20-30 units vertically from holding the control stick completely to the left or right) moves the cursor horizontally at the same speed. I do hold outside this range for about 2-4 frames to shoot the first switch, and for about 8 frames to move the cursor up enough to hit the switch that's right above where we entered the cave. Once we hit all 4 switches, a short cutscene occurs that warps Fox to a predefined location, and then the hole to the 2nd mana upgrade cave opens up (the devs probably chose this order of events deliberately, so that Fox couldn't fall into the hole for the cave while the cutscene of the cave appearing was playing - if he was standing right over it when the cutscene started).
3:56 - We grab our 2nd mana upgrade here - which is also our final mana upgrade we will get in this TAS. This mana upgrade saves us a lot of time in Cloudrunner's Fortress and the Ocean Force Point Temple, since it allows us to grab enough mana to avoid needing to backtrack at various points. Also, this upgrade is required in the route for this TAS - since we need to have gotten 2 mana upgrades in order to have just barely enough mana to do all of the ground quake hovers needed to get past the flames in the K5 trial and to shoot the fireblaster switch on the other side of the flames at the end of the TAS. This in turn lets us skip getting the ice blaster and spellstone 1 in this TAS, which saves a huge amount of time (likely more than 15 minutes).
4:22 - We grab a red mana crystal here. I was originally planning to get the red mana crystal at the start of the K3 trial (which my initial route writeup posted earlier in this thread describes). However, I noticed that while I was walking to get to the waterfall here, I came within less than a foot of being able to hit the red mana crystal plant anyways, and the K3 red mana plant is about 2 rolls-worth of distance out of the way from Fox. As such, getting this plant instead is faster.
4:31 - We start an airswim at the top of the waterfall here in order to reach the K3 trial without beating the Lightfoot challenges (this trick is known as K3 early). Since this is my first time (of many) starting an airswim at the TTH waterfall in this TAS, I will briefly explain how it works. Basically, Fox starts an airswim when he enters a body of water and starts swimming, and exits the body of water without touching land (which would cause Fox to enter his surfacing animation, and cancel his swim). Due to a programming oversight, the plane of water in the waterfall in TTH extends slightly beyond the edge of the cliff that the waterfall is on. Because of this, it's possible to fall off the edge of the cliff and into the waterfall. which causes Fox to start swimming. Since Fox never touches land to cancel this swim, he can then swim freely in the air (or, in other words, we can airswim). This is the only spot in the whole game where we can start an airswim without going out of bounds, so it's very important for setting up most out of bounds tricks in this TAS (since we can use the airswim glitch to get out of bounds). Note that this trick is somewhat precise in terms of the speed you need to have when you fall and the spot on the waterfall you're standing on. If these parameters aren't right, then Fox will either fall to the ground without entering a swimming animation, or he will enter the swimming animation but not stay in the water long enough for the game to set Fox into a swimming state, which will cause him to keep falling to the ground while swimming (which will effectively cancel the airswim when Fox lands on the ground). This occurs because Fox enters the swimming animation a few frames before the game sets his state to swimming. Once that trick is done, we can swim onwards!
4:32 - Normally, if you target while swimming, Fox enters a really slow swim animation. However, for some strange reason, if you set the controller input to be pressing down on target/L all the way, but not for the L button itself to be pressed, then the camera will turn without Fox entering the slow animation. I use this trick here to turn Fox to face the way I want without slowing down. I find this kind of odd (since how would you press down L all the way without pressing the L button?). However, I'm guessing it's sort of like how if you took a controller apart, you could press left and right at the same time - some input which the game could receive, but which couldn't be performed by a person using an unmodified controller.
4:52 - We cancel our airswim on the ledge here. The reasons why we do this are 2-fold: 1. Our initial swim height is too high to cancel our airswim in the room where the K3 warp shrine is. 2. Airswimming is the 2nd slowest form of movement in the game, so being able to travel part of the distance to K3 walking instead of swimming is much faster. What is the slowest form of movement in the game, you may ask? Wait until we do the Ground Quake Early glitch later on in this TAS, and you can find out for yourself! :)
4:59 - We fall and land half in-bounds and on the top of the seam here. We roll as we land in order to avoid taking 1/4 heart of fall damage. Then, we fall down and land half inside the wall on the ground below. Note that we could fall directly into the wall from the top seam, but doing so would cause us to take 1/2 heart damage, which can't be cancelled by rolling, and would cause Fox to get stuck on the ground for like 2 seconds. After this, we navigate half out-of-bounds through the walls through the next few turns.
5:07 - We fall here and land in the body of water out of bounds (below the water). We then swim to the side before we surface so that we don't clip back in-bounds. We then swim around the wall in front of us in order to get past this section where we are close to canceling our airswim on the ground. Note that we need to hit certain loading triggers in this lake in order for the next section to load at all, and we need to hit some loading triggers in the center of the lake in order for the next section to load as fast as possible. The best way to do this is to swim straight for as long as possible and turn to the left at the last second before clipping back up in-bounds. Fox's swim height during an airswim is equal to the height of the water he fell into when he started the airswim. As such, since this water is much lower down than the TTH water, we are now at a low enough height that we can cancel our airswim in the room where the K3 warp portal is.
5:23 - Because of the triggers we hit earlier, Lightfoot Village loads without the game lagging and freezing on us. Normally, when you do this trick, you end up getting frozen in place when you reach the end of the tunnel, and need to enter first person mode and wait through 3-5 seconds of lag before the next section loads and you can continue moving. However, we avoid all of that due to having hit the right triggers while swimming under the pond, which saves us a few seconds. From here, we swim in a straight line towards the stack of boxes in the room with the K3 warp portal.
5:43 - Conveniently, this box is at the perfect height for Fox to cancel his airswim on it (since the game registers Fox as standing on ground again, which cancels the swim). Once we swim over it, our airswim is cancelled. From there, we are free to keep moving forwards until we reach the K3 warp portal.
5:52 - We enter the warp portal that will take us to the K3 shrine, and with that, this segment is over! Note that doing the airswim to reach this portal lets us skip several cutscenes in Lightfoot Village and the Lightfoot Village trials and lets us skip 1 trip to Cape Claw to place the 2nd spellstone (which we instead place at the same time as we place spellstone 4 - placing both spellstones in 1 trip to Cape Claw instead of the usual 2), which saves around 8-9 minutes or so.
And that's the end! Join me next time to see Fox beat the K3 trial, ESW back to DIM, fly back to TTH, and a bunch of other stuff!
Also, 2 more quick notes:
- From power-on to the end of my last video was 1 hour, 0 minutes, and 40 seconds. I've finally finished more than an hour of this TAS!
- Now that I've reached K3, I can compare this TAS to my test TAS more directly (the routes in the 2 TASes mostly converge at this point) The only differences are that my old TAS got the fuel cells by the warpstone and the fuel cells with the raised ice switch in SHW earlier, which add a total of 1 minutes and 0 seconds onto the adjusted length of my TAS. Nevertheless, after adjusting for this time difference, my TAS is still ahead of my test TAS by a whopping 9 minutes and 56 seconds! This means that even if I saved no time for the rest of the TAS, my final TAS would finish with a time of 3 hours 24 minutes and 53 seconds. Sub 3:25 is now confirmed!
Hello everybody. Unfortunately, after my last post, speedrun.com made an update to the site's display. This means all of my earlier posts now have too many dashes on the lines separating sections. Still, I'm going to leave them unchanged, since I only want to edit earlier posts if there's incorrect or missing information in them (that way, when people look at when the post was last edited, they can see when I last made a meaningful change to the post).
Anyways, with that little bit of housekeeping out of the way, let's get on with the next segment. This one is a long one! This section covers getting Krazoa Spirit 3, ESWing to DIM (to escape the totem pole room where the K3 warp portal is), flying back to ThornTail Hollow, Performing the Cape Claw Early Glitch, collecting the fuel cells in the Cape Claw Well, and entering Cape Claw:
The route for this section is:
- Go to the test of fear (damage down to 1/4 heart left along the way).
- Complete the test of fear/get Krazoa Spirit 3.
- Save+Quit, load the file where Fox is at Dark Ice Mines, walk into the ESW trigger there, and then switch back to the file that's at the K3 warp portal.
- Die by falling off the ladder near the K3 warp portal and save and continue - which will cause an ESW that will send us to Dark Ice Mines with K3.
- Fly back to ThornTail Hollow.
- Hit the save checkpoint near the exit towards LightFoot Village, and then die on the mushroom to undo the Arwing Glitch.
- Start an airswim in the TTH waterfall, swim to the Cape Claw Well, and cancel the airswim there.
- Hit the loading trigger near the Cape Claw entrance to fully load the Well.
- Hit the loading trigger in the well to load Cape Claw.
- Hit the save trigger at the start of Cape Claw.
- Collect the 3 fuel cells at the bottom of the well, and then save+quit to respawn back at the Cape Claw entrance.
- Shoot the switch to make the bridge appear in Cape Claw.
- Walk into the cutscene of the Queen Cloudrunner watching Fox and Tricky enter Cape Claw (spoilers!)
Now, I'll list some timesaves, optimizations and highlights for this segment, along with a timestamp for where to find them in the linked video.
0:21 - We use the rocket boost to get up to the next ledge here. This is why we needed to get the rocket boost upgrade before reaching this shrine!
0:33 - I move slightly right here so that the bats fly into the flames and die without me needing to slow down to kill them. This is important, since the bats would keep attacking me if they didn't die here, which would cause me to take 1/4 heart too much damage. As a result, I only take 1/4 heart of damage in this room (down to 3/4 hearts left).
0:45 - I take damage on a spike as I'm passing by to get down to 1/2 heart left.
0:59 - I roll right before I hit the ground and then shield, which stops me from taking fall damage. I then take 1/4 heart of damage on one of the rolling barrels as I move forward, which gets me down to 1/4 heart left.
1:08 - We now arrive at the test of fear! Passing this test will give us the third Krazoa Spirit (we skip the 2nd Krazoa Spirit in this TAS, but I still refer to the Krazoa Spirits by the number of the intended order you are supposed to get them in in normal gameplay in order to avoid any confusion. Also, I abbeviate each spirit as "K?", where ? is the number of the Krazoa Spirit. For example, I may call Krazoa Spirit 2 "K2" for short.). For this test, you need to keep the cursor inside the green bar using the control stick, while things scare Fox and make the cursor jolt to one side or the other. This challenge is too easy for a TAS, however. So, to make it more interesting, I TASed the challenge in the following way:
I held all the way to the right until the exact frame where, if I held right for 1 more frame, then the cursor would go out of the green no matter what I did. At this point, I switched to holding all the way to the left, which I continued holding until I reached the point where, if I held left for 1 more frame, the cursor would go out of the green no matter what I did. After this, I then switched to holding all the way to the right to repeat the cycle. At the very end of the test, I also let the cursor go as far to the left as it could without causing me to fail the challenge on the last frame. Hopefully, you all enjoy me making this segment (which is pretty hard for casual players and speedrunners) into something trivial and too easy with TASing! Thus, something that looks random and chaotic gets turned into something well-ordered and rhythmic - and isn't that what TASing is all about?
2:52 - After getting K3, the game sets our save location to the K3 warp portal. Unfortunately, the door that blocks the entrance to K3 in normal gameplay until you complete the Lightfoot Challenges is still shut, and has collision from both sides. This means that there's no way out of this room... except for using ESW, of course!
As a side note, there's a small amount of time after we warp back before the game lets us pause, so I use this time to spin in a circle. Then, I pause and save+quit. After this, I select the other file which is still at Dark Ice Mines.
3:17 - After hitting the ESW trigger in Dark Ice Mines, I quit, and switch back to the file which has K3.
3:33 - Since we didn't go through the door when entering this room, some of the objects in the room (such as the gate blocking the K3 warp portal and the totem pole) fail to load. Which is good - since otherwise we would be trapped back here and wouldn't even be able to die. Unfortunately, Tricky is not able to spawn on the lower level of this room or to jump down to us. Additionally, there's no damage source in this room. Thus, the fastest way to die here is to climb up the ladder and roll off the edge to take fall damage (we need to die here for the ESW).
It's technically possible to ESW out of here without dying on the K3 file - but doing this would create one file which is at DIM with K3, and another file which is still stuck at the K3 warp portal. This in turn would prevent us from being able to ESW for the rest of the TAS. We still have many more ESWs left to do in this TAS, however, so that is not a valid option!
After we die, we save+continue. Hitting the ESW trigger made our respawn position get set to the ESW trigger at Dark Ice Mines, and saving on the file with K3 after dying from the fall damage caused our inventory on respawn to get set to the inventory of the file which has K3 (for some reason, if we save+quit in the K3 warp portal room, hit the DIM ESW trigger, and then die in the K3 warp portal room and don't save, then our inventory will be copied from the file which is in DIM - which doesn't have the rocket boost upgrade, K3, or any of the other things we spent the last 10 minutes grabbing).
The result of all of this? After dying, Fox will respawn in Dark Ice Mines at the ESW point with K3 and all of the other items we've spent the last few minutes collecting! And with that, we have now escaped from the K3 warp portal room.
3:59 - For some reason, when Fox ESWs to this DIM ESW spot with the inventory of another file, it causes Fox to respawn falling through the ground. This is the only ESW spot in the game where this happens, and it's not clear what flag causes this to happen. If we hold up while falling in the lava, however, then we will respawn right after this on solid ground at the ESW trigger (if we hold nothing, we respawn falling through the ground again, and if we hold down, then we will respawn back at the K3 warp portal for god knows what reason). From here, we make our way back to the Arwing so that we can fly back to ThornTail Hollow.
4:37 - Another flight section! I tried to do something different for each flight section in the game. However, since we fly to ThornTail Hollow 7 times in total in this TAS, it's kind of hard to think of something to do to make the same section look different each time. As a result, I decided before I started making this TAS that I would make one flight to ThornTail Hollow be a pacifist run - where I don't fire any shots and don't collect any rings except for the very last gold ring. As such, since this is kind of an "extra" flight section (we only need to do this flight because we ESWed to DIM - all of the other flights back to ThornTail Hollow are ones that would also need to happen in a glitchless run as well), I chose to make this the pacifist section.
For this section, I kind of just moved around randomly, dodging the asteroids and enemies in the process. I tried to get relatively close to each asteroid and enemy without hitting them, and almost collided with the terrain to keep things interesting. I also did a couple of barrel rolls here and there. The result isn't particularly entertaining (in my opinion), but it works for something different. And the good thing is, even if it doesn't quite work, I can still do it, since this is my TAS, and I'm the sole author of it. Yay, creative freedom! :D
5:45 - You may have noticed that the Arwing landing cutscene didn't play when we reached ThornTail Hollow, and the game just started us off walking around on the ground. This isn't a video editing error - rather, this is the Arwing Glitch. This occurs when you ESW from TTH to somewhere else, and then fly back to TTH. The game has a place where it expects you to have come from, and when this doesn't match where you actually came from, the arwing landing cutscene doesn't play. Additionally, several of the objects and triggers in ThornTail Hollow fail to load, such as the save trigger in front of the shop.
If we were to try walking to Lightfoot Village right now, we would hit a point where there's no ground or anything loaded, and then we would softlock (since the next area would fail to load). The reason for this is that the load triggers for Lightfoot Village failed to load.
To fix this, we need to hit a save trigger, and then deathwarp or savewarp. After respawning, Thorntail Hollow will load normally, and we can continue onwards. However, the save trigger that is normally hit when you land the Arwing in TTH fails to load, so we if we save and quit immediately, we will respawn in orbit (which is where our save position was last set). However, fortunately for us, the save trigger by the entrance to Lightfoot Village in Thorntail Hollow does load properly.
As such, we roll forward, hit the save trigger, and then deathwarp on the mushroom to undo the glitched state. Note that we shield as we hit the first mushroom to avoid taking poison gas damage. Additionally, deathwarping is about 15 seconds faster than savewarping - which makes the save trigger's location right next to the mushroom that much more convenient!
After dying, we don't need to save. This is because when you select not to save after dying, your progress and respawn point are set based on what they were when you last hit a save trigger - which in this case was when we hit the save trigger next to the mushroom 1 second before dying.
Note that this is the only time in the whole TAS where the Arwing Glitch occurs.
6:01 - Since we spawn so close the mushroom, we can actually roll past it before it can release enough poison gas for us to take damage. From here, we make our way to the TTH waterfall. We now want to go to Cape Claw - since this is where we will unlock Cloudrunner's Fortress, which we need to go to in order to get Spellstone 2 and beat the game.
Normally, to get to Cape Claw, you would collect Spellstone 1 from DIM, turn in Spellstone 1, collect the 2nd Krazoa Spirit, and then turn in the 2nd Krazoa Spirit. After turning in K2, the Warpstone gives you a bigger scarab bag, which lets you hold more than 50 scarabs. This in turn lets you pay the bribe needed to open the gate to get to Cape Claw (which costs 60 scarabs). However, this whole sequence of events is really slow, so we would prefer to just skip it altogether. Luckily, using the power of airswimming, we can swim right past the gate, and get into Cape Claw without paying!
Doing this in turn lets us skip getting Spellstone 1, turning in Spellstone 1, collecting the 2nd Krazoa Spirit, and then turning in the 2nd Krazoa Spirit - which saves a gargantuan amount of time.
6:14 - After starting the airswim at the TTH waterfall, everything initially looks the same as it did when we did the airswim to K3. In fact, everything we do here is identical to what we did for K3 Early up until we reach 6:58 in the encode. At that point, we have hit the triggers necessary to load Lightfoot Village without a huge lag spike happening, and we are in the middle of an airswim.
6:58 - At this point, we start swimming towards hitting the load trigger for Lightfoot Village (if we didn't hit this load trigger, then we would freeze/get softlocked when entering Lightfoot Village). After hitting it (i.e. when Lightfoot Village appears on the screen), we start swimming in the direction of the Cape Claw Well. Note that we can't swim directly to the well, since the loading trigger for the well is moving past a certain load trigger, and if we don't hit that trigger, then we will freeze when we enter the well. As such, we swim towards this load trigger. Once we hit it (i.e. once the well appears on screen), we start swimming towards the well. Note that the doorway we pass under at 7:30 is where the gate blocking Cape Claw would be, although since we swam under the entrance to Lightfoot Village, we missed hitting certain loading triggers for objects in Lightfoot Village that we would hit if we were on land, which causes the gate to not load here.
Interestingly enough, there's no load trigger for the gate inside the well or in the area past the gate. When we come back out of the well later in this TAS, we will hit the trigger to load Lightfoot Village, which will cause it to load in the same state it was in the last time we were in Lightfoot Village, without loading any additional objects. As a result, the gate won't load, and we won't hit any triggers to load the gate while walking towards it, so it won't be there when we get back! Of course, even if the gate did in fact load on the way back, this wouldn't really effect us, since this is one of the few gates in the game that doesn't have collision from behind - which means we would be able to walk right through the back even if it was there.
7:57 - We are able to cancel our airswim on this convenient piece of geometry here in the well.
Unfortunately, we're not out of the woods yet! Because of the weird way we entered the well, although we hit the load trigger for the well map, we missed a lot of the load triggers for objects in the well. As a result, Cape Claw isn't loaded. Additionally, the loading trigger for Cape Claw isn't loaded - along with all of the fuel cells and most of the other objects in the well. What should we do?
8:00 - Fortunately for us, the loading trigger to load the objects in the well still exists, and is loaded. After canceling our airswim, we move forwards until we hit this loading trigger. After that, the well is fully loaded. Cape Claw still isn't loaded, however, and the game would freeze if we tried to walk into where Cape Claw is. To fix this, we need to hit the loading trigger for Cape Claw. We now start moving towards this trigger.
8:08 - At the spot where we turn around, we hit the loading trigger for Cape Claw. At this point, both Cape Claw and the well are now fully loaded. We now want to get the 3 fuel cells at the bottom of the well. However, climbing back up from the bottom of the well to the top takes a really long time, so we would like to hit the save trigger near the start of Cape Claw before we do that. As such, we now start heading towards the save trigger at the entrance to Cape Claw.
8:31 - At the spot where we turn around, we hit the save trigger which is at the start of Cape Claw. Now, if we save and quit, we will respawn here, instead of in ThornTail Hollow by the mushrooms that we died on to undo the Arwing Glitch (this save trigger didn't load until we hit the Cape Claw loading trigger). From here, the only thing left to do is to grab the 3 fuel cells. Note that as a result of an ESW that we will be setting up later on in this TAS, we can't save after we exit Cape Claw with Cloudrunner's Fortress unlocked until after we do the ESW. This means that if we waited until we were leaving Cape Claw to grab these fuel cells, we would have to climb all the way back up to the top of the well to leave (even deathwarping would require us to save in order to keep these fuel cells). Thus, we do it now instead.
8:40 - I TASed this section 2 times, with 2 different routes: going behind the ladder we fall down, and moving forward past the ladder we fall down. It turns out, going forwards is over 2 seconds faster than moving backwards, so I do that here.
8:43 - We use the previously described ledge-grab cancelling trick to skip what would otherwise be a ledge which we couldn't skip grabbing. Note that whenever I fall/jump from one platform to another in this room, I would take fall damage if I didn't roll while landing. As such, I always roll right when I land.
8:47 - This room will cause Fox to void out if he falls for too long over the center of the room (this timer doesn't reset until Fox actually voids out). As such, I have to maneuver my jumps here carefully. For this jump, I land on the railing down below. This saves a small number of frames, but mainly, it just looks cool.
8:48 - The flame on the railing has no collision, so we can just jump right through it. The extra height of the railing lets us get past the shooting flame below without taking damage, which lets us move forwards a little faster. We then land on top of the first fuel cell that we want to collect.
8:51 - After this, we need to get down to the bottom of the well. We need to land somewhat near the center of the well - since the ground is on a slope, and if we land by the sides, we will fall for enough time that the game will force us to take 1/2 heart of fall damage (which won't allow us to roll to prevent taking damage), which would cause us to die. From here, we then collect the 2 fuel cells at the bottom of the well.
8:57 - From here, we save and quit to get back to the Cape Claw entrance. Normally, deathwarping is faster than savewarping. However, Tricky can't get down here, and there's no damage source at the bottom of the well (we could pre-emptively take flame damage on the higher up flame shooter if we had more health and then get burned, since you can get burned again a few seconds after touching a flame for the first time - but even then, the burning effect would wear off well before we could reach both fuel cells). As such, the fastest way to die here would be to climb up the ladder and then fall off and take fall damage. Climbing up the ladder takes 15 seconds, and it takes 2 seconds to reach the ladder from here. However, savewarping is only 15 seconds slower than deathwarping, which makes it 2 seconds faster than deathwarping in this specific case.
Just to clarify, at this point we have 2 files: 1 is in DIM and doesn't have the flame command yet, and one is the file at the Cape Claw entrance with 21 fuel cells. We of course load the Cape Claw file on the main menu here.
9:15 - We shoot the switch with the fireblaster here to open up the bridge. We need to use this bridge to walk back from Cape Claw to ThornTail Hollow at the end of the game, and since this bridge takes a few seconds to open, it's faster to open the bridge before you actually reach the bridge and need to use it to get across (we could swim across instead of using the bridge - but that would be much slower).
9:22 - We walk into the cutscene of the Queen Cloudrunner watching Fox and Tricky enter Cape Claw, and with that, this segment is over!
And that's the end of this 9 and a half minute long segment! Join me next time to see Fox finally take on Cape Claw!
Hello again everybody! This new section covers unlocking CloudRunner Fortress, and walking back to the arwing to fly to CloudRunner Fortress:
The route for this section is:
- Get the fuel cell on the ledge by the beach's shore in Cape Claw.
- Grab 4 blue grub tubs and 1 green mana gem while waiting for Tricky to dig up the 1st gold bar.
- Grab the first gold bar.
- Grab a yellow mana gem and a green mana gem while waiting for Tricky to dig up the buried fuel cell
- Grab the buried fuel cell.
- Grab 1 blue grub tub (the last one we need in the TAS), 1 red mana gem, and kill 2 giant sharpclaws while waiting for Tricky to dig up the 2nd gold bar.
- Have Tricky flame the wall blocking the 3rd gold bar while we grab the 2nd gold bar.
- Feed Tricky (x5) - the last time we feed him in the TAS.
- Kill 1 giant sharpclaw while waiting for Tricky to dig up the 3rd gold bar.
- Grab the 3rd gold bar.
- Rocket boost up past the bribeclaw to skip having to pay him.
- Dig up (and grab) the 4th and final gold bar.
- Give the 4 gold bars to the hightop to lower the ladder.
- Turn the switch above the ladder to open the gate to the gas chamber.
- Enter the gas chamber, and beat the puzzle inside.
- Talk to the Queen CloudRunner to unlock the ability to fly to CloudRunner Fortress.
- Save the game (for a future ESW) and grab the fuel cell on the ledge by the waterfall.
- Walk back through the well and the LighFoot Village link map.
- Rocket boost up to the 2 fuel cells in the LightFoot Village link map.
- Grab the 2 fuel cells above the climbable wall by the gate in ThornTail Hollow that leads to LightFoot Village.
- Enter the arwing (and spend the fuel cells needed to reach CloudRunner Fortress)
0:00 - This segment starts during the cutscene where Fox enters Cape Claw. Also, this segment covers the entirety of Cape Claw 1.
"Huh? What's Cape Claw 1???"
Excellent question, my astute reader!
Essentially, there are 3 states that Cape Claw can be in, which dictates which objects will load in the area and what actions you can do. Below is a brief summary of the 3 states, along with the triggers for each state and what the differences between them are (note that the states are numbered in the order that the player would encounter them in during a glitchless playthrough - which is also the same order that they're encountered in this TAS as well):
Cape Claw 1: This state loads when you reach Cape Claw without having acquired the sharpclaw disguise, without having acquired the portal opener, and without having killed Drakor (the boss who guards the 4th spellstone). This is the version of Cape Claw that we enter in this segment, since we haven't done/acquired any of the things mentioned above.
In Cape Claw 1, the cannon doesn't fire, and is unusable by Fox. Additionally, if you grab the fire gem that is normally blocked by flames, then it doesn't lower the water like it would in Cape Claw 2 (although it does give you the item). Also, the LighFoot who has 1 of the fire gems is not present here.
Cape Claw 2: This state loads when you reach Cape Claw with the sharpclaw disguise, but without having acquired the portal opener, and without having killed Drakor.
In Cape Claw 2, the cannon fires at you as you walk around, but Fox is unable to mount/use it. In this state (and this state alone), if you grab the fire gem that is normally blocked by flames, then it lowers the water and opens the door by the Krazoa Mouth. Also, this is the only state where the LightFoot who has 1 of the fire gems is present. In this state, there is also a save trigger located in front of the Sharpclaw Door, which doesn't exist in Cape Claw 1.
Cape Claw 3: This state loads when you reach Cape Claw with the portal opener or after having killed Drakor.
In Cape Claw 3, the cannon is useable/mountable by Fox. If you grab the fire gem that is normally blocked by flames, then it gives you the item, but doesn't lower the water or open the door. The Lightfoot who has 1 of the fire gems is not present here.
Cape Claw 3 has a giant rock blocking the pad that lets you open the Sharpclaw Door using the Sharpclaw Disguise. This means that if you didn't open the Sharpclaw Door before reaching Cape Claw 3, then you won't be able to open it at all. Additionally, this door has 2-way collision, which means you can't pass through the door from the other side. However, you actually can roll past the rock blocking the door from the inside (but not from the outside). This means that if we open the Sharpclaw door in Cape Claw 2, then we can get out of the Ocean Force Point Temple using the exit by the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw 3 (which is what this TAS actually does later on).
In Cape Claw 3, there is also some rubble blocking the entrance to the Krazoa Mouth, and the door blocking the entrance appears to be gone (although the water is still raised). However, the collision for the door is actually still partially there, even if you destroy the rubble with the cannon. This means that we can't exit the Ocean Force Point Temple through this front door even if we destroy the rubble - assuming that we never lowered the water in Cape Claw 2. This collision for the door is 1-way, which means we could enter the room from the outside (but can't exit from it). This could be used to start an airswim by walking partially though the doorway to hit the water and then swimming back out before going past the door, but this is never done in this TAS.
...With that long bit of explanation out of the way, let's continue on with the rest of this segment, shall we?
0:00 - ... Oh, sorry! One more thing I need to quickly mention. The reason why we go to Cape Claw here in the first place is because we need to unlock CloudRunner Fortress, which we need to get Spellstone 2 (which we need in order to place Spellstone 4 and beat the game). To do this, we need to collect the 4 gold bars around Cape Claw in order to get the Hightop to lower the ladder, which will let us open the gate to the gas chamber. Once we beat the gas chamber puzzle, we can talk to the Queen Cloudrunner, which will unlock CloudRunner Fortress. Also, we save at Cape Claw so that we can set up an ESW later on that will let us reach Cape Claw 2 later in order to open the Sharpclaw Door (which we also need to do).
Technically, there's a way to skip collecting the 4 gold bars, and to go straight to opening the gate to the gas chamber. However, with current knowledge, the fastest way of doing this would require a whole extra airswim to Cape Claw (using a slower method/route than I used earlier, as well), along with ESWing back out of Cape Claw, which would be several minutes slower than just getting the gold bars here normally. Thus, it's faster to do gold bar skip-skip here instead :D
OK, no more delays! Onto the rest of the segment for real!
0:15 - We start off by grabbing the fuel cell on the ledge by the beach shore. I did a lot of timing/testing to find the fastest order and route for grabbing the fuel cell by the beach and the fuel cell by the waterfall. There are 12 possible routes, which are formed due to there being 3 times when each fuel cell could be grabbed (on the way to the gold bars, on the way back from unlocking CloudRunner Fortress, and in Cape Claw 2), and also if 2 fuel cells are grabbed in the same section, then there are 2 possible orders (either one could be the first one grabbed).
Based on all of this, the fastest route was getting the beach fuel cell on the way to the gold bars, and then getting the waterfall fuel cell on the way back from unlocking CloudRunner Fortress (the beach fuel cell is actually only like 20 frames slower to get than going straight to the first gold bar, so it makes sense that this would be in the fastest route, although I thought getting the waterfall fuel cell in Cape Claw 2 would be faster until my testing showed it to be about 20 frames slower).
To see all of the math and raw data from my testing, you can look at the pastebin linked below. If you just want to see the calculations for the 12 routes (and the listing for what the 12 routes are), then you can just scroll down to the bottom of the page and skip the raw data listed above:
0:23 - Because swimming is so slow in this game, it's faster to swim slightly out of the way of the path to the first gold bar in order to surface on the island in the middle of the water and run on land for a bit before going back into the water.
0:33 - Once we break the crate, the option for Tricky to dig appears. While Tricky digs here for the first gold bar, we pull out our fire blaster. We then fire 5 shots - 4 of which are used to stun each of the blue grub tubs, and the 5th one kills the lizard/weasel thing on the right frame/RNG value for it to drop a green mana gem. Conveniently, a green mana gem is equal to approximately 5 fire blaster shots, so this effectively replaces all of the mana that we just used up. We then grab the 4 blue grub tubs that we stunned and the green mana gem while Tricky is digging, and we make it back to the dig spot before Tricky has finished digging up the first gold bar.
0:51 - We go over here to have Tricky dig for the fuel cell which is hidden under the dirt patch here. This is one of the most out-of-the way fuel cells in this TAS, but all of our alternative options are slower, so this made it into the final route anyways. While Tricky is digging, we shoot the yellow mana plant and the lizard/weasel thing on the right frame/RNG value for it to drop a green mana gem. We then pick up the yellow and green mana gems, which are enough to fully re-fill our mana bar. We then make it back to the dirt patch before Tricky has finished digging. Although I grab the fuel cell too quickly for you to actually see it on screen, if you look in the bottom-right corner of the screen, you can see that my fuel cell counter goes up by 1, which shows that I grabbed it.
1:15 - While Tricky digs for the 2nd gold bar here, I pull out the fire blaster and stun 1 of the blue grubtubs, shoot the red mana plant, and kill the giant sharpclaw (which requires 6 hits to kill, instead of the 4 required from regular sharpclaws). The reason why I need to kill the giant sharpclaw here is that if I don't, then when I try to flame the thorny wall up ahead, Tricky will flame the giant sharpclaw instead.
You might be wondering why I skipped over 1 of the blue grub tubs here. The reason why is that I actually only need 5 more blue grubtubs for the rest of the TAS, and I already have 4 (thus, I only really need 1).
I grab the last blue grub tub of the TAS and the red mana gem while Tricky is busy digging. Then, I kill 1 of the giant sharpclaws on the other side of the thorny wall through a tiny gap in the wall while I wait for Tricky to finish digging (if I didn't kill it, then it would block my path when I try to run past it later on). This is extremely precise - requiring an angle on the control stick which couldn't even hit it if it was off by 1 unit (the gamecube control stick can be held at 255 different vertical positions relative to the center, and 255 different horizontal positions relative to the center. This combines to make 255X255 = 65,025 different possible control stick positions. Only one of these will hit the giant sharpclaw in the head through the thorny wall from a given starting position in order to kill them - and not many starting positions will have the right angle either).
Once Tricky is finished digging, I order him to flame the thorny wall up ahead, and I run back to grab the 2nd gold bar while he does that. I then make it back up to Tricky before he has finished flaming the wall.
1:29 - Once Tricky is finished flaming the wall, I feed him (5 blue grubtubs) for the last time in this TAS. Note that Fox's position determines when the earliest frame you can feed Tricky is. I manipulate my position carefully to be able to feed Tricky 17 frames faster than I could otherwise. The trick is to be pretty close to Tricky, but not as close as possible (I basically just found this through trial and error).
1:35 - While Tricky is digging for the 3rd gold bar, I kill the other giant sharpclaw back here. I don't actually need to kill this enemy - it's just that I have nothing else to do while I wait for Tricky to finish digging. I wanted to do 3 side-rolls to kill it, but it always seemed to block the first one (even if it was in a vulnerable position on the frame before I would make contact with it, it would immediately teleport to be blocking it on the frame that I made contact. Basically, the game cheats...). Eventually, I decided to stun it normally once, and then finish it off with 2 side-rolls while it's knocked down.
It's also worth noting that the next mana gem I will get will be a blue mana gem - which is so large that it will completely refill my mana bar no matter how empty it is. As such, the extra shots I used to kill one of the giant sharpclaws earlier don't actually matter (and even if I skipped all of these extra fireblaster shots, I would still need to grab the refill at the same point in time - so this wouldn't actually let me skip any mana gems - and therefore wouldn't save any time).
Once Tricky is finished digging, we grab the 3rd gold bar and move on.
1:55 - We rocket boost up to the ledge here. This is faster than swimming to shore (since swimming is painfully slow). Additionally, when you make it past the bribeclaw, he won't charge you to get past him again. This in turn will let us run back past the bribeclaw without paying when we go to turn in the gold bars, which will save a good bit of time as well (assuming you can't jump around him - I never checked if that was possible since it's faster to go up here to avoid swimming anyways. If it's possible at all, it would be an extremely tight jump, however).
Annoyingly, the giant sharpclaw attacks us as soon as we get up to the ledge. In fact, he attacks me so quickly that I need to shield before I even have a chance to put my staff away. As a result, I need to shield for a few extra frames in order to make Fox put his staff away. Otherwise, I would go into the "combat animation", where your movement is really slow. With that out of the way, I continue onwards to the 4th and final gold bar. This is the last time I have Tricky dig in this TAS - the 3 other uses of Tricky's blue grub tubs after this will all be for flames.
2:07 - I have nothing to do here while I wait for Tricky to dig up the 4th gold bar...
2:25 - I give the hightop the 4 gold bars here, which in turn causes him to lower the ladder. We need this ladder to be lowered for 2 reasons: 1: It lets us reach the switch to open the gate to the gas chamber. 2: It lets us reach the pad to open the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw 2 later on.
3:10 - We turn the switch to open the gate to the gas chamber here. Note that we can actually start moving around well before this cutscene ends (we regain control around the time when the HUD re-appears), which I take advantage of. I also skip climbing down the ladder here by rolling past it and holding nothing on the control stick.
3:24 - The cutscene of the gas chamber door closing is triggered when you make it far enough into the gas chamber room to hit a certain trigger and then turn around and hit the trigger while walking back to the door. Of course, since I turn around as soon as I hit the trigger here, it makes it look like the cutscene just gets triggered by making it a certain distance into the room.
3:36 - We've finally made it to the gas chamber puzzle - which also has my favorite soundtrack in the whole game! Unfortunately, it won't last very long, since we complete this puzzle fairly quickly. The goal is to cover all 4 grates before Fox's air meter goes down to 0, at which point you would die. We quickly push each of the 4 blocks back over the grates. On the last block, I let go of it a little early so that I can start rolling towards the door while it moves into position to finish blocking the last grate. Once we finish this, the door to the gas chamber opens, and the gate imprisoning the Queen CloudRunner goes down.
4:12 - We hit the trigger for the Queen CloudRunner cutscene, which lets us unlock the ability to fly to CloudRunner Fortress.
5:46 - We now begin our long journey walking back to ThornTail Hollow (which is probably one of the longest walking sections in this whole TAS). While we could ESW back to DIM and then fly to TTH, this would skip several fuel cells that we need, and would also prevent us from being able to do an important ESW later on to Cape Claw 2 (you need to start your flight from TTH to reach a new planet - you can't just fly from Dark Ice Mines to CloudRunner Fortress for the first time, since the prompt to spend your fuel cells which actually unlocks the level only appears in ThornTail Hollow).
We grab the fuel cell by the waterfall on our way back. Note that we save here for seemingly no reason, as well. The reason why we need to do this is that we need 1 file whose current save location is in Cape Claw. This will allow us to do an ESW in CloudRunner's Fortress to Cape Claw with the sharpclaw disguise (after we acquire the disguise) using a complicated setup later on, which will let us skip having to airswim to Cape Claw 2. Then, after opening the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw, we will ESW from Cape Claw 2 back to CloudRunner's Fortress, and then finish beating it.
Technically, we spend like 4 seconds during this ESW in Cape Claw 1 before we die to reach CloudRunner's Fortress - which means I lied earlier when I said that this segment covered all of Cape Claw 1.
As an aside, for some reason, it takes a while to unpause the game after saving - not really sure why that happens...
5:56 - From my testing, I determined that the fastest way to get from the waterfall fuel cell to the Cape Claw entrance is to swim to the wooden plank, jump to the shore, and walk up the ramps. Going up the ladder is 58 frames slower than this, which is why I don't use it.
6:13 - Astute readers of this thread who read the tentative route I posted a while ago will notice that I skipped the yellow mana plant here, even though my original route got it.
That's because it turns out that I have more than enough mana to do everything I need to do before getting the blue mana gem (which does a full mana refill), so there would be no point in getting the yellow gem here. Thus, we save about a second and a half here over my original route.
6:20 - You've seen me go through this section several times now, so you know what the deal is: roll past the corners, go over the ladder, go around the curves etc. etc...
6:32 - This is the part where we finally reach new content, which we skipped when we airswimmed to Cape Claw earlier. We first climb up this ladder. Then, we climb up the next ladder to get out of the well and reach the LightFoot Village Link Map. Note that I need to use a stay command on Tricky here to prevent him from running into my way as I walk towards the ladder.
7:06 - We make quick work of this maze. Note that since we skipped a lot of object triggers when we did the airswim to Cape Claw, the plants that are normally here that attack you don't load (they just go back to whatever state they were last in when you enter this map from the Cape Claw side - and they only get triggered to spawn when on land on the side near ThornTail Hollow). Also, the gate that would normally be here doesn't load as well. Furthermore, almost all of the objects in the next area fail to load as well.
7:24 - Fortunately, however, the rocket boost pad and the 2 fuel cells up above do in fact load here, so we are able to grab these 2 fuel cells.
7:32 - I jump from near the right-most edge of the platform here, which lets me make it to the next platform without grabbing the edge. If I jumped from further to the left, then I wouldn't be able to make it to the other side without grabbing the ledge, since this platform is slanted.
8:06 - This is the area where we fell into the water to start the last part of the airswim to Cape Claw earlier in the TAS - except that now we're in-bounds.
8:19 - We grab the 2 fuel cells above the climbable wall in ThornTail Hollow here. They're on our way back to the arwing, so this is the fastest time to grab them in the TAS.
8:22 - For each of the 2 mushrooms, we shield right before we would take poison gas damage. Not today, mushrooms!
8:27 - We spend 10 fuel cells to unlock CloudRunner Fortress. And with that, we enter the arwing, and this segment is over!
I hope you had fun watching! Join me next time, and you can see the first part of CloudRunner Fortress.
It took me longer than usual to finish this section since I sent my laptop to Dell for repairs. I tried to continue TASing on a Windows partition of an old Macbook Air I have, but for some reason, this would always desync. On an unrelated note, Dell sent my laptop back to me without fixing anything (their report just says they ran a diagnostic scan). Thanks for the help, Dell! :D
...Anyways, with that all out of the way, on to the next segment (which is so long, that I had to break it up into 2 posts to get past speedrun.com's 25,000 character post limit)! In this segment, Fox flies to CloudRunner Fortress, and then goes through CloudRunner Fortress up to where he loses his staff. After that, Fox gets the Sharpclaw Disguise, gets his staff back, gets the power room key, and escapes from the dungeon. After this, we do a very complicated series of ESWs in order to get to Cape Claw 2, where we grab 2 fuel cells and open the Sharpclaw Door. Finally, we do one more ESW in order to get back to CloudRunner Fortress with the progress we made in Cape Claw 2, which is where this segment ends:
The route for this section is:
- Fly to CloudRunner Fortress
- Complete the ring puzzle in CloudRunner Fortress
- Shoot the fireblaster switch to open the main gate at the bottom of the tower.
- Climb up the tower, and turn the switch to open the gate at the top of the tower.
- Enter the cutscene where Fox loses his staff.
- Acquire the Sharpclaw Disguise.
- Use the disguise to get Fox's staff back.
- Open the switch to get the power room key.
- Shoot the fireblaster switch to open the exit to the dungeon.
- Put on the Sharpclaw Disguise (to avoid being killed by the flying robots) and climb out of the dungeon.
- Do a complicated set of ESWs. This will ultimately result in us having one file which is in CloudRunner Fortress at the top of the dungeon, and one file which is in Cape Claw 2 with the progress/items we got in CloudRunner Fortress (the exact way we do this will be explained down below).
- In Cape Claw 2, grab the 2 fuel cells in the gas chamber.
- Open the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw 2.
- ESW back to CloudRunner Fortress with the progress made in Cape Claw 2.
0:00 - This segment starts off with us flying to CloudRunner Fortress. Finally, a new flying section! My goal here was to destroy as many enemies/objects as I could while getting all 10 gold rings - and to do so without slowing down at all (which I accomplished).
0:34 - Grabbing this gold ring and making it through the hole up ahead without taking damage or slowing down was actually kind of tight, but I managed to find a way to squeeze through.
0:56 - Likewise, grabbing this gold ring and making it through the hole up ahead without taking damage or slowing down was also difficult.
0:57 - It's hard to tell, but in this tunnel, I had to dodge like 4 projectile shots from the enemy up ahead - all of which occur in a very narrow space. I had to actually use the barrel roll here for it's intended purpose in order to move to the side fast enough to avoid taking damage!
1:38 - To start things off, we need to complete the ring puzzle in order to advance in CloudRunner Fortress. It turns out, the fastest way to get to the switch that starts the puzzle is to drop down from the edge near the start, land on a pillar that's at the halfway point of the race, and then jump back to the start. This is faster simply because the alternative is getting closer to the switch and then jumping down and swimming through the water to the switch. Swimming is slow, however, so avoiding that is what actually saves us time. Note that the ledge I fall down here is one which is supposed to force Fox to grab it. However, by using the ledge-cancelling roll technique (which I've used a few times already in this TAS), we can fall without grabbing the edge.
1:53 - While waiting for the switch to activate, I get as close as I can to the bottom-right corner of the switch without falling off of it. That way, I will be as close to the next box that I need to jump to as I an be when the puzzle-starting cutscene ends.
2:19 - This race requires Fox to jump through 3 silver rings. There's no tricks for this section - I just try to roll as fast as possible through the course, using roll-cancelling to save time on each turn (you can shield on the frame that Fox lands on a box and then on the next frame roll in whatever direction you want. This ability to directly roll in any direction immediately let's me cut corners tightly). In the end, I finished the race with 4.54 seconds left on the timer that counts down during the race. By comparison, BvQR's TAS finished with about 3.54 seconds left, and in Celestial's world record, he finished with about 3.80 seconds left. Thus, this is likely the fastest this race has been done so far (although not by very much - which means there could be room to shave a few frames off of this race, for any future ambitious TASers of this game!). Once the race is done, the fireblaster switch appears above the gate.
2:35 - We shoot the fireblaster switch here, which opens the gates up ahead. Since we are standing so close to the gate, we have to hold up for about half a second in order to aim high enough up to hit the switch. This is kind of annoying - but what're you gonna do?
2:40 - While climbing up the tower, we shield on the exact frame we would take damage from the robot's lasers, and then roll on the next frame. This allows us to go up the tower without taking damage and with almost no slowdowns. Note that I try to keep as close to the inner-edge of the circle as possible (towards where Fox would fall down) while climbing up the tower, since this decreases the amount of distance I need to travel compared to moving in circles near the outermost edge of the ramp.
2:48 - I avoid grabbing this ladder by rolling and holding neutral while passing over it. I then roll before I hit the ground to avoid taking fall damage.
2:53 - I turn the switch to open the gate at the top of the tower.
3:09 - At this point, we enter the cutscene where Fox will lose his staff, and get sent to the dungeon.
4:22 - We start off this section by pushing the block out of our way in order to escape from the cell. The most annoying part of Fox not having his staff here is that we can't shield. This means that there are much fewer places where we can roll, and it's often faster to just walk places rather than roll. This also made this segment really annoying to TAS - but luckily, it doesn't last long.
4:30 - If we hit this puddle up ahead, then the guard will wake up. The puddle we encountered before this was too far away to wake up the guard if we stepped on it. Thus, this is the only puddle/obstacle that we have to avoid to complete this stealth section. And with that... the game never makes us use stealth again for the rest of the game?!?!?!? Hmmm... how odd...
4:36 - The timer for the barrel exploding lasts for a fixed amount of time, but it doesn't start ticking down until we pick up the barrel. Thus, we want to pick up the barrel as soon as possible, and our movement while waiting for the barrel to explode doesn't affect how long we have to wait, right?
4:45 - Well, sort of... It turns out that by moving around/off the switch right before the barrel explodes, some RNG can be influenced that determines how soon the cutscene up ahead starts. I am able to make the cutscene start about 3 frames faster than it normally would by running off the switch right as the barrel explodes.
4:55 - And with that, we have now unlocked the Sharpclaw Disguise!
5:10 - Normally, we don't want to put on the Sharpclaw Disguise until we are right next to where we use it, since we can't shield when we have it on, which would normally slow our rolls down. However, in this particular case, since we already don't have our staff/the ability to shield, it doesn't cost us any time to put the disguise on early.
5:14 - We wake up the guard while wearing the disguise in order to get him to move out of the way. Once this cutscene ends, we grab our staff back (which also gives us the ability to roll back). Hooray!
5:39 - We make good use of getting our staff back here, as we perform several rolls with shield cancels while traveling towards turning the switch. The switch that we turn frees the dinosaur stuck in the cage, who in turn gives us the power room key, which we will need to enter the power room later on. I don't really get why this dinosaur is here, to be quite honest. I mean, is he the only dinosaur on a planet full of CloudRunners? I guess maybe the CloudRunners needed somebody with hands to act as their mechanic, but idk...
6:10 - I shoot the fireblaster switch here in order to open the exit to the dungeon.
6:14 - I put on the disguise right before Fox grabs the climbable wall. You can't put on the disguise while already climbing, and I don't want to put it on before I'm done doing my rolls with shield cancels, so putting it on when I did was very important for moving as fast as possible. The disguise prevents the robots from shooting us while we are climbing, which we need to use here to prevent Fox from being killed (if we didn't, we would have to either grab more health from the start of the dungeon, or wait several seconds for the robots to look elsewhere before we climbed up each wall). As an aside, since climbing is much slower than walking, I try to grab the wall as far to the left as I can go without being blocked by the platform when climbing up (since this minimizes how long I am climbing). The collision for the platforms extends out surprisingly far to the right past where you see their shadows, and if you try to climb up while under them, you won't move at all. This applies to all of the climbable walls here except for the last one - since there is no platform above it (which means it's best to just grab it as soon as possible).
6:50 - We have finally escaped from the dungeon, and can take off our disguise!
6:51 - Ok... I know what you're probably thinking: "Why did he just randomly quit without saving after making it to the top of the dungeon?" The reason why I did this is that there is an ESW point right here, and I pause to quit on the same frame that I collide with the ESW plane. This means that the next time I die somewhere (on any file), I will respawn right here in CloudRunner Fortress at the top of the dungeon (as long as I don't hit another save trigger or ESW plane before I die/void out).
Your next question is likely: "Ok, so you can ESW here without losing your progress. But why even ESW here at all? What are you even trying to do???" The reason for this is simple: I want to ESW back to Cape Claw with the progress I made in CloudRunner Fortress. Then, after I have finished with what I need to do in Cape Claw, I will ESW back to CloudRunner Fortress with the progress I made in both Cape Claw and in CloudRunner Fortress. In order to accomplish this, I need to get 1 file which is in Cape Claw, and 1 file which is in CloudRunner Fortress. After that, I will have a way to get to Cape Claw with the CRF progress, and a way to get back to CRF with the Cape Claw progress once I'm done there.
By now, I can already tell what your last question is: "Weren't you just in Cape Claw? Why are you going through all of this trouble to get back there?" The answer to that question comes in the form of 3 words: Cape Claw 2.
Remember in my last post how I said that the game has 3 different versions of Cape Claw it can load (which are named Cape Claw 1, Cape Claw 2, and Cape Claw 3)? The trigger for Cape Claw 2 (abbreviated as CC2 later on) loading is having the Sharpclaw Disguise. Thus, while we couldn't load Cape Claw 2 earlier, we can load it now. This means that the 2 fuel cells in the gas chamber that only appear in CC2 will now be there. More important than this, however, is that we can now use the disguise to open the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw.
We have to open this door when we are in Cape Claw 2. The reason for this is that we don't return to Cape Claw again until we are far enough in the game that CC3 will load. In CC3, a huge rock is blocking the pad that opens the Sharpclaw Door, which means we have no way of opening the door. As it turns out, we need this door to be open in order to have any way to get back to ThornTail Hollow from the Ocean Force Point Temple after placing spellstones 2 and 4 (for complicated reasons, ESWing out of Ocean Force Point Temple will erase the flag that says we placed spellstone 4, which will cause us to softlock and be unable to beat the game).
This means that we have no choice but to make a return trip to Cape Claw after getting the Sharpclaw Disguise but before we have progressed far enough into the game that Cape Claw 3 will load (which happens when we either get the Portal Opener upgrade or kill Drakor, the boss who gives us spellstone 4).
If it weren't for the ability to ESW, we would have to go ALL the way back to Cape Claw after we get spellstone 2. This means repeating the airswim glitch, and traveling all the way through Cape Claw to the Sharpclaw Door. Then, we would have to walk all the way back from Cape Claw to ThornTail Hollow to continue with the rest of the game. Even if we ESW from Cape Claw 2 to ThornTail Hollow, this still doesn't eliminate the several-minutes long travel time to Cape Claw, and the 40 seconds that it would take to ESW back to ThornTail Hollow.
Thus, only ESWing directly from CloudRunner Fortress to Cape Claw 2 and then back to CloudRunner Fortress can save us from this potential time loss.
This whole series of ESWs that I do here is extremely complicated, so I will now detail the contents of my 2 save files, and other data like the file stored when I hit the ESW trigger at each point of this setup, in order to make it clear what is happening here (along with step-by-step instructions for what I'm doing). If you would like to skip this long explanation to get the abridged explanation, then skip down to where I wrote "END OF ESW EXPLANATION" down below (which is also where I break up this long description into 2 separate posts):
- We start off by hitting the ESW trigger in CloudRunner Fortress and quitting back to the main menu. This puts the game in the following state:
Initial State (right after hitting the ESW trigger+quitting in CloudRunner Fortress):
Save File 1: At Dark Ice Mines Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1 (since we saved there earlier after freeing the Queen CloudRunner, and didn't save at any point after that).
ESW File: At CloudRunner Fortress just outside the dungeon with the Sharpclaw Disguise unlocked and the power room key.
- We now load the Dark Ice Mines file, and void out. Since we didn't save after hitting the CRF ESW trigger, the game makes us respawn in CloudRunner Fortress with the inventory and game progression flags from when we hit the ESW trigger in CRF. In other words, this is an RESW, and we are now in an identical state to when we hit the ESW trigger - except that the next time we save, it will save over file 1 (the file in DIM) instead of file 2 (the file in Cape Claw). This is very important, since we need to keep that Cape Claw file for later on in the setup - which is why we didn't save before we quit in CloudRunner Fortress earlier.
As soon as we respawn in CloudRunner Fortress, the game is in the following state:
Save File 1: At Dark Ice Mines. Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1.
Current Position: In CloudRunner Fortress with the inventory and game progression flags of when we hit the CRF ESW trigger earlier. The next time we save, file 1 will be overwritten. However, the last save trigger we hit on this file was on Dark Ice Mines, so if we were to save and quit right now, we would respawn in Dark Ice Mines.
- Next, we move back to hit the uni-directional save trigger which is near the top of the dungeon in CRF (it activates when moving away from the climbable wall). After this, the game is in the following state:
Save File 1: At Dark Ice Mines. Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1.
Current Position: In CloudRunner Fortress with the inventory and game progression flags of when we hit the CRF ESW trigger earlier. The next time we save, file 1 will be overwritten. Additionally, since we just hit the save trigger in CloudRunner Fortress, if we were to save and quit right now, we would respawn in CloudRunner Fortress at the top of the dungeon.
- Next, we move forward to hit the CRF ESW trigger again. At this point, we are in the following state:
Save File 1: At Dark Ice Mines. Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1.
Current Position: In CloudRunner Fortress with all of the recent items/progression that we got. When we next save, file 1 will be overwritten. Additionally, if we save and quit, we will respawn in CloudRunner Fortress. Furthermore, our ESW File is now at CloudRunner Fortress with all of the recent items/progression that we got in CRF.
- Now, we save and quit the game. At this point, we are in the following state:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1.
ESW File: At CloudRunner Fortress
- We then load up save file 2 (in Cape Claw 1), and then fall off the ledge and die. Because our ESW file is at CRF, we respawn there after we die. Additionally, since our last save was in CRF, we respawn with the inventory/progression we had in CRF. At this point, the game is in the following state:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At Cape Claw 1.
Current Position: In CloudRunner Fortress with all of the recent items/progression that we just got. When we next save, file 2 will be overwritten. Additionally, if we save and quit right now, we will respawn in Cape Claw, since that is the last save checkpoint that this file hit. Furthermore, and most importantly, we will keep all of our items and progression that we made in CRF when we respawn in Cape Claw!
- At this point, we save and quit, which causes file 2 to have a save position of Cape Claw and the inventory/progression flags of when we first made it to the ESW trigger in CRF. Now, the game state looks like this:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At Cape Claw 2 (with all of the items/progress that we just got in CRF).
- Now, we are free to collect the 2 gas chamber fuel cells and to open the Sharpclaw door. After doing that, we save and quit. At this point, the game state looks like this:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At Cape Claw 2 (with all of the items/progress that we got in CRF AND the 2 fuel cells in CC2 and the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw open).
- We now load up file 1 and hit the ESW trigger in CRF, followed by quitting without saving. At this point, the game state looks like this:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At Cape Claw 2 (with all of the items/progress that we got in CRF AND the 2 fuel cells in CC2 and the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw open).
ESW File: At CloudRunner Fortress.
- Now, we load up file 2, and fall off the ledge in Cape Claw in order to die, followed by us saving and continuing. Since we saved after dying, our inventory is copied from what it was when we just died in Cape Claw, and our respawn position is equal to the ESW point we hit in CRF. This ends our long series of ESWs, with the game in the following final state:
Save File 1: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress that we just got in CRF). Save File 2: At CloudRunner Fortress (with all of the items/progress that we got in CRF AND the 2 fuel cells in CC2 and the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw open).
...And with that all done, we are now able to continue onwards in CloudRunner Fortress!
Now that the lengthy technical description is over, I will go back to my usual format describing the highlights/important points in this encode:
END OF ESW EXPLANATION
(Continued in the next post)
7:03 - We load up save file 1, which is currently in Dark Ice Mines. We then roll off the edge and fall into the lava to void out (which the game treats the same way as it does dying). Note that I use the edge-grab-cancelling trick here to avoid grabbing the ledge, since you normally have to grab onto it before falling into the lava. Also, I could fall 3 frames faster by rolling up-left. However, if I move up-left, I will hit the save trigger up ahead, which will delete my ESW data, and cause me to respawn in Dark Ice Mines after dying. Thus, I cannot do that.
7:12 - If you hit an ESW trigger, and then die/void out without saving, then you will respawn at the ESW trigger with all of the items and game progression flags from when you hit the ESW trigger. In other words, you will do a RESW (effectively a full file copy of the game at the point where you hit the ESW trigger). That's exactly what happens here - we now respawn in CloudRunner Fortress with the inventory and progression flags from when we hit the ESW trigger in CRF earlier. Note that for some reason when you respawn at this ESW point, the game does some weird animation of Fox falling down and rubbing his head before he gets back up - not sure what causes that to happen...
7:13 - There is a save trigger back here that we hit. If we didn't hit this, then saving, quitting, and loading file 1 would cause us to appear in Dark Ice Mines with the progress/inventory we made in CRF. After hitting this save trigger, if we were to save+quit immediately and then load file 1, we would respawn in CRF with the progress/inventory we've made so far in CRF.
7:15 - We hit the ESW trigger in CRF again to set up another ESW. After that, we save and quit. This causes us to have 1 file in CRF with the CRF inventory/progress, and 1 file still in Cape Claw 1.
7:31 - We load up file 2, and then fall of the ledge in Cape Claw to die. I show that I don't have the disguise unlocked in this file yet as I die (the inventory menu stays up after you die, for some reason). I fall off the ledge faster by hitting the pole as I go over the edge, since this kills my upwards momentum, and causes me to start falling immediately instead of doing a full jump and then falling. After I don't save and continue, I respawn in CRF with the progress of CRF (since I hit the ESW trigger with CRF progress) and the inventory of CRF (since my last save occurred in CRF). However, my save-respawn position is still set to Cape Claw, and file 2 will be overwritten when I next save.
7:44 - I save and quit here. And with that, I have achieved the goal that I set out to achieve earlier: File 1 is in CRF, and file 2 is in Cape Claw 2 with the progress/inventory I got in CRF! As an aside, the technique I do here (of doing a RESW and then saving+quitting without hitting a save checkpoint in order to respawn in the area the file last hit a save checkpoint in with all of the inventory and game flags of another file) is known as a Reverse Reverse Event Storage Warp, or RRESW for short. This is the only time in the whole TAS that you will see a RRESW, so I hope you enjoy it! (and no, there is no RRRESW :D )
8:06 - After loading up file 2, I grab these 2 fuel cells in the gas chamber which only appear in Cape Claw 2.
8:26 - On the same frame that I open the Sharpclaw Door with the disguise, I save and quit. Now, we need to ESW back to CRF with the progress we made in Cape Claw 2.
8:42 - After I hit the ESW trigger in CRF, I need to wait a little bit, since the game won't let me pause for another second or so after loading a file. After that, I quit without saving and then load file 2.
8:57 - If you look quickly, you can see that the Sharpclaw Door behind me is in fact open here, which proves that I really did open it (we respawn up here since there is a save checkpoint right in front of the Sharpclaw Door which only exists in Cape Claw 2). We quickly roll off the edge here and take fall damage to die. Like earlier, we hit the pole as we roll off the platform in order to kill our upwards momentum and fall faster, which causes us to die faster. After we die, we save and continue. This causes the game to make us respawn in CRF (where we hit the ESW trigger) with the inventory we had when we saved in Cape Claw 2 (note that the Sharpclaw Door being open is considered an inventory flag, as it is copied over with the flags for which items Fox has).
With that, we now have a file 1 which is in CRF from before we did CC2, and we are currently in CRF with the progress we made in CC2, and the next time we save, we will overwrite the contents of the 2nd file.
9:11 - I show a few seconds of me standing still at the end of my encode to prove that I have 20 fuel cells in CRF (which also proves that the Sharpclaw Door is open on this file, since the door being open is always copied over along with the fuel cell count, which is 20 from the 2 we got in CC2). These few seconds of standing still won't actually be there in the final TAS, however.
And with that, this section (which has by far the most complicated and technical ESWs in the game) is finally complete! Join me next time to see Fox actually beat CloudRunner Fortress and get spellstone 2!
Hello again everybody! This new section starts when we ESW back to CloudRunner Fortress from Cape Claw 2, and ends after we get Spellstone 2:
The route for this section is:
- Get a 1 heart pickup and a blue mana gem refill.
- Push the left-most switch, and grab the green light gem.
- Push the right-most switch, and rocket boost up to the blue light gem.
- Push the center switch, and grab the red light gem.
- Damage down to 1/4 heart left on a Sharpclaw.
- Use the power room key to open the power room, and place the 3 light gems to activate the wind lifts.
- Go up the wind tunnel, put on the disguise to open the gate, and grab a green mana gem while waiting for the gate to open.
- Kill the 5 Sharpclaws guarding the lifeforce door using 4 mana shots for each (20 total).
- Pick up the Sharpclaw Barrel, place it on the ground, and activate the trigger for the robot.
- While waiting for the robot to pick up the barrel, grab a yellow mana gem.
- Pick up the barrel, and use it to break the wall blocking where the Queen CloudRunner is.
- Walk over the platform/grate to break it, and then die on the Sharpclaw to deathwarp back out of the room.
- Do Baby CloudRunner Skip to get Fox down to the bottom floor of CloudRunner Fortress with a Sharpclaw barrel (explained below).
- Use the Sharpclaw Barrel to break the wall, and walk into the boss fight.
- Kill the lead Sharpclaw on the bike to get Spellstone 2.
0:00 - This video starts when Fox respawns in CloudRunner Fortress after ESWing from Cape Claw 2 to CloudRunner Fortress.
0:01 - To start things off, we grab 1 heart. The reason why we need this is that there's one spot coming up where we will have to take 1/4 heart of damage, and if we don't have more health, we will die there.
0:07 - We grab our only blue mana gem refill of the TAS - which is enough to fully refill our mana bar here.
0:11 - I shield on the frame that I would take damage from the robot, and then roll on the next frame. I do this many times throughout this segment, but this is the only time that I'll explicitly mention it.
0:18 - To get Spellstone 2, we need to activate the wind lifts. This in turn requires us to get all 3 light gems. The fastest order to get the light gems is to push the left-most switch first, then the right-most switch, and then the center one. As such, we push the left-most switch here.
0:36 - Conveniently, we can turn this switch from the right-side of the box without breaking the crate in front of it, which saves about a second.
0:46 - All of the flame walls in CloudRunner Fortress weren't centered properly/made to fill the entire hallway that they're in - which means that we can roll through the side of each of these flames. This is good news for us - since if we couldn't do that, we would need to get the ice blaster, which would also require Spellstone 1, which would make this TAS about 15 minutes slower! There's no way to get past the first flame here without taking damage, which was why we needed that 1 heart pickup.
0:57 - We grab our first light gem here, which is the green one.
1:18 - We push the right-most switch here.
1:30 - It's possible to get past this flame without taking damage by rolling through the left-side of it, since there's a bigger gap on the left side of it than the right. However, we have enough health to spare here, and it's faster to go through the right, so we do that here. Once we're past the flame, we rocket boost up to get the next light gem, which is the blue one.
1:53 - We can also roll through this flame from the opposite side as well.
2:03 - We push the center switch here.
2:30 - I TASed this last part here 2 ways. The first time, I went to the left of this last stack of crates, and the 2nd time, I went to the right of it. It turned out to be 2 frames faster to go to the right here (even though you get pushed by the Sharpclaw), so I did that here. For our efforts, we are rewarded with the 3rd and final light gem, which is the red one.
3:04 - We use the power key to open the power room, and then place the 3 light gems in each of the pedestals that matches the gems' color. This restores the power to CloudRunner Fortress, which in turn activates the windlifts. Now, we will be able to reach the next part of CloudRunner Fortress!
3:58 - We needed the windlifts to be active simply to use this one windlift to reach the next part of CloudRunner Fortress.
4:01 - So, there's a trick that RTA runners use here, which I didn't use. If you enter the room far enough for the gate to start going down, and then leave and re-enter the room, then the gate will start opening again as soon as it finishes closing. This lets you get through the room without using the Sharpclaw Disguise. However, if you do this, you make it to the gate about 2 seconds after the earliest point that it would have been open enough for you to walk through it.
In my case, I used the Sharpclaw Disguise here to open the gate. This also causes the gate to start opening again as soon as it finishes closing, but this time, I can walk past the gate on the first frame that it's open enough for me to pass under it, which saves me 2 seconds over the other method. While I'm waiting for the gate to open, I also have time to grab a green mana gem, which helps offset some of the cost of putting on the disguise here. :)
I tried to make it under the gate before it shuts, but it appears to be impossible. Even with perfect movement, I would have to make it to the gate over a second faster to get under it - so this doesn't seem likely to ever be possible.
4:13 - This part is one of the sections that I was most looking forward to TASing. In order to get past the lifeforce door, we need to kill all 5 of the Sharpclaws here. Walking up to each one and beating them to death with the staff is extremely slow, so we'd prefer to kill them all from a distance using the fireblaster (it takes 4 shots of the fire blaster to kill each Sharpclaw). Additionally, we'd like to find a single spot where we can hit all 5 Sharpclaws at the same time without having to move somewhere else, since this would save time over moving to 2 different spots to hit all of them. With some careful testing, I was able to find this spot, which is where I pull out my fireblaster here.
This spot in the middle is the only spot where I can hit all 5 Sharpclaws. The fireblaster shots despawn if they are too far away from Fox. As such, if I was a little bit further to the left of this platform, I couldn't hit the 2 Sharpclaws on the right side. Additionally, if I was all the way to the right of this platform, then I couldn't hit the 1 Sharpclaw on the far left ledge. Thus, only in this one spot can I have it all (and the fireblaster shots just barely reach all 5 from here, at that).
The Sharpclaws block a majority of your shots, unless you shoot them in the head or the tail. If you hit them in a spot on their head or tail which has no armor covering it, then they cannot block it, and will always take damage. Thus, we headshot these Sharpclaws in order to kill them without our shots getting blocked.
The first one I kill is the one right in front of me, since he's getting ready to attack me. After that, I kill the Sharpclaw right behind him, since I'm already aiming near him.
I tested it out, and it turns out to be 2 frames faster to cancel the fireblaster after killing the 2nd Sharpclaw, turn in another direction, and pull out the fireblaster facing the left-most Sharpclaw than it is to turn the fireblaster all the way to the left.
Note that the fireblast shots also despawn/lose their collision when you stop looking at them, which in this case means that I need to wait about 3 frames before pulling out the fireblaster here compared to the earliest spot that I could pull it out to kill the 3rd Sharpclaw.
After I shoot the 3rd Sharpclaw, I have to wait a while doing nothing before I can shoot the last 2 Sharpclaws. The reason for this is that the fireblaster shots will despawn if I turn to fire at the last 2 enemies before the 3rd Sharpclaw has been killed. As such, I have no choice but to wait for the Sharpclaw to get hit before I can pull out my fireblaster again facing the last 2 Sharpclaws (note that it's 30+ frames faster to pull out the fireblaster facing another direction here than it is to stay in fireblaster mode and turn left once the 3rd Sharpclaw has been hit).
After this, we kill the 4th and 5th Sharpclaws. I originally had the order that I killed these 2 swapped, but then I changed it, since shooting the top Sharpclaw after firing 4 shots at the bottom one was causing the bottom one to block some shots that originally would have hit him if I didn't fire any more shots (probably because I was hitting a part of the Sharpclaw with armor since I can't really see the 5th Sharpclaw on screen, which has a random chance of getting blocked - and the RNG for this is altered when I fire another fireblaster shot). As an aside, I think shooting the top one first here was actually faster anyways, since the top Sharpclaw dies like 20 frames faster than the bottom one, and we are able to move after killing the last Sharpclaw without stopping, with the top Sharpclaw just barely on screen until it gets killed (and if it was shot last, it probably wouldn't be hit yet when it goes offscreen, so I would have to wait before moving forwards).
4:20 - After much fanfare, we start rolling towards the life force door. We roll right as the cutscene of the door unlocking plays, which causes us to keep our roll momentum through the cutscene instead of stopping in our tracks (you can't see Fox on screen here, but to see an example of what this actually looks like, look at 4:42 in the encode).
4:25 - We put on the Sharpclaw disguise to grab the Sharpclaw Barrel here. We need this barrel to break the rubble blocking the windtunnel on the upper floor. We then put the barrel down on the ground, and then climb up the ladder and stand on the Sharpclaw Spot to trigger the robot that lifts up the barrel.
4:45 - While we're waiting for the barrel to get dropped off on the upper level, we have enough time to grab a yellow mana gem here and make it back to where we just were before the robot gets back.
4:53 - We can actually grab the barrel before the robot even puts it on the ground - little fun fact for all you Star Fox Adventure Barrel Robot Enthusiasts out there! :D
Coming out of this room, the laser robot is right above us. For some strange reason, even though they ignore Fox when he has the disguise on, they will shoot Fox if he's wearing the disguise and holding a Sharpclaw Barrel over his head. I guess the lore here is that they only look at the top of whatever objects they see to tell if they are a Sharpclaw, and then shoot them if they aren't. However, this seems like a terrible design choice for General Scales - the barrel explodes when shot by the robots, and Sharpclaws die when a barrel is thrown at them, so think about how many of his Sharpclaws have been killed while moving energy barrels around the fortress to power his machines? Also, these Sharpclaw Barrels can't even get picked up unless you look like a Sharpclaw - which means that a non-Sharpclaw can't hide under them.
Bottom line: if the robots could be programmed to not shoot Sharpclaws, then they should have also been programmed to not shoot those barrels!
...But anyways, I got distracted from my TASing by the barrel lore. Back to the game at hand...
Fortunately, the vision of these robots doesn't cover the edge of the platform closest to the wall (on the side where the doorway is). Thus, by hugging the wall, we can avoid getting blown up. We then jump off the platform with the barrel, which causes Fox to automatically throw it (since you're not allowed to jump while holding a barrel). This is faster than pressing A to throw it, since we can keep moving forward while the barrel is being thrown, whereas if we press A, we are locked in place for 2 seconds while throwing the barrel. We hold left in mid-air to avoid taking damage from the explosion. When the barrel explodes, it breaks the rubble up ahead. With that, we are free to walk forward and break the grate over the wind tunnel.
4:57 - Once we break this grate on the ground, our goal is to get back out to the main room (where we picked up the Sharpclaw Barrel from). However, the grate is programmed not to break until we are in the middle of it, and there's no way to break the grate and avoid falling down the wind tunnel. RTA runners savewarp after breaking this grate to get back out. However, Zac Cannan suggested that I could try deathwarping to save time here. I tried it out, and it turned out to be 2 seconds faster than savewarping! Thus, I die on the Sharpclaw up ahead, and then save and continue. This in turn makes us respawn in front of the room where the robot picked up the Sharpclaw Barrel and carried it to the upper level.
5:11 - ...Ok. By now, you're probably wondering why we came back out to this room. The answer is that we are now going to perform a trick known as Baby CloudRunner Skip!
First, I should explain what happens here normally - you are supposed to free the Queen CloudRunner, get the flute, and then rescue all of the baby CloudRunners. The queen then opens a door leading to the basement. From there, you can turn a switch on the wind tunnel that we fell through earlier to turn it off/make it push air down. After getting a Sharpclaw Barrel into the wind tunnel up above (you would normally open the gate to be able to get a barrel in the wind tunnel from up above) we can turn the windtunnel off to get the Sharpclaw Barrel down here, which we use to break the wall up ahead in the basement leading to the boss fight of CloudRunner Fortress.
Instead of doing all of this, we can do the following 2 steps to perform a sequence break:
- Get a Sharpclaw Barrel into the wind tunnel.
- Do a glitch to get Fox onto the bottom of the wind tunnel. Then, Fox can turn the switch to shut the wind tunnel off, and can then pick up the Sharpclaw Barrel, break the wall, and proceed straight to the boss.
Easier said than done, right? To start with, I'll explain how I did the first step:
5:15 - The first thing we do to achieve Baby CloudRunner Skip (also called BCRS for short) is to put on the Sharpclaw Disguise and throw the Sharpclaw Barrel through the wall here and in to the wind tunnel. RTA runners generally do this throw from the room where the robot that carries the barrel is. However, Zac Cannan suggested to me that I could try throwing the barrel through the wall in the room where the barrel generator is in order to save time - and it worked! (this saves time because walking with the barrel is a lot slower than rolling around normally, so getting rid of the barrel faster is faster overall).
The way this clip works is that the collision between the exploding barrels and the walls here is kind of bad. If Fox is pressed up against the wall and facing slightly left, he can throw the barrel and have it clip through the wall. This causes it to land in the middle of the next room, which happens to be where the wind tunnel is!
It took a lot of effort to actually get the barrel to land in the windtunnel here - usually it landed on the ledge next to the wind tunnel instead (which wouldn't fall down when we turned the windtunnel off later on).
Now that we've done step 1, we want to proceed to the ledge by the top of where the grate that we broke earlier was (which is the top of the wind tunnel) in order to perform step 2.
5:33 - This is where the genius part of this trick happens. We jump off the ledge here, and land so that Fox is half in the ledge (half his body is above the ground, half is under it). Whenever you make a jump and land with Fox half in the edge of a platform, Fox either gets pushed back out, or pushed up onto the platform, depending on how far into the platform you are. In this case, we get pushed back up onto the platform. However, because Fox was below the surface of the platform for a frame here, the game registers that as Fox having started to fall down the wind tunnel (since there's no grabbable ledges by the windtunnel, which means that when you start to fall it's normally impossible to avoid falling down the windtunnel and to get back up to the platform).
This all puts us into a glitched state, where the game is waiting for Fox to fall down the wind tunnel, so the camera is locked behind us. Once we move forward far enough, we cancel the "moving on wind" effect. From there, we fall off the platform up ahead into the next room. Because we fell below our starting position, this fixes the camera (since the game normally lets us take control of the camera when Fox falls far enough down).
Although the camera is fixed at this point, some properties of the glitched state are still active here. The default behavior of windlifts is that they push Fox up to some pre-defined point, which is generally at the top-most point where Fox can get the "moving on wind" type of movement. For this particular windlift, the devs wanted Fox to enter the "moving on wind" state when he starts falling in the top floor of the windlift. However, in order for Fox to fall down to the next level, the game sets a flag that gravity should keep working normally until Fox falls down 1 level - at which point Fox should get pushed up to the pre-defined point of this windtunnel - which is at the height we fell to when we fell down the wind tunnel earlier on right before we death warped.
Since this flag doesn't go away until Fox actually falls down the wind tunnel, when Fox enters the wind tunnel on the lower floor, the game believes that Fox is still supposed to fall down 1 level. As a result, Fox enters the wind tunnel, and then proceeds to fall straight to the basement! From here, we can turn the switch to turn the wind tunnel off, which both lets the Sharpclaw Barrel fall down into the basement and prevents us from getting pushed back up when we next enter the wind lift.
And with that, Baby CloudRunner Skip is complete! We can now put on the disguise, pick up the Sharpclaw Barrel, and use it to break the wall in the dark room up ahead.
This is one of the older sequence breaks in Star Fox Adventures - having been found several years ago. This is one trick whose simplicity and eloquence has always impressed me. The idea that you could store the state of falling down the windtunnel to do a sequence break is something I never would have thought of!
As an aside, for the section where the camera is locked, I learned how to use freelook mode in Dolphin to see where Fox actually was. You learn something new everyday!
5:55 - We roll over the ladder by rolling and letting go of the control stick. Once we fall far enough, the game plays the cutscene of Fox sliding down the ladder, which takes us to the next room. Fox actually gains the ability to move in the next room well before the black screen goes away. You can figure out when I start moving because you can hear me rolling while the screen is still dark. Once we make it far enough into the hallway up ahead, it triggers the cutscene that leads to the start of the Spellstone 2 boss fight.
6:42 - In order to get Spellstone 2, we need to kill the lead Sharpclaw on the bike (the one who has the Spellstone). We can kill him by ramming into him 5 times with our bike. However, whenever we hit into him, we lose most of our speed (sort of like getting stunned in place), but the Sharpclaw doesn't lose any speed. It is worth noting however that the Sharpclaw's invincibility period after being hit is very small, so if we could stay on top of the Sharpclaw, we could rack up hits very quickly.
First, we just perform the movement needed to reach the front of the race where the lead Sharpclaw is. Note that we hold A to move forward on the bike and B to brake, while the control stick lets us change directions.
7:00 - Once we do catch up to the lead Sharpclaw, we don't hit him right away. For one thing, if we hit him now, the Sharpclaw right behind him would hit us too, which would lead to us getting stunned in place twice in a row. Additionally, we want a way to hit the Sharpclaw without losing all of our speed. As such, we get ahead of the lead Sharpclaw and then wait for a second at the boost pad. Once the lead Sharpclaw has caught up to us, we go across the boost pad at the same time that he hits us. The boost pad causes us to instantly get our speed back after hitting the Sharpclaw, which lets us hit him again immediately after. Besides hitting the Sharpclaw twice in a row, using the boost also lets us keep some of our speed, so that we can stay close for the next hit.
7:12 - When a Sharpclaw is hit, their speed stays the same, but the angle they are facing is locked for a short time. This effect is more pronounced if a Sharpclaw is hit in mid-air, which I do here. Since this is a tight turn, when I hit the Sharpclaw in mid-air for the 3rd hit, this causes it to land much farther to the left of its programmed route than it intended. To get back on the path it's supposed to follow, the Sharpclaw veers sharply right, which causes it to crash into the wall up ahead. From there, I am able to ram into it again (for a 4th total time) while it's stuck against the wall, without needing to catch back up to it. Additionally, since the Sharpclaw is remaining in the same small area for a while as it tries to get back on track, I am able to hit it again right after its invincibility period for the last hit has worn off - without me even needing to move to hit him again! This delivers the 5th and final hit to the Sharpclaw, which kills him and gives us Spellstone 2!
7:51 - Note that even though this Spellstone is called Spellstone 2, it's really the first one we've gotten all game, since we skip Spellstone 1. However, each of the 4 Spellstones are distinct objects, so they can't be used interchangeably.
Normally, we would have 4 hearts here from getting Spellstone 1, and then would get 5 hearts when we get Spellstone 2. However, even though we only have 3 hearts here, the game gives us 5 hearts anyways when we get Spellstone 2 (along with a full health refill).
We also never have both a Spellstone and a Krazoa Spirit at the same time in normal gameplay. However, the game finds a way to display both here :P
8:06 - Once the cutscene ends, the game immediately forces us to go into the Arwing/to enter orbit. And with that, we are now done with CloudRunner Fortress!
That's the end of this segment! Join me next time to see Fox take care of a few small tasks in ThornTail Hollow.
Hello again everybody!
Since I posted my last segment, a couple of new tricks that can each save a massive amount of time have been discovered.
As such, before I continue with my description of this segment, I'm going to briefly describe what was discovered in the order that it could/would be used in a TAS, along with whether or not it will be used in this TAS:
Gold Bar Skip/CC2 Skip: Using the newly (re?)discovered camera-lock glitch, Zac Cannan was able to find a way to prevent the FireGem Door and the Sharpclaw Door in Cape Claw from loading when we come back from placing Spellstone 4. Besides letting us skip CC2, this would also allow us to make use of Gold Bar Skip, which had already been discovered a while ago (also by Zac), but was previously not usable due to it preventing us from opening the Sharpclaw Door (which at the time would have been a softlock). Gold Bar Skip saves about a minute over getting the gold bars normally, and CC2 skip saves between 2 to 2.5 minutes. As such, this would have given us a net timesave of about 3 and a half minutes. However, adding in this trick would require me redoing almost 50 minutes of gameplay (and 70 minutes of gameplay if I wanted to have an optimal fuel cell route). As such, I am leaving this trick to be implemented by a future TASer of Star Fox Adventures. It's a shame that this was found too late for me to use in this TAS... but on the other hand, I kind of want to have at least 1 RRESW to be in this TAS, and having CC2 still in the TAS allows for that to be possible, so I'm satisfied with it :P
Faster Ground Quake Early With Camera-Lock Glitch: Using the camera-lock glitch, Zac discovered that we can get past the Moon Mountain Pass Gate without the key, and we can prevent the door blocking the Ground Quake upgrade from loading. This makes getting the Ground Quake upgrade about 4 minutes faster - before, it required several minutes of staff-swinging (which makes one of my earlier posts' foreshadowing inaccurate - there will now be no staff-swinging anywhere in this TAS). This trick will be used in this segment, so I will explain it more in detail in my notes down below. The only sort of "out-of-the-way" things required from discovering this trick so late are that we need to grab an extra bomb spore and 3 more blue grubtubs after landing in TTH.
Faster K4 Early Method: This was one discovered by me, although Zac gave me the idea to go directly to the sewers instead of starting the 2nd airswim at the back of TTH. After we start the airswim to do K4 Early, we can cancel our airswim on the edge of TTH, and then walk around the map to get to where the tunnel to the sewers is. From there, we can fall into the sewers, navigate half-inside the walls, and start an airswim in the water at the start of the sewers to continue with the trick. Because swimming is so slow in this game, this method saves about 40 seconds over the original way of doing K4E. This trick will appear in the next segment, so stay tuned!
Queen Earthwalker CS Skip After Placing Spellstone 4: Using the camera-lock glitch, Zac discovered that we can skip the cutscene of the queen talking to Fox after getting back to TTH after placing Spellstone 4. This cutscene is pretty short, so this only saves about 20 seconds or so. This also requires us to grab 3 more blue grubtubs later on, although this doesn't require us going out of the way compared to if this had been known about when I first routed this TAS, since we never had a chance to get those grubtubs while waiting for something else to happen (it would take the same amount of time to get the blue grubtubs later as it would to get them earlier). This will be included towards the very end of the TAS - not for a while.
Sunstone and Moonstone Skip: This is the biggest timesave that was discovered recently, and it was also discovered by Zac. When we are in Walled City 2 (which we can only get to by placing Spellstone 4), the default state of the temple when it's partially loaded is for the K5 shrine entrance to be raised up, and for the portal to K5 to be active. Normally, this doesn't matter, since there isn't a way to normally get into the main area of WC with the map partially loaded. However, if we start an airswim in WC and then swim near the entrance to the Moonstone Temple, we can hit some triggers that cause the main map to partially unload. Then, we can swim away from the hallway, go back towards the main area without hitting those triggers on the way back out, and cancel our airswim outside the Moonstone Temple. From here, we are free to walk up to the top of the temple to the K5 warp portal, and to warp to K5. This works because the game normally partially unloads the main area of WC to save space when you enter where the Moonstone Temple is, and then re-loads it when you hit the triggers again walking out of the hallway to exit the Moonstone Temple. However, since we hit the triggers to de-load on the way in and didn't hit them on the way out, this allows for the map to stay partially unloaded. Note that this can't be done in WC1, since the warp portal isn't usable/active then, so we have to place Spellstone 4 before we can use the K5 warp portal. Doing this trick skips collecting the Sunstone, collecting the Moonstone, placing the 2 stones, and doing a CS skip to avoid talking to Tricky's dad - which combines to save us a whopping 6 minutes! Stay tuned for the very end of the TAS to see this trick in action!
...With that all out of the way, let's get on to the segment at hand! This segment is kind of a miscellaneous-tasks segment: we fly back to TTH from CRF, we release K3, we get the Portal Opener upgrade, we do a RESW in TTH to get 2 identical files in TTH, we unlock Walled City, we get the Ground Quake, and then we ESW back to TTH to finish things off:
The route for this section is:
- Fly from CloudRunner Fortress to ThornTail Hollow.
- Grab 2 blue grubtubs and a bomb spore in Thorntail Hollow.
- Use the Warpstone to go to Krazoa Palace.
- Use the Sharpclaw Disguise to open the door blocking where you release K3, and then release K3.
- Do the egg event, and damage down to 1 heart left on the Weasels while waiting for time to run out.
- Hit the ESW trigger in ThornTail Hollow, get the Portal Opener upgrade (along with 1 red mana crystal next to the upgrade), and then Save+Quit to set up a RESW.
- Load the other file which is still in CloudRunner Fortress, die, and don't save and continue. This will cause a RESW, which will give us 2 identical files in TTH.
- Plant the bomb spore near the Warpstone for later.
- Start an airswim, and use it to get around the cutscene trigger for the Queen Earthwalker.
- Grab the fuel cell in the Queen's house, and use the Portal Opener to unlock Walled City.
- Grab a yellow mana gem in the Queen's house.
- Plant and blow up a bomb spore to open the entrance to Moon Mountain Pass.
- Climb back up towards the tunnel to the well, grab a blue grubtub, and do the camera-lock glitch with Tricky on the tunnel.
- Go through the Moon Mountain Pass Link map, and grab the fuel cell near the wind-tunnel on the Moon Mountain Pass side of the link map.
- Feed Tricky to lock the camera at the edge of Moon Mountain Pass, and get past the trigger which loads the trigger for the Moon Mountain Pass cutscene with the guards (which also skips the Moon Mountain Pass gate from loading).
- Kill the 2 guards in the hideout to open the lifeforce door.
- Grab the fuel cell from up on the ledge of the hideout.
- Feed Tricky to set up another camera-lock glitch in the Volcano Force Point Temple entrance. Then, turn the camera around, target, and feed Tricky again to lock the camera in place.
- Use the camera-lock state to get past the loading trigger for the Ground Quake door.
- Enter the Ground Quake hole, get the Ground Quake upgrade (along with 1 red mana crystal next to the upgrade), and then Save+Quit to set up the ESW back to ThornTail Hollow.
- Load the file in ThornTail Hollow, hit the ESW trigger, quit without saving, and switch files.
- Hit Tricky 6 times so that he flames you and kills you. Then, save and continue in order to ESW back to ThornTail Hollow with the Ground Quake upgrade.
0:00 - This section starts off right after we got Spellstone 2 in CloudRunner Fortress. Now, we are going to fly back to ThornTail Hollow.
0:47 - This is the best moment of this flying section (which itself is probably the best flying section I've TASed so far). I manage to get all the gold rings here, while also killing all the enemies in this section without slowing down. This is something that none of my previous TASes of this section were able to achieve, and it was accomplished in part due to using barrel rolls, which let Fox move left and right much faster than he could normally.
0:56 - In another section of tight shooting, I manage to kill all the enemies here without slowing down or missing any gold rings.
1:06 - I finished with the highest score I've gotten in any flying section so far - which was 1860 (I have 1660 points on the last frame the score is on screen before reaching the end of the flight, and you get 200 more points for finishing with all 10 gold rings. However, I press A to close the textbox showing the high scores before it displays on screen).
1:22 - If you look at the mountains in the background, you can see that some of the textures are all messed up - they're gray instead of their usual green. This is caused by a memory leak that happened when I did the Cape Claw Early glitch earlier on in the TAS, and will remain in effect unless we do a hard console reset. However, since we never do that, some textures in TTH will look like this for the rest of the TAS. This mostly has no effect on gameplay - although it does cause there to be a slight chance that TTH can crash each time you enter it (I think this is based on which layer of TTH is loaded and how many times you've saved+quit before - although it seems mostly random. The crash, if it happens, is just the game remaining on the black screen at the end of the flight section and never loading TTH).
1:37 - We grab a bomb spore and 2 blue grubtubs at the same time here. I move in a way to manipulate the 2 blue grubtubs so that one staff swing hits both, and I collect them without even needing to move. These needed to be routed in on the fly due to the discovery of the new Ground Quake Early method (if you remember, in one of my earlier posts I incorrectly said that we were done getting blue grubtubs and feeding Tricky for the rest of the TAS). There wasn't a faster way to get these 2 blue grubtubs, but if this trick had been discovered earlier in the TAS, I could have gotten a bomb spore on the way back to the Arwing to go to DIM, which would have been a bit faster than this.
2:02 - We use the Warpstone to warp to Krazoa Palace here in order to release K3. We need to release K3 in order to unlock the egg event, which we need to complete to get the Portal Opener, which we need to unlock Walled City, which in turn we need to do in order to get K5, which is needed to beat the game. Note that the Warpstone's earlier text of "Aaaah... A lovely sweetie! Hmmmm..." doesn't appear on console. This is an emulator-only issue.
2:39 - By walking against the side of the wall here, we can clip up to the platform up above about a second earlier than we could otherwise. This could have probably also saved time in the Krystal section of the TAS if I had known about this then.
2:55 - Since Fox moves kind of slowly on the wind lifts, we land on the side of the next wind lift as soon as possible and roll around the edges, rather than going across in the air through the wind lift.
2:59 - We use the Sharpclaw Disguise to open the door, and then we release K3. For some reason, the audio glitches out when Fox releases K3, and doesn't play the sound of Fox screaming like it's supposed to. I played this back in Dolphin to listen to it, and confirmed that it happens there too. It's possible it could be an emulator-only audio issue, or it might be due to releasing K3 so soon after opening the door - idk...
3:59 - Releasing K3 is the trigger for the egg event being active. Additionally, releasing K3 causes an ESW trigger to become active just outside the egg event, which we pass by at this point.
4:02 - This is one of the few autoscroller sections of the game. We need to deathwarp two times relatively soon in the TAS, so we need to get down to 1 heart left (it's better to have 1 heart left than 1/4 heart, since we need to take damage in a few spots first in order to save time). As such, I let the weasels attack me until my health is at 1 heart. Note that none of the weasels even get a chance to pick up an egg, lol.
5:59 - Beating the egg event activates a one-time-only save trigger. After this, we walk back through the egg room, which causes us to hit the ESW trigger again. We then go into the cave where the Portal Opener upgrade is.
6:14 - We grab a red mana crystal, and then grab the Portal Opener upgrade. We will need to use the Portal Opener two times in this TAS: once to unlock Walled City, and once to open the door in Krazoa Palace to release K4 - both of which are needed for this TAS to beat the game.
6:24 - We Save+Quit here. This means that this file will re-spawn right outside the egg event when we next re-load it, since we activated the save trigger there. This skips us having to walk back out of the cave. More importantly, however, we use this Save+Quit as the starting point for the RESW we are about to do. Our goal is to get 2 identical files in TTH. That way, we can ESW back to TTH at 2 different times in the TAS to save time (otherwise, we would have to ESW to CloudRunner Fortress and fly back to TTH on 2 separate occasions, which would be excruciatingly slow).
6:41 - We load up the file which is still in CRF. Note that we have to walk towards the climbable wall instead of going in the other direction - since if we went the other way, we would hit a save trigger which would cancel our ESW. We then fall off the ledge and land on the platform below, which makes us take fall damage and die. We then don't save and continue, which makes us RESW to the TTH ESW point. Now, we have 2 identical files in TTH.
6:52 - At this point, we now have 3 tasks to accomplish, which can be done in any order: Unlocking Walled City, getting the Ground Quake, and getting K4. I tested/timed out each of the components of the different possible routes/orders for these tasks, and determined that the fastest order to complete them in is to unlock Walled City first, then get the Ground Quake, and then get K4. To see how I arrived at this conclusion, you can check out my timing notes here: https://pastebin.com/B8KQZhtu
These notes don't account for the fact that I actually get the bomb spore right after landing from CRF, rather than later. However, this would make the fastest route have an even bigger advantage over the other 3 routes than it already does, so this didn't require further testing.
On a side note - I ended up TASing the section from landing in TTH to releasing K3 three different times: Once before the new Ground Quake Early method was discovered, once after this new method was discovered in order to grab the 2 blue grubtubs on the way to the Warpstone, and once again when I realized that it would be faster to get both the 2 blue grubtubs and a bomb spore right after landing in TTH, which is what the final TAS actually does.
6:56 - Our next goal is to unlock Walled City. Before we do that, we quickly plant a bomb spore next to the Warpstone. However, we don't blow it up just yet. The reason why we wait to go grab the 2 fuel cells in this cave is that we need to go into this cave later on in the TAS anyways for a health refill, so there's no point in going there twice. However, since we will have 1/4 heart when we want to enter the cave later on, we need to have already planted the bomb spore so that we can shoot it from a distance (otherwise, after planting it, we would have to roll to get far away, blow up the plant, and then roll back to where we were, which is pretty slow). As an aside, whether or not a bomb plant is planted on a given patch of dirt and whether or not a given wall has already been blown up are all flags which are copied along with Fox's inventory whenever we do an ESW. The 2 ESWs we will do later will both copy our inventory from this file and send us back to the TTH ESW point, so this will preserve the bomb plants correctly.
7:02 - If we enter the Queen's house to open Walled City normally, we will be forced to watch a cutscene where the Queen tells Fox that the King EarthWalker has been captured and taken prisoner in the Walled City. In order to skip this, we start an airswim in the waterfall here. Our goal is to navigate out of bounds around the trigger for the cutscene, and then clip back in bounds to unlock Walled City. Doing this cutscene skip is a net timesave of about 20 seconds.
7:26 - This terrain here is at the perfect height for us to cancel our airswim out of bounds. From here, we move to navigate around the map towards the Queen's house.
7:32 - We need to stay to the left of the trees we encounter until we get past the tree that's really close to the edge of the ledge. The reason for this is that staying to the left will allow us to hit a load trigger, which is necessary for the objects in the Queen's house to load properly. If we miss this trigger, then the Queen's CS trigger will still exist/work normally, but we won't be able to open the Portal door or unlock Walled City (the opposite of what we want). After this point, where we walk doesn't matter, so we just try to walk in as straight/direct of a line as possible towards the Queen's house.
7:44 - We fall off the upper ledge here and land on a half out of bounds piece of collision. Note that we roll and immediately shield right before we hit the ground in order to prevent taking fall damage. Also, we can't roll off the edges here, since it will cause us to lose all of our forward momentum and fall straight down, while walking off the edges lets us keep our forward momentum.
7:46 - We move back towards in bounds in front of the Queen's door here. This lets us hit an important load trigger which is necessary for the objects in the Queen's house to load. If we didn't hit this trigger, then no objects in the Queen's house would load, which would make it impossible to unlock Walled City.
7:49 - The movement through this torch is kind of tight. We need to move far enough to the right that we are partially rolling over where there's no out of bounds collision to stand on in order to avoid hitting the trigger for the Queen's cutscene (you can roll/move over this gap where there's no ground for a fraction of a second before falling). Once we get far enough forwards, we hold left to avoid falling out of bounds, and then we clip back in bounds past the cutscene trigger.
7:52 - This fuel cell is one of the most in-route/least out of the way fuel cells in the entire TAS. In fact, this fuel cell is on the shortest path from where Fox clips back in bounds to where we open the portal door. As such, this fuel cell is notable for being the only fuel cell which adds 0 extra frames to the TAS to get (it would actually cost us time if we wanted to avoid getting it).
7:53 - We use the Portal Opener to unlock Walled City here. Note that we have to open the portal door before releasing K4. Otherwise, when we open the portal door, the game won't actually unlock the option to fly to Walled City, which would be a softlock.
(Continued in the next post)
8:06 - Our next goal is to get the Ground Quake. We need the Ground Quake for only one trick: to perform Ground Quaker hovers to skip past the flames in the 5th Krazoa Shrine at the end of the TAS. Doing this allows us to skip collecting the ice blaster, which in turn lets us skip collecting Spellstone 1, which saves us over 15 minutes in this TAS (even after accounting for the extra time needed to get the Ground Quake)! To start this off, we first need to walk to Moon Mountain Pass. Note that I originally did this segment in a different way. However, Fuzzyness pointed out a way for me to save 30+ seconds, so I re-did this segment to use his idea. Before we continue, however, I will now give an overview of how the Ground Quake Early trick works:
About 10 years ago, Kazooie posted a video that showed how the camera can get messed up if you climb onto a ladder on the same frame that you feed Tricky. He also showed that it was possible to feed Tricky a second time and get the camera to lock in place while Fox can move around freely. I found this video while looking at Kazooie's old videos, and brought it up to Zac, and asked if he could find anything useful with this glitch. Zac then thoroughly analyzed/tested the glitch, and found a way to use it to skip the Moon Mountain Pass Gate and the Ground Quake Door!
In my first attempt at this segment, I saved and quit after reaching the save trigger in MMP, switched files to the file in TTH, fed Tricky as I grabbed the climbable wall to the Shop in TTH, and then switched back to the file in MMP. However, Fuzzyness discovered that we could feed Tricky in front of the tunnel to the well instead, which is 35 seconds faster! Thus, I re-did the last 4 minutes of this segment to include that timesave.
So how does this glitch work? In a nutshell, this trick lets us skip certain triggers that are near the edge/entrance to a map using the following process:
- Feed Tricky on the same frame that Fox grabs on to a ladder, enters a tunnel, or grabs on to a climbable wall. This will put the camera in a state where it goes apeshit whenever Fox tries to move, and it will stay that way until you press target (note that in both cases where I do this trick in the TAS, I press target so soon after feeding Tricky that you barely see the camera move at all).
- We press target at some point to fix the camera. Then, we enter a new map - which triggers the camera to enter the locked state the next time we feed Tricky. We then feed Tricky on the edge of a map which borders the map which has the desired trigger on it. This will cause the camera to lock on to Tricky, and the camera will remain that way after the feeding cutscene has finished.
- We then walk into the next map and passed some loading triggers with the camera locked. When we have gone far enough, we press target to unlock the camera. From there, if we did everything right, we should have avoided loading the desired object/trigger, and can now move past it. Note that we can keep getting new camera locks by feeding Tricky again after we target for the first time - this effect won't go away until the camera mode moves away from Fox, such as when planting a bomb spore or when a lifeforce door unlocks.
This only works for things whose load trigger is near the edge of a map, since we can't go that far into the next map with the camera locked before we would get frozen in place, and it can't be used to unload things which are currently loaded - it only can prevent loading from happening.
So how can we use the camera-lock glitch here? The answer is as follows:
- After planting the bomb spore near MMP, climb back up, and feed Tricky on the same frame that we enter the tunnel to the well (planting a bomb spore disables the glitch, which is why we need to do that first). Target after this to fix the camera.
- Go into the MMP Link Map, and feed Tricky to lock the camera on the edge of the MMP Link Map near MMP (MMP Link Map is a different area from TTH, so feeding Tricky here causes the camera to lock), walk past the trigger which would load the MMP CS trigger, and then target to fix the camera. Now, since the default state of the gate is unloaded until the CS plays, we can walk right through it and kill the Sharpclaws in the hideout (which opens the lifeforce door)! Unfortunately, the Ground Quake door is still there. We'll deal with that momentarily...
- Enter the Volcano Force Point Temple, and feed Tricky on the same frame that we grab the climbable wall. Note that we have to do this again before we can camera lock because the cutscene of the lifeforce door unlocking cleared our glitched camera state.
- Walk forward, then turn around and target to make the camera pass through MMP on the frame that we cancel the crazy camera state. The game will count this as us having entered a new area, which will enable our next feed to lock the camera (the turnaround here is done so fast that it only takes a few frames in my video).
- Feed Tricky at the edge of the Volcano Force Point Temple map (before the text saying "Moon Mountain Pass" would appear if you walked past it). This will lock the camera in the Volcano Force Point Temple.
- Walk past the trigger for the Ground Quake door to load, and then target to fix the camera.
- We can now walk straight to the cave where the Ground Quake is unencumbered! This works because the game unloads the Ground Quake Door to save space when you enter VFPT, and reloads it when you exit, but this skips the reloading.
Did that all make sense? I hope so! If not, then maybe the next notes will make it more clear...
8:08 - Because of how steep this ramp is, we actually need to skip a roll going down it. Otherwise, the game would cancel our roll since it would think we should be falling, which would cause us to lose all of our forward momentum while we fall to the ground.
8:11 - We grab the yellow mana gem here on our way out of the Queen's house. Note that the trigger for the Queen's cutscene is bidirectional, which means it can be activated when you get near the Queen in any direction. Based on where we're standing, we would activate it... But fortunately for us, unlocking Walled City automatically disables the cutscene trigger, which means that we can walk right by the Queen without talking to her.
8:29 - We save about half a second here by rolling against the wall as we go over the last edge before the bomb spore patch. This causes us to immediately cancel our jump and start falling down, which lets us plant the bomb spore much faster (you need to be standing on the ground to plant a bomb spore).
8:31 - When Fox plants the bomb spore, the camera moves away from Fox into a sort of cinematic mode for a few seconds. If we had the camera in any sort of glitched state at this point, then this would reset it back to normal - which is why we need to activate the camera lock glitch state AFTER planting this bomb spore. We blow up the bomb flower when the cutscene ends, and then climb back up towards the tunnel to the well.
8:46 - This blue grubtub is the least out of the way from where we're going, so we grab it. After that, we need Tricky to spawn close to the tunnel so that we can do the camera-lock glitch quickly. If we just stood still and waited for Tricky to catch up to us, it would take about 5 seconds longer than it does here. To make Tricky spawn close to the tunnel, we get a little past the tunnel, and then turn and roll towards the tunnel. A few frames after we start rolling, we then press call and target, which makes Tricky spawn at the Tricky trigger which is right in front of the tunnel. We then roll up to Tricky to get him to turn slightly towards us/to get him to be feedable from farther away, which enables us to be able to feed him at the tunnel entrance (otherwise, he would be too far away to feed right away, and even if you call him right away, he takes a few seconds before he starts moving towards you). We then feed Tricky at the same frame that we would enter the tunnel, which starts the camera-lock glitch. Once we're done feeding Tricky, we target to cancel the crazy camera state. Now, we have things cued up so that if we feed Tricky after entering a new area, the camera will lock! With that set up, we now start walking towards Moon Mountain Pass.
9:07 - Fun fact: the loading trigger for Moon Mountain Pass is actually in the wind tunnel leading up to the Moon Mountain Pass side of the map. As such, even if there was some way to walk across the middle of the room without falling down when the platform breaks (which there isn't), we still wouldn't be able to load Moon Mountain Pass without first falling down here. Ever since I played this game as a kid, I always thought it would be cool if there was a way to roll quickly to avoid falling down here, so it's really annoying that it's impossible - it feels like the devs cheated. But what're ya gonna do?
9:13 - I timed it out, and it's a half second faster to wait for the platform to rise up before jumping (and make it clean onto the next ledge) as opposed to jumping immediately and grabbing on to the ledge near the wind-tunnel exit. That's why I spin around for a second while waiting here.
9:18 - We grab the fuel cell on the way out of the wind tunnel. This fuel cell is pretty in-route, so we get it in place of the fuel cell in SnowHorn Wastes that requires raising the platform, since that one's a bit slower.
9:27 - Since we are at the edge of the MMP Link Map near Moon Mountain Pass, it's now time for us to lock the camera! Fortunately for us, there's a Tricky spawn trigger in the middle of the tunnel to MMP here. In order to make Tricky spawn there, we roll a little past the trigger, then turn around and roll the other way. Then, a few frames later we press call to make Tricky spawn right next to us. We then need to roll a little to the left/further away from Tricky in order to get him into a state where we can feed him faster (I don't know why this works this way - I just know that this was the fastest way I could feed him). After this, we feed him and lock the camera in place in the MMP Link map.
9:30 - With the camera locked in place, we proceed to move forward into MMP. Once we get past the point where the loading trigger for the trigger for the MMP cutscene of the Sharpclaws in the hideout is, we target to fix the camera. We can now move freely up Moon Mountain Pass towards the hideout!
9:41 - We pass the point on the ground here where the trigger to cause the cutscene of the Sharpclaws talking in the hideout (and the barrels rolling down the hill) would normally play. However, since we skipped hitting the trigger which loads this trigger, we can go right past it. This cutscene/trigger has the effect of loading a fuel cell halfway up the MMP trail, and of making the gate up ahead load. Since we skip this cutscene, that fuel cell doesn't spawn, and the gate blocking us isn't there.
9:47 - The fuel cell that doesn't spawn would normally be in front of this wall/obstacle that we approach on the right side of it.
9:55 - The gate that fails to load would normally be right here. Normally, we would need to use the key from completing the beacon event to open the gate (which in turn requires obtaining Spellstone 1 to get).
10:01 - In order to get the door blocking the Ground Quake upgrade to unload, we need to enter the Volcano Force Point Temple, and set up another camera lock there right near where the MMP map starts. In order to get in there, we need to kill the 2 Sharpclaws in the hideout to open the lifeforce door. The giant Sharpclaw takes 5 fireblaster shots to kill, and will block any shot except for ones that hit him in the face. The regular Sharpclaw takes 4 fireblaster shots to kill, and blocks most shots besides those that hit him in the face or tail. After 9 shots, the 2 Sharpclaws are quickly killed 🙂
10:04 - As I described in my segment in CloudRunner Fortress, if Fox starts a roll as a cutscene of a lifeforce door unlocking is playing, he will keep his roll momentum during the cutscene. Thus, I roll into the wall right before the cutscene starts at the perfect angle to be at the edge of the doorway when the cutscene finishes.
10:06 - This cutscene cancels the glitched camera state, so we will need to use a climbable wall in VFPT to set up the trick again.
10:08 - We grab the fuel cell which is up on the ledge here.
10:21 - Tricky is really far away from us here. As such, we want to manipulate him to spawn much closer to the climbable wall in VFPT. To do this, we get a little past the doorway, and then turn and target to get the camera to face away from the ledge. Then, we turn and roll, followed by calling Tricky a few frames later, which causes Tricky to spawn at a Tricky trigger very close to the climbable wall. However, Tricky is slightly too far away from the edge of the platform to be able to feed him at the climbable wall, and it takes a second or two before you can get Tricky to move forwards, even if you call him again immediately. We can extend the range that we can feed Tricky from by making him face the edge (that way, we can feed him closer to the edge - since you can feed Tricky from much farther away when he's facing you), as opposed to how he's initially facing, which is parallel to the edge. To do this, we get close to Tricky in front of him, which makes him turn towards us. Once he's turned enough, we roll over to the climbable wall in VFPT, and feed Tricky on the same frame that we would grab the wall, which gets us in the glitched camera state.
10:25 - After feeding Tricky, we are in the state where the camera goes apeshit. However, it mostly goes crazy when we are next to Tricky, so the camera doesn't move around that much. We move forward a little bit after feeding Tricky to get near the MMP map. Then, once we are close enough, we turn around and target. This causes the camera to swing through the MMP map. Since we set up the glitch in VFPT and the camera reached a different zone, this makes it so that the next time we feed Tricky, the camera will lock. We then feed Tricky again a few frames later at the edge of the VFPT map, which actually locks the camera in place. Note that even though Tricky is full, trying to feed him will still work to trigger the camera lock - although we need to have at least 1 blue grubtub left to be able to attempt to feed Tricky.
10:28 - The camera gets locked in place in VFPT near the start of the MMP map. We then move into the MMP map, and get past the trigger that normally makes the Ground Quake door load. After that, we target to fix the camera. Note that this works because the game unloads the Ground Quake door to save memory when we enter VFPT, and we normally hit a trigger to re-load it when we exit VFPT. However, by preventing the trigger from activating that loads the Ground Quake door when stepped on, we prevent the Ground Quake door from loading at all! This also causes a few other minor effects. For example, the green lava plumes in MMP won't shoot out any flames in this state.
10:40 - At this point, we pass by where the door blocking the Ground Quake was. This door normally doesn't open until you watch a cutscene after placing Spellstone 1. Since the whole point of getting the Ground Quake was to skip collecting Spellstone 1, it was very important that we found a way to get past this door without completing the intended requirements.
10:48 - We enter the Ground Quake cave, grab a red mana gem, and then, at long last, we grab the prized Ground Quake upgrade! Now that we have completed this lengthy side-quest of our TAS, our next goal is to get K4, which is needed in order to unlock Dragon Rock. Of course, normally, you need to collect and place Spellstone 3 and do a lot of other tasks in order to be able to get K4. However, we will be able to do a glitch to skip all of that, which begins with starting an airswim at the waterfall in TTH. As such, our next goal is to get back to TTH (at the top of the waterfall) as quick as possible - and the fastest way to do that is to ESW back using the ESW trigger in front of the egg event. This is why we waited until after releasing K3 to collect the Ground Quake (since the TTH ESW trigger isn't active before that).
11:10 - To set up our ESW back to ThornTail Hollow, we first Save+Quit and switch files.
11:25 - We actually hit the ESW trigger in TTH almost immediately after moving forwards, but we need to wait a second before the game will let us pause (which it won't let us do until the HUD loads), which is why we spin in place to kill some time. After the game lets us pause, we quit without saving, and then switch back to the file in MMP. There was a save trigger near the entrance to VFPT, so since this is the last save trigger we hit before we saved and quit, we re-spawn there when we load the file.
11:42 - We now need to die in order to ESW back to TTH. There's just one small problem: We can't go back into VFPT because this will hit a save trigger that will cancel our ESW, we can't go past the MMP gate, since there's another save trigger there that will cancel our ESW, none of the plumes will shoot out flames to kill us since we glitched their loading when we did the camera-lock earlier, and there's no enemies or places to take fall damage from in this area. So how on earth are we going to die? The answer, is with a little help from our small purple dinosaur friend, of course!
Once you've unlocked Tricky's flame command, you can make him flame you by hitting him enough times, which does damage to Fox. The way Tricky is programmed to work is that, when he has flame unlocked, the first time you hit him, a timer is set to 180. Every frame, the timer goes down by 1, and every hit you do to Tricky after this adds 600 to the timer. When the timer gets at or above 3000, Tricky will then flame you. Credits to Rena Kunisaki for figuring this all out.
Based on this, you can see that the minimum number of times we can hit Tricky to make him flame us is 6 because 180 + (4 times 600) = 2,580 (5 hits is not enough) and 180 + (5 times 600) = 3,180 (6 hits is enough). However, since the timer is counting down every frame after the first time we hit Tricky with the staff, all of the subsequent hits have to be done within 180 frames (or 3 seconds) in order to get this off with 6 hits as opposed to 7. Will it even be physically possible for the TAS to pull this off? Stay tuned for the next 3 seconds to find out! 😛
The biggest issue with hitting Tricky quickly is that you start to slowly move through him after hitting him enough. To counter this, I hit Tricky for the first time as far away as possible. I then inch towards the right-side of Tricky with each hit. The 6th staff swing would cause me to move through Tricky and miss hitting him if I just swung forward again. As such, I swing all the way to the left/across his body for the last hit, which is able to hit him again without me needing to move back. And as it turns out, I was just barely able to get Tricky to flame me in 6 hits (I delivered the last hit with the timer at 2,405, so I had 6 frames left to spare).
Once Tricky shoots his flames out, it takes a little over half a second for the hitbox on his flames to become active and start damaging you (which was probably done by the devs so the player would have a chance to move out of the way). After this, we take 1/4 heart damage and die.
11:51 - We now save and continue. We need to save in order to copy our inventory from this file when we ESW (otherwise, we would do a RESW and have the inventory of the file which stayed behind in TTH and doesn't have GQ, which is the opposite of what we want). After this, we re-spawn in TTH with the Ground Quake upgrade!
11:56 - This part won't be in the final TAS, but I just included this to prove that I made it back to TTH with the Ground Quake upgrade. Also, you can look at the bottom of the screen to see that I have all the fuel cells I collected in MMP as well. And with that, this long segment is over!
And that's all she wrote! Join me next time to see Fox collect and release K4, and to finally fly to Dragon Rock.
Reposting this due to new UI changes done by speedrun.com where the original post is now harder to find.
As of today, a bunch of rules and categories have either been added, changed, or removed due to some recent developments for this game. The following has been changed.