Whats the reason for Wheels being used in speedruns? Is it because Wheels is the perfect combination of speed and power, or is the Wheels cutscene shorter than the others?
I played around with the bots and for Rescue I found it 100% didn't matter to me because the speed and power only affect when you hold the D-Pad and I'm always tapping.
For Hide+Seek though, there are many games where you need to spin the ball to find things - Drill, Brick, the two Towers - so I'm using the bot with max speed for those. (With this bot, you can actually tap-drag faster than you can hold-drag!)
Oh, I didn't know that tapping wasn't effected by speed and power. I might experiment with tapping and see how it feels for myself.
Update - FFR told me that the bot you choose determines the length of the cutscene after 5-10 (at least on certain revisions of the game), and he says Wheels is the fastest. I will check it out myself later.
Update update: Here's the times for the bot-specific cutscenes, from first black frame after 5-10 to last black frame before credits. + means I didn't account for the Elgato delay and stopped recording early, so they could be as much as .750s short, but they aren't the fastest so it's not worth re-recording. Rocket 54.684 Gear 43.550+ Gyro 51.150+ Stomp 35.300 Wheels 29.500 Turbine 54.083 Jak 28.217
So it looks like Jak is the winner. They might be off by a few frames but it's not so close that it matters. Meanwhile, I've been running with the absolute worst one...
Now, this adds an actual consideration for Hide and Seek... do you save more time using Rocket to find drills/towers quickly than the 26s you lose with the cutscene? (It turns out all of the speed bots have slow cutscenes...)
I should also note that at a certain point a save file tips over and starts showing the 2-minute-long "on-stage" cutscene where it used to show the bot-specific cutscene. This seemed to happen to my file after I used the all-levels unlock code and did the above test, so it might be related to seeing every bot-specific cutscene or otherwise clearing things with multiple bots. If it happens, you'll have to start a new save file for speedrunning non-ILs (which isn't really a problem because you can just unlock everything pretty easily).