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SDAVerification: 2013-02-24 12:47:39 pm
Game Page:

Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal (Any %) (Segmented)

Verifier Responses

Quality: yes, both great



Video quality: Acceptable. Some blurring and compression artifacts. The BG2 engine shows its age with pixelated textures, spell effects, and heavily compressed video cut scenes. This seems to give the capture trouble in spots but it’s still generally decent. Audio quality is good throughout.

Gameplay quality: Excellent. The game has been dismantled to the point of being unrecognizable. Virtually nothing is done as intended or without major glitches and sequence breaking to speed up the run. I needed to watch the video at quarter speed most of the time and frame advance the battles to see the tricks being done.

Highlights are killing Gromnir using a wild surge to bypass his save (about a 1.5% chance), Viconia and Anomen landing consecutive 20’s to harm and take out Balthazar, and duping Melissan and landing 2 harms to skip the ridiculously drawn out end sequence.

Menuing is generally tight during dialog. There is some hesitation and navigation errors while in sewers and during spell selection but I think it’s at most 1-2 seconds lost throughout the run. It would be very difficult to improve the precision while duplicating the luck manipulation involved.

Timing: I got 5:13 using SDA time. Note that there is a save menu during the end battle that normally would not be counted but a glitch is used here to let the game continue to run in the background. Therefore, I counted that whole save as gameplay time.

Verdict: Accept. Crushes the existing run, no evidence of cheating.

video quality: no complaints.  Certainly SDA worthy

Audio:  good, again. 

Gameplay: this run is the pinnacle of infinity engine speed running of which we could hope to achieve with all current known tricks, bugs and knowledge.  It is truly remarkable to see such progression from the speed runs of old for these games.  The run before us presents like the current diablo 1 speed run.  Luck manipulation at every turn, near perfect execution, certainly for what a human can achieve.  Many many segments, none of which make too much sense for the standard player, and above all else of course, a ridiculously fast completion time. 
Improvement wise on the run I really can’t think of anything, which makes sense as I attempted to help in the planning. Though fell short compared to the minds that eventually created this masterpiece.

Timing:  My video player is flaky with watching a video frame by frame so I can’t give an exact time run down as I might like too (perhaps someone can suggest a player that will allow me too, or maybe it is the file format or that I am incompetent).  The player takes control at 00:33 into the run, there are various load screens in the run, and many that are not.  I assume most have been edited out.  The ones that are left in appear to be for segment breaks.  I don’t know how much time is spent (or is edited to be spent at least) on each shown load screen but it appears to be about ¼ to 1/3rd of a second, like I said, my frame timing methods are inaccurate.  Either way, assuming they are left in for segment breaks, then we should add (as a penalty for segmenting) a quarter of a second per segment (rather than half a second, due to added non-edited out load screens).  Maybe the runner can offer some clarification on what was happening with respect to the editing, if I am incorrect.
ANYWAY.  The run starts at 00:33.  And the player loses all control of the main character, which occurs after the last boss is defeated and he finishes talking to a solar at 6:01, so not taking into account penalties for segment breaks we have a time of 5:28, and with segment breaks (17 * 1/4 = 4 seconds) I get a time of 5:32.
The other verifier got a time of 5:13 which means I probably timed something wrong, or they got the 1 and the 3 mixed up.  So maybe I need correcting on this. So I think a time of 5:32 (or 5:31 it was going to be close anyway and as I said my frame timings were not particularly accurate), assuming I have timed it correctly.

Decision: accept, for it is beyond godlike

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery and Eli 'Smilge' Chase!
Thread title:  
Quote from Flip:
Congratulations to Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery!

And Eli "Smilge" Chase! Why does his name keep disappearing from this!?
Not a walrus
He's on there, Flip must have just missed it.
As far as the time goes: I didn't check the math, but Smilge reckoned we had 5:06 before save penalties and 5:12 after penalties, which is roughly equal to what the second verifier got. I think the third verifier was including the final dialog with the solar in timing, which isn't how these runs have been timed in the past; SDA doesn't count dialogs as 'character control'. We'll have to double check the timing before it goes up on the site and see where the 1 second discrepancy with the second verifier comes from.

Side note: taking the time as 0:05:13, this run is a 92.5% time saving over Damurdoc's original 1:09:32 run from 2007. Smiley
By the way, do any of the verifiers have any comments on our comments? We tried to be as painstakingly detailed as possible, but was anything still unclear? Would the run benefit from audio commentary? (My feeling is 'probably not'; I suspect there's too much complexity in this run to be able to even touch on the surface of what's going on verbally in the few minutes that it takes to happen.)
I thought the comments were awesome!  They made verification much easier.  The only thing I had to hunt for was some of the combat result details since the 2-line message box scrolls them off within frames and the comments just say what move was used.  Also, from knowing the game I was guessing most of the rolls were tight but didn't know how close it was (like, they got a 20 but did they _need_ a 20?).

Timing was tough because the movie spliced the segments together including some loading screens that don't count in timing.  I got 5:13 pretty much on the nose but could be off by a few frames per segment since single stepping the mp4 doesn't seem to be totally accurate in my player.  If you two have a more accurate time for each segment that adds up to 5:12 I wouldn't be surprised.

Congrats again!
sda loyalist
Comments were very, very good. I knew a lot of the tricks but the newest tech. Thanks for an amazing run.
Yep, my bad. Forgot to check for additional runners. SORRY Undecided
Not a walrus
You're fired.
Gratz to Smilge and ExplodingCabbage! I'm glad people are recognizing the pure genius of the result. Great stuff, you guys.
Heh, I just saw this thread so you put my name on it before I knew it was missing.

The loading screens left in were meant to add up to SDA segment penalty. Some of the segment breaks were autosaves, which don't count toward the penalty, so I think only 12 of the 17 saves were penalty-inducing. So I took the 180 frames and split them evenly between segment breaks.

Thanks for verifying, I always enjoy reading the comments.
Edit history:
Chrno: 2013-02-26 09:51:36 am
Ohh, BG2. Can't wait for this to go up.

SDA needs more W-RPGs, and co-op ones are even better!
Edit history:
ExplodingCabbage: 2013-04-30 10:09:18 am
ExplodingCabbage: 2013-04-30 10:07:32 am
ExplodingCabbage: 2013-04-30 10:07:14 am
Lol, continuing the series of silly admin fail relating to this run, now even the game page lists me as the sole runner. Given how the comments start, it makes it look like I'm married to Candace!

Can we have this fixed, and have Smilge listed first on the game page, please? He did more of this run than I did. Smiley

Also, a couple of other things:

* A comments correction: could you replace "Thanks to nav for this find." with "Thanks to Marty81 for this find."? This was my mistake and I meant to send you a corrected version of the comments already - sorry about that.
* You have it listed as being '17 segmentes' currently.

Thanks a lot, guys. Smiley
Just watched this. Thanks to both runners for a very entertaining run and the detailed comments!
Truly mind-blowing!
Just so the admins are aware, I'm not stressing out over not having my name up there. I understand you guys are volunteers and are working hard to make everything right. Thanks a bunch for what you do!
lol my bad, must've overlooked it completely in the queue entry. Wasn't aware of the mishap in here so it just makes it more hilarious of a coincidence Smiley
Or maybe it says something about the need for backend improvements on the way extra runners is presented.

Anyways, this has now been corrected. Refresh your browser cache if it doesn't show right away.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Not a walrus
Oh sure, make it my fault. Wink
Edit history:
ExplodingCabbage: 2013-05-02 01:14:36 pm
ExplodingCabbage: 2013-05-02 01:14:21 pm
Quote from moooh:
Wasn't aware of the mishap in here so it just makes it more hilarious of a coincidence Smiley

Smilge also wasn't originally added to the private thread where I was invited to submit the video files (despite him being the original submitter, and the one who had the files), making this the third time in a row he's been missed off this run. Poor guy. Tongue

Anyway, thanks for fixing it up. Smiley
Not a walrus
Oh, so you're the reason I had to re-code that to message all the listed runners.
Quote from UraniumAnchor:
Oh, so you're the reason I had to re-code that to message all the listed runners.

Ha! Smiley