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Must be nostalgia as a kid because I had a great time playing this as a kid even if it was pretty hard. That had to be 15+ years ago by now though so
maybe it wasn't as good as I remembered haha.

I am excited to see your final run come out as I never beat act 5. I remember getting to the final boss but never beating stage 1 of the boss.
The Dork Knight himself.
Yeah the rubber ducky fight is fun if you don't have weapons.
The Dork Knight himself.
So in a moment of pure inspiration, I decided to go over my routes for 3-2, 3-3, and 4-2. Apparently I'm pretty stupid cause just tweaking those areas saves me just shy of 20 seconds without even trying. So now it looks like my goal time is gonna be sub-14 (just how far under that I don't know).
The Dork Knight himself.
Shaved off another 30 seconds from my last run making my new time to beat 14:16 and change.

Sub-14 is still possible, but I'm not sure how far under that I can go. Aside from cleaning up the 2 unintentional deaths (which were both really fuckin sloppy) my only idea is to revisit the Rubber Ducky fight and see if I can be more aggressive. It's possible in theory, but with the exploding penguins constantly being thrown at me I don't know how feasible it is. The other thing that annoys me is a glitch in Act 1 that can potentially save another 10 seconds. In 1-2, the broken building, there are 2 statue heads that fall down and need to be destroyed before you can drop down to the next floor (otherwise you get sucked into the vent and start the section over). There is a way to make the statue heads not appear, saving almost 5 seconds each time, but I don't know the exact details to duplicate it.

Now onto the actual improvements that saved time in this run:

Jumping from a higher spot and taking damage against the first bowler clown saves about 2 seconds over wasting a homing batarang. It also saves a negligible amount of time in the Penguin fight in 2-3.

Getting more aggressive with the gondolas saves a TON of time here, as does not killing the 2 clowns.

It's actually faster to simply go through the level and not drop into the ammo pit. Even though I have less weapons against the bosses, it's easily 3x slower to grab them.

New ideas for improvement
5-3: Get heavily aggressive against that damn Rubber Ducky. If I can jump 1 more ice platform to get into position and get really close to the duck I can potentially save about 10 seconds in this fight alone. That is enough to push me under 14 mins.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2013-03-24 10:20:33 pm
honorableJay: 2013-03-24 09:42:52 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
So my idea for getting aggressive on the Rubber Ducky definitely works, BUT it's a seriously dangerous strat since I literally have 1 shot for it to work. If it fails I have to instantly reset. The good news is this will push me under 14 mins. Hopefully I'll get it within the next few days.

.....or I'll get it on my first try. Current time is 13:57 with at least 10 seconds of improvements. Looks like I'm gonna just keep going until I'm happy (or dead from frustration).
The Dork Knight himself.
***Attention Lurkers***

So, I finally dug through my recordings and encoded the 13:57 run. What I need is for anyone who is lurking to go through that with a fine tooth comb and find anything that can possibly be improved, new strat ideas, things I may have missed, etc. Right now I'm at my wits end with this game, but I KNOW there's at least 15 seconds worth of improvements to be found, and if newer strats can be used, up to 30 seconds (I've been ahead by 15 seconds going into Act 4 and blown it with Act 5 ice physics). I could watch that all day long and (between sessions of barfing) the only things I can find are all luck based for the first 4 acts and "suck less" in the 5th act.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2013-03-31 01:41:54 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
Submitted Smiley
I will continue to try and get a better time while the verifiers come in, so I'm not completely done yet.

The Dork Knight himself.
Ok, so I cleaned up the terrible Act 3, and had decent luck throughout the rest of the run. New best time is 13:35.
The Dork Knight himself.
When Games Attack!!
The Dork Knight himself.
I'm still working on improving this run, but my attempts have been met with disaster. In the meantime, this run is currently still waiting for verifiers and is in danger of going into Public Verification. It's not that I don't like Public Verification for runs, but I do prefer the brutality that private verifiers are willing to dish out on a run that's not fully optimized. If anyone has knowledge of this game at all (I'm looking at you Mike, Adam, and Robo), please sign up to verify (just do NOT tell me about it).
The Dork Knight himself.
Well, the good news is the run passed verification. The bad news is that, after more careful review of the footage and some extra testing (along with figuring out how a particular trick works) I've decided to self-reject the run and go back to the grind to get a much more optimized run. Hopefully I'll be able to shave off a decent amount of time for the next submission.

I will be doing a live commentary of the current run (which is timed at 13:29) tomorrow, 5/16 at 11pm EST in the same style as my Golden Axe commentary. I won't be saving a permanent copy of it though, so if Twitch decides to update their system and break the video then it'll be lost.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2013-05-16 10:34:16 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
Stream is set to go live in 3 hours. I'll edit this post with the twitch video link for those that miss it.

Part 1 fast forward to 26 mins for the start.
Part 2
Part 3

OBS had a few twitch disconnects that couldn't be helped which is why it's in 3 parts. I started the stream early hoping that a few people would show up. I'm getting used to the format though so hopefully the next time it'll go a little smoother.
The Dork Knight himself.
Boy am I glad I pulled the submission, cause I got some improvements that are really slick. So far I've re-evaluated my Act 5 strats (thx verifiers) with some tweaks to fighting certain enemies and I'm looking at using a few more grapples. I'm not sure just how much time it'll save, but it'll definitely be enough. Aside from that, the attack cancel trick (that I've finally figured out how to execute properly) is definitely gonna make a few areas much easier to navigate.
Oh God the happy memories. Except without the "happy" part...

I like Smiley
The Dork Knight himself.
Rofl well I guess it's good that I enjoyed figuring out how to beat this game as a kid (although I was disappointed it wasn't like the snes version).
The Dork Knight himself.
Ok, so I have an experimental route for 3-1. Originally I was taking the top route since it's pretty easy to manage. In this area there are 4 animal cages I have to route myself through. However, it is possible to take the low route for cages 1, 3, and 4. The designers tried to make the pits wide enough to prevent players from just jumping over them, but if you glide on the first possible frame you'll safely land on the other side. The upside is there are less enemies to deal with and I get a few more weapon pickups to use on the bosses. The bad part is I can't just run past the enemies since it's nothing but flame clowns and they deal a ton of damage. 2 Batarangs will take em out but it's still faster to run past them rather than fight them. So while the upper route is overall a bit faster, the bottom route is better if I want an easier time against the bosses later. I just have to work on getting through the stage faster than I am at the moment. The other problem with the lower route is that the jump/glide to cross the pits is pretty much pixel perfect, and if not pixel perfect it's damn close to it.

Another possibility is skipping the initial flame clown in 3-2 by simply swinging directly to one of the gondolas, BUT the jump is not easy and I haven't really figured out the timing for it. Whether or not it can be done consistently is something I haven't figured out yet. The gondolas always spawn in the same position so it's just a matter of timing right now. I might even be able to go completely gung-ho and do a few grapple swings underneath the gondolas to bypass the machine-gun clowns.

I tried to go underneath the net again in 3-3 (circus tent of doom) but that strat is definitely not viable. Unfortunately there's no easy way to bypass the initial rope if the flame clown spawns or if the biker is chasing me. The only thing that route has going for it is I grab an extra Batclaw (which I don't need) which is faster than the homing Batarang in the axe clown fight.

1-2, the broken building, will be faster since I've found a reliable way to bypass the first statue head sequence: after grabbing the health I can safely pass through the floor without getting sucked into the vent. If only I could figure out a way to do that on the second statue head that would drop the total time saved to about 4 seconds for that stage alone. I might just lose the savings and come out even by picking up 2 extra weapons (1 Batclaw, 1 Batswarm) that I can use later. The Batclaw (top level right after you spawn) is worth it, the Batswarm (3rd level down I believe) probably isn't.
The Dork Knight himself.
Areas of change so far:

At the start, jump over the hole to grab an extra Batclaw. At the first statue head, use the health invulnerability to pass by the air vent.

Use attack cancels against the machine-gun clowns to avoid damage and get into climbing position faster.

Use short hops and attack cancels to keep moving, despawn enemies, and kill any trolls. ONLY use 3 Batclaws against the bruiser-clown (don't use them all).

Burn up 4 homers on the first Penguin wave. Save the other 2 for the next wave. Good positioning and quick damage should finish the fight in 2 cycles (although it hinges on me getting every homer pickup until this point).

Ideal: Get every pit skip first try for the extra weaponry. EVERY pit is now skippable. The large pit requires a precise grapple on the floor to get out of the pit in one shot.
Practical: take the standard route and not worry about the extra weapons (frame perfect jumps own me).

Initial grapple swing grabs 2 powerups and skips fighting the first flame clown. After the hit, drop into the pit and swing off of the house ledge to the other side and glide to the next gondola. Immediately grapple swing off of another gondola and take a hit from the machine-gun clown to pass through him. Jump + glide to the finish line. Estimated time savings are negligible depending on how bad the grapple lag is.

Use as many attack cancels as possible to delay the intentional death at the boxing-glove-boxes. For the 3rd section (safety-net-of-doom) avoid jumping where hits are guaranteed, use attack cancels to pass partially or all the way through the flame clowns. If enough damage is avoided, second death by the final biker can be avoided.

Either burn up all homers and finish out the fight with the Mighty Boot or just use the Mighty Boot and trap the clown in the corner. Either way the point is to save the Batclaw for the next stage. This will lose time here but gain it later.

Use up all saved Batclaws against the stilt-clown boss to avoid wasting time with random spawns. Enough quick damage allows for a 2 cycle here.

Initial axe-girl can be skipped with damage-invulnerability and good jump timing to setup the climb. After smoke bombs, careful grapple swings can get past the next 2 spike pits quickly. Axe-girl before the water pit grapple can be taken out with 4 punches (quicker than 4 sweeps). Axe-girl after the swing can be ignored using damage-invulerability. Every enemy in the final section can be skipped with a combo of damage-invuln and properly timed grapple swings. The actual grapple swings haven't been figured out yet since the ceiling has a tendency to shift out of range (rendering grappling useless). Eventually I'll work it all out.

ONLY use glide between the icebergs when I need to. If I have a clear jump then the glide will be ignored.
The Dork Knight himself.
So the newer strats are working..............somewhat. While I've ramped up the difficulty factor (and consequently the reset factor) I'm about 12 seconds ahead of my 13:29 by the end of Act 3. So far Act 5 has been completely fucking with my attempts (final section of 5-1 is a total nightmare) but if I can get a semi-clean run through of that area I have enough weapons stocked up to take down Penguin at least 10 seconds faster alone.
The Dork Knight himself.
Another slight change:

At the stairs, quick jump up to grab a homing Batarang, then grapple swing to grab a 2nd homer. The extras make the Act 2 Penguin fight finish in 2 cycles instead of 3.

It's overall better to just kick the axe clown in the corner and save the weapons for later. The Batclaws make the 4-1 sub-boss a breeze and the saved homers finish out the phase 2 Penguin fight really quickly. I'll lose a little time against the axe clown but more than make up for it with the shorter fights later on.
The Dork Knight himself.
Another night, another grouping of failed attempts. What annoys me is that I'm at least 15 seconds ahead going into Act 5, and with the tweaked boss fights and enemy management I'm looking to save about 10 more seconds. I'm so close to breaking 13 minutes.
i just found this game in my sega box! i should crack into it somtime!
The Dork Knight himself.
Sweetness, that there is a hidden gem of a game, you should totally crack into it Smiley  I do suggest you beat it normally before you attempt any real speedrun attempts though, you'll have a much better perspective on what it takes to beat the areas.
Edit history:
honorableJay: 2013-09-09 09:39:22 pm
The Dork Knight himself.
Shots fired.