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So, the plan is to do my first speedrun with Blakestone: Aliens of Gold.

An old game based on the engine of Wolfenstein 3D.

Why this game? I grew up with it. It's one of the games I truly love to play and can never really put down.

Issues I can see:

1.) Routing -> I haven't played it in years. So getting the fastest routes might be tricky
2.) Glitches -> Since it's a rarely played game, there aren't much glitches found yet. So it will be a glitchless run
3.) First speedrunning game -> I will stream a few attempts on twitch, to see how it goes. But alas, since it's my first I will probably set horrible times.

Anyone got tips/tricks about this game?
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Routing will become a lot easier now:

Time to start planning. Idea is:

Start at point. Get red key, return to start point. Go to next level. Every level (except level 9 in each episode) has your start point as your exit.
This game's on my to-do list: been running Wolf3D lately and Blake Stone feels like a natural progression after.

I recently went through E1 on the game's hardest difficulty and, let me tell you, it is HARD. Hard enough to the point where I don't know if it's reasonable to run the game on it. My Wolf3D runs are at hardest difficulty because Xvirus showed it could at least be done, but Blake Stone is just mean with regards to the increased health and damage of enemies (to say nothing of just how many there are). I'd make sure you know what difficulty you want to play first before running, since it may well change how you route.

Some tips:
- Not sure what kind of keys you like to use for FPS movement, but Blake Stone has a ton of hardcoded keys that make WASD/ESDF setups impossible by normal means. If you're using DOSBox (and I'm not sure how else you'd run the game save using a literal DOS/Win9x machine) then you can change keys by opening up the key mapper with SHIFT+F1. Otherwise, you can find a keyboard remapper online to do the same thing.
- I'd recommend playing without vertical mouse movement: while you can theoretically boost your forward motion with it, it makes precision turning problematic. For DOSBox, there's a file called NOVERT.COM that removes the vertical mouse movement for you. Unfortunately, the original novert was built for Doom, whereas Blake Stone has a slightly different requirement. I followed a hex editor online to apply the change: when I'm at the right computer I'll attach that file to this post (or another one, whatever) so you don't have to mess around with it. Otherwise, again, there's probably an application somewhere online for it.
- As in Wolf3D, you can straferun by moving forward and sideways at the same time. Moving at this speed also gives you the advantage of avoiding hitscan damage more often (though in this game that's last prevalent).
- Wolf3D has "door tricks", which exploit the fact that enemies in that game can open any door regardless of its key status. You should check to see if you can make this work in Blake Stone and, if so, which maps can benefit from it. Additionally, since the first weapon's silenced, you can potentially use it to single out candidates to open doors for you without waking up the whole room.
- Secret doors open up SUPER fast, so using them as (sometimes backup) strats to pick up health/ammo should not be considered too out of the way if the entrance itself is on the way.
- Plasma Dischage weapon has excellent damage: despite the high cost to fire, it can and should be used to annihilate stronger enemies quickly. It also seems like its splash damage spreads based not only on the source tile, but also from tiles containing enemies that are hit. Something like, if there are five enemies in a line, hitting the frontmost enemy would hit all of them. I'm not entirely sure this is true but you should investigate it because it'll save ammo in rooms with high enemy density.
- You only pick up stuff when you're facing it, so ALWAYS be sure you've picked stuff up. I can't tell you the countless times I've accidentally missed a key because I backed into it and assumed it was picked up.

I'd be interested in seeing any progress you've made, if you want to post some twitch highlights or whatever you have available.
I'm getting around to running this! Finally.

My aim is single-segment episodes on the hardest difficulty (Veteran Agent). Nothing concrete to show yet, just practicing the E1 route I've made thus far, but I have a few notes after messing around with the game:

Door Tricks
- For starters, you can't get enemies to open a locked door. It's hard to tell whether or not the AI is just messing with me, but it's not entirely surprising given the way keyed doors work in this game. Unlike Wolf3D, where having the key on your person allows you to open all doors requiring that key, BStone's keys are one-time use and set the door from "locked" (red dots indicate this) to "unlocked" (green dots). It could be that the game treats the door as a wall until it's unlocked, which would explain why enemies don't try to open them.
- There are, however, one-way doors in this game (openable by you on one side only), and those CAN be opened by the AI from either side. A really old segmented video (found here) shows how this can be used in E1M3. Unfortunately this game has lots of trouble with sprites (see below regarding PDU) and dead enemies will become deleted after a while. This doesn't close the doors stuck open by corpses, thank goodness, but an AI passes through said door, it WILL close. Thus, if you're going to hold doors open with a corpse, make sure no one else is going to pass through it.
- Since keys are one-time use, and have to stay in your inventory until used, you can hold onto those keys regardless of what level you're on. There likely won't be many opportunities to do so, but as an example, the gold key on E1M3 can be used on E1M9 instead, since we bypass the door on which it's normally used.

Plasma Discharge Unit (PDU)
- Since this is the hardest difficulty, grabbing a PDU as early as possible is SUPER-DUPER ALL-CAPS IMPORTANT. Blake Stone enemies have an absurd amount of HP (see below) and, combined with the random damage of your weapons, simply don't die without the power of rapid-fire grenades.
- PDU doesn't shoot instantaneously, so you need to prep your attacks sometimes to make sure you hit.
- The projectile itself is pretty small (unlike Wolf3D where projectiles were always huge), so you also need to occasionally predict where the enemy will be so the attack hits. Additionally, you will sometimes shoot "through" an enemy if you're right next to it, so always give a little breathing room with the weapon.
- Unlike hitscan weapons, which will hit stuff the instant a door begins to open, a door must be fully open for a projectile to pass through. You can, however, unleash some plasma as the door is opening, and hit enemies adjacent due to splash.
- Sometimes your PDU will stop firing, or will refuse to fire at all (the game mentions a "malfunction"). This is because the PDU requires available slots in the actor queue for its projectiles to exist, so if too many enemies are around, or if you're really hammering the rapid-fire this weapon has, the game might not let you shoot more of them. Splash effects also count toward this total, which is why this can happen on levels where you wouldn't expect the actor count to be close to maxed out.
- The splash effect from a PDU attack is actually chain-reactive, meaning enemies caught in the splash will spread said splash. Therefore, the most ammo-efficient way to kill enemies is to bunch them up.

If you thought enemies in Wolf3D were annoying to kill at times, welcome to that frustration taken to its extreme. As a base, these are hit point values from Wolf3D:
- Soldiers (brown shirts): 25
- Officers (white shirts): 50
- SS (blue shirts): 100
- Zombies: 45/55/55/65 (depending on difficulty)
- Dogs: 1

Now here are the equivalent enemies in Blake Stone:
- Sector Patrol: 4/9/25/38 (depending on difficulty)
- STAR Sentinel: 33/63/150/175
- STAR Trooper: 78/112/325/425
- Experimental Mech Sentinel: 65/115/165/225
- Turrets: 4/9/23/28

This game does not fuck around. Hitscan weapons (i.e., everything but the PDU) still deal 0-63 damage, which is not much on those high-end HPs. Fortunately we have the PDU, which is a more hefty 40-167 plus 50-177 on splash, so most things can die with 1-2 direct hits (anything hit with the projectile will also take splash).

- In addition to the HP problem, the pain chance on most enemies is pitifully low. Whereas you could juggle an enemy or two in Wolf3D if they weren't dying, you'll be lucky to see anything flinch from the chaingun equivalent in Blake Stone. Just another reason to use PDU on everything, but whenever you don't, use boss strats to deal with hitscan types (engage as close as possible when they're not attacking, back away when they do).
- Hitscan is the killer in this game (what a surprise). Even the trivial Sector Patrol guards can deal huge damage if you're reckless and/or unlucky. Combined with their massive HP, this makes Star Troopers the greatest threat in a given run, so always kill them if they're in the way. (Note that sometimes they won't actually die: in the registered version they always say "I'm down" when this occurs, so you can always be ready if you have to backtrack.)
- Hilariously, even though they're avoidable, projectiles generally deal a lot LESS damage than what hitscan is capable of. There are some exceptions such as High Enemey Plasma Aliens, who throw a ton of projectiles all at once (kind of like ghost Hitler from Wolf3D), but most projectile-spewing enemies are pretty ignorable.
- Many enemies also have a melee attack, which always has a hell of a wind-up, so you can bob in and out to engage melee and then step back before it hits (similar to revenants in Doom). However, this timing is based on the start of the wind-up, so you have to really wait them out before dodging.
- Bizarrely, sometimes enemies are stuck moving in a particular zone. Where these zones are defined I have no clue, since they don't appear to be attached to rooms (could be some kind of 8x8 or 16x16 block grid, must investigate further). This makes luring enemies for door tricks impossible in some situations.

There's a little more but that's plenty to work with for now, if anyone is also considering this game.
To begin with, you cannot force foes to open a locked door. It's difficult to tell whether the AI is just toying with me, but given how keyed doors function in this game, it's not altogether odd. Unlike in Wolf3D, where holding the key on your person allows you to access all doors requiring that key, BStone's keys are one-time use and change the status of the door from "locked" (red dots) to "unlocked" (green dots). It's possible that the game considers the door to be a wall until it's unlocked, which explains why enemies don't try to open them. basket random
That's good insight right there!