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Give me money or I shoot you in face
Well, this game has always had a very special place in my heart as the second game that I ever owned and played. I think I was about 5 or 6 at the time, and this was more or less the only game I could play on the old Computer, seeing at this was back in 1997/1998. The first game I ever owned, for those who are curious, is Descent (PC). Anyway, Crusader, made in 1995 always holds a very special place, and I finally managed to get it running again on my computer. Now, I've been playing around with it on Mama's Boy Difficulty etc, and think it might be worth an attempt at speedrunning at some point. But I'm aiming higher because I used to play this game religiously, and am thinking of running it on "No Remorse" Difficulty.

This is probably one of the most challenging things I could do. On any other difficulty, the standard guards carry something like a BA-41 burst pistol, maybe the odd one will have an SG-A1 shotgun, but on No Remorse, there is no limit to the armaments that the enemies can carry. This includes the almighty EM-9, which vapourises you upon contact; the AR-7 Burst Rocket assault rifle, firing a cluster of up to 5 rockets at a time, and almost every Solartron and Vetron mech is armed with AR-7s or GL-303 rockets, which are an instant kill at any shield or health level on No Remorse.

Anyway, I've been doing a Let's Play of this game on No Remorse to try and get an idea of the things I'm up against. I completed Level 1 on this difficult recently, albeit in 7 parts, with live commentary, and needless to say, it won't be easy by any means - I believe all code panel doors are random if I remember correctly for each playthrough, so it's useless remembering the code. However, the game does have the option to save on the spot for tackling hard bits.

I'll post the video parts shortly.

Thread title:  
Might be magic...
Looking forward to the speedrun.

Can you upload the video again? Youtube doesn't like that link anymore...
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2012-10-01 02:05:50 am
Might be magic...
Some hints from my memories of playing this game (might be mixed in with Crusader: No Regret)
* Often there are hidden keycards or secret ways of completing some parts of a level, due to the fact that it's possible for a guard holding the normal keycard to get burned or fall in acid, losing the keycard forever. Can't remember any specific examples but it's probably worth having a cheat run through and blast every crate, box and barrel to find useable objects or pressure plates.
* If there is a keypad where knowing the combination in advance would cut a lot of time off the run, you can probably just create a new segment start point there, do the level the normal way until you get the combination, then load at the keypad and enter the combination.
* There is a bug where crouching down when shooting with the standard shotgun means you don't have to wait for the reload animation. It fires at the same rate as if you were standing up and shooting with the automatic shotgun.
Meet Stakhanov!
Strange, I've been doing some work on this game. I've been let's Playing it for the time being to get a feel for "NO REMORSE" difficult. My friggin' god it's much more difficult, but I know the routes and all that from my time of playing weekend warrior and a little bit of loose cannon.

The biggest differences in this difficulties are:

A. Many, many more guards.

B. As opposed to Loose Cannon, guards can carry ANY weapon in the game.

C. Reaction times are crystal sharp. Guards react to footsteps from a long way away, walk quickly, and draw their weapons almost instantly.

D. Roaming Susan, security cameras and Sentinel Walkers can sometimes be armed with a shield device, rendering them almost invulnerable to bullet weapons, and are often armed with laser guns, automatic shotguns or missile turrets.

However, I find that it's randomly generated each time you play. This makes it difficult to speedrun without quite a heavy dose of luck involved. I've been looking up secrets and shortcuts for the game too. It seems that quite often here, most of the shortcuts are only possible to access using Loose Cannon or No Remorse difficulty. One example is the ability to get the SG-01 shotgun in Mission 1. If you are playing on Momma's Boy difficulty, the northern room after the acid balcony will not open. Anything higher, and it opens and allows the player to go to an energy room with access to the SG-01.

Indeed, gammadragon is right, crouch firing the pump action yields a much higher fire rate than standing, due to the lack of a cocking and loading animation per pump. It's very quick and can be used to tackle multiple enemies at once.

Taking cover is a little inconsistent. When under fire, crouching below boxes or railing often shields you from enemy fire, but laser equipped enemies can sometimes shoot straight through the middle. I'll put up some videos of what I've tried. I admit I've kinda been a bit negligent of what I've been posting and keeping up to date. What an incentive to get back on track with it, eh?

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2012-12-14 07:51:47 pm
Might be magic...
A couple more hints:
* Another glitch - Dropping a weapon (CTRL+D) and then picking it up again will refill your current clip
* You can use any kind of object (press buttons, open chests, etc) through walls - just get close enough to the wall near the object and it will let you interact even if you have no way of getting over to the other side. Sometimes it helps to jump into the wall and it will give you that extra centimetre
* Various enemies take different amounts of damage from each weapon. Some of them take the same amount of damage from an entire shotgun blast as from a single BA-41 shot (like turrets)
Meet Stakhanov!
Ah, that's a pretty good pointer right there... I've known that you can get to switches that are unreachable, but I've never taken the time to find any extremely useful time saving examples. Do you know of any working examples? And I guess that'll explain why I've needed upwards of 10 shotgun blasts to drop a vulcan turret, when the BA-41 only needs about 7 rounds... Now I feel a bit of an ammo waster Tongue
Might be magic...
Here's a video of some tricks on level one that I know of:
Meet Stakhanov!
I seem to remember there being something on those two pointless switches... WAYYYY back when I was kid, I remember being able to open a door right next to the entrance telepad... or even being able to switch the telepad on which takes you to a secret area. I have no idea how to do it now, because I was like... seven at the time, and I'm 19 now, so it leaves a lot for my memory to be desired.
Might be magic...
Quote from The Soviet Warlord:
I seem to remember there being something on those two pointless switches... WAYYYY back when I was kid, I remember being able to open a door right next to the entrance telepad... or even being able to switch the telepad on which takes you to a secret area. I have no idea how to do it now, because I was like... seven at the time, and I'm 19 now, so it leaves a lot for my memory to be desired.

Ahahaha... was curious about your comments and after a little searching found out what those two hidden switches are for.

Looks like someone beat you to the speedrun!
Meet Stakhanov!
YES! I remember that sooo clearly now! XD I KNEW there was a way to open the telepad, I just knew it! Good going, that was a good find!
Meet Stakhanov!
Something that came to mind personally is the control scheme. I've been playing around with it to see the best way to play. I usually use keyboard only, arrow keys for move, left-shift for run and space for shoot, tab for fire. While I'm comfortable with this setup, it doesn't allow for the most reflexive movement I've ever done. However, from the video you showed me, using the mouse makes for very fast combat. But if I'm using the mouse, I think that would make combat difficult in that I will have to be constantly stationary to fire at anyone, because it's difficult to use the mouse, fire and the arrows all at the same time.

Whereas if I'm on keyboard only, moving and repositioning to fire becomes easier. Do you have any setups you know of that would allow for fast follow up of both?
Might be magic...
Quote from The Soviet Warlord:
Do you have any setups you know of that would allow for fast follow up of both?

I'm like you - have always used the keyboard in the past. However, I know that num lock toggles between "directional movement" mode and "rotational movement" mode. In directional movement mode you can face a certain direction or turn around instantly, then use the mouse to fire. Nearly every essential key is within reach of the keypad, except for jump which is Tab or J (but jump is rarely needed in the game anyway)

However I find the directional movement mode to be very hard to use and unintuitive, so I've always used the rotational movement mode.

There's a section on page 12 of the manual which describes the two modes.
Meet Stakhanov!
I think I prefer the rotational as well...

Now I'm getting onto the point where I am ready to start recording and trialing for times and such, but I'm finding it difficult to find settings for recording. Fraps doesn't work with my version of DOSBox, I've tried using the recording demo, and tuning fraps to try and record but I get fatal errors, so what I've been doing so far is recording the game screen in 640x480 using Hypercam. At present I'm recording 15 fps like in my speedrun, but am thinking of bumping that up to 30+. I think it'd be acceptable, and stereo mix recording is perfectly fine for the purpose of sound. Do you know anything efficient or would hypercam suffice?
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2012-12-29 09:41:41 pm
gammadragon: 2012-12-29 03:17:13 pm
Might be magic...
Just record using the built-in dosbox recording - hit CTRL + ALT + F5 inside dosbox to start. It's lossless and very efficient for dos games, also easy to encode it later as an mp4 for SDA.

Also if you want your run to be accepted by SDA it will need to be an "official" re-release of the game that's designed to work on windows ( for example). That uses dosbox as well so you can use the same recording method.

Edit: I said "windows" but what I really meant was "a modern operating system" Smiley
Meet Stakhanov!
Oh, don't worry, it is an official release, I'm just quite a noob when it comes to DOS-BOX recording.
Holy bump Batman. Since this game was also of my childhood (though that was the Saturn version), I did a run of the PlayStation version, natch. Essentially, landmines stack and you can use them to climb on top of things, jump on the walls and skip large portions. With it being the console version though, there are loading screens out the wazoo (60+) so the skips aren't as great as they would be on PC.

The console versions also don't contain most (any?) of the secrets from the PC version and from watching a PC playthrough, at least two missions have extra parts.

Might be magic...
Awesome, I never tried the PlayStation version but the controls look a lot more fluid and predictable than the PC version.

The run looks really smooth and nicely planned. Nicely done.