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F*ckin' sanity effects...
Hey all,

I've started a segmented run of Eternal Darkness.  I won't be able to do complete justice to this game (I have a 2.5-month old son and am taking college classes four evenings a week), but ED is in desperate need of an update, so I'm at least going to do a run that is approximately as segmented as Mad Andy's.  I've got a 4:35 on Pious, and I'm looking to get a total time around 2:10:00, as spiralout was hoping for in his aborted attempt.  However, I will not be attempting to combine too many chapters (like spiralout combined the first three) since, as I said, I don't have very much spare time to do many attempts of very long segments.  I think the gold standard for this game would be a single-segment run since it would eliminate all the loading screen times, but for me, two plus hours sitting at a stretch is probably out of the question.  Maybe when my career path is set and my child(ren?) is (are?) significantly older.

I'm really not sure how long this will take, maybe many months, but I just wanted to let any ED enthusiasts out there know I'm working on it.  I have the Pious run on DVD-RW (along with a bunch of bloopers!).  I hope that is appropriate for submission (or if not, that there's a way I can edit my recording to only have the relevant content...can anyone point me to the relevant page or forum RE: this topic?).  Tomorrow I'm getting a memory card for the GC (to back up the save so I don't accidentally record over it on the series of A button mashings it takes to save) and I'll start work on Ellia (the only chapter that will require significant work on sprint conservation).  I'll be telling people how it went as I go along, and I look forward to any advice anyone has (are you still out there, spiralout?).  Also, if anyone's planning to do a more ambitious run, let me know so I can stop!

I believe I have some pretty neat breakthroughs in store (though no big skips or anything), and I look forward to showing anyone who cares the results!

As for Pious: I got a 4:35 once on my first day of attempts, but it had one ugly mistake (pressed B one time too many on reading the Tome and had to do it again), so I decided to try again.  About 48 hours and many dozens of attempts later, I finally got another 4:35, though it had a couple of minor missteps (stopped a little short of the Tome and had to take another step, had to run around a couple of zombies in sub-optimal ways).  Considering the luck you need to get quick loads (without long black screens between some rooms), I decided that was good enough and that I wasn't going to kill myself trying for 4:34 or 4:33 (or getting a cleaner-looking 4:35).
Thread title:  
Visit my profile to see my runs!
I for one cannot wait for an improvement on this game.  I am personally very happy that you are working on this.

I'm not sure what you meant about editing your recording.  Did you finalize the disc?  If not, you can erase anything you've put on that DVD-RW.  As well, if you stopped recording at points and started back up, the dvd should have chapters on it which can individually be deleted.  Thus, you should be able to send 'relevant' content to the site.  Though, just so you know, I never worry about that.  It takes too much time to delete frivolous material, over and over again.  What's important is just to make sure you know where on the disc your relevant content begins and make sure you've noted as such if you physically mail the media to Nate or someone else (you can also transfer it to your computer if you follow some of SDA's instructions).  I hope this answers your question, but if not, please clarify for me what you would like to know.

Anyway, don't worry about the segmentation.  Do whatever you need in order to finish your run.  If I remember correctly, this game has a timer of some sort, right?  If so, the extra segments should not matter terribly.

Again, I wish you much luck on this.  I would not call myself an expert on this game, but I played through it seven or eight times back in the day.  It's a fantastic game, and an improvement run is many ages overdue.  It'd be great if you were the one to provide it. 
Edit history:
spiralout1123211: 2011-01-07 01:01:03 pm
spiralout1123211: 2011-01-07 12:57:47 pm
Yes, I'm still here.  I lurk, but I haven't touched this game (or any other) in almost a year, so my memory is a little hazy.  Glad to see someone taking it up, though. =D  Combining chapters saves a LOT of time, but it makes it much, much slower going.  I would definitely recommend having at least 2 memory cards for this (sounds like you have a couple right now). 

I'll go through my run again and see if I can jog my memory.  I had a LOT of significant improvements in mind over the scrub run, and I changed stuff constantly when I ran through chapters.  I put almost no effort into my scrub run and it still destroyed the run up on the site.  I'm sure if someone put some effort into it we'd have a wonderful run to replace it. =D

Pretty much all I can remember right now is that for the intro chapter, there are different animations when grabbing the block:  one will just  show it, and the other will zoom to it.  You have to be in just the right place (the green block is the hardest for this), but if you're doing one chapter per segment it's well worth it to get all quick grabs.  I don't remember what my fastest time for Pious was, but I think it was quite a bit faster than 4:35 (I believe it was 4:29 or lower).  You can see it in my SDA first segment (one of them was a slow grab, IIRC).  Also, there's a trick I have for the clock (you may already know it):  the d pad turns the hand slowly enough that if you pass over the correct time it will register, so I would hold the d pad and analog stick to the right at the same time, and let go of the analog stick right before the right spot.  I could get the time almost instantly most attempts. 

Running with Ellia is really really annoying, but you kinda get a feel for it after a bit.  Also, another major timesink is just really slow loading, and I never did figure out what caused this, but I think it has a lot to do with sanity effects (even the ones that don't actually lose you time otherwise), or it could just be somewhat random.  It's worth looking into.  I seemed to notice a difference in loading times when I would do certain things, for instance, in Pious' chapter, I would go just a little slower putting the red block into the first slot, then all of the loading after that in the chapter would seem to be super fast.  That could easily just be confirmation bias, so I'm not sure (it's really hard to tell with these things).
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Thanks so much for the recording advice and encouragement, IMW (quite enjoy the screenname, by the way).  I'll just go ahead and finalize whenever I get the time I'm hoping for, then.

spiralout...way to break a guy's heart!  Now I have to figure out the positioning to get the non-zoom on the blocks (I've got your practice runs and first SDA segment bookmarked, so I'll check those out).  And yeah, even if the green positioning is really difficult, I suppose I'll just have to deal with it and get all four in one go.  Frankly, it seems like a good excuse to go ahead and try combining at least the first two chapters, so that I can let one block zoom go without feeling too bad about it.  Also, I did not know that about the clock!  That will help a lot (I'd say the clock killed at least half of my unfinished attempts).  Thank you so much for being willing to offer advice!

I have several other questions for you, since you're willing.  I could test all of this myself, but maybe you know some stuff already (and I'll be busy trying to get a better Pious, anyway).  Do you know for sure that it is better to hack the Antorbok zombie with the scramasax (sp?) in Anthony's chapter rather than going back to burn it?  In Karim's chapter, would it be worth it to get the sanity from the horror (using the chakras for a shorter finish animation since you're using them for the trapper immediately following) to avoid a sanity effect or do you just press on and hope for the best?  Is there a better strategy in the Xellotath rune room than to down all zombies in a given wave, then start finishing the ones you most recently downed (so that the ones you downed first are fading as you finish the more recent ones)?  I figured out that I can reliably kill all the necessary enemies in Max's chapter with one blue enchant on the pistols (right before you re-enter the foyer), grabbing two bullet stashes that are easily on the path through the level: do you know if this is faster than getting a good run with the sword?

Have to run some errands with wife and child or I'd keep going, but thank you so much again for being willing to help.  The run will be that much better for it in the end.
Quote from Uilnslcoap:
spiralout...way to break a guy's heart!  Now I have to figure out the positioning to get the non-zoom on the blocks (I've got your practice runs and first SDA segment bookmarked, so I'll check those out).  And yeah, even if the green positioning is really difficult, I suppose I'll just have to deal with it and get all four in one go.  Frankly, it seems like a good excuse to go ahead and try combining at least the first two chapters, so that I can let one block zoom go without feeling too bad about it.  Also, I did not know that about the clock!  That will help a lot (I'd say the clock killed at least half of my unfinished attempts).  Thank you so much for being willing to offer advice!

I have several other questions for you, since you're willing.  I could test all of this myself, but maybe you know some stuff already (and I'll be busy trying to get a better Pious, anyway).  Do you know for sure that it is better to hack the Antorbok zombie with the scramasax (sp?) in Anthony's chapter rather than going back to burn it?  In Karim's chapter, would it be worth it to get the sanity from the horror (using the chakras for a shorter finish animation since you're using them for the trapper immediately following) to avoid a sanity effect or do you just press on and hope for the best?  Is there a better strategy in the Xellotath rune room than to down all zombies in a given wave, then start finishing the ones you most recently downed (so that the ones you downed first are fading as you finish the more recent ones)?  I figured out that I can reliably kill all the necessary enemies in Max's chapter with one blue enchant on the pistols (right before you re-enter the foyer), grabbing two bullet stashes that are easily on the path through the level: do you know if this is faster than getting a good run with the sword?

Have to run some errands with wife and child or I'd keep going, but thank you so much again for being willing to help.  The run will be that much better for it in the end.


I tested it, and It is quite a bit faster to use the scrasamax on the first zombie in Anthony's chapter.  For the Horror in Karim's chapter... well, he's super random, but I used his scimitar (forget the name).  I was able to occasionally kill it in 3 swipes (I'd run to one side and target the an arm, then the next, then another swipe) without getting hit and with very little sanity loss (and yes, you definitely want to get the sanity boost from it; you will GREATLY appreciate it at the end of the chapter).  I never even equipped the chakras since I could often slip past the trapper, IIRC.  For the Xellototh room (that's the last room, right?), you'll want to start killing quickly, then finishing off enemies whenever it's safe (you'll need the sanity, and it makes the spawning go faster).  That whole chapter is really rather annoying, and involves a LOT of luck with sanity among other things.  For Max's chapter, I'm pretty sure I tested enchanted pistols, and it was just WAY too slow.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Okay, after spending way too many hours trying to get a good run on Pious, I got 4:32 three times before finally getting a 4:31 (including a quick grab on all four blocks...which was awesome considering I got the green quick grab MAYBE 20% of the time).  I'm definitely not as good on execution as you, spiralout, and there were still things that could improve (running Alex though the mansion was not great, not a perfect clock, a little stumble on grabbing the Xellotath idol/artifact thingy among other things), but I'm definitely okay with stopping there.  Loading luck was overall excellent (as it has to be to get a time in the ~4:30 range), particularly the transitions into the block insert room and the Pious statue room.

On to Ellia! (again)
Try to post these if you can.  There are so many TINY timesavers in this game, and you may be able to save a few seconds here and there just by doing small things differently.

Also, do you have a plan for spell assignments?  One thing I learned while doing the scrub run is that you lose a TON of time with a suboptimal spell creation/assignment strategy.  I could kinda help you with that with a bit of research (it gets REALLY complicated; it's by far the most complicated part of the "route"), although school is coming up and I'm not sure how much free time I'll have.
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2011-01-10 12:05:55 am
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Sadly, my computer's DVD drive is out of commission...though I'm hoping to get that fixed soon.  Um, I'm not very techno-savvy.  Is it easy to upload to Youtube (or what have you) from a DVD?  I'm on a Mac if that's relevant.

As for spell assignment/creation: I'm glad you asked!

Anthony: blue enchant up

Karim: green enchant Y

Max: red reveal invis Y (replacing green enchant)
        red attack left

Edwin: green shield up (replacing blue enchant)--going to use this to preserve sanity and as a shield...also gives just enough rest to sprint through rest of level till pool spell
          red dispel Y (replacing red invis)--as soon as appropriate rune is acquired
          red pool down--as soon as appropriate rune is acquired...will start using immediately
          summon trapper--along with pool spell (not assigning)

Paul: after acquiring 5-point circle, creating the following 5-point spells: Dispel, Recover, Invis, Zombie, Shield
        red shield (5) up (replacing green shield)
        green recover (5) right--this is for Roberto and Peter...I'm using the meditation rod to recover Paul's sanity
        red dispel (5) Y (replacing red dispel (3))

Roberto: (no changes)--he will need to cast zombie and red invis (5), so these will be the first casts not on the quick spell list

Peter: on acquiring 7-point circle, creating the following 7-point spells: Enchant, Invis, Dispel, Shield, Attack, Horror, Pool, Bind
          red invis (7) left (replacing red attack (3))
          red attack (7) down (replacing red pool (3))
          Peter will also need to summon a trapper and use a 3-point magic pool spell (necessary to kill the boss in 3 7-point attack casts...I'm going to save before the boss because it takes luck to be able to build up enough magic to kill the boss as quickly as possible on the third cycle, and I'll combine the end of chapter 9 with chapter 10), so that's two more casts not on quick spell.

Edward: red pool (7) down (replacing red attack (7))
            red enchant (7) right (replacing green recover (5))--this is for the revolver against the vampire, and eventually for Michael's bomb...using "liquid courage" for Edward's sanity
            Edward will also need to cast one three-point attack in a trapper room, bringing the non-hotkey casts to 5.

Michael: red bind (7) Y (replacing red dispel (5))
            blue pool (7) down (replacing red pool (7))
            Alex will need to cast a 3-point dispel for the stethoscope (I’m planning to use the revolver on the trappers in the hallway), and Michael will need to summon a trapper, total non-hotkey casts: 7.

Alex: red dispel (7) right (replacing red enchant (7))
          red shield (7) up (replacing red shield (5))
          Alex will need to cast a summon of each creature, a 7-point attack, a 3-point attack (for one set of trappers, planning to kill another set with the revolver), and two 3-point enchants (one for the pedestal for the artifact and another on the shotgun I’ll be using against Pious) bringing the non-hotkey casts to 14.

I feel like I might be forgetting one or two casts, but do feel free to chime in if I’ve done anything obviously inefficient.

Edited to add: I also figure I might need to do a cast or two for Alex's sanity.
Visit my profile to see my runs!
Once you get a DVD you want to upload, it is very easy.  I don't have a Youtube account, but getting one of those and uploading is pretty simple.  You can also post clips to sharing sites such as Rapidshare, if you need.  As for ripping the DVD, there are probably ways you can do this with the software you already have if your computer is relatively new or if you have any sort of video software such as Nero or Adobe.  If not, anri-chan (the software produced here at SDA for this exact kind of thing) is your best bet for getting high quality transfers.  There are others, but there is no need to complicate the matter.  In any case, once your drive is working again, feel free to ask how to transfer in this thread and we can help you; or, check out the SDA knowledge base (link on the front page) or Tech Support forum for help on how to get your DVD's transferred. Smiley
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Question: I've noticed that loading the same save a couple of times in a row leads to a shorter loading screen on startup (and these DO count on the timer).  Is it cheating to save a couple of seconds on loading times this way or is this fair game?
Quote from Uilnslcoap:
Question: I've noticed that loading the same save a couple of times in a row leads to a shorter loading screen on startup (and these DO count on the timer).  Is it cheating to save a couple of seconds on loading times this way or is this fair game?


Of course that's fine, because:
a.)  We'll have no way of knowing
b.)  Of course it's fine. =P
Balls jerky
Oh we'll know....
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2011-01-21 09:56:56 pm
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Got a 6:07 on Ellia (10:38 total), but it had a really long load into the statue room on the last time into it because of the bugs-on-the-screen sanity effect (it wouldn't have been so bad otherwise except for the damned long load).  So I'm hoping to get a 6:05 or 6:04 for a total of about 10:35, 10:36.  Is that a decent time, spiralout?  I mean, even if it's not really close to your best, I'll settle for it, but I want to make sure I'm at least approaching your standard on a chapter-by-chapter basis.  Any advice on the chapter otherwise?

ETA: I got my 6:04...it has one slightly spaz-tastic mistake (ran a little too far into a room instead of making a beeline for the door), but I don't think it cost more than a second (there was another mistake but it literally cost no time because it's in the uber-booby-trapped hallway where I wait for a zombie to run into one of the blades anyway, so I would have been waiting there mistake or not), and I'm pretty tired of the chapter/busy with life, so 10:35 is the cumulative total.

I pretty much did your run/walk pattern verbatim, spiralout...so thank you!
Sonical!
Did you fix your computer's DVD drive? If you upload your segments to YouTube, people will probably give you more feedback. I am glad that you are speedrunning Eternal Darkness, because it is a great game.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
The DVD drive remains broken, but I've talked to my brother-in-law about uploading at his place, and he seems amenable.  So hopefully in the next couple weeks (perhaps this Wednesday night after class or maybe next weekend), I'll get at least the first two segments up and people can see how it's going.

I definitely agree that this game is great!  In my experience, it's got the highest "quality level" to "number of fans" ratio of any of any game out there (in other words: incredibly underrated).  It's sort of criminal that it hasn't had an update on SDA in all these years.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Grrrr.  Okay--some issues have come up.

When I put the finalized DVD-RW on my bro-in-law's computer, it says the disc is empty (486 GB free of 486 GB).  Yet the two DVDs play fine in my PS3 and the DVD recorder (and are most certainly finalized).  So I don't know where I can upload the silly things!  I'm working on getting my own computer's DVD drive fixed, but there are other things in the way anyway.

I noticed a slight difference in video quality between segments 1 and 2; the save time numbers are noticeably sharper in part 2.  I think it was a loose video connection on the Gamecube's connection to the DVD recorder.  Also, I noticed that in Anthony's chapter, a couple of dark areas are basically completely black (live and on playback), so I turned up the brightness a little bit to show enough of the detail.  All of this makes me think I should just start from scratch with the new brightness setting and making sure the video connection is optimal (numbers are sharp, etc.).

*Sigh*...so I have to hope for more luck (particularly the loading and quick green block in Pious are making me sad at the thought of having to do it over again)...but hopefully I improve each segment by a second or two.  Also, though, I'm worried about that PC being unable to read the disc.  I'm not gonna bother recording segments, new or otherwise, until I know the discs are going to work SOMEWHERE.  But I will be trying other places to get these DVD's read, and I WILL upload those segments to Youtube, even though I should go ahead and make new ones (people are certainly free to give advice or feedback when that happens).

Sorry for the inconvenience everybody.  I'll keep working on this as time allows.  I'm procrastinating at studying for a biology test as I write this post.  Smiley
Visit my profile to see my runs!
No need for apologies, just do what you can.

Do you have and DVD-R's?  DVD-RW's are extremely fickle contraptions that often do not work on perfectly capable players.  I believe that SDA forbids mailing DVD-RW's to them unless necessary because they are so unreliable.

Anyway, if you have any DVD-R's, I suggest copying your videos over to them (for instance, play them on PS3 into your DVD recorder inputs).  As far as brightness, I ran the tenth level of Condemned on a higher brightness setting than the rest of the run.  Generally isn't a problem, unless it's terribly different.  In any case, feel free to redo them if you think you can improve, but doing it just for consistent brightness is probably unnecessary. 

As for the differing recording quality, that might be due to what you suggested.  Some testing should tell.  Though, sometimes if there is a prominent graphical display on screen, quality elsewhere on the screen can suffer (again referencing Condemned .. in the tenth level, I used a burning 2x4 as a weapon, and for the recorder to capture the fire it apparently had to sacrifice some of the background clarity).  Because you're talking about a save screen, it's probably not that though.  Check those connections.  Smiley
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-12 02:38:24 pm
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-10 11:04:31 am
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Pious, take 3!  This 4:31 is very well executed (I finally got the effing clock perfect), but features pretty bad loading luck.  Would have definitely been a 4:30, maybe a 4:29 with super-luck, but I'm so sick of this segment, I can't spend more hours getting it as lucky AND as perfectly executed as it would take.  My only performance complaint is in the text scrolling in the Pious statue room (I could have dismissed it sooner).
Now a hit show on the CW
Looked great to me. I wouldn't stress too much about long load times. I know it can be frustrating when there's so much variance, but I think that most of your viewers are going to care way more about your ingame performance than saving a few seconds because you had good luck with load times. In other words, I would prioritize clean, mistake-free segments over fast loads, when it comes to deciding whether to retry or not. Looking forward to seeing the rest of your run; I love this game.
Very slick segment!  I'm looking forward to the rest.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Thanks, guys!

Arrow: I definitely feel that way...that great execution should trump loads.  Don't worry!  Future segments rely much more on skill than luck.  Just getting through some of them without a major mistake will be a challenge (the segments that scare me most are Karim (sanity effects and horror luck), Peter (quick 7-point spell creation/assignment), and Michael (ton of luck needed to not get trappered without weapons)).  I felt this first segment, though, needed to be pushed as far as it could.  A- execution with A+ luck seems okay to save a couple seconds.
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-17 09:48:07 am
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-10 11:04:08 am
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-04 11:45:41 am
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-04 11:44:34 am
Uilnslcoap: 2011-02-03 04:40:20 pm
F*ckin' sanity effects...
An Ellia you can actually see!

Sorry if the deinterlacing didn't carry over through editing.  If not, I have one more idea for next time.

This 6:03 is very good, but I do feel a little bad about Ellia being completely out of sprint by the final room.  Also, some zombie-negotiating issues, but honestly, one second off of my personal best, and one piece of loading luck from a new personal best, and SO SICK OF THIS SEGMENT = good enough.

My son started crying not two minutes after I finished off this segment.  Such a good boy to wait long enough for dad to finish his "work".  I haven't yet had to make the choice between letting him cry for a minute or two or giving up on a good run, but that choice is probably coming given the length of some of these chapters...

trepidation
Great work on the segment. It looked pretty flawless to me.

Is it just me or has this game not aged very well?
General Kong - Bullets and Bananas
Nice segment Uilnslcoap.  I really enjoyed this game.  I look forward to somebody following through on an improvement. 

Quote from Caveberry:
Great work on the segment. It looked pretty flawless to me.

Is it just me or has this game not aged very well?


It's aged a little.  But the novelty of the sanity system was always great.  As well as this game having some great dialogue and tense moments.  It's the kind of game I wish I could play again for the first time.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Darndest thing...when I play it on this computer (even converted to HQ MP4), it's dark, dark, dark.  I'm now not sure if it's a problem with the computer or the recorder or what because I have the brightness at a really reasonable level on the game itself, and the brightness is just fine played on a DVD player (or 360/PS3).  I've re-posted the video without lag upthread.  I'll consult the tech forum about my brightness concerns.