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I have like 5 pages of notes I made for an Easy single-segment run years ago that I might try to dig up for you soon.

I agree that Easy and Hard are the only modes worth speedrunning, and Easy is going to give you enough of a headache. Segmented is going to be hell with all the luck involved. I remember spending about 4 hours one night trying to get the optimal 1-1 recording and didn't quite get it. I hope you have incredible patience.

I think you should stomp the first fatty in stage 1-1. I didn't watch much else.

Since you are going to be doing a lot of running, I think you should do a fair amount of shoulder charges (run + forward + square) into heel drop > side kick cancels or roundhouse cancels. The shoulder charge launches any minor thug and, if I recall correctly, does more damage than the flying side kick.

With all the roundhouse canceling you want to do, it might save time to remap it at the beginning of the game so you can do forward-cancels with it.

I remember working out loops for all the major bosses (where they would end up dizzy right at the end of a release, so you could YMKx2 > msjab > special them to regain tension). I don't have them written down, but I can at least say they're possible.
Yeah, 1-1 is ironically one of the hardest segments of the entire run due to the fact that since you don't have any really useful moves like MSJ you just have to rely on proper placement and pray that enemies cooperate (they usually don't). The first fatty is probably the hardest enemy in the game due mainly to his placement in front of that blasted door and the fact that the awning above can fall easily and stun you. Plus, if you simply launch him off of the ground and go into kick cancels, he often falls out before dying because he isn't taking extra damage after a guard break, but if you go for the guard break instead, if he does not block in the first two hits then it isn't faster than the first method....ugh. The entirety of 1-1 hinges on this guy. Everything after him is just hoping guys don't block and the demon dosen't teleport behind you, both of which aren't terrible to deal with.

I'm going to redo my segments so far as I think I can speed up 1-1 a bit more with roulette usage beyond La Bamba - getting orb cards is really common in Gold & Silver's room, so I may just God Stomp the fatty. I'm also testing hitting the antidote munchkin in 1-3 with a Shockwave instead of the barrel, but I'm not sure it saves any time.
Minor update as of May 21:
I have segments 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3 redone with the new method, and they are much faster, so I'm happy about that. Otherwise it has been a slow two weeks due to both illness (stupid flu) and The Witcher 2 coming out.

The 1-1 improvement is huge, clocking in at 1:52. Using God Stomp on the first fatty and picking up an orb card before the gate opens is a much better strategy for segmented as you don't have to deal with the stupid door or awning as you kick him off of the ground and side kick him.

Using Shockwave in 1-3 to get the antidote is a no-go. It travels too slow to hit the midget on the ground, so the barrel remains the fastest method (without the barrel you have to kick him on top of the balcony so the time you save not grabbing the barrel is wasted by jumping up anyway).
Stage 1 is complete - time is 8:03, for a grand total of nearly 50 seconds saved.

I was skeptical that I would be able to pull a segmented run off as this game is really exacting, but with Stage 1 under my belt I know I can go the rest of the way.

Highlights include an insanely lucky 1-4 (kept throwing me orb cards) and a solid 1-5 (so much can go wrong, but everything goes a nice orb card to top it off).

Getting into some uncharted territory now though. 2-1 is going to be the roughest of the Stage 2 segments by far, just due to the annoyance of key dropping enemies plus needing to stock up on orb cards.
Looks good for the most part, but a few things still bother me a little:

1-4: You definitely lost time breaking so many boxes. The goal is to manipulate the power up card from the first set. The only problem would be the orb card, so maybe an enemy drop in one of the parts before this? You seemed to get enough of them that it shouldn't be a problem, and Easy is more generous with enemy drops anyway.

1-5/1-6: Remember to High Side Kick dying enemies whenever you have time. This should've helped slightly at the end of the jewelry room, but I'm mostly talking about Elvis. Probably not more than a second or two lost, but still worth mentioning because of how easy it is to do.

Speaking of Elvis though, that fight seemed a little rough. I feel your pain on that orb card business, but it should still be reasonable to speed this fight up. Juggle him into those High Side Kick cancels instead of guard breaking, basically.

Shopping: Should be in its own segment. You need the save after 1-6 in order to optimize your shopping/setup, because I imagine verifiers would get all crabby if you don't. Regardless, it did look like you could squeeze in a little improvement if you had a save to work with.

Other than that, it's looking good. For your own sake though, you should consider using the 20 available save slots. I have no doubt you'll eventually want to retry an older part, so this would save you a lot of headache. (Especially if you change the orb requirements mid-run and then pay for it later.)
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2011-05-27 01:26:28 pm
While I appreciate the advice, I'm not planning on redoing any of Stage 1. The run you see is the product of 6+ hours a day for over three weeks, and that is just actual recording attempts. The problem with God Hand is that you can always do better on time based on luck (enemies can always drop more orbs, use different attack patterns...), but it just isn't realistic past a certain point. I did over 800 attempts at 1-4, and never got an Unblockable Card out of the first set of boxes. Not only that, but getting the extra orb card speeds up the fatty kill anyway - saving even more time. I kept the segments I kept because of the mixture of speed/items/luck they contained. I ended up with lots of times between 8:10 and 8:20, but this is the only sequence that got signifigantly under that.
The shortest segment's recording time is 1-2, with only about 80 attempts. Most have well over 500, with the segments in the video being the fastest.
As you mentioned, there could be maybe three or four seconds saved overall, but considering that can "easily" be made up by simply getting an extra orb card or unblockable at any point during the entire game's run...I don't think its worth redoing Stage 1 for another three weeks to make up for that. The route is optimized, there are no mistakes or time wasters, I think I'll stick with it.

EDIT: Forgot to mention, on my main memory card each completed stage is getting saved, so worst case scenario individiual levels can be redone, but naturally this dosen't really work for Stage 1.  I'll consider seperate segments for after-level shopping in the future.
Update: 2-1 Is actually shaping up to be a real pain. I anticipated this, but it is proving to be much worse than 1-3 or 1-5 (similar in that you need enemies to behave on top of everything else you need to do). The first section is ok - quickly grab the first key from the woman and unleash against the bigger keyholder, usually destroying some boxes for potential pickups in the process, but on the other side of the door is where things get ugly.

The guy with the bat is the run-killer here. Optimally you would just unleash or Ball Buster him, but you can't guarantee having a full tension bar or having any orbs most of the time. Couple that with him having a lot of buddies to ruin your day and this is getting interesting. It may actually be faster to force-build tension from taunts (similar to the start of 1-1) to deal with this guy because even though it is a bit slower, it will actually work every time. Hmm. Gonna have to do some more testing with this segment because old methods against Elvis usually meant I start Stage 2 with an orb, but not this time....

Also, apologies if my above post sounded a bit harsh - it wasn't meant like that at all. I'm just defending the run as it is done and I believe it is as fast as can be expected given the randomness of the game, and I think the entire run will showcase that well once it is done.

Anyway, back to the 2-1 drawing board.
Alright I have a decent method for 2-1 worked out, once again an explosive barrel comes to the rescue.
My issue now is pre-planning for the three stooges fight, or more accurately, "How many orbs do I want going into the level?". I will need to start thinking about this now, because there are few chances to get orbs before then and it may not be worth it to keep a 2-1 without at least a single orb card. Ideally I would be going in with all 4 (and tension does not matter, tension will be gained off of Felix), but the issue of Elvis with low orbs is also a problem since Chain Yanker won't be obtained until end of level shopping - also, a La Bomba will be needed against the door.
For the stooges I'm thinking the usual cancelling against Felix, unleash against Bruce, and Dragon Kick for Conchita. Obviously there should be some more Unblockable abuse for Conchita, so perhaps it is worth saving the other two orbs for the door + Elvis. In that scenario I basically have to pray for an orb anytime between stooges and Elvis. Hmm.
It's probably reasonable to manipulate an orb drop in Giant Enemy Crane, since you have four barrels near the path you need to take anyway. That and you obviously get the fixed orb in Beware the Arrow Bridge, so that's cool. Could try manipulating another one there, since you have two other barrels to smash in the same attack.

As for the Three Stooges fight, that plan sounds solid. Should be fun to watch Conchita get punched a few times before the Dragon Kick finisher. I do have to wonder about maybe ending the fight with full tension though. That way you could unleash on the door ("That One Boss") and manipulate a two-orb card from the four barrels on the far end of the room. Would probably be a total pain, but then you'd only have to manipulate a power-up card for Elvis and double Dragon (heh) Kick for an easy victory.

I guess the alternative would be simply beating Conchita to death normally, since she has low HP and you could use the tension for the door anyway. Probably not something you want to consider unless that two-orb drop is really giving you a hard time.
Well, its interesting that you mention that because I was thinking that perhaps the unblockable is better used on Felix since Conchita has such low health. Building tension on her is easy too, so it is a viable option.
I am certain that the only real fast way to do the door is to La Bomba though - enemies mess with the targeting too much otherwise. Those doors are the only time I really wish for a lock-on target in this game. There are six things to destroy after the door though (boxes in the room + two barrels near exit) so perhaps that won't be a big issue. That stage will be easy to run as many times as needed anyway since you don't actually have to fight anything, so getting the drops I want at the end "should" be ok. Basically it looks like I will need to end 2-1 with an orb in pocket to make the rest of the segments up to the stooges more bearable. Worst case scenario I can always get an orb in the fight its self since I will be breaking a few boxes anyway, but I hate leaving things to the end like that.

At least the boxes right at the end of 2-1 are easy enough to break without losing time (you can often break them all open by knocking the last keyholder into them with the bat anyway).
I'd say Conchita seems to be the better choice, since you can't High Side Kick cancel her. Felix will probably go down faster than her because of that (or close enough). By the way, I had a hunch that there was a fixed orb card in that fight, since I always seem to get one. The barrel in the far left corner in front of you when you start appears to be fixed. I got the orb six straight times, so I figured that's a pretty safe assumption. (Was going to try ten times, but got lazy.) That should make things a little easier for you.

I know what you mean about the door, but the problem is that you can't target it with La Bomba and it isn't a one-shot "kill" (I'm sure you knew that though). In very limited testing just now, it almost seemed like I had better luck with auto lock-on if I used the Face Kick on the door first. Seemed to make Gene pick the door as his target, but if you get hit/unleash after that, you lose the target again. So if you went that route for some reason, I guess Face Kick -> Right Roundhouse 1 cancels? Not a good idea without unleashing anyway, so it's probably pointless.

Technically, there are nine boxes after the door. The three in the left corner aren't worth trying though, just like the last two.

But yeah, I really should test my theories before posting. The freaking guide book claims Elvis 2 has 1,400 HP, but I remember hearing that Easy mode enemies have 80% HP. Since the guide book is obviously basing these numbers on Normal mode, I assumed Elvis 2 had 1,120 HP. Thing is, he survived two powered up Dragon Kicks with a decent chunk of HP. Either I was wrong about the 80% thing, or Elvis just hates me. Tongue

(Regardless, the fight goes just like last time. Both Dragon Kicks -> Charged Punch 1 or Heel Drop -> cancel and win.)
Yeah - Elvis shouldn't be an issue. I suspect you are right about the fixed orb in the stooge battle as I have been consistently getting them there - I'll pay a bit more attention to which one is particular it is coming out of.
I'll test kill methodology once I get up to that segment for real as either way I will want to go into the battle with 3 or 4 orbs, so regardless of kill order my earlier segments won't change. As you say, kill times will likely be close, but we will see.
I still don't like burning tension on the door. I find that you can easily get in a few quick hits while people catch up then La Bomba as someone gets close to pop it open. I certainly won't lack for guys to get near it. Although the two knife throwers before Elvis aren't difficult, they could be sped up with unleash at least, especially since you can easily get meter back in 3-1, so thats another plus for going into that fight fully loaded.
Update, July 25th - still going!

Real life has got in the way of a fair amount of progress for most of June/July, but I have been poking away at 2-1 when I have had some time. I'm basically looking for a time between 2:05 - 2:10 and at least one orb gained. I'm unleashing against the big keyholder in the first area and taking my chances with the bat keyholder in the second area. There are a few annoyances to be had with kick cancelling him, though - whenever the catapault in the area fires, massive slowdown happens, making kick cancelling impossible for more than about 5 seconds at a time. This gets worse if you use the barrel on him for some reason (at least for the first slowdown window). Because of this, I'm forgoing the barrel and taking advantage of just running up to him asap to get about 10 seconds where he doesn't have any friends to worry about. 100% of the luck needed here is him blocking within 4 hits, or getting dizzy extremely fast. Everything else results in a time over 2:15 or worse. This bat guy just might be the most annoying thing in the entire run for all of the wrong reasons - slowdown, huge pack of friends, difficult kick cancelling (even when it works, slowdown kills it and sometimes he can just flip backwards over the low ledge). Oh well, I have more time in August to really put more attempts per day in so I'll get it.
Update, August 22nd - Progress!

After over 700 attempts, I managed a 2-1 that was a full seven seconds faster than any of my previous attempts - that's a keeper. The bat guy played nice and slowdown didn't ruin anything. The bad news is that I didn't get lucky enough for an orb drop to get this time, but after playing around with getting drops in 2-2 from the guys you have to defeat anyway this turned out to be a non-issue.
It only took a day of attempts to walk out of 2-2 with three orbs. One orb is very common, two orbs is pretty simple, but three (either a red card or combinaiton) is a lot rarer, but given how short the segment is and how little time deviation it contains, farming up three orbs here was simple enough. It was nice to do a segment where you have little effect on how fast it goes for once.

I'm on to 2-3 now, and this will be another simple segment - the entire time comes down to how well you can deal with the knife throwers on the pillars at the start. The crane and the blade thug always go down in predictable fashion due to the four poles available. You can even slide kick through two barrels at the very last door with no time lost for another chance at an item, although getting a single orb from the next level will be easy regardless.

Total time at the end of 2-2 is 10:32. Working on a good three stooges fight will be the next real hurdle.
Update - September 6th - Item Randomness Chaos!

I'm up to the three stooges fight. Current run time is 13:14. I have a full four orbs stocked going into it, and 1/2 of a tension bar. Actual fight strategy isn't really an issue (Felix gets unblockabled + kick cancels, Bruce gets unleashed on, Cobra Twisted during the end of unleash and then cornered and kick canceled, Conchita gets Dragon Kicked then stunned into a fatal spanking), but the sheer randomness of item drops in this stage may require some thought.

I have done 30 or so test runs so far and two orbs are practically guaranteed (only 3 of the 30 runs had one orb) but things get really crazy after that. I saw two unblockable cards on one attempt, and on another I had six orbs (holy hell...). The problem is what should be expected and what should not. I'm not incorporating a set fight strategy beyond what I have listed above as I basically need to finish this stage with all four orbs full and as much tension as I can get off of Conchita so that 2-6 and Elvis v2 go easier, but having said that, being able to get a second Dragon Kick off is definately a time saver. Much of stage 2 has come down to drop manipulation, and this part is no different, but the item drops seem extremely erratic here. I could be looking at an exponential amount of attempts.

At any rate, a time of 2:30ish is doable with a basic unblockable and two orbs. A second unblockable didn't really save much time on my test run (picked it up before Dragon Kicking Conchita, I still had to dizzy and spank her just the same). Extra orbs could go into outright killing Conchita at the expense of building no tension off of her, or finishing off Bruce without kick cancels.
I'm tempted to say go for a power-up card and a two-orb card, but I imagine that would be stupidly hard and Bruce probably needs more than a Charged Punch -> Divine Smash/God Stomp at the end. Perhaps a better idea would just be to go for two orbs (one fixed, one random), use two Dragon Kicks wherever you want, and then just slightly detour for a two-orb card in 2-6. It's easier on your sanity and the detour is really minor. Then again, I remember you saying something about La Bomba on that door. Personally, I'd just unleash and fight with the lock-on.

It's obviously your call, but since you won't be breaking that many boxes (4 or 5, I think?), I wouldn't blame you for just manipulating a power-up/orb card and calling it a day. I'd be more concerned about how the actual fight goes. Tongue
True, I think most of the time saved in this segment is fight strategy, not winning the lottery with powerups - besides, as you say, the main issue is going into 2-6 with a situation that won't cause insanity for arriving at Elvis with 4 orbs stocked.

I put in a lot of attempts yesterday, and I was playing around with the strategy a bit just for kicks. I was trying out Dragon Kick on Felix and saving the unblockable for Chonchita (which does save time, for fighting those two)...however, this also means that when Bruce jumps down I don't have enough tension to unleash, making the strategy fall apart. Even with me throwing in a taunt at the start of the fight, and smacking him with a YMK as Bruce lands, it still isn't enough tension with the Dragon Kick on Felix, so that strategy is a no-go. Given the times I have so far, I'll take a segment very near or just under the 2:30 mark with one unblockable and two orbs. Three orbs guarantees under 2:30 (Ball Buster on Felix right away to ensure good kick cancel position and damage), but only by two or three seconds.

As for 2-6, yeah I have tested both La Bamba and unleashing on the door and I'm still not sure what to go with. Perhaps I had better decide on that first so I can think about what I'm willing to farm up there.
Edit history:
Molotov: 2011-09-09 01:07:21 am
I decided to try out the Three Stooges fight myself to see what it might look like, but I'm wondering where your 2:30 estimate comes from. Most of my attempts were 2 minutes or less without a power-up card, with my best being 1:25 (game clock). I made some obvious mistakes in that video, but it should still give you a good idea of what I'm thinking the real thing should be like.

Note that the Heel Drop on Felix is stupidly rare and I honestly meant to send him off to the right instead. If he starts with the shockwave, don't bother charging the punch because you'll usually get a counter hit anyway. When I started recording, he loved to start with the taunt or charge attack instead. Good thing only the latter is reset-worthy. (Also, the jerk magically started rolling away from every guard break the second I started recording...)

But yeah, that seems to be a good way to handle the fight since the enemies are kind enough to open some boxes for you. I guess the power-up card is still helpful, but I'm not sure when you'd find the time to grab it. Maybe after you dizzy Conchita? (Speaking of which, Left Jab 1/2 -> Straight 1/2 -> Chin Music -> Elbow Spin is so nice.)

About 2-6 though, I fought with the lock-on for a while and it's definitely doable. I seemed to have better luck using Yes Man Kablaam on the door once, dodging to the right, and then unleashing. It seems like you have a better chance of setting the door as your target if you run straight into it after unleashing. If the stupid skinny guy does his jump attack and isn't blown away by the unleash, you're pretty much screwed.
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2011-09-09 01:25:59 pm
Redlimit: 2011-09-09 01:24:14 pm
Redlimit: 2011-09-09 07:54:46 am
The 2:30 was the entire recorded segment time (pressing record at the "Press Start" screen all the way to save conformation and stop recording). In game is similar to what you have although I have to admit, it looks like your method will be faster, even without an unblockable. The time saved not running around and cracking open boxes at the start alone makes it worth it, and if the three of them cooperate properly then there can be even more time saved ompared to how things were shaping up with my method. I probably won't be able to Dragon Kick Bruce, but he can get kick cancelled off of the wall just as easily as Felix so I'm not too worried about that. Overall it should be faster than what I'm currently doing, and that is all that really matters.

I'm really pleased with the rest of the way Stage 2 is going, and I can't wait for people to see some of the segments (the Arrow Bridge segment is FAST, recorded segment time of under a minute).

Anyway, back to beating these three up.

EDIT: Hmmm...I have YMK instead of Charge Punch 1 set. Actually not that big of a deal, but frustrating nonetheless (just means more resets if you don't get a perfect start on Felix in the end). Testing is proving to be faster without going the box at the beginning route pretty handily though - saves between 10 to 15 seconds overall it looks like. You just have to pray for a second orb quickly while Conchita is dying. Not ideal, but then again all of the drop manipulation in Stage 2 has been ugly so far so why should this be any different, eh?

EDIT 2: Holy crap, hilarious video clip uploading ASAP.

Winning the lottery (ALMOST)

Just showcasing how random these boxes are. I fairly normal practice attempt until the 1:20ish mark at which point I almost fell out of my chair...
Edit history:
Molotov: 2011-09-09 01:48:44 pm
Heh, nice drops. Though if you get that kind of luck again, you should obviously use Dragon Kick four times instead of just twice. Tongue

What do you mean by not being able to use Dragon Kick on Bruce though?

On a totally unrelated note, what do you plan to buy after stage 2? I've been doing a casual run so that I can make practice saves, and one of those saves was for the Mad Midget Five. Maybe you'll decide to go with the standard "Dragon Punch all of them repeatedly" thing, but I would definitely recommend trying Reverse Hell Kick there. Locking them in a corner with that is stupidly fast, but causes horrible lag. Someone will have to test whether the game clock slows down too, because it would obviously be worthless if it doesn't.

[Edit]: Dur, you mentioned the list on page 1. I are smart.
I mainly want to end this segment with three or four orbs if at all possible. I have tested farming out of 2-6 and single orb cards aren't too bad but multiples and twos or higher are very rare. Considering that a lot has to go right in that segment anyway (kicking the rocks, co-operation with the door, etc) it is just one more thing to cut down seeing how I absolutely need to go into Elvis v2 fully stocked for optimum time.

Obviously if I get lucky with orbs I'll use as many as I can extra on Bruce or Conchita, but with a little practice on the new method I'm coming up with between 1:40 and 1:50 (segment recording time, not in-game) and that is just with a single Dragon Kick and no unblockable. A second Kick may save 3 or 4 seconds, but it could create a ton of hell for the next segment.  The good news is that hitting a few boxes bouncing around Felix and breaking a few while Bruce & Conchita jump down is really easy so more orb moves isn't out of the question totally, its just a case of what comes up.
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2011-09-13 02:18:42 pm
Finally managed to get an Elvis v2 fight I liked, and so I present Stage 2:

Total run time (in-game) so far is 17:21.
I'm happier with this than with Stage 1. The strategy is cleaner (although a large part of that comes from actually having moves you select instead of the default from Stage 1), and the luck manipulation is great. The first few segments are not very exciting, but pretty much everything from Arrow Bridge onward is an entertaining watch.

Things are on track for an impressive final time. My original estimates came in around 75-80ish minutes, but based on what I have so far I think somewhere between 60-70 is more likely. We will have to see, I guess.

Next challenge: Efficient beatdowns of mooks in the first few areas of Stage 3. 3-1 will just be about picking and choosing (plus I have full tension going into it).
I watched this earlier and it looked pretty good for the most part, but that combo pains me to no end. Tongue

Some more comments about each part, just for the heck of it:

2-1: Not sure why you bothered with the first dude. It's possible to just ignore him entirely, but no big deal I guess. Good thinking with the yellow elite Face Kick (I always did it the hard way). Not sure why you didn't throw the spiked bat at the end instead of using a strong attack.

2-2: That drop was 1% drop rate, if I remember correctly.

2-3: I'm thinking it would've been better to group the two skinny guys, but dealing with one is annoying enough that I can't really blame you. For the first crane arm though, you should've moved into the shadow before pulling the pole out. You have plenty of time. (I know, I'm nitpicking.)

Also, as a fun fact, you can actually throw a lightpole at the crane arms and the face door without it breaking. You just have to stand really close before you toss it. Three weak hits and a toss for each crane arm and then either re-use your second pole for the door, or just pick up a new one for some free hits + toss on the claw skinny. It's not really a big timesaver, but it's still pretty neat to know. (Not so fun fact: It's possible to miss a toss on the crane arm by standing in the right spot. It just hits the arm and bounces off like it was a wall.)

2-4: That Dragon Kick was a nice surprise. Good call.

2-5: Can't say I liked this part, because the lack of High Kick was noticeable and it needed another Dragon Kick in there somewhere (probably Bruce). I know you didn't want to deal with two-orb manipulation in 2-6, but since you got it anyway... Sad

2-6: Did that skinny seriously get hit by the door? That's amazing.

2-7: I'm curious to know how many attempts it took to get a power-up card from one of those gravestones, because in my experience, they rarely drop anything at all. Good fight obviously (but that combo is still morally wrong!).

Shopping: Why wasn't this in a separate segment? If nothing else, you'll kick yourself for having to redo Elvis 2 if there's a change of plans.

And speaking of which, I decided to run through a segmented version of stage 3 for giggles and practice. I strongly encourage you to use that Gorilla Mask plan, but I know that you'd need to redo Elvis 2 to make that happen. Regardless, I hope something in there is useful to you. (The Mad Midget Five is an example of what I meant about Reverse Hell Kick, by the way.)

Anyway, looking forward to stage 3. You should upload individual parts for maximum nitpicking fun though. Tongue
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2011-09-14 06:14:13 am
Redlimit: 2011-09-14 06:12:51 am
Yeah, the Stage 2 combo isn't pretty, but it drops things dead under unleash or guard break. That is basically the plan for the entire run, but the combo does get "prettier" as the levels go by, as it were.

For 2-1, in practice I was usually able to break 2 or 3 boxes with the thrown bat, but obviously that didn't work out this time. I wasn't even going to keep this segment (as I wanted an orb) until I saw how god damn fast it was compared to every other attempt. 2-1 is also the segment that has had the most tries so far, somewhere in the range of 700-800 so I was fed up with it, heh.

2-2 was simple enough. Short stage with almost no time deviation whatsoever so farming wasn't too bad. I only spent one morning on it.

For 2-3, I definately didn't know about the pole tossing, good to know if I ever do another run.

2-4 speaks for its self. It also didn't require too much time (6 barrels for 3 orbs was only a matter of time).

2-5 was a bit of a surprise, I'll admit. I thought I had this fight pretty well planned out, but in practice it turned out to be very much different. Felix does take a bit longer due to different kicks but I'm happy with Bruce & Conchita. Conchita especially behaved REALLY well with her attacks and blocking - I couldn't ask for anything better beyond blocking a hit or two earlier.

2-6 I'm really happy with. I'm positive that is the absolute fastest way to get that door open, and the orb is easily farmed back. And yes, the door plays a huge helping hand here.

For 2-7 you are correct about the unblockable drops - I had the cards drop from the two knife guys just as much as the gravestones, so yeah it is a really rare drop here. Its a good thing that this segment is easy enough to be done with eyes closed though so when it does drop you can make the most of it. As for the shopping, I practiced it enough that it wouldn't need its own segment. It is much improved over my Stage 1 shopping.
Small update - September 24: Testing & Distractions

I have my Stage 3 strategies tested now so it is just a matter of getting segments I like. Having said that, 3-1 is a total pain (although not nearly as bad as 2-1 was to be fair). I only need one orb out of the segment so that isn't too bad but between the hat lady sticking her nose into everything at the start, extremely common demon spawns, and the tiger guy at the end, things get "interesting".

The Gorilla and MM5 will be simple enough, I just need to go into MM5 with full orbs (this should be a hilarious fight), so like Molotov I'll just have to get crazy orbs from Dance School.

I'm still undecided about the best Shannon strategy. Getting an unblockable there is pretty much impossible and she reacts badly to attack cancels. Dragon Kick does pitiful damage. She might just come down to a rather boring unleash > Chain Yanker loop. Gonna have to think more about that.

Now if I can stop being distracted by the Diablo 3 beta I might make faster progress...