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Redlimit: 2011-10-02 01:15:11 pm
Update - October 2nd: That Damn Hat Lady

Managed to finally get a great 3-1 yesterday, and a simple 3-2 afterwards. In-game run time now sits at 19:43.

The spiked hat lady proved to be the biggest problem in the end for 3-1. She ended more runs than demon spawns, the tiger elite, or the knife thrower - up close she just roundhouses you over and over and far away she pesters you with her hat. Without an orb to spare on her you can't do anything about it though as it takes far too long to get rid of her otherwise.

So, on to 3-3. I need to walk away with this carrying 4 orbs, but tension level won't matter. Time to see if I can figure out a good way to herd guys together.

EDIT: Upon further testing, only three orbs are needed. Interesting.
Heh, so true about that hat lady. She's such a pest when you're dealing with the first five enemies.

In-game run time now sits at 19:43.

This concerns me. You started stage 2 with a 7 second lead on the run I did for kicks, but now you're 11 seconds behind at the start of 3-3. I can only assume this means you didn't redo Elvis 2 to get High Cross Kick, so unless you drop roulettes on Shannon (which we both know is mostly pointless), you're probably going to lose time there too. She should go down in two unleashes and spankings (with a refill in the middle) with High Cross Kick, but I'm not sure what your combo does there.

So, on to 3-3. I need to walk away with this carrying 4 orbs, but tension level won't matter. Time to see if I can figure out a good way to herd guys together.

EDIT: Upon further testing, only three orbs are needed. Interesting.

Good luck lumping everybody together. Really though, the bigger problem is going to be avoiding a freaking demon spawn since you have to kill so many enemies. On the bright side, at least you won't need to kill the zebra elite near the face door.

About orbs though, what's your plan for the Mad Midget Five? I'm assuming you'll load until three of them come at you and then lump the other two in before a Dragon Kick? Would probably be faster than getting an unblockable and dropping a few of them in one shot, since it would take so long to clean up the rest.

Speaking of the Mad Midget Five, some dude on GameFAQs claimed a while back that roulettes do more damage to grounded enemies, but I've only seen that happen maybe once. Even then, it might have been my imagination. Still sounds like something you might want to test out a bit and see if the guy is just full of crap (which he likely is). Can't remember if I brought this up earlier.
It is true that without High Cross Kick I lose a bit of time in 3-1 and 3-2, but there is a ton of time to be made up in regards to the rest of Stage 3. Some sections are going to be slower with the high damage square combo, but others are going to be much faster (namely large bosses). I knew this going into the run. I get to pick up the upgraded HSK and Roundhouse at the end of Stage 3, so this should be the only part of the run that is largely affected in this way. Still, the overall time will be much lower than your test run - of that I am confident.

For the MM5, I suspect the roulette attack against grounded foes does work as my last post indicates. I originally thought I would need 4 orbs to just Typhoon Kick them to death, but they promptly die after 3 in a row (in fact, the 3rd one is almost not needed at all). This results in an insanely fast victory (sub 10 seconds if they run at you properly off the start). I'm going to play around with the MM5 segment more once I get a Dance School that I like. Three orbs is easy, opening the gate is easy...but no demons and hitting the elite with the launcher are not. In fact, a lot of the time when hit directly the elite seems to take no damage at all. Maybe he has weird hitbox properties. The launcher does do some strange things with its knockback and blast radius, so I'm not really sure.
I just tried out your combo for some recorded comparisons and I'm still confused. In each test, I compared the damage for one unleash (so 360 frames each). Here is the comparison, if you're interested. Also a legend so that it makes sense:

- "Redlimit" and "Redlimit2" are obviously your Straight 2, Pimp Smack, Long Straight 2, Pay Up combo used as many times as possible, which is something like 6 + the first three hits again. From what I saw, this combo didn't dizzy Shannon in one unleash. :/

- "High" and "High2" are High Cross Kick spam the whole time. From memory, the most you can get is about 16 in one unleash. I can check the video later, but assume I got around 13 or 14 here because Gorilla Mask and Shannon dizzy somewhat easily. (And this doesn't include the fact that High Cross Kick can kill Gorilla Mask in one unleash...)

- "Full" is High Cross Kick x13 + Mach Speed Jab 1 x2 + Spanking (just barely possible in one unleash).

Hopefully this explains why I'm confused. It's clear that you're losing damage output with the combo instead of High Cross Kick cancels, especially on Shannon. Even for normal goons, they rarely duck on Easy/level 2 anyway. Perhaps this is something we just have to agree to disagree on, but I can't see how giving up that much damage is a good idea for stages 3 and 4. My initial post was wrong about stage 5 and on, since a combo is clearly better from that point on. (Currently fond of Left Jab 3/Straight 3, Long Straight 3, Drunken Fist 2, Overhead Blow, by the way.)

Maybe I'll feel stupid when stage 3 is done, but at the moment, I'm truly not seeing the logic behind a combo for 3 and 4. Sad
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2011-10-04 06:46:02 pm
I have tested both as well, and I just feel more comfortable with the high damage combo and relying on guard breaks often. In a segmented run, it is easy to force a block out of just about everyone. I think the overall time difference is negligible as (with Stage 3 being the biggest disparity). For a single segment, yeah the Cross is much more reliable since you don't really care what enemies do.

Further testing of Typhoon spam against MM5 at least somewhat proves the "more damage while knocked down" theory...but not all roulettes seem to be affected. Typhoon definately works, but others not so much. If you get really lucky you can Typhoon x 2 and then just smack the Red miget once for a win, but he can run off easily, so the third Typhoon is a guaranteed kill. What I need to consider is how many orbs I want to go into Shannon with, because there are lots of places to pick them up, but all of them are time losses (barring one or two breakables in front of Shannon's tent that can be slid through).
Update - October 18

Alright, the Dark Souls distraction phase is over, I can finally put that game down after two playthroughs and get back to focusing on this.
My main thing to tackle is the best way to blow up the group with the rocket. I mentioned in an earlier post that firing closer to the tent usually guarantees a hit on the tiger elite, but enemies don't clump as well all of the time when doing that.
This segment is probably just going to end up like 2-1: When it works, run with it...and when it doesn't just keep hitting reset...
On a different note, I stumbled onto something about Elvis 2 fairly recently that you might find interesting. Apparently you don't need to kill the two skinny guys in that fight. I'm sure this was common knowledge for some people, but I never noticed. It's a pretty good timesaver, considering how annoying those goons are.

Just run straight up the middle and stand near the wall where Elvis is. He'll jump down a few seconds later and then you can Dragon Kick him to death. It probably helps that cancelling his death animation doesn't seem to speed things up much, so you have an excuse to just dodge the skinny guys while you wait for the stage to end.

I should also probably note that I found this out while playing Hard, so I'm not sure if it's any different on Easy (or 1/2/3). I don't really see why it would be though.
I have had that happen before as well...I always thought the trigger for him jumping down was taking one guy out and you had a limited time to deal wtih the second one.
Definately worth looking into for future consideration. Although you would still need to pray for an unblockable card, it would save a few seconds.
Just a small and not so happy update for today - I have injured my left shoulder and won't be able to pick the run back up until that is sorted out. Hopefully it will not put it on hold for very long.
aka theenglishman

Update: January 4th

I'm planning on picking up the run again very soon. I was super busy over Christmas and my shoulder/arm made things interesting on top of that. I'm committed to completing this run this year as I owe it to myself and my mother who has recently battled cancer to help out the SDA raise funds in the only way I can - by working on the run more.

Looking forward to watching the stream and good luck to you Molotov with your runthrough tomorrow morning!
Good to hear you'll be working on this again soon.

To make this post useful, I have a trick that I'd like to point out before you make it to 4-5. There are actually two sequence breaks in that part, and I'm sure you already knew about the ladder thing. The other one is something I learned about a few months ago from a Japanese blog and it's much faster. Basically, you have to side dodge to the left the second the stage loads. You then dodge to the left again, but it's not nearly as precise. This puts you through the wall and out-of-bounds, but Gene has no problem running on air so you can just run straight to the exit.

I was hoping to keep this as a surprise until the marathon run, but I didn't get it that time. It must be a frame-perfect trick, because I've only gotten it to work like three times in actual runs. Oddly enough, I didn't have any real trouble doing it in the Japanese version. I wanted to record a video to link here, but the game hates me. There's at least one Nico Video run that shows it, so just let me know if you want to see it (and I'll try to track it down again).

But yeah, you'll want to do that for your run. Easily saves 15+ seconds over the ladder method.
I do recall you mentioning during that stage that there was "another trick" that you didn't get to work. Seems simple enough to do for a segmented run - thank god it is on a short stage with no pre-fighting. I'm in the last stages of my physio for my shoulder (hopefully) and then its back to 3-3 rocket rounding up.
Update: January 27th

I began work on the run again yesterday. My 3-3 strategy is all worked out, now it is just down to getting a good rocket shot, no demon pops, and three orbs dropping all at once. Opening the door without killing the Tiger Elite is actually quite easy if you pick up the umbrella - rarely will he interrupt you since you can open it so fast.

Taking a note from the out of bounds trick in 4-5, I thought you may be able to do something similar in 3-3 because you start the level in a similar way (Gene appears to start the level inside of a black out of bounds area) but I was unable to take advantage of it. Even if you could, I would be three orbs short to fight the MM5 so I guess it isn't really an option anyway.
No, your eyes do not deceive you - this is a legitimate update to my segmented run!

I was on a long hiatus due to a longer injury recovery period than expected, but I'm back on the up and up so I'm hacking away at attempts again...and its a good thing I was recording because I got an insane 3-3 earlier, making the total in-game time stand at 21:02.

I managed to get the following to all go correct in this segment:
1) One shot rocket kill on Tiger guy + many others
2) Three orb drops
3) No blocked or wasted attacks
4) Opened the door without defeating the second Tiger guy

The only real error comes in two seconds wasted walking instead of running, and what turned out to be superfluous box opening (the boxes in the corner often have one or two orb cards, they didn't in this case but when I ran back out to the main area I saw the three orbs sitting there waiting for me).
All in all, it is very quick considering how much you skip with this method. I'm really freaking happy.

Now its on to the MM5 and the rest of Stage 3 which should all be much less random segments.
Welcome back. Now that you've recovered, you'll be working extra hard to make up for lost time, right? Several segments per week! Go go go! Tongue

But seriously, that's a pretty nice 3-3. I think you should keep this one and try for a bit longer to see if you can get something cleaner though. The box and walk thing cost you about 8 seconds from what I could tell. That seems too long to be acceptable for such a short segment, but I know you got really lucky with those drops. Still worth trying for better because if after a bazillion attempts you end up with nothing, at least you have something ok to fall back on. (For those attempts, it'd probably be a good idea to just ignore the boxes and try to get enemy drops.)

By the way, that door has something like 170-180 HP? Guide says 20/40/70 from a weak/strong/throw from the umbrella, so why not use a weak/strong/strong/throw combo instead? Might also be worth trying to throw it multiple times and see if it works just like the poles in Giant Enemy Crane.
I'll probably try a some more attempts, but getting one this good took 5000+ attempts and several months. I understand what you mean though. Its just that so much went right all at once. I'll see what I can do, but no promises there, heh.

For the door, using the throw often hits the Tiger guy, which can be good or bad depending on how the game registers it (bad = he takes the full hit, good = it hits both, etc). The Tiger guy at the door is a real pain in the ass and is probably the worst part of the randomness of the whole segment.
Stage 3 is complete - Game Timer @ 25:47.

I did more 3-3 attempts, but in the end nothing has come close to the combination of the rocket shot + orbs + good enemy behaviour + no door problems, so the first one is a keeper at this point. The rest of the stage wasn't really too difficult - it laregly relied on just getting the MM5 to line up nicely and get some orbs without going out of the way to do so.
The Shanon strat is a bit improvized based on what I had going into it, but it is fast nonetheless. It helps that orbs aren't needed until The Three Stooges fight in Stage 4 (and you can easily grab 2 or 3 during that fight if you need them) so they get spent on taking Shannon down faster. This is good because 4-3 rarely ever gives any drops out of the boxes you are supposed to throw that you could smack a few of them as you run past for stuff so that may not be that great of an option. The hard and random segments in Stage 4 will be the stuff between the Stooges and Dr. Ion anyway.

At any rate, Stage 4 will get tackled in earnest probably starting next week.
I don't like being so negative, but are you sure you want to stick with this stage 3? The version I put up a while ago ended up at 7:15 and this one is 7:42, so there's definitely something wrong. Reviewing the videos, you lose a fairly large amount of time in 3-2 and more in 3-3 (this one surprised me).

3-4: Not a fan of that Mad Midget Five fight. Wouldn't it have been better to stand in the middle, get them lumped up with Mach Speed Jab (probably no Dragon Punches), and use Dragon Kick for the finisher? They randomly allow you to do that at the start and it would be pretty quick. Less orbs too, so it would slightly ease manipulation in the second half of that section. Speaking of which, since you were going to unleash anyway, it would make more sense to just get up close when they drop down. Makes little difference either way, but worth mentioning anyway.

Shannon: I'm not completely sure there is such a thing as a good Shannon fight because of how much of a pain she is. Still, something bothers me about this one and I'm thinking it's the lack of High Cross Kick. Mach Speed Jab should only be used a couple times at most during any unleash, so seeing it spammed was kind of painful. Surely there had to be some better way to dizzy her during the unleash, because High Cross Kick spam can do the job with only a couple Mach Speed Jabs and it's definitely not a fast attack. Ducking to cancel the unleash animation would've given you some extra time to do that and is something you should always do anyway.

Just for the heck of it, I'll take a guess that the ideal Shannon fight looks like this: Unleash -> High Cross Kick x14 -> Mach Speed Jab x2 -> Spanking -> Mach Speed Jab -> guard break -> Mach Speed Jab until dizzy -> Yes Man Kablaam x3 -> unleash -> High Cross Kick x? -> Dragon Kick. I'm obviously biased, but it seems sound enough to my rusty memory. It might be good to put Dragon Kick before the second unleash so that you can use a charge attack to preserve a tiny amount of tension and then cancel her death animation later.
I'm happy enough to stick with it as-is. Given the attempts needed to make Stage 3 work the way it did, I'm not sure I'd be willing to redo 5000+ attempts and several months to get it better. As far as an entire segmented run is concerned anyway you can always do better in God Hand (you could redo segments until every single enemy drops an orb card, etc) the overall goal is to have a highly optimized run that is faster than a single segment one. Given the extremely random nature of the game, you can't really ask for more than that.

Stage 3 is definately the biggest difference in your moveset versus mine, I'll give you that. As I stated from the beginning, if anyone is willing to do a better segmented run, they are free to go ahead and do so - filling in the God Hand gap at SDA is the main aim of this run and my schedule (and more recently my overall physical fitness) does not really allow me to try a single segment one.

In terms of the MM5 and Shannon fights, they look a bit mashed up but in terms of speed they do very well. The only real way to get the MM5 faster with this method is if they all run dead at you to start off with, and this is extremely rare (saw it once out of 200-odd attempts). The single orb card from the left barrel had to be picked up before the fatties regardless so I'm ok with losing the second or two that they canonballed towards me. The Shannon fight was designed specifically to get her into Dragon Kick kill range ASAP and that method was the fastest I found to do so with the moves I had available. Getting her into Spank while still having Unleash on was the big factor here, hence the combo x10 then MSJ x6 into Spank each time.

Again, I'm happy with the overall time so far. I think it shows a good mix between absolute insanity (every single enemy or breakable item gives you exactly what you want every time kind of segments) and overall speed and optimization.
I'm well aware that you've been spending a long time on this with lots of attempts but to me, this Stage 3 doesn't look as clean as I'd expect from a segmented run. While it has interesting and fun strategies there just seems to be a lot of dirty looking moments. I can't say about specific tactics used but just things like running into boxes, getting hit, dropping combos. For segments that are 1-4 minutes it looks like a good ss run with insane luck, not a grinded out segmented run.

I don't have much experience with this game at all, this is just from a runner who plays this type of game a lot. I understand if you don't want to play stage 3 any more (I gave up a segmented run in favour of SS for similar reasons) but I wouldn't want you to get this all the way to submission and have it rejected for a segment like this.
Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the feedback from other runners - but I feel in this case that the randomness in Stage 3 is so high (3-1, 3-3, and 3-4 all require many things to go correctly all at once) that it is still acceptable. The most problematic segments for Stage 1 and 2 took maybe 400-500 attempts, whereas 3-3 alone took thousands. For the MM5 segment, avoiding getting hit a few times while they line up against the wall is nearly impossible and you have to wait for them to co-operate anyway and it makes no difference if you get hit or not (as long as you do not level down from it as this affects your money at the end of the stage).

Again, given the total randomness and luck involved, it is a solid Stage 3, and I'm happy with it, and I'm always more than willing to discuss the reasons behind why segments end up the way they do. I've re-looked over Molotov's runs from JRDQ and ADDQ and my Shannon battle, MM5 battle, and Gorilla Suit battle all hold up to where they need to be (and 7:42 is over two minutes faster than the single-segment live runs).

Getting back to strategy for 4, most of the work comes from the boss battles, and those aren't random. The segments where you do need to take out regular enemies are very straightforward so the overall stage will look much cleaner. There is a lot less orb farming as well (thank god, thats a first).
The kind of perfectionism that SDA runners hold each other to is both its gift and its curse. Personally I think Redlimit's run and dedication and returning after a six month injury-induced hiatus are all awesome but what the hell do I know
Edit history:
Redlimit: 2012-07-14 06:15:32 pm
Small note on The Three Stooges in Stage 4, how likely in your experience is an unblockable popping up in that fight, Molotov? The fight its self is simple enough, but an unblockable vs Felix would be helpful...however breaking every box in sight isn't too useful either considering how fast you can take the three of them out (sometimes you barely even need to move more than a few steps between unleash > bikini card > unleash > kick cancels). I'm toying with use of Typhoon Kick here as well to take the last life away from Bruce and get a head-start on Felix. Conchita goes down in unleash + spank.

Addition: Upon further thought, orbs are useful in Electric Deathmatch for the group of 4 and possibly the two knife get one orb guaranteed in The Stooges battle, but they are fairly common drops out of the boxes. Hmm. More testing needed.
I honestly couldn't tell you, because it's been so long since I've even fought them. Of course, I didn't need to destroy the boxes back then because it was for Hard New Game+ practice. Tongue

But seriously though, I might be able to tell you soon. I've been toying with another segmented mock run (and hating every second of it) and I'm up to stage 4 now. That Mad Midget Five thing should still work in theory, but I'm convinced that I'm the only person alive who has so much trouble grouping them. At least, the pros don't seem to have any trouble. It's pretty depressing really.

What's your current plan for that fight without the unblockable? Unleash and counter kick Bruce to the wall -> Typhoon Kick at the end -> bikini card -> kill Conchita -> kick cancel Felix? My brain is a bit fried right now, but I'm having trouble thinking up something usable that doesn't involve High Cross Kick or Charged Punch.

As for Electric Deathmatch, you'll definitely want to Typhoon Kick twice. Unfortunately, I think that means you'll need to manipulate two orbs from Iron Bridge Fashion Show. Pretty much only from the second wave too, because the first should be sent off the bridge with a flying roundhouse. (If your plan for The Three Stooges involves more orbs for some reason, nevermind me.)