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Hi! I'm andrewg!
Well, maybe he could do a real speedrun of this game. I mean, he's spent so much time on it already, why not speedrun it? Wink
Edit history:
Vugmer: 2008-06-27 05:24:09 pm
Cigar Man
Yeah, I wasn't playing for speed.  In the first level, I wasted time killing almost everything for points so that I could earn extra lives (an extra life is awarded at 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 300,000, and so on).

I'll never try speedrunning Ikari Warriors.  I really want to see a TAS of it, though.

Liger, the line "there's not even a boss or anything that doesn't suck" made me laugh.  It's so true.
100% runs=great to watch
As soon as I can free up the necessary HD space to download this from archive.org...I'm so watching this.

:played through Ikari Warriors II many a time back in the day:
Edit history:
ktwo: 2014-12-13 02:47:57 pm
Time to dust off this topic again... I thought this would be a fitting game to try after having played Ikari Warriors 2. I started the routing work a little over two weeks ago and have now also started doing some preliminary console attempts the last couple of days. There are a handful of playthroughs on the net and a (very, very preliminary) tas of level 1. With one exception (see below), there's not much that I could take from those resources, so this is basically virgin territory when it comes to speedrunning. I will admit that I have mostly skimmed through the playthroughs though because they're quite long and clearly not very focused on speed.

I hope to achieve a time under half an hour (and hopefully with a bit of margin once my routes start to settle). Since I'm frequently changing and optimizing the routes, I haven't bothered uploading videos of anything yet. But there are a bunch of things not seen in most of the available videos that are worth mentioning in case someone out there has an interest in this game:
- Once you get the super speed (SS), you're moving much faster than the tank (I think at the same speed as the chopper). So a lot of the game will be done on foot.
- Once you start finding a pattern in all the madness in this game, it seems like there are pretty consistent ways to get through many areas (or at least get it down to good execution as opposed to stupid luck). Some areas still remain difficult and I plan to still use tanks or just slow down in a few places. I don't see it humanly possible to sprint through the whole game unless someone deciphers some more complex rules on the enemy behavior.
- The tank has the exact right speed to run through a lot of stuff (trucks etc). This avoids a lot of waiting time for things to blow up before moving on. Gates are too big to run through, but can still be passed by driving through while avoiding the middle (which would trigger their destruction). (edit: this is wrong, you can drive through gates just fine. There are bigger structures though that you can't just drive through)
- You can run through gates on foot as well. Before you have the knife, you must run through on the side and avoid the gate's hitbox. Once you have the knife and the super speed, you can just sprint through gates even while touching their hitbox. This will be done extensively to save lots of time compared to destroying them normally.
- It's possible to get a fuel refill for the chopper in level 3 before the gas runs out. This is based on a random drop, but seems to be kind of consistent as long as you follow the same path every time. This was at least true from emulator practice, but I haven't played enough yet on console to know if this will be a problem or not. If you get the random fuel drop, you can cruise until the end of the level in the chopper. This also means that the dreaded end section of level 3 becomes a formality and will be done deathless. I'll defintely be going for a deathless run.
- In level 4, you can also get a random fuel drop for the chopper. This was (as far as I know) discovered by TheMexicanRunner. Getting this drop and the one in level 3 are so important that it's an instant reset in a speedrun if you don't get them. The problem is that this drop seems to be a lot more unreliable than the one in level 3, which is cause for some concerns.

In summary, I hope that I'll eventually can get a no-death run under half an hour. Whether that happens or not, I'm almost certain that there will be good potential for improvements to my routes. This game is poorly programmed and I would be surprised if there weren't patterns or exploits that I'm not going to find. I have a setup for the level 4 drop, which seems to somehow increase the chances a bit. It's a bit time consuming though. Someone with better understanding of the underlying mechanics could probably come up with a more straight-forward way. In case anyone wants to have a look, I have attached an emulator movie file where I get the drop and it also shows my setup.

That was pretty long, but that's where I stand right now.
Hi! I'm andrewg!
Have you watched vgmr's run? I really know nothing about this game, except that he finished a run for it.
This game has a well-deserved reputation. Anyone who can finish it deserves credit (even more so if it's done without the recently discovered chopper exploits described in my post). However, vgmr's run was nowhere near being a speedrun, which he has also said. So yes, I have seen his run, but I don't think there were any particular speed strats. It's of course still a good resource (together with the other online videos) in case I run into particular difficulties in any section to see how other people dealt with it.
Edit history:
MASTER-88: 2014-12-11 01:28:25 pm
MASTER-88: 2014-12-11 01:27:50 pm
I am really interested see run with this game. I own this cart too. But i simple hate this game too much. I cannot beat it even using ABBA code, because level 3 boss lost this code.

I actually watched TMR completion run, and that was really mad one. His time was 55 minutes and that was pretty quick IMO. I was go actually accpeted run like this if he was making this his real NES. Its might be crazy insane make sub 30 minutes time. IIRC first level took me something like 30 minutes with ABBA code used.

This is probably only NES game i cannot beat it. This game is too boring to play but really fun to watch. I´ll look your progress here. Its migth be really mad if your final produyct will totally deathless. I think its never really can´t happen.
Ktwo, I wish you nothing but the best.  I hope the game doesn't kill you.
Good luck, brave warrior. If you get a deathless posted on SDA I promise I'll go all in on Ikari 3 to finish the NES trilogy.
Highly Evolved
Don't let Uyama see this thread.  He may get sick again.
Thanks guys. I'll do my best, but this is definitely going to be a mouthful. Murphagator, I won't forget that promise, but I have a feeling that it will take quite a long time before you need to start worrying...
I've been home with the flu for almost a week and have used that "opprotunity" to revisit all the routes. I have found several new time savers in areas that previously bothered me (they didn't look lean). I'm sure I'll still keep finding improvements here and there, but I feel that the routes are at least now in a state where they are ready to be published. I have started to create an entry for this game in the knowledge base, where I'll upload my routes and where I have tried to put down my notes in a more structured way:

In more direct and exciting news, I have come across a cool glitch. If you hold A, B and up while in the helicopter, you'll exit the helicopter, but still continue flying in a straight line. In this state, you're invincible and unable to interact with the environment. Unfortunately, while having the potential to completely break the game, the properties of this glitch state make it of somewhat limited use. Since you can't interact with the environment, you can't kill any enemies and will therefore not be able to exit level 3 and 4 since they require you to kill a boss for the exit to appear. On the other hand, maybe it's for the best that the game isn't turned into complete triviality either. It seems like the glitch would save 10-20 seconds in level 1 though, but I'm currently looking into that (it will require a lot of re-routing). There is some more description in the knowledge base. Here is a quick demonstration of what the glitch looks like:

I'm very surprised that I haven't found this glitch before and that it doesn't seem to be described by anyone else either. It's actually very easy to do it by accident during normal gameplay.

With this glitch and the implementation of all the newest route improvements, a correctly executed speedrun should land somewhere around the 28:30-29 min mark (the big range mostly due to luck factors).
Today I achieved an important milestone. On a proper attempt (no deaths, acceptable time losses), I got all the way to the helicopter section of level 4. I didn't get the fuel drop which is needed for a speedrun, so unfortunately it ended in a reset. I haven't found anything that increases the odds for the fuel drop. I estimate it to be something like 20% maybe, so I have been prepared all along that rng will screw me over there. But if I'm capable of getting there once, I can do it again and eventually the fuel drop will come.

With the drop, the run is more or less done, since the remaining section in the helicopter is fairly easy (even though this game has a tendency to throw something unexpected at you when it suits you the least). With all the things outside player control that have to go right, I don't see myself pushing the time lower and lower. If I can beat this game on a decent pace once, I'm pretty sure that's it.

Had I been able to complete this attempt, it would have been around 28 min flat. The attempt was pretty smooth overall and even a bit faster than the pace I consider to be the minimum acceptable.
Edit history:
DK28: 2015-04-13 04:38:32 pm
General Kong - Bullets and Bananas
Good stuff ktwo!  Glad to hear this is still getting done.

*Waits patiently for the run*
I got some time this weekend to do attempts again. I finally managed to complete a run (29:15). Unfortunately, I died in the game's own favorite way: suicide when trying to exit a tank in level 4... That death resulted in very slow progress until I got powered up again and I lost probably around a minute. The attempt was otherwise acceptable, but the pace was a few seconds slower than the attempt I wrote about above. It was really a failed attempt, but shows that everything in the route is possible, so I post it as a proof of concept at least.

Dk, sorry, but you will have to wait some more for the actual run. I feel pretty confident though. I get enough attempts far into the game that I feel a proper run is within reach (I just hope I won't have to regret those words).
Holy smokes!  Keep up the great work, ktwo!  I honestly never thought anybody would try to seriously optimize this game, but if anybody can it'd be you.  Good luck!
General Kong - Bullets and Bananas
Echoing PJ's sentiment.  Keep at it!  I'm a patient man.  thumbsup
The quest is over, Ikari has finally been conquered!

I just completed the game deathless for the first time in ~27:25. There is some bad luck scattered throughout (and possibly not always dealt with in the most optimal way), but overall I managed to follow my route. I'm still very happy with finally getting a run completed and I'm not intending to try and improve the time.

I've spent two and a half years chasing the deathless run, but it's actually not too surprising that I completed the run now. Thanks to some help over at tasvideos, the mechanics behind the fuel drops in area 3 and 4 have been understood. This allowed me to re-route the relevant sections and significantly improve the odds of getting the drops.

Anyone interested in reading more about the fuel drops and the current routes can go to the Ikari page in the knowledge base (linked in a post above).
B+Left, Left, Up+B, ★
Congrats ktwo! I couldn't find a highlight on your stream, so I'm guessing it was an offline attempt? Either way, can't wait to see your run!
Thanks zallard. It was an offline attempt. The only place it's currently available at is in the verification section. If you have the patience to wait a bit longer, I'm also planning to release a bit more material for when the run gets published.
I finally watched this. Its incredible great run. This game is somethings like super hard to beat. Its hard game even using ABBA code.

Thats something like miracle you make this through without any single deaths and its half faster than any other run through. I have to say great job. Congrats with this.:)
Cigar Man
I never thought I would see a run of this caliber for Ikari Warriors. Amazing job, ktwo! The discovery of that flying glitch was truly a blessing.
First of all, thanks Master-88 and Vugmer! I missed your posts previously.

Not long after my previous run, I was reminded of that deaths can be used to break the flying glitch. That can be used in area 3 and 4 and completely changes the run since you don't have to worry about fuel drops any more. After a break, I'm now back with this game. and today I got my first completion (27:01): www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uop0rYWb_k4
I think at least 5-10 seconds of mistakes should be cut off and I also had a really unfortunate last boss fight, which cost 15 seconds. I have a few ideas of how to prevent that from happening again for only a minor time loss.

I've also updated the guide in the knowledge base with the new route.