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Johnny Upgrade (Any %) (Single Segment)

Decision: Reject

Quote from PJ:
Just got a 5:22.  I have played this game for a grand total of 40 minutes and I cut almost 30 seconds off this run.  Definitely reject.

This run will be available for a month. After that these link(s) will no longer work.
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Run Information

Johnny Upgrade (Any %) (Single Segment)

Verification Files

Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by Sept. 25, 2014.

Please post your opinions about the run and be certain to conclude your post with a verdict (Accept/Reject). This is not a contest where the majority wins - I will judge each verification on its content. Please keep your verification brief unless you have a good reason otherwise.

After 2 weeks I will read all of the verifications and move this thread to the main verification board and post my verdict.
A/V: Looks good, but one of you guys should probably help crop out the border with the timer and stuff.

Gameplay: I haven't played this game. The reason is that it would take a little while to get the hang of it. Basically, your character can't do anything to start with and dies after two seconds or so. At each death, you get the chance to upgrade the character (jump, speed, extend the time limit etc etc). There are lots of possibilities for how to upgrade most efficiently. This submission seems to use a fairly efficient route, but I can't tell if it's optimized or just "good". It looked like some minor execution mistakes and some menu work that could have been sped up though. Overall, I'd still say that it was a good effort. I couldn't find any other serious speedruns for this game on the net, so it's unfortunately not possible to compare the time with other players. I realize that my review is quite shallow and that I might have to correct it if someone having played this game decides to share their views here. Until then

Edit history:
Crow!: 2014-09-22 12:36:11 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-22 12:35:07 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-22 12:31:59 pm
Crow!: 2014-09-22 12:28:16 pm
What's that gemma?

Occasional framerate drops.

The first 15 seconds or so need to be trimmed; he aborted and went back to the title screen on a couple of tries.

The frame needs to be cropped, as well.

Where is the mouse?  I feel like showing the cursor makes more sense in this game than not doing so.  In particular, it makes it needlessly hard to identify which upgrades the player is purchasing.


There are several apparently unintentional deaths. It almost assuredly takes only one such death for the $50 health upgrade to pay off; if he's going to take this greedy a route, I expect the final run to justify it.  The death at 2:28 is especially bad.

There's some VERY bad routing in the earliest portion of the game.  There's time to be saved by just grabbing the left 11 coins then suiciding instead of the apparently randomly chosen paths the runner takes.  His 5th life (where he gets only 4 coins, using more upgrades, compared to his previous 11 coins, with this happening only 15 seconds into the run) is enough for me to recommend a reject on this run on its own.

The enemies are on set cycles which begin each time the level begins.  There are several cases where he slows himself down by a whole cycle by doing an erroneous jump which requires him to hesitate both at the pit so he can land and re-jump, and at a robot later on which he should be able to run underneath but can't because he's half a cycle late.  Similarly, with proper planning, he could know where the left/right moving robots are located based on how long it took him to reach that portion of the stage, and thereby avoid taking "random" deaths while falling blind.

When suicidally diving into the coin pit, he should be moving horizontally so as to grab more coins.

The menu at 3:20 was very slow.

Overall, I'd say the execution for this run is just "good", and the planning is "okay".  I expect better than that from a game that is less than 6 minutes long with no RNG. There is a lot of obviously lost time, without any obvious hard-to-achieve time gains that this particular run obtained to justify those sorts of losses.  REJECT.
Edit history:
PJ: 2014-09-22 02:01:05 pm
PJ: 2014-09-22 01:51:51 pm
I agree completely with Crow.  I had never seen this game before, so I played through it twice real quick and then did a timed run.  I finished with a 6:02.  I didn't plan out any upgrade routes at all.  All I knew is that I needed double jump, full jump power, level 16 timer, full laser power, and 8 ammo.  For the beginning, I just bought one timer upgrade, 2 speed upgrades, and one jump upgrade and farmed the first 8 coins over and over again.  I bought multipliers whenever I could, and then started upgrading speed/jump/etc.  I have no idea what lets me purchase double jump, but I think it is based on how far you progress or something?  Idk.  Clearly my routing was lacking and I finished only like 12 seconds behind the runner.  On my third ever playthrough of this game.


Edit:  Ok, figured out how to gain experience.  Will try another timed run.

Edit2:  Just got a 5:22.  I have played this game for a grand total of 40 minutes and I cut almost 30 seconds off this run.  Definitely reject.
Expect a PJ-submitted run tomorrow.
Decision posted.
Quote from Onin:
Expect a PJ-submitted run tomorrow.

So hyped
Ok.  I recorded a run real quick.  It is ~1:02 faster than the submitted run:

I wrote a lot of details about my route/strategy in the Youtube description.  I'll copy/paste it here for those who don't want to click.  I highly doubt what I came up with is optimal, but hopefully someone else will spend some more time on it.

Quote from PJ's video:
I had never heard of this game until 3 hours ago.  There was a run in public verification on SDA that got me curious about this game, so I spent my afternoon routing and doing attempts.  This is the end result.  Note that I intentionally left the cursor visible so you can follow my upgrade route.

This is actually a really fun game.  You need to upgrade your speed, jump power, timer, gun power, ammo, etc in order to kill the boss at the end.  You're probably supposed to gradually progress as you slowly upgrade your stats, but they made the mistake of putting a lot of easily-accessed coins directly to the left of the starting point.  I spend awhile farming those before I proceed.  I'll try to summarize my route.

-Upgrade speed, then jump, then speed, then timer.  Then upgrade speed three more times (level 5) before farming for coins.  This gives us the most efficient rate of collecting this group of 11 coins.  I then continuously upgrade the multiplier until I purchase the 100GP multiplier, and then stockpile coins (~330 are needed) before moving on.  This will allow us to buy level 6 jump power (required to proceed to the right), level 6 timer (required to make it far enough to obtain 600XP/farm coins), and level 7 speed.

-You need 600XP before you can "purchase" the double jump.  It seems like XP is awarded by visiting more areas of the map.  I can reach 605XP by falling down the pit at ~1:45, riding the platform back up and falling down the shaft at ~2:00.  In the process, I also collect the gun which is needed to kill some robots.

-I farm again at the beginning until I have full jump power and 1 ammo upgrade.  Full jump power is required to double jump over the left wall, and the ammo is needed to shoot the 2 robots blocking my access to the coins.

-At this point, I farm on these groups of coins until I reach the following powerup levels:
Speed: Level 7
Timer: Level 16
Ammo: Level 4 (8 bullets)
Laser: MAX
This is the minimum level I've found that I can beat the game with.  I don't think I can kill the boss with speed 6 and timer 16, but I don't remember.  Max power laser gives us a 4-cycle kill on the boss, and level 4 ammo lets me kill the 4 robots before the boss.

-I have not been able to hit the boss any earlier.  I've tried double jumping really high (he moves with you) and firing a bullet just before I begin to fall.  I have connected with the bullet, but it didn't do any damage.

With some cleaner movement, this can probably drop to 4:45 using this route.  I am sure that there is a faster upgrade route, but this is what I came up with in the 3 hrs I spent with this game.  Perhaps upgrading the multiplier more would be worthwhile, but I'm not sure.
What's that gemma?
Try starting with Speed -> Jump -> Speed -> Multiplier.  With two speed upgrades, you don't need the timer upgrade to reach the left wall.  With three speed upgrades, it is hard not to pass up some coins as you jump up and down.

You might be able to skip one ammo upgrade by jumping past the first two robots - it might depend on the robots' cycles, though, since you're on such a strict timer to get to the boss.
Edit history:
PJ: 2014-09-22 07:18:22 pm
PJ: 2014-09-22 07:15:38 pm
PJ: 2014-09-22 07:15:04 pm
To be honest, I'm not planning on improving my run or submitting to SDA.  The main reason is because I don't think I'm recording at full framerate.  I'm really not impressed by my ability to record PC stuff, and I don't think it's good enough for SDA.  The other, less important reason is because while this was a fun afternoon, I really don't enjoy the game enough to completely optimize it.  I was mostly making that as a proof-of-concept thing in case anybody (hopefully the author of the submitted run!) wants to improve it.

That being said, I agree that it is really easy to grab all 11 coins with 3 speed upgrades.  The reason I don't is because I need speed 7 eventually anyways, and upgrading it early just seems to make sense.  Plus, with 3 speed upgrades, your next collection will bring you to 18 coins.  At this point, I grab 2 speed upgrades and then the multiplier 2 deaths later.  With the 3 speed route, you'd grab the multiplier one death later.  So, the immediate time gain from that route seems to be collecting the multipliers one death sooner than I do in my route, but each cycle of coin collection ought to be slower since you're two speed levels lower.  I'm not going to bother timing it out, but it seems like it'd be slower, especially since I manage to grab every coin up until the 100GP multiplier.  Worth checking though.

I tried skipping an ammo, but that first robot is an issue.  He walks really far left and there's no way to get past him before he turns around the first time.  This is a loss of like 3 seconds, which would mean you'd need to upgrade the timer again to kill the boss.  I believe that is more costly than the ammo upgrade.

Just thought I'd mention this before I forget: I timed how long it takes to grab the ~330 coins required for my first series of upgrades with the level 5 multiplier (the 80GP purchase), and then again with the level 6 multiplier (the 100GP purchase).  Basically, 330 coins vs 100+330 coins.  It was ~4 seconds slower for the 100+330 coin route, but I assumed that the level 6 multiplier would save me time during the rest of my coin grinding.  I didn't bother timing the level 7 multiplier because I assumed it would either break even or be slower, but someone might want to time that out.

Good suggestions, Crow!

Edit:  There is one major time saver I forgot to mention.  After the long fall at the start of the late coin farm, I jump onto a box to the right and then jump off it to the left to grab some coins.  It is possible to bonk your head on the higher box just to the left of that first box so you land directly on it instead of waiting for gravity to pull you down to it.  Gravity is slow.  Over the course of the 4 coin trips there, you can probably save 2.5 seconds.  I didn't bother going for it each time because I'm lazy and didn't practice it enough to get it every time.
Can not wait for PJ to submit this to a GDQ.
HAH! nice PJ, i stopped running after my sub 6. It is a fun little game. Cheesy