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Lagoon (Any %) (Single Segment)

Verifier Responses

PJ ran it. I was there. Accept!

Quote from Emptyeye:
Okay, so let's get a couple things out of the way.

First, this is Emptyeye. Second, despite my over-the-top histrionics and rants in just about everyone's channel at one time or another, I do not, and never did, hate Lagoon as a game. I did hate Lagoon as maybe the biggest meme SDA ever had (It's either that or The Demon Rush), because I stand by my position that the game is either (Depending on my mood) not that bad, or not that good in an entirely generic and forgettable way. But I'm fine with the game itself, and hey, if the SDA meme helped raise a bunch of money at AGDQ2012, then good for it.

Now then.

Audio and visual are okay enough. The MQ actually seems a bit choppy, but in a predictable way. I don't have my copy of Lagoon anymore, so I don't know if it's my computer, the actual video, or if that's just how Lagoon plays (Although I think I'd remember something like that). Also, I'm aware of stutter-stepping as a health recovery technique, but this starts right in Atland, before PJ (Let's be honest, we all know who did this run) has any reason to be stutter-stepping anywhere. Note that watching the second half of the video the next day, I didn't note this problem (Or had gotten used to it).

Unnecessarily equips a Ring he doesn't have, auto-reject.

Just kidding.

The Gold Cave. Something that may not be obvious if you've never played the game before is that this game has Metroid Syndrome, where pretty much every path looks the same and so the best strategy for casual navigation, at least until Lagoon Castle, is "Hug a wall and go around the perimeter of the dungeon; you'll eventually hit everything you need to." This makes the proper navigation of anything in this game all the more impressive.

Giles's pathfinding AI and speed are incredible.

The monster fighting planning is well done, especially during the escort mission--you have to wait for Giles anyway, so this is an optimal time to kill some enemies. Something else that quickly becomes obvious is that PJ kills close to the bare minimum of enemies to ensure survival on bosses--pretty much any enemy is capable of killing him in only a few hits, which makes the fact that this is a single-segment run incredible. Forget the bosses for a moment--the fact is that any lapse in concentration while fighting even a regular enemy can lead to big trouble, so kudos for surviving an hour and a half without a lapse into death.

There's an unfortunate spot about 7:50 into the video where he tries to kill an enemy before deciding it's not worth it since Giles has caught up to him. This is the first somewhat ugly spot in the run though. The 8 minute mark looks worse than it actually is because, again, pathfinding AI.

He equips Samson's Key right away, presumably so he can also check and make sure he's Level 3 (Even though the 10MP means he is). I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and presume the menus don't wrap around (Since, again, I forget if they do or not and don't have my copy with me to check)--otherwise, he would have simply hit left once instead of right multiple times to get to the key.

Samson, or "Earthquaker" as SDA named him. Something else to point out there: Nasir's Short Sword (Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that when I played this as a kid, I was rather disappointed to discover that none of the other swords were any longer than the Short Sword) is, of course, the stuff of legend. But let's consider the gameplay implications of this a bit. Interestingly, when attacking horizontally, the range of the sword is a good deal longer than the sprite would have you believe, although doubling "Incredibly short" still leads to "Pretty short". Vertically, though, and especially when attacking upward (Despite this sword being the "longest" of the four directions), you (Almost literally) have about a one-pixel window to hit an enemy. This manifests itself most infamously with "Thorbird", the second-to-last boss of the game (I know I'm not the only person who never beat him as a kid because of this), but truthfully, every boss, and every enemy, behaves like this.

What I'm saying here is that PJ's ability to quickly find, and re-find, the sweet spot to hit Samson is awe-inspiring. Try it yourself sometime. Then do it at Level 3 like he did.

From there, we move to the Elf Field. One thing I love about this game is that is has Elves and Dwarves and Gnomes and Hobbits for, from what I can tell, no reason other than "Contractual Fantasy World Obligation." Seriously, these races could all be human with no impact to the story. Anyway, there's a bit of a sequence break here with PJ going to get the first of 3 Tablets before the game tells him to. I'll admit I wouldn't have thought of that. It’s also worth noting his knowledge of which cliffs are "solid" versus the spots that will kill you if you fall down them.

Some item collection, and then more grinding...err, another escort mission. Thor doesn't even have Giles's excuse of being hurt. C'mon Champ! Step up your walking game! Actually, if memory serves, this is less an escort mission and more of a scripted sequence where Thor walks to the spot where the last tablet is located.

In Philips Castle, something to note is the efficiency in fighting enemies--where possible, he backs enemies against a wall to attack them more quickly, when he's not just fireballing them to death.

Going one slot too far on the Movable Mantle was unfortunate, and cost several seconds. Still, the menuing to this point has been quite impressive overall.

That snipe. Nicely done.

I can just imagine PJ saying "MOVE, statue!" as he realizes his walking was a little off.

Natela is one of the two bosses in the game (The other being Ella, although that was before 93977993 was discovered) who is infamous not for some memetic reason ("Earthquaker", "Turdlecano"), but just for being damn difficult. PJ, being PJ, has the strategy on lock and makes it look easy. Incidentally, trying to fight this fight the "normal" way even casually (And here he's about 4 levels lower than he should be, and missing some defense from an upgraded armor and shield to boot) is just asking for pain.

Naturally, the game lacks an exit spell, meaning a long walk out of the castle. I'll just note here that Nasir's extremely short attacking range probably stems from the fact that he has no right arm (Look at the walking down sprite).

Dwarf Desert is home to killer squirrels. Seriously, you thought those little guys were cute and cuddly. You thought wrong. PJ avoids the squirrels, and thus disaster, like the champ he is. The second trip through the desert demonstrates the punch the squirrels actually pack, just in case you thought I was joking about how dangerous every enemy in the game is under speedrunning conditions in particular.

Despite having played this game not all that long ago, I have no memory whatsoever of the Thor's Pendant sequence, even though it's necessary to advance the game. Make of that what you will. Also, thanks Thor, I would've just taken an ORDINARY Mirror! Final Note to potential RPS players out there: Mirror Crushes Rock.

The legendary Porno Cave! Again, getting through the first section quickly is something of a feat when one misstep means death, and it's not always obvious where you're supposed to be jumping to next.

The dragon heads in the lower levels of the cave, much like the squirrels in the desert, are particularly dangerous foes--if one hits you, it's going to hurt a lot even playing normally, and you're probably dead in a speedrun. "Dagron please....DAGRON PLEASE!!" was a common refrain in my most recent playthrough. This makes the jump over a dragon head shortly after getting the Magic Sword crazy.

It's more grinding time on some dragon heads, and you can see how deadly they actually are. For me, this is actually the weakest part of the run so far. Understandably so (It's basically blind), he misses the third dragon head a couple times. It's enough to make me wonder if doing two dragon heads and then reloading the screen would be faster, or more consistent, than always trying for the third head.

The non-silent Silence Cave amuses me. Not much else to say there. Nice use of jumping through the lava to cut out some travel time. I will say that another thing I had forgotten was just how much backtracking and having to do dungeons twice there actually is in this game. Related, I love that the teleporter in the cave is one-way.

From jumping over a dragon head, to sniping one with his magic, PJ is really playing with fire with those things. On the second grind, I love how bringing a dragon head to zero health sometimes doesn't kill it. Spectacular. Lagoon, ladies and gentlemen. I guess the second dragon head even lifts, bro.

Oh look! It's a princess! To answer a question PJ asked awhile ago, I'm pretty sure she's mentioned in passing if you talk to everyone in Vaioh. Anyway, after the "Yay princess oh noes she's kidnapped again!" scene is our good friend Turdlecano (Or "Eardon", if you want to be technical). This is a slow battle, but he's only vulnerable when attacking, and I'll just point out again how difficult it is to hit an enemy at all while attacking vertically, meaning this could've been a whole lot worse.

Siegfried Castle, despite the name, doesn't have anyone named Siegfried in it. It does have incredibly annoying cyclopes with lasers that go "WEEEEEE" though, as well as a song that reminds me of Bret "The Hitman" Hart's WWF theme. It's also got some tough enemies, so he makes a detour for some helpful items (Though he has to come down here anyway for the Mint), including his first defense boosting items (Not counting the Protection Ring) since the start of the game.

The fight with Duma is really the first one that could be objectively described as "bad". Poor PJ gets hit to near-death early on and has to play it quite a bit safer than looks optimal for the rest of it. Additionally, you see what I mean about the vertical attacking in this game. Still, the times he does manage to get hits in actually look pretty good.

Fun Fact RE: NPCs: Their movements are totally random, meaning it's entirely possible, albeit unlikely, that the person he talked to on the upper right corner of Lilaty will be on the entire opposite corner of the village. Luckily, bad luck doesn't befall him here.

Another small detour is made in the Ice Cave. This turns out to be important later on--the Elixir is the first really useful healing item in the game at this point (Healing Pots deal a pitiful amount of HP). Also, it's nice to know enemy swords in the world of Lakeland are just as short as that of our hero.

The next boss fight goes according to plan. He pretty much needs full health for the second phase, which explains the tentativeness in phase one.

Ah, Ella, the other memetically difficult boss in this game. Who knows if that would've happened if 93977993 had been discovered sooner than it was. Even knowing the pattern, though, Ella is quite tricky, particularly in a speedrun. Essentially, getting past here at all is a success, and doing so with the Life Ball (PJ loses some time here equipping and then not having to use it) is even better.

Non-speedrunning note directed at no one in particular: Make fun of the Mathias and Zerah cutscene, that's fine. But don't then turn around and try to tell me that the Opera Scene in FFVI, in which Draco and Ralse do pretty much the same thing, is one of the all-time great video game cutscenes. You don't get it both ways.

Runner saves out of reflex in the Cloud. Oops. I won't make the "auto-reject" joke here, but the bit of time loss is worth noting. Also, I love how at the end of Cloud you have to basically undo the logic the game has taught you to this point and jump to what you'd think would be your doom.

Lagoon Castle itself is a giant maze where "follow the wall" breaks down to the point that I'm pretty sure I spent longer just in Lagoon Castle than the length of this entire run in my previous playthrough. In any event, he grabs an elixir to replace the one he lost fighting Ella.

Some bad luck in the Battler fight, plus he panics a bit and uses his Elixir well before he really needs so (And compounds this by not getting hit for the rest of the battle, meaning he wasted the Elixir).

The walk to the final boss gauntlet is mainly about "don't get lost" and "Don't stop to fight anything, you're a high enough level." PJ makes a second save just before the final boss gauntlet. His rationalization at the time was "If I die on the final boss battles, I'll finish it out and submit as an RTA." Frankly, I'm not sure how I would have felt about that if it had come to that, even though he was well ahead of his previous best at this point and could probably have died on the final boss and still come out ahead.

Luckily, it doesn't come to that. I feel like he should've gotten hit just before he killed the second boss (The first gargoyle), but hey, Lagoon. The attacking vertically difficulty rears its head on Thorbird, of course, but eventually he figures the positioning out and equips the Power Ring to quickly deal with him. The final boss, the red gargoyle, gets in an unavoidable cheap hit, and fights hard to make everything to this point worthless, but PJ perseveres and gives Zerah the whooping he deserves.

Using a very rough timing based on VLC Player (Which I could've sworn had a frame counter, but maybe I'm thinking of VirtualDub), He gains control at 27s in the video and loses it at 1h29m20s, for a time of 1:28:53. This represents an improvement of 4 minutes and 12 seconds over his previous RTA. A fair portion of this is probably due to not dying, but that's a feat in itself and represents a huge improvement in play quality, even if some time may have been lost due to playing it safe.

In all, there's a lot more good here than there is bad. The game is very difficult to speedrun--it ends about 9 levels below the maximum of 35, which I feel like is where the game wants you to be at the end.

Obvious accept. Congratulations, man.

Quote from mikwuyma:
This is Mike Uyama and I need to clarify something. PJ did not convince me to play Lagoon. In fact, he tried to convince me against playing Lagoon because it's a terrible game. I defied all common sense and decided to play this game and spurred the SDA meme/in-joke. However, since PJ was the one who played this game, we can still say it's all PJ's fault.

Anyway, this run is really good! The grinding is generally fast and efficient, and the enemies don't troll him too bad.

The boss fights are also really good. The only exception is Duma, that fight was actually quite bad, but the other fights more than make up for it. Speaking of other fights, the Ella fight was SO FUCKING LUCKY. PJ isn't lying when he said he could lose minutes from a worse Ella fight.

Anyway, the run is awfulsome (awful game, awesome run), and congrats PJ for finally being done with Lagoon! Accept.

EDIT: A/V is fine blah blah. I watched HQ.

Someday, the courage of mini-armed men will fade, and we will be driven off by muddy water. BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY! Today, we march forward, we flail uselessly with our Pixel Blades and we kill all kinds of monsters! Monsters made of turds and lava! Monsters named after hazelnut spread! Even the goddess of RNG herself shall fall to our miniature might! Who’s with me?!?!.......wait, where are Giles and Thor? Are they STILL walking here? Oh for the love of…


Audio/Video: Solid, Ella’s lack of motion and Mathias’ laggy lasers are not a sign of bad frame rate, just of bad animation. Love that soundtrack for some reason.

Gameplay: The runner uses edge clipping (wherein the game decides to shove you to the side when walking into a wall or the like, implying the hit boxes for walls and such are not congruent with the sprites) effectively, makes all the yomps, abuses the AI in certain areas and with few exceptions manhandles the bosses. Note that jumping tends to avoid many attacks, but the attacks that ignore jumping tend to annihilate you if you are in the air, notably the lava dragons.

A Special Note on Nasir’s…ahem, Sword: I think Hydlide has a better combat mechanic than this game. Seriously. All bosses are immune to everything in the game but your mighty Pixel Blade. Lets just say Nasir doesn’t impress the ladies.

Opening-Gold Cave: Nasir quickly interrupts the peaceful lives of Atlandeans by triggering a monstrous doom on the Gold Mine. A mine that goes…upward? Anyhoo, Nasir grinds on select few enemies, notably during the EXCRUCIATING Giles escort. A few hits from those grey goblin guys, who are actually very scary when you face them. They move quickly and turn on a whim, and combined with the Pixel Blade, they kill many a player. Samson is tricky as hell at low levels, especially since you really need to hit him while facing upwards (the smallest sword swing in a series of unfortunately short sword swing ranges). Locking him is critical, as he’ll go ape and start doing double quake jumps if he’s at critical health, and good luck with that.

Elf Field – Natela: Samson’s stompy stomp cause a land slide that blocks off Atland from the rest of the world. Have fun starving Giles, I’m sure you can walk off and find food before everyone dies, right? Anyhow, the runner breaks with continuity by getting a tablet early, then going to Voloh, the only place I’ve seen bearded elves since Ios. Thor coughs up another tablet, and then hulks across the Elf Field to find the last one while Nasir fights the local flora and fauna.

The knights in Phillips castle also have small swords. What is this, an embargo on 2ft long metal? A U.N. resolution on the size of weaponry (that people listened to?!)? But I digress, Nasir fights things to get strong enough to face down Natela, enduring the basement of fire druids and the elves who could move until they hit that precise spot in the castle. The Moveable Mantle proves a bit evasive, costing about 10 seconds.

Natela gets her own section. Fought normally, she flat out kills you at critical health. Her AI goes from simply fireballing and an occasional charge to “track you, charge and fireball to do like 3 times your health bar in damage. The old strat was to lock her down and pray you jumped during the fireballs. The new strat baits her critical AI into endless charges of futility, allowing Nasir to swipe at her now-exposed love handles. Muffintop is minced, we move on via a teleporter that isn’t really mentioned in the game’s plot.

Dwarf Desert – Turdlecano: Demon squirrel-foxes! Lava rocks! A town with two note background music! THE HORROR! Also, a pointless Voloh fetch quest for Thor, though to be fair it’d take him a month to walk back there. He gives you his Powerful Mirror, the only thing that can withstand his visage while styling his wild mane. Also useful for detonating rocks?

Ah the Pornocave, the first two screens are deathtraps, the other screens are also death traps thanks to the frighteningly powerful but tasty XP carrying Lava Dragons. These little missiles of rage are worth a great deal of experience, but if they catch you jumping (and who really jumps in a cave full of lava) they will end you. As seen at 37:40, slight contact proves near fatal. The Moon Stone is used later to find a sword and reveal Gariso, but he Freezing Pot is used to have a good time and create a rock bridge from magma.

Eardon, or as we affectionately know him, Turdlecano (he makes a swell hat!) is a massive chunk of…well…um…anyways, the runner tricks him into the corner to limit his randomness and his tendency to crush you on the south wall.

Hobbit Valley-Duma: Hobbits too? Is this a convention of sorts? All the fantasy races have come out to play! Again Nasir defies the story and heads off to find the Ring of Strenghth, the Shield of Vampire Hunting Ninjas, the Thunder Armor and the Mint (a new, fresh smelling wardrobe). He also Rygar-grinds some Falcon Knights. He then saves Poper from an outbreak of bad breath with the Mint, and talks to the Hobbit Jedi Council about Light and Darkness or some nonsense. They give him a fancy stick and send him off to kill (what else in this game) an imprisoned monster in a castle/mine/cave. It seems the heroes of the past could only trap things good, a whole generation of heroic jailers. Oh, and Duma dies a few cycles slower than normal but whatever.

Story, blah blah Light Dark oh my God Nasir speaks in blood red text. Are we sure Thor’s not the Champion of Light and Nasir the Man of Darkness? Also, Water Pillar Lvl.99 for most overpowered spell.

Gnome Tree-Thimale: Gnomes are weird, they give you things and lie a lot. The Gnome Plain is also odd, you have to wear the Fur Mantle or you take massive damage at all times. Even the frozen dead have piddly little swords, its getting out of hand.

Thimale’s a puzzle boss really. You need to destroy his 6 friends first, and the runner uses a pixel window to assault them safely. For his strategy to work, the runner cannot be hit by the octopi. Thimale himself is kind of a slugfest, where you actually have the advantage, but some unlucky shots can easily kill you.

Phantom Hill – Double KO: Birds are evil in all games. I’ve seen attempts end from these vicious parrots.

ELLA~! What rage this boss induces. The runner has detailed info about her in his comments, so I’ll just say she’s a stone cold bitch who doesn’t play fair. Few other bosses make me involuntarily fist pump when they die, but the BS this hag can cause is absurd.  If she does her pauses at the other side of the screen, you just grumble a bit and wait again. Minutes could EASILY be added to this fight. The runner takes every precaution and for good reason, she can hurt you before she appears on screen, so the Life Ball at the end is totally legit.

Old men dueling is always funny, I guess they tried to channel Gandalf v Saruman here. Nice try? Also, add “Puff” to famous last words.

Lagood Castle – Red Arremer: The clouds are horrifying, you have to jump off towards the island or you will die. Even the knights here, 2-5 times your size, all have tiny ass swords. I give up.

You need the Statue to open up the Princess’ mirror, and the Moon Blade to defeat the final boss. Not that the game tells you this.

Battler is annoying as he can be hard to approach, and although it appears to be a panic Elixir, he still has the Life Ball and that fight can go south in a hurry. Again, you must leap into certain death to get to the Secret Place.

Demon Egg and Green Arremer go smoothly, basically shot luck and locking him down work great. Zerah Demon goes down in a heap. Thor is a jerk, but goes down hard, Thorbird takes a bit of time to set up but is solid. Red Arremer opens with an undodgable cheap shot and does his best to end the run (random teleport RNG is beastly), but he is stricken and falls to the ground. Nice try Arremer, but this day belongs to Nasir.

Verdict: I ACCEPT this run, which has been in the works for so long, and needs so much to fall into place to work out. The only ugly points are Duma, Battler to an extent and the final boss’s vain attempt at making a heartbreaker. The Ella fight is a feat of unceasing wonder, and the execution was top notch throughout the game.

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare!
Thread title:  
This run was so beast!  It takes a true madman to run a game in a category like this, thankfully we have the maddest of men:  JP da Scissors.

Grats man!
Formerly known as Skullboy
I watched the recording of this (I think it was the same run) and it was cool. Congrats PJ!
Fucking Weeaboo
We're gonna dare add Lagoon to the site? Oh boy, get your vaccinations ready, the plague is coming!
Personal text

Congrats! Finally, no more Lagoon Tongue
Wow thanks for the very detailed verifications, everybody!  I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the run, especially verifier 4 and Emptyeye.  There definitely were some sloppy points (an extra menu, Duma, missing fire dragon kills, etc), but since this is the first and only time the game has been beaten deathless, I am ok with that.  And holy shit, that Ella pattern!  :O  Haha.

It definitely feels good to have this one finished.  ^_^
Quote from Sir VG:
We're gonna dare add Lagoon to the site? Oh boy, get your vaccinations ready, the plague is coming!

We're adding both Lagoon AND Drakkhen. No amount of vaccination will save us.

Also, congrats on the awfulsome run PJ!
SGL Scrublord
I need to start announcing myself on verifications. I don't do things I won't stamp my name onto. As such, note me as Verifier 4. Missed the Drakkhen though, you got lucky.

Congrats PJ on this beast of a run.
dat jerk
Oh man LAGOON!!!! My SNES came with a copy of this game.

Congrats PJ!!
My second SNES also came with a copy of this.

This run was a long time coming, and I am hyped to see it finished! Congratulations!