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Max Payne (Any %) (Single Segment) [Resets]

Verifier Responses

Quote from AquaTiger:
Video and audio: High quality, maybe one sound issue in Part 3 Chapter 4, but it's not a major one
Gameplay: New glitches are the overwhelmingly dominant timesaver here.  Gameplay quality did not fluctuate enough to matter
Time Saved: A little over three and a half minutes

Decision: ACCEPT

(What follows is a more detailed report that started as an attempt at noir-style writing and quickly descended into who-knows-what-genre.  I need to practice these writing techniques if I'm to make these responses a habit.)

It started out as an anxiety-ridden day, one of those ones where you can't bring yourself to get out of bed.  When I finally awoke proper, I perused the usual forums... to find a message, paper, and film reel left for me.  It was about Max Payne, something I had been investigating for some time now.  Turns out someone had done an unusual job on him.  The paper was a recorded interogation on the subject - when questioned, the culprit uttered one phrase that caught my attention: "RTA".  A quick glossary check revealed that the perp meant 'Real Time Attack', a designation for runs done in real time.

I initially thought this would be a simple open-and-shut case.  Real time attack?  How would that mean anything different than 'single segment'?  Then I reviewed the rest of the interrogation and realized things were more complicated.  There WERE saves involved in this.  Luckily, the message sender had scribbled a note in the margins of the paper, clarifying that I was to treat this as a single-segment run with resets.  I'd seen that classification before, as it had been used to describe one of the notorious 'SF64' cases from 2006.  This would be a little different, of course - that case would ultimately be filed as a maximum collection scenario, whereas maximum collection isn't one of Max Payne's categories at all.  There may need to be a special filing status for this one.

I began reviewing the case proper.  The film reel was crystal-clear and in good resolution, which was promising.  The audio track matched up properly as well.  I'd chosen to start timing at 1:33 in the reel, keeping the timing start point roughly in accordance with previous cases on Max Payne.  Speaking of previous cases, I noted a similar Max Payne case from 2012 where a single-segment Dead On Arrival run was completed (hereafter simply labelled "SSDOA") and will likely draw comparisons to that.  I've jotted key numbers from that case - 23:11, 34:48, 58:49.  While the SSDOA case was officially documented as 56:41 in length, I wanted a complete comparison, so I used video times at the end of acts for the sake of measurement.  I also wanted to cite the Knowledge Base article on Max Payne, as doing strange things to this game is apparently a secret pasttime of several players in the speedrunning underworld.

Perhaps it's just my perception, but the runner actually loses a second or so in the prologue despite opening the cabinet with the shotgun sooner than SSDOA.  Speaking of that shotgun, while it didn't get used in the prologue and was lost afterward, the runner DID still need it.  Max has the power to jump really high when switching between certain weapons (Knowledge Base definition "Super Jump" gives more details), and the starting Beretta and Pump-Action Shotgun are a qualifying pair.

By the time the culprit gets to Part 1 Chapter 4, he has made up the time lost from the prologue and then some, being noticeably ahead of SSDOA in run time despite lagging behind in raw video time.  Perhaps the reason was finer tuning when using bullet time.  The more likely scenario involves that train that he burned half of his quicksaves on back in Part 1 Chapter 1.  The Knowledge Base defines a state called "Dead Man Walking" - apparently crossing a death trigger at the right point during a cutscene can give you some measure of invisibility to enemies.  There was always a catch to these things, though - no ability to mess with control triggers by quicksaving.  Also, the Knowledge Base definition clearly indicates that this state makes Max extremely fragile.  Risking a jump-related trick would be suicidal with this glitch in efect.

Anyways, the relevance of Dead Man Walking is that enemies don't shoot at you.  No need to take cover means that the culprit can simply run through everything and blow away enemies that are standing in the path he needs to take.  He only bothers using this up until Part 1 Chapter 6, when the pills he downed in the previous chapter finally catch up to him.  My estimate is that the glitch saved probably 45 seconds over that time.  From here, the main focus is super jumps.  The perpetrator notes a mistake in this chapter regarding said super jumps - the window super jump.  5 failed attempts at it results in roughly 15 seconds of loss.  However, up until this chapter, the reel had been lagging behind SSDOA in raw video time due to a minute and a half of extra footage at the start.  At the end of this chapter, this was actually ten seconds ahead of SSDOA even before removing said footage.  In summation, this trick saved roughly a full minute by itself, for a net gain of 45 seconds.

By the end of Part 1 Chapter 7, I decided I might no longer want to measure individual chapters for time savings.  The super jumps put our perpetrator another full minute ahead of SSDOA, meaning that as long as we had no crushing mistakes, the case could easily be submitted for public release.  Regardless, ridiculous super-jumps in Part 1 Chapter 8 and save glitches in the following chapter lead to the runner putting down the Valkyr-ed up Fenris wannabe and his backup down without a real fight at all, leaving us at 21:30 for Part 1.  Comparing that to the first SSDOA time I noted - 23:11 - and taking out the minute and a half of unnecessary footage in this reel, we have a full 3 minutes of savings in this part alone.

I continued to watch, mainly trying to identify gameplay errors or significant presentational mishaps.  The reel provides some comedy in Part 2 Chapter 1, with an enemy blowing away his own ally, and the culprit DOES go out of bounds in Part 2 Chapter 2, but that out-of-bounds scenario was also present in SSDOA and even has a Knowledge Base note.  I see no need to screw with precedent.  (My age in the speedrunning community kind of shows here, as when I first got into speedruns, out-of-bounds wasn't a well-accepted thing.)  Part 2 concludes at 32:55, and when we compare that to SSDOA's 34:48 and take out a minute and a half from this reel, the runner is ahead by about three and a half minutes - meaning less than a minute of savings in Part 2 alone.  However, this is the stage of the run where the big tricks began getting applied in SSDOA, so saving half a minute or so is still very good.

Most of what the runner lists as mistakes comes from Part 3.  Some of this could simply be written off as runner fatigue - single-segment runs can suffer from this on occasion.  I will, however, point out one thing - in Part 3 Chapter 4, during the last fight of the chapter, the car alarms are going more haywire than in either SSDOA or my own experience with the game.  At least, that's what it sounds like to me.  The runner's requirement to ad-lib in this fight after the botched M79 shot he made costs him about 10 seconds.  I'm still not sure how he missed the super jump in Part 3 Chapter 5, considering that SSDOA nails it on attempt #1, but this is what I'm talking about with the possibility of runner fatigue.  The run is considered over at 57:06 in the video.  Taking out my starting point's time of 1:33, it looks like we have 55:33 before we consider cutscenes, so... the runner claims 51:44 in a StatID snuck in at the end, but my estimate right now comes closer to the early half of the 53-minute range.  Part 3 turns out to be either even or very little time saved.

And my suspicion on whom the runner was, based on the commentary, was confirmed by said StatID, so I'm sure my estimate is going to be argued a bit.  I'm guessing the runner's estimate does not include the bits where resets were invoked to 'undo', whereas mine does.

Ultimately, however, my estimate may not matter.  The runner saves over three and a half minutes compared to SSDOA, and the quality of play did not diminish significantly.  That ultimately leads me to believe this run needs to be shipped upward for release.


I've got 6 points for, and 6 points against this run.

1. r
2. i
3. d
4. d
5. 3
6. r

1. n
2. u
3. t
4. t
5. i
6. n


Quote from LotBlind:
More tricks performed with no more execution mishaps I'm pretty sure. Many of the missed superjumps were of the kind that didn't matter for time and it's not like the current run doesn't miss many of them too.


Quote from TheVampire:
A/V good, no signs of cheating.

Yet again, ridd3r amazes us with another run of Max Payne.

There are no more words to describe this run that already haven't been said. The overall game-play is very good, there are a few minor mistakes here and there but he already addressed them in the comments so there's no need to go over them again, the reload glitch gets abused as often as needed for a SS run with some amazing time saves. Too bad the super jumps in this game aren't so consistent but it's all acceptable.

Also, ridd3r's commentary tracks are always entertaining and insightful and this one will be no different for sure. Can't wait to hear it.

In conclusion there's nothing more to say than ACCEPT and let's get this run up on the site ASAP!

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'ridd3r.'!
Thread title:  
we have lift off
Thanks for the swift verification!

Re- verifier no.1. Here's the breakdown of time saved over the SS run (+ve numbers indicate time saved, -ve indicate time lost, but pro1 starts at a different time so is not comparable):

Level  RTA    SS      Difference
pro1 1519 1103 -13.87
p1c1 5461 5574 3.77
p1c2 5401 6077 22.53
p1c3 2641 3218 19.23
p1c4 2081 2482 13.37
p1c5 3669 3975 10.20
p1c6 2482 4632 71.67
p1c7 4380 6473 69.77
p1c8 3196 3488 9.73
p1c9 2433 3149 23.87
pro2 2754 3093 11.30
p2c1 3758 3820 2.07
p2c2 3273 3459 6.20
p2c3 3852 3877 0.83
p2c4 2693 2732 1.30
p2c5 2596 3081 16.17
pro3 3724 3752 0.93
p3c1 3309 3865 18.53
p3c2 5222 5313 3.03
p3c3 6935 7114 5.97
p3c4 6120 5816 -10.13
p3c5 2524 2171 -11.77
p3c6 2440 2870 14.33
p3c7 6350 6454 3.47
p3c8 4429 4582 5.10
Part 1 = 230.27
Part 2 = 37.87
Part 3 = 29.47

As you can see I was only slower on p3c4 (which I'll explain in the commentary, I didn't miss the m79 shot) and p3c5 (definitely due to the missed SJ).  Timing starts where I gain control (so that excludes the intro) and excludes all the loading screens, it does not exclude the save glitch saves and reloads, but depending on how it's timed it may ultimately need to do.

I think the run is to a slightly higher standard than the SS, but the mistakes are more obvious (basically missed super jumps). My super jump success rate is identical in both however. I think the SS run is overall still harder due to the p1c8 trap door jump, which I can manipulate this time round. Anyway, time to do the audio commentary!
Waiting hurts my soul...
game page:
Not a walrus
Quote from ZenicReverie:

I'm going to start PMing each of these to puwexil until he remembers to attach these in the database when he's making game entries...