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Flip: 2013-05-28 02:24:45 pm
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Solar Jetman (Any %) (Single Segment) [Warps]

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to Dag 'ktwo' Cato!
Thread title:  
Run Information

Solar Jetman (Any %) (Single Segment) [Warps]

Verification Files


Please refer to the Verification Guidelines before posting. Verifications are due by May 27, 2013.

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.
Insane Killer Robot
Well, ktwo makes this game look easy, despite it being a hard game. A/V is good and no cheating detected. The only part of the video that seemed eh was the scenes before each Cyberzone, but that might be part of capturing an NES. He made quick work of this game, and with a time of 25:53 (same as what he put on the video), I give it an accept!
Man, this game is hard. I love it, but in casual play it just owns me.  So I've never been past the um, third planet either in rentals as a kid or occasional casual emulator play over the years.

The momentum control in this run is so great.  I mean, doing level 7 like that without the turbo boosters... wow.  All these bounces that just happen to send the runner right where he wants to go. It's kind of like watching a TAS at times.  So well planned.

RE: Video quality, the Cyberzone shakiness is actually there in the original console I think?

Question: So you don't lose time to get the gems in cyberzone, when they get counted up?

It's not a perfect run (I imagine the intent at 18:07 wasn't to land the fuel on the ground right next to the hole...), but overall it's a very good run that's very well planned and executed.  When I do some of these verifications, some of you guys make me feel like an amateur speedrunner.

Not a walrus
Yeah, the Cyberzone bounces like that on console.

I have to admit I'm a bit surprised this game hit public verification, I thought it was more well known than that.

I'll watch the rest of the video soon.
Willing to teach you the impossible
Clearly a better game and run than that other game makes plays.

presjpolk, I read up on what was available on tasvideos for this game before planning the route. In one of the threads it was stated that the cyberzones were on a set timer so picking up additional gems don't add time. I have admittedly not tested it myself though.

I'll try to check this thread every now and then the next coming days, so just let me know if there are any more questions.
Willing to teach you the impossible
Could the time be saved when the game adds up your gem total in the score screen?
Edit history:
UraniumAnchor: 2013-05-14 10:48:43 am
Not a walrus
Perhaps (though I don't think so), but then he wouldn't have as much money for upgrades later.
Maybe I phrased my reply in a poor way, but what I meant was that tallying up gems at the end of the cyberzones doesn't cost any extra time. The "tally up" screen always takes the same amount of time be it 0 or 10 gems.

Like UraniumAnchor says, it's imperative to pick up all the gems after cyberzone 7 so the needed upgrades can be purchased. No gems from cyberzone 13 are required though.
OK so you're good either way.  I figured something like that was probably the case, but just wanted to be absolutely sure.
Quote from UraniumAnchor:
I have to admit I'm a bit surprised this game hit public verification, I thought it was more well known than that.

It is reasonably well known. But most people probably wouldn't offer to verify a game unless they've beaten it, and how many people have actually beaten Solar Jetman? I know I never did.
Edit history:
UraniumAnchor: 2013-05-21 10:31:50 pm
Not a walrus
No A/V problems (unless you count hanging out on the title screen after the credits as a problem), no cheating spotted, etc etc.

I honestly had no idea that warp to Planet 7 was there, is that something that's only in the PAL version? Skipping the boosters (since you get them on Planet 2) makes the rest of the game quite a bit more difficult to control. It's so difficult, in fact, that normal thrusting on Planet 12 will get you a net upwards velocity of nearly 0. There's a number of ways around this, and double strength thrusters is probably the most sensible one when skipping the boosters. Maybe even without skipping the boosters, the only other real option is efficient engines but that just means you don't burn through fuel as quickly. With proper planning the fuel cans might be enough.

There's a lot of momentum tricks in this game and the runner demonstrates them quite well. The controls are unlike virtually any other game I can think of (I'm including Sub-Terrania here), but they ultimately make sense once you get used to them.

Considering the warps and the fact that the runner only picks up the absolute bare minimum items (you need to pick up X amount of fuel per planet in order to enter the ship part area), maybe 5% of the game is being shown off here. The planets can get pretty massive with a lot of side items to gather up, though most of the optional items are just money to buy upgrades with. (Though why Planet 12 has any money on it is a mystery to me.) Skipping the shields is possible, but only saves about 20 seconds and means that a lot of things will one-shot you, which is obviously a run killer under most circumstances.

There's a lot of stuff that could technically be improved with the movement, but given the incredibly random nature of enemy spawns and shot patterns there's not really as much realistic for improvement as you might think. Very few mistakes were made when enemy RNG wasn't involved.

Worth nothing is that everybody listed in the credits had a pretty long career in video games, many of them spanning quite a few hits. It's interesting just how little attention this one got. Maybe it's because of the controls.

That said, whoever decided to end the final planet with an autoscroller section where you have one life and can take maybe five hits before you game over and have to do the entire planet over again, can suck a goat. That final boss in particular is way harder than the runner makes it look.

Easy accept. I'll be interested to see if anybody tries to tackle a warpless run, or maybe even a 100% collection run (the game auto-blasts off if you've collected everything that's not fuel, a fuel can, or an extra pod). I guess this was just Rare setting up their long and storied history of collectathons.
Decision posted.
Thanks for the verification. I really like the idea of having given the option to go into public verification.

UraniumAnchor, the warp on planet 1 works on the ntsc-version as well. It disappears very quickly after the level starts though. Even if you know it's there, it'd probably take you a few tries to reach it in time without practice. It's actually not even used in the current tas, because it wasn't publicly known at the time.

Quote from UraniumAnchor:
or maybe even a 100% collection run (the game auto-blasts off if you've collected everything that's not fuel, a fuel can, or an extra pod).

I posted about this in the "older consoles" section, but I guess you didn't see my post... Anyways, I'd be interested if you could maybe rephrase the description on how this trick works. I tried to follow your instructions on planet one, but nothing special happened, so I must have misunderstood something. I'm not interested in the category itself, as it sounds a bit arbitrary (sounds more like a score attack done fast), but I don't think it can be completely ruled out that it could save time in a no-warp run (probably not, but it's at least worth testing).
Not a walrus
Planet 1 is a bit weird because the "bonus warp" in the upper left counts, too, so you'd at least have to fly close (whether you have to also grab the gems inside is a matter for debate but I'd be inclined to say yes if you really wanted to call it "full collection").
Sorry, but I still don't get it... On planet 1, I went into the bonus warp, where I collected all the crystals, then picked up the shield and finally the crystal. Nothing happened. Just in case there was something special with planet 1, I tried the same thing on planet 3. I collected "everything that's not fuel, a fuel can, or an extra pod" (no bonus warps on that planet). Nothing happened. The way I'm reading you, after having delivered the final item on the respective planet, I should have automatically warped to the following planet. You don't happen to have a video demonstrating the trick?
Edit history:
UraniumAnchor: 2013-05-29 03:03:11 pm
UraniumAnchor: 2013-05-29 02:58:00 pm
Not a walrus
Oh, sorry, you still have to go back into the ship, it just won't even give you the option to "explore" again. It'll just blast off. If it's still not working I can probably make something tonight to show you what I mean. It's not really a time-saver, more of a signal that "yup, you got everything".
I just tried it out from the save states I had created from above. Nothing happened when I returned to the ship. It certainly doesn't sound like a time saver for most of the planets, but if this skips the whole "get the ship part and bonus gem collection", it could potentially save time somewhere. I'll definitely look at it, but not until I actually see it in action as there is apparently something I'm missing when reading your description.
Edit history:
Rossodio: 2013-06-17 09:28:31 am
Hey ktwo - I am an "amateur expert" on this game, having run through and beaten it, including a 100% run, within a year of its release.  I have logged likely 2000+ hours on it, though never with an aim of speedrunning it.  The "auto blast off" feature requires three conditions to be met:
1) Obtain every non-fuel can and non-pod item on the planet, and 2) obtain the golden warpship part/complete the cyberzone stage on that planet, and 3) return to the mothership after conditions 1 and 2 have been met.  If this is done properly, you will not be given any further choice to explore or equip your pod; rather, the mothership will simply blast off.

Whether or not you have gone through a bonus warp zone is irrelevant, though they must all have displayed on the screen and run their course and disappeared.  Of note, if there is a redundant item (the mapping device on Mexomorf, for example, if you have already purchased a mapping device in the store), the item on the planet still has to be collected along with the other items in order for the auto-blast off feature.  I have not personally tested if you do not get non-obtainable items (for example, on Mexomorf if you do not take the bonus warp at the top right which leads to the center of the planet before it disappears, this area becomes non-accessible from that point on, thus disallowing you from getting items in that sector) whether or not the auto-blast off feature still works, though this is irrelevant to non-100% speed runs.

In summary, the auto blast off feature would not ever enhance the time of a speed run that is not a 100% speed run, since you still have to obtain the golden warpship piece and go through the cyberzone to make it happen.
Not a walrus
Oops, totally forgot about this. Sorry. Yeah, Rossodio got it pretty much dead on, and as far as I can remember the stuff in the secret area of Planet 2 does need to be collected for the auto-blastoff to trigger.

Sorry if I made it sound like you could skip the ship part with it.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2013-06-18 08:46:29 am
2000+ hours, huh? I think I read somewhere that this game had a small fan-base (although I'm not aware of any community), but that's still some serious dedication... The game certainly has enough complexity to make it last though and I think it's getting better and better for a long time as you keep improving. Anyways, if you're interested in a new challenge, I'd be very curious to see how well you'd do in a speedrun.

As for this feature/trick, I have finally gotten it to work now thanks to your clarifications. However, I'd like to point out that the bonus warp is actually a requirement. It's at least a requirement on planet 1, where I tested it, but I would be quite surprised if it's then not also the case on the other planets. So the correct instructions should read like this:
1) Obtain every non-fuel can and non-pod item
2) Visit every bonus warp zone (it doesn't matter how many prizes that are collected) Edit: Make every bonus warp zone appear (you don't have to enter it)
3) Obtain the golden warpship part/complete the cyberzone stage (it doesn't matter how many prizes that are collected)
4) Return to the mothership after conditions 1, 2 and 3 have been met

1, 2 and 3 can be completed  in any order. It's also obvious that this is useless for a no-warp speedrun, but it's of course a neat way to define a 100% category.
Here is a video demonstrating this on planet 1:

I think the above covers most of it. There is one minor detail left that I thought of though. On a few planets, there are more fuel cells than what is required. Iirc, I don't think it's possible to deliver any additional fuel cells after the game tells you that you have collected enough of them. So the question is how that will affect this feature. Will the game still auto-blast you off despite there being fuel cells left on the planet? I'm not interested enough to find out, but I still wanted to throw it out there.
Ah - I suppose my instructions needed clarification.  The requirement you mention of actually visiting the bonus warp zone is not correct.  I just re-tested the conditions we have been discussing for the auto blast off.  The clarification is this - Whether or not you have gone through a bonus warp (or seen inside the warp zone area) is irrelevant, as long as you have physically seen the wormhole on the screen and it has run its course.  For example, if the bonus warp on Preludon shows itself but you don't get to it in time and it disappears, that counts as having removed it from the map.  If this has not been done, the auto blast off will not occur.

As far as the fuel cell question, I don't recall for sure but I think you don't have to touch the cells, and you also don't have to shoot/see the mini fuel cans that refill your fuel when you shoot them.  This should be verified, though.

I have never been into doing runs myself, except for amateur personal runs with some classic NES games like SMB, SMB3, Metal Gear, and others.  I have never really played Solar Jetman with speed in mind, but maybe I'll give it a go sometime.  I think a 100% completion run with no warps (including netting every set of all 10 gems in all cyberzones and bonus warp areas, and excluding any requirement to defeat enemies that are consistently in the same location; intraplanetary warp zones should be allowed) would be quite interesting.
It didn't occur to me to test only triggering the bonus warp, but you are absolutely right about not having to actually enter it (I edited my previous post with this).

Playing video games is obviously entirely voluntary and as such you're of course free to do whatever you want. While I'm in no way a spokesperson for the speedrun community, I think most people consider that "100%" is picking up all collectable items or by following the definition the game provides you with (when possible). Enemies are usually not considered, but there are exceptions (for example Quake, where the game keeps count of the number of enemies killed). Since 100% can be a bit difficult to define for a game to begin with, I think it's generally preferable to accept what the game defines as 100% whenever possible. In the case of Solar Jetman, that's why the auto-blast off feature is so useful as it's a fairly obvious indication of what the game considers to be 100%. But again, you do whatever you want. If you spent the time to get a good-looking run, I'd definitely check it out whether you decide to destroy the enemies and visit the bonus warps or not. Good luck either way if you decide to start going for completing the game as fast as possible!