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Solomon's Key (Any %) (Single Segment) [Best Ending, Warpless]
Solomon's Key (Any %) (Single Segment) [Warps]

Verifier Responses

Quote:
Sorry for the delay! This is mostly a response to say that I haven't completely forgotten.

Warps:

Very risky strategies on many floors, constantly cutting it close with enemies for the sake of speed - and it's delicious. Also, an easy source of heart attacks if you ever need to have those on demand.

Audio and video is perfect, minus this being the PAL version and slightly lower pitched than what I want to hear. Wink

Warps: accept!


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Best ending, warpless:

Sheesh. Again, nonstop great execution. It looked like there was a bit of delay caused by the frustrating design of 19, but it didn't cost much.

Completing this game casually is a pretty big challenge, with the intense combination of puzzle and platforming gameplay. In a speedrun of this where the runner already knows the levels, they're still required to not have any brain farts in the puzzle aspect. They also have to deal with the platforming side of things, which this run constantly pushes to the limits.

Audio and video are great. No cheating.

Warpless, best ending: Accept!


Quote:
Game: Solomon's Key
Category(ies): Any% and 100%
Audio/Video: Everything looked good!
Cheating: Only death.

I'd make comments for both runs separately, but they'd pretty much be the same comments.
I'll echo what verifier #1 said. There's a lot of super risky strats used in many of the rooms, including late game rooms (45+). There's also a lot of close calls with enemies, which just shows how well the runner knows the hitboxes.
The puzzle aspect is what keeps most people from even being able to beat this game. Combined with the enemy positioning/movement, it really helps it earn the "NES Hard" title that we've come to love/fear.

ACCEPT both runs.


Quote from PJ:
As always, I'll begin by saying that this is PJ speaking.

Audio and video are good, and there is no evidence of cheating, though that would certainly explain how ktwo is so good at this.

Like the above verifier, I am also only going to write one set of comments to be applied to both categories (best ending and any%).  Ktwo is clearly the greatest authority on this game, so there is really nothing I can suggest to improve his time that he himself doesn't already know.  He is already using faster room solutions than the TAS in many places, and is far ahead of the next best RTAs available.  His solutions really are elegant, and he makes several really really close calls with enemies.  It's amazing how well he understands these hitboxes.  Haha.  So yea, these runs are definitely way better than I ever expected to see for Solomon's Key, and I am thrilled to see it.

The only actual improvement I see would be a faster climbing technique.  Instead of placing a block, jumping on it, landing, and placing another block while standing, you can land on the last pixel of a block and immediately jump again, making the next block on the way up.  Repeat as needed.  Basically you can climb straight up and create a stack of boxes instead of a checkerboard pattern.  I mentioned this to ktwo while he was still improving his runs of this, and he said it is not consistent enough to use at the moment.  I definitely agree for now, because while I was making a demonstration video for him, I was struggling to chain 4-5 of them together.  However, with a lot of practice I think this technique could save some significant time and will probably be required to beat these runs by any real margin.

I just want to add that I have watched basically every run of this game that ktwo has done, from the original runs that were on SDA (with the spectacular audio commentary!) to every improvement he has done since then.  Part of the fun of TSSB, I suppose.  Haha.  Every run has been more and more optimized and showed ridiculously clean execution and thorough planning.  His efforts are pretty easy to see in this final pair of runs.

So yea.  ACCEPT.  Easily.  Amazing job, ktwo!  Please do audio commentary?


Quote:
Warpless
A very solid run. Everything checked out, audio and video were good. No interruptions in sound or video were detected. The score, fairy counter, magic counter, life counter, and level number were all correct during level advancement. That being said the run looked very optimized. I don't think I can definitively say that I saw any unnecessary jumping or blocking. On the contrary, I saw a good example of balancing speed and tactics, advancing whenever possible using the path of least resistance at all times. I tried to find examples of time lost due to over defending but really couldn't find anything other than maybe a block cast or two intended to redirect an enemy that appeared to be optional. Magic use was also well thought out. Clearly, this runner has a very honed working knowledge of the levels as demonstrated towards the end where he cruises through an entire section of enemies without slowing down once. I also thought it was funny for the runner to comment on this run as not being his best, at least not his prettiest, and yet it's still his fastest. This has happened to me and is evidence of quicker than usual actions, such as cracking blocks and zapping bricks, that don't appears as smooth because they are, in fact, saving frames. It would be very hard to reject this run, and I say accept it. My only concern is optimal magic usage. For example, is there anymore magic jars to be found that could save time with a super fireball. The answer seems to point towards no since the runner used this tactic, but more firepower MAY lead to a time gain. Regardless, I couldn't see how anyone could improve on this by more than 20-30 seconds and that's a high estimate, IMO. This run is 98-99th percentile. Thanks.

Warps
This is an accept. The runner did a great job and I don't see anything that warrants a rejection. The only little detail I did pick up on is that level 13 was four seconds faster on the warps run because a different brick laying strategy was used. All in all a very fantastic effort. Nice job ktwo, now how about a little Wrecking Crew or Lode Runner, haha.


Decision: Accept both runs

Congratulations to Dag 'ktwo' Cato!
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