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I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
After searching your site and not finding Solomon's Key for the NES I thought I should suggest it. I don't have the game or a working NES anymore, but I would love to see a speed run of this game.

I know there are several emulated speed runs out there but haven't watched them yet.

I also think that Fire 'N' Ice for the NES would be a good candidate for a speed run.
Thread title:  
Killer Chobocos don't get any chocolate.
Ya... Master Dana is quite cute...


But I don't have those games either
berserker status
I think this game deserves more attention.  I'm not good at this game (at all!) but it would be impressive to see this game completed very fast with no deaths.  Does anyone even know how many levels there are in total???
Edit history:
ktwo: 2010-02-19 12:27:41 pm
Even if someone knew this game inside out, I think it would be very tough to execute a run cleanly enough. There are in total 48 regular levels, 3 extra levels and the last room (Solomon's room), but you don't have to go through all of them. Anyone attempting this, I would suggest taking it on in steps. Start out by a warped run (on level 7, 15, 23, 31 and 39) and thus getting the worst ending. This way you skip 25 levels (5x5) and the 3 extra levels, leaving 23 left + the last room. Then you could go for the best ending (completing the 3 extra levels) with warps (on level 23, 31 and 39), before attempting the most extreme challenge of doing a 100% run (all 52 levels) !
I own a copy of Solomon's Key and have beaten it for the best ending (only after reading a walkthrough and after massive practice with save states), so the thought has occured to me. To be honest though, I'm not sure I ever will have enough courage to tackle this challenge (on paper, the low% doesn't look THAT bad though...).
Waiting hurts my soul...
Yes, someone should run this game.
everybody wanna tell you the meaning of music
I have the utmost faith in ktwo.

Responding to that first post from 2006 for no reason: Fire n Ice was in our last speedrunning tourney. Tongue
Quote from Enhasa:
I have the utmost faith in ktwo.


He he, thanks, I take that as a compliment. I hope my future submissions won't make you regret that statement. I tend to only play one game at a time until I'm finished with it and Solomon's Key is neither the current nor the next. But as I said, I'm afraid it's probably a too big fish for me to haul in anyway. If a serious person stepped forward and started working on it, I would definitely put some effort in helping him/her out with strategies though.
I'll consider posting a bounty on it. 100 bucks for a 100% run or something ? More people could of course add money to the bounty, in order to increase the attractiveness.
ktwo
I would be happy to attempt this if you can support me in reading material I can play the game will and know the secret rooms, I also know a few of the need items to get the the last final room. I however has never beaten the game. I think that with just a little help I would be able to put up a good time.
I could also do it on the NES or on the Wii through the Wii Channel whichever is more creditable.
Thanks
Sorry for the late reply Vytor. I've been away for a while. You will find information about how to beat the game on for example gamefaqs (both good maps and a walkthrough). You can also check http://homepage2.nifty.com/mteast/mania/solomon/solotop_e.html , a link I found in another thread here. I think they will do the job much better than me. However, if you record videos of you trying to go for speed on the different levels, I (and probably other people as well) can give comments or see if there faster strategies.

Note also that I just posted a bounty for completing this game : http://speeddemosarchive.com/forum/index.php/topic,8815.210.html .
Edit history:
ktwo: 2010-05-30 10:31:34 am
I played around with the game yesterday on emu to see how hard it would be going for speed for the worst ending (taking all the warps, but no hidden extra stuff). One level = one segment (save state). I decided to record the strategies I came up with for future reference. The intention was to find a good compromise between speed and risk for a console run. Here is the link to the playlist.



I just played without really thinking about the levels to come, so I was surprised to see how well the fireball/scroll planning turned out in the end. In retrospect, I would have done one or two things differently (I won't list it here now, but I have added it in the youtube comments).

On console, I'm currently putting my effort into another game, but I think that maybe, maybe, maybe I'll try this afterwards (worst ending variation, I shrudder just thinking about the best ending variations). But by all means, if someone else intends to run Solomon's Key, help yourself as much as you want to with my videos (hopefully they will be of some use).

Finally, I do believe that this game is easier on emu than on console. It's just so easy to mispress diagonally on the d-pad, while the keyboard is relatively secure in that respect. And the whole game is basically just a feast in diagonal pressing...

Edit (30/5-2010)
----------------
Removed the playlist serving as planning for the normal ending run. It was outdated and I have console speedruns that are faster than these individual levels done from savestates.
berserker status
Wow, i have no idea how you compromised between speed and risk...it seems like you went for some pretty risky maneuvers in some stages (like jumping over enemies and such).  It seems like your route would produce a sub 15 min. run then...i never would've imagined the game being completed so fast (even knowing the solutions ahead of time). 

Your fireball usage was very efficient and useful, it must be pretty tricky to weigh the costs and benefits when going out of your way to get 'em.  And i totally agree with you on the super fireball:  you definitely used it in the right spot.  Like you said, you probably could've used another on that stage where you could've gotten the sparkball with it too but it doesn't seem like you lost more than 3 sec. there waiting at the end. 

I'm not really good at solving some of the solutions in this game cuz it's sometimes hard to stay alive long enough to figure it out so i really can't give much feedback.  You made some minor mistakes like creating more blocks than you needed in some cases but that's trivial compared to planning a route.  I may give this game a go in the future after i get a decent DD3 time but it'll take a lot of practice to get at your level.  The best way is definitely to practice on emulator with save states.  That way, you can practice the risky parts without going insane.  The run is short enough to warrant much risk taking anyway.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2009-11-24 12:17:12 pm
The risk elimination is for example "create a block to stand on and jump" instead of "make a hard diagonal jump" or going for routes that don't rely on insane timing in order to pass in a certain enemy cycle. Of course, some levels are just tricky, so there is not much risk elimination possible... I've rewatched the levels a couple of times and have been forced to revisit many of them because of new ideas (I replace the videos continuosly). I even had to redo level 1 (thanks to ZenicReverie for that one), which is kind of embarrasing... I would be very surprised if most of the levels didn't have faster strategies than mine, so anyone interested in this game is more than welcome to contribute ideas. I will also look around a bit more on the internet to see if I can pick up more good ideas.

The total video length is around 18 minutes from start to finish, but a few seconds are not recorded between each level, so I think the total time would be closer to '19''30-'20 something. However, that's for the pal-version.

Edit (241109) :
---------------
Ok, I bow to my master... I found a speedrun by a Japanese player, It's a no-warp run, including all extra levels (and other constraints to make it even harder  :o). It looks like it is done in a single segment (he almost choked on the last level, which seems strange if it was segmented, more like the player got nervous or wanted to play it extremely safe in the end). Anyways, I picked up many nice tricks and route improvements, but it also looks like I had faster routes on a couple of levels  :). I have therefore replaced quite a few of the videos again. There is without a doubt room for potential route improvements on several levels (especially complex ones like 31 and 38 with several possible solutions), but I feel that overall it starts to converge now.
Waiting hurts my soul...
Quote from ktwo:
The risk elimination is for example "create a block to stand on and jump" instead of "make a hard diagonal jump" or going for routes that don't rely on insane timing in order to pass in a certain enemy cycle. Of course, some levels are just tricky, so there is not much risk elimination possible... I've rewatched the levels a couple of times and have been forced to revisit many of them because of new ideas (I replace the videos continuosly). I even had to redo level 1 (thanks to ZenicReverie for that one), which is kind of embarrasing... I would be very surprised if most of the levels didn't have faster strategies than mine, so anyone interested in this game is more than welcome to contribute ideas. I will also look around a bit more on the internet to see if I can pick up more good ideas.

The total video length is around 18 minutes from start to finish, but a few seconds are not recorded between each level, so I think the total time would be closer to '19''30-'20 something. However, that's for the pal-version.

Edit (241109) :
---------------
Ok, I bow to my master... I found a speedrun by a Japanese player, It's a no-warp run, including all extra levels (and other constraints to make it even harder  :o). It looks like it is done in a single segment (he almost choked on the last level, which seems strange if it was segmented, more like the player got nervous or wanted to play it extremely safe in the end). Anyways, I picked up many nice tricks and route improvements, but it also looks like I had faster routes on a couple of levels  :). I have therefore replaced quite a few of the videos again. There is without a doubt room for potential route improvements on several levels (especially complex ones like 31 and 38 with several possible solutions), but I feel that overall it starts to converge now.

You've probably looked through it, but in case you missed it, here's a link to his website: http://kept-simple.net/kept/solomon.html, and at the bottom he lists links to references he used to make his run.
Yeah, thanks. I saw the link and browsed around a bit. Unfortunately, it was mostly foreign signs interspred with the occasional image. It's still interesting to see how popular the game seems to have been in Japan (I'm terribly sorry if it's not in Japanese and if someone should feel offended because of my ignorance). Having several dedicated web pages is surely not something that happens for every game.
I've been working on this (bad ending, using warps) for a while now. Today I managed to pull off my first speedy no-death run (a good indication of that a speedrun might not be so far away). It clocked in around 19.15 (pal, player control). There are too many mistakes in it, so it's not submittable. I expect a competetive time would be close to or under 19 min (but I will just go on until I get something that looks clean enough).

I'm pretty close to what I can come up with regarding the routes, but I wouldn't be surprised if small improvements can still be found here and there. Check out the links in the posts above if you feel like helping.
Waiting hurts my soul...
I did some more digging and found a nicovideo of someone who does the good ending in 31:44: http://dic.nicovideo.jp/v/sm1091455

Might be worth a look for some levels.
Edit history:
ktwo: 2010-03-05 10:54:08 am
Great, thanks for the link ! I wasn't aware of it before and spotted several new interesting ideas by just casually watching (I will study it more later on). I'm really glad I got to know about it now and not after having submitted something...
It's another amazing run, even better than the youtube run on the first page. Still not perfect though. A couple of mistakes in the second half and not always the fastest route. I'd also instinctively say that it's done on emu, because some of the direction changes just seem to be too fast to have been done with a jerky d-pad. Otherwise it looked legit.

I'm starting to curse my pal-console. It seems like Dana moves proportionally slower than in the ntsc-version and that some of the tricks are therefore not possible or have much less margin for errors.

So, I guess I will go back to the planning table for a while...

Edit (5/3-2010)
---------------
I have finished analyzing the nicovideo run. I picked up many awesome strategies and also came up with a couple of nice improvements of my own. The time saved with the new routes blew my mind. Around 1.20 !!! Some levels are now considerably more difficult, while other levels are actually both easier and faster. It looks like a good run would now land on around 17.40. Time to go back practicing full runs again...
17.10  !!! (bad ending, with warps, pal)

Now that's a good start of the weekend !

There are more mistakes than in the Japanese videos, but also several new time savers (some of them quite risky). Compared to the other speedruns I have done, this one kicks ass if I may say so myself... I'll take a break from Solomon's Key for now. If I find enough motivation, I may try to improve it a bit more (not sure sub 17 is possible with my route). Otherwise, I'll ask for this to be verified and start working on a 100% run instead (I guess that'll keep me busy for a while  ;))...
berserker status
Awesome, ktwo!  I'm just glad that SOMEBODY is running this game.  I would try to run it myself but it's just too much of a pain and you've set the bar a little high.  Tongue
I know that the Solomon's Key run hasn't been in the verification list for long, but I have a feeling that it will be difficult to find verifyers. I have therefore decided to publish the run on youtube already now.


To complicate matters, the European version plays a bit differently than the NTSC-version (mainly because of Dana's speed). There are some routes that are possible in the latter that I haven't managed to reproduce. If anyone is interested in this, the nico-video run is a great benchmark for the routes (even though it's for the full game, while I used warps). Anyways, publishing the run will hopefully help speeding up the verification process (if you think the run stinks, just sign up and reject it so we get it over with  :)). If not, it was worth a try at least...

If you have questions or suggestions for improvement, just shoot.
Is PJ
Wow, awesome run ktwo!  It's amazing how fast that game can be completed; it is not an easy title at all.  o.O
Thanks for watching. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'm slowly starting to plan a route for the best ending without warps. I liked doing the warp run because it's short and fast. The best ending run will be even more interesting though since there is some competition for it.
Just an update from my side. I have come quite far with the planning for a best ending run. I use the following criteria
- Best ending (all Solomon's seals, pages of space and time and clearing the prinsess room)
- No warps
- No deaths
- No bonus rooms

By executing my planned route, a run without mistakes would yield a time just above 35 minutes. Again, this is for the pal-version. A homemade (and very rough) conversion into ntsc gives something like 29:30. So around 2 minutes faster than the nicovideo run (which also includes a death that saves ~15 seconds), but I could easily be 30 seconds off in my calculation. I think it would be great if I could get around 35:30 (some mistakes are to be expected and I also think that I may have to revise a couple of strategies if I don't want to lose my sanity). If anybody is thinking about an ntsc run, I think the target should be a bit below 30 minutes.

I'm currently slowly starting up with recording, but I'm very far off from finishing any runs (this is by far the most ambitious speedrun project I have attempted). I guess I'll get around to it more seriously once the verification of my normal ending run is done (in case it reveals something that I have overlooked). I have a feeling that this is the kind of run that you want to do the right way from start and not have to redo because of having used a slow route...

I have made videos like for the normal ending run, but I don't have the courage to upload 50 files to youtube. I might do that later though and most definitely in case I abandon this run for one or the other reason.

If everything goes well, I will claim my own bounty for this game.  Smiley
hey ktwo,

I haven't really played this game much past the first initial levels, though I do want to eventually beat it. Just expressing support for your project - good NES puzzle games could always use some more love. And it seems the run will be a very difficult thing to pull off, so best of luck!
A small update. With a speedrun pace, I have been in the 20ies around 20 times or so and in the 30ies around 5 times. Earlier today I managed for the first time to get to room 36, which was a step forward (room 35 is possibly the most difficult room in the game to speedrun). Since the last post, I have found a couple of improvements, but right now I'm making very few adjustments to the route (and they are only minor). The ideal time would now be around 34:55 (pal). Around 35:15 seems like a reasonable goal. However, first priority is just to get to the end in one piece...