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This is not the giant
This game hasn't been talked about in a while here. After playing it on an old laptop while sick and being amazed at its quality, I decided to route it. The game is virtually untouched as a speedrun outside of old SDA posts in 2007 and an easy difficulty run done in 2011 on YouTube. The complex level design lends itself very well to routing.

I've only routed the Hospital level so far but here's what I have:
I first go into the storage locker and retrieve everything except the data log. After healing up, I head over to the cyberspace terminal to unlock the doors to the Magpulse. While it only has 8 shots loaded, its 1-hit-kills against the robots and cyborgs on the level make it a must-have over the Dart Gun, which becomes useless after Research. I clear up the area around Beta, and as the platform lowers I grab ammo off dead cyborgs. I get the Sparq and PER-1 access card from the office, refill my energy from a charge station behind a hidden door, then move over to the radiation area, clearing out enemies with the Sparq on 2/3 full power and using a Stamina patch to sprint the entire way. In the radiation area are three med kits; I grab them all. I skip activating both force bridges with well-positioned sprint jumps. It's possible to make the jump to the platform that leads to the cyborg conversion chamber from the lower area, but it's a hard jump. Once you kill the Assassin Cyborgs around gas grenade, I skirt around the sloped ceiling with a jump from the repulsor lift. This skips most of the cyborgs that you would fight. After defeating the Warrior Cyborg I head over to the biohazard area to get the turbo boost. Turning it on, I skate over to the computer nodes and blow them up using the Sparq. I pick up the pistol in the corner of the room and use its teflon rounds fight my way out of the computer area and return the way I came, grabbing ammo as I kill. I grab the gas grenade and head towards the elevators. I flip the switch to open the bulkhead doors and head back to the medibay for a heal and recharge, then move on to the next floor.

Some notes:
I get the gas grenade to toss at the mutants as I get off the elevator on the next floor, the dart gun and stun gun are worthless, there's a lot of grenades on this level I might decide to grab if I need to clear out enemies more quickly on later levels, the health kits are a precaution because some floors do not have healing bays or easily accessible converters I can override, pistol ammo is important for the next level, ideally I would finish with 4 Magpulse shots left to make life easier on myself on the next floor and beyond, Pulser 2 is easy to grab so I get it.

Here's a video for the more visual learners
Thread title:  
Might be magic...
I love System Shock. I've been wanting to do a speedrun of this game for ages but haven't had the time or energy lately. The thing that's held me back the most is getting it working well on my PC. You seem to have it running beautifully but I can't get it working nearly as well, so wouldn't be able to play or record properly.

I'm keen to help out where possible, with routing or research. Although I've been working crazy hours leading up to Christmas so might not be able to respond quickly.

To people watching the video: System Shock is an awesome game which unfortunately has dated graphics and controls. Highly recommend you play the game all the way through before watching a speedrun! The controls are very clunky which makes manouvering very difficult, but it's one of the greatest horror/cyberpunk games of all time. Play it at midnight with the sound turned up loud Smiley
This is not the giant
Quote from gammadragon:
I love System Shock. I've been wanting to do a speedrun of this game for ages but haven't had the time or energy lately. The thing that's held me back the most is getting it working well on my PC.

There's a portable version with some mods at https://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=211.0. It's DOSbox which is an SDA no-no but I'm not looking to submit this as a run at the moment and I'm not using any of the mods. If you'd like to help with routing I'm very open to suggestions as this game is open enough that I might have missed doing something important or have done too much and wasted time.

I've routed up to the Relay Mission (Level 7: Engineering) and everything is coming together really smoothly except for the Diego 1 fight. I've tried to set up a trap of landmines and placed grenades that I lure him in to walking into but he is very finicky and the grenades haven't been too easy to come across. I already have skips using reflex patches and the Turbo Module to skip a SHODAN trap on Level 7 and almost the entirety of Level 8. The run becomes much easier after Laser Mission because the Laser Rapier and Turbo Module turn most of System Shock into a Jedi Knight game where you one-shot most enemies. For everything else there's easy an Magpulse, Magnum, and Flechette to pick up along the route right next to the necessary objectives or close enough to them that the detour isn't very costly.

I also found http://funkyhorror.ancilla.ca/toxicfrog/ss1/maps/map.html#0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 which is an incredibly detailed map viewer for the game that lets you sort and search everything. Shoutouts to ToxicFrog for the insane amount of effort he put into it!

Lastly, here's a bad video of how the Laser Mission route I've routed

I need to get a Reflex Patch on Level 1, focus on getting some easy to get grenades for Diego, and not play as badly
Might be magic...
There's a good tactic you can use with a reflex patch and the Plasma Rifle against Diego, but I think it's the second fight. The trick is shown towards the end of this video:


The idea is that you can get the plasma ball bouncing between an enemy and a wall, causing it to hit them several times.
This is not the giant
Quote from gammadragon:
There's a good tactic you can use with a reflex patch and the Plasma Rifle against Diego, but I think it's the second fight. The trick is shown towards the end of this video:


The idea is that you can get the plasma ball bouncing between an enemy and a wall, causing it to hit them several times.

That's an awesome strategy but the Plasma Rifle is under a SHODAN security guard on Level 8. You have to lower the level security to 0% before you can open up the case it's in. That takes way too long for the quick kill to be worth it, especially considering you can just beeline for the central column at the start and skip everything with a well timed Turbo Module jump.
This is not the giant


Virus Mission route. I'm still working out some of the details with ammo collection and death warping but the route's workable which is what matters for now.
This is not the giant


Relay Mission route. It isn't strictly necessary to get the Skorpion but it will help like crazy on Level 9
This is not the giant




Two neat skips. The first saves about a minute because it gives you a direct shot from the 6-7 elevator to the 7-8 elevator, the other skips the entirety of Level 8 outside of the Diego ambush
Might be magic...
Quote from PvtCb:
Two neat skips. The first saves about a minute because it gives you a direct shot from the 6-7 elevator to the 7-8 elevator, the other skips the entirety of Level 8 outside of the Diego ambush


Awesome skips, keep it coming.

One thing I've noticed that might make things slightly faster is an alternative way of getting items from containers. If you double-click on the container to open it, then double-click on the container again, the first useful (non-junk) item from the container will be picked up. It should end up a bit faster than actually targeting the items in the container window.
This is not the giant


First run I've gotten that I'm not embarrassed to upload. I'll type up a route sometime soon
Might be magic...
Loving it so far. Are you going to make the final run single-segment with saves, or multi-segment? The route looks pretty good. What kind of ballpark do you think the final time will be, after a few more rounds of practice and optimisation? 40 minutes looks possible.
This is not the giant
I'm aiming for single segment with saves at the moment because that'll make me more familiar with the game as a whole. I'm always finding minor new things that lower the time so the route is in flux right now. Just yesterday I found out that you don't have to go to the lifepods, the environment suit isn't mandatory for Beta Grove, and Diego 1 goes down far more easily than I expected with Mark 3 and two magazines. Right now I'm just focusing on pushing single segment as low as it can go. If I find the time and single segmented become sufficiently optimized I might eventually do a segmented run for SDA submission. I do know the floppy disc version would be the fastest version of the game for segmented because of the item reuse glitch but there's a host of issues involved with running that version.

As for a final time I'd guess around 45-50 minutes but that'd require excellent play throughout and more optimization. I don't know if I'll be finding any more major skips but there's plenty of small things that I know could be better. There are 2 ways to get into conversion on Medical, one which requires me to play super risky and barely pick up any healing items; the Magpulse on Medical could be skipped if I figure out the Cyborg Drone drop pattern for reliable teflon ammunition sources that will let me breeze through Reactor, a death warp on Medical could potentially save time and health if done perfectly, you don't have to flip the cyborg converter on Research if you can take out the Cyborg ambush in the laser room and escape after getting the science access card from the Cyborg Drone, flipping the cyborg converter on Storage can be avoided if I reliably find a way to escape from the catwalk room at good health, Flight Deck could be played in a riskier fashion, Executive can be greatly cleaned up using death warps to conserve healing items or to save time, I could experiment with getting Jump Jets on Engineering to simplify the route but I'm not sure much will come from it, finding a reliable logic probe drop before the end of Engineering could save 10 seconds, I can avoid picking up the Skorpion if I get enough Flechette ammo, I could mine spawn on Reactor during the revisit to better deal with the Security-2 Robots, you could save scum to find the reactor destruction code digits from a few levels and not trigger any traps or ignore getting a digit altogether if you guess the code correctly, and Bridge objectives could be done in different orders depending on remaining health items.
Might be magic...
Yeah, I think if everything was done perfectly (i.e. multi-segment) then a LOT of time could be saved with death warps, perfect movement, etc. But this is unfortunately the type of game which it's prohibitively difficult to get perfect, mainly due to the controls :/

Really looking forward to the next improved attempt Smiley
This is not the giant


Pretty good run. I'm gonna take a break from running this for a day or two to revise the ammo route and figure out Executive and Bridge
Might be magic...
I found a PDF version of the hint book - haven't looked through it yet but might be of interest:
http://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/system-shock-strategies-and-secrets/
This is not the giant

I haven't read much but the beginning has been super helpful for giving the damage values of weapons and confirming the existence of critical hits. I'll give this a better look when I have the time
Might be magic...
Just finished watching the latest run - it's definitely looking more polished. I love the way you mow down Diego and his army in record time.

I found an easy logic probe to pick up. When stepping out of the elevator on the reactor level, turn left and there's a hidden door on the left which has one behind it. No security requirements to open the door, it's only about 5 grid spaces away from the elevator. You actually pass by that spot on your current route as well.
This is not the giant


Almost sub 45. The new improvements come from skipping Flight Deck entirely and just guessing the digit, a much stricter ammo route (I nearly ran out of Hornet rounds on Bridge), faster Diego kills, and better movement and routing throughout. I feel like I'm in the final stretches of routing where finding new things is getting harder and harder. Also, great find with the logic probe. Not sure how I missed that
Might be magic...
This is looking really impressive. I can't wait to see the final run - it's starting to look pretty optimal now. You're also doing an amazing job with the game controls - far better than I could have imagined.

One more thing I just remembered that might help (especially when entering the 6-digit code) is that you can turn on num lock and then use your keyboards keypad to enter keycodes. It would make entering the codes much faster than using the mouse.
This is not the giant
There is straferunning in this game, but it's not very useful. Without turbo booster it's around a 30% movement speed increase but it is nearly impossible to get a decent angle going because of the imprecise turning and if you tap anything even slightly you lose all your speed. It also eats up you stamina very quickly but the current route has 2 Staminups you can just chew through as you head over to conversion. It does next to nothing while on the skates because the strafe is so slow while that mod is equipped.
This is not the giant


Same route as before with some very slight changes. Next goal in routing is looking for a way to skip the Magpulse. The alternative way to enter conversion on Medical only saves 10-20 seconds and leaves you with no health. Sub 40 looks possible in the near future
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2014-12-12 08:19:41 pm
Might be magic...
Quote from PvtCb:
Same route as before with some very slight changes. Next goal in routing is looking for a way to skip the Magpulse.


Not sure if this can save time, but this route doesn't require the magpulse. It's almost the same as your current route. Instead of picking up the dartgun you could also use a berserk patch to kill the assassin droid, but those are quite useful on the later levels.

This is not the giant
It looks to save 20-30 seconds. Only problem is you need great Teflon drops to be able to take out robots on Reactor and 3 that the Magpulse used to just cleave through
Edit history:
gammadragon: 2014-12-14 01:09:50 am
Might be magic...
You're right - the time spent getting the magpulse is most likely saved later in the run by using its awesome firepower.

Although, if it's worth investigating, there's a crate near the starting lift on level 2 with 4 teflon clips in it. Walk out of the lift, turn left, then first right and the puzzle is solved by selecting the top right and bottom right nodes. The left-most crate has the teflon rounds. There's also a few land mines in the crate next to it. Possibly won't need the frag grenades picked up later in the level if those land mines are picked up?

Also a similar crate full of teflon on the reactor level, in a room just north of the revival chamber. Not sure if going off the main route to get these will actually result in a saving or if its just better to get the magpulse. EDIT: actually scratch this one - it requires SEC access.

The speed of the run is really impressive by the way - the 40 minute barrier is getting closer every day Smiley
This is not the giant


Finally got the sub 40. The run is pretty clean but there are a couple of mistakes here and there. I'll work on submission notes and make a pastebin if you want to proofread them or add your own comments