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Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil () (pc) [Any %] [Single Segment] [Easy]

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Quote from I have no name:
Going into this run, I re-watched Phar's speedrun of extra mode for a standard.  Said run, for reference purposes.

Touhou games don't really lend themselves to speedruns very well, with the majority of the game being an autoscrolling stage portion followed by a boss fight.  For the most part, the run boils down to using planned bombs on bosses to end their patterns quicker, never taking your shots off the bosses (especially with shotgunning, moving up close with a spread type such as ReimuB), and suiciding once on stage portions to replenish the bomb stock for the next boss fight.  All in all, I had very high expectations for the level of optimization in this run.

Easy mode in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil does not include a Stage 6.  Both Reimu and Marisa have 2 shot types, this run is with MarisaA.  MarisaA has the second highest damage output, behind ReimuB, and the 2nd highest bomb damage, behind MarisaB.  However, I believe that ReimuB would be faster overall due to her shotgun damage being so high.  This is a moot point if each character would be their own category, though this would have the effect of creating 20 categories for the game (4 shot types * 5 difficulties).

I appreciate the runner showing that the settings are on their defaults before the run, though this would be observed from the beginning of the game.  Touhou games are often patched due to only being in Japanese, EoSD in particular has 3 that are in common use: an English patch, a hitnox patch (makes the player hitbox visible while focused as in all future installments), and a retexture patch.  Only the first of those would be acceptable for a submission, and is in fact applied for this run.  One trick that can be used to speed up bosses is moving down to the bottom of the screen during invincibility time, and moving up as the pattern goes on: it saves about a half second each time it's done, due to the player shots needing to travel less distance.  The runner elects to never utilize this technique.

Stage 1's power drops are random.  It's possible to reach 64 (2 power levels below max) before boss Rumia, which makes the fight significantly faster.  The speedkill on midboss Rumia, though well executed, saves no time due to the stage portion having additional enemies appear to keep the stage synced with the music.  The big power item from the last wave was enough to reach 71 power or Rumia: that's about what you'd expect, though I've seen higher.  The first nonspell could have gone slightly faster, but Rumia's nonspells randomly choose movement vectors and a pattern.  Second nonspell goes the same as the first, and Demarcation is blown away with a bomb.  The way health works in this game is that nonspells have a much higher lifebar and damage rate than spellcards, and bomb damage is mostly fixed.  This makes bombs better vs. spells than nonspells.  All in all, no complaints for stage 1.

Stage 2 opens with a bomb to collect power items.  Unnecessary, since max power by Cirno is easy to obtain, but consistency is always nice.  Daiyousei was killed a bit slowly, but like midboss Rumia from Stage 1 this has no impact.  Cirno's opening volley is bombed: I believe this is a mistake, as this pattern can be safespotted, even with Marisa.  Even though this is a lunatic ReimuB replay, I'll be referencing it more when applicable.  Further, EoSD has a rank system and at a low rank (suiciding shortly before the fight would lower it enough), the pattern can be tapstreamed to keep Cirno taking full damage at all times.  Icicle Fall should be bombed.  I don't care how easy it is, it's faster to bomb it.  Second nonspell should have been cutback.  Perfect Freeze was played well, but had an unlucky wave.  Sloppily planned Stage 2.

Stage 3 opens with a suicide to refill bombs.  Midboss Meiling was poorly played, and unlike the last 2 stages this affects the time: the 2nd half of Stage 3 is fixed length after the midboss.  Gorgeous Sweet Flower should have been bombed.  4 bombs are available through here without needing to suicide (by cutting out the bomb on the beginning of Stage 2), so this is needless time wasted.  Slow reacting to movements on nonspells, not bombing spells, bombing a nonspell...very poorly planned fight.  How it should have gone was speedkill, bomb the spell, speedkill 2nd non (done well here, though streaming vertically would be better than misdirecting), speedkill 3rd non, bomb last spell (maybe twice).  Instead, the runner opts to attempt a capture of Colorful Rain and then bombs in a panic.  Badly played Stage 3.

Stage 4 is long, tedious, and boring in the stage portion.  I don't see any reason for the suicide during the books.  If anything, it should have been done at the start of the stage.  Good Koakuma kill in spite of the lowered power, doesn't matter due to musical synchronization.  The runner elects not to use the trivially easy non-directional laser safespot: I'm quite bad at safespotting and I was able to get this first try.  Accidental death follows, which is pretty much unacceptable during a boss fight due to lowered power AND lost shooting time.  Still, the runner could have recovered by picking up the big power item dropped on death and then the big power item dropped by Patchouli to only lose about 5 seconds, instead of waste more time.  Then a spell capture instead of bombing (again), and then a single bomb, wasting one from the stock.  Poorly planned and badly played Stage 4, and I knew no matter how good Stage 5 was, this had to be a reject.

Stage 5 seems to have an accidental death, though replenishing bombs was needed anyway.  Midboss Sakuya's dialogue can't be sped up, unlike the rest of the dialogue in the game.  The runner gets bad luck with movement, and spends a bomb (read: wastes) trying to recover.  Misdirection is a prime candidate for Stardust Reverie, due to Sakuya moving all over the place.  Fortunately for the runner, this is another midboss where a fast kill means nothing.  Finally, the boss fight with Sakuya.  Nonspell bomb, no proactive chasing.  Captured spell, slow capture at that.  Nonspell bomb, death, bad.  Died on spell without trying to bomb, bombs after, ignores power but fortunately the bomb picked it up.  Slow nonspell.  Marrionette gets the double bomb treatment but it's too little, too late.  Poorly played and executed Stage 5.

After watching the entirety of the run, I gave it 1 singular try to see what kind of time I would get.  I timed this run at 16:22-0:39=15:43, and my own run clocked in at 14:48 with the same shot type and difficulty.  I had a couple careless deaths while trying safespots I shouldn't have been going for, and captured the final spellcard instead of bombing it because I deathbombed the last non while speedkilling it.  My replay is here.

Finally, I think this run was one of the runner's few attempts, as evidenced by the low high score.  The many accidental deaths show little practice, and the ending is shown.  Why am I complaining about the ending being shown?  Because ZUN has a policy that you don't show the ending, and as that's his only real request of the entire fandom, it's quite jarring to see it included here, even if it is just a bad ending.

Quote from playe:
Okay, so first of all these games aren't really speed-run friendly as I have no name explained so I won't go into more detail about this.

I also don't want to make myself look like an ass by repeating everything that's already been said, but I will give my general thoughts at least.

Early on the run seemed a bit promising, this kinda started to be disappointing around Cirno's Icicle fall. I understand it's an easy spellcard, but you're trying to beat the bosses as fast as possible. I would kinda think that would mean using bombs when it would kill them faster no?

There's more of these instances by the way, especially in stage 4. I kept thinking as soon as he started the stage "Why doesn't he take a death? His bomb count is low." He ends up taking what appears to be an unintentional death RIGHT before Koakuma. Sure he recovers fast, but that's still a glaring mistake. Patchy isn't much better either.

Stage 5 is probably when I realized that this just isn't going to be an accept. Up to this point he's been playing like I would. By forgetting to use bombs. Now I don't speed-run this game, nor am I very good at this game casually. But I can tell that bombs are invaluable to speed in a run of these games, and he's mostly only really used them when panicking.

So yeah, I'm going towards a reject on this one. It's fairly fast early on but as it continues it looks less like a speed-run and more like a playthrough in my opinion.

Quote from KennyMan666:
So... this is supposed to be a speedrun of an autoscroller that there's no way to speed up at all aside from killing bosses faster - and for some midbosses not even that makes any difference, as killing them fast can result in extra enemy waves instead.

It's played on Easy, which prevents you from reaching the final stage.

Positioning yourself so your shots hit bosses better and bombing to finish bosses faster is literally the only things that make this any faster than a regular run.

But the thing is really that shmups are horribly suited to speedruns. The game length essentially fixed. Scoreruns, that's a thing. That's what shmup superplays are.

And as thisis played on Easy, there's not really anything in this run that couldn't be replicated by someone with just a bit of skill at the game. I haven't played EoSD for years and I could do this. The bomb route isn't even planned out all that well. At some points the player even dies with bombs still in stock, so they clearly have lives to spare to replenish bomb stock and could thus have used more bombs to finish bosses faster. There's even bombs used purely for survival, despite that if trying to go fast, they should all be dedicated to taking out bosses. This is best seen at Sakuya, the, on Easy, FINAL BOSS. It's played save, despite having several lives and thus bombs in stock. That fight should have consisted almost entirely of being all up in Sakuya's face, spamming bombs. It's sloppy.

I don't understand why this run was even made. Even if it was a perfect playthrough, with deaths only to refill bombs, and bombs used perfectly, it wouldn't be all that much faster than a "regular" run. There's places on the internet for shmup score runs, but I don't think anyone ever was asking for shmup speedruns that just involve beating the game. The one time I saw a shmup race being a thing, it was a race to a certain score.

So, y'know.

At least do it on Normal so you get to play the whole game if you want this to be taken seriously. There's very little that sets this "run" apart from a regular 1CC attempt.

Kenny unsurprisingly rejects.

Decision: Reject

Reason: Poor planning and execution.

This run will be available for a month. After that these link(s) will no longer work.
Thread title:  
Obscure games ftw
Quote from KennyMan666:
Even if it was a perfect playthrough, with deaths only to refill bombs, and bombs used perfectly, it wouldn't be all that much faster than a "regular" run

I would think being able to speed up a primarily autoscrolling game by a minute would be quite a bit faster, but it'd be such a silly idea for a run that I wouldn't be the one to take it seriously.  If the runner wants to try again, use the replay I linked as a reference and beat it by ~10 seconds and you've got a good run. thumbsup
Sorry for the disappointment. Multiple safespots and trick presented in this feedback I had never seen before, despite doing a while's worth of research on the game's mechanics and such. Looking upon the feedback represented here, there is a CRAPTON of things I have overlooked. While practicing, I had sort of been derping around looking for safespots and such, and had found a few, but difficult to execute, and would waste time if not done right. The biggest things I overlooked were the bombs doing more damage than normal bullets, I guess I had forgotten around the time and had figured the fastest way was to get as many bullets into their face as fast as possible. Overlooked, in all, the run and what I had done in it. I might even say I might have gotten a little impatient with it, just trying for a run that went okay. But beside that, I do understand Touhou games are not exactly speedrun friendly, but they CAN be spedrun, why I attempted. This was my first attempt at speedrunning it, and to say some things, I should have probably asked around and searched more for techniques and such to bypass certain bosses, and end up with a better time. I had practice for about 2 weeks, which I admittedly will now say I do not feel was enough time, looking back at all of it. I have been playing EoSD for about 3 months and have beaten it on normal more than once, but without sufficient skill to beat the Hard difficulty. Reading these gives me a look on others' opinions of speedrunning Touhou games, and it seems pretty obvious few here think Touhou games are speedrunning material. Such of this, I will most likely look onto other games to speedrun, hopefully better suited to run. I hate this quote, but I guess I'll just take it as a learning experience. Find a better game, research more, take more time to practice until I feel peaked out at my potential.
But otherwise, thanks everyone for verifying stuff. Gave me some good tips that I might just use for casual play on EoSD. Sorry for being a bit of a waste of time, but I hope it's all O.K. I'll go find a game nicely suited for speedrunning, and hope to be back again (this time a bit more prepared).

For the record, SDA accepts shoot-em-up speedruns if a run with proper planning can be shown to be substantially faster than a playthrough by a skilled player. It seems like this run would pass the test, the reject decision was solely based on the feedback that the planning and execution of the run were not up to par.
I also want to mention that there ARE speed-runnable touhou games besides the shoot-em-ups/bullet hell games, there's quite a number of official spin-off games that have a good amount of potential for a speed-run such as the fighting games.

That's not to say the bullet hell games aren't speed-runnable, far from it, but they aren't as speed-run friendly as other games that are out there.