I just finished my first attempt at speedrunning Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. I wasn't recording; I was just practicing some techniques I saw a Twitch Streamer named 2snek doing.
I have never been a terribly patient person; anyone familiar with me will know this already. Speedrunning, therefore, would seem like an odd activity for me to want to get into, but I think that might be why I want to get into it. I have this weird idea about using it as a means of developing more patience.
However, the frustration inherent in attempting to do a game as fast as it can be done is extremely demanding mentally. Using the above example of Castlevania II and this map, I'll explain.
This map was a screenshot taken from Rick N. Bruns' map on nesmaps.com, and you can view a larger size one by clicking thru it.
To do even the first part of a speedrun for Simon's Quest the way 2snek was doing it, you must follow these steps.
You walk left and jump on top of the blocks at the left side of the screen (1), then perform a glitch where you both whip and fall off of the right edge of the blocks at the same time, while also pressing down, and then releasing it at precisely the moment Simon's feet are supposed to touch the ground (at least this is how I think
it's supposed to be done). This is not so bad.
From there, you walk left to point (2), the space between the 4th and 5th trees from the ledge to the left. I say 'walk' but actually it's 'fight two dualheaded firespitting lizard guys to the death.' Both the one marked (A) and the one in the middle will attack you immediately, and somewhere between 4-5 hits is fatal to Simon at this point. The reserve of 3 lives is needed for other parts of the run, so it's important that he doesn't die yet. Every time 2snek did this part, he ate some damage, 1 or 2 hits hopefully.
Now, once you kill the Lizardmen and reach point (2), with both of the previous Lizardmen out of the way, your next step is to walk forward for one frame, then jump to the left. This will spawn the Lizardman marked (B), and you have to whip in the air so that your whip hits him right at the edge of its range, then whip him 3 more times in order to kill him, but before he is able to release a fireball at you. If he drops a heart, you must pick it up without scrolling the screen left far enough to spawn Jumpy Panther at point (3), then immediately jump BACK to the right and get ready to attack Lizardman (A) again, with the same rules in play about not allowing him to spit a fireball at you and picking up whatever heart he drops, then jumping back the other way. You have to repeat this process until you have collected 13 of the half-hearts, totaling 52 hearts, so that you have enough hearts to buy both the Holy Water and White Crystal before leaving Jova.
I heard this described as the "Lizard Grind." It's the first step in a Simon's Quest Speedrun, and it's FRUSTRATING,
as you can well imagine.
Does anyone here do any speedrunning of games? How do you control your frustration at it? Perhaps some other activity is quite frustrating to you, and you have go-to techniques for calming yourself?
Darn Jumpy Panther was tickin' me off, I tell you whut