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Author Topic: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations  (Read 798 times)

Spooniest

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Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« on: January 05, 2020, 08:03:14 am »
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.

1
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.

2
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.

3
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

And, go!
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FAST6191

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Re: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 09:55:21 am »
Some of the technical aspects of speedrunning (why the exploits work the way they do, and finding exploits or understanding mechanics to degrees no normal player ever likely would or would be realistically able to determine from play itself) and tool assisted speedrunning (in addition to the exploits the tools made to make it happen) fascinate me, and I have occasionally watched some of those history of videos for my casual anthropology purposes (I was in a wool shop a while back and looking at the sorts of adverts designed to appear to knitters and crochet types, same deal really).
As far as knowing any speedrunners, never mind watching them attempt things time after time does nothing for me.

Anyway this seems like something that would be worth throwing something up on screen for to tell you where you are on the screen, and probably also play with savestates (or even have some kind of auto button push to load a savestate every few seconds to practice one bit after the other without the setup.

Can't it is frustrating to me but more tedious and gets me nothing in the end so why bother when far more interesting things are out there.

As for frustration. I find household painting incredibly frustrating (as in I rock up on a job site one day and I can either unclog a sewer or sit in a warm house painting I will need to know where the waders are at. Oddly I will happily prep for painting despite it being very similar -- in either case a tool will be in your hand for hours as you look at the same walls/woodwork/...) so I don't do it. In more general life though I just don't allow things to get to me.

Badseed

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Re: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 04:18:02 pm »
I gotta be honest people, I just don't understand the need to speedrun anything.
(I guess if your running a YouTube channel or something I see it). Personally if you play games for enjoyment why rush to the end. If your playing a good game there will be plenty of challenge and things to discover. I suppose some gamers need to stroke their ego and say "I beat so and so game in 33 seconds!!" And in the end who really cares or keeps track. Dont lose sight of why your a gamer- to enjoy playing games. Remember "The point of a journey is not to arrive"
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Spooniest

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Re: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 04:22:50 pm »
I gotta be honest people, I just don't understand the need to speedrun anything.

Definitely not for everyone.

I drink black coffee also. Most people at least put something in it, but not me.

I guess my motivation is more that I'm afflicted with a serious case of the olds and I have been playing NES games for 35 years pretty soon here. I just want to try it sometimes when I'm feeling saucy. I have after all played it the normal way an awful lot of times.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 06:45:49 pm by Spooniest »
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Isao Kronos

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Re: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 05:44:50 pm »
I gotta be honest people, I just don't understand the need to speedrun anything.
(I guess if your running a YouTube channel or something I see it). Personally if you play games for enjoyment why rush to the end. If your playing a good game there will be plenty of challenge and things to discover. I suppose some gamers need to stroke their ego and say "I beat so and so game in 33 seconds!!" And in the end who really cares or keeps track. Dont lose sight of why your a gamer- to enjoy playing games. Remember "The point of a journey is not to arrive"

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it isn't about stroking ego

SleepyFist

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Re: Simon's Quest: Speedrunning Frustrations
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 09:24:21 am »
I became somewhat fascinated by speedruns a few years ago thanks to some clips of F-Zero X I stumbled across, it's truly astounding the lunatic dedication people have to picking out obscure glitches and plotting the perfect paths to take.

Personally though, I don't have the patience or dexterity to even pull off many basic techniques, I spent awhile trying out speedrun tactics in different Zelda games just for boundary breaking before eventually giving up on it.

Speaking of dedicated speedrunners, here's something I watched the other day on the history of MK64 Choco Mountain.
https://youtu.be/Y99Wj-NStok
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