[Speedrun] Part 2: Playing the game (finally). Where to begin?

#1
Pea
The new cart hasn't arrived yet. The new seller doesn't have a working tracking number and I suspect fraud. The initial seller agreed to send me a replacement cart but I have no clue when that's arriving.

I'm also waiting for Tokimemo 2 to arrive. I'm getting jitters just waiting on all of this.

So while we wait, I set up Higan so I can play the game as accurately emulated as possible. I'm also playing on the 1.1 version, but chances are that all the carts that I will get and have seen will forever be 1.0 carts. I can only dream.

So if you forgot, we're playing Donkey Kong Country 2. The one with Diddy in it. And Dixie. Was it Dixie? I always forget.

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I've never actually heard the entirety of this opening theme until I took this screenshot and uploaded it on imgur while this was running in the background.

Have I mentioned what kind of run we're doing? I think it's important to consider what category you want to run before dipping in, cause there's a bunch of factors here:

1. How dedicated are you?
Obviously the most important question when it comes to speedrunning. Are you willing to learn a game just like that? For fun? What about to see how fast you can go, attempting to break your own limits. Some categories in video game speedruns are much more well attuned to a play style than others. Much like game selection, category selection is mainly based on how dedicated you are to it. You wouldn't want to spend countless hours grinding the multiple consoles category of Pokemon Channel when you could go for the more popular and contested category which puts your (channel surfing) skills to the test. Perhaps you really want to demolish the category that nobody plays cause you got an ego like that, but chances are that you wouldn't.

However, if it's your very first speedrun, you do want to make sure you can get a run done before breaking over the multiple tough tricks you need to do throughout the run. In other words, you wouldn't want to subject yourself to 4 hours of rolling into bombs to either go backwards fast or to hop in the air for 20 minutes at a time. You'd rather do that in a shorter amount of time, that way your goals don't require you to suffer for longer. In otherer words, don't start with the 100% run of Ocarina of Time, you'll give up before even having the chance of attempting a run. Start with All Dungeons or something: Less intense tricks, less things to do, more basic pathing. It's more fun.

So when it comes to Diddy's Kong Quest, how dedicated will I be to get a run done and which category will let me finish one more easily, or perhaps which one will I have the most fun with? Can't have dedication without any sort of drive letting you perform more and more of the same thing over and over again. I would dread bomb hopping.

2. How much time do you have?
Are you a NEET? Do you feel like you could just speedrun Final Fantasy X 100%? Do you have 20 consecutive hours to spare in a day to perform a single speedrun?

Perhaps you only have an hour or so, huh? Maybe more. I have a few hours to spare, which lets me get a few attemps in, in a night.

3. Do you have the right version of the game?
If you don't, will a certain category still be possible to run? Perhaps the only difference is minor, which will not let you get first place, but it won't let you lose a thousand minutes either. This kinda goes hand in hand with the whole dedication part, as if you're aiming to be the best, perhaps you would want the correct version to speedrun.

So based on these criteria, what category should I speedrun?

Warpless, of course! The third point of my factors is the biggest one, cause you NEED v1.1 to perform the tricks that lets you skip through much of the game in Any%. Therefore, Warpless is the way to go. Not that many people play it, apparently, but that doesn't matter. I really just want to get a run done. With an hour of gameplay to be expected, definitely more when it comes to my first runs, it's a sweet spot that speedrunners have never called "The Sweet Hour", cause it's a sweet spot where people have enough of an attention span to watch an entire run before getting bored. I coined this term and I will copyright it now.

NOW we can start the game.

Thankfully, the DKC speedruns wiki has a lot of resources to get you started. Level-specific routing videos are available for you to use your Sharingan to copy the moves right then and there so you can do it yourself later. I'll be using this to learn the game.

For this update, I'll showcase the first level in image LET'S PLAY format, because I've learned it enough to give thorough explanations on what's going on.

The first level is called Pirate Panic. No panicking here tbh, it's nothing too complicated, even for a first-timer like me.

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Click the image for a bigger version. I forgot to show where the enemies are but that's fine you'll see that it doesn't matter

Now, I've noticed so many minute things in this game right from the get-go. Let's start with the first thing.

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In this image, we got box 1 and box 2. Box 1 is rat, box 2 is dixie kong's barrel of smelling salts. In order to go fast in this level, we must defeat the rat by rolling onto it while avoiding to pick up the barrel (we pick up another barrel in a later level). If we roll onto the rat, we kill it and gain a speed boost while doing more cartwheels. If we want to keep on cartwheeling, we need to hold the Y button. Holding the Y button makes us go faster. Are you still with me? The Y button is also used to pick up objects. By picking up an object, we lose all momentum, come into a screeching halt and Diddy decides to deadlift a box, forgetting that he's on Uber's clock to go get his buddy so he can drive him back home.

In other words: Destroy box 1, Avoid box 2.

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And so we jump it. Destroyed box 1 can be seen on the left.

All's good and easy! Speedrunning is cool! I love video games!

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God damnit.

Fuck. Well, this sucks. Video games suck.

You have now witnessed the top 2 boxes that ruin your run. The crate on the right can also be forklifted by Diddy.

So why's this so important for me to show, exactly?

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Amateur recreation of events.

In the instance of 2 or 3 frames each, you need to have the muscle memory to either Jump or Stop holding Y to not deal with items you can pick up. Why am I whining about only two of them? The time frame doesn't seem to be too strict.

Don't forget, this is literally the first 5 seconds of the run. Expect to see more of it for the entire hour or so of you running this game. Hope you've got good muscle memory!

For this next part, I can talk more about cartwheeling. Cartwheeling has LOTS of nuanced mechanics built into this one single move. I already talked about going faster when you bump into an enemy when doing that with Diddy (or Dixie), but what happens when you chain hits with it?

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GOTTA SPEED KEED

You go super fast! I've pressed (and held) Y for a total of 3 times in that gif. That's when I realized:

Attacks can be extended as long as you:
1. Bump into enemies
2. Fall off a ledge

You know how I rolled down into two kremlings? That was a single Y button press (and hold). Because of how I fell off two ledges, the cartwheel was extended long enough for me to rain hellfire upon these asswipes. That feels so fucking good, you don't even know. Routes are fully optimized, knowing when and how you should be attacking enemies. This kind of muscle memory doesn't take too long to form, at least for me it did.

Next up on the list is fucker supreme.

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Fucker Supreme.

I cannot for the life of me get a screenshot of this guy bumping me, so imagine that fucker supreme is bumping me. You need a very big pre-emptive jump against him if you wanna clear him. If you don't, he bumps you back and you might as well call your run done with. That's why he's fucker supreme.

Fuck fucker supreme, we got a real bastard in our hands now.

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RAMBO

His name's not actually rambo, but humor me and imagine that it is. Once you free him from this box (and you will), charge ahead to finish off the level (and the 2nd fucker supreme). This part is super cool, watch.

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RAMBO TIME

Hop on the goal and you're done! That was the first level of the speedrun, out of... many many more. Yeesh.

Well, I wanted to do an in-depth explanation of the first level and how fast this run can be. On next updates, I'll probably go for different approaches in how a speedrun is learned and how I apply what I learned in a run. Until next time!




























































































































































































































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#2
Draku
good writeup. i appreciate the level map inclusion and the breakdown of the annoying parts of the speedrun's muscle memory was an important thing to add in. the other information about speedrunning and categories is good for those interested as well. lots of photo/gif aids which are key. again, good sh*t.
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#3
sealelement
fuck this is a great thread. please keep up this excellent material. i can't wait to find out about more fuckers supreme
SEAL FOR ADMINERATOR
#4
Pea
to those who aren't in the know: this garrison is still going to happen. gimme a bit, as a lot more problems arose from... everywhere.

wait warmly, or coldly, whichever kind of weather you enjoy the most.

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