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Blast Corps
Blast Corps was released by Rare for the Nintendo 64 in March 1997. It never became very popular, but it did garner a reputation of being very difficult to complete. The game is about destroying buildings to save the world from a nuclear explosion.

 

Run (Single Segment): 0:28:17 by Steve 'PEACHES_' Bates

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I like chocolate.
100% run (Single Segment): 1:59:00 by Steve 'PEACHES_' Bates

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What you're about to watch is an all-platinum single session run of Blast Corps. Blast Corps is infamously hard, with each platinum time requiring an in-depth knowledge of the level and vehicle mechanics. The idea of Blast Corps 100% actually started out as a joke, considering nobody knew how long it would take, or whether it was even worth attempting with any degree of accuracy. As far as I know, nobody had ever attempted to 100% this game in a single session before me, so I had nothing to go off of. The first 100% SS I attempted was streamed, and took over 5 and a half hours. Afterwards I remember thinking "Man, I bet I could at least get that under 3 hours!" haha. A few 100%'s later and I was confident in 2:30, then a few 100%'s later I made the goal of sub-2. It took a couple dozen 100% runs but I finally managed to break the 2 hour mark. I was originally going to make a HUGE wall of text for my comments but I think I'm just going to explain just the basic elements of the run, plus some of the glitches I used. If you have any more questions about the run or about any specific level you can talk to me on AIM (AskAboutMyBigRig) or send me a PM over SDA (PEACHES_).

The overall idea in the run is to enter a level as few times as possible. Many factors make this difficult -- I have to blow up every building in the carrier's path and exit the level fast enough for a platinum medal, yet I must also destroy every building, collect every RDU (the flashing orange circles on the ground), and open up every bonus level (the radar dishes in some levels).

Most commonly, I will enter a level once to get the platinum time, then re-enter to destroy all buildings, hit any radars, and get all RDU's. In some levels, it's not possible to get the platinum time on my first run through, for one of several reasons.

Some levels are so short and straightforward that the platinum time is impossible to get without being in Time Trial mode. Without being in TT, I can't get a boost start, and I have to exit my vehicle and enter the truck to end the level, as opposed to the level automatically ending when I destroy the last building. Because of this, I spend most of my time in the first several carrier levels collecting as many RDU's and destroying as many buildings as possible. Argent Towers and Havoc District are technically possible but very difficult to plat on the first attempt. I tried to plat Argent Towers, but failed to do so in this run.

Other levels are impossible to plat without being in Time Trial mode because of environmental hazards. Specifically, Crystal Rift (concrete) and Echo Marches (train/boat) have environmental segments which make the platinum time impossible outside of Time Trial.

Some levels were just entered multiple times as a result of failures. Argent Towers and Glory Crossing are the only two carrier levels I should be able to plat but just failed to do so on my first attempt.

Ember Hamlet is an interesting exception in that I restart it on purpose several times. This is so the Ballista rockets at the beginning of the level refresh. There is a Cyclone Suit in the barn near the start, however the Cyclone Suit is SIGNIFICANTLY slower both at destroying buildings, and in general movement (for RDU's). It's also much harder to control, since I have to commit to a nearly straight line for several seconds every time a single part of any building, even a fence, is destroyed. Compared to the ballista, it's all risk no reward.

The only level where getting Platinum time, blowing up all buildings, and getting all RDU's is actually possible in one pass is Diamond Sands, which is ironic since most players consider it one of the very hardest levels.

I approached bonus levels with a similar mentality, the idea obviously being to restart as few times as possible. The only bonus levels where I can efficiently get plat AND the radar are Lizard Island, Dagger Pass, and Saline Watch. I get Lizard's radar with plat, but not Dagger Pass or Saline Watch, wasting a few seconds. Some levels required restarts due to general failure. Morgan Hall, Silver Junction, and Neptune were the biggest offenders on this run, which is especially confusing and frustrating since all three are easy levels. I will never understand why Neptune was so finicky on this run, it was the first time I've EVER restarted Neptune in a 100% :(

Notable glitches:

Many times you'll see me switch to Carrier View during gameplay. Almost every time this is done to reduce lag (Crystal Rift, Beeton Tracks, and Oyster Harbor are HUGE offenders here). Sometimes it's just out of boredom, or in the case of Echo Marches, to show off that I know exactly how long the train ride lasts :)

Normally when you hit Z to exit a vehicle, your character will get out and take a few steps in the direction of the carrier's path. But, if there's a building in the way, holding Z will cause the segments blocking your character's path to explode. This is useless in most situations but I use the Z-Trick to effect in a few levels. The critical uses are in Ebony Coast to get early access to the J-Bomb, in Beeton Tracks to blow up the large building at the end of the level, and in Oyster Harbor to destroy the large building at the end (allowing me to use the TNT on the barge so I can get the scientist on my first pass). I also use it in Diamond Sands, Tempest City, Outland Farm, Angel City, and Crystal Rift just to blow up certain trouble buildings a little faster -- nothing too dramatic.

In regular gameplay, thick terrain will slow you down. This is true in all levels but especially pertinent in race mode. Interestingly, all you have to do is let off the throttle before entering poor terrain, and you'll coast at normal speed. This makes many races significantly easier, and is used to very minor effect in some carrier levels (Simian Acres, Glory Crossing, etc).

The most difficult glitch, and in my opinion the highlight of the run, is the Corvine Bluff fence skip. This glitch is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT since it requires over a full second of frame perfect input (pulling it off twice will always show a perfect overlap between ghost and player until you're completely over the fence). I use the skip because the level itself is extremely inconsistent and by far my least favorite to legitimately get platinum on. I used to budget 5+ minutes worth of restarts here because of how far into the run the level is, and because of how difficult the level is to get platinum on (whether or not the skip is used),. So, needless to say the stream went CRAZY and I nearly messed my pants when I hit this on my first attempt.

At the end of the run you'll notice I go from Crystal Rift to Simian Acres, and the map instantly goes from all golds (besides Crystal Rift) to all platinums without any notification. That was the unplanned result of getting all platinum times before unlocking Platinum medals (normally you must get all golds before unlocking the Platinum time limits -- before that, all times will show up as gold, whether or not they meet the Platinum limit). This run was actually the first time this happened, usually I will forget a level or two (for example, in this run I *knew* Glory Crossing wasn't plat so I re-did it, but in previous runs I might not know if I failed a level until Plat is unlocked). One verifier mentioned that it looked like I had just cut out to a better save... and... if that were the case, I would have definitely edited out every Neptune restart :P This ends up actually being a legitimate timesaver, as I skip the promotions for Captain of Carnage, Single Minded Chaosmonger, Grand High Slaughtermaster, Lunatic Lord of Havoc, and Armageddon Adept by getting all platinums at once (and promotions take a solid 10 seconds each to watch). Skipping the promotion for You Can Stop Now is trivial since it occurs after losing control of my player, and is irrelevant to SDA timing.

For those curious, after the run I went and recorded all of my IL times. Just in case you aren't impressed by the mistakes I made in my 2 hour SS of one of the N64's most notoriously difficult games, I went ahead and put a star next to the 20 times that beat or tied the SDA segmented IL records at the time of the run's submission :P

Angel City 1:04.3
Argent Towers 22.3
Baboon Catacomb 39.3 *
Backlash 9.2
Beeton Tracks 32.9 *
Bison Ridge 1:02.2
Blackridge Works 17.3 *
Carrick Point 34.0 *
Cobalt Quarry 35.6
Cooter Creek 24.7 *
Corvine Bluff 16.4 *
Cromlech Court 21.4
Crystal Rift 50.1
Dagger Pass 44.1
Dark Heartland 32.8 *
Diamond Sands 2:16.3
Ebony Coast 1:04.0
Echo Marches 39.7
Ember Hamlet 38.1
Falchion Field 19.9
Geode Square 8.0 *
Gibbons Gate 1:10.4 *
Glanders Ranch 1:27.0 *
Glory Crossing 33.4
Havoc District 24.9
Ironstone Mine 43.6
Jade Plateau 1:10.1 *
JBomb 22.9
Kipling Plant 11.6
Lizard Island 1:23.2
Magma Peak 49.6 *
Marine Quarter 35.8
Mars 47.8 *
Mercury 1:03.8
Mica Park 29.0
Moon 1:42.8 *
Moraine Chase 57.1 *
Morgan Hall 23.9 *
Neptune 1:25.9
Obsidian Mile 49.5
Orion Plaza 25.0 *
Outland Farm 46.1 *
Oyster Harbor 2:32.6
Saline Watch 43.5
Salvage Wharf 35.5
Shuttle Clear 53.9
Shuttle Gully 35.1
Sideswipe 11.1
Silver Junction 28.2
Simian Acres 12.5
Skerries 1:31.9
Skyfall 3.2 *
Sleek Streets 38.8 *
Tempest City 25.9
Thunderfist 13.1
Twilight Foundry 27.1
Venus 1:43.2

Total time: 42:31.6, less than 2 minutes shy of the old segmented IL table.

I might go back and improve this run, since there's a good few minutes of improvement to be had (COUGH NEPTUNE COUGH), but between the general consistency, meeting my 2 hour goal, and hitting the Corvine Bluff skip on my first try, I'm quite satisfied with this. Plus there's a couple other games I've been meaning to speedrun. Until then, thank you for watching my run, and I hope you enjoyed it!

special thanks to:
- Nate, Mike, and everyone from SDA for hosting the run
- Halamantariel for offering his webspace
- AniMeowzers for being extra chocolatey
- Shuda for gaining the ability to be funnier (without losing his ability to botch level names)
- All my stream regulars who watched me play this game way too much over the past year!

Individual-levels run in 0:40:48.40

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Level Time Date Player
Angel City 0:00:54.10 2004-07-05 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Argent Towers 0:00:15.50 2004-06-21 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Baboon Catacomb 0:00:40.50 2004-07-03 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Backlash 0:00:07.20 2004-06-11 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Beeton Tracks 0:01:02.50 2005-01-24 Brandon 'Baraka' Sanford
Bison Ridge 0:01:02.00 2004-04-22 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Blackridge Works 0:00:17.70 2005-01-20 Brandon 'Baraka' Sanford
Carrick Point 0:00:35.10 2003-09-21 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Cobalt Quarry 0:00:35.50 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Cooter Creek 0:00:24.90 2004-06-21 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Corvine Bluff 0:00:45.70 2004-06-28 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Cromlech Court 0:00:17.40 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Crystal Rift 0:00:48.40 2004-07-06 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Dagger Pass 0:00:36.20 2004-06-29 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Dark Heartland 0:00:36.50 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Diamond Sands 0:01:38.80 2004-07-08 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Ebony Coast 0:00:53.60 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Echo Marches 0:00:37.30 2004-06-25 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Ember Hamlet 0:00:18.00 2004-07-05 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Falchion Field 0:00:19.70 2004-07-08 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Geode Square 0:00:14.90 2004-06-28 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Gibbon's Gate 0:01:12.10 2003-09-23 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Glander's Ranch 0:01:29.00 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Glory Crossing 0:00:28.90 2004-07-06 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Havoc District 0:00:21.40 2004-06-14 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Ironstone Mine 0:00:41.30 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
J-Bomb 0:00:22.00 2004-06-11 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Jade Plateau 0:01:10.10 2004-06-25 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Kipling Plant 0:00:10.30 2004-06-21 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Lizard Island 0:01:14.20 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Magma Peak 0:00:52.50 2004-07-02 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Marine Quarter 0:00:34.90 2004-06-24 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Mars 0:01:04.20 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Mercury 0:00:59.40 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Mica Park 0:00:27.10 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Moon 0:01:49.70 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Moraine Chase 0:00:59.30 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Morgan Hall 0:00:24.70 2004-07-03 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Neptune 0:01:19.80 2005-01-26 Brandon 'Baraka' Sanford
Obsidian Mile 0:00:35.80 2004-07-06 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Orion Plaza 0:00:26.90 2004-06-24 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Outland Farm 0:00:46.60 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Oyster Harbor 0:02:19.90 2004-07-08 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Saline Watch 0:00:26.70 2004-06-11 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Salvage Wharf 0:00:32.20 2005-01-22 Brandon 'Baraka' Sanford
Shuttle Clear 0:00:47.50 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Shuttle Gully 0:00:34.40 2004-06-26 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Sideswipe 0:00:10.90 2004-06-11 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Silver Junction 0:00:27.10 2004-06-27 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Simian Acres 0:00:12.40 2004-06-13 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Skerries 0:01:31.70 2004-06-24 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Skyfall 0:00:03.30 2004-06-11 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Sleek Streets 0:00:38.80 2004-06-21 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Tempest City 0:00:16.20 2004-06-26 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Thunderfist 0:00:12.40 2004-06-28 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper
Twilight Foundry 0:00:24.50 2005-01-25 Brandon 'Baraka' Sanford
Venus 0:01:38.70 2004-07-09 Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper

Angel City (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This level is hard. Most of it goes well in this run, but I mess up a lot on the last building.

Argent Towers (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Like most backlash levels, this one has quite a bit of leeway in the Platinum time requirement. And, like most backlash levels, it's incredibly hard to take advantage of that leeway.

Baboon Catacomb (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This route is a real pain, because of one particular RDU that doesn't light up correctly, necessitating a weird skid-bounce later on to get it without going too far off the path.

Backlash (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
You don't want to know how long it took me to get this time.

Bison Ridge (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Yay for the Blast Corps physics engine! It may not be at all realistic, but it's sure fun!

Carrick Point (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
The Sideswipe is the most useless vehicle in the game. Fortunately, you don't have to do the level with it.

Cobalt Quarry (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
There are a lot of racing levels in the game. They're not bad, but they're generally not as interesting as the other levels.

Cooter Creek (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
The invisible walls bounding the trees are what give this level that special Blast Corps touch.

Corvine Bluff (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Finding the right path over the bumps is the key to getting an excellent time. Too bad I don't know what that path is.

Cromlech Court (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This level isn't too hard to get Platinum on, once you understand how the Thunderfist works. The trick is to know the times during a roll when you have enough power to destroy a building in one hit.

Crystal Rift (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Normally, the beginning of this level gives you a nice overlook of the canyon the carrier is driving through. But all the polygons slow down the game, and oddly enough, the timer does not slow down to match. So you reach the station a few seconds faster if you change the view. There's not much else to say about the level; it's pretty straightforward.

Dagger Pass (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Despite how it looks, this level really isn't very hard to get platinum on. If you can beat it at all, you shouldn't have a problem with it.

Dark Heartland (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Like Mica Park, but with less ammo. Even so, I find it to be the easier level of the two.

Diamond Sands (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Elegantly simple yet extremely challenging, Diamond Sands is one of the most beautiful levels in the game. This run is pretty messy - it could certainly be better, but it's the best I've managed so far.

Ebony Coast (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Take that, you stupid slow train! I push the last TNT crate in a bit of a zigzag, but not because I'm messing up - if I didn't push it that far back it wouldn't destroy the whole building.

Echo Marches (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This is the easiest Platinum in the game.

Ember Hamlet (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Cyclone Suit? What Cyclone Suit? I went a bit crazy at the end here, because I had four or five more missiles than I usually end up with.

Falchion Field (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
It didn't take me very long to get this run. There's not much to perfect here, but there's still more time to spare than it seems at first glance.

Geode Square (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
The first of the J-Bomb bonus level ring, and the only level in it that's not covered in stuff that'll kill you instantly if you touch it. That makes it a lot easier than the rest.

Gibbon's Gate (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I've never liked pacman. I didn't try to get very far beyond Platinum on this level.

Glander's Ranch (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Who is Glander? And why am I driving in circles around his ranch?

Glory Crossing (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I've always loved this level, even back when I sucked at it. The music, the name, coming across the bridge and driving into the town just before the Carrier gets there, trying to clear a path through that cramped tangle while further hindered by the high-traction grass - everything just fits together so well. This run is a little messy, but I don't make any major mistakes on it.

Havoc District (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I have nothing to say about this level.

Ironstone Mine (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This level is incredibly finicky. If the buildings don't like the way that you hit them, they don't fall over. You can see one of them grab my nose for a second at the beginning.

J-Bomb (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This time could be better. I fly too high on the 4th and 7th buildings... it's entirely possible to take them out in one hit from the side.

Jade Plateau (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Ugh. That turn coming off the second bridge is damn near impossible to make properly.

Kipling Plant (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I mess up before the 3rd gas tank, but still get a good time.

Lizard Island (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
There's not much time to spare if you want to get to building #6 while it's in a good position.

Magma Peak (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
There may be a better route, and you could save time by stomping more of the pillars. Even so, this time isn't too bad.

Marine Quarter (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Ph34r th3 uncontroll4bl3 Dr34m.

Mars (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Of all the levels in this game which make no sense, this level makes the least sense of all. But it's fun, so who cares about sense?

Mercury (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
You want to know a secret? Never do this level with a ghost. Trust me.

Mica Park (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
They could have given you a better camera for this level. At least you get plenty of ammo. I'm not very good at this level.

Moon (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Ah, the joys of low gty. As if the Backlash weren't hard enough to control in the first place.

Moraine Chase (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I love the level names in this game. "Moraine", "argent", "cromlech", "skerries"... so many cool words.

Morgan Hall (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Buildings explode when you push TNT into them. Some buildings also explode when you push TNT into another building thirty feet away. Some buildings won't explode unless you hit them directly, even if you set off a TNT crate two feet from them. The code behind the TNT crates must a sight to behold.

Obsidian Mile (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
The Cyclone Suit is aptly named.

Orion Plaza (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This run kinda sucks, but Orion Plaza is annoying as all hell. Most levels with TNT crates are annoying, and this is the worst of them.

Outland Farm (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Hahaha, this one was a challenge both to figure out and to execute. It took me a while, but the time I got is worth it!

Oyster Harbor (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
When you first reach it, this level is as hard to crack as an oyster. But once you're going for Platinum, it's a lot easier, since you don't have to worry about minor details like holes that'll send the Carrier plunging into the ocean. This run has a few moments where I lose a second or two to annoyances like unruly TNT, but overall it's pretty good. And no, I don't know how to drive the boats.

Saline Watch (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This is not nearly as easy as it looks.

Shuttle Clear (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
This run shows yet another reason TNT crates are annoying. Not much else goes wrong, though, and it's hard to get this level done perfectly.

Shuttle Gully (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
I'm not the greatest with the Skyfall... this run could be better.

Sideswipe (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
It's not perfect, but the sideswipe is annoying, so it's good enough.

Silver Junction (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
One of these days, I'm going to map out this level and find what the fastest path really is.

Simian Acres (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Go ahead, try to beat this time. I dare you.

Skerries (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Not a very hard level. I didn't spend much time on it. The only tricky part is coming out of the hidden tunnel the right way, so you don't skid wide.

Skyfall (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Short level.

Sleek Streets (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Don't skid too much coming out of the gully... don't get stuck between the tree and the wall... I pity the foo who can't get Platinum on this level.

Tempest City (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Now this is fun. I love the Ballista. None of the other vehicles can rampage quite so well.

Thunderfist (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
Ye olde Thunderfist training level. Not very hard.

Venus (Astra 'StrangenessDSS' Piper)
More low-gty fun, with nothing but crates as far as the eye can see. Until I destroy them, that is.

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