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Crash Bandicoot 2
Released in October 1997, Naughty Dog decided to make a game that didn't suck. The result was Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Many Crash enthusiasts today believe Crash 2 is the best title in the Crash series, claiming Crash 3 strays too far from Crash's platforming roots in favor of some substandard levels starring Cocoa.

 

100% run (Death Abuse): 1:39:59 by Mychal 'trihex' Jefferson, done in 22 segments

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This run went through quite some time [and changes] before being the finalized product you're [more than likely] downloading. The origin of this run dates back to June 2005, shortly after I completed the atrocious Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 SS in 2:19:XX. This was at the birth of my speedrunning career, with only 1 speedrun accomplished, I felt that I could tackle any game I played in my childhood ... how wrong was I. That lead to me choosing Crash Bandicoot 2, it was one of the first games I had for my PlayStation.

Back on topic to the version history; I began in late June 2005 on the first attempt at producing a 'run for Crash 2. My original plan was to wow the audience with pointlessly long [impressive] segments. I had only 7 planned, midway through production, I acknowledged how difficult World 4 was, and added an extra segment totaling 8. So I had completed the run by mid-July — Crash Bandicoot 2 - 100% in 2:08:XX with 8 segments. Comparing that time to the 25+ minute improvement now, and I'd like to know what I was smoking last year [to settle for such a crappy time]. Though the time is horrible, it's not as bad as it seems, the run was produced before death-abuse was allowed (technically, it was, but had a minute-penalty .. pointlessly, thankfully that's not the case now), so I would have to enter many levels multiple times to obtain everything. But even with that, the run had over 10 deaths .. a segmented run with deaths is bad, but that was (as Radix dubbed some of the rejected junk I've submitted) abysmal. So, it was obviously rejected. It lead to an embarrassment on the forums [for me] whenever Radix announced it, in fact, he laid it all on me at once saying both my Crash 2 and [conceptual] Crash 3 segmented runs were rejected. The Crash 3 one was laughable, with "dozens and dozens of deaths," but I'll go into detail about that on the Crash 3 105% comments (Whoops, it seems I may've spoiled the surprise).

October 2005, thankfully someone (I forgot who) started a topic in Site Suggestions about the pointlessness of death-penalties and how a certain Bomberman run by Marshmallow saved more time dying than not dying, even after applying the minute penalty.  This lead to Radix allowing death-abuse, but it be in a separate category as legitimate means of beating a game fast. I forgot what I was trying to speedrun at the time, but this new rule throw a new reason to go back and try Crash 2 for another go. The same problems were present: long segments, deaths (unintentional ones), and suckness. My first segment had a death at the very end which I shrugged off and continued into World 2. Problem was that segment was proving too hard to do good with all the death-abuse. So I stalled on that one segment for 3 weeks before finally realizing "Hey, it's a segmented run! I can make more segments and make life easier!" Cutting that 1 segment into 3, I progressed eventually into World 3. By then, I acknowledged how pathetic looking my death in segment 1 was and wanted to redo it death-free. The straw that broke the camel's back was that by then my copy of Crash 2 was scratched or something, after dying on level 3, it would never load again, no matter how many times I cleaned it. My local GameStop had no other copies of Crash 2, and eBay wasn't an option for me [yet]. The run was officially out of production until I could do something. 

April 2006, I can finally do something now that I had acquired an eBay account and PayPal account. This was also around the time I first got my Panasonic DVD Recorder. I had 2 segments completed before (for the third time) stopping production of the run. I was doing Super Mario World 2:Yoshi's Island projects at the same time, and [naturally] I was having way more fun with those, and would try to do Crash less and less until no real progress was happening, so I labeled Crash to postponement until I was done with Yoshi's Island. 

June 27, 2006; My hours at my job got adjusted to 6 days a week, killing most of my free time those days (7-9 hours daily). At the time, I was practicing for the hellacious Yoshi's Island 100% SS (which would either be close to, or be over 3 hours; easily being the most difficult speedrun if I ever get around to doing it), and these new hours only gave me one day (Sunday) to actually bother attempting to do the damn thing, so I postponed that and [finally] returned to Crash 2. 6 days, and 22 segments later, I present Crash Bandicoot 2 100% in 1:39:53! 

Now that I've caught you up on the version histories and the reasons for over a year in delays, I've got some people to thank:

Enough rambling, now onto the run at hand. There are some things I need to be clear about or you may be scratching your head at:

Now onto the individual segment-related comments:

Seg-1 in 0:04:01 {-0:02}

Level 01

Whenever I was trying to run Crash for the ... 3rd time back in late November 2005, I had a segment like this, accomplishing the same thing recorded, problem was, in the 2nd mud-pit, I missed a box and had to exit the pit to jump atop the box again -- costing time. Another notable change is how I avoid the pitfalls with the moles digging underneath the ground. Anytime prior to this attempt, I would slide jump to the right of the pit, where there's a tree blocking the way, I'd have to SS (Slide-Spin; see introductory comments for details) Jump around the tree, then continue. I accidentally discovered that from the edge of the cliff near the pit, you can SS jump to the part after the tree, and slide jump from there to safety. It's hard to explain, but it'll all make sense once you see what I do. 

Seg-2 in 0:02:11 {-0:14}

Level 02

I surprised myself with how well this segment went. Nothing in particular is special except the fact I manage to do the Red Gem glitch PERFECTLY!! — meaning I got it on my first try; unheard of until I did it today. What's even more mind blowing is that this segmented was accomplished on attempt 1!
 
Seg-3 in 0:07:34

Level 04

Level 03

Once again, the new method of skipping pits really pays off in Level 4, I never miss anything!

Seg-4 in 0:04:06

Level 05

Boss 01

I hate to say that I may suck at these levels, but I'd always choke at the end of this level whenever this segment and the previous were one altogether. I pointlessly showoff by SS Jumping over the electric field thingies. In fact, if you observe closely, I actually WALK atop one of them for a a second!

Seg-5 in 0:01:43

Level 08

This is the first level that makes use of Jump-Run Canceling. As with the other 3 versions of this speedrun, I still suck at getting the final 3 boxes on this level. It's the only reason I made this level it's own segment. Often I'd get the 3 here, mess up in level 7 (when this segment and the following one were altogether), then get stuck trying to get those 3 boxes again. 

Seg-6 in 0:04:37

Level 09

Level 07

Nothing extraordinary about Level 9. In Level 7, there's no point exiting the level the standard way, as you can only get the box gem via a warp in World 3, so, I only get what I need (the masks), then hit the Hard Path for it's gem and exit through there. Genius. 

Seg-7 in 0:07:18

Level 06

Level 10

Notable is that this is the second longest segment (Only 3 seconds short of the longest). A lot occurs in this segment. One thing that made this segment rather difficult is at the end of the Red Gem Path in Level 6, I wanted to do this because it looks cool and saved time, I SS Jump AROUND the hedgehog and the nitro box! It's cool because if I take too long to turn back to the path, I die, and if I turn too soon, I hit the nitro box, losing a mask I needed for later. In Level 10, it's about 4-6 seconds faster to death warp at that point, plus since I'm getting invincibility masks until 2 segments later, there's no need for that mask at that point.

Seg-8 in 0:04:46

Boss 02

Level 11

I kept arguing with myself that doing Level 11 at that time is too soon, but since I need the yellow gem from there to do Level 12, it's quickly realized to be best to do it then. You may also notice, I could've gotten all the boxes in the first water part with the ski-jet then hit the second checkpoint and still made it in time for the Yellow Gem to save time, BUT, I need the mask in that part. I've timed it and getting the mask there is faster and allows me to breeze through the Yellow Gem Path in the next segment.

Seg-9 in 0:03:32

Level 12

This is the sloppiest segment of the entire run. I really wish I had at least watched the damn segment before moving on that day. I miss a lot of jumps, and the fact I wasted 4-6 seconds trying to glitch SS Jumping over those metal boxes on the bonus level really looks sloppy. Also, like a little pansy bitch, afraid of losing my mask for no reason wait for the welder to stop so I can kill him. But rest assured that every segment is satisfactory to me except this one. This could've easily been sub 3:25.

Seg-10 in 0:04:31

Level 13

Level 07

For some reason, I find level 13 to be easier than level 8. Maybe that's because level 13 has less opportunities to do certain parts faster. Once again, I abuse level 7 for it's masks to use in later segments (read: next). 

Seg-11 in 0:03:44

Level 14

Timing when to jump after making it into the warp zone was tricky. Even then, I think I was still too precautious about jumping, I should've practiced that part more. It's faster to abuse Invincibility Mask and smash the boxes I did, THEN go into the Hard Path then backtracking into there after it. Yes, I wasted many hours trying to find if it was possible to grab that Hard Path Gem via SS Jumping; it's not. I've tried getting on that tiki mask, grabbing any ledge, off of the boxes, off of the ledge behind the boxes: nothing. After missing the TNT box at the end, it sort of hit me that whenever you enter a chase level, all masks go away, so I then just spin to destroy it, get hit by the rat on purpose because I pwn it!

Seg-12 in 0:05:42

Level 15

Level 26

This segment was definitely one of the harder ones! With what always messed me up over 2 minutes in the segment. In the Extra Area, yes, if I wanted to I could've achieved Invincibility Mask, but it goes away as soon as you exit the area, proving it useless (since the final mask is within 5 seconds of the exit). So I smartly use the masks and get hit where I do to save the most time while keeping 1 for the bonus level. When I'm in the bonus level, it's faster to hit the nitro boxes on purpose than bounce off that metal box. For the bear riding segment ... yeah, that's like glitch central. I really tried to fully exploit everything I could (such as if you Run-Jump Cancel in the right spot, you can see me riding a branch of a tree or something off screen then reappear from nowhere), but I kept dying since you reappear suddenly near pits with no time to jump. Also whenever I turn back for the warp, I could SS Jump to the gap after the baby polar bear, you're not supposed to be able to, but I can, pointlessly. All you can do there is go to the checkpoint box, the previous bear is blocking the rest of the path. 

Seg-13 in 0:01:17

Boss 03

Yeah, as the shortest segment, this was sort of an accident. I couldn't recall if I was planning to do this boss with Level 17 in a segment or after Level 26 in the previous segment. After already saving, I was like "fuck it" and just made it it's own segment since doing this one and Level 17 would prove way too annoying.

Seg-14 in 0:05:01

Level 17

Unfortunately, World 4 is way harder than World 5. So almost every level was devoted to it's own segment. Level 17 especially since I realized backtracking out of the Hard Path is faster than exiting there and back tracking the regular way (as I was doing in the November 2005 version). 

Seg-15 in 0:05:20

Level 18

Anyone whose ever played this game will not argue that Level 18 deserves it's own segment. Being one of the (if not THE) longest levels in the game, and certainly not the easiest. Thankfully, there are mask boxes throughout to abuse. It's pretty obvious it's impossible to get the Hard Path Gem and still be in the Hard Path, so the verdict ruled for death warping. A difficult thing to do is try to hit the final metal switch at the end of the Hard Path fast without falling out, so I do it slowly. 

Seg-16 in 0:07:21

Level 19

Level 20

The longest segment of the speedrun. Level 19 is nothing to laugh at, however, ironically, Level 20 is probably the easiest level since Level 11, so doing it is cakewalk, and doesn't need a segment of it's own. It's kindda sloppy that I wasted 4 seconds TRYING to do die after getting the Green Gem Path gem in Level 19. Also, one day I need to contact Naughty Dog. They have a cast of 11 game testers, I don't see how ALL of them approved on that shit-fest they call "fun." The 3D pillar rotation obstacle was such a bitch to do! While in contrast, Level 20 is almost boring with it's ease. 

Seg-17 in 0:03:13

Level 16

Level 16, I hate how I bitched myself into making this it's own segment, originally, S17 and S18 were one segment, but whenever I'd mess up in Level 26, trying to do Level 16's bonus level fast was proving more and more difficult. Level 16 has THE hardest bonus level of the entire game. You try timing to smash all those boxes without falling to your death!

Seg-18 in 0:04:39

Level 26

Boss 04

Level 26 is the first nighttime level you see me do. What's fascinating is that in both of the nighttime levels in the game, I skip ahead of the fireflies in the Bonus Level because I SS Jump gaps you're "supposed'" to wait for the firefly for. 

Seg-19 in 0:04:09

Level 25

Where do I start? This is the ABSOLUTE HARDEST SEGMENT of the entire run. This segment took an exhausting 3 hours to do, and went through so many changes! Originally, I was doing Level 20 in this segment, but later realized mask collecting in THIS stage is faster than doing it in Level 20. Another problem is, every failure I had was over 2 minutes into the segment. After death warping back to the beginning, there are so many times where I could SS Jump out of the path and back in to skip the metallic pillars. But I kept dying, so little by little, I'd tell myself "can't risk that either." I'm not proud of how "grandma" I am with everything, but it finally got done.

Seg-20 in 0:04:08

Level 24

Level 22

In contrast to the previous segment, the space levels are boring. They're so easy that they bore me, and doing this segment was probably the first one where I felt was "chore-ish." 

Seg-21 in 0:04:07

Level 20

w00t! Abusing masks in World 5, finally! If you notice as I backtrack to the Hard Path, one of the shrink rays came SO CLOSE to hitting me, I'm puzzled as how I didn't get hit. 

Seg-22 in 0:06:53

Level 23

Boss 05

Ending

100% Ending

The final segment. In the bonus level of Level 23, once again, I cut ahead of the firefly due to SS Jumping. Everything works out because this is supposed to be a finale right? Well, whenever I exit the Hard Path with no light at all, I think that constitutes as it! The "final" boss of this game is laughably easy. Seriously, Naughty Dog, work on that! What's more interesting is that if you check your status during the fight, you see a NEGATIVE ONE boxes obtained; WTF? .. 

I'm forced to watch that damn ending again. Then I skip the final cinematic, and get on the center platform for the 100% ending. If I didn't lose time pausing, I would've showed that if you pause it after that cinematic but before the 100% ending, the game indicates I have only 98% complete, since there are two warps I never enter! 

---- I thank you for reading through my stupidly lengthy comments about my fourth "true" speedrun. As for the future, I might do a min% SS, but I've got at least 5 more runs I want to do, so that won't come for *gulp* maybe a year at minimum. My next project [as of the writing of the comments, obviously this sentence holds untrue over time] is revisiting and doing Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped for 105%, segmented. So more than likely the same audience reading these comments will have a "sequel" to look forward to. ;)

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