Tony Hawk's Underground 2 brought back classic objectives in a gamemode called, well, Classic. For a while now, we have wondered what the "perfect" run was. With advances in tech, the rise of better and better players, and the addition of newer, harder strats, the category is being pushed further and further every month. But, what is the run to end all runs?
- Emulator used: Dolphin 4.0-9109
- See how far Classic - Normal could go
- Find new strategies that are cool
- Destroy Classic
First off, Sick is the "harder" difficulty of the two. However, the only difference between Normal and Sick is that Sick requires more points, more goals, and has harder physics. The goals are the same (except for the point requirements) for the two categories and, because of this, I feel like I should show off the faster category, even though it is "easier."
The run, overall, is pretty sick. If you go by RTA timing, the run is ~3:20. The 3:20 barrier was only broken this year! That is also counting for the 40 or so seconds lost to freezes or loading screens! So, this is a testament of how far the category has to go in RTA runs, and is a testament to how good this TAS is overall.
Here is my verification file
for this run, since the category needs better tricks then what the default gives you as well as Hot Rod. Hot Rod is a move that makes you go faster while manualing and gives a good amount of points. However, you need to finish Classic - Sick first to get it.
Now, let me show you a table of the times for RTA runs from the recent world record of 3:16 (by TkMala) vs what I got in the TAS.
| Level|| RTA WR|| TAS|| Difference|
| Barcelona|| 1:51|| 1:51|| 0|
| Skatopia|| 1:50|| 1:52|| 2|
| Berlin|| 1:47|| 1:48|| 1|
| School|| 1:48|| 1:51|| 3|
| Downhill Jam|| 1:40|| 1:43|| 3|
| New Orleans|| 1:48|| 1:50|| 2|
| Boston|| 1:46|| 1:50|| 4|
| Philadelphia|| 1:45|| 1:50|| 5|
| Los Angeles|| 1:37|| 1:47|| 10|
| Triangle|| 1:38|| 1:42|| 4|
In-game time difference: 34 seconds
Now, with math out of the way, let's get started!
Barcelona makes me sad. There are a couple of really cool strats that I could do, but they are overall slower then the regular that you see in the video. It sucks, unfortunately, because there are some really neat strats.
Anyways, the biggest thing here is that there is a super precise Boneless Judo with a spin to get Special and immediately go into Hot Rod down the tunnel. The trigger for this goal is rough, but I am pretty sure I am on the very edge of the trigger so it works out well.
After that, it is a standard double buttslap up to the bench and finishing the level.
A buttslap, for those wondering, is a glitch introduced in Tony Hawk's Underground and is in every game up to Proving Ground. If you fall off a ledge, ollie, do a trick, and mash ollie, you get a bunch of extra height.
The bench grind has a weird hit detection we abuse where we hit the edge of the bench, grind around the half-circle, and hit the other edge of the longest bench.
1:51 is considering a super optimized time, but I figured out how to get a 1:52 with a small optimization. Normally you would ollie up the side of the sign, spine transfer and do the flip, and continue, but I found that you can get just enough speed to go up the sign, not ollie, and transfer. Additionally, I was able to get the perfect angle after acid dropping from the shack to the secret tape. 1:52 is sick.
Screw Berlin. This was the hardest to TAS because I needed a bunch of points without much room to do an Indy 900 or any big special tricks, as well as getting the Nosegrab over the sign. Going over the sign towards the edge of the sign will cause it not to work. Additionally, I need to land sort of close to the M for the COMBO letters.
That is why I sort of make a weird curve towards the sign, so I can manipulate my landing position better (which is a few frames faster). I was able to squeeze out a 1:48, after like two days of testing.
This is one level I could see improved, and that is because I can see a 1:52 being sort of possible. Anyways, there are two things of note on this level:
1) There is the buttslap from the top of the school building to the secret tape, which is pretty hard for most people. I had to do a delayed buttslap to make sure my height wasn't too much.
2) After landing, I was able to get around a grind object and get on the ramp to do the double kickflip. This was very hard, since if I was a few pixels to the left or right then it would've failed.
Sick. 1:41 was considered the "god time" for this level, but I was able to develop a new strat that allows you to get to the tape faster. Normally you would have to get the O, then jump up the rocks to the left of the O, and then buttslap to the tape, but I said screw that and made a cool buttslap trick.
The trick is harder then it looks. Naturally, there is a down slope at the end of the ramp, so you can't normally buttslap off of that. So, I had to put myself at a strange angle to get off the slope, buttslap, hit the O, and have a big enough buttslap to get to the secret tape.
This New Orleans pretty basic, except for a small change that TkMala found out. Instead of acid dropping then jumping over the crypt, you can go around it and manual towards the bigger crypt to do the Japan. The strat isn't too hard, though.
This level kills a lot of runs in RTA. A lot of runs. The main reason for this is because the backflip has very shoddy hit detection. After getting it, I continue hot rodding towards a small kickramp that is against the wall outside of the bank. I do a buttslap up so I can get a good shot at the tape, wallie, and immediately jump again to get the tape.
The reason I do this is so I can get an extra trick in so, when I land, I will have all of the points necessary to continue.
All of these are pretty precise, especially the Hot Rod and buttslap to wallie.
After instantly going into Switch (which allows me to get more points), I did a regular Boneless Judo into Hot Rod. Then it is a pretty precise jump to get a bunch of gaps to add to the combo. The last buttslap is pretty tight, since I have barely enough time to get the rest of the points I need.
This is definitely TAS-only, since getting that many points in a short time is very difficult.
Another TAS-only level. At the beginning, I do what seems to be an unoptimized jump to get Special, but it is the best time for me to get it. After, I do a huge buttslap with a couple of tricks so I can get the tape. Humans can maybe do five, but doing that many on a delayed buttslap and getting all of these points isn't entirely possible for a human to do. It does look sweet, though.
The end of the run! Nothing really special here, just a bunch of optimizations, tricking, and then ending off with a triple buttslap to the secret tape. Nothing much!
The run was pretty fun overall, since it shows off how far off we are from the "perfect" run. In RTA, the world record right now is 3:16 but, due to it's extreme difficulty, the "best time" is sub-3:10.
Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed! I will be doing a few more TASs over the next few months, starting with a revamp of the THUG1 TAS (since I have new ideas that will make it faster) and, maybe, THUG2 Story Sick All Goals? Dunno yet!
Improvements are few and far between, though I feel like a 1:52 is possible, but I couldn't figure it out myself. The time is pretty solid overall.
: Straight THUGin', straight judgin'.
: Sync was confirmed by Fog, but someone else can take this.
: We can never have enough physics-defying skating action. Accepting for Moons.