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Submission #6300: tendog's Linux Deltarune (Chapter 1) "Any% NG+" in 25:37.67

Console: Linux
Game name: Deltarune (Chapter 1)
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: DELTARUNE.exe
Branch: Any% NG+
Emulator: libtas 1.3.3
Movie length: 25:37.67
FrameCount: 46130
Re-record count: 4276
Author's real name: Jack Zilinskas
Author's nickname: tendog
Submitter: tendog
Submitted at: 2019-03-16 23:40:19
Text last edited at: 2019-03-18 11:26:25
Text last edited by: Masterjun
Download: Download (15393 bytes)
Status: judging underway
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

Version info:

libTAS version: 1.3.3
Author's comments and explanations:
Deltarune Chapter 1 is an earthbound-esque RPG released in 2018 as a demo for the PC/Mac and later PS4 and Switch. It is the followup to the massively popular Undertale also created by Toby Fox.

(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: libtas 1.3.3
  • This was made using JohnWatson78's unofficial Linux port, found here: https://redd.it/9wizh3
  • Played in Japanese to save time
  • Goal: Finish the game in the fastest time possible

Comments

Clean movement is very important for keeping speed in Deltarune. If you hold Shift/X you can run, and after a few seconds this run becomes slightly faster. If you touch a wall/object at any point while running, you are reverted back to walking speed. At all times in the TAS, Kris is constantly running to save the most time possible, even when he must wait for an enemy to clear the path. That being said a lot of the time instead of simply walking in a straight line I'll choose to swerve up and down or alternate directions super quickly. This is just for fun, and doesn't lose any time.

Most overworld encounters in this game function the same way. The enemy has a range in which they can see you, after that they will pause in their tracks for a moment before becoming aggro'd and chasing you. Some enemies chase you at a speed which you can easily outrun (like the Rabbick in the maze) and others you must carefully outrun to escape the battle (like the Head Hathy in Card Castle). Also, some enemies stick to walls, which can be used to your advantage (as in the Rudinn Ranger in Card Castle) while others can pass through any object (again like Head Hathy in Card Castle).

In the battles that are mandatory, often you will want to "graze" by the enemy's attacks to both gain TP and make the turn end faster. Not all attacks can be ended faster by grazing, and I'll be noting when that is or isn't the case.

TP (Tension Points or Toilet Paper) is visible to the left hand side of the screen during battle. It can be used to perform magic attacks/spells with Susie and Ralsei. While all battles except for King don't actually utilize magic, the TP meter is a good indicator of how well you have grazed an attack.

Playing in Japanese saves roughly 13 seconds over English because of how text scrolls. Japanese is more condensed so it saves time in multiple spots, most noticeably for the text that appears while entering Castle Town castle.

Stage by stage comments

Character Creation

At the very beginning of Deltarune, before you actually start the game proper, you need to fill in some information for your character. As in turns out, your choices don't matter, so I simply choose the first option available on every screen. However, for the character/creator naming I typed TAS/TENDOG for fun, costing 18 frames.

Cave

In New Game +, instead of leaving home and heading to school, Kris can simply go back to bed and skip some introductory story. This saves over 3 minutes right off the bat. Before Kris awakens, I mash all arrow keys alternately on/off to get him up and walking as fast as possible. Also, the shiny object that Kris awakens next to in the Dark World is the Wrist Protector, which nearly every speedrun gets because it allows text to be auto-mashed by holding the Ctrl/C button. However, with frame perfect mashing the Wrist Protector does not save any additional time, so the TAS skips picking it up (saving 12 frames). In the first wall puzzle of the game, you have to face up while pressing Enter/Z to activate the button. Because Kris cannot switch from looking left/right to looking up/down without losing his horizontal speed, I entered the room holding both right + a vertical direction, and by switching between walking diagonally right+up and right+down, I can press the buttons on the wall without having to lose any speed. I'll do this in a few other areas of the run, so I'll call it vert-walking from now on. The rest of the cave section is self explanatory.

Castle Town

Once I navigate to the castle I go through some dialogue and fight Lancer. The fastest way to defeat him is with 3 gold attacks from Kris. Also during this fight, I intentionally damage Susie to help speed up the K.Round fight in the Great Board. I graze by Lancer's attacks during this battle, but it doesn't actually save time.

Fields

Here is where we begin to see enemies in the overworld. Kris does not have to slow down or wait to dodge any of the Rudinns in this opening area. Vert-walking is used to press a button as fast as possible in a puzzle. During the mandatory Hathy fight, I use the first turn to X-Flatter all the Hathies to spare them in the next 2 turns. Grazing during this battle saves time, but I intentionally take damage at the end of the first attack to skip some dialogue from Lancer (who talks about how surprised he is at your skill if you don't get hit). In the following turns I first spare one Hathy so that I get another attack which I can graze to save time on, and then spare the other two the next turn. Afterwards Susie rejoins the party and after solving a puzzle (again using vert-walking to press the button) they encounter C.Round. I just want to defeat him as fast as possible, so Kris attacks and hits him with the weakest hit. Next is the Jigsawry fight, in which Kris and Ralsei spare 2 Jigsawries and Susie defeats 1. Susie automatically attacks, otherwise it might have been faster to spare all 3. Before entering the Great Board, a box puzzle is quickly solved utilizing a small text skip in which both boxes are pushed onto their buttons before Ralsei/Susie can say anything. The enemy before entering Great Board actually cannot be rushed past, so while I aggro it as soon as possible, I have to run back and forth to get by it without losing speed.

Great Board

Most of the Great Board is self-explanatory; Kris and the party are constantly running to the right and avoiding touching any walls. Both the Ponmen encounters can be skipped this way. The K.Round fight at the end of Great Board is where Susie's damage taken during the Lancer fight comes in to play. Because Susie can be targeted on the first turn of the fight (which is up to RNG), I can intentionally knock her out. This prevents her from auto-attacking on every turn after the first, saving a total of about 6 seconds.

Forest

There are a couple of Rabbicks at the start of Forest which pop out of bushes when Kris is within a certain range. I have to pause for a moment to safely pass the first one, and walk a bit out of my way to safely pass the second. Some swinging beams are dodged, and then I solve a 3 tile puzzle using vert-walking to keep my momentum throughout. I press some buttons on the puzzle in the next room for fun, but it doesn't need to be solved. The Bloxer in that same room cannot be aggro'd, so I run as close as I can to it to pass it and enter the next room. Again, vert-walking is used to solve a puzzle and then the mandatory Clover fight begins. Using the manual twice and sparing allows me to beat Clover in 2 turns. I also manipulate the RNG to get the "shotgun"-like attack which ends a bit faster with good grazing than the other possible attack. After walking past a bake sale, there is a room with 2 Bloxers. Unfortunately there is no way to aggro them and escape the room without an encounter, so several seconds are spent waiting for the second Bloxer to pass by. In the following room I intentionally take damage in order to pass through the dancers as fast as possible. While building the machine to Thrash Your own Ass, I choose to build the duck not because it is fast but because it is a meme (it actually loses 70 frames to build the duck rather than choose the first options). In the room with the large swinging beam, I use vert-walking to press a hidden button, then continue out into the maze.

Maze

The correct option for every path in the maze is the path that neither Lancer nor Susie go (same every time). At no point do I have to slow down or wait to pass an obstacle, even the Bloxer can be passed by getting very close to before moving diagonally up+right and getting it stuck on a wall. In the Thrashing Room, Kris and Ralsei fight Lancer and Susie. The fastest way to end the battle is to act on Lancer 4 times, however the 4th time must be done during a turn when Susie is asleep/downed. The options are either act L act L act S act L act L or act L act L act L act S act L. The latter is slightly faster because the third turn's attack differs depending on if Susie is awake or not, and by having her awake I get an axe-tossing attack that can be grazed to end faster. Choosing the other pattern would result in an attack that cannot be sped up. Afterwards there is a long dialogue section before I enter a chase sequence to get to Card Castle. I just want to not get hit during it, pretty self-explanatory.

Prison

In the jail cell Kris needs to interact with 3 things before he can talk to Ralsei and progress the story. One of the 3 things I choose to check is the Iron Shackle, which is an equip item I will want later for the King fight. After that there is some dialogue then a fight against Lancer. I can't actually affect the outcome of the battle, but by grazing the first three attacks well some time can be shaved off. The rest of the attacks always dodge you so I just mess around there for fun. After some more dialogue the party leaves and heads up the elevator. I accidentally hit the wall just before entering the elevator and lost 2 frames, but didn't notice until the TAS was complete.

Card Castle

In the very first room of Card Castle, I dodge a Rudinn Ranger by running in a way that lets Kris slip underneath it and get it to stick to the corner. Then Kris runs out of the hallway diagonally and around the next corner before the RR can catch it. In the next room I walk through a beam without taking damage by clipping through it an the right angle. In two rooms of Card Castle we need to make mac n cheese and solve a puzzle by pushing a block onto a button; in both cases the only important thing is that I don't lose speed by touching the box. Head Hathy is an infamously difficult enemy to skip, but by running diagonally and not losing speed Kris can pass it without an encounter. The room afterwards has some dancers that I intentionally dodge, not because they would kill Kris but because it wastes time. I enter the shop before continuing on to buy a Brave Axe, and then immediately equip it as well as the Iron Shackle on to Susie. While it wastes time now to take this detour, it will save more time during the King battle. But before that fight we encounter K.Round again, this time yeeting Ralsei at the crown 3 times to defeat it. The third shot looks a bit higher than the first, this is because the hitboxes are not the same each time.

King

I spent a lot of time deciding what was the fastest way to approach this battle. It is possible to defeat King in 8 turns by getting the Spooky Sword and Ragger earlier in the game, but it costs more time to get those weapons than it is worth. It's possible to beat King without attacking by having everyone defend for 15 turns, however while the team's turns end fast, I have to sit through at least 5 additional King attacks, which ultimately makes that option slow. In the end, the fastest method I found was to defeat King in 10 turns by mainly using Red Buster attacks whenever 60TP is available. This TP is gained through extremely precise grazing, gold hits during the 2 turns where everyone attacks, and from Ralsei defending. One turn has to be spent activating Red Buster, however a Red Buster deals 347 damage compared to 222 from Rude Buster or 263 from everyone on the team attacking together. Additionally, Red Busters are just about as fast as having everyone attack. While I have the option to additionally attack with Ralsei during a Red Buster turn, it adds nearly 3 seconds to the turn length and only for a maximum of 60 damage. King has 2800 damage total. By the end of the 10th attack, 2830 damage has been done.

End

After the fight, there is a lot of dialogue before Kris and Susie leave the Dark World. After leaving the school, I head straight home (admittedly wasting 22 frames to visit Sans) and then the run is complete once Kris chooses to go to bed.

Other comments

Improvements

The only error I know that I made during this TAS was the bump before entering the elevator in Prison. Other than that, I don't know how to play this game faster. Perhaps some new strategy for the King fight can be found that could save some time.

Thanks

Thanks to LucasWills for helping me to get libtas working with this game. Thanks JohnWatson78 for providing the Linux port. Thanks rhombu for creating a King fight sheet which I converted into my own version for finding the fastest fight. Thanks BenLubar and greysondn for assisting me with libtas and VirtualBox. Thanks everyone in the Deltarune speedrunning community for their support and help throughout the creation of this TAS.


Masterjun: Judging.


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