Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #6402: Matslo123's Windows Iji in 27:32.13

Console: Windows
Game name: Iji
Game version: unknown
ROM filename:
Emulator: Hourglass r81
Movie length: 27:32.13
FrameCount: 49564
Re-record count: 2862
Author's real name: Matevz
Author's nickname: Matslo123
Submitter: Matslo123
Submitted at: 2019-05-25 22:11:44
Intended tier: Moons
Text last edited at: 2019-06-11 18:51:19
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (10244 bytes)
Status: publication underway
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Author's comments and explanations:
Iji is an action-packed strategic platform shooter with a detailed story, large levels with multiple paths, powerful bosses and lots of secrets. There are alternate gameplay events, dialogues and scenes depending on what you do, a wealth of extras and bonus features, and seven stats to upgrade through a leveling system. Iji herself has superhuman strength and abilities, and can crack Nanotechnology, use her enemies' most devastating weapons against them, and be a pacifist or a killer - the story adapts to how you play.

(Link to video)

The aim of this TAS is to beat the game as fast as possible.

Some mechanics that I use throughout the run:

  • Animation canceling:

  1. When you crack (Iji extends her arm) something like a terminal, a long animation plays. The crack happens after 5 frames. It is possible to duck on the 5th frame and the crack still happens. The minimum duck duration is 4 frames. If you cancel the animation by jumping you need to do it after the 5th frame. It is also possible to move for one frames worth of pixels if you hold left of right when you press C (the default crack key). When jumping you move at the same speed as walking but you lose 1 frame when you land (you always lose a frame when you land). It is faster to cancel by jumping if you can move in one direction while still being in the range to crack (in the case of a level-up terminal).
  2. Hardfall animation cancelling: If you fall for long enough, Iji will do a long animation (length depends on height of fall) where she recovers from the fall. This can be interrupted by jumping as soon as she hits the ground (in some cases you need to wait a frame, not sure why but it isn’t on the longest falls).
  3. Ledge grab animation cancelling: When getting out of a ledge grab animation it is possible to jump at a certain point in the animation, saving up to 3 frames. I do this for every ledge grab.

  • Nanofield reboot: This allows you to reset your skill points and is used in sectors 4 and X. It is done by pressing C 4 times and the kick key once while ducking. You can only start this if you have been ducking for at least 1 frame. You can press C and Z (default kick key) as the last input on the same frame though.

  • Enemy / RNG manipulation: this is a huge part of the TAS as enemy patterns are ‘random’. The patterns can change if you fire a weapon or alter the height of your jump, so if you see me firing my weapon at nothing or doing weird jumps it’s to manipulate enemies. Many times this is to get enemies to damage boost me or not to slow me down.

  • Damage boosting: the knockback of the MPFB (blue projectiles, weapon 4) is insane and so it is better to get hit or hit yourself with it than just walking, assuming that you don’t get slowed down by anything. It is slower than walking to damage boost by hitting yourself with the Rocket launcher or Splintershock because the getting up animation is really long. Getting hit by enemy rockets or splintershocks is faster if the ceiling is tall enough (you get massively slowed down if you hit it). It is also better to be in the air when getting hit because you travel at a high speed for longer, assuming that the ceiling is high enough. Getting punched by the Tasen Commander or hit by Komato Berserker’s resonance detonator is also faster than walking. Note that holding the arrow key in the direction you are flying makes you go faster if you aren’t at max speed (not holding any key or holding the key in the direction you are going is identical) and holding the arrow key opposite the flying direction will slow you down (you can speed back up by holding the opposite direction key).

  • Teching: Teching is done by pressing C immediately before taking damage, and Iji will not stagger from pain, fly shorter and land on her feet when sent flying. Yellow circles shoot out of her when you tech successfully. This is useful when taking armor damage because you can press C and a direction 1 frame before taking damage and this doesn’t waste any time.

  • Pre-jumping: When you need to fall down from a ledge it is fastest to jump before doing so because Iji starts falling sooner. I do this for every fall where it is possible. It saves around 4 frames per jump so it adds up over the course of the TAS.

  • Text/cutscene skipping: Some dialog cannot be skipped and you must go through it box by box. I skip all of the dialog (mostly at the start of the sector/Dan talking mid sector) and all of the cutscenes that can be skipped. Note that this doesn’t mean that I skip the cutscene/text completely, they are unavoidable. Cutscenes can be skipped after 1 frame.

  • Breaking doors with the Resonance detonator (weapon 5) because the kick animation is long but the Resonance detonator doesn’t delay you.

Sector by sector analysis:

Sector 1

There is not much to say about sector 1. Getting all of the Nano (light blue orbs, basically exp in this game) that I do in these sectors is necessary for later on and none of these waste any time except for the one after the elevator which wastes 1 frame. I get the strength levels because they will be needed later on and as discussed in the animation cancelling part above it is faster to cancel a level up crack with a jump (saves 2 frames).

Sector 2

Here I kill the Tasen Soldier with explosives. This does not count as a kill and should be done if possible because this route requires all of the Nano you can get. I also kill the Tasen Scout for free nano. After going up the platforms after the teleporter I level up Crack to 3. I activate the checkpoint, which allows me to kill myself to save backtracing. I tech the turret damage to save time. Crack 3 is needed later on in the sector for the shortcut where you crack the level 3 security door.

Sector 3

In this sector I accept the truce because this skips the Krotera boss fight and makes the Tasen troops not attack you. You can’t fire your Nanoweapon in a room with a Tasen in it or touch them because this breaks the truce. Accepting the truce adds 10 minutes onto the ingame timer but that is not a good option for timing (it always rounds down to the nearest second after each sector). Skipping the boss saves around 12 seconds (you would want to get the Buster gun and enough ammo to fight the boss and this would take extra time on top of the 9 second boss fight). Accepting the truce also save 17 seconds in sector 9 because the doors to the room before Iosa are open.

Sector 4

I get 6 Strength in order to break the door in the beginning and one after riding the Shredder. Killing an enemy with the Shredder counts as a kill so be careful if running pacifist. Since you have a high strength level you can use the Resonance detonator to kill the green Tasen Scouts. This can be done at the start, after falling down the long drop and in the restricted storage room and near the end of the sector to get some extra Nano for no extra time. In the restricted storage room I manipulate enemies to get damage boosted. Right before the end I use a Nanofield reboot to get 5 Crack and 2 HP, which will be used in the next sector. I no longer need strength and need the points for other stats.

Sector 5

I get 10 Tasen for a shortcut later on. You need to get Nano from the troops that are fighting. Afterward you can switch to the Rocket launcher to get some extra Nano by killing Tasen troops. You need to crack Spread rockets (combination of the shotgun and Rocket launcher) in order to blast away the cracked floor. After this you need to switch to the MPFB as soon as you get it and blast yourself over the wall. This skips over half of sector 5. You need to be level 18 to get the Nuke to instakill Asha. This can be done by firing the nuke on the first frame of the fight. It is best to also hold left so that you get knocked back to the right towards the Supercharge which gives you 1 skill point.

Sector 6

I activate the checkpoint to respawn here. It is important to take damage at least before jumping up to the teleporter. After cracking the terminal you can position yourself close to the turret to get knocked back over the gap and not fall down, saving about half a second. Switch to the Resonance detonator after respawning to break both the doors. In the room with the terminal it is fastest to get boosted twice by the Tasen Commander.

Sector 7

I select the Rocket launcher to destroy the wall near the beginning. It is 1 frame faster to tech the damage from the Beast than to try to avoid it . After going up the elevator and cracking the terminal I make sure to activate the checkpoint. In the room with the terminal you need to kill yourself. I Make sure to only use rockets to do this as I need MPFB ammo later on. After knocking myself over the gap with the Nuke it is time to fight Proxima. For whatever reason if you nuke Proxima when it is in the correct position you can knock it downwards instead of upwards. After being struck by both lightnings it is possible to knock Proxima far enough back, causing it to skip attacks (normally it chases you after being hit by the ightning) I manipulate Proxima so that it is close to the electricity after I activate the second terminal. I keep 1 MPFB round for the start of the next sector.

Sector 8

I MPFB boost myself after the drop by manipulating the Annihilator to constantly move right. After coming up the elevator it is optimal to get hit with an MPFB form the Tasen Elite, because you need all of the MPFB ammo for the next part. In the next room I pick up all of the MPFB ammo and try to nuke in a way that puts me close to the door. I also collect the nano drops as it doesn’t waste time. Side note: the Komato Troopers can only be damaged 3 frames after they spawn.

Sector 9

After jumping off of the Shredder I shoot a rocket at the Beast to the left. The boost off of the Berserker is difficult because you have to hold left for some time to not hit the ceiling. I select the Rocket launcher before going up the elevator and shoot the wall and afterwards switch to the Resonance detonator. Later I MPFB boost myself not only because it is faster but also because I need to take damage for the death warp at the end of the Shredder part. After boosting myself and falling down I get 10 Crack, Tasen and Komato. Since I manipulated enemies to drop Nano I do not need to reboot my nanofield. Iosa part 1 is beaten by shooting her with Rockets and Splintershocks throughout the fight because they don’t waste any time and also MPFB where it doesn’t waste time. Mid fight I use Retribution – you need all 8 basic weapons, at least 1 ammo for each, and 5 or less HP currently left. Just after being knocked to the ground, rise while holding the Use key. If performed while Iji is still flashing from taking the damage that knocked her down, the skill will activate. This deals massive damage if you are on top of her. Iosa part 2 is just RNG. You need her to do the attack where you duck to dodge it and then kick her or hit her with the Resonance detonator.

Sector X

After boosting myself, I select the Resonance detonator and then the Velocithor V2-10 to destroy the core. This skips more than half of sector X and is the reason why you need 10 crack, Tasen and Komato. After dropping down and destroying the turret with the Resonance detonator, I crack the door which saves 20 seconds over going around it. For the next part it is best to select the Splinterhock as it breaks the glass, saving a frame. In the final room before Tor I reboot my Nanofield for the last time, getting 10 Tasen and Attack, 3 assimilate and some HP. The HP level needed is at least 3 as you need to shoot MPFBs constantly and that knocks you on the ground, making you take damage.

And finally Tor. You need 26 MPFB ammo and 5 rockets. I shoot 5 MPFB shots per round (6 in one of the rounds), reflect the Chargeball, and fire a rocket before he flies away. I make sure to shoot the first shot before Tor lands otherwise I might not be able to get 5 shots off. The missile attack delays Tor’s next attack by about 20 frames and I manipulate him to do it twice (when I want to get the 6th MPFB shot and the final round, makes it so that you can shoot the rocket before reflecting the Chargeball, saves about 1.5 seconds). Also from all of the “transition attacks” (Mega missile (shoots balls), Death hail (shoots something from above) and Eruption (fast red wave), Eruption is the fastest so you can save a few seconds over the course of the fight if you get good RNG. This is the only transition attack he uses in this TAS (except for the very first one, which is always a weaker Death hail).

Time save compared to prevous TAS

Iji runs at 30 FPS.

  • I optimized the game opening sequence and saved 48 frames

  • Sector 1: +5 frames. This is because I leveled strength twice, which saves 6 frames in the long run

  • Sector 2: -37 frames. I kill myself faster and don’t collect a nano pickup

  • Sector 3:-192 frames. This is due to not collecting nano right after the elevator and the one after that

  • Sector 4:-139 frames. Don’t pick up nano, better Restricted storage

  • Sector 5:-42 frames. Added 3 damage boosts

  • Sector 6: -128 frames. Skipped collecting nano, better damage boosts

  • Sector 7: -110 frames. Added an MPFB damage boost, didn’t pick up nano

  • Proxima: -181 frames. Better RNG on Proxima skipping attacks at start of fight

  • Sector 8: -60 frames. Better MPFB boost at start, didn’t pick up nano

  • Sector 9: -109 frames. Added boost from splintershock, better cracking

  • Iosa: -195 frames. New strat for phase 1

  • Sector X: -85 frames. Faster cracking

  • Tor: -9 frames. Fired a rocket on the last phase before reflecting chargeball

Overall this adds up to 1330 frames of time save.

For encoding purposes the credits version. When running and recording I got the best results with:

  • Multithreading Mode: Allow known threads only
  • Multimedia Timer Mode: Synchronous
  • Message Sync Mode: Asynchronous
  • Wait Sync Mode: Asynchronous

Also before you run the TAS, you need to:

  • Go into the settings and set Screen shaking to low, Show time to on, go to more... and set Gamma and Special effects to off/low.
  • Go into a game and exit whenever (this is to save these settings).
  • Exit out of the game
These settings are done to increase stability. Hourglass is known to crash a lot when playing Iji, these settings help reduce that a bit.

feos: Confirmed the improvements, and accepting to obsolete [3937] Windows Iji (1.6) by Matslo123 in 27:41.87. There's no rating on that other movie, and basically no feedback to this submission, but the game is still action packed and well made, so the tier remains.

Also, replacing with the movie version that reaches the credits. Matslo123 please submit such versions right away from now on, instead of truncated ones.

fsvgm777: Processing.

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