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

Submission #6457: keylie's Linux Axiom Verge in 24:48.86

Console: Linux
Game name: Axiom Verge
Game version: 1.43
ROM filename: AxiomVerge.bin.x86_64
Emulator: libTAS v1.3.4
Movie length: 24:48.86
FrameCount: 178663
Re-record count: 24956
Author's real name: Clément Gallet
Author's nickname: keylie
Submitter: keylie
Submitted at: 2019-07-18 22:11:42
Text last edited at: 2019-07-28 09:53:55
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (29123 bytes)
Status: published
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Version info:

libTAS version: 1.3.4

Annotation info:

Game: Axiom Verge, version 1.43, Steam, 64-bit binary.

OS: Ubuntu 18.04 amd64 with Linux kernel 4.13.0-36-generic, libTAS v1.3.4. Game executable is `/path/to/game/AxiomVerge.bin.x86_64`.

libTAS must be configurated with `Runtime > Virtual Steam client` checked and `Runtime > Recycle threads` unchecked. In `File > Executable options`, library path must be set to `/path/to/game/lib64`.

For encoding purpose, the resolution of the game can be changed in-game in the options, it does not affect sync. The options must be set by launching the game from libTAS with `Runtime > Backup savefiles in memory` unchecked, so that the options are saved on disk. Then, `Runtime > Backup savefiles in memory` is checked again and the TAS can be played back.

Author's comments and explanations:
Trace is back for another trip into Axiom Verge, because he unfortunately forwent the glitchiest item in the previous run: the grapple. It takes a 2-minutes detour to grab this item, but it leads to a 3-minutes improvement over the previous run.

(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: libTAS 1.3.4
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses a game restart sequence
  • Contains speed/entertainment tradeoffs
  • Genre: Platform, Action, Adventure

Door transition optimization

It is possible to reduce the door transition by a few frames if entering the door with specific sprite. For leftward doors, it is sometimes faster to enter with the crouched state. For downward transition, we are are at the edge of the door, we can enter the door in crouched state, which saves about 15 frames. After getting the drone, it is faster to enter any door with the drone rather than Trace.

Purple Flying Krill zipping

When corrupted, Purple Flying Krill turns solid. If Trace is on it and launches the drone, the drone can push the enemy and Trace into the wall. When pushing into a wall with a ceiling, and with very precise movement, the enemy and Trace can zip quickly upward. The zipping can be interrupted by destroying the drone. When it happens, the zipping may become horizontal, to the left or the right depending on the frame when the drone is destroyed. It is used in this run to skip the boss that guards the grapple, to reach the grapple room.

Also, there is a speed/entertainment tradeoff here of about 20 frames (as shown in this video), because there is a way to reach the grapple faster using a series of 4 different zips, where the two last ones are done offscreen. I considered that it was better to show on-screen gameplay.

Void warping

If the drone happens to be outside of the limits of an area, it is instantly warped to the coordinates of its latest valid location. However, only the coordinates are stored, not in which area are these coordinates from. As a consequence, one can launch and destroy the drone at certain coordinates in one area, more to another one, get outside the limits of the area and launch the drone. It will warp to the stored coordinates in the new area.

There are currently two ways to launch the drone outside the limits of an area. The first one is a level design oversight: at the low entrance into Kur, there is no floor below the purple water, so Trace can launch the drone there. It is used in the present run to warp to the top of Kur by placing the drone latest valid coordinates in the previous area (Indi). The second way is using the Backdoor glitch described in the grapple tricks section below (not used in this run).

Grapple tricks

Lock trick

When the lock input is held, the grapple angle can be controlled with precision. If the grapple connects a ceiling while lock+up was held (no other direction), then Trace is instantly moved under the grapple attachment, ignoring collisions in between. If Trace appears partially inside a wall, he is moved toward the closest free position (also depending what direction is held next). If he appears completely inside a wall, he is moved back to its previous position. If on the next frame, we hold the backward direction, then Trace will move up to the vertical position he had before the grapple did connect (here is three consecutive frames to show the trick in action).

This trick is very useful. First, it allows us in a TAS to move very quickly horizontally and down. It can also be used to go through the ground if there is at most 9 tiles between the ceiling and free space below the ground.

Swinging clip

Trace's movement when swinging with the grapple is discontinuous. As a result, if you are in front of a 1-tile wall with a ceiling at least 5 tiles high, you can grapple up and start swinging toward the wall, you will go through it.

Door grapple

If you grapple a ceiling while entering a door, the grapple will stay connected when entering the next room. If staying inside the same area, the grapple breaks and you are sent back to the previous room. Being inside a room that is not the one loaded means that there are no enemies or destructible blocks. Also, the camera is locked inside the loaded room, so you are offscreen. However, all doors are active, even between two unloaded rooms.

When doing this trick with a door to another area, the grapple stays connected to the same coordinates but in the new area. There are different behaviors that can happen:

  • for upward doors, Trace appears in the new area at the same coordinates as in the previous area, which is used in the present run to skip the climbing to Vision
  • the game crashes
  • the grapple breaks instantly, no effect
  • the grapple stays connected and you can start swinging. Because the resulting grapple is usually very long and thanks to swinging clip, it can moves Trace to a very long distance. This is used in the present run to skip a portion of the Temple area


This trick is unused in the present run. For downward doors with a low ceiling above, by grappling above the door and dashing down, Trace appears inside the door and takes the door in the wrong direction. If the door leads to another area, Trace will end up at another location in this new area, and the void warp trick can be used to send the drone at specific coordinates. Here's an exemple.

Extended upward dash

Normally, it is possible to dash upward through a 1-tile ceiling with Trenchcoat and a 2-tile ceiling with Red Coat. However, when grappling the ceiling and swinging to be at the horizontal position, dashing up will allow to cross a 2-tile ceiling with Trenchcoat and a 3-tile ceiling with Red Coat. This is done in the present run to skip Sentinel boss.

Upward clipping

Using the same setup as above, it is possible to clip past a 1-tile ceiling with the grapple only. If Trace is getting hit while in the horizontal swinging position, he will partially enter the ceiling. From there, it is possible to grapple up past the ceiling. If there is another ceiling above, it is possible to move upward past the 1-tile ceiling

Spaz grapple

It is also possible to enter the ground for one tile if there is a close ceiling by grappling and hold down to reach the floor at the same time as Trace reaches the vertical position. From there, it is possible to dash down to go through 2-tile grounds with Trenchcoat and 3-tile grounds with Red Coat. This tricks was made obsolete when lock trick was discovered.

Route change

First, as soon as we enter Kur, we take the save point, so that we will save warp to that location after getting the Field Disruptor (high jump), Lab Coat, Drone and Grapple. After getting the Address Disruptor 2, we make a detour to get the Grapple, which will save a lot of time. It was also possible to take it latter in the run with a much shorter detour, but because it speeds up movement a lot, it is better to take it as soon as possible. Because we don't have our save point at the beginning of the game anymore, we have to go back through Indi. The rest of the run is unchanged, with some skips using grapple tricks: skipping the climb to Vision, skipping the climb to Enhanced Drone Launch (saves a couple of seconds at most in TAS), skipping most of the Temple, skipping Sentinel.

Suggested screenshot: Temple entrance with long grapple (frame ~159370).

Huge thanks to the Axiom Verge speedrunning community for suggestions, feedback and support!

feos: It was awesome! I watched the 2 runs side-by-side as always and experienced the changes in the route and in playing style without knowing about them in advance. Save-warping comes first and looks reasonable but not surprising. Then Bionic Commando insanity starts. At first you don't clearly see what the time difference is, then this run catches up and leaves the previous one behind easily, although it clearly looks more elaborate this time! The improved final boss fight was a cherry on the cake. Accepting to Moons over [3842] Linux Axiom Verge (1.43) by keylie in 27:44.38.

fsvgm777: Processing.

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