Submission #4546: Flip's PSX MDK in 31:07.28

Sony PlayStation
PSXjin 2.0.2
Submitted by Flip on 1/12/2015 10:42:34 AM
Submission Comments

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: PSXJin v2.0.2
  • Plays on hardest difficulty
  • Manipulates luck
  • Takes damage to save time

PSX Differences

So many PC gems were released during the 90s, with quite a few gaining respective ports on consoles. Of course, their counterparts usually have necessary tweaks as a result, for example suffering from loading issues is a primary factor. Others present in MDK include no longer being able to clip OOB to do certain skips, no level destruction animation at the end of each level, slightly different updraft physics, and the omission of collect-a-thon snowboard sections during level 4. One thing you will notice is that there is no music present, which is an emulation error, not a PSX difference. Hopefully the new Bizhawk core fixes this.

Awkward Camera

The camera in this game is not at all malleable, and insists on remaining at a fixed distance behind our main character. This means that if our position is such that the camera would be forced into a wall, then the game's usual solution is to simply block our character from advancing any further in that direction. This means we cannot walk backwards into a wall, or when strafing down tight corridors our misaligned camera will prevent us from taking the most direct path possible. This can be exploited if geometry allows it though, moving our camera into walls, doors etc will force a quick forwards teleport, so that the camera can resume its intended position.

Accuracy Rating.

At the end of each level you get your hit rate calculated for you, but don't be fooled by it. It counts powerful Chaingun ammo as 6 bullets fired each, yet only counts as 1 bullet actually hit. Mortar projectiles may have a large blast radius, but unless fired directly at an enemy then it still counts as a miss. That, coupled with the fact that scenery targets do not count as hits, means that a very low hit % will be calculated at the end. That's bad game data, not bad shooting.


Both forward, and sideways speed will be capped at 341, with standard vector addition giving us a diagonal speed of 482. Forward motion while parachuting is reduced to 256, sideways speed will be unaffected, which creates both a speed loss and an angle change. Parachute is therefore done only to prevent fall damage, or to throw items from; as otherwise they cannot be used during a descent.

Weapon Info

Your basic gun can shoot every 2nd frame, with sniper mode bullets being far more limited, as only 3 slots are available. Homing sniper bullets are slower, thus worthless for a TAS where aiming is perfect anyway. Most enemies can be 1 shot through a headshot with your sniper anyway.
Regular Gun1
Regular Sniper8
Homing Sniper8
Sniper Grenade150
Homing Sniper Grenade150
On easy mode, chaingun pickups will give 400 bullets, but on hard mode it's only 100. However, since this essentially save 500 regular bullets, thus 1000 frames, they are still high priority for pick ups. We can afford to deviate off our route, or stick around for them, as long as it costs less than 1000 frames, or 300 respectively for an explosive.

Level commentary

Level 01

Although the intro skydive was performed as a 'perfect' run, in hindsight it's actually the poorest one done. Being exposed to enemy fire by the laser beam will actually benefit us in the long run, since it results in less health needing to be expended on each concluding minigame. In the PC version, the training room can be skipped by jumping OOB over the adjacent walls, but this has been fixed for the PSX version, requiring the intentional method. Other subtle differences introduced include fewer buildings in the large open areas, but nothing too major. Level one concludes with an explosive head shot, giving instant KO.

Level 02

Better opening than the first, with a calculated amount of initial damage taken, ensuring minimal health by the end. The slope sections here can't be done as smoothly as we'd like, due to such small control over turning during motion. This results in the occasional inevitable crash which you may see. In the large mirror room, ammo first gets expended to allow a refill to spawn. Then, through weird character positioning, both the chaingun and the nuke's spawn location get manipulated from their ~6 potential spots to be directly along our route.

Level 03

On hardmode, drops give less of each item, so more deviations are needed in order to get enough explosives to last us. Certain objects can be destroyed faster than normal by sniping, for example the two door locks in the first room. Despite having 120 HP each, a single sniper bullet is sufficient to destroy each one, for a nice time saver. This level does have a few waiting periods however, and so provides opportunity to lose further health that we don't need. An equally pointless opportunity to waste ammo arrives too, since scenery targets do not take extra damage from chaingun ammo. This means the 3 chamber tanks which get destroyed to a good job of wasting all our excess bullets.

Level 04

As mentioned earlier, snowboard sections get cut short in the PSX version, avoiding the collect-a-thons as they originally appeared on PC. Each flying miniboss in this level requires 6 explosives to destroy, which RNG manipulation was heavily factored to get as many as possible from nearby crates.

Level 05

Since we no longer have a minigame to suicide at the end, this means there's no advantage to losing health in the earlier freefall, which makes HP management a lot easier. For ammo management, 13 explosives will be needed for the next level, which thankfully do not get reset. For saving chaingun ammo, this dictates our strategy used against the forklift. Destroying it asap results in a chaingun depletion, and our position in order to propel it in the correct direction would mean neglecting the nearby ammo drop. Instead, simply destroy it slowly with regular sniper mode can provide a better route. Allow it to position itself normally, and then use the 100+ chaingun ammo for a bigger saving elsewhere. Afterwards, we have our first proper minigame, but this time we're chasing the boss rather than a health powerup. Suiciding will lead to a Game Over, not a skip, so this has to be done properly. Given how all paths take the same amount of time, it is super trivial to complete.

Level 06

Less of a new level, more of a continuation of the previous level, focusing on the boss fights rather than on platforming or exploration. When we first see him with his dog packs, he will patrol the room at 5 increasing speeds according to his damage taken, and how many dogs are destroyed. It would normally take 100 HP to advance to the next cycle, but a well aimed sniper shot will instantly trigger it; allowing a much faster progression. After a quick parachute shortcut in the next room, we can begin the second encounter. Here the boss starts with 800HP, with explosive shots now doing 80, regular sniper doing 20, and with immunity to all basic fire. This means our 10 acquired explosives from level 05 will all be used up, making sure to time them according to his invincibility frames.
After the first and only OOB trick used in the PSX version, the final encounter can begin. Although 4 ropes bind poor Bones, only the fourth needs to be destroyed. Like so many other games, erroneous assumptions lead to significant time savings during sequence breaks. The idea that the final rope is otherwise inaccessible means only it has to be destroyed, which a well executed jump from the first platform can get close enough to. Now, a small but annoying trick used at the end does result in a slow ending. The boss will travel up to a distance of 105 to chase after his snack, and a decoy can distract him up to 85. Since decoys can move though, this allows us to set up a small trail for him to follow. Dumping a snack early, and then throwing the decoy at an initial distance of more than 105 means that our final throw is now done slightly earlier compared to just throwing him the snack directly. All that's left is for the decoy to keep moving until <85, so the boss will notice him, and in time his favourite snack. This saves a few frames on the movie input, but at the cost of real time.

feos: Accepting to Moons, but I'd like to publish it myself after Sonic Adventure 2. Need to test OpenGL video with this game, and a CDDA hack. Maybe ExtraHQ encode too. Oh well, publication underway...
Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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