- Emulator used: BizHawk-1.13.1
- Game version : NTSC-J
- BIOS : SCPH5000.BIN
- No glitches used
About the game
The second release of the action-adventure franchise, featuring Lara Croft as she sets out to retrieve the mythical Dagger of Xian artifact near The Great Wall of China, which has been locked away by a key named The Talion hidden in the catacombs of a Tibetan monastery. Tracking down the dagger, Lara's path goes through the canals of Venice and an oil platform overrun by an Italian gang, who also seek the artifact for their own ends. During her stay on the rig she tries to rescue a Barkhang monk, who informs her that the key to unlock the way to the Talion is below the rig at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, in the wreck of an ocean liner named The Maria Doria.
Game flow starts in China, then Venice, Rig in the Mediterranean Sea, bottom of the sea in the Maria Doria ship, Tibet, then China again. (And Lara's House in London for the last level)
General differences between PSX and PC versions
There are a few differences between the PSX and PC versions of the game, but nothing impactful on the route planning :
- Loading times on PSX between levels
- Multiple small enhancements to visuals such as the moving inventory screen and gradient bars.
- Keyboard hotkeys for medipacks and weapons on PC
The Japanese version is used due to a missing moveable block in the Living Quarters level, resulting in a ~15 seconds timesave. the Japanese version also has double powered weapons, resulting in faster kills. (i.e I usually wouldn't have to stop to kill enemies)
The game runs at 30 fps, so usually 1 in-game frame = 2 real time frames. On laggy places, the game may need more real time frames to advance to the next in-game frame, causing a little timeloss. The game might also add 1 frame to the in-game timer without actually advancing any frames in cases of extreme lag, but that did not happen often in this movie.
Speed and movement
|Standing jump (all directions)||50|
As you can see, the running jump is by far the fastest way to move, to the point where it is sometimes better to take a seemingly non-optimal trajectory in order to make one more jump instead of running.
Now it is important to note that these are the speed in the RAM. In practice, the game rounds Lara's coordinates because it only accepts integers. Meaning that depending if it rounds up or rounds down, Lara's true speed will be a little bit higher or smaller than the RAM speed. some rounding errors may occur though.
When Lara is turning, her rotation speed increases by 45 each frame, until it caps to 1092 (on the ground) or 182 (in air).However, when she is holding her guns (must be fully equipped) and turning on the spot, her rotation speed will reach 1092 in 3 frames (45-90-1092). underwater, her rotation speed adds 45 each frame untill to caps at 728. However, on the surface her rotation speed is 728 no matter what.
Strictly speaking, there are 23 enemies that I need to kill to finish the game, two goons in Offshore Rig for keys, two gunmen at the end of Diving Area to finish the level, the Talion guardian in Ice Palace, one knifethrower for a puzzle item and the Dragon for a door to open in The Dragon's Lair, and 16 enemies in Home Sweet Home. Picking an item on the ground costs 73 frames (~2.43s) at the very least, so I needed to restrict the number of extra pickups as much as possible.
|Weapon||damage per shot||Damage per second|
|Pistols||2 (per gun)||12|
|Shotgun||~36 (depends on range)||~32*|
|Automatic Pistols||4 (per gun)||24|
|Uzis||2 (per gun)||30|
- The shotgun deals 32 damage/second when standing still and holding action, doing fast shots increases this value.
Most enemies have really low health considering how powerful the weapons are, so most of the time the pistols do the job. the only enemies that required other weapons to be used were the Ice Palace guardian and the Dragon. (and ofcourse the last level uses the shotgun as we don't have much choice). keep in mind that anything other than the pistols requires going into the inventory to equip, resulting in a lot of timeloss since the in-game timer does not stop in it.
The medipacks situation is an actual disaster. a lot of the skips/jumps require quite a lot of healthloss. and both picking up and using medipacks takes long. so some levels had extensive health optimizations to avoid damage.
- Flare Cancel: When throwing a flare during a long fall, The "Throw Flare" animation overrides Lara's long stumble animation when she lands, allowing her to move as soon as she falls. Lara still takes damage from the fall though.
- Rolling off slopes: when landing on the edge of slopes, the game allows you to roll off of them without sliding off.
- Swing cancel: when grabbing a ledge, Lara will "swing" for a short amount of time. However, letting go of action for a moment (1 frame is enough) and immediately hold action again, She will be able to climb up without "swinging".
- Grab cancel: when falling from hight that would normally result in a stumble, grabbing late in the jump results in landing with a small stumble instead. Flare cancelling obsoletes this trick but it's still useful when trying to save flares.
- Stumble turning: you can turn during Lara's many stumble animations (not all though) by holding forward + the direction. also affects the last frames of a roll.
- Low-Ceiling dive: Doing a dive instead of a normal jump and hitting a low ceiling avoids a stumble when landing, it also allows jumping higher than usual hights without taking damage. due to the different jumping mechanics between normal jumping and diving.
- Tunnel jumping: when jumping in a low ceiling tunnel, hitting the area where the wall and the ceiling meet gives Lara more frames to jump. not very apparent but saves some time at certain occasions.
- Edge Driving: When riding the skidoo in Tibetan Foothills, driving on the edges gives huge speed boosts.
Glitchless is an extremely arbitrary category, some disagreement can happen if a certain move/trick is considered a glitch or not. this run follows the glitchless ruleset of the Tomb Runner community of speedrun.com . something being not intended by the developers of the game does not mean it is a glitch.
it is also worth noting that most of these tricks are used to avoid stumbles, which is what loses time the most in this category.
Here is a table comparing my times with the best known individual levels time. Please keep in mind that in most levels I am at a disadvantage due to not having the same amount of weapons/medipacks or because I had to pick extra items for future levels.
|Level||TAS time||IL time||Time save (seconds)|
|The Great Wall||3:06.70||3:14||8|
|Wreck of The Maria Doria||5:17.83||5:05||-12|
|Catacombs of The Talion||4:10.67||4:16||5|
|Temple of Xian||4:06.70||4:24||18|
|Home Sweet Home||1:45.43||2:05||20|
(obviously the game rounded the seconds in the final time to 27)
It's worth mentioning that the final time of the fastest RTA run (rather than ILs) is 1:34:47 . Due to the huge amount of tricks requiring a lot of medipack usage and weapons which are slower in continuous runs. This movie had double the timeloss because of the need to go into the inventory.
Possible improvements or ideas
- possibly a better items route.
- some lag avoiding here and there, especially in the large areas. But that was avoided for entertainment purposes. Could possibly save a couple of frames for some levels.
- The Tomb Runner community for their advice and suggestions while I was making this TAS.
- Lapogne36 for helping me write this.
- each and every glitchless TR2 run on the speedrun.com boards (including individual level ones). I watched every run looking for strategies, ways to save health and route planning ideas.
- Bahamete for his glitched WIP, some health saving techniques were inspired from it.
- Temple of Horus for providing me with a Lua script for viewing RAM values. wihtout him this TAS would have taken atleast 3 more months.
Memory: Claiming for judging
Memory: Optimization looks good.
This movie aims to beat the game glitchless. As far as I and others can tell, there are indeed no bugs used in this movie. Only clever platforming and the occasional animation cancel are used.
Personally I found the movie entertaining (especially the snowmobile segment) and so did the audience members that replied but I wouldn't be surprised if some found Tomb Raider rather dry without glitches. On the other hand, people have been begging for movies that specifically don't use glitches since the birth of TASing and this could potentially appeal to that crowd a bit.
Accepting to Moons.