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.
This TAS was made in Hourglass r81 on Windows XP (which I emulated using Virtualbox). The reason I ran Iji 1.6 is because 1.7 does not work with Houglass (or at least savestates don’t work).
The aim of this TAS was to complete the game as fast as possible. For this reason I used the easiest difficulty ‘normal’. On other difficulties you need more nano (basically exp in this game) per level, which would make the shortcut in sector 5 and the massive skip in sector X impossible. I use extensive RNG manipulation in most sectors to get the optimal damage boost form enemies / good crack RNG. Most of the run is fairly standard, the only real glitch is at Proxima (I still don’t exactly know what causes it to skip an attack after it gets hit by lightning).
Tricks and Sector-by-sector analasys
General info: The run is done on Normal because this allows you to use all of the shortcuts (more on this later). The difficulty changes the level limit per sector and the amount of Nano you need per level.
Some mechanics that I use throughout the run:
- Animation canceling:
- When you crack(Iji extends her arm) something like a terminal, a long animation plays. The crack happens after 5 frames. After this Iji normally stands still for 7 frames, but if you jump or duck on this second part of the animation you cancel it, saving a few frames. Note that when landing you lose 1 frame and the minimum duck time is 5 frames.
- Hardfall animation cancelling: If you fall for long enough, Iji will play an 11 frame animation where she recovers from the fall. This can be interrupted by jumping as soon as she hits the ground.
- _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 the Use key 4 times and the kick key once while ducking.
- 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.
- 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. This is only true for the MPFB and getting hit by any other projectile (rocket/splitershock) is slower than walking because the getting up animation is really long. Getting punched by the Tasen Commander is also faster than walking. Note that holding the arrow key in the direction you are flying makes you go faster and further and holding the arrow key opposite the flying direction will slow you down.
- _Teching_: Teching is done by pressing the Use key 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 as Iji normally plays an animation and on Tor because it gives you longer invincibility.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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 required, I will explain why later on.
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. After going up the platforms after the teleporter I level up Crack. I animation cancel every levelup and move left between levelups. 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.
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 since this TAS is timed with real time, 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)
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 after falling down the long drop and in the long room and near the end of the sector to get some extra Nano for no extra time. In the long room I manipulate enemies to get boosted a lot. 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 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.
I activate the checkpoint to respawn here. It is important to take 2 damage 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. Make sure to collect the MPFB ammo in the room with the terminal. MPFB boost yourself where I do in the video and afterwards switch to the Resonance detonator.
I select the Rocket launcher to destroy the wall near the beginning. The Beast (4 legged thing) is almost always in your way so it is best to tech its damage. After going up the elevator and cracking the terminal make sure to activate the checkpoint. Boost yourself where I do and immediately switch to the Rocket launcher and shoot the beast with a rocket. Make sure to pick up the health and boost yourself again. In the room with the terminal you need to kill yourself. Make sure to only use rockets to do this as you need MPFB ammo later on. After knocking yourself over the gap with the Nuke it is time to fight Proxima. I get 2 Attack but this is technically not required but eliminates some RNG from the Proxima fight. For whatever reason if you nuke Proxima when it is in the correct position you can knock it downwards instead of upwards. If you shoot it at precise times and precise positions it will skip some attacks and the terminal will be operational instantly. I manipulate Proxima so that it is close to the electricity after I activate the second terminal. You need keep 1 MPFB round for the start of the next sector.
I MPFB boost myself after the drop. You can make it on top of the pile of boxes but this is difficulty and unreliable because the annihilator needs to move right all the time. 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. Once the door opens I switch to the Resonance detonator and blast the door. At the end I MPFB boost myself to the end cutscene.
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 and 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 because they don’t waste any time and also MPFB where they don’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. It is fastest to shoot her after the fight and not to spare her.
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 (this is not viable to do in real time because cracking would take too long and you would get hit). For the next part it is best to select the Rocket launcher and kill the Beast. 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 4 but more is recommended in case you don’t get the absolutely optimal pattern. 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 only do it once (when I want to get the 6th MPFB shot). 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 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 Death hail).
I would like to say that this route is almost completely the same as Daniel Remar’s route for Iji 1.6. All I can say is that he really figured out how to speedrun his own game. I did make a few minor improvements to the route and used extensive RNG manipulation to get a faster time.
feos: Clearing the branch since non-pacifist is a common option and doesn't need to be called out.
feos: Replacing with a file that ends on the last hit to the final boss. After that point all that needs to be done is skipping a couple cutscenes, which this movie does, so it could be used for encoding.
feos: After having finally resolved the bookkeeping, I can accept this movie. The setup that needs to be done to make it sync is usual, just tweaking a few in-game options, so it's allowed. The quality of the run, and most importantly the overall feel and look, are quite good. Accepting to Moons.
feos: To document the solution that fixes audio dumping for this game in Hourglass:
- Multithreading and Wait Sync dialog checkbox -> Wrap
- Runtime menu -> Multithreading Mode -> Allow known threads only