Welcome to a nightmare of routing for an “all endings” run of a game which has been condensed down to just focus on the get an ending done in each story first.
Dark Tales: From The Lost Soul features 3 stories; Cat & Mouse, Ghost Writer and The Honeymoon all having an amount of alternative endings to their respective stories; 3 that cannot be done until the first clear, and one other hidden behind a single route.
Cat & Mouse (3 of 3 endings available)
Investigating the brutal murder that have taken the lives of thirteen people over two years we find ourselves at a closed down theme park called “Shadeland” whilst we’re there we run into the killer known as “Evil Eve” the killer who mocks the police. Are we chasing them, or are they chasing us?
- Despite taking 116 frames to select the Gun. It saves time at the gate, a whopping 153 frames making the gun the better choice by 37 frames by the next event. However, if this was an “all endings” run, it’s smart to select the phone instead.
- At our next decision we take a Right and then get jumped by Eve shortly after. If we went left we would wind up in the same spot only difference being we have to decide which mask we want.
- We select the Blue Card cause faster, and first choice… that’s literally it.
- As we Jumpman up the steps we do a QTE event, fun fact about this if you fail nothing happens. We then go into a quick little QTE section of dodging and shooting.
- After entering the Labyrinth we’re treated to a table and a door, examining the table will prompt you which cards you should be entering, as this is a TAS that’s skipped and we just run right in.
At the end of this we a brought to Ending III of Cat & Mouse, we become another victim to “Evil Eve” and that closes the story showcased here. It’s the fastest ending as Ending I requires an extra run through the card doors but in reverse and a running segment full of QTEs.
Ghost Writer (4 of 4 endings available)
Passion to write to their hearts pass out, Ghost Writer follows the story of a novelist wishing to become big with a best seller and installs a new program which makes their computer possessed.
This one is filled to the brims of fake ends, and very, very, very, very long in terms of story that the quickest way out was to enjoy the nice sea breeze.
There's also one instance of changing something which is at the claw game, delaying by 2 frames gives a better layout.
It’s honestly straightforward just go in order have the passion of finish writing that book and then enjoy that sea breeze.
The Honeymoon (5 of 6 endings available)
We follow a recently married couple en-route to someplace that neither of us know cause neither of us understand Japanese (nor asked anyone to translate the story for us) and found themselves on the wrong side of the law despite paying at the deserted petrol station.
In an “all endings” route the very first thing that would change would be who we are, as a secret ending requires us to play out to one of the endings as the driver, but as this isn’t an “all endings” we select the passenger and skip a QTE event that you’re allowed to fail.
- We reach a diner after some time that’s also deserted, and we stare at a payphone and do nothing about it. The jukebox starts playing but since the police car hates music they come and trash the diner.
- After successfully dodging the police car at the diner we head straight and we start getting rammed in the back, to avoid damage on either side of the car you move out of line before the police drives forward to attack as this is basically a manipulation to force the police to attack you.
- Driving straight once more we learn that this car can drive off road AND OH GOD BOULDERS. Dodging the boulders is all you do, and this is where the input also ends just before the last one that loads in so you can’t pre-emptively dodge it.
- For those curious if we took a right at the Dropdead Point we can manipulate the police car there and be able to ram them off the cliff, but this is slower.
Since we killed the input back at the dodge and weave of the boulders on the ground, we’re unable to grab Ending III which is to light up the Police Car, instead we’re treated to Ending I were the couple fails to throw the Molotov cocktail and die with it in hand. Morbid.
We are then treated to seeing our storyteller Takeshi Hirohama who informs us that we’re not done as there’s many other endings to the stories we have completed once, and to go out and find them all.
What is “all endings” then?
After completing the game once, we’re basically in a post-game situation where we go through each story again with a Skip button in hand for events we’ve seen before as certain story requirements is used to reach a alternative ending, meaning that we must grab all 13 endings.
Takeshi Hirohama will congratulate the player onstage for finding all the endings in a story, and when you find all 13 he’ll once again congratulate you, walk off stage and fades to black to credits.
There’s a large difference between the routing of a straight completion to a full completion and this was done to showcase the shorter run as a full run would reach between 4 to 5 hours and has a lot more routing to get done and solved out before we’re even confident about submitting it.
Memory: dropping claim (resetting to new)
feos: Updating again with a movie sent over Discord. 2060 frames faster due to getting a different ending.
feos: Spikestuff confirmed on Discord that this version of the movie is final, so let's judge.
As explained in this post, this game is not trivial to TAS optimally, so it doesn't make sense to reject it because it formally matches a description of a banned genre. As well as the whole clause about visual novels and "Choose your own adventure" games. So we removed that clause from Standard rules. Triviality is enough to resolve those.
In another post I explained why this ending is acceptable. You can't avoid it even if you try to fully complete all stories, so it can't be considered improper. It's similar to what Ghosts'n'Goblins does: you beat the game once, it tells you to play further, then you get the final ending after beating it twice. In this movie's ending, the host tells you that there's more to accomplish, but he says about "tonight's entertainment" and "your enjoyment" in past tense. He doesn't say "no no, this is all fake, you failed". So this goal is valid for this game.
Accepting to Standard.