Submission #7288: wafflewizard1 & c0mposer's PSX Spyro the Dragon "Vortex" in 21:13.81

(Link to video)
Console Sony PlayStation Emulator BizHawk 2.7.0
Game Version USA v1.0 Frame Count 75528
ROM Filename Spyro the Dragon (USA).bin Frame Rate 59.94005994005994
Branch Vortex Rerecord Count 12359
PowerOn Authors wafflewizard1
(Additionally: c0mposer)
Submitted by wafflewizard1 on 1/5/2022 1:00:05 PM

Submission Comments
Spyro 1 Vortex, is one of the most trick heavy categories in the game, utilizing all kinds of glitches ranging from things like proxies, enemy boosts, wallglides, and power jumps. This category allows the use of the all homeworlds cheat, which allows us to enter every level, while ignoring the collectable requirements normally required for those levels. This may seem weird for a speedrun to allow a cheat code, but it unlocks the full glitch potential of the game, which is The goal of the category: Get to every end of level portal (vortex) as fast as possible.
Spyro the Dragon Vortex TAS in 21:01
Made by wafflewizard1 with help from c0mposer and XandoToaster
Adjusted to RTA timing standards: 20:00
Adjusted to Playstation 2 fast disc speed (-66.5s): 18:53
Δ World record (fds): -1:41
Game objectives: Emulator used: BizHawk 2.7.0 with memory card inserted (default) BIOS: scph1001.bin SHA1 hash of Spyro the Dragon (USA).bin: cf3ce6bedeb89dfbc40990336180f3b9b0f40d9f Takes damage to save time Uses death to save time RNG/enemy manipulation
Videos:
TAS movie (public with intro) https://youtu.be/HLFGbBBqqo0
TAS movie (unlisted way better render please watch this one) https://youtu.be/2u-s6nPGpJI
Community unveiling #1
Community unveiling #2
(Delayed. To be had on Novaspell's twitch channel)
Goal of this TAS: After using the unlock all homeworlds cheat code, we go into each individual level (excluding the completionist bonus level) and attempt to reach the exit level vortex as fast as possible. Normally in Spyro you have to collect gems, dragons and eggs to unlock the following homeworlds. Due to the nature of these collectable requirements, skipping them is currently impossible. This category aims to showcase the types of movement, boosts, and glitches that Spyro 1 has to offer when collectables aren't taken into consideration. Going from point A to point B as fast as possible is the primary focus in this category.
Acronyms/Generalities: Vortex: The end of level portal that takes you back to the homeworld Charge: Holding square causes Spyro to run forward in a “charge” Proxy: Getting a boost off an enemy/scenery from hitbox or animation Squeeze proxy: Getting a boost by squeezing with enemies or scenery Wallglide: Gaining height while gliding along a wall at a specific angle Damage boost: Getting a boost from getting damaged by an enemy, possible because of how the game stores momentum Skitter jump: A charging jump input while on a sloped surface which causes an immediate landing on said slope, allows for faster travel up hills Charge glide: A charge input with a glide input the frame after which causes your glide to start with a boost of momentum, and reach top speed instantly. Charge jump: Pressing jump while charging will give you a short but fast jump the direction you're charging Bonk: When you charge into a wall or enemy that can't be moved Instant Load: Entering level portals from specific angles to reduce, or completely remove the level entry animation. Roll: Pressing L1 or R1 makes Spyro roll left or right OoB: Out of bounds E.g. Going over a wall to unintended areas Flop: The falling animation state Power jump: A charge into a late jump input that gains extra momentum Supercharge ramp: Ramps with arrows that gives Spyro extra speed with a special animation Squop: A charge down into a glide input Magic stairs: Utilizing the mechanics of edges to push you up stairs with a charge jump TAS: Tool assisted speedrun Fodder: The small creatures that when killed gives you a hit point Balloonist: The NPC in each homeworld that takes you to the other homeworlds RTA: Human viable Glide buffer: When doing a charge jump, pressing x will make Spyro glide for one frame and charge again, which extends the charge jump a little
Interesting level comments:
General run:
I'm stoked with how this TAS turned out. Not only was I able to implement the new tricks that had been found by other members of the community, I was also able to add a few bonus tricks that were either found last minute, or thought up on the spot.
Instant loads - During the run, I tried to get an instant load on every portal. I managed to even find one for Wizard peak which nobody knew about!
Magic stairs/glide buffers - Went all out in magic stairs this TAS, some of them might break even with regular stairs, but they are a delight for runners and non runners to see. Most of the time it does save time though, so I tried every frame possible to do magic stairs or glide buffers to reach places and it was surprisingly fun!
Artisans homeworld:
Town square - Getting magic stairs at the start carries a lot of momentum through the start of the level which is faster than the RTA jumps currently used.
Wallglide into Toasty - Instead of using a jump into a glide, a charge jump is used which is slightly faster. After jumping off the scenery Spyro lands on, we glide OoB and touch the level portal. A specific angle is used to get an instant load into the level.
Toasty - We get a proxy off the dog at the start of the level which sends Spyro directly up, skipping all of the level. We cut the proxy off with a glide so we touch the top of the vortex. This proxy is due to the interaction between both the dog and the shepherd, not just one of them.
Magic crafters homeworld:
Alpine ridge - The wallglide used at the start has an RTA version, but this one uses a more precise wallglide that gets us higher up allowing us to skip more of the level. This trick is called “fish ladder” and it's surprisingly RTA.
Wizard peak - When supercharging, we use a specific analog angle to get a sharp turn, which allows us to get 90 degree turns almost instantly. This is used to ramp up the scenery and reach the vortex platform.
Blowhard - There are multiple damage boosts utilizing the wizards in this level, some of which are RTA, but there is one at the very start of the level that is carried into a very tight wallglide that we use which saves a few seconds.
‘Tuco’ the balloonist - Unlike the other balloonists, this one has an RNG element. The next level we want to go to is in the Peacekeepers homeworld, and Tuco lets us select this homeworld but there's an optimization; Tuco has a 2/5 chance to give us a level inside the homeworld which lets us skip running from the Peacekeepers spawn and instead it already puts us inside a level inside of Peacekeepers. One of the 2/5 options saves more time because it skips some backtracking. We manipulated the RNG (through small input changes) to give us the best option which is the level ‘Dry Canyon’.
Peacekeepers homeworld:
Dry canyon - Using a wallglide at the start of the level allows us to get upto a small platform which is normally unreachable. Once on the platform we roll while Spyro is very close to the edge which sends Spyro up the sloped wall to the vortex platform. For some reason rolling up slopes only works when Spyro’s teetering over the edge of a platform which is why we have to get close to the edge.
Cliff town - One of the hardest squeeze proxies to get, it saves us having to charge up the long windy level which is a big time save. Was in XandoToasters old vortex TAS. After getting the squeeze we get magic stairs to carry momentum up to the vortex.
Shemp - Off the start of the level we manipulate the enemy thrown at us so that they run into a corner. If we roll into the corner as the enemy is running into it we can set up for a trick that is called ‘Shemp skip’. Shemp skip is performed when we jump frame perfectly as the enemy is swinging their knife at Spyro which proxies Spyro high enough to get up to the vortex, skipping the level and the boss fight.
Dream Weavers homeworld:
Haunted towers - We skip a large proportion of the start of the level through animation proxies off the wizard enemies. The supercharge turnaround is then used which is done by taking the supercharge out of its intended area and doing large jumps across platforms that are normally unreachable. Once we leave this level we run off the level and die because its faster to get to the next level because of where we spawn.
Dark passage - Most of this level is skipped from a damage boost off the archer enemies. Bonking into the wall while getting shot gets the boost high enough to where we can use a small wallglide to reach the end of level vortex.
Lofty castle - This level is the first instance where power jumps are used. You may recognise the two power jumps by the size of the gap Spyro clears. The jumps are not RTA viable and are very precise with positioning and angle. After getting the power jumps we get boosted up to the vortex on the enemy known as the turkey with the trick suitably named “turkey boost”. By jumping at the right time and flopping onto the enemy, it puts Spyro in a perfect position where he wont slide off and instead, gets hit again and lifted up. By pressing X we glide off the turkey when we are able to glide to the vortex.
Jaques - What a level this was to TAS. Last minute when TASing this level fellow runners Texensis and c0mposer remembered clips they took of Spyro flopping off the “Clock Fools”. This sparked the idea that instead of using a slower wallglide or series of jumps, a flop could be used instead. This idea came to fruition and made this level much more fun and a bit faster. The damage boost later on off the boss was in the previous TAS by XandoToaster.
Beast Makers homeworld:
Terrace village - The massive proxy you see in this level is called “Biscuit blast” which has recently become RTA viable. The height we get off it in this instance is much harder to do though, and saves a little time because we get high enough to reach the tippy top of the vortex portal.
Tree tops - By getting a small squeeze proxy between the torch pole and the sloped wall, we can barely make a jump onto the platform across which is a direct supercharge to the end of the level.
Metal head - So many magic stairs. To get to the vortex in this level we utilize a squop by squeezing between the enemy and the torch and then pressing X to get ejected up into the air. We can then glide to the vortex room which bypasses slower wallglide strats or a boss fight.
Gnasty’s World:
Gnorc cove - Finally, rat proxy. Just before I was going to TAS the known strats, c0mposer mentioned the rat fodder which gave me an idea… rat proxy in gnorc cove. After some RNG manipulation I managed to get a beautiful squeeze high enough to glide to the vortex. Was such a rush getting that squeeze.
Twilight harbour - The tricks in this level were tricks I found around a month ago which kicked off my drive to create this TAS. It's multiple tricks chained in a row which creates an amazing but overwhelming level so bare with the explanation. The enemy at the start can be charged at such an angle that it starts shaking up and down because it's stuck in a glitchy bit of scenery. If you attempt to squop onto the enemy when it's shaking it launches you upwards which can then be used to glide into another proxy, this one being a scenery squeeze between the archway and the wall. This scenery squeeze launches you straight up and you land on the roof above. The chimneys on the side of the roof happen to have collision only on the side facing the wall, so we clip into the chimney and get yet another scenery squeeze proxy which sends us finally high enough to glide to the end of the level. The RTA strat for this level charges through the whole level and this trick manages to save some time because it's a more direct line.
Gnasty Gnorc - Everything done in this level is RTA viable apart from the magic stairs at the end. We get the second key thief quickly by manipulating them to run towards us and killing them close by, instead of having to chase them through the level. We get pushed by Gnasty Gnorc by carefully staying in front of him while he runs to the end of the level which saves some time as you would be slower trying to charge after him.
Potential improvements:
There's a bunch this TAS can improve on in the future, with some things that haven't been proven possible yet.
General movement - Most of the movement is precise and fast in this run but I think it can be further optimised and checked for time save
General possibilities - I think there are undiscovered clips through scenery which could be used to skip windy parts of levels or even straight lines to the vortex
Toasty - I will continue to experiment with this level to see if there's a squeeze proxy off the shepherd or if there's an alternative proxy off the both of them
Metalhead - XandoToaster found an extremely weird enemy interaction proxy in this clip (https://youtu.be/JxmifxYGiOU) which I think can be experimented with. In a perfect scenario I think it would be able to “teleport” you from the point of proxy all the way to the vortex room, saving a bit of time that would normally be used to glide to the room. This trick definitely gives Spyro the most speed in the game.
High Caves - There's a metal box flop that fellow runner CFGamebreaker got in this clip which I think would save a little time while also looking sick: https://streamable.com/o0vh5b
Jacques - This is one of the longer levels that I think a strat needs to be found for. There might be the possibility to get a proxy at the start of the level onto the scenery where you can glide to the vortex.
Lofty Castle - The enemies that float up and down on balloons will definitely have a squeeze proxy possible that could send Spyro up to the vortex. I will work on this some time and who knows, in the future you might see something special in Lofty.
Suggested thumbnail: https://imgur.com/KNYqGaI
Special Thanks:
Thank you to the whole Spyro community for being so supportive and friendly to everyone. Thank you to XandoToaster for teaching me the ropes of TASing (who also made the former TAS) and to c0mposer for overseeing the creation of the TAS. Much love.
-wafflewizard & composer

ThunderAxe31: Claiming for judging.
ThunderAxe31: File replaced with spiked version that removes 17703 blank frames at the end.
ThunderAxe31: I'm going to leave this job to Samsara. Un-claiming.
Samsara: Hi, I'm Samsara. Judging!

Last Edited by wafflewizard1 on 1/7/2022 10:31:58 PM
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