Submission #7628: Serena's Linux Iconoclasts "no major skips" in 1:22:23.26

(Link to video)
Console Linux Emulator LibTAS 1.4.2
Game Version USA Frame Count 296546
ROM Filename Chowdren Frame Rate 59.99
Branch no major skips Rerecord Count 36363
PowerOn Authors Serena
Submitted by Serena on 8/3/2022 6:54:04 PM

Submission Comments

Emulator/Sync Settings

  • Environment: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS x64, kernel Linux 5.11.0-25-generic
  • Emulator Used: LibTAS 1.4.2
  • Version used: Linux 1.15 (August 2nd 2018), 64-bit, DRM Steam
    • The current Steam release (also labeled as 1.15) is not the correct version. Due to lack of abuse of old patch glitches, the current Steam version may sync, but this is untested.

Game Objectives

  • Complete the main story as fast as possible
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Forgoes time-saving glitches
  • Forgoes major skip glitch
  • Uses a game restart sequence
  • Genre: Action
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Genre: Platform

Game Overview

Iconoclasts is an exploration platformer game developed by Swedish developer Joakim "konjak" Sandberg and released in 2018 for PC, PS Vita and PS4, with ports to Switch and Xbox One coming on later dates. The game follows Robin, a helpful and naive mechanic using her skills to help others as she becomes wanted by government agents for doing so. Following the usual "Metroidvania" formula, the player obtains upgrades and abilities as the game progresses, and they help both defeating enemies and solving puzzles to progress.

Category Choice

The previously submitted “no airswim” TAS was unfortunately made obsolete due to new discoveries in the game that made the route near identical to the with airswim run. With this in mind, I thought a more strictly defined no major skips type run was warranted. To create this TAS, it was first necessary to define what exactly is a major skip. I settled on two very simple, yet broad, rules:
  1. No Airswim - This almost goes without saying. Any use of airswim will of course be considered a major skip, regardless of how small.
  2. No entering black space - “Black space” is the RTA community name for any screen of the game where no room data exists to load, encompassing essentially all oob space. It’s named this way due to the screen rapidly flashing near fully black while the player is present in it. While in black space, the game attempts to move Robin back inbounds by moving her back to the last position she was touching the ground. This system is highly abusable and allows for skipping many sections of the game.
With these rules in mind, the remaining allowed skips are:
  • Kerthunk Skip
  • White Skip
  • Watchman 3 Skip
  • Nobel Skip
  • Some miscellaneous zips
If you’re unfamiliar with the game, I recommend reading through Ikuyo’s explanation of general movement mechanics and tricks in her ”no airswim” submission before continuing here.


This run crafts only one tweak:
  • Dodger - allows Robin to perform a dodge roll by pressing down+wrench. This move gives her a significant burst of forward speed, as well as invincibility frames. Unlike in the previously submitted no airswim TAS, this will not be used for quantum leaps, but it still sees prolific use for general movement and is easily worth crafting.
Two other tweaks were considered but determined to be likely not worth crafting:
  • Fleet Foot - Increases Robin’s base movement speed from 470 to 520 units. As many other tricks exist for increasing movement speed past this value, this speed increase would be rendered obsolete for the majority of the TAS.
  • Tool Assist - Increases Robin’s wrench damage from 30 to 50 against the majority of foes. Most notably, this effect does not work against the final boss, where Robin deals a fixed 36 damage per wrench swing. As there are few boss fights and they are quite fast even without this damage increase, I decided against crafting this tweak.



Blockrock is the tutorial area of the game, and Robin does not have access to her wrench yet at the start. It is theoretically possible to obtain the wrench immediately as it is available in her basement without opening it the intended way, but there is currently no known way to gain access early. To open the basement, the first boss to the left of her house must be fought.
Most of the movement before the first boss is straightforward, aside from breaking the rocks immediately before the fight. Releasing the charge shot normally would boost Robin to the right, losing her slope boost. To remedy this, the boost can be redirected upward while still shooting the blast leftward with a frame perfect up input, allowing Robin to maintain speed into the boss.
Boss: Spine Controller 1
This boss has some minor RNG, as it can spawn at either the left or the right side of the room. This is largely irrelevant for the TAS as we can perform the kill as seen in this movie regardless of this choice. We use the final charged shot to boost us into the closest possible position to exit the room after the boss battle is over.
After acquiring the Wrench, we advance further into Blockrock. Some RNG manip is done in the first nut room to spawn the first Rupto further away from the final nut and to prevent it from launching towards Robin.
The next room is the largest room in blockrock, and almost every enemy position is relevant. Despite this, RNG manip for this room took very little time compared to previous TAS work, thankfully. It is possible to turn the first nut only a single time and still make it past the purple door it opens, but this would cause issues later in the TAS when returning through this room.
In the next room, a kill jump can be used to gain height up the vertical tunnel to skip going into the room below. The obvious choice of enemy to use for this is the Pluro inside the tunnel, but it’s actually possible to barely slip by this enemy and save it for a kill jump later. With this in mind, I manipulated a second Pluro to walk over towards the tunnel so I could use it instead. Three kill jumps and a gun boost are used to advance through the next section without needing to use the provided moving block. For getting past the buckle in the top right of the room, I was unable to use a crouched damage boost due to the enemy spawning in the air too high to hit a crouched Robin.
The next puzzle to solve normally requires raising the purple block in the middle of the room and using it to trap the other block on the left side. However, it is possible to instead grab the second block as it moves back to its original position and perform a wall jump on top of it.

Settlement 17

Settlement 17 is a small village that houses Elro, Robin’s brother. This section requires us to complete some small quests for its inhabitants. We collect one unit of ivory oil material here, which is only accessible without gun boosts by using an extremely late game double jump tweak. The key for this chest is actually vital for a skip used in the current no airswim route, but thankfully that skip is irrelevant here so there’s no harm in losing the key.
The weird looking movement inside house 09 is required to activate a trigger: the player is supposed to talk to Mr. Andress at the upper floor, but the actual trigger to make Pontus appear in the room is to both talk to Petra and reach a vertical trigger in the upper floor. We can reach it with careful positioning without ever having to land on the floor, saving us time. I stomp in front of Pontus before talking to him as this perfectly aligns Robin on the nearest x coordinate, getting her in position to instantly start the cutscene, rather than walking to the correct position first.
We take a small detour to enter house 06. This is required to progress the story and it also activates the Tweaks slots for us.
After completing Elro’s quest in the church, Robin is captured by the Agents, who keep us locked in the community centre.

Escape Sequence

An escape sequence plays here where we must sneak past One Concern Soldiers and not make noise. The game slows Robin’s crawling animation and disables all ways of fast crawl movement. The start of her crawling animation causes a creaking noise, which will be heard by the soldiers if done at any point other than during their laughter. Two strategies can be used to gain small amounts of extra distance during this. First, releasing and repressing movement on the last possible frame of laughter to reset the time until the next creak allows a small amount of extra movement. Second, while the soldiers are telling their jokes Robin can actually make one frame of movement safely by doing a same frame move+gun press. This can be done once every 22 frames, saving a small amount of time in this section. Credit to Ikuyo for discovering this!
Bit of game trivia: the jokes the soldiers tell here used to be much less appropriate, but were toned down in an early patch.

Kerthunk Skip

After escaping from the soldiers, we’re expected to move to the right, which would trigger a boss battle with Kerthunk. Instead, we exploit an oversight with a nearby cutscene trigger. Attempting to move left past the church starts a small cutscene where Robin is nearly seen by some soldiers and must retreat. If Robin is within half an x unit of the position this cutscene places her at, all actions taken are immediately canceled with a potentially useful side effect. Canceled stomps allow Robin to jump again midair, or fly quickly to the right, depending on if weapon swap was held. After abusing both of these to quickly break the rocks before the Kerthunk fight, we move back left to abuse the cutscene trigger once again. A canceled wrench swing while holding weapon swap allows Robin to continue walking during cutscenes, allowing her to walk past Kerthunk and hit the trigger to enter the next area.

Shard Wastelands

Shard Wastelands is a desertic area which we drift towards after the events in Settlement 17. Right at the start of the area, an interesting zip is performed. A slight misalignment in the ceiling heights between the two start rooms allows Robin to transition into a wall, causing her to zip upward. This only saves around 1.5 seconds due to the lengthy setup, and is not worth doing in many categories as it skips collection of a nearby schematic containing fleet foot.
Most rooms beyond this are uneventful, and all enemies in this section behave deterministically, so no RNG manipulation is required.
The next semi-notable movement is the damage boost done on the thorns in the room with the locked chest. Normally, climbing into these would knock Robin away to the left, but holding left during the animation actually causes a boost to the right instead. A down press can also be used to have the reduced crouch knockback as well, despite Robin having no time to crouch before being hurt.
After this is the first (and only) instance of an obscure tech with the stomp. If Robin lands exactly on the edge of a platform, the landing animation is immediately canceled. This is used here to break the red block without needing a wrench cancel afterward. Thanks to DL Kurosh for reminding me this tech existed!
The next new tech used is after the room with the 3 Alburtus. Normally it’s required to do a full extra loop around this room to raise the purple block in the crawlspace, allowing you to jump rather than simply fall downward. However, it’s possible to instead buffer a jump input out of the crawlspace to jump off of air during coyote frames.
In the small house near the end of the area, Robin is forced to step on a man’s head to progress, knocking him unconscious in the process (very rude, I know). This normally locks you into a short animation, but it’s possible to instead perform a stomp and cancel it just before hitting him to avoid this. Both the stomp and the cancel are frame perfect inputs, making this likely the hardest trick in the game. Thankfully it’s minor enough to be completely irrelevant in RTA runs.
After this is a short minigame where Robin has to raise and lower a platform to place boxes on the correct levels. The pattern of boxes is fixed, so no RNG manip needs to be done here to have more optimal boxes. Seeing as you’re limited to only one input that does anything during this, not much can be done to make it more interesting to watch.
Completing this rewards Robin the roller bomb shot, which unlocks a new piece of tech. Swapping to this gun and quickly back to the stun gun before releasing a charge shot allows Robin to charge 1 frame faster.
After a short trip back to the beginning of this area, we can progress towards the next boss: Kibuka.
Boss: Kibuka
Kibuka has two phases. During the first phase, all that’s required is waiting for Royal to attack the boss to expose its weak spot: a vent that a bomb can be shot into. A small mistake is made during this phase: Royal’s third attack is delayed slightly while waiting for the boss to walk towards the target position.
In the second phase, Kibuka surfaces on one side of the room and fires a couple shots before retreating back into the ground. A small glitch specific to this boss allows this phase to be finished in one cycle: missiles shot at a precise timing will become multi-hit projectiles, dealing far more than the intended damage.
Boss: Chrome
Almost immediately after Kibuka, Robin is thrown into another boss encounter. This one also has two phases. Similar to Kibuka, the first phase here involves waiting for an NPC to expose a weakness in the helicopter. When Tolo throws a bomb at Robin, it can be reflected into the boss to deal a small amount of damage to it. A small optimization exists in this phase: knocking Tolo down as soon as the helicopter spawns causes his first bomb throw to be roughly 1.5 seconds earlier.
In the second phase, we make heavy use of wrench shots to deal high dps to Chrome. His first attack in this phase is always a charge, while his next attack has a chance to be either a charge or a rolling bomb attack. The rolling bomb attack allows the fight to finish slightly earlier, but loses time overall to Chrome needing to move forward before the post-boss cutscene can be skipped.

Isilugar/Isilugar Depths

After progressing through some story triggers, Robin is placed underwater in Isilugar Depths. Water movement is very simple, as Robin moves in straight lines with instant turns. To maintain max speed, it is necessary to mash every other frame. Some small detours are done to collect air, as Robin moves much slower while drowning.
In the large puzzle room, a small skip is performed near the end to cross the thorn pit without doing the intended method.
After progressing through Isilugar Depths, the main area Isilugar Labs is reached. In this section, our goal is to collect three “trinikeys” necessary to activate the upcoming boss Inti.
The first one involves traveling to the bottom of the labs, where there is a large puzzle room with two halves. The left half can be trivially skipped with a gun boost upward, while the right half must be done in mostly the intended way.
On the way back from this trinikey, we make a small detour to collect the “Parkour” schematic, which allows crafting of the dodger tweak.
Tweak Crafting in Save Points
Tweaks are supposed to be crafted in crafting tables, but can be equipped and unequipped in Icons of Prayer (the statues used to save the game). However, due to an oversight in menu structure, we can access the Tweak Crafting menu from the Tweak Equip menu by holding weapon swap and pressing Wrench at the text blurb about what Tweaks are. This allows us to bypass crafting stations entirely. This used to be possible without holding weapon swap, but konjak added this requirement to make it harder to do accidentally, rather than fully patching it out.
The next trinikey is the simplest to obtain, requiring only swimming past some Manobites to obtain. After collecting it, a small zip can be done by jumping out of water into a ceiling. This zip could continue further upward, but must be stopped early to collect a necessary simple key.
Rather than go the intended path to the third trinikey, which requires use of a simple key, another zip is used to quickly reach the tall room with two Manobites. This has an exit in the top right that’s meant to be one way, but through use of two kill jumps and a gun boost it can be reached in this direction as well.
After collecting the third trinikey and dispatching some Controllers blocking the path back, another series of zips is done to reach the two Manobites and perform the double kill jump again. Going this route allows us to unload a set of doors that would lock us into a fight with another series of Controllers, saving a small amount of time.
Boss: Inti
This boss makes use of a tag mechanic to allow swapping between controlling Robin and Mina. While controlling Mina, the player is able to perform a slow melee, an even slower shotgun blast, as well as a slide for fast movement. If the player jumps on the same frame as a tag, they’re able to continue controlling the character they tagged from for a short period longer. This allows for much more favorable positions to be set up for both Robin and Mina throughout the fight.
Phase 1 is more of a puzzle than a fight, consisting of hitting various buttons throughout the arena to open up a weak point and allow a single hit on the boss. After doing this twice, phase 2 begins.
Phase 2 is a more traditional fight, with the caveat that at certain damage thresholds Inti will switch sides, requiring the other character to be used. With wrench shots however, the first of these thresholds can be completely skipped, allowing the fight to finish with only 2 required shots from Mina.
White Skip
After a few annoying autoscrollers, the real fight with Agent White begins. It’s a very simple fight which can be beaten with literally no player input. I’m being serious, press no buttons at all and Mina will kill White for you before he kills you. So of course we need to complicate things a bit by instead skipping this fight entirely. If you enter the boss room on the exact right frame, Robin will teleport forward off camera. Since she’s off camera, the game performs a screen transition, reloading the boss room. Boss triggers in this game will only activate a single time, regardless of if you’ve actually beaten the boss, so reloading the room after activating the boss trigger removes White from existence without needing to actually kill him.
The game now teleports us back to Inti, where we activate the final story trigger for this area. Once this is done, all that’s left to do in this area is return to the top half and fight some soldiers to get the electric wrench.
The soldiers fight is definitely the most RNG heavy section of this run, as each soldier has both random movement and attacks. Additionally, there’s almost no time between them for RNG manipulation. The first soldier must be manipulated to jump upward into Robin’s missile, defeating him instantly. The next three soldier kills are consistent, but the two in the bottom left room required heavy manipulation. They must be manipulated to walk near each other so they can be hit by a single offscreen missile. The two in the top right room also required heavy RNG manipulation to be able to defeat the gun soldier without slowing down. The next two soldiers must also group together for a single missile, but this was much easier to accomplish due to not needing to fire the missile immediately upon entering the room.
After defeating the last soldier, we are rewarded with the electric wrench, allowing progress into the next area.

Ferrier Shockwoods

After progressing a few more story triggers in Isilugar, we can move left towards the next area. This marks the first major divergence from the previous no airswim submission, as we must enter Shockwoods using the intended entrance on the left side of Blockrock, rather than through the fast travel. The key stolen from Isilugar is used to enter without completion of a normally required quest to find Pontus, skipping the Gerrie boss fight entirely.
After progressing through some puzzles with precise electric charge management, we reach the first major section of the game involving control of Mina. As Mina lacks options to manipulate RNG without losing time, the long room containing many soldiers was a formidable obstacle to this run. I eventually settled on getting through with one damage boost near the end, although it would be slightly faster to find a way through without this.
Boss: Spine Controller 2
The first of two bosses in this run fought solely using Mina. Although this is normally a two phase fight, I was able to manipulate the boss to use the same long attack twice in a row at the start, allowing enough damage to be done to fully skip the second phase.
A direct hit on this boss does 80 damage, while a hit against a wall next to the boss for some reason deals 100. With this in mind, it’s possible to kill the boss in as little as 13 hits, rather than the expected 16. This was deemed unfeasible for this TAS, and I instead killed the boss in 14 hits.
After defeating this boss, we’re switched back to playing as Robin. A very large and daunting puzzle room presents itself, but it can be skipped entirely using a simple zip. By dodge rolling onto a hidden ladder in the bottom left corner of the room, we’re able to climb it upward into the ceiling and be zipped to the exit of the puzzle room.
After a few more short puzzle rooms and bombing open a shortcut along the way, we reach the next boss of the run.
Boss: Carver
Normally a very annoying fight as it cannot be damaged during most of its attacks, in this TAS we manipulate it to simply walk forward and allow itself to be defeated without attacking Robin at all.
After this, a second phase occurs where we must wait for Elro to stun the boss before slamming into it with our electric wrench.

The Tower

This area begins with Robin losing her wrench and gun and being locked in a jail cell. Our first goal here is to head down into the basement and reclaim our wrench, allowing Robin to once again interact with necessary puzzle elements.
From here, it’s normally required to visit the right side of the tower, but with some small skips using dodger on floors 1B and 3B the gun can be reacquired first. After this, due to lack of extra keys on entering, it is unfortunately required to make a trip to the right side without the galvanized wrench.
Boss: Silver Watchman
This boss is meant to be defeated by parrying its attacks, but it is also vulnerable to bombs that hit its backside. With this in mind, 3 bombs can be used to very quickly end this fight. A slight detour is made to fight this boss early as doing so skips the intended first Watchman fight on the third floor.
After another quick trip to the basement to acquire the galvanized wrench, it’s back to the right side of the tower to grab two keys we missed on floor 5B. These could not be acquired earlier as they both require use of the galvanized wrench.
Back on the left side, the elevator briefly stops between floors 5B and 6B. This is due to another encounter with the Silver Watchman that’s meant to occur here, but it can be trivially skipped by inputting up as the elevator comes to a stop.

Dark Cave/Darland Ascent

Normally a much longer area, dark cave can be skipped almost entirely by performing a kill jump + gun boost combo off of a sadling near the beginning of the area, leading us directly to the next boss.
Boss: Possessed Thunk
Another two phase fight. The first phase involves damaging the possessed Silver Watchman to open up a weak point in the boss. The weak point can be opened up with a single electrified missile, then fully defeated in one cycle by shooting two missiles into it. The second phase involves the boss charging at Robin repeatedly, and can be ended with a single missile.
Exiting the Dark Cave, we now enter Darland Ascent. This area has a constant leftward wind, which significantly slows down or speeds up Robin, depending on movement direction. We collect one key aboveground here before descending once again into the underground section of the area. Here, another very time consuming key must be collected, where it is necessary to lure a slow moving enemy to the bottom of a tall room to break open a wall for us. After this, we advance forward to the next boss.
Boss: Omega Controller
A fairly unnoteworthy boss due to being almost entirely autoscroller. In the first screen, the first three spawned Controllers must be defeated to progress the autoscroller, while the next spawns are left alive to avoid unnecessary freeze frames.
The second screen introduces doors that must be opened to avoid dying of crush damage.
The third screen is horizontal, and rather than use bombs to push the boss away from Robin, we can use dodger iframes to instead avoid all contact damage. At the end of this screen, the real fight begins, and is ended swiftly with a single electrified missile.
Boss: Ash
After Omega Controller, we’re tasked with finding a way to enter the One Concern West. To do this, we must travel back to Ferrier Shockwoods and defeat Ash. Ash is a stealth fight, where Robin must hide in bushes and Mina must hide in water pools. His behavior is nearly completely deterministic, allowing a consistent strategy to be used where he is defeated in only 2 missile shots. There is some slight randomness to his spawns, which was not optimal in this TAS.

One Concern West

After defeating Ash, we return to Darland Ascent and climb back up to the entrance to One Concern West. This area is split into an upper and a lower section. In the upper section, our main goal is to obtain the final upgrade to our gun: the usurper shot.
Most puzzles here can be skipped, but one particularly long one where Robin dangles from a very lengthy chain must be completed in the intended manner. After this, Robin must progress through some rooms with smoke present. While in smoke, Robin holds her breath and may suffocate, but her movement is not hindered in any way. Due to this, it can be completely ignored in this TAS.
After obtaining the usurper shot, we progress backwards and enter the lower section of the area. Our main goal here is to free Royal from his cell near the bottom of the area, allowing him to open the way forward towards City One. This section has the longest zip of the run in it, crossing two screen transitions before reaching its end goal.
Boss: Blocker
Intended to be fought using the newly acquired usurper shot, this boss can instead be stun locked right from the start by shooting bombs while crouched.
We grab a key from a basement room filled with a combination of ivory and melted corpses. This nasty liquid heavily slows Robin down, so we jump and perform gun boosts upward whenever possible to avoid moving while inside it. After using this key to free Royal, the path to the next boss is clear. The largest room along the way contains a complex puzzle that can thankfully be skipped using a single charged bomb.
Boss: Black 1
This fight begins with Black performing an undodgeable grab attack that leaves Robin at critically low hp. After this, we quickly damage her down to 1000 hp, just above the threshold for the next grab attack. We then wait for her to finish her fist attacks and manipulate her to do a long attack where she stands completely still, allowing for heavy dps. Sadly a one cycle is just shy of possible, and she gets out a second grab attack before being ultimately defeated.

City One

After Black, another major divergence from the no airswim TAS occurs. Rather than perform the skip to Rocket Platform, we must progress through several more areas first. The first of these is a short trip into One Concern East, where we find Elro and add him back into our party.
After this, we progress to the next real area of the run: City One. This area is very linear and has few noteworthy rooms, mostly consisting of running past NPCs along the surface. There is one short puzzle room that must be solved, where Robin must electrify a box in order to rotate a platform into place. A small optimization is done here by shooting an electrified bomb into position before the box falls. Boss: Mother
Effectively an autoscroller where you can lose time. Mother performs a set amount of attacks before opening up a weak point and allowing Robin to attack. Any damage done to her in this time is cosmetic, as the fight takes a fixed 4 cycles to complete. Mother has many attacks, but only a few of her fastest ones are seen here due to RNG manipulation.
After defeating Mother, we progress further into City One and up the Bastion to progress some necessary story triggers. Entering the right side room at the top of the area is required, despite there being no cutscene or other obvious progression there.
After skipping some cutscenes at the top, we’re sent back down to where we defeated Mother and must run back out of the area past some newly placed enemies and mines placed on the walls/ground.

One Concern East

After clearing City One, we return for the main bulk of this area. One Concern East is split into three self contained sections. The first of which the player controls Mina, the second Robin, and the last Elro.
The Mina section begins with some short movement, followed by a very long autoscroller full of enemies. To avoid unnecessary freeze frames, only one unavoidable enemy is killed.
Boss: Mendeleev
Against this boss, Mina’s shotgun blast does only 48 damage, while her melee does 70 damage and does not get interrupted by taking damage. Due to this, when possible, it is preferable to tank hits against the boss while spamming melee attacks. Additionally, Mendeleev takes a staggering 800 damage from being knocked into the lasers while not on fire. With this in mind, it’s possible to defeat her in only two laser cycles.
After Mendeleev, the player is switched back to controlling Robin for a short time. There are two large puzzles in this section, the first of which can be skipped by swapping with a box to reach the exit. For the second puzzle, the bulk of it can be skipped due to a wall that lacks collision, allowing Robin to activate the end goal of the puzzle without the normally required lengthy solution.
Nobel Skip
The boss of Robin’s section, Nobel, is a very finicky stealth fight where the player must chase a near invisible boss around the arena while slowly dying of poison. Thankfully, a skip for this exists. Transitions in this game don’t happen at fixed points, they instead occur whenever Robin is off camera. Due to the low initial placement of the camera in this fight, it is possible to use usurper to swap with one of the NPCs in the arena and be placed into a screen transition state. This unloads the boss, and as it has been triggered once already it does not trigger again.
After this skip, the player is placed in control of Elro. Due to the skip of the previous boss, it is necessary to save at the nearby statue and reload to prevent a soft lock later on. Due to his injuries, Elro moves at a pathetic speed of 110 units, compared to Robin’s default speed of 470. Damage boosts increase this to 300, so we’ll be using those whenever possible. The path to the next fight is very linear, posing only a few small boxes as obstacles.
Boss: Lawrence
Lawrence attacks slowly while waiting for Elro to approach, then pushes Elro away to the far side of the arena after every attack. Due to Elro lacking the hp to damage boost every attack, some early attacks must be dodged or parried. The floor dagger is the best attack for non-damage boosting, but in testing I was unable to manipulate Lawrence to do this until the 4th attack. It is also necessary to end the fight with damage boosts, as Lawrence attacks faster towards the end and will be able to perform two attacks per cycle if Elro approaches at base speed. With all this in mind, I manipulated what I believe to be the optimal pattern to occur.

Rocket Platform/Midway

Immediately after Lawrence, the player is placed back in control of Robin at the Rocket Platform. After some short platforming, we reach our next boss.
Boss: Black 2
The first section of this fight involves charging an elevator while running from Black’s attacks. There are three spots that must be charged, all of which are done by shooting electrified bombs at them. After this, the real fight begins. In each cycle of this fight except the last one, 250 damage must be dealt to Black before interacting to punch one of Mina’s seeds into her. This is easily accomplished with a missile and two wrench swings, preventing Black from attacking at all. On the last cycle, the full 500 damage must be dealt to defeat her, which is done mainly with usurper and a missile to finish.
Boss: Ivory Beast
After defeating Black here, she turns into a monstrosity known as the Ivory Beast. The first phase of this fight is defeated in the bare minimum of two attacks using the high damage output of the usurper shot, plus a missile targeting two of her weak points at once to finish.
For the next phase, the Ivory Beast becomes much smaller and climbs along the side of the rocket as we chase after on an elevator. This phase is much simpler, as she lacks attacks aside from minor environmental hazards. An intentional fall off the elevator is taken at the end of this phase as it places Robin in the perfect position to fire a missile into the boss and finish the fight.
After this fight, we’re placed into Midway. A very uneventful and linear area, existing only to provide some story exposition. After reaching the end, we must carry Royal backwards only to use him as a door key near the beginning of the area. After leaving this area, we’re placed back at Robin’s house, only a short distance from the newly opened Impact Zone.

Impact Zone

Before reaching the end fights, it is necessary to pass through 4 small arena fights in this area. Due to the enemy spawns being on a long timer, it is unnecessary to defeat any but the last spawns in an optimal manner. Additionally, the second arena can be skipped with a kill jump + gun boost combo to reach a screen transition, and the fourth arena can be skipped with a zip performed by dodging into the cutscene trigger at max height.


Before we can battle the Starworm, we must escape the four Nightmares, each representing a character from the game (Elro, Mina, Royal and Black respectively). The goal of each (except the final one) is to open the sunflowers in each room, each having its own means of activation.
Elro is very straightforward, only requiring us to repeatedly wrench the nut in the center of the room. In most playthroughs he will be far more aggressive based on dialog choices throughout the game, which are chosen fully randomly if cutscenes are skipped. RNG manipulation was done earlier in this run to ensure the pacifying dialog choices were selected.
During the transitions into both Mina and Royal, we press and hold wrench. This causes a glitch where Robin is considered to be spinning her wrench for the rest of the room. This is known as the Infinite Wrench Glitch. This also causes the game to keep Robin electrified for as long as the glitch happens. We use this to quickly activate the sunflowers in these phases.
Black is the simplest nightmare, as we only have to shoot it to finish it.
Before the Starworm Battle, we have a conversation with Polro, Robin’s father. We are then prompted with a decision: we can get to him and hug him, or head to the door and move away. This decision affects which type of rocks the final boss will summon as a shield later on. If you go to the door you get rocks that require the bomb gun to break, and if you hug Polro you get rocks that require the stun gun. Hugging him is slightly faster, but gives less desirable rocks in the final boss.

Boss: Starworm

Starworm has a consistent attack pattern, and due to the high damage output of the usurper shot, it’s rarely optimal to attack with the wrench. A missile is used to finish this fight as it has the highest damage output of any single attack available to us.

Boss: Lucas Birbasaurus Rex

The final boss of the game. Lucas has several attacks at his disposal, but most of them are incredibly slow to deal with. The best attack he can do by far is a stomp on the ground with a long windup. He can also charge his wrench by spinning it, similar to Robin. Both of these attacks are manipulated to occur at the start of the fight, allowing a massive amount of damage to be output against him. After this, due to his low health, he is locked into performing only the guaranteed phase transition attacks until the end.
Final input happens on closing the final textbox of the end sequence with Elro, on frame 296545.
Under RTA timing rules, this run’s frame count is 286768, meaning a final time of 1:19:40.26.

Potential Improvements

  • General Movement: I’m sure there are numerous minor mistakes throughout the TAS, which could add up to a major improvement. As an example of one that I’ve noticed: a potential charge shot was missed when heading towards the final puzzle in Blockrock.
  • RNG: In various sections such as the Mina area in Shockwoods and the Lawrence fight, small amounts of time were lost to RNG manipulation.
  • Kibuka: Time was lost in the first phase of Kibuka due to Royal’s third attack targeting far away from the boss and needing to wait for it to walk closer.
  • Black: In the first Black boss fight, I was incorrectly swapping to the stun gun between usurper shots, rather than the bomb gun. Due to this, I did not gain the increased cooldown rate and could have attacked much more rapidly. This problem was rectified where it matters for the second phase of the Ivory Beast boss fight.
  • Tweaks: Crafting one of the earlier mentioned tweaks could be worth it, although this is near impossible to test without doing multiple TAS side by side.
  • Patch 1.14: On 1.14 and earlier, it was not possible to change difficulty on a save file. Due to this, the game will not prompt the player to select a difficulty when reloading in the Elro section of One Concern East. This is an incredibly minor difference, but I figured it was worth mentioning regardless.


  • The Iconoclasts speedrunning community for finding many of the tricks and strategies used in this run.
  • Ikuyo for creating the wonderful predecessor to this run, which I watched closely for help in finding movement strategies through many sections of this run.
  • DL Kurosh for proof reading this submission.

Info Teddy: This is going to be fun!

Last Edited by Info Teddy 11 days ago
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