Submission #7765: Cakemaphoneige's DS Spider-Man: Web of Shadows in 21:28.99

(Link to video)
System Nintendo DS Emulator BizHawk 2.8.0
Game Version USA Frame Count 77115
ROM Filename Spider-Man - Web of Shadows (USA) (En,Fr) [b].nds Frame Rate 59.82609828808082
Branch Rerecord Count 48359
PowerOn Authors Cakemaphoneige
Game Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
Submitted by Cakemaphoneige on 10/30/2022 6:32:20 AM

Submission Comments

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is a Metroidvania-style beat 'em up game. It follows Spidey as he tries to get to the bottom of the symbiote invasion running rampant in New York city.
Don't listen to anyone trying to say DS Shattered Dimensions is better, this has wayyy better fighting mechanics, the only thing Shattered Dimensions has going for it is more responsive web zipping and speedbooster.... err i mean spidey dash.

History and Previous TAS's of this game

Web of shadows was the first game i ever TAS'd, about 10 years ago. I was the first person to really speedrun it and start to look into speed strats and eventually i switched to TAS only. My first Any% TAS time was 34:22 (back then i went by in game time which was 31:04). 2-3 years later i began making a NG+ TAS, which starts you off with all upgrades and items except abilities obtained from boss's. I can't remember what happened but i was mid way through Sewer and lost the file. 3 years later i began TAS'ing Super Metroid using input editor and learning much more advanced TAS optimization strats. In 2021, Themasterpro1212 made a NG+ TAS with a time of 24:25(24:41 TAS timing). Both of these previous Web of Shadows TAS's were made with frame advance in Desmume.
With this TAS i used Bizhawk's input editor (TAStudio), in combination with my knowledge from TAS'ing Super metroid and all the new skips and glitches the Web of Shadows community had found.
This TAS is:
~ 12 minutes 54 seconds faster than my old Any% (3:47 coming from new skips the community found, 9:07 from optimization)
~ 3 minutes 13 seconds faster than Themasterpro1212's NG+

Any% Route Goals

  • Progress through the story as fast as possible
There are no known boss skips in the game so the fastest way to progress is to just get to and defeat each boss as fast as possible. Each boss gives a new ability upgrade that allows us to progress to a new area or access an area we couldn't early on.
  • Only use Black Suit for progression abilities
Yeah i know, it sucks, but black suit is kinda useless in this game. Red suit is the only suit that can web zip, meaning it has faster movement, and red suits speed boost unique upgrades give a way higher DPS. Black suits unique upgrades are the ability to charge hits, which is slow, awkward, doesn't even do good damage and a very questionable game design choice when compared to how OP red suit is.
  • Buy the upgrades that increase DPS the most
The 2 most DPS increasing upgrades are Amazing Speed Boost and Ultimate Speed Boost, which increase red suit Spidey's attack speed. There is however 1 upgrade that is needed to do a timesaving glitch after Pier, Air Dodge, so the speed upgrades aren't taken until after that. The next best upgrade in the game is Jackhammer Stomp which extends the already OP airborne combo's. Every other upgrade that is purchased is for combo meter management/rng manipulation/final boss and is purchased at the last save point in Hive.
  • Manipulate enemy spawns and combo groups of enemies
The best way to deal with groups of enemies is to "group" them together so that any combo Spidey does is damaging as many enemies as possible. This has 2 layers of benefits: 1 it kills them faster, 2 the combo meter goes up way faster which gives more XP and lets Spidey do more damage. Almost every time it is faster to sacrifice frames in order to group enemies so that Spidey kills them all with 1 combo
  • Combo Meter and XP Management
The combo meter will both increase XP received from enemies and increase Spidey's damage slightly as it gets higher. Managing it is a key part of this TAS, to ensure i get correct XP to buy critical upgrades. The way the combo meter increases is a little weird, you can't just repeat the same attacks over and over or it will start to decay. You have to vary your attacks and use them at the right time. Grouping enemies will greatly increase how much it goes up per hit. You may often see me mixing up my attacks for this, sometimes sacrificing a higher DPS combo for a lesser one, in order to maintain or boost the combo meter. The goal with group enemy fights is usually to get the combo meter up to max with the first spawns, and then kill with higher dps hits with the later spawns of a fight.
  • Dodge useless collectible Items
Collecting items makes the fanfare play which costs time and some items are in the way. These are all HP, defense and map upgrade items, and it is faster to just avoid them. We only get hit once throughout the entire run which is to save time before the green super symbiote. There are 2 mini map items that are unavoidable though, in Pier and Hive, so unfortunately they had to be collected.
  • Get Damage Upgrade Items ASAP
The only collectables that matter to TAS, without the 4 damage upgrades this would be a low% item run. I still don't know for sure which order the devs intended players to get these and when. They definitely didn't intend new players to get them until later in the game because they are all not accessible via conventional means without ichor web/ichor crawl. However, it's like they left enough leniancy for them to be collected with some plotting and i and some other players found ways to get to them earlier without those abilities. The only damage upgrade that cannot be sequence broken is the 4th one.

New Glitches and Tricks used

  • Swingfall
This is performed by webswinging while holding down, and cancelling the swing on the frame after Spidey begins swinging, using the opposite direction input. This will instantly give Spidey ~3/5 max fall speed. If done by bufferring on a ledge for a few frames, Spidey will get pushed down even faster and give ~7/8 of max fall speed. This trick can often be seen throughout the TAS when Spidey is spamming webs everywhere and the web sound is playing over and over, or if Spidey gains crazy fall speed out of nowhere.
  • Swingy Punch Loop
Also known as the Destroyer of Worlds. This is the highest dps combo loop known in the game. It combines the swing hit, which has the highest damage of any single hit, with the rapid air punch, the highest dps combo hit. It is performed by having an enemy near a ceiling so that the webswing radius is shorter, hitting them with a webswing, if positions are correct the webswing will hit a second time, upon the second hit release the webswing and turn around into a rapid air punch while still moving with the momentum of the initial webswing, after the rapid punch Spidey will be in optimal position to fall slightly and repeat into a loop.
  • Speedy Drum boost
This is a weird glitch where if a throwable object(drum,box etc.) blocks your movement and you either roll jump over it or destroy it on a specific frame, the game slingshots you to near max speed.
  • Speedkeep
When moving with speed in the air and about to land you can delay landing with certain animations like punching or webzipping, if you jump frame perfectly at the end of the animation you will continue with the momentum.
  • Fight Skips/Timesaves and who found them
Sewer Water drain fight skip: Themasterpro1212
Pier Ally help fight skip (ignoring Blackcat): Themasterpro1212
Downtown1 fight skips (floaty glitch): Themasterpro1212, PrincevonTwix
Nightcrawler Downtown teleport: Jazun

Area by Area Comments

  • Residential
The city is being overrun by symbiotes and Spider-Man sets out to find Venom to see whats going on. I avoid the items in the first save room and move on to the first enemy fight. This fight is pretty meh compared to later fights but it was the best at the time i did it, the enemies don't like to spawn in groupable positions early on compared to later fights. Afterwards i make my way through residential to the first damage upgrade, as is tradition. Then on to the first boss, the Big Super Symbiote. It goes down in decent time, right before Spidey can accuse him of eating too many cheeseburgers. Moving on we use the newly obtained Tarantula Strength to move the objects blocking the way and drop down to the next group fight. i Build up the combo meter before using the box's to kill the enemies, to get more XP. Then on to sewer.
  • Sewer1
Spidey remarks on the amazing smell he has discovered as he makes his way to the first sewer fight. Same strat here, kill enemies, build up combo meter and kill the last ones with the drum which does a lot of damage early on. Next the electricity switch room fight. This was a bit harder to optimize for speed and optimal XP gain, i need 1000 XP before downtown for air dodge and amazing speed boost so these fights are more meticulous than they seem. Spidey flicks the electricity switch and reminds the enemies that they should know better than to think they could win. Now we make our way back through the newly accessible area and down to the water drain switch room. Normally there is another group enemy fight here, but a glitch was discovered where if you put the drum in the doorway before draining the water, as you leave and it tries to lock you in for the fight, the door gets stuck and you can escape.
Next is the Green Super Symbiote. At the entrance to its room when removing the object, i take damage to save time, the only time i get hit in the entire TAS. Spidey calls the Super Symbiote a wannabe, before proceeding to show him what this web business is all about. We collect Reinforced Web and head out. Up in the vent we see Venom for the first and last time until hive, Spidey says he just wants to talk, and maybe kick and punch him a little. After this we make our way out of Sewer to Pier, with a quick stop along the way to collect another sequence break damage upgrade.
  • Pier
Spidey pretends he's still looking for Eddie Brock but really we are going to fight another Super Symbiote. I stop at the first save to buy Air Dodge for an upcoming glitch. In the next warehouse room we are normally supposed to talk to Black Cat and then go help an ally, but funny enough ignoring her completely skips that whole sequence and saves tons of time. We then make our way to the top of Pier and over to the second warehouse section. In this room is the first use of Speedy Drum boost. In the next room is the first Pier group fight. This room took ages to do because i kept re-doing things earlier in the TAS, and i couldn't get optimal enemy rng and XP. The rng i did end up getting was really good, luring 5 green jumpers (or abes odysseys) into a single combo. The rng had to be manipulated by delaying some frames back on top of Pier.
Next is the Pier boss, the Blue Super Symbiote. Spidey informs him that he is not special and that he is just a speed-bump before swingy punch looping him to death. I change suits during the orb drops animation revealing Black suit for the first time. Switching suits cost 28 frames but if it is done during certain waiting animations like orb drops and doors opening, some of that time is made up. I collect Bulldozer Dash and leave. I stay in Black suit until the Ichor wall before the damage Upgrade room to avoid switching suits 2 extra times. In the damage upgrade room a fight is forced on you, but we have to come back to this room later for portal hunt so we won't have to do it then. I make sure i have 800 XP after this fight to buy Amazing Speed in downtown. Next i head back up to the top of Pier, over to the far left box's and perform the floating glitch over to the far left upper entrance to downtown, skipping 2 long group fights.
  • Downtown1
With the fights skipped i can go straight to the next Boss, the Flying Super Symbiote, purchasing Amazing speed along the way. I drag the Super Symbiote to the ceiling and swingy punch loop it to death. From this boss we get the Ichor Web upgrade, now our web can stick to ichor surfaces which obviously allows story progression, but is very helpful for movement. Next i make my way back out and down the long downtown shaft and into Sewer again to fight the next Boss.
  • Sewer2
I make my way over to the west part of the sewer that was "previously inaccessible". It is actually possible to get into the Red Super Symbiotes lair before getting Ichor Web, using a method similar to the 2nd damage upgrade, but it just won't spawn. Spidey accuses it of ruining New York's tourism economy, before engaging in swingy punch loop proceedings. We collect Ichor Crawl and head out of the sewer. It was recently found that taking the Nightcrawler Teleport to downtown west entrance is faster than just heading there linearly.
  • Downtown2
Immediately in west downtown is the next group fight. Here you can see more of the speed boost of Spidey's attacks in action. Also you can see the enemies are constantly changing, usually becoming stronger but so are we. Spidey reminds himself after the fight how cool he is. We make our way to upper west downtown towards the next boss, the Orange Super Symbiote. Before the boss is another group fight, group combo's are made easy here because of the confined tunnel. In the boss room, Spidey says next time he'll bring a book as he shows the super symbiote it is no match for swingy punch loop. We obtain Sledgehammer Slam, pick up the annoying drops that try to explode everywhere and escape. In the previous room is black cat wanting us to help another ally. On the way back to residential we make a slight detour to get the 4th damage upgrade.
  • Ally Help Skip
This ally help can't be skipped the same as the last. We drop down to sewer and into the save room where the nightcrawler help objective is, trigger the fight and leave before it can lock us in. To finalize the skip we have to talk to nightcrawler back in residential for 1 frame, which is on the way to hive.
  • Hive1
Spidey comments on the decorations as he heads down to the first hive group fight. Manipulating enemy spawns and grouping enemies is easier in hive, you will often see me jumping and moving around before combo'ing a group of enemies. Hive enemies give tons of XP too. In the next room i purchase Ultimate Speed boost and Jackhammer Stomp, taking us to maximum DPS. Then its time for the Venom fight. Spidey says he's the only one interested in the making this relationship work but poor Venom has no idea what's even happening. Here i use ground based attacks on the upper ledge and jackhammer stomps in combination with swingy punch loop to help keep combo meter high, increasing DPS even more. After the fight I skip the drops because we don't need them and head out to destroy the portals.
You don't see it because i leave the room too fast but for story context this is the conversation that happens between Spidey and Venom: Spidey asks what he was trying to prove with his little symbiote army, Venom says it's not him and that they are all part of one single symbiote that is controlling them, Spidey thinks he can take them all down by getting the central host, then Venom says that's what he was trying to do but Spidey stopped him lol.
  • Portal Hunt
This part is pretty straightforward. There are 4 portals, 1 in each area, that need to be destroyed. Utilizing the fastest route and advanced movement techniques, Spidey does this in record time. There are some cool speedy drum boosts on the way back through sewer.
  • Hive2
Back in Hive, now that the portals are destroyed we can progress through Venom's room. This part is also pretty straightforward, there are 5 rooms with group enemy fights, the shaft rooms spawn 10 enemies in waves of 3 and the larger rooms spawn 14 in waves of 4-5. Ultimate speed boost truly shines here as Spidey shows his full arsenal of acrobatics at lightning speed. At the final Save room i purchase Mid-Air Snare, Spider Dance, Enhanced Dodge and Drill Kick. This is probably my favorite part of the TAS, it was really fun to make and the fights look so good.
  • Symbiote Leader and Escape
The leader has about 4 stages. The 1st stage it won't flinch at all, can't be hit into the air and will rarely block. The 2nd stage it starts to block more and move around more. The 3rd stage it starts to flinch after successive combos and block even more. The final stage at about 40% hp you can hit it into the air. During the first 3 phases i use a strategy of uppercut + jackhammer stomp into double swing hit and repeat, while mixing in other attacks to boost combo meter and keep hitting as it moves and jumps. In the final phase i spam uppercuts into midair snare and swing hits. Note that while the leader does have 2x Venom's HP, it takes 2x damage from attacks, meaning it actually has the same "effective" amount of HP as Venom. Unfortunately i couldn't get it high enough for swingy punch loop, its physics are different to other boss's. After it's death, a timer will start giving you 2 minutes to escape the hive. A lot of speed keep strats are used in the large escape room. I escape with a remaining time of 1:08.4


Special thanks to:
and everyone else at the Spider-Man: Web of Shadows DS Community.

Memory: Claiming for judging.
Memory: This TAS was really great, love to see that quick zippy movement that these spiderman games tend to have.
Though I must admit I had absolutely no idea that there was apparently such a huge rivalry between this and shattered dimensions ds, they just feel like two slightly different flavors of really cool.

EZGames69: Processing...

Memory: Delaying because of potential improvements mentioned by author privately.
Memory: Improvements didn't pan out, returning to accepted.

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Last Edited by EZGames69 19 days ago
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