Mega Man Xtreme 2 "Xtreme mode" in 27:06.62 by Noxxa
- Emulator used: VBA-RR v23.5 svn394
- Plays on hardest difficulty (Xtreme Mode)
- Starts from SRAM (verification movie here)
- Aims for fastest time
- Manipulates luck
- Takes damage to save time
Like FractalFusion's submission of Mega Man Xtreme, this run uses SRAM to unlock Xtreme mode. It has the same benefits here, allowing one to visit all stages of the game in one run, as well as the true final stage, boss rush and final boss battle. It also includes a tag mechanic, where the player can use both X and Zero and switch the characters in stages at will. (This mechanic would later be expanded upon in Mega Man X7 and on).
This game has two ways to unlock Xtreme mode. One is finishing both the X and Zero modes. The other way is collecting 3000 DNA souls in a playthrough, and then buying it for 2000 souls in the parts shop. While the former method would be shorter movie time-wise, it was easier and simpler for me to just construct a simple script to hoard DNA souls in Flame Mammoth's stage.
About the game
Mega Man Xtreme 2, like its predecessor game Mega Man Xtreme, pretty much copies content and bosses from the main line of Mega Man X games. While the first Xtreme title took its stage designs and bosses from just Mega Man X and Mega Man X2, Mega Man Xtreme 2 takes its stage designs and bosses from Mega Man X, Mega Man X2 as well as Mega Man X3, and also takes other elements from later Mega Man X titles including Mega Man X4 and Mega Man X5, such as a Parts shop, and the presence of Iris from Mega Man X4 (working as a navigator in this game).
Compared to the first Xtreme game, Mega Man Xtreme 2 does have more original content, though. It has an improved story (although it's still rather shallow) and unique fortress bosses (with the exception of Velguarder, Sigma's dog, who was taken from Mega Man X for the first fortress stage, and Sigma's first form which is taken from Mega Man X2) and it has mostly new stage designs that are not so much ripped straight from the SNES games. In fact, Neon Tiger and Blast Hornet's stages have more in common with Sting Chameleon and Storm Eagle's stages, respectively.
The most significant addition compared to either the SNES games or the first Xtreme game is that Zero is a fully playable character here for all our slashing needs. He plays a bit like Zero out of Mega Man Zero, but has animations like those from X4/X5 and X6. Zero can gain weapons from bosses like X can, including an obligatory uppercut slash and drill stab, but also other, more different moves such as a variant of Mega Man X's charged Fire Wave and boss moves like Wire Sponge's Lightning attack and Launch Octopus' homing fish attack. Just plain old slashing with the Z-Saber typically remains the most efficient tool, though.
The game has a Parts system like in Mega Man X5 and Mega Man X6, although it doesn't really have a lot of upgrades, much less useful ones. The only really useful ones, that are used in this speedrun, are the Buster +1 and +2 parts for X and Saber +1 and +2 for Zero. Stacking both upgrades for each character causes a significant damage boost for both characters, which saves a lot of time on boss fights.
Other than that, the gameplay of Mega Man Xtreme 2 is very similar to the first Xtreme game. It has similar pacing and glitching.
Stage by stage comments
I switch to Zero at a high point so the switch animation takes as little time as possible, and do the switch before the intro cutscene (triggered by destroying the chain enemy) so that I take Zero's path, which is faster than X's path.
Mostly straightforward stage. The big fireballs that come from below instantly kill in Xtreme Mode, so I had to take some care in getting past them.
Also quite straightforward. The ascension part was done by Guga up until the Ride Armor. The Ride armor is needed to break through one of the floors.
Not much to say here. Wire Sponge dies very quickly to Fire Wave (it does 6 damage to him). Annoyingly, Fire Wave has a tendency to cause lag.
Autoscroller time! The fixed time sections with the Ride Chaser allow for a lot of room for luck manipulation, which is convenient because I need a bunch of DNA Souls before the end of this stage. Guga did the first Ride Chaser section, including the luck manipulation needed for that one.
In the middle section, the player is blocked many times by sand tornado devices in the way, which are instant kills. For all but one of them, though, I manage to take damage from some enemy beforehand so I can pass through the sand tornados.
Quickly into the stage, I switch to X (again at the highest height possible). X has the convenient ability to shoot things from a distance, which makes it easier to destroy enemies that are in the way without losing any time.
I have to take the Ride Armor near the end, because it's impossible to make some of the jumps over the spikes otherwise.
While underwater, it's possible to maintain above-water dash speeds by hopping off the ground at the first frame possible each jump. (This is used everywhere throughout the run, by the way, as one of the fastest/most convenient forms of movement for shorter ranges - but here it makes a significant impact on speed). I maintain this velocity throughout most of the stage until I need to enter some stairs. There are two routes here, but the other one involves fighting another miniboss, so this route turned out significantly faster.
The sucking fish are quite annoying, as they slow me down considerably (both horizontal speed and vertical speed) whenever I'm in range (though dash speed is still maintained after defeating them). I defeat them as soon as possible to minimize the slowdown.
Launch Octopus is defeated handily by utilizing Ray Claw, which cuts off his arms and leaves him vulnerable for a very long period of time - enough to destroy him completely while he's helpless.
There are many doors here because this stage has a flood mechanic, with water floods that either push you back or instantly kill you. However, only one flood appears in the run, because I'm too fast for the other floods to appear.
The first half of the stage is rather straightforward. There are a lot of annoying flies that tend to get in the way. On one occasion, I switch to Tri-Thunder just to destroy them more effectively (and reducing lag in the process). The turrets miniboss is quite simple. I manipulate for the two turrets on the left wall to become vulnerable first, and destroy the top one first while falling down to the second and destroying that one, then repeat on the right side.
Sigma Stage 1
Straightforward stage. Velguarder takes a bit less damage from the X-Buster than most other bosses, but it does still enough to tie with anything Zero has.
Sigma Stage 2
Near the start, I need to make the moving platform move a little bit so I can reach far enough to take damage from the bat up ahead, then use mercy invincibility to cross the gap without wasting further time with the moving platform. Later on, I switch to Bomb Bee because its icon is closest to the switch button in the pause menu. I switch to Zero again as high as possible, without wasting time, for a section that needs Zero's air dash to cross quickly, without needing to wait for the moving platforms.
Near the end, I take a small yellow Soul because I needed the extra HP for the boss, and to get enough souls for Saber+2 after this stage.
Isaz & Sowilo is one of the hardest bosses in the game (which says something). They move forward, covering most of the screen, do a lot of damage, and their shots cover even more of the screen. Fortunately, they can be defeated very quickly since each of them take damage/invincibility separately.
Sigma Stage 3
I apply Saber+2 right at the start. Zero can now do some massive damage with his standard Z-Saber attacks. Shortly into the stage, there's a cutscene, after which you're transported to a different stage depending on which character you're playing as. X would get to Berkana's stage, but I can't finish Berkana's stage because X doesn't have the airdash (yes, this is similar to Mega Man X6).
Gareth dies ridiculously quickly because he has an invincibility trick, which renders him vulnerable immediately after being hit by his own spear. This allows me to pile up damage very quickly on him.
Sigma Stage 4
Time for some standard Mega Man (X) features to come back: the main antagonist (Sigma) and the traditional boss rush. The eight bosses die very quickly to being slashed to bits. Sigma dies even faster, but his pattern requires I take a hit in the mean time.
His second form has an interesting feature, however. His gold and blue forms can only be hit by X, and his red form only by Zero. Unfortunately, X is so useless that it's not even worth trying to damage Sigma with it, and I just wait while Sigma does his attacks before switching to his red form. I luck manipulate here for Sigma to attack optimally, doing the fastest attacks in his gold form, and staying stationary and hittable in his red form. I need to hit his red form three times for him to become vulnerable, before actually being able to hit him. I need to repeat this process four times total.
After Sigma dies, the ending, credits, and bonus game unlock cutscenes appear. I skip all three of them. (These, along with the pre-game intro cutscene, are the only cutscenes that can be skipped).
Thanks to Guga for constant support and motivation, and helping along on a few sections (most importantly, luck manipulation in some parts of Overdrive Ostrich's stage).
Thanks to everyone else who supported me, both in the thread, and in the IRC chat listening to my rambles of everything that was wrong in the game and/or hindered me during the making of the TAS.
And thanks to you for watching my movie and/or reading this text!
feos: Set to publication underway.