MD5 checksum: 7ea14a9d4f923060da97129961cfc612
Not sure what BIOS or other information I need to provide. I have never had a desync issue with the submitted movie, let me know if it's a problem and I can provide more setting information.
(This encode is decent quality but I would like to get a higher quality one up eventually if I can).
The Conduit is a Wii exclusive first-person shooter released in 2009 featuring a single player 'campaign' with 9 levels and a now defunct multiplayer mode. This TAS starts from a fresh file and plays through the story mode on 'Low', the easiest of the five difficulty settings. The controls are notably variable and any action can be mapped to any button or motion on the wii remote/nunchuck, though default controls are used. The only other option besides difficulty level that is altered before beginning the first level is Player Run Speed (default value is 80, changed to the maximum 100). This TAS is any% and aims for fastest completion period, 'Low' difficulty makes it possible to tank otherwise fatal damage in several sections of the run.
The making of this movie was done by myself, with some assistance from one of the only RTA runners of the game (kjhark). I put many hours into this game when it was released in 2009, mostly in multiplayer, and briefly did some RTA speedruns myself a few years ago, so I was already very familiar with the weapons, glitches, single player missions, and game engine beforehand.
Glitches and Tricks:
Shotgun Fast Firing - Normally, the SPAS-12 shotgun requires a full 'pump' animation to play out before subsequent shots will register, however by using a melee attack and pressing reload twice in quick succession after an initial shot, this wait time can be reduced to mere frames if necessary and drastically increases the DPS of the weapon.
Cutscene Walking - I discovered this glitch for the first time during the creation of this TAS completely on accident. Control of Micheal can be kept during some (but not all) cutscenes by firing the last shot of any weapon magazine just before walking into the cutscene trigger (the timing is lenient, maybe a second or so). Usually Micheal's position is locked as soon as the cutscene begins, but by using this glitch we can continue to move, jump, shoot, reload, etc. and even switch weapons to bring the HUD back up and display a floating gun model. This method does not work with every cutscene, though for the few exceptions there is usually another way to slightly extend the time you have control of Micheal by several seconds until your position is locked again by switching weapons or pulling out the ASE. For 'end of level' cutscenes where having control of Micheal would not be faster or practical, these methods may work to slightly desync some cutscene animations such as in Mission 2 and Mission 9.
Quick Level Ending - Some levels require you to sit through dialogue exchanges after the final objective has been completed before the mission will actually register as completed. In some cases, this can be skipped by killing yourself with correct timing.
Grenade Quick-Fire - By jumping immediately after registering a 'throw grenade' input, the throwing animation is skipped and the grenade comes out immediately, usually at a slightly lower angle.
Grenade Swapping - By switching the selected grenade type just as a it is thrown, you can trick the game into throwing grenades that you technically don't have in your inventory.
Ammo Swapping - This glitch allows you to combine the functionality of one weapon with the ammo type of another, with extremely entertaining results. It requires three different weapons (two in inventory, one accessible to be picked up on the ground) as well as an ammo cache. The weapon with the desired ammo count/rate of fire needs to be on the ground, the weapon with the desired ammo type needs to be in your secondary weapon slot, and any weapon can be the one you currently have out as it doesn't affect the glitch. To perform: Hold down 'Pickup Weapon/Reload' and while holding, quickly switch to your secondary weapon, followed by an A press afterwords to use the ammo cache. The timing on the A press at the end is not that precise. While many weapon combinations provide useful or at least novel features, many can also hard crash the game when fired (usually when combining weapons with unique ammunition types, such as TPC Launcher cells).
Out of Bounds Clipping and Hovering - some level geometry can be used to push Micheal out of bounds when approached from the proper position. As long as you touch the ground in some way before beginning to fall (i.e., do not clip OoB directly from a jumping state), you will have a stored jump that can be used while falling OoB and be replenished by using a melee attack. Prior to receiving the bio-suit upgrade in Mission 6, Micheal's jump is not very high and he can only gain a small amount of initial height while 'hovering' out of bounds with frame perfect melee attacks before all subsequent jumps will lose small amounts of height. This means that during Missions 1-5, clipping out of bounds is only useful if there is some way to navigate towards the next objective without having to gain height. After Mission 5, Micheal can essentially hover anywhere out bounds because of the increased jump height and movement options increase drastically.
Mission 1 - Threshold
The first mission, in terms of plot continuity, begins just after you move the subway car out of the way to progress in Mission 7. In this way, Threshold serves as 'flash forward' to future events and even more so as a tutorial to familiarize the player with the controls and style of gameplay. There are no glitches or skips here (save shotgun fast firing), just straightforward play.
Mission 2 - Contagion
Here are the first examples of cutscene walking, right at the beginning and a little later during the first neurotoxin reanimation cutscene. The gameplay in this level is still mostly straightforward, though it's worth noting that the seemingly unoptimal line towards the gate in the second large terminal room affects the the spawn conditions of the four enemies that spawn on either side of the room, and I maneuver in this way to ensure they are in my line of sight and fully loaded by the time I reach the end of the room.
Mission 3 - Enemy
Lots of slick movement, a couple cutscene walks and the first example of ammo swapping in the final section of this level. Luckily, there is a SMAW rocket launcher just slightly out of the way earlier in the level, and bringing it with us to the end allows us to make short work of the enemies and conduits in the area. This level also features the first cutscene death skip, shaving off a few seconds of dialogue.
Mission 4 - Trust
Straightforward play up until the library of congress reading room, where we must wait 90 seconds for Prometheus to load the way to the next area. In the meantime I have a fun out of bounds playaround thanks to a conveniently placed stone pillar, and am able to combine a cutscene walk with out of bounds hovering to enter the next area as soon as it loads during the cutscene, unloading the previous area and providing a confusing continuity of position when the camera returns to Micheal. In the sewers, two floodgates need to be opened to progress. The first wheel is easily accessed, but the second normally requires Micheal to maneuver all the way down the length of the hallway, up some stairs, and back around to the beginning of the same hallway to access. This trip is shortened thanks to a conveniently placed pile of sewage, from which we can jump onto the sloped surface next to the railing and just barely make it up past the railing (by abusing the slight position displacement you get when pulling out the ASE, as well as briefly using the otherwise TAS-useless 'enemy lock-on' function to maintain the height needed to get past the railing). The egg sacks at the end are destroyed in record time, and another death cutscene skip brings us into mission 5.
Mission 5 - Gridlock
Just after the first cutscene walk in this level is the first out of bounds clip of the run, which allows us to skip some movement. This level is unique in that there are large areas of walkable floors extended far out of bounds in unloaded areas (demonstrated at the end of the level while waiting for completion) but, as this game is very strict with objective completion order, it is not useful to go too far out of the way just yet. After another out of bounds clip which saves some walking, we have to detour slightly in order to properly load collision for the next area just barely in time. It's worth noting here that you have to wait for Prometheus to finish speaking before scanning all the wall nodes in the last room of the west wing, otherwise the game will softlock and not complete when you defeat all the enemies in the courtyard and airforce one takes off. After exploring the strange world of out of bounds loaded objects behind the white house, another cutscene death skip saves a few seconds.
Mission 6 - Invasion
Lots of fancy movement, especially to get up the multiple flights of stairs you have to scale, but otherwise this level is self explanatory until the end, where we use another ammo swap glitch, this time with the SMAW and Strike Rifle, to quickly defeat all the area enemies, including the area 'boss', in seconds. Another death cutscene skip takes us into mission 7.
Mission 7 - Homeland
Here we have the first level where out of bounds hovering is really allowed to show it's potential, as we can now maneuver anywhere we want with increased jump height. There is actually an OoB clip at the very start of the level, but since we are required to watch the helicopter takeover cutscene to load the rest of the level at all (which is, unfortunately, not a cutscene that can be 'walked through'), it is not used. After making our way downtown, walking fast, we emerge on a street that leads to a subway entrance. Instead of taking this route, we use a parking meter to jump onto a ledge and out of bounds, where we have to take a slight detour to make sure we hit the objective completion zone before continuing. From this position out of bounds, we hover from loading zone to loading zone underneath the subway system, and then land on some conveniently placed out of bounds land to hack a computer with the ASE and move the subway car out of the way. Since we're still out of bounds, we can just drop down again and begin the hover to the ending conduit section, skipping essentially the entire section of this map that we played in bounds in Mission 1.
Mission 8 - Checkmate
Before the beginning of each mission, there are several frames where you still have control of Micheal before your actions are locked. Here we use this fact to take out one of the three radio jammers during the cutscene that displays it, and then make quick work of the second two. After an elevator ride, we destroy some more jammers, hack into the terminal or whatever, and take another elevator deeper into the Trust bunker. From here, we use conveniently placed boxes to clip out of bounds and hover all the way to the end of the next section, completely skipping several minutes of movement between the different labs, activate the self destruct sequence, and make our way back to the initial room the elevator dropped us off in (again, skipping some movement by another box clip). After
hacking open the door to the containment center, we quickly dispatch all the guards (who each take 6 headshots) and use the final ammo swap glitch in the run to give us possibly the most overpowered weapon combination of the game. here are the stats:
-30 round magazine
-holding fire charges up a unique burst fire attack
-long recovery time after single firing, uses 1 ammo each
-holding fire makes a sustained energy beam that gradually uses ammo
-semi automatic energy beam shots, firing too many in succession will crash due to the amount of particle effects it loads onscreen at once
-holding fire provides a sustained energy beam that lasts ~10 seconds and only uses 1 ammo
Using this weapon, combined with a convenient out of bounds clip that allows us the high ground over the containment area, we destroy several waves of enemies in seconds, having only to wait for Prometheus' monologue to finish before we can complete the objective, enter the elevator and end the level (fyi: the ending elevator is accessible as soon as we exit the second elevator in the level, but since the other objectives have not been completed, this merely softlocks).
Mission 9 - Closure
This is it, the 'inner sanctum' of the Illuminaiuhhh mean Trust's secret base, and the final level of The Conduit, which amounts to not much more than killing several waves of enemies and hacking some terminals with the ASE to let Micheal escape the self-destruction of the base. By switching weapons while stepping into the final cutscene trigger, we can once again desync the cutscene to comical effect.
TAS timing for this movie is 45:46, but the final in-game time which only counts individual mission times ends up being 40:08 (this is the timing the RTA community uses for speedruns). I know not everything in each level was explained fully so please feel free to ask for elaboration.
: I remember hearing a fair bit about this game when it was first coming out. Judging.
: the movie seems really well optimized over all, I see no signs of mistakes. the run syncs for me on dolphin too.
the audience and i really Loved the tricks and fast paced action, however the parts where it was chosen to wildly swing the viewpoint around was Less appreciated, but such sections were short. Ultimately, the best Moment was when you see a gun floating In midair during a cutscene. the out of bounds shortcuts provided Nothing less than pure entertainment as well.
As a result, This movie Is going to moons.