The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night is the second part of The Legend of Spyro trilogy, involving Gaul the Ape King attempting to revive the Dark Master on The Night of Eternal Darkness. Released in 2007, this is a very late GBA title featuring light Metroidvania influences and a combat system akin to Devil May Cry.
This run is a 7,744 frame improvement over the currently published run through optimization and route changes.
- Aims for fastest time
- Takes damage to save time
- Uses easiest difficulty
As this is influenced by Metroidvanias, Spyro's moveset gradually evolves over time via relics either at fixed story points or from statues located around the world.
- Rolling is available from the start and is very useful for passing through enemies without hitting them, but it has a long lag time at the end of the animation. Before getting charge, the best way to move is to roll, then jump and attack to cancel the landing animation. After getting charge, rolling into it saves a few frames if Spyro is already facing away.
- Soon after starting, Double Jump and Glide are unlocked. They're pretty standard in implementation, the only notable part is holding and releasing Glide after a jump sets Spyro's downward velocity to max, which came in handy a few times.
- Charging is unlocked soon after, and is the fastest form of movement. However, charging comes with the caveat of freeze frames every time an enemy is hit, which pauses the game for about 7 frames each time. This needs to be avoided whenever possible, thus in many situations it's faster to jump, attack, or roll over enemies rather then charge into them.
- Wall jumping is unlocked right after Charge, and lets Spyro, well, jump on walls. There's actually two subtle variants to wall jumps, with a fast version that is lower in height being possible by holding away from a wall as you approach it. This is used when applicable to save time when height is not important.
- Air dive is also unlocked in the tutorial, and lets Spyro do a downwards-angled attack while in the air, which is pretty strong and fast outside of the startup animation. This saves some time in movement in the air, but is mostly obsoleted by Mid-Air Charge.
- Mid-Air Charge is unlocked in Outer Grove, and lets Spyro charge while still in the air. This is extremely useful when getting over tall enemies. There's also a useful bug when landing on a specific frame when initiating a mid-air charge that skips the freeze frame animation, which comes in handy a few times.
True to the Devil May Cry influence, the combat in this game is very complicated, allowing for very long attack strings and juggles.
- The bread and butter is Spyro's ground and air combos, which are 3 hits each at the start with a finisher that deals more damage then the preceding hits. It's also possible with the first part of the air combo (Spyro's tail spin) to cancel the landing animation, which saves time in attacking and in platforming. Spyro also has access to a backflip attack from the start, which propels him into the air.
- Unlocked soon after starting is Air Launch, an upwards swing that lets Spyro knock an enemy into the air. This is highly useful for smaller enemies to prevent them from going into invincibility.
- Breath attacks come soon after, with Fire, Earth, Ice, and Lightning being accessible once their corresponding temple is complete. The unique properties of each attack are generally useful through the run for both movement and combat, such as using Ice on water to create a platform, Fire's larger hitbox, and Earth's ability to chain into tail spin to deal more damage then usual. Lightning casually is useful to draw enemies towards Spyro, but its longer animation made it so it only saw minimal usage in this run. Another useful property of any breath attack is being able to preserve momentum which freezing height, which I exploit through the run either to take care of enemies, or to wall jump faster. Breaths can even be used to cancel landing animations, which while useful has to be managed carefully so mana doesn't run out when it'd be useful in combat.
Route and Improvements
- Everyone's favorite, tutorials. Some time was saved rolling off a ledge when grabbing Glide and beating the first enemy.
- A major route change is not getting the combo extensions from the Hall of Fang and Claw. Collecting both ends up wasting about 36 seconds, alongside making some fights slower since Spyro's finisher took longer to reach.
- Some time on movement was saved by avoiding more enemies and moving farther before being stopped by dialog.
Temple of Fire
- Lot of time saved on movement, along with the attacks on the boss being more optimized by extending air combos longer so the tail spin after an air dive does more damage.
- More time saved on movement.
Temple of Earth
- You guessed it, saved time on movement. This has the first example of using a breath attack to save time on wall jumping, which was necessary in order to avoid grabbing a ledge. Boss was also improved.
Outer Grove/Deep Grove
- Yes, time saved on movement.
- Slight route change to pick up a relic that increases the strength of physical attacks. I saved a little time reaching it by exploiting mid-air charge/breath to climb a single wall without needing platforms/another wall.
- The Naga fight was improved thanks to the extra strength and finding a loop so I don't need to step away due to him raising his shield.
- Movement timesave, first arena fight was massively improved.
Temple of Ice
- Movement? Improved. Boss? Improved.
Fellmuth Arena (p2)
- Second arena fight was improved by exploiting Earth breath's property to rack up extra hits. First Advisor fight was also improved so he only dodges away once rather then twice.
- Did I mention movement time was saved??
- Skaab is another major boss improvement, going from 3 cycles to 2. I also saved time between rounds by pulling the camera downwards, which causes the cannonballs to spawn lower (and thus faster).
Temple of Lightning
- Another slight detour to get a second physical attack upgrade.
- Ok just assume movement was improved in every area.
- Boss aside from the damage increase was improved by moving it properly to where it becomes vulnerable rather then having it slowly float over.
- Movement was impr-
- Second Advisor fight was done without him ever being able to dodge away via a combination of swapping between Fire and Earth breaths. I was also sure to land right next to him so the ending cutscene would play faster.
Well of Night
- Third Advisor fight is pretty similar to the second, and was improved in much the same way.
- Slight improvements to Gaul. Some time was saved staying still and shooting enemies once Spyro becomes corrupted rather then moving around and wasting time between attacks. Ending cutscene also starts much sooner by being near Cynder at the end.
: I think it needs to be said how much I appreciate that you are back TASing random games, and despite the time gap you haven't missed a beat at all. Very impressive improvement, obvious accept over the published run