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#638390907240373160 - Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins

Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins (USA).bk2
In 40:06.33 (144403 frames), 73639 rerecords
Game: 2xtreme ( PSX, see all files )
40 downloads
Uploaded 12/25/2023 8:45 AM by Cadit (see all 1)
Simple safety save here in case my laptop acts up. The file is obviously not the final submission, but I had to put something so that I can start typing my TAS breakdown.
Information
This is a Tool Assisted Speedrun of the PSX game "Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins" that was released in 1999.
The TAS starts at power on at frame 0 and ends at frame 0(time = 00:00.00) when ...
In order to replicate the TAS yourself, please make sure that you have the following:
  • Copy of the game Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins
  • The emulation software EmuHawk version 2.9.1
The software EmuHawk version 2.9.1 will need to run on these settings:
  • Profile = Tool Assisted Speedruns (to not lose accuracy in the frames)
The ROM checksums (SHA1) are:
  • Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins (USA).bin = da6c68a5d1c7ee3dd5ae56b8560d729a5fa4146a
  • Alundra 2 - A New Legend Begins (USA).cue = de4ee6d678b424168bc64409a9b0d82d94a335e1
  • SCPH1001.bin = 10155d8d6e6e832d6ea66db9bc098321fb5e8ebf
  • Online checksum SHA1: ( https://emn178.github.io/online-tools/sha1_checksum.html )
Short Description
You play Flint, a young hero and Pirate Hunter who is wanted for treason, and is after the pirates that caused his parents' death.
The game begins with Flint infiltrating a flying airship. Alexia explains that her father is missing and she knows that Baron Diaz used the pirates to get rid of him.
In their search for incriminating proof, Flint and Alexia encounter Mephisto, battle with his mechanical abominations, and investigate the suspicious "Church of the Key". Flint goes through the ruins and does battle with their ancient guardians to obtain the three relics.
Flint returns to Baron Diaz and delivers the relics, and the Baron uses them to enter a tower in search of the lost treasure of Varuna. Flint frees him and the dragon flies him back to Varuna.
After Flint returns the final relic, it is set in place and the machinery of the tower is activated. His intention is to use its power to mutate the planet and take control.
Tirion flies Flint, Alexia, Zeppo, Albert, and Ruby to the Star Key to confront Mephisto. Flint defeats the monster, returning Zeppo to his former state, and then faces Mephisto in battle. Flint kills Mephisto and the Star Key collapses into the sea.
Rules of any% completion
The category of this TAS is "easy any%", meaning that we need to reach the end credits while playing on easy mode. The run ends when the loading screen appears after exiting the collapsing star key.
Gitches/Exploits
  • Cutscene Interrupt
    • Like the name implies, we will interrupt a cutscene to move while it is playing. In this game, there is a variable which is responsible for the "Control" of Flint (0x0FA0C8 for US version). This will indicate the game what the conditions are to allow Flint to move. For the purpose of this glitch I'll only go over the values we need to know:
ValueCondition
0No condition, Flint can move freely
16Cutscene, Flint must wait to be "dismissed" from this value, nothing we can do
17Textbox condition, Once the textbox is fully displayed, pressing "Cross" will remove it and the Value will become 0
An example of this glitch used in the run is in the Airship. After we defeat the three Gi-Gi soldiers, a cutscene starts and a chest drops from the ceiling. Without the glitch Flint will go from a Control value 0 to a Control value 16, until the cutscene ends, which will put back the Control value to 0. This is quite slow, so we will try to prevent that by activating a textbox, somehow. Luckily, there is a door with a textbox right next to us! We just have to trigger the textbox 1 frame before the cutscene starts (frame 13566) and the textbox Condition value 17 will override the cutscene Condition value 16. We are now in a textbox instead of a cutscene, so we can just dismiss the textbox and go back to a Condition value 0, even though the cutscene is playing!

Door textbox TAS inputs

TAS Breakdown
Here is a summary of the TAS.
One thing that you will notice during the TAS is that loading screen are much longer than what you would get on RTA speedruns. This is because speedruns are run on Duckstation which considerably speeds up loading. We cannot benefit from this because we are using BizHawk. From experience, loading screens are 2-3 times longer than RTA so comparing the final length of this TAS against the current human WR does not accurately represent the difference of gameplay. To accurately compare this to the human any% speedrun we would have to not include loading times when calculating the length of a run. Fortunately, there is a very useful data address (0x0678A2 for US version) that records exactly when the game is "Loading" (value 255) and when it is normal gameplay (value 0), so if in the future we want to deduct loading times from the run, it is easily doable at perfect accuracy.

0:00 - Power On

We boot the game, skip the starting cutscene and set up the settings for the game. We do this now because pausing during the game takes a long time and while we are on the start screen we have less navigation to do. Select "Fast" for the messages speed and "Hold Down" for the Run controls. The Run controls will allow Flint to run when we hold the R button instead of the basic setting toggle on/off for running, so Flint's movement are more accurate.

0:50 - Start

Start the game on Easy. This is the same difficulty as the Japanese version. The American version also includes a "Normal" version, but monsters take longer to kill, so it is counterproductive to choose it.

1:19 - Airship

We start the game in a corridor. The first thing we do is to set the camera to be a little bit farther than what it currently is because it allows us to see the most of the map. Let's now talk about movement mechanic:
  • Walking:
    • As you would expect, this is the slowest form of movement. We walk only when it is not slower than running, which could be in-between boss phases or waiting for something for example.
  • Running
    • Rapid form of movement. It is faster than walking, but it isn't the fastest form of movement yet. Hold R to run in any direction. If you run in TAS compared to RTA, it is important to note the direction you want to run into. If Flint is facing a certain direction but you want to run in another, it is faster to first turn while walking (as it is instantaneous) and then run, instead of going from static to turning while running:
Direction of the runWalking for 1 frame before running?Is it the fastest?
same as idleYes✓ Yes/No ✘ It delays a Running Jump by 1 frame, so it is not optimal
same as idleNo ✓ Yes ✓
not same as idleYes✓ Yes ✓
not same as idleNo✘ No ✘ Wastes 1-2 frames of running
Note that this game is at 30fps originally, so it will update every even frames. The odd frames will be static and inputs usually don't matter during these. Delaying the game by 1 frame will be equivalent in BizHawk (60fps) to 2 frames instead.
  • Sliding
    • Flint slides on the ground and it has a long recovery time, so it is almost never used. We just press Circle while running (hold R). It makes enemies fall but does no damage so it is quite useless.
  • Running Jump
    • Fastest form of movement of the game. Press Cross while running (hold R) and Flint stays in the air for 45 frames. You can also attack mid-air and it will not affect speed. The only difference is that Flint cannot turn while attacking, so it's annoying.
To give you an idea of different movement techniques, here is a small comparison. Since Running Jump is the fastest* we will use six Running Jumps as a unit of time, which is 277 frames:
*Note that holding a sword does not affect speed.
MethodDistance covered (in-game coordinates)Comparison to max speed
Run + Jump142100%
Run11883.09%
Run + Slide8358.45%
Walk6847.88%
Now that we know that a running jump gives us the most horizontal distance in a given time we can start moving! We quickly go through the tutorial corridor and we then break the stone at the end. It has some invincibility after it is hit, so Flint has to wait a little bit between each sword swing. When we go up a ladder it is faster to jump away from it and climb it again mid-air. The upwards speed of the jump is faster than the climbing animation. Also, we move on to the next room by going over a trigger, so we can do that mid-air as well. In case if you were wondering, the TAS timing for optimal ladder climbing is a gap of 15 frames between each jump:
FrameAction
0Jump off the ground
1-14Do nothing
15Go back on the ladder. Press the direction for 1 frame
16Jump again to repeat
Repeat this for the entire height of the ladder. Then, when you cannot climb back on the ladder at frame 15, get back on it at the latest time possible (e.g.: frame 10), then jump.


Stone Pillar Ladder jump

We arrive in a small room and we skip collecting a key on the ground. We don't jump here because we can only open doors if Flint is in a grounded state. After a long cutscene we activate a lever to open every other door in the room and we head to the toilets. This is for a quest later on which requires three toilets visited to reward us with a special attack. We head out and we meet our first enemy, a Gi-Gi soldier.

These soldiers aren't particularly strong, so we can kill them rather quickly. Let's go over the attack mechanics, which are fairly simple:

A sword in this game has no fixed damage unlike Alundra 1, but rather a range of possible damage it can deal. The range is higher when you do an attack that is of the Strong type, which is when you hit an enemy while running. The following damage values are done on a blue Gi-Gi soldier, so the values are consistent.
Sword typeDamageStrong damage
Long Sword (L1)10 - 1312 - 15
Bronze Sword (L2)15 - 1818 - 21
Broad Sword (L3)20 - 2324 - 27
Rune Sword (L4)25 - 2830 - 33
Shining Sword (L5)30 - 3336 - 39
Rising Sword (L6)60 - 6372 - 75
Lucky for us, Gi-Gi soldiers have 15 HP, so one Strong attack should be enough. For this, I had to attack at a specific frame to "roll" for RNG. Getting the high end of the damage range is sometimes easy, and sometimes very long. If you observe the next room it has 2 soldiers and we defeat one directly. The next two are manipulated so that they are in a straight line and can be dealt with using a single attack. One would imagine that a single attack would deal the same damage to all enemies it hits, right? Nope, damage is calculated individually for each enemy, even if they are hit at the same frame. Which means that whenever you see Flint hit 2 enemies and deal max damage on both, it is because I had to get an event where BOTH RNG rolls were max damage, which is much harder (and sometimes impossible to do at the 1st available frame of damage).

Gi-Gi soldier 1 hit Gi-Gi soldier double hit

After beating these three enemies we will do the very first glitch of this game, hooray! We will do something that I will refer to as a Cutscene Interrupt. Like the name implies, we will interrupt a cutscene to move while it is playing. In this game, there is a variable which is responsible for the "Control" of Flint (0x0FA0C8 for US version). This will indicate the game what the conditions are to allow Flint to move. For the purpose of this glitch I'll only go over the values we need to know:
ValueCondition
0No condition, Flint can move freely
16Cutscene, Flint must wait to be "dismissed" from this value, nothing we can do
17Textbox condition, Once the textbox is fully displayed, pressing "Cross" will remove it and the Value will become 0
After we defeat the three Gi-Gi soldiers, a cutscene starts and a chest drops from the ceiling. Without the glitch Flint will go from a Control value 0 to a Control value 16, until the cutscene ends, which will put back the Control value to 0. This is quite slow, so we will try to prevent that by activating a textbox, somehow. Luckily, there is a door with a textbox right next to us! We just have to trigger the textbox 1 frame before the cutscene starts (frame 13566) and the textbox Condition value 17 will override the cutscene Condition value 16. We are now in a textbox instead of a cutscene, so we can just dismiss the textbox and go back to a Condition value 0, even though the cutscene is playing!

Door textbox TAS inputs

We continue in the level and when we come back, the Gi-Gi soldiers that we just defeated are now back! Since we interrupted the victory cutscene, the game does not register them as defeated. We go out on the other side of the room and continue until we arrive at the first boss of the game.
Zeppo: 80HP
Zeppo
It is the first boss, so this mini-boss acts a bit as a tutorial for what's to come later on in the game. He can attack with energy slashes, jumps and charges, but we don't have the time to actually see that. It only has a single phase, so we can hit him 6 times at max damage (15 damage) and Zeppo is defeated.
Right after this, we are confronted by a second mini-boss, slightly harder than Zeppo. It is the Gi-Gi white soldier.
Gi-Gi White Soldier: 100HP
Gi-Gi White Soldier
This boss has 2 attacks: a hammer hit, and a charge. Same as Zeppo, this mini-boss has a single phase only, so we can hit it 7 times at max damage (15 damage) and it is defeated. However, since we have so little time between consecutive attacks, it was not possible to get a perfect 15 damage every single hit without wasting time. One of Flint's attacks dealt 13 damage but it is not a problem since 15x7 = 105, we still had a 5 damage extra.

8:13 - Paco Village

After the two mini-bosses are defeated, the ship crashes and we land on the beach near Paco Village. A kind man finds Flint and pokes him with his cane. After a three days sleep in this villager's house, we meet Lord Prunewell and Princess Alexia, who will accompany us in our adventures. The current King was replaced by a wooden puppet by Baron Diaz, who received help from the Pirates to do his bidding. We leave the house for a bit to get the life-savings of the local shopkeeper, 100G. We will need to purchase a sword from him later on at 500G, so this is a nice start. When we come back to the villager's house we are told that Lord Prunewell and Princess Alexia are gone, so we go look for them in Kindra Forest.

10:24 - Kindra Forest

We follow the path until we get to Lord Prunewell who teaches us how to lift and throw things. You might ask yourself why we don't cut down grass on our way to him even though we have plenty of opportunities to so so. This is because once Flint has his sword drawn, the vast majority of cutscenes will first require Flint to sheathe his sword before playing, which loses almost one second. Cutting grass here is not worth the time lost sheathing the sword.

We then quickly go up using the box, then we push the large stone out of the way. It is a fixed animation, so we cannot stop it mid-way (Might possibly be interrupted by enemy attacks, but this will have to be tested later). Two enemies are now facing us and have to be defeated to go up the cliff on the left. They have 30HP so two max damage sword swings do the job.

Push large stone Hit two enemies

In the next map we have two options. We can either pull + push two blocks which take a long time, or we can go to the shortcut on the right to grab a puzzle piece, and save time. We take the second option, then we press the button to activate the platform to go up the cliff. This next jump took me several days trying to perfect it, but I could not find a shorter way to do it, ... yet. In the image below you can see that the rightmost floating platform is very close to the cliff's edge, and is actually close enough to prevent Flint from getting in the middle. However, we can jam ourselves in the cliff to gain more height using the platform to push us in it.

The normal way that cliffs work is that they are 3D objects slanted at an angle, and if we attempt to walk on them, a sliding animation will trigger until Flint comes to a complete stop, and we cannot move during this. The only thing that has worked so far to interrupt this sliding animation is to use the platform as a wall. Flint then can do all his normal actions but in the middle of the cliff. We can then gain more height this way, but not enough.
ImageHeights
Press button0: Ground
3: Top of button
6: Top of Left platform
12: Top of Right platform
12: Cliff

4: Jammed Flint in cliff

Flint jump height: 6
When I tested going up the cliff using coordinates hack I noticed that by locking Flint's height to 12, the height of the cliff, it was not possible to go over it, but rather I had to reach a height of 13 before Flint could move past it. I am still unsure if this was a real thing in the game, or a fringe event due to coordinates hack.

Four enemies are at the end of the path, and needs to be defeated before the giant stone can be removed. Two enemies are on the top side of parallel ledges and can only be hit if you attack at the peak of Flint's jump or if you wait for them to come down to you. Nevertheless, it is not possible to go on top of the small stones or up these ledges because there is no allowed walking on these. We then go through the small house, a jump on a chest as a shortcut up the ledge and we arrive at Mt. Sparrowhawk.

13:10 - Mt. Sparrowhawk

Princess Alexia was waiting for us to arrive, and gives us a Puzzle Piece. We then move on to the fallen Airship and start exploring. A dead Gi-Gi soldier is on the right side near an entrance that we go through. After a bit of platforming we arrive at the top of the ship and we meet Mephisto, an evil NPC. He will make us battle a mechanical feline called Pandora.
Pandora: 150HP
Pandora
This boss has 150HP and our strong attack does 15 damage. This implies that with 10 hits this boss is defeated, but we cannot do less than 15 damage even once. The first phase is rather simple, Pandora will charge at Flint, and we just need to attack at that moment. At 60 HP remaining, Pandora enters its second phase and will go up either of the four pillars and breathe fire at Flint. It is impossible to hit Pandora during this moment, so we have to wait for it to come down before we can damage it. Four hits do the job, and Pandora is defeated.
After the battle, we are rewarded with 240G and a large Life Crest (+100 Max HP). Since this is a TAS, we can skip getting the health upgrade, we just collect the money and leave quickly. On our way to Paco Village, it gets bombed by a giant bull called Mithra with the pirates' symbol on it and many houses are destroyed, including the shop. We get the Puzzle Piece from the chest nearby and visit the second toilets for this run. Luckily, the shopkeeper's inventory is intact and we can purchase a better sword from him.

Textbox villager Sword purchase

We then go search for the pirates at Mithra Valley, past the city of Toroledo. On our way, we will first pass through Tortuga Beach.

21:35 - Tortuga Beach

We go through a bit of platforming on the beach, and two breakable stone pillars are on floating platforms in our path. We can jump around it easily since the pillars are smaller than the platform. At the next map we have to break two yellow stone pillars with a stone that magically appears from the sky. I tried everything I knew to go around this, but nothing worked. If it was possible to climb up these small pillars, I would have attempted to jump to the wooden platform on the left and skip going around.

Stone pillars on platform Yellow stone pillars

After going up the small ledge, Flint arrives at a button hidden under a stone pillar. We break it and activate the button which spawns a jar of water next to Flint. It can be used to break the blue statues, which we will do right away. In the next map we have a small parkour area over wooden poles to arrive at the next button, which lowers a platform for us to progress further. This leads us to a fight against three Koblins.

Water jar Three Koblins

These enemies are the first ones which you cannot simply rush head on. When they detect Flint, they will wind up a charge and then try to headbutt Flint. During the winding up and headbutt animations they will be invulnerable to attacks. This means that we must be devious and hit them when they are walking around. This results in a weird attack path for Flint, but is optimal given the enemies' abilities. They have 40HP, so two strong hits with our current sword (18 - 21 damage) will be enough for them. Right after this we get introduced to the one-way walls. These are a special kind of obstacle that can be pushed over from the "foot" side (front), but not from the other side (back). We just have to slide on the foot symbol and the wall falls over. After a rather weird cutscene we continue on our way and reach Alexia that was waiting for us. We make our way to Toroledo.

One-way wall raised One-way wall pushed over

24:46 - Toroledo

Our aim for the moment is to collect a few more puzzle pieces and visit a third toilet before we continue the main questline. We go to the building on the right and get a puzzle piece upstairs. Another puzzle piece is through the backdoor of the same building we entered, and then we go to the bull fighting arena map, then to the cow pastures. We will find one last puzzle piece there and open the way to the House of Jeehan under the golden statue.

He will teach us combat techniques in exchange for puzzle pieces. Lord Jeehan teaches us the counterattack which allows Flint to attack twice in rapid succession. It can be more efficient than the strong attack in the right circumstances so it will be useful. Next step is to talk to the apprentice in the room. He knows a very powerful technique called "Sunburst Attack", but will only teach it to us if we give him information about three kinds of toilets so he can complete his essay. After getting the information, the apprentice rewards us with the "Gauntlet" and we can do his special "Sunburst Attack" by holding the attack button for a few seconds.

Lord Jeehan Sunburst Attack

After leaving Lord Jeehan's house we head back to the main part of Toroledo. On our way Princess Alexia will want to talk to us and we can save a bit of time here. Our movement is blocked and she has to walk along a predetermined path until she goes off-screen. Once she leaves the screen Flint is allowed to move again. However since the requirement to move again is only that Alexia is "off-screen", we can zoom in the camera to make this happen almost one second earlier (50 frames). As we head to Pierre's house we are greeted by a very healthy relationship display between himself and his wife, Emma. Since the only way to move forward to the Mithra Valley is through their house, we have to go find Pierre that ran off.

Since Pierre gambled the household's money away he believes he can gamble it back, ... at the arena where he lost it all. We do a bit of camera trickery again to let Princess Alexia leave faster. She gives to Pierre money to pay back his debts, and after a bit of struggle, he goes back to his house. We follow him and go through their house to arrive at Mithra Valley.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other games have you done?