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Well, we're finally done. This run began May 28th, 2009. Well, the Phase 2 run of it did. The Phase 1 run of it began far before, around June 2006. That was a run completed by many of the old hl2dq team, suga did the majority of it, though others contributed with tricks and routes. That run came out at a time of 47:12. It wasn't intended to be a full, optimised, acceptable run, but it contained a lot of shortcuts and certainly helped our run a lot to compare it against. From the Phase 1 time of 47:12, we have managed to save 11:41, to reduce the time down to 35:31. This run was done in 31 segments, 14 ones per map which were unavoidable, 17 extra segments. Through the run we've had some runners appear, some disappear, and a couple stick through the whole way, and I'm certain we've come together as a group to make this possible and I know it's been a fun, frustrating and worthwhile experience.
Phase 1 time: 07:56
Our time: 06:47
Notes: We didn't technically save as much time as it seems, as their demo started at a different time and it doesn't have time taken off for regaining control.
- Segment 1 [02:48] [Inexistence]
This map is awful. I hated this map. This first segment was fine, as all I had to do was escape the map and get the bike across to the other side. It didn't even need to be in the right position, as I could adjust it in the next segment. Really not much to this one, except I found later on, after we were about 75% done with the run, that we only need to start timing from when we gain control, which was 32 seconds into this demo, so that shortened our predicted time happily.
We tried lots of ways to break this map and get Alyx to get through it all quicker, but we could only do what you see. That's pretty much all for this segment.
- Segment 2 [03:59] [Inexistence]
Here's where it got frustrating. When we first began this map, I assumed that it was barely improvable from the Phase 1 demo and so I got an okay demo (Slower than the Phase 1 time by 3 seconds I believe) and said we'd move on the next day. However, thankfully DemonStrate stopped me and said we should be aiming to improve the Phase 1 time no matter what. So we stayed on it for 2 weeks I think, trying to improve it. We were aiming for one segment, but eventually decided to split it into two because it was just too difficult for one.
Right, to the skips we use. We originally just went through the map with no skips used at all. This obviously isn't that great, but we didn't know of any. Then it turned out that by doing some fancy jumping, you can get on the other side of the gunship before you're supposed to, which I do. It was then found, that at a certain point, you can run through a trigger, and Alyx will assume she has finished her speech and teleport to the other side of the gunship. If you go through the map normally, you don't notice this trigger and nothing happens. So we did that, which saved a fair bit of time. Then we found you can teleport Alyx at a particular point, which saves a couple of seconds. We figured we had wrung out all of the skips and shortcuts for the map at the point, until DemonStrate mentioned to us that he had something hilarious. If you put the bike that's in the earlier area underneath where Alyx lands when she drops down after the gunship, she falls through the floor and goes to the bottom of the map.
I tried it out, and at one point just tried going on with the map while she did it. Well, I was surprised when she glitched and stopped doing her scripted sequences like climbing down a ledge and crawling under objects, she just teleported from one side to the other, saving a hell of a lot of time. I think 13 seconds overall it saved. So then we had to do this, and combining all of these skips, we got a great time for the map, saving around 37 seconds from the Phase 1 I believe (Then another 32 seconds from the timing differences).
I originally got a time one second faster than this. However, when I opened console immediately after the next map loaded, and made a save file, something strange occurred. It seemed that the next map glitched and didn't execute a certain command, because we had saved before it had chance. And so the save file was unusable, meaning I had to rerun the segment again and again, and eventually came up with this time, which, while a second slower, was the closest I'd manage without going insane this early in the run.
So yeah, that's the map done. This was the first segment I went insane on, which I've done with a number of segments in the run, where, when I get the time I want, I end up screaming that we're moving on, as everyone else left the running to me as I was utterly determined to get the time.
Phase 1 time: 02:56
Our time: 02:41
- Segment 1 [crzyfst] [0:08]
Ugh, what a pain this segment was considering its length of barely 8 seconds and its rather unspectacular look. I kid you not when I say that I tried the jump across the pit at least a thousand times. If you think it's easy to do, go ahead and do it cause the sad thing about this segment is that you'll only be able to appreciate the difficulty of it if you actually tried it yourself. Originally we had planned to go to the left of the yellow tube, however, I noticed that it should be possible to go to the right of it which should have made skipping the following trigger a bit easier. Unfortunately, I only managed this version of the jump twice, both times failing to skip the trigger and one time missing the jump into the tunnel at the end. We ended up using my second segment when we realised that skipping the trigger was to no real avail in the following segment.
Segment 2 [Inexistence] [2:33]:
I don't really have much to say about this segment. Since crzyfst didn't skip the trigger in the previous segment, I assumed I'd have to slow down to let the combine soldier die before I could pass him, but I seemed to be able to just squeeze past. I could've wallstrafed against the wall at the start, but I didn't know of the trick at that point.
The bunnyhopping is pretty good here. I really don't think there's much else to say. I shouldn't have hit that wall after the bridge. Go into that room. Alyx talks. When my gravity gun gets messed up, we found that you could just pick it up, rather than waiting to be able to collect it, which let us finish the map a little quicker.
Phase 1 time: 1:25
Our time: 1:13
- Segment 1 [TYPICAL] [1:13]
Back when I was doing this it seemed like a perfect time... I think less of it now because I wasn't too good at TSA's when we had just started running. Anyway, the way of doing this map the fastest is by getting Alyx to the end as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is by making sure that no combine get in her way.
You can see the first instance of this when I randomly jump off of the bridge. The reason I did this was to dodge the trigger that spawns combine. The next trigger can be avoided but it takes too long and it doesn't affect Alyx too much to really benefit from avoiding it. After that just hope that whatever did get in her way didn't hurt her too badly and hope that she opens the door quickly enough.
Phase 1 time: 1:58
Our time: 1:48
- Segment 1 [Inexistence] [0:52]
This segment wasn't that eventful really. We grab that sheet of metal for later, it's very important for the next map. Alyx seemed quite random with how quickly she wanted to walk onto the elevator, which is why it seems that I'm slow at the start of the segment, but it appeared that going a little slower let Alyx catch up and overall get on the elevator faster than if I just ran straight for it.
This segment isn't too hard. I wish I'd been able to get Alyx to step on the metal, as it sends her flying into the air for some reason, it's pretty cool.
Little note for this segment, for some reason the demo for it is a little weird and it carries on even when the segment itself is finished. The elevator doesn't move and nothing else happens, but sounds keep going and the timer on demoui keeps running, even though it's gone past the time it says. Oh well.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [0:56]
This was the harder part of the map. Getting the orb into the generator quickly is difficult for some reason for me, and then the stalker knocks it out. I hate that I miss an orb, but it doesn't waste that much time, especially because this is a good segment for what happens after that. The stalker is only vulnerable after a certain point, so what you need to do is keep firing orbs into the generator, getting the elevator as low as you can when the stalker becomes vulnerable, then you hit him with an orb and get another one into the generator as soon as you can. I did this pretty well in this segment, and it got the time low enough to accept.
Take the metal for the next map, where it's very useful, grab health. And onto the next map. We knew it was possible for this map to reach the bottom without the elevator. You can use the metal to reduce or remove fall damage if done right, or use the tubes at the side to make our way down, but Alyx was required to get to the next map, so we couldn't do that.
Phase 1 time: 5:50
Our time: 4:45
- Segment 1 [TYPICAL] [0:48]
Killing the guards as fast as possible so that Alyx can do her thing is what affects the time at the beginning. After that getting above the elevator is the next thing. Gordon is only forced to drop objects that he's standing on. Since the metal sheet is slanted he's not standing on it but rather "surfing" on it if you will. For this reason he doesn't drop it but since he's pulling it up gains height with it. Going over that elevator can't be done too fast otherwise Alyx won't close the doors behind you (needs to happen.)
- Segment 2 [crzyfst] [0:08]
Another short segment for me that is basically based on trial & error although there were certain moves you could do that would work better than others. Basically, you fire the metal sheet into the elevator shaft, wait a second, and then just drop down yourself. If you're lucky you land on the sheet in a funny way that let's you not lose any health at all. From there, it's just picking the sheet up again with the gravity gun, waiting for the door to the citadel's core to open and placing the sheet right on the edge of the lower platform in preparation for the following orb jump. Weirdly enough, I had less problems with this segment than with my ep1_citadel_01 segment.
One thing we noticed later on is that if you drop down the elevator shaft before the door in the control room begins to close behind Alyx, the game simply becomes unbeatable because Alyx will freeze up once you did your business in the core and went back up to the control room. Fortunately, I realised this when I tried beating the map in one segment. This meant for me to go back to the elevator drop cause at that time I was the only one left even running the part. Eventually, I ended up with an equally good segment, despite the time I had to wait for Alyx to get into the room.
- Segment 3 [Inexistence] [0:08]
This segment was quite hard. Originally, we used the metal to orb jump up, and then just left it and didn't bring it with us to the next part. We'd grab an orb, run down the corridor, into the chamber and then activate the generator, then grab one of the monitors and use that for the next jump.
Then, one night crzyfst mentioned that we could bring the metal with us and use that for the next orb jump. So we used that, and quickly realised we didn't need to go into the chamber, and barely even the corridor. So we proceeded to constantly attempt this, also trying to lay the metal exactly on the edge after the jump, which is very hard to do.
So yeah, we'd pop into the corridor, take a shot, move out a little, stop the demo and make a save, then hope that the orb actually hit the generator and everything would work. At this point I had a terrible pc, and I could actually know when I hit the generator just because my pc lagged when it did hit, so I had an easier time of it.
- Segment 4 [TYPICAL] [0:53]
There is a lot of finicky movement in this segment which turns out to be my favourite kind of segment. Anyway, the orb jumps should really already be explained above me, there is room for improvement with the one that I got in the way that you can get really lucky and get a massive boost into that corridor but I wasn't so patient so I got the cheap one.
The other main factor to this is the orb catchers. Making sure that an orb is placed in them ASAP is the other major dictator in what time you can get from this segment. The reason that I don't go down into the pit where the orb catchers are is because if I do then one of the orbs will get released and I'll have to place another one into a catcher.
- Segment 5 [TYPICAL] [2:48]
I found this trick. Yeah... there's not much that can speed up this segment, mostly filled with story babble and me messing around. The main thing to note here is where I hit the combine soldiers right in the face! Not because it was fun but because they give us some tools which can greatly speed up later levels. Apart from that the only other factor in time is making sure that I don't screw the end up. Think I could have done a better job looking back at it now.
Phase 1 time: 3:05
Our time: 2:47
- Segment 1 [crzyfst] [2:47]
This turned out to be a very annoying segment as well, basically because it contained a lot of Alyx Vance doing stupid things. The first thing that can mess with your time is that Alyx might take ages to reach the room at the very end of the corridor if you step too far into it. Getting that part right took a couple of tries for me at least. Another sensitive part was getting Alyx to get as close to the terminal as possible so that she wouldn't have to walk such a long distance after her monologue ended. The rollermines would constantly block or disturb her in some way or another, so getting that right took some practicing as well. Sometimes she would also get blocked by the mines once you'd taken out all the combine which would immediately call for a restart. Speaking of which...
Killing the combine soldiers with only the rollermines was medium hard I guess. Sometimes the mines would jump in weird directions you wouldn't expect which would waste a lot of time sometimes. So I figured I'd sacrifice one of the orbs we just collected one map earlier to kill as many soldiers as possible and take out the remaining ones with the mines. Once that whole part was over the boring part began... Getting on the train, listening to more annoying monologues and eventually finding yourself in the train wreck. When the screen turned black I speed-crawled towards Alyx and started pushing the stalker off of her with the gravity gun. Once that was done, the only thing left to do was firing the gravity gun at the door a couple of times until it opened, getting out of the train and speed-crawling through the opening in the ground, straight into the next map.
Admittedly, this wasn't the hardest segment in the run but definitely a map with lots of opportunities to screw with your time... and temper. This was my last segment in the run. The last one I actually tried was ep1_c17_00a where I wanted to prove that grav-jumping off a stone right up to the top level of the garage would be faster than the route you see in the run. Obviously I was wrong.
Phase 1 time: 3:13
Our time: 1:21
- Segment 1 [TYPICAL] [0:24]
This segment has a bit of history behind it for me. I'd just got back from a friends 18th and was pretty messed up. After some moping I went into chat and ran from like... 3AM to... 6AM trying to match Josh's time but end up with less health. I'm guessing that towards the end of the night the alcohol was wearing off because I was getting better and better till I beat his amount of health and suit. Looking back that was one of my favourite segments simply because of the company and that I BEAT YOU JOSH HA!
Anyway I use the grenade i stole from the guards in the citadel to jump over the barrier to get away from that awful smell that the girl was waving around. With the use of some speed crawling and jumping when the vent tilts upward (gains speed because of the slant above Gordon's head) I could get through the vents fairly quickly and find Alyx waiting for me on the other side.
- Segment 2 [TYPICAL] [0:57]
This segment used the "Purple Bug". This is a trick that I found which makes reflective textures purple. This may sound like a hindrance but when you're wandering through a pitch black area... you can see a lot more than nothing. By doing this I could see tons of stuff while in the dark which really helped me move around while doing this segment. Things to note here are the wall climb over the combine train, running around in the dark and extreme bunny hopping.
Phase 1 time: 3:06
Our time: 3:03
- Segment 1 [CooL] [0:28]
This segment wasn't as bad as some of the others, all I was required to do was bunnyhop down the corridor, do a gravity jump to get to the top of the parking garage, and then start turning the wheel as soon as I had reached the top. I was doing this map along with Typical and cRZYFST, things did get pretty competitive, but I managed to come out with 28 seconds.
- Segment 2 [TYPICAL] [2:35]
I really don't like this segment because it's long and there are some pretty tricky bits at the beginning. The explosive container is necessary because there is a regular zombie that blocks the door otherwise and takes ages to get rid of with any other method. The next trick is wall climbing over the fence with that chair. This simply saves me having to go all the way around the fence to get to that door and cuts off a couple of seconds. Sadly I run into a barrel but the part after went so well that I just kept the segment. After that it's just hitting the switch that starts the wait which is pretty hard to do quickly since taking damage makes use "un-usable".
After that I need to survive two minutes while taking an explosive barrel into the elevator. I use a god spot which is close to the elevator and hope that Alyx doesn't get gimped while I wait. The explosive barrel is to be used later in the game. Watch very carefully and you'll see a fast zombie on fire jump past me a few times.
Phase 1 time: 3:22
Our time: 1:54
- Segment 1 [Inexistence] [0:42]
This is the second segment in the run that drove me insane. We originally didn't plan for the barrel from the previous level, but Typical had thought of that while he ran it, so we had it to use. Not getting hurt by the barrel exploding isn't too hard, nor is running and opening the gate just enough to get the valve out. Sometimes it's hard to get the valve actually out, I used a method of pressing secondary fire a lot of times, which would remove any debris from around the valve, so I didn't pick up broken pieces of crates instead of the valve.
It's possible to get to Alyx quicker, so she doesn't even manage to get into her talk, but I only got that a few times, and it's only a second difference or so and needs real luck, and along with everything else expected in this segment, not worth trying to get every time.
Pretty easy getting to the combine. Sometimes I'd mess up getting through the gap or punting the crate too late, but generally easy enough. Now, the next part. What you have to do is kill the combine as fast as possible, which will let us get to the next area. Since we don't really have any guns at this point, apart from the pulse rifle, which isn't fast enough, we have to make do. Originally, we didn't throw the dustbin across, and just went slightly off-course later to pick another one up, but this one was far more convenient and faster.
At one point I began to use the gas cylinder and set one of the combine on fire, so I could just kill three and the other would die, but he was taking longer than it'd take me to kill all four, so I stopped using it, as it was just adding difficulty. I'm embarrassed about the miss on the combine, but I'd been running this for days when I managed this demo, and it was the time I was aiming for and very very difficult.
Earlier on in running this, I managed to get a time of 44 seconds, which we actually thought was almost impossible to beat, because as I was bunnyhopping past the antlions, they both hit me in the back and it gave me some extra speed. However, I found that just from improving at running it, I was getting matching times of that, so I knew we could get lower. The wallclimb was the thing that really cinched it for me. I found it was very hard to get a fast wallclimb with the bin, but I remembered that the more speed you go into the wallclimb with, the faster it is generally. So I took the corner very wide and came at it with a lot of speed, which let me get the wallclimb far faster, and get the 42 seconds I was aiming for.
I was very frustrated with this segment at that point and knew it was the best I'd get and I was very happy with it.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [1:12]
This segment was irritating. The roof transfer was quite difficult to manage, but not too bad. I originally lowered myself down gently from the roof, which took a lot more time than just the brutal jump down here, but the crates will change their contents to give more health when it's needed, so it all works out fine. I have to go to the door to activate the trigger so that Alyx can arrive and everything. That collision boost is quite hard to get, so it added a lot of retries to the run. I'm not too happy with how I did with killing the combine and those antlions.
The best case scenario with Alyx is that you kill the antlions before she tries to shoot them, and she just runs straight to the console. That obviously didn't happen in this run. For some reason though, sometimes the antlions all just die and Alyx starts walking to you for the next scene. That happened in this situation, which is why I got the best time for this segment. I was very lucky. The teleport on Alyx wasn't too great, but it was okay. That's it for this segment and this map!
Phase 1 time: 2:16
Our time: 1:14
- Segment 1 [TYPICAL] [0:41]
I love this segment. There are just so... many interesting things. Anyway, I prove that it's possible to get through most of the game without the shotgun by killing all of the guards with an empty gasoline can. In the dead time where Alyx talks about... stuff, I suit up and get full health for the road ahead. After the guards open the doors I get outside as fast as possible and wall climb over the barrier which stops you from progressing through the game. I jump straight off the building and through the hole because we don't need much health for the following segments. It is possible to get down from there without taking any damage. There are multiple ways in fact, it's just that speed is the main objective here.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [0:33]
This segment was quite hard just because of how cramped the whole thing was. The speedcrawling at the start was easy enough. What you don't notice is that I am also wallstrafing, which is putting me just a little below regular walking speed, which is great considering where crawling through a vent. So yeah, I do that and then run out of sprint, so I begin jumping constantly in the vent to keep my previous speed as much as I can.
In the phase 1 demo a lot of time was wasted her being careful around the barrels. I just braved it and jumped over them. Teasing out the elevator to fall can be hard sometimes, and I got a little caught by it, but not enough to really lose any noticeable time.
Ladderclimb up the ladder and then into the next vent. Wallstrafe and speedcrawl through there as well, and then into the next room. I previously waited for all of the barrels to explode before dropping down, but I realised that to get a better time I needed to drop down before the last one exploded, so I did that and managed to not die.
Overall, a good, fast segment that I'm happy with.
Phase 1 time: 0:26
Our time: 0:17
Notes: Yes, this map is before c17_02a. Silly Valve
- Segment 1 [Inexistence] [0:11]
This is the segment I am most proud of in this run. I originally had a time of 16 seconds for this segment, then I managed to squeeze it down to 13. At this point, I considered it close to optimal, but figured I'd be able to get it down well enough to get to 12. Actually, I'd best talk about what happened in this segment before.
In the Phase 1 run, he already had two smg mortars, and one is needed for the next segment. So he shot the explosive barrel when it appeared, then used an smg nade to get the plug almost every time. However, we didn't have those, as for the Phase 1 run they used the "map" console command, which gives you standard weapons. We had no smg nades, but you can find one in the crates in this segment. So we realised we'd have to just shoot the plug. It's a very exact shot, and we just had to hope that the smg would actually hit the plug. We originally went with shooting the barrel, then the plug. Using this strategy, I managed to finally squeeze my time down to 12 seconds. I was very proud, but to my horror, I realised that after a while I could get 12 semi-consistently and 11 was possible. I even did timescale practices, where I slow down the game to play it, and I never managed an 11 second one. But I tried. Over and over. I found tiny, partial-second improvements. I used a wallstrafe at the very beginning of the map, which saved maybe 0.1 seconds. Tiny, tiny things like that. I did it so much that I could probably do it eyes closed, just because of the muscle memory of doing it. Then I realised that I didn't need to shoot the barrel at all, I could just shoot the plug directly. That saved enough time to get my time down to 12.0 ? 12.1 seconds. And just from trying over and over, thousands of times I'm sure, I did it. I got 11.9 seconds. The demo is actually shown as 1 tick before it turned 12. There are 66.666 ticks in a second, and I was one tick under being 12 seconds. I was so proud of my 11 seconds, and I don't believe this demo can be improved more than 5 or 6 ticks.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [0:06]
This segment also sent me mildly crazy. In the Phase 1 demo, suga bunnyhop'd down the street a little, and did a mortar jump against a lorry. It was fast, and I was amazed by it, but then I discovered this method. I saw the slanted rock, and figured that with enough speed, it would send me up onto the ledge I needed to get on. It felt a lot like my Team Fortress 2 experience with rocketjumping, where you would rocketjump sideways off walls to get a lot of speed, so I did it with the mortar, and I hit the ramp and it sent me flying. I didn't reach it first time of course, but I knew it was possible.
I spent hours running this, almost as much as the first segment. Approximately every 20 minutes or so I'd actually reach the ledge I needed, at which point I'd have to headshot an invisible, unspawned combine to get past him and get to the end of the map. I did this over and over, getting my time down from 9 seconds to 6. I was very happy with this time. Then I realised that we needed a shotgun for the next map. The combine next to the one I originally killed had a shotgun. So I had to run it again. More hours put into it, again and again. It was very hard to shoot the head of something I couldn't see. Then I realised that even when I killed him, just walking over the shotgun wouldn't pick it up instantly for some reason.
So I had to look down and press use to pick it up. More hours. Eventually I managed it, 6 seconds, with a shotgun, and everything looked fine. Another segment I went insane over.
Phase 1 time: 4:12
Our time: 1:56
- Segment 1 [Inexistence] [1:12]
This segments annoyed me. It was fair enough with the killing combine, but the gunship was so goddamn random. The combine were taken out with the orb mainly, some with shotgun too. You see I missed the shot on the crate, which is just one of a few missed shots that lost no time in the segment.
Typical timed it and found out that it's faster to shoot a rocket, switch weapons and switch back, then fire again, than it is to just wait for the rocket launcher to reload, so we use that in this. Also, we can use fast rocketing when we're out of rockets and getting more from the crate. As you can see, I manipulated the gunship through sheer luck to always stay in the right position so I could hit it. That's the fastest routine I could get it to follow and it happened maybe 1 in 40 or so attempts, which, when trying to get everything else right, made it very hard.
But yeah, very fast gunship fast, then I mess up on the combine by missing shots a lot, but it makes little difference in the end, so it's all good.
I found the timing for the grenade at the end quite hard to get right for some reason. It is relatively simple. But it worked in the end anyway. I'm not insanely happy with this segment due to a lot of missed shots, but it's definitely very fast.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [0:26]
This segment took a long time. We all contested for this a lot, there were a lot of fancy tricks we had planned, but it turned out that the fastest method was a much simpler way. Just so you know, the teleport on Alyx at the start doesn't speed anything up, it was just easy and looked cool.
We originally, after killing the combine with the hopper, planned to do a mortar jump down this corridor. It turned out that while it may seem faster, it's actually faster to be more in control and just bunnyhop down there. While flying through the air, aiming the orb to kill those zombies right is very hard. So we removed that trick, and then we were going to use the orb that the elite combine fire and boost off of that to go down the corridor quicker. Much too hard, and barely useful, along with the health we lost from it too.
For some reason, for that door, you have to walk a little past it to be able to open it, which is why I do so, then get lucky to be able to get through the zombies. Originally we were going to grab the bedside cabinet at the side for the next segment, but instead I found we can use a bench for the shortcut to be much faster and also easier.
For this segment, the main problem isn't getting through it. The main problem is Alyx actually managing to live. I mean, there's a LOT of zombies trying to kill her in this thing, and we only kill the minimum to get past, so she has to just survive on her own really. I'd say maybe 95% of my completed runs had Alyx not live through them.
- Segment 3 [Inexistence] [0:07]
This was a very hard segment. It may not seem it, but getting that wallclimb is actually really difficult. There's clipping everywhere to try and prevent you from doing it, and also the segment is usually done at regular wallclimb speed, but sometimes if you're lucky, you get a boost from the bench for some reason and it just throws you straight up, which I got in this segment. There's weird clipping in this part, so I seem to get caught on things, though I do get caught near the end due to my own fault from being excited at getting this segment so well.
- Segment 4 [Inexistence] [0:11]
This segment was supposed to take around 1:40. Usually, you have to kill the poison zombie, then Alyx gives a talk, and you wait for zombies to bust down the door, then run through the area. However, one time while trying this segment, I missed the poison zombie with a rocket and I hit the door the zombies usually break down. It broke and let the zombies in. Turns out that for some reason, that door breaks if hit with a rocket. Not a grenade, or a mortar, or a hopper, or anything. Just a rocket. So of course this became the new strategy, and it's I believe the biggest single timesaver in the whole run, though Typical has found far more of those than me, so he gets the prize for most total time saved by shortcuts.
But yeah. This made the segment a hell of a lot shorter, and more manageable since we didn't have to wait 1.5 minutes between attempts for Alyx to talk. It's still very hard. Getting past the zombies isn't too hard, though occasionally the zombies would block the doorway and stop me getting through altogether. But the main difficulty was getting past the hoppers. You may not realise this, but when you go past a hopper very fast, they fling themselves towards you. So when you're in a corridor full of them and you jump past every one of them while being shot at by turrets, it's very easy to die.
After many many tries I managed it though, and so got the 11 seconds I was aiming for. Also, the clipping on the walls after the hoppers is awful and so easy to get caught on. It made a number off 11 second runs into 12 or 13 second ones.
Phase 1 time: 4:59
Our time: 4:08
- Segment 1 [Inexistence] [2:26]
This segment was annoying. This map overall was annoying. When you're trying to rely on a number (up to 4) npc's moving through a map as quickly as you can, when the npc intelligence isn't too good, you're going to have trouble.
There's not that much to say about this segment really. It was difficult, but very forgiving since I could make mistakes while taking the citizens to the train station, as they were slow enough anyway it made no difference. Killing some combine was hard, but overall it was fine. I enjoyed the mortar jump, that was very fun to do.
- Segment 2 [Inexistence] [1:42]
This segment was even worse than the previous one. To begin with, fighting the armoured car. I had to use fast rocketing to its fullest potential here, and I was constantly on 0 rockets so the next one would be a fast rocket. Many runs were stopped just at this point because it was quite hard to manage, but after many days of working on it, it kind of blended together till I barely noticed this part anymore.
Now, you notice that I kill one of the citizens here. Through a lot of the running, I didn't do this, and I obviously lost time for it, since it's quicker for one citizen to arrive at the safe area and then I can run off, rather than wait for both of them to do it. Typical found a way of killing them reliably with hoppers, so that made it much easier.
The killing both citizens part, I found. I was killing one at that point, and Barney would usually get lost pretty early on, so when the citizen was safe I'd have to run back and lead Barney with me. Then one run I accidently killed both of the citizens with the hopper, and I realised that Barney still moved towards me. So I kept going, still not believing that he'd finish the map, but he did and it all went great. I got a time of 1:47 with that. Then I steadily improved it, thought I couldn't improve it, then improved it by another 2 seconds and got it down to 1:42, but it looked terrible. So I kept running, over and over, and then I got another 1:42 and it looked nice, so it was all good.
- Segment 1 [TYPICAL] [1:02]
This was my last segment in the run and where I found a little trick which looks really fishy. Anyway I set up the teleports which make Alyx open the doors faster. I punt a suitcase to where I need it later and set off as soon as Alyx lets down the barrier. I try to turn the valve to spawn the strider and get rid of Alyx as soon as possible and wall climb up the wall with the suitcase I punted over earlier to cut off most of the map. I then use a bit of random diagonal clipping on the side of the container to boost myself up slightly so I can get over the corridor and activate the trigger which makes the strider killable.
- Segment 2 [Foxtreme] [0:35]
The last segment. I started running actively over the last three maps, mostly because I hadn't a computer that could run EP1 smoothly until then.
The goal of it is simple: kill the strider and hit a trigger in front of the console to make Alyx switch on the train. First problem: The strider lasts seven hits in hard mode. Second problem: he randomly hides behind the container. Third problem: like the rest of the run, we want the strider to die as fast as possible.
So after many tries, I ended up with this segment. I did 5 fast rockets. After firing those 5 rockets, the next rocket I picked up was too close to another one, so I had to pick up 2 at the same time, fast rocketing one, and forcing reload. But no time was lost because of it, since I managed to reload and fire that very last rocket while hitting Alyx's trigger. Die, bitch. I mean the strider.
So there you go. Every segment discussed in detail. It's been a lot of fun, I'm very happy with the time we got and think it's improvable by maybe 30 seconds or so. I think sub-35 minutes is possible, but I highly doubt it's worth it. It'd probably take longer than it took us to do this run, just to improve our run by that little bit. I'd love someone else to run it and beat us. I know our run isn't perfect, but it's damn well optimised, but I just love seeing the game beaten fast, I don't care if I did it or someone else did.