12 Hour Challenge: Tag team, back again

Aug. 4-6 will bring us yet another 12 Hour Challenge, and I’m looking forward to continued speedrunning growth in my second participation with the event.

The previous event was in February, and was my first involvement with any sort of proper speedrunning event. The event tasks players to learn a brand new game within 12 hours and optimize what times can be posted. It isn’t a competition or something taken seriously, but it is a way to encourage new games to be played and share streams participating in the challenge.

Last fall I did participate in Distant Star Cares, but my involvement was predominately a showcase of recent indie games as opposed to optimized speedruns. In February, the 12 Hour Challenge had a theme of playing a game that was a remake/remaster, which coupled well with my interest in playing Mega Man 2.5D at that time.

I went into the previous event with low expectations, but given the game had just released, I had toyed with it to the point I had unlocked almost every item and cleared the game on its hard difficulty. The event is more about competing with yourself to post your personal best. Being a short-term challenge, I set small goals for myself, starting with a vague mission and narrowing the targets from that point forward.

mmrun

February’s 12 Hour Challenge saw me eventually whittle Mega Man 2.5D down to 53:02.

With so much room for personal gain, I tried to offer no-reset runs as much as I possibly could. The real gatekeeper in the run as I had it structured at that time was in not losing scores of time in the very tricky Tornado Man stage. The stage has several ways to fall to your death, which meant even a minor mistake could drag you all the way back to a checkpoint and suck down precious time.

I started the challenge with making a game completion so I could establish a base time, and then the race took off from there. I set a goal of clearing the game in less than an hour and then narrowed my times from there. I ended on a 53:02, which shaved several minutes off from where I began. In the end, while other streamers eventually broke the game down to a 40-or-less-minute run, there was success in the endeavor.

The run benefited from my choice to pick a game that I really enjoyed but had never burned myself out on. I was engaged in doing better while never getting tired of repeating the game’s content. Setting realistic goals meant I was always making progress and, in doing so, there came a satisfaction in growing as a speedrunner.

I’ve never set out to be a serious speedrunner, but I’d always wanted to have that handful of games in my pocket that I could pull out for fun or fill in gaps in a minor marathon. To be honest, I’m struggling to find a foothold in the speedrunning community overall, but there have been a small handful of streamers that have kept the encouragement flowing.

I like to keep my game selection to video games I can complete in 20 minutes or less, so Mega Man 2.5D was actually something slightly out of my comfort zone. I don’t have loads of time to sink into dedicated practice, so I need to target runs I can race through in short bursts. On top of that, I find runs where I am resetting constantly burns me out really quickly, whereas, if I can finish a game in 10-20 minutes, I’m more inclined to do full runs and practice the game in its entirety.

The August 12 Hour Challenge features the theme of “Tag Team,” an optional game theme of having multiple characters to toggle between throughout the game to encourage different styles of gameplay. Looking at games that could be reasonable for me, I settled on one that is a bit of a slant on the theme, but it matches the game length and style I’m aiming for.

The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse is the initial entry in the Super Famicom “Magical Adventure” series, and is a game I fondly remember through rentals when I was younger. There aren’t multiple characters in the game, per se, but in Mickey’s quest to save Pluto, he is given multiple costumes granting him special abilities and change the way the game is played. In my mind, Mickey is cosplaying as different characters and costume changes are necessary to make your way through the game.

mtd

Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3

The second Magical Adventure game was localized on the Super Nintendo with Mickey and Minnie, but I almost decided on the third game, Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3. Mickey to Donald has the same costume mechanic, but is newer to most players. This third adventure only made its way to the U.S. as a low-key Game Boy Advance release, sort of like how Mega Man & Bass finally hit the U.S. after the Super Famicom Rockman & Forte went unreleased for years.

Note: Mickey to Donald is how I always see the game’s title printed, and that’s what I always call it. If you are confused, “to” (pronounced like the English word “toe”) is the Japanese conjunction meaning “and.”

Mickey to Donald lets players choose between Mickey and Donald through the quest – sort of like World of Illusion, another amazing Mickey/Donald game I’d like to take a crack at in the future – and the choice actually makes a few of the costume abilities differ. It’s a great game, but I noticed even TAS runs of this were tipping the 30-minute range, so I opted for Magical Quest.

I’ve already prepped my splits and after work tomorrow, I’m going to get to work on The Magical Quest. Similar to February, I’m going to start with ensuring I can clear the game without many difficulties. The best part of a failthrough is all the gold splits you get when you sweep back through! I’ve seen “expert” and TAS runs of this completed in 15-16 minutes, so I believe the first goal to set will be 30 minutes.

How fast can I make a mouse save a dog from an evil dog? Follow me at www.twitch.tv/djtatsujin and find out when I’m live this weekend!

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

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