A Melbourne morning, tram bell ringing, cold bluestone footpaths and the threat of rain. Mobs of gamers, easily distinguished by their plain baggy clothes (except for those in costume) and slouched posture, converge on the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre. It’s easy enough to make it inside but where to then? The speed runs were beginning at 9:00am yet dancing enforcers, dressed in yellow like minions, encouraged us to mill about in the queue hall, a cathedral dedicated to the lines that characterise PAX. So I just wandered in there, instead of further down the hall to the public access areas like I should’ve and found milling about, testing my bladder for another hour and a half to a DJ playing mashups of Blink 182 and the Pokémon theme song.Continue reading “PAXAUS 2022. Friday. Something is missing”
I’m losing health every second but I’ve never felt so alive and focused. Here I am facing my greatest challenge with no suit, no credentials, just a handful of missiles and my wits. The only way I can get through this is with consistent movement and execution. Any mistakes I make will cost time and energy to get to the next health refill. I can’t look back, only forward. It’s all or nothing, and I’m all out of nothing.
Your health is getting low, and you’re lost in the depths of Norfair. The only light in this dark hellscape is burning hot lava. You can feel the heat threatening to chip away at your HP. Alien creatures sense your fear and hop towards you aggressively. You fight and push on as far as you can go. You’re not quite sure what’s up ahead, but the hope of an Energy Tank or any kind of upgrade is keeping you going. You could go back and farm for health, or you could risk the unknown for a big pay off. What’s there to lose? You can always respawn and try again with full health…. oh wait, no you can’t. Help is not coming.
Dying in Metroid punishes you by reviving you with 30HP, regardless of how many additional e-tanks you had. This means enemies can kill you in a few hits, and farming health back will take more than a dozen enemy kills to get. The odds are never in your favour, as you lose health much faster than you can get it back. This might seem unfair but it was essential in creating this feeling of danger while moving forward to the next room. How much are you willing to risk?
I’ve been getting into Super Metroid more after the 3DS release and set myself a personal goal of beating the game in under an hour. I’ve already done this with Metroid: Zero Mission and had a great time finding the fastest route. With Super Metroid I had done what “felt” like a speedrun, but it’s a different kind of speedrun to Zero Mission. A lot of tricks and skips in this game are very difficult and non-traditional. This is due to Samus’s movement being more complex, and a lot of open environments that don’t stop you from doing crazy things. My current best time was 1 hour 19 minutes, and on 3DS I managed to get 1 hour 27 minutes on a refresher course through the game. My main motivation came when I realised there was still a lot about the game I didn’t know. How do you shortcharge? What other items can I skip? Are there better ways to fight the bosses? Can I do the Zebetite Skip?