Friday, March 13, 2015

Chrono Trigger DS: Timing Myself with LiveSplit

LiveSplit is a timer for speedrunners that lets you break up your run into sections, or "splits", so you can compare runs and track your record and whatnot.  Its highly customizable interface, devoid of window manager decorations, is mostly designed for livestreamers; but there's absolutely nothing preventing it from being used just for personal tracking, as I'm doing.

You can set graphics for the game title and each split, and these show up in your layout.  This is totally optional, but really neat.  I went on some sprite-ripping websites and grabbed the sprites for the various things I needed to decorate the layout for my Spekkio run.

The difference between in-game time, that I've been using up until now, and real time, is noticeable in longer runs.  The in-game clock turns off for certain things, including but not limited to the jet bike race in Lab 32.  It also doesn't show precision below the minute level, so you can't tell if the 0:50 you just got is a low 0:50 that could have been a 0:49, or a high 0:50 that's closer to 0:51.  You have to get out a stopwatch and time from when you bring up the menu to when it changes, and that's just silly.

So basically, from now on, I'm using real time to time my runs.  Speaking of that, here's my very first run timed in real time.  I'm splitting on the last damage number in each fight (only Dragon Tank and Spekkio take multiple hits lol), except for Spekkio, I'm splitting when the victory pose happens since I haven't gotten the hang of counting HP yet.

The run had a few issues.  Didn't get the pixel-perfect battle skip just before Yakra.  I accidentally triggered Johnny's introduction of XR-RX, the scorekeeping robot for the jet bike race.  I also accidentally mashed A instead of X on the 5 random acids/alkalines fight for my second set of turns, which meant Robo used Shock.  Also accidentally triggered the second fight in Proto Dome.  And as always, miscellaneous terrain snags.  The in-game timer, which I always look at when I save after the fight, said 0:49, but I went to the menu and shortly thereafter it changd to 0:50.  We don't care about in-game time anymore, but since I've used it for all my previous runs, it's still a semi-relevant comparison to make.  It's also interesting that for this run, it's off by less than a minute.

Overall, 49:22 isn't too bad for this run, considering I've done it a lot, and I'm doing it without the fade out menu glitch and the save anywhere glitch.  I am, however, using instant escape, as well as running around Spekkio's room.  I was expecting the real time to be significantly longer than the in-game clock.  I'm beginning to wonder if I could break my old in-game time record of 0:51 on SNES/PS1.  Also, I have another few layout elements that I'll be using after this run, for showing best segments and sum of best.  They were irrelevant for this run, so I left them out.

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