Tomb Runner: Tomb Raider speedrunning site

Tomb Raider speedrunning site


FAQ & Rules



Q: What is speedrunning ?

A: Speedrunning is a challenge when you try to achieve the best possible time in a certain level using various tricks, shortcuts and timesavers.




Q: What games do you speedrun here ?

A: Currently, we speedrun all Tomb Raider games and custom-made levels/campaigns.




Q: What should I do to set a new time ?

A: First thing to do is to check out Area 51 section and learn all tricks that saves time like stumble cancels, backflips, short running jumps etc., then pick a level you think you can improve and start practicing or finding new routes/shortcuts. You can make a run of a new level too, just make sure it's downloadable if it's a custom-made. Then it's just about your skill, luck and patience.




Q: Are there any specifications or rules I should follow ?

A: YES. Please, follow these rules:


1) Do not cheat under any circumstances.

2) Only full game or levels are accepted. No demo/beta versions.

3) Make sure you play on highest difficulty if it can be set. Tomb Raider games have never been hard in terms of combat, so there is no reason to play on lowest difficulty. Time difference would be mostly very small.

4) In order to get your run accepted, the video has to be complete, have no serious glitches, decent quality and must include audio.

5) Do not use any 3rd party software such as flying cheat, position editor, save editor etc. You can use an emulator for TAS and wSplit or other similar timing software.

6) Every new run MUST beat previous record if there is one, depending on the category below - exception is made for continuous runs that use a different route to achieve a shortcut in later levels. Continuous runs that match a record of a different continous run are accepted, individual runs are not.

7) There are 7 categories of runs so far:

a) Individual level - A run of any level using any inventory. You can only use inventory you can actually have in that level, which means you are not allowed to use for example UZIs in Venice, because the first time you can have them is in next level, Bartoli's Hideout.

b) Continuous - A run of entire game with inventory continuity.

c) Single-segment - Speedrun through entire game in just one segment = no saves. You are allowed to die if it means you can still continue the game. Make sure you upload an UNCUT video of your run, edited runs won't be accepted as they can be easily manipulated to use segments. It is highly recommended to use wSplit or a similar timing software, that will almost guarantee the run is valid.

d) Secrets - Same as a) or b), but you have to pick all secrets and relics.

e) 100% - All pickups, all kills, all secrets/relics or 100% completion if the game displays it.

f) New Game+ - After you beat a certain game, you can start a new one with some advantages.

g) Tool-assisted speedrun - Special kind of speedrun, which uses many techniques in emulator such as savestates, speed reduction or frame by frame gameplay to pull off the best time possible that a human could not be able to perform in real-time. There are no glitchless and glitched categories.




Q: What does "G", "C" and other letters in timetables mean?

A: It means this:

1) C - Continuous run

2) I - Individual level run

3) G - Glitched run

4) GG - Glitched Glitched run

5) N - New Game+ run

6) D - Deathrun non-restricted

7) DR - Deathrun restricted

8) T - Tool-assisted speedrun (TAS)


This means that a run marked as "CGG" is a continuous run using exit-trigger bugs or any other glitched glitched trick. A run without "G" letter means it's glitchless. Single-segment runs do not have a letter assigned as they're not part of the regular timetables.




Q: Which types of bugs are considered to be "Glitched" and "Glitched Glitched" ?

A: The main difference is that "GG" basically acts as a cheat and makes the engine do crazy stuff, while "G" is mostly just irregular move. Another difference is how much does the trick saves. Also, check out this list:


Glitched

- Corner bugs & flicker motion

- Fence bug

- Block or crack bug

- Dive bug

- Quicksand bug

- Slope bug

- Exposure meter bug

- Left and back roll jump

- Roll bug (only in Custom levels)

- Flare-wall bug

- Trigger bug (triggering spikes, cutscenes etc. using either a basic trigger-bug or alternative trigger-bug)

- All other similar tricks not listed here


Glitched Glitched - these glitches are in a separate category due to their behaviour that is very similar to using cheats or 3rd party programs.

- Air-walk - Only known for Legend and Anniversary.

- Out of Bounds - You move or fall out of the level boundaries.

- Death abuse - Gaining advantage of dying like teleporting to a different checkpoint or loading next level.

- Exit-trigger bug - Exiting a level using either a basic trigger-bug or alternative trigger-bug.




Q: What if I'm not sure if a certain trick is glitched or not ?

A: Either go to Area 51 section, ask on forums or you can contact me.




Q: OK, I think I can make a run, how do I record it ?

A: Well, that depends on what platform you want to speedrun. If you play on console, hook up your vhs or dvd recorder to it and record the run, then grab it into a PC and make a video. If you play on PC, you have several options depending on which Tomb Raider you want to record:

1) Tomb Raider I: If you somehow manage to run this game without any graphics emulators, Hypercam is the application you need, but I'd rather recommend you to use graphic emulator like DgVoodoo or Glidos, then record the run using Fraps or a similar recording software. If you don't know how to install TR1 on XP or Vista, please visit this installation guide.

2) Tomb Raider II and III: Depending on your PC and operatin system, Fraps can sometimes have issue while recording these games in Direct3D mode, so you'll probably end up with another recording software like Bandicam.

3) As far as I know, all other Tomb Raider games works correctly with Fraps, so please use it.

Remember that TRI-V have 30fps limit, so don't try to record any higher. It's recommended to use 60fps or more when running next-gen Tomb Raiders, though. Some tricks in Legend and Anniversary require certain framerate. Make sure your framerate is higher than 25fps, otherwise the run won't be accepted. We just don't like crappy quality.

As for the audio, the best is to record via your soundcard/soundchip. Fraps automatically choose the best input, but if you don't get any sound from your soundcard, you can use recording via microphone. If you do so, please avoid any outside sounds as talking, cursing, bashing etc. I suggest to upload a sample before you start your run.




Q: The run is recorded, what do I have to do next?

A: Now you have to encode the video. You can use whatever software you want as long as you keep at least 320x240 resolution, 30fps, 500kbps video and 56kbps audio. I recommend to use *.avi or *.mp4 container, xvid/divx/x264/vp1/wmv video codec and mp3/aac/ogg/wmv audio codec. You can see what types of containers you are allowed to use in submit run section.




Q: I have no experience encoding videos, what should I use and how ?

A: If you really don't want to mess with this, then just use windows movie maker to create *.wmv videos. For better quality, I recommend to use software like VirtualDub, Avidemux, Adobe Premiere etc. with appropriate codecs like xvid or x264. Here is a really nice guide about recording and encoding a speedrun, although it's for advanced users.

You can also use a free software called Anrichan, which you can find here.

If you want to have the best possible quality and do not know how to achieve it or you have some serious issue with the captured video like desynced audio, you can upload the raw source file instead of the encoded one. I will encode it for you.




Q: I have the run encoded, what next ?

A: Now you probably want to submit your run. To do that, go to Submit section and follow the instructions.



Q: How do you time the run ?

A: Here's how we do it for each Tomb Raider:


1) Tomb Raider I - Use time that will be shown when you complete the level. Going in the menu/saving pauses the timer on every version of the game. PAL/NTSC (50/60hz) makes a difference in this game, but does not change the timings at all.

2) Tomb Raider II and III - This information only applies to the PC versions: These games add 3 seconds everytime you save, due to a lack of between-level saves. This is an unavoidable cost. The timer still runs when the menus are open in all versions. The final level in these games must be manually timed due to only the total time of the run being shown; because of this you must add three seconds on to your manual calculation (if you try it yourself) for an accurate final time. If you are doing individual level runs it is highly recommended that you load a save from the end of the previous level and go from there, or else you waste three seconds pointlessly. Console players don't have to worry about this; they can use between-level saves to avoid this, although this obviously still applies if a level is segmented (and the time-loss of saving on console versions has not been calculated yet). On Tomb Raider 3 PC, the game timer starts from the first frame of the loading screen fade-out (note that the very first fade-out frame is difficult to see in most cases) to the final unique frame.

3) Tomb Raider IV and V - There is no time shown at the end of each level, but you can see total time in Load Game menu, so go there after you save and your time is the difference between the save you just made a moment ago and the previous one(s). There are some levels, where you can save before the cutscene in next level begins, like Tomb of Seth, but current runs are always saved and timed after the cutscene, so please stick to this pattern, otherwise the timing will be wrong. Last level must be timed manually and the timer goes on in inventory.

4) Custom levels - There is no time shown at the end of each level, but you can see total time in Load Game menu, so you just have to complete the level, save as soon as you can (even before the cutscene in next level begins), go to Load Game menu and let it open for couple seconds. Your time is the difference between last savegame(s) and the one you made just a moment ago. Last level must be timed manually and the timer goes on in inventory.

5) Angel of Darkness and Underworld - These games don't have a timer, so you have to time it manually. Timing starts with the first frame after loading screen (Aod) or with the first transparent frame after loading screen (Underworld) since you can move during that time. Timing ends with the last frame before loading screen (AoD) or with the first frame that shows the next level title (Underworld).

6) Legend and Anniversary - Use time that will be shown when you complete the level. The menu/saving pauses the timer.



PAL vs NTSC (relevant to consoles only): This is only relevant to TR1 as the engine was apparently reprogrammed after that to run the same speed on all versions. Different countries have different TV standards that can change the speed a game runs if it isn't programmed to account for it. In the UK and certain other regions the game appears to play much slower than in other places, however the timer is adjusted so this doesn't change the timings at all (if using the game timer).


This can potentially make a speed difference in Legend, Anniversary and Underworld too (as they can be set to 50hz for TV's that don't support 60hz on a couple of versions), but again I don't think it changes the timer at all.


Regional version differences: The Japanese versions of TR2-5 seem to be "easy-mode" versions of the games with much weaker enemies and some traps and puzzles simplified or removed. This may apply to some other regions and needs to be taken into account if someone submits using this "easy-mode" edition.



Note: Inventory screens are always counted.





Q: I want to do a deathrun, what are the rules ?

A: First you have to choose in which category you want to run. We have two.


1) Restricted - swan-dive, Lara's weapons are NOT allowed at all and you are also limited to 30fps, because of possible differencies. Everything else is same as non-restricted category. Exception is made for levels, where you can't swan-dive at all like Deepsea Dive. These levels will be considered as non-restricted.

2) Non-restricted - You can use any glitch, trick, enemy or item to achieve death.



Now follow the general rules:


a) Segmenting is not allowed.

b) Start with full health.

c) Make sure you play on highest difficulty if it can be set.

d) Cutscenes must be recorded, will be counted and can be skipped if possible.

e) Time goes on from the beginning to Lara's death, there are no pauses caused by skipping a cutscene or anything else.

f) Time is measured in minutes, seconds and two decimal places. Rounding is same as in math.

g) Video must be provided for precise timing. YouTube video is not enough.



Now follow the timing for each Tomb Raider:


TRI and TRII


- Timing starts with the very first frame after loading screen disappears and ends with the first frame when health bar shows 0%. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself.


TRIII


- PC: Keep pressing F5 during loading screen to go to save menu. Timing starts with the very first frame once you leave the save menu and ends with the first frame when health bar shows 0%. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself.

- PS: Same as TRI and TRII.


TRIV, TRV and Custom


- Timing starts with the very first frame after loading screen disappears and ends with the first frame when health bar shows 0%. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself. In case of cutscenes that make a separate level and cannot be played, these are counted only in level-packs, not in single levels. Cutscenes after the final level and credits are not counted.


Angel of Darkness


- Timing starts with the very first frame after loading screen disappears and ends with the first frame when health bar shows 0%. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself.


Legend and Anniversary

- Timing starts with the very first frame after loading screen disappears and ends with the first frame when health bar disappears. Lara's health must be visible for precise timing. You can do that by either drawing a gun, changing a gun or using a medipack. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself. You can skip cutscenes if possible.


Underworld


- Keep pressing ESC during loading screen to go to menu. Timing starts with the very first frame once you leave the menu and ends with the first frame when health bar disappears. Lara's health must be visible for precise timing. Timing includes cutscenes right after loading screen and in the level itself.