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  3. After 16 years my Hard AAA+ run is finally complete

User Info: U_N_D

5 months ago#1
First things first. I played on PC. I'm writing here because PS2 is not as dead as PC board is. I am a strictly a mouse and keyboard player but for badly ported PS2 games and some emulated PS2 games I use a cheap USB clone of a PS2 controller.

I have started playing CL in 2003 on PC. I still have a CD with a box. The game felt quite difficult then, especially Delacroix and Siela. I have not seen AAA+ ranking when I was young. And when I finally seen it it terrified me because I knew that I must get it or it will haunt me.

Time passed and I have completed DMC3SE E, N, H, VH, DMD SS runs for Dante and Vergil, DMC4SE S runs for everyone, Dark Souls NG+7 calamity ring, no weapon, no magic, no armor, no summoning, kill everything run. Chaos Legion AAA+ was still far away.

In 2019 my current place of work changed offices and I frequently walk past the place where I used to play CL back in 2003-2004. That place is long gone but the memory remains. And the fact that I have not AAA+ everything in CL haunts me still.

So I started running CL again. With a lot of research here and on YouTube I managed to get a grip some mechanics that I have not known existed. Thanks to this board and New_Birdman and anjdbshr (YouTube) for a lot of useful and necessary info.

Sieg Easy AAA+ was mostly fast and effortless. Anyone can do it without any preparation or excessive grinding.
Sieg Normal AAA+ was not effortless but mostly simple. Prologue required a couple of tries and you actually have to learn Delacroix
fight for Stage 11A. On Easy it easy to get AAA+ on Stage11A without Delacroix. I got AAA on Stage 12A and it took me some googling to find out that I have to quit to intermission, finish some other stage first then AAA+ Stage 12A.

Arcia Easy AAA+ was fast, simple, refreshing and calming experience. Stage 12B 2000 zeodagas does not give you anything special, Stage 13B zombie room gives you nothing new.

Sieg Hard AAA+ is where the game actually starts. Prologue took couple of tries but it was simple.

Stage 5A boss time is what I was dreading. 41 seconds or less for AA+. PC version does have some bugs and crashes. Some of them beneficial some of them will ruin your run.
  1. your hit can count multiple times. It's especially useful if it is counter attack but this is very inconsistent. GZ or BD can outright take of 1 life bar of Stage 5 boss but it is not easily reproducible(and finding and reproducing bugs is how I earn my living). You cannot device a plan for a boss fight and count on multi hit to happen. Double hits are frequent enough but triples and beyond triples are rare.
  2. Vines that Stage 5 boss sends from the core to your position stay at Stage 5 boss core costing you 3-4 seconds.
  3. Hit boxes on ground waves on PC are very different. You cannot jump over them without double jump and it is still inconsistent. I tried to replicate New_Birdman and anjdbshr jumps and failed every time. Hit boxes are simply different.
It took me about 20 hours of constant dedicated Stage 5 boss attempts to grind my time down to personal best of 38 seconds. Final AAA+ run was 40 seconds.
Stage 10A and 11A took about 5-7 times each. And after that everything went pretty smooth.
Stage 14A was very simple but it took me a handful of tries just to not fail on Siela. Here is how to do it easily:
  1. choose Thanatos and Blasphemy.
  2. Summon Thanatos to get Delacroix to his last segments of last life bar. (Airblase can be used to farm some soul and smash from crawling enemies)
  3. wait and avoid Delacroix until he summons zombies.
  4. use CC to get more soul and necessary smash count.
  5. repeat 3 and 4 until max soul and necessary smash count .
  6. kill Delacroix (wait for zombies if you need some life back)
  7. summon Thanatos to kill Azrael
  8. avoid attacks and zombies.
  9. summon Thanatos to kill Siela
  10. de-summon and avoid laser attacks.
  11. kill Siela
I have not started Arcia Normal and Hard AAA+ runs yet.
Arcia Normal AAA+ Stage 1 times are way to strict for fresh Arcia. For almost maxed up Arcia it's quite doable but we cannot replay this stage by normal means. @New_Birdman we might have to invest out time to develop/find a "wrong warp" solution to this. It's a Stage 1 so a simple overflow somewhere might do the trick.
Arcia Hard AAA+ seems doable. Stage 5A boss time is 1' so 45'' for AA+ might be doable outright. I have 2 cycled Stage 5 boss on Easy with maxed Arcia.

Please ask questions or provide suggestions. We might actually complete AAA+ on these under-tested PS2 English version and mostly botched PC port together.

To @New_Birdman, thank you for sticking with, playing and advocating for Chaos Legion. It is still overlooked and underrated.

User Info: New_Birdman

5 months ago#2
>wrong warp
Could be possible. I've had a few weird glitches that I haven't been able to replicate. One was starting a new game with the flaming sword from super mode, though without the one hit kill buff, and another where Sieg just stopped taking damage.

I have suspicions on how the second glitch might have happened but nothing panned out. It was stage 11 on the Japanese version.

I think it could be related to using items. You know how there's a a little lag when you use a life up? Or it might have been because right after I got hit, and could still see the white portion of life taken that hadn't gone down, I rushed to the menu and used the life up. I was trying to create some kind of conflict.

More testing needed. I'm leaning towards the life thing because now I remember I was testing something and was getting hit a lot so I kept using healing items.

I've seen the multihit from the PC version. It's insane. Once saw the launcher move hit like 5 times. The hit spark kept connecting even though the sword wasn't touching them anymore.

I've had a rare double hit on the PS2 version like 4 times over 14 years lol.

User Info: U_N_D

5 months ago#3
Attacks with longer active frames that can pass through enemy on multiple frames do that quite often. Chance of getting double hit on GZ or JSS is rather high. The enormous damage damage may not be from the hits alone. It is my hypothesis that there may be some not obvious counter hit multiplier.

In regards of CC. Multi hits are happen a lot. Probability of getting higher than expected damage is proportional to the number of enemies that you hit with it. It may be related to CPU frequency or stability of framerate. It might even be the same code simply running as intended on 2 different CPU architectures.

Perhaps damage calculation happens for every target in range of a blast zone and it's calculated multiple times. It might be on the same frame of enemy already taking damage.

Without frame by frame debugging we might not know what is really happening there.

User Info: New_Birdman

5 months ago#4
The Arcia thing looks like an oversight to me.

The Japanese version has less life bars, so they probably just forgot to adjust the time limit for the English version.

User Info: U_N_D

5 months ago#5
Currently I'm already looking for a couple solutions. No results thus far.
However I have a couple of somewhat simple directions to go for now:
  1. Arcia side dodge animation clips her through geometry a bit. So far I was not successful in clipping into loading triggers. Gates and levels look pretty well closed. But you never know.
  2. Prologue stage has a couple of interesting things. It changes player position after some fights and it displays results screen that seem to stop timer for a bit while not restricting your movement. If we can glitch the timer to not count or results screen not to disappear we might meet the time requirement.
  3. Timer overflow. This is pretty straightforward just takes a lot of time and might crash the game or display 999% D at the end of a stage. It's worth the try anyway.
Also I found pseudo ingame frame by frame advancement. Hold pause on controller and press Esc on keyboard. Unfortunately boss lifebar does not get back on screen fast enough to make any help in debugging multihits.

I going to try timer overflow some time this week. It has to be done at least for scientific purposes.

User Info: New_Birdman

5 months ago#6
There's a program that allows you to view all this kind of stuff with an emulator. I think it's called Cheat Engine. You should look into it. I'm not good with that kind of thing.

User Info: U_N_D

5 months ago#7
I'm aware of CE and other memory viewers and editors.I have to finish Arcia Stage 1 Hard AAA+ and all other stages with Arcia on normal with AAA+ except Stage 1 first. Using memory editors even for scientific and research purposes before that will fell extremely dirty for me.

My attempt in overflowing the timer ended up with power outage on 15th hour. 3-4 hours before geting some results.

Currently I'm running Arcia Hard Stage 1 and I need a fast way too deal with zeodagas and badbhs. Sniper mode is to slow. Going for counter attacks is pretty inconsistent.

User Info: New_Birdman

5 months ago#8
Years ago I bought a turbo controller for that stage because I got sick of it. I think the fastest I did it was 4:01. I think the stage time is 4:00 though. Not sure as I haven't played that stage in ages.

Sometimes the turbo controller caused strange issues like bullets not connecting with enemies even though Arcia was firing at light speed right in front of them.

The just did not test the changes they made from the Japanese version. You can see it in how other stages are far more difficult to get AAA+ on. Sieg prologue and stage 5, the same that plague Arcia, are also harder to AAA+ than other stages. You have to be really precise on Sieg's versions.

User Info: U_N_D

5 months ago#9
I managed to barely meet Arcia Hard Stage 1 AAA+ requirements with autofire autohotkey script. Playing on keyboard without remapping controls to WASD is a fools errand.

Arcia Normal Stage 1 with necessary requirements my PB is 4:06. An it has to be 3:44.

Simple speedrun of this stage is 3:25. Technically it might be possible to get AAA+ but the luck necessary is unreal.
The only option to meet the time is to kill all the badbhs while they are charging.
Or perhaps a wrong warp for a fully upgraded Arcia.

User Info: GoukiAkujiki

5 months ago#10
Cool topic. So you are a game tester? Congrats on your accomplishments here. I have only played the NA PS2 version myself.
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