Race #7 - The Downside? No Traction!

Participation Statistics:

The 7th round of this OCS season had 36 entrants and only 2 forfeits! Considering the nature of the goal, it's a great result, but the goal was also a bit shorter so it helped people's patience.

If the goal ended up being an average of over 1:40, we would have seen many more forfeits.


Goal Explanation:

Our clue last week was pretty silly, but it seems like most people understood the gist of it.

On January 22, 2012, Narcissa and Jiano hosted a race that is still today probably one of the most recognized OoT challenges. The goal was to defeat Meg while wearing the Iron Boots anytime you are in Forest Temple and the only sword you could use was the Broken Giant's Knife. That race had 74 entrants and 46 finishers. The community was a lot smaller at that time so it was really impressive that they had that many people join, but at the same time, a lot of those entrants weren't necessarily OoT runners so that's part of the reason you had 28 forfeits.

We wanted to find some way to bring back this race, but we didn't want to make it the same exact goal again. That's why the clue was refering to that race, just so people knew it was related to it. Some people thought it might have to do with Iron Boots and Spirit Temple, but at least now they would be ready for a possible future goal! The song played in the background was just to bring an epic atmosphere, it wasn't Requiem for a Dream like some people guessed.

If we made the goal to just have Hover Boots and Broken Knife equipped inside Forest Temple, it would have been way too easy, it would barely be a challenge, you could almost just do what you normally do to defeat Meg in Bingo. That's why we decided to add the shieldless part. In every category, OoT players have a shield so we wanted to get people out of their comfort zone a bit. Not having a shield for the whole run would have limited options a lot more, so shields were allowed outside of Forest Temple. It brought another cool element since you had to find the fastest way to get rid of your shield. The only way to lose your Hylian Shield is to get eaten by a Like Like so players hard to figure out which Like Like was the fastest to reach. This recap will mostly just be a walkthrough since there weren't that many route options, it was mostly just preparation until you entered Forest Temple.

In terms of race results, we had a very exciting race for 1st place. MikeKatz, Marco and Runnerguy were all very close until the end but Runnerguy clutched it out and ended in 1st place with a 1:09:50. He only had one death (while having a fairy) in the entire run and it was to a Deku Baba.

Marco seemed to be ahead of Runnerguy for most of the race, but he had to go back to get the Boss Key and that gave Runnerguy a big enough lead to take it. Marco also used a fairy during the Phantom Ganon fight. He finished in 2nd place with a 1:11:03. MikeKatz was the first one to reach Phantom Ganon, but he lost 10 minutes by dying multiple times to the boss. He still ended up in 3rd place with a 1:19:18, which is still his best result so far in the series. He finished 4 seconds ahead of DannyB, so even with that 10 minute lead, he almost lost his top 3 spot. We had another snipe to round up the top 5, Hyperion finished 3 seconds ahead of PhoenixFeather with a 1:21:03 and secured his second straight top 5 finish. 14 entrants finished under 1:30 and 31 under 2 hours.

The road to Forest Temple

To complete this goal, you obviously needed the Hover Boots and the Giant's Knife. You also needed a strength upgrade to push the blocks in the block puzzle room since you couldn't ground jump past them. You also had to be shieldless in Forest Temple, so you could decide if you wanted to be shieldless for the whole run or if you wanted to get rid of your shield before entering the dungeon. The rest was just to figure out what was the fastest way to get these items.

You didn't have much to do in the child segment. There weren't many scenarios where you would want to skip the Kakariko bottle. Most people RBA'd strength, adult's wallet and bombs but the bottles were also very useful in a more casual way. You would probably want one or multiple fairies once you make it to Forest Temple. If you were planning on doing some RBA, you didn't need to get Bottom of the Well Bombchus but some people still got them, possibly by habit. The fastest way to get Hover Boots was to use explosives to get to Shadow Temple early so you definitely wanted Bombchus or Bombs. This way also requires that you have a Hylian Shield though, so most people still got one and planned on throwing it away later.

Once you were adult, the first part was the regular RBA route. Strength, Wallet and Bombs were RBA'd and then we saw people get Hookshot and Hover Boots. This was where some routes started to vary a little. The Like Like in Shadow Temple was around 3 minutes away from the Hover Boots so it was the fastest option to get rid of your shield. Since you had bombs you could weird shot to get the small key in the silver rupee room to save a couple seconds. You could also be ZFG and do one of the coolest HESSes in the game and save 10 seconds.

The other option people chose was to get their shield eaten by one of the Like Likes in Fire Temple. You had to get to Goron City anyway to get the Giant's Knife so that Like Like wasn't that out of the way. The only problem was that you had to get Bolero, otherwise you would have to savewarp out of the dungeon all the way back to Temple of Time. It also was around 4:00-4:30 out of the way, depending on what strats you used, so a bit slower than simply using the one in Shadow Temple. There was also a super small timesaver here that is pretty free and not everyone did, you can just mash B to make the Like Like spit you out faster.

Having the Adult's Wallet is nice but you also need to fill it up. The Giant's Knife costs 200 rupees, so you had to find the quickest way to get that amount. The most popular methods are the chest in the grotto in Kakariko Village and the chest in the room with all the rocks in Goron City (requires strength). The Goron that sells the Giant's Knife is behind 4 explodable walls, but you could use bomb flowers since you had Black Gauntlets. Just be careful not to blow up Link Goron, you don't want to talk to him in this race!

That was all you really needed for the challenge but you could prepare a bit more if you wanted. You could get heart pieces to get up to 4 or 5 total hearts. You had access to 4 fast heart pieces in Kakariko Village and then you could get a couple more in the Graveyard and Death Mountain area. Hyperion got the one at the top of Zora's River and used a relatively obscure strat to come back to Lost Woods.

You could also sacrifice a bit of time for safety and go buy a Red Potion to RBA it and get a bottle on your 4th slot. This way you could get 3 fairies for Forest Temple.

Once you broke your Giant's Knife, got rid of your shield and equipped Hover Boots, it was time to go to Sacred Forest Meadow where the challenge really began. You couldn't skip the meadow maze like you do in every other category. Without a shield, you couldn't ground jump to get to the top and you couldn't do the glitchless jump while wearing Hover Boots. The only way to get to the top of the maze would be to play Scarecrow's song (yes there is a scarecrow there), but who would do that? There was a Navi text skip you could do but most people missed it, not used to doing it with Hover Boots.

"From here on, we'll be going through some narrow passages! If you take it slow, maybe you sneak up on some enemies. Use Z targetting to always look in the proper direction. Set your view so you can see down the next corridor before your turn a corner. Once your view is set, hold down Z to sidestep around the corner. That way you won't be surprised by an enemy waiting in ambush."

It's 3 long text boxes in English but hey, it's very good advice for a casual player, but also for this challenge. No one wanted to get skewered by a Moblin so people took their time and took their time at every corner. It's too bad Moblins die so easily to anything, but they are scary if you aren't expecting them to be there. There wasn't any way of skipping the Minuet of Forest cutscene using a regular setup, but Dannyb made one of the sickest plays of this race and completely winged an attempt to skip this cutscene and this was the result:

You could climb the ladder and swing by the Fairy Fountain to stock up before going to the temple, but Kakageta didn't even have a choice. The Moblin just made him go there.

Forest Temple aka the Dark Souls experience

Link has probably never been equipped this poorly before entering a dungeon. The only worse thing would be to have Iron Boots instead of Hover Boots, but Hover Boots still make your movement very slippery. The Stalfos literally have better equipment than Link since they have a stronger sword, a shield and they don't have the feeling they're walking on wet floor all the time. As soon as you got in, you immediately saw that things were different, the Wolfos probably got triggered because of your Hover Boots momentum. That's when you knew this was going to be a different experience. The first real challenge came pretty early in the first Stalfos room. You had no shield to protect yourself but it also meant that you couldn't power crouch stab or use ISG. The Stalfos took 5 jump slashes to die or 10 normal slashes. Some people preferred the normal slashes because they were easier to land considering the fact that you had very weird mobility.

Stalfos are Easy

Other good plans were to stun them using Deku Nuts or Hookshot so you could get in position better and guarantee landing a jump slash. Runnerguy even got the Deku Nut upgrade in Lost Woods which was a smart idea that only cost a couple seconds to get 30 nuts. You could use the Hookshot to stun them and even to cancel their jump slash attack. Sometimes they would just bunny hop around you when you did that so you had to make sure to only use it at moments when they were vulnerable.

Another strat that was possible if you prepared enough was to just take the hits and keep on slashing them. It seems like Hyperion opted with this strat a bit, you needed to have a lot of health for that. He had 5 hearts and 3 bottles.

Once you were done with this part, you would realize that you couldn't ledge clip to skip the Song of Time block. Some people did the old clip through the wall to reach the door from behind but it wasn't actually useful since you could just reach the courtyard area from the block puzzle room, just like they do in No RBA/WW. You had to get all 5 keys in the dungeon so you couldn't skip the Floormaster key. Once again, it seemed like the enemy had a power-up, you needed 2 jumpslashes to kill the big hand and 2 normal slashes to kill the small hands. The Hookshot was useful to kill the small hands here.

From the courtyard you could go through the Map room, lower the water and get the key from the well. The next part was the block puzzle, which was just done as usual. Now came the hardest part for a lot of racers: the Fairy Bow Stalfos room. You could generally use the same strats from the first fight but you had a little twist here which was that the dead Stalfos can respawn if you don't kill the first one fast enough. One idea some people had was to damage them both equally so they would both be at low health at the same time but this way you still had to deal with two of them slashing at you. Again, fairies played a big factor here and you really wanted to stock up for this part, unless you were Runnerguy.

Stalfos are Easy - Part 2

In most categories this is all you see of the dungeon. In 100% and MST, you get the Fairy Bow, you beat the boss and that's it, but for this challenge you had to go through the rest of the dungeon and defeat all the Poes. Since people RBA'd a quiver, they were stuck with a 20 arrow quiver and opening the Fairy Bow chest only gave you one arrow, so you wanted to go to the Blue Poe's room first to get arrows from the pots. You could use nuts to make the Poes reappear when they were invisible but the best strat in this challenge was to use your Hookshot to one cycle them since the Hookshot had the same power as usual, unlike your sword.

Most people weren't sure if they were going to be able to do the Boss Key skip so they went back and got the Boss Key, but it wasn't a requirement. To get to the 3rd Poe, you had to get to the rooms after the Blue Poe and twist up another corridor. The room with the frozen eye is a room that some of us hadn't seen since our casual days so it was a nice change of pace. All you had to do after that was go down the hole, go through the falling ceiling room and do Amy's room normally. Meg appeared in the main room once you were done with Amy and after killing her you were done with one of the two goals in this challenge.

The last part was to defeat the Forest Temple boss, Phantom Ganon. Everyone got the boss key so they just went down the elevator to do the last puzzle, but Prettybigjoe got the boss key skip in his test run and made a video that shows that it wasn't actually complicated to get it. People probably just weren't confident enough to try it in a race setting.

This boss is usually fairly easy because you have access to power crouch stabbing and ISG, so you don't need to play tennis with him. This race made you go back to your childhood and fight him by reflecting his energy balls. Glitchless runners already do this, but they have the Master Sword instead of a broken knife. The knife had a pretty small hitbox and it made it harder to reflect the projectiles back at him. You had to go back to your childhood memories of 2003 when you would google "Ocarina of Time cheats and secrets" and find out that you could reflect Ganondorf and Phantom Ganon's energy balls with an empty bottle. The bottle had a much bigger hitbox and it felt like it was almost impossible to miss them. Ideally, you would want to get him stuck in the gate so you could land more hits on him. Fairies were great to have here, but you once you had the correct timing with the bottle, you were usually fine. The only problem was that by using the bottle you would sacrifice a fairy slot, but you could also just equip the bottle you had on your Bomb slot since you didn't need explosives anymore.

100% Speedruns

Overall, this was the standard route. Shoutouts to Makko who decided to get the Megaton Hammer and wrong warp to Forest Temple from the Fire Temple. He said he thought that he might not be able to skip Mido, but the hammer also does double the damage compared to the broken knife. It was a 10-12 minute detour that made the challenge a bit easier in the end.

The Magic spells could also be a big help in this race but they all required big detours. Farore's Wind could help if you were afraid you would die too often in the middle of the dungeon. Nayru's Love would help mostly in the Stalfos and Phantom Ganon fights so that you are invincible. Double Defense would also help by doubling the amount of hits you could take. People also discussed the possibility of getting Hover Boots as child, but this way was slower since you needed to RBA strength and wallet anyway and this method would require child Bombchus.

Overall standings

With this second place, Marco leap frogged over Amateseru and Flo and took 3rd place in the overall leaderboards. He is now in the race for 1st place, being 76 points behind Sniping and 26 behind Exodus. In only his third race of the series, Runnerguy is now in 12th place and has a somehow realistic chance of making the finals if he can continue having some solid results in the last 3 races. He is 114 points behind 5th place, but if he can rack up a couple more top 5 finishes, anything is possible. It seems like Sniping, Exodus and even Marco have a relatively safe spot, but positions 4 through 12 are all going to be battling it out in the next races, so it's going to be really exciting to watch.

We're really happy that we were able to have one of the races be some kind of homage to a classic challenge. We're trying to have every race in the series be different to the other ones, so don't worry, there won't be any more broken knife goals. The next race is on December 18, exceptionally only one week after the last one because we're only going to start again after the holidays and AGDQ on January 15, so we wanted to squeeze in one last race this year. It will also be streamed on twitch.tv/speedgaming so be sure to tune in if you're not planning on joining (but you really should join!)