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Version differences Edit
1.0 vs 1.1: Only a few differences, and nothing too game-breaking. A few bugs that aren't useful, mostly. You can also, in some circumstances, fall through wolf sigma's paws and take damage during the final boss fight.
Japanese vs English: There are no gameplay differences between the Japanese release and US release, the only difference is the text. English loses time to Japanese on the number of textboxes. In addition to the text differences, the European (PAL) version runs at 50fps rather than 60, which in this case means the entire game runs slower in general, so it is definitely not one to use to speedrun.
Emulator vs console Edit
Emulators are very accurate for X1, so there are no noticeable gameplay or lag differences between the two. The only quantified difference is the frame rate, different emulators operate at different frame rates:
- snes9x 59.94fps
- snesgt 60fps
- VC ~60.01fps
- console/higan/bizhawk/lsnes 60.098814fps
The very slight difference in fps is not noticeable, but it makes a measureable difference over the course of runs. The difference in fps between console and snes9x means snes9x loses ~9.5 frames per minute, or about 5 seconds over the course of a (very good) any% run.
On the ground Edit
Until you get the boot upgrade in penguin, movement is really straightforward, with few exceptions. There are no extensive climbing sections and very little else besides holding right and jumping/shooting. The one thing to really keep in mind in terms of movement before you get the dash is maximizing the effectiveness of downward slopes. When walking along a downward slope, you get a slight boost to your speed (there are two different possible boosts, one from a steep slope, and a shallow slope), to take advantage of this boost, walk down the slope, and jump at the end. You preserve that speed boost for the duration of your jump, even if you change direction. This is called a slope jump. Slope jumps are worth doing in two cases:
- When you're walking down the slope.
- When the slope is steep and you can get a full height jump in without slowing down.
Case 2 is the case where you have to turn around in order to get the boost, then jump and resume going the right direction. Slope jumps only work when walking, so after obtaining the boots they aren't useful, so there are only a handful of cases and otherwise ignored through the run.
Another benefit to slope jumps is an increase in jump height, for some reason when you jump off a downward slope, your vertical acceleration is greater. This has a few uses in penguin's stage and nowhere else in the run.
Once you have the dash boots is when movement options open up a bit.
While moving along flat/sloped ground without any climbing, it's best to use long dashes with a jump before the dash finishes, then dash again upon landing. There's not a lot of difference between chaining consecutive dashes together versus dashing and jumping, but they're done so frequently the small times add up significantly.
X is able to wallkick between 0 and 7 pixels from walls. 7 pixel wallkicks can be useful in many spots, in some climbs and to perform gap jumps.
During straight up vertical climbs, (with few exceptions) it's fastest to do regular wallkicks, without dash, every third of a second. At the top of a climb, use a dash wallkick to get on top of whatever platform you're climbing to. You can even set up a 7 pixel wallkick for the final wallkick in a climb to allow yourself to do the jump even sooner and barely edge X on top of the platform.
When jumping down from a raised platform, it can be helpful to jump early to get X falling faster sooner. Ideally you jump early enough so X can reach terminal velocity and just barely miss clipping the edge as he goes down. Won't make or break a run, but it happens a handful of times through the run, so it can add up if you get it right.
Gap Jumps Edit
A gap jump is when you fit in the gap in the floor that the top of a ladder fits in. There's a very narrow area X will fit in without bonking his head on either side of the ladder, and from there you can wallkick the side of the floor and bypass the need to climb the ladder normally. Gap jumps are useful in several spots through the run, but aren't always the fastest way to climb through an area. If you can grab a ladder near the top, and setting up a gap jump forces you to fall into a better position, it may be better to just grab the ladder instead, like on some of the ladders in Kuwanger stage's turtle climb.
There are 3 primary methods of doing gap jumps, you can do a single 7 pixel wallkick, you can do a double wallkick, or you can manually adjust your position as you jump to fit into the gap (turn gap jump).
Turn gap jumps are useful for ladders where X can reach the gap with a single wallkick, as they're far easier to set up than 7 pixel wallkicks when moving at dash speed.
For ladders at the top of longer climbs, either double wallkick gap jumps or 7 pixel wallkicks are done. To do a 7 pixel wallkick, when you're executing a climb normally, do a wallkick, then tap the dpad toward the wall, and wallkick again with no more directional input. If done right, X will kick the wall from far away, and rise directly into the gap.
If X doesn't quite reach the right height with a 7 pixel wallkick, you can instead try a double wallkick. The first kick is done from touching the wall, then you interrupt the jump arc from the first wallkick with a second wallkick. With the right rhythm, the second wallkick will be from the right distance from the wall that with no dpad input, X will fit into the gap.
Dash shots Edit
When you fire an uncharged shot (lemon) during a dash, it will deal two damage instead of the usual 1, even against bosses. There can only be one dash shot on screen at any given time, though, so you have to be somewhat careful about when you fire. It's a low risk in most situations, but if you miss with a dash shot and it lingers on screen too long, you may end up with not enough damage output to kill an enemy in your way.
Charged shots Edit
Charged shots deal more damage and can be used in conjunction with dash shots. Generally you want to only be charging if you plan on making use of a charged shot, charging contributes to lag, so it's better to rely on dash shots.
Cf-0 fights Edit
Using long-distance uncharged shots to hit a boss as soon as his invincibility frames finish and using the travel time of the uncharged shot to charge.
Maverick weapons Edit
Ice: Fires a low damage projectile that reflects 5 low damage projectiles the opposite direction after hitting an enemy. If fired from very close, you can force many, if not all, of the reflected shots to stay inside the enemy, doing much more damage all together.
Boomerang: Useful for grabbing items and dealing damage. You can manipulate the boomerangs to curve upward or downward with your movements and position when you fire. For extra reach, stop moving before firing in the air and the boomerang will go farther than usual, useful for grabbing out-of-the-way items. You're only allowed 3 boomerangs on screen at once, including the 4 boomerangs that get thrown when you use the charged version.
Torpedos: You're only allowed 2 torpedos on screen at a time, including the 4 that get fired from the charged version.
C.sting: Very useful in many places. Deals a lot of damage, and the charged version gives you invincibility.
Rolling shield: Deals a lot of damage, but is not easily spammable. Charged version can provide a small amount of invincibility (12 frames) when broken, useful in rare cases.
Penguin, Kuwanger, Chameleon, Eagle, Mandrill, Mammoth (can be done any time after Eagle), Armadillo, Octopus.
100% no iceless Edit
Penguin, Eagle, Mammoth, Kuwanger, Chameleon, Mandrill, Armadillo, Octopus
100% iceless, no waterful Edit
Penguin, Kuwanger, Eagle, Mammoth, Chameleon, Mandrill, Armadillo, Octopus
100% iceless, waterful Edit
Penguin, Kuwanger, Eagle, Mammoth, Mandrill, Armadillo, Octopus, Chameleon
Minor general time-savers Edit
Pressing start a second time when you start the game will cut the animation of the green shot going across the screen short, relevant unless you use SDA timing (which no one does).
After selecting a stage, the maverick intro screen can be sped up by holding a button.
Bosses have 32 hp, dash shots deal 2 damage, boss weaknesses deal 3 (4 charged, 6 to armadillo), so on some bosses it's faster to fire a dash shot to start the fight. It still takes 11 hits regardless, but dash shots travel faster than many weapons, and its easy to open a fight with a dash shot.