The Unbearable Leetness of Being

The Unbearable ‘****’ness of Being
Remember folks, don’t take the word ‘leet’ too seriously. Read ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce – then tell me about silly words.

Screen shot 2017-06-13 at 9.20.48 PM

Gaming and me go waaaaaayyyyyy back. I remember when… (wobbly fade effect)

I started computing with Spectrums. Both the rubber and plastic keyed variety.

Remember Tir-na-nog ? Knightmare ? Sabre Wulf? I played ’em all.

Jetpac, Manic Miner, Frenzy, Lunar Jetman – all the colour clashing classics.

The most influential game I ever played on any system, I played first (and longest) on the Spectrum. Elite.

In my opinion, no game has come close to being as revolutionary and absorbing as this classic.

Then I got a Commodore Amiga 1200. (I can still see the box from here).

I played The Bards Tale for 3 days without sleeping, Frontier for 2 years without getting anywhere (watching my autopilot smack me into the nearest moon) and Settlers so I could pick on very, very tiny people. I played Stunt Car Racer for the first time and my chin hit the floor, and when I played Interceptor, I managed to land on the carrier

It was on the Amiga that I played possibly my favourite game of all time. A non-commercial adventure game, developed by obvious Tolkien fans, it was called Moria. Those wanting to play a brilliant – and free – RPG, with randomly generated dungeons, tons of monsters ranging from centipedes to Multi-hued Ancient Dragons, spells, potions, staffs, wands, Ego weapons, cursed items, magical armours etc. look for the sequel to Moria, called Angband on the PC. Same game, but quicker, with more stuff.

Then I bought a PC and got hooked on REAL games.

For some reason, I refused to play Quake, and I started with Duke Nukem. I think it was the colourful levels of Duke Nukem and the greater interactivity that attracted me more than Quake’s initial drab look.

Heh, I used keyboard as well. Then I went to visit a friend and had a go on his demo version of Quake.

Then soon afterwards I saw the Quake Done Quick demo, the one where they do all the SP levels of Quake on Nightmare Skill in about 16 minutes.

WOW!!! I decided to have a go myself. Hmmmmm. Decided to use da mouse. (Wise decision).

So, for a while, I was involved in the mad, mad world of Quake1 speedrunning. Mr-J[!!] was my name back then.

For the uninitiated, a Quake1 speedrun consists of spawning in the Quake1 map with the basic weaponry and health, running through the level at maximum possible speed (using techniques such as Bunny-Hopping, Wall Hugging, RJ’s and GJ’s etc.) and hitting the final teleport to exit the level in the minimum possible time.

Some of these speedrunners had insane levels of skill. Whether they were good DM players or not I don’t know, but I dare you to try doing a DOUBLE Ogre grenade jump, 20 perfect bunnyhops around complex layouts, and finally kill 5 Shamblers with a Quadded cheese and onion baguette. Hmmmm.

Personally I was never really that committed. I used to submit maybe 3 or 4 demos per update, but I remember one guy actually got *68* demos posted in a single update. Makes you wonder…

Anyway, you could spend days trying to cut 0.2 of a second from a run. Writing that last line, I realise why I gave it up.

I think some of my records remain at the Speed Demo Archives

Then I got Quake2, and totally lost interest in Quake speedrunning.

Sadly, Q2 didn’t have the same feel as Q1. It was ok, but something was missing. It was good, but should be better.

Then, from outta nowhere:-

“Player movement code rewritten to be similar to that of NetQuake and later versions of QuakeWorld. Player has more control in the air and gets a boost in vertical speed when jumping off the top of ramps.” Yep, 3.15 baby.

Suddenly we found ourselves doing bunny-hops and slope jumps and all sorts of other tricks in Quake2.

The extreme air control in 3.15 made a lot of RJ’s very easy as you could ‘steer’ if the direction wasn’t quite right (Tokays Red Armour RJ from ladder). Successive versions have seen the sv_airaccelerate default decrease.

Now that RA RJ on Tokays ain’t quite as easy as it used to be. (bah)

Check some of the demos on the Tokays page to see just how easy it is…or isn’t.

Even now at the so called ‘final’ release of 3.20, new trick jumps in the standard Q2DM1 – 8 maps are being found all the time. Be warned…

Many of them are very cl_maxfps dependent, so if you are running Quake2 at frame-rates below 20, things like the double jump onto the crates for the jump to Mega-health will be impossible. An old Q1 speedrunning friend of mine did one of the most impressive Quake2 jumps I have ever seen. It is a double jump off the switch that shuts the doors of the frag pipe (Q2dm3) up onto the top where the mega-health is. Only problem is that you need such *MASSIVE* framerates for this, that it is practically impossible for online deathmatch. Unless you run in SLI – lucky bast 8)

Some are just interesting stunts that have no real DM application. However some of these jumps will transform the way you play the game. Now, I can’t imagine what ‘The Edge’ would be like without the MH jump and the railpool slope jump and the rocket packs from rocket launcher jump etc. etc. etc. Let’s just hope that Quake3 retains the fantastic physics of Quake2. Player movement dynamics are every bit as important as weapons balance, so let’s just hope that ID get it right with Q3 more rapidly than they did with Q2.

There will be no Single Player option in Quake3, so the tradition and history of ‘ID’ SP map Speedrunning looks set to finally end. No doubt it will continue in the form of custom maps being created purely for speedrunning, as is currently happening at SDA for Q1. But as long as there is room for ‘1337’ movement stunts and tricks to happen in Q3, then I for one, will probably not miss SP one bit.

Of course, whether I’ll be able to play Q3 at all on a P2 233 is another issue. Frame-rate is King, and all those bums I used to beat upgraded and got 50% better over night. Maybe I’ll have to dig out my Amiga and start playing Stunt Car Racer all over again. Actually… that’s not a bad idea…

Anyway there you go. A VERY brief history of my involvement in gaming.
Long may it continue :-)


Recently, Quake2 speedrunning started again at SDA.

With a new Q2timer, the running in Quake2 looks set to continue for many months. I have started to submit some runs, and although I am dubious about the current banning of bunny-hopping, it’s nice to finally do some speed demos again after all these months away from it all. Look for Mr-J[!!] at SDA, p1mp on a Q2 server and summat else in ICQ.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.