Speedrunning (or Kinda Fast 1CC-ing) Rygar (Arcade) -- WIP

Super Basic Game Mechanics

The super basic gist: Run to the right, kill or jump over obstacles, and get to the end of each stage. There's 27 stages in total with no bosses or special levels to speak of. Very simple runner/platformer.

Your only method of attack is the Rygar-esque disc armor, which you can throw out, or spin in a semi-circle over your head. You can also safely jump on the head of every enemy to bounce off them and stun them.

After each stage, your score is tabulated and you're given a short mandatory break in the form of a mini-cutscene as Rygar passes through the stage checkpoint. Otherwise nothing of merit can happen or be gained between stages. At the end of stage 27 is the game's only boss fight, and upon killing that boss, the game is over.

Pickups

There's a whole slew of pickups in the game...

When you die, you lose all your upgrades, which can start an R-Type style death spiral if it happens late in the game. Very nasty.

Generally speaking, The Crown and Star upgrades are required for maximum effectiveness. Lion has uses, but NOT having Lion also has uses (see techniques further down), and Sun has niche uses.

Scoring

If going for 1CC or speed, score matters in exactly one matter: getting extra lives. These occur pretty early on and you're guaranteed to get all your extends long before you need them, so score is pretty moot.

This guide will not discuss score for the purposes of a score attack, that's out of my depth. :)

Post-Stage Cutscene

After each stage, Argus enters the checkpoint area and your score for the stage is tallied. During a speedrun, there's a few things you need to do to make this tally as short as possible...

The most significant time loss from this would come in the form of rank bonuses. At certain kill counts, your rank goes up. After every stage, you get a significant bonus based on your rank. This bonus can take anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds to tally up between every stage. This means you can lose 10 * 27 = 270 seconds in total if you somehow get max rank in stage 1 (Not possible, but this is an example!)

Continues and the No-Continue Zone

When you run out of lives, you game over of course. In a 1CC run, this is a failure state and you have to start over. If just going for any speedrun time, you can drop in another coin to continue. You'll continue from right where you died, just like you lost a life. The continue screen is short so game over should only cost about 10 more seconds than a normal lost life.

The exception to this comes starting on stage 21. After stage 20, you cannot continue. This is a deliberate design decision made by the developers and there's no dip switch to disable it. Game over after stage 20 will instantly drop you to the high score entry and end the game. So if you're going for time and think you won't survive til the end, taking an intentional game over on stage 20 is recommended (this will also dump your Lion if you have it and allow for surfing on several of the late-game stages).

General Techniques and Tips

It's hard to route the game because enemy placement isn't static. Each stage has a static layout, and a general set of possible enemies that can spawn, but each playthru they'll spawn in different locations and behave differently. First I'll just list some basic techniques.

Surfing

Surfing is the act of hopping on a flying gargoyle and riding it across the stage. This requires getting a gargoyle flying left to right, and jumping as it swoops down to attack. If you land on its head and do NOT have the Lion powerup, you'll bounce off but do no damage. In this way you can continue to bounce as you're carried across the entire stage.

This is the big argument for not picking up the Lion. If you have Lion, one bounce will kill the gargoyle and ruin the surf.

If you're just going for 1CC, this is considered a cowardly tactic, but is very viable in a speedrun. You move about 3/4th normal running speed while surfing, and are absolutely safe from all dangers, obstacles, and platforming. On any level but the flattest and safest of levels, it would probably be faster to surf than walk.

Demon Bouncing

I don't have a good name for this strat, so we'll just call it "Demon Bouncing" or "Demon Jumping".

The big blue demons that spawn as sort of mini-bosses in some stages take a LOT of hits without the Crown powerup, or 2-3 with the Crown. However they, like every other monster, die in one jump from Lion. The problem is, it's very hard to time jumping on the demon due to his hitbox.

The right time to bounce off the demon seems to be just as he lands from a forward lunge. You can actually land on him while still ascending from your jump, bounce, and continue on with no loss of forward momentum, but it's a very tight window. I generally just don't worry about it as the run isn't that optimized yet to require it.

This would be, by the by, the one counterpoint for picking up Lion (aside from "You can kill things by falling on them").