What a way to start the New Year. I began this level yesterday and got totally hooked, so today it is finished... with a "PERFECT" and the thread announcement time cut in half!!! (74:58) Statz Page image An absolutely outstanding level for its times. Paul must've done a lot of his own research and mapping practice to master the knowledge of game mechanics to this extent. None of the 2000 releases (which were the only other levels in existence) even come close to this difficulty level. The most inspiration for puzzles must've been taken from the Standard Levelz - A World Of Sweetz usually resembles them, it's also mostly linear. But even one monster map like this doesn't use all potential of Gruntz, as some relevant tools remain unused, while gauntletz, shovel and goober straw take part in all 5 areas of the level. It's a great collection of all kinds of puzzles nonetheless (without annoying and unfair parts that would artificially increase difficulty) and I can totally see how it influenced level design in the following years.
Reaching such a short time wouldn't be possible without the method I used. The message is quite long so I put this part in a spoiler.
After having to restart the first sublevel due to a mistake at the beginning, I decided to make a test run on every of them before the real attempt. During such test run I looked behind all EyeCandies and cleared obstacles for coins and secrets, and of course I also figured out the normal puzzles. After I completed each quarter, looked into all cupcakes and holes and found the secrets, I read a part of Paul's walkthrough to see if my solution was the intended one. A few times it wasn't the case but if it works, it works - that's how I managed to conserve 2 toys (a jack in the box and a squeak toy) and left them in toyboxes in the starting area. I didn't learn anything new from the walkthrough until the last sublevel, where I had an issue of not enough health remaining to collect coins placed on spikes. Surprisingly I was able to find all other items on every other quarter, so I didn't have to return to previous sublevels after finishing them at all.
When I already knew everything I wanted, I turned on the recording and did a second run, which was a lot faster than the first one. I'll upload the video later because I have to cut out my fails first. But basically I did the level two times, once without any external knowledge except Paul's introduction (you enter with one Grunt and leave with two, one goes to the checkpoint). After recording one sublevel I started the next one with a practice run again, so I only had to remember about the part that I was currently solving. It's fair that each quarter doesn't require anything else from another except the tool of its entrant. If the next sublevel could be entered, the case was closed and I knew I didn't mess up.
Last Edit: Jan 8, 2019 8:25:02 GMT -8 by swietymiki: Corrected the link
That one's tough, especially for a first puzzle of the first sublevel. Pyramidz open in 600ms intervals, so every hesitation brings your Grunt closer to death. I played on the highest resolution setting, where the entire maze fits in one screen, but doing so on the smallest resolution would've been a lot harder. And I don't imagine doing that without scrolling with the arrow keys.
My video is finally uploaded. Over 1 hour of Gruntz action in 1080p quality with no brakes! (uh, I mean breaks)
As you can calculate from my statz page time and what remains on the timer just before entering the fortress, the longest possible time to achieve on this level is 95:59. The previous score called "fast time" was only 2 minutes faster than that. And the previous "PERFECT" statz page from the first post was done in an illegitimate way - with the timer turned off.
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2019 3:29:03 GMT -8 by swietymiki