The Fastest Level in the Land: Timer Trickery Part 2

Restart glitch - The Fastest Level in the Land: Timer Trickery Part 2

Submitted by SadisticMystic

To the uninitiated, there's one rule in the SA2 list that looks very strange: You cannot restart a level between the time you 'complete' the mission objective and the time your stats are tabulated. (This is banned completely when accomplished by using the Pause menu, and Freestyle when done by any other means.)

The part that's "banned completely" refers to a small window of opportunity you have to pause the game after completing the objective (known to be possible on all mission 2s, and maybe on others) which will display the completion screen immediately on your next life, with the timer counting up from 0 and finally saving your record at exactly 8.25, every time. There's nothing to compete over when you always get the same time.

But what about getting it to restart without pausing? How does that work? You're about to find out.

A long time ago, more than a year before TSC existed, someone found a trick to get a time that was then lower than the record any other level in the game...the big surprise was that it's a level that wasn't usually associated with shortness, mission 2 of Route 280. After hearing about this new 7-second record, I tried replicating it--and in the process found something that would allow it to go much lower, so that it wasn't only the fastest completion time, but it would stay that way forever. Almost four years later, it hasn't disappointed.

Mission 2 is one where Route 280 remains consistent with other levels: just get 100 rings. It still exhibits a quirk unique to it and Route 101, and that's what we're going to exploit.

Drive through the level, collecting some rings as you normally would, but there's no need to collect them all (if you collect 100 at the wrong time, this doesn't work). Remember that you get a boost at 20 rings, but if you hit a balloon to skip a multiple of 20, the next 20 will count from where the balloon finished. For example, if you have 17 rings and hit a 20 balloon, you'll have 37 and receive a boost, but your next boost won't be granted until 57 rings.

Anyway, you're going to receive a boost some time between 80 and 99 rings. When the boost icon pops up, if you have 80 or more, don't use it. Get to exactly 99 rings and remember not to pick up any more.

Eventually, on section 3 of the level, you're going to come across a split road with a gap in the middle. One side has rings. Head to that side, but stay against the wall on that side. Don't get the rings yet.

Stop when you're next to one of the first few rings in that path, turn to face that ring, and use your boost. This completes the're going to receive your time (which, since you had to go all the way into section 3 and stop before your final ring, appears to be really bad)...what just happened?

The trick is that the finishing animation in Route 101 and Route 280 consists of your car trying to straighten itself out and drive down the road from where you were, unlike other mission 2s where it just plays a set animation after moving your character to a predefined spot. In this case, you had your car doomed to fall into a pit, and the animation wasn't set to straighten it out in time. Then, when your car hits the water, it warps you back to the beginning minus 1 life, but doesn't change that you're still in "victory mode". The timer now counts up from 0, instead of being fixed as it normally would be, but there's only so much time to do that before Now Saving pops up. If you did this correctly, you'll receive a time of about 7 seconds.

That's great, but aren't you supposed to get lower? As a matter of fact you can. That last time, you were on section 3, which was close to the water so you hit it quickly, and had the rest of the time for the timer to count up. What if you could delay the fall into the water, giving the timer less time to count?

You can do that. Stay on 99 rings until the very end of the level, then just keep going. At the end you'll hit a trigger that works like a Back ring: you go immediately to the start of the level with your elapsed time and rings intact. Skip the set of 16, then the next 6 are on the left side of another split road...

Do the same thing you did last time, face the ring at a 90-degree angle and fire a boost. Now you'll hear the victory tune play as you fall...and's a really long way down from section 1...the screen will actually display that you have an E rank...then finally, it fades out, fades back in with the timer counting from 0, and then Now Saving will appear to establish your record for this run, and it will be the low time, not the high one. Specifically, it'll be whatever time the screen pauses on briefly as it saves, plus .01 or .02 seconds. This method normally gets you a time around 2 seconds.

Strangely enough, from 2 seconds, you can still go lower. See how the road isn't just a 2D object, but you can in fact see the side of the road in those pits? That surface is a few feet high, and you can run into it. If you aim a bit less than 90 degrees at your 100th ring, say 60 degrees, you may hit the side of the road, which causes your vertical speed to fall to 0, then after a while you'll start falling again. If you clip the wall slightly, you can delay your fall to the point that the timer only has time to count less than 1 second before it saves your time, going down all the way to 0.02 if everything's just right. Do note that it is possible to be stuck to the wall for too long, leading to the Now Saving message appearing while you still have your E-rank time displayed, and then it'll go black right at the end and hit 00:00.00 and then 00:00.02, where it stops. If you get this to happen, you don't get your low time saved on Route 280. One thing you can use it for, though, is as a replacement for Chao World to get a low Cannon's Core time (see that guide) for mission 2 of that level, whereas Chao World would put you in mission 1. Yes, for some reason Route 101 and Route 280 allow the same warp as Chao World does, but for any mission.

Note that if you're playing without a save file, the "too late" window is no longer too late, and a time of 00:00.00 will be displayed on the level select screen (but you'll be unable to save it, making it void from TSC's charts).

This trick isn't usable for Route 101 mission 2 because there are no gaps in the road, and nothing you do to get ring #100 can stop the auto-straightening of the victory animation from keeping you on the road. But one of of two isn't bad, at least when it comes to tricks that can get you less than 1 second on a level...right?
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