darkSpyro - Spyro and Skylanders Forum > The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon > DS version speedrun challenge (Malefor%) [spoilers]
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DS version speedrun challenge (Malefor%) [spoilers]
Gharlant Green Sparx Gems: 479
#1 Posted: 05:51:24 22/11/2018 | Topic Creator
Hey everyone. This is just an idea I am throwing out there for anyone who really enjoys the DS version of this game, and also enjoys completing it quickly. This version of the game holds a lot of sentimental value for me and I've been thinking of new ways to enjoy it. So I present to you: the Malefor challenge (or Malefor%). Keep in mind this is a work in progress. I have only been doing this for a few days but I've made enough positive changes to where I am confident enough to share it here in hopes that somebody might get some enjoyment out of this challenge. Also keep in mind I may reference levels or story elements of this game so do not read onward if you are still worried about that sort of thing.

The Challenge

The idea of this challenge is to reach Malefor as quickly as possible and then compare your times (using the in-game timer found on the file select menu) to other fans of this game and see who is the fastest.

Why Malefor?

The reason why I call this the Malefor Challenge and why I don't just speedrun the entire game has to do with two main factors: accessibility and the way the game records times. Actually those two are kind of connected. Let me explain. Dawn of The Dragon on DS keeps track of your time, and you can view it on the file select screen. However, there is one major flaw with the way the game tracks your time: it only records your time up until the second phase of the last boss fight. So let's say it took you 2 hours to reach Malefor. It takes you 5 minutes to beat the first phase, so now your time will be 2hr 5min. If it takes you another 10 minutes to defeat his second (and final) phase, your time will still only be recorded as 2:05, not 2:15. This is because the game only records your time whenever it autosaves, and there is no more autosaving after you begin the second phase. The game saves right as the second phase begins so whatever time it took you to reach that second phase will be the time that is displayed on your save file. This means that the game does not track how long it took you to actually beat the game, it only tracks how long it takes you to reach the final phase of the final boss and then stops recording.

So that explains the problems with the game's in-game timer, so why don't we just use a timesplit software like regular speedruns? Because I want this challenge to be accessible to as many people as possible. I don't think everyone has 100 dollars to spend on a DS capture card so it seems the most accessible way to play and time this game is also the most natural: with a Nintendo DS and a copy of the game. As stated above, the game only tracks your time until you reach the last phase of Malefor, not when you actually defeat him. But for this challenge, we will be manually stopping the challenge when we reach his first phase, immediately after finishing the floating islands level. Why? Because the game doesn't differentiate between the first and second phases of the fight. On your file select screen, no matter what phase you are on, it will read "Malefor". The game will still save at the start of the second phase (and reloading your save will put you here), but from the file select screen, there is no way to tell which phase you are on, so I have decided it would be best to just stop the timer at the first phase of the fight when your save file reads "Malefor".

How to play

Simply start a new file and play through the game as quickly as possible. When you finish the floating islands (the level with the 3 colored doors and then a short linear section at the end) there will be a cutscene. After the cutscene you will be in Malefor's domain and the game will save. Pause the game and return to the main menu. Select "load game" and your save file will now say "Malefor" and will have your game time underneath it. Congratulations! You've completed the Malefor Challenge run.

I hope that this was easy to understand. I will probably end up formatting this post a bit better and maybe adding some pictures. Dawn of The Dragon on DS is quite possibly my favorite video game of all time, and I hope that this breathes new life into the game for some people.
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 05:56:11 22/11/2018 by Gharlant
Gharlant Green Sparx Gems: 479
#2 Posted: 05:56:31 22/11/2018 | Topic Creator
(reserved)
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 05:56:56 22/11/2018 by Gharlant
Gharlant Green Sparx Gems: 479
#3 Posted: 05:58:31 22/11/2018 | Topic Creator
Please ask me any questions if you are curious or let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions. Thanks!
Zimerag Red Sparx Gems: 79
#4 Posted: 12:01:02 03/04/2020
I'm really glad I found this post and it did take a ton of effort. I searched for DotD DS speedruns with all the queries I could think of but found nothing relavant, until a result linked to this forum.

I've been running the full game, mostly any% with livesplits on my laptop, finishing at the fade out after 2nd phase Malefor, as the rules state on speedrun.com/tlos3#Any. I don't have a capture card, but a video from a phone on a tripod filming the DS should qualify for submission. I'm interested in running this Malefor% too, especially if there are other runners.

Sadly, there aren't any entries for the DS version of the game on speedrun.com, but there are tabs for both Any and 100%. I'll be submitting my entry shortly, as soon as I get a time I'm satisfied with, and I hope others will do the same!
madison-dwrd Emerald Sparx Gems: 3157
#5 Posted: 03:42:58 12/04/2020
I used to have this game but no longer have a DS or a cartridge. I have all the time in the world right now and would probably enjoy this challenge but do either of you guys know if emulators are ever allowed for running DS games or is it too wacky? I know some games allow emulators and some don't but I'm assuming in game time won't change much on an emulator vs cartridge, is that right?

Sorry for being a year and a half late Gharlant haha.
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You gotta believe!
Zimerag Red Sparx Gems: 79
#6 Posted: 17:44:00 16/04/2020
I'm not 100% sure about submissions played on an emulator being valid, because judging by this thread https://www.speedrun.com/spyro/thread/1t226 emulators might be faster (although they don't specifically mention the DS). Since there's 0 runs on the leaderboards and I haven't found any other runner playing this game, I would be more than happy to compete and strategize with someone, even if they are using an emulator.
madison-dwrd Emerald Sparx Gems: 3157
#7 Posted: 06:42:35 22/04/2020
Awesome! To be honest I played the game casually like once or twice years ago when it first came out so I know nothing about it. I will get the game up and running tomorrow and I guess just try to learn it!
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You gotta believe!
Zimerag Red Sparx Gems: 79
#8 Posted: 08:39:30 22/04/2020
Yay, sounds great! I think I'll record and post a run today on youtube, so that should help get you started. I'll gladly converse about the game too, for example in discord (my tag is Zimerag#3422)
madison-dwrd Emerald Sparx Gems: 3157
#9 Posted: 04:36:52 25/06/2020
Just to try to keep this challenge alive, I wanted to post some tips for anyone else randomly surfing the DotD forum (all 2 of you, I'm sure). The way this game saves is actually super convenient and easy to cheese for anyone just worried about in-game time and not real-time. The game only saves when you reach the end of the level (blue portal), hit a switch or pillar (warfang 2, dam, floating islands), or die. Meaning, if you don't like your run of the level (you got hit too many times, you took a wrong turn), you can exit the game and reload without losing any time! This is a bit risky, however, because dying over and over will lose you time.

One more word of warning- I just found out the game always crashes if try to skip the cutscene after defeating the destroyer heart by pressing A, so don't skip that cutscene! If you do, though, you won't lose any in-game time, you will just have to turn off the DS and reload your game. Technically, you can use this to your advantage if you deal the final blow to the destroyer heart and you decide you didn't like it and want to redo it. Make the game work for you, haha!

And for anyone worried about the time sink, don't worry. This game is pretty short. Each level can be as short as just a few minutes if you know the fastest way to the end. The flight levels are pretty tedious but there are only a few of those, and you at least don't have to stress about time loss because they are on rails. The game can be completed in under an hour even without optimal gameplay.

My time will be coming soon. smilie
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You gotta believe!
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