A guide at speedrunning strategies, tips and tricks, and some of the basics movement techniques for running through all three levels of Obscura.
How to Speedrun
Hello! Assuming you are reading this you probably have already beat Obscura in full and want to try your hand at speedrunning the game as it’s a really fun and fast game to run. If you haven’t beat Obscura I would highly recommend that you do that before reading this or a lot of this guide won’t make a lot of sense.
Some stuff about me is that I am the current record holder for the game and am the primary discoverer of most of the strategies that is utilized within the speedrun of the game. At the time of writing my current record is a 1:51 for all three levels of the game.
With each one of the individual levels I’m including an example video of what a run of each level would look like these are by no means my personal best runs for those levels but they are good. Note: these videos are using the most advanced strategies available I will provide side strategies that are easier to use inside of the section for that level as you get better at the game. I will also go into depth about why certain strategies work and more importantly explain how to do certain strategies.
Basic Movement and Simple Tips
Helpful speedrunning hotkeys
- Backspace – Pressing backspace restarts the game back to the title screen really helpful for if you screw up a run and wanna retry from the start.
- Number Keys – Pressing 1, 2, and 3, on your keyboard automatically places whichever camera directly into your hands really helpful for quick switching between cameras on the fly.
- Red – Is bound to 1 Green – Is bound to 2 Blue – Is bound to 3
- Escape (ESC) – Escape closes the game directly back to desktop good if you want to restart the entire game quickly.
Basic Movement Strategies
Now it’s time to go over some of the basic movement abilities that aren’t specific for a certain level. It is vital for you to have knowledge about how to do all of the following to some kind of level to be able to do some of the harder strategies for the game.
Bunny Hopping (B-Hopping)
That’s right one of the most classic First-Person 3D Platformer exploits is possible in Obscura too. If you know how to do it in Half Life or CS you should have a basic idea of how it works here though there are a few differences you’re gonna have to look out for.
How To Do
- Step 1 – Press the Jump Button while holding W to go forwards.
- Step 2 – Press the Jump Button again while still holding W the moment you touch the ground while you are in the air if you hold A or D to move sideways in mid air while you’re jumping you will accelerate. Unlike other games if you are attempting to accelerate never let go of W at any time.
- Step 3 – Continue pressing Space as you hit the ground and continue Airstrafing (Holding A or D in mid-air) to conserve your momentum and gain more and more speed. There is no speed cap.
Practice makes perfect with B-hopping and is absolutely the most VITAL thing to get good at if you wanna get faster times. B-hopping is easily 10x faster than normal walking and can be utilized for many tricks in the game. B-hopping in Obscura is absurdly forgiving compared to other games but it still can be difficult to master at times. it’s incredibly rewarding to get better at it and is easily my favorite part of speedrunning the game.
- Pressing S at anytime will stop practically all of your forward momentum useful when you have to make a quick stop.
- By holding a direction you can pretty easily hold a B-Hop around a corner without losing much momentum Ex: Holding D while going around a right turn.
- Mouse use is incredibly useful to maximize small spaces and squeeze out as much speed out of smaller areas. Simply move you mouse in either horizontal direction and you can take tighter turns and thus get more jumps and thus more time to airstrafe and thus more total B-hop speed
- Running into a wall does not kill momentum as long as you continue pressing jump as you hit the ground allowing you to gain functionally infinite speed against a wall to be executed as you go around the wall of make the wall disappear with the camera.
Conclusion about B-Hopping
This may seem a bit daunting but let me assure you B-hopping is not something I can really explain a lot of B-hopping mastering is about Practice above all I learned all of my B-hopping by simply playing the game and just trying it out until you can really nail it. As the quote goes “practice makes perfect.”
Other Stuff Besides B-Hopping and some other stuff to mention
- Cut corners where ever and when ever possible as it’s some of the simplest ways to cut time.
- Spam the space bar while going up any stairs and or slopes as it is a lot faster than walking up them.
- Memorize the levels as much as possible being able to prepare for the next section of the run is really important for you speed and helps a lot to minimize run ending mistakes.
- Momentum is carried after you die as long as you press jump the moment you spawn I’ll go into this more later when I talk about more death warp strats.
Level 1 Guide
Level 1 is the the quickest level in the game and at it’s fullest capacity is the most reset heavy part of the run. Luckily it’s the first level so you don’t waste too much time. Level 1 can be pretty easily split into three different distinct sections which I will talk about individually.
At the beginning of the level immediately press 1 to get the red camera in your hands just B-hop as quick as you can to the end of the hallway and fall down the hole at the first possible moment you’re gonna wanna try to get to the end of the hallway in only 3 jumps to minimize the amount you have to fall to get into the first room. Reveal the two red blocks as you fall down into the first room with the camera assuming you have enough speed you should be able to hit a jump the moment you fall into the room and jump to on top of the first block. Important that you make sure you are looking down while you go up the first two blocks to guarantee they don’t vanish as you go up. Finishing up the first section just initiate a B-Hop into the hallway towards the second section and quickly look right just before you hit the red wall then look forwards again after clearing it.
Before the discovery of Stairs Skip AKA Sack Skip the second section of Level 1 was a pretty easy section. Now though it’s actually pretty difficult because Stairs Skip is a really difficult skip to pull off consistently. I would highly recommend if you’re new to Obscura speedrunning to not go for Stair Skip at first and instead attempt to get better at B-hopping it only really saves a handful of seconds.
Stairs Skip/A More Detailed Look At Death Warps
Gonna go into more detail about what Death Warps are in Obscura Speedrunning first before I talk about Stair Skip which uses it. In Obscura there are certain death areas where when the player touches them they are killed and get sent to the designated respawn point for that specific death area. This fact can be used for speedrunning if you can hit those respawn points at unintended times such as in Level 1 in a strategy called Stair Skip or Sack Skip. At the end of section 2 and the beginning of section 3 there is a hole puzzle where you have to position the camera in a certain way as you fall down a hole with a death block at the bottom if you don’t position the camera correctly you hit the death block and die then get sent back to the top of the hole. Now that death block’s designated death area actually partially extends out a bit outside of the hole and so if you can hit that little bit that sticks out by B-hopping from the beginning of section 2 to the end you can instantly respawn at the top of the hole and skip having to go all the way around using the stairs. Watch the example video for a great example on how to do it. The part of the hole’s walls that you need to hit in order to land the Death Warp is quite precise so this trick is gonna require a good amount of practice to land even once. As soon as you land the respawn just go down the hole like normal.
The Alternative To Stairs Skip
Instead of doing Stairs Skip which is really inconsistent and difficult to do for newer runners just B-hop around using the stairs like normal. Again Stairs Skip really only saves around 3-5 seconds so I really do recommend newer players don’t try to start attempting it till you’ve become more proficient in the movement systems. Once you get to the hole just look up to make the cap red block disappear and hold W to fall down into the third section.
The most important part about this section is that the button that opens the final door can be opened from practically any distance as long as your crosshair is hovering over the button.
You should attempt to press the button as soon as you enter the final room as it’s easiest then. After you press the button B – Hop towards the ramp up and look right with your camera which should still be toggled on as you go up the ramp jump through the first invisible red block and quickly look down so the red block platform you need to land on doesn’t disappear then jump from the first rafter to the second than to the final rafter and B-hop to the end of the level. Doing these jumps can be tricky at times so don’t be too discouraged if you don’t land it first try.
Level 2 Guide
Level 2 can either be the easiest level or the most annoying level to run depending entirely on how well you can execute the final tower climb gauntlet section. In my opinion this level is one of the most fluid levels to run and has one of my favorite skips. This level really only has two distinct sections
Begin the level by B-Hopping to the end of the intro hallway and fall down to the right to get into section 1 main as early as possible. As you’re falling press 2 then immediately press 1 to place the green camera make sure it’s facing towards the end of the first section to spawn a green block required for later. Now is time for one of my favorite skips in the game that utilizes a similar technique as in Stairs Skip a Death Warp but this one is absurdly more consistent and easy to pull off.
Level 2 Intro Warp
B-Hop to the end of the first red block bridge attempting to gain as much speed as possible then jump of the opposing edge and try to gain as much distance so you can guarantee you hit the death area and the Death Warp actually happens. If you are really good you can actually maintain your momentum through the death surprisingly by just jumping the moment you respawn and continue B-hopping as normal after you achieve the warp towards the tower climb. Note: If don’t maintain your speed through the B-Hop and the walls enclose around you just go towards the red block wall towards the side of the tower climb turn around with the red camera in your hands to let the wall disappear then quickly turn around and jump through the wall before it can reappear and immediately look down to spawn the platform before you fall through it.
First section continued
B-hop across the red block platform and the green block platform and make sure that both cameras aren’t covering the entirety of the blocks inside of tower climb jump on top of the highest possible block and look down so you can see the platform you’re standing on then mash 1, 2 and Space to elevate yourself as quick as possible up the tower and jump off to the final section as soon as you can see the top when looking down.
The Level 2 Tower Gauntlet
This section is incredibly difficult to do as fast as possible add that in with some bugs with platforms not spawning in correctly and this section can get quite frustrating. Though do not fret with just basic map knowledge and the ability to jump you can make this section a breeze. Start the climb by placing the green camera facing upwards so that all the green platforms appear then pull out the red camera and begin the climb up. The red blocks are in the same position for three repetitions before the final staircase at the top of the gauntlet. You can skip the first red block and just jump on the second block from the bottom. It’s important to cut corners as much as possible as it will save you a whole lot of time. The biggest thing to remember as you are traversing through the gauntlet Always make sure that you are always looking slightly towards the block you’re standing on and the block you’re about to jump onto to prevent the block vanishing and screwing up your climb
Level 3 Guide
Level 3 is by far the longest level of the game doubling the length of the previous level and thus is probably the most technically difficult level. This level because of it’s greater length is almost entirely based upon your knowledge of the level more than just your hard execution if you want to do well. Level 3 is my favorite level in the game to run as it’s just got so many fun skips and fluid movement. Like level 1 this level can be split into 3 distinct sections, Section 1, Section 2 aka The Tower, and Section 3 aka The End.
Like both previous levels pull out the red camera start a B-Hop and attempt to get to the upwards stairs as fast as you can. Right as you hit the stairs mash the spacebar as hard as possible to attempt to go up them as quickly as you can. After you clear the stairs you can maintain your momentum off of mashing the spacebar up the stairs to start a bunny hop to the first red ramp up. Remember though as your B-Hopping towards the red ramp up to press 3 to pull out the blue camera face towards the main huge staircase up and then immediately press 1 again to pull out the red camera and place the blue camera to spawn a blue block you’ll need for later face the red ramp with the red camera and make sure it spawns so you can mash space up it. Make sure you don’t gain too much speed or you’ll overshoot the top of the ramp and fall off. At no time should you press 2 to activate the green camera as it can screw up your run.
Level 3 Ramps Skip
At the top of the first red ramp on that upper area you can initiate a B-Hop off of the edge and land on the previously spawned blue block to skip having to go around on the ramps saving a whole bunch of time. The example video shows me doing a really fast method that’s difficult to do so if you’re newer to running it might be easier to step further back on the platform to allow you to have more room to gain speed and make the jump.
Section 1 Continued
After you complete Ramps Skip just continue up the stairs to the top and obviously mashing the spacebar on the stairs to go up them faster watch out about overshooting the stairs and falling off. You can cut the corners on the stairs to get to the next straight away faster. Once you reach the top B-Hop on top of the tall block next to the Tower then B-Hop on The Tower Main it’s completely reasonable to wanna take some time on the B-Hop from the tall block to The Tower as it can be a bit tricky at times.
Section 2 aka The Tower
This part is really memory reliant and a lot of camera switching with the hotkeys is required. Go up the first flight of stairs and place the red and green facing the blocks and hold the blue going over in the example video I didn’t do this but you should as it makes the next section a bit faster. Climb the next flight and jump to the blue platform than place the blue camera facing down towards the platform then pull out the red camera and do the same for that platform after jumping to it. Then press 2 to take out the green camera and expose both blocks at the end then jump to the bottom green block pull out the red camera jump then expose the red platform jump off of that red platform onto the top green and strafe jump to the next platform. This next part is really hard to explain. I didn’t do it the fastest possible way experiment a little and you can probably find a lot faster way to do it. Climb the last set of stairs for the The Tower and time for the biggest skip in the game Suaus Skip.
Suaus Skip is the singular largest time save of the game saving just around a entire minute. At the top of The Tower start a B-Hop towards the hole down to the last room and jump off the edge towards the exit of that last room land on the top of the ceiling of the final room on the upper section then jump towards the lower platform exit of the final room. Finally conserve your momentum and jump off and land on the farthest floating platform heading towards the end of the game. Alternatively if you don’t have enough speed you can jump to the intended route and wrap around as normal.
Section 3 aka The End
After you complete Suaus Skip just B-Hop to the end of the floating bridge while you’re traveling placing all three cameras to expose all of the staircase obviously spamming space while you travel up both staircases to the end of the level.
All of this information may seem really daunting to a newer player, but I really do promise that it’s worth it this game is incredibly rewarding to get fast at and has a lot of fun skips possible to do. As I’ve said previously getting good at this game is a lot of practice and knowledge so don’t let that discourage you from running the game so try it out if you have the chance.
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