Heart&Slash – Complete guide to Speedrunning

Hello aspiring H&S speedrunner, I’m happy to see you came here and I hope this little guide will be of great help to you!

Speedrun Guide

Categories and Rules

Hello aspiring H&S speedrunner, I’m happy to see you came here and I hope this little guide will be of great help to you!

Every category starts the timer at the first input after gaining control of your character.

We currently have 4 speedrunning categories for H&S:

  • Neutral ending (Any%) – Beat Quassy, timer ends when the quassy is defeated.
  • Slash ending (worse any%) – Beat Quassy by recycling yourself for slash, same end timer.
  • Slash story% – Start from a fresh save and unlock slash, timer ends when slash is unlocked(slash ending timer).
  • Unlock all characters (except the Halloween character)% – The timer ends when all characters are unlocked.

Obviously, a full recording of the run is needed for the submission to count.

General Level Traversal and Bosses

Rooms and level world generation logic:

In H&S every level consists of multiple rooms leading into each other, so it might seem like a circular structure at first, but you will quickly notice that the levels are in fact very linear instead. Rooms function more like a tree and less like a building, once a new room is created it never links back to an older one except by the way you entered in the first place. In other words, don’t expect to come back to a room later and always see the lines you walk to the end. You can see if a room has other connections by little door markers (slightly thicker lines) on the map, so if you see a room that doesn’t connect to anything anymore, don’t enter it. You can quickly rotate the map in your start menu screen, this way you can avoid some lockdowns as the next rooms will be loaded before you enter the lockdown trigger.

There are 3 levels or stages in H&S: the factory, the city and the space elevator.

For all of these make sure to get the movement speed upgrade as soon as possible as it will save you a lot of time, the jump upgrade is most useful in the elevator and a little bit in the city as well as it can make traversing some rooms easier, but if you do not have enough upgrade boxes don’t stop to get them before beating city, as the boss fight always gives enough to buy the jump upgrade.

Factory

The factory is the only stage with signs on where to go, and while they don’t appear in every room they always appear in the first room which can already save you the first 50/50 in the run. The signs are either old street signs for the Frank-y boss fight or a glowing triangle with an exclamation mark for B-DSS knight, follow them whenever you see them, and if you haven’t seen one in a while always check the back of the door you just passed to see if you might be going in the wrong direction. Try to avoid lockdowns by checking the map before fully entering a room every time. Either boss takes about the same time to beat give or take depending on your equipment so don’t worry too much about which one you get.

City

Lockdowns don’t happen when just entering a new room anymore (Yay!) but do be careful not to walk into the center of the room with two fences separating it into 3 pieces, the grass on the room with a grass field and some trees, and the inside of circles either made out of barricades or helicopter pads, as all of these have a chance of locking down and losing you some precious time! In the sewers only rooms that don’t have other exits risk locking down so don’t worry about them. When it comes to which boss is the fastest, copgore with good RNG is definitely faster than the Worm, but bad RNG can risk you losing a lot of time, on the other hand getting a 1 cycle Herbie requires near perfect execution but a 2 cycle is fairly consistent with just a little bit of practice. I will go into detail about the bosses later in this guide.

Space Elevator

Get the jump boost at all costs, with a little bit of platforming skill this allows you to skip some rather large portions of the level. The main goal with the elevator is getting to the top, this is done in multiple segments all cut off by a lockdown that triggers the next segment to start, these lockdowns are obligatory so just try to be quick and hope for good RNG with the enemy types in them. Avoid stepping onto the large side platforms with turrets and containers in the beginning as they have a high chance of locking down, and if you can reach the next level without the small elevator platforms try to avoid those too as they also have a high chance of triggering a lockdown. You can stand on the tips of the thin poles next to elevator room entrances which often allow you to skip the whole room and wait for the tiny elevator platforms.

Movement Tech

So far not much movement tech has been discovered, the ones we do know are:

Super Longjump: Longjump on any upwards slanted ground such as the stairs in the factory to gain a lot of extra speed and length for your longjump (you longjump by jumping while running).

Triple Jump: Some weapons such as the 3 standard slicers and other weapons using a similar or the same grounded heavy animation allow you to execute a pseudo triple jump as the game still considers your character grounded for a short while after the end of the rising attack animation which can gain you a considerable amount of height, this is especially useful in the elevator and box clip scenarios and it’s exclusive to Heart, Prototype, Slash and the Halloween character as he is basically just heart.

Fighting and Enemy Bots

Now that you’re acquainted with where to go and how to move, let’s talk about the fighting. Every character has 2 possible attack options, light and heavy attacks. What makes light attacks incredibly more useful than heavy attacks is that you can cancel them at any time with a dodge or a jump, this allows the dog to perform attacks whithout moving forward and any other character dodge out of any situation, but there are some situations in which heavy attacks are still useful, and these are:

Armored enemies: In order to remove an armored foe’s whole armor just hit 2 heavy attacks on its central back armor plate. this then allows you to easily pummel the enemy and quickly get rid of it

Slash fights: You can act during the slash cutscenes by jumping into the room he appears in, this allows you to do a full launch (grounded heavy) into arial lights followed up by heavy on him, then two more light hits. You can hit him more, but this is as much as he can survive on a non-upgraded slicer and if he dies before the cutscene is over you are softlocked and can only leave by exiting to the main menu. It also resets your mission status.

So, now that we know how to deal with the most annoying enemies in the game, let’s talk about the bosses!

Tutorial: in order to beat slash in the tutorial the fastest you just need to dodge his attacks and try to hit an aerial combo on him as quickly as possible, then repeat until he dies, there are some slightly more safe setups but they lose way too much time and while this takes a bit of practice it’s not impossible to do.

B-DSS Knight: While electrical damage deals the most damage to this boss, it also gives him invincibility frames whenever he gets into his stunned animation, instead the fastest way to beat him is by waiting out his initial attack by jumping over his head and using a light attack followed by a heavy attack once he’s done attacking and then just pummel him with a non-attribute weapon with light attacks until he dies, just dodge his attacks when you see the exclamation marks as you can always cancel a light attack with a dodge or damage boos through it.

Frank-y: While this boss seems very menacing as a casual player, when speedrunning just hit the back of one of his legs, this will make him fall over and leave him open for you to attack his face while he’s on the ground. If you have a fire weapon you can end this easily in one cycle, if not just do it in 2. It’s not that much of a time difference tbh.

Copgore: Oh god where should I start… Copgore is sometimes but not always immune to attacks so whether you hit him or not is up to RNG pretty much… You can speed up his cycles by hitting him while he’s flying over the stage, this triggers him to instantly go into his end-of-attack animation and start the next one. The attack you want him to do is launch a giant red missile toward you which you can hit back at him. Once this missile hits 3 times he dies, but if it hits and he doesn’t play the damage animation, this means he didn’t receive any damage as he was invincible at that time. So yeah if you have good luk, quickly get 3 rockets that hit, the boss dies very quickly and you can move on to the elevator, if not, this might kill your run.

Scavenger Queen: In order to attack the queen you need to wait until she charges towards the wall and you can attack her fuel tanks, you can attack these from the outside as your hitboxes easily extend inside, what is important though is that you hit all of them before you hit the final one as that one can only start exploding when the other are gone. If performed perfectly a one cycle kill is theoretically possible but i have yet to properly pull it off. Killing her in two cycles is fairly consistent though. Also when the scavenger queen surrounds you and summons enemies it is faster to kill them manually than killing them by walking away and letting the queen do the damage.

QuAsSy: While it seems like quassy can only be hit while his lasers are destroyed that is not entirely true, while it is a bit janky to do if you attack at the right angle or with a vorpal weapon you can hurt him during his normal attack phases. Destroying his lasers is generally faster though as it is much more consistent, but both approaches can be mixed for example when the lasters are far from the body.

Category-Specific Tips and Tricks

Ok now that we’re done with the fundamentals let’s get to the meat of things shall we!

Neutral ending%: Play as the dog (I’m terrible with names sorry), as it skips all cutscenes completely, has a faster base movement speed, faster and stronger attack animations that propel it forward and basically just beats every other character in every single way, except that it can’t get the luck of receiving a rocket pack as it can’t wear armor. So yeah the dog is the GOAT.

Slash ending%: This category is superfluous don’t run it.

Slash story%: Your goal is to finish the slash story from a blank save file, this means you need to first upgrade a weapon and pass the box room, fight slash (but let him live), free slash from his restraints with a volt weapon, meet slash in the green room in the hallway, beat the factory boss after doing all that, meet slash in the city, destroy all the computers in the city (5), rescue slash in the sewers, and then kill quassy by recycling yourself for slash.

Now that’s a lot to unpack so how do we do all this? First of all it’s important to know that story rooms will always be shown by a yellow exclamation mark on the map, so if you enter the stage and there is no yellow exclamation mark just leave the game and start a new one until it appears.

Another thing we need to keep in mind is that we need to unlock a volt weapon before we can free slash from his restraints, the fastest way to do that is to either kill 5 of each (i think) medium-sized bots in the lab or 15 large bots. This will unlock the elemental slicers and the thunder hammer respectively. While the thunder hammer is technically better as the chance of getting a thunder weapon is higher with just that one, getting the volt slicer is also not too rare and the recommended thing to do is just follow the path RNG throws at you as the time discrepancy between the two is not very high, I also recommend using this time to collect experience to set the starting experience for your runs from now on. Now that you’ve unlocked the volt weapon free slash and kill 20 enemies with the restriction till it wears off. This way that part of the story counts as complete and you can either restart or run to the yellow exclamation mark. I recommend picking up 2 weapons instead of one when doing this mission as you will be left with 1 heart after freeing slash and without your dodge roll so you might want to regenerate some health by recycling it.

After beating all the lab missions in order from here on out head to the city and if you don’t see a yellow exclamation mark on the map instantly restart and get to the city again. Once you see it, go to that room, climb the tree and talk to slash, now check your map again for yellow exclamation marks, the more the merrier as you have to destroy 5 computers, one in each of 5 different preset rooms. Finishing this will require you to exit the game and restart quite often but once that is done, so is the most tedious part of the run.

Once you’ve destroyed all the computers you just need to go back to slash to talk to him and then check the map and reset if the sewer mission exclamation mark doesn’t show up, getting this one shouldn’t require too many resets, and once you have found the slash sewer mission just stand next to him and recycle a weapon or piece of equipment and defeat the enemies so you can go straight to the elevator, from there the run just turns into reaching QuAsSy as quickly as possible, recycling yourself for slash and dealing the finishing blow.

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