Things I Learned Trying to Speedrun Streets of Rogue

You ever get bored at work and look up speedruns? Ever think, “hey, I’ve heard all about these Mario and Celeste speedruns, what are the smaller scenes like?” This train of thought led me to my latest obsession: trying to do a pacifist speedrun of Streets of Rogue. I’ve seen the leaderboards and it’s surprisingly sparse and what I have seen is that there are currently no pacifist runs for Streets of Rogue. When I played Streets of Rogue back a few months ago, the Doctor was one of the few characters I actually won with, so I thought, “yeah this is doable.”

I don’t remember where I got my Youtube avatar from.

In general, I think Streets of Rogue is one of those games that’s open to a lot of different kinds of speedruns. There’s any% runs for each character, but I think that there should also be a “Big Quest” speedrun that requires you to meet specific conditions alongside the main game; then again if you’re playing as the Doctor, that’s just the pacifist run.

So maybe I got you thinking about doing your own speedruns for this game, right? Well, after hours of futile attempts, I’ve acquired some knowledge of speedrunning this game and I think that it’d be nice to share it with people.

The first thing you wanna do is before starting a run, go to the Mutators and put the game on Speedrun Mode (Standard). This is the agreed upon standard for runs to be legitimate, which I forgot about in my first few videos, so even if I had won a run, it wouldn’t have counted.

(just kinda looked for any Streets of Rogue screenshots I had for this one)

The Speedrun Mode unlocks everything and makes all trait and item rewards active to ensure that all speedrunners have an even playing field. Which is reasonable, but also, I worry about my ability to actually pull off a pacifist run if I can’t even win with a stacked deck. The mode also automatically kills you if you’re on a single level for 4 minutes, which is reasonable because your run’s probably going badly, anyway.

So, here’s some general tips I’ve figured out if you wanna go fast:

  • Use “Ctrl” as a quick teleport between mission objectives instead of opening the map. Only open your map if you want to teleport to a shop or to the exit if it happens to be next to a mission objective you haven’t seen yet.
  • Don’t bother opening chests and vaults unless they’re on the beaten path.
  • If it’ll take you outside faster and you got the health, always break through windows instead of taking the long way back out a building.
  • If you’re presented with a “switch pressing” mission, go to that first and hit the first switch. There’s a chance that it will give a countdown, which will automatically fail the mission if all the switches aren’t pressed in time. The requirements to take the level exit requires all missions to be cleared, not actually won, so you can start the countdown and go do something else for easy multitasking.
  • Similarly for escort missions, it’s probably faster to just kill or knock out the person you’re escorting instead of winning the mission. However, if you have Teleport Happy, you can immediately bring them to the entrance/exit.
  • If a Thief steals something, it’s whatever. Who cares.
  • If you get the random status effects disaster and get turned giant, just go apeshit and tear through as many objectives as possible. Unless you’re doing a pacifist run, in which case, hope you don’t accidentally destroy someone.
  • Using cologne will make Cannibals and Mobsters friendly, which is good, because they’re annoying assholes.
  • Don’t be afraid of resets.

Every time you level up you get a free heal, so save your healing items if you’re close to a level up. Leveling up also allows you to pick out a trait when you exit a level, so here’s a list of traits that I think are good to pick. Please note that I’ve mainly been doing pacifist runs, so some of these suggestions may not be applicable in situations with more offensive characters.

  • G-P-Yess: Everything becomes marked on the map. Because of this, you can immediately teleport to mission objectives at the start of a level, which is a huge time-save.
  • Teleport-Happy: This allows you to teleport wherever and whenever you want, unless you’re in combat. This is another huge time saver because you no longer have to walk outside of buildings to actually teleport back home and makes the Disaster Levels easier. This and G-P-Yess are the most vital traits you need in a Streets of Rogue speedrun because they save so much time. The earlier you get them, the better. It’s probably optimal to reset runs over and over until you get one or both of them for your first level ups, but I just like to roll with the punches.
  • Cool with Cannibals: This trait makes it so that cannibals are friendly to you; I don’t think you need this if you’re playing as a cannibal, though. Cannibals attack on sight and are annoying assholes to deal with. The Park is full of them and you can lose momentum to ambushes in the Park and Downtown, so I recommend taking this, especially if you’re attempting a pacifist run. Furthermore, it makes dealing with the War Zone disaster way easier.
  • Friend of the Family: Similarly, Mobsters also love to harass you. I think it’s less important than Cool with Cannibals because they’re not outright hostile, but still, it’s safe to take to avoid wasting time in Downtown. Though, I think that they added a Mobster class in the game since I last reviewed, so if you’re playing as them this isn’t necessary.
  • Clumsiness Forgiven: This trait makes characters look the other way when you’re breaking objects, unless you’re destroying a wall. Some main mission objectives require you to break stuff, which will aggro building owners and hired goons, so this can save time unless you want to beat people to death, I guess.
  • Secret Vandalizer: This one is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it enables you to break things without anyone hearing it. However, this means that you can’t hit things to cause a distraction, which can be important for pacifist runs. But then again…
  • Wall Walloper: Enables you to use a melee weapon to break walls at the cost of durability, with the upgraded variant letting you break metal walls. Combined with Secret Vandalizer, it can let you get in places with little trouble.
  • Graceful: Does not trigger floor traps or lasers. It could save you the need of having to hunt down the computer.
  • Speed+: Upgrades your speed stat, which is just helpful in general.
  • Slippery Target: Good for survivability on the later floors because everyone is armed.

I am committed to my goals. You know how Patrick in that one Spongebob episode really wanted an award? I’m the Patrick, it’s me. Like man, I don’t care if somebody snatches the record afterward, if I got a world record in something for even a few minutes, that’s good enough for me. And hey, maybe that can be you, or maybe you can get a pacifist speedrun record before me and I have to fight you for it. Whatever the case, trying to speedrun Streets of Rogue is fun and I wish more people were into it.

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