Welcome to the Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource!
A comprehensive web-based document structure focused on playing Tenchu Z as quickly as possible
-About This Site-
The Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource is an online knowledge base designed to aid speedrunners, fledgling and veteran alike, increase their knowledge of the game and achieve quicker run times. From the basic mechanics to the most advanced strats known, TZSR facilitates the archival, convenient study, and further development, all in a variety of media forms. You will find route guides, images and video of strategies, and access to a Discord server of fellow runners, all on the Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource.
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Click the icon above to get invited to our Discord server! Talk with other runners in real-time and be in the loop.
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Ever since the creation of the Mission 45 Patterns page almost 2 and a half years ago, I've wanted to make a robust tool to help players learn and optimize the nortoriously difficult to practice level. Finally, that tool is here: The newly reworked Mission 45 Patterns Tool is now available on TZSR! Each pattern has a flowchart and map overlay which show the current route. Route notes are included which have relevant information regarding optimal movement and guard positions.
As is evident, progress on Project TZSR has pretty much hit a standstill. This pause began as a slowdown over a year and a half ago when it became apparent that my immediate path in life led to attending university and majoring in a STEM field. In order to prepare for that, I shifted my focus almost entirely to academics and completing all of my pre-university preparations with as high of a GPA as I could muster while also working to stockpile money for the inevidable high expenses incurred from said university prospects.
With this shift of priorities and energy, all of my side projects, including Project TZSR, have gone very much to the wayside. Streaming, speedrunning, content creation, and even gaming in general have dropped off to minimal levels. As time went on, my classes became more difficult and time-consuming, which took the final remnants of free time from projects and conscripted them to scholastic endeavors.
While I don't regret shifting my focus like this, I still want to finish Project TZSR and to complete the amazing and solid resource that I wish I had when I started speedrunning Tenchu Z. As a last-ditch effort before the current school year began, I uploaded strat example videos for all of the HN5 levels (basically clips from my livestreams). This is essentially my final substantial contribution to this site for a very long time. Classes are actually rigorous being a STEM major and the difficulty will only continue to increase. I do occassionally fire up Tenchu Z and play a couple levels, so if I ever can go back to running the game, I won't be hopelessly rusty. I'm honestly pretty surprised how little my skills have deterioated after all this time.
So here's a tl;dr: Between preparing for university as a STEM major as well as being employed, I can't commit a relevant amount of time to any of my projects, including TZSR. These projects are not abandoned; they're just on hiatus for a while. I still encourage people to pick up Tenchu Z as a speedgame and will always have the desire to finish Project TZSR in all its facets. Eventually, it will be completed.
Thank you all for your understanding and continued support of Project TZSR. This project and site have always been built with growing and helping the community as a primary goal, and always will be.
Creator, Developer, and Heart of Project TZSR & The Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource
After quite a delay, the tutorial video for Mission 2 HN5 is now complete! The route page for HN5 is now updated and the video is viewable there ( or click here!)
It turns out that there has been a new World Record in this game for almost 6 months. DohX_Jin managed a 27:43 in the HN5 category back in March of this year. Check out the run -here-.
This is a very good thing for a variety of reasons. My record was a stepping stone on the way to a properly good run when I ended up going on a hiatus in early March (if I recall correctly), so having the record for the game being such a time always bothered me to some degree. Also, since there isn't as much pressure to improve the record since it's not a bad run by me, I feel that I can focus more on making the tutorial videos for HN5, then possibly move on to routing Any%. I still want to improve my time in HN5, but I don't feel nearly as obligated to do so now that I know the current record isn't bad.
Also, I bothered to retroactively add in the post from my personal site (AngelicChaos.com) regarding my streaming and web development hiatus. It was mostly added for the sake of having the record of it here.
I've finally gotten the lovely mix of time and motivation to resume work on both this site and Tenchu Z itself! I've been working on updating the strat writeups in the HN5 route and plan on adding additional media to assist players in learning the strats. Since the text posts are inherently vague with stuff like specific enemy, enemy location, and overall surroundings, I plan on uploading the in-game maps of each level and labeling those with enemy number and position as well as labeling relevant buildings, landmarks, and items. This should hopefully alleviate the lack of clarity with the text posts.
I also want to get the Tutorial Videos going again if I can. No guarantees since video projects are very time-consuming and I'd be doing them solo.
For the last month or so, I've been going ham in college. I anticipate this trend continuing. What this means is that streaming/speedrunning will take a distinct backseat. This also means that web projects such as TZSR will also be put on the back burner. I've modified my Stream Schedule to reflect this shift in priorities.
This also will mean that my Tenchu Z skills will become rather rusty, which is unfortunate. I was hoping to improve the record to a sub-29 before stepping away from the game, but scholastic endeavors ultimately take priority over speed gaming. I'll probably put any spare Tenchu Z time towards finishing TZSR and the HN5 Tutorial Series rather than trying to improve the record. Nothing is guaranteed, as usual.
I've replaced the Media page with a Resources page. This is because I wanted to post tools like the M45 Bomb Patterns and the Attempt Tracker on that page, and the Media title doesn't really fit that at all. While it does seem a bit goofy to have a Resources page on The Tenchu Z Speedrunning Resource, it very accurately describes the content of that page.
Also, I only realized recently that the TZSR YouTube channel was basically never mentioned on the site (whoops). To rectify this, I've added a panel on the Resources page as well as a Quick Link.
I recently updated the vast majority of the route notes for HN5 to reflect my current route. I've also been adding to the Mechanics & Tech sections, updating some aethetics of the site (eg backgrounds, container color, etc), and a few other details.
I decided to add a global Quick Links section. This is primarily for frequent users of the site who visit for specific tools or resources that aren't already in the main navigation options. The Bomb Patterns link should be especially helpful to users currently in runs about to enter that Mission. I also included a few links that would be helpful to newer users, such as the Discord invite link.
I'm thinking about putting a similar section on the other side of the container for Social Media links (eg YouTube, Twitter, etc.).
During the stream today, I made a more accessible and run-friendly version of the Mission 45 Bomb Patterns Gallery. Now all of the images are displayed on a single page without having to browse or scroll. Click the link below to see it, or click the link found with the gallery in the route notes.
Note that it was made in 5-10 minutes, so it may behave interestingly when not fullscreened on a 16:9 display.
I've added a link to join our Discord server on both the home page and the community page. It's a permalink, so there isn't the issue of the link expiring.
Additionally, work on tutorial videos will begin in the upcoming weeks. Two of my college projects involve doing those tutorials, so at least two of them will be complete by December 7th. I would then hope to continue making them throughout my Winter Break since content creation/development during school quarters is slow at best.
Finally, I did manage to sneak in the time to get my own site off the ground. Check out AngelicChaos.com for everything pertaining to my stream, speedgaming, and projects (including TZSR)
I wrote a little program that allows basic tracking and stat display for IL attempts. You click the green checkmark whenever you successfully complete an attempt, and the red x whenever you fail an attempt. It will display your success ratio and percentage whenever you input a new attempt.
While it is called an IL Tracker, it can essentially track whatever you want (instances of RNG, number of consecutive Slash SKs, etc), provide valuable success metrics to help you improve your consistency in whatever you may be practicing, and allow you to focus on the practice instead of trying to keep mental track of your ratios.
The program can be found by clicking here!
The videos uploaded yesterday are now implemented in the HN5 route notes. I decided to use deferred loading once again, so only the videos the user requests are loaded, and only when that request is made. This means that the videos are hidden and unloaded until the user clicks the Show Video button. This is the exact same technology I implemented on the Mechanics&Tech page, so the page will load very quickly regardless of the amount of videos and other media on the page.
I uploaded videos for 15 of the 16 levels in Any%HN5. I'll begin to embed them in the route notes page tomorrow at some point, as well as providing a link to the playlist near the top of the page. These videos are mainly placeholders until I can create extensive tutorial videos. Tutorial videos will also address the issue of IL PB attempts having mistakes and the like, since the tutorial videos can be cut together from many different attempts to show the best possible strat and route.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to make all of the tutorial vids, but the absolute latest for the first one would be early December since it will count as one of my finals for college. I would like to have the project off the ground much sooner than that, but at least we have something in place to accompany the route notes.
I've managed to find time this weekend to work on TZSR, so I've been finishing up writing the route notes for HN5. I would like to have the HN5 page at a basic level of functionality this weekend (including basic example videos), so I'll work towards that goal. Mission 48 still isn't finalized, so that mission's section will be lacking regardless.
The videos will be whatever IL PBs I have on record. Most of them are cut and just need some color grading and text overlays. I'll keep it all basic for now just to get the content out, especially since the general plan is to eventually replace the PB videos with proper tutorial videos.
The tentative plan is to stream Fridays and use the weekends to add content to TZSR. Hopefully that will pan out; I'm looking forward to getting TZSR off the ground along with some HN5 runs.
Work on the TZSR Leaderboards has come a long way over the summer, but it isn't quite there yet. We have basic functionality, but there are still more things to be done. Unfortunately, the Fall Quarter at college begins as of today, so this project will have to take a back seat due to academic obligations. I think the thing I should add when I have the chance is a time submission form, similar to the Runner submission form on the Community page.
I'll also have to wrap up some of the small things on the leaderboard. Styling the tables so they're uniform is one, and probably not showing categories that don't have times submitted is another. Once that's finished, I'll look to add more content and finish up the HN5 route notes and Mechanics writeups. From there, adding tutorial videos to the route notes, if not just an example run-through. I would think full tutorial videos with voice-overs and freeze-frames would be the best, but it's very time-consuming (with time being something I don't have much of).
I'm thinking of just uploading whatever personal best IL videos that we have between Eliitti and me, then making actual tutorial videos as time and circumstance allows. That being said, there are still a few small things to iron out in some levels, and two levels that aren't completely routed (45 and 48).
TL;DR: Due to college starting back up, I'll be putting back-end development of the site on the backburner. When I have time to work on the site, it'll be mostly focused on content creation and finishing up the resources this site is meant to provide. Video examples for the HN5 levels will probably just be IL PBs for now, but I plan on making actual tutorial videos when time permits
Haven't really had the time to work on the site with so many other projects going on, but alot of time has been freed up recently.
I came back pretty strong though; I found and implemented a solution to the Mechanics and Tech page's media-heavy issues. With the sheer amount of animated GIFs and other media planned for that page, I was trying to determine the best way to include said media while retaining acceptable load times. Even with single-digit GIFs on the page, the total load time was around 9 seconds for me. The core page loaded, but was still processing GIFs for 9 seconds. That load time would simply get longer and longer each time I added more media. Even though these elements are hidden initially, the HTTP request still fires and retireves the elements, then the CSS hides them.
The solution involved the concept of deferred loading, which is a very clever way to avoid loading images all at once. Instead of putting the reference to the image in the src property, you use a custom data attribute. I modified the original code to then swap the blank src value with the custom data attribute when a Show/Hide button is clicked. This way, I can have an infinite amount of media on the page and preserve the now sub-second load time.
This was probably the largest hurdle to finishing the site. Now all that really needs to be done is content creation and implementation.
I'll also be adding a time submission form at some point, so people will be able to submit their runs in-house (instead of Twitch/Twitter/Email, etc). This way, you don't have to have any email/social media account to show your run.
Began work on the Leaderboards. Basic structure is in place, including category definition toggles. I keep being sorely tempted to write the leaderboards in AJAX and make them database-driven, but there just isn't going to be enough entries to justify that infrastructure (maybe I'm wrong though ;P).
I dicked around a bit more with the active and hover states of the navbar. Now the hover is that really nice emerald green. I like it.
I still have to reconfigure the connectivity between the Community Index and the Leaderboards. I'll get to it at some point. It's more tedious than anything.
Once again, I forgot to do one of these posts the last few days. Oops...
The biggest change so far is implementing the active navbar selection, which applies a set of styles on the link in the nav based upon which page you're on. It worked fine for the six main selections, but of course wouldn't apply the active class on anything while on the route notes pages (since they aren't links in the navbar). The fix for this was to make a new if statement that applied the blue styles on the Categories and Routes link if you are in either of the route notes. It's just a small user feedback thing, showing that you came from the Categories and Routes page to whichever route you're on, but having a different look since you aren't directly on the C&R page.
It was a tad convoluted, since at first I tried to put the possible URLs into an array and check the current page URL against the values of the array, but that doesn't work (not really sure why). I then used a JS 'in' command to check, but 'in' can only check an object (which an array isn't, apparently). So... I did the longhand method of writing out the list and checking against that. Which works, but it isn't very well-written/elegant. Which doesn't matter, really, since it works without being particularly inefficient. Bleh...
There's probably other stuff I'm forgetting. I did make different versions of the Z part of the Tenchu Z logo (which is why the hover is greyscaled and the active child is blue, etc). I'm also slowly adding to the Any%N5 route notes. I added a Target Time and a Best Time section, so the recommended time is no longer the fasted known time (lol). I'm also still trying to decide on how to color/implement icons to spruce up the notes. I suppose I may also have to consider making a printer-friendly set of CSS for the route notes. It'll only apply if someone tries to print the page, so it'll mostly go unnoticed. It's a low priority anyways, but w/e.
So... there are a few issues with embedding Twitch VODs.
The autoplay=false parameter is broken in twitch VODs, so they play on page load (I did come up with a workaround for this, which is shown on the Media page currently) Twitch VODs currently don't support HTML5 compliant video (they're flash-based video), which is a problem because mobile devices don't support Flash. The issue with hosting the videos in-house is that it takes up a ton of space and upload times are horrendous for the length of video we're talking about. YouTube's embedding does support HTML5 iirc, and their parameters actually work, so maybe putting PB videos to YouTube also will be the way to go.
Kinda forgot to do these the last few days, but w/e. Alot of small tweaks around the entire site, but also some bigger stuff and content additions. It's all kind of a blur, since I've been devloping the site in short work segments. I kinda just have my code editor open, and hop in for small bits of time over the course of a day.
Some notable stuff: I merged the Home page with the About page, since it seems like a good place to have it (I also couldn't really think of something worthwhile to put on the index page lol). I reworked the navbar again, but this time it's pretty well done I think. I normalized the page titles on each page, so there is a core style theme to all of the page titles.
I also made the community page, and it's essentially done. There's probably more that can go on there, but I don't really have anything else to put on it for now. It can always change, of course.
Finally, I did some testing regarding Twitch VODs and the Media page. Twitch embedding is kinda retarded, so I'm even more tempted to host the video files myself (I generally dislike the embedding code because of how unwieldy and gross it tends to be). One of the funny bits is that Twitch VODs ignore the autoplay=false embed code parameter, so they autoplay regardless. I have a workaround in place on the Media page, but it's still really dumb. Not sure exactly what I'll do about that kind of stuff; I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, I suppose.
Oh yeah... I also made the Changelog's visibility toggle-able, with it hidden by default. Figure if the home page will have info about the site, that's what the main focus should be on far more so than miscellaneous site changes. I plan on having an announcement section on the home page for bigger/more relevant changes, and I'm leaning towards housing those kinds of announcements in the fixed Footer element once the site is more or less ready to rock. That way, announcements will essentially be global.
PS: I changed the name to Dev Log; itis a more accurate name for this due to how much I ramble, and it sounds cooler :D
Mostly worked on the Mechanics & Technology page. I made the unordered lists at the top of the page into card-like elements, which function as quick select links similar to the Mission Quick Select found in the route notes. Each category title in the Mechanics page has a Back to Top button, which I will also implement into the route notes at each mission title. With the structure in pretty good shape, I began to write in some content (which is still WIP).
Style-wise, I plan on color-coding each of the Mechanics selections. I haven't decided on colors yet, but it'll probably become a global scheme once I do settle on some.
I tinkered with the mobile styles a bit as well. The site looks pretty good on mobile devices, but I'm sure there are a few little issues floating around (as there tends to be with Query-based mobile styles). Need to update the To-Do list, since I haven't checked it in a while. Probably can cross off quite a bit from there.
Cleaned up the current route notes a bit, removing the strats that are old and modifying the ones that are good/close to good.
The quick mission selector just under the category definition is working now, so the user can select a mission by number and jump to that specific section of the notes. I also gave the boss sections a unique style to their box, as well as the title of each mission.
For the Mechanics page, I began to make lists of the stuff that's going to be covered on that page. I'm probably going to have an array of lists like that at the top, and article-type boxes below them. The user can click on a list item to jump down to the part of the page that has the corresponding description/explanation (the same way the quick mission select works in the route notes).