From Yoshi's Island Speedrunning Wiki
This Guide is meant to help answer some common questions new runners have. It's especially (but not exclusively) targeted towards people who have never speedrun a game before.
The Beginning - Choosing Your Category
- If you are new and you don't know which category to run, it is advised to pick Warpless as it is the category that best teaches you the basics of the game (plus, it's the most active & optimized category, which means that it also has the most resources and runners who can help you).
- A good first goal is to get a sub 2 hour run (in Warpless). That isn't too hard and can be accomplished in less than a month of practice if you keep at it.
- If you want to start playing 100%, almost all runners will tell you that it's a good idea to start doing Warpless first and get sub 1:50 in that category before moving on to 100%. The transition will be smooth and picking up 100% strats from there will be A LOT easier than if you jump straight into 100%. A few people have started with 100%, so if you really want do it, feel free to do so, just keep in mind that learning 100% from nothing will require A LOT more effort.
- If you are planning on running one of the more obscure categories, there are less resources and there will be less people to help you out...
- Which brings me to our Discord server that you should definitely join! We also have a channel where you can ask questions and get help from other runners.
The Next Step - Learning the Game
- This wiki is still rather new and may be lacking some information. There is also the old wiki where you might find some information that isn't here yet. (Most things have been transferred over, but still, keep that in mind!)
- As far as resources are concerned, most of the level pages have either outdated strats or are just missing the newest strats.
- The best way to learn Yoshi's Island is a combination of watching the personal bests of other runners & using the info. on the wiki. Especially, Kolthor's 1:42:57. It's a very good starting point, as during that time, the strats he used were still *relatively* easy for the most part. (After the 1:42 breakthrough, the category started to become a lot harder/optimized strat-wise)
- Looking at IL WRs (Individual Level World Records) is another good idea, even though some ILs usually have strats that are just too hard (to get consistent) for full runs, so they usually don't see any use outside of the IL format.
- There is this World 1 Warpless/Warps Tutorial by andy_kuma that explains how to run through World 1 - it explains *everything* in great detail and is a good starting point, though the audio quality is sub par unfortunately. The strats shown are from late 2016, but since it's World 1, not too much has changed. (There's a few exceptions though).
- There are also 2 old tutorial video series by Lee. Note: these are very old so the strats used in these videos may be outdated but information about basic movement (like tonguing and making eggs without losing speed) is still relevant.
- Don't get discouraged when a trick is not working for you. Sometimes it's better to just go with a slower method for the time being and come back to the strat at a later point to try again. It's not uncommon that, after taking a break from a strat, it's suddenly a lot easier when you go back to it.
- When you try a strat and it's not working for you, take a look at what other runners do and see if any of them uses a variation of the strat (maybe you will find someone who does things a little differently, but in a way that actually works better for you. EXPERIMENT!!!). Watching runners in the ~1:50 range can be useful for this since they usually won't be going for crazy strats.
- It's generally advised to watch a lot of other runners. That includes both watching live-streams on Twitch/Youtube AND their PBs. The reason for this is that it's more diverse. For one, due to the lengthy nature of the game, knowing about every possible strat can be hard. It is good to watch other runners for that since there is a good chance that they do things differently from you/everyone else. You can pick up on new strats that way. This includes faster strats (especially when watching top runners) but also, potential ways of doing a safer strat that might not lose much time either. Yoshi is a game that allows for a lot of different strats to be used that are almost equal in speed, but just differ in execution. It's always good to know as much about the game as possible. This helps in finding new strats too.
- (For 100%: Use Trix' tutorial series to learn the game).
General Philosophy Of Improving At Yoshi's Island
- Your number one focus/priority should always be movement. While the tricks are cool and obviously save time, the most important and satisfying part of running Yoshi's Island is the movement. Yoshi is a great speedgame when it comes to movement so don't focus too much on the actual tricks, but instead, on improving your movement (e.g. less left-rights, less flutters, avoiding slopes).
- Your final time is not that important. Set yourself a small goal each run (like landing a few tricks) so you have something to work towards/accomplish. This game can be brutal when it comes to losing time, as the death animation takes very long and most levels only have 1 middle-ring (some have none even, or we skip them) so a death can easily lead to losing 30-60 seconds. If that wasn't enough, due to the Baby Mario mechanic, just getting hit can also cost you a lot of time. Don't focus on your final time too much and try to have fun instead.
- When you are starting out, your main source of losing time will be getting hit or dying. Cutting out deaths saves SO MUCH time, it's actually insane. So on top of focusing on your movement, focus on not dying and you will see your time go down very fast. Once you are at a point where you don't die anymore, getting a ~1:50 run shouldn't be too hard.
- Keep in mind that this is a long game, so building up stamina and being able to keep focused will definitely take you some time. Finish runs when you are starting out. Don't focus on getting PBs, as they basically mean nothing for a while. If you want to become a good player, it doesn't matter how well you know the first 3 worlds if you just keep losing lots of time to the later worlds.
- Going back to movement, you can use flutters to make certain sections of the game very safe but generally, you want to learn to play the game using as few flutters as possible (i.e. only when necessary). Each time you flutter, it costs about a second compared to not fluttering. So when you learn a level, try to learn it properly without the use of extra flutters. If you watch any of the top runners, you will see that they will almost never flutter unless they have to.