Anime surgery is an intense field. The skill and precision needed to speedrun Trauma Center is immense, doubly so if you're like Brazillian speedrunner Thurler and manage to get the maximum rank on every operation in Trauma Center: Second Opinion in under two and a half hours.
Trauma Center games have a rank system that reward the player with a letter grade at the end of each operation. The highest grade, XS, is only achievable on Hard difficulty or above if the player can achieve a certain score threshold and hit a number of hidden score bonuses.
Achieving an XS rank on all operations - including the extreme difficulty X missions - is a feat that few have managed. There's no room for error. A single mistake in an operation is enough to lose the chance at the XS rank.
Doing it as a speedrun is just insane. Being that precise with a Wiimote while going as fast as possible should be unfathomable. Especially as completing operations too fast may mean the runner can't achieve enough score to earn the XS rank. It's an incredibly balancing act.
Thurler - a Brazillian speedrunner and friend of mine through the Trauma Center speedrunning community - did just that, setting a new world record of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds.
Thurler was originally inspired to start speedrunning Trauma Center: Second Opinion after watching the previous world record in the All Operations, XS Rank category by Japanese speedrunner szsk. It's fitting that he has now come full-circle and claimed the record for himself.
Last year, Thurler started working on an All Operations, XS Rank tool-assisted speedrun (TAS) of Second Opinion.
"Watching szsk's run to compare strats made me realize just how much time could be saved, on a TAS setting. After a while I started grinding out some eps [operations] to see how doable some TAS strats were," said Thurler via Discord.
Sometimes you have to stop and think about how ridiculous things are. I spent hundreds of hours mastering an obscure Nintendo DS game that I jokingly call 'Anime Malpractice Simulator' and then flew to Washington D.C. where I helped raise money for charity as part of Awesome Games Done Quick while dressed in scrubs.
That doesn't happen every day.
The impressive speedrun is far from perfect and a few hiccups show just how difficult the category can be. About an hour and twenty minutes into the speedrun, Thurler decides to skip disinfecting the wound before placing the bandage to end an operation. This is the standard approach in most speedruns of Trauma Center as it saves a few seconds each operation.
Unfortunately, one of the bonuses for that operation required Thurler to get a chain of 90 consecutive actions ranked 'okay', 'good' or 'cool'. Disinfecting the wound and placing the bandage would've been actions 89 and 90. That simple decision earned him an A rank and lost Thurler several minutes as he had to replay the operation.
Simple mistakes can add up to big time losses. Maybe in the distant future, Thurler can string together a near-perfect run and push the world record below two hours and twenty minutes.
It won't be easy.