Frigate

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Frigate is a complex level requiring tight movement and a sizable amount of luck, particularly with WR pace routes. The level is mostly made up of short corridors connected by narrow doorways, which are very easy to get stuck on. A good run on the later difficulties has to weave about killing hostage takers and defusing bombs, while coping with moderate to high amounts of lag. The map as a whole is one of the least linear in the game, but is still very compact. It's also unusual in that you start and finish the level in the same place - a small speedboat which is joined to the warship by a ramp.

Frigate
Frigate infobox.jpg
Stage Info
Recommended Version NTSC or NTSC-J
Rankings Link
Overview
MAP FRIGATE deck and upstairs.png
MAP FRIGATE midships.png
MAP FRIGATE lower deck.png
MAP FRIGATE engine room.png

Objectives

Agent

  • Rescue hostages
At least 2/4/5 hostages must be released and escape on A/SA/00A respectively.
  • Plant tracking bug on helicopter
The tracking bug (a gadget and projectile) must be thrown to land on the helicopter generally done with the bug throw.

SA / 00A only

  • Disarm bridge bomb
Use the bomb decoder gadget on the bomb by the hostage in the bridge.
  • Disarm engine room bomb
As above, but for the bomb on the right catwalk in the engine room.

Difficulty Explanations

Agent

Reverse hostages
As in the old strategy below, but the hostages are taken out in the opposite order. This was truly exposed in TASpap, with 13 runners getting 23s, and Perfect Ace quickly got 22 a couple of months later. The hostage odds are vastly improved, and have been verified as around 1 in 50.
Frigate Agent 2.3 Strategy
Control style 2.3 is used to kill the bridge hostage taker during the 1st cinema. This allows for a shorter route (staying in the corridor) and, when performed correctly, guarantees a clean route for the other hostage to escape fast. As such it has optimally consistent hostages, but only on legit runs which require a lot of luck in themselves.
Old 1.2
  • No video tutorial
Staying on the starboard side of the ship, the 2 upper hostages' takers are killed in the order they are met. The bug is then thrown from just back in the corridor, and we run to the end. This was always the standard way to play the level but has been superseded by reverse hostages.

Secret Agent

Standard route
  • No video tutorial
As old as the pipe warp, this route does the bug throw first and then releases the 2 upstairs hostages, who should both complete very consistently. Downstairs, it releases the fastest hostage before defusing the engine room bomb. From here it heads directly to the bridge via the Pipe Warp, freeing the hostage there and defusing the bomb.

00A Agent

Slowest Hostage
This route crosses the deck of the ship immediately, to head downstairs at the earliest opportunity. It releases the 'SA hostage' and then the 'slowest hostage' who loops around the engine room before heading up. This gives him just about enough time to escape: He must choose the best escape spot but on top of this you'll need very good luck for him to make good progress and escape in time.
Engine room route
  • No video tutorial
As above, this heads downstairs immediately, but after releasing the 'SA hostage' you double back and head down into the engine room. This hostage has less far to travel to escape compared to the slowest hostage, so completions will be more common. Loop around the engine to defuse the bomb before continuing with the route as above.

Technical Details

Hostages
Since objective A is so fundamental to all difficulties of frigate, it is worth having a thorough understanding of the hostages' logic.
Each hostage is released when their hostage taker finishes fading out: As such the taker's death animation is very relevant. You must also injure the taker in time to prevent them from executing their hostage - see to the right for more detail. When they are released are you will always see a "Hostage released!" appear on screen.
At this point, the hostage randomly selects an escape point. There are 6 possible spots on the deck of the ship: 5 have a 15.6% chance of being selected, and the last has a 21.9% chance. Frigate has very poor pathing, and so the (fixed) routes are far from optimal. In particular the '00a hostage' always goes right around the engine room, rather than up the stairs and through the roller door, or around the back. Moreover, all 3 lower hostages go through the 'boxes room' rather than shortcutting through the doorway.
Despite the variety of hostage start positions, the order of escape points by speed is identical for all hostages.
Hostages will reselect their escape point if a bullet passes near them after they've been released, and due to a scripting bug their choice is severely biased. SeeĀ ?? for more detail on this.
Famously, this objective A can complete during the 1 second fade out before the level ends properly. The Time Not Saved glitch applies to objective A on NTSC-U, giving 1 extra frame that it can complete in.
The largest factor affecting "Hostage odds", i.e. whether the hostage will escape in time or not, is their journey to the escape point. In particular if they reach the end of a segment unloaded, and have to reload at the start because another NPC occupied the target.
Hostages escaping
Once hostages are in range of their escape points, they check to see if they have a line of sight on Bond. If so, they reselect an escape point (without bias). This is a issue on the SA / 00A routes particularly when heading to the ramp at the end of the level.
Stern escape points
Hostages can only escape at either of the 2 points by the helicopter if they are unloaded. Otherwise they'll choose another escape point when they arrive. This is because the escape point is actually way up in the air.
Using 2.3 on 00A.
Although the 00A 53 TAS uses control style 2.3, the amount of luck manipulation is completely impractical on console, and it is all to set up doing the grenade throw which is already theoretical. Just using 2.3 to release a hostage would be harder than SA, since you must get the kill in the cutscene, and then you would have to use 2.3 for longer before there's a chance to pause. It wouldn't gain consistency nor speed.
Hostage takers
Hostage takers are found alongside hostages, pointing their D5Ks at their hostage who is surrendering.
Hostage takers are alerted by a nearby bullet, or when they have a line of sight on Bond. Once alerted, they'll wait 3/2.5/2 seconds on A/SA/00A respectively, before commiting to executing the hostage. They then wait 5 game frames before shooting the hostage once in the head with their D5K. This can be a little frustrating as if you kill a taker very late, he'll execute the hostage during his own death animation.
Once hit (and alerted), the taker abandons his timer and becomes a standard guard - the hostage is now safe (from the taker at least).

Unworkable/Unused Strategies

"PAL strategy" / BBBT & bug-lean

  • No video tutorial
This strategy is new and has only been performed on practise rom, such as in this 1:00 run. It combines a PAL r-lean of the bug at the end of the stage with 'Bridge bomb before taker' where the pipes are warped using sharp lookup (or via an R-warp) while keeping the bomb equipped, defusing both bombs with one pause. With a sum-of-best splits coming in at 52.90, this strat has the strongest untied potential and is vastly preferable to 2.3 / reverse pipe warp ideas. Although possible on NTSC, landing the bug is far more precise, and harder to set up, so doesn't seem sensible.

Double pipe warp

  • No video tutorial
A hypothetical strategy which adapts slowest hostage route by heading directly for the pipes. On the other side the door to the slowest hostage can be opened from the stairs, so the taker can be killed from down the corridor. Then it must free the engine room hostage before continuing with the route as above. This trades a consistent hostage for the engine room one, so will have worse odds. The reverse pipe warp is a lot less laggy so is significantly harder, and the time save is not huge.

Engine Room Grenade Throw

Very much a theoretical strategy. The idea is similar to the 'PAL strategy' on SA, but predates it, and broadly follows the same, standard SA route. Skipping the bug throw, the grenade guard from the boxes room is lured out, and he is killed going down the stairs to the mid-ships. The grenade is primed and thrown into the engine room to release that hostage - the grenade can travel through the obstructing wall and still kill the hostage taker. Then the bug is leaned at the end of the level - again practically requiring PAL. BBBT is not thought to be possible on 00A, since the taker executes the hostage after 2s rather than 2.5s, so a pause could not be skipped with 1.2.

Trivia

  • While loaded, hostages can occassionally run up the stairs into the bridge via the side doors, even opening the locked doors out onto the balconies. They appear to still think they are downstairs, until they redo their routing and take the bridge hostage's route through the central corridor.
  • Hostages can escape while dying, and it will still count towards the total number escaped. However no more than 4/2/1 can be killed on A/SA/00A respectively otherwise Objective A will fail - even if it has already been completed. In a TAS a precisely thrown grenade could be used to propell the final hostage towards his escape point.

External Links


References