Getting Started - Jak 1 Speedrunning

Learn speedrun routes and strategies. Questions are welcomed.
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Getting Started - Jak 1 Speedrunning

Post by Ruh » 26 Nov 2019, 16:10

TLDR Each disc has a number on the back. NTSC-U/C black label discs with a 1 or 2 on the back WILL have Citadel Skip, any other version will be patched. All PAL copies have Citadel Skip. No Japanese discs have Citadel Skip.


Between the first and last models of the PlayStation 2, there are only 3 seconds of time save, so you should not be concerned about whether you have a fat or slim PS2.

When purchasing a Jak 1 disc, there are a few different types you can buy. The numbers represent the number located on the bottom of the disc. Black Label refers to the original release copies with a black PS2 label on the case art. Red Label refers to the Greatest Hits release with the red PS2 Greatest Hits label on the case art. Platinum Label refers to the platinum release of the game with the silver PS2 label on the case art.

NTSC-U/C (North America)
  • Black Label 1 (BL1) - Has citadel skip.
  • Black Label 2 (BL2) - Has citadel skip.
  • Black Label 3 (BL3) - Does not have citadel skip (Patched).
  • Red Label 3 (RL3) - Does not have citadel skip (Patched).
  • Red Label 4 (RL4) - Does not have citadel skip (Patched).
PAL (European)
  • Black Label 27 (BL27) - Has citadel skip.
  • Platinum Label 27 (PL27) - Has citadel skip.
  • Platinum Label 246 (PL246) - Has citadel skip.
NTSC-J (Japan)
  • Black Label 5 (BL5) - Does not have citadel skip.
You want to make sure that your disc version has citadel skip, otherwise you will be extremely disadvantaged in runs and will only be able to compete competitively in the No Major Skips category.

It is also optimal to run PS2 Jak 1 on a Cathode-ray Tube (CRT) television. For information on the equipment needed to stream on a CRT television using PS2 composite and/or S-Video cables, click here. For the alternative setup, you'll want a low-latency monitor and an AV to HDMI converter. A modern television with composite/component inputs will work, but you will have a lot of input delay while playing.


In the above listings, we see that everything after Black Label 2 in North America has Citadel Skip patched. The PS4 version of Jak 1 is actually an emulation of a Black Label 1 version. In the third patched released for the game, the developers changed the ported version to Red Label 3 in order to patch Citadel Skip. This port is irreversible as far as we know and limits North American PS4 Jak 1 runners to only being able to compete competitively in the No Major Skips (NMS) category. For European (PAL) PS4 Jak 1 runners, Citadel Skip is still available on the latest patch. Since the PS4 version is just an emulated PS2 version, that means no matter which PAL PS2 version they choose to emulate it's guaranteed to have Citadel Skip. A possible work around for North American runners is to make a European PSN account and purchase/download the PAL version of the game, that way you get a copy that has Citadel Skip and are able to compete in every category.

For PS3 and PS Vita runners running on the Remastered HD Collection, all versions of that release are a remastered version of Red Label 3, so you are stuck with Citadel Skip being patched and can only run competitively in No Major Skips.


PROPERLY LEARNING MOVEMENT - Prioritize getting comfortable and consistent with Jak 1 movement tech. Make sure you can do 10 boosteds in a row before you attempt to learn the big skips/strats. Performing a big skip in a run that saves 2 minutes isn't useful if you lose 5 minutes to poor movement. Here are some great video tutorial links for Movement Tech and Boosteds.

DEBUG MODE - Every copy of Jak 1, including the later console ports, has a built in debug mode that can be activated via controller inputs. This debug mode is an extremely useful and convenient tool for both new and experienced runners. More info can be found on it here.

CREATING A RUN FILE - To create a save file you first need to boot your game, then at the main menu screen press Start > Options > Game Options, then turn Game Hints OFF. Then, go back and create a new save file. Once the intro cutscene starts playing, reset the console. Once the game reboots, you'll have a save file that is ready to be used for runs. To start a run, load the save file. Then remove and reinsert the memory card during the black screen. The game should start with Jak about to jump out of the portal and the "Auto-Save has been disabled" screen popped up. Press OK to being the run.

INFINITE HEALTH FOR FINAL BOSS - There's a very simple trick you can do to have an infinite supply of health during the final boss fight. Seen here, you can have Jak collect the large blop of Green Eco and then immediately zoom in and zoom out. This sends the camera to the bottom of Citadel for a brief moment, which deloads parts of the fighting area. Then by unzooming, the camera returns to Jak and loads the area back in again with another fresh blop of Green Eco. Very useful for both experienced and new runners.

RECORDING RUNS - If you are unable to local record your run attempts on your streaming computer, you are able to Store Past Broadcasts through Twitch as an alternative. This will temporarily save your most recent stream as a video that you are able to Highlight and upload to Twitch and YouTube. Even if you are able to local record, this is still a very useful feature to have enabled.

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