Fire Tablet Skip
In Himiko's Palace, on the upper floor, there is a wide span of lava between the elevator and Queen Himiko's chamber. This lava functions like the poison in Tsuta Ruins, causing Ammy to drown instantly on contact. Normally, you must equip the Fire Tablet to enable Ammy to swim through lava without harm. To obtain the Fire Tablet, one must complete the Sunken Ship, the Imperial Palace, and a digging minigame with Kaguya in Sasa Sanctuary. This takes about 20 minutes in total during a speedrun, but can be entirely skipped in both NG+ and NG.
The only other required check for the Fire Tablet is in Oni Island, where one must swim through lava to enter the first floor interior. This can be skipped via Early Thunderstorm.
One must cross the lava in both directions. Going from the elevator to Himiko's Chamber is the forward variation, often just called "Tab Skip", while going back to the elevator is called "Reverse Tab Skip". The reverse variation is much simpler, and can be done the same way in all versions, so the procedures below focus on the forward one.
Skipping the Fire Tablet is relatively simple via Liquid KT's. It takes only one or two KT's to cross the lava. KT's can be used to make Reverse Tab Skip safer, though they are not required. NG+ only needs to perform Tab Skip once, on the way to fight Evil Rao, as the first meeting with Himiko is skipped via Ryo Gate Skip.
NG Fire Tablet Skip is widely considered the hardest trick used in Okami speedruns. It requires multiple frame-perfect (or two-frame) inputs, both on button presses and releases. It is recommended that runners not learn this trick until they are experienced with the rest of the speedrun through easier routes.
See the video guide: https://youtu.be/jrQrxawuI3U
The area around the elevator is made up of the elevator room itself, along with the platform that leads into the lava. The part of this platform that juts out is called the pier. The pier, like most platforms, is surrounded by low invisible walls, which prevent Ammy from simply walking or tackling off of it. The lava itself is spread over 3 rooms (room 1 containing the pier), separated by walls with paper curtains that have no actual collision. The overall structure of the trick involves jumping off the very edge of the pier with gold dash, timing your jumps to have the maximum height/distance without hitting the walls or the tops of the curtains between each room, and covering the last stretch of lava with a well-timed air tackle.
Before even starting the trick itself, one must perform Himiko's Palace Early to skip Veil of Mist. The only other checks for VM are in Wawku Shrine, to reflect the gold cannon's shots, and to defeat Blight in the Ark of Yamato. Fireburst (as well as Snowstorm), for unknown reasons, causes the same slowdown effect as VM on spinning platforms and the cannon shots. Fireburst can be gotten without defeating Blight via Fireburst Early. Conveniently, Fireburst is also needed to replace Inferno in Wawku Shrine after City Checkpoint Skip.
Note that the frame windows listed here may be offset by 1 frame from their actual values, as we do not yet have the tools to strongly verify them.
- Once inside Himiko's Palace, build gold dash on the ground floor, then jump into the elevator. This stores your dash into the upper floor.
- Without walking and losing your dash, jump and dash out of the elevator shaft.
- On the first tab skip only (before going to North Ryo), dash toward the end of the pier into Issun's dialogue trigger. This trigger is there to warn you that you cannot cross the lava and must return better prepared. This trigger is an auto-stop, meaning you do not have to jump into it to store dash.
- Dash back into the elevator room, but not onto the elevator itself.
- Double jump into the corner between the ceiling and the wall above the doorway. This is to fix her position at a consistent distance from the edge of the pier. Hold forward on the way up to jam Ammy into the corner, then completely release the analogue stick on the way down to maintain the position.
- Do another full jump (hold the jump button) without touching the analogue stick. On the way down, press and hold the brush button and take note of Ammy's vertical position. You want Ammy's front paws to line up with the bottom rod of the curtain. Repeatedly do full jumps until you can use the brush to pause on this frame.
- Before releasing the brush, hold directly up on the analogue stick. You can check your direction by observing the movement of the brush.
- Release the brush while holding straight forward so that Ammy runs toward the pier. At this point, the position setup is complete.
- Jump at the very edge of the pier. This input is frame perfect.
- If you are 1-2 frames late, Ammy will hit the invisible walls surrounding the pier and lose her jump momentum. If this happens, jump back onto the pier start from the position setup again.
- If you are any more late, Ammy will dash into the invisible walls and lose her dash, forcing you to re-build gold dash. This can be done by dashing back and forth along the pier, jumping or jump-tackling to turn around. This should take 10-15s, and is faster than going back down the the ground floor to build dash normally.
- If you are 1 or more frames early, Ammy won't have enough distance to clear the lava, and will most likely hit the top of the first curtain, losing all of her lateral speed. If this happens, double jump and air tackle back onto the pier and reset position.
- Without the position setup, it is possible that there will not even be a single frame where Ammy is far enough along the pier for the skip to succeed before running into the invisible wall. In essence, the input becomes even more precise than frame-perfect. Thus, it is strongly recommended to use a position setup for this trick.
- When you jump at the end of the pier, you must hold jump for 3 or 4 frames, preferably 4.
- In general, in Okami, the longer you hold the jump button, the higher Ammy jumps, up to her maximum height. As stated earlier, you want the highest jump possible to cross as much lava as possible, but too high a jump will cause Ammy to hit a wall or the top of the openings between rooms and lose her speed.
- You can use Brush Buffering to make this easier, though it's not required. By pressing and holding jump, then immediately holding the brush button, one can inspect Ammy's pose to judge what frame of the jump animation she's on. Then, by releasing and re-holding the brush button as quickly as possible while still holding the jump button, one can advance 2 frames forward relatively consistently. After the second brush input, one can release the jump button, then release the brush to lock in the jump height.
- Unfortunately, it isn't possible to consistently advance one frame with the brush, but you can deliberately release the brush for a tiny bit longer to advance 3 (or more) frames if needed, which is called a "long buffer".
- Be aware that the behavior of Brush Buffering appears to be version dependent; it doesn't seem to work on the PC version, but does work on the Switch version.
- While the initial jump input is always frame perfect, between the release of the first jump, the start of the double jump, and the release of the double jump, there is 1 "shared" frame of leniency. That is, all those inputs have a 2-frame window (it is believed, at least), but the remaining inputs become frame-perfect if an earlier one is done on the "wrong" frame.
- If you hold jump for 3 frames, in addition to making the remaining inputs less lenient, it will also cause Ammy to fly under the first curtain without slowing down if your jump start input was 1 frame too early. This makes it more difficult to tell if you've made the initial input at the right time in this specific scenario.
- Releasing jump, continue holding forward as Ammy flies across the lava.
- Right before Ammy hits the lava and drowns, press jump.
- If you press jump 1 frame too late, Ammy will drown.
- If you press jump 2 frames before Ammy would hit the lava (1 frame early), it will still be possible to succeed, but your jump will need to be lower to avoid hitting second wall/ceiling.
- Hold jump for 5 or 6 frames, then release.
- This can be done by brush buffering 3 times (3 total presses of the brush button) as opposed to the 2 brushes used for the ground jump from the pier.
- If you jump too low, Ammy will fall short of the ground on the other side. If you jump too high, Ammy will hit the ceiling, lose all her speed, and also fail to make it.
- After the peak of your jump, air tackle to cover the last stretch of lava and land on the other side.
- This input is actually fairly lenient, so no buffering or precise cue is needed. If you are too early, you will cut off your jump arc and fall short. Too late, and you'll not have enough air time after the air tackle to drift onto the floor.
- It's possible to land on the opposite side, but in front or inside of the low invisible walls. If this happens, Ammy will be stuck and lose her dash, but you can simply jump forward to escape and succeed the skip anyways.
- It's also possible to fall short just barely, so that Ammy appears to slip off the platform and into the lava. This usually indicates that one input was a single frame off, even the start of the first jump.
Video explanation: https://youtu.be/jrQrxawuI3U
Overall, this trick is hard enough that one should not aim to succeed at it first try, or even within a set number of tries. Instead, it is recommended to time your practice and aim to succeed, for example, 10 times in 30 minutes, pushing down the time as you become more familiar with the trick.
Unlike City Checkpoint Skip, which has an extremely wide range of success and failure states, Fire Tablet Skip is very precise, with a very limited range of control. For this reason, you may find it easier to get your first successful tab skip, but harder to make it consistent enough for runs. This is especially pertinent, as tab skip must be performed twice in each run, making consistency of the utmost importance.
Reverse Tab Skip
On the way out of the palace, one will need to perform Reverse Tab Skip. This is similar in concept, but much less precise, so it can be done without any position setup or buffering.
- On the way out of Himiko's chamber, build gold dash. The distance is long enough that Ammy should always have gold dash before you reach the lava, without having to curve her path.
- At the edge of the platform before the lava, do a max- or near-max-height jump.
- If you jump on the last from before hitting the low invisible walls, a max height jump will cause Ammy to hit the first wall and lose her speed. For this reason, it's recommended to jump slightly early or use a slightly low jump, whichever you find easier in practice.
- Before hitting the lava, do a medium height jump.
- Again, this is not terribly precise. Too low, and Ammy won't make it. Too high, and she will hit a wall or ceiling.
- Air tackle to cover the remaining distance.
It is recommended to practice the reverse variation using a file saved at the mirror in front of Himiko's chamber that has the Fire Tablet. This means one can repeat only the reverse skip without having to succeed at much less consistent forward skip each attempt.