Yep, after much torment and rewinding the tape, I've finally got 1:16 on Metropolis 1! Got it on Sonic Jam's "Original" mode, so the level is identical to the Mega Drive version. I've got it videoed, but I have no way of transferring it to the computer. :(
Here's a guide to what I did:
- Spin dash at the start, jump on the slope so you leap over both gas springs. You should have revved more than once, so you should be going faster than normally. Hold right as you enter the spinning tunnel, and hit the switch at around 5 or 6 seconds. (With Knuckles it seems you can stay at top speed for longer - after you leave the spinning tunnel - but not with Sonic it seems.)
- Jump on the gas-piston-spring thing at about 9, jump over the crab, and open the doors smoothly. Watch Yoshifan's video to see how.
- Now, to do the next bit you must get there early enough. You have to fall down the gap between the wall and the moving platform to land in the gap to the right - you DON'T hit the yellow spring - and you need to be there at the right time for the platforms to be in the right place. This is probably the bit I mess up most often.
- Jump over the gap at about 18 seconds (20 if the platforms were in the wrong place), hit the next switch, and as you fall through the opening door, land on the slope to the left and run to the right. Because you hit the slope, again you should be going faster than normally. But slow down at the crushing pistons, and hit the red spring in the ceiling. You should leave the bounching yellow thingamajigs at about 25 seconds (or earlier, if you're lucky).
- Land on the curve with the rings the same way you did before, spin through the spinning tunnel, and keep holding right to get up. Jump and hit the second yellow bumper from the top on the right hand column, and bounce off and hold left until you reach the giant bolt. Run up until you can just about see the top of the next platform at the top of the screen, jump off and land on it. Do the same for the next bolt. (With the second onw, you might be tempted to spin-dash instead of running on it to get up quicker. Don't, because when you jump off, you'll probably just jump right over the switch, losing you loads of time.)
- You shouldn't have too much trouble with getting up to the top. However, don't bother hitting the last switch - just rev up once and spin dash-jump across to the right.
- Jump on the next giant nut and bolt, and without running on it, immediately jump up to the next platform.
- Run across and fall down past the nut, past the spiked squares, and run to the left into the teleporter thing. The time should be about 1:00 now.
- Spin left as you leave the teleporter, and land on the platform that takes you down.
- Rev up a spin dash facing to the right, and as the platform reaches the bottom, release it and jump across over all the spiked platforms, hoping the last one isn't out at the top. Continue to the right and land on the final switch.
- Fall down onto the platform, and wait for the last bit - the EVIL Slicer badnik, the hardest part of the level - to arrive. Stand on the left of the moving platform, and as the roof above vanishes from the screen, start running right. Leap across, and hope you destroy the badnik without it hurting you (trial and error is the only way to know when - I certainly haven't mastered it).
- Finally just run to the right, jumping over the gaps. Spin dashing might be faster here, but it makes it harder to jump over the gaps. I got 1:16, but 1:15 is almost certainly possible, and 1:14 might be too.
Now that I've revealed my strat, I have a feeling my record is going to be very short-lived... <_<