Heli SkipDiscovered by Zulbull and KaBar1991, May 2015
The infamous Heli Skip is widely considered to be the most difficult skip in JSRF, especially on the Japanese version. Essentially, you are spraying all of the graffiti in the first half of the level and then escaping the trigger zone before the cop dialogue ends. This is made possible by reloading the level to restart the cop dialogue before it ends, allowing us to accomplish this trick in 2 to 3 'cycles'.
On English, it requires some rather precise movement; on Japanese, this trick is shit-your-pants hard and you only have around half a second of leeway per cycle, meaning the already very difficult movement has to be basically perfect. You don't have to learn this trick until you're approaching a top-level time! This trick generally saves around 1:30.
There are several iterations of Heli Skip - we'll start with the fastest (and hardest) one and then go through slower methods.
2 Cycle Japanese Heli Skip (15/20 Cans)Discovered by electrowolf, September 2019
This is currently the most optimal way of doing Heli Skip. Most runners who do this enter Kibo with 20 cans, which means you must skip a boost somewhere on the journey from Hikage to Kibo. The best boost to skip is the boost in Garage from Shibuya to RDH (go right and take the halfpipe instead).
It is possible to begin this strat with 15 cans with a more difficult variation, allowing the boost in Garage - see the tip below.
If you're completely insane, there's a method to frameboost on the first staircase railing at the beginning of first cycle. This allows you to cut out the 'blue can' cycle in between cycles 1 and 2, saving ~5 seconds - see the tip below.
1. When you enter, immediately grab the entrance blues so you have 30 cans. Then spray the save point and reload the level twice.
With this method, you will always have to do an extra reload to finish the trick as Gum. Therefore, it's better to do the extra reload now so you can do both cycles as Gum. Doing this first cycle as Corn may make you lose enough frames from cornering that you'll fail the trick (yes, it's that tight).
2. As soon as the level loads, grind the left rail and shuffle to the pole. Spray the XL as fast as you can. The hitbox for this XL is hilariously big, so you can get away with a pretty high speed.
If you're attempting the staircase frameboost, this is where you do it. Hold left in the air so you frameboost straight from the stairs to the pole, then proceed with the cycle as normal. As you return to the save point, you will have enough time to skip a boost, eliminating the need to grab blue cans in between cycles 1 and 2. Doing this would make it optimal to do cycle 1 as Corn, cutting out an additional reload.
If you're doing the 15 can variation, you need to grab at least 5 of the yellows here. 4 of these yellows must be before you continue to the following graffiti - you can grab the last one on your way back to the save point.
3. Continue to the L, spray it and jump to the roof in front of you.
4. Spray the XL as fast as you can. Your positioning here matters: from the moment the graffiti cam resets, you need to dash hard right and land on the wire as soon as possible. As you start spraying, get as close as you can to the edge of the building, but not so close that you won't make the fall to the following rail. If you can get a dash here, that'll help a lot. Also, just run off the building, don't hop.
Since dashes can randomly not work in JSRF, you need to optimize everything in first cycle as much as you can, so that you don't have to depend on it. Keep your speed as high as you can, start your sprays as early as you can, and get to grind speed ASAP after the roof XL!
5. Grind up the rail back towards the start. You need to boost on this rail as early as you can, while still getting a boost jump at the optimal place. My cue is the black part of the where the two wire segments are joined. As you boost jump, you want to pick up the cans on the rail.
6. When you land, boost again and pick up ~7 cans from the ground here. Go to the right of the stairs and fall down to the save point to reload. Do not grind down the stair rail, that's too slow. If you can reload the level before the cop's text starts to fade out, you made it. (You can still make it on the frame as it begins to fade out, but any longer and it'll be too late).
Once you've finished 1st cycle, grab the entrance blues before starting 2nd cycle. You need at least 23 cans before starting 2nd cycle, so you can grab the upper yellows if the entrance blues aren't enough. Reload the level again to begin 2nd cycle.
Boost immediately up the stair rail, shuffle and grab both columns of yellows, and grind the left wire. You need to have at least 27 cans at this point. If not, turn around and restart the cycle.
Grind the rail down and spray both tags. Boost exactly at the corner of the 2nd tag.
After the graffiti cam, press L to reset the camera and jump onto the left roof, then boost jump again off of the downward slope of the roof, towards the rail.
Spray the tag as you land on the rail. Then, in graffiti camera, immediately tap up and A to jump off the rail towards the next roof. Make sure to release the control stick before the graffiti cam ends, or you may veer off into the water.
Hop onto the rail, and boost + spray the 1st tag at the same time. Then, just as the camera begins to sway (should be around the middle of this rail segment), jump towards the roof right in front of you. Spray the tag in the air with your stick in neutral. You want to time this jump so that you'll land and run off of the roof. If you jump over the roof, you jumped too late; if you don't have enough height to make it onto the roof, you jumped too early.
When you touch down on the roof here, you can tap down-right in graffiti cam to give yourself a more favourable angle as you approach the following corner. This helps to not get caught on the wall, as well as allowing you to curve around it more optimally.
As your camera resets, you should be running off of the roof onto the next platform, still boosting. Hold left to curve around the corner (don't get caught on the wall!!) and jump right at the end of the roof onto the next rail. You need a boost jump here - so, you want to optimize this boost so that it runs out just after you jump. If you run out of boost before you jump, you boosted too early. If you still have some boost after you jump, you could have optimized your boost timing a little bit.
As you boost jump, hold left to cut some of the corner. Land on the rail and spray the tag. This is the final tag of Heli Skip.
Jump at the end of the rail, wallride, and land on the left rail. Boost immediately as you land. If you reach the end of this rail and you don't get a cutscene, then you did it!
For the final jump off the wallride, you should do air tricks. This will guarantee that you get the distance required to land on the rail. Not doing air tricks may save a few frames, but your jump out of the wallride would need to be very precise.
3 Cycle Japanese Heli SkipDiscovered by YayodelaRiva and suprix, 2017
This is an easier version of JP Heli Skip which spreads the graffiti out across 3 cycles. Obviously, since there's an extra cycle, it is slower than the current method, but has a lot more room for error. You only need 15 cans before entering Kibo, which means you can do the boost in Garage from Shibuya to RDH like normal.
1. As you enter, grab the entrance blues, then grind up the stair rail. Shuffle in the yellows so you have 30 cans, then quickturn left and grind up the pole.
2. Spray the XL as fast as you can, then jump. As soon as the camera resets, veer right and land on the roof in front of the S tag. Spray it, then grind the rail backwards, spraying the other S tag on your way. Fall off automatically, and grab the rest of the yellows. Grind down, spray the save point and reload the level.
This video is slightly outdated. Do the first 2 cycles from this video. For the 3rd cycle, watch the next video below.
As you land on the roof to spray the S, if you try to quickturn back onto the rail, there is a chance you can clip through the rail and fall all the way down to the ground. To be safe, just land, spray, and then turn around and grind.
Corn is perfectly viable for the next cycle. If you really hate Corn, you can take a couple seconds to switch back to Gum.
1. Immediately boost and grind up the right rail. Shuffle and grab all the yellows, then grind the right wire. Grind the wire down to the roof (don't boost), jump to the XL and spray.
2. Then quickturn around (reverse quickturning is recommended) and boost from the roof to the rail and grind it back up. You should have 30 cans by the end of this rail. Grind all the way down to the save point and reload.
1. Immediately boost and grind up the stair rail, shuffle into the yellow cans, and grind the left wire.
2. As you approach the L, jump up and spray it. Fall down to the lower rail.
3. Immediately boost when you land on the rail. When you reach the tag, hold up-right towards the next tag, and jump + spray at the same time. You should go flying towards the next tag at a boosted speed.
After jumping, let the control stick return to neutral as the graffiti cam resets.
4. Hop onto the rail, and boost + spray the 1st tag at the same time. Then, just as the camera begins to sway (should be around the middle of this rail segment), jump towards the roof right in front of you. Spray the tag in the air with your stick in neutral. You want to time this jump so that you'll land and run off of the roof. If you jump over the roof, you jumped too late; if you don't have enough height to make it onto the roof, you jumped too early.
5. As your camera resets, you should be running off of the roof onto the next platform, still boosting. Hold left to curve around the corner (don't get caught on the wall!!) and jump right at the end of the roof onto the next rail. You need a boost jump here - so, you want to optimize this boost so that it runs out just after you jump. If you run out of boost before you jump, you boosted too early. If you still have some boost after you jump, you could have optimized your boost timing a little bit.
6. As you boost jump, hold left to cut some of the corner. Land on the rail and spray the tag. This is the final tag of Heli Skip.
7. Jump at the end of the rail, wallride, and land on the right rail. Boost as soon as you can. If you reach the end of this rail and you don't get a cutscene, then you did it!
As you jump from the wallride, don't do air tricks. You'll save a few frames by falling slightly faster, which could mean the difference between success and failure in this trick.
English Heli Skip
The English cop dialogue is a lot longer, which means you have a lot more time to do Heli Skip. Optimally, you would still do the fastest Japanese method on English, however such precise movement would not be required. The following method was the typical Heli Skip route that was done on English prior to 2017. Funnily enough, it's actually just a less optimized version of the current optimal Japanese route.
1. Enter Kibo with at least 15 cans. Grab the entrance blues, and spray the save point and reload.
2. Skate forward and grind the right rail. Shuffle into the yellow cans so you have 30, then quickturn left and grind up the pole.
3. Spray the XL as fast as you can. The hitbox for this XL is hilariously big, so you can get away with a pretty high speed.
4. Continue to the L, spray it and jump to the roof in front of you.
5. Spray the XL, then jump to the wire to your right and grind it back up.
6. As you reach the end of it, boost and jump to grab the yellow cans on the wire, as well as the remaining yellows on the ground. Shuffle and grind the rail down to the save point and reload.
1. Boost immediately up the stair rail, shuffle and grab both columns of yellows, and grind the left wire.
2. Grind the rail down and spray both tags. Then jump at the end of it and grind the left wire.
3. As you reach the next tag, spray and jump at the same time. Wait for the camera to reset and then curve left. This should send you towards the next tags in the corner.
4. Hop onto the rail, boost and spray both tags. Boost again when the first boost ends.
5. Spray the last tag and jump and wallride. Jump off the wallride and boost on the right rail. Jump to the left rail to get some extra cans, then boost again. If you reach the end of this rail and you don't get a cutscene, then you did it!
If you are unable to do this method, you can also spread out the graffiti over 3 cycles for even more leniency.
Reverse KiboDiscovered by Crabbi and 7thAce, April 2019
If you aren't doing Heli Skip, then Reverse Kibo is the optimal route through the level. After the helicopter fight, it's faster to go through the level backwards than doing a full extra lap in the intended direction.
Before the fight, grind up the left telephone pole and spray the XL, the L, and the roof XL. Then maneuver to a lower central rooftop and wait for the fight to start. If you're in the right spot, you should be able to spray both helicopters as soon as the fight starts. Then traverse to the other side of the level and spray the last two.
From there, follow the route in the linked video.
Golden Rhino Fight SkipDiscovered by FractalFusion, April 2007
One of the oldest and easiest skips in the game. Because the graffiti stop is still sprayable and usable during the chapter 7 cop fight, you can use it to reload the level and the cop fight will magically disappear. This makes getting to Clutch before he leaves Kibo trivial.
Top Level Clip
From the platform with the graffiti soul above the Doomsday Clock, you can grind and jump into the left wall, and the geometry will push you through, allowing you to go out of bounds and fall to several locations, including the entrance to the level, or deep into the underground tunnel system.
Fence Boost OoB
You can stand on the right fence at the beginning of the level, and boost backwards into the far buildings. These buildings don't have collision, allowing you to go OoB and boost into other parts of the level.
Early Buildings OoBDiscovered by olo_ili, Dec 2016
Early on in the level, you can boost from the beginning wire into the side of the buildings and get inside of them. Not currently useful for anything.
Entrance WarpDiscovered by Acebats, September 2020
You can fall inbetween some collision halfway through the level, which actually lets you fall completely out of the level, since there's no water in this area. This allows you to spawn back at the beginning of the level. This could be useful for rando/bingo, but doesn't fit into any speedrun routes right now.
The "Huh!?" Soul
If you obtain a graffiti soul while DJK is saying something else, his audio will be interrupted by him saying "Huh!?", followed by the "You got a Graffiti Soul" audio. This can happen in any level, but the particular soul that this term refers to is the lower soul beyond the power lines. In some routes, you death warp backwards and spawn right in front of this soul - as DJK plays his death warp audio, you grab the soul, easily triggering the "Huh!?" message.
The "Two Worlds" Soul
This particular soul is named after legendary JSRF runner TwoWorldsCoexisting, who, like a true speedrunner, insisted on getting this soul even though it's obviously pretty slow.
By boosting into one of the orange vertical pipes before the Boogie area, you can get teleported far out of bounds, similar to the Garage Hoop OoB.
You can flip off of this pole at a certain angle to fall into the buildings in this area. Currently useless.
You can do a big boost jump off of the final platform overlooking the entrance of the level, and go through the upper wall and fall out of bounds. Currently useless.
Secret of the Phoenix
In categories that have to spray the Golden Rhino graffiti, Secret of the Phoenix is a technique that hops or falls to a wire to spray a medium graffiti.
There is no backup to this strat; if failed, players must go back to the area with Boogie and jump up to the proper wire. An easier strat exists by going to the "Two Worlds" soul and jumping to the wire from there.
You can pickle by boosting into the seam between two buildings near the outside tunnel soul. Under investigation but not likely to be useful.