Phoenotopia speedrunning (Thought Dump Thursday 1/7/16)

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.25.35 PM

A sort of precursor to this post is Spontaneous Saturday 8/15/15, wherein I talk about the game as a whole and my initial plans for speedrunning it (primarily before I discovered Loot Duping).

Now, what I wish to do is lay out the entirety of my thought process behind speedrunning this game into one blog post. It is a rather long read, which is why I included headings to aid those who wish to skip past certain parts of the reading.

How I started

The reason why I considered picking up this game as a speedgame is because I always found it to be an amazing game and there was no leaderboard for it on speedrun.com (not to mention there is a “Speed Runner!” achievement that is part of the game). The routing started out rather weird, involving not only breaking several chests, but also taking advantage of the NPCs that give you money for items (the guy who sells honey at Sunflower Road buys honeycombs, and the Duri Fruit merchant in Atai buys Duri Fruit, both for 15 Rai apiece). Then, I fine-tuned the route to exploit the fact that you can actually break into the mayor’s palace stash without the Javelin if you pull out a bomb and let it detonate on you at the peak of your jump, allowing you to pop up on top of the permeable part of the roof. Because of the high yield from this (which is normally 90 Rai, in addition to a potential extra 50 or 90 from selling the High Quality Silk), this was the easiest way to cover the expenses for the Iron Hammer (which is pretty much required because it makes boss fights quicker)…that is, until the moment I discovered Loot Duping.

Loot Duping

You may be wondering why I keep going on about “Loot Duping.” In short, it’s when a loot container is broken multiple times on the same frame and thus drops its spoils as many times as it is broken. I’ve mentioned it in my previous post, calling it a “glitch.” I was previously debating this nomenclature, but the SpeedRunsLive glossary defines a glitch as an “unintentional mistake in the game’s code, often exploited.” From a design perspective, I’m sure that the developer did not intend for the chest to be broken any more than once on the same frame; therefore, I now stand by calling it a glitch. I seriously don’t know whether this has been found before, because searching “phoenotopia glitch” on Google came up with nothing pertinent.

Primitive stages of the glitch

It started with the chests in Bandits’ Lair, which I had the idea of breaking by throwing them at each other. Normally, this would produce 50 Rai, because both of the chests have 25 in them, but I got curious when I realized that sometimes I was actually getting 75. Thankfully, I actually recorded a live demonstration of this happening.

Forgive the lack of professionalism; I did a simple recording in OBS and can’t be bothered to edit out the parts where I bring up OBS to start and stop the recording (because the original file is an FLV, which I do not have the software to edit). In this file, I start off with 26 Rai. At the beginning of the video, I get 50 Rai from the duo of chests (ending up with 76), as expected. However, later in the video (at around 0:50), I actually get 75 Rai from the duo of chests (ending up with 101).

This enigma led me to hypothesize that one of the chests had its spoils doubled because it collided with two objects at once. Through experimentation, I figured out how to achieve this “Loot Duping,” as I dubbed it, with the chests in Bandits’ Lair and the piggy banks in the mayor’s palace in Atai, in a consistent manner through pixel-perfect positioning.

Bandits' Lair Loot Dupe positioning

This is the primary Bandits’ Lair dupe positioning, which consists of lining up Gale so that the tip of her front foot is at the center of the second crate from the right (using the top pixels of the crate as a visual aid). If you were to throw the chest at this position, the chest would simultaneously collide with the other chest and the crate underneath it, which achieves the hypothesized effect of doubling the thrown chest.

PRE Loot Dupe positioning

This is the primary Atai palace dupe positioning, which uses the gold between Gale’s legs as a visual aid; i.e., she is positioned so that only the higher pixels of the gold are showing. This was the most important dupe of the run at first, yielding a whopping 135 Rai, more than enough to cover the expenses of the Iron Hammer.

Consistent Loot Duping

Not long after figuring out this new tech, something vital occurred to me. If this “Loot Duping” is achieved when a chest collides with two objects at once, could that also apply to a corner? Thus, I hypothesized, experimented, and figured out the most consistent form of Loot Duping. The easiest and original way to set it up is by positioning Gale so that the tip of her front foot is exactly 64 in-game pixels (192 computer pixels in the standard 900×600 window) from a corner on the same level as her. Once set up, all that’s left is to throw the chest at the corner for double the money.

Based on this new and more consistent method, the positionings of the above two Loot Dupes have been updated.

LDP - Bandits' Lair

Use the purple trinket as a visual aid. Performing this on both chests yields 100 Rai instead of 75.

LDP - Atai palace raid

Use the left vertical groove near the windows as a visual aid. Performing this on both piggy banks yields 180 Rai instead of 135.

By the way, this glitch only applies to containers that contain money or hearts. Other items—that is, Moonstones and consumable items (such as Honey)—cannot be duped. I have tried with the moonstone chest in Daea and the Honeyed Tumond jar near the save point outside of Bandits’ Lair, and neither can be duped.

As I went through the game and made note of places where the glitch can be put to use, I found that corners are not just limited to walls and floors, but also other containers and even enemies. In Sunflower Road, for instance, it is possible to dupe the chests by coaxing a Purple Spider to fall to ground level and using that spider and the ground as a makeshift corner. This is relatively difficult, however, as you have to get the exact positioning before the Purple Spider starts to return to its initial position (which doesn’t take that long) in order for the dupe to be successful.

LDP - Sunflower Road East

Shown above is how you would dupe the chest on the east side of Sunflower Road, which normally yields 20 Rai but yields 40 after being duped. While the Purple Spider to the right of the chest’s initial position is down, look at the groove in the ground positioned in the middle of the leaf to the right of the Purple Spider and make sure it lines up with the center of Gale’s front foot.

Another way to create a makeshift corner is using the Javelin. This occurred to me when I was thinking about how I could dupe the chest in the falling maze in Daea. If there is not enough horizontal space for a traditional dupe, you can throw a Javelin at ground level to reduce the required space from 64 in-game pixels to 50 (i.e., from 192 computer pixels to 150).

LDP - Daea falling maze

Shown above is how you would dupe the chest that I mentioned earlier. You throw a Javelin at ground level and use the vertical beam in the background as a visual aid.

So, to conclude, here is a full list of consistent Loot Dupe positionings that I have found in my recent experience with this game:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1g915a9HxxZtzA2Fj9kMNS0jomsmzQxJcS_S2NzhAsbg/edit?usp=sharing
(If any of the ones that I have omitted are actually possible, and/or if I have missed any others, please let me know!)

4/5/16 EDIT: I just recently found out a way to make Loot Duping easier. If you are one pixel behind the required position (which happens quite frequently in my experience), you can simply place the container on the ground and roll into it. This moves Gale exactly 1 pixel forward, and that gives you the correct positioning.

Frame-perfect Loot Duping

It may not be possible to dupe all chests using the pixel-perfect methodology described above. (The exceptions as far as I know are all chests in Mul Cavern and the one chest in the second invisible maze of Ancient’s Crater.) However, regardless which chests cannot be duped using the pixel-perfect method, all chests can be duped.

When I was thinking about how Loot Duping relies on a loot container being broken twice on the same frame, I thought about other ways to break a container, and the first two things to come to my mind were: melee and bomb. If you place a bomb right near the loot container and time a melee attack so that it lands right when the bomb explodes, the loot container will produce twice the loot, just like with a pixel-perfect Loot Dupe.

Oh, but that’s not all. At the time of writing this blog post, something more appealing occurred to me. Could it be possible for a loot container to be broken three times on the same frame? Surely enough…well, just watch the video below.

The chest in the upper cave of Adar’s House, which normally contains 35 Rai, is broken in three different ways using the same approach (setting a bomb and throwing the chest at the corner as the bomb detonates):

  1. At 0:16 in the video, the bomb explodes on it before it can collide with any surface. Therefore, it produces 35 Rai, as expected.
  2. At 0:41 in the video, the chest hits the corner before the bomb explodes. Therefore, it produces 70 Rai—twice as much, as with any other pixel-perfect Loot Dupe.
  3. Now, here’s the fun part. At 0:56 in the video, as I intended with this nonsense, the chest hits the corner on the exact frame when the bomb explodes. Therefore, this one little chest containing 35 Rai has its spoils tripled and produces a whopping 105 Rai.

It is possible to do this with the Ki Spear Technique as well, but this requires a manual timing as opposed to a fixed timing (notwithstanding that the explosiveness of the Ki Spear expires after a certain time period). Whether this is less or more difficult is up for debate, but for now, I have to say the Ki Spear approach is easier.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s possible to combine hits from the bomb and the Ki Spear in conjunction with a makeshift corner to quadruple the spoils of a chest, but that would be extremely difficult to pull off if it were, because it combines the fixed timing aspect of the bomb method with the manual timing aspect of the Ki Spear method. Also, it requires a stamina boost, the Nebula Armlet, and literal first-try positioning. If anyone could pull that off and provide video proof, I would be very grateful.

Anyway, frame-perfect duping is not included in runs because it is not nearly as consistent to pull off as pixel-perfect duping. I’m not stopping anyone from trying to pull it off, though, especially because the tripling method, if done properly, can cover expenses like nothing else.

So, enough talk about Loot Duping. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Any% speedrunning

Before watching this video, please read the following Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/YVDmiFZX (Also note that I will be using timestamps very frequently throughout this section, and they pertain to the video, not the splits.)

This is my first recorded any% speedrun of Phoenotopia, which ended up being 59:22 RTA (1 hour and 2 minutes IGT). I’d say it was a good run overall, outside of the blind sewer navigation (at around 28:06; wasted about 46 seconds), Prince Tower floor 3 (at around 35:10; wasted about 16 seconds), and, most of all, the end bosses (starting at 52:38; died to Big Eye once and 66 twice; lost about 1 minute and 19 seconds to Big Eye and about 1 minute to 66). My statement at 52:14 that “I probably just jinxed it” was more accurate than I expected. Also, some of the dupes could have been better, especially the Daea guard house dupe (at 24:27). On a more minor note, my menuing and mashing through text also could have been better. So, I say this time can be cut down by three minutes, maybe even more. I’m thinking sub 56 would be an ideal time for this category, and sub 1 hour in-game time is definitely possible.

Also, this wasn’t my first actual run, just my first recorded run. I believe I got 1:01:xx on my actual first run and 59:xx on some other run (which I believe was worse than the recorded one). It’s not the first time I tried to record a run either; the first run I tried to record, even though it was on such a good pace, ended up dying to Prince Tower floor 6 (which I execute first try in my completely recorded run at 36:30).

1/23 EDIT: Better (and deathless) run in 55:14 RTA [58m IGT]: https://youtu.be/VAl4LPImc_0

My Route

I completely routed this run from scratch, using an already completed file for movement practice through treacherous areas, and it is devoid of any Heart Rubies. My route can be found here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R9RCd2kDnB83eX2DuJaYEMN9lHOb9O39p3dr2GScJuE/edit?usp=sharing

The Loot Dupes used in the run are:

  1. Duri Forest interior key room [30 -> 60] (3:45)
  2. Duri Forest exterior [15 -> 30] (6:10)
  3. Panselo leftmost building [25 -> 50] (7:03)
  4. Panselo second-rightmost building [15 -> 30] (7:41)
  5. Panselo lab [30 -> 60] (7:57)
  6. Panselo dojo [20 -> 40] (9:21)
  7. Misty Gorge inn [30 -> 60] (19:52)
  8. Thomas’ Lab [40 -> 80] (23:55)
  9. Daea guard house [35 -> 70] (24:27)

The first six dupes cover the combined expenses of the Rolling Technique Scroll (required to get through Atai Bridge; costs 50 Rai), the Talkinator Juice (required to get the locked-up bandit to tell where Bandits’ Lair is; costs 10 Rai), the Iron Hammer (makes boss fights faster; costs 120 Rai), and 6 Jars of Honey (which, at the cost of 90 Rai, grant 1.2x running speed and double stamina regeneration for 2 minutes each, allowing for quicker movement and some neat tech). The Misty Gorge inn dupe, funnily enough, is just the right sum to buy the Floatation Donut (60 Rai), which is required to proceed through Misty Gorge. The final two dupes are used for extra honey, potentially leaving a bit of backup Rai for revivals if needed (which is further bolstered by the chest in Daea sewers broken normally at 29:19).

Although I feel this financial planning is pretty much optimal in terms of time saved, it’s not very safe because of the following setbacks:

  • You cannot die before Thomas’ Lab
  • You cannot fail any of the dupes listed above; otherwise, it’s a reset

The first setback can be mitigated using the chests in the Bandits’ Lair storage room, but there’s not much to do about the second one.

Techniques used

This run contains some neat little tricks that are used to save time over the intended way of doing things. In particular:

  • As with most 2D platformers that somehow involve climbing, jumping up a ladder is quicker than just climbing it normally—in this case, about 1.5 times as fast. This is first demonstrated as early as 0:28.
  • At about 1:05, when I get the Wooden Bat, I hit the first box from a distance so that I can create a little ledge with it instead of having to hit the box four times (or with two consecutive charge attacks). I gave this trick a pet name known as “Box Ledge.”
  • I occasionally abuse the mechanics of landing lag by either pulling out a bomb (demonstrated at 17:37) or using a midair attack (demonstrated at 4:48). Pulling out a bomb is the simple approach, as landing lag does not occur while Gale is holding an item over her head. Using a midair attack, on the other hand, is more complicated. Normally, when Gale falls from above a certain threshold, if her descent is uninterrupted, she will go through a unique “landing lag” animation that wastes about half a second. However, if she is in the middle of a midair attack animation before hitting the ground, the landing lag mechanics are actually reversed, meaning she will only go through landing lag if she falls from below that threshold, and the inverse is also true.
  • At 3:30, I did not know to hit the key off of its platform using the Slingshot (initially, I would use the wooden box to create an extra platform for me to climb, and that made things way more difficult) until I saw a post on Reddit from more than a year ago of someone else who was considering speedrunning the game (but, as far as I can tell, never followed through).
  • Obviously, Loot Duping, as mentioned above.
  • As first demonstrated on the Armored Toad King at around 4:52, when I try to get off multiple attacks, I start it off with a charged attack, because apparently using a charged attack can make one or two subsequent attacks charged as well. (I give full credit to the TVTropes page (specifically the “Ascended Glitch” part) for that one.)
  • At 14:59, I do a little damage boost and abuse invincibility frames and the speed boost to run past the bandits instead of having to tangle with them.
  • When I started routing any%, it took me quite a while to realize that you can actually destroy the Sand Dragon’s fire hazards with bombs (as demonstrated at 16:15). I imagine this is intended, but it never occurred to me until the primary stages of routing (which was about a year after I first played the game casually).
  • I use the fact that interiors are significantly larger than exteriors in Phoenotopia to make decisions like taking the right entrance to Gale’s house instead of the left at 19:11.
  • Starting at 20:18, I jump out of the water a lot, making it obvious that airborne movement is significantly faster than waterborne movement.
  • To solve the pressure plate puzzle in Thomas’ Lab, instead of having to free the three metal boxes that are barricaded, since I have a stamina boost, I can place the metal box outside of the barricade on one pressure plate, place bombs on the other two pressure plates, and step on the fourth pressure plate, as demonstrated at 22:19.
  • Blind navigation through the sewers, as demonstrated at 28:06, in an attempt to save having to buy the Lamp. It’s easy until you climb the ladder (after hitting the farthest point left from the second-leftmost source of light on the screen), after which it becomes a nightmare. Upon dropping down, hold right so that the very leftmost source of light is barely showing, hit the switch, blindly jump to the platform that gets activated by the switch, wait for the sixth quickened tick of the timed switch, and blindly jump to the platform that re-activates as a result of the expiration of the timed switch. You should see a dust cloud if you did it successfully, meaning that you can jump again and head straight left.
  • At 29:43, I demonstrate the safest of skirmishes, picking at the guard dog using the bombs and taking out the Spear Guard using a combination of the Slingshot and the Iron Hammer.
  • At 30:15, I skillfully evade a guard dog and two guards by jumping over the guard dog and onto the bookcase. This saves the trouble of having to fight them.
  • At 30:30, I demonstrate an obvious flaw in the fish puzzle of Daea prison by sniping a switch off-screen with a well-aimed Slingshot round.
  • At 33:48, I exploit two key factors to take care of the Flying Bomb: (1) Gale is immune to damage when entering a door, and (2) once an enemy has been defeated, it will not come back unless you exit to the world map and re-enter. In essence, I lure the Flying Bomb over, time my exit just right, and voilà—I’ve defeated the Flying Bomb without having to play tennis with it (for lack of better terminology). I also abuse this at 35:46.
  • If you’re fast enough at 33:56, you can get the Flying Bomb above to activate the barricade-lowering switch for you, which is the best way to handle it.
  • At 34:03, it is fastest to alert both Flying Bombs so that the farther one explodes while you flee from the closer one. You could probably take the damage like a man and heal it off later, but I personally prefer to just flee from them.
  • The quickest way to hit the timed switch at 34:45 is by quickly firing the Slingshot. Additionally, at 34:48, pivoting and throwing the Javelin is quicker than climbing up the provided platforms.
  • On floor 5 of Prince Tower (at 36:16), instead of taking the route starting from the far right, I skip about half of the platforms by throwing the Javelin at the peak of a small jump (not necessarily a short hop) and using it as an easier way up.
  • If you manage to two-cycle the Kobold Mercenary General, like I do starting at 37:05, you should not have to worry about its annoying Flying Bomb phase (which, if it occurs, results in some sort of damage pretty much every time a Flying Bomb spawns, at least in my experience).
  • In response to the bomb trap at 41:53, I place a bomb right in front of the first Rolling Bomb to make the duo more avoidable.
  • Similarly, in response to the bomb trap at 44:09, I place a bomb right in front of the first Rolling Bomb on the right side, and the other two blow up by running into each other, making a clear path to the exit. The slightly faster (but riskier) alternative is throwing a relatively precise Javelin.
  • Much like the sewers, I navigate blindly through Mul Cavern to completely eliminate the need for the Lamp. This time, however, it is more semi-blind because you can barely see what is not illuminated (whereas in the sewers it is pitch black). Navigation through this area abuses two key factors: (1) The hives usually take 6 hits of the Iron Hammer to destroy, but explosives (i.e., bombs and the Ki Spear Technique) destroy them instantly. I believe this is another fact that I did not know before but figured out through intensive analysis of the game. (2) If a hive is destroyed and you exit the screen, the beetles that come out of the hive will despawn and never come back. Abusing these two factors makes blind navigation easier than it could be, but it is still relatively difficult. Thankfully, there are two Spotted Lepistas in your path, which each heal 15 HP. (Consult the route for further details on blindly navigating Mul Cavern.)
  • 47:49 shows that there is a part of the third screen of Ancient’s Crater that you can just completely bypass by performing a stamina-boosted hover from the permeable platform on top of the left side.
  • On the fifth screen of Ancient’s Crater, I actually use the third and fifth laser towers to my advantage by throwing bombs at the turrets, letting the laser towers detonate them on sight. This, in tandem with the stamina boost, helps to wither the turrets down with a relatively quick flurry of bombs (3 should be enough to kill), as demonstrated at 49:00.
  • At 49:51 and 51:17, I show off how to breeze through the invisible mazes without using the Artifact.
    • For the first invisible maze, I jump just past the initial platform, throw the Javelin after a short hop, climb up via that Javelin, find the highest possible ground to the left, jump from there, navigate to the top-right, hover over to the second vertical background element to the left from where you are, fall down, and head left.
    • For the second invisible maze, I head left until hitting a wall, head right until hitting the visible platform (literally or otherwise), walk left until I’m just behind the the second gray background element, jump up-left, throw the Javelin, climb up, and navigate easily through the rest.
  • For the upside-down turret that appears in 50:19, you can actually throw the metal boxes below at it, all of which do as much damage as the Iron Hammer, and even hold one as a sort of umbrella to protect yourself from the turret’s projectiles.
  • Ancient’s Crater is more broken than you may think. I literally skip every lockout fight before the boss: the Arc fight at 50:56, the flying turret fight at 51:02, the Golem fight at 51:40, and the Harpy fight at 51:49.
    • Arc Skip and Turret Skip are simple. Just position yourself adequately close to the laser trap, throw a bomb at maximum height, and the bomb will stop the barricade from moving when you activate the laser trap, so get the heck out of dodge before it explodes. In the case of Arc Skip, make sure to hover over the Arc that will appear on the right.
    • Golem Skip is the most difficult trick of the run, and if you fail it, you might as well just defeat the golems normally (although it’s slightly slower that way). You have to position yourself as far into the laser trap as you can without touching the danger zone and throw a bomb while hovering at maximum height. Ideally, the bomb will be in between both of the currently inactive barricades. Then, activate the trap, wait a brief moment, hover left, and get the heck outta dodge. Note: if you hover left too quickly, you will hit the Red Golem corpse and fail to make it in time.
    • Harpy Skip, I have to say, is a middle ground between Arc/Turret Skip and Golem Skip. However, unlike the previous skips, it absolutely requires a stamina boost. Run as fast as you can through the laser trap, jump so that you arc over the elevated ground ahead without bumping into anything, and fall on the right side of the drop (at which point you should ideally make it past the barricade before it’s too late), making sure to slow your descent by hovering, lest you fall into the pit and have to attempt the skip all over again.
  • At 51:10, I perform a neat little exploit in the backwards C area where you can drop a bomb down onto the vertically based laser trap and activate the lower laser detector, which will ideally result in the bomb being hit by the far left laser instead of you.
  • Big Eye seems really difficult with 20 HP, seeing how it takes exactly two blows coming directly from it to kill you. However, at 54:02, I demonstrate a perfect fight against the boss. Since the best number of cycles achievable with the Iron Hammer is 3, the cycles are best initiated at the following points:
    1. After destroying the flying turret. By then, you should have only one mini eye left to blind with your Artifact (on the elevated platform, of course). The sequence of Javelin throws on the roped spheres makes this a whole lot easier to achieve, and you can blind at least one mini eye before Big Eye starts sending the spheres out. Any other mini eyes can be blinded after the wind and lasers (all but the last, obviously).
    2. After the wind and Rolling Bombs. After the first cycle, hold right to stay damage-free during this phase and, when Gale stops jittering, blind the bottom-right, top-left, and top-right mini eyes (and the bottom-left if necessary; most of the time, the Rolling Bombs take care of that one).
    3. Right after the second cycle. Gotta be quick about this one, otherwise the next set of roped spheres will kill you. (Such was the cruel fate I suffered on my first attempt of Big Eye in the recorded run.)
  • You can actually escape from 66 without activating any unnecessary barricades if you’re fast enough. I tried this twice in my recorded run, but I failed both times, so I just decided to take a safer approach and only activate the first two.

Now that I think about it, it is actually really easy to skip the first Gray Golem on the second screen of Dread Lands (the one that I destroy with the stationary Rolling Bombs at 42:02) by jumping over it quickly, but that never occurred to me until now. (The any% route document has been updated accordingly.)

100%

This is something I’ve been thinking about along with any%, almost hand-in-hand—routing 100% has occasionally helped me find new techniques for any% and vice versa. The way 100% works is that the “collection rate” at the credits should say 100%. Even though the percentage counter was confusing to me at one point for a reason that I mention in Thought Dump 7 (long story short: 99% at first, unlock Mystery Bento and Power Potion, now at 100%), I managed to figure out what exactly causes the collection rate to rise and by how much. It works as follows:

  • Heart Rubies count for 2% each, making for a total of 46% if all are collected.
  • Moonstones count for 1% each, making for a total of 42% if all are collected.
  • The Blood Ring, Nebula Armlet, Lucky Belt, Ancient Armor, and Morning Star count for 2% each.
  • Obtaining the Ki Spear Technique Scroll counts for 1%.
  • Now, get this: Giving Translucent Meat to the chef in Daea counts for 1%. If you ask me, this is a very arbitrary requirement for 100%, because it is precisely what confused me in Thought Dump 7.

So, it makes sense that the resulting collection rate of an ideal any% run, which requires literally none of those, is 0%.

In terms of routing 100%, I’ve routed out what I find to be the fastest order of visiting the required locations and obtaining the required items, as well as covering the required finances through Loot Duping and various quest rewards throughout the game. A condensed version of the route in question can be found at:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a-7h04mPT8IHCQui0IUWUjlMpQSZXauU1xevRL6p6ng/edit?usp=sharing
whereas a more specific version of the route can be found at:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cFN4Hn-rKLgZlvWTpQ9_X465IbVG6h5zahmKCCwc85Y/edit?usp=sharing
and my planning of the route can be found at:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wmjQbnNiv0UKS9_VL6KDOOkXPUBbzRS2xgRGjWmNH6U/edit?usp=sharing

I might plan to run 100% eventually, but for now, I’m kinda reluctant. Also, I feel that the route is not quite complete, because I’m wondering where stops for honey could be incorporated, if at all.

By the way, I just figured out today that the Ki Spear Technique is baneful to Flying Bombs (i.e., it causes them to detonate early). I had no idea how to deal with these things at first, but apparently that’s how. This might actually make parts of Daea prison and Prince Tower slightly easier. It’s not worth incorporating into the any% route because you need extra Rai for a Chocolate Protein Shake and some inventory space for both that and a Duri Fruit (the latter of which wastes time to find), not to mention the few Flying Bombs you encounter in the route are not that hard to deal with.

On a final note, that extra in Prince Tower where you have to climb up the ladders and avoid the arrows…is in my opinion the most frustrating thing in the game. (No amount of routing the late-game treacherous areas in any%, nor any part of Forgotten Forest, can compare.)

Afterword

I submitted this game to speedrun.com a week ago, making sure to include the video above in my submission, but I still haven’t received any approval or rejection. Perhaps just before AGDQ 2016 wasn’t exactly the best time to submit… 1/9 EDIT: Looks like it’s approved now. http://www.speedrun.com/phoenotopia

At any rate, I definitely enjoy Phoenotopia (in case that wasn’t obvious), and I find it to be my kind of speedgame, no matter how frustrating it may be at times (especially when I always end up one in-game pixel off when trying to perform a Loot Dupe due to Gale’s natural slipperiness). I also had fun routing it, as annoying as it was to figure out the treacherous areas, especially for any%.

As of now, there still remain some mysteries to me.

  • Once again, is it actually possible to break a loot container four times on the same frame? Like, if you were to have a bomb and a Ki Spear explode on the container on the exact frame when the container hits the corner?
  • At 42:22 in the recorded any% run, why was the Broken Golem not there?
  • After my death on Big Eye (at 53:50 in the video), why did the HP counter display 0 upon revival even though Gale normally revives with 10 HP?
  • What’s the deal with the Gold Bar merchant? I can never seem to figure out how the pricing works—how it’s set or how it changes.

Perhaps some of these have already been figured out (maybe even all of them), but the few times that I have searched the web for anything glitch-related, I’ve come up empty. Some sources, if there even are any, would be helpful.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on quite enough. The point is: I have a route for single-segment any% that is crazy enough to work (and something of a route for 100%), and I have shared the full extent of my thoughts on the matter, hoping that others who are interested in the game and/or speedrunning as a whole will see potential in it as a speedgame, just as I have.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

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