Ludicolo (Poké Monday 2/22/16)

 RNG (Ludicolo)

Tier: NU
Type: Water/Grass
Base Stats: 80 HP, 70 Atk, 70 Def, 90 Sp.Atk, 100 Sp.Def, 70 Speed
Abilities: Swift Swim, Rain Dish, Own Tempo (hidden)

Usable moves: Blizzard, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bullet Seed, Double-Edge, Drain Punch, Energy Ball, Façade, Fake Out, Fire Punch, Focus Blast, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire), Hone Claws, Hydro Pump, Hyper Voice, Ice Beam, Ice Punch, Knock Off, Leech Seed, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Scald, Seed Bomb, Seismic Toss, Substitute, Sleep Talk, Surf, Swords Dance, Synthesis, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Waterfall, Zen Headbutt

Overview

Ludicolo possesses a unique typing in Water/Grass that gives it an odd set of weaknesses: Poison, Flying, and Bug. Its primary niche lies in being the only Swift Swim user with a direct answer to opposing Water-types (in the form of its Grass STAB), and its dual STABs complemented with an Ice-type move hit everything for neutral or greater damage except Shedinja and Sap Sipper Marill and Azumarill (which are questionable in use). However, its offensive stats leave something to be desired, making it largely dependent on rain to put a dent through opposing teams, and, even thought its bulk is decent, it does not have the right combination of resistances and utility to run a defensive set effectively (plus, most of its weaknesses target its weaker Defense stat). Also note that it has a quadruple weakness to Freeze-Dry, so it should be careful around the likes of Aurorus and Cryogonal. Still, Ludicolo is definitely a force to reckon with in lower tiers.

Set

Ludicolo @ Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Hydro Pump
– Giga Drain
– Ice Beam
– Rain Dance

This is Ludicolo’s flagship set, which allows it to wreak havoc under the rain. Hydro Pump is its strongest STAB move in terms of power and coverage. Giga Drain is supplementary STAB that gives it the edge over opposing Water-types and allows it to recover HP lost through Life Orb and other residual damage. Ice Beam rounds off its coverage, allowing it to hit the Grass-types that resist its dual STABs. Rain Dance is a sort of filler move that allows it to set up its own rain in case the rain stops, is overridden by some other weather (e.g., sun), or is not set up in the first place.

Life Orb is the preferred item for as much offensive power as possible without inhibiting move choice. Swift Swim is obviously the preferred Ability for a much-needed boost to its mediocre base 70 Speed. EVs are pooled completely into offense with a Modest nature for maximum power and all the Speed it needs. (The only notable benefit of running Timid nature is to cut past Choice Scarf Scyther in the rain.) Attack IV is 0 to reduce damage from Foul Play.

Other Options

 

Focus Blast is an option for dealing massive damage to Ferroseed (252+ SpA Life Orb Ludicolo Focus Blast vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Eviolite Ferroseed: 221-260 (75.6 – 89%) — guaranteed 2HKO) to make it more difficult for the latter to threaten with hazards and/or Thunder Wave, and it deals slightly more damage to opposing Ludicolo than Giga Drain (48.5 – 57.1% as opposed to 45.1 – 53.4%), but it serves no purpose otherwise.

Swords Dance may seem like a good idea on paper, considering Ludicolo has a nice physical movepool and no better boosting moves, but it has a severe case of four-moveslot syndrome—which forces it to give up a coverage move, a STAB move, or Rain Dance—and the only notable targets that it hits harder (boosts be darned) are Assault Vest Muk and opposing Ludicolo (252+ Atk Life Orb Ludicolo Seed Bomb vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Ludicolo: 165-196 (54.8 – 65.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO), not to mention Kabutops is significantly better on the physical side (the only redeeming quality of physical Ludicolo being its Grass STAB).

As an alternative to full offense, Ludicolo could try to run a defensive set with its decent repertoire of supportive options such as ScaldKnock OffSynthesisLeech Seed, and Toxic, but its Abilities (other than Own Tempo, which is questionable in use) are counterproductive with Synthesis, so perhaps it would be best to run Protect with Rain Dish, although that takes up a precious moveslot and limits the already meager number of move choices to 3 instead of 4.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/KwCEgEn1 – This team initially had Sawk over Kabutops, but since Sawk is in the middle of being suspect tested (which apparently is equivalent to being banned), I had to swap it out. The change didn’t turn out well, though, notably because I lost the only battle I fought with that team (although I would argue that it was mostly due to hax).

This team contains:

  • Ludicolo (set above)
  • Kabutops for physical prowess and extra power in rain
  • Klinklang as a setup sweeper and Steel-type
  • Crustle for hazards
  • Pelipper for hazard control
  • Liepard for rain and Encore support
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I like writing and all, but… (Thought Dump Thursday 2/18/16)

It’s hardly, if ever, on the forefront of my mind. Sometimes I’m driving to school. Sometimes I’m in the middle of a lecture. Sometimes I’m working on assignments. Sometimes I’m viewing a Twitch stream. Sometimes I’m playing some freemium 3DS game (usually Pokémon Shuffle). Sometimes I’m trying to get a PB in Phoenotopia. (I’m currently trying for a better time in 100%…still no luck after 7 or so attempts.) Sometimes I’m doing Conceptis puzzles. Sometimes I’m watching anime. Sometimes (although rarely) I’m reading manga. Sometimes I’m reading through the Mondaiji-tachi light novel. (I picked this up recently, and it is a great way to fill the void that the anime left.) Sometimes I’m in the middle of writing Cinq du Soleil. But, when I’m confronted with the thought that Thought Dump Thursday is around the corner, I just sort of…enter a train of thought that goes nowhere fast. My mind drifts from one topic to another, but any topics that I come up with are stupid to write about (whether out of my comfort zone or just plain stupid) or are topics that I wish to put aside until some other special occasion. On that note, that’s what’s keeping me from ever coming up with a debut of Spontaneous Series Saturday: what occasion could I possibly celebrate? Does it even have to be celebrating an occasion? Could it just be something half-hearted like this post is? (It’s real talk, but let’s face it: it’s nothing short of a long-winded rant.) I could talk about how I got a new any% PB in Phoenotopia (54:52) recently, but where would that even fit? I feel like it’d be a waste of space. Should I somehow edit these things into my previous posts? No, because that sort of practice would just throw everything out of whack. Should I make the whole Phoenotopia speedrunning thing a series? That seems like a completely stupid idea. …Maybe? I mean, every Thought Dump Thursday post of this year has somehow involved speedrunning Phoenotopia, be it the center of attention or part of a potpourri. I brought up anime at one point, and I could very well try to do a periodic review of one of the current series (preferably KonoSuba if anything), but I honestly feel burnt out due to the whole “Cavalry vs. Asterisk” series that I did last year. Reviewing is hard, man! Heck, I still don’t even know if I did it right, as I reflect from time to time on what I have written and try to draw a parallel between my writing and what goes on in my head. There’s also the issue of thinking of a last-minute topic and not being able to create a complete post before 11:59 the day of, forcing me to publish an incomplete post marked with the words “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”, complete the post later, and post an update when I’m done. That sort of thing is just a waste of space, and the update post is usually destined to be deleted. I guess in essence what I’m saying is that I do like writing, but thinking of what to write about and how to write about it is a really difficult task that I end up having to face every two weeks, and I always have the choice to either write a half-hearted post or actually take the gloves off and write something that I consider “adequate” or perhaps even better. (The way I am, though, I never consider myself any better than “adequate” in any facet.)

As frequently as I have these moments where I find it hard to think of a topic, I still have plans in mind. This is just a rough list, and there is no guarantee that any of these will become writing in the future.

  • Why I really like Mondaiji-tachi. The main reason why I’m not feeling up to this is because I would have to read through the entire light novel (which might take a while…seeing how I’m currently on volume 3 chapter 5) and watch the anime a third time (which, sadly, I still haven’t done) in order to really be able to pinpoint why I enjoy this series more than any other (even No Game No Life, a very similar (and way more popular) series).
  • My journey through anime (in general) from start to finish. This was initially what I had in mind for this post, but of course this sort of thing had to come to mind as late as the last day (not to mention one of two days when I spend roughly 10 hours away from home thanks to my current semester schedule), so I didn’t bother to follow through with it this time. Maybe someday, though…
  • A retrospective of the characters that I like and dislike. The thing about coming out with a post like this is…I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I have difficulty expressing my opinion.
  • A final summary review of the winter 2016 anime that I have been watching (Phantom World, KonoSuba, Dagashi Kashi), similar to how I did that sort of thing back in winter/spring 2015. There is a high chance (but, again, no guarantee) that this sort of idea may come into fruition, although, if it does, I might deviate a little from how I did it back then.
  • Another full post regarding Cinq du Soleil. I don’t plan on doing this until I’ve finished the entire story, which will be quite a long time from now.
  • Maybe a follow-up to the Cross-a-Pix post (that is apparently the most viewed post on this blog)? The free-to-play puzzles have been extremely difficult as of late, and I was thinking I could provide step-by-step solutions as a sort of Spontaneous Series…wait. That’s actually not a bad idea. Yep, definitely up for consideration. Come to think of it, why just limit myself to Cross-a-Pix? I could also try the same sort of thing for difficult puzzles of other categories, like Slitherlink or Pic-a-Pix. Hey, maybe every two weeks I could pick the one puzzle that I found the most difficult and offer a step-by-step solution thereof.

Anyway, that’s just a long-winded rant regarding how difficult this whole writing thing can actually be and a rough, rough, very rough list of plans for this website. (Most of these plans will be set aside until way later (or potentially even discarded), and there may even be some that I haven’t even mentioned. Stay tuned!

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

Rhydon (Poké Monday 2/8/16)

This site is being rather idiotic in terms of updating the date of my draft (whereas it would usually update the date compliantly once I published it), so I had to repost it so that it would actually update instead of showing a date earlier than the current date. *sigh* Technology…

 Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 4.22.53 PM

Tier: NU
Type: Ground/Rock
Base Stats: 105 HP, 130 Atk, 120 Def, 45 Sp.Atk, 45 Sp.Def, 40 Speed
Abilities: Lightning Rod, Rock Head, Reckless (hidden)

Usable moves: Ancient Power, Aqua Tail, Avalanche, Blizzard, Body Slam, Brick Break, Crunch, Double-Edge, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Tail, Drill Run, Earth Power, Earthquake, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Fang, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Frustration, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fighting, Grass), Ice Beam, Ice Fang, Ice Punch, Megahorn, Outrage, Poison Jab, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Blast, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Superpower, Surf, Swords Dance, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Thunder Punch, Toxic

Overview

Rhydon is the most physically bulky Pokémon in NU; with base 105 HP and base 120 Defense backed with Eviolite, not even Regirock trumps it in this department. (In higher tiers, however, Rhyperior with Solid Rock takes super-effective hits slightly better.) It also has a combination of STABs (the notorious EdgeQuake) that hits a majority of the tier neutrally, backed with a nice base 130 Attack that can be further boosted with Swords Dance, making it a very strong offensive threat.

However, Rhydon is not without its drawbacks. First off, its Ability choices are basically useless—Lightning Rod doesn’t do justice for its petty Special Attack stat (and it’s immune to Electric anyway, outside of Inverse Battles and being affected by Soak), Reckless isn’t even legal with Double-Edge, and, even though Double-Edge with Rock Head may seem appealing, there is no justification to running it over a move that could deal super-effective damage on something that its dual STABs can’t (like Megahorn for bulky Grass- and Psychic-types, notably Torterra and Claydol). Second, its typing gives it many common weaknesses, including Fighting, Ground, Ice, and especially Water and Grass. Third, its Special Defense is not nearly as stellar as its physical Defense, meaning that special attacks will wear it down before long. Fourth, its lack of reliable recovery is a notable hindrance to its defensive capabilities. Fifth and foremost, its Speed is quite sappy, even for the slow side of the tier, and it needs Rock Polish to patch this up.

So, what are its main roles? It hits hard, and it can set up with boosting moves like Rock Polish and Swords Dance, or simply get up Stealth Rock. In spite of its common weaknesses, it also has some common resistances—such as Fire, Flying, and Rock—that it can use to its advantage alongside its respectable bulk with Eviolite and potentially grant itself an opportunity to set up and/or deal damage. Unfortunately, if it decides to go the boosting route, it can only choose one of Attack or Speed every turn, meaning that Shell Smash users like Barbaracle and Omastar, as well as Klinklang with Shift Gear, have the advantage in this department, especially with their superior Speed stats. In terms of setting up Stealth Rock, there are many other notable users, but Rhydon’s niche lies in having a great dual STAB combination and being one of the hardest-hitting Stealth Rock users in the tier (only outmatched by Archeops and the less useful Rampardos and Gigalith in terms of damage output), as well as having respectable bulk so that it can take at least one hit from almost anything without Grass or Water coverage.

As a whole, Rhydon is definitely a lower-tier Pokémon worth consideration and possibly the best tank in NU.

Set 1: Boosting Sweeper

Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 Atk / 40 SpD / 216 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Stone Edge
– Rock Polish
– Swords Dance

With its threatening base 130 Attack and great coverage with its dual STABs, Rhydon can choose to use one (or both if it’s lucky enough) of its boosting moves in Rock Polish and Swords Dance to patch up its Speed or further enhance its offensive prowess, respectively. Eviolite enhances its bulk, and Lightning Rod is its only remotely useful Ability choice. EVs are fully invested in Attack, with enough Speed to outspeed max Speed Sceptile after a Rock Polish, and the remaining EVs are used to patch up its feeble Special Defense. (Alternatively, it could run 252/8/248 to creep past Modest Choice Scarf Mesprit.)

As an alternative to Swords Dance, Megahorn can be used on this set to more easily OHKO Sceptile and deal more damage than a +2 STAB move of choice to the likes of Torterra and Claydol.

Set 2: Stealth Rock Setter

Rhydon @ Eviolite
Ability: Lightning Rod
EVs: 252 HP / 16 Atk / 240 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Earthquake
– Rock Blast
– Megahorn

This is a set taken straight out of the Smogon Strategy Pokédex. Max HP improves its bulk, 16 Attack EVs let it reach a point where it would have 2 fewer Attack points with 4 fewer EVs invested, and the rest is dumped into Special Defense to patch it up. The premise of the set is to set up Stealth Rock and hit hard with its offensive options. Rock Blast allows it to break through Substitute and Sash users, but Stone Edge is an alternative for a better expected damage output. Megahorn allows it to hit Torterra and Claydol super-effectively.

Other Options

Fire Punch is the only way Rhydon can 2HKO Ferroseed without any boosts, but it serves no purpose otherwise. Other than that, no other options are worth running.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/S3af3TrW – Odd as it is, even though I have two sets listed, I will only provide one sample team (containing the first set). I haven’t done this since my Litleo analysis, but I am a bit pressed for time and therefore cannot be bothered teambuilding with the second set.

This team contains:

  • Rhydon (set 1 above)
  • Rotom for dealing with Water-types, Volt Switching around, and doing Scarf stuff
  • Ferroseed for hazards and comfortably taking hits from Water- and Grass-types
  • Audino for clerical support
  • Hitmonchan for hazard control and priority
  • Pyroar for obliterating Grass-types and raw Speed in case Rotom has Tricked away its Scarf

Phoenotopia 100% speedrunning (Thought Dump Thursday 2/4/16)

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.25.35 PM

A sort of precursor to this post is Thought Dump Thursday 1/7/16, wherein I talked about my thought process behind speedrunning this game in the first place, presented my first recorded any% run of the game, and elaborated upon the techniques used in the run (all of which are also in 100%).

First off, in response to my question in Thought Dump Thursday 1/21/16 regarding the Floe moonstone, you do indeed have to do the following:

  • Free Fran, collect at least 5 moonstones, and talk to Fran at the table outside her lab
  • Complete the slime extermination quest at Cross Roads and claim your reward (not necessarily after the previous step)
  • Talk to Gill at Great Walls (left side of the second watchtower)
  • Head back to the treehouse at Cross Roads and talk to Floe to claim the moonstone

The slime extermination requirement makes sense, but talking to Gill…seems like a weird step to me, especially considering he says nothing about Floe when you talk to him.

Second, as a reminder, the collection requirements for 100% are as follows:

  • All 23 Heart Rubies (2% each; 46% total)
  • All 42 Moonstones (1% each; 42% total)
  • Blood Ring (2%)
  • Nebula Armlet (2%)
  • Lucky Belt (2%)
  • Ancient Armor (2%)
  • Morning Star (2%)
  • Ki Spear Technique Scroll (1%)
  • Giving Translucent Meat to the chef in Daea (1%)

Third, and most importantly, I have actually completed a recorded run of 100%.

Relevant Pastebin (please read): http://pastebin.com/PBe2Qufe

Other relevant links:

Note that I will be using timestamps very frequently throughout this writing, and they pertain to the video, not the splits.

Okay, so apparently, 100% is about twice as long as any%. I mean, this time is definitely improvable, notably because this is actually my first run of 100%, not just my first recorded run. It’s still on my mind to modify the route in some parts to incorporate extra honey purchases, but I’m still not sure how exactly that sort of thing would play out.

Loot Dupes

First off, most of the Loot Dupes in any% are done in 100%, with the removal of a few and the addition of a few. In particular, the dupes in 100% are:

  1. Duri Forest interior [30 -> 60] (4:04)
  2. Duri Forest exterior [15 -> 30] (9:23)
  3. Panselo leftmost building [25 -> 50] (10:33)
  4. Panselo dojo [20 -> 40] (12:19)
  5. Sunflower Road east [20 -> 40] (13:18)
  6. Sunflower Road west [30 -> 60] (14:11)
  7. Bandits’ Lair storage room [50 -> 100] (20:39)
  8. Misty Gorge inn [30 -> 60] (28:20)
  9. Thomas’ Lab [40 -> 80] (33:22)
  10. Daea sewers [25 -> 50] (39:45)
  11. Daea prison switch room [30+30 -> 60+60] (42:24)
  12. Ancient’s Crater [50 -> 100] (1:13:02)
  13. Atai palace [45+45 -> 90+90] (1:19:49)
  14. Panselo lab [30 -> 60] (1:27:13)
  15. Prince Tower second tower [50+50 -> 100+100] (1:46:32)

These dupes, along with the rewards provided by various quests (40 Rai for the slime extermination, 30 Rai for delivering Mikan Fruit to the potion shop owner in Atai, 15 Rai for giving Translucent Meat to the chef in Daea, 300 Rai total from the first visit to Fran’s Lab, 40 Rai for delivering a Sandwich to the guard in Great Walls, 15 Rai for delivering a letter to Farmer’s Block, and 150 more Rai from the second visit to Fran’s Lab) and some chests that are broken normally (which includes the one in Panselo at 1:27:56 and was also planned to include the ones in Forgotten Forest at 1:56:30 and 1:58:21, but apparently I didn’t end up needing those chests), are just enough to cover all ~1950 Rai needed for the run. (I indicate that it’s an approximation because Gold Bar pricing seems completely random to me.)

It may seem weird that I do the Sunflower Road dupes, seeing how they are the hardest dupes in the game and the only ones that rely on enemy cooperation, but keep in mind that it is required to collect a grand total of 280 Rai (for the Chocolate Protein Shake, Rolling Technique Scroll, Iron Hammer, and Talkinator Juice) before reaching Atai for the first time. Also, if not going with those two, the best substitute would be to perform the dupe in the frog room in the Duri Forest dungeon (for 80 Rai) and the dupe in the second-rightmost house in Panselo (for 30 Rai), which wastes 2 minutes for the frog room alone and a few more seconds for the latter dupe. Compared to this, the potential time taken to dupe the chests in Sunflower Road (which each happen to be in the path of one moonstone) is trivial.

Also, I do the Atai palace dupe a little earlier than I had routed initially. I don’t know whether this is a good or bad idea, because it is in the pathway of the first Atai visit based on how I’ve routed it, but it means having to dedicate a slot to the High Quality Silk (which isn’t exactly necessary, but hey, since it’s part of this dupe and gets an easy 50 Rai (or 90 if you feel like wasting time), why not?). Now that I think about it, I’m considering routing the moonstone outside of Atai palace to after delivering the rejection letter so that performing the dupe at that point would make more sense and, at the same time, there is no need to carry the High Quality Silk all the way from Atai 4 to Atai 5.

On a final note, it may seem obvious, but I get quite frustrated over those moments while trying to get the exact right positioning when Gale ends up one pixel off every time. It happens quite a few times in this particular run, including Bandits’ Lair storage room, Daea sewers, and Panselo lab.

Man…this is a lot more talk about Loot Dupes than I expected. Now, on to the more important stuff.

Extra techniques in 100%

There are some time-saving techniques in the 100% route that are not seen in the any% run, and they are as follows:

  • The box stacking that I do (horribly) at 4:26 saves having to get the Heart Ruby while backtracking through Duri Forest. If done perfectly, this box stacking saves one or two minutes (I don’t remember) over normal backtracking, and that’s factoring in the possibility of a stamina boost during the backtracking.
  • For the Cross Roads Heart Ruby (at 34:51), pulling out a bomb right when entering the secret entrance, if done correctly, allows it to detonate the exact moment you place it on the set of boxes (which saves time over destroying those boxes by spamming the X key).
  • After the slime extermination, which starts at 35:10 and ends at 35:23, it is significantly faster to exit to the right and re-enter the area than to head all the way back left to the inn.
  • At 41:57, I show how it’s possible to complete the timed switch moonstone puzzle in Daea prison without a stamina boost: place a bomb on the top-right switch, do the same with the top-left switch, melee the bottom-left switch, and perform a full-jump midair attack on the bottom-right switch. The last maneuver is undoubtedly the hardest, but thankfully I got it first try.
  • The moments at 45:26, 47:58, and 48:35 are proof that Flying Bombs are vulnerable to the Ki Spear Technique. It’s really weird how that one little technique is the only thing that will cause those bombs to explode instantly.
  • I do the Heart Ruby puzzle in Daea prison (at 46:05) using three metal boxes. These three boxes are stacked on top of each other, and the top box is slightly farther right than the other boxes such that using the Ki Spear Technique on top of the middle box will cause the cracked ceiling to blow up. After that ceiling is blown up, the bottom two boxes and the Javelin should be sufficient to make it up to the cracked wall behind which the Heart Ruby lies.
  • Hitting the switch at the entrance of Prince Tower (at 46:54), along with exiting and re-entering the area, is pretty much necessary because it makes backtracking way easier. (I once neglected to do this in a rehearsal playthrough, and I regretted it wholeheartedly.)
  • In Dread Lands, the most efficient way to kill the Broken Golem guarding the moonstone pot at 1:00:47 is to hit it from afar using the Ki Spear Technique.
  • 1:04:54 shows off the Ki Spear Technique at its utmost usefulness. I screwed up the execution quite a bit, but the ideal way to get this bugger of a Heart Ruby in Mul Cavern is as follows:
    • From the uppermost orange mushroom, throw a Ki Spear to the left and destroy the uppermost hive.
    • From the green mushroom below the previous mushroom, drop a bomb right off the left edge and wait for it to explode. This is the main part that I screwed up.
    • Destroy the rightmost hive by throwing a Ki Spear or placing a bomb right in front of it.
    • Once everything is clear, for better or for worse, drop down to the purple mushroom and throw a Ki Spear to the left. This will end up destroying the hive on the far left, the ultimate barricade guarding the Heart Ruby.
    • Take the upper route; don’t even think about the lower one like I did.
  • At 1:26:28, I use a Bomb Jump to get into the attic of Gale’s house, which is the quickest way to do so without a stamina boost. The best part about this strategy is that any health loss will be trivial thanks to the Heart Ruby restoring all HP.
  • The easiest way to lower the barricade protecting the way to the Ancient Armor (as demonstrated at 1:31:13) is to throw the Javelin at a relatively low height and shine the Artifact upwards and slightly to the left.
  • Speaking of Ancient Armor, the section with the grounded turrets (starting at 1:31:34) may seem daunting, but a way to facilitate this section is by picking at the lower turrets using the Ki Spear Technique.
  • Because of the odd requirement to give Translucent Meat to the chef in Daea, part of the 100% route is farming for this drop from the Ghost Wasps (as demonstrated at 1:33:24). From the north entrance of Misty Gorge, walk until hitting the first arch from the right, make your way all the way back to the second-highest ledge on the far right, and spam the Slingshot as fast as possible.
  • Demonstrated correctly at 1:35:20 is a faster way to get up to the Spiky Caterpillar cave of Misty Gorge. Throw the Javelin at maximum height, use a Bomb Jump to pop up on top of the Javelin, and perform a JBJ (Javelin Bomb Jump, which involves placing a bomb on the Javelin and, right before the bomb explodes, doing a quick jump-and-throw-another-Javelin maneuver) to gain just enough height to jump up to the top. This saves time if done correctly, as it eliminates the requirement to go left one more screen and perform a series of hovers to the right.
  • At 1:40:12, I demonstrate a neat little way to exit Daea from the sewers without having to go all the way around.
  • The futuristic puzzle in Dread Lands (at 1:52:36) is much easier than it seems. You may think you have to set up a path for a Rolling Bomb to hit the lower timed switch, but, as I demonstrate, you can actually just place a bomb right above the switch, and I guess the bomb’s explosion radius is barely wide enough to hit the switch from above. Quite a design flaw there, I do declare.
  • There is a key in Forgotten Forest that is in close proximity to mark II of the Big Robot. (In fact, the rightmost trigger pixels of the key are very close to those of the robot.) However, as opposed to a near-pixel-perfect method of grabbing this key, using some sort of explosion (preferably that of a bomb), as demonstrated in 1:58:05, allows the key to be sent flying to the right and made much easier to collect without provoking the robot.
  • This is not an extra technique per se, but with the Morning Star and the Nebula Armlet, it is very possible to two-cycle Big Eye, as demonstrated at 2:02:45.

Potential areas of simple improvement

  • I mention my bladder quite a lot. Next time, I should ensure that I have not drunk any fluids within the past hour so that this sort of thing does not inhibit my focus on the run.
  • Some of the navigation and menuing in general was pretty sloppy (some of which was due to me reviewing my notes), and some Loot Dupes were rather slow, but hey, that’s natural for a first run.
  • Like I said, box stacking at 4:26 was horrible. If I had to estimate, I’d say that’s around 30 seconds of time loss.
  • At 18:44, jumping out of the lower area instead of rolling a second time does not actually save time; in fact, it actually wastes the slightest bit of time.
  • At 20:57, I believe the best way to get the moonstone in the Bandits’ Lair “pit of shame” (as I’ve dubbed it) is to start by throwing the bomb at the suspended platform to the immediate right of where you start and, if necessary, placing a bomb on the bottom rubble while waiting for the thrown bomb to explode. Then, after grabbing the moonstone, hit the switch. I’m thinking this change of order would save a second or two, but not much more (if at all) than that.
  • I feel like killing the Red Bandit at 22:06 relieves the pain of having to deal with it later, and this applies to any% as well. Not exactly time save (and probably not even time save at all), but I guess you could call it insured prevention of time loss.
  • I’m considering shifting Honeyed Tumond usage in Bandits’ Lair from 22:41 (after being purposely hit by a Bandit for invincibility frames) to 22:27 (right before exiting the first key room) so that I won’t miss the Red Bandit cycle like I did in this run. (I could save roughly 10 seconds.)
  • I’m also considering shifting the moonstone near the save statue of Daea prison (at 40:09) to after the dog-and-electromagnet room (at 41:52) to make sure that getting that moonstone will be done at pretty much the same time as the safety healing. Also, while waiting for the bomb at the right wall to explode, why not pull out another bomb to make breaking the boxes easier?
  • Also, regarding the Flying Bomb at 45:42, could I not have just thrown a Ki Spear at it?
  • If I ever consider incorporating extra honey into the route, Prince Tower is definitely a place where I would appreciate having it. At 47:00 (and 1:40:22), you can see how slow it is to navigate without honey due to having to wait for items to recharge and not being able to skip past one ladder per jump on floor 6.
  • In case it wasn’t obvious, the crud that I try to pull off at 49:34 is not practical. I should never go for it, no matter the circumstances. In this run, I wasted roughly 2 minutes trying to attempt it.
  • At 59:31, I try to pull off a strat that would allow me to climb out of the pit more easily, but since the Javelin was not at a low enough height and my safety was at risk, I just decided to give it up. If done correctly, this strat saves a few seconds.
  • When grabbing the O-key at 1:00:17, I should have waited for the Broken Golem to spew acid before jumping over it.
  • My idea at 1:02:26, obviously, was to throw the Javelin at such a height that I could just hover to it instead of going through the trouble to hover up to the high ledge. If I did this correctly, I could save about 11 seconds.
  • I could have saved about 30 seconds at 1:04:59 if I had just dropped onto the green mushroom properly instead of walking too far.
  • The proper time to use the stamina boost in Ancient’s Crater exterior is at 1:07:49, not 1:08:03, so that the Flying Bomb trap can be more easily avoided.
  • Another good place for an extra stamina boost is at 1:11:16. It’s not necessary, like I said, but it does make things a heck of a lot easier. It might even extend to 1:12:37, making navigation to the moonstone easier as well.
  • The failed Harpy Skip at 1:14:29 cost me about 11 seconds. Still faster than having to fight the thing, though.
  • The anchor box puzzle in Atai at 1:17:42 has a much simpler solution than the one that I attempted. Just break one box on the left stack and climb up using the Javelin. Plain and simple. Potential 5 seconds of time save.
  • As I said before, I am considering moving the moonstone outside of Atai palace (at 1:20:10) to after delivering the rejection letter (at 1:30:31). Might not save much (if any) time, but it does save an inventory slot.
  • To break the rubble at 1:21:44, why not just use the Ki Spear Technique? It’s roughly twice as fast (i.e., about 6 seconds of time save), after all.
  • Upon climbing the ladder at 1:27:22, throwing the Javelin (or at least firing the Slingshot) would have helped (by saving about 2 seconds).
  • A correctly executed JBJ at Misty Gorge (at 1:34:40) could save me around 43 seconds.
  • At 1:39:19, pushing the top box was not absolutely necessary and wasted about 2 seconds.
  • If I hadn’t squandered the ladder-and-arrow puzzle at 1:43:35, I could have saved myself about a full minute and a heck of a lot of trouble.
  • I didn’t really have a plan for the box puzzle afterwards. Maybe I should finally get around to formulating one and save myself some trouble and time. (I got myself in what I found to be quite a predicament at 1:45:05 and spent roughly 30 seconds trying to find my way out. Moreover, this might not even be all the potential time save.)
  • On the second visit to Great Walls, I should have talked to Gill before entering the barracks. This could save me roughly 2 seconds.
  • At 1:50:38, I could probably throw the Javelin onto the leftmost platform as a little frame saver.
  • 1:52:17. Again, Ki Spear. ~3 seconds of time save.
  • Come to realize it, speaking of the Ki Spear Technique, I recently found out that it has the special property of causing bombs to instantly explode. Maybe I could use that for the puzzle cheese at 1:52:37 and save about a second.
  • If I hadn’t beefed the collection of the final moonstone in Forgotten Forest at 2:00:17, I could have saved myself roughly 30 seconds.

Looking upon these potential time saves…sub 2 RTA might be possible, and I guess in terms of honey stops that I can only think of three places where it would be useful beyond what’s necessary (Prince Tower 1, Ancient’s Crater, Prince Tower 2), two of which are prior to the second visit to Sunflower Road. So, that would be 2 Jars of Honey on the first visit to Sunflower Road (which can easily be accounted for in terms of expenses using the second-rightmost house in Panselo) and 1 on the second visit (which might require an extra backup chest or selling a honeycomb).

Afterword

While 100% is indeed safer than any%, it is significantly longer. In fact, it’s two hours long with hardly any downtime whatsoever, and some of the Loot Dupes (notably Duri Forest interior and Daea prison switch room) require difficult visual cues that strain the eyes quite a bit. Still, it is a fun run, and I would like to improve my time someday when I have 2 hours to spare.

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