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!)

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