Nothing Specific (Thought Dump Thursday 6/30/16)

From now on, this shall be the title when I have no particular topic in mind but still wish to meet the deadline for Thought Dump Thursday head-on.

Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright

I recently started a new playthrough on Normal Casual and am currently on Chapter 22 after having spent about 27 hours on it. I decided to play as a female, with Clever Boon (+Mag) and Clumsy Bane (-Skill), and marry Ryoma. I also tried some new things in regards to the relationships and most of the classes:

  • Subaki (Lv.3 Falcon Knight) + Kagero (Lv.3 Master Ninja)
  • Silas (Lv.4 Great Knight) + Azura (Lv.23 Songstress)
  • Orochi (Lv.3 Onmyoji) + Hayato (Lv.3 Basara)
  • Oboro (Lv.2 Spear Master) + Kaden (Lv.2 Nine-Tails)
  • Felicia (Lv.22 Maid) + Takumi (Lv.23 Ballistician)
  • Jakob (Lv.23 Butler) + Setsuna (Lv.2 Sniper)
  • Hana (Lv.1 Swordmaster) + Azama (Lv.2 Great Master)
  • Sakura (Lv.1 Priestess) + Hinata (Lv.2 Master of Arms)
  • Mozu (Lv.1 Merchant) + Saizo (Lv.2 Mechanist)

I married Rinkah with Kaze as well, but I didn’t realize that you could keep Kaze after Chapter 15. I had no idea that the secret was having him reach A-rank with the main unit (until I looked it up on a wiki). It’s a shame because, in my first playthrough, I had him at B-rank before the chapter in question.

I don’t plan on doing any child paralogues until both advanced-class parents are at least level 5. I might do Kiragi’s paralogue, though, considering Tomebreaker is subjectively the best thing that Felicia can pass down, and Takumi can’t pass anything Ballistician-related (because it’s a DLC class).

Speaking of which, another thing that I did differently as opposed to my previous playthrough is waiting until base class units hit level 20 in their base class before promoting them with a Master Seal. This change came about because I realized how different the Seal system in Fates is from the one in Awakening, notably in that using Master Seal immediately is no longer the answer (because nothing in Fates works quite like the Second Seal in Awakening; any levels you skip with the Master Seal in Fates will pass by irrevocably).

I don’t know if I’ll ever get any of the other stories (Conquest + Revelations), but if I do, I’ll probably get both. (By the way, Beruka is best Nohrian girl.)

Phoenotopia

Yeah, I’m still working on this as a speedgame. I’m pretty much done with any%, but I do plan on improving my 100% time in the near future, with a bit of new tech that I figured out over the course of my rehearsal runs. I might move on to miscellaneous categories as well, but part of me wants to step away from that territory and instead work on running something different: Diamond Hollow II. (I mean, I kinda said to the sole moderator of the speedrun.com leaderboard of the game that I would consider it.)

I also plan on working on a glitch/skip showcase, which will be a video tutorial with as in-depth explanations as I can possibly provide—on Loot Duping, Ancient’s Crater lockout battle skips, Pot Head Clipping, and more. I plan on improving my 100% time first, though.

On a final note, I compiled a document of save passwords for learning/practicing any% and 100% runs.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1arZ0XIo1gC2rxDW_gOzdwh2qDdJ3bT_GJ5yMcuntOIg/edit?usp=sharing

This can be found under the Resources section of http://www.speedrun.com/phoenotopia, and the most up-to-date routes and guides can be found under the Guides section.

 

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

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Pumpkaboo (Poké Monday 6/20/16)

RNG (Pumpkaboo)

Tier: LC
Type: Ghost/Grass
Base Stats: dependent on size

  • Small: 44 HP, 66 Atk, 70 Def, 44 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 56 Speed
  • Average: 49 HP, 66 Atk, 70 Def, 44 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 51 Speed
  • Large: 54 HP, 66 Atk, 70 Def, 44 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 46 Speed
  • Super: 59 HP, 66 Atk, 70 Def, 44 Sp.Atk, 55 Sp.Def, 41 Speed

Abilities: Pickup, Frisk, Insomnia (hidden; not available to Small or Large)

Usable moves: Bullet Seed, Dark Pulse, Destiny Bond, Disable, Energy Ball, Explosion, Façade, Fire Blast, Flame Charge, Flamethrower, Foul Play, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Gyro Ball, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Ice), Leech Seed, Light Screen, Magic Coat, Pain Split, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Rock Slide, Seed Bomb, Shadow Ball, Shadow Sneak, Sleep Talk, Sludge Bomb, Substitute, Synthesis, Toxic, Trick, Will-O-Wisp

Overview

A unique quality defining Pumpkaboo and its evolution is that they come in four different sizes: small, average, large, and super. In the case of Pumpkaboo, greater sizes have more HP and less Speed, while the inverse is true for smaller sizes. (Note, however, that Gourgeist is different in that its Attack stat is also affected by size (like HP but less significantly).)

Regardless what size it is, Pumpkaboo is quite obviously the bulkiest (and fastest) Pokémon of its typing, although not quite the strongest. That’s not saying much, though, because Phantump is the only other Pokémon in the tier that shares its typing. This odd typing grants it some nice resistances in Water, Electric, Grass, and Ground, along with immunity to Normal and Fighting. However, it should be wary of Fire, Ice, Flying, Ghost, and Dark, some of which are unfortunately common coverage types on Pokémon that Pumpkaboo would otherwise be able to check effectively.

Regarding the differences between sizes, it’s actually not only a difference in stats, but also a difference in ideal EV investments. Shown below is an idea of what such investments might look like, all centered around the same raw idea of maximizing defenses while pooling the rest into HP and Speed. The resulting stats factor in an Impish nature.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.25.20 PM

You can see that the Average and Large sizes are exactly the same, although in the case of Large, you could shift 1 point from Speed to Attack by transferring the EVs accordingly. Meanwhile, Super size clearly has optimal bulk but slightly low Speed, while Small size sacrifices bulk for slightly greater Speed.

The difference in Speed may not seem like much, but it is enough to get a jump on Jolly Tirtouga and cripple it with Will-O-Wisp before it gets off a Shell Smash. Better yet, variants faster than Super size don’t have the problem of speed-tying with the bulky attacker variant of Porygon. It’s difficult to justify using Average or Large size, though, considering they’re both lukewarm in comparison to Small and Super (like how Hitmonchan is to Hitmonlee and Hitmontop), not to mention their stats match closely enough that they might as well be interchangeable (and Average is objectively worse than Large (notwithstanding Insomnia, which is relatively useless because Spore and Sleep Powder—to which Pumpkaboo is immune thanks to being Grass-type—are the only usable sleep-inducing moves in the tier) because Large has the flexibility of transferring Speed EVs to Attack, as mentioned earlier).

Also keep in mind that Small is the only size capable of reaching 24 Speed with a Choice Scarf, speed-tying with base 55-62 Choice Scarf users (such as Bunnelby and Wailmer) and cutting past base 43-52 (such as Darumaka and Inkay), as well as tying with +2 Tirtouga.

Moving on from the differences between sizes, Pumpkaboo seems like a bit of an unfortunate case in several facets. First and foremost, its Attack stat is superior to its Special Attack stat, but its special movepool is arguably better. Second, it may be respectably bulky, regardless of size, but it lacks reliable recovery beyond Synthesis and is easily worn down by Knock Off. Third, although it is one of only two Grass-types capable of inflicting Burn (and it’s not hard to guess the other), its most reliable method of inflicting Burn—Will-O-Wisp—has an annoying 15% chance to miss, meaning its effectiveness as a check to anything is not entirely set in stone.

The first point is not to say that its physical movepool is entirely barren, though. In fact, it has some neat tools in Shadow Sneak and Bullet Seed for picking off weakened foes and breaking through Sturdy / Focus Sash, respectively. The physical side also contains its best coverage move against the likes of Vullaby: Rock Slide.

In a nutshell, if you ever plan on using Pumpkaboo, be sure to stray away from Average and Large, and be mindful of Super size’s bulk advantage and Small size’s Speed advantage.

Set 1 (Super size)

Pumpkaboo-Super @ Eviolite
Ability: Frisk
Level: 5
EVs: 204 HP / 36 Def / 236 SpD / 28 Spe
Careful Nature
– Will-O-Wisp
– Bullet Seed
– Shadow Sneak
– Synthesis

Although the EVs provided are contrary to the ones listed above, I came to realize that a defensive stat spread of 25/14/16 would be more optimal because it gets more mileage out of Eviolite (compare 25/21/24 (this set) to 23/25/22 (previously mentioned EVs)) and gives Download Porygon an Attack boost upon switch-in. Plus, base 59 HP, while above average, isn’t all that high.

Will-O-Wisp is what makes Pumpkaboo unique as a Grass-type. Its STAB moves in Bullet Seed and Shadow Sneak may seem weak at first glance, but the former breaks through Sturdy and Focus Sash, while the latter picks off weakened foes. All things considered, base 66 Attack is pretty good for a wall in LC, let alone of this caliber. Synthesis is Pumpkaboo’s most reliable form of recovery, allowing it to stick around longer if the situation calls for it.

Item choice is Eviolite for optimizing longevity, while Frisk is the ability of choice for scouting items and potentially sets (and because its other two abilities are essentially useless).

Set 2 (Small size)

Pumpkaboo-Small @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Frisk
Level: 5
EVs: 4 HP / 228 Atk / 36 Def / 228 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Trick
– Will-O-Wisp
– Bullet Seed
– Rock Slide

Small Pumpkaboo is (unfortunately) the fastest LC Pokémon with the combination of Frisk and Trick (although Noibat, which has Switcheroo instead, has just as much max Speed). This combination is helpful in that the user can detect a potential Choice-item-for-Choice-item swap and act accordingly. Pumpkaboo keeps Will-O-Wisp around, even in an offensive set like this, in case it has already Tricked its Scarf to one opponent and wants to cripple another. On the other hand, if Pumpkaboo still has the Scarf, the move in question may be used to surprise a physical attacker that it would not normally be able to outspeed. Bullet Seed is arguably its best STAB move, while Rock Slide grants it coverage against pretty much any non-Steel-type resistant to Bullet Seed (while also being helpful in its flinch chance in conjunction with Choice Scarf).

EVs are pooled chiefly into physical offense, with a Speed-boosting nature because Pumpkaboo (even Small size) doesn’t have the best Speed out there, and the rest are thrown into its HP and Defense just in case.

Other Options

Fire Blast—with the help of Life Orb, non-hindering nature, and 4 EVs—is capable of OHKOing offensive variants of Pawniard and dealing heavy damage to other variants. This is helpful in that Pawniard normally poses quite a threat to Pumpkaboo, even if you factor in the possibility of Will-O-Wisp. Destiny Bond could be a neat little surprise on the Scarf set if Pumpkaboo wishes to bring an opponent down with it, although it is questionable considering Pumpkaboo’s overall bulk and relative lack of Speed. …That’s all that comes to mind.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/XZa2hfRH – Super size Pumpkaboo team

http://pastebin.com/EA6sRQRw – Small Pumpkaboo team

Once again, no time to test because it’s dangerously close to midnight.

The first team contains:

  • Pumpkaboo (set 1 above)
  • Chinchou for defensive synergy
  • Archen to set up Stealth Rock
  • Vulpix for Fire offense and sun support, aiding Pumpkaboo’s Synthesis
  • Shellder to clear opposing hazards
  • Diglett as a trapper and sort of revenge killer

The second team contains:

  • Pumpkaboo (set 2 above)
  • Chinchou for typing synergy
  • Ponyta to complete the FWG core
  • Archen for Stealth Rock
  • Shellder for spinning
  • Diglett for trapping

Block-a-Pix, another new Conceptis puzzle (Thought Dump Thursday 6/16/16)

The last time Conceptis introduced a new logic puzzle was late February 2015, when they introduced Cross-a-Pix (which has become one of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite). Now, in 2016, yet another new form of puzzle is introduced: Block-a-Pix. Unfortunately, due to…well, everything that’s happened since the beginning of freaking May, I couldn’t put together a blog post as close to this release date as I could with that of Cross-a-Pix; instead, I had to do so more than a month after the introduction of the new puzzle format (which was early May). Still, better late than never.

Block-a-Pix, at a glance, seems a lot like Link-a-Pix. Comes in B/W or color, numbers littered all over the board… The difference, however, lies in what happens to those numbers as the puzzle progresses towards its solution. Instead of having to connect two numbers with a link that covers a certain number of squares, the number is surrounded by a rectangular formation with an area equivalent to the number. Also, unlike Link-a-Pix, you shouldn’t have any blank squares whatsoever once the puzzle is completed.

Let’s look at an example:

First off, these sorts of puzzles normally have “dead giveaway” clues, and Block-a-Pix is no exception. What I mean is that we can go ahead and fill in all the 1s, because doing so would create a 1-square formation around the 1, just as the rules dictate.

Now, here’s an important point to consider: if a number is prime (i.e., can only be divided evenly by itself and 1), then it must be surrounded by a Nx1 or 1xN rectangle, where N is the number in question. For instance, the 5 in the top-right corner must be surrounded by a 5×1 or 1×5 rectangle. (For non-prime numbers, however, you have to consider the possible factors; e.g., hypothetically speaking, a rectangular region surrounding the number 24 could be 24×1, 12×2, 8×3, 6×4, 4×6, 3×8, 2×12, or 1×24.)

Something else to consider: when surrounding a number by a rectangular region, the other numbers become obstacles. For instance, a rectangular region surrounding the 15 on the far right cannot extend beyond the 15th column because of the 2s to the immediate left of the 15. Additionally, the 3 in the top-left corner can only be surrounded by a rectangular region extended downward, because the 2 to its right is too close to the 3.

Keeping this sort of dead-end logic in mind, you should end up with something like this (or something more complete if you’re like me and like to work ahead):

I mentioned before that there should be no blank squares on the board, which brings me to my next point: if there are blank spaces that can only be filled with one particular number, use that number to fill that space. Here are a few examples I can think of:

  • row 2 column 2 covered by the nearby 2
  • row 1 column 6 covered by the gray 5 to the right
  • row 1 column 12 covered by the 2 below
  • row 3 column 14 covered by the 6 above
  • row 4 column 2 covered by the gray 4 to the right
  • row 10 column 13 covered by the gray 2 to the right
  • rows 14-15 column 12 covered by the 8 to the left

Keeping that in mind, the board should end up looking like this:

I trust that this explanation will suffice for solving the rest of the puzzle.

Here is what the puzzle should look like once it has been completed: https://i.gyazo.com/f42be22a4e5a6ae577034d41b5b23663.png

 

Nowi Wins That takes care of my explanation of this new puzzle format. It is quite fun, especially more so than Link-a-Pix. I hope this post has been of use somehow, and y’all have fun solving puzzles!

Tyranitar (Poké Monday on Thursday 6/9/16)

Better late than never.

  RNG (Tyranitar)

Tyranitar
Tier: OU
Type: Rock/Dark
Base Stats: 100 HP, 134 Atk, 110 Def, 95 Sp.Atk, 100 Sp.Def, 61 Speed
Abilities: Sand Stream, Unnerve (hidden)

Mega Tyranitar
Tier: OU
Type: Rock/Dark
Base Stats: 100 HP, 164 Atk, 150 Def, 95 Sp.Atk, 120 Sp.Def, 71 Speed
Ability: Sand Stream

Usable moves: Ancient Power, Aqua Tail, Avalanche, Blizzard, Body Slam, Brick Break, Crunch, Dark Pulse, Double-Edge, Dragon Claw, Dragon Dance, Dragon Pulse, Dragon Tail, Earth Power, Earthquake, Façade, Fire Blast, Fire Fang, Fire Punch, Flamethrower, Focus Blast, Foul Play, Frustration, Hidden Power (Grass), Hone Claws, Ice Beam, Ice Fang, Ice Punch, Iron Head, Low Kick, Outrage, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Pursuit, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Shadow Claw, Sleep Talk, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Superpower, Surf, Taunt, Thunder, Thunderbolt, Thunder Punch, Thunder Wave, Toxic

Overview

This is Tyranitar. Being a pseudo-legend, it has been a prominent force in the OU tier since its debut, especially in Generation III when it was given the ability Sand Stream. This ability allows it to conjure a sandstorm (hence the video above) when it switches in, which has the following notable effects:

  • Damaging Pokémon without Rock-, Ground-, or Steel-typing by 1/16 HP per turn (which obviously helps Tyranitar but may hinder teammates)
  • Granting a 1.5x Special Defense boost to Rock-types
  • Supporting Pokémon with the ability Sand Rush, such as Excadrill (and, on a less relevant note, helping Sand Force and Sand Veil users)

The second effect is especially notable; 100/110/100 bulk is already impressive, even if you take Tyranitar’s 7 weaknesses (including one 4x weakness) into account, and added special bulk on top of that just becomes ridiculous. (Not Chansey-level ridiculous in terms of special bulk, but Tyranitar’s natural physical bulk makes up for that.) Moreover, its respectable base 134 Attack allows it to lay a heavy hit on whatever crosses its path, and its usable base 95 Special Attack allows it to run Fire Blast or Ice Beam to blast away would-be defensive checks like Ferrothorn or Landorus-Therian (respectively). (Alternatively, it can run Fire Punch or Ice Punch if it decides to go purely physical.) However, Tyranitar has one problem apart from its 4x Fighting weakness: its Speed. Base 61 is rather slow, and not even having access to Dragon Dance can quite remedy that. In fact, even some walls—including Skarmory, Heatran, and Mega Venusaur—are faster than that.

In Generation VI, even though the lack of permanent weather caused the supportiveness of Tyranitar to take a hit, the rocky beast was given a Mega Evolution (as if it really needed one) that amplifies its bulk to 100/150/120, bumps its base Attack up to 164, and increases its Speed to a slightly better base 71. The Speed boost may not seem like much, but it is enough to cut past base 70s before Dragon Dance and base 116-130 after a Dragon Dance (assuming Jolly nature). That’s about it, though, sadly. The lack of freedom of item choice is a bit of a bummer, as it is with all Mega Evolutions, for which reason Dragon Dance is the only real way to justify running Mega Tyranitar over non-Mega Tyranitar.

Something to keep in mind, though, is that Tyranitar is not the only Pokémon with Sand Stream. The one other option is Hippowdon, which has the following advantages and disadvantages:

+: better typing with much fewer weaknesses
+: slightly better bulk on the physical side
+: reliable recovery in Slack Off
-: typing also has fewer resistances
-: less special bulk (especially factoring in sand)
-: STAB has immunities
-: not quite as strong
-: unusable Special Attack stat
-: noticeably slower
-: no Mega

If the three advantages listed above seem more appealing than what Tyranitar has to offer, go ahead and use Hippowdon instead. Otherwise, stick with Tyranitar.

Set (regular)

Tyranitar @ Smooth Rock
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 248 HP / 80 Def / 180 SpD
Relaxed Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Stone Edge
– Pursuit
– Ice Beam

EV spread was taken from the good ol’ Strategy Dex because I don’t claim any know-how when it comes to defensive investment. The HP and Defense EVs allow it “to survive an Earthquake from +1 Dragonite”, and the rest of the EVs are put into Special Defense for the obvious reason of the set being defensive. Chosen nature is Relaxed so that it can keep its bulk as high as possible without sacrificing offensive power from its dual STABs or Ice Beam.

The point of this set is to conjure an 8-turn sandstorm courtesy of Smooth Rock, lay down Stealth Rock, and wear down the opposition. (The second step may not be absolutely necessary, but it is recommended.) Stone Edge is its strongest STAB, Pursuit allows it to trap opposing Pokémon that fear it, and Ice Beam gives it an easier time against Ground-type walls.

Set (Mega)

Tyranitar @ Tyranitarite
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Stone Edge
– Crunch
– Fire Punch

As mentioned before, Dragon Dance is the one justification to using Mega Tyranitar over regular Tyranitar—primarily due to the extra Speed, but also for a bit of extra bulk. The move in question grants this sandy dino +1 in Attack and Speed, patching up its poor (even after Mega) Speed and making it hit harder. Stone Edge and Crunch are its strongest STABs, while Fire Punch is there chiefly to prevent bulky Steels (e.g., Ferrothorn) from ending its reign of terror.

EVs and nature are obviously focused on physical offense, maximizing Speed above all else. Item choice is also obvious, because you can’t have Mega Tyranitar without Tyranitarite.

Other Options

If you need immediate power or speed, slap a Choice Band or Scarf (respectively) on Tyranitar to watch it break down walls or revenge kill (respectively) without having to set up.

Other offensive options include Superpower and Ice Punch. The latter lets it hit bulky Ground-types on physical sets, while the former deals more damage to Bisharp and opposing Tyranitar than any other move. Fire Blast is an option on the support set if roasting bulky Steels seems more appealing than having an answer to certain Ground-types.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/x2QkuA5w – regular Tyranitar team

http://pastebin.com/U19iuNni – Mega Tyranitar team

Because I wanted to get this post done before the end of the day, these teams have not undergone any testing whatsoever; keep that in mind.

The regular Tyranitar team contains:

  • Tyranitar (set above)
  • Excadrill for hazard control and sweeping with sand support
  • Amoonguss for defensive synergy with Tyranitar, and as an answer to bulky Waters
  • Talonflame for priority and wrecking Grass-types
  • Keldeo for wrecking Ground-types
  • Chansey for walling and clerical support

The Mega Tyranitar team contains:

  • Mega Tyranitar (set above)
  • Talonflame for priority and wrecking Grass-types
  • Keldeo for wrecking Ground-types
  • Skarmory for physical walling and setting up Spikes
  • Chansey for defensive synergy with Skarmory
  • Latios for hazard control and Scarf Trick

Back from hiatus! Anniversary potpourri (Thought Dump Thursday 6/2/16)

If nothing else, I’ve taken care of the class that I was having trouble with (or at least I think I did; I still haven’t received a grade yet, but I believe I did as well as I could). While I am still job hunting, I certainly feel more free than I did before I went on hiatus.

Nowi Wins So, I’ll take a moment to make this post as a (somewhat late) celebration of the second anniversary of my first post on this blog! Nowi Wins

 

Where to start? Phoenotopia, of course! I recently established a new personal best in 100% – 1:48:16 RTA [1h 50m IGT].

Here’s a Q&A: http://pastebin.com/sK8RvDXZ
and here are some notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sh24AIMHZMOGKP0edweEL-G83qpGomCSB275pOzAKbE/edit?usp=sharing

I don’t have a detailed route this time, just a set of notes that I use to make sure everything has been accounted for.

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

First off, I wish to go over the new strats that have been introduced to the route:

  • Instead of Sunflower Road dupes, dupe in Duri Forest frog room [7:49] and break the eastern Sunflower Road chest normally [13:15] (Door Push to bypass the first key door [6:00])
  • Move Bandits’ Lair “pit of hell” moonstone to backtrack (was planned to be implemented, but I ended up making a mistake and having to improvise my way out of it [19:46])
  • Pot Head Clip through barricade for second key (in Bandits’ Lair) [21:05]; use Tumond near the end of Daea prison [42:44]
  • Swat at the Ghost Wasp swarm on the way to Misty Gorge Heart Ruby instead of standing still and letting them attack [27:53]
  • In Daea, use Pot Head Clipping to obtain the first moonstone as opposed to the intended way (Remember to let the chest rest on your head before jumping!) [33:57]
  • Substitute Daea sewer dupe for Cell CIII dupe (20 extra Rai) [38:01]
  • Move KMG Heart Ruby over to Prince Tower backtrack [1:29:13]
  • Door Push to obtain the moonstone past the O-door in Dread Lands prior to backtracking (also removes the need to obtain the extra O-key) [51:16]
  • Pot Head Clip past the second X-door (in Dread Lands) with the moonstone pot on the same screen [53:26] (note that backtracking requires another Pot Head Clip, although not necessarily with the pot [1:36:43])
  • Move buying the Gold Bar from Atai 3 to Atai 4 (To get to the shop 2F quickly, do a speedy midair throw with the Javelin from the first impermeable roof on the left) [1:18:48]
  • Extra Honey for Atai well (starting at the barricades (actually revised to a later point [1:10:13]); Pot Head Clip [1:09:41] instead of going for the switches)
  • Save Lab moonstone in Panselo [1:15:14] for last; use the Pot Head Clipping method [1:14:31] to get the other two
  • For Sunflower Road west moonstone, find two leaves positioned the same horizontally and hover from the top leaf [1:16:58]
  • Do Misty Gorge 2 before Adar’s House 2 so that the honey boost from Atai 4 carries over to the Translucent Meat farm (making it faster) (once again, was planned to be implemented, but I decided to change course because I got the Translucent Meat early)
  • Major rerouting of Forgotten Forest (https://youtu.be/HuJOc5yglcM, but preferably with pressure plate puzzle over Javelin Bomb Jump) [1:37:37]

I will totally admit that the run has its fair share of execution faults (and I’m especially bitter that I failed Arc Skip of all things [1:03:11]), but I don’t think there’s any way that I can improve the route any further. I have to say, though, it’s good to know that Pot Head Clipping and Door Pushing have uses beyond the applications through which I discovered them. Pot Head Clipping in particular has become a lot more useful, especially now that I found out two things about it that I didn’t know before:

  1. You can clip past a key door from the left, even with nothing behind you (but when you clip from the right, there does have to be something behind you)
  2. If the container on your head contains a moonstone or inventory item, performing the clip while the container is stationary will cause Gale to collect the item and jump afterwards.

The following GIFs below (captured using Giphy) demonstrate both of the above points at once.

It’s gone a long way from having more use clipping out of bounds than saving time, to be sure.

Also, when developing the route, I didn’t completely factor in what would happen if you were to obtain Translucent Meat from the Ghost Wasp swarm guarding the Misty Gorge Heart Ruby. It’s easy, though: just do the delivery and Sandwich stuff a bit earlier. It throws the route a bit out of whack, but not to an irreparable extent.

Additionally, while I was rehearsing and fine-tuning the movements required for ideal execution, I found some tricks that will prove to be useful in improving my any% time as well:

  • Charge-attacking the toads at 3:47
  • The movement tech at 6:16
  • Because of the nature of the rubble between Adar’s House and the bomb cave (at 17:33), I now know that it’s better to not use a Jar of Honey until after blowing up that rubble.
  • Getting more risky with the dog and guard at 37:37
  • A better way to initiate the “guard gauntlet” (as I call it) at 40:11
  • Minor optimization for the first floor of Prince Tower (at 43:32)
  • Picking up the bomb at 50:46 and using it to blow up the rolling bombs at 50:52 (faster than using any inventory item)
  • The Pot Head Clip to skip the second X-door in Dread Lands (best demonstrated at 1:36:43) is useful for any% as well
  • Pulling out a bomb (like at 1:02:44) in order to make it easier to break the set of crates containing the one E-Soda in the route
  • Using bombs like the one placed at 1:44:08 to disable the smaller eyes of Big Eye without having to shine the Artifact on them (as I witnessed in a rehearsal run, this could lead to defeating Big Eye before it gets to its second phase of ropes and spheres)

Keeping these tips in mind, I was doing a bit of practice on any%, and I vividly recall that I ended up with 55m in-game time. The question remains whether sub-53 RTA is possible, however. That said, I feel like it is possible, but at the same time, I have this lingering suspicion that it will take a while to grind.

The most important fact about Phoenotopia that I have to share, however, is as follows: Loot Duping is not pixel-perfect; it has a three-pixel window. As such, I apologize for all the posts and runs in which I assumed otherwise. On the bright side, this fact makes it so that I don’t have to waste as much time Loot Duping on average. In light of recently discovering this fact, I created a new document based on what loot containers can and cannot be duped (which is like the Loot Dupe Positioning document that I had formerly compiled, but more detailed and with a few more loot containers that I missed):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VYxyuETFRONT9WAC8PD5IbJn6rz2mora7GUP_IMzq-k/edit?usp=sharing

 

Second, here’s a rundown of my progress through Fire Emblem Fates (Birthright). I’ve made it to Chapter 27, with only one unit lost but several resets along with that. I tried to make it with as few resets as possible, but most, if not all, of the resets were on the grounds of being fatally unprepared.

One particular example I can think of is in Mitama’s paralogue. The thing is, when I play Fire Emblem, I usually play on the defensive, taking into consideration the potential damage outputs of all enemies and using that insight to take an action that would make all my units statistically incapable of dying (if possible). However, this sort of mentality meant that protecting the building in the middle of the area was something that never crossed my mind, and that led me to realize a vital fact that I learned the hard way: if an Adventurer reaches that building, it’s instantly destroyed. When this happened on my first run-through, I could not accept the fate of never meeting Azama’s child, so I saw fit to reset. On the second run-through, though, I went on the offensive (as much as I could, anyway), making sure that Azama (and Rinkah) made it to the building as soon as possible, and it worked out much better.

Another such example is in Chapter 23, wherein I carelessly sent Caeldori and Kiragi as far up from the far right as I possibly could, thinking it would be completely fine. However, I learned the hard way that Camilla had access to a trio of Dragon Veins right beside her, a vital fact that I didn’t notice before I ended turn 1. The veins in question trigger heat waves that deal exactly 10 damage to allied units—and destroy obstacles—in the path thereof, and the fact of the heat waves destroying obstacles was what led my unfortunate pair to winding up in fatal danger. I felt that I could not accept this fate because I had no prior knowledge of those Dragon Veins whatsoever, even though I could have (although I probably wouldn’t have guessed that the Dragon Vein had the side effect of destroying obstacles), hence the reset. Also, the fact that those Dragon Veins can be used infinitely makes the situation all the more frustrating.

Anyway, regarding the loss that I actually accepted, it was the unfortunate and irreplaceable death of Azura, in Asugi’s paralogue. This paralogue in general was a toughie, forcing me to play more aggressively than I would normally deem comfortable. In spite of this, there was a point in the mission where I felt like I could rest easy for a moment…at least, that’s what I thought, until an Adventurer on the left side opened the door closest to the boss, and some Sniper—whom I hadn’t factored in at all—was in range of Azura and straight OHKO’d her. I could have avoided the chance of the OHKO (and maybe avoided the OHKO altogether) if she had been wielding the Dual Nagitana in her inventory, but the enemy had just come out of left field, and it’s normal to want to have a 1-2 range weapon (Bolt Nagitana) equipped by default when it comes to emergency situations like that. Plus, I just didn’t want to reset on that one because I couldn’t be bothered to do the whole mission again from scratch.

To end off this section, here is an updated unit overview. All pairs are S-rank unless specified otherwise. Also, I decided to remove prize units (and bond units) because I can’t be bothered to list all of them, considering I have the maximum allowable quantity.

  • Draco (Lv.21 Hoshido Noble) + Hinoka (Lv.21 Falcon Knight)
  • Shigure (Lv.18 Falcon Knight) + Kana (Lv.17 Hoshido Noble)
  • Rinkah (Lv.16 Blacksmith) + Azama (Lv.18 Great Master)
  • Oboro (Lv.17 Spear Master) + Saizo (Lv.18 Master Ninja)
  • Asugi (Lv.16 Mechanist) + Sophie (Lv.15 Great Knight)
  • Caeldori (Lv.11 Falcon Knight) + Kiragi (Lv.12 Sniper)
  • Hisame (Lv.13 Swordmaster) + Rhajat (Lv.33 Witch)
  • Hayato (Lv.14 Basara) + Sakura (Lv.13 Onmyoji)
  • Setsuna (Lv.8 Sniper) + Takumi (Lv.7 Kinshi Knight)
  • Kaden (Lv.6 Nine-Tails) + Hana (Lv.6 Master of Arms)
  • Silas (Lv.5 Paladin) + Mozu (Lv.5 Merchant)
  • Felicia (Lv.30 Maid) [married Hinata when he was alive]
  • Subaki (Lv.7 Kinshi Knight) [married Azura when she was alive]
  • Kagero (Lv.2 Mechanist) [married Kaze when he was alive]
  • Mitama (Lv.5 Priestess)
  • Selkie (Lv.4 Nine-Tails)
  • Yukimura (Lv.10 Mechanist)
  • Shura (Lv.10 Adventurer)
  • Izana (Lv.5 Onmyoji)
  • Ryoma (Lv.4 Swordmaster)
  • Jakob (Lv.13 Butler)
  • Reina (Lv.2 Kinshi Knight)
  • Scarlet (Lv.1 Wyvern Lord)

 

Finally, some brief talk about the anime that I’m currently watching this season.

  • Uchuu Patrol Luluco – The story of a “normal” girl who goes through some wacky adventures involving interplanetary stuff. Think Kill la Kill but with a more Mako-like protagonist and 7-minute episodes.
  • Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu”, Igi Ari! – Animated Phoenix Wright. I enjoy it, although I find the art style to be a little unsettling. It seems to follow the games very closely, although I haven’t played past the Steel Samurai case, so everything beyond that case is kind of a fresh experience for me. (Even then, it’s been a while since then, so it was nice to have a refresher as well.)
  • Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 2nd season – Not much difference from the first season except less ecchi and more seriousness. I guess I’ve warmed up to some of the characters (especially the ones whom I initially disliked or overlooked), Saya is still best girl, and I’ve settled on a true worst girl. I won’t spoil anything further because I plan on doing a full review of this in the near future.
  • Boku no Hero AcademiaDon’t watch an anime called Boku. Just kidding; this anime’s great. It’s about superheroes and stuff, like One Punch Man but with a more fledgeling protagonist. Can confirm that frog girl is best girl. (She needs more screentime, though.)
  • Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Where the protagonist is given a mulligan every time he dies…apparently. I didn’t think much of this anime when I watched the first episode of it, but when I noticed it getting popular, I decided to delve further into it, and now I can understand its popularity…at least to an extent. Incidentally, I didn’t realize until episode 2 or 3 that I had actually read 11 chapters of the manga, although that was so long ago that the only memories that I used to make the connection were based on the thief girl and the bulky dark-skinned man. In short, it’s kind of a slow start, but it gets great.

 

Nowi Wins That’s all for today! Vouiv-review is back on its regular schedule until I say otherwise!