Back in the groove? (Whimsical Weekend #25)

Follow-up of WW#24

Remember when I complained about not being able to get a satisfactory New Game Plus run? I ended up getting it two weeks after doing so.

I mean, “satisfactory” is a subjective term here, because I recall the run being imperfect, particularly because it uses safety strats for Big Eye. (5 out of 5 YOLO attempts were unsuccessful, and I got fed up with losing runs to that.) Even so, it’s not something that I would improve purely on a whim, which about sums up what I consider “satisfactory.”

In addition, just now, I did a “satisfactory” Hundo Plus (formerly 200%) run:

The most annoying part was the Big Eye fight (at 1:02:05 in the run), which is a sample of the crap that I had to put up with in NG+ YOLO attempts. Even though I used safety strats that are normally consistent, the last hit of my flurry landed practically one frame too late. (No, stopping to move forward after being blown away is not a mistake.) Actually, the gist of it is, even though I’m spamming the X key as fast as I can, it feels like a few of the inputs are being dropped for whatever reason. I honestly have no freaking clue.

And even aside from that, there were several other flubs, notably:

  • Atai Bridge, screen 2 and onward (8:57) – The fast strats at Atai Bridge involve two precise Javelin throws. The first (9:03) took me 27 seconds, and the second (9:54) took me 10 seconds.
  • Atai City dark room (10:24) – Oops, I fell.
  • Bandits’ Lair pit (16:22) – Suboptimal. My first Ki Spear throw missed, and the enemies were irritating.
  • Prince Tower floor 6 (32:45) – My first time doing the Javelin arrow jump up to the final ladder, I was an incomprehensible quantity of pixels too far to the right of the ladder to grab it.
  • Forgotten Forest pressure plate puzzle (52:40) – Started off well, but then it got strange when I tried to hold down the final two pressure plates. (Like, that arched bridge just didn’t want me to get off.)
  • Forgotten Forest moonstone 5 (55:44) – I tried a new strat, but at the final hover, I didn’t move right fast enough to get to the intended platform (the one that I barely missed).

But, if I had to bring up an outstanding part of the run, it’s the part of Ancient’s Crater starting at 1:01:05. Golem Skip was flawless (probably the cleanest of my life); I stopped at a lovely position, immediately threw the Bomb the right distance, and didn’t get bounced back by the Red Golem corpse. Plus, Harpy Skip was also first try.

Oh, and the routing is certainly unique. Here are some notes that I took while routing the category: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15mXBKUwC1Ch9vNuR-EeJTwbq6RcInYX90TZoWLDr9MU/edit?usp=sharing

Notably, setting up the save file actually involves putting the Artifact in one of the inventory slots. Why? One of the Heart Rubies in Dread Lands requires the Artifact to get. To access Dread Lands, you have to talk to Leo to receive the Artifact Shard, which takes the place of the Artifact among the tools (even if you already have the Artifact), at which point you can no longer equip the Artifact. Now, you could have the Artifact equipped before you talk to Leo, in order to be able to use the Artifact even if you have the Artifact Shard. The problem with that, however, is that you need some sort of explosive to get past the cracked floors on the way to the Dread Lands Heart Ruby, making it impossible to keep the Artifact all the way to where it’s needed. Fortunately, if you have the Artifact somewhere else in your inventory (which is only possible by hacking the save password), you can still quick-equip it. TL;DR – The inventory Artifact prevents having to backtrack through Dread Lands. (Sadly, there’s nothing of the sort to speed up the stinking love letter delivery quest between Atai City and Panselo. I could explain in detail, but I won’t do it here.)

I also want to mention: Thanks to a YouTube comment I received three weeks ago (between WW#24 and the NG+ run), I figured out a new strat for Big Robot:

(In the NG+ and Hundo Plus runs, I expedited the process using the Javelin, but non-password categories don’t have that luxury.)

Sadly, this means that literally every other run I’ve done of this game (meme categories aside) could use 30-odd seconds of improvement. (In fact, I’m inclined to believe that any% could potentially be ground to sub 50. If I get into that category again, also expect Daea to Prince Tower movement to be improved.)

But before that, my next target is a run of Diamond Skin, followed by a run of Most Dangerous Arsenal. Glad to be not tangled up in such an intense category as NG+, at least for the time being.

6/6/18 EDIT: Actually, the converse would be a better idea. Diamond Skin still needs routing, whereas I already have a full route for MDA.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

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Speedrunning is hard (Whimsical Weekend #24)

Honestly. On the Phoenotopia leaderboard, there are now 10 total categories: 3 main and 7 miscellaneous. I aim to get a satisfactory time in every established category (notwithstanding subcategories), and I wanted to get one in New Game + (more on that later) before the writing of this article, but the process is so painstaking that I ended up preferring to prioritize writing over grinding. So, here are some miscellaneous categories that I’ve established since the last time I reported:

Diamond Skin

Named after the medal of the same name, this category involves increasing maximum HP to 99—that is, collecting all 23 Heart Rubies and consuming five Chocolate Protein Shakes. I was initially reluctant about establishing this category because one of the Heart Rubies requires 40 moonstones, but later on I thought, “Ah, what the heck.” I mean, it’s a safer category, and the existing categories are not particularly minimalistic about Heart Ruby collecting.

I have not yet started routing this, and it will be at the bottom of my priority list.

Cheat%

For this category and the next two, kudos to fellow Flash game runner Jhynjhiruu for programming a command line tool to decrypt and modify save passwords (it’s on the Resources page of the leaderboard, under Tools, named Phoenomanager). Jhyn also did a Reddit post with a detailed explanation of the intricacies of the save password system. With this tool and information handy, I decided to establish categories revolving around files created by save passwords. (Admittedly, I took inspiration from the SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom leaderboard for the category names.)

Cheat% means getting to the final cutscene from any save file, any at all. The only thing you absolutely have to do to get there is view the cutscene before it, where Billy revives a Phoenix weapon. The simplest appropriate save password meets the following criteria (according to the aforementioned Reddit post):

  • Spawn in room 193 (the room where the cutscene begins)
  • Game time of 50 or so (this is needed for the cutscene trigger)
  • Spawn at point [x = 1100, y = 242] (roughly the location of the cutscene trigger)

The issue is: When you finish the cutscene and get to the escape sequence, you’ll notice immediately that the camera stays in one spot and does not follow Gale. This happens because, if Big Eye is not yet defeated, the camera is bound to a particular set of coordinates, which is…inconvenient, to be sure.

For this reason, and due to the fact that major glitches are not necessary for anything past or including Big Eye, I decided to use the No Major Glitches subcategory to split two types of Cheat% runs: those that involve defeating Big Eye (No Major Glitches), and those that don’t (Standard).

For runs involving Big Eye, it is ideal to spawn in room 192 (the Big Eye room) at point [x = 750, y = 236] (a ground location close enough to the leftmost of the mini eyes).

I did manage to get a decent run of Cheat% with No Major Glitches, clocking in at 3:15 RTA.

However, I don’t plan to do Standard any time soon, because learning the escape sequence blind seems like a huge pain. (It has potential to save 35 seconds over the NMG counterpart, though.)

Here is a Pastebin where I keep my cheat% save passwords: https://pastebin.com/1jqrc1ZJ

New Game Plus

Similar to any%, except starting from a mostly empty save file and with skipping the intro cutscene. By “mostly empty,” I mean: You start a new file, get the save password after the intro cutscene, and can only modify inventory (excluding keys), equipment, coins, and HP. This implies the following:

  • Spawn in room 5 (Gale’s bedroom)
  • Game time of 0
  • Starting point [x = 1724, y = 402] (where Gale starts off the first moment the player can control her)
  • General and Key arrays set completely false
  • Key codes unaltered

Anything I haven’t mentioned is insignificant and therefore will not be monitored in run validation.

As for skipping the intro cutscene, that’s something that I’ve always prohibited in the non-password categories, mostly because it provides unwelcome complication in starting a run. For password categories, however, the process of generating the appropriate save password is complicated enough per se that further complication is meaningless.

So, what part of New Game + is painstaking? Well, you could say that I have higher standards for it because it’s a shorter category than any% (by about 12 minutes). I mean, the only real thing that makes me want to reset per se is getting an extra cycle on any boss in the game. (Somehow, I’ve lost 3 runs to missing the one-cycle on Big Eye.) For other flubs, I add them up to determine whether to reset or keep going. Even so, they somehow quite often add up to an extent that aggravates me. (For example, there was a run where Harpy Skip took obscenely long and I failed the bomb puzzle after that.)

This is top priority, and the run is so close that I can almost taste it.

Resources

200% (renamed Hundo Plus as of May 24)

NG+ but with 100% collection rate. This is currently uncharted territory, but I’m looking forward to it. (There’s a whole lot to look into.)

Note: In spite of the name, you actually only have to add 90% to the collection rate, because you start off with 10% from having the Morning Star, Nebula Armlet, Lucky Belt, Blood Ring, and Ancient Armor from the get-go. The other 90% is Heart Rubies, moonstones, unlocking Mystery Bento, and restoring Aella’s memories.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

More Phoenotopia on my mind (Whimsical Weekend #21)

The root cause of this sudden flash (no pun intended) of inspiration is that the Phoenotopia dev blog announced in December 2017 the existence of a dedicated Discord server. The community grew quite a fair bit in the first few months, and there was even enough interest in speedrunning the game for a #speedrunning channel to be created. This made me consider that perhaps there is more to be done for the speedrun.com leaderboard.

For starters, there was talk about doing any% without buying the Iron Hammer. Low% would be an inaccurate name for the category because Phoenotopia’s percentage counter is independent of the Iron Hammer, but when I thought back to the Most Dangerous Arsenal miscellaneous category idea, it dawned on me. That’s when I decided to stop saving additional categories until I do runs of them (and that’s kinda unfair in the first place) and establish two new miscellaneous categories:

  • Most Dangerous Arsenal – Based on a medal of the same name, this category involves completely filling all the TOOLS and MISC slots in the pause menu. (P.S.: The armor slot must contain Ancient Armor.)
  • Least Dangerous Arsenal – Based on the previous category, this category involves beating the game with minimal equipment. This means that only the following items may occupy the TOOLS and MISC slots:
    • Wooden Bat
    • Slingshot
    • Artifact
    • Rolling Technique Scroll
    • Bombs
    • Rocket Boots
    • Javelin
    • Floatation Donut
    • Green Bracelet / Bandit Boss / Golem Head

I also established a No Major Glitches subcategory that prohibits the use of Loot Duping, Pot Head Clipping, and Door Pushing.

On top of that, remember when I said that All Heart Rubies was a bad idea? Well, I considered the coexistence of All Moonstones and Most Dangerous Arsenal. They are more similar than you’d think (you have to get 25 moonstones (for one of the Asteroid Rocks for the Morning Star) to complete MDA), and perhaps 100% and All Heart Rubies are in the same boat (you have to have 40 moonstones to obtain the Heart Ruby at Hidden Village), so…yeah, now All Heart Rubies is also established as a miscellaneous category.

In light of the newly established categories, I wanted to do a Most Dangerous Arsenal run, but several attempts yielded nothing satisfactory. Then February came along, a telltale sign that Flash Marathon III was drawing near. Thus, I decided to put MDA on hold and focus on All Moonstones. At first I figured that the category could use a bit of rerouting, which later led me to wanting to PB before the marathon. (If I ended up not getting the PB over this weekend, I would have discarded the idea and focused on practicing the no-reset and commentary-related aspects of the marathon run.) Thankfully, I ended up doing so.

I’m honestly still kinda irritated about how Forgotten Forest pressure plate puzzle went, but everything else was totally acceptable.

So, next up is practicing for the marathon (and, obviously, running in said marathon). Afterwards, I’m considering transitioning to Any% No Major Glitches (which, if there ever happens to be a fourth Flash marathon, will probably be my next marathon category of choice).

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Flash Game Speed Marathon: My marathon debut (Whimsical Weekend #11)

Two months ago, I talked about submitting for Memeathon X, specifically with an unofficial category of Phoenotopia that I call “69 HP RTA,” but my submission didn’t make it into the marathon.

Fortunately, not long before the end of March (I don’t remember the exact date), I happened upon a more esoteric submission form posted by Twitch user LaserTrap_ in the 360chrism Community Discord. That form was for a marathon initially named “Flash Games Done Quick,” but they had to change the name mid-marathon because “Games Done Quick” is trademarked. Regardless, considering that a vast majority of the games that I currently speedrun are Flash games, of course this marathon would be the perfect fit for me. So, I submitted Phoenotopia 100%, Rock Bottom All Levels, and Chompy All Levels; and I ended up being one of only seven runners in the marathon (including LaserTrap_).

It was my first time doing live commentary while speedrunning (granted I rehearsed a bit beforehand), but I’d say it went over pretty well. Highlights can be viewed below:

Phoenotopia [100%] in 1:47:16 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137592161

Rock Bottom [All Levels] in 7:53 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137592857

Chompy [All Levels] in 6:22 — https://www.twitch.tv/videos/137593444

(Other highlights of the marathon can be found at https://www.twitch.tv/lasertrap_/videos/highlights)

Because I rehearsed so little, it goes without saying that there was at least a little rust involved in all my runs. Prior to the week before the beginning of the marathon, it had been six months since my last Phoenotopia 100% WR (1:44:08), five months since my last Chompy WR (5:09), and three months since my last Rock Bottom WR (6:17).

Since the games that I ran are so fast-paced (well, not so much Phoenotopia, but still), I can’t remember off the top of my head where exactly I messed up in each run, but I do recall that I unfortunately didn’t get the 1-minute skip in level 14 of Rock Bottom. Also, apparently my keyboard doesn’t like me pressing down, right, and Numpad 0 at the same time, so I had a tiny bit of difficulty starting the timer for Chompy.

Another thing: I’m not used to talking in general, so running my mouth for practically two straight hours caused my voice to hurt over the weekend. Thankfully, though, it was nothing major.

Bottom line: I dragged myself into a change of pace by becoming part of an esoteric marathon, and the highlights linked above are the results.

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

New PC + speedgames (Whimsical Weekend #8)

PC

I never really made this evident in any of my recent Vouiv-review posts, but I recently built a new PC! I spent roughly $1600 on all the relevant components, and it’s been working very well ever since I got the Windows 10 Home product key and Ethernet cable.

20170129_184232

This is my current setup. It may not be the most complex setup in the universe, but it gives me just what I need. As you may or may not be able to tell, in front of my bed, just near the window, I have a swivel chair facing a single table with the tower off to the right (which unfortunately hides the insides from view) and keyboard and mouse + mousepad in front of a dual-monitor setup on top. Because the monitors are of different sizes and odd angles (the 25″ one being HP brand and the 22″ one being Sceptre brand), I had to use Heroscape tiles (from my childhood) to adjust the heights and angles to my liking.

Also, since it’s a new PC with a resolution differing from that of the MacBook Pro that I would otherwise normally use, I decided that I would use a different wallpaper as well.

It’s from the same series as my laptop and phone wallpapers (that being Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo), and this particular image is from volume 11 of the light novel.

Another funky thing about the dual monitor setup that I have is that not only are the monitors of different sizes and odd angles, but they also produced different sorts of output in their initial state. Thus, I had to tinker with the settings of the 22″ monitor in order to make the outputs as similar as they can be. Even so, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to see darker colors on the 25″ monitor (a fact that I first came to realize while playing around with Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b), although the 22″ monitor actually has a speaker (whereas the other monitor does not).

How great it is to have a dual monitor setup with Windows regardless; it allows me to multitask better than I ever have before. For example, I can have a Twitch stream up on the 25″ monitor, some other form of web browsing (which sometimes involves writing, such as this post to this current instant of typing) on the left side of the 22″ monitor, and email and/or some other utility on the other side of the 22″ monitor. (Sometimes, I even have Notepad in the bottom-right corner with the rightmost Chrome window in the top-right.)

Speedgames

Also thanks to the new PC, I find it easier to toy around with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) for better quality footage of the PC games that I usually speedrun (where I would otherwise have to use the MacBook Pro). I currently don’t have reliable sources for external audio or keyboard overlay with the PC like I do with the MacBook Pro, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. I mean, just look at this sample footage in the form of a demonstration of most of the first Prince Tower segment of Phoenotopia 100%:

The splits are just there on the side to show that I can use LiveSplit (while I would normally use Llanfair on Mac) to show all 35 splits at once. (I probably could have done something similar if not the same with Llanfair before, but I couldn’t be bothered to figure out that sort of thing.)

With that in mind, I might actually go back and improve my times in Phoenotopia (and maybe branch out to that one “Most Dangerous Arsenal” category that I mentioned in an earlier post, or maybe even the glitchless subcategory) with the new PC, and I’m heavily considering post-commentating the any% run so that I have a helpful video resource for that category (in a similar vein to the tutorial series that I made for 100%). However, the critical issue in that department is that I would have to get used to the mechanical keyboard. As it stands currently, I have a harder time performing brief inputs (notably short-hopping) with the mechanical keyboard than I have ever had with the MacBook Pro keyboard, so…yeah.

Phoenotopia Awakening Demo v0.06b

But hey, the original Phoenotopia wasn’t the first thing that I considered running on the new PC. As a matter of fact, not too long after I built the PC, demo version 0.06b of the upcoming remake (Phoenotopia Awakening) was released, and the first thing that I resolved to do was write a guide on the demo. The guide is totally completed (at least as far as I’m concerned) and can be viewed here, but…well, the developer’s most recent blog post says that download links for this particular build of the demo will be closed.

Regardless, while the game was fresh in my mind, of course I was the one to submit it on speedrun.com, and that even led me to submit a series entry for Phoenotopia. On the demo v0.06b leaderboard, I established three separate categories: any%, All Collectibles, and All Pearlstones. (I decided to make the third one a miscellaneous category because it’s less sensible of an objective than any% or All Collectibles (similarly to how All Moonstones is a miscellaneous category of the original Phoenotopia).)

By the way, All Collectibles constitutes the following (as far as I know):

  • 7 Anuri Pearlstones (should be left with 1 after unlocking all 6 frog seals)
  • 2 Heart Gems
  • 2 Moonstones (specifically from the breakable tomb and the Giant Slime)
  • 2 Antique Bracelets
  • Energy Gem
  • Slingshot
  • Crank Lamp
  • Bombs

My PBs in the three categories are 4:29, 10:27, and 6:58, respectively. My any% PB was initially 4:59, but a competitor with a 4:56 led me to rethink the route and improve my time.

Here be videos:

Rock Bottom

I don’t think I ever mentioned Rock Bottom in any of my blog posts, but that’s another game that I submitted to speedrun.com. To be honest, though, I didn’t continue beyond 7:45.97 for a long time, and it was back in early November 2016, before I had even bought the parts for the new PC, that I had established that time. Meanwhile, SRCom user CreepinAtMyDoor was out shredding my time to bits, even accidentally discovering a skip in level 14 that saves more than a minute, and ended up with a time of 6:22.1 before the end of that November. I felt at the time that WR was beyond recovery, but then, about a week ago, I had suddenly regained the inspiration to take it back. One day I got 6:35.43, the next day I got 6:30.67, and then finally I was able to take back the WR with 6:17.87 (after a 6:25 run that I opted against uploading).

This game is difficult as crud to optimize, so I am very happy with this time, even though I got spiked in level 12 (and at a very unconventional point too). Man, my heart was racing by the end of that run. Imagine what my reaction would have been if the recording had external audio. (The skip is at 4:15 in the video, by the way. If you miss the hard floor and hit the spongy surface, the run is pretty much over.)

Chompy

Another speedgame in my repertoire, although I haven’t run it since the time I submitted it to speedrun.com. My current record is 5:09.73, which notably includes two deaths in the 21-30 segment and a botched entry into level 11. So, even though I felt at the time that it was a solid run, there is still room for improvement, so I might actually try to get better.

Diamond Hollow II

This one is more of an up-in-the-air case. I don’t own the speedrun.com leaderboard of this game, and the owner of the leaderboard has been inactive for over a year (and it doesn’t help that said owner has no links to social accounts in his/her profile page). Currently there are four established categories:

  • Story Mode – Any% (all seven levels of Story Mode, anything goes)
  • Story Mode – New Save (all seven levels of Story Mode starting from fresh data)
    • The leaderboard owner also imposed a rule against “glitches,” but I honestly believe that the rule is arbitrarily imposed, especially considering the category name does not in any way imply the exclusion of glitches. Besides, I haven’t encountered anything resembling a “glitch” in the game, and I tried asking about it in the forum 9 months ago but still haven’t received a response.
  • Boss Rush – Normal
  • Boss Rush – Heroic

About two weeks ago, I submitted runs for Story Mode Any% and Boss Rush Normal, which can be viewed below:

I specified both real and in-game times because it was ambiguous which to go with, and I used real time as the submission time for the leaderboard because there was only one field.

I might do Story Mode New Save in the near future, but that seems like it would be difficult if not impossible to route out. (I’m thinking it will help to know all the Red Diamond locations, though.) Plus I would have to delete save data, and I’m reluctant to do so considering how long it took me to get a 100% completed file.

As for Boss Rush Heroic…no. No. Never. Forget speedrunning that category; I can’t even beat it casually!

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now.

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

Phoenotopia speedrunning: resting on my laurels…for now (Whimsical Weekend #4)

I know it’s unusual to with a post one week after the previous post, but I just had to get this off my chest (so to speak) as soon as I could.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.25.35 PM

Phoenotopia is a 2014 Flash 2D platformer developed by Quang H. Tran a.k.a. Quells. This game is hosted on a number of sites such as Newgrounds (the original) and OneMoreLevel (my preference), and playing it is absolutely free.

Since one year after the release of the game, I have written articles on how much I enjoy playing it, as well as my endeavor to do what no one else has done and make an official leaderboard of the game on speedrun.com. First off, I wish to go through a retrospective of what I’ve written in the past.

A Retrospective of Former Articles

Spontaneous Saturday 8/15/15: Phoenotopia

This is the first Phoenotopia-related post that I’ve published to this blog, and it’s a simple review consisting of my thoughts on the game and my desire to make it a speedgame (primarily influenced by the “Speed Runner!” medal in the game and my love for the game in general). I also included compendia of purchasable items and enemies / environmental hazards inspired by my go-to walkthrough at the time, as well as this little meme:

StraightOuttaSomewhere

Spontaneous Saturdays 9/12/15 and 12/5/15

I only talk briefly about Phoenotopia in these posts, and it’s just thinking out loud about the routing process of any% and 100%.

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

This was after I had finished constructing the primary route for the any% category and was in the process of constructing a primary 100% route. The post contains the following: how I started running the game, how I discovered Loot Duping (a glitch that produces extra spoils from Rai containers and heart pots), and an analysis of my first recorded any% run with a time of 59:22 RTA (1h 2m IGT). Some of the information contained within the post is obsolete (notably claiming that Loot Duping is pixel-perfect when it’s actually a three-pixel window), although the first two videos included are still relevant. The first video demonstrates what I was doing when I first discovered Loot Duping, and the second video involves combining the pixel-based and timing-based methods of Loot Duping.

Potpourri feat. winter 2016 anime

As the title implies, this post was mostly centered around the interesting anime series that aired during the winter 2016 season (Phantom World, Dagashi Kashi, and KonoSuba), although I did briefly mention Phoenotopia. Specifically, I tried out the French version and got a new PB of 55:14 RTA (58m IGT), but I came to realize that the French version is roughly 4 seconds slower in any% due to longer blue text boxes (i.e. the sorts of text boxes that appear when you obtain an important item) and differing dismissal timings of said text boxes (more consistent in the French version, but overall slower). I also publicly wrote some food for thought regarding the routing of 100%.

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

After having demystified any questions that I may have had while routing 100% and completing the primary route, I did my first run of the category and ended with 2:06:39 RTA (2h 9m IGT). This was back when I thought that doing the Loot Dupes in Sunflower Road was a good idea. Therefore, some of the techniques mentioned in the post are obsolete, although a majority of them still apply to the current route.

Another glitch in Phoenotopia + current speedrun PBs (Thought Dump Thursday 3/3/16)

This was the point at which I discovered a glitch other than Loot Duping. A day or two after my first 100% run, I was mucking around with pots in Prince Tower and found a way to get the moonstone on the 7th floor without having to use the Rocket Boots. Later on, as I wrapped my head around what I had stumbled upon (a phenomenon that I ended up dubbing “Pot Head Clipping” (even though I don’t do drugs)), I decided to record a clarifying demonstration and include it in the blog post.

To explain, if Gale has a harmless solid object sitting on her head and independently affected by gravity, trying to jump will result in Gale being warped to the nearest available space in any of the four basic directions: up, down, left, or right. At the time of the blog post, I thought of Pot Head Clipping as abusing this concept of warping to such a degree that would allow Gale to clip past barricades and walls. I also thought that Pot Head Clipping had no practical use other than the alternative way of getting that one Prince Tower moonstone, but that ends up changing later on.

Glitch aside, I also mentioned how I got 54:52 RTA (57m IGT) in any% and 1:59:43 RTA (2h 2m IGT) in 100%.

Phoenotopia Forgotten Forest navigation + yet another glitch (Thought Dump Thursday 3/31/16)

Let’s be honest here: Forgotten Forest was atrocious in my 1:59:43 run of 100%. By the time of this post, however, I managed to figure out ways to take one of the worst parts of the run and make it faster and less risky. First off, I found another practical use for Pot Head Clipping, and that is to bypass the first locked door without having to kill any of the Arc on the screen of that door or the Plant Dog one screen to the right thereof. Second, in order to bypass the locked door on the screen with the Big Robot 2.0, I tried unsuccessfully to set up a Pot Head Clip (in the traditional manner), but then I discovered something even more astounding: While I was fiddling around with two of the boxes taken from the lower path, one on top of the other while slightly farther forward, I was overcome with disbelief when I found that pushing the duo into the locked door actually caused it to move from its normal position. Like, how is that possible!? When I look back on the concept of a locked door being pushed, I still can’t believe it. (I simply referred to the phenomenon as “Door Pushing.”)

At any rate, the new glitch and the new application of the old glitch allowed me to move through Forgotten Forest more elegantly, although I have picked up some new tech since then. Regardless, here is the video demonstration:

(Also, I would not attempt the Forgotten Forest JBJ (Javelin Bomb Jump) in a real run, let alone succeed as well as I did in the recording above.)

Phoenotopia speedrunning: status update (Thought Dump Thursday 4/28/16)

I talk about how I got 54:02 RTA (56m IGT) in any%, and I also rambled about categories that I was considering beyond any% and 100%, as well as the imminent possibility of improving my 100% time.

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

This blog experienced a hiatus for pretty much the entire month of May because I felt like I wasn’t taking things seriously enough (specifically overdue assignments and job hunting). When I got back, I dropped a whole load of detail on my 1:48:16 RTA (1h 50m IGT) run of 100%, including some amazing new discoveries with Pot Head Clipping—namely, you can clip through locked doors from the left without placing any objects behind you, and using a container containing a moonstone or inventory item causes Gale to obtain that item upon clipping (and also go through a jumping animation)—and also that Loot Duping is not pixel-perfect but a three-pixel window. It was when I realized the second fact that I went and wrote a Loot Duping Guide containing revised and detailed information on the glitch and all loot containers that can and cannot be subject to Loot Duping.

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

Just talking about my future plans regarding the speedgame and potential improvements to existing times, resources including a save password compendium for practice/learning, and the possibility of running Diamond Hollow II in the future.

Phoenotopia – How to softlock in less than a minute (Thought Dump Thursday 7/4/16)

Just a little filler post showing off the quickest way to force yourself into a softlock in Phoenotopia. It’s a simple Pot Head Clip in Panselo.

Phoenotopia 100% – New speedrunning guide in the works! (Whimsical Weekend #2)

This is the most recent post that I’ve made on Phoenotopia. It covers a detailed guide of the 100% category and the thought process behind constructing the guide, including some new tech in Prince Tower, specifically on the first floor (image below) and in the second tower box puzzle (video below).

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 7.27.45 PM

And Now We Arrive at the Present (This is now)

Transitioning from memory lane, the main purpose of this post is to say that I am on temporary hiatus in terms of speedrunning Phoenotopia. That is to say, I have established every category that I feel like establishing, and I have run times that are satisfying enough for me to stick with until they are contested. Specifically…

Any% record

For some reason, I don’t think I ever mentioned that I got 51:53 RTA (54m IGT) in any%.

The run was pretty shaky in some areas (such as failing Golem Skip), and it was before the time that I discovered the “chandelier climb” (as I call it) on Prince Tower floor 1, but it was a good run overall.

100% record

As for 100%, my most recently achieved time is 1:44:08 RTA (1h 46m IGT), and that was after I constructed not only a written guide but also a video tutorial series (which I’ll explain later).

This was also a pretty good run, even though it had a sloppy beginning and some minor execution faults throughout. I did manage to get all four skips in Ancient’s Crater regardless, and I did the new tech in Prince Tower, so that alone already makes it better than my 1:48:16 run.

All Moonstones record

All Moonstones is the first and only miscellaneous category that I decided to establish. I was initially reluctant about it due to the riskiness of the route, what with the whole run being under bare minimum conditions (no extra items other than the Iron Hammer and Lamp), but then I figured that it was the only miscellaneous category discussed in Thought Dump Thursday 4/28/16 (or thought of externally) that I saw fit to officialize. Why did I refuse to officialize the other categories? Well…

  • 99 HP RTA (Diamond Skin) / All Heart Rubies: As I mentioned in the aforementioned Thought Dump Thursday post, there is a Heart Ruby that requires 40 moonstones to obtain, which makes a category like this not much different from 100% in my opinion. So, I am completely opposed to officializing a category like this.
  • Max HP no Moonstones: I initially thought very highly of this misc. category idea because of how it was pretty much the safest middle ground between any% and 100% that I could think of, but I ended up feeling unsettled by how arbitrary the category actually is, particularly in its nomenclature.
  • All Tools: Why? Why did I even begin to think this was a good idea? Similarly to the previous category, the nomenclature just makes it seem…off.
  • 88%: At one point, this sort of idea crossed my mind: a category that involves collecting all Heart Rubies and all Moonstones but nothing else. The issue is that it’s difficult to name such a category, and 88% was honestly the best I could come up with…and that’s saying something, because the name “88%” isn’t very descriptive of the category itself.
  • Most Dangerous Arsenal: I just thought of this recently: a category in which all Tools and Misc. Items are obtained (based on the medal “Most Dangerous Arsenal,” for which the category goal is based on the condition of obtaining the medal). This might actually have potential for a misc. category, but I shudder to imagine Nebula Armlet with 20 HP.
  • Glitchless subcategory?: I was considering adding a glitchless subcategory to the speedrun.com leaderboard, which would forbid the following: duplication of Rai or heart drops by breaking a container multiple times on the same frame; deliberately placing anything on top of Gale’s head; and pushing objects into locked doors. (The restrictions are meant to encompass Loot Duping, Pot Head Clipping, and Door Pushing, respectively.) However, I can’t help thinking how much of a pain it would be to have to deal with 100% or All Medals glitchless (or All Moonstones, which would actually require backtracking through Prince Tower since PHC is forbidden), so I just decided to discard the idea altogether. I might change my mind if someone else were to record a glitchless any% single-segment run with an in-game time of less than an hour, though.

Anyway, I did end up doing an All Moonstones run in spite of my initially reluctant self, and I ended up achieving a time of 1:13:17 RTA (no in-game time because the category does not require beating the final boss).

Obviously not perfect, and Forgotten Forest + Hidden Village can stand to be routed before the Daea backtrack, but it’s a miscellaneous category, so I don’t plan on improving any time soon.

All Medals record

I’ve had a route in the works since the time I wrote Thought Dump Thursday 4/28/16, but I never got around to finishing the route until after I did the All Moonstones run. It took me less than a week to complete the whole run, and I ended up with 2:09:18 RTA, which is surprisingly close to my first 100% record.

I have a strong feeling that it’s possible to obtain all medals in under 2 hours, but I currently have no strong desire to improve my record.

Resources

Over the course of routing and running the categories above, I have been compiling a number of resources throughout the journey, such as Q&As (which I used to call GQIGAs (Got Questions? I Got Answers)), written routes, detailed information on glitches (through blog posts, guides, or otherwise), and perchance various specific compendia. The following remain relevant to this day:

  • Speedrun.com leaderboard – The “official” leaderboard for the game, which I myself submitted for approval, and of which I am currently the sole moderator.
  • Any% Q&A 4.0 – Q&A for my most recent any% run.
  • 100% general Q&A – That’s what I called it at first, but it’s actually the 100% Q&A 4.0, which relates to my most recent 100% run.
  • All Medals Q&A – Q&A for the All Medals category (version 1).
  • Loot Duping Guide – An elaborate guide on the method behind the madness of Loot Duping: what it is and where/how it can be applied.
  • Save Password Compendium – A collection of save passwords for practicing/learning the any% and 100% categories.
  • Any% guide – A guide to the any% category. I have kept this guide up to date between the first time I decided to run the game and the most recent run, so note that it does not contain information regarding the chandelier climb.
  • 100% guide – An elaborate written guide to the 100% category.
  • 100% video tutorial playlist – Between Whimsical Weekend #2 and this post, I had the wild idea of coming out with a video tutorial (in spite of myself) of the 100% category.
  • All Moonstones planning/route – The planning and condensed route (the latter is on page 3) of All Moonstones. No, the route has not been updated since the recorded run.
  • All Medals route – The condensed route for All Medals. I do not plan to make a full guide of this category, because doing so would be rather redundant in my opinion.
  • Splits:

Conclusion

All right, I think that about covers everything: the retrospective, the point that I’ve currently reached, and a set of resources that might help provide further insight. Now that I am temporarily resting on my laurels, I will move on to Diamond Hollow II.

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

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

1/27/18 EDIT: I put “speedrunning” in quotes here, because this post was written just a few days after my first 100% run. For more up-to-date information on the category, use this guide:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rfhBPpnVPzjdGehenk-33gw6XV_kron0KZASR5b13Os/edit?usp=sharing

 

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!)