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ktwo: 2013-06-16 01:35:13 pm
ktwo: 2013-06-16 12:39:05 pm
I won't say that I'm proud of creating a thread for this game, but I feel it has to be done at some point, so might just as well be over with it... I'm not too far off on getting a recorded run, so I wanted to share some information in the unlikely event that someone else had spent enough time with the game to give input. Or maybe sparking the interest of someone wanting to give it a try (as awful as the game is, it's really easy to get into).

Anyways, I thought this would be a suiting project to prove that I can handle the full 60 Hz unleashed from ntsc, after previously having been stuck with only pal... More seriously, I wanted to try out my new recording setup more extensively on something easy and not risk to achieve something that was not recorded properly. I remember hotl from emulator and that it was basically only to remember the route and then run through the whole game while avoiding all enemies in 5ish minutes. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about how unsuited the nes's d-pad is for diagonal presses, as a speedrun is basically 5 minutes of pressing diagonal up (to run). This actually makes it a whole lot more challenging (on top of being a very luck-dependent game).

There is a TAS of about 0:05:17 (SDA-timing). The tas is no-death, but I'm planning to abuse deaths in my run. Having no deaths basically just means restoring health as necessary near the end of the game (and hoping that the damage inflicted by enemies is minimal). Abusing deaths requires at least a tiny bit of planning.

Current route (I use the same route as the tas, so below are just how I deal with various critical points in the game):
- Move Goldmoon to the backrow asap.
- Run through everything until the first dragon in the second section of the game. As far as I can see, the only reasonable way to pass dragons without fighting them (not an option as that would take forever) is to use "protection against evil" (PAE). PAE can only be used by Goldmoon and she has to be in the front row to cast magic. The idea is therefore to kill off one guy just before the dragon. Because of how much luck there is in the game, this is not evident, but works most of the time.
- Use PAE again in the section with the flames (still in section 2). By running past the first flame before casting PAE, it's possible to pass the dragon in the next room.
- Use PAE twice more against dragons in section three.
- Possibly use the menu trick to pass an enemy or two (see below). Each time costs ~0.5-1 second, but sometimes there is no other option if a lot of damage has been damage inflicted. If everything else goes well in a run, this could maybe be accepted once.
- Along the way, kill off the three guys in front of Goldmoon to make sure she is in front when facing the dragon. This is a major problem. Goldmoon usually dies in an instant from the three trolls before the dragon. It requires a lot of luck to have one of the guys survive long enough to just pass the last troll and then die off to leave Goldmoon in front (and not die together with the last guy, which is also very common). If Goldmoon is not in front, an additional menu change is needed, which costs ~3 seconds.

Useful tricks/features:
- The character gets a small boost when quitting the menu. This means you can pass through some enemies without stopping if you are close enough and then open and close the menu. Overall it costs time though (0.5-1 second, depending on how annoying enemy it is), so it's only useful when energy needs to be conserved or when you anyways have business in the menu.
- Protection against evil (PAE) protects against damage (but not entirely) and makes it possible to pass through dragons (and other enemies are also easier to pass through). The only spell I use in my route.
- In some of the previous route iterations, I used healing spells.
- There are several spells that do more or less the same thing (web, sleep etc). You shoot out a fireball and when an enemy is touched by it, it freezes in place. Some of them might be a little bit faster to cast than PAE. Unfortunately, they have a very high likelyhood of passing above dragons. There is a small possibility for the fireball to go low, which then hits dragons, but I haven't figured out a way to manipulate that.

My best time so far is 0:05:23. I'm still very new with this game, so I wasn't fully prepared for how to act on the last troll. I should have turned around and let it hit me once more. That would have killed off the guy in front and avoided having to switch Goldmoon to the front in the dragon room. 2-3 seconds lost, depending on how fast the troll would have hit again. There was also a small hesitation on one door (0.5 s), and one door I overshot a bit (0.5). Technically, I'm probably losing a little bit of time on every single door transition and by getting stuck on enemies, but I think this is about as good as it will get. Maybe a second or two can be shaved with luck, but I'm just speculating. Right now, I'd like to get a run without having to switch to Goldmoon in the dragon's room. I think a 5:20 would look pretty clean.
Thread title:  
Might be magic...
I finished the PC version of this game (which was pretty awful compared to the NES version) a very long time ago. Glad you're taking it up Smiley
It sounds incredible that the game I'm playing should be an enhanced version of something else, but I believe you if you say it...

My best time is now (a very high) 5:19. I had some outstanding luck (I know it's a strong statement after still being fairly new to this game, but things really fell into place in that attempt). There were also a few not so good looking mistakes, but it would have been a 5:19 even without them. It's certainly possible to still cut a second or two off, but I'm not sure I'm up for the task of going for that kind of optimization on a game like this. I'll think about it for a few days, but I think this is as good as it gets from me. I have bigger fishes to catch. :-)