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ShinerCCC: 2010-01-27 05:51:42 pm
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Hmm, I should try L again. I could rename all these savestates, but we'll just assume Z is the default name. Further name tests will be noted. My accusation of 10,000 sims failing was a mistake, that was for level 17 not level 18.

Just had a promising early Erdrick's Sword end on an Axe Knight. I failed to escape, then Z said, "I FEEL ASLEEP!" and died in two more hits.

Given that you start taking 1 to 5 damage from fights around levels 11 and 12, and it sometimes takes more steps than you might expect to get into a fight, the Magic Armour can keep you afloat a bit longer...but yeah I'll have to test inn stays legit later.

I really don't see any merit in retrieving Erdrick's Sword before anything else at level 13...first of all, it requires 6 more Herbs, requires a pointless trip just for Erdrick's Token (or maybe the Silver Shield anyway...) and it's pretty difficult to get the sword, and I've already established it's not needed to beat the Axe Knight or Golem. Forget about it, especially for single segment.

Anyway, for now I'll just take my level 13 full-power savestate and start grinding up to 18. so far away ;_;

Hm, before I get started, I see Knights have 76 attack, and at 13 I have 73 a few levels I could take on Knights like they were Wolflords. Cool.

EDIT: Grinding has started. Here are my NOTEZ:
LEVEL 13: Going into Hauksness to fight is possible, but only for kicks really. You have to run from Starwyvern, Werewolf, and Starwyvern, so only 2 encounters are viable, and even with Wizards you kind of need to get lucky with Stopspell (9/16 chance of success I think =\). Knights are still easy though. For some reason I had ridiculous bad luck with Demon Knights and never got to run away.

LEVEL 14: Agility hits 76, the exact amount needed to resist Knights. Hauksness itself doesn't change much. I think the real best way to grind for now is in the Metal Slime region. There's a 2-space tall strip of desert east of the mountain range and this is the fringe of the Metal Slime region, so you can get 1/8 encounters without having to go through bumpy hills. Sometimes Wraith Knights sit there and heal, resisting the inevitable, it's pretty annoying.

LEVEL 15: I spoke too soon. Defense shoots up to 80, giving us the ability to resist Magiwyverns, Wizards and Demon Knights. If this happens a level sooner with L, this is yet another reason to pick him for the segmented run. It's practically safer to fight Demon Knights than run away. at 86, Werewolves and Starwyverns are at our mercy; at 88, Green Dragons. The Axe Knight is at 95, that probably won't happen at a relevant level. As for actually killing Metal Slimes, the odds are almost better that Hurt is a more effective way of killing them (gamble on 1/16 chance instead of 3 or 4 1-damage hits) but that would use more MP, and we need to save it all for Stopspell. Dying when you run out of MP isn't shameful really, especially now that you can cast Repel. Actually, Magiwyverns die in 2 hits every time to Erdrick's mighty sword, so skip Stopspell for them.
I just had a fight with a Metal Slime last for many many turns, I did 3 damage and after all that he just ran away. That has to be murderous for exp/min...*sigh*
If you do go fight Wizards, skip Stopspell for them too, Hurtmore only does about 20 damage and their regular attack seems to top out at 12. I think Ryan8bit explicitly stated the range of Hurtmore when you're wearing Magic/Erdrick's Armour somewhere on GameFAQs but I don't recall exactly what it was. I think it was just 4 cases due to integer division: 20, 22, 24, 26 or 28. 22 seems to be the most frequent.

Ryan, the encounter rate in Hauksness seems really low. Does the kind of tile you step on matter for encounter rate?

LEVEL 16: Defense is now 83, so no changes to grinding pattern. But the sleep resist on Werewolves & Green Dragons is 7/16, Starwyverns have 8/16. Let's try relying on Sleep again. Well, Green Dragons don't really need it because their HP is a bit lower, and sometimes they use their lousy breath attack.
It was beginning to look like using Sleep on Starwyverns was really ace, until after 2 hits one of them woke up and immediately used Healmore. I struck it twice more while it was awake and it healed itself again. OMEGA RAGE
Next fight, I hit it, then had to cast Sleep twice to put it under to finish it off.
Sometimes they die in 2 hits, sometimes 3, but in this case, whether it's 2 or 3 makes all the difference because I believe Starwyvern AI dictates the use of Healmore based on being under 25% HP.
The good news is, if you expect Healmore, Stopspell works 100% of the time.
You know, I'm noticing that since I kill anything in 2 or 3 hits anyway, I'm also doing more damage than the enemy, and my max HP is a whopping 92...let's just stick with Stopspell, and use Sleep only for Werewolves. I don't NEED the alternate damage formula.
Werewolves tend to wake up early, or just resist Sleep...I'm going to skip that too, and save MP for emergency Heals.
Actually, I'm going to slow the game down to 100% and see what feels faster, Healing in Hauksness itself or walking around outside and fighting rabble to regenerate...
*cringes at seemingly slo-mo gameplay*
Outdoor enemies almost always take 2 hits to kill, even our old Rimuldar favourites that can be found north of the Mason-Dixon line! This is actually less efficient! Emergency Heals it is. If MP gets exhausted, die, cast Repel and walk back, it only takes 50 seconds.
The main problem, though, is trying to predict how many steps away your next encounter is. I keep trying to cheap out because Heal takes a lot of MP.
I noticed a while ago I had built up 15000 gold...interesting. It's like we don't need all that Rimuldar gold. Maybe at 7700 we could trade up for Magic Armour? It's around that point that I start fighting Warlocks due to higher strength anyway.
I just remembered...when enemies use Healmore, they recover to their literal max HP. As in, the highest they can roll for the random encounter. So if you let a Starwyvern get one off, it becomes the most powerful possible Starwyvern.

LEVEL 17: This is it, the most powerful grinding level. 86 Defense! OMG!!!1 And Healmore too! Hauksness just became paradise, especially for Z. L is already crying himself to sleep. But if L gets 86 defense one level sooner...note that there is 0 strength increase for this level, however. So we still have that "omg I can never one-shot enemies" situation.
Oh right, Green Dragons can still bash you good...score one more for L.
Werewolves become a joke. Starwyverns can still do as much as 13 damage, their breath can do 12 anyway.
Oh hey, a Wizard just took me from 11 HP to 1, hahahahaha
I just remembered, that Beach of Bastards on Rimuldar has Knight/Magiwyvern/Starwyvern/Demon Knight/Werewolf encounters. There might be merit in moving to that zone right before level 18, so we can be within striking distance and be kind of closer to an inn...
I almost forgot, Healmore makes healing during fights actually effective. Saved me during a Wizard fight, went from 29 to 1 HP.
For some reason, the most damage I've seen a Werewolf do is 11, the first double-digit hit I've taken from one, while Starwyverns are consistently dishing out 12s and 13s. I must have got their attack power, it's exactly the same as the Werewolf. wtf?!?
I'm out of MP so now I'm just grinding Hydlide style until I get killed, even if a Starwyvern is spamming Healmore. It's actually kind of hard to die. Nah, screw this.
Hey look, a Starwyvern finally did 3 damage to me. Bastards. As far as fighting them tactically without MP, just try to crush them, if it uses Healmore then just run away.
Okay I finally died. King Leoric (wait, that's a Diablo II item) says I have 659 TNL so if this were SS I would just head to Rimuldar and finish grinding there.
Another Starwyvern tip: if your first hit is good (34 is the highest I've seen) then just try to finish them off in the next hit, it usually works.

LEVEL 18: Finally! LOL, with the HP boost, suddenly 28 HP means my frame turned from white to red. Okay, time to make an SRAM save then activate some Game Genie codes. Findings in next post.
Highly Evolved
Well, I tried a single segment run today.  Had it end on the Dragonlord naturally.  HP/STR.  I use "J" just 'cause I don't like "Z."  Tongue

I died twice before.  Once on the trip to Erdrick's Token and once in Charlock to a Wizard I couldn't run from (four straight hurtmores).  I lost two minutes to the first death and five to the second.  Death to Dragonlord happened at just shy of six hours.  Did 110 damage to the Dragonlord.  Had zero double attacks before Healmore.  Once was at 43 HP but did use Healmore.  Thus I've failed everytime at the Dragonlord at level 18 with both HP/STR and AGI/STR.
Edit history:
ShinerCCC: 2010-01-27 07:25:48 pm
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Okay, I should have just Searched GameFAQs sooner...>_>
but here's the Game Genie code: TZKNYIAA
According to MeteorStrike, that should set F54F from 00 to 26, but it's NOT WORKING. ARGH.
Nevermind, found it in Ryan8bit's other GameFAQs thread, the relevant address is actually F55F.
But changing that, I'm still seeing Slimes instead of Dragonlords. Well, I guess it's only changing ONE of the three potential Slime fights into Dragonlords. I'll keep looking...
No, he's not showing up. What a pansy. I'm not sure why this Game Genie code isn't working though, Memory Watch confirms that F55F is set to 0x26. strangely, the adjacent values don't correlate to what Ryan wrote about enemy data...

F560: 0x02 (should be 01 for Red Slime, right?)
F561: 0x03
F562: 0x04
F563: 0x03
F564: 0x04 (this is the next monster region, "zone 1" as Ryan calls it, should be 01 for Red Slime again)

Clearly I must be messing with the wrong address. I'm going to give up on this for now and just march all the way to the Dragonlord's castle.

Come on Duck, you gotta go with Z so you can make Akira Toriyama and Dragon Ball Z jokes! Or maybe jokes about Zero from Mega Man X, that's who I keep thinking of for some reason.

This insurmountable Dragonlord thing is pretty discouraging though...I still insist that single-segment get up to Level 19, maybe you'll get enough Agility to hit 95 defense and shrub off Axe Knights. At least you can chuck a Hurtmore at them if you can spare 5 MP. Z has exactly 100 MP so I can't spare a single point. If Level 19 doesn't float your boat, then spend the half hour of solid attempts at the Dragonlord and see if that works.

edit: I'm sick of going back to Page 4 for Dragonlord directions so here they are again, this time complete. Also lowercase b for 'bonk' is a lot easier to read.

RDb,R,D1,Rb,Db,Lb,DRb,D,L1,Db,Lb,Ub,L,U1,Lb,Ub,Rb,U,R1,Ub, Stairs
Rb, D2, Lb, Ub, Lb, Db, R, Stairs
R, Ub, Rb, Ub, Lb, Ub, R...a bunch. screw it, you should have used your Torch by now anyway.
When you see those Stairs down, ignore them. Go straight down to reach the sword, go left to reach the Dragonlord.

A Red Dragon killed me, and it was doing about 30 damage...I'm reminded that Red Dragon and Golem have similar attack power, so I'm going to test Golem some more later.

Interesting side note, after reaching level 18 I saved, then healed at the magic dude in Tantegel. You can cast Repel right before talking to him for free. I decided to use Repel again after taking the tunnel to Rimuldar, then used Repel right before staying in the inn there. Time to Dragonlord's castle: about 3 minutes even, and this was with a Knight being annoying and not letting me run away right before Charlock. Without extra Repel: about 2m20s. Guess I should buy a 6th key in Rimuldar so I can get another batch of Fairy Water.

Okay, after lots of Red Dragon rape, I finally make it to the Dragonlord. This is kind of hard. At 44 HP on the third turn, he fires me for exactly 44. Lame. Should have used a spare Herb, I guess. No, that doesn't help anything.

Attempt 2: human form raped me, went into the dragon fight with 55 HP, then got SURPRISED and took 44 more. I gambled at 37 HP and won, tried again and lost. Had 30 MP left to use.

Attempt 3: Whoa, a Hurtmore did 30 damage to me! wtf?!?
I thought I was going to kill the human form after I used Stopspell but I was wrong, it took a 4th hit, so I went into the dragon fight with 93 HP. Got surprised again. Gambled a lot, and with 0 MP left and 34 HP left (after taking 34 from a bite)...I WON! OMGWTFBBQ!! Okay, this time I'm not going to use frameskip and get a play by play, he must have spawned with low HP for me to pull that off...and I reiterate, I gambled a LOT. Like, if I had about 35 to 40 HP left, I went for another swing, hoping I'd get a weaker breath or not-devastating Attack.

Attempt 4: Started Dragonform with 110 HP, but he surprise fired me so I really started at 66.
Me: 9 damage
Dragonlord: attacks for 31, 35 HP left
Me: swing for ...oops I missed it
Dragonlord: 31, 4 HP
Me: healmore
D: 47, 44 left
Me: 10
Dragonlord: fires for 44

Attempt 5: get surprised again...
me: 10
d: -32, 21 left
me: heal
d: oops I somehow closed Firefox, thankfully this edit wasn't lost
I went on to win anyway, I used spare Herbs to force going down to lower HP before using Healmore. I'm not sure how that helps. Basically I'm making sure I get the most use out of Healmore but I'm better off scraping max HP.

Attempt 6: human form surprised me and dragon form didn't. weird.
me: 6
d: -46, 33 left
me: fire, -44, lol
I should also mention I talk to the Dragonlord with 102 HP, except for the first few attempts where I got away with taking 8 steps. On one attempt an Armored Knight wouldn't let me run away so I died, XD.

Attempt 7: good start, killed human form with 96 HP, no surprises.
me: 10
d: fire -44, 52 HP left
me: 6
d: a, -40
me: h
d: fire, -48, 55
me: 10
d: a, -27, 28
me: h
d: f, -46, 69
me: 7
d: f, -46, 23
me: h
d: f, -42, 72, this looks promising
me: oops I forgot
d: a -32, 40
me: 10
d: fire, dead, ARGH

Okay I'm really hungry so I can't do this anymore. I'll try getting Z up to level 19 for another savestate as well.

Also that diminished scale stuff sounds really bluesy on 150% game speed o_O
Highly Evolved
Well, J is exactly the same as Z, only better, so he also only has 100.

Ryan8bit keeps saying beating the Dragonlord at level 18 STR/HP is a very high percentage.  I hope it's just bad luck.

My plan for 13-18 is straight Hauksness area.  No inn.
Highly Evolved
Just had a thought.  I wonder if using any spare herbs to cancel out Hurtmore damage from human form and attacking once stopspell is used.  Might let you start the dragon form with more HP.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Yeah, that's definitely what I was doing. The Dragonlord's attack is feeble, usually 12-15 damage, but he rarely goes for Stopspell, at least for me. My savestate was kind of lucky in a sense...I took one as soon as I hit the bottom floor and had to reload that about 3 times because Red Dragons SUCK SO. MUCH. But this allowed me to test fighting the Dragonlord with 6 Herbs, starting with 102 HP as well. Basically a clean, 100% potential fight.

You can use the herbs and wait it out kind of like the Axe Knight, hoping he screws up. Next I'll make that level 19 savestate, then upload what I have to Megaupload for you guys to try out...then I'll do it all again with L for comparison *_*

L will have 100 MP as well, I realized earlier...
Highly Evolved
In regards to your leveling from 13-18, my experiences are similar.  The problem is that Starwyverns are still so inefficient at even level 17 that it's annoying to fight them, and they're doubled in Hauksness.  Everything else is killable with no issue.  It's a minimum three round kill if you're conservative and go stopspell, and several encounters with 33 damage followed with a 22 damage really starts making me want to bash the controller into the wall.  All that for 43 exp?  Especially when knights at that stage are generally two hit kills and everything else outside can be one hit (aside from running from the Demon Knight; I want no part of 25% evade).

Ideally, at 16 and more so 17, get three kills in Hauksness before having to walk out to heal up. Two hit killing a wizard is wonderful, but dammit, it doesn't happen enough, and werewolves at 16 still bash you good and at 40 exp. are also somewhat unwanted. Can still two hit 'em, though.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
I think Ryan8bit explicitly stated the range of Hurtmore when you're wearing Magic/Erdrick's Armour somewhere on GameFAQs but I don't recall exactly what it was. I think it was just 4 cases due to integer division: 20, 22, 24, 26 or 28. 22 seems to be the most frequent.

Without the armor it's 30-45, but with it it's 20-30 (20, 22, 24, 26, 28, or 30).  Actually getting 30 is a 1 in 16 chance.

Ryan, the encounter rate in Hauksness seems really low. Does the kind of tile you step on matter for encounter rate?

Yes, I believe it's the same as outdoors, and that you will want to walk on desert tiles.

Quote from ShinerCCC:
Memory Watch confirms that F55F is set to 0x26. strangely, the adjacent values don't correlate to what Ryan wrote about enemy data...

Yeah, I think I goofed on that one.  I was looking at the rom in a hex editor instead of the hex editor within fceuxd when I did that, so I forgot to subtract 0x10 for the file header.  It should be F54F.

If you want a code to always encounter the Dragonlord, try setting:
$CF1B to 0xAD
$CF1C to 0x34
$CF1D to 0xFC
but do it in cheats, not the hex editor.  This will make every enemy encounter the Dragonlord.  It's kind of a trip to see him in the overworld, but then the second form goes on black still.

Optionally I could also set up a code that replaces Golem with the Dragonlord, and instead of it being the square at Cantlin I could put it one step below Tantegel (or anywhere).

At 44 HP on the third turn, he fires me for exactly 44. Lame. Should have used a spare Herb, I guess. No, that doesn't help anything.

Yeah, 44 is probably too low to risk.  An herb might work part of the time, but only if the Dragonlord attacks and does less damage, which is pretty unlikely, probably at best a 1/8 chance.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
All right folks. I took Z up to level 19 and have fought the Dragonlord 4 times, and every time I've fought him (and not gambled) I've won. I've even won with enough MP left for another Healmore. Z gets a fatass boost of 15 HP at level 19, which is what makes all the difference. (For the record, you get +2 Str, +2 Agi, and +6 MP, so I got to put two Stonemans to sleep before running away).

I just did another fight, and by my mental count, I killed the Dragonlord by doing 128 damage. I survived with 85 HP and 2 MP left, but I gambled with 47 HP left and won. The Dragonlord's breath seems to do amounts like 42, 44, 46 and 48, 48 is pretty uncommon so it's a safe gamble. I think the most I've seen his attack do is 47.

I also discovered another crucial trick: you can pace around on the two squares of grass before the Dragonlord's chamber to heal up quite effectively. Kind of a stupid way for single segment to fail but it's actually pretty reliable, I think.

The main problem with reaching level 19, though, is Starwyverns. Sometimes you can do 40 damage to them as your first swing and they'll use Healmore right away. If you wanted you could just fight the Axe Knight a bunch of times instead but that's dumb.

Ryan8bit do you know the address for enemy HP? It would be handy, so I could get an idea of what kinds of HP the Dragonlord (and Starwyverns) spawn with while running.

Anyway, that also wraps up all the savestates for Z! Here's the link to them all if you want to test out how risky certain areas/behaviours are. I'm still going to test fighting Golem and other things as Z before I move on to L. Man, L is going to have a tough time with the Dragonlord...

As you can see by the filename (DRAGON WARRIOR Z.rar) Z is definitely the best name to pick.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Save state creation for L has already begun.

- The extra 1 HP at the beginning may be a godsend for that push to hit level 2 before needing the inn. Same with level 3. While losing 6 gold is a big hit at the start, it's a bigger hit to take 90 seconds or so to talk to the MP guy 2 or 3 times to heal instead; but with 6 gold, at least you get more EXP to show for it.
- This guy can actually run away pretty effectively. But at level 4 he only has 30 HP whereas Z had 35, this makes crossing the swamp to Rimuldar a little tougher but still quite doable.
- I've noticed Full Plate makes Wolves into chumps (compared to the frightening chompers who frequently kill you in 2 hits when all you want is 2 keys). The only thing that can ruin your day is Warlocks, or just running out of HP/MP. Note that once you have all the money, you can kill Rimuldar enemies with Hurt no problem, and if I were ballsier I would rely on this instead of just stopping at 4090 gold. My current plan is to steal about 4115 gold from the bottomless chest, because what often happens is I get worn down in Rimuldar I need to stay at the inn. If I don't have 55 gold, I'm totally hooped. I've decided to use the free herb from the mountain cave to cross the swamp, so I can use my 17 MP on Hurt exclusively. Besides, to a speedrunner, it doesn't make sense to save that 1 Herb as a "contingency plan" when its use is so obvious at the precious level of 4. When you run out of MP, just cut the crap and use the inn immediately, level 4 is too rough. It actually took me about 8 or 10 tries to make the level 5 savestate because I was extremely careless. Oh, and 4115 gold assumes I run from everything before Rimuldar because I'll be heading on to greener pastures soon. Stupid Club has to two-shot everything anyway.
- I accidentally hit load state after getting the Death Necklace 4 times. It must have taken me about 10 minutes to get the stupid thing. This makes me not want to do the segmented run at all, especially since it's the same segment as the grinding segment...unless I actually wanted to save again after getting the Stones...maybe I should. I'll analyze the risk a little more in a bit.
Highly Evolved
So you're saying a Death Necklace in a segmented run is required then?
Edit history:
ShinerCCC: 2010-01-29 03:57:30 am
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
It saves 5 minutes all by itself, and all it takes to get it is luck manipulation. I think that mandates getting it automatically. But I'm sure it will take hundreds of man hours to actually get...I think for sanity I'll end up saving after I pop it, and all the gold I need.

Progress so far with L:
Level 11 and I only have 53 defense. Not enough to withstand Wyverns. So far I'm not seeing any significant benefit to picking this name. Level 10 is still the breakpoint for Wolflords. The only place to go from here is somehow getting the Silver Shield even earlier, but not only is it hard enough just to reach Golem, he's also really hard to beat below level 11. But that's crazy talk anyway, it would take an additional 56 minutes of bottomless chest to get the money for it, and then all the money I grind anyway would be useless.

I think trying to steal Wolflord kills below level 9 is just silly, having to rely on Sleep like that is dangerous and it takes longer. It takes 5 or 6 turns to kill one of those things, you have to run from're better off sticking to the sandbar. At level 9 you get your big Strength boost so you can start killing Wraiths in 2 or 3 blows, and Wolflords in 3.

Wait, I just hit level 12...56 defense. That's exactly enough for Wyverns! They go down in 3 hits, sometimes 2. They can still do 9 damage though, so Sleep is a good idea. I'm doing all this on frameskip so I don't know how the exp/min improves.

I should also note that you don't have to cross the bridge to fight Wyverns, you can just walk west into the forest by the coast so you can be that many spaces closer to Rimuldar if you don't mind the lower encounter rate. But given how long you have to do this on console, the overhead cost of walking a littler farther out is insignificant.

I think I need to start a little debate here: if you try to Sleep a Wolflord or Wyvern (4/16 resist chance), or Warlock (3/16 resist) and it doesn't work, should you try again? To me, it's a nice bonus because you won't take damage in a fight you'd win anyway, but if I miss, I just chalk it up to bad luck and try to win the fight quickly anyway. But then I end up healing afterward anyway, and the purpose of Sleep is to conserve MP so you don't have to walk back to town so much. If they wake up in one turn, thus losing the benefit of Sleep, I definitely don't feel the need to recast it, especially if I have high defense and get the lesser damage formula.

Well, to help settle the debate, I just had to cast Sleep 4 times in a row to put a Wyvern under...thankfully, it kept rolling low damage to me.

I'd also like to share that one time at level 9 a Goldman refused to let me escape for 3 turns and killed me. I think Rimuldar definitely should be its own segment for safety, even though it doesn't have to be. I'd only be losing about a minute to saving at the King, meaning the benefit of my Death Necklace is down to 4 minutes. In a 6 hour segmented run. >_<

edit: the segment after should also be a bit of a headache. After getting the Silver Harp (easy), I have to kill the Axe Knight (really hard), escape (a Wizard mugged me after getting the armour one time), kill Golem (just did extensive testing, it's not a guaranteed fight if you have no herbs, success is probably around 40%), then get the token (a Werewolf kept me stuck for 4 turns and killed me once). Wow. Protips for Cantlin: don't buy more Fairy Water, you need the space for the token. And don't take the Torch in Garinham, use Radiant for retrieving Erdrick's Sword. In fact, the top two chests should be ignored, you can buy 5 Herbs and take the lower chest for your 6th. Your inventory can be Herbs, Keys, and then 8 loose items.

Oh, one more tip, if Golem (or the Axe Knight I guess) surprises you, try to run away, if you make it out you get punted back one space, then you can heal up and try again. As for actually fighting him, don't bother healing unless you're at around 30 HP, it can save your life, otherwise you should be bashing him to pieces as best you can.

When raiding for Erdrick's Sword, use MP liberally. If you take a lot of damage, heal up to full, you never know when an Axe Knight will ruin your day or something. If you run out, there's no shame in dying.

All this insanity is really making me start to wonder how Darkwing did so well on that SS attempt...I guess he got the Silver Shield right after the Harp, then starting making attempts at Erdrick's Armour?
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
A few leveling notes with L

LEVEL 13: Same problems as Z, Knights are still beefy and Hauksness sucks.

LEVEL 14: Z's defense is 76. L's defense is 77. 76 is the Knight breakpoint. LOL

LEVEL 15: 80, 86 and 88 are significant breakpoints, and we only reach 82 here as compared to Z's 80. The lower max HP is just an inconvenience to Erdrick's Armour's regenerating ability.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
All right folks. I took Z up to level 19 and have fought the Dragonlord 4 times, and every time I've fought him (and not gambled) I've won.

Yeah, the risk factor goes from ~40% to ~1%.  For Str+Agi it goes from ~55% to ~6%.  It just remains to see if you can get lucky and kill the Dragonlord after 1 or 2 encounters atlevel 18.  I'd say a first run should just stop at level 19, and subsequent attempts should try at 18.

48 is pretty uncommon so it's a safe gamble. I think the most I've seen his attack do is 47.

48 is about a 1/8 chance in terms of breathing fire, so that would be 1/16 overall.  Attack depends on the level and build.  At level 18 with Str+HP it's like 24-48 damage for an attack.

Ryan8bit do you know the address for enemy HP? It would be handy, so I could get an idea of what kinds of HP the Dragonlord (and Starwyverns) spawn with while running.

$E2 is the enemy's current HP, $102 is the enemy's max HP.  For all battles, HP is calculated by taking the max HP - (0 - .249*maxHP).  So Dragonlord's first form can be 76-100, and the second form 98-130.

Quote from ShinerCCC:
- This guy can actually run away pretty effectively.

In the earlier levels he should not be as good.

Also, why don't you try some earlier attempts against the Axe Knight?  That extra 4 defense and regenerative ability will make you able to fight tougher creatures sooner, thus saving time.  Plus getting Erdrick's Armor sooner would make the token and Silver Shield probably a lot easier to get and Golem slightly easier to kill, even if you had to wait a couple levels to do it.  Despite the Silver Shield's higher defense bonus, it is not nearly as useful as Erdrick's Armor.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I've found the Axe Knight to close to invincible at level 12. At level 13 he becomes mortal all of a sudden. He's earliest in my level 13 route: once I hit level 13 I cast Return (If I have 8 MP), buy Fairy Water, then save. The next segment gets the Harp, then gets Erdrick's Armor, then the Silver Shield, then the token. That Werewolf was just really annoying to have killed me out in the swamp.

L also had about 15100 gold at level 13, which is more than enough to work with. Some of that probably shows from fighting Wyverns one level sooner. Crap, I forgot about the plan to buy Magic Armour and putting off the Silver Shield until later, I'll try that out later I guess.
Hmm, I just figured you could get lucky if your stopspell collided and if he spammed sleep.  The odds of that are pretty steep though.

I wasn't going to simulate this right away, but now I've become curious.

As a strategy, I start with casting stopspell until it hits, and I attack unless my HP <= his max attack, in which case I use herbs to heal.

Out of tens of thousands of simulations, these were the results listed as the percent chance of victory:

Broad Sword, Full Plate, Large Shield, Dragon Scale
LV 9    0.3%
LV 10  1.4%
LV 11  3.8%
LV 12  7.4%
LV 13 13.9%

Broad Sword, Full Plate, Silver Shield, Dragon Scale
LV 9    0.4%
LV 10  1.7%
LV 11  4.3%
LV 12  8.7%
LV 13 17.6%

Erdrick's Sword, Full Plate, Large Shield, Dragon Scale
LV 9    4.3%
LV 10  8.3%
LV 11 16.2%
LV 12 26.6%
LV 13 42.0%

From this, we can see the Silver Shield benefits are marginal, but still worthwhile.  I also did Erdrick's Sword just out of curiosity, but it's amazing how worthwhile that extra attack is.

So I wouldn't say that it's impossible vs. possible between level 12 and level 13, but it definitely does get exponentially harder the lower your level is.  I would think that because you're segmenting it, you'd want to choose a fine balance between tearing your hair out to beat the odds and taking the easy way out even though it lasts longer.  Maybe that is level 13 with the Silver Shield, but 1 in 6 odds aren't exactly amazing.  I mean, if you were even thinking about trying to get the Death Necklace, those odds are equivalent to a fight with the Axe Knight at level 11.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I don't like those odds, considering I also have to fight Golem after and then find Erdrick's Token. Compound those odds. Ryan, can you simulate some Golem battles for me? Also, is it actually worthwhile to heal while he's asleep, or is a bad gamble?

I should mess around with my savestates and see what happens if I can theoretically kill the Axe Knight at a lower level, like 11, and then switch to grinding in the Hauksness region for a while. I'd still have to build up gold but I'd probably get it before level 13 due to fighting harder enemies. This is also a possible reason to use L instead of Z, the extra 4 defense of Erdrick's Armour (right?) could make killing tougher enemies happen even sooner. Well, not really.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
I don't like those odds, considering I also have to fight Golem after and then find Erdrick's Token.

Would it be necessary to do all those things in the same segment though?  Let's say you bust your balls and beat him at level 10.  Once you've done that it might not be a bad idea to just grind a bit or go home right away to replenish your HP/MP.  I mean, you're just going to go back to Hauksness again anyways, so why not get the Silver Shield and token then?  I haven't done the sims, but I'm sure this would still be saving some time.

Ryan, can you simulate some Golem battles for me? Also, is it actually worthwhile to heal while he's asleep, or is a bad gamble?

Yeah, I could do that, but I need info like levels and equipment.  And by healing, do you mean using the spell or using herbs?  And to capacity?

I did a basic strategy sim at LV13 with all the max equipment you could have, and it seemed like the risk was about 23%.  Getting there is a different story.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Yeah, I find in the savestates Golem should go pretty easily unless you get unlucky and he wakes up quickly a lot.

In the current plan I go there at Level 13, after I kill the Axe Knight, so my equipment would be Broad Sword/Erdrick's Armor/Large Shield. I'd likely have 0 or 1 Herbs after killing the Axe Knight, so I'd be using Heal to push myself above 43 HP or so while he's asleep to make sure he doesn't wake up and own me. Because the enemy has a 1 in 3 chance of waking up, the odds should be in my favour he will stay asleep for more than one turn and thus I wouldn't be wasting time. Try level 12 and level 11 as well. Don't bother simulating lower levels because I wouldn't have 14800 gold by then anyway.

I'd like to try to condense segments and walking around, because it takes about a minute to walk into the castle and up the stairs and listen to King Lorik. Every extra segment would be an insult to the 5 minutes I save via the Death Necklace.

Getting the Harp is also kind of on the way to Hauksness but this can be worked around. This just means I have to buy my Herbs in Breconnary, then I can buy 6 more for Golem later maybe. Hey, I just realized I could cast Return to save a bunch of steps getting the Staff of Rain from there, oops.

The Axe Knight has something like a 13/16 immunity to Sleep, right? But he only uses Sleep 25% of the time anyway. If I can get a Sleep off on him at the start of a segment, that seems like better odds of killing him than hoping Stopspell will keep him from attacking. I'd probably cast Stopspell on him while he was asleep anyway...try simulating that strategy. I know the sleep will fail a lot but when it works, does it work well?
Quote from ShinerCCC:
In the current plan I go there at Level 13, after I kill the Axe Knight, so my equipment would be Broad Sword/Erdrick's Armor/Large Shield. I'd likely have 0 or 1 Herbs after killing the Axe Knight, so I'd be using Heal to push myself above 43 HP or so while he's asleep to make sure he doesn't wake up and own me.

So 1 herb, how much MP?  Or how much MP do you expect to have used at each level?

I'd like to try to condense segments and walking around, because it takes about a minute to walk into the castle and up the stairs and listen to King Lorik. Every extra segment would be an insult to the 5 minutes I save via the Death Necklace.

Unless that segment saved you several minutes, which beating the Axe Knight early might.

The Axe Knight has something like a 13/16 immunity to Sleep, right?

Sadly, it's 15/16.  I couldn't really see any kind of improvement over the existing odds by casting sleep, but I'll test it anyway.
As expected, the Axe Knight is harder if you try to use sleep.  I ran all the same simulations with the change in strategy, and they all came out worse.  Basically what I did was to cast sleep until it hit, and if he woke up I'd just return to normal strategy.  The risk was practically doubled.

As for Golem, I think it's really going to depend on how much MP you have, so I'll wait on that one.
Highly Evolved
Give me an update on what you're intending to do with the segmented run and what times you're looking at.  Even give details on what you plan to do each level if there is any plan.  Like for instance, I will reset if I can't get a level up before having to use the inn on the first two levels.  Maybe even level 3 to 4 since you can use heal once.
Edit history:
ShinerCCC: 2010-02-03 05:13:27 pm
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I started testing Dragonlord fights while watching $E2, and I saw that the Dragonlord's second form always always ALWAYS starts with 130 HP. Nothing random about it. The human form does vary though, but this is irrelevant, he almost always dies in 3 hits, rarely is it 2 or 4. Use those 6 Herbs to re-roll your chances of going into the next form with full HP. Anyway:


LEVEL 16: 85 defense. 86 is the next breakpoint..........
I've begun to notice that pretty much any enemy will die in 2 hits. Hauksness town enemies sometimes take 3, north of Mason-Dixon line enemies sometimes die in 1. Just walk on grass to heal instead of leaving town, or cast Heal to give yourself a buffer. At this level you get a huge surge in MP, after casting Repel you arrive with 86 MP, and you probably won't need Stopspell on Starwyverns too much.

LEVEL 17: 89 defense. It looks like the ONLY difference defense-wise between L and Z is these two: L resists Wyverns at Level 11 instead of 12, L resists Green Dragons at Level 17 and Z doesn't. But the other difficulties associated with having less HP probably don't offset these marginal benefits.

LEVEL 18: 106 max HP, 92 defense. Wow...I bet level 19 could reach 95, which would grant resistance to Axe Knights, which would be insanely helpful in Charlock. Z's max HP is 115, for comparison. I think I need to give the Dragonlord a couple attempts to see how much harder it really is...Z has 89 defense and L has 92, so that means 6 more Agility to run away with. If I recall the formulas though, that isn't very helpful.
Just took on the Dragonlord once and beat him with some damn good luck. I had about 55 HP left and he attacked twice, doing 28 and then...25! I won with 3 HP and 0 MP left!

That is, of course, only true if the route stays the same...

If the Silver Shield is put off until later, L's extra defense might have a use. It's strange seeing my gold go up into the 20000s or beyond and not having a use for it.

I just tested forgoing the Broad Sword and it doesn't work at all. Even in the original Z savestate, he only has 1433 gold at level 8. I just tested from level 4, even though I already had the Broad Sword equipped; I only attacked using Hurt, except when I made mistakes, but I only started making income at level 6 because I was staying at the inn so often. Partway to level 8 I had about 908 gold, then I gambled too hard on trying to kill a Metal Scorpion when I had 10 HP and 4 MP...I lost. The Broad Sword may catch up to Hurt's damage at around level 6 or so but that doesn't mean it's useless. It's good to use when you run out of MP.

According to L's savestate, he has 20 MP available for Golem. His max is 60 (at level 13), this would be the same for Z. He spent 8 for sure to cast Outside to escape from Garin's Tomb. I guess there were 8 uses of Heal on the way to Cantlin out of fear or something. I just did a test run with a savestate from Z and he made it with 32 MP, despite picking a fight with a Knight. But he had 61/70 HP so I cast Heal one more time, giving me 28 MP. So I think you can expect to have 24 MP for the Golem fight. It's a short fight so there should be enough MP to go around for spare healing if needed. L's max HP is 66, btw.

Here's the link to L's savestates. I didn't include any for level 19 because I don't think the SS route would want to gamble on him, he has a tougher time with the Dragonlord.

Darkwing, here's the current segmented run plan, adapted from the previous one:

- At first I thought L was lousy, but I'm reconsidering him right now...but if you're going to single-segment and try to beat the Dragonlord at level 18, go with Z for sure.
- buy Club, Clothes, and Dragon Scale, equip Scale and sell it along with your Torch. Grind until level 2, use the inn, restart if you die. Grind until level 3, use the inn. Around the time you hit level 4, you'll almost have 106 gold. I'm not entirely sure if it's best to be at 100% full power before departing, but this is a good point to end the segment.

- Make the sprint to Rimuldar, buy 2 keys, die, end segment. I guess this could be combined with segment 1 if you're ballsy. One less save will save a lot of time but if the sprint fails you have wasted 30 minutes of your life, lolz. [EDIT: definitely combine this with segment 1]

- Go to Mountain Cave, activate glitch after pulling a Death Necklace (HA HA HA HA HA GOOD LUCK), pull 4115 gold from the bottomless chest, grab garbage text, leave for Kol. Why 4115? You get 10 kickback from your Clothes, 30 from your Club, 1200 from the Death Necklace, and it's good to have some starting capital for Rimuldar in case you need to use the inn immediately upon arrival, which you just might. Get up to Garinham by walking north, buy Large Shield. When you leave, head east back to the coast, go south, then east across the second lowest treeline, that will take you straight across the bridge. Go to Kol, buy Full Plate, pick up Fairy Flute, sprint to Rimuldar, you can kill something on the way there (try to make it a Metal Scorpion, they have really low HP so they're easy to kill with Hurt). Begin the 2 hour grinding segment, the leveling guides have been explained in other posts. At level 13, return to Rimuldar and buy 6 5 keys, then cast Return and save.

- Go to Breconnary and buy all the Fairy Water you can hold. Sprinkle one before you walk to Garinham. I recommend heading to the north coast then turning west, you don't have to trundle over hills that way.
- Go to Garinham and buy 5 Herbs. Open the door and grab the Herb (lower left chest). Get the Silver Harp, directions are on page 4 of this thread. Cast Outside, stay in Garinham's Inn, sprinkle some more Fairy Water and head south.
- Fight the Axe Knight in Hauksness and win. Easier said than done. Snag Erdrick's Armour and proceed to Golem, beat him too. Buy the Silver Shield in Cantlin, you'll doubtlessly have enough money for it by now. Also stay in the Inn here, then talk to the blue+white shopkeeper on your way out and buy 6 more Herbs from him, it's a lot less out of the way than Breconnary's tool shop.
- Head around the corner into the swamp and snag Erdrick's Token. If you're coming at it from the west, it's straight ahead, no need to go north or south. If you somehow manage to pull off all that without dying, cast Return, save, then indulge yourself, you deserve it. Well, more accurately, you got pretty damn lucky.

- It's time to steal Erdrick's Sword. Use two Fairy Waters on the way to the Staff of Rain, use a third once you get through the tunnel. Head past Rimuldar and get the Rainbow Drop, use your last Fairy Water and you'll reach the island of Charlock. Use Radiant to see once you reach B2 because of the notches. Don't use Herbs down here. Cast Sleep on Stonemans, they're vulnerable to it and they can be hard to run away from. If you have 14 MP left after retrieving the sword, then cast Outside+Return to save because it's faster than dying.

- The other 2 hour grinding segment, from 13 to 18. Leveling strategies are on Page 9.
- did that guy on GameFAQs ever get a straight answer regarding Metal Slimes: are the odds of killing one better if you gamble on Hurt, or try to smash it with your sword? I find that often you can get into a slugfest of fruitless turns, only to have them run away. Seems like a waste of time, it's better to have the south zone. Wyverns and Rogue Scorpions give you a bit of a rest, but there's no Magiwyverns either, which are pretty easy kills because they like to spam Sleep and have 0 resistance to Stopspell. I also like trying to kill Demon Knights, even though that can often result in catastrophic failure.
- Once Level 18 is reached, die/Return to Tantegel and save to end the segment. If you're out of MP and need to die, talk to the Axe Knight, he's a great travel agent.
- Using Herbs to stay alive in a pinch while out in the field grinding could potentially save time. Walking back after dying takes about 50 seconds, provided you're already level 15 and able to cast Repel. Don't bother re-buying them until the next segment, treat them like emergency super-heals. But remember it takes time to re-buy those, maybe they're not worth using after all.
- Another little tip: if you're close to level 17 and still have plenty of MP, hang on to them, you'll need them for Healmore, it speeds up grinding a lot. You can stick to a strip of desert and not have to step off to heal on grass.

- This is it. Go kill the Dragonlord. But buy a bunch more Fairy Waters and a Torch first. Buy any Herbs you might have used too. The odds of beating big D are in your favour, although I find it all-too-frequent that Red Dragons eat me alive on the way down. I guess the Torch could be skipped if you're really damn good at navigating Charlock in the dark but I suck at avoiding the notches and wasting even a single step in the most dangerous area in the game doesn't sit well with me. Nevermind that there's also the next floor with that really long hallway where you have to turn south, with nothing to bonk off of for a guide.
- I should remind you that Repel/Fairy Water keeps away the enemies that patrol Charlock Island.

7 segments? How did I come up with 11 in the previous version? So few segments for such a long game...reminds me of the PSO run.

You may have noticed that by buying 6 keys instead of 5, I have 1 leftover at the end. I was planning on going to save Gwaelin after killing the Dragonlord, I thought you discover her corpse in the cell but I was wrong.

"Oh, my dearest Gwaelin!"
"I hate thee, <player name>."

"Tell King Lorik that the search for his daughter hath failed."
"I am almost gone...."

"Who touches me?"
"I see nothing, nor can I hear."

That's all in the text dump but I don't know how to actually trigger it...

btw Venetian Snares is the perfect soundtrack for Dragon Warrior speedrunning.
man my posts on SDA are way too long.
Highly Evolved
Wait, you can buy Fairy Waters in Brecconary?  Where?
I like to watch
"Oh, my dearest Gwaelin!"
"I hate thee, <player name>."

I'm not sure about the others, but going from years-old memory, these two I think are said by one of the castle guards on the ground floor (perhaps somewhere not far from the healer?).  The first line is maybe before you rescue the princess and the second line is afterward.  I don't have access to the game to check it for myself, so I could be wrong.  I doubt it, though, at least about the second line.. pretty hard to forget an NPC saying they hate you in an early RPG like this.  Tongue