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Quote from ShinerCCC:
Is this for the sake of a safer trip to Rimuldar? Heck no.

Actually, my statistics have shown that it is 2x riskier on average to make the trip at level 4 than level 5.  That doesn't mean that it's not doable, but it is an added risk.  However, this early in the game might be worth it for a single segment.  I haven't tested leveling around Rimuldar at level 4 myself, but it too probably presents a higher risk.  By that point though, you might not want to take as many risks, but it depends on who's doing the run I guess.

Personally, if you're going to fight in zone 4, I'm leaning towards doing it at Kol.

About the fleeing algorithm, the relevant portion starts at about $EE91.  If you want, I can elaborate more on that if you don't know how to read the code.
Edit history:
discoransom: 2010-02-09 03:49:45 pm

I'm finding a level 4 fight-run to Kol & level before Rimuldar dash to be about the same, and better with good gold drops, fwiw, if you're reaching level 5 before the Rimuldar dash.  It can potentially save a little time- the problems being that it relies on a little gold luck, and getting to Rimuldar on one herb. 

By the way, I find level 4 at Rimuldar to be sketchy and more sketchy, using the strategy of buying herbs and leveling outside Rimuldar.  But it's only around 20 minutes wasted if it fails, so eh.  Truly I'm not sure which strategy is more risky.  I'd guess they're close.

Also I'm just brawling w/Metal scorpions at lvl 7 and Wolves at 8 (with Z), and I'm not convinced it's worth using hurt and sleep respectively

2:59 to level 13 from start- I think this should be under 2:55, as I wasted some time with Wolflords at lvl 9 and Wyverns at 12.  Fast and accurate menu skills are essential, and I suck there, losing at least another minute.
Edit history:
Darkwing Duck: 2010-02-09 04:23:29 pm
Highly Evolved
Quote from ShinerCCC:
Some stuff in that route makes no sense to me...

- We already mentioned there's no need to use two keys for the gold glitch. You can buy two more Herbs to make the trip more surefire instead. Just buy 5 or 6 keys before you leave Rimuldar; this leaves 2 for the Silver Harp, 1 for Cantlin, 1 or 2 for Fairy Water, your 6th can get the Stones of Sunlight.

After the mountain cave, there's really no time where I'm expecting to die, so I'm never going to be in Tantegel again until after I've received the Rainbow Drop.  A good amount of wasted time when I can just grab the Stones after doing the gold glitch.

- There is definitely no need to grind up to level 5. Segmented won't even get up to 4 but it's absurdly risky. If you make it to Rimuldar with some surplus cash you can definitely just spam Hurt to kill everything. You'll reach level 5 in only a few fights.

Meh, I'm not sold on that.  I still want the two keys.  I guess since it's early I can take more risks and try it at four. 

- Instead of buying Clothes you could sell your starting Torch and buy an extra Herb instead. However I think that makes Drakees more painful to fight, I'll have to test that.

Clothes are very much needed to level up more quickly.  Even slimes can do 2 damage without clothes.  I also plan on keeping the torch in case I do have the issues in the mountain cave, and if I don't use it there, I just keep it until the second run through Charlock.  If this causes a problem with fairy water, than it may change, however, but I don't think it will.

- I've gotten better at navigating the mountain cave in the dark. You start by going 2 spaces right, if you don't hear bonking immediately after going up you're probably on the right track. If you're not sure, go left immediately, if you don't see stairs and start bonking then you're definitely on the right track. After grabbing the Herb, you go up until bonk, then left 4 spaces, but after going left once you can just start testing Down, keep trying until you don't bonk immediately. Same with the next floor, after going right 2 spaces you can start testing Down.

My problem has always been at the beginning.  I've found I end up going three steps instead of two.  I should be good, but it's there in case.

- Death Necklace sells for 1200, so in the extreme off-chance you get one, farm up to 4115. Remember the kickback from your initial gear, and some starting cash for Rimuldar.


- You absolutely won't need to fight Goldmen, ever. You can grind up a bit of cash in Hauksness' northern strip on the way, or in Garin's Tomb if you do it first (it's really easy at level 13). In addition, Wolflords give about 70-80 gold, Wyverns about 80-96...Goldmen up to 199. It's not that much of a difference for a single fight but they have lots of HP and give crap experience. You'll be especially rich if you start fighting Wolflords at level 7 by relying on Sleep, although it's better to put that off until your power boost at level 9 because you can two-shot Wraiths in the area.

Getting the extra gold in Hauksness on the way is an idea.  Since I'm not planning on going to the Wolflord area until level 10 (in my tests, I was using Heal twice as fast on level 9 than ten, making the area slower) I can end up short of 14.8k.  My 6 hour loss run had me ending up about 150 short, so I killed a Goldman and was fine.  It's a three round battle at that point.  Not much time either way.

- Don't buy Herbs in Garinham at level 5, that's hard-earned glitch gold. 24 gold = about 5-10 seconds of pulling. After level 13 you'll be rolling in gold that you don't need, save Herb purchases until then. I only buy Herbs at the start (to cross the swamp/not die at level 3 in Rimuldar), before Garin's Tomb (convenient, you also get the free one in the building) and finally in Cantlin after fighting Axe Knight + Golem, but that's another issue. For single segment the second batch should probably be in Brecconary again (to Golem), then in Cantlin (for Axe Knight), then in Garinham (Garin's Tomb then Erdrick's Sword raid). If you used some during the raid or during your 13-19 grinding then get the last batch in Brecconary.

I won't use any herbs between level 13 and Dragonlord.

- Why not get Erdrick's Token after buying the Silver Shield?!? Swamp doesn't hurt that much. You're going to cast Return or die as soon as you get it anyway. Then you won't have to return to that area ever again. If you die on the way, well, stick to the plan of grabbing it right before 19 then.

Because I have difficulty surviving in that area.  The token isn't that much farther away from Hauksness than it is Cantlin, and I'm nearly guaranteed to survive the trip.  A ten percent risk of death is so much more desired than 30-40 percent chance of death three hours into a run.  Can't get the token at 19 since you need it to get the Rainbow Drop. 

- Only use the inn in Kol if you somehow took a lot of damage on the way there (highly unlikely at level 5, you can run from anything that casts Hurt). It's a few steps out of the way and a waste of 20 gold, after all. 24 gold buys you a mobile inn stay anyway.

That's the plan.  Very unlikely to need it.

- If you're level 5 then you should have enough MP to kill something on the way to Rimuldar. Use one of your initial Herbs (you'll have at least one from the mountain cave) if you need to, it's better used to get a strong start than as some kind of wacky failsafe.

What I like to user herbs on for that area is indeed at the beginning, but also to get a level up in before having to use the inn.  Using an herb so that I don't have to use the inn before level up means I'll get that extra HP and that extra heal so I can stay out longer on the next grind.

- Max out your Fairy Water purchases every time. They're also really cheap, spend away. At level 13 (first set), this should give you 6 of them (7 if you don't have the Stones of Sunlight yet). Use 1 to walk to Hauksness, for the rest of the way to Golem you're on your own, but you can't buy it back in Cantlin because you need room for Erdrick's Token. Use 1 to walk to Hauksness and fight the Axe Knight. Use 1 to walk to Garinham and get the Silver Harp, use 1 to walk to the Staff of Rain, use 1 coming out of the tunnel onto Rimuldar, use 1 after getting Rainbow Drop. (you probably won't take any damage as a result, no need to use Rimuldar's inn) After that you have one left...use it to walk to Hauksness for your 13-19 grind. You need 2 to reach Charlock for the final encounter though. You could just use Repel instead of buying 2 more, that's probably faster than walking into Brecconary again. You could use the inn in Rimuldar if you really, really want the 4 MP back, but you probably won't need it to run from Stonemen anyway. Of course, if you end up dying trying to retrieve the Token at level 13, then you could opt to buy the two Fairy Waters in the Cantlin region.

Why max out in Brecconary if I don't have to plus have to grind a few extra battles to afford to at level 13?  All you need is one to make to Cantlin at level 13.  That's 38 right there, plus the 53 for the extra key needed.  I buy five, that's an extra 152 gold I have to account for.  Just wait until I get the 400 back.

- I never checked if Garinham or Tantegel is closer to the Staff of Rain. I'll test it right now by comparing how long it takes for Fairy Water to run out. ...Tantegel is way, way closer.

Well Duh.  Tongue

- If you haven't got a Torch, you can use 3 MP on Radiant if you can spare it...but you should have one anyway, there's a free one in that chest in Garinham. Since you put it off until later you should definitely pick it up then, you'll have room after using all those Fairy Waters.

Well, if I get to level 19, I guess I can use repel.  I should have enough for it twice without losing a Healmore. 

Just tested using the Hills of Hubris to level Z from 4 to 5, and it took 5m57s. 3 stays in the inn, I believe. Basically, this is the dumbest idea ever, and here's why:
- 2 of the 5 enemies in the region use Hurt, which does 5-10 damage
- Scorpions consistently do 4 OR 5 damage, and take 2 or 3 turns of Hurt to kill
- Ghosts linger in there, lame 3 experience
- crappy experience

Compare this to Rimuldar, whose most dangerous enemy (Wolf) does 0-7 damage.

Is this for the sake of a safer trip to Rimuldar? Heck no. Level 5 adds 5 strength, 2 agility, 4 HP and 4 MP. So, an extra Heal, insignificantly better chances of running away, and 2 steps of extra swamp travel. The 5 strength won't help you run away on the way there, since you're on the way to greener pastures you'll be running from everything on the way there. Given that you have to rise from 47 to 110 exp to reach this level, you'd gain about 100 gold from the whole excursion; you could just grind for 1/4 that long to buy one more Herb and have a much much much better chance of even making it to Rimuldar. I've established that grinding there at level 4 isn't hard, and I can say from experience it's a heck of a lot easier than trying it at level 3. So yeah, please don't level up to 5 before making any trips to Rimuldar. This means we won't get to show off the Hills of Hubris in our speedrun but I really don't care, I think having 5300 gold and 50 experience is a lot cooler.

I should also remind everybody that I'm doing all these tests on a PRG0 ROM, which has the slightly faster combat text, so every timing I take is very optimistic.

EDIT: While testing (on frameskip) to see if the Clothes actually helped, I reminded myself of something I should have already known: the Club pays for itself. When you stick to the Bamboo Pole you have to return to town much much more frequently and combat takes longer. I also found the Clothes didn't help at all. Don't fight Drakees at level 1 or 2, but at level 3 they're easy enough to kill because of mild boosts in strength and defense. So your starting junk should be a Club and a Dragon Scale. Sell the Dragon Scale and your Torch, then buy two Herbs. You won't have to walk to that island in town for a long, long time.

At level 4 I had 74 gold. so with a bit more gold I could have bought a third herb (probably a good idea to do so before dying for SS). Segmented can pull it off too! Only one Herb is needed for crossing the swamp anyway, it won't matter because once you're on the island making it to Rimuldar is 100% luck anyway. The Herb from the mountain cave can help for the return trip but buying one or two more in Garinham would probably be a good idea to speed things up once you get there.

I'm convinced clothes are needed in the early going, so the max herbs is one.  Running from Drakees seems like a time waster since it gives double the experience and usually doesn't take double the time to kill, especially at level 2.

As for level 4, it's something to try.  I suppose it's early enough for a single segment to do.  I also thing your damage output is off.  I'm sure Wolves can do up to 8 damage when nerfed, and enemies' hurt only does 3-10.


Going to Rimuldar at level 4 means only one key.  That would mean I would have to go into Tantegel at a later time.  I suppose that extra time is less than the time it would take to get to level 5 in the southern hills.

I did die really quickly on a dash for Rimuldar at level 4.  That extra 4 HP seems to make quite a bit of difference.  One less heal, plus lost HP in heals is a factor.  You should probably heal at say 24 HP since you'll be two shotted otherwise, but you would only gain 7 HP, and you're guaranteed to be three shotted at full HP regardless.
Edit history:
discoransom: 2010-02-09 11:17:24 pm
Some grind times 13-18 single seg, no death

14- 2,000  20m (100xp/min is pretty good and this includes walk time)
15- 2,500  26m (!!! /wrists)
16- 3,000  28m (eh can be better)
17 \
18 /  6K    54m total (50-51 may be a good target?)

130 min from 13 @ Brecconary to 18 @ Brecconary (stocked), a lucky/optimized run can break 120 on the grinding

180 min from start to lvl 13, returned and outside of Brecconary- I leveled to nearly lvl 5 before making the Rimuldar dash, so subtract a little there.  My gold pulling/menu skills suck, so a little there.  Maybe a great run can shave 10 minutes?  Hard to say as I was in delerium after a while.

Didn't time shield/token/harp/staff/rainbow drop/sword portion.  Will update this post later.

Game definitely goes under 6 hours.  Around 5:40 looks doable, and 5:30 is looking like a nice "impossible" goal

Mistakes from 13-18- using a few MP for heal- those were needed for 2 Healmore later.  Herbs were used too liberally, more risk was needed by running at low HP.  Z has 60 MP to start and every scrap should be saved obviously.  Not enough practical knowledge of switching between which zones and when.

I'm going to test somehow combining Grave of Garin with Large Shield again.  It comes after gold trick and it's risky, but I'm taking it more seriously after seeing the acceptable risks of Cantlin, Token, and Sword.

My kingdom for a sequence break!

@stones I pulled "wings"...was really hoping for a "demon token" or maybe some "dragon water"  :-[
Highly Evolved
Quote from discoransom:
Some grind times 13-18 single seg, no death

14- 2,000  20m (100xp/min is pretty good and this includes walk time)
15- 2,500  26m (!!! /wrists)
16- 3,000  28m (eh can be better)
17 \
18 /  6K    54m total (50-51 may be a good target?)

From my post at Gamefaqs.  A timed trial run.

Level 14-15 (10000) in 25 minutes (100 exp/min)
Level 15-16 (13000) in 31 minutes, which included a bad Starwyvern death (96.78 exp/min)
Level 16-17 (16000) in 27 minutes (111.11 exp/minute)
Level 17-18 (19000) in 26 minutes (115.38 exp/minute)
Hey Shiner, here's the FAQ I'm working on:

Aside from data for each and every monster, it has a lot of other formulas and things.  Also, if anyone else feels like giving any feedback on the FAQ or there was something you wanted to see in there, let me know.

I think I might peer into what causes the glitchy names for the Stones chest and see if that can be manipulated.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Small mistakes in the FAQ:

The other type of attack happens if your agility is equal or greater than the
enemy's strength.  In that case, the range is from:

Should be Defense Power, not agility.

I think it's worth mentioning the precise scenarios for how Magic Armor and Erdrick's Armor reduce magic damage. 30 damage reduced Hurtmore is 1/16 chance, only even numbers result, etc.

mention the alternate ranges of Heal/Healmore as belonging to Enemy Heal/Healmore.

Tougher monsters have an EASIER time blocking you...right?

Running from Golem also kicks you back to the previous square.

Are you sure the Death Necklace can only be obtained once? I've heard that if you're carrying one you can't pull another one, but once per game?
Ok, I fixed the ones that were obvious mistakes.  Thanks for pointing some of them out.

The Magic/Erdrick's Armor thing will be explained more in the complex formulas section, which is yet to come.  The first section is for just getting a rough idea of damage, not the precise odds of getting each damage.  I'll also be getting into things like the random generator and its faults.

I did mention that hero spells vary from enemy spells, but I put another note by the enemy spells vary.

As far as MeteorStrike could find, the Death Necklace could only be obtained once, but he was uncertain if there were any method in the game that would allow more than once.  Getting the necklace sets the 5th bit of $DF, which stores a couple unrelated bits of game data, and is separate from your inventory.  When you pick up that chest, it tests if bit 5 of $DF is set or not.  If it's not, it then proceeds to do the 1/32 chance.  If it is, then it just gives you the gold.  He did a few tests to see if certain things like resetting the game, going to an inn, selling it, etc, would clear the bit, but they didn't.  Yet he recalled getting two before, although his memory might have been in error.  I'm pretty sure I could find such an occurrence in the code just by searching it for a few choice strings that would be ideal ways to clear it.  However, the code in this game is hardly always ideal.  Perhaps I will search for it for the sake of accuracy.
I looked into the Stones of Sunlight chest text errors, and I have a really basic understanding of how it works.

What happens with the chest trick is that it skips over several subroutines, like playing the chest sound, and one of the things it skips is loading a text type into $A3, so that it knows what text to display.  Now since it skips loading that variable, it displays whatever the variable was last time.  One other notable thing I found that changes $A3 is whenever you enter combat.

Apparently when the game was ported, they kept certain bits of code.  Each enemy has 16 bytes of data, but only the first 8 are used in the ported version because they are vital stats like strength, agility, gold, etc.  The last 8 bytes were apparently the enemy name, but using Japanese characters.  I guess they didn't feel the need to eliminate this particular code of loading all 16 bytes, so the Japanese enemy name is loaded into $A3-A8.  Since $A3 is the number that guides the chest text, it is the first Japanese character loaded that will be the basis of this.  I'm not sure if $A3 is used for any purpose anywhere else, but it's possible.

So in short, whatever enemy you ran into last before dying will change the text.  There's nothing random about it.

Outcomes of specific enemies in the Mountain Cave:

Enemy / Chest text / $A3
Ghost : Broad Sword (45)
Magician : Axe Ghost (28)
Magidrakee : Harp Knight (3F)
Scorpion : Erdrick's Armor (0E)
Poltergeist : Harp Knight (3F)
Droll : Club (42)
Drakeema : Club (42)
Skeleton : Small Shield (0F)
Warlock : Axe Ghost (28)

Let me know if you guys have seen different outcomes than this, in which case I can check if something else possibly changes that value.  Of course there might be a couple different ones if you were to die in the Grave of Garinham, since there are some different enemies in there.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Wow! I wonder if there's a possible Game Genie code to display the Japanese names instead of the English ones? I'll look into it in the decoder in FCEUX later.

I got a Wings one time and Bamboo Pole one time...not sure why it's missing there. Oh, that might be Wolf, you can fight those in B2 of the mountain cave. But that leaves one more possibility, and we're already out of enemies...

I'm curious why the first letter of Magidrakee and Magician would be different. It should be 馬. (Just kidding, that's the kanji for 'horse', I don't know how to type the phonetic letter 'ma'). Actually, I think GameFAQs had a list of Japanese enemy names somewhere and I think Drakees are called something else in Japanese. Magidrakee and Poltergeist seem to start with the same Japanese letter.

Also, on GameFAQs DragoonAtma and I discovered several mistakes in the Enemy Territory map. A lot of the meridians are off by a little bit. Doesn't really matter for the sake of the speedrun though, except for a 3-square notch south of Lake Rimuldar, you can fight Wolflords in there while close to town, but it's all forest.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
Wow! I wonder if there's a possible Game Genie code to display the Japanese names instead of the English ones? I'll look into it in the decoder in FCEUX later.

I don't know if they would've kept the graphics for all the characters.  The only reason they probably left the names in is because compacting or changing it to English would've required a ton of rewrites of code.  Assembly is like that.

Oh, that might be Wolf, you can fight those in B2 of the mountain cave.

Do you mean the Grave of Garinham?  B2 of the Mountain Cave is Zone 14: Poltergeist, Droll, Drakeema, Skeleton, Warlock.  There is no Wolf.

The grave would open up a lot more possibilities like:

Wolf : Armor Warlock (31)
Metal Scorpion : Staff of Rain (1C)
Specter : Red (26)
Wolflord : Armor Warlock (31)
Druinlord : Harp Knight (3F)
Drollmagi : Club (42)
Wraith Knight : Wings (15)

I'm particularly fond of just "Red".

I have seen Bamboo Pole and Wings too, but not through empirical tests of dying in the cave.  When I want to test it, I just fill up the array in the hex editor.  I also have filled $A3 manually, so there might be something more at play that I haven't seen.  I think I'll go test this manually.  It might help if you guys could take note of what monster killed you, how they killed you, and what the chest says next time you do the trick.

So far, I've noticed a couple things:
-If an enemy kills you with hurt, that changes the value to (02) which is Club
-If you didn't actually get all 5 chests in the cave, this allows you to actually pick up one chest in Tantegel, which will always change the value to (15) which is Wings

I'm curious why the first letter of Magidrakee and Magician would be different.

I think it's because "Magi" is the descriptor, which probably comes last.  Although Drakee and Magidrakee don't share the same first letter, so I dunno.  I know Slime and Red Slime do.
Edit history:
ShinerCCC: 2010-02-16 12:28:30 pm
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Tested L vs. Z a little bit.

Although the parallel savestate with Z starts with differing amounts of HP and MP (actually, it's similar MP and only about 10 more HP) I don't think it really matters because L only had to stay at the inn 3 times, and the 3rd one was barely even necessary. It's easy enough to go back for your keys and end up with enough MP to cast Return once you're done.

Level 12 to 13, using L, HP display off, trial 1: 27 minutes (1505 exp, 55.74 exp/min)
Anyway, fighting Wyverns is still a bit frustrating. Early on, I got the worst luck imaginable; Wyverns would either resist Sleep outright or wake up in 1 turn. Damage dealt to them seems to range from 11 to 22. This isn't to say I never got good luck though, at least two stayed completely asleep, another was Sleep straight into an Excellent Move. Wyverns do 0 to 9 damage to L, although I only saw a 9 once and got several 0s. Sleep is probably still worth going for, Wyverns usually die in 3 hits, 2 if you're a little bit lucky, 4 if you're extremely unlucky. Magic Armor seems like it would help, but again, only 2 or 3 inn stays. I noticed it took me 2 mintues to travel up and down though...if the Magic Armour can save an entire inn visit of similar length 8 more times then it would sort of pay off. Ha ha.
Worth noting: I got a little carried away and got myself down to 6 HP and 1 MP while in Wyvern territory. So I had to run from the Wolflords and Wolves I saw on the way home. Probably lost a bit of time there.
I ran from a Wolf on the way back down once because I figured the exp/min was crappy. Still dies in 2 hits, still does annoying damage to me, so I skipped his ass.

Level 12 to 13, using Z, HP display off: oops I died (gained 1008 exp in ~20 minutes, 50.4 exp/min)
Yes. In the hilly northern fringe of Wyvern territory, I had 25 HP and 5 MP left after choosing to kill a Wyvern without using Sleep. The next Wyvern I fought surprised me and did 13 damage. I tried to run but I got stuck and then killed. ...That is a SERIOUS error. Nothing wrong with reverting to Wolflords when low on MP.
The measurement might not be entirely accurate either, I only considered what time I started after 2 fights, got up to fix some external circumstances and used frameskip to compensate some other mistakes, etc.
By this point I had already stayed at the inn twice, and a 3rd and maybe 4th stay was imminent. The extra damage Wyverns do is kind of annoying. And I still got a mixture of either hideous unluck or happy proper good luck while using Sleep. No middle ground.

I'm going on a trip in 1 hour, good luck without me until the 21st guys.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
wtf happened to all the hype behind this run? Is Darkwing making daily attempts now or something? ?_?

Did one and half more tests with L. Enemy HP visible.

Test 1: 26 minutes, 3 inn stays, ~57.69 exp/min
I forgot to buy keys, so I frameskip-walked back to town and did that, then frameskip-walked back to the combat zone, then frameskipped two rounds...wait that's not how that works at all

Not much to say about this one really, except for the second trip home. My enemy Wyvern had 33 HP I decided to grow some balls and fought him when I had something like 12 HP left. Then I one-shotted a Warlock for 25 damage on the way back too. Awesome.

Test 2: surprised by a Skeleton right before town when I had 4 HP left, took 5, died. 18 minutes, 5079 exp reached. ~59.2 exp/min...I think I forgot how long I took, this number seems too high
Again, got turbo ballsy and fought a Wraith with low HP left, it hit me for 7 (wtf?!) then cast Heal before I could kill it. Evaded a Wolf and Metal Scorpion on the way back just fine, but those Skeletons...what are the odds of getting surprised by one when you have 40 agility?!

The second test was actually going to be for Z but I noticed early on I had picked L by mistake. Edit forthcoming for Z I guess.
I've lost a bit of steam on my simulator, but I am still working on it slowly, and I did some work last night.  I spent a lot of time on runs that didn't use the trick, but I think I'm going to focus on that more later, and right now I'm just going to focus on doing the gold trick.

I didn't find much out really.  Just that the gold trick finally becomes worth it time-wise by level 9.  Also that grinding in zone 8 near Rimuldar isn't as good as zone 7 at least up until level 10.  When do you typically start grinding in zone 8?

I've also been testing the worthiness of Magic Armor.  I see little gains here and there in both time and gold, but I don't think that it will be enough to make up for the time lost by level 13.  Up to level 10 from level 5 with it loses ~15 minutes but gains 100+ gold.  And for a segmented run it should definitely be out since you could fight the Axe Knight at a lower level.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Zone 8 is Wolflords, right? I find Level 10 is a good level to start fighting there too because that's when you get immunity to Wolflords. But you get a big power boost at level 9, so fighting them using Sleep becomes even more viable. Usually I try my luck out there as soon as I learn Sleep, level 7.

I think both the segmented and single-segment runs kill the Axe Knight at level 13. The only difference is that SS will get the Silver Shield first, so repeated attempts at the Axe Knight can be made with no risk. Gaining 100 gold isn't helpful either, at level 13 L usually has well over 15000 gold because Wyverns give a lot of cash. But as for Z, I haven't had a successful level 12 run with Wyverns. They probably aren't faster to kill, really, because of the time spent casting Sleep, the extra damage you take and have to heal off, and the fact that they never waste turns for Stopspell. All that trouble for 20% more experience for the fight, which takes 1 or 2 turns longer (twice as long??) every time?

I forgot to post my facts on Wyverns in the last post anyway. Wyverns seem to spawn with 33-42 HP, and you do 11-21 damage to them. Actually, I might have seen 22 once, but it seems damage values about 18 are really rare, although I got two 21s in a row once. You're more likely to do 11 damage than 21, in my experience. So Wyverns usually die in 3 turns, rarely in 2, even more rarely in 4. Sometimes Sleep won't work, and they'll probably get that 1/3 chance to wake up and hit you again.

Even still, why am I still testing with L? Any possible savings he might net could be negated by the difficulty he has at level 3 in Rimuldar. SS probably isn't going to use him either...well actually he does just fine against the Dragonlord at level 19, so he's viable. But Z is a little more consistent versus the Axe Knight and Golem and stuff.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
Zone 8 is Wolflords, right? I find Level 10 is a good level to start fighting there too because that's when you get immunity to Wolflords. But you get a big power boost at level 9, so fighting them using Sleep becomes even more viable. Usually I try my luck out there as soon as I learn Sleep, level 7.

I think you were probably right about level 10 since that's when they start doing low damage.  The tests I did in my simulator at level 9 showed that it was much slower to grind in zone 8.  I even tested it out in the emulator at level 8 only doing one run a piece, and if that weren't poor enough a sampling, I got 5 excellent moves in zone 8, and only 1 in zone 7, yet my zone 7 time was still faster.  I'll have to see what the simulator says about level 10.  And then maybe I'll try and program some things into it that can tell me exactly why zone 8 is so slow.

I think both the segmented and single-segment runs kill the Axe Knight at level 13.

I still think the segmented should try earlier, but I don't have much to back that up with other than that it's possible.

I will be doing a test for SS to see if the benefits of having Erdrick's Armor at level 13 outweigh the inevitable death against the Axe Knight.  If the armor reduces leveling time by 5 minutes, but takes 10 minutes on average to get, it may not be worth it.  I'll be getting to that soon, I hope.
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It only takes 50 seconds to walk over there and make an attempt, and that's even if you die. If you get off to a bad start with the Axe Knight (before using any Herbs), just run away, cast Heal up to full health, then try again.

The real reason I was getting up to level 13 was because that's also approximately when you have enough gold to buy the Silver Shield immediately after getting Erdrick's Armour. Also because Return is granted at level 13, leading to a quicker getaway than buying two more keys after getting the Wings. Although you can just plunder that gold from the chest, that's foolish, because the gold/min is so much slower than just fighting, and you don't get any experience on the side, which is the real objective of the run. But now that I think about it...the 4 defense boost from Erdrick's Armour would grant us the chance to switch up our grinding to the Hauksness region with Rogue Scorpions and Wyverns. (oops nope, Rogue Scorpions have 60 attack, L would have 60 defense, Z would have 59)

Well, looking at the enemy territory map...switching it up to Hauksness at level 12 seems like a great idea. It's the exact same enemy zone, but it's all desert (no lag from walking on hills), you'd have the unbeatable healing powers of Erdrick's Armour (no huge journeys back to town), and also better defense than Z would have otherwise. The southern Hauksness zone is probably a bad idea though, everything there other than Wyverns would eat you alive.

Checking over my savestates...Z has 53 defense at level 11, and you did say the Axe Knight can die at level 11, right? It means I only get to spend only one level farming Wolflords, but that's fine with me. With Erdrick's Armour, suddenly Wyverns become easy kills 2 levels sooner than normal. I'm going to split off the savestates from here yet again and see how easy it is to kill the Axe Knight in practice. Looks like I start from 7203 gold, halfway there. And from's a literal race to 14800 gold, regardless of level, to run straight to Cantlin and buy the Silver Shield. Even if you're not level 13 yet, you can just buy Wings or die after collecting Erdrick's Token to leave. Or maybe another pair of Wings could be snagged and a raid for Erdrick's Sword could be made...I'm pretty sure it could be done at level 11 too once you have the Armour.

I'm a little upset you'd have to make a second trip to the key seller to top off your keys, if you still want two Fairy Water batches...

Those findings about early Wolflords interest me. But it makes sense, because the extra turn to cast Sleep and extra walking distance back to town could be seen as adding time. Well, maybe not, I usually cast Sleep on Wolflords so I take less damage from them, but I just realized...casting Sleep in every single Wolf fight probably adds a lot more time than a single short trip to the inn from the sandbar!

I can't remember how Wraiths go in the early levels, I just know there's a certain level where you get a big boost to Attack Power and then they're fun to fight.

In semi-related news, the Dragon Warrior TAS has been improved by 21 seconds.
Edit history:
ShinerCCC: 2010-04-20 03:23:11 am
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
Okay I gotta post some of my immediate experiences here.

Timed a run with Z from 17 to 18 and got 26 minutes. Should have been a lot faster because I spent my last 3 MP on a Stopspell; should have cast Repel and walked outside to heal, maybe 1 or 2 more times after that too. I think L would get a similar time because the method should be the same either way: fight on desert no matter what, use Healmore to stay healthy until you're dead. Also discovered a huge time saver: after dying, cast Return immediately and you'll warp outside of the castle.

Now, for the real point of this post: the time it took Z to level from 12 to 13 in the north Hauksness region, using Erdrick's Sword and Armour: 15 minutes. Whoa! Huge gains there. Goldmans were ignored, but if you choose to fight them you reach 14800 gold a lot sooner. I don't think this is a good thing though, because at level 13 you get a fat boost to a lot of stats, Agility especially, so it would make the run to Golem a bit easier, and then you can cast Return instead of buying Wings.

Killing the Axe Knight at level 11 was hilarious. While randomly going for it (and getting frustrated with Memory Watch...the window pops up in some area of my screen where I can't find it or grab it so this means I can't use it any more, lol) I got two excellent moves, one as the first hit, the other as my 3rd or 4th hit. Well, there you go, anything is possible when it comes to the Axe Knight. If I'm getting a Death Necklace, then by hell, I'll kill the Axe Knight at level 11 too. But I'd better make sure to end the segment after that, it's pretty hard, I even got killed just trying to walk out of Hauksness after, lolz. After snagging the armour, the next objective is to level from 11 to 12 in north Hauksness, because you need to learn Outside so you can warp out of Garin's Tomb and Charlock. Hang on, let me measure the steps to Garinham from either Hauksness or Tantegel...

From the space north of Hauksness: I counted 135.
From Tantegel, the square: I counted 80, that's probably a little off...but the point is made.

Okay, let's form a new route.

[from the midst of segment 3]
Reach level 11 close to Rimuldar. Buy 6 keys, re-enter town, grab Wings, grab Wings, grab Wings, buy 6 keys, use Wings. Save to end segment. I could save the third Wings until I go out to grab the Rainbow Drop, which means I could walk around with another Fairy Water. But since a late visit to Rimuldar not only takes more steps, but seemingly cuts a Fairy Water use in half, let's go with triple Wings.

Go buy 5 Herbs and 4 Fairy Waters in Brecconary. (I keep having to correct the spelling on it)
Use a Fairy Water (protip: use it at the fringe of zone 0) and go straight to Axe Knight and kill him dead. Once you have Erdrick's Armour, level from 11 to 12, make the dangerous trek to Erdrick's Token. Once you have it, use the Wings, grab Stones of Sunlight, save. Note there is no stopping to heal so try to conserve MP, or else you'll have to use the inn in Garinham. Keep at least 12 for the two Outsides you'll need soon.

[I just tried to kill the Axe Knight again and...I swear he used Sleep 8 or 10 times and I still lost. I keep doing less than 10 damage, so I think an excellent move or two is absolutely necessary to win. Wish I could look at Memory Watch and see how close I was, and Cheats scrolls by too fast ;_; ]

Use a Fairy Water and head to Garin's Tomb. Before descending, grab the lower left chest [Herb]. Get the Harp, cast Outside, get the Staff of Rain. Use a Fairy Water when you emerge on Rimuldar, get the Rainbow Drop, use your last Fairy Water, steal Erdrick's Sword, cast Outside, use your last Wings. Save to end segment. If it were possible to have one more Fairy Water, it would be great to use between Garinham and the Staff of Rain, but I decided to use the last two on Rimuldar Island because the enemies on the mainland will probably run away from you, and if they don't, you're guaranteed to escape from them.

I'd like to mention that there is merit in using either the Torch (which you pick up in Garinham) or casting Radiant (3 MP can be spared, your max is 48 at level 11) in Garin's Tomb because the bonking route takes extra steps. Seeing where you're going will save time.

Head to Hauksness. Once you're there, level up from 12 to 13, then run to Cantlin and buy the Silver Shield. As soon as you have it, stock up on Fairy Waters (that should be 5 of them?) then cast Return on that spot. Use one and head back to Hauksness; resume the 13 to 18 grinding segment as usual.

Don't fret if you die before level 15 during grinding; use a spare Fairy Water, just hang on to 2 for Segment 7's trip to Charlock.

None of my savestates seem to align with this route...I'll have to remake a bunch of them >_<

I just did a quick test of taking Z from 11 to 12 using Erdrick's Armour and it took 16 minutes. But I realized something: while looking for the "eastern notch", the space east of Hauksness that uses zone 8 (no Wyverns, Metal Scorpions come back), I paid more careful attention to what was happening. Z does crappy damage at level 11; Wyverns usually die in 4 turns, sometimes 3. Wolflords are still dying almost always in 2 turns. So Wyverns take twice as long to kill for only 20% more experience? I'm going to try again relying only on the eastern notch.

Anyway, it looks like the feasible benefits of L are smoothed out and not needed at all, I'll use Z just for his easier time at level 3 in Rimuldar. Plus then I get to sing the Dragon Ball Z theme while running.

Ryan8bit I gotta thank you again man. You keep reminding me I need to push this run to its limits.
Quote from ShinerCCC:
Those findings about early Wolflords interest me. But it makes sense, because the extra turn to cast Sleep and extra walking distance back to town could be seen as adding time. Well, maybe not, I usually cast Sleep on Wolflords so I take less damage from them, but I just realized...casting Sleep in every single Wolf fight probably adds a lot more time than a single short trip to the inn from the sandbar!

A lot of my fights against Wolflords seemed very dangerous if they weren't doing minimal damage.  If they would cast stopspell, that ruins your potential to put them to sleep.  And as is, sometimes they just don't even go to sleep, or they wake up before you kill them.

So I'd say the reason it's longer is this:
-Wolflords deal high damage, forcing you to make the trip back more often
-Enemies in this area are not as susceptible to sleep
-Enemies in this area typically wake up before you can kill them
-Goldmen have to be run from since they give bad XP, so running from them slows things down by about 25%
-Even though infrequent, Wraiths can heal.

I'm eager to see the results of level 10 in the simulator.

Quote from ShinerCCC:
Ryan8bit I gotta thank you again man. You keep reminding me I need to push this run to its limits.

I'm just here to make your life hell. Wink
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I dunno, right now I feel pretty good, but that's because I haven't started actually making the run yet...still doing all the theoretical stuff before I put it to the books.

Just did a test run for Z from 11 to 12 using the notch and got a time of 17 minutes. That seems to be 1 minute slower? Wolflords actually tend to die in 3 hits instead of 2, but's more like a 65/35 split. If your TNL to 12 is 48 or less, you should switch to Wyvern zone though, because you might fight two Wyverns and then you can finish up in 2 fights instead of 3. I didn't in my case because I had 44 tnl and got Wyvern + Wraith. Oh well.

Viva la notch? Well, maybe not. This one seems fairly luck of the draw, or maybe I screwed up somewhere. Can you put it to the test in the simulator, Ryan? Compare grinding times from 11 to 12 in Wolflord zone vs. Wyvern zone around Hauksness, level 11, Str/HP growth, Broad Sword/Erdrick's Armor/Large Shield. I didn't do any spellcasting once grinding started because I don't see any way it could speed anything up, any damage is shrugged off by Erdrick's Armour's regeneration and the turn to cast Sleep probably doesn't make the text prompts that much shorter, right? Besides, spare MP means I can possibly use it for the upcoming Harp/Sword raids. Although, I find I have to cast Heal even when I load the savestate that grabs Erdrick's Armor, walking out of Hauksness at level 11 is THAT DANGEROUS ugh. Compounded with the nearly impossible odds of actually beating the Axe Knight, I'm not looking forward to Segment 4. Or Segment 2. Or Segment 1. Or Segment 3. Or Segment 5. Actually, Segment 6 has the Golem fight/sprint to Cantlin, so it looks like every single segment in the segmented route has some sort of nasty luck manipulation to look forward to XD. Still, it can't be as bad as what the Diablo II runners had to go through...
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I was poking around the Dragon Warrior Calculator that was posted on GameFAQs and decided there's something I need to compare, for SS and segmented alike. At level 16, Z (or L) can do enough damage to probably one-shot Wyvern, Rogue Scorpion, and Wraith Knight. If not, they will almost assuredly die in two hits. If Wraith Knight heals he might last maybe another turn. Knight will die in 2 hits, maybe 3. Hauksness enemies will die in 2, maybe 3 hits, but they all dish out huge damage (except the Wizard, who you have immunity to, but he can use Hurtmore anyway). Plus Starwyverns are still beyond annoying with all their Healmore antics. It's a lot of trouble for pinches more experience, in an area that might have fewer encounters (you have to walk over to a desert patch first). Even if you're killing them in 2 turns, when you take 11-23 damage in retaliation you can't keep it up the whole time. So I guess this requires 3 trials: maintained South Hauksness, maintained Inner Hauksness (as much as it can be maintained anyway. I guess that would be walking outside and casting Repel to heal, or pacing on grass for a while), and a hybrid style that switches to South (or maybe north or east notch) Hauksness for a break. Hm, it might be hard to differentiate between the 2nd and 3rd types. Still, what a wonderful, dynamic area for grinding, I don't think any RPG can boast having 4 different enemy zones in a 7x3 square span.

Another cool thing I noticed: the chances of Z running away from Rimuldar enemies at level 3 are more than 10% higher than L's. All from having a single extra point of agility. Metal Scorpion is still something like 28% though XD
So any plans to start again soon?  Or are we waiting for 8bit?
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I don't know what happened to the Duck, but I have no recording device at the moment. I'm most likely going to make a lot of money this summer so maybe I'll buy a nice DVD recorder and start doing stuff toward this. My segmented run will carry out as planned,'s a little unclear by following the thread, so here's the short version:

- pick Z (or J if you're weird)
- buy Club and Dragon Scale, sell Torch and Dragon Scale, get to level 3, buy two Herbs (I think it's two?) and bring 53 gold
- use Herb to cross swamp, run to Rimuldar and buy key, die, save

- run to Mountain Cave, get Herb and Death Necklace, die
- infinite gold to 4000, save

- run to Garinham, buy Large Shield and 5 Herbs
- Run to Kol, buy Full Plate, pick up Fairy Flute
- run to Rimuldar, grind to level 11, buy 6 keys, pick up triple Wings, buy 6 keys, wings home, max out on Fairy Waters, save

- use Fairy Water at fringe of zone 0, kill Axe Knight in Hauksness and get Erdrick's Armor
- grind to level 12
- walk to Erdrick's Token without dying, wings home, pick up Stones of Sunlight, save

- use Fairy Water, go to Garinham, pick up Herb, get Silver Harp, cast Outside
- use Fairy Water, cash in Staff of Rain, use a Fairy Water on Rimuldar, walk to Rainbow Drop
- get Erdrick's Sword in Charlock without dying, cast Outside, wings home, fill inventory with Fairy Waters, save

- use a Fairy Water, walk to Hauksness region, grind from 12 to 13
- walk to Cantlin, kill Golem, buy Silver Shield, cast Return, end segment

- walk to Hauksness, grind from 13 to 18

- dagron
Why do you buy the Dragon Scale then instantly sell it afterwards?  I don't get it.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
There's a glitch in the game: buy a Dragon Scale, use it (to equip it), then sell it; you keep the +2 defense power. Equipping it just permanently sets the flag.