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Hey I just picked this back up again for the first time in ages, and even though I'm a bit rusty I managed to break 4:40 on the Pious segment!
Hi, I did a TAS of Chapter 1. You can see it in this thread: http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16457&sid=4331ccb0903c4ed8d162f6390c5724c5

Is anyone here still active? I could use some help with the route planning.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Still here, still interested. What can I help with?

I still vaguely plan on improving the segmented run over the next few years, so would love to hear about any and all discoveries. Questions:

1) What's your strat for picking things up/examining things/opening doors? Stop sprint and (as appropriate) start turn same time as interaction? Do you let go of sprint just as the character touches the first pixel they can interact with or a little before that?

2) What's the perfect way to get the camera zoom skip with the green block in Pious?

3) Is there any predictability to how long loads take between rooms? For instance the one leading into the insert block room or the Pious statue room can be a runkiller in a segmented run.

Hope to work together.
Edit history:
zuur024: 2016-11-15 03:42:27 pm
Hello, and first let me just say how helpful your posts, commentary, and videos have been. As for your questions:

1.) It takes exactly 5 frames to slow down from full sprint to be able to intact with things. If I need to turn before picking up an object or w/e I do it generally 4 or 5 frames before I stop running depending on how much I need to turn. So start turn>stop running>press b. If you want to see my inputs you can load the movie file in dolphin 5.0.

2.)  I don't know the exact range of where it will do the fast zoom. All I know is that in the TAS, I picked it up as far up and to the left as possible while still doing the fast zoom. So just look at where I picked it up and anywhere slightly down and to the right should work as long as you're not too low. Sorry I could not be more clear.

3.) The loads between rooms (or loads for anything else) are not based on rng as far as I can tell. I think that the loading times are based solely on lag and change based on what's loaded in RAM, because I could not manipulate the loading time with my actions. However, I am a scrub and am probably wrong, so take this with a grain of salt.

As for discoveries:

1.) You can cancel the teleporter walk animation by doing an attack slightly outside the teleporter radius. (I do this near the end of chapter 1) I think you actually do something similar with the horror in Alex's chapter. If you do incorporate this into your runs, I recommend using the left attack in Pious's chapter as it gives the most distance and you will already be pushing the stick left-ish to approach the teleporter.

2.) Sneaking with the x button restores stamina twice as fast as walking and at the same rate as standing still (at least in Ellia's chapter, but probably for all characters), so it's always better to sneak than walk when trying to boost stamina. This would probably save at least 10 seconds in chapter 2.

Now I have some questions for you:

1.) Do you know of any differences between alignments in the black guardian fight?

2.) Have you discovered any timesaving (or otherwise) tricks, strats, or eccentricities with the game since your segmented run?

3.) Anything I should consider when doing Ellia's chapter?

Edit: I forgot to mention that you don't have to slow down when you use items from the start menu like the blocks or an enchanted weapon or a key
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Awesome to be working with you, zuur.  This is really great info, thank you so much!  My mind is reeling from the "sneak to build stamina" revelation!  I think that might make a big difference in Chapter 6, given it will be so different from the SDA run…and Chapter 8 (Roberto) since I was planning to replace the sanity recovers with a sanity pool.  Maybe Chapter 12 too…  Presumably the teleport walk skips will be feasible in Chapters 10 and 12?  Anyway, it's clear a reboot of the whole run is necessary now, which is fine, since there were a couple of things in my aborted attempt from last year that were nagging at me anyway.  Looking forward to improving the run at some point thanks to your TAS!

I’d be interested to learn anything you can tell me about spell creation and efficiency of assigning thereof.  I think I’m close to ideal in my planning, but certainly I could have missed things. I think assigning the three monster summoning spells in one session in Chapter 12 is almost certainly better than casting them individually, for instance.  And obviously 3-point sanity pools in Chapter 8 and 12 are probably better than 5-point or 7-point sanity recovers, but that may be irrelevant for a TAS.

Responding to your questions:

1) I honestly haven't looked much at the blue/red guardian fights much since I was concentrating only on the alignment I was/am 99% certain would be/is fastest.  I could research this if it would be helpful to you (are you planning to do a TAS for each alignment or something?).

2 and 3)

(Some of these are already in my notes on the Youtube videos or on SDA or in my audio commentary, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.)

Grabbing the Chapter 2 page quickly is easy when coming out of loading a save in the study right after Chapter 1, but very annoying if you proceed directly from the previous chapter without saving (the turn is very awkward, IMO, but maybe you’ll find a better input than me).

Speaking of which, I’ll be interested to see if the way you get Ellia started is the same as what I ended up doing as far as turning her and running.

Besides that, I don’t think there’s much to learn about Ellia’s chapter.  You probably know grabbing the staff brings back sprint stamina.  You may need to figure out which zombie pattern is better for navigation both ways in the final room before Mantorok?

I don’t think Chapter 3 will change much from its current form?  I’ve been known to be wrong.  Except there is…

I feel like the trapper trick along with evading a few zombies instead of killing them (unlike in the SDA run) in Anthony should net me more time than it seems to have.  My theory is that maybe my load time on escaping the Anthony sanity effect was not good, and that maybe my behavior change (doing a tiny walk forward and then pressing B instead of doing a full turn to escape the effect) might have caused this?  If you figure out more about this, that would be really cool.

In Chapter 4, if you can find a way to kill the rune horror before he shocks you, I’d be grateful.  Never managed it yet.

My current strats in Chapter 4 include one built-in heal from the talisman right before killing the last guy because I believe that is faster than recovering sanity from the rune horror earlier.  Maybe you can find a way to have enough sanity/health to keep from not sprinting at the end?  Avoiding the sanity drain at the rune horror would help.

I don’t think Chapter 5 will change much, if at all?  I’ve been known to be wrong.  Please find things.  Smiley  I’m not entirely sure I’ve got the beginning of the level in the right order, but I think I do.

Sanity recovers instead of shields in Chapter 6 (need a red shield for a couple of the traps or faster to slow/wait/navigate carefully?)...probably a TAS doesn't need to worry about this since you can try your luck again and again to avoid sanity effects?  Not sure about health drain with sanity loss, though.  You might need to have some defense eventually to be able to keep running, not sure.

Zwajken (the best single-segment runner I know of) showed me that you can use the pistol to insta-kill Mantorok zombies in Chapter 6.  Since it has a shorter attack animation than the torch and you can drop them where you (and they) stand very quickly, will be useful to avoid trap triggers and close encounters.  Not sure if you'll be able to use TAS skillz to avoid killing all such zombies and avoiding all traps that matter...not sure that’s feasible, but could be wrong.

(I’m less sure of stuff beyond this point.)

I don’t think Chapter 7 will change much?  Can you avoid all sanity effects just via TASing?  I don’t know if that’s feasible everywhere.  Again, could be wrong.  Maybe the probability is just very high and you can grind through it.

Mentioned the sanity pool thoughts on Chapter 8…again, not sure if that will matter to a TAS.  Maybe you can avoid the “blow yourself up” sanity effect that’s in the SDA run for Roberto at the first sanity recover.

Chapter 9: probably can get into the basement without sanity worries.  Not too much changing?

Chapter 10: feasible to use one fewer 7-point pool spell?  Maybe by adding some sneaking here or there or changing the room order to get rest when critical?

Chapter 11: you can make it past the trappers just by sprinting in the hallway that leads down to the horror barrier room if you have good luck (check out spiralout1123211’s segment).

Chapter 12: I think the order is mostly good, but maybe you can find a way to reduce it from two sprint pools to one.  You can get extraordinarily good luck at the horror barrier, maybe even cast the bind spell only once?  I think the Horror teleport walk is skipped because Alex is standing in it.

Tell me what I can do to help.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I asked about the black guardian because I've worked out all the differences between the alignments (that I know of) besides that. I've decided on Ulyaoth for a few reasons:

1. Ulyaoth zombies give runes the moment they're defeated. Xel'lotath zombies need to be finished (or burned) to give runes, because when they fall down they are not technically dead and I can't find a way to make them stay standing to take lethal damage.

2. Of the necessary zombies that could be burned in a Xel'lotath playthrough, a lot of them can just be one-shotted to give a rune faster in an Ulyaoth playthrough (like this https://www.twitch.tv/llyno87/v/55849053?t=43m12s)

3. Ulyaoth zombies explode and can cause a chain reaction, which I should be able to manipulate in Karim's chapter. It should save a lot of time because they wouldn't even need to be finished.

idk if Ulyaoth would be faster in a real time speedrun.

I'm about halfway done with Ellia, but I might redo to test the necklace.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Cool!  Is sanity management an issue at all in Karim on the Ulyaoth alignment considering you're getting none of the finishes?  (Maybe talisman heals would make up for this without losing that much time?  Or do Ulyaoth zombies that start "singing" not "see" you if they haven't already?) That's an excellent point about blowing them up, though.  I'm really eager to see the continuation of this TAS.  Ridiculously eager.  Ulyaoth is actually my personal favorite ancient, so if it would be a more efficient RTA run too, that would be fine by me.

I'll put some time into figuring out if Black Guardian can be played in the same way on Ulyaoth.  Might take me a while though.  I remember putting hours into figuring out how to time it all out to actually work in the SDA run.  I imagine phases 2 and 3 are going to be basically the same, but phase 1 might not be?
Wow, I just tested if singing zombies can see you (they can't) and I found out that as soon as a zombie starts singing it's considered dead by the game. That means I can get the rune in Karim's chapter by making the weaker zombie closer to the ladder sing and the farther one dies instantly. I don't think I'll have any sanity/health problems. Definitely made the right alignment choice.
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I found a minor timesaver. If you sneak right before the room transitions you can get stamina during the first part of the fade to black, where otherwise you would be losing it. Timing your sneaks at the end of a room as opposed to the middle also saves time because you don't have to waste time and stamina accelerating back to full run speed.

The bad news is now I have to redo most of Chapter 2, so don't expect it until at least next week.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Awesome work all the way around!  I'll try to tackle the Guardian this weekend, but no promises.
Edit history:
zuur024: 2016-11-19 03:31:01 pm
While I was doing some testing in Anthony's chapter, I found a new strategy for killing the bishop which I think is a bit faster than the old one. It's kind of hard to explain in words so here's a vid: https://gfycat.com/AfraidJadedEskimodog
Just make sure you cancel the left attacks on the broken pillar and you should be good.

Edit: I found another timesaver in Anthony's chapter. The first xel'lotath zombie (It's always xel'lotath regardless of chosen alignment) can give it's rune without needing to be finished if you either punch it in the head 6 times or punch it in the head 3 times, equip weapon and then slice it's head 2 more times.
Hey, I finally finished Chapter 2. Sorry it took so long, i got sidetracked.

http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16457&sid=4331ccb0903c4ed8d162f6390c5724c5
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Ha, no apologies.  I've put off working on this for literally years at this point (doesn't help with speedrun production that I have a real job now and a daughter born in 2015 to go with my now-6-year-old son).  I don't care if you're working on this the next decade (preferably not, of course).  Real life is real life and all.

Wow, so many things to consider, such great work.  I am so grateful to have a reference point for the "perfect" placement on each object and Ellia's sprint usage and tiptoe/sneak pattern.  My favorite bit was watching that zombie get smashed just before you walked in between the crushers in the big trap hallway.  Thank you so much!  I promise I will do an Ulyaoth Black Guardian demo before the end of January.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Also, I'm glad that even a TAS cannot make some of those turns look clean (e.g. Pious and the button, Alex and the second chapter page). The initial movement on Ellia is great, though. Sneak/turn? Also, after you come back down her first hallway after killing her first zombie, how did you not get hit by the dart? I found I had to move slightly right early or get hit. Do you move imperceptibly to the right or perhaps sneak for a moment?
Yeah, this game has weird controls. When I do the turns for the clock and the chapter page I sneak for a few frames so the game doesn't break me out of the sprinting state for running against a wall for too long. It actually saves like 15 frames for the chapter page if I remember correctly. I start the chapter with a sneak instead of a walk because it gives less distance in the wrong direction with the same turn speed.

For the hallway after the first zombie it's "random" whether you'll get hit by a dart, but I think it's actually based on the running animation cycle or some other variable (not entirely sure). But for a RTA run it's safer to turn, or you could just yolo it. Also, for the middle hallway on the lower floor (first time) it's possible to run straight without getting hit sometimes. You can tell if you can make it because the character's feet will land right on top of the ridges in the floor.

Also, this run/sneak pattern is only the best for ulyaoth because I have to lure the problem zombie close enough to sing and be unloaded on the way back. This pattern also has extremely tight timing and I oftten use/build up all my stamina so one more frame of run or sneak would waste time because you would already have full stamina or you would start panting which halves stamina recovery until your stamina is back to 33%. So just use this pattern as a starting point for an RTA route.

One more thing, you can get the fast zoom on the gladius if you examine it from as far away as possible. It's very difficult to do so I would recommend starting the segment with that.
Let's a-go (hopefully fast)!
I'm brand new here, so hopefully I won't mess up too bad posting. I'm not what you call technologically proficient. I may have missed this in a previous post, but I was wondering that during Edwin Lindsey's chapter, would it make sense to blast the trapper in the hall, the Mantorok zombies, and the rune holding zombie with the shotgun? It might save some time (equipping the torch or handgun in the inventory) and be a bit safer in the rune holding zombie room, what with the shotgun knocking down the majority of them in a single blow. Don't know if you'd need to finish him off, though. I've also learned that a sanity pool for Roberto might slow him down some because you don't have enough running space for magic regeneration (to cast the Zombie Summon) and have to walk some. Granted, I may be casting the sanity pool too late after using the attack spell. I AM a bit rusty at this game. Walking would probably be faster than casting two or more sanity recovers.

I know it's not a great time, but I was so excited that I got to Karim's chapter in 34:19. I'm usually near the hour mark in a casual run! I'm thinking of going for a single segment, but at present I have no way of recording it for prosperity. It's been stated before that a 100% run of the game would probably be boring to watch, but I have devious ideas on how to use that Mantorok pool spell! Also proud of myself for getting three of the block zooms in Pious' chapter (why green why?!) on my first attempt. Before I forget again, would 100% encompass collecting all ammunition, because that would suck so bad...all weapons and codices/scrolls/runes sounds good enough, right?

By the way Uilnslcoap, congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I've watched your run more times than I care to admit, (and ahhed when you mentioned your son) and I have been using your strategies and substituting here and there at times. I'm so stoked that Ulyaoth might be faster than Xel'lotath (I hate casting Chaturr'gha spells because I can't understand the runes spoken!)! Keep up the good work, and you too zuur024!
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-16 08:49:36 pm
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-16 08:49:11 pm
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Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-16 01:21:37 pm
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-16 01:21:14 pm
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-16 01:12:50 pm
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Thanks for the kind words, Bespectacled Bandito.  I'm going to leave all the investigation to zuur for most of your questions; I'm very curious to see how Roberto turns out if zuur proceeds through the game.  As for 100%, though, yeah, I think a community-accepted definition would probably be all weapons, all codices, all spell scrolls, Mantorok rune, and Enchanted Gladius (from the the three figurines gathered throughout).  Not all ammunition, IMO, that's just dumb.  I always thought the Mantorok "reveal invisible" making the player character invisible could be used in some neat ways in a 100% run.

Zuur: I am finally investigating the Ulyaoth Black Guardian strats (spent a bit over an hour on it last night).  Later than I promised, but hey, job/family, etc.  It's unclear to me as yet whether the exact same strats will work in terms of the magic pool and the 5-point sanity recover, but I can certainly verify that a 7-point attack is still feasible to end each phase in one shot.  I will probably be casting a (3-point) sanity pool (instead of the 5-point recover) some time between the (3-point) health pool and the (probably 3-point?) magic pool. We might need the magic pool to be cast a little later than it is the Xel'lotath run to be effective in the boss fight.  The reason for this is because the pool runs out a little sooner in phase 3 due to the phase 1 boss attacks taking longer to finish (than the Xel'lotath Guardian) before the boss is vulnerable.  This also leaves the player with more time for the magic to build all the way up to full in phase 1 before they need to get off the first attack, so I'll be figuring out where to cast those sanity and magic pools tonight (I don't think running stamina will be an issue from where I'm planning to change over from the health pool to sanity...probably).  Another alternative is to cast a 5-point magic pool some time earlier than 3-point one is cast in my run.  But I think I can make the 3health/3sanity/3magic pool strat work.  Fewer runes and all.  I'm just not yet sure if we can keep enough sanity to deal with the zombie sanity drains in the boss fight (if it drains your health, you can't cast the attack in a timely manner in phase 2) with what I hope is the correct pool strat, but we'll see.  Hopefully video by the weekend.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Nope.  The sanity pool doesn't build up fast enough and there are so many monsters that it's rendered useless.  Wonder if it'll end up being effective even in a segmented run anywhere.  Might not be helpful for Chapter 8.  Hmmm.  Anyway, back to the drawing board.  Probably a 5-point magic pool somewhere?
Edit history:
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-17 10:07:41 am
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-17 10:07:26 am
Uilnslcoap: 2017-02-17 10:06:05 am
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Okay.

Either:

1) Cast a 5-point magic pool right before going back to the room where you use the bone key (pretty much anywhere after the 3health pool wears off) and cast a 5-point sanity recover right after running past the last non-boss zombie in the level (trigger his attack animation to give enough time)

OR

2) Cast a 5-point sanity recover right after running past the last non-boss zombie in the level (trigger his attack animation to give enough time) and immediately after going through the following door, cast a 3-point magic pool.  This one actually might require a moment or two of waiting in a TAS, since you'll move perfectly and you need the magic at pretty much its peak when you can first attack to make this work.

Upside to (1): Magic builds up faster in phase three of boss fight.  This might mean you could get through the boss with fewer attacks by the boss than in the run on the site.  Downside to (1): two more runes + creating the 5-point pool spell (segmented run currently only creates 3 and 7).

Upside to (2): 2 fewer runes + don't have to create 5-point pool spell.  Downside to (2): the timing is pretty tight, and you have to get a lot of attacks from the boss to get off a 7-point attack in the third phase (magic needs to build up).  Not sure if you'll have to wait a moment before entering the boss area to generate enough magic.

I don't know which would turn out to be the better idea time-wise.

The actual attacks on the boss are pretty much exactly the same as in the segmented run.  Once the third shot from the boss clears the player character, start the attack (and begin moving as soon as the seventh rune lights up to keep building magic).  As soon as you can walk in phase 2, walk just enough to build up enough magic to launch a 7-point attack.  And in phase 3, hit the boss with a 7-point attack as soon as it gives the visual/audio cue that it's done stomping and will be vulnerable in a moment (presuming you've generated enough magic).
Edit history:
Bespectacled Bandito: 2017-02-17 06:54:15 pm
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Bespectacled Bandito: 2017-02-17 05:24:18 pm
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Bespectacled Bandito: 2017-02-17 05:12:33 pm
Let's a-go (hopefully fast)!
While rooting around in the topics lists on the forum, I stumbled upon an older thread for Eternal Darkness. A user named Serris (along with mikwuyma and Mad_Andy!) seemed to think that 100% would be to (dated March 30th, 2007):

Collect all runes
Collect all weapons in each chapter
Obtain the Enchanted Gladius

Granted, they did not mention if Ellia's broken sword needed to be repaired by the guard dude with Mantorok magick or not, because technically it is a "new" short sword and thus a new weapon. You know, after you beat the zombie dudes with the Blowgun. I get it just to be safe. It would seem that codices and scrolls are out because they do not power up your character in any way (you can still cast magick if you don't know what the runes are) but I'm going to keep collecting them (I can always omit them later if I have too).

I am getting better (albeit slowly) at this game, 22:24 after Anthony's chapter. Things went exceptionally well, with only two sanity effects (both Anthony), then Karim, and later Max, descended the time into madness...while I was able to avoid the Trapper in Anthony's chapter, I got trappered three times afterwards, one which was really my fault (I was outside the "waves" as they go out). Then I fumbled with the spell creation (I had missed a codex) and wound up creating the Damage Field spell and casted Magickal Attack instead of Reveal Invisible. Doh! Then I missed two flintlock shots! I was so aggravated I just loaded up a save file right before Pious's death match and drew all the runes and spells out on a piece of paper. I then proceeded to wipe the floor with Pious (7 point enchanted shotgun, baby). Try to trapper that!

Sorry, I seemed to have gotten a little off topic there, but I really enjoy this game and I could talk about it for hours if I got the chance, but I shall spare all the fans of this game the eyestrain of reading such a large block of text. Thanks for listening, and you're welcome, Uilnslcoap. I did learn one fascinating thing however about the runes. It seems that the Magormor (Item) and Nethlek (Dispel) runes are only used in one spell apiece. Antorbok (Enchant) and Narokath (Self, I think) are only used in two spells. Neat, huh?

Oh, and Uilnslcoap, I've also thought about how great that Mantorok Reveal Invisible spell would be and have ideas on that myself! No sanity loss is great, but you still need to be careful of Trappers and Guardians...'cause Trappers can still hear you and Guardians can still see you (but can't drain your sanity. Well, a big chunk of it, Guardians continuously drain sanity at a slow rate).
Hey, Bespectacled Bandito. Glad to see more people interested in speedrunning this game. I haven't really done much testing in Lindsey's chapter so I know any specifics, but i would assume keeping the shotgun equipped would be the fastest.

Uilnslcoap: I found out more about the Chapter 3 sanity effect. You can only open the door after you wait a certain number of frames(otherwise it will be locked). If you walk forward the real open prompt will appear on the first possible frame, so you were already doing it optimally in the 2015 run. I couldn't replicate the lag you experienced; maybe a dirty or scratched disc?

I found a new technique involving the combo attack. After you do the first attack, if you quickly press R and a direction you can have the subsequent attacks be targeted attacks(even though the animation is still the same). It still knocks zombies over on the third hit so it can be used in Chapter 2 to save a head slash. (vid: https://gfycat.com/EnchantedDisguisedGrunion) It won't be in the final TAS unless i decide to start over because of desyncs.

You can run straight past the trapper in Anthony's chapter if you're lucky.

Chapter 3 should be done by the end of the month hopefully.


One more thing I forgot to mention last time: The staff in chapter 2 doesn't actually restore stamina; it is automatically refilled a certain amount of time after the cutscene (1 second iirc). Just thought you'd want to know.
I finished Chapter 3.
Here's the video: https://vid.me/XTNa
F*ckin' sanity effects...
Oh wow, that double kill with the torch and the Horror kill, oh wow. Thank you so much!  Any of what you do not feasible (or very hard) in real time?
To kill both zombies at once you need to hit both of them on the same frame. It's pretty difficult but it gets easier if you hit them with the fast part of the swing. The horror kill is almost impossible in real time, but you can do two right attacks on its other side with the second one very slightly behind him pretty easily. I have no idea how how difficult or consistent the trapper skip is because I got it on the first try.
Also, idk if you noticed but I mix the urn pieces around the fountain after I assign the enchant spell instead of as soon as I get them because it saves a menu opening.
F*ckin' sanity effects...
I did notice that, but I want to make sure I understand a couple of things.  Is it two slices to each of the Bishop's arms?  And (though probably not feasible as executed in real time), a slice to each of the Horror's arms from behind?  I take it getting behind the Bishop and slicing is not any more effective/time-saving.  Are the placements for the circle of power grab or the tapestry burn or the urn drop on the pressure plate (the way you did them) at all finicky?  I know you mentioned the quick zoom/cut on the Alex gladius grab was very hard.

Also, in the fountain room, because it's a blue zombie and he sings for a while, do you never have problems with the whole urn-fixing, fountain area?  That is, if it's a green zombie, it sometimes goes down in one hit, and then you can't get everything done in time before you get hit by one of the Mant zombies (which sucks because it's fairly deep in the segment).  If it's blue, it looks like that's probably never a problem, just want to be sure.

It's also really nice to know that the beeline from the tapestry to the fountain (down and up the stairs) is more efficient than going around nearer the pillar-type thing, closer to the zombie fight.  Thank you again!