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Zenic, you already redirected me here, why say it again?
You and Zenic got flip-flopped during the merge.  Idk why.
Zxcvalor here, poster of the 'Speed Run Challenge' guide on gamefaqs back in 2009 (3:32 segmented, 360 version). Is anyone still running this game? I am looking into another run, a recorded one, as long as there is a decent amount of time to be gained. I've been playing through trying to figure out any kind of interesting mechanic that would warrant a rerun, and would be very pleased to hear if anyone has discovered anything.

Peace and love, happy 2013,

Edit history:
Sir VG: 2013-01-10 08:11:25 pm
Fucking Weeaboo
I had started it, but never got very far. What I did get though is posted on my YouTube account. I should work on it again. I was through the Fugue fight, so yeah, not very far - 0:23:41 after Segment 6.
cool thanks Wink didn't expect such a quick reply. I been watching the AGDQ marathon and it got me thinking about Eternal Sonata and wondering if there could possibly be any large skips / glitches etc. but I guess the field screen mechanics don't allow for any of that. Gonna play through the game normally and keep an eye out for anything tricky ;p 
Fucking Weeaboo
I checked to see how much G I'd get from the pictures I took in Segment 3. They're all B ranks and have the same sell value, 3301G. 3301G x 12 = 39612G

So I guess I'm on the right track with picture taking, based upon your guide. You suggest 2 sets for 80-90k, so getting about 40k on the first set is pretty good. When I restart, I'll probably start over from scratch, which may lead to different value pictures. It's one of those things I need to play with I guess to fully understand. Maybe.
Tested it real quick just now and was getting 7.7k per pic for B ranks of the Baby Dragon. Gonna try Ogre Champ also. I think 1 set of 12 should be fine, really spent too much in my guide, for example 99 angel trumpets are unnecessary. Did some quick calculations and if u take 49 angel trumpets instead of 99, the total spent goes down to just over 100k.
Some things I discovered:

After Ogre Champ (Chapter 2) you can backtrack all the way to Ritardando, and the cave through to Tenuto and the Forest is then open. Why? I don't know. Possible uses? Probably nothing xD Still looking for any kind of skip / sequence break in this game, but losing hope... possibly more fruitful to try encore mode, or the ps3 version? Apart from that, some little tweaks that have come to my attention:

- There is a second path to the shop in Agogo, faster if the man isn't blocking the way (to the right, straight when you enter town).
- There is a trading sequence that can give you the Spell Book which you trade for the Aria Temple Key, meaning you don't need to pick it up Celesta Forest. But it's way too long. Possibly just Power Ring (Church Grotto) -> Cold Medicine -> Spell Book, but even then probably too long.
- picking up the Mercy Breath on the Pirate Ship only takes about 16 seconds longer, and might be worth it for Dolce. And would possibly allow you to skip shopping at Baroque (though no Ebony Shaft for Fugue fight).
- Picking up the Recovery Gloves takes too long. You get 1 pair anyway, you can do fine without a second. This is opinion atm, untested.
- It might be good to pick up 'Snow White' for Polka for the 5% exp boost. She doesn't need to be in the active party for it to work (apparently).
  So this could be 1 level extra on some of your characters for the bosses towards the end of the game. (needs testing). 
- Reading stuff about Harmony Chain glitches, double Bone Crumble etc. Have to look into it more.
- I never utilized counter-attacks in the original run. Trying to get them consistently could help a little. Not too sure about this either.

Well that's all I got for now. Any feedback / ideas most welcome. Peace out,

Edit history:
Sir VG: 2013-01-24 11:15:55 pm
Fucking Weeaboo
Interesting finds. I hope to pick the game back up soon, but I won't be able to record until I get my recorder back.

Edit (25th): Beat the game yesterday and am understanding most of the mechanics. Knowing when you can counter is pretty much the only one that alludes me, outside of that you have to be facing the enemy and its their first attack. My time is high (if you watch my Youtube/Twitch highlight) but that's because I played casually and watched all the cutscenes.

Most of the bosses didn't give me much trouble (even the final boss) except Dolce, Rondo, Forte, and Waltz. I think those 4 got the most obscenities thrown at. Some of it was due to luck (like if they decided to back attack) and partially was just being slow at guarding. I did finish the game with most of the equipment (sans 1 accessory) and the levels stated in the speedrun guide. I think only March was 1 level up.

I enjoyed this game. I definitely want to take another crack at running it and hopefully even doing it for SGDQ.

P.S. Patrick Seitz is fucking awesome as Chopin.
It's so funny running into zxcvalor here! I've been looking at / starting to study your ES speedrun guide from back in 2009, and here you are on SDA Cheesy

I've been lurking here a lot and watching a lot of streams since getting 'introduced' to speedrunning more serious by way of the marathon earlier this month. I've been revisiting a lot of retro and contemporary games trying to find a game or two that I'd like to study and play enough to run. Sadly I'm so terrible at platformers (though not giving up), but am finding myself drawn to trying to learn and run some RPGs, sort of inspired by iateyourp1e's Paper Mario WR runs recently.

I've been playing through ES casually but I think it has a lot of potential; though I'm looking to eventually do a single segment attempt, your clear time south of 4 hours in segments gives me hope. I know the trick in this game like many JRPGs is to skip as many encounters as possible but still be able to get through the boss fights without taking a million years to do it.

Anyway, all the rambling is me saying I'm looking to more seriously look at running / helping other runners with this game, so count me in. Doesn't look any major glitches or skips have been found (they seem rare in JRPGs, especially when the areas are as tightly closed as they are in ES). At least on my playthrough so far, the areas that worry me the most are Fort Fermata and the Andantino Tunnel, they are fairly confusing to navigate, though obviously a bit simpler if you're not trying to get every chest, etc. which seems largely unnecessary for a speedrun.

Can someone point me to any write-ups / vids on harmony chain glitching? News to me.

Anyway, back to my casual playthrough for now; after the first run I may do a 2nd fairly casual just to get a solid feel for everything and then start with zxcvalor's guide as a baseline for a run. Glad to see some interest going on here for this game, I've really had a blast with it so far.
Edit history:
Sir VG: 2013-02-01 10:39:53 am
Sir VG: 2013-01-31 03:58:33 pm
Fucking Weeaboo
I assume the glitching has to deal with doing the same Harmony Chain in a row. I haven't seen much on it, but I've found some videos. The only other thing I've seen in regards to the glitch is that it's unreliable to perform.

Restarted my run attempts now that I've beaten the game and the Mysterious Unison. Right now I'm right before boar boss with a time of 0:11:19. I've got 12 B rank photos, but can't see their exact gold value right now.

Edit (02.01) - Finally got though the boar, but the pictures turned out to be complete garbage. They're only 1.7k or so each. So I'm scrapping Segments 3-5 and starting over. Just need to get out of RPG RNG Hell now and do the damn Bread Gang fight again. Ugh. I'll see about pushing the pictures back until I face Baby Dragon.
Anyone still attempting this stuff?

I've wanted to do an RPG speedrun that wasn't FF but still didn't break the bank on time, so I'm trying out Eternal Sonata (I loved the game anyway, was the first game I think that I 1000 GS'd on 360).

Anyway, I'm interested in trying to do a single segment like OldHalcyon, but Dolce is being a real problem. I've been using zxcvalor's guide and I can't reliably clear Dolce without having to reload. Was wondering, zxcvalor, if you have a good enough handle on it to be able to clear it fairly reliably, or if I should make the run a bit safer by grabbing some items and leveling (Mercy Breath is probably a good start for Salsa).
Edit history:
Sir VG: 2013-03-03 01:48:42 am
Fucking Weeaboo
Yeah, Dolce Captain SEXY is a problem indeed. If you can get the pirates and her together near somebody like Salsa, you can rack up the echoes nicely (since 2*2 = MASSIVE).

I haven't worked on this for a while, mainly due to figuring out a reliable way/place for the money shots drove me up the wall. I had to go back to Segment 2 (pre Bread Gang fight) and haven't gotten ahead since.
I'm kinda just going through it at the moment, since I wanna run single segment. Getting the pirates and Dolce together is a royal pain, since one of them likes to run off and poke Beat while he's trying to set up Mustard and fire. I'm trying to work out a method to reliably beat this part so I don't have to throw too many runs away.

As for money ... How much money are you trying to get / what do you need it for / where exactly?

The 2x Maledictor fight right after you get Viola seems to be a good place. I've gotten a lot of A Ranks at maximum range for some reason, each selling for 11K+ (I think, don't quote me on this). I'll double check again next time I clear it.
Quick update -- with Mercy Breath the Dolce fight becomes really trivial, since Salsa can take out the pirates pretty much by herself so it's much less likely that you'll get swarmed at the beginning and be unable to recover.

For safety it also feels like Cookies are better than Club Clovers. Trades a bit of time, but lets you survive a bit easier since you don't always waste a potential 3PP on healing just one party member. This seems a bit more ideal for a hard hitter like Dolce who can just walk behind someone and nearly kill them in a turn, and better than letting them die and using 2PP on a Trumpet.
Sup OldHalcyon, sup all! Some updates, although I have been doing other things recently.

- The trading sequence is worthless, you have to backtrack 5 minutes to trade the power ring -> cold medicine -> spell book.

- in the original guide I overlooked a chest in the church catacombs that is right on the main path and contains a Power Ring. DO pick this up, and wear it for the rest of the game!! it gives 10% attack and is better than most of the other accessories you could wear.

- backtracked basically everywhere, for example back through wah lava cave, sharp mountains, into town to check the zone into the forest and the warp room(+researcher guy). Also tried this with clearing dolce fight in the lava cave. All this in hope of finding some large skip, and motivated by the strange way the cave passage through to Tenuto opens up after Ogre Champ. But no luck. And then I hit chapter 6 and it's all
pretty much much straightforward from there, all new zones following one after the other, and I gave up looking for skips xD

In response to ciddypoo: it looks like you worked out the dolce fight for yourself. I can add: try using a glowing tail on salsa so you can use Grand Slam without having to stay in the swinging lamps. I would also say that there are several bosses where there is a chance you just wipe, like death crow and rondo - so a single segment run might be very tricky/frustrating without any leveling at all. Of if u guys are doing it like an RTA, where reloads are allowed, it could be pretty cool. And in that case it would just be a matter of running the game again and again for a great time.
As for leveling, if there were a spot where it might pay off, I guess it would be before before the count waltz fight, since that's the first time you have your final 3 characters together (unless you don't use Falsetto) - but it's unlikely to help. Maybe just if 1-2 characters are close to level up.

Personally, I am still reluctant to devote more time to this game without the discovery of any decent skips, glitches or tricks. Although the idea of an RTA is interesting, I don't know if I have the stamina for 4 hour + non-stop sessions xDD

Will check back here from time to time, peace out!
I've been running this single segment for a little bit. I haven't really been able to get anything faster than 4:20 at the moment, but it's mostly because I'm playing for safety and still screwing up by getting lost sometimes in Pirate Ship and Coda Ruins. Sub 4hours is absolutely possible with more refined effort and risk. I don't think that leveling is necessary at all, since it won't really mitigate the damage you take by much.

- Mercy Breath necessary for Dolce I'd say. You don't lose that much time in grabbing it, since she's around the 2 hour mark or so I don't find it worth risking.

- If you play for safety, you can grab Star (I think) cookies at the shop in Andante and use those instead of Clubs to heal. This makes survivability with Death Crow pretty trivial, but you do end up losing time since you have to spend more time tossing individual cookies. The biggest problem with Death Crow for me was actually hitting the darn thing up close; if you change the Camera angle (LT twice from the main camera angle) it produces a very nice overhead view that'll make it easier to attack with your meleers.

- Rondo was also a non-issue in all the fights I've had with her. The attacks are pretty easy to block, but it's kinda tricky going for headshots with Viola against her because of her idle stance.

- The two run killers for single segment in my opinion are Dolce and Count Waltz. Dolce because she has a tendency to just RNG backstab you for bajillions of damage, and Count Waltz because in all my runs, I've died (or come very close to death) if I couldn't Full Moon Bind him with March at some point during the fight. Other than those two fights, single segment seems like cake. Just gotta learn routes and patterns of patrols so you don't lose time on random encounters.
I'm currently preparing to formulate and practice an RTA single segment route for ES on 360, zxcvalor's gamefaq guide looks pretty solid as a basic framework. I'll definitely be checking up on this thread if anybody else is still looking for improvements in the game, and I'll update if I make any progress as well
Yo guys, i got myself a capture card and started working on an improved segmented run, since i made a lot of mistakes originally and also never recorded my run. Got a lot of minor improvements lined up for the first chapter, will post back here as i progress. Nice to you guys are trying for a single-segment run, that would be great to watch. Peace out for now,

Fucking Weeaboo
Cool stuff. Can't wait to see you do a run for SDA!
Good luck zxc, once again your segmented guide on gamefaq's has been a great help with planning this RTA route. I've done most of the boss fights with the setup you suggest, and with perfect conditions it is definitely possible to get those great times, unfortunately with a single segment it looks like I will have to adopt a ton of safe strats. Keep us posted on your improvements!
Edit history:
zxcvalor: 2013-04-24 01:15:57 pm
zxcvalor: 2013-04-24 12:10:20 pm
Right, just an update for whoever is interested. Started recording my run and gonna be posting the segments up on youtube as i complete them.      // currently 7:08 at the save before the forest.

The main changes for chapter 1, some of these may help an RTA as well:

- 1st thing, got myself a second hand official HD (60gig) and installed the game there. The loading times are noticeably improved, saving precious seconds every segment.

- skipped save 1, ran straight through to the save before Bread Gang. This causes a long-ish load for the mice tutorial fight (still loading zone or w/e) but its still 3-4 seconds faster. I am gonna be looking to skip other saves further on as well.

- boar fight now done at level 2, leveling done with 2x2 knights. you save more than 1 min by not leveling to 3, and the boar is only ~40 or even less slower (still having trouble blocking this guy / getting nice fight ;p)

- dragon now done at level 2, with a poison whitecap! Picked up both whitecaps from the forest. The detour for the second one is ~15 seconds. And it helps more than that. Onion fight level 2->3 takes 26 seconds, while the level 3 fight with poison is only around ~10 seconds faster than the level 2 + poison. I spent a long time working on the dragon fight and this seems to be the fastest way. Also had beat melee as ranged attacks were hitting for 0.

- agogo shopping skipped. photos taken in the fight vs 2 maledictors with viola. Going to sell them in Forte, after glissando, when there should be a photographer in the shop every time, making the photos sell for 10-12k a piece. I am not 100% sure about the photographer, if anyone could confirm. Before glissando he was never there, even after re-entering menu many times. After, he seems to be there every time.

That's it for now. Btw, really cool to see a full RTA video up on youtube, good work ciddypoo, pretty sick!

Peace out!
Edit history:
ciddypoo: 2013-05-16 06:20:46 pm
ciddypoo: 2013-05-16 06:20:16 pm
ciddypoo: 2013-05-16 06:19:59 pm
Oh, I guess I should post the link here, haha.

I did an single segment RTA a few weeks ago just to get a feel for the general time / strategies of a SS run. It's riddled with mistakes and was played extremely conservatively, but it should give you a general idea of what goes on at any given point in the game.

Time was 4:25:57 , from game start to final boss defeat.

Final time was 4:25:57

Also holy cow I forgot how long the ending was.

edit: Gwuh I fail at forum tags, sorry if I'm cluttering stuff up.
Yo guys, quick update, I finally finished my run, with a time of 2:55:12, almost 37 minutes ahead of the old run! xD
Most of it was pretty tricky and kind of frustrating with endless reloads for some of the bosses, and then eventually, after the count waltz battle it became much easier - no more arrows & positioning, just overpowered damage from Falsetto ;p
I've uploaded all the segments, and will also be submitting the run here once I work out the encoding part of it, so please take a look if you can.

Take it easy all,
Fucking Weeaboo
Congrats man. Can't wait to watch.