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Youkai: 2012-07-27 07:41:43 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Looks like I'm going to try routing a new segmented run with some updates from a Japanese RTA video we have. Skip to here to catch the new stuff:

It looks like I am most likely going to be picking up where Essentia left off and working on a FFXII speed run. My run will be segmented. I know that there was a thread about this before but it's dead now and I'm starting a "new project" hence the new thread.

I have been told on the chat about a Japanese runner on Nico who is RTA'ing the game really fast. Does anybody know where I can get my hands on a video of one of his more recent RTA's or at the very least a route plan of his run? I want to check his strategy against Essentia's/now mine to see if there is anything I can incorporate.
Thread title:  
Which version do you plan to run? International or normal? FF12 has to be my favorite of the FF games, will be watching this with much interest.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
I have my normal version disk from when the game first came out so I'll be running that version. This was definitely one of my favorite FF games as well.
Make it so.
I'm very interested in this too, if you have any need of people to help you test things just let me know!
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-19 07:03:36 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Right now I have taken a bunch of notes from Ess's run and I'm playing through the game on emulator and saving occasionally so I can have a bunch of saves to go back and test stuff if I need to. When I get done with my practice run through I'll post my run plan here for comments.

One thing I do need to figure out is if I'm going to do Ess's method of LP farming. I don't like it because you have to run two screens away and back to reset the fight. Having a location were the farm enemies are at both ends of the two screen jog would be better e.g. Skeletons in the Lushu mines. The problem though is if I do Lushu I won't get exp from it so if that ends up being important I can't use the mines. If you know of any good areas to farm exp/LP around the same time in the game that Ess does please let me know. I plan on testing out farming Mirror Knights but if you want to do that and compare the LP/min to Ess's run for me feel free.

Here is Essentias test run:

EDIT: Another big question is how much do I need to Dustia level. My practice run is to 20 and I can't do any less than that if I want to get Kotetsu to use until Fomahault. I wonder if it might be worth leveling more there though to not need exp while farming LP. Then I could pick purely on LP/min. I kind of doubt that would end up being faster but Dustia with 1 party member is the best exp/min in the game. I will need to test that too.
Edit history:
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 04:09:08 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 04:00:04 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:52:28 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:43:39 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:42:19 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:38:58 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:38:09 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 03:36:09 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:27:13 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:26:14 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:21:17 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:19:17 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:18:33 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:09:33 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 09:05:22 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 08:53:25 pm
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-19 08:50:49 pm
Wiggle wiggle
In terms of Dustia leveling, I seem to recall it falling off heavily in min/level around 20. The main thing to keep in mind is rather than a target number, figure out where(levelwise) you run out of Phoenix Downs, and have to go back for more. Aka, if you have to go back at say, 16 and 22, it's better to go all the way to 22 rather than go till 20 and stop.

Can't comment much else without the run plan, though I'll watch Essentia's run and give thoughts on that. As for random tidbits: I seem to recall a very powerful sword you can get at Demon Wall by killing off the first wall as well as the second, though I don't remember how far out of the way it is.

Essentia Run Comments
Remora - Manipulate a critical hit combo on Basch, since he does by far the most damage out of your party.
Sunstones - Manipulate getting it charged in 2 Crystals. Possibly sell some of Vaan's equipment to get the Phoenix Downs? I don't think he needs it after that.
Dustia - Plan your drops. At grade 1, grab whenever. At grade 2(possibly 3, if you're going to level enough to reach grade 4), only grab when shining, so as to quickly move up in grade. EDIT: She gets over 30 chain, so I assume that you will too. So, go for a quick Grade 4 chain.
Garamsythe - Use the extra gil from better Dustia drops to not have to grab chests.
Tiamat - Start quickening chain before it hits critical. Consider upgrading your Quickenings past level 1, for more damage and better later boss fights.
Jelly Grinding - As with Dustia, only grab loot when the chain number is shining before Grade 4. Exception being if you kill off the Jellies, and there's loot on the ground(possibly manipulate to avoid such an occurence before Grade 4?). There was a suggestion on Youtube to skip ahead to Stillshrine of Miriam for the grinding, though I think this way is faster. In any case, grabbing a gambit slot to use Charge automatically would make it go faster.
Mateus - Use Fira while the Ice Azers are up. Then switch to the Haste+Berserk strat.
King Bomb - Use a Quickening chain as soon as he preps for Renew.
Shemhazai - Again, Quickening chain before she uses her "take very little damage" barrier.
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-19 09:18:14 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
The demon wall blade is irrelevant in my run. Takes too long to get and I'm going to have 3 Kotetsu already.

You are right about the equipment probably. I'll be manipulating the chests and stealing from the wearwolves for money for the first round of Phoenix Downs.

EDIT: Also I'll have to test if it's worth manipulating a 2 crystal charge. That will cost me a save which costs at least 10 seconds I think. Also if I run for one more crystal I can get a couple more chests and hopefully another PD out of it.
Wiggle wiggle
Watched up through the start of Pharos Lighthouse, with notes updated above. My overall gripe is the choice of Penelo over Vaan: Vaan's stats are more suited to physical combat, which is what's mainly used in the run on bosses.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Thanks for the notes. I'll respond to a couple of them.

My plan so far is to use Vaan, Fran, and Basch. I'll only use the others when I need them for something specific e.g. I'll use Ashe and Penelo to do the reflect/dark strategy on Garuda because I won't have the LP to spend at that point.

I won't be picking up chests in Garamsythe.

I'll have Kotetsu and no quickening for Tiamat so I'll just have to eat the slowness at the end. 3 Kotetsu should make that fight go faster than Ess's run though.

Mirror knights won't work. Jelly chaining it is unless someone has a better strategy.

Won't be doing Bomb King/Zodiac spear

I'm to Bur-Omicase on my first test run currently.
Wiggle wiggle
Curious about the Fran choice, as her stats are a bit poor. For Summary, taken from the Game Mechanics Guide at GameFAQs:
Vaan: 2nd HP, 4th MP, 1st STR, 3rd MAG, 1st VIT, 2nd SPD
Balthier: 3rd HP, 5th MP, 4th STR, 6th MAG, 3rd VIT, 1st SPD
Fran: 4th HP, 3rd MP, 5th STR, 4th MAG, 5th VIT, 3rd SPD
Basch: 1st HP, 6th MP, 2nd STR, 6th MAG, 6th VIT, 6th SPD
Ashe: 5th HP, 2nd MP, 3rd STR, 2nd MAG, 4th VIT, 5th SPD
Penelo: 6th HP, 1st MP, 6th STR, 1st MAG, 2nd VIT, 4th SPD

Note these are a simplification. Ashe has bad level 1 values, but some of the best growth rates in the game. Basch is the opposite, having higher starting STR than Vaan, but gaining less as he levels up.
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-20 05:45:55 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Well Vaan and Basch are pretty much set until I get Fomhault's. I picked Fran in my practice run because she had the LP I needed at the time I needed them. Who would you suggest be the 3'd. It could easily be Balthier.

After Fomhault's speed and magic will be the bigger concerns so I may switch Basch out.

EDIT: I just realized members in the party don't gain exp so I need to pick my party from the start. That being the case maybe Basch isn't the best idea because he is the slowest. Thoughts?
Edit history:
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-20 06:03:12 pm
Wiggle wiggle
Ponderings... Balthier is fine up until Fomalhaut's, but his goofy attack animation is slower than the rest of the party when using guns, if I recall. If you're using 3x Fomalhaut's for a good portion of the game, I'd say go with the characters with the best speed, since STR doesn't apply to them. How late do you get the guns?

Vaan's the clear winner, statwise. Basch's raw STR is best for the early game, so he gets in. Probably Ashe for the 3rd. Fran and Penelo are better in the later game, but they're not so great in the earlier parts. Special note on Penelo, she's 1st in MP by a huge margin. If MP ends up being a problem, she's the one to grab.
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-20 08:56:22 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Well it's just over 3/4 of the way through my notes. You get it from a chest in Cerobi Steppe I might push it earlier if I can get access to that before when I currently have it in my notes. Haven't gotten that far in my first practice run though. So most of the game is going to be Kotetsu unless you notice in Ess's run she gets a much better weapon or I find one on my run though before Fomahault.
Edit history:
Fragmaster01: 2012-03-21 08:58:57 am
Wiggle wiggle
One thing that I just remembered: Some of the endgame bosses have an innate heavy resistance to Guns. Any thoughts on how you're working around that?
EDIT: Nevermind, the only boss that gets it that you would worry about is Doctor Cid at the top of Pharos. It's still an 87.5% reduction in attack power on that boss, so keep that in mind. Ahriman gets it too, but I don't think you have Fomalhaut's before him.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Hmm ok good to know. I'll have to test out Cid then and see if it might be worth buying some new weapons or just switching back to Kotetsu for him.

I'm thinking at the moment that I'll go Vaan, Basch, Ashe for my party based on your comments. I'll do that in my second practice run.

Thanks for your help on this. I know my notes won't be complete or 100% accurate but I'll try to get a rough draft of my notes up on the thread when I complete my first playthrough so you can take a look at them.
Wiggle wiggle
One final thing to test, methinks. Leave a save at the Salikawood, and see whether it's faster to 3x Fomalhaut, or get the Zodiac Spear on Basch and get 2x Fomalhaut.

Also, for Cid2, possible use of Quickening Chain to deal with him? Famfrit doesn't have Resist Guns/Measures, just Cid, so it's possible. I don't think you can reasonably one-shot him without good luck, though. Probably best to save it for right before he goes critical, to bypass the (even more) reduced damage.
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-21 02:13:12 pm
Youkai: 2012-03-21 02:10:54 pm
Youkai: 2012-03-21 02:09:32 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
I can already answer the Z-spear question.

Time to get one more Fomahault: 2 minutes (plus a lot of resets and mental anguish)
Time to get Z-spear: a heck of a lot longer than that (I would have to kill the bomb boss and do a lot of running to get it)

I don't think there's any question which is faster. The Fomahault is 2 screens away from the save I think. Even without the boss fight I'd have to run significantly more than that to get the spear.

I'll have to see how my second playthrough works out for Cid. At the moment I'm not planning on getting any quickenings for anyone. At a minimum until after LP farming. Not at all if I can avoid it. I have to spend 50 LP to get a quickening chain and another 50 if I want any tangible benefit outside of chains. I'd rather spend those points on augments if it doesn't cost me a very noticeable amount of time. So far if Cid needs a QC he would be the only one. I haven't used one yet on a boss in my first test run and it doesn't seem to be slowing me down.

I'm only through the Stilshrine on my first run though so there is still a lot that remains to be seen.

EDIT: unless you mean if getting the spear will speed up the boss fights till Fomahault's enough to cover the diference. Even then I'm dubious but I could test that on my second playthrough.
EDIT AGAIN: Wait, don't you get the spear like right before Fomahault's? So then probably not faster.
EDIT YET AGAIN (jeese dude figure out what you are going to say before you post): Essentias Bomb King and Z-Spear segments on her test run total 15 minutes. I don't see how that could possibly make any sense over 3 Fomahaults. Do you see something I'm missing?
Reverse Death Valley Bomb
This may be a rumor I hazily remember from years ago but; are there 1 or 2 other chests you can get a Z-spear from if you don't get it from the intended place? I remember figures like 5% chance it appears in a particular chest. Some rough googling produced no results but I'm just curious if you've heard of this and confirmed it.

I love this game but I don't have the endurance to run it yet, I'll stick to XIII-2! I look forward to the run, good luck.
Apologies for further Z-spear grief.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
I'm not even through my first playthrough and I'm not sure I have the endurance lol. Anyway I heard those rumors and their ridiculous bad percentage of getting it. I don't have the patience to do that in a run even if it is possible; and I don't know where the chests are supposed to be. I seem to remember deep in a mine or something.
Quote from DRsynj:
This may be a rumor I hazily remember from years ago but; are there 1 or 2 other chests you can get a Z-spear from if you don't get it from the intended place? I remember figures like 5% chance it appears in a particular chest. Some rough googling produced no results but I'm just curious if you've heard of this and confirmed it..

In normal FFXII there's one chest to get the spear from, and it's in the Henne Mines bonus area -- something one wouldn't in a speed run as it requires beating optional espers (and some hunts? I forget). In addition, the chest is a 1/1000 chance, so there's extreme reset issues needed.

(In the International version, the spear is no longer where it's usually gotten, but the Henne Mines chest is a LOT better chance, 1 in 100 I believe. You can also get one fron the rare game hunts, but again that's something that wouldn't be done in a speed's also not as great a weapon in that game and can only be used by one not-so-gfreat class anyway)
Everything's better with Magitek
I'm pretty sure that it's better to get 3 Fomalhauts and skip getting the Zodiac Spear.

One other thing to keep in mind about getting quickenings is that they increase your max MP, which I found to be useful throughout the run. I'm not saying you need to get them, but don't dismiss them outright.
Edit history:
Youkai: 2012-03-21 06:00:09 pm
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Quote from Essentia:
One other thing to keep in mind about getting quickenings is that they increase your max MP, which I found to be useful throughout the run. I'm not saying you need to get them, but don't dismiss them outright.
For sure on that one but I have to buy two to get the MP boost which is 100 LP total. I'll definitely consider it for my magic person and possibly the secondary. Basch won't need them though. Mostly I just want to avoid getting quickenings before LP farming because I want to make sure I can afford the licenses for Golden Amulet and Fira right away on all 3 characters.

EDIT: Hey Essentia. How many LP did you farm? I could figure it out by watching your videos but could you just give me a swag at it? Also do you feel that that was enough/too much/too little?
Wiggle wiggle
Weapon Grabs: Okay, then skip that. For some reason I thought it was farther in to the Fomalhaut. There's also a boss issue, but if all else fails, you can buy weapons in Archades.

Quickenings: Yeah, but you'll need the MP to actually USE Fira, otherwise you'd be wasting far too much time casting Charge. Looking at the License Grid, there's 4 "Early Game" ones: One at the bottom right of the augments, one right next to Fira, one 3 squares away from Fira, and one 3 squares into Accessories.
There's 2 that's easily reachable, but in the wrong direction: 3 squares down from the Flame Staff license, and 3 down from the Kotetsu. There's also one on the way to the Fomalhaut, but it's probably gonna be too late to matter for the Jelly Chaining(and would be picked up simply because it's the cheapest way for one of the characters to the Fomalhaut).
That gives 6 quickenings before Cerobi Steppe, enough to give 3 on Ashe, 2 on Vaan, and 1 on Basch. After Cerobi, you can increase Vaan to 3.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
Actually on this test run I wasn't too bad on magic for the people that didn't have two magic bars yet. Once you get to chain 3 and 4 the MP you get from items occasionally and the MP you get from running to reset the fight seemed to cover it pretty well. I'll of course be confirming that in the second practice run. But yeah I'll go for the easy ones if I need at least one person with 2 MP bars.
Don't know what to speedrun :(
So I got to Mandragoras and Arhman on my first playthrough and I'm getting owned pretty hardcore. I went back to the Phon Coast and found a gun that does about 3x the damage of Kotetsu so I picked those up. Those helped a lot on the Mandragora fight. Haven't retried Arhman yet.

That being the case I'm considering going for a gun as my weapon as soon as I get to Jelly Chaining because there is a gun in Bur-Omisace that is decent. I'll test that on my next playthrough but the question it makes me wonder is; considering I'll be switching to guns earlier I think speed will play a bigger factor, should I consider a different party makeup?

I'm thinking: Vaan, Balthier, Ashe or Vaan, Fran, Ashe. What do you think Fragmaster? Does Balthier's animation really slow down his attacks? I may have to test that.