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Final Fantasy (ntscus) (nes) [Any %] [Segmented]

Verifier Responses

Quote from Lenophis:
Here is my summary of the segmented Final Fantasy run for the NES, and yes, there is probably a game page for it.

First and foremost, mad props to the runner for doing this incredible feat. This run is insanity incarnate, and he somehow did it. Several years of work, headaches, frustration, and annoyance.

Using a spreadsheet provided by the runner, he timed this run at 139.87 minutes. I personally timed this run at 504970 frames. I'm not IsraeliRD, so he has the final say on time. Should this run ultimately get accepted, his work should be fairly easy for this run in terms of timing, though. Smiley

Note to everyone everywhere:

Now, on to the goodies of each segment.

Segment 1: At the beginning of the quest, we notice how much the fighters like swords. The fighters use these sharp and pointy objects to slay a great foe, Garland. Good thing he's dead, cause we might end up seeing him again otherwise.

Segment 2: The Pirates were able to act 11 times, not bad considering 7 of those came in the first round. Nice segment.

Segment 29: I kind of disagree with using the Cabin here. It gives more HP than the Tent, so it would have better use in the upcoming grinding segments. However, since you only end up fighting battles on the overworld when you want to, it largely proves irrelevant, but I wonder if it could've saved the run some money down the road...

Segment 40: This is a big decision that ends up hurting the run, going right back into Elf Town to do some shopping when you had just done some at the end of the previous segment. At the time of writing this, I had no access to the run notes so I'm not sure of the thought process behind this. However, looking at it in a vacuum, it does look bad.

Segment 43: Bat trolling comes out in full force, and I'm fairly certain I've seen this before. This segment was planned ahead very well, but it has some rather unlucky moments in it. The aforementioned bats, and a few battles that didn't go smoothly right away. Having done segmented hell before, I can certainly understand the runner's frustration to not start the segment over, and I estimate the time lost from the luck to be about 1 minute 12 seconds. This segment is 6 and a half minutes long. Now, before people start jumping, I would like to clarify a couple of things.

1) The bat movement is largely out of the runner's control. How he got trolled could not be helped.
2) There was an ambush near the end of the segment that ate up about 36 seconds of the segment. Three seconds of this could have been saved due to one execution error with the party movement.
3) The ambush itself was determined because of the frame number the previous battle ended on. Last I checked, the runner was human, so it was unavoidable.

All in all, I'm kind of on the fence about this segment.

Segment 44: Here we meet Sarda, known to some as the creator of the universe, and thanks to a particular White Mage, rocks a beard. Fortunately he's very tame right now, so he just gives you some random ROD.

Segment 49: Only 8 seconds long, kind of surprised it's this short.

Segment 50: And this one is 7 seconds long.

Segment 51: Overall a great segment, with one minor mishap late with a couple of Mummies. Lich letting everyone live is also a plus.

Segment 55: The final transition segment to Crescent Lake, and the runner immediately steps into the Inn to save. Which leads to...

Segment 56: Segments 39 and 40 all over again. After the runner saves in Crescent Lake, he leaves the Inn and proceeds to buy 2 Pures and 18 Cabins, leaving the runner with 150 GP. He picks up the Canoe and resets after getting to the White Magic shop. I can only assume the runner gaffed here and reset after not leaving to the north exit. However, in this actual segment, the runner forgoes buying the two Pures and buys 19 Cabins instead, leaving the runner with 50 GP. Now, I don't know what changed between that segment attempt and this one, but it's still looking very bad to have to re-enter the town you just saved in immediately in the previous segment. This is now the second time it has occurred this run.

Segment 59: The Castle of Ordeals, and considering how bad this dungeon can be, it goes very well. It started out very tense with the group of R.Goyle, but luck prevailed! A little bit of bad luck getting petrified later on, but overall a great segment.

Segment 66: For the worst dungeon in the game, there's actually very little to say. I was surprised to see the runner make a mad turn to pick up something, but it definitely has its uses if you aren't picking up other stuff later on. I'm trying very hard to avoid spoilers for the readers... :p

Segment 70: Here's a piece of the route I don't necessarily agree with. The runner equips both the Ice Armor and Ice Shield on the same fighter. Personally, I would have put one piece on each fighter so both have fire-elemental protection. Does this affect the run? As it stands at the end of this segment, no. Does it affect the rest of the run? Let's find out.

Segment 71: We're in the for the long haul, here. This marks the longest segment in the run.

Segment 74: It's a shame the other ports of this game refuse to give a nice waterfall. Excellent segment.

Segment 76: Extremely minor execution error getting to the Cabin in the menu. The runner could have pressed up at the Pure instead of left three times. It's also a good time saver to use the House/Cabin combo here instead of entering Onrac to save, since you'd have to re-enter Onrac at the beginning of the next segment.

Segment 77: Here the runner picks up a second Ribbon, along with an Opal Bracelet and an Opal Helmet. One Ribbon goes on the fighter with both Ice pieces, and the other goes on the Red Mage. The second fighter gets the Opal Helmet. A couple of seconds lost due to a couple of execution errors shortly before Kraken. Kraken itself was very kind and let everyone live.

Segment 78: The runner uses a House to restore a good chunk of HP, as well as the party's MP, then uses a Cabin to save...

Segment 79: And then the runner enters Melmond, waltzes up to the Inn, and saves...

Segment 80: Because of the Inn use, the runner has to re-enter Melmond.

Segment 85: Here's where that lack of fire-elemental protection comes into play. The Mirage Tower is home to a few monsters that use fire. The runner picked up the Sun Sword and Dragon Armor, however, chose not to equip the Dragon Armor. Immediately following those pickups were an ambush of Cerebus. They use scorch, which is fire-elemental. Guess which fighter took a pounding. The runner also picks up an Opal Shield, as well as the third Ribbon. At which point, the Dragon Armor gets equipped. So ultimately, the lack of fire-elemental protection was a factor for 1 battle. I'd say it worked out well for the runner. Smiley

Segment 86: The runner picks up the Excalibur.

Segment 87: We almost get to hear a full verse of Mt. Gulug.

Segment 88: Final stock-piling.

Segment 89: The runner did an excellent job of making sure no inescapable battles happened on the first few floors. Once you get to Lich's floor, there's two consecutive battles with Earth. Perhaps that first could have been avoided, or maybe not. I'm not sure where the encounter table was there. The alternative was another batch of Frost Dragons on the floor before, or a batch of Chimera. Also, the runner was one lucky bastard to get by Lich the way he did. The runner fights one extra battle on Kary's floor, most likely to avoid a battle with Water on the next floor. I do have to question using a Heal Potion in battle, since if a fighter is that close to dead on THAT FIGHT, any hit will kill him anyway. The runner picks up the Masamune, warps back and forces a fight which avoids a battle with Sorcerers on the next floor. Tiamat and Chaos never stood a chance.

Final synopsis:

The run had some sub-par menu speeds, but that's going to be more in the vanity section. It looks bad to me, because I'm used to going faster. I cannot judge something that may or may not be the fault of the runner. Could practice get menus to go faster? Perhaps. Should the run be accepted or rejected based on this? No.

In the grand scheme of things, this run was planned ahead very well. One of my fellow verifiers has mentioned during the process that this run could be far more optimized in terms of using power cycling and soft resets to move the encounter table and step table forwards. I cannot disagree with this. At the same time, it's also an extremely subjective thing to say how optimized a run is or isn't based on one specific criteria. Using the route and strategy the runner used, the entire run already has to be planned ahead. This is mostly due to being the NES version. You get one chance, if you save and don't like it, you just ended your entire run. It is not up to us to judge how a runner should run, but rather to judge the run based on its merits, and that alone.

Is the route sound? Yes. Are there any glaring mistakes that really cost time? The decision to re-enter Elf Town in segment 40 could have and should have been avoided. Overall it only cost the runner about 5 seconds, but this is one of those “eye test” things. The runner did a follow-up in segment 56 by re-entering Crescent Lake for the same reason. Again, it cost about 5 seconds. A third instance was involved in segments 78, 79, and 80. Aside from that, the run was fantastic.

Here's one very important question: If the runner had done a lot more planning for optimization, such as the aforementioned power cycling/soft reset planning, how much faster would the run be? In terms of initiating the battle, I estimate each segment that forced battles would be faster by about a second. However, the battle itself still has to go well. It would not be a stretch to say that you would lose that  second because that battle you just tripped turned into an ambush, or you just had bad turn order, or bad damage numbers.

We cannot set a bar for something that has no bar set. This is the first run using this route and this strategy. There is nothing to reference it with.

Then there's the final questions that have to be asked about every run. How are audio and video? To be honest, I was expecting worse. There's a vertical gray bar on the left edge of the video of every segment, but I suspect post can remove that. A/V checks out otherwise.
Cheating? None. The runner largely makes the game look silly.
Inconsistencies? None.

In the end, I will accept this run. There is something to be said about “the letter of the law,” and this run is an example of such. Having to deliberate a long time, I realize that the only true mistakes were the reentering of towns the three times. Every run will always have the little “oopsy” moments, and this run is no exception. The rest of the the run outshines the mistakes. However, I will say this. Runner, I encourage you to redo this run so those big mistakes are removed, which would improve this run exponentially.

I also encourage everyone to watch this run.

Quote from Eternalspirit:
There are a few very minor planning/execution errors, but nowhere near bad enough to warrant a reject on an otherwise excellent run.

Definitely accept this.

Decision: Accept

Reason: Another verifier offered an accept verdict but did not submit comments.

Congratulations to Benjamin Lannin!
Thread title:  
Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Grats WarMech!
Caution: This user contains Kana ^_^
Oh yeah, moar FFI <3 Congrats on what sounds like an awesome run ^^
Wow, 89 segments... congratulations on what sounds like an epic project, look forward to watching it. :-)
Thank you all so much for the support over the years, and extra thanks to the verifiers who took put so much thought and time into the process (particularly Lenophis... I'll touch on your comments soon).  Hope you all enjoy the run!