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Greetings, all!

I've already watched the Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen speedrun which finishes the main quest without warping to the final boss (Lord Xeen), final boss's weakness weapon (Xeen Slayer Sword), and the endings.  The world already knows MMIV is pretty fast to beat this way, and I can do an ending warp from a new file in less than a minute.

What about the Dark Side of Xeen, or MMV?  What about the combined World of Xeen (Might and Magic games IV & V)?  I know that normally MMV is nowhere near as fast/skippable as MMIV, and MMIV is sorta like the low-level expansion to MMV.  The most significant speedrunning development regarding World of Xeen regards file replacement so you can start on one side of the world, replace some files to make the game think you're playing the other game while retaining your map ID, do this, place a Lloyd's Beacon in an opportune position (like Olympus early entry), then return the files to their normal state.

What's the best route for the file replacement route?  The non-file replacement route?  For those doing each side of Xeen, would the early game happen in a way similar to a MMIV speedrun?

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So if you're interested in ever submitting a run on SDA (which we are always happy about of course), there are a few things to consider:

The trick you're describing sounds quite problematic... replacing files during a speedrun, or in preparation for it, is something that could in principle be done with a very large number of games. However, it's almost impossible not to see that as cheating. Modifying the game files is changing the game itself. Even though, in principle, you're returning the files to normal afterwards, the save file where you've done that thing is still not something that could be achieved without cheating, therefore. At first glance, it sounds like exactly the kind of very stupid idea that can only exist outside SDA, but let me know if there's something special that legitimizes that in your mind. Just because the method for creating Worlds of Xeen seems to be combining files from the two games doesn't mean you can do that at an arbitrary time.

So it would make more sense to just stick with playing one of the two main games separately, or running the World of Xeen combined game if the combined game is sufficiently different to speedrun from either of those. I don't have any particular knowledge of these games.
The two games combine to form World of Xeen which allows traversing between the two games via various portals, and the combined game has extra endgame content.  World of Xeen always starts the party in MM4, and it's a quick journey to MMV.

As for file replacement, it's using the files obtained from the separate games then replacing them at opportune moments.  All these files are directly from the game's author, not from a third party modding/cheating program.

See, the problem is this: you could similarly start mixing files from different patch versions of any game... they're all "directly from the game's author" after all. Or what about taking some files selectively from some expansion like Shivering Isles for Oblivion? Those are also meant to combine with other files. Just because the games suggest that combining those files is a good idea because they're compatible and create a bigger entity, there still isn't any more of an official recognition for some version that isn't either IV, V, or Worlds (and whatever patch versions exist of those, each with a pre-determined set of files that make them).

I was going to ask whether the file replacement is something that happens inside the game, but I'm guessing outside, i.e. just copy-pasting, and also it doesn't ultimately change anything.