Roll Eyes
Lips Sealed
12345 ->
List results:
Search options:
Use \ before commas in usernames
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2013-08-14 10:25:55 am
presjpolk: 2013-08-14 10:25:42 am
presjpolk: 2013-08-14 10:25:31 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-23 03:08:28 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-22 07:06:08 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-17 11:29:45 pm
presjpolk: 2012-11-10 11:53:42 pm
presjpolk: 2012-11-10 06:54:59 pm
presjpolk: 2012-09-17 01:41:14 am
presjpolk: 2012-09-17 01:37:30 am
presjpolk: 2012-09-17 01:35:50 am
presjpolk: 2012-09-17 01:35:18 am
KB Wiki page:

SDA Run page:


Original post:

Couldn't get back to sleep, so I just finished my test run of Ultima: Exodus.

Ouch.  I'd tried a minimal grind run, and I just got destroyed in Exodus Castle.  It's simply not possible to do it this way.  My strategy for tough battles was to use the Sands, or better avoid them completely, but those don't work.  Too many enemies, and the Sands don't function in the castle.

And you can't use a long range weapon to fight back, as only the Mystic Weapon even functions in Exodus Castle, so you either have to have lots of MP, which means buying up stats in Ambrosia, which means gold grinding, or you just have to be able to soak the hits, which means XP grinding and possibly even getting the Mark of Kings.

I'm disappointed.  The route below may be useful in a TAS situation, where you could probably manipulate the wandering monsters in Castle Exodus to avoid any wandering encounters there.  But they're just too thick on the ground to do it in a live run I believe.

I *had* made it to Exodus Castle in 1:30.  I used two rangers (25 str, 25 dex) and two paladins (15 str, 10 dex, 25 wis).  My route was:

Go to Dawn, grinding my lead Ranger's XP on the way, and gathering gold.

Enter Dawn, buy some Sands, steal Gold Pick, and leave.

Go back to Lord British's Castle, and grind, grind, grind lead Ranger to 400 XP.

Take Level 5 with lead Ranger.

Go to Royal City, buy 4 Blowguns.

Spawn grind a nearby ship to attack and win.

Sail to pick up Mystic Armor for entire party.

Sail to Cave of Death for the Silver Pick.

Sail to pick up Mystic Weapon for entire party.

Sail to Fawn to buy more Sands.

Sail to Cave of Sol for Marks of Fire and Snake.

Sail to Yew for Pray and Silver Horn, and to buy food.

Sail to Whirlpool to enter Ambrosia.

Visit shrines of Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Dexterity, praying for the Cards.

Sail back to the Whirlpool to return to Sosaria.

Sail to Castle Exodus for endgame.

It took me 18 minutes from gaining player control on the world map, to getting Level 5 from Lord British.  Most of that was grind time, but some of it was Dawn time.  So I'm going to guess that getting the whole party to Level 5 will take another 30-45 minutes in this way, using the 0 MP spells at the start of the game.  Every other form of combat takes so much longer than these insta-kill group spells, so I can't imagine any other form of XP grind is anywhere near as fast.

I used a ranger to get access to both mass-kill spells for one character, while still having blowgun ability.  I obviously no longer need to favor leveling one character, since I need the whole party leveled to soak hits, instead of just leveling the minimum to get a ship.  So what I'm thinking I'll try are two Larks (25 dex, 25 int) and two Paladins (25 dex, 25 wis), favoring dex to try to maximize accuracy.  This gets me some ranged magic, some healing, a full party that can use blowguns pre-Exodus Castle, and a party that can spread the load of Repel and Undead to level evenly.
Thread title:  
Talk to the Hand
Have you seen The TAS of this game? Apparently visiting the Time Lord freezes the Exodus Castle mobs (I don't know if this is actually true or not). Then I think you only really need to fight maybe one mobs in the entire place, which may be useful.
Oh wow.

I'd checked the TAS forum for tips but it didn't sound like anyone had finished a run. I wish I'd just checked the site. Smiley

OK. So this is worth another try.  I'm at the office right now and don't have anything in front of me, I think this adds a whole dungeon.  I think that's like 10-15 minutes though.  Much less than 3x leveling.
Yes, a worthless avatar riding my posts.
I hate this game and would love to see it destroyed it by a speed run. I'll collaborate as much as I can.
Well, if you happen to know the optimal allocation of Str vs Dex, that'd be a huge help.
OK I've studied the TAS.

Looks like it's necessary to get the Mark of Force and to visit the Time Lord.

Also appears to be worth trying to skip the Mystic Weapons, and would be useful to grind at least some gold to get the Poison spell for the floors.

However doing this mean losing a Blowgun user, as nobody who can get 50 MP can use one that I can tell.  Which means needing to use magic for ranged combat, which means I'll want to hit Ambrosia a lot earlier in the run.
Biting the bullet and just learning fceux myself in order to find out about how Str and Dex matter. It's kinda fun once I get the tools down.  First time in YEARS I've needed these kinds of skills.

May be overkill but it's going to nag at me until I do it. It seems sloppy and wasteful to have no idea how to allocate half of my stats.
OK, Strength matters a LOT more than Dexterity. Dexterity *maxed out* doubles your damage because it increases your accuracy rate from 50% to 99.5%.  Strength adds half of its value in damage.  For perspective, the dagger adds 2 damage, the blowgun 10, the mystic weapon 30.  So when you can add 12 from strength 25, that's huge.  Much more important than Dex.  And the floors have ~40 HP.  Which means the floors will take multiple hits to kill.

But good news.  The TASer was joking.  The Time Lord doesn't freeze the monsters.  At least, I just tested, save scumming it up to go straight from the Moon Cave to Exodus Castle, leaving a ship there so I could go Cave - Gate - Ship - Castle. Nothing's frozen.  So yeah. Unless I can kill the enemies very quickly with powerful magic, I'm going to need levels Sad
Talk to the Hand
Hmm, that's too bad. Sad Oh well, was worth a shot. I'm looking forward to this once it's finally done.
Waiting hurts my soul...
Weird, so I wonder how he ended up freezing everything...

Anyway, have you seen this video on youtube? Seems a little too lucky to be reliably reproducible on a console, but it might have insight for you.
He didn't actually freeze it. He just manipulated luck, as far as I can tell. I did the same in limited amounts save scumming the end myself to test it out.

I will watch that, thanks!
So, I streamed some attempts tonight.

The plan was to use a Druid and 3 Wizards. My first attempt failed because if I don't give all the characters 25 strength, then combat takes just forever.

I tried again, with a Ranger and 3 Wizards. That failed because I have no Open spell and that's just begging for poison and death early on.

Tried again, back with a Druid and 3 Wizards.  25 strength.  Open spell.  It did ok... then I got cute and tried to conserve Sands by skipping a turn before re-upping it. Then two Balrons both cast spells on Cal, killing him. Death ends the run, so, yeah.

So, yes, Druid and 3 Wizards. 25 Str/25 Int for all. This eases combat pre-Ambrosia by letting me do sorta-ok damage with knives, while getting me set up combat wise.  Party order: Wizard/Druid/Wizard/Wizard. Wizards, per the manual (but unchecked in fceux), have the best ability to avoid traps.

The route:

Go to Gray, leveling the Druid.
Buy all of sands I can buy.
Go back to Lord British, leveling the Druid.
Get Level 5 with the Druid.
Get a ship.
Go to Cave of Gold to get Mark of Fire, and grind up 25 * 3 * 100 = 7500 gold, which amounts to about 7500/50 = 150 chests.
Get Pray/Silver Horn/Food at Yew.
Sail into whirlpool.
Shrines of Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity.  Buy at minimum 50 Int for Wizards.
Sail into whirlpool.
Cave of Sol. Mark of Force.
Cave of Fire. Mark of Snake.

How to read the maps: Red, then Orange, then Yellow, then Green, Then Blue, then Purple, then Dark Purple, then Gray.

Glad to see some runs of this being attempted!
I'm looking at this again, and I can't think of a single reason to run to Cave of Gold *after* leveling.  But I can think of a reason not to: going in the forest  in front of the cave runs me the risk of unnecessary high level battles.

So I need to do Cave of Gold post-Gray but pre-Level 5.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-09-29 03:07:16 pm
Alright, today's stream was enlightening. A few points:

1. It turns out Cave of Gold gold grinding is much faster than I thought it would be... but it's also a lot *riskier* than I thought it'd be.    Single Segment + Resets route (grinding gold by saving and reseting to create new characters, steal their gold, and delete the characters, over and over), if it gains SDA approval, will definitely be faster and more reliable, but not by nearly as much as I expected.  You can get thousands relatively quickly in the Cave of Gold, but you have to keep running back down to Level 8 to heal, *and* you need to make sure to bring enough Sands. I intend to buy at least 10 at Gray before going down.

2. Poor Cal the Wizard is not noticeably helped by having 25 dexterity. I'm not sure it's worthwhile to put him in front of the party at all!

I believe my next step now is to make a benchmark semi-TAS movie run.
This is painful.  This is so very painful.  Once I get done gold grinding this run should be OK, assuming the magic is sufficient to get through Exodus Castle. But the gold grinding itself makes me sad.  Cave of Gold is powerful, but constantly having to run back and forth between Level 8 and Level 7 just heal up after traps is so hard, and triggers so many battles.
The pain is gone, the pain is gone.  SS+Resets is it.

Will have to re-route slightly.  Can't get Mark of Fire from Cave of Gold if I'm not going to Cave of Gold anymore.  Have to get it from Cave of Sol again.

So it'll probably be:

Gold Grind
Cave of Sol
Cave of Fire
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-10-07 01:43:11 pm
This route looks good.  I streamed this afternoon to try it.

However there's a substantial luck factor.  I'd actually calculated I wanted to come out of the gold grind with ~8800.  I tried to cut it close at 6500 to save two rounds of gold at 1200 each.  Mistake.  I ended up with bad luck in Cave of Sol with monsters and burned through all my sands, having to buy more.  And THEN because I was still short, I tried to conserve in Ambrosia, THEN made a stupid mistake  where I cast the wrong spell... and Error died (not Cal!) Ending the run.

So I've still yet to *win* the game. But this sorta confirmed my route *as written in my splits*, vs what I actually did. Smiley  I need to buy more like 18 sands.

However if Poison (the 50MP spell I get 50MP for all three wizards to cast) does not do the job against the monsters in Exodus Castle, we're in a bit of trouble.  It'd better. It'd better.
Watched your attempt today and enjoyed it.  Man this game is so grindy!  But that's the name of the game.  Looking forward to your progress.

So, trying this route again tonight.  Only this time hopefully without terrible mistakes that cost met he run!
I may buy 25 intelligence in Ambrosia over and over but I'm a moron.



The splits were interesting anyway though.  It told me there's a TON of random encounter luck in this game. Even times when I felt like I was having bad luck, I'd go and end up shaving 10 m inutes off the split because I got even WORSE luck last time.

I keep doing live NES runs because I get like one or two shots a week to do this typically, and I want them to 'count.'  But I need to finish a run.  So next week, I'm doing an emulator run to ensure I get to Exodus Castle and, assuming Poison spell is sufficient, win the game.
So, I did an emulator run tonight.  It was kind of a train wreck of a stream as I got the crazy idea of hex editing my way past the grinding, and then had to trial and error my way through some of that, because I went to Ambrosia before doing the Mark of Fire/Force and Pray command. Oops.

But I got through it, and learned a sad, hard truth: the Poison spell is not reliable. It does not hit every monster, every time.  So in the emulator I gave myself 99 max MP, 99 Int, and just started messing around with spells. It turns out I want the Kill (55mp) and Death (75mp) spells. Kill is a one shot ranged attack that instakills.  Death is another unreliable mass attack spell... but when it hits it kills.  Kill will work against the high end wandering monsters of Exodus Castle, since they come in pairs.  But the floors come in packs of 8, twice.  I have to use a mass attack spell.

So lets calculate if this is viable.  Number of kills in various tries of Death against the floors:  8 8 6 5 5 6 6 8 5 6 7 6.  This suggests an 80% chance of hitting.  So the probability that Death will fail me in attempting to get through two floor battles – that is, the odds of one floor surviving 3x Death spells in one of the two battles – is (1/5)^3 * 16.  12.8%.  Slightly better than one in eight.

This game does NOT want to be speedrun. Even if I take another ~25 minutes to grind out another 7500 gold on top of the 8800 I'm already grinding, I have a one in eight chance of getting mauled at the very end. Sad

This game is going to take me 2:00 to 2:30 and I may just get bad luck at the end.  I hear Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is like this though, and people have done that, so I won't give up. Smiley
Waiting hurts my soul...
what I did in my playthrough, cast rot and take pot shots (5 MP mage spell... I forget the name) at each one. Rot brings them all down to 1 HP. Their movement is predetermined at the start of their turn, so you can influence where they'll move and know where they are even thought they're invisible.
I did see Rot looks like insta-hit, but not insta-kill.

Hmm. That's a high-risk method though.  Playing blind man's buff.  But I'm not sure it's higher risk than what I'm saying, since I have noticed monsters generally try to run after the lead party member, and they all should move forward for the first few turns.  So if i'm very careful about tracking. Hmm.
Whee, ran out of sands exiting Cave of Sol.  I bought twenty.  Apparently I need to buy 25 to cover the more extreme bad encounter luck in the dungeons, which I got this time.  I only got ONE encounter with a single monster, and only ONE encounter I could repel/undead.  Just rotten luck in the Cave of Sol, burning through what  thought was a huge number of sands to buy.

And thus ended this week's attempt.  Though I may get two in next week, we shall see.