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Quote from gyth:
Then I need to lure the enemies directly south of Exodus, toward that corner.

Try just getting them against the bottom wall when you walk past.
They'll be off screen and shouldn't charge you when you're resting.

Offscreen enemies there can come at you.  See 1:16:40.
Congrats PresJPolk! I knew you could do it!
Thanks much Smiley
Being on the right row seems to help with the Ambrosia glitch.

Just lost a run though because of the wind.  The wind is random and makes you  move erratically on a ship. Well it crossed me up, I moved in aw ay I didn't expect, and I walked into a moongate.  Walked into a freaking moongate going into the Cave of Sol, post-Ambrosia.  So all the hard parts of the run were over (funny to say that now Castle Exodus is an easy part of the run, but it is).  Blah.

So drained that I couldn't keep trying.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 09:31:27 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 09:30:47 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 02:59:33 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 02:50:46 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 02:47:43 am
Just got some new suggestions from the TAS world that I'm going to have to try to incorporate:

a) Use the status screen to pick up Marks without having to walk back and forth. This will improve reliability since I don't risk encounters.

b) Consider walking in Cave of Gold instead of Descending.  It means a lot of dangerous walking in the first two floors, and I *will* get run-ending encounters in attempts.  But once I get to the down ladder on Level 2, I can shoot right down to 8.  Then grab the Mark of Fire, shoot back up to 2, and Ascend from there.  It may even be worth it to Descend to 2, then find my way to the ladder there.  This adds luck to the run, and will force me to re-do the grueling gold grind (it really is tough in the B-reset era), but it could save noticeable amounts of time, since I won't have to spin for MP so much.

Even if I don't use the ladders to go down, I certainly should consider them to go back up, since it's a short walk from the Mark of Fire to the ladder up from 8.

c) Consider Cave of Fool instead of Cave of Fire for the Mark of Force.  It's not as inconveniently located as it may seem, as it's close to Exodus, so I can just do it literally right before Castle Exodus, and have it be on the way.  Big benefit of this: Cave of Fool doesn't force me to walk over three Gremlins the way Fire does.

Also, I just thought of something on my own: I should check whether I need *four* copies of Mark of Snake, or just one for Bagu, the one who blows the Silver Horn.

One more thing: Gems give current location, in addition to the entire map.  I should buy one for every dungeon I descend into.

EDIT AGAIN: It's been pointed out to me that the Cave of Madness is much better than the Cave of Gold for the Mark of Fire.  And it really is much, much better. Literally you start on a ladder that goes all the way to 8, and you land a short distance from the Mark. That's fantastic.  It's clear that I made a mistake in that I let my dungeon choices remain fixed out of inertia, rather than re-evaluating them as other parts of the route shifted.
This adds luck to the run, and will force me to re-do the grueling gold grind (it really is tough in the B-reset era)

Gold grind after the dungeon dive?

In ambrosia, it'd be faster to do int/wis before str.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-14 08:49:15 pm
Hmm.  You think so, re: Ambrosia?

Oh wait. It would save a little backtracking, wouldn't it? Duh.

And I guess I *could* grind after fire, true.  Hmm. I have to synthesize all these new ideas Saturday. Should be fun.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-18 02:12:47 am
presjpolk: 2012-11-17 11:43:34 pm
presjpolk: 2012-11-17 11:43:08 pm
1:14:03  Video uploaded


Ambrosia pirate glitch made reliable by staying on the row with the pass in the forest you come through.

Exodus Castle made reliable by killing that one guy, and leading the monsters below Exodus aside, so I can grind in peace after the first floor battle.

Cave of Gold replaced with Cave of Madness.

Cave of Madness done before Gold Grind, so I can just use the "zoomtube" down to level 8 instead of using descend.

Cave of Fire replaced with Cave of Fool.

Bought Gems to ease use of Descend in Sol and Fool.

Only gave Mark of Snake to Bagu, the one who blows the Silver Horn.

Went to Shrine of Strength third instead of first, to reduce backtracking. (Int, Wis, Str, Dex instead of Str, Int, Wis, Dex)

Went to Status screen at Marks of Fire and Force, instead of walking back and forth (and thus risking encounters), in order to give those marks to all four party members.

And, most importantly, didn't die in Exodus Castle. Smiley

So, the $64,000 question: Is this the run?  Maybe. I got mediocre ship luck.  Average whirlpool luck. I got great pirate luck in the first pirate battle, which is big. I got mediocre-to-bad battle luck in the late mark parts, where I got a short battle but got poisoned and had to recover from that. And I made one minor mistake I recovered from, where I didn't recover my magic and had to fight a battle without Rot.

With great luck and no mistakes at all I might get like 1:09 or something.    But I made no big mistakes, I got no really bad luck.  I'm going to watch it, I'm going to think hard, and I may try again. I may also try whether Rotless is at all possible, to skip the gold grind entirely.  It's not a sure thing, since it means getting no battles at all, and it means killing the floors iwth just missile. I'm not even sure that's doable. at all.  I don't know.  But it's worth looking at.

In all likelihood though, unless some new trick comes up soon, such as a glitch to get cards and/or marks easily... this is getting submitted.
I may also try whether Rotless is at all possible

The route I'm thinking would be:

Force - Fool
Fire, Snake - Sol (get there by moongates)
Pray, Horn - Yew
Cards - Ambrosia

Only 4 non-xp fights: 2 pirates, 2 floors
Pirates will need sand.
Floors have low hp, 2 missiles each should do it.
(Might get tricky if they move sideways instead of forward.)

Reset on any random battles, which should only occur in the dungeons at the beginning of the run.
(This might be prohibitively lucky)
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-18 10:33:59 pm
1 Druid - 2 missiles
3 Wizards - 15 missiles

8 floors. 2 missiles each. 16 missiles.

That's... yeah. I'd really want to simulate how likely that is. Smiley

Edit:  One way to get an extra 3 missiles would be to use 4 wizards of course, but then you lose time in the XP grind.
Congrats! So are you submitting this or do you have another goal? thumbsup
I'll try this weekend, see how it goes.  If it looks like I can get much better luck, realistically... then I'll improve it first.

If it looks like my luck with this run was pretty good in total, then I'll call it for this route.

At that point, I'll look at Rotless and see how realistic it really is.  If it looks doable, I'll try it. If not, or if I try it and it's not going to happen, I'll submit.
This game kicked my arse when I tried to get into it. The way you've torn it apart is delicious vicarious revenge.
You are awesome. This game... needs a hero like you. You'll be more famous than ulililila!
Rather than PMing presjpolk through TASVideos some more, I figure I should at least post here as a guest. Hi.

Skipping the gold grind looks like it may save 8 or 9 minutes, but then we lack ROT goodness. 3 Wizards + 1 Druid = 15 MISSILE, as has been stated already, one short needed to kill all 8 FLOORs. Keeping the Druid means we're likely spending several combat turns waiting for that Druid to get 3 more MP. As many as 12, minus turns spent shooting the first two and moving into place. Dropping the Druid for one more Wizard has other problems, which I'll mention later.

There's also the fact that, without the 70 MP needed for ROT, the trips into later dungeons becomes rather scary. The first encounter you walk into is one you die in, unless it's like one or two monsters in there. Though, can those massive monsters be taken down with SANDS followed by MISSILE spam? Luck will be needed when diving for Marks of Force and Snake, though it's already sort of needed for Mark of Fire in Cave of Madness. But at least the Madness dive can be done early.

Now, the switch from Druid to fourth Wizard has its own problems. Sure, three more MISSILE spells means the FLOOR destruction can be done quickly enough, but there are problems here. To start with, no UNDEAD spell. The early grind will likely be far too slow without a Druid or Ranger soaking up EXP from all encounters. And if you start with the Druid, after the dive through Madness, the fourth Wizard won't have the Mark of Fire. Okay, so maybe you hold off from poking through Madness and grab the Silver Horn after the early grind. Now it's more painful to restart from bad luck in Madness, plus the walking to Yew most certainly will be difficult trying to avoid encounters rather than embracing them.

But at least a party of four L01 Wizards won't encounter sea serpents. That's also one more character to use for DESCEND/ASCEND spam. After the L05 Druid nets you a ship, he's done his job anyway and can be replaced. Give that gold to someone else for GEMS and SANDS.

But we still have some trouble around the Mark of Fire. A special trip to a Mark of Fire just gives more chances to lose the run to random encounters, and keeping the Druid stowed away until after the Madness dive means you waste the time spent walking to and from Madness -- you'll lose the "double purpose" of that walk. Skipping Fire for the fourth Wizard might be doable, but requires some acrobatic trickery...

It is theoretically possible to get a L01 Wizard through the lava seen in Exodus, without the Mark of Fire, but it requires timing the HP regeneration such that you get the 1 HP sometime during the two steps into the lava followed by the third "step" in getting to the status screen. Each step in lava takes 50 HP, your 150 is gone in three, but regenerate that 1 HP in the two step window you've got, and he'll be perfectly fine. This regeneration ticks every 40 steps, at the same time food is consumed. This also likely requires buying a TENT for the sole purpose of healing that Wizard back up to 150 HP after stamping that Mark of Force on him.

Ditching L05 Druid for L01 Wizard and avoiding the Mark of Fire for this fourth Wizard means that one would need to quickly identify where on the food clock we happen to be in when entering Castle Exodus. It also takes luck going through caves later in the route, as there's no backup plan. But hey, if someone manages to prove the theory is possible, that will be impressive. The current run is pretty fast, though.

The suggested acrobatic route, then:
- Druid, Wizard, Wizard, Wizard
- Madness for Mark of Fire (grind along the way)
- Yew for PRAY and Silver Horn (grind along the way)
- Grind EXP for L05 Druid to get ship
- Ditch Druid for fourth Wizard
- Marks of Force and Snake
- Ambrosia for cards
- Exodus to win (regenerate that HP while in lava!)

If this works, I'm sure someone will go nuts. Alternatively, keep the Druid, and just suck in the fact you're stuck waiting several combat turns getting one more MISSILE out of the Druid. By the way... Does melee DAGGER work in Exodus?

In the main world map Sosaria, each step gets 1 MP and every 10 steps burns 1 food and regenerates 1 HP at the same time. Everywhere else, every 4 steps gets 1 MP and 40 steps burns 1 food and heals 1 HP.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-20 01:20:14 am
Yes, welcome FatRatKnight, who contributed some of the ideas implemented in the last run.

I'll have more to say later. I get a lot of days off this week, but not Tuesday, heh.

Before I go: melee dagger does not work in Castle Exodus. The only combat, ranged or melee, that works there is with the Mystic Weapons.
Intruding N313 and F014
Hi FatRatKnight!  Thanks for the insight.  It is nice to have other TASers involved with this.
3 Wizards + 1 Druid = 15 MISSILE

The only concern is if they move to the side instead of always forward.
... Let it be said I inconveniently forget math at bad times. I now realize how out-of-shape I am on it to have made such a mistake.

Still, no matter where the Druid is placed, there will be one FLOOR, annoyingly alive while waiting a few turns for a Wizard to line up his last MISSILE.

Monster movement pattern is that they always walk down (or up), unless the nearest character is on one of three rows: Lined up on the same row, or just one step north or south. So manipulating their positions shouldn't be too hard, just keeping track of those invisible things is the main difficulty.

So, looks like we just keep the Druid for this route, then?
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-21 12:05:44 am

Ended up doing a route test for this tonight.  Much more doable than I imagined.  Very doable.  I twice got to Level 5, but lost both runs due to horrid horrid ship luck, never getting a ship and getting a Dragon-class battle instead Sad

Here's  the route Nanogyth and I optimized while streaming.  The key is that we do the caves before Level 5, in order to vaoid overworld battles, particularly in the forest around Fool:

Cave of Madness (Mark of Fire)
Gray (2 Gems, 4 Sands, whatever food I can buy)
Cave of Fool (Mark of Force)
Moongate south of Dawn to Cave of Sol (Mark of Snake)
Moongate back south of Dawn to Yew (Pray, Horn)
Level 5

This should be sub hour, incredibly enough.

Oh yeah: and the missiles work against the floors every time.  It never fails. Missiles do too much damage, and the AI is too reliable.  I really overestimated how hard the floors are to kill.  I end up having one right in front of one of my characters when I kill him, but he never lays a hand on me.
For now, I would recommend segmenting at the castle.
You're walking past an inn anyway and getting the ship+pool seems to be the most random part of the run.

Sub 20 on the dungeon/xp part seems doable and I'm dying to see how fast the ambrosia/exodus part is.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-21 05:30:16 pm
I might save to avoid a death, just to see if I get a run, sure.  I'll hate myself if I don't get terrible luck after saving though, so I'm not sure. Smiley

Ambrosia should be a a minute or two slower than the 1:14 run.  I save about 45 seconds not buying intelligence, but then I lose a couple of minutes fighting the southern pirates without Rot.

Exodus should be slightly slower as well. I don't fight that one wandering enemy, but I do spend a little more time luring him away, so I can lure the other guys toward where he is.  The floor battles are a little slower without rot.  It takes what, ~6 turns (I forget exactly how many), versus 4 turns with Rot.

But I save 15-20 minutes of gold grind, and another minute or three not MP grinding after the post-Rot battles I'm now just forcibly skipping by resetting when they come.

I also save another minute or three just by having a really neat and tidy route here. I said it on stream but I'll repeat it here.  If you look at map and see where I'm walking here at the beginning to get the marks (Madness - Gray - Fool - Moongate south of Dawn - Sol - Moongate back), it's just so efficient.

so I'm expecting this to end up around 0:55-0:58.  Could cross the hour if I get rotten ship luck or whirlpool luck though of course!
Thought: Might be worth trying to see if I can glitch the southern pirates, though that's harder because I can't see the results immediately.  Will try that tonight.
Edit history:
presjpolk: 2012-11-22 10:20:27 am

Yeah, I know. Insane. And 45 is possible with sufficient luck. I got about middling luck in this run. I had an 0:47 at one point, but I got walled in by volcanos after shutting down Exodus.

Just how many attempts did I do?  Probably about 30.  Thanks to Thanksgiving I was able to marathon a long stream here. When I hit the winning split, Quicktime Broadcaster said I was just over 8 hours into my stream! So while this is beatable. I don't know if I have the time to beat it ordinarily. This was a special occasion. So I'm going to sleep on it before deciding whether to submit.

Small route change:  I was getting LOTS of resets in Madness, but Sol was kind, so I've speculated that Sol has a lower encounter rate than Madness, which means it's actually worth it to get Fire in Sol, so the route became:

Gray (2 Gems, 5 sands, all the food I can get [which is almost not enough without actively farming])
Fool (Force)
Moongate; Sol (Fire, Snake)
Moongate back;  Yew (Pray, Horn)
Level 5 (usually don't have to grind at all by this point; lots of monsters around Fool)

EDIT: Twitch highlight:
Nice work, man!