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I hope it is recognized as a worthy addition to the speed running catalogue.  This game is TOUGH and beating such a difficult game in such a small time SHOULD be honored... admittedly my two cents don't go very far here.  Cheesy

But anyways to lend a bit of perspective, I bought Vagrant Story when it came out in 2000... and I STILL have yet to beat the damn thing.  It only took you a few hours.

DAMN YOU, VAGRANT STORY.  DAMN YOU. 
Just watched the run.

Someone's been eating their wheaties.  Jesus that was impressive

/thumbs up
Yes, a ninja riding a tiger.
I also watched it.  Blew my mind!  Well done.
berserker status
Thanks guyz!!!  Just glad to know that there are people still interested in this gem of a game and the run.

Well, I’m not just here to appreciate the kind words; no, I’m here for buzinezz as usual.  I’ve been meaning to update the thread with new strats that I’ve learned from other people and discovered myself.  There’s no point in focusing on stuff that obviously can be improved like missed jumps, better chaining timing, one more Faerie Wing drop, etc. so only genuinely different strategies will be mentioned.

*  It seems as though if you go to options and turn off the Info feature in the menu, then this reduces the ‘charge’ time for spells and such.  This isn’t a huge time saver but over the course of the run it should save between 15 and 30 secs.  I have tested this at Town Center East and I’m 99% sure this is the case.  This time saved is just fuckin' gravy.

*  It was mentioned in the verification topic that I should avoid the slime before the Golem fight but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like this is plausible.  First off, before you even make it through the door, the slime will get off a Poison Sneeze attack (which I believe is a ‘special attack’ so I can’t silence it) so there’s no way it’s worth taking the poison status to save time.  Plus, the benefit of gaining enough PP to deal out decent damage is too much to overlook.  I may need to test more there but it seems like this is the way to go after all.  Also, the slime & bat are still there after the boss battle so there’s no point really in ‘avoiding’ them since it’s not even possible from the looks of it.

*  So, as some of you who have read the verification topic know, there is a really good possibility that Dulling Impact/Paralysis Pulse can save some time in a few places.  Dulling Impact is learned first in the Catacombs before learning Raging Ache so there’s no conflict with Battle Points there; however, it seems it’s only possible to learn Paralysis Pulse in Abandoned Mines B1 either after the first Hellhound or after the Wyvern, depending on how many points I need.  I’ve done some tests but there’s no guarantee that they’re 100% accurate as the Battle Points may not match up with a real run.  Nevertheless, Paralysis Pulse is learned in AMB1 somewhere and that conflicts with learning Absorb Magic.  For that reason I have decided to scrap Absorb Magic (early in the game) for specific Defense Abilities I’ll need for specific situations.

*  Dulling Impact/Paralysis Pulse find their first use in AMB1 in the room where you get the Fern Sigil.  The Goblin Leader in there is susceptible to both paralysis and silence so there’s time to be saved here…but very little since I have to use the quick command to equip them (on that note…I should’ve used that more in the run submitted even though I only lost a handful of secs. there).  It’ll be best to leave Paralysis on (Dulling Impact corresponds to triangle whereas Paralysis will have to substitute for Heavy Shot) for the next confrontation with the Goblin Leader before the Fire Elemental.  This is worth the time equipping said Battle Abilities since not only do I avoid having to wait for the spell, etc. I don’t have to worry about any status ailments to heal here if I don’t time Ward correctly.

*  At AMB1, it’s possible to climb up that stack of boxes that I destroyed.  It’s really tricky and will be hard to get on the first try, but you can leap from the adjacent ledge to reach the top.  This should save a few secs.

*  Supposedly, it’s faster to kill the Wyvern targeting its tail since it has lower Chain Evasion and lower regular Evasion as well.  I have a hard time targeting its tail since it turns fast so this is something I have to work on for sure to see if it’s worth it.

*  After learning Paralysis Pulse, it’s best to learn Terra Guard as that’s the first spell I have to absorb really (@ Bandit’s Hollow, the imp casts Vulcan Lance).  Then I have to learn Windbreak (Town Center East Crimson Blade), Shadow Guard (Dark Elemental b4 Tieger & Neesa), and MAYBE Aqua Guard for the Water Elemental. However, it’s probably better to just down the Water Elemental in one consistent chain then to wait around all day for him to cast.  For the Crimson Blade who casts fireball I’d have to avoid him altogether which is possible although luck dependent.    It may be tedious to equip them every time I learn them but it’s better this way me thinks.

*  It’s faster to press my luck to try and kill the Dark Eye instead of trying to survive its spell, whatever it may be.  This is tricky since it’s a bit outta range initially but this is something I should really go for in an improvement.

*  I’m pretty sure Quicksilvers are susceptible to both silence and paralysis so there may be time saved by attacking them with those Battle Abilities instead of hoping to get lucky by absorbing Drain Heart (fucking Light Affinity physical attacks…)---well actually this may be required as Absorb Magic is no longer viable at this point.  >_>

*  Dulling Impact/Paralysis Pulse really show their benefits at the Limestone Quarry.  The Gremlins there are susceptible to those status attacks so I’ll save a nice chunk of time here alone avoiding their spells.  An alternate strat would be to go ahead with Absorb Magic and then learn Absorb Damage after the Water Elemental fight so that I can absorb silver weapons’ attacks but then I’d HAVE to get lucky with just physical attacks.  Now you understand why I’ve waited this long to update with new strats.  This shit is tricky.  It’s a matter of weighing the benefits of those status ailment attacks vs. the time used to equip them which isn’t much since I should use the quick command anyway with L2 plus right directional button…I wish these attacks were more useful but a lot of the time the enemies who you’d use them on are usually immune to ‘em, so no dice.

*  After the Limestone Quarry and using the Faerie Wing to skip that last box puzzle, I can take advantage of the Quickness status to leap across the chasm at the beginning of the Temple of Kiltia.  This actually doesn’t save you more than 5 secs. or so but it looks badass and it should be done.  It’s just a little tricky since I have to avoid the Heal Panel that is right where I need to climb but it’s nothing too hard…despite being at the end of a hard segment….hell every seg is hard…

*  I’ll probably learn Absorb Magic at the end or Fireproof depending on how I push my luck to kill Marid with one continuous chain.  As you can see, I’m pretty much figuring this shit out myself so I still don’t know what’s optimal in the end.

So yea….those are some new strats I’ve been sitting on for the past month or so.  I’m sure there are other subtle improvements I’m overlooking perhaps but those are the ones that came to me at this hour.  I’d say using these tactics along with improved boss fights and whatnot ought to result in a sub 1:55 run.  That’s a substantial improvement.  I don’t know what the lower limit will be for a new game run but I’m guessing this run is almost optimized with these new strats assuming there aren’t any sequence breaks possible (i.e. glitching through doors or somehow getting across the river after the Duane battle, both of which are impossible AFAIK).  PHEW….so that’s my update.  Sorry for the uber-long post but just wanted to get this info out there.
100% runs=great to watch
Yep, really cool run...very well wrought.  I'd like to see other run categories for it as well somewhere down the line, as it would appear there's a good bit of meat to the game.  8)
Edit history:
Riskbreaker Y: 2010-02-11 05:16:17 pm
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Although I’d like to improve the segmented run, I don’t really feel compelled to atm.  But anyway, as some of you may know, I’ve been trying to single segment this bad boy lately.  Nothing serious but I’ve made some decent headway.  I’ll describe my best attempt below and outline some strategies as it’s a tall order to emulate my run in a single segment.

*  Made it past the Wyvern in Abandoned Mines B1 but died in the very next room against a Goblin.  I ran into a wall accidentally and mistimed the Impact Guard.  Not one of my finer moments.

*  @ Rue Vermillion the in-game clock read 24:4X or something, so I was behind about a minute.

*  After the Golem fight, Ashley learns Raging Ache a bit early.  No additional grinding was done, I had to use two long chains to bring down the Golem.  Getting this ability helps out BIG TIME, instead of Impact Guarding the Archer in the next room I just killed him.  That should account for about 15 secs. at least.  Also the Dragon is much easier to deal with with this Chain Ability.

*  Items used:  x1 Vera Root (for the Golem) x1 Cure Root (as soon as I entered AMB1); although I have to say the Cure Root wasn’t necessary at that point.

*  AMB1 should go similarly to the seg'd run with the exception of using Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact against the Goblin Leaders.  I’d probably have to equip Fire Proof against the Fire Elemental and may have to heal as it’ll be too intense to down him in one combo…but we’ll see.

So that is my progress thus far.  The battle with Duane is one of the ‘tests’ you have to deal with since he’s the most dodgy boss of the whole game and can obliterate you with Explosion Lv. 1 or his silver cane.  The first few areas should look fairly identical to the segmented run though.  I’ll probably incorporate using Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact since that method is potentially faster and is actually safer to use for a SS.  I’ll list additional concerns/strats below.

*  Confronting the Earth Dragon in a SS will be very, very scary.  I’m guessing I’ll have to equip Terra Guard, cast Prostasia, AND heal myself for this portion.  It is just too luck dependent to hope to initiate battle with it before he can do anything.  It was hard for a segmented run and it’ll be nearly impossible for a SS.  If I DO manage that then I’d probably have to intentionally take damage for Raging Ache’s damage output.  The Fire Elementals in the Snowfly Forest may require similar preparation with Fireproof since I’m a little better at absorbing Fireball than Acid Breath. 

*  I need to learn the solutions to all the box puzzles as getting Faerie Wing drops will prove highly unlikely at best.

*  The Grimoire Annuler (Magic Ward) is obtained after the battle with Grissom so that’ll be a HUGE benefit to have later in the run.  I still have to figure out exactly what places to use it in though since I don’t want to abuse it too much.  I don’t see having to use Mana items either for this purpose since it should be a last resort, not a cop out.

Those are my thoughts for now on these sections.  I’m just taking this SS in small bites for now as there’s a lot to be worked out in terms of strategy.  I welcome any thoughts or ideas about it as planning for this run is significantly different from the seg'd one.  I’m already having nightmares of the Great Cathedral…Oh, yea I should also say that I stream once in a while now.  I have no schedule lined up or anything since I pretty much borrow my gf's macbook whenever I get the chance and feel like running.  But if I know ahead of time if I'll be able to have a long running session then I'll post an update or something or other.  Otherwise, you guys will have to make due with my sporadic updates.  Cheesy

Edit:  OK, so i've done some testing lately and I have some good news and some bad news. 

The bad news is is that I thought equipping a (H) Round Shield found in UCE would've helped protect me from physical attacks a little bit.  Boy was I wrong, it's pretty much worthless along with any other equipment I find along the way.  I also thought equipping a Tabar found in UCW would've helped some but it doesn't really since i rely on Raging Ache exclusively so i'm sticking with the Fandango. 

Now for the good news:  there isn't much of it actually, heh.  SSing this game is proving harder than it seemed.  The good thing though is that once you get to the Great Cathedral there is a Heal Panel very conveniently placed right before Marid, Ifrit, and the Arch Dragon.  This is gonna help me BIG TIME as it is a full heal, it reduces my risk back to 0 (having max Risk lowers your defense substantially), and it's real fast.  I'll probably have to use Magic Ward still for Marid since he's liable to cast AoE spells but this proves the Great Cathedral won't be as hard as previously thought.  It's just a matter of actually GETTING THERE.  I should also mention that some bosses are weak to Dulling Impact (silence attack) like the Ogre Lord and the Arch Dragon so I won't have to stress about casting Magic Ward if i don't have to.  Still, the Ogre Lord is fast on his feet so I may have to use Magic Ward anyway.  Fortunately, Magic Ward is the only status effect that stays on permanently until i get hit with any spell.  Like i said before, this is proving to be difficult so I may just go ahead and improve the seg'ed run as I'm getting a lot of practice needless to say.  Until next time...

Edit history:
Riskbreaker Y: 2010-02-12 02:42:56 am
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Holy shit.  So I've decided to improve my run after all since it's just too hard to SS this game for now.  I still plan on working on it but the improvement will take priority.  I will continue to edit this post with my progress as I make it and edit the other post for anything relevant to the SS.  I've already improved my first segment and...what an improvement!

Segment 1:

Withered Spring @ 14:55  (1 min. and 1 sec. improvement)

I won't bother going into details as I don't want to spoil anything unless someone specifically wants to know what I did differently.  It suffices to say that I got pretty lucky on a few select parts.  I kept 'human errors' to a minimum and they don't amount to more than 1-2 secs.  It's possible to get sub 14:50 but needless to say this requires ridiculous luck and for certain enemies to cooperate.  The only thing I have to worry about at this point is my Battle Points situation as I only learned one Chain Ability in this segment.  I think it should work out fine (edit:  preliminary tests look good, i'll get Raging Ache in time for Duane).  The next task is to get a similar segment 2 as that particular segment was nearly flawless in my submission (my Fandango is at max PP going into seg 2 but somehow the damage output is inconsistent...annoyingly random so this seg will require tons of resetting probably).  And the journey begins...yet again.
Damn that's a sick improvement for just the first segment. What final time are you shooting for with those new strategies?
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Quote from gmacd:
Damn that's a sick improvement for just the first segment. What final time are you shooting for with those new strategies?


Thanks, it is indeed quite an improvement.  I stumbled upon something in the first segment the other day while casually running which was pretty significant, so that prompted me to go for the improvement.  Also, my Dullahan fight goes much better along with a decent Minotaur fight.  Ghost was standard but one of the Lizards just refused to go down.  I'll probably try and improve this segment but it seems unlikely to squeeze 5-10 secs. out of it.

I'm not sure tbh what final time I'll get.  I'm guessing with those strategies along with correcting mistakes I made in the 1:59 run I should get sub 1:55.  I would really like to get 1:50 or even below that but that's largely dependent on boss fights ultimately.  I'm going to take my time on this one because I really want to produce a run that is nearly unbeatable.  It would be sweet to be only ~10 mins. slower than the new game + run posted at TG (1:40 I believe although the WR from what I know is 1:39). 
berserker status
Hmmm, so i recently went back to attempting SS's of this today and yesterday and had some notable progress.  I got to Grissom at the Snowfly Forest twice and managed to beat him once.  I was playing pretty safely and was liberally using the Heal spell as well as Vera & Cure items.  I'll just summarize some of the things that are worth considering:

*  It's probably better to go after Duane right away instead of killing one of the Crimson Blades.  It's also real nice to go in the battle with zero RISK as your base damage will be much better and you have a better chance of offing Duane sooner.  You'd probably have to do the same thing against the Golem/Dragon if you don't get Raging Ache soon enough.  Vera Roots are pretty helpful if used sparingly in a real ss run; a boss battle can go downhill fast if the situation goes awry.

*  The Fire Elemental battle can be pretty tough.  It's hard to strike that balance of having too much or too little health at this point.  You should have Fire Proof at this point so absorbing Fireball isn't too hard; likewise eating said spell won't kill you if you have enough health.  I'm not really sure it's possible to survive Flame Sphere Lv. 1 with a full bar of life.  I need to see whether you can or not while casting a protective spell and equipping that Wizard Robe that Duane drops.  This part needs some more 'research'.

*  Remarkably, the Earth Dragon never opened up with Acid Breath on both occasions when I actually reached him.  I'm pretty sure you can't survive his Acid Breath though with full life & using Grimoire Remparte (Earth resistance).  My only hope is equipping the Wizard Robe since I haven't tested that yet.

*  The Fire Elementals in Snowfly Forest tend to cast Fireball so they're manageable for the most part.  I actually managed to evade the 2nd one too during the SS.  Pretty nice if you ask me.  I don't think I ever got any Faerie Wing drops at any point.

*  Grissom/Dark Crusader are a pretty tough duo.  Grissom has the AoE Thunderstorm spell or something and that kills you at full health even with an Air Resistance Enchanter spell cast.  Maybe you can survive with that Wizard Robe but it's looking doubtful.  The game wants to make it as hard as possible until you actually get the Magic Ward drop from Grissom.  Once you take out Grissom the Dark Crusader is not too hard since he seems to back off a lot.  After this fight, the game gets a WHOLE lot easier because now i have Magic Ward:  my ace in the hole for any confrontation against an enemy with deadly spells.

*  My time @ Warriror's Rest was  1:04:14 
    Not exactly fast but not too bad.  I'm guessing a good ss run should be below or at an hour give or
    take some seconds.  I was playing a little sloppy and was abusing items up to this point so there's
    plenty of stuff to cut out. 

*  Rosencrantz & the Dark Elemental went down pretty easily.  Unfortunately, I got blindsided at Bandit's Hollow.  I was pretty close to finally getting to the halfway point (Town Center East, Rue Lejour) too.  I had my Magic Ward up so I was good with enough MP's to last me the ordeal.  The Blood Lizard there was pretty menacing and was stalking me and I had this gut feeling that I should kill it but I figured I could take whatever he dishes out (FYI they're immune to Paralysis).  Well he dished out the pain:  a 230-240 hit critical with a silver Short Sword.  If I was at full health I would've survived anyway but i had just over 200 HP and my Impact Guard missed (note that I timed it correctly but it missed because of the silver material).  Now that I know that he is armed with a silver weapon I can prepare accordingly but I wasn't aware at the time and it was a rude awakening.  This game can just blast your life away in a matter of seconds so it's pretty important to know what to expect and adjust correctly depending on the enemy layout, etc.

I'm pretty satisfied so far with my practice attempts but I know i'm still far from getting this done.  Actually beating the game in a single shot is the first hurdle to get over and after that it'll only be rougher.  It's nice to know that you only have to get to Grissom before you get the Grimoire Annuler though it helps a ton.  Those damn AoE spells are devastating early on...
berserker status
Awright, triple post time.  At least this time I made some tangible progress on the SS business.  I actually managed to complete the game in a single sitting last night (although I played it real safe in a lot of parts by healing, using Vera items, killing some enemies, etc.). 

Time=    2:35:XX

I was actually surprised I got this time considering all the fuckery that went on.  Luckily, I managed to do well on some bosses and Moooh was available to help me out on that box puzzle before Nightmare (thanks a bunch dood).  So after finally reaching this milestone, I'm guessing that it's certainly possible to push your luck on this and just go for broke.  There's like no need to play it safe most of the time (with the exception of Magic Ward obviously).  A good submittable time should be around 2:15:XX or below I'd wager.  Getting sub 2 hrs. on a single segment is pretty fucking impossible unless you have no need for Magic Ward in which case I would seriously give up running this game if there was someone out there THAT good.  Then again, that's like TAS status so i'm not worried about it.  I'm probably gonna put Double Dragon 3 on hold and get back to running this game as I'm having way more fun doing this than getting bitch slapped around by Marion.  I will keep the thread updated with any progress with the SS or segmented improvement.  I don't ever see myself doing new game+ run on this, it's just not challenging or fun (imo).  Grin
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Apologies for the constant posting but I try not to update unless I have achieved some real progress.  Well, technically, I have and I haven't.  I've been working hard on the 1st segment lately and have really made some gains and tonight has been no exception.

Withered Spring @ 14:24

That time looks REALLY good on paper but unfortunately it has one terrible mistake that is unforgivable imho.  It could've been easily 14:19 or something but I got caught by one of the slimes after the Dullahan battle.  Completely unacceptable.  The funny part was that as soon as I got caught I just KNEW that I was still gonna get a really good time.  So, yea, needless to say I'm pretty annoyed at myself for having botched the segment.  I suppose this means I will only get a better time but it's gonna require really tight execution and exceptional luck with criticals as I was avoiding every other enemy with unprecedented finesse.  I'm shooting for sub 14:20 at this point I guess but it's gonna have to be one of those 1/100 kinda things in order to beat this time (as if this time didn't require enough attempts).  The lower limit should be like in the 14:0X but that is entering TAS territory though. 

Also, battle points are becoming a legitimate concern seeing how I'm dispatching most enemies with minimal chains.  I may have to adjust my strategy for the Duane battle since the Fandango only does good base damage against Duane himself and not against his Crimson Blade flunkies (assuming I don't get Raging Ache after the Dragon in the Sanctum)...but that's later.
berserker status
Alright, so I'm officially done with segment 1 (Wine Cellar/Catacombs).

Withered Spring @ 14:07
Time Saved:  1'49''

This segment is as close to optimal as I can manage.  The only areas of improvement are getting critical hits on the bosses but it's too difficult and luck dependent to achieve that.  Even then, getting a crit on the Dullahan doesn't guarantee a swift kill (I down him in 13 chains whereas with a crit you can reduce that to 10 chains or maybe down to 8; I've gotten a crit on him before and still took 15 chains to defeat it).  The most time can be saved if you land a critical on one of the lizards or something but again this requires tremendous luck.  Everything else was as smooth as butter.  I could've reasonably avoided one more bat but they're pretty random so you can't rely on them to shave time.  I would've liked to get sub 14 mins. but it would take me months to get that kind of ridiculous luck.  Next time I stream I'll replay the segment and record it on ustream so that I can show you guys my progress as I will not be uploading anything to youtube since I don't feel like it tbh.

Also, I started working on the 2nd segment and have already achieved a good time.

Rue Vermillion @ 21:00
Time Saved:  41''

Total Time Saved:  2'30''

Not bad for my first session I'd say.  I follow Valendian's advice and avoid that slime right before the Golem fight as I figured out a way to consistently avoid it.  Although this segment is pretty much all about execution, there's a lot of luck involved with getting enough Battle Points to earn the second Chain Ability.  I need 19 Battle Points at the start of the 2nd seg to get the next Chain Ability.  The optimal way to do that is to take down the Golem with 18 chains and getting the last point from that bat right before crossing the river on the cloudstone.  I've read somewhere that beating an enemy with 1 chain doesn't yield any Battle Points (and I actually verified it) but for some reason I've received the second chain ability off of that bat.  So in addition to the two initial bats, it takes three bats to yield 1 Battle Point.  Don't ask me how that works out mathematically but I've done it before and it works.  What actually happened in the segment I recorded was that I chain the Golem for 16 hits, mess up, and beat him with a 6 hit chain right afterward.  So I wasted time with those additional 2-3 chains.  I actually manage to avoid the skeleton with the crossbow so I made up time but with the strat I mentioned, it's possible to shave another 5-10 secs. possibly.  It's actually a very solid segment so I don't know if I'll be able to beat that time.  I'll try for another week or two but it's starting to look like I may wind up keeping it since it essentially requires luck to optimize it any further.  I learn the third Chain Ability with the Dragon after I felled it with a 29 hit chain so it looks like I'll have to learn Raging Ache from Duane.  This means I will go after him first instead of one of the Crimson Blades.  Well, that's what happens when you keep chains to a minimum in the first two segments.  I want to finish the run sometime in the summer so I don't want to spend a month or two on every single segment just so that I can hypothetically get them a few seconds faster.  Some segments are also more improvable than others obviously (segments 4 & 8 were pretty optimal afaik).  Maybe if I get competition in the future I'll revisit this but it looks like this will be my swan song for this game.

But wait, there's more!  Moooh and I discussed an alternate strategy that utilizes the staff Duane drops (Magnolia Frau) for the remainder of the speedrun.  This is quite the departure from using the Fandango like my old run.  I tested how quickly the stave chains and I haven't measured exactly how much faster it is then a sword but I can confirm that it's much faster.  Being that it's faster, the chain timing is completely different and I will need to practice to get the hang of it.  With this new strategy, I'm pretty sure I can save 1-2 mins. over the course of the run.  Yea, it's THAT much faster.  The only problem with staves is that they have a range value of 2 versus the Fandango which has a range value of 3.  This might present problems in certain areas in the speedrun like against the Djinn for example since it's hard enough to reach its head as it is.  So yea, that's it for now.  That was a super long post but most of it was relevant information I hope.  Grin
Exoray
It's a mighty nice improvement, it's a shame I missed the stream. You had already logged off IRC when I saw your msg about it but I could tell you were excited about it Smiley

I would love to give you some competition on this, but unfortunately I only have the PAL version.
berserker status
Alright, I'm still working on this.  Segment 2 is done pretty much but I'm in a bit of a pickle.  I have two good times but they vary in terms of Battle Point optimization

Rue Vermillion @ 20:38 (need two Chain Abilities before Raging Ache)

Rue Vermillion @ 20:48 (need one Chain Ability before Raging Ache)

I'm still testing out which is faster/more efficient but I'm leaning toward going with the faster time and just hoping for better luck on the Duane battle.  Plus, that particular segment went more smoothly than the slower time even though it managed to earn 2 Chain Abilities in the Sanctum.  Hopefully I'll get the next segment done soon but I'm going for a riskier strategy in a specific room.  We'll see.

Today I also did a SS run for the game and managed a really good time surprisingly.  I decided to not equip the Magnolia Frau and went with the Fandango since I'm still not used to chaining with staves.

All clear @ 2:18

Not a bad time at all considering I wasted a minute or two at the end of the Limestone Quarry because I forgot how to solve the box puzzle.  :/

I'm guessing that a submittable time would be sub 2:15 and a wonderful time would be sub 2:10.  It just depends on how much risk you're willing to take by casting Magic Ward less and using less items here and there.  There were also two occasions where I missed an Impact Guard and survived with literally 1 HP.  TWICE!  Talk about getting lucky.  I didn't get any Faerie Wing drops either so that could speed things up.  We'll see if I get better with the Magnolia Frau otherwise I might stick to the Fandango in a SS run considering how much more comfortable I am with it and the additional range that helps out a ton in many parts.

I'll probably record the first two segments on ustream later on tonight so that you guys have an idea of the quality of the segmented run.  The visual quality blows but it's just to provide something other than times and descriptions here in the thread.
berserker status
Alright, so getting a SS run done for this game is taking me longer than I expected.  Granted I’ve only been making serious attempts for the past month or so but my skills have improved quite a bit so the ultimate goal is within sight.  I’ve had quite a few heartbreakers including being killed after getting two Faerie Wing drops (on at least two runs) even though I’ve never made it to the Limestone Quarry.  I want to give a rough route to not only update the thread but to cope with the sting of repeated failure.  Only important info will be listed as opposed to minor details.

Wine Cellar

*  Recall 1st Chain Ability against Dullahan.

Catacombs

*  (Recall 1st Chain Ability against Ghost if haven’t already)
*  Recall 2nd Chain Ability (Dulling Impact) against skeleton (or slime if need be) after Lizards

Sanctum

*  Recall 3rd Chain Ability against Golem (or the bat in cloudstone/river area)
*  Recall Raging Ache against slime and/or bat in cloudstone/river area.

Managing your battle points is probably the most important aspect of speedrunning the first couple areas in the game.  Remember, it’s best to learn Raging Ache in a SS asap since trying to land a first blow and completing one continuous chain against the Dragon is pretty fucking demanding in a SS.

Town Center West

*  Learn another Chain Ability so that Paralysis Pulse is next.

City Walls/Abandoned Mines B1

*  Learn Paralysis Pulse against skeletons or Wyvern if need be.
*  Use Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact on Goblins and their Leaders.
*  Learn and equip Fire Proof if possible before Fire Elemental.
*  Try to kill Fire Elemental in one round, if not attempt to get in a second attack before he casts.  If he casts, hope he uses Fireball and absorb (Flame Sphere=Game Over, very tricky to time the Fire Proof).

Town Center West

*  Use Paralysis Pulse against the Crimson Blades (safe, plus doesn’t waste much time)

Undercity West

Nothing particular

Snowfly Forest

*  Proceed as normal, use Fire Proof when necessary.
*  Pray for Faerie Wing drops.
*  Use Grimoire Annuler right away to learn Magic Ward.

City Walls/Iron Maiden/The Keep

*  Use Cure Bulb before Rosencrantz since he can start with almost any Break Art and some are extremely difficult to Impact Guard in any scenario (i.e. Cherry Ronde).

Town Center South/City Walls

*  Use Cure Bulb before Gargoyles since they have a penchant for using Numbing Hook.  I can time the input to negate the “Numbness” status but will still take the damage.  Either way I would have to use an item in this area in most cases.
*  Cast Magic Ward if haven’t already before Dark Elemental

Undercity West

Nothing important besides not using Cure Bulbs before the Dark Eye and just killing it instead.

Abandoned Mines B2

*  Equip Terra Ward and use as much as necessary to protect from Vulcan Lance.  Kill both Imps when possible.  Avoid the Blood Lizard if he’s away, otherwise kill him before he kills you with his silver short sword.

Town Center East

*  Cast Magic Ward if it isn’t up already.  Attempt difficult maneuver around the pillar at the Kesch Bridge and hope you don’t eat shit.
*  Equip Paralysis Pulse & Dulling Impact and use them against Crimson Blade with silver weapon in the next area.
*  Cast Magic Ward again if it isn’t up.  The next Crimson Blade casts either Fireball or that water elemental spell.  Avoiding him is possible but slim chance.  Use Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact if needed.

Undercity East

*  Equip Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact and go to town with the Quicksilvers.
*  Have Magic Ward up if it doesn’t conflict with MP supply after the Nightstalker battle (Harpies cast Banish sometimes & the Dark Elemental casts sometimes).
*  Teleport & use Mana items accordingly.
*  Kill Dark Elemental that guards entrance to the other side of Undercity East (again on way out).
*  Use Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact against Quicksilvers that guard the Aster Sigil with the Lich.
*  Teleport & use Mana items accordingly (be mindful of any Mana Bulb or Acolyte’s Nostrum drops).

Limestone Quarry (haven’t reached yet in serious attempts)

*  Cast Magic Ward before Water Elemental if MP’s allow.  If not, use Cure Bulb and hope he doesn’t cast an AoE spell.
*  Use Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact on Gremlins whenever possible.
*  Cast Magic Ward before Ogre Lord.

Temple of Kiltia

*  Use Paralysis Pulse/Dulling Impact on Gremlins if possible.

Great Cathedral

*  Use Magic Ward before facing any of the Daevas. 
*  Use Magic Ward before facing Guildenstern and his 2nd form.


This is all stuff I have to commit to memory so that I can prepare for the worst case scenarios.  I’ve pretty much avoided using any item until Rosencrantz when it’s necessary to deal with his randomness.  With this route, I can easily get sub 2:10 and possibly sub 2:05.  I think it’s possible to get sub 2 hrs. in a SS but you’d have to go through the game naked (no Cure Bulbs or Magic Ward) and get the defensive guards 100% right.  As it is, I can only Impact Guard physical attacks with regularity late into a run even but can only absorb certain spells with regularity (Fireball, that simple water spell, Dark Chant, Solid Shock, Vulcan Lance).  Even though this route is somewhat safe it really is ambitious considering I’m taking many calculated risks by Impact Guarding and absorbing spells which are literally one-hit ko’s every time.  It’s just a bit annoying to only get 2-3 attempts max in a single sitting considering the length of the run and the stress it induces in me (I can make it to Undercity East now without my nerves kicking in!).  Hopefully this project will be done soon..!
Eagerly awaiting your success! I can't wait to see how your skills have improved since the segmented run.
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Ughh...

So I just had a pretty decent run end against the Arch Dragon in the Grand Cathedral.  I was home free man.  So close.  Got a Faerie Wing drop too and used it at the end of the Limestone Quarry/beginning of Temple of Kiltia (to leap across the chasm).  It was a good run and no doubt would've been 2:05 or possibly faster, but there are a few things about it that I didn't like for sure.

*  Got hit by 3 status ailments.  Once against a Gargoyle (Numbness, missed the Ward), on a Gremlin (Paralysis, didn't even manage to attempt a Ward), and I walked onto a Poison Panel in the Grand Cathedral.  That's 3 items consumed which probably ate up half a minute at least.

*  Also, after jumping across the chasm in Temple of Kiltia I walked onto the Heal Panel which restored most of my health.  This essentially reduced my damage output by half so I wasted a lot of time in the next couple of boss fights.  I had to take damage from Kali in order to go into the Grand Cathedral with SOMETHING to work with.  This debacle alone cost me a few mins. for sure potentially.  If I leap across the chasm, I need to make sure to jump before pressing the directional button so as to avoid the panel. 

*  Had to kill more enemies than I'd like to at the beginning of the game in the name of Battle Points.  It wasn't that bad though considering how capricious this aspect of the run can be.

*  Fell into pits like 4-6 times in total throughout the run, costing me a chunk of time.

Most of the run was really good though.  I was 1-Rounding quite a few bosses and didn't really have to resort to putting up Magic Ward constantly until the final dungeon.  I wasn't too nervous for most of the run and I was actually pretty chill considering the reflexes required for this game.  My max chain was 32 against..umm..can't remember think it was the Flame Dragon.  I think I'm really close to nailing this thing.  I honestly think I'm good enough to try my luck and run the game naked without Magic Ward but that's too insane for now I just gotta achieve one goal atta time.  After playing this game a lot, I have to say the 1st half of the game is much more difficult than the second half since you're expected to Impact Guard a lot more early on and Magic Ward, Paralysis Pulse, and Dulling Impact seriously castrate some of the more dangerous foes later in the game.  Well, not really much of an update just letting y'all know that this WILL be done, Divine Breath or no fucking Divine Breath. 
Edit history:
Riskbreaker Y: 2010-09-12 07:33:19 pm
Riskbreaker Y: 2010-09-12 06:23:06 pm
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LOL...

So don't get excited as I haven't finished the SS business just yet.  I've been practicing my Guards lately as it gets demoralizing to have a good run end on a mistimed Guard.

Some of you may know that I've been quietly working on a New Game+ file because I feel like owning every categorical record for this game.  Plus it gives me something to do while I fume about my SS failures.  Well, I just did a casual run through of the game using a NG+ file and pretty much obliterated every known record for it save for the Ultima Garden time.  For that case, it'll only be a matter of time before I conquer it as well.  I still think the New Game time posted there is bogus but I am sure now that their NG+ record is legit seeing that I almost beat it with a subpar data.

Final NG+ Time@  1:27

Yea, I was only off by four minutes I think.  I totally annihilated Rodrigo Lopes' record at TG (1:41 hahahah) and AshleyRiot2006's unofficial record of 1:39.  Keep in mind that this was just a casual run and there were a lot of things that could be better.  Some notes:

*  Weapon of choice:  (D) Arbalest fitted with an Arturos gem, has high DP due to material but it falls after awhile and my damage output is reduced.  The only thing that will offset this is to max out my str. stat out using Elixir of Kings and Valens wines.  I one-shot everything until I get to Abandoned Mines B1 to give you an idea and toward the end I'm chaining 8-hit combos to down Guildenstern.  Lots of room for improvement here since the goal is to one-shot everything.

*  Used one mana item since I still don't have enough MP to teleport at will.  This costs me a few seconds.

*  No Faerie Wing drops, getting these to drop will be essential to beat the Ultima Garden time. 

*  Got hit by a few spells which consumes time, I have to optimize my strategy regarding this (i.e. have to figure out which enemies to kill to prevent spell casting).

*  Saved once at the Atrium before the last battle which ate up a chunk of time.

I'm not sure when this'll get done.  I still have a long way to go before I one-shot everything and hopefully I won't have to figure out any additional strategy if the deteriorating of the DP on the Arbalest will prevent one-shots toward the end.  I might have to forge another crossbow if one Arbalest isn't enough but we'll see...hopefully this will get done within a month or two if I keep at it with the stat grinding because I don't want to submit anything mediocre.

After I get done with the SS & NG+ run, I might give a 100% run a try.  I'm kind of lazy to improve the any% run since I have to practice chaining with staves considerably more before attempting the improvement again.  So, I guess my question to you guys is what would constitute 100% for this game?  I'm thinking opening every single chest in the game would probably be the best definition.  100% map coverage would be a fucking bitch (think Snowfly Forest and Iron Maiden B2...*shudders*) and defeating every boss doesn't sound adequate because which enemies are bosses and which aren't (I guess bosses have roulette stat wheels)?  BTW opening every chest is only possible on NG+ so it'll be really easy since it's impossible to die really.  OK, so that ends my long post.  Hopefully I'll have two runs of VS to submit within the next month or two.       

Edit:  WHOOPS, I guess I thought the Ultima Garden time was 1:23; it's reportedly 1:10.  So in this case then it can't be legit as there's no way I can shave off 17 mins. off this run.  10 mins. maybe but 17?  Yea right, even with one-shots that isn't possible and I'll finally be able to prove it.  So I guess 1:27 is the new record for now until I improve it in the near future.  Heh.
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Just got 1:20 for NG+.  Starting to reach the point of diminishing returns although I didn't get any Faerie Wing drops.  Just need to ultimize my Arbalest, get some lucky drops, and get lucky on enemy encounters to drop it down a few mins.

Still working on my NG SS run though.  Keep dying cuz of bullshit like mashing on circle when I should be anticipating a Guard.  It'll come soon hopefully though...
Edit history:
Riskbreaker Y: 2010-11-28 05:57:04 pm
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Wow, it's been two months since I've updated.  It's too bad there aren't better things to say; there's good news and bad news.

NG+ (SS)

I've finally completed my ultimate Arbalest (D) even though I pretty much didn't bother working on this for over a month.  So you figure I'd get at least a minute or two faster right?  Well, NOPE.  I ran through the game again and got 1:20 once more.  There were a lot of mistakes and I didn't get any Faerie Wing drops but still I was expecting at LEAST 1:19.  So yea, this left me wondering how low this can really go.  With 2-3 Faerie Wing drops, minimal execution errors, and some luck getting the minimal amount of enemy spells, there's a good chance I could drop this down to 1:17 at the most.  But there's also this to consider:  my copy of VS is really scratched up so I'm thinking when enemies cast their spells and the animations take awhile (I've heard the 'charge' animation is the game searching for the right files or something) it's because I have a shit copy that barely works.  It's definitely worth investigating and I need a new copy anyway sooner or later.  At this point, after 3 or 4 more playthroughs I'll be able to one-shot even Guildenstern II so we're reaching end game folks; any other time-savers will have to be creative.

NG (SS)

Unfortunately, I no longer have access to my bro's nice, shiny flatscreen tv no more.  What this means is that I'm left with my crappyy small tv for recording attempts and the way I have it set up causes really bad input lag.  I mean, it's really really bad to the point where I can't even take down the Dullahan in the Catacombs in a clean consistent chain.  The DULLAHAN...!!!  So yea, until I can fix this or get a better tv or something I won't be trying for this category yet.  I could probably practice but the prospect of successfully completing a SS run without recording is dreadful, even if it is above-average and not great.  I can see now that this particular category wil be a long-term project along with the segmented improvment (100% will get done once there's a route and people ask for it).  I can't help bt think that if I had dedicated more time before to this run that it would be completed by now so I apologize for my lack of enthusiasm.  But I will say that this gets priority for the next year and I guarantee that the end result will be tasty.

Alright, so that's it until the new year maybe who knows.  Next time I post I'll have a record NG+ time for you all.  Oh yea, in light of my latest tests I have to conclude once more that the Ultima Garden NG+ time (1:10) is probably not possible barring an esoteric sequence break or something.  You get to the point where saving seconds in a run is like pulling teeth, the possibility of a huge time-saver being discovered at this point is remote.  I say this not as a spiteful hater who has to validate his own worth by saying other times aren't legit blah blah blah but as a runner who would very much love to be proven wrong and is only interested achieving an optimal time.
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Ok, so fast update.  Got another NG+ run done last night and it went much better than my previous run.  I guess I was really tired or something because the time I got was really poor.

1:16

Looks like I actually beat VMerken's reported 1:17 on gamefaqs, another record bites the dust.  I'm thinking this could go down to 1:15 or even lower...Maybe it's possible to get 1:10 but cutting out 5 mins. doesn't seem likely (I know I've been wrong plenty of times before).  This run had better execution, better luck, and some better strats (e.g. removing equipment so that I won't be prompted to discard items so often early on).  So yea, this run should get done soon before the new year hopefully.

I had a serious training session with chaining and at least the input lag is consistent...the timing is faster but it's something I might be able to adjust to...not so sure how wise that will be so we'll see.  At least the Impact Guard/Absorb Magic timings are pretty much the same strangely so there's no drop off there.  Alright, this time for real, it should be awhile before the next update.
Edit history:
Riskbreaker Y: 2011-03-15 02:54:57 pm
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Time for an update.

Well I've been back it recently since I have a recording set-up that works well enough.  I wanted to do NG+ right away so that I can carry over the movement familiarization to the SS run but it seems like it'll work better the other way around.  The NG+ run really needs to be optimized imo because of all the time I put it into so that I can finish it and pretty much never touch it again.  I lowered the time again last week without any Faerie Wing drops so cutting off a minute or two from that alone is possible.

1:15

After looking at all the mistakes I did (platforming errors, getting caught by enemies, falling into pits, etc.), I'm pretty sure this could drop at least 2-3 mins.  It's impossible to do everything correctly because the gameplay basically becomes Super Mario Bros. in Lea Monde so there's going to be frames lost here and there.  I just want to do the SS first as it's not the end of the world if I mess up on a jump there. 

My SS attempts have gone pretty well (have made it as far as Bandit's Hollow and Town Center East) and every time I die it's because I simply neglect to equip the right Defense Ability on time.  Before my attempts were a bit rushed imo since I had to move out and find my own place awhile back but now I can take my time with this without worries.  My chaining is up to speed (1-rounded 3-4 bosses on one attempt) and I can get as far as Snowfly Forest consistently.  I just want to get a decent run done first to see how much more I can get it down to.  All this practice will be really useful if/when there's a Summer Marathon but there's no way I would play with as little life as I normally do in a live event like that and have the run hinge on a successful Impact Guard.  For submission, though?  No problem.  Hopefully I will have an update later this month.
And I'd do it again...
Was given the go-ahead to necro this thread since it's a treasure trove of Vagrant Story information.

I believe when I last played this game, I only made it to around the Sky Dragon mark, but as a side game to learn whilst I attempt a PAL FFIX Excalibur II run I wanted to break this game open some.
Riskbreaker Y has definitely set the bar high with his segmented run, and likely, I'll want to complete it a few times to get back into the feel of it before attempting any sort of challenge.

Single-segment could still be a thing, it would require healing though to mitigate the attacks which slip through (increasing the margin for error).

I've been practicing New Game to Dullahan kill by noting down things from Riskbreaker Y's SDA run, whilst I'm a few minutes slower than him, the more of his tactics I can use, the more practice I'll get.

The Lizardmen seem to enjoy getting in a critical strike for roughly 160~ damage, which, if undefended is usually a Game Over if Ashley has been unhealed 'til that point. It's this sort of damage that I believe healing may help against, at least until I'm familiar with timing for defending.

The only other aspect I need to practice is effective camera positioning.
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oh cool, a post about Vagrant Story.  ^_^

The segmented run is a bit outdated, glad someone else is willing to help break this game open some more.  Single-segment still is a thing and that's something I'll start to work on once again in the near future once I stop being lazy.  Healing on a SS might be necessary in a couple areas (Rosencrantz, maybe the Water Elemental considering your mp's will be gone after teleporting to Undercity West).  Magic Ward and defense abilities should be enough on SS.  Eventually, a naked run with only defense abilities would be ideal.  The problem with healing is that, unless you completely cure yourself, there's still a chance you'll be ohko'd so it defeats the purpose.  And then if you do heal, you're FORCED to take damage to make Raging Ache effective.  It's a delicate balance that can waste a lot of time on many fronts, besides the actual animation.  Of course if done correctly it's a lifesaver.

http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11866&start=60

Look there for some real awesome strats, it's too bad exileut has taken a hiatus from tasing it though.  Most of it is impossible to do, obviously, but there are some nifty strategies to use that can be done in real-time. 

Yea, if you're having problems defending just load up a ng+ file and just practice by eating damage from whatever enemy/weapon type you're having trouble Impact Guarding.  Otherwise, it's the spells that are trickier to defend from odd angles, especially the AoE ones.  Camera positioning is huge:  my only advice to you is to orient yourself in such a way that it doesn't negatively affect your ability to chain/defend.  There's a couple annoying spots where you're almost doing it blind (Snowfly Forest), but this is something you might have to plan out for each room most likely and memorize.  This is one of those games where a set of notes is almost useless because there's hardly any down time.  I only note what d-pad buttons to press for the box puzzles and the mp's necessary for teleporting from places.

Good luck!