Speedrunning FFL2

#168kPosted 4/20/2014 7:49:15 PM
Sorry for the multiple posts today. I've started a project I've been wanting to do for a while, which is a 100%, single-segment, glitch-free speed run of this game. I'm going to throw a bunch of my ideas/thoughts/etc into this thread, and you can give me feedback (or not!); and perhaps this will eventually be useful for someone else, as well.

OK. Starting out, the first (and still unanswered) question I have is: which party to take?

Humans:
Pros: None (for a speedrun)
Cons: Too much grind time to be considered for a speedrun.I love playing them in normal games, but they just would not work for this.

Mutants:
Pros: Time-saving skills, including Warning (avoid unexpected attacks), Surprise (chance of first strike = run), Teleport (potential to save massive time in certain places), StonGaze (chance to one-hit certain bosses) to name a few. Not to mention healing abilities, which will come in super handy for Apollo, Shrine, and Arsenal.
Cons: RNG will determine what skills you learn. Grinding will be required for Mana stat, which may be enough to throw Mutants out of the running (more on this later).

Robots:
Pros: No grinding for stats. Depending on how many Robots are in the party, you can live off of found gear pretty effectively, making them cheap in the long-run. Agility Robots are a consistent source of damage and general advantage throughout the majority of the game.
Cons: Lack of healing ability, and ability to be healed efficiently. Depending on how many Robots you use, can be expensive enough that getting money cuts into time.

Monsters:
Pros: No money required, cheap as dirt. Access to certain monster(s) early on can carry you throughout early to mid game. End-game monsters can be extremely powerful (Kusanagi able to solo Arsenal, for example).
Cons: Time spent + praying for RNG to acquire appropriate meats to evolv. Highest level end-game monsters rely on specific meats being dropped by one-time boss monsters, which can kill a run if they do not drop.

After some playing around and consideration, I am looking at the following parties:

Robot - Robot - Monster - Monster
Robot - Robot - Robot - Monster
Robot - Mutant - Monster - Monster
Robot - Robot - Mutant - Monster

I did a test run today. Not for speed, but just to see what would be viable. Two Robots + Two Monsters was able to easily get through all of the game's content up until the final Apollo fight. That's when I hit the brick wall. Here's the path I took for today's test run:

Robot: CatClaw, Laser Gun, Samurai Bow, Laser Sword, Laser Sword, Parasuit, Dragon Helm
Robot: CatClaw, Karate, CatClaw, Laser Sword, Laser Sword/Tank, Ninja Gauntlet, Arthur Armor
Monster: Baby-D -> Sprite -> Hermit -> Fairy -> Moaner
Monster: Baby-D -> Sprite -> Hermit -> Fairy -> Wraith

Like I said, this party chewed through everything pretty easily, including the Odin fight. The only major timesink was going from Sprite -> Hermit -> Fairy on both monsters, which did not end up being too horrible, but it was long enough that I want to see how taking a Mutant along instead would compare to having two Monsters.

Apollo was the problem, though (not to mention I doubt the party would fare well in the Shrine). I could only last through 12 rounds with him, which was not enough to kill him, and not enough to outlast the battle. The Moaner could not contribute at all in that fight, although he single-handedly beat WarMach.
#268k(Topic Creator)Posted 4/20/2014 7:51:05 PM
Anyway, right now I'm trying to decide if using one Mutant would be viable or not. If the Mutant replaced one of the Monsters, it would reduce some time/RNG related to finding meats, as well as potentially saving some time with Warning, Surprise, and Teleport. I'll add some updates later on.
#3_KazPosted 4/22/2014 11:44:35 AM
68k posted...
100%, single-segment, glitch-free speed run of this game.

Define glitch-free. No robot equip-re-equip healing? No restarts if your mutant learns a stupid technique?

With a no-Robot speedrun, you're looking at Monsters for a majority of your party. And a lot of running.

A Human F or Mutant F might be a crutch (for running) early on, and hopefully -- hopefully -- they can naturally progress with stats and abilities later on.

Robots, even without healing, are nice potential speed-run classes. With the equipment you find along the way (no taking alternate paths for treasure chests, e.g. Revenge Sword) you can get a good robot by end-game. If you go a little out of your way (not the Nasty Dungeon) you can still get nice leftovers for a human or mutant throughout the game.

So, a true speedrun has you, well, running for most of the game. You pick your battles VERY carefully to avoid time spent grinding items or GP. This makes every treasure chest you come across CRUCIAL because those are GUARANTEED items.

A Mutant / Robot / Monster / Monster party sounds the fastest. Early on your Mutant is the "runner", RUNning through the Ruins and Ashura's base until you get items (extra Gun, Axe) to turn your Robot into a hitter. With two Bows (North Cave, Mutant F), its accuracy should be "decent."

In Ashura's world, you can power your two Baby-D's and rely on them until Guardian's Base. (Sprites work great, but keep a Medusa for a Venus one-hit KO.)

If your party is well equipped, you can pick the fastest dragon at Dragon's circuit. If it isn't, a slower dragon to skip a major fight or two.

You can rely on your 5th's in Shogun's world, and Odin will be the last major test of strength considering you beat WarMach with a single monster.


Now the showdown at the Center of the Worlds:
gamefaqs.com/boards/585710-final-fantasy-legend-ii/64362250
At the end, we talk about monsters and turn-order to stave off the final blast. Remember, Apollo only uses magical attacks; armor is pointless and HP/healing is king.

Now... are you playing neoFFL2, Brayze's new Monsters neoFFL2, or the stock game? (I think AMuseum did a 6-hour run with the stock game; three Robots and a Monster IIRC, likely with the Robot healing trick.)
---
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#468k(Topic Creator)Posted 4/22/2014 5:30:09 PM
Glitch-free and restart free. So no Robot re-equip trick, and no restarts to deal with a party wipe or to deal with a poor Mutant ability. And standard FFL2. if I put a serious run together, I'd want to run it on the cartridge + Super Game Boy. I'm confident 2 hours is doable, and would like to go significantly below 2.

I've mostly been doing theoretical stuff after doing one test run, but this week I'm going to start working on putting together runs for each world with a different collection of party members. We'll see how that goes.

I was initially viewing bringing a Mutant along as having a functionally dead party member the entire time that was simply equipped with Warning to avoid surprise attacks (and perhaps to get lucky and get StoneGaze or Teleport later on, but obviously you can't plan a run around those). But, my Robot-Robot-Monster-Monster test run got stuck at Apollo. Not even Odin was a problem, though I was probably a bit fortunate with his attacks on that run. But the Apollo fight exposed the difficulty of having the two Robots (who cannot be healed for crap) and no effective group healing outside of Dad. The Moaner was useless due to not being able to absorb on Apollo.

So, that made me think about the need for a somewhat competent Mutant for at least the Apollo fight, if nothing else. You could give a Mutant a Parasuit (+73 def, +15 agi), Hecate (+15 mana), collect all Magic potions (+9 mana), and add in the starting mana of +6, and you end up with a female Mutant with 76 defense, 20 agi (29 if you get potions), and 30 mana without leveling a single stat. With at least (approx) 25 mandatory fights before Apollo, there's a solid chance that she could bump that mana stat to 40+ and hopefully pick up some HP on the way. And, you could occasionally fight random battles if you know you can end them in one round (single monster stacks). She would need upwards of 600 HP, though, to withstand a Flare or Masamune from Apollo.

After Apollo, if you can get a Kusanagi, you're set, and you don't have to worry so much about healing anymore. But I haven't done much with the Shrine + Arsenal fight, yet, so I don't know. Just trying to figure out how to get past Apollo as quickly as possible.

Thanks for the link. I'll read through that this evening some time.
#5_KazPosted 4/23/2014 8:35:40 AM
68k posted...
I'm confident 2 hours is doable, and would like to go significantly below 2.

Not without a teleport glitch. Also, I was wrong. I believe my time was 6 hours (but I never used Run). Someone else (think it was AMuseum) claimed 3~4 hours.

68k posted...
But the Apollo fight exposed the difficulty of having the two Robots (who cannot be healed for crap) and no effective group healing outside of Dad. The Moaner was useless due to not being able to absorb on Apollo.

They aren't supposed to damage Apollo (unless you farmed enough equipment for the Robots), just take hits. I'd go as far as giving both robots Heal Staves just so they can heal everyone else.

If your robots have 700~900 HP, they can take a hit or two and heal the monsters/dad if they don't take a hit. (Healing is based on the cumulative Mana rating of caster and castee, so the monsters' at least get half-a-heal.) Taking a handful of stat potions along the way, Dad can get his Mana close to 70. With a SpeedUp, Dad can boost his AGI in-battle to heal before Apollo while your Monsters (Naga, et al) can heal afterwards with the Robots doing tiny heals in-between.

Of course things would be faster if your team could do damage during the taunt phase; Laser Guns, PSI guns, XCalibur, Samurai Bow all do 300~500 damage even if you have less-than-exceptional stats. A-class Monster attacks like Whirl and Tornado do about the same. Anything to reduce time in the 3rd phase (three volleys of Flare) before the Final Flare would help.

Also note that as a humanoid, they cannot equip both the Power Suit AND other equipment.
---
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#6CakemistressPosted 4/25/2014 2:30:18 AM
It's been a while since I have played, but can't robot stats go above 99 even if the game doesn't show it? I remember beating Apollo a turn or two after he transformed with a party of four robots that just had excessive amounts of STR.

Not sure if that would be considered an exploit or not, since the stats are reflecting the gear equipped. The game just can't show it above 99. I'm also not sure if the stuff you'd find in chests/would be able to afford would push STR high enough for even two robots. The Apollo fight ends MUCH faster if you damage him a lot, though. Maybe I'm just not remembering right!
#768k(Topic Creator)Posted 4/26/2014 7:45:20 AM
Yea, I'm still playing around and trying to settle on a party. I've thought about doing three robots (two Agi and one Str) and one monster. I've just been really unlucky with the time it takes to find certain meats. Still trying to balance elements that take time.
#868k(Topic Creator)Posted 5/4/2014 9:27:30 PM
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#9_KazPosted 5/17/2014 10:02:11 PM
A tool-assisted run is always better for YouTube, even if all you're doing is FFWD-ing through all the boring parts (like meat-grinding).

But having a monster is often useful in the clutch when your other members aren't progressing as well as they should. (So you wind up playing a 3-person party with everyone not the leader cycling into the "less useful" category from time to time.)
---
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!
#1068k(Topic Creator)Posted 5/20/2014 7:40:39 PM
I'm working on something to submit to SDA. I have a working route right now, and I had a 2 hour 20 minute single segment run the other night. The run had some mistakes, and I've tweaked the route a bit since, so I'm confident that a really tight run could get down to 2 hours 10 minutes. Doubtful I could reach my original 2 hour goal, but it's getting close!