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    Speed Run Walkthrough by tskisoccer

    Version: 3.0 | Updated: 07/22/15 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    NoWorries presents:
    the "How to" for speedrunning Shining Force
    Game: Shining Force I
    System: Sega Genesis
    FAQ: Beating Shining Force I in under 7 hours
    Written By: NoWorries
    Best Time: 5:54:44
    Allowed Website: www.gamefaqs.com
    *If you have a website you would like to post this at just shoot me an email*
    **As always, the most up-to-date guide will always be found at gamefaqs**
    Version History: 1.0 Submitted 28 of May of 2014
                     1.3 Submitted 02 of June of 2014
        -Updated with the actual link to the online video
        -Improved a number of descriptions regarding paths
        -Completely rewrote a few sections to now include Guntz as a hero
                     1.7 Submitted 15 of July of 2014
        -Updated a few spots
        -Updated some times
    	-Updated the Ideal Time as well added a sum of my best chapter times for
            what could be considered as "segmented". So as it stands, my best
            "single segment time" is 6:26 and "segmented" is 6:10
        -Updated with a new best time and a new video link
                     2.0 Submitted 30 of January of 2015
        -Updated some times
        -Rewrote a few sections to adjust for strategy changes
        -Broke an hour on Chapter 6!
        -Broke 70 minutes for Chapter 8!
        -Set a new personal best: 6 hours 4 minutes
                     3.0 Submitted 22 of July of 2015
        -SMASHED my previous Chapter 1 & 2 time
        -Broken 2 hours for first 3 Chapters
        -Broken 4 hours through 6 Chapters
        -Completely updated the ideal time to more accurately reflect what they
            should be by roughly calculating out of battle time
        -Updated a number of times and spots
        -Added a mini-section concerning a challenge: Minimalist
            I have an actual video available to accompany the guide. It is
            available on youtube for your viewing pleasure. The link to my
            youtube is
            You can also search "NoWorries tskisoccer" to find my channel
            You can also youtube search "Shining Force Speed sub 6 hours"
        ~NoWorries, aka tskisoccer
                Table of Contents
            1. Introduction
                Character Overview
            2. The Guidelines
            3. The Walkthrough
                Chapter 1
                  Sidenote: Stat Consumables
                  Sidenote: Hero Deaths
                Chapter 2
                Chapter 3
                Chapter 4
                  Sidenote: Levels
                Chapter 5
                Chapter 6
                Chapter 7
                  Sidenote: End Team
                Chapter 8
            4. Discussion
                End Remarks
                Collecting the Sidenotes
                Abuses and Glitches
                A new Challenger approaches!
            5. Conclusion
    -Who should be reading this FAQ?- #The NoWorries Contract to Greatness
        I put this in every faq I've ever written, and it goes something along the
    lines like this. By writing this, I commit to you the reader that I will bring
    to you not only my vastness of knowledge but do it with a sense of humour. I
    understand it's easy to get bogged down in detail as well as a mush of opinion
    but I strive to bring you something more than just a guide to greatness.
        So who should be reading this? This is a guide on how to beat the game,
    Shining Force, in under 7 hours. It's a speed run. It's hard, it's tedious,
    it may test you at moments, but rest assured it is a good feeling beating the
    game with half a team of level 6 promoted heroes. There is a great level of
    expert required skill for this run so if you are a newer player I don't want
    to discourage you from trying this but it is going to be hard. For the more
    veteran players, I wish you the best of luck.
        There will also be an accompanying video available on youtube on my
    channel which will be a complete runthrough of the game. That particular run
    is 5:54:44 which is currently my best published run. So on with this!
    When it comes to speedrunning, there's always some rules, restrictions, and
    guidelines to be set forth. For Shining Force, there's nothing completely
    radical or insane to be made aware of. The game itself is extremely simple,
    take Max and your team of up to eleven other characters and go forth into the
    rather ordinary world of Rune as you battle your way through thirty battles
    to vanquish Dark Dragon and accomplish one of the more reasonable RPG's for
    speed running. Oddly enough, later Shining Force games are much more difficult
    to even consider speed running as the games themselves are much longer as well
    as the victory conditions for a number of battles is "kill them all" whereas
    in glorious Shining Force I, we will be killing them all only a handful of
    Right away you're probably thinking well that's just dumb. The game takes 10
    hours at least, your party would be far too weak to actually beat some of the
    battles, and just a couple of those first missions: how do you not kill
    everything? What about the rng (random number generators)? How do you now
    kill yourself over that?
    Trust me, this is a question and a topic I've debated a number of times with
    my older brother Frolki a number of times. The beauty of the situation is
    that because the game operates on rng (but not TRUE randomness) there are
    certain patterns and exploits to be worked out. Things like, Domingo's and
    Max's tendencies to get focused over their allies is an exploitable factoid;
    whereas getting Max to point A in a number of spots, winning the battle
    despite there being a batallion of Rune Knights storming down his throat is
    a purposeful aspect that they the game programmers put into the game that one
    might as well exploit.
    So how long does it take? As of right now, the time is highly variable as the
    path continues to get improved and continues to change as newer methods are
    developed. Dark Kobold would say that it takes just under 2 hours to beat the
    game using tas (tool assisted speedrun) and that's using Lua and matlab to
    really take advantage of the rng. Some of the people on the sgd (speed
    gaming demos) would say the time is right around 7 hours. The ideal time I
    have plotted right now is on the lower end of that, about 6 hours, maybe 6
    and a half. My personal best right now is the 5:54 mark.
    As for some of the most "specific" things regarding speed running, the first
    and foremost is that this is "rts" or "real time strategy" or "real time
    playing" AKA playing on a console and not an emulator. This is done for a
    number of reasons and the biggest is the obvious difference between tas
    and real time running. This is where the rng would seemingly get in your way
    and make a glorious mess of things but that's where knowledge and skill come
    into play and give us the advantage over the enemy. Now, that's not to say
    that playing on an Emulator is frowned upon (I use one as my Genesis is, well,
    let's just say it has seen better days). The difference is playing on an
    Emulator and using something called
                                        Save States
    If you play on an Emulator (like I do) don't use these things and you'll be
    just fine. Most Emulators allow for saving just like a console would. I use
    the Fusion and it required a bit of reading and figuring out how to create
    the right folder so that it would save, but after that it was easy. The
    Emulator saves, resets, and handles just like a console (mine even records).
    Just don't be using Save States to redo misses and stuff. That's called
    Ahem, anyways
    So what do we have going for us? Luckily, there's not a whole lot of variable
    concerning the things that matter most. Misses, level ups, enemy movements,
    those are all rng and for the most part, we cannot control those. We can
    control however things like, starting stats, people in our party, our hero
    movements, in battle saving, as well as things like enemy placement and
    victory conditions never change so we know exactly what we are up against
    every step of the way.
    We also have something else handy, and that's magic. Shining Force I was the
    only Shining Force to include this style of magic and I'll explain slightly
    better how this works.
    In Shining Force (SF), your hero's level is continually remembered by the game
    engine. You can promote at 10 all the way up through level 20, and when you
    promote your level number resets to 1, but your hero's level stays at where
    it was at. The biggest and most obvious way to see how this is exploited is
    using Khris as she learns Heal 4 at level 21. If you don't see where this is
    going, try leveling her to 20 and then promoting her; she'll learn the spell
    with the promotion as she is now "21" even though she was 20 just a moment
    ago. The advantage here is that we have access to some extremely powerful
    magic in the game that normally is impossible to learn due to the learning
    curve of experience caps. Tao learns Blaze 4 at 20, Anri learns Freeze 4 at
    23, and Domingo is a pain in my bottom but he learns it at 26 so even among
    those 3 heroes you can see how much more effective the ladies are as they
    learn their spells much quicker as they never have an experience cap problem.
    In SFII and later, they fixed this by giving hero's "true level" which resets
    upon promotion to the original amount, 20, so a spell that was learned at 44
    for example, could only be learned at level 24 promoted which for speed
    running purposes is impossible. In any case, let's get on with this.
        Character Overview
    This is a very quick "spoiler" style section so that you can have an idea just
    what each character will do for this run. As it is a speed run, every action,
    every choice, every character; they must be important otherwise we are losing
    out on valuable precious seconds. Things like moving right to the shop as
    opposed to left to do other stuff first... it all makes a difference and adds
    up. I suppose a quick note; I'm not getting all the characters. Some people
    have discussed "100%" for this game including all the characters but let's be
    realistic. There is nothing in this game that actually counts (or is countable
    towards a goal) that could be considered "100%". For example, Donkey Kong 1,
    2, and 3 all give the percent completion due to the sidequests in the game.
    Banjo Kazooie has a definitive "100%" if you get all the notes, puzzle pieces,
    and break all the doors getting all the cool stuff (Cheato maybe not needed).
    In Shining Force, there is none of that. What's 100%? Grab all the chests?
    Kill all the monsters? Find all the useless items hidden throughout the game?
    It makes no sense. Therefore, the game is technically "any percent" as we
    don't grab all the characters though frankly, defining "100%" as getting all
    the characters is lame in my opinion. Anyways:
    If you are familiar with my character guide available on gamefaqs, that will
    help you to understand my stance towards certain heroes.
        The "Required Bunch"
            This is everyone you either use, are forced to use, or serve some
            purpose. It is different than the next section which includes some
            required characters, but they are never placed on our team and we
            will never need their services
        You have to have him. It's alright, he's quite good at the end with Bolt
        2 and Freeze 3. However, through most of the game he is an absolute pain
        in the ass to deal with trying to not have him die
        In a more recent run, I was able to promote Max as early as Chapter 4. If
        this opportunity presents itself; go for it. Having a stronger Max later
        speeds things up as he isn't just a body on the battlefield
        A much better Knight than Mae, his shining moment is his starting spot
        for Battle 9 allowing you to "skip" it one turn faster. Allow him to
        perish in Battle 10 as Pelle is superior
        Though, if (and this is getting ahead of myself) your gladiator is not
        level 10 by Chapter 4 (so if Gort isn't a level 10 Warrior), I'd suggest
        in lieu of using Gort, just keep using Ken until you later have him perish
        as the Power Spear provides much more utility than Gort with the Middle
        Axe. Gladiators are cool but if you can't have one by Chapter 4 it is
        not worth it. Trust me
        She's useless. Her Bronze Lance is good for Ken, and she can tank some,
        but as a fighter she's useless. Use her for Battle 3 and let her taste
        the cold steel of a Rune Knight. If her starting attack were better then
        a case could be made for her but... nope
        He's amazing. He comes and is fantastically strong and stays that way for
        this run. With no 20/20 Arthur to contend with, Pelle will always
        be used and you'll be very happy
        The wonder-machine. A recent discovery that he is in fact, still a secret
        character, however, he doesn't require much trickery to find him. He's
        standing there in Pao waiting for you! It's like he's begging you to take
        him. I must admit, I didn't plan on using Guntz initially, but I forgot
        about one small feature: land effect
        Guntz isn't affected by terrain. That's really all you need to know. Thus
        he makes Chapter 6 much much easier. That being said he falls off pretty
        hard unless you get some really nice attack level ups so he'll likely
        become a bolter with the Halberd as Kokichi and Pelle run the show
        The winged knight of legends. He's awesome for this run and largely the
        reason why this works
        Luke serves a very important 2 battles. His high base power makes the
        first two battles breezy. However, Gort is a much better choice for this
        run and we in fact don't need him much past battle 2. So once he has
        attacked that Dark Dwarf blocking Max's path, let him die. He'll get over
        it (and get revived by the game once you win)
        This beefy Warrior is the ideal choice for a Gladiator who can wield the
        Atlas with much success. Furthermore, testing has shown that Luke is a
        poor substitute for Gort as his early defense just doesn't get high
        enough quickly enough. So use Gort if you are having a Gladiator
        That being said however: if Gort isn't level 10 by the end of Chapter 4
        then be prepared to sever ties with him as he really needs to be about
        level 3 promoted by the end of Chapter 4 if he has ANY hope of
        accomplishing much of anything in Chapter 6 and beyond
        She's a pretty lady and useful for power runs. Here for a speed run she's
        beyond ideal and works wonderfully. If things go long she only gets better
        with age with Blaze 4 one shotting almost any unit in the game and Boost
        if it goes really long is very helpful.
        One important thing to note: Tao has approximately 19 battles to level 19
        times if you want her to be 20 before Chapter 8. Because of how many
        battles are skipped (6 of them give or take) this means that if Tao is
        12 by Battle 14 (Balbazak) then she will need to level every single
        battle that she fights in (and twice in one of them) as Battle 25 is the
        last battle for Chapter 8 and she only fights in one Battle in Chapter 7
        That being said: I would NOT promote Tao before level 20 under any
        circumstances. The first is because she learns Blaze 4 sooner. The second
        is that a level 5 or 6 promoted Tao will always move first in the battle
        and that is something we really don't want. Promoting her once she is
        20 is fine, just not before
        She's honestly the worst of the mages for this run due to her very low
        levels. That aside though, having another Freeze 3 for the end is very
        helpful and magic damage will almost always be better than physical for
        much of the game outside of bosses
        Now, and this is quite the change, but if Anri isn't doing so well, then
        using Gort (so if Gort is doing bad as well) in place of Anri can work out
        since Gort gets both Blaze 2 and 3 "for free" and transitions much better
        thanks to his stat gain. Anri needs to hit 16 by chapter 8, a feat that is
        near impossible as she like Tao has to level quite a number of times in
        not enough battles. If she can be 8 by Elliot (which is 4 battles to
        level 5 times) that gives her 8 more levels to manage in about 8 battles.
        Just more food for thought
        You really only need her for 2 battles which is fine though she needs to
        be in for others because she needs to level twice. Bolt 2 is just that
        helpful here that it is worth it. In 28, Colossus, Bolt 2 works on the
        Chimaera/Dragon force as well as later against the line of Armed Skeletons
        and Horsemen. For Dark Sol those enemies group up nicely and she roasts
        them well for us. Dark Dragon also HATES Alef so keep that in mind for
        keeping her distance from your other units. Also, don't ever promote her
        for this run; it's absolutely pointless
        He's really the other reason why this works. Once you have Domingo and
        Kokichi it pretty much becomes the flying duo run while Max flits along
        with them hoping not to die. His ability to get focused is very helpful,
        but the flying mage portion is helpful for setting up kills, snipes, and
        skipping battles
        He's useless and I hope you have him perish in the first battle. We don't
        need healers in this run
        She's rather useless too though you need one of them for the Shade Abbey
        battle and since she joins later than Lowe, I'd say use her. Afterwards
        you can prepare her for the "Great Beyond" and never use her services
        This guy is also largely useless. However, as we can't really have 4 mages
        Max and 7 other strong fighters (not enough experience to go around) the
        reason Torasu works is Aura but mostly, he starts with Shield which is
        invaluable against Dark Dragon and Colossus to some extent. Shielding Max
        and positioning him so allies can't get affected is a great way to abuse
        beating Dark Dragon at such low levels. Note that it is useless against
        Demon Breath so the main head needs to be brute forced
        But I do want to reiterate: Shield is baws
        He's the only required archer for this run and his use lasts two battles.
        Archers barely gain attack and are dependent on arrows they may never get
        to use. We won't be using them much, mostly because Kokichi fills that
        role way better. If he dies in the first battle it's not a big deal
        either as we would prefer Ken to live
        This guy (er... Centaur) was part of my original plan but then rejected
        due to the lack of levels available to him. However, at level 1 promoted
        with the Buster Shot he deals ~48 attack which is extremely respectable.
        His life, defense, and agility are all very low, but having the ranged
        Lyle is much preferred (especially against Mishaela)
        Ah ha he's much better than his wife. Better starting stats and better
        promoted stats, while he won't be in the final fights (no reference
        intended) he is simply invaluable for sniping until Kokichi and
        Domingo come along
        Sadly we won't be using this chick (no pun intended) a whole lot. Balbs
        has better starting stats so let her get axed right away
        He's invaluable again for several battles. However, DON'T EVER promote
        him and be prepared to part ways with "Zappa" once his attack doesn't
        get above 30 or so. Don't even think about promoting him and then trying
        to work with him, 22 attack is simply not going to cut it
        An update on this: DON'T EVER TRY IT. Promoted Zylo gains ~24 experience
        killing things so even boosting him is just a pain in the ass. Just don't
        try to promote him ever
        There are few words worthy to describe Musashi. He brings your best non
        legendary sword weapon to the team, he hits hard, he has amazing defense,
        he simply rocks this shit
        Hanzou is underwhelming to say the least, though he joins and will
        probably be better than almost every person on your team except Musashi.
        His high speed is an ideal Power Ring wielder though if it breaks against
        Dark Dragon he will be very sad
        The "Not so helpful for the Speed Run"
            ^^^Pretty self explanatory no?
        We won't be seeing much of him this run. Shame
        We are forced to recruit him but don't use him. He kinda sucks
        Thankfully we don't ever have to see Gong as he both doesn't get a weapon
        and is a slow healing healer. Skip him
        Yup you don't actually have to recruit Diane. I'd suggest taking advantage
        of that situation as you really don't need her, at all
        Since the last update Vankar and Lyle have switched positions. Ever since
        Guntz was discovered, Vankar has proceeded to fall off quite hard. Now
        I don't even bother with Vankar at all. Probably for the better as Pao
        was upset with him for sleeping on guard duty (true story)
        The baby dragon couldn't hurt a fly. He's slow, and doesn't move far. Bleu
        simply has no place on your team for this run
        You might end up recruiting him on accident if you have to revive at the
        beginning of Chapter 4
        He is actually required though his recruitment is very easy and doesn't
        take any extra time. But I still wouldn't use him, ever. Probably not
        even for a power run, he's really not worth it
    2. The Guidelines
    As with any good challenge, we have to have order and guidelines to measure
    fairness and have accuracy for what we are accomplishing. So here's the list:
    1. Time starts after naming Max. Not in that screen, but when you actually
       accept the name for him and the game begins. This is done mostly to reduce
       the frustration of speeding through naming, not to mention gives you a
       chance to be creative with the name and not worry about it adding time.
       Time ends with the lethal damage being dealt to Dark Dragon. Not at the
       beginning of your attack, but once the damage is dealt and he has faded
       from sight.
    2. For Chapter times, (with the exception of the first chapter starting),
       time starts after you get the option "would you like to save?" That is
       coincidentally the end time of the previous chapter. This is the only
       real moment when taking breaks is acceptable as the chapter has ended but
       the next one doesn't start until you click yes save.
       For Battle times, time starts when the screen goes black and you hear the
       "click click click" of the battle starting. Just like for Dark Dragon, time
       ends when you "finish" the battle. For boss/kill all battles, when you
       have dealt the final blow is your victory. However, for entering town win
       conditions, you're time ends once you say "yes" to Nova to leave enemies
       on the battlefield
    3. Just to reiterate, this should be done on console and not emulator. I
       understand many people don't have consoles or would prefer to play on an
       emulator. That's fine, just be prepared to receive grief as it's not what
       is "standard" by the guidelines set forth. Assuming you don't use any save
       states to "abuse" the rng, it could be questionably OK though a number of
       spots use in battle saves (IBS) which for an emulator takes less than a
       second to both use and to save whereas the console can take 5 seconds each
       time rather easily.
    Other than that, I don't think there's a whole lot else. There's no known
    obvious glitches to abuse, there's no super skipping ahead or anything like
    that. Just our wits versus the game! Let's do this!
    3. The Walkthrough
        Chapter 1
    It makes hardly any difference, but naming Max only a single letter as opposed
    to Max (call him Z or A for example) is a tiny bit faster, or as Kobold put
    it, saves 29 frames I think is what he said. Not a lot, but certainly "worthy"
    of mentioning. Anyways... the game starts up, you talk to Lowe and we're ready
    to go. Now, I imagine we can't skip getting the basic core heroes without
    tasing so go right to the King (the lady in the central walkway can block you
    so be careful). For text, always holding up or down makes it scroll faster and
    I found holding B instead of A or C is safer as you can't try then talking to
    someone after it ends. Just be mindful of spots where you need to say yes so
    you don't cancel out right away! Now head south, get your team to join, return
    to the king (not return of the king) and get your 100 gold from the king. I
    suggest spending it all on medical herbs, giving 2 to Max and Tao, and giving
    3 to Ken and Luke. You could sell both wooden staves here as well but we
    shan't be needing more than 10 herbs until we start buying seeds. Now head to
    the gate and get this thing started!
    Once inside the battle, I turn off battle messages and turn up the message
    speed to 4. The only place where this makes a difference is in healing which
    we will use some. If you really need the messages on so you know how much you
    did, that's fine. It really doesn't make that much of a difference and Dark
    Kobold has said something like, "doesn't actually save that much time," or
    something like that though it would be interesting for him to replicate his
    two hour run with messages on to see if it does add time. Anyways
      Battle 1
        Ideal 3:34:5
        My Best 3:34:5
    This is about as ideal as it gets, as such this is the current ideal time
    which is also my best time. The strategy is simple, but what has to happen
    in this battle is rather complicated so here's a short list:
        -Max must level (+1 attack, +1 defense is a minimum)
        -Tao must level (+3 magic points is a minimum)
        -Lowe must die
        -Hans must die
    Those four requirements set up Chapter 1 to be extremely fast for you, so if
    it doesn't happen, I'd consider restarting. Tao can get 2 MP, it's not like
    "huge" but it's certainly annoying as +3 gives her an extra Blaze for the next
    battle. It's more important that Max and Tao both level, and Hans and Lowe
    both die. We don't need either of them and they slow us down by about four
    minutes or so in this chapter.
    Strategy-wise, it's pretty simple. With Ken/Luke positioned on the right side
    with Hans or Tao within range, you can take out the Rune Knight in a single
    round. The trigger for the movement of the second batallion is that Goblin
    who is offset from the others. It looks like
               Space           | Goblin | Wall | This row is the trigger
        Hole | Goblin | Goblin | Space
    Once you move up there, they move down. I tend to put Lowe on the "Space"
    while moving the others up the side. He takes a few hits but like I said,
    getting him killed is super helpful for speeding things up.
    Once the Rune Knight dies, the battle ends. Go ahead and give Max the Short
    Sword and Luke the Middle Sword.
      Battle 2
        Ideal 7:41
        My Best 7:41
    I hope you did those four requirements, as it makes such a difference (this
    is really the only spot in the entire game where stats matter, Max getting
    +1 attack and Tao getting +3 MP as opposed to +2). With Hans and Lowe dead,
    our movement is very easy. Ken can move up one, Tao move 2, Luke move 2, and
    Max complete that little trio. Now as you're moving up, don't block Tao or
    Luke. It is good to note that if Tao only received +2 MP, then she is the
    least important moving up as 3/4 of her Blaze will go towards the three Dark
    Dwarves; leaving just 1 spare.
    For Goblins, Ken/Max will do ~4, Luke will do a minimum of 8, and Tao does
    6-7. As you can see, a Luke+4 kills a Goblin while Tao can roast several
    bringing them low. However, Dark Dwarves pose a problem (2-3 from Ken/Max) so
    guaranteeing Tao has 6 MP to Blaze all 3 Dark Dwarves helps a bunch (minimizes
    attacks on them then with Luke killing them instantly).
    To win, have Max one spot to the right of the bridge. Luke attacks the dwarf
    and Tao blazes; then Max sneaks in for the win. Hopefully Luke dies here as
    he is not needed past this point.
    Inside Guardiana, there's a couple things to do. First, go recruit Gort and
    then go watch the King die/recruit Mae etc etc. After you regain control go
    to the treasury and take the two top chests in either column for a Power and
    Defense Potion (use the Defense on Max). Now go to Nova.
    THIS IS IMPORTANT. Whenever you have quite a bit of swapping to do (items)
    using Nova can save quite a bit of time as he is less clunky than just manual
    swapping as he allows for multiple swaps.
    Anyways, the way the items swap is quite easy. Give Max back his Middle Sword,
    have Luke give two herbs to Gort and the other to Tao, and then have Mae give
    her Lance to Ken in exchange for a medical herb. If you do it correctly you
    can minimize trades to five actions; which is why we stack Ken and Luke the
    way we do. If for some reason you are low on medical herbs you should restart
    and figure out what you did wrong.
        #side note#
    We get 5 stat increasing items in this game, defense pots, power pots, breads
    of life, legs of haste, and the turbo pepper. This is the rule of thumb:
      Defense pots --> Max
    Max needs to be hit a number of times so making sure he can get hit 3 times as
    opposed to 2 is helpful through these. By level 3 Max should gain +3 defense
    but he can easily have 1 or 0 so use these liberally as these are the most
    useless in the run. Any leftover use on Domingo (Max should stop getting hit
    after chapter 2 so you can save them from then on, though it is important to
    ensure that Max does not die in 2 hits from a Gargoyle. As their attack is 26,
    making sure Max has a ratio to require 3 hits is very important)
      Power pots --> Balbaroy
    These things serve really one purpose, letting Balbaroy snipe. The first 2 you
    get in the game are going to Balbs for +4 to his attack, this alone cuts down
    90% of the trouble later in the game. Later on, he'll get promoted once you
    get the handy dandy Broad Sword as that basically gives him +4 more attack.
    The other Power Potion we get in Chapter 6 can be skipped although I picked it
    up for Lyle this last run
      Breads of life --> Domingo
    His best use outside of having magic is drawing aggro, so give him the bread
    to help him out. You can consider saving a couple though to make sure people
    have at least 22 life in chapter 7 and 8 to survive the beam attack from the
    robots. But I'd mostly just use them on Domingo =)
      Legs of haste --> Balbaroy
    You only get a single chicken leg and even +2 agility can be meaningless. As
    it stands however, using it on the promoted Balbaroy is what we want as we
    need him faster than Kokichi
      Turbo Pepper --> Musashi
    I'd prefer the Mobility Ring to have another, but as it is, the most important
    person to increase is Musashi as he can't fly like Kokichi can. Without the
    Turbo Pepper, Musashi is much slower, so give it to him
        #ring side note#
    While we're at it, let's address the rings
      Power Ring --> Generally not to be put on your best person; it needs to be
    on a fast person capable of boosting your team. Often Balbaroy will hold it
    for sniping bosses
      Speed Ring --> Generally it's going to be on Anri (though before she is 6
    be careful otherwise she'll go before Tao and that's not good). There are a
    couple spots though where this will go on your sniping hero to be used for a
    neat little glitch, the Speed glitch. Basically it works this way. By moving
    someone, then equipping this at the end of their turn, they will get their
    turn much sooner the next round as their agility is boosted (as close as we
    can get to tas manipulation). This only works at low levels (like not post 6
    or 7 so much) and only in a handful of spots, but it can be helpful (most
    noteably for Balbaroy in chapter 5)
      Mobility Ring --> This thing gets handed around a lot to whomever needs it.
    Generally it'll be on Guntz, though it'll be everywhere
        #End side note#
      Battle 3
        Ideal 7:53
        My Best 7:53
    This is a tricky battle but surprisingly short when you sneak Max in like a
    fairy. With Mae, move her to the spot that is up one, left one from the bridge
    (basically not the point where the rivers connect, but one lower). This will
    choke the bats off and she's rather expendable so it works well. Everyone else
    needs to kill the Dwarves as best they can while Tao can blaze each bat
    individually leaving them for someone to hit them. If you don't miss them at
    all, you're set up for a sub 9 minute.
    Now moving up, we need to do two things, herb anyone who is wounded (only herb
    Mae if everyone else is healed), and be mindful of the trigger. Notice that
    strange strip of land above the other spot where the rivers connect? Not the
    connection closer to the Rune Knights, but the other one. That line is the
    trigger for the remaining enemies to charge. The gameplan (while healing) is
    to position ourselves on that line. It should look something like
        Mae | Ken | Tao | Gort | Max | River
                  | Rvr | Rver | Rvr | River
    There will be some space between you and the Rune Knights. Now we want to
    avoid deaths here, and the movements need to go something like this. If you
    can, time your moves with the enemy taking their turn (a good clue of this
    is when the Bats get their turn as they are very fast and tend to lead each
    round). From where Max is currently, he needs two turns to make it into
    Alterone so you need to move people up. Your best bet is to try and "wall" so
    that no Rune Knight can block Max entirely into Alterone. It basically looks
    something like
                                      RKnt | Alterone
                                      RKnt | Alterone
                                  1 |  2   |
                                  3 |  4   |
                                  5 |  6   | River
                                  7 | Rver | River
                                  8 | Rver | River
    That is your basic target region to get there. Max in any of those spots can
    make it to Alterone, but obviously you need him to not die/get surrounded.
    Ideally, you can get Max to spot 2 or 4, Gort to 1, 2, or 4, and Ken to 1 or
    3. Tao can't move well but she can usually get to 5, 6, or 7, while Mae can
    move up almost anywhere and stand in a blocking position. It's tricky, but
    not hard.
    Anyway, now that we're inside things are very cool. Go ahead and strip Max of
    all his stuff (give his sword to Gort) and begin looting Alterone. In the
    shop where you talk to the fine gentlemen letting you into the castle, just
    grab the left most chest (healing seed). Head up and get pushed by the lady
    for the chest and now head into the castle. Inside, the only chests we want
    are the Bread of Life, Middle Sword, Defense Potion, and Healing Seed. The
    first three are all in that backroom area (on the left side). The chest on the
    right contains a medical herb if you are desperate as well as the chest near
    the Dragon's Head has Healing Seed (which we will likely grab on our way out).
    We don't want to visit a shop yet (and usually you don't need either anyway)
    but it's good to note.
      Battle 4
        Ideal 11:02
        My Best 11:02
    You don't need Hans, Mae, or Lowe for this (or Luke!) By going clockwise
    (which is up as opposed to right) the enemies group up much better into 4
    groups basically, the bats and rune knights (2 and 2), the reinforcements (2
    more bats), the never moving bridge knights (2 of them), and the final
    frontier which is the 4 dwarves and archers and mage so you can see the
    importance of Tao having at least 17 magic so she can get off 3 blaze 2's and
    a blaze 1. Mine only had 16 so I opted for 3 blaze 1's but in either case, the
    battle is much easier this way due to enemy groupings and if you can happen
    to not get misses on bats (combined with at least 1 blaze 2) sub 12 is very
    much possible. Just know that the end group (the Dark mage, 2 Elves, and the
    Dark Dwarves) don't ever move once they're in position.
    Once you end the battle (first kill them all we've had darn it!) sprint to the
    king then use the dragon head and bail out on this chapter!
    Ideal 41:30
    My Best 44:47 (789)
    Sub 45 hype! So if you've been paying attention to this guide at all you would
    know that 45 was the ideal time forever and now suddenly it dropped to 41:30?
    Considering my best was with a rather slow battle 4... yes. If you nail
    ideal times (or close to) on these first 4 battles and add about 10 minutes of
    story: then 41:30 is within reach. Is sub 40 possible? I won't rule it out for
    now as breaking 45 only just recently happened and was an outstanding
    achievement for me.
    To think that my first runs at this game I was over an hour and now I'm
    under the sub 50 minute mark... It's amazing and shows (1) how the rng
    can really mess with you and (2) how the strategies continue to improve and
    get better and even less rng dependent. In fact, I am trying very hard NOT to
    have any rng dependent things happen because it's hard to replicate. If you do
    get rng lucky (like double crits on Marionette or something) that's awesome
    but don't count on it, ever. Vice versa, it's why we're not relying on levels
    or stat growth because those are so rng dependent. Anyone familiar with my
    character guide should be familiar with that, and in particular, if you look
    at Musashi you can see his 11-13 levels have had some nice bumps; though not
    one time so far have I managed to get him to gain an attack. He may get more
    tankier, but at that point it's pointless due to all the defense piercing.
    It's a seemingly short chapter, though actually one of the longer ones in the
    run. Things that can screw you up: unlucky misses, unlucky enemy crits, and
    unlucky movement. If all goes off well, you may break 50 minutes which would
    be awesome. The question you're probably asking is what about hero deaths, so
    let's side note for a moment.
        #side note, Hero Deaths#
    If Max dies, if it's chapter 1 just restart the run. Later on, just hope he
    dies quickly as opposed to being almost done with the battle.
    If Tao, Anri, Domingo, Gort, Pelle, Guntz, Musashi, Hanzou, Torasu, Alef, or
    Kokichi die, you probably want to revive them after the battle.
    If Lowe dies, never revive him
    If Mae dies, never revive her
    If Hans dies, never revive him
    If Ken dies before the end of Chapter 2, we need to revive him. We simply can
    not use Mae as a substitute due to her positioning in Chapter 3 battle 9 as
    she starts one space to the left of where Ken does and Ken starts just perfect
    for moving to block for Balbaroy. After that, if he dies don't revive him.
    If Luke dies after Battle 2, he's served his purpose.
    If Khris dies before Shade Abbey, you'll need to revive her or Lowe for Shade
    Abbey, and then have them die again soon
    That's it for now, we'll cover more later
        #End side note#
        Chapter 2
    In Rindo, all you've got to do is grab the Speed Ring (second row, third
    house), talk to the Mayor and move out (leave the Speed Ring on Max)
      Battle 5
        Ideal 8:38
        My Best 8:38
    This is one of my most exciting improvements. First things first, if you still
    haven't gotten rid of Lowe, Hans, or Mae now is the time. The next thing is
    make sure Max has the Speed Ring not equipped. Take out the dwarves and bats
    (if you move to max movement each time, Ken or Max should be able to kill one
    of the dwarves that Tao blazes) allowing you to put people through to avoid
    getting choked. Try to get off as many blaze 2's here to clear things out, and
    with any luck by about 6-7 minutes you're heading towards Manarina. Send
    everyone left and careful to not block Max or Tao. By all going left, the
    troops never organize leaving themselves spread out which is quite nice as Max
    is less likely to die though you have to be careful as they tend to not aggro
    unless they can move within range and attack.
    As Max can only move 3 spaces through the desert, he needs 3 turns, going 1,
    3, and then 3 into Manarina so good positioning is key, and basically on the
    turn before moving into Manarina equip the Speed Ring. This is an interesting
    little glitch that when dealing with similar agilities, will give the newly
    raised agility priority thus you can "cheat" and people will get their turns
    sooner with equipping the speed ring. Fighting up here is not nearly as
    important anymore because of this, it's just much more about positioning.
    My best for a long time has been 10:30; the 8:38 only happening recently and
    really only happening thanks to a number of double attacks against the Bats.
    While hitting 8:38 is AWESOME it is also somewhat unrealistic to rely on as
    the only difference, like I said, being RNG and double hits.
    Inside Manarina, we have only 2 things to do so talk to Anri, then follow her
    but grab the Domingo Egg first, and then talk to her recruiting her. Give her
    the Speed Ring but don't equip that on her yet. I would also give Khris Anri's
    Power Staff because holy hell it whacks hard. Go ahead and dive into the
      Battle 6
        Ideal 8:29
        My Best 8:29
    It was a sub 10 goal of mine, and I demolished it. So let's talk for a moment
    about what happened here:
        A slightly longer (49:46 Chapter 1) resulted in my core being 5-5-5
        (Max, Tao, and Gort). As such, Tao had 22 magic points for this fight
        That definitely helped. The other huge thing was giving Khris the Power
        Staff that Anri brings as it lets Khris hit for ~9 to bats
    Anyway, the strategy stays largely the same. Have Tao zap the zombie on the
    right; and on Anri's turn equip the Speed Ring and kill it (you need at least
    one 8 damage roll, it can happen). Max, Ken, and Gort (or hell even Khris) can
    whack the other zombie to death (but don't move anyone in unless Tao rolled
    well and did 8 to the zombie).
    After your first turn, you need to pay attention to the Dark Mage on the
    bridge. If he hasn't gotten his turn yet, you have to delay a round but no
    big deal. Regardless, Anri is going to zap the bridge zombie and the goal is
    to Blaze 2 the entire bridge. Obviously this only works if the Dark Mage has
    already moved otherwise Anri dies, or Tao dies to a Sniper. To work around
    this, you can use a Bread of Life on Anri. She tends to have 8-10 base hit
    points and even just a +1 raises that to where you would need to get very bad
    rng for her to die (the whole point being then to not have to waste an extra
    turn setting up)
    For the Bats, the bridge is their trigger so try to time movement across with
    AFTER their turn that way you don't get choked in movement. At some point, I
    like to give Gort back the Speed Ring so he can double turn against the Dark
    Mage trio to kill em (this is where Tao having at least 17 MP comes in handy).
    Send Ken to get the Power Ring, and you'll probably need to boost someone. It
    is just too hard to save magic with all those bats and honestly, Max can stand
    pretty far back from the Skeleton (about 5 squares) to let Ken boost him from
    farther out. Done, move along
    Time to go advance some story and head back to Rindo
      Battle 7
        Ideal 4:44
        My Best 4:44
    This is a rather straight forward battle in all reality. Before that battle
    starts, this is important:
        Ken have the Power Ring
        Gort have the Speed Ring EQUIPPED (not worried about glitching here)
    Everyone is going to go left and throttle your way to Marionette. Your first
    turn should look like a Blaze 2, several attacks and take out the dolls on
    the left. Your next round is tricky, but simple to do. The Evil Doll can kill
    Anri and hurt most people, so I would use Gort to bait (put him basically as
    far up the left as he can). Ken on his turn needs to BS, battle save. As soon
    as the screen goes dark you can reset the game and start again. The reason
    with this is we need a minimum of two boosts to beat Marionette so by using a
    BS we can guarantee that because if the Ring breaks you hit reset and try
    again. We will be doing this a lot so get used to it.
    Anyway, Gort needs to get boosted, but not before he has taken damage (refer
    to "Boost Glitch" if you are unsure why). I would also boost your next best
    attacker, and this is just happens to be Max most games. It's OK. If you miss
    Marionette regardless you have to restart as you have half a team so don't be
    afraid to use Max here. Just don't attack Marionette until after she has taken
    a turn.
    By stomping up the left, the bats will barely affect us, and Tao/Anri can
    take out some of the enemies who do get close. Whole battle takes 4 rounds
    and less than 6 minutes including the BS. If you get unlucky here that's why
    the BS can be helpful as well.
    After that, just grab the most top right chest for the defense pot then head
    out. Chat to the mayor do the whole burning thing and head out. Before
    starting Shade Abbey, equip the Speed Ring on Max, make sure the Power Ring
    ain't broke (and it's equipped on Ken), and make sure Max has some
    combination of life/defense enough to survive 2 attacks (18/21 damage from
    zombies/skeletons). Use that defense pot on Max most likely. Also make sure
    that Max has 2 healing seeds and Ken 2 as well (you may need to give away his
    Spear; no big deal). If you have to buy seeds now is a good time to buy two
    Antidotes. Sometimes we can get poisoned and they are way faster than using
    the Priest. Some food for thought as my last run there were no poisonings.
      Battle 8
        Ideal 5:00
        My Best 5:00
    Boy this battle can be tricky. The general idea is for Gort, Ken, and Max in
    that order to choke enemies (positioning between the pews as opposed to one
    space below the pews is better, it draws the skeletons over faster). Tao blaze
    2 liberally, Khris fight the zombie on the right, and Anri do what she can.
    Once the Zombie is dead, then Khris should heal whoever needs her love. On
    their first turn, have Tao/Anri roast the zombie on the left while you get set
    up. Ken should boost Gort on his first turn so Gort can smack Skeletons in one
    attack. If it doesn't break, boost Max too. If still not broken, he can boost
    himself as well at this point. Either way, the battle is short and fast and
    optimal depends on how much usage you get out of your power ring as well as
    the misses that happen. The Ghoul in particular is extremely annoying and
    hard to hit so saving at least 4 casts of magic from Anri/Tao can save you
    from spending round after round missing the darn thing.
    Get your birds and move along
    Ideal 35:30, 1:17:00
    My Best 38:05, 1:24:23
    Things are going to get exciting now! Meet your most helpful recruit for the
    next 3 chapters, Balbaroy. Amon, not so useful. This chapter was definitely
    one approaching the hour mark when things first started but due to some huge
    improvements (over 6 minutes on the desert, 4 minutes on Marionette) things
    have improved drastically. One thing that has made a noticeable difference,
    no important deaths. I know I've played this a few times, but let me stress
    just how tedious it is to go to priests for revival. My non battle time for
    chapter 2 this past run was less than 8 minutes; that's from the very end of
    chapter 1, all the walking around, and all the way to the very end of chapter
    2, only 8 minutes! To go to the priest is first a detour, but to revive can
    take close to 30 seconds a hero and later in the game it can get extremely
    time consuming skipping the 6 dead heroes we need to stay dead. I cannot
    stress enough smart movements, trying to avoid the death of important heroes.
        Chapter 3
    We finally get some new weapons; but not right now. The plan right now as soon
    as we can: give Balbs the Power/Speed Ring, use both Power Pots on Balbs, and
    head to battle 9. If the Power Ring is broken; go repair it obviously. If it
    is broken, buy 3 Power Spears here as well. If the ring isn't broken, pick up
    the Spears afterwards along with any Healing Seeds if you are running low.
      Battle 9
        Ideal 1:31
        My Best 1:31
    All you do: Balbs moves one spot right of the stairs, Amon below him, and Ken
    below her. With Balbs boosted, he kills the mage on his second turn and thus
    you end the battle very quickly, potentially closer to a minute depending on
    when Balbs feels like getting his turn. If Balbs doesn't slay in a single turn
    then about 3 minutes is your next best "ideal."
    It would be nice to turn around and leave but we need that moonstone. Have
    Max grab it (Tao's dress is her searching down in the bottom left corner if
    you want) and head out. Get the Lunar Dew and go recruit Zylo (just stand in
    front of him and use it, don't talk to him). Now we need him and we need to
    start planning a bit here so head to Nova. Also don't forget to 'recruit'
    Kokichi by watching him fly his cruiser. Oh, you also have to bring Zylo into
    your party. Don't forget that
      Battle 10
        Ideal 10:20
        My Best 10:20
    The strategy stays largely the same though the tactics are different. At the
    beginning of the level boost Zylo, if it breaks, head back and repair it. Now
    don't let him take damage and he can kill up to 4 units, though 2 skeletons
    and a pegasus knight work well. Basically move Max up everytime, and use
    everyone else to fend off the troops. But kill everything, it's faster than
    walking into the bridge. Try to have Ken, Amon, and Khris perish here
    because their services are no longer needed.
    Strangely enough for Zylo, IBS is faster than going and repairing so I would
    just opt to do that for this battle instead
      Battle 11
        Ideal 4:26
        My Best 4:26
    Not much to say, fly Balbaroy over and kill the Silver Knight before the
    Laser Eye attacks. Boost him about a turn before getting there and I'd suggest
    Speed Ring glitching on his second turn (equipping it at the end of his second
    turn) as this bypasses the Pegasus Knight movement and keeps his speed higher
    for the battle.
    If you have Amon alive still, you can get Anri's dress (search up from where
    the left most Elf is standing on the bridge) which will get her killed for you
    as well. Adds about a minute but a single minute isn't that big of deal when
    we're talking appeal =)
    Ideal 22:00, 1:39:00
    My Best 24:35 (128), 1:50:15
    If you get a sub 2 minute for 9 and a sub 5 minute for 11 you are set up to
    go out quicker than 30 minutes for this chapter which would be outstanding.
    As it is, sub 35 is really what you're aiming for and that comes from cutting
    out (or what I call from here on out, skipping) battles 9 and 11 and just
    doing the best you can in 10. As it is, this chapter is quite short and only
    takes longer if Balbs feels like missing key units which sadly not much you
    can do about it =(
        Chapter 4
    Holy crap, quite a bit to do now. First, go right to Elliot and talk to him.
    Now return to the first wagon and grab the chest and talk to the shopkeep
    to buy 2 long swords and any power spears you skipped earlier. Go talk to
    the "queen" (grab those treasures too) and let Pao leave. Kokichi will join
    up without you moving. Now head up to Nova for some serious swappage. Our team
    is going to be Max, Pelle, Gort, Tao, Anri, Balbaroy, Kokichi, and Zylo with
    four dead people. Though Ken if he's strong enough could be used for a stint.
    It's weird isn't it? We almost have our final team, it's kind of scary.
      Battle 12
        Ideal 14:49
        My Best 14:49
    An update from the previous run. It is "faster" to do a sneak and just try to
    get the heat axe and avoid killing everything. However, it is barely faster,
    maybe a minute or two, and you miss out on tons of experience. The best bet
    is to plunge forth into the wild and massacre everything for experience. Once
    you get near Elliot boost people who are not close to leveling (and ranged
    helps) and beat him down. If you have to (and it's not that big of a deal) you
    can surround him with people like Pelle, Zylo, and Gort/Ken. They can
    survive a blow from him and by doing this you can get more people attacking
    dear old Elliot which does bring him down faster (as opposed to 3 people).
    Afterwards, it's pretty simple. Promote Gort, or boot him if he's not 10 yet.
    Repair the Power Ring if need be, and go grab both Domingo and Guntz. Yes
    Guntz. Worried about missing him? You shouldn't be. He's waiting for you
    because he loves you. Our team should look like:
        Gort (if promoted)
        Dead Amon and Dead Khris
        # Side note, Gladiators #
    Gladiators are awesome. The Atlas is a beast of burden and the Heat Axe turns
    your gladiators into a slaying machine, not to mention access to another
    blaze 2 and later, two atlases for blaze 3. It's awesome and they tend to get
    a good solid amount of defence early on as well allowing for slightly better
    tanking especially after your paladins are promoted and die if you sneeze on
    them. It is a sad sight but sometimes we just have to make those choices.
        # End side note #
      Battle 13
        Ideal 8:00
        My Best 8:04
    These things give great experience! Too bad we're not fighting most of the
    enemies... The basic plan is to always move to the max, and kill the top
    door guard before the right one to end the battle (Hellhound, then Artillery).
    You can always attack, but just make sure you're moving well. Pelle and Zylo
    should march north (always moving to the max) so they take out the Hellhound
    (the two things next to it never move). Balbaroy should try to keep up but
    his target is the Artillery (29+ magic number so boost is fine here).
    You'll likely only kill the 7 most closest units towards you, but that's fine.
    Try to avoid getting blocked on the stairs/ladders by the silver knight/priest
    combo because dear god that's annoying
    Head through the door now, go recruit Ernst (doing it this way, we skip his
    long animation), make sure people are alive, the ring is solid, and then head
    to Balbazak.
      Battle 14
        Ideal 8:26
        My Best 8:26
    This battle is just a bloodbath, very little room to work with means it can
    be HELL in here. As it is, we have some considerations. Max, Tao, Anri, and
    Kokichi to some extent are what we would describe as "squishy" meaning don't
    let them get hit. Guntz, Pelle, Zylo, and Domingo if he's gained some
    defense are what we would describe as "tanks" (throw Gort in there too if he
    leveled well as his Gladiator). If you don't know where this is going, set
    Zylo on the right side to soak up bats (either next to the Artillery or even
    within attack range of them works well). Domingo should move up and Freeze
    the Silver Knight. This chokes off many of the other enemies letting you
    position yourself. Use lots of aoe spells and blow through the enemies. With
    a little luck it won't take all that long. As with Elliot (and every boss from
    here on out) make sure to use BS to boost multiple people. One special regard
    for this battle is how much AoE you can get off. These units don't have that
    much life and even Blaze 2 (x2) can nearly wipe them. In the case you have
    Tao up with Blaze 3 it becomes even more apparent and can shave minutes off
    your time by blasting through the enemy.
    Ideal 38:30, 2:17:30
    My Best 39:24 (333), 2:31:38
    I have finally knocked this time down! Whoot whoot! This chapter can easily
    blow up to 50+ minutes thanks to Elliot's battle (can easily be 20 minutes)
    with the huge battle and the beginning of Boss Evasion. Chapter 5 is our
    last chapter to enjoy not dealing with this very real issue that can add quite
    a bit of time sadly.
        #Levels Side Note#
    You're probably wondering how the hell is this possible and what level my team
    is. Well, they're low. But it's not a huge deal. Because of how SFI works with
    levels, each level from one to another matters so little, that short of
    getting 4 or 5 levels, you have no guarantee that your hero is going to be
    like noticeably better than before (hence, the trend of always taking the new
    people and replacing old ones). But, there are some important levels to keep
    track of, if you remember, magic is one, so let's dive into this.
    Max, should be 9 by chapter 6, 10 by chapter 7 (no more than 10) (unpromoted
        of course) he becomes a caster with the sword of light. On the other hand,
        having a promoted Max by chapter 5 means that he will be significantly
        stronger which as we all know, is great
    Gort should be 10 by the end of chapter 3 (or at least very close) or
        boot him from your party
    Pelle should be at least 10 by chapter 6, though you can promote him once
        he hits 10. He'll likely be vastly over-leveled but this is OK
    Guntz should be promoted by the end of Chapter 5 (for that battle)
    Kokichi should be at least 10 by chapter 6
    Tao should be 4 by battle 3 (during it is fine), 12 by battle 14, and 20 by
        chapter 8
    Anri should be 6 by Shade Abbey (hopefully), 13 by battle 14 (highly unlikely)
        and 16/23 by chapter 8
    Domingo needs 4 asap, and 13 asap
    The latter 3, are the only ones that matter. As for everyone else
    Lowe never levels
    Ken will probably by about 9 when you replace him
    Luke will be about 3
    Khris may be 4, though 2 is always possible
    Hans shant level
    Lyle basically needs to be promoted by Chapter 8 though not before Chapter 7
    Amon may level but it doesn't matter
    Balbaroy will get to about 4 promoted once he gets ditched
    Zylo typically gets to about 16, though his usage is largely dependent on
        getting attack, at least 35 by chapter 6 if he wants to continue to be
        used otherwise he's scrapped
    Alef should level at least twice (to get Bolt 2) but even if she hits 20 don't
        promote her (unless somehow she is 20 by battle 28) but in that case you
        have other problems
    Torasu may level twice, he may also just sit there
    Musashi can go up to 5 levels, but he could also only level twice
    Hanzou probably won't level but once, maybe twice
    Gong, Arthur, Diane, Ernst, Bleu, Vankar, and Adam are either skipped or
    never used so naturally they won't level.
    Basically, don't stress too much about levels. Like really they don't matter
        #End Side Note#
        Chapter 5
      Battle 15
        Ideal 6:45
        My Best 6:45
    It's a straight forward battle and with a larger team, no trouble whatsoever.
    Zylo needs to aggro those P Knights, do this by moving him far south both
    turns. Domingo needs to aggro the top right flyers, do this by sending him
    pretty much straight to the right. This part is essential as not aggroing
    all of the enemies as quickly as possible adds at least 2 minutes to your
    From there, Pelle and Guntz all can handle the left side with some
    assistance. There's not much strategy, just try not to ever have someone not
    attack if they are capable of attacking. Also regarding levels, it's important
    for Guntz, Kokichi, and Max to all be 10 here (Max is the least important but
    it still really helps) because we want to promote them all soon. Balbs won't
    get promoted until after 16 regardless of his level and Pelle likely will be
    promoted here as well. I bring this up as leaving enemies for ensure these
    levels can safe a truckload of trouble down the road.
    Now that we're here, grab all 4 of those chests (skip the most right one) and
    when you're done, get in your boat and head to the next battle. Make sure
    Balbs has the Power, Speed, and Mobility Ring and head out (yes there's just
    that little to do, like you don't even have to talk to the King).
      Battle 16
        Ideal 3:27
        My Best 3:27
    We're using all the abuses here! Well not quite. We need only to kill the Mage
    and it takes Balbs 3 turns to get there and believe it or not he won't get
    attacked, especially if you fly Domingo out just a little to draw aggro
    (everyone else should be cramming into the stairwell to avoid fighting). Have
    Balbs with the Mobility Ring fly up, up and up boosting on his second turn to
    kill the mage on his third turn. Don't believe me? The middle group of enemies
    will move to Domingo and head down avoiding Balbs. The worms move up to the
    mage with the skeleton, and the hellhounds move down. You have nothing to fear
    except Balbs getting his turn before the worms have a chance to move at all.
    The only reason I say to give Balbs the speed ring IF you are feeling lucky
    you can use the speed ring glitch on the same turn you boost Balbs to maybe
    get his turn sooner (hence, breaking 4 minutes). I say if you're lucky though
    as the speed ring gives him 14 agility (assuming no levels) so it's possible
    that the left worm (the one we need to move) won't get his turn until after
    Balbs. It's not a huge deal, but it's safer to have Balbs just not get his
    turn right away as opposed to waiting an entire extra round. As for fighting
    the things that make it to your stationary force, if Balbs is less than a turn
    away, then just sit (unless you can kill, unless you're a mage). If Balbs has
    only had 1 turn, go ahead and kill whatever it is (seabat most likely). The
    path for Balbs, for me, was move to the max on the left side (he was one space
    over from the main path, and in that corner) then moved 9 spaces up, and then
    moved in and equipped the power ring to deliver the fatal blow
    Afterwards, avoid talking to people best you can and go to the king. Maybe
    repair if need be, otherwise, head on out. I have (on a more recent run) had
    Kokichi and Balbaroy both 10 at this point so I elected to promote them before
    leaving Waral so they could get some more experience. Balbaroy, switching to
    a Steel Sword stays about the same with attack and Kokichi similarly with the
    Lance swap stays about the same. This doesn't always happen and doesn't
    always have to happen. The reason why promoting them at 10 and not later than
    10 is their "kept" stats post 10 are really bad until 16+. For full details,
    you can check out my character guide available at Gamefaqs. Similarly though,
    if you can promote, Pelle, Guntz, Balbaroy, or Kokichi, always do so when you
    can as the promoted growth helps a bunch. Balbaroy just don't promote him
    until AFTER Battle 16. You need his stats not to be punished.
      Battle 17
        Ideal 9:33
        My Best 9:33
    This battle is easy yet tricky. We may have several promoted heroes; we may
    have none. Regardless, the plan is accomplished in two stages.
    Stage One: Moving past the two wooden panelings triggers movements of the
               conch. By waiting until your second (or even third round) to do
               so results in far less enemy movement (and less enemy turns) so
               taking out the enemy (mostly the sea bats and the two other Conch
               not the ones at the head of the ship) before setting up
    Stage Two: Getting Domingo, Pelle, and Guntz on the left side of the pillar
               to throttle the enemy while Tao and Anri blast everything down with
               AoE. Pretty simple. Also, for anyone who was just promoted, try to
               get them to level at least once here as it's extremely helpful for
               the upcoming battles though once again, Max isn't all that
               important to stress over
    On my best/most recent run, Max was extremely strong (level 3 promoted) and
    him being so buff allowed me to break 10 minutes here as he could fight off
    and down the right side rather easily by himself. Gives ya an idea of what you
    need to make certain things happen.
    Ideal 27:15, 2:44:45
    My Best 28:06, 2:59:44
    This time has continued to shrink and shrink which really pleases me. One
    noticeable thing is that clean well executed battles results in lower times.
    For instance, my best run thus far has had some pretty good luck and whatnot,
    but not almost 11 minutes worth of better luck which is how much time was
    sliced off. The reason for such improvement is fairly obvious: cleaner and
    more well executed battles. Chapter 5 is exceptionally special due to how
    much time can be added due to clunky battle orders on the ship. Not properly
    moving to aggro enemies alone can add almost 5 minutes which when the chapter
    is less than 30 minutes to begin with... that's a huge amount of time added.
    Ideally sub 3 hours here would be simply incredible. As I've narrowed that
    margin now by another 11 minutes; anything is possible =)
        Chapter 6
    This chapter can make or break you. To start things off, promote anyone who
    needs it (Pelle, Guntz, Kokichi, Balbaroy) (not promoting mages until 20,
    don't promote Max until chapter 7). Repair anything we need, buy 2 Chrome
    Lances (give them to Pelle and Kokichi), and get ready to move out.
      Battle 18
        Ideal 4:18
        My Best 4:18
    I've actually improved this battle by a round and to be honest I'm amazed that
    it took me this long to do this. Have Kokichi boost Balbaroy instead of
    himself; you end the battle a round sooner with Balbaroy hitting instead of
    Kokichi (Domingo still uses Freeze 2 on the group of Dullahan, Priest, and
    Artillery). Balbaroy can also boost himself though this requires extra
    swapping of the ring; but this can be justified if Kokichi doesn't stick with
    them and instead fights some Artillery for experience.
    Inside Dragonia there's not much to do. If the ring broke repair it, and if
    you promoted Balbs the Broadsword is in the top right house. Other than that
    head into the main house to grab the halberd and shower of cure and start
    things up. Equipment-wise, give Pelle the Halberd, but I'd leave everything
    else (Gort can take back the Speed Ring, or Pelle if Gort's not there) Make
    sure Tao gets the Mobility Ring. Also if Boken is being a dick (his
    positioning is random but if he's blocking your path to the Broad Sword just
    skip it for now and try again later) although you could just skip that sword
    entirely though it does help Balbs quite a bit.
      Battle 19
        Ideal 9:08
        My Best 9:08
    This battle isn't hard, but it is annoying. For one thing, don't move to fight
    Kane until you are very ready otherwise the Dullahans move and well they kill
    things. Very quickly.
    The basic strategy is move forth and destroy. Now if Max isn't 10, he needs to
    get there. Use your weakest/not death worry person (usually Zylo, though Balbs
    works) to help Max fight the Gargoyles to level. If he is 10 (still don't
    promote Max until Chapter 7) then have him hide by the stairs with a guardian
    (maybe Zylo) while everyone else trucks forward.
    Everyone else moves forward to Kane. The Golems/Mages are blown apart by magic
    quite easily. You can move in people to fight just be very careful as Freeze 2
    hurts and Golems can hurt the underleveled. Moving to Kane, I highly suggest a
    BS here to get off multiple boosts. While boosting, take out the lower
    Dullahan and Mage to remove them from the posse. Once they're down, you can
    move in though before focusing Kane I highly suggest killing the other two of
    his posse as both can insta-kill your party (though always have the boosts
    fight Kane). Kane doesn't regenerate health so assuming no bad misses you can
    end this and move on without too much trouble.
    In a more recent run, I changed up the strategy and things went smoothly. And
    I mean the strategy is largely the same except with some tweaks. For starters,
    since I've been promoting sooner, Max is already promoted and killing the
    Gargoyles is faster than leaving them alive. As a result, I send Balbs, Max,
    and a non-mobility-Guntz to fight the Gargoyles. Everyone else crushes right;
    taking full advantage of the Halberd, Heat Axe, and other magic. Tao having
    the Mobility Ring here allows her to get just that little bit closer so that
    there isn't this awkward round before engaging Kane.
    See, normally it takes 2 rounds to clear the middle army, and then another 2.5
    to get to Kane. Tao with the Mobility Ring solves some issues (everyone else
    moves well enough) so that we are stuck not having Tao there which is quite
    important. You can then boost Lyle and likely Kokichi and bring down Kane. The
    beauty here as well is Zylo is a great sacrificial that we don't need anymore
    and he (if in front of Domingo) will get targeted by Kane.
    From here you gotta head back to Rudo after doing the Kane thing; talk to both
    sisters and then head out (making sure everything is repaired again)
      Battle 20
        Ideal 16:52
        My Best 16:52
    This battle sucks but we can make is easy on ourselves.
        1. Give Guntz the Halberd/Mobility Ring
        2. Have Gort (this may not happen)
        3. Keep everyone together (Tao, Anri, and Pelle may be useless)
    It's far safer, not exposing the flyers to danger, and letting Domingo
    really soak up damage. Guntz steamrolls here and I'm sure dropping time here
    won't be hard at all as it continues to melt. The only real strategy is:
        -Avoid letting Horsemen attack (they hurt)
        -Have your "2 spacers" just move down as opposed to around the mountain
         (Anri, Tao, Pelle, etc) because it reduces the time it takes for the
         curser to move to them if they just chill)
      Battle 21
        Ideal 12:45
        My Best 14:45
    This battle is by far one of the most interesting in the whole run simply due
    to how variable it is but each time I cut some time and now breaking the 13
    minute barrier doesn't seem nearly so far away. If Zylo is still alive here,
    then use him to grab the upper two right chests (White Ring and Healing
    Shower) otherwise Max will grab those. If Zylo is alive, Max can grab the
    Power Potion (bottom right) otherwise just skip it. Balbs will grab the two
    left chests (Evil Ring and Healing Seed) and perhaps the Black Ring (left of
    Mishaela) depending on the time. You can grab the Sword of Light during battle
    (in fact, I suggest you do try to because if someone ends the battle in front
    of it then you have to re-enter which is a good 30 seconds added).
    Anyway, the nearby Gargoyles die quickly and easily; the Horsemen are an
    absolute pain so just be careful with them. The Mages aren't a problem as long
    as you move and attack smartly. The Belial are annoying as per usual but
    really they go down easily.
    Against Mishaela, you want either Pelle or Guntz to be smacking her in the
    face and Lyle to be shooting her from afar. If they can string together two
    hits in one round, then the next round you can kill her reasonably even if
    Dullahan are still alive. Granted, leaving Dullahan alive is pretty much only
    if Domingo can tank Bolt 2 and two Dullahan attacks. Either way, it's kinda
    a mish-mosh-posh of an ending but as long as you can get two boosted attacks
    against Mishaela the battle ends fairly quickly afterwards hence why having
    Lyle is beyond important.
    Ideal 55:00, 3:39:45
    My Best 57:16 (602), 3:59:41
    And can you believe how far we've made it? This chapter used to be closer to
    70 minutes and the combined time was quite literally about 60 minutes higher!
    It goes to show just how much the strategy has improved and re-doing the run
    allows for sharper and more precise movement. Just for instance, in my most
    recent run I made three absolute dingus mistakes against Mishaela still!
    Luckily; the last moments only result in minor time additions, but still!
    I'm just thrilled to be under that 4 hour barrier. It's a good day, and shows
    what a future is in store. Managing a ~45 minute Chapter 7 with a ~70 minute
    Chapter 8 buts this comfortably under 6 hours which is just insane to even
    think about; especially as my first published time was 6:45. Gross
        Chapter 7
    This chapter is short and easy but not without tricky dicky moments, mostly
    the Tower Battle but for all the wrong reasons. Anyway, revive anyone you
    need, repair any broken weapons, buy Gort a new Axe, and head down and do
    the whole jail thing. At this point, go recruit Musashi, and then go to Nova
    and swap out everyone who isn't Max, Balbaroy, Domingo, or Kokichi, we only
    need those 4 for the next 2 battles (oh, you don't need to revive right away
    as long as none of those 4 are dead, just less swapping). Go ahead and give
    Balbaroy Musashi's Katana, Max the Mobility Ring (I hope he's 10 and able to
    promote...), and Kokichi the Power and Evil Ring (Speed Ring to Balbaroy).
    You're set up now for the next 2 battles. Don't equip the evil ring yet though
      Battle 22
        Ideal 6:53
        My Best 6:53
    Discovered a new path here and frankly I thought it was only possible if Max
    is buff but instead it's more to do with Domingo. That and liberal use of IBS.
    Basically keep the same idea, we just want Max, Domingo, Balbaroy, and Guntz.
    Why Guntz? Well it's technically faster to kill all the units if we can use
    liberal use of Bolt 3 (the enemies group up extremely nicely for us) so
    having Kokichi IBS every time before using the ring is much more effective.
    It's faster and gives experience to people who really need it. Guntz sticks
    around for Bolt on the Halberd. This way also gets you a Doom Blade which
    could allow for Balbs to stick around longer though this is pretty much only
    if his attack is 45< or he can get hit twice by Jets.
    Go ahead and grab both treasures but you shouldn't need to do anything with
    them yet. The Demon Master's magic number is 51 and Kokichi with Boost and
    equipping the Evil Ring is +23 attack (+19 from the Power Ring) so you're
    looking at +25, +23 or +48 from Halberd/boosting and Kokichi has a minimum of
    11 attack from promotion so +59 is his attack (or 8 more than the magic
    number). Bottom line, he should kill it without Devil Lance. This is important
    as to not need to uncurse Kokichi to give it to Pelle later (if the Evil Ring
    breaks, sucks) but it's our best bet. Also, take note of agility here. Part
    of this strategy is Balbs moving before Kokichi on his third turn (others
    don't matter) and Balbs is going to speed ring glitch here on his second turn
    for another +4 to agility. If Balbs doesn't have a comfortable amount of
    agility more than Kokichi at this point, use the Legs of Haste (I needed to)
    otherwise you should be good. My Balbs had about 18 agility and Kokichi had
    about 18 as well so the glitch works fine, but the 1 legs of haste is
    otherwise worthless so it's fine to use anyway.
      Battle 23
        Ideal 3:34
        My Best 3:34
    The easiest battle in the whole game and you don't even need rng here to go
    for you, just not horrible against you. Here's basically how it plays out:
    -Balbs third turn he gets the Valkyrie (please make sure he has an open slot,
    things get cluttered with broad sword/katana/speed ring)
    -Kokichi's third turn he kills Demon Master, ending battle in around 4 minutes
    -Domingo stands there and tries not to die
    The longer version goes something like this. Domingo from where he starts is
    going to move up approximately 3 spaces, and then 5 spaces on his next turn
    (if you're confused, he's going to end up 3 spaces from the Torch Eye south of
    the chest, but in the middle of the wall). This allows for good enemy
    movement, something we'll get into here in a moment. After Domingo's first
    move, the two worms will move, one away, the other closer. Have Kokichi and
    Balbs kill this one (I'd suggest using the Evil Ring if you can just so
    Kokichi can move up 1 space further, oh and the mobility ring should be
    equipped here). The Steel Claw (the nearby one) will attack Kokichi. He should
    live if you've done things properly up to this point and he's about level 6
    or so (or has at least 22 life to take a beam). Here's the first rng scary
    spot. They attack for 43 and he has 9 base defence on promotion with 15 health
    so as long as you've gained a mediocre bunch of stats, (about 20 points
    divided between health and defence) you'll be OK otherwise you need to mod
    things slightly so Kokichi isn't exposed to get attacked.
    The second turn (Domingo moving up 5 spaces) has Balbs moving to a spot 2 away
    from Domingo, up one left one, so he's diagonal from Domingo. Make sure to
    equip the Speed Ring here. Kokichi moves up to the max and boosts himself.
    Several things will attack Domingo but he should live, nothing will attack
    Balbs or Kokichi if you've done this right (the Torch Eyes don't move
    threateningly and the Steel Claw in front of the chest moves to the spot right
    below the stairs so that's why keeping people away from there helps). From
    here, Domingo needs to do nothing (if he has 85+ exp he can cast a spell to
    go up a level) and Balbs grabs the Valkyrie, and Kokichi once at the Demon
    Master equips the Evil Ring and takes him out. All in 4 glorious terrifying
    Now, this battle relies very little on RNG however because of how bad it can
    get (steel claw kills Kokichi, Balbs doesn't move before Kokichi on the third
    turn, Kokichi misses Demon Master, super mega death crits) it takes a long
    time to return to battle. I'd suggest on Domingo's first turn doing a BS that
    way if things go bad it's an easy fix. You could even do one on Kokichi's
    third turn AFTER you've gotten the valkyrie if you feel really afraid however
    it's really not necessary. Even if you miss the whole battle only takes 4
    minutes so redoing that isn't that big of a deal especially as you aren't
    that likely to miss (Demon Masters aren't known for their evade) so I would
    not worry about it.
    Do the whole story thing, go get your party back together. We're going to use
    Torasu just not now because he dies right away unless Domingo is faster than
    Jets, which he may or may not be. They have 33 agility so be aware. In any
    case, our team is setting up for the end, so it looks like a side note.
        # Side note, End team #
    Max - Sword/Chaos Break + White Ring + Shower of Cure
        Max is useless, he can be a caster kinda but you really have to be careful
    Pelle - Evil Lance + Power Ring + Halberd
        Pelle is great. Just be mindful of two things. That Power Ring is moving
        to Hanzou once you get him, and that Vankar may get all the praise if he
        is doing better than Pelle. The Halberd is for guaranteed damage and/or
        you can't get to the target
    Tao, Anri - Lots of healing items
    Torasu - Use Shield liberally
    Kokichi - Evil Ring + Valkyrie
        Kokichi is great, the whole reason this works
    Domingo - healing
        Domingo is great, but not for casting
    Musashi - Turbo Pepper + Katana
        Musashi is awesome
    Hanzou - Doom Blade + Power Ring + Healing Seed + Shower of Cure
        His speed is very high and very useful. He gets the Power Ring because
        you will always get to boost and attack in the same turn
    Alef - Lots of healing
    Gort - Heat/Great/Atlas/Atlas
        If you have Gort, that's his set up (drop the Great Axe later for some
        healing) and he does decently. Like Vankar, he may not make the cut
    Guntz - I give him a Halberd and later he blocks Armed Skeletons from
        spawning though his role and Pelle can easily be swapped
    Lyle - Buster Shot and that's it. He dies from ambient stares so don't waste
        giving him healing to hold
        # End side note #
    As we prepare to enter battle 24, we need to bring members back in but most
    importantly is making sure Musashi gets +2 from the Turbo Pepper. This calls
    for a PS and a restart if it doesn't. +1 seems like it may cut it however
    there are several spots I know from experience that +2 does make the
    difference where +1 wouldn't.
      Battle 24
        Ideal 6:55
        My Best 7:03
    I've been saying for a long time breaking 7 minutes would be awesome and
    damnit it's possible though for now hovering at 7 minutes is pretty much
    ideal. Whole battle takes less than 2 rounds can you believe that? Here's
    the general idea:
    -Domingo blocks off the 3 jets on the right
    -Everyone else crushes things on the left
    That's the general idea. My weaker Domingo (12) takes about 7 damage from
    Jets which is fine as he won't even get hit all that much. Everyone else is
    pounding the left side of the map. Here's the step by step more or less:
    The nearby jet needs to be killed, Musashi or Pelle is good for this task
    The left side group, 2 worms, Demon Master, and Torch Eye tend to group up
    nicely before your slow team moves. If you can have someone over there, the
    Torch Eye will move into the perfect position for Bolt 2/3 excellence. For
    reference, the Demon Master moves down 3 spaces from your team, and the worm
    tends to move down up 1 right 1 from that spot, so positioning someone near
    there (right above it) will bring over the Torch Eye (assuming is hasn't
    moved yet) making a nice 4 for getting bolted. If that doesn't happen, still
    make use of your spells for wiping. Pelle and Kokichi can fight, but magic
    is always an option. Incidentally, don't equip the Evil Lance on Pelle unless
    you need to otherwise you risk him taking needless damage (so basically the
    same for Musashi). Use Max and bolt 2 liberally here as well.
    Because I got off a great bolt 3, Pelle didn't even have anything to attack
    that was nearby (ignoring those 3 jets on the right which I suggest doing so,
    don't even attack them unless Domingo is close to leveling) so I had him
    boost Kokichi (because the Evil Ring broke, otherwise bolt 3 is very helpful
    coming up, so boosting himself instead is better). Everything comes down very
    clumpy (this is the enemy second round, which is another reason why getting
    someone, Gort or Musashi) to that spot is so important. Basically we're going
    to win this round so throw everything we've got (except Domingo) up and at
    Chaos who goes down quickly though magic sucks hard against him. Blaze 3 does
    about 5 damage, Freeze 2 does about 4 damage, and Bolt 1/2 does about 6
    damage so use those spells to clear out the enemies so Musashi, Pelle, and
    Kokichi can attack Chaos. With just a little bit of luck, Chaos goes down and
    nobody dies. Just for the record, Max used bolt 2 to deal the final 5 damage
    to Chaos for my 7:08 run which was awesome. The only way that run could've
    gone better is if I hadn't wasted 3 spells on Jets (it's a waste, is better to
    have Domingo just stay/heal and Anri to not go over there) and if someone had
    crit Chaos. Musashi didn't even attack Chaos so that alone is room for
    improvement potentially. This round also included the magnificent bolt 3 so
    that alone keeps it at 2 rounds and not 3 rounds. If you can't get that
    awesome bolt off it slows things a bit as you need to be a bit more careful,
    as Max dies to everything on this battlefield unless spells are thrown his
    way, which he might die anyway so it's risky business.
    From here, it'd be awesome to just head right and into the next battle though
    I need to repair which you may need to as well. Even if people die, don't
    revive them just yet (unless they're Kokichi/Domingo) because they're all we
    need coming up. I have experimented with swapping out but honestly that takes
    a bit longer than I care to do and since my team is super slow anyway, they
    all take their 1 second turn at the same time so it's no big deal.
      Battle 25
        Ideal 4:30
        My Best 5:14:887
    If you use Domingo (because Kokichi is weaker) then look to get it done in
    about 7 minutes. But if a boosted Kokichi has over 80 attack (Armed Skeletons
    have 69 combined bulk, meaning that 80+ should OHKO) then it saves more time
    to uncurse Kokichi, give him the Mobility Ring, Evil Ring, Valkyrie, and the
    Power Ring and let him fly solo. It takes ~20 seconds to uncurse him but the
    Mobility Ring cuts an entire turn of movement so it's worth it. My time could
    be faster but thanks to (1) Kokichi missing and (2) Kokichi dying but
    luckily I had an IBS, I managed to keep going. I imagine 4:30 to 4:45 is
    about as low as it can realistically go
    Ideal 37:15, 4:17:00
    My Best 41:19:536, 04:42:38
        This chapter is pretty straight forward with the only real variable
    events coming in the first and last battles. If Kokichi is somewhat faster
    than Balbs, you have to mix it up slightly for 23 by stuttering your turns
    so that Kokichi takes 4 turns to get to the Demon Master instead of 3; this
    allows Balbs to get the Valkyrie on his third turn. We then turn our attention
    to battle 25 and if a boosted Kokichi has 80+ attack as we can do the above
    strategy less we have to use Domingo. It's possible that Balbaroy could make
    a substitute appearance here as his move is considerably better however even
    with the Katana he will only likely do ~40 to 45 damage meaning that his
    attacks tickle the Armed Skeleeton. Besides that the chapter is straight
    forward and just requires good execution and movement here otherwise you end
    up extremely dead and extremely sad.
        Chapter 8
    Ahhh Runefaust, the glorious end. This chapter is easily the longest and
    hardest but to be honest that's OK as we've skipped large quantities of the
    game so far so it makes sense to have a chapter where skipping is out of the
    question for the most part. As it is, we have one more glorious beat em up,
    with 4 boss battles though the Ramladu battle is easily the most difficult
    battle in the game and the Colossus battle being the most time consuming. Even
    a level 26 Domingo and Kokichi took a long time to fly around and beat the
    main baddie as there are so many defense piercing jerks in this chapter. The
    fight with Ramladu isn't much fun either, as you are on a constant timer of
    Torch Eyes approaching on your position.
    As for getting this started, find Hanzou at the entrance, head to Mahato to
    gain entry into the castle, and then go and revive your team. At this point it
    is quicker to have a large mass revival to have no dead people. As it seems
    unlikely that you won't need to revive from Chapter 7 (I tend to have some
    dead people after Chaos) it's a natural trip there anyway. This most recent
    run I had 3 dead members; and it took 52 seconds to just revive them versus
    1:30 to revive all my dead members; showing that it takes about 38 seconds
    to revive 7 dead members (it's slightly longer but when you compare to just
    skipping reviving them) so go ahead and do that. As we know that we have at
    least one more trip back here (after Ramladu) it's faster to have no dead
    people laying around.
    Anyway; now it's time to make our team. Without a doubt your team should
    look something like:
    And not in that order. That's 11 members so who should be 12? Most likely
    we're looking at Guntz. However in the event that Gort is still hanging
    around and doing well then Guntz will likely get axed. It's possible that
    Guntz could be better than Pelle but I've found that Pelle just gains better
    stats typically plus surrending the Move Ring to Tao over Guntz is another
    huge factor.
    Just one more thing! (Sorry I know I keep on going!) The best way to look at
    this chapter is as such: 20 minutes for 26 and 27
                             20 minutes for 28
                             20 minutes for 29 and 30
                             10 minutes of nonbattle time
    So far, reducing 28 below 20 minutes has proved near impossible and my best
    combined 29 and 30 was 19:57 (best best would be about 18) meaning that to
    cut time we need to spend less time out of battle and more time in it. This
    means we only want to revive twice (before 26 and after 27). Also it is
    possible to cut time out of the first segment, as my best combined is again
    about 19 minutes though best best is about 16 minutes. But this is all very
    technical and tedious so I apologize. Just focus on doing each pair in about
    20 minutes and you should get your time around the 70 minute mark.
      Battle 26
        Ideal 12:09:75
        My Best 12:09:75
    The only way to break 13 minutes is through a combination of Musashi hitting
    Chimaera, and the Evil Ring not breaking. If you can get off 3 casts with it,
    and get some physical hits against Chimaera, then there's not too much of a
    problem. That being said, the battle becomes much easier once they are dead
    as nothing else on the battlefield moves so take advantage of that. Try to
    combo spells on the outside groups so the priest can't heal himself. For
    casting bolt 3 on the skeletons, make sure to cast your other spell first
    otherwise the priest will die and that takes more time for individual casts.
    Something to consider is at this point, doing IBS for Evil Ring casts is
    much quicker. It takes about 13 seconds to IBS and to actually uncurse
    Kokichi and repair a broken ring takes on the magnitude of 30 seconds or so;
    but that doesn't even factor in to how much time is lost by not having Bolt
    3 in certain spots; mostly this battle. I'd suggest IBS before each Bolt 3
    Should you get the chests? Depends on your team. If you have Gort then grab
    the Atlas. Are both Pelle and Guntz doing well? Then take the Halberd.
    Regardless, send Torasu to grab the items (Atlas on left, Halberd on right)
      Battle 27
        Ideal 4:41:689
        My Best 4:41:689
    Ideally, Pelle, Musashi, Hanzou, Kokichi, and Max all survive the robot
    rampage to make it to Ramladu who then dies in 2-3 rounds of attacks. That's
    how the ideal (it's one I've actually gotten) can happen. It's tricky but
    doable (and replicable)
    I boosted Kokichi with Hanzou and used him and Domingo to make a "wall" to
    reduce the movement of the robots. Kokichi, Max, Musashi, and Pelle all were
    able to get to Ramladu and everyone else eventually died a horrible death
    though Alef got Bolt 2 which is helpful in the next two battles. It's a rush
    against time and not a pleasant one at that.
    Heading into Colossus, make sure everything is repaired. Stocked I wouldn't
    worry so much about, I did 1 huge stocking and it's been fine. The general
    strategy here is to try and minimize needing to go back to town, however, it
    makes no sense to take 35 minutes if you don't use anything so keep that in
    mind. Ensuring that Musashi, Domingo, Pelle, and Hanzou have a Healing Seed is
    helpful though as they are most likely to get bashed by something strong.
      Battle 28
        Ideal 20:00
        My Best 20:01:8
    The difference between ideal and my best is that the ideal time does not
    include (non battle time) the three and a half minutes you saw after my 20:03
    that had several important dead people and some important broken items. As it
    currently stands this is the most questionable battle and I've run it about
    10 times with mixed results. The exciting thing is that the essence of the
    battle is true, it's just pulling it off consistently. Here's the basic plan:
    Wall Wall Hanz Wall
    Domi Wall Anri Wall
    Musa      Max  Alef
              Tora Pelle
    Basically, the walls are the walls, the hole marks the entry way, and most of
    the people are interchangeable although that particular set up is best. That
    way only Domingo and Musashi are attacked by Chimaeras so hopefully no double
    criticals of death. This will line up the Chimaera on the left nicely for a
    Bolt 3/Bolt 2 from Kokichi and Alef nearly killing them (40+ damage) and the
    Blue Dragon on the right won't attack anyone allowing you to burst it down.
    On a different note, Lyle is so slow that he almost always is last. You can
    take advantage of that by battle saving (I would strongly suggest doing so on
    his first turn that way you can avoid Musashi/Domingo dying).
    After that, 2 more from the right (another Chimaera and Dragon) will start
    coming towards us but Musashi/Hanzou can choke these easily in that mid
    pathway. Meanwhile, Kokichi and Domingo can start taking out the center mid
    area with the skeletons and archers. The key is that until you break into that
    area, none of that moves, and none of the jets move, but the other flying
    units will move. Always trying to use Musashi and Hanzou to choke, you can get
    them to fly in and hopefully not attack all that much while you then burst
    down with magic.
    With regards to winning this thing, and this is why it's so frustrating as
    the two deaths I had to fix were just dumb movement on my part, is Kokichi
    (boosted) and Domingo sneaking up the right side and past the Colossus. Blaze
    3 isn't particularly dangerous and in fact shielding Max with Torasu will be
    the perfect distraction. If you can save 20 MP for Domingo to use two of his
    Freeze 3's against the main Colossus, that accounts then for a maybe miss from
    Kokichi otherwise you need Kokichi to hit twice. It can happen, but saving MP
    is a safer route.
    As it is, you definitely want to avoid going to town if you can. If something
    is forcing you too then by all means, do it. Otherwise...
    Max, Pelle/Guntz, Domingo, Kokichi, Hanzou, Musashi are all very important
        (of Pelle/Guntz, whoever is strongest)
    Alef if she knows bolt 2 (just for battle 29, she's useless in Dark Dragon)
    Tao if she knows blaze 4
    Anri if she knows at least freeze 3
    Torasu is expendable. Just make sure he doesn't have showers on him
    Gort is expendable unless fat. Mine at level 7 whacked for a pitiful amount
    so he was worth the blaze 3 that Atlas came with. When the Armed Skeleton
    annihilated him in Dark Dragon's battle, I didn't even blink
    Lyle (like Gort) is expendable
    As for broken items, the only one that matters is the Power Ring which should
    not be used yet so no big deal. That's why we have atlases and halberds; it's
    OK if they break. It's better if the Evil Ring doesn't break, but don't sweat
    if it does, just don't use it again. Anyway, let's do this. I'd BS as soon as
    you get into Dark Sol in all honesty.
      Battle 29
        Ideal 7:04:6
        My Best 7:04:6
    This battle is easily one of the most scary ones in the entire run but it's
    mostly because you NEED people to hit Dark Sol and it also helps to have the
    Dragons move before your team (on round 2). Basically here it is round by
    round (it really shouldn't vary much from this).
    Round 1, SET UP
        We want to minimize damage from Torch Eyes but also cram people in there.
        Max can move up 6 spaces to the very top of the path. Hanzou should make
        it to the middle and Musashi to the beginning of the path. Who goes in
        depends on turns and Torch Eyes, but hopefully Pelle is below Max and
        Tao is below Hanzou (and she's zapped a Torch Eye) but like I said, eh
        On the outside, Kokichi and Domingo on the left, don't worry about Guntz,
        and cram in there
    Round 2, PANIC
        We want to get as many people up but without triggering sharp point teeth.
        If the Dragons have moved (taken their turn) then Hanzou and Musashi can
        go fight the Robots otherwise they need to hang back a bit as it mixes up
        our gameplan. Everyone else crams up and no Torch Eye should live
    Round 3, FIGHT
        We're killing Dark Sol this round. This means ignoring the Dragons and
        getting as many people in there as possible. Blaze 4 and Freeze 3 do good
        damage (with Lyle about 50 damage or so) meaning that you need some 100
        damage out of Musashi, Max, Pelle, Hanzou, and Kokichi although my Kokichi
        usually zaps with Bolt 3 but that just depends on how many Robots are up
        there. It'll come down to the wire but you should be able to. The Dragons
        are hard and frankly a waste of time
      Battle 30
        Ideal 11:00
        My Best 11:19
    This battle is 1000% easier with level 4 magic but actually only speeds
    things up by about 3 minutes. It's just a lot easier if Tao knows Blaze 4,
    let me say that. As it is, focusing the heads down together works best, but
    due to my team being extremely weak and crappy I ended up tackling the outer
    heads and then moving in. This was due to no good magic, so I wanted to take
    out the weaker ones and then throw everything I had at the last one. The good
    graces gave me all the boosts I needed, and Dark Dragon fell in just twelve
    minutes, thus ending the game. It was a great run, and I have notes a mile
    long only to improve it myself. I certainly hope it helps you.
    Shield is stronk
    Ideal 1:04:00, 5:21:00 <--Yes under 5.5 hours can you believe it?
    My Best 1:09:00:737, 5:54:44 <--What what look at that time :D
    There. We've done it!
    4. Discussion
        End Remarks
    So with regards to recalculating ideal times, we can see that the games
    natural barrier appears to be right around 5 hours and 21 minutes. This was
    re-calculated from the previous time through some dirty math on my end, taking
    the collected times and roughly figuring the out of battle time and then
    using that with the collected ideal times to roughly deduce each chapters'
    new ideal time. The reason for this is simple: to see where the bar is at.
    Sure, I could keep it near my best times but that doesn't give anything to
    shoot for. The fact that it's under 6 hours is nothing short of awesome! But
    even so, there's always room for improvement.
    Concerning my most recent run
    Chapter 1 wasn't great. Frankly I've had several attempts since then that
    have been much much better than 46 minutes. However, as the title implies,
    Forging New Paths, the team looks a bit different as Khris and Ken are
    already gone from the lineup. It makes for a much faster Chapter 2.
    Chapter 2 was fantastic. With no Khris, the time gets reduced by quite a bit
    not having her take turns. This really only works though because my team is
    so bulky, with Mae and Gort taking little to no damage and Max being extremely
    strong. As such, the time was simply fantastic.
    Chapter 3 wasn't bad but it was far from great. It shows how P Knights can
    really screw with a run; specifically missing.
    Chapter 4 went well. It's far from my best run but in terms of a collective
    effort it stands out as very good. The reason because Max is just so strong.
    Chapter 5 made me aware of how strong Max being can really help. In battle 17
    a strong Max lets your team focus one side while Max takes on several Conch
    by himself. This tends not to happen but isn't a huge dealbreaker.
    Chapter 6 didn't break 4 hours on this run, but again the collected effort of
    everything else has set me up for a better rest of the run. At the time of
    this posting, this run was about third in terms of time compared to other runs
    I've done. However, none of them have been able to come close to what this
    team did to Chapter 7. Typically my Chapter 7 I am looking between 42 and 45
    minutes; with 46 even being acceptable. This run went and dumped a 41 minute
    Chapter 7 into the mix which basically shat on everything I had previously
    thought regarding the run. Simply put, there's a reason and an advantage to
    saving a lot and using Bolt 3 a lot. I've also managed to not replicate it
    nearly as well since as many of the battles are huge RNG losses. The entire
    Chapter just oozes bad luck.
    Chapter 8 was not my best, clocking in at 72 minutes, however that still puts
    the entire run at an outstanding 5 hours, 54 minutes which simply blows my
    mind. Again, it kinda brings it all full circle now understanding what a good
    time is and where slow times are OK because we need to boost in other areas.
    For instance, sub 2 hours is required through Chapter 3. But a 1:50 over a
    1:45 is OK if the team is much better off, AKA Tao is level 12/13 or Anri is
    level 8 for example. Breaking 4 hours for Chapter 6 is great, but being 2 or
    3 minutes off is fine if Chapter 7 is much better, like needing not to revive
    anyone. (In case you're wondering, my best time through Chapter 6 run was
    abandoned halfway through Chapter 7 when it became clear to me that the time
    was going to be much worse). This is the case when you *do better* but have
    something like Balbaroy die against Mishaela as that adds about a minute to
    Chapter 7 and could be completely avoided.
      Collecting the Sidenotes
      Side Note: Stat Items and Rings
    Defense Potions:    Max
      These things are rather useless for the most part. However, they are quite
      essential early for Max not dying as there are a number of spots (like Shade
      Abbey) where he must get attacked. Later, you can use these on Domingo if
      you so desire as Max shouldn't ever get attacked post Chapter 2 for the
      most part.
    Power Potions:     Balbaroy
      These things are helpful for one reason, Balbaroy killing the Master Mage
      in a single attack. But really, they do help him contribute as the +4
      damage makes him not terrible until you ditch him in Chapter 7. The last one
      in the Demon Castle you can skip though Lyle would appreciate it (though
      skipping is still probably best)
    Bread of Life:     Domingo
      These things are the epitome of useless. Even if you stacked them all on
      someone for +4 or +6 health, that makes no difference. As it is, it takes
      a few seconds to grab them and putting them on Domingo who is used mainly
      for tanking isn't horrible. You could use them to try and get to the 22
      health barrier for surviving Torch Eye beams but I have found there aren't
      many people who fit that bill. The last run I had I could have used it on
      Tao to put her at 22 but who would have known she would have had 21 life at
      that point considering I used these on Domingo several chapters ago
    Legs of Haste:     Balbaroy
      You only get one, so using it to guarantee he goes before Kokichi in the
      Tower of the Ancients is best. My last run Kokichi ended up vastly quicker
      but hey, that's just bad luck for me I guess (not really). I've found that
      using it in the Tower of the Ancients can help swing a slower Balbs over
      Kokichi (if need be)
    Turbo Pepper:      Musashi
      Use it on him. Make sure he gets +2 movement
    Power Ring:        Ken/Balbaroy/Zylo/Kokichi/Hanzou
      Generally speaking, the Power Ring is -never- on our best attacker as we
      prefer them to be boosting other allies. Ken will do some fighting with it
      though he generally boosts others first. Balbaroy has it for sniping, and
      Zylo for his one battle does it for very much the same. Then Kokichi has it
      until Hanzou gets it as Kokichi is the stud and we want him to attack for as
      much as possible
    Speed Ring:        As needed, then Musashi
      Until Musashi gets it (and always holds it because he is a slowass) the ring
      is always moved around to perform "Speed Ring" glitches. Often it will be on
      Anri because she's usually slow and keeping her up with Tao is helpful
    Mobility Ring:     As needed, though Guntz is a hog
      This thing is invaluable and I wish we had more of them. As it is, once you
      get it in chapter 5 you basically never keep it on one person, giving it to
      whomever needs it most. For you, here is a quick rundown of what to expect:
        Battle 16 (first time we have it) - Balbaroy (optimization)
        Battle 17 - Guntz
        Battle 18 - Domingo (optimization)
        Battle 19 - Guntz
        Battle 20 - Guntz
        Battle 21 - Guntz
        Battle 22 - Max (optimization)
        Battle 23 - Kokichi (optimization)
        Battle 24 - Guntz
        Battle 25 - Kokichi (optimization)
        Chapter 8 - Guntz (best spellcaster if Guntz dies after Battle 28)
                    *If Tao gets Blaze 4 give it to her
      Side Note: Hero Deaths
    Basically, we don't want people to die. It's a pain having to revive them and
    in certain cases if they die we are forced to restart because of how crucial
    they are. There are some heroes who do die; those are either forced or "we
    want them dead" kind of deaths. Here's the general breakdown:
    If Max dies at any point beyond Chapter 1 just do the best you can. In Chapter
    1 I would say restart your run. Post Chapter 1 as long as the run isn't
    horrible you shouldn't restart because of how long this is. The run even ideal
    takes six hours so restarting at the end because of a Max death would be awful
    I mean you don't want to die but restarting sometimes is just out of the
    If Tao, Anri, Domingo, Gort, Pelle, Lyle, Musashi, Hanzou, Torasu, Alef, or
    Kokichi die, revive them after the battle. There are some exceptions (like if
    you're sniping with Kokichi) but otherwise just deal the best you can. If
    someone dies in Battle 28 against Colossus I'd advice against reviving unless
    it's Kokichi, Musashi, Pelle, or Blaze 4/Freeze 3 (mostly because they're not
    that needed for the last couple battles).
    If Lowe, Mae, Hans, or Amon die, never revive them. In fact, it is heavily
    advised to have them die at some point (this is because we need dead bodies
    for Chapter 7 (at least 8 of them).
    If Ken dies before the end of Chapter 2, we need to revive him. We simply can
    not use Mae as a substitute due to her positioning in Chapter 3 battle 9 as
    she starts one space to the left of where Ken does and Ken starts just perfect
    for moving to block for Balbaroy. After that, if he dies don't revive him.
    If Luke lives past battle 2 then we are worried about getting rid of him
    If Khris dies before Shade Abbey, you'll need to revive her or Lowe for Shade
    Abbey because it is essential to have a Healer for that battle.
    Note that Ken, Luke, and Khris are all better off dead once you no longer need
    them (see that's 7 dead bodies) so we need one more. Your choices are Zylo,
    Balbaroy, Ernst, or Bleu. As Balbaroy gets used in Chapter 7, that leaves Zylo
    for your other death. Bleu and Ernst never get used so it's clunky to use them
    whereas Zylo is used and is useless post Chapter 5 unless he has 35+ attack.
    Mine tends to stick around mostly for utility and healing but it is entirely
    possible and recommended to kill off Zylo at some point through Chapter 6 or
    even at the end of Chapter 5, making him your last necessary death person:
                Lowe, Mae, Hans, Amon, Ken, Luke, Khris, and Zylo.
    Balbaroy may join this list later but either way...
    Also, in Chapter 8, revive everyone. I realize I say "never revive them" but
    that's only because we need dead bodies until Chapter 8. It only takes about
    40 more seconds to revive all the dead people as opposed to just skipping
    past them and we pretty much have to visit the Chapel twice in Chapter 8 so
    keep that in mind.
        Side Note: Levels
    You're probably wondering how the hell is this possible and what level my team
    is. Well, they're low. But it's not a huge deal. Because of how SFI works with
    levels, each level from one to another matters so little, that short of
    getting 4 or 5 levels, you have no guarantee that your hero is going to be
    like noticeably better than before (hence, the trend of always taking the new
    people and replacing old ones). But, there are some important levels to keep
    track of, if you remember, magic is one, so let's dive into this:
    Max: 10 by Chapter 7
    Gort: 10 by Chapter 4
    Pelle/Guntz: 10 by Chapter 6 at a minimum
    Kokichi: 10 by Chapter 6
    Lyle: 10 by Chapter 7
    Tao: 4 by Battle 3, 12 by battle 14, and 20 by Chapter 8
    Anri: 8 as soon as possible (no later than Chapter 4 if possible), and 16 by
          Chapter 8 (23 if possible)
    Domingo: 4 as soon as possible, and 13 as soon as possible (Chapter 8 strongly
    The latter 3 are the most important. As for your other teammates:
    Lowe should die in Battle 1
    Ken will be between 7 and 9 when he dies/is replaced
    Luke will be about 3
    Khris may be level 2 but it doesn't matter
    Hans should die in Battle 1. His level does not matter
    Amon should die before the end of Chapter 3. Her level does not matter
    Balbaroy should aim to get promoted by Chapter 6 (the Broadsword is just that
        awesome). He will probably be about level 4 promoted once you ditch him.
    Zylo will be between 12 and 16 when he dies/is replaced. If his attack is
        over 35 then he could still be used some but it is very unlikely to
        happen unless you are very lucky.
    Alef needs to be 17 by Battle 28 as that's the only reason to use her. If she
        dies in Battle 28 it's OK, though getting her through 29 is helpful
    Torasu will probably not level nor does he need to
    Musashi can go up about 5 levels but again he does not need to
    Hanzou probably won't level but he too can go up about 3 levels though he
       does not need to either.
    Gong, Arthur, Diane, Ernst, Bleu, Vankar, and Adam are either skipped or
    never used so naturally they won't level.
    Basically, don't stress too much about levels. The most recent run I had only
    half a team, with Max, Pelle, Anri, Tao, Domingo, Kokichi, Torasu, and
    Musashi (Hanzou had died against Dark Sol) and things worked out. Magic is key
    here, as well as Musashi, Evil Lance, and the Valkyrie all hit very hard so
    physical levels aren't important for stats.
        Side Note: End Team
    This is basically how our end team will look:
    Max - Sword of Light/Chaos Breaker + White Ring + Shower of Cure
        Use him exclusively for healing and Bolt 2/Freeze 3
    Pelle - Evil Lance + Halberd
        Pelle is great. In fact, he's usually still the better option over Guntz
        for the Evil Lance although paying attention to their levels does help
    Tao, Anri - Maybe the Mobility Ring
    Torasu - 2 Shower of Cure
    Kokichi - Evil Ring + Valkyrie
    Domingo - Healing Seeds and maybe the Mobility Ring
    Musashi - Turbo Pepper + Katana + Speed Ring + Healing Seed + Black Ring
    Hanzou - Doom Blade + Power Ring + Healing Seeds
    Alef - Itemless
        She can hold onto Healing Seeds if you want but she usually does not
        survive into Dark Dragon
    Gort - Heat/Atlas/Atlas + Healing Seed
        You may not have a Gladiator due to levels
    Lyle - Buster Shot
        That's it, really
    Guntz - Halberd + 3 Healing Seeds
        He is usually much weaker than Pelle and tends to just blocked Armed
        Skeletons from spawning. You will probably only use him for Bolt in the
        end battles (consider even giving it to Pelle in Battle 29).
      Discussing the Glitches/Abuses
        The Speed Ring
    Not so useful later on, but early that +4 agility can make someone get their
    turn much faster. It can be used on someone to get 2 attacks in a row, or
    more importantly to allow Max to move twice in a row. Later on, the Speed Ring
    should be on someone slower who needs more turns, usually Anri or Musashi
    The game programmers decided these two almost always have priority. In fact,
    it goes something like
    Max > Domingo > Healers/Mages > Archers/Flying Units > Everything else
    To the point to where enemies will move past viable targets to stand in line
    and not attack just because they're closer to someone. As a result, this is a
    very helpful abuse especially once Domingo can take a hit or two. For Max
    sadly this run you won't be using this so much later on however early you can
    still get some nice use out of it
        The Boost Glitch
    This is definitely a glitch as the game will even say "boost has ended" but it
    actually hasn't. Boost is supposed to go away after 1-4 turns, but in fact
    stays until you've taken damage, or gone up a level. Curse damage does not
    count as damage; you have to be attacked. This is the most helpful and abusive
    of all the glitches as you can boost someone for 8 or 9 minutes so long as
    your careful. It reduces the need to BS as much as well as allows you to take
    out many more enemies being able to take advantage of knowing not to level or
    who recently leveled and whatnot. Many thanks to Darkkobold for this one
        A new challenger approaches!
    So basically, I had this idea of trying some new way of beating the game. As
    hard as it may seem, replaying this game ten or eleven times can become a bit
    boring and stale, so I wanted to try a new challenge, deemed, "Minimalist".
    The premise is simple: We collect that only which we need to defeat the game.
    This means that our party will be just 12 members. Max, Mae, Khris, Balbs,
    Amon, Pelle, Ernst, Bleu, Alef, Torasu, and Adam are all required and Gong
    will tag along because Max needs some help early in that first battle.
    How do we skip the others like Tao, Luke, Gort, Ken, and Hans? There is a
    video, but basically there's a blonde hair'd guy walking around we need to
    "push" lower and let him block the guards. That lets us leave town and shazam
    we can skip the other characters. Strangely enough, this is the starting mark
    for this time as well, as timing the process of doing that is tedious and
    stressful as getting it perfect is just a waste of time.
    Anywho, I'm also uploading a video of this to my same account, titled
    "SF Speed Run Minimalist" for your pleasure. The strategy largely stays the
    same (hence no new guide) and I'll probably not go nuts trying to improve it
    but we'll see. The major difference is using Khris (Quick) to do some cool
    things and Balbs gets the Turbo Pepper for imba 9 movement which helps. Not
    collecting Musashi, Kokichi, or any casters early makes this fairly tough
    early, but later on, Max and Pelle become absolute beasts. It's a fun
    challenge to say the least, and I've gone and done a speed run of it! My
    current time is 6:47 which is still better than my first "any" percent run
    done a long time ago, but it's nearly an hour slower than my current best.
    Good luck and have fun!
    5. Conclusion
    This is copyright me, Todd Lesinski AKA NoWorries. As such, you cannot use
    copy any part of this guide and claim it as your own. I'm not a stickler so
    long you make a reference somewhere saying that this guide was so helpful for
    whatever purpose you are using this for that would be great. If you are a
    cheat bastard then may a ball-eating plague be struck upon you and all
    consequent men in your family until you right this wrong.
        Contact Info
    If you feel the need to contact me about ANYTHING pertaining to THIS guide;
    you may contact me at         (AT)   [.]
    Please specify "SHINING FORCE I SPEED RUN" to differentiate from my other
    Shining Force guides/works out on the webs. I do appreciate your time. If you
    don't do this, I probably won't respond. I may also not respond because I'm
    very busy but I will do the best I can.
    Gamefaqs - For getting me into guide writing
    Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) - For getting me into Speed Running. It is
        technically run through the Speed Game Demos
        Which is their channel. AGDQ is their charity event that raises money for
        Cancer and it's fascinating even if you are not big into video games. But
        big thanks and shout out to them for getting me serious into actually
        doing this and maybe you'll see me at AGDQ 2016 running this game if I
        can consistently get it down to six, six and a half hours.
    DarkKobold - The brave soul who TASed this game in under two hours. Your
        video was both awesome to watch and extremely helpful for giving me ideas
        how to run this faster. Naturally I'm not tassing so I can't get the
        double crits like you do with Lua but I think I worked it out pretty well
        for myself =)
        But the Boost Glitch was invaluable, thank you
        His webpage: http://tasvideos.org/DarkKobold.html
    Myself - For enjoying this game far too much. It's unhealthy
    You the reader - Well, without you folks, this isn't nearly as fun. Also, I
        hope you enjoy the video. Just don't be too harsh as it's far from
        perfect; I just wanted you to have something to have in tangent with
        this guide as words aren't perfect sometimes
    Camelot Software Planning and Sega - obviously, for making the game
    Length - 118907