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    Speed Run Walkthrough by tskisoccer

    Version: 5.0 | Updated: 04/13/16 | 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: 5:41
    Allowed Website: www.gamefaqs.com
                     www.neoseeker.com
                     www.supercheats.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
                     4.0 Submitted 24 of October of 2015
        -Added a new video for my best segmented run. As it stands, my best time
         is 5:54 and segmented is 5:51:25
        -Added and changed a few details for some battles to make them easier to
         understand and replicate
        -Added some new contact. I have started streaming about once a week and
         added a twitter as an easy way to let you know when that happens. Both
         are under tskisoccer, AKA twitter.com/tskisoccer and twitch.com/same
         There's other stuff as well, but that's the premise to find me if you
         want to watch some livestream.
        -Added some major details regarding a number of battles and what heroes
         to use for optimal starting positions
                     5.0 Submitted 12 of April of 2016
        -Whole bunch of random updates and fixes
        -Had to completely rewrite a number of spots to incorporate completely
         new strategies. Not to disregard old ones, I've tried to include "both"
         pieces when necessary. Those should be noted along the way as they emerge
        -Got a new best at 5:41 which is awesome and still tons to improve
        -As my two year anniversary approaches, might as well get a new vastly
         improved guide uploaded!
        -Here is the link to the current best run:
    	
            https://www.twitch.tv/tskisoccer/v/59860732
    
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
                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 5:41 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
    times.
    
    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 worked out is comfortably under 5 hours with my best stuck at 5 and a
    half hours (if I could just have a good run!)
    
    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
    
      CHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATINGCHEATING
      
    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
    		
    Max
        A much needed update to Max's description. His goal is to be 10 by
        chapter 7 and that is pretty much the end of his usefulness. Updates to
        the strategy involve Balbaroy being more centric this time around and
        keeps the Chaos Breaker for himself, leaving Max to hold some Shower of
        Cure and a White Ring for the end of the game. That being said, it is
        still essential to level him up so that he survives through Chapter 2
    Ken
        Ken is not great, not by any stretch of the imagination. He does however
        serve as a great addition to our team until we get into Chapter 4. I have
        tried on occasion replacing him with Mae and it just doesn't work. Ken is
        the knight to get us into Chapter 4, though if Ken is to die in Chapter 3
        for any reason, then Vankar is a quicker recruit to use for Chapter 4 in
        place of Ken; though neither knight will be used after 5-1
    Mae
        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
    Pelle
        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
    Guntz
        There's not much to be said for Guntz, he makes battle 6-3 far easier and
        then he casts bolt later in life. He's very useful but don't go overboard
    Kokichi
        The winged knight of legends. He's awesome for this run and largely the
        reason why this works
    	
        As an update is included, Kokichi and Zylo were both excluded from my
        most recent, best, run. The reasoning is simple: they involve very long
        recruits and don't excel much more than any other hero. To explain:
    	
        Zylo excels in 3-2, the first battle with him. After that, he begins to
        fall off into Chapter 4 and by 5 and 6, he's useless. So if we can do 3-2
        without Zylo, we can save ourselves roughly 2 minutes of recruiting him.
    	
        Similarly for Kokichi, he also has a long recruitment and Kokichi doesn't
        do anything special besides wield the Valkyrie, which I happen to skip now
        as the Devil Lance suits Pelle just fine. It is a ballsier strategy, which
        is why I will include both.
    Luke
        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)
    Gort
        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
    Tao
        Tao is our fiery queen and super useful for this run. If you can promote
        her by Chapter 3, do so, as having Blaze 3 for Chapter 4 is super helpful.
        Also, lots of Blaze 4 really does help. This of course being an update
        from my stance against promoting her
    Anri
        Anri is the chick I have the most mixed feelings about. She's super
        useful, but she is so hard to get right because of her low starting level
        and 5 loooong levels to Blaze 2. That being said, she is far better to
        use over Alef if you can manage to get her to Freeze 3, otherwise, use
        Alef over Anri. I will go on record saying that recently I did get Anri up
        to Freeze 4. The result was a 9 minute Dark Dragon fight, so it makes a
        HUGE DIFFERENCE, but getting Anri up there is tough
    Alef
        If you have Freeze 3, don't bother with Alef, otherwise, bring in Alef.
        I would say to promote her (guaranteeing Bolt 2 is better than not) but
        hopefully we just keep Anri. Our party at the end is tough, and Alef does
        not make the grade
        (Max, Pelle, Guntz, Gort, Tao, Anri|Alef, Domingo, Torasu, Lyle, Balbs,
         Musashi, and Hanzou if case you are wondering)
    Domingo
        To think my first run skipped Domingo... the only thing is getting him
        those early levels because it makes such a difference. We need Freeze 3
        at level 13 for Chapter 8 ideally, and level 10 is a good Chapter 7 goal
    Lowe
        Lowe is good for soaking up Dark Dwarves in battle 1
    Khris
        Khris is strong enough to damage bats (~3 damage or so) but have her die
        before you finish Chapter 1, we don't need her
    Torasu
        I tend to bring Torasu in Chapter 8 (grabs chests in 8-1, takes two lasers
        in 8-2, and then Shields against Dark Dragon) and yeah. Shield+Lyle is
        nice. Rather, Shield+Lyle|Domingo|Tao|Balbaroy is baws
    Hans
        Hans, like Lowe, should taste the blunt axe of a Dark Dwarf
    Lyle
        A level 1 Lyle with Boost on him deals ~63 damage. That's very impressive
        and he can do this from blocking an Armed Skeleton. Add that to helping
        against Mishaela and we have an instant hero that we should absolutely
        pick up. That being said, he needs to be promoted so that he can have the
        Buster Shot so try to get him some experience
    Balbaroy
        With the major changes to the run, Balbs is pretty much the clutch hero
        now. He takes over the run, and even solos several strong snipes for us.
        Thanks Balbs!
    Amon
        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
    Zylo
        Zylo is very strong and definitely worth grabbing for newer runners. That
        being said, don't promote him, and don't try to make him work into Chapter
        6 as his attack is too low. I no longer use Zylo, but it is harder to do
    Musashi "Moose" Powerhouse
        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
        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
    Jogurt
        WHAAAT you might say! Jogurt is useless, don't get me wrong, but there is
        one important feature that he serves: He's the LAST person on your list.
        What does that mean exactly? It's simple: Jogurt will always go to spot 12
        Let me explain. In Shining Force games, your team is put into spots for
        each battle, basically numbered 1 through 12. In SF2, dead people do not
        occupy spots so you can control where people start and who is in your
        party by using dead people. In SF1, this is not the case, and dead people
        still have a spot reserved for them. As such, spot 12 is usually the worst
        spot (where Musashi, Kokichi, Zylo, and Hanzou) spend much of their time
        being so far in the back of the list. By having Jogurt in the party, he
        can effectively move people around by occupying that spot. The most
        notable spot is the double snipe done in Chapter 4, but there are other
        uses as well. Simply put, I'd go ahead and grab him.
    	
        The "Not so helpful for the Speed Run"
            ^^^Pretty self explanatory no?
    Arthur
        We won't be seeing much of him this run. Shame
    Ernst
        We are forced to recruit him but don't use him. He kinda sucks
    Gong
        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
    Diane
        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
    Vankar
        There's really only one reason to use Vankar and that's if Ken died in
        Chapter 3 (because chapters 1 or 2 we would've revived Ken) because we
        need two spear users and some extra tanking for Chapter 4.
    Bleu
        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
    Adam
        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. This is important to note, as your character might level from
       killing Dark Dragon. The last input needed is to exit that screen and that
       is when time ends as you've lost control of your character.
       
    2. 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 3 to Max, Ken, and Tao, and
    giving 1 to Luke. I'll explain why later.
    
    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   7:17.29
        My Best 8:10.52
    *Ideal is best split, My Best is the split for my PB run
    
    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. Now this is important why Max is
    full on items. Scroll to Luke, and give his Short Sword to Max for the Middle
    Sword, it takes on transfer. Basically, if someone is full, we don't have to
    give and then give for re-arranging items, they just simply exchange, so it
    helps to manage inventories like that. Now, Luke with the Middle Sword should
    do 8 and Max will do 4 (if level 2) which kills Goblins. The weapons being the
    other way would result in 6|5 which isn't good.
    
      Battle 2
        Ideal   15:20.75
        My Best 16:59.91
    	
    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). Also, it is VERY
    IMPORTANT that Max hits level 3 here. VERY IMPORTANT
    
    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. At some point along the way here, drop the
    Short Sword from Max.
    
    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. By grabbing the right first, it's the Defense Potion, you can
    use it on Max. Then you can get the Power Potion. Scroll down now to Luke,
    give his Medical Herb (if he still has it) to Gort, otherwise, just exchange
    the Middle Sword for the Power Potion. Have Ken give a Medical Herb to Mae
    and now we're ready.
    
    
    #Character Update#
    
      Max (level 3)
        Middle Sword, 3x Medical Herb
      Ken (level 2, hopefully 3)
        Spear, 2x Medical Herb
      Mae (level 2)
        Bronze Lance, 1x Medical Herb
      Tao (level 3)
        Wooden Staff, 3x Medical Herb
      Gort (level 2)
        Short Axe, 1x Medical Herb
    Luke, Lowe, Hans (missing)
    
        If you had to use any Herbs, Max must have 2 of them as must Ken. Tao
    only needs 1 so she can spare extras.
    
      Battle 3
        Ideal   25:19.86
        My Best 26:59.02
    	
    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.
    
    Alternatively, you can use Mae and Ken to engage the Bats while your team
    fights the Dwarves. By not moving all the way up, you can lure down 3 of the 5
    of them for an easier time, while Mae and Ken attack the Bats. Afterwards, Mae
    can give her Lance over to Ken. Against these Dwarves, we need Tao to hit 4,
    Gort to hit 3, and we need Max to be right around 85 experience towards 4; he
    gets 34 from killing a Dark Dwarf (34+34 is 68) so ensure that happens.
    
    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 | Tao | Ken | 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| S | RKnt | Alterone
                            RKnt| S | RKnt | Alterone
                              M | 1 |  2   |
                                  3 |  4   |
                                  5 |  6   | River
                                  7 | Rver | River
                                  8 | Rver | River
    							  
    Your goal, is to move into the following spots. Max goes into 2 and hits the
    Knight, at 85 EXP he will level to 4 and gain 1-3 speed, hopefully 2 or 3.
    Mae moves to M, this causes the Rune Knights to move in a weird
    non-threatening way, simply moving over. Gort and Ken need to get up there to
    spots 1 or 4, healing or attacking, regardless. If you timed it well, Max
    should go after most of the Knights, then level, then get his turn very fast
    so you can go right to Alterone, cool eh?
    
    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. Use the Defense Potion on Max, but you may not need to
    use the Bread of Life. If Max has 17 life, save it for Anri, otherwise, give
    it to him.
    
      Battle 4
        Ideal   38:14.73
        My Best 41:55.25
    	
    This battle is intimidating but actually very easy. Just head straight up for
    your first two turns. Your next turn, bats will engage you. Also to note, from
    where Max starts, up 13 spaces is what it takes to draw over the Rune Knights
    (as in, moving Ken up or next to Max starts to bring two of them down, this is
    good as we want that to happen). Ideally, the Bats and the Knights will clump
    up unsuccessfully trying to get to Max. Tao can Blaze 2 and our dudes can make
    short work of them. The rest of the enemies don't move and look silly.
    Depending on Tao's MP level, save enough to Blaze 2 the Archer-Mage-Archer
    combo before they move from their spot, this really helps later on. Also,
    don't send Tao around the bridge unless she's loaded with 20+ MP. Khris can
    die to any number of things, but it essential to have that happen. Just try
    your best to make short work of it.
    
    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!
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        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   49:27.26
        My Best 54:55.16
    	
    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.
    
    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. Go ahead and dive into the
    earth (using that Bread of Life if you saved it)...
    
      Battle 6
        Ideal   58:47.39
        My Best 1:05:16.66
    	
    This is a very turn-specific battle (my split is named "Bad Turn RNG") so here
    goes my best way to explain it
    
    TURN 1
    Tao zaps the right Zombie, Anri EQUIPS the Speed Ring and kills it. Max, Gort,
    or Ken attack the other Zombie, leaving an opening if it comes to it.
    
    TURN 2
    Anri outturns Tao and moves over to zap the Zombie by the bridge. Tao now can
    Blaze 2 the Zombie-Mage-Archer (if the Zombie moved over, zap the pair and the
    Mage instead). Hopefully you can kill the Mage before it goes (hence the Bread
    of Life shoving Anri out of 8|9 health range). Get Max, Ken, and Gort near
    
    TURN 3
    UNEQUIP the Ring from Anri as she roasts the weakened Archer and levels. Tao
    and Ken can take out the other one safely (Ken could attack it honestly on
    Turn 2 depending on turns). Get Max near the bridge and time crossing the
    bridge with most of the bats moving.
    
    TURN 4
    Get across the bridge. Max can buffer the bats to group up for Blaze 2 and
    whatnot. Re-EQUIP the Speed Ring here
    
    TURNS 5-7
    Kill Bats. Get Ken closer to Power Ring. Try to save some magic, ideally, 7
    on Tao and 2 on Anri. Give the Speed Ring to Gort.
    
    TURN Engaging the Dark Mages
    Have Gort equip the Speed Ring and go up and attack. He should get a free kill
    before they move. If Tao has 7 MP, Blaze 2 the group, that helps. For the boss,
    the Skeleton, two Blaze 1 casts can kill it, hence the need to save some MP as
    Boost from the Power Ring takes time and the ring could crack, forcing a
    repair job.
    
    Time to go advance some story and head back to Rindo
    
      Battle 7
        Ideal   1:05:49.64
        My Best 1:14:13.28
    	
    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 Gort, 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.
    
    #Character Update#
    
      Max (level 5-7)
        Middle Sword, 3x Healing Seeds
      Ken (level 5+)
        Bronze Lance, Spear, Healing Seed, Power Ring
      Gort (level 6+)
        Middle Sword, Speed Ring, Healing Seed
      Tao (level 7-8)
        Healing Seed, 2x Antidote
      Anri (levl 5+)
        Power Staff, Healing Seed
    	
    I suggest buying|having a minimum of 7 Seeds, as that will get you into
    Chapter 4. Some Antidotes would not hurt. Obviously, Tao no longer needs a
    weapon anymore, drop it at any point through Chapter 2. There may be
    Medical Herbs left, add them in as needed
    
      Battle 8
        Ideal   1:12:55.26
        My Best 1:22:31.64
    	
    The worst part of this battle is the start, we want a Zombie attacking Max but
    those Skeletons are fast. Regardless, have Anri and Tao take out the Zombie
    on the left first. Gort can move right and down 1 from the upper left bench
    (basically enclosing Tao and Anri with where the Zombie was). Gort will get
    hit by a Skeleton but he's strong enough to do so. Ken should boost himself
    with the Spear equipped.
    
    If a Skeleton is attacking Max, have him heal himself after each hit. Tao can
    Blaze 2 liberally, Anri can help finish off enemies as can Gort. All the lined
    up enemies will ignore you completely if you stay back 1 space. Before Ken
    levels while boosted, have him attack the Ghoul until he does. See "Boost
    Glitch" if you are unsure why. The Ghoul has high evasion, so once there are
    only 1-2 enemies left, Anri and Tao can help against the Ghoul, dealing ~5
    damage per Blaze.
    
    After Balbaroy joins, give him the Power Ring and then go talk to Amon. The
    reasoning here is simple: in a new chapter, your menu is defaulted to Max, so
    we want that Speed Ring on Amon but that would require more tedious movement.
    It only saves a few seconds but it's a good habit to get into
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        Chapter 3
    	
      Say hello to our best hero! Balbs is essential to this run and yeah, not
    much else to be said. Repair the Power Ring if need be, buy a Middle Axe for
    Gort, and 3 Power Spears, putting all of them on Mae. Remember earlier? Mae
    should have the Orb of Light and 3 Spears, makes giving those spears to Ken,
    Pelle, and Guntz a little easier now doesn't it? Yeah have them trade Bronze
    Lances for Power Spears.
    
      Battle 9
        Ideal   1:16:48.10
        My Best 1:27:58.81
    	
    Guaranteed 3 turn kill involves Amon equipping the Speed Ring and setting up
    for Balbs to boost her as well as himself. This of course is guaranteed if the
    Power Ring doesn't crack.
    
    The better option involves a similar set up, Balbs moving far down and over
    so that he's next to the stairs (boost himself) with Amon equipped with the
    Speed Ring below Balbs and Ken below Amon. This lines up the Skellies nicely
    and gets us into position. Move Anri and Tao down, leave Max near the stairs
    to escape quickly (obviously move him down if you're planning on Zylo). Now
    Amon will move quickly and fly her down to the LEFT of the Dark Priest, this
    serves a couple of uses.
    
      (1) Dark Priest may go for her instead of healing
      (2) Balbs being 'slower' may get outturned by the Dark Priest regardless
      
    This way Balbs can 3-turn kill the Master Mage by himself and Amon can die.
    
    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
    
    As for the updated strategy, we instead leave Max right near the exit that way
    we leave as soon as the battle ends. We skip Kokichi and Zylo and head right
    into battle 10. In case you're wondering, the split is faster without doing
    Zylo and Kokichi. The battle isn't as fast, but the split is and that's really
    big since this is Zylo's big battle.
    
    Go ahead and toss the Speed Ring back over to Gort before heading into battle
    
      Battle 10
        Ideal   1:28:02.06
        My Best 1:41:29.19
    	
    Team: Remove Mae for Zylo (skip this otherwise)
    
    Regardless if you have Zylo or not, the strategy remains the same. Balbs (or
    Zylo) will be boosted twice and take out 6 enemies like so. This means IBS
    beforehand to keep the ring safe. Against P Knights, I would also safe to
    guarantee hits land as their evasion can be super trolly and a miss into
    getting attacked can lose our boost (see Boost Glitch if unsure why). Their
    goal is to go up the side, taking out the 2 rightmost Knights and the 2 top
    bridge enemies; taking out two additional enemies along the way.
    
    The rest of our team tries to clear the remaining map. Key levels here are
    Tao to 10 at a minimum, Anri to 8 at a minimum, and Gort as high as we can
    get, ideally 10. Ken and Max are not as important here. Amon should suicide
    to an Archer to protect your fragile ladies.
    
      Battle 11
        Ideal   1:32:12.55
        My Best 1:46:23.61
    
    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.
    
    For inventory management, you can drop Max's sword and make sure he has a
    rather empty inventory heading into chapter 4. If you don't have 10 on Tao
    or 8 on Anri, you can lure the nearby Lizardman down for some extra EXP.
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        Chapter 4
    	
    There's quite a bit to do here as the Chapter opens up so let's optimize.
    First, head up and recruit Jogurt and promote Tao. From there, go see
    Elliot to knock that out. Now go to the leftmost wagon and grab the Chest
    and buy 2 Longswords. Balbs and Max want one, and the Bread of Life can
    wait for Domingo. Head to the front wagon now, grab the Quick Chicken and
    tell them they can leave.
    
    If Kokichi is joining, he will do so. Otherwise, head to Nova and swap Pelle
    in for Mae. If you have Zylo and Kokichi, then your swapped party would be
    Mae, Hans, and Amon. If Ken died for any reason, go ahead and grab Vankar here
    as we need that additional fighter for a few battles (this being unimportant
    if you have Kokichi and Zylo, in which case Ken is pointless)
    
      Battle 12
        Ideal   1:50:34.38
        My Best 2:05:46.59
    	
    	
    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).
    
    Our major level concerns are Tao to level 2, Anri to level 10, and Gort to
    level 10 as well. Afterwards, grab Domingo and Guntz, promote your people, and
    grab the Steel Sword from the wagon. Now swap in Guntz and Domingo and
    possibly Jogurt, allow me to explain.
    
    If you have Kokichi and Zylo, then adding Jogurt to your party will shove
    Balbs into an amazing starting position which has him quite close to the
    Artillery, one of the bosses. That particular spot is 9 which means the last
    members of our party should include (in order) Jogurt, Zylo, Kokichi, Balbs,
    and Domingo, as Domingo will be next to Balbs. This means our team needs to
    have certain people removed, AKA Lowe, Khris, Hans etc so that there is nobody
    between Balbs and Domingo.
    
    If you skipped Kokichi and Zylo like I have, then leave Jogurt out for now,
    but still ensure that Domingo is in spot 8 (or 9, doesn't matter that much)
    This is accomplished by swapping him in for any of the later people, Hans or
    Lower or Khris etc. Balbs being in spot 12 is the best we can hope for here.
    
    
    #Team Update#
    
    Option 1 (newer)
    
    Max, Pelle (for Mae), Ken, Gort, Guntz (for Luke), Anri, Tao,
    Domingo (for Lowe), Khris, Hans, Amon, and Balbaroy
    
    Option 2 (older)
    
    Max, Pelle (for Ken), Luke, Gort, Guntz (for Lowe), Anri, Tao, Domingo
    (for Amon), Balbaroy, Kokichi (for Khris), Zylo (for Mae), Jogurt (for Hans)
    
    
      Battle 13
        Ideal   2:00:17.29
        My Best 2:15:36.47
    	
    This is a very straight-forward battle that involves sniping the northernmost
    Hellhound and the rightmost Artillery. The order matters, as killing the
    Artillery second skips Ernst's long cutscene which is faster. There isn't much
    strategy here, just focusing to get EXP on some people. Tao wants to level to
    3 or at least have 24 MP, Domingo needs level 2, Anri and Gort both need level
    2 as well, and getting Guntz at least 1 kill is vital to him being promoted
    before the second boat battle 5-3. Balbaroy can take out the Artillery while
    boosted, and Pelle (at 34+ attack) can OHKO the Hellhound so always move those
    two as far towards their goals as possible.
    
    Afterwards, recruit Ernst, promote Balbs if he's 10 (Gort or Anri if they
    weren't either) repair the Power Ring if needed and head forward.
    
      Battle 14
        Ideal   2:09:26.17
        My Best 2:25:25.87
    	
    There's not much to this battle either, just blast blast blast things away.
    Your first turn should frankly be setting up your team to protect your squishy
    heroes and whatnot. Blaze 3 + Blaze 2 makes short work of EVERYTHING here so
    do that and proceed forward. Getting more levels on your casters is crucial
    and yeah. Surround and stab Balbazak when ready.
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    	
        Chapter 5
    	
      Battle 15
        Ideal   2:17:10.50
        My Best 2:40:31.51 (RIIIIIP, literally I died here in my PB)
    
    The goal here is to get as many things around us as possible. This means
    aggroing the left and right sides and getting the lower P Knights to move up
    quickly. The basic set up is this: have Pelle and Ken go down the left side
    to fight the 3 shells. Balbs and Gort will hold the right side and those
    shells as well; Domingo can set up to help that as well. Tao, Anri, and Guntz
    will work well to post up to AOE the 3 seabats on the left. Max needs to
    survive, and someone needs to draw the Knights closer.
    
    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). Now, if you
    have Guntz to 10 and Balbs to 10 (you hadn't promoted him yet) go ahead and
    go to the Priest and promote the rest of our team except Max. There's a chance
    that Guntz isn't 10 yet, but either way, promoting Balbs here is essential
    and might as well do Pelle.
    
    Also, if you're going with Option 1 (no Zylo) go grab Jogurt and stick him
    in your party.
    
      Battle 16
        Ideal   2:23:55.50
        My Best 2:48:45.17
    
    Regardless of going left or right (Kokichi+Zylo go left, Jogurt, go right)
    Balbs will fly 27 spaces and snipe the Master Mage on his third turn. Turn
    1 involves moving 9 spaces, ending on the corner of the abyss. Turn 2 is
    up 9 more spaces, equipping the Speed Ring and boosting himself. Turn 3 is
    another 9 spaces and finishing off the Master Mage.
    
    Now, it is more than that. Domingo needs to move up about 6 spaces up and
    right/left to draw the Skellies down from Balbs. If Guntz isn't 10 yet, move
    him out too for that EXP as we need him promoted.
    
    Afterwards, you basically go to the King and leave. Things you may need to do
    can include moving the Mobility Ring to Domingo, repairing the Power Ring,
    giving the Speed Ring Pelle, promoting anyone else we need to, and buying a
    Steel Lance for Pelle.
    
      Battle 17
        Ideal   2:34:55.80
        My Best 3:01:20.94
    	
    The second ship battle, AKA battle 17 AKA 5-3 is the single easiest battle to
    lost an inordinate amount of time on and it all comes down to execution. The
    battle can easily be accomplished in less than 10 minutes, but a single
    mistake can put you into the 13 or 14 minute time frame. So let's begin.
    
    The first move needs to be getting your people down. Domingo is essential for
    his placement as 3 seabats move up towards your group and Domingo needs to get
    the bats to group up (less they come up spread out). Using the two pieces of
    the ship below us as our guide:
    
    POT  | PILR | CRAT | OPEN | STAIRS
    OPEN | OPEN | OPEN | OPEN
    OPEN | OPEN | OPEN | OPEN
    XXXX | OPEN | OPEN | XXXX
    
    The two outer seabats can each move to POT and CRATE, the other can move below
    PILLAR. By putting Domingo in either spot in front of POT or CRATE, you'll
    achieve a nice grouping. This lets them get roasted on our next turn by Blaze
    3 and hopefully Freeze 2 from Anri. The shells are going to move up, Pelle can
    equip the Speed Ring and go after the one on the left, on the right will be
    either Guntz or Gort depending on your team alongside Max and likely Jogurt
    whom needs to block and get killed off.
    
    On Domingos next turn, he needs to get down to the left of the center pillar
    where he alongside Pelle will aggro all the enemies into a huge clump. Now we
    rinse/repeat magic damage and obliterate everything. Simple right?
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        Chapter 6
    	
    Before we can head out we have a few things to do. Krin and Karin are sisters
    whom need to be talked to before battle 18 and before battle 20. We also need
    to recruit Lyle (don't put him in the party yet) and grab a single Chrome
    Lance and throw that on Guntz. With the Mobility Ring on Domingo and the
    Power Ring on Balbs (which should be there from before) let's head out.
    
      Battle 18
        Ideal   2:41:10.24
        My Best 3:09:18.02
    	
    By sticking close to the mountains you don't spawn anything and Domingo/Balbs
    make short work of the boss, the Dullahan. Have Balbs boost himself the turn
    before and you're ready to roll. The 3 Artillery need to be killed and frankly
    I'd give them to whomever is close to a key spell. Tao always is a good choice
    as Blaze 4 is essential, but Anri is the preferred option since Freeze 3 and
    Freeze 4 exist. If Anri isn't around cause she died earlier, then Tao and
    Pelle are the best options alongside Domingo and Balbs picking up EXP. Gort
    just isn't that important anymore and is becoming a caster that won't gain any
    spells via leveling and Guntz will be too far behind.
    
    Once that's done, repair the Ring if needed and then collect the Broadsword
    from the north-eastern house (if Boken is standing like in your path, ignore
    it for now), as well the Halberd and Shower of Cure from the house where Bleu
    is. We won't be using Bleu much, but before fighting Kane let's grab Lyle
    shall we? Here's our setups (give that Halberd to Pelle)
    
    #Team Update#
    
    Option 1 (newer)
    
    Max, Pelle (for Mae), Gort, Guntz (for Luke), Anri, Tao, Domingo (for Lowe),
    Khris, Hans, Lyle (for Amon), Balbaroy, and Jogurt (for Ken)
    
    Max, Pelle, Gort, Guntz, Anri, Tao, Domingo, Lyle, Balbaroy all alive
    Khris, Hans, and Jogurt dead
    
    Option 2 (older)
    
    Max, Pelle (for Ken), Gort, Guntz (for Lowe), Anri, Tao, Domingo (for Amon),
    Lyle (for Luke), Balbaroy, Kokichi (for Khris), Zylo (for Mae), and 
    Jogurt (for Hans)
    
    Max, Pelle, Gort, Guntz, Anri, Tao, Domingo, Lyle, Balbaroy, Kokichi, and Zylo
    Jogurt dead
    
    
      Battle 19
        Ideal   2:52:07.69
        My Best 3:22:52.68
    
    Regardless of which setup you have, the idea here is still the same. Give Tao
    the Mobility Ring UNLESS you have Freeze 3 on Anri in which case give Anri the
    Ring. Use your magic to blast away that initial group while using Max, Lyle,
    and Guntz to fight the upper Gargoyles.
    
    On your second turn, it is essential NOT to move PAST the line the Golems were
    forming until ALL the Gargoyles have taken their turn. This is done to prevent
    them from attacking until round three.
    
    Move over to Kane and use more magic on the lower two enemies while you IBS
    to get Pelle and Gort boosted up. Now actually beating Kane is quite easy. The
    northern Dullahan: put Domingo in front of him. The High Priest behind that
    Dullahan now must die. As long as you move Balbaroy behind Kane (a space or
    two), then Kane will move up one space and not do anything.
    
    DOMINGO | DULLAHAN | HIGH PRIEST
                       | KANE
                       | MASTER MAGE | BALBAROY
    				   
    It doesn't matter how you put Gort/Pelle, just have them go after Kane. This
    way you beat Kane without anybody dying. This means not killing that Dullahan,
    who can hurt Domingo, but it is a good time to see how much Defense that
    critter has gained because we are going to need him to get hit by much
    stronger enemies in about 2 battles.
    
    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). By the
    way, hand the Halberd to Guntz and give the Chrome Lance to Pelle, give the
    Mobility Ring to Guntz as well, and give Domingo 3 Healing Seeds. If you
    have Kokichi, give him a Chrome Lance, he'll be fine with that.
    
      Battle 20
        Ideal   3:10:05.27
        My Best 3:48:01.94 (This for my Best was also Slooooow)
    	
    It's the worst battle ever but whichever we do what we can. Basically, any
    enemies that come towards us that Tao/Anri can kill, let them. We want those
    higher rank spells. Domingo and Guntz need to sprint forward as we need them
    working towards the inner part of the map. Balbaroy needs to IBS for boosting
    himself and IBS to hit Belials (if you move 7 and boost, it's another 6-7
    spaces to hit the Belial which will move up). If you have Kokichi, you can
    move him with Balbs as well though Balbaroy is far more important. If you
    have Zylo, have him die some horrible death if he hasn't already, he's quickly
    becoming useless.
    
    Everyone else who is too slow, just move the best you can. It's a horrible
    battle and we have to make due the best we can.
    
      Battle 21
        Ideal   3:23:52.64
        My Best 4:02:57.07
    	
    There is a snipe possibility but it involves having Kokichi whom I skip and
    the time I tried it took longer than my current 17 minute split so yeah, don't
    bother with that. Use the 'ol blast our way up there technique. Send Balbaroy
    to the right to collect our Evil Ring; if he's been doing well, go ahead and
    have him fight a Gargoyle on his way over. Hopefully you have Freeze 3 in
    which case Anri and Domingo can make short work of the Bowriders. Just get up
    there to Mishaela, blasting things apart with magic. For fighting her, have
    Pelle and Lyle boosted and use Domingo to lure Mishaela's Bolt off them by
    having Domingo standing to the right or left 2 spaces off (hence the healing).
    There are a ton of treasures here, all of which are pretty good. There's the
    Power Water in the bottom right (that makes 3, which we should be saving for
    Balbaroy still) as well as the Evil Ring/Healing Seed combo on the left (the
    Seed ain't so important) and the top wall is Black Ring, Sword of Light,
    Shower of Cure, and White Ring in that order, ALL of those are great. Use
    Max and Guntz to grab as much as you can before you beat the Witch and get
    out of this horrible chapter.
    
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        Chapter 7
    	
    We're nearly done but now things are getting REALLY tough. It is evident that
    our team cannot keep up with these enemies, hence why Musashi "Moose" Master
    has joined our team and hopefully we are sporting some very strong magic in
    combo with our newly acquired Evil Ring/Bolt 3. Let's briefly run through who
    we still have.
    
    Max | should hopefully be 10, don't promote him until after battle 23. Give
    him the Sword of Light but afterwards leave him with the White Ring and all 3
    Shower of Cures, he's done now
    
    Pelle | he'll have the Halberd for battle 22 (unless you have Kokichi) and
    later the Devil Lance and Evil Ring. His attack *will* be stronger than bolt,
    but often he'll just be bolting unless it's against a boss. He is tanky enough
    by this point (hopefully) to get hit by anything except Ramladu
    
    Gort | will probably have 55 attack WITH the Atlas so he's done attacking
    basically unless going after something really weak (Ice Worm, Priest, Mage)
    otherwise Blaze 2 is his best option, and later Blaze 3. Hopefully he can get
    attacked (a level 8 Gort or so should be able to) but he may not
    
    Guntz | now ceases to be a unit. Hopefully he's grabbed some defense so that
    he can help off-tank the Jets in battle 23. Without Kokichi, he'll still cast
    Bolt 3 for us in battle 22 but afterwards he'll be clinging to a Halberd for
    dear life. With Kokichi, he'll be clinging to a Halberd/not in the party
    
    Anri | Freeze 3 at 16 and Freeze 4 at 23, that is the goal
    
    Tao | Blaze 4 at 12 and 20, get there
    
    Domingo | he'll still offtank through Chaos, but afterwards he needs stats
    otherwise he needs to be treated like Tao or Anri. Freeze 3 at 13
    
    Lyle | hopefully he's 10 so he can get promoted AFTER battle 23 when we'll
    naturally be at a priest. He'll likely die in Chaos, but we can revive him
    AFTER Ramladu and slap him with a Buster Shot. If he's not 10 by Chapter 7,
    then take him out of our party and pity him
    
    Balbaroy | should be scaling the levels and doing well. For battles 22 and 23
    he'll have Moose's Katana for maximum carnage, then from 25 onward he'll be
    wielding the Chaos Breaker to great resolve. He needs 80 attack for Chapter 8
    and 75 for this Armed Skeleton which is why we have saved these Power Waters.
    At promotion, he'll have 10 attack. The Chaos Breaker is 40, plus 19 from
    boost and equipping the Power Ring. That's 69 at a minimum. If he has less
    than 60 attack before the Armed Skeleton (no boost or power ring) then use
    all the Power Waters, otherwise wait until after Ramladu to use them. We are
    approaching his time to shine
    
    MOOSE! | Musashi is incredible and yeah. We'll save to get +2 movement for him
    off the Turbo Pepper. I like to give him the Black Ring for a ranged attack
    
    Others...
    
    Kokichi | You might have him. That's fine. You'll need the Valkyrie, in which
    case give him that over the Devil Lance. He'll Bolt 3 for us in 22 but give
    that over to Pelle once that's done
    
    Alef | Alef only makes the grade if Lyle OR Anri fail (or Guntz if we have
    Kokichi). Promote her ASAP as that cuts her level req for Bolt 2 by one
    
    Torasu | Leave him out of our party until Chapter 8
    
    Hanzou | is coming but get excited
    
    
    
      Battle 22
        Ideal   3:35:53.02
        My Best 4:14:57.45
    	
    	
    Alright so there is a divergence depending on our options though the strategy
    stays the same. If you went with option 1, then just worry about set up. If
    you are option 2, then you likely want to switch out most people with dead
    people as it will save time. Regardless, we're going to blow through this
    battle with magic. Domingo needs to be on the frontline, Balbs needs the
    Katana, Power and Speed Ring, Guntz the Mobility Ring and Evil Ring; that's
    the main core. Gort with the Heat Axe and Pelle with the Halberd will help.
    It's really hard to describe, you really just kinda have to watch a run of it.
    Basically, IBS before each Evil Ring cast and blow things apart. If you keep
    moving Domingo to the right, the enemy will charge at you and group themselves
    up for nice Bolt 3s. The only difference is Kokichi can have the Evil Ring
    and Guntz the Halberd is Kokichi is around. Regardless...
    
    Grab the Devil Lance afterwards and hand that to Pelle. Save that Turbo Pepper
    for now and throw all our Speed/Power/Mobility Rings on Balbs (use that
    Quick Chicken now as well)
    
      Battle 23
        Ideal   3:39:33.18
        My Best 4:21:39.86
    	
    
    If you need the Valkyrie, the battle is NEARLY the same but slightly more
    tedious (yes, I skip it currently).
    
    EASY WAY: Balbs moves up to the top of this first wall we are at (no Speed
    Ring equipped) and he should be aligned with the ladder/stairs above us
    (basically flying over Max). His next turn moves 8 spaces, equipping the
    Speed Ring at the end and boosting himself. Now fly up and lay waste to the
    Demon Master. Nothing should be able to attack him.
    
    HARD WAY: Kokichi needs the Mobility Ring, Power Ring, and Halberd. Domingo
    and Balbs will snag the Valkyrie while Kokichi makes basically the same
    movements described above. Domingo moves up to the top of the wall, then
    moves 3 spaces from the Torch Eye (staying on the wall) and put Balbs near
    him. Balbs can now snag the Valkyrie while Kokichi ends things. With a buffed
    Balbs, Kokichi should NEVER outturn him but hey, it's the HARD WAY for a
    reason now isn't it?
    
    Afterwards, we can now prepare ourselves once we get back into town. Put
    Moose into our party alongside Alef if we need her (so either a full party
    in Option 2 OR a nearly full party with a dead Jogurt still in Option 1)
    Give Moose the Katana/Power Ring, Mobility Ring on Tao, Halberd on Guntz,
    Devil Lance and Evil Ring on Pelle, and the Doom Blade (that drops in 22)
    on Balbs. Max can have the Sword of Light. There are weapons for Gort and
    Lyle at the shop but Lyle will die instantly so who cares and Gort will not
    attack so yeah, it's pointless. Save at the priest (while promoting Max, Lyle,
    and Alef if we need her) and get +2 movement on Musashi. As an interesting
    aside, if you need to save at a priest and your curser is at the bottom of
    your list (AKA what we just did, so it's on Lyle, but the Turbo Pepper is on
    Max) then you can reset your console AS SOON AS YOU SAY ***YES*** to the
    Priest to save your game. The music and fanfare is just that, fanfare, your
    game is already saved. It's about 2 seconds slower in most cases but if you
    need to be at the top of your list and you are at the bottom, reset that
    thing and bam you'll be at Max. Cool huh
    
      Battle 24
        Ideal   3:52:33.59
        My Best 4:37:20.59
    	
    Guntz/Domingo on the right, everyone else on the left. There's not much to say
    here, the enemies swarm quickly, from where Pelle starts, approximately 3
    spaces left of that aggros Chaos down, we want him moving on turn 2. On turn
    2 by the way, IBS and have Moose boost himself. Use lots of magic. In
    particular, Bolt 3 and Bolt 2 make VERY short work of the grouped up enemies
    that march down towards you. It is ESSENTIAL that nobody dies except for Lyle
    (and he doesn't HAVE to) but he is not required for 8-1 and 8-2, that's why.
    If someone dies that we do need, we've just lost 2 minutes for needing to
    revive them at this point, so avoid having people die if possible. Against
    Chaos, have Moose IBS before attacking to guarantee that he hits. It will do
    more than half of what Chaos has, so beating him is pretty quick though he
    has a ton of magic resistance.
    
    Now go ahead and get the Chaos Breaker. How much attack does Balbs have? If
    he has between 53 and 57 with just the CB equipped, go ahead and use all 3
    Power Waters on him. If he has more than that, go ahead and wait, he might
    gain more for us. At 57 attack, he'll have 76 when dealing with the Armed
    Skeleton and that's enough to beat it. At 53 attack, he'll have 72 attack
    which is not really enough to beat it. Slap the 3 rings on Balbs (should be
    used to this by now) and give him the CB.
    
      Battle 25
        Ideal   3:57:58.59
        My Best 4:43:11.68
    	
    It takes Balbs 5 turns to reach and kill the Armed Skeleton at the bottom
    who is the boss. The turn before, equip the Speed Ring and boost himself. You
    can move Max twice to be a little closer, but don't keep moving otherwise
    enemies will aggro. Now let's roll out.
    	
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
        Chapter 8
    	
    
    Aahhhh Runefause, the glorious end is upon us! This is the hardest and most
    twisted chapter yet, not to mention we are tired from playing for 5 hours
    but press on! The battle is nearly over. Let's quickly review our team and
    what they'll all have.
    
    Max | White Ring, 3x Shower of Cure
    Pelle | Devil Lance, Evil Ring
    Gort | Heat Axe, 2x Atlas (after beating battle 26, 8-1)
    Guntz | Halberd
    Tao | Blaze 4
    Anri | Freeze 3, hopefully Freeze 4
    Domingo | Hopefully Freeze 3
    Torasu | Nothing
    Lyle | Buster Shot
    Balbaroy | Chaos Breaker
    Musashi "Moose" | Katana, Black Ring, Speed Ring
    Hanzou | Doom Blade, Power Ring
    
    That is our remarkable 12. Here are some other candidates.
    
    Alef | Bolt 2. Use her in place of Lyle OR Anri not being there
    Kokichi | Valkyrie. Use him instead of Guntz at this point
    
    That's it. Simple isn't it? Our team is maximized across the board with tanks
    (Moose, Hanzou, Pelle) casters (Tao, Anri, Domingo, Gort, Guntz, Balbs) and
    blockers for Dark Dragon (Lyle and Torasu) Max is of course required to have.
    
    Let's continue
    
    
    
      Battle 26
        Ideal   4:10:32.82
        My Best 4:55:46.03
    	
    This battle has 5 dreaded Chimaera, after them the battle is VERY easy as
    nothing moves. Regardless, two will charge at us. Use Moose and Hanzou to
    wall the one on the right, Pelle and Gort on the left. Use lots of magic and
    hopefully a lucky hit to bring them down ideally in a single round. Now, the
    tricky part: if the Chimaera have all moved on turn 2, you can race up there
    and bring them down. Freeze 3+Bolt 3+Bolt 2 will very nearly kill them all,
    if you have just a bit of extra damage that will finish them off. Ideally,
    you'll have three people capable of Freeze 3 alongside Alef knowing Bolt 2 so
    that's cool. From there, rampage. Two uses of the Evil Ring will take out the
    Dragons and one more takes out the Skellies on the right (use Freeze 3 on the
    group first). The left side can actually be attacked or Freeze 3 as well.
    Obviously IBS before each Evil Ring use. Send Torasu to grab the items, we
    can honestly send Max as well (just make sure not to have all 3 Shower of
    Cure on him yet). Also, the lower Armed Skeleton drops the Atlas Axe so
    make sure Pelle has an open space for it.
    	
      Battle 27
        Ideal   4:14:58.44
        My Best 5:03:38.41
    	
    This battle sucks, no doubt about it. We are basically beating in two, maybe a
    third round. To boot: anyone who can deal damage needs to get up to Ramladu
    and to make it easier, here is a list of who we can afford to expend:
    Tao (if she is level 8 or lower)
    Anri (if she is level 5 or lower)
    Alef
    Gort
    Guntz
    Torasu
    Domingo (if he is level 12 or lower)
    Everyone else we aim to get them up to engage Ramladu the next round.
    Typically a IBS with Hanzou to boost Moose on his first turn (putting Hanzou
    2 spaces below Moose) is a solid start, as Hanzou will likely survive to get
    another boost off onto Pelle. If you're using Kokichi, then Hanzou needs to
    stay over there to protect Kokichi. That's about it though, get damage dealers
    up and use the others to wall for them. Before attacks, IBS to ensure hits
    land against Ramladu.
    
    Once Ramladu falls, go back and revive our party and make sure everything is
    repaired. Now is a good time to use those Power Waters if you haven't used
    them already on Balbs. Give him the rings and let's head into Colossus.
    	
      Battle 28
        Ideal   4:33:35.52
        My Best 5:24:18.50
    	
    Alright so the reason Balbaroy is so important is because of this fight. At 80
    attack he is capable of two-shotting the main head (or killing it over 2
    rounds) and this is largely accomplished by having 9 movement and the ability
    to influence his speed with the ring to outturn the enemy.
    
    However, the initial barrage of 3 Chimaera and 1 Dragon must be dealt with. If
    you have extra sources of Freeze 3 AKA Anri or Domingo, then you can move
    Balbs away on turn 2 as opposed to using the Chaos Breaker. Basically Bolt 3
    from the Evil Ring, Freeze 3, and some extra damage lays them to waste. Blaze
    4 very nearly kills the Dragon, so using some extra damage to it will take
    care of that.
    
    We'll come back to Balbaroy in a moment. The rest of our team needs to set
    up and help him out. The initial wall/entrace, have Moose stand up there
    alone. What this does is draw down the Jets so that Balbs doesn't get bothered
    by them. Behind him, have only tanky people exposed (those who can get hit by
    a Jet). This is a good time to get EXP on anyone close to learning a new spell
    such as Blaze 4, Freeze 3 or 4, or Bolt 2 I guess if Alef is really struggling
    and in your party.
    
    As for Balbs, it's not exactly clear how to describe. Basically, the line that
    the Armed Skeletons form with the Bowriders (in the middle of the map) is the
    general launch pad for the center enemies to start moving. Don't break that
    line with Balbs being too close to them or he'll aggro them. Generally I move
    him at a 45 degree angle (like up 4 over 5) until he's in that region (takes
    2-3 turns to get over there). From there, he needs to move 8 spaces from the
    left head while being somewhere the Armed Skeleton will want to move to. See,
    the head can move 4 and has a cast range of 3, hence the 8 spaces. We need the
    Skeleton to move towards us otherwise the main center head becomes slightly
    more complicated. All of this movement should be done without the Speed Ring
    equipped. Now if we get lucky, on this turn that the head and skeleton move,
    they both OUTTURN Balbs, meaning he hasn't moved and they both have. If that
    is the case, have him move towards the entrance and equip the Speed Ring on
    his turn.
    
    Now, before the round is over (Lyle, Torasu, or Max) whomever is the LAST
    person to move on your team, IBS. We need to get a little lucky and have Balbs
    get his turn BEFORE those two enemies do. If they move and hurt him, reset
    and try again. We have to save with this last person as to control the turn
    order for this next round. Once we do get Balbs to get his turn (which BTW,
    a level 8+ Balbs with Speed Ring and Quick Chicken under his belt is fairly
    fast so this shouldn't be hard). Save on Balbs' turn, and move him and boost
    him (I'd equip the Speed Ring again here). We want to move as far as we are
    allowed that doesn't put us into the path of Bolt 3 because if we can move
    far enough the enemies here on the left leave us alone. From there, it's a
    matter of saving and ensuring Balbs hits this thing twice over two turns and
    wham we did it. Usually I pop a Shower of Cure after the first Bolt 3 to keep
    Balbaroy alive (also, saving with Lyle/Max/Torasu is a good thing as well.
    
    It's a tedious process, but my best split for this is right around 19 minutes
    and that's fast, considering my best BATTLE was 20 minutes, and the whole
    split was closer to 28 minutes.
    
    Afterwards, through the Power Ring to Hanzou, Speed Ring to Moose, and give
    the Mobility Ring to Tao if she knows Blaze 4 (if she doesn't, give it to
    Domingo).
    	
      Battle 29
        Ideal   4:41:59.65
        My Best 5:32:42.63
    	
    With the new changes to our team, this battle is far easier. Largely this is
    due to Domingo and Balbs being strong enough to get hit by a Dragon and live
    to fight another day (among also having higher rank magic). Cram up the middle
    and save before getting on the stairs. I try to ignore the Dragons (hence the
    save) because we don't want to lose anyone. Bolt 2/3 clears out the Torch Eyes
    as well as other attacks can as well. Should take no more than 9 minutes.
    	
      Battle 30
        Ideal   4:51:04 <--Wow, sub 5 ideal???
        My Best 5:41:43.68
    	
    And now we're here, the gloves are off. With Blaze 4 this battle is quite a
    bit easier and Freeze 4 makes it straight lulzy (right, I did Dark Dragon in
    just NINE minutes with my super powerful Lady combination, SHATTERING my best
    Dark Dragon fight by over TWO minutes).
    
    The key here is in our approach. The left Armed Skeleton is going to be
    blocked by either Guntz or Alef, whomever you have. The right side is going
    to be Lyle or Torasu, whomever is available. Max with his healing can stay put
    where he starts. We want to boost Moose and Pelle (Hanzou being fast here
    really helps) but we want to avoid Demon Breath/Blaze. This is abusing Balbs
    and Domingo as the middle head will IGNORE a group of 4+ dudes to go after
    Domingo or Balbaroy who are isolated. This way we can rotate Domingo and Balbs
    around to avoid popping a Shower until after this center head dies. I would
    wait on putting Tao or Anri in there until we are certain it will die, though
    in Anri's case, if she knows Freeze 4, it will die in 2 rounds of our attacks
    so we only need Domingo to tank a single Demon Breath.
    
    From there we spread out and bring down the heads. Balbs hits harder than
    Freeze 3 so fight with him (he can cover a square if he needs to). Shielding
    Lyle after Boosting him is a great way to have Boost last 5-6 turns (see
    Boost Glitch). Just go all in and Dark Dragon falls fairly quickly.
    
    
    
    There. We've done it!
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    4. Discussion
    
    
        End Remarks
    	
    What's amazing is how the run has evolved since I've began to play it more
    frequently and more importantly, streaming it. The Ideal time has been cut by
    a half-hour, from 5:20 to 4:51, insane, and my best (world record) time has
    gone from 5:51 to 5:41, in a run mind you, that had a Max death AND a
    horrible horrible forest battle in 6-3. The sub 5:30 run is just right there
    but I've yet to have it.
    
    Concerning my most recent run
    
    With a roughly 42 minute Chapter 1, this PB|WR run of mine started out very
    strong out of the gate. I was roughly 4 minutes off the Ideal time, but to be
    honest, a minute of that was the first battle (right, my best split for battle
    one I actually uploaded to youtube it was BEYOND sick and thirty seconds
    faster than my previous best split) so that's hard to come by. From there I
    managed a sub 17 through battle 2 which is fine, no problems there. I then
    GOLDED 1-3 so that was perfect. The Alterone battle was not as good but Tao
    didn't have enough MP so there you go. All in all, a good start to the run.
    
    Chapter 2 was very messy, I had upwards of 6 minutes to save through the
    Desert, Cave, and Marionnete and I saved none of it. Shade Abbey was clean
    though, and in total Chapter 2 took me roughly 40 minutes which is fine. It
    could obviously be better but it could have been worse.
    
    Chapter 3 was less than ideal. Balbs didn't OHKO the Mage and I could have
    saved 4 minutes in the forest battle (only saved like 1) so there was even
    more time that could have been saved. The snipe however, was clean. In total,
    a short chapter clocking in right around 24-25 minutes as it should. I should
    note that 1:50 is considered "acceptable" but not "good" and my time here was
    1:46:23 at the Silver Knight so we were bordering on "good". Ideally we are at
    1:32 (that's the dream) but in reality a low 1:40 is what we hope for.
    
    Chapter 4 stood out as the chapter to make the run great. I clocked a 2:25 at
    Balbazak which broke the Balbazak% record (a stupid category, but nevertheless
    I did it) but the resulting chapter was less than 40 minutes, always a good
    thing to see. In particular, Tao and Anri were shaping up to become absolute
    terrors (and they did).
    
    And Chapter 5 was TERRRRRRRRIBLE. Normally, Chapter 5 takes about 30 minutes
    give or take, ideally we're looking at 25-28 minutes. My Chapter 5 this time
    around took a whopping 37+ minutes. When Max dies in 5-1 about 4 rounds in, we
    lose a TON of time. IIRC I was at -5 minutes or so at this point, and I ended
    not near that at all. It was a disaster.
    
    Chapter 6 didn't help much either. Despite having the best and most solid Kane
    battle now as well as having a very good Mishaela fight, my 6-3 Forest battle
    was just SLOW! It was a combination of things that lead to this 18-20 minute
    split taking a whopping 26 minutes to accomplish. Add in Balbaroy DYING at the
    end of Chapter 5 and I had to revive him here which lost 2 minutes. All in all
    I was amazed to only be at 4:03 but seeing how I've been at 3:55 at this point
    I was very discouraged.
    
    Chapter 7 was solid. I GOLDED the first battle at just over 12 minutes which
    was super nice and then nearly screwed the pooch on the tower snipe (that's
    supposed to be an easy fight but I nearly screwed it up). Chaos was solid and
    the snipe there afterwards was solid. The whole chapter took 41 minutes which
    is quite good.
    
    I slayed Chapter 8. I went into chapter 8 with a 4:43:high and ENDED THE RUN
    less than an hour later. My best Chapter 8 prior to this was 69 minutes, no
    joke, and for this run, I EXPLODED a 58 minute Chapter 8 to hit an astonishing
    time of 5:41:43.68 for the new record. I had Freeze 4, it did serious damage
    to Dark Sol and Dark Dragon. Balbs double attacked to kill Colossus in just
    one round, that helped since I had already lost over a minute. In total, my
    Chapter 8 is now the time to beat, but considering that I was at a not very
    impressive 4:43 time (4:43+69 minutes is 5:52 in case you're wondering), but
    there is considerable time to be saved earlier. This run could have easily
    been a 5:25 but alas, not this time.
    
    
    ----------------------------------
    
      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
      Save these for Balbaroy and use them before Colossus unless his attack with
      the Chaos Breaker equipped is less than 55 before the Armed Skeleton
    Bread of Life:     Domingo
      These aren't so good but I tend to use some on Max if he's struggling but I
      try to save them for Domingo. The first one on Anri can be huge if you can
      save it
    Legs of Haste:     Balbaroy
      Using this at 7-2 to make Balbs fast enough to compete with the Jets is
      all that matters, that little extra Agility matters
    Turbo Pepper:      Musashi
      Use it on him. Make sure he gets +2 movement
    Power Ring:        Whomever
      This goes on whomever we need it to. Refer to the walkthrough
    Speed Ring:        As needed, then Musashi
      Unless noted for a specific battle, it's on Gort until we get Pelle until
      we get Moose
    Mobility Ring:     As needed
      This thing gets thrown around like a frat mattress. It's always for who we
      need to have it
      
    ----------------
    
      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 during Chapters 1, 2, 3, or 4, reset the run.
    
    If Pelle, Gort, Tao, Domingo, Balbaroy, Moose, or Hanzou die, revive them ASAP
    We need them in our final party
    
    If Anri avoids dying through the first couple chapters with her, AKA getting
    her promoted, then revive her promptly upon death as she matters. IF she dies
    at all during chapters 2 or 3, leave her dead unless she dies towards the end
    of the forest battle and is level 8
    
    If Lyle dies during chapter 6, leave him dead. If he dies before getting to 10
    then leave him dead. If he dies while level 10 during chapter 7, don't revive
    him until AFTER Ramladu
    
    If Alef dies (because we are using her) revive her after the battle. Note she
    only gets used if Anri OR Lyle are sucking
    
    If Torasu dies in Ramladu, revive him afterwards
    
    If Guntz dies prior to Chapter 6 (how!?) leave him dead. If he dies during
    Chapter 6, you likely want to leave him dead as well. After that, don't let
    him die and make sure he's alive later for us.
    
    Everyone else will remain dead. That is, unless someone important died in
    Chaos (assuming not Balbaroy) this is because if anyone listed under bullet 2
    died in Chaos, we need them for 8-1 so it is faster to do a mass revival here
    since we'll revive after Ramladu.
    
    ----------------
    
        Side Note: End Team
    
    This is basically how our end team will look:
    Max - White Ring, 3x Shower of Cure
    Pelle - Evil Lance + Evil Ring
    Tao, Anri, Domingo - Maybe the Mobility Ring
    Torasu
    Musashi - Turbo Pepper + Katana + Speed Ring + Black Ring
    Hanzou - Doom Blade + Power Ring
    Gort - Heat Axe/Atlas/Atlas
    Lyle - Buster Shot
    Guntz - Halberd
    Balbaroy - Chaos Breaker
    
    Possible swap Alef for Anri, Lyle, or Guntz. Having a Gladiator with Blaze 3
    is almost always worth it
    
    ----------------
    
      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 Pelle or Musashi
    
        Max/Domingo
    	
    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. In Domingo's case, I believe he has such a
    high priority as he is both a "flyer" and a "caster" which puts him above
    everyone besides "hero"
    
        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 1-3 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
    
        Copyright
    
    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)   [.]
                         tskisoccer@yahoo.com
    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.
    
        Acknowledgements
    	
    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
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCId5mQSBVAOrOdLdfY1J4VQ
        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
    Twitch - For adding a fun and new interesting dynamic into speedrunning. Huge
        shoutouts to everyone who routinely comes and watches me play!
    Ty2358 - My strongest competition, I enjoy racing and suffering the bad RNG
        with you my friend
    BowieTheHero - My British lad from overseas, he and I are running Shining
        Force 2 at RPGLimitBreak 2016 and he and I talk way too much Shining
        Force in general as he complains that I get lucky and I try to remind him
        of my bad RNG which does happen
    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 - 91754
    
    
    
    
    
    
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