Copyright 2008 Steven de Rooij Version 1.00, last updated 26 june 2008. =================== General information =================== I played the two CD version of Planescape: Torment, which has patch 1.1 pre-installed. I used normal difficulty. Planescape: Torment is copyright 1999 by Black Isle/Interplay I am not affiliated with Black Isle, Interplay or anyone who had anything to do with the creation of this game. This guide may be reproduced however you like so long as you: (1) make no changes, (2) do not charge money or anything else for it, and, when you decide to make it publicly available, you should also: (3) send me email (4) make an honest attempt to keep your version up-to-date. Please send comments, suggestions for improvement or questions to Steven de Rooij, email: rooij at cwi dot nl, where you should replace the words "at" and "dot" by "@" and ".". Please use the word "faq" in the subject of your message. Alternatively, add a message to the "Planescape: Torment" thread at the Speed Demos Archive (speeddemosarchive.com). Worthy input will be rewarded by honorable mention in the credits section. Unworthy input will be ignored. ================= Intended audience ================= This guide is intended for people who have completed Planescape: Torment at least once and have basic knowledge of the game, and who are interested in learning how the game can be completed as quickly as possible. Ultimately I hope that one or more readers will record their best efforts at this, and submit the resulting run to the Speed Demos Archive. Unfortunately I have not been able to try my hand at this myself because the game apparently does not run very well on my video card. However I have tested all the steps I describe at a slower rate, to make sure that the run I describe is reliable. I also hope that some readers will think about the alternative routes I mention in footnotes throughout the run, which could hopefully lead to improvements. Ideas can be emailed to me or published on the Speed Demos Archive forums, "Planescape: Torment" thread. Note that there is a one hour speed run available on YouTube, but it should be possible to execute the run described here in about half that time. ======= Credits ======= Credits in the first place to Black Isle/Interplay for making such a brilliant game. Most ideas in this outline are from the Torment thread at SDA forums that was started by niebezimienny, who apparently also ALMOST submitted a run (tantalizing!). Most ideas are from Ekarderif, Adahn, bion and KFX, with a few ideas of my own mixed in. Mostly I provide detail and explanations. ============= Preliminaries ============= * Do a full install: after running the normal Torment installation, you can avoid CD-swapping by copying the relevant files from all CDs to your hard drive. There are many guides floating around on the internet as to how to do this. * On my system, the game would only run close to its intended 30 FPS if I switched on full hardware acceleration, i.e. no software mirror/transparency blits. However full hardware accelleration leads to graphics issues and bugs, especially during spell effects, on many systems (including mine, sadly). I think that the run should be performed on a system that implements old DirectX calls correctly, so that it is not necessary to do software rendering. Perhaps people with older video cards are in luck? For recording, many people (including me) report that FRAPS slows down the game considerably more than Camtasia does. * Your speed will be improved significantly if you bind a number of additional hotkeys. I like to bind Z,X,C,V to the first four quick items, F to stealth, G to thieving, T to detecting traps and ` (backtick, left of the 1 key) to select the whole party (so that all relevant character selection keys are adjacent). * At least during practice, switch on "To hit rolls" using the feedback menu in the Gameplay options. This gives you a better feel for when attacks are actually made (the animations can be misleading) and why you are or are not doing damage. * Make a reference sheet of all complex dialogue sequences (or memorise them) so you can enter them at full speed. You can copy them from the descriptions below. * I used a clean install of the 2CD version (patchlevel 1.1) for this document, no additional mods, and normal difficulty. * In case you didn't know: you can recenter on a character by double-clicking his/her portrait. ========================== Notation and abbreviations ========================== Footnotes are given in square brackets. Digit repetitions in dialogue sequences have been denoted with a hat: (1^6) means 6 repetitions of 1. I also write (1^*) to mean: press one until the dialogue ends. 'e' means press enter, and '#' indicates that there is a pause in the dialogue at that point. TNO means The Nameless One, the protagonist. TTO means The Transcendent One, the enemy. DRC means Dirty Rat Charm. ==================== Motivation for Thief ==================== Why a thief? Because it really helps to be able to stealthily run past lots of enemies, for instance the guards in Curst prison or the many hostiles in Carceri. You don't have to fight much anyway, and in the fights you cannot avoid, backstab is very strong. Also it takes ages to become a mage and learn spells etcetera. Besides stealth, pickpocketing and detrapping are also used in this speed run. For these reasons, thief is easily the most convenient class for speed running. Why the focus on DRCs? Because when you use one, there is a short window of time in which you are allowed a free backstab (without having to hide first). Thus you can walk up to a NPC while he/she's still friendly, hide, backstab, DRC, backstab again. This is very effective in the hard fights, against Ravel, Trias and Ignus. Well worth the 10-20 seconds required to get them. =========== Run outline =========== === Segment 1: Start to Tenement of Thugs === Build your character with maximal 18/00 strength and 16 WIS . Start the game. Let Morte stop talking by pressing 1 a million times. Attack one the zombie with the key, and in the meantime move Morte to a convenient position close to the staircase. Drop Morte from the party, kill the zombie, pick up the key. Now run all the way around and go up to the third floor. There, collect, in order , charcoal charm (3320,1250); 33 copper, bone charm, corpse fly charm (1800,500; bash open first); junk (2900,1850); prybar (2050,2333); sanctum key (850,2000); hammer (625,1475). Then take the left stairway back down. There pick up Morte and go down to the first floor. Take the portal at (1400,450), pick up the money and go straight to Ragpicker's Square. There, have Morte run to Mebbeth's house while TNO visits Ratbone to train as a thief (dialog: (1^6)2111) . Talk to Mebbeth (121112). Sell all charms. Buy a charm of infinite recall and all three dirty rat charms (DRCs). Kill Mebbeth and pick up a fourth DRC . (This is my own innovation by the way.) Head out to the Trash Warrens and attack someone to get yourself killed. You reappear at Marta's. You could insert another segment break here if you like. Bash open the door to the weeping catacombs (using Morte to lead angry blokes away from the gate.) Run to the Dead Nations entrance, hoping for not too many cranium rats (they may get a spell off on you as long as they don't kill you). Submit to Hargrimm (111) and say (42) to Soego. Then attack Soego while Morte attacks you. Die and reappear in the Weeping Catacombs. This death opens up the Dead Nations for you (thanks KFX!) Run back into the Dead Nations, where you now conveniently appear close to the Drowned Nations entrance. Enter the Drowned Nations (leave Morte by the entrance) and quickly pick up the bronze sphere, dodging all monsters.  Use Morte to get back to the Dead Nations. Hit Acaste to offend everyone and die once more (another innovation). You reappear at the Weeping Catacombs entrance; leave, rebash the gate and enter Pharod's court. Drop Morte. Say ((1^11)222) to Pharod to get the quest you just did. Talk to him again and say (1^*) to make Annah appear, then (1eeee2e2) to teleport to the Tenement of Thugs entrance, and then a final (1). === Segment 2: Tenement of Thugs to Ravel's Maze === Say (111121) to the Tenement door to enter. Run to the door leading to the main hall of the Starved Dog Barking Thugs. Here, level up. You'll have gained two levels. Place all thieving points in stealth, and both character points in STR (raising it to 20). (While you are doing this, Annah has to collect the prybar from (2500,2500) at the same time if you did not bring the one from the Mortuary. Tricky!) This is also a good time to equip the prybar, put the four DRCs from Mebbeth in the first quick item slot, and the charm of recall in the second. Now hide, open the door and run to the exit. Once there, re-hide, backstab and kill the Dabus (it may not go down at once, which is why equipping the prybar was important). Now enter the next area and talk to the alley. The dialogue is long but you only have to say (1^*). Once you are free to go, leave the area again and undo the Dabus repairs. Leave Annah near the area transition point. Once done, return to the alley and say (1^*) once more. You now enter the Lower Ward. Have TNO run to Giltspur while Annah runs in the direction of Lenny. Say (4) to Giltspur, then talk to him again and say (42). Now let Annah open the door to the printer, but do not enter yet. Instead, have TNO backstab Lenny, then equip his punch daggers (which are quite good!). Then enter the printer shop, and let Annah stay near the exit. Say (52) to the printer, and leave again using Annah. Now drop Annah from the party.  Exit to Clerk's Ward. Enter the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts. Backstab Kesai-Serris and take her bloody handkerchief. Run back to the brothel entrance and let yourself be killed by the guards; you reappear at the top-left Lower Ward. Run to Giltspur, say (42), then run to the Godsman at the foundry gate and say (71). Enter the foundry, backstab Nadilin, take the portal. Use the charm of infinite recall (by pressing X), then Use the portal. You enter Ravel's maze. Run up to Ravel in the centre of the maze via the eastern route. Hide as soon as the Trigits are out of sight. === Segment 3: Ravel's maze === This is a short segment, but it's worth it. Engage conversation with Ravel:  11#(1^10)211314115(1^*) # What can change the nature of a man? 2(1^5) [ 23(1^4)4(1^4)5) ] (1^*) # Appearance of the shadows 121314(1^10)252(1^12) The part in square brackets can be skipped at the cost of 90,000 XP, as discussed in . After finishing the dialogue, *immediately* hide (use a hotkey) before she turns hostile. After (or before, don't think it matters) she summons her Trigits, level up to level 11. Max stealth and pickpocketing, throw the remaining points in disarm trap. Then raise STR to 25 and WIS to 17. Once you're done, run up to Ravel and backstab. Unless you get a good critical, she's not dead: use a hotkeyed DRC and backstab once more. That should kill her. Killing Ravel will probably require a couple of tries. Pick up hear heart charms , run to the exit portal to go to Curst. Watch the excruciatingly long, uninterruptable cutscene. You reappear in Curst. Go down to Curst Prison via the dump. Hide, then run to the second area. I suppose you can use the auto-save as segment break. === Segment 4: Curst to Carceri === Run up to Trias, re-hiding when you get the chance. Say (1112) to accept his quest. Hide once more and run to the prison. Enter, (you have to say (11) to the door), and run to the door to the second hallway. Pickpocket the last guard of the hall, near the door, for the key and immediately re-hide. Go two more hallways inward and open the final door by stepping on the trapped circle (you may have to detrap it first if your health is low from the Ravel fight). Now run all the way up to Cassius and challenge him on wits, (21211311).  Run back and find some guards who are willing to kill you instead of the escaped prisoners. Die, then run back to Trias (hiding when you get the chance). Talk to him (221#(1^*)), hide and leave through the portal. Now enter Fhjull's house, run up to Fhjull to say (111e21eee171616185111e(1^5)2).  Run back up and out (this is where you'll regret not having brought a companion... and what's worse, you will have to do it again) and take the portal under the skeleton ribs to Baator. Hide, run to the Pillar of Skulls area, step up to the pillar and initiate dialogue: (11213111#e(1^5)45).  Leave the area, hide and proceed to take the portal at the lower left. Visit Fjhull once more, and use (112) to ask the location of the next exit. Leave and take the portal under the skeleton pelvis to Curst gone. Run up and immediately take the portal to Carceri. Hide straight away and run up to the headquarters.  Enter and immediately hide. Try to sneak past the charging Sohmien efficiently. At the staircase there are four more waiting; backstab the first and kill or run around the second.  Go up the stairs, then take the right hand door to the right corridor, while avoiding getting hit. Close the door behind you and hide again. Go up to the third floor. Here first detrap, then bash open the chest and get the Mark of the Savant punch daggers. Equip them (no need to identify). Also level up: put the thieving points anywhere and raise WIS to 23. Then hide and walk up to Trias. === Segment 5: Trias to Fortress of Regrets === Backstab Trias. He'll speak to you, say (e41). Use DRC (hotkey!), backstab Trias again. Hopefully he yields. Otherwise just keep pounding until he does. Once he yields, say (22212223). Adahn observes that "There is a slight delay between doing the last damage to trias and him yielding, which is best used telling nameless to run away, so he doesn't get mangled by Trias' minions [...]" Since we didn't bring companions we have to get out from in between Trias' goons. You may even have to kill one to get out. Take the portal back to the Hive. Visit Pox and have him kill you to get back into the Mortuary, (1121221). Then open the portal, (1^*) when the dialogue appears, and leave for the Fortress of Regrets. Open the large door (cutscene) and enter the cannon puzzle area (Ignus cutscene). Hide, save. === Segment 6: Shadows === This is very very tricky. I cannot reliably do this on full speed, but if I pause every now and then I have a reasonable chance of getting through. You have to use each of four cannons, which will teleport you to another part of the map then take the exit portal. There are a number of platforms, connected more or less like this: A---D E |\ \ | | B \ | | \| C-------F \ G 1. Take the cannon (1^*) in the large main room F a little above where you start. You are teleported to room D. 2. Run to A, then to B. Important: make sure that *all* shadows in A follow you! In B, take the cannon (1^*) to C. 3. Run to F, then to E. This is a long run with many shadows following you. in E, take the cannon (1^*) to G. 4. In G, take the last cannon to A (1e1). Since you lured all shadows away, you should be able to hide now! Sneak through the dozens of shadows to the portal in E. For more discussion of this part of the run, see . === Segment 7: Endgame === Hide, run up to Ignus, backstab him, use DRC, backstab again. Then click on the crystal, dialogue (11). You reappear in the middle of your three earlier incarnations. There is a lot of dialogue you have to click through: ((e^4)1(e^6)). Now the Practical Incarnation talks to you, absorb him with (11e11122e11e1). You will have your WIS raised to 24 and your INT to 10, so even though you have enough experience to level up now, you don't need to, since WIS 24 is enough to merge with TTO. Use the two Kasseg bugs. This suffices to raise your INT to 16 and merge with the Paranoid Incarnation, which is what we will do next: talk to him and absorb him using (111e1511111e1). (Alternatively, you can kill him as described in .) Finally backstab the good incarnation. Deionarra appears, leave the area with (11e11). Run up to The Transcendent One, and merge with him using (e1ee11e11312112(1^*)). The end! ===== Notes =====  By the end of the game, we either need the Blade of the Immortal from Coaxmetal, which takes ages to obtain, or 24 points in either INT, WIS or CHA. Ekarderif's speed run plan was CHA based, because he needed at least 16 CHA anyway to be able to use Stale Mary to quickly leave the Dead Nations. However, thanks to KFX' suggestion that the Dead Nations can be escaped simply by dying there once, we can use WIS instead of CHA which is much, much more convenient for many reasons: it grants an XP bonus, it yields more XP in the Ravel discussion, and you gain a number of WIS boosts in the course of the game, making it very easy to reach 24.  You can speed this up somewhat by not picking up the prybar, and taking the junk at (1400,950) instead of (2900,1850). However, then you will have to have Annah pick up a prybar in the Tenement, which is possible, but difficult to do efficiently. The route I described above is perhaps a tiny bit slower than perfectly executed prybar collection in the Tenement, but it is much easier.  It may be nice to postpone becoming a thief until we reach the Lower Ward. This would give us a better THAC0 for the rest of the game at the cost of some more trouble during the Tenement of Thugs (you would probably need to use Annah to skip by the thugs), and it takes a little more time to train as a thief at the Lower Ward. On the other hand, it will probably facilitate all fights. All in all, this seems like a judgement call.  If you do not kill Mebbeth, you can get a little more XP and a WIS boost from Ravel later on. You have enough WIS anyway, but the XP may allow you to reach thief level 12 at that point, which gives you x5 backstabs, which will *really* help kill Ravel. However, according to Dan Simpson's excellent FAQ (available on GameFAQs) you do not gain both the 7th level and the 12th level thief bonus if you gain both level 7 and level 12 at the same time. Thus, you would also sacrifice +2 DEX +1 luck if you did that. (I have not tested this myself.) All in all, probably better to just kill Mebbeth. On the other hand, it is also possible to gain *less* XP from Ravel, which reduces the length of the conversation. I'm not sure whether or not this 90,000 XP actually helps anything, you'll end up at level 11 for the Ravel fight anyway.  You could pick up the 3 charms of infinite recall and the magical punch daggers at (1915,2700, bash open). You then would not have to buy a charm of infinite recall at Mebbeth, and since the punch daggers are enchanted, you will have +1 to hit when backstabbing the Dabus and Lenny later on. Probably not worth it though, as it increases the risk of being trapped and killed by the flock of lesser Vargouilles that flies around there...  From here on, the run is performed solo. There has been quite some discussion on SDA whether or not keeping Annah as a companion would be worthwhile. My feeling is that it might speed up things somewhat, at the cost of a run that is much harder to execute. Therefore I decided that I will test and describe the run for TNO solo from this point, with the remark that if one is willing to *really* practice multitasking TNO and Annah, it would probably be somewhat better to keep her as company. In that case, some dialogue also changes, most notably Ravel reacts to Annahs presence.  Unlike in CHA based runs, you don't need to pick up the fiend's eye. You probably should pick up the heart charms however, which may come in useful in the Fortress of Regrets.  You can also pickpocket his bandages then challenge him on speed, but you may have to pickpocket him twice before you get them. The dialogue then reduces to (11), but I don't think its quicker.  You could have the segment split *after* the dialogue with Ravel to avoid having to re-do it before her battle. But you would have to be very quick, and it is a somewhat unnatural moment for a break.  Conveniently, since this is a WIS-based run, the dialogue sequence extracts the way out of Baator as well. Part of the dialog sequence is to extract two Kasseg bugs from Fhjull; you can also do the run without the bugs. The dialog then shortens to (111e25111e(1^5)2). The Kasseg bugs are necessary to be able to absorb the Paranoid incarnation (you need INT >= 16 to be able to do that.) If you don't want to absorb Paranoid, you can kill him: backstab him. Then, if you have a DRC, use that and backstab him again. Otherwise, move to one end of the room, wait for him, then run to the other side. Now you can hide and backstab him again.  This dialogue makes you give up 15 HP. Betraying Fhjull is not an option because of the horribly long cutscene that follows as you leave the area.  There is a fifth DRC in the locked large crate at (2400,1700), but I suggest you leave it there unless you absolutely need it: you have to bash open the crate, get the charm, equip it, and then you'll no longer be hidden, which makes it almost impossible to avoid conversation with the hermit who heals you. Since you should have full health at this point from dying in the Curst prison, you don't need healing either.  There must be a better way to do this!  Miscellaneous remarks: * If you get hit, it seems as if it takes some time to recover. If a second shadow hits you during that time, you may never be able to get away... be careful to avoid getting in range of two shadows at the same time. * If you do get hit, but manage to escape, use one of the heart charms you got from Ravel. If they're in quick item slot #2, and if you have this hotkeyed under X, you can simply use the charm by pressing X then 1. * The route I give is not the shortest one: it is faster to take the cannons in rooms E,G,B,F in that order. This is also the order practiced by Ekarderif and Adahn. However, I found it completely impossible to avoid all the shadows that way. I think it is essential to create at least one opportunity to hide for yourself. * Note that the shadows move not towards you, but towards your *target location*. Use this to your advantage. * It is probably easiest to practice this part of the run while pausing every now and then, then pausing less and less as you get better.