I love speed challenges. I had always tried to get through RPG's
somewhat quickly after playing through them once or twice, but until the FF9
12-hour challenge I had no concept of a full blown, balls-to-the-wall,
insane dash for the finish line. There's no reward for it in this game, but
it's fun.
     In DQ8 the speed challenge is different than in Final Fantasies. It's
impossible to do a super-low level challenge. You don't have 9,999 limit
glove and 7,777 lucky 7 attacks. You don't have elixirs and phoenix downs to
1-shot the undead. You don't have tents, immobilize, and nihopalona-remedies
to cripple enemies 40 levels higher than you. Elemental weaknesses only add
25% more damage than normal, instead of 100%. You're going to have to level.
     I doubt you plan on using this guide start-to-finish. You probably just
checked in out of curiosity to see the general strategy and find out the end
time. But if you haven't done a speed challenge in this game before I'd
suggest you try it. DQ8 has a lot of replay value, and this is a really fun
way to take advantage of that. I don't really expect anyone to read and
follow every word of this, but you might want to check in and compare
strategies once in a while. See what I'm doing that you're not, or vice
versa.


     Acknowledgements: Alex's guide was a good reference for item lists and
locations. I didn't use RedScarlet's guide much, but I did pick up one
EXTREMELY valuable piece of information that I would have never figured out
myself: you can switch equipment to anything else that character has in
their inventory and it doesn't cost you a turn. The alchemy faq and items
list were invaluable. The Mechanics guide was useful also. Most of all, I'd
like to thank me for putting this wonderful guide together, and for being so
hot.

For questions or glowing reviews, email me at intellectualdementia@yahoo.com
For criticism or flaming, email me at talktothehand@yahoo.com



Skip to any section by searching for its number in parentheses (1)

1. Ready, Set, Go
2. Having Fun Yet?
3. Underleveled, Then Not
4. Minimalist or Insane?
5. The Galactic Edge of Probability
6. Glad You Made It
7. You Let Her Pick up the Staff?
8. Strange Meets Weird
9. Are We There Yet?
10. Are We There Yet?
11. Goal Times


                            First Things First:

     *The guide is geared toward getting a star next displayed next to the
shortest possible time in your adventure log. There are different ways to do
speed challenges, but here I am only dealing with one. Using metal slimes
to do this completely changes the way you play the game, but for getting the
best possible time metal slimes are necessary. Next time I might play
through for speed without killing any of them. That would be fun too, but
it's not in the same league time-wise. Both strategies are fine, they're
just different ways to keep this game fun as long as possible.

     *This guide is written for people who've played through the game a few
times. I'm assuming you know your way around, so I'm not giving directions
for any of the simpler areas, and I only mention storyline stuff to make fun
of it. The playstyle is spartan, so the guide is too.

*I did NOT include the dragovian trials. Mainly because I haven't done
them. I saved them for a later replay so I've still got something new to look
forward to. Will this guide ever include them? If anyone actually cares enough
to ask, them I'll probably cover them. In other words, no.

     *I don't list par times as the guide goes along. I'd rather let you
think that you're just super and are way ahead of me (and you are just
super). The times that I arrived at different points in the game are listed at
the end. Personally, I wouldn't do any comparisons until the end. It could be
de-motivating if you're behind and make you lose interest. Anyway, I probably
just shaved off a bunch of time to make me look better than you. I'm the kind
of guy who would do that, then tell you about it.

     *This challenge would have been a lot easier if the game had included
a pause button. If you've played any other game released since 1984 then
you're familar with the feature. For whatever reason, it's not there and
there's no way to stop the clock. Start and select don't do it, and taking
the disc out just makes it crash. Time even passes while your disc is
skipping. Welcome to hell.

     *King Trode will be quite impressed with the speed of your progress,
when he's not insulting your cowardice. Check what he has to say every once
in a while.

     *Anytime there's dialogue you need to be slamming triangle nonstop. The
only time you should slow it down is when you know there's a question coming
that you have to answer yes to.

     *You can't use seeds like you normally would. Saving each time you get
a good result takes 30+ seconds, and that adds up after a couple dozen
seeds. It might seems like a good deal, but when you're dedicating your time
to leveling you'll be gaining a level about every 3-4 recorded minutes.
Consider how much this adds to your total stats (all 4 characters getting
large boosts to stats, life and mp)and seed-squeezing doesn't look so good.
You can still maximize seeds though, but you can't save after each one.
Every time you return after saving and have some other reason to open the menu
screen, start out by using a couple seeds. When you get 2 good ones in a row
continue on with the game until the next time you would naturally be saving.

     *Early in the game you fight every battle. A bit later, you run from
everything in sight. Fighting regular monsters, even when you can take them
out in one round, is very inefficient compared to leveling on liquid metal
slimes. You might think that because you're in the battle and you can win it
in one round you might as well finish it quickly and get a little exp. The
only time you should do this is when you are having trouble running from
enemies in the area AND you can kill them very quickly. Otherwise, being in
the battle screen is a sunk cost and you should do everything you can to
minimize it.

     *If I don't mention an item you probably shouldn't get it. I skipped
the majority of "freebie" (time-eating) items lying around towns and
dungeons. This includes a lot of seeds, some equipment, and all mini-medals.
I turned out alright. You will too.

     *Don't save too often, and only save when your necessary course takes
you close to a priest. If you have to enter a building to save it takes
almost a full minute. Try to minimize it, and only save when there's
something ahead than can have enough negative variation to justify the time
spent saving. When you do save, take a well-earned break. Go to the
bathroom. Kill something and eat it. Read ahead and plot your course.

     *You will have to do practice runs that you don't save sometimes.
Reading ahead in the guide helps, but sometimes it's complicated, or you
messed something up, or had bad luck running from random encounters. There
are times you will just have to make a preliminary run to get a firm,
efficient course set.

     *Padfoot stacks with holy water. Holy water works by doing a level
check against potential attackers and screening out anything lower level. It
CAN help when you're in areas where you're about the right level, because
some attackers will be lower than the average level in the area, but it's
not great. Padfoot works by raising the counter that counts down toward
random encounters. So even though it's not perfect protection against weaker
monsters, it helps no matter how high the enemies are, and it helps a lot.
However, there seems to be a lag when you apply it, because you often get
attacked shortly after casting it. I think the counter is only given the boost
when it is initially set after you exit a fight. Or it might just be
multiplying a depleted counter so the effect isn't as big until the counter is
set to full. Anywho, holy water and padfoot both have their place, and
sometimes it's best to combine them.

*If a boss has defense that is odd-numbered, you can sap/helm split twice,
then sap again several rounds later to drop defense by 1. This will fully
refresh the duration. If defense is even, sapping again won't do anything.




            (1)   *****--------Ready, Set, Go--------*****   (1)



     It begins. Ignore the two barrels and kill the slimes. An argument and
opening credits will follow. When you regain control of your character,
immediately talk to Yangus and sprint off towards the tavern.
     The town is full of goodies, but you can't have them. There's a few
exceptions though, far more than there will be later on. Right now, small
amounts of defense and herbs will make a big difference, so some of them are
worth getting. The middle barrel on the west side of the tavern has a
MEDICINAL HERB you should grab. Run in and talk to Kalderasha. Following
this, rocks are thrown, favors are asked, noses are picked. Head towards
Kalderasha's, and grab the LEATHER SHIELD in the well. It's a good
investment time-wise. Equip it to Yangus. Since you've got the menu open,
take the opportunity to put Yangus in front. Grab the MEDICINAL HERB and 7
GOLD COINS in the pots in Kalderasha's back room (you need both, trust me),
ignoring the cabinets. We're not getting the seed of defense behind the
church because we're too good for that.
     When you wake up in the inn, head upstairs and grab stuff (HOLY WATER,
CHIMAERA WING, PLAIN CLOTHES, MEDICINAL HERB). I wouldnt open the cabinets
closest to the chest or the bag farther from the door, they just have a
cypress stick and antidotal herb. Now go sell your plain clothes and buy a
leather shield for Hero. You can only afford this if you got everything
mentioned above.
     This is one of the few parts in the game where it isn't wasteful to
move around the world map, since you don't have whistle yet and you need to
level up. We're taking advantage of this mobility by going for the SEED OF
LIFE outside town, and giving it to Hero as soon as you have to open the menu
to heal someone. If you get caught by the unique monster you deserve your fate.
Next head for the BOXER SHORTS north of there. You want to keep running around
till level 5 without returning to Farebury, so it won't hurt to grab the 83
GOLD COINS by the red tree. However, don't do the cheese errand. Hero's skill
points go toward spears. Yangus puts his first 19 into axes, then starts on
fists. As soon as Hero hits level 5, warp to Farebury and take a power nap. Buy
some herbs and give them to Yangus. Don't buy any equipment. You can beat
Geyzer as you are (I believe in you). Fight the slime knight on the way in.

                 *DUNGEON*   Waterfall Cave   *DUNGEON*

     Don't get the map. The CHIMAERA WING and LEATHER HAT are worth picking
up, and since the third chest is right there, grab the MEDICINAL HERB too.
Hero wears the hat, as soon as you have to open the menu to heal again. Believe
it or not, we're getting the COPPER SWORD even though it's about a minute round
trip. You need to be doing the extra fight it will cost you, and it makes the
Geyzer fight go faster. It will also sell for 135g in a bit, allowing you to
afford something very important.
     Fight Geyzer as long as you're at level 6. As you probably know, Hero
is immune to curses. He has to be the psycho this fight since Yangus would
be constantly losing his tension to curse. Yangus should heal every time
someone is less than full. If he doesn't, a short string of bad luck can make
this fight go surprisingly bad for an opening boss. Evac out.
     Chimaera to Farebury. Sell your sword and monster coin and buy a
boomerang. Go talk with Kalderasha before he and his daughter mysteriously
dissapear back into a Dostoevsky novel, then head out the main gate for
Alexandria. You've outgrown the monsters here, so use your holy water. Ignore
the path and cut across the most direct route. Get the SLIME EARRINGS.



            (2)   *****--------Having Fun Yet?--------*****   (2)



     Try to kill Bangerz and Mash, and go save for the first time. If you
can scrape up 550 gold go buy a stone axe, but you probably won't quite have
it, even after selling all your non-essentials. Read ahead and memorize the
game plan, then restart.
     Cross the bridge and grab the grey pot on the left for a HOLY WATER.
Head to Jessica's house, and go straight to the room with the mousehole.
Grab the WAYFARER'S CLOTHES in the far cabinet right in front of the door.
The brown barrel on the right of the maid (her left) has a SEED OF MAGIC.
Pick up the leftmost barrel that covers the mousehole for 18 GOLD COINS.
Munchie does his thing, then you do yours, then Bangerz and Mash do theirs,
then you do yours again, this time with Bangerz.
     You probably have to sleep at the inn to keep the shop open, because
the sun is most likely going to drop as you cross the bridge in town. It
sucks, but if you need the gold and clothes in Jessica's house to afford the
axe then there's nothing you can do about it that wouldn't waste even more
time, except selling the slime earrings as you come into town. Once you buy
the axe give it a name. Then take a minute to get to know each other, because
it's going to be in Yangus's inventory until the end of the game.

              *DUNGEON*   Tower of Alexandria   *DUNGEON*

     On to the tower. Skip the map, and dont forget to unlock the door. Get
the SCALE SHIELD, skip the seeds, and wash your hands of this place after
the cut scene. Evac + chimaera.

     If you have 350g, buy the armor for Hero. You can get it in Prospect
too. Head to the Albert's, where Jessica gets so angry at her mom that she
decides to start dressing like a common whore.
     I skipped buffalo bill. Definitely fight the family doctor (psyche up),
and grab the chest by him. Also get the chest right outside Prospect. As
long as you're fighting all random encounters, you should be 9 before you go
into town. You can beat Khalamari at this level, but it depends on the luck
of the draw with your turn order when he uses flame breath the second time, and
in the round following it. You're going to have to level anyway, but if you
wait till Peregrin you'll be leveling Jessica too (experience is not divided
among members, so you'll get 50% more aggregate experience with her). You can
also start working on the reinforced boomerang and level on the more economic
guys there. Make your choice and buy the scale armor and shield for Hero, then
put him in front. Don't buy the kilt. Get the SEED OF WISDOM next to the inn.
It's in the rightmost BROWN barrel thats closest to the front. Get the grey
pots there too, there's something worth picking up in them too (forgot what)
since it's right there. When you sleep in the inn, grab the HOLY WATER in the
cabinet. You're done.  (1:45 arrival)
     Khalamari looks straight out of disney, till the fight starts and he
lays you out flat with flame breath. He always seems to start with that, so
have Hero defend, or heal himself pre-emptively and hope he goes second. I
think it might be pre-set for him to use flame breath again in the 6th or
7th round. He's obviously limited on how much he can use it, so it might be
pre-determined when he uses it again. If you're having trouble beating him
check into that. If you can predict it, you can beat it. Anywho, Yangus
should go to town with helm splitter while Hero plays healer. If you're
having trouble you can try to get lucky with hatchet man. Yangus will also
have to use herbs sometimes. I wouldn't bother psyching up because you can
easily end up in a position where Yangus is forced to defend or risk dying.
This should go without saying, but anytime someone has iffy hp's they should
defend while someone else heals them. And if their life is so low that even
defense won't save them, then all party members who have a chance at going
first should heal them, even though some of it will be superfluous.
     Once you beat him, get back on the ship immediately. In the room with
all the barrels, only go for the large collection of them on the right. They
make a triangle shape. Start at the outside of each edge till you get to the
SEED on each side, and leave the ones still in the center. Ignore everything
else but the chest with the BRONZE KNIFE.



        (3)   *****--------Underleveled, Then Not--------*****   (3)



     There's a homeless priest who hangs out on the docks waiting for young,
adventurous boys. Perfect. Go talk to him, then we raid. You probably want
to restart, familiarize which items the barrels are in, and maximize a
couple seeds. Grab the grey pot behind the armor shop for a LEATHER KILT,
then the CHIMAERA WING in front of the shop. The brown barrel farthest back
at the guy with the locked chests has a SEED OF DEFENSE, and a pot behind
the weapons guy has an OAKEN CLUB you can sell. Sell the kilt, club, and
your boxer shorts, and buy chain mail, then a scale shield for Jessia. If
you can afford it, get a pointy hat and a couple chimaera wings to make
feathered caps out of your leather hats. In the only building in town, get
the IRON NAIL and SEED OF MAGIC, then head out.
     Start the reinforced boomerang and keep your tail between your legs all
the way to simpleton. Go straight to Angelo, then warp to maella and keep
the story moving. Save as you leave Maella, restart, and maximize a couple
seeds (yangus is going to need MP soon, so use those up on him if you havent
already). The boomerang will finish as you exit the abbey. While you're
equipping it to hero, take his leather hat off and re-equip the bandana. Now
make a feathered cap. If you haven't already, put Yangus back in front.
Fight all the reasonable battles on the way to the abbey (skip Joe), and
give Jessica the templar's ring.

                 DUNGEON?   The Ruined Abbey   DUNGEON?

     Get the IRON NAIL. Go back and take the stairs from the main room
instead of the long way down the ladder. You're done.
     The Boss is the tricky part here. Get Jessica to level 10 before the
fight, and put her points into whips. Normally I wouldn't fight much on the
way to a boss because it drains MP. But this boss isn't an extended fight,
although he's a very dangerous one since you're underleveled and in ghetto
gear. Everyone psyches first round. If he doesn't summon help, psyche the
next two rounds and Hero will take out the backup in one throw while yangus
helm splits the boss. He's 2/3 dead now. If he summons help the first round,
all attack the zombie(Jessica with crack) and you'll take him out. Leave the
skeleton, because he'll just resummon them if you kill it. Jessica should
heal, Hero will need to help also. Keep life very high because he can use
sizzle twice in a row, and it will flatten you if you aren't full. Anyone
with less than 26 hp's needs to defend or they have a good chance of dying
(it WILL happen if you give him a few chances). But sometimes you take an
even bigger loss by sacrificing a turn to use for defense. Play it by ear.
I lost Jessica the first time and had to restart. You don't want her to miss
out on the 780 exp.

     Skip the two barrels outside Francisco's building. Get to work on the
thief's key as soon as you can. Run from the fights on the way back to the
abbey. Save as soon as the storyline BS is over. Now that your party's
complete, we can level some more.

     Restart after the save and maximize a couple seeds. Now warp to
Simpleton. I sold my boomerang and rosary to scrape up enough for the 1700g
spear, but you can buy the cheaper one in Prospect. The boomerang isn't
really a big loss at this point because you're not gonna need it for
leveling or bosses anymore, and the rosary sucks. Anywho, head for Riverside
and run from everything. Save at Riverside but don't sleep there or you'll
have to watch Angelo's 10 minute cut scene. Time to powerlevel.
(2:56 arrival
     How much time you want to save here is up to you. The basic idea is to
go straight down to the metal slime valley and kill one as fast as possible,
then warp back and save. This is the first time you're going to HAVE to be
wasteful.  Sure you COULD save only when the very first fight was a slime
and you managed to kill it, but we're hoping to finish this game before
we're old men and robots have taken over the earth. And really you couldn't
even call that perfection. Why not two slimes in the first fight, or three?
And even then you're theoretically wasting time by going back and saving
instead of hoping for another three slime victory in the next fight, and then
another.
     A realistic number to aim for is one slime every 4 minutes, including
the time it takes to get back and save it. It's not too hard. I got a
2-slime victory a couple times, and one time i killed one in the very first
fight. If you go 4 or 5 fights without killing one, or have bad luck
running, it's time to reboot. Restarting and getting back there doesn't take
very long. Maximize your seeds one at a time here. Angelo's points are going
into swords by the way.
     The exp here is good, but you should still stop as early as possible. I
quit at 17. If I'd known how easy it would be to get to the next leveling
spot I would have stopped at 15.



       (4)   *****--------Minimalist or Insane?--------*****   (4)



     We're getting fewer and fewer items, because levels take over for
equipment at this point, and things like chimaera wings and herbs have been
replaced by spells. However there are still some good investments around.
Before you leave for Ascantha, take Hero's scale shield off, equip him with
the leather shield that should still be floating in his inventory, and make
a snakeskin whip. Holy water and padfoot, and head out. Skip the cows, we're
not making white shields. When you get into town buy a bunch of holy water,
but keep at least 40g. We'll be picking up a whopping nothing around town.
Now go rest until evening and get the story moving.
     Don't try to zoom to Riverside until you've exited town and seen the
cut scene. You don't need to talk to Emma's grandmother. Go straight to the
cave. Holy water and padfoot will this make an uneventful trip.

                DUNGEON?!!?   Wisher's Peak   DUNGEON!?!?

The WIZARD STAFF isn't a bad grab, since it sells decently and you can use
it for a magma staff that'll save time in the evil jessica fight if you dont
have enough money for rockbombs. Take the right path that slopes gradually up
the mountain. If you're like me you haven't even bothered to get Angelo a
shield yet, so pick up the TEMPLAR'S SHIELD to boost his defense by 14 (spell
reduction to boot). It's out of the way, but you're gonna be getting a lot of
mileage out of it. We're done.

     Get through the pretty little storyline here and head out of Ascantha.
I wouldn't save yet. Holy water and padfoot again, although you'll still
have to fight a few battles on the way to Pickham. If you think we're
stopping at Morrie's then I've taught you nothing.
     Pickham is a good time to save. You can get the seed of strength or the
magic water, but they'll each cost you 17 seconds, and you'll get along fine
without them. I skipped them because I'm hauss and have mountainous biceps. But
if you think you'd make a cute girl scout then go ahead and grab them. Head to
Brain's place. I wouldn't even bother with the 26 gold coins in the barrel, or
the seed of wisdom at Brain's (wisdom sucks with our set-up since it doesn't
affect healing and Jessica attacks mainly with twin dragon lash). Run back to
the bar, then to Mitts, then to Dave's, then zoom outside, then to Red's, then
to the dungeon.

              *DUNGEON*   Swordsman's Labryinth   *DUNGEON*

     Beat the dungeon.
     For the boss, use acceleratle for first-strike healing, and keep hp's
above 85 so his desparate attack can't kill you. Jessica only had 83 life
when I was there, but she's in the back row so she'll probably be okay. He only
seemed to get desparate for men, if you know what I mean (I mean he's gay).
Psyche up with everyone but Angelo and he goes down fast.

     Evac and run to Red's, then warp to Pickham and talk to Brain. Zoom to
Prospect. Use holy water and keep up your padfoot. Save at Hilltop. Be a man
and skip the slime crown. Your orichalcum will be going toward a sage's
stone anyway. You may want to do a few runs to Trodain if you get attacked
too much or have bad luck running. Don't go to the church along the way,
don't get the 600 gold in the shoreline chest.

                 DUNGEON...   Castle Trodain   DUNGEON...

     Take the main stairs up. Skip the map as always. Go left when you enter
and get the key. Yes, you heard me. We're actually picking something up. Now
get the templar's sword and equip it.  I skipped the gold bracer on the
wall, even though one character is short an accessory and won't be getting
one before the dhoulmagus fight. It's very unlikely to make any difference.
Cut back and take the door on the other side of the balcony, then take the
stairs slightly northeast of there. Face the opposite face direction the
stairs come up in, and take the narrow path along the bannister to the
hallway with the statues. From here you should be know the fastest way even
without a map. Once you've gotten near the library area you can either try
to get a slime or deal with library storyline bs, unlock the door, and go
save. If you can get a slime within about two minutes and forty seconds
you've saved time. If not, you lost the gamble. I didn't gamble. You could
always restart and make the whole run again from Hilltop until you get a
slime along the way, but I'd save your patience. You're going to need it,
because it's powerleveling time again.



    (5)   ****--------The Galactic Edge of Probability--------****   (5)



     Get comfortable. You're not leaving here until Angelo is within 4700 xp
of level 30. Every four minutes (that the game knows about) you'll be up
another level. Some of your characters will be getting two in the early
fights. Same speech as before: you COULD only save each time you rolled and
killed a slime in the first fight, but remember that robots are eventually
going to take over the earth and the PS2 will probably be your new master.
Be realistic, but be aware of one thing: these battlegroups seem to be
pre-set, and here's the good news: a metal slime will show up in the first
fight way out of proportion to their normal appearance rate. This might
sound like convenient superstition, but you'll see what I mean. I did
testing with higher level guys using sets of 25 battles. When slimes didn't
show up early, they often wouldn't show up for the whole 25 battles. When I
started leveling these guys, a metal slime would show up in the very first
fight about 20-25% of the time. When they didn't, they would often pop up by
the third or fourth fight. Probably half of the slimes i killed up to 24ish
were in the first battle. Just remember that showing up and sticking around
are very different things for these guys.
     Lightning thrust and hatchet man are your only real chances. Every once
in a great while you might take one out with twin dragon and metal slash,
but I wouldn't bother. I didn't use either attack. They take longer than
just defending, and if the slime plans on sticking around long enough to go
down to those it's pretty unlikely that Hero or Yangus won't get it first.
     At first, aim to get one every 4 recorded minutes. It may record as 3
minutes if you get one in the first fight and the minute your timer started
on was pretty fresh. The PRACTICAL theoretical limit here is about one every
3:40 - 3:45. The fight itself usually takes about a minute, including
whistling, killing the thing, levelup messages, skill point distribution and
fade in/out. The round trip to evac, zoom to hilltop, save, and get back
through the library is about 2:40, assuming you eat the usual fight on the way
through the courtyard and get away on the first try (it always happens just
after you pass the thorn arch). You can use holy water to avoid this fight once
you're high enough, but even if you save with it on the effect still goes away
when you restart. It takes practically as long to use holy water as it does to
run, and it uses a resource you'll need to replace later with money and
purchase time.
     You'll have a pretty easy time at first because of how often slimes pop
up right away. At level 27 I hit a brick wall. They just stopped. I saw one
slime in about an hour and a half. I don't know why this happened, but I'm
sure it wasn't just bad luck that my slime encounter rate dropped to less
than 1/10 of what it had been. So I killed Don Mole and came back. It got
better after this, but the 20-25% rate on slimes showing up right away was
gone. You might need to take a break too.
     Once you hit 24 you can't fail to run anymore. You can change your
strategy if you want. Instead of just saving when you kill one in the first
three or four battles, you can hope another shows up in the next 2:40, and
cut out travel time. Even if your first doesn't show up till the 8th fight,
you can still get under the 3:40 line if you have good luck shortly after.
Just know what time you started at, and if you've killed two and King Trode
says it's less than seven minutes later then go save (remember that evac,
zoom, and saving takes over a minute, but the cycle ends before you start
return travel time).
     Using the double kill strategy, I got my average time down to about
3:20. I once had a save where it was only 6 minutes (the starting minute was
probably fresh and the real time was probably about 6:40), and the next
couple were seven minutes. I wouldn't try to get lucky past the second.
Remember that a sequence of three low-probability occurences is exponentially
less likely to happen than two. I'm sure someone's gonna get finicky over my
math here, but you get the point. If you have a run that was worth saving but
you decide to keep pushing your luck, you're probably just going to end up
hating yourself when you try to get lightning to strike a third time and it
doesn't happen.
You can have as many as 15 non-slime fights and still get a decent time
using this strategy, thanks to no-failure fleeing and the very quick load-in
time after you run. If you get a slime that you'd be marginal about saving by
itself, see if you can get another one to appear in the next 2:40. It takes
12-13 seconds to flee (loading time varies a little), so 5 fights is just over
a minute. When I was marginal about saving the second slime I'd keep trying,
but I never was able to get a third to show up in time. Getting a long chain of
slimes to show up every 2:40 isn't going to happen, so don't try.
     You can always hope for perfection, but everyone has limited patience.
Keep in mind that the absolute theoretical limit for a person acting rationally
is about a slime every 2:20, and this might even be impossible if battle groups
aren't 100% random (In most RPG's they're not totally random). 2:20 would only
happen if your first two fights were slimes and you killed them. Because any
reasonable person would save this, doing any better than 2:20 is not only on
the galactic edge of probability, but also insane. So don't feel bad about 4
minute kills. It may seem like there's a lot of time to be made up here, but
there really isn't all that much if you plan on finishing this challenge before
the whole robots thing goes down. Try to take it easy, and remember these words
of  wisdom: "F*ck  it." Speak them at the right time and they will save you a
lot of frustration.



           (6)   *****--------Glad You Made It--------*****   (6)



     If you're reading this and Angelo is within 4700 exp of level 30, then
you made it. Make sure it's night when you finish your last slime, and head
straight into the moonshadow window. A barely-in-the-closet moon god
teams up with a singing horse, and the results are just fantastic.
     Sail straight to Seaview (you have to kill the serpent). I didn't time
this to find out, but it may be faster to sleep there and make it daytime.
Sabrecats attack at night, and even your high-leveled holy water doesn't
screen them out. Nothing attacks during the day. It would be pretty marginal
either way, as long as you get away on the first try. Stack padfoot with
holy water if you go at night. Head straight to the Chateau, but then back
right out and run to Baccarat. Once there, you can get the SEED OF DEFENSE
outside the church, although I skipped it (remember that I'm hardcore). If
you didn't save at Seaview, which you shouldn't have if you didn't sleep
there, then save now. If you saved there don't save now.
     Go to the inn and sleep (twice if you have to) till evening is
refreshed. You can pick up the RUBY OF PROTECTION since it's right there,
but i skipped it because of my huge biceps. You have to go upstairs and
overhear the conversation or Golding's men won't be on the island. While
there, you can pick up the DANCER'S COSTUME. I'm too hardcore for that, but if
you want to pick it up I think it might look very pretty on your girlish figure.
     When you step out of the inn, zoom outside of Baccarat to move your
ship. Now get on it. Go straight for the dark ruins. Do what you have to do,
and don't do anything else. Don't even fantasize about the platinum armor.
You're fighting Dhoulmagus wearing port prospect's finest.
Getting a sabrecat is a little better than break-even in my opinion. I
timed literally all of the world-map running you'll have to do afterwards, and
I think it's just enough that double movement speed will save a bit more time
than it costs you to get the thing, and you get a leaf.
     After you've discussed the magic mirror, warp to Chateau. Lie through
your teeth to gain entry. Once you've hijacked the cat, go straight for the
tree. My first time playing through I didn't notice the path connecting the
main road (before you hit the intersection that heads south to Argonia) to
the tree. It's a good thing to know about in this situation, because if you
don't take that bridge the tree will be long gone by the time you get there.
As things stand, it will be ready and waiting. I give you permission to pick
up the YGGDRASIL LEAF lying on the ground.
     Warp back to the chateau, get your bell, and ask the cat-lover why he's
wearing a skinned leopard. Now head for the mystical pond. Although you don't
have to return to the sage to ask about the mirror, you DO have to see the cut
scene when you meet him at the pond. If you don't, there will be no sea dragon
under the arches later on. And, in a particularly dirty trick on
Squaresoft's part, sea dragons will be temporarily barred from random
encounters. Might as well stop by there now. You can get the SEED OF SKILL,
but if you don't plan what level you're going to win the game at then it's
probably not going to do anything worthwhile. It'll just give you a skill
you'd be getting in another few minutes of powerleveling later on, and
probably a crappy one. I skipped it. I DID pick up the 1500 GOLD COINS though,
and immediately grew one breast.
     Warping back to Baccarat might be faster here, since you'll hit random
encounters in the mystical spring area even with holy water and padfoot.
It'll be close either way. Our destination is the Desert Chapel by the way.
     Take one step inside when you get there, then turn around and head for
the DRAGON SCALE along the southern desert wall. I know that looks out of
character for me, but you're going to be leveling in the graveyard later, so
you need to make the run toward the chapel. Since the dragon whip is going
to add 100 dmg per attack on a sapped Dhoulmagus, it'll save time by cutting
out a couple rounds. You're also going to have it quite awhile after that.
Warp to the chapel after you get the scale, then run to Argonia.
     Save when you get there if you're not 100% familar with the fastest way
to get through this. Head for the king. Go back out the main door to the
throne room and up the steps from the hall with the portraits. Go up the
next set of steps and into the blue-tiled room. You know what to do from
here. Also, get the cloak of evasion and give it to Angelo. I know you're
dreaming about a dark robe, and it might happen later on. Not now. Pick up
the usual nothing around town, and get that good-natured ball of fun Charmles
on his way to the hunting grounds. Finally, some decent company.
     Get the light shield on the way there if you want. I didn't, because I
don't have a labia.

        *DUNGEON*   I'm sorry, dungeons just don't deserve intros anymore.

     Get the scale on the right, and make the whip. You can access the pot
from the grounds. Don't psyche up for the lizards. Psyching once only
increases your damage by 1.7, so it's actually a loss. Psyching twice is
break-even, but you stand to lose your tension to their warcry. Psyching
three times is overkill. For the boss, sap use sap and helm splitter and
he'll probably have no defense after the first round. No healing here, even
Angelo psyches. You can kill this guy in the fourth round. Oomph Angelo, and
miracle slash in the same round Hero multithrusts (oomphed miracle slash is
stronger than oomphed falcon slash). They should both have 3 levels of
tension. Jessica and Yangus attack that round too, and he drops. You might
get shocked out of your tension, but he still dies very fast.
     Angelo will hit 30, and you learn multiheal. This spell is the main
reason we leveled so high at mid-game, although improved holy water screening
and compensating for crappy gear were also in the back of my mind. Multiheal
will cut the dhoulmagus fight time in half, a very significant saving since the
combined fights will go at least 20 minutes if you don't have the spell.
     Deal with the storyline, then head for the treasure room. Get the first
chest on the left, but ignore the second (it's a medal). Get the other two
and equip them. Goodbye hairband. Now head out the treasure room, listen to
poindexter, and head up the stairs. Go in the room on the left and grab the
ELFIN ELIXIR out of the corner cabinet. Take the other door out to the
roof, and warp to Seaview. Go straight for the sea dragon, then warp to the
ruins.
     Once in the ruins, take the left door. If your whip didn't finish
before you entered, evac out after you flip the switch and it should finish
before you enter again. Take the most direct route, except to get the
SAINT'S ASHES. Holy water and padfoot as always, and it should be pretty
quiet.

                           -----DHOULMAGUS-----

     Not too hard. Angelo's multiheal won't always go first, so don't let
anyone get too low. Thin air, multithrust, twin dragon, even falcon slash if
it's safe. Take the clones out first. Lightning thrust might be better than
multithrust for taking out clones fast, but then again it might not. That's
why I never use it. Don't psyche. Remember, attacking is just as powerful
if you don't psyche at least three times, and it's crazy to psyche three
times against an ice-waver. You can spare the MP to attack every turn. The
second fight is just as easy. I'm used to doing this fight at 25. Even with
the best gear, three out of four guys usually need to be healing then,
sometimes four (even if you manufacture the beloved cheiron's bow). This was
a nice change of pace. One round I ended up with full life, so I was able to
attack with all four guys for almost 600 dmg in one round, no tension.
I'm used to 100 per round. Levels > equipment. Just make sure to sap and
helm split, then uneqip the axe and use knuckle sandwich. DON'T let Jessica
pick up the staff after Dhoulmagus is dead. Congratulations, the end.



    (7)   *****--------You Let Her Pick Up the Staff?--------*****   (7)



     Head straight for Arcadia, and deal with the Dominico stuff. Don't get
anything. You can save after Dominico. If you know Rydon's tower by heart, I
wouldn't even save yet. Get the stone sword. Don't pick up the leather dress
in the Kranbartle's. Jessica will be wearing the cloak of evasion soon. Buy
5 rockbomb shards on the way out, and give them to Angelo. Holy water
doesn't seem to help here, but you should use it once you get into Rydon's
tower. I skipped the elfin elixir nearby. The TITAN'S BELT isn't a bad grab.
     Rydon's is a joke compared to how complicated it looks. If you don't
know it perfectly, do a practice run. You can memorize the route easily.
Skip the regrowth ring, get the CHEIRON'S BOW (make sure to head rightwards
when you come up the ladder that leads to Rydon, going left takes longer).
Zoom straight to Alexandria from Rydon's (don't evac first) and holy water.
Save before the Evil Jessica fight. If she uses kasnooze and shadow-summon
too much you can lose a lot of time.

                           -----Evil Jessica-----

      Use helm split, then knuckle sandwich if you get her defense down
twice. Don't kabuff. It's slow, unnecessary, and costs you a falcon slash.
Plus you only have like 3 defense to multiply. Angelo should rockbomb when
she summons. Usually he won't need to be healing after a summon round since
she lost one of her direct damage turns. Rockbomb should take out 2 or even
all 3 before they get to waste any of your time, and multithrust will finish
the remainder. Once her defense is down all the way, knuckle and multi will
be doing 250-300 per round if there's no shadows, and when it's safe you can
add falcon for another 110ish. Psyche has no place here. You'll either lose
it to kasnooze or have to blow it early to reapply helm splitter or to
multithrust some potential rockbomb survivors. Restart if she summons or
kasnoozes too much, or if helm splitter fails 5 times in a row like it did
for me.

     Deal with the storyline BS once she goes down. Go straight for
Dominico's, and you can pick up the LESSER PANACEA and HOLY WATER in the
middle barrels, now that they're a little less out of your way (I didn't,
biceps). Talk to Dominico in the dining room. David dies, Dominico falls to
the ground and weeps, Yangus kicks him in the head, and you warp to
Baccarat. Go straight for the mansion, and open up the dragon graveyard.
Warp to Desert chapel and save. Try to guess what happens next.

     This time we're only getting a few fights, but they're going to be very
good ones. I wasn't sure if all the invested time to run to the chapel and
open the graveyard was going to pay off, since you can level on the very
consistent metal slimes by Godbird's Eyrie once you can fly. Then, in my
very first fight inside the graveyard, I got a metal king and two
beelzebuzz. I netted 90k exp for three levels apiece. I'm actually kind of
pissed about that, because now I can never complain about bad luck again. It
can take a lot of restarting to get a beelzebuzz/king combo where the slime
actually sticks around, but it's a massive payoff when this happens. Use
acceleratle 3 times (maybe 4 when you're still at level 32). More is a waste
of time. You have to kill at least half the enemies in the fight before
they'll kerplunk, so get your agility first and kill a beelzebub when you're
ready. Use holy water on the way back to the graveyard. It'll only save you
one fight, but the load-in between fights is much slower here than in
Trodain.
     It can take a LONG time to get the right fight. It took me over 2 days
to get my second 90k fight, probably 5 hours of playtime. And this after
getting the perfect fight on my very first try. I don't understand probability.
Once you hit 37 you can no longer fail to run, so you can just chain 2 slime
fights if you're sick of waiting for the slime/fly combo. Remember, robots.
     Just get a few of these fights and you're ready to win the game. Holy
water is back in prime form again, bosses won't take very long, and you're
strong enough that crappy equipment is more a source of pride than a
liability. You should have your level 10 weapon abilities too, maybe not yet
for Jessica.

     Warp to Rydon's when you're ready and deal with the story. You have to
talk to everyone in the room, including the dog, when you wake up at Marta's
house. To get Maruk where we want him, frozen and dying in the herb grotto,
you have to first talk to the guy down the hall from his room. Then go
inside his room, open the back door, and take a step into the back room.
Then you have to talk to the guy in the hallway again. Then go the back way
into the item shop and talk to that guy. This is all necessary or Maruk
won't be there.
     Holy water and padfoot work decently in the cave. The ICICLE DIRK costs
about 9 seconds and sells for over 4,000, so I picked it up. I'm doing extra
dumbbell curls to make up for it.
     Kill wolves, kill more wolves, and warp to Trodain when you're ready
for the Pirate Cove (Cave). It's faster to save at Orkutsk after you warp
back with Maruk, it's a shorter restart if you save at Hilltop after you get
the ultimate key.
A sobbing russian eskimo whose mother was just killed by a flying dog
seems like the perfect place to start our next chapter.



         (8)   *****--------Strange Meets Weird--------*****   (8)



     The Pirate Cave (Cove) is simple if you skip everything except the BONE
SHIELD and HADES HELM when you're on your way to the drained area. Equip the
shield right away.

                       -----Ol' Captain Crow-----

     P-p-p-pirate g-g-ghost!
     *HAAAACCCCK* (sorry, clearing my throat).
     *HACK* (that time I was calling the writer a hack).
This guy doesn't use ice wave much because he's such a tension whore, but
he'll use it if you try to psyche up. What a whore. Just use helm splitter and
sap the first round, then twin dragon, knuckle, multithrust, and add falcon
when you can. Oomph on Yangus is a good gamble in the second round, once he's
switched to knuckle. You don't have to defend when he's fully psyched if you're
near full life. Not defending will cost you 1 extra multiheal if he uses thin
air, which he usually does at full tension. Yangus can survive a direct attack,
thanks to his new shield. Anyone else will likely die. If they go before him
that round you only lose 1 attack + the kazing it'll take to get them back,
which is only replacing the fullheal you would be using on Yangus if he was
attacked. Better than all 4 guys losing an attack to defend. You only do 70-75%
damage to him when he's fully psyched, but it's still a lot. He'll drop pretty
fast. Once he does, Red marches up and pulls his mask off. It was old man
Rivers trying to scare the locals away from his meth lab, and he'd have gotten
away with it if it weren't for you meddling little sh*ts.

     Warp to Simpleton and sail straight for the X. Stay in the pathway or
it'll dissapear. HW/PF on the way to Empycchu. Get the SEED OF SKILL on the
way to the chief's building, and talk to him. Here you pretty much have to
sleep at the inn to refresh daytime and save. You can grab the FUR PONCHO in
the cabinet, but you don't need it.
     Try as I might, I couldn't get the shadow to give me a direct path to
the eye. It usually makes it about midday, so I tried grabbing the seed of
skill by Red's to pass a little time and then going to the rock formation,
hoping it always appeared at the same of day and I could catch it just
before it left for the eye-spot. Nope. I tried just waiting at the eye-spot.
No luck. I tried other stuff too, but never could get the eye to appear
without playing a little run-around game first. I settled for just resetting
day and following it from morning, probably took 45-55 seconds longer than a
direct run to the eye would have. Oh well, it might be unavoidable. Grab the
MAGICAL MACE on the way.
     Now that you're in the dark world, get the 7 crystals and head straight
for the evil Ganondorf's fortress on Dark Mountain. What?
     Go to Dark Empycchu and straight for the chief. [PREMIUM MOLD?].
Save, then HW/PF on the way to Empyrea.

                           -----Empyrea-----

     Empyrea just wants to test you, by killing you. The fastest way to kill
her is to use lightning storm with Angelo in the first round and everyone
else psych up three times before attacking (boulder, kafrizzle, and
lightning storm). This drops her. However, she will almost never let you go
three rounds of psyching without an ice wave. She basically never uses it
when you're not psyching, but she uses it almost every round when there's
tension to be murdered. It can work, but takes many restarts. It doesn't
take much more time to just kill her with unpsyched attacks. Lightning storm
does 160-185, and she has very little life. She hits hard but dies fast.

     After she drops, some shoddy storytelling explains why she tried to
test you to death. Although she's sending you off to fight a legendary
demon, she neglects to restore any of the life and MP that she just cost you.
Why are all the pretty ones so dumb?
     Memorize the eyrie before you do a final run. The GOLD NUGGET and DEMON
WHIP are both fast pick-ups with good payoffs.

                             -----Gemon-----

     Nothing complicated here. You can psyche this fight, and you may find
out that you're not even able to reach super high tension yet. You have to
psyche to high tension a certain number of times throughout the game before
this is available. Lightning storms will take out his backup before they can
attack, and he won't resummon them for awhile. I had Jessica oomph Yangus
the first round while he was helm splitting. You don't want his defense down
to 0 too fast, or he'll recover before Jessica can psyche three times and
oomph herself. She hits for almost 2,000 afterwards. So just use helm
splitter, then switch to knuckle when his defense is gone. As long as
there's no backup and Gemon has no defense, Hero should multi instead of
lightning storm. It's a much faster attack, and does almost as much damage.
This isn't a hard fight unless you get really unlucky. If someone gets
dropped by a desparate attack, just kazing them. Hopefully won't happen, but
you haven't lost much time if it does, especially if they already attacked
that round.
After a gigantic boom, Empyrea flies up and and wonders why her baby is a
smoking egg fragment. Tell her you were just testing him. If humor doesn't seem
appropriate to lighten her mood, it's because you're not using enough of it.
Explain to her that you understand mistakes like this are inevitable, but you
really don't think you should have to settle for scrambled eggs when you
ordered them overeasy.
As it turns out, the stillborn child still has a trick or two up his
sleeve. With his mother's tearful blessing he joins the party. Hope renewed,
they soar off into the bright, grey sky. It'd be a Kodak moment if there were
any color.
     LAnd in Tryan Gully and stick the demon whip in the pot with a saint's
ashes. Then head straight for the priest, then for Raya. On your way to the
DARKTREE LEAF, grab the ELFIN ELIXIR and the SLIME CROWN. You have some
stuff to sell (magical mace, hades helm, gold nugget, icicle dirk,
assassin's dagger), and can afford the mirror armor (adds 75 def) for Hero
if you want it. Don't worry too much about the reflect effect. It's rare,
and it won't affect omniheal. It's also nice against Rhapthorne if it actually
procs. Don't buy the gigant armor because Yangus will get the dark robe in a
bit. You can even afford the thinking cap for Angelo
if you sell most of your unneeded stuff.
     Rest at the inn. You just fought 2 bosses in a row, and you're about to
fight another. If you saved enough mp you might be able to skip the inn,
which means skipping another bimbo rant from Medea. You'll probably need to
though, unless you wanna use that elfin elixir you just picked up on Angelo
or Hero. Get the leaf, and grab the YGGDRASIL DEW in the far left barrel.
Get the STAFF OF ANTIMAGIC too. Equip the slime crown when you open the menu
to use the darktree leaf. If you haven't used the seeds of skill from empycchu
and Gemon yet, use them both on Hero. Jessica should have the yggdrasil dew,
Yangus should have an yggdrasil leaf. As soon as you step out of the treasure
room, use the darktree leaf and fly.
     Sometimes Leopold will be around the middle of the map and lead you ALL
the way down to the bottom before he'll fly toward Savella. Consider it a
first offer and respectfully decline. He won't fly towards Savella until
he's a fair ways away from it, so it's actually good if he starts near the
bottom of the map. Don't continue unless he starts in a decent spot and you
don't have any run-around BS before he locks in on his course to Savella.

                        -----Evil Sir Leopold-----

     Jessica oomphs Yangus first round, while Yangus uses splitter. Hero and
Angelo should use lightning the first round since his defense is full. You
can use acceleratle in the 2nd round to guarantee responsive healing, but I
got away without it. Jessica's next move should be to oomph herself while
Yangus keeps splitting till you get his defense twice. His defense is even,
so you can't extend the duration with another splitter later on. Hero
multithrusts while Angelo heals. Hero may have to omniheal a bit. Once his
defense is down, lay into him with knuckle. Jessica should twin dragon as
soon as she's oomphed. Psyching with Jessica and Yangus isn't great. It isn't
just warcry, it's also that his defense recovers fast. So when you're
psyched to 50 there's a decent chance he'll be recovered and you'll have to
blow your tension on his full defense, or lose turns at full tension while
the unspsyched defense-killer tries to get off another 2 saps/splits.
Casting sap with JEssica kills her tension btw, though it will fully lower
his defense, and tension doesn't work with knuckle anyway. Restart if he
warcries a lot and you get knocked down too much.

Now that we've fought a pirate ghost, sailed a magical path through solid
cliffs, entered a colorless parallel universe, survived assassination by a
15-foot bird, killed her child, ridden a baby's soul to catch a flying dog,
exorcised the demon possessing it, and gone a full week without trying to nail
Jessica... I think this chapter has pretty well delivered on the name, and we
can move on.



          (9)   *****--------Are We There Yet?--------*****   (9)



     No. When you regain control, talk to every person in the cell and it
will fade out. When you regain control again, talk to Rolo and Jessica for
another fadeout. Then talk to Rolo by the door. After you get on the ship,
zoom to Simpleton (you can't fly directly from your ship). Don't save yet,
just fly directly to Neos. As usual, I ignored everything in town. The seed
of skill will supposedly be on the Dark Citadel.

                             -----Marcus-----

     Easy, easy, easy. No life, no desparate attacks, pissant damage from
kafrizzle. Just play it like the Evil Leopold fight, except frolick and skip
around a little. It's over fast.
     NOW go save. Don't rest at the inn or Medea will start yakking. You can
fill up your life right before Rhapthorne.You're going to have to do one
familiarizing run through the citadel, even though it'll be pretty simple
for us. We're not picking up much. Everything in here will be transported to
Neos. It's faster to pick up whatever you want there, where it's all nice
and clustered for you.
     Take the most direct route. You'll get to the part where there's a
very tiny hallway with a closed door that leads to a room and an open door
leading towards the main building. Go in the room and get the DARK ROBE out
of the cabinet. Equip it and put Yangus in front. A bit later you'll get a
chest right along the way with a SAGE'S STONE. Give it to Jessica. Don't
forget to fill up your life at the big stone tablet right in front of you
when you descend into the circular room. Ignore the cute little lightning
bug on the throne. Where the hell is Rhapthorne?

                           -----Rhapthorne-----

     Oh. Well how was I supposed to know?
Despite his size, this fight takes awhile. His desparate attack/kaboom
combo is always good for a kill, and he does consistent enough damage that one
multiheal per round often won't cut it. Angelo and Hero open with lightning for
200 each. Jessica should oomph Yangus while he splits. I didn't need
acceleratle, so you shouldn't either. It would be nice to have, but you would
have to recast it after each icewave, on top of at least one oomph. Too much
slowdown for a speed challenge. Ideally, you'll get his defense down twice and
hammer away with multithrust, oomphed twin dragon, and oomphed knuckle.
Realistically, you won't. Not a whole lot of the time anyway. But enough that
it's a good strategy. When you're pulling this off you'll be doing 800 per
round, using multiheal at the same time. Also, all the attacks are fast
animations.
     The strategy using fast-animation attacks is better. A double lightning
round from Hero and Angelo with Jessica using sage stone might look nice,
since it requires no sapping or oomphing. But you're taking at least 20
seconds for two attacks that only do 400 dmg. Twin Dragon and knuckle do
over 600 in about 9 seconds once you've got him sapped. Because he's sapped,
you can sub multi for a faster attack that does almost as much average
damage as lightning. And Yangus will be doing more overall damage with
oomphed splitter than he would be with boulder (same dmg on full defense,
more after lowering it once), which is what you'd be using if you weren't
following a sapping strategy. So even the buildup towards a full speed sap
strategy isn't bad. The only real sacrifice is using Jessica to oomph. You
lose a kafrizzle.
     You're probably gonna lose a guy once. Kazing, no big deal. Use JEssica
to sage stone on top of Angelo's multiheal when you're in danger. Omni isn't
great because it usually goes after Rhapthorne, and you need to keep your
life high for those frequent desparate attacks. So if you're low enough to
need omni, you're low enough that you probably need a sage + multi before
Rhapthorne has gone, in order to be safe. That will greatly reduce the
amount of life that omni restores. However, if he's fully sapped and Jessica
is oomphed, it's better to risk an omni + multi and let her twin dragon,
unless you're really badly hurt. Restart if you have a lot of bad luck
lowering his defense or get killed more than a couple times by those
desparate attack/group attack combos.

     Ruin doesn't deserve to have his name in between 5 dashes. He's got a
lot of life, but he's just not a boss. Lower defense (splitter only) and
psyche like mad, except for Yangus since knuckle doesn't work with tension.
Even Angelo can falcon between fullheals. Yangus and Jessica need oomph.
Let loose at 50 with Hero and Jessica and he'll go down.

     Don't forget to equip your scourge whip when you regain control. If you
want to save immediately afterwards, do it at Maella. You don't have to
enter a door to talk to the priest, so you'll skip load-in time, and he's
right on the way to an orb. I know damn well that you know damn well where
all the orbs are, so that's all I'm going to say about orbs. Well, except
that you should fly to Alexandria tower from Farebury rather than zoom to
Alexandria, because damn holy water won't stop monsters in the damn overworld
now. Don't get anything else lying around the world. You can beat Rhapthorne as
you are (I believe in you). Veja Du?



          (10)   *****--------Are We There Yet?--------*****   (10)



     Yes. One more hour and you will be free. Are you going to miss me after
this? I sure as hell won't miss you. But anyway, good luck and thx for
reading. Now without further ado...


             *****---------------          ---------------*****
               *****-----------              -----------*****
                 *****-------                  -------*****
                   *****---      Rhapthorne      ---*****
                 *****-------                  -------*****
               *****-----------              -----------*****
             *****---------------          ---------------*****










                                  (again)

     I know what you're thinking: intimidate. It doesn't work. You're just
going to have to use the godbird sceptre. You can usually manage two prayer
rounds in a row every time that you're able to start a round from full
health, as long as nothing too awful happens. You might even be able to
sneak in 3 if he's going easy on you. If you're willing to risk some
restarts, you can just use omni for healing rounds while everyone else
defends (as long as theyre not too low). It's faster than waiting for the
casts from sage/multi, and Hero usually goes after Rhapthorne. You can
afford to go all-out with sage + multi + omni since your MP is restored
after the first fight, but it takes too long. This part is easy anyway.
     Once the shield drops, follow the normal sap strategy. His defense
seemed pretty easy to lower. I never failed four times in a row like I did
on little Rhapthorne. When he meditates, his next attack is going to be
magic burst. I don't think he can use another damaging attack in the same
round. So if he meditates and the round ends, use omniheal (which usually
goes after Rhap) and everyone else attacks, as long as they have 265+ hp. If
anyone is lower, have them defend. You'll hopefully end the round with full
life, while doing some damage to him. He'll also have to waste a turn
recharging his MP. If Hero goes first, then at least everyone will have full
life before it hits, and you can sage or multi in the next round.
     He really doesn't have that much life for a quasi-end guy. Jessica's
new whip rips him apart at about 450 per round once you've got sap and
oomph. However, because he uses sleep and icewave fairly often, it can take
awhile before his defense is gone and you have Jessica oomphed. You're going
to have to play this one several times to get it done quickly.



(11) Goal Times
These are the time I made note of along the way. If you beat them I don't want
to hear about it.

1:10 Arrival in Alexandria
2:03 Arrival in Peregrin Quay
3:34 Finished leveling at 17, saved at Riverside
4:34 Arrival in Trodain castle
6:00 Arrival in Baccarat
6:45 Warped to the ruins after killing the sea dragon
7:40 Regained control after Jessica goes AWOL

Conspicuous gap here. I think i might have erased one.

10:10 Saved in Tryan Gully
10:51 Saved after beating Marcus
11:30 Saved at Maella Abbey before collecting any orbs
12:39 Done and saved