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Submission #5934: slamo's DOS Mystic Towers in 10:16.06

Console: DOS
Game name: Mystic Towers
Game version: unknown v1.1
ROM filename: TOWERS.EXE
Branch:
Emulator: JPC-rr r11.8 rc2
Movie length: 10:16.06
FrameCount: 36964
Re-record count: 6824
Author's real name: MRT
Author's nickname: slamo
Submitter: slamo
Submitted at: 2018-04-18 20:49:00
Text last edited at: 2018-04-30 12:21:50
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (79613 bytes)
Status: published
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Movie Information

  • Emulator: JPC-RR r11.8 rc2
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Heavy luck manipulation
  • Genre: Action
  • Genre: RPG

This run uses the registered v1.11 release.

  ID: c0a7fcff90eed722a524f8e9fe6fda9b
  Tracks: 16
  Sides: 16
  Sectors: 63
  Total sectors: 16128
  MD5: 7f92826767365b6faee91e282c941f5b
  Entry: N/A            N/A                                       6 /
  Entry: 19900101000000 7a3abad08bf493440ca90d0479d5ee4f      68670 /CATALOG.EXE
  Entry: 19900101000000 c3504d3ecf02fdebc20fb45d7fa63c0c       2617 /LICENSE.DOC
  Entry: 19900101000000 0fef61cc858d9a7d3d41a2a0e6d07c25      16273 /MT-HELP.EXE
  Entry: 19900101000000 e3d1e8dc54bd75b4c8dd3d31ba97a64d       5987 /ORDER.FRM
  Entry: 19900101000000 5c1c846b252b26550f0b385cb168275b    3415552 /RGMYSTUS.DAT
  Entry: 19900101000000 e2ea6dbbe7b74ea1d1f5830ba5a1b17e     102800 /TOWERS.EXE

Developed by Animation F/X and published by Apogee, Mystic Towers is an isometric action RPG released in 1994. You play as Baron Baldric, a geriatric wizard who must rid the twelve Lazarine Towers of all of their monsters to release his village from a curse.

Glitches + mechanics

There are three goals for each level: kill all the monsters, destroy the generator with a bomb, and exit the tower.

Door Glitch

There are some special switches in this game that open one door and then close another. If this process is interrupted in the middle by a save/load screen or the main menu, the game doesn't like this very much. It seems harmless at first: both doors stay open or closed and the switch becomes inoperable. However, once another tower is started, all hell breaks loose. The game runs through a glitched-out list of doors to open and close. Some of these doors don't exist, as you'll see doors appearing on walls where they shouldn't be, or doors appearing out of bounds. This glitch can also cause fatal errors and massive graphical corruption. If you're lucky, in some towers, the list of doors will include the exit door. Since you always start out a tower right next to an exit door, this glitch becomes extremely useful as you can exit a tower immediately after you start it. There are seven towers in which this glitch can be helpful, with the other five towers' exit doors being uncooperative.

There are some negative side effects, but these can be dealt with. The only way to stop the glitch is to let it run its course. Bringing up a menu in the middle of a door glitch will pause the effects, but they will still continue when you start the next tower. Letting the glitch run wild can result in random doors throughout the tower closing, making the tower impossible to complete. It can often be useful to save and then open a practice tower to waste the rest of the door glitch duration.

Bomb Glitch

When a bomb trap is stepped on, a bomb is supposed to fall from the ceiling and explode when it hits the ground. If a menu is brought up just before the bomb hits the ground, the bomb will stop and lay on the ground. This object can be interacted with like a regular item, but it's just a dummy bomb since your bomb count doesn't increase. However, if you push the dummy bomb while walking over the bomb trap tile, an item in the room will be converted to a real bomb. The way the game figures out which item to convert is by starting at 0,0 (generally in isometric games this is the topmost corner) and scanning the room until it finds something. The amount of bombs you "get" depends on the item that's converted. If it's a spell or gold, the amount is the number of these items you would have received. If it's food, it's 1. If it's treasure, it can be some ludicrously high amount. In any case, this amount is purely cosmetic, as it will go back down to zero once it's used on a generator.

RNG Manipulation

The main usage of RNG in this game is enemy movement and spawn locations. Each enemy has a specific set of rooms that they can be in, and within that room there's a known starting tile with a random initial direction. If you're in a room within an enemy's range and they aren't in that room, there's a certain chance that they will enter your room at any given time. It can often be useful to manipulate enemy locations and initial directions to optimize their destruction. The enemy can also randomly change direction mid-battle, and this can also be manipulated. The following actions can have an effect on the RNG:

  • Jumping (costs no time - this is the preferred method)
  • Picking up items
  • Firing a spell - distance and direction matter
  • Waiting before entering a room
  • Waiting before firing another spell in combat

A Lua script was used to track the rooms enemies were in - this way, I could manipulate enemies to travel to specific rooms and then make them stay there.

I should also note that there are random animations that Baldric does, like picking his nose. This makes him stop moving and wastes time, but these can also be manipulated away.

Level comments

Setup #1 (Rimm Fortress)

The sole purpose of this visit to Rimm Fortress is to set up the door glitch. Backing into the menu before the door opening/closing sequence is finished preserves the glitch until the next new tower is started. The switch has to be pressed twice because just pressing it once causes crashes in the first tower.

I should mention early that there's a "game speed" feature, which is of course increased to the max, saving massive amounts of time throughout the run.

Rimm Tower

The first tower skip. The door glitch causes some weird effects, such as doors with no switches connected to them closing, and opening/closing some doors that aren't supposed to exist. It's necessary to wait for a later opening of the exit door because the glitch continues into the next tower and can have bad side effects, namely a door on the second floor closing, making the tower impossible to complete.

Tor Karad Keep

Floor 1

Pretty simple to start off. The first venom cloud is just enough to dispatch the first two enemies. There's a section of the floor with another enemy that's only accessible from floor 2, a theme which will continue for most of the tower.

Floor 2

Weaponry is scarce to start off, so it's important to use traps to our advantage. The fireball trap in room 10 one-shots the Flip-Flop, while the other two enemies are taken care of with bomb traps. With the reveal spell that was picked up earlier, we can get an early teleport spell and warp to the next floor.

Floor 3

Two trips are made to this floor. The first one quickly visits the western section that's closed off to the rest of the floor and takes care of the Puffer while picking up some nice fireball spells. In the second visit, we pick up a convenient bomb and use it on the generator. The exploding generator produces good splash damage, so of course we have to use that as a quick damage source to hurt a Flip-Flop.

Floor 4

The warp between rooms 32 and 35 is actually intended, no glitch there. Room 32 has a hidden levitate spell which will come in handy later. The Meta-Power pickup is a must here, as it two-hits everything left in the tower with the ice spell.

Floor 5

Enemy health is at its highest on this floor, so the Meta-Power pickup earlier is a huge time saver. The enemy layout here is quite annoying and requires a lot of running around, but at least the path leads you back down to floor 4, where you can conveniently warp back to the exit.

Setup #2 (Rimm Fortress)

Another door glitch setup. We don't have to wait for the second door cycle this time, although things get a little more complicated later.

Nortscar Needle

Although the door opens much quicker than it did in tower 1, we need to be more careful this time. Leaving right away results in some severe corruption and a fatal error in the next tower, so we save as soon as the exit door opens and do some more setup.

Setup #3 (Tor Karad Keep)

We don't have to set up the glitch again since the remnants of it are still active, but we need to dampen some of the negative effects. Even visiting this tower for a frame absorbs the corruption that would have happened in tower 4.

Wolf's Fang

The door opens relatively quickly again, although we have to wait a little bit for the doors to run their course before exiting, otherwise there will be more unwanted door closings in the next tower.

Ebonscarp

This tower is fairly linear, with very few routing options.

Floor 1

Enemy health is a serious problem, even on the first floor. Thankfully there are a few traps to take care of the Rosies.

Floor 2

The Crocojaw is an interesting enemy in that you can jump on top of it and deal nice damage. This floor features the first usage of the bomb glitch, which converts the sulfur in room 18 into a bomb. Technically this gives us "8", but all of these will be expended with one usage. The glitched bomb pickup will save some backtracking in the next floor. Also, room 15 is the first occurence of a room in the quest cycle with a switch that opens one door and closes another in the same room. A save is made in front of the button that does this, and this will be our method of door glitch setup from now on.

Floor 3

Instead of grabbing the bomb on this floor, we go straight to the generator and blow it up. There's a section of this floor that we need to backtrack to after we get the green key.

Floor 4

Hotheads are actually immune to the fireball traps (understandably) so we can't bait this one. This floor has to be visited a few times, namely to warp back down to the first floor, and the secret passage is extremely useful in doing this route.

Floor 5

Some of the most powerful enemies in the game reside here. It just isn't worth getting the Meta-Power here, so they have to be killed while unbuffed. The Rosie here poisons us, which is nearly impossible to avoid, but we were forced to grab a heal spell earlier so that comes in handy.

Marchwall Hold

Another door glitch, this time with our new save file. Leaving right away will cause corruption and a crash in the next tower, but instead of going back to Tor Karad Keep to absorb the glitch, you can just wait this one out.

Rimm Fortress

Remember this from the previous setups? Well, it's skippable. The remnants of the last door glitch open the exit for you here, and as usual we have to wait to avoid unwanted door closings in the next tower.

Tor Karad Castle

Things get a little tougher in the wizard towers. In this case, the exit key pedestal isn't near the exit, so the route has to deal with this inconvenience. The quality of the weapons available here is really inadequate for the amount of health the monsters have, and survival also becomes an issue.

Floor 1

Ammo is tight to start off. Normally I wouldn't pick up sulfur, but it's needed badly here, and it can at least be used for finishing damage for the rest of the tower. This is also the best place to grab some coins for the toll door on the 5th floor.

Floor 2

Fairly linear here. Most of this floor is saved for later, as the teleporter in room 16 is the only way to access most of floor 4 and the first teleport spell available is on the 5th floor.

Floor 3

Another linear floor with the generator tucked away in the corner. Here's a really unorthodox bomb glitch: the crown has to be dragged further up in the room to be prioritized for conversion, otherwise the game will freak out and convert some unknown object out of bounds. It gives you "254" bombs, which kind of breaks the HUD, but the game is a good sport about it. There's another switch that controls two doors, and we replace the save from tower 5 because it doesn't work on the next tower. Room 25 is fairly unique in that the fireballs randomly fire instead of being switch-activated, and they can be manipulated as well. The heal spell will be absolutely necessary later on, especially in dealing with a poisonous monster on the top floor.

Floor 4

The outer ring of this room can only be accessed via a teleport pad on the 2nd floor, so we have to backtrack to get here. There are two goals here: kill all the monsters and get the blue key. Conserving ammo is important here, so we do some difficult manipulation on the Clawfoot to kill it with bombs and we also take a beating trying to bomb the Shrimpion.

Floor 5

All the preparation in the tower was for this floor. The enemies have a ton of health and the spells you get are inadequate, so you kind of have to let them eat your face and then heal. Hunger and thirst also become an issue for the first time. Healing becomes necessary when fighting the Shrimpion, as you will get poisoned and die fairly quickly otherwise. The only mercy we get is a Meta-Power that we can use on the last enemy. We teleport back down to the exit and escape on the brink of death.

Nortscar Spire

This one can be skipped using our new save file. If we had tried to use the old setup, nothing would happen here. The annoying thing about this exit is that even if you leave on the latest possible frame, you still get doors closing in the next tower. Paying another visit to Tor Karad Keep in practice mode is the next fastest way to absorb unwanted door closing.

Wolf's Claw

Tower 10 is a breath of fresh air, surprisingly. If you know exactly what you're doing, it's one of the quicker towers to complete. Weapons and traps are plentiful, the teleport pads are conveniently placed, and the bomb situation (with a bomb glitch) couldn't be much better.

Floor 1

This one is actually off to a nice start, since we get loaded with spells right away and still have some of the Meta-Power from tower 8 left over. The reveal spell will be necessary to move on later.

Floor 2

We're forced to pick up a levitate spell, and it will actually become very useful later. With so many bomb traps around, doing a bomb glitch is a no-brainer in this tower. The only intended bomb pickup is on the 4th floor and it would require serious backtracking to blow up the generator. We'll have to come back here a couple times because of all the teleport pads, and the exit key pedestal is also here.

Floor 3

Glitching a bomb early makes only one visit necessary here. With good enemy manipulation you can kill all the enemies and blow up the generator within only 5 rooms.

Floor 4

This floor has some good traps for enemies, which is great because of how much health they have up here. There's another random fireball room that's manipulated, this time to kill a Stinger. The Ruddimp is the best monster to use the lightning pickup on. Conveniently, there's a teleporter to the 2nd floor, which we take to wrap some things up.

Floor 5

There are no ladders to this floor, it can only be accessed through a teleport pad on the 2nd floor. This floor is unique in that it only has 2 enemies instead of the usual 3. The reveal spell is required to open a couple doors here. The levitate spell is also immensely useful here. To get the Meta-Power in room 43, normally you'd have to cast 4 levitates, but you can get away with 3 by levitating directly underneath it and bopping it with your head. This also gives you an extra levitate charge to use in the poison floor room. The Meta-Power makes the enemies a joke.

Ebonscarp II

Here's the last tower that has to be done properly. The enemies have extremely high health here, but there are enough weapons lying around to deal with them.

Floor 1

Lightning on the first floor? Ok, thanks. The floor is split into two sections, with the second one being for a Rosie and the green key.

Floor 2

There are tons of uses for levitate in this tower, but we only need one pickup to do what we need to do. Using a couple of charges in room 17 keeps you from having to push a table around.

Floor 3

The bomb in room 26 looks tempting, but it's surrounded by high invisible walls that you need 4 levitate charges to rise over. To prevent picking up another levitate spell and backtracking, you can just do a bomb glitch right next to the generator. We'll have to come back here later to get to the 5th floor - we could clear it out right away, but the exit key pedestal is up there, so it's best to save it for last.

Floor 4

The Meta-Power makes this floor really easy. The enemy patrol areas also make this an extremely quick floor to clear because with good manipulation, you only have to visit 4 rooms.

Floor 5

Again, there's no ladder up to the 5th floor and you have to teleport up. The last levitate charge comes in handy for the poison rug room. Health starts to become an issue due to hunger and thirst, but we picked up a heal spell earlier and we can tough it out for the rest of the tower.

Marchwall Fort

An anticlimactic end to the run, as this is skippable. No need to delay exiting since there's nothing after this.

Thanks

  • MUGG - Asked me to do this run originally. He discovered the door glitch and figured out the mechanics of the bomb glitch.
  • EntropicLobo - Made an extensive FAQ that was a great reference. Was the first to document the bomb glitch.


Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: The movie looks good, and audience response was also good. Accepting to Moons.

fsvgm777: Processing.


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