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Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #7055: lapogne36's PSX Valkyrie Profile "best ending" in 2:24:12.48

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Valkyrie Profile
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Valkyrie Profile (Disc 1).bin
Branch: best ending
Emulator: BizHawk-2.3.2
Movie length: 2:24:12.48
FrameCount: 518630
Re-record count: 31726
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: lapogne36
Submitter: lapogne36
Submitted at: 2021-04-01 00:09:02
Text last edited at: 2021-05-11 03:46:13
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (68805 bytes)
Status: published
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Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk-2.3.2
  • Best ending
  • Heavy luck manipulation
  • Forgoes save data corruption

About the game

Valkyrie Profile is an RPG where the goddess Lenneth, one of the three valkyries, must collect the souls of slain heroes to sent them to Odin in preparation of Ragnarok. Three different endings are possible depending on some of your actions throughout the game. While the B and C endings are trivial to get, the A ending has some requirements that make it very hard to get if you don't know them.

Comments

Versions differences

Due to faster dialogs overall, the japanese version is faster the the US one by 4 minutes (rough estimate).

RTA runs use PS2 fast disk speed, which would also save 4 minutes (rough estimate).

Movement

Movement Speed Notes
Jump 1024 The speed starts to decrease after some time
Run 1024
Slide ~1303 Starts at 3072 then decreases by 12.5% every frame, 1303 is the best average speed you can get from it
Crystal boost 2400 Situational since it takes time to setup and it only lasts while in the air

Crystal boosting is the fastest way to move but since it takes time to setup, it is usually only worth it when going down slopes. All stairs (and some grounds with rubble) have a weird mechanic slowing you down repeatedly to a speed of 1 when on the ground, which is the only case where jumping may be the fastest movement method. Some screen transitions (up or down the screen) are faster when done at the center of the door/stair, while for the others it's faster to take them as soon as possible. Reaching a screen transition faster by sliding isn't necessarily faster overall for unknown/unconsistent reasons.

RNG manipulation

The first 55 RNs are initialized at the boot of the game, and all the others and determined from the previous ones (RNi = (RNi-55 - RNi-24) mod 0X100000000).

There are Three ways to manipulate the RNG out of battle :

  • Waiting before starting a fight (a global timer is used to "randomly" increase the RNG at the start of a battle)
  • Sword attack (+1 RN)
  • Crystal shoot (+300~800 RNs)

In battle, you can either wait for the RNG to slowly increase (several frames per RN) or change the order of your actions.

Route details

This TAS follows the RTA route with some changes in the menuing and the battles strategy. In particular, opening and closing the menu takes at the very least 7 seconds, and was only done 10 times throughout the TAS (including 7 times to go to the next sacred phase).

To get the A ending, you must:

  • Complete the tower of Lezard
  • Recruit Lucian and Mystina
  • Send Lucian to Valhalla before chapter 7
  • Lower Lenneth's seal value to 37 or less

Lowering the seal value is what makes this ending hard to achieve by accident, as sending an hero to Valhalla (what you are encouraged to do to increase your "evaluation") increases it by 12, and not sending any may result in the C ending instead if your evaluation reaches 0.

Prologue

The harpy was manipulated to not block any of my attacks.

With high roll damage, I don't need Freya (longest attack animation) to finish the ghoul.

Artolian Ruins

A 20s detour was made to get the Element Scepter, for a faster Lezard fight later on.

8 Two-Handed Swords were created. All the starting items were converted to MPs to save time menuing long term. The Two-Handed Swords were transmuted into Holy Gems, the Element Scepter into a Tome of Alchemy.

The boss was manipulated to have his attack blocked by Lenneth (fastest animation). I got the two artifacts so that I can increase my evaluation later on.

After exiting the ruins, I unequipped the Nibelungen Ring (so that the seal value decreases by 2 every sacred phase instead of increasing by 2) and went straight to chapter 4. Before entering the tower of Lezard, the time was set to 1 period away from the next sacred phase to dodge Freya's warning until the next chapter.

Tower of Lezard

One glimmer was manipulated twice to temporarily disappear for the passage of Lenneth.

With the Tome of Alchemy, the enemies with Lezard were killed in one hit, instead of slowly deleting their 10000 HP. Lezard's fastest attack is also the only one that Arngrim can tank, saving me the time of opening the menu to get some equipment/add a 4th member to the team.

Chapters 5/6/7/8

After recruiting Mystina, Freya warned us because our evaluation reached 0 and put it back to 1.

Lucian got just enough skill points to get an Ether Scepter, a Guard Reinforce and an Holy wand "Adventia" during the next sacred phase. After skipping straight to chapter 7, the evaluation went back to 0. Using the 2 artifacts from the Artolian Ruins, it went up to 2. Visiting the Weeping Lily Meadow decreased the seal value to 33, thus triggering the A ending events. Lorenta had just enough skill points and equipement to keep the evaluation above 0, and get Sacred Javelin and Might Reinforce from the sacred phase.

Unfortunately one last menuing was necessary in chapter 8 because the Valkyrie-Favor (strongest weapon for Lenneth which doesn't trigger the longer version of her Nibelung Valesti) wasn't available before. She also got a Power Bangle (damage output) and a Freeze Check (Fenrir). Arngrim got the same except that his weapon is a Brutish-Edge for Hrist.

Mystina and Jelanda got an Ether Scepter, Magic Bangle and Fairy Ring for maximum damage output.

With the Brutish-Edge, Arngrim had just enough damage to defeat Hrist without needing to use Lezard.

Ragnarok

Bloodbane was manipulated to start second (e.g. Lenneth and Argrim got their turn before him). He is guarenteed to use an AoE attack at some point, and needless to say my level 1 characters can't take it, so everyone got a Lucid Potion to be untargettable and thus Bloodbane skipped his turns. Lenneth and Arngrim used Poison Crystals which has some damage variance, and is capped at 13800 against Bloodbane. For my strategy to work I must get the maximum damage almost every time, so it was manipulated, mainly by shifting the order of my actions. Thanks to their equipements, Mystina and Jelanda can cast Sacred Javelin every turn, which is faster and deal slightly more damage than Poison Crystals, while also having no damage variance. Only Mystina can deal a significant amount of damage with a PWS attack with my current equipment, but it's actually faster to throw a few Poison Crystals/Sacred Javelins instead to get the same amount of damage. Since my first Lucid Potions wore off at the final turn, Bloodbane as a chance to attack (around 50/50 I believe), so he was manipulated to not act. Finally, I manipulated one magic crystal out of the final attack to get a bit of extra experience points, which is just enough to get one extra level up, giving me enough HP on Lenneth and Arngrim for the next boss fight strategy.

Fenrir was manipulated to start first since getting an extra turn with Lenneth and Arngrim would not get me anything. His first and third attacks were manipulated to be an Ice Breath on Lenneth, and his second one, which is guarenteed to be his Frost Slash magic, was manipulated to hit Arngrim. It is the only attacks combinaison that allows everyone to survive for three turns (thanks to the extra HPs from the level ups and the Freeze Check which halves ice damage). In addition to applying various buffs/debuffs and throwing two Poison Crystals, Arngrim equipped the Demon Sword "Levantine" (more damage) and Jelanda equipped the Deluge Scepter (less damage but no time consuming animation during the PWS). The PWS was manipulated so that Argrim dealt enough damage to kill Fenrir (he can deal between 8000 and 11000 damage per hit), but also for Mystina's Ether Scepter to break (30% chance).

Loki will use a deadly AoE attack at some point in the first battle so I had to use Lucid Potions to prevent this. The strategy for the second battle involves Lenneth blocking the second attack and Arngrim getting stunned by the first one (which is actually faster than blocking it since Arngrim doesn't have any action to do this turn). It was particularly annoying to manipulate because the way the RNG increases during the 9 minutes cutscene is inconsistent and thus my only way to properly test an RNG state was to play it every time, which took a lot of time despite the use of scripts to automate the process. The odds of Loki doing a normal attack that is blocked by Lenneth are around 2~3%. I didn't need any extra damage from Mystina, which is why I broke her Ether Scepter previously so that she increases the hits count without the time consuming animation.

Possible improvements

  • Better movement and RNG
  • Better battle strategies

Special Thanks

Suggest screenshot :

frame 185204 or 195999
Samsara: WAIT IS THIS LEGIT, HOLY CRAP JUDGING

Samsara: Uh, okay, I had no idea exactly how legit this would be. Holy crap.

This... This was remarkably difficult to come to a decision on, and I'm still not quite sure it's right, and I don't think I'll ever be completely sure about it. On a surface level, there's nothing wrong with this run whatsoever. It's a well made run of a highly underrated game. The problem lies in the nature of the game itself, the choice of category, and how we as a site are equipped to handle that particular deadly combination.

Valkyrie Profile is a game that, over the past month or so, I have repeatedly described as "complicated to explain to people that don't know it", which has been consistently proven by the number of times I have tried and failed to properly explain it to people that don't know it. You are a hot blue-haired lady tasked with the judgement of souls. Hang on, sorry, that was my daily self-affirmation routine. The gist of Valkyrie Profile is that you're playing as a valkyrie, tasked with the recruitment of einherjar to Valhalla to prevent Ragnarok. Norse mythology abound. The valkyrie, Lenneth, flies around the world, occasionally stops in some dungeons, and sends people up to Valhalla to appease Odin. It all sounds simple, but in practice there is a lot of weird game mechanic stuff at work. Time to overwrite this judgement like usual try to explain this game to people that might not know it.

I'll have to start with the choice of category: "Best ending" refers to Ending A in the game, which is, well, the best ending of the three possible endings. Ending C is just a game over in ending form: This can happen at any time, pretty much as soon as Lenneth's evaluation rating hits 0, really emphasizing how bad of an ending it is. Ending B is going to be the ending nearly everyone gets, it's fairly standard and doesn't really do much. Ending A requires jumping through a few non-obvious hoops and pretty much completely changes the endgame with a drastic shift in the story, including an entirely different final dungeon. It's the canon ending of the story.

By definition, the save glitch run is the game's fastest completion. The fastest non-glitched completion state would likely be Ending B by virtue of not having to jump through the same hoops that Ending A does. That basically means that this run cannot be Vaulted under a fastest completion guideline in any possible way... But, could it be Vaulted under full completion? A game's best ending can be considered a vaultable 100% run in lieu of other full completion metrics if there's no in-game definition. This run does technically fall under that category, but it has a major problem, and that's to do with Valkyrie Profile itself.

Those who've watched the run may have seen that only about 20 minutes are gameplay. This gameplay consists of a few fights and three dungeons: Artolian Mountain Ruins, the game's "tutorial" dungeon as it were, the Tower of Lezard Valeth, a required dungeon for Ending A, and Asgard Hill, the final dungeon of Ending A. How many dungeons are there in Valkyrie Profile? By my count... 26. The maximum number that can be played on a single playthrough is 21, which is done by playing on Hard mode. Hard has 8 exclusive dungeons and only bars you from 4 in return, plus the final dungeon changes depending on your ending path. I think it's fairly easy to say that there is a LOT more gameplay content in Valkyrie Profile, it's just all technically optional given what you can do to break the game. It's all of that exclusivity that kinda breaks Valkyrie Profile's "full completion" state. Not all dungeons can be played in a single playthrough by definition. You're either missing 5 dungeons (on hard), 9 dungeons (on Normal), or 17 whole-ass dungeons (on Easy).

So this single playthrough on Hard plays 3 dungeons out of a possible 21. Can we really consider that any sort of full completion? I... don't really think so. There's so much gameplay missing that Vaulting this run under full completion metrics just for the best ending doesn't feel right at all to me. And yet, at the same time... Rejecting this run for being on the borderline doesn't feel right to me either. There's a workaround for this: We accept it to Moons and not have to worry about whether or not it meets Vault standards, and if a more "full" run comes along then it obsoletes this one, assuming the ratings on this one warrant that obsoletion. I'm... not entirely comfortable with this (mostly for the implications/precedents it could set) but at the same time I can't think of a solution I'm more comfortable with.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with the run, and the more I think about it, the more I don't even really think there's anything wrong with the game itself. I think this might be a case of there being something wrong with our rules, something fundamentally weird that can't really be fixed in an easy way to account for the kind of situation this run is in. It would take a restructuring of Vault, most likely, and that's not something we can just knock out in a day and expect everything to work out of the gate. That would take a community conversation and probably a lot of internal discussion on top of that, and any changes we make could mean a lot more Judge/Publisher work as a result due to a potentially large number of un-rejected runs. On an unrelated note, we're hiring! c:

I can't tell if that was a joke or not.

There's a lot of back-and-forth in the submission thread if people want more of an insight on how the game works, I could repeat it all here but that would pad out this judgement far more than I intended, and the less time I spend writing it, the more time I can spend on simpler things, like the Octadetayotton mod for Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, or trying to figure out a Neil Breen movie, or reading through our Movie Rules. In the meantime though, I'm taking the workaround option. I'm accepting this to Moons as a new category, with the caveat that it can be obsoleted by a more complete run in the future if the ratings end up low enough.

Spikestuff: Aren't you just a death-goddess!?


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