Submission #3255: praetarius3's SNES Trials of Mana in 3:24:49.00

Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(Submitted: Seiken Densetsu 3)
Seiken Densetsu 3 (J).smc
Submitted by praetarius3 on 8/11/2011 6:58:19 PM
Submission Comments
Seiken Densetsu 3 is a RPG about your typical rag tag group of young adventurers that totally lack any survival instinct; at least that'd explain why they never bother to get any protective gear. Our three chosen champions of goodness are tasked with rescuing the eight elemental spirits from the clutches of evil and using their power to save the world. Though it turns out that nobody is able to count as we find in fact nine spirits...

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Snes9x rr 1.51 v6
  • entertainment-speed trade-offs
  • takes damage to save time
  • heavy luck manipulation
  • bug abuse

Character Selection

We can choose 3 out of 6 characters, so what would we want/need?

leader to determine story path and therefor difficulty, though thats debateable

two strong physical fighters: in an unmodified game I can only use two controllers and the AI has certain... issues; so (this game has 3 player control built in though it's disabled by two altered bytes)

someone to deliver stat-lowering spells (optional) most necessary temporary stat boosters can be bought already early on and cost almost nothing, so no need to waste resources to deliberately learn them; if they would come with something I'd use anything, great, else no problem either stat-lowering stuff can only be learned or gotten from chest items I want at least def-down for the last boss since he has tons of health, high def and no weakness; atk-down and/or magic-down could be useful as contingencies against possible "dead end" situations (e.g. unavoidable spell that wipes the whole party)

some to cast heal, oh wait,no - that's not necessary at all
Why no magic offensive? Spells take very long time, deal low damage, prevent the rest of the party from acting and provocate more spells as counters, that's why.
Depending on who we choose as lead character, we'll visit a different semi-final dungeon and get a different final boss. Cave of Darkness + Archdemon is generally thought of as the hardest of the three possible paths, so we take that. Therefor we need either Hawk or Riesz as the main character; Hawk's intro is about 1.2k frames faster, and he's more or less the 2nd best fighter in the game, 3rd without a certain lvl-up glitch. He sports a double attack and decent attack power. He'll class-change to a ninja to gain more atk than the other choice allows. As icing on the cake he gains spells that deal minor damage but at the same time debuff for the same amount a pure debuff would; I only need (or rather want) exactly one debuff: def-down, which he can use later. The optional atk/mind down is covered as well.
Kevin basically has to be taken, in this case as 2nd character; he's the best fighter in the game, no competition. Like Hawk he has double attack, but +1 str over him. During night time he can change into a wolf form for a 1/7 atk boost, giving him the highest atk of everyone (at least once he has gained a bit of additional str, early on it's only a very minor boost). If he is hit in wolf form, he even gains the +1/3 atk buff for free; saves a lot of items and spell animations. And to top it all off he has a glitch that's unique to him, which can basically max out his attack once I get a specific item.
So with two characters I've already covered everything I want, need and can make use of; Charlotte and Angela are out as they are mainly casters. That leaves us with Duran or Riesz, both are relatively strong physical fighters but bring nothing else to the table; initially I though I could make use of Riesz earlier stat-downs than Hawk but it wasn't needed at all.

Class Changing:

It's possible to obtain ultimate power, but before that we have the choice of doing a class change; for that we have to reach lv18 and approach either a mana stone or the goddess Statue in Mana Holy Land. A class change first increases stats to the maximum of the old class then increases the maximum and allows us to learn new spells; access to a higher level tech is given as well but those should not ever be used. When class changing there are two new classes to change from, both with slightly different max stats, different lv2 tech and different spells. It is rumored that it's possible to class change a second time at lv 38 after gaining certain items, but this can only be complete nonsense since lv 35 is already way overleveled for finishing this game.

attacking/damage stuff/formulas

For each hit with a normal attack one tech point is added; lv1 tech uses 4 tech points, lv2 tech uses 7 tech points and lv3 tech uses 9 tech points. One double attack is about 1/3 longer than a single attack but hits twice and therefor adds 2 points to the tech bar, getting us way faster to a tech. Lv1 Techs on the other hand are all more or less the same in length: twice a single attack; for double attack users those hit twice as well, and without any attack penalties. In short Hawk&Kevin get twice fast from tech to tech, while dealing twice full damage on those.
Damage for normal attacks is simply: atk - def Damage for normal attacks with right element (1.5 * atk) - def Damage for Lv1 techs is: (1.67 * atk) - def Damage for Lv1 techs with right element: (2.31 * atk) - def This gets very impressive with Hawk who most of the time keeps his atk ~10-20 points above the enemy's defense, so he basically deals mostly constant non-tech damage in the whole game, except against enemies that have way too low defense for their level. On the other hand his tech damage starts really low at ~35 but increases to 250+ per hit.
Lv2: (2 * atk) - def Lv3: (2.5 * atk) - def no element advantage, no double hits and time freeze; so... just don't
atk = str * weapon level + weapon constant weapon level is 2 on the starting weapons of the main character, the best buyable ones have a level of 14; the best weapons from weapon/armor seeds have level 15 weapon constant is around 20 for the last weapons I use; the best weapons in game max out at 21 for Duran and 28 for Charlotte&Angela, the others in between that
def = vit * armor level + armor constants + other armor pieces or in other words (close to) zero for me
Atk caps at 370 but that can't be reached, so I'll reach it anyway. Def caps at 300 and can be semi-easily reached, so I don't.

experience planning

The short version is: I "need" max strength as soon as possible, no wait that would be by level 17, I want it at level 7 for the main character and 9 for the others, so let's get just that. This can be done at or directly after Tzenker without massive delays. Afterwards we'd want to aim for level 18, that should ideally be achieved near a mana stone or the goddess state in Mana Holy Land to class change soon after the level up; any later than Mana Holy Land isn't advisable as the nearest class-change opportunity would either be a massive back track or at the end of the game directly before the last boss. Initially level 18 at Lugar was missed by a few thousand experience, so it was delayed to the next chance which is already the last.
After leaving Mana Holy Land with class changes and lv 18 we have to face the God Beasts (that name is such an overstatement); so how much experience is to be gotten? Not much. For certain reasons I have to hit level 27 right before the 8th God-Beast; level 26 would work too, but the leeway for experience would be in the single digits. The specific reason is that Kevin has to be watched where and more importantly how he gets a level up; he needs to get it in wolf form, else I'd need about 2 minutes longer for every boss I'll still have to face till the end, probably some more, and a few minutes inbetween bosses would be added as well. And it's not a good either to *need* Kevin to fight in the rest of the room if he levels up since he'd be down to about Hawk's atk level (with the weapon I gave him) or basically zero (without said weapon). This kind of avoid to level up at a lot of situations is what dictates all non-forced fights for the rest of the game.

shopping list:

  • all kinds of armors are skipped, luck manipulations is just that powerful
  • lv3 weapons (from Astoria) is skipped because the 2nd and 3rd character already start with it and it would only affect two fights (FMH and golem twins) which don't make up the ~1200 frame investment
  • dwarven weapons are needed to farm enough exp in the cave
  • rolante's weapons last for a very long time (up til the desert) so necessary
  • ghost ship weapons are skipped; buying them takes longer than the boss fight
  • native village's weapons as well; there are only two mandatory fights (and even non-boss) until the next better weapons
  • after that getting new ones in the desert is kind of a given (almost double attack power)
  • the upgrade in mintos is ignored for the same reason as the ghost ship
  • with diorre it's similar to rolante (have to last until the last shop)
  • weapons from the cat merchants are skipped since Kevin dominates so much right now
  • Pedan's weapons are the last buyable weapons
  • no weapon/armor seeds are manipulated; they use a different RNG address that is unchangeable except for boss explosion (and then not even all, only the ones like Juwel Eater) and using any seed to get an item

other notes

Receiving exp/seemingly useless waiting:

Enemies don't give their exp exactly the moment their health hits 0, but *somewhere* between that and the end of their death animation, so i sometimes have to wait a bit. Usually when a battle is won the entire team is revived (if someone is dead), the last exp is given afterwards. Though that is bugged at least in the boss battle against Zable Fahr.

getting night time: dream herb or moon forest?

  • using herb ~415 frames + getting the herb (probably up to another ~400)
  • landing in moon forest and immediately leaving ~1025 frames
  • I need to reset day/night time five times; twice when I'm about to enter the moon forest anyway, so I'd need 3 herbs.


Skipping weapon drawing (if fight starts directly after entering screen):

hold L or R + direction and let go as soon as weapons are out or pressing A+B at the exact right frame, followed by (void) in the next frame sometimes no method worked for me (e.g. uber laggy screens)

Skipping weapon drawing (if fight starts while moving):

Be running before the fight starts and let go of all buttons just before the weapons would be drawn out

Skipping putting weapon back:

Similar to above; hold B+direction and let go in time

rapid attacking:

normally there is a pause between two attacks/techs; by changing AI control on or off this pause can be skipped to a certain extent. This can be achieved by:
  • (ab)using auto attack: hold attack button until auto attack kicks in and starts the first attack then let go at least for a frame and hold attack again; shortly release attack at the start of the third/fifth/... attack to repeat - this results in a short break after the second/before the third attack but still shorter than normal
  • same as above but shortly release the attack button during the end of the second attack; this should result in three consecutive attacks but a full break afterwards (only for Hawk and Kevin cause of slightly longer attack animation)
  • using L or R to temporarily switch to one AI character; can result in both characters not doing anything if game too laggy
  • using Select or Start; same problem as with L/R method

Ignoring the AI:

For *most* inbetween castings/skills it's a matter of randomness which can be manipulated to not be used. Some others have a sort of pattern; e.g. Dangaard will first fly a full circle around the party and then definitely do something - like throw a feather, cast a spell or in my case die. Most/all bosses have a certain "guaranteed" action they have to perform at 50% and 25% health, like using a specific spell or splitting into two new enemies (Bill/Ben) or whatever. When they reach 25% fast enough (TASing says hello) they forget their 50% action, and it's hard to do anything at 0 hp, so it's perfectly to possible to "struggle" past both spells as well. If skipping 25% action is successful, the boss usually stops moving altogether. Just be aware that if they can start their "casting stat" they will remain at 1-0-1-0-.... hp until they get their spell off. The problem here is being fast enough; once the boss decides he wants to cast that one spell, it'll be assigned an internal priority value, which goes up by time - and some skills start higher than others (e.g. Gildervine...); with certain movements/rapid actions I can semi-simulate a relatively high priority, but currently there are limits to that, so yeah...

getting any stat on level up (at least up to the cap):

always different, so just try-and-error; methods that helped for me so far a bit with it (nothing guaranteed!): switching screen and/or activating events before lvl-up but after getting sufficient exp (see golems x2); hitting "air" repeatedly, console-resource-heavy actions (slow-downs etc.), double/triple kills, having someone die,...

Kevin's atk glitch #1:

When Kevin gets a level up in wolf form and gets a strength increase the bonus to attack is LOST once he de-transforms; the attack bonus can be regotten by another lvl-up, re-equipping him any item or buying a weapon with him (if someone else buys it, it doesn't help ths case)

Kevin's atk glitch #2:

While Kevin is in wolf form call flamie and land somewhere, now Kevin has +1/7 atk semi-permanently, repeat until satisfied or he reaches the atk cap of 370; semi-permanent means he'll lose the bonus as soon as the game recalculates his atk, so don't have him look at a weapon (e.g. shop) and be careful when/where/how he lvls up; getting a level up in wolf form is ok, in human form is not (see above)
The way the last two glitches work seems to be that the game copies his current atk without stat-up/downs into a back-up value when he transforms into his wolfform. Should he get a lvl up in that form his attack is updated with his real strength, weapon level, etc. The backup value is NOT updated. Once the fight ends and he transforms back, the game simply overwrites his current atk with the backup value thereby un-doing any change to his attack (e.g. by str increase or de-bugging his attack) Or in other form
starting point: human form, variables: atk = 370
Kevin transforms: game order: store his atk in a back-up value and update atk with wolf bonus variables: atk = 422, back-up-value = 370 this is probably done because rounding errors with a integer system can be fatal/game breaking; x = atk * 8 / 7 loses any number after the point (so 422.85 becomes 422) x * 7 / 8 is not necessarily the old "atk" value (369 in this case, so already wrong)
Kevin levels up: game order: update atk, run lvl-up script variables: atk = str * weapon multiplier + constants = 114 back-up-value is not touched!
NOTE: here Kevin is WEAK
Kevin is transformed back to human: game order: give him his old atk back variables: atk = back-up-value = 370
if flammie is called the game does NOT properly de-transform Kevin; ropes however do...

while new BGM loads:

Only have ONE character move; two usually causes game freeze for a few seconds; more often than not this one character must specifically be Player one; sometimes even that fails though.

text boxes:

there are two kinds of text boxes: small one liners and bigger 4 line boxes. The former usually displays the full text at once, so it exists only for 1-2 frames; the later displays text at a rate of 1 symbol per frame. So... you can guess why the heroes' names should be cut down to one symbol? Yes, I too think 'cake' is a good answer.

entertainment trade-offs:

1. Riesz as 3rd character; for what we need in this TAS Duran would be better (+1 Str, nothing else), but both wouldn't contribute much, seeing how the AI often freezes when I'd need it... I like Riesz as a character more, and initially it was planned to class-change with her for the earlier stat-downs and still some muscle; once the AI flaw became appearant this plan was dropped; Hawk gets his versions of the stat-downs still early enough Kevin is simply too strong to need def-down before the two last bosses, missing def-down against bigieu is (over)compensated by not class-changing Riesz
2. In the Sealed Cave in the first room after the Charlotte sequence Kevin deals tech damage with a normal hit; couldn't reproduce it anywhere else, so it might actually be a critical (bugged pointer in code for a mostly 0% chance)
3. 112,5% collection rate (9 of 8 spirits) When getting the fire spirit we ignore the NPC Bigieu, she actually stands perfectly in the way. Too bad the flag from speaking with her is needed to progress in a minute, or actually the flag from speaking to two events here, so i can activate twice the scene from the mana stone and still progress normally. NPC stands of course for non-participating character.
4. the battle against Zable Fahr - goes pretty much against the expectation of how a boss battle should go imo
5. Equipping a weapon on Kevin in the Cave of Darkness; if I wouldn't explain this, noone would get it, probably not even then, so let's try anyway: Kevin has still his max attack glitch; equipping a weapon forces an attack reset, there the glitch should be lost - it isn't! But why is the glitch kept? Simple, Kevin is in wolf form, so his "original" attack value is saved in a different variable; when transforming back, his current attack is overwritten with the backed up original value which happens to be the glitched one. However, Kevin is only in his wolf form during a battle, where the equip menu can't be accessed - for whatever reason opening that menu does NOT require for EVERYONE to be outside of battle mode, only the character that wants to open it

stage-by-stage comments:

I take Kevin in my party, so I win. End of story.

stage-by-stage comments, long:

Party selection:

straight forward; who to take and in what order was discussed above, just shorten their names to one sign and off we go!


We have to move NPC Eagle from point A to B then slay him there; he might or not have been hypnotized to attack us, but the witness fireball'd him before the autopsy, so noone can be sure. Just in case he wasn't, we're being secured in prison. The witness was so nice to give our friend Jessica a cursed amulet. So now we have to escape, find a way to uncurse her and maybe get breakfast as well. One small explosion later we're being given just the needed opportunity to flee and end up at the credits screen. The End.
Ok not.

Jad, Astoria:

From a prison cell to a prison town, the day keeps getting better. Let's sleep a bit and flee during the night, this time with slightly less explosions. Enemies here are worth one exp; since that's not worth anything in the long run let's just run (autoattack-abuse) and abuse the spawning mechanism a bit; there can only be 3 enemeis alive at the same time, if those 3 exist nothing else can spawn. After a small walk we reach Astoria; to progress we have to speak with two NPCs then stay at the inn.

Sealed Cave:

One chase later we find a fairy, and are therefor doomed to save the world, yay... So how to go about this saving-the-world business? Some wise man in Wendel should know, so let's go there. No, it's no problem to remove the seal that keeps mean people away from Wendel. And let's just ignore what that means for me that I can't go through the seal. Or the guy that comes now with us. And let's ignore that Astoria has been burned to the ground. And that noone took care of the offenders. (Gotta love RPG logic :P)


Here we only need to find out what we have to do to save the world: simply find allies who have the same lack of self preservance and knock the right wrong guys out until someone declares the world saved and rescue eight elemental spirits. We can start right now in the cave we just came from.

Sealed Cave #2:

Our fairy suddenly learned how to find hidden paths; oh well, let's go along with that, and take some strength-increments on lvl-ups we were not supposed to take. Oh, hi there big guy...

Full Metal Hugger:

So... it's a giant crab; it's weakspot is a sudden level up, emmm, I mean rapid punching in the face.

Sealed Cave #3:

So we rescued the first spirit and decide to go back. Remember the barrier that shouldn't be removed? Well, let's say we suddenly wake up somewhere else...

Jad again:

At 1 HP that is, and in prison. So we have to escape from a prison for the third time already. As consolidation we get a young lady into our party. Right in front of our cells is a statue we could use to heal up to full, but that would be too easy, so let's just go to the conveniently placed, for escapees waiting ship. The ship takes us to...


Where we take a short nap till mid-night then promptly leave to the west.

Golden Road:

We fight our way to the bridge and grab some dream herbs along the way. It looks like someone was waiting for us, how nice of them to bring us some toys...

Golem Twins:

Their oppening attack was manipulated to be missiles from boss golems to get Hawk faster into position (only one missile didn't know him far enough). From there it's simply get them close together and whack away. Too bad there was so much lag, I couldn't really abuse full attacking...

Golden Road, Maya #2:

So the bridge was blown up, what to do now? Well, certainly that one person in Maya we never heard of who develops a new transportation method must be our chance. Back to Maya, a short talk with an NPC and then back again to one room right of the golem fight; padding much? Yeah, he just couldn't have all items, it was not ever possible.

Dwarf Cave:

Let's finally buy some weapons (lv4), talk to one specific dwarf to trigger whatever event is needed to go on and while we're here let's also buy some ropes. Healing items? Who needs that? Some meaningless slaughters and important lvl-ups later it's again boss time. It's possible to skip half of this cave and the boss fight for now by paying 3000 gold; that is very expensive and not helpful since then I have to beat the boss later.

Jewel Eater

Hawk is even slightly stronger than wolf-Kevin, at least until Kevin finally gets hit. After wiping the floor with this boss we receive the earth elemental and another plot item for the transportation device.

Golden Road, Maya #3, Forcena:

First we travel to Maya, then get angry at the NC who can't remember us and then finally get confronted with one of the more... unique methods of transportation in this game. So we are about to be shot from a canon, and of course it misses it's target... Some mole whacking later we enter Forcena which is currently being invaded; what took them so long? We met at the bridge more than 5 minutes ago!! I doubt they were serious about that invasion, after all there wasn't much done except for moving forward, the corpses were probably already there. And guarding against us with chess figures is very very not helpful. With a bit... much... smalltalk with the king we get reassured that there are indeed 8 elementals, and since we already have 2 we should do some math and find out that there are less than 7 missing. Afterwards we decide that the inn is too expensive so we smoke some dream weed and wake up just in time as the tavern opens - the information isn't too helpful so we decide to go back, and run right into a transportation canon which wasn't there before, I swear! Under the influences from certain substances we just can't decline the offer of getting away from there. One headache later we awaken in Maya, and leave right away.


Finally done with the Golden Road, Maya and Forcena - for now... Let's just get to the ship and leave before the next NPC gets the idea to send us to Forcena again.


Another invasion, is currently invasion season? Let's just grab some new weapons (lv5, these have to last very long) and leave for the mountains for whatever reason. Obviously stunning beauty is to be taken literally with some flowers, so we fall into another coma. Though this time it's the good guys fault? We get ordered to grab the elemental of wind, as if we hadn't been dozens of times already, for which we must travel back to Jad where we have to enter the village of Corobokkel. So it's back to Byzel via... canon... how did this get up here? We land still during night time, or again depending on how beautiful those flowers were. So we can enter the black market and grab some very cheap and very powerful items as well as a hammer. Next we take the ship back to Jad run through the forest again and knock us out with the hammer because we can't take the stupidity of pink, hopping fluff balls that try kill us by jumping around. But no, the hammer had to be magical, so it only shrunk us to the size of a Corobokkel. Upon entering their village we're once again asked to do speak with someone; maybe we've swung the hammer harder than we thought, but when we find out that we were supposed to talk to the person who asked us to talk to another person who he denied to be but indeed was,... well we're not amused; and we only had to interview the entire village minus one; still, we get the information we want and head back to Palo. There we climb up the mountain again until we find a suspicious cave.

Wind cave:

Some switches that controll statues which in turn blow you away in they face your direction; it's not even a puzzle since you just have to hit all switches in order...


Time to test some of the stuff we bought at the black market; one claw for a earth saber to hit her weakness and she goes down so fast it's funny again. Afterwards we receive the third elemental.

Mountain, Castle Rolante:

So now we have to go back to the oh-so-beautiful flowers to let our new elemental work his magic. Moments later we find ourselves in front of the now not-so-impenetratable fortress. Someone wanted to help us help them and put to barrels full of healing items there for us, which we gratefully ignore. After a few minor encounters have been disposed of we find our selves in front of a stove.


Of course that is also an enemy. Interestingly, Genova is one of very few bosses to lack a 25% health desparation move but still has a 50% one, not that it helps him any as he'll of course use neither. So we blow up one stove and get money for it, insurances work weird here.


Of course Bill and Ben are angry that we blew up their favorite heating place. Instead of coming after us 2 vs 3 and so stand at least a little chance, they decide to do the next best stupid thing and merge to a single entity; despite what anime has tought us, that does not make for someone stronger, so it's no surprise they go done faster than I can open the menu.
After a few more debates no one really pays attention to we move back down to Palo and try to find us a ship; maybe we can please find someplace that doesn't need to be saved from... ehhhmmm, I mean, by us.


Not even a ship travel is save anymore... and here I thought the free ride was because we helped them big time. So we get ourselves cursed by a sexist spirit; poor Riesz can't even leave the room until we lift the curse. Of course everyone knows that random curses are removed by beating up the next best boss, so we do just that. We... better ignore shopping until we have her back, she might get even more angry.


So it's only 2 vs 1 this time, but it doesn't make much of a difference; why again did we bother to bring Riesz along? Beating Gorva not only gets us a new spirit but also removes the curse from Riesz! Maybe the curse removal was a tiny bit too strong, it takes the whole ship with it, whoops...


Yeah, finally a place where we don't have to save everyone, let's make a small vacation!
  • rumble, rumble*
Of course there had to be a volcano, and it had to wait just for our arrival to start erupting. Since we're in such a hurry to leave, shopping has to be delayed again; although we have enough time to let someone tell us where to go next. At this point we're two weapon grades behind and the enemies got a massive health and def upgrade, so fighting is kept at a minimum. After we get there we find ourselves trapped, though conveniently a giant turtle approaches us and takes us away from there back.


Finally someone who wasn't too busy to at least help us out a tiny bit; the King of Forcena knows where the next four spirits are, so let's just go there. Neither is it strange at all that he knows the turtle that saved us nor how to call it to abuse as transportation politely ask it for help.


Our first destination is the desert town Sultan where we finally get some new weapons; lv8 - where we gone from civilization that long? Anyway, let's head over to the valley of shames flames. On the way we meet some vaguely familiar faces.

Bill/Ben round 2:

and they learned nothing from the last fight, so no surprises here.

Valley of Flames:

Here we find the witness from the intro; but noone pays attention to here so she leaves quietly. At the same time we collect the elemental of fire and his shy twin brother. One rope and a few steps later we call the turtle again to leave towards the land of ice.

Land of ice:

Here a few more enemies are slaughtered, there physics are ignored. Soon we meet other old friends who give again give us some new toys to play with...

Golem x3:

I could probably make a lame pun about how it's shocking that they are weak to thunder... anyway, they are weak to thunder and to corners as well; do the math.

Ice cave:

Here we just meet another elemental; it must be cold seeing as it's all blue. We better hurry and leave for something warmer like...

Moon Forest:

There is a village to ignore, yeah! We spent a few seconds to grab a moon coin for later and then head over to a tower where Kevin meets some old friends.


And as with most friends in this game we have to fight them. Let's just say that Lugar may be strong but is fatally weak to corners and rapid punches in the face. Not to mention that Kevin is slightly disappointed with his old friend. At least we get our 8th elemental out of this situation!
For some reason the fairy still insists that we go to the lampflower forest and get the 8th elemental there. Yeah... either she can't count or didn't pay attention. AS if we had a choice...

Lampflower Forest:

It seems like Charlotte might need some help, too bad we're busy saving the world; reviving isn't too expensive anyway, so she should be fine.

Elf Village:

First we have to talk to the elder before we are allowed to get some decent weapons; for what ever reason Charlotte isn't dead and interrupts our meeting, so there really was no reason to worry after all. We're also told how to find the 8th elemental - really, can anyone count here? We already have 8... So back to and through the forest to the next boss.


HATE. THIS. BOSS. The first phase is relatively ok, it spawns some enemies... that... just... refuse to die despite being at 0 HP for 10 seconds. Once Gildervine reaches 50% health he becomes invulnerable as long as at least one other enemy lives. So I have no choice but to allow him to cast one spell as he otherwise will not leave his invulnerability ever. The second phase... I don't understand this boss, seriously I don't. After almost 160k re-records I still don't get why/how he is so very different from the rest...
After getting the 9th spirit despite everyone claiming we have now 8, we can finally go to the Mana Holy Land, or not since a certain often forgotten elemental refuses cooperation, and then some bombs fly. We awaken, ignore that one certain elemental has gone on vacation and find the portal to the Mana Land in the sky without a way to reach it. All of a sudden Rolante is supposed to be home to a dragon that would be willing to help us; heck why not.


We abuse call the turtle one final time to reach Rolante again, then climb to it's summit and reach one dragon; though it's smaller than expected it still helps us.

Mana Holy Land:

Rabites, rabites and rabites, so much variety here. Visiting the Mana Holy Land sets time to mid day which means no wolf form ever, couple that with already sufficent exp and high def/health enemies we get no need to fight here. After walking a bit we finally reach the statue; we class change Hawk to a Ninja and Kevin to a Bashkar. Next point of interest is... not the Mana Goddess but the wind drum! The missing piece for ultimate power!! Ahem... it seems like our fairy was kidnapped, so the Goddess gives us her holy butter knife which we can trade for the fairy - want kind of stuff people want these days...

God Beasts:

As said in the initial analysis I need to hit level 27 right before the 8th God Beast, so my exp gain is mostly geared towards that; for most God-Beasts it doesn't matter if Kevin reaches a level up with their exp except for Dolan, so that has to be watched as well.
But first! Let's finally glitch Kevin's atk now that we possess the tool to do so - the wind drum. A small place to the west of Jad is perfect to use the glitch and almost on the way. Thanks to the Mana Holy Land it's now daytime so there goes one dream herb.

Xan Bie:

After visiting some not-so-old not-so-friends and handing over that holy butter knife we head off to the God-Beast of Fire; some suspect he is the incarnated rage of the ignored ninth elemental, but as usual noone cares about him. Since this game lacks a separat water element we have to make do with ice sabers. Xan Bie's splitting and moving away makes him normally only take 1 damage from all attacks, so take a guess what happens when I use a tech instead.


One recycled dungeon later we face this boss... 4 times. And they have each an individual health bar, so I can't carry over damage from phase 1 to 2, etc.

Light Gazer:

Yup, he gazes all right. Prior though we obtained a Papa Poto's Claw despite never seeing a Papa Poto, weird... Night time ended shortly before meeting the boss so afterwards we have to refresh night time; this is done by visiting Dolan.


My favorit God Beast (and the only one that lives up to the name "God BEAST"), yet goes down all the same. Dolan is the only God Beast with no weakness; next up is his opposite, the only God Beast with TWO weaknesses.

Land Umber:

Some enemies here a subject to a glitch which makes them always have only lv28 instead of their proper levels. next some fun facts: Land Umber has 392 atk, which is the same as Riesz' max HP, and less defense than the lv 36 slime enemies (180 vs 192). Being the God Beast of earth, he would seem weak against thunder, but fire works just as well, so let's use fire saber since it's slightly faster.


An ice cave and a nice an ice boss, guess what Hawk learned here, hint: ice jutsu doesn't exist. I use Kevin's tech to hit Fiegmund while he jumps out of normal range, nothing else special.


Massive 19k health and a weakness to thunder; Kevin takes a relatively fast spell to get his 33% atk boost instead of the 10% from the saber to end this fight slightly faster.


Now that 7 God Beasts are out of the way and noone has a clue let's visit the non-existant town of Pedan to ask a random person, who simply shouldn't know where the 8th mana stone is, where said thing is and buy our final set of weapons. To enter Pedan we don't have to sleep at the inn only start the dialog with the inn NPC.

Cave of Darkness:

This cave is damn laggy, all attempts to skip weapon drawing resulted in several seconds frozen characters... Anyway, Kevin needs to punch one enemy to reach lv 27, so let's do just that; I CAN'T get kill one more enemy or Kevin lvls after the next boss.

Zable Fahr:

The main head can't be attacked/targeted until hell cross is finished, so I can't even use fire jutsu to lower the magie damage which translates to an inevitable death for Hawk. The left head has a wonky hit-box which makes it hard to hit even 75% of the time... Oh, and everyone dies, but not even that can stop us. Though Hawk pays for it exp-wise; he gets none from this boss (although he normally should, this game has so many subtile glitches) Kevin needs 270 exp for the next lvl, so I couldn't have killed any more enemies before.

Cave of Darkness part 2:

Exp-wise I can afford to dispose of up to two enemies; lvl-wise I need at least one. two isn't viable without sacrificing the chance to run. Just before Kevin lvls I throw the last dream herb to get night time again. this results in the enemy basically dieing for like 14 hours non-stop, pity him, but not too much. Enemy movement is manipulated to keep them away from Riesz and move more upwards, so she can run to the exit instead of walking. I use the opportunity to equip Kevin with his weapon, which brings his glitched attack power down to normal; or not as he was at the same time in wolf form, as his de-transformation sets his attacked back to the glitched value when I leave the screen. Or in other words: I glitched a glitch!? (is that like playing normal???) Anyway, a few steps more and we land right before...


who gets very literally burned; the very convenient lvl-up of Riesz in the middle of this battle solved the one problem I have with most bosses: getting past their last few hp before they get their desperation move (<25% health) off

Cave of Darkness part 3:

After defeating him we're back in the middle of the cave of darkness, just a few steps away from where we fought Zable Fahr. One forced encounter and some on the way slaughters later we can finally leave the cave... and are finally free from that lag-induced full weapon drawing!

Dark Castle:

We enter... and are already greeted by a tightly closed door ahead; to open that we have to flip a switch. The stairs to this switch on the other hand are blocked by flames; the flames dissipate once two specific demons are killed. So let's just do what we do best and kill the demon to the far left from the entrance... and immediatly use a rope to get back to the entrance; then we head to the demon on the right side, slay it and finally go up the now unblocked stairs to the switch, activate it and then use the rope to get down again. A few encounters later we start a mini-boss marathon, interrupted by small amounts of other victims.

Full Metal Hugger V2:

Look who's back again with only eleven times his old health; he should rather have learned how to be threatening.

Genova V2:

Nothing new here, after this fight Kevin needs only 59 more exp for a lvl up; too bad SD3 has no exp bar on screen... it's a shame I can't show how close it often was

Tzenker V2:

So my calculations were off by... a few houndred exp... which means Kevin would lvl up before I reach the exit... who cares, this is a TAS, so I can still get around it even after it's actually too late.


We fight were-cat vs were-wolf, the ninja wins. Bigieu, there's no place where you can hide. Kevin. will. find. you.

Dark Castle, end:

With Bigieu out of the way we can enter the central part of the castle. A few stairs later we confront the dark prince, or not since he is in a hurry to leave and have breakfast with the goddess; how evil! AFTER HIM!!

Mana Holy Land revisit:

Huh, looks different; did someone hire a drunk exterior architect on crack? The enemies here seem to be a joke, even Riesz who has no class change, only 11 str and the ancient weapon back from the elf village deals double digit damage. There is no need to lvl up anymore, so there's no need to fight any non-forced fight.


We simply throw everything we have at him including a few punches and call it a day.
Archie dead. World saved, sort of. Fairy promoted to goddess. The End.
This time for real. Seriously, I mean it, I'm done here!
Ok, fine... credits...


Thanks to:

Mastania, Derakon, neo_omegon, trangix for various tipps, ideas and suggestions

RaneofSoTN and the rest of the SDA crew

Square for not fixing many bugs at all

DarkKobold: Judging
FractalFusion: I'm taking over judging for DarkKobold with his permission.
FractalFusion: Good job. Accepting for publication.
OmnipotentEntity: I'll be handling publication on this video. Currently, I am waiting on FractalFusion to supply soft sub commentary for the video.
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/22/2023 6:10 PM
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