Submission #5220: lapogne36's PSX Tear Ring Saga: Yutona Eiyū Senki in 3:11:35.87

(Link to video)
Sony PlayStation
BizHawk 1.11.0
Yutona Eiyuu Senki - TearRingSaga (J) [SLPS-03177].bin
Submitted by lapogne36 on 9/11/2016 2:10:50 AM
Submission Comments

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk 1.11.0
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Heavy luck manipulation
  • BIOS : SCPH1000.BIN (may desync with other bios)

About the game :

TearRing Saga (ティアリングサーガ ユトナ英雄戦記) is a tactical RPG made by the creator of the Fire Emblem franchise. The game features a lot of Fire Emblem elements and is often considered as a part of the serie. One of the most notable feature is that at different moments of the game, you must split your units into two teams, each of them leads by a lord, either Runan or Holmes.

About the TAS :

I started thinking about a TAS of this game back in 2013. However due to serious emulation issues on both PSXjin and PCSX-RR, I could not properly do it. I was still able to plan most of the route and also try to figure out how the RNG works in this game. With the release of PSX support from Bizhawk on july 2015, a TAS of the game was finally possible with the main emulation issues cleared (there is still on a regular basis around 5~7 consecutive lag frames, but I don't know if it's a little emulation issue or just how the game works), though it takes some time to find a good RN seed for the map 06 rare event.

Common terms, abbreviations and mechanisms :

Rout : kill all the enemies on the map Seize : Seize a specific location with the lord OHKO : One Hit KO ORKO : One Round KO (kill with one round of combat) RN : Random Number Burning RN : The act of using an unwanted RN for a useless purpose. The only "fast" way to burn RNs on this game is by using the "random" path for a unit to go from location A to location B. Since this method isn't really fast (compare to gba Fire Emblem TASes for example), it is preferable to not rely too much on low % chance strategies. PP : Player Phase EP : Enemy Phase Base stats : The stats of an unit when he join the party Growth Rate : The chance that a unit will gain 1 point of a specific stat when leveling-up. It is usually equal to 0 for the Mov stat, and greater than 0 for all the other ones Cap stats : The maximum value a specific stat can reach for an unit.
Attack = Str + Weapon's Pow (Mag + Weapon's Pow for magic weapons) Defense = Def (Mag/2 for magic weapons) Spd = Agi - Weapon's Wt
Damage = Attack - Defense Damage (critical) = Attack x2 - Defense Doubling : A unit will attack 2 times if his Spd is at least 5 points higher than the opponent's Spd

Notable characters :

If you want to add a face to a character, you can go here :
  • Runan : One of the two main lords, he usually doesn't have time to fight since most of his maps are seize maps, and his class is overall bad (5 Mov, can only use swords).
  • Holmes : The other main lord, he can only uses bows (before his late promotion), but he is one of the few units who can open chests. He still has some fighting uses, mainly thanks to the Gatling Bow.
  • Lee : One of the few magic units of the game, with a high base stats (13 Mag), but extremely poor growth rates. Most of the enemy units have 0 Mag, so he is useful when we are lacking fighting power
  • Raffin : A 8 Mov unit with good base stats and decent growth rates, he will later be the only 8 Mov flying unit of the game.
  • Plum : Weak unit, however at some point she will learn the Dance skill (allow an unit to move again).
  • Mahter : First Flying unit to join the party.
  • Zeek : High base stats and highest growth rates of the game, he will leave the party after map 24.
  • Yuni : Bad unit, but she can open chests.
  • Lionel : Decent base stats and growth rates, most importantly he is one of the 5 character of the game with a Mov growth rate (and the only one who can actually fight soon enough).
  • Maerhen : Bad base stats and awful growth rates (I believe they are the worst of the whole Fire Emblem serie), add a penalty to all close ally units, but at least he can open chests.
  • Frau : Another flying unit.
  • Sun : Mount unit with the Re-Move skill, "take care" of an annoying boss for us.
  • Lyria : Weak unit with the Song skill (for each adjacent unit, 10% chance to move again) and her personal Power Staff.
  • Loffaru : Mount unit with high base stats and access to swords and bows.
  • Sierra : Sole character with the Warp skill (well, there is another available on the final map), which allow her to warp anywhere on the map. She is also the only recruitable unit who can use dark magic.
  • Renee : She owns two staffs exclusive to her, the most important one being the Warp Staff.
  • Yoda : Swordmaster with very high stats.
  • Sennet : Lord available on the final map, he has the strongest holy sword.
  • Tia : The last lord.
  • Alfred : Magic unit with the Warp skill, available on the final map.

Random Number Generator :

When I started to plan this TAS, there was absolutely nothing about how the RNG works in this game, so I had to find out everything by myself. Long story short, the game uses 624 consecutive double words to determine the next 624 RNs, and when the last RN is used, it creates 624 new double words solely based on the value of the 624 previous ones. By trial and error, I managed to recreate the way it works. For those interested, you can find it on this lua script : Userfiles/Info/33506096746575394
The 624 first double words (the "RN seed") are randomly create after you press "new game" on the main menu, and based on the frame you press it, the seed will be different. One of the main issue of the TAS was to find a good seed to get a specific event on map 06.
An important specificity of this game RN system is that the displayed hit (or crit) is not equal to the true odds of this event happening. The game pick one RN from the following table, and the attack will hit (or crit) if the displayed value is greater than or equal to the picked RN :
(*) Actually it may be 99 and not 98
NA = skip to the next RN
As you can see, the 100 possible RNs doesn't follow an uniform distribution, and the extreme values are far less likely to happen than one would guess. Particularly, any display hit between 1% and 7% will be in reality a 1% hit, while a 8% or 9% display hit will be in reality a 2% hit.
This system is somehow similar to the one on the Fire Emblem games on GBA and later on, but the main difference is that it also apply for the Crit % calculations, while the Fire Emblem games only use it for the Hit %.
For the rest of this commentary, I will always speak about the true % and not about the displayed one, unless stated otherwise.

Map by map commentaries :

Map 01 (Rout) :

The bridge opens at the beginning of turn 5, so in the meantime Runan got an Amulet and manipulated the RNs so that Kate ORKO the cavalier on turn 4. Kate is the best unit to reliably ORKO the enemy units, though she needs either her bow or a critical hit to do so against the archers. Runan can OHKO the boss with a critical.
Possible Improvements (PI) : Kill the last archer with an Estoc crit. Not picking the Amulet as I ended up not using it (quite hard to plan since they are needed more than 2 hours later on the run, and the number of them I will need depends on the RNs).
After this map, we got to choose one out of four units to join our party. The choice should always be between Narron and Lee, as the two others give little benefits to the player. Narron is a mounted unit with incredible promotion bonus, but a 8 Mov mounted unit will not help us in any way in the future. Lee is a magic unit with high base stats, and surprisingly enough, magic units are quite rare in this game (7 out of 62 recruitable characters, 2 of them only available on the final map). Since most enemies will not have any magic resistance, he can basically deals 21 damage to any standard enemy with his base stats. Most importantly, he will give Plum a Defense Staff after map 02, which halves the damage an ally receive for one map (round down).

Map 02 (Seize) :

It's possible to seize one turn sooner, but I must recruit Plum as she will later be a Dancer. Raffin must proc Agi at every level-up because he will need 11 Agi for map 03, and the RNs weren't great to do so.

map 03 (Rout) :

With 11 Agi, Raffin can double every cavaliers with his Hand Lance, and he can't really die after Plum used her Defense Staff on him. He must now focus on Str for his level-ups since he will need 21 Str on map 18. I got the +1 Iron Lance from the village, which is a special weapon that starts with a +1 critical bonus, and this bonus increase by 1 each time an enemy is killed with it, up to a +50 crit bonus (usually, you must kill 51 enemies with a weapon for it to reach this +1 crit bonus).

Map 04 (Seize) :

Once you are close enough to the throne, the boss (Roger) and the troubadour (Mel) will start to move to the closest unit (Roger will not attack any female unit though). Raffin is used to bait them away from Runan, as we don't want to fight them since it would start the battle animation. Mahter must also proc both Str and Skl on one level-up.

Map 05 (Rout) :

Pretty annoying map since most of the action take place during EP, which is hard to manipulate. Along with map 06, this is where I focused on my seed search. In the end, the mages managed to clear most of the map while Runan recuited Zeek and Raffin OHKO the boss.

Map 06 (Kill the boss) :

The map can be easily cleared in 3 turns, but only Mahter can reach him on turn 2 EP. Thanks to the level-up she got on map 04, she can now ORKO him, with a 1/2500 chance of success... Since we don't want to burn 1000+ RNs to get one that works, the RN seed manipulation at the beginning of the TAS was done specifically for this one rare event. Though the number on RNs used between the beginning of the game and this point varies greatly with different seeds, this number is usually between 12500 and 13500, so I tested seeds that give a valid RN string on this range until I found one which works (and by "tested", I mean that I did all the first 6 maps each time I tested a seed).
I am pretty happy with the final result, as I only had to burn 64 RNs.

Map 07 (Seize) :

Nothing special here, Runan managed to get a 1% crit against an Armor Knight and Raffin grabbed a Bridge Key from the house, but that's pretty much all there is to say.

Map 08 (Seize) :

On the long term, it is faster to kill the enemies than letting them move, so Zeek was in charge of that while Raffin escorted Runan to the throne.

Split 1 :

Raffin and Lee are enough to clear the next Runan maps, so Zeek can go with Holmes as the main fighting unit of this group (until Lionel is strong enough to fight on his own).

Map 09 (Seize) :

The throne is 24 cases away, so Runan must use his 5 Mov pretty much every turn to complete the map in 5 turns. Raffin can ORKO most of the enemies, but some of them are not willing to fight him due to his Gale skill. That's why Lee is also helping clearing a path, and with a Defense Staff use on both him and Runan, Runan can barely survive in spite of his poor stats. The true boss of the map only appear if you attack the false boss (it ends the unit's turn) or if most of the other enemies are dead. Here I kill just enough enemies to make him appear without wasting a precious Raffin's turn. I also quickly take down the Far-Healing Staff user with Raffin to prevent him from using it (long animation).
PI : No defense Staff use on Lee (or even Runan), no Shield on Runan.

Map 10 (Seize) :

Raffin can solo the map, and he is also the unit to use to recruit Sharron then Billford. Visiting the house with Plum trigger her event to learn the Dance skill once we get her back on map 14 with Holmes party. After the map Raffin is promoted thanks to Sharron, and he is the only 8 Mov flying unit of the game, which will be of great use on map 18 later on.
Also, from now on until the third split (between maps 30 and 31), each time I move on the world map, there is around 20% chance that bandits will spawns from the cave east of the island, wasting some time. I will manipulate the RNs so that this event never occur a single time.

Map 11 (Rout the map and open the chests) :

This is the only non mandatory map of the game, and I skipped it.

Map 12 (Seize) :

The throne is 13 cases away (Holmes has 6 Mov on this map), so Holmes can stay away while Lionel gets some kills. He has a 5% Mov growth, and he should get it whenever possible without burning too much RNs. Since he is still a little bit fragile, Zeek took care of most of the enemies.
PI : More kills for Lionel, better and easier to get level-ups

Map 13 (Kill the boss) :

Zeek rushed the boss, Lionel got some experience, the summoner didn't use his staff (a summon waste a lot of time, and a Summonner usually has 80% chance to use his staff each turn). Also Krisheena managed to dodge fatal hits, so she conserved her 2 Amulets.

Map 14 (Seize) :

Barts should visit the house to rescue Plum with her new Dance skill, so Lionel escorted him to get some levels-up on the way (most notably, the sword fighter on turn 1 can and will deal a lot of damage to Barts if he is not hurt). Zeek easily cleared a path on the left side of the map for Holmes. Also, Holmes need to get Str on every level-ups for a very late Map.
After the map you get to open 5 chests for various items. I chose the chests with SKL Plus, MAG Plus, POW Plus, Knight Proof (Lionel promotion item) and AGI Plus.

Map 15 (Seize) :

Frau and Sun are recruited on turn 1 so that there is no EP for the rest of the map.
I also recruited Lyria, who has the unique skill Song, which heal and has a 10% chance of allowing an adjacent unit to move again, for all adjacent units (however, this second effect cannot apply on Plum, most likely to prevent to basically have 2 dancers). In addition to that skill, she is also the Power Staff sole user (she receive it from Yuni after this map), which grants +10 Str to a unit for the whole duration of the map.
Finally, Yuni learned Frontier Fighter for 7000 Gold, which will save a lot of time on the next map.
PI : It may have been better to teach Frontier Fighter to Holmes instead of Yuni, to improve chapter 20 and 21 with a 6 Mov Holmes instead of 5 Mov one. The drawbacks would be that Holmes must make a detour on map 15 to learn it, and it isn't sure that Holmes can deal with the Opus on his way on map 16 due to his restriction to Bow weapons only.

Map 16 (Open the chests) :

If they are not in range of an enemy, each Opus has a 25% chance to divide himself. For the boss, he will create 4 Opus instead. After finally reaching level 10 and promoting, Lionel rushed the boss and the Opus to prevent them from creating more of them.
Holmes, Yuni and Maerhen are my only units who can open chests, so I spread them around the map. Thanks to Frontier fighter, Yuni can cross 2 tiles of swamp with her 6 Mov, and she doesn't take damage from the swamp. With a Power Staff use on her, she can deal with the Opus on her way. Zeek escorted Maerhen on the north side of the map, as he has trouble to deal with the Opus. Holmes got the Gatling Bow from one of the chests (allow 4 consecutive hits).
PI : Less Opus.

Map 17 (Seize) :

The allies units should fight as little as possible. If an enemy unit a too weak after their turn, the boss will use his Far-Healing Staff to heal him, wasting time. Raffin opened the bridge thanks to the Bridge Key he got on map 7.
PI : Less fights from allies units.

Map 18 (Seize) :

There is a lot of annoying enemies here, but the boss will kill all of them (except the 3 Summoners) when defeated. However he is extremely hard to take down due to his high stats (13 AS, 45 HP and 16 Def), so the only way to ORKO him with Raffin (basically the only unit able to reach him on turn 2) is a Needle Spear crit with a 21 Str Raffin, which is why I made sure he got Str on most of his previous Level-ups.
Now about these 3 Summoners : Each of them has a 80% chance of summoning monsters each turn, so there is only a 0,8% chance that none of them will summon each turn. I managed to do it for one turn, but for the two others it was faster to let one of them summon monsters than to burn a lot of RNs. Also, I can't attack the Summoner in the fortress, since he is also a boss.
PI : Less summons.

Map 19 (Seize) :

By using his full movement, Runan can reach the throne on turn 2. With her strong magic attack (thanks to her personal tome), Meriah helps Raffin to clear the way. Like the previous map, the 3 Summoners have a 80% chance of summoning. I managed to get only 1 of them using his staff.
PI : No summons at all.

Encounter 1 (Rout) :

There is a serie of 4 mandatory monsters battle before reaching Map 20. In each monsters battle, the number of monsters is random : there is a predeterminate list of monsters, and each of them have something like 70% chances of spawning on the map (except for one who has a 100% chance of being on the map).
In this encounter, Lionel gains some extra Mov while Holmes and Zeek help to clear the monsters who are out of the way.
PI : Less monsters. Also that the archers aren't heal at the start of the turn (either because they are not hurt or because they are dead).

Encounter 2 (Rout) :

Usually, monsters won't attack a character if they can't deal any damage to him. However, they will still attack if the character is using a cursed weapon. Luckily, Zeek's Devil Spear is a cursed weapon, so by equiping it, Lionel is able to fight these mummies on EP. Each mummy gives 80 exp no matter what, so Lionel got a lot of exp and is now closer to reaching level 30 (his maximum level since we promoted him at level 10).

Encounter 3 (Rout) :

Lionel finally reached 12 Mov (the maximum possible for any unit). I manipulated the RNs so that only 6 easy to deal with monsters appear (there can be dragons and witches for example).
PI : Less monsters.

Encounter 4 (Rout) :

Same as the previous map.
PI : I wasn't able to manipulate what I got from the (random) chests. It is possible that their contents are fixed when loading the game/starting a new game, but I have no idea how it works. By getting an Evil thunder from the first chest (~2% chances), it may have slightly speed up Map 40 and maybe Map 27 too (when attacking a boss with this magic, the battle animation isn't played).

Map 20 (Seize) :

Lionel used the Devil Spear once again to force the gargoyles to attack him and clear the way for Holmes.
PI : less Opus, Frontier Fighter on Holmes (from map 15) to seize one turn sooner

Map 21 (Rout and open the chest) :

You can't rout the map while the dragon is here (it's technically possible, but it's only a 20 hits KO and you must have a magic unit with maximum Mag and Mel to boost him...), so you must wait him to leave at the end of turn4, when he is replaced by a bunch of enemies, including 3 Summoners. I used my decent units (read : Lionel, Zeek and somehow Mahter) to kill these summoners on turn 5 while most of the other enemies suicide on them.
Also, Shigen was used to bait the dragon, and then "die" to him, but Shigen dying between splits 1 and 2 triggered an event that allows Sierra to join us right after the second split (along with Shigen).
PI : The Dark Knights have a 1% chance of dropping a Luna Sword, which may be useful for some later maps. However, since I killed them on EP, it is unlikely to get one without burning far too much RNs. Having a stronger Mahter may have help too by allowing her to let the crit lance to Frau.

Map 22 (Kill the boss) :

With his high Mov, Lionel can be in range of the boss on turn 1. Then the crit lance allows him to reliably ORKO the boss.

Map 23 (Kill the boss) :

In addition to the kill this boss, I want to get a good RNs sequence, because it will affect the number of gargoyles on the next map. By waiting the second turn to kill him, I got plenty of choices to find a good RNs sequence (basically, I only need a 53% crit)
PI : 1-turning the map while getting good RNs for the next gargoyles encounter. This can be achieved with a lot of methods : double Kill Blade crit (16% crit for each attack), 1% crit with the Devil Spear (Mahter must have 9 Str, and she must not self-injuries herself with the spear), 1 crit out of 2 Shamshir attacks (~3% crit each, Mahter must have 15 Agi) or 1 crit out of 2 Silver Sword attacks (1% crit each, Mahter must have 10 Wlv) or attack with a Luna Sword (require to drop one on map 21 on EP with a 1% drop rate).
As you can see, all of these methods (except the last one) require a low crit, which limit the possible gargoyles outcome. In my case, Mahter could only do the double crit with the Kill Blade (not enough Str/Agi/Wlv for the other methods), and there was only one valid RNs sequence on the next 200 RNs (~80 RNs to burn to reach it), and unfortunately this sequence gives a pretty bad gargoyles encounter (14 gargoyles)

Sealed Bridge (Rout) :

In addition to the gargoyles who is always here, the 15 other gargoyles have around 75% chances of spawning each, and with the manipulation from the previous map I ended up with 1+8 gargoyles. Lionel killed them with the Devil Spear.
PI : Less gargoyles

Split 2 :

Zeek leaves the pary here. Sierra will join Holmes team right after this split, and she is enough to deal with all Holmes maps (Plum will help her on map 27 though), so every unit with some combat capabilities is send to Runan's team to help on map 24.

Map 24 (Seize) :

The aim here is to clear the balistas as fast as possible, because they waste a lot time at each of their attacks and have 7 range. On turn 1, Lionel clear most of the island while being in range of only 2 balistas. Mahter is equipped with a Pilum because else the soldier in range will attack Runan instead of here, and this soldier actually prevent the archer to attack Mahter afterward. The turn 2 is when my units start to clear the balistas, however on EP my flyers must absolutely dodge every single balista attack (usually around 40 Hit) because they are easily OHKO (even Raffin). On turn 3 most of them are killed, with the notable participation of Lofaru with the Long Bow.
The boss of the map appears only on turn 4 EP, so you have enough time to send an unit on his spawning case. However he is among the units that will just spawn on the closest place if his initial place is already taken (that's the case for all important units in the game), and for the game, the closest place is the case on his left, which will prevent Runan from reaching the throne without defeating him. The solution is that if the case on the left is also taken, then he will go on the case his right, and let Runan seize without any fight.
PI : For some reasons, the balistas will not always attack Lionel on turn 1, but I assume it's RN related and so pretty hard to manipulate that late into the EP.

Map 25 (Seize) :

There is 2 throne here, and the one you choose will lead to a different map 26 (north throne = 26A, south throne = 26B). The south throne takes more turns to reach, is protected by 5 Dragon Knights with a boss status (so fighting any of them lead to a battle animation), and the map 26B takes more turns to complete than map 26A. So only reason someone would go for map 26B should be for the MOV Plus chest that isn't obtainable on map 26A, but it's definitely not worth it that far in the game (basically, it would make no difference except for map 37).

Map 26A (Seize) :

Basically, Runan dodged a lot of ~40 hit (thanks to his Main Gauche) and got a promotion for that.
PI : This map can be 2 turned, with some drawbacks. Plum and Lyria must both be on Runan's team and have the City Fighter skill from map 15 for an extra +1 MOV, and Lyria must proc 2 times her 10% chance re-move song (instead of one time). Plum on Runan's team means that she won't be able to help Sierra on map 27 with her Defense Staff, and that Renee will not be able to repair her Warp Staff on Morse Tower 5F (best alternative place to do so will then be the map 33, and it would require an extra re-move song from Lyria). With all these little drawbacks here and here, it's hard to say what strategy is actually the fastest.

Map 27 (Rout and open the chest) :

Thanks to Shigen's "death" on map 21, Sierra join the team on this map (else, you would have to recruit her on map 31, and she would then be on Holmes' team instead of Runan's one). She needs to kill everyone and to proc Mag at every level (25% growth rate) to reach 19 Mag before map 29, but any other stat is optional (she also needs to proc Wlv two times before map 40, but there is a lot of room to do this one).
I gave her an Agi Plus to slightly improve her evasion (leading to a -6% display hit from enemies attacks), but it also allows me to not have to worry about this stat for incoming boss kill maps. She also gets a Defense Staff boost, and without it, Sierra would have had serious troubles to clear the map fast enough for Holmes.
Also I used God Hand instead of Sylpheed as much as possible because the animation is faster (but at the cost of having less evasion on Sierra).
PI : Not using the Healing Fruit, i.e. dodge the two last attacks and still get a Mag level up

Map 28 (Defeat the boss) :

The RN string was awful here, with only a small number of RN available to get the Mag level up, so getting a crit as well was unfortunately not possible.
PI : Getting a crit with God Hand (3% chance) plus a Mag level up

Map 29 (Seize) :

Renee will always warp the two archers close to the player's units, and while it is affected by the RNs, it is also extremely sensitive to all my units position. I somehow managed to trapped the 2 archers between my units, which is the best possible outcome since the screen will not even show their movements (since they can't move or attack).
On turn 1, Sierra is used as a bait to clear the way to Renee. Fortunately (or unfortunately for her), Sun is my only unit on Holmes team with the Re-move skill (all other units were need for map 24), so she can start breaking the door and then get in range of the boss. The fact that the boss move out of the throne is highly suggest by the game, and it is fortunate because he hold a Goddess Shield, which immune him to critical hits or effective attacks. Since Sun can deal at most 13 damage to the door, Sierra must have 19 Mag to finish it, which is why she got Mag at every previous level ups.
At the end of the map, Holmes promoted to finally reach the 15 Str he will most likely need for map 38, and also got a Luna Sword.

Map 30 (Seize) :

The boss isn't on the throne => end of the map

Morse Tower 1F to 5F (Seize) :

The monsters positions are random, but all that is need is that the stairs are open. On 5F, Renee used the Repair Staff (from map 16 chest) to repair her Warp Staff, while Holmes reaches the stairs with the help of Plum.

Split 3 :

Renee, Lyria and Yoda are just what is needed to clear Holmes maps, so the other decent units can stay on Runan's team to help him on map 36. Also, the bandits from the world map can no longer spawn so I can finally move freely without paying attention at the RNs.

Sealed Bridge 2 (Rout) :

Renee used her Anti-Devil Staff, and managed to kill all the gargoyles with two uses.
PI : Kill all the gargoyles with only one use (pretty unlikely), less gargoyles.

Map 31 (Kill the boss) :

So the boss here is Zeek. And he got the same stats than when he leave on split 2. With a Power Staff boost from Lyria, Yoda is strong enough to ORKO him with two crit from the Kill Blade.
PI : ORKO Zeek without a Power Staff boost. For this, you need either two low % crit with a Brave Sword, or a pretty weak Zeek (and by pretty weak, I mean not a single Def level up and at most one HP level up).

Map 32 (Seize) :

Easy. Without Renee, it would have been a nightmare.

Map 33 (Seize) :

The main difficulty here was to dodge a 94% hit attack on EP, because the boss' magic (Tomaharn) prevents counter if it hits the target (Sylpheed has the same effect), and we don't want this battle animation to go to waste. I moved Kreiss on turn 1 for the sole purpose of manipulate the enemies behavior which leads to this unlikely dodge.
PI : It would be faster to kill the boss on turn 1 without seeing his spell animation, which cost a lot of time. However to do so, I need a 1% crit with Holmes' Gatling Bow and a low % critical with Yoda's Brave Sword. This is inconvenient first because the space is pretty small, so burning RNs takes more time than usual, and second because the RN string was bad, and clearing the map this way additionally gives me a bad RN string for map 34

Map 34 (Kill the boss) :

Actually this map objective is to seize, but killing the boss automatically warps Runan near the throne. This boss is the reason why we wanted the maximum Skl on Lionel, because he and the next one are extremely hard to take down quickly. In this case, all is due to his high stats (most notably, you can't double him except with pretty weak weapons) and a lot of protective items. Fortunately, we got a Luna Sword for free, and this sword as the special effect of reducing target's Def to 0 (also negates the shields effects), so it is still possible to ORKO him, but only with a 54% hit / 3% crit attack. You also can't abuse the Life or Death skill to increase the critical rate here, as the boss has the Awareness skill (negates all skills).
PI : See the Other Possible Strategy Improvements section (Mel)

Map 35 (Kill the boss) :

The boss owns a Goddess Shield, and like the previous boss he is too fast to be doubled and has the Awareness skill. To make things even worst, his weapon allows him to restore HP equal to damage done to enemy and his accuracy is pretty high. Thanks to Sylpheed preventing counter from the boss, I can kill him in two attacks as long as Sierra's Mag + Lionel's Str is equal to at least 40 (as a reminder, Sierra maximum Mag is 20 and Lionel maximum Str is 22)
PI : See the Other Possible Strategy Improvements section (Julius ORKO)

Map 36 (Seize the castle then survive for 5 turns) :

With the help of Plum, Runan can reach the castle on turn 1. However, once the castle is seized, 5 Summoners appears at various places of the map, and 6 reinforcements will appear every turn, so the fastest way to clear this map is to instantly kill these Summoners while also occupy the 6 cases where the reinforcement are supposed to appear. This is why I took 2 extra turns to give my units enough time to reach these various places.
The dragon Rakis is the boss here, and he is pretty much invincible (technically a max Str Narron or Loffaru can 20 Hits KO him with a Power Staff boost, but that's the only way), so defeating him to end the map sooner isn't a viable option. The boss will solely focus our own dragon no matter what, so I abused this fact by creating a human wall to prevent him from reaching our dragon, making the boss unable to land any time consuming attack.

Map 37 (Get the holy sword and rout the map) :

The Summoners will use their staff every turn, so they must be killed as soon as possible. Sierra is the only one who can do that, since even Lionel can't reach them on turn 1 and he is then blocked by the summoned monsters. Meanwhile, Runan is on his way to the holy sword, and he baits the dragon so that most of them "suicide", though he is OHKO by their attacks (12% hit thanks to the Main Gauche) so he must also have enough Amulets to survive (including the one I got on map 01, I have a total of 4 Amulets).
The boss is basically the same than the one on map 33 (Elixir + Tomaharn magic), but here I managed to make Lionel injured enough to force 2 dragons to attack him, which aditionnaly hit and kill the boss without any battle animation ! Lionel and Sierra cleared the rest of the map, with the exception of the dragon boss that Runan must kill himself (or more precisely, Runan is the only unit who can hurt this dragon thanks to the holy sword).
PI : Kill the boss with 4 dragons. It would require very high luck on the RNs since it requires 4 dragons tp be alive and in range of the boss, as well as all of them hitting the boss and missing Lionel (the dragons have a bad accuracy while the boss has a decent evade).

Map 38 (Kill the boss then reach the door with Holmes) :

Due to this map objective, Holmes must kill the boss since he can attack him from the door. For this he needs either 15 Str or a low % crit, so that's the reason why he got Str at every previous level-ups due to the uncertainty of getting a low RN fast enough. Here I managed to get the crit and another Str level-up, which allows him to OHKO an annoying enemy on map 40.

Map 39 (Kill the boss) :

Once again it's Zeek, but this time with fixed stats. I managed to get a 7% crit with Sierra, which is a lot faster than doubling him with Sylpheed.

Map 40 (Surround the boss with the 4 holy swords and kill him) :

You can't reach the center part of the map before Gwenchaos transforms himself into a dark dragon at the end of turn 3. To kill him on turn 4, I must warp Holmes and Sennet with Renee while Runan and Tia can walk to him without any help. It's hard for Sennet and Renee to meet on turn 4 since Sennet is the only lord able to ORKO the boss (thanks to the Agi Plus I got back in map 14, he has just enough Spd to double the boss), so he must still be able to move after Renee warps him.
Along with the dark dragons, a lot of Opus appears and some of them must be killed to clear the way for the lords. Thankfully we gain control of Alfred on turn 4, and with his Warp skill and Tornado spell, along with Sierra's help, it isn't much of an issue.
Finally, the places where the sub boss witch warps herself must be far enough so that she is never in range of anyone with her 5 range magic.

Other Possible Strategy Improvements :

  • Mel :
Mel is the troubadour accompanying the boss on map 04, and it was pretty hard to choose if either or not I should have recruit her, due to her possible time save appearing only 2 hours later on the TAS
Con (i.e. what to do to recruit and keep her on the team):
-Make Runan speak with Narcus in one of the house on map 03
-Extra cutscene after turn 1 on map 06
-Make Mel talk to Roger on turn 9 on map 07
-Extra cutscene on map 09
Pro :
-Magic Staff : the reason why Mel is valuable. Similar to the Power Staff, it grants +7 Mag to a unit (aka Sierra) for the whole duration of the map. The main use would be to 1 turn map 34 faster (Sierra can't ORKO the boss without it), but it could also be useful on map 35 (Sierra can now 2HKO the boss) and map 37 (max Mag Sierra can 2HKO most of the enemies with an Earthquake magic on turn 5).
-Roger : With him in the team, it may be possible to limit Zeek uses.
-She has a 3% Mov growth rate, so one can imagine her replacing Lionel. However she is sword locked and has bad growth rates, so that's probably just a bad idea.
  • Not promoting Lionel :
Usually, promoting an unit has two specific advantages : getting more Mov and getting higher cap for stats. Due to his Mov growth rate, the Mov bonus upon promotion isn't really need by Lionel. The capped stats on Str/Skl/Agi for an unpromoted Lionel are 20/19/19 (as opposed to 22/21/21 for a promoted Lionel). 19 Spd is barely enough to double the boss on map 22, and he shouldn't have troubles doing his job on the other maps. The main issue would be the map 35 boss, as 19 Mag Sierra + 20 Str Lionel is 1 point short a killing him, so I would need an alternative method (Mel strat or Loffaru strat).
  • ORKO map 35 boss :
There is only one way to ORKO this boss : attacking with a 20+ Str bow user with a Gatling Bow and a Power Staff boost. The fastest way to meet these requirements is to give Loffaru the map 14 POW Plus instead of Lionel. However, there is some drawbacks to this strategy which make it most likely slower in the end :
-You can reach the boss with Loffaru only on turn 3 instead of turn 2 with Lionel
-No Power Staff for maps 31 and 33 (need some low% crit with a Brave Sword)
-No Gatling Bow for map 38 (need a low % crit)
  • Use Mahter instead of Zeek :
She doesn't leave the party, gains less levels than Zeek (he possesses the Elite skill), and having a strong Mahter means that Frau can use the crit lance instead of her. However she is obviously weaker than Zeek, so she may have troubles early to ORKO enemies.
  • Don't pick the crit lance :
Technically the TAS can be done without it, but having a 50% crit weapon instead of a 0% one save a lot of time by not burning too many RNs
  • Pick a MOV Plus :
There is 3 locations where you can get a MOV Plus (+3 MOV), only one of them is realistically not too far out of the way : in the Mermel Caves between encounters 2 and 3. It's an encounter (so a random number of monsters), and one of the two chests on the first visit has a 1% chance to contain a MOV Plus. So if somehow you manage to manipulate a very low number of monsters and get the MOV Plus from the chest, then "maybe" the time lost can be catch up later on. The MOV Plus would go to Runan, and it may save some time on maps 24, 25, 26, 37 and 40.
  • Less menuing :
Early on the TAS, I abused the start menu a lot to select far away characters faster. However it looked like it can cause some lag on the next character movement/attack, so I limited as much as possible using this method later on the TAS.
  • Better RNG manipulation :
A better RN seed, better RN manipulation.

Special thanks : and, basically the two main sites for accurate information about the game.

Suggest screenshot :

Frame 379849

Samsara: This'll be fun. Judging.
Samsara: I've always had a secret love for strategy game runs, which look fairly straightforward but have so much going on under the hood that would almost never be possible during a normal playthrough of the game. The run looks incredibly well-planned and reading the submission text gave me a lot of appreciation for what was happening... But at the end of the day, it's still a 3 hour strategy game run that's flown so far under the radar that it may as well be flying into the Earth's core. Accepting to Vault.
Spikestuff: These? These are just tears of joy.
Last Edited by adelikat on 10/19/2023 12:40 AM
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