- Emulator used: BizHawk-2.3.2
- Luck manipulation
- Wrong Warp
- Takes damage to save time
About the game
This game is known as King's Field 2 in Japan, hence it is often referred as King's Field 1U/2J. The original King's Field was never released outside of Japan, as the Playstation wasn't released anywhere else at the time. It is the first game released by FromSoftware, and you can see a lot of similarities with their later Dark Souls games. The game is supposed to run at 30 FPS, but it will often be slower when rendering too many elements at once, going as low as 12 FPS.
Rotating the camera is very slow. The angle values range from 0 to 4095. While moving, the turning speed increases (or decreases) by 7 per frame, capping at 28. While standing, the turning speed increases (or decreases) by 8 per frame, capping at 35. So even under optimal conditions, you would need 30 frames to do a 45° rotation while standing, 37 frames while moving.
Unlike games like Doom or Goldeneye 007, running and strafing simultaneously isn't faster than doing only one of them. However, when doing it close to a wall with an angle of ~45°, the game messes with the calculations and the speed can be boosted up to 480.
In a similar way, if you are only running or strafing and almost parallel to a wall, the speed can be boosted up to 652. However, unlike strafeboosting, there are 2 limitations. First, the angle value must be accurate to the unit, as being 1 unit off will result in a speed of either 542 or 337, and getting this accuracy fast can be tricky due to how the turning speed mechanics work. Second, straightboosting only works when going east or west with the wall on the north side, or when going north or south with the wall on the east side.
Glitches and tricks
The map is divided into 9 distinct sectors, each with a main floor and a secondary floor, the later can have some "rooms" above the main floor and other rooms under it. Most rooms have a ceiling, even if invisible, though it's not always the case.
In the small mine, there is a trap floor which for unclear reason can give you a more or less big height boost if you take it with the right speed and angle, putting you out of bounds (OOB) in top of the ceiling of the room.
If you load a game right after a sector transition loading room, the game will mess up with the loading and put the player at the wrong coordinates, resulting in a wrong warp. The new coordinates depend solely on which sector transition loading room was used so the options are very limited, and the new coordinates may or may not be OOB.
While OOB, you can only move from one ceiling to another one which isn't at a higher height, though you can freely go from one floor to another as long as the rooms are geographically connected. It is thus easy to get softlocked and hard to get out of an OOB, as you must either reach a room without a ceiling, which is uncommon, or reach a sector transition loading room as the transition will update the height coordinate and put the player at the most likely place given his X and Y coordinates.
The RNG is at the PSX default address 0x9010 and follows the default formula. Very little luck manipulation was necessary for the TAS, most of the time it was only to ensure that enemies wouldn't block me in my path.
There are 16 weapons and 20 magic spells (4 for each attribute: fire, water, earth, wind and light, though not all of them can deal damage). In addition, some weapons have a special magic that can be used once your stats are high enough, which will never be the case in this TAS. Since weapons use physical stamina and magics use magical stamina, you will always have a better DPS when using both of them, but there is so little combat in this TAS that it wasn't even worth the time to take a detour to learn any magic.
The game is more or less an open world and there are in theory only two mandatory steps in order to reach Guyra, the final boss:
- Kill Tarn the Ice Golem to unlock a path blocked by an ice wall
- Kill Necron at the Coliseum (basically a 5 bosses rush) to access Guyra's dimension
Both of these will be skipped with some wrong warps/OOB, so all I had to do was to get enough stuff to:
- Do the first wrong warp: 1 Rhombus Key (pick) + 3 copy (580g x3 = 1740g), being LV3 (110 xp) to survive the fall damage and a few healing items
- Do the second wrong warp: nothing in particular
- Kill Guyra: The Moonlight Sword near Guyra is already one of the most efficient weapon to kill him, so the only issue was the 5 bits near him who can't be ignored and must be killed first
Given the basic route, the most effective way to deal with the bits is to purchase a Bow and a Demon's Pick from the merchant near the first wrong warp, as for some reason the Bow's power scales with the magic stat instead of the strength one, and the Demon's Pick increase said magic by 30 points (~30 level-ups) for 30 in-game seconds, allowing the bow to kill each one in 3 arrows instead of 6. With this extra shopping, I needed at least 6600g, and the fastest way to get this was to pick and sell the Fire Crystal at the beginning of the game for 7000g.
By itself the Small Mines OOB is probably about as fast as the intended route, but the 3 extra Rhombus Keys you would need to do so make it the fastest option.
Arrows are scarce and each time you get a pickup, you will randomly get between 5 and 10 arrows, so 2 pickups are enough to deal with the bits (and as a bonus I could shot 3 arrows at Guyra to have 1 less Moonlight Sword swing to do). Among these 2 picks are one archer who gives 27 xp on defeat.
Usually speedrunners get xp by farming the Kraken Head at the very beginning of the game, for an extremely efficient 150 xp per 100 HP, but since I only needed 83 more xp to reach LV3 and that any extra xp would have absolutely no impact, I used the power of
friendship TAS accuracy to kill an archer slightly faster than the Kraken Head with some friendly fire, getting 90 xp for doing so (though I must be the one dealing the finishing blow). The 3 archers may or may not appear randomly, especially the one I had to kill, so they were all manipulated to appear.
- Better movement
- Better routing
- Better lag management: while I put some effort into it whenever possible, I intentionally didn't look down all the time to (maybe?) reduce lag, as it would then be "Watch the floor: the game"
- ケロット for his speedrun which follows almost the same route than this TAS: https://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm37588047
- The King's Field speedrunning Discord
Suggest screenshot :
frame 22077 or 30444
Samsara: Well, it's good to see that From Software's earlier titles are just as horribly broken by OoB as Souls games. I particularly liked that friendly fire enhanced archer kill, though the Minecraft player in me feels like you should've gotten a CD drop from it. The epic final battle of harmlessly standing on a dragon's back and slowly slashing it to death was genuinely hilarious to me. It felt like a mockery of Fromsoft's notoriously high difficulty, and that is absolutely up my alley.