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Finished Marahna Act 1. I managed to save 177 frames. A relatively easy level to TAS, I'll move on to Marahna Act 2 and maybe even Northwall tomorrow. Marahna Act 1 WIP 1
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Marahna is indeed a very easy stage...in the US version, anyways. The Japanese version is a nightmare. The enemies act faster, the boss ducks in and out...
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Marahna Act 2 WIP The level branches off into two paths at one point. I chose a different path from Ogreslayer because I think the one I chose is faster, but I'll test the other one later to make sure. I saved 207 frames up to the boss. I didn't bother using the scrolls I had against the boss, because I don't want to bother banging my head against the keyboard trying to figure out the best time and place to use stardust when I know I'll just have to do it again later. As a result the boss fight is 435 frames slower than Ogreslayer's. Northwall Act 1 WIP Saved 168 frames up to the boss. Again, I didn't bother to use stardust, so the boss fight is 221 frames slower than Ogreslayer's.
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I wonder if it would be possible to Zip down in the elevator part in the beginning of Maranha Act 2. That's the only place I think it might work and be useful. I don't have time to try right now.
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If it is, I'm not sure how I would activate it. In Aitos, the platform moving down past the hero causes the hero to go into the wall, which of course isn't supposed to happen. But with Marahna, the platform won't even start moving until the hero reaches the middle of the platform, so when you try to go to either wall, you just stop at the wall as expected. Also: Northwall Act 2 WIP 1 Saved 241 frames up to the boss fight. As usual, I'm not bothering to use stardust since the patterns may change next time. Dunnius, any progress yet? Now that I've done first run-throughs of all the acts (I already did tests in Death Heim earlier), I think I may do a first run-through of the Northwall sim section, continuing from the sim testrun that I posted, and see how I can do compared to Ogreslayer's run-through. EDIT: initial run-through of Northwall SIM,continuing from my second sim test: Northwall SIM test I also updated my growth spreadsheet on google docs I think my current sim test clocks in at 28 less construction phases than Ogreslayer's. I wonder if the final run might even be under an hour.
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I am more than halfway through the Fillmore sim, and I expect to be done real soon as long as I don't have any more interruptions. I discovered that if a monster is killed and its spirit arrives at the temple right before the lag before the construction, it increases the soul counter for the current construction and spawns another monster so that it can be killed while the town is under construction, increasing the soul counter for the next construction. This can be used to increase the soul counter by up to four, though it would be difficult to do that. This is only useful before any of the monster's lairs are sealed, so its usefulness is limited. Obviously this is not useful for Fillmore because of the houses that catch on fire and that it is easy to get lots of souls killing the napper bats. Now I really want to finish Fillmore so I can start testing Bloodpool.
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Sounds good with Fillmore. Please put up your progress when you're done with Fillmore so I can see what you came up with. Now that I'm done with initial run-throughs of all the action sequences, I'd like to go ahead and do another sim test to see how your change in strategy in Fillmore and my change in Kasandora strategy affects everything else. Hopefully it won't throw off anything (most importantly, the number of turns after you leave Aitos before its population grows again). Otherwise we may want to come up with something else for Fillmore.
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Also to note, if you leave the last monster around after you seal the lair it came from, you can also get one more soul that way.
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Once a lair's been sealed, it doesn't really matter whether or not we bother to kill any more monsters because we'll have enough souls to last until we reach the next lair.
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Here is the Fillmore sim completed, finally. http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/595590574/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Zidanax_and_Dunnius_WIP_2.smv This is an improvement of 37 frames and 4 population (it is 118 at the end) over my previous Fillmore run. This took a long time due to difficulties coming up with a soul counter of 24 before the second construction cycle, and also some bad luck during the fourth construction building phase that caused frame loss. I had gained 49 frames before the construction, but had only gained 12 by the end. So I had to find another path that caused the building to be done a different way to reduce the frame loss. I decided to compare this run against Zidanax's up to the end of the Fillmore sim and try to adjust for the differences. Zidanax's run ends the sim at frame 20393, but doesn't get the items from the people before Act 2, so I added that in and so it ends at frame 20576. My run ends the sim at frame 19094, but I skip an entire construction cycle, so when I add that in using a slower build calculated from testing my previous run, it ends at frame 20509, and is 67 frames faster than Zidanax's. Obviously, Zidanax's run is not fully optimized and there may some other impact based on luck, but it looks like two runs are around even. I am glad to be done with FIllmore so I can start working on Bloodpool. I hope it will be easier to TAS.
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Very impressive. Having tried to do so myself, I can imagine that getting enough souls by the end of the second turn must've been a pain. I looked over the WIP, and I couldn't see any obvious errors. Stay tuned for an edit, because I'm going to splice in my Fillmore Act 2 and Bloodpool Act 1 runs. I should also mention that looking at my growth charts, we may actually be able to get to level 4 (and therefore leave Bloodpool) one turn earlier if you can somehow manage to get one more house (or maybe field?) in the first two turns of Bloodpool than I did in my latest sim test (I got 8 houses total). That could be a real pain to do without resorting to things that delay the timer like drying more marshes. If you can't mange to do it, we'll leave it as is, but if you could do it and it actually works, that would be fantastic. Two extra would be even better because it might be useful later. EDIT: Here's the current WIP. 7678 frames saved over Ogreslayer's TAS up to the end of Bloodpool Act 1, though we will lose some of that time in the Bloodpool sim unless we can manage to get enough houses/fields early on in Bloodpool. EDIT#2: I played around in Bloodpool some. Looks like it is possible to get another set of 4 souls in the first 2 turns, but they ended up building a field instead of a 9th house. That encourages people to build more houses later. However they decided that on the turn I want them to build more houses in order to get out of Bloodpool (The 7th time the town grows), they'll instead dedicate two people to fields,when they could've just built one field and dedicated the other person to a house, which would've given me barely enough people to leave Bloodpool right there. They would've gotten close to the limit of what the food supply could support, but it would've been possible. Maybe there's a way to manipulate them by, for example, changing the time when we build the bridge to the bottom lair, to make them build houses at the time we want them to build them. Note that we'll probably want to build bridges over both exposed river tiles in the south, since bridges actually provide 32 food. It may also be necessary to manually convert the first corn field to wheat in order to get this to work.
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Looks like it is possible to leave Bloodpool in 7 growths. I had to build bridges over both river tiles in the south, and manually turn the first field (corn) into wheat in order to get enough food. I ended up delaying building of bridges in the south until the NW bat lair was sealed, and put off converting the corn field to wheat until just before the critical growth that lets us leave Bloodpool. Here's an example of how this could be done. See if you can find any optimizations in there, Dunnius. I'm going to, based off of that WIP, (which has the essential part of leaving Bloodpool in 7 growths instead of 8) see what happens in Kasandora, Aitos, and Marahna. EDIT: If you can't manage to get enough souls for 10 structures (fields/buildings), then see if you can manage to get enough for 9 without using a bomb. That bomb could come in handy in Kasandora. Also, you'll want to build over to Fillmore so that their fields are converted to wheat. If you do that, then at the end of Kasandora their population will be 8 higher than it would've been otherwise. That may not seem like much, but I can tell that however we manage to get out of Kasandora in the same number of phases as I did in my second sim test, it's going to be a close shave, so every single house helps. 9260 frames (about 2 and a half minutes) total saved up to the beginning of Bloodpool Act 2 with this WIP.
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YAHOO! Well, I didn't think it would happen, but I managed to reduce the total number of phases to reach level 10 (and thus be able to enter Northwall) by 1. I was able to get out of Kasandora in the same number of turns as before, thanks to manipulation of when they build what stuff, though I had to pick up and use an extra wheat to do it. Aitos was the same as usual, but unfortunately, I had to wait an extra phase to reach level 8. Thus I entered Marahna on phase 34, as in my second sim test, but this time with a higher total population. This time I built towards both the NW and SW lairs at the same time. I barely managed to get to level 10 in one less phase--my population was 1902 and the requirement is 1900! I can say with confidence now that there is no way you'd be able to reach level 10 in less phases than this barring unknown glitches/cheats. The amount of timer stoppage involved with manipulation of food and the extra cursor movement may actually be enough to make this method slightly longer than taking one more phase to get out of Marahna and not doing all this food manipulation/extra pointer movement, but it's so cool to clear Marahana (and, by extension, Northwall since there's no minimum population to leave it) in what I'm darn sure is the minimum number of phases that I don't care quite as much. Here's my WIP. Note that parts not essential to getting the population growth patterns I want are rough as sandpaper; this is a quick and dirty test. Note to Dunnius though: if you can manage to get 10 structures in the first two phases of Bloodpool, or get 9 without using a bomb (preferably the second choice), and without delaying the timer more, that would still be nice because that may be enough to eliminate the need for manipulation of how people in Kasandora build. And thank you so much for your Fillmore strategy/ managing to get more souls in Fillmore without delaying the timer. This most likely wouldn't have happened without you. EDIT: A minor timesaver: I didn't notice this before, but casting earthquake in Marahna to create a bridge to the NW lair actually adds 22 to the soul counter. No need to use any bombs or angel arrows. I could just kill two monsters in the first turn and then do nothing and still get 6 structures!
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In preparation for when the Bloodpool sim is finished, I did another version of Bloodpool Act 2. This'll be my final one, I think. I used the idea of using a boost jump before entering a door to save frames, and how to fall off the edge of a platform slightly faster. And the tiniest amount of lag reduction (no more than 3 frames, I can't recall the exact amount). But most importantly, I got really lucky this time. I went into the boss's room and got a bad pattern like before, but when I used a boost jump to enter the room, I got a pattern where he starts on the low platforms, then the second ones up! So I've saved 175 frames total, mostly from the lucky boss fight. Bloodpool Act 2
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I can get a soul counter of 21 before the first construction cycle of Bloodpool without using the bomb. I have been investigating an alternate route in Bloodpool that might save time. I haven't tested the second cycle yet, but I will find out soon.
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Very nice! How many souls do you have at the very beginning of phase 2 (when the timer starts incrementing again)?
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Any progress? I'd like to see an SMV of what you have so far, even if it isn't complete (I'd like to see how you managed to get 21 souls before the first construction phase without getting a bomb).
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Sorry about the delay; I have too much going on. It took me a week to type this post. I managed to complete a test run of Bloodpool using an alternate path. http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/544754337/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Bloodpool_Test_Alt_Path.smv It is TASed except that the angel does not move after directing the people to the last lair, but the messages during that time are TASed. I started the second phase with 5 souls and managed to get 20 before the second construction, without using the bomb! The idea of the alternate route is that 2 bridges are built before any construction, which prevents field building before the people learn how to grow wheat. The reason was to get around the extra "take an offering" that gets the wheat, which takes 170 frames. This route adds about 160 frames of pointer movement, but it would be faster in theory. But it turned out slower because 6 out of 7 "town under construction" were slower. Also, the population of the alternate route is the same as Zidanax's run at the end of the sim. However, because of the extra bridge, the two runs will build fields at different times. When the alternate route does not build a field, but Zidanax's run does, the alternate route will be 8 ahead, though that will only last until the opposite field building occurs. I also do not think it is necessary to build over to Fillmore, and I did not do that in my run. The message about Fillmore is 162 frames and the time to build to it in the normal route is about 60 frames. Its effect is the same as the extra bridge in the alternate route. It did save time on Zidanax's run because it made up the population difference on the turn that mattered. But I am going to be able to increase the population of Bloodpool by 4, and because Fillmore's bomb will be used in Kasandora, its population will increase by at least 4, and that will make up the difference, and will be faster. After I completed the alternate route, I realized that the extra "take the offering" to get the wheat was unnecessary no matter the route because there are 3 opportunities to get the wheat (with the bread, with the skull, and after act 2) and the wheat is only needed twice outside of Bloodpool (Kasandora and Marahna) so the third wheat will be used in Bloodpool, which is needed in the normal route. This means that the alternate route will never be faster. So now I have begun redoing Bloodpool using the normal route. It will be easy to do since I have figured out most of Bloodpool already. I hope I won't be so busy so that I can finish Bloodpool quickly.
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That was a great idea with building two bridges; I didn't think of that. It's too bad that it didn't work out with the longer construction phases and all. I'd like to say that I am really impressed that you managed to pull off getting not 9, but 10 structures in the first two phases without using a bomb! I really do appreciate you perfecting the sims, especially gathering souls at the beginning of these sims, since that's the one part of the run I loathe doing. I agree that building a road to Fillmore will be unnecessary. As you said, having two bombs in Kasandora instead of just one will very likely allow us to get more houses in the beginning. You can use both bombs in Kasandora as needed because we won't need any in either Aitos or Marahna. Aitos and Marahna should both be easier because it's easy to get 24 souls in the first phase of each(it only takes one phase to reach the first lair in each), and of course we don't really care about population in Northwall. So hang in there :).
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Here is the latest WIP with the Bloodpool sim completed. The last input for the sim is on frame 46408, and this stops at beginning of Act 2. http://dehacked.2y.net/microstorage.php/info/1843356764/ActRaiser_%28U%29_Zidanax_and_Dunnius_WIP_BP_Sim_Done.smv I got lucky on the first construction cycle and picked up one more soul, and almost got yet another soul in before the construction started. I had 22 right before the construction began and it peaked at 23 for a moment. If I could manipulate the Napper Bat better by knowing its AI script, it may be possible to get 24 souls before the construction. I got unlucky on the second cycle and only got 26 souls, and I almost got 27. I'm sure could have gone back and got 27, but it wouldn't have mattered anyways. During the first construction, only 4 houses are built because there is not enough space to build any more. The additional souls are carried over to the next construction, and 6 houses are built then. In order to build more houses on the first construction, the square above the temple would have to have roads built. The sequence from using the skull item got interrupted by a lair sealing. It doesn't cost any frames to do that, but it is entertaining to those who have played the game.
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I took a quick glance at the WIP and it looks pretty good. At some point, I'll stick in Bloodpool Act 2 and Kasandora Act 1 for you, but I want to do one more WIP of Kasandora Act 1, and I have several tests this week, so I may not do that until Friday or Saturday.
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That will give me more time to consider an alternate route in Kasandora. Good luck with the tests!
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I've inserted Bloodpool Act 2 and Kasandora Act 1. I redid Kasandora Act 1 and managed to shave off 22 frames. End of Kasandora Act 1
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Can't wait for the completion on this one. Been waiting a long time for someone to re-do the old run. This one is looking great!
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I did a quick and dirty test of everything up to just before Marahna Act 2 based off of the latest WIP. To simulate managing to get 6 structures in the first phase of the Kasandora sim I used a cheat code to hard code the soul counter to 24 for the first phase (then turned off the cheat). It looks like if we do manage to get a 6th structure in Kasandora thanks to the two bombs, we won't have to do quite as much pointer movement in Marahna. That's because we'll still be able to reach 1900 people in the same phase as my 3rd sim test even if we reach one of the last two lairs one turn before the other instead of on the same turn. In fact, when I gained a level the population was exactly 1900 (!!!). If we can't manage to get 6 structures, then we can use the same strategy as my last sim test (move the construction pointer back and forth such that the last two lairs are reached on the same turn). EDIT: When I reached a population of 1900, Kasandora and Aitos had populations of 510 and 402, respectively. That gives us a guide for how many roads need to be built in each place.
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