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Sir VG
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The Northwall Dragon can be wasted MUCH faster than OgreSlayer's run. Even on a console with scrolls I did it much faster. However there is a spot near the center of the tree that if you get him to dive left-right, you can get at least 4 hits off of him. Yes, OS gets 4 hits his way, but mine you hardly have to move, just change directions partway through. However this does cause you to get hit every time. But diving that way and using a scroll instead will do a ton of damage. (Speedrun was 183 for DH-Northwall compared to OS's 179.)
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Yeah, I only had to experiment a bit before finding a place where I could hit the dragon four times as he swoops down. Interestingly enough, I'm having trouble saving time off of the Maranha boss using stardust now that the no scrolls version is so much faster. I tried the Dragon without scrolls, and was able to beat him in 901 frames instead of 1142, still without scrolls. Once I use stardust on him, I should be able to save even more time. Boss 6 EDIT: I didn't save quite as much time on the Northwall Boss with stardust as expected, but I did save some. I think my plan will be to use 1 scroll on each of the first four bosses, no scrolls on the 5th boss because I can't seem to get non-negligible savings there, and two scrolls on the Northwall Boss. That may change if for some reason the stardust patterns change to something quite different when I actually get to Death Heim in my TAS.
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OK, now I'm going to start messing around with sim strategies. I thought of one possibility for Fillmore that I didn't see in OgreSlayeR or Sir VG's run (or at least not in Fillmore). When houses have already been built on a square with roads, you can branch off pieces of road from that square into other squares without waiting for another construction phase, yet new houses can still be built on those quickly constructed pieces of road. I'm wondering if, since the people in sims build even when you're away, this might reduce time spent waiting for population growth in later sims? Here's a rough demo of what I'm talking about. EDIT: Since what's done up to the end of Fillmore Act 1 doesn't really affect how the Fillmore sim should be done, I've gone ahead and redone Fillmore Act 1 with the jumping trick. I was also able to make the boss somewhat faster. Overall I saved 30 frames up to the end of Act 1.
Sir VG
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I personally don't think it's necessary. In my last speedrun, my Filmoa population grew 128 people after I left. So it made 3 growths after I left (likely during Bloodpool, Casandra, and Aitos before running out of ability to grow). Plus I didn't spend too much time waiting around. However doing the math (based upon the max pop FAQ), I could have gotten 780 population based upon my score (my population at the end of the game was 386). So it's kinda a toss up...I guess. The other thing I should mention I thought of is this: given that you have to wait somewhere anyways (Casandra I usually wait a couple of rounds), you would still likely have to wait, so you could use that wait time in Filmoa instead of Casandra, justifying getting that scroll. Just a thought.
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With these extra pieces of road, Filmoa's maximum population would be even greater than the high 300's. I did a test in Filmoa where I went ahead and sealed the last lair, going from that lower bridge I built in the demo. I then stopped road construction and let the town grow on the roads I'd already built. The maximum population of Fillmore had increased to around 500, in contrast to a maximum population of 390 in my previous run, and it took less than one construction phase worth of time to build those extra pieces of road that allowed that. And yes, I noticed that you waited a while in Cassandra to complete that big square of road. Was that to have a high enough population to reach Aitos/Maranha? If it was, then.. that's the waiting I'm hoping this strategy will eliminate. I'm hoping that Filmoa will have grown to the new max of 500 or whatever it will turn out to be by the time I've sealed all the lairs in Cassandra. Then my waiting time in Cassandra would be greatly reduced/eliminated. Or did you have to wait for something other than building up the population? I noticed that you stuck around for awhile after you already had 950 people.
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So I guess 6 scrolls is optimal then? After watching a few of your boss demos it seems to be that way to me. You have to wait a while in Fillmore for that scroll in the woods. It includes waiting for 3 Thunders to hit and a lot of building lag. I'm sure you wouldn't gain back what you lost. I'm going to mess around with the Sims as well and see if I can find a good strategy that requires little to no waiting for population.
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Did some testing and... it looks like the rate of construction in a town when you're not there isn't as fast as I would've liked. I may end up waiting anyway, but hopefully that can be minimized by building those extra pieces of road in Fillmore, and maybe some in Bloodpool too. Perhaps I will wait in Fillmore and pick up the scroll in the process, but it's unlikely. Even with some waiting to build up the population, it may still not be worth it due to the total of about 450 frames spent clearing the bushes, which is still more than I could save with any single scroll in Deathheim. In any case it looks like I'll have to spend a LOT of time testing sim strategies if I want to do this right. Depending on how long that takes, you may not see another WIP for awhile.
Sir VG
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The wait time in Casandra was so that there was no wait time in Aitos after clearing Act II so I could get to Marhana, as it was better to wait in Casandra than Aitos. Depending on growth in Filmoa, it could cut down waiting time in Casandra, I just don't know how much difference it would make. BTW, if you get tired of sim strategies, go work on Professional! (You can get a SRM at Zophar.net.) I'd love to see that, as I'm sure tons of other people would.
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At least I won't have to test my strategies frame by frame. It doesn't really make a big difference when testing sim strategies whether or not you're playing frame by frame or in real time. Also, the slow rate of growth for towns you're not in limits the possibilities I have to test for somewhat. EDIT: It's better to wait in Casandra? I would think it would be better to wait in Aitos because then you'd have the growth in Aitos + slow growth in three other towns instead of just 2. Am I missing something?
Sir VG
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Aitos is more limited in its area than Casandra. While I could build more roads, the growth seemed inhibited more while I was in Aitos. While in Casandra, I was almost always doing 40+, while Aitos I only got like 32. From what I recall anyways.
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Well, I can always check. Yet another test, but this one shouldn't take too long. EDIT: Looks like knowing the soul counter system will be helpful. Before the first lair in a town has been sealed, all of the souls you've freed come from the enemies you kill. So if you want to get as fast growth as possible going up to the first lair, you want to be careful to kill as many enemies as possible. I did some quick testing with watching the soul counter (the author of the max pop. FAQ actually gave the memory addresses!) going up to the first lair in Fillmore. and I got one more house than in my previous WIP. Not much, but every little bit helps. This also explains why my population growth wasn't as good when I tried to seal the upper-right lair first: I wasn't able to kill enough enemies to keep the growth rate as high as possible, because it takes longer to reach the upper-right lair. Depending on how long it takes to kill enough of the stronger enemies in later sims, I may end up getting Angel Arrows in order to keep the growth rate high in the beginning of those later levels.
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I was working on Fillmore, and I got that house-on-fire event that Sir VG got in his run. Kind of annoying, because I wasn't sure what caused it. I tried to find out what my latest attempt and Sir VG's run had in common. I noticed that in both runs, enough enemies were killed before the first construction phase to cause not just a corn field to be constructed, but also a house. So I did a little experiment: I saved state, then waited until the fire event happened. I then waited again, but this time I destroyed the suspicious house with lightning right before the fire event would normally happen. That time, it didn't happen, and it didn't happen even when I waited long enough for another house to be built on the same location. I reloaded the save state, and tried destroying the offending house immediately after it was built instead of just before the fire event would normally occur. No fire event happened, even when another house was built over the same location. So I'm guessing the way to prevent the fire event is to not kill too many enemies before the first construction phase, so that that house doesn't get built. The location of the special house is in this image EDIT: Looks like the maximum number of enemies you can kill before the first construction phase and still not get the house is 7.
Sir VG
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I was wondering how to avoid that for my own run and never could figure out exactly. Great discovery! The one big question though is this...score. If you remember the guide, score makes a difference in the soul counter as well (50 pts = 1 life). The fastest jump would be to find a quick 1UP, as extra lives at the end are 1000 points (20 points to the soul counter). I've been working on a chart of this, but haven't gotten it fully completed yet. If there's one that's not far out of the way in a couple spots, it could cut out a round of construction. Filmoa Act I has one just after the full apple at the mid point at the bottom of that cliff that's not far out of the way. Bloodpool Act I has one shortly after its midpoint, guarded by the green lizardman. I'm not sure of any others offhand that aren't far out of the way. The one in Northwall temple is too late to be beneficial. Question is...is it worth it to focus a bit more on points?
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I would say get as many points as you can without wasting time. I doubt grinding enemies will be worth it.
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Sir VG wrote:
The one big question though is this...score. If you remember the guide, score makes a difference in the soul counter as well (50 pts = 1 life). The fastest jump would be to find a quick 1UP, as extra lives at the end are 1000 points (20 points to the soul counter). I've been working on a chart of this, but haven't gotten it fully completed yet. If there's one that's not far out of the way in a couple spots, it could cut out a round of construction.
For Fillmore at least, the in-Act score doesn't matter, because the minimum number of enemies across the four lairs in Fillmore is 500. That is, if you somehow got a score of 0, you would still have 500 enemies total in the four lairs, which is more than enough for our purposes. You probably already know this, but just in case: the soul counter always starts out at 0 in every sim. The in-act score affects the number of enemies in each lair, not the soul counter itself. But by extension, the in-act score affects the potential number of souls you can free. But since even for a score of 0, the minimum number of monsters across the four lairs is 500 for Fillmore, in-act score doesn't matter in Fillmore. What matters is how many enemies you kill in the Fillmore sim going up to the first lair. Once you've sealed the first lair, it doesn't matter because you've killed every enemy in that lair, giving a huge boost to your soul counter.
Sir VG
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True, but once you seal a lair, the soul count goes up, so it, in a sense, does affect the soul count (as does the Act II score). True that the count starts at 500 which that x 4 areas = 2000, more than enough to get to Northwall (which requires 1900 to get to Lv 10). But I was thinking on the idea that we don't get to 500, but that it helps boost growth potential, allowing for more population/round of development. It was just an idea I was throwing out. Looking at scoring I gathered, here's what the minimum Filmoa Act I score count be: 500 (the Tree) + 500 (Boss) + 10xTIME + 1000xLIVES So technically, if you killed all the lives you could, and finished the boss with 1 sec left, your minimum score would be 2010, adding 10 monsters to each lair (making the minimum total 135/lair).
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Ack, I don't think we're communiating very well at all. Could we start an IM conversation on IRC or AIM or something like that? That would probably work better than posting back and forth on a forum. I would recommend reading the entire FAQ if you haven't already, because the author could probably communuicate this stuff better than I can. If you prefer to use IRC, I generally hang out on #nesvideos on Freenode.
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About the fire event in Fillmore: it looks like you also have to limit the number of enemies you kill such that 3 or less houses are built during the second construction phase.
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I'm working on a test run to see if I can find any good strategies for the Sims. I came up with a slightly different strategy for Fillmore. Check it out The main thing I changed was not using lightning on the bush I burned in my published run to make the bridge and seal the last lair. The way I did it here you get the same amount of people but less time spent waiting for the lightning and slightly less time building.
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Interesting, that's basically the same strategy I came up with. Except that I forgot to not clear that set of bushes to the left of the shrine, and the way I build toward the bridge is slightly different. I'll redo the sim so that that bush isn't cleared, then I'll put up a WIP.
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Figured out something I dunno if it will help though. Pretty much you can connect the road from Bloodpool to Fillmore without having to connect from Fillmore. They will still get wheat there. I hope this helps you any.
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It doesn't really matter whether or not Fillmore gets wheat, because of those mansions (or, as the instruction manual calls them, factories) that the people of Fillmore start building at the highest civilization level. Those feed 72 people per building, in contrast to 48 people per wheat field.
Sir VG
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So in other words, it would be best NOT to connect the road from Bloodpool to Filmoa to avoid the extra text.
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BTW zidanax, did you watch that last movie I posted all the way through? I played up to Act 2 Fillmore and did a spike knockback that saved about 20 frames or so I believe. There might be more places where it can be abused like that.
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Dang, nice find. I see why it works: for some reason, when the hero falls after being hit by the spikes, the hero eventually falls at a rate of 6 Y positions per frame instead of 5. You seem to be pretty good with these action sequences.
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