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Final Fantasy 2 (U) by Deign

Important note before watching

Please read the section labeled "Helpful memory addresses for viewers." I have no doubt that these will make watching the run both easier and more enjoyable.

About

Final Time

This run completes the game in 2hrs 53min 14sec and 22 frames (623662 frames). As for the in-game timer, by going with SDA timing, the final damage numbers on Zeromus are done at 1hr 59min and 28sec. I'm happy to say this run completes the game in under 3 hours real time and under 2 hours for in-game time. I completed this TAS exactly 2 days after the 1 year aniversary of starting the SMV file. It's too bad I didn't know how close I was getting to that 1 year file or I might have tried extra hard to complete it 2 days earlier.

Settings and Goals

  • Rom: Final Fantasy II (U).smc (Use version 1.1)
  • Emulator: Snes9X v1.43+ v10 for Windows can be found here
  • Aims for fastest times
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Uses death to save time
  • Massively manipulates luck
  • Colors a Cecil like a Tellah
  • Use WIP1 Timing
  • Allow Left+Right / Up+Down

Helpful memory addresses for viewers

  • In-game Timer Seconds: 7e16A4,2u
  • In-game Timer Frames: 7e16A3,2u
  • First enemy(usually boss) hp: 7e2287,2u
  • Second enemy(important in a few places) hp: 7e2307,2u
  • This one is not a memory address for viewing, it actually keeps the volume during battles the same, to reduce the annoyance factor of the pausing. Just enter the code 0495DCFF into the game genie window, check the box, and select apply cheats from the pulldown menu BEFORE starting the movie.

General Info Regarding the Run

During encounters either random or boss, it is possible to pause the game. This stops the in-game timer. It also often speeds up the next action by a frame or two. Thirdly, it allows for much more precise luck manipulation. In reverse order, these were my top priorities. I never gave up real time frames in an effort to save in-game frames, however, I saved as many in-game frames without sacrificing real time frames as I possibly could. In the end of course I'm very happy I did because the final time upon killing Zeromus was 1 hour and 59 minutes.
There is no way to speed up the party as they run around the map. Changing characters was just used as a method of entertainment. Throughout the run there are several different methods of utilizing the change character function as a way to entertain the viewer.
The RNG that is used in all fights has a neat little quirk. Two frames before the fight begins, it is possible to press any combination of buttons and affect the RNG. Also having a different character as the lead character can also affect the RNG. Using this it was possible to always ensure that I did not end up in any back attacks, suprise attacks, first strikes, or lose money (except in cases where it was desired).
Random encounters are pre-determined long before I even begin to start walking. In fact the frame at which all random encounters are determined is when you press A on the title screen. The only way to change the random encounters is to save the game and then reset. This takes up the same amount of time as about two random encounters, so it can't be used at all times. Only when it lowers the amount of random encounters that would occur by more than 2.

Good Glitches

1. Extra Experience and Gold Glitch: (Note: this does not work on bosses) Before a fatal blow is done to an enemy, it is possible to queue healing spells on the enemy (unlike damage spells which will find a new target). When life is cast on a dead enemy, it comes back to life with HP = Vit * 5. All enemies in the game have 0 vitality. So when these enemies are brought back to life with 0 * 5 hp, they instantly die again without even seeing the revived body. This results in gaining an extra kill. This glitch is only used against the D.Machin in the Giant of Babel. These enemies give a whopping 41500 exp per kill.
2. Boss Transformation override: Certain bosses have a trigger that happens when their hp is below a certain point and they are attacked. They act exactly like a counter-attack. To bypass this counter-attack, you can instead of directly attacking the boss, cast a damage spell off of a wall on one of your characters. These attacks will never be countered and therefore you can safely do damage without the undesired effects of a counter-attack.
2.a. Case of The Elementals: When fighting against The Elementals, the enemy you face begins with 57,000 hp. When that hp drops to 40,000 or lower, the next attack will cause the shapeshift from Milon to Rubicant. Once Rubicant's hp is below 11,000 the new counter-attack is to switch to Kainazzo, who starts with 47,000 and eventually switches to Valvalis. Rather than fighting through all that hp, it is simply easier to kill off Milon before he can transform to Rubicant and subsequently Kainazzo . By doing this, I lower the minimum damage for a kill from 94,000 hp to 57,000.
2.b. Case of Zeromus: Zeromus starts the fight with 61,000hp. His counter-attack is set to 16,000hp. His counter-attack is to reset his hp back to 61,000hp again (only occurs the first time). Obviously killing him before he can reset his life is the desired result.
3. Weapon Duplication Glitch: This glitch was only used to duplicate the Fire Sword but of course could have been used in many other places, and in fact there are other methods that could even have duplicated the Fire Sword to 255, but I felt that was quite unnecassary. This particular Item duplication is done simply by selecting an empty inventory slot in the item menu during a battle and switching it with either your sword or shield. This then gives the character 1 of nothing in that hand. Then in the equip menu when you go to equip a weapon or shield (doesn't have to be the same item) you then gain 1 of that item. Combine 1 of nothing with 1 of something and apparently thats 2 of something. Then unequip and reequip and you have an extra one in your inventory.
4. Dark Crystal Glitch: After defeating Golbez in the Dwarf Castle, you can Warp to the crystal room behind the king. Apparently for some reason the crystal is back where it belongs. Not only that, but if you pick it up, it is the same item that you would normally need to travel through the entire Sealed Cave to obtain. By getting the Dark Crystal now instead of later, I save possibly upwards of 20 minutes or more. The sealed cave is perhaps the toughest dungeon in the game, especially at the levels my party would have been at the time where they would have entered.

Bad Glitches

1. Lose Critical Attack Ability: There are two ways to lose critical attack ability. The first is to be in the group and be in a position where in the next "auto-fight" (such as when Tellah fights Edward or Cecil fights Kain) the character's spot is not taken up by one of the NPC fighters. Meaning that in the case where Golbez and FuSoYa are fighting against Zemus, if there is a character on the team that still has crit, he can keep his critical attack by being in the same position as either one of those characters. Or he would lose it if he was in a different position. However, it was later also discovered that the characters that aren't in the "auto-fight" will retain critical attacks IF and only if the group on the right dies.
The second way to lose critical attack ability is to be dead when a fight starts. In both these cases there is no way to regain critical strike ability. Not by saving and reseting the game, powering off, sleeping in an inn, leaving the party, or any other number of ways you could think of. The ability to critical strike is lost forever if either of these conditions are met.

Possible Improvements

1. Better Save/Reset locations
2. Test the time gained from getting the Tiara/Change rod and see if it's worth it. The route to getting it costs 2434 frames. However, I suspect very much that the time getting these items is well spent.
3. Discovered after killing the Dark Elf that I can manipulate NPC's in advance by 1 frame touching NPC's that are next to my path. Abuse this for Chocobo's and keeping NPC's off path and out of my way.
4. Possibly killing Rosa and/or Yang during the Golbez fight while Kain is in the air and before Shadow comes out to kill them.
5. It is possible to retain Yang's crit for Baigan if you allow Kain to kill off Cecil instead of doing it the quickest way possible as was done in my version in Fabul. Unknown if this would contribute enough damage to Baigan to be worth it. This will not last longer than the Baigan fight because characters also lose crit ability if they start a fight while dead. Being that Kain needs as much experience as possible in order to kill Golbez in a single jump, it would not be acceptable to allow him to survive the Baigan fight.
6. Purchase the lifes and cures in Fabul Castle on the way to the inn instead of in the Dwarf Castle. Untested, but I would think it should save about a second and a half of off-path movement.

Known Improvements

1. Pick up the Ether1 in Kaipo AFTER saving Rosa to save 7 frames when picking the sandruby to cure her. Unfortunately I missed this because in my test run I had bypassed the ether in the Octomamm cave and didn't have the extra ether in my inventory when I got to Rosa on the test run. Ended up having taken an ether on Mt Ordeals since I hadn't realized I would need it until I was already on Mt Ordeals, and because it was a test run, it didn't matter too much anyway.
2. Figure out a way to manipulate the guy in Baron to not be in the way. Although I did my best to make it look like I did not have to do anything for this, it actually cost me about 23 frames to manipulate this in the best possible way. First thing I did was to bump into a chocobo before riding it, this cost 21 frames, and this got the man in the blue sweater out of my path, but the little girl in the inn was still in my way, so I ended up having to bump into the man in the blue sweater twice to get her off my path which cost 2 frames because I was fortunate enough to have him moving in the same direction so I just bumped into him and moved the same path I was moving before. The only other way that I am aware of that moves NPC's on a different path is from the save/reset and waiting a large amount of frames. Before I figured out the chocobo path that I ended up deciding on, it was costing me 30 frames to go around him or 32 frames of waiting to manipulate him off my path. So far this is the best I could figure out. But there's a potential 23 frames of gain here.
3. During the making of my segmented run, I discovered that every once in a while it was possible to kill at least one guard in the Fabul fights (3 of them to improve) before they ever go the chance to attack. With dmg manipulation and RNG manipulation of course, it may be possible to kill off both before they got to attack. I would expect the general to still say Charge and take forever before he does his retreat, but I would save the frames that it takes to watch them attack me.
4. Menu movement on the first two times that Tellah casts exit can be improved by 1 frame. As well as the menu movement after obtaining Rydia and moving around the party configuration. After getting past the Dark Elf, I discovered that after selecting magic or form, instead of having to pause for 2 frames, it is actually possible to start moving the cursor 1 frame sooner by pressing down and right at the same time.
5. Deequip Iron Shield from Kain during the D.Mist fight. This will allow it to be equipped to Cid before the first Dark Elf fight. This would mean that I wouldn't need to waste the 422(for the Ogres) + 331(for self-hit) frames manipulating Cid's untimely demise. Total savings of about 606 frames.
6. Get a headband for Kain and level 21 for the Golbez fight and get Kain to be able to do enough damage that he kills Golbez on the first jump. The jump on Golbez would save about 19 seconds. The cost of buying a single headband and equipping it to Kain costs about 15 1/2 seconds. This can be combined by buying headbands for Cecil, Yang, and Cid (just buy 10). Some other things that can be done in conjunction for yang is picking up the charm claw in the Dark Elf cave and the CatClaw in the Tower of Zot.
7. In Cave Eblan, only 1 elixir is needed for Zeromus. I grabbed both because it was only a cost of 4 movement spaces and 12 frames to pick up the elixir. After all my test runs and all I had been through, I still wasn't sure if I would need both. Now that I've finished the run of course, I know I only needed one.
8. Only buy 10 Cure1s and 20 lifes. For the same reason as in number 7, I wasn't sure even with all the test runs as to how many of each to buy. Fortunately only 3 frames are spent here to buy the extra 10 of each.

Easter Eggs

There are several easter eggs to be found throughout the movie. If you find one or think you have found one feel free to mention it in the discussion thread. Whenever one is mentioned, I will add it to the submission text.
  • Found by MattyXB: After aquiring Tellah for the first time, Cecil's sprite takes Tellah's pallette and is walking around the cave as a purple knight instead of a dark knight. This only lasts until the next random encounter or until I switch charactors.
  • Found by Sir VG: On many occasions I would have a charactor cheer something that was about to happen. Such as the death of the boss or their own death. As mentioned below as well, Edge cheers on his mother's death. The cheering is done by using the Change command. In all actuality the change command takes the same amount of time as the parry command to "cast." So no frames are ever lost when the characters do change rows and such.
  • Found by Sir VG: Also on many occasions before a chat sequence I would switch characters just before and the characters pallette would be incorrect, the result would be a green Cecil at Octomamm, or a blue Tellah at Milon. This was done throughout the run in several locations.
  • Found by FreshFeeling: When meeting Kain after killing the Dark Elf and getting the crystal, the ship is moved 1 space (1 frame available for moving the ship, also costs 1 frame to do this). The spot I moved the ship was directly on top of Kain's ship. I wonder why they didn't crash =D
  • Found by eternaljwh: Just before entering the last dungeon and getting past FuSoYa's throne, I pick up a random stack of gold worth a massive 280gp. This really isn't suppose to be there. There is in fact about 8 of these invisible treasure chests that are known, but only 2 were on path. The other one would have taken up a necassary inventory slot, so it was not picked up.
  • Found by PhilCote: After killing Rubicant and going to Mysidia to obtain the Big Whale, one of the mages that walks around the town gets in the way of the Cut Scene and stands on top of the white mage.
  • Found by Whelkman: During the CalBrena fight, I made a concious effort to mess up the sound of the pause. What you hear is a long pause sound that doesn't go away until I unpause the game again.
  • Found by Whelkman: During the D.Machin fight, just before FuSoYa dies, his turn comes up. Rosa is already queued to attack the alarm, so it really doesn't matter. So I end up having the game paused while FuSoYa's menu is still active. So the result is a blinking dead pile of hair on the ground that just looks humorous.
  • Found by Slotermeyer: After bringing Yang to his senses in Baron, the group walks right through the little girl that runs around the inn.

General Strategy Overview

The overall strategy for this TAS is very similar to the speedrun. There is only 1 non forced encounter that is fought. This is the one where Rosa gains 30 levels. This does make the bosses up until then a bit more difficult than they would be in a normal play through. Even with the extra levels on Rosa, Zeromus continues to be exceptionally difficult. I could never imagine anyone attempting to use this strategy for a speedrun and being successful. The major difference between the TAS and the speedrun is the leveling of Rydia. Rydia is not leveled in the TAS. The extra time taken to level up Rydia is not offset by the time saved with her extra damage. Cecil and Edge are too weapon dependant to deserve attention for leveling. Kain gets free levels just because he is not in the party.
Characters that are not in the party gain the full experience of a fight. Experience from a fight is split between all living party members. This was abused throughout the majority of the run to maximize Rydia and Kain's levels for the fights from Valvalis until Rubicant by killing off all unnecassary members. After Rubicant the sole resposibility of damage lies with Rosa and FuSoYa (who is already leveled).

Run Comments

Character Switching

  • Occurs for every random encounter

Mist Dragon

I discovered that if you try to force a jump in the first or second Kain attacks, it will enable the Mist Dragon to get an extra hit in, thus lengthening the time of the fight. I went through about 18 iterations of this fight. First was a change because of figureing out the large affect that pausing has on the in-game timer and luck manipulation. The Second large change was the decision to add in save / reset. Then the third, because of the addition of save / reset I had forgotten to check if using the chocobo would be faster or not, after checking I had discovered I could get within 5 steps of the cave entrance and still get the same number of random encounters.

Kaipo Guards

The captain of this fight is the only enemy that actually does anything, how quickly he attacks is based on his agility, which is fortunately manipulatable. Getting 2 was too slow, it took too much time after the 3rd guard was killed for him to retreat, and 4 was too fast. 3 however was perfect, just moments after killing the third guard he would retreat.

Octomamm

Took me 14 attempts or so on this boss. This final iteration required a large amount of luck manipulation specifically near the end of the fight. I was able to kill him in 1 less hit by only 11 extra damage. But the gain was 381 frames better than the previous attempt. Including the added route change to grabbing the ether it was a gain of 266 frames. Probably the only reason I hadn't tried this earlier was because of the Mist Dragon fight, I tried to kill him in 5 hits but that proved to take much much too long. The ether was grabbed for Porom/Palom on Mt. Ordeals for the Milon Z fight. Unfortunately Rydia can't do anything else here, trying to force a chocobo on her first opportunity keeps Octomamm attacking at a faster rate, thus lengthening the fight. Trying to throw in a chocobo on the second attack slows down Octomamm too much and Tellah won't get hit enough to die. Cecil needs to get as much exp in the Octomamm, Antlion, and MomBomb fight that his dmg multiplier goes up enough to be useful in Fabul Castle. Rydia needs to be alive so that she has enough mp to hit Antlion with a minimum of 3 Chocobos.

Antlion

Took 8 attempts before I got this attempt with which I was quite satisfied. Everything really fell into place during this attempt, very few frames were lost to luck manipulation. Unfortunately because of the Tellah vs Edward fight, Dark Knight Cecil no longer has the ability to crit, so his high end damaging attack is only 70 dmg.

MomBomb

For the Yang only fight-> Unfortunately it's not possible to kill off 2 of the imps in the first kick, if it was possible, the fight would be several hundred frames faster. More than 8 seconds I'm sure.
Only at one location was I forced to spend more than 5-10 frames on luck manipulation, this was during the kill on the 2nd grey bomb. Everything else fell into place almost perfectly however. I tried many different ways to go about this fight, and this was the best of all strategies.

Fabul Fights

Nothing much to say here. Took 2-3 attempts for each fight to get what I wanted. The reason you see that the two fights involving a Whisper/WaterHag/Imp being faught differently is because Edward gained a level between them and became faster. I wanted to kill off Cecil in one shot on the Kain fight, but this proved impossible. After finding out that when Cecil is killed he goes through the Perished message, it would have been slower anyway. The quickest way to finish this fight is to have Cecil end up in the "Critical" stage and thus you see what Transpires.

Changed Character Switching

  • At the base of Mt. Ordeals, the characters now change to the music.

Milon

Milon went beautifully on this one. Cecil passes up on his first 2 turns because he really only needs to attack once. I wanted to get Cecil to equip the Black sword during a Flare attack so that it didn't eat away at my precious frames (Saved about 40 frames). Tellah is basically useless for both Milon and Milon-Z, so I manipulated his death as quickly as possible so that I wouldn't need to parry with him on Milon-Z. The fight took 3581 frames, which is 19 frames short of one minute. This was quite satisfying.

Milon-Z

The rotations for each character really worked out well in this fight. However, the biggest hurdle I came across while doing Milon-Z was that he would occasionally poison the person he would hit. This was determined long before I could do anything about it. It was tough to work around, but eventually this is what I completed him with. I tried killing off Cecil in order to not let the exp go to waste, but it proved to be 3+ seconds slower and in the end not worth it. However, with the possible improvement of Kain killing Golbez in the Dwarf Castle in a single jump, it may yet be worth the time.

Guards and Yang

Could not get the most optimal fight here, the RNG was not where I needed it to be. If I could have gotten the correct RNG for this fight it would have been about 25 frames faster and Palom would have just dual killed both the guards with Fire2. However, my manipulation of the RNG is limited and the closest I could get was in the 70s but i needed to manipulate it to be about 100 or so. So as the alternative, this was the quickest.
I also sacrificed 2 frames on Yang so that Cecil would crit him. No big deal, just felt that it was more aesthetically pleasing.

Baigan

The damage was painful to come by on this fight. This was the best one I could get with only 40 frames lost to manipulation. Killed off yang for the extra exp. Overall, this went well.

Kainazzo

Killed off the twins for extra exp obviously. Throughout the entire fight, only 5 frames were spent in manipulation for damage. As for trying to kill off Porom on the first hit, that would be not good. It messes with the turn order and Kainazzo gets off wave before Palom can Lit-2.

Dark Elf

I tried a few different things, but this ended up being the best. The changing does not slow anything down. It takes as many frames as a parry. Not much more to say about this one, Dark Elf was easy as pie. Taking the 2 hits from the Ogres before this fight made Cid able to kill himself before the Dark Elf would cast his 3 spells, thus shortening the fight by about 988 frames. Compared to 422 frames for the ogre fight and 331 for Cid killing himself. A much better solution to this is described in the known improvements section.

Changed Character Switching

  • Now character's change upon changing direction

Flamedog

What can I say, I iced his ass! Used the ether here so that I didn't need to use it during the Sisters fight. I only need 75mp for the sisters anyway. If I waited till the sisters fight I could have as much as 78...ooooo, so yea, used it here. I also set up the item duplication glitch for the Flame Sword that this very Flamedog gives me.

Delta Sisters

Really played with the RNG on this one quite a bit. Probably about 150-200 rerecords trying to see if I could get the optimal starting RNG, but that just wasn't gonna happen. Despite this, the strategy I devised allowed for one of the sisters to die before the fat one. Normally when one of the sisters dies the fat one would revive it. But with good timing you can kill one and then the fat one before she'll revive her. I chose to kill the small one first for two reasons. Firstly, she's front row and thus takes more damage from physical attacks. Secondly, the back one's spells when she's all alone can be dodged. Tellah is slapped for the extra experience.

Valvalis

This fight really didn't go as well as I had hoped. Unfortunately it seemed that although Kain's max dmg when Valvalis is not in spin mode is at 1000, it's pretty much impossible to manipulate it. However, this was significantly faster than all previous attempts on her because of finally getting a good enough manipulation that Valvalis not only cast weak on Rosa, but also killed Rosa herself, leaving Cecil available to attack Valvalis on his first turn instead of killing her off. This saved a hundred or so frames by itself.

Cal/Brena

This was quite the difficult fight to plan. The hardest part about it, is the last two dolls. You have to kill them both at nearly the same time. This was difficult to work around, but eventually all things came together of course. All characters needed to survive this fight in order for the timing to be correct for Kain to be allowed to use jump before Golbez freezes everyone in the party.

Golbez

The original plan was to kill Golbez before he would start doing the second chat sequence, but this could not be done because Kain just couldn't quite do enough damage. An explanation of how to achieve this is in the Known Improvements section. Other than this tiny blemish, the fight is pretty funny because Golbez dies before Rydia reveals herself, and then while still not shown, she gains 2 levels.

Balnab and Dr. Lugae

Kill both at the same time and you get to avoid the explosive robot. Just the same as how you avoid the big CalBrena in the Cal and Brena fight. Originally I was going to kill off Yang, but realized I needed him alive to take a big fat laser to the face at the begining of the next fight. Simple and easily taken care of fight.

Dr. Lugae (Morphed and Pissed)

First thing's first, make Yang eat a laser. Next step was to maximize damage without having the Gas counter hit. Lugae casts Gas after any attack and often puts someone to sleep. Next, make Cecil eat a laser and laugh at his silly purple hair. I also had to save some extra mana (which is why I didn't Titan twice) so that I could Fire-2 the Dark Imps in the Cannon Room.

Explanation for happenings between Dr. Lugae and Rubicant

The reason for the swap of the Wind Spear and the Tower Key instead of just "Take All" is because although, yes, it saves 3 frames; the tower key is then in a position that is undesireable for when I need to select it to enter the Cannon Room. Doing it this way saved 16 frames (minus the 3 for taking longer to swap out the Wind Spear).
The landing spot for the hovercraft here was about 50+ frames faster than the usual path taken. In fact I had never known about this spot until I tinkered around with it while TASing.
In the weapon shop I take an unnecassary step to the left. This adds 1 step to my step counter (not 2 because the spots in front of the bar don't count towards the counter). The reason this is necassary is because I was getting rid of an encounter that I otherwise would have to run away from.
The King and Queen Eblan fight was done in such a way that they always attacked Rydia and she always avoided it. It was actually kind of fun to TAS this fight because it was gratifying to have them keep missing spells. Also, Edge is one sick puppy. You can clearly see that he is cheering to his mother's death.

Changed Character Switching

  • Now acts as a Radar to identify when an encounter is getting closer. The faster the characters change, the closer a fight is. This ability is thanks to Edge joining the group (at least he's good for something)

Rubicant

Really easy fight, just need to maximize the damage output (only really have about 400 - 600 damage to play with), and make sure that glare hits the correct targets (read: Rosa and Cecil). The timing for this fight couldn't have been better. Nothing much else to say about Rubicant.

D.Machin

This was the one fight that I was dreading for probably about 90% of the TAS. Turns out it was much easier than I was expecting. Thanks to my test runs and my Speedrun, I was able to get the necassary information for getting set-up. After that it was just planning so that everything went as smoothly as possible. Rosa gains 30 levels here in a matter of about 12,000 frames. The reason for this is explained in the glitches section.

Elementals

Most of this fight is pretty much explained in the Glitches Section, but if people are watching the run and then reading through the submission text where they have questions about the run (which is probably more advised), then this will be one of the first places that will be skipped to by people who are more familiar with the game. Normally when you fight the Elementals, you are meant to fight all four elementals. When Milon-Z's hp is low enough he changes to Rubicant, but in memory they share the same hp. When Rubicant's hp drops low enough, he changes to Kainazzo, who has a whole seperate hp value that is equal to 0 until this change occurs. By reflecting the spells these changes are avoided. The wall dissapates before that last Cure-4, and rather than recasting it (which would have been slower) I go ahead and cast it on Milon-Z and allow him to change to Rubicant. Then FuSoYa easily finishes him off with a quick Ice-2.

CPU

There isn't much to say about this fight. The CPU starts with 20,000hp so it can't be killed by 2 attacks (White and Meteo) as they could never do more than 9,999 damage. I revive Rydia and move White to the first slot of Rosa's spell list to save time later. Rydia casts her Titan do the necassary damage to the CPU and kill off the Defender so that it doesn't heal the CPu back to full hp. The Attacker is also killed so that Rydia would die to Globe199 and not gain 5 levels which would take a lot of time and wouldn't end up being useful to me in any way.

Crystal Path

Yes, this part of the final dungeon gets it's own section. The reason for the save and the 3 fights before entering this cave is because the monsters on the crystal path can not be first striked, and they always attack (with the exception of the Behemoths). So this was pure manipulation to reduce the number of frames per fight.

Zeromus

The Final Boss, The Big Kahuna, The Big Cheese, Zeromus. This is what the entire run is about. Killing this one boss. The very same glitch was used on Zeromus as the one on the Elementals. Normally Zeromus would heal after taking 41,000 hp in damage. It isn't necassary to always reflect White against Zeromus, however he counter-attacks with weak. The reason for casting cure1 against Zeromus is two-fold. For one, he counter-attacks all non-holy spells with Nuke. With wall up on Rosa, I can reflect it and get an easy 2,000 damage. The second reason is that if Zeromus is already targeting the group for Big-Bang, his Wisdom is reduced for the counter-attack so that it doesn't do 9999 damage. It is then never recovered until after the Big-Bang, thereby reducing the damage done by the big bang immensely. Also of note is that Black Hole destroys wall and it must then be recast. Eventually Rosa kills Zeromus by herself. Go figure...the White mage is the one that does all the damage...

Thanks

Thanks to all who watch this TAS of course. The most massive thanks goes to Nitrodon. Without him, this TAS may never have been under 3 hours. He was immensly helpful throughout the making of this TAS. Thanks to Enhasa for his speedrun that stood before I obsoleted it. His run made strategy planning for both my speedrun and my TAS a lot easier. Thanks to Bisqwit for encoding some WIPs in his free time to allow people to watch the run via a youtube style media player. Thanks to JXQ, adelikat, and Cardboard for being awesome. Thanks to Halamantariel and an IRC goer who wishes to remain annonymous. The conversations between Nitrodon, Halamantariel, afforementioned annonymous IRC goer, and myself was the catalyst to the begining of this TAS. They also watched the original test runs and most of the WIPs. Thanks to L-Spiro for his MHS memory watching software. I can't get gocha's software to work, so the choice was MHS or snes9x memory watching. This choice should be obvious to anyone who's seen what the snes9x memory watching looks like. Thanks also to the few gamefaqs FAQs just for saving me time. I had to do a lot of research and having the FAQs handy allowed me to look certain things up quickly rather than advancing to these parts of the game and finding out that way. And last thanks to HHS for finding the cheat to keep battle volume stable during pausing.

Bisqwit: Accepting for publication, and starting encoding. Also, I changed the submitted game name to Final Fantasy IV (was Final Fantasy 2), mostly for puristic reasons. For reference, observe that we also have published Final Fantasy V and VI; also using the original game numbering.

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This topic is for the purpose of discussing #2033: Deign's SNES Final Fantasy IV in 2:53:14.37
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Not going to bother finding proper rom and all that stuff. I'll wait for AVI, but i'm happy to see this popup on the workbench! Also, nice submission text. :P
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Wow. And J-U-S-T before the DS re-release. Good timing. Going to vote after watching.
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Wow, finished at last! First thing tuesday afternoon, I'll check this out :P
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Been waiting for this. I'll check it out later, but good job on the submission text.
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Finally you finished this! Incredible submission text, really amusing and detailed, like some good intro for a book. I will spend my time on this movie and submission text tonight and edit my comments to this post (If I am not so tired). Good luck on your other projects! EDIT1. You seem to do that victory pose during the battle in few places, first happend in in the beginning fighting against the Titan summon, other one against the Dark Imps in the tower. Didn't check so clearly if this happens somewhere else, and I'm not sure is this normal or not. EDIT2. Just finished rest of the movie. Epicest tool-assisted run I have ever seen, awesome game, this run gave me a really nostalgic feeling also soundtrack of this game fits your run pretty well. I really rarely watch any speedrun/TAS movies that are RPG related but this one is totally different and I'm sure other players and watchers have noticed this. Your strategies totally went beyond human imaginations and you were able to make this run really entertaining even I though it's hard to do so.
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You really went above and beyond with the overworld shenanigans. I like all 3 of the switching modes you did (but I like radar the best).
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I am at the beginning from your TAS Looks great so far. A question: Why Cecil gets pink after Tellah joins?
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GBx TAS of 2008
Question: is this the type of RPG run that is entertaining for someone who hasn't played the game before?
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I tip my hat spiky hairdo to you, Deign. :)
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Well Deign, you sure know how to make an entrance... welcome back! I guess I'll wait on mmbossman's question to watch this :)
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mmbossman wrote:
Question: is this the type of RPG run that is entertaining for someone who hasn't played the game before?
Well I don't think it demands much from the viewer, it is fairly easy to understand and all that. Having played it of course raises the entertainment value but that's the same for almost any game. I'd say give it a try, I liked it (and I usually don't like RPG runs very much, even if I have played them).
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Man, why can't Edward have that 60,000 HP when he actually joins the party? (Or Kain with 65k?) :P There's some interesting things if you watch that lua script. Milon dies with 1000 HP left? Weird. (Also, Cecil is psychic. He cheered before Milon Z died. Nice one.) Possible easter eggs: Red Dark Knight Cecil (Tellah's first joining) Blue Tellah (Dark Elf 2nd Fight)
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Obvious yes vote. So are you going to ever come back?
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I've already told Deign everything I wanted to tell him over the course of this TAS's development. ;)
mmbossman wrote:
Question: is this the type of RPG run that is entertaining for someone who hasn't played the game before?
Note: I'm only considering menu-based RPGs since obviously action RPGs have more action and thus more cross-appeal. Best way to sum up what I was going to say in sentences: Lufia 2 (10 entertainment, 5 quality) FF2 US (8 entertainment, 10 quality) most menu-based RPGs (1-3 entertainment, x quality) I don't usually think about the uninitiated, but there are some key advantages here. First off, it's very simple and traditional, so it's easy to understand. Also, unlike most RPG TAS's, there isn't any broken luck manipulation you can do. I found FF1 and FF3 US to be extremely boring because of stuff like Bane Sword, Bane Sword, Bane Sword, etc. Just as a warning, FF4 SFC would have more of that problem so it would be less interesting than this TAS or likely the FF5 too (which at least has more varied brokenness). Of course, entertainment is all subjective anyway, so no way to know until you try out for yourself. ;) And as these pages show anyway (a b c), familiarity with the game really does trump everything in the end when it comes to entertainment.
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This was great. It was probably my, uh, third most anticipated run. I hadn't seen anything after Milon so I guess I didn't realize how low-levelled you would be towards the end. Once you get the Big Whale there are a lot of "wow" moments where I start to think how hard it would be to actually survive those random battles. Yes vote. Really minor possible easter egg: I'm pretty sure the airship's bow is supposed to be pointing left instead of up at Toroia before Kain takes you to the tower of Zot.
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Just to clear things up, the full ROM name is Final Fantasy II (U) (V1.1).smc V1.0 will desync during the Milon fight. As for the run, I definitely think it's a great TAS. I'm wondering if a run of FFIV Advance would be any different. It does go back to the regular (hardtype) version, and saving might be quicker. (Did it have quicksave or was that just FFVA?) There's versions with horrible ATB problems too. (benefiting the player actually...)
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Japanese version is "Final Fantasy IV". USA版のFinal Fantasy 2 は日本版のFinal Fatasy IVです。 see Wikipedia Edit: Added Wikipedia Link.
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Finished watching the run. I must say that I'm surprised that the early Square games (FFIV and FFV) seem to have the most issues with emulation, especially in the sound department. Personally, I'd enjoy a speedrun of the Japanese version of the game, since it has a few extra things that can be manipulated, such as Tellah's "Remember" ability which can result in a Lit-3 on Octomammoth. Also, it's harder and thus gives more cred. The GBA version might be interesting, but a lot of the glitches used in this run no longer work, nor does Square's D.Machin oversight (the Searchers now summon something else, considerably less generous with XP). Plus, the port is notoriously slow during Mode7 effects and there are some timing glitches in the game, which allow characters to attack twice in a row and make Rubicant comically hurt (possibly kill) himself. Unfortunate, really, because the new translation (as well as the new French and other European translations) is fantastic, it has great extra content. But enough derailing. I only have one "could be faster" comment, and it could be my childhood memories coming out seriously wrong, but I could have sworn it was possible to speed up the white-text-on-blue-background you get twice in Mysidia (the "one to be born..." text) by pushing one of the controller buttons repeatedly. I'll test this out later. I know for a fact this works in the NES FF1, and I'm quite sure I'm not just thinking of that, but maybe my mind is an international house of lies. Otherwise the run is fantastic and is getting my "yes" vote and will be linked to all my friends once it's inevitably published.
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zdude255 wrote:
I'm wondering if a run of FFIV Advance would be any different. It does go back to the regular (hardtype) version, and saving might be quicker. (Did it have quicksave or was that just FFVA?)
Yes, it does have quicksave.
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I laughed so much just before the final Zeromus fight... Received energy!, and then Rydia gets like 200 more HP... Yay, thanks guys! Good run, yes vote from me!
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univbee wrote:
(...) Tellah's "Remember" ability which can result in a Lit-3 on Octomammoth.
I thought this had been argued to death in the discussion thread.
Deign wrote:
# This one is not a memory address for viewing, it actually keeps the volume during battles the same, to reduce the annoyance factor of the pausing. Just enter the code 0495DCFF into the game genie window, check the box, and select apply cheats from the pulldown menu BEFORE starting the movie.
Ack! That would've made it much better-feeling. While not as good (in my opinion) as in, say, FFVI, Uematsu's stuff is too good to not use that. D: You skipped the sealed cave! My childhood demands a DemonWall stomping (and, less so, the TrapDoors). I mean, it's That One Boss. (Disclaimer: tvtropes is at least as likely to eat your brain and surftime as wikipedia) Similarly for the Mind enemies you run from on Crystal Path, those nasty charm-whole-party guys. Too bad you didn't manipulate pink puff/tail to make a laughingstock of the RNG (1/64 drop on a 1/64 encounter...or do those not spawn en route? I'm not so familiar with it to know where.) Liked the movie even so- nicely done on the skips of formshifts. Also went WTF? (good kind) and had to rewind to see when you randomly grabbed some cash you didn't need. Would vote yes. ACHOOO! edits: tagfixes
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Got around to watching it. That was amazing! I have never been so entertained by an RPG TAS before. I guess it helps that I finished playing through the game again a month ago so the storyline was fresh in my mind. My childhood demands a DemonWall Lol! I forgot about that boss, how did he skip that? He just teleported out somehow... I didn't know that was possible :\ Coloring Cecil was pretty cool. :P I also found the music synchronization with the changing characters very amusing. Yes vote! I watched it all.
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Silent_Slayers wrote:
Got around to watching it. That was amazing! I have never been so entertained by an RPG TAS before. I guess it helps that I finished playing through the game again a month ago so the storyline was fresh in my mind. My childhood demands a DemonWall Lol! I forgot about that boss, how did he skip that? He just teleported out somehow... I didn't know that was possible :\ Coloring Cecil was pretty cool. :P I also found the music synchronization with the changing characters very amusing. Yes vote! I watched it all.
There's a bug that allows him to get the already collected crystal in the castle in the underworld (after Calbrena). At the trigger space, the only thing the game cares about is that you have a crystal, not WHERE you got it from. This was fixed in later versions of the game, like the GBA port.
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I'm going to quash the argument that the Japanese version is harder right now. To the average player, yes, it is harder. However, to the knowledgable player, it is significantly easier. It trivializes the first 2 hours of the game with the extra items and extra abilities. For this reason, and because the majority of people that come to this site are more familiar with the american version, I chose the US version.
I could have sworn it was possible to speed up the white-text-on-blue-background you get twice in Mysidia (the "one to be born..." text) by pushing one of the controller buttons repeatedly.
I tried a few things, nothing advanced it any faster.
I'm wondering if a run of FFIV Advance would be any different.
It would be a completely different TAS. Not only would it be much more like the japanese version (due to the addition of all the missing items and abilities), but it would also be longer than either of the US or Japanese versions. I found that the RNG was a lot less flexible than the SNES versions. Another thing about the GBA version is that it does not have any of the 4 good glitches (that i'm aware of). Just being required to do the sealed cave would add a good 20 minutes or so. Thank you all for watching and the overwhelmingly positive responses. edit: in response to the pink puffs, they are in fact not on path. They are in a very small room that is a little ways off path. edit#2: all mentioned Easter eggs have been added to the submission text with creds to the first person to mention them.
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