.hack//INFECTION Speedruns

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Hachrt
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.hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Hachrt » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:20 am

Some of you may or may not be aware of speedruns that have been done in recent years. I, myself, first started seriously speedrunning the games maybe a year and a half ago? I'm not sure exactly.

I'm going to drop some history and a bombshell on you quickly, link some resources and then go into details about everything in the updated speedrun before closing out on my thoughts about where the run can go to.

History:
In a little less than two months will be the decade anniversary of masterZED's .hack//INFECTION segmented speedrun, verified by SDA.
Found here: http://speeddemosarchive.com/DotHackInfection.html

Now, ZED was great, but I absolutely hated a few of his segments. In his, I want to say, second segment he walks up to people who cannot possibly have Smith Gloves and tries to trade for them. Now, you could say that he was looking for any kind of gloves, but the point of a segmented run is to get everything to be as perfect as possible— and he made a point of wanting smith gloves for Vak Don.

Because of this I really started buckling down and trying to run the game in a serious manner. I'm a spiteful person and probably said a lot of really mean things about the segmented run, but really it helped me learn a lot.

After a point where I was celebrating nearly tying Zed's segmented run in an single-segment run, I noticed a person that goes by the handle Finzenku uploaded a new segmented run, done on emulator, which was faster. How much faster? About 35 minutes.
Found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... MauvC4NtSV
How much time was due to emulation? I can't say none for certain, but next to none. .hack//IMOQ are well emulated games. The biggest thing we wound up noticing is there is less lag when there are 10 or more enemies getting hit by Rom Spells. It still lags, just not as much.

It still wasn't a perfect run and I still wasn't satisfied with it, but I knew I had to work harder in-order to compete with that kind of time. Since I don't do Segmented I continued streaming my Single Segment RTAs. Eventually, about a month later, Finzenku found me while I was still bleeding time everywhere in my runs.

Finzenku and I got to talking. I told Fin I noticed that several segments were screwed up and that I developed a way to shave 5 minutes off of the Skeith fight (and more importantly got to show it off). This eventually lead to a situation where we basically rerouted the entire early game.

I want to make it clear now, incase I flourish myself too much later, Fin did more work than I did during the rerouting and it was a team effort to save time. If I saved more time than him with my contributions and ideas, it's only due to the ideas and ground work that was laid down by Fin.
My contributions are probably flashier; Fin can't claim "I saved 5 minutes on this Skeith fight!" because that fight optimization and others are mostly mine. Fin did a lot of other, overall more important, optimization though and did the horse's share of the testing while I looked up things and did research and suggested things that followed the principles we knew the game followed.

Bombshell:
Thanks to our efforts—over the course of a month where I wasn't playing the game, just doing research—we wound up making the route so fast that Finzenku was able to complete the game, Single Segment, in 1:48:22 fourty minutes faster than Zed's original run.
I can't give you an estimate for what I think it would be in a segmented run where you reset a segment that doesn't go as well as you want it. It could be greater than three minutes? There's a lot of factors involved. You could entirely skip grinding if you wanted to reset forever until you got perfect RNG—that alone might save three minutes or so.

To my knowledge this is still the fastest time on NTSC (which is faster than PAL in realtime, but slower using the internal clock).
Found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OuDdEmZhE8
(I honestly don't remember who Fin is talking to. I know I was in chat at certain points, but it's mostly not me.)

Using ingame time on PAL, Fin did beat that run with a 1:37:12 here: https://www.twitch.tv/finzenku/v/44082316
It's 1:54:50 in real time though.

After a long break we're looking at making that time shorter. We think there's some doing yet for, relative to what we've done, minor time gains.

Resources:
My notes can be found Here
I'm currently expanding these as far as I can. I intend to leave them, overall, as a "required checklist" for each of the games.
You may also notice that for the next two games I have notes. These aren't optimal yet, //Mutation is getting closer.

Finzenku's Notes can be found here

At this point I want to thank Lindzchan, who I think is a poster here on these boards, we've been using your database ever since I found it (back when it was on NeoProsperity) in order to quickly search weapons and monsters. It's super helpful as a database. (This is actually one of my major goals in posting this, to thank Lindzchan.)
http://lindzchan.pafu.org/dothack/infection.php

An Explanation

Up through Hidden Forbidden Holyground, the run is very straight forward. Don't go right to view the extra scene where kite realizes that Aura and the thing chasing her have disappeared. Don't mash too hard when you zone into Hidden Forbidden Holyground, you'll talk to Black Rose and get some extra dialogue showing how nervous and scared she is.

There are a lot of shop optimizations we made, we planned out a lot of gold expenditure. Like in Master Zed's run, consideration towards Blood Potions and Speed Charms take top priority. Actually, we put more focus on purchasing speed charms and never needing to purchase more throughout the run.
I remember this took a while because we kept changing the items we needed in the opening game. I had a constant count of how much money we had and what that meant on our consumable supply. At some point Fin made one too.

Smith Gloves were too constraining on a budget and unnecessary after cutting the first grinding segment in Zed's original run. He used them to grind early in the game to make several dungeons safer and to ensure more cores and so that he could use a myst spring to acquire Wrist Band and thus acquire a source of Juk Rom. We don't do that anymore.
At the time we were mad that it was faster, because it made some things slower even if the game was overall faster. We were also really happy because it was really awful RNG that was killing runs. We fixed both those things eventually though, now we have game ending trading rng (though you're not nearly as likely to fail) and faster areas.

In the first dungeon, we pick up a Burning Oil in preparation for a later boss fight. If you data drain an enemy and get a weapon upgrade for kite, you can equip it for the boss in this area, but it does too much damage to allow you to data drain with a Warrior's blood - while doing too little damage without the potion. The boss here can actually be really mean and end the run via game over. Normally he's a pushover.

Kagayuzen in Delta Voluptuous Her Remnant was cut for being too slow compared to how much time it saved in some areas of the game. I fought hard to keep it, but it was absolutely wrong to do so with how many other things we changed. We think it's likely worthwhile for a full series run though.

We then enter Piros's dungeon after trading Mistral for Sotetsu which is among the best twin blade weapons on Delta Server due to a combination of reasons. It's also consistent, cheap, and effective for the upcoming dungeons until we replace it.

After this dungeon we use the money to acquire most of the rest of consumables we need for the run and acquire an Air Wand or a Fire Wand. Fire Wand is not much slower than an Air Wand, but you do have to upgrade it to an Air Wand at a myst spring. In a segmented run, you would want the Air Wand straight up. We trade this to Elk later.
This was chronologically the last idea I had that significantly updated the run. We were sick of the Tuttle being slow and I wanted a Juk spell for leveling. Eventually the thought finally hit me, "wait, we have Elk for Killer Snake and Tuttle. Why don't we get the Air Wand? It would also speed up leveling because we can actually kill Metal Goblins faster." and even though we were both stunned at our oversight we tried to find out what we can do to make it work. Fin tested the Myst Springs while I looked up the items we needed to be worried about throwing in.

In this solo dungeon, to sate Mia's curiosity, is where we use the Burning Oil—during the boss fight. Up until this point we've been data draining heavily so we take a break from that before the boss—where we seek to get our C core. I get very nervous if we don't have a C core before going to Theta server.

In this dungeon with Elk and Mia, Elk receives his Air Wand. There's one "breakable" item on the path to the boss in this area. There's a small chance, perhaps 1-in-20, that it will give a Holy Sap. If you get it, it saves time. The boss melts to Elk and his Air wand. Juk Rom, Juk Rom, Data Drain, Juk Rom, Juk Rom, dead.
You want to have a second C core by the end of this dungeon. There are other places you can get one, but I don't like those odds. They feel worse (big thank you to confirmation bias).

After a little bit of story stuff, triggering certain events, we enter Theta Server. Quiet Eternal White Devil is a big deal in the run, it's fairly scary. Cyclosharks are strong in the NTSC version and Kite still doesn't have a spell at this point, we DD Hungry Grass and Trees. These enemies can give Frost Bracer (rue rom) and Wyrm Hide (+2 defense). Kite NEEDS a spell for the next area, we want those items. Then after the rock guys show up we data drain them. We need B cores and if we get cores, great.
Finzenku also gets a Razor Axe here, I honestly forgot about that until making this post, but I do remember how we decided on it now. We were discussing the bosses we needed to improve, even minor improvements, and I brought up the fact that a later boss was wood and we needed piros and mistral for that one. I looked up axes we could get as we were talking about the boss and immediately noticed Razor Axe having Gan Basher. Fin immediately jumped on it "That's in Quiet Eternal White Devil". Fin did a lot of drop table and item availability testing.
We also grab a Pure Water here for the leveling area, which we do next.

The Pure Water and the earlier Burning Oil were both Finzenku's contributions. The idea of getting those blew my mind so much that if there was ever something we wanted to improve I'd ask if we can get an Elemental Oil—we'd then check.

Through a stroke of luck, Finzenku found an area I was describing as my dream area for leveling while he was testing Attack/Defense values and formulas. We were chatting about how great it'd be. These three enemies, a myst spring, some symbols. And then BAM! "Oh hey, this area looks—oh god, it's perfect! Or very nearly."
We datadrain Metal Goblins for Anshou still, we throw it in the spring for Hell's Gate. We do not datadrain snakoids unless we need cores. Blackrose is in few dungeons from here out and the few where she *is* in, kite is already destroying enemies by being over-leveled.
The general strategy here is buff up and use rom spells with mistral and elk. If you kill enough things fast enough you level up and have enough SP to continuously cast.
We level at this point in the game for a number of reasons. The chief one being managing Infection Rating.
Hell's Gate was entirely Finzenku's addition. We got rid of using the myst spring in the grinding area, then the question "why don't we throw anshou into the spring?" was asked. I argued that we get Bom-ba-ye for Skeith anyway and anshou is faster at killing Menhirs in chosen hopeless nothingness. The counter argument was something like, "then we should get both."—turns out that Hell's Gate alone is sufficient.
Hell's Gate is Kite's best physical weapon with the two best elements for him for the rest of the game. According Fin's testing, critical chance is different per weapon, and it's an awful % on bom-ba-ye which has far less base attack. If it was a greater number or with extreme RNG manipulation, bom-ba-ye might be better. As things are, Hell's Gate averages higher damage.
Then we kind of both came to the realization that Hell's Gate would help in the next required dungeon with Elk. I was the first one to speak up about it, which is only important because I was also the one arguing that we needed to keep some mages souls (Fin was in favor of trading all of them at the time). We couldn't really figure out a way to buy more without wasting time, unless it was right before Chosen Hopeless Nothingness.

Elk's dungeon is simple. Remember that air wand we got earlier? Remember Hell's Gate? Well, it's a Earth Snake. This fight is extremely fast. It does need a mage soul to make it as fast as possible.

Piros's second dungeon is where the majority of B cores flow into your inventory. Squilla Demons are the eternal enemy. It feels as though they don't drop cores at a reasonable rate, yet they're very prevalent and important to data drain. You want 8B cores before you finish this dungeon. You will settle for 7, but 6 is super sketchy.

I don't think there's much to say about the dungeons after Piros's. We're looking to finish off cores and we're looking for gear for Kite.
In Lonely Giant Great Seal, the Trapped Chests drop gloves for Kite. It's also a great dungeon to get 2-3 cores by data draining Living Dead.

Chosen Hopeless Nothingness. Before this dungeon, we want Kite to be fully geared with +2 defense gear. Depending on how many enemies you kill for Exp you can get away with one piece of gear being +1 but it's not preferable. Hell's Gate is great against Menhirs and Mu Guardians both. You want to Data Drain Menhirs and Red Crabs for Black Rose and Piros's weapons. Master's Axe is good enough, but Axe Bomber is still worth Data Draining Crabs for. You absolutely want Black Rose to upgrade her weapon.

The Skeith fight is dramatically different from what most people are probably used to. We enter the fight at level 25 or 26 normally, and we hit skeith with our fists. With the mentioned defense gear, and the level we're at, this lets kite survive Skeith's hits (with proper health drink spam). Kite has a shorter attack range than Piros and Black Rose. Skeith normally targets the character closest to him with attacks. If Kite or Black Rose are attacked, it takes 2 health drinks to heal them. It takes 3 for Piros.
Nothing else matters for Skeith. Hit him. Use Skills. His spells are non-elemental, so Pure Water isn't required. Stay completely buffed, Ap Do on all. He drops like a sack of rocks. At a slightly higher level he won't Data Drain you once. At this level he's likely to Data Drain you once. Twice if Kite is the first Data Drain target.

Where to from here?

We're looking at trading for fishing gloves again. Instead of getting Smith Gloves, we did this for a while before realizing we don't need wrist band. Now we're looking at them again, early in the run, for the Red Wyrm fight. It costs a lot to make it efficient.

Gardenia is a big question mark. I wouldn't shut up about her this entire passed week. I think I convinced Fin that it's possible for her to save time before I convinced myself of it.
She uses less potions than Piros.
Our leveling area, before we get her, has Cursed Blades which drop two of her high-end weapons.
She has 5 more attack than Piros for Skeith.
She has more than that than him for most of the run.
She can replace Blackrose and Mia in multiple dungeons in Infection.
She's available after Elk's Dungeon with Killer Snake.
She starts at level 10. (drat, oh well, it doesn't matter her weapon is that awesome and she gains enough EXP by the end of the game)
She seems required for multigame runs because long arms are strong. Replacing either Piros or Blackrose depending on the dungeon.

There's some discrepancy that Fin and I can't figure out between IGT and Real time. We need to decide whether it's worth it to bother with the internal clock or go with real time. SDA likes IGT and that's what masterZED used so that has been the standard thus far.
One thought we had was the clock was based off frames, which would explain a lot of discrepancy, but not all of it.
Either way, Korean .hack//Infection seems to be fastest version—that we've found. As near as we can tell it's the PAL version of the game, but with 60fps. We haven't done a lot to make sure though. Fin checked a lot of chests and the drop tables were the same as the PAL version.

There really isn't much we can think of, we trimmed the run down to what we consider to be bare bones. The things I throw at the wall are extremely half-hearted attempts. I don't have high hopes for finding a new grinding area that's better than the one we have. I don't have any hope that we'll find an area so good we want to add it into the game. It would have to be better than Kagayuzen and that's hard to manage.
Last edited by Hachrt on Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mister
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by mister » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:04 am

It's always nice to see someone doing there hw on a game. Thanks for the insight. Are you going to do the same for gu after imoq?

Hachrt
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Hachrt » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:34 am

Short answer: Maybe.

Long Answer:
Several months ago I was considering it. I figured out some stuff concurrent, but separate, from some other people who were looking at routing the games, Sleipnir Grinding is better than Moon Rabbits in Vol.1 Rebirth.
Those guys figured out that doing the tournament qualification at a lower level is fastest, but after that it's basically just grinding, kicking chims, and smoke screen through story areas.
The grinding in //IMOQ isn't nearly as tedious since you gain half a level with each enemy you kill, rather than half a level with each three enemy encounter. Maybe more per encounter if Rengeki bonus is worth the time compared to area clear speed and then going to another area.

The games are just too ... boring for me from a mechanical standpoint. Level is the major factor that determines your damage and defense. The fun boss fights are all avatar battles—so I'd instead go route and play Zone of the Enders which is a series composed of similar fights. It's not interesting to me the way that //IMOQ is.
There's a lot of inventory management and item routing in //IMOQ because those items are actually are significant to the run.

I also despise the menus in those games, they feel designed to keep you away from using Items or Scrolls or anything else mid combat—all of which are important to the original games. The skill bar is the only thing that it has going for it in that department and in my opinion //Fragment is way better in that regard. It isn't until Vol.2 that the skill bar is even a significant upgrade—since it switches weapons for you.
The menus in //IMOQ are nearly perfect at 60fps (50fps PAL is hard for me to get used to). The layout is simple and fast, super responsive. You can do anything you want to in very few button presses.
I would personally claim that the menu system in //IMOQ is what makes the games fun for me. It's tactical decision making that makes the enemies a non-issue. It's mechanical skill that makes the fights fast.

Just to be clear—though I could make a list as long as my arm about why I dislike the gameplay—from a story and character stand point I love the //G.U. games. Haseo and Atoli both have wonderful character development. The entire series is dramatic and I love it.
I simply never enjoyed *playing* the games.

Lindz
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Lindz » Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:37 pm

Congrats to both of ya for not only beating the old record but also smashing past it by such a significant amount! I remember watching the Master Zed run forevers ago an I'll be sure to check this one out sometime this weekend! Oh an hurrah for single segments! I understand they're brutal on the player so I'm sorrys, but for the viewer its much nicer ta watch one video (unless its like 3+ hours) then constantly being interupted to load up the next! Does taking on such a challenge suck the fun outta the game or do ya get like that arcadey "just one more try!" feel outta it?

Always knew them elemental drinks were useful & effective but all that gear/money management and planning has waaaay more thought into it then I could ever put my mind to! Now I'm inspired ta do a "speedy" run of the games this year! My last one I skipped extras but not story an ended alil over 12 hours on Infection. This time I'll skip both an save even more time!
Hachrt wrote:Cyclosharks are strong in the NTSC version
Wait what? Is this meaning monsters have differing stats in different versions of the games?!
Stay completely buffed, Ap Do on all.
Ap Do on the whole party? Trying to keep that up must make one cry given how slow its animation is x.x

Since ya mention a multi-game run do ya think collecting lower tier Virus Cores needed for early into the next game require more farming in Infection or would ya just be thinking about picking 'em up in Mutation?
Hachrt wrote:The grinding in //IMOQ isn't nearly as tedious since you gain half a level with each enemy you kill, rather than half a level with each three enemy encounter. Maybe more per encounter if Rengeki bonus is worth the time compared to area clear speed and then going to another area.

The games are just too ... boring for me from a mechanical standpoint. Level is the major factor that determines your damage and defense.

I would personally claim that the menu system in //IMOQ is what makes the games fun for me. It's tactical decision making that makes the enemies a non-issue. It's mechanical skill that makes the fights fast.
Thanks for this! Puts into words how I feel about the gameplay in each, alot better then I coulda said it! I dunno if its SDA, TASvids, or both which allow NG+ but if SDA does then if you or anyone ever wants to speedrun the G.U. games I'd suggest going that route. It shaves alotta time off Rebirth & Reminisce!

Hachrt
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Hachrt » Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:29 pm

Does taking on [Single Segment] suck the fun outta the game or do ya get like that arcadey "just one more try!" feel outta it?
It depends on how the run is lost and how long you've been at it honestly. If I lost my run to not finding the Smith Gloves for trade (before we cut that part) 5 times in a row ... That was demoralizing. I wasn't even necessarily doing anything wrong - RNG just decided that the people I could trade with for the gloves weren't going to be in town.

I prefer SS to segmented for a lot of reasons, but I do enjoy seeing segmented runs. They answer a lot of hypotheticals I'm curious about.
Always knew them elemental drinks were useful & effective[...]
Yeah. They're worth 10 element which is pretty huge as far as buffs go, and they buff the entire party.

In general all of the buffs in these games are worth 10 levels of stats. Slightly more or less depending on the stat and the character. If my memory serves me, Ap Corv is 11 Kite levels.
By that metric Elemental Buffs are better than that because, aside from Kite, characters only gain one elemental stat from leveling. The rest of it is gear dependent.
Wait what? Is this meaning monsters have differing stats in different versions of the games?!
At least Cyclosharks. We're pretty sure Goblins have higher magical defense too—because they're the only ones that don't add up with how we figured out magical damage based on the stats in the strategy guide. According to Fin's math Metal Goblins have twice the magic defense stated in the Strategy Guide.

But we'll probably be retesting this. We didn't have the strategy guide when we originally tested it.
Ap Do on the whole party? Trying to keep that up must make one cry given how slow its animation is x.x
The fight is so fast Ap Do won't time out before the fight ends—and there's no possibility of dying if you keep up with healing. Skeith is very determinate in his damage and actions. A "mechanical" boss, rather than a "Gearcheck" boss like Fidchell.
Trade each of them a Speed Charm and use "Strengthen!" and they'll buff themselves.
Since ya mention a multi-game run do ya think collecting lower tier Virus Cores needed for early into the next game require more farming in Infection or would ya just be thinking about picking 'em up in Mutation?
I think adding Gardenia and Kagayuzen will save time over the course of the series, so that's two extra areas for cores. You normally get some B cores data draining in Chosen Hopeless Nothingness's dungeon.

I fairly sure you can get all the DEF cores you need from Story Dungeons in //Outbreak. //Quarantine is not something I've dedicated a lot of effort towards yet.
I dunno if its SDA, TASvids, or both allow NG+
SDA at least has policy against NG+ until after there is a NG route already established.

I am unsure precisely why, but if I had to guess, they wanted to be a strategy site as well as a database of speedruns.
I imagine it has to do with not wanting people to search for a game like Chrono Trigger on their site and then only find "NG+ Chrono Trigger" which is something like 5 minutes long. Load file, kill endgame boss.

Lindz
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Lindz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:51 pm

Hooray for KiteA! Watched the vid the other day an aside from that aspect ratio it was a sight to see! Sooo much fretting over B cores. Zipping through shop menus faster then I could tell what was being bought is impressive. That and memorizing the route for each dungeon, crazy! Knowing Kite's level based on his HP/SP is also neat. Plus the not dying despite being underleveled and under equipped. I'd be sooo dead many times over. Really goes ta show how important skills/stat boosters are in these games, unlike G.U./Link. At least Link's are fairly swift in an IMOQ kinda way.
Hachrt wrote:It depends on how the run is lost and how long you've been at it honestly. If I lost my run to not finding the Smith Gloves for trade (before we cut that part) 5 times in a row ... That was demoralizing. I wasn't even necessarily doing anything wrong - RNG just decided that the people I could trade with for the gloves weren't going to be in town.
Guess there's always a breaking point! Its like c'mon game ya can do thing so why aren't ya doing it? -.-
At least Cyclosharks. We're pretty sure Goblins have higher magical defense too—because they're the only ones that don't add up with how we figured out magical damage based on the stats in the strategy guide. According to Fin's math Metal Goblins have twice the magic defense stated in the Strategy Guide.
After seeing this an hearing on the video how PAL has advantages despite being 50fps it makes me wonder if anyone out there's put out a buncha lists detailing the differences in each release of the games.
Trade each of them a Speed Charm and use "Strengthen!" and they'll buff themselves.
Ohh wow I never even knew that. Thought strength was only for magic. Guess they'd also use blood's if ya gifted/traded some to 'em huh.
SDA at least has policy against NG+ until after there is a NG route already established.

I am unsure precisely why, but if I had to guess, they wanted to be a strategy site as well as a database of speedruns.
I imagine it has to do with not wanting people to search for a game like Chrono Trigger on their site and then only find "NG+ Chrono Trigger" which is something like 5 minutes long. Load file, kill endgame boss.
Aww well that ideas out the window lol. Does that make it not-cool ta use Clear Data then if someone wanted to do the next game(s)? Its not NG+ but also not a straight NG.

Hachrt
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Hachrt » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:03 pm

Yeah, fin really got the games down really well. When we first started rerouting it took fin a while for the dungeons to be memorized. Having done multiple RTAs previously I had them all memorized, but fin had only done that one segmented run I linked all the way in the original post.

Stat growth is deterministic based on class so knowing that every class gains 3sp per level with the exception of wavemasters who gain 5 is a quick way to check.

We may technically be underleveled, but that only accounts for so much. Like I said, the stat buffs are about 10 levels worth of stats—HP and SP are really the only thing that's underleveled about the characters for most of the run.

The menus in //IMOQ are fantastic. Absolutely some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I think I mess up more because I'm never expecting them to be so responsive.

After seeing this an hearing on the video how PAL has advantages despite being 50fps it makes me wonder if anyone out there's put out a buncha lists detailing the differences in each release of the games.
we don't really have a comprehensive list, but there's some really weird ones. The post-game //INFECTION boss is magic tolerant in NTSC, but not in PAL.
Treasure chests give different items (EDIT: between ntsc-J and other releases).
We think that Infection Rating was actually possibly changed for NTSC release, because everywhere we've seen says you lose 1-3% when you kill an enemy, but we've observed 2-4% using tools.

On that topic -- No, kite does not get a boost if he's the one to kill the enemy. It is always a random amount within the specified range. Other similar rumors are also false.
All that needs to happen is that your party kills an enemy, but I don't remember if we decided that you can miss out if you gain no exp from a kill (this can only happen if you enter another zone too quickly after killing something. Gotta wait for the EXP text to appear.)
Thought strength was only for magic. Guess they'd also use blood's if ya gifted/traded some to 'em huh.
Yeah they will, but the AI isn't exactly fast about using things in tandem. You'd be adding in extra menuing just to get them to do what you want as fast as you want them to do it.

I think the menuing turns out faster if you do it yourself—since you'd have to trade all the potions to everyone which is at least twice as many button presses as using the potion yourself.

However, this does mean you can stock your allies with Beast Banes and Knight Banes and have them "Weaken!" This normally isn't useful enough because bosses have such high mind and body stats and normal enemies die really fast. However, there are enemies that are magic or physical tolerant—those enemies are normally really absurdly weak to what they're tolerant to if you get rid of it with a beast/knight bane.
Does that make it not-cool ta use Clear Data then if someone wanted to do the next game(s)? Its not NG+ but also not a straight NG.
By SDA definition it's NG+

Granted that shouldn't stop anyone from doing full series runs — Speedruns are done out of love and joy for the games (in their purest form). It just means that SDA won't accept the runs until a New Game run is submitted first. (They also have quality standards and other things to worry about.)

Lots of runners probably don't even know that SDA exists anymore outside the AGDQ charity marathons (and lots of the ones that do know have voiced displeasure with how long the SDA process takes.)

We'll also have //Mutation and //Outbreak runs done soon. Neither of those is too far off a viable route. We might not be happy with the times for a while though and continue revising the route for them.
//Mutation is somewhere below 2h50m with what we currently have for a route.

//Quarantine is sort of a ... We'll get back to you on it thing. New Game is kinda annoying for //Quarantine and I haven't really had the motivation to tackle it yet.

Lindz
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Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Lindz » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:28 pm

Yayyy I finished my speedy run an clocked in at 2:59:05 ! Game Over'd a few times an almost did to Skeith after a lucky, low-pain second try of the final dungeon. Being poor sucked lol. The Noisy Geothermal Sea of Sand leveling area was great for leveling but bad luck left me with very little stuff ta sell off. All in all it was quite a rush but now I feel like I need ta slow down an chill with a slower paced rpg!
Hachrt wrote:The menus in //IMOQ are fantastic. Absolutely some of the best I've ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I think I mess up more because I'm never expecting them to be so responsive.
Ya I encounter that when playing 'em. So fast they feel slippery but its better then the alternatives.
On that topic -- No, kite does not get a boost if he's the one to kill the enemy. It is always a random amount within the specified range. Other similar rumors are also false.
All that needs to happen is that your party kills an enemy, but I don't remember if we decided that you can miss out if you gain no exp from a kill (this can only happen if you enter another zone too quickly after killing something. Gotta wait for the EXP text to appear.)
Knew it! Always thought thought that was another baseless rumor ala holding Down+B to catch Pokémon easier lol.
However, this does mean you can stock your allies with Beast Banes and Knight Banes and have them "Weaken!" This normally isn't useful enough because bosses have such high mind and body stats and normal enemies die really fast. However, there are enemies that are magic or physical tolerant—those enemies are normally really absurdly weak to what they're tolerant to if you get rid of it with a beast/knight bane.
Stocking 'em with those is something I tend ta do in Outbreak since its not only full of Data Bugs but full of tolerant baddies as well. The more advantages you can have in some of its sloggy dungeons the better!
We'll also have //Mutation and //Outbreak runs done soon. Neither of those is too far off a viable route. We might not be happy with the times for a while though and continue revising the route for them.
//Mutation is somewhere below 2h50m with what we currently have for a route.
Hurrah! Can't wait to see some Cubia battles done fast. Those usually feel strictly timed how much you're wailing away on 'em.

Hachrt
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:27 pm

Re: .hack//INFECTION Speedruns

Post by Hachrt » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:17 pm

Grats on your first speedy run. Being poor is a concern several points in the game. We're really tightly budgeted for it all, until the finale where we're generally too rich.

Cubia is actually a pretty easy and fast boss if you understand what changes the fight phases and then think about how to abuse them. Which is why I personally like the fight. It's great to be rewarded for understanding the bosses. It sucks to be punished for not understanding them.

Buff Black Rose (or gardenia) and Kite with warrior/hunter
Buff Mistral (forced in party) and Kite with hermit/wizard
Mistral has Dark History by this point. Black Rose should have Blessed Blade -we overlooked how easy it was to get- (Gardenia has Million$ Spear ideally).
After an amount of damage, or if all the Gamoras are dead, Cubia's core will switch its tolerance, casting a spell inbetween.
During Magical Tolerant phases you and Black Rose need to hit the core. Square > L1 > Black Rose > Designate Target > Cubia Core.
During Physical Tolerant phases you tell the party to use "Magic!" and Mistral does a significant portion of the work.

Aside from that, there isn't much else to say about the fight. Repth Gamoras can sometimes cause you to need an additional cycle, but we're not *entirely* sure if it's worth killing them to prevent that or if accepting the extra cycle is faster. Fin leans toward the latter and is probably correct in ideal conditions, but I can definitely see the other case.

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