cleartonic Feb 25th, 2016 (edited) 52 Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
- Final Fantasy Legend II (GB)
- I've been looking to RTA this game recently (in like 1 or 2 streams or something small), it's one of those bittersweet "I played this all the time as a kid" games. It's short, fun, weird and broken, and has had some prior work done on it (mostly Japanese runners of SaGa2).
- During some down time (travelling mostly, plane rides are the perfect time to do look into this) I've been doing some research regarding how RNG works. Specifically, how monster encounters work. It's kind of a blast from the past, but it's actually very similar to the way Final Fantasy VI monster encounters works. There's a constant table of 256 encounters, with 8 different ranks of fights. Every area in the game has different formations assigned to the ranks, but they all follow the same 256 pattern. For instance, there might be a string of a rank A, rank E and rank A fight in the 256 pattern. You could fight in the first area of the game all three battles (with rank A & E formations for the first area), or you could fight two battles in the first area, go to the second area (the cave), and then you'd sequentially fight the third rank A monster formation for the cave.
- In context of speedrunning, it matters a lot. There's two major considerations:
- 1) The encounter value does not reset when you hard or soft reset the game. Identical to how FFVI works, it's tied to SRAM and is constant, whether the game is on or off, until changed via gameplay.
- 2) Every time you get into a fight, the monster formation "counter" (the RAM value) increases. Coupled with the fact that you can save anywhere in the game, you can save right before a fight is coming, get into the fight, advance the RAM value, then reset. Then you're on the next RAM value (with it's own step counter to the next fight) and you just bypassed the fight you reset over. This is what the TAS does- it's not pretty, but it's optimal.
- The issue of a starting point (starting 'seed') is again very similar to FFVI- theoretically you can find out where you are in the 256 table, reset your game over and over until you get to a specific spot in the table, then start your RTA (new game) on the desired seed.
- Also, I won't ever take the game far enough to find out what the optimal starting seed would be. That would be a crazy complex set of calculations involving mapping out every fight in the game - you'd have to consider encounterless areas, whenever boss fights advance the encounter RAM value to bypass certain fights- it'd be a nightmare. What's great about the FFVI starting seed is that it basically all comes down to the river manipulation, and you only really have a few options to get close to a perfect river. Here, there's about a billion things to consider. Personally that was something I really did not enjoy about FFVI (starting on the same seed and playing the exact same game over and over), and I'd rather just take an arbitrary starting point and "play the game". Plus I'm sure as hell not resetting my game up to 255 times to get the right seed every attempt.
- Japanese players have always banned the resetting technique mentioned above to avoid encounters- it seems like they knew about it and it falls under their glitchless niconico rules. What I don't know is if they knew about the RNG table above or if they did know about it and banned resetting to start from a desired seed.
- If I do produce a speedrun, it'd likely be on English with the same ruleset the Japanese players use, but I'd likely be tracking how the RNG table works to make calculated decisions. For instance, you know where you are in the encounter string because you've seen what encounters you have during the speedrun, and you also know what kinds of fights are coming up next, so maybe you burn an encounter in a less dangerous area to avoid a nasty encounter in the next. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with infinite knowledge of how a game works (i.e., you know what encounter is coming up based on previous experiences during that specific speedrun). However, when you take advantage of it with techniques such as hard or soft resetting, then it's very grey area and I can completely understand why it's a banned technique for nico rule. It'd be both a really tedious game to play and to watch if it was full of resets - and since RNG is otherwise replicable, you'd basically be re-performing the TAS (which is dumb IMO) or producing a sort-of optimal speedrun if you doesn't exactly follow the TAS (also dumb.)
- I think straight up RNG manipulation (things like, exactly what outcomes happen for every fight, including stat gains) would require heavy resetting (so, not for the category I'm interested in), but I also think it's actually only vitally important for mutant routes (due to both stat gains & to learning spells). It does also affect monster meat drops, which definitely could matter, but luckily meat drops are fairly common, and if you can navigate the encounter table you'd probably be fine to find the meat you want. Either way, nico rule would avoid it.
- I'm going to try to come up with an original route, which is largely just alterations on party choice & equipment. All routes complete the game in a similar order of events for the most part. But that's what I think makes the game interesting, it's short but the choices you make in the first few minutes of the game for your party affect the entire speedrun.
- PS if you want to know what the 256 encounter rank map looks like (shoutouts to zoogelio's gfaqs guide, which is accurate to my testing):
- Also any% is pretty dumb (you get an OP party with a glitch in one of the first dungeon, streamroll the early game and warp to the final boss.) But if it were to be worked on, it could easily be improved with determining an optimal seed w/ resets.
RAW Paste Data