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Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
Released in November 2004, tri-Crescendo and Monolith Software's Baten Kaitos is the story of Kalas and Xelha and their struggle to save the world from a dead god. In the world of Baten Kaitos, everything can be stored as magic playing cards, and so the absurd but fun battle system (involving playing combinations of cards) is the game's main attraction. The other main attraction is the terrible voice acting.

 

Run: 10:37:xx by Scott Collins, done in 96 segments

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   So this is it, my Baten Kaitos speed run. If you are reading this then you are in for a treat. We have a shitload to talk about, so let's get started. Before Kalas begins his long journey his spirit sidekick needs a name. I go with the always classy 007 because it's quick and cool. After that we awaken in Dr. Larikush's house in Celebrai, nothing but dialogue here. Cut scenes cannot be skipped, and I am constantly jamming on the A button for this entire segment. After Kalas collects his winglet I leave and concentrate on immediate story progression. First, I have to talk to the kid about Meemai. For whatever the reason the kid's dialogue window stalls when he says, "he's way smarter than the drunks around here." I run to the mayor's house and make sure to collect a FIRE BURST LV1 Magnus. This is a must for the boss, who has water attributes. This Magnus is of course for Xelha, whom I will be meeting soon. I leave the house and speak to Xelha, who's dressed all in pink. I speed through the conversation and finally get to save and finish the segment. I thought I handled the opening run perfectly grabbing only the necessary items, with excellent dialogue progression, and near perfect movement. Kalas can grab a DARK FLARE LV1 during this segment, but I skip it because dark flares suck for this entire game, and it really isn't needed for Xelha.

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For segment 2 I start in the overworld of Sadal Suud and access my menu options. I change a battle feature and a voice feature. I turn off a battle feature that displays damage results for every attack and actually pauses for the game to do so. The information is extremely helpful to determine enemy attributes, but I can't waste the time. I also disable the voice over feature. I don't want to listen to gibberish for the rest of the game. Many people say they can't stand the voice acting in this game, but I don't find it so bad and in fact, it's rather funny.

   I enter Moonguile Forest. Here, we begin the skill of enemy dodging. It is the cause of most of my resets. My first opponent is the bat like creature called a SHAWRA. This one is tough to get around because it doesn't move far and is very fast. Plus, I have virtually no room to run around. I can either run above or below and with practice I manage to get by.

   In the next screen, I run by an UNUK and attempt to fake out another Shawra. You have to lead him to you and create enough distance afterwards to make him lose interest and become idle. You have to be quick and run behind him before he re-enters onto his programmed path. I wasted a couple of seconds but managed to do it in my own unique way. It's harder than it looks. I squeak by and get ready to take on my first boss the SABRE DRAGON.

   The Sabre Dragon has 230 HP and is weak with water. This is a tough fight because I am so weak and only have two cards to attack with. Basically, there are a few things I am looking for in a boss fight. I want to limit the enemy attacking time, so I need quick attacks and as few as possible. The Sabre Dragon has a three-strike attack or Crimson Hail which is his special four-strike attack with a much longer animation. His attacks aren't random. The undesirable Crimson Hail attacks seems to come after a certain amount of time has passed. It's not the amount of time. It's the amount of damage I have inflicted upon him. This means if I can pay attention to how I damage him, I can save some time and perhaps even skip his Crimson Hail attack altogether. I was never able to do this though because you would have to damage the dragon right up to an exact amount of HP, just before his special attack cut-off point, and then deliver a massive amount of damage on the next wave of attacks. This means that when I fight a boss a lot depends on the amount of damage that I do and maximum damage isn't always best.

   Anyway as you can see I perform some good attacks and kick the dragon to the curb. WATER BURST Lv. 1 Magnus is perfect for Xelha to attack with and Kalas has the ICE DAGGER. Usually, I like to see Xelha attack with her Level 1 Finisher DANCE OF LIGHT. Ultimately, it depends on how much damage I average and this run proved best. Plus, DANCE OF LIGHT is time consuming. This was the fastest time that I recorded, and I don't see much room for improvement. The dragon attacks me three times, and I don't think it's possible to only be attacked twice. One thing that I didn't do is get a picture of the Sabre Dragon. I can skip this boss, but I definitely need a picture of the next one.

   After I kill the dragon I still have some enemy dodging to do. This game is a pain in the ass because even after you kill a boss you could have the run ruined by some damn Shawra. All through the dialogue I am thinking about how I am going to react to the enemies I am about to face. This dialogue scene introduces Xelha to my spirit, 007. At this time, the game asks me to select from different responses as 007 at certain moments in the game. The idea is to select the choice the best matches with what Kalas is thinking. This is sometimes hard to judge. Apparently, the better you are at matching the correct thought with Kalas's line of thinking the more likely a random spirit attack will appear. Who knows for sure?

   After Xelha cremates her bodyguards, I advance to the next screen. I will see the first Shawra either traveling up the narrow path or coming down it. Since it is all the way down I simply run by with no problem and up to the Unuk. I have to get the FIRE BURST Lv. 1 in the chest for the next fight. I easily run around it giving it a wide birth to avoid screwing up and having to fight the sabre dragon again. Please keep in mind that although this looks easy I feel pressure because I don't want to have to waste another fifteen minutes killing the dragon and sitting through that dialogue scene. With the fire burst in my inventory, I begin to head towards my next save point at the red flower. On the way, I perform a cute little trick to allow me to grab a massively important FLAME SWORD. Basically, I just tap the A button to grab it. The last enemy Shawra can't reach me as long as I hug the right wall and make my way to the save flower.

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In segment 3 we have another boss battle, this time with THE LORD OF THE SPRING. Coming out of the red save flower, I replace a couple of SHORT SWORDs with a FLAME SWORD and my just acquired level one finisher BLUE STORM. I chose to keep my defense items in my deck because at this point I am still rather weak and don't want to add them back later. For Xelha, I replace three WATER BURST level ones with three FIRE BURST level ones.

   I absolutely smoke this beast. The monster has 300 HP and is weak to fire. Before the lord can even attack I hit him for 121 points of damage, over one-third of his life. I connect with back to back two-card straight attacks both with a fire elemental. A two-card straight adds a 13% bonus. A two-card pair adds a 10% bonus. The odds of getting a straight are actually easier, so I am not too sure why the bonus is larger. Anyway, because I took off a third of the serpent's life, I never see his normal attack, and he goes right into his Thundering Falls attacks. My third and fourth attacks all come with cards containing the spirit number 8. Two, pair bonus attacks with another FIRE BURST Lv. 1 landing and a badly needed photo taken by Kalas. Another Thundering Falls lands, and at this point I am wondering how much health the beast has left. I am also concerned over Xelha, who stands a good chance of being killed if I'm unlucky. Xelha hits with another attack. I decided to go for the two fire bursts rather than pair my attack. It's about the same damage either way. A paired FIRE BURST Lv. 1 plus a LIGHT FLARE Lv. 1 deals 48 damage, and a non-pair with two fire bursts is 49. For whatever the reason the Lord of the Spring attacks out of sequence and because of this, I never see the serpent's Dragon Press attack. Luckily, he attacks Kalas because Xelha wouldn't survive another attack. Kalas then uses his BLUE STORM attack while Xelha finishes in style and slaps the beast with GREEN BANANAS for the kill.

   It would be almost impossible to improve on this fight while still capturing a photo. I was perfectly satisfied to move on. All that I had to do is mash through some more dialogue and get ready to save. You'll notice that when I save in the overworld my cursor is right where it needs to be on the appropriate save file in order to save time.

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Segment 4 is dedicated to grabbing the ESCAPE Magnus located where I fought the Lord of the Spring. Initially, I didn't think that it was worth getting, but now I know that it is a must, and I'll tell you why. There are sections later in the game where there are many forced enemy encounters. The Holoholo Jungle and the Wazn Icelands to name a couple. Later in the game I pick up another ESCAPE Magnus. If I have two it dramatically increases the odds of escaping from forced battles and easily makes up for the time I spend here.

   This is not easy and took me 2-3 hours to do. Getting to the Magnus is tricky enough but in order to get back, I have one battle that I need to fight and a lot of things could go wrong. If more than one enemy appears, I have to start over. Every single enemy that I need to get by can cause problems, especially the Shawra closest to the overworld exit. I didn't think I had a chance in the world of getting passed the last Shawra, but somehow I did.

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For segment 5, I go back to Celebrai and report to the Mayor and Dr. Larikush. It's simple story progression as I learn about the location of the giant battleship that I must track down. After the mayor's house, I head over to Larikush's place. He gives me four blank quest Magnus. This is how I will carry the dynamite I'm about to get on the table below me. I accept his offer to practice using the quest Magnus and grab a mountain apple just outside. If I return it to him, I receive an ICE DAGGER. This is well worth the 30 seconds or so since I'll have the dagger in my inventory until the game ends.

   After cruising through the rest of the dialogue sequence, I grab the dynamite and leave. The last thing I need to do before I save is head down to the church through the blue save flower and level up. Leveling up takes time so it's best to be put off as often as possible but any time I can perform a CLASS CHANGE, I should do it. The first class change lets me attack with three cards instead of two and allow me to hold more in my hand. Before I can pray with the priest in order to level up, I must ask him at least one of the two questions he shows to me.  The priest responsible for the star map will also force me into a conversation. After I exit, I go to the item shop in order to purchase a couple of LONG SWORDs as quick as I can.

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Okay, segment 6 is the start of my run towards finding Giacomo and beating him up. He's hiding in the city of Pherkad. In order to reach the ancient capital I must first traverse through the Nunki Valley. Everything is pretty self-explanatory. There are two paths to choose through the valley. One path has two forced encounters and the other has one. I choose the path with only one encounter, which means staying on the right side of the valley. I pass an Unuk, climb a ladder, jump a gap with rushing water, and then finally blow up the destructible rocks. I go up another ladder where I reach the forced battle with a set of Unuks. I utilize the ESCAPE Magnus saving myself around 30 seconds or so, the time spent if I had fought a single Unuk. There is nothing sweeter than seeing that ESCAPE Magnus and acquiring it was the right thing to do. If I don't see the ESCAPE Magnus, I start over. Many of my resets are because I don't see this card at the start of my turn. It can only be used at the start of an attacking turn. The odds of seeing it on Kalas's first turn are 4 out of 25, or 16% and the odds of the Magnus appearing in the first position such as in this video, 4%.

   Anyway, I escape the battle and advance to the next screen with a waterfall, climb a ladder, and run around two DOOMERS. I make it through the valley in less than 90 seconds. Next up is Pherkad, the ancient capital. My first order of business is sitting through an explanation on how the random spirit cards are generated. By answering Kalas's questions correctly it enhances my chances. After that I am turned loose in Pherkad and immediately obtain a PYXIS constellation Magnus. I head north, stop, and speak to a man holding a DARK FLARE Lv. 2 before moving to the castle gates. I am stopped here by the guards and introduced to Palolo III, Master of Shadows. Rumor has it; he has gotten into the castle, so I need to track him down. I follow him into a house and agree to find a Rainbow Spiders Web for him. This means I have to go back to the Nunki Valley.

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Segment 7 is significant because it demonstrates one of my speed running techniques. Before I find the spider's web, I very quickly fight a Doomer in order to pick up a FLAME SWORD. This sword is a burning SHORT SWORD, and although it will burn out and transform back into a plain SHORT SWORD in only an hour it's still worth getting. A FLAME SWORD has an attack of 28 with 17 attributed to fire damage. A SHORT SWORD which comprises most of my deck has an attack of only 4. I think spending 42 seconds was worth it especially considering that my next opponent, a tough opponent, is water based.

   I know what you are going to say, "Hey Scott, why didn't you just keep on getting more and more FLAME SWORDS?" The truth is I thought I could. I knew that each monster dropped five or six different items, which is true. The problem is that they aren't dropped randomly, at least not exactly. The first drop is random. After that it has to cycle through every other item before returning to the original drop. This means in order to get another FLAME SWORD I would have to fight about four or five more Doomers. I couldn't justify spending three minutes to pick up another FLAME SWORD, no way. However, some monsters have such kick ass drops that they'll have two or three different items that are worth the time to grab. I did this a couple of times in my run. Ultimately, this game isn't that difficult and the cards the game provides naturally are fine. It doesn't hurt to get the best cards you can, but you won't see them in every battle. In other words, I enter the valley, kill the doomer, get the FLAME SWORD, and save.

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With segment 8, we start to see some difficulty landing the perfect boss fight. My opponent is the NUNKIRATULA spider. It's weakest against fire but also darkness and wind. It becomes rather annoying in this game when having to perform time consuming remedial tasks both before and after boss fights in order to get the perfect run. It really tests one's patience. This segment isn't too bad because I face no enemies on my way to fight the spider.

   I ready myself by equipping the two LONGS SWORDs I purchased in Celebrai, a SHORT SWORD I removed from earlier, an ICE DAGGER, and the FLAME SWORD I earned from the Doomer. Making my way to the spider is easy, but I have to be prepared for a fight. The spider can easily kill me in this battle. My defense Magnus suck and I am under leveled. The spider has simple but powerful attacks, attacking once or twice with water based ferocity. It also has a defensive move titled HARDENING WAX. The waxy defense allows the spider to block every attack rendering them weak and ineffective. The effects last until the spider attacks again and overrides the effect. I don't like to attack when the creature is in a defensive stance. Instead, I waste a turn and burn a defense Magnus if I don't think I can do real damage.

   The spider goes first and casts Hardening Wax. I see my hand and decide to attack with a two-card straight using FLAME SWORDs. I easily absorb the spider's single attack. A requirement for this run was to get at least one random spirit attack, which I did. There are six possible attacks, one for each element, and I got the one that I wanted, HELLFIRE. Fire damage is a 50% bonus on this water spider. After landing damage of 215 HP for that single attack, I knew this could be the run I end up using so I had to focus. Next, I absorb the spider's measly attack of the singular variety. I take a badly needed photo and add two weak attacks with it making sure to burn up my ICE DAGGER to make room for something better. 19 damage from this attack sucks but the spider is visibly weakened. My enemy casts Hardening Wax and from the cards I can see in my hand currently I show two defense Magnus and two SHORT SWORDs. If I attack with those swords, I could very well do zero damage, since they will both be blocked, even with a third attack to follow. I decide to use a turn to eliminate his defensive capabilities and allow him to attack me again. At this point, I have inflicted 293 HP of damage on the monster. I need 350 to kill him. If I had attacked after the spider used Hardening Wax, I would have had a three card straight ending in BLUE STORM and probably gotten the necessary 71 HPs to kill the spider. It was a tough call for me to make but a mistake that cost me 10 seconds. For my last attack, I make a mistake in my card selection. This is a rarity and I was surprised when I saw it. Clearly, the 5 + 6 + 7 straight was in order. I can't remember what was going through my head because it was four months ago, but it doesn't matter anyway because that was the death blow.

   I am pleased. Most of my attacks were for nice damage. I challenge anyone to try to beat this guy in 90 seconds as I did. I have seen someone beat this spider in one minute and 13 seconds, but it required two spirit attacks out of three attacking turns. This is not easy to do. I don't know the odds exactly, but I would say on average 1 out of 10-15 attacks shows a random finisher. Best-case scenario, if you had a 10% chance of getting a random spirit attack you'd have a 1% chance of getting them back to back. That could take 20 game hours. This game wears you down in that way. Anyway, the spiders dead and I only have to leave the area to save. I have an easy route to the finish, although the Unuk at the bottom of the area gives me a scare before he turns at the last minute heading the opposite direction. I would not have made it if he hadn't. Safe.

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Segment 9 is the start of my run towards Giacomo through The Lord's Mansion. After killing the Nunkiratula Spider and leaving Nunki Valley, I head back to Pherkad. I find Palolo III and he instructs me to enter the mansion through the well. I arrive in the mansion all wet and head north to find a way to the roof.

   In this section when enemies have their backs to me, they won't chase me. Because of this I immediately split the first two guards and grab a FROZEN SHIELD. I enter the 2nd of the four doors in this large room to find the level two finisher for Kalas, SHADOW WINGS. I equip this right away along with the DUEL SWORD I picked up from the spider. Both have great attacks and I need them for the three consecutive battles I am about to endure. I also use a medium SHISH KABAB so Kalas can survive the next few battles. I was dying frequently in this section. When I leave the room with the Shadow Wings and go back into the foyer you'll notice the foot soldiers reset their opening position. I can abuse this later to avoid them. For now though I must move left and up to the stairs to obtain THE GUESTROOM KEY to release Xelha. There is a guard at the base of the stairs that can't be avoided.

   The IMPERIAL SOLDIERs have 70 HP. For Kalas to kill them in one turn, I need some luck in what cards I get. I was lucky to play BLUE STORM, SHADOW WINGS, and SHADOW WINGS again, respectively for the three battles. This was more than enough to slaughter my opponent. More difficult was the random determination of how many enemies I'd fight each battle. Up to three enemies can appear for every fight, so I was really lucky facing only one enemy for each confrontation. All three of the fights went as well as humanly possible IMO. After dealing death to the soldier at the base of the stairs, I ascend to the next section. Here, we have two soldiers I must avoid. These soldiers can initially be avoided, and I do so before grabbing a CHAIN MAIL Magnus. Then the soldiers touch me. I can avoid them to get into the north door but coming out is another story. I couldn't see how to avoid them when they approach from opposite sides after I had exited. In the room through the double doors, I procure a WIND BLOW Lv. 1 and take the GUESTROOM KEY. Then a short dialogue commences while I'm behind a couch in the room. Retracing my steps back down the stairs, I use the key to enter the 1st room. I do this to reset the soldier in the foyer area and also get the MINK COAT. I leave the 1st room and duck quickly into the 2nd room to reset the soldier again. After I exit, I wait for the soldier to pass before moving behind him and enter the last of the three skirmishes. I kill this guard while snapping a photo and then go to rescue Xelha. I untie her and get her first class up Magnus the SHRIKE STATUE. I also get a CHRONOS BLOW Lv. 1. I leave the 3rd room and haul ass up the stairs just escaping a fast imperial soldier. At the blue save flower, there are two statues. I flip a switch that allows me to pass and enter the blue flower. Here, I must regain my health and upgrade Xelha for the upcoming boss fight.

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Segment 10. Giacomo is a tough opponent with high defense and fully capable of killing one of my fighters if I don't defend properly. If Giacomo defends too often I will always reset. Anything above 75 HPs of damage is fantastic per an attack considering that several times during practice runs my total damage score was a zero after Giacomo defended. Every single one of my attacks was greater than 78 HP of damage except for the last attack which makes no difference because it was the death blow. In fact, a weak final attack makes it that much cooler. A broken attack that still kills can actually save time and be beneficial. I can't emphasize enough that the average attack against Giacomo with normal attacks is around 50 damage.

   My requirement for this fight was either one or two spirit attacks mandatory depending on how the fight looked and played out. Well, I got two and the fight went great. The last thing to consider is the attack order. It sucks when I can't finish off an enemy, and I waste time waiting for him to finish his turn before I can finally kill him. If I like a segment I will usually go back and follow the accumulated attack damage throughout the battle and judge how I did. Occasionally, If I have a less than average attack, which should have killed an opponent but didn't, I will choose to reset. Alternatively, even worse, back to back less than average attacks where I know I should have killed my enemy. Even after epic battles I would guilt myself into resetting. The weirdest quality about a speed run in this game is the amount of analyzing it requires after the fact. As long as nothing I do is wasted or pointless I can keep the run. So considering all of this the battle went really well.

    To get things started, I strengthen Kalas with some sword adjustments and give Xelha her first CHRONOS BLOW Lv. 1 and WIND BLOW Lv. 1, the strongest two elements in the game. I also give her back the AQUA BURST Lv. 1's. Giacomo has a weakness to light and water 30% and is therefore strong against fire and darkness 30%. From now on, we start to see a pattern in which enemies are weak versus water and light.

   For my first attack, I come out strong with three LIGHT FLARE Lv. 1's for 80 damage. I always enjoy it when my attacks are clean and unblocked. This is followed by Giacomo's notorious double attack. If I'm unlucky I can be killed if Giacomo decides to attack the same character over and over. For Kalas and his first attack, I start with a LONG SWORD (7) into a LONG SWORD (6) and finish with the spirit finisher SHINING SERAPH. Finishing with SHADOW WINGS would have earned me a nice three-card straight bonus, but it's an inferior play because I would lose it for later. After Kalas lands 187 damage Xelha does her part with a less than amazing sequence of cards for an impressive 112 damage with the help of DANCE OF LIGHT. At this point, after only three attacks I have taken off more than half of Giacomo's life. 379/750. It's impossible to know this number exactly while fighting, but I am excited that I am doing so well. Then something odd happens. Giacomo attacks only once on his next turn. I can't ever remember this happening, and it caught me off guard. It's probably a good thing because with 106 HP for Xelha, she's an END SLASHER away from death. The turn skip causes me to hesitate a little on Kalas's next turn, but I have two spirit finishers to help out. Even with Giacomo's 30% shielding to the dark element SHADOW WINGS is the better play over BLUE STORM.

SHADOW WINGS = 70 (60) dark = 52 damage --- BLUE STORM = 45 (40) wind = 45 damage.

79 damage from Kalas is not bad. Xelha follows with the nice use of a DARK FLARE Lv. 2 for 85 damage. This is one of the rare instances where you will see me use a dark flare attack because they generally are worthless. After Giacomo's end slasher I know that Kalas is up next. I have been sitting on my BLUE STORM since the beginning of this fight, and it was starting to distract me. Usually, I don't have the luxury of waiting so long to use it. I started the combo with a FLAME SWORD (2). Knowing that my BLUE STORM (7) would make any combo impossible I avoided the SABRE (2), and any combo chances, and instead went with the higher attack of the LONG SWORD (8). Imagine my surprise when I randomly get the beautiful LINGERING TIME and hit for 173. I know I am close to an epic performance, and Giacomo's health is at 716/750. The next attack from Xelha was awesome, all level one attacks with no bonus modifier and with every single attack blocked, and I still deliver enough damage to kill off the bastard at 48 for a total of 764. An attack of 48 was right around the average of a normal attack, and it really demonstrates how lucky I got in this fight. After an intense chase scene I save as soon as possible to preserve such a good performance.

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Segment 11, have you learned anything so far? More than you could ever want to know right? Well, I'll take it easy from here on out. For the most part, the endless strategies for luck manipulation have been covered so I can shorten my explanations.

   This segment covers the trip to Nashira and the introduction of Gibari. To begin, I come away from the blue flower and purchase two FLAME SWORDs at the shop. This is a must because I am headed into a water world. Kalas and Xelha are still both outlaws but manage to escape Pherkad and land in Nashira. I try to accrue as many items as I can before the next series of fights. I grab a FIRE YELL Lv. 1 out of some barrels before I enter the main plaza of Nashira. In order to advance I need to do two things, talk to the fortune teller and learn about Malpercio and talk to Lyude. I grab the constellation CARINA before I speak with the witch. I pick up two more FLAME SWORDs at the shop, very disappointed to leave the DUEL SWORD behind. I also pick up a SCALE SHIELD, probably a waste of time, but it's hard to ignore such a solid defensive item. Then I talk to Lyude and learn about the empire. I leave him standing there and head toward the bar to meet Anna, Reblys, and Gibari. On the way, I collect a FIRE BURST Lv. 2; finally I am getting an arsenal. Once inside I grab a SMALL SHORTCAKE which can boost both defense and offense 20 points and is a useful tool and worth the time IMO.

   Gibari finally joins. It looks like I am headed towards the Lesser Celestial River to find out why it's flooding and preventing me from going to the castle. I save before I leave and level up to replenish my health. I do lose some time backtracking maybe 10-15 seconds but the next segment is too random, so I save myself the grief. Plus I need to add a bunch of cards to my deck and prefer to do that at the beginning of segments.

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Segment 12 looks much easier than it really is. There are two forced battles that occur, and I have to escape from both. Before that however I still need to leave Nashira. Before I go, I take the time to equip the four FLAME SWORDs and SCALE SHIELD on Kalas and give Xelha a FIRE YELL Lv. 1, two FIRE BURST Lv. 1s, and a FIRE BURST Lv. 2. I also hook her up with the always handy CHRONOS BLOW Lv.1 and her level two finisher SPARKLE OF LIFE. I make sure to give Xelha the ESCAPE Magnus because she acts first.

   Upon arriving in the Lesser Celestial River, I grab a CHAOS EDGE. Very handy for the upcoming fight as this weapon carries a dark attribute. The first forced battle soon follows. I escape immediately. I pick up a STREAM BLADE for Gibari. I pick up another CAMERA 1. The second forced battle begins and is over immediately with the help of the ESCAPE Magnus. You can see that it's pretty clear by now that investing the time to grab the ESCAPE Magnus was well worth it. I have probably already won back half of the time I spent getting it.

    It's hard to escape back to back fights. The math... 4 out of 25 to escape on the first turn is 16%. 16% X 16% is .0256. Yup, I have a 2.5% percent chance of escaping back to back battles. This means I should expect to do this at least 100/2.5...or 40 times before I have an opportunity to escape. I think it took me twenty attempts or so. Because of this I limit the amount of things that I do for this segment and put them off until later to make things less difficult.

   I finally reach the red save flower and have a save. Get ready for a quick fight.

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Segment 13. Remember when I said to get ready for a quick fight in segment 12. Well...the fight wasn't as glamorous as I thought. I made these videos a while ago so I don't recall everything. Although, I know why I kept this video. First of all, I am fighting the THUNDERFISH. He is weak with Fire/Dark 50% and strong against Water/Light 50%. He also has 1000 HPs. Now you would think that I ravage him with my FLAME SWORDs, use a spirit finisher or two, and pummel him with my best attacks. What we instead see is a steady series of better than average attacks using combo bonuses. I have more than a few combos, especially three-card straights towards the end. This steady onslaught gave me a faster time than any other attempt and when you think back to the fight, it's very one-sided. I am attacking him constantly. No finishers mean quick turns; let's not forget how much time is spent doing spirit attacks.

   I hit him for maximum damage with Xelha's first attack, 135. Fishman then brings a four-hit attack called the Thundercloud to me. This is perfect because it allows Kalas to defend with a SHORTCAKE and gain 20 ATP. I then land very heavy damage with Kalas. A dark based weapon to start the three card straight and BLUE STORM to finish, being enough to get my heart pumping, 201 damage. For Gibari, who sucks for this fight, I manage trip sixes and make the best use out of a CHUNK OF ICE you are likely to see. 63 damage brings the total to 399. Xelha's up next and does the best she can with fire and light bursts to net 76 damage. The Thunderfish now attacks with a quick and painless three-hit nothing. Kalas hits for 124. Gibari has a nice three card straight for 83 damage to follow. Xelha uses trip threes for 90 damage incorporating a WIND BLOW Lv. 1 and a LIGHT FLARE Lv. 2. The fish attacks quickly. Kalas combo 104 and Gibari combo 106. The final attack comes from Xelha, and it's for 70. This totals 1052 in damage and renders the fish dead meat.

   For every attack, I selected the best possible combination and landed maximum damage. I checked carefully and for the cards I was given, I don't think it's possible to perform better than I did. Correct me if I'm wrong. You may have also noticed that the Thunderfish didn't block me one time. I have previously mentioned how important this is. All things considered this was a perfect mix of execution and luck that surpasses any mediocre mix of attacks and spirit finishers. In fact, this might be my purest boss fight in my entire speed run.

   After the fight, I still need to save. There is one enemy I need to avoid, and it can be a pain in my ass. The bastard is fast and wrecked a very nice run I had going once before. I easily cruise around him and save.

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There's not a whole heck of a lot going on for segment 14 except for some serious leveling up. After my fight with the Thunderfish, I must backtrack to Nashira. I need to grab two class up items in the Lesser Celestial River, the MANA STONE and the HERON STATUE. Both items allow me to hold 30 cards in my deck and 5 in my hand, very helpful. There is only one forced encounter that I have to escape from, and I do so easily since it's at the start of the segment and easy to repeat. Next, I collect the MANA STONE narrowly escaping the reach of the blue frog like enemy. How he doesn't see me I'll never know, and I was surprised to make it passed. The second would-be forced encounter can be avoided if I run around the trigger spot. The other class up item for Xelha can be obtained by using the head of the Thunderfish to dam up the water and leap across the boulders. Now I can exit, and sail back to Nashira where I discover the empire has taken the town hostage.

   I am trapped in town and need to speak to Anna to get out. Reaching the bar I find she isn't there, and I have to track her down. She is located by the Nashira Port. Once found she shows me a secret passage beneath the floor of the bar, and I am able to reach the over world and save. I make sure to level up at the church before I go. A good developmental segment indeed.

--

Segment 15 was tough on me. I have three STRIPERS in my path to start things out in the Cloud Passage and to finish I need to defeat the IRON BEETLE I. In facing the three STRIPERS, I usually fight the first and dodge the other two. In this case, I somehow managed to dodge the first and third but fought the second. Naturally, I escape the fight right away, or I am forced to reset. Reaching the IRON BEETLE wasn't especially difficult, but it did require a lot of luck manipulation and is the reason the fight with the beetle is far from legendary.

   The tank has 1500 HP and is weak with both water and light +30%. Xelha opens things up with an attack of 127, which is decent considering I used fire and dark attacks. Then the Iron Beetle counters with the typical attack boost prepping a massive attack to come on the next turn. Every great RPG has a boss who uses this tactic; Final Fantasy II comes to mind. Kalas's turn is next, and it's a four-card straight that gives this battle an impressive look. The damage total is pathetic for such an attack, and it's because I am attacking with fire and dark, 93. Gibari's only saving grace is his preference to water and he out-hits Kalas with his DRAGON UPPERCUT, 114. Xelha uses spirit numbers 8-3-3 and then skips the WATER BURST Lv.1 (8), and the two card pair to use up the SPARKLE OF LIFE finisher. I could see myself taking the time to think about this because with two defensive cards in my hand, and a spirit finisher left over, my next turn will probably suck because that's three cards I can't use on offense to start the attack. I would rather use the finisher and free up some space. Even blocked twice I still hit for 150. The beetle uses his charge attack, the VOLDOCANNON and hurts me bad. I already knew before this battle started that if a character is selected for an attack more than one time, they're dead. This caused me to reset a few times. Kalas goes for 96. Gibari goes for 4. I should have reset here IMO. I lift my spirits with some light and water attacks from Xelha, 136. NITRO BOOST from my opponent. Kalas responds with 38 damage and a photo. Gibari uses GRAPES and burns a card because his hand is crap. Next is a four-card straight for 151 followed by a second VOLDOCANNON attack where I make the mistake of using my SHORT SWORD (3) to defend. I knew I was foregoing the defense two pair bonus and just figured to remove a weak attack card from play. You can see that I needed a (3) to make a four card straight on the next turn, whoops. Instead, an attack of 175 isn't that bad. Gibari chips in with his CRYSTAL SHOT for 124. A 172, Nitro Boost, and 199 with the help of ENERGY WAVE follow. The total damage is 1579 with the final attack occurring when the boss's health was 1380, which was good for the significance of a finishing strike. I then save as soon as possible.

--

Segment 16 is story progression. I finally reach Sheliak, the Castle Town. The whole place is on fire thanks to the empire. I somehow discover that nancy-boy Lyude is arguing with one of his commanders. My party is starting to realize that Lyude is a good guy, deep down.

   Then some dude runs out complaining about the King and how he is in peril. I need to reach the castle, and on the way I take the time to pilfer some items from people's homes. I take a LIGHT FLARE Lv. 2, CLOCK SHIELD, RAY OF TRUTH, CALM HELMET, and VOICE 2. The RAY OF TRUTH is a bad-ass light attack and if every card was a RAY OF TRUTH then I'd beat this game with my eyes tied behind my back. I'm starting to receive cards that I will be using for the rest of the game. I level up everyone to regain health and finally class up Gibari through the use of his SHARK TOOTH item I received from the Iron Beetle I. Moving on.

--

The castle is under siege for segment 17. I take the elevating platform up to the castle mezzanine where I grab the INFINITY MASK. Once inside the castle I see a DARK SWORD I can use. The Head Knight is blocking my path and when I speak with him, I learn how to use the Diadem Royal Crest Magnus. It's used to revive fallen troops, but I won't be needing it. Before I engage in the first battle, I find a DARK FLARE Lv. 2 among the rubble. Most fights in the castle use Diadem Knights to do the job for me. There is a point system that corresponds to the rank of a fighter that I deploy. For more info check out the section http://www.gamefaqs.com/gamecube/917921-baten-kaitos-eternal-wings-and-the-lost-ocean/faqs/37504. If I select weak fighters they will die, and then I have to fight. If I select strong fighters, they will win, and I can advance without having to fight. There can also be a stalemate where the fight continues indefinitely, and I am allowed to advance. Winning battles has its rewards. I recommend winning as much as you can by using all the fighters you start with.

   I experimented with a few tactics and came to the conclusion that winning this first fight was important to earn a BUTTERFLY Magnus for Gibari. There is a lot going on in the next room. I skip two rooms; one contains an anklet for Xelha that sucks and the room of fallen knights whom I am choosing to ignore. I considered reviving knights to win more battles and receive more items, but it means I have to physically get into a time-consuming fight with my own fighters, and it takes up too much time. I try to do as little as possible from here on out. In the next fight, I receive a very helpful FIRE AURA 1 and grab a DARK YELL Lv. 1 from a painting.  In the next room, I have to deal with a forced encounter. It's always three enemies and I can't escape from them. These guys are tough and have the ability to put me to sleep. I need to get lucky and hope they don't use their lengthy attacks and screw up my run. I do quite well in the fight and try to save time wherever I can by recognizing when an enemy is almost dead and not waste time performing unnecessary attacks. I save with an epic segment coming up.

--

Segment 18. To start, I go ahead and grab the FLASH ARMOR and SHADOW SUIT, perhaps unnecessarily. I then deal with the last group of enemies and pick up a very valuable AQUA AURA 1 and equip it right away. There are six of these aura cards in total, one for every element, and they can only be acquired in this segment. They are special because on a defensive turn if you select this card it disrupts and ends the enemies attack. They can be used no sooner than the third card in a combo and the previous card must be of the same element as the aura.

   Skip the dialogue of the King almost being killed and let's go straight to the IRON BEETLE V battle, perhaps my most monumental accomplishment of luck. This monstrous tank has 1700 HP and is weak to water 40% and light 30%. This opponent is tough to deal with because after a certain amount of damage is bestowed upon him, he uses SELF-REPAIR and restores all 1700 of his hit points. He can only use this once per shuffle, but it makes for a long battle. It's also worth noting that Lyude now joins my group and will be fighting in this battle. Xelha and only Xelha checks up on the king after he is wounded. The battle will always consist of Kalas, Gibari, and Lyude no matter how I arrange my party. Since I can't access Lyude's equipment until after the fight, he uses a lot of stupid cards, oh well.

   Ready...duel! I start on a defensive turn and burn off some GRAPES and a CAMERA. First to attack is Lyude. He has some nice combo opportunities with several cards carrying two spirit numbers and equally nice attacking strength. I take my time and start with a solid two pair for 153 damage. Kalas plays for maximum damage and a nice two pair for 234. He lands an ICE DAGGER for good water damage and let's not forget that even a weak attribute such as dark has neutral damage that can still be effective. Afterwards, a beautiful four card straight from Gibari with a water bonus for 238 occurs. The Iron Beetle V doesn't use self-repair, so I know that it should come up immediately following my turn.

   Lyude is up next, and his hand is garbage. I use a SHADOW CORNET and burn off his ESCAPE Magnus he brought with him. Yes, I now have two of those, which is awesome. Lyude equals 48 damage and I'm not happy. With Kalas I should have gone to 6, 5, 4, 3 combo, but I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't because looked what popped up, SACRED SPRING. I manage a two pair combo and damage of 349. Gibari's hand is crap, but I suspected I had done enough damage for the SELF-REPAIR to trigger on the next turn, and I was right. It worked perfect; both Lyude and Gibari had super-fast turns.

   Lyude now Concertos for 81. Kalas's next attack is magnificent. With a weakness to light the Iron Beetle has to eat a RAY OF TRUTH and another spirit finisher, my favorite SHINING SERAPH for 285. Gibari does well with a finisher and 183. On my next defensive turn, we see how defense auras works. It stops the attack dead in its tracks. Again, Lyude has crap, so I burn two cards for no damage. I see the end of the fight in sight and am amazed when I see Kalas pull another random spirit finisher, and again; it's SACRED SPRING. Even with the two flame swords it's 289 HP of pain. Gibari makes the beetle eat a two pair worth 142. I have plenty of time to plan Lyude's next attack, and it ends up being a two pair with OVERTURE for 180. A completely broken attack from Kalas, 97. Gibari doubles up on the voice attacks for a measly 29. Gibari then takes a beating from the Iron Beetle. I'm glad I healed him with MILK earlier. Finally, a get the photo and do 31 damage at the same time. Then the coolest thing happens; I get another random spirit finisher. This was the first and only time I have ever got four in one fight. More specifically, that's four out of six attacks. To my knowledge, I have never even had three in one fight, ever. It was pretty cool and had me excited to lock in this segment. Oh yeah, DEMONS OF DARKNESS for 199. Then Gibari shuffled, dammit. Gibari gets attacked. Lyude scrambles for 139 and I probably could have ended it there if I chose my cards better. Kalas shuffles, ouch. Now it's Gibari's turn, and if he doesn't kill the beetle, I'll have to endure another long attack and Gibari could possibly die. I won't be feeling so great about keeping the segment if that happens, but it works out and Gibari literally deals damage of 126 and kills the beetle.

   The beetle repaired after 1022 of damage. 850 is probably the number, or half of the beetle's life. I finish at 1781 damage. Gibari only needed 45 to kill the boss. I want to save right away, and it sucks having to page through dialogue when I'm all tense and stuff. I hit the church and level up; amazingly, I don't choke and make a bad button press. Save it.

--

Segment 19 has me going to the Shrine of the Winds to face the LORD OF THE WINDS. I prepare my fighters, adding some new cards to Lyude and Xelha. I leave Gibari out of this fight because the Lord is weak in chronos 80% and strong in wind 80%. Gibari has several wind attacks.

   The Lord has 1900 health and can be dispatched fairly quickly but does have some annoying attacks. He has a poison attack, a two card attack SLASHING WINDS, and a four or five-card attack which can put me to sleep. It's just another factor of luck I have to overcome. Xelha starts with a nice two pair passing up on the SOUL FLASH for 145. I am then attacked with POISONOUS POWDER. This move is perfect because it's one hit and very fast. I do lose time taking damage from the poison attack every turn, but a two second attack is better than a twenty second attack any day. I screwed up Lyude's two pair possibility thinking I could make a straight, 152. I don't know what I was thinking with Kalas, skipping the SHADOW WINGS, 138. I guessed wrong with Xelha choosing the DARK FLARE (6) and missed a two pair, 137. Another POISONOUS POWDER lands on an already poisoned character and I burn an escape card, perfect. I take a picture on a broken attack from Lyude of 117. Kalas smacks him around with his darkness attacks, 181. Xelha hits for 169 and I pass on the SOUL FLASH waiting for a better combo. Another POISONOUS POWDER, the third time and very rarely does this happen. A three card set for 143. A three card straight for 119. A three card set for 184. Next we see the Lord's secondary attack, a two card attack which I think can paralyze. I absorb it, no problem. Than that dirty bastard goes out of turn and lands a MIRACULOUS GALE on me. I don't know why enemies do this; it's quite rare. I secure a four-card straight with Lyude for 157, and the boss is in his weakened animation. What battle would be complete without another random spirit finisher? DEMONS OF DARKNESS falls for 340 and is the final death blow. A solid hit to get me to 1982 points of damage. It's nice when my enemy can't heal himself. This boss fight is the perfect demonstration of how my enemy's attacks are just as important as my attacks. He had five attacks that lasted only 35 seconds or so when they could have and usually are 10-20 seconds a piece. What the enemy does is just another part of luck manipulation and turns a mediocre performance by me into a keeper. 

   I defeat the Wind God. This allows me to see the epic stone drop into the water that clearly resembles a turd dropping into a toilet. Again, this is the kind of humor the game developers have.

   To finish we see Lyude being more of a baby as I run around the castle. Finally, I save ready to depart.

--

Segment 20. I now travel to Anuenue for the first of several visits. I have to see the Queen Corellia to talk about some End Magnus bullshit. This sort of begins the difficulty of deciding which Magnus to go after and which to leave behind since they're scattered everywhere.

   When I finally land, I climb the ladder up into the shack. I go to grab the constellation Magnus AURIGA and the Bamboo Grass Creel. The Grass Creel is a major speed enhancer. Then I go down a different ladder to grab Gibari's level three finisher EXPLOSIVE PADDLE, which absolutely sucks. Don't bother getting it, a waste of thirty seconds. It's the only fire attack dedicated to him for the whole game and it conflicts with water.

   I finally reach the city during The Thirty Year Festival. There's a lot to do and look at, but I'm off to the shop to buy a MARVELOUS SWORD and two PEACHES. The PEACHES are supposed to turn into THE PEACH BOY after eight hours, and I was really looking forward to that, but apparently that is incorrect and not as my guide suggested. Because I can class up Kalas I go to the church. While I am there I level up everyone else even though there health is fine. I probably didn't need to do this to save time, maybe thirty seconds lost. The extra levels no doubt helps with damage and could shave seconds off in future battles before I reach the next church, but it's immeasurable. That's the problem with this game. One of the concerns of my run is wasting time leveling up, and I happen to agree in this segment it was a waste of time.

   Next, I run into Savyna before heading into the School of Magic. In the school zone I need a few things to advance the story. At the castle steps I must go left through a door, take the leftmost door, and listen to a woman tell a story of a whale. I also need to go right when I can see the castle steps, into the side door, and then into the first door I see to listen to a teacher talk about The Taintclouds. Now I can advance. Along the way, I grab a SWEETHEART PICTURE, BLACK SCEPTER, and a MAGICAL PIGGY BANK.

   Now I am in Corellia's Palace. I speak to her and she goes on and on until Geldoblame comes in. My party accuses Geldoblame of being a traitor, and he denies it. The queen knows something is up but sends me away. I leave the throne room and go into her bedroom to collect a MATTRESS, HAIR DRYER, and capture the Magnus essence of the CELESTIAL SEED not once but twice. Once for the Celestial Tree coming very soon and later when I travel through the inter-dimensional portal to recover my lost party members. Its hours away but saves me some time. Without knowing what to do next I leave the castle when suddenly a stranger suggests I investigate a haunted library. Okay I will, after I save.

--

Segment 21 is the scary Library of Magic. To start out, I fight for another RAY OF TRUTH. I make the fight only one attack. The rest of this level henceforth up to the next red save flower is very linear. It may seem complicated but there is only one path. I need keys to remove the seals, which are the blue orbs guarding doorways.

   From the start, I grab the first key flashing on top of the bookshelves, The Geography Key. Once inside that room I find The Philosophy Section Key and Lyude's level three finisher SFORZANDO. I also snag the Geography Book, one of four books I need for later. I get the KITE SHIELD and WAVE BLADE. I then pick up the History Key that fell from the red bookshelf. A ZEIT ROBE is obtained before entering the History Section. Once inside I find a DELUXE BONBON, History Book, and TAURAS constellation. I forget what treasure I left behind, but I remember not needing it. I go back upstairs and put the Geography Book back on its designated shelf and also grab a DELUXE SHORTCAKE. The deluxe items permanently increase stats. Then I put the History Book away. In the Philosophy Section, I find a SCARLETT SHELL class up for Gibari and the DELUXE COOKIES. I need to rearrange the red bookcases to allow me to locate the Philosophy Book and MAGNUM CORNET. The final room nets me the RUBY EARRINGS for Lyude, the Literature Book, and a SILVER SWORD. Putting the final two books back onto the shelves unlocks the next door to FOLON. Before I save at the red flower in sight, I get Xelha's class up, the FALCON STATUE and save.

--

Segment 22 is when we start to see the effects of real combos because Kalas can now string five cards together. A full house quickly becomes the standard of attack as five-card straights are a little difficult for me at this point. This segment is the boss fight with Giacomo's right-hand man, FOLON.   Folon has a good amount of health sitting at 2300 and is weak to water 30% and light 50%. For this fight, I chose Kalas (naturally), Lyude, because of his light finishers, solid attacks, and straight opportunities, and Xelha because of her overall light and water attacks not forgetting her light finishers, all three of them. Gibari, even though he is a water guy just isn't good enough yet. Before the fight, I equip Kalas with several more cards due to his class up. I give him the three deluxe items to boost his stats. I also change his weapon for the first time and Lyude's as well. Xelha's initial attack lets you know what kind of damage to expect to see against Folon. Her two AQUA BURST Lv. 1s and SPARKLE OF LIFE net 202 damage, which is average. Lyude hits next, and I don't see any great straight or pairing chances, so I make sure to use up his LIGHT YELL Lv. 1 and finisher CONCERTO so they don't clog up my hand. It was a nice attack for 229 damage. For Kalas, I see (2)s and (3)s everywhere so I know I'm going with a full house and ending with ENERGY WAVE, 320. When Folon attacks Kalas it looks like I was just using up SHORT SWORDs to get rid of them. I don't know why I didn't discard my BANANAS. I shouldn't have been too concerned with Folon's attacks, specifically his CHAOTIC FLAMES, but I guess I was. Xelha strikes next and finishes with SOUL FLASH to help compensate the weak fire bursts, 264. A standard two pair for Lyude, 161. Kalas's next attack is pretty lame, but I do get a picture, 126. Kalas is attacked again. This is always good because I can try to set him up for a nice offensive attack by discarding properly. Again, I don't throw away the bananas, and it's a big mistake. It shows that I am fearful of the kind of damage Folon can do, and I probably don't even need to use a healing item for the rest of the game. I use the strongest attacks I can manage with Xelha, 148. Not so hot shooting from Lyude with weak dark attacks and pointless photo, 97. For Kalas, if I was making better decisions, I could easily have gotten a four card straight on his turn. What I got instead was a nice random spirit finisher. I miss the full house bonus but still do 542 damage. Xelha again uses her strongest attacks making sure not to use opposing elements, 190. Lyude then deals the death blow amazingly with a single card and 33 damage. Remember, the battle doesn't just stop when I go over my enemies HP total. My character does his full attack even if a small amount of damage is necessary. It just so happens that one KRONE HORN was enough to do the job. If it doesn't stop Folon, I am definitely going to reset with the attack of Folon coming next. It would have been just too embarrassing to keep, plus the rest of the battle except for my SHINING SERAPH was not that incredible. It was, however, consistent and Folon used short attacks. He did not set me on fire either, which is a time saver. I was at 2279 hit points of damage before Lyude's final attack. The 33 damage added makes 2312. I love killing bosses so close to their health totals. In the first fight against Giacomo, I managed to land on 750 exactly, killing him. I couldn't justify keeping the run unfortunately.

   Savyna again appears to save me from Folon, even though I just clobbered him, and I save just outside of the library.

--

In segment 23, I do two things. I equip the second ESCAPE Magnus that my new party member Lyude started with and get the LANDMARK STONE. Now I am able to navigate the HOLOHOLO JUNGLE. The stone doesn't need to be equipped.

--

There is a lot going on in segment 24. This is a segment that could be repeated for weeks to reduce the time to complete it. There are at least five forced encounters, a couple of probable encounters, and the enemies aren't the type that just roll over and die. Even with my two ESCAPE Magnus, or magni, it's still hard to get through this area quick. There are also two potential areas to harvest an item or two that requires enemy attention.

   The HOLOHOLO JUNGLE is a maze, and it's hard to see. The path is actually very narrow and enemies frequently clog the way. On the first screen, I easily run around the blue dinosaur, ACHERON, but then get stopped at a forced encounter with a MIRABILIS on the next screen. I typically require that I escape from this first battle, or I'll reset. If I don't, the fight must go well. I only do okay so the rest of the run better be great. There are so many enemies to engage that I know I can't escape from all of them. I then encounter another ACHERON which I have to escape from. They are too time-consuming to defeat, and I was just in a fight. Immediately after, I climb down a ladder to grab the SILVER EARRINGS and then go down-screen avoiding yet another ACHERON.

   In the newest screen, there is another forced encounter with a MIRABILIS, even though you can't see him. I will have to pass by this enemy twice so it's a good idea to kill him early rather than try to escape two times. Again, I use all three of my characters to defeat it, but I keep my attacks short and sweet. Just further south in a chest I pick up an ICE CRYSTAL BUCKLE. This is easily the most influential Magnus in the game IMO. It raises my attack from 0 to 45 and essentially doubles my power; a must get.

   I have to go back up and run by the ACHERON again who wasn't cooperating. I was being extra patient because if I couldn't escape than my segment was over. I finally make my move, fail, and then get lucky. It's worth noting I can proceed over to the right before going up the ladder for five or six items, but it's not really worth it because it means a forced encounter and the items suck. The best get is another questionable finisher for Gibari, a chronos finisher that conflicts with his wind set.

   On the next screen, I face another forced encounter with a MIRABILIS. It's only one. One thing that is critical in this segment is how important it is to be lucky with enemy numbers. I would hate to face two of these creatures and have to kill them. I probably would be forced to reset. This is the third time I have been lucky in that regard.

   The next battle sealed the deal and made this run a keeper. I have a forced encounter with an UNDEAD SWORDSMAN, and the battle goes perfect. Kalas crushes him demonstrating the power of my new buckle, and I get the super sweet SILVER SWORD.

   I sort of botch the last fight with the MIRABILIS. At least, I'm smart enough to avoid using Lyude's finisher to save some time. I navigate the last tricky maze elements and make it through to save.

   I think this segment went very well. Some fights could have been improved or avoided gaining some time, and I wish I didn't dance around right after I got the buckle, but the end went well. For every fight, I faced the minimum amount of enemies, which is key and rare to see. Five out of five battles that went to the end were against one enemy only. I probably could have escaped more, but I was well compensated. I did get another SMALL SHORTCAKE and SILVER SWORD for my efforts. All in all, I think six minutes was a great time which could have been reduced to five and a half. Thank god I had two ESCAPEs. This level is the final proof that getting the ESCAPE Magnus in the beginning is mandatory.

--

In the interest of saving some time I'll try to make segment 25 short. I finally reach the village of OPU. My first visit is the shop where I buy a LIGHT YELL Lv. 1. I made it a point for this run to obtain as many light attacks as possible, whatever the strength, for longer combos later in the game. Next, I run into this girl Mayfee. She is a keeper, or something like that. I then talk to her grandmother. Speaking with Mayfee again I realize I need to go back to Anuenue and get some Komomai Cookies. While I'm in Anuenue, I hit up the shop for a DARK SWORD and a very handy LIGHT FLARE Lv. 2. This game would be a lot shorter if every store had light flares in them. I find the fat dude that makes the cookies and give him the essence of the Celestial Seed. I get the cookies and head back. Mayfee is pleased and takes off running. I pick up FLASH EXPLOSION, finisher for Kalas, and the constellation Magnus LUPUS. Down the ladder bridge, speaking with a resident, I obtain the constellation PERSEUS. Then, I indulge in a much-needed church visit. Kalas goes up three levels; Xelha goes up three levels, and Lyude one. Xelha and Lyude both class up. All poisoning is cured. I skip Gibari because I won't be using him until after I reach the next church. My party is starting to take shape and gain strength, but I am falling behind in my card development. I can barely keep enough cards to have full and active decks. Afterwards, I go into Savyna's house, and she joins my party. I skip getting the ICE KNUCKLES because I will not be investing any time into her development. She's tough, but her items are scarce and expensive. I leave OPU and move towards the Celestial Tree, a most unpleasant segment where I fight back to back bosses is coming soon.

--

Segment 26 was only one fight and less than magical. I finally made it to the Celestial Tree. This part of the game is sort of tedious, and I am getting tired of this continent. At the base of the tree, I grab yet another constellation Magnus, CRATER. The path up to the tree has several forks. If I choose the left fork, I can acquire Savyna's class up Magnus, the WILD CHERRY BUD. I always hate to pass up on bud, but I skip this because I will not be pursuing Savyna as a character and don't want to waste the minute to grab it. I will only be using her for one or two fights after my next church visit anyway. Many people believe that Savyna might be the superior character to develop rather than Lyude. I disagree. My thoughts have been laid out at the Speed Demos Archive website, and you can learn more there. My ultimate conclusion about Savyna is that she doesn't have enough Magnus available to her throughout the game compared to Lyude. She is the trophy character and therefore, game designers make her equipment a challenge to acquire. All things being equal between her and Lyude, I save time not switching my characters too often and by not training an additional character while wasting Lyude's development. Up, up, up I go until I reach the monster that’s holding Mayfee. That battle doesn't go that great so nothing special to report. I could have shaved off some time here for sure. It is also possible to have the enemy drop a FLAMETONGUE, which is a bad-ass fire sword for Kalas, but I didn't get it. After the not so hot battle, I climb up to save at the red flower. This segment didn't look great, but it was annoying having to deal with that lobster near my save flower. I decided that the fight went well enough to keep so I could just move on.

--

Segment 27 was a pain in the ass and long. It consists of two boss battles back to back, the TREE GAURDIAN and SAVYNA. From the red save flower, I first notice an editing mistake. When you do 96 segments with over 10 hours of footage, this can happen. Holding on to this many videos for so long was taxing on my hard drive. I do the standard menu navigating and escape a forced battle with a lobster. At the top of the tree, I start the battles.   Gibari is sitting this fight out because he is water based. My enemy can paralyze me and can heal himself, which he did in other attempts on several occasions. The tentacles can heal and do so for 500 HP. At first, I was resetting every time I was paralyzed or the guardian healed himself, but I quickly learned that was just about every battle.   I start things off with a beautiful unblocked full house for 537 damage! I should have gone 2,3,4 with Xelha instead of 2,4,3 but either way I would have had to finish with SPARKLE OF LIFE, 225. The tentacle attacks next and paralyze

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