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Final Fantasy Origins
Released in March of 2003, Final Fantasy Origins is the PlayStation port-slash-rerelease-slash-compilation that includes Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II. It featured more detailed graphics and a remixed soundtrack as additional perks of the package.

 

FF1, Easy run: 3:07:xx by 'Lenophis', done in 23 segments

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Comments: This is my fourth completed run of this particular game. In 2008, I did two runs with what little time I had access to a DVD recorder, one of which I submitted (and was later rightly rejected). The third run was of the memosave variety, which was going to shave off an insane amount of time, but during recording of the run, 4 discs up and croaked. That ended what would be my final memosave attempt. It's too frustrating to do a no-random battle run.

When I started this run, fearing losing more discs, I made the decision to rip the VOBs of all successful attempts and keep them on my PC. Eventually I would get a nice, shiny 2 terabyte hard drive to rectify that problem, and resume the run.

This run started in July of 2010, and ended in December of 2010. Upon starting this run, I feared losing more discs, so I made the decision to rip the VOBs of all successful attempts and keep them on my PC. This would quickly eat up my hard drive space, because I only had 120 gigabytes of total hard drive space when this run began. As successful attempts piled up, I ran out of space, eventually getting down to about 300 megabytes free collectively.

What sparked my drive to try this run again was anally retentative verifiers rejecting Winkwonle's first run, I feel wrongly rejected. I never managed to watch it, and since SDA still didn't have a run of this game on the site yet, it was wrongly rejected. Part-way through the making of my run, Wink finally got a run accepted, which left me in a bit of a pickle. I wasn't sure if I should continue with mine or not, because SDA would finally get a run up. I decided to continue, because I had put a lot of work into this game already.

When I got to the final couple of segments, I had the thought in the back of my mind that I could potentially get sub-3 hours. Alas, as the last segment drew near, I realized that the final dungeon had to be perfect at that point for me to get that mark. However, if you want to draw straws, Chaos died at 2:56/2:57. *whistles*

Segment 1: Rescue the princess!
The great romscout once said "you need to have a team besides pandora :S" And naturally, he says it after I'm already committed and making failed attempts at the Marsh Cave. In any event, Team Pandora makes their next, and perhaps final appearance. Dragonsbrethren (DKK, he used to go by Dark Knight Kain in the old days, I used the abbreviation here), Lenophis (that's me!), Imzogelmo, and King Lettuce.

The party is three fighters and a red mage, but a memosave run would use a black mage instead of a red. Why black? It gets MP charges faster than the red does, which means better vampire and Lich fights. Anything after that would go about the same with red, until the last dungeon.

As for why I chose this party, it has the best overall chance of victory, at least from my observations. There's no real wrong answer here, unless you stick a Thief or two in there. Then you're a doofus. There was a discussion a while ago about which team was better for a speedrun, unfortunately no conclusion was reached. So with no evidence to suggest my party was sub-par, I kept it for this run.

Segment 2: Nasty pirates!
This was a very lucky segment, because it's pretty much impossible to get good battles on the way to Pravoca and get a great pirate fight. Short of putting all 9 pirates to sleep, it could not go better.

Segment 3: Could you spare a gil?
The quest to get 40,000 gil and then turn around and spend it all. As painful as it may be to wait during the 15-tile puzzle game, I have no choice, cause something like this always happens if I don't. In my previous runs, I ended the segment here because of the run-killing risk of getting to Elfheim. But with a DVD recorder, time, and hard drive space on my side, it was a risk I could take.

Segment 4: Let's go to the cave!
I suppose you're wondering why I chose to accept this segment. Simple - experience, and the first formation was exactly what I was hoping for, but I could've done without the ambush. However, it's a relatively rare formation, and I was happy enough with the end-result.

Segment 5: Who hides a crown in a place like this?
This was not my best attempt, and I mean that in the most literal sense possible. I had a better attempt (beware, it is crap in quality) but it was scrapped because I got ballsy and took a stupid chance.

Segment 6: To the castle!
The trek to the castle is its own segment simply because Astos is a somewhat difficult fight. So, nyah. :P

Segment 7: We've been betrayed?!
I rectified the mistake made in my previous runs and made sure this g'fooker was deathless.

Segment 8: Back and forth, and back and forth...
I hate what this segment involves. Too much running around, no opportunity to save at all until you get to Melmond or the Terra Cavern. Unfortunately, since it's a big segment there tends to be a lot of opportunities for a run-killer, and getting to the Terra Cavern or Melmond is what will likely cause it. I did break my mold of acceptance for this segment, because it can be that difficult. That is why I took the 2-try run just before Mt. Duergar. For those interested, at the end of this segment, the Lesser Tiger was a 3/64 chance of an encounter.

Segment 9: You..youyouyou d-d-d-don't scare me, vampire!
Surprisingly, this didn't take all that many attempts to make, comparitively speaking anyway. It was 2 days of attempts, but the overall number didn't exceed 50 tries. The hardest part was getting to the third floor, although the third floor has its share of annoyances, as well.

Segment 10: It just wouldn't be an adventure if we didn't have to get an item.
This was an annoying segment, and mostly because there's a 37.5%* chance of getting into a battle with Shadows, which have the highest ambush rate of any formation in the game. In other words, run killer.

*: The numbers say it's a 37.5% chance, but of the 8 formations you can see in the Melmond area, the Shadows occupy two of the slots. Adding up all of the numbers, it's a 24/64 chance, which does sound favorable. In reality, they show up all the time. :P

Segment 11: FUN WITH LICH!
This one took a while to make, but not nearly as long as the Ice Cave segment. Up until this point, I had been making the run using my old-ass PS. The controller bug that plagues this game seems to be a bit worse while playing on the PS2, and the loading was not going to take a significant hit. However, after enough frustration with unsuccessful attempts, this conversation on IRC took place late at night, on July 30th, 2010:

<Lenophis> grrrrrrrrr
* Lenophis considers a no-encounters code
<Saeko> FF1 owning you?
<Lenophis> that's putting it lightly
<Saeko> ouch. XD
<Tom-Servo> FF1 is easy peezy
<Tom-Servo> when I first played it I rented it for like 2 weeks
<Lenophis> not when you're trying to go fast
<Saeko> Tom: he's trying to do a non TAS.
<Tom-Servo> near the end the save file corrupted
<Tom-Servo> TAS eh?
<Saeko> *non* TAS.
<Saeko> aka real-time.
<Tom-Servo> erm
<Lenophis> you know, the thinhgs that need skill
<Saeko> using a PSX console and a copy of the game.
<Saeko> (or in his case, a PS2)
<Lenophis> actually, I'm using a PS here
<Saeko> oh? i thought it was failing on you?
<Lenophis> more responive
<Lenophis> responsive*
<Lenophis> it is, but the game seems to play better on it than my PS2
<Lenophis> dunno why
<Saeko> you have a slim PS2 don't you?
<Lenophis> yep
<Tom-Servo> oh, I don't cheat so I wouldn't even know what TAS means :P
<Saeko> Tom: http://tasvideos.org/WelcomeToTASVideos.html
<Saeko> basically using an emulator with slow-down and savestates.
<Tom-Servo> yeah, cheatin!
<Tom-Servo> I never go fast
<Tom-Servo> no fun in that
* Lenophis turns off
<Lenophis> I tell you
<Lenophis> the *instant* I get a good segment
<Lenophis> it's getting uploaded
<Lenophis> and anybody that dares reject it will get an assload of boot
* Leno_jr has joined #romhacking.net
<Leno_jr> -_-
* Lenophis Quit (Ping timeout)
...
<Leno_jr> you know
<Leno_jr> just for shits and giggles
<Leno_jr> I'm gonna see if this segment fares any better on the PS2
<Saeko> XD
<Leno_jr> somehow I doubt it
<Leno_jr> but I'm getting desparate here
<Leno_jr>
http://www.backloggery.com/games.php?user=lenophis&console=PS&rating=&status=&own=®ion=&wish=&alpha=
<-- it's getting that bad
<Leno_jr> soon I'll offer my ops
...
<Leno_jr> ok
<Leno_jr> let's see if this fares any better...
<Leno_jr> >_>
<Leno_jr> that's not even fare
<Leno_jr> fair
<Leno_jr> *
<Saeko> ?
<Leno_jr> holfd
<Leno_jr> almost to the 5th floor already
<Leno_jr> MADE IT TO LICH
<Saeko> good segment then?
<Leno_jr> very
<Leno_jr> FUCK YES
<Leno_jr> if I get out
<Leno_jr> I AM KEEPING THIS
<Leno_jr> that was the best lich fight of all time, almost
<Leno_jr> HELL YES
<Saeko> best segment evar?
<Leno_jr> by far
<Leno_jr> I demolished lich (first time getting to him)
<Leno_jr> and I got to him very fast
<Leno_jr> the whole segment is a smidge over 7 minutes in movie time
<Saeko> damn, that's fast. :o
<Leno_jr> game time probably took about 6:40
<Leno_jr> give or take
<Leno_jr> I'll time it
* Leno_jr rips
<Leno_jr> this bastard is going up to youtube as soon as I am able to upload it
<Saeko> nice.
<Saeko> look forward to seeing it.
<Leno_jr> if youtube chokes, I'll just normal up it
<Leno_jr> in-game timer is at 0:59 at the end of this segment
<Leno_jr> hot damn
<Leno_jr> the movie time was 7:29, which includes a good 15 seconds
fumbling with memory cards
<Leno_jr> segment 9 (vampy segment) was 7:03 in movie time
And from that point on, the game would be played on my PS2.

Segment 12: The boat won't do? Get a canoe.
Not much to say here, I head to Crescent Lake to gear up, pick up the Canoe, and head to the Citadel of Trials. The worst part of this segment was the petrification at the end.

Segment 13: Test your mettle, warriors.
This frustration is child's play compared to what's coming up. For any attempt to be successful, the Nightmares need to cooperate, on top of everything else that has to go right. You pretty much need one of the three healing items, and the Healing Staff is the quickest one to get. That means two forced encounters with the Nightmares, unfortunately (only one if you play the NES version, though). Nightmares have 200 HP, are weak to ice, and don't resist lightning. I have 1 charge of level 4, which means for the first battle I use Bolt2. Even though they are weak to ice, I've lost many attempts by using Ice2 and still not killing them in the first round. It was very frustrating.

It should be noted that you must talk to the sage at the entrance, otherwise the chair to proceed does not work.

Segment 14: We should go this way, instead!
Technically speaking, you're supposed to go to the volcano first, before you get the hint about the Ice Cave. Do what the game wants you to do, really? Who does that anymore? :P

Segment 15: Hell freezes over.
This segment took forever to make, but the game being uncooperative was not the whole reason why. Right around this point, I had been running out of hard drive space. Since the arrival of the DVD recorder, I had been recording a lot of TV, and making a bunch of SotN runs for romscout, and at the worst, I was down to a combined 300 megabytes of free space. Four months would go by, and I would finally get a new hard drive, which would allow me to resume the run. After three days of attempts, I finally managed to get to the Evil Eye, but since this is speedrunning, and since this is FF1, things inevitably go wrong (see bloopers below). Additional bloopers were made, but the video quality of those movies are horrible, so consider yourself lucky if you haven't seen them. But if you feel brave enough, you can check out WarMech's FF1 thread to find them.

What I had to do was get enough gil and experience so I would survive the rest of the game. This meant a farming trip at the Evil Eye, which is ok as long as you can get to it. Yes, I chose to be careful here, but I had to. During recording of the memosave run, I lost about 20 segments due to walking too far, and going in a pit. And after the massive failings of previous attempts, nothing was going to keep me from completing this segment. But just like the blooper below, I nearly lost this segment to the same damn formation. Considering the extreme difficulty, this is an easy accept for me, and hopefully anybody with a brain.

Segment 16: The Sky Warriors' Airship.
The hardest part about this segment was getting back to the ship. Although, there's a good chance of getting a run killer near Onrac when getting the Bottle...

Segment 17: Hot-foot it into a volcano.
Quite possibly the easiest segment there was to make. Because of how little time is spent in here, I lump in going to Melmond and transitioning to the waterfall.

Segment 18: What's a dungeon doing inside a waterfall, anyway?
This one took a few attempts to make, and it produced an interesting blooper. At this point, running consistency becomes a huge factor, which is why I started to fight more battles. Yes, I likely should've ran from the forced fight, but at that point I just wanted to make sure it was a success.

Segment 19: Dive, dive!
Despite how much I hate this part of the game, this segment did not take many attempts to make. I opted not to get the Diamond Armor, because it felt like too much time for too little gain. At this point, the defense isn't going to help as much as it could, so I took a chance and it worked in my favor.

Segment 20: Cracking the code.
Pretty much a transition segment, I pick up the last quest item I need which allows me to enter the Mirage Tower. If only the damn Lufenians would stop getting in my way...

Segment 21: Repressing the instigator.
You can tell how good or bad an attempt will go based on if the Mirage Tower cooperates. I tried this segment about 60 times, and all but 2 never made it out of the Mirage Tower. A couple formations have rather high ambush rates, and a lot of enemies act like the Nightmares, meaning you can run, but good luck in doing it. Oh yeah, there's the 1/64 encounter, too (see blooper section below). I made the decision to get Thor's Hammer, because I ancitipated using it later in this segment or in the final dungeon, neither of which happened. Since I had to get the Dragon Armor and Sunblade anyway, it cost me all of 2 seconds. In the end, I accidentally used my last cottage. I wanted to use a tent instead, but I don't think it hurt me as much as it appears.

Segment 22: They stole King Arthur's sword!
For a while, I was considering lumping this is with the Mirage/Floating segment, but I didn't want some extremely stupid thing like a battle/ambush to ruin it, so it's by itself. And because I used my last cottage at the desert, I make a trip to the Cornelia Inn to restore HP/MP to full, then use a tent outside the Temple. I didn't want to redo the previous segment, and considering how much I needed to heal, I sincerely doubt I lost any time.

Segment 23: Take a step forward to go back in time 2000 years...
This dungeon is hell's big brother, and once inside, all bets are off. Getting to Lich is the hardest part, but after that, it's smooth sailing until Tiamat's floor. Chaos is a run killer, at least in lower-level runs, which most speedruns are. In the past, I've lost several attempts at Chaos, because his skills still do a lot of damage. Thankfully, he cooperated with me on the only attempt I got to him.

Finally, I have a couple of particular bloopers I wish to share. One is a failed Ice Cave attempt, and another is a couple 1/64 encounters which I managed to get 4 times during the making of this run. I recorded all of them, but the earliest ones were lost due to the aforementioned lack of hard drive space. As I kept mentioning that I was getting the 1/64's, I was told that I would inevitably run into WarMech, and I agreed with the assessment. However, luck would surface, and I evaded WarMech's sights. If I did run into it, though, it definitely would've been included in the blooper reel, I assure you. :P

I wish to thank a few people:

Disch - Creator of FFHackster. This utility helped with a lot of planning, still!
Dragonsbrethren, Imzogelmo, and King Lettuce - Team Pandora. Wait, aren't we still working on something else?
Aftermath - For coming through with assistance on the sample extraction when no-one else would.
setz - For the assist on helping with that last letter in the blooper banner.
Saeko - For keeping IRC logs. You're a life saver.
Sliver-X - For some reason, he decided to make a non-NES version of one of his songs, and at least IMHO, one of the better songs from Dragoon X Omega II.
Gideon Zhi and dn - Both had faith that I would run into WarMech.
Carcinogen - He suggested the idea of using 2 memory cards to counter the time of saving with many files on one card.
I.S.T. - He said he wanted in.
romscout - Because he doesn't want to be thanked by everybody for contributing nothing.
Alantas - For helping clarify a few things with these written comments.

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