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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, '17, 9:04 pm 
I've never attempted to speed run anything myself, but I've recently really gotten into the speedrunning scene as a viewer, particularly the RPG stuff, and I was wondering if anyone here has checked out any such runs for this series.

I haven't had a chance to check any out myself yet, but I'm looking on YouTube right now and happy to find that a number of runs exist, including some stuff from the fourth game from RPG Limit Break. I know it might seem kind of weird or pointless to watch an RPG being beaten as quickly as possible, but I find it interesting to see what kind of exploits they use, such as what cut scenes might be skipped, and more importantly I often learn a lot about the game's mechanics, such as how to avoid enemy encounters or manipulate them to the player's advantage.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, '17, 7:55 am 
Actually speedrunning myself? Nah, but as a programmer in college its cool to see how these games function under the hood. As far as I understand it, a lot of new tricks that comes from speedruns are from people cracking the game under the hood to figure out what ways it needs to be poked to get x, y or z to happen.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, '17, 3:55 pm 
Absolutely, it's really neat to see the inventiveness and dedication that speedrunners have in deconstructing beloved games. I just finished watching a run of Phantasy Star II which clocked in at less than 55 minutes, which is pretty amazing to me. Like many RPG speed runs it relies on overflowing or underflowing the inventory in order to get crazy results.

The different thing about this one is that the guy was able to get not only end-game armor and weapons from the very beginning but also to manipulate the character's stats to incredible and ridiculous levels. He was also able to get key storyline items, including the dam keys and amusingly enough Teim herself, allowing him to bypass very large sections of the game and also to avoid Nei's death. This last note was particularly awesome to me, as I rather enjoyed seeing the fallen hero get her revenge and destroy Dark Force and Mother Brain!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, '17, 12:14 pm 
Ah ! Very interesting question ! I've watched some parts of some speedruns and it was always very interesting ! Yes, for an RPG it's a bit strange to see some people going very fast but in fact it's amazing to be able to discover some mechanisms behind the scenes/curtains ! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 3, '17, 4:27 pm 
Glad to hear you're interested in speedruns, myau. I just finished watching runs of PS I and III, and they were pretty interesting. Neither of them seem to get really broken in the way that the second game does, although there did seem to be a minor bit of glitching towards the end in the third game.

I will say that if you enjoy watching grinding in RPG's you should definitely check out the first game. Especially if you particularly hate Fishmen for some reason, this is the game for you, because they literally kill Fishmen for about an hour and a half just for levels and money. Which I suppose is a testament to how legitimately tough the first game is. The only other speedrun I've seen where they grind that much is the first Final Fantasy.

On the other hand the third game was neat because of the relative absence of grinding. All of the battling done is accomplished along the way, which makes for a pretty smooth experience.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 4, '17, 11:38 am 
Ah my dear Bragatyr ! I am indeed interested in speedruns but I think that time is ...running too ! And very "speedy" ! :rofl: So it's hard to watch many SR videos alas...
Glitching is some part of many speedruns but it depends as there are many different types of speedruns (I've read an article about it sooner).
Some prefer use glitches, other not etc...
About the fishmen, ah that was a fisman that killed my der Alisa for the first time on my first game with my two brothers ! I can remember it clearly ! Grrr !! lol That was during the early night, when my parents were out and we played while they were absent.. (not glorious that is sure ! ^^).


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 9, '17, 9:11 am 
Bragatyr wrote:Absolutely, it's really neat to see the inventiveness and dedication that speedrunners have in deconstructing beloved games. I just finished watching a run of Phantasy Star II which clocked in at less than 55 minutes, which is pretty amazing to me. Like many RPG speed runs it relies on overflowing or underflowing the inventory in order to get crazy results.


For old video games, that's not uncommon. Exception handling wasn't really a thing then, and most data is just stored into arrays. So let's say you have a pointer (an object which holds the memory address of another object) that points to the address of a specific item. If you can find a way to arbitrarily change that pointer (which as you can imagine, you should NEVER allow to happen in your program if at all possible), you can switch that item to well, whatever you want. It sounds ridiculous to the end user, but under the hood if you can manipulate that one value, you can do a number of things to it.

The crazy things start happening when pointers point to objects they were never intended to point to. Yes, you can tell a computer program to load music data in what is normally supposed to be graphical data via reallocating pointers, but I don't recommend you do that. It won't be pretty. You can even tell the program to literally shoot its own foot off if you're so inclined.

There's a reason why pointers in modern computer science are considered extremely dangerous and are frowned upon.

There's also the fact that basically 99% of old games were done in assembly language and assembly language is a pain to deal with. How much of a pain is it? Imagine doing your English paper. Now, imagine doing that paper but instead of having words and phrases that basically everyone agrees on what they mean - you instead of have to redefine not only the entire English language in its entirety (not limited to defining syntax and other related functions), but you'll also need to explicitly define each letter that makes up each word you define and then define further definitions like the pronunciation of each letter, word and syllable.

Oh and don't forget that all your definitions that you made? They're only good for that one english paper. If you have to make another english paper on a different subject, be prepared to have to redefine everything all over again. Have fun!

THEN you can start making your inner logic work, but then and only then. That is assembly language. In assembly language, the computer is a stupid idiot and you literally have to tell it what to do in 100% of all scenarios and it will not do anything you don't tell it to do, so if you don't understand computer architecture you're likely to get some horrible error that you don't know how to fix because how computers work at an architectural level is stupidly complicated and frustrating to deal with.

Or like a sane person, you could use a high-level language where most things are generally defined for you and the meat of the project is focused on the logic and not redefining literally everything in sight. I can forgive old video games because the hardware necessary to do video game programming in a high level language was so stupidly expensive at the time there's no way it would have been commercially viable - so the only alternative is assembly where the one main advantage is speed. Speed and nothing else.

(Sorry for the long rant, just hoped that explained some things)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 9, '17, 11:58 am 
Bragatyr wrote:Absolutely, it's really neat to see the inventiveness and dedication that speedrunners have in deconstructing beloved games. I just finished watching a run of Phantasy Star II which clocked in at less than 55 minutes, which is pretty amazing to me. Like many RPG speed runs it relies on overflowing or underflowing the inventory in order to get crazy results.

I've just watched this video too ! With PSII under 55 minutes and this is so strange to see many labyrinths not passed and so many other strange things ! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, '17, 7:20 pm 
I'm glad to hear you watched it, myau, I thought it was a really interesting run. I noticed that a lot of people in the comments section were decrying his methods, which is funny because they apparently don't understand how speed runs are generally conducted, but personally I thought it was a good run. Some speed runs can get a little bit too esoteric for me with all the crazy glitching; if things get so bizarre and hectic that I can't even tell what's going on on-screen or where we are in the game I don't tend to enjoy it as much, but in my mind this run was a pretty straightforward race to the finish.

Yeah, Hukos, I don't know the first thing about programming or computer science, so I don't understand the exact mechanics behind a lot of the stuff, but as someone who is trained in it, I was curious if you could shed any light as to why only the second game seems to be vulnerable to this kind of manipulation, at least from the beginning. I would think that the Master System would have even less sophisticated programming, though I imagine the Genesis may have been tricky as a newer platform, but I find it strange that the first game and fourth game seem to exhibit very little of the underflow stuff, and that it doesn't seem to be nearly as big a deal in the third game.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, '17, 12:27 pm 
Dear Bragatyr, yes it was a very interesting run for me too ! Hope it's sometimes great to have to watch a "speedy one", even if the person is cmore or less cheating ! t's interesting to see how you can overcome the "difficulties" by those different methods and cheats...
"pretty straightforward race to the finish" ? it's exactly what I think !!


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