|Completion Date||Jan. 1, 2015|
|Runner||Jim 'Dowolf' Dobler|
Time is 00:20:40, SDA timing.
As a quick note: there are a number of substantial differences between the PC and PSP versions, so this shouldn't be seen as an obsoletion of Xaragus's old run.
In-game timer is not used here because:
Hero 30, single segment, Neo Climax (PC) version. Massively inferior to the PSP version, but also significantly easier to single segment. Let's get to it!
Some general notes:
--In HMH, random encounters happen every 9 steps, with steps spent running not decrementing the counter. The exception to this is any step on a square where there are no random encounters; these don't count towards the total. There's also something weird going on sometimes in Neo Climax where floors just won't have encounters for a frame, which messes up the count. This counter also resets after entering a boss or other fixed battle, so we generally want to run from the last random battle before a boss to the boss.
--The RNG in HMH is not truly random. Similar to Fire Emblem, it is set to a certain predetermined value at the start of each level. Also like in Fire Emblem, there is a bizarre way to advance the RNG: here, it's by running. It doesn't matter whether this running happens on the overworld, in battle, or in town—it all counts. On the flipside, you can spend a good minute walking around in town without impacting the RNG whatsoever. In NC, it's also affected by what language you play the game in! YAY!
--Town warping is worthless in a real-time run. Though we do still want to approach from an L-shaped angle whenever we are entering towns.
--Perfect Warping: whenever triggering a cutscene, town warp, or any other sort of scene change, 2 HP are spent if you're holding down the run button, but running doesn't actually save any time in this situation. So on a lot of stages, you have to walk that last step to save the HP for later.
--the time (in frames) to run one square is max(4, 6 - (SPEED-WEIGHT)/10). This decreases by an additional 1 if riding a horse or dragon. The time to walk one square is twice this value, plus one. This is universally one frame faster than on the PSP version, which also doesn't have the horse/dragon bonus.
--Evasion is basically a worthless stat, since crits have almost no knockback in this game and proper RNG manipulation means we can work around a little more damage.
We're going on a radical musical adventure, so we'll call our hero ♪. Unfortunately, we'll be going too fast to properly enjoy the music, but such is life in the fast lane.
Stage 1 – Hero's Departure
This stage is awful. You just finish the first untimed bit ASAP, and then the rest of the level plays itself. The dash onto the boat where the herb is saves about 5 frames. I got super unlucky with crits on the boss, losing almost a full second.
Stage 2 – Continental Bridge
It went almost perfectly, but I was slightly off on RN manips, costing me .5s on the boss.
Stage 3 – Lord Hadears
Oh hey what's this level doing here? Slight messup on the RNs at the beginning costs me—the second and third encounters should be 100% crits—but not too bad. And then we get the merc shield, which is stupidly OP (or, rather, every other shield in the first half of the game is literally worthless). We'll be wearing that for a while.
Stage 4 – Caves and Forests
bug swatter OP. Swapping equipment takes more time than it saves. Also, say hello to the horse. I call him Sonic.
Stage 5 – Fire Starter
This route shamelessly stolen from Xarugas... There's about a 50/50 chance of the boss killing you at level 8 with this route, but things went almost perfectly here. We also pick up the Barrel Helm, which is an OK helmet that we'll be stuck with for half the game.
Stage 6 – Through the Cave
zzz. Wheaties OP. Gotta get the rubber boots, because we're not getting better than boots10 for a long time.
Stage 7 – Castle Over the Sea
A few battles manipulated to get us 260 gold before going to the boss.
Stage 8 – Good Ol' Days
all our strats are belong to Mike Uyama. Slight error costs .5s
Stage 9 – Change the Current
sigh. I failed to run across both squares of the bridge, costing me 1s, and then I lost another 1s to early (and one frame-perfect) pauses. Yuck.
Stage 10 – Beautiful Evil Lord
the pause is frame-perfect. Other than that, the level was pretty much perfect.
Stage 11 – Bandit Valley
literally perfect. Lots of RNG manips to get through this stage without having to go back to base, but I love the resulting route.
Stage 12 – Road to Land or Sea
almost perfect. Missed three crits on the boss, but oh well.
Stage 13 – Past the Ocean
Again I failed to run both squares across the bridge, but I wound up at a really good spot in the RNG by pure luck so it turned out OK.
Stage 14 – Dragon Island
Perfect. Switching equipment again costs more time than it saves.
Stage 15 – Tiny Sailing Trip
Pretty much perfect again. You can get extremely unlucky on the boss, but it doesn't get much better than that.
Stage 16 – Flower in the Dusk
Lots of manips for the two 'shroom battles and lots of crits. I actually want to be at 15 after the second battle—I'll save a solid second if I do—but this is okay.
Stage 17 – To the Snowy Country
Lots of little errors costing a second, but solid overall. And yes stopping running at 4HP is very necessary.
Stage 18 – Avalanche Pass
oh boy. This went awful. This is the only stage in the game where the RNG is actually random, making it a nightmare. There's an alternative strat on this stage that can save time but is much riskier, so I went with the safe strat. Said safe strat then proceeded to give me absolutely troll luck—I have never failed to hit level 11 there before—and then the extra battle is against a yeti (entirely on me; they only spawn within two squares of the boss, but I was greedy and ugh). Easily the worst level of the entire run. Six seconds can be saved here. Six!
Stage 19 – White Earth
screwed up RNG manips—I should be level 9 fighting the boss.
Stage 20 – Great Plains
Almost perfect. Also, Sonic returns. He's pretty fast.
Stage 21 – Floodgate Panic
Bit of slow menuing and a few movement errors, but acceptable. Also why is this cutscene so lonnnngggggggggg. Oh, and I equip the bug swatter so I don't have to in the next level. Furthermore, this stage gives us the Silver Armor. In the PSP version, it states in the Goddess Room that the armor does not give your attacks OHKO-power against demons. This is a blatant lie; Silver Armor is by far the best armor in the game for precisely this reason.
Stage 22 – The Have-Nots
This is literally the worst-programmed level in the entire game, as there's a random chance that the eastern cave wrong warps you into the middle of the mountains, softlocking your game. Thankfully, whether or not this happens is determined on level load, so it's not like I'm rolling the dice four times. Also, the guy who gives you money in the eastern town's cutscene goes super-slow if you press enter too fast. Oh, and, if you press X to enter the town or the tunnel too fast, you can enter the wrong one.
None of that happened in this run, which is amazing.
Stage 23 – Fire Mountain
pretty much perfect. Some minor movement mistakes, and awful boss luck, but I'll take it. We also buy the Metal Helm—pretty much the worst helmet in the game—for later. Yeah, this route avoids all the good helmets. A pity.
Stage 24 – Golem Valley
Perfect. Manip the double-rat battle, then run through the rest of the stage.
Stage 25 – Treasure Land
We manip the three battles against the double demons, then run to the boss. A few minor mistakes, but no biggie.
Stage 26 – N/A
stage 26 is afraid of stage 27 because 27 28 29.
Stage 27 – Grand Wings
Or, the first of the dreaded dragon levels. As you can see, there's about .6s of leeway here. I'm really proud of this strat >_>
Stage 28 – Farewell Bandit Trio
Fighting a third battle after entering town is unnecessary, but safer. Costs about .4s. Oh, and this and the next stage are why I get the Metal Helm.
Stage 29 – Infinite Weapon Lord
Fighting the second demon after slaying the whale wastes 2 seconds, but if I don't, I die in the boss battle if I'm not frame-perfect. I decided to play it safe.
Stage 30 – Cursed Hero
The glitch that lets me get into a battle immediately after checking the tombstone is so cool. Not much else to say here.
Stage 31 – Last Battle
I throw away about a second equipping the duel grieves because safe strats, and am a little slow with the cutscene skip in the tunnel. Also, as you can see, entering the boss with less than 5s on the clock makes him super weak, which is so dumb but I'll take it!
Thanks to Xarugas and Mike Uyama for various strats, to Nate for Anri-chan, and for everyone who made the original game. You guys who were responsible for the port, I'll see you after class.
269 levels were gained in the making of this run.