Special thanks to Azure, Ouro and Keyah for putting together the PS3 'Route & Changes' notes.
A number of obstacles have prevented the PS3 version of Eternal Sonata from coming together as a speedrun and beginning to be run in a manner similar to the 360 original. Initial problems included the randomized starting locations of both characters and enemies, and the inverted aiming with Viola (takes some getting used to).
More significantly, the rework to the photography prices meant that money was scarce. Ogre Champ photos seemed to be the only ones that sold well, and it was difficult to set them up consistently. Either the turn order would be off, or minor discrepancies in the positioning of the adds would cut the value of the pictures. Eventually I settled on only taking five shots with Beat’s first turn – and budgeting severely on the healing items and gear from shops. Even the present method isn’t 100% reliable for me, and from time to time I’ve had to reset in Forte after seeing the photo prices.
Another big issue was the difficulty of certain boss fights. For me, Waltz + Ruined was a real hurdle. I couldn’t separate the bosses in a consistent way, Falsetto’s combo on Waltz would hit Ruined, thus nullifying the reverse combo trick, and all the while Waltz would be burning through my healing items with his relentless and difficult to block attacks. The solution to this fight came in the form of Viola and the Lugh Lamhfhada bow. After tagging Waltz with Hawk Eye, it was often possible to take him down with two rounds of well-aimed arrows. Then I could set up the combos for Ruined in a more relaxed and efficient way, as his attacks are quite easy to block.
Having overcome these difficulties it became possible to get through complete runs. The first of these took over 5 hours; the second took around 4 hours and 30 minutes. After that the time came down gradually.
At first I was saving at Killer Knight, Dolce, Fugue, Waltz, and Waltz + Ruined. Eventually I started only saving at Fugue and Waltz + Ruined, and finally I cut out the saves altogether.
I had a lot of good luck in this PB, running a 3:58:28, with an in-game time of 3:51:01. The timing follows the New Game to Game Clear save convention. As a brief commentary, below is a review of some of the splits with the biggest time loss (as compared to best). For info about the money route, menus and so on, please see my post in the discussion forums.
Waltz: 1 min 25 sec (lost)
A very unfortunate run through Mt. Rock, including three ambushes. The boss fight was okay; I could have got the combo off ~20 seconds earlier if my characters didn’t keep dying, but this often happens on Waltz.
Trick or Treat: 1 min 12 sec
The fight was good, most of the time loss was from the swamp, where I was blocked by one scorpion for ~30 seconds, by another for ~10 seconds, and I had to wait a long while for the branch scorpion to make its patrol.
Herculean Boar: 1 min 07 sec
There was a ~20 second encounter on the way to the boss. The fight itself was slow as the boss charged twice – the first time requiring me to reposition and heal, and the second time killing Falsetto, removing her Shadow Silhouette buff. The boar usually dies to one Willow into Thunder combo.
Hidden One: 1 min 04 sec
A very slow boss fight. Missed the first and seconds Shadow Silhouettes with Salsa due to bad positioning and the tricky hit-box. Also Viola was too close to provide the extra damage needed in this fight, meaning a few more turns at the end.
The End (Game Clear): 54 sec
The fight seemed good to me, but was obviously a lot slower than my best split. Ideally you don't need a second combo from Falsetto and things go something like this: the boss moves forward for his first turn instead of only using ranged attacks; you set up Shadow Silhouette + Hawk Eye; Viola runs to the north-west, fires off one round of arrows for ~400k while you're building echoes; Falsetto gets off her combo; Viola fires a few more arrows for ~100k, and that's enough.
In contrast, Forest Boar, Baby Dragon, Killer Knight, Caravan Fight, Tuba 2, Death Crow, Fugue, Rondo, White Jewel, Unrest and Waltz + Ruined were all great splits.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoy watching the run.