Released in February 2003 in the US, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is simply the best Breath of Fire game, period.
Best time: 0:54 by Jeff 'Cosmos' Vughs on 2010-11-14, done in 12 segments.
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First I want to thank my brother for setting everything up, he made this run possible in the first place.
Secondly I want to thank my friend Patrick, he and I discussed about this speedrun a lot, although he never played the game himself.
Thirdly I want to thank everybody in the Bof5dq thread, especially Gorash and Enhasa.
And last but not least the whole SDA crew, thank you for making all this possible!
In this run there is no abuse of glitches, Sol system, soft safes and cheating.
The PAL version has 9 save tokens instead of 1 that the NTSC/JP versions have, these are used to save at fixed save spots, called telecorders, and are found in the dungeons. Because of this a segmented run on the NTSC version should never be faster then a segmented run on PAL version.
The segments are for luck manipulation, I will explain in each section below where I needed this.
In BoF5dq every item is random, except the drops of bosses and monsters and the blue boxes, the bosses/monsters depend on which turn it is defeated. The item/weapon shops have a random set of items, all the normal/rare boxes have different item drops and the monster paths/spawns are random, even the stats of monsters and bosses can differ a little bit.
When you start a new game, for the whole game the following are determined: monster spawn and paths, weapon and items in the store.
Each time you load a game the following are determined: all normal/rare boxes, monster/boss stats.
In cutscenes, if I press start the game says pause, this is the only real pause in the game where the timer does not count, the whole CGI movie at the end + credits does not count, every other thing it will count.
The sentence in the beginning, ''This is a tiny tale of time'' is ironically very true.
First I did was going to the store, sold my heal kits and tonic, bought 20 meat and 4 bombs for the dungeon. I slashed the first 2 boxes, and it spawned 2 meats and I picked this up. I used some meat to make the path clear, when I got at the worms I killed 3 in 1 slash its possible kill all 4 in one slash, picked up the heal kits.
At the danger room I grouped the monsters with meat, dropped 2 bombs, and on the right time dropped an extra meat to lure and slash, detonated the bombs to clear in my EX turn. I did the same at the second Group and got the blue chest for the skill kick. I saved at the telecorder. Ingame time: 0:05m.
This segment was the most demotivating of all, my first plan was to combine segment 1 and 2, but I never had the right amount of luck with the items/paths I wanted, even with only the power booster drops, I tried the combined segment more then 500 times. But when I tested the save before segment 2 everything was clear to me how I had to do my speedrun.
Short segment, I used luck manipulation, to get a power boost for segment 3, saved at the telecorder, 0:06 ingame time.
I bought 9 sleep mushrooms and 2 bombs, in the next box there could have been 240 party exp (low chance), but it was 240 zenny.
Cyclops boss encounter, I positioned myself to get in range and 60 total AP to end my turn faster and used the power boost and slice until I had 0 AP left and his life is at 75%. I let him hit me, and waited my turn until I had max AP, to slice and finish him, it's very important to do it in this order, otherwise Cyclops could kill me because he gets angry when he drops to 50% hp. I had some lucky crits. I tried to get all the useful boxes there were, it totally depends on luck what I get, but of course with the items in this segment are useful. The spider danger room is harder then it looks, it took me a lot of retries, to get a fast time, the monsters are extremely fast so I needed them to be distracted with meat all the time. I think it's possible to do this slightly faster with some good monster placements.
When I cleared the room I used D-dash and made a tiny mistake by bumping into the wall, this took me 1 second, but the danger room is the hardest part and I was happy it gone so well. I D-dash the whole segment, at the last room I D-dashed through a box, and picked up 1 meat, it could have been an power boost, which I needed, but it was such a small amount of time lost, so I accepted it(2 second lost). Saved at 0:11 ingame time.
I sold a piece of armour, and my shields. The tactics for the boss encounter were: I needed to put 3 G-flares down, on the right spot, Lin shall use push back skill on Bosch into the fire and the 2nd ranger need to be pushed towards the 3rd ranger, after this, Ryu will D-breath.
It depends on Nina her G-flare damage how long I have to hold my D-breath, the D-counter hits 2.10, this was perfect. I bought meat and bombs afterwards, I lost a second because I needed to think where my lurid dust was to sell, got the save token and saved, ingame time 0:13.
This was a luck manipulation segment, I needed the power boost. It is a very low chance that this item drops. If the item drops, I had to do a danger room and a boss battle perfectly.
In the danger room I threw some meat to lure the group towards the edge of the platform, I got my save token. And bomb the group, put 2 extra bombs on the ground and EX turn, detonate bombs and use dragon and D-breath. Fast method, but hard to pull off the right acceptable amount of D-counter usage.
After this battle I made a mistake and slashed in vain (I was outside of the item range, misjudged). I got the items and the blue chest for the extra page. After this I will run and go to the next boss encounter, the three rangers, if it's Ryus turn I will D-breath and the battle is over, I got 9.05% on the D-counter, this was acceptable. I walked to the telecorder and save, ingame time is 0:17.
I sold all the defence gear, and bought a +4 strongsword, and bought bombs. In the room with the money bug monster, I had to lure it to the edge of the room and killed it with 2 bombs in an EX turn. Every time this bug gets hit the lower the money it drops. I got 10K zenny from it, and loot the chest in the next room with 600 party exp in it (low chance).
In the Danger room everything went well, I used the sleep mushrooms to lure them and make them sleep, after they are grouped I bombed them down, put extra bombs on the ground and EX turn to detonate and kill them. I make a mistake and slashed in vain after this battle, I pick up all the items that I won't use, I thought I needed the money for a later segment, but in the end this didn't turn out that way. I lost 4 seconds because of this.
One of the boxes to the telecorder had a reflex, I hoped this would be a power meal, but it wasn't necessary, reflex isn't bad either, in the end it helped me to be faster then Bosch in segment 12. I saved at the telecorder ingame time 0:24.
I bought 40 prox bombs and used some items, my 4 heal kits, reflex/protein stat and learned the skill kick, after this I equipped kick and vertslash and levelled Ryu to 16. The next battles are three straight boss encounters, there is some luck involved how everything goes, the first turn I must wait and hoped that Lin and Nina would die, and I hoped that Ryu was not targeted and still with high hp. After the First turn Ryu had enough AP to kick the rangers to form 1 line, after this I got in to dragon mode and D-breath all the rangers except 1 till they are finished, D-counter 14,86%, this is great.
After this I get in the back of the last ranger and use power boost as normal Ryu, I had to be Lucky with the crits to finish him, I think X slash has a higher crit percentage then most other skills but I am not sure. The battle versus the robot was easy, I just needed to do enough damage with my dragon and it was a must finish him with low damage D-breath otherwise he wont die after 3 turns.
In the last battle I fight Zeno, she HAS to kill Nina, and preferably Lin, but only Nina was killed, after the battle I get less xp for Ryu then it could have been, but its acceptable. I pick up Zeno her sword, it's a very good sword and I was certain that I needed it. But I didn't need it so I lost 2 seconds. I save at 0:28 ingame time.
Note that in this segment, it took some time to kill all the bosses. If Ryu didn't crit or did slightly less damage then in the video, I needed to restart the game. The AI was unpredictable and frustrating too.
In this segment there are 2 danger rooms, with 1 boss in it, and 2 other boss encounters.
I walked to the danger room and threw a meat at the big bat and I putted a mushroom at the other side of the wall, I lured all the bats to the unreachable meat and used prox bombs to damage them, I putted 2 bombs down go tan ex turn and cleared the pack. This isn't easy, it has a very high screw up mechanism, but it's extremely fast, and it went perfect.
I didn't pick up the loot, and go to the First boss encounter, this was straight forward and easy.
After this I go to the next danger/boss room, the method I used, is extremely fast, I D-dashed through the boss, and it would follow me, I go down the little stairs and used prox bombs, the boss gets pushed back after each hit, but its stuck against the wall, so the next prox bomb will hit him too. In the end I putted 3 bombs on the Floor, ex turn and finished him, this went perfect.
Before the last boss I got 240 exp out of the chest(low chance) and levelled Ryu till 25, this boss is the most frustrating of the whole segment, because I needed a critical hit in my dragon form to kill it, otherwise he would not die. Many perfect segments were lost because of this battle, but I reproduced it with the crit. Saved ingame at 0:35.
I had a lot of different strategies in this speedrun, but this segment changed the whole endgame part.
All because of the sword Celtis +1, I knew I could buy this sword when I did segment 1, but never thought why I must buy the most useless sword in the game. But when I picked this sword up at an random box in this segment, I saw that it had a high attack power, and if I could use this attack power, it would give me more possibilities, and I knew immediately this would be the most important item of the run. Celtis has bad stats, but the game mechanics gives this sword a chance, the worst stat of this sword is the -20% hit, if you stand in the back of the boss you get an 100% hit rate, always. The other stats like slow speed were easy to surpass, just equip a faster sword for the battle and get the fast turn and switch to the slow celtis in the battle itself. The minus magic defend and no free skill slots didn't matter.
This segment has 2 bosses, the First boss encounter I D-breath the fake rangers and get a D-counter of 41.82% this isn't great but not bad either. The rest I just killed with vortex.
After this I go to the next boss, Bosch again, he gets killed in 2 hurricanes with the celtis, I have high chance to do 2k+ damage. I saved at the telecorder ingame time 0:41.
I began with walking to the item shop and bought 1 bomb, maybe I could have used 1 less bomb in segment 5, but in the end this didn't cost me much time. I go in the dungeon and run to the danger room.
When I arrived at the danger room I threw a meat at the boxes to lure the monsters in 1 group, in this group walked the ''host'', if the host dies all the skeleton monsters die and the room is cleared. When I threw a proxbomb at those skeletons it did a great amount of damage and make them immobile, this is needed because they are very fast and the host is very slow. I needed to separate the host from the pack, I did this by throwing prox bomb at his back and the explosion pushes it towards me out of the pack. After I threw 3 prox bombs he was far enough from the others, I putted 1 bomb on the ground en sliced him toward it, with this EX turn I detonated to bomb to finish him.
After this I skipped everything till the boss, the First regent, I needed to kill him with my celtis, I needed to stand in his back for this. After he is killed I walked to the save spot and pickup 1500 party exp on my way (low chance, never seen it till this recorded moment, I hoped for the 1000xp), the ingame time is 0:46.
In this segment I needed to end with a total D-counter of 76.45%. I can use the strong sword in this segment, the 2 boss encounters are easy because they have lower hp than most of the others (I took the left routes).
I D-dashed a lot and ran till the first Pandora's Box. If I killed it in a EX turn I would get a 7th sense, I did this with 3 bombs.
After this I ran to the First boss encounter, the girl with the pet. The pet can't be killed but the girl can be killed and that's all I needed. When the boss is dead I ran to the next Pandora's Box and killed it like the First, to get an extra 7th sense. Before the next boss I needed a D-counter of approximately 68.38%.
The 2nd boss encounter is the hardest part, I needed to do it fast and he must walk like I wanted. The boss always begins first and he always uses stealth, I can't target him this way, but if I throw 2 G-flares with Nina and he walks into it and it combos, he is out of stealth. To stack 2 G-flares perfectly is hard (took me around 3 seconds), when under stress (remember I needed the perfect D-counter to get here), Lin and Nina must get out of the way so I needed the AP on both, but G-flare isn't free. One G-flare isn't enough to hit the boss out of his absolute defence, which is a kind of barrier. When he was out of stealth I targeted him with dragon mode Ryu, and killed him. I walked to the save telecorder with an ingame time of 0:51, and a D-counter of 76.45, perfect.
In the endgame segment I needed to defeat three bosses and an ''event'' boss, Elyon, Bosch for the third time and Dragon Bosch and the big dragon. In this segment I had 0.04% of D-counter to spare with pure walking, this wasn't a lot. The walking mechanism works as follows, roughly minimal 8 to maximal 20 foot steps are needed for a 0.01% increase, in this segment I can easily get 0.05% instead of the 0.04%, its a little bit 50/50 chance for those numbers. So there were much retries only because of this.
Elyon needs to be killed with 7th sense in dragon mode (7th sense stacks with dragon mode, power booster does not) and the celtis. Bosch needs to be killed with pure the celtis, I needed 2 crits for this (extremely low chance, very frustrating and many retries!), in this recorded segment, he did 3 crits! I couldn't believe it. The last real boss was D-Bosch, I needed to kill him with 3 twisters, 7th sense and the celtis. At the event boss you need to hold your d-breath to the max, 100%, I began with 99,99% so I needed to hold it for 0.01% if I calculate this as damage: w/o any dragon charges on Ryu in his dragon mode, this means I do 1 damage. But the damage recognition begins every 0.05%, so I don't see any damage done. After this event, the whole ending begins and I was asked to save my game, I saved with a final time of 0:54.
All in all I made I think roughly 15 seconds of mistakes in the whole run. If I do this run again I know a way to end it with 0:52(this isn't easy), I think a TAS can get a time of 0:50, maybe a 0:49, but I think that beyond this is not possible. Because there aren't any known glitches for this game where it is possible to skip parts of the game. I won't do a single segment for this game, because this game is to much depended on luck with items and crits and AI behaviour to get the fastest satisfying speedrun, it will be to frustrating.
Thank you for watching/reading!
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