Jade Empire is an action / RPG / adventure hybrid, released by Bioware and Microsoft in April 2005. Drawing its inspiration from ancient Chinese martial arts it offers the player a blend of NPC interaction, combat and exploration. It also features its very own language, and naturally the whole gameplay experience comes garnished with a liberal sprinkling of Chi.
Category note: Characters do not count as separate categories because initial stats and skills can be changed before the game starts.
Best time: 2:35:58 by Christian 'ninetigerr' Koch on 2008-08-21, done in 12 segments.
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Big thank you to Garrote, whose run preceded mine, Nate, Radix, Mike, Enhasa, hell, even Grenola, the whole team...
Radiant Jen Zi | Legendary Strike, Heavenly Wave | 4 body, 3 mind, 3 spirit
I approached this run with the "completely eschewing leveling" strategy. Well, I don't completely eschew leveling, but I go segments at a time without leveling up my fighting styles at all. I do level up my body, mind and spirit, however, because that doubles as an instant Focus Shrine + Spirit Font.
Yes, using autosaves at the end of segments does not incur the 1/2 second penalty, but I manually save my game anyway. This is because the game does not keep count of more than 5 autosaves at any given time. A segment may take up more than 5 autosaves, so if I were to attempt the segment again, that save point would have been deleted. Forever. And besides, what is 5.5 seconds worth in the end, anyway?
My primary follower is Sky in support mode. I use Sagacious Zu up until Segment 6, and Dawn Star helps out intermittently. Ice Shard + Legendary Strike harmonic combos take care of my chi, and Storm Dragon + Legendary Strike combos help out with focus.
In all instances of dialogue, START doubles as the A button. So basically 99% of this run is actually just mashing START and A alternately =D
You can pin down enemies by constantly switching between two or three styles.
The coolest thing I discovered is that if the tip of your sword scratches a weak-ish enemy, it'll kill him instantly. It only seems to work really early in the game, though.
I also noticed that sometimes the cannon fire on the beach doesn't hit you, even if you don't dodge them. I managed to do this one of the two times.
I get Ice Shard, and unlike Garrote, I abuse my magic style extensively. Mostly for initiating Harmonic Combos, but also the projectile attacks allow me to hit enemies without moving.
I intentionally "crash" my flyer just to get rid of the last plane faster, but every time I play I'm more convinced you can't adjust how long flights take.
The fight with the ghosts right when Chapter 2 starts was a pain. Stupid ghost kept avoiding my Ice Shard. Grrr >=(
Freezing Silk Fox and then pounding her to death works. Every time.
The first thing I do is level up for the first time, equip all my gems for the first time, and switch to Dawn Star. She will help me regain chi that I desperately need to get through all these ghosts.
This has nothing to do with speed running, but the *unskippable* cutscene where the fox spirit comes and attacks you is really badly edited! The camera crosses the line twice!! I'm a film student, I can't help but notice. This is the reason why I hate this segment (just kidding...)
There is a way to make the Innkeeper give you the crystal without making everyone turn into cannibals, but that requires too much Intuition for what you can obtain in a speed run.
This is the first segment where you get to see my little Shrine and Font trick. You can "run away" from a shrine or font and still receive the aid they give you.
One of the most important differences between Garrote's run and mine is that I kill Forest Shadow. I am convinced she is faster than the Mother-you save yourself from at least 2 loading screens (approx. 1 minute right there).
This was definitely my fastest Chai Ka fight.
I pick up Inquisitor Lim's amulet fragment but I don't use it until the next segment. You don't need to.
Switch follower to Sky, for multiple reasons:
a) he makes apprehending Creative Yukong faster (I'll explain later)
b) he helps skip an entire conversation-the one right before the Lotus Assassin recruiter shows up.
c) he says one of my favorite lines
I talk to Captain Sen because he actually creates a little warp. I agree to find Creative Yukong because, via him, I am transported from the Scholar's Garden directly to the Imperial City Gates. That's one less loading screen (30+ seconds saved)
I upgrade to the Dragon Sword and buy Storm Dragon. Garrote didn't bother in the previous run, but, honestly, bigger swords are better =D Storm Dragon will now be my primary enemy-pinning style.
Making Judge Fang resign is the nicest, quickest way to get the Lotus Assassin Seal.
Big huge thanks to Garrote for the Necropolis trick! You can skip two fights by rotating the camera away from where the fights take place. Pretty nifty. I tried using this trick in other parts of the game, but so far it only works in the Necropolis.
There's some pretty excessive ADD/"idle antics" action here. Watch out.
You can avoid the fight with the slave drivers, but that requires too much Intimidation or Intuition for a speed run.
I swear, if Dawn Star is your follower, there's an autosave right after you kill her, but with Sky, there isn't. Really bizarre.
I have no idea how long it took me to realize that you can just Storm Dragon + Legendary Strike the Watcher and kill him instantly. Very convenient. BUT the fight with the Lost Spirits and Mummies right after that kinda sucked. I'm also convinced there's no way to completely avoid the Lost Spirits by rotating the camera like we did in Segment 6... only works in one direction?
I had some trouble with the fight right before you hop on the big elevator. I mean "spire."
After watching the 2nd longest unskippable cutscene and dialogue (1:08 in length), I demonstrate the power of Storm Dragon + Legendary Strike. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if it's faster than just hacking them up with your sword, but I've found it's a great method for crowd control. At least with the Lotus Assassin Masters, it's definitely faster.
This segment, and the next one, use a lot of Horse Demon. I prefer Horse Demon because it's not as cheap as the Jade Golem style.
Then we watch the longest unskippable portion of the game: 1 minute 27 seconds you can't do *anything* about. grrrrr
This segment used to be the beginning of what is now Segment 10. I split it because the Lost Spirit fights right after you die were getting annoying. I also can't seem to figure out how come Ice Shard + Legendary Strike *sometimes* kills Lost Spirits in this round. My theory is that if you take too long, then the effect doesn't last, which is why I upgrade Ice Shard at the start of this segment... but at any rate, whether you can instantly kill the Spirits seems kind of arbitrary.
The fastest way to fight Death's Hand the second time is actually to not do it all. You can convince Master Li to just give him up. However, that requires 70 Intuition--way too much for a speed run. So the next fastest option is to simply let Death's Hand kill Sun Kin. Sounds backward but it's true.
Other than that, there's really not an awful lot say about this last segment... except the "neutral" ending is so... neutral! Equally "good" and "bad." Which is kinda cool, actually.
This run used to be 9 segments, then 11, now 12. Obviously, more is better =D Just kidding. I've thought about a single-segment run of this game, but that won't happen till much later.
If my concept of how this game is timed is at all accurate, then this run is 2:36:46. Hope you enjoy this run! Yay.
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