Released in January 2001, Phantasy Star Online was the first Online RPG on the Dreamcast. The Pioneer Project was a plan created out of desperation to save the people from their dying planet. Upon arrival of the second ship, Pioneer 2, a mysterious explosion takes place upon the surface at the Central Dome. All contact with the people of Pioneer 1 is lost. The mission is to figure out what happened, and find the principal's daughter, Red Ring Rico. In October of 2002, a revision for GameCube and Xbox was released under the name Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. The revision introduced Episode II and fixed some bugs and balance issues affecting older versions of Episode I for the Dreamcast. Unfortunately, these fixes didn't stop people from cheating online.
Class note: Only the three main classes are considered separate categories, as the differences between the sub-classes are not significant enough to warrant separate categories.
Category note: The Dreamcast version is a separate category from the Gamecube and Xbox version because the pass through locked doors glitch was removed from the Gamecube and Xbox versions. However, Xbox and Gamecube versions are categorized together because there are no significant differences between the two versions.
Runs on the Gamecube version:
Return to the Game List, the FAQ, or the Home Page.
Gamecube version as the Force: 2:03 by Julian v. Bock, done in 12 segments.
Get Flash to see this player.
When I first stumbled upon the PSO1 forum thread I had no intention of running the game but the idea of a FOnewearl run kept me interested. At that time I didn't really question that a HUcast would be fastest (maybe because I never seriously played a force) so it sounded a bit like a fun project. However, when nate had to abort his run due to lack of time a quick playthrough suggested that a FOnewearl run in the neighborhood of 3 hours would be more than possible if a decent way of surviving Dark Falz' heaven punishment could be found. Now, after finishing this run in 2:03, I am pretty sure that a FOnewearl is the fastest class for a PSO1 speedrun.
Since dodging heaven punishment several times in a row after more than 30 minutes of playing doesn't seem to be feasible outside a TAS the only way was to get enough HP to survive it without massive level grinding.
The fastest way would have been to go for a Dragon/HP drop from a rare monster in caves but since rare monsters are really rare in PSO (I met two or three in more than three months of running the game) this seemed too painful.
Fortunately everything worked out in the end and while Brightstar's HUcast run relied on death abuse to drop items in boss rooms, efficient boss strategies allowed me to finish the game without dying despite limited HP and TP resources.
The last obstacle to overcome was the save system which not only forces one to do some very long segments but also completely overwrites the file at each save leaving you with no way to redo a segment after saving. This problem was solved with an EMS USB memory card which allows you to download save files to a pc. After some minor technical difficulties it worked like a charm. If you happen to be the other linux user on this planet who uses such a card you can get my software at http://src.wongr.net/emslink/.
I would like to thank the following persons for their support:
* Segment 01 (Character creation and shopping)
This segment is just character creation and shopping. Since time counts during character creation I don't pick a fancy name. I need a Redria section ID but I will come back to that later. The rest is talking to the mayor, setting up buttons, and shopping. I make sure to get Barta and Zonde since both spells are very important in forest.
* Segment 02 (Frame hunting)
This is the first major luck manipulation segment in preparation for the final battle before I have even killed the first monster. I need four Digger/HPs to survive Dark Falz' heaven punishment. My level won't be high enough to buy four slot armors in the shop so I have to get one from a random drop.
I have to get the armor as soon as possible to reduce the chance that I end up with something I can't use. I picked Redria as section ID since this is the only way to get a four slot armor drop in forest 1.
Including loading times etc. I can get roughly 5 items per minute when I reset after the first two rooms. I didn't bother with monsters since their chance to drop anything is much lower as for crates. According to drop charts at pso-world.com (if I read them correctly) the chance to get any four slot armor is 0.02% and the chance that I get a frame (which I can actually use) is 1.58/2. This means that I can expect to get a four slot frame roughly every 21 hours...
If you dig through the forum posts you will probably see a more favorable number of about 16.7 hours but I think I didn't read the drop charts correctly.
Anyway, I got really lucky here. After a few hours of frame hunting I decided to get a powered splitter for recording and start over since the video quality was just crap. Then, after redoing the first segment and about 20 more minutes of hunting I got it in the first crate I destroyed. I wasted a few seconds because I was too puzzled but I shouldn't really complain about that ;)
* Segment 03 (Forest)
This segment is about walking through forest and defeating Dragon. Although the forest levels are short there are lots of small time savers which should make this segment pretty interesting.
The biggest problem is to find enough monofluids to be able to defeat dragon without shopping.
** Forest 1
This is easily the fastest forest 1 map, it can be completed in less than 100 seconds. Since the two crates are directly in front of me I probably should have gotten them.
The next room (not counting the long passage) already contains some time savers. I run past the first rappy and "kill" it last. Otherwise it will wake up too early and get in my way when I leave the room. I zonde the Boomer since foie is a little unreliable at this distance. I got the tactic against Monests from Nate's malaria.avi (a blooper video featuring poor anri-chan and an evil killer Mothmat of death). The problem with Monests is that you always keep targeting the Mothmats but if you stand at the center of the Monest it will still get hit. After it is defeated it is easy to zonde the remaining Mothmats.
There are also 4 boomers in the room but it is not necessary to fight them and easy to avoid their trigger. Unfortunately one rappy runs away in an unusual direction and slows me down. This costs me about two seconds.
In the next room I also skip some enemies. You can avoid to trigger the wolves by staying on the right. It is only necessary to kill the boomers.
In the last room of forest 1 it is not necessary to kill anything at all so I run past the enemies to the teleporter.
** Forest 2
This is one of two acceptable forest 2 maps. While it is in theory about 10 seconds slower than the other one I need to find only three monofluids instead of four (= fewer crates to destroy) which makes it in practice at least as fast as the other map.
Not necessary to kill anything in the first room but the boomer gets in my way and slows me down.
In the next room only two enemies have to be defeated and fortunately the goboomas won't run after me. The gigobooma decides to stand still for a moment which sometimes happens. Usually I would run in direction of the crates while fighting him. Since I am still at the door after the fight I could have saved quite some time by not going to the crates but I had to reset lots of times because of insufficient monofluids so this seemed too risky.
It is not strictly necessary to kill the two boomas here but they usually get in the way when I fight the savage wolves. Killing the second savage wolf can be messy since zonde tends to hit anything you are not aiming at.
I destroy the crates here for a sure telepipe drop. I had to redo forest a few times since I didn't end up with enough money so a telepipe (which is like 350 in cash) helps.
The first room where I actually kill all enemies. After defeating the wolves I should have picked up both green containers before fighting the hildebear. The other one contained the last monofluid I needed so I wasted about 10 seconds destroying those five crates in the next room. I also should have picked up the trimate on my way back. Still, I got my monofluids very early so I shouldn't complain.
This room contains a lot of monsters. Some groups don't have to be killed but it makes fighting the hildebear at the end difficult if they are still around. Here I once encountered one of the stranger ways to botch a segment. Instead of the rag rappy there was an al rappy (a rare monster) which messed up my leveling schedule. I got my TP refill too early and ran out of TP while fighting dragon.
I accidently did a physical attack during the fight but overall it wasn't too bad. The hildebear fight could have been a little faster though.
I have all monofluids I need so I skip the crates. When moving to the door it is important to stay away far enough from the Gigobooma to hit it four times without moving but close enough to the rappies so both will run towards you. I also get my second level-up with a much needed TP refill here.
The last room went well. Again I don't pick up any crates.
When fighting dragon it is important to run past him at the beginning. If you get in front of him he will start his fire attack and fly in the next round which wastes a lot of time. Not much to say about the first two rounds except that I miss a few times with barta.
After receiving a certain amount of damage dragon does his dive attacks. Several attempts ended here since a single hit kills me but fortunately JoChi told me that you can zoom out of the area map to see where dragon is coming from. With that his attacks are rather easy to dodge.
The rest is just hammering away with barta. As long as you don't get in front of him he won't start flying. Again I miss a few times with barta but my limited TP reserves put a natural limit to how often I am allowed to miss (which I use to its fullest).
You *can* get killed by dragon when he falls over so I get out if the way. I don't get any of the crates since the chance to get something decent is rather low. I did this in earlier attempts but I settled for the sure telepipe drop in forest 2 instead.
* Segment 04 (Shopping)
I could have done this directly after defeating dragon. However, it would save only about 10 seconds of loading time, I would have to run to the teleporter, and get everything perfectly right at the first try. It is easy to mess up during shopping if you want to be fast or hit the A button one time too often when talking to the mayor so there was no question for me whether to use separate shopping segments after all boss fights.
I have enough money to buy 10 monofluids, resta, two antiparalysis, and one antidote.
* Segment 05 (Caves)
The cave levels are relatively easy since there are basically no dangerous monsters (except a nano dragon + pan arms combo). Furthermore, there are several acceptable maps for caves 2 and 3. This however is made up for by De Rol Le, the most annoying boss in this game for a force speedrun.
My De Rol Le fight was mediocre at best but on the other hand my run through caves was very solid - I didn't get knocked down a single time.
** Caves 1
The poison lily can't hit me where I am standing so there is no need to avoid its shot. Evil sharks are basically like boomers: slow, stupid, and can be killed by two foie hits. I need to level up before I can kill pal sharks with three barta hits so they get one foie hit for now. Nano dragons are complete pushovers with zonde. You just have to stay out of their range until you fight them.
Grass assassins can be killed with three foie hits. You will notice that I wait for a split second after the first hit before I start casting foie a second time. If you hit them as fast as possible they will usually start their charge attack after the second hit and be invulnerable for several seconds. If you wait a moment after the first hit they usually spit their goo or lash out at you and you can quickly finish them off. Guil sharks need an extra foie hit unless I get a zonde upgrade.
No need to fight the monsters on the way back.
If I don't move close to the poison lily I tend to hit the crates.
Another level up at a convenient time.
Like in forest it is usually not worth it to spend much time on crates but if they are directly on my way I destroy them. I need enough money for a telepipe and about 18 monofluids depending on how much I find. In one attempt I found so many mono and difluids that I reached the boss teleporter without shopping.
I regularly check my inventory to see how much money I still need to get.
No need to kill the enemies in the last room.
** Caves 2
Pofuilly slimes can be annoying. They are not dangerous but sometimes they take ages to come out. At least they give you plenty time to get some crates.
I don't bother to heal after getting hit by the trap since I know that I will level up after defeating the two evil sharks.
I was lucky that my brave FOnewearl dodged the attack or my record would have been spoiled.
I avoid a trap here which can't be destroyed fast enough once it is triggered.
The first shopping break. I probably shouldn't have sold the dimate since they are useful against Dark Falz. I kept my unidentified weapons as reserve since it takes some time to get them identified.
After getting 10 monofluids I didn't have enough money to buy foie 2. It doesn't save that much time (I can foie + barta evil sharks with it and pan arms are marginally faster) but it might have been better to buy only 9 monofluids to afford it. I thought for a split second about selling my sword but I probably wouldn't have been worth it.
Getting to the healer is out of question since it takes very long.
** Caves 3
I waste a few seconds in the first room. I am a little tight on money so I destroy the crates. Didn't get anything good though.
The first of two pan arms I have to fight. They are annoying since they take a lot of time and TP to kill and don't even give much exp. If you don't kill the migium or hidoom right after they split up they can even get dangerous but when they are alone this is no problem.
You have to be careful not to get hit by the nano dragon in the dark. Fortunately they shoot at anything in their range :)
The last shopping break right before fighting De Rol Le. I messed this up a little. I didn't have much luck with item drops and was short on money. 8 monofluids are easily enough if you have a full TP meter but I didn't so I decided to sell some other stuff for an additional monofluid in the last moment. In the end I needed it.
** De Rol Le
Enter De Rol Le, the most annoying boss in this game (did I already mention that?). His tentacles kill me in one hit but the real problem are the falling rocks when he crawls on the ceiling. Unfortunately noone has found a sure way to dodge them except using a photon blast (which I can't do in this run).
During my test runs I was always pretty lucky when fighting De Rol Le but when I did serious attempts things got really bad. It is frustrating to get killed in a completely random way after playing for 20-30 minutes several times in a row. After changing my tactic (see below) I got also killed by tentacles a few times and even found a novel way of getting yourself killed.
My initial plan was to just use foie against De Rol Le. The problem with this tactic is that 10 monofluids are not enough to beat him. It is possible in all boss fights to drop some monofluids to the ground and get yourself killed. When you are fighting it again the stuff will still be there. However, after finding an efficient way to dispose of Vol Opt De Rol Le was the last boss where this would have been necessary. Fortunately JoChi came to my rescue again.
Barta does much less damage than foie but you can hit suprisingly many shell segments. Since you have to stay in the corner when de rol le gets on the raft it is more difficult to dodge the tentacles but in the end you do more damage for less TP.
The fight is pretty long so I won't comment on everything.
The mines are somewhat annoying since the tend to draw fire on them.
De rol le gets on the raft for the first time. Timing is very important when dodging the tentacle attacks since I have to get back to the corner.
In earlier attempts I started moving to the other side of the raft immediately so I can get in more hits when de rol le jumps to the other side. I stopped doing this when the mines (or whatever it was) killed me for the second time. Usually the mines are no danger and I am not entirely convinced that two of them hit me at exactly the same time but fact is that I never got killed when I stayed at the side.
If the targeting doesn't mess up I can get a few hits before the mines explode.
De Rol Le gets on the raft for the second time in the first round. There seems to always be a small delay after the first two tentacle attacks. Usually this is no problem, you just have to wait for a moment after casting barta for the the third time before moving away. However, I was too nervous after such a good caves run and didn't want to get killed accidently so I moved away imediately. This messed up the timing for the next round and I could only get in two barta hits.
The first rock attack. There is not much I can do except standing in a corner and hoping not to get hit. I have to survive three rock sttacks in this fight.
It is possible to hit De Rol Le with foie when he does his laser attacks but it does very little damage and I would have to get so close that I get slowed down. Since this would save a few seconds at most in a fight that last for more that 13 minutes and the laser attack kills me in one hit I decided not to take the risk.
End of round 1. The next two rounds are pretty much the same except that I get more nervous after each rock attack I survived and screwed up during tentacle attacks accordingly.
It is possible to kill De Rol Le before he gets on the raft for the seventh time. Compared to my best attempts I lost a little more than 20 seconds. I also missed with barta one time too much so I have to use my last monofluid just to get in the last hit. In the whole fight I didn't dodge the purple shots a single time so I guess I wouldn't be a valuable addition to SDA's shmup team ;)
My barta performance when hitting the crates could have been better. The loot could have been better but at least I get a wand which I need for ruins.
Although the teleporter is nearby I save immediately. I don't really need to luck manipulate the shop this time but again it is very easy to mess up shopping if you want to be fast so it does not really cost time.
* Segment 06 (Shopping)
Not much to say about this segment. I sell my stuff and have barely enough money to buy 10 monofluids and foie 2.
* Segment 07 (mines)
** Mines 1
You might wonder why I am standing still for 10 seconds at the beginning of the segment and do nothing. This is supposed to be a speedrun after all. I would like to say that this was some sophisticated luck manipulation to trick the random number generator into giving me a zonde drop at the very beginning but truth is that I lazily checked my maps and notes for what was supposed to be one of the last test runs.
The mines 1 map I got is not the fastest but this segment requires a lot of luck. Zonde 3, a fast Vol Opt 1 fight (which can make a big difference), and good loot are the reasons I decided to keep it.
Still, this is the segment with my worst performance. The map or the 10 second delay at the beginning are no big issues but when I wrote these comments and saw my list of mistakes getting longer and longer I wished I had redone the segment. At least the Vol Opt fight should be entertaining.
Zonde 3 allows me to kill Gillchics in two hits which is a nice speedup, especially since I don't have to wait for them get up.
Barta can be useful against canadines since one barta and one zonde hit are enough to destroy them. It tends to miss though.
This sinow beat fight is horrible. I moved too far and got a punch after the first hit. After reentering the room I moved away too early so the sinow beat didn't start its attack. The missed foie hit completes the mess.
The second sinow beat fight was a little better but I still screwed up before the last hit.
I get hit by a confuse trap and go shopping. Status changes have no effect on pioneer 2 but they don't go away either. I should have used sol atomizer while running back to the teleporter.
I get a mind material which has some strategic implications but I will come back to that later.
This is how sinow beats and sinow golds should be fought.
** mines 2
Unfortunately I have to waste a monofluid before leveling up. This could have been a problem later.
Dubchics are always a pain, especially since I don't have a spell for crowd control. The command thingie that controls them takes quite a few hits so you have to lure them away. I collected another two confuse traps and wasted quite a bit of time. I took another shopping break and like last time I should have used a sol atomizer on the way back. I could have delivered the final hit faster but I was not sure how many hits it would take with foie 3.
Another messy situation. I get cornered by canadines while fighting a sinow beat.
The first garanz I meet quickly takes care of itself. They are still dangerous though since I am dead if two rockets hit me at the same time or I get a critical hit. This happened a lot during my test runs and was source of some frustration.
It is important to finish off the canadines first so they don't get in the way when I circle around the garanz.
It is not strictly necessary to kill the dubchics here but they would get in the way.
I ran out of monofluids before reaching level 9. This could have meant the end of this attempt since I have to get at least one Digger/HP in this segment and now there is only one opportunity left. The need to get gizonde and a Digger/HP in only one or two shop visits and the randomness of the Vol Opt fight are what makes this segment troublesome.
Another messy sinow beat fight. The problem is that they are not jumping at the same time which they usually do. Like this it is difficult to keep them close. I also get cornered.
A much better fight against two sinow beats and a sinow gold.
Fighting two garanz was always a problem for me since it is difficult circle around one garanz and dodging the rockets of the other. They killed me a lot during my test runs so I didn't want to risk getting hit. I use barta against the first garanz and exit the room when it fires rockets at me.
The last shopping tour before Vol Opt. I was lucky and got both gizonde and a Digger/HP. I also wasted 10 seconds when I returned to buy two difluids. Since I have full TP I didn't even need them.
However, I should have used three monofluids each before the shop visit and after fighting Vol Opt to raise my mag. With a wand I need 5 more MST points to be able to cast rafoie at level 12. I could have used my difluids to make up for the three monofluids during the fight and with the mind material I found everything would have been in place with basically no time penalty. Due to my lack of forward planning I have to waste money buying a Priest/Mind in the next segment.
** Vol Opt 1
When I started my first test runs I expected Vol Opt to be the most painful boss. I couldn't expect to do much damage to the screens with only gizonde and with his paralyzing undodgeable zonde attack Vol Opt seemed to be my natural enemy. This was no show stopper because of the suicide trick but the fight promised to be ugly and slow.
Fortunately I found a new strategy which allows me to quickly beat Vol Opt and doesn't require death abuse. To beat Vol Opt 1 you have to either deal a certain amount of damage to him (top screens and red pillars if I am not mistaken) *or* simply destroy all pillars (destroying all screens doesn't work).
This alone doesn't help much since usually you can hit a pillar only for two times before you get hit by zonde. However, if you guess where the red pillar appears next (there is a very small time window) and hit it with foie again and again its zonde attack gets disrupted and you can detroy the pillar in one round.
There is enough time to wait between two holes but you have to be very fast to disrupt the attack. The pillar tries to attack again after each hit but there is no chance. I haven't tested it but I guess that this works only with fast FOnewearl casting.
I make a mistake here. In the first two rounds there are fewer pillars so I can see in the minimap that I am in the wrong spot. There is not enough time to hit the red pillar before it does its zonde attack so I have no idea why I did it. Since it got hit it doesn't come up a second time in this round.
I intended to wait one spot to the left (the pillar in the right is already destroyed, d'oh) but it doesn't make a difference here. This time I don't hit the red pillar in the first subround so I get another chance.
I go in the wrong direction for a split second. This is enough to miss the time window to disrupt the zonde attack. If I hadn't done this mistake Vol Opt 1 would have been defeated in seven rounds instead of eight. After this I forgot to destroy the amplifier thing in the center but fortunately this didn't have an effect on the rest of the fight.
Since the last two pillars are not adjacent I can only concentrate on one. In one fight I guessed wrong for nine or ten times in a row. It should be clear by now why luck is so important in this fight.
I made notes during my test fights to see whether I can find a pattern but I didn't come up with anything definite.
** Vol Opt 2
If you have gizonde Vol Opt 2 is a real pushover. It can be defeated in one round.
If Vol Opt does only two stomp attacks it is possible to hit im four times instead of three. This seemed to be too risky though and saves only a few seconds.
Here I screw up the fight. I stand too far away from Vol Opt to do maximum damage which is the reason why I don't defeat him before he can use his rockets the second time. Still, I lost only about 10 seconds compared to my fastest fight so this hardly matters.
It is about four seconds faster to use gizonde for the crates (yes, I timed it).
After defeating Vol Opt you have to actually enter ruins. It is not enough to save in the passageway or use the teleporter to pioneer 2.
* Segment 08 (Shopping)
This is the first of four preparation segments before the grand finale starts and contains some heavy luck manipulation. Rafoie is a must for ruins and due to the lack of forward planning in segment 07 I need not only rafoie and a Digger/HP but also a Priest/Mind. Fortunately I already have a wand. It took me 185 attempts without having to manipulate that as well. This isn't that bad considering that the segment is short but the worst part was to do the button and equipment setup every time. Sometimes I was walking around like a drunk ;)
Since I don't have a barrier I decided to keep the Resist/Flame I found. Otherwise chaos sorcerers can kill me in one hit with rafoie. Usually they don't get their chance but I didn't want promising segments to end because of that. This decision cost me a few seconds since I have to sell an unidentified weapon. Of course this wouldn't have been necessary either if I had raised my mag instead of paying 2000 for a Priest/Mind.
* segment 09 (HP material hunting)
Initially my strategy was to not use the fastest maps in ruins so I can level up to 16 before fighting Dark Falz. This and four Digger/HPs are enough to survive heaven punishment. There are several possible map combinations to achive this and I quickly got attempts with final times of 2:13 and 2:10. However, my performance was not very good in these attempts so I tried to get something better.
The next weeks were somewhat frustrating. I had to abort many attempts because I didn't get the two Digger/HPs I need (I had a streak of more than 20 shop visits without a single Digger/HP), got bad maps, was short on money, or simply screwed up.
I should have realized much earlier though that I can save several minutes by not going for level 16 but luck manipulating two HP material drops and using fastest maps. When I did this attempt I already thought about getting HP materials and when I suddenly got one at the beginning of an attempt I decided to keep the segment. The time is not that good (about 100 seconds of game time, pretty much the worst I was willing to accept) and I wasted a difluid but I had luck with the other hunting segments.
* segment 10 (Barta hunting)
Hunting for barta 5 is another nice time saver. Having a good barta spell saves a lot of time in ruins since it speeds up fights against delsabers, la dimenians, and most importantly Dark Falz 2. Fortunately I didn't sell the mind material so I can use it right away.
* segment 11 (HP material hunting 2)
Not much to say. I was lucky and got my second HP material from the first group of monsters. I should have picked up the money though.
* segment 12 (Ruins)
After four preparation segments it is finally time. Despite the amount of preparation needed this is where a FOnewearl's ability to dish out a decent amount of damage at low levels really shines.
I need to get two Digger/HPs in five shop visits and enough money to buy them. Money was sometimes a problem in ruins 1. I use almost exclusively monomates instead of resta to save time.
There are some stupid mistakes but overall my performance is much better than in mines.
When I played as hunter I hated delsabers but with a FOnewearl they are a cakewalk. After the fight I shouldn't have used a difluid since I have 10 monofluids and can't pick up more of them.
You can see the targeting reticles briefly disappearing for two times when I fight the claws. If you cast rafoie the wrong time you won't hit anything because of that. There is no need to fight the two delsabers in this room.
Delsabers jump when they are a certain distance which is useful when you want them to line up. After fighting the two bulclaws I should have picked up the blue box (armors and shields always sell for a good price).
Trap visions are very useful in ruins, especially since many traps don't give me enough time to zonde them once they are triggered.
Chaos sorcerers lose their crystals after two rafoie hits which leaves them defenseless. They regenerate after some time but this takes too long to be of concern. Dark belras kill me in one hit but they don't aim well. If they shoot while running straight to you (!) they usually miss. They can even be useful to damage other opponents on the field.
First shop visit. I am lucky enough to get a Digger/HP and have enough money to buy a full set of monofluids.
** Ruins 2
Unlike earlier areas in ruins you can actually get all six different maps for each level which means more resets. Fortunately there are two acceptable ruins 2 maps (only one for ruins 1 and 3).
I am very lucky to get a zonde 5 drop. This speeds up fights against dark belras and so dimenians. It might not have been worth to do a hunting segment for it but it is close.
I get hit by a trap and fail to line up the delsabers correctly.
Second shop visit. I don't bother buying difluids since they have a higher cost per TP. Should I have enough money to potentially omit a shop visit I can still buy them after I got my second Digger/HP.
Gunners are annoying when playing as hunter or ranger but techs can still damage them when they are invulnerable to physical attacks.
This room wasn't very good. I should have used foie to stop the charge of the chaos bringer (it is difficult to get the timing for rafoie right). I wasted quite some time killing the claws which made the gunners appear too early. If I had been faster I could have lined up the delsabers between me and the gunners.
I always forget what second button I need to press in this room. Yes, I know it is embarassing.
I hate this fight. It is not necessary (and not very fast) to kill the gunners but they always keep shooting at you.
I waste some time searching for the Resist/Flame I already sold last time. I get my second Digger/HP but I am short on money so I have to sell my unidentified weapons.
The gunners were really annoying when I fought the chaos bringer. To make things worse I missed with foie two times in a row.
** Ruins 3
I found a HP material. This could have saved the 100 seconds I needed to hunt for the first HP material in segment 09 but the chance to get best maps, two Digger/HPs, enough money, zonde 5, and not screw up is so low that I don't even want to think about that.
Probably the highlight of the segment. I defeat two chaos bringers without getting hit (with the helping hand of a dark belra). The rest of the room was also pretty smooth. Zonde 5 allows me to kill the four dark belras without moving around.
This got a little messy after I caught the confuse trap. With the chaos bringer around getting frozen would have been my sure death.
Last shop visit. I could have afforded to buy a few more dimates instead of difluids.
** Dark Falz 1
While running to the obelisk I failed to setup all buttons correctly. I tested many different strategies against Dark Falz 1 but the fastest (and cheapest in terms of TP costs) is to simply barta the darvants when they come out of a mouth and use zonde the rest of the time.
At the beginning of the DF1 fight I accidently waste a difluid but it is no big deal. Getting frozen and hit by rafoie is the only thing that can kill me here but even in that case it is possible to wiggle yourself free and heal in time. The fight could have been faster if DF had used fewer attacks and not moved from the top right to the bottom but it could have been worse. In one fight he used rafoie + rabarta four times in a row and heaven punishment three times in a row in the next round.
** Dark Falz 2
Usually DF1 can be killed before he uses heaven punishment but against DF2 this is almost impossible. Sometimes it can be dodged and I tried this a lot during my test runs but in the end I couldn't find a way that was even remotely cosistent.
The only thing that can kill me here is a rabarta double hit but it is relatively easy to dodge the rabarta attacks. Heaven punishment, the biggest obstacle in this run, is actually best since it makes Dark Falz sit still for a while.
Unfortunately Dark Falz was not very cooperative and moved around a lot. At least he died close to the exit teleporter. This fight could have been faster but it does not outweigh the zonde 5 bonus. The game doesn't get saved until the five minutes of ending credits are over so my only concern at this point was a power outage.
I hope you enjoyed this run. I have already ideas for new strategies (like getting a barta merge before doing caves) but I am not sure whether I really want to do such luck manipulation segments. Anyway, if I decide to run this game again it will be sub 2 hours.
Gamecube version as the Hunter: 2:23 by Chia-Hao Chiang, done in 5 segments.
Get Flash to see this player.
First, let me thank the following people for their contributions:
I played PSO ver. 2 religiously for almost two years. The regular game is fun and all, but my favorite part of PSO was the challenge mode. There are a lot of similarities between an any% new game run and challenge mode, so that motivated me to do this run.
I was also inspired by Brightstar's PSO ver.1 Hunter run. As impressive as it was, there was still room for improvement. Unfortunately, I couldn't obtain a PSO ver.1. So I decided to make a run on the GC version instead.
For a speed run, this game relies heavily on luck manipulation. The biggest time saver is getting the right map. The next is item drops, although this is not as important for hunter. Both are completely random as far as we know. Map memorization also helps a lot, but I suppose that's to be expected. Hunter also requires some close-range combat knowledge, but I'll get to that later. In any case, great combat only saves about as much time as one single fast map, but there are 10 areas to get fast map. So combat doesn't save as much time as getting fast map on all the areas.
That been said, I wasn't very thorough in testing which map is the fastest. So some discrepancy may exist. But the difference shouldn't be more than two minutes.
For such a luck-dependent run, this game has a horrible save system. Because of how it works, I cannot retry a segment after I decide to keep it. You can get around it using a third party memory card that can export the safe file to a PC. But I only have a regular memory card, so I checked whether the time was acceptable during loading screens.
Originally I chose to do a Hunter run because I thought Hunter is the fastest class for the new game category. That view has since changed thanks to dexter's Force run. But since I already started, and I am more familiar with Hunter anyway, I decided to continue on my Hunter run.
For a Hunter run, the fastest class is definitely either HUcast (HUct) or HUcaseal (HUcl). Trap is a really big advantage at low level for Hunter, so that ruled out the non-android class. HUcast has the highest ATP, higher trap counts, and the best saber animation (the male saber animation). HUcaseal has the highest ATA, which is really important for close-range combat. So both have their merit, and I wasn't sure which one to choose. In the end, I chose HUct simply because I am more familiar with him.
Originally I chose Yellowboze for section ID because I feared I might not earn enough money to buy recovery items. But in the end, it didn't make any difference. I still barely have enough cash after Forest, but more than enough cash after Cave. So I could have chosen a section ID that has a more ideal weapon-type drop rate. But since I was pretty deep into my current run, and Yellowboze's weapon-type drop rate isn't that bad anyway, I decided to keep going.
I fed my MAG during my run, because HUct really need some boost on his ATA. Otherwise his attack will keep missing, and I'll have to wait longer to use handgun too. So the main feed is anti-type, since they increase ATA, can be purchased at the start of the game, and they are cheap. Of course, some ATP would be helpful, so I fed my MAG with monomates during Forest and early Cave before switching to the anti-type. The photon blast is also helpful during combat. I tried to minimize the amount of time lost during feeding. With some practice, it's possible to reduce time lost for MAG feeding to almost nothing. This is best illustrated during Ruins1. I also kept other items as emergency feed. I didn't use them that often though.
It should be fairly obvious what I am doing during combat, but there are two things I felt I need to mention ahead of time: stun-cancel and attack-delay. Stun-cancel happens when you hit an enemy that's in its stun animation. When that happens, the enemy gets out of the stun immediately and can retaliate against you. To prevent this, I purposely "delay" my attacks so my combo hit the enemy after it's out of its stun animation. Ideally you want to hit them just as they get out of their stun to minimize time lost. In any case, this really only applies to Shark-type, Dimenian-type, Delsaber, and Wolf-type enemy, but they are some of the more annoying and numerous enemies in the game.
I purposely kept all the trimate and star atomizer I found for Dark Falz, Ep.I's final boss. I can only carry 10 of each recovery items. For all other bosses, that wasn't a problem. But against Dark Falz, I occasionally needed more than 10 dimates and monomates. So I got around that by keeping more types of recovery items.
I purposely spawned the 4 optional Boomas in the first monster room in Forest1, since it wasn't going to cost me any time.
On the next room, I accidentally spawned the optional Savage Wolf. At the time I didn't know I can prevent it from spawning. While it might not have mattered during this run, in most previous runs, the Wolf either directly or indirectly knocked me down on the floor, causing me precious time.
In Forest2, I picked up the fix-drop telepipe since it is quite expensive this early in the game, and I'll need it in Cave.
In the room where the first Hildbear appears, I might have killed more enemies than I need to. Again, I didn't do a very thorough job on testing, so I apologize for that.
In case you didn't know, I needed to kill all the enemies in the room with the boss teleporter, otherwise the teleporter won't activate.
I also should have memorized how many hits it takes to finish the dragon on its final phase. When Dragon has less than 30% of HP left, it will fall to the ground for one last time, and then begin its dive attack sequence. After that it will not fall to the ground anymore (the final phase). If I had memorized how many hits it takes to kill the Dragon from 30% HP, I could have save some time by purposely triggering its pre-fly fire spewing sequence, and finish him off during that time.
The boss fight went well otherwise. Dragon fell for the second time really quickly after just getting up, so I didn't need to chase it around. Enough of my first H hit its mark too.
The route I took to collect the boss boxes was also far from optimized. Since there's a chance of getting a sword in these boxes, and sword will be needed against Cave boss, I cannot pass them up. But what I should have done is run towards the edge of the boss battle zone during Dragon's final death roar. With some luck I'll end up close to one of the box groups when the camera returns to normal and proceed to collect the boxes from there. Finally exit the game immediately after collecting the boxes rather than going back to the Pioneer 2 ship. This probably cost me around 10-20 seconds.
Against the Nano Dragon, I decided to use the saber rather than handgun. The saber tactic involves a repeated use of normal attack-hard attack (N-H) combos just as the Dragon lands from its flight. The second H hit makes them start their laser, but I can interrupt them with a new combo before they fire. The cycle continues until the Dragon is defeated. Done right, it'll be faster than using a handgun. Not to mention I can't equip handgun until level 6 anyway. But real life never works the same way as theory. Against the first and fifth Nano Dragon, my second H kept missing, which gave them the chance to fly away.
Android have the ability to OHKO a Slime, which appears in Cave 2 & 3. If a fire trap explodes at the spot where a Slime FIRST appears in the room, it will die instantly. Unfortunately, I ran out of fire trap on the last Slime, so I had to resort to freezing it with an ice trap and killing it the old fashion way.
In Cave3, Pan Arms, which separates into Migium(blue) and Hidoom(red), also starts appearing. Only Hidoom's attack actually does damage when a Pan Arms is separated, so I had to take it out first. Since Migium always start walking towards its left, I purposely stand to the right of it to give me the most amount of time to hit Hidoom before it realizes what's going on.
Near the end of Cave1, I got lucky and found a high grind saber with good photon%. This saber allowed me to kill Evil Shark in a single combo, which decreases my combat time relatively speaking.
All of the Cave2 maps take about the same amount of time to complete according to my testing, so I didn't purposely choose a particular map.
The boss will take anywhere between 3-12 monomates to survive (depends on how lucky I am), so I have to return to the city at some point to restock. But because returning to the city empties my PB gauge, and I would like to enter the boss battle with some PB gauge filled, I decided to purposely return to the city early. I visited the infirmary since I wanted to restock my trap as well, although I probably didn't need to go.
PB is fairly important for this boss. The attack itself really doesn't do all that much damage, about one H from a sword. I can dodge a tentacle attack with it, but it doesn't really give me more time to attack. What I am really after is the invincibility that sometimes comes with 100% PB gauge. This happened once during the fight. But I sort of messed up during that part. I still had invincibility during the third tentacle strike, so I could have waited till the fourth tentacle strike to use my PB.
I purposely started the swing early and missed the first hit when DRL landed on the raft. That way I hit it with an N and an H, rather than just 2 N or an H that might not hit a single target.
During the fight, I hit its shell-covered tail and head with my handgun to help charge my PB. I probably got less than 2% of PB this way, but I got nothing to lose. During DRL's laser breath sequence, I also use the handgun attacks to keep track of when I should run to the other side of the raft to dodge the laser.
Overall, the boss battle went very well. I made very few mistakes, and manage to beat DRL by the eighth landing. But I believe if I had a better sword, I might be able to defeat DRL in 7 landings. That would have shaved off 2-3 minutes right there.
It's unfortunate that I didn't find a brand during Cave3 or in the boss boxes. But it wasn't a necessity, so I kept this segment.
That being said, it would still be nice to have a brand as early as possible. That's why I broke the boxes in the first room of Mine1. But I messed up and didn't break all four boxes in one swing. You will also notice me standing next to dying Gilchiches to collect their potential drop, even though I could be running towards the exit at that point.
It's fairly hard to do close-range combat in a dark room, so I decided to turn on the light in most of the dark rooms.
I hope you enjoyed my 1-on-1 strategy against the Sinow-type, because it was a blast for me to beat them to the punch, literally.
Against Canane in the last room, I wasted a little time because I couldn't hit the right Canadine. I am pretty bad at handgun aiming, if you haven't noticed. Luckily not a lot of time was lost.
In that same room, I got lucky on the two Sinows and dodged just in time. Incidentally, if you interrupt a Sinow while it's doing its special move, it will keep trying to do its special move until it succeeds or dies trying (mostly the latter).
Like in Cave, I needed to return to the city to restock, but I also wanted to enter the boss fight with some PB charged up (more on that later). So I went back to the city early again. It was a shame I had to waste a PB to do that, but the next good spot to use a PB would have been too late. I picked up my trimates and star atomizers just in case I lose too much health in the last room of Mine. But with my concentration still MIA, the whole shopping trip was a mess too.
On the next room, those Canadines would be in the way if I use my usual strategy on the Sinow Beat, so I decided to use the handgun.
Next room is the last room with enemies in this map, and it was also done very badly. I didn't use any confuse trap on the hoards of Gilchiches and Dubchiches. Traps don't work so well against Gilchich, especially since I don't detonate it manually. But it probably would have still helped a little. I did get lucky on the two Garantz though. I got distracted by the Gilchich and got knocked down, but somehow that got them to kill each other faster than my original strategy. It's kind of a shame though, because I actually thought up some pretty clever strategy :P.
On Vol Opt's second form, I purposely took hits from the pillar when I have enough HP, since it can't OHKO me and I have more than enough monomates to spare. I am not sure if that actually saves any time, but I know I didn't lose any.
But there was a fatal strategic mistake I made. I used a partisan when I am facing the laser unit of Vol Opt's body, because that's the only place where a partisan can hit four targets at once. Damage output would be greater than a brand if I hit at least 3 body parts. But my ATA is just too low to make that happen. That's not the worse part either. Using partisan will eventually destroy the healing unit, the unit that gives me the most time to deal damage. Using partisan also prevent the destruction of the laser unit, the unit that gives me almost no time to deal any damage. Those two reasons alone should have stopped me from using partisan. But I didn't realize that until much later.
After reaching Ruins, I decided to quit immediately rather than do the shopping. It proved to be the wise decision later on, but at the time I was just too exhausted to continue.
Originally I was just going to do the shopping at the start of my Ruins segment. But after several test-runs, I realize having an aim unit will help combat a lot. So I decided to create this segment just to get a marksman/aim from the shop.
I should also note that at this point in my run, I still thought I will reach level 16 before Dark Falz no matter what. That's why I kept the hard shield.
<rant>Before I begin, let me just say that technically speaking, an H on the third hit of a combo has higher accuracy than an N on the first hit. So I am frustrated to no end when my third H misses. </rant>
Against a single Delsaber, I decided to use brand only instead of handgun + brand. I figure that even if I missed several time with brand, it would still be faster than hitting Delsaber from afar using handgun. The combat with the first 2 Delsabers didn't go very well. Normally I can defeat them before or right after the ice unfreezes. On the third Delsaber, I needed to preserve my ice trap for later, so I didn't use one.
In the big room with the first Chaos Bringer (CB), I only had to kill the CB, the first 2 Claws, and the 3 Delsabers. Unfortunately, I lured the CB to the wrong place. As a result, Dimenians were scattered everywhere, making it difficult to kill the CB only.
I messed up on the first Dark Gunner group in Ruins3. I forgot to use up the last 2 ice traps.
After that is a long run before the next enemy room. I destroyed those boxes to look for a buster. I messed up on the room with the step switches though. I took the long way thinking the shorter way is blocked, only to recall that's not the cast near the exit ^^;;; .
I had to use the infirmary when I get back to the city, since I needed to replenish trap. HUct's ATA is horrible, so I always check the store to see if they sell arm unit. I also check for armor with more slots.
After this shopping trip I can splurge on traps. I have to too, since the next two rooms have a lot of enemies. I messed up pretty bad when a CB, a Chaos Sorcerer, and a Bulclaw showed up. But I guess all's well that ends well...
I was a little slow on the first part. DF 1st form went decently well, except for a few missed gigush swings. DF 2nd form was very cooperative, although I wish he would move a little less. It was overall a decent DF battle, although I could be better.
There you have it, Phantasy Star Online Ep.I for GC in 2:23:xx using a hunter. If all the mistakes and errors were corrected, it should be possible to get around 2:15. But I probably won't work on that anytime soon. Hope you enjoyed this run.
Single-segment Gamecube version as the Ranger: 0:48 by 'Ckarl Bobadine'.
Get Flash to see this player.
No author's comments provided.
Return to the Game List, the FAQ, or the Home Page.