Released in October 1994, Robotrek (Slapstick in Japan) was one of 7 games developed by Quintet for the SNES. Unlike the others, this focuses on lighthearted slapstick humor instead of an intricate 'world resurrection' theme. The player controls a young inventor who battles using robots instead of doing the fighting himself, much like Pokemon (but this came first!). Also, he can carry a spaceship in his backpack.
Best time: Single-segment 3:47 by Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare on 2012-10-20.
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Thanks to everybody at SDA for everything they continue to do for all of us! I really appreciate having a place to submit my runs. ^_^ Additionally, I need to thank lich for his help in planning this run, Omnigamer for investigating the game mechanics and RNG for me, Rakuen for putting up the bounty for a run of this, and Exo for letting me use his name (and for buying Slapstick for me!). Another huge thanks goes to the guys who made the Robotrek guide on hook-shot (http://www.hook-shot.com/games/snes/robotrek), because that was an incredible resource for me to use while routing this game. As always, thanks to everybody else who supported me during my ~2 year period of planning for this run. Haha.
This run is dedicated to Tom Folino, who has contributed his talents to AGDQ. He is an incredibly talented metalworker, and has given some incredible prizes to us (for free!) to offer as prizes at AGDQ. He has even more prizes planned for this year's AGDQ (AGDQ2013) which promise to be just as amazing. We can't thank him enough for his generous donations (these raised a LOT of money!), and he is an avid Robotrek fan, so dedicating this run to him is the least I can do. I hope you enjoy it, Tom! :D
Before I get too deep into these comments, I should note that I recorded audio commentary on the day after I completed this run. I cover nearly everything I could ever say about this game in that commentary, so I recommend listening to it if you are actually interested in the route/strategy used in this run. It isn't very interesting, but it definitely has information in it. Haha. Also, this run was done in one sitting, but was recorded on two DVDs because I can only record 2 hours of footage per DVD. To swap disks, I opened the menu, stopped recording, put in a new DVD, began recording and resumed the run. The disk swap happened at ~1:58:04 in the video. The disk swap is not counted in the timing so I could have just edited out the swap when I spliced the two disks' footage, but I left it in anyways.
I did this speed run on the weekend after I moved into my new apartment. I had no internet and all of my belongings were in a truck en route to my apartment, but I fortunately thought about this ahead of time and packed my SNES, DVD recorder, TV, cables, and laptop in my car so I could try to pound out attempts of this. I even practiced before I moved! Go figure! This run came at the end of a somewhat long session of attempts (I did a handful on the previous day too). I think when I finished this run I had been playing Robotrek for 11 hours or so. Not recommended. Haha.
I first did a speed run of this back in 2010, and it clocked in at around 4:35 and some change. It was a rather slow run, but it had some pretty sound strategies for being the first ever speed run of this game. Since then, I have been revising the route almost constantly, and have only really settled on a final route a few weeks before I did this run. This run beats that old run by ~48.5 minutes! Despite all the shortcomings and bad luck in this run, I think this is a very solid time that will stand for awhile.
I did this run on the US version despite having the Japanese version (thanks, Exo!) for a variety of reasons. First, I think the times might be slightly comparable. I didn't time out every cutscene and all that because I don't care enough and text differences don't quite count for obsoletion on SDA. The Japanese version does have less text and it makes the dialogue more bearable, but I think the cutscene length is based on the actual video and not the text. So I don't think it matters that the text is done being written sooner because the cutscene itself isn't done playing. The Japense version also has one extra cutscene which lasts for ~18 seconds, and it has something different in the menu. It either has an extra line of text or slower text or something. Whatever it is, it takes longer for me to gain control in the menu and it really really screws with my menu navigation/timing. I make loads of menu errors in that version. Haha. All of that contributes to the reason, but one of the major reasons I chose to use the US version is because people can actually still follow along with the story. The text scrolls slow enough and none of the key cutscenes/plot triggers are skippable so someone who has never seen this game would still know more about the story than I do by the time the run is finished.
This game was very tricky to route because of how unique and flexible the game mechanics are. The main character is a young inventor who uses robots to do the fighting for him (like Pokemon!). You can create new equipment/items either by building them in the R&D room using money or by combining two existing items/pieces of equipment to create a new one. This mechanic allows us to create incredibly overpowered equipment very early in the game by collecting and saving certain scraps instead of combining them immediately into low-level gear. The game tries to trick us by giving us scraps that are immediately usable (scrap 1 combines with swords, but it can be used to combine with axes if you save it), but since we know better, we save them for later.
It is possible to create up to 3 different robots in Robotrek. Each robot costs 1000 GP more than the previous (2000 for the first, 3000 for the second, 4000 for the third). In this run, I create two robots. One robot is the main damage dealer for bosses/battles, and the other robot is only there to repair/revive the main robot in case anything goes wrong. There is no point in creating a third robot because there is no niche that he can fill. Additionally, each robot has one particular advantage/special characteristic. The robot book in the beginning of the game hints at this. The second robot has a stronger melee attack, and the third robot has a stronger "special attack" (whatever that means...that's just what the robot book said). But yea, the second robot is actually the one that will be doing most of the fighting for the second half of the game because he has a slightly stronger attack. It doesn't seem like it would make much of a difference, but he is the only robot that can get a guaranteed 2HKO on shells and a 3 round fight on Big Eye.
The main reason that speed running this game is feasible at all is because of the way that robot stats work. You begin with 40 points and gain an additional 10 points per level. You can put these points into any of the 5 stats in this game: energy (robot's HP), power, guard, speed (hit rate, dodge rate), and charge (rate at which the ATB/fuel meter refills after each action). These stats can be adjusted at any R&D room, and each stat draws from the same pool of points. Therefore, points that can be put into your HP stat can just as easily be put into power instead. I take advantage of this from the very beginning to do more damage than the game expects us to do by removing most of the points from my energy/HP stat and putting them into power instead. I shift my stat points around during several critical points in the game to ensure that my robot is always appropriately set up to deal with the enemies of the next area.
You can also create "programs" that your robot can run during battle. These programs (also programmed in the R&D room) are simply a combination of some of the different actions your robot is capable of (right weapon, left weapon, bomb), but with the right combinations and the right equipment, these can become very deadly. The main program I use in this run is RXR (when R is a short-range weapon, and X is a bomb). This attacks every enemy in the battle once. In addition to having the fastest execution time, it also has the most reliable accuracy and damage. RX (when R is a shot-type weapon) also hits every enemy on screen, but it is far less accurate and the damage varies wildly. It is far more consistent to use RXR for all of our needs. Some enemies have an inherent resistance to programs (spiders, ho hos, berets, some bosses, etc), which presents a problem. In most cases, I can just pour so many points into power that it doesn't matter. Against berets and later bosses though, the resistance is too high and I need to resort to just using simple attacks.
There's one more thing about the battle system I want to mention. Robotrek is a pretty great RPG because you can see all of the encounters on the overworld much like in Chrono Trigger. Instead of having set triggers on the map that will initiate battle though, all battles in this are triggered via direct contact with an enemy. The way that you make contact with an enemy determines who gets to go first in the battle. If you make solid head-on contact with an enemy, you will always go first. Similarly, if an enemy is facing away from you (either to the side or backwards) and you run into them directly, you will go first. If you run into an enemy from the next tile over, then things get tricky. If you are facing each other but offset by one tile (as if you were trying to run past them), then the enemy always gets to go first. Even if the enemy is facing away from you and you contact them in this manner, they still might get to go first. Even if you are standing still and an enemy touches you from the next tile, they will usually get to go first. It's kind of tough to explain. Basically, if the game thinks that you are trying to avoid a battle with an enemy, then it lets the enemy go first. Since I spend so much of this run with critically low HP, losing initiative to an enemy usually means that my robot (or my run!) is dead. If you notice me treading extra carefully around enemies on the overworld, this is the reason. It is better to take an extra 3 seconds to begin a battle safely than to just charge forward and hope that you get to go first.
So the general idea behind this route is pretty straightforward:
1. Use the RXR combo to kill everything in one hit.
2. Build Axe 3 level 9 as soon as possible (I'll abbreviate this as Axe 3.9 just to make it a bit easier).
3. Get to level 20 as early as possible to make vanish (vanish = no more battles ever again).
4. Max power and rely on evasion to kill bosses.
With this in mind, the route wasn't quite as awful to outline. I guess I'll try to break up this game into chunks based on boss fights. I am basing these comments almost entirely on the route that I posted in the SDA forums, so please excuse if some of it doesn't match up exactly. I already watched this run through twice fully and for some reason wasn't taking very good notes on what exactly happened, so a lot of this is done by memory. <_< Again, I recommend downloading the run and watching with audio commentary because that is accurate and covers all of this same information as needed.
Beginning through Meta Crab
Collect: 500 GP & Clean (Hero's house), Repair & Clean (Father's house), 300 GP (Forest), 1000 GP (Mayor), Scrap 2, Scrap 5, Cure, & Repair (Tool Shop), Cure, 250 GP & Scrap 4 (Cave), 1000 GP (Meta Crab)
Total Gold after Meta Crab: 4187 GP
Inventor's Friends: None!
In the beginning of the game, money and experience are very critical. I do go a bit out of my way to collect the 300 GP and 250 GP in the forest and cave, respectively, but I think it is worthwhile at this point. After I make EXO, I immediately program RXR (sword-bomb-sword). Again, RXR teleports the robot in front of each enemy in the battle and swings once. With a high enough power stat, this is enough to kill nearly every single encounter through the middle of the game. The only time it won't work is if there is a capsule 1 tile in front of an enemy, because the robot will land on the capsule and the capsule will damage the enemy first. This is catastrophic. That situation happens a whopping SIX times throughout the course of this run. I purchase two smokes from the Tool Shop to account for this situation, since it normally only happens 2-3 times in a run. My luck is so incredibly bad in this run that I use up both smokes super early and have to just wait out the timer for all of the other instances. What a mess.
I need to reach level 3 after I collect the rusty drill in the cave to save a trip back to town and a lot of time. Level 3 is a long way away normally, so I rely on some capsule bonuses to help me along. I only fight mushrooms, mines, and gels at this point because they are very safe enemies and the experience doesn't vary enough with the other enemies to make it worth the effort. I just want to hit capsules, hope for good bonuses, and then RXR to victory. With luck, I won't need much extra farming to reach level 3 at the right time. In this run, I had really really good luck in this leveling section. I had a lot of 2-3 enemy encounters and even got a 1.0 MEG bonus from a capsule! Very fortunate! That helps to offset some of the bad capsule luck I had.
Now, after I reach level 3 I use the portable R&D to make the drill (rusty drill + clean) and a Shield 2 (scrap 5 + clean) and adjust my stats. Shields are, hands down, the most broken things in this game. It's not even fair how much they help. Shields give a boost to defense and evasion, and have a chance to block stuff on their own. Shield 2 has a monstrous effect on the speed run early on. Now, the enemies in the lower cave (after you save the children and return to fight Meta Crab) are much harder than mines and gels, etc. Spiders do a ton of damage, have good speed, and are resistant to the RUN command (RXR). They also give 0.3 MEGs of experience and commonly drop repairs, both of which are very desirable. My solution for quickly dealing with them is to pour my points into power and kill them with RXR anyways. I chose a 1 energy, 54 power, 5 speed build here. I only need enough speed to actually hit the spiders. 10+ speed seems to give a good hit chance. 54 power is the minimum value I have been able to use to guarantee a kill with even the lowest possible damage RXR hit. With 5 speed and Shield 2, I normally hit them but there's still a good chance of a miss. This is a really dangerous section. When I reach level 4, I put all 10 points into energy because of the battle with the commander at ~24:10. I managed to avoid him in this run by using some menu hax, but normally he initiates battle before I have a chance to react. When he starts battle, he normally gets to go first and normally kills me. That 10 health is just to help me survive in case something bad happens (either like that, or if I miss a spider with RXR). I fight most battles down here until I reach level 5.
At level 5, I adjust my stats for the Meta Crab fight. In this run, I fight Meta Crab with Shot 1, but in the past I have upgraded it to Shot 2 to boost my damage a bit. The damage goes up by ~6 or so per shot, but it's enough to save one round. I recycle the scrap 2 instead of pocket 500 GP. Money is really tight, so every little bit helps. Anyways, Meta Crab is simple: walk to the second farthest tile I can, and fire. Don't move at all after that. Just keep firing. On the last turn, Meta Crab always walks close and tries to smash me, but if I am on this tile, he cannot reach me. One tile closer and he would pound me for a quick trip to the title screen. With this strat, I'll survive as long as he doesn't use the blue orb attack twice. This particular fight was really scary because he opened with the blue orb and fired one immediately afterwards. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't Cure after the first blue orb, but I risked it and miraculously blocked the second one. Haha. Unreal. With shot 1, I do ~36 damage, and Meta Crab has 200 HP, so it's a 5 round fight. Not bad.
At some point in the beginning of the game, I got a 1000 GP drop from an enemy. I don't remember who dropped it, but I remember getting one. This drop is incredibly rare. I have gotten 1000 GP from a mine, mushroom, and commander exactly once each. To get it in a run is unbelievable.
Old Mansion stuff through Mamurana
Collect: Shield 2, Axe 1, & 1000 GP (Grave), 500 GP, Repair, & Scrap 3 (Old Mansion), Scrap 1 (Clock tower), 1000 GP (Recycle scrap 2 & scrap 4),400 GP (drops in scrap 1 room)
Total Gold after Mamurana: 9187 GP - 4020 GP (Robot 2, Shield 3, Relay) = 5167 GP!!!
Inventor's Friends: Axe 1 (IF9), Shield Pack (IF10)
This section is a bit scary, too. I want to adjust my stats after I level from Meta Crab. I need that 5 HP because there's a fight with birds in the forest of illusion that is usually an unavoidable surprise attack (~32:50). With 1 HP, it would be game over. The 5 HP is just for a bit of safety. With 60+ power, sword 1 is more than strong enough to OHKO monks, ho-hos, and plasmokes with an RXR. 25 speed is enough to never miss with RXR. Well, I don't know that for sure but I certainly never missed with that much speed here. I loot the grave for useful stuff and money, and on the very next level that I get, I want to make an axe 2 (scrap 1 + axe 1). While those 3 enemies aren't a threat to me, elesmokes are very threatening. I need axe 2 and usually 80+ power to kill them with RXR because they are resistant to it. They are rare enemies though so it's not usually a concern.
I run straight to Flavon's room, loot the dresser, learn how to make relay, and then spend the next few minutes killing ghosts in the library. The library is a nice convenient spot to level because it has 2 ho-ho encounters and it has the IF books I want to read. Ho-hos drop 500 GP pretty commonly, which is exceptionally useful. Fortunately, with my gold route, I only NEED like 2 drops from them. I usually get ~3 drops from them while I level, but it's nice to not have to rely on them. I once again got a 1000 GP drop, which is really rare. I didn't even know that ho-hos could even drop 1000 GP, so I was very surprised to see that! What are the chances I get two 1000 GP drops in one run? Anyways, I also got a good handful of 500 GP drops, so I ended this section with much more GP than I usually have.
Unfortunately, I run into a lot of troll capsules with these encounters. If there's a capsule directly next to an encounter with a ho-ho, I need to wait until the bonus timer expires. If I RXR, the enemy will survive and kill me; if I try to run, I usually fail and die. The only time it isn't an issue is in a battle with all elesmokes/plasmokes because I can just guard, let them break the capsule, and then kill them. Ho-hos' attacks either pierce or are long range, so it doesn't work. That is the only real threat.
I want to reach level 10 here because I absolutely need shield 3 for the rest of the game. It is simply one of the best items in the game. It is affordable, available early, and extremely effective. I need IF 9 too because that lets me level the axe. While I could do that with hammer 1 (IF6) and sword 1 (IF...2?), that takes far too long and I need to reach level 10 anyways. After I reach 10 and read the IF books, I head to the R&D room to create relay, shield 3, and my second robot (&)! The second robot will be the one doing the fighting for the rest of the game....almost. EXO will be used in the next section, but after that he is just support. & will be programmed with RRR in the first slot and RXR in the second slot. He is only RXRing for a few forced battles, not for leveling. For now, I give & a pair of shield 2s just so he can survive a bit and revive EXO. The roles are reversed in the next section: all EXO will do is revive & if he dies. That is his role in this game.
Anyways. The rest of this section is straightforward. Just go through the clock tower normally. I make a detour to grab the scrap 1 even though it forces two battles because it lets me make axe 3.9 in the very next section, and it gives me an additional 400 GP from those battles. The Mamurana fight is really easy...normally. She has 400 HP and with max power and axe 2, she gets hurt badly (~80 per hit). I can't reach her on the first turn so I go to the bottom row, move as far forward as I can, and defend on the first turn. She can't switch rows so I'm safe. On the next turn, I can reach her and force her to make clones. Oh, sorry. What I meant to say is I can get one tile away, whiff, and then die. Good job, EXO. I think normally she moves forward slightly on that first turn, but since she was blocked by a capsule she just stood in place. Maybe that's why I thought I could reach her usually. She isn't really a threat because normally one of the wrong Mamuranas attacks instead and I'm safe, and if the Mamurana in my row attacks, shield 3 usually blocks. That's what the rest of the battle shows. Just got off to a bad start.
South Isle through Big Eye
Collect: 600 GP, 800 GP, Sword 4, & Scrap 9 (Volcano Base), Hammer 2, 1000 GP (hidden tiles in the shrine), 4000 GP (Recycle sword 4 & hammer 2)
Total gold after Big Eye: 10227. Wow.
Inventor's Friends: None!
First thing I do here is make an Axe 3.9 by combining my axe 2 with the scrap 1 from the clock tower, and then with 8 more axe 1's to level it up. It is definitely worthwhile to level this up. No question about it. With that finished, I head to South Isle.
My route here is a bit variable based on the drops I get. There is a 500 GP capsule in the first room of the volcano cave, and a 400 GP capsule in one of the later rooms in the volcano base (the one before the R&D room I think). I don't bother getting them because I got godly luck in this run. I already grab an 800 GP capsule and a 600 GP capsule along the way, too.
I go through the volcano base normally, exit out the garbage chute, and head through the volcano cave. I don't bother picking up anything out of the way, and I avoid as many battles as I can. They are simply not worth it. Oh, and by that I mean that I try to avoid battles but end up getting in about 10 of them anyways because I am awful at this game. This section has the greatest number of unintentional battles in the run. It is very unfortunate and pretty costly.
In the very last room of the volcano cave, I do some more leveling on the berets. They give 2.5 MEGs of experience each and drop 800 GP as a common drop. That's absurd! Robot 1 can kill them in one hit with axe 3.9 and 20 power. The leveling here is a bit slow because I don't have boots 4 or turbo pack, so I have to guard for a turn while I walk over to them. However, this is still the fastest option here I think. The fastest possible time would be to just not level at all here and then level exclusively against shells later, but that is incredibly random. I don't want to try that for SS because my times for leveling there have ranged between like 7 minutes and 35 minutes. Not ideal.
The plan is to level to within ~5 MEGs of level 16, but I don't want to reach level 16 here. I want to reach level 16 after I collect scrap 9 in the volcano base on the return trip so I can make boots 5 with the portable R&D before Big Eye. The boots 5 adds a significant amount of evasion and guard that lets me use a power build against him without as much concern for my safety. I switch & to a 1-99-0-90-0 stat distribution for Big Eye (and the rest of the game!). The combination of boots 5, shield 3, and 90 speed make & basically indestructible in this battle. Big Eye simply cannot comprehend that level of evasion. Since boots 5 are so slow in battle, the fastest option for Big Eye is to move down one row and defend. He usually lasers and then flies over to the right side of the screen. Then I just move to the center row and slug it out with him. It isn't a bad fight. If I am in this exact position, Big Eye will always be facing towards the edge of the screen and I get a guaranteed back attack on him for big damage. This run shows the strategy perfectly: I avoid every attack and kill him in 3 hits.
Thanks to this really awesome Robotrek site, I found out that there are two hidden items in the shrine: 1000 GP and hammer 2! Hammer 2 recycles for 3000 GP, so that was a massive find for this route. So yea, I pick those up in the shrine because it's barely a detour and is a HUGE help in the next section.
Rococo through Papamecha
Collect: 1500 GP (tunnel)
Inventor's Friends: Shield Pack (IF15), Turbo Pack (IF18), Vanish (IF20)
I'm not going to bother tracking the gold I have from here on because it more or less doesn't matter. At this point there are always enough gold pickups along the way and if I am really short on money I can grab some other capsules in the sky fortress. No big deal. I grabbed the minimum number of capsules I need from here on out.
Killing Big Eye brings me to level 18. Before I go to Rococo, I should stop by Father's House to read IF 15 for Shield Pack. I briefly forgot about this and had to leave Rococo to go read that. Haha.
After I return home from being captured, I read IF 18 (Turbo Pack) and immediately create one in the R&D in my house. This is an item that I never even considered for a speed run until very recently. You see, Turbo Pack boosts your mobility to maximum (highest movement speed, greatest range). Since boots 5 gives the biggest evasion and guard bonus in the game except for shield 5, it is better to use boots 5 + turbo pack than to use shield pack + good boots. I use turbo pack for leveling against shells in the tunnel here, and for fighting a few bosses later on. It's one of the most underrated items out there I think.
So. The ultimate goal is to reach level 20. Instead of fighting against berets until then, it is faster to fight shells in the tunnel. Shells have massive evasion and guard, and they flee whenever they get the chance. With 99 power, 99 evasion, boots 5, shield 3, and axe 3.9, robot 2 will always kill shells in two successful hits, and will have the greatest possible chance of connecting with a hit (until he gets shield 5 at least). Turbo pack will let him reach a shell in the middle row on the first turn, so they don't have as great of a chance of running away. If the axe 3 is one level lower, or if robot 1 is used (remember, robot 1 doesn't have the power bonus), then you aren't guaranteed a 2HKO. It is very tricky to kill them. Why bother then? Well, shells give 30 MEGs of experience! I only have to kill 2 to reach level 20 from 18. Conveniently, they are in the first room, too.
The way this normally goes is that I get into like 4 battles and kill 3 shells. Since I cut it so close with my experience (just barely reached like 16, so I just barely reached level 18 after Big Eye...which means I needed slightly more than 60 MEG experience to reach 20), I actually need to kill 3 shells here normally. I keep meaning to kill an extra 1-2 battles after making boots 5 so I don't have to kill a third shell, but I forgot or something. I actually reach level 20 in three battles in this run, but in the strangest way possible. Seriously, how the hell did these battles happen? Whatever. I won't spoil it.
Anyways, I kill two of them, reach level 20, backtrack to my house, read IF20, create vanish, swap DVDs, and then finish this section without any fear of battles. I have to keep unequipping vanish every once in awhile or else it'll go away forever. That's basically the strat for the rest of the game.
Papamecha is actually a frustrating fight. I keep the Turbo Pack equipped for him to get back attacks. I'm not sure if it actually saves a round against him or not, but I do it anyways. Shield Pack isn't worthwhile because evasion doesn't help against crits and that is the only way Papamecha hits me. If he crits me, I die. It's better to use Turbo Pack and go for the extra damage from back attacks.
I normally get critted like 60% of the time when he uses his gun. His bomb/missile attack is normally not a threat at all since I don't think it can crit me. This battle happens to be my best ever fight against him. Not only did he not kill me, but he also didn't even move from his starting position!! He normally hops around behind you and then attacks. Deaths take a significant amount of time to recover him, and Papamecha hops around so slowly that I probably saved a solid 15 seconds just from him not moving. Really amazing fight.
The uhh....the rest of the game
Yea. Seems strange to just lump the rest of the game into one headline, but it really is that simple. The rest of the game basically comes down to using vanish to get through dungeons, making sure to unequip it once in awhile so you don't lose it, and then killing bosses. For forced battles, I switch from Turbo/Shield Pack to bomb 1 so I can use RXR again. Some bosses are resistant to RUN commands, so it is best to kill them with normal swings. I'll give a brief description of how all the boss fights went in this run, though.
Bugbug 1: Use Turbo Pack and RRR. He has 800 HP, so it's actually possible to kill him in one round with a solid first-turn crit. I don't get a crit in this battle but for some reason Bugbug didn't run away from me like he normally does, so I was able to get 2 back attacks and finish him in 3 rounds. That's the fastest no-crit fight possible. Nice!
Blackmore: Use Shield Pack and RRR. Since he has a knockback attack, it is best to defend in your spawn point for two turns while he slowly rolls toward you. Then just roll up to him and RRR until he's dead. This was actually a really good fight. I didn't get any crits, but he used his fastest attacks most of the time. The army men take a long time to go off screen, and the bullets kill me pretty frequently, so whenever he doesn't use those I'm in good shape. Again, I didn't get any crits but it was a very good fight still.
De Rose: Hardest boss in the game. Hands down. She crits extremely frequently and is resistant to the RUN command. I think she has 2000 HP, so she takes 23 hits from Axe 3.9 to die. I just use normal swings and Shield Pack and hope for the best. Backup robot is crucial. This is the second best fight I've ever had against De Rose. In my very old run from 2009, I used Punch 3.9 against her and got something insane like 4 critical hits. That fight ended 80 seconds sooner than this fight. That was such an outlier it isn't even valid for consideration, though. Hell, I don't even WIN most of the attempts using Punch 3.9, let alone quickly.
I forgot to equip EXO with a shield pack before this, so he's not much of a backup robot. Haha. This could have gone very very poorly if I had slightly less amazing luck against her. I think I died 3 times and got one crit against her. I normally die close to 8 times (seriously). Huge.
After this battle I realized I was more or less home free. The biggest obstacle was conquered and I had pretty amazing luck in this run. This means I obviously forgot everything about Robotrek and made a map navigation error for an embarrassing loss of time. Haha.
Bugbug 2: Turbo Pack and normal swings. Easy. For some reason, he got stuck in this weird AI loop where he wouldn't run far away from me and I was able to get a load of back attacks on him. I somehow wasn't confused by his attack even a single time. That weird hockey puck shooter he uses has a chance of confusing your robot, which makes him just amble around the screen for a few seconds and then swing. This lasts for two turns and can be refreshed if Bugbug uses it again. The attack doesn't need to hit for the confusion to hit, either. With bad luck, you can be stuck doing nothing for literally minutes. So yea, no confusion combined with the many back attacks made this a very good fight.
After collecting the jars from Choco, there are literally only like 6 rooms left in the game. And sure enough, in my panic I forgot which way to go in one room...the most costly room. I got stuck on the bad end of a one way door and lost like 5 minutes from having to backtrack alllll the way back there. FUCK. What a waste. This run did come at the end of close to 10 hours of straight attempts, though. I finally managed to regain my composure just in time for:
Gateau 1: Turbo Pack and RRR. Normally a really easy fight, which means that at the end of a very good, it'll be an awful fight. And it sure was. I don't even know what to say. I just had shit luck constantly. I got hit by a ton of non-crit attacks, which is a major question mark. I just don't get it. I guess karma just manifested itself as Gateau and got some serious revenge.
Final Gateau: 19 hits. 16 normal, 3 crits. 5217 damage. He has 5200 HP. I beat him by 17 damage. This is the minimum number of hits that can kill him (with 3 crits). Holy shit. Keep in mind that th critical hit chance for Axe 3 is 1/16. Really amazing fight. It sure didn't seem like it while I was fighting him though. In fact, I was pretty much cursing at my TV for the entire battle. I almost didn't even beat the game! I think I finished with 1 repair left. Way to cut it close, PJ. For some reason I kept getting hit by non-crits again. I don't really understand it. But whatever, it did the job and it did it fast.
I know I kind of got lazy at the end of these comments but there really isn't too much to say besides the boss fights and the incredibly stupid map navigation errors I made. I somehow say a lot about it in my audio commentary I think, so you can listen to that if you're actually interested. The run overall is really solid. I had some really bad luck here and there (the 6 fights with the impossible capsule, Gateau 1, a lot of unintentional fights in the volcano) but I had equal or greater luck at other points(2x 1000 GP drops early on, basically nonstop perfect boss fights). This is one of those games of mine where I don't have a PB because there isn't really a safe way to get through the game. I tested my route many times on emulator with save states (in case I die from the risky stuff early on), but those times were never accurate because of the reloading. I had no idea what to expect of this route, but I was thinking that 3:40-3:50 would be the final time. Without those map errors, this would have been quite close to 3:40. That's pretty depressing, but I am in mood to try to improve this. The luck is way too frustrating, and I'm actually very happy with how this turned out.
Thanks to everybody who supported me throughout this very long process, and extra thanks to everybody who helped me with routing! I definitely needed the extra help.
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