Released in 2005, Sacred Underworld is an expansion pack for the 2004 game Sacred, developed by Studio II Software and Ascaron Entertainment. It uses the same formula as Diablo: first hack, then slash, grab the loot, spend skill points, and save the world. However, it has a unique storyline about an unlucky necromancer who sets free a giant demon, a freely explorable continent instead of randomly generated areas, two single-player campaigns, and seven character classes including dwarves, angels, demons, vampires, and elves. One thing Sacred is famous for is its crazy easter eggs and funny references to other games, like the BFG from Doom. The game is also famous for its bad controls and horrible bugs, which prevented it from receiving the appreciation it deserved.
Best time as the Daemon: bronze difficulty 1:37:56 by Laszlo Seta on 2008-10-20.
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First of all, I would like to say thanks to SDA, its whole staff and every member of the speedrunner community, too. You gave me a lot of happy moments, in form of great speedruns, plus you helped me to make my own run, and submit it. Thank you!
I started to plan this run in 2007, but then I didn't even played the game for a year. This autumn, I re-planned the route, and with much more segments, luck manipulation, new tricks and strategies, I could cut down more than half an hour of the time (it was 2:15 last year). However, this run is far from perfect, since it's affected heavily by randomness, just like Diablo II.
About the game and character build:
Although this game seems a generic hack'n'slash, it can't be played that fast and smooth as Diablo. The maps are drawn very bad, you can get stuck on almost everything, and the character really doesn't want to run around the obstacles. Sacred also has a delay in the mouse controls, which makes very hard to pick up the item you want precisely and fast. After an expansion pack and some patches, the game is still full of weird glitches and bugs (you can see a few of them in this run). But I don't say it's a bad game. This is a very enertaining one, just it is difficult to do things fast in it.
I played a daemon in the run, because she's the fastest and strongest character at low levels. The flying ability allows so many shortcuts that nothing else in this game. On top of that, I noticed that the daemon can survive easier than other characters. Maybe the flying form's defense bonus is glitched, but enemies, with more than twice the levels I had, could barely hit me. The build is mostly a fighter one in skills, with poison ring as the main damage source, but I also used blazing disc, which was originally needed for the medusa guard, but DeMordrey and Shaddar are faster with that, too.
About constant mistakes and improvements:
My biggest mistake was that I put the skills and items in their slots by hand, and not with right-click. I think I lost about 8-10 seconds because of that. Stupid me.
I'm sorry that I used the minimap that often, but I usually play like this.
The biggest improvement could be in the 19th segment. That would require the following: a similar enemy spawn in the dungeon, much more mobs near the matriarch, enough item drops to sell, two random runes, and get the exp from the meduse guard (to gain a level). with these, i could skip the killing part in segment 20. I tried that, but you know...I wasn't that lucky.
About the segments:
I tried to use only one camera view in the run (the second one), to avoid the disturbing zoom effect, but sometimes I had to change view. In some areas, it is easy to get lost, or get trapped by caster enemies, and it's easier to avoid them in the high-up view.
- Segment 1: Starting near Bellevue
The main goal in this segment is to get three runes from side quests. The combo master always drops the same rune, but the other two has a high chance to not drop a rune at all. I made a mistake at the well, and overall, this segment is mediocre, but I kept it, because I found a fourth rune (a blazing disc) and a +25 speed mace, and both of them made the run significiantly faster.
- Segment 2: I call it a "nanosegment". As you can see, it's very short, and it is only for manipulating a special rune in a random exchange. These nanosegments were the hardest in the run. Yes, there are more of them. :(
- Segment 3: The road to Porto Vallum
Ideally, I have to reach level 6 before Porto Vallum, but I hoped that five would be enough. Also, I found a +18 speed armor, which made me happy. :) I screwed up a bit at the bridge, but overall, this segment is not bad. I was low on potions, so it was not easy to reach the next town without death.
- Segment 4: Rescue Wilbur
I saved the game near the combo master, because I didn't know whether I have enough runes to exchange them for a better one, or not. I didn't have so I had to run back to the merchant to buy potions. I solved some side quests, because they didn't take too much time, and the reward is fine sometimes. I found a sword with +53% regeneration special move, which became the standard equipment for the remaining segments. However, I switched between the speed mace and that when needed.
- Segment 5 and 6: nanosegments for a poison daemon and a soaring daemon rune. There will be lots of flapping from now on!
- Segment 7: Run to Mascarell, Crow-rock Castle and Icecreek Pass
I activated the portal in Mascarell to save time later, and solved some quests for the rewards. It was a long run to Icecreek Pass, and I made some small mistakes during that. I used the portal to warp stupid Wilbur to me. He can collapse miles away from the camp, and that can mean a minute to talk with him before he dies. I made a terrible mistake in that camp, anyway, I tried to use hotkeys to switch skills, but I failed. Some seconds were lost.
- Segment 8: Wyvern Pass
I took off the boots, because they had nothing beneficial, but slowed me down. I didn't manipulate the reward of the side quest in the small village near Mascarell, that was pure luck. The run to Wyvern Pass was a little boring, and I screwed up the water quest, which cost me a lot of seconds, and almost my life. I took the portal in Fields of Urkuk (it saves time later), and stole the undead horse from the orcs. Or the undead. Who knows? More important, that horse is fast, and dumb as hell. I think it ruined almost 1/3 of my attempts in the entire run. Zombihorse loves to appear at a place where you can't get on it.
- Segment 9: nanosegment
- Segment 10: Khorad-nur
I think I wanted to use the boots, that's why I didn't sell it, but later I changed my mind. The gate-keeper is tough, but the undead dragon is insane! So I kindly refused the quest.
- Segment 11: Run to Braverock Castle
This was one of the hardest segments. The sakkara priests are the most disgusting enemies in the whole game, you can believe it! This was the best attempt I could make, and fortunately I found a nice pair of boots (+13 speed, +23% regeneration special move). I could only use it 9 segments later, though.
- Segment 12: Seraphim Monastery and the element of air
The first three minutes of this segment were okay, but I shouldn't have picked a fight on frost goblins for the second time. Please note, that I couldn't control my character for a few seconds, after I got that stunning hit, which almost killed me. The game did everything. It was very nice from the goblins to stop hitting me during that. The rest of the segment went well, and I definitely didn't want to get too close to the ice dragon.
- Segment 13: Khorad-nur again
It's powerlevel time! I used the high-up camera view, because I needed to hunt down orc groups as fast as I could. This segment was kinda hard, because I had to gain levels fast, find stuff to sell, not to run out of potions, and find some runes as well. I should use the mentor potions better, but I'm satisfied with it.
- Segment 14: nanosegment, again
- Segment 15: one more nanosegment
- Segment 16: Alcazaba noc Draco (lava area)
It turned out to me that I wouldn't be able to kill the fire dragon in the first hour of the run, because the poison ring had too high regeneration time, after I had learned the two runes I had exchanged. But I got a tip from a friend, that I should put the runes in a socketed item, and that raised the regen time with a lower amount. That helped a lot. It took some time to clear the area around the dragon, but I needed that level anyway, so it was okay.
- Segment 17: Sirithcam, the fire dragon and the element of fire
In the beginning, I thought that the stupid dragon will follow me, but maybe it got stuck or something. You know, dragons are just huge, stupid lizards. And that attention-whore didn't like that I tried to read my logbook.
- Segment 18: Run to the dark-elf dungeon
From this point, segments became much harder. Some enemies could one-shot me, and they surely tried to do that. I had to go back to Braverock Castle to create a disc-combo, and buy potions, but I don't think I lost any time on it, compared to an alternative route.
- Segment 19: Dark-elf dungeon, the element of the earth, and the element of water
I recorded that segment on the day of the Annual Beerfest of Elven Races, so that's why nobody was at home. Okay, I don't know what happened, but I was lucky. The segment was quite fast, even with the mistakes I did with the doors (I hate doors). Maybe I should have split this into two segments. Ah, and thanks for the lazors for their help, they deserve that xp from the medusa.
- Segment 20: Run to Mystdale Castle
Because the previous segment wasn't optimal, I had to gain a level, and find at least two runes. It turned out when I tried to finish the run, I couldn't kill DeMordrey without them. So I had to start a dark-elf genocyde. It went rather well. Later, I tried to avoid the cavefish, because they can stun me for ages, but I failed. Remember, that cavefish always cause weird shit. Honestly, I don't know what happened that one which disappeared. This game can cause surprises even after years of constant playing.
- Segment 21: Run to Shaddar-nur and the element of void
This segment almost made me cry. It was nearly impossible to run to Shaddar-nur without getting trapped by enemies, and on top of that the game had an extremely low framerate in this segment. Sorry for that. I think it was caused by the rapid change in the environment. So, this was my best attempt, it wasn't that fast, but sakkara priests didn't let me do it fast. At the end, I took Valor's equipment, because I needed money that hard. (He couldn't use that anyway.)
- Segment 22: this is the last nanosegment, i swear
- Segment 23: Mascarell
Since I didn't find enough runes, this was the fastest way to get the right one. Please note, that while I was busy assembling the combo, the guards did a proper job on Vilya. ^_^
- Segment 24: DeMordrey's end
DeMordey is surely the hardest boss in the game! He has hard-hit, which does 600 damage, and that can instantly kill me, if I'm not at maximum health. At the end, I collected the items, because I thought that I needed to buy more potions later, but that wasn't necessary. Anyway, the fight went well, which was a rare outcome. I died more than 40 times by his treacherous hands.
- Segment 25: The Sakkara demon's end
This segment is quite boring and long, you can skip it. I only kill the Sakkara demon, which is blinded by the light of the Heart of Ancaria. However, I tried to do some ADHD moves in this segment, but it's not that easy in this game.
- Segment 26: Shaddar's end
Originally the fight with Shaddar was a bit tight, most of the times I ran out of potions, but it was possible to kill him without the help of a merchant. (Un)fortunately, my recorded segment became damaged, and I had to redo it. Then, this bug happened. I've never seen it, and that's why I screwed up the end. It's still 40 seconds faster than a proper fight with that bastard.
Thank you for reading these comments, and I hope you enjoyed the run!
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