Released in November 2011, Skyward Sword follows Link as he flies through the skies and to Hyrule in order to save Zelda. Traversing through three different sections of Hyrule while collecting familiar items, players get to enjoy the Wii MotionPlus and swing Link's sword with exact precision and get a feel for aiming a bow and using the slingshot. Much to his frustration, Link himself finds out that puzzle-solving has expanded to the overworld.
Best Single-segment time With resets: 5:39 by 'Paraxade' on 2012-04-28.
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First things first. The YouTube upload of this run is available here. I would appreciate your not uploading it to your own channel for several reasons, not the least of which being that I don't like the idea of having my work on someone else's channel. Thank you!
I'm going to start by addressing something I'm sure a lot of viewers are gonna be curious about. This run was done on the Japanese version. I am not, in fact, Japanese, nor do I speak or read the language. The reason I use the Japanese version is because the text scrolls much much much much much faster. The Wing Ceremony cutscene, which is (normally) unskippable, is an entire minute faster on Japanese (3 minutes in English/2 minutes in Japanese). Plus it speeds up the pace of the game. Frankly, the text in the English version scrolls so slow that it bores the hell out of me. I would not have wanted to speedrun it if I didn't have the Japanese version. As far as I know there are no version differences aside from the text; I've been playing on Japanese for a month or two and haven't noticed anything. I don't know how much time is saved through the faster text; my initial estimates were something massive like 40 minutes but I'm not seeing the time difference in my runs, so I think it's actually something much smaller; 10-15 minutes maybe. I'm definitely not running through the English version to find out.
Kay so. Skyward Sword had been out for 5 months when I finished this run. In that time, it's proven to be largely unbreakable (so far, anyway). There's a couple neat tricks here and there, but there's only one big technique, the Back in Time glitch (I'll get to this in a bit). I got it the day it came out and it took me iirc 5 days to finish my first playthrough. My first attempt at speedrunning this was a segmented test run I started on December 9, and finished on January 19. That run was on the English version and it didn't use BiT because it hadn't been found until I was halfway through the run; by that point I decided to just go through the rest without using it. I ended up finishing in 6:23 using 77 segments. That test run is still online here if you want to watch it.
After that... I made the stupid stupid decision of trying to do a single-segment run. Don't ask me why. The first SS I did of this was in a race with TheOnly and a few other people where IIRC I got an ~8 hour time and we finished a few seconds apart (I was only halfway through my test run so I didn't know the last half of the game). Pretty ridiculous, really. When I started doing more of them after my test run was done, it took me a couple tries to sub 7, then a few crappy runs later and I managed to beat my test run in a single segment with 6:21. Then I got it down to 6:16... then early Thunderhead was found, and it went down to 5:56, then 5:45, then 5:39.
This run was really awesome. It's not without its fair share of dumb mistakes, but come on... it's a freaking 6-hour single segment run. There will be mistakes. It's really tough to do a run this long; not just because it's hard to play well for so long (it is), but also because it's really hard just to find time to do the run in the first place. You need a block at least 6 hours long where you're sure you won't be interrupted or get too hungry or tired or anything. Very limiting. I admit I started to get really fed up with the run, 'specially because I had a stretch for like 5 days where I couldn't get any runs up to Skyview Temple, which was pretty frustrating.
Skyward Sword is, for the most part, unbroken. There is just one big glitch: the Back in Time glitch (BiT). To execute it, kill yourself, then on the Game Over screen, select "Continue" and immediately reset the game. If you've done it right, you'll spawn on the title screen. If you watched my segmented Twilight Princess run, you'll remember this from segment 1; it's the same glitch. What makes it different in Skyward Sword, though, are A) the fact that you save with bird statues instead of the pause screen and B) the fact that the file select screen is also on the title screen rather than being its own screen like it is in TP. What this means is you can use this glitch to screw with the way the game saves and loads files, allowing for some pretty nifty sequence breaks. The game acts pretty strangely when you're on the title screen, and can have a number of weird effects, but here is the important stuff that I make use of:
First off, when you're on the title screen, you're in a special state of Skyloft that I call Title Skyloft. Title Skyloft has a few differences from normal Skyloft; namely, the lighting is weird and there are no NPCs. Most of the objects are still there, including bird statues. If you save at a bird statue, then load the file, then you'll spawn on title Skyloft in your file (without the title screen being up). There is one main use for loading on title Skyloft: the Statue of the Goddess is always open. This is very useful early in the game because it lets you enter the statue early. Doing that lets you get the Goddess Sword early, which in turn allows you to skip the Practice Sword. Aside from that, saving and loading on title Skyloft can be useful if you want to quickly warp back to Skyloft instead of manually flying there (which is actually never useful on its own, but meh).
The main use for BiT is called BiTWarp: essentially, a glitch that lets you warp around to specific locations in almost every map in the game. Basically, the way it works is you go to a bird statue while on the title screen and select one of your files. Then you want to highlight both "Save" and "Load" at the same time, and activate both at the same time, with the same A-button press. What happens now is that you'll spawn on the map you were previously saved at, but at the XYZ coordinates of where you were when you saved on the title screen. This can make the game load you in some interesting spots, and can be used for sequence breaks surprisingly often. Due to how the glitch works, each bird statue in Skyloft will warp you to a different spot. There are four: Lower Academy, Upper Academy, Bazaar, and Waterfall Cave. Upper Academy is by far the most commonly used one, as it usually spawns you inbounds. Bazaar is occasionally useful, while Lower Academy has no uses and Waterfall Cave is both useless and very hard to actually get to. This trick allows for things like skipping half of Skyview Temple, skipping the beginning of Eldin up til the Digging Mitts cave, and getting the Fire Sanctuary boss key early, among other things.
The third useful thing is probably the most confusing one, but it's a big one. When you're on the title screen, the game tends to load data from whatever file you have selected. When you interact with any object, the game will update your inventory to your inventory from the file you've selected. If you save, watch a cutscene, or go through a loading zone, you'll unlock the B button, which allows you to use your items. The strange part about this is that when you interact with certain objects (roll into a tree, push a box), the game will actually play certain cutscenes from your file - either the trapdoor in the graveyard opening, the Tower of Light rising, or the thunderhead opening. Typically this'll just do something on the title screen, and then the effect will be gone when you load a file, but it turns out if you manage to make a cutscene play after you've started loading a file, as the screen is fading out, then the effects of the cutscene will carry over into your file. This means using a completed file, you can trigger those cutscenes early on a new file. You can also use the same trick to load stone tablets into your inventory from a different flle, place them, and then have the columns open early on a different file. Or alternately, the biggest one: you can update your inventory to give you the Stone of Trials, place it in the statue, and then have Sky Keep open early on a new file. None of this is useful for speedruns, because the rules are that you can't make use of a premade file...
...however, there is one way to make use of it. As it turns out (and I have no idea why this works, but it does), if you save at a bird statue in Deep Woods after opening the entrance to Skyview Temple, then do BiT, then when you select your file, the game will immediately play the cutscene of the thunderhead opening. Even if you haven't unlocked the thunderhead on any of your files. You don't even have to interact with anything like you usually do to play cutscenes during BiT. This lets you open up the thunderhead early, and since you don't need any premade files to do it, that makes it speedrun-legal. Doing this skips all the stuff you normally have to do between learning the Ballad of the Goddess and opening the thunderhead, including the first Imprisoned fight - about 20 minutes of filler.
The weirdness doesn't stop there - BiT has a lot of other little quirks, but it's not really worth detailing here as none of it is relevant. Hopefully though it turns out there's still a few new ways to make use of it that no one's found yet, as it certainly doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility. If you're interested in learning more, it's worth stopping by ZSR's Skyward Sword section or the forums.
Now, about this run specifically. This run is an RTA (Single Segment w/ Resets) in 5:39, by both SDA timing and RTA timing. I spent a decently long time doing attempts for this, and I think it turned out to be a pretty good run. There are no real major mistakes (costing a minute or more). Tallying up all the noticeable mistakes, I lost less than a minute in the first half of the run, and less than 5 minutes across the entire run. Of course, if you take into account smaller mistakes and little optimizations, I lost more time than that, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. The single worst mistake in the run, both costing the most amount of time as well as being the stupidest, is when I jumped into the lava in the first room of Fire Sanctuary for no reason and lost almost 40 seconds. Fire Sanctuary as a whole was not great, and I lost almost two minutes there alone. I also got screwed on Levias pretty badly and got hit by a guardian in the Skyloft silent realm; Sky Keep overall was also pretty meh. However, most everything else was fantastic. Less than a minute of noticeable mistakes in the first half of the run (up to the end of the Shipyard), both Imprisoned fights went flawlessly, Song of the Hero had almost no mistakes, and I got almost the best ending I could have possibly asked for.
Mistakes in a run of this length are inevitable, especially when you near the end of a run, as you've been playing for so long and nerves start to kick in. Just look at Ghirahim 2 for proof of that... major nerves going on there and made me play like an idiot. I regret that Fire Sanctuary went as badly as it did, and Levias also bugs me, luck-based as it is, mostly because screwing up Levias means I have less arrows for later. However, given how solid the run was overall, and how incredible the ending was (which would be very hard to replicate in another run), I'm pretty happy with the end result.
After I rescue my bird, I skip the Wing Ceremony cutscene. It was originally skipped by saving at the prompt, exiting to the main menu, and loading the corrupt file to BiT out of the cutscene trigger. However, I found out a couple days before doing this run that you have a 2-frame window of movement after spawning but before the cutscene starts. This lets you simply sidehop out of the cutscene trigger; it's about a minute faster than the BiT method, and 2 minutes faster than watching the cutscene (3 on English). The only downside to skipping the cutscene is that the awesome music doesn't play during the race :<
I do the following Fi sequence, though it can be skipped using BiT. I think it might actually be a couple seconds faster to skip it. If you talk to Owlan outside Knight Academy after you get the pouch, he gives you a free shield, definitely the fastest and easiest way to get one. And right after that... I am pretty sure the 3 seconds or so I wasted to change the HUD setting is completely worth it to not have all that crap on the side of the screen.
Faron Woods: Right as soon as I land in Sealed Grounds, the Deku Babas here give me some trouble sometimes. They can be a little random, but they went well this time. After talking to Impa inside the Sealed Temple, there's a chest that has a bottle with a Revitalizing Potion in it. I need at least one bottle, and this is by far the fastest one in the game, so picking it up is a no-brainer.
The enemies are pretty much the only things in the game that are really luck-based, and they suck. However, Hero Mode has a gigantic benefit here: you start off with the fully-powered Skyward Strike that does as much damage as a slash from the True Master Sword. That means I can kill most everything in one hit, so I abuse it as much as possible.
On the Kikwis: It's faster to find all four Kikwis before you talk to the elder; he has less text that way. There's a nifty little shortcut where you can roll into a wall on the right and you'll lower the vine that you're supposed to shoot down after you get the Slingshot. That lets you get up to where the elder is much, much faster than running around the area near the gate to Lake Floria like you're supposed to.
The third Kikwi, in the grass, is kinda annoying. Basically, you have to cut almost all the grass on the ledge to be able to talk to him. He'll usually start crawling around for like 10 seconds after you cut near him, and you have to wait for him to stop to be able to talk to him. But if you can manage to cut enough grass before he starts crawling, he won't crawl at all and you can talk to him immediately. Worked this time, though I was a little dumb about getting my Skyward Strike to charge. :P
A piece of trivia I like is that it's actually possible to "skip" the first Kikwi and access the rest of Faron without seeing him at all. You can climb up over the tree with the rope on it, jump to a ledge, sidehop behind the log, then jump around a Fi trigger to access most of Faron early. However, the game won't spawn the rest of the Kikwis until you catch the first one, so it's unfortunately useless.
Deep Woods has a huge trick that is really really annoying. Basically, the goddess cube next to Gorko is scripted to teleport you in front of it when you hit it. You can hit it from below by luring a Bokoblin into the right spot and locking onto it to angle a Skyward Strike upwards, which lets you skip a LOT of stuff, saving nearly a minute. It really sucks because it's a very precise trick, 30 minutes into the run... oh, and the Bokoblin dies after three hits, so you get three chances to try to pull it off before the run is over. On this run I managed to get it on my third try, so I lost a decent amount of time, but frankly with how often this trick started killing my runs I was lucky to get it at all.
Skyview Temple: There's an awesome BiTWarp in this dungeon that takes you all the way to the big circular room halfway through the dungeon. After that, the actors aren't loaded, so I have to run to the ending area, go through a door to the room with the Hydra, kill the Hydra, then turn around and go back to load the room properly. This has the added benefit of getting to the aforementioned ending area early, since the gate isn't properly loaded until after I reload the room. So the only parts I actually have to do are picking up the Beetle and getting the boss key.
The vines leading to the boss key are really annoying. I accidentally fell into the void once and had to try it again. My strat for them - to stop and then slide all the way to the bottom of the first vine before swinging to the second - usually works, but evidently it's not foolproof. Watching it back, I think what I did wrong was jumping too early.
Ghirahim is a really fun boss after you know his patterns, especially when you're doing a single segment and don't really need to worry about luck manipulating him perfectly. I like to stay right in his face when I fight him; that way you can hit him immediately when he becomes vulnerable, and if he tries to use the daggers you can hit them away immediately instead of having to wait for him to throw them. If you WERE going to luck manipulate him, then optimizing this fight basically means you want him to use the dagger attack as little as possible, since it's the only attack he has where you can't hit him - all it does is waste time. Also, to hit him out of his dash attack, you have to slash in the same direction he charges. You can tell which way to swing based on which direction he holds his sword. If his sword points right, you want to swing left, and vice versa.
On the way out, after the Kikwi text, I save at the bird statue and then use BiT to warp back to Skyloft. This BiT benefits me by warping me straight to Skyloft so I don't have to fly, but it actually serves two purposes - the second one is much much more important. By saving at this point in the game, I can get the thunderhead opening cutscene to play during BiT, then transfer its effects over to my file, which will effectively open the thunderhead early. This saves a good 20 minutes or so later on. This is also why I had to save at the statue after talking to the Kikwi - if you just save at the save prompt then use the corrupt file, it won't work for some reason.
Eldin Volcano: There's another neat BiT here that lets you skip everything up til the Digging Mitts cave. The positioning on this one is actually rather precise - the spot spawns you in-bounds. However if you spawn inside the Goddess Cube, then the cube pushes you through the ground and you fall out of bounds and into the mitts cave. If your position is off you'll spawn next to the cube instead, which wastes so much time that it's an instant run killer. Also: it only works from the first bird statue in the area. I learned this the hard way when I couldn't get it to work for half an hour and couldn't figure out why. >_>
The Bokoblins you have to fight for the Mitts are really really really really really annoying and they just about never go right, but they shockingly enough went pretty well here; the mob at the bottom only took two Skyward Strikes... pretty sure it can be done in one but they screw me over. A lot. Anyway, I unequip my shield shortly afterwards because if I take fire damage, it will annihilate my shield, which is bad because my shield is kind of important. However, if you don't actually have the shield equipped, nothing happens to it. The rest of the trek up to Earth Temple goes by without a hitch (aside from OMFG A GREEN RUPEE). I use a deathwarp after getting the five key pieces to get back up to the Earth Temple entrance quickly.
Earth Temple: There is not really much to say. The dungeon's very short and straightforward. The only real tricks in the dungeon are near the end. At the end of the long ball tunnel. If you line up exactly right (you want to line up Link's head with the green stripe thing on the wall), you can push the switch in with the ball and then jump on the platform as it rises up, which lets you skip activating the other platforms. I actually pulled it off here, which was awesome because in my last few runs up to here I missed it. There's another trick in the next room. If you stretch out your dashing by letting go of the A button briefly every now and then, you can make it up the entire second slope without needing to rest, which lets you skip going around and bombing open the alcove.
Scaldera sucks. He is 100% luck. The fastest way to kill him is to bomb him at the beginning, then use Skyward Strikes to stun him. However, this doesn't work half the time for some reason. It's pretty much random whether the strat feels lik working. This fight went well, for the most part. The Skyward Strike stun worked once, but the second time I had to use a bomb; thankfully that was in the second phase so it didn't really waste much time.
After placing the yellow tablet, I dip into the thunderhead and get Farore's Courage early before going to Lanayru.
Lanayru Desert: Okay, so as soon as I get here, I do BiT. This teleports you waaay out of bounds, but actually on some standable ground - you're on the cliffs surrounding the area, which are ridiculously huge, much more so than they need to be, for some reason. A minute or so of running and I get back to the level... but since I'm on the cliffs surrounding the area, I can drop back in wherever I want. I go to Lanayru Caves, which effectively skips the entire Lanayru Mines area. The game also doesn't load Golo, which lets me go to Lanayru Gorge early. Although I can't actually do anything there yet, I CAN activate the bird statue, which saves time much later in the run - I'll get back to that later. After that, I exit back out to the desert and do BiT (again) to skip over to North Desert.
The generators are pretty straightforward. This part as a whole is pretty annoying though, because the Ampiluses can decide they feel like screwing you over, and you pretty much -will- get hit if the camera angle is awkward enough. I believe the key to getting through this area unscathed is to pay careful attention to everything... especially Ampiluses. A quick shield bash will get them out of the way, but if you don't time it right you'll take shield damage. Another option is to try to just outrun them - they actually can't move while the camera isn't pointed at them, so if you can get far enough away they'll just unload until you look at them again. However, that strategy has a tendency to backfire if you don't have enough of a lead on them when you start. This is where I usually drink the Revitalizing Potion, but I didn't need it this time since I miraculously didn't get hit even once.
The Hook Beetle fight was tough to plan out. My strat used to be fairly simple (the one I used in the test run) - I'd activate the timeshift stone with a spin attack, then hit the first Technoblin outside the timeshift area, and spin/finish the other. Two problems with this strat: 1. It's not very consistent. 2. It turns out if you hit the timeshift stone from further away, then the text where the robot asks for help and Fi tells you about the timeshift area won't trigger. The strat I was using before started you right inside the text trigger. With a little experimentation, I came up with this method: stunning both Technoblins with the Slingshot, then using a bomb to take them both out. It's pretty fast, works very reliably, and skips the robot text.
I had very close calls with stamina at both of the indoors generators. Tongue Also, ran out of stamina by accident after the first generator. I guess it had to happen -somewhere-.
Lanayru Mining Facility: Shout-out to Miles :O Anyway. Beginning is rather straightforward. I save in the main room before getting the first small key so I can deathwarp back there later. I'm not sure if it's faster, but if it's slower, it's only marginally, and getting back out of the Gust Bellows room normally can be difficult. I had a little hiccup with the last conveyer belt in the room before Bellows... was dumb, some time lost but not too much of a big deal overall.
After the deathwarp, I use BiT to skip over behind the gate in the main room, which - thank God - skips the most annoying room in the dungeon. In the room with all the sand and the spikes, it's possible to jump over the spikes to shortcut to where the switch is, but meh. It's absurdly difficult to pull off without getting hit and barely saves time. I honestly don't think it's even worth it in segmented. There is another sweet skip before the boss key. You can call over the minecart you're normally supposed to activate on the way back, and jump on it - if you jump at exactly the right spot you'll stand on top of it. If you activate the minecart after that, then it'll take you over to the other side of the pit, skipping a lot of other crap.
Right before the boss key, the Sentrobe Bombs totally screwed me over by following me into the room with the Armoses and got right in my face so I couldn't keep fighting the Armoses. Guess how many times that's happened before? If you guessed "zero", you win!
Moldarach is pretty much one of the most pathetic bosses in the entire Zelda franchise. There is a neat trick for him that I found: if you back him up against a wall, you can kill him before he has a chance to burrow underground.
My thoughts afterwards: "Hrm I wonder if you can drink the Revitalizing Potion on the minecart... Oh cool!! You can!!" Yay improvisation! Since I didn't need it to replenish health, this is pretty much the best time for me to drink it: I just picked up a heart container, so it won't screw up any deathwarps. I need an empty bottle for Sacred Water so I need to get rid of the potion now. Before early thunderhead was found, I'd pick up a second bottle in the Bazaar and use that for Sacred Water, then save the potion for Ancient Cistern, where it's much more useful, so it kinda sucks I have to do it this way now.
Faron Woods 2: Groose stuff and then playing the harp for the first time. Since I have Farore's Courage early, I could proceed through the next portion of the game without doing this sequence if I wanted to. However, later in the game when I come back after Fire Sanctuary, I'd get stuck because the Gate of Time wouldn't be up so I can Skyward Strike it. So it's still necessary to do this little part.
Thankfully though you can skip all the other crap that normally happens here! I have Farore's Courage, so there's no need for me to do any of the things you normally have to do to unlock the thunderhead. I just leave after playing the harp (yes, Impa lets you leave - the dialogue's in Japanese, but she says something like "Where are you going?! Do you have to prepare? Very well, but hurry back!") and go straight to the Silent Realm. This skips fighting Imprisoned 1, talking to the headmaster in Skyloft, repairing Scrapper, repairing the windmill, turning the windmills, and playing the Ballad on top of the Tower of Light - overall, about 20 minutes of pure filler skipped. Awesomeness.
The tutorial in the Silent Realm is one of those sections that makes me very, very glad that I'm playing on the Japanese version - it's just painful in English. (It still is in Japanese, but less so.) Silent Realm itself goes smoothly, don't have much to say.
Skyview 2 is pretty simple. I skip almost the entire thing again using BiT, reload the main room using the Hydra room again (except there's two Hydras now!!), bomb the archers and go back into the boss room. The triple Stalfos strat is pretty awesome, I came up with it during my test run. After that a deathwarp gets me back out; the reason the deathwarp is necessary is because if you go back to Skyview before you speak to the Water Dragon, then you don't get automatically warped out after you get the Sacred Water, so you either have to go all the way back to the entrance on foot, or deathwarp.
Yet another pre-AC skip! Back in Faron Woods, I use a trick to get up onto the ledge surrounding the area and enter Lake Floria through the back entrance. This skips climbing the tree, talking to the hermit, drawing the symbol, and going through that really long tunnel in Lake Floria. There's actually a bunch of different ways to do Lake Floria Early. The method I use is to go near the door to the front entrance, use a jump + jumpslash to get up on top of the gate, then jump off the gate onto the surrounding ledge. There's another method about 10 seconds faster where you go to the very beginning of the area where you come out from Sealed Grounds, jump from the rope on top of the tree, then from the tree to the surrounding ledge. But unfortunately, that method is much, much harder, while the fence method is nearly 100% consistent.
Ancient Cistern: The second room has a trick where, if you can manage to get into the water without overturning any lilypads, you can skip a short cutscene where the game shows you the lilypad you just flipped over. For 10 seconds. I don't really have a way to set this up; it's one of those things I kinda just have a feel for, and it works some of the time and not others. This time it worked. Stalmaster is kinda eh, I've had better fights, but not too bad overall.
The basement has a pretty awesome sequence break. There are about a zillion different ways to pull it off, but the point is, you can get on top of the statue's foot and then run around to where the rope back up to the main level is. This skips the entire basement. The method I chose is a highflip; it's a trick Kazooie found where you place a bomb down and then backflip on the first frame you regain control of Link, and you'll do a really high backflip. I found a way to line up the highflip that is pretty consistent; the only variable is whether you manage to actually pull off the highflip. Usually takes a few tries, but this time, first try!
Koloktos is... sucky. He just takes an eternity. The fight has so much forced waiting. The attack he uses in the first phase is also random so that can be a little frustrating. Second phase is very scripted. He slams his arms into the ground, then the next two cycles, he swings his arms, then summons Cursed Bokoblins, then slams his arms. The arm-swinging attack is the only thing that can be sped up. If you get hit, then he stops immediately, so that attack can be cut short. I have enough health to do it, but the arm-slamming attack can be tough to avoid; since I only have 5 hearts, if I cancel both arm-swinging attacks, then I leave myself no margin for error - one accidental hit and run's over. So for that reason, I let the first one play out, and skip the second one (the second one is longer). In retrospect, I think it would have been a much better idea to sit before going into Ancient Cistern to replenish health, so I wouldn't have needed to play it safe on Koloktos, but I didn't think of that until... halfway through this run, actually.
Sand Sea: Nothing noteworthy about the Silent Realm. Skipper's Retreat has one neat trick: at the part where you're usually supposed to use the Beetle to knock down a Deku Baba, you can instead lure it out by shooting the Clawshot at the wall next to it. Then you can clawshot the target, and you'll be able to hang on it without being hit off the wall. Then if you can clawshot back off fast enough, you can skip killing the Baba.
Shipyard is straightforward too. At the end of Pirate Fortress, there's a Beamos right where I have to leave the timeshift orb; I have been killed more than a few times by that Beamos, hence why I played carefully when I went back in to retrieve the orb.
The Sandship: Beginning is easy enough: get the small key, deathwarp back, kill Scervo and get the bow. After opening up the timeshift stone and lowering the lifeboat, though, I use BiT to warp into the boss key room, shoot the timeshift stone from there, then deathwarp back to the first statue, skipping the sequence where you have to climb up the deck to reopen the timeshift stone. I haven't timed whether it's actually faster to skip the sequence... but it definitely feels faster. Plus I hate that section. Especially in a single segment. So if you have a problem with me skipping it, screw you. Unfortunately, since the actors in the boss key room aren't loaded, I can't actually get the boss key early.
Not much else noteworthy that I can think of. I was being kinda stupid on the way to the boss room. I was holding A to sprint, then pulled out the bow while still holding A, which made me start charging the bow the slow way. <_< Tentalus can be pretty sucky, with tentacles spawning underneath you among other BS, which is why I replenished my health before the fight. I ended up getting hit twice in this run. That would've left me one hit away from a run-killing accidental death if I hadn't refilled... hence the refill.
My Tentalus fight wasn't that great. I got hit by one of the tentacles and for some reason had a really hard time shooting the tentacles (including one incident where my arrows went -through- the tentacle??). Then for some other reason I just could not climb the wall to get to the second phase, something that normally never gives me trouble. Just weird. On the bright side I did manage to get the small skip in the second phase - if you jump in the water and respawn at the right time, then you can shoot Tentalus for the second time without having to fight through all the snake-hair-stuff.
Volcano Summit: I jumped in the lava in the Silent Realm, yay. Smooth other than that. En route to Fire Sanctuary, I have to backtrack for water once because I only have one bottle. :/ I miss having a second bottle. And the Beetle upgrade for that matter.
Anyway, there's a pretty sweet trick before Fire Sanctuary: the game will teleport Scrapper to you whenever you go through a loading zone. You can abuse this to skip the entire Scrapper escort. After you start the Scrapper escort, you can just return to the sky and then drop back down wherever in Eldin you want. I drop down at the top. Unfortunately, the developers thought of this and stuck a Fi trigger in the way so you can't just exit to the Volcano Summit... however, you can use BiT to get around the trigger and get back out anyway. This is another BiT that is relatively picky; you basically have to be standing the perfect distance from the bird statue. Too close and you'll spawn on the roof, slide off, and get stuck infinite falling; too far and you'll just get stuck infinite falling. Just right, and you'll manage to land on the ledge near the pit, from which you can clawshot out to the path that leads up to the Goddess Cube.
There's another skip here that doesn't use BiT, but it's both slower and harder. If you only drop from the sky to the entrance to Earth Temple and kill yourself, Scrapper will teleport up to you, which skips most of the escort; you still have to do a fair chunk of it though, so it's preferable to use BiT to skip the whole thing.
Fire Sanctuary: Fire Sanctuary was bad. The first room has the stupidest mistake in the run. I just jumped into the lava for no reason near the end of the platform ride and had to ride the platform over again, which cost me almost 40 seconds. >> On top of missing the arrow drop. Bah. The Magmanos fight was pretty blah. It's possible to freeze both of them at the same time, which saves a lot of time, but I've had zero luck pulling that off in my runs lately.
After I get the Mogma Mitts I deathwarp back to the beginning and use BiT to skip basically the entire rest of the dungeon up to the boss key. This one is relatively easy; you HAVE to do the BiT from the first room to get the right objects to spawn on the bridge; but what you have to do after the BiT can be tricky. You need to reload the room to spawn the actors, then jump down to boss key path. It's relatively easy to make it with a jump + jumpslash, but if you want to make it down unscathed rather than taking 4 hearts of damage, you need to do a sidehop + sailcloth, which makes it more difficult. I accidentally fell in the lava once so coulda been better. :/
Ghirahim made me a nervous wreck. I was playing a bit cautiously on him, can you blame me though? I was down to one heart on a boss four hours into a pretty good run. Think anyone would've gotten nervous. That said, that doesn't entirely excuse how stupid I was acting at the beginning of phase 2, slashing the wrong way and then just BARELY managing to jump away before getting killed - multiple times - which cost me another 20 seconds, but blah. In the end I managed to pull it off without getting killed.
Levias: Imprisoned 2 went perfectly. There is a trick where if you manage to hit down the sealing spike for the first time right before when he normally tries to climb the wall, he won't climb the wall. This saves a ton of time. This is why I waited around for a long time before the first hit instead of just jumping straight onto his head; the timing is pretty specific, but I got it. The annoying thing about this fight is that my strategy completely relies on hitting him in the optimal spots. If I screw up at all, then it will completely screw up my rhythm for the rest of the fight. Essentially, this fight can either go perfectly, or it will be an awful mess. Thankfully enough, on this run it was the former. This is less of an issue on Imprisoned 3 since on that one hits 2 and 3 are completely scripted.
Back in Skyloft, the headmaster didn't know where the Triforce was... but thankfully, his bookcase knew who might! Yeah, this is a side effect of doing the thunderhead early, for some reason the game spawns him in the wrong place. I have no idea why. It doesn't cost any time though, and it makes the scene a bit more humorous since Link ends up talking to the wall. Spiral Charge training is rather annoying, but shockingly actually went perfectly in this run - it usually never does.
My Bilocyte fight was kinda crappy. First I use a pretty awesome glitch: if you drop onto him during the first phase and drop a bomb next to his blowhole, Bilocyte will come out early - and invisible - which skips the entire first phase. The fastest way to take out the second phase is to hit him with four arrows. This is easier said than done though, especially because Levias keeps flying all over the place and it screws up your aim massively, which makes the whole thing really random. I unfortunately only managed to hit him three times before running out of arrows and had to finish him off by deflecting his poison ball thingies back. That cost me a bit of time, but running out of arrows will cost even more; I did save one arrow for Sky Keep, but optimally I'd finish the fight with at least three, the Sky Keep one plus two for Fire Dragon's room.
Song of the Hero: So, remember how I went to Lanayru Gorge early on my first visit to Lanayru? Because I did that, I can go straight to Lanayru Gorge now instead of having to pass through Lanayru Caves. This also skips talking to Golo, which means the game won't disable the other two sections of the song - this means I can do half of the Lanayru part, then leave, do the other two, and then come back and finish Lanayru, rather than doing one at a time like you're supposed to. The minecart ride is really straightforward, long and boring. Nothing interesting to say about it. I grab the Tree of Life and go to Faron.
Imprisoned 3, like 2, goes perfectly. The only thing that's really a variable at all in 3 is the first hit. It can be rather tricky to get the first hit quickly, but I found an awesome strat while working on my test run which is very fast and easy. As soon as the fight starts, you'll want to activate the Groosenator and fire right before his third step hits the ground. If you timed it right the geyser right underneath him will activate long enough for you to take it all the way up. The second two hits are ridiculously easy because they're completely scripted.
Flooded Faron goes alright. Everyone hates the Tadtones, but they're easy when you know the route! Then Link kills himself for the last time to teleport back to the tree.
Bokoblin Base actually went perfectly. I sat on the stool to replenish my health because the 2 hearts you start with are usually not enough, as there's a lot of ways to lose health in this sequence, but it turns out I didn't need it because this section went so well. It's not perfect, mind, as there was one trick I missed... in the second underground area, there's a trick where you can hit the bomb, then crawl behind it and hit it back the other way. Didn't work this time. But aside from that, yes, everything was awesome. Tongue It's also possible to skip recovering the Slingshot, but believe me, it's absurdly difficult and not SS material in the slightest.
In Fire Dragon's room I have to use the Beetle to cut down the ropes on the bridge because I don't have any spare arrows. Boo. :/ After that section, all I have to do is visit Thunder Dragon again, then return to Levias.
The Skyloft Silent Realm has a couple mistakes. First, I got hit by a Guardian on my first try to climb up the Tower of Light. Getting up there without getting hit seems to have a 50/50 chance of happening, so while it's disappointing that happened, it's not really too surprising. :/ In retrospect, I think I should have gotten the tear in front of the start first instead of the one on top of the tower; it would have been slightly slower, but much more consistent. Aside from that I also somehow ended up picking up a beacon fruit right near the end. That was especially annoying because, after successfully avoiding every other beacon fruit in the game, I accidentally got one that I've never picked up by accident before. x.x
Sky Keep: Lots of room rearranging. The reason I spend so much time rearranging rooms and backtracking is because if you play your cards right and arrange the rooms the right way, it's possible to finish the entire dungeon without entering the Earth Temple room at all. That's obviously a huge timesaver, plus that room sucks so skipping it is awesome.
Sky Keep went ok overall, nothing incredible. I had a couple little dumb mistakes in the Skyview room... fell into pits a couple times. Blah. Dreadfuse wasn't great, I took shield damage which sucked because I would've finished the whole game without taking any shield damage otherwise D: Also, the Ancient Cistern room was a little blah, namely I admit I was playing very cautiously against the Stalmaster and lost a decent amount of time because of it. I also bottled a fairy I didn't actually end up needing. The fairy is a precaution just in case the horde battle goes horribly wrong, which honestly, it usually does.
The End: My horde battle was INSANELY good for being at the end of an SS. First Bokoblin "minibosses" were very fast and I actually managed to pull off the Moblin jump, which is RIDICULOUSLY inconsistent but saves a ton of time. But who cares about that, because I GOT AN ARROW! That arrow is obviously more important than getting a good time! THANK YOU GAME!
Ghirahim 3 was pretty fast, but didn't go according to plan. The strategy on phase 2 is to shield bash him and stab him, then reflect his sword slash back at him to the rest of the stabs to get to phase 3. But unfortunately I messed up the shield bash and got hit instead. Twice. So I changed my mind and went on the offensive on him. Yay improvisation (again)! It's a bit ugly to me and it would certainly have been faster if everything had gone the way it was supposed to, but overall my improv strat was fairly quick, so I didn't lose much time here.
Demise was fantastic aside from some slow sword slashes. I usually find him to be very easy but I had some trouble with him in my runs recently (my 5:45 run before this one had two deaths on him). Practiced up and figured out what I had trouble with, and I managed to pull this off. Great way to cap off the run.
I don't know what's next for me but I will tell you right now that I AM NEVER DOING A SINGLE SEGMENT RUN THIS LONG EVER AGAIN SDLKJSLGJSLkgjaelkgjaejrhg
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