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Breath of Fire on the SNES (1993) was Capcom's first entry in the role-playing genre. It followed the RPG conventions of the early 1990s fairly closely, right down to the plot outline of a young boy setting out to recover six mythical keys and prevent an evil empire from taking over the world. Many elements of the game's characters, such as the hero's ability to transform into a dragon, would reappear throughout the series in various forms. The 2001 GBA port streamlined the gameplay in several ways, including a significant reduction in difficulty.


Best time: 4:35 by Greg '__sdfg' Singer on 2011-08-10, done in 29 segments.

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Author's comments:

Preamble: this speedrun took me over a year and a half to record. There is a lot of walking. Enjoy.


Comments on each segment:

  1. Segment 1 (Drogen)
    • Kudos to Axel Ryman from the SDA forum for pointing out how to make Ryu nameless when starting a new game. It saves a few frames here and there. Also, it's funny.
    • Not much happens in this segment other than getting things started and buying items. The Mrbl3s that I buy here and in later segments allow me to skip through most of the game without random encounters. I don't actually need all of the Herbs, but I do need most of them and it's quicker to buy them in bulk.
    • I put Ryu in the back row after leaving town because it reduces the damage that he takes without significantly affecting his attack power.
  2. Segment 2 (Camlon)
    • In this segment, I fight the only non-random battle in the entire run, to bring Ryu up to level 2. Even with the equipment stolen out of the castle, he is too weak at level 1 to fight Frog effectively.
    • Getting the random F.Stn drop from Frog is a near-requirement for a segmented run: it cuts at least one turn from the subsequent Knight battle.
    • For those who may not be familiar with the game, I pause just before entering Nanai to wait for the guard by the entrance to fall asleep.
  3. Segment 3 (Nanai)
    • I pick up the Cure here so that I can sell it later in Auria. I do the same thing with Cures and other high-priced items in the following segments.
    • Knight has a frustrating habit of recovering his HP when they get low. Using my accumulated B.Stn and F.Stns gives him fewer opportunities to do that.
    • Now that I have a couple of boss fights past me, I can afford to really load up on Mrbl3s. This shopping trip will get me close to halfway through the game.
    • The I.Ore is needed to enter the Forest of Despair later on. The C.Stn and B.Stn from that cave help with the boss fights in the next segment.
  4. Segment 4 (Karma)
    • The two M.Drops that I pick up at the beginning of this segment sell for a combined 13000G later on.
    • As first shown in this segment, the E.Key is useful for more than its connection to the Goddess, Tyr. My characters are perpetually underleveled, so anything that can do 30 HP damage reliably is welcome, at least at this stage of the game.
    • Mortea is the stronger of the two bosses in here. I save a bunch of time by using the two Stns and the E.Key to knock off most of her health in one turn.
    • I can't do anything useful in the first battle against Wizard. Running is the fastest way to skip to the next cutscene.
    • The second Wizard fight ends when both Nina and Sr-1 are dead. Leaving Sr-2 as the one character to survive Mortea speeds that up (one of the tricks I picked up from Janus's exploration of the game).
  5. Segment 5 (Wizard)
    • I start leaving Mrlb3x1s in my inventory here to avoid leaving gaps in my inventory. The idea is that if I swap the Mrbl3x1s with Mrbl3x9s farther down, the Mrbl3x1s will take up space that would otherwise be occupied by (useless) key items, and I won't have to move as far to get at the Mrbl3x9s I'll create by replenishing my inventory later. I don't know how much of a difference it really makes, but that's why I do it.
    • The Rang is a big help in the next segment when I have to fight off multiple soldiers at the same time.
    • Even with the Rang, however, Ryu is too weak to autobattle Wizard, so I have him use the E.Key instead. Fortunately, the E.Key is unaffected by Wizard's repeated uses of Petrify (and Petrify doesn't stack anyway).
    • The Life2 from this fight gets turned into more money in Auria.
  6. Segment 6 (Forest of Despair)
    • Another note for people unfamiliar with the game: the fort is full of trapdoors. I talk the route that I do to get around them.
    • The LongSD in the fort sells for quite a bit, but it takes too long to get to be worth the money, in my opinion.
    • Giving in to the fake Chief's insistence that the enemy's weapons must be taken forces the party to fight Pog, another boss, before General. Pog does not provide enough experience or gold to be worth taking the time to fight. I think it is fairly well-known that the battle can be skipped by resisting the impostor's entreaties. Contrary to what I have seen suggested in a couple places, though, skipping Pog does not affect the fight with General in any way: General has the same stats, Bo has the same stats, and the gold and experience gains remain exactly the same.
    • I move Ryu and Bo into different rows against General to encourage him to attack Ryu instead of Bo.
    • I abuse death here to get back to Tantar in a hurry. Putting all three characters in the front row makes them take more damage. Note that I still need to talk to the Chief in Tuntar for the game to allow the next quest in Romero to proceed, so there would have been no advantage to keeping a save point in Romero.
  7. Segment 7 (Romero)
    • I take a moment to put the StrawHT on Bo to make sure that his ACT stays higher than Ryu's. With Bo going first, Ryu only needs to use Acorns on him every other turn to keep him casting Fry continuously. A side effect of this is that I get extra cash from selling Bo's SuedeHT later on. Ignore the fact that I mistakenly say I want Bo's ACT not to be higher in the audio commentary for Segment 8.
    • Talking to the woman in the northeast house sets a flag in the game that convinces the old woman to let me have the WtrJr.
    • One of the chests presented at the end of this segment is supposed to contain 900G. As japanzaman pointed out on the forum, that chest actually contains nothing: opening it does not give the party any money at all.
    • I sell some equipment here because the money helps and the equipment is of no use to me anymore. The Robe gets used in the next segment.
    • The 18 Acorns that I buy here are enough for the rest of the game.
  8. Segment 8 (Agua)
    • The ThiefCL is one of the best armors that can be picked up at this stage of the game. It will last Ryu quite a while.
    • I get the Bracelet because it's convenient and Nina really needs the help.
    • The SteelBW is a pretty good bow, but there's no point in using it as a weapon when Bo knows Fry. I'll sell it in Auria.
    • I abuse death again here because it is a little faster than walking back out. It costs me some money, but not enough to hurt the run. Putting the Robe back on Ryu temporarily speeds up the process.
  9. Segment 9 (Stone Robot; Lake Cave)
    • Ryu does not do that much damage in one hit most of the time.
    • Some of the money raised before Auria is used to buy Mrbl1s there. The free one in the Stone Robot is obviously appreciated. It drops into my inventory in the slot formerly occupied by a Mrbl3x1 placeholder.
    • There are no random encounters in the Stone Robot after General is defeated or in the first part of the cave. The monsters do return to the Stone Robot in the next segment, though.
    • The Ring can be used to increase Ryu's attack power, which is great, except that for most of the run, he fights as a dragon and the Ring has no effect on magic damage. Therefore, it stays in my inventory.
  10. Segment 10 (Gremlin; Talon; Auria; Bleak)
    • Gremlin is among the hardest bosses in a normal playthrough. In a speedrun, he is definitely the worst. None of the characters have yet developed to the point where they can carry a battle on their own, so I have to keep all three of them alive, and in the second half of the battle, Gremlin hits everyone every turn. There were three things I had to do to win this fight:
      • Work out a schedule for healing characters, so they would have time to use Fry/E.Key/Acorns.
      • Cast Fort on everyone so they would survive long enough for my schedule to be feasible.
      • Be very careful about attacking Gremlin while his life bar is still visible. When an enemy gets down to critical health, its attack power increases noticeably. Dragondarch on the forum pointed out that if a boss enters critical health while its life bar is visible, the boss gets that attack boost for the rest of the fight. If that happened in this fight, I would lose. Therefore, I make sure that the last of Gremlin's HP are taken away by one use of Fry, skipping over Gremlin's critical HP range completely.
    • Ryu is still weak enough at this point that the E.Key is more effective against Talon than autobattling with the Rang.
    • The PrisnCL is picked up because it increases the wearer's FATE and I saw it suggested somewhere that FATE influenced critical hit rate. It didn't seem to matter in my later playthroughs, unfortunately.
    • Shooop!
    • Auria is set up like a collection of mini-quests. The player needs to find some way to raise 65000G to buy a G.Bar to trade for the Icicle in Bleak. The usual route includes a quest where the player rescues a boy who has been captured by fairies south of the dragon shrine. That quest takes three or four minutes to complete. This is a speedrun, so instead of doing that, I sell all of my junk at the shop and raise a nearly equivalent amount of cash. The shop that sells the G.Bar charges higher prices than most other shops but also pays back a greater return for sold merchandise, which is why I do it there.
    • The Worms are needed for Ryu to fish later. The game doesn't always subtract a Worm after Ryu fishes, so with enough luck, only one is needed. I buy three to be safe.
    • I save in Bleak rather than advancing all the way to Arad so that I can abuse death in Krypt to get back.
  11. Segment 11 (Arad; Krypt)
    • I have seen it suggested that SnoDr or FlmDr might be stronger than ThrDr against SandWorm. That's never held true for me.
    • I want Nina to survive the SandWorm fight for the experience points. That unfortunately means healing her a lot. She does not need the experience from EyeSpy. I start neglecting Bo in this segment because he becomes much less useful after Ryu's dragon powers awaken.
    • I save all of my Mrbl1s for fighting EyeSpy because that battle comes later in the segment than SandWorm and is therefore a harder place to manipulate luck. Also, I found the Mrbl1s to make a bigger difference there.
    • Yes, I have to check every casket.
    • The IcyHT provides a nice boost to Ryu's defense with minimal time invested. I don't equip it yet, however, because it has no effect on Cloud's magic in the next segment and I'll be getting other items after that fight that I'll want to equip.
    • I start picking up healing items again here, but this time, I do so with the intent of actually healing characters with them later on. I use up another Mrbl3x1 placeholder to control where in my inventory they go.
    • Death abuse here, as stated before, gets me back to Bleak.
  12. Segment 12 (L.Keep)
    • The HornHT makes Karn just strong enough to survive when necessary for the rest of the game.
    • Nina uses ATK-Up on Bo at the beginning of the Cloud fight to make it a little easier to autobattle through the rest of it. I keep Nina alive because she missed out on a lot of experience in the past two segments and there is a point later on where she absolutely needs to reach level 13 and learn Warp.
  13. Segment 13 (Auria again; Dark Dragon Ship; Prima)
    • This is the longest segment of the game even if you count the closing credits as part of the last segment. None of the fights are difficult enough to justify saving between them.
    • The MetalSH and Dart buff Ryu and Karn just a bit more. A couple of the fights later on would be tougher than I'd like without the extra gear.
    • Cloud provided enough experience that I don't need to keep Nina around for long in this segment. Her use of the E.Key does help get rid of Knight and his supporting henchman, but after that, I can safely let her fall. Ryu is strong enough as a dragon to handle all of the enemies on the ship by himself.
    • There is no (known) way to reach the ship without giving Gobi a G.Bar to get the GnPwdr. I am very grateful to the game designers for putting one in the cave back to Auria rather than requiring me to raise another 65000G.
    • No, really, Ryu is strong enough to handle all of the enemies on the ship by himself. SpearMen only have a few HP more than ThrDr can take away, so I speed up the first fight a little bit by having him throw the Rang at the two there.
    • Most people playing through this game will fight three battles at sea against generic soldiers, followed by another one against Octo. The fights are separated by cutscenes, so there is no opportunity for the party to heal except during the fights. That is frustrating when one's characters are at low levels. Fortunately, dying during the first fight heals the party fully and then allows the player to skip that fight and the next one. This is part of the reason why I simply left most of the party dead earlier in the segment.
    • With the Dart, Karn is stronger than Bo, so I use ATK-Up on him against Octo and let Bo die in the previous fight.
    • Morteo is weak against fire, so I take advantage of that when choosing a dragon form. I also have Nina use ATK-Up on Karn to get more damage out of him. I hide her behind Bo after that so that she gets the experience from the fight.
    • Using the inn before and after Morteo is easier than bringing people back to life, which allows me to save time by casting off those characters who don't do much damage. Many of those same characters will not help against HornToad in the next segment; however, I need them alive to absorb damage that would otherwise be taken by Ryu.
    • Selling all of my old equipment plus the TideHT that I grabbed on the way to Morteo allows me to buy a truckload (perhaps not a full boatload) of Mrbl1s. It also lets me get all of the Mrbl3s that I will ever again need (and unfortunately a couple extras).
  14. Segment 14 (Hidden Fort)
    • Toad is another one of the tougher bosses to pass in a speedrun. He normally isn't too much of a challenge, but I wanted to get through the fight without having to heal anyone. To do that, I have Ryu use some of the Mrbl1s that I bought to beat him up and give him as few opportunities to do damage as possible. I also throw other party members in the front row to take the brunt of Toad's attacks. I autobattle on the second-to-last turn because my Mrbl1 budgeting at the time left me one short for this fight. Happily, Ryu comes through with a Slam.
    • Because Nina is hidden away against Toad, she gains enough experience to learn Warp just in time to move the party to Arad to fetch the B.Rang.
    • There is unfortunately no way to get the Weapon Master to do anything remotely useful without showing him a fixed B.Rang, so I can't walk to his hut directly from Arad. I must first warp to Gant.
    • Since I have to stop by the house anyway, teaching Karn Shin is a no-brainer. Shin's 70% damage bonus over Karn will make him an increasingly important part of my offensive strategy (until Ryu learns Agni, anyway).
    • I save in Gant even though I have to pass by Prima to reach Nabal because just going in and out of Prima would cost me time.
  15. Segment 15 (Nabal)
    • GrimFowl is weak against SnoDr. Apart from that, my strategy is to pound it and try to keep everyone alive for the later fight against SlimeX. Shin hangs out in the front row to try to draw GrimFowl's magic attacks in the second part of the fight.
    • Keeping the GrimFowl behind the party while walking into Nabal is possibly the most frustrating part of the game. I probably move a little slower than necessary, but if I had gone too quickly, the bird(s) would have gotten lost and I would have had to reset.
    • The combination of the B.Rang, ATK-Up, and two Mrbl1s allows Ryu to chop off most of the smaller slimes' health. Shin and Ox combine to clean up the rest (after which, I no longer have any need for Nina or Ox). It is crucial to get past that part of the fight quickly because taking multiple hits per turn wears out the party and also slows down the run. Once the slimes have fused, Shin and FlmDr can take it out easily without any Mrbl-based help.
    • I save in Prima rather than Arad because the game does not allow warping to or from an underwater locale. Death abuse is therefore the fastest way back from Wisdon in the next segment.
  16. Segment 16 (Wisdon)
    • Karn and Ryu have gotten a lot stronger since they last fought Wisp, so that fight is an easy autobattle.
    • Cloud's magic attacks take a while and they aren't good for Ryu. I Mrbl1 past him.
    • Myst's magic attacks also hurt quite a bit. He furthermore starts recovering HP after a while. I use Mrbl1s plus some well-timed hits from Karn to skip the recovery phase.
    • When Karn reverts from a simulated form, the game keeps the difference between his current HP and his maximum HP rather than the current HP. That makes death abuse really easy.
  17. Segment 17 (Volcano)
    • Pincher is so very weak against thunder. ThrDr with Mrbl1s makes it easy.
    • I save at what would otherwise be an illogical place so I can try for the DarkDR. I have to leave town before doing it, however, because the items in the market do not update to include the DarkDR until after I have been outside while Gobi has the Sphere.
  18. Segment 18 (DarkDR)
    • I get the DarkDR because it makes a huge difference in Shin's attack power. I save more time in later fights than I would if I simply put all that money toward more Mrbl1s or something. Moreover, it is different from the game's other rare weapons in that it actually saves more time in battles than must be spent to get it.
    • I don't know what the chances of getting the DarkDR are, but I was still happy to get it in only 48 attempts while recording this run. It took japanzaman over 900 tries when he was working on a segmented run a while back.
    • I stop by Tunlan because I'll need to warp there later and it's sort of on the way to Gust. I could get the Rod5 and Ryu's second set of dragon forms now, but it's faster to wait until after Nina can fly.
  19. Segment 19 (Laboratory; G.Fly)
    • All of the other walled-in areas in the lab have Rugas hiding in them. That one is a shortcut.
    • To be honest, there really is no strategy to my K.Roach fight other than getting as much as I can out of the B.Rang and keeping Ryu alive so I don't have to use the inn. It's a chaotic fight. Bleu gets healed at the start of the segment so she can absorb two hits instead of one.
    • Actually, there is one other thing about the K.Roaches: I keep Nina out of the fight entirely because ATK-Up doesn't help that much there and I need it more against G.Fly.
  20. Segment 20 (FlowerX; RugaX again)
    • While I was working on the run, I found that having Nina use ATK-Up on Shin doesn't help during FlowerX. It speeds up the fight itself a bit, but keeping Nina alive for the fight uses up all that time. So, I just have Shin and ThrDr kick the flower a lot.
    • RugaX still isn't an interesting fight. This time, though, I have to deal with the game's insistence to reorder my party after every cutscene.
  21. Segment 21 (HornToad; Gramor; Tunlan)
    • One thing that I picked up from Novalia Spirit's monster guide is that HornToad preferentially attacks the left side of the party during the first part of the fight. He doesn't always do it, but there is a definite bias. With that in mind, I order my party according to the amount of damage they deal.
    • The Mrbl1s that I pick up here push me through some of the later fights much more quickly. They are actually pretty essential to the run. I get the Cure because when I was recording this segment, I didn't realize just how strong Ryu was going to be at the end of the game. It is ultimately wasted.
    • I get the Rod5 here since I have to go to the palace to get the Bolster anyway.
  22. Segment 22 (World of Dreams)
    • There is nothing that can be done against Mothro here, but it is still necessary to talk to him to advance the plot.
    • Huge thanks to japanzaman for alerting me to the presence of these shortcuts in the gas field. The run has quite enough walking already.
    • Dying in the swamp takes me back to the town even though I didn't save there. I guess it makes sense that I wouldn't be able to escape from the dream world.
  23. Segment 23 (Mothro; Spyre)
    • There is no strategy to Mothro other than trying to do as much damage as possible with each (potential) hit.
    • The Root is needed in a few segments. It is most convenient to get it now.
    • Going in and out of Spring so I can warp to it later doesn't save me any time, so I don't do it.
    • Oddly, there are no fights on the nightmare overworld.
    • I hit the spring at the very end to bring Ox back to life. As with Toad before, I'll need my full party alive to take hits when I fight Mote.
  24. Segment 24 (Mote; Spring; Tock)
    • Mote has a lot of hit points. Shin with ATK-Up and a pile of Mrbl1s deals a lot of damage. All I have to do to win the fight is keep Shin alive. I keep Nina alive so that she can use ATK-Up again against Cerl in the next segment.
    • There is a weird bug in the game where Mote sometimes does 150 HP damage with his Inferno attack and sometimes does 90 HP. I think it may be related to the critical damage property that I used against Gremlin. Anyway, the fight isn't too hard when Mote does 90 HP. I don't think my strategy here ever worked when he did 150 HP.
    • The DragonAR is required to enter the Avian shrine later. It's also an acceptable suit. I don't need to equip it on Ryu just yet, though.
    • Conveniently, Ryu ends this segment dead. More conveniently, that takes him back to Spring even though I hadn't visited it before.
  25. Segment 25 (Cerl)
    • There isn't much to say about my Cerl strategy. None of the cutscenes heal the party after this, so I have to keep Ryu alive enough to be allowed into the dragon shrines later on.
  26. Segment 26 (Tonic quest)
    • The chest with the TmKey is special: it can only be opened from the front. I don't know why.
    • The W.Ant on the upper floor of the doctor's house is the fastest one to get.
  27. Segment 27 (Parts quest; Bain; Avian)
    • The kind of odd route that I take in this segment is noticeably faster than the obvious route, where one would get all of the dragon powers and then do the Parts quest. The key to it is that stopping by the Bain shrine between Scande and Avian isn't really that far out of the way. Also, warping from Scande to nearly anywhere is faster than flying.
    • The DragonSH is technically optional, but I get it because Avian is really hard and would require more healing items without it.
    • The DragonSD is required to enter the Bain shrine.
    • The DragonHT is required for the Agni shrine, and also helps me buff Ryu to the point where he doesn't need to heal against Bain.
    • Mrbl1s get me through the dragon battles faster. I would have to heal a lot more without them.
    • FirDgn's attack animation is distressingly slow, but Avian is weak against it. That lets me skip two attack rounds and one healing item, so it doesn't lose me any time.
  28. Segment 28 (Scande; Pagoda)
    • Agni is the only practical way to beat Zog with a party as underleveled as mine. Without Agni, the fight is brutal; with Agni, it is very hard to lose. Since dying is not an issue, my main goal in this segment is to maximize the number of times Zog pokes Agni with his face: the other attacks all have much longer and therefore slower animations.
    • As I'm sure many people are aware, using the D.Hrt against Sara saves more time than using it against Zog, mainly because Sara doesn't have any extra health after her life bar is exhausted. It is possible to use the D.Hrt on Zog after his life bar has run out, but it only seems to do about as much damage as it does when used at the beginning of the fight, which isn't even enough to bring Zog within 1 HP of dying.
    • The item-exchanging quest at the end is unfortunate, but unavoidable.
  29. Segment 29 (Obelisk)
    • As with Zog, the bosses in here are all much too strong for me to fight them with anything other than Agni. Goda and Jade would be possible without Agni, but they take significantly longer to fight. Goddess is nigh-impossible. Plus, using Agni gives me the good ending.
    • Jade sometimes casts a spell that does 400 HP of damage. Thankfully, he chooses not to use it.
    • I switch Ryu to the far right before fighting Goddess to work around a strange bug in the game. For some reason, if Agni uses an item during that fight — and I have confirmed that it is not a problem against random overworld enemies — the game may try to use the item multiple times with unpredictable results. I have a video demonstrating this on YouTube. Switching Ryu to the end of the row seems to prevent the bug from being triggered.
    • My reason for needing the WtrJr' in this fight is that Ryu has to recover his AP somehow in the final fight. The most convenient time to do that is while Goddess is not actually attacking. The WtrJr' is chosen because it brings Ryu back to full AP in one shot and I can use it even when Ryu is already at full health.
    • Ryu is not quite strong enough, at least with his final stats in this run, to make it past Goddess without two healing items. The luck required to do so would be extraordinary.

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