Welcome to the Chrono Trigger Speedrun and Advanced Gameplay Techniques section. Here, the Compendium aims to document the fastest Chrono Trigger players alive and the techniques employed to achieve their low times. Other esoteric gameplay information will be presented in addendum, along with pressing issues and possibilities that may shave off even more seconds of playtime. Traditional speedruns are recognized by the Speed Demos Archive, and are videotaped on a console. Emulated speedrun listings also exist, called "tool-assisted speedruns." Emulators are also used for rapidly evaluating new skills and techniques for later application in a traditional attempt. Successful runs have been described as relying on two factors; the first is skill, "that which makes it possible," and the second is luck, "that which makes it happen." Other challenges are presented at end of this area. This page is authored with the help of inichi.
Current Record Holders
- Best Time
Yu 'inichi' Morimoto - 03:34:XX on April 5, 2007
- Best 100% Time
David 'marshmallow' Gibbons - 06:31:XX on November 18, 2005
- Best New Game + Time
John De Sousa - 0:06:42 on August 6, 2010
Traditional speedrun timing notes: Full game runs use the game's timer at its last seen time, plus remaining real time. New Game + runs use real time under standard timing rule from start of control. End point is the appearance of the final damage number appears on Lavos. 100% definition: Complete all optional side quests mentioned by Gaspar so that he tells you the only thing left to do is defeat Lavos.
- Best Tool-Assisted Speedrun Time
Yu 'inichi' Morimoto - 00:21:23.98 in April 2009
- Best Tool-Assisted Speedrun Time for New Game +
Yu 'inichi' Morimoto - 00:06:42.77 in October 2008
Route List and Notes
This is inichi's route list. Route lists map out a speedrunner's path through a game and explore possibilities and difficulties.
inichi's notes: I made a few mistakes...but fortunately, nothing critical. If I redo the run, I probably won't get a faster record; rather, it might be slower...I'm truly satisfied with this record. It was lucky for me to start and finish the run before college starts, as I had enough time to play the game. That is why I was able to make the Chrono Trigger run in such short time...As for the final battle, I fought Lavos at least 500 times, tested various strategies and made the final. Even though it still has room for improvement, I'm glad it could live up to expectations.
- The Millennial Fair
- 1. Set Battle Mode to Wait.
- 2. Set Battle Gauge Speed and Battle Message Speed 1 (fastest) and Battle Cursor to save the last command.
- 3. Go to Leene Square and enter the gate to 600 A.D.
- The Queen Returns
- 4. Get a Power Glove in Truce Canyon and get a Power Tab and use it on Crono in Guardia Forest.
- 5. Go to Guardia Castle and watch Marle disappear in Leene's room.
- The Queen is Gone
- 6. After Lucca joins Crono, fight 5 Roly Riders to learn Fire Whirl in Guardia Forest.
- 7. Get a Revive, a Steel Saber, an Iron Sword and a Tonic in the Cathedral.
- 8. Equip Crono with the Steel Saber, Frog with the Iron Sword and use Slurp on Crono once at the save point.
- 9. Defeat Yakura and head to Leene's room to see Marle return to the real world.
- We're Back!
- 10. Go back to 1000 A.D. and head to Guardia Castle for the trial.
- The Trial
- 11. Steal 7 Mid Ethers from three guards who fall down on the way out of the dungeon.
- 12. Beat the Dragon Tank and get a Shelter. Run away from the Chancellor and enter the gate to 2300 A.D.
inichi's note: I choose not to use Crono's regular attack but Cyclone as a final blow to the head. Also, I use the techs in an efficient way. The order is three Cylones, Fire Whirl and Cylone. This order can decrease the time of body's counter from twice to once and the need to use Tonics from three times to two. This strategy is 10 second faster than Hero's one.
- Beyond the Ruins
- 13. Get a Berserker, a Lode Sword and a Lode Bow in Lab 16.
- 14. Equip Crono with the Berserker and Lode Sword and Marle with the Lode Bow in front of the Arris Dome.
- 15. Beat the Guardian and get a Mid Ether in the storage room.
inichi's note: I beat the Guardian before it revive the bits. I equip Crono with Berserker. First, I kill one bit. Then I wait until Crono attacks the Guardian twice. Because it uses counter attacks on Crono, Marle or Lucca needs to use Tonics on Crono twice. After Crono attacks it twice, I kill the other bit. Then I use regular attacks on the Guardian again and again until it breaks down. This strategy is 50 seconds faster than previous one.
- 16. Watch the video of the day Lavos appeared, and get a Bike Key from Doan.
- 17. Win the race against Johnny and recruit Robo in the Proto Dome.
- The Factory Ruins
- 18. Enter the Factory and equip Crono with the Power Glove on the save point.
- 19. Get a Shelter, a Titan Vest and a Plasma Gun in the Factory.
- 20. Before the battle with the R series, use Cure Beam on Crono and Lucca twice and set Battle Gauge Speed 4.
inichi's note: The main reason [for the gauge speed change] is to decrease the number of enemies' attacks. You can see the strange space between the second Cyclone and the third one in the R-series battle. If it remained Battle Speed 1, two or three R-series's attacks cuts in that space. It's enough ground for me to change Battle Speed to something slower considering the animation of their attack takes more than 10 seconds, and this battle finishes in a short time -- about 1 minute.
- 21. Defeat the R series and go to the End of Time.
inichi's note: In the Factory, I select the suitable combination of enemies for speed. The mixture of 5 Alkalines and Acids is random. And I only fight when 5 Alkaline appear, as only 5 Alkaline's experience points enables Lucca to level up to 8 to 9 before Heckran. Besides, Alkaline's defense is much weaker than Acid's; Crono's Cylone can quickly kill them. I assume this strategy is 20 seconds faster than previous one. I also pick up the Titan Vest. It is not equipped but useful to exchange for Ayla's Ruby Vest.
- The End of Time
- 22. Set Battle Gauge Speed 1.
- 23. Learn Magic from Spekkio.
- The Village of Magic
- 24. Head to Heckran Cave in 1000 A.D. Get an Ether and a Mid Ether on the way to Heckran; defeat him.
inichi's note: I use Slash and Flame Toss on the two Henches. It's the fastest way to finish this battle. Lucca levels up from 8 to 9. For Heckran, Crono only uses Slash rather than Lightning. The reason is, Slash's animation is 3 seconds shorter than Lightning's. When Lucca's Level is 9, the amount of the damage of Antipode is about 10 times bigger than when her level is 8. These modifications provide little increase, though enough to replace Slash with lightning. I assume this strategy is 10-15 seconds faster than the previous one.
- The Hero Appears
- 25. Go to Zenan Bridge in 600 A.D. and speak to the Knight Captain about rations.
- 26. Go to Guardia Castle and get an Ether and talk to the chef for a Jerky and a Power Tab.
- 27. Use the Power Tab to Crono and a Mid Tonic on Lucca and Marle in front of Zenan Bridge.
- 28. Give the Jerky to the Knight Captain.
- 29. Fight enemies on Zenan Bridge and equip Crono with the Berserker before fighting Zombor.
- 30. After defeating Zombor, equip the Power Glove on Crono in front of Denadoro Mts.
- Tata and the Frog
- 31. Climb Denadoro Mts. and get a Mirage Hand at the bottom.
- 32. Get 2 Mid Ethers, a Silver Stud and a Silver Earring on the way to the top.
- 33. Equip Robo with the Mirage Hand and use a Shelter at the save point.
- 34. Defeat Masa and Mune and get a Bent Hilt.
inichi's note: I attack not Masa but Mune. I do this because when Masa sleeps from Hypno Wave, Mune's movement completely stops. He only stands being given the attacks. It's an easy battle. For Masamune, Lucca and Robo use Firepunch. Crono uses regular attacks or Mid Tonics as needed. Immediately remove his Tornado Energy build-up with Slash.
- 35. Buy 11 Tonics, 41 Mid Tonics, 21 Revives, 11 Shelters and 11 Heals in the Porre Market.
- 36. Get a Magic Scarf and a Bent Sword in Frog's house.
- The Rare Red Rock
- 37. Speak to Melchior and head to Mystic Mts to get a Berserker.
- Footsteps! Follow!
- 38. After Ayla's party, go through the Forest Maze and equip Ayla with the Berseker and Crono with the Magic Scarf in front of the Reptite Lair.
- 39. Wait until an Evilweevil digs a hole to the lower right of the first hole, and go through it.
- 40. Get a Mid Ether, an Elixir and a Full Ether on the way to Nizbel.
- 41. Equip Ayla with the Titan Vest, Crono with the Ruby Vest and the Silver Earring and Robo with the Berserker and use a Shelter on the save point.
- 42. Defeat Nizbel and make Azala return the Gate Key.
- The Masamune!
- 43. Head to Melchior's Hut and have him repair the Masamune.
- 44. After getting the Masamune, head to Frog's house and show it to him.
- Magus' Castle
- 45. Go through the Magic Cave and equip Robo with the Power Scarf and Frog with the Berserker in front of Magus's Lair.
- 46. Get 2 Mid Ethers before fighting Flea.
- 47. After beating Flea, use 3 Mid Tonics on the three party members.
- 48. Beat Slash and grab a Slasher and Mid Ether. Equip Crono with the Slasher, Robo with the Tin Arm and Frog with the Power Glove and use a Shelter on the save point.
- 49. On the long way to Magus, get a Mist Robe, a Dark Mail, a Doom Finger and a Speed Belt.
- 50. Equip Frog with the Dark Mail and the Berserker and Lucca with the Magic Scarf on the save point.
- 51. Defeat Magus.
inichi's note: Naturally, the healing can't keep up with Magus's magic attacks, so I don't heal Lucca and leave her dead. Only when Magus's weakpoint changes into fire, I revive her and use fire. With this party's equipment, only Crono can survive Dark Matter. I quickly revive Frog and Lucca, use Mid Tonic on Crono twice, and use Crono's regular attacks and Fire. This strategy is one minute faster than the hero's one. Barrier is not very helpful because you have to not only use Barrier on someone but also heal him to survive Dark Matter. After all, the number of times using items is almost the same in a battle without Barrier. Besides, Magus only does nothing between each Dark Matter, which means it would have little effect at a time if the battle finishes a turn or two earlier by using Barrier. Considering it takes at least 25 seconds to get a Barrier, it is best to forget it. [As it turned out, the timing of inichi's Magus battle and Magus's behavior were extremely lucky to the point of nearly total perfection.]
- Forward to the Past
- 52. In front of the Dactyl's Nest, take the Dark Mail and the Berserker from Frog, and the Magic Scarf from Lucca.
- 53. Climb the Dactyl's Nest and get a Mid Ether and a Meso Mail on the way.
- Unnatural Selection?
- 54. After Ayla joins the party, head to the Tyrano Lair and give the Silver Stud to Crono and take the Berserker from Ayla in front of the Lair.
- 55. This is where the real fighting begins. Rescue Kino and fight enemies 27 times in front of the room where Nizbel is.
- 56. When Crono and Ayla's MP run out, use a Shelter on the save point.
- 57. Fight enemies 16 times at the same place. While fighting, take the Silver Stud from Crono and give it to Ayla. When Crono and Ayla's MP run out, use a Shelter on the save point.
- 58. Fight enemies 18 times at the same place. While fighting, take the Silver Stud from Ayla and give it to Crono. When Crono and Ayla's MP run out, use a Shelter on the save point.
- 59. Fight enemies 16 times at the same place. While fighting, use a Mid Ether on Ayla and equip Marle with the Speed Belt.
- 60. Beat Nizbel II and get a Full Ether beside the switch which opens up the locked door to Azala's room.
inichi's note: I replace Robo with Marle for learning Twister to use on the Nus. Vite Bolt five times can easily render Nizbel dead.
- 61. Switch out Marle for Robo. Get a Mid Ether in Azala's room and beat Azala and the Tyrano.
inichi's note: I defeat the Tyrano before it breathes fire. For this purpose, I choose Marle as a third member and give her Speed Belt. First, I use Slash once and Cube Toss three times on Azala. Then Marle casts Haste on herself. After Tyrano's defense weakens, I use Spincut and Cube Toss six times on Tyrano. [Later, inichi commented...] Use Robo instead of Marle. Use Twister 2 times, and Azala falls. After Tylano's defense weakens, use Twister 4 times, then Tyrano breathes fire. Wait until Tylano's defense weakens again, then use Twister 3 times. Perhaps, a few physical attacks will be needed. Less number of attacks would save time (10-15 seconds?).
- The Magic Kingdom
- 62. Head to Enhasa and fight 6 Nus and get a Speed Tab and a Magic Tab.
- 63. Tell the lady in Zeal Palace to plant her plant, which creates the Sunken Desert in 600 A.D.
- 64. Fight the Golem and wait until the three party members fall. The Prophet sends Crono to 65000000 B.C.
- Break the Seal!
- 65. Get a Lumin Robe, a Gold Earring and an Elixir in the Arris Dome, and a Mid Ether and a Swallow in the Forest Ruins.
- 66. Since Ayla's TP lacked three points of learning Dino Tail, inichi fought three Mutants in Lab 32.
- 67. Before the Sunken Desert, equip Crono with the Swallow, Marle with the Magic Scarf and Robo with the Speed Belt and use a Shelter.
- 68. Steal a Barrier from Hexapod.
- 69. While fighting enemies, go around the first room and second room and collect a Full Ether, an Elixir, an Aeon Suit, a Full Ether, a Memory Cap, an Aeon Helmet, a Hyper Ether, 5000G and a Full Tonic. Twister is the best way to end the battles faster.
- 70. Before the battle with Retinite, give the Magic Tab and the Speed Tab to Marle.
- 71. Beat Retinite and get two Mid Ethers in Fiona's Villa.
inichi's notes: First, I use Ice 2 to weaken the defense of the bottom and the top. Then, I use Confuse again and again on the bottom and the top. A final blow to the top and core is Falcon Hit. It can completely prevent the Core from escaping. Sad to say, it is difficult to use Tail Spin. Tail Spin surely can get the damage to Retinite without using Ice 2. But unless the enemy gets near Ayla, I can't use it. Considering Retinite moves in all directions in this battle, it is difficult to use it efficiently. I would waste time hoping it to get near Ayla and remains. To make matters worse, if Ayla uses Tail Spin, the Core is also dead. Once the Core disappears, the remains gain their agility and use strong attacks on all members. I would be forced to heal, which wasn't needed before, and lose a lot of time.
On the other hand, Confusion can be used no matter where Retinite is. I can efficiently accumulate the damage to the bottom and the top, keeping the Core alive. As long as the Core is alive, once their defense weakens -- however many times they may be attacked -- their defense never increases. The damage of Confusion is so big that I can beat Retinite until the Core absorbs its HP with the bottom and the top. But, only when Retinite stands above Ayla, the Core is not involved with Tail Spin. So perhaps I will use Tail Spin once to the bottom. Regarding Haste, I used it in the previous run. But I found it's not necessary. Crono has 15 speed naturally at this point. Besides, this battle ends in a short time. The time Haste could save is less than the time of the animation of Haste. Haste is only useful in long battles such as Lavos's.
- 72. Drop Robo off at Fiona's to help her, and head to Fiona's shrine in 1000 A.D.
- 73. Sell 1 Hyper Ether, 51 Mid Tonics, all the weapons, armors and headgear except the Lumin Robe and the Aeon Suit and buy one Vigil Hat and one Sight Cap in Fiona's Shrine.
- 74. Equip Crono with the Sight Cap, the Aeon Suit and the Power Scarf and Ayla with the Vigil Hat, the Lumin Robe and the Siver Stud.
- 75. After collecting Robo, have Lucca save her mom and get a GreenDream from Robo. Head to the End of the Time to fight Lavos.
- 76. Defeat each form of Lavos. Before the battle with real form of Shell Lavos, equip Crono with the GreenDream and Ayla with the Gold Earring.
- 77. Beat Lavos and set Battle Gauge Speed 2 on the last save point.
inichi's note: [Changing the gauge speed is] an inevitable step to beat Lavos under the poor condition of my low level party. If I remained at Battle Speed 1, I would never beat Lavos. When I started making the strategy for the final battle, my Battle Speed was 5. Then I tried to advance step by step from 5 to 4, 3, 2 and 1. But I found there is a big difference for Lavos's speed between 1 and 2. when Battle Speed is 1, Lavos acts too fast to kill the left arm before Lavos uses the second doors of doom, which definitely makes it impossible to beat Lavos. If you have save data just before Lavos, compare Lavos's move interval in 1 with one in 2, and you can see how fast Lavos acts in 1. Battle Speed 2 is an absolute requirement for my low level party to beat Lavos.
- 78. Beat Lavos and the Lavos Core.
- inichi's Lavos Notes
- Dragon Tank: Falcon Hit once
- Guardian: Falcon Hit once
- Heckran: Twister twice
- Zombor: Falcon Hit once and Robo's regular attack
- Masamune: Twister twice
- Nizbel: Lightning, Ayla's regular attack and Twister twice
- Magus: Attack until his weak changes to Shadow and Twister three times
- Azala/Tyrano: Cube Toss three times on Azala. Cube Toss and Confuse four times on Tyrano
- Giga Gaia: Twister five times
For the remaining three battles...
- Crono: LV 33 Swallow, Sight Cap, Aeon Suit, Greendream
- Ayla: LV 34 Fist, Vigil Hat, Lumin Robe, Gold Earring
- Marle: LV 32 Lode Bow, Hide Cap, Hide Tunic, Magic Scarf
Here are the items I use...
- Lavos Shell (real form): 1 Revive
- Lavos: 1 Full Tonic, 1 Mid Ethers, 2 Full Ethers, 3 Elixirs, 4-5 Revives, 1 Barrier
- Lavos Core: 2 Mid Ethers, 2 Full Ethers, 0-2 Revives, 0-2 Heals, 0-1 Lapis
Here are the techs I use...
- Lavos Shell (real form): Dino Tail three times and Confuse four times
- Lavos: Dino Tail 15 times, Haste once and Cure once
- Lavos Core: Dino Tail 11-12 times, Confuse 7-8 times and Haste once
[inichi later commented...] Replace some of Crono's confuse with some Ayla's Dino Tail in the Lavos Core battle. In fact, there is insane luck concerning accurate key response needed to reach the Lavos Core battle and have the center bit change the ages in the ideal order. I was so afraid to spoil the best chance of winning that I chose killing the right bit before it revives the center bit as a safe move. But, there are some times between it relieves and uses Dreamless. So here, you can replace some of Crono's Confuses with some of Ayla's Dino Tail. Fewer attacks will surely save a lot of time. Besides, Crono's second Confuse to the center bit is an unnecessary attack by my mistake. I think it is this last segment that the most improvement could be found in my run. (20-30 seconds?)
- Room for Improvement?
After reviewing the run, inichi made several notes regarding spots that could be improved to make a perfect run.
- Get a critical hit on the last Roly Rider in Guardia Forest (3 seconds)
- Don't get a Tonic, Revive, or Heal at the Cathedral (2 seconds)
- Improve fight with Yakra to best time (inichi's best is 10 seconds shorter)
- Get another critical hit on the Dragon Tank battle (3 seconds)
- Get a Shelter faster after that battle (1 second)
- Improve transition and activities in 2300 A.D. (3 seconds)
- Use the first Cyclone to more than 2 Alkalines at the Factory, which probably will enable you to kill all enemies before being attacked, and use HealBeam on Crono and Lucca only once (7 seconds)
- Don't pick up a Mid Ether on the way to Heckran (2 seconds)
- Defeat Zombor before the bottom portion attacks and save the game faster (6 seconds)
- Run right through the enemies prior to the Masamune at Denadoro Mts (5 seconds)
- Don't stop in the Forest Maze (2 seconds)
- Perform luck manipulation to get EvilWeevil to dig the lower right hole faster, and don't miss saving data (15 seconds)
- Improve transition from Reptite Lair to Melchior (3 seconds)
- In Magus's Lair, kill enemies on the way to Flea before they attack to decrease Mid Tonic usage (5 seconds)
- In Magus's Lair, complete the guillotine room faster, don't equip Frog with the Dark Mail, and don't use a Shelter (5 seconds)
- Removing Frog's Dark Mail at the Dactyl's nest is no longer needed (1 second)
- Don't forget to save data while fighting the 16 enemies at the Tyrano Lair (1 second)
- Don't equip Marle with the Speed Belt so that a higher tech point enemy mix is preserved (2 seconds)
- Don't switch Marle to Robo before the Azala battle (2 seconds)
- Changing Robo and Marle in front of Enhasa is no longer needed (12-15 seconds)
- Higher TP allows Ayla to learn skills without fighting three mutants in 2300 A.D. (10 seconds)
- For the Retinite sequence, don't heal Marle, give her two tabs, or get stuck in the sand (8 seconds)
- Give the Magic Tab to Marle before fighting Lavos's true form (-1 second)
- Improve the Lavos battle with aforementioned strategies (20-30 seconds)
inichi's note: Judging from the total number, 3:32 would be possible if you don't settle for anything less through most of the run, and you might get 3:31 if the in-game clock is on your side. However, 3:30 will be impossible unless some new strategy is found.
Advanced Gameplay, Possibilities, and Sequence Breaking
Running Away Quickly and Tech Selection
Discovered by inichi
This enables you to quickly run away from the escapable battles. When the battle begins, hold the L and R buttons, push the A button on tech or item command and push the B button. Then the moment you push B button, you can run away from the battle. By using this technique, I succeeded in running through the four battles in Magus's Lair without receiving any attacks. It saved a lot of time. There's another reason to do this -- to prepare for the next battle by selecting the tech I'm going to use beforehand. For example, I select Cyclone, which is used in the first battle in Tyrano Lair, in the battle in Dactyl's nest before running away. And I select Haste just before Retinite dies because the next tech Marle uses is Haste in the Lavos battle. There are a lot of places I did the same thing in my video.
Delaying the Cotton Candy Scene
Discovered by hero of the day
Due to the way Chrono Trigger handles PC detection, it is possible to reach the exit leading to the Telepod sequence without being stopped by Marle for cotton candy. However, the scene cannot be avoided when returning to the overworld, even after playing through the 600 A.D. Queen Leene / Cathedral sequence.
TAS Route List and Notes
written by inichi
Finally, I made it. I'm sorry for keeping the entire movie-making process secret and not posting any WIP on the forum. The expected improvement was so gigantic that I couldn't resist an inpulse to make the run surprising. Also, the submission text is still incomplete. I think this is a bad thing. However, considering these facts:
- Most part of the run is totally new stuff. So it would take a long time to cover them all, even in Japanese, my native language.
- This is a long-term project; I started making the run in August 2007.
- Chrono Trigger is a very popular RPG, and not a few people have been interested in how the run is going.
I thought it would be better to submit the run as fast as I could than to write up full texts and submit it. I will upload the rest of the submission texts little by little. Emulator Details
- Recorded onsnes9x-1.51-rerecording-svn-r51
- Left+Right/Up+Down - off
- Volume Envelope Height Reading - off
- Fake Mute desync workaround - on
- Sync samples with sound CPU - off
Note: To play the movie correctly, you must use Snes9x1.51 v5 or newer version; otherwise the movie will desync in about 1.5 minutes. You can get the latest Snes9x 1.51 here. YouTube link is also available. Thanks to FODA! Run Attributes
- Abuses glitches
- Abuses programming errors
- Aims for fastest possible time
- Corrupts save data
- Manipulates luck
- Genre: RPG
Note: I'd highly recommend you skip 1:45-3:45 because that part is very repetitive for abusing the item duplication glitch.
About the game
Chrono Trigger is a memorable role-playing game developed and published by Square in 1995. The story is about a boy named Crono who travels through time with his friends to save the world from an alien parasite, Lavos. The game is also recognized as one of the best RPG, attracting a lot of new fans even today.
About the movie
This is a 3 hour 59 minute 48 second improvement over Hero of the Day's current published run. The improvement mostly came from massive new tricks and glitches. See the below "Tricks and Glitches" section for details.
Tricks and Glitches
In this section, I will give a full explanation of all glitches and tricks I used in the run.
This is a glitch to duplicate items by loading a corrupted save file.
Mechanics: It takes 2 frames to save the game in Chrono Trigger. some values between 7E2400 and 7E264F are overwritten in SRAM in order in the first frame; the rest of them and values in addresses after 7E264F are overwritten in order in the second frame. That means you can get a half-saved save file if you reset the game in the first frame of saving. Off course, this is an invalid procedure for the game, so the target data is deleted. In Chrono Trigger, however, you can load the corrupted data by pressing A and up/down key at the same time in the load screen.
Also, for the reason mentioned above, you can only affects on 7E2400-264F by resetting in saving. What are in those memory addresses are like this:
- 7E2400-FF: Item ID (last 14 bytes are unused).
- 7E2500-FF: Item number (last 14 bytes are unused).
- 7E2600-4F: Crono's status
How many addresses between 7E2400-264F are overwritten in the first frame are slightly influenced on the previous key presses and cursor movements. Basically, you can manipulate it to some extent by changing them or costing a few frames. To make things easier, I used a lua script.
How to duplicate an item? Item duplications are basically classified into three methods. I'll explain for each method.
Explanation of the chart: Using data is a data that you use to save. Object data is a data that are saved in the glitch-use. Result data is a data you get after the glitch-use. Bronze means Bronze Helm; Hide means Hide Cap. Null means there are no items in the slot. Numbers next to them means item number.
Using data Object data Result data Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Bronze 2 Hide 1 Bronze 1 Hide 1 Bronze 2 Hide 2
This method is kind of switching. Only item ID is overwritten, and you can get two items with different ID. This is done in one reset.
Method 2: Using data Object data Result data Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Null 0 Bronze 2 Hide 1 Bronze 1 Hide 1 Bronze 2 Bronze 2
This method is basically the same with the first one except that the below item ID isn't overwritten. As a result, you can get the same items that have different numbers. This requires extreme precision, unless you insert some null slots around the border, which is slower. This is also done in one reset.
Method 3: Phase 1: Using data Object data Result data Hide 1 Null 0 Hide 1 Bronze 2 Null 0 Bronze 2 Null 0 Hide 1 Null 1 Null 0 Bronze 2 Null 2 Phase2: Using data Object data Result data Null 0 Hide 1 Null 1 Null 0 Bronze 2 Null 2 Hide 1 Null 1 Hide 1 Bronze 2 Null 2 Bronze 2 Phase3: Using data Object data Result data Hide 1 Null 1 Hide 1 Bronze 2 Null 2 Bronze 2 Null 0 Hide 1 Hide 1 Null 0 Bronze 2 Bronze 2
This method is the most complicated, but most powerful one of all. With this method, you can extend items over the above null slots. This actually can be done with Method 2. However, it is much slower because it requires you to buy other items for replacement in each use, which takes much time. This method also requires extraordinary precision, unless you insert some null slots around the border, which is slower. You need to reset three times for this method.
How they were used in the run? Duplicating Hide Caps and Bronze Helms and having them in 98 slots with three methods. This is what I did in the first 3.5 minutes in the run. I'll write it down step by step:
First, I bought 1 revive and 20 Tonics from the merchant at the fair for 400G, Crono's pocket money. With Method 1, Two items ID were switched, resulting in 20 Revives and 1 Tonic, both of which were immediately sold. With that money, I bought a Bronze Helm and 5 other items from two merchants. Second, with Method 2, I changed 5 items into Bronze Helms and Hide Caps. Now I had Bronze Helms and Hide Caps in 7 slots. Finally, with Method 3, I extended them over the above null slots. The actual pace is like this: 7-13-25-49-98. Thus, I got Hide Caps and Bronze Helms in 98 slots.
Having the same type of equipment in 98 slots allows you to access various memory addresses via the equipment screen in Chrono trigger. This is actually the only purpose of all item duplications I did in the first 3.5 minutes. I'll explain the detail in the below section.
Accessing various memory addresses.
As stated above, Having same type of equipment in 98 slots allows you to access various memory addresses that you normally can't.
Mechanics: When you call on the individual equipment screen, item ID that corresponds the equipment type that the cursor currently points out is stored in 7E0F00-60; item number in 7E0F61-C2 as well. All they appear in the equipment selection screen. Yes, as you can see, each has only 96 bytes for their purpose. So if you have the same type of equipment in more than 96 slots, item numbers will flow into 7E0FC3 or later addresses. It is required to flow them into 7E0FC4-6 to access various memory addresses. This is why you need to have them in 98 slots at least. I write down the function of those addresses:
- 7E0FC4: Decides how many the cursor can move in the character selection screen.
- 7E0FC5: Decides where the cursor is in the equipment screen. It also works as an offset when you equip, which is stored in C2A4AB-A5AA, and it works like this: 7E2600+xx (in Crono's case)
- 7E0FC6: Decides how many the cursor can move in the equipment selection screen.
In my run, I accessed and overwrote these three addresses: 7E2985, 7E2980 and 7E2990.
- 7E2985: An address for a third reserve character. You cannot access 7E2983-84 because any appropriate address doesn't have 13-15, 63-65, B3-B5. I stored 0A in 7E2985, which saved a lot of time when accessing 7E2980. Also, although the address is for a third character, it is treated as it is just under the main three characters when no one is in the first or second reserve.
- 7E2980: An address for the first party character. You can't access 7E2981-82 since any appropriate address doesn't have 11,12,61,62 B1, and B2. This was rather inconvenient, but not much. This address was heavily accessed and overwritten throughout the run to call out a character who must be in a cutscene or to use "Character warping" trick that will be picked up later.
- 7E2990: An address for the configuration setting. By modifying the configuration setting, you can store any value out of 256 in the address. Because you are accessing it via the equipment screen, if you equip something with it, the value in the address appears as an item in the item inventory. The thing is, you can retrieve any item from this address.
The alternative way to retrieve an item is to use an address of one character of name strings. The problem with that plan is, once you retrieve an item from it, you can't use the character for that purpose again. I needed three different items in the run, Bike Key, Elixir and Green Dream. That means I have to change the item order twice to withdraw an item from another character, which would consume time.
Every time you open the pause menu, all your three character X-Y coordinates are stored in proper addresses. However, if a missing number is in your party and he is not in the first, the appropriate address is not updated. And then, if you replace the missing number with a normal character, the character appears on the coordinates which was stored in when you previously opened the menu. Now a second or third character warping happens. After you use the warping trick at least once in an area, coordinates stored in the addresses always take the same value with a normal character one even if a missing number is in your party. Therefore, you can make even the first character warp by keeping the missing number in the party in the first warp, and just replacing him with a normal character.
Very unfortunately, this isn't applied to overworld coordinates. If it was feasible, the run would shrink by another 10 minutes.
Normally, a second and third character mimic the first character's movement. However, if he is a missing number, he can't mimic the first. Instead, the movement he should have mimicked stacks up in proper addresses until a counter reachs 128 and erases them all. With enough such stacks, if you replace a normal character with the missing number, the character starts sliding, mimicking the movement that has stacked up. While sliding, the character can go through any obstacles.
To make the most of this, you need to use the character warping once or change a character order beforehand so that missing number's next X-Y coordinates could be subject to the normal character's one. Otherwise, a character called out will warp far away and start sliding there, which is unfavorable.
Marle join skip
If you talk to either one of the two merchants with Marle in the party, he sets a flag to remove the men who block the way to Telepod area. Thus, you can entirely skip the marle joining cutscene and enter Telepod area.
Alternatively, you can go through those men in the same way as used in the Factory, which will be mentioned in the below section. When you go back from Telepod area, however, they block your path, and you have to go through them again. So it's a waste of time, though it might be useful for a new game+ run.
Pause menu abuse
By opening the pause menu and leaving it when the screen starts to fade out, you can have a few frames to move in another direct. If you repeat this again and again, you can get to a point that would trigger a certain event, keeping the fade-out status. If you set a flag that determines if the event completed and let the fade-out be done, you are brought to the previous room and it is considered the event already finished.
This trick could have been featured as a main timesaver to skip some boss battles. However, due to the discovery of the more sequence-break glitch, the trick was used in only one place moderately: Telepod area, to skip Lucca’s dialogue.
Playing around at the Telepod area
Unless Crono picks up the pendant, you never lose control, which provides a first huge play-around time. This is useful not only to mess around, but also to make a moving counter of Taban and Lucca faster. Normally, the moving counter of them are incremented by 1 per 4 frames. However, if you keep touching him/her, it is incremented by 1 per 1 frame. Also this is a necessary step to completely skip Middle Ages. See the below section for details.
Middle Ages skip
In every gate transition, a flag that determines if you are in warping is set a few frames before the fade-out completes. That is, you can escape the area with the flag is on if you interrupt another fade-out, which was the entrance of Telepod area in my run's case. If you enter the gate area with the flag is on, the game considers you just got through the gate, and consequently open the gate with your character. In Telepod area's case, the game also considers you just returned from Middle Ages, and increments the storyline counter enough to trigger the trial events. A big timesaver, certainly. Also, Marle must be in the party when you enter the castle; otherwise the game freezes right after entering the castle.
Alternatively, I tested to go to Guardia Forest gate area instead of entering the Telepod area right soon, hoping to entirely skip the trial cutscene. As expected, Magus appeared from the gate; however, the gate disappeared soon and I wasn't able to go into it, proving it not useful for the run.
A flag that triggers the candy cutscene is set when Marle joins in Crono. Since Crono and Marle never met in a intended way in the run, the candy cutscene also never happened.
Getting out of the trial
In the flashback scene of the trial, the game makes the first character appear there. And if the first character isn't Crono, you can move him at free. If he is a missing number, nobody shows up there, but you can still open the menu. And then, if you call out a normal character, it meets the condition of "Character warping trick" and he appears in the same position with where you previously opened the menu. In my run, it is the south entrance of Leene’s Bell area. At this point, the storyline counter is enough to trigger the Marle runaway cutscene. Thus, you can skip the latter half of the trial and all the events in the jail. A huge time-saver, off course.
Also, Lucca must be in the party when you enter the castle; otherwise the game freezes after Marle runs out of the castle.
Arris Dome skip
Johnny appears at Lab 32 if you enter there with a Bike Key. That means you can completely skip Arris Dome, where you can get a Bike key from Doan after you finish all the events there. This may be not intense, but definitely a solid timesaver.
Bike Race skip
This is very similar to Middle Ages skip. A flag that determines if the race was over is set a few frames before a fade-out to the race track completes. Also, the fade-out is slower than the usual screen transition one. The thing is, if you start a fade-out to overworld just after you turn the key, you can escape to the overworld with the flag is set. "Character warping trick" only makes it possible, so you need a set up beforehand. I used a north edge of Lab 16 east for that purpose because it has the same Y coordinate with the south entrance of Lab 32. You may notice I did a strange behavior in Lab 16 east. That is exactly the set up for Bike Race skip.
Alternatively, you can directly get the needed Y coordinate at the south entrance of Lab 32. However, it requires to go out and in Lab 32 to avoid the freeze that results from the lack of characters. After all, it will be slower.
Warping to the main area of Lab 32
Once that flag is set, the entrance to the Lab 32 main area is activated. In Chrono trigger, most entrance never causes the fading out unless you move in there. That entrance, however, doesn't require such movement, and lets you go into the next area by just standing there. If you enter any location followed by a missing number, the game considers you are at (255,0), the right above place, which is in the entrance of Lab 32 main area. So the game immediately sends you into the main area.
There is another reason I had to use this trick: If you enter there followed by a normal character, Johnny tries to speak, but since he is outside the screen, he can't do it and the game freezes. Using this trick is the only way to avoid the freeze and advance the game.
Going through the barrier sprite
You can vertically go through the barrier sprite if it is outside the screen. To achieve this, you have to enter the room with a missing number in the first character. By this, the game considers you at (255,0) and then focus the camera on that point, which allows you to go through the barrier.
Alternatively, you can go through the barrier by using "Character sliding" trick instead. However, it requires one extra menu-opening, so I didn't use it, though I had no choice to use it when trapped out. Because this time it was required to move horizontally to go through the barrier.
Playing around with R-series
R-series bounce off only Crono. That means you can move around during the cutscene by fitting other character in the first, providing a second huge play-around time. It should be noted that Marle and Lucca won't do because they will take their regular position and just stand still. Like the Telepod area, this free-time is useful for shaving off frames. I did these two things for that purpose: 1) Erase the dialogue screen of R-series or Robo before they pop up by getting them out of the screen at the right timing. 2) Increments the moving counter of R-series by touching one of them at certain timing.
Normally, after Robo is knocked down, you become unable to move a character anymore. However, if you interrupt a fight with Alkalines just before losing control, R-series are also caught in the battle. This was supposed to be the fight with only Alkalines, so you can escape from them. Thus, you can gain control again. When the real R-series battle is about to start is the best timing you interrupt another Alkalines battle. With this, you can not only escape from them again, but also increments the storyline counter enough to open the door in Proto Dome.
An escape counter builds up even when you open the technique or item menu in battle. The thing is, you can escape from a battle without being attacked by setting the battle mode "Wait", opening the either menu and holding the L+R buttons. This trick was featured in all the three battles in the Factory.
Robo repair skip
If you enter Proto Dome from overworld after the R-series fight, the game considers you just dragged Robo into, and make characters appear in front of the door for repair. That area is actually in warning area of the below enmies, so the characters start running down for fighting, though a fight starts halfway. When the fight finishes, you gain control and the repair cutscene never starts. At this point, the door to the gate room already opens; consequently, you can completely skip the Robo repair cutscene.
Also, when you enter Proto Dome, the first character must be Crono for these two reasons: 1) If you enter the gate room without Crono, the game freezes. 2) If a character is other than Crono, Marle, Lucca and Robo, he/she appears near the entrance, which doesn't awake the enmies and the game freezes.
Playing around at the End of Time
When you speak to snoring Gasper, you are given a few frames to move around until he starts talking. And if you take the opportunity of talking to Robo twice, you can avoid losing control. This is actually temporary, and you will lose control as usual after you skip the dialogue. However, if you check the healing bucket right after skipping the dialogue, three party characters get together and you can gain control again, providing a third huge play-around time. In the non-glitched run, the trick saves little time, only allowing you to get slightly faster to the point that Gasper shouts "Hey!" to Crono. In the glitched run, however, the trick serves as the set up to perform "Lavos Shell skip" more smoothly and dramatically. I'll pick it up later.
If you talk to Spekkio while you are still running around the room, he claims to do it over. However, if you continue and complete it keeping the dialogue screen open, he thinks it as succeeded. This doesn't save any frames, but I added it to the run because I felt it would slightly enhance the entertainment value.
Lavos Shell skip
This trick makes full use of the characteristics of gate transition as well as Middle Ages skip does. This is definitely the most difficult trick to pull off. Here are some important facts:
- In every gate transition, your starting X-Y coordinates in the next location is set a few frames before a fade-out completes.
- If you open the menu in that tiny window, you can overwrite them with the current X-Y coordinates.
- If your characters appear at (7-8, 0-8), the entrance into Lavos's body, in the day of Lavos, they immediately jump into Lavos's body. The reason is that the entrance has the same features as the Lab 32 one: Fade-out occurs by just being at the appropriate position.
The thing is, if you manage to open the menu at (7-8, 0-8) at the End of Time just before the fade-out to the day of Lavos completes, you can completely skip Shell Lavos. Normally, this is out of the question. In the first place, (7-8, 0-8) is outside the moveable area. Second, you lose control right after checking the bucket to the day of Lavos, which means you can neither move nor open the menu anymore. To solve this problem, I used the following glitches:
- If you run around the End of Time autofiring the A button with a dialogue screen opened, the second and third character eventually fall behind the first.
- If the two are too far behind the first, they stop catching up with the first and newly start it with reference to the position they stopped. Note: You need to use the trick "Playing around at the End of Time" to reproduce these two glitches in a timely manner.
- Hold two gate messages, choose yes for each. Then if the second message screen closes just before the rest characters, who run at the first to fly for the first gate waping, joins in him, you can restore the function to open the menu even while flying.
- Under these conditions, if you change the order of characters twice, you can get out of flying and freely move.
To pull off these four glitches are required to skip Shell Lavos. Here is what I did in the run:
First, use the "Playing around" trick and get the other characters out of the screen with the first and second glitch while Gasper gives the long speech. Second, replace the three characters with Ayla, Magus and $17 when Gasper finishes the speech. The reason I call out Magus and Ayla is they don't take any action when Spekkio tries to give Magic, which saves a few hundred frames. Although it's not visible, Lucca, the third character, is at (8,0) at this point. These coordinates values are stored in the proper addresses, which will be really helpful later. Third, enter Spekkio's room and acquire Magic from Spekkio, no one actually gets it though. Now the bucket to the day of Lavos is activated. Fourth, check the bucket so that the Gasper's warning message doesn't hinder the third and fourth glitches.
Fifth, talk to Gasper because it is needed to show his dialogue to hold more than one gate message. Sixth, hold the Proto gate message, which is the shortest one of the three, and check the bucket. Seventh, use the third and fourth glitches and get right to the save point. Since the Lavos gate message was the first, warping to the day of Lavos is going to occur at this point. It should be noted that (8,0) is still stored in the addresses because only the first and second character were swithced. Eighth, right after the starting X-Y coordinates in the day of Lavos is loaded, use the character warp trick, send the first character into (8,0) and save the game. The save point effect lasts for a few frames after you leave there, so that's no problem to save on that position. Now the save file includes the day of Lavos as the current location, and (8,0) as the current position. Finally, reset the game and load the save file. Magus appears at (8,0) in the day of Lavos. As I stated above, that position is in the entrance to Lavos's body. Therefore, the game sends him into the inner body in a blink.
Now we've done Lavos Shell skip!
It is extremely difficult to pull off, but the result is priceless. For the record, this is my favorite trick of all I have discovered.
Normally, when a character with the Green Dream is defeated, he automatically revives. However, when two RNG conditions are satisfied, the game temporarily considers him as dead. and if the other two characters are really dead at that point, he becomes unable to use an item on enemies instead of himself. If you use an Elixir on an enemy and the sum of its current HP and the HP heal is more than 32768(0x8000), that causes overflow and does instant kill. Inner Lavos has 20000 HP; Lavos Core has 30000 HP. Therefore, you can immediately finish those battles with the glitch. This is why I had to get a Green Dream and an Elixer from the configuration setting address.
Also, for some reason, the glitch never occurs if the character has any status effect such as protect or chaos on him/her. I guess this is why the trick had not discovered for a long time.
Useful key combinations
There are three useful key combinations to be mentioned:
X: If you press the X button in battle, you can point at an enemy as an attack target wherever the cursor is. This was helpful for targeting Lavos in using the instant kill glitch.
Start and Up/Down/L/R: Normally, you need 2 frames to move the cursor, as you have to insert null frame in each key press. However, if you press either the Up or Down key holding the start key, the cursor moves per one frame, which makes it possible very rapid cursor movements. The same goes for the L/R buttons. It normally requires 5 frames to scroll three pages; however, holding the start key reduces it to 4 frames. It should be noted, however, that it can be applied in only three places: the item inventory, the equipment selection screen, and the shopping window. In battle, for example, holding the start button will do nothing. This really comes in handy in a save-corruption run because you have to move up and down in the item inventory multiple times to perform the item duplication glitch properly.
B and Start: Once these two buttons are pressed in the pause menu or the character change menu, every frame is treated as the B button pressed until you leave the menu. Thus, you can immediately get out of the menu no matter where you are. Note that this is slightly faster than the normal method because it requires null frame in each B button presses.
(in no particuarly order)
- Bisqwit - For running the whole TAS Videos community. He is also one of them who tried to make a CT TAS.
- Geiger - Using his Snes9x debugger, I could develop the item duplication glitch into the setup for a game-breaking glitch. Also his various texts on his CT hacking results were very informative and helpful.
- Gocha - I learned how to make a TAS from his weblog. He also has fixed various bugs and implemented some good features on Snes9x 1.51.
- Hero of the Day - Watching his TAS, I decided to make a CT speedrun. He developed lots of good boss strategies, all of which are just plain awesome. I used most of them in my speedrun, some in my test TAS.
- Mashmallow - I referred his movie on SDA several times when I tried to break his record.
- Molotov - He introduced my first CT speedrun to SDA and TAS videos, which broadened my perspective and has finally brought me here.
- Nanashi(七誌) - He implied there were more tricks that I had not known then, which motivated me to discover new tricks more and more.
- Okuto(オクト) - A Japanese CT speedrunner. It was his reports on his run that I first knew about CT speedrun.
- Reudy(ロイディ) - A very skillful Japanese CT speedrunner. he made a 100% CT run on console and even found some useful tricks for TAS.
- Ryuuou Leo(竜王レオ) - A website manager of Japanese CT site, providing a community to discuss CT speedrun. He is also a good CT player.
- Saturn - I learned how to make an optimized CT TAS by analyzing his new game+ TAS.
- Tilus - At the beginning of making a CT speedrun, I followed his posts one by one, which were really suggestive and helpful.
And finally, I would really thank to all the people on TASvideos. If you had not been, I would never be able to make this run. I'd really appreciate it.
I hope you will enjoy the run!
TAS New Game+ Notes
- Recorded on Snes9x 1.51 v5
- Left+Right/Up+Down - off
- Volume Envelope Height Reading - off
- Fake Mute desync workaround - on
- Sync samples with sound CPU - off
I confirmed that the movie synced fine on the original 1.51 as well, so it will probably sync on any later version.
- New Game+ mode (transfers items/status from a save file into a New Game)
- Aims for fastest possible time
- Manipulates luck
- Abuses glitches
- Genre: RPG
About the movie
This is my second attempt at Chrono Trigger New Game+ run. It is 8661 frames (2 minutes and 24.35 seconds) faster than the previous one. The improvements came mostly from a new glitch that allows all characters to equip a Bronze Fist, but other minor timesaver was also found.
About the version change
I switched to the Japanese version because the glitch in the English version, unlike that in the Japanese version, doesn't allow any characters to equip a Bronze Fist. Bronze Fist deals 9999 damage on a critical hit regardless of enemy's defense. This means that there would be a significant delay on each boss fight in the English version. Even considering benefits from Japanese faster texts and taking them all away, the Japanese version will still be at least 1.5 minutes faster than the English version. More details about the glitch can be seen in the new tricks section.
In the previous run, I used Saturn's maxed-out save file that had been validated. This time, however, I needed to use my own save file because I decided to switch to the Japanese version as stated above. To clarify, I recorded the whole setting up process, starting from clear SRAM. I believe it would work as a good reference and verify the validity of the run.
In this section, I will describe new tricks I used in making the run. It should be noted, however, that all these tricks will not show up in the movie. They were performed only in the setting up process.
Loading a save file that shows "No Data"
By pressing A+Up/Down at the same time on the load screen, you can access a save file that says "No Data". Depending on SRAM conditions and the data selection mode, the following three cases are possible. If you use the trick:
- Against a clear save file on the normal mode, the screen will black out and never recover.
- Against a dirty save file on the normal mode or the new game+ mode, the previous save file will be loaded.
- Against a clear save file on the new game+ mode, abnormal values will be loaded, and a new game+ will start.
The first is obviously useless. It may seem the second isn't of any use, but it was actually really important for the run, which will be taken up later. The third is the core of the trick; let us go into detail.
As with many other SNES games, at first 96 is stored in all SRAMs in Chrono Trigger. In the third case, 96 is stored in various memory addresses such as for the item inventory and character's stats, and then a new game+ starts. Naturally, that causes many strange things to the game, which is "the glitch" that I have called. I will list some glitch features that are strongly related to the run：
- Every character can equip any equipment except for two kind of weapons.
There are important differences on equippable weapons between the (U) ROM and the (J) ROM (see list below).
equippable non-equippable (U) Bow, Gun, Broadsword, Arm, Scythe Sword, Fist (J) Sword, Gun, Broadsword, Fist, Scythe Bow, Arm
As seen in the list, Fist type weapons, including Bronze Fist, are equippable only in the (J) ROM.
- Almost all stats for every character are 96.
The only exceptions are speed, HP and MP. Speed is 16 because that is the limit value; HP and MP are 24672 because they are given two bytes. This feature makes it possible to get almost maxed-out stats for all characters without using any tabs.
- Every character's techniques are limited.
Every character is allowed to use only the 2nd and 3rd single and dual techs. You can retrieve the 1st single tech of Crono, Marle, Lucca and Frog by having them meet Spekkio. However, there is no way to learn any other techs, since no enemies won't give Tech Points in a glitched data anymore.
- A great deal of lag occurs during a battle.
Roughly estimated, the lag will make a battle 30% slower than a comparable battle in a normal data. Fortunately, that kind of lag can be completely avoided by keeping the item screen open.
- Ayla's Bronze Fist doesn't appear.
Ayla's special ability, which automatically equips certain kind of fist depending on her level, is lost forever. Ayla's level is 96 in this case, so she should have a Bronze Fist, but the glitch doesn't allow it.
In Chrono Trigger, you can change equipment, but cannot unequip it except when you are on the Blackbird. However, De-equip trick lets you do it anytime if certain conditions are met.
- No equipment that the target character can change are in the item inventory.
- To give an example, if you want to unequip Crono's Armor, you must sell out every armor that he can equip.
- Press L+down or R+up simultaneously on the equipment screen, and the previous character's equipment will be remained on the left screen. (It is required the cursor doesn't loop back in the key presses (by "the cursor doesn't loop back", I mean the cursor doesn't jump from the first character to the last and vice versa or from the weapon grid, which is located on the top, to the Accessory, which is located on the bottom and vice versa).)
- Press A, and a blank space will be called to the left.
- Press A again, and you can equip the character with "null"―unequip the character's equipment.
On a related note, the trick also has useful features other than the mere de-equip stuff. However, I won't go into further since it is not important for the new game+ TAS at all. For those who are interested in, check out this post.
Transferring items from one data to the other
If you reset the game one frame after you save a data, only SRAM for the item inventory and Crono's status is overwritten. As a result of reseting the game in the middle of save processing, a target data shows "No Data". However, as it turned out, now that you can restore a deleted data with the data selection trick, there is no problem.
Notes on SRAM overwritten:
- Item ID is almost always overwritten; item number is overwritten only if the trick is used against a dirty save file. That means you can duplicate all items to 96 by using the trick against a clear save file.
- Apparently Crono's status has a 70-80% chance of being overwritten.
Performing the tricks
So far I have discussed the new tricks. In this section, I will focus on how they were combined and performed in the setting up run.
First, I unequipped Ayla's Bronze Fist with de-equip trick on a normal data. Second, I transferred it to a clear save file. Luck was manipulated so that Crono's status wouldn't be overwritten, leading to only Item ID overwriting and item duplication. Finally, I pulled off the glitch, using Data selection trick (you might think the save file is not entirely clear at this point, but overwriting only item ID doesn't affect the glitch performance).
Thus I got the glitched save file in which has Bronze Fists, which can be seen at the beginning of the run. For possible reference, I will provide a demonstration movie, showcasing all the three tricks in a short length.
Note: Make sure that your Snes9x 1.51 is 5 or newer version before playing the movie; otherwise, the trick won't be reproduced properly and it will desync in the end.
Detailed commentary on the movie
In this section, I will give a full description on the movie place by place, especially for different parts from the previous run. Note, however, that I didn't pick up any frame gain/lose from:
- Loading scene. This is highly rely on what emulator and ROM you are using. Since I used the different emulator and ROM from the previous run, it was very difficult to tell which was influencing on this. For ease of comparison, I decided to let it untouched.
- Text scene. All through the run, Japanese faster texts were helpful in saving a frame. However, I didn't think that kind of improvement was a real one because it was done without putting any effort in, hence I excluded them from counting. For reference, I suppose the text differences would be around 1000 frames in total.
The only way to change a critical hit RNG in the first battle is to load a save file on a different timing. I load the save file 55 frames late. This is a huge delay, but there is no RNG that will make a critical hit happen on the best timing in every three battles before that timing. 50 frames lost (I had already delayed it by 5 frames in the previous run).
Battle mode screen I select Active. As I mentioned in the tricks section, you can reduce lag with the item screen opened. Wait is not suitable for this purpose, because it prevents the active bar from building up too.
Crono's name screen
I give Crono one-character name. The initial reason is that this is the Japanese version, and it was expected that most people here wouldn't care what he would be called in Japanese. I believe it wouldn't sacrifice any entertainment value. Since "Crono" is composed of three characters in Japanese, 2 frames will be cut off every time his name is called. 5 frames lost (but it will pay off little by little).
Lucca's name screen I keep Lucca's name as it is. Shortening her name doesn't save any frame because it will appear only twice in the run.
Put Crono in a better position when returning the pendant to Marle. 2 frames saved.
Marle's name screen
For the same reason as Crono, I give Marle single character name. 5 frames lost (but it will be rewarded eventually).
As usual, this is a good chance to change equipment with slight delay. Here are all equipment I give Crono and Marle:
- Bronze Fists to Crono and Marle to deal 9999 damage.
- Haste Helms to Crono and Marle to double their speed.
- A Berserker to Crono to get the best critical hit RNG at the end of Lavos Shell battle.
The first two will be self-explanatory; the last may sound a bit strange. In the Lavos Shell battle section, I will take it up in detail. 6 frames gained by less equipment change. 1 frame gained by pressing Up instead of B in getting out of the shop, eliminating a null frame. In total, 7 frames saved.\
Change the timing of entering into the area that sets the Candy cutscene, which allows you to pass the area without stopping. 5 frames saved.
Before Lavos Shell battle
Menu Entrance trick is used to change the battle speed to 2. That must be 2 because you cannot attack twice preceding the Hand Sickles of Inner Lavos at highest speed. In the previous run, I needed to set the menu cursor remaining function to reduce the amount of cursor movement. This time, however, I don't have to change anything except for the battle speed. 2 frames saved.
Lavos Shell battle
Weapon attack always increments the critical hit RNG for the next battle by 2; Berserker has additional increment before that process, which is depending on what an existing enemy's ID is. This additional increase is necessary to get the two critical hits in the Inner Lavos battle. This is why I gave the Berserker to Crono at the shop. Rapid cursor movement doesn't generate any lag in the battle, but affects the duration of screen transition. I will take it up in possible improvements section again. 1121 frames saved.
Character Attack Type Damage Total Damage Note Crono Normal hit 390 390 Lavos Shell has 10000 HP. Crono Critical hit 9999 10389 Fatal.
In the planning phase, I tried an alternative strategy:
- Equip Marle with a Berserker as well. Marle's shot has shorter animation than Crono's critical hit. If it were done on a normal data, it would definitely be faster. In a glitched data, however, you cannot prevent lag from occurring with the item screen opend anymore. Because lag is too much, it would be slower in the end.
After Lavos Shell battle
I change Crono's accessory from Berserker to Bandana. I have to minimize the RNG increase in the next battle to get the best RNG for the Core battle, and thus Berserker's additional increment is not necessary anymore. In the previous run, I healed Crono's MP once. Changing one kind of equipment takes much time than using one item. 12 frames lost.
Inner Lavos battle
All thanks to Berserker's additional increment, I've got the favorable RNG, which not only arises critical hits in the first two blows, but also offers a RNG that is close to the best RNG in the Core battle. The fastest strategy is to use Crono's normal attack once and Marle's critical hit twice. However, I have to twist it a bit to get the exact target RNG. Here are two things I do:
- In Marle's first turn, Have her attack after Lavos uses "does nothing" action. - "Does nothing" action increments the RNG like your character's attack does, but the increment varies depending on what the current RNG is.
- In Crono's first turn, use Slash instead of weapon attack. - Slash always increases the RNG by 1 unless it is used at multi-enemies.
Slight delay happens due to those changes. However, Both are necessary to minimize the RNG increase and get the exact target RNG in the Core battle. 3396 frames saved.
Character Attack Type Damage Total Damage Note Marle Critical hit 9999 9999 The inner body has 20000 HP. Crono Slash 36 10035 Marle Critical hit 9999 20034 Fatal. Once the inner body is dead, both arms also die.
Before Lavos Core battle
Unlike the previous run, Crono doesn't need any MP refill. All I have to do is enter and leave the status menu on the fastest timing. 57 frames saved.
Lavos Core battle
As a result of precise luck manipulation, I've realized a 1/256 chance of getting 3 critical hits out of the first 4 hits. This is the only RNG that allows you to sweep out all Lavos bits before they take any actions. I thus simply fire all the critical hits to the right bit. 3463 frames saved.
Character Attack Type Damage Total Damage Note Crono Critical hit 9999 9999 The right bit has 30000 HP. Marle Normal hit 29 10028 Crono Critical hit 9999 20027 Marle Critical hit 9999 30026 Fatal. Once the left bit is dead, the right and the center also dies.
Here is an alternative strategy that I tried in the planning phase:
- Switch the roles of Crono and Marle. Crono's normal attack is faster than the critical hit; the aim is shorter animation again. Under this RNG, however, Marle always takes her turn following Crono. That means, you have to wait for her turn enables, move the cursor on her and attack. Unfortunately, the delay is enough for the right bit to interrupt the final blow. It is feasible if you set down the battle speed 3, but that will be slower in the end.
After Lavos Core battle
Apparently, if you beat the center bit before it uses Time Warp, Lavos roar happens rather late. It's ironic that the quick kill results in losing the time. 96 frames lost.
End of Time
When the door opens, I put Crono in a position where it is 4 pixels closer to the door, but still keeps the amount of scrolling unchanged. 2 frames saved.
The only thing I can think of is to reduce the duration of screen transitions. Although the duration is consistent in most cases, it varies between a couple of frames in a few cases, especially around the three Lavos battles. Considering that even one key press affects the duration, I think NMI might be related in that. Due to its randomness, I mildly optimized them in making the run. If they all were managed perfectly, I guess another 5-10 frames would be cut off. However, I'm not positive about restarting the run for only lag management, because no one can possibly detect it after all. Unless other timesaver is found, I will never pick up the run again.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has viewed and posted in the Chrono Trigger topic. Special thanks goes to Gocha for fixing the Snes9x bug that doesn't properly emulate the reset timing in playing back the movie.
I hope you enjoy the run!
- The Speed Demos Archive is the "official" hub of traditional speedruns, where inichi's and David Gibbon's playthroughs are hosted.
- SDA Forum Thread documenting inichi's comments
- Ultima Garden is the Japanese speedrun capitol.
- Tiny Sheep, a Japanese Chrono reference site
- Tool-Assisted Speedrun Videos is the place for...tool-assisted speedruns!