Disc 1 of Final Fantasy VII is finally complete in 3 hours, 47 minutes and 24 seconds (final time before ‘insert disc 2’ is shown).
This is in comparison to Garland’s non-assisted speed run time of around 4 hours 32 minutes (time of Disc 1 save). So roughly 45 minutes ahead of the speed run time.
I am treating this ‘glitched TAS’ as a kind of test run. Since starting, I have found many glitches and otherwise small details that are important in a TAS run.
As a result there are many small mistakes and unoptimised sections. Here is a list of the biggest:
1. Random Encounter Pattern – This is perhaps the biggest cause of time loss. At the moment I am manually plotting the route a few segments at a time. In the best case, I would have a script or program search for the fastest random encounter pattern.
Estimated Time Loss: Unknown. Potentially tens of minutes.
2. Party Text – Some immediate party members say small things, such as ‘Hey Cloud, where are we going next’, or something to that effect. Sometimes different party members say different things. It would be faster to choose members that say the fewest words or characters, in order to save time.
Estimated Time Loss: Unknown. <1 min.
3. Midgar Underground Route – I take the wrong route near the beginning of the game.
Estimated Time Loss: 6 min.
4. Field Message Setting – An unforgivable mistake. I set the ‘Field Message’ Config setting 1 frame off. Instead of being at 0 units (the fastest), it is set at 1 unit. This means every textbox is costing a fraction of time.
Estimated Time Loss: <4 min.