Speedrunning Rolan's Curse II

Character thoughts...

In addition, you should minimize hero switching unless absolutely necessary. Heroes come in at level 1 and you HAVE to go hunting for at least a few levels or they're trash; that's time lost.

Boss thoughts...

General Strats

Hit Scamming

"Scamming" is a term I came up with for using an otherwise worthless hero to tank hits during a boss, giving you more time to DPS with useful heroes. You're effectively scamming the boss by giving your useful heroes more HP than they should have.

For the three bosses in Any% (and really all but one boss you'd want to do this on in All Bosses), this exploits the fact that the bosses move on a very predictable pattern and their damage usually comes from projectiles that hit you once before they fly away. This also exploits the fact that I-Frames persist even if you menu and switch characters.

So how do you do it? It's pretty simple...

  1. Have a high damage hero out, doing damage of course. Let's say Kyle for this during the Metals Hand boss fight
  2. Have them positioned where the boss will not make contact with them with its own hitbox, meaning only projectiles will hit
  3. Moments before a projectile hits (as close as you can comfortably get) hit select to pause and bring up the hero select menu
  4. Select a lower damage hero you wouldn't normally want to use for this fight (in this example, Pit or Lane)
  5. Let the projectile hit
  6. Immediately hit select again and switch back to your high damage hero (Kyle)

This lets a high damage hero do all the damage, and a low damage hero take all the hits. This lets you keep those high damage heroes out longer without wasting healing items, and gives even Pit and Lane a use later in the game when their damage would normally just be a waste of time.

If you do this with Pit, it's not even worth attacking with him; you'll just cause lag for 1 damage a hit.

Carrion Tanking

"Carrion Tanking" is another cute name I came up with for a simple and basic strat. Keep in mind you get a free heal for your entire party every town. If you bring Kyle and Lane to get you through the Hand fight, that's 88 + 60 HP that you can access to increase your damage boosting capabilities.

So in a nutshell, Carrion Tanking is using "Dead" heroes to run through rooms that'd do too much damage to the Hero or Zold to tank normally. Just don't let their low HP maximums get them killed!

The most prominent use of this is the infinite bird room in the forest immediately outside Farewell. I used to spend 10 seconds doing a specific movement through that room to kill the birds to retain Hero's HP; instead now I just switch to Kyle and lets the birds feast on him since he's useless otherwise anyway!


Any% General Wisdom...

Any% Route

Hero Level Optimizations

Early runs should go for level 13 Hero (and follow the route above, including the two levels in Ruins. This gives you a strong Hero attack and his maxed out sword slash size. Once level 13 runs are comfortable (around sub-27?) you can start eliminating some of the other levels.

The first one to go is the second Ruins level. This is a 65 second time save just on paper, and eliminates a Pit bomb that would normally run him out of MP and require an MP drop to progress. It's a huge time save; the largest available by far. My 24:37 uses this route.

Second is the other Ruins level. This is only a 20 second time save, but it's the biggest possible save that won't cut levels in the critical early game. My 24:14 uses this route.

After that, here's some ideas on eliminating further levels; all untested. This is based by step-counting by Vandaeron and my anecdotal experiences.

Also to note: Kyle and Zold levels are already optimized as far as I think they can be. Kyle gets two levels on the way through the route (neither costing ANY steps) and Zold gets the fastest three levels to give him Level 4, which is required to survive two attack cycles from Barius. Lane is not leveled at all if you even take her.