Building notes
5 years ago

Working towards a sub-30 hard mode run (read: playing the game for fun, finding new challenges), I've started putting together some notes. First step was something I was often doing as a kid, but never saw through to completion: Maps.

Here they are:

I did find existing 3D models of the maps online, but I greatly prefer 2D to better grasp the layouts, so I decided to draw my own regardless.

Other random notes/observations I didn't find elsewhere online:

  • Using a box as a single use weapon against any enemy de-aggros it. Traditionally I've used this as backup when taking on fighting doors without certainty of victory, and for emergencies when facing a powerful enemy right after descending stairs. I haven't yet tested if once de-aggroed enemy with this method would give further HP when fought for a second time.

  • Small blue potions (full heal) can be used mid-battle. This can be very helpful when farming HP; it saves food, shows current farming progress and allows instantly continuing the farm without searching for a new weak enemy. Obviously it can also save your hide in Minotaur battle, or against any other strong enemy. I assume all potions can be used mid-battle, but only other I could imagine having any possible reason for doing so is the large purple potion, which seems like a very unlikely scenario.

Winslinator likes this
Florida, USA

Thanks for linking these 2D maps @Koston! I also found those 3D ones you mentioned but the ones you made are much simpler to visualize and understand. I think you should put a link to these in the "Resources" tab on this game as well.

  • Each time you begin an encounter with an enemy, it will always assume a random HP value within some predetermined range. To my knowledge, throwing a container at an enemy makes it as if you hadn't attacked him at all; so he could be stronger or weaker when you re-attack.

  • And yes, you can use any type of potion mid-battle. For me personally, I like to use just the small blue ones for mid-battle emergencies. All others I just use instantly.

I didn't find a readily suitable section in Resources to post the map link. Feel free to add it wherever you like though.

What I meant by using box to get further HP is using it to retreat from battle, rest, then fight the same enemy again to farm more HP for yourself. I learned from your WR run notes that retreating the usual way won't allow getting further HP if you fight the same enemy again.

Anyway, it seems like there isn't much room for further improving understanding on the basic game mechanics. It is an Inty game after all, they tend not to be that complex, and Tarmin is an incredibly complex one at that already.

One thing I did check and forgot to mention is that using the glance left/right mechanism takes the same time as just turning left/right and back again, or at least the difference is smaller than 0.1s and would need to be frame-counted. I also timed opening doors, which takes roughly twice the time it does to move one step or turn. Considering this, I've made some rule of thumb routing regarding which parts of a given map I want to spend time checking and under which conditions. For example, it's rarely worthwhile opening a door to a single room with no other exits, and just generally finding ways to run through maps covering the most blocks in least amount of time, while taking into account that it minimising risks for unwanted monster encounters might be desirable.

Without really drilling into the inner workings of the RNG system though, it mostly boils down to just gut feeling based on experience and a general idea of how risky you want to play. And frankly I don't have much interest in even attempting to reduce the game into math formulas on probability, beyond what I've already learned over decades of casual play, a few hours of savestate research and your TAS notes. Much more interesting aspects of speedrunning the game for me are improving on navigation skills (I still regularly lose my bearings and/or lose track of which parts of a level I've already visited), and making snap judgements in any situation, as opposed to eg. spending time just staring at items like a moron wondering if I want to pick it up or not.

I actually did my initial routing and attempts before I learned you'd done runs, last time I checked there were still none. I established as my basic strategy to ensure that (read: reset until) there is a gate five blocks down and that it's blue, then attempt to farm war HP (requiring suitable armor) before using the blue gate, and wing it from there. I don't know if this is the exact same thing you'd been doing already, but I was anyway happy to find out it was what your WR run did, so at least I wasn't too badly off. Sadly I missed your attempt streams, but I will be viewing through your PB history!

Florida, USA

It appears to me that throwing a container is the same thing as retreating; it just won't take an extra turn (so it'll at least help in emergencies). I expect throwing a container won't allow you to farm for additional experience off that enemy either.

That's interesting about turning... so you're saying it really isn't worth timewise to glance left/right? I haven't bothered timing it but maybe I should because in my runs I was using the glancing feature quite a lot.

One of the biggest things I have yet to understand about this game is what determines when you're reincarnated. I listened to the Intellivisionaries Podcast where they interviewed Tom Loughry (the guy who programmed this game), and he didn't even remember. If we're able to find out how that works, we may be able to play even riskier speedruns.

Yeah, magic strength/defense are BOTH much more difficult to level up than war strength/defense, so using those blue gates to quickly boost magic stamina seems to be the move in the medium and hard difficulties. I wish you luck in your future runs of this game. If you comb through my PB history, the most important thing you'll find obviously is how important the luck factor is. That being said, if you get a run where you find the Midas/Teleport book early on, don't waste it! Those runs only come around when the planets align and that's usually when they break the record.

Also feel free to join the Intellivision discord, we got a separate channel for Treasure of Tarmin which has been kinda dead for a while so any new discussion would be great!

Edited by the author 5 years ago
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