FFCC General FAQ Please come join the discord! It’s the best way to get in contact with us and has lots of resources. Plus, it’s a real good time in here. https://discord.gg/YRRquyF I hope this helps answer most of the obvious questions!
#What console should I play on? -Wii reduces the chance at getting disc read errors which is reason enough for it to be the preferred console. However, we haven't noticed it offer a load advantage over GameCube so GameCube is a perfectly viable option if you have one.
-Do note that this is just based on what we've seen/tested, and we haven't extensively analyzed each runner's individual setups and loads in all places. Due to the nature of optical media it's absolutely possible several factors could potentially impact loading times (disc condition, laser quality, etc.) so it's likely possible that someone could have a setup that performs notably worse than others. I can at least say that in other GameCube games Wii console disc drives on the whole tend to perform better overall, so they're again the safest bet to go with (in addition to being the easiest to homebrew for out of region games anyway). I just wouldn't rush out to buy one if you have a GameCube already.
-USB/SD card loaders and unofficial game discs are banned from appearing on the leaderboard since they cause the game to load at different speeds than normal. We will likely never allow USB/SD card loading or unofficial game disc copies due to the impossibility of standardizing them in any way.
-Also although not necessary it is definitely a bonus to run with a GBA + link cable put into port 2 (even when playing categories that do not require entering multiplayer mode) as it will give you a minimap, bonus condition, and stat tracker.
#Which tribe should I play? -This primarily comes down to personal preference and the category being run.
Roughly speaking, as a tl;dr: -Glitchless: Selkie >= Lilty > Clavat >> Yuke -Glitched: Lilty > Selkie >> Clavat > Yuke -Magic-Users misc. category: Yuke >> Clavat > Selkie > Lilty
- Note in glitched categories male characters are always faster than their female counterparts.
- Also note in glitched categories starting the game with 2 GBAs is slightly faster than 1 GBA. This is specifically relevant for Lilty, Selkie, and maybe Yuke (haven't tried it yet) as they can then do GES after the first dungeon instead of the second dungeon if they do this.
-Selkie is generally the most popular Glitchless tribe due to their high STR, versatile defend, and strong focus attacks. Female Selkie is able to execute a one-cycle memiroa more efficiently than male which saves a lot of time at the end of the game in Glitchless categories. (). With GES in Any%/AD/AC it's about as viable as Lilty, maybe slightly worse.
-Lilty has the highest starting STR in the game and is a strong choice for all categories due to this. However, it lacks the Selkie’s powerful defend and has mediocre focus attacks particularly on its master’s weapon so it's generally not preferred in Glitchless. With GES male Lilty is probably the best choice generally speaking. For All Cycles specifically Lilty is unquestionably the best tribe due to being able to perform the Rebena Te Ra skip detailed below solo.
-Clavat is the “all rounder” in the game, but that makes it fairly mediocre at everything. It’s only 1 STR behind Selkie so it’s still a very viable choice for Glitchless. Outside of its faster casting speed (which is of extremely limited use) male clavat’s 3-hit combo attack finishes 4 frames faster than all other tribes- which actually is relatively significant and makes it a little closer to Selkie/Lilty than it would be otherwise. It is able to kill the meteor parasite safer than other tribes which may make it attractive to new runners. Unfortunately for Glitched categories, the earliest male Clavat letter we've found that works with GES can only be obtained at the end of year 1 which makes Clavat at least a couple minutes slower by my estimation than Lilty and Selkie (all with 1 GBA).
-Yuke is the slowest tribe for glitchless runs since its design is heavily focused on magic casting (which is slow) and it has by far the worst STR. It actually isn't that bad necessarily in glitched categories due to the absurd STR even it gets with GES, but we currently lack a name + letter combo setup for it that's quite as good as the other three tribes. If a setup is found it could actually edge out Clavat for the 3rd best Tribe spot. If you want to play as Yuke in Glitchless categories specifically because of their magic-focused design, then you may be interested in running the Misc. "Magic-Users" category (more info on that later in FAQ). Even in Glitchless, meleeing as Yuke is probably the most optimal strategy RTA, but that probably isn't the reason why most would want to play it, hence that suggestion.
-*Again, note that these are fairly broad-stroke descriptions, and there can be quite a bit of nuance in which is the best especially depending on the category. If you don't care solely about ranking you can make anything work though. The tribe filters can be used to compare runs only of a certain tribe, and if you wish to run with multiple different Tribes it's highly encouraged to submit your different "tribe PBs" so they can show up when filtered in this way (I've done this myself a bit).
#How do stats work in this game? -Counterintuitively all stats only actually increase your power every 5 stat you get. (Example: you deal the same damage with 21 STR as you do with 24, but hitting 25 STR causes you to enter the next bracket of damage.) For speedruns: don’t eat meat/fish (+2 STR) or fruit (+2 MAG) unless you need it to heal or if it will allow you to hit the next damage bracket (especially make sure to pay attention to this for bosses), otherwise it’s just a waste of the resource.
-Also note the food buff region difference detailed below- you need to rebuff for bosses on the US version, but the JP version works even if you eat the food outside the boss room!
#I want to run with the glitches. How do I do this? -**At minimum you will need to get a Japanese copy of the game, a GBA, and a GBA to GCN link cable. **
-To play the JP disc you have a few options assuming you don’t have a Japanese console.
-On Wii you will need to softmod the console and get the homebrew channel onto it (tutorials everywhere online for how to do this). Then it is recommended to download/install and use Priiloader to region unlock your Wii. Alternative disc loading methods that are allowed so long as they do not boot the game in Wii mode and do not affect loading times. Swiss is an example of an allowed loader alternative disc loader. An example of a disallowed loader is Nintendont (boots game in Wii mode even when loading from disc).
-On GameCube you will likely need to use a Freeloader or Action Replay disc to bypass the region lock. Having a way to boot Swiss should also work. As with the Wii, so long as game performance is not modified in any way you’re good with whatever solution you can get to work.
The two glitches that significantly impact the run and are exclusive to the Japanese version are the Infinite Gil Glitch (IGG) and GBA Equip Swap (GES). They and all other known glitches can be found here. Both work by activating "Letter Glitch" which simply involves opening a letter then hitting select twice to cause the GBA to enter a glitched state. Please check out the guide for detailed information on these glitches!
#Additional Version Differences -Another notable difference is that food buffs (ex. Eating meat/fish gives +2 STR) persist through loading screens on JP, but on US/PAL need to be reapplied between loading screens such as on bosses. Technically this makes JP the fastest version for every category, but this is minor enough that it is very likely not worth it for most English speakers to forfeit just playing in English for glitchless categories.
-Additionally, don’t play the PAL version. It runs at 25 instead of 30 FPS which loses time literally everywhere to the tune of 20+ minutes in a 2 hour run.
#Why is there no 100%? -For one, it would be very hard to define exactly. What equipment would you need to get? What counts as a side quest? Perhaps we could look to the Remaster's PSN trophies for inspiration, but that brings us to the second issue: nobody actually wants to run it. Let's say 100% includes the requirement to get all the artifacts in the game, which would certainly make sense in theory- that alone would probably be an over 8 hour run. It would also be littered with RNG that would likely push that estimate up considerably since you cannot guarantee end-of-dungeon artifact drops, and you'd have to repeat dungeons ad nauseam. Our more reasonable version of a speedrun that includes more of the game is the "All Cycles" category that focuses only on completing each dungeon on its highest difficulty- which is still a pretty long run, but one that still gets to see most of the game's content and that actually has interest backing it. It also has the added benefit of having a nice, clean definition to go off of as well.
#What is Magic-Users? -Magic-Users is a Misc. category that exists primarily to encourage runners to try out a playstyle that would otherwise be unviable in normal speedruns of each category. It's arbitrary, as is the nature of Misc. categories, but demand was there for something like it to exist so we came up with this category essentially as a workaround to keep everyone as happy as possible. The main restriction added to all runs is you cannot have 30 or more STR (which makes going into a magic-focused build the fastest). This has the added effect of giving Yuke some incentive to be played as on the main leaderboard it's at a significant disadvantage to other tribes regardless of what artifacts you take.
#Playing the game in progressive scan mode (480p) -This note is mostly relevant for running glitched categories. In my testing I've found that resetting the console (which is needed at least once per run with glitched categories) is a good ~24 seconds slower if the game detects that it can output in 480p since a prompt always shows up (if you have component cables) asking if you'd like to use progressive scan mode. This can be worked around on both GameCube and Wii by booting the game using the Swiss homebrew (specific directions can be found in the discord). Otherwise, you can just run the game in 480i (hitting no on the prompt should cause it to disappear after resetting the console.)
An added benefit is in my testing Swiss forcing also seems to produce a notably clearer 480p picture than the game's standard 480p mode. No gameplay is changed by resolution forcing, so this is just an extra nice bonus discovered from the original intent of getting around the necessary time loss stated above.
#Closing misc. notes -There’s no way to manipulate random encounters, pattern drops (master’s weapon, etc.), materials (iron, mythril, etc.).
-General Artifact priority for most categories is going to be STR > HP > DEF/Command Slots as STR is king for making you go faster and HP is essential for not getting 1-hit later in the game. Specific guides/routes will outline exactly what you take where, but keep this in mind generally speaking.
-Your in-dungeon bonus condition can randomly cause you to get too many points and miss artifacts that you ideally want to get (or can rarely get you an even better artifact than expected). You can mitigate this if you use a GBA to see what bonus condition you have in order to try and avoid getting too many points if possible (especially in Veo Lu Sluice #1, Daemon’s Court, and Mount Kilanda you can “miss” the STR artifacts you want). Otherwise, it’s just bad luck and it happens sometimes.
-When playing on JP just mash A through most random encounters. Don’t sweat the choices if you have no idea what they are. Just try to get out of the encounter ASAP!
I'm very late posting this, but I wanted to share Wobmiar's awesome Any% TAS of FFCC using all of the newest glitches. Please check it out!