Sonny Forum  /  Route?
  EvenEdenEvenEden

Is the game really just eating the gear and menuing? Is there any specific pointers for new runners/ things we should practice?

I am semi-experienced runner of other games and I always like studying the route heavily before beginning new speed games. Any help would be awesome, but otherwise, thanks for reading and have a nice day! Look forward to runs from me 😃

 
  acidicvultureacidicvulture

Firstly, welcome to Sonny speedrunning! We're relatively small compared to a lot of other games, so it's always nice to see new runners!

As for your question, menuing and eating the gear may not seem like much, but consistently being able to do those things quickly without slipping up takes practice; blundering can cost you a good few seconds or, if you're going for WR, can completely kill a run (I've had a few runs die because, in my haste, I accidentally learned/levelled up the wrong skills or forgot to equip/eat certain items). Memorising what skills to learn, what stats to upgrade and what items to equip/eat (and when) is part of the challenge if you want to save time.

That being said, even the battles themselves require practice. When I first started, I spent quite a bit of time practising going through the game slowly so that I could get used to memorising what to do in each battle (what moves to use, which enemies to target first and any potential backup strategies in case RNG screwed me over). Like with menuing, knowing these things off the top of your head ensures quick and consistent execution. Zone One is pretty normalised (partly because most of the item drops are completely scripted and the enemy AI is incredibly simplistic) but there's more variance in Zones Two and Three (though thankfully not to the same extent as Sonny 2, where the enemy AI is far more reliant on RNG).

As well as copious amounts of practice, patience is key (as with any speedrun). Half your runs will die immediately after Zone One due to item drop RNG (thankfully, you'll only have wasted three minutes in those instances), and there are a few run-killers if you're looking for WR (the ghost enemies in Zone Two and the Baron in Zone Three are especially annoying in this regard). The current WR is also very lucky when it comes to RNG (the Moon-Struck Horrors in Zone Two is a must, but it only has a 3% chance of dropping in the middle of Zone Two and getting both of them only has a 0.09% chance of occurring) so get ready for the grind if you want to go for that (I myself am currently on a hiatus due in part to the immense grind).

The Sonny Wiki is a great resource, BTW. It contains a list of every single battle in the game, every single item drop, every single skill and every single enemy (including their behaviour), so if you want to come up with an alternative route or if you're just curious, that's the place to go.

Finally, just a couple of notes on the route: Firstly, Ischmar's route doesn't include training in Zone Three, but I'd recommend doing it anyway to get a good time (watch some of the top runs to figure out what to do in this regard); secondly, the WR route is actually very different from Ischmar's route, but the latter appears to be faster on average despite having a lower ceiling, so it's up to you which one you want to follow for now.

Anyway, that's all I have to say. I'm sure that others will chime in with their own comments (compared to some of the runners here, I started relatively recently), but those would be my tips. In any case, I hope you enjoy running Sonny!

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  EvenEdenEvenEden

Sorry for making it seem like a small task to get WR or even speedrun, my fiancee showed me the game last night and I beat it this morning. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the gameplay in a casual run-though (Assassin Speed build using Aggression, Master Strike, and Wound) and was blown away at the execution speed of the WR. I have a bad tendency to look at a WR, go "I can do that" and then get sucked into grinding for weeks on end. Its kinda what happened to Owl Watch, but I brought the WR down 40+ seconds in an already less than 2 minute speedrun 😅

As for all of the advice, thank you! I'm still at work atm, but will be coming home shortly to start learning the route and practicing menuing. I didn't even know you could equip skills more than 1 on your skill wheel until I saw like 8 smashes lol.

Also a thank you for the warm welcome, I enjoyed having a response to look through as I had some free time at work!

Another question and anyone feel free to answer; Is there a set flash emulator y'all play on or is any okay? I use Flashpoint 9.0 and it has huge collection of other flash games. Just making sure before I submit an invalid run lol

 
  acidicvultureacidicvulture

'Sorry for making it seem like a small task to get WR or even speedrun'

There's nothing to apologise for, and sorry if I came across as critical there.

'I didn't even know you could equip skills more than 1 on your skill wheel until I saw like 8 smashes lol.'

Hey, it could be worse. When I first played this game as a kid, I didn't even realise that you could level-up your skills and equip items on your allies. Needless to say, I didn't get very far. 😛

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  AzureStarAzureStar

Yooooo a new runner! Welcome~

This game can be quite deep when it comes to speedrunning despite it's short length and comparatively simpler battle system to other games. The fact that it's a point and click game demands excellent menuing and making minimal mistakes, and a lot of thought goes into the decisions you make in each fight. Overall, it's a charming game to speedrun whose main downfall is the RNG involved with item drops.

Tbh, My WR run is not a good way to learn how to run any% using the assassin class. The sheer luck in it completely eliminates a lot of the strategic decision making that goes into many fights. I've been wanting to make a video guide or write one here because of it.

Let me know if you have any questions about the run. I would love to help!

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  AzureStarAzureStar

Oh I totally forgot, as far as I'm aware it's totally okay to use Flashpoint to play the game and submit runs with. With flash on browsers down it's one of the only ways to play the game right now.

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  acidicvultureacidicvulture

There are a couple of additional tips that will come in handy.

Firstly, pay attention to when Veradux moves compared to when you move. This is because Veradux has a healing move which can dispel stuns (he also has a healing move which DOESN'T dispel stuns, which is rather annoying). If he moves after you do then it's best just to skip your turn (by clicking the exclamation mark at the bottom of the screen) as he can't do anything to help you, but if moves BEFORE you do, it's worth attacking an enemy even while stunned as there's a possibility that Veradux will dispel your stun, thus ensuring that the attack goes through (of course, it could also be the case that Veradux does absolutely nothing to help, but that's RNG for you).

Secondly, be careful with the rock golems as they are heavy hitters. If one of them enrages, stun it (or use Supression to reduce the blow if you can't stun it). If both of them enrage...just stun one of them and pray that RNG is in your favour (you have to be REALLY unlucky for that to happen though).

Finally, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO EAT ITEMS! This may seem obvious, but Any% absolutely depends on the item-eating glitch, so make sure that you can pull it off with consistency. Of course, this doesn't matter at all if you're running Any% Glitchless (which reminds me, I should probably attempt that at some point).

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  EvenEdenEvenEden

I noticed in my casual playthrough that changing modes of Vera helped tremendously depending on if I wanted his focus up move or him to focus on healing/attacking respectively. Is this useful in speedruns or not worth the potential time loss/save?

As for the rock golems, fuck rock golems. All my homies hate rock golems.

That is one of the things I wanna focus down and get consistent at because I hate losing a run due to my own inability. RNG isn't a terrible mistress to work with because even okay RNG can get WR as long as execution is good. That's at least my experience with games like Smash or Slay The Spire.

As for learning the route, any specific runners I should watch? There don't seem to be many tutorials on Sonny as a speed-game (Not surprised really, but kinda disappointed since it seems so fun) and I would rather not learn a dated route by accident.

Thanks for all the help from both of you once more, it's wonderful knowing this game has somewhat of a community still brewing and even theory-crafting :3

 
  AzureStarAzureStar

So I whipped this video together in an hour. Hopefully it can serve as a start to speedrunning the game! There's also the written guides that you can read, and you're also free to ask us questions~

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  EvenEdenEvenEden

My first run ended with a 25:50, I'm gonna go for sub 20 tonight 😃

 
  SowwhatsSowwhats

So.. I'm not super knowledgable about the any% route, but I have some experience with the older routes, any% glitchless route, and have (sort of) routed the 2017 remake. #ShamelessPlug.

Interestingly, almost all of the any% and 100% routes are kinda outdated, but they're all interesting to look at. There are definitely reasons why they made the decisions that they did. For example, most any% and 100% routes, except for the newest ones, use a Gunslinger build, which was because their main damaging ability was Electro Bolt, which scales with both strength and magic, so any item they got was useful. This very much minimizes variance, so that might be a good place to start speedrunning the game.

I personally like this game as some sort of meta-speedrun, where a big part is just trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, with your execution of the run being a little less important. Right now the community is suprisingly active, so you can always look at what other people are doing and ask questions. I also think that the different routes and categories are so closely related that you can take any trick from any run and apply it to your own runs. And don't be afraid to slow down for consistency. In my glitchless route I actually bought one of the armor pieces from the shop just to deal with those Rock Golems and Shaman of Blades, which is kinda necessary in glitchless, but can increase consistency in any% as well.

The odds of getting a single MSH during a run is about 17.6%, so resetting for it is probably not a great idea, especially if you want to reset for it during the first possible fight, which would be a 3% chance. This is also something you could increase with training fights. Interestingly, training, especially in zone 3, isn't necessarily slower since you'd get a lot of stats out of them.

And is Vera useful? Yes, absolutely. Does he slow you down? It depends. In the first couple of fights, no, but in the end, yes. We don't know exactly where the line is though, so try to find a point for yourself and go with it.

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  EvenEdenEvenEden

Hey! Thanks for the response, Sow!

I actually want to work on a new route cause I feel having a run die due to shitty weapon RNG just feels bad, ya know? Atm, my current PB is 17:23, and that's with terrible menuing errors and no MSH. I would like to fully experiment with the game and test different route possibilities, but without a discord, it makes communicating the info like through a note in a bottle. The magic route interested me a lot but seemed to also rely on good weapon drops until zone 3.

Same actually, while menuing is super important to not lose seconds due to misclicks, I feel strategy makes up for lost time a lot. The only other category that has my attention atm is the 100% category due to the magic routing, as previously mentioned. There is a surprisingly large amount of depth inside this game, and I am really happy I can get involved with the community like this.

I only reset currently for 3 reasons: 1) Bad Fight RNG/Dying, 2) Not getting the sword at the end of Zone 1/having to sell my pants + shoes to get the ax, or 3) Severe misclicks i.e., Buying shoes instead of the ax (This happens more than I like to admit). Beyond that, I am just looking for sub 16 with my current route or making my own.

I actually have a split called "Verasux" due to the number of times he has caused severe time loss for purely existing lol. It also helps remind me to grab his sweet gear. I only see a use for him in two fights, honestly, but nothing more than a punching bag and those two fights being Sensei and the triple ghost samurai. I just cut him out immediately if I remember or keep him up till after the triple sam. fight if my run has super poor luck. Definitely not saying he isn't important to have as having an extra target for the enemies with stun moves saves significant amounts of time, but on a good run with MSH or just good drop RNG, he loses time quickly.

All in all, this game is a lot of fun and I am hoping to help get this game more popular as it's a super fun game with more depth than I was initially expecting. My only concern is regardless of a new route or keeping this one, are WR gonna come down to getting MSH or not and that doesn't seem like a fun question to answer. So my goal is to make a route or develop the current one to reduce the extreme RNG required for god runs. If anyone would like to help me in this, add me on discord @ EvenEden#0420

 
  EvenEdenEvenEden
(edited: )

Oh! As a P.S.

I would like to know how active the moderation team is as I would like to apply if possible. This community is cool af and I would enjoy helping out more! 😃

 
  AzureStarAzureStar

I agree that the most fun aspect of speedrunning this game is finding what route is most optimal. Probably the biggest aspect that has to be addressed in any% is what abilities you use and when do you gain/upgrade them. Usually it's only after you decide on your abilities that you start to worry about the class and items that you have to eat. However, I feel that abilities are the most restrictive part of Sonny.

For any% you need to quickly establish your offensive core of abilities and stick with it for the entire game. Respecing causes all the stat boosts from item eating to go away, so you can't use fully-upgraded Smash in the beginning and then respec to a fully-upgraded Master Strike/Coup de Grace + Shatter Bolt Build later (if you even have enough ability points for that). The only two sets of abilities that can form an effective offensive core early that I can see are Smash for physical builds and Magic Bolt + Electro Bolt for magic builds. No one has done a comprehensive test for how the other abilities perform, but glancing at them they're all rather pathetic. They either suffer from being too costly to obtain like Master Strike or being awful to upgrade. Most abilities don't scale with Sonny's stats, but rather by some constant number which makes upgrading them a waste of ability points. For example, Blood Strike:

- Tier 1: Damages target with 110% of caster's Strength +60
- Tier 2: Damages target with 110% of caster's Strength +75
- Tier 3: Damages target with 110% of caster's Strength +90

There IS an idea I'm thinking of right now for a re-route, but it requires testing that I don't have time for. Plus it may not even be that effective, so whoop 🙂

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  AzureStarAzureStar

Also, dylaneka is the only active mod we have left. They're usually pretty quick to approve runs too.

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  acidicvultureacidicvulture

'The odds of getting a single MSH during a run is about 17.6%, so resetting for it is probably not a great idea, especially if you want to reset for it during the first possible fight, which would be a 3% chance.'

This is true to a point, and it depends on how far you wanna go with lowering your time, but speaking from personal experience, there will come a point when your only option is to reset for an MSH. I've only come close to beating my PB a couple of times so far, and on both those occasions, I picked up an MSH. The great thing about the magic strategy was that you could get pretty far without one as the MSH simply wasn't as useful, but that also means that a physical run with an MSH is more powerful than a magic run with an MSH.

I've been trying something out to keep the advantages of the MSH without relying on it too much, and I've managed to set a new PB split for the second third of Zone Three, which is the first time that something like that happened in a while (I didn't even get particularly lucky with item drops). Still, it doesn't seem to solve the problem of Zone Two being a bit of a slog without the MSH, so it probably won't amount to anything for now.

Anyway, AFAIK, at least one MSH is basically mandatory for WR, and preferably one in the first two fights in which it is available (a 5.91% chance if my maths is correct). A new strategy may emerge that changes this, but for now, that's the current situation. You can get a good sub-16 time without an MSH (trust me, I've achieved plenty of them while grinding), so you've got about two minutes to shave off before you need to start worrying about resetting for an MSH.

For now, I'd just carry on doing what you're doing as there are still plenty of ways to improve on a 17:40 without needing to grind for MSH, but if you ever decide to try to push for WR (or want to improve a PB that's sub-15:30 or so), it might be worth considering whether it's worth spending sixteen minutes on a run that's evidently not going to approach anywhere near that time. That's just my experience, though; as someone who has little time in which to speedrun, I'm naturally inclined towards whatever shortcuts I can find, which includes stopping halfway if I don't obtain an MSH at some point.

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  EvenEdenEvenEden

@AzureAzure I just wanted to say your hypothesis about the boots before the final fight is true! You can buy them after the first fight using the ax and have a higher crit ratio for the poison zombie AND 2 show the big guy in the boss battle afterwards. If my menuing was better, I'd say a 2:30~2:35 time could be a new average.

I tried testing several builds with varying success, but the only one I found any "success" in was the Flame Strike and it's honestly nowhere near the power of Smash or Electro. I've traveled all the way to Barron on 2 separate runs and was not getting the consistent damage needed to help close the fight faster. Maybe it was bad RNG on previous items eats or improper spec-ing, idk. I think magic has potential if we can find a consistent strat for Early-Mid game, but not until more testing is done. As Acidic said, it just doesn't add up to a Phys run with MSH.

@AcidicAcidic I have a theory about doing one training fight in Zone 2 to make it more consistent and in practice, it seems to work, but it kinda clams up the late game hard because it's basically a time-loss or worse. You're hoping to get a fight that drops the MSH, but if you don't get ANY equipment from it, you take 10+ second time-loss unless you one-shot the assassin.

 
  acidicvultureacidicvulture

I was considering Zone Two training at one point, but the odds are stacked against the player there. An MSH in a training fight has a 5% chance of dropping. Great if you can get it, but a complete waste of time 95% of the time. I could maybe see multiple training fights in Zone Two if it helps breeze through the rest of the game, but I'm not sure if that payoff is worth it. Still, I haven't tested it out myself, so it might be worth exploring.

Since we're discussing potential strategies, some of you may recall when I asked if the code could be analysed to evaluate the feasibility of potential strategies. At the time, I was considering whether a Guardian run would be viable. My logic was that skills that scaled with both Strength and Magic (such as Electro Bolt and Flame Strike) might work best with the Guardian class and that you could be more flexible with items (I was even wondering at one point if both the blade and the rifle might be helpful at the end of Zone One provided that you adjusted which items to buy in future accordingly, which would surely have been quite the Holy Grail in Sonny speedrunning!).

However, as in Sonny's spiritual predecessor, Sinjid: SOTW, the most balanced class also appears to have the lowest ceiling due to the lack of specialisation. Even if a Guardian run would ensure consistency (and even that's not guaranteed), how far can one get with it? Also, IIRC, Quick Strike doesn't do as much damage for a Guardian as it does for an Assassin or a Gunslinger, so any time-saves in Zones Two and Three would have to counter the lost time in Zone One.

Another strategy I tried was re-speccing BEFORE you eat your first item. I thought that it might be possible to start as a Gunslinger before re-speccing at some point and effectively becoming an Assassin, but the game doesn't allow you to do that as you'll always have a Gunslinger's base attributes even after re-speccing. The wiki also tells me that re-speccing loses you two points in Strength and Speed (roughly the opposite of what happens in Sonny 2), so any abilities and redistribution of attribute points had better be worth it. Re-speccing later in the game is also impractical because of the way item-eating works. It looks as if re-speccing is only viable in Any% Glitchless, where the item-eating problem obviously doesn't exist.

 
  AzureStarAzureStar

So I tried some preliminary testing using Master Strike in any%.

It's not worth. Definitely not worth.

4/5 Master Strike can't out-damage 3/5 Smash even when I spent all of Zone 3 dumping points into speed through level up and items. To say I'm disappointed is but the tip of the iceberg.

 
  SowwhatsSowwhats
(edited: )

@EvenEdenEvenEden. My any% Glitchless route actually uses 2 training fights in zone 2 and I believe 2 in zone 3 as well. The main concern there is the levelups though. If you use one at lvl 3 or 4 (xp gained is the same so it doesn't matter, except that the training fight can drop items), and one at lvl 5, you hit lvl 7 just before the Sensei. Then with 2 training fights in zone 3 you get lvl 8 just before the second fight in zone 2, where CDG helps a LOT, lvl 9 just before Rockstar, and lvl 10 easily before the Council. However, I think any% doesn't care about levels as much, especially lvl 7 is kinda unimportant.
The 2 training fights also up the odds of MSH early, since any training fight is a 5% chance, which pushes the total chance of getting MSH in a run up to a whopping 33% chance.

I also theorized a Flame Strike build, but that was with the debug menu glitch in mind. Because there you can easily get a massive amount of fire piercing. Outside of that strat Flame Strike seems terrible though.

 
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