Like most turn-based combat games, the most intuitive and consistent approach is to focus on minimizing damage taken. Many of the skills in World's End are geared toward this approach, as are the strategies listed in the Walkthrough.
Speedrunning World's End Chapter 1, on the other hand, requires the application of several principles which may seem completely counterintuitive to the conservative player, as well as a tremendous amount of planning, problem-solving, and optimization.
- Optimize boss fights. Boss fights (Laszlo, Boris, Otis, Zofia) are the most time-consuming element of the traditional approach, and thus in most need of optimization. Ignore all underlings and focus every action towards killing the boss quickly. With well-executed strategies, it is possible to finish all of these fights in 4 turns or less (2 turns for Zofia, which is pretty spectacular when it works!).
- Plan your skill purchases. One direct consequence of the above point is that you will receive 140 fewer skill points throughout the course of the run than you would in a traditional playthrough. You must figure out exactly which skills are needed for your boss fights, as well as the order in which they are purchased to optimize the other fights.
- Do as much damage as possible with each character during every combat round. Also, try to focus all of that damage on one enemy at a time. It may not always be possible to apply both of these principles simultaneously; learn to judge situations to determine which tactic is more important.
- Never heal. If you're wasting action points on healing items or specials, your combat plan isn't optimized yet. Sell all consumables unless you have a specific reason to use them (Foot Grease and Bull Testes come to mind), as this will allow you to purchase better weapons earlier.
- Never buy armor. Armor doesn't help you win battles faster. Better weapons do, and you won't have enough money to buy both -- you'll miss out on 350z from boss minions and 250z from secret stashes. If your dudes are dying, your combat plan isn't optimized yet.
- Secrets are cool, but usually not worthwhile. In most cases, secret stashes are so far away that it takes longer to reach them than it does to just finish the fight, and the items available are not nearly powerful enough to justify the time investment. Environmental damage is only efficient if the action points spent to set up the effect deal more damage than can be dealt by using those action points to attack directly.
- Minimize clicks and downtime. Spend as little time as possible issuing combat commands and shopping. Know what you want to do and do it quickly. This item is last for a reason: it is the last element you should focus on. A good plan executed slowly is still a good plan, but a bad plan executed quickly will result in a quick defeat.
- All passive abilities which increase damage output are good, especially for characters with ranged attacks.
- All passive abilities which increase other stats are bad. You don't need more health, defense, or evade to keep your dudes alive.
- Avoid redundant combat skills. One combat skill per character is ideal. The character should always be using special on their most powerful move, or saving up until the next time they can use it. If characters are using combat skills that are not the best possible move, it's a waste of special and a waste of skill points to have bought both moves in the first place.
- Spear Plus vs. Triple Fist: Both solid damage dealers. Triple Fist is cheaper and has a range which is better suited for early enemies; Spear Plus can attack two enemies in a line for double the damage output, has a better range for later battles, deals more damage per opponent with starter equipment, and scales up with Belayav Spear and Guard's Spear, both of which are free. Spear Plus is the better choice.
- Spear Doubleplus: Completely worthless. A move which costs 5 more special than Spear Plus, but only adds 25% more damage, which is not efficient. The move costs 80 skill points, which should be spent buying two skills for other characters. OUTDATED (If I have enough time to go speedrunning, I'll give this skill a try)
- Smoke Attack: Untested. Does not seem like a strong move.
- Mockery: The single most useful skill for speedrunning. Almost every effective combat plan revolves around identifying key locations and timings for Tevoran to use Mockery. Use to lure ranged enemies into attacking range; or to pull underlings out of position while the rest of your squad goes after bosses; or to force enemies into lines which can be punished by Tevoran, Ivan, and Oksana. Such an important utility that Tevoran's special should not be spent on any other moves, ever.
- Retaliatory Strike: Untested. Does increase damage output, and complements Mockery well since Tevoran will be the target of many attacks. However, good combat plans produce consistent results, and a 25% chance seems far too inconsistent to be useful. The only item which can supplement this is Red Belt, which isn't available until the last mission.
- Limb Breaker: Great for traditional, terrible for speedruns. Stunned enemies will move away from your squad, which means you will have to spend movement points and extra turns chasing them down. You'll get enough damage reduction out of Mockery and Stasis Dart that this stun should be cut in favor of stronger attacks.
- Flamebow vs. Shotcrossbow: Two solid damage dealers. Flamebow costs less to purchase and less special to use; 10 SP means that at full special, Ysabel can use it twice in one turn, which can be very useful against archers. Shotcrossbow loses consistency as enemies move farther away. Flamebow is the better choice.
- Dirty Knife: If Ysabel, the best ranged character in the game, has adjacent enemies on two sides of her, then turn-based strategy is not for you. Try racing games instead.
- Stasis Dart: Absolutely vital for some combat plans, particularly the Otis fights and the second battle at the train station. Can also be used to lock a spear-wielding enemy into a spot where he is too close to attack, but your dudes can take turns harvesting his organs.
- White Bolt vs. Celestial Drive: Both useful for increasing damage output. If Oksana has 15 special saved up, she can either use it to cast Celestial Drive once or White Bolt twice. Two White Bolts will usually deal at least 30 damage total, while Celestial Drive increases team damage by 10% for two turns. This means that your team must deal at least 300 base damage in those two turns in order for Celestial Drive to be more efficient than White Bolt. While this may be possible, the problem is that every fight for which Oksana will be available features opponents which can heal: Bernard, Tiervan Corporals, and Zofia. Thus, the ability to kill in one turn is much more significant than the ability to deal big damage over the course of two turns. White Bolt is the better choice.
- Haste: Untested. Could be useful for getting Ivan into position to deal big damage with Spear Plus. It seems unlikely to be an efficient use of skill points, particularly since melee characters are useless in the Zofia fight, and ranged characters have no problem getting into position.
Cryptic C62's build order Edit
Personal best 1h 25m
- Intro 1
- Intro 2
- Ysabel learn Flamebow
- No purchases
- Thugs 1
- Tevoran learn Mockery, Ivan learn Spear Plus
- Thugs 2 (win in 3)
- Vadim learn Double Stab, Vadim equip Switchblade
- Sell all items
- Ysabel purchase Sturdy Crossbow, Tevoran purchase Iron Sword
- Courtyard 1
- Courtyard 2
- Ysabel learn Hostility, Ivan learn Passive Aggression
- Hallway (Ivan equip Belayav Spear)
- Boris Fight (win in 2)
- Vadim learn Savagery, Tevoran learn Brashness
- Vadim equip Boris's Ring
- No purchases
- Church 1
- Church 2
- Casimir learn Stasis Dart, Ysabel learn Belligerence
- Otis 1 (win in 3, 2 if very lucky)
- Otis 2 (win in 4)
- Oksana learn White Bolt and Unnatural Ardor, Ivan equip Holy Undergarments
- Tevoran purchase Steel Sword, Vadim purchase Throwing Needles and Steel Dagger, Casimir purchase Sharp Darts, Ivan purchase Iron Spear, Ysabel equip Switchblade
- Tavern (win in 4)
- Train 1
- Train 2
- Casimir learn Precision, Oksana learn Unnatural Fervor, Ysabel equip Spiked Helmet
- Zofia (win in 2)