Dragon Warrior Randomizer Tournament Match 1 Postmortem

So my opening round (And actually the first match of the entire tournament to take place) match against RCTMid in the Dragon Warrior Randomizer tournament was a victory. More importantly for the tournament as a whole, it was a very close match, with me taking the win by 36 seconds according to Speedruns Live. If all the matches in the tournament are that exciting, this will be an amazing tournament.

For more context about what I’ll be talking about, you can see the race from my perspective here, or check out the actual race stream here.

For my own performance, I thought my exploration luck was generally pretty good, with the exception of how late I found Garinham. Despite how I won with my last attack on the Dragonlord, I thought my battle luck, on the other hand, was awful through the whole thing. I had two different enemies dodge my attacks twice in a row, for starters. One was a Blue Dragon, whose evasion rate is only 1/32 (Admittedly more than the typical enemy, which is 1/64). I forget the second enemy, but it wasn’t one that I was aware had an elevated evasion stat compared to normal. I felt like that was my typical luck through the rest of the seed, battle-wise, as evidenced by my aborting Garin’s Grave exploration after setting up the Gold Grind (Which made things interesting for me near the end).

Finding Garinham as late as I did wasn’t good, as it also contained “The Jerk Cave”, needed to get the Rainbow Drop. Because of that, I felt as though I was behind (I was), and needed to take a couple gambles if I wanted to win. The first was, after going to the Charlock Treasury and finding nothing of note, going back up where the normal Erdrick’s Sword location was and looking for the Fighter’s Ring there (It was there, thankfully). Having the information from both streams, I imagine the commentators thought that was a smart move on my part, since RCT had explored all of Garin’s Grave. But since I hadn’t, my thought as I was doing it was “I’m probably behind, so I have to risk this, even though there is a 2/3 chance (I left two chests behind in the Grave) that I’ve just lost the race by doing so”. Taking a look at my stats and deciding to risk getting a good enough level on the way to the Dragonlord to put me over the top to be able to beat him was a similar thought process. As it turned out, I did, barely, getting to 97 max HP (Basically the absolute minimum you want, as it lets you survive two consecutive fire breaths for 48 damage, meaning you’re guaranteed at least one attack per Healmore) and a few extra Stength. The way to the Dragonlord wasn’t great, as I had no Herbs and had to burn a couple Healmores before actually fighting the second phase. Plus DL2 got the drop on me.

In the end, though, it worked out. Thinking I was behind probably helped me in a way, because instead of agonizing over what to do and when to do it in the late game, it forced me into being aggressive even if it wasn’t necessarily “safe” to do so, knowing that the gambles not working out would lead to the same result as me not taking them at all (IE I lose).

The other thing that annoyed me was my emulator, which for some reason was extremely laggy and slowdown-y, despite my restarting my computer just before the race. It got to the point where I considered saying something in the race chat or even just forfeiting under 5 minutes in. Obviously, I’m glad I didn’t.

With that, my next match is against NESCardinality, who has been called “the final boss” of this tournament. For reference, there are eleven completed winner’s bracket predictions, including mine. All eleven have NESCardinality going to at least the top four of the winner’s bracket. Or, put another way, literally no one, including me, expects me to win this next match. The two good things about this are that I don’t feel a whole lot of pressure, and I’ll once again feel free to take longshot gambles if I think the situation at hand calls for it.

In any event, I’m glad I won’t be going two and out at any rate. Hopefully I can go even further, even if I don’t expect it.

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