So my second round match…did not go as well as my first round match. I put up a good fight, but two big mistakes cost me a potential victory against NESCardinality.
The beginning of this seed was a challenge. First, Roaming Throne Room Guard made a play for being the True Final Boss, blocking my way out of the throne room for way longer than he should have. Next, I was having difficulty finding Red Slimes to kill, meaning I had to slowly punch Drakees to death to get my first level or two. Lastly, I was trying to hold onto some of the gold I acquired, which meant I went back to save more often than maybe I should have.
The gold did come in handy, as I got an early Copper Sword and Leather Armor, which let me at least take swings at things besides Drakees and Red Slimes. I also found Kol and Erdrick’s Armor early on, which helped me gain some experience by tapping monsters to death and eliminating the need to grind for Magic Armor.
The seed as a whole was full of “Emptyeye levels”, or levels that gave zeros to certain stats (Especially Strength and Agility), which meant that a lot of grinding was required. It’s rare that Red Dragons are the enemy of choice to grind on, but that was the case here, even though I needed between 6 and 8 attacks to kill one on average at the onset of my grind–255 experience for basically the cost of a Stopspell was too good to pass up.
I thought my exploration luck was pretty good, never needing to find the Mountain Cave at all, and my battle luck was by-and-large okay as well. My main incorrect decision battle-wise was waiting until level 21 to go after the Dragonlord, but that’s not what cost me the race (Though it did, presumably, eliminate whatever small chance I had of winning). Both NESCard and I were doing on-the-fly math once we hit level 20, and neither of us were liking how it came out at first (We both actually killed a few more Red Dragons while trying to crunch the numbers in our heads). NESCard, crucially, realized that our high HP would give us the double attacks we would need on Dragonlord 2 (Our damage wasn’t great, so by my on-the-fly math, we would need something like 5 at minimum) at level 20, and I elected to wait until level 21, underestimating that effect. When NESCard .doned, I realized that I could have gone at 20, or at worst, 21 was definitely going to be the level–I figured I was behind, but I didn’t think I was that far behind. As it was, NES said he won fairly comfortably at level 20, and my waiting until 21 allowed me to win the fight with 5(!!) Healmores left.
While my conservatism sealed my fate regarding the race, though, it’s not what actually cost me the race. I made two big mistakes that were the difference. The first was attempting to “shortcut” the coordinates of the item on the world map, and not going quite far enough west as a result. Making matters worse, my plan B of checking the item in Hauksness was also a bust, as I had to use up pretty much all of my MP on monsters in Hauksness before making it to the miniboss. This meant a Return to Tantagel and re-count of my steps before finally finding the item. Fortunately, the coordinates weren’t super far away from the castle (Something like 7 North 34 West if I remember right), and I’ve seen enough people screw up coordinates in one way or another that I’m not that upset about it.
The crucial mistake, and the one I think actually cost me the race, was attempting to dive into Charlock and see what was in the treasury (And maybe take a peek at the miniboss) way before I should have. I had no illusions that I’d be able to beat the Dragonlord at the level I was at, but I didn’t even come close to making it all the way down, and when I died in the attempt, I actually said something to the effect of “I think I just lost this race. Damn.”
Still, I think I put up a good fight, and I’m happy overall with how I played. The beauty and pain of Dragon Warrior Randomizer is that is that one wrong decision at the wrong time (Or a calculated risk that just doesn’t work out) can cost you, and after taking a bunch of gambles and having them all go right in my round 1 match, I guess I was due for one to bite me in the ass.
Either way, my next match is against jealkeja. This will be the first time I’ve been the higher seed in this tournament, but I frankly don’t put a lot of stock in that–the tournament had a lot of late entries, and a lot of those lower seeds have been practicing more than I have in the meantime. Hopefully, though, I can put on a good show and advance further in the Boners Bracket.