Planescape: Torment
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Speed Run Guide by Steven de Rooij

Copyright 2008 Steven de Rooij
Version 1.00, last updated 26 june 2008.

General information
I played the two CD version of Planescape: Torment, which has patch
1.1 pre-installed. I used normal difficulty.

Planescape: Torment is copyright 1999 by Black Isle/Interplay

I am not affiliated with Black Isle, Interplay or anyone who had
anything to do with the creation of this game.  This guide may be
reproduced however you like so long as you:
  (1) make no changes,
  (2) do not charge money or anything else for it,
and, when you decide to make it publicly available, you should also:
  (3) send me email
  (4) make an honest attempt to keep your version up-to-date.

Please send comments, suggestions for improvement or questions to
Steven de Rooij, email: rooij at cwi dot nl, where you should replace
the words "at" and "dot" by "@" and ".". Please use the word "faq" in
the subject of your message. Alternatively, add a message to the
"Planescape: Torment" thread at the Speed Demos Archive
( Worthy input will be rewarded by honorable
mention in the credits section. Unworthy input will be ignored.

Intended audience
This guide is intended for people who have completed Planescape:
Torment at least once and have basic knowledge of the game, and who
are interested in learning how the game can be completed as quickly as
possible. Ultimately I hope that one or more readers will record their
best efforts at this, and submit the resulting run to the Speed Demos
Archive. Unfortunately I have not been able to try my hand at this
myself because the game apparently does not run very well on my video
card. However I have tested all the steps I describe at a slower rate,
to make sure that the run I describe is reliable.
I also hope that some readers will think about the alternative routes
I mention in footnotes throughout the run, which could hopefully lead
to improvements. Ideas can be emailed to me or published on the Speed
Demos Archive forums, "Planescape: Torment" thread. Note that there is
a one hour speed run available on YouTube, but it should be possible
to execute the run described here in about half that time.

Credits in the first place to Black Isle/Interplay for making such a
brilliant game. Most ideas in this outline are from the Torment thread
at SDA forums that was started by niebezimienny, who apparently also
ALMOST submitted a run (tantalizing!). Most ideas are from Ekarderif,
Adahn, bion and KFX, with a few ideas of my own mixed in. Mostly I
provide detail and explanations.


* Do a full install: after running the normal Torment installation,
  you can avoid CD-swapping by copying the relevant files from all CDs
  to your hard drive. There are many guides floating around on the
  internet as to how to do this.

* On my system, the game would only run close to its intended 30 FPS
  if I switched on full hardware acceleration, i.e. no software
  mirror/transparency blits. However full hardware accelleration leads
  to graphics issues and bugs, especially during spell effects, on
  many systems (including mine, sadly). I think that the run should be
  performed on a system that implements old DirectX calls correctly,
  so that it is not necessary to do software rendering. Perhaps people
  with older video cards are in luck? For recording, many people
  (including me) report that FRAPS slows down the game considerably
  more than Camtasia does.

* Your speed will be improved significantly if you bind a number of
  additional hotkeys. I like to bind Z,X,C,V to the first four quick
  items, F to stealth, G to thieving, T to detecting traps and `
  (backtick, left of the 1 key) to select the whole party (so that all
  relevant character selection keys are adjacent).

* At least during practice, switch on "To hit rolls" using the
  feedback menu in the Gameplay options. This gives you a better feel
  for when attacks are actually made (the animations can be
  misleading) and why you are or are not doing damage.

* Make a reference sheet of all complex dialogue sequences (or
  memorise them) so you can enter them at full speed. You can copy
  them from the descriptions below.

* I used a clean install of the 2CD version (patchlevel 1.1) for this
  document, no additional mods, and normal difficulty.

* In case you didn't know: you can recenter on a character by
  double-clicking his/her portrait.

Notation and abbreviations
Footnotes are given in square brackets.

Digit repetitions in dialogue sequences have been denoted with a hat:
(1^6) means 6 repetitions of 1. I also write (1^*) to mean: press one
until the dialogue ends. 'e' means press enter, and '#' indicates that
there is a pause in the dialogue at that point.

TNO means The Nameless One, the protagonist. TTO means The
Transcendent One, the enemy. DRC means Dirty Rat Charm.

Motivation for Thief
Why a thief? Because it really helps to be able to stealthily run past
lots of enemies, for instance the guards in Curst prison or the many
hostiles in Carceri. You don't have to fight much anyway, and in the
fights you cannot avoid, backstab is very strong. Also it takes ages
to become a mage and learn spells etcetera. Besides stealth,
pickpocketing and detrapping are also used in this speed run. For
these reasons, thief is easily the most convenient class for speed

Why the focus on DRCs? Because when you use one, there is a short
window of time in which you are allowed a free backstab (without
having to hide first). Thus you can walk up to a NPC while he/she's
still friendly, hide, backstab, DRC, backstab again. This is very
effective in the hard fights, against Ravel, Trias and Ignus. Well
worth the 10-20 seconds required to get them.

Run outline

=== Segment 1: Start to Tenement of Thugs ===

Build your character with maximal 18/00 strength and 16 WIS [1]. Start
the game. Let Morte stop talking by pressing 1 a million times. Attack
one the zombie with the key, and in the meantime move Morte to a
convenient position close to the staircase. Drop Morte from the party,
kill the zombie, pick up the key. Now run all the way around and go up
to the third floor. There, collect, in order [2], charcoal charm
(3320,1250); 33 copper, bone charm, corpse fly charm (1800,500; bash
open first); junk (2900,1850); prybar (2050,2333); sanctum key
(850,2000); hammer (625,1475). Then take the left stairway back
down. There pick up Morte and go down to the first floor. Take the
portal at (1400,450), pick up the money and go straight to Ragpicker's
Square. There, have Morte run to Mebbeth's house while TNO visits
Ratbone to train as a thief (dialog: (1^6)2111) [3].  Talk to Mebbeth
(121112). Sell all charms. Buy a charm of infinite recall and all
three dirty rat charms (DRCs). Kill Mebbeth and pick up a fourth DRC
[4]. (This is my own innovation by the way.) Head out to the Trash
Warrens and attack someone to get yourself killed. You reappear at
Marta's. You could insert another segment break here if you

Bash open the door to the weeping catacombs (using Morte to lead angry
blokes away from the gate.) Run to the Dead Nations entrance, hoping
for not too many cranium rats (they may get a spell off on you as long
as they don't kill you).  Submit to Hargrimm (111) and say (42) to
Soego. Then attack Soego while Morte attacks you. Die and reappear in
the Weeping Catacombs. This death opens up the Dead Nations for you
(thanks KFX!)  Run back into the Dead Nations, where you now
conveniently appear close to the Drowned Nations entrance. Enter the
Drowned Nations (leave Morte by the entrance) and quickly pick up the
bronze sphere, dodging all monsters. [5] Use Morte to get back to the
Dead Nations. Hit Acaste to offend everyone and die once more (another
innovation). You reappear at the Weeping Catacombs entrance; leave,
rebash the gate and enter Pharod's court. Drop Morte. Say ((1^11)222)
to Pharod to get the quest you just did. Talk to him again and say
(1^*) to make Annah appear, then (1eeee2e2) to teleport to the
Tenement of Thugs entrance, and then a final (1).

=== Segment 2: Tenement of Thugs to Ravel's Maze ===

Say (111121) to the Tenement door to enter. Run to the door leading to
the main hall of the Starved Dog Barking Thugs. Here, level up. You'll
have gained two levels. Place all thieving points in stealth, and both
character points in STR (raising it to 20). (While you are doing this,
Annah has to collect the prybar from (2500,2500) at the same time if
you did not bring the one from the Mortuary. Tricky!) This is also a
good time to equip the prybar, put the four DRCs from Mebbeth in the
first quick item slot, and the charm of recall in the second. Now
hide, open the door and run to the exit. Once there, re-hide, backstab
and kill the Dabus (it may not go down at once, which is why equipping
the prybar was important). Now enter the next area and talk to the
alley. The dialogue is long but you only have to say (1^*). Once you
are free to go, leave the area again and undo the Dabus repairs. Leave
Annah near the area transition point. Once done, return to the alley
and say (1^*) once more. You now enter the Lower Ward. Have TNO run to
Giltspur while Annah runs in the direction of Lenny. Say (4) to
Giltspur, then talk to him again and say (42). Now let Annah open the
door to the printer, but do not enter yet. Instead, have TNO backstab
Lenny, then equip his punch daggers (which are quite good!). Then
enter the printer shop, and let Annah stay near the exit. Say (52) to
the printer, and leave again using Annah. Now drop Annah from the
party. [6] Exit to Clerk's Ward. Enter the Brothel of Slaking
Intellectual Lusts. Backstab Kesai-Serris and take her bloody
handkerchief. Run back to the brothel entrance and let yourself be
killed by the guards; you reappear at the top-left Lower Ward. Run to
Giltspur, say (42), then run to the Godsman at the foundry gate and
say (71). Enter the foundry, backstab Nadilin, take the portal. Use
the charm of infinite recall (by pressing X), then Use the portal. You
enter Ravel's maze. Run up to Ravel in the centre of the maze via the
eastern route. Hide as soon as the Trigits are out of sight.

=== Segment 3: Ravel's maze ===

This is a short segment, but it's worth it. Engage conversation with
Ravel: [9]

  11#(1^10)211314115(1^*)          # What can change the nature of a man?
  2(1^5) [ 23(1^4)4(1^4)5) ] (1^*) # Appearance of the shadows

The part in square brackets can be skipped at the cost of 90,000 XP,
as discussed in [4]. After finishing the dialogue, *immediately* hide
(use a hotkey) before she turns hostile. After (or before, don't think
it matters) she summons her Trigits, level up to level 11. Max stealth
and pickpocketing, throw the remaining points in disarm trap. Then
raise STR to 25 and WIS to 17. Once you're done, run up to Ravel and
backstab. Unless you get a good critical, she's not dead: use a
hotkeyed DRC and backstab once more. That should kill her. Killing
Ravel will probably require a couple of tries.

Pick up hear heart charms [7], run to the exit portal to go to Curst.
Watch the excruciatingly long, uninterruptable cutscene. You reappear
in Curst. Go down to Curst Prison via the dump. Hide, then run to the
second area. I suppose you can use the auto-save as segment break.

=== Segment 4: Curst to Carceri ===

Run up to Trias, re-hiding when you get the chance. Say (1112) to
accept his quest. Hide once more and run to the prison. Enter, (you
have to say (11) to the door), and run to the door to the second
hallway. Pickpocket the last guard of the hall, near the door, for the
key and immediately re-hide. Go two more hallways inward and open the
final door by stepping on the trapped circle (you may have to detrap
it first if your health is low from the Ravel fight). Now run all the
way up to Cassius and challenge him on wits, (21211311). [8] Run back
and find some guards who are willing to kill you instead of the
escaped prisoners. Die, then run back to Trias (hiding when you get
the chance). Talk to him (221#(1^*)), hide and leave through the
portal. Now enter Fhjull's house, run up to Fhjull to say
(111e21eee171616185111e(1^5)2). [10] Run back up and out (this is where
you'll regret not having brought a companion... and what's worse, you
will have to do it again) and take the portal under the skeleton ribs
to Baator.  Hide, run to the Pillar of Skulls area, step up to the
pillar and initiate dialogue: (11213111#e(1^5)45). [11] Leave the
area, hide and proceed to take the portal at the lower left. Visit
Fjhull once more, and use (112) to ask the location of the next
exit. Leave and take the portal under the skeleton pelvis to Curst
gone. Run up and immediately take the portal to Carceri. Hide straight
away and run up to the headquarters. [12] Enter and immediately
hide. Try to sneak past the charging Sohmien efficiently. At the
staircase there are four more waiting; backstab the first and kill or
run around the second. [13] Go up the stairs, then take the right hand
door to the right corridor, while avoiding getting hit. Close the door
behind you and hide again. Go up to the third floor. Here first
detrap, then bash open the chest and get the Mark of the Savant punch
daggers. Equip them (no need to identify). Also level up: put the
thieving points anywhere and raise WIS to 23. Then hide and walk up to

=== Segment 5: Trias to Fortress of Regrets ===

Backstab Trias. He'll speak to you, say (e41). Use DRC (hotkey!),
backstab Trias again. Hopefully he yields. Otherwise just keep
pounding until he does. Once he yields, say (22212223). Adahn observes
that "There is a slight delay between doing the last damage to trias
and him yielding, which is best used telling nameless to run away, so
he doesn't get mangled by Trias' minions [...]" Since we didn't bring
companions we have to get out from in between Trias' goons. You may
even have to kill one to get out. Take the portal back to the Hive.
Visit Pox and have him kill you to get back into the Mortuary,
(1121221). Then open the portal, (1^*) when the dialogue appears, and
leave for the Fortress of Regrets. Open the large door (cutscene) and
enter the cannon puzzle area (Ignus cutscene). Hide, save.

=== Segment 6: Shadows ===

This is very very tricky. I cannot reliably do this on full speed, but
if I pause every now and then I have a reasonable chance of getting
through. You have to use each of four cannons, which will teleport you
to another part of the map then take the exit portal. There are a
number of platforms, connected more or less like this:

     A---D   E
     |\   \  |      
     | B   \ |
     |      \|

1. Take the cannon (1^*) in the large main room F a little above where you
start. You are teleported to room D.
2. Run to A, then to B. Important: make sure that *all* shadows in A
follow you! In B, take the cannon (1^*) to C.
3. Run to F, then to E. This is a long run with many shadows following
you. in E, take the cannon (1^*) to G.
4. In G, take the last cannon to A (1e1). Since you lured all shadows
away, you should be able to hide now! Sneak through the dozens of
shadows to the portal in E.

For more discussion of this part of the run, see [14].

=== Segment 7: Endgame ===

Hide, run up to Ignus, backstab him, use DRC, backstab again. Then
click on the crystal, dialogue (11). You reappear in the middle of
your three earlier incarnations. There is a lot of dialogue you have
to click through: ((e^4)1(e^6)). Now the Practical Incarnation talks
to you, absorb him with (11e11122e11e1). You will have your WIS raised
to 24 and your INT to 10, so even though you have enough experience to
level up now, you don't need to, since WIS 24 is enough to merge with
TTO. Use the two Kasseg bugs. This suffices to raise your INT to 16
and merge with the Paranoid Incarnation, which is what we will do
next: talk to him and absorb him using
(111e1511111e1). (Alternatively, you can kill him as described in
[10].) Finally backstab the good incarnation.  Deionarra appears,
leave the area with (11e11). Run up to The Transcendent One, and merge
with him using (e1ee11e11312112(1^*)). The end!

[1] By the end of the game, we either need the Blade of the Immortal
from Coaxmetal, which takes ages to obtain, or 24 points in either
INT, WIS or CHA. Ekarderif's speed run plan was CHA based, because he
needed at least 16 CHA anyway to be able to use Stale Mary to quickly
leave the Dead Nations. However, thanks to KFX' suggestion that the
Dead Nations can be escaped simply by dying there once, we can use WIS
instead of CHA which is much, much more convenient for many reasons:
it grants an XP bonus, it yields more XP in the Ravel discussion, and
you gain a number of WIS boosts in the course of the game, making it
very easy to reach 24.

[2] You can speed this up somewhat by not picking up the prybar, and
taking the junk at (1400,950) instead of (2900,1850). However, then
you will have to have Annah pick up a prybar in the Tenement, which is
possible, but difficult to do efficiently. The route I described above
is perhaps a tiny bit slower than perfectly executed prybar collection
in the Tenement, but it is much easier.

[3] It may be nice to postpone becoming a thief until we reach the
Lower Ward. This would give us a better THAC0 for the rest of the game
at the cost of some more trouble during the Tenement of Thugs (you
would probably need to use Annah to skip by the thugs), and it takes a
little more time to train as a thief at the Lower Ward. On the other
hand, it will probably facilitate all fights. All in all, this seems
like a judgement call.

[4] If you do not kill Mebbeth, you can get a little more XP and a WIS
boost from Ravel later on. You have enough WIS anyway, but the XP may
allow you to reach thief level 12 at that point, which gives you x5
backstabs, which will *really* help kill Ravel. However, according to
Dan Simpson's excellent FAQ (available on GameFAQs) you do not gain
both the 7th level and the 12th level thief bonus if you gain both
level 7 and level 12 at the same time. Thus, you would also sacrifice
+2 DEX +1 luck if you did that. (I have not tested this myself.)  All
in all, probably better to just kill Mebbeth. On the other hand, it is
also possible to gain *less* XP from Ravel, which reduces the length
of the conversation. I'm not sure whether or not this 90,000 XP
actually helps anything, you'll end up at level 11 for the Ravel fight

[5] You could pick up the 3 charms of infinite recall and the magical
punch daggers at (1915,2700, bash open). You then would not have to
buy a charm of infinite recall at Mebbeth, and since the punch daggers
are enchanted, you will have +1 to hit when backstabbing the Dabus and
Lenny later on. Probably not worth it though, as it increases the risk
of being trapped and killed by the flock of lesser Vargouilles that
flies around there...

[6] From here on, the run is performed solo. There has been quite some
discussion on SDA whether or not keeping Annah as a companion would be
worthwhile. My feeling is that it might speed up things somewhat, at
the cost of a run that is much harder to execute. Therefore I decided
that I will test and describe the run for TNO solo from this point,
with the remark that if one is willing to *really* practice
multitasking TNO and Annah, it would probably be somewhat better to
keep her as company. In that case, some dialogue also changes, most
notably Ravel reacts to Annahs presence.

[7] Unlike in CHA based runs, you don't need to pick up the fiend's
eye. You probably should pick up the heart charms however, which may
come in useful in the Fortress of Regrets.

[8] You can also pickpocket his bandages then challenge him on speed,
but you may have to pickpocket him twice before you get them. The
dialogue then reduces to (11), but I don't think its quicker.

[9] You could have the segment split *after* the dialogue with Ravel
to avoid having to re-do it before her battle. But you would have to be
very quick, and it is a somewhat unnatural moment for a break.

[10] Conveniently, since this is a WIS-based run, the dialogue
sequence extracts the way out of Baator as well. Part of the dialog
sequence is to extract two Kasseg bugs from Fhjull; you can also do
the run without the bugs. The dialog then shortens to
(111e25111e(1^5)2). The Kasseg bugs are necessary to be able to absorb
the Paranoid incarnation (you need INT >= 16 to be able to do that.)
If you don't want to absorb Paranoid, you can kill him: backstab
him. Then, if you have a DRC, use that and backstab him
again. Otherwise, move to one end of the room, wait for him, then run
to the other side. Now you can hide and backstab him again.

[11] This dialogue makes you give up 15 HP. Betraying Fhjull is not an
option because of the horribly long cutscene that follows as you leave
the area.

[12] There is a fifth DRC in the locked large crate at (2400,1700),
but I suggest you leave it there unless you absolutely need it: you
have to bash open the crate, get the charm, equip it, and then you'll
no longer be hidden, which makes it almost impossible to avoid
conversation with the hermit who heals you. Since you should have full
health at this point from dying in the Curst prison, you don't need
healing either.

[13] There must be a better way to do this!

[14] Miscellaneous remarks:

* If you get hit, it seems as if it takes some time to recover. If a
  second shadow hits you during that time, you may never be able to
  get away... be careful to avoid getting in range of two shadows at
  the same time.

* If you do get hit, but manage to escape, use one of the heart charms
  you got from Ravel. If they're in quick item slot #2, and if you
  have this hotkeyed under X, you can simply use the charm by pressing
  X then 1.

* The route I give is not the shortest one: it is faster to take the
  cannons in rooms E,G,B,F in that order. This is also the order
  practiced by Ekarderif and Adahn. However, I found it completely
  impossible to avoid all the shadows that way. I think it is
  essential to create at least one opportunity to hide for yourself.

* Note that the shadows move not towards you, but towards your *target
  location*. Use this to your advantage.

* It is probably easiest to practice this part of the run while
  pausing every now and then, then pausing less and less as you get

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