I know the encounters are supposedly set, but do they change their order if you leave and enter a dungeon or overworld? How are they effected by say-the hall of giants in the earth cave? Is there a guide out there for this sort of thing?

I noticed that in fights, if I delayed my actions for running away(with all 4 characters) many times at least 2 of my characters would go first, whereas selecting run away as fast as possible would result in at least 2 enemies attacking. Sometimes, I delay the first and last warrior's action-and this usually works.

I know that something influences these things. I tested it myself in the marsh cave by running straight to the wizards floor-collecting treasure on the way. There is a room to the immediate east of the wizards. If I skip that treasure and go for them, I got 3-4 wizards in the fight for the crown. But, after a reset-I ran back to this area-skipped the boss-got that treasure, then only fought 2 wizards....and barely took damage in the fight....Then I repeated both steps, and got the same results.

I am playing on the NES mini-and the Kyozoku trick works(though the first battle after a reset is against sahagins-the 2nd is the kyozokus). This trick involves saving-then turn the power off and on, go into the ocean without an encounter, first encounter is always 1-5 Kyozokus.

  • Just a note: I believe forums for speed runners/TAS have this information because this is basically what they aim to: luck manipulation.
    – antimo
    Oct 2, 2019 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


The encounters you get are determined by your step count and the area of the map you are on.

Most steps you take will advance your step count. Safe tiles, such as in towns, do not advance step count. There are some safe tiles, e.g. outside of Corneria, in front of doorways in dungeons, and against southern walls in interior rooms in dungeons.
To illustrate, I have approximately highlighted the safe tiles on this floor of Marsh Cave. Damaging ice and lava tiles, as well as trap tiles that force an encounter (such as the wizards in marsh cave) are also safe and do not advance the step count:

Marsh Cave safe tiles

The other thing that can influence this is resetting. On the NES, there are soft resets and hard resets. A soft reset is when you press the reset button. It does not alter your step count. A hard reset is when you power off the console and turn it back on. A hard reset will set your step count to 0.

Here's an example to demonstrate how this is can be used:
The ice cavern has coctrices which can very easily wipe out your party through stone. You can mitigate this by manipulating the encounters through resets. First, tent and hard reset outside the dungeon. This will reset your step count to 0. Then, walk around outside until you hit an encounter and soft reset. Repeat two more times. Because the encounters were based on step count, you are at a certain spot in the encounter table, and once you enter the dungeon your next encounter will have some coctrices. If they stone all of you, you can hard reset and try the setup again without much hassle. (Of course, you could soft reset a couple more times to advance the step count past the coctrice encounter... but that leads to nastier encounters later in the dungeon. With this setup, assuming you take a direct route through the dungeon and don't wander all over, the encounters past the first one will be relatively safe.)

This also explains why the Kyzoku trick works. The hard reset sets the step count to 0, so the first encounter in any area after that will be the same. In this case it will always be 1-5 Kyzokus. The specific numbers of the enemies are randomly chosen from a few configurations. I don't know what influences those random choices.

I do not have an encounter table on hand that shows which encounter you'll get in which area at which step count. If you visit the speedrun.com page for the game, you will likely find someone who has it and is willing to share. Under the "guides" section, you will also find a document detailing how to manipulate what happens during an encounter.

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