Well, since I have a few weeks during the summer sans actual work, I am going to work on refining my speedrun, which means I request assistance with figuring out a better route and optimizing the gameplay.
Right now, the notable features of the route I've been using are that I completely skip Dondoran and the Glencoe Forest, neither of which are skipped on the World Record run. I use that time to do more defense and HP grinding. Also, there's a lot of time to be saved with the Nepty death-warp that I most definitely also use, where you rest without saving when you first get to the West Carmagh inn and then you die in a random battle right after you get the Water Jewel, saving about 3 minutes of going back through Larapool and walking though the area to the boat. Fun time saver that's a bit unintuitive.
Also, as amusing as it is to run a fire-wind only game, that's just not going to happen.
I really want to have Magic Barrier for Zelse, but I'm not sure how doable that is. Otherwise, I'll have to ration every bit of Honey Bread so I don't get KO'ed - I'd say that he's probably the hardest boss in the game and what I see as possibly the biggest potential improvement to be had - if I can set up a run such that I actually have Magic Barrier and don't have to spend 2/3rds of the battle healing, I think there's a fair amount of time to be gained there.
So, target time that I'd like to see is sub-2:50:00. Right now, my best time is about 2:58:00, but I've never actually timed the run. Also, the in-game clock that you see at saves is slow by some amount - it seems to be about 10% slower than real time, or perhaps it doesn't increment during a boss battle, so that's not actually usable for timing purposes.
Beyond the beaten path lies the absolute end. It matters not who you are... Death awaits you.