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The side quests seem to require a lot of careful planning and prior knowledge to do in any kind of efficient way.  You have to know to get Asselio his x5 Steel Lances before fighting Slayde for the last time, you only have access to so many peddlers, there's always the threat of reinforcement spawning...and sometimes, you even have to farm a few items.

So, let's say you were speed running this game; doing some sort of "100%" category, or whatever.  What would be the best path?  Far as I can tell (and this is assuming you're getting the relevant items from all places you visit)...

Act 1 said:

Leave "Splitting Axe" so Celica can get it later > Leave Ram Village > Re-enter and talk to "Greedy Old Man" and "Indignant Woman" to activate "The Sommelier" and "The Wages of Sin" > Play normally till you beat Desaix (pick up the Mana Herbs; it's better to do "Secret Menu" during Act 6 backtracking) > DO NOT PICK UP THE STEEL LANCE! > End Act 1

Act 2 said:

Leave Priory > Re-enter and talk to "Languid Hermit" and "Anxious Cleric" to activate "Peace for the Departed" and "A Few Gear Short" > Grind 20 Revenants in Novis Cemetary (great training for Celica, anyway) > Complete "The Famished Fisherman" and grind x5 Coral Fragments while raiding the Seabed Shrine > Complete "Corraling Coral" at Zofia Harbor by giving Alessio the x5 Coral Fragments > Go to Ram Village to get Splitting Axe and complete "The Sommelier" (shoulda picked up Ram Wine from Pirate's Throne) and "The Wages of Sin" > Collect Steel Lance at Zofia Castle > End Act 2

Act 3 (Alm) said:

Go to Forest Village > Send Clive's Steel Lance over to Celica via peddler > Talk to "Man" and "Merchant's Wife" to activate "Goylenapped" and "The Prisoner's Whereabouts" > Go to Desaix's Fortress (DO NOT use the Pegasus Cheese you get there!) > Complete "A Bargain Bauble" by giving 30 Silver to Alessio > Clear the rest of Alm's battles

Act 3 (Celica) said:

Go to "Mountain Village > Talk to "Tired Lady" to activate "In Search of a Son" > Help "Lumberjack" and "Fish-crazy Man" to complete "Chopped!" and "A Dried Delicacy" > Raid the Dragon Shrine for the Iron Lance, "Son's Journal", and Coral Ring (last one's not needed; just super helpful) > Clear out Mila's Temple (prevents more reinforcements) > Re-visit Mountain Village > Talk to "Lumberjack" again to activate "The Stolen Icon" > Give "Son's Journal" to "Tired Lady" to further that quest > Upgrade the Iron Lance into a Steel Lance > Raid Grieth's Fortress for Fugue (among other things) > Raid Desert Stronghold for Rion Shield (among other things) > Talk to "Young Traveler" to activate "Memories of a Father" > Get the "Red Apricorn" from your next graveyard fight > Complete "In Search of a Son" by talking to "Tired Lady" again > Talk to "Lumberjack" again so you can complete "The Stolen Icon" on the way back to Mila's Temple > Complete Act 3

Act 4 (Celica) said:

Talk to "Flustered Cleric" to activate "The Clumsy Cleric" > Go through the rest of Act 4 as normal, until you get the Dragon Shield from Jedah (easily doable, assuming Celica is sufficiently leveled) > Go back to Sage's Hamlet > Upgrade your Steel Bow into a Longbow > Max out said Longbow > Send the Dragon Shield and Longbow over to Alm via peddlers > Leave Celica's route unfinished till Alm can get Celica another Steel Lance

Act 4 (Alm) said:

Talk to "Sluice Keeper" to activate "It's Oil Right" > Raid Sylvan Shrine to rescue "Girl", collect Bonewalker Oil from first fight, and read the red text (appears when "The Prisoner's Whereabouts" is activated) > Go to Forest Village > Complete "Goylenapped" by talking to "Man" again > Talk to "Merchant's Wife" to further the "The Prisoner's Whereabouts" quest > Go back to Sluice Gate > SAVE YOUR GAME > Reset if "Sluice Keeper" doesn't give you a Dragon Scale (needed for a later quest) > Raid Fear Shrine before going to Nuibaba's Manor > Complete "The Prisoner's Whereabouts" by rescuing the Merchant > "Send the last Steel Lance on over to Celica's group.

Act 4 (Celica) said:

Walk all the way back to Grieth's Fortress to finally complete "The Merchant of Death" (must be done before final fight with Slayde)

Acts 4 & 5 (Alm) said:

Complete "A Dazzling Delicacy" after beating Jerome (should have everything you need) > Beat the main story as normal

Act 6 said:

Complete every side quest you either couldn't conveniently do, or was easily saved for later (should include "A Few Gears Short", "Peace for the Departed", "Secret Menu", "Sweet Treats", "The Grand Duke of Dairy", "One Man's Trash", "A Royal Requiem", both parts of "Taken Treasure: Desaix's Vault", "A Fishy Request", "Ethereal Fishing Line", "Craving Cute", "Mythic Medicine", "The Clumsy Cleric", "The Unbreakable Shield", "A Dazzling Delicacy" (if that wasn't done already), "The Dram of the Gods", "Do You Ear What I Ear?", and "Faraway Frontiers"

So, what do you guys think?

Edited by FionordeQuester

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