Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #1393: Samhain-Grim's NES Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania 3) "Grant path" in 28:57.55

Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Game name: Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania 3)
Game version: Japan
ROM filename: Akumajou_Densetsu_(J).nes
Branch: Grant path
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 28:57.55
FrameCount: 104253
Re-record count: 25756
Author's real name: MSM
Author's nickname: Samhain-Grim
Submitter: VANDAL
Submitted at: 2006-12-18 15:14:21
Text last edited at: 2006-12-17 12:24:50
Text last edited by: Bisqwit
Download: Download (5123 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
The Grant path, again, but this time it's about two minutes quicker! You may wonder why before you view this movie so I'll tell you. As soon as I get Grant I change to him, that's pretty much it. Turns out that Grant is a total power-house when he is used properly (glitchy/tricky describes using him better). This will probably be my final revision of the Grant path since most likely only mere frames would be picked up (if I knew exactly where then that line of text would be obsolete) so enjoy this one as it is very special to me.

Emulator used:

Movie Details:

Through out the movie I abuse certain tool-assisted abilities that only Grant possesses (most of them are only usable frame-wise). There's one for falling quicker (most only used on high platforms because, even at a two-block height, there is always the strong impact of the fall.), one for canceling out the weapon animation which allows for more attacks and attacking time, and one (which Trevor can also use) to cancel out the strong impact of a long fall. I also learned in this run through that Grant can climb walls quicker by pressing the jump and also he's able to jump off a wall which is relatively useful. With those abilities (which I'll go into depth later on in the text) abused this game is very manipulatable in reaching quite a fast time with Grant. Well, let me take you through this text regarding this game, level by level. Some patronizing will occur.

Level One

Much like Phil's/Genisto's CV3 runs, the first level is nearly identical with slightly faster variation (the use of canceling long fall impact and better luck manipulation). I need five extra hearts to stop some enemies and the also for the boss fight. The boss is a skeleton warrior or something like that.


Nothing Special at all here besides the start of the game.


It seems that in the last part of this area, depending on which frame you jump to manipulate the Medusa head, changes the outcome of the zombies' positions in the next area.


Luck manipulation is apparent here. I have Trevor kill the first zombie and offset the whip upgrade's appearance, then jump over the next zombie and kill the third zombie which drops one of three things on specific frames: the Dagger, the Axe, and the Stop-Clock (I have him collect the Stop-Clock for later use). Then I have him collect the last whip upgrade from a zombie.


The boss fight is optimized to death so no frames gained here interesting victory pose though.

Level Two

The boss is Grant, possessed though. It only takes two hearts to incapacitate him thoroughly and then the whip takes its toll.


A few hearts are used from the Stop-Clock and from the Holy Water (which is collected in this area) as well as some hearts are collected.


Luck manipulation isn't visually apparent since it is seamless; the Medusa heads were set up in fixed areas for easier climbing.


There's some unavoidable lag here and also more seamless Medusa head manipulation which makes for a clean but empty climb. A more aggressive fight this time around, enjoy it because it's Trevor's last.


Grant creates the Grant Path from here on out. I managed to kill three Medusa heads for the price of one heart on the way down with the axe resulting in 700 easy points (who cares about points though).


Nothing that isn't self-explanatory.


You'll see that I don't wobble on the Pendulums and there's a reason why. It wastes a frame (even though I did it with Trevor, that one was used to manipulate the timing and positions of the Medusa heads). That's it for level two, on to level three.

Level Three

The plan in level three is changed, I no longer even need Trevor so I run through this level and every level after this as Grant resulting in a massive amount of time gained (278 frames for each one change). The boss is a Cyclops which Grant only needs to use six hearts to sub due it.


I abuse, in this area, the trick in which cancels the frame consuming attack animation and by doing so, for some weird reason, I come across and collect an invisible heart around frame 29750 so you may want to check that out.


I tried to eliminate as much lag as possible in this area by removing or stopping enemies and their projectiles when convenient. Jumping just before the door is faster because he walks slower than usual for some reason.

The Sypha path is in fact the faster route by about 40 seconds, if I remember correctly, so that is why I take it each and every time.


Nothing too spectacular besides the trick/glitch used to cancel the attack animation to eliminate a crow and hit a candle and a long jump.


I get an extra live and my II in this area, nice and ready for the boss now! The boss fight is an interesting one since Trevor usually does the boss fighting. Grant actually defeats the boss quicker than Trevor does so the question is why didn't I fight with Grant before? Well, without the glitches/tricks that Grant mostly can only use then I'm sure the fight would only be a little faster (just minus the 556 frames from changing back and forth and you'd notice Trevor is actually quicker in the fighting if such glitches/tricks didn't exist though). In the middle of the fight, lightning strikes and for some reason it looks as if it strikes the Cyclops because after it's done doing its attack with the mallet its life bar goes down abruptly, weird.

Level Four

It's weird that the levels went into hex by this time, I guess there is another level four. A few bosses inhabit what looks like a haunted ship. Medusa which takes five hearts to eliminate her. The Mummies and another Cyclops would be next and together they take twelve hearts to make sure they stay down for just a little while.


Some hearts are collected and some clean optimization is apparent here, nothing else really.


More hearts are collected and a more optimized room this one is. You'll see that I jump off the wall (where the stairs are) rather than climbing the wall (which would seem to be faster) here but I assure you it's for manipulating the scrolling platforms in 4-0C in which I can jump up to them quicker.


Grant proves once again to be useful with his high jumping. Now for the boss, Medusa. Medusa is tricked in to thinking that Grant is up in the air so she fires away at a missing target while Grant takes advantage and demolishes her.


Nothing in particular outstanding in this area, on to 4-0E


Those birds get awfully close to Grant but do not harm him. Now for the bosses, the mummies are both ripped to pieces pretty quickly which is interesting with the use of the axe. The Cyclops has a little more vitality this time but it is roughly the same fight (maybe he does have the same amount of vitality but minus the lightning bolt striking it, who knows, I know I don't). Kind of a cool victory pose, I might add.

Level Five

The boss is Frankenstein for this stage and it turns out to be one really cool fight. Frankenstein takes five hearts to take down.


Quite a bit of climbing is needed for this area. At the end of 5-0A, around frame 53145, there is a weird occurrence. It seems some broken stone falls on the candle breaking it and revealing a money bag or Grant throws an invisible dagger without the weapon button being pressed, I honestly don't know what happens here.


Getting hit by the Spearman initiates the screen scrolling up much quicker rather than defeating him and jumping up when there is no ceiling overhead. I have Grant do some interesting things that way it's more bearable to pay attention. At the end of 5-0B, I wait a frame in order to manipulate the Axe Knight to throw the axe low rather than high for optimal movement in 5-0C.


More climbing and then the boss. In this fight you'll see an unorthodox fight, I don't want to ruin it so really watch this one, it's a good one.

Level Six

Level six is probably one of, if not, the shortest level(s) on the Sypha path (or the game). This level's boss features what would seem like a couple of Hydras and they take four hearts to rip them a new one.


A short area with money, on to 6-0B.


Going on the underside is the fastest manner because you don't have to fight the current and it's a consistent pace. There is some manipulation of the birds in this area, depending on which frame you jump on changes there movement track.


Finally, here you get to see fast climbing in action and really nothing else.


More bird manipulation as well as Mermen. The Hydras were relatively fun to fight with Grant and they make for a different type of boss fight. That's it for level six.

Level Seven

This level's boss required a lot of hearts in order for a good boss fight. The bosses in this level are the Mummies, another Cyclops, and a Gargoyle that goes by the name as Leviathan and together they take Thirty-Two hearts to manage.


I need all the hearts I can get without slowing down much, that sums up most of this level actually.


More hearts as fast as possible. There is some weird occurrences at the end of this area of 7-0B in which if you walk off the last teetering bar you'll be inside the floor and will not be able to go through the door, just something weird there.


I need all the hearts I can get, from candles and enemies, I Need Them! Pesky birds, made me waste a heart. Another auto-scrolling area in 7-0C which I tried to make interesting, as usual. Now for the bosses, the Mummies have more vitality this time around so they take longer to kill. The Cyclops has slightly less than last time as far as I can remember. The Gargoyle, Leviathan, made for an interesting fight as he has a lot of vitality and Grant hits pretty weak although it is faster than Trevor by quite a bit, be sure to really check this one out as it is probably my finest fight besides Dracula.

Level Eight

Finally, no more hex in this level as I believe this is where both paths sync up. Death is the boss in the castle of Castlevania. He takes nine hearts to vanquish.


Getting hearts in this level can be tedious, I get mine from enemies and candles (duh, where else am I going to get them? No, really, Where!?).


More usefulness on Grant's behalf as he can climb through such small crevices. A different transition to 8-03 is the use of the stairs rather than a door that slams open and slams shut.


Taking the bottom of the falling floor is faster than the stairs and now there is no back tracking, I have Grant wait until he can squeeze through the falling floor at the end. Death is an interesting boss because he has two forms. The first form is what we all know him as, the Grim Reaper but the second form is a giant withering, brown skull. The second form's battle is much like the fight featured on Genisto's Alucard path. Nothing more to say about the boss Death.

Level Nine

Level nine features a boss that resembles a purple whoever you are and changes when you change. It is in fact a Doppelganger and a rather crappy one, it doesn't even get to do anything and it takes no hearts because it is a weird boss like that.


I get hit, as usual in this area, to propel Grant forward with blinking time.


I get pretty close to those spikes without getting hit which may tell you what kind of hit detection a moving object has in this game.


Another auto-scrolling area which I find that good use Grant's abilities will make it entertaining. Those Spikey bluish balls that hug platforms and get around are undefeatable, as you will see, unless you have Sypha's Ice Magic in which then you can smash them to pieces. You'll see I drop a crap load of objects on one of those skeleton knights, to precise it was a dagger and two axes (a glitchy maneuver I might say as I believe you cannot drop axes while hanging upside down but you can throw them with the right combination of inputted buttons).


Manipulation of the Medusa head's appearance coordinates happens in this area, right before the boss. The Doppelganger had nothing on Grant as he plowed through him in an interesting way. I had Grant look as if he didn't lift a finger; ducking the whole time while from somewhere daggers came flying into the Doppelganger.

Level Ten or A as it reads in hex

Level ten has what you all have been waiting for, Dracula. The boss fight is real well done and required Thirty-three hearts.


I have Grant stop for a frame to manipulate those pesky birds. The auto-scrolling area has a lot of lag and I tried to get as many hearts as I could from the Medusa heads. As you'll see I was not able to kill them all, even if I wanted to. I get hit more because I no longer need all the vitality I can keep for the boss fight with Dracula.


I lose a heart to gain a heart, a little too convenient. Almost there.


I needed sixteen more hearts so I got them here. The first form of Dracula is your standard vampire. The second form is a bunch of lagging mutant faces/skulls but they are kind of fun to here get hit a countless number of times. The third form looks like what is probably Pazuzu or something like that. This boss has you time your hits and cannot be hit over and over again as fast as possible.

That's it, the Grant path is optimal now to the point in which I don't really want to touch it again. I hope that you either enjoyed it or will in fact enjoy it because I had a lot of fun working on it again.

Some Tricks/Glitches

Falling Quicker (Grant only, really)

When walking near the edge of a platform, if you let go of the direction you are going in for one frame then he should zip on downward. This can only be done in a frame precise manner.

Trevor can do this but it isn't useful in the way he can. It works when jumping from above down below and barely knicking the platform and as I describe it, it isn't useful really anywhere.

Canceling the Landing Impact Animation

I believe anyone can do this. On the correct frame after a high up jump that brings you down far below, if hit the weapon button it will allow you to keep on walking. This saves quite a few frames.

Canceling the Attack Animation

Canceling the attack animation can be done by everyone, it's really useful for Grant. The basic way to do it is to jump in the air and just as you touchdown, on the correct frame, hit the weapon button and there should be no animation but the sound effect. This is useless with Trevor's and Sypha's Melee weapon but with there Sub-Weapon it becomes increasingly useful.

Canceling the Attack Animation Alternatively (Grant only)

With Grant, if you duck with him and let go of duck a frame later and use the weapon button on that frame he shouldn't do the animation of himself throwing the dagger. This only works with his standard attack and not his Sub-Weapon. Also with Grant, while his hanging upside down or holding the side of the wall, he can cancel the animation out. If it's the Sub-Weapon you want to use, while upside down, let go of up for a frame and then on the next frame hold up again and press the weapon button. If it's his regular dagger, let go of up for a frame and on the next frame don't press up but press the weapon button, then you can press and hold up again. With the Sub-Weapon on the side of the wall, let go of either left or right (whichever you are holding) for a frame and then press up and the weapon button the very next frame. With his regular dagger attack, let go of either left or right for one frame and press the weapon button for a frame then carry on holding left or right.

These All Have to Be Relatively Frame Precise for Them to Work

Thanks to...

JXQ and Phil for bringing up the fact, that fighting bosses with Grant is much more worth while time wise than changing back and forth, to my attention, it really speeds this game up a lot on the Grant path (wouldn't have been as much if the tricks/glitches weren't in the game's programming). Thanks to Phil's and Genisto's runs which outlined nearly a perfect first level. I'd like thank anyone who takes the time to watch this run or read this text. Thanks moozooh for taking interest in this game's Grant path which is obviously featured in this run. And thank you Bisqwit for creating such a fine site for all these Tool-Assisted Superplays to be hosted.

adelikat: Accepting for publication.

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