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Submission #2576: Kriole's GBA Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow "warpless" in 20:58.62

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 0999 - Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (U).gba
Branch: warpless
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 20:58.62
FrameCount: 75517
Re-record count: 159684
Author's real name: Kristian Olenfalk
Author's nickname: Kriole
Submitter: Kriole
Submitted at: 2010-02-26 19:14:40
Text last edited at: 2011-01-01 17:39:19
Text last edited by: Nahoc
Download: Download (11099 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

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General Information

This is an improvement to the old warpless any%, 24427 frames were saved, or roughly 6 minutes and 47 seconds. A majority of the time saved comes from the Kicker Skeleton, but also from using Lubicant and overall better luck manipulation, technical accuracy and bossfights.

Yrr did an attempt at this run that would have obsoleted Atma's run had he finished it, but he decided to stop due to several reasons. Therefore I will only compare to Atma's run.

Tricks

Some tricks were used while making this run. I'll try to explain those which are not addressed in the walkthrough.

Hitting before a backdash - usually done to manipulate enemies, since it adds 2 random numbers per hit, but it also gives the backdash itself a slight boost (roughly 8%). Used alot when reaching the top of stairs.

Backdashing before kicking - from a standstill, turning around and backdashing is faster than just jumping forward. Sadly this rarely saves any frames.

Backdash cancel - some guardian souls have the ability to cancel backdash (Bone Pillar, Curly, Catoblepas, Devil, Manticore) which allows for a faster movement pattern. But this does not only cancel backdash, it cancels the crouch animation after a high fall aswell. Used alot in combination with Kicker Skeleton. Backdash cancel also allows for very quick manipulation through adding hits. With a 11 frame weapon, it is possible to add 1 hit between every hit without wasting time. Used alot, especially during the elevators in Floating Gardens and the Lubicants.

Canceling Hippogryph - It is possible to cancel Hippogryph on ledges if your Y-speed is low enough. Used alot in the Chaotic Realm.

A quick walkthrough with points of interest:

Castle Corridor

Nothing fundamentally different from most runs. Some optimization in the Merman room to save single frames.

Using 3 spears on Creaking Skull, moving backwards to allow the spears to hit twice without wasting time.

Getting the Skeleton Knight and Combat Knife with close to no delay. Also picking up 2 Rotten Meats for the Lubicant soul. I cannot one-shot the Zombie Soldiers before level up - they have 46 hit points, I do 45 damage.

Entering the Chapel 936 frames ahead of Atma.

The Chapel

Having Skeleton Knight allows me to kill the Giant Ghost in 2 hits instead of 3.

Getting another Skeleton Knight soul and a Hammer without wasting time.

It is possible to have Manticore do his tailattack so that he does not move forward, but it allows for awkward movement which ultimately ends up slower.

Getting some more Hammers for fun.

Entering the Study 1371 frames ahead of Atma.

The Study

As shown, it is possible to skip landing on one of the platforms if the position is correct.

Getting the Bone Pillar is extremely hard - it is one of the rarest souls in the game. Getting it without delaying too much time was indeed a chore. I killed the Giant Ghost, which gave me the right random number to get the soul.

Getting Catoblepas without delay was pretty easy, since I had the whole Arachne corridor to toy around with. Minotaur on the other hand was a little harder. I threw a spear at the Catoblepas which had it move backwards 2 steps. This kept it from turning around - it does not change random number when it is turning, which saved nearly 40 frames on the Minotaur.

Using Bone Pillar on Great Armor saves 57 frames, but adds an extra pause screen. Bone Pillar gave me the right random number, which Catoblepas failed to do without delaying 170~ frames.

On the way out of the Study, going left instead of right saves nearly 400 frames in the Tiny Devil room. I also kill a Zombie Officer and 2 Ghost Dancers, which allows me to skip one of the Bomber Armors in the Clocktower, which saves alot of time.

Entering the warp room 3132 frames ahead of Atma.

Castle Corridor

Nothing of interest.

Most of the time saved comes from Catoblepas

Entering the Floating Gardens 3789 frames ahead of Atma.

Floating Gardens

Using the elevators to manipulate the Lightning Doll. Aligning Black Belt, Kicker Skeleton and Lightning Doll is extremely hard, but I was kind of lucky.

Switching to Bone Pillar and getting Black Belt before Kicker Skeleton allows me to grab the elevator, if there is no delay at all on the soul.

Kicking is faster on smaller steps, while backdashing is faster on the longer ones.

Entering the Clocktower 3856 freams ahead of Atma.

Clocktower

Using Bone Pillar on Death saves alot of time, but it does not allow 2 Lightning Doll charges in the first phase.

With sufficient Y-speed you can pass through the small Cog without landing on it. Sadly, it only saves 3 frames.

Entering the warp room 7172 frames ahead of Atma.

Castle Corridor

...

Entering the Underground Reservoir 7575 frames ahead of Atma.

Underground Reservoir

You cannot use Kicker Skeleton while underwater, so jumping on the watersurface is mandatory.

Nightmare is the most used soul in this run, so getting it was kinda of a obvious choice.

Triton is not useful, given that Lubicant is next in line.

Using the invincibility time of the Flame Demon to manipulate the soul.

Entering the Arena 10692 frames ahead of Atma.

The Arena

Killer Mantle oneshots many of the tougher enemies, making it a very obvious soul.

Muramasa and Lubicant was pretty tricky, but I was very lucky indeed. Getting the soul and levelup message at the same time allows me to skip the soulcollect message, which saves nearly 60 frames.

Balore is the last boss which rewards experience. Using Bone Pillar on him is faster that Great Armor, since it allows you to be on his fist longer. Nightmare was used since it has better damage/mana ratio than Lightning Doll.

Entering the warp room 14838 frames ahead of Atma.

Clocktower

Passing through to Castle Corridor

Castle Corridor

Passing through to the Top Floor

Entering the Top Floor 15662 frames ahead of Atma.

Top Floor

Using Nightmare instead of Killer Mantle on Final Guard. The fight turns out nearly 60 frames slower, but the Final Sword drops nearly 140 frames earlier. Nothing I did in the Arena changed the drops, my theory is that either warps or red doors reset the loottables.

Pairing up Final Sword and any backdash canceling soul allows one to abuse the 7 frame cooldown of the Final Sword, if the enemy is tall enough and Soma is facing the opposite direction. This is used on the Succubi and Graham's first phase.

Graham's first phase can be onerounded with the Final Sword. The second phase is slightly faster with Great Armor.

Resetting Black Panther every 29 frames, by either letting go of the forward button or kicking, allows the mana to regenerate as normal, without wasting any time.

Using Killer Mantle to kill a Red Minotaur and an Iron Golem twice on the way to the Hippogryph. Final Sword can actually hit up to three times on some targets, which is displayed on the wall.

Killing lots of enemies without wasting time.

Entering the warp room 19130 frames ahead of Atma.

Castle Corridor

Passing through to the Floating Gardens

Floating Gardens

Taking a left instead of right is slightly faster.

Julius has an extremely weird hitbox. Sometimes it is possible to have the Final Sword connect twice when standing on the ground, and sometimes it is not. It depends on where in his swing he is. Pulling Julius to the left without wasting any time allows me to exit the cutscene much further to the left.

Entering the Chaotic Realm 22096 frames ahead of Atma.

Chaotic Realm

I have to delay some frames so that the Lubicants attack in place instead of follow me around.

Final Sword is alot faster than Vyaja on Chaos, due to the massive difference in damage, obviously. It is also a overhead swing weapon, which allows for less picky position.

Finishing the game 24338 frames ahead of Atma.

Special thanks

And other people from the CvAoS community, such as arkiandruski, klmz, Pirate_Sephiroth, Zurreco and zggzdydp. Your work has served as an incredible inspiration.
adelikat: Replaced submission file with one that is 89 frames faster.

The author wrote: I saved 89 frames in the Chaotic Realm. Originally, I just wanted to manipulate the second Succubus to evade my attack by moving backwards so that I could gain some frames, which hopefully would have given me sub 21 minutes, but I also found some improvements in the Chaos fight which turned out to be much more severe than I originally thought.


adelikat: Accept for publication as a "Warpless" category.

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