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

Submission #2997: Synahel's SMS Dragon Crystal "Glitched ending" in 01:18.2

Console: Sega MasterSystem
Game name: Dragon Crystal
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Dragon Crystal (UE) [!].sms
Branch: Glitched ending
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 01:18.2
FrameCount: 4692
Re-record count: 346
Author's real name: B.S.
Author's nickname: Synahel
Submitter: Synahel
Submitted at: 2011-02-05 16:34:11
Text last edited at: 2015-03-04 20:00:21
Text last edited by: Synahel
Download: Download (599 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Our unnamed hero is trapped into a magical world of monsters and magic, but prefers to run through the 30 stages of the game instead of fighting for his survival. Eh, what a wimp. This movies focuses on avoiding enemies like plague and getting as fast as possible to stage ends, while making sure that the next stage will be a treat.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: Dega 1.16pre1
  • Fastest playthrough
  • Takes damage to save time
  • No item used


Wow, after so many years, it's a relief to both at least make a proper TAS and see this game which was so hard to beat when I was a child finished without any Dragonslayer or Power suit. Nor Game Over.

Dragon Crystal is a random-generated dungeon RPG on the SMS filled with bad engrish, where you have to find the exit of the 30 stages before finding the crystal ball on the 30th stage which lets you end the game. The game's difficulty becomes outrageous after only a couple stages, and getting through the whole game can become extremely difficult, as it is insanely random. The stages are filled with swords (your weapon), armors (well, your armor, also changes the sprite of the character at some points), potions (healing, removing poison, but also making you sluggish, paralizing you, etc), staves (magic attacks, getting to the next stage, but also removing a level or summoning a monster), scrolls (removing cursed items, providing a map of the stage, teleporting you randomly, etc) and rings (many passive effects, good and bad), but you don't know what they do (or if weapons/armors are cursed) until you use/equip them. They appear as "Red" or "Brown" staff or potion as you get them, and yes the colors for each item changes at each game. I don't use any item nor even get anything from the ground, not even food (which is automatically used every x steps, or sometimes stolen by monsters, and helps you regenerate if you stand still and pass turns, pressing the 2 button).

The "yellow thingie" following you is a dragon egg, which evolves as you level up (by getting experience you get by obviously killing monsters). Sadly, he doesn't do a thing but is very useful for blocking the way as you know it will always get on the tile you just left, and you can sometimes avoid monsters using the egg/dragon to block the way.

Each next stage is generated randomly depending on which frame you walk onto the exit. A solid part of the speedrun is spent waiting for a "good" next level, with an exit easily attainable. Thankfully, as the game is pretty short, it's ok to try and miss, testing on each frame you get onto the exit if the next level will be ok or not. An innocent eye will also not notice how I ramble around some enemies to make sure I don't get attacked by them. Yet it happens twice in the first stages, but these were the shorter available routes compared to other routes in these levels.

Please make sure to notice that the ending is glitched. This glitch happened to me several times on different emulators (notably Meka and SMS Plus for the PSP), but also on real hardware: sometimes the game simply crashes, sometimes it restarts, sometimes it crashes during the ending. Sometimes, well, I get the ending. I don't know yet what causes this glitch and if it can be avoided, but everything that I've tried on this run hasn't been successful.

Other comments

This run isn't long and hasn't needed many rerecords (346 says the movie, but it may be wrong as I've read on the forums about Dega), but it's my first original TAS, and I'm happy to have done it on a video game I've always loved and on which I spent so much time as a child. Also, it focuses on efficiency and doesn't gives much freedom for doing impressive feats, but well, some games just don't allow it much.

sgrunt: Replaced the submission file with one that does not begin from save state. Note that this run uses the Doze core. Also added YouTube module.

DarkKobold: Claimed

DarkKobold: What I see happening, is the 'final objective' is achieved, and then the game crashes. As far as I can tell, there is no guaranteed relation between the two. In other words, suppose someone could possibly figure out a way to crash the game at the opening menu, which caused a similar visual result. If that happened, would that movie qualify as completing the game? I'd say no. Simply because the final objective happens at the moment the game crashes is not sufficient to consider the game 'completed.' After giving this a lot of thought, I'm rejecting this movie as incomplete, as we have another submission of this that does complete the game.

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