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

Submission #3003: Synahel's SMS Dragon Crystal in 01:18.2

Console: Sega MasterSystem
Game name: Dragon Crystal
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Dragon Crystal (UE) [!].sms
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 01:18.2
FrameCount: 4692
Re-record count: 346
Author's real name: O. S.
Author's nickname: Synahel
Submitter: Synahel
Submitted at: 2011-02-10 08:55:44
Text last edited at: 2014-02-04 16:39:09
Text last edited by: Nach
Download: Download (573 bytes)
Status: published
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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 w/ Doze core
  • Fastest playthrough to get an unglitched ending
  • Takes damage to save time
  • No items used


This submission follows the "Glitched ending" one, in order to beat the game without making the world tearing itself apart.

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.

In order to get a proper working ending, the last level had to be delayed by a few frames, making the run a bit longer, yet providing the real ending (with its glitched credits, yep, these still happen sometimes but the game doesn't crash anymore). As mentioned on the "Glitched ending" comments, these endgame glitches happened on real hardware.

Other comments

This run is less optimized than the glitched one, but by only 20-ish frames, but provides a real ending. Yet, it's still very short and not very entertaining, mostly due to how the game is beaten.
Flygon: Added YouTube module because I am evil.

DarkKobold: Also claiming.

DarkKobold: First off, I'm biased, because this is my kind of TAS; it manipulates luck to skip a majority of the game. As mmbossman would say, "What is interesting about this movie is what you don't see." I'd agree with that. Secondly, I feel since the previous incomplete version was submitted first, this version didn't get a fair shake, and would have been better received had that version not been submitted. Thus, I am accepting this run.

Also, it should be noted, that further submissions to this game should make sure that the game is completed, i.e. the ending shown in this run is achieved.

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