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

Submission #3039: Kriole's GBA Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow "100% souls" in 24:56.1

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 0999 - Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (U).gba
Branch: 100% souls
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 24:56.1
FrameCount: 89766
Re-record count: 179603
Author's real name: Kristian Olenfalk
Author's nickname: Kriole
Submitter: Kriole
Submitted at: 2011-03-10 11:43:04
Text last edited at: 2011-03-13 15:49:55
Text last edited by: Nahoc
Download: Download (13716 bytes)
Status: published
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Movie begins from a reset; should begin from power-on.

Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

General Information

This is a 3057 frame improvement (about 51 seconds) over my last 100% run of this game.

Yet again, it is played on hardest difficulty, which requires me to start the movie from SRAM. Playing from SRAM allows me to skip cutscenes except a select few. I used Cpadolf's Julius run as my save.

Few things to note:


I discovered ducking while working on Balore in my v2. I thought little of it, especially after my tests that determined that the kicking pattern with ducking was slightly slower. However the ducking pattern added alot of random numbers, which would make manipulation slightly easier, which I also ignored since I was using Imp at the time.

I was somewhat curious though how much time ducking would save in the earlier parts of my v2, so I redid everything from the Merman Room with the Backdash soul until the Zombie Soldier Corridor, ending up nearly 200 frames ahead of myself. Admittedly, much of that was due to the 2 glitched level-up screens I managed to pull off, but that still makes 80 frames which were gained from ducking. I shared my findings with rhebus, which fueled him to create a soul drop Lua script. With the help of this script it would theoretically be possible to skip using the Imp soul entirely. The idea was very tempting, since I always thought that the useage of Imp felt very unprofessional.

After finishing the v2, a lot of improvements were found, all of which were added to this run. I will try to point them out in every area, and probably talk about some of the things I had to think about, which might not be apparent while watching.

Castle Corridor

I skipped the jump before starting to climb the first set of stairs, which saved some time.

Nothing of interest until the Creaking Skull fight. It looks like I delay a couple of frames between hits, but I actually don't. I had to take damage to make sure that I can perform a glitched level-up screen. However, taking damage from him always sent me flying to the left. I accidently got hit by his elbow once, the one holding the giant bone, and that made Soma fly to the right, instead of the left. This naturally saved a lot of time.

I had to employ some weird backdashing patterns in the beginning of the Zombie Soldier Corridor to make the Ghost spawn in the right location. Like in my v1, I get a Combat Knife and a Ghost Soul from 1 Creaking Skull sweep. I had plans to make another glitched level-up screen on the Zombie Solder later on, but it is impossible to get in close enough without taking damage. I used a broken backdash to be able to duck under the knife he holds and still be able to touch the soul as soon as it drops.

The Chapel

klmz demonstrated in his glitched any% that you are allowed 1 frame of free movement after the new area message disappeared. This was abused throughout the entire run.

I used the Creaking Skull on a Tiny Devil to be able to perform another glitched level-up before the Manticore. After the Manticore, I managed to line up the Rock Armor soul with a level up caused from a Fleaman.

Study Hall

I really like the Arachne corridor. Sadly, even with the soul script, getting the Ectoplasm soul took several hours of work. After getting the Ectoplasm soul I was forced to delay the soul-screen message by 1 frame. Don't ask me why, the RNG didn't change at all. If I didn't the Potion wouldn't have dropped from the Arachne. You can see me skipping the Arachne soul, I have other plans for that later.

When returning to the Arachne corridor, I manage to line up the Arachne soul with a level-up caused from a Fleaman (again). I also get the Evil Butcher to drop me a Rotten Milk, which was used just before Balore.

Floating Gardens

The Cockatrice was a Nightmare, while it may not look as such. I had to line up a random number that allowed me to kill the Cockatrice in time, drop the soul, and make the first Ghost soul act as it should have. It was rhebus' idea to take the right path in the Floating Gardens. I had determined in earlier tests that both paths are roughly just as fast, but the left one gives more experience. However, the right one allowed me to skip the Dead Warrior revisit during the clean-up, and it also allowed me to apply another glitched level-up AND it gave me an opportunity to aquire a Samurai Armor, which adds 3 strength and some additional armor.

The Clocktower

Another glitched level-up on the Lightning Doll. I also use 3 of my potions here, since it allows me to pass through the Great Armor later on, instead of dying or fighting it.

There is no real difference on Death. I noticed that the secret behind the entire fight are the few vertical kicks I do after the first hit.

I pick up the Siren soul as soon as possible, to avoid waiting for soul travel. Since I have Bone Pillar equipped instead of Imp, I'm free to do kicks from a very high altitude, which reflects in the rest of the Clocktower. I also manage to pass through the small cog with a kick, which saves a lot of time. Valkyrie was skipped since I'm not strong enough to oneshot it without the Minotaur soul re-equipped. I wanted to avoid the pause screen.

Underground Reservoir

Due to some extra hearts and a little less mana wasted in the Clocktower, I was able to use 2 Lightning Dolls on the Man-Eater instead of only one. I also managed a glitched level-up screen on it, which is extremely hard due to its awkward hitbox.

There is a slight wait before killing the Mandragora, that is because the Mandragora cannot drop its soul before it is pulled out of the ground.

The glitched level-up screen on the Arc Demon was pointed out to me while working on the Chaotic Realm in my v2. It feels good to have pulled it off here. The Gargoyle was skipped since there was not a single souldrop in the next 600 random numbers or so. The pause screen for Legion was moved to before the Flame Demon, so that I was a little stronger. Since I didn't have the Valkyrie soul for Legion, I used Nightmare instead. Sadly, Nightmare causes extreme amounts of lag if used incorrectly, but I managed to get away with 2 lagframes/Nightmare usage. I did not use any more Nightmares on Legion since it was not needed.

I added a few normal hits on the Alura Une, to avoid the cooldown between the 3rd and 4th Nightmare hit.

The Arena

After finishing my v2, a player named zhangsongcui suggested a few improvements to the run, one of which was the Blocking Mail. When equipped it has a 1/4 chance of completely blocking an enemy attack (seriously everything). Naturally this is completely broken in tool-assisted runs which I hopefully managed to demonstrate throughout this run. It would also allow me to perform glitched level-up screens later on in the game when taking damage is not an option.

Finding the right RNG for the Lubicants was really hard. I knew where it was, I 'just' had to remove about 100 random numbers. I made the Beam Skeleton (a couple of rooms prior to the Lubicants) attack instead of doing nothing, which saves a buttload of random numbers. The positioning of the Lubicants was detrimental - both had to be very close to eachother, while the one who drops the soul should be a little bit to the right of the other one, to allow for a glitched level-up. I managed to find a magical random number which had both the Muramasa and the soul to drop on the same hit.

The Top Floor

Skipping right to the Top Floor. The Final Guard was improved GREATLY. Showing the potential of the Blocking Mail by spending all the time inside the Final Guard. I made the Gargoyle soul drop to push the RNG towards the Final Sword.

I was very unfortunate with the Red Minotaur. I had to make 2 additional soul drops to even get close to the right RNG to have it drop.

Graham was improved greatly with the Blocking Mail. It allowed me to change his normal fireball pattern to any molten boulder pattern, which lasts long enough to finish his first phase in one round. I spent all of the second phase inside of him, which saved a little more time. The third phase was identical to my v2. All in all, the fight was improved by about 200 frames.

Inner Quarters

rhebus pointed out to me that pressing left+right while using the Black Panther not only put Soma in a weird pose, but also changed the RNG twice/frame (this only works while going left). This was abused A LOT throughout the clean-up.

The glitched level-up was moved from the Kyoma Demon to a Disc Armor later on.

zhangsongcui mentioned that you can use the Hippogryph soul on boss door transitions to save additional time. Not having Dracula's Tunic for the Headhunter cost me a few hits, but not enough to warrant switching armors. The blocking mail was abused greatly to pass through the Durga's without dying.

Dance Hall

The Quezlcoatl soul drop was changed to avoid soul travel.

The room with the Woodem Golem causes a TON of lag, I'm not sure why. Avoiding all the enemies except the Wooden Golem is very important here. I skipped using the Red Minotaur on the Big Golem thanks to the Blocking Mail.

Underground Reservoir

Picking up the Flesh Golem soul immediately avoids some soul travel time.

I equipped the Chronomage after the waterfall to the Forbidden Area, to avoid a pausescreen later on. I managed a glitched level-up screen on the Mudman, which actually took quite some effort.

There are a few things to note about the Sky Fish: changes in RNG before entering the room determine if it comes from the left or the right, and when it does appear (can fluctuate about 30 frames I noticed). RNG while inside the room determines on what vertical level it will spawn. I had it spawn as low as possible. I also delayed the Chronomage a few frames so that I could pick up the soul as soon as it appeared, to avoid about 30 frames of soul travel.

Floating Gardens and Julius

There were no huge differences to my v2. I changed the attack pattern on Julius to Nightmare - Hit - Hit instead of Hit - Nightmare - Hit. I finished him with a slidekick, which must have been fairly humbling for him.

Chaotic Realm

There were some changes in Hippogryph pattern in the first room, saving about 20 frames.

I killed a Basilisk on the way to get the appropriate amount of experience for later on. Alastor was a bastard. I had 4 impossible soul drops in a row... It was very annoying, but I found on way later which turned out to work fine. A glitched level-up screen was performed on the Stolas, something I couldn't do in my v2.

There were no major differences to Chaos' first phase. His second phase was however changed slightly. In klmz's glitched any% he demonstrated an, to me, unknown hitbox on the core, which only required 1 frame of jumping instead of 2.


  • rhebus - for spoiling me with dozens of scripts which made this TAS possible. Also for showering me with suggestions and possible improvements.
  • zhangsongcui - for suggesting the Blocking Mail and the Hippogryph tricks.
  • klmz - I have learned a lot from studying his work. He has always been a fascinating source of inspiration for me.
And naturally to all the people in the Aria of Sorrow thread. You guys always make me smile :3

Thank you very much

Nahoc: Added YouTube module.

klmz: Claimed for judging.

klmz: Changed the game name.

klmz: Accepted as an improvement to the published "100% Souls" movie.

Nahoc: Processing...

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