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

Submission #3188: zggzdydp & scrimpeh's MSX Knightmare 2: The Maze of Galious in 25:04.67

Console: MSX Home Computer System
Game name: Knightmare 2: The Maze of Galious
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Maze of Galious, The (1987) (Konami) (J).rom
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 25:04.67
FrameCount: 90164
Re-record count: 19293
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: zggzdydp & scrimpeh
Submitter: scrimpeh
Submitted at: 2011-06-22 14:10:21
Text last edited at: 2011-07-08 17:22:07
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (435334 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Knightmare II: The Maze of Galious is a screen-by-screen adventure platformer game by Konami, released in 1987 for the MSX1. You take control of two Knights, Popolon and Aphrodite out to rescue their baby Pamperse from the evil high priest Galious. They have their own subtle differences in gameplay, but for the most part, they just act as two separate health bars. The game world is split up in an overworld-like castle and ten different submaps, called Worlds. Each world has to be completed to obtain the key to the next one. In addition to that, there's a plethora of other items you can find in the game. This movie aims to complete the game as fast as possible, only obtaining items that are necessary or beneficial to speed.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: openMSX 0.8.1
  • BIOS used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Manipulates luck.
  • Genre: Platform


The Heroes:


  • Can only fire two subweapons at a time
  • Can modulate the power of his jump
  • Can't survive underwater
  • Can open certain doors
  • Can destroy rocks in three hits


  • Can fire three subweapons at a time
  • Always jumps the same height
  • Can survive underwater
  • Can't open certain doors
  • Needs 15 hits to destroy rocks

For the most part, Popolon is used in gameplay due to his finer jumping, though Aphrodite sees use in a few boss battles. Since only the health of the hero is refilled who actually touched the key, health management becomes an important factor later in the run.

Movement and Fighting

Your base movement speed is 1 px/frame. Early on, jumping is faster, because, while you do lose some frames at the start of a jump, your falling x speed is 1.5 px/frame, clearly faster. If you walk off a ledge, you're locked in place. You also start out with 0 y speed, which usually makes it faster to jump down ledges. Ladder climbing speed is an agonizingly slow 0.5 px/frame. Because of this, we choose to get the boots in this run, which boost our movement speed to 1.25 px/frame and our ladder climbing speed to 0.625. This makes jumping, especially under low ceilings, far less viable. You can use your sword every 10 frames and fire arrows every 6 frames. Due to the MSX1's hardware limitations (arrows actually are tiles), when you're close enough to an enemy, you can't even see the arrow before it hits its target. You can jump and change direction while using the sword, leading to amusing little sword dances.

Items we get

In each world:
  • Doll: World 2 only. Is needed for the bridge to appear
  • Holy Water: Halves a boss' life. One is in each world, we get them if they aren't too out of the way
  • Scepter: Prevents you from losing subweapons on boss fights, we only get it if it doesn't waste time
  • Cape: Cuts boss damage on half. Since it doesn't affect drain speed, it's unnecessary, but sometimes, it just doesn't waste any time to get.

In the castle:

  • Halo: Lets you warp to a certain screen in the Castle by hitting enter on the Pause screen, referred to as Demeter
  • Arrows: Essential
  • Boots: We deemed them to be faster in the long run, which is why we took the detour to get them.
  • Cross: Required to defeat Galious
  • Dragon Helm: Protects against the White Spirits. Unnecesary, but getting it doesn't waste any time
  • Ceramic Arrows: Slower and pass through enemies, required for the World 7 boss
  • Sabre: Does more damage against minor enemies. Cuts down some time when having to kill enemies that open walls upon death and doesn't take any to get, because you have to wait for the moving platform anyway.
  • Feather: Lets you jump to a world already opened by hitting the appropiate number on the pause screen. We use it to warp to world 7 because it's very close to world 9.

All other items are either too far out of the way or plain useless for a TAS. Many items just lift restrictions the other character already doesn't need to worry about. One that could potentially be useful would be the dagger, which allows you to kill all bats on screen by typing UMBRELLA. I am not making that up.


  • The F1 Glitch
When being hit, your life continuously drains until it hits a certain amount. You can stop the damage drain by pausing and hitting F1, losing only 2 - 3 health if done quickly. This is the most important glitch in this game which completely allows us to skip an out of the way subweapon (You'd need mines for the World 4 boss) and just fight it with our sword instead. For all other bosses, it cuts down time otherwise spent on dodging. Note that bosses typically drain between half and all your life with a single attack, so F1 glitching can become a necessity.

  • Ladder physics
Typically, you can't dismount a ladder unless you're hit. However, on some ladders, you can walk off a few pixels over the ground, dropping down. At times, this only works when facing a certain direction and at some ladders, it just doesn't work at all. You can even walk down a ladder that takes you into the screen below saving a bit of time. The mechanics are very screwy, which is why you can see Popolon going into the screen below, climbing up again before dropping down. It just won't work otherwise. The same way, you can also do small ladder-zips, boosting you 8 - 9 px into the direction you're going. The far more interesting property of those drop-downs however is the way you take damage afterwards. Since the game still thinks you're on a ladder, when you get hit after doing such a drop or zip, you just drop straight to the ground instead of being blown away. This can be useful if exploited right. After you take damage, the game behaves normally again.

  • Taking damage
While there is no crazy wall-zipping in the game, a tiny trick did sneak its way in. By jumping the right height (only doable with Popolon obviously), you can get yourself embedded in the ground for just a few frames. If you take damage while in the ground, you again don't get blown away but just stay in place. This allows you to activate the pause menu faster and take less damage than usual. This can be important if doing the F1 glitch for prolonged amounts of time and running low on health. Otherwise, your speed while being blown away is 2 px/frame.

  • Luck Manipulation
Nearly everything in this game can be manipulated by giving it input. Enemies behave differently, which is important when you have to kill every enemy in the room as quickly as possible. As you imagine, bats are the worst offenders in that regard, but sure not the only ones. The same holds true for bosses, but not to that extent. Item drops can be manipulated just the same and are only determined at the last possible frame. Ideally, an enemy is killed from afar with arrows, so no time is wasted killing the enemy or waiting for the item to spawn. That is not always applicable. Keys have the lowest drop rate, while useless coins have the highest. Trying to synchronize multiple enemies and drops while also optimizing gameplay can be an utter nightmare.

Other Peculiarities

  • To make a boss appear, you have to type his name into the MSX keyboard
  • To make a certain ladder spawn or a wall disappear, sometimes, you need to kill all enemies in a certain room. Do note that room doesn't always need to be anywhere near the room it affects.
  • World 7 can only be entered by Aphrodite, World 5 only for Popolon.
  • Some bosses are immune to some forms of damage
  • The location of the entrance of World 10 is predetermined at the start of the game

Other comments

The final time was actually very surprising to me, I never would've expected it to get that low. About 90% of the input in the run is actually by zggzdydp, as I only did parts of the beginning, the world 2 boss and the second half of the Galious battle. I'm especially impressed by the pace of his work, he got more done in a few weeks than I did in months. Overall, I'm really glad the run finally became a reality, and I'd like thank zggzdydp for actually making it happen. I'd also like to thank Quibus and Vampier for their ongoing support, BiFi for a walkthrough (also contains maps and item descriptions) that helped a ton with route choice and Morrison for thinking up the original route that the run, if somewhat modified, in the end uses. So, as always, I hope you enjoy the run!

Nach: Replacing submission file upon request with one which is a litte more than a second faster.

Mukki: Judging...

Mukki: Accepting for publication

OmnipotentEntity: Encoding for publication.

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