TASVideos

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

Submission #3202: Jungon's SMS Master of Darkness in 18:41.75

Console: Sega MasterSystem
Game name: Master of Darkness
Game version: USA/Europe
ROM filename: Master of Darkness (UE) [!].sms
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 18:41.75
FrameCount: 67305
Re-record count: 3022
Author's real name: João Buaes
Author's nickname: Jungon
Submitter: Jungon
Submitted at: 2011-06-30 19:53:14
Text last edited at: 2011-12-27 06:47:24
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (5062 bytes)
Status: decision: cancelled
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Author's comments and explanations:
Presenting SMS's Castlevania Master of Darkness

About the game

"Master of Darkness is a platform game, very similar to Castlevania. The plot has the player entering the role of a psychologist named Dr. Social trying to defeat Dracula, who is behind a series of killings in London which have been attributed to Jack the Ripper.

The game requires the player to battle his way through several locations such as cemeteries, laboratories, castles and a house of wax dolls. To defeat the enemies (which range in ability and include zombies, bats and ghosts), players can utilise several primary and secondary weapons. Primary weapons are close combat weapons ranging from knives to rapiers and axes, that differ in range and efficiency. Secondary weapons are long-range weapons (pistols, bombs etc.) with limited ammunition. The player can hold one type of primary and secondary weapon. Picking up a new weapon means it automatically replaces the previous weapon in the player's inventory."

About the run

I don't really know what to write in here.. XD ... ok, tricks, glitches, bosses, detailed level description..

Tricks and glitches

- Attacking in mid-air costs much less frames than attacking on ground (this goes to shooting weapons too)

- Jumping off ladders: Dr. Social can jump 5 blocks high, so I don't need to be slowly climbing the stairs until the end of them.

- Taking damage doesn't throw us higher, but he goes front if turned back quicker right before getting hit, this is used to walk through some enemies while blinking.

- Jumping through the Round 4-3 spinning lights: This saves at least 15 seconds instead of waiting for the whole thing to stop and start spinning to the other way.

Luck Manipulation

This actually was just a little studied, some bats have mostly random flight, zombies can run, boss patterns, I didn't really go inside the RNG to see, but it's obvious that it changes when pressing the buttons, so I tried different strategies many times to get better results.

Data dump

Didn't need to memory watch since enemies have obvious HP numbers, subweapon and boss HP are shown on screen. Dr. Social responds to commands after 2 frames, jumping costs 2 frames of horizontal speed, attacking on ground costs 16 frames, subweapon throwing costs 16 plus 8 for him to move again.. taking damage to be thrown ahead is 20 frames (30 - 10), attacking behind (while jumping) costs 4 to 6 frames of speed depending on the lags, and getting an item takes 32 frames. Bosses and enemies blink for 64 frames (a little more than one jump) when they were not defeated, of course =P

Round by round comments

1-1: Not much to be told, but there is that glitch when I get the hammer item, and the knife attack makes an enemy explode right in front of the character.. Time left: 349.

1-2: Being hit while in stairs is actually a little slower than stopping to attack, but .. when I can pass through 2 enemies, 16*2 is slower than 30 frames.. Time left: 343.

1-3: The axe isn't really the most easy weapon to use, but it is the faster to defeat bosses, and Jack the Ripper happens to be a quite easy one.. Time left: 333

2-1: These two lights-failing rooms are actually annoying, as I have to kill the wax dolls the faster I can.. at the end of this round, a good surprise. Time left: 335

2-2: This bat at the start was manipulated to not be hitting me in the head while jumping on falling blocks.. I skip getting one bomb item here but that doesn't really save in-game time,.. Time left: 341

2-3: I was lazy on the WIP, but now I can look at this round and be proud of the work. The skull boss is completely random to regular speedrunners, but to me, a player that can see his entire pattern, it's even easier than Jack. Time left: 347

3-1: Bombs are so important here, they can take out hordes of enemies coming from multiple sides. Time left: 352

3-2: Walking through spikes is the fastest route I could come up with, making this one the fastest round in the game.. Time left: 357

3-3: I really need that missed hit with the axe to jump that enemy, for some reason, I kept bouncing back on the tries.. Oh, when the boss starts spinning faster, I can't reach him anymore ... or can I? Time left: 333

4-1: Unfortunately, I couldn't find a solution to this little problem, .. I have to get that potion to make that bat go away ... but that doesn't count for in-game time. Time left: 347

4-2: Boomerangs really came up well in this one, I need a weapon that isn't thrown to the floor above me. Time left: 305

4-3: The spinning lights aren't the only time saver, I can hit the boss four times at each of his pauses. Time left: 302

5-1: I compared my route to the one I found and the new one is 96 frames faster, .. and I finally came up with good platforms to fight the boss, not ideal yet,..

Final Boss: He decides which one is real right before the multiple running left pattern, but I managed to hit the right one after a good number of tries.. I decided to end the input after the final score count, to make the ending and credits come up right next. Time left: 329

Conclusions

Maybe this game isn't really fast paced, but.. even with less glitches than most Castlevanias (Oops, mentioned them again) I really liked the puzzle solving of frame advancing, the near impossible jumps that no player would try in real time, and plus .. it really beats all existing records I could find (even if it was a 20 minute cheater that cut out 1 and a half rounds of his video).. I don't think better subweapon planning would save that much in frames now, but maybe I will be trying to improve it more in the future =P (really, I came up with results that were really hard for myself to top on some screens, I even lost frames while testing, RNG and lags can be more explored, that's for sure..) (and I'll have to learn how to hexedit too).


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