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

Submission #3350: scrimpeh's MSX Arsene Lupin the 3rd and the Castle of Cagliostro in 07:15.86

Console: MSX Home Computer System
Game name: Arsene Lupin the 3rd and the Castle of Cagliostro
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Arsene Lupin 3rd - Cariostoro no Siro (1987) (Toho) (J).rom
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 07:15.86
FrameCount: 26118
Re-record count: 9978
Author's real name: JPT
Author's nickname: scrimpeh
Submitter: scrimpeh
Submitted at: 2011-11-01 22:56:02
Text last edited at: 2012-11-20 15:46:56
Text last edited by: Ilari
Download: Download (85267 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Arsene Lupin the 3rd and the Castle of Cagliostro is an obscure MSX2 game by Toho. Similar to Vampire Killer in structure, the player must collect two rings in each level before advancing to the next one before facing the antagonist. The run aims to complete the game as fast as possible.

(Link to video)
Quick encode, feel free to replace with a proper one

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: openMSX 0.8.1-dev12197
  • BIOS used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
  • Aims for fastest possible time
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Takes Damage To Save Time
  • Genre: Platformer


Arsene Lupin is a short platformer by Toho in the vein of Vampire Killer. In each of the seven stages, you will have to find two rings and proceed to the exit. To do this, Lupin must jump, slice and shoot his way through a couple of assorted enemies, all of them out for his life bar. Just as with Vampire Killer, the stages are littered with all sorts of items, some of them useful, some of them less so. Sometimes, the containers they are in are invisible. As of this, finding the best route is important with these levels. The game is very choppy, its framerate is very unstable and a single enemy (or its projectiles) can add seconds of lag. As of this, many enemies are manipulated not to appear at all or not to throw their projectiles. Luck manipulation also plays a huge part in getting important item drops, since some of them are required for the route. Thankfully, manipulation is a lot more direct than in many other games, as you can use any key of the MSX keyboard to change the RNG. Also, the delay between your final influence on the RNG and an item actually appearing/an enemy appearing is very low (~10 frames). Enemy manipulation isn't always uniform, some enemies cannot be manipulated away at all, some spawn on a timer, others can't be manipulated away, but their spawn position and their behaviour can be manipulated and some enemies you will never see in this run. (You'd think that surprisingly, this game doesn't have any bats. It does.)


Lupin's choppy movement makes accurate descriptions very hard to give. Jumping slows you down, so it often is more advisable to fall down a ledge than to jump. To shoot, you have to crouch and press space. While jumping, you can adjust your trajectory slightly, but not your height or your direction. If you hit the ground while swinging your sword, the sword will just disappear. Stair climbing speed is identical to running speed, but Lupin can get held up on the ends of the stairs. There doesn't seem to be a way to avoid this. The collision detection with the walls and floors is very messy.

Items I get:

  • Grappling Hook: You'll need one to reach many of the exits and ledges. You use it by pressing up+space. You automatically jump after using it, there is nothing I can do to prevent it. You can only use it in select areas of the level.
  • Vest: It makes you invincible for a short amount of time. I use it to get past the workers in Stage 4.
  • Stopwatch: It stops time, and the divers in Stage 6 from appearing.
  • Ammunition: I get one additional container in Stage 5 so I have enough for the final boss.
  • The rings: They unlock the exit

There are other items, but I never bother with those in the run, since I don't need any of them.


  • Pressing up+down in the right way will make Lupin drop through most floors. This is very useful, and allows a few significant shortcuts.
  • Some items can be obtained through walls. I use this in Stage 1 and 4 for massive shortcuts.
  • By waggling around enough, it is possible to get Lupin misaligned with the stairs. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a good use for this.
  • The final boss may be the most intricate thing about the game. He walks back and forth on the platform he's on, and usually fires bullets at you. As expected, I manipulate him not to fire any. To actually make him walk into the moving gears, you need to do a certain amount of damage to him (8 bullets and one properly placed sword wipe do the trick, it is impossible to avoid damage while hitting him with the sword), and then lure him into the gears. Otherwise, he'll just back and forth forever. He won't move if you're on the upper level, and being right to him makes him face right. I jump through him and run past him the first frame he falls into the grinder. Any frame earlier, and he'll stay on the platform.

Closing Comments

What a game to run. As short and simple as it is, it is unbelievably irresponsible and totally caothic. In the end, I'm glad to be done with it as to make room for more gainful movies. Between all the lag and inconsistencies within the game rules themselves, I wouldn't be surprised if this movie can be improved a bit, but I'm overall pretty satisfied with the end result. As usual, I'd like to thank Quibus, Vampier for their ongoing support, as well as the #tasvideos and #openmsx IRC channels. And, as always, I hope you enjoy watching the run.

~ scrimpy

DarkKobold: This run had poor feedback. Most of it seemed to be fixated on the 1/3rd of this TAS which is running across an identical screen. The few tricks did not seem to be enough to save it - and even the yes votes were weak, at best. Sorry, but this is just a bad game choice.

adelikat: Unrejected and accepting for publication to the Vault
Ilari: Uploading encodes and filling the form...

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