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

Submission #3660: cpadolf's DS Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow "Julius Mode" in 19:20.63

Console: Nintendo DS
Game name: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
Game version: USA
ROM filename: 0121 - Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow (U).nds
Branch: Julius Mode
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 19:20.63
FrameCount: 69436
Re-record count: 84241
Author's real name: Filip Roskvist
Author's nickname: cpadolf
Submitter: cpadolf
Submitted at: 2012-07-18 23:22:26
Text last edited at: 2012-07-27 20:39:40
Text last edited by: natt
Download: Download (21422 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)


  • Emulator used: desmume-0.9.7
  • Starts from SRAM
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates Luck

About the run

This is a TAS of Julius Mode in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. The run was inspired by a testrun made by gocha a few years back, and improves upon that run by about 6500 frames. Julius Mode is only possible to access after finishing the game once, which is why the run starts from SRAM. The save data used to initiate the run was generated from this .dsm file.

I won't go into detail on the entire run but I'll bring up a few points.

  • After taking a hit from a weapon there is a cooldown for enemies before they can be damaged by that weapon again. This is something like 30 frames for Julius whip, 21 for Yoko's stick and 13 for Alucard's sword. So if it looks like I'm not hitting as fast as I can, it's because it won't actually do any good.

  • Yoko moves slightly faster than Alucard on ground, but it's preferable to keep using Alucard as the time to switch characters is too long, and Alucard is usually preferable for bosses, sometimes needed to pass through certain terrain, and is usually faster when going up or down. Julius is a general chump.

  • The route should be fairly set. The only things I can see that's debatable is going for Rahab and Bat Company before Dimitri and Malphas. The two main reasons that I went for this is that being a higher level is of greater benefit for Dimitri and Malphas than it is for Rahab and Bat Company due to the lack of mana recharging between the former (the way it ends up now I have just enough mana to constantly spam hellfire with Alucard on both Dimitri and Malphas), and it's possible to skip one save room by going Rahab first while still not sacrificing any damage boosts.

  • Killing some extra enemies with Yoko's ice attack during the start of the run to gain a level before Dario is beneficial even though it takes 100 frames or so for the level up screen to flash by, because significantly more time is saved on Dario from the extra level.

  • The boss in Condemned Tower is a bit weird. He has 3800 HP. After bringing him down to 1900 he will crush the floor and drop to the bottom (though he'll finish his current movement pattern before breaking the floor). He then can't go below about 900 HP before his shackles break of, which is why I slow down after a while in the fight (as I'm not in a hurry to deal damage to him). However, having him go of screen, it's possible to inflict one more hit to make him go below 900HP. As it's only one extra hit I did a super long dropkick to do a lot of damage to him instantly, while still getting down to start hitting him again as soon as he could take more damage.

  • The last hit on death's first form is delayed slightly to make him go down a bit, which is needed to hit him with full frequency during his second form. The reason I could not sync this up to not delay any time is that he can only get that far down if he's dropping down to hit you with his scythe, and this can not be done earlier as it keeps me from hitting him twice with the ice attack at all times. Furthermore, if he's too far down in his second form he won't do any of the attacks I want him to make (ones that leave him constantly vulnerable). As his attack patterns are pretty fixed length, I did not find it possible to sync it up better than this (it's only about a 20-30 frame delay).

Here is a link to a download of an AVI file. The quality is better than on youtube (60fps most importantly), but the file size is very big because I don't actually know how to encode stuff.

Special thanks

Thanks to gocha for his work on the game, his testrun and his collection of memory addresses.

Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: Very nice and entertaining run overall. Accepting for publication.

natt: processing

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