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

Submission #4049: scrimpeh's MSX Vampire Killer in 15:47.75

Console: MSX Home Computer System
Game name: Vampire Killer
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Akumajyo Drakyula - Vampire Killer (1986) (Konami) (J).mx
Emulator: openMSX 0.8.2
Movie length: 15:47.75
FrameCount: 56792
Re-record count: 27622
Author's real name: JPT
Author's nickname: scrimpeh
Submitter: scrimpeh
Submitted at: 2013-08-16 22:40:58
Text last edited at: 2013-12-30 17:27:00
Text last edited by: scrimpeh
Download: Download (191408 bytes)
Status: published
Click to view the actual publication
Submission instructions
Discuss this submission (also rating / voting)
List all submissions by this submitter
List pages on this site that refer to this submission
View submission text history
Back to the submission list
Author's comments and explanations:
Vampire Killer is the MSX2 version of Castlevania, released in Japan, Europe and Brazil. Rather than a linear action-platformer like the NES version, Vampire Killer contains more elements of an adventure game, with collectible items strewn about the levels, some of them hidden in the walls. In each stage, a white key needs to be found to proceed to the next stage. Over a minute has been shaved off the previous movie through new routes and optimization as well as a few new boss strategies. Additionally, more efforts have been made to reduce lag over previous versions.

(Link to video)
Temporary Encode, feel free to replace with a proper one once ready.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: openMSX 0.8.2 - Due to changes in emulation timing, this run -will not- sync on the most recent version, openMSX 0.9.1. Use version 0.9.0 or 0.8.2 to view this movie, which you can find here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/openmsx/files/openmsx/
  • BIOS used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
  • Aims for fastest possible time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Manipulates luck
  • Genre: Platform

Stage by stage comments

Level 1 (Stages 1 - 3)

More Big Hearts are collected through the means of luck manipulation than before. Vampire Killer utilizes the full MSX keyboard to determine the RNG, which is handy, as it means you can manipulate any drop or enemy behaviour you want without wasting time. Big hearts have a frustratingly rare drop rate however, which comes to bite you when you try to coordinate the luck manipulation with other actions. Most of the stage is fairly unchanged.

Level 2 (Stages 4 - 6)

The first big timesaver comes in Stage 4, where a route change saves 587 frames total. It also allows me to pick up several additional big hearts. In stage 6, I take the extra time to whip a medusa head out of the way to avoid taking damage from it, so I can finish the stage with full health.

Level 3 (Stages 7 - 9)

The center room of stage 7 is the first time I go out of my way to reduce lag. The candles, skeleton and fleamen are just a bit too much for the game to handle, so I help it on its way, saving a total of 41 frames in both trips through it. Small route change in Stage 8, I grab a feather, which lets you jump higher, to take a more direct way to the white key, which saves about 2 and a half seconds overall. I finally max out my hearts to 99 in Stage 9, but it's not gonna last forever. You can also notice me getting a small heart in the mummy boss fight through a glitch, this is an unintentional side effect of the fastest way to kill the mummies. Because my hearts were maxed out at 99 previously, this is a convenient way for me to round my heart counter back up to a number that is divisible by 5, for neatness' sake.

Level 4 (Stages 10 - 12)

Small optimizations in the cave section end up saving 20 frames. In Stage 11, I trigger a treasure chest to open earlier than in the previous run, which saves 16 frames. Stage 12 features a route change which allows me to pick up the speed boots, traversing the maze section much faster. I wasn't aware of this at the time I started the run, but a 102 frame gain was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the speed boots have have the drawback that you're not to position yourself as precisely when fighting bosses, which forced a different strategy to be used against Franky. Nethertheless, the new strategy saved 8 frames over the old one.

Level 5 (Stages 13 - 15)

Oh, the dreaded dungeon level with its vexing skeletons and resilient axe armors. Smarter use of the stopwatch item ends up saving a fair amount of time throughout the level. Unfortunately, a skeleton in Stage 13 wouldn't cooperate the same way it did in the previous run, forcing me to take damage from it. An Axe armor in Stage 15 is manipulated to fire faster as well.

Level 6 (Stages 16 - 18)

The new route in Stage 17 is the entire reason I wanted to do this run. Whereas the old run would do a huge detour to get to the white key without Simon trapping himself with no way out but death, the new run features a far more direct route with a key which was originally put out of reach. Other than that, I also take the detour to collect a stopwatch in this level, which'll come in handy later, as well as the knife from the merchant. It costs the same amount of hearts as with the merchant in Stage 18, but he needs only one whip swing to sell it. Don't ask me about this weird lag that happens while the merchant is used, there seems to be no way to avoid it. The bulk of improvement comes from this section, with over 30 seconds saved. I only use the knife when necessary, as it seems to slow down the game when used. I also collect the speed boots in stage 18, as I deemed them worth it in the long run, despite the distance you can cover with them being relatively short. With 15 hearts, a stop watch and the knives, I approach Dracula.

Boss: Dracula

What is this "stopwatch whoring" you speak of!?

I need to use the stopwatch twice on Dracula's first form, as it's not possible to finish him off in a single cycle. This delays his second form from appearing, unfortunately, but it's far preferrable to letting Dracula teleport out and waiting for him to spawn again. It also allows me to perform a small sound glitch on him while he has 0 HP but is still able to take damage. I also can't stand to the left of Dracula, as his hitbox only covers the upper half of his sprite, making my knives pass through him while standing on the ground. His second form features one more use of the stopwatch to keep his bats from getting in the way.

Other comments

"Oh well, expect an improvement in the next couple of weeks. " -myself, June 18th 2012.

Well, I certainly won't be getting an award for punctuality on this one, but version 3 is finally done, featuring far more route changes than I had originally anticipated, saving a huge amount of time. Turns out Nach's original prediction on the first run wasn't so far off after all. As of this, I hope that the new route changes make the run more interesting to watch and hope that you enjoy the run. As usual, I'd like to thank the MSX crowd, Quibus and Vampier for their continued enthusiasm and support, as well as Nach and adelikat. Shoutouts also go out to FerretWarlord for being a bro on irc. Enjoy


feos: Accepting this improvement to Moons.

Similar submissions (by title and categories where applicable):