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

Submission #4169: ForgoneMoose's PSX Castlevania: Symphony of the Night "newgame+" in 13:38.15

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Game version: USA
ROM filename: sotn.iso
Branch: newgame+
Emulator: PSXjin v2.0.2
Movie length: 13:38.15
FrameCount: 49089
Re-record count: 22633
Author's real name: Dan W.
Author's nickname: ForgoneMoose
Submitter: ForgoneMoose
Submitted at: 2014-01-22 04:16:57
Text last edited at: 2014-01-27 15:56:10
Text last edited by: feos
Download: Download (14360 bytes)
Status: published
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

Preinitialized memory card 1

Is empty

Preinitialized memory card 2

Block 1
  Name:         'CASTLEVANIA-1 X-X!V??Q 33%' Filename:     'DRAX00'
  Product Code: 'SLUS-00067'          Territory:    American
  Blocks Used:  1                     Bytes Used:   8192
  Status:       OK                    Icon:         3 frames
  Link Type:    First                 Next Block:   None
Author's comments and explanations:
Through boomerangs and... uh... more boomerangs, I am the wind

Game objectives



(Link to video)

Comments

The two biggest improvements over arukAdo's 13:58 TAS are the use of a glitch with the Faerie Card to dupe gems instead of having to farm money from books to get boomerangs, and the use of a death jump and a new way to skip the Dracula relics to skip getting Flamberge altogether, putting the final nail in wolfrising's coffin once and for all.

Tricks used throughout the run

Use of a CLEAR file - just like the previous any% TAS, this one uses a clear file because the shopkeeper does not sell the almighty Fire Boomerang without it. Being able to skip cutscenes due to having it as well is just a nice bonus.

Use of Luck Mode (X-X!V"Q) - same as every single other TAS on the site. This sis a sort of "hard mode", starting Alucard with poor stats in exchange for great luck, which works out well since lower stats allow for more big tossing and luck manipulation is less of a pain this way.

Shield Dash - alternating between backdash and shield allows you to keep Alucard's speed from the first frame of a backdash for as long as you keep repeating the motion. This is the go-to form of movement throughout the run.

Shield Cancel - shielding and walking two frames after a long fall make Alucard get up immediately, providing the illusion that he never even stops at all.

Frontslide - doing a dive kick after getting Leap Stone while close to the ground causes Alucard to keep his horizontal momentum from the dive kick while moving across the ground. This is slightly slower than shield dash, but it's used when a shield isn't readily available or when I need to jump for whatever reason anyways.

Damage Boost - the direction that running into enemies knocks you back depends almost entirely on the direction said enemy was moving last, in most cases. I often jump into enemies and get knocked through them instead of away, to avoid killing them and getting experience.

Big Toss - losing more than half of your HP in one blow causes Alucard to go flying back at ludicrous speed, slowly gaining height, until he hits a wall or ceiling. This is the fastest form of movement available in this route, and I use it whenever possible.

Fire Boomerang Trick - having 6 fire boomerangs onscreen at once and transforming into either wolf or bat causes Alucard's momentum calculation to completely cease until the boomerangs leave the screen. This is basically used as an analogue to the shinespark of the Metroid series; it was seen only briefly in the previous TAS, but route changes have allowed it to be used more.

Revenge Tech - hitting an enemy stuck in a specific frame of animation using multiple hitboxes while inside its hitbox causes it to die, but your kill counter is not incremented and, more importantly, you do not gain experience. As the LEVEL UP ticker wastes almost 3 seconds each time you see it, this is often used when avoiding enemies is not an option.

Luck Manipulation - RNG is... a rather fickle mistress in SotN, to put it kindly. It is constantly incrementing, and actions that call the RNG push it forward varying amounts, both of Alucard and his enemies. Flicking a shield out pushes it 1 frame forward, slashing with a sword pushes it slightly, breaking a candle pushes it moderately. Some things are only affected by candles, such as the Fleamen in the Marble Gallery. This game has quite rare drops, randomized stat gains on level ups, randomized AI patterns, random critical hits, the works.

Shiftline - When you hit loading zones is based on the position of the camera, not Alucard. Moving while a screen pause (level up, Heart Refresh animation, etc.) is occurring displaces the camera, allowing Alucard room to fall off the edge of rooms. This is not used often aside from a couple of major skips.

Stage by stage comments

Prologue

Same as all the previous runs. I use a glitch with Hydro Storm + holy water to glitch out Drac's invincibility frames and hit him in much more rapid succession, and I barrage him with Richter's Blade Dash (823 + attack) move on top of that to kill him in a split second. Also of note, how you end the prologue affects Alucard - having 0 hearts makes me start with a Heart Refresh in my inventory (VERY important later). Other things affect Alucard's stats, but most bonuses do not apply in Luck Mode.

Entrance

Since money is no longer required for the route, wasting frames to manipulate money is no longer here; I take what I can get without time loss only. I also use an extra big toss (same as the 19 min TAS), both because it's faster since I don't need money from the enemies and because I need less experience due to killing an extra enemy. I drop down in the next room and kill a Merman for a Zircon, which is the fastest salable gem that can be obtained. This was a pain in the ass to luck manipulate, since I have to make the merman appear in a specific spot, alone, quickly, and get a quite rare drop from it in a timely manner, so please excuse that I seem to pause for a moment there. From there, I just use the same old big toss to skip Death jacking my starting equipment and move on.

Alchemy Lab

Exactly the same as the old movies. I grab the Leather Shield to allow shield dashing without the Alucard Shield's defense boost, then I go on and do the first revenge tech on Slogra and Gaibon before making my way out of there. Criticals do not make that fight faster, as your sword does not hit them at the same time and crits would desync killing the two of them. You cannot fix that by getting two crits either because crits do variable damage in this game, besides taking a long time to manipulate to happen in the first place. Summon Spirit (4682 + attack) grants almost a second of invincibility, and this is used when damage boosting is not an option.

Marble Gallery

Again, pretty much the same. I have to take an even more conservative experience route than the already quite conservative routes of the old movies due to getting an extra kill back in the Entrance, so there's lots of damage boosts. I manipulate the Fleamen outside Maria to jump over me by breaking candles and activating their AI while facing a different direction. I get two Morning Sets, a healing item, then proceed to open a shiftline leading to an early Library Card using a level up and the Heart Refresh I started with in conjunction.

Long Library

I immediately get poisoned so as to allow weaker enemies than usual to big toss me; poison lowers your offense and defense. While I could get extra money from the books that I kill here, I already manipulated crits for every hit I did against them, and trying to get crits on top of a rare drop isn't feasible in this game. I then go and big toss to the Faerie Card, which summons a fairy familiar who heals me and such. While it is designed to help new players figure out puzzles and assist in combat, I have no time for such nonsense and immediately use her to glitch out the shop menu instead.

What I'm doing is using her intro speech to flick the switch indicating the ability to enter the pause menu an extra time, allowing me to enter the menu while still shopping. Doing this in the sell gems menu, equipping your only copy of a gem, and selling said gem causes your quantity of the gem to underflow to 255. I do this twice to buy 66 Fire Boomerangs and a Meal Ticket, an item that gives a random food item when used. I leave the library in style, opening a shiftline by big tossing during a level up animation. During this, I do another underflow glitch where using an item while the fairy is trying to use it on you causes it to underflow in quantity, giving me 255 potions.

Outer Wall

Here I use the invincibility frames granted by using potions to simply pass through enemies. I go up and hit the elevator switch (there's a delay between when you can hit it again, in case you're wondering why I wait between hits), and get a Medusa Shield on the way down, a very very rare drop from Medusa Heads. It allows for a more efficient form of revenge tech which is used twice later in the run. I go back down to get the Soul of Wolf relic; I use a trick to first of all make the elevator get to the top of the tower instantly, and another on top of that to clip through the platform I'm on and have a straight shot to the relic.

Clock Tower

I immediately do a big toss off the first skull I see to cross the large gorge at the start; this was the final thing that I needed very low max HP to big toss with, so the experience route is no longer as tight. I use a trick where jumping while running up a slope as wolf makes you go very high to skip getting double jump before heading here. I manipulate a rare drop from a Harpy, Life Apple, for use with a trick much later in the run.

Notably, I skip the trip to go get the Flamberge sword halfway through the level. I also take advantage of a glitch with the way the rooms are connected - turning around the frame you enter the last door before Karasuman makes you teleport one full room length into the next room (this only works in this spot). I lay waste to Karasuman using the Medusa Shield, finally delivering a final blow with a revenge tech.

Castle Keep

I go and get Leap Stone, as the double jump is needed for several tricks later in the run. Throughout the whole run I was manipulating my level ups to give me very low STR, as the damage done when dive kicking off an enemy like I do here is based directly off of it. I also get a Toadstool from the Meal Ticket while I'm at it. When I'm up to Richter, I use a clipping glitch with the wolf form to skip the trigger that says that I still have to fight Richter, meaning I can just walk right past where the fight should be.

Inverted Keep

Lots of boomerangs here! I make use of the frontslide here because curse prevents you from using shield.

Inverted Chapel

I had very very bad luck with Masamune, a very powerful rare drop from Black Panther, and had to open the map for a moment to allow RNG to increment without outside interaction. I had to retain invulnerability from using a potion from before I switched to the sword, kill the Black Panther quickly, and get a revenge tech on it all at once, so the whole situation is just begging for disaster and I think it could have been worse. The sword completely destroys Medusa and I enjoy my 13 free level ups.

Besides just boomerangs, I use a trick where getting big tossed into a wall after double jumping restores your double jump without landing. To make up for the previous farce, I get a very good Mablung Sword drop later on, which is a sword with a powerful ability that lets me kill the final bosses stupid fast.

Inverted Colosseum

Not much to say here. Big tosses, potions, shield dashing, yadda

Deathwing's Lair

Another very brief tour. I have to wait for a moment while the sword ghost becomes active before I can jump on him.

Black Marble Gallery

I immediately go up and start attacking the first Guardian I see. I attack it differently from the previous movies, as I need to get within range of the Ghurka enemy behind him as well for a trick. I open a shiftline by leveling up while being big tossed by him, then wait for the Ghurka to hit me to 1 HP before proceeding to use boomerangs to glitch through the wall that normally requires you to have killed all the bosses to proceed.

Inverted Castle Center

I boomerang up to the top of the first room, and use a minor trick where headbonking while untransforming restores your double jump without landing. From here, I use the Toadstool to kill myself at the top of the screen, where the fairy then revives me with the Life Apple. This restores my double jump a second time, allowing me to get enough momentum to boomerang up to the ledge on the next screen. All that work to get around one tiny ledge! From there I just boomerang up to the top of the room and wreck Shaft and Dracula with the Alucard Shield spell using the Mablung Sword I got earlier, thereby officially making me, "The Wind"

Other comments

With all of the nonsense regarding save corruption being found recently, I think it's nice to have one last comparatively normal foray into the game before we jump down the rabbit hole. Also, I'd like to thank arukAdo a lot, for providing tons of help with lots of things and giving me motivation to make this in the first place. I'd also like to thank the guys at World Beyond Walls as well as the msn board (especially paulo1179 and jackobones) for helping find the silly glitches that make this TAS possible in the first place. Lastly, I'd also like to thank the speedrunning community for this game for keeping me honest in making this, but especially ZX497 for putting up with my complaining while making this.


Mothrayas: Judging.

Mothrayas: Accepting to Stars as an improvement to the published newgame+ movie.

feos: Publishing...


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