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Submission #4889: Fz-Last & alkdcY & Pike's GBA Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow "all souls" in 18:45.26

Console: Game Boy Advance
Game name: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (U).gba
Branch: all souls
Emulator: VBA-rr 24 svn422
Movie length: 18:45.26
FrameCount: 67209
Re-record count: 413961
Author's real name: 王帆 & 叶骏 & 齐麟
Author's nickname: Fz-Last & alkdcY & Pike
Submitter: Pike
Submitted at: 2015-10-23 13:30:23
Text last edited at: 2015-10-26 19:06:13
Text last edited by: fsvgm777
Download: Download (10850 bytes)
Status: published
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ALERTS POSSIBLY COMPROMISING MOVIE INTEGRITY:

Movie begins from a reset; should begin from power-on.

Author's comments and explanations:
It took us 3 months to finish this crazy movie. Its length is 18:40, not so long, We manipulate luck heavily so that the re-record count is over 400,000. Following is the introduction of this movie.

Game Object

•Emulator used : VBA-rr 24 svn422

•Starts from SRAM (the same as what Kriole used)

•Uses hard mode

•Aims to collect all souls

•Manipulates luck

•Takes damage to save time

•Abuses glitches

There is no doubt that the most vital part of this movie is designing routes. In this part, we have 3 goals. 1.Try not to go to the rooms Soma had ever been to again so that Soma can cover the least distance. 2.Get Giant Bat, Malphas and Kicker Skeleton as quickly as possible so that Soma can move much faster. Black panther is of no use because we use Giant Bat all the time. 3.Get more mana potions so that Soma can use Giant bat more often. We using warps, the new strategy, this movie is quite different from the published all souls’movie made by Kriole(called current movie below). So I do not want to compare the two movies.

Route Details

At first I want to say that if you would like more fun, you had better watch this movie first before reading the passage otherwise you would know where Soma would go, which decreases entertainment of this movie.

Entrance

Game starts. Nothing needs explaining.

Castle Corridor (first entering)

Soma is weak and has few ways to change PRNG or use warps. So it looks similar with current movie. In order to get Giant Bat earlier, we use 0HP glitch to get Underground Reservoir. Also, we need to save the game before.

The Arena

Since enemies are very strong, Soma seems much weaker. Because of that, we choose not to kill any enemies before Soma gets Lubicant’s soul and muramasa. We also abandon Blocking Armor. To get Final sword, we use warp to get Top Floor.

Top Floor (first entering)

Get Final Sword. Then Soma is strong enough to kill enemies much quickly. Our following goal is to get Malphas and Kicker Skeleton. Actually, we did not find a perfect route allowing Soma to get them right away. We go to Clock Tower to collect souls instead. If we go to Study or Floating Garden first, we shall go to Clock Tower later. But at that time, getting to Clock Tower is more difficult than now.

Clock Tower

Try to collect more souls. An interesting thing is that we get Death’s Robe, while Kriole does not. It can help increase Soma’s ATT a little. LCK is also increased but we think it is useless for collecting souls.

Floating Garden

Collect as many souls as possible. Soma won't get here again. We have got Kicker Skeleton so we desire Malphas!

Castle Corridor (second entering)

After getting necessary souls, let’s go to Study to get Malphas at once!

Study

Get Malphas. Goal 2 is accomplished. Now what we only need to do is to collect more souls. We use warp to arrive at Manticore room much quickly.

Chapel

Enemies that only appear in Chapel are few. So the time we spent on Chapel is very short.

Underground Reservoir (second entering)

Soma does not have enough health point to take damage. So we get a High Potion before fighting against Legion. However, 400 HP decrease Soma’s ability because of Lubicant’s soul. We have to seek the opportunity allowing Soma to spend little time taking damage.

Castle Corridor (third entering)

Just to get to Dance Hall.

Dance Hall

It is a mysterious place because it is difficult or maybe impossible to get here by warps in other areas. Soma comes here to collect more souls.

Inner Quarters

Candelabrums drop big hearts that restore much more MP than small hearts. Obviously, we spend extra time in getting them. Even if like this, we still lack MP. Fortunately, there is a High Mind up on the way.

Top Floor(second entering)

Collect more souls and get Mana Frism. Also it is the access to Fobidden Area. It is not necessary to drink milk at once because increased ATT still cannot help to save even one round.

Fobidden Area

Mud man only appears in this area. Soma has to get there. Soma can also take this chance to get some souls that difficult to get in other areas.

Underground Reservoir (third entering)

Access to Chaos Realm. Before getting there, we have to collect the souls Soma cannot get in Chaos.

Chaos Realm

It is difficult to design the route in Chaos Realm. Enemies dropping the rest souls Soma needs to collect exist at many scattered places. Besides, we are not famillar with warps in this area. They are both problems. Anyhow we finished at last. Different from the current movie, we get Chaos Ring that makes the final fight more efficient, which is also interesting enough.

How to get souls

Actually we do not know how the program works. What we do is using PRNG to check when the enemies will drop souls. However, not all enemies are within our control. We classify enemies into two kinds. One is that their actions affect PRNG. The other is not. For the second kind, it is easy to control their souls because at the specific PRNG the enemies will always drop their souls, while the first kind is not. We just need to find that specific PRNG and change soma's actions to get the value. And so we get a soul. But for the first kind, at the same PRNG enemies will drop different items, which annoys us a lot. Luckily, those enemies are few. Our solution is to try and try. It works certainly, but the result is not perfect since we always waste several frames. The most terrible moment is when we tried to get Final Sword from Final Guard. At that time, we spent about extra 100 frames in getting it. Only if we had a better solution! We do hope to get some useful experience though it is late now. Is there anyone who can help us?

Bosses

Creaking Skull

We did not kill it as quickly as possible because Soma needed to take more damage so that he could use 0 HP glitch.

Balore

It is really difficult to design the battle with him. What we need to consider is too much. Obviously we need to manipulate his fists. The ideal situation is that can allow Soma to attack him more times, is not it? Not always! On the one hand, Soma needs more time in the air so fists moving slower is better. On the other hand, fists should move faster to arrive at the specific place earlier to make Balore transform into the second form. It is hard to balance them. In addition, how to allot MP also needs considering. Using Creaking Skull is more efficient but more MP should remain to make Soma use glitches. So, I am not sure whether what we did is the best.

Death

At the beginning, use killer Mantle to kill him earlier.

Great Armor

Got his soul early to avoid more lags. 650=130×5. You can see that Death Robe did work.

Manticore

Nothing needs to be explained.

Legion

Since 128-frame rule exists, this battle is not so hard. However, handling lags is very annoying. At last Soma arrived at a high place where Legion was out of screen to avoid lags.

Big Golem

Took damage to get his soul instantly and make Lubicant's soul more efficient.

Head Hunter

We did not have Blocking Armor so Soma could not be very close to him. And because of it, we spent extra several frames killing him at the first form. However, he moving towards left can shorten the animation of changing heads. It is difficult to say whether what we did is worse than the current movie.

Graham

All extra time we spent on this boss concerned lacking Blocking Armor.

Chaos

We got chaos ring this time. So our goal was to use red Minotaur as much as possible.

Tricks

1.Swift cancel

When Soma is on the ground, press ↓+R can cancel Giant Bat instantly instead of keeping Bat form for several frames, the result if only press R. Ground can be classified into two kinds. One is that can allow Soma to do any actions after the swift cancel. However, this kind of ground is little. More ground is the kind that cannot allow Soma to walk along like the ground in Death room, where Soma can do moonwalk.

2.Handle black screen time

This trick was introduced in current Julius all bosses run. I do not repeat. Julius all bosses run

3.Avoid level up time

There are two ways. One is to get a soul and level up at the same time that Kriole did very well. Another is to get level up when Soma is about to enter another room. We used it twice.

4.Something about menu

Normally in the menu player cannot press the same keys in the continuous two frames. But pressing useless keys can do it. e.g. ↓,↓+Select can make player press ↓ twice in the continuous two frames. In item menu A and B can be pressed in the same frame. When switch souls, different routes may produce different lags. We have to find the best one.

Suggestions for those who want to obsolete this movie

1.In fact, we might look down on the Blocking Armor. Try getting it. 2.To find a better route allowing Soma to get Malphas and Kicker Skeleton earlier. 3.Allot MP appropriately. We wasted a lot. 4.Get Final Sword quickly. 5.Get Medusa Head's soul earlier. We wasted a lot of time because of landform. And do not want to get it in chaos. If so, you will also waste time in waiting for soul guide.

Acknowledgment

Thanks to Kriole for his Soma 100% soul run.

Thanks to rhebus for his theory.

Thanks to everyone’s expectation and support.

At last, hope you will enjoy this crazy movie!

Encode

(Link to video)


Samsara: Judging! Yes! Absolutely!

Samsara: First off, I'm going to just drop my usual calm, composed attitude while judging and gush about how awesome this movie is. I kinda love Aria of Sorrow a lot, I know a fair amount about the game and how broken it is, and I've been following the TASes since Atma's initial any% run. To say that this run exceeded my expectations would be the understatement of the century: I spent the entire run in awe, something that hasn't happened since Kriole's first all souls run. Nearly every single room after getting Giant Bat had my mouth open in shock at what was happening, as Soma effortlessly zipped around from room to room with reckless abandon, popping out to kill an enemy and grab its soul every now and then.

I had extremely high expectations for this run since it was announced, fittingly enough, on my birthday this year, knowing how broken Giant Bat is in regards to pushing yourself into walls and allowing you basically free reign. I've done a lot of experimenting with the glitch and I thought I knew nearly every place where it could be used, even some TAS-only ones that require constantly switching in and out of Bat form to use, but I was proven beautifully wrong. The routing was mind-blowing... Absolutely astonishing, really. I don't even really have the words to describe it. Really, all I can say is thank you, all of you, for making this run. It was art from beginning to end.

Naturally, I'm accepting it. But there's a problem here: Categorization.

This run has been at the gooey, caramel-coated center of a lot of debate over whether or not this should obsolete Kriole's published all souls run. Some believe that the run has different enough goals over the published run to warrant a separate category, others don't want the categories to get out of control like Super Metroid, and the rest were kind enough to not give any opinion at all on the matter. The less I have to stress out over making the right decision, the better.

Going back again to the day the run was started, I didn't think the two runs could exist side-by-side, and I still don't think it's particularly a good idea. No harm is done, but I'm of the belief that it sets a bad precedent for the site to create a new category for the run, and I know there are people who feel the same way. In a way, it feels almost hypocritical to create a new category for this run after we rejected runs such as Super Metroid "100% Map" and Ocarina of Time "No Doors" for being too arbitrary to warrant a new category on the site. I know, it isn't a perfect comparison, but bear with me here. It sends a conflicting message: We have a zero-tolerance policy for arbitrary categories about half the time. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

I still feel like this shows off more than the published run in terms of things the site's never seen before, and with the other 4 published runs added, nearly everything the warpless all souls run does is shown off in great detail. I've always believed that content is what deems new categories in the first place: We should always have a selection of movies that, when combined, show off everything the game has to offer. Each run should have something that greatly sets it apart from the others. Personal bias toward certain Super Metroids shouldn't apply. But of course, that would require restructuring the site and the rules, and things like that take time.

So, yes, I'm quite obviously leaning toward obsoletion, but at the same time, I see the points from the other side of the debate, people that have as much of a love for the published run as I do and want to see it continue to live as a published run, people who believe there should be no limit to the number of categories on the site and people who believe that the two runs both have enough to show to warrant being separate. I understand all of that, believe me, and that's what makes this decision such a stressful one to me.

It was brought up on IRC that, technically, less people would be upset over making this a new category, since it keeps the published run, adds a brilliant new run to the site, and it'll still have less categories than Super Metroid. That's tempting, yes, but it's clear from the thread that there are people who would complain about the extra category and site clutter and all that... Honestly, I'd be one of those people if someone else were making the decision. I swear I've done it before, even. While extra categories may not harm the site, it opens a floodgate ever so slightly.

"We have two Aria of Sorrow 100% runs, but we couldn't have Super Metroid 100% and 100% map?" Hypothetical, yes, but my gut instinct tells me that there's going to be a debate along those lines, and it's going to make my headache even bigger. If my last decision prompted a discussion thread over something I thought was "safe" to do, then I can only imagine what kinds of things would pop up over this one. What I'm saying is, this is the Hydlide of category decisions. It may even lead to a ridiculously long discussion thread about how we need to reexamine the way the site works in regards to categories and clutter.

That sounds like an awful lot of responsibility for me, who's only been judging for 3 weeks. So I'm came up with a compromise: I'm clearly biased in what choice I would make, so I'm going to throw out my opinion altogether. I read all the posts in the thread, and based this decision off of what the majority wants for this submission. At this very moment of judgement, 6 (arguably 7) people in the thread stated they would like to see this run as a separate category, while 10 (technically 11 but I'm not counting myself) people in the thread stated they would like to see this run obsolete the published run. Perhaps my numbers are slightly off, but it's still clear that the majority sees this as an improvement, not a separate category. It may not be an overwhelming majority, but it is still a majority.

With a heavy heart and the thread's opinions guiding me, I apologize profusely for accepting this run as an improvement to the warpless all souls run. I've updated the branch name accordingly to reflect this. Whoever publishes this, I implore you to leave a note in the description that links to the warpless run, as it still deserves visibility on the site.

scrimpy will be holding a candlelight vigil later this afternoon for its passing.

Screenshot suggestion brought up in the thread: Frame 33292

My suggestion: Frame 67057

fsvgm777: Amen.

Mothrayas: Setting intended tier to Stars.


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