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

Submission #6878: arukAdo & EZGames69's Saturn Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in 10:17.37

Console: Sega Saturn
Game name: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Game version: JPN
ROM filename: Castlevania - Symphony of the Night.iso
Branch:
Emulator: Bizhawk 2.5.1
Movie length: 10:17.37
FrameCount: 37042
Re-record count: 252
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: arukAdo & EZGames69
Submitter: arukAdo
Submitted at: 2020-09-14 16:08:55
Text last edited at: 2020-09-24 05:59:56
Text last edited by: Samsara
Download: Download (16274 bytes)
Status: decision: rejected
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Author's comments and explanations:

Summary

  • Fastest Completion
  • Abuses Programming Errors
  • Uses Game Reset Sequence
  • Takes No Damage
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Emulator used: BizHawk (2.5.1)
  • RealTime:10:17.37 GameTime:xx:xx(last input) Frames:37042 Re-records:17463


Castlevania: Symphony of the night is a change of pace for the Castlevania series. Instead of the traditional linear level design, it is an exploration game which would go on to become a genre known as Metroidvania.

The game is most well known for its PSX release, but it also had a release on the Sega Saturn in japan only. This port however is seen as inferior due to the constant slowdowns and lag throughout the game.

This category features a save corruption bug which let us start a new file as Maria, then start another one as Alucard but keep all her stats and equipment, including all relics. Essentially it allows us to use the Maria mode route but with Alucard.

Just because we can, we made you 2 3 movies for the price of one. So now you can discuss the why and how this or that should be published

Comments

  • The save bug is very easy to perform, you only have to soft reset a few frames after you select your file to load, at this point, you can create a new file and you will be "warped" in the glitched room in entrance, with all equipment/stats (and map!) you had when you did soft reset the loading. Its important to mention that there is zero memory corruption involved, what happen is that those values arent cleared in the ram when you start a new game.
  • In this run, we start by making a file with maria, we then get her to the save point at the end of entrance, soft reset, select the file and soft reset right when it start loading(this step maybe can be skiped with better knowledge), then start a new alucard file > he get 200mp and we activate all the relics in the menu
  • The bug only works consistently in the entrance (plus the save point in underground garden), anywhere else you will be locked in the glitch room, with the library card been the only possible exit it will randomly do weird stuff if you do it elsewhere, we cannot tell you more than this for now.
  • Maria and Richter both have all relics unlocked by default, for most they are turned off, only alucard has the flag that lock all relics when starting a clean new game from power on, this is where reside the major error in the code, it doesnt reset properly the ram on soft reset and this lead to your ability to "unlock" everything, in reality you arent unlocking anything but simply reusing maria/richter ones (unlocked by default).
  • Unlike on psx, we have much less capabilities to alterate the rng, in this run we are using the bat sonar to increase the rng by 1-3 frames per use, this reduce the wait for the sword drop by some 15 frames'ish.
  • The run is highly sync'able, the clean sram movie was made by copying all the input and simply redoing shaft/dracula, the whole run input is identical and nothing interfer with the rng or lag.


Further Improvements

If you can manage somehow to get the previous drop of the sword in the rng pattern, that would save time, otherwise maybe a few frames can be shaved off dracula with a better serie of critical hits (for replay, on clean there is a faster dracula, and slower shaft due to difference without the dialogue).
Dracula elevator with wolf to stop wingsmash and press UP sooner, saves around 25 frames.
Mitigate level up stop screen (tested and works with summon spirit, require some serious ninja skills, and the frames saved might be negated by waiting sword drop, or if medusa cannot refill mp, or if the panther rng doesnt cooperate)
Do not load the save after the soft reset (duh) < this doesnt work
Alchemy labs : some frames might be saved with better sliding, most notably in the first room.


Youtube

  • Clean SRAM

(Link to video)
  • Replay Mode

(Link to video)
  • New Game+ ?!?

(Link to video)

input file for replay mode

input file to verify sram

input file for ng+

Special thanks to paulo1179 and notthesameman for the glitch videos. And to everybody who contributed directly and indirectly to the knowledge that leaded to this movie making.


Samsara: This is going to be interesting.

Samsara: This was interesting.

The idea behind this submission is that it's meant to be the fastest completion of Alucard's scenario from power-on, but there's a major notable problem with that, and that's the major gimmick of this run: Maria.
By definition, a character-specific run should be locked to that character, otherwise you could have something like a Super Mario Bros 2 "Princess" run that follows any% up until the last stage, then switches to Peach pretty much just to fight Wart. One, I am vehemently against removing Peach content from TASvideos, and two... Yeah, that ain't a Peach run. That's just a suboptimal any%.
Switching characters in SMB2 is obviously not like "switching characters" in this game, but I think the comparison still stands in a way. You're effectively stealing progress from Maria. This includes, but is not limited to, relic acquisition, character position, and game progress flags. For all intents and purposes, even if Maria's only purpose in the TAS is to get to a save point, a SIGNIFICANT portion of the game is still completed by her by virtue of her being considered to have all the relics and several important game flags preset. One could argue that "Save Richter" alone is at least half the game by itself. That one won't be me, it's been too long since my last honest SotN playthrough and I prefer being objectively right about everything I say. Speaking of being right, we need more Peach content on TASvideos.
So, we can't treat this as the branch is was submitted under. Could we treat it as another branch instead? Well...
No.
There's no way this can be defined without putting it in direct competition with other, faster categories. We could call it "Maria and Alucard any%", for example, but that would put it in the same category as Maria any%. We could call it "save glitch", but that would put it in contention with the PSX version's "game end glitch". We can't really call it anything else, because the intended goal from the beginning was to beat Alucard's scenario as fast as possible. Even if we managed to find an accurate descriptor for the run, I'd imagine it'd have so many modifiers that it'd end up as the title of the next Castlevania game. Castlevania: Opera of Specifically Beating Alucard's Scenario From Power-On With A Save Glitch That Isn't Arbitrary Code Execution That Steals Data From Maria But Is Also Slower Than Just Beating The Game With Maria. Randomizer coming soon.
It's a shame to reject an entertaining, unique-looking, legitimate run with positive audience feedback, but I'm afraid that by design it can't compete with the category it aims for, and it's slower than every other category it can compete with.

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