TASVideos

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

Submission #7040: lapogne36's PSX Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain in 14:18.42

Console: Sony PlayStation
Game name: Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Game version: USA
ROM filename: Blood Omen - Legacy of Kain (USA).bin
Branch:
Emulator: BizHawk-2.3.2
Movie length: 14:18.42
FrameCount: 51454
Re-record count: 16504
Author's real name:
Author's nickname: lapogne36
Submitter: lapogne36
Submitted at: 2021-03-06 00:40:49
Intended tier: Vault
Text last edited at: 2021-03-24 14:36:42
Text last edited by: Spikestuff
Download: Download (20871 bytes)
Status: publication underway
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Author's comments and explanations:

(Link to video)

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: BizHawk-2.3.2
  • Heavy glitch abuse
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Wrong Warp

About the game

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is an action-adventure game with similarities with Zelda games, but with a much darker story, and the first game of the Legacy of Kain series. The game only has few random elements, and as such most screens can easily be hex-edited. However the loading time between each screens is inconsistent. It runs at 60 FPS.

Comments

Versions differences

For once the PSX version is faster than the PC one because the wrong warp used in this run doesn't work on the PC version. The loading times on PSX are longer though.

Movement and weapons

Kain can move in 8 different directions. Vampire Kain runs at 540 unis per frame (256 units = 1 pixel), Wolf Kain runs at 1080 units per frame. Wolf Kain can also jump (for example over low level waters to not take damage), which is at least 17 frames slower than running. Taking damage push you in one direction for a few frames at double the speed, which can save up to 6 frames per damage boost.

Weapon Damage per hit Damage per second
Iron Sword 2 5.56
Flame Sword 8 22.22
Wolf (normal) 5 7.14
Wolf (Full Moon) 48 68.57

The last bosses have hundreds of HPs so using the default Iron Sword isn't really an option. However it just so happens that the first night is a full moon and you must get the wolf form anyway, and if you are fast enough you can make it to the end before the dawn of the next day. There was still ~75s of in-game time left after the last hit against the final boss.

HP & Mana

There is a 651 frames cycle that repeats indefinitely. During this cycle, Kain will:
  • Lose 1 HP 1 time
  • Gain 1 MP 3 times (vampire form)
  • Lose 1 MP 3 times (wolf form)

If you run out of MP, the wolf form is canceled. It is important to take this cycle into account to know when to transform in order to save MPs (like canceling wolf form right before you lose 1 MP), because the three rune triangles (each one gives max MP +10) in our way are not enough to keep the wolf form until the end of the game.

Glitches and tricks

No sound

This game has a lot of voice acting, and it will not load the next screen until a dialog is over (and sometimes you won't be able to move like in the very first screen). Lowering the "sound" volume to zero prevents the game from playing these dialogs, and thus saves a significant amount of time throughout the game.

No damage water

Low level waters deal 5 damage to Kain every ~10 frames, however you can skip the damage by stopping 1 frame before the damage is supposed to occur, allowing Kain to move at almost full speed in these waters without taking any damage. This trick doesn't work at all with high level waters which deal 10 damage instead of 5.

Wrong warp

In one screen of the main map, you can trigger a cutscene by going out of bounds near the exit. This cutscene is on of the last of the game, and basically teleports Kain to the last events of the game. It is unclear why this particular spot trigger the cutscene.

Coordinates underflow

Some walls will push Kain left or right when moving up or down towards them. When doing this to be pushed left, there is a 1 frame window where Kain's horizontal coordinate will be negative while you still have control of him. Alternatively, if you start a screen in a wall with an horizontal coordiante equal to 0, Kain will be pushed to the left and you will have the negative coordinate while keeping crontrol for a 2 frames window. In this scenario, you can prevent the push by going to the right.

When transforming while in negative coordinate, Kain can get two useful effects:

  • As a wolf, he can go up or down as long as he keeps going to the right at the same time (it doesn't work with his vampire form or if his coordinate isn't negative).
  • As a bat, you can cancel the travel to get back to your initial position, however the game will treat Kain's coordiantes as unsigned values, and thus warp him far to the right instead of the left, allowing you to basically warp to the right of the screen.

These two effects allow us to move on the main map much faster than intended, though you can't do it everywhere due to the main map topography.

Route details

Human Kain

Enemies were manipulated to kill Kain as fast as possible, while having the executioner spawn as close as possible of Kain.

Up to Wolf Cave

I have more HP than I can use to as damage boosts, so every damage boost possible was used. Getting the Health Vial to increase Kain's maximum HP would have not had any real use since it doesn't increase his current HP at the same time.

Wolf Cave

I got three Hearts of Darkness in this section since they are the fastest to get and I will need three of them, I didn't bother getting the third Blood Refill because it would have cost 14 frames to get for a gain of 6 frames at best. I jumped over spikes to delay the recovery of the second Mana Refill.

Warps

The first warp is used to go to the Termogent Forest, most of the ground are low level waters so I could skip the damage whenever I wanted, though I must exit the forst with 5 or less HP.

Next is the Lake of the Dead. For this second warp, I must have the invulnerability from an Heart of Darkness when performing the underflow, else Kain will die in his bat form and softlock the game. I also need two other Hearts of Darkness to reach this location in the first place, which is why I got the three from the Wolf Cave. I must trigger the first one as fast as possible, which is done by suiciding on a Gaseous Flower.

The second warp sent Kain right next to the wrong warp.

Moebius

All the enemies must be defeated to be able to move to the next screen. The fake Kain is the most luck reliant event of the TAS, as he is very likely to teleport if he can't hit us. Here I managed to have a fight where he only teleported once. I went back to vampire form at the end to save MPs, since I must wait for Moebius to appear and I will be forced to come back to the vampire form at the end of the creen anyway.

Mortanius

Once he vanishes for the first time, I have to wait for him to reappear two times, so I took this chance to refill my MPs for his second form. Thanks to the full moon wolf damage, his final form was killed in 3 cycles instead of 10 cycles if I had to use the flame sword instead.

Both endings can be picked at the same frame so I went for the canonical one.

Possible improvements

  • Better wrong warp: any wrong warp that would teleport Kain at a later point of the story (or in the developers' room) would probably save time
  • Better MPs management
  • Dying earlier in the Lake of the Dead by dying from the rain

Special Thanks

Varik Keldin and KingBlackToof for their any% speedruns.

Suggest screenshot :

frame 13393 or 43388
Samsara: Judging.

Samsara: Neat little run here, looks very well-planned and executed. It's a very... Atmospheric game, though, to put it kindly, with a fairly slow pace throughout most of it and a looooot of loading. With only two posts in the thread and only 7 total votes since submission, I'm accepting this to Vault.

Spikestuff: It's the cane from Citizen Kane.


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