Submission #1406: VANDAL's NES Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania 3) "Sypha path" in 27:50.57

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator FCEU0.98
Game Version Japan Frame Count 100234
ROM Filename Akumajou_Densetsu_(J).nes Frame Rate 60
Branch Sypha path Rerecord Count 15522
Unknown Authors VANDAL
Game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Submitted by VANDAL on 12/29/2006 8:51:21 PM

Submission Comments
By popular demand, here's the Sypha Path of Castlevania III in which is about 40 seconds faster than the run made with Famtasia. The use of new tricks (or tricks found too late in the Famtasia run) and more aggressive boss fights make for most of the improvements.
Emulator Used: FCE Ultra 0.98.16
Movie Details:
  • Aims for Fastest Game Completion (On the Sypha Path)
  • Takes Damage to Save Time
  • Abuses Programming Errors
  • Manipulates Luck
Again, Tool-Assisted abilities are abused throughout this run in which can only be performed in a frame-wise manner. Canceling out the long fall drop and canceling out the attack animation are definitely apparent and abused throughout this run. Also Sypha can do something similar to glitch found in Castlevania One (the one in which critally hit a boss); she's able to critically hit a boss with the use of her Lightning Balls, right when she takes damage is the time it's used. Enough of what to come, I shall now go into somewhat depth of the run's details. Patronizing will occur as well as words repeated from the movie text from both the Grant Path and Alucard Path. Also an over use of commas.

Level One

Much like Phil's, Genisto's, and My Grant run, the first level is identical only this time with a mere 2 frame improvement in which I really don't remember where (possibly with bat that hits Trevor and when Trevor kills the zombies). The boss takes 5 hearts for the Stop Clock and the rest is what you see.


Start of the game, nothing happens.


In the late part of this area, in which Trevor jumps to manipulate the Medusa Head, it seems what ever frame you jump on determines the outcome in the next area so I jump slightly later (a few frames) rather than as soon as possible.


Luck manipulation takes play here. When killing the zombie, depending on which frame it dies is whether or not it will drop something. Now since I didn't upgrade my whip entirely yet, it drops a Whip Upgrade rather than a sub-weapon. With the whip upgrade still on screen, it allows for a sub-weapon to appear instead. Got the Stop Clock and Whip Upgrade.


The boss fight is optimized to death so no frames gained here, different victory pose than the Alucard and Grant Paths.

Level Three?

Level Three (the clock tower being Level Two) branches off when the split between paths happens and you either are getting Sypha or Alucard. Well in this run I get Sypha making it the Sypha Path. The boss is the Cyclops in which only takes 5 hearts to take down rather quickly.


Nothing but the usual usage of the Stop Clock, from Phil's/Genisto's runs, in a similar area but there's no whip!


The Owls, they were fun to manipulate, they were so fun that I decided, in the Alucard Path, to redo this area so that it isn't the same thing but gets the same results.


Got my II in this area and now finally the abuse of the attack animation being cancelled is visually apparent. I tried in the later part of this area to reduce the lag that those skulls cause with their fireballs by destroying the fireballs and what causes the fireballs.


Got my III in this area right away, nothing too special afterwards.


Good use of the Cross in this area made this part a breeze. The boss fight with the Cyclops is even better this time around because of the use of the attack animation canceling trick. Nothing more to say other than enjoy the fight.

Level Four

Now that I have Sypha, nothing can stand in my way. Sypha is by far the most powerful character in this game because of her superior magic, mainly the 3 Lightning Balls spell/sub-weapon. The bosses are Medusa, who takes 2 hearts to sub-due, the Mummies, who take 1 heart to tear up, and the Cyclops, who takes only 1 heart and a 1 hit surprisingly dies.


Right away I get Sypha her Fire magic sub-weapon because it is much stronger than her main attack and it proves to be useful.


Here I get Sypha her Lightning Ball magic sub-weapon (and keep it for quite a while) because it's the most powerful weapon in this game. The usual methods are used in this area to progress through it only some more tricks/glitches are used.


First waiting period of the game. Since I had to wait, I had Sypha march in place and stuff of the like. That ghost couldn't have been manipulated so I had to kill it. Medusa goes down pretty fast, two shots with my sub-weapon after manipulating her to come charging which doesn't allow her to move right off the bat.


More progressing while using the Lightning Balls, nothing out of the ordinary.


Sypha can't take Grant's shortcut but she sure has her own. On to the bosses, the Mummies, originally, took more than one hit but then I found out that Sypha can dominate bosses ever further than before. The Cyclops in no exception and is defeated with shear quickness. I had Sypha look like she destroyed the ghost that flies out of the Cyclops.

Level Five

One of Frankenstein's levels is this one. He takes, much like the Cyclops, 1 heart and a hit to kill.


I use the fastest method I could find to get to the stairs in this area. No luck manipulation is apparent here. The Axe Knight helps out by throwing an axe for Sypha to jump onto to get to the other side.


I tried making this waiting period as interesting as possible, as interesting as to keep the viewer watching. When Sypha botches the use of the Lightning Balls, it looks like some sort of bloom. Sypha just couldn't quite make that jump, twice! Slow walking is done by being under a platform that you cannot jump under and if you try it slows your walking speed. No one is safe in this waiting area, nor in the other waiting areas.


More climbing, much like the Grant run. Frankenstein dies before even setting off those blocks from falling.

Level Six

Level six has the Hydras and they beaten with 3 hearts used because one of them exerts too much height.


Short area in which Sypha doesn't slow down.


Got to keep jumping, just got to keep jumping. This area eventually has the other side of the stream in which allows for speedy walking. Waiting for the Lightning Balls to hit the skulls that shoot fire is quicker than getting hit and proceeding.


Another straight forward area but I have to wait rather than get hit in order to optimize it.


Luck manipulation wasn't in my favor too much in this level, I would have like to not jump as much. The Hydras are required some timed actions; in order to kill the first one I need it to hit me first so I could be blinking and then I could kill the other one, by getting closer, relatively quickly.

Level Seven

This was a fun level because with Sypha, she can take a couple of shortcuts do to the use of the Ice magic and no there weren't any other areas that would be useful to do this same trick in the previous levels. The Mummies, Cyclops, and Leviathan (Gargoyle), also known as the Terrible Trio, required 6 hearts. 1 for the Mummies, 1 for the Cyclops, and 4 for Leviathan.


Got the Ice Magic in this area for upcoming uses. The use of the Ice Magic made it possible to freeze an enemy and jump on it while being able to get halfway through the platform above Sypha and allowing her to jump right through it.


This area does a pattern of movement: to freeze, to break, to kill. Another shortcut here but this time the skulls that shoot fireballs are used as a platform. You may see Sypha jump twice before finally getting on the frozen platform but to assure you, you need to jump into the enemy first (you cannot simply walk into it) and then jump onto it that way Sypha is able to actually able to initiate a jump and go through the platform above.


A pretty good luck manipulated area is this one. Another waiting period but it's a short one and scrolls continuously. The boss fights are nice and short so enjoy this one.

Level Eight

Now we're inside the castle of Castlevania in which Death makes his appearance as the boss. This is the level in which the paths of either Grant, Alucard, or Sypha sync up. Death takes 4 hearts to kill the way I wanted him to die, dead.


Standard optimization occurs throughout this area, nothing too fancy.


More Standard optimization here, nothing too fancy.


A falling floor and Death inhabit this area. Death never had a chance against Sypha's magic.

Level Nine

The level that is right before Dracula's is this one. In this level there exists a Doppelganger and mimics who ever you may be. It takes 1 heart and a few smacks to defeat.


There's a lot of killing in this area so I'm going to call it 'The Killing Floor'. Other than that, there is nothing worth noting about this area.


This area probably has the only original contribution the whole run in which there is no waiting period.


Another waiting period in this area, hopefully I made it interesting enough to bare. After every jump I made it so Sypha's weapon swinging made a sound but no animation. At one point Sypha is bouncing up and down making a sound every time she lands. Shortly after you'll hear her weapon swing sound at about 30 hertz but no animation, sounds kind of like running water but too thick to just be water.


Having to go all the way around just to be back at this point is a downer but has to be done in order to progress. The Doppelganger is weak as crap because it doesn't use any magic or at least it doesn't get to, I'm not sure.

Level Ten

The lair of Dracula is upon us as well as the end of this run. Dracula takes 6 hearts to ultimately end his reign until he rises again.


It's interesting to get hearts with someone other than Grant, someone with different game play. Sypha starts to panic as she is almost crushed by the screen. I needed to save as much Vitality for the fight with Dracula as possible so I get hit less in this area.


Optimizations here and there, let's get to the boss already.


Getting hit first is ultimately faster in order to kill his first form in one hit. I tried to kill the second form in one hit but that doesn't work, it requires four hits. The third form didn't go as planned because the Lightning Balls are unpredictable so I had to switch to Trevor to finish him off.
That's it for this run of Castlevania III on the Sypha Path, if you've enjoyed this I recommend checking out the Alucard Path's run which was done at the same time as this one. For the hell of it I'm going to jot down the tricks used in this run that way you don't have to refer to the Grant or Alucard run's notes.


Canceling the Landing Impact

On the correct frame after a high up jump that brings you down far below, if hit the weapon button it will allow you to keep on walking. This saves quite a few frames.

Canceling the Attack Animation

Canceling the attack animation can be done by everyone. The basic way to do it is to jump in the air and just as you touchdown, on the correct frame, hit the weapon button and there should be no animation but the sound effect. This is useless with Trevor's and Sypha's Melee weapon but with there Sub-Weapon it becomes increasingly useful.
These Both Have to Be Relatively Frame Precise

Definite Thanks To...

Thanks to Phil and his Castlevania III run played through with Famtasia as it outlined the run and quite a few tricks that were used to help improve this run. Thanks to those who thought I should at least consider the Sypha path: AngerFist, OgreSlayeR, and Sir VG. Thanks everyone who wanted to see the Famtasia run obsolete as there is quite a bit of you I won't name anyone in particular. Thanks Bisqwit and anyone else who helps maintain this site.

Truncated: Accepted as an improvement to the current version.

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:13 PM
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