Submission #1974: klmz's GBA Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow "warp glitch" in 06:46.20

Game Boy Advance
(Submitted: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow)
warp glitch
Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (U) [!].gba
Submitted by klmz on 5/11/2008 11:28:30 AM
Submission Comments
Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow beaten in less than 7 minutes from Power-on! Not quite comparable with the published movies because it takes a completely different route.
Note: This updated movie has only been improved to the previously submitted one with better itemdrop manipulations when fighting Erinys and Final Guard, plus a minor 7-frame gain from the final boss fight, while the rest of the movie remains exactly the same.[1]

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: VBAR 1.72 v19.3
  • Aims for fastest time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses death as shortcuts
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses in-game saves
  • Uses warps
  • Manipulates luck
  • Skips all bosses except Chaos


Finally, I decided to TAS this instead of a warpless run. This run is short, but not easy to TAS due to heavy luck-manipulations. But to my surprise, this run was completed very fast because of my ultra-good luck. :)

Soma the EXP/Item/Soul Hunter

Sometimes you may feel that Soma is acting like a fool when you are watching this movie, which is because either he has too many HP or he is eager for something from an enemy.
Baselard seems like a must-get for every Soma run. I got it for better damage output.
Lubicant Soul is very compatible with death warps, and I could fight two Lubicants on my way. So I decided to grab it. Grabbing it also saved one LEVELUP for the following death warp.
Muramasa dropped by Lubicants is an interesting weapon:
Pros: It has Curse Attribute, which inflicts additional damage to enemy that is weak to it, depending on how many HP of the enmey is left. It is also a multi-hitting weapon.
Cons: It's a short ranged weapon, and its ATK bonus is a little too small. It would be inefficient to fight Final Guard with.
Final Sword is definitely the best weapon in this game. but in order to get it, I had to fight Final Guard with very high defense. So I decided to get Ronginus's Spear from Erinys right before Final Guard.
Aftr some calculations on when to level up, I decided to build up my final level to 12, meaning that Red Minotaur Soul couldn't be used.
Great Armor Soul and equipments increasing STR are out of the route, and benefits from getting them wouldn't make up with the time cost to get them.
HP-ups were required to perform the death-warp glitch. I used the glitch four times, so I got four HP-ups.
MP-ups were useless since I used no MP-draining souls. So I didn't bother getting them.

The Death-Warp Glitch

The death-warp glitch was not discovered by me. I am not not sure who discovered it first. However, I learnt it from @JOACHIM.
It is possible because:
  • After a Levelup or soul-getting pause, you are granted to be able to enter Menu Screen in a few frames.
  • You can save your game from Menu Screen as long as you are not flagged "in boss fight", if you have saved the game in a save room once.
  • When you load a game that was saved from Menu Screen, you are set standing where you came to the room with your HP unchanged.
  • The game won't try to kill you by examing if your HP is 0. The kill test is only done when you get hit (The "harmless" Blacked-out Door can kill you if your HP is 0!).
  • When your HP is 0, you can go off screen without room transitions, while as soon as your HP is over 0, you get room transitions immediately. Unfortunately, you'll usually end up with black screen and have to reset the game.
Now I think you can figure out how to use Death Warps. ;)
Every enemy killed was not only for its goodies, but also for its EXP. Using Levelup is usually faster than using soul-getting to perform the death warp.

The Route

The route-planning itself cost me much more time than TASing. This route's the fastest by now on I know. It was just discovered with lots of nearly blind tests. Who could have known that you could get to Chaotic Realm from such an off-screen spot? :D

Stage by stage comments

Castle Corridor & Underground Reservoir - No Death Yet

I went into the first Save Room to save the game as soon as possible so that I was able to use save-warp once. I decided to decrease HP in the room with Tiny Devil in it just for manipulating Tasty Meat in the next room.

Castle Corridor - The 1st Death

When I came to the door of Creaking Skull room, I couldn't use save during death using the Axe Armor itself, so I had to wait for its axe thrown. Don't get worried when you see the long off-screen scene. It was the only long one in the entire movie. I warped to Chaotic Realm skipping all of the bosses in the castle!

Chaotic Realm - The 2nd Death

Welcome to the realm of chaos/Chaos! Here are the toughest monsters in the game!
If not in STONE staus, 290 HP were enough for Soma to stand 2 hits by any enemy in the long corridor room. All the enemy are too tough to kill, so I just headed to the right, jumping over incoming Gladiators. A spear was thrown to prevent the second Gladiator from launching too many arrows. It's fun to note that Soma put out the burning arrow in mid-air.
I aimed for Lubicant Soul in the shaft room, as well as some EXP. He gave me both, and even a Muramasa that was used to kill one of them and a later Erinys.
Why did I use a save warp instead of jumping back to the exit and re-enter the room after I got the Muramasa? Simply because the Beam Skeleton was blocking my way as I had been in the room for a long time.
The death warp allowed me to skip a lot of rooms in Chaotic Realm, some of them recquired at least Malphas Soul.

Chaotic Realm - The 3rd Death

I just wasted the Erinys and used her Ronginus's Spear (logical?) to beat the Final Guard, for his Final Sword. Soma was lured by Succubus who prevented to be Mina and thus got killed. This warp allowed me to skip the unpassable vertical Clock Tower room.

Chaotic Realm - The 4th Death

Stolas was easier meat than Shadow Knight. Red Minotaur Soul was skipped since to use it I would need 150+ MP, meaning I would have to build up my level to at least 15. The very last death warp sent me directly to Chaos.

Chaos Fight

The first and final boss in this movie. Very fast fight, although Soma was only at Level 12.
TODO: Add more helpful comments.

Other comments

Thanks to @JOACHIM, atma, pirate_sephiroth, Yrr, zggzdydp and others who contributed help to TASing this game, whose names I haven't mentioned here.

Suggested Screen Shots

klmz: Hi! I am a TASer. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.

NesVideoAgent: Hi! I am a robot. I took a few screenshots of this movie and placed them here. Here goes! Feel free to clean up the list.

Truncated: Accepting as improvement to the glitched run. Good job!
EDIT: I should also point out that what I watched and judged is the 6:46 (54964 frames) movie, at the time of writing this movie is only available as a link in the beginning of the submission. The uploaded movie should be replaced by this one before encoding and publishing.

Bisqwit: Replaced the submission with an improved one. Author did not specify what is improved in their message, therefore reverting the "Accepted" status.

klmz: I think this movie was reverted to the "New" status as I asked Bisqwit to update it with "a 353 frames faster one", which was the very movie Truncated watched and judged, while Bisqwit wasn't confirmed. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
[1] Although some screenshots no longer accord with the updated movie, I think they are OK since even a few published movies (eg. [1091] NES Little Samson "warps" by klmz in 10:13.27) have screenshots from the obsoleted movies, which no longer accord with the currently published movies.

adelikat: New file "Accepted".

Maza: Encoding.
Last Edited by adelikat on 3/20/2022 1:44 AM
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