Submission #2124: klmz's GBA Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance in 11:13.12

Game Boy Advance
Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance (U) [!].gba
Submitted by klmz on 10/25/2008 10:32:09 PM
Submission Comments
This movie of Juste's glitched "first quest" has an improvement of 10304 frames, or 171.73 seconds to the published movie, greatly thanks to a new route. Both Maxim and Lydie were saved in the happy end.

General info

Emulator/tools used

  • VBA 1.7.2 + Re-recording v19.3 for (re-)recording movies.
  • VBAwatch for watching memory during TASing v2.[1]
  • TAS Movie Editor for copies & pastes, small tweaks, etc.


  • Aims for fastest time
  • Contains speed/entertainment tradeoffs
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses warps
  • Manipulates luck
  • No damage/death


This is the second version of my run of Juste's glitched quest. In my unfinished v1, I overlooked a shortcut and got too many hearts, which wasted quite a few frames. When I realized that, I started the run over and saved 876 frames from my v1.
The first half of this run takes a different route from the published movie and features more formidable enemies and walls-sinks. Levels were built up on the way in order to save time later.
Almost every single room was done faster than that in the published movie, thanks to optimized subpixels, new tricks and/or better strategies and precision.

Level of Faith

Without testing the last three boss fights, I decided to build up my level to 16 after I calculated how much EXP I would get in the whole run, as I could get exact EXP of 14400 that was the minimum requirement for reaching Level 16. I didn't realize that it would turn out to be the lowest possible level for beating both Maxim and the first form of Dracula's Wraith using the strategies in my movie! Since leveling-up consumes time, Level 16 has finally turned out to be the optimal level! Cool!

The new route

In this run, I took a new route requiring some new subpixel-precise wall-sinks to cut down the fininshing time. The second half of the route remained the same, though.
The route:
  1. Start, go to Entrance A, door-warp to Shrine of the Apostates A, get Lizard Tail, go back to Entrance A, get Soul Orb, wall-sink to front of save-room in Entrance A and save the game in the save-room.
  2. Go to Marble Corridor A, chat Death, get the axe subweapon and wall-sink-warp to Shrine of the Apostates B.
  3. Go to The Wailing Way B -> Marble Corridor B, get Floating Boots from Pike Master, go back to The Wailing Way B and wall-sink-warp to Castle Top Floor B using Floating Boots.
  4. Warp to Cave of Skeletons A -> Cave of Skeletons B, beat Skeleton Knight, get Sylph Feather, save in menu and reset.
  5. Load the saved game in Entrance A, get the boomerang subwaepon and Platinum Tip, save in menu and reset.
  6. Load the saved game in Entrance A, go to Marble Corridor A -> Room of Illusion A, wall-sink-warp to The Wailing Way B -> Castle Top Floor B, wall-sink-warp to the top using Floating Boots.
  7. Warp through Luminous Cavern A getting low gravity to Aqueduct of Dragons B, go to Clock Tower B, trigger the machinery and wall-sink-warp to get Crushing Stone.
  8. Go to Sky Walkway B, beat Legion (Saint), break the breakable wall before Shadow using Crush Stone and skip Shadow with wall-sink-warp to Clock Tower A.
  9. Go to Sky Walkway A, beat Devil, get MK's Bracelet, go back to Clock Tower A and use the door connecting the two areas to warp to Chapel of Dissonance B.
  10. Wall-sink-warp to Sky Walkway B -> Castle Treasury A -> Castle Treasury B, use Floating Boots to warp to Cave of Skeletons B, warp back to Castle Treasury B and warp through the connecting door into the central room in Castle B.
  11. Warp to the elevator, beat Maxim with both bracelets equiped, beat Dracula's Waith and get the happy ending.

Something "sloppy"?

  • See also: Speed/entertainment tradeoffs
  • A jump right before the giant armour actually saved 1 frame as it cancelled the lag caused by dashing when the rain passed off.
  • Before I abtained Sylph Feather, my jumps might look unoptimal sometimes. It was because the game locks the jumps after I had held down A button for 11 frames. Without holding down A button that long, I couldn't jump high enough. As a result, they were unavoidable.
  • I did a jump after the first Ape Skeleton in order to manipulate the second Ape Skeleton to face left as I couldn't manipulate out a critical hit to it without losing 100+ frames. This cost 12 frames.
  • I intentionally prolonged the Devil boss fight to manipulate it to land down as fast as possible so that the door opened as early as possible. This saved more than 20 frames.
  • Those two Skull Archers were carefully kicked but not whipped in order to keep the EXP at 14400 points. This cost about 3 frames.
  • In the out-of-border trip from Chapel of Dissonance B to the final chamber, I didn't equip Floating Boots as early as possible because: 1) Flying with Floating Boots equiped is always slower and the flight was so long. 2) Juste would halt at whipping with Floating Boots equiped so that I would spend more frames in sinking into the high wall in Castle Treasury A from the empty space below.

Speed/entertainment tradeoffs

  • Gets Soul Orb to display how much damage an enemy has received, which can produce lags.
  • Plays with Maxim a little.
  • See below.

Something interesting

  • An extra dialogue before Maxim's fight possibly due to skipping his Shadow and getting his bracelet too fast.
  • In the end of the movie, Juste got exactly 0 hearts and 14400 EXP points.

Glitches and tricks

"Shuriken Glitch"

The whip version of the "shuriken glitch" which gives multiple hits cannot be used efficiently in two cases:
  • Legion (Saint)'s shells have special invulnerability.
  • Maxim will be forced to "flicker" and become invulnerable after he takes a few hits when he isn't "resting".
To do the glitch, you just need to time three hits correctly:
1) Throw a boomerang at an enemy.
2) Dive kick/slide kick it.
3) Whip it while it's still invulnerable to one of the attacks used above.
An alternative way to do it contributed by ljffdb2 is performed as follows:
1) Throw a boomerang or axe at an enemy.
2) Jump and whip it in the air.
3) Land and whip it on the ground while it's still invulnerable to one of the attacks used above.
Strangely, you can first whip on the ground and then whip in the air to do this glitch with an axe, but you cannot do it this way with a boomerang.


This is something awesome involving corners and kickable things. It's done by "forcing deceleration into the same direction of your horizontal momentum in the air". Your whip/subweapon is the force, the deceleration is by letting go D-pad, and dash/dive-bounce gives you horizontal momentum without changing your horizontal deceleration. You can combine these as what I did in the movie to do backward-whip-launches.
Forward-whip-launch? Three ways:
1) Press LEFT/RIGHT only for one frame to turn around when you are slipping before dash.
2) Press LEFT for one frame and press L in the next frame, and whip when you are in the air. To launch to the left only!
3) Dive-kick backwards before launching.
The first and second ways are to whiplaunch from a corner, and the third way it to launch from a kickable thing.

Wall-sinking and warping

If you get speed above 8 pixels/frame with proper positioning, you can get stuck into walls and then ejected upwards.[2] When you are out of the border of the room, you'll warp to somewhere.
Doors can be also used to perform some warps. Back-dash as soon as you enter cetain rooms from the right side, you'll get warped to somewhere. Boss doors cannot be abused, though.


Besides common thanks to Bisqwit hosting this site, authors of the game/tools/previous movies and so forth, I'm giving special thanks to...
  • ljffdb2 for providing some glitches/tricks, boss strategies, and viewing my WIP's as well as pointing out the missing shortcut in my old run.
  • Comicalflop and zggzdydp for constructive discussions.
  • pirate_sephiroth for English hints.


[1] During TASing v1, I used the emulator-embedded memory watcher instead.
[2] You cannot sink into "breakable walls". You'll need speed above 16.03125 pixels/frame to get through them.

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.

mmbossman: Wow, quite a large improvement to a relatively short run. Accepting as an improvement to the published movie.
ShinyDoofy: Processing...
klmz's note: This movie requires conversion in order to be played in sync on VBA rerecording v23.
Last Edited by adelikat on 9/14/2023 8:26 PM
Page History Latest diff List referrers