Submission #3126: scrimpeh's MSX Vampire Killer in 17:02.65

Console MSX Home Computer System Emulator
Game Version JPN Frame Count 61280
ROM Filename Akumajyo Drakyula - Vampire Killer (1986) (Konami) (J).mx2 Frame Rate 59.9227510135505
Branch Rerecord Count 18604
Unknown Authors scrimpeh
Game Vampire Killer
Submitted by scrimpeh on 4/23/2011 7:45:51 PM

Submission Comments
The MSX2 Vampire Killer was released in Japan, Europe and Brazil one month after the NES/Famicom Castlevania. While the general outline and many elements are similar, the gameplay has a more nonlinear thing to it. In every stage, you have to collect a white key to open the door to the next. In addition, there is a plethora of other items to be found in chests, candles and walls. This is an improvement of 30 seconds over the old run, thanks to new strategies, shortcuts and general optimization.
Thanks to Vampier for the encode.

Game objectives

  • Emulator used: openMSX (download at, It syncs on the official 0.8.1. version as well
  • BIOS used: Panasonic FS-A1WSX
  • Aims for fastest possible time.
  • Takes damage to save time.
  • Manipulates luck.
  • Genre: Platform



I chose a different ROM from the previous run because I intended to use that one all along. I apologize for any inconvenience that may cause.
Based on a few new discoveries, I decided to improve my old Vampire Killer run, saving 30 seconds in the end. The exact improvements are outlined below.
StageOld RunNew RunFrames lost/savedTotal

Stage by Stage comments

Stage 1

Speedwise absolutely identical to the old run.

Stage 2

I jump a bit earlier into the merman and grab an extra heart, saving 7 frames.

Stage 3

Since jumping costs 2 frames, I grab the invincibility crystal instead, which allows me to just walk through the zombies.

BOSS: Vampire Bat

General optimization saves a few frames.

Stage 4

A slightly different route ends up saving some time.

Stage 5

Because Medusa heads are based on a global timer, I wasn't able to use them the way I did in the first run. Instead, by wasting a few frames, I manipulated it to spawn on the other side of the screen. Thanks to other optimizations, however, a few frames were saved.

Stage 6

Instead of grabbing a big heart, I decided to just plow through the ceiling traps, saving yet again a few frames.

BOSS: Medusa

Because I finished the stage with full life, I didn't have to sit through the energy recharge sequence.

Stage 7

Identical to the previous run.

Stage 8

Here you see the first major shortcut I took. I made a skeleton throw a bone in such a way it would throw me up the ledge. Disappointingly, this didn't save as much time as I had hoped, but oh well, I'll take what I can get. Walking down the ledge where key is was the fastest way I found to manipulate the skeleton.

Stage 9

Again, Identical to the old run, despite a few route changes.

BOSS: Mummies

I used a different strategy here than in the first run. Because Simon travels faster than the holy water does, I instead decided to blast it against a wall to fry a mummy who was standing there.

Stage 10

I grabbed a cross that makes infinitely respawning enemies stop for a while so I could get through without a merman obstructing my path. Otherwise, pretty unchanged.

Stage 11

One frame lost to lag I couldn't manipulate away.

Stage 12

I used the whip a bit more instead of the holy water. This wasted a few frames, with the idea being I don't have to collect those hearts later.

BOSS: Frankenstein's Monster

I chose a similar strategy to that of the mummies, throwing the holy water against a wall. While it isn't as fast as the previous strategy, I can do this without getting hit by Franky, which saves me a lot of time while Simon's energy recharges.

Stage 13

With the extra hearts I had, I used them to stop time a couple of times, allowing me to get by more quickly.

Stage 14

Small optimizations saved a few frames.

Stage 15

This is the second major shortcut in this run, using an ax to cut down a fair bit of time. I had to move to the left so the armor would throw far enough for this to work, and then towards it to manipulate it to throw. Unfortunately, I didn't find away to save time here with the hourglass. Any approach that had me getting hit either made my recovery time run out too early or too late.

BOSS: The Grim Reaper

Same strategy as in the first run, only a bit more optimized. There is absolutely no way to influence his movement and he's too fast for holy water to be effective. Thus, the hourglass is the only effective weapon against him.

Stage 16

I had plenty of hearts, so I didn't need to pick any up, saving 2 frames.

Stage 17

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any kind of shortcut in this stage, which means that there still is a lot of backtracking. I took more damage boosts though, cutting down a fair bit of time.

Stage 18

I took a new route that saved a fair bit of time. I also took a third damage boost across a small chasm, allowing me to reach Dracula quickly.

BOSS: Dracula 1

Dracula has 128 hitpoints, and the knife does 4 damage. In every attack of his, I can lay 7 to 8 hits on him, depending on whether I need to waste a knife to knock down one of his fireballs.

BOSS: Dracula 2

I decided to stay on the front platform for the entire time, and taking fewer hits from the bats. This allowed me to end the fight more quickly. Thus the run ends, saving about 30 seconds in total.

Other Comments

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how the run came out. While I would've liked it to be sub-17 minutes, I still wasn't expecting saving this much time. Once again, I'd like to thank Quibus and Vampier for their ongoing support and everyone on the IRC channel. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy watching the run and the new shortcuts I found that, hopefully, break up a rather slow game. if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer!
~ scrimpy

Nach: Fantastic run! This is more like what I was expecting for this game. A lot more entertaining and thought out than the previous run. Now for the most part, it looks like you're controlling the game instead of being subject to it. The time improvement is half of what I hoped for, but that's still pretty good. Accepting as improvement to existing run. May the next run of this game find another 30 seconds.
sgrunt: What is this submission? A miserable little pile of keystrokes! But enough talk... publishing soon!

Last Edited by sgrunt on 5/3/2011 11:21:03 PM
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