Submission #4527: Fortranm's NES Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse "Trevor, Sunken City path" in 30:19.64

Console Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator BizHawk 1.8.4
Game Version USA Frame Count 109358
ROM Filename Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse (U) [!].nes Frame Rate 60.0988138974405
Branch Trevor, Sunken City path Rerecord Count 32892
Unknown Authors Fortranm
Game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Submitted by Fortranm on 12/26/2014 4:31:57 PM

Submission Comments
There hasn't been a TAS of Catlevania 3 that features the hardmode, or the stage of Sunkey City, or a quest by Belmont homself. So... here it comes!
  • Emulator Used: Bizhawk 1.8.4
  • Takes Damage to Save Time
  • Manipulates Luck
  • Uses the hardest difficulty
  • Genre: Platform

About the Code "AKAMA"

If you input "AKAMA" before the game starts, you will enter the hardmode directly and be prevented from recruiting any helpers. I know using codes or passwords is usually not welcomed, but there is no reason to not use this code here since it only increases the difficulty of game play and fits the objectives of this run perfectly.

About Version Choise

JPN version is used for all other CV3 runs due to its superior sound track quality and lower difficulty. However, the code "AKAMA" only works in USA version. Secondly, I really think the goal choice of this run is meant to be chanllenging so the higher difficulty of USA version becomes a pro here, and the sound track quality of U version isn't bad at all for an 8-bit game anyway. BTW, U version has better graphics than J version does.

About the Sunken City

The Sunken City is one of the three 6th levels. It is the only stage that hasn't been featured in any TASes on this site yet because it's longer and harder than Underground Catacombs, another 6th level.

About This Run

In one sentence, with the harder difficulty, the harder rom version, and the hardest path, Trevor Belmont is out to vanquish the horrible night by himself. The combination of these goals should be the hardest non-arbitrary challenge for CV3. (No damage and no sub-weapon are arbitrary IMO.)

Level by Level Comments

Level One

Scrimpeh's "Grant path" run is generally followed.
Please note that every single enemy in the hardmode of U version deals the same amount of damage. This fact means two things:
  • Good news: Dracula deals as little damage as a zombie does.
  • Bad news: A zombie deals as much damage as Dracula does.
Therefore, Trevor usually can only survive three hits before getting an orb. It's important to carefully plan when to get hit.

Level Two


Level Three and Four

Samhain-Grim's "Alucard path" run is generally followed.
I manipulate the first Flying Skull to drop a clock sub-weapon. This weapon switch is only possible in hardmode because there is no Medusa Head in that room under the normal difficulty. As mentioned before, the amount of hits Trevor can handle is very limited. I managed to pass the forest without getting hurt so Trevor can pass the Bone Pillars later without wasting much time.

Level Five

The lower path is chosen for Block 5-05 to avoid getting killed by spikes because Trevor is hit by a hardmode-exlusive ghost in the early part of the level. Mummies can generate flying bandages in hardmode. It's a kind of annoying. Again, Samhain-Grim's strategy is used for the Alucard fight. Alucard doesn't ask Trevor to team up this time since he knows Trevor is going to the Sunken City. You know, vampires hate water.

Level Six

The White Dragons are tough to pass. It takes tons of manipulating to pass the first two without getting hurt. I have to get a piece of pork from a brick (yeah, Castlevania speciality!) to enable Trevor to survive the other White Dragons. You can see how hard the second half of this level is by looking at the water level after the boss is defeated. The time still looks tight, even in a TAS.

Level Seven

The block dropping rooms are surely a pain since Alucard is not in the team. I hope those parts don't look too boring for you. The room with most moving platforms is still almost skipped even without Alucard. I try to follow Samhain-Grim'strategy for the bosses from three cofins, but the Red Dragon seems to have diffetent moving paterns in U version. Luckily, the stategy still works pretty well after some modifications.

Level Eight

The zombies now actually look like the ones from the first stage of CV1. They are tougher than the zombies we met in Level One of CV3 though. Each of them takes two hits to be killed. It's not worthy to try to kill the Axe Men (sounds weird?) so why not just walk through them. I mean after Trevor gets hit, of course.

Level Nine

I pick up Axe as the sub-weapon for the final part of the game. For obvious reasons, Trevor can't stand right next to Doppelganger and beats it to death because he can't kill it before it kills him. Axes seem to fit the strategy pretty well though.

Leven Ten

Dracula seems to be less sensitive than he is in J version. Trevor has to walk deeper into the room before Dracula notices him. I try to follow Scrimpeh's strategy for the final fight, but Trevor is obviously not as nimble as Grant. The sub-weapon triplelizer turns out to be useless for the second and third phase, but it actually can save some frames during the first phase, at least for Trevor. The total time used for this fight with axes seems to be more than that of the fight with crosses in Samhain-Grim's "Alucard path" run. I hope the slower fight is caused by more lagging. I hope. BTW, the real credit of staff members is shown during the ending since the game is beaten in hardmode.

Possible Improvements

  • At the end of Level Five, it might be faster to jump toward the door before automatic walking is triggered.
  • I shouldn't need to jump to get those two hearts in the second room of Block 8-01. The hearts are just enought without them.
  • It might be faster to throw a cross at the beginning of the room with tons of stairs in Level Nine.
  • The Doppelganger fight might be faster if the triplelizer is received before the fight.
  • The overall luck manipulation should be improvable, especially hearts management and moving platforms manipulation. These are harder for Trevor, though.

Special Thanks

  • Scrimpeh, for the "Grant path" run and advising about using axes for the last level.
  • Samhain-Grim, for the "Alucard path" run and "Sypha path" run.
  • Creatus, for motivating.
  • Graywords, for providing a RTA with related goals.
  • Whoever I may have forgotten, and YOU, for reading the entire submission text and watching the movie.

Final Words

It might be late, but... merry Christmass and happy new year!
Yep. That's all.

feos: Wiki doesn't like long preformatted lines.
Noxxa: Judging.
Noxxa: Good audience response to a good-looking run. Accepting to Moons as "hard mode" category.
Guga: Processing...

Last Edited by on 1/1/2022 6:14 PM
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