Submission #8495: somyeol's PSX Cardcaptor Sakura: Clowcard Magic in 23:40.65

Sony PlayStation
(Submitted: Card Captor Sakura - Clowcard Magic)
Bizhawk 2.8
84993 (cycle count 48115772579)
Card Captor Sakura - Clowcard Magic (Japan).cue
Submitted by somyeol on 8/5/2023 4:22 PM
Submission Comments
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card Magic (カードキャプターさくら クロウカードマジック) was released on January 27th, 2000. The game was published and developed by Arika for the PlayStation 1. The player is able to play as either Sakura Kinomoto or Syaoran Li. The game is based on the anime Cardcaptor Sakura.

Game Objectives

  • Emulator used: Bizhawk 2.8
  • BIOS used: ps-30j.bin
  • Speed / Entertainment tradeoff
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Luck Manipulation
The game is in japanese and there is very little information about this game so bear with me.

Game Description

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clow Card Magic is a mix between a vertical shooter and a puzzle game where the main objective is to collect all 51 Clow Cards. The game features 10 different levels with each holding 5 Clow Cards, except for the 10th level where it is possible to collect 6 Clow Cards. Clow Cards are obtained by shooting different colored cards in the stages. By shooting colored cards you can fill up the Clow Cards frame or "gauge" and once full, you will obtain the Clow Card.


You enter a level with 4 empty Clow Cards and the task is to charge them up until the level ends. There is no real penalty in failing to do that, you just have to revisit the stage and get the remaining Clow Card(s). After collecting the 4 Clow Cards in a level you will be awarded with a 5th Clow Card which represents the level you have played.
The player can move side to side on 6 different paths. If a wild colored card is on the same path as you then the path will take that colored cards hue. Shooting colored cards will charge up the Clow Cards frame, this can be done faster by shooting colored cards that are in a "group" which can cause a chain reaction. The bigger the chain reaction the more points you get, thus filling the Clow Cards frame faster.
Chain reactions are caused by shooting a specific card in a group of cards. This becomes difficult in later levels as obstacles are added to the game.
You can also hold Up or Down to move forward fast, but it can become hard to play the game this way and you will have to stop in some instances. TAS obviously does not stop.
There is a special attack where upon pressing L2 an animation of Sakura will play and the cards in front of you are cleared. I had no use for this as the animation takes too long.

Clow Cards and Final Level

Surprise, there are actually 11 levels instead of 10. The final level is unlocked by having all 5 Clow Cards in 10 levels. You know you have 5 Clow Cards by looking at the level in the menu before entering it as the level will be marked with a red card. The final level does not have any visible Clow Cards to collect, but rather you charge up the Clow Cards frames which takes much longer than usual. Completing this task will drop an item from the sky, which can be picked up by Sakura to launch an attack on the boss, well atleast in the animation.
This ends the game and the credits roll.


Mirror: Can be found starting at level 3, shooting a mirror will spawn a card in front of the mirror which can be shot. This is quite useless to me because it only spawns 1 card. It's only useful if the mirror is placed in a group of cards so i can connect them for a bigger chain reaction. The mirror can be broken by shooting it several times.
Black Card: Can be found starting at level 3. shooting a black card will absorb your shot. Black cards serve as walls in this game, though it is possible with tool assistance to go inbetween walls, but you only have a few frames for this.
When Sakura collides with a Card, Mirror or Black Card she will fall down and lose some HP. Getting hit too many times will make you restart the level. Failing to collect cards will make you restart the level aswell.


I think the only useful trick to me was being able to spawn cards in front of other cards. This can be achieved by shooting from a large distance onto a card. That only works if the card you are shooting at is barely rendered in. This trick helped me in the final level, because the faster you charge up the Clow Cards frames then the faster the item will drop from the sky for sakura to collect and launch the attack.
However, sometimes spawning a card in front of a group of cards may ruin the chain reaction, so i had to test it everytime. It was quite exhausting to do and im glad the whole game is not like that.

Luck Manipulation

Shooting at different times... moving at different times may change the group of cards in front of you when they are not rendered in. Not so much that it would bother me, because they will just be on the opposite side.
This does not apply to spawned in cards by the player.

Speed/Entertainment tradeoff

You receive a Clow Card by charging up the frame and once full, an animation of Sakura obtaining the card will play. It is possible to fill up the frames to 90-95% and then shoot a big group of cards and collect all of the Clow Cards in one go. This saves roughly 10-12s per level. I did not do it in this TAS for the following reasons:
1. It adds another layer of difficulty and im not even sure if this could be done on every level.
2. I would have to avoid cards and sometimes even take damage just for this strategy to work. Avoiding cards and leaving them behind you makes an annoying sound which i didn't want in this TAS.
3. Probability of this strategy not working because of damage taken or not collecting any cards and having to revisit the level. Also the probability of lots of my time being wasted.
4. If there is something on the screen to shoot then you obviously want to shoot it. It really does not look nice if i had to dodge alot.
I would much rather have a TAS that is 30-45s slower with lots of playaround instead of a TAS that follows this strategy of collecting all Clow Cards in one go. More to that later.
Rough translations or what can be found, from left to right:
Story: The TAS plays through the story without modifying any of the settings. You can choose between Sakura and Li (I believe thats his name but i might be mistaken). There is a difficulty setting after choosing your character. Choosing the harder difficulty will make it so you can't always shoot cards from far away as it will spawn a card in front of other cards.
Clow Card Fortune: Fortune telling. Something nice to do if you know japanese.
Clow Cards, Characters, High Score: You can look at Clow Cards and see what they have to say. Unlockable characters through Pocket Station. High Scores for all of the levels.
Settings: Saving, difficulty increase?
You have to press Circle instead of X to navigate through menus.

RAM Addresses

It wasn't that useful to me but here are the colored cards addresses: Domain MainRAM
0FF52C = Blue
0FF53C = Yellow
0FF534 = Red
0FF538 = Green

Stage by stage comments:

You can just shoot cards from a distance and fill up the Clow Cards, but i made it my mission to make it look like you have to physically go through them for it to count. It was fun to do.

1. Magic

You only have to get 3 Clow Cards here because Sakura already has 1.

2. Forest

Getting 2 Clow Cards at once.

3. Rain

First obstacles

4. Air

5. Snow

6. Mist

7. Water

8. Fire

9. Earth

10. Black and White Maze

This level does not have any visible Clow Cards. After navigating through maze like sections you will find mirrors that hold them. Breaking the mirrors will give you a Clow Card.

11. Final level

I spawn cards in front of other cards in this level to fill up the Clow Cards faster. This saved a few seconds. There were groups of cards where i wasn't able to get a good chain reaction, this barely lost anything though.
Inputs end after pressing X to launch the attack on the boss.

Final words and thoughts

My intention was to complete this game as fast as possible but then i found out about being able to collect multiple Clow Cards in one go without the animation playing. I knew about this strategy after level 2 but i still continued with the TAS knowing that in the end i will lose some time.

arkiandruski: Claiming for judging.
arkiandruski: Since it's unclear how much difference the avoided technique would make, or how much it can be used, we can accept this run as a fastest completion for now. If a faster run using the technique is made, we can decide on whether to branch then. Accepting to Standard.
fsvgm777: Processing.
arkiandruski: Replaced file with one that removes 7 empty frames from the end.
Last Edited by arkiandruski on 8/25/2023 7:47 PM
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