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Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow beaten in less than 7 minutes from Power-on! This movie improves the published movie by 1903 frames, or 31.72 seconds.

Movie criteria


  • Aims for fastest input time
  • Takes damage to save time
  • Abuses deaths as shortcuts
  • Abuses programming errors
  • Uses glitched warps
  • Manipulates luck

Emulator used

VBA Rerecording 1.72 series: v19.3, v19.4, v19.5, v21, v22, v23, v23.1, v23.2, v23.3-WIP, SVN r86-301, etc.


Due to my lazyness, most of the comments were copied from my previous submission of this game with a few corrections.

Soma the Weapon/Item/EXP/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 (dropped by Zombie)
A must-get in every main quest TAS. I got it for better damage output.
Tunic (dropped by Zombie)
Getting this didn't cost any time, and instead, it actually saved time by reducing lags mysteriously in the Mermen room.
Lubicant Soul (dropped by Lubicant)
Boosts all of Soma's stats by 1+(MaxHP-HP)/MaxHP times, except for LCK. Very useful in almost all runs.
Muramasa (dropped by Lubicant)
Pros: It has Curse Attribute, which means that it can inflict additional damage to an enemy susceptible to it, amount of which is based on the left HP of the enemy. 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, which had very high defense.
Ronginus's Spear (dropped by Erinys)
A Holy-Attributed weapon with high attack power. I got Ronginus's Spear from Erinys right before fighting Final Guard.
Final Sword (dropped by Final Guard)
Easily the best weapon in this game, thanks to its third-highest attack power, long range and multi-hitting.
Stolas Soul (dropped by Stolas)
Boosts Soma's INT by 16. Easily surpassed by Lubicant Soul and not even useful. Accquired to trigger the death glitch.
Red Minotaur Soul (dropped by Red Minotaur)
Inflicts massive damage in a very large range but requires at least Level 15 for the enormous 150 MP consumption. Useless in this run and not accqiured.
Other stuff
Anything out of the route wouldn't be worth the extra time to get.
Required to perform the death-warp glitch. I used the glitch four times, so I got 4 HP-ups: Tasty Meat x2 (dropped by Killer Fish), Super Potion x1 (picked up behind Final Guard), High Potion x1 (dropped by Stolas).
Useless since the only I could use hearts drops from candles to recover MP. So I didn't bother getting these.
After some calculations, I decided that Level 12 should be the optimal final level.

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 soul-getting or level-up pause, you are granted access to the menu screen within a few frames.
  • A level-up pause will be cancelled if a room transition, soul-getting or death occurrs at the same time as level-up occurrs.
  • You can save your game (use SLEEP) at the menu screen as long as you are not flagged "in boss fight", provided that you have saved the game once in a save room.
  • When you load a game that was saved at the menu screen, you are set standing where you enter the room.
  • 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 you touch it with 0 HP).
  • When your HP is 0, you can go off screen without room transitions. As soon as your HP exceeds 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 level-ups is usually faster than getting souls to perform the death warp, but there were times when I had to get a soul to force a pause.

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 would be able to use SLEEP at the menu screen later. I decreased more HP with Tiny Devil for manipulating Tasty Meat in the Killer Fish room.

Castle Corridor - The 1st Death

I took enough damage in the Skeletons room while reducing lags using the only soul I had. I suicided with Axe Armor's thrown axe as it was able to deal damage during the invulnerability time from contacting Axe Armor. The off-screen scene after zipping was a bit long, but it was the only long one in the entire movie. After that, I warped to Chaotic Realm skipping all of the bosses in the castle!

Chaotic Realm - The 2nd Death

Welcome to the realm of Chaos! Here you meet the toughest monsters in the whole game!
However, if neither in STONE status nor in a Hard Mode game, 290 HP were enough for Soma to survive 2 hits by any enemy in the long corridor room. All the enemy are too tough to kill, so I skipped all of them. It might be worth noticing that heavy luck manipulations were done to prevent the Gladiators from launching fire-arrow arrays.
Lubicant in the shaft room was a rich source of good stuf such as EXP, weapons and souls. The Beam Skeleton used to block my way to the exit in my previous movie was manipulated to launch a beam attack before I went down for Muramasa that was used to murder Lubicant once more for his soul.
The death glitch was done with level-up, soul-getting and death all at the same time. This death warp allowed me to skip a lot of rooms in Chaotic Realm, some of which would recquire Malphas Soul (double-jump ability) and some others would require Skula Soul (diving underwater).

Chaotic Realm - The 3rd Death

Soma magnificently wasted Erinys, got her Ronginus's Spear (logical?) and skipped the level-up animation. He stole the Super Potion, had Final Guard danced to death and got his legendary Final Sword. Soma then got overly proud, lured by Succubus who prevented to be Mina, and finally experienced a painful death.
This warp allowed me to skip the vertical Clock Tower room which was impassable without double-jump or high-jump ability.

Chaotic Realm: The 4th Death

Again, Level-up + Stolas Soul + death. Unlike the previous application that was to skip the level-up pause, this time it was to force a soul-getting pause to have access to the menu screen, as the death skipped the usual level-up pause. Soma had to kill Stolas right under it to do this.
Stolas was easier meat than Shadow Knight (drops Super Potion). 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 the gate of Chaos.

Chaos Fight

The final boss's guardians and itself. Very fast fight, although Soma was only at Level 12.

Special Thanks

Kriole, and all of the other Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow players.

FractalFusion: Judging.
Flygon: I _finally_ got the damn video to upload! Added YouTube module.
FractalFusion: Accepting as an improvement to the published run.
Flygon: Sure, why not, let's publish this.

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Encodes: Archive MP4 Archive MKV Streaming: Dailymotion
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I have no idea what's goin' on. Maybe if I get high... Voting yes anyway.
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Well, it seems to be quicker than the previous run, but the comments are lacking :). -Teo
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So, by repeated saving and reseting you warp or something?
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I believe it works when your HP is at 0, and the saving/resetting allows that to occur without Soma dying.
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To elaborate, if you get hit do 0 damage while killing an enemy and leveling up at the same time, you can suspend the game (which only works If you've saved once), to restart in the room you were in with 0 HP. From there on, Door Transitions don't trigger, thus warping Soma into the Caothic realm. I'm sure klmz can explain this a tad better though.
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I like how the player looks like he's dancing around with his sword! And I always love warp glitches! Yes vote!
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Waaaay better manipulation in this one. Very yes!
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One more enjoyable run of a popular game by one of TASVideos' greatest frame warriors TASers. Easy yes vote for complete brokenness. Incredible work klmz, the highlights for me were: * Much smoother damage taking in Underground Reservoir * Quicksaving as a shortcut after Tasty Meat o_O Amazing Find! * Cancelling Ronginus Spear without Winged Skeleton soul * Great luck manipulation (except for manipulating a drop from Stolas, but I guess there was nothing to do because there was a reset shortly before). I have only one question: why did you manipulate Cloth Tunic? I couldn't figure... EDIT:
klmz's updated submission wrote:
Tunic (dropped by Zombie) Getting this didn't cost any time, and instead, it actually saved time by reducing lags mysteriously in the Mermen room.
Sir VG
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Tossing in another YES vote for another speedy run. ...IN AMERICA.
Taking over the world, one game at a time. Currently TASing: Nothing
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don't really understand it, but enjoyed it, yes vote
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If voted to this movie for its great and good glitches
[18:51] <scrimpy> Oh, nothing [18:51] <mmarks> oh [18:51] <Nach> I think scrimpy is just jealous of you mmarks
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I'll process a HD encode soon... it's been a while since I've uploaded something. I need to get off my ass and encode more movies.
Post subject: Re: #2914: klmz's GBA Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow "warp glitch" in 06:14.48
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Great run! Very smoothly polished. Yes vote.
TASVideoAgent wrote:
some others would require Undie Soul (diving underwater).
That's the Skula soul. Undine lets you walk on water. There's more detail on the CVAoS resources page for anyone still confused.
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Ah, it's almost sad that I've played Aria to death, so I understand everything that's happening. Yes vote, of course.
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This TAS has many awesome small details that quite clearly demonstrate the 2:1 rerecord ratio was not just for show. Every little thing has been taken care of, every required item received, every fight made optimal, every hit taken to the utmost advantage. I haven't been so excited about a new run I didn't foresee in a while.
Warp wrote:
Edit: I think I understand now: It's my avatar, isn't it? It makes me look angry.
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Nice work klmz. It was even more impressive. Yes vote.
Post subject: Two castles!?
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Hi klmz, nice run here, although it's a bit strange. These out-of-bounds ones usually are, though. Does anyone know if there is an explanation somewhere of the specifics of luck manipulation in this game for getting souls and drops? I think it'd be an interesting read.
<Swordless> Go hug a tree, you vegetarian (I bet you really are one)
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Post subject: Re: Two castles!?
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JXQ wrote:
Hi klmz, nice run here, although it's a bit strange. These out-of-bounds ones usually are, though. Does anyone know if there is an explanation somewhere of the specifics of luck manipulation in this game for getting souls and drops? I think it'd be an interesting read.
Depends what you want to know. I have note-form details of some (not all) of the mechanics, and I made a post describing the drop mechanic with a lua script to tell you which upcoming random numbers will give you the drops you want. I never got round to reverse-engineering the soul-drop code though. Reading ARM assembly code drives you slowly insane. If you have questions about drops, I can answer them. EDIT: There's also the luck manipulation section of the resources page which describes various RNG-cycling techniques. Incidentally, I think the reason that swinging a weapon cycles the RNG twice when Soma grunts is that the first RNG call checks to see if Soma grunts, while the second RNG call determines exactly which kind of grunt Soma makes.
Post subject: Re: Two castles!?
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JXQ wrote:
Hi klmz, nice run here, although it's a bit strange. These out-of-bounds ones usually are, though. Does anyone know if there is an explanation somewhere of the specifics of luck manipulation in this game for getting souls and drops? I think it'd be an interesting read.
Hi JXQ. Nice to hear from you. I think what rhebus posted was pretty much all one needs to manipulate drops. I'd like to wrote some more about it sometime, but I have got to move onto other projects. :p
<klmz> it reminds me of that people used to keep quoting adelikat's IRC statements in the old good days <adelikat> no doubt <adelikat> klmz, they still do
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Post subject: Re: Two castles!?
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JXQ wrote:
WHAT!! JXQ WROTE!! Nice! Yes vote.