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Castelian is a puzzle platformer in which the basic gameplay is to discover the route necessary to ascend towers from bases to apex.
Per the story in the game manual (see below), your frog-like character is tasked with demolishing these towers by planting a bomb at each tower's top (wouldn't bombs around the bottom be easier?). This game was also released on multiple other systems under one of the following names: Nebulus, Kyorochan Land, Subline, and Tower Toppler. Apparently the story varies slightly on the different releases.
The only actions your character can do are to move around the tower horizontally, jump, and shoot little white balls to break flashing ledges or kill enemies (though most enemies are invulnerable to this attack).

Story (from the manual)


You're witnessing a typical sparkling, summer morning in downtown Jemmerville. Both suns have risen over the planet Centrus, where summer, of course, is the only season. And it is here, on the island's precious gem-deposits are talked about throughout the Triangulum galaxy, and they're the envy of almost every life-form in this corner of the universe.
Julius was asleep in his terraineum when the holographic intercom sprayed out its message. It was the president of Domoloco and Sons inc.:
"Julius we have a serious situation. The governor has reported that 7 alien towers have surrounded the island. If one more appears, the island will be completely enclosed. The naviports are almost cut off. The hyperfreighters are trapped... nothing is getting in or out. I've given the governor my personal promise that Domoloco and Sons would handle these towers... No one knows what they are or where they came from but I want them demolished! Now that's not too difficult a mission, is it?"
Julius slowly opened his eyes and found that the president's personal hologram - not the one of his secretary - was still activated:
"Wake up, Julius, and topple that tower!"
As Julius started to say something, the hologram began to dissolve as quickly as it had appeared.

TAS Notes

  • The game was fairly straightforward to TAS. Any delay in motion was intentional to either avoid an enemy or manipulate their spawn point.
  • Two game settings are changed in this video.
    • The game is played on the more difficult mode (HERO) instead of the default (NOVICE).
    • Interestingly you can only play the game with EITHER sound effects or music. For this video I chose music. However no desync will occur if the 'Select' input at frame 153 is cleared; thus playing the video with sound effects instead.
  • What appears to be arbitrary jumps are usually present to avoid stepping or landing on a platform that would otherwise disappear, causing a fall.
  • Bonus levels - in which you are supposed to collect gems for points - are ended as quickly as possible by either enemy strike or falling in a hole.
  • Occasionally an enemy strike on a tower is necessary to make progress or to facilitate reaching a desired location easier. Usually the enemy hit is the one shaped kind of like a molecule.
  • There are a TON of lag frames where input is not read and relatively few places to minimize lag.
  • The final input is the 'up' press that enters the door at the top of the last tower.
EDIT: Submission withdrawn. I was pointed to a youtube video of the Japanese version that was faster, apparently due to using different routes. I'll tweak my video as necessary and re-submit with a (hopefully) faster time.

Joined: 8/3/2004
Posts: 14960
This topic is for the purpose of discussing #5324: DrD2k9's NES Castelian in 15:40.17
Post subject: Re: #5324: DrD2k9's NES Castelian in 15:40.17
Player (149)
Joined: 5/25/2015
Posts: 49
TASVideoAgent wrote:
However no desync will occur if the 'Select' input at frame 153 is cleared
It should be cleared, otherwise the movie desyncs. Oh... TAS Editor needs to be opened, well this is awkward.
Senior Judge, Site Admin, Expert player (2125)
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Oh God, this game. This nightmare. I'll have to watch ASAP, I need to see this game destroyed.
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it would be awesome to have an encode...
my personal page - my YouTube channel - my GitHub - my Discord: thunderaxe31 <Masterjun> if you look at the "NES" in a weird angle, it actually clearly says "GBA"
Player (73)
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Link to video Pretty dirty temp, I can't seem to get the res to display correctly even with avi at 8x integer :/ I also stopped recording without realizing the game credits are right at the start, whoops
Editor, Reviewer, Experienced player (969)
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Never seen or heard of this game before. How does this TAS differ from a normal playthrough of the game? The movement seems very limited.
Experienced player (870)
Joined: 9/18/2008
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I had watched hisatoki's movie of (J) version, though I do not know the difference between (U) and (J)... Link to video
Editor, Judge, Expert player (2088)
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There doesn't appear to be much difference between the US and the Japanese version (other than the playable character appearance). Would the sprite difference affect hitbox? I'm not tech savy enough to know how to figure that out. Given that the other video is faster (it appears that he has a couple faster routes than mine), I'll withdraw this submission and tweak it and re-submit if I can improve it. Thanks for pointing out the other video. I did not come across that in my searches.
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om, nom, nom
Editor, Judge, Expert player (2088)
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So I've already found a few differences in playing around with both the Japanese and US versions that something is not equal between the versions. The Japanese version has an added password system. You have to press a button to clear the stage titles in the Japanese version. In the first tower, it is possible to get by the 1st molecule enemy via the elevator on the Japanese version, but not on the US version using equal input (thus resulting in a longer wait and ultimately longer video. As I stated earlier, I wonder if the hitbox is different allowing for this or if it is just minor programming differences affecting spawn timing. All that said, I'm still going to re-work my original using the other routing and re-submit.
Editor, Judge, Expert player (2088)
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OK. Tweaked and re-submitted.