By popular demand, here's the Alucard Path of Castlevania III in which is about 40 seconds faster than the run made with Famtasia. The use of new tricks (or tricks found too late in the Famtasia run) and more aggressive boss fights make for most of the improvements.
Emulator Used: FCE Ultra 0.98.16
- Aims for Fastest Game Completion (On the Alucard Path)
- Takes Damage to Save Time
- Abuses Programming Errors
- Manipulates Luck
Once again, Tool-Assisted abilities are abused throughout this run in which can only be performed in a frame-wise manner. Canceling out the long fall drop and canceling out the attack animation are definitely apparent and abused throughout this run. Also Alucard can do the attack animation canceling trick that Grant can do, the one coming up from the ducking position. Enough of what to come, I shall now go into somewhat depth of the run's details. Patronizing will occur as well as words repeated from the movie text from both the Grant Path and Sypha Path. Also an over use of commas.
Much like Phil's, Genisto's, and My Grant run, the first level is identical only this time with a mere 2 frame improvement in which I really don't remember where (possibly with bat that hits Trevor and when Trevor kills the zombies). The boss takes 5 hearts for the Stop Clock and the rest is what you see.
Start of the game, nothing happens.
In the late part of this area, in which Trevor jumps to manipulate the Medusa Head, it seems what ever frame you jump on determines the outcome in the next area so I jump slightly later (a few frames) rather than as soon as possible.
Luck manipulation takes play here. When killing the zombie, depending on which frame it dies is whether or not it will drop something. Now since I didn't upgrade my whip entirely yet, it drops a Whip Upgrade rather than a sub-weapon. With the whip upgrade still on screen, it allows for a sub-weapon to appear instead. Got the Stop Clock and Whip Upgrade.
The boss fight is optimized to death so no frames gained here, different victory pose than the Sypha Path and Grant Path.
Level Three (Level Two being the Clock Tower) branches off when the split between paths happens and you either get Sypha or Alucard. Well in this run I get Alucard making it the Alucard Path.
Nothing but the usual usage of the Stop Clock, from Phil's/Genisto's runs, in a similar area but there's no whip!
The Owls, they were fun to manipulate, they were so fun that I decided, in the Sypha Path, to redo this area so that it isn't the same thing but gets the same results.
Got my II in this area and now finally the abuse of the attack animation being cancelled is visually apparent. I tried in the later part of this area to reduce the lag that those skulls cause with their fireballs by destroying the fireballs and what causes the fireballs.
On this route, there is no boss in level three so it goes straight to level four. The boss is a Vampire Bat that splits into smaller bats after every blow is inflicted and it ends up taking only 5 hearts.
Being able to use the attack animation canceling trick helped progress this area as well as keep it entertaining enough.
This area requires you to keep jumping or else sink and die. I get my III in this area, near the end.
Some more tricks being abused in this area. The boss is interesting as depending on you location and what you do changes its behavior.
This is where Alucard is picked up. His possessed form takes 5 hearts to sub due. Then later on I have Alucard fight the Skeleton Warrior Part 2 (takes no hearts).
There are a couple of inconveniences in this area, very minor ones. One I have to wait for an acid bubble to drip in order to keep going (costs around 10 frames or so) and two I manipulate the fire guy's movement and make the fires he drops disappear in order to take a shortcut.
I wanted to use the attack animation canceling trick in this area and throw a Cross but it was a no go, it didn't hit anything so I'm stuck to using the usual method.
Slightly more waiting (couple of frames) and a short area with more text than it needs.
The fire guys are a nuisance. The first one I had to get hit by which was the fastest manner and the second one was too close so I couldn't attack it in a more optimal manner but the third one was killed optimally.
There's some more slight waiting (a few frames) in order to have one of those spiky things progress it's movement and be able to pass it optimally so Trevor doesn't have to wait for the second one to pass. Alucard is a pretty simple boss and can have his position manipulated after he morphs the first time. I make short work of him.
Now that I have Alucard, I can start skipping stairs and reach different heights and stuff of the like. In this area I upgrade Alucard's weapon entirely and take a couple of skips.
This is the area where I fight with Alucard against the Skeleton Warrior #2. It's an interesting fight because I abuse the alternate attack animation canceling trick that only Grant and Alucard can do or at least it's only really useful with them.
Frankenstein inhabits this sort of bat cave but this Frankenstein has more vitality than the one in the tower. I fight with Alucard so I use no hearts.
First off, it's difficult to control the bat form of Alucard but I managed to work with it pretty well.
No bat form in the first part of this area because it has no that would save time. The bat cannot even squeeze up there by all the on screen data so that is out of the question. The second part of the area reveals that the bat's use is very helpful. Getting into one-block height crevices is very difficult as it has to be very precise for smooth motion. The very last part before Frankenstein, that crevice is weird, it requires movement at such an odd angle in order to get into it. Frankenstein isn't too big of a deal but this one is stronger (as I've mentioned) so it takes longer to kill.
This level has a home for Alucard because of quite a bit of things. One he can skip a lot of things and two the Vampire Bat #2 was probably made for him to mainly fight. So the bosses are the Vampire Bat #2 (takes no hearts) and The Terrible Trio which took 21 hearts to defeat optimally.
Right away the bat is used and then up the stairs awaits us a waiting period. The fireballs that Alucard shoots like Hell Fire are weird. Sometimes they will kill something in one hit by just one bead but other times it takes two hits by one bead, weird.
This is where I get quite a bit of hearts and it's a good thing too because they are on the way.
Getting hit here is faster than morphing into the bat because morphing takes time and the bat doesn't fit very well in that crevice.
Alucard's bat use is definitely useful in this whole area. I ride on up to the point in which the boss fight starts before unmorphing. I wanted to defeat this boss in 4 or 5 hits but luck just wasn't on my side so I stook to 7 optimal hits.
Very useful bat technique here. He gets to skip the whole stacking part. Because I got up there so fast I had to wait for the block to fall so I don't get hit. So I get a heart in order by pass the time. The bat form also kills birds/bats without taking damage so that's a plus side of morphing.
Nothing out of the ordinary here, let's move on.
A waiting period except this one continually scrolls upwards. I tried to make it as entertaining as possible. Starting with the cracking of the floor in a peculiar manner. Next is the unorthodox manner I defeat enemies. Then I take the stairs up and then down for no apparent reason. Now this is the craziest part, I have Alucard continually jump and fire his weapon like crazy, be sure check that out. Trevor fights the boss and I believe this is the fastest manner of defeating them. Before I pick the orb up you'll here the sound of Trevor firing his whip at 30 hertz but with no attack animation, it sounds like thick water flowing but water shouldn't be that thick.
Castle of Castlevania, we are here. Death awaits us in which Alucard defeats him alone, no hearts needed.
Use of the bat in a few places, on to the next area.
That bat can save so much time, it can fly right through platform when damaged and morphed into properly.
There is no bat flying skip in this area, I'm afraid. It would have been slower to fight with Trevor so I didn't morph into him under the falling bridge. Alucard can't keep up with the falling bridge when unmorphing from the bat so it didn't work out and I didn't use it. Besides I'm not sure it saved much time since you have to go back and catch up with the falling bridge and change to Trevor anyway. The fight with Death is something that I think is optimized greatly, I couldn't find a better way.
This level has the Doppelganger waiting at the top and again I fight as Alucard and use no hearts.
The bat form proves useful again.
I don't change into the bat in this area until the stair case because it is not needed as it wastes too many hearts. Then up the stairs is when the bat form takes care of all the climbing.
Another waiting area and again I tried to make it interesting for the viewer.
This is the area with the Doppelganger and in flying to it I'm able to defeat it in the same amount of time as if I didn't get up to it by flying.
Alucard's dad is stationed here, Dracula! I have Trevor defeat him as it is faster because I only have to morph once not twice. Imagine Alucard giving Dracula all he's got and having nothing to show for it, WOW... Anyway it takes Trevor 16 hearts to kill Dracula.
Again another character rather than Grant receiving hearts from Medusa heads is kind of interesting. Just look at the hearts stacking up! The bat again takes its course and leads Alucard off the stairs.
The only real points of interest in this area is the fact that that red skeleton is unable to die until after the Stop Clock wears off and also the big skip the bat form can take.
This is it, watch Dracula succumb to Trevor's utter strength. All forms of Dracula have different methods now in killing them. The first form is much quicker and neat looking, the second form has attacks optimally placed, and the third form is absolutely overpowered.
That's it for this run of Castlevania III on the Alucard Path, if you've enjoyed this I recommend checking out the Sypha Path's run which was done at the same time as this one. For the hell of it I'm going to jot down the tricks used in this run that way you don't have to refer to the Grant or Sypha run's notes.
Canceling the Landing Impact
On the correct frame after a high up jump that brings you down far below, if hit the weapon button it will allow you to keep on walking. This saves quite a few frames.
Canceling the Attack Animation
Canceling the attack animation can be done by everyone. The basic way to do it is to jump in the air and just as you touchdown, on the correct frame, hit the weapon button and there should be no animation but the sound effect. This is useless with Trevor's and Sypha's Melee weapon but with there Sub-Weapon it becomes increasingly useful.
Canceling the Attack Animation Alternatively (Alucard and Grant Only)
If you duck with him and let go of duck a frame later and use the weapon button on that frame he shouldn't do his attack animation. This only works with his standard attack and not his Sub-Weapon (the Stop Clock?).
These Have to Be Relatively Frame Precise
An Absolute Thanks To...
Thanks to Genisto and his Castlevania III run played through with Famtasia as it outlined the run and quite a few tricks that were used to help improve this run. Thanks to those who thought I should at least consider the Alucard path: AngerFist, OgreSlayeR, and Sir VG. Thanks everyone who wanted to see the Famtasia run obsolete as there is quite a bit of you I won't name anyone in particular. Thanks Bisqwit and anyone else who helps maintain this site.
: Accepting as improvement to the existing run.