Note: The latest version of PCEjin includes Drag & Drop for savestates. This and the level savestates provided in the release package allow easy watching of any level in any order.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was released only in Japan in 1993 on the PC Engine with the CD add-on. It was later ported to the SNES as Dracula X.
Deciding on a route for 100% was no easy task! There were many routes and characters to consider. Also, each possibility had its drawbacks. A full explanation can be found here. We decided on getting the Good ending but employing a stage select code.
Several segments were pasted from the Maria any% movie.
Stage 5' had two route possibilities and both were tested. The lower one proved to be faster by about 300 frames (even though I was positive the upper was better!). A WIP showing the upper route is included in the release package in the Fails folder.
Stage 4 also had two route choices. The upper one was demonstrated in the Richter - Regular Stages movie. However, due to Maria's fast rolling, the lower choice was better.
Maria sliding on her belly causes less lag (in laggy situations) than rolling.
Ducking during a boss death animation can (but doesn't always) reduce lag.
Stage 4' gets a no damage bonus which causes time. However, I couldn't find a good place to take damage that was faster.
A few tricks and improvements were discovered that make the two any% movies improvable
With Maria, Rapid double jumping (Jump, wait a frame, double jump) is a lower jump than a regular jump. This allows her to save time in many places by getting to the ground sooner so she can start rolling sooner. It is also helpful in vertical areas for landing on some platforms sooner.
Near doors, it is often better to hold down at the end of a roll to slide a bit towards the door. This can as much as 4 frames on doors where a slide ends some distance away.
In stage 6, using the stairs to get to the top turned out to be 96 frames faster
The stage 6 bosses are improvable due to more creative lag reduction.
The stage 2 (Richter) boss was improved by about 100 frames.
The 2 first stages also have been improved by small optimisations there and here, mainly swaping damage from the rocks with regular ennemys, because killing the rocks was faster, also small changes on heart management was also introduced because of that strategy change, some lag in 2-2 could be improved eventually, richter any% movie does include some of thoses changes, but have different outcomes in stage2
I would've preferred the All Clear code wasn't used, but I guess there isn't really a way around it.
There are only two questions I have:
1) Could you have gotten the Seiryu before Bone Golem, and used that to kill the miniboss in 3' in one hit?
2) Was death an option after rescuing Iris? I know dying is faster on the PSP version, but there could be some difference in the original.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed the run. Nicely done. I vote Yes.
You made 2 good observations, that we dont realy have answer about
Basicly adelikat did tased this part and (possibly) overlooked both those points
1-Im not sure what subweapon you can get at this point to be honnest, theres a skeleton that drop me an axe on richter movie, but, i have to say i was very lucky on that one, it might not be possible if it require a drop (if its in a candle then nvm what i sayd), it is likely with a good subweapon its faster, yet i cant realy affirm it without a real test
2-That idea wasnt tested, and i have to admit i totaly forgot you could do that, in term of loading its very hard to predict witch outcome is the best, it require a testing to be sure
Anyway, thx for pointing this out
For the stage code, there was no way around it while choosing to beat dracula only 1 time, having 100% and watch richter (full) ending alltogether
Note that we only use it to access early stage5' witch doesnt have boss or girls to save, and after beating all others stages, so overall i dont fell we abused it at all
We could have go first up to stage8 then reset, yet for simplicity in stage order, 1>5>1>5'>8 seemed less confuse than 1>8>1>5'>8 (this is arguably arbitrary)
There's a Seiryu in the room right before Bone Golem. I believe it's in the second to last candle, but my memory of the original is a bit fuzzy and I don't know if its position was changed in Dracula X Chronicles.
Normally, I'd object to the code, but those who haven't played Dracula X Chronicles should know that in that release, beating Death (not Dracula!) allows access to Stage 5'. The downside is that it does create an unfair comparison to the speed run since it is forced to beat Dracula before going to 5' and finishing at Stage 6.
Those cant be compared imo, your run does use dirty sram witch allow to skip the whole intro, so the times are not very revelants, i guess
Also doing what we did imply you getting a higher timer, most likely, even if we shortcut stage5' we force ourselves to use richter at end and have extra reset, on the bright side no autoscroller tought (no rafting sequence in 4' to get to carmilla)
(well anyway your run is good, not saying this to look like an ass, just trying to be objective on comparing runs)
I use dirty SRAM and you use a cheat code. I guess we both suck then, huH? :-P
Granted my timing is different then yours anyways. Not only would SDA not count the intros, but it doesn't appear to count the reset timings either. Granted the current run there is no longer my best effort - I just haven't submitted my newer time since I've been looking for a few more shortcuts and tricks. That one in Stage 4 at the beginning of your run is nice.
Edit: I'll admit that this run has given me an idea to look at when doing an improvement to the 100% speed run:
Stage 0 -> Stage 1 (Wyvern) -> Stage 2 (Rescue Maria) (Werewolf) [RESET]
[Switch to Maria]
Stage 1 (Serpent) -> Stage 2' (B. Golem) -> Stage 3' (Rescue Tera) (Dogether) -> Stage 4' (Rescue Iris) (Dullahan) -> Stage 5 (Death) -> Stage 6 (Shaft) -> Stage 7 (Rescue Annette) (Shaft's Ghost) -> Stage 8 (Dracula) [RESET]
Stage 3 (Minotaur) -> Stage 4 (Laura/Carmilla) -> Stage 5' [RESET]
[Show 100% status]
Yeah, skiping the rafting sequence by taking Carmilla in stage4 instead 4' was no brainer to me, youll win some time over the last run forcably i think using that "trick" (if it can be considered as one, heh)
Yeah, I keep forgetting about that bomb in Stage 4 in order to get to Stage 4' boss. I was also just used to doing Stage 3 after Stage 2, from doing any% runs. The theory works...I'm just so damn rusty at the game, I need to get back in tune with it to do it, but the route works.
Location: Georgia, USA
Thanks again Aktan! I'm personally ok with the all-clear code, since it doesn't provide any other benefits to the player except a less redundant route (kind of like Ferret Warlord's runs on Ghouls and Ghosts).
I really liked this run, and I'm still voting Yes, but I had some questions. First, I'm a little surprised at how many stages were finished with 10 hearts left and with a lot of leftover life (especially the stage with the No Damage bonus); is it really not worth it to get a subweapon that wastes those extra hearts? And also, why do you use the pigeons on Death and Dracula instead of Guardian Fist?
All in all, this still looks great, and you kept things entertaining with the finishing poses at the ends of stages.
Used to be a frequent submissions commenter. My new computer has had some issues running emulators, so I've been here more sporadically.
Still haven't gotten around to actually TASing yet... I was going to improve Kid Dracula for GB. It seems I was beaten to it, though, with a recent awesome run by Hetfield90 and StarvinStruthers. (http://tasvideos.org/2928M.html.)
Thanks to goofydylan8 for running Gargoyle's Quest 2 because I mentioned the game! (http://tasvideos.org/2001M.html)
Thanks to feos and MESHUGGAH for taking up runs of Duck Tales 2 because of my old signature!
Thanks also to Samsara for finishing a Treasure Master run. From the submission comments:
What was the purpose of switching to Richter right before killing Dracula? Wouldn't it have been faster to stick with Maria? Or does that not get you the "good ending" you're going for?
Also, Drac's proportions are hilariously terrible. Each of his shoulders is twice as wide as his head is! Does he have a bustle under there or something?
Pyrel - an open-source rewrite of the Angband roguelike game in Python.
Maria's ending is the same no matter how many people you save. Richter's ending changes if you save everybody.
Edit: Just to note something I found while console playing this, it is very easy for even a console player to pull off Maria in the black wall trick in Stage 3 while going towards battling Minotaur. I've just never done it before or thought of it until this run.
Maybe has to do with the dropped frames. Is your mplayer up-to-date? Another thing it could be, it may be a bug that was there while making the MP4. I'm not sure this encode was affected since I forgot when I found the bug, but I fixed the bug and it should be gone in newer encodes by me.
Edit: On second thought, that bug should only cause the error to show up every once in a while, not all the time like you seem to suggest. Maybe it's something else.