Documentation for Symphony Of The Night on PSX.
ZKeene's FAQ for this game
goes into great detail about the mechanics of the game and is generally the most reliable source for generic information. It contains things such as formulas for calculating damage given/taken as well as how Alucard's stats affect combat, and has the most in-depth bestiary for the game. Has several minor inaccuracies, however.
Turbodog702's video tutorial
for speedrunning this game is designed to teach console runners the basics of how to get through the any% route, but also touches on aspects of how the game's physics work and teaches how to do tricks that are not relevant to the current RTA any% route. It is a good way to get up to speed on speed tech and how to apply glitches in a TAS for those starting out.
World Beyond Walls
is a site and forum devoted to using the most obscure of glitches in the game to get the highest map percentage possible. Though it is now mostly defunct, it's pages serve as a catalog for strange tricks that are sometimes useful in unlikely situations, as well as having some pages on more obviously useful techniques. The msnboard
is a more populated forum devoted to the same concept.
Richter's speed values oscillate strangely, so the averages of multiple samples are listed for his values.
All values are in Pixels Per Frame (PPF):
- 0.5 - Flying TOP (Mist)
- 0.5 - Power of Mist diagonal (Mist)
- 0.7 - Falling forward
- 0.7 - Jump Forward (Axe Armor)
- 0.8 - Flying diagonal forward (Bat)
- 1.0 - Walking (Wolf)
- 1.0 - Power of Mist forward (Mist)
- 1.2 - Flying forward (Bat)
- 1.5 - Walking, jumping forward
- 2.0 - Damage Boost
- 2.5 - Thrust special TOP
- 2.5 - Run (Axe Armor)
- 3.0 - Diagonal Gravity Boots
- 3.0 - Wolf run TOP (Wolf)
- 3.5 - Backdash TOP
- 4.0 - Glitchtoss
- 4.5 - Divekick TOP
- 5.0 - Skill of Wolf TOP (Wolf)
- 6.0 - Wing Smash (Bat)
- 8.0 - Big Toss
- 9.0 - Power of Wolf TOP (Wolf)
- 1.3 - Thrust special AVERAGE
- 3.3 - Optimal frontslide AVERAGE
- 3.3 - Flame star dash AVERAGE
- 3.5 - Shield dash AVERAGE
- 0.5 - Flying TOP (Mist)
- 0.8 UP - Flying diagonally upwards (Bat)
- 1.0 - Power of Mist (Mist)
- 1.3 - Flying (Bat)
- 1.7 DOWN - Flying diagonally downwards (Bat)
- 3.5 UP - Jump TOP (Wolf)
- 4.0 UP - Gravity Boots with scroll lock
- 4.0 UP - Jump TOP (Axe Armor)
- 4.1 UP - Double Jump TOP
- 4.9 UP - Jump TOP
- 4.9 UP - High jump TOP (Wolf)
- 6.0 - Wing Smash TOP (Bat)
- 7.0 DOWN - Falling TOP
- 7.0 DOWN - Divekick
- 12.0 UP - Gravity Boots
- 16.0 DOWN - Zipping (Mist)
- 32.0 DOWN - Zipping
- 0.8 - Falling forward
- 1.2 - Walk, jumping forward, uppercut, damage boost
- 1.5 - Backflip
- 2.3 - Run
- 5.2 - Blade dash TOP
- 5.8 - Slide TOP
- 6.1 - Slide kick TOP
- 3.5 - Blade dash AVERAGE
- 4.5 - Slide AVERAGE
- 3.0 UP - Damage boost TOP
- 4.0 UP - Uppercut with scroll lock
- 4.5 UP - Backflip TOP
- 4.8 UP - Slide Kick Flip TOP
- 5.8 UP - Jump TOP
- 7.0 DOWN - Falling TOP
- 7.5 UP - Uppercut
- 32.0 DOWN - Zipping
List of Symphony Of The Night movies published on the site:
Not published on the site, but deserves honorable mention:
The RNG is always moving in this game; tons of things both related to Alucard and not push it to varying degrees.
Pulling out any shield will push the RNG one frame. This is good for making adjustments during a jump slash without losing time.
Certain attacks have graphical effects during their animations that call the RNG numerous times. It's best to simply experiment with this on a case-to-case basis depending on what you're doing, but the most prominent example is the particle effects at the end of the Alucard Sword's swing.
Enemies are never completely random in action, but the formula for their A.I.s usually uses randomness somewhere. Having multiple enemies onscreen and active at once can help make large pushes to the RNG.
As so many things beyond your control push the RNG rapidly, it is sometimes best to open your map just before you do the action that is supposed to give you the random outcome you want, and wait for the RNG to move into a favorable position. This is obviously slow and looks sloppy, but is unfortunately the only way in some situations. Of note, you can exit the map in a single frame by pressing start instead of letting go of select then pressing it again.
A very large amount of enemies call the address (978bb) to calculate their actions, a value that is pushed during some graphical effects as well. This notably occurs during the sparks you see when attacking an enemy, candle, or wall with a weapon, so this is your best choice for manipulating certain enemies such as Fleamen whom you need to act in some specific manner.
Quite a few enemies change up their attack patterns based on your facing when you activate their A.I.. Fleamen, notably, are more prone to jump over you should you face forwards when activating them.
This is sometimes referred to, strangely. It's not often that you need to manipulate an enemy that does this, but it's usually simple enough to damage boost through an enemy instead of killing it.
Some enemies, notably Guardians, are affected by whether Alucard is on the ground or in the air when they decide to act. This can be used to force Guardians to use their fire wave attack to set up for a big toss level up.
Manipulating Alucard's Hitbox
When jumping up to a platform, effort to move horizontally should be applied as late as possible in the jump to avoid brushing against the corner you're trying to get up. This can save a frame per jump in some cases.
Go Under Hitboxes
When Alucard starts his running animation or his backdash animation, his hitbox actually decreases vertically in comparison to his sprite. This can be used to go under hitboxes that would hit you otherwise - a good example of this would be going under Warg's heads in any of the Alucard TASes on this site.
Go Through Certain Hitboxes
On a similar note to the above, you can actually widen Alucard's hitbox enough that the game is convinced you are on the other side of certain enemies, damage boosting you forward through enemies that should knock you backwards. The most common way of doing this is crouch > walk backwards > jump, used in particular to damage boost through Diplocephalus' back.
Manipulate the X Subpixel
Certain tricks require subpixel accuracy to perform. The easiest ways to control your X subpixel are to let go of forward for however many frames you need while jumping forward, or adding that same delay during shield dashing - as in, you delay a frame after every input, and do this for more of the inputs for as many times as you need to change your subpixel value.
Walking forward when starting a jump and continuing to keep it held the entire time until you either land or start a divekick will cause Alucard to walk for a frame when you touch the ground instead of stopping for a frame. This gains a frame when running off edges, but can make frontslide impossible. Avoiding it is as simple as easing up on forward for a frame while jumping forwards.
Grab items sooner out of shield dash
By turning a backdash around so that Alucard faces forwards during the animation, he will lean forwards and be able to grab certain items from further away than in his neutral, shield dashing stance. This can save a frame over shield dashing into items on the ground.
Clearing small ledges
Whenever you have to stop shield dashing in order to jump up onto a small ledge, it sometimes saves a frame to shield dash forwards one frame more than you need to in order to clear it with the smallest possible jump.
Dealing With Console Limitations
CD Room Speed Cap
There is a maximum speed you can get through CD rooms before it stops saving time. Loading is done dynamically as you move through these hallways, so going faster just makes you have to wait longer once you reach the end of one. Perfect shield dashing with two jumps at the end is the slowest you can go without losing frames. On the plus side, this makes for a good opportunity to use food or manipulate RNG without wasting time.
Using a spell or healing item while you activate an enemy A.I. in certain large rooms will sometimes cause nothing to happen when you use it. As in, the item is consumed or your MP is drained and you are held in place for a moment, but you get nothing in return, not even invulnerable frames in most cases. A simple way to get rid of this is to slow down your shield dashing, but simply getting closer to the enemy before using it is usually the best way. Just search through every frame until you find one that works.
Shield Dash Cooldown
After shield dashing for an extended period of time, it isn't possible to use subweapons for about 30 frames, depending on exactly how long you were shield dashing - longer equals a longer cooldown, etc.
Lag occurs strongly during the prologue fight (especially during Hydro Storm), and when using healing items such as potions. Doing things such as entering mist or activating enemies during these events exasperates the lag greatly, so the use of manna prisms or potions should be planned out carefully.
Falling Vs. Jumping
If you run off a ledge, you move forwards at half speed until you land, the height of a double jump in this state cannot be controlled, and you are locked out of all actions if you attack while in this state. Jumping off ledges has none of these issues, and is faster if you have to fall large distances, especially onto stairs.
7 Frame Rule
Whenever Alucard transitions from a ground state to an air state, there is a 7 frame period where he retains some properties of ground state. He can walk, but still has falling speed, and can jump, allowing you to get an extra horizontal boost if a jump is too far to make normally.
Screen Scroll Lock
Going up very quickly, namely during gravity boots, will cause the game to place a cap of 4 PPF upwards until you slow down. Wolf form is immune to this, however.
Using a shield or USE item during a backdash lets you immediately backdash again. The speed cap for this is different with every item you can do it with.
Damage Boosts, Big Toss
The direction attacks hit you in is based entirely on the attack's hitbox location in comparison to Alucard. The direction enemy contact sends you in is based on which way the enemy was last moving. The height you gain from a damage boost depends on your CON; less CON is more height. Losing half or more of your HP from one hit makes Alucard go flying away at very high speed until he hits a wall, ceiling, or corner.
Hitting a wall in this state makes Alucard stick to it for a second, so it's best to hit a corner or ceiling if possible.
Using a USE item or pulling out a shield will cause Alucard's horizontal momentum to cease decay for a frame if done on the ground. If you have an item that can be used infinitely quickly on both hands, such as two shields, then you can maintain top speed of any action indefinitely. More practically, it allows you to get more mileage out of a frontslide. This combined with the below point makes frontslide faster going uphill if you have a shield.
Uphill/Underwater Speed Penalty
You receive a penalty of slightly under 1/3 to horizontal speed while moving uphill or underwater. This even applies to the bat as well as Wing Smash, though the penalty is lessened in those cases. If going uphill while underwater, the penalties stack. Uphill, the penalty can be avoided by simply jumping up the hill, if you have a form of movement that works midair.
Air State Flag
There is a flag within the game that determines whether Alucard can double jump, divekick, or do neither while in the air. This cannot be forced to double jump if you do not have Leap Stone, but it can still be forced to divekick.
You get divekick state at the end of a thrust special, after gravity booting into a ceiling, and after untransforming in midair.
You can regain double jump state after you've lost it for your jump by untransforming against a ceiling, dieing and being revived by the fairy, or getting hit in midair while wearing Axe Armor and immediately removing it.
Doing a divekick near to the ground and letting go of directional input when hitting the ground will cause Alucard to finish out the horizontal momentum of the divekick while on the ground. As noted in the Speed Values Chart, this is a good alternative to shield dashing in human form should a shield not be readily available.
Running uphill in wolf form causes you to gain tons of air if you jump. This height gain is maintained even if you turn around in midair.
Holding up when you jump as wolf makes you go higher. You can still maintain dash speed by letting go of the D pad for a frame then making the input, but you won't be in a running state when you hit the ground again.
If you have Skill of Wolf but not Power of Wolf, there is exactly one frame after the charge where you can jump with charge speed.
Chaining Mist to whatever other form you want is generally faster than going straight to the desired form.
Mist can be used either for less MP or no MP by releasing L1 for a frame then holding it again immediately afterwards. The exact effect depends on the fluctuations of the MP bar itself. This also causes Alucard to return to human form more quickly.
Unlike the other transformations, momentum on the frame you transform is maintained with little decay during the transformation sequence, allowing you to save time by doing backdash > bat or divekick > bat when you need to enter bat form.
Infinite Bat Momentum
Holding Left+Right or Up+Down while in bat form causes momentum decay in all directions to cease. For example, doing this out of divekick > bat means you maintain the forwards and slightly downwards arc the entire time you hold the directional combination.
Infinite Wing Smash
This is a feature intentionally put into the US version of the game that allows you to stay in Wing Smash for as long as you keep repeating the input, as opposed to having to stop at the end of the timer every time in the original Japanese release. MP is still used every time you finish the input.
The state of whether you've fought Richter or not is checked when you enter the room with the secret stairway in the keep. Any technique that gets you into this room while avoiding the trigger that is placed over the entrance allows you to waltz on through without having to deal with Richter at all, skipping most of the work of the first castle.
Prominent methods include doing a wolf clip on the slope in the secret passageway, or doing a wolf jump over the trigger at the entrance to the room.
Doing a dashing jump from in front of a slope into said slope while in wolf form and untransforming as soon as you hit the slope will cause Alucard to clip inside it. This has X subpixel accuracy. Note that without Power of Wolf, Alucard gets instant top speed dashing to the left but not to the right, while he gets it neither direction if Power of Wolf is on, meaning you have to get a running start in such cases before starting the jump. Also, having more speed from Power of Wolf allows you to clip into smaller slopes that the normal dash jump would clear before you could untransform.
Jumping into an acute angle repeatedly while in wolf form will cause Alucard to clip into the floor.
Half Blood Tech
Getting big tossed into a wall while in a corner in bat form makes Alucard clip into the floor when he gets off the wall, due to Alucard's hitbox being almost an entire sprite length lower than he is when on the wall and the fact that the bat can go lower to the ground than human.
The transitions from one room to the next are determined by the disparity between the X position of the camera and Alucard's X position. Moving towards the transition during a screen pause such as a level up, Heart Refresh, or shield rod spell allows you to move without the camera following Alucard, and moving into the zone where the camera stops in this manner causes dissonance in where the game believes is the right distance Alucard should go into the edge of the screen to load a new room, meaning you can just fall straight off maps if you open up a wide enough gap.
The minimum size for Alucard to be able to fall without loading the next room is 7 pixels, meaning you either need multiple pauses or you need to level up during a big toss.
The general name for traveling out of bounds. Some things to note, you are moving at half walking speed while under the floor or behind a wall, but jumping into the OoB avoids this speed penalty. Untransforming from bat or mist under the floor causes Alucard to be completely stuck as the game believes you are in a tight corner, but changing to wolf and back regains horizontal control. You do not have enough speed to change rooms on your own, but wing smash and mist both allow you to trigger room transitions.
Using a Heart Refresh on each hand, you can move in between the screen pauses and just completely ignore room transitions. You can backdash into a room transition, but start chaining HRs and you'll simply fall off the edge of the current room.
Similar to Shiftlines, but going away from the room transition. This pulls the point where the next room is loaded back by the disparity you created instead of forward, meaning you enter it sooner and wind up further back in the next room. However, since there is no position further back than where you are supposed to start, your X position is simply underflowed and you enter the next room at X pos 255, a full room length ahead.
Being inside an enemy's hitbox while hitting them with multiple hitboxes at once while they are stuck in a single frame of action will cause them to die without giving you experience and without giving you a kill. This does not work with all enemies, and nobody has been able to really get a handle on why this works and why it doesn't work on every enemy.
Fire Boomerang Trick
Having 6 fire boomerangs onscreen at once and transforming into either wolf or bat will cause all momentum decay to cease and delay the transform until the boomerangs leave the screen. This allows you to do super high jumps or backdash across gaps. Note that doing this with the wolf form avoids screen scrolling lock, meaning you generally go up at a greater speed.
Screen Pause Delay/Deletion
Having 6 fire boomerangs onscreen while collection a relic, max up, or getting a level up will just destroy the screen pause, while still giving you the positive effects it should have. Using other USE items in a similar fashion, such as Bwaka Knives, simply delays the pause.
Equipping an item while the fairy's using the last copy you have of it will underflow your quantity of it and give you 255 of said item. Useful for either avoiding the Duplicator or if you need fairy to heal you, as Duplicator does not affect her.
Doing something to make a familiar speak, such as waiting for them to give a speech when summoned or using the sword brothers spell then entering a location that prevents pausing will restore pausing in said area. This includes in the shop and while saving, to name the most prominent examples.
Using the above trick in the shop and entering the sell section of the shop allows you to underflow the count of any gem you have exactly 1 of. Equipping the last gem while in the sell menu then unpausing and selling it will give you 255 or whatever gem.
Getting a screen pause while the MP bar is incrementing will cause you to gain 1 MP per frame as long as the pause lasts.