Castlevania Symphony of the Night
posted Monday, June 23, 2008

This is my speedrun of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the Sony PlayStation. Completed on May 15, 2008 in one segment as Alucard. The time is 34:34, starting when control of Richter is gained, and stopping when the final hit is dealt to Dracula.

This run improves over Lucid Faia's previous record by over 9 minutes. This is thanks to many different things, including new strategies, a modified route, and getting less stuff.

== Final Stage: Bloodlines ==
The major change here is a slight bug that enables Hydro Storm, Holy Water, and the whip to do damage consecutively on Dracula's "final" form. The first Holy Water didn't work the way it was supposed to, but I made up for it on the second.

== Entering Dracula's Castle ==
Immediately when I gain control of Alucard, you'll see I'm backdashing faster than normal. This is done by using a technique I call "shield dashing." Basically, this is done by alternating rapidly between backdash and a shield. The shield cancels the colldown period of the backdash, allowing for a more constant rate of travel. See this video to see it in action. Besides that, everything in this part is largely the same.

== Alchemy Laboratory ==
I picked up the Leather Shield here so I could resume shield dashing. My strategy for fighting Slogra and Gaibon is largely adopted from Persona's 100.1% map run. I spam a few knives into Slogra, then hit both with Tetra Spirit, finishing them off with punches. Typically Slogra dies with the Tetra Spirit. He didn't this time, so I had to toss a couple more knives. No biggie.

== Marble Gallery ==
I bulk up on hearts the first pass through here. During the long hallway, I jump over the Diplocephaluses instead of killing them.

== Outer Wall ==
I wish I was closer to the Doppleganger so that I could kill him quicker. Oh well, only a second or so lost. After I activate the elevator, you'll see I enter the CD room that leads to the warp point, then exit immediately. This automatically brings the elevator to the top, so I don't have to wait to get Soul of Wolf. It might not make a difference real time, but it does save game time. Before exiting, I wolf jump off the stairs to get the Garnet. Another trick stolen from Persona lol.

== Entering Olrox's Quarters ==
When I reach the center clock room, the game clock comes into play. On every even numbered hour, the path to Olrox's Quarters opens. On every odd hour, it closes. My goal here is to reach the clock room before the clock strikes 9:00. I originally thought this was impossible without omitting something. Turns out I just had to suck less. It's not hard to reach this goal. The clock read 8:41 when I entered the room, so I had time to spare. I get the HP Max as a precautionary. Once in Olrox, I get hit by a Skelerang. It looks like a mistake, but in fact the damage boost has the same momentum as shield dashing. Maybe more.

== Colosseum ==
Here I detour to get the Shield Rod, something Lucid did not use in his run. I honestly don't know why he chose to omit it. I also pick up the $1000 next to it. I save after getting the Shield Rod because I'll be using many save points to refill MP. Lucid used a full memory card so that no one would contest that his run wasn't a single segment. I found that a little silly, as it's impossible to fake a run like this. Besides, not having an actual save file requires the coffin to spin, which takes a while. I use more save points than Lucid, so that would hurt me even more. I punch the Minotaur to death quickly enough. But I missed a few times on the Werewolf. Minor mistake. I grab Form of Mist and use the Library Card the game gives you.

== Long Library ==
I visit the Librarian to sell the Garnet and buy another Library Card and the Iron Shield. I'll be using the Iron Shield Combo on every remaining boss in the game except for one. With a little screen manipulation, it can rack up insane amounts of damage. I wolf jump and mist up to the next level. Lesser Demon is the first to face the Iron Shield Combo. I get the Onyx right before Soul of Bat, then use my Library Card after getting the Bat. I sell the Onyx so I can pick up a Mana Prism to use later. I'm aware that Wing Smash can be done infinitely. It's just way too hard, and it's not practical everywhere.

== Clock Tower ==
Not much to say here. This part speaks for itself.

== Hunting for the Wolf Relics ==
After beating Karasuman, I take a detour to get the double jump. It is optional, but it does speed some things up compared to just using the bat. But you'll see the Flea Riders really didn't like me that day. I call this portion "The Flea Rider Fiasco," and it's the worst mistake in the run. After escaping them, I dive kick to the warp point and go to the Entrance. I then backtrack to the Alchemy Laboratory to pick up Skill of Wolf. On the way back, I accidentally used a Stopwatch. That grinds my gears because I was saving it for later, but ended up not needing it. I go back to the drawbridge to pick up Power of Wolf. I refill my MP with the Mana Prism and Wolf Charge back.

Why I get the wolf relics becomes evident when I return to Castle Keep. By jumping at a certain point on the broken staircase after using Wolf Charge, you can hit a part of the ceiling near the switch that enables the secret staircase. This tricks the game into loading the Richter defeated cutscene instead of the boss fight. In short, I skipped Richter. This not only skips the fight, but also eliminates the Gold Ring, Silver Ring, and Holy Goggles. True I get the wolf relics in their place, but they take less time to get because they're close to each other. A word of caution: when you are about to activate the cutscene, change back to human form. If you remain a wolf, you'll be stuck.

This isn't the only way to skip Richter. There is a method that only requires Soul of Wolf, but the positioning is incredibly precise. TAS only. The 1st release Japanese version and the Dracula X Chronicles version can fight Richter normally, and use a Library Card after dealing the final blow. I also considered using a Level Up Shift to get the Holy Goggles early, but that too was too difficult to implement in a single segment.

== The Inverted Castle ==
I first activate the warp point in Reverse Keep, then pwn Darkwing Bat.

== Reverse Outer Wall ==
This place is the real reason why I got the double jump. Avoiding the skeletons is hard to do without it. The Creature was tricky to use Iron Shield Combo on at first. But I figured out how to prevent him from rolling at you. Before he attacks, if you're moving away from him, he'll roll. If you're moving towards him, he'll swing his hammer. He goes down in three combos.

== En Route to Reverse Catacombs ==
I Wing Smash through the long hallway, and go up to the Reverse Caverns. The long fly up makes me wish I had the Gravity Boots, but they require too large a backtrack. The first hit I land on Death looks like a mistake, but in fact that was to set up the Iron Shield Combo. The second Shield Rod, however, was a mistake.

== The Anti Chapel ==
I warp back to the Keep and Wolf Charge to the Anti Chapel. I was never good at fighting Medusa with Iron Shield Combo, hence why I got petrified right off the bat. I managed. Had a weird tussle with a Balloon Pod. I picked up and used another Mana Prism. Then it's too the Inverted version of Olrox's Quarters (I forget the real name.) Akmodan is the only boss not to be felled by Iron Shield Combo. Holy Water rapes him enough. Another long fly up afterwards. Turned out I didn't need the Mana Prism I get there, but it's good to have just in case.

== The Final Battles ==
I recover at the Last Save Point. Where I stood during the Shaft fight is a sweetspot that enables the Iron Shield Combo to get the most hits possible on Shaft. My timing was just a little off on this one. He can be killed in one combo, but this time he was one hit away. Dracula went smoothly. The dive kick I did after he squished Karasuman was unnecessary, but it didn't affect the final outcome. I don't know if Drac can be killed before he goes back into the background with this method.

This isn't actually my first published run of SotN. I had completed a run of 37:50 at the end of last year. It was published on SDAthe following February. Perhaps you've seen it; it is on Youtube. The big difference between that run and this run was the Crissaegrim. I went far out of my way to get it. Too far. It took 2 minutes to get the damn thing, which depending on who you ask, costs between 30 seconds and a minute. This run was done to undo that mistake. It also took me two tries to skip Richter in that run. I got it on the first try in this one, something I'm very relieved about.

Thanks to:
- Persona for hosting this vid here and doing the 100.1% map run.
- The SDA Team, as usual. (Yes, this includes DJGrenola.)
- Lucid Faia for his 43:51.
- Mike Uyama and RaneofSOTN for clueing me in on how much time the Crissaegrim wastes.
- RaneofSOTN (again) for helping me with the Level Up Shift I ended up not using.
- Sir VG for some spiritual inspiration.
- And you the viewers for watching.

Performer Record
Satoryu 34m 34s
Type Details
- Alucard game
- Uses Richter Skip glitch
- Single Segment

Download Links

Length Size Format Downloads
41:31 187 MB DivX Download

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