Roll Eyes
Lips Sealed
1 page
List results:
Search options:
Use \ before commas in usernames
Game Page:

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (Any %) (Single Segment)

Verifier Responses

AV good, no cheating detected.

This run looks very good with only a few minor mishaps that were obvious to me. The few skips were usually done in a reasonable enough time and most of the execution looks near perfect.

The only wonder I have is maybe about the new category. But overal I think this does look different enough from any%. I'm curious what others say about this though.


Quote from theseawolf1:
The news came again, ANOTHER vampire hunter. Death mumbled to himself as he sent his vision across the landscape to determine the new interloper. Was there no end to this madness? How many times would people burn his master’s body and then promptly kill him again? Even as a monster and the Prince of Darkness, surely Lord Dracula deserved a better fate than this.

The first one was odd, he moved with inhuman reflexes and flew across the graveyards riding a slime. I think he was called Walker, or maybe Bisqwit…maybe zggzdydp? It was years ago…

Then came the next one, he definitely moved more like a person but was strange in his own way. He was falling through floors and even leaped into his room from what seemed to be a black abyss between the walls. “Seawolf…” he thought to himself, shuddering at the memory of his rapid pace and mighty mumbling. At least he had died with his master that summer, a double KO for the ages.

Then recently, another appeared. He was different than the rest, taking new paths and turning the very traps of the mansions against them. He warped to and from mansions and popped out of walls to terrify and confuse his enemies. Indeed, there was no stopping the ZombieTraine.

And suddenly another! Another vampire hunter! But this one was odd, Death usually noticed them immediately because, quite frankly, they died! A lot! Seemingly on purpose! But this one…such anger, such fury and such longevity! Death hadn’t even noticed him until the Ferryman showed up on his shoreline. He had grown accustomed to tasting the souls of his opponents, victorious as they eventually were, but this one did not even afford him that luxury.
Hearing the crack of a whip just above his chamber, Death rolled his eye sockets and lazily picked up his scythe. Another day at the office…

A/V: Seems good to me.
Cheating: Nope
Clocks in at: 43:48

Opening: Clearly buy the holy water first to set up faster kills on the basic enemies. Excellent luck on the daytime heart farm, and fairly precise arrival/execution of the night grind. Perhaps similar timing for the daybreak could save like 5 seconds, but meh. Correctly tries the whip drop before the Chain Whip once, as any more times is a loss of time even if you succeed.

Chain Whip – Heart: Excellent Dabi’s Path, and the Sacred Flame is up for debate. I know the runner wants to show it off, but it needs to be a time saver to be worth the 17 seconds + any usage (that said, the upcoming night cycle does take it out of the equation since you can’t progress til the next day to do shopping). My testing with savestates has a near perfect run from buying the White Crystal to talking to the Blue Crystal guy near impossible to do on one-day cycle. You have about 3-5 in-game minutes of leeway, or about 2 seconds, if you skip the Sacred Flame. Grinding for the laurels and stakes at night is a needed evil in Deathless. Needing the laurels prevents you from using a whip drop in town, a difference of about +50 seconds comparing a good (8-10 tries, the town one is tricky) whip drop to the laurel buying and normal town exit.  Gets the cave drop, and heads into the mansion. Using the Purple Block to warp twice saves about 15 seconds compared to the walking route with a good drop post-Heart.

Rib – Ferryman: The slime on the second stairwell costs the runner about 5 seconds. With all that health, just take the hit. Tossing the flame at the wolf near Jova isn’t needed, as you can whip jump over him without stopping (2.5 seconds between the use and the menu to get to it). Crossing the swamp without a Laurel takes about 9 seconds, and about 7 with laurels counting the menu to get them on.

Death’s Mansion – Flame Whip: The main thing in Death’s Mansion are the guarded stairways. The top gargoyle fight in the first room is odd, a second or two lost there. The drop in the Double Gargoyle stairwell doesn’t need the Flame to work. I tested it for about an hour with and without flame at various points in the song (in case my theory of looping the music takes memory up as well is true). I had excellent luck on 1st or 2nd try drops with or without the Sacred Flame. A Half-Death Drop, the Full Death Drop (that puts you in Death’s Room) trick is a real pain to get in real time and is not worth resetting a run over given its precision. Good stuff though. The Sacred Flame is weaker than the whip, and it overrides the whip hits while hitting Death. The Death fight in the run is about 25 seconds, and a fight without using the Sacred Flame can be done in 18-20 with a good whip rhythm. The extra stake saves time in the next mansion, with the night grind helping offset the cost. An unfortunate day/night cycle caused by the previous grinding leads to one last grind session. Again, this day/night pattern is needed to accommodate the heart harvesting the runner needs.

Flame Whip – Ring: Good handling of the approach to the mansion. Using laurels in the swamp crosses it in 17 seconds, as opposed to the 32 seconds of the With Deaths run. Camilla gets away and almost goes full on Gravijerk, but only shoots two tears. That could’ve gone on for like 10 more seconds.

Ring – Drac: The downside of not dying is extra level ups and their animations. Nail Mansion is done in the manliest way possible. As is the bridge before the second cave drop. Cave drop 2 is good, and the last run plus Dracula is done very well.

Things to consider:
Here is a rundown of some important time lapses in my current (non-WR) run vs a With Deaths run, as well as comparisons to different methods in other areas I’ve tested:
Time to get the Flame :17

Buying Laurels (Deathless) 1:10
Town Drop (With Deaths) :25

Double purple block warps 1:34
Walkout of Heart Mansion 1:50

Death with Flame 24.67
Death Without Flame 18.71

Belasco No Laurel :09
Belasco Runner :7

Big Marsh Runner :17
Big Marsh No Laurel :32

Deathless, if it is to be considered a separate category, entails these key differences:
1) Simon can’t die. Duh.
2) To accommodate the need to buy a White Crystal, Chain Whip, Laurels, a Morning Star and Stakes, he needs to grind a few times. Given the nature of travel in this game, the ideal grind spots are at night in towns against Zombies.
3) Due to his fragile mortality, he NEEDS laurels for the second long marsh, and for sanity + surviving the stairways of Death’s Mansion, would likely need laurels in Belasco Marsh as well.
    a. Alternatively, Simon could hold off on leveling up the second time by not murdering as many zombies in the Blue Crystal town (you’d think I’d know its name by now), and controlling the XP you gain in the Heart Mansion and the walk back. If he takes no damage besides the Spike Drop at the end of the Heart Mansion, he can survive the Belasco Marsh with 1-2 health. This limits him to a range of anywhere from 180-300 hearts gatherable in the 2nd level areas (Grey Skeletons outside, floating Eyeballs, Zombies in the Blue Crystal town, any enemy in the Heart Mansion, enemies in Belasco Marsh and beyond) as the small hearts give 2 hearts and 1 XP, medium hearts give 4 hearts and 3 xp and big hearts give 6 hearts and 5 XP. This might be maddening, but if you level up after Belasco Marsh, you’d have full health in Death’s Mansion and buy two laurels in the Red Crystal town, which would be on the way and faster than buying them in the Blue Crystal town (note: untested).
4) You will level up more in Deathless, so you have more time spent on the animations. A pithy little note, I know.
Not being able to die makes the gameplay and route remarkably different from Any% with deaths, and since the two are practically incomparable side to side, it may be appropriate to consider them separate categories. Note that Deathless will always be slower due to the need for grinding, and even if you pulled off the one day trip to the Blue Crystal, I’m not sure if you’d have the time/hearts needed across Belasco to get the Red Crystal, Laurels and Morning Star before night falls again. If that’s tested to be true you’d neat heart luck and I’d have to eat my hat.

Final Considerations:
I can’t see the need for the Sacred Flame’s use. Gathering it is neutral as unless you are trying the experimental route I laid out above (very experimental with basically no margin for error), the night in town means you can’t progress anyhow. Its uses, however, were not really practical. Menuing to get to it so often costs time, and its uses on a werewolf, two gargoyles and Death aren’t really time saving. A TAS might have to trade time for entertainment, but it’s not a factor for a pure speed run.

Menuing was a bit slow, but I understand the checking for time or hearts. A few times the runner is halted by enemies he could have plowed through (slime in Rib Mansion, the knight before buying a stake in Death’s Mansion, climbing back up Death’s mansion).

Overall, the gameplay is superb and I will seek to incorporate his methods on many screens into my own future runs.

Even with the Sacred Flame stuff, I give this run an ACCEPT.

Cool strats and a nice improvement. Cant wait to see this game get pushed further.

Looks good to me, despite the Sacred Flame thing.
Of course still improvable, but it certainly would set a high bar for future no death runs!

Decision: Accept

Congratulations to 'Furious Paul'!
Thread title:
Thanks guys, more awesome Castlevania II runs are in the works Smiley
SGL Scrublord
Good to hear, once I give TGL what for, I'll need to check this all out again.