Released in 2009 as a WiiWare title, Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth is developer Konami's revamping of one of the often neglected Gameboy installments in their classic Castlevania series. Based on the game Castlevania: The Adventure, the remake features updated graphics, enemies, and controls as well as the addition of several new stages to the classic title. Players take control of Christopher Belmont as he does what the Belmonts do best: charge through Castle Dracula with whip in hand to stop the threat of the ancient vampire's curse.
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Easy difficulty: 0:19:04 by Thomas L. Mallory, Jr.
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A couple of things I want to mention that helped me with this run. First, it is fairly common knowledge that if you whip as you land you can prevent Christopher from landing in a crouch position, saving a wee bit of time, but the timing has to be very good or else the whip animation will slow you down instead. I discovered that you can throw a weapon in the air and it eliminates this problem entirely (with the exception of REALLY long drops).
Second, the whip is significantly more powerful than any sub weapon. I only used sub weapons when a target was out of reach; combining sub weapon use with whipping can otherwise overlap hits, often resulting in whip hits not registering. Granted, the Axe is extremely important when fighting the Spectral Sword and Death.
Third, taking damage will not slow Christopher down if he is jumping whilst taking the damage. If you must take damage, often jumping forward right before allows you to forgo the wait time; Christopher will be immobile during his jump arc.
With that out of the way, let us proceed... note that the times beside the levels are the readings on the Stage clocks, so they indicate the time left in the level rather than the time spent in it.
Stage 1 (7:33)
75% of run attempts ended before or during the mid boss battle of this Stage; I would not allow myself to proceed with a run if I messed up before that part. Most often I would have to restart when a Mud Zombie would pop up underneath me during a jump. There actually is a mistake on the third screen when a Small Eyeball freezes me for a split second, but for some reason I still went through with this run (and I'm glad I did). The Vampire Bat boss can eat up too much time if it flies toward you initially instead of away from you. A nearly perfect Giant Eyeball fight wraps this one up. I've done Stage 1 in 7:34, but only about four times.
Stage 2 (9:18)
The Watch is my favorite subweapon, and the first evidence of that is seen in this level. Another 5% of my run attempts would end at the double water wheels before the second elevator, as I would get too hasty jumping off the second one and end up in the drink. I miss one whip strike against Mr. Hyde, but overall this is the best I've ever done on Stage 2.
Stage 3 (9:10)
I sadly must pick up the Axe at the start of this Stage, leaving behind my trusty Watch. I'm not entirely happy with the Bone Pillar bridge portion of the stage, but it actually went worlds better than it often does. I once again miss a whip strike on the Spectral Sword, but other than that, this boss dies about as quickly as it ever has. I think this might be my best Stage 3 time as well.
Stage 4 (8:53)
This was always the hardest stage for me to get a good time on. If there's any part of this stage that bothers me, it's the third screen (the Medusa tower), as I have to stop for whipping and damage a bit more often than I'd like. I get to play with my Watch some more; it is a little out of the way, but it uses up hearts and allows quick passage through the Spider's Lair. I could have shaved off approximately four or five seconds on the Rock Golem fight, if only the second Boomerang had hit an extra time; two times I've killed it before it jumped. I think my best time on this level was 8:58.
Stage 5 (6:34)
This level was a bitch. I take a lot of damage to save time, but I would so often die during the final block for that reason. At one point I walk through a Steam Monster instead of jumping through it. I use the Boomerang, the Axe briefly, and then the Watch for most of the level, switching back to the Axe during the last block. The Ogre Mage falls without doing much of anything. My hands were shaking by the time I got to the end of the level. Due to this, the last block officially contains the worst part of the run: a screwup involving a Reaper, a Bone Tosser, and a Medusa head atop a pendulum platform. I drop to one health point while dealing with them (usually I die there if that sort of thing happens), but I manage to make it to the end without much further headache. The Death fight is not very clean, but it did the trick. I don't recall, but I believe my best time on this level was around 6:40.
Stage 6 (5:31)
After royally screwing up in embarrassing fashion in the grandfather clock room (the second worst part of the run, IMO), the fight with Dracula is pretty much perfect. I think my best time in this stage was 5:32, as I've never had a Drac fight go so well. What a time to have that luck.
I didn't think I'd be able to get the time this low. I'm really just an average gamer, and I've always been better at strategizing than executing, hence my focus on more RPG games than action ones. I guess I just love this game so much that I played it until I got a run where mostly everything went right. There can still be probably ten to twelve seconds cut off the time with this strategy and better execution? Perhaps more can be shaved with faster strategies. I'm happy with this run: I had some of my best performances, and the stages that included flaws were still close to the extent of my skill. Thanks for reading, thanks for watching, and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Normal difficulty: 0:21:03 by Travis Hofman.
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This being my first speed run, I'm going to emulate comments that I've seen others do. Mostly, the stage by stage comparison style. It helps me understand what other runners were thinking at different points in games and I'm going to try and use it that way too.
There is a technique I use in several places during the run. I call it Whip Cancelling. After swinging your whip there is a moment when your whip flashes. If you use a special weapon when this occurs, you cancel the remainder of the whip animation and you use the special weapon. The whip hit still registers, however. It's actually quite easy to do once you learn how.
This was honestly the fastest I've ever beaten this stage. By less than half a second, but it is still the fastest. This stage caused over 80% of all restarts just from the first minute. I hate those mudmen and rolling eyeballs.
My strategy vs. the Giant Bat works almost every time. He always goes left first when I whip him that way and goes right if I stand on the platform I do after the second set of 3 whips. It's also slightly faster because you hit him with the backswing on the whip. I use the stopwatch after this point to make one spot easier and consistent. Right after that I whip a skeleton. Normally I jump over him or get hit by him, but this time he acted weird and kept going right. That was the first time that ever happened to me. That leftover heart is slightly faster than picking up hearts to use the stopwatch again, I think.
I time my whipping poorly in the beginning twice and pay the consequences both times. I honestly thought about restarting here, but decided against it because I had not completed any run for three and a half hours. The rest of the level, up to the boss, goes the way it was supposed to. If you hit the merman on the elevator with an axe just once, it jumps off into the water. You can catch a glimpse of it trying to jump back on the elevator a little while later if you do.
The boss didn't cooperate the way he usually does, which is why I get hit in the beginning. Normally he just jumps or moves backwards right away. At least he usually does for me.
I've had 4 seconds faster on this level, honestly. The two mistakes in the beginning cost 2 seconds and the boss was 2 seconds slower than the best he's given me. Faster would be possible with better boss fights, but I'm inconsistent at best with this boss.
That hit in the beginning didn't cost any time, but looks a little ugly. The bat at the top comes out on that side very rarely, maybe 1 in 50 times. I hate him for that hit. On the plus side, you get to see two rare events occur. The skeleton in stage one and this one. The only way to avoid the bat would be to jump and throw an axe while up there. However, you want to conserve hearts for the boss. It's a tough choice to avoid a rare event.
That medusa head over the pit scared me. I thought it was coming up so I whipped early. I made up for the time I would have lost by damage boosting off the red skeleton. Normally I don't need to do that. The hit before the boss was unavoidable. The medusa head came at a bad angle and if I went back when I realized it, I would have been hit off the platform by the saw blade. The boss gave a good pattern, but not the best. Whipping it is better than throwing axes if you can help it.
I use whip cancelling for the first time in the run against the boss.
2 seconds faster is the best I've managed. The better I do on the level, the worse the pattern the boss gives it seems. That's just probably random chance working against me, however.
I hate this level with a passion. Let me just get that out there now. Most runs that made it past Stage 1 ended in this level. Medusa Heads are the second most annoying enemy in the game. Flea Men taking number 1. There were so many times where I got hit 3 or 4 times on staircases because of Medusa Heads. That wastes a lot of time and forces me to grab the meat in the maze, which wastes more time.
The hits I take on this stage were my fault. I don't know why I thought I could jump through that bone. I saw it coming a mile away. In this same section at the bottom are two Red Knights. It's possible to damage boost up to the platform above the one on the ground. You have to wait for him to get in position though. It always seemed slower, but that could be my imagination.
The only other thing to say is that the boss can be done slightly faster with proper timing. One of my whip attacks was nullified by a cross hit on him. I use the background circle to know where to stand to get him throw his fists around the earliest. Runs also ended because I'd mess up the boss. Having him jump one more time is a waste and cause for a restart. I've never beaten him in two cycles on Normal. I barely beat him before he jumped again this time.
2 seconds faster is my best. This was my average, when I beat the stage.
Damage boosting through the metal golems in the beginning is possible. It's insanely risky on Normal because you're only 4 hits dead. Meat only helps so much. I keep the cross throughout this level because I feel it's faster than the axe. The axe can make a couple spots easier, but the cross can kill many enemies with only one throw when it would take two swings with the whip. Plus, I don't need to stop to collect the axe. Besides, the cross used to be called the boomerang and everyone knows boomerangs are just pure awesomeness.
The strategy on the mid-boss works almost every time. Occasionally, he decides to be mean and use a ball with ground wave as his second attack and screw it up. If you don't kill him fast enough, he actually will turn around and attack you.
After the mid-boss, everything went perfect until I got past the elevator. That hit near the top of the first pendulum section made me nervous as heck. It had been a while since I made it to this point, which didn't help either. I made it to Death's door just fine though.
On the last stretch before Death, it is possible to jump from one pendulum to the platform and onto the next pendulum before it swings away. The timing seems tighter on Normal than it is for Easy though. I make it consistently on Easy but have only managed it twice, out of about 100 tries, on Normal. That meat right before Death is in the best position ever. Too bad I miss it the first time
My strategy vs. Death himself allows me to hit him the entire time during his first phase. Whip Canceling is required to get it to work. There is some luck involved with the sickles flying around. Occasionally, there is a bad pattern where you can't get many attacks in with the whip or cross and the axe is faster. Rare, but it happens. I nearly die against him. He took away that meat I ate. How mean.
I never kept timing notes on this level after I developed the strategy against Death. It's faster than anything else I tried. I know 3 seconds faster is definitely possible, probably more really, but it would be difficult.
If there was any level I would redo, it would be this one. My nerves were shot at this point from having almost died twice in Stage 5 and add the fact that the run was nearing completion. It also didn't help that I had been doing attempts for several hours. Everything went fine till I enter Dracula's chamber. Then I do the stupidest thing I could do. I burn hearts. I collected all of those for a reason and I unconsciously start burning them. I snap out of it in time. It even causes me to miss the three hits on Dracula's first phase a couple times. I pull it together and finish. But, this level could easily be faster by probably around 5 or 6 seconds, at least.
I did extensive testing on Dracula's third form. I found the cross to be faster than the axe by at least 10 seconds. The other weapons are a joke when facing him. I don't know why they are given as options. Normally I throw more crosses at him. This time I didn't have the luxury. More Whip Canceling on his third form.
Unless somebody comes up with better ways to do things, just under 20:45 is probably pushing the limit on Normal. I thoroughly enjoyed speed running this game and I hope to continue speed running. I have another game in mind that's not on SDA at this time. Watch for the run in the future.
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