Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is the third game in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series. Released in 1991, this game features the legendary difficulty of series tradition, but adds more upgrades, abilities, and better control to make a very solid platformer. In it, Sir Arthur takes to his armor to rescue Guinevere, who has been captured by the demons once again.
Best time, Professional difficulty: 0:39:41 by Daniel 'Kareshi' Brown on 2010-05-15.
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Immediately prior to this speedrun, I had done the following for Twingalaxies's online scoreboard - two Highest Score runs for SNES and Wii Virtual Console, and one Normal mode speedrun for Wii VC. The points runs touched-up my mental notes on enemy behavior, and the Normal speedrun got me back into the speedrunning mindset. Starting up the Professional attempts again, I managed in a short time to get a 40:52 - which beat my SDA time by over a minute. It was a nice time on the stopwatch, but the levels weren't nearly as well executed - in fact, every stage but the last one and the final boss were shorter on the SDA run. I played an aggressive Round 2 Level 7 and Final Boss, and those two alone had 90 seconds of improvement. But I decided (with help from loyal Kareshi TV viewers on ustream) to keep going until my levels looked as good as the SDA run. So I got another finished game somewhere in the 41:XX's, and one that was 40:48 that I almost stopped with. That run was good-looking overall, but had a few missed jumps and bad luck on some boss fights. Finally I got a run where the levels went great, the boss fights went great, and the final bosses went great too.
Most of this speedrun is not improvised, but instead tightly scripted based on knowledge of the enemy's behaviors. The enemies can't be counted on to do exactly the same thing each time, but most of them have only certain things they can do, with various timings. So I have to pay attention to when and how they're moving and be sure I can deal with them without running into other enemies or flying projectiles. I'm jumping as often as possible because it's slightly faster than walking.
During this run I was surprised to find so many new timesavers, since I thought I did a pretty good job of seeking those out back in 2008. The new ones this time around include:
- Better zombie spawning manipulation - all based on which ones you kill and which ones you keep alive.
- Better eyeball clam #1 strategy
- Shooting the spiky balloon while jumping the gap
- Better Level 1 boss strategies for both neck-version (see Round 1) and egg-version (see Round 2)
- A new shooting method using two fingers on B and Y means super-rapid fire if needed (comes up every now and then)
- New path through the ghost ship (thanks to a TAS path pointed out to me by any1else)
- Shooting more things off-screen while in the raft section reduces slowdown spots
- Some fire bear flame manipulation
- Shoot while jumping up to floating platforms in Level 2B (see Round 2 - it just may save your life!)
- Better location for the Dragon magic on Level 3 boss (hits him going up AND down... ideally. I only got a "down-hits" Dragon in Round 2.
- Can manipulate the worst-placed spiky balloon in Level 4B out of spawning. Doesn't save time, and he's not dangerous if I have Dragon magic, but it's a good thing to know for casual play.
- Can deal with the Bad Luck Flower (the second one in Level 5, after the spike pit) without getting hit or losing more than a second. Never got that right back in the 2008 attempts.
- Better manipulation of the behavior of the Level 5 boss
- Running under the bird head in Level 6 instead of killing it
- Better Levels 6 and 7 boss fight strategy - four knife shots replace one Dragon attack
- Much better Round 2, Level 7 Bracelet strategies vs. the bird heads and the bosses
The most time saved during this run is at the last 3 bosses. The Bracelet does more damage the closer you use it. Of course, this increases your odds of getting hit. If you're armorless but keep your shots close-range, you don't actually lose much time.
The final boss went as well as it could, with lots of point-blank hits. I did get hit, but was knocked ONTO a platform that I wouldn't have been able to reach had I fallen normally. So it actually saved me time. The rest is just up to the timing of the platforms and laser shots matching up.
Arthur dies in the ending credits. It's because he's trying to use B to jump, unaware that I switched that with A in the settings. He Game Overs because I had set the # of lives to 1.
Thank yous to all the ustreamers who supported me in this and watched so many hours of pain before this was finished.
This game was voted Second Hardest Game of All Time for a Twingalaxies article in September 2009, losing the #1 spot to Battletoads by a single vote.
The following list is copied and slightly modified from my 2008 comments.
"During the recording of this speedrun, I failed many times. The following is a list of things that went wrong and ended my attempt at least once - and in some cases many, many times.
1.Got the wrong weapon at the start
2. Hit by zombie
3.Hit by dog
4.Hit by skull fireball
5.Hit by falling skull
6.Hit by an eyeball shot by a clam
7.Hit by the clam
8.Jumped too soon and got swept away by a tidal wave
9.Missed the platform and jumped into the water
10. Jumped into a spiky balloon
11. Hit by Level 1 boss
12.Hit by ghost
13.Hit by axe
14.Hit by mimic
15.Missed a jump to the next raft platform
16.Hit by fish
17.Hit by star
18.Ran into an item drop that was a weapons change
19.Hit by shell shot by Level 2 boss
20.Hit by Level 2 boss
21.Hit by yellow devil
22.Hit by fire breath
23.Hit by falling lava
24.Jumped into lava pit
25.Hit the side of a bone platform
26.Hit by bat
27.Jumped into a gargoyle
28.Missed the jump onto a moving platform and fell
29.Hit by falling goblin
30.Hit by blue demon
31.Didn't make it to the rotating platform in time and hit ground spikes
32.Hit by green fireball
33.Fell off moving platform
34.Hit by gas jet
35. Hit by blue devil
36.Hit by fireball from Level 4 boss
37.Jumped into frozen thorns
38.Hit by projectile from flower
39.Hit by ice breath
40.Walked off the ledge
41.Jumped into roof spikes
42.Knocked into thorns by avalanche
43.Hit by fire breath of Level 6 boss
44.Hit by laser beam from Level 6 boss
45.Hit by bird head
46.Jumped onto fake chest
47.Hit by fire breath of Level 7 boss
48.Hit by laser of Level 7 boss
49.Hit by final boss's lasers
50.And sometimes I'd just quit because I spent too much time missing jumps or shots."
All other strategies used in this speedrun are self-apparent, if you'd like any more details on why I'm doing what I do, please ask me on the SDA forums or AIM me at Mozart2507.
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