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The first Castlevania-series game for GBA was released in June 2001. It is 1830 and the evil Camilla has brought back Dracula from the grave. When faced with the Lord of Darkness, two vampire hunters, Hugh Baldwin and Nathan Graves, get separated from their esteemed teacher, Morris Baldwin. As Nathan, you must use the Dual Setup System (DSS) to combine cards, creating spell-like effects, to track down your master and destroy Dracula.


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Magician Mode 0:19:04 by Riku Vanhanen, done in 8 segments.

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Author's comments:

At first I like to thank Nate and Mikwuyma to helping me in uploading process.

I also like thank my bro MASTER88 for helping me with uploading and Belmont for his tricks what he used in his run. Vertical velocity is huge time saver what really motivated me to do this run, and non-elemental bigbone is little timesaver, but this makes game much more fun.

Segment 1 00.00 - 02.54

This was bit annoying segment, because of save skip before Cerberus. Save skip in this place mean, that you must count your HPs very well, one extra hit and you're dead. Cerberus is easy with Diana+griffin, but I did stupid mistake with changing my DSS, so I did some time loss here, I though that it's not that necessary to play this segment again. After taking double jump, I do extra pause, because I've everytime pressed pause here in my old runs, but I avoid those at the end of game. Mainly this went still very well.

Segment 2 02.54 - 04.12

This was short and easy segment. I count my HPs and run through enemies as much as I have HPs. Save is useless to skip because next segment have dangerous enemies, so you don't win any time there.

Segment 3 04.12 - 05.46

This segment is one of the hardest segments in whole run. At first I wear off all my HPs for running through enemies. Then Necromancer must kill with one big bone, usually it takes much tries and makes this segment frustrating. After taking tackle there's again unnecessary pause, but in other segments I don't do this anymore. Before machine tower there is zombie thief room, which is hard and manipulating. Jumping over zombie thiefs was one of the biggest problems here, if you do too slow jump, he kill you, if you jump before taking hit to ground, you do double jump and you're dead. Another problem here is ectoplasms, usually those appear in wrong places, which means dying. At the end of room I do one sec running mistake, but it was like biggest mistake in whole segment, so I was happy.

Segment 4 05.46 - 07.14

This is my favorite segment in this run. Good plan how to avoid stops, then this goes quite easily. Iron Golem with one big bone isn't fun at the end of segment, but I got it pretty fastly. This is the most perfect segment in this run.

Segment 5 07.14 - 09.32

Another fun segment. I try run through as many enemies as I can, I did quite good plan. Evil hand room is the hardest thing in this segment and it took several tries, it's not perfect I guess. At the end of segment I do vertical velocity trick, which is pretty easy when you know how to do this, it took still two restarts. There's used 11 stalctice summons, which is maybe minimal amount what you need to do. Mistake when I gone save room.

Segment 6 09.32 - 11.38

This segment was really disgusting, this took several weeks to do enough well, but still the most embarrassing segment in whole run. Camilla fight is so frustrating, even though it's the first thing in segment. Throwing two big bones, you need to be lucky, chance is about 1/100. Getting two big bones don't still mean that you kill boss, if your jump isn't enough high, bone don't take hit to boss, which is really harmful thing, happen me few times. Well, I got perfect boss fight this time, and I played this segment quite well under pressure. Unfortunately at the end of segment there happen stupid but understandable mistake, so I needed to change pluto+unicorn, other alternative was dying, so I lost many seconds.

Segment 7 11.38 - 14.00

This segment is difficult to play perfectly. I avoid using pluto+unicorn too much, but the final dark armors are hard to pass, so I change my DSS here. Hugh fight : What can I say? Faster what I decided to do, this really made me nervous. I though that I jump over Devil, you save some game time with this, however it was too big risk after this Hugh fight. Mainly this was still great segment.

Segment 8 14.00 - 15.51

The final segment. This was very good segment, easily the best Dracula fight what I've ever done. Before Dracula I did small mistake in ceremonial room, but it seems be less than second.

First form : very nice one round kill, using Belmont's strategy.
Second form : One round kill. four little bones is the biggest mistake here.
Third form : Perfect one round kill, except one extra pause.

After Dracula's dying I press start and watch my in game time, which is 15.51. Time is really amazing.

Mainly I'm really happy for this speedrun, there's not any bigger mistakes and I've done my best in this speedrun, I hope you guys like this speedrun.

I keep now bit break for this game, but at some moment I can maybe do some single segment speedruns, those are quite fun to do because you don't need play that perfectly. Segmented runs are quite much pain, but maybe I do some more segmented runs too in future, but now I don't wanna even think about that.

Fighter Mode 0:31:14 by Nolan Pflug.

Author's comments:

I started this run a few days after I got the 0:40:48 SS time. I knew the best way to go was to force Strength Rings to defeat later bosses a lot faster, and to not kill so much. Segment one took longer than most other segments because I kept changing my mind about if I wanted to force a drop of a Wrist Band or not, and if I wanted to save before Cerberus. Like most segmented runs it turns out to be the worst segment, because I got better as I went and also I regretted the decision. I should've forced the Band and I should've saved, making it 10 segments. Instead I tried to get a nice Cerberus battle and reset if I didn't... but I got very sick of that. He needs to turn blue to have a good fight but he only does it like 1/8th of the time (or I just had really bad luck) so I ended up accepting a fight where he turned red.

I limited the segments to one random thing each and in the second one it is definitely Necromancer. His first form is a little tricky but I quickly came up with a good strategy. The second form involves praying he doesn't turn into an energy ball on one of his two chances. Of course that's not the end of the segment and sometimes I got good fights that got ruined after that. At 2:30 you might wonder why I seem slow and it's because that bone the skeleton throws ruined a segment once.

The random part of segment 3, Iron Golem, isn't as easy to do well as you might think. The number of hits each boomerang takes can vary a lot and I need to beat him before my hearts run out. In segment 4 I need to force my first Strength Ring from a Were-bear. If I would get a Night Suit from a Hyena along the way I wouldn't complain, but I never got a ring when I got one of the suits. Even if the first bear gave a ring I'd still kill the rest to try to get the second one, but this time it was the last bear that dropped. There's a tricky shortcut after the drop that ruined a few segments.

A large shortcut in segment 5 looks harder than the one in segment 4 but I think it's not that much more difficult, and only 35 seconds into the segment. Of course then comes forcing another Strength Ring from a selection of only two Were-Bears. Many more resets from that. In this run everything went perfectly until I got hit by a Were-panther, but I said I'd go on because I wouldn't get the darn ring... and then I did. Boy was I cursing as I wall jumped up to the save.

Segment 6 took two weeks, not because of Adramalech, but because of what's after. For Adr. I need to be in just the right spot so that each boomerang hits eight times, and thanks to my very high STR, that kills him with only four of them. After the fight there's three minutes of running to the Underground Waterway and doing its first half. Doing it all without mistakes took a lot of tries.

Getting the rest of the way to Camilla is pretty easy. It took me a while to come up with a good strategy for her, and it involves hoping she does a certain attack after she reaches the left side of the room. The boomerang is my savior again, only 7 to take her out. I missed a jump right before the save room which cost a little time.

I thought this segment would take a month or longer. I need to force a drop of Soldier Fatigues from the Catoblepas in the secret room with a Heart up. It's very rare... takes a few times even when you have 6000 LCK on Thief mode. Because of that I was often taking up to five seconds of mistakes just to get to the darn thing to kill it. I ended up getting this segment the first night I tried it after only an hour or so, but there's one bad mistake where my Roc Wing usage sent me straight into the ceiling. This seems to be because of the way I hold the GameCube controller, sometimes when I press R to do the super jump it just doesn't do it, probably because even though I'm pressing up+left, it's not "enough up" for the GBA to see it as both up and left, only left.

The final segment is both Hugh and Dracula since there's no good save point after Hugh. The Dark Armors aren't fun, especially the first two. I think I only ever made it all the way to Hugh without getting hit once. Got hit twice this time. Hugh is pretty easy, and I love killing him by sliding into him. Dracula's first form is easy, he only gets to appear twice. I stupidly got hit by his fire bats but it makes for a cool shot when I get the final level ups. Ideally I would get Dracula's rock summoning form next because I can take him out right there. But like Cerberus's red/blue decision, it doesn't seem to be balanced at 1/3rd of the time. So I just took anywhere where I beat him on the second appearance, and this time I barely was able to.

The final form is really hard to get good boomerang hits on. Some of the ones I tossed only hit once, but I was able to beat him in only two rounds, my goal. I also got lucky in that he only appeared twice each for his rush across the screen attack. I can't tell you what the game timer is because I don't show it and frankly don't care... but I'll mention that on a previous attempt I did look and it was 29:02. Since this is better, I'll say with confidence that it was <= 28:59.

Under 31 minutes real time is obviously possible, practically from my shoddy segment 1 alone, but I don't know about under 30. I won't be trying it! I did try an SS luck mode run after I did the 36:58 SS fighter, but I never got very far. I'm done with this game.

Single-segment Fighter Mode 0:32:46 by Riku Vanhanen.

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Author's comments:

At first, thanks to Nate and Mike for helping in uploading. Then thanks to my bro and genius friend who helped me with torrent.

Falling to Catacombs went well, and whole Catacombs was very nice. There was unnecessary jump quite beginning of the level, but it was just very minor mistake. I take heart MAX up, because you really need it. After this, I go to Hopper room and take one gauntlet, which comes from one round, I kill one extra Hopper if I get second gauntlet at same time, but didn't got it of course, but it's too random to get, so there's no sense to try it. Cerberus went well as allways, it's very easy to play well. Then I run to Abyss Stairway without bigger mistakes.

While going up, I do very minor mistake with running, and some Gremlins would have been little bit better places, but I lose only second or something in this. Okay, Outer Wall, I practiced this first skeleton bomber with slide and it was easy to do, however now I screwed it and it looks little rough, but this don't take still very much time, about three seconds, though. After Outer Wall, I do very stupid skeleton knight hit, but otherwise game goes well when going to Necromancer. Yes, very good Necromancer fight, without energy ball attacks. One hit to him, but this don't slow me, because otherwise I need to dodge his attack, so I got extra hit. When going to Machine Tower, I do minor mistake with Zombie Thief, then I get Prison Garb and I equip it, I don't know is it good decision, equip take some time, but it gives +5 strength, and affect of this goes to end of game if you don't get any better one.

Machine Tower was really nice, it's disgusting level, but quite easy, however one mistake might screw whole run, that's way I wait little moment when Fox Archer shoot his arrow. Iron Golem went very well I got very good crucifix hits to him. Then I take Kick Boots and after this there's minor mistake with running, then I run save room to get full energies, I think you can skip this, but it might be huge risk. I kill Hyenas if they drop me Night Suit, and they not, and then very cute falling episode.

Eternal Corridor went perfectly, ectoplasms were in right places and nothing else mistakes as well. I don't take Strength ring, don't even try, sure it's worth to have, but it is just unnecessary time waste if you don't get it. Chapel Tower goes well, I use shortcut of course because it is very easy, I don't kill even Heat Shade, there's allways little risk that she shoot you down, but I don't usually screw it....well, this was exception, close your eyes if you don't like mistakes, I lose about 8-9 seconds. After this episode you can open your eyes and imagine that nothing happened. I kill two hyenas, but no night suit. Andramelech without dodging, bit unluck so I did two hits to fireballs, but mainly it isn't bad mistake. After this I go down, I should take full energies at the middle of Chapel Tower, but I don't take. Very first run where I don't collect full hearts before Underground waterway, I save some time with this.

Underground Waterway goes well, I need to go saveroom, because I skip chapel tower save, but I don't think this is much slower alternative. Camilla with fast strat, could have been bit better. Second Crucifix throw was quite bad, and ending wasn't perfect, could have been few seconds faster I think, but quite nice fight still. After this I do my final saveroom visit, in theory you can skip this too, but you should be crazy if you do this. Outer Wall heart MAX up isn't necessary if you try get perfect run or if you have gotten heart drops from enemies, but otherwise final fight is too painful.

Observation Tower begin well, but when I'm going to Catoblepas room, I do stupid mistake. Maybe Catoblepas drop me Soldier Fatigues, no this stupid cow didn't dropped. Dullahan room went well except I missed big heart, bit later I jump between Dark armors and take stupid damage lost here, then stupid hit to dark armor before Hugh throw me down. Hugh went well, except crucifix throw at the begin of second form could have been bit better, but that's not bad mistake. After Hugh I collect full hearts, and then I'm going out of here. I try pass devil without damage, which was mistake.

Then, it's the time of Dracula.

1st form : Perfect three round kill
2nd form : Yeah, laser attack and perfect one round kill
3rd form : First round come from right side, but I don't have perfect crucifix hits. Second round come from wrong side, so I can't do much damage. Third round, it's all or nothing, yeah right side, and great crucifix throws. I success kill him with my final crucifix. Two round kill is possible with perfect luck.

After Dracula dies, I pause game and time is 29.30, which is my new record. I'm sure that sub 29 in game time is possible even without strength rings. With strength rings you can do anything, but it's days of time waste even in segmented runs, so you can't wait that I spend years playing this run. Enjoy.

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