SDA logo

Castlevania: HD is a mashup of characters and settings from the three DS games, made possible by The Grimoire, a cursed book within which lies the history of Castlevania. Featuring Double Jump, Treasure Chests, and a Skeleton Form, players navigate the maze-like levels to stop the dark lord from Reviving. Mastery of the different characters is the soul of the game, although with necessary grinding for character stat boosts, and with praying to Dark Magic for item drops becoming a staple early on. There are many playing styles to be experimented with, from whip-wielding martial arts maniacs to mages with bound spells. The self-contained stages are also quite varied, everything from the vortex to hell to an Egyptian pyramid complete with hieroglyphs makes an appearance. The normal and hard difficulties will keep you coming back until you've gotten totally crushed both of them.

CastlevaniaHD   CastlevaniaHD

Note about categorization: Please refer to this table for information about which categories are accepted for SDA runs. PS3 runs that don't employ zips are listed under "Xbox 360" on this page. If you're running ILs for both chapters 1-6 and 7-11, please make two separate submissions.

Return to the Game List, the FAQ, or the Home Page.

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with Charlotte: 0:11:01.30

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Caught in the Cradle of Decay 0:01:51.34 2013-04-09 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Lord of Unseen Strings 0:01:31.90 2013-04-07 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
The End of Chaos 0:01:33.43 2013-04-08 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Esquisse of Violence 0:02:32.50 2013-04-07 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Song of the Unslakable Blade 0:01:04.21 2013-04-08 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Come, Sweet Hour of Death 0:02:27.92 2013-04-09 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare

Author's comments:

Big shoutouts to Aftermath for letting me use his save file for these ILs so I can maintain 0:00:00 Charlotte playtime on my file.  Also big shoutouts to Zyre for doing the first runs as Charlotte and giving me some really good ideas for routes.  Also big thanks to Redarremer for letting us use his file while at AGDQ and for helping with brainstorming.

Charlotte is the worst character in this game.  Hands down.  She can't dive kick, which means that any and all speed tricks in this game are not available to her.  Therefore, she has to do the "intended route" for every stage.  Her IL table is over 4 minutes slower than Simon for this reason alone.  Her offensive options are many, but very few of them are actually useful.  Her spells cost a lot of MP (unlike R.Dagger) and most of the BDC-able spells either have poor range or useless trajectory.  As a result, figuring out how to kill each boss was rather tricky.  More on that in the level notes.

The main "speed tricks" for Charlotte are pretty basic.  As you land, you hesitate for a few frames.  Therefore, I want to minimize the number of times I land from jumps.  When I do jump, I want it to last as long as possible and attack as many times as possible to clear away enemies.  The more I can walk straight, the faster I'll be.  I can also gain a bit of time by sliding off the last bit of a ledge so it cancels.  I want to avoid walking up slopes because walking speed is reduced there; I always walk down slopes because it looks faster, but I don't think it actually IS faster.

Most of the Charlotte users I see online tend to stick with R.Skeleton and R.Fireball.  For a speed run, those aren't very useful.  From all my experimenting, I have found the following spells to be the most useful for my purposes: ice needle, splash needle, hellfire, skeleton gunman, and R.fireball.  Ice needle is perhaps her best spell.  It protects her AND damages enemies.  It can be cast well in advance and hits above and below her so it is super useful in almost every stage.  Hellfire and splash needle serve the same purpose: they are long range and damaging spells.  These allow me to clear out enemies that far ahead of Charlotte.  I absolutely love these two spells.  Hellfire is also good because it can be rapidly BDC'd for big damage and doesn't spread out as it travels.  Skeleton gunman is the fastest DPS Charlotte is capable of.  Unfortunately, it can only be used while grounded, which limits it to only a few situations.  Lastly, R.fireball is good when all those options fail.

For every stage, I use dual fool's tablets to maximize her INT.  Damage is everything.

Caught in the Cradle of Decay (0:01:51.34)

This is actually probably the hardest level for Charlotte. There are tightly-packed groups of enemies all over, and lots of bones to avoid. None of her spells are really suited for this. I use a strange combination of spells here: ice needle, hellfire, nova skeleton (whatever it is called), and dark inferno. Dark inferno is used after Gergoth falls to clear out all the axe armors, minotaur, etc. If I used hellfire down there, I'd run out of MP before Gergoth died, just because of how much MP it costs. Nova skeleton is used in a few other locations. You'll see where. It works REALLY well in these places. It is a very situation spell.

Since I don't have berserker mail equipped, I am free to damage boost with Charlotte! I take a damage boost off of Gergoth's laser (never thought I'd say that!) at the drawbridge because it is actually faster than waiting. I've never beaten the laser though, so I don't think it's possible. The main issue for Charlotte is the pendulum section. The axe armors can anti-air me really easily, so I have to kill all of them without losing much time. Nova skeleton really helps. The second pendulum room is borderline impossible to do quickly as Charlotte. I spam the hell out of ice needle to create a shield as I ride the bottom pendulum; this protects me from the bones of the bottom skeletons. I cannot make the jump to the top pendulum from the left side (with this pendulum timing; I can if I'm a bit slower getting to this room).

This is the only time I've made it to Gergoth fast enough to pass by him on the left. I *think* this saves time, but I don't know. Anyways, boss fight is standard.

Lord of Unseen Strings (0:01:31.90)

I use Zyre's route for this stage with a few optimizations. Instead of hercules/tough ring, I use two fool's tablets. I can still damage boost through the fire with these if I'm fast enough. The level itself is pretty straightforward. Just R.fireball the threats away and then do some ledge-BDC on Puppet Master. Charlotte doesn't have enough MP to use caviar on any of these bosses, so I have to use mana prism. It is unfortunate.

The End of Chaos (0:01:33.43)

This is a really cool chapter to do as Charlotte. Big props to Aftermath for finding this strat for Menace. Demon seed is a VERY situational spell, but this happens to be one of those situations. Menace has 3 weak points and we need to break 2 of them to kill him. We BDC an entire MP bar of demon seed and then aggro Menace at the right time so that the demon seeds destroy his chest. In the meantime, I get into position on the gel blocks to BDC skeleton gunman into his kneecap. Getting this to work is stupidly difficult (the very last demon seed killed Menace's chest in this run). This is the second time I've ever killed him with this strat. But when it works, it works really well!

Esquisse of Violence (0:02:32.50)

Pretty simple stage. I made one extra jump at the start because I missed the hellfire on the way up on my second jump. I might have also made an extra jump in the ectoplasm room at the end. However, this run makes it to the elevator one cycle earlier than I've ever done it so I'm happy with that. On Brauner, I have to delay slightly with my Mana Prism because I BDC Skeleton Gunman so fast it overloads the hit count limit and additional bullets pass through him. It's really silly. I have died many times from that very last Dullahan using any attack during my fall, so just getting any completed run is a relief.

Song of the Unslakable Blade (0:01:04.21)

It's strange that this level isn't a nightmare to run! Haha. I'm used to it being impossible. This is a breath of fresh air. Anyways, I use a TON of ice needle here to kill imps, cave trolls, medusa heads, whatever. I want to load up on it before the malachi because if he does anything but the massive energy ball attack, I can just walk through him. Sadly he uses energy ball here.

The elevator is Charlotte's ONLY option on this stage so I don't have to worry about harpy luck. Well, that's kind of a lie. If I get lucky with the harpy before dullahan, I can damage boost off her so I get boosted left. If I don't get lucky, I have to damage boost off of dullahan himself, which pushes me right.

Death is a pain as Charlotte. I tried a lot of different options here but I always ran out of MP before killing him. Demon seed, hellfire, etc. This seems to be the best. I load up on ice needle going into the fight, BDC R.fireball until my MP is gone, mana prism and wait for the door to close, then use some more R.fireball. I don't even attempt to dodge Death. If I get lucky, he dies. Normally, he doesn't. I got lucky in this fight.

Come, Sweet Hour of Death (0:02:27.92)

I didn't even notice this had no background music when I captured it. Oh well. Charlotte doesn't deserve music.

Pretty simple level. Just hellfire enemies away before I run into them. I damage boost off of malachi because it's faster than trying to find a place to land safely and then kill him and buer. I need to damage boost through both final guards, but because of fool's tablet I won't have enough health. Fortunately there's food right before them. I load some ice needles before I get there so the wall crumbles immediately, and then damage boost through them both and head to Drac.

I need all the MP I can get for this fight. This is a really hard fight to win, honestly. I load up on ice needles before drac 1 appears, but if he comes from the wrong side or in the wrong spot, I cannot hit him with ice needles (I need to be behind him to get a 1-cycle). It is really rare for him to be in such a position. Even if he does appear in a good spot, he needs to use the fire pillars or dark inferno; if he uses hellfire I can't kill him before he disappears. R.fireball is the most damaging option here, sadly.

Form 2 is killed by BDC R.fireball. Nothing new here.

Form 3 is very hard. I tried several different strats on him, but nothing was very effective. I can't BDC him with any of Charlotte's spells. Therefore, I load some ice needles beforehand, use an R.skeleton right before he appears for an extra hit or two, and then try to R.fireball him to death before he moves. I BARELY killed him this time. Wow.

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with DLC, Simon: 0:13:45.07

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire 0:01:38.17 2013-08-23 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
The One Who Is Many 0:02:16.12 2013-09-03 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Lord of Flies 0:01:22.48 2012-08-03 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Origins 0:04:50.64 2016-03-29 'Wizdaddy'
The Legend of Fuma 0:03:37.66 2016-04-22 'Wizdaddy'

PJ's comments:

HUGE shoutouts to Omnigamer for recording all of these chapters for me in 1080p! It took me 4 years to finish this IL table, so it was very important to me that they were captured in the highest quality.

I am not going to write nearly as many overall comments for these ILs because I covered most of my history and background with this game with my no-DLC IL table. If you are interested in reading about that (plus some fundamental background with this game's mechanics), then please consult those comments.

I use mostly the same equipment setup in these chapters I do in the others, but I will reiterate:


Head: Fuma Helm
Body: Berserker Mail
Boots: Sonic Boots
Cloak: Retro Cloak
Accessory1: Fool's Tablet/Apollonian Ring
Accessory2: Fool's Tablet/Apollonian Ring
Item: Caviar/High Mind Up/Mousse Cake/Melon(???)

Changes every chapter. R.Dagger is always on down+A, the others cycle around.


I can honestly say I never expected to finish this. CVHD has been an ongoing joke because we all knew there was no chance I'd ever finish the full table of levels with Simon without zips. It just didn't seem possible. Even if I did finish a level, we had no expectations that it would actually be good. Haha. Just being finished is a surprise enough, but the fact that every one of these stages is one I can watch back without regrets is really shocking. I have watched each level pretty close to 20 times each (some stages, like chapters 4, 6, and 9 have been played back probably close to 80 times each). I am absolutely thrilled to finally have finished this project after 4.5 years of on-and-off attempts.

I really hope you all enjoy watching these! I (rather, Omnigamer) have provided a video of all 11 stages encoded in one 1080p video without loading so it is much more convenient to view the entire run. I highly recommend watching that. Thanks!

Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire (0:01:38.17)

The randomness in this chapter is absolutely staggering. As with every stage, I could write a novel about what can and does go wrong, but I'll try to be concise here. Every ghost spawns in a random location, and every ectoplasm has minor variations in behavior and positioning that sometimes make it impossible to pass. Mummies also take action randomly, and the harpies at the beginning can deivate from the expected pattern. Astarte herself ends the run if she uses anything but temptation. The boulders and platforms are cycle-based.

Simon is a really fun character to use here, because his height grants him SLIGHTLY more mobility in these dangerous situations. He has a really difficult climb up the outside of the pyramid compared to Shanoa, Julius, or Soma, but the interior isn't too bad. Corner boosts in this level are incredibly important, and I got every corner boost I tried for except one really big one in the nova skeleton/bubbledog room before the boulders.

After hitting the switch by the final guard, I need to hit two corner boosts in order to make it to the first platform cycle. I hit the first two corner boosts, so I didn't even attempt the third in case I bonked the Malachi.

I use triple R.Firebomb for the reason that you see on Astarte. I need to cycle between them because each piercing subweapon can only hit once per active hitbox. Using three R.Firebombs and spacing them properly lets me damage Astarte like 6-9 times per tick. The damage stacks insanely fast and she dies before temptation actually casts.

My execution in this level is really good, although I do lose time from the one missed corner boost. This is my fastest time by ~2 seconds.

The One Who Is Many (0:02:16.12)

This chapter has, hands down, the most room for improvement. It is also the least likely out of any of these stages to ever see an improvement. The mistakes and bad luck in this chapter are pretty apparent, including using a melon on the boss fight because I thought it increased INT (lol nope).

The main reason this will not be improved is because of what we call the long corner boost. There are 4 underwater corner boosts in this level which save a lot of time each. I miss the first of these (fittingly called "the impossible boost"), but I hit the other three. The long corner boost is the one I hit when the in-game timer is at ~28:55. It looks like a standard corner boost, but if you don't have a good subpixel value, you will not actually make it into the water. I'd say in 9 out of 10 of my attempts here, this corner boost will land on the opposite ledge. This is a ridiculously stupid boost, but it saves a TON of time. I believe when I timed it out before, it was around 15 seconds faster to hit this first try.

Not only do you need to make it into the water, but you need extremely good luck on the ghost spawns. Since you have to continue holding right to maintain corner boost speed, the ability to dodge ghosts is extremely hindered. I do this boost absolutely perfectly.

Overall, I hit a LOT of corner boosts in this stage, including 3 of the critical water boosts and the two long boosts in the final corridor before legion, but I got tremendously bad luck all over the level, had a mediocre boss fight, and had a few long falls instead of canceling them properly. At the end, I am rewarded for my efforts with the beloved javelin. Totally worth it. This time is over 10 seconds faster than my next best time still. I will not try to improve this.

Lord of Flies (0:01:22.48)

Pretty simple stage. I kill everything at the start with R.Daggers and then triangle jump like crazy. Then climb the castle like crazy. Note: even though I made some minor errors on the approach and climb, I actually don't lose any time here because I hit the earliest possible guillotine cycle at the top.

Once I reach the top of the castle, there is one mandatory corner boost and one lesser corner boost. Much like in chapter 8, the outcome of the lesser corner boost is dependent on the subpixels. I got a bad value so I didn't land on the opposite ledge. Fortunately, that doesn't cost time because I still made it to the earliest flamethrower cycle that I've seen. It might be possible to make it one cycle sooner, but I never have.

Beelzebub is a really cool fight! I used to use mana prism here, but Arkhanno encouraged me to use caviar instead. The result is this really ballsy strat that only just barely works sometimes. I was one hit away from dying to a fly (axe barely killed him!) and my last attack killed Beelzebub before I ran out of MP. Very nice stage.

Wizdaddy's comments:

Fuma’s Helm
Berserker Mail
Sonic Boots
Retro Cloak
Fool’s Tablet
Fool’s Tablet
3x Mousse Cake
The speed from Sonic Boots trumps the couple of extra points of damage from the Fuma’s Greaves. It also doesn’t make a difference which set of mousse cakes are used since they all provide 4 INT with different variations in Luck and MND: Berry – 8 LUCK; Mint – 4 LUCK + 4 MND; Mango – 8 MND. MND increases magical defense, but I die in one hit later after the first 20 seconds anyways, so the stat’s irrelevant.
B = R. Fire Bomb
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

Origins (0:04:50.64)

Previously, I had a time of 05:09.XX with Simon and part of the motivation in getting that run was to prove PJ wrong that Fool’s Tablets were worth it after all regardless of always being poisoned from them. Thanks PJ! :P
After a getting in a time of 04:48.17 using Julius, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could get under 5 minutes with Simon and boy was I surprised how much time I saved. Besides better mini-boss fights and not messing around with killing the Ravens & Ghosts in Stage 5 (Death’s Lair) as much, I saved the majority of my time from The Count himself. I did so by winging it with spamming R.Boomerangs via slot rotation and saved around 14 seconds. I used the Mousse Cake right away facing The Count so I could maximize the R. Boomerang damage allowing for less hits and as such a faster fight. Dracula transformed only after two cycles and a big part of that is the damage difference between the Whip’s 87 Damage and the R. Boomerang’s 112 Damage (After Mousse Cake Consumption), a 25 point difference.
Overall, I’m very happy with this run and don’t plan on revisiting it despite the few hiccups in missing the fast corner boosts prior to the first boss & delay in throwing the R. Fire Bomb against the second mummy due to execution error. Only way I’ll come back and take a crack at it is if someone else beats it XD

The Legend of Fuma (0:03:37.66)

This chapter’s much more tame to run compared to 10 with hardly any RNG besides Chimyriad, Ryukotsuki, and somewhat Oxocutioner. It’s too bad I got greedy in the beginning section hitting the flame pillars, but was able to compensate hitting that third corner boost at the very least.
Looking back, I think it might be slightly faster to double whip (Whip + Fireball) Oxocutioner like PJ did in his run although I know that fight would’ve definitely gone quicker if I aimed the R. Fire Bomb a little more to the right allowing the hits to rack up and finish him off more swiftly.
Chimyriad I could’ve finished off a tad earlier with BDC’ing R. Daggers as opposed to jumping over him when he charged at me had I realized how little health he had left.
For Decapiclops, the pathway leading to him was nigh perfect (Sans Fast Corner Boosting of course) except for the tiny little botch right by his door. As for the fight itself, it was pretty close to if not perfect. It’s important to note had I not consumed the Mousse Cake right before the fight, I would’ve done 74 damage per dagger as opposed to 79 a piece. Reason why this is important is because I hit him for a total of 26 Daggers (8 sets of 3 Daggers + 2 extra) and doing the math, 26 * 5 points in damage difference is a total of 130. That means it would’ve taken two more daggers to kill him wasting more time in the end without the mousse cake.
The long stretch to Ryukotsuki was pretty clutch especially with the two faster corner boosts I was able to pull off. Now for the boss, it’s optimal if he throws his projectiles at you in his first form as opposed to either teleporting/jumping, but it’s all based on luck much like the final form. The second form is nothing to take seriously; just throw a R. Fire Bomb on his hit box then get behind him and spam R. Daggers. For the final form, I got very lucky he went for the double punch in the beginning and kinda blew it because I had some poor spacing on throwing the R. Boomerangs, which could’ve resulted in his death. I got even luckier he decided to go for a punch AGAIN by doing his Chimyriad attack and was able to kill him as a result of it. Seriously though, this boss is completely random and if he decides to not punch for 25 seconds, it’s definitely in the realm of possibility, which is why many times players will probably be resetting even if they get a perfect leadup to him.

In conclusion, I thought PJ’s submissions were a little outdated and thought I’d bring to light Simon’s potential a little more on the harder chapters when playing normally or if you’re fresh meat and new to the game altogether =P

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with Simon: 0:07:36.56

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Caught in the Cradle of Decay 0:01:19.64 2012-02-29 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Lord of Unseen Strings 0:01:19.66 2013-12-04 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
The End of Chaos 0:00:54.22 2012-08-01 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Esquisse of Violence 0:00:56.03 2012-04-17 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Song of the Unslakable Blade 0:00:55.73 2014-05-05 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Come, Sweet Hour of Death 0:02:11.28 2012-08-11 Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare

Author's comments:

A major thanks to Aftermath for rerecording chapters 1, 3, 4, and 6 for me, and a huge shoutout to Omnigamer for recording the rest of them! The result is a set of absolutely beautiful videos that finally matches the amount of time I put into them! I definitely appreciate the effort.

As for game-related thanks, there are many more. CVHD is the first game I downloaded for XBLA. I vaguely remembered Aftermath jokingly telling me to play CVHD with him back before I even had a 360, so when I finally got one I bought this and asked if he still wanted to play. He's really the one who got me into the game, and much of a pain in the ass as it was to run, I really enjoy playing this. So, thanks Aftermath. After he beat every level with me (rather, for me), I obviously needed to do some farming/grinding for gear. I farmed a lot with a few different people (romscout, FDD, later Arkhanno) but Mecha Richter was a regular in the grinding sessions and I really appreciate that. Thanks! Most of my strategies for these levels were slowly developed on my own, but Aftermath, Mecha Richter, and later Arkhanno helped me fine-tune them and gave some really good suggestions/motivation to help me actually get this finished.

This game has kind-of been an ongoing joke between Aftermath, Mecha Richter, and myself with others eventually joining in on the fun just because this is such a ridiculous game to run. It is so unbelievably intense to speed run that none of us ever expected an IL table to be finished. In fact, it still really isn't "finished" because the DLC levels aren't included in this submission. This is still more than any of us expected, though. I finished my first IL of this game (Chapter 5) back in July of 2011 and was so exhausted and angry after doing that one level, I took a 4 month break before even trying another level. In fact, all 3 of us basically quit after that point because we realized what would be required of a submittable IL table. It's just the way this game works. The levels are so full of bullshit and randomness that even if your execution is spot-on, you can just get totally boned later on from one enemy not cooperating. This is especially true for Simon. Miraculously, in February and April of 2012 I came upon some determination and patience of a magnitude never before seen by humans. Haha. Ok, perhaps not, but I have no idea what made me actually finish this IL table. I think it was just excessive hatred.

The category might take a little bit of explanation. I originally used Soma, because he is really fun and fast to use. Eventually I downloaded Simon and thought he was just way too entertaining, so I started using him for farming. At some point, I just stopped using Soma all together and used Simon for everything. After a few long nights with Mecha Richter, Aftermath, Menace, and some Super Potions, Simon's subweapons were maxed and he was ready for action. The "no-zips" decision was made after we found out that they can be used in any level (and not just chapter 10!). We were so angry at this discovery that we just quit and resolved to never do an IL table because it would require either doing all the levels with zips (which is just retarded), or doing chapter 10 without the elevator skip (which is just retarded). Fortunately, SDA allows IL tables for just the basic game with no DLC levels, so away I went!

There are only a few speed tricks that I use in this game, but I use them extremely frequently. The first trick, and my favorite, is triangle jumping. This is basically just dive kicking as rapidly as you can, since dive kicks have a much faster speed than walking. Triangle jumping is the fastest method of ordinary movement for all non-Richter characters. The fastest method of transportation overall for all non-Jonathan characters is what is called "corner boosting". If you dive kick into the last pixel of an edge, you will maintain dive kick speed until you hit the ground. The primary focus in speed running this game, aside from not dying, is to try to hit as many corner boosts as possible. Every boost saves time (except for levels with built-in speed bumps...will be mentioned later). The last little trick I use is called backdash canceling (BDC). Basically, you can cancel a sub-weapon with a backdash, and you can cancel a backdash by crouching. By constantly cycling between sub-weapon, backdash, and crouch, you can very rapidly throw sub-weapons. Conveniently, you can bypass the crouching step by just assigning the sub-weapon of interest (R.Dagger!) to down+special and then just holding down on the analog stick while alternating mashing backdash and special.

There is one strategy that is extremely prevalent in this series of runs: dive kicking off enemies. Since Simon cannot yorick jump, he has to rely on clever manipulation of enemies in order to get to out-of-reach platforms. This is a major pain in the ass because a lot of the enemies cannot always be manipulated to behave (imps, harpies, mermen, sea/fire demons, etc etc etc). However, it is the dive kick that makes speed running possible at all so I can't be too mad.

I have a boatload of comments for each of the levels, but I think the more efficient way to do this would be to describe all of my gear/sub-weapons first and justify it in each level if it changes:


Head: Fuma Helm
Body: Berserker Mail
Boots: Sonic Boots
Cloak: Retro Cloak
Accessory1: Fool's Tablet/Crystal Necklace
Accessory2: Fool's Tablet
Item: Caviar/Mana Prism

A: Bible/R.Boomerang
^A: R.Axe/R.Boomerang/JAVELIN
<A: R.Dagger/R.Boomerang/JAVELIN
vA: R.Dagger

The goal here is to get as high of an INT stat as possible. I didn't have this equipment for chapter 1, but it would not save time there because I already kill Gergoth as quickly as possible. I have to use royal crown and bishamon raiment in chapter 2 because it gives me exactly the right INT stat to kill the sea demon with a dive kick after aggroing him with the bible. Any more INT would kill him. Similarly, in chapter 4 I substitute on fool's tablet with a crystal necklace to lower my int enough for fire demon to die after the second dive kick.

Ok, I think I can safely move on to level comments. Basically every level went exactly as I wanted, so I won't bother touching on most mistakes/good things. Just assume everything I did is intended.


Since my original submission, only chapters 2 and 5 have been improved. I have been unable to improve chapter 3, and chapters 1 and 4 are essentially perfect. Chapter 6 could be improved with the same luck and two additional corner boosts, but I will not be attempting it. Even chapters 2 and 5 can be further improved by not missing the one corner boost I missed in each of those, but I am incredibly happy with all of these finally and have no desire to try to improve them!

Caught in the Cradle of Decay (0:01:19.64)

This level is a giant pain in the ass for Simon (get used to this).  The only saving grace with this stage is that Gergoth is on a timer from the beginning of the level.  That is, as long as you get to him before his second laser, your time will basically be the same.  I don't see how it would be possible to get there before the first laser, so there's a little bit of room for error.

This level is actually very straightforward.  I need at least one merman to be close to the far right wall in the merman room so I can dive kick off of him and into the spike room.  This normally doesn't happen.  They are usually just a LITTLE too far away from the wall so I cannot make it over there.  One of the few benefits for Simon in this stage is the fact that he is so small and can squeeze through that rotating spike thing easily.  I'm bad at that damage boost with other characters so it's very convenient for me.

I usually need to get a few corner boosts in this level to make it to Gergoth in time.  The merman boost and the drawbridge boost are my two favorites to try for.  I've made it to Gergoth once without hitting the merman boost and he fired the laser just as I entered his chamber.  Not good.  The only other concern for Simon in this stage is the second pendulum room.  I cannot reliably land on those pendulums, so I usually just dive kick off a skeleton bone and then off of the amalaric sniper.  If the sniper moves away/up just a little bit though, I cannot dive kick off of him.  I don't even know what I hit with my kick in this run, but I'm not complaining.

Gergoth is supremely easy.  I mash BDC an entire MP bar of R.Daggers in the first phase (entirely unnecessary), use a Mana Prism, and do the same for the second phase.  Not even close to fair.  The only concern in this battle is if a Minotaur lands on me.  If you notice in this run, one Minotaur did a jump slash in the middle of the air and almost ended me.  I actually died to this in one attempt.  So retarded.

Lord of Unseen Strings (0:01:19.88)

I LOVE this level. It is really nuts to run, but it is incredibly fun and looks great when it is done well. There is something insane like 9 possible corner boosts with my route, but I obviously don't try for all of them. In this run, I hit 5 of the 7 corner boosts I tried, and the two that I missed are the most insignificantly boosts in the stage (the boost off the box in the treant room basically does not even save time).

I could talk about this stage for tens of thousands of characters, but I'll just focus on a few things and summarize the rest as follows: this run gets perfect RNG in every place that matters, hit every single critical corner boost, had exceptional movement through the stage itself, and had the best ledge-BDC possible on Puppet Master.

The most frustrating part of this stage is the sea demon dive kick. With this equipment setup, I do the perfect amount of damage with the bible to aggro him without killing him. While I could use a higher INT setup to kill Pupper Master faster, it would make this skip impossible because Sea Demon would die too soon. The placement of the bible throw is obviously pretty precise because if it hits twice, he is dead and there is no way for me to get to the higher platforms. After he is aggro'd, I need him to give me a good pattern and hover in place. The demons really like to fly up and around you sometimes which makes it impossible to land a dive kick.

Puppet Master is a really easy boss fight if I can set it up correctly. I need to land just over halfway past the ledge leading into his room, or else the R.Dagger will not activate him. I have lost attempts here from jumping too far and landing into the room, and from jumping too short and mashing before he is active. So yea, I activate him and then do the best ledge-BDC I have ever done in my life. If you hold a diagonal into the ledge instead of just down during a BDC, you will constantly land back on the ledge. Without this, I'd have to do some normal BDC and then walk forward a bit to not fall off. This is much faster. Caviar is my food of choice here because I don't need the extra MP.

The End of Chaos (0:00:54.22)

This level blows.  It is pretty boring to run because I spend like 20 seconds grabbing an imp to dive kick off of later.  Aftermath mentioned that it was one possible to dive kick off the candle directly over the wall before the patch.  Neither he nor I have been able to do it in this version though.  If that is possible, this run can be improved by like 15 seconds.

Menace himself isn't too bad.  I mash BDC R.Daggers into his chest to instantly kill that during his roar, try to damage his face a bunch, and then try to kill his knee before he does anything.  If he begins jumping, he has to finish even if he is dead (aka, failed attempt).  If he dies while walking, he immediately dies but to actually kill him during that I need to "climb" up his leg with dive kicks.  As fun as that is, it wastes time.  This boss isn't really difficult but it is hard to kill him before he takes action when so few runs actually make it to him.

This run of chapter 3 beats me old run by around 3 seconds.  I have a greatly improved route through the gel block section and kill Menace slightly faster I think.  In my old run, I was throwing the wrong subweapons occasionally, do this time I made sure to only throw good R.Boomerangs and R.Axes.  While doing multiplayer attempts with Aftermath and Mecha Richter, I realized I could throw some R.Boomerangs to the left from that chest-height platform so they pass through his face when they come back to the right.  It miiiiight let me just kill the face instead of dropping down to the knee.  I don't really want to try, though.

Esquisse of Violence (0:00:56.03)

This is actually a really interesting level to run.  Basically something can go wrong every few seconds, but it looks so nice when it is done well.  I initially settled with a 58.88 time before I decided to redo this.  I'm so glad I did.

If Simon throws 6 R.Daggers low enough at the start, it will kill every enemy and I can just triangle jump as fast as I possibly can until I get to the center of the stage.  I guess one of mine was slightly higher than it should have been, and it left the last axe armor alive.  He didn't hit me so it's ok, but I lost some time from the triangle jumps I missed out on.  He can be a really angry enemy if he's left alive though.

The cave troll room is incredibly hard to get through safely and quickly.  You may notice how my R.Axe barely saved my life in this video.  The corner boost dive kick combo off the dullahan is the fastest option for that room, but it is very dangerous because it aggros the dullahan who can get unkind and painful revenge during your return trip.  Aggroing the fire demon is really tricky too because of how precise the bible placement needs to be.  Like in Ch2, two hits from the bible will kill it, but unlike Ch2 there is no wall to line up with.  As a good member of the demon family, fire demon is a dickhead and normally refuses to behave properly.  He likes to fly out of range.  The best part is that while waiting for the fire demon to come get me, cave trolls can actually OHKO me from the ground floor.  Unbelievable!

After the painting, there is a potential corner boost.  It is normally very slightly faster, but since I have to wait for the fire demon anyways I like to just do a long dive kick all the way down.  I replace a Fool's Tablet with a Crystal Necklace in this stage to drop my INT; I need to dive kick off the fire demon twice but I am normally too strong for that.

Caviar + R.Dagger is too strong for Brauner.  No issue at all.  He doesn't even get to move...which seems to be a trend.

Song of the Unslakable Blade (0:00:56.22)

This is the first chapter that I ran (back in 2011), and it was so excruciating that it made me quit for 4 months. In fact, this run took the longest for me to improve, taking nearly 3.5 years since my first finished IL. I could write a few thousand words of comments about everything that can (and does) go wrong in this stage, but I'll do my best to sum it up a little more briefly.

There are a few things to focus on in this stage. First are the corner boosts in the beginning: a double corner boost off the pendulums and a single corner boost in the imp room. Those are actually more significant than in other stages because most of this stage is vertical. Getting those three in one run is pretty rare. Unfortunately, I missed the second pendulum boost in this run, but hit the corner boost after the switch at the top of the stage.

My route has changed in the few years since my first run. Instead of relying on the harpies at the end for my divekick boost, I carry some imps from the first gear room and hope that my movement was consistent enough to manipulate them in a way I am expecting. I'd say this is easier than the harpy boost, but I'd be lying. It has given me more runs to Death, though, so it is worth it.

The other massive change is the Death fight itself. Death is an awkward boss because if you hit him while you are outside the room, Death will fly away and enter his "attack you from outside the boss chamber" phase. What I need to do to fight him optimally is to throw some R.Daggers and then enter the room so they hit him, then back out of the room and fire more, then move back into the room so they hit him. It is awkward because each of those "cycles" is too brief for me to change grips to ledge-BDC mash or anything. I do this really slow BDC instead, which is really awkward and bad. However, this kills Death 100% of the time because he will not take action as you leave the room. The result is a much faster and less random boss fight.

This run is extremely good, with room to improve with a double pendulum boost and better ledge-BDC on Death. However, I have the spectacular damage boost block after killing Death, so essentially this run cannot be beaten in the style category. This is a 0.51 second improvement over my old time, which is staggeringly large for this game.


Come, Sweet Hour of Death (0:02:11.28)

Much like Ch5, I could write a novel about this stage.  There are a few major points I want to hit, but I'll try to keep it brief.  No promises.

I was not happy with my old Chapter 6 time, mostly because it ran into Dullahan.  After getting Fuma Helm and Retro Cloak, and spending many hours doing multiplayer attempts with Aftermath, I felt compelled to try to improve this level.  The major improvement is damage boosting through the second final guard.  I had previously waited for a good pattern to jump over him, but I was inspired by Aftermath to use this method.  I use caviar to heal right before the second final guard; thanks to the new equipment and the INT boost from caviar, I have BARELY enough MP to kill Dracula quickly.  More on that later.  I hit every single corner boost except for both disk armor boosts.  The first one actually cost a bit of time, unfortunately.  Otherwise, this run is perfect.  I got into Drac's chamber a cool 4-5 seconds faster than my old run.

There is one major corner boost I don't try for.  It is only possible for short characters (Simon and Fuma), but even for them it is barely possible.  The boost is off of the platform in the room after the nova skeleton/ectoplasm room.  It is directly under the upper right ledge.  Simon has ~2 pixels of room between his head and the ceiling.  This corner boost can be taken all the way to the lower malachi.  I have only successfully gotten it a few times, and it is so hard to line up properly that I didn't bother trying for it in good attempts.

The true test of the level for Simon comes at the very end.  I need the first corner boost in the final guard room or else I lose 2-3 seconds trying to jump over him.  Simon CAN jump over him so it isn't catastrophic, but it costs a lot of time.  This is a really frustrating end to the level.  I had a few runs of this level that hit every single corner boost up to this point, and I cracked under the pressure and missed the final guard boost.  It costs a huge amount of time, sadly.

Dracula is a pain in the ass.  It is still polite to say "Hello", though.  Using my new strategy, I can kill Drac's first form in one round regardless of his pattern.  Unfortunately, it requires throwing more R.Boomerangs than I can afford, so I lose significant time on the final form if I do this.  I still need him to use the fire pillar or black fireball attack to get the fastest time.  This fast is basically perfect.  I am very pleased with how this went.

This run clocks in around 7 seconds faster than the old run, and is now only 1 second slower than Aftermath's best time with Soma.  This is a MUCH better run.

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with Soma: 0:06:52.34

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Caught in the Cradle of Decay 0:01:18.27 2012-07-26 James 'Aftermath' Downing
Lord of Unseen Strings 0:01:13.85 2012-08-07 James 'Aftermath' Downing
The End of Chaos 0:00:34.62 2011-07-06 James 'Aftermath' Downing
Esquisse of Violence 0:00:40.43 2012-07-18 James 'Aftermath' Downing
Song of the Unslakable Blade 0:00:54.35 2012-08-07 James 'Aftermath' Downing
Come, Sweet Hour of Death 0:02:10.82 2012-08-07 James 'Aftermath' Downing
Caught in the Cradle of Decay (0:01:18.27)

Not a whole lot to say about this one. The route for pretty much all of these levels have been around for a couple of years now and we've just been finding little tricks to optimize stuff as much as humanly possible. You'll notice me throwing some random Man-Eater Plant souls, this is to lag the game very slightly and try to slow the timer. It varies from run to run and stage to stage, but it made a pretty big difference on this run, resulting in a good time. On this stage, Gergoth has set animations he goes through while you're not in his room, so there are windows at which you'll get to him and that determines your final time. If I got to him just after he shot the laser, I could make use of a glitch to cut off a big amount of time, but it's very unlikely that it's possible to make it up there that quickly.

Lord of Unseen Strings (0:01:13.85)

This stage used to be my favorite, but is now my least favorite. It's too bad that I missed the Treant corner boost, but everything else went pretty well.

The End of Chaos (0:00:34.62)

This is pretty much perfect.

Esquisse of Violence (0:00:40.43)

I had thought earlier that this level couldn't be improved (from what I had in mid-2011), but while doing some random multiplayer runs in late 2011 I was seeing that I was getting distressingly close to my single player time. Eventually, I was able to beat the time I had by nearly a second, although I have no idea where that time came from unless it was just better triangle jumping at the start of the level.

Song of the Unslakable Blade (0:00:54.35)

This stage looks like it has a couple of mistakes early on, but the timing for the Harpy room seems like it can't be earlier than that. I had tons of other runs make it in there only to get hit by the harpy. I had tried experimenting with ways to kill either enemy, but all the ideas I had ended up delaying the Yorick jump start. There's a little time to be gained if the corner boost after the switch didn't stop at the platform, but I hit a lower subpixel and didn't react in time. The boss luck was fantastic, although it's quite a shame that I have to take a hit before killing Death. I was never able to get a kill before he hit me, not sure if it's possible.

Come, Sweet Hour of Death (0:02:10.82)

That slide...... This stage goes so well otherwise, I don't think I've ever seen that many corner boosts. One second can come off, but it'll be another year at least before anyone (read: me) tries it.

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with Julius: 0:07:16.00

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Caught in the Cradle of Decay 0:01:17.24 2016-03-23 'Wizdaddy'
Lord of Unseen Strings 0:01:10.27 2016-03-23 'Wizdaddy'
The End of Chaos 0:00:55.97 2016-03-25 'Wizdaddy'
Esquisse of Violence 0:00:51.20 2014-11-27 'Wizdaddy'
Song of the Unslakable Blade 0:00:55.59 2014-12-15 'Wizdaddy'
Come, Sweet Hour of Death 0:02:05.73 2015-07-01 'Wizdaddy'

Author's comments:

I guess before I comment about the runs themselves, I should preface ahead of time that these will be analyzed from the perspective of Julius. This may seem blatantly obvious, but it’s important to keep in focus just how important his signature move, Omnia Vanitas, is to shaving off time and what that means for him. Omnia Vanitas is basically the same as Akuma’s teleport from the Street Fighter franchise, providing invulnerability all the while traversing at faster speeds than Triangle Jumping (Constant Dive Kicking), and Ricther’s signature slide kick. The Omnia animation can be cancelled out early by Backdash Cancelling (BDC), and during the time in which it’s being cancelled, you can buffer another Omnia. This combination is known as Omnia Canceling.

Now that’s actually only the second fastest means of mobility on the game believe it or not. I’ll throw this out there ahead of time as I will NOT be using this method as it’s far too difficult to pull off consecutively & consistently and takes 10’s of hours of practice to get the hang of it. The fastest way of maneuvering is done by Fast Omnia Cancelling. To be brief, instead of cancelling with a whip shot then a backdash, you cancel with just Julius’s Whip before he turns around in his animation, and then during the whip animation within a matter of frames (single digits) input another Omnia by buffering the motion ahead of time. I used to be able to this consistently facing left in June of 2015, but have lost the ability to do it adequately since. Only three people I know of in the world who can do it consistently both ways, and they are: AANXAAN, a good CVHD buddy of mine who posted this on his youtube channel in 2014 and quite possibly brought it to light in terms of existence. Japanese player named Zwei0, also goes by rain zwei on youtube, and another Japanese player who plays on PS3 called “Song” on youtube. These players are a whole level above me in terms of technical prowess and more likely than not are some of the best players in the world on both Xbox 360 and/or PS3.

Anyways, now that I’ve explained why Omnia Vanitas is vital to speedrunning with Julius and how that puts pressure on him to get some of the fastest runs out of all characters, I want also thank PJ for his Simon runs and the strategies that go along with them as well as for inspiring me to finish this table after seeing him complete his (Including DLC’s) in ~July of last year (YW for Chapter 10 dude :P). Last but not least, here’s the primary setup I used for most of these runs and slight modifications in equipment and will be listed in parentheses followed up by the chapters they take root in.


Fuma’s Helm
Berserker Mail
Sonic Boots (Fuma’s Greaves – Ch 1 & 3)
Retro Cloak
Fool’s Tablet
Fool’s Tablet
Berry/Mango/Mint Mousse Cake (Caviar/Foie Gras – Ch 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)

As for the Subweapons, I’ll list those for each of the chapters as they vary far more greatly making a universal list look more convoluted to follow.

TWO remaining important disclaimers to make, I’m VERY nitpicky and will more likely than not present many solutions for improvement that from a practicality standpoint are not plausible, but brought up to aid in painting a picture in what theoretically a best possible speedrun of a given chapter will look like. Also, the Fool’s Tablets always poison the user, but provide the highest INT boost in the game at 6 INT per Fool’s tablet.

Caught in the Cradle of Decay (0:01:17.24)

B = Ricochet Rock
Up B = R. Axe
Side B = Ricochet Rock
Down B = R. Dagger

This is a decent run overall. Hitting the corner boost in the beginning would’ve saved a very miniscule amount of time off the corner if any. A fast corner boost would’ve cleared the whole gap in not having to latch onto that magnes point (Forgot to mention Julius can grab onto them a la Super Castlevania IV style), but what deters people from wanting to do that is the blades which I did an Omnia through immediately after that.

The timing to land in between those rotating blades is pinpoint accurate and very difficult to pull off. One possible workaround after fast corner boosting the gap with the merman would be to get slightly to the left of the platform while below it and do an uppercut, which yields invincibility frames until Julius reaches the peak of his jump and damage boost past the spikes. However this is luck-ridden as the blades might shoot you the other way to the left essentially causing an instant reset.

From here on out, the rest of the run is hoping for the best hitting the two corner boosts with the Grimoire (spinning book) in between them at the drawbridge preferably at widened angles which is in essence fast corner boosting. The game preserves your character’s speed going forward until either they hit an obstacle, land on ground, or pull back on their movement. To provide depth since I first brought this up without explanation before, you can change the velocity of your dive kick speed by tilting your joystick straight forward enough so that your character’s not moving, and then use the d pad to execute the dive kick motion itself.
After this, it’s possible to latch & detach off the magnes points and get to the platforms on top in the rooms with the pendulums, but it’s quite risky if you don’t have enough height latching & readjusting Julius so he’s directly above it and subsequently has enough height to clear the gap. The physics are a little weird when jumping from magnes points in that if you use your double jump when making contact moving forward towards a wall, the game cuts the double jump short and you in a sense clip and fall down from where you’re at in positioning.

Last but not least, the ricochet rocks thrown at the top of the level into the boss room aid in aggroing the boss earlier as they traverse at a faster speed than Julius can. Fuma’s Greaves help kick in those couple of extra points of damage so Gergoth would break the floor faster or rather get set up to do so. It’s not the most important thing in the world if my backdash cancelling with the R. Daggers wasn’t as efficiently as they could be, because Gergoth only “Dies” after he recovers from his fall allowing for plenty of time to disperse of the other enemies and kill him.

Lord of Unseen Strings (0:01:10.27)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Axe
Side B = Javelin
Down B = R. Dagger

I covered a lot of ground in Chapter 1 in addition to material that wasn’t pertinent about the run itself and was more just filler like explaining wide angle dive kicking / fast corner boosting, so hopefully these next entries will be more concise and straightforward. The room with the treant blocking the way could’ve gone better with a fast corner boost on the platform towards the right side of the room. Had this been implemented, I could’ve carried it forward with the corner boost following that room immediately afterwards where the succubus pretending to be yoko is and gained not only more ground, but in a smaller period of time too making it a nice twofold effect. Jumping onto the platform without bouncing off the Yorick is possible given the right positioning, height, and width of the dive kick, but it is very hard to do especially with all the immense pressure leading up to this point as well as for the next section.

It may look easy whipping up onto that magnes point from the platform with the Ghurka Master on it, but it’s deceptively difficult and frustrating to make because by that point, if you miss and have to wait for the Ghurka Master to bounce off his head grab it, you’ve wasted too much time. Towards the end, I slipped up and whipped and instead meant to Omnia after moving the switch to the Puppet Master, which costed a little time. That pathway to the switch might’ve been traversed a little more quickly if I stuck to Omnia Cancelling instead of banking on corner boosting. Last but not least, the boss is quite easy, and consuming a caviar/foie gras (+12 INT on top of the Berserker Mail’s hidden Multiplicative effect) puts him down in his place before he can get a puppet off to try and kill you in one hit by transporting you into the iron maiden should he succeed. Backdash Cancelling can be improved by swapping my attack and backdash buttons around. Through discovery, mashing face buttons (X & B on 360 controller) with both thumbs significantly improves the R.Dagger fluidity compared to the default layout (Which is what I use with the exception of Chat Cancelling in other Chapters including this one) because the triggers and shoulders have a delay in registration when it comes to this technique. Nevertheless, there were a few hiccups here and there, but still respectable overall.

The End of Chaos (0:00:55.97)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

There’s a lot of waiting and not much running on this stage and as a result, I opted to go with Fuma’s Greaves to try and reduce the number of hits on the boss, Menace, by a few times, saving as many fractions of a seconds as I could. I threw too many sets of daggers (13) when only 6 sets were required to kill his middle weak spot, which takes 1.5 times as much damage compared to the other ones.  I slot rotated the R. Boomerang’s so more damage could sink in, and had I realized I only need to throw 6 sets of daggers at the proper intervals, I could’ve prepared more R. Boomerangs + throw the first trio I did earlier allow for more hits to land and possibly kill him without even having to go down to his kneecap and get the last couple of shots in.

Not much to say about the beginning except cave trolls sometimes jump over the daggers I throw at them to kill them unknowingly and the Imp sometimes ducks backwards right before you jump off his body causing a reset in the run.

Esquisse of Violence (0:00:51.20)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Axe
Side B = Javelin
Down B = R. Dagger

I updated this run just today (4/13/16) and decided to give the new strategy of hitting the Fire Demon with an underpowered Julius a shot, and it paid off big time saving a time of 2.47 seconds from the previous run. By underpowered, his: Crosses, Ricochet Rocks, and Axes were at level 5; his Bible, and Knives at 6, and the Holy Water at level 1.  Besides that, I also was able to demonstrate fast backdash cancelling with the R. Daggers by swapping my default backdash and attack buttons (LB & X) around. I did this during the paint animation and the reason why is because there’s button delay between presses from either the Triggers or Bumpers, so the face button was substituted to do it instead.

Song of the Unslakable Blade (0:00:55.59)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Axe
Side B = R. Dagger
Down B = R. Dagger

Damage boosting with Omnia through the spikes is just as fast as fast corner boosting off the pendulums. Outside of that, missed corner boosts especially the one leading to death’s room because hitting that at a wide angle could’ve shaved off a couple of seconds for sure. Outside of that, I Omnia Cancelled too early at the section right where the Malachi was and as a result wasted a little time there. Most of my fails came from not being able to duck and slide near the switch then getting into the elevator shortly afterwards. Pretty simple level, and as a side note, I’ll try to keep these more condensed so your eyeballs don’t roll into the back of your head reading all these WOT’s and being like “Wtf dude” XP

Come, Sweet Hour of Death (0:02:05.73)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

Missed some corner boosts, but was able to compensate with Omnia Cancelling through the Final Guards on the last stretch of the castle. Meant to whip diagonally on the first form, so a little time was wasted there, and outside of that, it was a decent chapter. Idk if it’s just me, but it seems like I always get hit by something when I do Omnia such as this chapter with the disc armor hitting me right on the edge of his weapon or jumping into the third form of Dracula while slot rotating R. Boomerangs. Uppercutting during this form could help here a little too.

New Game+, Multiplayer, Hard Difficulty: 0:06:33.10

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Caught in the Cradle of Decay 0:01:20.68 Soma, Simon 2012-08-08 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Lord of Unseen Strings 0:00:58.50 Soma, Simon 2012-08-01 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
The End of Chaos 0:00:35.31 Soma, Simon 2012-08-08 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Esquisse of Violence 0:00:41.14 Soma, Simon 2012-08-01 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Song of the Unslakable Blade 0:00:45.42 Soma, Simon 2012-08-08 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Todd 'Mecha Richter' Foreman, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Come, Sweet Hour of Death 0:02:12.05 Soma, Simon 2012-08-08 James 'Aftermath' Downing, Patrick 'PJ' DiCesare
Caught in the Cradle of Decay (0:01:20.68)

Multiplayer impacts gameplay in a few important ways. Firstly, everything gets more health, scaled up with how many players you have (up to 6). Second, sometimes there are different starting positions based on which player slot you're in. Third, enemies initially react much slower than in single player, which ends up being the most jarring difference when switching between the two. Because of these, most levels are optimally done with just two characters, the HP gains aren't all that high and there are usually just one or two starting positions. You'll see that most levels are done exactly like single player, but just end a little more slowly.

PJ and I just happened to use Simon and Soma as our main characters, but they turned out to be what I think is the best combination. Simon has the fastest throwing animation of the whip users and the R.Daggers can do even more damage than Soma in some circumstances.

This level was looking pretty normal, but ended up having the most ridiculous mechanics I've ever heard of. After figuring out in single player that by attacking Gergoth at a particular sequence (turning around after taking a few steps forward when he'd normally start walking backward) you can skip his entire top floor jumping animation, I decided to try it in multiplayer. In single player it's not possible to reach Gergoth in time to take advantage of this, but because of the delay in multiplayer I was able to reach him and attempt it. The recording here is the first time I had gotten to him in time. I didn't think the trick had worked, but then I saw PJ falling and zoomed out to watch him falling through the floors which were intact on my screen. Apparently it'll activate for the host but not for the other player.

So, after getting this video we recreated it about a dozen times but always ended up 2 seconds slower. After going back and forth about what could be different, I remembered zooming out the camera and thought to try it again. Lo and behold, a time just a few hundredths behind this. After a few more tries we weren't able to beat this time, but gained immeasurable disrespect for this game. Not only does the game entirely desync, but it requires player 2 to "watch" it, seemingly needing to witness the invisible Gergoth falling and dying on the host's side. Oddly enough as well, he can be killed by player 2 while still on the top floor and stop taking damage on player 1's screen.

Lord of Unseen Strings (0:00:58.50)

This is an example of the advantageous spawning locations. There's maybe a couple of corner boosts I could have tried, but I didn't think about it until PJ pointed it out, which also happened to be when he didn't want to play anymore.

The End of Chaos (0:00:35.31)

Could maybe be sped up if I did Gergoth closer to where I did in single player, but then we wouldn't all get to participate! Also didn't think about that until we were quite finished with playing. This could possibly go lower than the single player time, if so.

Also, there seems to be a limit of how many things can hit Menacce at once. I take a hit and stop attacking for a while, but during that time my Valmanway hits entirely stop PJ's R.Daggers from hitting Menace's chest, so I don't think there was any time lost because of it.

Esquisse of Violence (0:00:41.14)

The jump after the creature is really hard. I think that's where most attempts ended. Synchronizing the Yorick failed us a lot because PJ doesn't play Soma.

Song of the Unslakable Blade (0:00:45.42)

I just wish I played better.

Come, Sweet Hour of Death (0:02:12.05)

Our best attempt out of a few recording sessions. The goal is for one of us to hit tons of corner boosts and activate the boss and hope the other player isn't too far behind to participate. This one got into Drac's chamber slower than we'd like (but any time is slower than we'd like) but we were able to get a good pattern and double team Drac efficiently.

New Game+, Hard Difficulty with DLC, Julius: 0:13:41.24

Get Flash to see this player.

Level Time Date Player(s)
Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire 0:01:30.64 2015-08-01 'Wizdaddy'
The One Who Is Many 0:02:27.77 2016-03-25 'Wizdaddy'
Lord of Flies 0:01:20.25 2016-03-22 'Wizdaddy'
Origins 0:04:48.17 2016-03-17 'Wizdaddy'
The Legend of Fuma 0:03:34.41 2016-03-23 'Wizdaddy'

See the Julius non-DLC run for general run comments.

Beauty, Desire, Situation Dire (0:01:30.64)

B = R. Fire Bomb
Up B = R. Fire Bomb
Side B = R. Fire Bomb
Down B = R. Fire Bomb

Magnes-Hopping to the inside of the pyramid wearing Sonic Boots makes quite a difference compared to Fuma’s Greaves, so I’m happy I wore them. Only screwups include not reacting in time before the boulder in getting on that hill before it came crashing down as well as the Boss Fight taking a couple of seconds longer than desired with Astarte moving out of the center of the stage. 4x R. Fire Bombs are the fastest way of killing her in the game. I guess the ending where I tried to open up the chat prompt and the boss chest at the same time I might’ve gotten under 01:30.00 if I didn’t show off.

Despite this run giving the impression it’s easy to do, it’s not. It’s a BITCH and mostly because of the mummies and ectoplasm’s moving around randomly. If they get in the way going up and down the passages, it’s not going to bode well 99.99% of the time resulting in an instant reset. Outside of that, wishing for fast corner boosts like the one immediately activating the lever’s going to bring it under 01:30.00.

The One Who Is Many (0:02:27.77)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

Originally had a run of 02:32.XX, but scrapped it because I wasn't happy with all the execution error on my end. There's a little bit of it here with Omnia Cancelling, but to a much lesser degree. I took advantage of fast corner boosting to help compensate for the time lost especially against the Boss, Legion. He's more difficult to kill efficiently with Julius compared to Simon because the former's throwing speed is lacking unlike the latter. I'm sure this could be improved if the corner boost went the whole way in the caves where the ice maidens are, but it's very tight quarters to make it with the normal sized characters. On top of that, it's not advantageous contrary to belief to corner boost into the water where the fish are to pull the switch because characters that aren't small (Maria, Simon, Fuma) clip the ceiling haulting momentum temporarily in the process.

All in all, I'm happy I redid this run and reduced it by ~5 seconds.

Lord of Flies (0:01:20.25)

B = R. Boomerang
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = Ricochet Rock

I'm pleased to have triggered at least one of the two corner boosts after scaling the tower although I wish I would've hit both at wider angles for faster corner boosts of course.

Combined Magnes Cancelling and Slot Rotation by throwing R. Boomerangs as separate inputs one after another once I killed all the flies with the Ricochet Rocks. Credits go to AANXAAN for that little trick to disperse those bastards from the screen. A couple typical hiccups in execution here and there, but not much else to it.

Noticeable improvement includes hitting both corner boosts at wider angles as well as reacting faster to consuming the Berry Mousse Cakes by switching my command prompt and consumption buttons around (RT and Back).

Origins (0:04:48.17)

B = R. Fire Bomb
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

Not gonna go in-depth with this one since I put an analysis video comparing this and a run by AANXAAN on youtube, but I will summarize.

Wide Angle Dive Kicking was used in the beginning to set up for the two of the three corner boosts available before the Phantom Bat whom I ignored.
Took damage on the spikes before R. Queen Medusa, which didn’t matter too much since the skeledragons were poised to shoot out their fireballs
Used another Fast Corner Boost to avoid all the enemies leading up to the Mummies by subsequently using some clever Magnes Climbing to get onto an invisible platform.
The end of the caverns was circumvented with a Omnia being buffered during Julius’s whip swing when he was ducking from the low ceiling.
After climbing up the caverns, the rest of the run is surprisingly easier due to there not being anywhere near as much RNG nonsense.
Stumbled on the fight against R. The Creature. In retrospect, I should throw out the R. Boomerangs first as they’re bound to hit him, then throw the R. Fire Bomb after he’s done moving.
Birds and Ghosts following me throughout the level cut into my time and caused a bigger distraction, which I should’ve ignored until R. Death.
R. Death I misjudged the distance of Julius’s uppercut and meant to hit him from underneath the platform since his fist goes through it hurting the boss altogether
R. The Count I forgot to jump and whip him twice in his first form. A little time saver lost there.
Should’ve been more aggressive with R. Boomerangs and be more daring by uppercutting through him when he short hops forward

Those are just improvements that I’m SUPER Nitpicking about because getting the run that I did took me ~10 hours of failed attempts. So glad I currently have the WR right now ^_^

The Legend of Fuma (0:03:34.41)

B = R. Fire Bomb
Up B = R. Boomerang
Side B = R. Boomerang
Down B = R. Dagger

Overall, what salvaged this run was the number of corner boosts landed as well as the fight against Ryukotsuki, the boss of this stage.

- Negatives

Specifically, I did a pretty bleh job against the mini bosses especially Oxocutioner because I could've whipped him constantly instead of trying to throw a pinpoint accurate R. Fire Bomb in between his hit box and the swords surrounding him. Chimyriad I stumbled slot rotating the couple of R. Boomerangs hence the delay in judgement + I thought I could get him from behind with the uppercut facing away from him, but that turned out to not be the case. As for Decapiclops, I missed the opportunity to throw out some R. Boomerangs while he was bobbing up and down out of my R. Dagger reach.

The reason I went for Decapiclops last was because if I went for him first that would've wasted time having to slide through the corridor left of the Grimoire in the center of the level a second time on my way back from killing Chimyriad. On AANXAAN's twitch page,, he has a highlight reel where he entered the boss room about 12 seconds ahead of me taking this route albeit he performed much better than me (being one of the CVHD Gods that he is lol), however the dilemma I saw in his failed attempt was that he had little to no MP going into Ryukotsuki's Third form (40-50 MP) and no reserves in Mousse Cakes to top it off.

- Positives

I got incredibly lucky with Ryukotsuki punching twice in a row immediately after transforming into his third form. Most players find him to be the crutch of their runs because he acts completely randomly and getting him to cooperate in punching (Only time he’s vulnerable to attack) is solely based on luck. You could hit every corner boost and fight all the mini bosses solidly, and have that run completely squandered because of the shenanigans this boss poses.

An aside to this is Ryukotsuki teleported away in his first form, which took another second off the in-game clock, but outside of that, the boss fight went very smoothly, which I was surprised by because I thought I wouldn't be able to kill him in that amount of time.

Return to the Game List, the FAQ, or the Home Page.