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Released in October 2003, Lament of Innocence is Castlevania's PS2 debut, and the first 3D Castlevania since the N64 games. LOI deviates from Symphony of the Night's formula into a more arcade-style action game, and explains how the struggle between Dracula and the Belmont family first started. Leon Belmont, a renowned knight of an undefeated company, has his betrothed abducted by a powerful vampire who is the master of his own castle. Leon gives up his title to pursue the vampire.


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Single-segment 0:34:58 by Damien Moody.

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Author's comments:

This run took entirely too long to get done. The luck required to get sub-35 minutes is pretty insane. Bosses have to cooperate, enemies have to cooperate, I have to get the subweapons I want from an RNG based item...the list goes on.
This run is the product of racing Sir VG at SGDQ 2012. I decided to completely re-route the run, and after finding Jewel Crush to be so obscenely overpowered, went through as many potential routes as I could think of. This was the fastest route by a fair margin, with the only other close one being Dark Palace first, then Garden, but that was still a good minute or so behind. Jewel Crush really saves that much time in the battle rooms.

I spent a good 6-8 weeks re-routing this, testing out almost everything, and trying to fine tune how each room went. It wasn't perfect at first, but after SGDQ I managed to keep finding small timesavers and new strats as I made attempts.
My initial attempt with the new route was a 41:30, and I knew that sub 40 was definitely possible. Then I broke that and knew sub 39 was possible. Then sub 38, 37, and 36.
I got a run that clocked in at 35:58 I think, and thought it was garbage with how some things went. 35:30 became the goal.
Then I managed a 35:21. I had to watch it over a couple times, but ultimately decided it was NOT the run. Still too much time lost for my tastes. Thus sub 35 became the goal.

Stuff about things that happen in the run:
Item Duplication
This one's fairly simple. Stand in the correct place and hover over your items. The "correct place" seems to be limited to very specific hallway types, only seen in certain areas of the castle.
-There's two in the Castle Entrance, one each in the east and west hallways.
-There's three in Garden Forgotten by Time, two in the hallways connecting the square of rooms in the southern section, and one in the hallway leading to the switch in the southeast section.
-There's four in Pagoda of the Misty Moon 1F, one in every hallway except the one leading to 2F.
-There's five in Pagoda of the Misty Moon 2F, one in each hallway connecting to the Candle Room, and one in each of the long hallways.
Duping items allows me to keep a full stock of extremely broken items that I'm pretty sure were never intended to be used in mass quantities.
We're pretty sure this trick was simply a leftover from the beta testing days, and Konami forgot to remove it.

Action Canceling
This is what I think allows whip combos to exist period, but it can also be used to cancel in to other things, such as jumping, using items, and subweapons.
There's a small window during (almost) every action where you can start another action before the current action's animation finishes. Doing this immediately cancels whatever action you're currently in the middle of and begins the next one.
Not everything can be canceled into though. Whips can only be canceled into Subweapons and jumps, but not items. Subweapons can be canceled into anything, and items can be canceled into anything most of the time. It seems to depend on what item is being used. Jumping can't be canceled per se, but the moment you land you can start another action immediately.

-Diamond: Grants a full HP, MP, and Heart restore.
-Ruby: Deals 119 damage to everything in the room. Can be mitigated by special defense, and won't affect anything that's immune to damage at the time.
-Sapphire: Deals 50 damage to everything within view, and restores 8 HP for every hit. Can be mitigated by special defense.
-Turquoise: Randomly changes the subweapon to something that's not the current subweapon.
All of these gems are vital to a run. Rubies destroy entire rooms with impunity, and make good combo extenders in boss fights (alongside the decent damage). Sapphires make decent substitutes for Rubies when I need to conserve them. Diamonds allow me to spam Hi-Speed Edge continuously to get around faster. Turquoises make it possible to have the optimal subweapon for every situation.

Every subweapon is used, but not every orb combination is.
-Axe (No Orb): Used throughout Garden, and against Medusa. Very easy to action cancel into and out of.
-Sprial Axe (Axe + Red): Used twice in House of Sacred Remains - once to conserve gems, and the other to kill one zombie early to make the next one spawn.
-Axe Tornado (Axe + Purple): Used twice - once in Mysteries Lab to take down a Cyclops, and once in House of Sacred Remains to take out an Executioner.
-Hi-Speed Edge (Axe + Green): Used everywhere after the Green Orb is obtained. Fastest form of movement in the game (roughly 50% faster than walking).
-Spirit Ripper (Axe + Yellow): Used against Walter to get a high combo.
-Michael's Sword (Cross + Purple): Used twice in Dark Palace to deal with enemies, and is also the primary damage source against Joachim.
-Holy Light (Cross + Green): Used against Golem phase 1. Keeps him constantly going in and out of his guard stance, and does significant damage due to double hits.
-Satellite (Crystal + Yellow: Used against Doppelganger 2 to keep him stunlocked.
-Roaring Flames (Holy Water + Red): Used for Undead Parasite phase 2. Hits 4 times and allows just enough time to action cancel into a whip without dropping combo.
-Cross Blazer (Holy Water + Purple): Use for Undead Parasite phase 1. Able to hit 2 eyes at once, speeding up phase 1 considerably.
-Force Cannon (Knife + Green): Used against Succubus, and the Cyclops/Red Ogre duo outside of her room.

Combo Damage
Every hit beyond the first adds roughly 5% damage. This means that high combos have the ability to increase damage to levels that are completely broken. In most boss fights I try and keep my combo going for as long as possible. I'll explain each in detail in their respective sections.

Run breakdown:
I'm going to do this room by room - battle rooms, hallways are pretty self-explanatory - unless otherwise necessary.

Prelude to the Dark Abyss
-Tutorial Room 1: Jumping to the left off of the platform saves a few frames. The Potion is necessary for money purposes.
-Tutorial Room 2: The Serum is also necessary for money.
-Tutorial Room 3: Triangle-Square-Triangle is the best way to deal with Skeletons. The damage from the Square is meaningless, but it has a faster animation than Triangle. For this room to be perfect, the 2nd Skeleton needs to be knocked down by the finisher from the 1st Skeleton. Then, the 3rd and 2nd Skeleton have to line up so I can hit both of them with a finisher. I Action Cancel into jumps to eliminate the pause after a finisher, and to get some distance between attacks.
-Tutorial Room 4: The Uncurse Potion and Magical Ticket are for money.
-Tutorial Room 5: The Svarog Statue ends up being useful in a few places. The Golden Knight can cost me time by choosing not to attack as soon as possible. There's nothing I can do about it either.
-West Hallway: I use this Dupe Point because it's slightly faster than using the one in the east hallway.
-East Hallway: I do this a lot in the run, but I try to pre-select the next item I'm going to need so I don't waste time switching to it later.
-Save Room: I need this save to use as my warp point for Memorial Tickets. Unfortunately there's no way to activate it without actually saving.
-Shopping: I sell everything but that lone Magical Ticket ($2,500), and buy 2 Memorial Tickets ($1,600) and Turquoise ($800).
-East Hallway: I only dupe 1 Magical Ticket since I only need 2 more.
-Shopping 2: I sell 8 Turquoises ($3,200) and buy 1 Ruby ($3,000).
-East Hallway: I intentionally don't dupe that Magical Ticket so I won't have to sell it to get it out of my inventory. You can avoid duping the first item by hitting up or down fast enough after entering the item menu.
-Shopping 3: I sell 2 Turquoises ($800) and 8 Rubies ($12,000), then buy 1 Diamond ($10,000), 1 Sapphire ($2,000), and the Jade Mask ($999). This concludes my need for money.
-East Hallway: I reorganize my items like this because it's the easiest way to access them when I need them. Also muscle memory. I want 9 of everything. Finally, I equip the Jade Mask as I exit the hallway.

Garden Forgotten by Time
-L-Hallway: You'll notice that I can just run through candles now - that's what the Jade Mask does. To be honest I don't think it actually saves any time buying the Jade Mask (if you count the time to sell the 2 Turquoises, and the time to buy the Jade Mask itself), but it's more of a convenience, especially later on when I can line up Hi-Speed Edges without worrying about candles getting in my way.
-Skeleton Room: I shouldn't have waited for those 2 to group would have been faster to just start attacking right away. The rest of the room was pretty good though, since they weren't too spread out and the final one was right next to the door.
-T-Hallway: I pick up the Axe here, which is by far the most useful subweapon when no Orbs have been collected.
-Evil Stabber Room: This room was close to perfect. Optimally you want the Evil Stabber to spawn just as Leon gets near him. In addition you don't want it to fall over from your attacks. Triangle x3-Axe-Triangle x3 will finish it every time, and with any luck it'll die by the door.
-Gargoyle Room: That first throw is usually completely blind. That first Gargoyle doesn't always come down that fast. Optimally you want both Gargoyles to go down with that first Axe, but it's pretty much luck. Also, that 3rd Gargoyle will usually come a bit lower than that, allowing me to throw an Axe at him while he's still at a distance. On rare occasions, he'll swoop immediately, which has the same result. I have no idea why the Axe didn't double hit, but it cost me quite a bit of time.
-Axe Armor / Evil Stabber Room: This was a pretty bad Axe Armor spawn, since there were no lines of 3 or more. I also kept aiming my Axes badly. Note that you can only have one Axe out at a time, so if I know it's going to take a while for it to hit the wall, I'll do a Flame Kick after a whip combo to give it enough time to disappear. Evil Stabbers went decently, except for the fact that the last one didn't die near the door.
-Evil Stabber / Skeleton Soldier Room: This room was perfect. Both the far Skeleton Soldiers died with that first Axe, and the Evil Stabber didn't fall over.
-Gargoyle / Skeleton Archer Room: This room was also perfect. Skeleton Archers have only 30 HP, so the Svarog Statue works wonders against them.
-Man-Eating Plant Room: The Axe has to double hit to get it to open immediately like that. The angle for the throw is pretty forgiving though.
-Jewel Crush: The most broken accessory in the game. You'll see why shortly.
-Skeleton Flower / Gargoyle Room: I use Sapphires here simply to conserve Rubies, since I want some for Medusa. That Gargoyle can screw up runs by attacking immediately, and the Flower can too by not coming low enough to be hit by the Sapphires.
-Skeleton Flower / Buckbaird / Poison Lizard Room: I use the Ruby to clear out the Buckbairds, then throw the Axe to finish off the Flower. The Axe is a bit faster than using a Sapphire on it since I have to wait for it to come down otherwise. I use a Sapphire on the first 3 Poison Lizards that spawn to conserve another Ruby. I use Rubies on the last spawn to make sure both the Skeleton Flower dies, and to allow me to start heading toward the door. I used that Zircon in here just to get it out of my inventory. Using it between waves costs no time.

-Snake Punch: Medusa will hiss, the swing either the left or right snakes at you. If she swings her left, she may also swing the right immediately after. Dodge by double jumping and whipping.
-Stone Gaze: Medusa will yell "Turn to Stone!" then fire a beam from her eyes, turning Leon to stone briefly. If Leon doesn't break out of it faster enough, she'll follow it with a Pinball. Dodge the same way as with Snake Punch.
-Pinball: Medusa will say "Just as I Thought," then start rolling around the room, bouncing off any walls she touches. Medusa is completely invulnerable while doing this.
-Cursed Blood: Medusa will float toward the center of the room, dripping Blood from her eyes. Touching the blood does damage. It's pretty much free damage when she does this.
-Summons: Only usable when Medusa is below 50% HP. Medusa will yell "Summons!" then float up into the air, facing downward. She'll spawn many tiny snakes, which will crawl quickly in Leon's direction, doing damage if they connect. Dodge by jump whipping and throwing Axes.
-Rock Shower: Only usable when Medusa is below 50% HP. Medusa will yell "DAMN YOU!" then summon a number of small rocks, which will revolve around her. After a short time, she'll fire the rocks at Leon. Dodge by running behind her, since the rock's trajectory won't allow them to hit there easily.
The best combo here is Axe-Triangle x3-Axe. Technically you could keep up this combo indefinitely if she never attacked. I make sure that I wait until I have a combo going before using Rubies to increase the damage. I usually end up squeezing an extra Rubies' worth of damage out of them. She threw me for a loop when she hissed (a bit above 50% HP left) - I was expecting Snake Punch. However, one of my attacks caused her to flinch, which canceled it. She then chose Stone Gaze, which I was unprepared for. When I heard the hiss, I dodged according to what I would do for Snake Punch, which left me in the air halfway through the Stone Gaze, forcing me to take the hit, and suffer through the roll. The rest of the fight went well though, save for the constant barrage of Stone Gaze early on.
After the fight I pop a Turquoise and get the Cross on the first try, which is actually pretty rare.

Dark Palace of Waterfalls
-Fish Man / Skeleton Swordsman Room: I use Michael's Sword on that Fish Man to make the next one spawn early. There's 5 of each enemy here, but only 2 can be spawned at a time. Occasionally that last Fish Man will walk off camera while I'm trying to Sapphire the last Skeleton Swordsman.
-Fish Man / Frost Sword Room: 1 Ruby finishes everything off, provided you wait long enough for the Swords to all spawn.
-Flea Man Room: The first one gets whipped. After that it's luck. I can get all 16 after that with 2 Sapphires if they all spawn in view. They didn't this time, and I had to use 4. Fortunately, I have 2 Sapphires to spare in here, so it's only a small time loss.
-Heavy Armor / Skeleton Soldier / Vassago Room: The Skeleton Soldiers die to a Ruby, then 2 Sapphires finish off the Heavy Armor. The Vassagos get more Rubies. You can damage the Vassagos the moment you can see them, so there's no need to wait until they fully spawn.
-Merman / Armor Knight Room: 2 Rubies here. Since I'll be able to dupe again right after this, I don't need to worry about saving them.
-Waterfall Switch: I Memorial Ticket out of here, skipping Doppelganger completely. Normally you have to fight him, then take the elevator back upstairs, which is a huge time waster.
-Frost Demon / Frost Sword Room: I use Michael's Sword to damage the Frost Demon since it's weak to it, and 2 Rubies isn't enough to finish it off.
-Merman / Fish Man Room: 1 Ruby will kill all the Fish Men, but the Merman will have 1 HP left, which is why I whip it once.
-Pendulum Room: The Heart Max UP is necessary for later.

-Not going to list his attacks since he only gets 3 off, and they're not worth mentioning.
I use a Ruby to clear out the Orbs which power his shield. You have to whip him once to destroy the shield. I use Triangle-Square x2-Triangle x2 here since I need to keep him stunlocked when he normally would be moving around.
I keep Svarog Statue running to help keep the combo going, since I need a high combo to dish out the damage necessary to kill him before he reactivates the shield.
Michael's Sword and Rubies are the primary damage source here. Joachim is weak to the Cross, which makes the initial hit do about 120 damage. The smaller hits afterward add up to another 30-60 depending on how long he sits inside it. Rubies do 56 base damage to him, but with high combos do well over 100, which is just chunks out of his HP. The whips in between his attacks are simply to keep him from moving around too much, causing my combo to drop. I'll accept any fight that kills him before he gets his shield back up, but this one was pretty much perfect since the combo never dropped. At 37 hits I'm doing almost 3x normal damage.
Note that sometimes Joachim will reactivate his shield early, which is a run killer. He can also not attack and just keep flying around, which is the same end result. On top of that, the Svarog Statue provides enemies with a small invulnerability period, which occasionally causes Michael's Sword to do no damage. This guy is easily one of the biggest run killers.
After the fight I Turquoise for the Axe, and get it first try.
Also, Joachim's room is unique in that it's the only room in the game that you can't use a Ticket to get out of.

Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab
-Portal Room: I use Sapphires on the 2 Skeletons since it's faster than trying to Hi-Speed Edge through both of them, and also more reliable. I don't use a Ruby since I need to conserve them badly in this area.
-Hallways: I start using Hi-Speed Edge here, which increases my movement speed considerably.
-Flame Zombie / Ghost Knight Room: They didn't all spawn within view, so I had to spend extra time dealing with the strays. I have 2 spare Sapphires in here, and this is where they're allocated if need be.
-Axe Armor / Ghost Knight Room: I Hi-Speed Edge through the Axe Armors to deal some initial damage, since Rubies aren't quite enough to kill them. I use a Sapphire to deal with the first wave of Ghost Knights, then a Ruby for the second wave since that allows me to start heading for the door.
-Yellow Dragon Key: I pick this up for use in House of Sacred Remains.
-Astral Warrior Room: I have to wait before using a Ruby here since they don't all spawn at the same time.
-Red Ogre Room: Axe Tornado deals with him nicely.
-I Turquoise here to get a Cross, and get it the first try. Fucking luck!

-I won't list attacks since he only gets one off, and it's a scripted attack.
This fight is easy for the most part. Phase 1 gets Holy Light. This can double hit if used at the right angle. That first shot of it has a VERY precise angle in which you can double hit him. The whip is actually necessary to be able to 5 cycle him. After that, I get behind him to launch Holy Lights, which makes them easy to double hit with. I need 5 hits each cycle to be able to get him down in 5 cycles: 2 hits from Holy Light, 2 Heavy Whips, and 1 hit from the Svarog Statue. The problem is that the Svarog Statue won't hit unless you're pretty much under him, which is sometimes really hard to get the positioning correct on. I had to make do with a 6 cycle here since the Svarog Statue (or my second whip, I'm not sure which) didn't connect on the 4th and 5th cycles.
In between phases I spam Quick Step a bit since I need Quick Step 2 for Death, and I need 10 uses of Quick Step to learn it. Using it here costs no time since I'm waiting for phase 2 to begin anyway.
Phase 2 is the reason I've been conserving Rubies. I launch a Michael's Sword, both for damage and the combo booster, then spam Rubies until it dies. That first attack it does is scripted - It will always be a Circle Punch. This guarantees that I'll have enough time to kill him before his second attack.
After the fight I Turquoise for an Axe, and get it first try. This makes 4 times now I've gotten what I want on the first try.

House of Sacred Remains
This is supposed to be the first area you do, but instead I'm doing it fourth. Also, this is the area that requires that I pick up that Heart Max UP in Dark palace, since otherwise I wouldn't have enough Hearts to make it all the way through. Diamonds may refill me to full, but this area is heavy on the hallways, some being quite long, so it taxes my Hearts.
-Entry Hallway: I use Sapphires to deal with the Skeletons since it's faster than whipping and more reliable than using an Axe.
-Skeleton / Skeleton Archer Room: I use Sapphires here to for the Skeletons, since Axes are again unreliable for taking them all down quickly. I use the Svarog Statue against the second Skeleton Archer so I can be as close to the door as possible when Sapphiring the last two Skeletons.
-Zombie Room: I use Spiral Axe here to conserve Rubies / Sapphires, since those are taxed alongside Diamonds in this area. The only issue I ever have in this room is if the Zombie spawn in bad positions causing Spiral Axe to not take all 3 out in one use.
-Skeleton Swordsman / Rune Spirit Room: One Ruby. Six dead undead minions.
-Skeleton Knight / Zombie Room: I pop a Diamond here since I have to wait for the Skeleton Knights to spawn anyway. I use Sapphires once again to conserve Rubies.
-Zombie / Rune Spirit Room: Another Ruby. Another 6 dead undead minions.
-Skeleton Knight / Skeleton Archer Room: 2 Rubies. NEXT!
-Creepy Red Floor Room: Trying to Hi-Speed Edge through here usually causes me to take hits.
-Black Bishop: The best Relic, bar none. This was the sole reason for taking the small detour to get the Yellow Dragon Key. It increases my STR and INT by 50% while active. This Relic is what allows me to get some quick kills on bosses.
-Creepy Red Floor Room Part 2: That Hi-Speed Edge is luck based. I get hit before I can jump over the pillar sometimes.
-I use the Diamond in the Switch Door Room, since using it in the Heavy Armor Hallway usually leads to me flying across the room.
-Vassago / Zombie Room: I use Spiral Axe to take out at least one Zombie as soon as I enter. The reasoning for this is that there's a total of 5 Vassagos and 7 Zombies that spawn in here, but only 3 of each can be spawned at a time. If I Ruby the first group down, then Ruby the second group down, there will be a lone Zombie left at the end. This is just a slightly faster way of dealing with that lone Zombie.
-Astral Fighter / Vassago Room: 2 Rubies do the trick here, but I need to delay the second one since the Astral Fighters need time to spawn. I also switch to the Purple Orb for the next room while I'm waiting.
-Executioner / Vassago Room: Axe Tornado while under Black Bishop is the best way to deal with the Executioner. The Vassagos can be downed in 2 whips each so long as Black Bishop is still up.
I Turquoise for Holy Water here, and get it first try. That's 5 times in a row I've gotten what I want on the first try. The odds of that happening are 1 in 1,024. No joke.

Undead Parasite
-Fire Breath: The Dragon will stick it's head out of a hole and breath fire over about half the room. It will swing it's head from side to side to cover more area with it. Dodge by either Quick Stepping through it or just don't get near it.
-Dragon Charge: The Dragon will fly out of one of the holes and charge around the room in a circular pattern. Dodge by keeping away from it.
-Soulless: The move around underground and only surface to attack. They're pretty weak, and are more of a nuisance than a threat. The Soulless in phase 2 are faster and stronger.
Holy Water is key here, especially for phase 1. Cross Blazer allows me to hit two eyes at once, and with Black Bishop active, takes them down in 3 uses.
Between phases I learn Quick Step 2, since it doesn't cost time to do it here, just like with Golem.
Phase 2 is a bit tougher. I use Roaring Flames and action cancel into whip combos to keep the combo going. Roaring Flames does pretty significant damage, especially with Black Bishop and a decent combo going. I keep dropping the combo, though, since the Soulless can knock me out of my combo if they manage to hit me, and that would allow Undead Parasite enough time to move, which costs a LOT of time.
Also, the Dragon breathing fire in phase 2 costs time as well since it becomes impossible to get a combo going with the fire in the way. If it does that, I use one Roaring Flames to get Undead Parasite to move immediately, then finish it somewhere else.
After the fight I Turquoise for the Axe again, and it takes me a number of tries to get it. However I still manage to get it while the boss is exploding, so it costs no time.

Ghostly Theatre
-Skeleton Warrior / Ghost Room: The Skeleton Warriors can't be killed in one Ruby, since the have to rematerialize before the last of their HP can be depleted. I pop the Ruby immediately to get them to start rematerializing, then pop a Sapphire in between the first and second one to kill them both off. The third one I just Hi-Speed Edge through.
-Statue Room: This is the fewest number of rocks necessary to break all the statues. You have to be quick, and have good aim with Hi-Speed Edge to pull it off. The Sapphire use while waiting for the door to open was intentional, since I have one to spare in this area, and don't need them after Ghostly Theatre at all.
-Skeleton Warrior / Ghost Soldier Room: Ruby immediately, then Sapphire the one in back. Hi-Speed Edge the other one.
-Skeleton Warrior / Spirit Room: Ruby immediately again, then Sapphire in between the two of them.
-Armor Knight / Astral Knight Room: There's 8 Astral Knights in here, but only 3 can be spawned at a time, and I can only spare 2 Rubies in here. So I start off by Hi-Speed Edging cose to the camera to try and get a better field of view, then make sure at least 2 Astral Knights are on screen so I can Sapphire them.
-Axe Armor / Spirit Room: There's 2 waves of Spirits here, and a lone Axe Armor. I need the Black Bishop active to take down the Axe Armor in one Ruby.
-Axe Knight / Buckbaird Room: I need Black Bishop Active to do enough Damage to the Axe Knight to be able to finish him off in one Ruby and one Hi-Speed Edge. In addition I have to wait before using the Ruby since the Buckbairds don't spawn immediately.
-The Knife took 4 tries to get, costing a small amount of time in the process.
-Cyclops / Red Ogre Room: The Axe isn't worth using here, since there's no way to hit both of them with it, and the strongest move the Axe has is Hi-Speed Edge, which is a pain to aim AND does less damage than Force Cannon. I use three Sapphires with Black Bishop active to hit both of them for 225 damage, enabling one Black Bishop powered Force Cannon to kill each one. However, the Cyclops hit me, which caused him to be offscreen enough for one of the Sapphires to miss, requiring an extra Force Cannon.

-Not going to list attacks since I just tank 90% of the hits anyway.
Force Cannon + Black Bishop is a godsend here. It does 81 damage per hit, and Succubus only has 1,000 HP. So 13 hits. The problem is that she will randomly yell "No Tricks!" and negate one of my attacks and anything immediately following it. That's the whole luck factor to the fight: her not blocking too many of my shots.

Doppelganger 2
-His attacks don't matter.
The idea is to finish him off in one combo, but this requires a bit of luck. Satellite is one of the only subweapons he won't guard against, plus it knocks him around a bunch. That's a problem as well as a blessing. It makes it very hard to keep a combo going since it's very easy for him to get knocked out of range of Satellite. That's what happened here. If that doesn't happen, it's possible to get him down in one long combo. I only use 3 hits for the first combo since I want him as close as possible, and Draw Up works extremely well for that. The Quick Step is to cancel out of the whip animation and allow me quicker access to my Rubies.

Pagoda of the Misty Moon
It took me 8 tries to get the Axe back after Doppelganger, the most costly subweapon change in the entire run.
-Phantom Room: The Phantoms take 3 Rubies with Black Bishop active. There's certain attacks they do, though, that make them invincible. Sometimes they'll do those while I'm trying to Ruby them down, costing me both time and Rubies.
-Laser Room: That's a neat little shortcut I found in there. You have to wait a split second before moving left, or the laser will hit you. The angle isn't that strict, but it's still not easy to hit every time.
-Candle Room: You have a very small window where you can act before the short cutscene here. I use it to Hi-Speed Edge, which finishes it animation while the cutscene is playing.
-Save Room: I need this save here so I can Memorial Ticket back after obtaining the VI Tablet, and the Dragon Crest.
-Phantom / Lizard Knight Room: 3 Rubies with Black Bishop again. Same issue with the Phantom as the last room. Lizard Knights aren't a problem at all though.
-Long Hallway: I have to restock my Rubies here, else I'll run out before I hit the next refill point just outside the VI Tablet Room.
-Hanged Man Room: These have 180 HP each, and with Black Bishop Rubies only do 179 damage, so I need 2 per wave regardless.
-Lesser Demon Room: 2 Rubies with Black Bishop FTW.

-Walter's attacks have no bearing on the fight. He only gets to attack once if the fight goes correctly.
Walter has one major luck factor that can make or break a run. His first action has to be anything BUT a teleport. If he teleports it's an automatic 20 second loss.
It took me a while to figure out this quick kill. I knew it was almost possible just based on old fights I had with him. The Rubies are what make it possible.
I start off by using Spirit Ripper and activating Black Bishop during it's windup animation. Then I pop a Triangle-Square x2-Triangle x2. The reason for using this over Triangle x2-Square-Triangle x2 is that Draw Up can sometimes bug here and not pull Walter in, which allows Walter to get away. This combo prevents that. After that I jump and whip, then use 2 Rubies while Walter does his one and only action. It doesn't matter what attack he uses, it's never enough to kill me, so I just tank the hit(s). I use 2 more Rubies after that, then do a Triangle x2-Square-Triangle x2 combo. At this point my combo should be well over 30, make all hits do 250%+ damage. After that, I jump and do a quick aerial combo to finish him, Its important to note that you don't have time for 4 hits plus Flame Kick, you have to do 3 or less.
I missed the jump whip at the start, which normally causes my combo to drop, but for some reason it didn't this time, so I count myself extremely lucky there.

-Minions: Death put his hands on his head and say "Minions!" Several flaming skulls will appear and move toward Leon. When they get close, they glow red, and follow that with an explosion shortly thereafter. Death will only use this when he's above 50% HP. This is the best attack opportunity out of all of Death's attacks.
-Scythe Hurl: Death with twirl his scythe above his head, then throw it in Leon's direction. The scythe will travel across the entire room.
-Energy Bolt: Death will gather energy in front of him, then yell "DIE!" The bolts will then fly toward Leon, locking in on him. Death will only use this move if Leon is too far away from him.
-Scythe Slash: Death will swing his scythe in a downward arc from Death's right side, hitting Leon if he's too close. Death will sometimes follow this up with another slash from his left side.
-Deadly Tempest: Death will raise one hand in the air and shout "Deadly Tempest!" 2 bolts of fire will fall from the sky, sending a shockwave outward from where they land. Death will only use this move when he's below 50% HP.
Out of everything in this run, this is the fight I'm the least satisfied with. I made some ugly mistakes here, and overall this is a good 20 seconds off of my best time against him, with this being one of the few fights where RNG doesn't cost as much time.
Looking back, I should saved those 5 Rubies for when Death is below 50% HP since that's when the attack opportunities become smaller.
Subweapons are useless here since Death just reflects them back at Leon. The only useful subweapon is Hi-Speed Edge, and that's strictly for mobility.
The whole idea here is to keep Black Bishop activated, and just wail on Death with whip combos. Triangle x2-Square-Triangle x2 is the most effective. Aerial combos should only be used to avoid a Scythe Slash. Flame Kicks can be used when you know there's not enough time to get a full ground combo off before you need to dodge or he moves. Flame Kicks are very hard to keep the combo going on, though, since the window for the combo not dropping is very tight.
When Death uses Minions, it allows for the longest attack opportunities, which is why I cut a combo short just before he reached 50% HP. I kept him above it on purpose to give him one more chance to use Minions.
Once he started using Deadly Tempest, I made the worst mistakes in the entire run. To dodge them, you need to Quick Step once to the left to avoid the first one, the Quick Step 2 to the right through the shockwave. The I-Frames of Quick Step prevent you from taking damage. After that you double jump toward Death, which gets you out of the way of the second one, and puts you over it's shockwave. I kept failing to do Quick Step 2, and took hits for it, which not only cost a lot of time, but look really ugly. I also used the wrong combo at one point, and deactivated Black Bishop before launching my initial whip assault.

Final Thoughts:
Am I satisfied with this run? Not completely. There was plenty that went right, but also plenty that didn't. Luck may have been good on subweapon changes, and most boss fights, but the rest was kind of bleh. Death was the sole reason I almost didn't submit this. Medusa wasn't too great either, nor Doppelganger 2. I'm pretty sure I'll come back to this at some point, with a goal time of 34:30 or less, but I seriously need a break from this category.

Sir VG: Without our race at SGDQ, I probably wouldn't have picked this game up again. That was what got the ball rolling. Now I'm planning on revisiting every category.
Persona: I remember watching his old videos after my old runs were published and wondering why I didn't do half the stuff he did. I learned a lot, and was able to put some of it to good use.
The SDA crew: For all their hard work, hosting this run, and putting up with me being a procrastinator on getting commentary done.

Single-segment 100% 1:50:19 by Damien Moody.

Author's comments:

100% for Leon is a pain. He has quite a few more items to grab than Joachim does, plus runs quite a bit slower. I was aiming for under 1:50, but considered this close enough. 100% for Leon means Map Completion (of course), all 7 Orbs, all powerups (HP, MP, Heart), 8 out of the 10 relics (all but the 2 rare drops), and all accessories found lying around in the castle.

I had originally thought that Relics would play a much greater role in this run, but not enough of them are all that useful, or drain MP too quickly to get much use of out them. I did find that the Svarog Statue works wonders on Succubus (with a full MP bar it does anyway), and the Black Bishop is nice against Death since sub-weapons are useless against him. Other than that the Wolf's Foot was the Relic of choice just to get me around quicker.

I should also note that this is a very money intense run. I need a total of 13 Memorial Tickets (at $800 a pop) and 2 Magical Tickets to take all the shortcuts. I also needed enough to buy the White Bishop Relic. The rest I spent on potions, until the end where I had just enough for the 2nd best armor. I actually needed $3200 before fighting Succubus. That's what that pause on the menu screen was for. The same is true when I just pause it in front of Rinaldo's house - I'm calculating how I'm going to spend what money I have.

Leon's route revolves around the 5 keys. I start in Ghostly Theatre as always for the Yellow Orb and Astral Knife. The Key here unlocks the door in the Dark Palace of Waterfalls. I head to the Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab next for the Flame Whip. There's a door in the Dark Palace that is covered in ice and can only be opened if you have the Flame Whip. Then I hit the Dark Palace of Waterfalls. I grab the Ice Whip here, and also the key for the Garden Forgotten by Time. I love the fact that Joachim is has an Ice weakness. Next is the Garden Forgotten by Time. Standard runthrough here, grab the key for the Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab, and set my warp point as well. There's a room here that can't be entered without the Wolf's Foot Relic, which I use the Key from here to get. I polish off the Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab after that. I already did some of the map my first time here so it saves me a lot of backtracking to fill the map out. After Golem I warp back to the Garden Forgotten by Time so I can enter that one room. House of Sacred Remains is last. I use 4 Memorial Tickets here to save a lot of running. Undead Parasite is a pishover with all the crap I've picked up so far. I then quickly backtrack to Ghostly Theatre to open the locked door and get a rather useful Accessory. The Heart Brooch reduces Heart comsumption by 25%, so all those Astral Knives only cost me 7 instead of 10. Pagoda of the Misty Moon is obviously next. I more or less clear the entire map here before heading back down to fight the Forgotten One. Memorial Tickets ahoy!

Walter and Death were pushovers. The Black Bishop Relic heightened Leon's already high damage output.

Not much else I can say really. Enjoy.

Single-segment as Joachim in 0:45:54 by Damien Moody.

Author's comments:

Joachim's game is faster than Leon's, but he actually takes longer to kill most bosses - mostly due to the lack of a sub-weapon.

I also noticed after I finished this run that it's slightly faster to constantly dash than it is to run...not by a lot but it may save a little time.

I chose to do Succubus first, like in Leon's, but this was because it was the shortest level, and she is one of the harder bosses.

Speaking of Succubus...there's only a couple times during the fight that specials are useful. She has a shield she likes to use (she yells "No Tricks") which guards against everything. She tends to use this when you use any sort of special against her. So I was stuck using the default attacks for the most part. When she clones herself and splits is a good time to use it though. You can safely hit any one of her, and even if you miss you're invunerable and can continue searching for the real one. The other good time is during her Vine Snake attack...again, partially because of the invunerability, and partially from the damage...but she can break the attack to shield herself.

No skipping Doppelganger in this one...and I suck against him. This was by far the worst fight of the run. I took way too many hits and was overall too defensive.

Joachim I nearly died on. He insisted on doing the hard-to-dodge attacks pretty much the whole fight.

I found the weaker of the 2 specials to be more effective here. If used point blank it sometimes will score a couple extra hits - granted I didn't utilize this like I should have. I spend too much time at a distance when I could have been using this right next to him.

There's a quick way to take out the 4 eyes for Undead Parasite. Get into one of the corners and fire the beam so you're partially diagonal to the closest eye. It will place you in the corner, in a position so that you can hit 2 eyes with the beam. I did it right the first time, screwed the 2nd time up badly, and did it right the 3rd time but didn't realize it and didn't take advantage of it.

Medusa - I hate the camera in this room. I used the beam and the camera changed angles to the point where I couldn't see where I was aiming...which pretty much meant a wasted special. Other than that this fight went rather well, though I could have been a bit more aggresive.

The only thing I saw for Golem was that I wasn't close enough when using the special - Note that using any special here will cause him to guard for a short the beam isn't effective at all. The Spinning Blades work well since they can do their damage before he guards. If I had been closer it probably would have done a little more damage.

Doppelganger 2 went almost perfectly, except when I couldn't find him after firing the beam.

Walter was a pushover. Always save enough MP to use the beam when he uses his insta-kill attack.

Death wasn't too bad, but I could have used a special right at the start during one of the "Minions" phases and I would have easily had another one by the time he started using "Deadly Tempest" which was what I was saving it for anyway.

Single-segment 100% as Joachim 1:22:15 by Damien Moody.

Author's comments:

100% for Joachim isn't actually that hard, since he has no keys to deal with, and dashing all the time helps speed things up as well. For a 100% run I feel that not only do you need 100% Search Ratio (Map Completion) but also 100% of Joachim's power-ups (HP, MP, Attack, Defense) along with the 6 Orbs he can obtain (all but White). Potions and Food (which are sometimes found in rooms with accessories/relics/keys for Leon) I don't consider as anything worth grabbing.

I started with Ghostly Theatre as usual. Joachim and Leon's route through here is almost identical - Leon just skips the locked room this time through, and also has to pick up the HP Max Up in the Cyclops room. I started here since it's the only area that has an Attack Increase that doesn't require a boss fight. Succubus actually isn't that hard even with only that one attack increase as well.

Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab is next due to it's short length and because the Flame Elemental is the easiest of the 3 Elementals. Leon's and Joachim's route through here is completely different. Leon actually makes 2 trips to cover it all, Joachim just has to enter/exit in a few places to cover everything. The Golem is pathetically easy with 2 Attack Increases.

The Garden Forgetten by Time is next. Leon and Joachim's route through here is almost identical, save for the extra trip Leon has to make back here after obtaining the Wolf's Foot Relic. Pretty standard runthough. Medusa dies quickly.

Dark Palace of Waterfalls is another area where Leon and Joachim have completely different routes. While Joachim takes the right at the first fork and uses the stairs to head downstairs, Leon uses the Elevator up near the Ice Elemental since her gets a Relic for collecting all the money on the way down. Joachim is still a bitch even with all the upgrades.

I saved the House of Sacred Remains for last since its the only one of the 5 areas that doesn't have an Attack increase. Both character's routes through here are similar, except Joachim has to walk everywhere, and Leon gets to use Memorial Tickets to warp around. Undead Parasite drops quickly with the massive Attack power I have.

The only thing about this run that bugs me is the huge backtrack I have to do just to get to Forgotten One. Despite the fact that Joachim can't pick up any other Event Items, he still needs the Unlock Jewel to get downstairs. So I end up having to walk from Pagoda of the Misty Moon 2F all the way back down through the Entrance and past the level transporters just to get to him, then another pleasant walk back upstairs all the way back to Walter.

Not much to be said about Walter/Death. They both drop quickly since I'm at full power. Walter even drops without ever getting to use his Insta-Kill attack.

Boss Rush in 0:13:05.05 by Damien Moody.

Author's comments:

I don't show my equipment or anything else at the start of the fight, so I'll list it here:
Weapon: Whip of Flames
Armor: Solar Plate
Acces1: Bloody Cape (Gain hearts when you take damage)
Acces2: Heart Brooch (Decreases heart comsumption for Sub-Weapons)
Acces3: Megingjord (Increases damage as HP goes down)
SubWpn: Knife
Orb: Yellow
Relic: Invinvibility Jar

Swapping equipment (Whips and Accessories) is the key. The Brisingamen helps a lot for fights utilizing Relics, and the Assassin Necklace is nice for Walter/Death. Swapping Whips for different elemental weaknesses is essential.

There are some bosses which are quite counterproductive to having a good Boss Rush - any that can guard.

Flame, Ice, and Thunder Elemental can all do this, along with both Doppelgangers. Ice just seems to do it whenever she wants, but it's less annoying than the others. The other 4 pretty much guard if they aren't attacking...which wouldn't be a big deal if they wouldn't sometimes spend 20+ seconds doing nothing. The Thunder Elemental fight kinda sucked when he decided to not do anything...I tried to break it but didn't quite do what I wanted.

Succubus can also guard, but hers is different. When she yells "No Tricks" she puts up a shield for a couple seconds. Usually she does this as a counter to a sub-weapon. Sometimes you can catch her in the middle of an attack, but it's not likely since she can cancel her attack and put the shield up anytime.

Joachim can also be annoying. After you drop his shield he sometimes like to just move around the room without doing anything (I had one attempt where he did nothing but circle the room). It's rather hard to whip when he's constantly out of range.

Forgotten One. He's not hard just annoying. The first phase is simple. Just Astral Knife and whip. Never stay on the ground long enough for a maggot to hit you. Second phase just make sure not to get hit by the hand. Stay as far to the right as possible too - this allows you to semi-manipulate where his hand will go. After he slams it down fire off an Astral Knife and as many whips as you can. The third phase you need the Invincibility Jar. Just use more Astral Knife and whip as usual, but when he charges up his insta-death beam, activate the jar and keep attacking.

Walter - the only trick here is to use the Invincibility Jar when he uses his insta-kill attack.

For Death, keep your HP low and use the Invincibility Jar during the "Minions" and "Deadly Tempest" attacks.

Boss Rush as Joachim in 0:14:41.63 by Damien Moody.

Author's comments:

Joachim takes longer than Leon, but is a bit easier as well. There's no equipment swapping or item usage, so its almost always an immediate teleport after the fight.

Against the Flame and Thunder Elementals, and both Doppelgangers, the Beam is extremely useful for breaking their guard stance. The Ice Elemental can still guard it, though.

My Undead Parasite Trick worked almost perfectly this time. The first Beam was perfect, the 2nd was a little too far to the left but somewhat managable, the 3rd was on target but still hard to have to listen for that second hit on the far eye.

Succubus isn't even worth using specials on...she'll usually use her shield if you do.

I should have saved more MP for the Joachim fight...I could have gotten a few more Spinning Blades specials off.

Against Fogetten One the weaker stance is better. Its easy to score multiple hits with it. The first phase you'll notice I was getting 3+ hits per swing. Use the Beam to clear the Maggots, and use the attack stance when there's only the one large target left. The 2nd phase goes quickly if you can keep him slamming the far right since you can press the attack easily while his hand is still in the air. Notice also that his hand has 2 hit locations. 3rd phase also seems to have 2 hit locations, but they're not as easy to multi hit as the hand. Save your beams for when he's using his insta-death beam.

Walter drops quick. Save a beam for when he uses his insta-death attack. This is one of the few bosses that Joachim can drop faster than Leon.

Death is also fairly quick. Just abuse the special when he does "Minions" or "Deadly Tempest" and keep piling on the sword attacks. This would have gone a bit faster if that one Minion would have left me alone however.

I just did a quick comparison...Joachim drops 4 of the bosses faster than Leon (Succubus, Joachim, Walter, and Death). It seems any boss I can't use major Sub-Weapon abuse on with Leon is faster for Joachim.

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