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Castlevania: Bloodlines
Released in March 1994, Bloodlines is the first Castlevania game that lets you choose your character from the beginning. One of the characters, Eric Lecarde, usually known as "spear dude", is the first spear wielder in a Castlevania game. Spear dude can pole vault 15 feet in the air from a still position, but apparently never took swimming lessons. Years of bleaching have obviously taken a toll on spear dude's hair; his hair is green in every stage, but blonde in every cutscene. The other character, John Morris, or "whip guy", obviously never went to a D.A.R.E meeting about steroids in high school. Also, there is blood: lots and lots of blood. Of course, Europeans don't bleed (scientific fact!), so Konami removed blood from the European release.


Expert, Eric Lecarde run (Single Segment): 0:32:13 by Joe Stanski

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My sincere thanks goes out to everyone that helps run SDA and get these runs up for us to enjoy. Thanks guys!

Castlevania: Bloodlines is a prototypical old school Castlevania game, with the added bonus of choosing between two characters. I choose spear dude, Eric Lecarde, because he is generally cooler and offers some play advantages. His pole-vault is very useful, because he goes invincible while in the animation, and it opens up shortcuts that are not possible with the standard whip character. His attack is slightly weaker though. Jumping is only faster when you can jump on the first frame possible, otherwise it wastes 2 frames on every jump.

In general, I try to kill all enemies with the minimum amount of swings when I can't jump attack through them. The problem is, enemies often take multiple hits while the spear is out, causing me to swing one more time then necessary in some situations. It is better most of the time to be safe and swing an extra time versus trying to rely on multiple hits when I'm not sure they will hit. This is especially prominent in level 5, but there is nothing I can do to prevent this really without getting raped by enemies half the time and killing them optimally the other half.

Also, you may notice that ducking to hit enemies causes the spear to have less time in between swings. The problem is, 95-99% of the enemies have a small wait period in between hits, so you end up missing hits. Whenever I have to duck attack, I try to time the hits correctly, and I don't think I really missed any in this run.

The sub-weapon power in this game goes in this order of strength: Axe, Boomerang, Holy Water. Generally, the Axe does the same amount of damage as a non-flaming spear. I don't really use any of these sub-weapons much. Item crashing doesn't increase damage, it just allows multiple hits. The best sub-weapon is the green orb thing, which is obtained by grabbing the final spear upgrade or already having the final spear upgrade and grabbing two of the same sub-weapon in a row. It does create lag, unfortunately.

On that note, it is critical to keep the spear upgrade for most of the bosses in the game, as it speeds up the fights tremendously (probably 2 minutes are saved just on the final boss battles alone). It is obtained by hitting 30 candles/item containers with the 2nd spear upgrade. This is why when I don't have the spear, I am constantly hitting candles. The problem is that taking one hit means you lose the spear power up. This prevents most opportunities to damage through enemies in the game and is where the difficulty in speedrunning this game comes from. Damaging through enemies is also not really possible because a lot of enemies do a ton of damage on expert. The final problem with damaging through enemies is that they hit you back to the left, giving you an extremely short invincibility period, and don't allow you to walk through. There are still a few areas I find to take damage to save time.


This is generally how I planned the spear upgrades:


This run is not perfect. Generally I don't have any huge time losses, but little things add up over time. I would have liked a time more like 31:50, but I got very very sick of the randomness of enemies in this game and only completed 2 runs in the time that I ran this game (the other one with a time of 32:49). With all the strats I use, and taking out the easy mistakes, this run could have been in that range. Oh well, maybe someone else will be very motivated and beat this one day, but otherwise I will never touch this game again.

Somehow, Eric's hair turns from a nice shade of blue to blonde for the final cut scene. Way to go, Konami.

Final Comments

I don't think I quite realized how hard this would be when I took it up, because I didn't realize how much time the final spear upgrade saves. Playing through this game without worrying about that isn't quite as bad, because then all you have to worry about are the cheap and random enemies who like to hit you into pits or the ones who do 7 points of damage with each hit. I definitely didn't think it would take as long as it did to get a good run, but I think I put up a mark that is respectable.

Anyways, even if you don't think my playing is good enough (fuck you too, just try speedrunning this without wanting to slit your wrist after you lose your 20th run in a row run to that fucking bone-snake in 2-5 hitting you into a pit :-P), the visuals on this game are amazing and its fun to compare how similar yet slightly different some of the enemies are to other previous Castlevania games. I also dedicate this run to everyone out there who thought they had a faulty game cartridge (I know you're out there) when they finally made it to the last level and noticed how fucked up it looked. Quoting Mikwuyma, while viewing a test run that went through 6-2: "go go shitty emulation." I love you too, Mike.

This run is property of Joe Stanski's right hand and left thumb, and was performed using an official 6 button genesis controller. You may distribute this run, but only for self pleasure purposes. Do not take orally. This run has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not fit for viewing on youtube. Side effects of watching may include extreme jealousy and a severe surge of horniness. Do not watch in the company of the other sex, or you may feel an extreme desire to make sweet sweet love. Copyright stanskiisthegreatestspeedrunnerintheworldever. And please remember that this run was done on ½ of an attempt. Yes, I am so good that I played this with one arm chatting on IRC. If you want to talk to me, I'll be with URMOM.

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