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Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Originally released October 29, 1993, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is one of the last old-school Castlevania games that follows conventional stage progression. However, the game is also considered a transition into modern Castlevania games with its multiple stage paths and endings, (not so) secret playable character, and a new feature similar to magic spells called "item crush." The game was never released outside of Japan, despite positive reviews from fans and critics alike, which has resulted in the game costing around 100 dollars in Ebay auctions.

 

Maria run (Single Segment, Death Abuse): 0:23:31 by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe

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Dracula has once again risen from the grave. Grab your whip and take him down!

Speed Run Rules:

* any% Completion
* Completed using both Richter and Maria
* Takes damage to save time
* Suffers a death to save time
* Uses resets to save time

Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo is one of the last, and possibly one of the best, old-school style Castlevania games. This game is also a direct prequel to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (aka Akumajou Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku). This game was originally released on the PC-Engine (aka TurboGrafix-16), but only in Japan. It received an excellent port over to the Virtual Console (again, only in Japan). Meanwhile, the US got it included with Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP, but the emulation wasn't very well done, especially in audio timing. This run was performed using the Virtual Console release.

This run only completes what's necessary to beat Dracula in the fastest time. I save Maria as she's faster to beat the rest of the game with, unless you're a TAS player and can use the key to the extreme.

0% - 22% Completion

* (0%) Stage 0: Prologue

Prologue is a very simple stage that simply sets the mood. Richter has a quick skirmish with Death. This went exactly to plan. Also, moonwalking!

* (4%) Stage 1: Dinner of Flames (Bloodlines)

The first section can be a bit of a pain, since the skeleton's spawning is slightly random. It is possible to jump over them, but it takes perfect timing - it's considerably less risky to whip them. I take the axe over the dagger as I need it for the boss, along with other parts in this level. I messed up the jump off of the stairs in one section, but otherwise no problems at all.

* Boss: Wyvern

Boss fight goes nearly to plan. He went into his dive earlier then usual, but I got him killed as he was shooting his flames. However, I ended up causing a little extra lag in order to avoid the No Damage bonus.

* (12%) Stage 2: God, Grant Me Strength (Vampire Killer)

Since I have over 20 hearts, I can use the axe twice - once for the skeleton and once to get my Dagger power-up (and for humor, kill both crows up top). Once I go across the drawbridge, I have to face zombie spawns, which sometimes work my way, and sometimes not. Fortunately, they didn't appear too badly in the major lag section. I had a bad spawn near the gaps after Behemoth appears, but fortunately, not bad enough to knock me in. I used the Behemoth right before it died to get blasted up to the top ledge. It doesn't save much time, but it does take my life down a bunch, which saves some time at the end of the level during the scoring.

I save Maria (cutscene not skippable), grab the Holy Water (in an area reminiscent of the original Castlevania, Stage 3) and head over to fight the boss.

* Boss: Werewolf

This boss can be an absolute pain in the ass. Hydrostorm didn't work as well as it could have, since I used it with him in the upper left corner instead of the upper right, plus he made some unexpected moves that caused me to take a couple of hits. I wasn't quite in fight to survive mode, but pretty damn close.

Once Stage 3 loads, the game has saved my progress, so I can reset the game.

Richter's Score: 15,020, 10 Credits

22% - 64% Completion

Upon returning to the save screen, I can switch to Maria and continue with Stage 3. I switch because Maria is considerably faster, and Guardian Fist can do some major damage to enemies.

* (22%) Stage 3: The Vengeful King of Bloodshed (Bloody Tears)

Unlike the 100% run, if you're using Maria it's faster to fight Dogether (Stage 3' boss) and go through Stage 4' then it is to fight Minotaur and go through Stage 4. The time to fight either boss is about the same, but Stage 4' is about 30 seconds faster then 4 due to it's mostly flat horizontal nature. Getting the invincibility item where I did was completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated. Though that one skeleton was a completely stupid bastard.

* Boss: Dogether

This boss has a history of pulling off the most beautiful attacks in a successful attempt to kill me, even with full health. However, thanks to a location trick I picked up from the TASers, I can beat him easily with 2 Guardian Fists and taking zero damage. Yes, he is that easy now. And yes, lots of intentional hits at the end to drop my life to 1 point (this boss will not kill me if he's in his final attack, no matter how many times I hit him).

* (30%) Stage 4': The Final Divergence (Slash)

This level is mostly horizontal rolling along. Nothing much to see here.

* Boss: Dullahan

I can't attack right away when he appears, as it takes several seconds for him to become vulnerable. After that, it's just a matter of continually slapping him with Guardian Fist for the win. I take an intentionaly hit during his desperation move to avoid the No Damage bonus.

* (38%) Stage 5: Toward the Tower of the Final Showdown (Ghost Ship Painting)

There are a lot of tricky timing issues in this level, primarily in the painting section. If you touch the painting when it's active, it's INSTANT DEATH. Two Guardian Fists take it out, and the timing at the door was a little off (the floor has to be at a certain height, or the game won't let me progress until it raises/lowers to that height). I did use Suzaku on the red glowing sword quite nicely.

* Boss: Death

The spawning of his reapers is annoying in every single game he's in. This one is ultra annoying because it's possible to get knocked off of the mast and into the waters below (his scythe swings in the 2nd form can also knock you off in 1 hit, no matter where you are on the mast). For the most part, I rely on Seiryu to do my damage. As a note, if you get hit by the green skulls between phases, he will repeat the attack, thus why I dodge them.

INSERT UNSKIPPABLE CUTSCENE

* (46%) Stage 6: Undying Melody (Former Room)

This level is simple - fight 5 bosses back to back. You get one healing item after the 3rd one. Though something as simple as this got screwed up a bit by getting the wrong power. Oops.

* Boss 1: Darkwing Bat

Fairly clean, though not as smooth as I wanted.

* Boss 2: Medusa

She fell too quickly to scream.

* Boss 3: Mummy

Perfect boss fight.

* Boss 4: Frankenstein's Monster

Also perfect.

* Boss 5: Shaft

I wasn't as lucky with my fight here as I wanted. The biggest issue was he went right - away from Maria during the first hit. The best battling always happens when he jumps left. This caused a delay and allowed him to get an attack off, but he still fell pretty quick.

* (50%) Stage 7: Believe in the Dawn (Den)

For those that have only played the remake, this is the original music, one of the few pieces completely removed. I did get a bit unlucky with the bat spawns on the bridge - a perfect bridge area would be free of all bats, and I got stuck with TWO spawns. The rest of the stage went fairly well. Near the end, the enemies mostly cooperated. The Skeleton Cats didn't cause too much interference, as they both were on the same side when I dropped in and attacked.

* Boss: Shaft's Ghost

For those that haven't played the remake, this fight would be COMPLETELY different on this type of run. Since I didn't rescue Iris or Tera (and thus was not able to save Annette), I'd get a completely different boss - L. Demon. L. Demon is Annette turned into a vampire and I think is a MUCH harder fight to do then Shaft's Ghost. However, this isn't the remake, so I get the easy boss fight. And I mean

* (58%) Stage 8: The Brink of Death (Poison Mind)

The stage is simple enough - climb up to the top and fight Dracula.

* Boss: Dracula (DUH!)

The first phase went really well. I got him in 4 rounds, which I consider to be prime. The second phase fell ridicously quick. (The PSP Remake includes a 3rd form, if you've saved Iris, Tera, and Annette.)

And thus with this fight, the game is over. The damsels all die a mysterious death and Maria takes her kitty and goes home. The End?

Maria's Score: 48,890, 4 Credits

Grand Score: 63,910, 14 Credits.

I hope you enjoyed this quicker (and better ending?) run. As like the 100% run, I'm including subtitles for your enjoyment. Hopefully they won't crash SMPlayer this time like the 100% run originally did. Granted that was the player's fault, but still. Something to laugh about, right?

This run is Copyright (C) 2009 Nicholas "Sir VG" Hoppe and IMAMYTH Colosseum (http://www.imamyth.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/SirVG) and is allowed for downloading and private viewing. Permissions for hosting this run have been granted to Radix and Speed Demos Archive. Public viewing of this run is prohibited without prior permission from the creator. The selling or distribution of this run for profit in any way, shape, or form including (but not limited to) selling on eBay and television for profit is prohibited without prior permission from the author. Video hosting sites (i.e. YouTube, etc) may host this video in part or in full, as long as full permission is granted by the author. Any violation of the above listed may result in legal action. Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo is Copyright (C) 1993 Konami.

Sir VG, signing out.

FIN

Maria 100% run (Single Segment, Death Abuse): 0:40:10 by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe

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Dracula has once again risen from the grave. Grab your whip and take him down!

Speed Run Rules:

Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo is one of the last, and possibly one of the best, old-school style Castlevania games. This game is also a direct prequel to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (aka Akumajou Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku). This game was originally released on the PC-Engine (aka TurboGrafix-16), but only in Japan. It received an excellent port over to the Virtual Console (again, only in Japan). Meanwhile, the US got it included with Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP, but the emulation wasn't very well done, especially in audio timing. This run was performed using the Virtual Console release.

I think, having played the VC and the PSP versions, that if the same run was done on each version, they would have to be listed in separate categories. Not just for the audio timing issues, but the PSP version introduces lag not present in the VC version and removes lag in other places. Also, if a 100% run would be attempted, the reset timings would be different...plus you can't reset at all (without using the home button and getting completely out of the game) during the ending on the PSP version.

This was a run I've wanted to do for several years, but since emulators weren't allowed, I was stuck. But once I managed to get a copy of the Virtual Console version, I rejoiced. It took some time to find a controller I was able to consistently use Maria's Guardian Fist with, which delayed the run for a while longer. Eventually, I found a PS2 controller (plugged in though a GC adapter) to be the best choice. However, I did need to keep a Wiimote handy for resets.

This run completes 100% of the game, by completing all levels, beating all bosses, and saving all of the maidens. I reset the game three times. Two are needed to save time, while the third is only so I can go back to the save selection screen so I can show that I got 100% on my save file.

0% - 22% Completion

Richter's Score: 14,930, 10 Credits

22% - 64% Completion

Upon returning to the save screen, I can switch to Maria and continue with Stage 3. I switch because Maria is considerably faster, and Guardian Fist can do some major damage to enemies.

Maria's Score: 47,230, 6 Credits

64% - 100% Completion

After this reset, all that's left are the alternate stages and saving the last 2 maidens. Again I use Maria as she's faster.

Maria's Score: 26,960, 4 Credits.

Grand Score: 89,120, 19 Credits.

I hope you enjoyed a bit of history here. The run does end a bit oddly that it doesn't end with a final boss fight (or even a boss fight PERIOD). No ending video, no credits, just a save screen that says 100%. Well, too bad. Go look on YouTube for a video. Or better yet, play the game yourself! This thing is a treat to play. Hopefully someday Konami will be like Capcom (GO ROCKMAN 9!) and make an old school game in this style, instead of the Metroidvania style games that they're currently doing. Oh well. One can dream, right?

Also, I'm working on developing an outtake video of a bunch of silly mistakes I've made and bad luck I faced. I hope you enjoy it. I'm also making a subtitle file for this video, for those who haven't played the PSP port to see their translation, or for those that have and hate seeing all of the spelling errors. "Perhaps two this is my fate"? Or like the misspelling of "savage" when it was used 3 times in 3 consecutive sentences? UGH. NO EXCUSE.

This run is Copyright (C) 2008 Nicholas "Sir VG" Hoppe and is allowed for downloading and private viewing. Permissions for hosting this run have been granted to Radix and Speed Demos Archive. Public viewing of this run is prohibited without prior permission from the creator. The selling or distribution of this run for profit in any way, shape, or form including (but not limited to) selling on eBay and television for profit is prohibited without prior permission from the author. Video hosting sites (i.e. YouTube, etc) may host this video in part or in full, as long as full permission is granted to the author. Any violation of the above listed may result in legal action. Akumajou Dracula X: Chi no Rondo is Copyright (C) 1993 Konami.

Sir VG, signing out.

FIN

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