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Sequence-mapping Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

edited 2018-06-26 12:00:35 in Media
I've lately been replaying CvHoDiss a few times, mostly trying to speedrun it and get the best ending, and I'm really coming to understand the sequence design of this game.  Also coming to appreciate the finer details of the art design, too, just from running through it over and over again, but I won't focus on this here.

FYI if you've not yet played through this game or are looking for a scenic journey through the castle, this thread isn't for you.  This thread is about finding the most direct route to finish the game.

Here's what's needed for a no-glitch (i.e. no zipping or door-glitching) any % completion:

Items needed:
* JB's Bracelet (you get this at the beginning of the game)
* MK's Bracelet (you get this on talking to Maxim in Sky Walkway A, after beating Shadow in Sky Walkway B )
* six Dracula relics: (ONLY IF YOU WANT THE WORST OR THE BEST ENDING)
* * Eye of Vlad (Chapel of Dissonance A, requires rocket-jump normally, or double-jump if you're clever)
* * Fang of Vlad (Clock Tower A, requires opening up a barrier in Clock Tower B first)
* * Nail of Vlad (Aqueduct of Dragons A, requires double-jump)
* * Heart of Vlad (Sky Walkway B, behind the save point, needs Crushing Stone)
* * Vlad's Ring (Marble Corridor A, requires Ice Fist or double-jump)
* * Rib of Vlad (Entrance B, requires rocket-jump AND Crush Boots AND that Giant Bat be dead)
* not an item, but IF YOU WANT THE SOMEWHAT-BAD ENDING, you need to Break the Evil Hand (Top Floor A, requires rocket-jump AND Crush Boots)
* Lizard's Tail (slide, Shrine of the Apostates A)
* Sylph Feather (double-jump and jump-kick, Skeleton Cave B )
* Crushing Stone (charge attack, Clock Tower B )
* Griffin's Wing (rocket-jump, Luminous Cavern A)
* Crush Boots (break ceiling with rocket-jump, Wailing Way B )
* Floodgate Key (drains Luminous Caverns A, so you can fight Death.  You can't open his door when it's submerged.  in Skeleton Cave A)

Optional items: Night Goggles (see further in the dark hallway), Skull Key (opens green doors), Lure Key (opens rainbow doors), all spellbooks and subweapons (UNLESS you are using Ice Fist), all other whip enhancements, all armor and all other accessories (EXCEPT Floating Boots, which would likely be useful in an Ice Fist sequence-breaking run), all stat upgrades (HP Max Up and Heart Max Up).

Quick note on terminology: The castle maps are roughly organized into three "Chunks", and the barriers between them are generally difficult to circumvent.  These chunks are the same in both castles so I won't give castle letters here (alternate area names are from the soundtrack)
* Chunk 1: Entrance, Marble Corridor, Wailing Way, Shrine of the Apostates, Room of Illusions
* Chunk 2: Castle Treasury, Castle Top Floor (most of it at least), Skeleton Cave (a.k.a. Skeleton Den), Luminous Cavern (a.k.a. Luminous Caverns)
* Chunk 3: Sky Walkway, Chapel of Dissonance, Aqueduct of Dragons, Clock Tower
The intended order of this game is roughly 1A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 2A, 1B.
Connections between Chunks are as follows:
* Keyhole Warp #1: connects Room of Illusions A to Castle Treasury B
* Keyhole Warp #2: connects Luminous Cavern B to Sky Walkway A
* Marble Corridor - Castle Top Floor (requires Skull Key and Griffin's Wing)
* Wailing Way - Castle Treasury (requires Skull Key)
* Entrance - Skeleton Cave (requires Crushing Stone and Griffin's Wing)
* Luminous Cavern - Aqueduct of Dragons (requires Crushing Stone and Griffin's Wing)
* Castle Top Floor - Chapel of Dissonance (requires Crushing Stone, and isn't really a connection to most of Chapel of Dissonance unless you beat Pazuzu and hit the switch, which controls a barrier that exists in both castles)
* all Circular Warps (press up to switch between different dimensions' versions of the same room; press down to fast-travel by cycling between rooms in the same dimension)

"Do I need to beat this boss?"
* Giant Bat (Marble Corridor A, opens the drawbridge, otherwise skippable, so you can leave it to last): yes
* Living Armor (Shrine of the Apostates A, guards Lizard's Tail): yes
* Skull Knight (Skeleton Cave B, guards Sylph Feather): yes
* Golem (Luminous Cavern B ): NO
* Minotaur (Castle Top Floor B ): NO
* Devil (Sky Walkway A, guards Night Goggles if you want them before Giant Merman): NOT REALLY, IF YOU CAN GET THROUGH THE DARK HALLWAY
* Giant Merman (Aqueduct of Dragons A, blocks path to a switch that allows access to the Crushing Stone): yes
* Max Slimer (Clock Tower A, it's just in the way): yes
* Peeping Big (Clock Tower B, it's also just in the way): yes
* Legion (saint) (Sky Walkway B ): EITHER YOU BEAT THIS OR YOU TAKE A MUCH LONGER PATH THROUGH Aqueduct of Dragons B, SO UNLESS YOU'RE DOING A MINIMALIST RUN I SUGGEST FIGHTING THIS
* Shadow (Sky Walkway B, beat it to get MK's Bracelet in Sky Walkway A): yes
* Pazuzu (Castle Top Floor A, guards a switch opening up Chunk 2): yes
* Minotaur Lv2 (Castle Top Floor A): NO
* Legion (corpse) (Skeleton Cave A): NO
* Death (Luminous Cavern A, guards Griffin's Wing): NO YES because Griffin's Wing is required to use the Crush Boots, and that's required for any ending.
* Talos (Luminous Cavern A, guards Skull Key): NOT UNLESS YOU WANT THE Skull Key which you might want in a normal playthrough
* Cyclops (Shrine of the Apostates B ): NO but it might be convenient to just run through his room on your way to the endgame
* Maxim (Castle Treasury A or B ): yes
* Dracula (two forms, Castle Treasury B ): yes ONLY IF YOU ARE DOING THE BEST ENDING

Suggested any% no-glitch best-ending path in next post.  I might come up with low% map, fewest number of relics/items, pacifist, 100% map, 100% sitting items, 100% item drops, etc. routes later.  I don't know how to zip in this game so I am ignoring zipping completely.  Ice Fist to access the Entrance warp point is in the grey area as to whether it's a glitch, but it's certainly a possibility in some runs but not others.

FYI this thread is meant to supersede the similar thread I've made in Heapers' Hangout.

Comments

  • edited 2016-12-01 04:52:13
    Suggested any% no-glitch path:

    (NOTE: Dracula's Relics will be mentioned.  If you are aiming for the somewhat-bad ending, which is probably the fastest one, you can avoid picking up four of them.)

    1. Start game (with JB'S Bracelet).  Go up Entrance and right to Marble Corridor.  Go above and right to circumvent Giant Bat boss room (takes forever to kill at low levels).  Drop down to Wailing Way, then further down to Shrine of the Apostates.  Beat Living Armor and get the Lizard's Tail.  Go left back into Entrance, back up, back right to Marble Corridor, then first down into Room of Illusions -- take the right path, linear path to Keyhole Warp #1.

    2. Keyhole Warp #1 to Castle Treasury B.  Go right all the way, then down, down, down, and left, to enter the Skeleton Cave.  Right at first fork, then mostly linear path to Skull Knight to get the Sylph Feather].  Backtrack to Castle Treasury then go right to Luminous Cavern.  Go down at the fork left of the save point, then linear path to Keyhole Warp #2.

    3. Keyhole Warp #2 to Sky Walkway A.  Go east to save point (i.e. Devil boss room basically) but go down.  (If desired, fight Devil and get the Night Goggles.)  Pass through dark rooms to Aqueduct of Dragons A.  At a four-way fork, go down a few rooms until you see room with a sculpture of a woman's head.  Get the Nail of Vlad in that room.  {1 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Go back to that fork, up and (left to save) right to Giant Merman.  Mostly linear path into Clock Tower, to a switch.  Hit the switch, and keep going up, until you see a red door on left.  It's Sky Walkway A but don't go there.  Go right and then up instead.  Beat Max Slimer.  At the top right corner, meet Death, who opens all the circular warps.

    4. Warp to Clock Tower B.  Take the fork beneath the save point to get to a room where you can swing a hammer.  Time the swing so you bat a Bronze Guarder into a wall.  Ignore what's past the wall; just backtrack to the circular warp.  Warp to Clock Tower A, and go back to that same location, where there should be no wall now, and keep going to the Ball Maze.  Start the Ball Maze but find the hidden sliding passage to the left.  Go into that hidden room to get the Tooth of Vlad{2 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Backtrack to the circular warp.

    5. Warp to Clock Tower B.  Retrace the path you took to get through the Clock Tower the first time, beat Peeping Big along the way, but stop once you get past the pendulum pits, going left to activate a mechanism.  Once you have, go back over the pendulum pits and then drop down to get the [Crushing Stone].  Then, go left into the Sky Walkway, either beating Legion (saint) or going through Aqueduct of Dragons B (I think Legion (saint) is faster to deal with).  Stop by the Sky Walkway save point to open up the wall and get the Heart of Vlad{3 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Go to the top left of Sky Walkway B (not Chapel of Dissonance B, mind you) to break the wall and fight Shadow.  Beat Shadow, then backtrack all the way to Clock Tower Circular Warp.

    6. Warp to Clock Tower A.  Backtrack to where you fought Shadow, and get MK's Bracelet.  Go up to Chapel of Dissonance A, and use a jump-kick to get the Eye of Vlad{4 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Equip MK's Bracelet to open the door to Castle Top Floor A, break the wall, beat Pazuzu, and hit the switch.  Go down a LOT, into Castle Treasury A, then go left into Skeleton Cave A.  Go nearly to the boss room, solving block-pushing puzzles along the way, but instead of fighting the boss, go up and solve a third block-pushing puzzle to get the Floodgate Key at the top left of the room.  Backtrack to Castle Treasury A and go right into Luminous Caverns.  Go right past the save point, then down and left to the lion sculpture where you can use the Floodgate Key to drain the water.  Go back to the save point, then left then down, and follow the path to Death to get the Griffin's Wing.  Backtrack to the last fork and go right to fight Talos, then zoom upward repeatedly to get the Skull Key.  Backtrack to the last fork and go up to open a breakable wall to a circular warp.

    SOMEWHAT-BAD ENDING:

    7. Teleport to Castle Top Floor A, then warp to Castle Top Floor B.  Go down a while, then left below the first elevator, using the Skull Key, into Wailing Way B.  Go all the way left to get the Crush Boots.  Backtrack to the Castle Top Floor Circular Warp, and warp to Castle Top Floor A.  Go right, equip the Crush Boots, break the ceilings, and break the Evil Hand.  Then go down to the Castle Treasury, to the same hallway that leads to the Wailing Way, but go down once more, going (left to save) down into the castle core.  Beat Maxim to get the ending.

    WORST AND BEST ENDINGS:

    7. Teleport to Castle Top Floor A.  Go down a while, then left just below the first elevator's save point, to go to Marble Corridor A.  Upstairs, find Vlad's Ring{5 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Going further left, beat the Giant Bat; it should take about four hits.  (Try to one-cycle it.)  Go further left back into the Entrance, whose top left corner has the Platinum Tip (optional but useful) and a circular warp.

    8. Warp to Entrance B.  Now you've got three choices to get to the Crush Boots:
    * Go down to the opening corridor's B version.  Now just go right into Shrine of the Apostates B, beating Cyclops on the way, and somewhat further right then up, to get to Wailing Way B.  Go all the way left to get the Crush Boots.  This path has a lot of dangerous enemies, but Cyclops and Jp Bone Pillars can get you lots of XP and Simon Wraiths can get you High Potions.
    * Go right, back into Marble Corridor B, beat or circumvent the Pike Master, go down into the Wailing Way, and go all the way left to get the Crush Boots.  This path has fewer powerful enemies.
    * Teleport to Castle Top Floor B, then drop down past the first elevator and go left to enter Wailing Way B.  Go all the way left to get the Crush Boots.  This past has the fewest enemies.

    9. After picking up the Crush Boots, go down into Shrine of the Apostates B, then left, defeating Cyclops if you haven't beaten it yet, and entering Entrance B.  Go past the drawbridge until you see something in the sky; use rocket-jump with Crush Boots to access it and find the Rib of Vlad{6 of 6 Dracula Relics}  Now backtrack through Shrine of the Apostates B to Wailing Way B, and go right to Castle Treasury B.  Go down one hallway, and you'll have a save point on the left and the castle core below you.

    WORST ENDING:

    10. Go down into the castle core and fight Maxim (without equipping both JB's Bracelet and Maxim's Bracelet).

    BEST ENDING:

    10. Equip JB's Bracelet and MK's Bracelet (or do so before your last hit on Maxim).  Go down into the castle core and fight Maxim.  Then fight Dracula's two forms.
  • If you're doing low% items or something like that, you can get around the Skull Key doors by using the Entrance basement to go between Chunk 1 (Entrance) and Chunk 2 (Skeleton Cave).

    If you need to access Chunk 1B really early, like as soon as Death opens the warps, you can use Ice Fist after you get the Sylph Feather to "mark" the Entrance circular warp, which will let you use it as soon as the Clock Tower cutscene with Death finishes.  Crouch to teleport to it.  Warning: enemies will be obnoxiously strong.

    (It might be possible to do this without the Sylph Feather, but I'm not sure.)

    Using the Ice Fist this way means that the Pike Master becomes a key enemy.  It drops the Floating Boots, which can substitute for the Griffin's Wing in all situations EXCEPT those two requiring the Crush Boots (sadly).  Since you need either of them to finish the game, you still need to pick up the Crush Boots.  But the fact that you'll have the Floating Boots means that you can:
    * use the Entrance basement to go between the Entrance and the Skeleton Cave
    * use the doorway between Luminous Cavern and Aqueduct of Dragons
    * get the goodies behind Talos and Golem, and do so without filling the cave with that monster's blood (but you'll discover the dirty secret: it was dead all along!)
    * circumvent all those silly block puzzles in Skeleton Cave A
    * get the Eye of Vlad, if for some reason you still haven't gotten it
    * laugh at all those puny earthbound enemies that can't reach you

    The Ice Fist can also allow early access to Vlad's Ring, even without the double-jump.

    FYI Ice Fist is available by combining Fist subweapon (which can be gotten from the second up in the Entrance, very very early) and the Ice Book (top left passage from the first big room in Marble Corridor A).
  • edited 2018-06-25 05:16:49
    @Bluesy_Cowgirl Hey, you once said you had a speedrun route in mind but it might be different. What's your route? (This is for an in-bounds speedrun.)
  • Bovarian Mammarian
    I have it in a text file somewhere, I'll see if I can dig it up
  • Bovarian Mammarian
    All right, here's what I found.

    No use of arcane techniques, secrets, glitches, or game genie cheats.

    From the entrance: go up and around to get to the Wailing Way and then down to the Shrine of the Apostates (great name, that). Fight boss, get lizard tail. Now you can slide your way around the castle like an idiot.

    So now you go back up around, this time to that trippy room where the first warp is. You end up in Castle B. From here, head down to the skeleton area, go past the Crocomire skulls and dead Donkey Kongs to the boss and get the sylph feather. Now you can double jump.

    Go through the luminous cavern and find the warp that takes you to Castle A's sky area. Now you have the option of getting the night goggles, but only n00bs need that. Go down through the dark area into the sewery place. This is a good time to grab the first of Drac's relics, the nail, hidden behind a walk-through wall.

    So now you go up the obligatory clock tower. At the top is another intercastle warp. Go down toward the place where you race the big rolling ball. You need to open this up now, because there's some Light World/Dark World shit going on and you need it to be open in the other castle.

    While you're here in Castle B's clock tower you can also grab the crushing stone. In fact, you really should. You have to.

    Still in Castle B, head back to the open-sky area and find the save point. You can get Drac's heart here, behind the crushable wall. Then head left until you get into a cutscene with Evil Maxim and fight the shapeshifting shadow thing.

    Going back up the clock tower, warp back to Castle A and head down to the rolling ball race. Here you can collect Drac's tooth (he only has one, apparently). Then go to the equivalent of the shadow fight room to get Maxim's bracelet. With this you can go up the sky chapel place and get up to what ordinarily would be Dracula's throne room.

    Now you gotta make your way down to the bone fetish area (in Castle A this time) where you have to do some block puzzles. Because that's what everyone wanted: block puzzles in Castlevania. Then you can get the floodgate key. With this you can make your way through the caverns, drain the water, and fight Death, who seems to want to be the first boss from Strider. This will get you the griffin wing.

    Also in the caverns, fight another boss and claim the skull key.

    Now find the teleporter in the caverns and use it to go up to Drac's throne room again. To the right you'll find the Castle A sky chapel where Drac's eyeball is hanging out. Claim it and go back to Castle B, specifically the equivalent of the Wailing Way. Fight the Simon zombies off and get the crush boots.

    You'll now want Drac's rib which is above the entryway in Castle B.

    Now somehow or other you gotta go back to Castle A, near the start, to claim the last of Drac's relics: the ring.

    Then you find a warp, go to Castle B, and make your way to the Symphony of the Night ripoff room for the final battle.
  • edited 2018-06-26 00:52:37
    Looks like our routes are mostly the same, except it seems that my route collects the Eye and Ring earlier by using jump-kicks to get up to their platforms. I think this saves on some warping and backtracking.

    I should stream this sometime. Heck, we could even race this.

    I'm still bummed out that Ice Fist Glitch to open up the Entrance circular warp early doesn't actually help sequence break, since the sequences inevitably converge again at beating Death for the Griffin's Wing. If it weren't for requiring that to use the Crush Boots, it actually WOULD be a MAJOR sequence break.
  • Bovarian Mammarian
    jump kicks, eh
  • edited 2018-06-26 02:23:33
    jump kicks, eh
    Yeah. It allows you to double-jump again.

    I should stream a run where I use this to cherry-tap all the bosses.

    I think I've succeeded at this for every boss (post-double-jump) except Death 1, Talos, and Dracula 2.
  • Bovarian Mammarian
    this is a thing I didn't know about.
  • * Death (Luminous Cavern A, guards Griffin's Wing): NO
    I don't know why I wrote this earlier or maybe it's because I hadn't yet corrected it.

    Death IS a required boss because the Griffin's Wing is required to use the Crush Boots.
  • come to think of it
    * Giant Bat (Marble Corridor A, opens the drawbridge, otherwise skippable, so you can leave it to last): yes

    Giant Bat is not required if you're going for the somewhat-bad ending.

    That said, even if you do need to fight Giant Bat, you should wait until late game to do it, because Giant Bat takes forever at low levels.

    Devil is also a pain in the rear too, with unpredictable movements and cursing ability. Juste's innocent mind will struggle to process the foul language, causing him to move irritatingly slowly (and have more foul language thrown at him by the player). That said, if you collect the Eye early, you can censor his expletives, negating his status ability.
  • Bovarian Mammarian
    dammit
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