Damageless Category - Question
2 years ago
New Jersey, USA

I'm a new speedrunner (I play ninja gaiden) and have noticed a lot of hype surrounding damageless runs recently. Ninja Gaiden obviously had Slackanater complete the first ever last year and there was hype for "damageless march" that resulted in Edo and CHX both putting up times alongside Slack on the Damageless scoreboard.

I noticed, however, that there is not a damageless category for Castlevania 2, despite what looks like ViggoTheeCarpathian submitting a damageless run. I found it in the Any% category. It looks like it's about 3 weeks old so I wasn't sure if it takes time to create/move the run to the category, or if there was no intention of making a damageless category for this game.

I realize that Castlevania 2 has many categories that I will fully admit I do not understand and appreciate the nuances of, as I am still a casual fan of the game and do not run it. However, can someone explain to me why there is not a damageless category now that a run has been completed damageless? There are other several other categories that have only two or three runs listed on them - is there a minimum number of completions needed to create a new category? I saw that Legend of Zelda has a "category extensions" where they keep damageless, but I'm not sure the criteria to make a category extension either.

Overall, I feel that damageless is a very awesome niche in speedrunning, and is extremely difficult to accomplish in any game. It's extremely easy for a newcomer to speedrunning to understand the rules of the category and enjoy watching the runs. The tension of "near misses" is also extremely exciting to watch, as well.

If there is an intention to create a Damageless category to put his run into and it just takes time, please feel free to ignore my post. I was just very curious as I've been extremely fascinated with damageless runs recently. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration in reading this!

*Important note - I have not spoken to ViggoTheeCarpathian or anyone else about making this post, this is purely my own curiousity on how the speedrunning community handles new categories and damageless rules are easy for me to understand. If ViggoTheeCarpathian sees this and wants me to remove this post, I will happily do so.


Like you say, there's already a lot of categories for this game. It's already looking like a cluttered mess and is in urgent need for a complete overhaul, for example with different tabs separating the NES and FDS categories.

NES and FDS as main tabs would make sense, so you can easily tell those categories apart. FDS 100% has already been routed for example, but not added as a category pending reorganization.

There's not really a minimum number of runs required to add a new category, but generally at least 2 people would be nice.

It's a lot of work to reorganize the boards completely with a tabbed layout however, and something that I've been wanting to get done for over a year now. But SRC doesn't really make it easy to do a big overhaul like that; it's easy to mess up existing runs and have them disappear completely unless you have the link, which would be a disaster. So as a precaution writing a backup of all the info for each and every run and store it in a spreadsheet or something is really what needs to be done before reorganizing can begin. Which as you can imagine with the number of runs in any% and glitchless would take a LOT of time.

I'm well aware of Viggo's run though and I'll keep it in mind as a misc category for the future if there's a genuine interest.

Edited by the author 2 years ago
New Jersey, USA

I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my post!

Certainly an overhaul of the entire leaderboard has got to be a challenge. I have no idea how any of it works, let alone on SRC. And having the backups is definitely important and I can imagine you don't have the tools provided to make it easy. I don't envy you for that! I do understand having to protect integrity of leaderboards and not just throwing any suggestion any runner wants up into a new category, too. It can't be easy having to make those decisions, but I would have assumed a damageless category would have been an exciting addition.

It leads me to just one last question, as it does sound like there's no interest in adding the category at this time. I know Ninja Gaiden Damageless was a very big deal (due to unlocking the secret behind the demon head kill) but is a damageless run in this game not prestigious? I understand his time was lengthier compared to any% (much like slackanater's original damageless gaiden was) due to safety strats, but not taking a single hit across a 30+ minute run seems difficult.

I'm just curious as to the estimated difficulty/prestige of a damageless run in this game - I would assume it would be difficult if other runners haven't taken the time to try it out - much the same as low% or Whip Only would be much more difficult than any% as well. I understand not every any% player is going to try the subcategories either, though, which is why I'm curious where it's regarded in difficulty or why nobody else has bothered to run it. With damageless in any game, I had assumed that difficulty would be the hardest barrier to entry (unless you wanted to put up a several hour run?) Maybe I just have a lot to learn about other games, though!

Thanks again for your time and consideration in helping educate me!

Jönköping, Sweden

I'm personally against it, we have waaaaay too many categories as it is.


Damageless is certainly a challenge, sure. But not in the same capacity like a game such as Ninja Gaiden where it makes for a lot more sense and an exciting watch. Most enemies in this game have very predictable patterns and always appear in the same spot. Only some enemies like blobs, spearknights and birds pose a major threat. Add to that the fact that laurels are needed to cross the swamps and whip upgrades can be bought it wouldn't be as tough of a challenge as say low%

United States

hey everyone. first, im sorry that my run is causing some controversy within the community. I did it because I had seen Slackanator running Ninja Gaiden and Double Dragon Pacifist, and then recently CHX and Edo87 also completed NG pacifist. This came around the time I got my goal time of sub 40 in Any% Glitchless, so I was looking for a new category to try, and this piqued my interest. The run was definitely tough for me, but to be fair I have only played this game for 2 months at this point, so it might have been tough for me but a lot easier/quicker for a more experienced player. While the run doesn't exactly have many tough tricks/spots, it is absolutely nerve-racking to be focused on your every movement in every screen for 59 minutes (again, this time could be brought down by a more experienced player to probably sub 40). I thought it would be a cool 'new' way to play the game that seemed to be building on the momentum in the Retro community to try these type of challenge runs. In addition, a lot of people have recently picked up this speed run (11 entries in the top 20 in Any% Glitchess within only the past few months), so I thought this would be a cool way to bring more people in to watch/play the game and bring some excitement to the community. Clearly some people in the community don't judge it to be either difficult or interesting, which is totally fine. I don't want this to be something that divides people who play this game, so I don't want to ruffle any feathers to push for its categorization. I'm really happy and proud to have gotten that run in for the first time, and appreciate the support people have shown me (thanks for your previous posts Seamless), but its clear there's not a general or high level interest in the category. No problem, I understand its not everyone's cup of tea. I will admit that its been somewhat frustrating to see some of the discussion about this, which has lead me to drop the game from my speedrunning schedule, and I'm not sure if/when I would even come back to it at this point since it seems I have caused more disruption than I had intended. This was the first game I ever learned to speedrun, and I'm sorry that I've caused a disruption just by trying to have fun. For now, I'm not playing the game anymore for the time being, and wish everyone luck that is.

bedwablackburn, KenMastersWetDream and 2 others like this

Hey @ViggoTheeCarpathian

First of all: Don't apologize, you've done nothing wrong and caused no disruption for the community. From what I've heard from other people (have been unable to catch your streams for the most part due to timezones differences) you worked your ass off to get a damageless run to work out and you should be very proud of it. It's always exciting to see new people come up with different ways to beat the game.

Don't take any offense by my previous post, it was in comparison to Ninja Gaiden damageless which was brought up earlier, which is a much harder game to clear with no damage. As well as a comparison to low% which requires 240 whips to Dracula which is also very hard to complete.

Damageless doesn't interest me personally, but like I said in my first post, I'm open to adding it as a misc category if just more than 1 person complete it (once reorganization of the board is complete)

There was also a discussion about damageless in the cv2 discord a few weeks ago and at least 2 people showed interest in the category, and nobody objected about adding it under misc. I think just nobody has gotten around to trying it yet and I'm sure if we give it some more time we will see more people do it.

CV2 is pretty slow moving overall to gain interest for new categories that aren't any% or glitchless do don't feel bad about it. We had hopes that the semi-new "Any% no Wrong Warp" would get some attention since you can do glitches like floor drops and 3-block jumps, but not unintended warps. Which gets rid of the dreaded blob boost trick as well as the hard jump into death's room and the glitch with the moving platforms in Rover mansion. Felt it would be a good intermediate category since we hear a lot from new people that they don't want to run any% because they fear the blob.

Well almost 7 months later and there were still only the 2 initial runs. Until last week, so now there's 3. 100% Glitchless were sitting on 5 or 6 total runs 2.5 years ago, it has since nearly doubled and a few days ago we got a new record holder for the category. It takes time to grow.

So you see, the "non main-categories" grow at a very slow rate. Even more so I think for a challenge run due to the difficulty, it's not something you just jump into. It takes dedication and hard work for those categories so naturally they grow even slower.

You shouldn't stop running it because people haven't given it a try yet or don't care about the run. If you have fun with the game and category, keep playing.

Edited by the author 2 years ago
Michigan, USA

There is no reason not to add the damageless category. Viggo spent a bunch of time on completing this and is extremely rude to just denie him of this. I dont run this but hopefully you take my opinion into account. Just put it into misc. if you really feel like. Does no harm.

New York City, NY, USA

Adding the Damageless category would be a treat. It would be one more way to bring people to this forgotten, misunderstood gem of a game. While reorganizing the leaderboard is a task in itself, it shouldn’t prevent categories from being made. As they say.... if you build it... they will come. Same goes for a category. Slowly but surely they will come. Damn I love this game. I hope it gets even more exposure. Let’s gooooooooo Damageless cat.!!!!

jimjamboory, SeamlessLink, and ZL like this

Ok. Since some people have voiced their support of this category I will do some work over the next few days and sort out the leaderboard layout as well as add a couple of new categories.

Damageless (misc) Whipless (misc) (subweapon only run) 100% (FDS)

I know Sathdresh already has a run ready for whipless, noisepolice stated in discord last night that he will do Damageless soon.

I'll try to find some time in the near future as well to do some runs of the new categories myself, probably by the end of the month.

KenMastersWetDream, ViggoTheeCarpathian and 3 others like this
United States

I don't run this game, but Damageless runs take God-tier gameplay strats and commitment to complete. I find Damageless a staple category on any board, personally. Although it may seem trivial to have one run on the board, having a category adds to an individual runners resume of speedgames and it's nice to have all one's accomplishments neatly in one place.


Damageless and whipless added as well as moved the general rules that apply for all categories (timing start / end, no passwords, approved emulators etc) into the "Game rules" tab that you can click on when you view rules so it's not a huge wall of text on every category. So now for the categories you just see the important stuff for the category and it looks a lot more clear / clean.

ViggoTheeCarpathian, KenMastersWetDream and 3 others like this
Arizona, USA

I've added that you can't take swamp damage either in the run to the rules and how to get past them in order to avoid any possible confusion. I don't think that was going to be a problem, but better to make sure it doesn't based off slightly vague phrasing.

Crunan likes this
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