timing runs
3 years ago

hi everyone! of course it's me again, who else would you expect... well, this should be a short debate but i kinda feel there might be different opinions on that (at least i have a different one already^^). my question is, what are the actual rules about timing your run properly? i mean the video/emulation time that you measure when rewatching a finished run.

what are the detailed rules on first frame and last frame? (i need that for my speedrun guide, which is almost done, so please help me asap! thanks! and the guide will obviously show up here too once it's out. i actually only made it to link it to this website, though)

Edited by the author 3 years ago

ok, since you most likely have no clue what my issue is, let me explain it a bit more: i got told that the actual run timing starts when the candles become visible in the first screen of level 1. i think the frame where they appear was supposed to be frame 0 of the run iirc. now... i know that RTA people kinda don't care for accuracy at all, but since i'm also a TAS guy it somewhat bugs me that this is so unstrict :/ so my problem with this is that the candle spawn is basically independend from everything else on screen, which means that your character can be anywhere by the time the candle decides to show up, so that methode of measurement has nothing to do with "gaining control over your character" at all! i haven't looked into the details yet but i think candles had a 4 frame spawn cycle, which means depending on the lag pattern you get, the candle could show up 8+ frames later in a theoretical worst case. and not only that but technically, you could even delay it's spawn moment on purpose by utilizing "my" pause delay glitch at the start of your run, resulting in a huge head start... how is that even a thing?! (who came up with those rules...?)

Edited by the author 3 years ago

if i am allowed to state my opinion on the matter: i would suggest to measure runs from the frame christopher stands up on the ground, since this is the first frame you can start walking aka start progressing. (this is technically still unfair and inconsistent, but way less exploitable than any candle rules and counting from the title screen is also a scam since that way you could also get lag pattern that are better or worse to start with.) and i would end it at the frame when the last explosion of dracula disappears, because this is the actual frame where you lose control over your character again. (im not too sure how it was handles previously but i think "when castle starts crumbling" is kind of a wacky term as well, there are lag patterns where the screen is delayed for a few frames until it updates to the crumbling movement, but explosions fading is consistent)


I think counting down 6.5 seconds from when you press Start on the main menu seems reasonable and fair to me. That way we can make sure everyone is starting the timer at the exact same time. What you said about lag patterns etc: I guess there is no way we can really control it right? So it wouldnt matter anyway which timing method we‘re using if I understand that correctly. Also I‘m wondering who told you about that candle timing? It seems no one on this board does that method. Anyways, it‘s been years since I ran the game so I don‘t really care too much about it, just wanted to let you know my thoughts since this community is so small.


thanks for your input crankykong. the -6.5s timer thing is absolutely fine and im supporting that. however, that methode is almost unrealted to what im adressing here! i only refer to the way of measuring your run's time after you made it, i mean the actual timing by frame count. in case your answer was meant to suggest that we should use the first frame of pressing start on the title screen, that is somewhat acceptable for me too, but it would still result in many runs starting at different times of gaining character control... i don't know if that is intended though?

(btw i hope you come back to running this game when you see my tutorial... i hope everyone will)


ok guys, i did some testing and i think if we just use the frame of pressing start at the title screen and count 390 frames forward from that, then we should only get a difference of +-1 frame aka 2 frames on the starting frame. that is way better than i expected! i thought it would vary like the spawning times of the ingame objects, which is 8+ frames. but only 2 frames difference is very good!

can i conclude that this will be the official timing for RTA now? "press start" text disappearing frame plus 390 is the starting frame (0) ? and last dracula explosion disappearing is last frame? can someone confirm please?


That sounds great for me, speaking of your second post :) I mean the runs on the board are still miles away from needing such a timing method but it's always good to have one set rule for it.

Maybe I will come back haha, I mean in the end it's a GB game so I generally like to run those. I think I initially did a run of it (back when there was no leaderboard for it on src) because I bought it for some small money on the eshop (I never knew this game existed lol). Anyways, looking forward to your tutorial, that might get me started :P


Not sure where the time starts by candle spawn came from but the timing on this board has always been when the character starts to move and stops, I don't think that was confusing at all. I had no idea that the timing at the start can vary by a few frames, but it almost doesn't really matter in the end for current speedruns for frame counting because the game is far from optimized to need milliseconds to determine the top times unless two top times are the same. I think it's fine the way it is now using 6.5s at the title screen.

I myself almost never frame count runs unless it's a question if the timing will put me in the next full second bracket. But the RTA people don't care for accuracy is a baseless argument, some boards don't really need to frame count specifically, and for games that are optimized they obviously do. All timing rules are subjective anyway, TAS times and RTA times don't necessarily have the same rules, especially those that start at Power On.

Edited by the author 3 years ago

i assume that is a yes to the latest timing methode i stated here. in that case im satisfied enough with only 2-ish frames of a difference, because this indeed dosn't matter at all in RTA. and im sorry for my harsh comment about RTA accuracy, wasn't meant to dick on anyone, i was just a bit annoyed by my uncertainty, sorry. so if the timing is now confirmed, i can edit it into my video. thanks for the help and i hope you look forward to finally have a link popping up in "guides" here soon!

ps: btw technically gaining control of your character would be the frame he spawns or one after, which is a waaay different time than when he starts moving, especially because he spawns in mid air and has to fall to the ground first. just to make you aware of how "not confusing at all" that rule is...

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