Mainlining is our brand-new featured series where we run with all the mainline gamings in a collection one post per game, in frequently different and also original ways. This week us journey earlier to the Transylvania landscape of Romania in what some speak to the pinnacle that the entire Castlevania series, the Playstation classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

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Well, here we are. It’s all been leading as much as this — the one friend all have actually a strong (valid) opinion about. And here ns am, writing about the video game that has been composed about much more than any type of other game in the series. What could I possibly say that hasn’t been stated already?

Plenty. Resolve in, because that the night is young, and also the video game isn’t over, it’s only simply begun.

Boy, the brand-new text yes, really stands the end on the Castlevania Requiem collection. I’m kidding; ns Photoshopped that. OK, it was Paint, however it’s still effort.

You gained “Metroid” In my “Castlevania”

This is the video game that coined a ax that motivated thousands the games based on its structure. What if you take it the structure and level style of Metroid (more specifically Super Metroid) and also applied it to the Castlevania series.

I suppose you can say Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest was the first non-linear game in the series, and you’d it is in right, yet that game had a few things going versus it as I described in painful detail lo those many months ago. The biggest difference is the this video game gives you a map, and also therefore a basic sense of direction, as opposed come Simon’s Quest, who maps in Nintendo Power were still somehow confusing.

Just choose Super Metroid you might find (or in SOTN‘s case, buy) maps that confirmed you several of the area, but you’ll mostly “fill in” the map just by experimenting it on her own. Hidden locations are everywhere. They have the right to be revealed not just by breaking far false walls but by damaging floors, ceilings, moving bookcases in some instances — you never knew what could potentially lead to a secret.

While you have the right to go wherever you want, locations are very closely blocked and also obstructed in a method that makes you still have to progress in a details order. The difference is, you’re not being led about by flashing waypoints or misleading townsfolk that speak is damaged riddles and also outright lies.

As friend progress and also unlock new powers and also abilities, you’re able come revisit old areas and access new items and also areas girlfriend couldn’t before. This process repeats itself till you’ve evolved through the whole game, having gradually been taught the rules of the game in a very deliberate and clever manner.

Sorry, I understand most anyone analysis knows all this, however for the uninitiated, this is exactly how the ax Metroidvania to be coined, and a whole brand-new genre of games was born.

Previously ~ above Castlevania…


When i played this video game originally in 1997, i was more than a tiny confused as soon as this game began with a battle between a Belmont i didn’t know and also a an extremely chatty Dracula. Rondo the Blood never released in America, for this reason the last time I had actually played a Castlevania video game was Super Castlevania IV.

Dracula and Richter have actually a hella melodramatic conversation the is well-worn fodder virtual (so I’ll spare anyone the joke you’ve most likely heard a million times). Climate you communicate in a fight you precise can’t lose. Maria Renard, the 12-year-old spitfire from Rondo, bails friend out v her Dr. Doolittle magic every time your life meter operation out. I had no idea who she was either, yet this was my first experience v a Castlevania video game telling a story, and also I discovered it intriguing. Not just that, this to be a direct extension of Rondo, and also one i obviously didn’t evaluate at the time. However, 22 years later, I have actually a whole brand-new appreciation for all the wonderful things SOTN go to affix to not just Rondo, but also other games of the past.

Greetings indigenous Romania

The fight consummates (not a typo) as Dracula bursts into flames and Richtir (there’s a typo) and also Maria watch on together the step turns right into a postcard, top us into the opened story.

Dracula’s Curse resides On

Alucard is back, and also he’s quicker and more glam than ever before. Just examine out the nose, that flowing mane the white hair, the intricate capes and fitted clothing. He’s no a Belmont or a descendant that one, he’s a vampire, definition he does no possess the legendary Vampire Killer, the Belmont family members whip checked out in previous Castlevania games (although it to be not always referred to canonically together such). This may seem like a departure for purists, but I surprisingly didn’t miss out on it, regardless of what I stated two posts back.

I stuck greatly with John since if it’s a Castlevania game I’d prefer to have actually a whip, otherwise, what space we act here?

– me, in my Mainlining Castlevania: Bloodlines article

Gameplay begins as Alucard flies v inhumane speed through the trees, much like the means Rondo began with Richter relocating past trees in the foreground and background, while the rode his carriage en course to the game’s variation of Castlevania. Juxtaposition, baby. Video games are art. Sorry, i get it Ebert, you and also I never ever did view eye come eye really often.

To prize a million human being on the internet: since the playstation would’ve had a heart attack if the ran this fast the whole game, that’s why.

He in reality starts the video game well equipped and also ready for battle. He soon encounters Death, who tries come dissuade Alucard from killing his father due to the fact that blah-blah, patricide is bad, and also whatever. Once he doesn’t relent, death takes all your items, i beg your pardon is a Metroidvania staple as well. The Metroid Prime series uses this for their sequel Metroid Prime: Echos, as a means to force you to reacquire all the items you got in the previous game. Some world find this mechanic cheap, but in this instance, ns didn’t in reality earn these items in a ahead game, therefore I’m unbothered.

Death “Yoinks” all your gear.

With your items every gone, you’re required to relocate on v nothing, punching stuff like a sucker. It’s no long prior to you will find basic weapons such together a short Sword, probably a Red Rust. These space your starter weapons for a bit, and also they’re sub-par at best, yet they’ll gain you by for now. But where come go?

Alucard doesn’t have much to occupational with early on on.

Strange Magic

First protect against is the Alchemy Laboratory whereby you’ll uncover your very first piece that armor, the hide cuirass, i beg your pardon you’ll discover smashing a Bunsen and beakers. A animal leather shield is not far behind, which you need to equip. Right here is whereby the game forces you to discover the menu system, which will look acquainted to everyone who has played an old college Final Fantasy game. The blue gradient elevator alone should give old institution gamers RPG flashbacks.

Since this video game came out before designers go you through each action navigating the food selection system, you had actually to discover yourself. This is made easy due to the fact that you have actually next come nothing in her inventory and also can learn the process without much confusion or consequence. Also, there is no means to drop an item, for this reason the worst you deserve to do is unequip something.

When things comes along, you need to equip it. Equip the good.

The reasoning Person’s Castlevania

The inventory mechanism isn’t the just thing the game forces you to discover on her own. Floor buttons that reduced spiked obstructions are simply there because that you to investigate and figure out. You’ll at some point learn the you have the right to move crates to whereby spiked obstructions to be lowered, and then cause the spikes to rise, providing you access to the areas you couldn’t with before.

My favorite part of the early on section the this game is as soon as you point out an elevator lift the does no work. There is a ledge above it, but you can’t with it. Red skeletons space walking around, and eventually, you will notice one the the skeletons will step on the lever long sufficient for the elevator come lift slightly. Eureka! girlfriend rush back to the elevator and also wait because that the red skeleton to pilgrimage the switch and also up girlfriend go, ever so slightly, timing her jump at the apex to accessibility the ledge, but it’s still not high enough!

One of the many locations you need to remember requirements revisiting.

Super Metroid would often do things like this, wherein an “Aha!” minute would be complied with by an “Oh, yet wait…” moment. You’ve cracked part, however not all of the riddle.

Save Me

Having never seen a Hellraiser movie, Alucard opens up the box.

Ah, our first Save Room. Ooh, and the PS4 version sexed increase the save Cube. So much so the initiating a save reasons the HD Remastered coffin to go a little wonky. Nevertheless, SOTN is among those games that requires constant saving. Not just since you lose all the progress due to the fact that your last save, but since remembering what you did before, or after ~ the vault save, can obtain somewhat confusing. You could accidentally think you possess an item, as soon as in fact you merely had it till you died prior to saving. Eyes up. Inspect that map. Constantly.


Boss fights in SOTN are tipped contempt if you know just how to spot them. When you enter details rooms, there will certainly be a slight pause and the fill time will hiccup a bit. If you are not all set to struggle a boss, departure immediately. In ~ the an extremely least, hit the closest save room so friend don’t shed a ton the progress. I was Level 5 once I an initial attempted this fight, and also that’s most likely on the low end, however I’m a pretty kind SOTN player and also smoked these fools like it ain’t no thang.

Your very first boss battle with be with Slogra and also Gaibon, two personalities you’ve fought in ahead games, and their battle strategies have evolved slightly, but in its entirety they’re about what you remembered. Take it them out and also earn yourself a wellness upgrade.

Alucard battles Slogra, the skeletal bird creature that brandishes a spear, and also Gaibon, his blue demon companion.

Boss fights are anywhere in SOTN, and also they serve as versatile roadblocks. Girlfriend might be able to get previous them previously than expected, however in many cases, you’ll must level grind a little bit to power up Alucard.

The Grinder

I prospered up on gamings that pressure you to grind away for experience. I played Dragon Warrior I v IV, Final Fantasy, Faxanadu, Zelda II, Simon’s Quest, ns was supplied to it. So as soon as SOTN supposed me to exit and enter rooms with tough enemies that doled out mad suffer points in exchange because that a tiny bit of mine time, i was top top board.

I realize this days, world don’t care much because that the grind, and also that’s fine, to each their own. However, I found the grind in SOTN to offer a higher purpose. Often, you would encounter a pretty difficult enemy who could reward you v a decent amount of experience. If you went at them enough, you’d eventually learn their patterns, making lock easier, and making the whole process of grinding much shorter. The hack and slash element goes down, and the pattern acknowledgment goes up.

I personal would suggest doing this somewhere close to a save room. The way, if you take a few bad hits, you can run come a save room and also lock in your progress. As soon as you level increase a couple of times, and also then die prior to you had a possibility to save? That’s as soon as things get tedious. That’s when you feeling much much less compelled to reload your video game after that strange game Over screen appear.

Since the remaster doesn’t touch up the words, I’ll tell you that reads: “Let united state go the end the evening for pleasure. The night is still young.”

Mist could Pass

There are numerous different types of “roadblocks” this video game puts in your method and remembering wherein they are, and figuring the end what is necessary to get past castle isn’t constantly obvious. Sure, some areas blocked by metal bars tell you “Mist might Pass”, but at that stage in the game, you have no idea you can transform into mist. Your trying out will ultimately lead you to blocked paths such together blue, glowing doors that are “sealed by magic” or walls v levers on the opposite side.

Luckily, the video game has several warp rooms, which room where you enter a giant glowing keyhole and also transport come the following closest warp room walking clockwise. Bonus points come the designers for the rocks that additionally get recorded in the warping procedure that unceremoniously drop come the ground when you reach your new destination. It’s the tiny things, always the small things v me.

The Wind v the Keyhole.

You’re therefore Obtuse

Whether it’s a wall surface that demands to be blasted v a canon, or a floor that requirements to be broken with a sub-weapon like the axe or the grimoire, there are always secrets lingering all over the castle. Several of them need thinking, while rather are simply Simon’s Quest level tricky.

Take this late-game example where you conference a really suspicious wall, and what looks favor a button. There is no indication exactly how to press the button, and when you an initial encounter it, you execute not possess the ability to press it.

However, if you push on, friend soon uncover the Demon Card, which enables you to have a demon-familiar sidekick. If girlfriend activate the Demon map relic and return to the button, your demon will watch the button and press it, revealing a very integral path in the game. It’s no “Hit her head ~ above Deborah Cliff” obtuse, yet it is one of the few times SOTN is vague in a means that drags the end the play time in a way that seems unnecessary.

Ah, the old Demon’s Love advertise Buttons trick. That’s it!

The Librarian

Nestled deep inside the castle is just one of Dracula’s humble servants, the Librarian. A guy so dedicated to his master that that would never ever betray him. Uneven you have monies. Many, numerous monies. Then he flips quicker than a mobster with no various other options. Do you need him come wear a wire next time obelisk drops by come return a book? due to the fact that this loose-lipped rat would entirely do it.

The librarian is where you deserve to purchase the castle map, the Jewel of open (which opens up those blue, glow doors that room “Sealed by Magic”), and also many other useful (and occasionally useless) items. He’s basically a merchant, purchase gems, marketing overpriced goods. Also, that repeats the currently “What deserve to I perform for you?” and “Hee hee, give thanks to you!” incessantly. Think the merchant from Resident angry 4 v his “What ‘r ya buyin? What ‘r ya sellin? Come ago anytime!” shtick.

It’s also where you can learn more about bosses you’ve defeated. Not to mention, there is a bestiary the provides tons of exciting information about the adversaries you’ve encountered.

So this guy’s name is Dhuron, yet I was standing by my opinion that Yorick is a better name.

The librarian, that squirrely bugger is tucked inside the lengthy Library in a tough to find spot, however luckily he likewise sells library cards, which allow you to go back to him at any type of point.

I found that as soon as I visited him the very first time i didn’t return until later, much later, but it is a good idea to get potions, I constantly forget potions till I’m knee-deep in a ceo battle.

Now We know Why We never ever Hear around Richter Belmont Anymore

At a specific point, you’ll run into Maria Renard, who is in search of Richter Belmont. She’s concerned for him and also suggests you uncover him. Once you carry out encounter him, he’s gone all Dark Richter and even considers himself lord of the manor.

What a strange plot twist for a Castlevania game, make a Belmont, the traditional protagonist the brand-new villain. Did the castle corrupt him? by power?

Richter is the silverback alpha daddy now.

Subverting our Expectations?

Throughout the game, you encounter Maria, who is not persuaded Richter is now #TeamDracula because she remained in the last video game with him, and also that just doesn’t monitor to her. Four years ago, she to be a 12-year-old girl assisting that in taking down Dracula, and also now he’s all of sudden done a 180 and wants to it is in the brand-new owner? That’s character assassination. Twitter would certainly be incensed the Richter to be not given the finishing “he deserves”. I can see the Go fund Me now for Castlevania: Re Awoken. Maria would certainly be the brand-new playable character, and everyone would contact her a badass every possibility they got. It would be the Castlevania video game we need, now much more than ever.

Sorry, ns have worries with Twitter i really should work the end somewhere else. Those Game the Thrones armchair critics just obtained to me. Also, if you men want to settle something, solve Dexter ~ season 4 first. OK, now I’m done.

“All Things have to End”

Still, it’s gotta it is in pretty challenging for first-time players not just to i think Richter is evil and kill him. Especially when friend didn’t play Rondo of Blood. Ns knew (from playing SOTN in 1997) the I had to find the one-of-a-kind glasses prior to confronting him, and I still had actually to will to a guide once or twice to gain all the devices I required to with Maria in bespeak to gain them. Not to mention, when I played it in 1997, ns did what any kind of sensible Castlevania fan would certainly do, and made my method to the top of the castle, found the stairway and eliminated Richter. Cue bummer credits. Cue “I to be the Wind”. Luckily, the video game will spit you back to the point right before you death Richter, and permit you to check out the castle further.

I recall at the time I had to resort to the internet, i m sorry was an extremely much tho a fledgling operation in 1997, but gaming FAQ website were a thing. Ns learned that what i had acquired was a “bad ending”. Ns then read what needed to be done, and proceeded to attain the “proper” ending.

You need to find two rings, a Silver and a yellow ring, each partially inscribed through instructions come wear castle in the Clock Room. Just then will certainly the clock to win midnight and also open the way below to the castle core, where Maria awaits to challenge you. When you display her the you are without doubt stronger 보다 she is, she offers you the sunglasses, the will permit you come see v the deception that is “Evil Rich”.

Apologies to purists, yet I’m using my very own screen records from the HD remake. Deal.

This time, when you confront Richter, pop on those sunglasses and battle the ominous environment-friendly orb floating about the room, which was regulated by Richter. The hit isn’t much harder 보다 it was as soon as you combated Richter, if something it’s easier taking the end a wandering environment-friendly blob while staying clear of Richter.

In the Rock paper Scissors civilization of SOTN, the grimoire beats the boomerang.

With the spell broken, pillar appears and monologues a bit about how this was merely their arrangement A and leaves.

His surname is Shaft; the takes care of the location while The grasp is away. (cue Torgo’s Theme)

Alucard speak Richter and Maria come go, and also that he’ll manage this. Although he appreciates them crossing over from their own game, this is family business, and also he has to take under his father himself.

When the finishing plays this time, dark, ominous clouds circle end the castle, inside the eye the the swirling storm, photo appears, the mirror picture of Castlevania.

One much more Thing

We here at 25 Years later on Site don’t just offer 100%; periodically a game requires you to offer a small more. Say, 200.6%, to see the game to its proper conclusion. And also that’s simply what we’re gonna do. This was not the end of ours Castlevania adventure, not just yet. For prefer the Trophy says when you defeat the spell the was managing Richter, things get topsy-turvy.

Put your thing down, flip it, and reverse it.

That’s right; we’re walk full Twilight here, needlessly splitting up the final chapter into two parts. Did friend Inverted lock fans yes, really think I’d leave out 100.6 % the the game? No way, Richter Belmont is saved thanks (almost exclusively) to Maria Renard. I helped too. Ns wore the magic glasses. I broke the curse. Ns watched the credits (that gotten rid of Cynthia Harrell’s “I to be The Wind”, which ns will talk about next time). I’m all set to reach maximum emo and also confront mine daddy concerns quite literally.

See more: 5 Ways Bhagavad Gita On Love According To Bhagvad Gita? The Gita'S Secret Message Of Love

It’s a stealth two-parter, yawl!


Somehow this game didn’t market all the well. I’m always shocked to discover out things favor this, especially since seeing there was a Castlevania video game on the PSX in a gaming keep is what compelled me to buy one. Well, that and also Metal Gear.There room a few side tangents i left out, however fear not, we’ll cover Familiars, Spells, subtle callbacks to previous entries, and all those various other extra bits of goodness in the finale of Mainlining Symphony of the Night.I had actually a perform Not use list of points I didn’t want to do/reference/joke about in this articleNo jokes about “a miserable little pile of secrets”.Don’t make any kind of “Ba-boom-a-rang-rang” references. I don’t think the many human being actually witnessed Children of a Lesser God.Keep the Missy Elliot recommendations to a minimum, three tops.And now, us really begin the last journey v the Mainlining Castlevania series, as following time we Mainline Castlevania: Symphony of the Night component II – The reverse Castle.