General Castlevania Thread

#1
Enter nostalgia here. :monster:

I am currently nearing the end of my first playthrough of Lament of Innocence. Last year I played Curse of Darkness, so the LoI experience feels richer since I can compare it with the PS2 title that came after.

At the time of writing, these are the Castlevania titles I've played through to some level of completion:

- Castlevania (NES)
- Super Castlevania IV (SNES) | JP, US and EU versions cleared!
- Dracula X (SNES)
- Symphony of the Night (PS1)
- Curse of Darkness (PS2)
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP), which means I've played the three titles included in this package:
-- Rondo of Blood Remake
-- Rondo of Blood Original
-- Symphony of the Night

I have only dipped my toe in playing Symphony of the Night using Richter and Maria. Similarly, I haven't played through Curse of Darkness using Trevor or completed the super-hard mode with Hector.

I have played a great deal of Simon's Quest and Castlevania III but the former not to full completion and the latter I abused save states so much for that I don't count that playthrough. I'd like to experience Castlevania III legitimately some day.

Here's a screenshot I took from Curse of Darkness. I find it humorous and fitting for the Halloween times.

 
#2
I feel confident in drawing the conclusion that Lament of Innocence is a far shorter game than its "sequel", Curse of Darkness, even though I'm yet to beat the final boss. The long, repetitive dungeons of CoD were probably an artifact of the game being an action-RPG, meaning that the designers tried to make sure that new players would level up properly. However the stamina test of those dungeons are made even more sufferable because the main character has such a low running speed.

In Lament of Innocence, the player character actually runs at a decent speed AND later on gains the ability to briefly run super-fast! There are actual dungeon puzzles in here to make some areas memorable, which also helps. In the 11 hours that I've played LoI, my enjoyment has been pretty much constant. CoD was a title that I slowly learned to love over the course of several dozen hours. :wacky:

So far I enjoy the story and the characters more in CoD though, particularly how the English voice actors execute their material. When playing a voiced Castlevania game, I go in expecting an overly dramatical performance coupled with cringeworthy writing. LoI definitely has that, but the atmosphere of "OVER THE TOP DRAMA" relies more on loud music cues than the voices. CoD also becomes more memorable because the voice actors range so much in quality, from uninspired and lifeless to fully engrossed, giving-their-all performances.


That reminds me of what it was like to play Symphony of the Night for the PSP, from the Dracula X Chronicles package, with its retranslation and re-voicing. The voices and the script were no longer memorable because everything was executed...with too much competence. :lol: Give me the PS1 version, any day.

 
#3
I wish more games had features like this, with commentary by the people who made the game. In the case of CoD and LoI, there is commentary by the composer: Michiru Yamane.






It honestly didn't catch my attention when I was first playing that this tune was a SotN remix. XP

- Symphony of the Night "Black Banquet"
vs
- Lament of Innocence "Castlevania Reincarnation"

The guitar part in the LoI track uses another familiar Castlevania tune, but I was confused at first because I never heard the guitar piece during my playthrough. According to the comment section, you need to face a boss while playing Joachim in order to hear the guitar segment.


The main game of LoI took me 12 hours to complete. The boost in difficulty for the final boss was very much appreciated. Right now I'm just trying to max out my map exploration, bestiary item drop list and relics. 'Tis a struggle that greatly lenghtens the playthrough, as expected.

Took me several hours just to reach the room with the Yellow Dragon Key in the Anti-soul Mysteries Lab! Not surprising though. The secret was to notice this one tile that stood out and stand on it for a few seconds before you get moved to the secret room. >___>



Srsly that was quite a struggle to find that secret. I fear more obscure solutions await me, now that I've wandered for hours in the House of Sacred Remains trying to find the third and final red switch to open the door on the 2nd floor. At least along the way I'm completing the list of item drops in the bestiary.
 

Dawnbreaker

~Heiress of Her Will~
AKA
Warrior of Light, Daryl Falchion, Dragonsoul, Dawnbreaker, Amy Pond, Cheryl Tunt
#4
I'm a huge fan of Castlevania since the second one (Simon's Quest). Symphony of the Night is my favorite. I also enjoyed Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness, though less so. I agree with a lot of your assessments about these games. Curse of Darkness's story and characters were better (I *loved* Trevor) but Lament of Innocence was superior in gameplay. Have you had a chance to fare off against the Forgotten One (LoI)? He's highly challenging and entertaining.

One of my favorite lines:

"You steal men's souls and make them your slaves!"

"Perhaps the same could be said of all religions."

lawl
 
#5
Have you had a chance to fare off against the Forgotten One
Yes! :D I made sure to defeat the Forgotten One before I faced off against Walter and Death. My first attempt gave me my first Game Over, but the second time around I came more prepared. The same story actually applied to my battle against Death, who initially felt even harder than the Forgotten One.

Yesterday I also cleared the Boss Rush Mode for the first time. Cleared it in 41 minutes. I doubt the game will reward me for it, but before I leave LoI it will be my goal to clear the Boss Rush Mode in less than 30 minutes.

The timing for perfectly defending from enemy attacks feels considerably more strict in LoI than it does in CoD. There is definitely a reward from getting better at defending, thus restoring your hearts and MP, but holy shit can it be stressful.
 
AKA
Jason Tandro, Doc Brown, Santa Christ, FearAddict, Thibault Stormrunner, RN: Micah Rodney
#6

My Castlevania experience is extremely limited. I played a bit of the original on the NES but never got past the third or fourth stage. And that was actually the Virtal Console version on the Wii. Flash forward a few years and I finished to completion Symphony of the Night which was an astounding (and sometimes confounding) game.

I want to break out the old Super Castlevania IV as I hear tell it's in a league of its own.
 
#7
Super Castlevania IV nails the spooky atmosphere and just feels good to play because of how much control you have over Simon Belmont. There's a reason I played three versions of it. It was the game I kept returning to before I decided to leave my comfort zone and play at least one new Castlevania game each year around Halloween times. :monster: The main criticism I have of SCIV is
that the ending is an anti-climax, with a way too easy final boss and a boring ending credits
.


Getting ever closer to completing my Enemy Item Drops list in LoI. The rare drops are both tedious and exciting to unlock, with the help of the three Coin of Happiness I have equipped to increase the odds of rare drops.

I am happy to see the return of the joke items.





Now I can squeek both while running and while whipping! <3 <3 <3

I think Castlevania does right when it includes joke items such as the above, as well as international cuisines for its restorative items. The contrast of silly humor and SPOOKY SCARY SKELETONS makes the experience richer, in my opinion.

 
#8
All Item Drops unlocked! Boss Rush Mode cleared in just over 25 minutes!

I am so close to proper completion of a normal LoI playthrough, but House of Sacred Remains and Ghostly Theatre keep taunting me with their final secrets. I've wandered for so many hours already but it feels like failure to look up a guide. Then again this *is* Castlevania. There is the definite possibility that the game is trolling me with some odd requirement to cover those last map pieces. Their trolling didn't end with Simon's Quest where you had to equip the proper stone and crouch for five seconds in order for a tornado to carry you away to the next area. >___>

After clearing Boss Rush Mode I allowed myself to look up if there are any rewards for clearing this mode in LoI, but apparently there is no reward no matter how fast you clear it. I then proceeded to spoil myself with some of the game's extra content which I know I won't be unlocking anyway.

CRAZY MODE
After beating the game as Leon & saving your game, start a new game and enter the name @CRAZY to play the game in Crazy Mode. Monsters will be a lot harder than before, and you can only hold a total of 5 of each type of item. As a reward for beating the game on Crazy Mode (after saving it), you will be able to buy Mobius's Brooch in Rinaldo's Shop for 200,000 Gold. This Accessory will enable you to use Sub Weapons without consuming hearts.
PUMPKIN MODE
After beating the game as Joachim & saving your game, start a new game and enter the name @PUMPKIN to play the game as a character called Pumpkin. This character plays exactly as Leon does, except that he starts off with all the Skills in his list. He also starts off with higher ATK, DEF, CON & LCK but has a lower HP, MP & HEARTS. He obtains the same items as Leon does. When beating the game as him, you can see some CGI renders of Pumpkin as the ending credits role.
LL SKILLS
After beating the game as Leon & saving your game, start a new game and enter the name @LLSKILL to start a the game as Leon, but will all Skills activated. This has no significant difference than playing a normal game, other than that you don't have to waste time/effort trying to learn all the skills.
SKELETON BOWLING
I'm not really sure if that's what it's called, but meh. In an area of the House of Sacred Remains 1F, you will enter a long corridor. Inside you will see 6 Skeletons along the far side of the wall & a Peeping Eye floating around. Wait for the Peeping Eye to roll into a ball to do it's flaming pillar attack, then position yourself right so that when you smack him with a (light) whip attack, he will roll across the floor and smack into the Skeletons, destroying them. The object is to try and use the Peeping Eye to kill all 6 in one 'strike', if you will. Then, more Skeletons will appear; 3 this time. Do the same as before. Then finally, 4 will appear. Once you destroy those 4, a Ramen [food item] will appear for you to grab it. You have to NOT kill the Peeping Eye, otherwise, you will have to exit the room and re-enter to try again.
DA FUQ at the skeleton bowling :huh:
 
#9
Can confirm that Skeleton Bowling is a thing, bowling sound effects and all. I did get my Ramen! There's no other way to get the Ramen item, so for completionist purposes getting the Ramen is important.

So I was getting super-frustrated at running around in the House of Sacred Remains for hours without finding that third, red switch.

I then tried to apply logic and see if there was a pattern to where the switches were distributed. Believe it or not, but the many Map Markers you pick up during the game was actually of use here, as I had placed a marker for each of the switches I had found. There were three switches for one door, and three switches for a second door. It was third switch for the second door, the sixth switch in total, that I couldn't find.

Anyway, logic showed that the switches were distributed across the map symmetrically. So assuming that the game's map design was consistent, I knew EXACTLY from which room I could access the switch room. Problem was that I had revisited that area so many times in my search for the final switch.

After pulling my hairs out and STILL not unlocking the switch room, I thought to myself "I will allow myself to look up a map of the area to at least confirm if I'm on the right track". To my joy the online map showed that my conclusion was correct, but it immediately spoiled me of the solution: PUSH AGAINST THE BOOK SHELF.

(see northeastern corner of 1F)



I had been so suspicious of that book shelf for so long and tried everything EXCEPT for pushing. Why? Because the game teaches you that there is no such thing as pushing! With the switches that need to be "pushed" in the game, how do you push them? By whipping, of course! Just running up against them doesn't do anything. It thusly never even occurred to me to try and run up against the book shelf for a few seconds to cause it to rotate. >___<

By finding the final switch, I was able to finally access the area with the White Tiger Key, which meant that I could at last access that final area in the Ghostly Theatre. I was expecting to find the last "Heart Max Up" in this room, but instead I found the Heart Brooch accessory which decreases the consumption of hearts necessary for using the sub-items.

I should have been happy. I had just reached 100% Map completion and I found a cool accessory. But I cried out "NOOOOOO!!!" because this meant that the FINAL piece in the puzzle was still missing: The final "Heart Max Up" to max out my hearts to 150. I had already maxed out my HP and MP, both to 300, but my maximum hearts were still at 140.

Without a Map Completion indicator to guide me in-game, my conscience did not feel compromised by looking up online where I might have missed a Heart Max Up. There was also the fact that my frustration with fruitless searches had already peaked. :wacky: Immediately I found which one it was: A Heart Max Up in the Dark Palace Waterfalls B1F, in the room with pendulum axes.

Pass the first swinging axe and double-jump to a hidden platform, where there's a Heart Max Up.





HURRAY!

Thus it was that I reached 100% Completion in this playthrough of Lament of Innocence.





 
#10
Before removing the game disc from the console, I did the following:

- Confirmed that you can get multiple Member Plates, thus accumulating the discount you get at Rinaldo's store!

- Enjoyed the ending battles and cutscenes one more time.





- Played as Joachim for ten minutes. His idle animation makes him look drunk. :lol: But he actually seems fun to play as, ignoring what a boring and irrelevant character he is. I can actually see myself playing through LoI as Joachim someday, thanks to LoI being so much more smooth and fun gameplay-wise than CoD.


After removing the Lament of Innocence disc I booted up Curse of Darkness. I learned from a guide, while playing CoD, that if you have a LoI save on your memory card you can find the "Moai" stone statue in the game's first area. To my joy this special item was now available even without having to start a New Game.








While the item may be treasured as a collectible, it can also give your wallet a boost early on by selling the Moai in Julia's shop.
 

Keveh Kins

Pun Enthusiast
#11


Possiblah mah favourite end credits theme from any game, barring maybe The Last of Us.

The music in Castlevania as a series is just outstanding. It saddens me immensely that there likely won't be any more titles from the series, and thus no more soundtracks :(
 
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#12
Get that proper ending credits theme out of here! "I Am The Wind" is where it's at! :wacky:



The song is so wrong and sounds so...90s, somehow. I always picture this theme song playing after Space Jam or some movie like that. If you're playing the PS1 version of Symphony of the Night, this ending credits theme will remind you more than anything that this game was released in 1997!

Yet this song has become a guilty pleasure because of how out of place and cheesy it is. Can't help but get caught up in the emotions of the song.

In a similar vein, the ending theme to Curse of Darkness gives me goosebumps because of how wrong it sounds compared to the rest of the game's soundtrack...but I can't help myself! I like how memorable both themes become because of how cringeworthy they are in lyrics and style.



I'd argue though that the instrumental aspects of True To Your Dreams sits better with the Castlevania atmosphere than I Am The Wind does.
 
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#13
Turns out I wasn't done with Lament of Innocence!

Changed the voice audio from English to Japanese and started a Crazy Mode playthrough. It is very much appreciated that the option is there to switch to Japanese voices. Just one of those details that increases replay value. So far though I'm preferring the English voices. The JP narrator's voice was dull, compared to the English narrator who really oozes of drama.

When I tried out Crazy Mode in Curse of Darkness, I was scared off after the first few minutes. 2-3 hits and you're dead?! That truly is crazy!

One hour into Crazy Mode in LoI so far feels more like just Hard Mode, rather than Crazy/Nightmare Mode. Looking forward to see what this mode will throw at me further down the line.

The appearance of countless Hanged Man in the House of Sacred Remains was very appreciated! After almost an hour of grinding I now have 3x Coin of Happiness, although at this early stage I can only equip two accessories. The Item Drop grind will now be way easier and I have already gotten 2x Cleric's Ring from the Executioner foe. With the first room in this dungeon even having a Spartacus skeleton enemy, I expect that early on I shall have one or more Member Plate to get a discount in Rinaldo's shop. Not that the discount is essential, because encountering all these high-level foes in Crazy Mode also mean that I get much more gold early on than in a normal playthrough.
 
#14
Now things are heating up...against a fire boss, no less!

Crazy Mode definitely make me use up all my potions every now and then, forcing me to teleport back to Rinaldo's shop and restock. Restocking won't be an option now though, because I have to learn how to properly defeat the fire boss. This means learning to block perfectly for extended periods of time. I've already gotten one Game Over here and I expect many more game overs before I can defeat this Fire Minotaur. Four-five hits and I'm dead. *sweats*
 
#15
Axes swinging in perpetual motion and acting as obstacles on your path. Alright, nothing unusual about that in games. Axes however that sweep perpendicular to their edges and cause a devastating Game Over after you've gotten nice loot and covered lots of map? That is unusual...and devastating. I am immensely angry right now.
 
#16
I was treated to a wonderful surprise in the Dark Palace of Waterfalls! One that had not been mentioned at all in the otherwise extensive LoI guide that I used.

The Raccoon Charm!



It raises Luck by 10. Compare this to Coin of Happiness which only raises Luck by 5! Now my journey to get all the item drops will be even easier!

The Raccoon Charm was located straight opposite to the final Max Heart Up that I found in my first playthrough. Jump from the ledge and use your whip to get to the Raccoon Charm on the other side.



Woohoo!
 
#17
Getting close to the finish line with Crazy Mode!

I feel the compulsion to defeat The Forgotten One before I confront Walter and Death. This first attempt against TFO went well until his third form, where no boulders fell from the ceiling to act as a defense against TFO's fire breath. I dodged the fire breath once and was once protected by the Talisman I had equipped, but death soon followed. This battle is going to be tough and require quite a few retries, if it's going to be this necessary to dodge the fire breath perfectly.

Edit: Turns out that boulders eventually do fall from the ceiling, just not at the start of the battle. :monster: The Forgotten One has been promptly defeated!
 
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#18
CRAZY MODE CLEARED! The way that the difficulty was upped for the final boss battle was the most enjoyable part of this entire Crazy Mode playthrough. Only by perfectly blocking Death's projectiles did I stand a chance in this battle. The way this battle played out was more like I expected all of Crazy Mode to be, but ultimately this mode wasn't nearly as difficult as I expected.

Have a post-credits screen with some Engrish cringe by the Japanese.



Thank you for playing.
You are the Crazy of Castlevania.
from Castlevania team.

Oh how wonderfully silly. <3


My reward is to finally get to buy the Mobius's brooch, which allows me to use sub-weapons without consuming hearts!



200000 gold was a bit too expensive, but that was fixed by selling a Talisman and by equipping three Member Plate for a massive accumulated discount.




All that remains now for me in Crazy Mode are a few item drops to unlock and to possibly clear Boss Rush Mode.
 

Ryushikaze

Deus Admiral Parsimonious, PHD, DDS, MD, JD, OBE
AKA
Tim, Ryu
#19
So... as of last week, I can safely declare I've played every Non-Pachinko Castlevania game, and beaten all but HoD (The PSN one, not the GBA one) and Lords of Shadow 2, and I haven't quit on those.

Speaking of Castlevania, I am going to be playing HoD with people next week as part of an extra life stream. It's late night on Saturday, EST, but all are welcome to come watch any part of the stream at hitbox.tv/teamfrognugget starting at Noon on Saturday the 29th
 
#20


Well that was amazing.

I've read about the glitch where people get outside of the castle walls (watch from 2:54 - 3:12) and are thus also able to increase the amount of "map" you can cover, but this is the first time I've seen that in action.
 
#23
Simon's Quest was one of those games that I had never beaten fully, despite the many retries and many hours I put into it. Now, at last, I finally (sorta) beat it from start to finish. I downloaded and played the fan-made remake, Simon's Quest Revamped. It uses graphics from the SNES, PlayStation and handheld games, plus a custom Simon Belmont, to create an SNES-like remake.

Castlevania II is not meant to be finished without a guide. This much is known. Yet a primary reason I never got around to clearing it from start to finish is because I didn't want to look up solutions. While I did spend some time aimlessly wandering in this playthrough of the remake, I did eventually look up information online. Otherwise I would never have reached the end.


Maybe someday I'll beat the NES version. At least now I know HOW to get through the game.




Whatever you do if you decide to play the remake... Do NOT enter this corner of castle/dungeon #3. You will get stuck and be forced to reset the game.

The second time I got frustrated was when the game decided to insta-kill me out of nowhere. I was climbing up some stairs and reaching the next floor, when suddenly Simon got killed by the floor tiles. o___O I do not remember exactly how it happened, but something made the floor tiles count as spikes and so I lost a life.

In one instance I also managed to get an error message. It happened when I was kneeling to lower the water level at the same time as day turned to night. I was able to continue playing without problems though.

Play the remake at your own risk. It is refreshing and, I believe, slightly easier than its NES counterpart but chances are you will encounter one or two glitches.
 
#24
Replaying the Simon's Quest remake in hope of getting the best ending. It's neat to see how the game's difficulty increases as I try to power through the game as fast as possible. I experience regular KOs and Game Overs.

What is not so neat is that the Minotaur boss in Castle #2 just jumped out of bounds! Now I'm stuck in the boss room, with no way to proceed or defeat the boss. Again, this remake is a glitchy affair.

And I was doing so well!
 
#25
Simon's Quest has three endings: Bad, Normal & Good.

In the Revamped version I first got the bad ending, due to clearing it in 26-or-so days in the in-game clock. This time around I cleared it in 8 days and got the normal ending. I just have to shorten my playthrough with one more day and I'll get the best ending! I know where I went wrong this time so I should be able to get down to 7 days.

In the bad ending all you got was a boring image of a gravestone, using the game's normal graveyard graphics. With the normal ending you get something a little more exciting for the eyes.





 
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