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 Post subject: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 21:56 
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I've had SOTN on the Live Arcade for years and I just decided to give it a blast. I've also got a couple of the DS Castlevanias, and I even bought that new HD one on XBLA last year or whenever it came out.

Thing is, what the hell is it all about? How are you supposed to play it? Why is it so impenetrable? Am I doing something wrong? I desperately want to appreciate these games - Christ knows everyone seems to love them - but I just can't seem to get into them or get my head around how they're supposed to be played.

Am I a belm?

(Hilariously, my iPhone just corrected 'belm' to 'Belmont'. :DD)

Btw: I'm ignoring the 3D ones because I understood them!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 22:06 
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 22:20 
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You're not alone WTB. I've got a few of the Castlevania games and I've always found them really hard to get into, so hard in fact.. that most of the time I haven't bothered.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 22:30 
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They're usually the same formula - you can only access a small part of the castle till you unlock some ability that enables you to jump further, change into something etc so it's a case of finding that next trigger point or beating the appropriate boss to achieve it.. pretty straightforward :)

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 22:31 
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Every castlevania game I've played has bored me within 30 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 23:03 
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 23:10 
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I had one on the DS that I loved. Dawn of Sorrow. Got the "good" ending, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 0:03 
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Yeah Dawn of Sorrow is my favourite as well. Probably because it was the first Castlevania I 'got' and played before SOTN which is also very good.

Also that belmont comment reminded me of a road sign that I saw frequently leaving Durham which had the miles to two pretty awesome similar named places. Belmont and Dragonville. There's actually a park and ride at Belmont so it's not very exciting.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 0:49 
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Kvnt

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Castlevania HD is a weird multiplayer game cobbled together using assets from the DS ones. It's good with a few pals, but it's far from exemplary.

SOTN is a great game, and shouldn't be too difficult to suss out. Its basic design is directly cribbed from Super Metroid (ditto most of the CV titles that have followed it), though the experience is generally quite a bit more linear, and it has some superficial RPG elements; you're constantly finding new gear and weapons to use, and your character gains experience points and levels up as you kill enemies. Give it a few hours - you'll almost certainly start to enjoy it. (The XBLAH version should have a 'How to Play' thing in the main menu, btw.) :)

If you want something that's definitely easy to get into, try some of the pre-SOTN ones. They're all just really methodical, memorisation-heavy games - the platforming equivalent of R-Type. Castlevania III is probably the series' finest hour, although goons will tell you that's Rondo of Blood.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:36 
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[quote="Runcle"]Yeah Dawn of Sorrow is my favourite as well. Probably because it was the first Castlevania I 'got' and played before SOTN which is also very good.

I liked Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin a lot. DoS was the first Castlevania game I'd ever played and I though it was excellent, although it first I found it really quite hard. They start off quite tricky, and you can't just charge around whacking things until you level up a fair bit and find some good weapons so there is a bit of an 'RPG lite' element. IIRC enemies have differing weaknesses, so get used to changing your equipment around to suit. Fair bit of backtracking involved too.

I played it like a bit of a pussy and hung around fighting near the save points so that I could get some xp and then quickly nip back to the save point to replenish my health after taking a bit of a beating. Even so, I had to get used to dying a fair bit, which I found a bit unusual - many games nowadays don't really punish like that it seems. 'Grinding' in these games isn't too bad as the fighting is quite fun, plus it's a nice when you go back to an enemy that was really tough and utterly smash them :metul:

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:58 

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Castlevania is one of these 'girlfriend' games. You know there's a mouth, boobs, front and rear bottoms, etc... but for the first however long you are only allowed to hold hands and while that's nice to do for a little while, eventually (and for the most part) you are only doing it because you want to level up. And very often you are left trying the same few things over and over again in a vain attempt to do so because there is NO FUCKING APPARENT MEANS OF ACHIEVING YOUR VERY SIMPLE AND REASONABLE GOALS.

I hate Castlevania.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:09 
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And women?

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:47 
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Runcle wrote:
Yeah Dawn of Sorrow is my favourite as well. Probably because it was the first Castlevania I 'got' and played before SOTN which is also very good.


Dawn of Sorrow seems the best introduction to the series. I played that one to death, but Portrait of Ruin didn't grab me so much. I still haven't even finished Order of Ecclesia. Some might see SOTN as a little dated now, but it still plays really well.

I never bothered with that other XBLA game as it seemed focused on multiplayer.

Of the 3D games, I enjoyed the N64 ones a bit, until in one of them where you've got to transport some volatile substance from room to room.. if you went too fast or bumped into something, it blew up. So, to then enter a room with narrow beams and enemies below lobbing stuff at you was enough for me to give up on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:59 
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SOTN is also a very easy game, and only gets easier as you progress (aside from a couple of bosses in the inverted castle, whom you can cheese to death anyway), so there are really no excuses not to play through it. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:15 
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I think Castlevania dumped him.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:27 

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Grim... wrote:
And women?


Not since I figured out you can just ask them...


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:30 

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Zardoz wrote:
Grim... wrote:
And women?

I think Castlevania dumped him.



You can't dump someone if it was never a proper relationship and I was too bored, too quickly to ever consider it that.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:43 
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Klatrymadon wrote:
SOTN is also a very easy game, and only gets easier as you progress (aside from a couple of bosses in the inverted castle, whom you can cheese to death anyway), so there are really no excuses not to play through it. :P


There's an inverted castle? :o

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:20 
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How do you access this inverted funland? Is it a bit like the end of Super Mario World where everything gets a pallete swap?


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:21 
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:24 
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WTB wrote:
How do you access this inverted funland? Is it a bit like the end of Super Mario World where everything gets a pallete swap?


ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1: find the silver and gold rings then equip them
2: go to clock room and the clock with activate opening the ceiling.
3: enter and get the holy glasses from Maria.
4: Head to the throne room at the top of the map to fight Richter Belmont, EQUIPPING the glasses in order to see the orb following him.
5: destroy the orb and not Richter and you'll be set.


I've copied and pasted from somewhere as I've not played this in ages.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 13:59 
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Kvnt

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That's the method, aye. It's not a palette swap, WTB - the whole castle is literally turned upside down (it's a shapeshifting castle of illusion, see). This affects the gameplay more drastically than you'd expect, although it doesn't so much in Aria of Sorrow, 'cos the rooms in the post-SOTN games are all just rectangles anyway. :P

I recently did all of the achievements on the XBLAH version of SOTN, incidentally. The one where you have to visit every inch of the castle to uncover 200.6% of the map is a pain in the arse. There are places in the inverted caves where you have to super-jump up into bodies of water and then turn into a wolf to make the screen move up just enough to register another square/room. Great automap, lads!

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 14:22 
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I reckon you're best sticking with SOTN. There's *five* endings. Most of what followed were just new versions of the same game. These ones involve a huge amount of levelling up, though. You have to really enjoy the whole jump, whip thing (matron).

The alternative is the older ones where you just kill stuff and progress onto the next level & as someone said, the best ones are Castlevania III on the NES and Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine. They are on the Virtual Wii McThing, I think.

The 3D Castlevanias are all pretty awful.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 14:28 
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Klatrymadon wrote:
I recently did all of the achievements on the XBLAH version of SOTN, incidentally. The one where you have to visit every inch of the castle to uncover 200.6% of the map is a pain in the arse. There are places in the inverted caves where you have to super-jump up into bodies of water and then turn into a wolf to make the screen move up just enough to register another square/room. Great automap, lads!


I still need that achievement myself - I didn't know about the tip about changing into the wolf to nudge the screen up a bit though. Maybe I'll give it another go once I max out Bejeweled 2. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 18:36 
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ltia wrote:
The alternative is the older ones where you just kill stuff and progress onto the next level & as someone said, the best ones are Castlevania III on the NES and Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine.

I love Super Castlevania IV, from the pre-Metroidvania games. Yeah, it's slow and sluggish at times (don't play the PAL version, whatever you do) but rather superb, a time-weathered minor classic IMO. Lovely atmospheric music too, couldn't believe my ears when I first heard the soundtrack.

The NES games don't do anything for me, personally, just like the similarly-brutal Mega Man series. The Mega Drive one is OK, but still too much a generic hack nn' slash platformer for my tastes, and I've never been too keen on Vampire's Kiss, the second Super NES Castlevania game.

I personally recommend the three GBA Castlevanias above the DS ones, slightly.

Never played SotN, oddly enough. I should eventually.

Quote:
The 3D Castlevanias are all pretty awful.

Never played the Nintendo 64 ones, but the PS2 game, Lament of Innocence, is crap, yes.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 20:09 
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and!

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Quote:
I love Super Castlevania IV, from the pre-Metroidvania games. Yeah, it's slow and sluggish at times (don't play the PAL version, whatever you do) but rather superb, a time-weathered minor classic IMO. Lovely atmospheric music too, couldn't believe my ears when I first heard the soundtrack.

The NES games don't do anything for me, personally, just like the similarly-brutal Mega Man series. The Mega Drive one is OK, but still too much a generic hack nn' slash platformer for my tastes, and I've never been too keen on Vampire's Kiss, the second Super NES Castlevania game.

I personally recommend the three GBA Castlevanias above the DS ones, slightly.


Ooh yes - IV is lovely. I never understood why they never used the rather excellent whip directional/spinny controls with later ones. Agreed about those other dodgy ones.

Out of the GBA ones, I would recommend Harmony of Dissonance as it's a bit easier than the other two. Circle of the Moon is extremely hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 20:55 
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I was about to say the eight-way whipping made everything too easy, but then I remembered that I actually once limited myself to left and right whipping to see how it affected the difficulty. It didn't. The game just doesn't have the same tight level design and enemy placement as the first and third NES titles. (Rondo's is weaker, come to think of it, though I daren't explain why for fear of fanboy retribution.) :P

And yeah, best soundtrack ever! Anyone who can throw a jazz tune into the middle of an austere, baroque soundtrack and effortlessly make it work is clearly a hero. They should really find out what those two composers are up to these days and try to bring them back. Michiru Yamane is great, but her material has been getting more and more formulaic since AOS. :(

HOD is also brilliant, aye, and has another fantastic soundtrack. Its music seems to be reviled among most fans of the series, but I'd put that down to it being rather complex and meandering, not having very many big, rousing action themes...

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 22:05 
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I'm enjoying SOTN now, but am I missing something with regards to HP? It seems there's no way to restore HP other than saving in a save room. Is that right? Aren't there potions or medpacks or something?!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 22:47 
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Get your music on.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 23:37 
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Kvnt

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Any food item or potion you pick up can be used to restore health, WTB. You just have to equip it to one of your hands. This can be a bit of a pain, since you have to re-equip your gear afterward, but you won't need to do it all that often.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:16 
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Hmm. I actually don't think I've came across any food or anything like that yet! I'll check again but I don't recall picking any up, and I've been playing for a while... It's annoying because I keep dying on a section miles away from the last save room with no new save room in sight. Annoying. I am really bloody enjoying the game, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:43 
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Kvnt

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You've probably got a few potions, at least. Enemies can drop useful stuff, too - occasionally rare weapons. Which part of the castle are you in?

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:54 
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The bit I'm stuck on is where you go out to the castle wall I think? But the only reason I'm stuck is because my HP is so low by the time I get there, it's a case of one or two hits and I'm boned. I wonder if there's a composite map somewhere on the internets - I could do with a better knowledge of the place, because I'm just going right!

Still, I'm really enjoying not being able to save anywhere at any point, and no check pointing whatsoever - modern games totally spoil us, difficulty-wise.

edit: http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/psx/cast ... s/map1.gif

Wahoo!

So yeah, I've gone right along the long tunnel and I'm in the outer wall at the minute.

edit edit: I've worked out which route I've taken. From the start, I went right a little bit then came back left and upwards, defeated Gaibon and Slorga, then pretty much went dead right until the castle wall. I've missed out absolutely loads of castle! Man, I'm chuffed about how much there is to do in this game. Why didn't I play it on the PSX?!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:04 
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Kvnt

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You also have an automap that fills itself in as you explore. Think it's mapped to one of the trigger buttons in the XBLA version? Anyhoo, from the Outer Wall you want to go up a bit and find the door on the left that leads to the Long Library. There's a save point at the top of the wall, too. :)

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
You need the "Jewel of Open" from the librarian, which opens those glowing blue doors.


Ed: it's alright, you're definitely going the right way. After Slogra and Gaibon you do pretty much just go right.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:06 
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Klatrymadon wrote:
You also have an automap that fills itself in as you explore. Think it's mapped to one of the trigger buttons in the XBLA version? Anyhoo, from the Outer Wall you want to go up a bit and find the door on the left that leads to the Long Library. There's a save point at the top of the wall, too. :)

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
You need the "Jewel of Open" from the librarian, which opens those glowing blue doors.


Yeah I've seen the map - it's only really useful for showing where you've been though! Cheers for the tips!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 23:39 
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Made some serious progress on this tonight. It's brilliant. If any of you have it on your Xbox but couldn't get into it, you're missing out if you don't give it another bash.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 0:36 
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I've just started SOTN and, you're right, it great stuff.

I think when you meet the libarian you can buy a map of the castle for 500. You should have a load of cash by then so it's small change for a big help. I've found myself holding onto the clock power-up as much as I can. It was a massive help on a couple of big guys - and especially the mirror boss guy who kicked my ass a couple of times until I figured out that I just needed to freeze time and go to town on his ass. I've no idea how far I am but I've just been jumping across the bell towers for a bit and saved it.

I'm using that tiny dagger and one of the larger swords for my weapon slots as I wasn't really getting on with the shields.

Oh and does anyone know what the blood metamorphasis do? It says it restores HP but my character goes red when I do the input command and nothing happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:00 
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Kvnt

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You've got to get enemy blood on you, IIRC. He's half vampire, innit? :p

The wee crystal is my fave sub-weapon. Can do loads of damage with good ricochets.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:42 
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Yeah I bought the map! The blood metamorphosis turns you red, but then you have to kill enemies that bleed to gain back HP. So skeletons and stuff don't work - it has to be the humanoid ones like the midgets and the bloody zombies. Really handy spell though - gives you loads of HP.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:28 
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Ian Fairies wrote:
I'm using that tiny dagger and one of the larger swords for my weapon slots as I wasn't really getting on with the shields.

Some shields become ZOMFG when you get the Shield Rod and use them together.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 21:22 
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Bad Girl

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I've got the double jump and the morning star mace now. I was tearing through the enemies until I bought the 4000 point damacles sword. Now I'm leaving a trail of destruction!

Which was abruptly ended by the crow boss with a long walk back to the save. Shit.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 22:43 
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You can totally cheese him. He has to go through a very long animation of recoiling and then falling to the floor before he can retaliate after being hit, so just whack him towards the left of the screen as soon as you enter the room and then juggle him with sword slashes. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:22 
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Bad Girl

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I've finished it once with 89.1 percent done which is a bit disappointing. I've only got the gold ring and I'm stuck in 3 places if anyone wants to lend a hand?

1. I haven't collected anything that let's me go underwater so I've about 4 squares I can't get to.
2. The long corridor with the spikes. I get to the end with the bat where the blue door is but can't park my arse to go through cause of the spikesl.
3. The room that's dark in the bottom right of the map. I just don't know how to light it up.

Other than that it's been brilliant all the way through apart from some tedious backtracking which was expected.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:44 
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2 is solved by 3, 3 is solved by finding bat echo location. Which is found in olrox quarters (above the colloseurm area)


1 I cant remember off the top of my head currently, I'll have to go look at my save.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:54 
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Paws for thought

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 16662
Location: Just Outside That London, England, Europe
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
On the other hand, I've just remembered its not called an aqualung, just looks like one. For 1 you need the holy symbol. Fot this, get the merman statue from the underwater caverns ( near bottom left) and then find a hidden area towards the bottom right of the map (at the bottom of the long shaft going down from the right of the marble gallery, theres a weak floor that you can smash through)


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:16 
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Bad Girl

Joined: 20th Apr, 2008
Posts: 13444
Thanks Mr Dave. Just done 2 and 3 and nipped off to see Maria. She given me the glasses to unlock the inverted castle but I don't want to do that until I explored the whole map. I've done most of it now so I might as well do the cheevo for the lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:00 
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Bad Girl

Joined: 20th Apr, 2008
Posts: 13444
That nightmare/dream sequence bit was great by the way. Totally unexpected (since this is the first Castlevania I've played since the NES) and suitably creepy for its time. It the little touches like this that have kept me playing. Its suffered from Shadow Complex-complex though since when you're overpowered with the best tools getting from one area to the next becomes a dull slog with no real resistance.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:41 
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Kvnt

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2407
Location: Liverpool
Yeah, it's a famously easy game. You should probably dive straight into the inverted castle now, mate, and do the 200.6% achievement after you've finished it. It's a bit of a chore, like.

Make sure you get the Shield Rod and the Alucard Shield for the Galamoth fight, too. I know of a few other ways of killing him, but they're all even cheesier. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:56 
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Bad Girl

Joined: 20th Apr, 2008
Posts: 13444
I'm all ears! I spammed that Crow boss with the left sided attack without any remorse!


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 13:26 
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Kvnt

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 2407
Location: Liverpool
Oh, the Shield Rod way is by far the best. Just equip that and the Alucard Shield, press X + B (or whatever buttons you have for both hands) together to start the spell, then hold out your shield and touch him with it. He'll be dead in seconds. :)

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