Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is forever


Alternate Title: Why are the Stories in Video Games So Damn Good?


Is there a way to make this more clear without breaking grammar? The article is about a “traditional” game developer and not a “traditional game” developer which is completely different, but I don’t see any way to add punctuation or rearrange the sentence to avoid the conundrum.

This is just idle curiosity, my favorite metroid is Fusion and my favorite Castlevania is Harmony of Dissonance Aria of Sorrow (or Super Castlevania IV). I liked Symphony of the Night a lot, but I felt the GBA series elevated it a little. Maybe it’s just my age, maybe it’s just the main character’s name.

Coming at this as an artist and not a dev, for me Castlevania: SotN is the apex of outstanding 2D game design. It is, to put it lightly, GODDAMN F***ING GORGEOUS.

I like the 2D Metroid games, but I agree that the eerie, spartan austereness of its art direction just doesn’t inspire the same awe that SotN’s intricately rendered orgy of gothic pixel perfection does. The tiling is almost imperceptible, the fluidity of the sprite transitions is heavenly, the music, the visual effects, even the tastefully restrained 3D elements (like the save points and the Succubus battle background) still continue to make my jaw drop.

Just look at this screenshot

The amount of detail and presence put into just the painting on the wall, let alone the rest of the level, it’s just… mmm. So good. So, so good.


That game is a classic, I have loved it for years. The music is so good as well. I’ve already backed Bloodstained, I look forward to what Iga will do with his new found freedom. When I popped over to the kickstarter yesterday it was only at $3000. I then proceeded to watch that blow up to half a million in a matter of a few hours. That game is going to be awesome. I cannot wait!

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I agree that the soul system is awesome in Aria. It added that gotta catch em all aspect that I am a sucker for. I think you just convinced me to go play both of those titles again (walks to collection to start playing Aria of Sorrow)!

SotN had what always has been a rarity: excellent synergy between level design, gameplay, overall look/graphics, and sounds/soundtrack. The hideous Engrish also helps a LOT xD.

I still play SotN regularly on ePSXe, along with Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Descent (the PSX version of Descent’s soundtrack is simply amazing).

If I could pick one detail from SotN as my favorite, it would be the way Alucard moves. So much was put into making his animations look really cool and effortless, like he only ever stood firmly when he was using his weapons.


For me, I’d say it was the soundtrack. The music was ridiculously good.

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Michiru Yamane is one of my all time favorites. Check out the Skullgirls OST if you haven’t already.


Yes, that’s true, and I have both the OST and the game ^^ .

When I first met my current, most significant partner,

That struck me as a really sweet statement, even if not intended.

If only they’d invested in a decent script. :frowning:

I feel like it was adequately hokey. The whole game is a carnival spook house—superficially horrific but still a fun ride.

That’s one of the problems I have with the later titles. I feel like they started getting too dour and overdid it with the doom and gloom in their gothic themes. Even the titles differ: “Symphony of the Night” elicits both darkness and exhilaration. However, “Lament of Innocence” and “Harmony of Despair” sound like parody black metal songs, and “Lords of Shadow” is just sadly generic.

The later games weren’t all terrible. They had their moments. But none had that same sense of tongue-in-cheek ghastliness that defined SotN.


And I say this with love:

Someone who makes playing Castlevania, especially this one, a relationship building item, is the kind of person I dream of finding. I wish anyone had ever asked me to go play SoTN at 3 am- they’d be an instant friend!

This game was out for a long time before I discovered it, and had heard of it for years. I kept thinking, how good can it be compared to Castlevania III (played the shit out of that as a kid). If there is one instance where I ever felt I was so happy to be behind the times, it was once in life- finding SoTN.

My next greatest- finding Chrono Trigger. In 2005. 10 years after it came out. And oddly enough, I was living with a Japanese family near Osaka when my host brother was all like “whoa! you still play superfamicon? Do you like Chrono Trigger? Whaaaaat??? You’ve never played it before?!?!”

Rediscovering classic NES & SNES gaming through emulators while living in Japan was amazing. I guess sometimes you never know who loves these old games- even when you live right next to them.

Symphony of the Night isn’t even the best Castlevania game, which is simply a testament to the consistent, incredible quality the series has been known for.

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This game is a major blind spot in my gaming history. I should rectify that, especially since I’ve bothered to rectify “essential” blind spots that were significantly less fun and less well-wrought (I’m looking at you, Half Life 2, and Bioware games…), and this game actually looks beautiful and enjoyable!

Now, the only obstacle is that the only hardware I have around that this is available for is my PS2. Or emulation on my PC. Both requiring an original hard copy of what I might presume is a rather expensive/collectable game. Maybe eBay will pleasantly surprise me, though!

You can download it on psn and xbox live for about ten bucks. I have been playing it on vita.

…none of which are platforms I own, unfortunately.