For this Boss Rush I’m going to talk about my favourite video game of all time: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. I could talk for hours about why I like that Castlevania in particular so much but it isn’t the point of this article. This article is about boss fights and this game has plenty of cool bosses, although my favourite one is this one.
Technically, you face Dracula twice in the game, during the intro and as a final boss. I could talk about both but to be honest I enjoy way more that first encounter, so I’m focusing on it. And since SOTN is a direct sequel of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood this intro is nothing but the ending of that game.
The reason for this might be because Rondo of Blood never got a proper western release. It got a port for the SNES (which was vastly different) but some years ago it was released in the Virtual Console and it got a remake for PSP (this remake also has the original Rondo and SOTN as unlockable extras).
Before we continue, feel free to play this video, and leave it in the background while you read this article.
This is what you’ll hear during this section. In it you play as Richter Belmont right before he faces Dracula. Richter plays differently as how he did in Rondo of Blood. For starters, he can run and he has some other special movements like a high jump or a slide with a jump. There’s not much to do around that area, you can get a lot of hearts if you want to use the secondary weapons (you can either get the Cross or the Holy Water) or their respective Item Crush.
Anyway, once we head towards Dracula we’re treated to the following cutscene.
The PSP port (and the Xbox 360 one) has a new script. And new voice acting too! But still, there’s a part of me that loves those sentences like “Die monster, you don’t belong in this world” or that very dramatic delivery of “What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets.” They sound so weird and hammy you can’t help but love them. As an aside, if you’re curious this is how it sounds in the revised version.
Anyway, after that dramatic way of disposing of an empty glass the battle with Dracula begins. As is usual in Castlevania this battle has two stages. In the first one, Dracula teleports around the room, throwing two different types of fireballs at you. After dodging and hitting him enough times he turns into some kind of giant vampire monster.
And the scenery changes with that too, the room gets sucked into a vortex. Although that might be the castle starting to disappear. Anyway, Dracula’s attacks change too. Now he leaps around and shoots fire at you. Touching him also gives you some kind of electrical discharge. But he’s bigger so hitting him is easier now.
Eventually you’ll beat him. If you want to see the full thing in motion here’s a video.
There are interesting things about this fight. You can’t lose. If you lose all your life then Maria Renard (a secondary character in both Rondo and SOTN) resurrects you and makes you invulnerable. Which gives some dramatic effect to the battle, but it has consequences.
Since SOTN has RPG characteristics, when the game begins Alucard (our character) will have some stats. And depending on stuff we do in the battle some things will change. Depending on whether pick up (or use) any sub-weapon, get hurt or the number of hearts you have you will get slightly different stats, or even some items to help you out. I never really tried to test different options, although I tend to fight Dracula without special items.
Like I said in the beginning, this game is full of cool boss battles. And in Castlevania tradition some are massive. And yet this one remains my favourite boss battle because it explains you the backstory in a really cool way. The only downside is that amazing theme I posted before doesn’t play during the battle, but you can’t have too much of an awesome thing.
Angry Spaniard, adoptive Irishman. Writer, reader, tea drinker and video game player/designer.