Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (of fans usually with SOTN / SOTN, and abbreviated by Konami with ZON[1] ), was released in Japan under the title Nocturne in the Moonlight: Devil Castle Dracula X (悪魔城ドラキュラX月下の夜想曲 Akumajō Dracula X: Gekka no Yasōkyoku ), 1997 for Sony's PlayStation . An extended re-release appeared the following year Japan exclusively for the Sega Saturn . In 2007, another re-release for Microsoft XBox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade appeared. The original PlayStation version was released for download on the PlayStation 3, playable both here and on Sony's PSP. Most recently, SotN was fully integrated into The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP, which is a remake of Symphony of the Night's direct predecessor , Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (released for NEC's PC Engine ).

Although it was not very successful in its first release in North America, Symphony of the Night became a coveted title under games and is considered by many to be one of the best parts, as well as milestone, of the series. Almost all of his successors have adapted SotN's gameplay.



Alucard 002

Alucard, von Ayami Kojima

The story of the game, set in 1797 , 5 years after the events of Rondo of Blood . The game begins with Jack Henry Dappen's victory over Count Dracula and represents a flashback to the end of the predecessor. Although Dracula was defeated, Jack then disappeared without a trace. Five years later, Castlevania re- emerges, and as there is no Belmont to make his way to the castle, Alucard , Dracula's son, awakens from his self-induced sleep and decides to find out what happened during his sleep.

In the meantime, Maria Renard , jack's sister-in-law, has made her way to the castle to look for the missing Jack Dappen. She helps Alucard several times during the game.

The game has four different endings. If certain prerequisites have been met, it turns out that Jack is under the influence of the dark priest Shaft . After this is defeated, an upside down version of the castle, the so-called Inverted Castle, appears above the castle. This second castle offers more adventures, crowned by Alucard's ultimate fight against his revived father, Dracula himself.


Symphony of the Night screenshot

Alucard kämpft im ersten Bosskampf gegen Slogra und Gaibon.

Symphony of the Night introduced a smoother control scheme for its protagonist. So he can eg a back-dash, or a downward kick, while he is in the jump. Furthermore, he can use spells that he finds in scrolls and which are triggered by keyboard shortcuts. Some of them harm opponents (such as Hell Fire ), others heal him (like Soul Steal and Dark Metamorphosis ).

As in previous Castlevania titles, Alucard can use various second weapons he finds in the castle, including knives , the ax , or the holy water . As in previous games, the use of the second weapons heart is consumed and it can only ever be a second weapon.

Through various relics, Alucard also learns new skills (a feature that has been re-introduced in later parts). These relics make it possible for Alucard, for example, to leap higher, open magically locked doors without being damaged by water, or transform into various animals, as well as fog .

Symphony of the Night is also the first Castlevania to have RPG elements since Simon's Quest . Alucard can upgrade levels as soon as he has enough XP. At each level up, alucard stats, such as attack, defensive, or luck, increase. At the castle, Alucard can also find "Life Max Ups" raising his HP, as well as "Heart Max Ups", which increase the number of hearts he can carry at most. By drinking, or eating, the HP can be replenished (they are completely refilled at the various savepoints).

Another RPG element of the game is the ability to wear armor, accessories and weapons. Some only make him stronger, while others make him immune to certain changes in state. Alucard also has a large number of single-use items. Some only inflict damage on one opponent while others attack all enemies in the picture.

Also new are the so-called Familiars (fairy, demon, ghost, bat and sword), which can also be leveled up and thus become smarter and attack or heal faster. Some also get new skills or a new look.


The visual design of Symphony of the Night is a much-praised element of the game. The castle's elegant and detailed look has been retained in many other games developed under Igarashi, such as Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance , or Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow .


Many opponents were taken directly from Rondo of Blood . Bosses like Granfalloon and Beelzebub are massive, expanding creatures. Very unmistakable are the new opponents and the personality that is expressed in their animations. The enemy Hammer, rams his weapon down and staggers back slightly, after he resumes. The Spectral Sword's armies respond to where Alucard is, and thus quality is given even to objects where we would not expect personality.

The death animations are spectacular and unique; Guardian, the strongest non-boss opponents, sink to their knees after being defeated and turn bright gold, then settle into a small pillar of fire.

Most opponents come from folklore, mythology, or literature. For example, Cthulhu from the stories of HP Lovecraft appears here.


Many Symphony of the Night fans consider Alucard one of the most detailed sprites in 2D history.

The sprite artist was aware of how every facet of Alucard's design should react to the environment.

Alucard also has a surprisingly large number of animations (some of them, some players will never see, due to their special nature in some cases), and one that is quite special: a "post-image". When Alucard makes a quick move, a series of blue illusions emerge behind him. This technique was also reused for later main characters, including Juste in Harmony of Dissonance and Soma in Dawn of Sorrow .

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With its revolutionary exploration aspect in the series, Symphony of the Night offers a freer, more cohesive layout.

As a result, objects, such as moving platforms, or canyons were removed and the lock is similar in layout to the game in the Metroid series.

SotN remains unique, despite the fact that its general layout has been adopted in other parts such as Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow , as it has the most interactive areas, such as bridges breaking in, switches that need to be operated to open doors , or walls that can be destroyed.

HoD is most similar to SotN in terms of layout, as it also offers long halls, with little platform action , along with spaces that players like to refer to as "zig-zag spaces" (vertical spaces where you move from one platform to the next to move from left to right to go up or down). In both games, the layout is mostly circular.

However, some classical elements, such as spikes, have been left in the game to make it more challenging.

There are also several hidden spaces in the game (usually found by destroying certain walls) that contain more enemies and items, as well as some of the biggest secrets in the game.

As already noted, the layout of the castle follows Metroid's traditional formula , in which the player must learn new skills in order to reach certain sections. For example, Alucard must acquire the ability to turn into fog to cross thin walls, or transform into a bat to reach higher areas.

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Main article: Castlevania Requiem

On October 26, 2018, a port of Symphony of the Night will be released along with Castlevania: Rondo of Blood at the Castlevania Requiem Collection. Exclusive to the PlayStation 4, this collection includes new graphics options, analog stick support, and custom trophies.


The soundtrack of Symphony of the Night was written by Michiru Yamane , who previously worked on Castlevania: The New Generation .


  • Alucard's initial status is influenced by how to defeat Jack Henry Dappen Dracula.
    • If you defeat Dracula in less than a minute, Alucard will receive +5 HP. However, this is impossible for the very first attempt as the "monster" cutcene can not be broken if you have not seen it before.
    • If you kill Dracula without being hit, Alucard will also receive +5 HP.
    • If you kill Dracula without using a second weapon and the Flame Whip, Alucard will receive +5 HP and +5 LCK.
    • If you defeat Dracula with holy water, Alucard will receive +5 MP and +5 hearts.
    • If you defeat Dracula equipped with the boomerang, Alucard will receive +10 MP and +5 hearts.
    • If you collect more than 40 hearts, you start the game with a neutron bomb in the inventory.
    • If you lose all HP in the fight against Dracula, Maria appears and makes Judge invincible. You then start the game with a potion in the inventory.
    • Should you waste all your heart, Alucard will receive a Heart Refresh at the start of the game.
  • If you insert the game CD into a normal CD player, you can hear a hidden song on track 2, and Alucard warns the listener not to put this CD in a normal CD player.
  • In the Japanese version, one can hear humorous audio clips of the Japanese voice cast in the library. In the western versions, this was replaced by a soundtrack.
  • In the Japanese version, there are also two other Familiars as In-Jokes, Nose Demon and Fairy, which are the same as Demon and Faerie, with slightly different looks.
  • Also, some items are elsewhere in the Japanese version.
  • There are two new sections in the Saturn version: Cursed Prison and Underground Garden , with new tunes, new enemies like Gargoyles and Specters , a new boss named Skeleton Leader , and new items like the Alucard Spear.
  • In the Sega Saturn version, the input music differs, depending on which character you play.
  • Maria is playable in the Saturn version. It plays differently and significantly stronger than in the Dracula X Chronicles version.
  • The yellow Medusa Heads, Gorgons, and Stone Roses turn Alucard normal white into stone. However, as soon as Alucard controls the double jump, if he executes it and is hit by one of the above-mentioned opponents, he will turn into a Gargoyle statue. While he normally takes damage in this form when hit by an opponent, he is invulnerable in the Gargoyle form.
  • Alucard can visit a confessional in the chapel. If he sits on the left side, a ghost priest comes out and either he laughs at him and hits him (Green Priest), or he gives him Grape Juice (Blue Priest). When he sits down on the right side, a woman enters. The green woman tries to beat him while the red woman tries to confess her sins.
  • If you have Rune Sword, every time you throw it, the word "forbidden" appears.
  • On the lower level of the coliseum, one can see in the background the remains of the Behemoth , the judge in Castlevania: Dracula X hunted (both PC Enginge, and SNES).
  • There is a hidden passage at the beginning of the castle. This may be an unfinished section that should take you to the Underground Gardens. There is even a memory point there. The area can be dealt with by judges when you enter the castle and run back quickly while the gate closes.
  • Even Alucard can go fast behind the closing goal. So you can explore the places you see when Alucard runs to the castle.
  • The item Power of Sire, which can only be used once, shows a portrait that kills all opponents on the screen. The portrait depicts Vlad Tepes , the real person who inspired the legend of Dracula.
  • Equipped with the Shield Rod: If you press back, forward + attack, then Alucard throws a small, hurling ball. It is exactly the same as the shield in the Gradius games, which are also from Konami. It can be used to block enemy projectiles. When you attack and block at the same time, you can also see the power of the shield you have.
  • The boss Count Olrox, is known in the Japanese version as "Orurokku" (オ ル ロ ッ ク), the vampire from the movie Nosferatu .
  • In Dracula X , Maria's animal helpers are based on the Chinese gods Suzaku (Phoenix), Genbu (turtle), Byakko (tiger) and Seiryu (dragon). They are back in the Saturn version of SotN , albeit as an adult.
  • If you wear both rings in the Clock Room, the clock will strike 13 times. Traditionally, when grandfather clocks 13 times, they warn you against family death.
  • When Alucard sits on one of the chairs in the lock for a while, he begins to fall asleep.
    • When you sit down on a chair in Saturn (equipped with Lyric Card) and Dracula X Chronicles version, before fighting with the doppelgangers, activating the Faery Familiar, this Alucard sings a lullaby .
  • The fairy familiar also sits on Alucard's shoulder when he stands still long enough. When you move again, it falls down and howls in surprise.
  • When you turn into a bat while activating the bat family, small hearts pop up over the familiar. As soon as one spits fire himself, the family spits fire. As soon as the level of the familiars is higher, several bats emerge, which also spit fire. As soon as Alucard returns to his human form, the familiar is confused (represented by question marks). If you treat the spirit Familiar and turn yourself into a bat, it will be confused and disappear.
  • If Alucard is equipped with two Heaven Swords and you press both attack buttons at the same time, the swords shoot behind him, doubling and then shoot horizontally forward, ending with a final blow in the middle.
  • If you kill Trevor before Sypha in the fight against the fake characters from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse , she revives him as a zombie. That's what they do until you kill them yourself
  • If you kill the owl of Owl Knight in front of him, he will kneel in despair beside her. Once the owl is burned, the Knight will return to Alucard. If you kill the knight in front of the owl, it will attack you.
  • In Outer Wall you can see a lot outside the castle. If you wait long enough in the telescope room, you can see a bird fly by, seeking shelter from the cold, or rain, in its small nest. When you enter the room again later, you can see how the mother bird lays eggs, the chicks hatch, grow up, finally fly away and the cycle begins again.
  • When Alucard goes up the outer wall and turns right, you can see a mouse on the outer wall.
  • In the largest room of Olrox's quarters, the room with the buildings, there is a big fountain in the middle. When Alucard waits a few minutes, the water turns to blood . turn.
  • If you go into a crevasse with Alucard in animal form and transform yourself back there, you will be stuck for a moment and be confused.
  • When Alucard stands right in front of a precipice, he changes his pose to a stiffer posture. Shortly thereafter changes his attitude again and keeps his arms close.
  • In the Outer Wall you can see a hanging corpse outside the castle. It's really a parody of Simon Belmont hanging there.
  • In the PlayStation version, a recording of a fifth ending was found, in which Maria Richter rescues, but is soon turned into a demon by Shaft.


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