Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is an action/adventure platform game developed and published by Konami, part of the Castlevania franchise. The game was first released on August 25, 2005 in Japan, where it's known as Demon Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue/Pale Moon (悪魔城ドラキュラ 蒼月の十字架 Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika?).
The game is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, with Soma Cruz reprising his role as the protagonist; other characters from Aria of Sorrow also appear in the game, including Genya Arikado and Julius Belmont. It takes place one year after Aria of Sorrow, in 2036, and deals with an enigmatic cult (unrelated to the cult led by Aria of Sorrow's antagonist Graham Jones) who seeks to kill Soma and revive the dark power of Dracula sleeping inside him, as a sort of retribution for Soma 'denying his destiny' in becoming the Dark Lord incarnate in the previous game. In the cult's mind, Dracula represents the ultimate evil that must exist for there to be an ultimate good, and with the Dark Lord sealed, that cannot happen. Instead of running from this new threat, however, Soma decides to take the initiative and confront his foes head-on, eventually discovering a castle and monsters similar to those owned by Dracula, supposedly constructed by the cult as the scene for the ritual required to sacrifice Soma and revive the vampire lord.
The game also features most of Aria of Sorrow's main gameplay, including the Tactical Soul System (Soma's ability to absorb enemies' souls and use their powers). This time Soma can upgrade most abilities by acquiring multiple copies of the same soul. New to the series is the Magic Seal System, which makes use of the system's touch screen. Using a finger or stylus, the player must draw an intricate symbol or "seal" on the touch screen to trap defeated boss enemies. If the seal is not drawn quickly and correctly, the boss can regenerate energy and continue to fight but the boss is weaker than before the seal was drawn. The touch screen can also be used to break certain blocks, navigate menus, and control certain familiars.
The game also features a multiplayer vs. mode, where one player creates a section of the castle, complete with enemies, and both players race to defeat the enemies and reach the end of the level; players are also able to trade souls they've found in the game. In addition, there is a Julius mode where you can play as Julius Belmont, armed with the Vampire Killer and sub-weapons. In this mode there is a tribute to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse in the sense that you can gain two allies to your task and switch between them at any time: Yoko Belnades, a witch who fights like her ancestor Sypha Belnades with a staff and fire, ice, and lightning spells, and Alucard returning from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with his signature sword, Hellfire spell, and the ability to turn into a bat.
With the release of this game, the series will be going back to the "Akumajō Dracula" name in Japan. The series had used the "Castlevania" name in Japan since the release of "Concerto of the Midnight Sun" (known as Harmony of Dissonance in North America).
A few special items will appear in the item menu if Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is in the DS' GBA cartridge slot, such as the Rare Ring.
- Main article: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow/Gallery
|Heroes and Allies|
The main protagonist and possible successor to Dracula.
Soma's childhood friend.
The oldest Belmont called into action.
Works for a Japanese paranormal agency. An alias for Alucard.
A exorcist working for The Church. Heir to the Belnades Clan power.
A former military man. Now an information broker and arms dealer.
Leader of a cult who fears a world without a Dark Lord.
A Dark Lord Candidate who can control fire.
A Dark Lord Candidate who can copy attacks.
- Main article: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow/Script
- In Electronic Gaming Monthly's E3, the E3 model of this game was given a score of Awesome.
- Upon the game's North American release, EGM awarded the game with Game of the Month honors, as well awarding it with a Gold Medal, since the average of the three scores was at least 9 out of 10.
- It was given a difficult 5 out of 5 on the T.V. review show X-Play.
- The Silenced Ruins area is a direct tribute to the first Akumajō Dracula/Castlevania game for the Famicom/NES—in addition to similar visual designs, especially the interesting idea of making its last room mimic the first corridor of the first Castlevania, the background music is a remix of the background music for the first stages of this title that started the series, "Vampire Killer." Also, the boss in this area, the Bat Company, is a reference to the original Castlevania, where the first boss was a giant bat.
- Mine of Judgment also houses a tribute to a past Castlevania game; in this case, Super Castlevania IV. Back in Super Castlevania IV, as the player traveled up to the keep, Slogra was the first of the four final bosses they would meet, followed by Gaibon on the next floor, and then by Death just before the keep. In Dawn of Sorrow, as the player travels down the mine, they encounter Slogra and Gaibon as minor (although numerous) enemies, followed by Death as the boss of the area. The mine also features a reappearance of the music track Basement Melody from Haunted Castle.
- Julius Mode is a large scale homage to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. The party members are Julius Belmont (descendant of Trevor Belmont), Yoko Belnades (descendant of Sypha Belnades), and Genya Arikado in his Alucard form. There is no character analogous to Grant Danasty in this mode. However, an analysis of the game's ROM revealed unused dialogue that hinted that Hammer was once planned to be playable in this mode.
- In Julius Mode the background music of The Lost Village is changed to a remix of 'Beginning' from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Also the background music of The Dark Chapel is changed to a remix of 'Bloody Tears' from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is one of several Nintendo DS games that feature a subtitle with the initials 'DS', for fairly obvious reasons. Others include Tenchu: Dark Secret, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Resident Evil: Deadly Silence.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow contains three items, the Crown, the Bell, and the Konami Man, as homages to the original NES Castlevania. The Crown can be found by sitting on one of the chairs in one of the most eastern rooms of the Demon Guest House, the Bell can be found by using the Bat Spell and flying into one of the bells in the Dark Chapel, and the Konami Man is found by crouching on a platform surrounded by spikes in the Cursed Clock Tower. Each of these items has the description simply stating the number of "points" they are worth. They have no effect on gameplay (although they can be sold to Hammer) but interestingly enough, they can be collected in Julius Mode, whereas all other items (besides magic hearts) cannot be picked up. It is unknown what their effects are in Julius Mode.
- This game Japanese title 悪魔城ドラキュラ 蒼月の十字架 Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika (Demon Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue Moon). In the package art, characters have formed the cross as the title.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (mobile) — A mobile adaptation of this game by Glu.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Original Soundtrack.
- Official Koma — Comic panels associated with this game.
- Akumajō Dracula: Kabuchi no Tsuisoukyoku — A novel which is a sequel to this game.
- Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow — This game is a sequel to the Game Boy Advance game Aria of Sorrow.
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin — The next game in the Nintendo Dual Screen series (not chronologically).
- Cross of the Blue Moon (Flash minigames) — Flash minigames found on the official Japanese site for this game.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 11.
- Double Jump's Dawn of Sorrow Official Strategy Guide — US official strategy guide.
- Konami Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika Official Guide — Japanese official strategy guide.
- Dawn of Sorrow Inventory
- Dawn of Sorrow Bestiary
- Locations Index (Dawn of Sorrow)
- Dawn of Sorrow Voice Translations
- category:Dawn of Sorrow
- category:Dawn of Sorrow Artwork
- category:Dawn of Sorrow Characters
- category:Dawn of Sorrow Items
- category:Dawn of Sorrow Locations
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- Official website (Japanese, Internet Archive)
- Castlevania Realm
- Dawn of Sorrow entry at MobyGames
- Dawn of Sorrow entry at GameSpot, with preview screenshots and videos.
- Dawn of Sorrow Entry at IGN Wiki
Related user blogs
- Perfect soul mashups by An anonymous contributor - Tips on how to use different souls and weapons together in Dawn of Sorrow.
- Your Strategy Fighting Menace by Shadomega7569 - Tips on defeating Menace.
|Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow|
|Soma Cruz • Mina Hakuba • Julius Belmont • Yoko Belnades • Genya Arikado (Alucard) • Hammer|
|Celia Fortner • Dario Bossi • Dmitrii Blinov • Soma Cruz (Julius Mode)|
|Flying Armor • Balore • Malphas • Puppet Master • Rahab • Gergoth • Zephyr • Bat Company|
Paranoia • Aguni • Abaddon • Death • Menace
|The Lost Village • Wizardry Lab • Garden of Madness • The Dark Chapel • Demon Guest House • Condemned Tower|
Cursed Clock Tower • Subterranean Hell • Silenced Ruins • The Pinnacle • Mine of Judgment • The Abyss
|Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Original Soundtrack|
|DoubleJump Books Dawn of Sorrow Official Strategy Guide|
Konami Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika Official Guide
|Bestiary • Inventory • Julius Mode • Voice Translations|