Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (悪魔城ドラキュラＸ ～血の輪廻～ Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo?, lit. "Demon Castle Dracula X: Reincarnation of Blood") is a platform-adventure video game developed by Konami for the PC Engine's Super CD-ROM² System directed by Toru Hagihara. It is the 10th installment in the Castlevania series, where the protagonist Richter Belmont goes to save his lover Annette, who was abducted by Count Dracula. It was released in Japan on October 29, 1993 and is the only Castlevania game to be released for an NEC console, as NEC left the console business in 1998 due to the failure of the PC-FX.
A direct sequel to it, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, was released in 1997. The game was remade for the Super Nintendo as Castlevania: Dracula X, and the PlayStation Portable as Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. In 2008, the original game was released for the Wii's Virtual Console service in Japan and for the North American and PAL regions in 2010.
On October 26, 2018, Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was re-released as part of Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night/Rondo of Blood for PlayStation 4. The game was also included in the list of games for the TurboGrafx-16 Mini in March 19, 2020 and is available in all regions.
- In the good old days, the people desired only prosperity and peace, and certainly everyone thought that the days of unrest would surely never come… But on the other side of peace and prosperity, there invariably exists evil. Rejecting the peoples’ prosperity, they corrupt the peace.
Those who sought to restore the powers of evil and remake this corrupt world gathered. Smiles crept across their faces as their expectations for the coming genesis swelled.
After one hundred years, a being of evil once again returned. This man could change his form into that of a bat, a wolf, or mist, particularly favoring to act at night. Sucking the blood of young women, he retained eternal life. Master of the Demon Castle, god of the wicked, Count Dracula has returned.
— Official manual description for Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
(voiced by Jin Horikawa)
Age : 19
(voiced by Yōko Teppōzuka)
Age : 12
(voiced by Atsuko Honda)
Age : 17
Richter's lover and Maria's friend. Held hostage somewhere in Demon Castle. Strong-willed and also dislikes the unfair. Has a very pleasant personality and is nice to all.
(voiced by Hiromi Murata)
Age : 19
A nun at the Village Church, also held hostage in Demon Castle. Warm hearted, lively, with a passionate soul.
(voiced by Akie Yasuda)
Age : 17
Daughter of the doctor and held captive in the Demon Castle. A bright and caring person, she looks out for others.
(voiced by Hiroya Ishimaru)
Age : 800
Lord of Demon Castle, the root of all evil, and the game's main antagonist. Though his cold character is without equal, he maintains the dignity telling of his royal lineage.
(voiced by Jin Horikawa)
Age : ???
A dark priest who revives Dracula.
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is the first CD game in the series, which allowed for more features to be included, such as CD quality soundtrack and visual cut-scenes. The opening, ending and various cutscenes done in a hand-drawn visual style are included in the game. However, at the time this wasn't considered to be a very popular decision. Various details in the terrain are more polished than previous entries and the behavior of the enemies is more elaborate. For example, the boss characters in the game will perform an unique final attack when their health meter is depleted. If the player didn't sustain any damage during the fight and manages to avoid this attack, a "Perfect Bonus" (1UP) is obtained.
The mechanic of picking upgrades in order to power up the whip, which until that time was a staple of the series, has been removed. A new feature is the Item Crash, a special sub-weapon attack during which the player becomes momentarily invincible and a powerful attack is performed, at the expense of a large amount of hearts. Similar to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, a branching path system has been implemented, but with some differences. Unlike the former, it's not possible to choose between two paths in between stages. Rather, there are two ways to proceed through a stage, one of the paths being hidden. Finding this path requires several tricks such as destroying a wall, deliberately falling down a pit, and so on. In addition, there are four characters who have been kidnapped by Dracula and require to be rescued. One of these characters, Maria, becomes playable after being rescued. She attacks with magical, whimsical skills, such as throwing doves at enemies, hiding in a turtle shell, and other animal based attacks. When playing as Maria, the cutscenes when rescuing the other characters, the conversation with Dracula, the ending, the player's defeat sequence, as well as the Game Over screen become more lighthearted in tone.
Once a stage is cleared, it can be selected from the "STAGE SELECT" in the file screen at the start of the game. Choosing "PLAYER SELECT" allows switching to Maria. Other things which are displayed are the completion percentage, the amount of continues left, "SOUND TEST" and "TECHNIQUE". The latter are videos which show the correct strategy to use against bosses. These videos can be unlocked by collecting certain amounts of money.
- Main article: Castlevania: Rondo of Blood/Script
- See also: Akumajō Dracula X
The music this time around goes for a bit of a pop style, but still contains that classic Castlevania progressive rock feel of the older games. Since Rondo of Blood is a CD based game, live guitars were brought in to back up the crisp sounding synth and drum beats. Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears and Beginning were all also rearranged for this game.
The soundtrack was released in a two disc set (the second disc containing the soundtrack to Castlevania: Bloodlines) in 1994 and has since been taken out of production, making it just as hard to find as the game is.
- Jigokuguruma Nakamura
- Metal Yuhki
Rondo of Blood has had remarkable impact and is something of a turning point in the series. The following games would be influenced by it graphics wise, with many sprites almost directly taken from the game. It is also one of the last "old-school" Castlevania games, featuring more linear, stage based gameplay, as opposed to the "metroidvania" style introduced in this game's extremely popular direct sequel, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
The game is highly sought after by fans, but due to the lack of an international release, copies are rare. The game often sells for well over $100 on eBay. It has been upgraded to a 2.5D game in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles on the PSP, which also contains the original version as well as its sequel, Symphony of the Night. A direct port of the original version can also be found on the Wii's Virtual Console and is considered an import title outside Japan. While there is no translation made outside of Japan, the English Virtual Console version is still altered in that it contains the PSP intro audio and the censored version of the Werewolf.
In addition, Richter Belmont, the main protagonist of Rondo of Blood, also makes an appearance in the Nintendo Switch fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, released on December 7, 2018. He acts as an Echo Fighter of newcomer Simon Belmont. The game also incorporates several elements from Rondo of Blood into the Castlevania-themed Dracula's Castle stage, as well as the addition of Castlevania music tracks, including a remix of Richter's theme, "Opposing Bloodlines". The Dracula's Castle stage itself also includes the Rondo of Blood version of the Werewolf as a background character. Dracula, who appears as a boss character in the stage, derives his character design and attacks from Rondo of Blood as well.
- Producer: Y. Yamada (Yoshiaki Yamada)
- Director: T. Hagihara (Toru Hagihara)
- Program: T. Hagihara, GAGENSAI, Shingo T. (Shingo Takatsuka)
- Character Design: T. Furukawa (Toshiharu Furukawa), R. B. (Reika Bando), K. Yamada (Koji Yamada), KURO!
- SOUND STAFF: Akiropito (Shoji Akira), Jigokuguruma Nakamura (Keizo Nakamura), Sanoppi (Tomoko Sano), Metal Yuhki (Saitō Mikio)
- Guitar Solo: Motoaki Furukawa
- Visual Staff: Akiropito, Sanoppi, Imohore Imai (Kazuhito Imai)
- Package Design: Inumari, M.Yoshihashi (Masahiro Yoshihashi)
- Voice Staff: Ryuichi, AKT, NOR, Saushirau, Babbitt・K, Sanoppi, OPA
- OP Visual Narrator: Hans Ginita Klaud
- Koji Igarashi said in an interview present in Castlevania Chronicles that Rondo of Blood is one of his favorite episodes of the series, along with Dracula's Curse.
- On March 2015, an unused boss sprite from Stage 1 was discovered. The boss resembles a green, four-legged creature.
- According to the game's composer, Akiropito, the game's story was originally set during the Middle Ages, just like the original Castlevania.
- In order to get the better ending for Richter, the player has to save all four maidens, even if they don't get 100% completion of the game.
- It is the only episode of the series to specify characters' blood type.
- It is the first installment in the series to use the Red Oni and Blue Oni trope, with the duo Maria/Richter. This trope would be reused in these following titles:
- Castlevania: Dracula X — A Super Nintendo reimagining of this game. Considered a non-canon semi-sequel in Japan and branded as a substitute game for Rondo of Blood to international gaming markets. It is known as Dracula XX in Japan and Vampire's Kiss in Europe and Australia, where it is considered as a standard sequel to Super Castlevania IV, presentation-wise.
- Akumajyo Dracula Peke — A minigame included on the same disc as Rondo of Blood that was played if using an older kind of System Card on the PC Engine CD.
- Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles — A 2.5D remake of Rondo of Blood that also includes new English localized versions of the original game and its sequel, Symphony of the Night.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night — The official direct sequel to this game.
Related music CDs
- Akumajō Dracula X — Contains the original soundtrack for this game.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 4.
- Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo Official Guide — A Japanese guide book for this game.
- Strategy Guide and Official Guide.
- Title screen of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.
- Akumajō Dracula X - Gekka no Yasoukyoku CD liner notes.
- Castlevania Dungeon Forums http://castlevaniadungeon.net/forums/index.php/topic,7864.msg174416.html#msg174416
- The Cutting Room Floor https://tcrf.net/Akumajou_Dracula_X:_Chi_no_Rondo#Unused_Enemy
- Akiropito tweet, April 3th, 2015.
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- Dessgeega.com all-clear run
- Castlevania Dungeon (Review/Article of the game.)
- Castlevania Realm
- Title at MobyGames
- Konami Wii Product page (Japanese)
- Hudson Wii Product Page (archived March 3, 2012)
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