The Sega Saturn version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was only released in Japan and, like the Japanese name of the PlayStation version, was called Akumajō Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight. This edition was more of an update rather than a port of the game. In addition to the entire original Symphony of the Night, it included new stages, music, enemies and items that were absent in the Sony versions, plus a playable version of Maria Renard. It is also possible to play as Richter Belmont or Maria Renard from the beginning of the game without having to do extra efforts to unlock them. The story, with the exception of a boss battle with Maria in order for Alucard to gain the Holy Glasses, is the same as the original game's. It is also the second and final Castlevania game to be released for a Sega platform, as Sega left the console business and became a multi-platform third party developer and publisher in 2001 following the discontinuation of the Sega Dreamcast.
While it sounds like the superior game on paper (especially considering the Saturn's general history with 2D games), this port is bogged with performance issues. The load times are more frequent and much longer. There is now slowdown in areas where none had existed in the original version, and some of the rooms were split in two or missing entirely. Rather than maintaining the Saturn's increased resolution, the game was stretched to fit the screen, causing some sprites and graphics to be distorted. Some of the sound and graphical effects were also down-sampled. For example, some enemies have different death animations, and the Game Over sequence uses a fade-through-white transition instead of a screen-melt transition. Transparencies are also non-existent, making certain things like the waterfall and the mist effect look less than spectacular. Because of this, the "Invisible" cloak (also known as the Crystal Cloak) was removed and replaced with the Glaring Cloth (although it shares the same menu icon), which is functionally the same but is bright white rather than see-through. A new mantle was also added that increased defense by seven, called the Rainbow Mantle. Instead of the invisibility effect, it changed colors periodically. Additionally, Richter had an alternate outfit closer to the official artwork that could also be seen while fighting against him, but it still didn't quite match its previous depiction in the two instances it appeared in the original game. Lastly, the Master Librarian no longer sells boss tactics, and map completion data is still made with the PSX version in mind. Unfortunately, critics have often deemed the Saturn content as clashing with the original design of the game.
While the Saturn version was ultimately denounced by Assistant Director IGA, it does maintain a legacy. The Underground Garden area is thought to be an unused idea from the PSX edition, as the door to its equivalent area (leading to a normally-inaccessible save point) can be opened originally via glitching. Unused audio for a lost ending in the PSX version also indicated some variant of the Maria battle. The Alucard Spear also appeared in the Saturn version, a novelty weapon but one that would one day end up in the hands of Eric Lecarde.
In latter editions of the Japanese PSX version, the Fairy Familiar could sing to Alucard much like she could with the Song Lyrics Card in the Saturn version. When the PSP version, The Dracula X Chronicles, was announced, there was fan outcry to merge the best of the Saturn version (such as Maria and the God Speed Shoes, an ability found in the start of the second castle that allowed Alucard to run like Richter) with the PSX version to make the best quality version possible. IGA did listen somewhat and included a new version of Maria in the PSP version. This new Maria played more like her Rondo of Blood self. She is also fought for the Holy Glasses much like the Saturn version.
- Saturn version on YouTube
- PSP version on YouTube
Her battle music, often considered one of the best in the series, was, however, replaced with Richter's battle theme. Her sprite when playing and battling against her is also slightly different from her normal set of sprites. Despite these improvements, the PSP version would also see some panning due to its imperfect porting and many game-crashing glitches.
- For additional artworks, please visit Nocturne in the Moonlight Artwork.
Several enemies appear in this edition that do not appear in any other edition. For a list of all enemies, see Symphony of the Night Bestiary.
|Enemy Data: Saturn Exclusive Enemies(edit)|
|Image||Name - Game
|Jolly creature of the river. Their texture is similar to chicken meat.||Strong: Water
Weak: Fire, Thunder
|Artificial beast made from the collection of various animal bones.||Weak: Holy
|Skeleton of a tracking soldier who walks with a Skeleton Beast.||Weak: Holy
|A living statue. The Demon Castle's automatic crime prevention system made of terra-cota.||Level: 15
|Drop: $100, Zircon
|The Demon Castle's mad gardener will not spare those who ruin the garden.||Weak: Fire
|Drop: Orange, Peanuts
|Giant venus fly trap that preys not on flies but humans.||Weak: Fire
|Drop: Banana, Woodland Shield
|Always smiling due to its fruitful, human-faced results.||Weak: Holy
|Drop: Apple, Antivenom
|A desecrated soul whose hatred never fades.||Level: 23
|Drop: Potion, Manna Prism
|A living statue. The Demon Castle's automatic crime prevention system made of marble.||Level: 25
|Drop: $400, Resist Stone
|An immaterial ghost that can only be extinguished with a weapon of holy attributes.||Strong: Fire, Thunder, Ice, Poison (all tolerance), Dark, Curse, Cut, Hit (all absorb)
|Drop: Antivenom, Manna Prism
|An antique piece that is very valuable.||Strong: Cut
|Beware of contact with this terrible spirit of death.||Weak: Holy
|Drop: Pentagram, Muramasa
|The light manipulating the corpse is the true body.||Weak: Holy
|Drop: Dark Shield, Skull Shield
|A living statue. The Demon Castle's automatic crime prevention system made of granite.||Level: 35
|Drop: Hammer, Double Blade Axe
|Leader of the skeleton soldiers. Its bones were torn apart during a duel in the castle.||Weak: Holy
|Skeleton equipped with shield and spear. Assigned to guard important places.||Weak: Holy
|Angry demon. Literally, a man who burns.||Strong: Fire (absorb)
|Drop: Fire Mail, Marsil
|Vampire hunter looking for Richter Belmont.||Strong: Holy, Stone (immune)
|Guard: Holy Glasses
Alucard has some new items available in his quest.
|Item Data: New Items|
|Image||Name - Game
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Mysterious different dimension Dagger||Short Sword (Dagger)
||ATT + 12
||Find: Cursed Prison (Saturn Only)
||Special: ↓↘→ + [Attack] for Homing attack|
|Mysterious spear used habitually before||2 Handed Weapon
||Find: Hell Garden
||Special: ↓↘→ + [Attack] for multiple strikes; ←→ + [Attack] for laser attack|
|Sharp by Two-blades||2 Handed Weapon
||Drop: Gargoyle [Lv. 35]
|The shield at which a tree soul dwell (fragrance of the rose)||Shield
||Drop: Venus Man Trap (Saturn only)
||Effect: Projectile Block|
Special: Shield Rod Spell or Mablung Sword Spells (30 MP): Summon Vines - Immobilize and damage enemies
|Full course (five star) [use]||Food (Meat)
||Find: Soul Prison
|Outdated [use]||Food (Bad Food)
||Find: Cursed Prison
||Effect: +1 HPs with Topaz Circlet equipped|
|Find: Underground Garden (Saturn only)
||Effect: Collector's item only.|
|The silvery white shine which tears darkness||Cloak
||Find: Underground Caverns
||Effect: Immunity to Dark attacks|
|The mantle from which the color changes with time||Cloak
|CON +7 DEF + 4
||Find: Clock Tower
||Effect: Continuously changes color.|
|Song Lyrics Card of "Nocturne"||Other
|Can dash by double tap left or right||Relic (Shoes)
|Find: Castle Keep
||Effect: Double tap left or right for dash|
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night — The original PlayStation version of this game (has the same Japanese name).
- Castlevania Legends — The previous game developed by Konami/KCE Nagoya.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 6.