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Lvl-up-Sotn

Alucard gaining a level in Symphony of the Night

Level is a statistic found in most Castlevania games. It is a measurement of the character's battle experience and relative ability. Levels are generally obtained via gaining Experience points, which are in turn obtained through killing monsters. Leveling up makes its effects come into play immediately, including an increase in the character's vital statistics like Strength, Constitution, Luck, Intelligence, Hit Points, and Mind Points.

The idea of leveling-up a character originally began in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as one of the many RPG elements added to change the style of the game from the more traditional adventure platformer games in the series. Each enemy is usually worth a certain number of experience points (although in some games, like Harmony of Dissonance, the point value varies depending on the relation between the player's level and the enemy's), with the player requiring a certain number of collected points to advance to the next level. Every level slightly raises the various stats of the player, making them that much stronger, better at magic, luckier, etc.

The main playable characters are not the only ones capable of raising their level. Various Familiars and Innocent Devils also earn experience points and thus, also level up and become more powerful as this statistic increases.

All of the RPG-styled games after Symphony of the Night use this method to advance players so that they can become stronger while progressing through the game, allowing the game to become more challenging as you advance. However, many players tend to find areas where they can gain many levels quickly by beating enemies. This skill called "level grinding", combined with the practice in these games to add weapons to boost your strength, tend to give the games the appearance of being much easier than they are, especially when compared to the previous platform games that do not include an RPG leveling mechanic.

Note that few Castlevania games with this feature of leveling-up also comes with the bonus of instantly replenishing the character's HP upon gaining a level (like in Symphony of the Night where Alucard's health is refreshed on level-up) which is beneficial in the middle of a battle. Games like Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow are more challenging in this term, as Soma Cruz's health is not refilled on level-up.

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