The Name Entry screen, also known as Password or Continue screen, among other names and variations, is the user interface provided in most Castlevania games where the player may enter their name on and/or password just prior to starting to play.
It allows the player to save their progress through the use of a save file or a "password" that can get them to where they were in a previous game session. The player can also enter alternate modes or activate cheats by selecting a particular name or password. This article details information about the ability to save and resume a game and play through an entire game in alternate modes.
Game specific information
The original Japanese Famicom Disk System version of Castlevania has a name entry screen which allows the player to save their progress to the disk's memory (this layout was later reused and enhanced in Castlevania Chronicles). The NES version of the game does not have this capability, so no name entry screen exists for it; neither does the Japanese Famicom cartridge version, although it allows the player to select Easy Mode or Normal Mode before starting the game.
To enforce copy protection, the Amiga, MS-DOS, and Commodore 64 versions of the game require the player to enter a special password in order to play the game, which is contained in the instruction booklet. After entering the password, the player is given the option to "Start a New Game" or "Continue a Saved Game", which picks up from the last time they saved the game after quitting. There is only one saved game at a time.
The first Japanese cell phone game lets the player select the "rules" of the game. The second cell phone game (also available in North America) has a Stage Select, a Difficulty level select (Easy or Normal), a mode select (Original or Alternate). Alternate Mode uses sub-weapons instead of the whip, allows the player to change their sub-weapon at any time, and starts the player out with 50 Hearts.
Exact ports of Castlevania let the player save their progress through the external interface and return exactly to where they left off, but do not change the menus.
The player is able to restart the game at a higher difficulty level when they beat the game, which includes additional or alternate monsters and additional trophies.
The game lacks a name entry screen and does not let the player save their progress or continue. A hidden level select is available using the Game Master cheat cartridge.
This is the first Castlevania game that allows the player to save their progress using a password system. The player can either start a new game or enter a password. This password is provided once they have lost all their lives in a previous session and chose not to continue. The password is a series of letters that can be used to reconstruct what items the player had and where they died. It does not save the number of Hearts the player had, as they automatically lose all their Hearts once they run out of lives.
The password screen used in the Konami Collector's Series: Castlevania & Contra computer ports is slightly different than that used in the NES version, as it removes all the vowels. Save files used for the NES are not compatible with the ones used in this port.
There is no way to save the player's progress in the game. While there are no menu options for alternate modes of play, entering four credits prior to starting the game will quadruple the size of the player's life bar. The player will not be "continue" the game if they die, though. Since the player is normally only allowed three continues per game, the number of credits allowed per game is the same for either mode.
There is no password feature in Adventure. Each time the player beats the game, they are able to restart it in a harder mode.
Dracula's Curse is the first Castlevania game to use a combined name and password system, and to use symbols instead of letters for password entry. When starting a game, the player may enter any name they choose. When the player runs out of lives and chooses not to continue, they will enter a screen providing a password for them to write down. The password only works for the name the player entered and is arranged in a 4×4 grid, using Long Chain Whips, Rosaries and Big Hearts of Stone as symbols. When the player starts the game again, they can enter this name and password combination to resume their game at the beginning of the stage where they left off. It remembers what partner the player had and the game's difficulty level.
When starting a new game, special names can be entered for a special effect. These include:
- HELP ME - Gives the player ten lives after every continue (non-Japanese versions only).
- AKAMA - Starts the player out on the second quest (Hard Mode) as Trevor Belmont without the need to first beat the game.
- FUJIMOTO - Starts in Normal Mode with Grant Danasty as partner.
- URATA - Start Normal Mode with Sypha Belnades as partner.
- OKUDA - Start Normal Mode with Alucard as partner.
Note that for all these name codes, the only one that will allow the player to obtain new partners during the game is the "HELP ME" code.
Belmont's Revenge has a simplified password system with no name entry. It only has one row of four symbols, which can be a Crystal Ball, a Large Heart or a Candle. There are a few passwords that have special effects:
This game has the same name/password system from Dracula's Curse, only using different symbols (Axe, Fire Bomb and Large Heart). There are no special names or passwords for this game. Beating the game once allows the player to continue the game on Hard Mode. The password system remembers the stage the player was last on and the difficulty level.
The Game Boy game Kid Dracula has a four-digit number-based password system with no name entry, with Death saying "Wake up, Master" (presumably referring to the titular protagonist).
The original and arranged modes of Chronicles have a similar design to the original Famicom Disk System save format. They give the player three save files and lets them enter their name. When the player runs out of lives, they are given the opportunity to save their game. Continuing a game, starts the player at the beginning of the last completed stage. Every time the player beats the game, they are able to start over at a higher difficulty level.
There is one special name entry the player can use, which is "NOMIS". Starting a new game with this name, starts the player with only a single bar of HP remaining at the beginning of each stage and life. It is possible to collect Meat or use the Herb to increase the amount of life the player has during the course of a stage, though. This works in both the original and arranged versions of the game.
In the arranged game, the player can unlock a "Time Attack" mode by beating the game. This mode allows the player to play any stage they want and records their best time.
Rondo of Blood has an advanced save system. The player is presented with three slots for name entries. The game will remember which stage the player was last on, which stages they have ever reached, which character the game was last being played with, which villagers have already been rescued, and how much gold the player has accumulated. When first starting a saved game (not in the middle of playing or when continuing), the player has the option to start at any stage they have played before, or switch playable characters if they have already rescued Maria. The player can also "buy" boss battle hint videos with the gold they have collected throughout the game.
There is one special name the player can enter, which is "X-X!V''Q" (two single apostrophes between the V and Q, and without quotations). This will allow them to select any stage in the game, even if it has not been reached it yet.
In Bloodlines, the password entry interface is similar to that from Super Castlevania IV, except that it doesn't include a name entry and uses different symbols (Coat of Arms, Battle Axe and Blue Jewel). It starts the player off at the beginning of the last stage they were on before they ran out of lives, with the same character they were using and on the same difficulty level.
When the player starts a game, they can play on Easy or Normal difficulty. Completing the game allows the player to select Expert difficulty. Entering the Konami Code (↑, ↑, ↓, ↓, ←, →, ←, →, B, A) at the title screen, allows the player to select Expert difficulty from the beginning (a chime will be heard if the code was entered successfully).
Dracula Xʼs password screen is like that in Bloodlines, in that there is no name entry screen. The grid is now only 3x3, though. The symbols are the same ones used in Super Castlevania IV, and can be an Axe, a Large Heart or Holy Water. Entering a password brings the player back to the beginning of the last stage they played and remembers which village girls had already been rescued. There are no special passwords.
Symphony of the Night's name select screen allows the player to start a new game or continue one by selecting one of fifteen save files arranged in a 3x5 grid on either memory card. Each save is represented by an animated icon (such as Maria, a Tombstone, Konami Man, etc), which is randomly selected each time the player saves the game. A save file is not accessible if there is another game taking up space for that file on the memory card. These icons are accessible from normal PlayStation memory card managers as well.
When starting a new game, the player can enter a few special passwords if the correct conditions are met:
- X-X!V''Q (it is not mandatory to have a CLEAR file) - Start a game with Alucard on Thief Mode, which increases luck greatly but decreases other stats, making the game more challenging. A Lapis Lazuli is in the player's inventory at the beginning of the game as well.
- AXEARMOR (must have a CLEAR file in the memory card) - Start the game with Alucard with the Axe Lord armor in his inventory, which will give the appearance and move sets of an Axe Armor.
- RICHTER (all versions except Saturn - must have a CLEAR file in the memory card) - Start the game playing as Richter Belmont throughout the entire game.
- GTI-CLUB (Saturn only - must have a CLEAR file)
- MARIA (Dracula X Chronicles only - must have a CLEAR file) - Start the game playing as Maria Renard throughout the entire game.
Also note that popular myths of many unexistent codes have appeared in different gaming sites, wikis and the like; however, they have all been proven to be fake for every version of the game (for all systems and regions). Among these, the most popular are: "X-XIV" (and other codes looking similar to the real Thief Mode code. They falsely claim it starts a game with Alucard with more INT at the expense of STR, sometimes also falsely claiming the player needs a Richter Mode save file first), "MEPHISTO" (said to cause Guardians to always drop the God's Garb as long as the player has a game clear save with 200.0% uncovered map rate or above, and sometimes said to make the player even start with said item, also fake), "GHOST111" (said to make the player start with a single Potion in their inventory), "DRACULA" (said to make the player start with a single Neutron Bomb or an unexistent "Nova Bomb" in their inventory) and, finally, "MARIA" in non-Dracula X Chronicles versions (which was said to make the player start a game with Alucard, where they will necessarily skip the two Doppleganger boss fights).
The fake "GHOST111" and "DRACULA" codes possibly became popularly spread over because they claim to provide items the player can actually start with; not by entering a code, but rather by playing the introduction battle with Richter against Dracula in a specific way. As for the "MARIA" code in non-Dracula X Chronicles versions, probably because it was rumored it was a code which allowed the player to play as Maria since the original game's release, but since that mode wasn't complete then, the code was "left behind" in the game's memory, giving it such side-effects to Alucard's game, but this has been proven to be completely false.
A new game can be started "over" a cleared game, and is indicated as a "Replay Game". Certain features in the game are only accessible in this mode, such as the ability to purchase a Duplicator or access the Sound test in the Master Librarian's menu.
The Sega Saturn version of the game has a character select screen after entering the player's name that allows them to select Alucard, Richter or Maria, regardless of whether they have beaten the game or not. The save files are also arranged in a scrollable list, the one on the left for internal memory and the one on the right for a memory card. The save files use Roman numerals for symbols.
The Symphony of the Night LCD handheld spinoff of the game does not feature a name entry screen.
Legends has a password system similar to the one used in Belmont's Revenge, in that it is a 1x4 grid with no name entry. The number of symbols that can be used are unusually large, though, as any of the sub-weapons can be used (Axe, Holy Water, Cross, Pocket Watch, Dagger), as well as Meat or Candles. There are two levels of difficulty, "Normal Mode" and "Light Mode", in which the player's whip is always powered up to the maximum.
Saving the game remembers what stage the player left off and what sub-weapons they have collected, which determine which ending they will receive.
Castlevania (N64) provides three save files if a Memory Pak is attached to the Nintendo 64's controller. The player can continue an old game or start a new one. The player can also select Easy or Normal difficulty levels when starting a game. Hard Mode is available once the player has beaten the game with any character. A character select screen is then presented, allowing them to play the whole game as Reinhardt Schneider or Carrie Fernandez. If the player has unlocked their alternate costumes by performing a certain feat during their storylines, they can also select which costume they should wear by pressing ↑ or ↓. Upon selecting everything when starting a game, the book closes to reveal that it was the Necronomicon.
Game select screens in Legacy of Darkness are nearly identical to those in Castlevania (N64). Four save files are now available in a Memory Pak. The only player initially available is Cornell. Beating the game with him unlocks Henry Oldrey as a playable character. Rescuing certain children with Henry unlocks Reinhardt Schneider and Carrie Fernandez as playable characters, as well as Hard Mode, and also Cornell's, Reinhardt's and Carrie's alternate costumes.
Eight save files are available in Circle of the Moon, which the player can select to start a new game or continue an old one. Beating the game on one mode unlocks another mode when using a special name entry. These are as follows:
- FIREBALL - Allows the player to play in Magician Mode if they have beaten the game in Normal Mode. Nathan starts out with all DSS Cards unlocked and his INT and maximum MP are quadrupled, but his other stats are weakened.
- GRADIUS - Allows the player to play in Fighter Mode if they have beaten the game in Magician Mode. This increases Nathan's physical STR and DEF greatly, but no DSS combinations may be used, which completely removes any magical potential that he would have had in other modes.
- CROSSBOW - Allows the player to play in Shooter Mode if they have beaten the game in Fighter Mode. This increases the strength of Nathan's sub-weapons, as well as the maximum amount of Hearts that he can possess. It also allows the homing Dagger to be collected whenever a second Dagger is obtained. Other statistics are weakened.
- DAGGER - Allows the player to play in Thief Mode if they have beaten the game in Shooter Mode. This increases Nathan's LCK by a large margin, but at the cost of all other statistics, making this a challenging mode.
This game only gives the player three save files, as would become the norm for future handheld games. There are three special names the player can enter for special modes of play:
- HARDGAME - Play the game on Hard Mode.
- NO MAGIC - Play a mode where no Spell Books appear in the game.
- MAXIM - Play the game with Maxim Kischine if the player has beaten the game once.
Aria of Sorrow also offers three save files. This game provides a "Suspend" feature. While in the middle of the game, the player can select "Suspend" from the game menu, which will save the entire state of the game. When starting that save again, they are given the choice to resume from the suspend point or start at the last Save Room accessed. The suspend point is deleted after either choice.
After beating the game, the player is allowed to select a difficulty level from a menu (Normal or Hard). Several items can be collected in Hard Mode that cannot be found in Normal Mode. The player is also allowed to start a new game "over" their existing save (which they have already completed the game with), by selecting "NEW GAME+". This will keep all of the player's items from their previous game (except for ones related to getting to certain parts of the map), yet start from the beginning with initial statistics and a new difficulty level. Entering special names will enable special modes of play, as well as if the player has beaten the game:
- JULIUS - Play as Julius Belmont.
- NOSOUL - Play the game without the ability to use souls (except for those needed to reach essential parts of the castle).
- NOUSE - Play the game without the ability to use "use items" for improving health, status, etc.
When starting a new game of Lament of Innocence, the player first has to enter their name. They then select a "save slot" on the memory card to save it to. Additional modes can be played by entering special names (each which starts with the "@" symbol) if the right conditions are met. These include:
- @JOACHIM - Play the game as Joachim Armster if the game has already been completed.
- @PUMPKIN - Play the game as Pumpkin if the player has completed the game with Joachim.
- @LLSKILL - Play the game with all the skills at the start of the game if the game has already been completed.
- @CRAZY - Play the game with Leon on Crazy Mode. Completing the game in this mode will allow the player to purchase the Mobius Brooch on a later game.
In Dawn of Sorrow, instead of entering the player's name with letters, they are able to "sign" it with the stylus when starting a new game. Starting a new game with the cartridge for Aria of Sorrow inserted in the Dual Screen will start the player out with the Rare Ring, Meat Strip and Spoiled Milk in their inventory, as well as the presence of a Mina doll in the background of Yoko's shop. The Suspend Mode, difficulty select menu (Normal or Hard Modes ), and NEW GAME+ option from Aria of Sorrow return in this game if the player has already completed it. Beating the game in Hard Mode with Soma, grants him the Hellfire soul (Dracula's triple fireball) if the player selects New Game+ on that save. If the player receives that bad ending of the game, they will be able to enter "JULIUS" as their name to start a new game in Julius Mode, which allows the player to play as Julius Belmont, and also later add Yoko and Alucard to their party.
The menu system in Curse of Darkness and alternate modes of gameplay are very similar to those in Lament of Innocence. If the player has a save file for Lament of Innocence in the same memory card they are using for Curse of Darkness, a Moai can be found outside of the Abandoned Castle at the beginning of the game, which can be sold for $5,000. Completing the game allows special names to be entered when starting a new game:
- @TREVOR - Start the game as Trevor Belmont.
- @CRAZY - Play the game in Crazy Mode. Completing this mode will allow the player to purchase the Mobius Brooch in subsequent games.
Many of the features from the previous handheld installments return in Portrait of Ruin. These include the "Suspend" feature, and after the game is beaten once, the difficulty level selection (Normal or Hard) and New Game+ features. In addition to entering the player's name, they can draw an "Emblem", which is displayed in online modes of play.
In addition to offering a Hard difficulty level, the player can also enter a level cap that prevents the players from leveling up beyond a certain point. A different reward is offered depending what the level cap is when playing Hard Mode. If none is set, a portrait of Vincent is displayed during the ending. For level cap 50, the player will receive the Vic Viper trophy, which offers a LCK +50 boost in all modes. Level cap 25 gives the player the Twin Bee, which gives an INT +50 boost. Level cap 1 gives the player the Konami Man trophy, which gives a STR +50 boost. These trophies can only be obtained once and are also obtained if the player beats the game with a lower level cap. They reside in the player's inventory and do not need to be "selected" in order for the stat boost to take effect. They cannot be sold or turned off.
This game has many different modes of gameplay and alternate characters to play as, and as a result, gives the player more save slots than usual (six in total). Alternate character modes are selected by a menu instead of entering a special name. These modes are as follows:
- JONATHAN - Play in "Jonathan Mode", which is the Normal Mode, allowing the player to play as Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin.
- SISTERS - Play in "Sisters Mode", which allows the player to play as Stella and Loretta Lecarde before they were turned into vampires, on a quest to save their father, Eric. They "fly" through the game using the directional arrows and attack via using the stylus on the screen. Available once the player completes a game where they had also defeated Whip's Memory.
- RICHITER - Play in "Richter Mode" (menu option is misspelled), allowing the player to play as Richter Belmont and Maria Renard. Available once the player beats the game and Whip's Memory.
- OLD AXE ARMOR - Play in "Old Axe Armor Mode", allowing the player to play as an Old Axe Armor. Available once the player kills 1,000 Old Axe Armors in a given save file.
Order of Shadows allows the player to enter their initials when they start a new game, and it also allows to use a single save slot to save their game at any time. The initials entered are used to identify each player for a high score, which is tracked for both Normal and Hard difficulty levels. Completing the game once unlocks a "Hard Mode" option. Completing Hard Mode allows the player to choose whether or not they want unlimited items whenever they start a new game. If chosen, the player will start with every item in the game in their inventory and will always have "9" of every usable item stocked.
Several options from Portrait of Ruin return in Order of Ecclesia. Once the player completes the game once, they are able to select a NEW GAME+ option to start a new game with all the items they have collected in the previous games. The player is also able to select Hard Mode with an optional level cap of 1~50. Completing the game with any level cap gives the player the Queen of Hearts item. Completing Hard Mode with a level cap of 1 unlocks Hard Mode with a level cap of 250 and also allows the player to level up beyond the default level cap of 99 that is present in all other games.
The Name Entry screen in Judgment allows the player to set their name and provides three save files, each which maintains a separate set of unlockables. It is not possible to transfer one of the player's saved games from one Wii system to another.
It is possible to save the player's accomplishments in Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade by using the E-Amusement Pass. At the beginning of the game, the player is allowed to choose to play as a Vampire Hunter or Lady Gunner. Completing the game with either of these players unlocks the ability to play as a Little Witch. Completing the game as Little Witch allows the player to play an advanced mode with her, where yellow chickens appear that must be shot down, and which leads to an alternate ending if the player is able to shoot them all.
There are no name select, password, progress saves, or rewards for beating the game. However, there are multiple options that the player can set prior to starting a game. There are three levels of difficulty that can be selected from the beginning, Easy, Normal and Hard. Once the player has started playing the game and "saved" at the end of the game, they will be able to play "Classic Mode", which prevents them from being able to switch direction in midair, only allows to use the Cross Boomerang and Axe sub-weapons, and makes the player lose their fireball whip if they get damaged.
There is a hidden level select that allows the player to start on any level they have reached in a given difficulty level. To reach this, on the main menu screen and while the cursor is on START, the player must hold → on the D-Pad for several seconds and select the level they wish to start on.