Thief Mode (usually called Luck Mode when talking about Symphony of the Night) is an alternate mode in some games that increases the player's Luck at the expense of other stats. There are two Castlevania games with this mode: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.

Game specific information

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Contrary to popular belief, this mode is always available in any version of the game and is one of the few file codes that doesn't require a CLEAR game. On the Name Entry screen, simply enter the name as X-X!V''Q. Alucard begins the game with his Luck maxed out, but he suffers from extremely reduced amounts to other statistics as follows:

  • Luck - 99 (normally 14 maximum)
  • HP - 25 (normally 80 maximum, can be maxed at 85 but only on subsequent playthroughs if the cutscene is skipped)
  • MP - 1 (normally 30 maximum)
  • Max Hearts - 5 (normally 60 maximum)
  • Strength - 1 (normally 13 maximum)
  • Constitution - 0 (normally 12 maximum)
  • Intelligence - 0 (normally 13 maximum)

He will also start with a Lapis Lazuli in his second equipment slot. This mode generally starts off very difficult, but eventually becomes relatively easier as Alucard levels up and gains more powerful weapons and armor.

This mode is also well-known for an exploit that allows Alucard to avoid having his high-level equipment taken by Death early on in the game. The exploit uses the seldom-seen "giant knockback" which Alucard suffers if he loses more than half of his current maximum HP at once.

To perform it, the player must go into the room immediately before Death is encountered (if desired, one can grind up to, but no more than 10 levels in the Merman room), and kill every enemy except the Warg in the middle of the room. At that moment, the player must unequip most, if not all of the defensive items that Alucard begins with (for reference purposes, contact with the Warg will inflict 20 damage with a Defense of zero, and the combined strength of Alucard's equipment grants him a Defense value of 40). Once sufficiently unequipped, the player must jump at the Warg from its right, in an attempt to roughly hit the tip of its nose. Success will catapult Alucard out of the room, through the Death cutscene, and into the next room.

Because the engine thinks it is still in a cutscene, the player cannot open the inventory to re-equip their items at this point. They proceed as normal but must defeat the first skeleton enemy while "naked". It is possible to avoid this by swapping Alucard's equipment while he is being knocked back before he enters the Death cutscene room, though this is tricky to time. Pressing up in the save room does not bring up the normal save dialog, but the save action clears the RAM and returns the game to normal, allowing the player to re-equip the powerful Alucard items.

It should be noted that missing the jump on the upper level of Death's room will still result in Alucard's equipment being stolen until the player has saved: after this, the room reverts to its normal state and will contain either Slogra and Gaibon if they have not yet been defeated, or nothing at all.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Thief Mode in Circle of the Moon is only available after the player beats the game in all other modes (which happens right after beating Shooter Mode) and inputs the name "DAGGER" at the Name Entry Screen when starting a new game. It serves the same purpose as it did in Symphony of the Night, by increasing Nathan's Luck significantly, but at the cost of reducing other stats. The starting stat handicaps aren't as severe as Symphony of the Night's, and not as many stats take a handicap, although it continues the trend every time Nathan levels up.

Statistics and their respective increments per level start as follows:

  • Luck - Starts at 1,600, increases by 160 (capped at 9,999)
  • Hit Points - Starts at 50, increases by 5 (half as much as normal)
  • Mind Points - Starts at 50, increases by 5 (half as much as normal)
  • Strength - Starts at 71, increases by 7
  • Defense - Starts at 50, increases by 5 (half as much as normal)

All of these stats normally start at 100 and increase by 10. Intelligence and number of Hearts are unaffected in this mode.

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