[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rondoofblood_1885.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Richter [[FlippingTheBird flips his bird]] when Dracula kidnaps his girlfriend.]]

''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}: Rondo of Blood'' (originally released in Japan as ''Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo'') was released for the [[TurboGrafxSixteen PC-Engine]] in 1993. Initially, [[NoExportForYou it was only released in Japan]] but was finally ported to the PlayStationPortable with ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles'', and subsequently to the Wii VirtualConsole.[[note]]Like all imports however, this one does not have any English translation other then what was in the game to begin with.[[/note]]

In 1792, the evil priest Shaft resurrects Dracula. In a [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy rare flash of brilliance,]] Dracula immediately attacks the current Belmont's hometown and tries to kill him right off the bat. Richter Belmont was luckily out of town training. So, Dracula goes for plan B: [[IHaveYourWife kidnap Richter's fianceť Annette]], a distant relative of the Belmont Clan named Maria, and two other villagers.

''Rondo'' played similar to previous ''Castlevania'' entries, [[{{Platformer}} mostly linear.]] You could also find hidden exits to reach alternate paths through the stages to find different bosses. The ending [[MultipleEndings depends on which girls you rescue,]] and [[SecretCharacter you could play the game as Maria if you found her.]] You could enhance your subweapons into an [[LimitBreak Item Crash]] that usually fills the screen with large projectiles.

The PC-Engine version was released in Super CD-ROM format, so ''Rondo of Blood'' has a redbook soundtrack and voice-acted cutscenes. This bump in production value led to Konami upping the values for their subsequent games.

A [[ReformulatedGame remixed port]] was released for the Super Famicom titled ''Akumajō Dracula XX'' (as in "Double X") in 1995, which was released for the American Super NES as ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDraculaX'' and in Europe as ''Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss''. While the basic plot and game system remained identical to the PC Engine, the stages were all-new and a lot more linear (with only two hidden stages) due to the lower memory capacity of the cartridge format, and unlike the PC-Engine version, only Richter was playable.
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!!''Rondo of Blood'' provides examples of:

* AfterBossRecovery: As usual, an orb will appear to replenish you health after a boss fight, but sadly, not in the middle of a SequentialBoss.
* AscendedGlitch: The secret area in Dracula's keep, accessed by jumping onto an invisible staircase, is a reference to a bug in the Famicom Disk version of ''Akumajō Dracula'', where the player could keep walking up the stairs to the keep, into the open air after the stairs themselves had stopped, through the ceiling, and into a mire of glitched graphics.
* BloodierAndGorier: Unlike previous games, when Richter loses a life, it's not a pretty sight this time around...
* BossCorridor: Right before each boss, you enter an enemy-free room, filled with powerups and its own music track. This also serves as a checkpoint should you lose to the boss.
* BossInMookClothing: The Great Armor (Armor Lord) at the end of the alternate path of Stage 2'. You also encounter ''two'' of them in the upper path of Stage 5'.
* BossRush: Stage 6, where Shaft resurrects the first four bosses from [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI the original NES game]] ([[BatOutOfHell Giant Bat]], {{Medusa}}, {{Mummy}} and FrankensteinsMonster) before taking the field himself.
* BottomlessPits: Averted in some stages, notably Stage 3. Played straight [[SuperDrowningSkills if it's water]].
* CoolChair: ''Rondo'' is where chairs first started appearing in ''Castlevania'' levels, but you can't do anything but jump on them. At one point you find a skeleton sitting in one. Either you whip it away or see it turning to dust as you pass.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory:
** If you've been playing as Maria for a while and switch to Richter, there's a good chance you'll back-flip off a cliff or into an enemy at least once while attempting to DoubleJump.
** If you started playing Richter in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' or ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin Portrait of Ruin]]'' he's going to seem a LOT slower and clumsier here.
* DamselInDistress: Iris, Terra, Annette, and Maria Renard, the last of whom later TookALevelInBadass as she becomes a playable hero after you rescue her.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: Dracula tries to snuff out Richter by sending his forces to [[DoomedHometown attack his hometown]] in Wallachia. Luckily for Richter, he was out training at the time; when he hears news of his the attack (and abduction of several townswomen), he rushes back; the end result is exactly what you'd expect to happen in a ''Castlevania'' game in regards to a Belmont facing the Dark Lord.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Previously only implied in previous games, it's a lot more pronounced in this one (except when it isn't).
* DemBones: The game introduces several varieties of skeletons into the franchise; the [[ThrowABarrelAtIt barrel-throwing]] Ape skeletons, slightly larger (and golden) Giants, Archers, [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent were-panthers]], dagger-DualWielding Blazes/Blades, [[EpicFlail Flails]], musket-firing Gunmen and even a {{Golem}} boss which constructs itself from bones in its lair.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: If your PC Engine's system card doesn't fulfill the requirements for ''Rondo of Blood'', you get ''[[http://youtu.be/Mf2B_HSf2ag?t=14m31s Akumajo Dracula X Peke]]'' instead.
* DifficultySpike: The game has a really easy first level. The rest of the game is considerably more difficult, especially Stage 2.
* DoNotRunWithAGun: Played straight with Richter and averted with Maria, who can throw her birds while walking. Most of her other moves focus on mobility as well.
* DualBoss: Carmilla's female partner walks around the boss arena, trying to drain your hearts while she [[CraniumRide rides a giant skull]] back and forth.
* EasterEgg: Stage 5 has a hidden mirror in a room only Maria can reach. It does nothing.
* EasyModeMockery: Playing as Maria turns everything a lot cutesier and [[LighterAndSofter far less serious]] (a less serious ending, a GameOver screen made out of fridge magnets, Maria turning grey and fading on death instead of flying off in a bloodsplosion, etc). Interestingly, [[spoiler:Dracula's Castle is destroyed in her ending, unlike Richter's, where the destruction of Dracula's Castle is standard in ''Castlevania'' endings, although the destruction cuts off the SequelHook for ''Symphony of the Night'']].
* Every10000Points: A OneUp is awarded at every 20000 points.
* FakeUltimateMook: The giant golems in the first stage. They tower above your character and look menacing enough, but they're actually quite easy to kill and slow to attack.
* FingerlessGloves: Richter wears ''one'', just to handle his whip.
* FlawlessVictory: If you defeat a boss with a full life bar, you receive an extra life. You can get hit during the level, so long as you find some food to refill your lifebar before the stage is over.
* FlechetteStorm: The Knife Item Crash.
* TheFourGods: Maria's Item Crash summons one of them, depending on the current subweapon.
* GhostShip: Stage 5 is an old ship filled with skeletons, ghosts and other spookiness.
* GratuitousGerman: The prologue in the original game is spoken entirely in German, with subtitles.
* HarpingOnAboutHarpies: Two harpies appear in the clock tower level. They carry daggers which they throw at the player character, and must be defeated with carefully placed attack afterwards.
* {{Hotblooded}}: Richter's attempts to Item Crash keys should count.
* HumanSacrifice: In [[VillainOpeningScene the introduction]] to the game, a group of cultists, led by Shaft, sacrifice a woman to revive Dracula by stabbing her with a sword.
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Richter can heal himself with hidden pot roasts, which are replaced for various sweets when playing Maria.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: The aforementioned keys. [[LethalJokeItem Which are among the most powerful weapons in the game.]]
* IndyEscape: Stage 2 presents Richter with the unstoppable Behemoth, an enormous bull-like creature which will break through the outer wall and [[AdvancingWallOfDoom chase him relentlessly]] until he reaches a door to a different section.
* InvulnerableAttack: Most Item Crashes give at least some invulnerability during their animations.
* JapaneseSiblingTerminology: Maria calls Annette "onee-chan" (big sis) and Richter "oni-chan" (big bro), despite not being directly related to either one. But since the SNES version turned Annette and Maria into actual siblings, it's easy to think otherwise.
* JokeItem: The Key is the strongest subweapon in the game, but it is a situational weapon because of its very short range.
* JumpPhysics:
** Your jumps aren't as stiff as the NES trilogy, but are a bit less controllable as they are ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV''. Richter also jumps and moves a bit more slowly in the SNES version, despite still having the same maneuverability otherwise.
** Maria has a DoubleJump, while Richter has backflip (it's not invincible though, and can fall into a pit if used carelessly).
* KaizoTrap: Bosses will perform [[LastDitchMove one final attack]] upon defeat. It could not defeat you, but it could ruin your vitality score and deny you the extra life you'd normally get for finishing the level with full health.
** Unlike the others, Shaft's attack (Stage 6) COULD kill you in both the original and the remake.
** Subverted with Carmilla; she coughs up a bunch of hearts instead, boosting your score. Her skull form has one though as it shatters into pieces.
* LethalJokeCharacter: Maria has a very small hit box, a DoubleJump (one of the first, if not ''the'' first, characters with this), can abuse her slides and rolling, regenerates health by eating cakes, and has different subweapons to Richter, making her a HyperCompetentSidekick.
** [[StopHavingFunGuys Some fans]] will mock you if you clear the game with Maria.
** Oh, Maria also has an insanely high-damage InvulnerableAttack Spell, although you need to know the [[SomeDexterityRequired input combination]] first.
*** This is an entirely different attack from the Item Crashes, which both characters have access to (though the Item Crash is different, depending on the subweapon - and Maria's subweapons are quite different from Richter's,) and which are also generally InvulnerableAttack moves which do high damage.
* LethalJokeItem: The Key's item crash costs no hearts to use, but it's still an InvulnerableAttack.
* LittleMissBadass: Maria, showing just how deadly a flock of pet birds can be.
* ALoadOfBull: A [[AnAxeToGrind halberd-wielding]] Minotaur is the boss of the Stage 3's main path.
* MagicPants:
** Totally averted with the Werewolf, who is completely naked after [[ThisWasHisTrueForm transforming back to human]] upon defeat ([[MaleFrontalNudity you can see the peeeeenis]]). These same sprites would go on to be reused in several other ''Castlevania'' games.
** ''Dracula X Chronicles'' played this straight by adding a little black loincloth in both the 2D and 3D versions. The ''Symphony of the Night'' version is still without underwear.
*** It also appears in the western Virtual Console versions released in North America and Europe.
* MagicSkirt: Averted - Maria is clearly holding her skirt down with her hands when she jumps (though the skirt is ankle-length anyway).
* ManaBurn: During the Carmilla Boss Fight, her assistant Laura will [[PersonalSpaceInvader grab you]] and drain your Hearts. For Richter, this attack looks like a KissOfDeath, but on the shorter Maria, it looks more like MarshmallowHell.
* MartialArtsHeadband: Richter wears one along with an asian looking clothes.
* MiniBoss:
** The Giant Skull in Stage 3', which is a FlyingFace that must be defeated by [[GoForTheEye destroying its eyes]].
** In Stage 5, there's the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRUtoJjA1Eg Captain's Portrait]], which takes a couple of hits to kill. If the portrait catches you (and your subweapon doesn't kill it fast enough), it will [[OneHitKill kill you in one hit]].
* MotionlessChin: Appears in the animated cutscenes; most prominent in Richter's ending.
* MultipleEndings: How the story ends depends on whether you save any or all of the [[DamselInDistress kidnapped girls]] from the evil clutches of Dracula.
* {{Necromancer}}: Shaft, whose boss fights has him resurrecting past end stage enemies.
* NintendoHard: Unlike ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'', Richter lacks the multi-directional whipping, and many of the enemies are a lot faster and more aggressive than you'd expect. Even the typical bone skeleton throws bones almost all the time.
* NoFairCheating: [[spoiler: We dare you to Item Crash Death. We dare you.]]
* NonLethalBottomlessPits: Some pits provide an access point for an alternate route instead of a frustrating death. Question is, [[LeapOfFaith which ones]]?
* NostalgiaLevel
** Stage 1 is the Town of Veros from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest Simon's Quest]]'', also named Aljiba, [[RemixedLevel combined]] with a portion of Stage 1 from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Dracula's Curse]]''.
** Stage 2, as usual, is the Castle Entrance Corridor from [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI the original NES game]].
** Stage 4 is mostly taken from Stage 5 of the original game, though fortunately without the horrifying Axe Armour/Medusa Heads corridor, and without Death at the end.
** Stage 6 is a BossRush against four of the bosses from the original NES game. In the PC Engine version, the stage's background music is a remixed version of the [[{{Leitmotif}} NES game's boss theme]] titled "Poison Mind."
** Stage 7 is a redesigned version of the first game's Clock Tower final stage, updated to feature more of the design aspects that had later become associated with Clock Tower levels (moving gears, Medusa heads). Except for the final room, which is instead a shout-out to the final room in the Dracula Clock Tower in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Dracula's Curse]]''.
* OffWithHisHead: Upon defeat, Death's SinisterScythe flies into the air and drops [[TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn blade-first]] on him, providing a humiliating decapitation.
* OminousLatinChanting: Featured in "Kyrie Eleison", the starting menu theme.
* OneWingedAngel: The second phase of the final battle has Dracula turning into a huge demon which jumps around and shoots fireballs out of its mouth.
* PhantomZonePicture: If Richter or Maria touch the [[SpookyPainting Captain's Portrait]] mini-boss, they are trapped in a picture within it and Captain will tear them into shreds.
* PinkMeansFeminine: Maria's dress, contrasting Richter's [[PinkGirlBlueBoy blue outfit]].
* PluckyGirl: Maria Renard, doubling as a [[LittleMissBadass Little Miss]] BadassInDistress. Right after being freed, you can control her all the way from where she's held captive to beat up Dracula all by herself and her pets (which is a case for most people anyway, since she's stronger and faster than Ricther).
* PowerMakesYourVoiceDeep: Dracula's voice deepens mid-''word'' as he transforms into a massive bat-creature for the second part of the final battle. Conversely, when that form is defeated, he roars in pain, and his voice spontaneously ''rises'' back to normal as his transformation is forced to revert.
* PowerupLetdown: To compensate for her many advantages, Maria has several absolutely worthless secondary weapons. She has the music book, which is like the throwing knife but lacks even a useful Item Crash, and a weapon that sends two birds diagonally upwards, which is totally useless except in certain rare circumstances (although at least ''it'' has a useful Item Crash).
* RainOfBlood: Richter's death animation is this, which has him flying into the air and dissolve in a mist of blood.
* RandomDrop: There's a chance of enemies dropping moneybags, hearts and even subweapons.
* SceneryGorn: Backdrop of Stage 1 is Richter's hometown in flames.
* SecretLevel: Stage 5', which is only accessed after beating the game at least once (in the PC-Engine CD version), or by defeating Death in Stage 5 (in ''The Dracula X Chronicles'').
* {{Shoryuken}}: The Minotaur boss' LastDitchMove is him trying to pull this off on you as he burns to the bone and turns to ash.
* ShoutOut: The [[CaptainErsatz Dogether]] boss is named in reference to ''Manga/{{Bastard}}'''s Suzuki Dogezaemon, and naturally the original [[Tabletopgame/DungeonsAndDragons Beholder]].
* SkippableBoss:
** Taking the [[FishPeople Merman]]-infested shortcut with the boatman in Stage 3' takes you straight to the Stage 4', letting you skip its bosses.
** The fight against Death can be skipped by going to the Stage 5' in the subsequent playthroughs.
* SlideAttack: An ability of the Werewolf boss.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: It starts at the serious end with Richter, but when you play as Maria it shifts to the silly side.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Stage 5' is a BrutalBonusLevel with some of the worst jumps, frustrating bats, medusa heads, all the most devious combinations of enemies and jumps, as well as loads of bottomless pits. The music? A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1dRzjA_Xlc&fmt=18 really peppy pop style track]] that perfectly embodies the early 90s.
* SpikesOfDoom: Frequent obstacle in Stage 4, which is a torture dungeon.
* SpinToDeflectStuff: The purple Spear Guard enemies can deflect some subweapons by spinning their spears.
* StandardStatusEffects: Being cursed slows down player character's movements.
* StealthPun: ''Dracula X'' was literally the tenth ''Dracula'' game released by Konami[[note]]That said, the "X" itself isn't "ten"; it's pronounced as the letter X[[/note]]. Before this, there were the three NES games (3), ''Vampire Killer'' for the [=MSX2=] (4), the arcade game ''Haunted Castle'' (5), the two Game Boy games (7), ''Super Castlevania IV'' for the SNES (8), and the [=X68000=] version of the original ''Dracula'' (9).
* TakeItToTheBridge: Stage 3' is an old stone bridge built over a river.
* TitleDrop: While the [[AlternateCharacterReading furigana]] in the game's subtitle reads ''Chi no Rondo'' for "Rondo of Blood," the literal reading is ''Chi no Rinne'', meaning "Metempsychosis of Blood." The latter is the title of the game's final stage (although the English version of the [[PlaystationPortable PSP]] port simply renders it "Bloodlines" to tie in with ''Symphony of the Night'' doing the same[[note]] One of the localisation team for Symphony of the Night's [[BlindIdiotTranslation many screw-ups]][[/note]], dropping a [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines different title]] entirely).
* TragicMonster: If you haven't rescued all the girls, Richter is forced to fight his girlfriend Annette at the end of the Clock Tower.
* UniqueEnemy: The man-eating plant/stone rose only appears once in a corridor in the village. Going in that direction is entirely pointless though, as it's a dead end. It's much more common in other games though.
* UnstableEquilibrium: Scoring a perfect (Non-damage and at full health) boss fight awards the player a 1up. Something suited towards a more bumbling gamer.
* VSign: An animated cutscene has Richter giving a peace sign while telling his name and occupation to Iris after rescuing her.
* WakeUpCallBoss: The Werewolf. Stage 2 is already a DifficultySpike in and of itself, but the Werewolf is much faster than your character, unpredictable, and requires you to think fast or die.
* WreckedWeapon: Victory Armor's {{BFS}} splits in half upon defeat.
* TheXOfY: The subtitle.

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