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"This castle is a creature of Chaos. With each rebirth, it takes a new form."
Alucard
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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight in Japan), a PlayStation game released in 1997 (and later re-released in Japan with extra content on the Sega Saturn), has since become regarded by critics and fans alike as one of, if not the absolute best game in the Castlevania series. Symphony helped coin the term "Metroidvania", provided the earliest known entry in the series to avert the Excuse Plot trope (well, first released outside of Japan), and contained a number of oft-repeated lines about the nature of mankind that helped seal its place in gaming history.

The game begins in 1792 with Richter Belmont banishing Dracula back to Hell. Four years later, Richter disappears — and a year after that, he summons Castlevania in an attempt to resurrect the Dark Lord. The reappearance of Dracula's home causes Alucard, Dracula's half-vampire son, to awaken from a three-hundred-year slumber and enter Castlevania to figure out what drove Richter's actions. During his exploration of Castlevania, Alucard finds Maria Renard, Richter's sister-in-law, who joins up with Alucard to figure out what the hell happened to Richter.

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Since Metroid was on hiatus at the time, Symphony introduced a generation of new gamers to an innovative gameplay style: Alucard could wander to any point on the map that he wished, but he had to find specific relics to explore new areas. Most of these relics had bosses guarding them, which forced players to level up to increase Alucard's stats. Alucard could also find equipment to change his attacks or cast spells. Anyone who's played any Castlevania game after this one will likely find this formula familiar — back in 1997, however, this game became a Killer App for the PlayStation (whether Sony liked it or not) and it was this title that cemented Castlevania's place in the zeitgeist for an entire generation of gamers.

Symphony of the Night had two major Updated Rereleases:

  • The Sega Saturn version (released only in Japan) added a number of exclusive areas, new music, two new bosses, and three playable characters available at the start.
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  • The PSP game Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles included Symphony to round out the Rondo saga. The Chronicles version included its own additions such as a new Secret Character, and redone script and voice acting. This updated version of SOTN and the original version of Rondo were re-released for the PlayStation 4 as Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood, featuring HD and 4K support, added vibration feedback, optional background borders, and full trophies support. The PSP version of SOTN was also released for iOS and Android devices on March 4, 2020, one day prior to Castlevania's Season 3 premiere. In addition to the PSP's changes, the mobile port introduces onscreen virtual controls and a "continue" feature which allows players to quickly load the last room they entered.

Gamers seeking the original version of Symphony can find it on both Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

The Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow duology acts as a pseudo-direct sequel to Symphony, with Alucard making an appearance in both games. However, it's impossible to go into it further without spoiling the entire plot of the games.


What is a trope? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough descriptions, have some examples!

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  • 100% Completion: While the game doesn't track unique item collection (aside from the Relics menu), each save file tracks what percentage of the castle's rooms have been explored, up to 100%. This score can then be increased to 200.6% in the reverse castle. By exploiting bugs, you can more than double that.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The maximum level is 99, and a typical endgame level for the player is around 50. The hardest enemies in the game are level 60, and the experience you gain from them sharply drops with each level you gain until you only get one point of experience. It takes absurd amounts of grinding to reach level 99. After level 80, all enemies give 1 EXP, meaning that you are actually better off fighting numerous weak enemies such as bats or Spectral Swords (since each puppet item counts as a separate enemy).
  • Action Prologue: The opening level is a reproduction of the final boss fight from Rondo of Blood; Richter can't lose it.
  • After Boss Recovery: Rather than receiving an orb that ends the level as in previous games, Alucard receives an item that raises his max HP and heals him completely whenever a boss is defeated.
  • Agent Peacock: Alucard is a swishy, long-haired Bishōnen who absolutely kicks ass in his Combat Stilettos, Badass Longcoat, Classy Cravat and Waistcoat of Style. He's an extremely powerful half-vampire to boot. He's even the page quote!
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Dracula's defeat in the ending of the game. After Alucard defeats him, he expresses shock, and upon learning the reason for his defeat, he seems to have an epiphany about the cost of his soul (quoting the book of Matthew), and then asks Alucard what Lisa's (Dracula's second wife and Alucard's mother) last words were, and upon learning them, develops regret that his attempts at avenging her ended up meaning that he didn't fulfill her last wish.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Averted. Of the approximately 60 bladed weapons in the game, at least half of them have significant differences in animations, reach, status effects, or special moves than any other weapon in the game.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The animation for the Alucard Shield's special move shows all the shields joining forces, even if you don't have them.
  • Alucard: Alucard is the main character of the game. His given name is Adrian, but he took the alias Alucard to express that he opposes Dracula, his father.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The "What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets" quote is actually a Shout-Out to André Malraux.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The background of the final battle is a vortex of swirly colors.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The American cover uses a silhouette of the Abbey on top of Mont Saint-Michel (which looks absolutely nothing like the castle in game), probably because the publishers thought that the image of the Bishōnen Alucard that appears on the Japanese and European covers would be a turn off to macho American gamers.
  • Anachronism Stew: Automated high-speed elevators didn't exist in 1797. Neither did a lot of the food items found (like Pizza in a delivery box with the item description "New York Style"). Dracula quotes from Anti-Memoirs, a book by Andre Malraux ("What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets.") that wasn't published until 1967.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the Succubus upon Alucard killing her. "Death in the dream world will set your soul wandering for eternity, demon." Though she was asking for it, as Alucard said before the battle that she deserved a fate worse than death, her response being, more or less, "bring it on".
  • Animated Armor: The axe-flinging armors are back yet again. There also bigger ones that are swinging huge swords, and new varieties that throw bombs, rocks, or use a spinning disc.
  • Another Side, Another Story: Richter Mode and the additional Maria Mode in the PSP version let you play through castle as the side characters.
  • Anti-Grinding: The experience you gain depends on the difference between your level and the enemy's level. The EXP modifier is exponential, so the benefit of repeated grinding against low level enemies erodes very quickly. However, fighting high level enemies has the opposite effect; the level 60 Guardians near the final boss can yield a level for every two of them you kill (assuming you can kill them). This trope wins in the end, however. Once you reach the 70s, even Guardians give only one EXP per kill, and any further leveling is best done against Zombies, Mermen, and other constantly respawning enemies that pose no threat.
  • Arrange Mode:
    • There is a hidden Luck Mode that gives Alucard maxed-out luck at the expense of his other stats.
    • Beating the game allows you to play as Richter, who can explore the castle at will with his advanced movement and also has access to every sub-weapon and item crashes for each one. However, the game ends when he fights Shaft instead of going on to the final boss.
    • Both the Saturn port and Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles have a Maria Mode, though both play differently from each other. The Saturn version of Maria plays much like Richter, but with a triple-jump and several spells invoking The Four Gods, including one that makes her invincible for 40 seconds. The Dracula X Chronicles version plays more like her Rondo of Blood incarnation, with The Four Gods and Guardian Knuckle acting as her subweapons.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Dracula quotes Matthew 16:26 upon his defeat:
    Alucard: You have been doomed ever since you lost the ability to love.
    Dracula: Ha—Ah...sarcasm. "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the world, and loses his own soul?" Matthew 16:26, I believe.
  • Ascended Extra: Alucard himself, who was merely one of Trevor's optional sidekicks in Castlevania III. This game not only promoted him to protagonist status, but also gave him his now-iconic character design and made him a recurring character in subsequent entries. Shaft and Death are also more prominent in the game's story, in contrast to Rondo of Blood, where they were merely bosses (Death himself was already a Recurring Boss since Castlevania by this point, but had no involvement in the series' storyline up to this game).
  • Ashes to Ashes: The Vibhuti sub-weapon allows the player to throw sacred ashes that damage enemies. Richter's Item Crash with said sub-weapon creates a huge cloud of ash that damages enemies above him.
  • Attack Drone: Alucard's familiars float around him and attack enemies.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: Before fighting Scylla, you first fight one of her snake-tentacles in a separate boss room.
  • Attractive Bent Species: If the Bat familiar is active, a cartoon heart flies out of it and it starts to follow Alucard upon turning himself into one; at higher levels, more bats will join in and they all shoot out a fireball whenever Alucard does in bat form. When Alucard turns back into human form, a prominent "?" appears over the head of each bat.
  • Audio Adaptation: The radio drama Nocturne of Recollection is meant to be the sequel to Symphony of the Night. It's available on CD in Japanese, but has been fully translated by fans.
  • Auto-Revive: The Fairy familiars will automatically use a Life Apple to resurrect you if you have one in your inventory.
  • Award-Bait Song: The Solemn Ending Theme "I Am the Wind", which was excised from the PSP remake and the Xbox Live Arcade version (in a later update) due to copyright reasons. It was replaced with a new track by Michiru Yamane herself (Mournful Symphony/Nocturne) and the ending song from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (Admiration of the Clan), respectively.
  • Background Boss: The final fight against Dracula has him sitting on his dragonlike throne while various appendages from it attack you.
  • Back to Front: Played with; The first level is Richter's "final level" from when he originally confronted Dracula in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. To this effect, not only are you powered up by this point, but Dracula himself has a One-Winged Angel form in the fight. Of course, some time after Castlevania was destroyed, Shaft succeeded in his attempt to manipulate Richter and use him to resurrect both Castlevania and Dracula himself.
  • Back Tracking: Being a Metroidvania, there are plenty of unreachable places to force you to return to the past areas. The reverse castle mostly drops this, since you enter it with every navigation ability already unlocked.
  • Badass Baritone: Alucard in the original version, Dracula in the PSP version. Shaft also has a deep voice in both versions.
  • Badass Cape: Capes are one of Alucard's equipment slots, and many of them are very flashy, especially the Twilight Cloak/Midnight Mantle.
  • Badass Longcoat: Alucard wears his signature black-and-gold frock.
  • Battle Theme Music: There is "Festival of Servants" for normal boss battles, "Death Ballad" for major boss battles like Death or Shaft, "Enchanted Banquet" for Medusa and Succubus, "Dance of Illusions" for Dracula in the intro, "Blood Relations" for Richter (and in the PSP version, Maria), and "Black Banquet" for the Final Boss fight against Dracula again.
  • The Beastmaster: Owl Knights are accompanied by their namesake companion, and become very pissed if you kill it first.
  • Beelzebub: Acts as a boss, appearing as a giant rotting corpse suspended by hooks and chains, aided by massive flies.
  • Berserk Button: Unless you want Alucard to give you a Fate Worse than Death, trying to lure him over to the dark side by playing with his memories of his mother is a terrible idea.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Alucard has this reaction if he's poisoned, cursed or turned into stone. And when he wears the Axe Armor. And in some cutscenes as well. Also, amusingly, if you shift back to Alucard's normal form in a space too small for him to stand. Clearly he wasn't expecting to get stuck in a crouch.
  • Bishōnen: This game marked the start of the trend in Castlevania with everyone male being pretty here. Previously, the original hero Simon was a whip-wielding barbarian wearing a fur loincloth, and the other Belmonts were only a tad less butch.
  • Bittersweet Ending: All of the four endings, two of which are particularly depressing. The two bad ones have the legendary Richter killed off tragically, without letting Alucard be able to see the true mastermind behind all the madness. The other two endings, which are good ones, have Alucard break the curse from Richter successfully, thus saving his life, and they also have Alucard confront the true mastermind, Shaft, as well as Dracula. However, even after preventing the disaster from further poisoning the rest of Europe, Alucard chooses to seal himself again, knowing his blood is cursed with darkness. In the Golden Ending, Maria goes after him.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The reverse castle, which is Dracula's Castle flipped upside-down with everything else staying the same, which leads to gravity-defying pools of water.
  • Black Blood: The Scarecrow enemies have green blood instead of red, the only such example in the entire game, in fact. Perhaps done as a minor concession to good taste, since the enemy—a male or half-naked female corpse, gorily impaled on a pole—is already rather gruesome even with green blood.
  • Blackout Basement: The Spikes of Doom-lined tunnel that must be crossed with the bat form. Said bat form needs to be upgraded with a sonar ability that will allow you to see in this dark passageway. Once you cross it and step on a lit-up platform at the end, the entire room lights up permanently.
  • Blade on a Stick: Slogra's weapon of choice is a spear, which it loses after taking enough damage. Alucard himself doesn't use any spear-like weapons, aside from the Saturn-exclusive Alucard Spear.
  • Blade Spam: The Spam Attack from the Crissaegrim sword, which unleashes a flurry of four strikes every time you swing it. It's fast enough to be the most damaging weapon in the game despite having nowhere near the highest attack power.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Zig-zagged. The prologue is called "Final Stage: Bloodlines", (incorrectly) referring to the Sega Genesis game, Castlevania: Bloodlines. However, instead of fixing it in later releases, the final stage of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was changed to "Bloodlines" once the game was released in English, even though it was "Rondo of Blood" in the original Japanese, thus making the Bloodlines name retroactively correct.
  • Blown Across the Room: Some attacks will cause intense knockback to Alucard, especially if his defense is too low. This is required to skip the cutscene in which Death steals Alucard's equipment. Knockback strength is based on the percentage of your maximum health lost per attack. The skip glitch works because Luck Mode Alucard has a tiny amount of HP, and the enemy used deals enough damage to wipe out all but 1-4 HP, which results in massive knockback (if done in the opposite direction, it'll carry you all the way back out to the castle gate).
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Gas Cloud relic. Being able to damage enemies while in the invincible mist form is very powerful, but it's guarded by Galamoth, the toughest boss in the game and one of the last you'll face due to him being at the top of the reverse castle. By the time you can defeat him, there won't be much left other than the final bosses and some cleanup.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The Sword and Devil familiars tend to yell with gusto as they tear through enemies. "SLICE!" "DIE!"
  • Bonus Boss: Galamoth, who is so powerful that in the bestiary, the game doesn't show his HP. Defeating him nets you the Gas Cloud relic, which makes your mist form harm enemies.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The Reverse Castle, despite being a vertically-flipped copy of the regular castle's layout, is optional. Yet, it is required to see the true ending.
    • The Floating Catacombs, which is home to the above-mentioned Galamoth. It's completely optional, since there are no Vlad relics up there, but you'll likely stumble across it in the course of hunting down Death, since it's just beyond him.
  • Bookcase Passage: A room is hidden behind a rotating bookcase in the Long Library. It identifiable by the fact that it is the only bookcase directly on your way (and made with 3D graphics), whereas the others reside in the background.
  • Books That Bite: There are two varieties of book enemy in the Long Library. The first type merely flies at you and tries to slam into you. The second type opens up and tries to skewer you with an array of magically summoned weapons.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Many of the tougher enemies in the game show up in early areas to act as boss-like enemies, becoming more standard later on when Alucard is sufficiently leveled up, such as the Armor Lord in the Outer Wall and the Ctulhu in the Marble Gallery. The biggest example is the Guardian; only two exist in the game, each one in a room surrounding the center of the center of the reverse castle, and they're unfeasible to fight until you have endgame equipment and levels due to their high defense and strength.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Richter Belmont, courtesy of Shaft.
  • Burn the Witch!: It is revealed through the Succubus-induced nightmare that Alucard's mother Lisa was burnt at the stake, which inspired Dracula to destroy humanity.
  • But Now I Must Go: After saving the day, Alucard bids farewell and simply leaves in the good endings.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Done by the Devil familiar when it uses its elemental attacks. Some of Alucard's spells get in on the action, as well, which makes it all the more rewarding when you pull them off.
  • The Cameo: Konami Man sometimes appears in the File Select screen as a icon.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: Without the right upgrade, Alucard takes damage from any water over knee height.
  • Cape Swish: The sprite animation for Alucard's cape is quite fluid, especially when turning around quickly.
  • Cape Wings: Doing a double jump briefly flips Alucard's cape up in the back; with the trailing animation that activates when he jumps, this looks like wingtips.
  • Cartography Sidequest: The power of the Walk Armor increases by how much of the map you have explored, becoming the strongest armor in the game when both maps are completely filled. Percentage of the map explored also affects which of the Multiple Endings you receive.
  • Catching Some Z's: Leave Alucard sitting on a chair long enough, and he'll doze off to sleep, complete with "Z"s floating above him.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: There's a secret room behind a waterfall in the caverns under the castle.
  • Chain Reaction Destruction: Dracula shows that in action in the intro. Most of the larger enemies and other bosses also meet their fate that way.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: All equipment can be changed in the pause menu instantaneously. Consumable items, however, require you to equip them and use them outside of it.
  • Chaos Architecture: This is the first game in the series to offer an explanation as to why the castle changes stucture each time Dracula is revived, with Alucard explaining that its chaotic nature causes it to shift.
  • Character Portrait: Portrait artwork is used for the characters in the dialogue scenes, which became a series staple afterwards.
  • Cherubic Choir: The theme of the Royal Chapel, "Requiem of the Gods," consists of this trope, bells, and organ music.
  • Chest Monster: The fake Save Point. In one room is a real save point and, just across the hall, is another room that looks like a different-colored save point, but will in fact trigger a "nightmare" cutscene and a battle with a succubus.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Dracula is always acting the hell out of his lines, but he goes above and beyond for the final boss fight.
    Dracula: Behold my true form, and DESPAAAAAAAAIR!
  • Choice of Two Weapons: The game lets Alucard equip a weapon in each hand, with a separate button assigned to each. Handy for areas where enemies have varying weaknesses as it keeps the player from having to constantly hit up the subscreen.
  • Classical Mythology: Various Public Domain Characters from Greek mythology make appearances, including Scylla, the Minotaur, and Medusa.
  • Clockworks Area: The ever-present Clock Tower level, which takes most of its structure from the corresponding penultimate level of ''Rondo of blood'.
  • Collision Damage: Simply touching an enemy sends Alucard reeling back. If his defense is high enough, he'll simply flinch.
  • Combat Stilettos: Alucard wears high-heeled boots. While unequipped, you can press down and attack while falling and he'll do a kick.
  • Combination Attack: In their boss fights, Gaibon picks up Slogra to create new attacks, and Werewolf and Minotaur sync up their final attacks from Rondo of Blood when both are alive.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: The original PS1 translation tells that you must use Gold and Silver Rings at the Clock Tower, but the right room to use them is the central clock room in the Marble Gallery. The port included in The Dracula X Chronicles changes the hint to be more accurate.
  • Confessional: There's a confessional in the Royal Chapel, where Alucard can take a seat on either side.
    • Sitting in the chair on the left side causes the ghost of a priest to appear; he will nod his head as though listening to confession, cross himself, and disappear, dropping the grape juice item. Alternately, he'll laugh, pull the curtain closed, and try to impale Alucard with a half-dozen pointy objects through the screen.
    • Sitting on the right makes a ghostly woman appear and sit on the left. She will mime a tearful confession and disappear when Alucard gets up. Or laugh, pull the curtain closed, and try to impale Alucard with a spear through the screen. Confessional ghosts are weird like that.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Cool Chair:
    • Dracula's monster form at the end of the game is a monstrous throne with wings, arms and shapes such as skulls and bats growing out of it, of all things. And yes, he does sit with crossed legs while driving the thing.
    • In a case of Like Father, Like Son, Alucard can sit in chairs through the game and this became a recurring thing through the series. As part of the developers' high attention to detail, he'll fall asleep if left there for long enough and the Fairy familiar will sit on his shoulder if she's active. His posture also changes when confessing to a ghost priest in a booth.
  • Cool Sword: Most of Alucard's available weapons are swords, with many having cool effects and appearances: the Sword of Dawn allows you to summon weak minions, the Mourneblade returns health to you every time you hit something, the Marsil generates a small firestorm, the Masamune lets you teleport forward and spam a storm of blades, and much more
  • Costume Porn: Ayami Kojima's art features some very detailed clothing. For example, the inside of Alucard's coat has an extreme amount of detail.
  • Cowardly Lion: The Lion enemy would rather slide away from Alucard than fight him.
  • Cranium Chase: There's an enemy called Yorick, which is a skeleton chasing his own head... and continually stumbling into it and kicking it like a soccer ball.
  • Cthulhumanoid: Malachi, a flying demon with an octopus-head. It seems that it was supposed to be named Cthulu outright (a similar demon enemy is named "Ctulhu", who was renamed to "Devil" for later games, suggesting a name-swapping issue), but the Malachi name stuck for the rest of the series.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The reverse castle uses most of the same graphics as the initial areas, but its positioning gives the environments a new spin.
  • Cute Witch: The cat-slinging Salomes in the Floating Catacombs.
  • Cycle of Hurting: The Spikes of Doom are not immediately lethal, but some spike pits are arranged so that you can end up bouncing from one spike to another until reduced to Ludicrous Gibs. This becomes less of a problem later in the game, as you can simply turn to mist, or pause the game and equip the Spike Breaker armor.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Playing as Richter or Maria immediately after playing as Alucard will take a lot of getting used to (expect to accidentally waste Hearts performing an Item Crash when you were wanting to do a back-dash). This is even worse in The Dracula X Chronicles and Requiem, as the controls for Richter and Maria aren't even the same across their respective versions of Rondo and Symphony of the Night.
  • Dance Battler: Ghost Dancers are skeletons that leap all over the place.
  • Dark Reprise: A dark version of Richter's theme plays when you battle him. It is of course a clue that he's being controlled.
  • Deadly Disc: The Disc Armour enemy uses a disc on a tether to attack.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Richter's Knife item crash. What one knife can't do, a stream of hundreds can, and it lasts until manually cancelled.
  • Degraded Boss: Several bosses, like Slogra, Gaibon, and Karusuman, appear as common enemies in the inverted castle.
  • Dem Bones: The series' tradition skeletons show up everywhere throughout the game, with many new varieties. The Saturn version even has one as a boss, called the Skeleton Leader.
  • Demonic Dummy: Floating female dummies are enemies in the Marble Gallery.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Peeping Eye is one of the few enemies from Rondo who does not appear during the game as a fightable enemy, but it sometimes appears as a icon in the File Select screen. However, it does appear in the background, watching you as you trek through the hallway between the Marble Gallery and Outer Wall.
    • The Behemoth which chased Richter in Castlevania: Dracula X is now laying dead in the background in the coliseum.
  • Dhampyr: Alucard, son to a vampire lord and a human mother.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: In Rondo of Blood, Richter killed Shaft twice, once in his human form and once as a ghost. And yet, five years later he's alive and well, and easily takes control of a Belmont (which raises the question of why he didn't do so the first time), something not even Dracula seemed capable of doing! All because they wanted to have Alucard as the hero of the game. Then again, he may still be a ghost. If you look closely during the dialogue before you fight him, you can see that he's translucent.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Alucard gets to destroy many powerful monsters of myth throughout the castle, including ones based on Cthulu named Malachi.
  • Difficulty Levels: Sort of. Luck Mode offers huge bonuses to luck at the cost of all of your other stats. It cannot be accessed unless you have a clear game file saved on your card, and it's unlocked by entering a cryptic series of characters for your name.
  • Difficulty Spike: The Inverted Castle has one when you first get there, which sticks for most of it. New enemies suddenly do significantly more damage and are more annoying placed, as well as the level design being a bit against you at times.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Alucard's final foe appears to be Richter Belmont, but if he is defeated properly, the Disc-One Final Dungeon is over and a whole new area to be explored opens.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Combat Knife, which is a modern, vicious-looking knife that can be found a little more than halfway through the castle, depending on the order areas are visited in. At the cost of short range, it has an attack power of almost twice what you would probably have at that point in the game, and you can attack with it much more rapidly than with most of the other weapons. It stays a viable weapon well into the inverted castle.
    • The Jewel Knuckles, which you can pick up early in the game with the aid of a hidden elevator, as long as you can get past an early Armor Lord. They have short range, but tremendous attack speed and power.
    • The Holy Sword can be found early enough, has decent power, and more importantly deals holy damage which so many enemies are owned by. However, in later versions of the game, it's only available as a drop from Vandal Swords in the Clock Tower (the initial US and EU versions had it in a hidden area in place of a familiar card), making it harder to nab.
    • The Holy Rod. It is found fairly early in the first castle, does Holy-Type damage that most late-game monsters are weak to, but it also does blunt damage that most skeletons are weak against. Only a handful of enemies are strong against blunt. Also, the rod itself has a small area of effect around the rod tip itself, especially if you do a turn attack, which makes sure that you will almost always hit your target, which is a lot more forgiving than most swords tend to be. It is a very nice weapon until you get the Sword of Dawn, Terminus Est, Crissaegrim, or Alucard Sword back. Not to mention, Richter is immune to it, and it is very easy to hit Shaft's sphere with it, so you don't have to worry about accidentally killing Richter, or wounding him, causing him to Turn Red.
    • The Shield Rod/Iron Shield combo is one of the most powerful in the game. It summons a pair of swords that go forth in a straight line and destroy just about anything in the first castle, even bosses, in one shot. The Shield Rod is available early on, and the Iron Shield can be bought from the librarian for a manageable amount of cash.
  • Distressed Dude: Richter has disappeared, and Maria is looking for him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The end of the Succubus fight, at least in the original version. The Dracula X Chronicles port made her final cry sound a lot more like a death cry than a... you know.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Most of the weapons stop Alucard dead on his tracks for an attack. Some blades, like Crissaegrim and Holbein Dagger, avert it.
  • Door to Before: Many early areas are connected to later areas by shortcuts that can be opened up by reaching the other side and triggering an event, such as blowing up a wall with a cannon. Library Cards later serve this purpose as well, as they are the easiest way to return to the original castle.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: The Succubus does this as part of her attack chain, filling up the top of the screen with duplicates.
  • Double Jump: The Leap Stone gives Alucard an extra jump for mobility.
  • Down the Drain: The Underground Caverns, being filled with deep water pits and rushing waterfalls.
  • The Dragon: Shaft, who is pulling the strings behind the scenes and is the second-to-last boss in the game.
  • Dramatic Shattering: After Dracula rhetorically asks about the nature of a man and before answering his own question, he throws his goblet dramatically on the floor.
  • Dream Weaver: The circumstances of the Succubus fight. She tries to mess up Alucard's memories through dreams.
  • Dual Boss: Three of them. Slogra and Gaibon from Super Castlevania IV team up early, and Werewolf and Minotaur from Rondo of Blood try it again later. And then there's the Dracula's Curse impersonators, which up the ante into a trio Boss.
  • Dual Tonfas: Shows up as a findable weapon, although it's misnamed as "nunchaku". It hits twice.
  • Dual Wielding: Alucard can equip any weapon in either hand (save two-handed weapons, obviously). Though his swing speed doesn't pick up any, it can be convenient to not have to go into the sub menu if you're using elementally aligned weapons.
  • Dub Name Change: Towards several enemy names and food items via Japanese-to-English; the former names stick on in later games as of this series.
    • One item in particular is the "Green Tea"; it was named that way out of censorship since the original name for it was "Sake/Osake" (the alcoholic drink).
    • The many swords to pick up and collect in the game have rather notable names in Japanese via various nods to mythology in general, only to be swapped out for Tolkien lore-based names (such as Icebrand, Thunderbrand, Sword of Hador and so forth); one example is the Crissaegrim, where its actual name is the Valmanway (again, the original name stays in later titles), while another is the Vorpal Blade's original name being the Sonic Blade (the weaker version of the aforementioned weapon).
  • Dummied Out:
    • In the PS1 version, a glitch allows you to drop into a normally-inaccessible area with a save point. In the Saturn port, this can be opened normally and serves as the entrance to a Saturn-exclusive area. Also, Richter once had a taunt, a low kick, and a spinning kick that was eventually brought back.
    • There's a whole bunch of unused audio clips. Some are translated-but-not-used quotes that normally play over the Game Over screen in the Japanese version, some are mid-battle taunts, and a few are lines of dialogue for an unimplemented bad ending where Maria is possessed and/or transformed into a demon, much like Annette's alternate fate in Rondo of Blood remake, with Alucard lamenting her and Richter's deaths.
  • Dungeon Shop: The shopkeeper is Dracula's librarian and an old friend to Alucard. Note that he won't help Richter and Maria at all.
  • Dying as Yourself: The Werewolf boss in the Colosseum, and the mook version in the Reverse Colosseum both revert to a more human form before fading when defeated.
  • Dynamic Loading: Different areas of the castle are connected by dark hallways that are exactly one screen long. By the time the player walks from one side of the hall to the other, the next level has finished loading.
  • Early Game Hell: The period right after losing A Taste of Power leaves Alucard basically crippled, and even fairly weak enemies can take large chunks off your health bar. Alucard's power curve isn't so much a curve as it is a cliffside, but until then, it's easily the trickiest part of the game. Knowledge of the game's magic can alleviate this, though.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: As the first full-fledged metroidvania title of the series, the game has a few differences from later installments with the same formula.
    • While most of Alucard's equipment slots are normal, he has two "hand" slots instead of one weapon slot. Each hand can be equipped with a weapon, a shield, a throwing item, or a consumable, and pressing either attack button uses what is in that hand, and food items are thrown on the ground for Alucard to heal with. There were also two-handed weapons that took up both slots. The system was simplified for later games, which only had a single weapon slot (except for Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia), no shields and throwing items (most would be supplanted by various magic attacks), and had consumables directly used from the pause menu.
    • Alucard is the only protagonist with a spell system based on directional inputs, and the only one with an extensive familiar system where each helper levels up on its own (familiars are infrequent in later metroidvanias and typically don't level up nearly as much).
    • Many enemies and items were localized very differently from how they are later in the series, such as recurring corpse ball Legion being known as "Granfaloon", and the rapid-striking wind sword being named Crissaegrim instead of Valmanway.
    • Alucard has to grab an early relic in order to enable candles to drop items, while every later game has candles drop items by default.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Try returning to the room where Death stole Alucard's equipment right after you enter the first room of the Alchemy Laboratory. You will meet Slogra and Gaibon. There are many other little secrets as well.
    • A notable one added to the Japanese "The Best" and "PSOne Books" rereleases, as well as the Saturn, PSP and Requiem versions, is the ability to have the Fairy/Sprite sing to you in the Library (which requires a song lyrics card item in the Saturn version). This is actually a Dummied Out Japanese song in the original release. If the language is set to English in the PSP version, it'll even be fully translated!
  • Eldritch Abomination: Alucard specifically says the castle is a creature of chaos and may take many forms. There's also some of the bosses, like Granfaloon (Legion).
  • Eldritch Location: The inverted castle, which turns the laws of physics on its head. There's a reason why all the outdoor levels have ceilings to walk on.
  • Embedded Precursor: The game has the final boss fight from the preceding game as the opening level. Furthermore, the player's performance in the flashback level determines Alucard's starting stats and items.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Sword Familiar is a proud talking sword, fighting either by flying around and swinging or by being wielded by Alucard.
  • Empty Room Psych: The Lesser Demon and the Succubus have no counterparts in the Inverted Castle, leaving their boss rooms empty.
  • Escape Rope: The Library Card warps Alucard back to the Master Librarian's room at any time, even during the final boss fights (which is needed for the game to record you've visited the final boss room and fought it for the bestiary).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dracula loved Lisa dearly, and he expresses remorse upon finding out that his actions go against her last words. He is also implied to have some feelings towards his son Alucard, even though Alucard is his enemy.
  • Evil Elevator: The elevator in the Outer Wall is more of a fast-moving cage that slams into walls as it moves up at down. Alucard sounds terrified while riding it.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Dracula in every version of the game, clearly hamming it up despite his limited screentime.
  • Evil Laugh: An ominous one is heard on the Game Over screen, and the villains also have deep laughs.
  • Evolving Weapon
    • The Muramasa becomes stronger as Alucard absorbs blood from his enemies. It takes a lot of time, but its attack power can reach the 999 value. After its attack power has been increased by ten, it also adds a Blade Spam effect which still only hits enemies once per attack, but greatly increases the size of the weapon's hitbox.
    • The Sword Familiar levels up as Alucard kills enemies. At level 50, it will change form and lets Alucard wield it. At level 70, it changes its attack pattern, and at 90-99, it starts glowing and is able to do the Sword Brothers spell on its own.
    • While not a weapon, the Walk Armor's defense power increases as you explore more map regions. It eventually becomes more powerful than any other armor.
  • Extended Gameplay: Most of the areas in the endgame, since only five bosses are required to be beaten to reach Dracula.

    F - J 
  • Fairy Companion: Two (one in the western PlayStation release) of the Familiars is a summonable fairy that can use items to heal you and cure status changes.
  • Fairy Sexy: The fairy familiar that Alucard summons has this outfit.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Wargs look menacing, but die in a single hit just like other early-game enemies. The Reverse Entrance features Warg Riders/Fire Wargs that are substantially more threatening.
  • The Ferryman: A ferryman appears in the Underground Caverns, rowing Alucard over bodies of water before he can jump in them without getting hurt. A certain relic is needed to get him to move from one location to the next.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: Three elemental "-brand" swords are available for Alucard, sold by the Librarian or found elsewhere. There's also three elemental mailshirts that resist the elements.
  • Fish People: The firebreathing Merman enemies appear in one of the early areas.
  • Flaming Skulls: Large flaming skulls serve as mid-level enemies.
  • Flaming Sword: There's a pair of flaming swords, the Firebrand and Marsil. Not only do both swords have a fire aura, but with a command input both can generate a wave of flame, with Marsil's long enough to hit a fifth of the screen away.
  • Flash of Pain: Most of the characters flash as they take damage. In Alucard's case, the entire screen flashes red with him when he dies.
  • Flash Step: The Alucard Sword has a special attack that allows Alucard to teleport across the screen, turn around, slash twice, and return, all in about a second or less. There's also at least one katana that allows similar attacks.
  • Flying Books: A few appear in the Long Library to attack you.
  • Fog of Doom: Alucard can actually change into a playable Fog of Doom once you've found the right items: with the "Form of Mist" and "Gas Cloud" relics, his mist form is invincible and causes damage to any enemies within it, while constantly draining a small amount of MP.
  • Food Porn: The game includes dozens of different inexplicably preserved healing food items to find on top of the standard Pot Roast, ranging from fresh fruit all the way up to modern dishes that shouldn't even exist in the depicted time period, each one with a well-drawn sprite and a brief description.
  • Foreshadowing: Way before you reach the core area of the castle, you might notice that some things in certain rooms' backgrounds are clearly upside-down. They're meant to be displayed rightside-up in the reverse castle. There's also the Cat-Eye Circlet, gotten in the Catacombs, which absorbs "cat"-elemental damage, which doesn't seem to be anywhere until a few show up very late into the reverse castle.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Richter has special moves that allow him to move extremely quickly and Sequence Break like a mofo; a dextrous Richter player can beat the game in less than ten minutes, and this is without glitches. However, he has as little health and defense as a classical Castlevania character (i.e. Simon, Trevor, and his Rondo of Blood self). His max health can be increased with Life Up potions, but there's never anything that boosts his defense.
    • Maria in the PSP version. She's much faster than Alucard and Richter, retains her double jump from Rondo of Blood and has special moves of her own, but she has as little health as she had in Rondo, being able to take a lot less hits before dying. Like Richter, Life Up potions boost her HP, but not her defense.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: One of the bosses is a version of him with a huge hammer and a Rolling Attack. This is the first game in the series where it is called "The Creature" rather than some variant on Frankenstein.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: In the Royal Chapel, you can go to the Confession Room and sit at a chair, and at one time a blue-robed ghostly figure will hear your confession and give you... sparkling grape juice! Grape juice in a confession booth? This was the result of the drink being modified from wine in the Japanese version. Also, the Green Tea was originally sake, and the Barley Tea was beer.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Succubus. The official art for her has exposed breasts with defined nipples.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: By using the Sword Brothers spell in a save room to enable them to open the menu mid-save and rapidly change their equipment around, the player is able to completely screw up the game's save file. Depending on your timing, you might end up screwing up your map and end up with random squares explored and unexplored, respawning items you find lying around and thus being able to collect them twice, or just corrupt your save.
  • Game Gourmet: There's a wide variety of food consumables here, like cheesecake, pudding, strawberries, spaghetti, hamburgers, apples, miso soup, and pineapples.
  • Gemstone Assault: One of the morningstar weapons ends on a gemstone, and there are also the flashy Jewel Knuckles and Jewel Sword.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The Nova Skeleton enemy will die to a single knife, but has a laser attack that can easily hit you for 200+ damage.
    • The Ring of Ares will turn Alucard into this, as it both increases STR and weapon damage and lowers defense by 24.
    • Richter and Maria take damage horribly in comparison to Alucard. Not helped by the fact that they don't level up, and their only way of healing is through save points and HP Max Ups.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Dracula angrily throws the glass of wine he had in hand to the floor when he expresses his distaste for humanity to Richter.
  • Golden Ending: If you clear the game after exploring more than 195% of the Castles, Maria decides to go after Alucard in the end.
  • Gravity Screw: The Inverted Castle, where Alucard walks on the ceiling of every area.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Getting past the Disc-One Final Boss to access the rest of the game can be confusing. You can reach the bad ending of the game as soon as you have a method of flight, but the rest of the castle needs to be explored thoroughly to continue on. It doesn't help that the clue provided once you have a lead is worded inaccurately in the original versions.
    • Two very useful items, the Jewel Sword (easy access to sellable jewelry) and the Beryl Circlet (useful for the Bonus Boss), are found in hidden rooms that can only be opened by entering and exiting the tunnel in the Entrance/Reverse Entrance while using tranformations. Nothing indicates that these rooms exist or that fiddling with the tunnel will affect them.
    • Using the Gravity Boots relic requires a directional input that isn't listen in its description. This is also an input needed for Richter's high jump, which can leave him stuck in a few places until you figure it out.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Subverted with the skeletal Bone Musket enemy. They appear in groups of three and stagger while they're reloading to lay down about one shot every two seconds, but they send you reeling back like any other attack. About the only advantage you have is that most of the time you're above or below them, and they can only shoot straight ahead.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The legendary pre-fight debate between Richter and Dracula qualifies, whatever translation you look at.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • Normally the game over screen features an ominous voice speaking "GAME OVER", but dying at certain points (such as losing to Richter) causes special voice clips to play over it.
    • The game in general goes above and beyond most of the other games in the series with this unique finishing touch; there are actually special effects available that depend on the elemental attributes of the attack that killed the playable characters. There's the normal bloody disintegration that Rondo of Blood introduced, true, but then there's also the following:
      • Being killed by a Fire attack results in the character literally burning away into nothingness.
      • Being killed by an Ice attack results in the character melting away in mid-air.
      • Being killed by a Lightning attack results in sparks of lightning eventually burning the character into non-existence.
      • If Alucard's cause of death is from exposure to water without having the proper relic on hand, he literally melts into water droplets.
      • There's even a unique death animation for if Alucard's HP falls to 0 while petrified; his statuesque form crumples apart, the bits and pieces falling to the ground as this happens.
      • Most of the above applies for boss fight versions of the playable characters, even. Want to add a twist to how the Doppelganger bosses die? Kill them with an attack that possesses one of the above elements. Even Richter is affected by this... although do keep in mind the fact that the ending one will get won't exactly be fulfilling.
  • A Head at Each End: Diplocephalus is a crocodile-like beast with the upper body of a fireball-slinging human woman attached to its tail.
  • Healing Potion: Potions are introduced into the series with this game, and they're the most common healing items.
  • Heart Container: There are items that boost your max HP and Hearts. An equivalent item for MP wouldn't exist until the following metroidvania, though MP still increases from leveling up.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Featured in the save rooms. The lower your health, the fainter the beating in the backround.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Some areas feature Fleamen wearing armor and an axe, and who are just spry like their regular counterparts. "Killing" a Flea Armor causes the equipment to break and makes it turn into a regular Fleaman.
  • Hellfire: Alucard can pull off his father's "teleport and fireballs" attack from earlier titles.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • The Ouroboros becomes golden and helps Alucard for a while if its rider is killed but it isn't.
    • Salome is the accidental type if you equip the otherwise-useless Cat-Eye Circlet. Both the the black cats she throws and the cat she turns into when defeated will provide a massive HP boost if they touch Alucard.
  • Hidden Track: If you put the original PlayStation disc on an audio CD player, the hidden track "Alucard's Vengeance" can be heard.
  • High-Pressure Blood: The aptly named Bloody Zombies release a fountain of blood as their death scream echoes in the castle's hallways.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: If you defeat Richter properly, the rest of the game is spent hunting down Dracula, who, starting the tradition here, is behind it all.
  • Holy Burns Evil: Some weapons are imbued with the Holy element, making them useful against most of the enemies.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Holy Water and Holy Ash subweapons, along with the Holy Sword and Holy Rod.
  • Homing Projectile: One of Alucard's spells has him summoning one enemy-seeking orb. For more MP, he can cast an upgraded spell that summons a whole bunch of them.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Rebound Stone subweapon. In an open space it's essentially a slower knife weapon that fires at an unusual angle, but it can clear a tight hallway of weaker enemies with one shot.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: In the Dracula X Chronicles version of the opening, Dracula refers to Richter as "Belmont, son of Belmont". Most likely, every member of the Belmont clan is just an interchangeable thorn in his side to him.
  • Idle Animation: Alucard's idle animation is him standing in a relaxed, yet regal pose. It works with his fairy familiar: she lands on his shoulder and if he moves even an inch, she falls off, complete with "Oof!"
  • Impossible Item Drop: One sword is dropped by Shmoo monster, which is basically just a bloody, flying burlap sack with a face.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The game clock in the menu and the Marble Gallery is actually a 24-hour clock; the game starts at midnight and continues from there. Relevant in that the status buffs of the Moonstone and Sunstone are affected by the time on the clock. In the Saturn version, the current time is instead taken from its system clock, since it had one while the PS1 doesn't.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Many. Symphony of the Night is full of broken (but fun!) weaponry.
    • The Crissaegrim, a wind-based sword dropped by the Schmoo enemies found in the Forbidden Library. This obscene weapon makes pretty much everything else in the game obsolete. It can be used while moving, does four slashes in quick succession, has high damage output, sweeps a large arc in front of you (unlike other swords which only execute a narrow and miss-prone "stabbing" attack), and being able to attack as fast as you can press the button, with little lag. Once you get it, you can pretty much button mash through most enemies, especially if you equip two.
    • The Shield Rod in the Colosseum (which can cast unique spells depending on which shield is equipped alongside it) is pretty useful for most of the game, but it becomes an example of this after getting the late-game Alucard Shield. With the Alucard Shield's spell, you can shield bash enemies for a ludicrous amount of damage while healing yourself and turning invincible. You can literally walk through any boss if its weakpoint is exposed. The one downside is that the Shield Rod itself is somewhat weak, but later in the game it can be replaced with a random-dropped Mablung Sword that is stronger while still being able to cast shield spells.
    • The Muramasa starts off weak, but becomes more powerful every time you hit an enemy and draw blood with it equipped. Through grinding, it can become obscenely powerful.
    • Alucard's namesake sword is a "weaker" infinity plus one weapon, but has a fast attack speed, is relatively easy to find, and has a special attack that lets you teleport behind an enemy and strike twice rapidly while invulnerable before moving back to your previous position. You can also exploit a bug to keep it at the start of the game.
    • The Badelaire gets stronger the more time you play, one attack point per hour. Leave the game running overnight a couple times and when the clock maxes out at 99 hours, you'll have a very strong sword with high single hit power with very little effort involved.
    • The Dainslef has a rather high attack power, and inputting down, down-forward and forward before attacking gives an even stronger blow... and its attack strength is doubled with Dark Metamorphosis active. Get ready to see some huge numbers!
    • The Sword Familiar. It's one of the strongest familiars at any rate, but at level 50, you can wield it with its attack power equal to its level, making it deadly at level 99. At level 75, it gets a new, more accurate attack animation.
    • The Ring of Varda, a very powerful stat-boosting ring that won't drop unless your memory card has a completed save on it.
    • Another item available only on a cleared file is the Duplicator, an accessory which slightly drains your stats but lets you use items without losing them. It's obscenely expensive to purchase, but combining it with a Power of Sire will result in you just casually strolling around the castle, killing everything without lifting a finger by using a painting to summon a hologram of Vlad the Impaler shooting exploding stars from his eyes.
    • Richter's item crashes, particularly Thousand Daggers and Hydro Storm, can take out bosses with no effort at all.
  • Informed Equipment: Played straight with most equipment that isn't a weapon or shield (which appear when you use them), but averted with capes, which actually change the color of the cape on Alucard's sprite, and the Secret Boots, which make his sprite a bit taller.
  • Inn Security: One of the save points is a trap, and triggers a boss fight against a succubus posing as Alucard's dead human mother, Lisa. This is glaringly obvious, because this save point is not the same color as the others in the game, and yet you have to use it to proceed through the game... at least if you want to get the good ending.
  • Instant 180-Degree Turn: Averted. Alucard takes a few frames to turn around.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Averted with regards to castle map completion. Exploring the entirety of the normal Castle will get you a map percentage of 100%, which means anyone who was not spoiled about the Inverted Castle will think the game ends once Richter is defeated one way or another.
    • Played straight with the Librarian's bestiary, which will show dozens of empty entries after you have combed through the entirety of the first castle.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: The floating giant skulls in have the standard "not phased by anything" invincibility, although you can use Soul Steal on them to heal yourself.
  • Invisible Monsters: Bitterflies, which phase in and out of visibility in large, seemingly empty rooms.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Flavor Text of Bitterflies states that they are only visible to magicians.
  • Joke Character: One of the armors Alucard can equip turns him into a Axe Armor from Rondo. He runs fast and has a strong melee swing, but he can't jump high in this form and thus can't explore much. Oddly, he can't even throw his axe as you'd expect. What's amusing about it is his idle animation, in which he raises the axe and shouts "Hah! Hah! Hah! Ho!".
  • Joke Item: The Alucart equipment, not to be confused with the Alucard equipment. Even the shield has the "honor" of being the only shield in the game to have absolutely no effect when equipped with the Shield Rod (a nod to the item crash of the Key subweapon in Rondo of Blood). The sword at least has the reach and fast attack speed of the real deal, but that doesn't really make up for the lack of power. A complete set of Alucart equipment does have a use, though: it dramatically increases your LCK. It's still not enough to make it qualify as a Lethal Joke Item, though. There's also Tyrfing, a cursed sword that passes through enemies and does no damage due to reducing your attack to 0 unless you equip enough stat-boosting items and level up enough to compensate for it, and the Saturn version has Sain Irishitajiki, a useless, goofy picture of Alucard, which the game (for some reason) treats as a medicine.
  • Jump Physics: For the first time in the series, the game allows the player full jump control and Double Jump capabilities, as well as a special high jump manuever.
  • Justified Save Point: It's a coffin because Alucard is a dhampyr, and he needs to sleep in those too. It's not as justified when playing as the human Richter and Maria, however.

    K - O 
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Fist Of Tulkas, a rare drop weapon in the Reverse Library, has two special moves: one is a flurry of blows that is activated by a fighting game-type combo, and the other is a blue fireball that is utilized the same way as entering a Hadoken.
  • Kukris Are Kool: There's an enemy called Gurkha, who wields what is supposed to be a very stylized giant kukri.
  • Lag Cancel: Slow attacks and such can be cancelled with the backdash. The slowdown from the backdash can be cancelled by throwing up your shield. With fast enough fingers, you can shield and backdash repeatedly, allowing you to travel at a consistent, high speed.
  • Last Lousy Point: Many hard-to-reach map squares frustrate completionists, particularly some of the water areas in the Inverted Castle. The secret: swim up to them using the wolf form.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In certain corridors in the castle, the player will see an ornate crest on the wall with the initials "CD". This is a reference to the fact that these are loading corridors, where the game is reading the next area from the disc. However, the initials could also stand for "Castle Dracula" or simply "Count Dracula", avoiding an outright fourth wall break, as long as one ignores the circle with a tiny hole in the center, in the middle of the crest right under the letters.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • Alucard gets a Luck boost when he wears all Alucart equipment at once—this effect is often used to up the chances of obtaining the rarely-dropped Crissaegrim. Also, the "effect" of the Alucart Shield is a nod to the Key Subweapon from Rondo, which was the strongest, yet almost useless subweapon from that game. Using the Alucart equipment while playing in Luck Mode (gives 99 Luck but sets all other stats to 1 or 0, with 35 HP and 5 MP, far below usual starting stats) will allow him to attack extremely fast and do crit damage high enough to kill many bosses in a few hits.
    • The Cat-Eye Circlet, which protects you from... cat damage. Even so, it comes in surprisingly handy in one of the game's hardest areas.
    • The Red Rust, a two-handed sword which deals less damage than the first shortsword you pick up at the same time that randomly causes Alucard to freeze in place when he tries to swing it but which can be invaluable against both Doppelganger bosses since it curses them on hit, basically making them helpless and unable to attack.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Catacombs area takes you so below the ground that at one point you go through a lava cavern. However, the lava is just part of the scenery. And then, in the Inverted Catacombs, there's a part with molten ice in the background.
  • Level in Reverse: The Inverted Castle, naturally. In both direction traveled, and the flipped geometry.
  • Light Is Not Good: The divine-looking Amalaric (or Goth Sniper), a minor enemy that looks like a white torso with wings and a bow and is described as a fallen angel.
  • Lightning Gun: The rare Agunea subweapon lets Alucard/Richter fire a bullet that zaps an enemy with electricity when it hits them; continuing the attack causes continuous lightning strikes. Richter can use it in an item crash that causes a full-blown thunderstorm.
  • Living Weapon: Spectral Swords, which surround themselves with other weapons while flying around.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Dracula, as usual. Both castles vanish after his defeat.
  • A Load of Bull: Minotaur is a Dual Boss with Werewolf in the Colosseum, then reappears as a Degraded Boss in the inverted castle.
  • Loading Screen: The game lets you play with the loading text, making it swirl and spin all over, or see if you can get it perfectly still before the game finishes loading.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Alucard and Richter both, but Alcuard especially.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: The most notable example is Prologue, only played during the intro stage, which has no enemies aside from Dracula and consists of a walk up a staircase and down a hallway, and when you fight Dracula, his own theme plays. Another example could be The Door to the Abyss, arguably the most scary song in the soundtrack, which only plays in the centre of the castle which again, features no enemies except for Shaft and Dracula in the inverted castle version (and Maria, on Saturn and PSP's first castle) and is extremely short.
  • Looks Like Orlok: One mid-game boss is Orlok himself, with translation issues causing him to be called Olrox. Olrox starts as a magician vampire before turning into a reptilian monster for his second phase.
  • Lost in Translation: The Opening Crawl is in English; in every version. (Surprisingly Good English at that.) Similar to the opening of Rondo of Blood, which was in German, but the specialness is lost on the English-speaking audience.
  • Luck Stat: It determines the item drops and critical hits.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Alucard can use various shields—activating them blocks missile attacks, and some of them can be used for magic attacks with the Shield Rod or Mablung Sword weapons
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Familiars are, at first, completely useless and watch idly as you get smacked around by monsters. However, if you suffer them long enough, they will eventually level up and become able to kill most enemies before you can (this is especially true of the Sword familiar which you can even wield as a weapon once its level gets high enough).
    • After beating the game once the player unlocks a code that, when used in a new game, unlocks Luck Mode. Alucard's stats are pathetic in this mode but his luck stat is astronomically high to compensate. Not only does it result in him getting a lot of drops that are usually too rare to farm in normal mode, by the end game, Alucard will also be dishing out so much damage thanks to his high crit chance that he'll frequently end up outpacing his damage output in normal mode.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: There are nude statues for both sexes.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Richter struts around the castle and makes himself look like the Big Bad until it's revealed that he's being mind controlled by Shaft., who is, of course, Dracula's puppet.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Dracula is the page image of this trope, with most of his castle being kept pretty regal despite sustained damages.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Alucard has a split-second of hit invulnerability, which sometimes makes it difficult to escape if you get surrounded by hazards.
  • Metal Slime: The Dodo Bird is found in just one area of the castle and runs away as soon as he sees Alucard. He drops the Runesword and the Heart Broach.
  • Metroidvania: Not the first Castlevania game in this genre (that would be Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, though its structure was more akin to that of contemporary action-adventure games), but the one that standardized the formula for the series, and helped name the very term.
  • Might Makes Right: In the Prologue's pre-fight cutscene (and by proxy the ending to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood), Dracula believes mankind uses the church and religious creed to enforce this. Richter believes the opposite.
  • Mind Screw: In the Reverse Catacombs, instead of lava there is molten ice. Not water, molten ice.
  • Mini-Boss: The first Armor Lord in the Outer Wall, who doesn't respawn normally after defeat (instead reappearing if the whole area is reloaded).
  • Minus World: Familiar spells can be abused to warp through walls into areas outside the normal castle map, adding to map percentage
  • Mirror Boss: You fight two doppleganger-type bosses, which use your subweapons and abilities.
  • Mirror World: The inverted castle, a mirrored version of Dracula's castle that Shaft spawns during his resurrection of Dracula.
  • Monster Compendium: You can check the info on the monsters you've defeated in the shop at the library.
  • Morphic Resonance: When Alucard transforms into his wolf form, he still keeps a number of features, including a sword tied at his waist. The bat form goes one step further, and keeps the color of the currently equipped cloak as the color of its wings. The former becomes increasingly odd if you're completing a "naked" challenge run, where equipping things like swords are not allowed.
  • Mummy: Akmodan II, one of the bosses from Super Castlevania IV, makes a return as a required encounter in the endgame areas. He's meant to take after the mummy from the first Castlevania game, as with the other bosses that hold the Vlad relics.
  • Musical Gag: If you put the PS1 disc in a CD player, Alucard informs you that this disc only has game data. It then plays some music before going into the game data and being annoying static.
    "Track one contains computer data, so please don't play it. But you probably won't listen to me anyway, will you?"
  • Musical Spoiler: You know you've walked into a boss room when the music stops.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Richter Belmont screams this (in the redubbed version, as the original is much quieter) once he's freed from being Brainwashed and Crazy, since he's inadvertently helped resurrect Dracula once again.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Dracula can almost beat you in the prologue, but then Maria runs in and casts a crap load of buff spells, turning the fight into a Foregone Victory.
  • New World Tease: The game teases you with the Clock Tower, Colosseum, and Olrox's Quarters should you choose to enter them, but you need abilities to get through them fully.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Two of the four possible endings involve an underinformed Alucard eliminating the Belmont bloodline by beating the stuffing out of one extremely possessed Richter. Seeing as the Belmonts are humanity's best and perhaps only hope in the fight against Alucard's infamous father... Oops.
  • No-Gear Level: Near the beginning of Symphony of the Night. You can actually continue doing this if you so desire. It's challenging but kinda hilarious (and Crazy Awesome) when Alucard beats the shit out of the Grim Reaper with his bare hands.
  • No-Harm Requirement: The only way to access the second half of the game is to defeat the green orb controlling Richter Belmont without doing too much harm to Richter Belmont himself.
  • No Hero Discount: Justified. The Librarian is actually in the employ of Dracula, and only helps Alucard at all as he's a greedy bastard. While using any of the extra characters, he'll refuse to deal with them at all; Alucard is permissible because he's the Master's son, estranged or not, but dealing with the Belmonts would be outright treason.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Clock Tower and Castle Keep areas are pretty much the same as they were in Rondo of Blood, with new graphics and some new rooms.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • The Red Rust is the more useless of the first two weapons you pick up, doing pitiful damage. However, it can inflict the cursed status on the doppelganger, rendering it helpless and making for an easy win against a Wake-Up Call Boss.
    • The Cat Eye Circlet offers "Big HP restore by cat damage". Only one enemy in the game does "cat damage", and that's Salome, a rather dangerous witch enemy found in parts of the castle that upon being killed turns into a pesky cat that can do additional damage to the player, making her a real pain in the ass. Unless you're wearing the Cat Eye Circlet, in which case you get healed for most or all of your HP by touching the cute kitty. Everywhere else, the item is likely useless compared to other available equipment.
  • Not the Intended Use: The backwards sliding manuever is intended to be used for dodging enemy attacks; while most players may use this once or twice, more often than not most people end up utilizing it for moving a bit faster, especially when it comes to backtracking.
  • Nothing but Skulls: There are two rooms in in which the floor is made entirely of skulls, and there are huge piles of them in the background. The boss fought in this room is a giant floating ball of corpses that was hiding in said skulls before you entered, and the alternate version of that room, you face Galamoth.
  • Notice This: The Devil familiar suddenly takes interest in two pushable buttons that open secret rooms; the hundreds of other secrets in the castle don't seem to catch his interest. The Faerie also points out some breakable walls if she's near them.
  • Number of the Beast: Death is level 66, the vampire Olrox and the Succubus have 666 HP, and the Malachi and the Fire Demon give 666 experience points.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The Succubus wears a corset, albeit one that only covers her waist and leaves her breasts exposed.
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: It isn't intentional, but if you immediately slide left when the game starts with Alucard, you can access a secret deleted area and increase your map percentage.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Maria does this a lot, always managing to get past monsters and reach areas before Alucard can. She even gets through a spike-lined hallway!
  • Oh, Crap!: When Alucard enters the Coliseum, and the Lord of the Castle makes an appearance:
    Alucard: Your blood... The scent of your blood... YOU'RE A BELMONT!
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • Dracula has the same one as he did in Rondo of Blood during the intro. "Behold my true form and DESPAIR!" For the final boss fight, Dracula doesn't even bother with the first form and changes to a new final form.
    • Death gets a significant form change, turning from his cloaked magic-using base form into a monster that throws boomerang scythes.
    • Olrox goes from humanoid into some weird green dinosaur thing. He is more dangerous in this form, as you'd expect.
    • When petrified, Alucard can rarely be frozen into an invincible gargoyle form similar to his father's traditional demonic form. This suggests he does have the ability even if it's never put to use in the entire series.
  • One-Woman Wail: The "Enchanted Banquet" boss music, appropriately enough used only when fighting female bosses.
  • Opening Scroll: The game puts its scrolling intro text at the end of the Action Prologue.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The Faerie and Fairy familiars. They don't attack enemies, but they cure Alucard's status effects (including petrification with Hammer items), use potions and reviving items automatically, and point out breakable walls.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: One of the unique enemies added to the Saturn version of the game are Gargoyles, which are desribed as the "automatic crime prevention system" of the castle. Comes in marble, granite and terracotta.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: A Hippogryff that breathes fire is one of early bosses.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: One of the enemies is a traditional bipedal wolf-man, and Alucard can turn himself into a regular wolf (as per old vampire myths).
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Someone Alucard thinks is his mother appears to be executed and attempts to trick him into committing murder against some humans via his mom's supposed final wish. Alucard remembers the event of Lisa's death far too well for him to fall for it, realizing that was something she would never tell him to do, and immediately deduces that "Lisa" was an imposter. She also addresses him as Alucard, a name that he didn't start using until his mother was long dead.
  • Over 100% Completion: The maximum map completion is 200.6%. The first 200% is to hide the fact that the Inverted Castle exists until you get there, and the last 0.6% is due to hidden rooms.

    P - T 
  • Permanently Missable Content: A few bestiary entries are permanently missable:
    • The bestiary entry for the Mudman, if you kill the Lesser Demon (boss) without waiting for him to summon a Mudman. While the Lesser Demon becomes a Degraded Boss later on, those only summon more Lesser Demons and nothing else.
    • Richter's entry, if you save him without hitting him at least once.
    • On a lesser scale, the Wargs are only present at the start of the game, and vanish forever from the area later. They're extremely hard to miss, though.
  • Pinball Projectile: The Rebound Stone subweapon, which bounces around angularly before disappearing.
  • Player Tic: Constant backdashing, especially by speedrunners, since it makes Alucard move slightly faster.
  • Plot Coupon: The parts of Dracula's body (for the second time) late in the game. The only guiding point of the reversed castle is that Alucard needs to find all five of these items to open up the final boss.
  • Poison Mushroom: Literally with the Toadstool, a consumable that inflicts poison status on you. Players might think to equip the circlet that gives HP restoration while poisoned and then try eating it, only to find the Toadstool heals a whopping 1 point.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: The opening has Richter barging into Dracula's castle and interrupting the Count's relaxed wine drinking, greeting him with "Die, monster!" He then insults Dracula, to which Dracula replies very calmly and philosophically. Richter continues insulting Dracula until he provokes a fight.
  • Poltergeist: The Spectral Sword causes this phenomenon, as well as the Ouija Table. Once you get the perk that lets you see the enemy's name, you'll occasionally find an actual Poltergeist in the game.
  • Post-End Game Content: The Duplicator item and various cheats become available in a new game if you have a Clear or Replay save.
  • The Power of Love: Alucard brings this up to Dracula during the ending.
    "You have been doomed ever since you lost the ability to love."
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Dracula's voice deepens as he turns into his demonic form in the prologue.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Trying to use the Alucart Shield (if you weren't watching the last consonant or were just curious) in combo with the Shield Rod. Cue Alucard pulling his cloak around dramatically... and then going "?"
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Skelerangs throw two boomerangs at the player, and will continue to do so until defeated. Alucard can pick up some boomerang types to use as thrown weapons.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Alucard uses one after landing the killing blow on Dracula.
    "Go back whence you came! Trouble the soul of my mother no more!"
  • Prepare to Die: Richter's "Die, monster!" from the prologue.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Both from Rondo of Blood; Richter as a Rogue Protagonist and Maria as a friendly NPC looking for him.
  • Previously On…: The prologue, which remakes the final battle of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
  • Progressively Prettier: In his previous appearance in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, Alucard looked like a craggy middle aged man. Now he is a pretty boy with white-blond hair.
  • Promoted to Playable: Richter Belmont after you finish the game once, or at the start in the Saturn version. Maria Renard is also this in the Saturn and PSP versions.
  • Public Domain Artifact: The swords Joyeuse (Charlemagne's personal sword) and Cortana (aka "Sword of Mercy", English regalia sword), among others.
  • Purposely Overpowered: The Ring of Varda (the most powerful stat-boosting ring in the game, by far) cannot be obtained until you have cleared the game at least once.
  • Rage Helm: A scowling helmet known as Dragon Helm is described as frightening to enemies, and it halves their defense because of it.
  • Random Drop: Most of the items come from enemies dropping them.
  • Random Drop Booster:
    • The Ring of Arcana increases the likelyhood of item drops.
    • Items that increase luck also increase drops. The Lapis Lazuli increases it by 20 points, the Alucart items increase it by 30 as a Set Bonus, and you can enter a cheat code to start the game with 99 luck (at the cost of other stats being reduced).
  • Rare Random Drop: Enjoy your grinding if you want the Crissaegrim. Even if you wear the Ring of Arcana, which boosts rare item drops from monsters, it's still only about a 1/50 chance of the monster in question dropping it even though it's a fairly common enemy in that area.
  • Retcon: In the prologue, Richter and Dracula's conversation occurs before their battle, unlike in Rondo where it happened after Dracula is defeated. The Dracula X Chronicles remake maintains this while adding new post-battle dialogue.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Both Kaiser Knuckle and Fist of Tulkas have a blurry-punch-spam special attack.
  • Remixed Level: The inverted castle has not only levels upside down and new enemies, the backgrounds on some of them are different.
  • Retraux: In the prologue, the HUD looks like Rondo of Blood's. It also appears when you play as Richter or Maria.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Spectral Swords, evil sword ghosts/spirits that possess nearby weapons into a circle around themselves to attack you.
  • Rings of Death: The chakram item, which can be thrown to damage enemies.
  • RPG Elements: The game features stats, meters for HP and MP, experience points, and equipment coupled with 2D platforming.
  • Run, Don't Walk: Richter Belmont can start running by tapping left or right buttons twice. Alucard can do so too, but only with a powerup found in the Saturn version.
  • Scenery Porn: The game combines 3D graphics and 2D graphics to beautiful effect.
  • Schmuck Bait: Putting the game disc in a CD player will play a hidden track that starts with Alucard warning the listener that "cut number one contains computer data, so please do not play it" and notes that he doubts you'll listen to him anyways. CD players at the time of the game's release were already smart enough to skip the data track, so it was safe to take the bait. The joke is that back when CD players weren't smart enough, there was often a real audio warning at the start of track 1 explaining not to try to play it back.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: This is brainwashed Richter Belmont's motive for reviving Dracula:
    Richter Belmont: Count Dracula rises but once every century, and my role is over. If I can resurrect him, then the battle will last for eternity!
  • Secret Character: Richter (and Maria in the PSP version) can be unlocked after beating the game at least once with enough percentage of the map completed, and then starting a new game. In the Saturn version, they are playable from the start.
  • Sequence Breaking: Once you get the Soul of Wolf in the Outer Wall, you can use it to get across the crumbling platforms in the Clock Tower and and then traverse it normally, albeit in reverse, to get to what would normally be the final area of the castle. The timing is very strict, however, and likely takes multiple tries. You still, however, need to explore the rest of the castle to actually fight the boss, as the stairs are out.
  • Sequential Boss: Dracula in the prologue, Olrox, and Death.
  • Set Bonus: Equpping all Alucart items (not to be confused with them Alucard items); the Alucart Sword, Shield, and Mail. On their own, they have pitiful stats and no special properties. Put them together and they grant you +30 LCK, greatly increasing the chances of critical hits and rare drops.
  • Shape Shifter Mashup: Scylla, and potentially Dracula in his final form.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The game features a sword named Gram, the description of which reads "The sword named Gram". It also features a sword named Harper. The description for it reads "The sword named Harper".
  • Shapeshifting: Alucard can take the shape of a bat, a wolf and a cloud of mist with the right relics.
  • Shear Menace: The Underground Garden area in the Sega Saturn version of the game has gardeners wielding huge shears as enemies.
  • Shoryuken: A rising uppercut is one of Richter's moves when he becomes playable.
  • Showgirl Skirt: The Faerie familiar's outfit.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Dracula brings up the evils of religion in the original version prologue, Richter says that his words are as empty as his soul.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Dracula's last line in the prologue is an "enough talk" to cut off Richter before fighting him. This and the preceding are incidentally the game's Signature Lines.
  • Situational Sword: Badelaire, which powers up as the in-game clock counter increases.
  • Skippable Boss: In the first castle, there's Scylla, Granfaloon, Karasuman, and with the right knowledge and skill, Olrox. In the inverted castle, there's Beelzebub, Doppelganger40, and the Fake Hunters (not counting Bonus Boss Galamoth).
  • Slouch of Villainy: Taken to new extremes in the true final battle, which Dracula spends sitting on a throne that turns into a dragonic Eldritch Abomination.
  • Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom: Certain rooms in the Clock Tower features various spiked blocks on a chain.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: Why did the titular castle reappear a mere five years after Richter Belmont banished Dracula? It seems like Richter couldn't go back to a normal life after saving the world from the Prince of Darkness and he wants Dracula back so he can be the hero again. Luckily he's just been brainwashed into thinking this, although you can get a Non-Standard Game Over by killing him.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Making Alucard eat a peanut can be like this, since unlike other restoratives, they only work a specific way. Instead of dropping the food on the ground to be (re)collected, Alucard flicks a peanut up into the air, and you have to catch it in his mouth.
  • Space-Filling Path: Zigzagging corridors, long vertical shafts... generally a case of size for the sake of size.
  • Special Attack: Several weapons have alternate attacks, either activated with back-forward-attack or down-down/forward-forward attack, such as the Shield Rod's powers and the Fist of Tulkas' special moves. Sometimes they're simply more powerful, other times they have interesting or useful side effects.
  • Speed Echoes: Whatever the vampiric Alucard does, afterimages follow.
  • Speed Run:
    • It's quite possible to finish Richter mode in less than ten minutes. After the game is beaten once with Alucard, a Time Attack section appears in his menu, allowing the player to see how long it took them to reach the final save room and clear the game.
    • Thanks to tricks such as arbitrary code execution, it's currently possible to trigger the ending with Alucard in the Long Library. The current world record for gliched runs using this is just over eight minutes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The game can't quite decide between American 's' and British 'c' spellings in some areas, leading to the spelling "Reverce" in some cases.
  • Spikes of Doom: A few rooms are coated with dangerous spikes. With the Spike Breaker armor, you can render them harmless by destroying any spikes you touch. This is necessary to get through a necessary hallway (aside from glitching).
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: There's a few polygon backgrounds or objects, most notably the save points, doors, book enemies, and the clock tower before Dracula.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison (character loses lots of strength and defense), Curse (character is unable to attack or defend, they just stagger), and Stone (character is petrified, highly vulnerable to all forms of damage, and they must wriggle free).
  • Start X to Stop X: This is essentially Shaft's plan all along. Being tired of Vampire Hunters continuously hunting Dracula, he figured the best way to stop them is to mind control the strongest one ever, Richter, and use his own holy power against other hunters, thereby making sure Dracula would never be defeated again. Has shades of Xanatos Gambit; even if Richter Belmont is defeated, as Alucard does in the bad endings, the most troublesome hunting family, the Belmonts, is no more.
  • Stationary Boss: Beelzebub, a stationary, giant rotting corpse on hooks that attacks with flies and maggots.
  • Summon Magic: The Power of Sire item summons an image of Vlad Tepes Dracula (the real Dracula) to damage enemies.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Alucard, being half-vampire and all, until he obtains the Holy Symbol. After which, in a series' first, the player character can freely explore water without sustaining any damage. Note that in this particular game water doesn't kill you outright, even if you don't have the symbol—you will take a lot of damage but it's still possible to jump out. One of the lesser used tropes of vampire weaknesses is their inability to cross running water under their own power, which this weakness is a reference to, though the Holy Symbol being a snorkel is a fun sight gag.
  • Super Smoke: A relic grants Alucard a skill to momentarily to turn into mist, which can be used to get through bars and avoid attacks. This is a nod to old legends which state that vampires can turn into mist.
  • Sword Lines: Featured. One sword's line even has the word "verboten" (German for "forbidden") written on it.
  • Talking Weapon: Sword Familiar, when not equipped, shouts victoriously and taunts enemies (and Alucard himself, at lower levels).
  • A Taste of Power: At the beginning of the game, you have a ridiculously powerful suit of armor and a sword that makes short work of every enemy, along with strong accessories. However, when you run into Death, he uses his magic to make all of it go away... unless you deliberately glitch the cutscene to keep your equipment (which is possible on some platforms). Otherwise, Alucard can retrieve the items in the second half of the game.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Five of them in each castle. You can teleport to the second upon finding the first (per castle), but the rest can only be accessed after you've reached them normally. There is one more in Saturn version, at an additional area.
  • This Cannot Be!: Said by Dracula himself, word for word.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Alucard confronts a succubus who has been imitating his dead mother just to mess with his head, and conveys his intentions rather stoically before an inevitable boss fight:
    Alucard: Demon. Death is too good for you.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: In the introductory battle, Richter throws down a challenge to Dracula, shouting out all the reasons why the vampire lord is unfit to rule the world. Dracula responds by throwing down his wine glass and a hearty "Have at you!" and the battle begins.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The Runesword and the Heaven Sword, two swords thrown forward instead of swung.
  • Time Keeps On Ticking: Alucard's initial stats depend on, among other things, how fast you beat the opening battle with Richter. However, the timer keeps going while Richter and Dracula are talking, and you cannot skip this conversation unless you have already beaten the game once. Hence, it is impossible to get the best initial stats unless you are doing a replay.
  • Time Skip: It has been five years since Rondo of Blood. It has mostly affected Maria Renard, who has become more mature.
  • Time Stands Still: The Stopwatch subweapon. It's oddly selective, though—some enemies will be frozen, some will merely slow down, and some (including most bosses) are entirely unaffected.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The game has many number of powerful, one-shot items that most players will hang onto "until the right time". But as the game is relatively easy compared to later Metroidvania-style games (and possesses what many consider the easiest Dracula fight in the series), that time will never come. On the second or later playthrough of the game, it is possible to obtain an item called the Duplicator, making those single-use items infinitely reusable.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Alucard in Dracula's Curse isn't exactly the most stellar playable character due to his huge hitbox, awkward method of combat and his greatest forte is becoming a bat and flying. Here, he's a master of almost every weapons to become a super powerful being, and also establishes himself as one of the most powerful characters in the Castlevania-verse.
  • Took a Shortcut: Most of the conversations with Maria take place in rooms she really should not have been able to access before you.
  • Tragic Bigot: Played straight and also defied. Dracula certainly winds up hating the humans for burning Lisa at the stake, but Alucard was there when they killed her, and her last words made sure that he at least would not go down the same path:
    Do not hate the humans. If you cannot live with them, at least do them no harm. For theirs is already a hard lot.
  • Transgender: An example of the term "newhalf" (a Japanese slang word that means a transgender female) appearing in videogames is the Frozen Half, an ice witch described as such.
  • Trick Boss: In one room in the Underground Caverns, you fight a single snake-like creature. It goes down rather easily. In the next couple of rooms, you realise it is just one of several, all attached to Scylla, the actual boss.
  • True Final Boss: Dracula, who resides at the end of the Inverted Castle.
  • Turns Red: The zombie doppelgängers imitating Trevor, Grant, and Sypha from Dracula's Curse all gain new or stronger attacks when one of their allies fall in battle. Sypha even gains the ability to re-revive Trevor, albeit as a shambling, mostly-dead shell.

    U - Z 
  • Underground Level: Underground Caverns, Abandoned Mines, and Catacombs. The Saturn version also has the Underground Garden.
  • Ungrateful Townsfolk: As revealed in the backstory, just when Dracula appears to have redeemed himself from the whole Vlad the Impaler bit via The Power of Love, some jackasses from a nearby village burn his beautiful wife alive. For being a healer. A Despair Event Horizon crossing later, and an Omnicidal Maniac was born.
  • Unique Enemy: Absolutely loads. Often more than one of them appear, just that they only ever appear in a single room in the entire game. There's the dodo that runs when you go into the room, the discus lord that only appears in a single room in the Catacombs, the giant blue hammer enemy (his kin appear again, he doesn't), the mudmen only appearing in the Lesser Demon boss fight, the Alura Une, the slimes (particularly the giant one), Yorick, and more. Some enemies appear to be this, but then later in the game they become more numerous as you become stronger to deal with them (notably the demon who is accidentally called "Ctulhu"). According to Yahtzee, the philosophy behind the enemy designs seems to be, "Every time you palette swap, A BABY DIES".
  • Unlucky Thirteen: When returning to the clock room after equipping the gold and silver rings, the clock hands spin around until they both point downwards. The clock ominously chimes thirteen times before the floor opens up. In the Inverted Castle, collect all five parts of Dracula's body and enter this room to make the clock strike thirteen and open the floor (now the ceiling), granting access to the final battle.
  • Useless Item:
    • The game has plenty of weapons with obscure bonuses, one of which (the Were-Bane) gives bonuses against Were-Beasts. Unfortunately there's only one Were-creature in the game (the Werewolf) and although a mini-boss originally, by the time you get this weapon is encountered as just as a random grunt in one specific area and is not much of a challenge as you're now a much higher level, and there's plenty of weapons with much higher base damage that eclipse the bonus you'd get anyway. On top of this, though, the sword is glitched, in that it does absolutely zero extra damage to them anyway! Mind you, the sword isn't /completely/ useless, as it's QCF+Attack move is a flurry of thrusts in the same vein as the Rapier's, and Were-Bane is stronger than the Rapier. It makes for a good off-hand weapon if you decide to forgo two-handed weapons and shields.
    • There are around a dozen one-handed swords which do not have any special bonuses and are just incrementally more powerful versions of previous one-handed swords you find. Since there are so many weapons that offer more than raw attack power, it's unlikely you'll ever want to use them in any practical situation.
    • Most throwing/bomb items that aren't Too Awesome to Use are this.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Dark Metamorphosis, which allows our hero to heal with the blood shed by enemies... of course, most things, exploding into flames on death and dying in one hit, or being animated armor or skeletons or whatever else, don't bleed; the most powerful early-game weapons (Jewel Knuckles and spells) won't draw blood from any enemy.
    • An early-acquired weapon, the Red Rust, will curse enemies (preventing them from attacking). Of course, it's slower and weaker than punching with fists, has a random chance of failing to swing on Alucard's part, and only affects the two Doppelganger boss enemies in the game.
  • Vendor Trash: There's an array of different jewels, which have no use aside from selling them to the Librarian for cash. In the Saturn version, equipping jewels alongside the Jewel Sword increases its attack power to high levels, but the Jewel Sword is pretty slow, so it's not as useful as it could be.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Inverted Castle.
  • Victory Is Boring: Richter's reasoning for becoming lord of the castle was that he wanted to duel Dracula for all eternity. That's what Shaft told him to say.
  • Video Game Dashing:
    • The backdash is available from the start, letting Alucard quickly scoot backwards to dodge attacks.
    • Richter has a traditional double-tap running input.
  • Video Game Flight: True to his vampire heritage, Alucard can fly by transforming into a bat. This slowly uses mana, and you can only attack if you've collected the Fire of Bat powerup. The mist form can also be upgraded to grant infinite, invincible flight, but it uses mana much more quickly than the bat.
  • Video Game Sliding: Although Alucard lacks this ability, Richter Belmont has an extremely fast sliding maneuver. Maria Renard also has a slide, although she's only playable in the Sega Saturn version, and the Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles version on the Playstation Portable.
  • Villain Decay: Slogra and Gaibon were tough bosses in Super Castlevania IV, now they are the weak duo for the first boss battle.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Some early bosses, such as Slogra, Gaibon, Werewolf, and Minotaur, are encountered later in the game, but with the same stats as before, and are considered normal, respawning enemies. Of course, with your stronger weapons and abilities, they are not nearly as difficult. Even when you're fighting as many as four of them in the same room.
  • Villain Pedigree: When the player gets to the endgame levels and is vastly more powerful, many of the regular mobs are actually the bosses from the first castle.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Alucard's speedy backdash to get through the game. Would you backstep through an entire castle full of things trying to kill you?
  • Violence Is the Only Option: What starts as a theological/philosophical debate in the prologue (this being more prominent in the Japanese version) ends in a fight to the death.
  • Visible Silence: Alucard often goes "........." in his dialogue. Either he's completely silent or takes a while to say something.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Alucard can turn into a bat, a wolf and mist. The Axe Armor transformation seems to be unexpected, though.
  • The War Sequence: The Granfaloon boss has a seemingly infinite number of animated corpses attack you (they do eventually run out) while a horrific monster, with a shell composed of said corpses, shoots beams at you.
  • We Will Meet Again: Death says this to Alucard at the end of their confrontation at the castle entrance. Indeed they do, but only if you unlock the second half of the game by freeing Richter from his Brainwashed and Crazy state.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: If Alucard can reach the high platform on the wall behind Galamoth quickly enough, he can easily punch him in the face until he dies.
  • Weird Moon: The moon appears crescent when viewed from the Clock Tower, full when viewed from the outer wall and Olrox's Quarters, and full with a blood red tint when viewed from the castle keep. In all but Olrox's Quarters, the moon is also terrifyingly huge. And yet, all of these locations are a short walk from each other, with the Outer Wall, Clock Tower, and Castle Keep all being right next door.
  • What Does This Button Do?: In one area of the castle there's a room with a switch that's out of reach. Once you obtain the Devil familiar, head back to that room. The Demon is curious:
    Devil: Hmmm... a switch! Why don't I press it and see...
  • When Trees Attack: Trees with creepily grinning faces appear in the Saturn version's Underground Garden level, which attack you with fruits, which also have faces.
  • Who Needs Their Whole Body?: When a Flying Zombie takes enough damage, they are cut in half horizontally and the separates start acting invidually.
  • Wind from Beneath My Wings: The Darkwing Bat attacks like this, flapping its wings to fling Alucard into walls.
  • With This Herring: Subverted. Your character starts out as a level 1 character, but is wearing some of the best equipment available in the game... until Death steals it all from you and scatters it around the game map. One wonders why he doesn't bother to do so again when they re-encounter one another later in the game...
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Dracula is turned into one by this game, showing he wasn't always evil and even realizes how hopeless his life is.
  • World of Ham: There's maybe one scene in the entire game where the characters aren't taking a bite out of Castlevania. Richter is incapable of even thinking to himself without hamming it up. And then, there's Dracula. There's a reason he has an Evil Is Hammy entry to himself on this page, even when compared to everyone else.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Playable Maria will show her skeleton whenever she's electrocuted.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Richter's portrait, thanks to the Art Shift from anime-esque Rondo of Blood to more gothic Symphony.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Alucard has to find the Cube of Zoe relic in order to... find items from destroyed candles.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Averted. Even before you have officially learned any of Alucard's spells, inputing the button command will perform it and even add it to your technique menu for you instead of having to buy the respective spell scrolls from the Librarian.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: "What is a man", rhetorically asks Dracula. His answer is not just a little pile of secrets, but a miserable little pile of secrets.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: After Richter is defeated, Dracula has still to be found in the Inverted Castle. Notably, the game averts Interface Spoiler by having the normal castle's exploration percentage add up to 100%, tricking completionist players into thinking they're near the end of the game. Completing both castles yields a percentage of just a little over 200%.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Part of Maria's outfit as an adult is a pair of over-knee-high stockings.

No, this cannot be! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!! Impossible! Not this time! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!
 
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Beelzebub

Beelzebub (originally named Beezelbub in-game, but not in the descriptions) is a boss in the Castlevania series. He is the "Lord of flies".

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