1. OCAU Merchandise is available! Check out our 20th Anniversary Mugs, Classic Logo Shirts and much more! Discussion in this thread.
    Dismiss Notice

Retro Let's Play: "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night" (1997)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Jun 1, 2022.

  1. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    MiSTer-dev have admitted (after much user complaining) that calling something "auto" and not having it be 100% automatic is probably a bad thing.

    Problem is the MiSTer menu itself has no way of doing something until you bring the menu up. It's not like a service running in the background. But they should rename that "auto" feature to something more blatant, like "flush to disk on menu open" or whatever.

    Even then, I make sure before I power off my MiSTer to hit the "save to disk" button to be sure to be sure.
     
  2. Trizae

    Trizae Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,778
    Location:
    Melbourne
    mesaoz

    With this specific record its actually kind of iconic whether it grates your ear drums or not there are two specific encounters where this plays but in game you wouldn't hear it too long either way. Even in the current Netflix anime series based on Castlevania as a whole but Symphony of the night specifically there are actually call backs to both encounters and a bit of this song specifically for those with keen eyes and ears.


    This used to get heavily debated even at recess! :lol:

    Funny to think that the person singing this would go one to make one of the best James Bond themes(that's not a james bond record) with the same team from Symphony of the Night for Metal Gear Solid 3 :)

    OG:


    PS. Just got to 175.0% of my SOTN Castlevania: Requim playthrough so good to be back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
  3. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Not bad.

    Here's my most recent run through. Still a fair bit more to find before I get to the maximum 200.6% possible.

    FP33FCWaMAAeSOo.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
    Trizae likes this.
  4. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    Here I am on my first playthrough thinking "percent complete" means it goes up to 100.
     
    elvis likes this.
  5. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    8,387
    Location:
    South East QLD
    You'll realise why soon enough :)
     
    elvis likes this.
  6. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Bit of a spoiler there on my behalf. I was going to hold off talking about it until later in the month, but here we are. :)
     
  7. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    It's a common enough trope to go above 100% in games since, but even in the 90s I'd be suspicious of why they fleshed out Belmont's character with unique mechanics just to use him in the intro...
     
  8. Trizae

    Trizae Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,778
    Location:
    Melbourne
    So for those who are enjoying or thinking about enjoying Symphony of the Night this was just announced this morning.



    for the unbeknownst basically featuring 'that blue guy' who you play for 2 seconds in SOTN or is in Super Smash Bros Ultimate and that blonde chick who you meet in game in Symphony of the night. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
    MUTMAN and elvis like this.
  9. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Definitely time accurate for Richter Belmont as per the games timeline.

    Rondo of Blood (the direct prequel to SOTN) is set in 1792. SOTN is set in 1797. And the French Revolution was 1789-1799.

    Also the title, "Castlevania: Nocturne", is definitely a hint towards the more literal English translation of SOTN's Japanese title: "Demon Castle Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight".

    Sounds like it'll cover the events of these two games. The previous animated TV series was more or less the events of Castlevania III set in 1476, at the end of which Alucard goes into a "deep slumber" for 300+ years, only to awaken when things go bad just before SOTN.

    I'm not gonna lie, a 300 year nap sounds pretty awesome.
     
    MUTMAN and Trizae like this.
  10. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    This game is pretty neat, I still can't get over how good the art is. The subtle 3D in the backgrounds is awesome. I have spent a bunch of time running around trying to find stuff fruitlessly, but at least that adds experience points.

    I've found all three forms, so now I'm running around trying to get to all the places I couldn't before.

    Power of Wolf is amazing!

    One question, sometimes in a fight (I think when I get hit?) a grey gear pops up on the screen, spinning and dripping blue stuff. What is that?
     
    elvis and Trizae like this.
  11. Trizae

    Trizae Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,778
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Glad you're enjoying your Journey and appreciating it it's so so good!

    I can't say much about the forms you've found so far but enjoy you're doing it right

    As for the 'grey blue thing dripping'

    I gather this is what you're talking about?

    shield rod special.gif

    You're discovering all of the things :p but that's the 'Shield rod special' you do it by pressing back forward and Square. Alot of items gear you pick up have different builds and hidden abilities its as much an RPG as it is an action/adventure platformer? ;)

    Keep going at your own pace enjoy experiment and more importantly have fun :)
     
    MUTMAN likes this.
  12. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    Ahh that's it, thanks - I also discovered the horse thing on the shield rod and a couple of other moves.

    No I won't! I killed the final boss, sat through the end credits, and the worst ending theme ever. I was 95% at my last save, I'm looking up what I missed.
     
    elvis and Trizae like this.
  13. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    8,387
    Location:
    South East QLD
    You might have done the bad (Richter) ending? Or just missed a lot of the map
     
  14. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Items you'll need:
    You'll need to find the gold and silver rings, and from there the holy glasses.

    Once you have the glasses, wear them while fighting the "last" boss to see the truth.
     
    Trizae likes this.
  15. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    I wouldn't say it's that bad if it means there's no more English voice acting :lol:

    I spent a lot of time uncovering the map, the main part I could see but couldn't see how to get through was the right side of where you first meet Maria. There was also a door in the tower section near the end that was sealed whenever I went there, I suspect that relates to a hint from when I last met Maria. I'll spend a bit more time running around before looking up complete spoilers.
     
  16. Trizae

    Trizae Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,778
    Location:
    Melbourne
    also Grant with what elvis has said pay attention to that also

    with the items he mentioned explore the clock room a bit more and bring a stop watch sub item to that room also :)
     
    elvis likes this.
  17. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    So some perspective on this game, and games in general of this era. This is a pre-Internet game. I want people to really, really consider what that means.

    Gamers love to piss and moan about how games aren't long enough. It's a national sport for most of them. Developers know this, and there are tonnes of ways to lengthen the play time of a game artificially just to satisfy people who can't bare the idea of spending a tenth as much on their hourly entertainment as going to the movies. This isn't new. It was as prevalent in 1997 as it is today in 2022, and even the most outstanding of video games would see a point or two knocked off their magazine review scores if they weren't considered long enough in pure wall-clock gameplay time, regardless if it meant it actually added something positive to the game or not.

    In a pre-Internet era, this "artificial play time extension" was done through game secrets. These needed to be as obscure and as difficult as possible, and often with the only way to beat the games being you had to buy a magazine where the editors "discovered" these secrets (pro tip: nobody discovered anything - companies would give the editors the information to print as "leaks", and it all felt really exciting to the kiddies who read these "trade secrets").

    Konami in particular, and Castlevania in particular, are packed full of these. Consider the famous "Konami code", which nobody in their right mind discovered by accident. But Castlevania's wall to wall secret items, secret bosses, inside jokes, hidden endings, etc, etc - no mere mortal can play these games and discover it all.

    In the absence of both the Internet and social media, magazines and the school playground / office watercooler were the places people traded these tidbits of secret information. And it was a way to build community hype around a game, and extend the gameplay past "day one" so that people didn't feel ripped off buying a game that can be finished in under 10 hours (non-speedrunner finished, not "I spent 10 years playing nothing but this one game learning every glitch by heart to do it in 43 minutes" finished).

    With all of that in mind, in 2022 if you're a regular person with a regular job, regular hobbies, perhaps family or pets and associated obligations, etc, this is cute, but ain't nobody got time fo dat. I whole-heartedly recommend digging about in-game as long as you can bare, but if the game becomes frustrating, there is zero shame or even harm in looking up the answer.

    I've played this game a dozen times, and I still have this site bookmarked when I play it today:

    https://castlevania.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Symphony_of_the_Night_Items

    Normally even googling where you're stuck is enough to give you just the next step you need without spoiling the entire game. And again, this isn't 1997 and we're no longer in a position where we own 4 video games and are happy to just noodle about for hours with them on repeat. As much as I also loathe the short-attention-span gamer I've become, I still don't find any less joy in uncovering the secrets of these old games at a faster pace than was expected a quarter of a century ago.

    And at the same time, don't feel bad when you read some old-timer who has played the game 20 times and gives you the "lol it's so easy how could you not?" speech. They've completely forgotten what their first time through with this game was like, and I can guarantee you they struggled just the same back then. Only difference is they've forgotten that previous struggle now on their 21st play through. :)

    This is still a truly excellent game. Not perfect, because no game is. But despite the quirks of the video game market from a quarter of a century ago, there's still a lot of fun on offer, even if you need a wiki page open for 10% of it. :)
     
    MUTMAN and Trizae like this.
  18. CRTified

    CRTified Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2021
    Messages:
    507
    The above mirrors some of my thoughts too.

    The gulf between players who know this game (often from childhood, or at least, much closer to it than we are now) and have all the insider info, and those who are fresh to it (and are therefore probably only discovering half of the game's total playload), reminds me of my recent years' dabbling with Wonder Boy in Monster Land (SMS).

    In that game, there are hundreds of hidden coins and items, which are (initially) found by ('randomly') jumping at the correct spots. When I played the game as a kid, I (eventually, after many dozens of hours childhood play) knew where all of those secrets were. Playing the game would be a memory map of hidden locations and jump spots, casually run through with barely a thought.

    Then I had a several decade gap, and came back to the game as an adult. My long term memory remembers where about 1/10 of those hidden jump spots are.If I was playing for the first time, I wouldn't even know they existed. I don't have childhood's endless hours available to play the game repeatedly, doing test jumps on every pixel. And yet I still have that feeling, knowing that (without a lot of effort - aka "it's hard") I'm missing a lot.

    Often when people say old games are hard, they don't mean they're difficult. They mean it's hard because they're an adult with annoying responsibilities trying to extract the best experience possible in a limited available time, from something whose full experience (in the childhood sense) can only truly be had at leisure over a long period of time.
     
    fredhoon, MUTMAN and elvis like this.
  19. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    46,813
    Location:
    Brisbane
    What's fascinating for me when it comes to "old games" is seeing the progression to today of how managing gamers as an audience has changed.

    Gamers still get the shits up with short games. You only need to spend a minute on a gaming section of any forum or social media site, and get bombarded with complaints about games "not being worth the money" if they're too short. The problem is this "intentionally obtuse puzzles" stuff you get in games like SOTN drives people away from modern titles, so developers have learned new tricks.

    Today, it's either task padding (e.g.: for no reason at all you need to do 100 side quests, or fight pits full of respawning enemies in a battle test, etc), collect-em-ups (platinum trophy addiction), or just making it a boss rush full of enemies with enormous life bars that take hours to kill each (soulslike says hi).

    We've just replaced one kind of obtuse game with another. Only difference is the endorphin hits are slightly more spread out so you get a little bit at a time now, instead of an all-or-nothing approach like older games. Actual video game playing hasn't changed, the only thing that changed was developers got smarter about managing additive personality types, which are the bulk of gamers.

    And again, sometimes these work so well, they spawn a thousand clones. "Metroidvania" was the old formula. Today it's "soulslike". And for extra bonus points, if you're an indie developer in 2022, make sure you tag your video game the instantly winning combo of "metroidvania soulslike" to really get the sales numbers. :)

    Again, part of why I like old games is going back and seeing this progression. SOTN is an important game. Not because it's the best game. Not because it was the first of its kind. But because you can see it was a key stepping stone as not just a genre, but a method of managing players. Where it failed was it debuted at a time when 3D was all the rage, and lost a huge chunk of its audience who were too graphics-obsessed to remember why they actually played video games instead of just going to the movies. But again, there's an important slice of history here, and one that's vital to understanding so much about video games and their players.
     
    MUTMAN and Trizae like this.
  20. Grant

    Grant Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Messages:
    1,907
    Location:
    Wollongong
    Despite the cynicism, remember that "sit-down" games are now less than half of the total market - the majority being mobile gacha service games, that use a bunch of different addiction tactics to keep people grinding and engaged.

    Pre-Internet, pay-to-win involved (from the SotN manual):

    Screenshot from 2022-06-12 09-32-34.png

    Pre touch tone, I guess it was all coins into arcade machines.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: