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Retro Game Club Discussion Thread - 05 - Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood [community]

The Castlevania franchise has a rich history and is dear to the heart of many gamers. For this retro game club, we chose to play Rondo of Blood, a game which had previously been denied to the North American audience and came out on the PC Engine (the Japanese equivalent of the unsuccessful Turbo Graphx CD). The game fetches over $100 on Ebay, but thanks to the Virtual Console we can all get it for $9 in all its untranslated, imported glory.

According to some, this game represents the pinnacle of the series. It does seem to take a few steps backward as it loses some moves from the SNES game that came before it, for instance the ability to swing the whip in other directions than right in front of you, but your character remains one of the more agile Belmonts, being able to jump on and off stairs and other feats like that.

The most striking improvement, however, is the game's non-linearity. You may fall into pits in this game, but rather than fall to your death, you will simply fall to a lower level, an alternate course, often with its own boss waiting for you at the end. Some paths are easier than others, so choose wisely.

You also have to, over the course of the game, save three damsels in distress, trapped inside Dracula's Castle. I have to assume this is in order to get a better ending, although... there might be more to it...

The game offers beautiful 16 bit graphics and a fantastic soundtrack. We are in for a treat as apparently, the VC version of the game is one of the best ways to experience it (though PSP owners can also follow along). According to 1up: "The emulation errors that plagued VC's earliest TurboGrafx-16 releases are gone, so this version of the game is colorful, crisp, pixel-perfect, and sounds great. The PSP port was frankly lousy, with muddy color and off-kilter sound. Even the original PC Engine version looks crummy on an HDTV. But here on Virtual Console, it looks and sounds and plays perfectly. This is the definitive edition of the game, or as close to one as we'll ever see."

Why not add Rondo of Blood to your collection, and indicate you are currently playing it? And don't forget to rate it when you're done!

List of Awesome
A list paying tribute to all the brave warriors who play the game to completion as Richter

@CPA Wei

List of Awesomer
To get on this list, finish the game with a 100% save file!


List of Awesomest
Attempt a high score and post it!

GameDadGrant - 113,220
Guillaume - 110,640
roykoopa64 - 104,000

Memorable quotes

By the way, you can dodge the stage 3 boss's final attack with a well-timed backflip. I did it earlier today, and it was super manly.

URL to share (right click and copy)
10/08/11, 09:48    Edited: 10/27/11, 05:06
I used normal style. I toyed with Classic a bit, but it doesnít feel like the level design was made for it at all. One piece of evidence: in Rondo of Blood, you can pretty much never hit your head on the ceiling, youíll always go through to accommodate the arc of your jumps. In Rebirth, you donít go through, and many small openings become very frustrating in classic mode.

So yeah. Itís a nice novelty, but itís not the way the game is intended to be played.

The final form... I would tell you to persevere. There is one thing that took me entirely too long to figure out, and itís that after a certain point, hitting the face doesnít do damage anymore, you HAVE to hit the eyes. So you gotta wait for those platforms to spring up, and at that point I unload the crosses on him.

Also, something not everyone knows: while you canít save, you CAN start back to a level youíve beaten already. Just hold right on the controller at the Start/Options screen. It will take you to the level selection screen.
10/24/11, 16:43   
Edited: 10/24/11, 20:05
Well, I've made it to Stage 7 on Rondo of Blood. I guess I'm taking my time here compared to everyone else, but I'm really savoring it, too. This has really been a great Castlevania experience and much better than I expected.

For some reason, Shaft's bat form kept giving me problems, not because it was hard, but because I kept trying to defeat it in a hurry without wasting any items. I'd get hit more times than I should've and that hobbled me for the rest of the Rush. My fault, though. Impatience. Does that every happen to you guys? Something perfectly easy that you continually botch because you're in a hurry?
10/24/11, 18:58   

I'm pretty sure that's what gets everyone in 99% of Boss rushes: we get impatient at the early bosses we think we've mastered, get careless, lose health, and get to the "actual hard part" with insufficient health points.

I like boss rushes usually. They get a bad rep, but when done well, they present a fair and satisfying challenge.
10/24/11, 19:05   
Guillaume said:
The final form... I would tell you to persevere. There is one thing that took me entirely too long to figure out, and itís that after a certain point, @kriswright.

That's weird, you used the spoiler tag, but used ('spoiler') instead of ('spoil'), thus creating empty space in your post...
(EDIT: And I have no idea why it says @kriswright in the quote...)


Yeah, impatience can be a problem, you just have to fight the impatience as best you can (and the desire to blast your way as quickly as possible through the 'easy' portions of the boss rush). I feel this really forces you to master the boss patterns and their 'tells' such that you can't rely on brute force and luck alone (as may have been possible in single boss encounters).

The best part of this boss rush is that there is a checkpoint. The best thing to do is make it to the last part of the Shaft battle with as many lives possible (where he fights you directly, no more monster summons). If you die at this point, when you step back in the room, you will fight that form and skip the other monsters.
10/24/11, 20:01   
Edited: 10/24/11, 20:03
Weird indeed. Must be the spirits prepping for Halloween.

10/24/11, 20:06   

At the point in ReBirth where you must hit the eyes of the final form of Dracula, after you hit the face enough times, the platforms will spring up. You don't have to wait for them, you can kind of "summon" them after enough hits are dealt out by Christopher.
10/24/11, 21:32   

But then they break down and you have to wait again.
10/24/11, 21:39   
@Guillaume, @roykoopa64 Thanks guys!

This Retro Game Club has sure got the nostalgia feelings flowing - for this game, the ole TG-16 (hence the new avatar) and last night I went and dug out some music I ordered when Dracula X (which is the only name I was aware it went under until recently) came out in the early 90's.
See below:

That CD is Dracula Battle Perfect Selection. A bunch of Castlevania tunes - Heavy Metal style.

Also this CD. It's a double CD collection of the Rondo of Blood OST and a bunch of songs from Mega Drive and X68000 (whatever that was) Castlevania tracks. One of my favorite tracks from this collection is Disc 2 Track 26 apparently titled "File Load BGM". I used to make up names for it when I started ripping CD's and putting them on my iPod because I couldn't read Japanese. File Load BGM.... really? That's the best they could do?

All I have at this point is the actual CD's. I believe the jewel cases and inserts bit the dust awhile back. It was like one ex-girlfriend, a new marriage, two apartments, a new house and two kids ago when I first bought them. Didn't play them too long or too loud because everyone else was asleep but they will be rockin' when my wife visits her sister on Thursday EDIT: That and the Lords of Thunder soundtrack. Epic.
10/25/11, 01:48   
Edited: 10/25/11, 03:15

I have a nice little collection of video game music CDs I have accumulated over the years, but I never knew about these CDs! That's pretty epic man.

Haha, I do the same thing when I transfer my import CDs to the ipod and they have all the Japanese characters on them.
10/25/11, 03:31   
roykoopa64 said:

I have a nice little collection of video game music CDs I have accumulated over the years, but I never knew about these CDs! That's pretty epic man.

Haha, I do the same thing when I transfer my import CDs to the ipod and they have all the Japanese characters on them.

Yeah I just ripped that CD again and put it on my iPhone. I didn't bother with changing the names. Kinda neat seeing the Japanese characters on screen

I just got through snagging one track off a PC Engine game I had back in the day (no idea what happened to it). It was called Sylphia. I looked into the price on Ebay. It was $219.00 for a used copy

I liked it.... but not THAT much.
10/26/11, 02:22   

Right, they break down again, but you can make them come back faster by using the method I described above. Less waiting, more fighting!
10/26/11, 17:36   
Put me on the awesome list! Finished this last night with 62%. I thought Dracula was pretty easy compared to some of the other bosses, in stage 6 and 7. It's a great game, really, and I'm definitely going to 100% it. I started last night and made my way to stage 2'. Where is Maria?
10/26/11, 20:03   
Beat Dracula last night with 92%.

I thought the second form was easier than the first. He's just too slow and predictable in his second form. Even the first form was pretty easy once I got the hang of the backflip. Up until that point I couldn't do it consistently but when the time came I finally can pull off that move just about every time .
10/27/11, 04:58   
I just want to say that we did a Retroactive thingy on Radio Free Nintendo last week, and I quoted T-Bun's "Super manly" comment, giving proper credit of course.

That is all.
06/08/16, 21:36   
Ah, memories. Also this thread reminds me I kind of want to play Dracula X to see how the versions are different. Of course it's been so long since we played Rondo that I'd have to go through that again as well...
06/08/16, 22:09   
Drac X, from the first few levels I've played, is kind of garbage. The level design is simply not adapted to Richter's "agility". It seems they shortened the invincibility window when you get hit, too, making the game far too frustrating.

I can only encourage you to go ahead and revisit Rondo of Blood, though. Still a great game!
06/08/16, 22:26   

Dracula X, garbage?!? No sir. Git gud.
06/08/16, 22:52   

Haha! I'm glad that feat and comment still live on in some form.
06/09/16, 04:50   


Stop liking bad games.
06/09/16, 18:20   
Edited: 06/09/16, 18:20

You stop being bad at games!
06/09/16, 22:17   
Edited: 06/09/16, 22:17
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