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Author Topic: Symphony of the Night Questions and General Advice  (Read 252 times)
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NetGuy
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« on: May 04, 2013, 03:00:45 PM »

I was a gigantic Castlevania fan in NES/SNES days, but stopped after IV. But courtesy of the recent XBLA sale, I'm just now playing through Symphony of the Night for the first time.

I'm about 6 hours in and... WOW! It's CLEARLY awesome and I'm dumb for not having played it sooner, it's right up my ally. But there's a lot going on in this game that isn't explained and I'm just totally lost. Spells, faeries, curses, spells, tons of items, armor and weapons that I have no clue what they do, lots of systems and RPGish elements, vendors... I'm a little lost.

I've been skimming a few FAQs but they're not providing much clarity, they're either way too vague or assume a level of knowledge and familiarity with the game that I just don't have, so I'm hoping you guys can give me some better information.

To start, a few specific questions:
- How do I use items in my inventory? So far the only method I've found is to equip the item in a hand, exit the menu, use it, re-enter the menu and re-equip my weapons.
- What do these items do? Is there a good place to figure out what items are worthwhile and to tell me in what situations I should be using them?
- What weapons and armor are good? It doesn't seem like I can just go by the stats, since things like weapon speed and very ill defined special properties of this stuff plays a HUGE part. Right now I'm using the combat knife, the icebrand sword and diamond plate.
- What spells should I be using? (if any)
- What familar(s) should I be using? I use the healing faerie mostly now. I also have the demon at the moment.
- What should I be doing at the vendor(s)? I've only found one and I think I've only visited him once. I'm not even sure I could find him again... Is it worthwhile to be selling stuff? Is the stuff he has for sale worth buying? Any recommendations on what to pick up?

More generally...
- Is there a recommended FAQ that gives me a good, well organized dissemination of this information?
- Is there any general advice you can give me?
- I'd like to explore the GBA and DS Castlevania's after I "grow up" on this one, will this give me a the skillset I need for those? Or will I have another learning curve for those games?

Finally...
- How did anyone get through this game before the days of FAQs?!?!?
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 03:57:07 PM »

I'd love to help, but strange as it may sound, Symphony of the Night is one of the "Metroidvania" style games that I just cannot get into.  I even retried it after getting deep into the Nintendo DS releases but something about it just doesn't hook me like other people.

Hopefully others are able to help, though.  74 posts since 2004?  Yikes! eek

-Autistic Angel
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davidrobots
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 10:57:44 PM »

Holy crap. Welcome to the world of Metroidvanias! It's probably my favorite subgenre of 2D platformer (and probably favorite genre of all). Something about the myriad powers, the backtracking that opens up new areas of the map, the quest to get 100%...

Anyway, before I lose my train of thought, I figured I'd help out a bit. It's been a while since I played so I'll do what I can.

Quote
- How do I use items in my inventory? So far the only method I've found is to equip the item in a hand, exit the menu, use it, re-enter the menu and re-equip my weapons.

As far as I know, yes. It's kind of a pain in the ass (as future Metroidvania games have evolved).

Quote
- What do these items do? Is there a good place to figure out what items are worthwhile and to tell me in what situations I should be using them?

They do all kinds of stuff. Some heal, some are equippable, some give you access to other areas. You'll just have to experiment and find out!

Or, check out this: http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/sotnweapons.htm

Quote
- What weapons and armor are good? It doesn't seem like I can just go by the stats, since things like weapon speed and very ill defined special properties of this stuff plays a HUGE part. Right now I'm using the combat knife, the icebrand sword and diamond plate.

Pick what suits your playstyle. Do you like to hit hard? Or do quick, small attacks work better? And while defense and attack are great, sometimes the attack animations or stat boosts of other items are better. You'll just have to experiment.

Quote
- What spells should I be using? (if any)

Here are a list of spells you can use: http://www.finalfantasykingdom.net/sotnspells.php

Again -- experiment. It's easy to get MP back, so just figure out what works for you.

Quote
- What familar(s) should I be using? I use the healing faerie mostly now. I also have the demon at the moment.

The faerie is good for defense, and as it levels up, it'll find hidden areas of the map for you. But the best familiar you'll get is the Sword. You'll see. biggrin

Quote
- What should I be doing at the vendor(s)? I've only found one and I think I've only visited him once. I'm not even sure I could find him again... Is it worthwhile to be selling stuff? Is the stuff he has for sale worth buying? Any recommendations on what to pick up?

Typically, the vendors are kind of pointless, though you'll find some worthwhile special items there -- new spells, a castle map, that sort of thing. Buy all the special stuff when you get the money for it, and don't bother selling stuff -- you'll find plenty of money as you go.

Quote
- Is there a recommended FAQ that gives me a good, well organized dissemination of this information?

Those links I've posted have some good info. GameFAQs is also helpful.

Quote
- Is there any general advice you can give me?

Explore. Remember where certain item gates are -- places that are obviously blocked off -- and try to return when you can. Use teleportation to get around easier. Don't worry so much about grinding -- levels will come as you explore and proceed with the plot.

Worry first about beating the game. You won't get the true ending. Once you've "beaten" it, you can jump back in and try to explore that castle for 100% completion. Don't be afraid to look online for a guide to get the secret items you need to unlock the SECOND HALF of the game. Yeah -- beating it the first time at 100% isn't the end.

Quote
- I'd like to explore the GBA and DS Castlevania's after I "grow up" on this one, will this give me a the skillset I need for those? Or will I have another learning curve for those games?

Absolutely. The GBA/DS games are largely similar to this in concept, with a few different gameplay tweaks here and there to change things up. Honestly, this is probably the hardest one out of all of them (they have varying degrees of difficulty, but are generally easier than Symphony). If you can get 200% in this game, you'll be able to tackle the other ones no sweat.

Also, someone made this awesome tumblr: http://metroidvanias.tumblr.com/

You'll find Metroidvanias of all stripes -- free ones, paid ones, console ones, PC ones, combat heavy ones, exploration based ones... you've entered into a rabbit hole, and I doubt you'll want to crawl out. biggrin

Quote
- How did anyone get through this game before the days of FAQs?!?!?
Dude, I have no clue.

Anyway, hope that helps! Enjoy! Symphony of the Night has its quirks, but it's a real trip, and I wish I could go back and explore it for the first time again.
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David Roberts
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NetGuy
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 01:11:55 AM »

Lot of good info there!

I have at least a passing familiarity with the Metroidvania genre, I've just never played SotN or any of the Castlevania iterations following it. 

That tumblr page is great, but a bit overwhelming... do you have any recommendations of games in this genre that are combat focused?  (In the vein of Dust an Elysian Tail, Shadow Complex, Guacamellee, Outland, etc... )
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davidrobots
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 01:43:10 AM »

Quote
That tumblr page is great, but a bit overwhelming... do you have any recommendations of games in this genre that are combat focused?  (In the vein of Dust an Elysian Tail, Shadow Complex, Guacamellee, Outland, etc... )

Cave Story and La Mulana are amazing.

Cave Story is a bit more of a classic Metroidvania platformer, complete with hidden endings (that you can only get by sequence breaking the game), tons of secrets, great 8-Bit style graphics and music, and a ton of heart. The most amazing thing? It's the product of one dude from Japan.

La Mulana is, on the other hand, much much more difficult. It's a masocore platformer with some incredibly difficult fights, and sections that damn near require writing down notes. It's like a side scrolling Indiana Jones -- but not just because it's got a guy with a fedora. You're actually uncovering hidden artifacts by scouring ruins for hidden information. It's difficulty might be a bit off putting, but it's a fun romp.

If you're looking for something a bit lighter, definitely try FEZ. It's more puzzley (no combat at all), but it's got a great aesthetic and the puzzles are pretty inventive.
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David Roberts
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