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Let's 100% Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow! Chapter 4

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 11:37 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated December 15th, 2018 at 8:59 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags lp#2

I sort of figured the game being so generous would lead up to something bad.

Chapter #4 - Death, Destroyer of Worlds
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Spoiler:



Let's get to the point.



Name: Witch
HP: 180
EXP: 75
Strength: Fire
Weakness: Weapons, Poison, Stone
Drops: Melon (common), Gabolg (rare)
Description: "She is so thrilled to become a witch."
Soul effect (): "Repels bullets with shield."
Soma's Thoughts: ("... I can't stop looking.")

Would you look at that, it's a full-grown Witch. They're a fair amount tougher than their younger counterparts, but still not enough to be a threat.



They can summon a shield to protect them from frontal attacks along with a giant fireball.

(That, and their pixellated breasts jump up and down. God damn you, Konami.)



... That was the first try. This is even better luck than the last episode!

The Witch soul summons a barrier in front of you that returns projectiles as beams of light. It's inexpensive (3 MP per second) and I also really need it for what we're going to fight ahead.



Name: Curly (should be Kali)
HP: 90
EXP: 67
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Weapon, Poison, Stone
Drops: Skull Necklace (common), Flame Necklace (rare)
Description: "A demon that uses all four of its arms to smash things."
Soul effect (): "Transforms into a demon that rushes at enemies."
Soma's Thoughts: ("This lady looks a lot like Durga. I'm not imagining this, right?")

Ah yes, that's one thing I forgot to mention about the Castlevania series: it absolutely loves recycling old enemies with a fresh coat of paint. There's not much Curly can do differently than Durga, but her soul is a different beast altogether.

She's one of the "transform into a giant monster" souls - the too-cool-to-use ones. I'll definitely be coming back to get her later.



Oh my god, look at that background.

This... is in the same area, right?



Name: Valkyrie
HP: 55
EXP: 80
Strength: Light
Weakness: Weapons, Dark, Curse, Poison
Drops: Partizan (rare), Iron Plate (common)
Description: "A female warrior with a pretty face and a wicked heart."
Soul effect (): "Slashes enemies with its sword."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Angels?! How did Dracula get ANGELS on his side?!")

Valkyries have one of the best souls in the game. It has a giant area of effect and hits for holy damage to the point where it outclasses everything we have. Alas, trying to get the soul is an issue because Valkyries are really stubborn.



Wow, you're serious. The Partizan is stronger than anything we have, but it has the same problems as the Lance.



REALLY?!

You're so nice that it scares me, game.



Name: Disc Armor
HP: 240
EXP: 150
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Electricity, Stone
Drops: Iron Plate (common)
Description: "An armored soldier possessing spinning razor-sharp discs."
Soul effect (): "Shreds enemies to bits with a spinning disc."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Alright, giant bladed yo-yos. This is certainly something that's okay.")

The Disc Armors are annoying. They shoot out their "disc" in a swooping motion over your head, and they can take some punishment before they go down. The soul is actually pretty neat because the disc Soma summons goes pretty far.

However, now that we have the Curly soul...







At the top of the tower is Undine's soul. This and Double Jump will allow us to get to places we couldn't before.

[A distant yell echoes in Soma's head]

: "... What the hell was that? Oh well, I'd better keep going."



On the left tower is the Hrunting sword, our new weapon of choice until we get something that's even better. It can poison and has a really cool slashing effect - it's like the sword is covered with thick purple miasma.





It's official: This game is now brown bread.



... Uh, hello?



Jesus, that was close.

Name: Kyoma Demon
HP: 220
EXP: 60
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Holy
Drops: Nothing
Description: "This demon leaps out of mirrors and attacks his prey."
Soul effect (): "Temporary invincibility."
Soma's Thoughts: ("You know... given how there's so many monster girls around here, I can't help but think this guy is the local creeper.")

The Kyoma Demon is a neat enemy. He hides in mirrors and jumps out to gut you, which is kind of frightening when you think about it. His soul sounds great, but it's really not: it's temporary invincibility but for 80 MP a pop, and it doesn't even last more than a few seconds.


Valkyrie soul in action. Notice how it nearly does double Kyoma Demon's health in one shot.



Soma is now our lord and savior Jesus Christ.



Name: Imp
HP: 52
EXP: 60
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Holy, Stone
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A tiny demon who loves mischief."
Soul effect (): "Summons "Imp" the familiar."
Soma's Thoughts: ("I've already learned my lesson with these little guys. I don't want any more near me.")

The Imp is annoyance made into physical form. It doesn't hurt you, but instead it tries to possess you. It'll make Soma keep attacking or make him run in a specific direction just to mess with you, but one hit should kill it.

Summoning familiars is a neat idea, but not really worth it considering we already have stuff that's stupidly overpowered.


Name: Lilith
HP: 220
EXP: 60
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Weapon
Drops: Pendant (rare)
Description: "Sucks away your soul as you dream. Appears as a beautiful woman."
Soul effect (): "Increases intelligence by 8."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Whoa! Hello! Full frontal assault, much?")

Lilith is a doozy. She can curse you by blowing a kiss, and can dash forward to jab you in the neck.

And yes, she is completely naked. It's a very good thing the pixel art isn't detailed, otherwise this would definitely have turned into an M-rated game. Intelligence is cool, but it's her pallate swap counterpart I'm more interested in...



[Current audio in-game: Top Floor]

... No way. We can't be at the end already!



Oh. You got me for a minute there, game.

Well, now that we're back in the Castle Corridor, we should go put the Undine soul to use.



It makes you think: If Soma needed both Double Jump and the Undine soul to even reach this part, how were people meant to get up to it normally?

... Then again, this is the castle that always changes. It's like one of those video game randomizers, but it's actually canon to the lore!



[Current audio in-game: Floating Gardens]

The names for area songs in this game never cease to amaze me. Anyway, the Floating Gardens have a nice theme - it's not great, but I like it.



Name: Cockatrice
HP: 380
EXP: 120
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapon, Curse
Drops: Potion (common)
Description: "One glare from this bird-like beast will turn you to stone."
Soul effect (): "Fires a beam of petrification."
Soma's Thoughts: (* Is holding back making a really immature joke*)

The whole "petrification beam" thing sounds cool, but when you use the beam it aims at an almost 70 degree turn downward... aka. practically useless.

Cockatrices are big and fat enough to stop you from progressing, and the whole petrification thing is always fun.



Name: Dead Warrior
HP: 110
EXP: 100
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Holy
Drops: Samurai Armor (rare)
Description: "The horse-riding ghost of a dead samurai warrior."
Soul effect (): "Deflect normal attacks by pressing Up + B."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Whoa, I sort of want to know what this guy's story is about.")

Dead Warriors are simple - they go back and forth on their horses and wave their little naginatas around. The soul is another victim of bad translation, because it actually allows you to interrupt your attack animation with a Bullet soul.


The only practical application this would have would be with slow weapons like Hammers and Lances, so I'd rather not.



Name: Red Crow
HP: 70
EXP: 44
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapons, Stone
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A vicious crow dyed red by the splattered blood of wounded men."
Soul effect (): "Increases Intelligence by 4."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Wow, these guys smell awful.")

Red Crow is Blue Crow's older brother, and isn't much more impressive. Moving on...



... Guys, that's another first encounter soul. But what the hell, I'm not complaining - it heard me complain and wanted to impress me off the bat!



Save room just in case you needed it. (then again, playing along would mean you actually have to own the game too!)



Oh nice. How appropriate, considering we're going to enter one of the least straight-forward areas in the game yet.



Name: Gorgon
HP: 320
EXP: 95
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapons, Poison, Curse
Drops: Meat Strip (common), Milk (common)
Description: "An ox-like creature with hardened skin of iron."
Soul effect (): "Constituation is increased by 12."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Wait, these things are called Gorgons? They don't resemble anything I've read.")

The game is absolutely crazy about its palette swaps all of a sudden. Gorgon's only notable trait is its increased girth compared to Catoblepas, but that's about it.


Not only that, I'm sure +12 Constitution would be nice... if I cared enough to get it.



Oh boy, here we go. These rooms.

See, in this part of the Floating Gardens, you will randomly teleport across five different rooms. They're all giant square rooms and don't really have much in them aside from some rare enemies.




Name: Devil
HP: 300
EXP: 200
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Light
Drops: Skull Necklace (common), High Mind Up (common)
Description: "Creature spawned from the deepest abyss of hell."
Soul effect (): "Transforms into a demon that rushes at enemies."
Soma's Thoughts: ("An honest to goodness demon. If you asked me these guys were real a second ago, I would have told you no.")

It's not the Devil, by the way - just one of his many underlings. Dracula and Satan are technically different entities, but they still call the former the Prince of Darkness... so whatever.

One swipe from the Valkyrie soul kills him instantly, though. That's how much firepower we have now and I love it.



Name: Mandragora
HP: 200
EXP: 100
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: Nothing
Description: "Insanity overcomes all who hear his cry."
Soul effect (): "Kills enemies with scream."
Soma's Thoughts: (* plugs ears and runs away*)

Mandragora is an interesting enemy in that if he gets his attack off, he hits the entire screen. The same thing applies to his soul too. It's a great attack, but it costs 110 MP. (To compare, the Valkyrie soul we have only takes up 50 MP.)

I'm positive you have to strike Mandragora while the skeleton is pulling him out of the ground otherwise you don't get the soul.



Is the money in Dracula's castle even legal tender? Cause that'd be some muk if it were.



Oh hey, another twofer.

Name: Altair
HP: 30
EXP: 10
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapon
Drops: Nothing
Description: "An atrocious eagle that carries Ripper with it."
Soul effect (): "Summons and hurls eagles."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Is that eagle carrying a little man?")

Altair exists only to drop off Ripper enemies. That aside, their soul consists of shooting off multiple Altair for 22 MP a pop and (apparently) do really good damage.

--

Name: Ripper
HP: 80
EXP: 80
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapon, Poison
Drops: Crimson Cloak (rare)
Description: "This fiend enjoys slaughtering people with a knife."
Soul effect (): "Stabs enemies with a blood-soaked knife."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Okay, these guys jump around and throw knives. It's the worst of two worlds.")

Rippers are scary due to them being Fleamen that have learned to use weapons. They're just as annoying to hit and can throw knives your way.

Their soul, however, is amazing. It manages to take Evil Butcher and actually make something out of it. Ripper's soul lets you shoot blood-soaked knives that stick to your opponent and do continuous damage that you can add onto with normal attacks, effectively making it a nightmare for whatever low-defense enemy you're fighting.



God, it's like me and the game are going out or something. I keep getting all of these nice gifts and I don't have much to give in return.



Name: Kicker Skeleton
HP: 200
EXP: 80
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Light
Drops: Red Scarf (rare), Ancient Belt (common)
Description: "Flying kicks are this skeleton's specialty"
Soul effect (): "Kick during a double jump by pressing Down + A."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Damn... This guy's good. There was so much manliness in that kick that I can't even comprehend it.")

Kicker Skeleton, on top of being one of the coolest enemies yet, is the only enemy in the entire game that gives you an Ability soul instead of the other three types. The soul allows you to kick while in mid-air, which becomes a regular feature when you get Double Jump in future games... strange, but my inner collector doesn't mind.



The room right behind us is a Save Room, by the way, just in case Kicker Skeleton wrecked your face in.



... That solves that. Soma is now One-Kick Man. (well... he would be if this were Dawn of Sorrow)



Going into the room below Kicker Skeleton takes you here. We can't do anything about that shadow-covered door until endgame, so let's just leave.



Manticore is recycled as a regular enemy. Good kitty.



Anyway, you see where we are? The Floating Gardens takes you to those disconnected squares randomly whenever you go through the rooms. I don't know how they work, but they're a thing.

(also hot damn, we've nearly uncovered half of the game's map already)



Name: Werewolf
HP: 290
EXP: 110
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapons, Curse
Drops: Black Belt (rare), Milk (common)
Description: "A wild man that transforms into a wolf."
Soul effect (): "Creates a fountain of magical fire."
Soma's Thoughts: ("This guy looks pretty tough. I'd rather not mess with him any longer than I have to.")

The Werewolf is one of the first few Were- enemies in the game - He shoots fire, jabs at you, the works. His soul is a vastly inferior version of another monster's soul that we'll see in a future chapter.



Name: Golem
HP: 200
EXP: 180
Strength: Everything
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: High Potion (common)
Description: "A man-like figure molded out of soil and animated by magic."
Soul effect (): "Strength is increased by 12."
Soma's Thoughts: ("This guy is a bit tougher than most.")

Regular, plain-ass Golem is sturdier than every other enemy we've met so far. It is resistant to everything and takes scratch damage from everything that isn't Valkyrie. More strength is definitely a godsend, but grinding Golem for his soul doesn't sound too appealing.



WOW SERIOUSLY



OH AND YOU TOO

Anyway, that's enough fooling around in the Floating Gardens.



[Current audio in-game: Clock Tower]

The Clock Tower, at last. This is a staple location in many Castlevania games, usually with the Grim Reaper inside of it. I like the theme better than Castle Corridor, actually, and it was one of the few things that attracted me to Aria of Sorrow to begin with.



: "Good to see you, too. Uh, I've got something I want to ask you."

: "Sure, go ahead."

: "Someone told me that YOU are to inherit Dracula's powers..."

: "I take it that lady from the church told you that, didn't she?"

: "It's not true, is it?"

You can imagine Soma crossing his fingers, hoping that Graham isn't a bad guy due to his horrible judge of character.

: "The term "inherit" is incorrect."

: "It's true then!"

: "I was born on the very day that Dracula was destroyed..."



Pretty sure that's not how it works, boyo. If that were the case, then there should be at least a thousand people that have Dracula's powers too.

: "That can't be right! You've been so kind and friendly to me!"

Oh my god, Soma.

: "That is because I don't consider you a threat to my mission. But that being said, you have made it this far... I sense a power within you. Do tell me... what kind of power has awoken within you?"

Wow, that's blunt.

: "...The power to rule..."





I mean come on, the explosive reaction and the over-the-top dialogue makes this hilarious. If there's anything Graham inherited, it's Dracula's acting skills.

: "Huh?"

: "I can't remain here any longer. I must get to the throne! Your name is Soma, right? You are wrong, Soma! I will not allow you to rule!!!!"



I have no words for how damn silly that was. In a good way.



Poor Soma still has no idea what's going on in this game.



The Clock Tower looks neat with all of the spinning gears and stuff.



Name: Lightning Doll
HP: 170
EXP: 130
Strength: Electricity
Weakness: Fire, Stone
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A doll possessed by the spirit of an electrocuted prisoner."
Soul effect (): "Discharges lightning from its fingertips."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Oh... That doesn't look fun. The other doll enemy at least looked relatively harmless.")

The Lightning Doll is a bit more than a palette swap because it actually tries to attack you. Its soul is infinitely more useful than its lesser cousin because the lightning hits hard and hits fast. It could potentially be better than Valkyrie if there weren't so many enemies that were weak to Light.



Name: Medusa Head
HP: 30
EXP: 10
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Holy
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A creature mass-produced from the head of Medusa."
Soul effect (): "Ability to stop in mid-air."
Soma's Thoughts: ("There seem to be a lot of these little head things flying around...")

Medusa Heads are another classic Castlevania enemy and in here they come in two flavors: blue ones that merely bump into you, and yellow ones that can petrify you. They exist to annoy players and knock them into the spikes, so watch yourself around them.

The soul is useless in Aria. In Dawn of Sorrow, however, it can become one of the most broken abilities in the game; the more time you stay in the air, the more damage your kick will do. Essentially, you could charge up a kick to be so intense that Soma leaves a smoking crater where the monster used to be.

I wish I were exaggerating.



Hey, someone that's not trying to kill us or an asshole!



: "Hey, Yoko, I just ran into Graham."

: "REALLY? Which way did he go?"

She sounds so eager it's adorable.

: "He was in a rush to get to the throne..."

: "Just as I thought. There is something important in the throne room."

: "I'm sorry, Yoko."

: "Wha...what's wrong with you all of a sudden?"



"He was kind to me only because he thought I was powerless..."

Oh my god, Soma sounds so heartbroken about this. Poor dumb muffin.

: "I see..."

: "But his attitude changed suddenly when I told him about my power."

: "Well, in his mind, he thinks everything in the castle is his."

Soma is eventually going to loot everything of value in the castle. What then?

: "So that's the reason?"



: "What is?"

: "The fact that he sees you as an enemy means you're my comrade."

: "Does it?"

: "What? You don't want to be on my side?"

yoko please

soma just wants to go home

: "No... that's not what I meant..."

: "Ha ha ha. It's so much fun to tease you. But this is not the time to be fooling around."



: "What sort of chance?"

: "Using his cunning mind, he's been able to evade us up until now. I don't think anyone has ever seen him panic before."

If that was him panicking, then I want to see more of it.

: "I get it. Circumstances right now are making him act this way..."

: "That's exactly right. This is an excellent opportunity to trap him. Well, I must be on my way. See you."

[She walks offscreen]

Well, that sure was a conversation. Boy, who knew all it took to turn Graham from "cunning mastermind" to sneering ham-lord was Soma?



Name: Bomber Armor
HP: 200
EXP: 200
Strength: Weapons
Weakness: Electricity, Stone
Drops: Steel Plate (rare)
Description: "An armored soldier that throws bombs."
Soul effect (): "Astounding amount of destructive power."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Oh crap, he's packing!")

The Bomber Armor is simple but effective: The bombs it throws at you hurt a lot. The soul is also accurate because the bombs are definitely a tier above Zombie Soldier's grenades... even if they take a lot of MP and time to explode. I... don't recommend it, actually.



Name: Harpy
HP: 150
EXP: 100
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Weapons, Curse
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A bird monster with the upper body of a woman."
Soul effect (): "Shoots out razor-like feathers."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Oh no, not more bird ladies. It's hard enough trying to climb up this stupid clock tower!")

Harpies are basically the big sister to the Siren, but their gimmick is shooting out their razor-sharp feathers. Not hard to kill, really.



That's... the Valkyrie's second drop... Well, chalk that one up to the second enemy I've bled dry of all valuables.



Name: Gremlin
HP: 70
EXP: 90
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Fire, Stone
Drops: Nothing
Description: "A creature who loves to fiddle with machinery."
Soul effect (): "Increases Luck by 8."
Soma's Thoughts: ("The only thing I can think about are those weird monsters that appeared in a movie.")

Gremlins exist to be another enemy that's part of the background. I don't think it even has anything that stand-out about it compare to other enemies.



Yes, keep the souls coming. I need to 100% this game eventually.



The Top Floor music is playing but we can't seem to get in from this side. I'll keep this in mind for later.



Great Armor's here... alright, now all we need is Big Golem to complete the list of demoted bosses.



I recommend saving here because the next boss is arguably the second hardest in the game.



I'm worried, are you?



[Normally I would put up Confrontation, seeing as that's what actually plays in the game, but Death is so cool he needs his own theme]

Name: Death
HP: 4444
EXP: 4444
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: N/A
Description: "Dracula's confidant."
Soul effect (): "Attacks enemies using sickles."
Soma's Thoughts: ("THE GRIM REAPER?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!")

Death is one of the hardest enemies in the game. Sure, his first form isn't much, but just wait until you see the second.



Death can summon smaller sickles to attack you. They can be deflected if you have either the Witch or Great Ghost souls and merely whacking them can destroy them.

He can throw the bigger scythe at you and summon pillars of light as pictured above. All in all, if you're prepared, you shouldn't have much trouble.



[Death lets out an evil laugh]

What the hell are you chuckling for?



.... Oh, we are sooo psyducked.
That dual-edged scythe isn't just for show - it has a giant hitbox and hits for 90+ damage even with all of our fancy armor. It's nightmarish how quickly this battle can go sour if you're not paying attention.



One of his attacks in this phase is making the scythe tear through the ground and ceiling, so you have to jump to dodge it.



He also charges forward to slice you in half, but the most dangerous part about it is his sudden backwards movement. It could catch you off guard if your reflexes don't kick in.



When I got to this screenshot, I had gotten about three game overs. The only character in the game to kill me multiple times and it's the Grim Reaper. How appropriate.

I had to eat the Tasty Meat and use my last potion to stay alive for this long.



If you persevere long enough, you'll finally kick his bony ass back into the deepest pits of Hell.

A word of caution: Death drops the giant dual-bladed scythe when he's defeated and it can kill you if it touches you. Someone I've seen has actually gotten a game over from that, not even kidding.



So, we just absorbed Death - the Grim Reaper's soul. We beat up Death like it's no big deal. Man, that is so that I don't even know where to start.

The soul itself is pretty useful too, because it lets you summon the sickles he uses in the boss fight to annoy you. I can imagine a really wicked combination with the Ripper soul and the fastest melee weapon in the game to tear apart any bulky enemy that's not strong against weapons.



Your reward for beating Death is the Skula soul, which lets you dive infinitely underwater.



Oh and I somehow managed to get the Great Armor soul on the way back. Hooray.



Name: Needles
HP: 1
EXP: 10
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: Tasty Meat (common)
Description: "A giant mutant sea urchin."
Soul effect (): "Tosses mines into the air that explode at fixed intervals."
Soma's Thoughts: ("A... giant sea urchin. Well, it looks pointy enough to not bother it.")

Needles exist. That's the most interesting thing about them... okay that's a lie because they give you Tasty Meat.



... I'm still amazed that I keep getting these on the first few tries.



This is supposed to be the Blutgang. It's hidden across all of these spikes, so it must be good.



Correction: It's goddamn amazing.

This sword is stronger than Hrunting and has the speed of the Combat Knife. This translates into: "My new favorite weapon of the game for some time."



I had to travel through a labyrinth of spikes to get this. Let's see the stats.



Definitely keeping it on. The best part about it, Soma must look dapper as hell with his new Crimson Cloak and Pitch Black suit.



Oh, man, you cannot believe what I had to just do. I had to make it all the way back to a safe place, seeing as all of my health-restoring items ran out except for the Melon (it's too good to use) and I hadn't saved yet. Imagine being surrounded by instant death spikes and enemies that can poke you into them with a simple tap: That's basically how this segment felt.



Anyway, we're finally back in a safe place. This is also where I'll end off the chapter, so see you guys next time on Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow.
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