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Let's 100% Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow! Chapter 7 (FINALE)

Posted December 13th, 2018 at 11:46 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Updated December 15th, 2018 at 10:31 PM by Rainbow Chara X
Tags lp#2

... Wait, what? It's already over?!

Chapter #7 (Finale) - Chaos Awaits You + 100% Soul Completion
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Spoiler:



Remember how there was a shadowy door preventing us from getting through here? Since we're Dracula (oh yeah, spoilers to anybody who didn't read chapter 6), we can finally go through.



: "Julius?"

: "So you were the one. I didn't want to believe it was true."

Oh no.



: "I must destroy Dracula at any cost. That is my destiny."

: "NO, WAIT! I don't want to fight against you."



There's no convincing him - we have to fight.



[Current boss theme in-game: Heart of Fire]

Name: Julius Belmont
HP: 6000
EXP: 0
Strength: Light, Poison, Curse, Stone
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: N/A
Description: "The most powerful Vampire Hunter. Recently regained his memory."
Soma's Thoughts: ("So we meet again, Belmont. Very well, then - have at you!")

Awww, here we go. A climactic showdown between a Belmont and Dracula... only this time in reverse. Julius is the hardest boss of the game, and his theme is kick-ass! He's also the reason why I said to keep a Dark elemental weapon because the Claimh Solais is garbage against him.

It feels kind of weird - we're technically good guys yet we still have to fight each other. I guess the threat of Dracula coming back into the world is just that immense.



Although with a set-up like this, can you really blame Julius for thinking that we've become a villain?





Julius has many attacks - the first and the most damaging is his whip, the legendary Vampire Killer. It hits for exactly 100 HP a pop, so it can kill me in about eight exact hits. That's brutal.



Julius can also jump kick and do invincible backdashes to the point where it makes ours look like pure trash garbage.



"Go back to the darkness!"

HOLY WOW THAT'S COOL.

If you get Julius down to a certain amount of health, he'll go to the center of the room and perform his ultimate Grand Cross attack. It is so powerful that just charging it up causes the buildings in the background to crumble off! It's amazing how well presented this fight is.

Also, as you've noticed in the gif, Grand Cross pulls you toward Julius and even with the Black Panther soul I was barely able to get away! He is THAT determined to kill us!



After Grand Cross, the second phase of the fight begins. Here, he'll start to use more of his sub-weapons like the Axe, the Holy Water and the Boomerang Cross. He'll use them intelligently, so be careful when fighting him. Having only 54 HP didn't inspire confidence either, so I had to dip into the Too-Cool-To-Use club.



Julius is tough, but even he has to go down eventually.



: "Wh... why...why won't you finish me off?"

: "You took it easy on me. I could tell. The strength of a Belmont... No... the strength of a vampire hunter is greater than this."

That was going easy?!

: "... When I fought you, I felt the evil spirit within you. But there's more... I also sensed Soma's spirit. And that's more then enough to stop me."



: "What is it?"

: "From here I will set off to fight against my own fate. If I lose the battle... and I become the reincarnation of evil, I want you to kill me."

: "... I will... I promise."



: "Farewell, my friend. Don't let me use that whip again."

We won't fail you. But yeah, that's the hardest fight in the game done. It's a fair kind of hard. Not stupid kaizo bullmuk hard.



Make your way into the next room and you're greeted with... this?



oh my god the screen is going red what did i--



... Huh? Where did we wind up?



There's a save room to the left, conveniently enough.



[Current audio in-game: Chaotic Realm]

... Whoa.

That's definitely different.



Believe it or not, we're in the heart of the castle - the source of the magic powers that make up its shape. I think it's neat that it shows a grayscale version of every area in the game, like this is how the castle keeps track of its locations.



Soma dusts away an Iron Golem to get a Mana Prism...



... Blows away a Giant Skeleton in the middle of what looks like Headhunter's room...



Wait a minute, that's not a re-used asset!

Name: Alastor
HP: 1200
EXP: 1500
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: Nothing
Description: "His vengeful spirit possesses a floating sword."
Soul effect (): "Summons 'ALASTOR' the familiar."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Ooh, you have a bigger sword. So what?")

Alastor is pretty much Nemesis's tougher older brother. He hits hard due to his sword being an upgrade from a rapier, but it's still not an issue.



Mimic, get out of here. You're like the friend nobody likes.



Name: Demon Lord
HP: 1800
EXP: 3000
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Light
Drops: Mana Prism (rare), Demon's Mail (rare)
Description: "This dark king rules over most of the demon population."
Soul effect (): "Unleashes a furious barrage of magic upon enemies."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Take a look at this guy. He sure looks important enough to be a demon lord.")

He is the ultimate version of the Devil enemies and... still not hard to kill. Sure, he takes a few hits before going down and has a more elaborate design but we also have the Claimh Solais. His soul allows you to fire off the evil lava balls that Graham used.



I neglected to show off the really beastly looking fireballs these guys throw at you, so there you go. I think I like Demon Lord's better because it's purple.



Just a quick note: Killer Mantle doesn't work on Final Guard. You have to beat them up the old-fashioned way, which is why I was so happy when I already received the soul.



And suddenly we're underwater now. Man, good thing Soma doesn't need to breathe, am I right?



Name: Shadow Knight
HP: 3000
EXP: 3000
Strength: Dark
Weakness: Light
Drops: Nothing
Description: "This strong knight sold his soul to the Devil."
Soul effect (): "His shadow fights beside him."
Soma's Thoughts: ("Okay, I seriously want this guy to work for me. I want an evil story-high knight to be my friend.")

Huh. Usually the Final Guard is the last variation of the "giant knight" enemies. The Shadow Knight has a lot of HP but is weak to Light, so it's actually less difficult to kill than its golden cousin!

(Speaking of the Claimh Solais, I can't be the only person who thinks its weird that Dracula, of all people, can even use a light elemental weapon. Then again, we're still technically Soma at heart, hence why the monsters want to kill us)



When a door is pulsing with energy like that, you know it's time for the final battle. Good thing there's a save room behind us.



Alright, here we go.



Soma, you have an inventory full of Super Potions, the ultimate sword in the game and some pretty busted souls. You're not dying any time soon.



[Current audio in-game: You're Not Alone]

(great song title there)

: "Wha...what?"

: "Everyone remaining in the castle combined their powers to contact you."

: "Does that mean they all know... that I'm Dracula?"

: "Yes, Arikado told us everything."



Given how we defeated Julius, a person whose job is to kill Dracula, I can sympathize with Soma right here.

: "No, not at all! At first we were shocked, but everyone believes you'll get through this. I'm going to send you a message from them now. Listen..."

: "You'll visit my shop again, won't ya? I'll be waitin' for ya."

Of course we will, buddy. I need that Soul Eater Ring eventually.

: "Good morning, Soma, I just heard about what happened to you. I've told you this before: you are who you are, and you mustn't let him win."

: "To the man who beat me... don't disappoint me now."

: "This is your last chance and ours as well... I'm counting on you."

Protonjon called this scene "the locker room pep talk scene", which is very accurate.

: "They're all rooting for me. Mina..."



Yeah! Let's kick some ass!



OH GOD WE WEREN'T READY



[Current audio in-game: Battle Against Chaos]

What the hell am I looking at?



OH, YOU ASSHOLES! They're stealing all of the souls I collected!



Name: Chaos
HP: ????
EXP: 0
Strength: Nothing
Weakness: Nothing
Drops: N/A
Description: N/A
Soma's Thoughts: ("I'm having a hard enough time comprehending what I'm looking at, let alone attacking.")

Chaos is by far the trippiest boss in the game... True to his name, I suppose.

Anyway, since the three statues take every soul you've collected (excluding the Ability souls for some reason), you only have your weapon to rely on. Since I have the Claimh Solais, that's no issue, but damn. Imagine doing this with a normal weapon.



The kind of soul they've taken determines how they attack you. The Bullet soul one fires crystals at you, the Guardian soul one turns into some weird dragon monster that rushes at you, and the Enchant soul one creates a reticle that drains your MP.

The crystals and the dragon hurt a lot and can potentially overwhelm you among all of the insane scenery, but the yellow one is harmless because you're not going to be using MP for this fight anyway.



I don't know how much health they have, but they should go down reasonably quickly. It is cathartic to see the souls pop back into you after you kill one of the statues.



[Current audio in-game: Final Decisive Battle]



Chaos's second form! Man, the fact they even pulled this design off for a Gameboy Advance game's final boss is amazing. Anyway, let's just go and--



... What?



[Current audio in-game: Dracula's Fate]

... Oh no.



Julius...



... We've let everybody down. We have completely become Dracula.



The cycle begins anew.



Well, that was... dark. Is this really how the game ends?

... Nah, not really. Losing to Chaos nets you that cutscene, a bad ending of sorts.

The game went from hopeful to depressing in an instant, seeing as we failed and became Dracula again. But let's say that didn't happen and put up a proper fight.



What you have to worry about in Chaos's second form are the four corner eyes. You have to destroy them in order to damage the core in the center, because it takes scratch damage otherwise.

It likes to fire off those knives in every direction and that gets annoying to dodge after a while.



You see that silver dragon thing that's flying around the area? It likes to fire off a giant energy ball that bounces around the room, whereas the smaller ones go into Soma and implode his body. All in all, the Chaos fight is a relatively tame version of Bullet Hell that can still overwhelm you if you're not paying attention.



80 damage is the best you're going to do with all of the eyes destroyed, but don't give up just yet.



That's the final boss gone! We've won the game, ladies and gentlemen!



So we've just destroyed the source of the castle's power. What's going to happen to it now?



... Damn. It is never coming back. What a way to go, too!

Considering how this is in the future of the Castlevania series, I'm content with this.



[Current audio in-game: Purification]



"I've got to another job that I must attend to, so I have to go now. When I first heard that YOU were Dracula, I was shocked... I was just waking up, you know. If you think about it though, everything turned out okay. Ha ha ha... I'll never forget your strength and courage. And I haven't thanked you yet for rescuing me so... thanks. You're like a younger brother to me. It was fun, and I hope we meet again! Goodbye."

Aww, Yoko is nice.



"Back at the castle, I realized my true calling. Fighting's not me. I think I'll quit the army and open up a shop sometime soon. Promise me you'll come. I'll give ya a good deal."

Hammer is still the best.



"When I fled the castle, I felt the power from the Vampire Killer fading away. I don't know what it means, but I won't have to do anything for the time being. Farewell, may we meet again."

Julius is a cool guy. He has a sense of honor about him that makes him respectable, and for a man in his fifties (yes, really) he's really tough! I guess there's a reason why he's the most powerful Vampire Hunter.



"For God to be good, evil is an absolute necessity in this world. In the future someone may follow again in Dracula's dark footsteps. At that time, perhaps we'll meet again. Farewell... In my mother's name, I send thanks to you."

Alucard was stern, but a really good character at heart. He had to do what he had to do in order to prevent a disaster, and he's had experience dealing with this kind of situation in Symphony of the Night. It's pretty amazing how they didn't relegate him to just being a cameo because "well symphony is super popular so throw Alucard in there".





Oh hey, we're finally out of the eclipse! Also, if you're paying attention, this is almost exactly how the game started.




: "Uh... Ungh..."

: "Soma! Thank god, you woke up."

: "Heard you folks speak. You saved me again."

: "Again?"



"Everyone's kind words and encouragement led me to victory."

(along with potions and the claimh solais, etc.)

: "Yes."

: "Remember. Inside of me, Dracula's power lies sleeping. It's not evil, but it's definitely changed me."

Has Dracula's soul finally been redeemed?

: "It's okay. If anything ever happens again, everyone will rush to your aid."

: "That's right, I guess they will. Look, the eclipse has ended."



[Fade to black]



[Current audio in-game: Staff Roll]

Thank you Mr. Igarashi for making these wonderful games.



I had to throw this in here because a name like Curry the Kid is amazing.



Miss Yamane makes the greatest songs, even if I feel Aria of Sorrow isn't her best work. Dracula's Fate and the Dance Hall are still great, though.







This would normally be where I leave off, but there's still a fair amount of content left to see.



If you beat the game, you have the choice between Normal and Hard difficulty. It's pretty tame here, but in later games they introduce Level 1 Hard Mode. It's as intense as it sounds given how you automatically take 100 damage no matter what attack you take and the enemies are sped up.

There's also something special waiting for you if you type in Julius at the naming screen...



Yep. That's right. We get to play as the man himself, complete with his theme playing in the background.

You have a maximum of 800 HP at all times, and all you have to rely on are your whip and your subweapons. You're essentially playing Classic Castlevania - you don't even have a pause menu aside from bringing up the map with Select.

At first you start off kind of weak, but you get more stats the more you absorb the orbs that bosses leave behind. It's a pretty neat addition, but it's even better in Dawn because you get to have Alucard and Yoko on your team as well!



You also get Boss Rush and Sound Mode, the former of which gives you special items if you beat it at specific times.



In Boss Rush mode, you have to re-fight every boss excluding Chaos. Creaking Skull, Manticore and Great Knight have considerable boosts, and you're locked at level 40. Graham is easily the most difficult boss in this mode due to his ridiculous damage output, and to get the best stuff you have to do it all quickly.



Oh yeah, while we're here, have a closer view of what the game over screen looks like. Do you understand what's happening in it? I have no idea.

I see the three types of souls (red, blue and yellow) and a face, but that's about it.



Five to six minutes nets you the Excalibur, the sword in the stone... Literally. You swing the sword with the stone still attached to it. What a wacky ass game. (That or the timing's off.)

Four to five minutes nets you the Positron Rifle, which is exactly what it sounds like. It even goes well when used with Beam Skeleton's soul.

Anything above five minutes is just a regular potion.





I have every soul in the game now thanks to the Soul Eater Ring.


To you guys it was just one screenshot to another, but I spent days trying to 100% the soul counter. You even get a special reward for doing so - the Chaos Ring!

What the Chaos Ring does is give you... oh, I don't know: infinite MP. That's right, we've officially snapped the game's difficulty in two.


We can use every soul in the game for absolutely nothing now. It is glorious, even if it's a bragging rights award at best.



Oh, and to give you a frame of reference for how long this took me: I went into the Chaos boss fight at level 43. Grinding to get every soul in the game pushed me up by 33 levels! That's just crazy.

I should also mention that if you have 100% souls before finishing the game, the ending is slightly different: Soma is cockier about how strong he is. That's about the only change, really.



With our newly obtained Chaos Ring, I cheesed through Boss Rush Mode to get the most broken weapon in the game: The Valmanway. You can only get it if your time is below 4 minutes, and it's even more disgusting than the Claimh Solais!



Just look at that. There was a similar item in Symphony of the Night called the Crissaegrim, only it was a random drop from a common enemy in a later part of the game. Not only that, Alucard could equip two at a time...

So believe it or not, the Valmanway is actually toned down and it's still game-breaking.

Anyway, that's enough of that. Here's a compilation of Soul animations that I thought were interesting!

Bullet Souls



The Saitama Combo. (Werejaguar + Weretiger + Balore)



Siren's soul, which makes Soma create little music notes.



ZA WARUDO! (Evil Butcher + Chronomage - come on, you know I had to)



It's shameful how bad Werewolf's soul is compared to Biphron's.



Mandragora's soul. Soma's ears have to be ringing after that.



If you combine Flame Demon + Giant Bat + Succubus, you can do the fire attack while in bat form. Pretty cool.



Lightning Doll's soul, allowing Soma to become a Sith Lord.



And finally Red Minotaur's soul, which was too broken to not include.

Guardian Souls



Sky Fish's soul summons an angel lady that increases your Strength and Luck. The more you hold down the button, the longer the boost lasts.



Shadow Knight's soul creates a little guy that attacks in tandem with you. It's not as big or as strong as the other souls, but I like it regardless.



Persephone's soul creates an evil vacuum that steals 5+ HP from enemies.



Big Golem punches things as efficiently as you would expect.



Finally, there's the other two transformation souls that I neglected to show off. The Devil one looks like a Hollow from Bleach, to be frank.



Well, that's the end of Aria of Sorrow! I had a great time and I hope you guys did too, so I guess I'll leave this off with this absolutely stunning piece created by Ayami Kojima herself (aka. the game's artist). My final thoughts will be coming up soon, but for now? See you later.
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