11 Things You Did Not Know About “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”

Tuesday marks the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow for the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. This is a reboot of the Castlevania game series, taking the series back to its linear, action-based roots of the earlier games. To many, this is a refreshing direction for the series to take. The series hasn't had a popular console release since the Playstation classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in 1997.

Symphony of the Night is arguably the most popular game in the Castlevania series. Fans loved the game for introducing exploration-based gameplay, a new art direction, and memorable new music. Although fans may have combed through every nook and cranny the virtual castle within the past decade, there are still many secrets of the game that you may have not noticed before. The following is a compilation of 11 things that you probably don't know about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

1. The Playstation Copy of the Game Contains a Hidden Song and Message From Alucard

Take the Playstation copy of the game disc and place it into your CD player.
Skip to track #02, and you'll be greeted with a voice sample from
Alucard, and a techno-version of the game's main theme.

2. Alucard's Real Name is “Adrian Farenheights Tepes,” a Nod to Vlad Tepes

Alucard's real name, according to Castlevania fiction, is “Adrian Farenheights Tepes”, and the reason he changed his name from Adrian was to spite his father.

The last name “Tepes” is Romanian for “impaler”, which is a name attached to Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler). Vlad Dracul was Bram Stoker's inspiration for Count Dracula.

3. Symphony of the Night's Game Design Was Inspired by Video Game Bargain Bins

Symphony of the Night is the first title in the Castlevania series to feature open-ended gameplay with RPG elements. Older Castlevania titles featured level-by-level platforming action. What motivated Symphony of the Night's game director to radically change this formula was seeing numerous copies of Castlevania games in the bargain bin in Japanese video game stores, because the linear Castlevania games offered limited replay value after completion.

4. The Faerie Familiar's Idle Animations

With the fairy familiar equipped in the game, have Alucard stand still for a moment. The fairy will eventually sit on Alucard's shoulders. If you move, the fairy will moan and fly off.

5. The Meaning of the Rune Sword's Hidden Word

If you use the Rune Sword, the word “verboten” is what appears during the attack animation. This is the German word for “forbidden.”

6. Alucard's Transformation Into a Gargoyle

Depending on the player's luck statistic, Alucard can turn into a giant gargoyle statue when hit by a yellow Medusa Head. It's a very rare occurrence, and he is invincible in this form.

7. The Dhuron's Secret Attack

When you run into a Dhuron enemy in the Library, refrain from killing them and wait. After a couple of minutes, they will summon a lightning bolt and electrify their sword. The attack does a lot of damage, and it's interesting to see.

8. “Alucard” is “Dracula” Spelled Backwards.

9. The Japanese Version of the Game Has Two Additional Familiars

(Left) Sprite Familiar, and (Right) Tengu Goblin

The Sprite familiar and the Nose Devil familiar do not appear in anything but the Japanese version of Nocturne of the Moonlight.

The “sprite familiar,” which resembles the faerie, can use a music card to sing a song. The other is the Nose Devil (or “Tengu Goblin), can be found in the Colosseum. The voice of the Nose Devil is that of a famous Japanese actor with a large nose, and was meant as a joke.

10. Cameo Appearance of “Konami Man”

Konami Man, the main hero in “Konami Wai Wai World,” sometimes appears in the file select screen as a icon as a cameo.

11. Symphony of the Night is Full of Pop Culture References and Nods to Other Konami Games

Examples of these references include:

  • A number of item names in the US release are references to The Lord of The Rings, such as the “Fist of Tulkas,” the “Crissaegrim” and the “Ring of Varda.”
  • The enemies Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man are references to The Wizard of Oz.
  • The “Capsule Monster” rare items are from Ultraman.
  • Sailor Moon's “Moon Rod” is an item.
  • A portrait of Vlad Tepes is an item that can be used.
  • Olrox is based on Orlok from the film Nosferatu. The movie poster on his door.
  • Galamoth was a boss in Kid Dracula, another vampire-themed Konami game.
  • The Shield Rod can create Options from Gradius.
  • The barrel-throwing ape skeleton must be a reference to Donkey Kong.

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