Monday, March 26, 2007

Castlevania III - Beat the game with Alucard

Someone once remarked off-handedly (I think it was Jeremy Parish in a retronauts podcast) that playing with Sypha in Castlevania III was like playing in hard mode. Though I have yet to beat the game with Sypha, I have played the first five or so levels taking her path and I must disagree. Hard mode is playing with Alucard.

Easy mode is most certainly Grant. His high-jumping, ability to control jumps in the air, and sticking to walls basically breaks the Castlevania platforming paradign allowing you to do things that weren't ever intended. His dagger is slightly less powerful than the chain whip and doesn't have nearly the reach, but he attacks fast - there is no need to wind up his attack so when you press the attack button, the knife goes out right then.

Alucard does give you the ability to get out of some tight jams with his ability to turn into a bat and fly around, but I only found that useful once. Most of the times, the extra platforms you reach by turning into a bat generally aren't worth the hearts wasted in getting to them. His attack is the weakest of all the characters. While it has good range, there is only a small subset of enemies it kills in one hit. You can upgrade it, so that you get two or three balls of energy, but they are all pretty weak so that often two of them have to hit an enemy to kill it. Also, the only sub-weapon he can use is the stopwatch.

I figure I may as well beat the game with Sypha now so I see all the levels.

No comments: