Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is an action-adventure game developed and published by Konami in 1997.
It is the direct sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and features Dracula's dhampir son, Alucard, as the protagonis.
Symphony of the Night was an important milestone of the Castlevania series.
It steered the series away from the standard level-by-level platforming formula of older titles and introduced a new style of open-ended gameplay mixed with role-playing game-like elements that would be emulated by most of its successors.
A similar, earlier form of this type of gameplay existed in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
Like many installments of the Castlevania series, Symphony of the Night uses a 2D side-scrolling style of gameplay.
The objective of the game is to guide primary player character Alucard through the undead-filled castle, as he sets out to defeat the vampire Dracula.
Symphony of the Night follows a nonlinear style of gameplay; at the game's beginning, Alucard can only access certain areas of the castle, but by obtaining the three forms (a wolf, bat, and mist) that he can shapeshift into, he gradually explores the castle.
A map carried by Alucard automatically updates to reflect the player's progress through the castle.
While previous protagonists of the series have traditionally used whips as their main weapon, Alucard can find and use weapons ranging from edged weapons—typically swords and knives—to knuckles and expendable items, such as neutron bombs or javelins.
He can also obtain health restoratives, various equipment and items to boost his attributes; all located on an inventory.
Relics found throughout the castle will provide him with different abilities, such as being able to double jump.
A bestiary kept by the castle's librarian, who also functions as a shopkeeper, shows the different monsters encounted by the player, and the items they dropped when defeated.
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