I remember back in the early 2000s coming across the Playstation version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night by mistake. At the time I was in my early teenage years and borrowing games from friends had become very commonplace. Funds during that time were very limited. If it hadn’t already been something purchased by my older brother or wasn’t available for rental, the chances were I was never going to hear about or even play it. During that time, Legacy of Kain was a series I had become somewhat obsessed with after playing a demo. It was also a game a friend of mine had owned at the time. Figuring to myself that it would’ve saved money from a rental, I decided to ask my friend if I could borrow it. He agreed, and after a few days, he brought me what I thought was Legacy of Kain. Happy to finally be able to play a game I had wanted to play for months, I can still recall rushing home excitedly only to find that what I had been given wasn’t Legacy of Kain. It was instead a game I had no idea at the time even existed… That game, was none other than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Being disappointed and relatively annoyed, unleashing more than a few expletives and with nothing to do over the weekend, I remember going ahead and just trying Castlevania: Symphony of the Night anyways. I would soon find out that this had turned out to be one of the most brilliant mistakes in my life.
I went in with no expectations at all, and being a game that I had never even heard of, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night still managed to almost immediately pull me in with tightly gripped claws and did not let me go. After starting the game up and being introduced to some back story, you begin up playing as Richter Belmont in a prologue scene with some of the most epic intro music I’ve experienced to this day. After smashing a few pots and sliding around like a maniac, you’ll eventually find yourself making your way to Dracula’s throne room where you are greeted with the cheesiest exchange of dialogue between two characters in video game history. Regardless of how notoriously poor the performance had been received and ridiculed over the years, at the time it still came off to me as being brilliant, starting from the beginning with Richter’s line: “Die monster. You don’t belong in this world!” After their short conversation, with Richter basically proclaiming Dracula is the baddest guy ever, Dracula ends the conversation by saying, “But enough talk, have at you!” Some laughing happens, clearly done by a completely different voice actor, and you’re immediately thrown into battle against Dracula. After beating up on Dracula, you find out, with some more back story, that Richter had gone missing after his victory and you now begin the game in it’s now recognizable Metroidvania RPG form, playing as Dracula’s son, the half-human, half-vampire named Alucard.
I am such a huge fan of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and to even say that the only reason I was able to play it was through a mistake, sounds like a mistake. I’m happy it’s going to be seeing a re-release alongside Rondo of Blood, a prequel to Symphony of the Night that I’m not as familiar with. It seems like we’re in having a re-release resurgence over the past few months, and this is just another one added to a list of games I’m already looking forward to. I spent countless hours playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and I’m excited at the possibility of picking it up again after all these years. It’s such a fantastic game and to anyone who was never able to try it, or enjoys Metroidvania type games, I would highly recommend it when we see the release come along. It’s one of the more memorable games from my youth and something I hope others will find enjoyment playing as well. Konami doesn’t seem to be making too many games these days, but a re-releasing of this caliber will always be one that I welcome.