Gathering yourself some powerful souls is almost the entire point of playing Aria of Sorrow. Oh sure, there’s a vampire based storyline going on in the background, because of course there is, but the compelling pursuit of powerful and varied abilities soon overtakes this in terms of priority, and the game becomes somewhat of a collect-a-thon. Not that this is a bad thing, far from it, but with such a massive selection of enemies available to pilfer souls from, it can be difficult to know which are worth your time. All of them would be the simple answer of course, but if you’re just looking for a way to power yourself up in the late game, we’d recommend at the very least checking out the following options.
- Fires a massive fiery rock. Can hit more than once.
It might sound simple, especially given that quite a few soul options simply fire things at your opponents, but this is probably the most powerful of the ‘mage spell’ type souls. As noted, it fires a large burning rock at your opponents, which looks very similar to the type that Dracula would regularly fire at a Castlevania protagonist of sorts. Not only is this soul very powerful, but it also hits more than once as it passes through your enemies, making it a tremendously powerful spell, especially versus enemies with a wider than average hitbox. Keeping this on hand for some of the awkward and rangey enemies in the late game is a great idea.
- Increases stats. Scales with amount of Souls gathered.
For quite a good portion of the game, the Headhunter skill is unlikely to see much usage. Should you opt for stat increases, there are almost always better options early on, like flat increases to Strength or Intelligence, which can scale up to +16 on their own. Things change when you reach the late game however, especially if you have intentions on gathering every single soul. With each one grabbed, your Headhunter soul will power up, granting you more and more statistics. Not described in game however, is that the Headhunter soul will continue to scale as you collect more of the same soul, and will actually allow you to give Soma an incredible +33 in five of his statistics. This makes it a tremendously powerful Soul to have equipped, for those willing to take the time to power it up.
- Switches the HP and MP of the target.
For a great deal of players, the Killer Mantle will immediately seem useless and likely be consigned to the depth of their soul inventory, never to be seen again. To dismiss it completely however, would be a mistake, because this soul has the potential to defeat certain enemies in one hit, some of which would take multiple hits in regular combat. A great example of this is the ‘Golem’ type enemies, which take either tremendous damage or are outright killed by this, but the very best example is the Red Minotaur, which is immediately defeated in one hit. This enemy grants a great amount of EXP in the late game, and even houses its own powerful soul, detailed below.
Take care with this soul however… It’s possible to heal certain enemies with the Killer Mantle, often granting them more HP than they started with.
- A massive axe swipes across the screen.
Yes that’s right, our next choice is the enemy so easily slain with the Killer Mantle, the Red Minotaur. The soul granted by this enemy is very simple: You spin a massive axe around Soma, dealing tremendous amounts of damage to anything it touches. As you can see above, the amount of damage done is massive, and given the screen range that it covers, you can use it versus pretty much any enemy. In fact, it’s one of the best souls for taking down the true final boss. It’s also worth noting that the Red Minotaur is a great enemy for grinding in the late game; the drop rate of it’s soul isn’t great, so don’t expect to power up the Headhunter soul in this location, but the experience gained is very good and it’s fairly close to a screen reset. They’re also taken down in one hit thanks to the Killer Mantle noted above.
- Grants a continuous dash whilst held. Can be used in midair.
Our final choice is one that, eventually, turns Soma into a true movement master. Sure, you’ll unlock double jump and a super jump on your way through the game, but it’s only upon the collection of the Black Panther that things really feel complete. Strangely enough, you’re unlikely to have a great deal of combat left by the time this is unlocked, because it becomes available right at the end of the true path. However, if you’re looking to complete your list of souls, head to different zones to farm equipment or just explore the castle in the late game, this will make your life much, much easier. It even ties in with a previous soul choice, the Headhunter soul, because whilst the dash only deals a small amount of damage, it’s enough to kill smaller enemies, making farming multiple copies of their souls very easy. Pick a screen with plenty of weak enemies and zoom your way to victory!
Categories: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow