In many ways, your experience with the early game of Symphony of the Night will shape your entire journey with the game. Were you to accept the natural course of progress, you’ll likely find yourself amassing an inventory full of boring, one note weapons that do little to endear you to this fantastic title, potentially dissuading you from exploring further. Straying from the beaten path is the order of the day here, because the titular castle contains countless wonderful, unusual and very powerful weaponry for those willing to dig a little deeper. So if you’re looking to spice up your early game a little, or perhaps just want something super powerful to make things a bit easier, then consider grabbing some of the following choices.
4. Blue Knuckles
- Dropped by the Toad enemy in the Underground Caverns.
Our first choice is, admittedly, a rather strange one, and one that might need a little explanation first. See, Symphony of the Night became famous for one particular weapon: The Crissaegrim. This is a sword that constantly swipes four times in front of Alucard, but is made particularly powerful because you do not need to stop moving whilst swinging it, which transforms it from a powerful multi-hit weapon to an unstoppable enemy shredding machine. Unfortunately you’ll need to wait for the second castle before you can access this monster… If only the early game had something similar.
Alright so the Blue Knuckles aren’t the Crissaegrim, but it is a fist weapon that can be used whilst moving, which itself is very rare throughout the game. It’s not the most powerful weapon going, and you’ll have to get quite close to enemies to damage them, but that’s not really the point. You see, its strikes hit both in front and above Alucard’s head, which makes it very useful for swatting weak enemies like bats and ghosts away, and it also lines up perfectly to destroy most breakable candles and lights! Don’t expect boss killing miracles with this one, but it’s a great option for throwing in your alternative hand whilst exploring areas already conquered!
3. Jewel Knuckles
- Found in a secret room in the Outer Wall zone.
Given that our first choice was more of a novelty, it’s probably best to get into some of the more powerful options for the early game, of which the Jewel Knuckles are one of the absolute best. These things are available very early on in the game, as soon as you reach the western outer wall actually, and they’ll likely dwarf any other option that you can get your hands on for a good while. Plus, being a fist weapon of sorts, they have a higher innate critical strike chance, meaning you’ll regularly deal even more than their already high base damage.
They do come with the usual fist weapon negative, which is that you’ll have to get quite close to your opponent to deal damage, however their jump attack can cover this issue quite well, and you’ll 1-shot most regular enemies with these either way. Whilst there is technically a stronger weapon available very soon, which we detail further below, these knuckles don’t require that you cast a special move to unleash their full power, and given that shields are terrible outside of the ‘rod’ spells in this game, they’re ideal for pairing with others in your offhand.
2. Holy Rod
- Found in the upper section of the Long Library zone.
Possibly our most advanced early game weapon, at least in terms of time requirements, is the Holy Rod. We say this, because you’ll need the leap stone to access the Long Library section to get to its location, though savvy gamers might be able to work out a special book-based damage boost that unlocks it earlier. Either way, once you get your mitts on this bad boy, you’ll have yourself probably the most powerful single swipe weapons in the first castle, depending on your target.
Most of its power comes from the fact that it deals holy element damage, which as you might imagine does very well in a game filled with undead and demons. You’ll quickly notice that it deals close to 50% more damage to these targets, which propels it higher than pretty much anything else you can get at the time, and even keeps it useful well into the second castle. Better still, completing one of the special move combinations (back, forward & attack) will cause it to deal even more damage, evidenced by the massive holy spark that hides an angel, pictured above. This is probably the best all round weapon in the first castle if we’re honest, topped only by our final option, but even then it requires a stationary special move to compete.
- Dropped by the Dhuron enemy in the Long Library.
We noted in our Jewel Knuckles section that there’s a more powerful weapon nearby, and that is the Rapier, which can be found during the very first room of the Long Library section. You will need to kill quite a few Dhuron enemies before it drops, but it is worth noting that said Jewel Knuckles are very good at completing such a task. Also worth noting that these guys regularly drop the Hide Cuirass, which is terrible and quickly outclassed by almost any other armour piece,
but can at least be sold for a little gold. ***
*** Correction thanks to Crystal in the comments. Items cannot be sold outside of gems. Serves us right for spending so much time selling things to Hammer in AOS!
Technically speaking the Rapier is classified as a dagger, evidenced by it’s short normal attack range, and it’s attack power in particular is quite weak, especially if you’re getting used to the Jewel Knuckles by now. Its power is fully revealed by completing the ‘Hadouken’ special move combination (Down, Down-Forward, Forward & Attack), which will cause Alucard to stand still and let the Rapier attack five times in a row. Yes you read that correctly, this mini-hulk green beast will deal damage five times in a row, decimating any enemy silly enough to stand in front of you. There is no other weapon, not until the late game of the second castle, that can deal as much damage as the total of 5 attacks offered by this thing. You are required to be stationary during its special attack, which can be a pain against some bosses, however this is a small trade off for the massive damage offered by doing so, and it’s the closest you’ll get to feeling ‘overpowered’ in the first two thirds of Symphony of the Night.
Categories: Castlevania - Symphony of the Night