As per usual with a Castlevania title, gaining levels isn’t exactly essential. There’s enough equipment, skills and relics to keep you powered up, and none of these have a level requirement at all. In fact, it’s entirely possible to complete Symphony of the Night at a very low level, as any speedrunner would attest to. However, if you want to make your life a little easier, or just feel like a massively overpowered vampire killer, then you’ll likely want to find a location to get your level on. Should you find yourself in this particular camp, and kudos for being a grinder just like us by the way, then you’ll do well to visit a few of the locations below whilst you’re on your way.
- Merman – 12 EXP
Alright so this first one is a little weak we’ll admit, because it’s a very early location that simply features infinitely respawning Merman enemies, but there’s a few notes that you may want to consider about this. Firstly, there are those of you out there that may just want to get a little head start on things, and this is an ideal location for such things; simply sit down here and slay Merman until you get a few levels and move on. Secondly, the introduction to Symphony of the Night – the bit where you play as Richter taking down Dracula – has the potential to heavily influence your starting statistics, so you may want to get a few levels to patch up any holes in health or strength at this early stage. Either way it’s relatively fun to sit down by the way and splat some fishmen – bonus points for making them fly across the screen!
- Hammer – 110 EXP
- Blade – 100 EXP
- Spectral Sword – 80 EXP
- Poltergeist – 10 EXP
In reality, there isn’t a great deal of need for grinding in the first castle. That was a spoiler by the way, but given that we’re 20+ years away from first having played this game, we’re fairly sure that any surprise factor has long since faded. That said, we did find this particular area quite useful – you can use Soul Steal to completely demolish a Spectral Sword that has summoned all of its allies, then head over to the long room leading to the warp to slay the Hammer and Blade enemies. On top of providing a fair bit of experience, the area is relatively safe and some of the loot drops can be quite useful, the highlight of which is the Bastard Sword that can drop from the Spectral Sword specifically. It can be a pain to take down without MP, but it’s worth noting that a simple triple fireball spell from the other side of the screen can take it down before it summons, though you’ll miss out on some EXP doing it that way.
- Lion – 1,000 EXP
- Schmoo – 1,000 EXP
- Scarecrow – 1,000 EXP
Yes we are well aware that this particular area has been written about before, however it’s worth reiterating once again, because it’s an absolute goldmine. Should you not be aware, these three enemies drop some of the best items in the game; Crissaegrim from the Schmoo, Fist of Tulkas from the Lion and Muramasa from the Scarecrow. Were this not enough of a reason to head over to the Forbidden Library, each of these enemies also grants a good amount of experience points. Due to the unique way that experience scales in SOTN (enemies grant proportionally less or more depending on how your level compares to theirs), you’re unlikely to reach a very high level, however this particular place should always be your first port of call upon reaching the second castle. It’ll catapult you up by a good few levels, preparing you for the more difficult areas ahead, and you’ll grab some epic loot at the same time!
Black Marble Gallery
- Guardian – 1,500 EXP
Speaking of experience and level gains, if only there were a very high levelled enemy that features a huge amount of experience, to the point where you can gain a great deal of levels before it becomes obsolete? Yes that’s right, you’re going to want to head over to the Black Marble Gallery, which surrounds the central clock in the second castle, to find the absolute best grinding spot in the entirety of SOTN. The 1500 EXP might not look like a lot compared to the previous choice, however the Guardian enemy is level 60, so you’ll likely gain a great deal more than this. Actually if your Alucard is below level 55, you’ll gain a whopping 4500 EXP for every one of these slain, which makes it the absolute pinnacle of level grinding in the entire game. It’ll even continue to provide a great amount above this level, making it wholly reasonable to get Alucard to 65+ in relatively short order. Plus, there’s always a chance at getting your hands on the elusive God’s Garb too!
Categories: Castlevania - Symphony of the Night