It’s a testament to the creativity available in Symphony of the Night, that we can actually describe more than one powerful build for Alucard, the protagonist. In regular Castlevania games, hell in regular RPG games period, there’s often a single route towards power, like stacking attack power or strength. Here however, the breadth of equipment, spells and sub weapons allow you to mix and match to your heart’s content, creating specialist builds for different situations and generally having a good time. The following are a few of our favourite alternative ways to build everyone’s favourite halfblood.
The Tank Build
Going full tank, which is essentially an entirely defence focused build, is almost the antithesis of gameplay in a Castlevania game. Oh sure, defensive skills like the Mist transformation exist, however the generally accepted method of play is to aggressively defeat enemies before they defeat you. Why then, would you even want to consider creating a fully defensive build for Alucard?
Well, we’re somewhat assuming that you’re here because you want to do things a little different, so to that end we’ve equipped all of the best defensive options that we can and, along with the Shield Rod & Alucard Shield combo spell, slowly march towards enemies until they expire. Technically speaking, the Rod & Shield combo is tremendously powerful regardless of your build, however kitting yourself out with defence raising equipment will keep you safe even if things go wrong.
In truth, this is more of a novelty build than anything else, because using a regular weapon can achieve a similar effect, however playing the part of an actual tank does make it enjoyable. There’s something truly satisfying about being so defensively sound that nothing can bother you at all. There is a way to make this happen in this game’s version of New Game Plus, but we’ll get to that shortly…
The Minion Master
Likely some of you may have skipped to our third build, and we’ll freely admit that it’s by far the most powerful of those being detailed today, but if you’re marking these on a pure fun factor then the Minion Master build absolutely takes the cake. This is a build that focuses on dealing damage from afar, preferably with minions and projectiles, smiling from ear to ear whilst you feel like a mix of mage, necromancer and vampire.
The style of fighting entirely revolves around summoning minions with the Sword of Dawn special move (down, down/forward, forward + attack), using your own minion and firing out as many spells as possible, all powered up by the Mojo Mail. Seeing numerous summoned minions marching towards an opponent whilst you shock it with powered up lightning strikes is a feeling quite like no other. We’re not necessarily going to claim that this is viable for taking down late game bosses, far from it, but it’s an incredibly fun way to play the game. Though, now that we think about it, a fully powered up Sword Familiar, buffed by the Mojo Mail, probably could take down late game bosses on its own.
The Post Game Monster
We’ll admit that our final build is more of a culmination than an alternative build, however it’s one that we want to shine a light on. Having played through SOTN once, you’ll note that the save file displays the word CLEAR, which opens up a few important things. Should you wish, you can take on the alternative Richter mode now, or head to the library to buy the Item Duplicator, however it’s worth noting that something very important happens within the game itself: One unassuming enemy drop changes. The Paranthropus enemy, found in the reverse outer wall section of the second castle, now drops the ridiculous Ring of Varda accessory, which grants absolutely amazing stat increases (+30 STR, +30 INT, +10 CON, +10 ATK, +10 DEF, +5 LCK). It’s possible to get and equip two of these which, when combined with the other equipment in the above image, makes Alucard an unstoppable beast.
It’s also worth noting that the weapon choice is fairly fluid, because your stats will be so high that it matters less, however our favourite set is to use the Crissaegrim in the main hand, with Fist of Tulkas in the off. This gives you the quad striking insanity of the best weapon in the game, and a handy off hand fireball toting fist weapon for those awkward to reach targets. Alternatives to this include a fully powered up Sword Familiar, two Heaven Swords for their double spell, or the Masamune for some teleport-striking fun. Wearing this equipment essentially makes the castle your plaything, which we suspect was the exact reason why they added the accessory during development.
Categories: Castlevania - Symphony of the Night