By their very nature, fist weapons are an unusual addition to the Castlevania arsenal in Symphony of the Night. These games are built around the player’s ability to move and react to their sphere of influence, which itself is typified by the weapon currently being used. Whips and Swords, themselves the typical fare of these games, often strike in a straight line for a given distance, so the player can position themselves ‘at pons length’ to their target, thus able to damage them whilst remaining safe. So what on earth are Fists doing here, a weapon type that requires you to be virtually face to face with your opponent? Are they just a novelty, designed to flesh out the equipment list and amuse, or are they truly worth your time?
- Very short range.
- Limited model choice.
As you might imagine, one of the main negatives of these particular weapons is the distance that you must close in order to make them useful. This will essentially make your mind up for you, based on your own skill level and risk aversion, but it is worth noting that mitigation can be put in place for issues that may arise, like stacking defence, healing items and mixing in spell casting to plug range gaps.
It’s also worth noting that fist weapons are rather rare in Symphony of the Night, at least compared to other weapon types; the Two-Handed Sword has more representation here, and even club types have more availability. They are spread out well throughout progression points, which we’ll detail below, however there are vast swathes of the castle that can pass by without finding another model, especially for those unwilling to grind enemies for rare drops. In fact, outside of a few choices, you’ll need to hunt through enemies’ drop rates to get your hands on them at all, and with the plethora of other types providing similar benefits, it’s rarely worth farming for many.
- High critical chance.
- Great power versus availability.
- Often feature powerful specials.
Given our introduction paragraph, you might expect that we’re not exactly enamoured with these particular additions to Alucard’s arsenal, however nothing could be further than the truth. To understand this you must first understand that we consider Symphony of the Night one of the best games ever, and that this is still considered an understatement when compared to the amount of time we’ve spent with it. Literally thousands of hours have been spent with this game ever since its release, because it’s a game we don’t just admire and respect, but one that we absolutely adore playing.
That said, hunting out the strange and unusual weapons on offer is something we consider enjoyable, and we believe that the fist weapons offer enough benefits to justify it. They have an innate high critical strike chance, and whilst they do require that you get up close to your opponents, they’re often more powerful than their counterparts relative to their availability time. Further to this, two of the five available models have a special move available, and one of them even features the ability to swing whilst moving, which is a rare and valuable trait in SOTN. For us at least, these benefits outweigh the risks, and make it worth hunting out some of the rare models, which we’ve detailed below, whenever you can.
- Jewel Knuckles
- Blue Knuckles
- Fist of Tulkas
Our first recommendation will likely be very obvious to those that have dug into the secrets of SOTN before, but it’s worth noting that the Jewel Knuckles are available very, very early on in the game. When you first reach the outer wall, which can be within the first 30 minutes or so of gameplay, you can access these by breaking a hidden wall in the room above the mist gate room, guarded by a tough knight enemy. Standing in the broken wall area for 10 seconds or so will see you transported to the room below, where you will find the Jewel Knuckles. These are very, very powerful for this early point in the game, and will likely do more damage than anything you’ll find for a while.
We will admit that the Blue Knuckles are more of a novelty, because their constant uppercuts are fun but rather weak, but the Fist of Tulkas is a model that you absolutely should collect. Available in the Reverse Library, these are dropped by the Lion enemy, along with the Gauntlet accessory. Getting your hands on one of these is a great idea, because their ‘hadouken’ special move actually fires out a single fireball, which can be used to deal a big amount of damage from far away, and the method is much quicker than any spell that Alucard can cast. Further still, the other special move (back, forward + attack) will unleash a multi-hit fist attack against close up opponents, which will deal an incredible amount of damage to literally any target in the game, last boss included. Even if you eventually succumb to the allure of the overpowered swords available in the game, it’s always worth having this stalwart in your alternative hand whenever you can. Besides, who doesn’t want a magical lion’s mouth strapped to your fist?
Categories: Castlevania - Symphony of the Night