Borrowing ideas from Nintendo's Metroid wasn't necessarily a bad idea. Fans praised Konami for being able to adapt to the Castlevania universe by mixing in elements from Vampire Killer and Dracula X: The Rondo of Blood. If anything, it increased Symphony of the Night's replay value tremendously since there was such a large amount of motivation to explore new areas of the castle with Alucard's new powers and to find some of the power-ups you may have missed while playing through for the first time. Plus, if you beat Dracula, you can play through a special version of the game as Richter--though it's rather difficult to navigate through the later levels since Richter doesn't have the ability to turn into a bat or poisonous fog.
It seemed rather appropriate to change the game's name from Nocturne in the Moonlight in Japan to Symphony of the Night because the soundtrack plays a large role in the game, and unquestionably, Symphony of the Night's music is the best in the series.
With the exception of a Castlevania rap, just about every type of music is included in Symphony of the Night. From the light classical piano music in the massive library stage and the guitar riffs at the clock tower to the dramatic drumming of the opening sequence, Symphony of the Night has it all, and it would be incredibly difficult to find another original soundtrack that even comes close to matching its quality. The only complaint about Symphony's soundtrack is that the PlayStation version doesn't contain dedicated tracks to the three classic Castlevania songs--Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, and Beginning--but they are in the Saturn version of the game.
|Interestingly, the Sega Saturn version of Symphony of the Night lets you play as both Richter and Maria from the beginning. There are also two extra levels--Cursed Prison and Underground Garden--not found in the PlayStation version.|
In an era where three-dimensional graphics reigned supreme and two-dimensional games were frowned upon by most publishers, Konami took a huge chance in going the two-dimensional route with Symphony of the Night. In fact, the initial production run of the game in the US was severely limited due to the fact that no one really thought a two-dimensional game would sell well. Luckily, word of mouth quickly spread, and people bought the game in droves. If you haven't played Symphony of the Night, you owe it to yourself to buy it, kick back, and enjoy what is one of the best action RPGs ever created.