posted by @SteveHatesU
Listen up, dildos! I have not had a very good week. Let me tell you a little about it by working my way backwards. I can’t drink because I’m on antibiotics. I’m on antibiotics because I caught strep throat at the age of 26. I caught strep throat (probably) because of some chick. In addition to strep throat, this chick also gave me a case of the heartache. A wise man once said, “True love is hard to find. Sometimes you think you have true love and then you catch the early flight home from San Diego and a couple of nude people jump out of your bathroom, blindfolded like a goddamn magic show, ready to double-team your girlfriend.”
Now, I’m not idiotic enough to proclaim that I thought I found true love, but you get the fucking point. Besides, what is a woman? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk – HAVE AT YOU!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is better than any girl you will ever meet. Ever.
Me and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night go way the fuck back. I was one of the last kids I knew who got either a PlayStation or a Nintendo 64. I didn’t fucking like the controller on the N64, so I asked my parents for a PlayStation for Christmas. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a frugal gamer, and in 1998 I did not have the necessary means for a necessary means of buying expensive video games. Luckily, one of my friends let me borrow a couple of his games. Let me just say that I am one of the best people to lend your shit to. I will take care of your shit as if it were my own shit and I will return your shit to you in as good, if not better, condition as when you lent it to me; I will also return your shit in a timely manner.
Adversely, nobody is allowed to borrow my shit because they will fuck it up and/or not give it back. My least favorite thing to do ever is re-buy something because some asshole didn’t give it back to me.
Where the fuck was I?
Oh yeah – so in 1998 my friend let me borrow Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Look, I know you’re a smart kid because I say “fuck” a lot and you’re cool with it. So from now on, I’m just going to write out CSotN and you’re going to know what I’m talking about. Good? Good. Anyway, I spent what, at the time, was considered a ridiculous amount of hours playing this game. One day I was able to say, “Dude, I beat CSotN and it was really fucking depressing.” And then I gave it back because I’m a good person.
What really made me question the authenticity of my initial victory was the percentage of which I had completed the game. According to my memory card, I had only completed something like, 75% of the game. You mean to tell me that after spending hours with this thing, I missed a quarter of it? The answer is “No”- I missed 125% of it.
It was around this time that I turned to this crazy new thing called the internet. This motherfucker told me about everything I was missing. Tips. Tricks. Techniques. New positions. Different ways to finish. It was like getting really good at banging your girlfriend and one day she looks at you and says, “there’s another me, but this one is upside down”. Wait, what?
Let me explain.
You see, there aren’t any levels in CSotN. Instead, you’re given an entire castle to explore right from the start. It is, however, designed to be somewhat taken in a linear path with more rooms opening up as you gain abilities. It’s like Metroid but not in space and you’re not a chick. You play as Alucard, the estranged son of Count Dracula. Your goal is to explore your dickhead father’s demon castle, grow stronger, and stop him and his pimp, Shaft, from taking over the world. Along the way, you’ll meet some characters that will help you out in various ways. Ultimately, though, you’re a lone half-breed vampire with a bad-ass cape and killer sword that can CUT GIANT WEREVOLVES IN HALF. If you play the game right, after you conquer the first castle, an identical second castle opens up but this time it’s completely inverted!
It blew my mind when I found out there was another castle. My balls exploded when I realized that the first castle was designed to be played right side up and upside down. Who built this castle, Ivo Shandor?! It wasn’t long after I returned CSotN to my friend that I was in Babbage’s (yeah, I fucking know) and saw that CSotN was being sold for 20 bucks. I had 20 bucks, so I bought it. And thus began our torrid love affair.
Like I said before, the ending I saw was depressing. You don’t fight Dracula. Instead, you fight former-hero-turned-evil-fuck, Richter Belmont. You kill him, Castlevania crumbles, you go back to sleep. Awesome. After gaining some more knowledge on the game from the internet, I was determined to get the true ending. In order to do that, you have to get a silver and a gold ring, wear them on each hand in some giant clock room, get magic glasses, shatter that pimp’s green orb that’s controlling Richter’s mind and beat the game with at least a total of 196% complete. Now stick with me, because I’m not fucking finished.
Remember how I said you have to get a silver and gold ring? I literally just talked about it, so if you don’t remember, you’re an asshole. Anyway, ring #1 is attained by walking through an entire hallway of spikes where you meet up with this chick named Maria. Now, you have to get magical and conveniently named spike-breaker armor in order to get through this hallway. You have to put up with a lot of shit to get it, but once you do, you walk over those spikes like french toast. Hey – where’s Maria’s spike-breaker armor?! I mean, she’s just at the end of the hallway waiting for you. How the fuck did she even get through this hallway unscathed? So she’s like, “Hey I think something’s wrong with Richter. I know we just met, but you need to help him. Here’s a ring. Meet me at the place with the thing. Byyyyyyeee!” Typical woman.
Ring #2 is attained by entering the dream world and defeating the Succubus. All throughout the castle there are these “save cubes” that are used to restore your health and, well, save your game. In one of these rooms, there’s an oddly colored “save cube” that just screams, “I’m totally normal!” So, you go to sleep and enter “The Nightmare”. Here, you’re shown a memory of how local villagers burned your mother at the stake fearing her to be a witch. As she’s burning, she utters her final wish to you – kill all humans. Seems reasonable- I’ll probably say something extremely similar while I’m dying. It turns out that this is not your mother – it’s a man, baby! Actually it’s the Succubus trying to trick you. Honestly, if you’re a chick and you want me to kill everyone, you can probably put away the charade and just show me your titties.
After you get both rings, you can meet Maria in the place with the thing and she gives you Roddy Piper’s magic sunglasses. Look, this is an awful lot of shit I have to do just to destroy this castle. These chicks are bossing me around, pretending to be my mother, sending me on fetch quests and making me wear stupid rings and sunglasses. I’d better get laid at the end of this, or I am going to be very upset.
Who the fuck is this guy?! Oh, this is “Richter”! Well you didn’t tell me you already had a boyfriend. Oh, he’s “not your boyfriend – not really”? Where’s that tricky demon bitch with the tits? She’ll probably sleep with me.
Wasn’t I supposed to be talking about how much I love this game? What just happened?
The true ending of the game honestly isn’t much better. You fight Shaft and then Dracula, Castlevania disintegrates, you decide to go off and be alone and Maria decides to follow you. Richter’s cool with it; he’s probably just going to bang Maria’s sister, anyway. Typical.
It may not seem like it, but this is honestly one of the best video games of all time. The gameplay is tight and rewarding, the music is superbly haunting, the artwork is creative and very aesthetically pleasing. It has interesting characters that make you feel emotionally invested in the game- the overall experience is rich and exciting. This is the only game that I’ve bought more than once (three times, technically) by choice, and not because I lent the game to some asshole who never gave it back. Play it, or forever be condemned to Hell.
Now, let us go out this evening for pleasure, the night is still young…
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