Albus Mode is an alternate mode in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia where the player controls Albus for the entirety of the game. This mode can be unlocked once the player completes the game in Normal Mode, which in turn makes both, Hard Mode and Albus Mode, automatically accessible to the player when starting a new game.
Albus starts immediately in Wygol Village without the quest of rescuing the villagers (he was the one who imprisoned them in the first place). He starts with a set amount of attacks and moves, and won't be able to learn new ones throughout the course of the game. The pause menu cannot be accessed either, and pressing the START button simply freezes the screen, typical of a "gameplay pause". Consequentially, items cannot be used and any medals acquired cannot be viewed. Glyphs, items, and accessories still appear in their specific locations (such as breakable walls). However, Glyphs are unattainable since Albus cannot absorb them, and picking up items has no effect.
Fortunately, like the Julius Mode of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Albus can level-up. Power-leveling and grinding is absolutely recommended in this mode. His level is displayed on the upper right corner of the screen (although there is no counter of experience points for the player to identify). Along with experience, the Attribute Points mechanic also applies to him even without any counters. Killing many enemies later on will increase his damage output. He also gains AP faster than Shanoa does (which is quadrupled, equivalent to two Master Rings). He gains 16 HP per level until Level 10, which is twice the amount of Shanoa's (hers is only 8 HP per level). Only red treasure chests are available for Albus and these contain HP, MP and Heart Max Up upgrades.
In Albus Mode, the player can perform five moves:
- Quick Shot - The standard bullet, providing moderate Slash damage.
- Particle Shot - A shot providing Light and Darkness damage.
- Max Shot - A shot providing Thunder and Darkness damage.
- Quad Ignis - A spinning upward kick that provides Flame damage. Can be cast in mid-air (consumes 3 Hearts).
- Torpor - A paralyzing glyph that provides minimal Ice damage. Can be cast twice successively in mid-air or on ground.
In addition, the touch screen can be used to teleport Albus. This is actually the most useful ability of Albus as he is able to access the areas that Shanoa cannot do so early in the game. Teleportation is also the key to dodge the attacks of the bosses. However the player must also care when tapping an area, as he might accidentally collide with traps or enemies. Although the player could easily use this to traverse long spike pits (since Albus is unable to use Magnes), due to Teleportation's high MP cost, moving platforms have been included in some areas such as Tymeo Mountains. The player needs to master this since the only obvious weakness of Albus is his lack of items and equipment. He can backdash using the L trigger and it has a longer distance and provides invincibility. An alternate movement ability of Albus is the High Jump which can be performed by pressing the L Trigger in mid-air. He can also cast this several times without touching the ground, although this consumes MP.
With these five moves in the player's arsenal, they must guide Albus throughout the various stages of the game. Note that the Strike attribute is the only damage-type that Albus cannot deal to enemies, given his ability set. Albus is quite powerful even in the early stages of the game, and can defeat a boss in no time, thanks to the teleportation ability. He is mainly considered a ranged character, as the range of his firearm Agartha allows him to hit horizontally spanning the length of the screen. A well-placed Max Shot deals a high burst of damage to large bosses in just a short amount of time. Otherwise, the player can just utilize the barrage from the Quick Shot ability, as it can be held down for continuous fire, and as long as he still has enough MP. Quad Ignis is a great skill for flying enemies. Lastly, the Particle Shot can hit almost the horizontal half of the screen, and Albus recovers quickly from casting it, which allows consecutive casts from other skills.