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Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

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Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
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RELEASE INFORMATION
Japanese title 悪魔城ドラキュラ 蒼月の十字架 Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika (Demon Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue/Pale Moon)
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Released date(s) Flag of Japan August 25, 2005
European flag September 30, 2005
Flag of the United States October 4, 2005
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Media(s) 512 megabit Cartridge
Rating(s) ESRB: ESRB T Teen (T)
CERO: CERO 12 12+
PEGI: PEGI 12 12+
CREDITS
Director(s) Satoshi Kushibuchi, Koji Igarashi (Producer)
Designer(s)
Composer(s) Masahiko Kimura, Michiru Yamane
GAMEPLAY INFORMATION
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (commonly abbreviated DoS, although the correct abbreviation would be DS or CDS) is a game for the Nintendo DS, part of Konami's popular Castlevania franchise. The game was first released in August 2005 in Japan. It should be noted that "Dawn of Sorrow" is a play on "DS", the system that this game has been released on, (a subtitling structure that has been used for other games released for the system). This game is known in Japan as Demon Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue/Pale Moon. The subtitle is also based on "Aria of Sorrow", known as "Minuet of Dawn" in Japan.

The game is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, with Soma Cruz as its protagonist; other characters from Aria of Sorrow also appear in the game, including Genya Arikado and Julius Belmont. It takes place one year after Aria of Sorrow and deals with an enigmatic cult (unrelated to the cult led by Aria of Sorrow antagonist Graham Jones) who seeks to kill Soma and revive the dark power of Dracula sleeping inside him, as a sort of retribution for Soma 'denying his destiny' in becoming the Dark Lord incarnate in the previous game. In the cult's mind, Dracula represents the ultimate evil that must exist for there to be an ultimate good, and with the Dark Lord sealed, that cannot happen. Instead of running from this new threat, however, Soma decides to take the initiative and confront his foes head-on, eventually discovering a castle and monsters similar to those owned by Dracula, supposedly constructed by the cult as the scene for the ritual required to sacrifice Soma and revive the vampire lord.

The game also features most of Aria of Sorrow's main gameplay, including the Tactical Soul System (Soma's ability to absorb enemies' souls and use their powers), which is a nice touch to the game, as this was a very interesting mechanic in Aria of Sorrow. This time Soma can upgrade most abilities by acquiring multiple copies of the same soul. New to the series is the Magic Seal System, which makes use of the system's touch screen. Using a finger or stylus, the player must draw an intricate symbol or "seal" on the touch screen to trap defeated boss enemies. If the seal is not drawn quickly and correctly, the boss can regenerate energy and continue to fight. The touch screen can also be used to break certain blocks, navigate menus, and control certain familiars.



The game also has a multiplayer vs. mode, where one player creates a section of the castle, complete with enemies, and both players race to defeat the enemies and reach the end of the level; players are also able to trade souls they've found in the game. In addition, there is a Julius mode where you can play as Julius Belmont, armed with the Vampire Killer and subweapons. In this mode there is a tribute to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse in the sense that you can gain two allies to your task and switch between them at any time: Yoko Belnades, a witch who fights like her ancestor Sypha Belnades with a staff and fire, ice, and lightning spells, and Alucard returning from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night with his signature sword, Hellfire spell, and the ability to turn into a bat.



MiscellaneousEdit

With the release of this game, the series will be going back to the "Akumajo Dracula" name in Japan. The series had used the Castlevania name in Japan since the release of "Concerto of the Midnight Sun" (known as Harmony of Dissonance in North America).

A few special items will appear in the item menu if Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is in the DS' GBA cartridge slot, such as the Rare Ring.

Character GalleryEdit

Main article: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow/Gallery
Characters
Heroes and Allies
Image Name Information
SomaDawn
Soma Cruz
The main protagonist and possible successor to Dracula.
MinaDawn
Mina Hakuba
Soma's childhood friend.
Dos-julius
Julius Belmont
The oldest Belmont called into action.
Arikado in DoS
Genya Arikado
Works for a Japanese paranormal agency. An alias for Alucard.
YokoDawn
Yoko Belnades
A exorcist working for The Church. Heir to the Belnades Clan power.
Dos-hammer
Hammer
A former military man. Now an information broker and arms dealer.
Villains
Celia-full
Celia Fortner
Leader of a cult who fears a world without a Dark Lord.
Dario-full
Dario Bossi
A Dark Lord Candidate who can control fire.
Dmitrii-full
Dmitrii Blinov
A Dark Lord Candidate who can copy attacks.

AwardsEdit

  • In Electronic Gaming Monthly's E3, the E3 model of this game was given a score of Awesome.
  • Upon the game's North American release, EGM awarded the game with Game of the Month honors, as well awarding it with a Gold Medal, since the average of the three scores was at least 9 out of 10.
  • It was given a difficult 5 out of 5 on the T.V. review show X-Play.

TriviaEdit

  • The Silenced Ruins area is a direct tribute to the first Akumajou Dracula/Castlevania game for the Famicom/NES—in addition to similar visual designs, especially the interesting idea of making its last room mimic the first corridor of the first Castlevania, the background music is a remix of the background music for the first stages of this title that started the series, "Vampire Killer." Also, the boss in this area, the Bat Company, is a reference to the original Castlevania, where the first boss was a giant bat.
  • Mine of Judgment also houses a tribute to a past Castlevania game; in this case, Super Castlevania IV. Back in Super Castlevania IV, as the player traveled up to the keep, Slogra was the first of the four final bosses they would meet, followed by Gaibon on the next floor, and then by Death just before the keep. In Dawn of Sorrow, as the player travels down the mine, they encounter Slogra and Gaibon as minor (although numerous) enemies, followed by Death as the boss of the area. The mine also features a reappearance of the music track Basement Melody from Haunted Castle.
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow contains three items, the Crown, the Bell, and the Konami Man, as homages to the original NES Castlevania. The Crown can be found by sitting on one of the chairs in one of the most eastern rooms of the Demon Guest House, the Bell can be found by using the Bat Spell and flying into one of the bells in the Dark Chapel, and the Konami Man is found by crouching on a platform surrounded by spikes in the Cursed Clock Tower. Each of these items has the description simply stating the number of "points" they are worth. They have no effect on gameplay (although they can be sold to Hammer) but interestingly enough, they can be collected in Julius Mode, whereas all other items (besides magic hearts) cannot be picked up. It is unknown what their effects are in Julius Mode.
  • This game Japanese title 悪魔城ドラキュラ 蒼月の十字架 Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika (Demon Castle Dracula: Cross of the Blue Moon). In the package art, characters have formed the cross as the title.

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