Castlevania: Symphony of the Night/Game Mechanics and Glitches

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Alucard Game Mechanics

Character Movement

  • Backdashing - faster then walking. (All movement techniques listed below are faster then backdashing)
  • Dive Kick - after a double jump (with Leap Stone), untransforming, or using the thrust special attack of a thrust weapon, you can press down/downright/downleft+jump to do a fast diving kick that instantly brings Alucard's downward momentum to its max, as well as allow you to travel faster than backdash speed should you do a diagonal kick. Horizontal momentum from a diagonal kick decays over time, eventually zeroing out entirely.
  • Shielddashing - done by rapidly alternating between the backdash button and the button you equip your shield on. Can be done infinitely fast.
  • Big Toss - losing at least half of your HP in a single hit will cause you to fly rapidly back at a slightly upward trajectory. Fastest form of movement.
  • Frontslide - dive kicking without holding any directions while close enough to the floor to avoid Alucard's "long fall" animation will cause the dive kick's horizontal momentum to be maintained on the ground. Any form of movement cancels this momentum.

  • Attacking with any non-thrust/throw/bomb weapon will allow you to dive kick again without having to land, letting you renew your horizontal momentum. However, holding left or right during this action cancels dive kick momentum.
  • Equipping the Axelord Armor will instantly stop Alucard's momentum no matter what, even if he is big tossed and the player would normally not have control.
  • Alucard's animation after taking long falls or after landing from being hit into the air by an enemy can be canceled by either jumping or shielding. Furthermore, shielding can then be canceled into walking forward for a frame.
  • Holding jump after you're done jumping or after untransforming in midair causes Alucard to hang in the air for a moment.
  • Taking damage while in an acute angle will push Alucard through the floor.
  • Wolfrise - the act of transforming into wolf pops Alucard into the air a little. See Wolfrise below.
  • Jumping while running up slopes makes you go higher then you normally would.
  • Jumping forward repeatedly while in an acute angle will push you through the floor.
  • You reach top speed while dashing more quickly going to the left than to the right.
  • You are invincible while charging at full speed if you have Power of Wolf equipped.
  • Mist Brake - transforming to mist instantly cancels your momentum, and you can immediately change back. Usually seen with bat, wherein it is used in conjunction with wing smash.
  • Transforming from mist to wolf is faster than transforming directly into wolf.
  • Wingsmash - is the fastest method of moving through most areas. Costs MP.
  • Infinite Wing Smash (IWS) - Doing another wingsmash input during an ongoing wingsmash will make it go further. Can be repeated as long as you have MP.
  • Unlike either of Alucard's other transformations, momentum is maintained during the bat transformation. It is fastest to either backdash or jump kick just before transforming, if possible.

Combat techniques

  • You can cancel an aerial attack animation by landing on the ground.
  • Much rarer is that you can cancel grounded attack animations by falling off ledges due to previous momentum. Attacks can also be canceled into a transformation (as well as getting hit, obviously).


Transformations grant brief invulnerability.
Jumps using Gravity Boots give you invulnerability until you reach it's apex.
You are invincible after being damaged, as well as after you are healed of status ailments such as poison.

Items that grant invulnerability
  • Potion/High Potion/Elixir
  • Manna Prism
  • Uncurse/Antivenom
  • Library Card
Spells that grant invulnerability
  • Summon Spirit
  • Tetra Spirit
  • Hellfire
  • Wing Smash
  • Wolf Charge
  • Shield Spells
  • Dark Metamorphosis (very brief)
  • Soul Steal

Stat Gains

  • HP - goes up at the same rate no matter what. Amount per level up increases with each level.
  • MP - can either go up by 4 or 5 every level, depending on RNG.
  • STR, CON, INT, LCK - are completely randomized, but you are guaranteed to at least get something every level up. You can get a 1 point gain in any combination of the four stats each level up, or you can get 2 points to a single stat.

Alucard Glitches

Fire Boomerang Trick

Having six Fire Boomerangs on screen at once and then transforming into Wolf or Bat will cause momentum calculation to cease while the boomerangs are onscreen. If you jump or backdash then instantly transform, you will float backwards or rise upward at full speed for a couple seconds, respectively.

Revenge Technique

The result of this technique is that you kill a boss or enemy without it counting towards the kill counter while giving you no experience points. It is a trick which only serves a purpose in Pacifist runs and the way to do it is different depending on which boss or enemy it is. In general, what you want to do is get inside the boss or enemy's hitbox and kill them as you are taking a hit. Doing this usually requires an item that gives invincibility.

Shop Glitch

You need to have any 1 sellable gem and any of the familiars. It must also be done on your first visit into the shop.

Follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your back against the screen transition
  2. Enable/Equip/Summon the familiar
  3. As soon as you hear the familiar talking, backdash into the shop
  4. Quickly skip the cutscene with the Librarian and bring up your menu (disable the familiar if you want)
  5. Go into the shop, go into "sell"
  6. Bring up your menu again and equip the sellable gem
  7. Sell the gem
  8. Go back one step in the shop menu and then back into "sell"
  9. You should now be able to sell 255 more of that sellable gem (and buy anything you want)

This can be done even after visiting the shop but only works with the Sword familiar. You go into the librarians room and cast the Sword Brothers spell and then go talk to the librarian. The rest of the steps are exactly the same.

Wolf/Mist Rise

The requirements for this trick are to have Soul of Wolf and/or Form of Mist or a weapon with the thrusting special attack (Flamberge, Claymore are the most common examples). Every time you transform into Wolf form, you gain a little bit of height and then Mist form or the thrusting special attack keeps you in the air long enough to transform back into Wolf form, to repeat the process of gaining height. Rising with mist form works in the same way, though you go up more quickly to do being able to move up for a moment each rise.

When rising with Wolf+Mist, you want to tap both the Mist and the Wolf buttons at the same time, then you can rise without it costing any MP, which is also a glitch of some sort. Keep in mind that you want to wait for the wolf to actually rise as much as possible before you use Mist form again.

When rising using the thrusting special attack you time your untransform to get as much height as possible, then do the sword's special attack (back > forward+attack), whereafter you mash wolf until you transform again.


Game Mechanics

  • Air Control - refers to whether you can move Richter around using left and right while in the air. Certain actions such as slide kick and backflip get rid of this, and it can only be restored by recovering from a falling animation, jumping, or whipping.
  • Special Mode - resetting in Alucard mode whilst in mist or bat form will have odd effects on Richter's hitbox, allowing him to do bizarre clips and such. Not useful.
  • Momentum Retain - Richter maintains his momentum in the air as long as you do not press left or right. This can be further maintained by holding whip to make Richter brandish the whip.
  • Item crashes give Richter invincibility, and ones with long animations can be canceled by being pushed off by the environment in some way, such as the doors that close at the start of the Karasuman battle. The knife crash can be canceled at any time by jumping.
  • The default item crash done when Richter has no subweapon, the flame whip, does nothing in all versions except the Saturn version.

Character Movement

  • Dash - done by double tapping forward. Can be maintained into a jump, and after turning around. Use this if no other form of movement is available.
  • Slide - done by pressing down+jump. Is the fastest form of movement for Richter, and can be repeated very rapidly. Does small damage if an enemy touches Richter's foot - this usually does not kill enemies, so be careful. Slide can be canceled into any item crash. Is impossible to do on any surface that isn't completely flat, and will instantly be canceled if you run into a slanted surface or fall off an edge.
  • Slide Kick - pressing jump again early into a slide will cause him to go into the air. This gives him a burst of speed, and this burst is the absolute fastest he can move. It decays as soon as Richter starts falling, however. On hitting anything, it does significant damage, and can be canceled into a backflip by holding square before it hits something. You lose air control if you act in the air before landing from a slide kick.
  • Backflip - can be done by hitting jump soon after doing a neutral jump, or by holding whip while slide kicking into something. Richter goes backwards at a flat rate and pops up into the air a bit. Can be canceled into blade dash or uppercut. You slide backwards for a bit when you land. You lose air control if you act in midair out of a backflip.
  • Blade Dash - done by hitting up > down > downforward > whip. Does more damage than the whip per hit, and you move forward quickly while invincible during it. Is the second best choice of movement if slide is impossible, but be careful to avoid the ending lag if done on the ground. Bends to any sloped surfaces if Richter is touching a ceiling or floor.

Richter Glitches

  • Hydro Storm Damage Stack - using hydro storm (holy water item crash) and throwing holy water on specific frames during it causes the hydro storm to do much more damage than usual.
  • Inverted Keep Zip - sliding to the right in front of the hidden staircase in the Inverted Keep causes a bizarre scrolling glitch as you fall off the ledge. Immediately turning around as this happens and doing a blade dash will push you into the floor, wherein the blade dash will carry you away from the loading zone and allow you to drop to the bottom of the keep.

Regional Differences

Your first input after regaining control after a cutscene or going through a door can be buffered in the Japanese version.
You can act immediately after going through a loading transition in the Japanese version.
In the Outer Wall, doing the above trick while going through any of the doors lets you act before the door is finished closing. This can be used as a much easier alternative to the Elevator Floor Skip.
No variation of the Fire Boomerang Trick works in the Japanese version.
Infinite Wing Smash does not work in the Japanese version.
In the Japanese version, you can teleport from the Shaft fight straight to Dracula by either walking off the ledge into the start of the battle as wolf (Alucard), or sliding off of it after landing from a backflip (Richter). After doing so, touching the left wall instantly loads up the Dracula fight, even for Richter who normally cannot fight Dracula.

Loading/Lag Differences

The XBLA version of the game has the best overall loading times and lag, and is the preferred version for doing runs.

Other Differences

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