Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Part Seven: Item Spotlight

The Inventory

SotN has a great inventory of relics, weapons, armor, shields, and healing items. The following is a list of some of my favorite items along with whatever trivia I could dig up about them. As with the Beastiary in Part Six, the names in the original Japanese version are in parentheses. Some item descriptions changed between the original PS1 version and later ports to other systems.

Relics

Cube of Zoe (Materialize Cube): Back in Part One, I wondered how this cube got its name. It turns out that Jeremy Blaustein renamed it with a reference to his daughter. Aww.

Jewel of Open (Unlock Jewel): Can open blue locked doors.

Leap Stone (Flight Stone): Allows Alucard to double jump. Perhaps it was renamed to prevent confused players from thinking that they could fly with this relic.

Gravity Boots (Levitation Boots): Allows Alucard to jump high up into the air. The rename works is more accurate than the original name.

The Cards that let you summon familiars are called Essence of… items in the original Japanese version of the game.

One-handed Short Swords

Holbein Dagger: “Swift Upper Diagonal Attack”. Allows you to attack at an upwards diagonal angle.

Stone Sword (Milican’s Sword): May petrify enemies. It can petrify the higher-level Doppleganger 40 boss.

Jewel Sword: This infamous weapon can transform enemies into random jewels.

Were Bane (Were Buster): Effective against werebeasts, but doesn’t actually do any extra damage to Were monsters. Instead, it’s actually effective against… heavily armored enemies. Who could have guessed that without looking it up first? I didn’t even know until I looked up the game’s items on the Castlevania wiki!

Sword of Hador (Sword of Helge): “House of Hador heirloom” This is a J.R.R. Tolkien reference, like some of the other items in the game.

Luminus (Orcrist): “Sword forged by elves” Another Tolkien reference, this time to the weapon wielded by Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit.

Harper (Harpe): “The sword named Harper” Harpe is a Greek sword said to have been used by Perseus to slay Medusa. Medusa herself is an enemy in some Castlevania games, and we can’t forget the Medusa Heads.

Gram (Famous Sword Gram): “The sword named Gram”

Dark Blade (Glamdring): “Sword forged by elves” Yet another Tolkien reference. Despite what their names imply, neither Luminus nor the Dark Blade have any elemental attributes.

Alucart Sword: “Resembles family sword” Not to be confused with the Alucard Sword that our hero brings with him to the castle before Death magically takes his stuff. The Alucart equipment set grants a boost to Alucard’s Luck when equipped.

Tyrfing: “Cursed dark sword” Almost sounding like “terrifying”, this blade lives up to its name; it subtracts 30 points from Alucard’s Attack stat.

Mormegil (Holy Buster): This sword does darkness damage, but if you guessed that darkness would be less than effective in a castle full of evil creatures, you would be right; only two enemies are weak to darkness: the Sniper of Goth and Richter in the boss fight against him. Several enemies resist or absorb the darkness element, further lowering Mormegil’s effectiveness.

Thunderbrand (Thunder Sword of Indra): “Lightning sword of Indra” Courtest of the CV wiki: “Indra is the chief deity of the Rigveda, god of weather and war, and lord of Svargaloka in Hinduism.” The elemental -brand blades let you use a special “burst” attack with a quarter circle motion.

Icebrand (Ice Sword of Rahab): “Ice sword of Mim” This sword leaves a rather pretty effect when swung. Mîm is a dwarf in Tolkien lore.

Firebrand (Fire Sword of Agni): “Fire sword of Oberon”

Holy Sword: “Cross hilt – strong vs. undead” This blade has a burst attack just like the -brand swords. Its holy attribute will be quite effective against several of the monsters in the game.

Terminus Est (Hrunting): “Poisoned executioner’s sword” Hruning was the magical sword given to Beowulf in the epic of the same name. In CV lore, when Beowulf attacked the Grendel with Hrunting, the creature’s poison seeped into the blade. Getting the Terminus Est is no small feat, seeing as how it’s dropped by the Nova Skeletons in the Inverted Castle. The Nova Skeletons not only can take a hit, they dish out huge damage with the lasers they shoot out of their ribcages.

Gurthang (Dainslef): “Gets stronger when bloodied” I find this sword’s description misleading. If Alucard gets the blade bloody, does its power improve? The idea of capping out a weapon’s damage has appeal. This is not the case. What happens is that it allows you to absorb blood from enemies that can actually bleed (“Do you bleed? You will!”) to restore some of your health.

Mourneblade: “Feeds upon enemy’s souls” Everything about this sword is cool: its appearance, name, description, and how it can heal Alucard if he hits an enemy with it. Mourneblade also boosts Alucard’s defense slightly.

Vorpal Blade (Sonic Blade): This sword can be swung amazingly fast.

Crissaegrim (Valmanway): “Countless blades slice enemy” A coveted sword for any SotN enthusiast, Crissaegrim gets its name from – you guessed it – Tolkien lore. It attacks four times per button press. Only the Schmoo can drop the Crissaegrim. I managed to get it in my PS1 game. Since the Crissaegrim is a one-handed blade, it is possible to get two copies of it for Alucard to wield. The wiki says that the final boss can be beaten in 30 seconds this way, depending on the player’s level.

Two-handed Swords

Sword of Dawn: “Summons Dawn Warriors” Using a quarter-circle command, a random set of warriors will be summoned that attack enemies before disappearing. The warriors range from a mage, warrior, or two types of archers.

Muramasa: This curious katana can increase its strength from blood, unlike the Gurthang. The downside is that it will take several thousand instances of bloodletting (and using that blood to heal Alucard) to make the Muramasa’s attack hit 999. I smell another self-imposed challenge! 😛

Clubs

Shield Rod: Allows Alucard to use the special abilities of shields.

Leather Shield: Summons a cow (!) to raise Alucard’s defense

Alucart Shield: Increases Alucard’s Luck if he also has the Alucart Sword and Alucart Mail equipped

AxeLord (sic) Shield: Summons an Axe Lord

Medusa Shield: LASER ATTACK

Skull Shield: GIANT LASER ATTACK

Dark Shield: Meteor attack

Some of the animations for the spells are very interesting. The Dark Shield spell summons a horrific, giant head with no skin.

Moon Rod: The most powerful cudgel, it allows Alucard to fight evil by moonlight. The jury is still out on winning love by daylight, however. The Moon Rod has a burst attack that summons crescent-shaped blades that shoot out from behind Alucard, and they look gorgeous.

Fists

Fist of Tulkas (Orichalcum): The most powerful fist weapon, its name is yet another Tolkien reference. It has two special commands for summoning a flurry of punches or a homing fireball!

Throwing Swords

Heaven Sword (Heaven’s Sword): A sword that will return upon being thrown outwards. If you have two Heaven Swords and equip them in both of Alucard’s hands, then you can do a special attack that causes multiple Heaven Swords to appear behind Alucard.

Rune Sword (Heaven’s Rune): The most memorable thing about this sword is that the German word “Verboten” (“forbidden”) is written in its trail as Alucard throws it.

Food

Banana: “Best when nearly rotten” Does not improve its healing ability if it is left in your inventory for an undisclosed amount of time.

Pizza: “New York style!”

Ham and Eggs: “Increases cholesterol” #judgmental

Peanuts: “Difficult to eat” I never knew how to eat these while I was playing the game. You have to press Up after Alucard tosses it into the air, just before it lands on his head. You could say it’s a tough nut to crack.

Head Equipment

Sunglasses: “Cool looking sunglasses”

Stone Mask: Is this a JoJo reference? It is!

Bandanna: “Protects sensitive head parts”

Dragon Helm (Egil’s Helmet): “Frightens enemy, lowers DEF” This item is the unfortunate victim of a misleading description. It may lead you to believe that it lowers your DEF when it actually lowers the DEF of enemies. Disappointingly, it does not make your enemies flee in terror from you.

Circlet: “Circlet” Circlet.

Armor

Healing Mail: “Restores HP by walking”

Brilliant Mail (Shining Breastplate): This armor’s portrait has a halo above the armor itself, which is cute. This armor also boosts the power of subweapons.

Axe Lord Armor (Axe Armor’s Armor): This armor… makes Alucard look like an Axe Knight. The original Japanese name of this armor is amusingly redundant.

There is a sly difference between the descriptions of the Alucart and Alucard Mails. Both descriptions say “Resists fire, lightning, ice”, but the description for the Alucart Mail ends in a question mark, casting doubt. The Alucart Mail doesn’t actually impart any elemental resistances.

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