Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is considered one of the best games ever made, in part because it helped popularize the nonlinear game design first experienced in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. One of the key features of this game design includes hidden passageways and backtracking once the player has access to new movement abilities, allowing for deeper exploration of the map.
At the start of the adventures through Dracula’s castle, players will encounter Maria Renard in a room housing a giant clock. Upon first inspection, the room appears to have only three entrances and exits, one left, right, and straight up. What many players may not realize is that there are three other hidden passages in the room, one of which is needed to access the second half of the game and its true ending.
For the initial hole in the ceiling of the room, players must wait to gain access to the bat’s soul. Once acquired, they can fly straight up through a short passage to a new room. In this passage, players can see clues to hidden passages in the clock room itself. Arrived at the end of the passage, they enter the new room. To the left of the entrance there is a potion, a hammer and an apple of life. To the right are the Gravity Boots, which are a more efficient form of traveling straight up.
The upper left passage is the simplest of the three hidden passages. Every two minutes, the statue in the upper left corner of the room will move, revealing a new passage to Olrox’s quarters. During the initial exploration, players will encounter a few enemies as well as a passage to the Colosseum and a warp room. With access to Soul of Bat or Gravity Boots, they can further explore the area. This area grants access to the Sword Card, allowing the Sword Familiar, and eventually leads to a boss which grants access to the Echo of Bat, which is important for exploring the Catacombs.
The top right statue will also move aside to reveal a new passageway, but only when the player uses the Stopwatch secondary weapon in the room. Inside are two rooms containing a heart container and the Alucart equipment. While each piece of Alucart gear gives minimal bonuses to Alucard’s stats, equipping the full set gives a +30 bonus to LCK stat, as well as setting the character’s status to “Alucart”.
The last secret passage in the clock room is in the ground. To open this passage, players must acquire the Gold Ring from the Underground Caverns and the Silver Ring from the Royal Chapel. The description of these two rings combines to say “Wear in the clock tower”, although this is a translation error, as there is no such area in the clock tower. ‘clock. The original post is supposed to say “Show us to the giant clock”.
By equipping both rings in the clock room, the clock hands will move down and open the floor after 13 bells. Just below is an elevator and two bedrooms. To the left is a save room and to the right is a room with a life vial and a heart container. Going down the elevator will lead to an interaction with Maria, who gives the player the Sacred Goggles, although depending on the version, Maria may ask the player to fight her to prove her worth. Either way, the Sacred Goggles are integral to rescuing Richter and gaining access to the second half of the game.
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