Circle of the Moon Alternate Modes Guide

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Alternate modes have been a staple of Castlevania games since Rondo of Blood. While most focus on the player taking control of another character, such as Richter mode in symphony of the night, Castlevania: Circle of the MoonThe four alternate modes all modify the abilities of the main character. Unlike many other alternate modes, circle of the moonare not easily accessible from the title screen, which can be confusing for those looking to navigate them.


Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is an action-adventure RPG in the Metroidvania style. It was originally released for the Game Boy Advance on March 21, 2001 and was later ported to Switch, Playstation, Xbox and PC in the Castlevania Advanced Collection on September 23, 2021. The game follows the story of Nathan Graves as he tries to rescue his master from Dracula after he returns to 1830.

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The first alternate mode available to the player is Wizard Mode. This mode cannot be accessed until the player has first defeated the game. Then the player is given the code FIREBALL which, when used as the name for the save file, allows the player to to use Magician mode. The major change in Wizard Mode is that the player starts with all 20 DSS cards unlocked – the items used for in-game magic. On top of that, the player starts with half the amount of HP and gains half that amount. which he would normally do as he levels up. They also start with 29 less strength and gain 7 instead of 10 per level. In return, they start with four times the amount of MP and Intelligence and gain four times the amount with each level. Although Nathan’s magic prowess is extremely high in this mode, especially with using the Neptune card for defense, care must be taken as Nathan will fall on a few hits.


After players complete the game in Wizard Mode, they enter Fighter Mode using the code GRADIUS. Fighter Mode is in many ways the opposite of Wizard Mode. The player is unable to acquire or use DSS cards in this mode and has their MP and Intelligence halved, including higher level bonuses. In return, you receive double HP and Defense throughout the game, as well as a 40% increase in your Strength stat. Since DSS is Nathan’s only real way to use MP, it and intelligence become almost completely irrelevant, so players should focus on their physical attributes instead. While these are strong, players should be careful as they have greatly reduced options when dealing with enemies and bosses, so learning enemy movement is paramount.


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Upon completing Fighter mode, players acquire the CROSSBOW code for Shooter mode, which focuses on the character’s sub-weapons. In this mode, secondary weapons deal between one and a half and three times the damage of the player’s whip, making these items much more effective. On top of that, the mode grants access to the Homing Dagger, a special sub-weapon that Nathan gets when he picks up a dagger while already holding a dagger. While the homing dagger does less damage than the normal dagger, it does significantly more than the player’s whip and is the best secondary weapon in this mode. The player also starts with five times the number of hearts and earns five instead of two per level. To even this out, the player has half HP and defense as well as reduced strength, similar to wizard mode.


The final mode, obtained after completing Shooter mode, is Thief mode, unlocked with the code word DAGGER. It works the same as Chance Mode from symphony of the night. While all stats normally start at 100 and increase by 10 per level, rogue mode halves starting and earned HP, MP and defense, and starting strength to 71. While hearts and intelligence are unaffected, the player’s luck stat is increased to 1600, and they gain 160 per level up to the max of 9999. Since the player has reduced stats, it is essential that the player focus on the acquiring rare items and gear as they otherwise remain severely disadvantaged, especially since the only real bonus one gets is a reduction in the time it takes to grind desired items.


Thanks to the variety of alternate modes available to the player, one can easily enjoy replaying Castlevania: Circle of the Moon several times. Each mode offers enough changes to the base game to make it fresh as you learn new ways to tackle the challenges thrown at it.

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