Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is now available, and it seems to be the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night successor that we’ve been waiting years for.
If you’re thinking of picking it up, or have already done so and are unsure about some things, we’ve put together some tips to help you along your way. Hopefully we can make your first few hours with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night more enjoyable, and after that we’re sure you’ll be hooked. So, here goes!
Do a little grinding if necessary
If you find yourself struggling at any point, do a little grinding to gain a level or two. It can make a difference. The game’s first boss is where most players are likely to be caught out, but by increasing your level and going back to explore any areas of the galleon that you haven’t yet stepped foot in, you can make Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night a little easier for yourself.
Attack suspicious walls
Secrets are hidden everywhere in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Whenever you come to a dead end that doesn’t seem quite right, try to hit it with your weapon a few times. If you notice the appearance of cracks, keep going and chances are you’ll either break the wall down totally or at least crumble a part of it. Secret rooms often have valuable items in them, while crumbling walls often conceal pickups that increase your maximum HP or MP.
Buy Potions and Waystones at the shop
After leaving the galleon, you’ll travel though the town of Arvantville, and eventually settle into your base of operations. There you’ll find a save room, and your companions will allow you to craft and buy items among other things. Before you leave, buy some Potions and Waystones if you can. Potions come in very handy during the early stages of the game when you’re just finding your feet, as they’re the only way to restore your health outside of visiting a save room. Waystones, on the other hand, allow you to return back to the safe house in Arvantville from anywhere, so are great for escaping dangerous situations. Oh, and another tip: it’s cheaper to buy basic Potions and craft them into High Potions than buying High Potions outright. It’s a bit more legwork, but saving money’s good, right?
Activate the teleportation room in Arvantville
Teleportation rooms make it very easy to travel to and from the various areas you explore in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. One of the most important teleportation rooms, however, located near your safe house in Arvantville, is very easy to miss. As you leave the house to continue your adventure, kill the demon on the platform in front of you and jump up. Keep heading upwards and to the left you’ll spot a ledge with an ammo capacity upgrade on it. Jump to it, collect the upgrade, and then head left into the room. You’ll now be able to teleport back to Arvantville from any other teleportation rooms that you find.
Collect your first 8-bit coin
After leaving Arvantville, you’ll come upon the entrance of a castle, but to enter you’ll need to pull a lever to lower a drawbridge. Before you do that, drop down into the hole and head to the left once you’re at the bottom. You’ll fight rats both big on small as you head left, and will eventually come across a brick wall. Smash it with whatever you’re armed with, and you’ll find a secret room which contains a chest. In the chest is an 8-bit coin, which can be crafted into one of many powerful weapons when back at your safe house. Whichever you choose, it’ll surely help in the opening hours of the game. And if you decide at a later date that you want to try a different weapon, you can get the coin back by dismantling whatever you made. All you need is some Alkahest to do so.
Don’t miss the Silver Knight familiar
After defeating the game’s third boss, the stained glass window that turns into a giant hand, jump up onto the pillar on the right rather than picking it up straight away. Keep on jumping up, and you’ll find a room to your right. In the room you’ll find chest which contains Crusaders Armor, which is likely to be much more powerful than anything else you have at this point, and also a strange shard receptacle behind it. Smash the receptacle and you have what is probably your first familiar, the Silver Knight. The Silver Knight will accompany you wherever you go and attack enemies. And believe it or not, it’s pretty powerful. You’ll have a much easier time with it by your side.
Backdash is your friend
While you can reduce the damage you take by increasing your defence in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it’s better to avoid taking damage at all. Get used to using the backdash manoeuvre to evade attacks. Enemies usually have obvious tells that indicate what attack they are going to use, so learn them and make use of backdash to prevent yourself from taking damage. If you backdash enough times, you’ll unlock an achievement/trophy, too.
Jump in to attack
For grounded enemies, jumping in to attack is a good tactic with many weapons. If you hit them just before you land, you’ll often find that you can then perform another quick hit when your feet hit the ground. With slower weapons, this tactic is even more beneficial, and can make you into a killing machine.
Make use of special weapon attacks
As you explore in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, you’ll encounter bookcases. By interacting with them, many will reveal special weapon skills, along with the weapons that can use them and the MP cost. Take note of them so you can use them when acquiring the weapons mentioned. You don’t need to find the books to use the skills though. If you find any weapons that seem a bit fancy, try using inputs like quarter-circle forward plus attack to see if anything special happens. Also, if you kill enough enemies with a special skill, you can then use that skill with all weapons of the same type.
Visit O.D. frequently
About a third of the way into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, you’ll find yourself exploring a library. In one room you’ll find a character that bears a striking resemblance to Alucard from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He even sounds like him (it is him). In Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, however, he’s known as Orlok Dracule, or O.D. for short, and he lets you take out stat-boosting books that are very useful. Initially you’ll only be able to borrow one book at a time, but if you keep visiting him regularly he’ll eventually let you take out up to three at once. It’s worth doing, as the books really are beneficial.