Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood – General Hints
This is a general hints section to help people who have trouble with Rondo of Blood (TurboGrafx-16/PC-Engine; not Dracula X on the SNES). This only provides general hints for the regular levels and bosses and is not intended to help you achieve a 100% playthrough.
The Axe: By far the most useful item in the game. They deal a lot of damage, are effective against most enemies and since Richter can’t whip straight up (like Simon in CV4) it works as an effective repellent against bats and crows. Using item crash (hit Select) Richter will jump and become surrounded by a force-field that destroys weak enemies and projectiles from around you.
The Bible: Damage wise the most powerful secondary item. However the whirling bible assault isn’t very effective since it circles from under Richter and thus you’re at a bigger risk of getting attacked from above. Most effective if you’re surrounded by enemies. The item-crash throws a bible-circle (!) at an enemy and deals a lot of damage if used properly, about the only item-crash that’s useful in a boss fight.
Boomerang (Cross): They travel to the end of the screen and come back. Deal fair amount of damage and can take out an enemy on a second go around. The stop momentarily at the screen’s end so they can do more damage to enemies. However, they’re slow so don’t rely on them too much. The item crash sends crosses flying from the bottom of the screen. Useful for taking out numerous enemies and in some boss fights.
Holy Water: Slightly more useful than in previous Castlevanias since the flame actually moves in the direction you throw the bottle instead of just burning in place. Useful in a few boss-fights and against some weaker enemies.
Dagger: Probably the second most useless weapon since many enemies can easily deflect it. Only good for reaching enemies that you can’t get to with your whip. The item-crash has Richter throw a shit-load of daggers all at once straight ahead (not very practical).
Stop-watch: Unlike other games, it doesn’t stop time but instead just slows enemies down. It’s pretty pointless though. I don’t even know what the item crash does.
Saving Maria and Anette:
Maria can be saved on the second level. After the bull monster starts chasing you whip the candles to find a key. Don’t pick up any attack items. In the downstairs portion with the fishmen there’s a locked door at the end of that part. Use the key like you would a normal weapon (up + attack) and you’ve found Maria.
Anette you’ll have to save in level 7, the level before Dracula. Once you get into the Clock Tower whip the wheel at the top of the first section of the Clock Tower interior to make the door to the right open (don’t go to the left). You’ll enter an area with a huge bird. Kill the bird and you’ll get the key. After that go back and head to the left side exit and you’ll go down gears fighting a pair of harpies. After you get past this part to the bottom and left you’ll come to the door where you can use the key.
Level 1: Burning Town
Before Level 1 there’s a Level 0 where you fight the Reaper once, however it’s only a practice round and easy to get past. The first level has a lot of easy enemies to defeat. Even the big rock dudes only take a few hits to finish. However if you find yourself needing some health, downstairs from the burning buildings hit the wall on the little platform above the right-side door to find some meat.
The boss in this level is the Wyvern (a small dragon). Get an axe before you come to the fight (discard any other weapons). This is the easiest fight in the game, all you need is to whip the Wyvern when he’s low enough and the rest of the time keep throwing axes at him. The Wyvern will spit fire which spreads but is easy to dodge, the second attack has him glide down and grab Richter. Both are easy to detect since the Wyvern stops before his attack. Most of the boss enemies will try to finish you off with a final attack upon dying but the Wyvern doesn’t do anything destructive.
Level 2: Castlevania 1 Revisited
At the opening section there will be lots of crows. Use either the Axe and Dagger to take them out from a distance before they take off. Besides that the level is doddle. After the first in-door section a giant bull-creature starts following you. Keep heading right and jump over pits only if there isn’t a zombie coming at you.
The boss is a werewolf. This is another easy fight. Whip him and use your special weapons to get at him. He’ll either charge at you or throw a projectile when jumping in the air. It’s a little hard to tell apart so you might want to jump in either case. Holy Water is surprisingly effective against him. Most of the time the werewolf will just climb up the walls and try to lunge at you. When he stops climbing is when you’ll want to head for the opposite side of the screen. When he starts bouncing around in ball form (he keeps doing a W and V shapes around the screen) whip him when he’s near to snap him out of it. As a final attack there will be huge flame around him, so stay back after you’ve finished him.
Level 3: Cathedral
This level isn’t too bad but you’ll run into the Spear wielding knights for the first time. They have quite a range and are pretty annoying. The dagger is useless against them but you can try using other special items. However, the preferred method to get rid of them is one or two whips then retreating. They take four whips in all. There is a fork in the road depending on whether or not you fall through the floor at one point.
The third boss fight is against the Minotaur. This is also the last of the really easy boss fights. He takes a fair amount of damage from your whip but you’ll want to move away whenever he decides to use his axe. Surprisingly, the axe is the only weapon that doesn’t work on him. He’ll try to ram you head on at some point. When he does make sure you’re on his right side, dodge by jumping over or ducking under and whip him when he gets stuck in the statue. After the fight is over he’ll try to get a last uppercut in before dying. Head up high to avoid it.
Level 4: Dungeons
A lot of axe-knights, bone dragons, blood skeletons and flying skull-snakes in this level, including the brown axe-knights who charge rather than throw axes. In the sections with the rolling balls jump down the hole, head to the right and the up the elevator to skip that section of the level altogether. Take care of any flying skull-snakes that try to follow you though.
The boss is the headless knight. Any special weapon is useful against him. If you have the axe you can take out the candle in his chamber to get the bible. Avoid him and his lance. Whip him when you’re on higher ground, otherwise avoid the lance and use secondary weapons. He’s durable and does a lot of damage but if you get used to his movements the fight wont be too bad.
Level 5: Ghost Ship
The first really annoying level where you have to avoid getting hit. In the first part keep heading straight and ignore the flying skulls. If they get close enough, whip them to get rid of them. The fisherman skeletons take a few whips to take out. Focus on them and ignore the skulls since they’ll keep respawning until you reach the candle with a cross.
Once you get under the deck you’ll meet your first archer skeleton. Keep whipping while advancing to destroy his arrows. You’ll get a dagger from a candle early on but sometimes you’ll get an axe from the skeleton. If you do, take it (but there will be another one later on). Once you go down and head right, whip the first drop to reveal meat. Once again whip the archer skeleton into shape. You’ll then come to a section with flying tools and weapons. You’ll obviously want to destroy the sword with the glowing red aura. One hit finishes it and any of the other weapons but their flight-patterns are very erratic. The axe is the only thing besides your whip that affects them so use it to destroy the tools if you have it.
Next up a section full of archer skeletons. Take the first one out and make sure the screen moves all the way (if one of the Archer skeletons accidentally scrolls off the screen you’ll be stuck since you can’t move on until all three are defeated). Before exiting the ships hull you’ll still have to take out the haunted painting. It wont attack immediately but you’ll want to make your way to the stairs first. Wait and see how the painting keeps circling the room. Get as close as you can without actually touching the painting (doing so is an instant death) and keep hitting it with the whip.
Once the painting is destroyed, head out the door, take out the sniper skeleton from below and head up deck. This is the final hurdle. Green knights with chained balls will try to hit you and you’re constantly harassed by hunchbacks on eagles. First head right to the edge of the ship and whip the candle to get an axe (if you haven’t got one). Use the axe to take out the flying hunchbacks. Head to the left. For each knight whip them twice and back off so they wont hit you with their ball (it does a lot of damage). Each takes about five hits to beat.
Now its time for the proper Reaper Fight…
The Grim Reaper / Death
Alright, this is easily one of the hardest (maybe even THE hardest) boss fight in the game. The stairs leading up to the mast has candles on them. Two hold big hearts (10 each) and the rest have a dagger, boomerang and holy water. Also the left side of the platform at the bottom holds some meat. The best weapon against Death , however, is the axe which you’ll get from the last leg of the Ghost Ship level and can be used during both phases of the fight.
The fight has three phases but you’ll only be able to hurt Death during phase #1 and #3.
#1. In the first part Death flies around and summons sickles. Keep him to the top of the screen but once he comes down go up on the platforms in order to jump out of the way of the sickles. The Axe gives you the best chance of hitting death when he’s up high. Also the sickles appear close to him, so the axes are likely to take out any sickles heading towards you from above. Still, be sparing and don’t waste all your hearts on this part of the fight.
#2. After Death is down to only half his health he’ll fly off into the distance and shoot skulls from behind. Keep moving in one direction to dodge them. He’ll usually only do this attack once or twice, but on rare occasions he may do it three or four times.
#3. Once he’s had his fun he’ll come back down for the coup de grace. This time he’s on the ground and he’ll use his scythe to slash at you. He’ll still summon sickles, but only one at a time. Apply the knight-fighting strategy of whipping him once or twice then retreating. If Death summons a sickle use your Axe to destroy it and you’ll likely get one free hit from it. Hopefully the whip and remaining Axes will do him in.
Using the other weapons:
- The Boomerang (cross) does fair damage but it moves so slowly that it’s hard to really destroy sickles with it. The Cross’s item crash however can be helpful. DO NOT throw the boomerang at him during the final phase (he’ll turn it into projectiles and fire it back).
- The Holy Water might be useful against Death on his grounded form, it won’t do you a lick of good while he’s flying around.
- The daggers are effective against Death when he’s flying but utterly useless once he’s on the ground, since he’ll just deflect the daggers with his scythe.
Level 6: Monster Palooza
The sixth level isn’t really a level per se, just a long corridor leading up to the boss. On your way you’ll find the usual Boomerang, Dagger, Holy Water and Axe. However, if you walk to the end of the lower section of the corridor and whip the wall, you’ll find a Bible.
This level has five boss fights in all. First the four Castlevania 1 bosses and then a fight with the evil wizard Shaft. If you beat all the monsters and die fighting Shaft, you don’t have to fight the monsters again – so it’s an endurance round of sorts. For the monster fights I recommend the Axe, but against Shaft I recommend the Bible.
Easiest of the monster fights but still pretty annoying. The bat just flies around but also chucks out fire-balls that slide down to follow you (can be destroyed with whip). Every once and again it will drill down and re-emerge. Make sure you’re on the side of the closest wall when he does this and keep your distance to avoid getting hit when the bat returns.
At the start go to the right side platforms and whip the Bat as it approaches. Rest of the time, throw axes but try to time them so that they’ll take out the flames as well.
Don’t use your special weapon in this round. Medusa will either shoot a blue petrification beam (duck down to dodge), jump and whip at you with her tail (retreat) or summon three snake rings just to piss you off.
This one requires not much strategy but a lot of tenacity and good timing. Keep whipping her and advancing to drive her into a corner. When Medusa jumps over you keep heading to where she left off so that her snake butt wont hit you on the way down. Repeat until she’s dead. You may get hit by the snake rings once but if you’re fast enough not for a second time.
The hardest of the old bosses. Duck down near the centre of the room and whip at the Mummy (when you’re ducked down his extending bandages wont hit you). After a while he’ll summon three blocks. Jump up and over them to avoid getting smashed. The Mummy will then summon wrappings from all around to attack you. Once you land from the final block use your item crash and the Axe shield will take out wrappings. Avoid the Mummy’s hands again and get some more quick whips in before the blocks appear again. Item crash for the second time, more whipping and the Mummy will be gone and leave a nice plump roast for you.
Time to deal with old Frankie. I find it easiest to fight him from the lower platform. Frankie will either lunge at you (on the ground), jump up and cause rocks to fall or shoot an electrical current at you. Don’t rush since you can’t know which one it is until Frankie moves.
For the grab you’re safe as long as you’re not on the ground. In fact restrain yourself from leaving the platform at all. Keep attacking Frankie patiently from the platform.
When Frankie jumps up to hit the ceiling you can get a whip at him if he’s close enough. To avoid the rocks hug the wall and don’t move until all the rocks have fallen.
For the Electrical current Frankie raises his arms. Jump only after he’s done that to avoid the electrical current. If you jump too early it will hit you.
Now for the big man himself. He’ll use a pair of magical balls to attack you in a variety of ways, as straight projectiles, thunder beams and by simply following you. Focus on whipping Shaft and using your special item on him throughout the fight. The Bible is the most effective.
Level 7: Clock Tower
Really frustrating level at the start but it doesn’t get much easier later on. At the beginning we have the classic bat-chase-you-on-a-crumbling-bridge bit. Some people suggest using Richter’s moonwalk (whip to the right, keep holding the attack button and move to the left) ability but I find it more impractical than just moving forward. You can outrun the bats for a little while as well as duck under and jump over them. Also, the long parts of the bridge wont start falling until you cross their middle section. Concentrate only on whipping bats that are flying in place in your way or ones carrying swords.
The Clock Tower bit is easy (here you can find Anette and the key to her cell). Once you come to the red brick part of the castle you’ll run into the annoying sword-wielding knights. They’re usually accompanied by skeleton dogs (duck and whip). The huge knights do a lot of damage. Once again employ the two whips and retreat strategy but this time you’ll want to make sure you’re whipping them from the maximum reach of your whip and retreat immediately as they’re about to strike (otherwise they’ll hit you with their sword).
In the lower section of the level the statues point to where you’re supposed to go. The upright standing skeleton dogs throw lots of bones and attack with their jo-jo heads. The Axe is the best weapon against them. At the left top corner of the lower section if you whip a wall you’ll find a 1-Up.
Shaft is even more annoying as a Ghost than when he was alive. He’ll attack you with bats and the skeletons of the bull-creature and the Wyvern. When you’re close and whip at him he’ll summon one of the two skeletons. If he’s at the right-side he’ll summon the Wyvern, if he’s on the left he’ll summon the bull-creature.
You’ll want the daggers for this fight if you want to be able to attack him from clear across the area. Stay mainly on the right side but don’t attack him with daggers untill he’s summoned the bull-creature, also moving to the right when he does you’ll automatically dodge any bats he’ll summon. You can dodge the bull-creature easily by running to the right side of the area and jumping just as the creature’s about to get you. When Shaft comes near you whip hip violently so he’ll instantly go back to the other side and doesn’t have time to summon the Wyvern (he’s much harder to dodge).
This battle requires a meticulous routine in order to beat it. Even so you can’t afford a lot of slip ups. Also, avoid touching Shaft or Richter will be cursed and will move slowly for a while.
Stage 8: Dracula
The final showdown. Dracula is actually much easier to beat that most of the other bosses. Before the battle you’ll want to collect the boomerang and hearts from the corridor leading to him.
His first form is classic, he’ll teleport around shooting either three fire-balls or two destructive spheres (you’ll see the difference from the way he opens his cape but the usual patter is 3 x fireballs followed by destructive balls). Throw th boomerang from a distance that will destroy the fireballs (boomerang needs to stay on Dracula for a second) and then jump ahead to whip at his head. When he shoots the destructive spheres duck down under the first one and jump over the second one. If you’re really quick you can try to make the boomerang hit Drac’s head while this happens.
The second form is easy to beat but hard to avoid. Dracula turns into a giant demon that takes up a good quarter of the screen. Whip at him and retreat when he decides to jump ahead. If you have any boomerangs left you can use those. Only run under him when he’s about to reach the edge of the screen (otherwise you’re sure to get hit by him on the landing). Drac only has two attacks, he’ll shoot fire diagonally down (head for the edge of the screen to be safe) or he’ll shoot a giant blue beam (duck). After enduring him for a long while he should be finished.