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Super Castlevania IV (SNES) Walkthrough
~By tankMage (October 2019)
Super Castlevania IV is a personal favorite of mine and writing this guide has been a rewarding experience considering the amount of trouble this game gave me the first time I played it many years ago. With that in mind, I wrote this guide with tactics in mind and often gloss over the contents of many of the candles and more straightforward sections of the levels. I’ve also provided some tips that are helpful throughout the adventure as well as descriptions of the various items. Finally, while I took time to confirm the names of bosses, I was uncertain of the names of certain monsters and often refer to them with rather generic names I made up, so don’t be surprised if the names in this guide do not match those in other sources.
2. Weapons and Items
4. Hard Mode
The following strategies are very useful in Super Castlevania IV and should be cultivated as habits early on.
a. Slow Down and Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Rushing forward is often a recipe for disaster in Super Castlevania IV, because enemies and traps will often pounce on you before you can react if you are not aware of your surroundings. It’s usually safest to stop and observe the situation every few steps. Plan ahead based on your observations. For example, if you see an enemy on a platform above you, take it out before it becomes a problem. While being cautious usually pays off, there are times where you want to hurry, especially if you are crossing a crumbling bridge.
b. Master the Whip
Simon’s main line of offense (and defense) is his whip. He can whip upwards, diagonally, and straight ahead while standing or crouching. It’s possible to whip in all eight directions while Simon is airborne. Use this to your advantage. Holding the Y Button will cause Simon to use his whip like a shield that can damage enemies and destroy most projectiles. Remember you can raise or lower the whip while blocking to protect different parts of Simon’s body. You can also flick the whip in different directions while blocking, however, it does considerably less damage than a normal attack.
c. Jumping: Quick Jumps, Airborne Movement, and Landing
Simon can jump fairly high and control the way he faces as well as the direction he is moving mid-jump fairly well. This can be very useful when trying to hop onto platforms or over obstacles. You’ll also want to learn how to do what I call quick jumps early on by tapping B again just after landing. It’s often necessary to perform quick jumps to leap off of flipping platforms or avoid hazards. Keep in mind that falling from a great height (about a third of the screen) will cause Simon to land hard. As a result, he will not be able to jump or move again for a second, leaving him vulnerable. Additionally, he will not be able to spring off of flipping platforms before they dump him and he will fall through surfaces that he would otherwise slowly sink into if he lands hard.
d. Using Heart Weapons (Sub Weapons)
There are four special weapons available to Simon, which are covered in Section 2. These weapons allow Simon to hit enemies that would normally be out of reach and/or do additional damage. Sub weapons can be life savers, so learn how to use them and don’t be afraid to deploy them when necessary.
e. Check the Walls
Items, particularly healing items, are often concealed in fragile walls and pillars that crumble when struck. While this guide points out such walls, it doesn’t hurt to get in the habit of checking for hidden loot.
f. If it Looks Like a Trap, it’s Probably a Trap
This game is filled with tricks designed to distract or outright kill players…ah the good old days. At any rate, if a section of steps looks brittle it will probably fall. If you see a candle over a narrow ledge, you can expect an enemy to ram into you while you attempt to grab it…In short, don’t trust anything that looks even remotely suspicious and you’ll live a lot longer.
2. Weapons and Items
Super Castlevania IV features a variety of items that can be obtained from candles and other sources. The names of these items have changed over the years and I often use the modern ones in the walkthrough, so expect to see me call the Firebomb, Holy Water and the Boomerang the Cross. I’ve included brief descriptions of these items along with their official and commonly used names to avoid confusion.
Simon’s primary weapon, the whip, can hit enemies in all eight directions, though you will have to jump in order to whip downwards. The whip can be “brandished” by holding the Y Button. Brandishing the whip will destroy most projectiles that touch it and deal damage to monsters that make contact with it, but the damage enemies take is reduced greatly compared to regular attacks. The whip only covers part of Simon’s body while being brandished, but can be adjusted using the D-Pad and even flicked in any direction.
Upgrades for the whip can be found frequently in candles. The first upgrade will transform the whip from leather to chain, giving it more power.* A second upgrade will increase its length dramatically. Simon will lose all of his upgrades upon dying, but they are easy enough to acquire again and even the leather whip is a reliable weapon.
* After having compared damage from the leather whip to that of the chain whip, I’m somewhat skeptical of the claim that upgrading the whip increases damage.
b. Ax (sub-weapon)
Cost: 1 Heart
Like all sub-weapons, the Ax is obtained from certain candles in stages. Simon will throw the Ax in an overhead arc when the player presses the Right Bumper. With damage comparable to the whip and a long vertical range, this weapon is great for hitting anything above Simon, but not ideal for enemies directly in front of him.
c. Dagger (sub-weapon)
Cost: 1 Heart
Though weak, the Dagger travels rapidly in a straight line, making it a decent choice for hitting enemies from a distance. Still, the Dagger is overshadowed by the other sub-weapons and you’ll probably want to take just about anything over it.
d. Stopwatch (sub-weapon)
Cost: 5 Hearts
The Stopwatch can freeze enemies for a few seconds, making it much easier to traverse dangerous areas. Keep in mind that you cannot rely on this weapon in a boss fight and it won’t freeze traps like moving spikes.
e. Holy Water (sub-weapon)
Also called the Firebomb, the Holy Water is thrown in a low arc and explodes after hitting the ground, creating a burst of flame. An excellent weapon vs. ground based opponents, but nearly useless against enemies that fly.
f. Cross (sub-weapon)
Cost: 1 Heart
Officially called the Boomerang in North American localizations of early Castlevania games, the Cross is arguably the most powerful weapon in the game. When thrown, it travels slowly across the screen, hitting anything in its path, before returning to Simon. While a single blow from the Cross is not particularly powerful, it can get multiple hits thanks to its habit of returning to Simon. This weapon works incredibly well in conjunction with the whip thanks to its ability to stay airborne for extended periods of time.
g. Small and Large Hearts
Hearts act as ammo in this game and you’ll need them to use sub-weapons. Small hearts increase your total heart count by 1 and large hearts increase it by 5. Most of the time you’ll find hearts in candles, but they are also dropped by bone dragons.
h. Invisibility Potion
Makes Simon temporarily immune to damage.
i. Turkey Leg, Turkey, and Meat
These items restore varying amounts of life when acquired. Turkeys and Meat are usually hidden in breakable walls, while Turkey Legs are often found in candles.
This rare and powerful item looks like a rosary and will clear the screen of enemies when picked up.
k. Double and Triple Fire
These items are uncommon and look like a block emblazoned with the Roman numerals II and III respectively. Double and Triple Fire allow Simon to shoot several sub weapons at once, making even the puny Dagger formidable weapons.
a. Stage 1
Stage 1 is about as easy as it gets in Super Castlevania IV and you should take this opportunity to develop your core skills here. Multidirectional whipping, swinging from bat rings, and basic platforming are all introduced in this first stage. You’ll also encounter enemies like bats and bone pillars, which will appear throughout the game.
Remember the lessons you learn in this level and don’t be afraid to replay it a few times if you are having difficulty.
The very first section of Super Castlevania IV is a very simple area devoid of enemies and substantial danger. Whip all of the candles you see to get some Hearts, a Dagger, and a Whip Upgrade. Quickly walk over the row of blocks near the drawbridge and jump onto them before they crumble, dumping poor Simon into the moat.
The next part of 1-1 is a bit more complex thanks to skeletons, bats, an iron fence, and some pits. Head east and collect everything you can from the candles. There should be another Whip Upgrade just before a set of steps guarded by a skeleton. Try to kill the skeleton before it starts tossing bones. Beyond the skeleton you’ll find a pit and a door in the fence, press Up to enter the door, which will take you to the opposite side of the fence. This will allow Simon to walk past the pit since he’ll be in the background.
Continue east past some steps and destroy another skeleton. Duck and whip a bat that comes flying in from the right when you get to an overhang above another door. Ignore the door, the items on the other side of it aren’t worth the time. Whip your way through two more bats that swoop in from the east and another skeleton, then walk to the very edge of the screen to leave this area.
Upon entering the next section of Stage 1 you will see some dragon skulls stacked on top of each other; these are called bone pillars. They will flash red very briefly before shooting three fireballs in your direction. Fireballs are easily destroyed or blocked with the whip, just take care to note which skull is facing you. The skull on the top will shoot high, while the one on the bottom will fire low and you’ll often need to duck or destroy the projectiles.
Grab the Cross from the candle near the skulls and jump onto the ledge to the right. You can find a Turkey hidden in the wall below the ledge, but getting it will expose you to enemy fire. There’s also an Ax here, which I recommend skipping, since the Cross is way better.
Keep moving right, take down some skeletons and another bone pillar. Make your way up a series of platforms to some steps that lead to the next part of this area. There’s plenty of deadly pits in this next zone. You’ll also see a bat ring that Simon can swing from if he whips it. Hold Y and press Left or Right to swing and Up/Down to adjust the length of the whip. Get used to doing this, because bat rings play a major role throughout the game.
Whip your way past a bat and skeleton, then stop when you see a hand popping out from behind a wall near the second bat ring. Approach the hand carefully and strike the monster that it belongs to when he shows his face. The second bat ring will test your swinging skills. Try to let go of the ring when you are just above the platform to the right. Remember your can press the D-Pad Right or Left if you over swing and miss the platform to compensate for the mistake. Be sure to grab the Turkey Leg from the candle on the next row of blocks near the skulls, then go down the steps to the last screen of 1-2.
Descend the two sets of steps and destroy the skeletons, then hit the wall on the left to reveal a Double Fire that will allow Simon to fire off two sub-weapons simultaneously. To the east you’ll meet a bone pillar guarding the exit that will take you to 1-3.
This next screen is straightforward, but you’ll meet new enemies, the first of which are worms that cling to the ceiling and drop down on you when you walk under them. You will be fine so long as you keep walking or whip upwards when the worms drop. Don’t try to collect items from the row of candles under the worms until you’ve killed them. Severed horse heads line the floor just past the worms, try to hit them at a distance before they fly into Simon and watch out for the one near the ceiling, which can be dealt with if you jump and whip.
You can get a Big Heart by striking the wall near the steps just past the horse heads. Climb the steps and walk west, taking care to destroy the horse head near the steps just under you. Climb the next flight of steps to a more dangerous room. Medusa heads will fly into Simon in this area, but they always come from the right. They also tend to zigzag, so take your time and strike them carefully, since missing will result in damage or death. Do not jump on the thin wooden boards, because they can flip you into the chasm below.* There’s a Stopwatch near the steps in the beginning of this hallway. Use it to freeze the Medusa heads. After that you will need to destroy a few small ghosts that fly towards Simon and carefully drop down to the lower area. Try not to land on the floorboard. Walk over the board and go down the steps to the left, then walk right over a series of thin floorboards (kill the worms above the first one) to the boss.
*Pro-Tip: It’s perfectly safe to walk over the boards so long as you do not jump or get knocked onto them.
Boss 1: Rowdain
Rowdain will ride into the room on a skeletal horse, whose head is its only weak point. The horse will walk back and forth (keeping mostly to the right side of the room) spitting fireballs that can be destroyed or jumped over. Stay on the small platform to the left and crouch. Try to whip the horse’s head when it gets close and destroy any fireballs it fires at Simmon. Jump over any fireballs that come in low or block them with the whip. Hit the head about five or six times to destroy the horse, forcing Rowdain to dismount in the process.
You can hit Rowdain anywhere to damage him, but beware his lance thrust counter attack. Hitting him and quickly backing off or using a sub-weapon like the Cross or Dagger will ensure you do not take damage. The boss will leap into the air and drop down on you with his lance every now and then. Start walking in either direction to avoid this move and counter with your own attack. Rowdain’s bones will scatter and reassemble when his health gets low. Strike him the second he reforms to stun him and hopefully defeat him. Pick up the orb that falls to the ground when the boss is done for to proceed to Stage 2.
b. Stage 2
New hazards are introduced in this stage. Beware of spikes that can kill Simon if he touches them and new foes. Block 2 only has a mini-boss, Medusa, and Simon will not receive healing after defeating her. Consequently, you may start the second half of the stage with low health, so follow the instructions for the fight with her carefully to ensure an easy victory.
Even the ground here is unsafe thanks to hands that emerge from the soil and grab you. It’s possible to wiggle free from their grip by jumping and you can avoid them entirely by hopping onto the clean patches of grass. While the hands aren’t inherently dangerous, the bush monsters that pop out of the background are potentially threatening if you are unable to move. Luckily you can hit them with your weapons even if Simon is immobilized. Go east and grab the Ax from one of the candles, then use it to kill a giant spider that will descend from a tree shortly after you get it.
Descend the slope and take care not to touch the spikes at the bottom, because they will instantly kill Simon. Defeat the armadillo-like creature before trying to get to the area just past the spikes and make your way up some platforms. You should see a long strip of rock to the right, it leads to a bunch of candles that contain Hearts, which will be helpful later. Continue up the platforms and get a Turkey Leg from the candle to the left when you reach the top.
Now you can proceed eastward to another slope that will take you to a second grassy area with the same bush monsters as before. This time zombies will rise from the soil and run into you. Take your time and destroy the zombies while carefully pressing onward. Be ready to duck and whip an armadillo near the edge of the screen the second you see it. The next area is just past the armadillo.
This swampy area is dangerous thanks to the crows that lie in wait for Simon. Take your time crossing the platforms and be ready to strike the first crow you see the moment it leaves its perch. You’ll also have to deal with a weed near the edge of the solid, rocky area past the platforms. Luckily, falling in the muck will not result in instant death, but you will have to jump out of it or Simon will eventually get sucked in and die.
To the east, you’ll see some moving platforms and a low, muddy area. Try to stay on the high ground, because the frogs below are annoying to get past, though getting the Stopwatch near the first platform can make crossing the bog easier. You’ll see an armadillo after fighting another crow and skeleton. Jump down to the area the armadillo guards and kill it from afar, then take the Cross from the candle. There’s also a Turkey hidden in the wall just right of the Cross.
Go back up and walk right to another floating platform that will take you up to a bridge. Watch out for the crow near the top and try not to fall, because Simon will die if he plunges into the mire from this height. Be proactive about whipping the crows as you cross the bridge and you should get across it unharmed. Brandishing the whip is a great way to take care of the crows. Strike all of the candles to get some Hearts and a Turkey Leg for the upcoming fight. Simon will encounter Medusa, the first mini-boss, after traversing the bridges.
Medusa is quite easy despite her gruesome reputation. She will mainly stay to the right side of the screen, moving back and forth. Her main attack is a petrify ray that you can easily dodge by crouching, so stay crouched for the entire battle. Medusa will also throw small snakes that can be destroyed by Simon. These snakes are easy targets since they run along the ground, though some may come in from above.
Throw the Cross at her if you have it and start whipping while ducking to get more hits in, which will also kill her snakes. The Cross will take a huge chunk of her life if it manages to hit her while she is backing off and you may be able to defeat her with just a few whip cracks. Medusa is easy even if you do not have the Cross, since staying low and whipping will ensure Simon’s safety while he damages her. Do not stand or you risk getting turned to stone, leaving Simon open to attack.
The water here will carry Simon forward, so try to compensate for this by moving in the opposite direction if it looks like you are about to crash into something. Look out for the flying hand near the entrance, it will drain your hearts if it catches you and you’ll have to jump around, trying to hit it with the whip to get free. There’s Double Fire in a candle just past the hand. You can also get an Ax from some candles by a pillar to the east, which is good for killing the flying enemies in this section.
Use the whip or Ax on the birdmen that appear when you come to a slope. The water will shift direction as you descend. Just stay on the ground and jump very carefully to make headway down the hill. Deadly spikes are placed on outcroppings above the waterslide, so try to avoid jumping when you see them and rely on the Ax for defense. The water will change direction again when you near the base of the slope, be ready to jump over some spikes on the ground before going to the next screen.
A bone pillar is positioned just right of the entrance to the next screen, destroy them and get ready to jump over more spikes. You’ll encounter a second waterslide past the skulls. Try to jump away from the hand, bats, and birdmen that attack in this area and don’t be shy about using your sub weapon to fend then off. You can also acquire a Cross from a candle near the beginning of the slope, which can be very helpful here.
The water current will shift again when you get to the bottom of the waterway, carefully fight it and use the Cross to destroy the bone pillar to the right. You’ll also want to take out the hand just past them. Continue down another slope to reach Stage 3. Watch out for another current shift as you push on and kill the bat and birdman that attack from the east.
c. Stage 3
This watery stage starts out easy, but becomes more challenging as Simon advances. Your core whipping and platforming skills will be tested here as many enemies are placed in inconvenient spots. Patience and careful observation are also key to successfully completing this stage.
The first part of this stage is fairly simple, just cross some spikes and take care of the bats that come flying in. You’ll run into a mud man after going a bit deeper into the caves. These guys just walk back and forth. You’ll need to kill them to move on and it will take a little effort, because they break into smaller mud men as they take damage.
Eventually you’ll come to a series of bone pillars and a spiked pit that’s easy to cross, then you will see a path leading down. There’s an Ax in the top right corner of this chamber, but it’s guarded by a bone pillar and isn’t really worth getting. Instead, go down and left until you see another bone pillar with several square blocks behind it. Use your whip to destroy the blocks. Just be careful not to walk into them as they fall or Simon will take damage. The candles on the other side of the blocks contain a bunch of Hearts, Gold, and some Meat.
Go down to the bottom of the chamber. There’s some Holy Water under the steps on the left, just past a bone pillar if you want it. More mud men patrol the east path and you’ll come to some spikes after defeating them. You shouldn’t have a problem getting by the spike pit and the narrow tunnel on the other side of it is only home to some bats, but you’ll have to take care when you reach a more open room with stalactites on the ceiling. The stalactites will fall when you approach them, dealing a moderate amount of damage if they or chunks from them connect with Simon. Wait a moment if you see a shaking stalactite and back off when it falls. The exit is protected by bone pillars and a mud man, duck and whip the mud man before trying to eliminate the bone pillar.
The difficulty ramps up quite a bit in 3-2. Quickly cross the wooden logs near the beginning of the area, because they will fall. After that you’ll have to do some basic platforming, but watch out for a round creature that moves along the platform on your left. Apparently these things are called fuzz busters and you’ll need to time your jump so you land when they’re on the underside of the platforms they orbit.
Fun Fact: Fuzz busters my seem invincible, but can actually be killed. It takes nearly a hundred hits to destroy one, so you’re better off just evading them.
Duck the moment you jump off of the fuzz buster platform, because there’s a bone pillar just west of it. You’ll have to make your way along a zigzagging series of platforms after defeating the bone pillar. There’s nothing really difficult here so long as you take your time and jump carefully.
Take care to not swing too far left when you reach the bat ring, or you risk colliding with a fuzz buster. After going up a bit more, you’ll have to navigate a series of bat rings, though this should be familiar by now. You’ll need to be more precise with your jumps as you go upwards; make sure Simon is near the edge of each platform before trying to jump onto the next one. You’ll see a large waterfall just after crossing the bat rings. On the right you’ll find a small block that’s circled by a fuzz buster. Be ready to jump again after you land on it or the fuzz buster will knock you off of it.
Keep moving along the zigzagging path and you’ll come to a final bat ring. There’s a Stopwatch to the right of it that can be helpful in the next area, but getting it is risky business. Make your way up the blocks east of the Stopwatch to leave this zone.
Things really heat up in this area. The ruins are inhabited by fishmen who will leap out of the water and onto the narrow platforms here. Fishmen spit water at Simon, which can knock him to his death. They will also stay in the water below and shoot at you, making them dangerous foes. If that’s not bad enough, some of the blocks will crumble if you stand on them, so always remember the blocks with the diamond shape on them are stable, while blank blocks will fall away.
Take out any fishmen you see as you move east from the start point and stop when you see some falling rubble. Falling pebbles are followed by deadly falling stones, so take them as a warning to stop and/or back away a bit when you see them. You’ll have to jump over a couple sets of crumbling blocks to get to the pillar on the right, but you’ll be fine if you move quickly. Don’t let the candles near these blocks distract you.
Duck and start whipping when you land on the pillar, because a floating eye will come in from the right and try to drip fire on Simon. You will meet your first bone dragon east of the pillar. These things move erratically and spit fireballs. Stay just out of its reach and whip it to get some hearts, then climb up the steps above it.
Destroy another bone dragon at the top of the steps and make your way right past a rather innocuous fuzz buster. Try not to hit the candle near the fuzz buster, it contains a Dagger, which is probably worse than what you have now. Get ready to destroy another floating eye after the fuzz buster, it will fly in from the right just after you pass a waterfall. Fishmen will also start surfacing below you and firing off water beams. Now is a good time to use the Stopwatch if you still have it. If not, try to move quickly, which will make it hard for them to hit you, since they lock onto your position when they surface.
Be ready to jump in the air and whip a floating eye after you pass a row of blocks with a weed. You can also whip diagonally or upwards to destroy the eye. Use the bat ring to get over to the next platform and jump from its very edge after landing or Simon runs the risk of hitting the blocks above, which may cause him to plummet to his doom.
Climb up the steps to the next hallway and kill the guy with the club before trying to drop down to the bat ring. Whip the first bat ring diagonally to latch onto it and just whip straight to swing from the second one.
You’ll have to cross the blocks left of the second bat ring with care, because they will crumble. But first, try to whip the candle above the blocks diagonally to get the Ax, which will help in the boss fight. Do not try to get the Ax after jumping onto the blocks, because they will crumble, trapping Simon or sending him to a watery grave.
Go up the steps to a vertical shaft and start whipping the bone dragon near the entrance from below. Continue upwards and you’ll see a bat ring with another bone dragon above it. It’s possible to kill the bone dragon with the Ax and get a bunch of Big Hearts, but it’s time consuming and most of the hearts will just fall into the pit below anyway. The bat ring is also tricky, since you’ll need to latch onto it and pop off of it the second Simon reaches the apex of his arc as he swings left to land on the single block next to it. The tricky part is that you need to keep the whip short and you only get one chance because the water behind Simon will slow his swing down.
Whip the bone dragon when you get to the steps if you didn’t kill it with the Ax or it will knock you off of the steps. Be ready to use the whip block to kill a crow at the top of the steps. Two more crows will swoop down after you ascend another set of steps on your left, use the same strategy on them. There’s a Turkey Leg in a candle just above a large pillar on the eastern side of the shaft. You can also destroy the skeleton knights above Simon by whipping upward.
Keep climbing up and watch out as you cross a row of fragile blocks near the top of the shaft. You’ll need to walk quickly and jump from the edge to land safely. Finish going up and you will soon find yourself face to…err… faces with the next boss.
Boss: Orphic Vipers
These twin serpents move erratically like a bone dragon and are attached to the left side of the screen. One head spits a fan of fireballs that can be blocked and the other a short range plum of what is presumably acid or poison. Only one head can be damaged and it seems like the vulnerable head changes from time to time. You may notice that there’s a row of partially submerged blocks at the bottom of the screen. It’s safe to stand on these blocks and doing so gives you a great place from which to attack.
Stand just next to the pair of blocks above the partially submerged platform and you will be safe from the biggest threat in this battle: Being knocked into the water. If you get hit while standing here, Simon will land safely on the far side of the platform. Just be sure to walk back to the double blocks on your left after you recover. Even better, the whip can easily reach the viper heads when they are low and you can lob Axes at them when they are out of whip range. Try to keep an eye on which head is about to attack so you can react properly. The attacking head will pause just before opening its mouth, which is a great time to block and/or step back. You can block the fireballs, but you will have to run or jump away from the poison plume.
d. Stage 4
The fourth level represents a sharp difficulty spike where you will have to develop new skills and deal with novel threats. The flipping platform traps in this stage are particularly tricky, because the game has only required you to walk over them until now. Now you will have to learn how to land on one and immediately spring off of it before it flips. A deadly maze and rotating hallway also await Simon in this stage, so be ready to use all of the skills you’ve developed getting here.
If you go down the lower path at the start of the stage, you can get a Big Heart by hitting the wall. A hand will emerge from the same wall, so whip it before it hits Simon. The green floor boards on the high road will flip if you jump or land on them. Aside from that all you have to do in this first room is head east, kill a few skeleton knights, and ride the green platforms up to the steps.
Beware the skeleton on the ledge above the steps when you get to the next screen. Try to nail him with an upward or diagonal attack before you leave the stairs. Another skeleton occupies the pillar in the upper left corner, but he is much easier to defeat. Watch out for another red hand that pops out of the wall if you try to get the candle to the east.
A hanging skeleton will appear when you jump into the platform to the left; a single hit is enough to kill it and you won’t take damage if you stop walking when you land on the ledge.
This next part requires some fancy jumping and it’s a good time to get used to doing what I call the “quick jump”. The green boards on your left will flip when Simon lands on them, which is a big problem if you want to get to the other side alive. Tapping the B Button to jump again the moment you touch the board will cause Simon to jump again, allowing you to reach the second board. Of course, you’ll have to quick jump from this one as well. There’s a Dagger in the candle above the central green board, whip it while standing on the first board if you want it.
Beyond the boards you will encounter both regular and hanging skeletons that should not pose a threat as long as you attack them right away. Take the lower path to the left to get the Ax by the wall (walk over the green boards carefully), then double back to the higher section of the floor. Do another quick jump to get over the green board in the upper left, then walk over two more boards to get to the steps to the next screen.
The first thing you’ll want to do here is destroy the skeleton knight above you. Otherwise, he’ll hit you as you try to jump onto his perch. Another tricky jump is necessary to get to the higher platform here. This time you’ll have to do a quick jump where you pivot right as Simon touches the board in order to reach the ledge in the upper right corner. If you want the Turkey Leg above the green board, use a diagonal attack to destroy the candle that conceals it as you jump back onto the board before springing off of it again.
Head right and jump onto the block by row of green boards. A bat will fly in from the east as you cross the first board, so be ready to whip it. Jump to the lower platform and take out the skeleton knight, then get ready to hit the bat perched above the candle on the second pillar. Take a few more steps east to fight the mini-boss.
Mini-Boss: Puweyxil (Death Breath Head)
This boss can be very tough or simple depending on how you fight him. Hitting him will cause rocks to fall from the ceiling that will take about two bars out of Simon’s HP if they touch him. Luckily these rocks can be destroyed. Puweyxil will drop to the center of the room at the start of the fight, then stick out his tongue, exhaling three toxic clouds in the process. You can whip the clouds to eliminate them, but do not try to block them, since they will probably hit you before being destroyed. The boss will then hop up into the air, usually above Simon, and exhale more deadly breath while hovering.
Puweyxil can be a little unpredictable. Sometimes he will hop after sticking his tongue out once, other times he’ll exhale multiple clouds before jumping. Even worse, there is no guarantee that he won’t lower himself down onto Simon after he jumps. The rocks also fall in rather random patterns making it difficult to determine where you need to whip or block to avoid damage.
I find the best way to approach this fight is to stand on the floor by the second block in this room and whip him once when he lands, then immediately whip upwards to preemptively destroy the rocks that inevitably come down. You can also hold Y to block and flick the whip upwards, which is more effective if the rocks are off center. Whip him again when he sticks his tongue out to destroy the fumes, then whip upwards defensively again. With any luck, the mini-boss will decide to hover over you after taking a hit or two, allowing you to get free hits in by striking upwards. If not, keep up the same pattern. Either way, he will die fairly quickly. Unfortunately, you’ll probably get tagged by a rock or his breath attack before winning.
Don’t jump when you enter this chamber of horrors or you will hit the deadly spikes on the ceiling. Latch onto the bat ring after you climb the steps to the right, because the room will begin to rotate. Drop onto the row of blocks once they are horizontal, then get ready to fight off a horde of Medusa heads. Stand in the center of the row of blocks and whip them as they fly in. They will often change directions. Pivot and whip when this happens. Try to move as little as possible, because the Medusa heads will match their movements to your’s, making it more difficult to control the situation.
The room will rotate again the moment the heads stop, which means you’ll need to latch onto the bat ring again. Keep the whip short to prevent Simon from touching the spikes and wait for a line of stones to appear to the left. You can swing onto the newly formed ledge once it is in within swing range. Walk left to get to the next section.
This strange hallway has a false sense of urgency thanks to the spinning background and the logs that fall as the screen scrolls forward. It’s actually quite easy and you can take your time here as long as you do not daly too much. Just head right and be ready to whip the skeletons that drop out of the ceiling at a moment’s notice.
This area is a deadly maze filled with spikes, moving blocks that can crush you, and bats. Fun right? Luckily it’s not so bad if you know what to do. Watch out for the first moving block as you proceed east, then jump onto the small platform near the spikes. Have that whip ready, because bats will constantly harass you in this area.
You should be above the spiked ceiling at this point. Let the large mass of blocks pass if they are in your way, then keep pushing right. Huge floating blocks form an elevator of sorts where the spikes end. Ride it up to the gap in the wall to the right, then carefully ride the smaller blocks up. Keep an eye on the area above you and move out of the way of any rows of blocks before Simon gets crushed. Try to stay to the right when possible and check and openings in the eastern wall for a chamber occupied by a purple spike trap that hovers in mid air. It may take a few seconds for it to come up, so be patient and careful as you ride the blocks.
Step into the chamber and wait for the spikes to fall, then walk under them as they raise back up. Do this with two more spike traps to get to more floating blocks and a spike lined ceiling. This time they will move upwards quite rapidly. While they are scary, Simon can make it through simply by walking without stopping or jumping. Just wait for the blocks to close off the passage and press against them. When it opens up again, Simon will start walking safely across the blocks as long has you hold Right.
The party isn’t over yet. You’ll have to climb up several flights of steps protected by bone pillars. Fight them carefully as you make your way up and be sure to whip all of the candles for some Hearts and a Turkey Leg, because the boss is just ahead.
Boss: Karanot (Big Stone)
Karanot is a lot easier than his level, but you’ll still have to be careful battling him. He’ll start out as a huge giant that drops from the ceiling, causing blocks to fall. The good news is these blocks always fall in the same pattern and you can step into a safe spot. Be ready to do this every time Karanot jumps and shakes blocks from the ceiling. He’ll also throw blocks that you can jump away from. Aside from that, Karanot mostly just runs around the room. With each hit he takes he gets smaller and faster.
There’s floating platforms that make a good perch from which to attack this boss, though I find it safer to fight him on the floor. In this fight, a good offense is the best defense. Whip Karanot as much as possible and use the Ax if you have it. You should come out on top as long as you had nearly full health going in and you are careful to avoid the stones that fall from the ceiling.
e. Stage 5
There’s not much to this stage and it’s something of a break after the harrowing experience that was Stage 4. Enjoy it while it lasts.
This area doesn’t need much of a description, since it’s really simple. Just head east and climb up a zigzagging set of ramps here. The enemies that harass Simon through the stage are the only problem. You’ll encounter flying hands at the beginning of the area and harpies that drop hopping gremlins. The Ax is great for picking these monsters off if you still have it. It also helps to keep moving forward and to only worry about the enemies that appear in front of you, since you can outrun those coming from behind most of the time.
A skeleton with a whip will pounce on you the moment you enter this eerie place. Take a step back and strike it, then go east. The rest of this hallway is very straightforward and you’ll be ok so long as you keep your eyes open for bats, whip skeletons, and a skeleton knight. Go up the steps and through the gate to enter the castle proper…
This ballroom is very linear, with few traps and pitfalls. Consequently, it’s somewhat less challenging than Stage 4 or 3, though the density of monsters is higher than that of previous levels.
Crouch and whip the zombie dog near the entrance to this hallway right away, then head east. These dogs resurrect, so be ready to fight them off throughout the first section of the stage. Follow the long flat hallway. You’ll have to fight off more dogs and zombies here. Bats that roost on the pillars further complicate matters, look up after every few steps and you will see the bats before they can swoop down on you. Stepping forward and ducking is also a good way to avoid them.
Eventually you’ll come to some steps that lead to a series of candles and platforms. Jump onto the first platform and you should see a bat on the pillar to the right and your first ax knight. Ax knights move back and forth, throwing axes that return to them. They tend to be very durable and common, so master fighting them ASAP. Throw the Cross or any ranged weapon you have at the bat, then move over to the platform. Whip downwards at the knight and drop down once it is dead. You’ll see another bat on the pillar to the right; try to kill or avoid it, then attack the knight near it.
Go past a couple of pillars (eliminating a few zombies on the way) and get ready to kill a bat that flies down from a statue in the background. An ax knight is also nearby and you’ll need to react to his attacks just after the bat. Go up the steps to the east for the next challenge.
Simon will have to hop over a series of chandeliers that swing like pendulums in this next area. Each chandelier has four platforms that you have to jump on to make it across. It’s safest to wait until the chandelier is moving to the right side of the screen before jumping, because the momentum will carry Simon to the next platform. Trying to jump onto one of the platforms while the chandelier is moving left increases the likelihood that Simon will miss the mark and fall to his demise, though you will have to jump onto the stationary blocks while the chandelier is swinging left.
There’s a bat ring after the third chandelier, it’s very easy to swing to the pair of blocks next to it so long as you don’t overcompensate. Remain on the blocks next to the bat ring to reach the final chandelier. Stay patient when making the final jump to the row of blocks on your left from the chandelier; it’s very easy to miss this jump if the chandelier is not close enough to the blocks.
The smaller chandeliers in this area will fall from the ceiling as you approach them. Back away from them as they fall or the pieces that fly off of them will harm you. Hit the floor by the archway after the second chandelier to reveal a hidden staircase. You will see a zombie dog and the ghost of an old man in this odd chamber. Killing the zombie dog will cause both creatures to vanish. Try to hold off on hitting the candles in this room until the monsters are gone. There are some Hearts, Gold, and Meat on the top row. You can find more Hearts, Holy Water, an Ax, and the Dagger on the bottom row. I suggest getting the Holy Water or Ax, unless you have the Cross.
Get ready to fight an ax knight to the west when you go back up the steps. You’ll have to whip your way through more ghosts and some ectoplasm, the Ax and Cross work well here. Make your way over to some steps and kill the ax knight guarding the top by whipping him from below. Go down the steps to the right and hit the pillar to get a Double Fire.
Head down the hallway slowly and whip any ghosts or ectoplasms that charge at you. These guys may hit you a few times, but there’s a Turkey Leg in the candle just under some spiked platforms, so it’s not a big deal. Don’t bother killing the ax knight on the platform above when you reach a long walkway, because he will respawn. Another ax knight patrols the area to the left near the steps, defeat him and have your whip ready to eliminate a couple of bats that swoop down from the same direction.
Use the steps to get to the long row of blocks you just passed under and kill the ax knight you saw earlier. You’ll have to quick jump over the spiked platforms east of the knight by tapping B as you land on them or they will dump you back into the lower area. Do not touch the spikes or they will kill you. In fact, you’ll need to take care not to touch them when you try to climb the steps to the right after you make it across.
Watch out for the skeletons in the beginning of this next hallway, it takes two hits to kill them instead of one. Cross the spike pits. The blocks over the second one crumple, so move fast. You’ll also have to start whipping the moment you hit solid ground after the second pit, because there’s another two-hit skeleton near the ledge. The coffin near the skeleton will start chasing you when you pass it. Pivot and whip it twice to get rid of it. You may take some damage, but there’s a Turkey Leg in a candle to your right.
Take out another skeleton and continue down some steps. Keep going when you reach the bottom and walk towards the skeleton (ignoring the steps going up) to get the bats above the steps to fly harmlessly offer your head, then kill the skeleton. Go up the stairs to the next area.
Two skeletons guard the lower section of the path, block their bones and wait until they back away to drop down, then destroy them. The hallway beyond is home to bloodskeletons which revive a few seconds after you kill them. It’s also inhabited by whip skeletons. Keep moving forward and whipping here, because pausing for any reason will probably put you in a bad situation where you are being attacked from two sides. Kill the blood skeletons guarding the steps on your right and climb up immediately to get to the next hall.
Use your positioning on the steps to defeat the skeleton knight above you before going up. You can hit the wall on the right side of the screen for a Meat.
Take note of the ghostly pair of hands with a skeleton knight standing near them on your left. You cannot harm the hands or skeleton unless you walk into the hands, then quickly whip the skeleton knight, destroying them both in the process. Proceed down the corridor, which is filled with these hands as well as standard skeletons until you get to a set of steps. Knock out the bloodskeletons and skeleton knight, then go up the steps to the next area.
A ring of floating coffins occupies the upper floor near the start of this section, destroy them to proceed. You’ll have to go down a long hallway filled with spectral dancers that try to ram into Simon as well as moving tables. The tables can be taken out pretty easily if you move just into whip range and start striking them. Try not to get too close or they will damage Simon. Be proactive about killing the dancers, because they tend to mob you as you move deeper into the hallway. Go up the first set of steps at the end of the hallway and break the wall to get a 1Up then climb up to the boss room. Destroy the candles before the boss for a Turkey Leg.
ProTip: The 1Up near the boss room will reappear if you die fighting the boss, making it easy to challenge the fight again if you grab it while going back to the boss room.
Boss: Ghost Dancers
The Ghost Dancers will float around the room, usually in your direction and use one of the following two attacks:
A. Sword Charge: They draw their swords and slide across the room in a straight, horizontal line. Jumping to a higher platform, ducking, or dropping down to the floor is a good way to get out of their way. Jump over them if you happen to be above them when they start moving, because one of their swords stick straight into the air.
B. Floating Swords: The boss creates a cluster of swords that fly towards Simon. These blades are easy to destroy with the whip.
This boss fades in and out of view, so you’ll have to estimate its position. Stand on the lowest block at the start of the battle and hit it once with the whip, then jump over to the block behind you. From there, jump onto the block in the upper right, then drop down. If you’re fast and did it right, you can pivot in mid air and hit the dancers. Run over to the lowest block on the right and use it to get up to the small block above it, possibly getting a quick shot in as they hover towards you. They will probably use their floating swords, but you can whip them from your perch, eliminating the swords in the process.
Drop down and make your way over to the lowest platform on the left again, repeating the process in a sort of figure eight. Climb back up the platforms, because the Ghost Dancers will likely use their Sword Charge next. You can possibly get a few free hits in if you drop down after they pass under you. In fact, the whip will take two life bars of this boss with each hit and you can power through them granted that you have nearly full health and the Cross.
f. Stage 7
The seventh stage is home to a new enemy: The spear knight. While not dangerous when approached head-on, spear knights can hit Simon with a powerful thrust if he stands on a platform above them. Aside from a dense population of monsters and a few moving platforms, this stage shouldn’t prove any more difficult than Stage 6.
The first room of the library is very simple and needs little explanation. Watch out for the small ghosts that appear here. You’ll also encounter spear knights which are fairly harmless unless you are above them, because they only thrust their spears upwards. Go down the steps to the east to a slightly more challenging area.
Flying skeletons and books make this place a bit more dangerous. All you have to do is go down the zigzagging steps, but the enemies that fly towards Simon make this a more difficult task. Stay near the edge of the screen when you see a flying skeleton and drop down or jump to avoid it when it gets near. The books are more difficult, but you can kill them in a hit when they fly at you if you are quick. You can actually bypass a big portion of this staircase by hitting Down and B while standing on the steps in the upper right corner of the room, which will cause Simon to fall quite a distance. Be sure to get the Turkey Leg from a candle near the middle of the room if you took damage here. Go down the final set of steps when the screen stops scrolling (don’t use the jump off the steps trick here or you will die) to get to the next room.
Some axes thrown by a pair of ax knights will come zooming your way from the west once you enter this screen. Duck and block or hop over the axes. The candles they guard only hold a few Hearts and it’s better to just walk away from these guys while avoiding their axes, rather than fight them. Simon will be perfectly safe standing near the flying books east of the knights as long as they are off screen.
Floating books hover over the pit in a pattern, it’s safe to jump from one book to the next if you wait until they are moving towards each other. Hit the bloodskeleton once when you get to the last book, then hit it a second time to disable it when you are ready to jump onto its platform. You’ll have a few seconds to jump on the book right of the skeleton before it wakes up. You can hit the candle near the flying book if you want an Ax.
This next chasm is more difficult to deal with, since you’ll need to land on some blocks that are home to another bloodskeleton. To make things more complicated, the book you have to stand on shifts speed and direction regularly. Hit the skeleton once to weaken it like you did before, then again when you are comfortable jumping to it’s platform. The next book moves in a triangle pattern, wait until it’s coming in close before trying to land on it. If you need more time, you can always pivot and disable the bloodskeleton again when it reassembles itself. Go right after jumping off the book to leave this screen.
Inch your way right upon entering 7-2 to avoid crashing into the flock of bats ahead. When you get near them, jump onto the lower part of the floor and duck, they should fly over Simon’s head. Stop when you get to the statue under the steps, it’ll crumble, dropping a potentially deadly ball. The wall next to the statue has a yummy piece of Meat hidden in it. You should also slay the dog that comes out of the painting overhead before he becomes a problem.
Fight your way past an ax knight at the top of the steps, then drop down to the section below. Keep walking when you go under the spikes, even if it means getting hit by the bats ahead, because the ground will ripple below Simon, pushing him up into the spikes if he’s under them.
Slow down when you see a portrait of an old woman, bats are roosting just right of it. Move forward slightly to trigger the bats, then whip them. It’s possible to easily kill the ax knight above the portrait by jumping and whipping, which will make going up the steps safer. To the left of the knight is another statue trap and ax knight. The candles only contain a Big Heart and some Gold, so you may want to just proceed upstairs.
Get ready to kill a monster with a club that’s hiding in a painting at the top of the stairs. You may also want to kill the dog that runs around on the path above, because it will knock candles down on Simon. Breaking the wall near the now empty picture will reveal a Double Fire.
Go up the steps, kill another monster hiding in a painting, then quickly walk east. You’ll see a flying centipede on the path below, but it won’t hurt you unless you stand around or fall. It will also despawn if you get far enough away from it. Don’t jump while walking over the centipede or you’ll trigger the flipping platforms. Drop down to the floor below when you get to the end of the road. Go west (stopping to avoid being hit by the crumbling statues) if you want a Turkey Leg, then descend the steps.
The next portion of 7-2 is fairly easy. The floor will ripple again as you pass under the spikes, but you’ll be fine as long as you duck while the floor is pushing you up. Climb up the steps, but not all the way or you’ll get hit by the ax knights above. Use your Ax to take the one on the right out, or wait for gaps in its attack then get a few whip hits in, before going back down the steps. Destroy the knight to the east afterwards, then head right, using the whip block to get rid of the bats that fly at Simon. Another Turkey Leg can be found in a candle near the picture (which will grab onto you, but isn’t a real threat) and you’ll finally face off against the boss of this stage if you take a few more steps east.
Boss: Sir Grakul
Grakul is easy compared to the Ghost Dancers. He will often throw his ax at Simon or he’ll strike the floor, causing jets of flame to crawl along the ground in both directions. Simon can easily jump over both moves, but it’s difficult to tell which one Sir Grakul will perform, because they both use the same animation. Stand on the ledge, whip him, then jump to avoid his attack. You should be able to get into a sort of whipping and jumping rhythm, which will defeat him very easily. Wait for the boss to start to swing his weapon, then jump if you are having trouble getting the hang of it.
Once he is down to about 4 bars of health, Grakul will draw his sword and repeatedly thrust at Simon. This move is even easier to foil with the whip/jump pattern, since it never changes. A few more hits will destroy Grakul, allowing Simon to press onward.
g. Stage 8
Simon will face some of the game’s nastiest traps and bad situations in this dungeon. Touching the green goo that drips from the ceiling and fills pits will harm Simon, he’ll also slowly sink into the acidic muck if he falls into it, which can be deadly if you do not jump out.
The danger begins immediately in this stage thanks to a spider that descends from the ceiling right of where Simon lands. Try to destroy the spider or the tiny spider it launches at you as soon as you see it. Let the nearby spike traps start to rise before trying to pass under them and get ready to block a small spider or attack the larger one that produces it after you make it past the second spike press. Do not let the green liquid dripping from the ceiling above the pit touch Simon or he will take damage.
A set of steps and a bone pillar are located on the other side of the pit. Duck and destroy the bone pillar. A floating eye will appear overhead and start dropping flame on Simon. The flames should miss him if he stays still, but keep an eye on them anyway… no pun intended. You can whip upwards to kill the eye once the pillar is gone. Walk over to the wall and diagonally whip the bone pillar above you before attempting to climb the steps.
Watch out for more dripping acid as you go down the steps to the right. It’s safe to walk under the swinging spikes, but it’s better to duck in case the ax knight on the right decides to launch an ax. You should also watch out for the weed under the swinging spikes. Take out the ax knight and jump on the top of the spike trap.
Jump over to the ledge right of the trap and make your way east, waiting for the spikes to lower before attempting to cross the gaps in the ledge. A floating eye will fly in the moment you touch the ledge. Whip it and hold Y to destroy it. There are candles under the ledge, but they only contain Hearts and Big Hearts.
You’ll meet a bone pillar and a second eye at the end of the ledge, luckily you’ll have time to react to these. Wait for the acid to fall before jumping over to the block on your right and start whipping yet another floating eye that pops up when you land. This next section is difficult, because of a bone pillar and falling spike trap right of the pillar rising out of the green goop. You can either jump on top of the spike trap and hit the bone pillar as it lowers or hit the bone pillar while remaining on the blocks. Problem is, the bone pillar is difficult to destroy while riding the spikes and you’ll have to get close to the pillar if you choose to attack it while standing on the blocks, which means you’ll have to go under the spikes as they are rising, hit the pillar, then back away before they drop. Either way, use the spike trap to get to the blocks formerly occupied by the bone pillar once it’s gone. Oh, and watch out for fireballs from yet another bone pillar in the upper right while riding the spikes.
From here all you have to do is climb the steps while destroying two bone pillars to reach the upper area of this dungeon. You’ll have to make your way past more spike traps up here, but they are pretty easy to navigate after going through the lower area. There’s a Stopwatch in the candle under the swinging spikes if you want to risk getting it. Beware the floating eye that glides in from the right after you pass a pair of spike traps. Get the Dagger from the candle under the ledge near the spike traps if you have nothing else. Move forward quickly, ignoring the candles, after you defeat the eye. Spears will fall from the ceiling, impaling Simon if he stops.
You’ll have to deal with a bone dragon after the spears. There’s a Rosario in the candle in front of the dragon. Getting it will destroy the dragon, but it’s more risky than whipping it, so it’s your call. You’ll have to destroy a second bone dragon on the next platform, this time there’s no Rosario, though you should be fairly safe if you keep your distance. Look out for dripping acid as you jump from pillar to pillar.
Head east, taking out a bat and bone pillar, then whip the wall right of some steps to get a Meat. A bridge of blocks that fall away as Simon steps on them is your next challenge. Keep moving and whip the bats that fly towards you. Jump and whip when you see the end of the bridge to nail a bat that swoops down at Simon. This bat is really hard to avoid and it will knock you into the acid if you miss. Jump over to the block on the right if you fall; you’ll take damage, but you may survive. There’s also a Cross in the candle near the end of the bridge. The next section of this dungeon is to the right.
This long stairway is much simpler than the previous area. You’ll be fine as long as you stop and wait to see what’s coming. However, do not whip the discolored parts of the steps. They’ll break, sending dangerous chunks into the air. Carefully walk under the moving spikes when you get to the next screen, you may have to crouch walk when you get to the second spike trap if you do not time it perfectly.
Get ready to do some fancy jumping when you reach a swinging spike platform. Wait for it to swing all the way to the left, then jump over to the pillar under it, so you can drop down onto the solid ground on your right. Make sure the dripping acid near the swinging spikes isn’t about to fall before making the jump. Run past some more falling spears after the swinging spikes and deal with another floating eye when you reach another acid pit.
You’ll see more moving spikes after crossing a bridge of sorts. Just wait for the spikes to reach their apex and walk off the ledge to get under them safely. Do not whip the candle between the two sets of spikes unless you want a Dagger. Next, you’ll come to large spikes that emerge from the ceiling. As you may have guessed, touching them will prove deadly, but you can safely crouch walk under them and there’s a Turkey Leg near the middle of this trap.
Just beyond the spike lined ceiling you’ll find a bridge made from blocks that disappear and reappear. Simon can walk across this fairly safely if you wait for the first block to materialize before crossing. A spear will fall from above as you cross, but you’ll be safe as long as you stay mobile. Take a few steps east to fight the boss.
Boss: The Creature
Getting to this guy was likely a bit daunting, but the Creature himself is a complete joke that makes even Rowdain look tough. He will slowly advance towards you, throwing potions that arc into the air and spread blue fire that moves in both directions when they hit the ground.* The Creature sometimes throw a potion that creates a copy of himself that can be destroyed in a few hits. Stand on the platforms to the left and whip him when he gets close. Use the Dagger, Cross, or any sub-weapon to damage him at range. Jump away from the potions if it looks like one will hit you, though it’s best to just be aggressive with this boss and focus on hitting him. You’ll be fine as long as you stay on the platforms.
* The Creature will very rarely throw a potion that explodes in midair, producing energy balls that fan out and shoot downwards. Stand in the gaps between the balls to remain unharmed.
h. Stage 9
The ninth stage is a cakewalk compared to the dungeon Simon just crawled out of, but don’t let all the glittering treasure distract you. Time is more of a factor in this sprawling stage than the others and you’ll want to keep moving to avoid running out of it. You will also encounter piles of treasure that disintegrate from under your feet in this vault, so take care when exploring.
Go east, whipping the bats that come swooping in and the gold skeletons, then go down the steps. You’ll see a platform made of treasure at the bottom of the steps that will rapidly crumple as you walk over it. Take note of this for later and kill the skeletons on your left, then make your way to more crumbling gold platforms. You’ll have to kill a few bats and skeletons while you go west to another set of steps, but there’s nothing here that requires a detailed explanation.
A row of those treasure platforms from earlier is just east of the entrance to the next screen. Ignore the candles and cross quickly, though you can get the Gold and Hearts from the candles safely by whipping them while airborne if you really want them. Step into the low area next to the treasure chest after the platforms to avoid the skeleton that jumps towards Simon and kill the next skeleton. There’s an Ax in the candle past the skeletons, which is really helpful later on. Latch onto the bat ring to the right, then swing over to the next one to get a Turkey Leg, Rosario, and a few other goodies.
There are more treasure clumps to the east, this time it’s best to just leave the candles and push forward. You’ll have to destroy a skeleton the second you land on the solid blocks after crossing the treasure piles. There are a few more bats and skeletons that need slaying as you make your way across the series of blocks on your right, so keep hitting that Y Button as you jump. Continue east to get to 9-2.
Kill the dragon skeleton while standing on the tower when you enter this place. There are wind tunnels that suck Simon towards them in the lower part of the entrance to this area, stay away from them and use the bat ring near the top of the screen to reach the ledge. You’ll have to whip diagonally to latch onto the second ring if you want to make the ledge, but it’s worth it since you’ll avoid the wind tunnels and coffins below. You’ll also get an Ax and Cross from the candles here.
Proceed down the narrow corridor and take out another dragon skeleton, then go down the steps. You’ll give to destroy yet another dragon skeleton here, then swing across a couple of bat rings to get to the high ledge in the west. Watch out if you fall into the gold below, Simon will slowly sink into it and die. Luckily, you can jump out of it if you mess up.
Don’t mess with the candles by the coffin above the steps leading down, they only contain Hearts and the coffin will likely damage or even kill Simon if he goes for them.
You’ll see some blocks that fall into the spike pit on the next screen. These blocks will create a path for you, but you will have to cross quickly or they will trap you by piling up to the ceiling. Wait for the first couple of blocks to drop then start hopping over them to get to safety. A wind tunnel will pull you towards a bone pillar after you land, just focus on attacking the pillar and take the lower path east to some more steps.
Note: You can take the upper path here to a wind tunnel that will suck you into a secret room. The candles in this room contain a Meat as well as a sample of each type of weapon. Allow the wind tunnels in this secret chamber to suck Simon in to return to the previous area.
Ignore the steps that lead down to the coffin and take the stairs going up near the bone pillar. Be sure to whip the candles at the beginning of the next area for a Turkey Leg, proceed up the steps, killing the gold skeletons as you go. Walk over to the block on the left after you defeat the second skeleton and use it to jump onto another platform above you, ignoring the steps to the right. Use that platform to get to the steps above. If you did it right, you’ll be opposite another dragon skeleton. You would have wound up behind the dragon had you taken the steps on the right, which would require you to use the Ax or try to whip your way past him. Here you can hit the dragon quite easily.
Fight your way up the steps to get to the next area, watch out for one last dragon skeleton on the way. The final screen of this stage is home to a few whip skeletons, but nothing major. Be sure to hit the candle under the steps for one last Turkey Leg, then head east to fight the boss.
Boss: Zapf Bat (Gold Bat)
Zapf Bat will spend most of the first half of this battle flying around the top part of the screen. Stay under him and whip up. You can also chuck Axes at him when he is out of reach. Walk away from him when he pauses, because he will quickly ram into Simon if you stay still. The gold that normally drops off of his body is harmless, but the large chunks that fly off when he takes damage will hurt and you’ll want to jump away from them. This bat is very durable and it will take a lot of hits just to bring it down to half health.
At 50% health the boss will split into three smaller bats. The coins these bats drop as they fly will cause damage. It’s also very hard to avoid the chunks that fly off of the smaller bats. Try to control the fight by moving away from them and hit them when there are openings. It helps to jump away from the bats after hitting them, but they tend to crowd Simon, so don’t count on doing this. The smaller bats are vulnerable to the Cross, which can hit them several times. You can also hammer them while disregarding any hits you take if you are near full health.
i. Stage A
The Clock Tower is slightly more challenging than most of the other stages in this game, though not by much. Get used to balancing Simon on moving gears and riding moving bat rings.
You’ll have to cross some spinning gears at the beginning of this level. The only real danger comes from the big gear near the steps, because you’ll have to wait until it’s about to dump Simon into the chasm before jumping onto the ledge. The next screen is fairly easy at first, just climb up, whipping anything you see. In fact, you’ll see many of the skeleton knights above you as you scale the steps, so use the opportunity to clear them out from below.
Make sure you jump to the ledge on the left after you hop on the second gear in this area; the candle left of it is something of a trap. After that you’ll come to two gears and a bat ring, there’s nothing tricky about this, but you’ll have to move quickly after swinging onto the brittle ledge near the bat ring. Keep climbing the steps to get to the next area.
The next screen is a bit tougher. You’ll have to deal with a Medusa head, whip skeleton, and a normal skeleton upon reaching the top of the staircase. Take the Medusa head out first, then go for the whip skeleton; the normal skeleton should be an easy mark after that. You’ll have to eliminate or dodge more heads as you push right. There’s a big gear and some spikes just past the Medusa heads. Carefully jump onto the side of the gear and crouch to avoid getting killed by the spikes. After you pass them, jump right immediately or you’ll fall into the pit. Next, you’ll have to ride some moving bat rings to a ledge. This isn’t hard at all, but you’ll need to start cracking that whip the second you hit the ledge or you run the risk of being knocked off of it by a skeleton knight. Have Simon ascend the steps to exit this room.
A Medusa head will come at you from the east the moment you enter this vertical shaft, just whip it or walk out of its path. Ax knights occupy the platforms above you, but you’re in a good spot to attack from, so they shouldn’t be an issue. A rusty gear will roll towards Simon after he reaches the top of the steps, walk back down the stairs when it starts moving to avoid taking a nasty hit.
Another gear will fall from your left as you make your way up these platforms. Jump to the higher platform to the left as the gear rolls towards you and you should be fine. The turning gear next to the platform moves fairly quickly and it’s wise to do a quick jump by hitting B a second time after landing on it or it may dump Simon into the pit below. There’s a Cross in the candle left of the gear, take it and try to hold onto it.
After moving upwards a bit more, you should see a bat ring, let the Medusa head at the very top of the screen pass, then latch onto the ring with a diagonal whip. Wait for the ax knight to throw a high ax before attempting to hit him from the steps. A dragon skeleton hangs from the block above the ax knight, wait until the moving bat rings are out of your way before striking this pest or Simon runs the risk of latching into the ring while trying to hit the dragon.
Latch onto the bat ring after you’ve dealt with the dragon and press Up to shorten the whip. You’ll see an ax knight as you ride the ring upwards, lengthen the whip to avoid his ax, then start swinging the second you are clear of him. Jump over to the platform on your right when you reach the top of the chain and hit the candle for a Turkey Leg. Be careful of the ax knight and Medusa heads while you do this, though they should not be a threat.
You’ll have to traverse two rows of fragile blocks next. If you whip upwards after jumping on the first row, then hop to the right, you should be able to kill the Medusa head that swoops in from the west and mount the upper row of blocks. Otherwise, you’ll have to quickly pivot to strike her or just take the hit when you jump onto the solid ledge above the second row. Either way, kill the ax knight in the upper left and get ready for more moving bat rings.
You’ll see a dragon skeleton to the east just after you latch onto the ring. Swing onto the ledge to the right and take out the dragon skeleton. Take care not to hit the bat rings while attacking the skeleton or you will latch onto them. Release the Y Button immediately if you do accidentally hit a ring and you should be ok. Start swinging when you latch back onto the bat ring after slaying the dragon skeleton and jump onto the ledge at the top of the chain. There’s little room for error here, so try to jump when Simon swings through the ledge. The door to the east will take you to the next area.
A-2 is small and only populated by a few bloodskeletons and skeleton knights. Fight your way across the bridge and grab a Turkey Leg from the candles. The boss waits at the end of the bridge.
Note: A Double Fire can randomly drop from the candles in this area.
Boss: Akmodan II (The Mummy)
Akmodan is dangerous thanks to the narrow clock hands you have to fight him on. A single hit can send Simon to his death if he gets knocked off of the clock hands. The mummy can teleport around, but you will be able to see where he will appear thanks to his wrappings which float upwards from the pit and assemble themselves. Akmodan will alternate between spewing fireballs that float upwards from his head and bandages that fly towards Simon. The fireballs can be avoided by merely keeping your distance from the mummy, but the bandages are another story. To avoid the bandages, you’ll have to step away from them as they get close, then jump over them towards the mummy. You can dodge them all by using this technique, but it is not easy and sometimes Akmodan will walk towards you while performing his bandage attack. The whip or Cross can destroy the bandages, but it takes a few hits to do so, which makes this defense unreliable.
Luck plays a role in this match thanks to Akmodan’s random teleporting. He may teleport to places that are convenient for you or he may land on the lower platform where it’s difficult to reach him. Even worse, Akmodan can pin you by teleporting or walking towards you, though you can safely walk past him while he is assembling himself which makes this less of a problem. As with many of the bosses, a good offense is the best defense, though you will need to put some effort into dodging Akmodan’s attacks. The Cross can shred Akmodan if you have it, especially if you were lucky enough to get a Double Fire. If not, you’ll have to rely on the whip. Strike him just after he fully forms himself then back off to see what he will do next. Your best bet is to get attacks in while he is using his fireball ability.
j. Stage B
This is it: the final stage! Super Castlevania IV pulls out all the stops here and you will face major challenges. Some of the traps in this stage have almost zero margin of error, but they are all manageable if you are patient and keep practicing. Perseverance will pay off, because you can get a password that will give you access to the boss fights at the end if you can get past the traps.
The Dullahans guarding the steps can be troublesome, but ducking and striking them is a good way to get by them unscathed. You can also jump past the steps to avoid two of them. You’ll have to crouch and whip a Dullahan when you land, however. Take your time descending and hit the candle to the right of some brittle blocks near the middle of the area to get a rare Triple Fire if you were lucky enough to snag a Double Fire in Stage A.
Descend the steps at the bottom of the screen to reach the next area. Stepping on the bridge to the right will cause it to crumble. Bats will also fly out of the crumbling bridge and chase Simon. Ignore the candles here and run over the bridge as fast as possible. The bats won’t hit you as long as you keep moving forward. Go down the steps at the end of the bridge and you’ll be able to enter B-2 where things really get tough.
Welcome to the most difficult part of Castlevania IV! If you can get past these nefarious traps, you can get past anything the game will throw at you. You’ll see a buzzsaw that moves to the left and right, while slowly making its way up the screen upon entering this area. Touch it and you’re dead. There are steps in here that will fall out from under Simon as he touches them, so you’ll have ascend them quickly to avoid being dropped into the saw. You’ll also have to master jumping onto steps by holding Up and B. Ignore the candles in this area unless you really need whip power ups.
Go up the steps on your right, then jump onto the steps above you from the ledge. You should see a Dullahan to the east. Whip it when you get to the black at the top of the steps and continue upwards. You’ll have to use Up and B to jump onto the steps as you go up. A golem will bust out of the wall in the background when you get to a series of solid platforms, destroy it and make your way to the block on your left.
There will be three sets of falling steps near the block left of the golem. Just stick onto the first set of steps with Up+B and keep holding Up to climb them safely. Simon will get to the end of one set of steps and drop onto the next, reaching the block to the east without a problem if you do it properly. Do not go for the candles above the steps unless you want to lose a life.
Jump straight up from the block to climb the next staircase and don’t try to get the Ax from the candle left of it or you will trigger the steps, leaving Simon stranded. Ignore the golem that pops out of the wall and hold Up to ascend the next set of stairs to a pair of bat rings. Use the first ring to get to the block on the right and destroy the golem that spawns near it. Latch onto the second ring, extend the whip and start swinging as far as possible to jump onto the ledge on the upper right.
The traps change here, but they’re just as deadly. Floating platforms that fly upwards at an angle from left to right enter the scene. They can easily push Simon into the spiked blocks above, but he’ll need to use them to progress. The best way to handle this area is to ride the blocks and jump left onto lower blocks to avoid dying. Leave the bat rings and candles in this area alone. At least the buzzsaw won’t chase you here.
You should get to a staircase with a shaft above it after riding the blocks a bit. Jump onto the ledge above the steps and ride more floating blocks up to more steps that you’ll have to jump onto. Stay to the left while riding the blocks to avoid a spiked ceiling. Destroy the Dullahan on your right before leaving the steps and wait for the skeleton above you to come into whipping range to defeat him as well.
Make your way up the steps (destroying more Dullahans and skeletons as you ascend) and enjoy the brief respite here, because the worst part of the game is just above you. You’ll come to a dead end at the top of the staircase. After a moment, more floating blocks that move upwards from left to right will appear. Above your head is a nasty row of spikes that starts out very long and shortens as it runs left. The blocks come in clusters of three and you’ll need to use them to get up to the next area.
Stand at the very edge of the steps and jump onto the lowest block as it comes up to you. After that, jump left up to the next block and again to the one next to it, then immediately start walking off of the block. Simon will drop onto a block just below it. Drop again and keep doing so to safely reach the top of the spiked ledge and the big door east of it. It may take a few tries to get this right, but with good timing and a little luck, you will be successful.
Now that you’ve made it through the horrors of B-2 you’ll have to face a gauntlet of mini-bosses before battling Dracula. Luckily, the game will give you a password if you run out of lives on these bosses, which is really convenient. You’ll also get a few powerups between fights, but don’t expect to be able to go in to battle full force if you die.
Slogra cannot be harmed while he is green, but he will lose his shield and turn tan after about a second, leaving him open to attack. This mini-boss has two main phases that change as he takes damage. The first phase, which lasts until he is at about 50% health involves him shooting a fireball from his spear, which he also jabs at Simon. The fireball will explode after traveling a short distance, so stay low and close to Slogra. Duck to avoid the fireball/spear and hit him. Move out of the way, preferably towards the center of the room, because he will leap into the air and crash down on you after taking a hit. Keep a close eye on Slogra’s movements, because he will (very rarely) try to slam into you with his beak while he still has his spear.
Slogra’s spear will shatter after you get him down to half health and he will continue to launch himself into the air upon taking damage, though he’ll charge at you with his break instead of shooting a fireball from now on. This time his movements will become more erratic and you’ll have less time to react. For this phase, you will need to hit him then jump immediately to avoid getting pecked when he lands. Try to make your way to the pillars on the left or right to draw the boss towards you by hopping continually. Stand on the far side of the pillar, hit Slogra, and instantly start hopping over to the other pillar. This should allow you to dodge his attacks while his invincibility wears off. Go over to the far side of the pillar, hit him again, and jump back over to the opposite pillar. Keep up this rhythm to defeat this mini-boss.
Go up the steps to the east, hitting the candles to on the way to get a few sorely needed Turkey Legs. Gaibon is in the room to the west. This bat-like monstrosity will fly around the chamber, occasionally spitting fireballs at you. These fireballs move fairly slowly and can be evaded by walking or jumping in the other direction. After a few moments, Gaibon will make an abrupt landing that will cause stalactites to fall from the ceiling, then fire off three fireballs. Like Slogra, Gaibon has two phases and will change tactics after being taken down to half health. During his second phase, Gaibon will fly more quickly and erratically. His shots will also spread out, but he will not land.
Gaibon is actually easy compared to Slogra; stand on one of the blocks on the side of the screen, as far to the left or right as possible. This will render his ground based attack less harmful, because he will not land on the blocks. He is also less likely to spit fireballs towards the platforms. The only thing you have to watch out for are falling stalactites and contact damage from Gaibon touching you. Even his second phase attack is unlikely to hit Simon when he is on the platform. As an added bonus, it’s easy to hit him, just wait for him to fly close to you and start attacking. If you somehow managed to kill Slogra and hold onto your sub-weapons you can chuck them at Gaibon to destroy him even faster.
Death is the last of the three mini-bosses in this stage and arguably the hardest… good thing there’s a trick that makes this fight a lot easier. After materializing, Death will fly around the room, launching sickles that track Simon. He also raises up his scythe and dives at you. After a while, Death hovers off to the far right side of the room and lands. Death’s scythe will start to spin and Simon will be drawn towards him by some mysterious force. The scythe will always make two passes as it flies around the room. On the first pass it will fly high towards the west, then come in low to return to Death. On the second pass it stays high.
Stand right next to the platform on the left when Death appears. Face east and hold Y to block, then press Up to raise the whip as far as possible. The sickles should hit the whip, which will destroy them, leaving you unharmed. Stay like this until Death lands to perform his scythe attack. Hit Death while the scythe is flying overhead, then jump over it and make your way back to the block. Use the same whip block technique from before, because Death will start throwing sickles the moment his scythe returns from its second pass. Keep this pattern up until Death is…uh…dead. You can also get quick hits in when he is swooping at you, but this will expose you to damage. Go into the newly opened passage to the west to fight Dracula after you defeat Death.
Pro-Tip: There’s a well known and incredibly helpful secret just before Dracula’s chamber. Jump off of the cliff under the staircase leading to Dracula after you beat Death. Be sure to jump from the edge as far to the left as possible and you’ll land on an invisible platform. Crouch walk left and you’ll go down some invisible steps to a lower platform. Walk over to the western edge of the screen here and Simon will be powered up with full health, Hearts, Whip Upgrades, the Cross and Triple Fire. Go back up the steps to the right and climb up to Drac’s chamber when you are done. Remember: you can get this powerup as many times as you want.
You’ve come a long way, but it’s finally here: The battle with Dracula himself! Hopefully you got the secret I pointed out above, because Dracula will put up quite a fight. At the start of the battle, Dracula will teleport and open his cloak to shoot a fireball at Simon. You will have to either whip the fireball and hit Y to block it when it breaks apart or preemptively block it. Do not let Dracula pin you between the edge of the screen and himself or the fireball will hit you. Do not attempt to jump over the fireball or it will break apart and hit you. After he is down to 80% health (more or less) Dracula will shoot an orb that will fly around the room. Try to whip it and it will eventually fire a string of shots then turn into a Turkey Leg.
During the second part of the fight you will have to deal with Drac’s fire attacks. He’ll still teleport in the same manner, but this time fire will erupt from the ground when he opens his cape and two flaming faces will chase Simon around the room. You can hit these faces with the Cross or whip to destroy them, but they tend to fall towards you when struck, so be ready to walk or jump out of the way.
On the third stage of the fight, when Dracula is at about 25% health, he will create lighting bolts that strike the entire room. These are easy to avoid, because you can see where they will hit if you look at the top of the screen, so just step away from them. Dracula’s only weak spot is his head. You’ll have to hit it to damage him, which means you’ll have to be ready to block his fireball or move out of the way of his lightning right after you attack. However, this is unnecessary if you got the secret before the final battle. If you have the Cross and 99 Hearts from the secret all you have to do is jump up and toss Crosses at Dracula. I try to have three Crosses in the air at any given time, especially when Dracula is using his fire attack, because it will deal maximum damage to Drac and destroy the fire faces. This should allow you to concentrate on defense. Keep hitting Dracula and you will eventually beat the game, unlocking hard mode.
4. Hard Mode
Having only competed hard mode once, I do not feel I’m ready to write a guide for it. Additionally, much of the game’s layout will remain the same on hard mode, so this section will be brief. To unlock Hard Mode, defeat Dracula and watch the credits, then press Start to initiate a new game. You can visit this page on the site if you want to go to the final level immediately or to visit a stage in normal or hard mode: https://retromaggedon.com/index.php/super-castlevania-4-snes-passwords/
Hard Mode features new enemy placements and a greater number of them, Good Luck!
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