‘Castlevania’ designer explains what made ‘Symphony’ so special
There’s plenty I could say about Castlevania: Symphony of the Night but in the interest of time I’ll keep it short and sweet: it’s one of the most influential games ever made. Don’t believe me? Eighteen years later, its core design conceit (read: explore a gigantic environment at will, uncovering hidden-in-plain-sight secrets in previously traversed areas thanks to a cascading set of power-ups that grant new abilities) is still being used today. So with that in mind, watching co-designer Koji “IGA’ Igarashi offer commentary while Double Fine Productions’ senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis plays through over two hours of the game in the latest Devs Play episode is an incredible treat. Oh, and there’s blood-red wine involved because of course there is.
Topics of conversation range from the protagonist switcheroo in the prologue, the level of autonomy that extended all the way out to the the singer who composed the haunting menu music, Alucard’s bedroom that was left on the cutting room floor and a ton more. There’s an awful lot to digest here and given the clip’s length watching it on your flatscreen via Chromecast is pretty much a no-brainer. Should you need some written material to accompany the A/V feast, be sure to check out Gamasutra‘s deep dive on Metroidvania, and by extension, SotN‘s, design.