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Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

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Title Screen

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Released in JP: May 8, 2003
Released in US: May 6, 2003
Released in EU: May 9, 2003


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.


BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page

A Castlevania game that, shock, isn't about one of the Belmonts! Instead, we get some white-haired emo kid that happens to have the ability to absorb souls.

Unused Foreign Scripts

The script for the French and German versions of the game are still present in the US version. With that, there's also some unused graphics including (surprise) French and German versions of some of the status effects. The French script can be found starting from 000F916A in the ROM, and the German script can be found starting from 001075CA.

Unused Text

There're several values of money unit that got unused, probably because Aria of Sorrow directly copied several values from Harmony of Dissonance.

 $5

Text located at address 080F8080.

 $25

Text located at address 080F8088.

 $250

Text located at address 080F8098.

 $400

Text located at address 080F80A0.

Unused Graphics

AoSGraphics.PNG

There are several things that can be found inside the game's tiles. A lot of items, weapons, a doll that was seemingly meant to have an attack and a hang-glider that was probably supposed to be the flying armor.

CastlevaniaAOS KonamiManWoman.gif

Sprites of Konami Man and his accomplice, Konami Lady. They are early mascots for the Japanese branch of Konami and have made appearances in several of the company's games.

CVAoS-081CBE0C palette 08209AE0-00.png

A scrapped alternate version of red door, Harmony of Dissonance style.

  • The red door itself is actually modified from Harmony of Dissonance. All Harmony of Dissonance palette intact.

CVAoS-081CBE74 palette 08209F54-00.png

A single frame of Alucard is included in the bell's graphics! Why the rest of Alucard's sprites are absent is currently unknown--probably because the Game Boy Advance can't handle Alucard's animations even if they tried to crop them to a similar size as to other playable characters...or his animations turned out choppy and/or the palettes were all wrong.

CVAoS-AlucardPalette.png

The closest palette suitable for the (badly cropped) single Alucard frame. The reason that Alucard's planned appearance got scrapped is clearer now...

  • Alucard finally got an appearance in Dawn of Sorrow, but re-used the same graphics from Symphony of the Night for Alucard's animations. This further supports the theory that the Aria of Sorrow developer team planned to include Alucard as a playable character in Aria of Sorrow.

Unused Key

Hmmm...
To do:
Get a code that will work on hardware (e.g. Gameshark).

Open Sesame? In Item list.

A Skull Key is present in the game, but is unused and has no effect. It's possible that there were going to be locked doors around the castle, as in Harmony of Dissonance, but the idea was scrapped, probably fairly early on. The Visual Boy Advance RAM code 020132AD will add the item to the inventory.

Chaos Listing

CastlevaniaAOS ChaosList.png CastlevaniaAOS ChaosProfile.png

Apparently the final boss, Chaos, has a listing in the game that was taken out before release. The different graphics for the boss in the listing show that it may have been early in development when it was removed. Add this Action Replay V3 cheat to add Chaos to the Enemy List: CF7FE189 33328B68.

Debug Menu

Castlevania AoS Debug000.png

You can access the debug menu with the GameShark code:

5F1A6135 63794818
CCEC9F6E 5A2A0F12
  • Selecting "Start" makes the game begin like normal.
  • Selecting "Trade" brings up the file select screen for item trading mode.
  • Selecting "Staff Roll" starts up the credits sequence.

Exit

Castlevania AoS Debug025.png

If you select Exit, you get this menu, which lets you start a normal game from various locations.

  • 0.Entrance
    • Warp to the event that Soma is awake in the beginning, without any additional statements.
  • 1.Adoration Hall (Chapel)
    • Warp to the save room before the Manticore boss battle. From this point, Soma would be at level 99, with souls of Axe Armor, Black Panther, Skula and Valmanway sword, Dracula Tunic, Satan's ring equipped. Warping to any save room from debug menu "EXIT" will be considered a success save and the game can be interrupted by using "Sleep" option.
  • 2.Library (Study)
    • Warp to the save room before the first Yoko encounter and Great Armor boss battle.
  • 3.Dance Hall
    • Warp to the area next to the upper save room in Dance Hall.
  • 4.Harem (Inner Quarters)
    • Warp to the save room before the Head Hunter boss battle.
  • 5.Babylon (Floating Garden)
    • Warp to the room before Julius boss battle, with black door locked.
  • 6.Clock Tower
    • Warp to the save room before Death boss battle.
  • 7.Water Vein (Underground Reservoir)
    • Warp to the long room with Tritons, Gorgons and Skyfish near the event room that Yoko was attacked by Graham.
  • 8.Arena
    • Warp to the elevator room before Balore boss battle.
  • 9.Saijo-Kai (Top Floor)
    • Warp to the save room in Top Floor.
  • Chaos Start
    • Warp to the save point at the start of Chaotic Realm. The transport point is bare-bone without the usual transparent effect, as Julius can still be fought if you turn back to Floating Garden.
  • Chaos Boss
    • Warp to the Chaos boss battle directly, with a slight difference: Player can pause or open map when Chaos is sealing Soma's soul powers.
  • Boss Rush 1P
    • Warp to the last room in the Boss Rush mode area directly.
  • Boss Rush 2P
    • Warp to the save data choosing menu when player choose the bonus Boss Rush Mode from title screen.
  • VS Legion
    • Warp to the room directly before Legion Boss battle.
  • VS Balore
    • Warp to the room with Giant Bat soul candle, and Balore is considered to be still alive and can be fought.
  • VS Collector
    • Warp to the left room directly before Collector (Head Hunter) boss battle.

1967

Castlevania AoS Debug001.png

Selecting 1967 brings up a menu, which allows for testing objects and enemies.

ENEMY

Castlevania AoS Debug003.png

Selecting ENEMY gives you a screen where you can select an enemy using left and right on the D-Pad. Then, pressing A or B loads a room from the game with the desired enemy placed inside it; A for one enemy and B for maximum available enemies.

In this mode, player must use Start + A combo in order to access statement menu. Select button doesn't work.

Castlevania AoS Debug004.png

You can select any enemy in the game, even the final boss, which behaves strangely in a wide room. When Soma and enemies are in place, you can push L + R combo to access enemy select menu in order to choose other enemies.

The area used in this mode is composed by a series of isolated rooms, similar to the boss rush arena but much shorter, with a corrupted version of Head Hunter boss room not seen in the actual game. If players get into this area by using warp glitch, the total map rate would be increased.

SDTEST

Selecting SDTEST opens up a sound test menu, but there is only a blank white screen, so it's hard to use. A will play a song/sound effect, B will stop all sounds playing, and the D-Pad will change the selection.

START

Castlevania AoS Debug006.png

Selecting START immediately spawns you here, at level 99, equipped with the Axe Armor, Black Panther, and Skula souls, armed with the Claihm Solais, and wearing Dracula's Tunic and Satan's Ring. Most likely used for testing the final boss in its proper environment.

OBJTEST

Castlevania AoS Debug002.png

Selecting OBJTEST brings up this sprite of Julius Belmont, which loops through his idle animation. Pressing Down on the D-Pad allows you to watch his next animations.

2229

Castlevania AoS Debug010.png

Selecting 2229 immediately spawns you in this room in the Clock Tower, right into a hazard. Pressing Start will just make the game stop, with some objects still move when pausing (Much like Maxim mode in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance). Select button doesn't work.

  • Ironically, in final version's Julius mode the game cannot be paused by pressing Start directly during action.

2739

Castlevania AoS Debug011.png

Selecting 2739 brings up another graphics testing menu. The functions that have text "PUSH SELECT + B TO EXIT." written on screen can be quit by using said command.

BG

Castlevania AoS Debug012.png

Yet another menu inside a menu.

Castlevania AoS Debug013.png

DISP TEST brings up most of the exterior background of the Clock Tower, which can be panned around with the D-Pad.

Castlevania AoS Debug014.png

LINK TEST puts you, as a doll version of the protagonist (which is used by a Bullet soul), in a warp room that you cannot exit. You can still move about, and even jump, but not much else. Press Start button will just pause the animation of the doll and his sprite. Select button doesn't work.

Castlevania AoS Debug015.png

VRAM HIT TEST puts you in the very first room in the game, at the top, as a bat that can somewhat move around freely. However, another copy of the bat lags behind, and the camera struggles to look at both sprites at once. Both Start and Select buttons don't work. Going too far from the start point, or colliding with another object, will crash the game. (Note the crash caused by the VRAM overflow in VRAM HIT TEST would have the possibility to destroy the actual cart or other hardware sometimes)

OBJ

Castlevania AoS Debug017.png

This just shows a graphic of a bat.

ETC

Castlevania AoS Debug018.png

This menu has only two options.

Castlevania AoS Debug019.png

SIO TEST 0 spawns the player here, with a broken HUD. Player can't get out of the room, Start button will just make the game stop and can't access statement menu (aka 2229). Select button doesn't work.

Strangely, pushing SELECT + B combo gives a blank white screen, making it hard to check functions and force players to reset.

Castlevania AoS Debug020.png

SIO TEST 1, on the other hand, brings up a screen with ASCII art Japanese characters reading "transmission", and a menu for linking two games together via a GBA Link Cable.

4531

Castlevania AoS Debug021.png

This menu gives you the ROM revision and a list of places to warp to.

  • EVENT02:GRA :
    • Warp to the room before the first Graham encounter room in Castle Corridor.
  • EVENT03:YOKO:
    • Warp to the room near the save point in Study, before the first Yoko encounter room.
  • EVENT04:JB :
    • Warp to the room inside the "Loading" area between Castle corridor and Dance Hall, before the first Julius encounter room.
  • EVENT05:GRA :HYOUHEN
    • Warp to the room inside the "Loading" area between Floating Garden and Clock Tower, before the second Graham encounter room.
  • EVENT06:YOKO:TSUISEKI
    • Warp to the room with gears in Clock Tower, before The second Yoko encounter room.
  • EVENT07:YOKO:SANGEKI
    • Warp to the room in Underground Reservoir before the event that Yoko was attacked by Graham.
  • EVENT08:JB :KIOKU
    • Warp to the room with Giant Bat soul candle in The Arena, before the encounter that Julius found his lost memory. Balore considered to be defeated at this point.
  • EVENT09:GRA :VS GRAHAM
    • Warp to the room with an armored soldier holding sword in background, before the great stairway in Top Floor.
  • EVENT10:JB :VS BELMONDO
    • Warp to the room before Julius battle in Floating Garden with black door already removed.
  • EVENT11: :VS CHAOS
    • Warp to the room before Chaos battle.
  • EVENT12:ENDING_BAD
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player beat Graham by not equipping the corresponding souls during battle.
  • EVENT13:ENDING_TRUE
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player beat Chaos, begins from castle crumble.
  • EVENT14:SYOUNIN
    • Warp to the Great Armor boss room and directly in battle, before the double jump Malphas soul and Hammer encounter.
  • EVENT16:YOKO HINSHI
    • Warp to the room next to Castle Corridor entrance, with Yoko lying on the ground upon player walks to the entrance room.
  • EVENTJB:ENDING_BELMONDO
    • Warp to the Julius mode ending scene.
  • EVENT09_05:VS GRAHAM2
    • Warp to the Graham battle room directly, Soma will be at Level 99, with Bastard Swords, Casual Clothes, and the souls of Flame Demon, Giant Bat and Succubus automatically equipped.
  • EVENTED:ENDING CHAOS
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player lost Chaos battle.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US
Castlevania - Akatsuki no Minuet (Japan) 000 title.png Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (USA).png

Aside from usual term naming differences, the position and layout of big "Castlevania" text on the Title screen is also slightly different.