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Proto:Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation).

A version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night demoed at E3 in 1997. Its text has been translated into English, but the game itself is closer to the Japanese version than the final English releases.

Title and Interface Differences

E3 Version Final

The Konami logo sequence is the same one used in the Japanese version.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3Title.png Castlevania- Symphony of the Night-title.png

The title logo is the same as the final English logo, however "-E3 Version-" is printed under the subtitle and the background is the same lighter shade of gray the Japanese version uses.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3NotFormatted.png SOTN-NotFormatted.png

The string for unformatted memory cards is not displayed properly. Strangely, the final version swaps the button mapping for this option, using Triangle for Yes and X for No. The Japanese version and E3 demo use their respective confirm and cancel buttons for Yes and No.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3Loading.png SOTN-Loading.png

The logo displayed on the loading screen is slightly larger in the E3 version, making the subtitle a bit easier to read. Strange that this was changed for the final version.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3FinalStage.png SOTN-FinalStage.png

Graphical text such as the location names and the message displayed when activating the elevator have not been replaced by their English equivalents yet. All voice acting is still in Japanese as well. "-E3 Version-" is printed in the upper right corner during gameplay in this version.

E3 Version Final
They missed that launch month by a few days.
SOTN-GameOver.png

The game over image has been replaced by this "to be continued" screen with an estimated release month. The character dialogue that replaces the game over music at certain points during the game are still present in this version. English translations of this dialogue are included in the final version, but they are never played.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3MainMenu.png SOTN-MainMenu.png

The kill count in the main menu is labeled "BEAT" like the Japanese version. Inaccessible menu options are not darkened, as they are in the Japanese and final English versions.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3SpellHold.png SOTN-SpellHold.png

Japanese text is still used to denote when a direction needs to be held in the special moves list. The final version replaces this text with a red arrow. It also changes the color of the selection box used in this menu from red to yellow, likely to make the red arrows easier to see.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3CloakColor.png SOTN-CloakColor.png

The lining and exterior strings are accidentally reversed in the E3 version's cloak color menu. The time attack option never unlocks in this version, despite translated strings for it being present.

SOTN-E3Priest.png

The ghost priest in the Royal Chapel's confessional also still speaks his Japanese dialogue in this version. Like the game over dialogue, an English translation of his dialogue was recorded for the final game, but he no longer speaks.

SOTN-E3LibrarianOptions.png

Like the time attack option, the Master Librarian's sound test option is never unlocked. The strings used by it are already present, showing plans were already in place to replace the Japanese voice actor interviews.

Game Progression Differences

SELECT !!

After pressing Start at the title screen, this screen is displayed, which allows choosing between normal and special starts. Interestingly, this screen uses Circle as the confirm button, like the Japanese version, while the rest of the menus are already using the final version's button mapping. The normal option goes into the "select your destiny" menu, like the final version.

SOTN-E3Catacomb.png

Special, however, starts Alucard in the Catacombs. He begins at level 1 with 200 HP, some basic equipment, and a number of relics. Other equipment is available in the inventory. While the door to the Catacombs can be opened, it is not possible to pass through the load room into the Abandoned Mine. The only way out is to navigate the dark area without the Echo of Bat and use the library card hidden in the wall behind the spike breaker armor.

E3 Version Final
The lack of switch also makes getting that Herald shield impossible. Shh, don't tell anyone - this is actually a screenshot from the Japanese version.

The switch for making the skeleton ape appear near to the wooden bridge in the Underground Caverns is missing, so the Abandoned Mine, and by connection the Catacombs, cannot be accessed. This is likely due to the Catacombs' load room being blocked off for Special mode.

SOTN-E3DemoEnd.png

After defeating the werewolf and Minotaurus in the Colosseum, Alucard says his dialogue as normal, then a game over is triggered. This prevents obtaining the Form of Mist, so the game cannot be completed by normal means.

SOTN-E3MistBatSoul.png

However, this version's saves are compatible with the Japanese version, meaning these two road blocks can be bypassed in that version, and the save can be loaded in the E3 version, allowing the rest of it to be explored.

E3 Version Final
Nosedevil Card Holy sword
Sword Card Garnet
Sprite Card Sword Card

All of the item placements are the same as the Japanese version. This means the cards to summon the two familiars that were removed from the final version are available.

SotN Japanese Familiars.png

While both cards will appear in the list of relics and are functional, it is clear that plans were already in place to remove these familiars, since their name, level, and EXP strings were never translated in the familiar list. The Sprite does not sing when sitting in a chair in this version, as she does in later Japanese revisions.

If the Catacombs are entered, it is not possible to exit them through the load room, as is the case when starting there in Special mode. Again, the only way out is to use a library card.

Text Differences

Intro

E3 Version Final

After a series of epic battles,
Richter Belmont finally succeeded
in destroying Count Dracula,
the ancient vampire who had been
most recently resurrected by
the dark priest Shaft.

However, one night 4 years later,
under the bright glare of the moon,
Richter mysteriously vanished.

With no idea of where to begin
her search, Maria Renard set out to
look for him.
It when then that fate intervened.

Castlevania, the castle of Dracula,
which is rumored to appear only once
every century, suddenly and
mysteriously materialized.

Meanwhile, powerful forces
were at work in the life of
a man named Alucard.

The very same Alucard who had
previously teamed up with
Trevor Belmont to destroy
his immortal father, Vlad Tepes
aka Count Dracula.

Alucard, in order to rid the world of
his own cursed blood line,
sealed off his powers and entered
into what was supposed to be
an eternal slumber.

But now, that sleep has been disturbed
and Alucard is aware of the evil that
is once again arisen in his homeland.

The time has come once more for
the forces of Good and Evil to
engage in their ancient battle.
Dracula's castle beckons for you...

And perhaps none but that bright and
glaring moon can say who will be triumphant.



It was Richter Belmont,
the legendary vampire hunter,
who succeeded in finally ending
the menace of Count Dracula,
Lord of the Vampires who had been
brought back from the grave by
the dark priest Shaft.

However, one night 4 years later,
under the glare of a full moon,
Richter mysteriously vanished.

With no idea of where to begin
her search, Maria Renard
set out to look for him.
It was then that fate intervened.

Castlevania, the castle of Dracula,
which is rumored to appear once
every century, suddenly
materialized from out of the mist
as if to show her the way.

Meanwhile, powerful forces were
struggling for the soul of
a man named Alucard.
The very same Alucard who had
teamed up with Trevor Belmont to
battle his immortal father,
Count Vlad Tepes Dracula.

Alucard, in order to purge the world
of his own cursed blood line,
had submerged his vampiric powers
and entered into was supposed
to be an eternal slumber.
But now, he is awake and aware of
the evil once again at work
in his homeland.

This time has once again come for
the forces of Good and Evil to
engage in their ancient battle.
Dracula's castle beckons for you...

And no man can say who shall
emerge victorious.


The intro is based on the text used in the Japanese version, but with a minor localization change made to it - Ralph C. Belmont was changed to Trevor Belmont. The final version made more significant changes to this text, rewriting parts of it. The Dracula X graphic shown after this text has already been replaced with a Castlevania graphic.

Dialogue

SOTN-E3LibrarianTypo.png

There's a typo in one of the Master Librarian's lines.

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3Ferryman.png SOTN-Ferryman.png

The ferryman's name is all question marks in the E3 version.

SOTN-E3BlankDialogue.png

No text is displayed during the second conversation between Alucard and Maria in the Royal Chapel. Their names and portraits change, but these changes do not sync up with the Japanese voice acting.

Item Names

SOTN-E3WonderDrug.png
E3 Version Final
Smart drug Smart potion
Luck drug Luck potion
Strength drug Str. potion
Wonder drug Life apple
Antivenin Antivenom
Glaumdring Dark Blade
Marsil sword Marsil
Orccrist Luminus
Sabre Saber
Doria Gyros plate

Most drugs were changed to potions - the shield and attack potions already use this terminology in the E3 version, despite clearly being pills like the smart and luck drugs. Antivenin was changed to antivenom, probably because the latter term is more common in English. Glaumdring and Orccist, two of many Tolkien references in the game, were changed to dark blade and Luminus, despite other references being kept (and several which weren't present in the Japanese version being added). The doria was changed into a plate of gyros.

Descriptions

SOTN-E3BastardSword.png
SOTN-E3HeartofVlad.png
Item E3 Version Final
Alucart sword Resemble's familysword Resembles family sword
Hammer Unpetrify [use] Unpetrify [Familiar use only]
Wonder drug
Life apple
Resurrection Drug [use] Heals [Familiar use only]
Harper Harper The sword named Harper
Bastard sword Hand-and-a-half sword Standard sword
Cross shuriken Powerful throwing stars [use] Powerful throwing star [use]
Shuriken Japanese throwing stars [use] Japanese throwing star [use]
Grape juice Cooked with coconut milk [use] Sparkling juice [use]
Doria
Gyros plate
With melted cheese [use] With fries [use]
Peanuts Honey-roasted peanuts [use] Difficult to eat [use]
Rapier Long bladed thrusting sword Long bladed sword
Nunchaku Strikes enemy twice Strikes enemy twice [2 hand]
Monster vial 1 Summons Merman ally [use] Summons merman ally [use]
Duplicator Duplicates [use] items. Duplicates [use] items
Sunglasses Kool-looking sunglasses Cool looking sunglasses
Heart of Vlad 1 of 5 Treasures. Voide Curse. 1 of 5 Treasures. Avoid Curse.

The two items used by the Faerie were noted as being familiar-only items; in the case of the wonder drug/life apple, this resulted in a less-than-descriptive description of its ability. The bastard sword and rapier's descriptions were shortened, despite their original descriptions fitting fine. The grape juice has no description of its own in the E3 version and uses the one from the curry rice instead. The doria's description was replaced with a new one for the gyros plate. The peanuts are now noted as being difficult to eat (the player must catch them when using them), rather than describing them. The Heart of Vlad's description seems to misspell "voids" but the final version replaces this with "avoid."

Librarian Menu

E3 Version Final
Sell jem Sell gem
Nothing Exit
Free talk Sound test

The free talk option was changed to sound test for the final version.

Items

E3 Version Final
Catle map Castle map

Enemy List

SOTN-E3Beezelbub.png
E3 Version Final
Beezelbub Lord of Flies. Beelzebub Lord of Flies.
Zombie impersonating Ralph. Zombie impersonating Trevor.
Demonic puppet from hell. Demonic puppet from Hell.
Cerberos Cerberus
Beezelbub Beelzebub

Monster name fixes in the enemy list. Unfortunately, these mistakes were not caught in the table of strings used for the menu and Faerie Scroll relic, which still use misspelled names in the final North American version.

Sound Test

E3 Version Final
Rainbow Cemetary Rainbow Cemetery
Nocturne

Strings for the sound test are present, despite not being implemented yet. The Nocturne track was blanked out in the final strings, since that track isn't available in the sound test.

Time Attack

E3 Version Final
Defeat Cerberos Defeat Cerberus
Defeat Beezelbub Defeat Beelzebub
Defeat Minotaurus and Werewolf Defeat Minotaur and Werewolf

More monster name fixes.

Miscellaneous

E3 Version Final
SOTN-E3NameEntry.png SOTN-NameEntry.png

Cancel is misspelled "cansel" in the select your destiny menu.

E3 Version Final
Overwrite? Overwrite data?
Save? Wish to Save?
Select the slot Select the slot.

The strings displayed when overwriting a save are slightly different, uncentered, and can appear glitchy in certain save rooms.

SOTN-E3CreditsTitle.png

The credits still refer to the game as Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight.