Summoning FAQ by Achilles Heel

Version: 1.3 | Updated: 07/20/01 | Printable Version

                     CASTLEVANIA: CIRCLE OF THE MOON
                             Summoning Guide
                               By Twinkie
                               Version 1.3
                            Created: 7/16/01
                           Submitted: 7/18/01


                           Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Legal Junk
3. FAQ History
4. What is a Summon?
5. Getting Started (What You Need!)
6. How To Summon
7. Summon Usage
8. Types of Summons
  1. Salamander
  2. Serpent
  3. Mandragora
  4. Golem
  5. Cockatrice
  6. Manticore
  7. Griffin
  8. Thunderbird
  9. Manticore
  10. Black Dog
9. Credits
10. How to Contact Me


                            1. Introduction


Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is the best Game Boy Advance launch game, but
it is also one of the most difficult.  One of the problems people are
encountering (especially at the GameFAQs CotM message board) is summoning. 
It's almost crazy how many topics have been made asking how to do it!  To save
myself a headache, I've decided to write this guide on summons.  Read on!


                              2. Legal Junk

Copyright 2001 Twinkie.  This may not be stolen, altered, or sold for ANY FORM
OF PROFIT.  It MAY be reproduced electronically, and used for PRIVATE and
PERSONAL use.  It MAY NOT be put on a CD-Rom or printed in a magazine or any
other form of publication.  If you would like to put this on your web site,
please email me at  If this document is found taken
without permission, altered in any way, or used for profit, legal action will
be taken.

The websites where this is allowed to be currently are: (where the most updated version is always found)

If any of you reading this find it elsewhere, email me!  Thanks.


                           3. Guide History


7/20/01 (later in the day): A few spelling and grammar errors are pointed out
to me by bobbychild, so I fix those.
7/20/01: Hmm...  I got an email saying that it IS possible to get the Uranus
card before defeating Camilla.  The guide is, accordingly, altered.
7/19/01: Apparently a bit of my information about the different kinds of
summons is incorrect (Manticore is poison clouds, NOT pebbles), so I changed
that and added a list of the summons from best to worst.
7/18/01: The guide is completed, unless I think of something else to put in, so
I submit it!
7/17/01: Make a few more sections!
7/16/01: I start writing the guide; make the first few sections.


                          4. What is a Summon?


A summon is a button combination using a DSS card combination which "summons" a
mythical creature, such as a Mandragora or Unicorn depending on the card
combination.  The effects given are usually attacks; the Mandragora puts out
little "bubbles", but the Unicorn heals you.  Summons are incredibly useful
since they are also incredibly powerful.  However, they use a lot of mana, or
MP.  Still, they can take out bosses very quickly and almost always instantly
kill regular enemies.  Also, summons make you invulnerable while using them,
which is truly awesome!


                    5. Getting Started (What You Need!)


Before you start using summons, you'll need to get the right DSS cards.  The
most important is the "Uranus" card which is in the top row of cards.  To get
it, though, you'll have to first beat Camilla in the sewers.  Once Camilla is
defeated, go to the Golem boss room in the Machine Tower (look at Zeric's
excellent Card Map at GameFAQs).  The candles there have turned into "Scary
Candles"; hit them once and they dive to the floor and dissolve.  To avoid them
getting away, I used the ice sword (Mars + Serpent) to freeze the candles
before they got away.  It's also possible to hit the candle once while it's
"faking" and standing still on the wall, then slide (press down on the control
pad and A, so that you can use the +25% luck combo (Venus + Mandagora) to get
the card more quickly.  In any event, once you have the card, you can use it
with the 10 attribute cards on the bottom row.  To get these, look at Zeric's

(NOTE: Apparently it is possible to get the Uranus card before fighting
Camilla, which is different than what I, and many others, had previously
though.  So, I'm guessing that it appears after Death instead.  Thanks goes to
Wes Brown for the info.)


                            6. How to Summon


First off, select a combination using Uranus and an attribute card (one on the
bottom row) by going to "DSS" on the pause menu.  Next, go back into the game
and press "L" on your Game Boy Advance to activate the DSS.  However, summoning
isn't that simple (and this is the cause of much confusion).  What you need to
do is press on the control pad (that funky little plus-sign thingy on the left
of the controller, doofus) this combination: down, down-right, right,
upper-right, up, and B.  This is what those of you who've played Street Fighter
know as a half-circle forward, of a HCF.  You can also change all of the times
"right" is used in that to "left", and it'll still worok.  Of course, those of
you who didn't understand how to summon on the message board still aren't going
to quite get that.  So, I'll draw out exactly what you need to press in what
order (1 is first, 6 is last):

      |   |
      | 5 |  4
 _____|   |_____
|               |
|_____     ___3_|             (  6 B   )
      |   |
      | 1 |   2

So, in essence, you're just rolling your thumb from the bottom of the control
pad to the top.  If you STILL don't understand, think of it as this: you're
pressing it in a "180" motion from the bottom to the top.  A "360" is a full
circle, so you're doing a half circle motion.  You say you still don't get it? 
Try looking at a Street Fighter II guide for Ryu, and you'll see what they say
about his "Hadoken" or "Fireball" QCF motion; keep going to the top instead of
stopping on the right.


                             7. Summon Usage


Summons are incredibly useful.  Since they're so powerful, you can use them
almost exclusively against bosses combined with using MP refills (Mind Restore,
Mind High, Mind Ex).  There are a few particular instances in which their usage
is the best, however.

Lilith- she's the best way to gain EXP (20,000 per time!), and is located in
the Underground Warehouse.  Lilith is located in a secret room (again, look in
Zeric's Game Map!).  To access the secret room, go up and down the wall hitting
it with your whip to find it.  Lilith is an extremely hard enemy without using
a summon, and unless you're a super-high level, it's almost futile to not use
one.  Anyway, use 2 or 3 summons against her right after each other (I
recommend Thunderbird), and she's easy.  Personally, I fought her enough to
raise my level from 45 to 63!  If you fight her enough, you'll also eventually
get the Sage Robe (THE best armor in the game, since your INT goes up the roof)
and Mind Ex's.

Battle Arena- the Battle Arena supposedly doesn't allow usage of DSS, but it IS
possible!  First off, go to the pause menu and use a Mind Restore, Mind High,
or Mind Ex.  Next, switch to a DSS combo that uses a summon.  Unpause and
IMMEDIATELY press L and do the summoning button combo.  You'll use a summon
before all of your MP is automatically drained!  I like to use a Unicorn summon
(to replenish health instead of using one of the various potions or meats) and
the Cockatrice summon (to easily get through a room with minimum health loss). 
The Battle Arena is already fairly easy if you're a high enough level, but
summons make it a piece of cake!

Difficult Normal Enemies- many "normal" enemies, such as Devils or many of the
varieties of Demons (Ice, Wind, ect.) or the various Armors are very difficult.
 So, if possible, lure more than one so that they're both on one "screen", and
let loose your summon.  Voila!   They should only take one or two summons to go
down.  Also, if you're being swarmed by many "weak" enemies, use a Thunderbird
summon to take all of 'em out.

Magician Mode- since in Magician Mode, emphasis is on, well, magic (you start
out will all the cards!), summons are an essential tactic.  As a Magician,
you're physically weak but magic is very strong, summons should be used against
ALL powerful enemies.  They're the best way to get through it, bar none.  Use
the Thunderbird summon VERY often!  Against the bosses in this mode, by
summoning OVER and OVER again, you can win very easily.

Camilla- Apparently, it's possible to get the Uranus card BEFORE Camilla and
defeat her.  So, just use many Thunderbird summons while standing by the door
and she's a piece of cake!

Hugh- unless you're playing in Magician mode, Hugh is one of 3 bosses that can
be defeated by using summons, as Camilla must be defeated to get the Uranus
card.  Hugh can be beaten by using the Cockatrice summon only three or four
times (sometimes less if you're powerful enough!).  If you're not using
summons, Hugh can be extremely difficult.  However, by using summons, he's
extremely easy!  ;)

Dracula- yep, the final boss can also be easily defeated by using summons.  In
his first form, while he teleports, wait for two of the beams of light to come
down, and immediately use the Cockatrice summon.  On his second form, use the
Thunderbird summon while his eye is open, and once only his eye (which flies
around) remains, a few more Thunderbird summons will kill him and beat the
game!  ^_^


                          8. Types of Summons


The summon action card, Uranus, can be used with each of the 10 attribute
cards.  So...  Here they are, with their usage, power level (* is the worst,
***** is the best), type (fire, ice, ect.), overall value (*=worst,
*****=best), and description!

MP Usage: 160
Power: ***
Type: Fire
Overall: *1/2

Salamander summons a giant lizard which comes down from the upper right-hand
corner and brings down magma rocks covering the screen.  It's fairly powerful,
but the high MP usage makes it worthless when you can get a Thunderbird or
Cockatrice summon for just 40 more MP.  Don't use it.

MP Usage: 120
Power: Varies depending on projectile
Type: Ice
Overall: **

A serpent comes from the lower-right hand corner which fires a spiral of snow,
ice blocks, and snowflakes.  The damage incurred on enemies depends on which
projectile hits them (which is entirely random): snow is most powerful, ice
blocks are mediocre, and snowflakes are awful.  It's just a bit better than
Salamander, as it's MP usage is low, but the whole idea about random
projectile-based damage makes it practically worthless if you need more damage.

MP Usage: 100
Power: **
Type: Plant
Overall: *

A large tree (Dryad?) comes into the center of the screen and fires out green
bubbles.  Unfortunately, they don't cover much of the screen at all, and
they're not very powerful.  This is the second-worst summon; DON'T USE IT.

MP Usage: 100
Power: ***1/2
Type: Earth
Overall: ***1/2

A Golem (yes, he looks EXACTLY the same as the boss) pops up from the bottom of
the screen and showers all the enemies with dirt clods.  It's fairly powerful,
and the low MP usage makes this a great summon if you need one to not take up
much MP.

MP Usage: 200
Power: *****
Type: Stone
Overall: ****1/2

A rooster flies across the screen from the right and showers enemies with rocks
(rather like the Golem summon).  The MP usage is very high, but it's the most
powerful summon in the game, sheer power-wise.  However, it can't hit enemies
off of the screen like the Thunderbird, making it the second best summon.

MP Usage: 80
Power: **1/2
Type: Poison
Overall: ***

A strange lion/scorpion creature appears in the center of the screen and pelts
the enemies with poison clouds.  It's about medium in power, and the low MP
usage makes it good, but still not great.

MP Usage: 100
Power: ***
Type: Wind
Overall: ***

A hawk-creature flies from the bottom-right corner of the screen and sends out
gales of wind to injure enemies.  It's more powerful than Manticore, and with a
bit more MP, this is a just a bit better than average summon.

MP Usage: 200
Power: ****1/2
Type: Electricity
Overall: ***** (the best summon!)

A weird-looking four-winged bird flies from the bottom of the screen, showering
all enemies with lightning bolts.  It uses a high amount of MP, but it is also
VERY powerful (the only one more powerful is the Cockatrice summon).  However,
there is another function that makes Thunderbird the best: it can hit
off-screen enemies!  This is very useful especially when killing Lilith, since
she often flies off-screen and back on.  Thunderbird should be your most-used

MP Usage: 100
Power: N/A
Type: Holy
Overall: ****1/2

A Unicorn comes from the bottom of the screen, and does not attack, but HEALS
you (about 1/8 of your health is restored)!  This is extremely useful when
you're in trouble and without potions or meat; use of this in the Battle Arena
with the DSS-using trick makes it extremely easy!  Because of the huge
usefulness of this and the low MP usage, Unicorn is one of the best summons to

                          BLACK DOG
MP Usage: 100
Power: *
Type: Darkness
Overall: *

A black dog (it's a dog, and it's black!) flies from the left side of the
screen and does extremely low damage to enemies and also heals you an extremely
low amount.  This is also extremely worthless, since there are much better
summons to damage, and the Unicorn summons heals you a heck of a lot more. 
This is the worst summon, bar none.  Like the Mandragora, DO NOT USE IT.


Here's all the summons, from best to worst:
1. Thunderbird
2. (tie) Cockatrice
2. (tie) Unicorn
4. Golem
5. (tie) Griffin
5. (tie) Manticore
7. Serpent
8. Salamander
9. Mandragora
10. Black Dog


                               9. Credits


Thanks goes out to: the Circle of the Moon GameFAQs message board for my whole
reason to write this, CJayC for having the awesome site of GameFAQs, and Konami
for making this absolutely excellent game!  Also, thanks to Wes Brown for
pointing out that it's possible to get the Uranus card before Camilla.  Thanks
goes to bobbychild for pointing out some grammar and spelling errors, too.


                          10. How to Contact Me

To webmasters wishing to use my guide OR comments, suggestions, or critique
about my guide contact me at  DO NOT send advertisements
to this address.  If this happens, I will take this address off.  Other than
ads, I'm happy to accept your thoughts on this!  Just one other thing, though:
please look through the guide first to find what you need.  I won't answer if
it's something I've stated in here, so realize that.  Thanks!