Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Richter Time-Trial FAQ
June 16, 2000
WonderLlama (WonderLlama_@hotmail.com)

Updates
July 5, 2000 - This is the first version.

Contents
1) What is this FAQ about?
2) Techniques to practice
3) Routes
4) Step by step walkthrough
5) Copyright notice

=======================What is this FAQ about?=========================

	Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a very fun game.  But most 
players have to admit, playing as Alucard isn't very hard.  After 
playing this game far too many times, I looked for ways to make the 
game more challenging.  My first try was to limit Alucard; I did things 
like not getting the Cube of Zoe, not using spells, and only using 
fists.  While lots of fun, (I highly recommend it) it doesn't make for 
a very interesting FAQ.
	Another challenge I came up with was to beat the game as fast as 
possible with Richter.  This means you don't have time to gather all 
the life max ups, and you don't have time to save the game.  There is 
also the challenge of coming up with the fastest route and the fastest 
ways to beat each monster.  Plus there's the thrill of knowing that 
every second counts, and every mistake will count against you.
	This FAQ is dedicated solely to beating the game quickly with 
Richter.  I will not discuss Alucard, nor other aspects of Richter.  
There are plenty of other FAQ's for such purposes.  My personal record 
is 12 minutes, 40 seconds.  The way I calculate my time is to actually 
save in the save point before Shaft, and then proceed to beat him.  
This always takes me 40 seconds (this part is easy, and I timed it 
several times with a watch).  I then look at the time in my save game 
and add 40 seconds.  I actually lose about 10 seconds by saving here, 
and I never get hit by Shaft (he takes one Hydro Storm), so my best 
time really should be about 12:30.
	If you can beat my time, or even find other routes that produce 
fairly fast times, I would love to hear about it, especially the 
methods you use to get fast times. 
=======================================================================

=======================Techniques to Practice==========================
Sliding/Slide-Jumping:
	By ducking and pressing jump, Richter slides across the floor.  
Press jump again and he does a long, low jump kick.  These moves are 
very important, because they are the fastest means of travel Richter 
has.  You should practice sliding in several areas to get used to the 
distance.  Also practice the timing to get him to do several slides 
back to back.  Practice executing the slide-jump as well.  It is useful 
because it does twice as much damage as the slide, and if you slide 
into and enemy and don't kill it, it knocks you back.  You should use 
this move to kill the wargs at the beginning, as it is much faster than 
stopping to whip them.  You can also slide jump to land on door ledges, 
which saves a little time, but be careful.  If you touch the ledge, you 
will get stuck in place for a little while.  Practice the distance you 
need to land on the ledge.
Flying:
	Press down, up, jump to do an uppercut.  If you hold up/forward 
during this move, you go much farther to the side.  Press up, do a 
5/8ths circle to down/forward, and push attack to do a blade dash.  
Practice both these moves until you can do them nearly every time.  
Personally, I find it much easier to uppercut by jumping and then doing 
it in the air; this also gets to just the right height to land on many 
ledges.  Practice using the uppercut to get to the ceiling, and then 
blade dashing across the room, using another uppercut if you drop too 
low.  I can't get this technique to work every time, but I save a lot 
of time when it works.
Blade Dash:
	If you can't kill an enemy quickly, it may be better to just 
blade dash through him and keep going.  I'm terrible at blade dashing 
on the ground, but it's a good technique to learn.
Running:
	Dashing is usually faster, but on uneven ground or in areas with 
many weak monsters, running is better.  Forward, Forward is the 
traditional method, but I find Back, Forward works, and is more 
reliable. 
Fall recovery:
	Anytime you fall too far, Richter will crouch to the ground.  
This costs you time.  The moment you hit the ground, you should either 
jump again, or slide.  Either one stops you from crouching, just decide 
which is more useful in each situation.
=======================================================================

===============================Routes==================================
	Since Richter doesn't need to collect items, there are several 
routes he can take through the game.  I have a favorite route, which I 
believe is the fastest.  I won't list any other routes unless someone 
else convinces me there's a faster one.
	The first choice you have is right after the room with Death in 
Alucard's game.  Instead of going along Alucard's route, uppercut up to 
the top of the room and head right through the room with Cthullu. This 
path leads to the clock tower.  From there, head right to the outer 
wall, then straight up to the top.  Head left across the top of every 
room and enter the reverse castle.  Retrace your steps back to the 
clock tower.  You're done.
=======================================================================

=============================Walkthrough===============================
	This walkthrough covers the entire game in nearly move by move 
detail.  It may be boring to read the entire thing through.  If so, 
maybe you should just skim to the section you're working on.  This is 
just the way I play to get my best time.  If you can improve on it, let 
me know.

	Throughout this walkthrough, you will hydro storm a few times, 
and collect some hearts.  The number of hearts you get is somewhat 
random.  However, you tend to have enough hearts to hydro storm every 
time I tell you to (5 times) and then one more.  Use this to bail 
yourself out if you get in serious trouble, but remember you only get 
one.

	Immediately jump up and right, and do two uppercuts while 
holding right.  Get the life max up and fall.  Try to land right in 
front of the warg while whipping him.  Then slide into the next room.
	You will slide all the way across this room, slide-jumping the 
wargs.  Slide, slide, jump, slide, slide, jump, slide, jump, slide, 
jump.  The last warg isn't as far away as the rest, that's why you only 
slide once.  At the end, the timing of the last jump is very difficult, 
it should land you on the ledge by the stairs.
	The next room is about the same.  Slide, jump, slide, slide, 
jump, slide jump.  Do the same thing to land on the ledge.
	In death's room, run then jump.  At the peak of the jump, 
uppercut to the left to land on the ledge.  Get the heart max up 
(you'll need it for hydro storms).  Do a running jump off the ledge, 
then uppercut to the left, but not as hard to the left as you can.  You 
should jump right through the hole in the floor.  Go left.
	Run and jump to the left.  At the top of the jump, uppercut to 
the right to get the life max up.  Then run and jump as far as you can 
from the ledge, and uppercut to the right.  You can make it to the top 
ledge in one jump, but it isn't easy.  Proceed to the next room.
	The second candle in this room has a holy water.  Get it, you'll 
need it and hydro-storm.  Slide across the room until you see Cthullu 
(about 4 slides).  Pause for just a moment, and he'll jump towards you, 
then immediately slide under him.  If he hits you once, you probably 
won't be able to get past him, so just kill him.  Use two uppercuts to 
get to the next floor.
	This room has ghosts popping out from nowhere.  Run through most 
of the room avoiding the ghosts.  Slide whenever there's enough room.  
When you get to the skelerangs, jump and uppercut as straight up as you 
can.  Land on the top ledge.  Slide to the right, but stop in front of 
the plate lord.  Whip him to death.  Exit to the right.
	Slide through the table.  At all the jumps in this room, you 
want to uppercut, then blade dash so you don't fall back down.  You can 
even clear a few enemies by blade dashing.  At the top, whip the two 
skeletons, then slide to the next room.
	Jump, then uppercut up to the next screen.  Blade dash at the 
top of your jump so that you land at the top of the stairs.  This jump 
is hard to time because of the screen changing.
	Slide across the clock tower, ignoring the flea men.  At the end 
of the room, slide jump.  If you time it right you can land in the next 
room.  Run across the big clock, then slide through the next room with 
flea men the same way.
	There are 4 diplocephaluses and 2 stone roses in the next room.  
You want to slide up to each of them and whip them.  I recommend 
watching the arches at the top to judge the timing.  Count the number 
of arches between enemies.  Slide-jump to land right in front of the 
door.
	In the outer wall, repeatedly uppercut, aiming for the small 
hole in the ceiling.  Break the vase, it has a life max up, which you 
probably need.  Keep running for most of the way up the wall, that way 
you will jump high enough.  There are a variety of weak enemies along 
the way; try to whip each one while you are in the air, as that way you 
don't stop running.  Once you reach the top of the elevator, uppercut 
past the door, ignore the sword lord, head right and up.
	At the top of the outer wall, you pass a save point.  While 
you're learning, I recommend you stop here and save, but later, it 
won't be worth the time.  Then head left.
	Go across the top of the first room.  In the big room, uppercut 
and blade dash across the top of the room to land on the top ledge.  
There is a room at the top right with a lot of life max ups.  You can 
get them if you need them, but they take a while, so I don't.
	You are now in the medusa head area.  Run and jump across to the 
door on the left.  Then uppercut up and left through the next room to 
land in the doorway.  Just ignore the enemies.  In the next room, slide 
to the left.  You will land on a gear.  Slide left off the gear, then 
drop down through the rest of the platforms.  Try to land just to the 
left of the spikes at the bottom, but if you hit them, it's ok.  Get 
through the door on the left as fast as you can before it's blocked by 
medusa heads.
	Run through an uninteresting room.
	You are now in a room with sword lords that turn into vandal 
swords.  Whenever you kill a sword lord, you'll probably need to wait 
to kill the vandal sword too.  As soon as you can, uppercut up.  
There's a sword lord atop a platform.  It's better if you can jump over 
him and blade dash, but it's easier to just kill him.  Jump over one 
pit, then fall in the second.  Head left and kill the next two sword 
lords.  Run left and uppercut onto the ledge.
	The boss is easy.  Just hydro storm once.  Get the energy and go 
left.
	Don't step on the elevator.  Just jump and uppercut left to the 
ledge (takes one uppercut).  Head left.  You're now in the last room in 
the castle.  Uppercut twice across the gap, then slide all the way 
across the floor and enter the reverse castle.
	Uppercut left.  Run across this floor jumping over the little 
obstacles.  When you fall, jump immediately left, and then uppercut 2 
or 3 times to the middle door.
	Run, jump and uppercut to the left door (Takes one uppercut).
	This is the bomb knight room.  Do not get hit by a bomb.  They 
do way too much damage.  Kill the first knight, then uppercut through 
the hole in the ceiling.  Kill the nights across the top.  The fastest 
way past the chandeliers is to blade dash though them, but it's much 
safer to walk across the top.
	The next room is uninteresting, but you need to slide to recover 
from falls several times.
	The medusa room is tough.  Uppercut up and to the left, but 
leave a little space between you and the wall or you'll get stuck on 
the left.  But don't stay too far right or you'll get stuck above the 
door.  In the next room, slide and drop to the bottom left as best you 
can.  I usually use my extra hydro storm here.  In the third room, you 
can just run across the floor.
	Uppercut and blade dash through the big room to the door at the 
left.  Head left through the small room.
	You are now at the outer wall.  I don't remember the exact 
layout of this room, but you generally uppercut upwards, blade dash 
through stone skulls (or slide under) and whip jack o' bones.  There is 
one jack o' bones that you kill with an uppercut to the floor beneath 
him.  When a jack o bones is above you on a ledge you have to uppercut 
to, try to uppercut through the cross he throws as that will give you 
the maximum time to kill him before he fires again.  Head through the 
hole in the ceiling, continue uppercut-jumping through the next room, 
and land at the vase on the left which has a life max up, which you 
desperately need.  If you haven't used your extra hydro storm, then 
this room is a good place to use it.
	The next room has corpseweeds and skeletons.  Run, jump over the 
corpseweed, then immediately jump over the square shaped obstacle.  
Repeat this pattern until you cross an arch without a corpseweed.  The 
next one will have a skeleton.  You need to whip the skeleton in each 
subsequent arch before jumping across the corpseweed.
	The next area has spike traps, jack o, bones, and nova 
skeletons.  The jack o bones will be in depressed areas with spike 
traps.  Throw holy water to kill these skeletons, then jump into and 
out of the pit.  Whip the nova skeleton when there is one.  At the end 
of the room, uppercut the nova skeleton through the floor before 
continuing.
	You're back to the clock tower, but now you have to deal with 
guardians.  Hydro storm as soon as you see one, and continue right to 
kill the ghurka as well.  Then hydro storm one more time to kill the 
second guardian.
	You should have at least 15 hearts left.  If you don't, get more 
from the two candles in the clock room.  Then uppercut to the right to 
land by the save point.  (If you don't want to save here and have some 
other means of timing yourself, uppercut right up the middle and hold 
up.  You will immediately use the elevator.)
	Once you are out of the elevator, uppercut up the middle of the 
room, slide over to the edge, uppercut to the top, and slide to Shaft's 
room.  When shaft touches his little sphere, hydro storm.  Do it any 
sooner and you'll miss with part of the storm.  One hydro storm will 
kill him, so, congratulations, you won.  Reset back to the title screen 
and see how fast you were.
=======================================================================


==============================Copyright================================
     As usual, feel free to do whatever with this FAQ as long as you 
don't change it, make money off it, or delete this notice.  And it is, 
of course, Copyright 2000 Justin Lyon.
     I can be contacted with any questions at WonderLlama_@hotmail.com.