Dracula fight FAQ for Castlevania Dracula X
for Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Created by kirby3210 (jasonwaugh123@yahoo.com)

v 1.00/started 02/15/07
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Castlevania, Dracula X, and all related characters are trademarks of Konami.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a trademark of Nintendo.

The information in this FAQ is purely my work; no part of this FAQ may be
altered or used without my consent.
If you see this guide posted on any other website than gamefaqs.com, please
notify me immediately.

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Welcome to my guide for defeating the final boss in Castlevania Dracula X!
Dracula X has a notoriously tough fight against Dracula at the end of the game,
and I have spent many hours experimenting with the fastest and eaisest ways to
defeat this nuiscance.

Hopefully my many hours of research will help you to overcome Dracula and give
you the ability to scoff at anyone else who complains about the difficulty of
this battle!


=================
Table of Contents
=================

I. Assumptions
II. Overview
III. Dracula
IV. Dracula (Second Form)
V. Arena
VI. Sub-Weapon Strategies
VII. General Hints
VIII. Special Thanks


==============
I. Assumptions
==============

I have to assume a few things (about you) before I begin.

First, I hope that you have played through this game normally, and did not
use a password or cheating device to skip to the final level.

Second, I assume that you know how to properly control Richter and use all of
his weapons and maneuvers (including sub-weapons).

Third, I would like to think that you are playing this game on an actual
Super Nintendo and not an emulator, because emulators usually give you the
ability to save and load states (more on save states below), and my guide is
for someone who is trying to kill Dracula in one go, not cheat everytime they
are knocked off the ledge.

Finally, I assume you have some amount of patience. While my guide is effective,
you still need to practice a lot to get it right (as with everything).
But hopefully this is easier than figuring it out on your own!


============
II. Overview
============

The final boss fight in Dracula X is very different than that of it's
counterpart, "Rondo of Blood" (for the PC engine).
Many people hail it as one of the toughest boss fights in history, although I
never thought it was that bad once you learn all of Dracula's patterns.

The whole battle takes place on top of pillars just wide enough for Richter or
Dracula to stand on (but not both). The major gripe with gamers is that when
Richter is hit, he falls backwards and most likely into one of the gaps between
the pillars, resulting in his instant death.

Also, in Dracula's first form he can only be hurt in a very small timeframe
(about less than two seconds), and must be hit squarely in the head (actually
it's about his neck).

In his second form he turns into a giant beast that blocks most of your room to
move.

To understand the best way to fight this battle I'll be going over each of the
aspects of your surroundings, from the arena to the sub-weapons.


============
III. Dracula
============

Dracula is the focus of this battle (obviously!). His tactic is to randomly
teleport to a pillar and unleash one of two attacks, then teleport again to
repeat the process.

His most common attack shoots some relatively slow-moving fireballs in your
direction.
If you find yourself in their path, you can either jump over them (just make
sure you have a safe place to land!) or you can crouch and hit them with your
whip, destroying them safely.
It is best to use the second tactic most often as the first can easily land you
down a hole or right into Dracula, who might not have teleported away yet.

Dracula's second attack fires two large energy balls that travel horizontally
in your direction and are much faster and bigger than the normal fireballs.
Unfortunately these cannot be destroyed with any weapon, so if you find
yourself in their path it may be better just to crouch and take one hit, as
opposed to possibly falling in a hole trying to avoid them.

A skilled player will find that there is enough time to duck the first energy
ball and jump the second, provided he is on even ground with their traveling
path.

Also note that each attack will take the same amount from your health.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for attacking Dracula, you must hit him about where the pendant on his neck
is when he opens his cape, not actually his head or chest.
Your window of opportunity is too small to hit him after he attacks, so you
must do it beforehand. Also, his second attack has a slightly smaller attack
window.

Jumping from a slightly lower pillar to hit him, then ducking back down when
you land is a good strategy, so long as Dracula teleports right next to a lower
pillar that you happen to be standing on.

Following this example, you must learn how to manipulate the height differences
in the pillars to be able to attack him and end up in a safe place afterward.

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Finally, there is a way to predict which attack he will use each time he
teleports.

When the battle begins, Dracula will fire 4 sets of fireballs in a row, then
use the energy ball attack. From then on, he will use 3 sets of fireballs with
every fourth teleport being the energy ball attack.
If you lose track of his pattern, just wait for him to use the energy balls and
resume counting.

This gives you a good idea about how to attack or dodge him from your current
position.

It is best to pay attention to Dracula's attacks and only try to whip him when
you know he is about to use fireballs and not energy balls, as the energy balls
come out much faster and are harder to dodge.

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If Dracula teleports off of the screen, when he reappears he might not send out
an attack, but only if he is very far away from you.
If he skips an attack sometimes it doesn't count as if he used one, so if you
are counting his attacks and he just used his second set of fireballs (after
the first cycle of four fireballs then an energy ball attack), and he skips and
attack, his fourth attack will still be a set of fireballs, not the energy
balls.

He will then do his energy ball attack afterward and continue as normal.
Note that this won't always work like I've written, but it usually does.

Hopefully that isn't too confusing, and you will understand once you see it in
action.
Oddly enough, he will never skip an energy ball attack even if he is off the
screen.

Make sure to use your ears to tell what he is doing at all times (even though
you couldn't tell what side of the screen he's on).


=========================
IV. Dracula (Second Form)
=========================

After you drain Dracula's health bar, it will refil and he'll turn into a
hulking, winged beast. Then he will slowly float closer to your position and
proceed to rain fireballs on your head. He will shoot a varying set of
fireballs at different intervals; the amount of time and amount of fireballs is
always random.

Before he shoots a set of fireballs, he will raise his hands briefly.
Each fireball travels a slightly different path, making them arc outwards as
they fly and making them harder to dodge.

Eventually he'll land and shoot out a huge super beam that is almost as wide as
he is. The only way to dodge this is to duck under it if you are able to do so.
The main problem with this form is his SIZE. There is virtually no way to get
past him unscathed, and if he corners you it might mean you are going to lose a
life.

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Both of his attacks do quite a bit of damage, and touching him does even more.
At this point in the battle you want to unload on him with your sub-weapon, as
your whip is not very good for doing damage or destroying his fireballs.

The one good note about him is that you can attack him whenever you please, and
not at specific points like his first form.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When he is moving he will stop at each pillar in turn before attacking, and
will always advance in your direction.
It is a good idea to try to start this phase of the battle when he will appear
at the edge of the map, giving you more time to easily deal with him.

Remember that the pillar that you beat Dracula in his first form on is the
pillar that he transforms on.
Make sure that you have plenty of hearts for this battle and grab the health in
the candle if you need it.


========
V. Arena
========

As I mentioned above, the battle ensues on small pillars with gaps of even size
between them. The pillars and holes are the same width, so if we look at a
simple chart we see where Richter can safely stand:

      C          R
   HPHPHPHPHPHPHPPH
          M

H - hole
P - pillar
C - candle
M - signifies where the middle of the room is
R - where Richter is standing when the battle begins

If you look closely, you'll see that every other section is a hole, with the
exception of the far two on the right. That spot is the only one where Richter
could stand right next to Dracula (if he teleported to one of those two).

Not all of the pillars are as tall as each other, and their height plays a
pivotal role in the battle.
I have tried my best to portray the height of each pillar in this chart; forgive
me if it isn't an ASCII masterpiece:


   C
 P
 P   P   P    R
 P P P   P P  P
 P P P P P P  P
HPHPHPHPHPHPHPPH
 1 2 3 4 5 6 78
       M


Once again, I use the same letters as above as a key. Also I've given the
pillars numbers to easily tell you where to stand, etc.

Notice how pillar 7 is the shortest one in the room? In phase one of the fight,
if Dracula is anywhere in the room (except for pillar 7), when you crouch on
this pillar, Dracula cannot hit you with either of his attacks.
Number 7 is also a good pillar to backflip onto from number 6.
Pillar one is also the tallest, but that isn't really useful at all.

Your basic strategy is to be on a lower pillar than Dracula and whip him before
he attacks, then falling back to your safe pillar and under his own attacks.
However, he doesn't always conveniently teleport to your side, so unless you
want the battle to take 40 minutes, you have to try attacking him from new
places.

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For example, if you are standing on pillar 5 and Dracula appears on 3, you can
try to jump at him to attack, then fall safely on pillar 4 before he attacks.
But pillar 4 is so low that if you don't start jumping from the right edge of
pillar 5, you may fall between 3 and 4.
That rule goes for jumping to that pillar at anytime, not just in an attack.

Another example is when Dracula appears on 4 and you are on 5. This lets you
jump before he attacks, whip him once, then jump again to dodge his fireballs.
You can also do this by starting on 6, then jumping to 5 and whipping his head
in one move.

If you hear Dracula fire his energy ball attack, but you don't know where they
are going to fly, your best bet is to crouch on the lowest pillar you can find
and hope for the best.

If you are on the left side of the room when this occurs, you could try jumping
over the two balls at once from the 1st pillar, but it is risky to pull off.

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One last strategy is to always stay on one side of the room and wait for Dracula
to appear at an easy point to whip him. This way you won't have to worry about
attacks from both sides, and you don't need to move around the pillars much.

An example is to wait on pillar 2 and only move if Dracula appears on your spot.
If you are quick, you could move to pillar 1 or 3 and get an attack in as well.
Dracula can only hurt you when he's fully appeared on a pillar.

The right side of the room is safer for this tactic due to the low pillar 7 that
can be used to dodge attacks.
Try combining several of these tactics to defeat Dracula quickly.
Of course, there is always an easier way (see Sub-Weapon Strategies below).

For the second form, you don't really have anywhere to stand safely except far
away from him (but you can hopefully destroy him much faster than his first
form).


=========================
VI. Sub-Weapon Strategies
=========================

Sub-weapons can give you a serious edge against Dracula, and before the battle
begins you find yourself in a room with each one as well as several hearts.
Some sub-weapons are better than others, and I'll explain strategies with each
in this section.

Knife
-----
This is one of the weaker sub-weapons, only doing as much damage as your whip.
However, you can use it to hit Dracula from a distance and the three knives
arc out slightly to give you a little more room to aim with.
The item crush with the knife only does minimal damage and is often hard to
line up with Dracula's head.

Second Form
The knives still do feeble damage, but will still negate Dracula's fireballs.
A good strategy is to stay as far back as possible and riddle him with knives.
The item crush can make you invincible which is useful against his super beam
attack, but you may run out of hearts before the battle is over.


Axe
---
This is my personal favorite to take into battle. The axes do resonable damage
and their wide arc makes for easy use.
The best thing to do is stay on pillar 4 and wait for Dracula to appear nearby.
If he is on 3 or 5 you can just stand safely below him and toss 3 axes into him,
causing significant damage.
You can also get him when he is on pillars 2 or 6, sometimes by jumping and
throwing axes.

Second Form
Make sure that when Dracula transforms he is some distance away from you and
he will land on a pillar above you, letting you throw several axes at him.
While you damage him, your axes will also destroy his fireballs that he aims
downwards at your spot, making him very easy to defeat.
The item crush does not help much in either form, except when dodging attacks
due to the slow rate the axes shoot out.


Holy Water
----------
The holy water cannot be used to hurt Dracula in his first form, as the flames
can't reach his head. The item crush attack doesn't hurt him enough to be
worthwile either, though the flames and rain can destroy his fireballs.

Second Form
The flames from the holy water do minimal damage but hit multiple times, but
Dracula must be on the ground to effectively use it.
The item crush does some okay damage, but it takes too many hearts to use.
My least favorite weapon to use in this battle.


Cross
-----
The cross is an all-around good weapon to use, and if aimed correctly you can
hit Dracula multiple times for some good damage.
The item crush is useful in this form, but you might want to save those hearts
for the second form...

Second Form
You can use the cross normally, or you can use the item crush to decimate
Dracula!
The cross' item crush takes the most health from Dracula's second form, plus
it will constantly negate his fireballs.
You have to save up plenty of hearts to use it many times, but it is worth it!
My second-favorite weapon to use.


Stopwatch
---------
The stopwatch is almost useless in this battle, because you can't freeze Dracula
with it. It's item crush attack can be useful as a shield against fireballs,
and if you manage to hit dracula with it it does decent damage.
Unfortunately it doesn't last very long, and takes lots of hearts to use.

Second Form
You still can't freeze Dracula, so the item crush has the only purpose once
again. If you get near him you can use the shield to good effect, taking several
hits away as well as shielding you from his fireballs.
My second-least favorite weapon to use.


Key
---
I have heard that the key is great for hurting some bosses, as well as letting
you do it's "item crush" as many times as you want, letting you dodge attacks.
I haven't tried this on Dracula, but if I get any info I will put it here.


Flame Whip
----------
I know the flame whip isn't really a sub-weapon, but it can still be used
against Dracula. Against the first form it really has no use, due to the fact
that it comes out too slowly and it does minimal damage.

Second Form
Again, the flame-whip is too slow and just as weak as the normal whip attack.
With the room full of items just before the battle, there is no excuse to
be stuck using this.


==================
VII. General Hints
==================

It helps to come into battle with 99 hearts; if you have about 65 when you
enter the sub-weapon room before Dracula, you can get the rest in there.

Remember that Dracula first uses 4 sets of fireballs, then a set of energy
balls.
Then for the rest of the fight the pattern consists of three fireball sets and
an energy ball set.

Dracula cannot hurt you until he fully appears on a platform. You can jump on
his pillar as soon as he starts teleporting again.

Using the axe sub-weapon and the strategy I mentioned is the fastest and
easiest way to defeat Dracula.

With 99 hearts you can use your sub-weapon without worrying about running out
of hearts too early in the battle.

It helps to practice the level beforehand so you can go into the final battle
fully prepared.
You can run around as long as you want getting hearts and health and such.

Make sure you have played the game long enough to masterfully control Richter.
I imagine there are those who want to just use a password and jump right in and
defeat Dracula. Not only does this detract from the fun and purpose of the
game, you will most likely not even make it through the level to face Dracula.

Don't backflip anywhere if you can help it, as Richter tends to slide backwards
quite a ways which could cause you to fall.

Remember to practice as much as possible!
If you get good at the initial level, you can get right up to Dracula and spend
more time devising your own strategies.


====================
VIII. Special Thanks
====================

Thanks to Konami for making such a great game, even though it is supposedly
inferior to "Rondo of Blood".

Thanks to my good friend who helped me obtain a copy of Castlevania Dracula X
for my Super Nintendo.

And thanks to you for taking time to read my FAQ!

If anyone has any strategies of their own they'd like to share, send me an
e-mail with the header "Dracula X" and I might put it in this FAQ.
I give all credit where credit is due!


2007 kirby3210 (jasonwaugh1@yahoo.com)
(end of FAQ)