It’s hard to believe, but Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has finally arrived. Koji Igarashi, the former Castlevania producer, left Konami in 2014 and launched this game’s Kickstarter a year later. He wanted to bring back Metroidvanias (or 'Igavanias' as he dubbed them) for the fans. It took four long years, but the end product is everything he promised and then some.
No, it’s not going to redefine the genre, but it is satisfying. There have been many other Metroidvanias that have come and gone lately; fantastic genre entries like Hollow Knight. However, there is no denying the simple charm of the “real deal,” or something close to it. Anyway, use these following ten tips to make the beginnings of your Bloodstained adventure a lot easier.
10 Patch The Game ASAP
If you haven't sat down to play Bloodstained yet, or even if you have, there is something important to discuss here. Apparently, if you started a playthrough prior to the 1.02 patch, there is a chance you will run into a game-breaking bug.
Somewhere down the line, there will be chests containing important items that allow the player to progress. Unfortunately, this bug opens the chest prior to the player obtaining the item. Even if you patch the game after starting, there is still a risk of corruption. So patch, restart, and it all should be good.
9 Hit Every Wall
In The Legend of Zelda, you could tell if a wall could be blown up based on sound. Those were the days, hitting every wall like a maniac. Well, it’s time to do that again for Bloodstained, because there are a lot of breakable walls and even some floors.
One simple hit will crack them. If that happens, keep plugging away for some tasty treats, usually in the form of what looks like parfaits. The red one increases HP while the blue ones increase MP.
8 When In Doubt, Grind It Out
Bloodstained is not the hardest Metroidvania out there, but there are some difficulty spikes every now and again. Thankfully, this is a RPG, so grinding is an option. It’s usually recommended to grind near a save point so that HP, MP, and data can be restored and saved quickly.
Always go for the big guys. Simply slay them, walk to the next panel, and then walk back for some quick level bumps. Those blue and orange knights in the ship are good as an early example.
7 All Enemies Have Shards
It’s not explicitly explained in the game, but nearly every monster in Bloodstained has a shard. Before moving on, it would be a good idea to hack and slash away at an enemy on repeat until the crystal is obtained.
You never know if the associated ability will come in handy or not. In order to keep track of which enemies have which shards and how many shards have been obtained, these details and more can be observed in the archival manual.
6 Fast Travel
There are two ways to fast travel around the castle. First of all there are the stained glass portals, which are marked on the map as green. These, of course, can only be used to travel between other green rooms.
Then there are the Waystones one can purchase at the shop. These handy rocks will warp players back to the hub area. They are one way only, but handy in a pinch. There is also a villager that needs help by using them throughout the game, so always have a stash on hand.
5 Shopping Necessities
Here is a quick tip for the shops. First of all, use the actual shop for selling stuff and for buying Waystones and cooking ingredients. That is to say, don’t waste money on gear.
Weapons and armor can more easily be crafted through alchemy, and enemies and chests offer good and constant payouts. There is never a need to buy anything with alchemy and loot drops abound.
The biggest surprise Bloodstained included was quests. There is a lady in charge of keeping tabs on monster slaying, an old woman who hungers for exotic treats, and a woman who wants help laying the dead to rest.
Do not skip these quests, as they offer tremendous rewards. The more you complete, the greater said rewards become. So don’t sell anything you don’t have double of, as it could be quest related. Many players have already learned that the hard way.
3 Getting On The Train
This involves a specific main quest line that is easy to get stuck on, so here is a tip. You will eventually find a train station that will not let Miriam pass. What you have to do is find the silver bromide Dominique requested at the beginning of the game, which can be obtained after the clock tower boss.
This gets Miriam a photo, which she can then bring to O.D. in the library. He will proceed to make her an ID, and that is it! Have fun on the train!
2 Blood Fountain Mystery
There is a fountain filled with blood early on in the castle. Wondering what’s up with that? There is a clear underground passage marked on the map, but swimming in the pool will not let Miriam access it. So how do you drain the fountain?
To hold off on spoilers, the 8th boss will unlock the ability you need to pass. She has blood magic so it will be very obvious who that is once she is encountered. Come prepared, though, because she is one tough cookie!
1 Water Sports
Remember the entry on shards? Well, Deeseama is a great example of a monster to not give up on. This pink tentacled beast can be seen in the underwater passageway a little after the 8th boss, or basically halfway through the game.
The ability gained from this monster allows the user to swim. So, if you were wondering when that ability was going to come around (as waterways are all over prior to this), just know it’s a fairly late game addition.