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I wanted to post about a strange situation that occured while playing the game, something I saw another person post about. Sadly I can't respond to since post is so old (is listed as archived).
Original Thread: https://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/937723-castlevania-symphony-of-the-night/56152224
To restate the situation clearly. Early in the game when you get the Holy Sword from the Colosseum (NA PS1 release of the game), when equipped it will raise Alucard's attack to around 35. Later in the Clocktower, you can obtain the moonstone which will increase your STR (and other stats) by 5 between 6pm - 6am in game. Here is the oddness:
At this point in the game, when you equip the moonstone while you have the Holy Sword equipped, the ATK increases from around 35 to around 50. Other swords, such as the gladius only increase by 5 attack. Other elemental swords (Fire, Ice, Thunder, Morgmil) increase by about 15 as well.
Adding to the weirdness, later after reaching the upside down castle, and still within the time period of the moonstone, the extra 10 ATK apparently being provided by the stone disappears. Removing the stone in favor of other accessories results in the atk with those swords decreasing by 5, and not the 15 as seen before. Strange indeed.
After years of wondering, I finally have a answer as to what is going on!
The short answer: Alucard's basic STR is not high enough to get the full amount of atk out of these swords, and the moonstone is acting as a crutch by increasing his STR. As a result, it is effectively giving him around 15 points of extra attack because now he can use the sword to its full power. Later on, when Alucard has leveled up in bit in the Upside Down castle, his base STR will be higher, and thus when the stone is removed, the sword's full attack can now be used without using the stone as a crutch.
The LONG answer:
Alucard's STR stat equals his base ATK. All weapons have a ATK value to them, that when equipped, add to his base attack (his str). The game has a built in penalty for using weapons whose attack exceed Alucard's STR. In such a situation, his STR will be reduced by 1/2 when determining the new atk value. Example:
The Holy Sword has an attack for 26. Let's say Alucard's STR is 22.
If Alucard equips the sword in this situation, his attack would end up being 37. This is because his STR is 4 points lower than the attack of the sword. As a result, it invokes the game's penalty for being too weak to use the sword and only applies half of Alucard's STR to the final ATK power. 22 / 2 = 11 STR. 11 (adjusted STR) + 26 (Swords ATK) = 37 Total ATK.
Now let's throw in the Moonstone. The Moonstone increases Alucard's STR by 5. In doing so, this raises his STR to 27, which now exceeds the 26 ATK of the Holy Sword. As a result, with the moonstone equipped, Alucard no longer suffers the STR penalty, and so his ATK now factors in his full STR + Sword ATK. This results in him having a 53 ATK with the Holy Sword equipped.
As Alucard gains levels, his base STR increases, an so he will eventually reach a point where his natural STR will be 26 or higher, thus allowing him to get the full ATK with the Holy Sword equipped without relying on the Moon / Sun Stones.