Table of Contents
What is a low-level game in Dawn of Sorrow?
This guide provides tips on how to complete a low-level game. It was made while I was doing a low-level game in order to get to revising my own Enemy Grinding Guide which you can find here: https://www.gamefaqs.com/ds/922145-castlevania-dawn-of-sorrow/faqs/70602 .
A low-level game in CvDoS basically means you're also doing what could be called "pacifist", where you kill nothing but required bosses and other required enemies. It could also be called "fewest souls" (depending on whether you pick up the Doppelganger and Hippogryph souls) because enemies only drop souls when you defeat them.
This guide presumes that recovery items are prohibited (with one exception). Using recovery items (especially HP recovery) during boss battles pretty much defeats the purpose of a low level game, and turns it into tedium because you have the option of pumping yourself full of healing. Even when traversing the castle, avoid using recovery items to stay true to the challenge, and instead rely on save rooms to recover HP. This will become increasingly difficult as the game goes on, and may mean that you may have to skip the Hippogryph soul in the Abyss, which is fortunately not a required pickup.
As such, the key tasks in a low-level game are
- bypassing all the regular enemies (covered at the bottom of this page)
- defeating all the bosses (covered in section 2)
I've found that it is possible to defeat all but the second form of the true final boss, without using any recovery items in the fight. The true final boss's second form, however, is patently unfair without at least MP recovery, and is (by my understanding) beatable with only MP recovery, which is how I was able to do it. More details in that subsection of the guide. (If you can beat it without MP recovery items, let me know.)
NOTE: This guide does NOT assume the use of glitches. It is possible to bypass some bosses using glitches and arrive at the final boss at an even lower level, but this guide assumes normal game sequence. (Would you seriously want to make those last few bosses even more hellish by having access to fewer soul abilities?)
As you may already know, CvDoS has three endings. Here are the enemies you must defeat to get to each ending.
- Skeleton (in the prologue)
- Armor Knight (in the prologue)
- Golem (in the prologue)
- Flying Armor
- Dario (1st battle)
- Puppet Master
- Bat Company
- Dario (2nd battle)
Now you can get the somewhat-bad ending.
In order to get the worst ending, replace Dario (2nd battle) in the above list with the following:
- Axe Armor
- Killer Clown
In order to get the best ending, add the following to the second list:
All of these are bosses except Skeleton, Armor Knight, Golem, Axe Armor, Killer Clown, and Ukoback.
You are guaranteed to get the souls of Skeleton, Armor Knight, and Golem, by encountering them in the prologue.
You are required to hunt down and grind for Axe Armor, Killer Clown, and Ukoback in order to get the worst and best endings. By the time you need these souls -- after you've defeated Bat Company -- I think you should be level 21. Use my Enemy Grinding Guide to find convenient places to grind for them with killling the fewest possible other enemies, and hopefully you won't get a level up from it. Perhaps reset if it takes you too many tries. (If you're TASing this, you can just manipulate luck to get the souls on your first try.)
You have the option of picking up the Doppelganger soul once you reach the Garden of Madness. IF you're going for a very strict "fewest souls" conduct, you can't pick this up, but all it really means is that you have to go into the menu to switch your souls and equipment, as opposed to having a hot-switch button. You also have the option of picking up the Hippogryph soul in the Abyss, near the end of the game. It's not required to beat the game though.
Aside from these encounters, you'll be bypassing every enemy in this game -- don't even bother attacking anything.
You'll need to get around without being able to dispatch enemies. This means weaving your way around them, and taking damage only when you must.
- I suggest equipping nothing, or a punch weapon. First, it makes it so that you're very unlikely to accidentally hit things even when you attack candles for money (and you'll need some to buy extra weapons from Hammer), and second, it also makes it quite fast to hit candles (in a game whose physics are otherwise usually characterized by being fluid but slow).
- For large enemies such as Golem or Treant, as well as any enemies that you jump over (or trick into jumping over you), don't jump into them; that'll just get you thrown back. Slide into them. If you time them right, you may be able to get through them with just taking one hit.
- If your timing is good enough, you can slide under the Tombstone (in the Dark Chapel) without taking a hit.
- Puppet Master is EXTREMELY useful for bypassing enemies. Once you get that you should be using it to bypass large enemies, impassable enemies, swarms of things, etc..
- Dawn of Sorrow's jump-kick is somewhat finicky (compared to Harmony of Dissonance's jump-kick which is much more reliable). Especially the diagonal jump-kick -- you're actually quite likely to take a hit. This is usually not a huge problem aside from reducing the HP which you need to bypass some enemies that you can't jump over. It usually throws you to the correct side of the enemy anyway. However, this can be a problem in the Bat Company fight (see below).
- Be careful not to kill any early-game enemies that could easily die to one hit. For example, jump-kicking in the Alchemy Laboratory could result in the accidental death of a Ghost, which we don't want to happen. (I can't believe I just typed this statement.)
- Another easy cause of accidental monster death: Imps. They're common in the Cursed Clock Tower. When they berserk you, you just stand there attacking. You might accidentally kill a Medusa Head or two...and you'll have to reload your save again. Get away from Imps as much as possible.
Okay, now that we've gone over how to not fight regular enemies, the second section of this guide covers how to fight the bosses.