Hmm... It should not be too difficult to replace the diamond with the fabled cross boomerang, if one wanted to do that kind of thing. You would need just two extra tiles and the rest would be simply a matter of programming. And you would probably want to add a new sound effect as well. Or you could replace the silver knife instead, but then you would need four extra tiles instead of two.
Here's what I was thinking:
(Disclaimer: This is my ideal, not necessarily what I think can be done.)
Knife - Make it like the original. Same speed and distance. Shouldn't go through multiple enemies. Cost 1 heart. It'll still be a viable weapon earlier in the game. The extended range will extend it's utility farther into the game.
Silver Knife - Replace with a new Diamond. Make it smaller (8x8), faster, and change it to a wider angle so it's slightly more useful out doors. Cost 1 heart. This'll be the only weapon that you can throw 3 of at once.
Golden Knife - Replace with a new weapon, Death Sickle. Creates a single sickle that slowly homes in on the nearest enemy. Cost 5 hearts, high damage. Would make more sense as Death's item drop.
Holy Water - Just make this like the original. Make the flame it produces be the ONLY thing that stuns enemies. Given the shorter time this flame lasts it won't be as ridiculous as the sacred flame. Cost 2 hearts.
Sacred Fire - This is waaay too over powered. Replace this with the Battle Axe. Cost 1 heart.
Diamond - Replace it with the Cross. Much more useful. Costs 2 hearts. Max distance should be 1/2 screen length so it doesn't take away too much from the Knife.
Oak Stake - For the love of all that is holy and good DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM YOUR INVENTORY UNLESS IT IS USED ON AN ORB. Should function exactly like old CV2 Knife otherwise.
Laurels - Make these work like all the other sub-weapons. They can cost 50 hearts to use.
Garlic - Also convert into a sub-weapon. 1 heart to use.
I think all the weapons and sub-weapons (except Laurels & Garlic) should be able to break blocks. Making the Holy Water the only sub-weapon that stuns enemies will preserve it's uniqueness if the block breaking is extended to all weapons. Also, by converting the Laurels & Garlic into sub-weapons you free up their RAM values for use as the money variable. Which brings me to the next point.
But money bags were part of the treasure hunter trope. In Castlevania II there is a thing that does not exist in the other games: A society. And that society is piss-poor. It would have been unrealistic for money bags and crowns and jewels to be abundant like they were in Castlevania. It was excusable in Castlevania and Akumajou Densetsu because there was no tie in to the universe. It was strictly a game-thing, for the player's score: Nothing that affects in any way how the game world is interacted with.
Isn't the poor state of the people in the game exactly the reason for there being money? If you're piss poor the most precious thing to you is either food or money to buy food. What are they gaining by getting magical hearts as payment? Unless being an alchemist that can conjure food with magic hearts is a common thing then it doesn't make sense for hearts to be currency. I agree money bags shouldn't be as wide spread as in CV1 where they drop outta candle and are carried by zombies, but they should at least be there occasionally. Even better use the coin items from the more recent games. Monsters can rarely drop a copper or a silver coin. but the real action can be in the mansions. Put some hidden money bags in chests or breakable blocks. Implement a CV1 style hidden treasure in each mansion too. This would give the player more to do in the game than just memorize clues.
Good point. There are quite a few scenes in that game that exist for no purpose at all. Such as Denis Marsh. A graphically really cool scene, that is a complete dead end and that offers nothing whatsoever (except, possibly such experience points that are not available in the adjacent Dora Woods).
You know, I always thought it would have made sense for there to be a secret exit in Denis Marsh that leads to Berkeley Mansion.
When I needed more space in the rom for additional enemies/bosses in Pyron, I moved the enemy placement code and data to another bank. It was not too difficult. Eventually, other data code could be moved to another bank, and the enemy/items table should be easy to expand (the one starting at x41E3).
That's good to know.