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Maxim Story Mode

Hack of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Description:

This hack adopts the perspective of Juste Belmont’s friend and rival, Maxim Kischine.

The linear plot of the game remains true to the original, but with Maxim’s tale being the central focus while Juste takes a secondary role. However, Juste is still playable as an extra character in the same way Maxim was initially.

Certain items have been tweaked to suit Maxim over Juste. In the same manner, Maxim does not have access to certain items that Juste normally would. For example, the only sub weapons Maxim can utilize are the knife, axe and shuriken. And, as in the original, these gain magical properties when paired with Spell Books.

There are two patches for this hack.

The first contains the new story with the original palettes for everything. This is included for the Castlevania “purist” who desires a canonical feel for the hack.

The second, and preferred patch to use, showcases many palette changes that gives a much more detailed and appropriate feel for the game, itself. This version also removes the outlines to the main characters and causes them to not be so pronounced.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Castlevania - Harmony of Dissonance (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Game Boy Advance (v. 20210227-023848)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: B90DA0D9BE0B3A0893CD9E2C399056BCF9579E21
  • File/ROM CRC32: 88C1B562

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
sorrowHackingCutscene/Character load Hacking and Additional Cutscene Graphics.
I Am MeGraphics
Watermelon SplashGraphics
AndromedaHackingSupport

User Review Information

A True B Scenario If Ever There Was One!

Reviewed By: jm102887 on 24 Jun 2021

Anyone remember the old Resident Evil 2 for the ps1? The one where you could play Leon’s story or Claire’s, and the story was both the same yet very SLIGHTLY different based on who you played? This reminds me a LOT of that and does amazingly at it.

GAMEPLAY: If you’ve played Maxim Mode before in the original game, then this should be familiar as it wasn’t changed too much. Some of Maxim’s abilities are locked behind relics just like Juste’s were, but once you collect them, you’ll have all the abilities Maxim had in his original bonus mode. The game has been tweaked slightly to allow you to play as him normally, however. You can find either the Knife or Axe in addition to his regular Shuriken sub-weapon, though the Shuriken seems to utilize the Sacred Fist combos with the spellbooks. Maxim can also find equipment just like Juste can, and a couple items were redone to be new things since there’s otherwise a few redundant items (such as the now useless rings for the Bible, Holy Water, Sacred Fist, and Cross power-ups). I kinda like to think though that the stones are inserted into either Stellar Sword’s pommel or its crossguard instead of being used as tips for the sword, but meh. Beyond that, the game plays like an improved Maxim Mode, just more fast paced and with its own story.

STORY: The story essentially stays the same as far as the ultimate goal being for Maxim to aid Juste in finding Lydie Erlanger within the castle. As we’re now playing from Maxim’s perspective, there have been minor tweaks and clean-ups to the dialogue, changing it to make sense within the new story perspective as well as making it cleaner to read instead of occasionally looking like it was translated to the bare bones basic English possible. All in all, this is a GREAT work and the biggest meat of the hack as this kind of work had to have been quite the undertaking. There’s nods to other works (even one to the Netflix series, I noticed!), and several places has it not take itself too seriously. All in all, I love this aspect and I greatly applaud the author for it.

FUN: Maxim was fun to play as….but his mode was nothing more than a watered down “beat the castle again, no story”. This GIVES Maxim Mode a real story and one that I truly feel could have fit within the timeline had it happened instead of Juste’s story. I compared this to RE2’s Leon/Claire scenario system and this feels much like that. This is a new experience of the same story but from another perspective, and I loved it. I found myself looking forward to cutscenes to see what awaited.

MY RATING: 9/10 A GREAT undertaking. This was a lot of fun to play, and while a lot of work clearly went into this, not much of anything was really changed about the game otherwise. It does have a few downsides in that, as the other reviewer put it, there’s certain things in the environment that can ONLY be affected by the somersault and not Stellar Sword. Some of the animation changes were…a little wonky. Apparently instead of Juste shaking his fist, we get Maxim…dashing forward repeatedly in place? Likely the limitation of the available animations, but it still looked silly. Maxim also turns and looks at the back wall when idle, so some conversations looks like he’s ignoring any other speaker to check out what’s on the back wall and looks kinda funny. Those nitpicks aside, this is a great time. Well done to the author :)

Version 1.0 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
A True B Scenario If Ever There Was One!jm10288724 Jun 20211.0Yes
Pretty good!Masked Dedede21 Jun 20211.0Yes