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Castlevania: Dawn of Dissonance - A Juste Story Mode Hack

Hack of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow


Castlevania Dawn of Dissonance is a Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow romhack aiming to modify most of the games content. There is a new story, new items, sprites, weapons, music, and most of the castle was modified in both small and big ways. Set 8 years after his last adventure, join Juste Belmont and his companions as they work to unravel the plot of the Bartley family.

3/6/2022 Update 1.0.6 is on its way. The author recommends holding off until then considering the recent feedback :)


  • This is first and foremost a difficulty hack
  • Belnades Blood Edition differences are in the patch notes.
  • Lvl 1 Mode patches are now available in the download (Patch to a vanilla DoS rom)

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: DS (all) (v. 20210227-111036)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 47530FF87E608F88105A314FDF36DC385F8DEC94
  • File/ROM CRC32: 135737F6



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
OerstedProductionSome help with portraits and beta testing
Dev AnjProductionCustom Armips patches, Beta testing, feedback.
Masked DededeHackingMany Contributions
Fat T-800 Albert "Edvard"DesignSprite edits, inspiration, beta testing.

User Review Information

Could save Juste Belmont from obscurity

Reviewed By: jm102887 on 18 Nov 2021

Man, Harmony of Dissonance gets a lot of flak, doesn’t it? “The map is exactly the same as Symphony’s!”, “Juste is just an Alucard Belmont cause he looks exactly like him!”, “Blah blah blah hate blah!”. And the fact that the game had a slightly mangled BGM due to the GBA’s chiptunes and the focus being more on presentation….yeah, HoD doesn’t get much love, a shame since it’s one of my faves. So here we have a game to give Juste another chance to shine.

STORY: Story’s everything, isn’t it? Obviously this is a fanmade game and thus isn’t canon in any conceivable way…but it’s presented in such a way that it’s difficult to think it isn’t. Juste, having succeeded in his quest years prior, is now Lord Belmont and a respected man among his family, the church, and such, and is now married to Lydie. An attack to rid the world of the Belmonts sees him investigating a mysterious castle alongside numerous allies in order to learn their intentions. Honestly, the story here is an interesting case in that while it obviously is an occasional copy of Dawn of Sorrow’s in certain areas, there’s plenty of changes that give this story its own identity. It could easily be written off as “Meh, it’s just DoS with Juste”, but….well okay, it IS basically DoS with Juste, but plenty of love went into this creation, and it shows. The story isn’t the most original or groundbreaking, but it’s got plenty of heart that makes it work.

GAMEPLAY: Now this is interesting. The game isn’t really changed much from Dawn of Sorrow, but this is more than a basic palette swap for characters. The game is played exactly the same as DoS, but the story has been rewritten to explain how that game’s mechanics work here, which isn’t a bad touch. However, palette swaps are generally just that and that alone. In this case, the castle has changed quite a bit from its DoS incarnation, sometimes in very obvious ways, other times in subtle ways, so progression isn’t quite the same as you’d expect. Some rooms have had their layouts changed drastically and it can greatly change up how you have to progress, while others haven’t changed much aside from enemy placement, but still can affect how you move on. Overall, this hack can be about as difficult as DoS was, in some cases even more so, so don’t go into this thinking it’ll be a breeze.

FUN: Totally fun ^^ Again, palette swaps by themselves aren’t all that interesting, but this changed up our heroes, some of the enemies we face, the souls they drop, castle layout, castle progression, even threw in a bonus boss to kick your tail if you think you can take him on. Part of the fun of ROM hacks is taking games we’ve played a hundred times and presenting it in a new way, bonus points for it feeling like an entirely new game all its own, and this one did that justice. In addition, there’s also new weapon types, as well as various paths for your weapon upgrades to go down instead of merging into a single final weapon per type, so that too is fun to explore. Now so far, there’s only one review that says “NO” in recommendation, and it’s due to the fact that this game makes MANY references to other games in terms of enemies (Metroid in particular), items, and the like. Personally, I didn’t find this too distracting myself, but your thoughts may differ as I can see how that sorta thing may agitate people looking for full immersion here.


Dawn of Sorrow was one of my favorites of the Metroidvania games since it built greatly off of Aria. Creating a sequel for Juste is a much deserved move in the right direction, I feel. I love Juste’s animations within the game, I love the story showing us how he’s now a respected man among the local community and the church, I GREATLY enjoyed exploring a “new” castle that wasn’t the same as I remembered from DoS, and experimenting with the new kinds of weapons thrilled me to pieces (C’mon, the Vampire Killer is awesome, but a Belmont wielding swords and spears!? Badass!). I went for all the endings, as I usually do, and the overall experience is great. Granted, the story is a little silly sometimes since it was written for DoS and doesn’t ALWAYS translate so easily into Juste’s story. The use of enemies from other games is entirely up to the player on how they feel about it. I saw no major issue, but you may. And there’s items and equipment that refers to other games as well, particularly Zelda, Mario, Dark Souls, etc. so again, if that breaks immersion for you, be careful with this one. Otherwise, this is a TERRIFIC endeavor, and one I was greatly impressed by.

Version 1.0.5 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Too Much Memes, Too Little SubstanceRunningWild09 Aug 20221.0.5No
The Presentation Is Awesome, But...Rexius5505 Mar 20221.0.5No
Fanfic + meh level edit + somewhat interesting weapon modshugojmaia06 Dec 20211.0.5No
Could save Juste Belmont from obscurityjm10288718 Nov 20211.0.5Yes
Awesome hack!!METAZERO17 Oct 20211.0.5Yes
One of the best game hacks I've ever played.angico21111 Oct 20211.0.5Yes
This Hack it's a work of love for Castlevania Fansfer32xX02 Sep 20211.0.5Yes
One of, if not, the best DoS hack out there.Masked Dedede21 Jun 20211.0.3aYes
The Harmony of Dissonance sequel we never got.Cyiatic16 May 20211.0.2Yes
I really wanted to recommend this hack BUT...Aceearly199303 Aug 20211.0.2No
Greatest DS Castlevania to Date!StarWyvern27 Apr 20211.0.2Yes
A+++ hack. Very enjoyable experience!NetherSpecter18 Apr 20211.0.2Yes
Ah sequel we never hadAnoram17 Apr 20211.0.2Yes
A masterpiece made out of love for CastlevaniaDeviousB11 Apr 20211.0.2Yes
So good that I got addictedrafaelhelano07 Apr 20211.0.1Yes
What a great hack!Hect0r07 Apr 20211.0.1Yes
A Small Fan-Made RomHack is a complete Understatement!Oersted03 Apr 20211.0.0Yes
Beginning of Something WonderfulVK221203 Apr 20211.0.0Yes