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Castlevania: Rondo of Ruin

Hack of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

Description:

Castlevania Rondo of Ruin is a Castlevania Portrait of Ruin romhack aiming to modify most of the games content. There is a new story, new items, sprites, weapons, music, and most of the games areas are modified in both small and big ways. Set 5 years after the events of Symphony of the Night, join Richter Belmont, Maria Renard and their companions as they work to unravel what has caused Castlevania’s early return to the world of humans.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Castlevania - Portrait of Ruin (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: DS (all) (v. 20210227-111036)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: 382602E3615B2282EEAD584014125E71B5B0F033
  • File/ROM CRC32: 96DF4C4D

Links:

Screenshots:


Credits:

Credits
ContributorType of contributionListed credit
LagoLunaticHackingDsvedit
Dev AnjHackingBeta testing and ARM9 patches
ShadowOne333GraphicsPermission to use few portraits
SerbagzScript Editing/RevisionStory idea and writing help, beta testing

User Review Information

Made By A True, Hardcore Fan, But...

Reviewed By: kevinlol on 30 Nov 2021

As a casual, I feel this hack is EXTREMELY unbalanced, and has such a rollercoastering difficulty curve that it feels surreal. Portrait of Ruin was already hard enough- ESPECIALLY in early game, but I feel like they took that and cranked it up to 11 especially during the later segments. Forgotten City being the BIGGEST example of “die”.

Let’s start with the biggest issues. You die way too quickly, and save points feel very few and far between. Even with some of the best attainable armor you die in two to three hits, and the placement of enemies and spikes in boss rooms (Keremet, Death 1, Dagon…) do not really aid.

The endgame fell apart once I finished the Nest of True Evil, but then again, since that’s the last thing you really have to do by that point, does it really matter? You’re strong anyway and only really die if you do really dumb stuff like equip the Christopher Armor AND the Hercules ring and almost get one shot because of the bat swarm attack in the final Dracula vs Death fight.

I feel like the hack was less designed around combat, as 90% of the time I died while EXPLORING the castle. It’s more about using Maria and Richter’s moveset to its fullest, with minor exceptions. The Warp Stone was an unnecessary addition, but I will admit it had its uses in collecting some items.

Some of the slide kick puzzles and backflip puzzles- ESPECIALLY in the Great Stairway- were really mindblowing. And the Nest of True Evil being designed around a mix of both combat AND movement.. I honestly thought it was a much needed change of pace. Except for the Sandy Grave boulders appearing everywhere. Unnecessarily high damage.

I feel like most of the problems I had were forgetting to actually use the backflip since the game straight up tells you that you can use it for I-frames and going through certain attacks… but does it really excuse the really high damage? That can usually 1-2 shot you really early on? Also, the spikes having no I-frames are a problem either. It’s Sonic 1/Mega Man 1 all over again. I think other Metroidvanias in the series did this too but I’m too dumb to remember.

Some of the new skills are really neat too. Maria’s four guardians are scattered throughout the game, but I feel like they get overshadowed by some of the other better spells you can obtain. Piercing Beam being one of my personal favorites, reminding me of how busted Nitesco was in Order of Ecclesia. Also oh my gosh the references to the other CV games- this hack was made by someone who CLEARLY cared about the series, as well as adding other tidbits here and there. I still lose my sides over the Wesker Glasses description.

I feel like there was definitely some missed potential throughout the game though. Sanctuary being moved behind an extra Aguni fight is REALLY cool, but.. this is the only example of an extra Nest of Evil fight really being used in the game. Which kinda sucks, because Aguni is arguably the easiest NoE boss as his pattern is very predictable. Could’ve had it protected behind MAYBE Abaddon or even the Castlevania 3 trio.

The music placements are really great too, but my greatest issue comes in replacing Iron Blue Intention with Beginning. All of the other choices I understood and had no qualms with, but using the Julius Mode music… I really think it clashed too hard, and wouldn’t have minded if it was kept the same or even changed to something from Symphony of the Night. I mean, there’s clearly some custom music in here from the looks of it. Why not Lost Painting? If you can use Castlevania GB music (THANK YOU FOR USING NEW MESSIAH BY THE WAY), why not SoTN?

Minor nitpicks on the dialogue/story having generally the same beats, and minor grammatical errors here and there, but it really doesn’t matter too much anyway. They find good workarounds for some plot contrivances here and there.

I’d recommend this hack only if you’ve beaten the original Portrait of Ruin and can’t recommend it as a replacement. It is MUCH more difficult than vanilla and I assume it’s geared towards veterans of the series. It’s a good hack nonetheless, but I can’t say it’s a good starting hack due to how unbalanced the difficulty is. I know not all hacks are supposed to make the game easier, but if you’re going to increase the difficulty, make it an enjoyable and steady curve instead of a reverse curve.

I’m not saying the hack is ENTIRELY unenjoyable though. It had its moments and I still recommend it. It just has a few things to be ironed out.

Version 1.0.3 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
HeadlineAuthorDateVersionRecommended
An Amazing Hack that I definitely would 100% everythingCornball8808 Dec 20211.0.4Yes
The greatest hack of PoR to datePatchesAccent01 Dec 20211.0.4Yes
Made By A True, Hardcore Fan, But...kevinlol30 Nov 20211.0.3Yes
Very good MOD, but.....Persephone03 Nov 20211.0.3.1No
Most Extensive POR Hack to Date!StarWyvern07 Sep 20211.0.3.1Yes
A fantastic hack well worth your time.Serbagz27 Aug 20211.0.2Yes
A lot of potential, but not fully enjoyableAceearly199303 Jan 20221.0.2No
One of the best castlevania games I played!Seith3323 Aug 20211.0.2Yes
A hack that is actually completely new game!Hect0r31 Jul 20211.0.0Yes
A very well made hack.Oersted29 Jul 20211.0.0Yes