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Hack of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow


Happy New Year.

This is a mod that aims to make a slightly more difficult vanilla experience. Readme for more info.

You start out as a greyed-out Soma with weaker leveling and a Handgun that deals Dark damage, and you notice that all enemies are tougher, some resistant to even Slash. Some have drastically increased damage. All of them drop their souls and items far easier than normal. Some yellow souls have multiple effects. Item placements are changed, soul pedestals are changed, there are new holes in the walls… It’s mayhem up here.

0.96 - “Making this update gave my monitor a scanline.”

Couple issues.

  • NOUSE doesn’t actually work unless you’ve beaten the game at least once. Oops.
  • Tiny map error on the room before the Throne Room.
  • An immediate, subsequent spear attack after you’ve landed 2 hits with a first spear attack, will only hit once because of bad frame data.
  • Frame drops on specific rooms, depending on your system. Usually monster overload, like Final Guard and another monster, or Double Bosses.

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Database match: Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (USA)
  • Database: No-Intro: Game Boy Advance (v. 20210227-023848)
  • File/ROM SHA-1: ABD71FE01EBB201BCC133074DB1DD8C5253776C7
  • File/ROM CRC32: 35536183



RHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack ImageRHDN Hack Image


ContributorType of contributionListed credit
Dev AnjOriginal HackingINTpatch, MPpatch
caminopreacherGraphicscolours, UI, Black Panther placement
Mako and CrossmanOriginal Hackingseveral hardcoded edits, inspiration
XanthusOriginal Hackingseveral ASM patches

User Review Information

This is not just harder, this is plainly kaizo

Reviewed By: Tsukiyomaru0 on 24 Sep 2023

I was originally interested in it after seeing some map design changes from the thumbnail and from the very first room, but an hour in I realized what kind of hack this REALLY is… So, let’s sum up the pros and cons:


  • Rearranges the map’s exits so the castle can wrap around, backtracking is quicker, and crossing whole areas takes less time.
  • Greatly buffs drop rate, making some obnoxious souls much easier to get.
  • “This or That” rooms that allows you to pick a reward way ahead of its original time.
  • Some rooms have been redesigned to be more interesting.
  • Some Souls are more accessible, specially MP-wise and placement wise.


  • There’s only one difficulty: VERY HARD. Everything deals a LOT of damage, no matter how deep you are in the castle or not. Even at level 10+ you’ll be afraid bumping into zombies and taking 20+ damage while getting juggled and having less than 400 max health.
  • Everything is a damage sponge. They resist pretty much everything at them, which results in a whole other problem that deserves its own bullet point down the road, and that is…
  • There is too much menuing! One of the things I absolutely hate in action games is having to pause, switch weapon to something this one enemy blocking my way is weak to, see the enemy takes little damage, realize it’s not what I THOUGHT it was, pause, change to another, kill the enemy, and have to repeat this with almost every SINGLE enemy.
  • 90% of the screens so far: enemy spam. They have no rhyme nor reason, sometimes they are positioned in a way you won’t have much space to deal with the enemy right before you, and then there are boss rooms with respawning enemies (specially ghosts) that will make things more cluttered than it should be.
  • Because of all of the above, at least 50% of the time you’ll be standing still, healing with the Giant Worm soul which is easily accessible early on if you are clever enough with the Winged Skeleton soul.

Perhaps this hack shouldn’t have aimed it to be this hard, and only retained map changes instead, or perhaps just force the game’s default hard mode and leave a harder mode as a separate patch.

Version 0.96 Recommended - No

User Reviews
This is not just harder, this is plainly kaizoTsukiyomaru024 Sep 20230.96No