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Offline RichterB

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What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« on: September 25, 2013, 02:14:05 PM »
+1
While Rondo of Blood offers a lot of variety, I have one issue with this, and that is it's freedom at the cost of reason.

Unless I'm mistaken, there is not one straight path you can take through the game to rescue all of the prisoners. The problem happens very early on. If you rescue Maria, it means you cannot get to the cemetery/swamp to rescue Tera, and vice-versa. As such, the only way to rescue everyone is to go back to the start screen and then use the stage select to pick a different path. I find this annoying, because it means the experimentation of alternate routes is a waste of time in the grand scheme, and it therefore chops up level length for minimal purpose. It is glaring to me, because Dracula X SNES offers multiple routes, but only one will allow you to rescue all of the prisoners and get the best ending in one playthrough. It has more rhyme and reason in that sense, creating a sense of purpose and tension for your troubles of exploring and/or persisting. Rondo's ability to go back to a stage select also makes your choices/mistakes on a playthrough a little less consequential and immediate, because you have an easy out if you find you've taken the wrong way (and really, it seems there is no right way to succeed, because complete success is impossible).

I was hoping I was wrong, and that Rondo has an overall design principle beyond randomized freedom, but I haven't found a way to rescue all the villagers in one go without going to stage select. Is it possible? And if not, why isn't this considered a design flaw, when you're clearly supposed to be a hero rescuing Annette and company?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 02:15:59 PM by RichterB »

Offline Belmontoya

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 02:35:07 PM »
+1
Part of being a hero is making choices. You can't always save everyone. I would always save the child if I have only one option.

Think of it like the ending of the movie the dark knight. The joker makes batman choose who to save.
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Offline Lelygax

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 06:21:45 PM »
0
Thats why you should save Maria, while you are taking a path to rescue some ladies, she is taking the another one. Its like in Resident Evil 2 where Claire take a path and Leon takes another one, then in the end they reunite and escape together.
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Offline X

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 06:23:57 PM »
0
As far as I know, given the game's stage layout, there is no correct path to traverse. The abductees are scattered in such a way that you have no choice but to restart your game in order to rescue them all. This is where I find the SNES Dracula X game shines, is that there is a correct path to take and you can rescue everyone in a single playthrough. Rondo is a good game but seems loosely put together in a kind of scatterbrained way. Even more-so because there's a secret stage that you can only access by finishing the entire game (and beating Dracula). Both CV III and the SNES Dracula X had better planning behind them in IMO.
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Offline Belmontoya

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 08:21:07 PM »
+2
Rondo is not scatterbrained. It gives you a reason to play through the game more than once. It adds replay value that you can play a second time and have a different experience.

I don't think there's really much of anything superior about the SNES Dracula x version. It's still a really good game too, but I like rondo a little better in almost every area.
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Offline DoctaMario

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 11:13:16 PM »
0
If I remember right, you have to bypass the entrance to 3' in Stage 2 to rescue Maria but you can rescue Tera in stage 3' and what's her name in 4' then finally Annette in Stage 7. So if you want to get most of them in one go then taking the Alternate path is the way to go. But I like the fact that you can't save them all in one play. Gives you  incentive to replay the game and theres a lot to see in Rondo.

If anything I find DX's level design messy. The first level is thr best one but most of the levels have nonsensical design. In level 3 you climb the outside of a tower and inexplicably wind up in some ornate hall that leads to an underground cavern type area. In the last level you're clearly in the castle, yet at the beginning the castle Is in the background. Rondo thankfully never has any of those moments. It's clearly and coherently designed and the layout of each of the levels makes sense.


Offline GuyStarwind

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 01:30:13 PM »
0
While it's not original RoB I know that in DXC if you go the path of not saving Maria but saving the other girls in one run you'll still get the true Dracula(third form) ending. I've heard people say you have rescue all the girls to get it but you don't have to rescue Maria... unless I have a faulty DXC. Anywho for finishing the game in one go I consider that the right path in DXC

Offline Lelygax

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 02:12:08 PM »
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You only need to rescue Annete, so she wont become a Succubus and Shaft's ghost fights you instead. Without Shaft to interfere and help Dracula the battle goes on until the end.

But for rescuing Annete you need some abilities given by these maidens as gift, so yes, Maria isnt needed.
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Offline beingthehero

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 02:27:08 PM »
0
In the last level you're clearly in the castle, yet at the beginning the castle Is in the background.

I think they were going for the effect you see in DoS and PoR's final areas, where the keep is overlooking the rest of the castle, just done horribly. :x

There's also the moment in the clock tower where you walk down the hallway, yet inexplicably teleport in front of the clock's face. Plus, when you fight Death, he goes through the same animation he did in Rondo where you see him far off from the ship's mast in the background and then he flies in to fight. Except in DXX, he's right in front of the clock tower's face so it looks like he goes from tiny Death to normal size.

Offline DoctaMario

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 01:40:36 PM »
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Hahaha I remember tiny Death!  ;D The first time I saw that I was like O_o

DXX is better than a lot of people give it credit for. The level design is messy but I'd say the first level is one of the best first levels in the series. I love the part right before the boss fight where the flames turn blue and the music changes and it really builds up tension. I really liked the Death fight too and how if you don't save Annette she becomes that monster. I also like the Necromancer fight was pretty cool although it was in kind of a weird place. The game's definitely got its moments. I'm gonna have to have another go at it!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 01:42:32 PM by DoctaMario »

Offline RichterB

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Re: What is the correct path through Rondo? (Design issue?)
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2013, 02:15:42 PM »
0
For the record, those awkward transitions you noted in DXX are ALSO in Rondo.

Rondo's Chapel, for just one example off the top of my head, loops you to the right side of the screen when you are traveling left if you go through the exit instead of the chain elevator at the top/end of the stage. A lot of the boss rooms, which I believe are repeated on multiple paths, feel out of place visually with the levels they were in, too. Why does a swamp have a rock face with a door that takes you into a man-made brick structure with iron-clad windows and a big wooden door? (That same room is used as part of the chapel's route). Speaking of the chapel, we're going up, up, up...and suddenly we're in a cave with oversized candles resting on who knows what (they're not in the background if you fall down). And if you fell that far, wouldn't you be in a deeper cave and not in a man-made hallway and then room with windows? And that Wandering level is basically a mess visually.

When things like that happen, it's a case of using the imagination to fill in the blanks more often than not. (In the case of the clock tower teleport, the game is 2D, so if it were 3D, you have to imagine Richter perhaps came out the other end and moved to the front of the clock. In DXX and Rondo, we can semi-rationalize a lot of things, even calling on "Dracula's weird magic." For instance, when Level 1 of Rondo is on fire, and suddenly the boss battle is not, you have to figure you got out of town a good distance to fight the Wyvern. So, I don't fault either game much for "errors" like those.

Weirdness or not, I just agree with X that Dracula X had a clearer idea of what it wanted to do than Rondo, even if Rondo has better scope. Unfortunately, that scope ends up feeling a little scatterbrained for me, too.

But this thread has basically served its purpose of answering the question. I think what happened was the creators didn't think of Maria as a prisoner, but as a secret extra character to help players. But to me, Maria counts as a prisoner, and by IGA putting her in the rescued portrait of DXC select screen, it seems he thought so, too.

Hahaha I remember tiny Death!  ;D The first time I saw that I was like O_o

Huh, I've played this game almost as much as any Castlevania--it's among my very favorites--but I never noticed that until you mentioned it just now.  :P I assumed he was still working his way out of his dimensional wormhole.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 02:19:48 PM by RichterB »

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