Secrets Page 1 - Secrets Page 2
Stage 4 - Alternate Route 1
In the first part of the stage, you'll notice one of those stupid jumping frog-men things sitting calmly on the ground. Kill it to reveal a switch that opens up a staircase. Personally, I hate this alternate route (too many spike traps.)
Stage 4 - Alternate Route 2
In the second part of the stage, when you have to climb the stairs vertically, there's a simpler way. Just fall down the pit and you'll be able to find a hidden room with a sequence of pulleys that will take you easily up. There's also a 1-up here.
Stage 4 - Hidden Level
In the third area, you'll find a dead end. Whip the wall to find a bomb that will destroy the wall and open up to the hidden area. Just remember that you won't make it to the Hidden Docks unless you've beaten Dracula already.
Stage 4' - Alternate Route/Hidden Level
Right after the first area, jump on one of the rafts by the river, and take the rapids down the mountain. When the bird comes carrying a sign, it's about time to jump off. The sign reads "shi no keikoku", which has three meanings: "Warning of Death", "Valley of Death", and "Beauty of Death" - all of which apply to your current situations. Anyway, you'll find the boatman again (literally translated - "ii tokoro e annai shiyou" - "I'll guide you to a good place"). Make sure to hit all of the candles to find the key to unlock the door. You'll fight Carmilla here. Remember that you won't go onto the Hidden Docks unless you've beaten Dracula.
Stage 4' - Saving Iris
In the second part of the stage, you'll find some frog statues at the beginning and end of the area. Attack both of them and the plank in the center of the area will lower. In that area underneath there you'll find Iris.
Stage 5 - Hidden Area
When you go down the stairs in the second part of the stage, you'll see yet another hole at the bottom of the screen. First go to the left and destroy the blocks there. That will allow you to push the girder to the right. Then, on the right side, destroy the bricks and fall down. You'll find the engine room, where you'll discover a 1-up if you keep attacking the machine. This will also bypass the part where you fight the various ghost weapons.
Stage 5 - WTF?
Go behind the engine and slide under the gap (you can only get here as Maria.) You'll find another hidden room with this strange mirror. It's just a single colored graphic - this is not an emulation glitch, as it shows up like this on the real console too. I have no clue as to the significance of this room, and neither does anyone I've talked to. Bizarre.
Stage 5' - Two Pathways
This really isn't a secret, but I took pictures anyway. Halfway through stage 5', you'll find two sets of stairs. The upper route will lead you to a hall filled with axe knights, and two of those very powerful sword-wielding knights at the end. This is, naturally, a pain. The lower route will send you to an area with a lot of hovering platforms. I prefer the lower route, but if you feel skilled enough to take on those knights, by all means, go up.
Stage 7 - Rescuing Annette
In the second part of the stage, after you climb the first area, you'll find a gear wheel. Keep hitting it to open the door. Kill the bird and take the key. When you proceed and descend the tower, unlock the grate to find Annet.
Stage 8 - Hidden Room
Right after you climb up the stairs at the beginning of the castle keep, there's an invisible stairway that leads to a hidden room. Sadly, there's only money in here - not very useful, unless you REALLY need to buy boss tactics.
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Castlevania Games - Rondo of Blood - Rondo Stages