Original title "Nocturne in the Moonlight", western subtitle "Symphony of the Night".
One of the most famous installments of Konamis "Castlevania" series and a direct sequel to "Dracula X Rond of Blood" (1993) for the PC Engine. The game first appeared on the Playstation and was later ported to the Sega Saturn.
Unlike the earliest Castlevanias which had set stages to clear, Symphony of the Night features exploring a huge castle and contains certain RPG-elements such as experience points, levelling up, equipping of different weapons and armour, and saving money to buy consumables. As the player advances, the character's movement abilities improve, and much of the game consists of re-visiting earlier areas to explore fully. Also, enemies have a probability of dropping certain items, which caused some players to "grind" (linger in one area to repeatedly defeat the same cannon fodder over and over again) in order to get their hands on rare items. The player is also equipped with familiars, that gain experience points and who will, when reaching certain levels, gradually improve their performance. The game is filled with hidden secret rooms and eerie details.
The music in the game is for all releases composed by Michiru Yamane.
Due to hardware limitations, the Saturn port has a very simplified transformation animation, and "Loading… please wait" screens, that the PS version has done away with by a clever system of letting the next stage load in the very last room of the earlier stage. However, the Saturn version features some extra stages and one extra playable character, and, as the Saturn features an internal clock, the center clock in the Saturn version shows the current time, and not the play time, like the Playstation version does. This allows for the equippable jewels "Sun stone" and "Moon stone" in the Saturn release, that give extra stats boost during day hours and night hours respectively.
Translated box back (Japanese Saturn version):
Only the moon, hanging in the dark sky, knows the truth…
Is the Dracula you know, really the true Dracula…?