Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (悪魔城ドラキュラX 血の輪廻, officially translated Devil's Castle Dracula X: Rondo of Blood) is a platform video game developed by Konami for the PC Engine. The tenth installment of the Castlevania video game series and a 2D side-scroller, it acts as a middleground between the earlier, typically linear Castlevania games and the later open-exploration ones; Rondo of Blood makes use of untimed stages with a clear beginning, but occasionally more than one ending.
The objective is to guide the primary player character Richter Belmont through nine stages, with four alternate routes, as he searches for his kidnapped beloved Annette and ultimately confronts Dracula in his castle. Richter makes use of a whip as his main weapon and one of six sub-weapons: an axe, a dagger, holy water, a grimoire, a pocket watch, and a cross. While exploring the castle, Richter can rescue four maidens, including Annette's young sister Maria Renard who then becomes a playable character. She attacks using her doves and one of six sub-weapons: a cat, dragon, cardinal, turtle, egg or musical notes.
Rondo of Blood incorporates elements from the earlier Castlevania games which typically featured linear gameplay and a member of the Belmont clan as the protagonist, and the later entries which emphasized untimed exploration of the environment. Rondo of Blood makes use of untimed stages with a clear beginning, but more than one ending to some levels; this then affects the subsequent environment, monsters, and boss monster that the player character encounters at the end of the level. Items such as money, hearts, and food can be found scattered throughout the areas. Rondo of Blood also features the Item Crash ability reused in subsequent Castlevania titles, which allows a sub-weapon to be used in a super attack. Its direct sequel, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, reuses many of the monsters.
Source: Wikipedia, "Castlevania: Rondo of Blood", available under the CC-BY-SA License.