Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a fun ride from start to finish, showing clear homage throughout the journey to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Every element of the game can be traced back to some component of SOTN, including a “bad” ending, and having to double back on previous areas with new found abilities (a core element of Metroidvania games). However, where SOTN was somewhat straightforward and obvious on where to head next, Ritual of the Night is incredibly obtuse in a handful of situations. Limiting spoilers, here’s the major roadblocks to Ritual of the Night.
Post-Boss Fight in the Twin Dragon Towers
After laying the smackdown on the boss of the Twin Dragon Towers, instead of receiving a new ability like other bosses, you land next to a chest containing a key item – the Silver Bromide. You’re then left with no clues or ideas on what to do next. From here, travel back to Dominique and she will snap your photo presenting you with Identification. Once you have this item, jet over to OD (the librarian), and a dialogue will start where you will receive the item required to get on the train (the long hallway underneath the Twin Dragon Towers area).
Spelunking in the watery caves after draining the blood fountain
Once you drain the blood fountain, you’ll find yourself diving deep into the caves underneath the castle. Throughout, you’ll likely notice there are several water areas where it appears you’ll be able to delve down, unfortunately, all you do is float (no scary clowns here though). You will eventually come to a room during your exploration with jellyfish-like creature and two floating platforms in the middle of the room. To receive a shard allowing you to traverse underwater, you need to kill these enemies. The first shard is not an automatic drop from them, so you may have to leave and re-enter the room and kill the jellyfish multiple times. Once you have this, you can jet around underwater to your heart’s content.
After obtaining the Invert shard – dealing with the spike trap
Once you make your way through the Inferno area and defeat the boss there, you receive the Invert shard, allowing you to fully clear out those pesky missing areas on your map, and making traversal a snap (to use the invert shard, with the left stick input *down* followed by *up*, and then press jump). After further exploration, you’ll come across a spiked hallway in the cathedral (extremely reminiscent of the spiked hallway in SOTN). You’ll need to double back to where you fought the twin dragons and use the invert shard to find the chest containing the armor negating spike damage.
Once you fight Gebel and slice the blood moon instead of killing him, you’ll have to go find another blood moon in the castle to progress. This is located in the garden of silence on the way to where you fought Zangetsu for the very first time. Once you find the red moon, attack it with your nifty katana, and jump on through the portal.