This roxIt is not a Metroid game, but Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was the closest we got between 1994 and 2002. C:SotN was a curiosity and dramatic change for the Castlevania franchise at its release (or a return to the old ways). But looking at it from a historical perspective in 2024, it blazed the trail for the other half of the “metroidvania” moniker. Three years after Super Metroid, Castlevania defined its newfound genre for a console generation.

But it did commit to something that had previously not been seen in Castlevania or Metroid titles: an overt experience points-based leveling system.

Alucard is a dhampir on a mission: he must kill every monster in two castles on his way to commit patricide. He comes equipped with his finest armaments, but his stash is snarfed by Death almost as quickly as he arrives. Now Alucard is effectively naked and must scavenge gear from around the castle and random creatures. And that throughline would become the canonical Metroid way! Both Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion would see a Samus at the height of her powers brought back to square one by X-infections and… uh… random electricity (Prime didn’t sell it quite as well). But the difference between Alucard and Samus is that Samus is exclusively fueled by her suit powerups, and Alucard without an Alucard sword is less half-vampire, more half-fluffy kitten. Alucard needs to level up to make any sort of progress, whereas Samus Aran could fell Ridley from the start if someone would toss her a missile or hundred.

So why, after everything else that has congealed between the Metroid and ‘Vanias, has Samus never acquired a leveling system?

Simple answer: it adds nothing to the Metroid experience.

Stay awayNote that we are distinctly highlighting the Metroid experience here. Castlevania is all about its bestiary, and if you have absolutely no reason to fell a skeleton or billion, then why did you even pick up a whip in the first place? Meanwhile, Samus has been focused on exploration since her first adventure, and finding those metroids is more important than killing every zoomer in the world. Zebes is going to explode anyway! How many experience points is that? There are bosses that are tied to statues, and there are rooms that occasionally lock and force combat, but that is all we need. Samus Aran can go an entire adventure without ever once murdering a ripper, and that is just fine with that bounty hunter. She is getting paid to hunt space pirates, not their random pets.

So Alucard and the Belmonts can learn new and fun ways to level up while Samus Aran will keep nabbing Super Missile tanks. And everyone will be perfectly content.

Even Worse Streams Presents Metroid
Night 4
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Part 1

September 5, 2023

Random Notes:

  • EVENWRSE is ready with Jeanie, fanboymaster, BEAT, Caliscrub, and me. Let’s raid a castle!
  • Hey! This is our three-year anniversary of streaming! Woo! And BEAT has COVID! Less woo.
  • Let’s talk about Castlevania menus and Netflix episodes!
  • The intro!Maria is supposed to be 16 in Symphony of the Night, so she is old enough to work at Arby’s, but young enough to have to ask to go to the bathroom.
  • “Are you a book!? You have to tell me if you’re a book!!!”
  • BEAT has never seen a vampire at a confessional before.
  • AJVark joins as we discuss the impact of Bram Stoker on Castlevania (it’s confusing) and trek through the coliseum.
  • A Castlevania-based Ghost Hunter “reality show” would be the best thing ever.
  • As we bump off the boss of the library, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 is described as, “so fucking stupid, it kind of owns.”
  • “I’m gonna be real with you. I think bubbles are in the public domain.”
  • Can you pet the Cerberus? No.
  • Warning: I fail at eating peanuts.
  • Coldplay has been proven to be less engaging than most advertisements.
  • “It’s the clock tower. It’s bully central.”
  • BEAT escapes as we obtain the high jump boots and head for Olrox.
  • “I would burn down an entire village for Gitaroo-Man 2.”
  • And we revisit Alucard’s past as fanboymaster once again notes how much he dislikes Final Fantasy 16 and its cloying Cid.
  • And we call it for the night after earning that last ring. Tune in for Part 2… right here.

Night 5
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Part 2

September 12, 2023

Random Notes:

  • BEAT, fanboymaster, and I are discussing the racism of Bad Rats to start. Then we move on to a much more joyous discussion of Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.
  • The Maria fight is close to the start of this stream. It is the one thing you won’t see on the original Playstation (1) version.
  • I know her!AJVark joins as we approach Richter Belmont for the not-final fight.
  • And Ample Vigour connects, too, just as we arrive at Richter’s room and discuss the folly of the original Castlevania canon.
  • We have reached the inverted castle. Let’s talk about psycho style burpies.
  • As we make it to Death, BEAT recounts how his life has become part of a sitcom plot. Not a bad sitcom plot. A neutral sitcom plot.
  • “I want the hybrid body.”
  • Rob Zombie is the most important part of Jet Set Radio.
  • Caliscrub joins as we approach Galamoth in a “pretty upside down” catacomb.
  • Important question: how would you prank coworkers visiting from another country?
  • As Beelzebub goes down, we discuss the intricacies of computer science.
  • We visit the Castlevania 3 skeletons as a discussion on the term “search action” turns to raging belligerence.
  • As I finally defeat Frankenstein’s Creature, we examine BEAT’s ability to play Sonic games with others. He is not a team player.
  • Manly Wade Wellman.

    The original deadpool

    That is all.

  • And it is time to fight Dracula as Caliscrub is screaming in fear (of Guilty Gear).
  • Oh! This was back when I discovered random wikis were stealing from my Let’s Plays. Boo them! Boo them all!
  • And we close as Alucard saves the day with Caliscrub muppeting.
  • … And stick around after the credits for a special bonus feature.

Next time on Metroid: Making up for this week with double Samus Aran.

Being a believer is rough

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