Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (known in Japan as Akumajou Dracula: Ubawareta Kokuin, loosely translated to "Devil's Castle Dracula: The Stolen Seal") is a 2D horror-fantasy platformer-adventure game developed by KCE Tokyo and published by Konami for the Nintendo DS on October 21, 2008.
The spiritual sequel to Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Order of Ecclesia is the third and final Castlevania title developed for the DS and the seventh (and last mainline) game in the series to have the gameplay style of free-roaming backtrack-focused exploration with RPG-style attribute, inventory, and experience systems. Along with a less-anime character art style, the game features a revamped version of the "Tactical Soul" mechanic of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (and its sequel) known as the "Glyph System" (which allows protagonist Shanoa, who is unable to use physical weaponry, to absorb the "Glyphs" of enemies for use as a variety of magical weapons and abilities).
Taking place in the early 19th century, sometime after the events of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the story has the mighty Belmont Clan vanish into seclusion. Several organizations are created to form countermeasures against the eventual return of Dracula. When the Order of Ecclesia, led by Barlowe, creates a triad of mythical glyphs (called Dominus) to counteract Dracula, a rogue disciple named Albus steals the glyphs and kidnaps inhabitants of the nearby Wygol Village. Players guide Shanoa, a member of the Order of Ecclesia, as she searches for the whereabouts of Albus, the glyphs, and the villagers.
As an added bonus, the game can make use of Wi-Fi connectivity between the DS and the Wii to unlock bonus content when paired with the fighting game Castlevania Judgment.
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is a two dimensional platformer, featuring adventure and RPG elements such as the ability to equip armor and cast spells. A new game mechanic called the "Glyph System" allows the player's character, Shanoa, to collect icons called "Glyph symbols", which she can acquire by defeating enemies or conquering challenges. These symbols can be equipped to her arms or her back, allowing her to perform special powers and skills. There are over 100 different Glyphs the player can wield, such as weapon and magic glyphs. Glyphs use MP (Magic Points) to work, and once the MP gauge is depleted, the player must stop attacking to allow it to recharge. The player can also use a special Glyph Union technique, which calls a more powerful attack based on the glyphs the player currently has equipped. Glyph Union attacks consume Hearts (not to be confused with health points) which do not replenish over time, unlike MP.
There are also certain Glyphs used to solve some puzzles. The game requires players to explore each of the game's regions thoroughly in order to find every villager. If the player does not rescue every villager, then the player sees an ending screen before the player can reach Dracula's castle. When the player rescues a villager, that villager will then appear in the town, and provide aid for Shanoa if she performs quests for them. Some quests involve collecting items; others involve traveling to specific locations, and using an item there; and still others involve defeating a certain number of different monsters. The rewards for completing quests varies between money, usable items, armor, and accessories.
Several different locales can be visited in the game, including forests, mountains, and oceans. There are a total of 20 locations, with an overworld map used to traverse between them. It also features online play, allowing the player to sell/buy items with other players or go head-to-head in a versus mode.The game will make use of DS-to-Wii connectivity with Castlevania Judgment, which will unlock content in both games.
Order of Ecclesia also contains bonus modes such as Boss Rush and Albus mode, unlocked when the player finishes the game.
Upon completing the game, the player can unlock "Albus Mode," allowing them to play as Albus. Albus mode does not allow the player to equip any items or glyphs, or use any items. Rather then a menu, the start button will simply pause the game. The player can attempt to play through the entire game at level 1, or level up to a max level of 50.
Albus is equipped with his gun, and players can utilize all of his powers. His gun is fully automatic, and is used with the Y button. The X button uses Albus' optical shot attack, which harms all enemies on the screen. Albus' union attack is his Max shot, which sends a large projectile across the screen. The R button is Albus' crystal, which will stun enemies. The player can reach great heights using his super jump, pressing L in the air. All other moves, such as the slide and somersalt, remain the same. Albus does not progress through the levels in the same order as Shanoa, and does not experience any story events.
Castlevania Judgment Connectivity
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia makes use of the wireless connectivity between the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo Wii for players who own Castlevania Judgment. Connecting both games unlocks certain goodies. For Castlevania Judgment, it unlocks Shanoa and Aeon in all modes other than Story as playable fighters from the start, as well as two bonus accessories to dress any fighter with.
The soundtrack, which spans two disks, was composed by Michiru Yamane and Yasuhiro Ichihashi and was released in Japan on October 23rd, 2008.
|Track #||Track Title||Length|
|1-01||Dusk's Holy Mark||1:09|
|1-10||Chapel Hidden in Smoke||3:21|
|1-11||Serenade of the Hearth||3:30|
|1-12||Symphony of Battle||2:42|
|1-13||A Clashing of Waves||4:01|
|1-14||Rhapsody of the Forsaken||3:37|
|1-16||Jaws of a Scorched Earth||3:34|
|1-19||Wandering the Crystal Blue||2:35|
|1-21||Edge of the Sky||3:27|
|1-23||Hard Won Nobility||2:09|
|1-24||Trace of Rage||2:18|
|1-26||Dark Holy Road||2:17|
|1-27||Lament to the Master||2:56|
|2-01||Stones Hold a Grudge||1:15|
|2-02||Welcome to Legend||3:09|
|2-03||Passing Into the Night||2:57|
|2-04||An Empty Tome||3:00|
|2-05||Chamber of Ruin||2:45|
|2-08||Tower of Dolls||2:25|
|2-09||Gate of the Underworld||2:16|
|2-11||Former Room 2||2:18|
|2-13||Order of the Demon||3:16|
|2-15||Requiem of Star Crossed Nights||4:39|
|2-22||An Empty Tome - Arranged||2:51|
|2-23||Dissonant Courage - Arranged||2:35|
|2-24||Wandering the Crystal Blue - Arranged||1:36|
|2-25||Rhapsody of the Forsaken - Arranged||3:22|
|2-26||Edge of the Sky - Arranged||1:54|
|2-27||Order of the Demon - Arranged||1:34|
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