In contrast to Lament of Innocence, you'll in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness travel a more controlled path; that is, Hector will traverse ten areas of Valachia in a set order according to accessibility limitations and storyline sequences. There's an exploration factor in that you may have to locate the entrance to the next area by utilizing a newfound ability, and, therein, you'll often be forced to return to previous areas where the entry point lay.

     
 
Abandoned Castle
 

After Isaac relieves him of his presence, Hector can either enter the castle or detour out through the drawbridge entrance and take a long, winding path to pick up a free potion. Upon entry into the castle, an executioner (Lv.2) will break through a wall and present the first test--a mini boss battle of sorts; after its defeat, the castle will be yours to explore. The castle, itself, is your typical Castlevania replica, with red-curtained windows, long halls, bone-filled cellars, moonlit tower tops, and other appropriate decor. Taking the left path upon entry will lead to the second floor and to the corralling of the first Innocent Devil--a fairy type. You must then return to the first floor and proceed down the flooded stairway and to the basement, from where you'll climb back up through the castle until you reach the fourth floor, where the boss awaits.

After the boss' defeat, you'll ride a caged elevator down to the base of the next area--the Baljhet Mountains. You'll return to the Abandoned Castle much later when it's revealed that Isaac's base of operation is sealed well below its basement. Hector's mettle will be tested by Trevor Belmont, who thereafter will use his magic to open a portal leading to Isaac's hideaway in the Infinite Corridor. For the quickest route back to the Abandoned Castle, you can find shortcuts to it in both the Forest of Jigramunt and the Aiolon Ruins. Other specialty items collected in the Abandoned Castle include the Quick Step and Double Step.

Lesser Enemies: Executioner Lv.2, Merman Lv.4, Skeleton Lv.1, Zombie Lv.5, Wizard Lv.6, Skeleton Blaze Lv.5, Fenrir Lv.5, Cyclops Lv.8, Armor Knight Lv.7, White Dragon Lv.10 and Ghost Lv. 3
Boss: (1) Crazy Armor Lv.9, (2) Trevor
Lv.40
Music Track: Abandoned Castle - Curse of Darkness -
     

     
 
Baljhet Mountains
 

The Balijhet Mountains represent one "floor," in terms of mapping, but otherwise entail a number of split paths to test the player's patience (or drive crazy the map-filling completionist); the pathway is teeming with annoyances like spirits, skeleton blazes and the item-stealing thieves. The excursion also includes a sequence where Hector will have to breach a sewn-in fort by manning a turret and using it to (a) pick off its cannon-armed defenses and surrounding enemies, and (b) blow apart a blockade that stands at its entrance. It's within the confines of these rocky mountains of Baljhet, though, where Hector will collect a battle type Innocent Devil; also, he'll first meet with Julia, who after making his acquaintance will open up a shop (where she'll sell items and help maintain Hector's collection of Innocence Devils) in proximity to the area's warp room.

For now, Hector must forge straight ahead to the mountain's peak, where a considerable boss nests. After its defeat, Hector will gain access to the Garibaldi Temple. Hector will from the temple be forced to return here, where his battle-type Innocent Devil will use its new power, Brute Force Lv.1, to force open a shutter (which is also, conveniently, located by the warp room) that leads to the next area in line--the Mortvia Aqueduct. Special collectibles found within the mountain regions include the Perfect Guard and the I.D. Chart.

Lesser Enemies: Fenrir Lv.5, Lizardman Lv.6, Skeleton Lv.1, Orc Lv.7, Cyclops Lv.8, Zombie Lv.5, Wizard Lv.6, Armor Knight Lv.7, Skeleton Blaze Lv.5, Ghost Lv.3, Spirit Lv.4, Cockatrice Lv.6, Efreet Lv.7, Blood Skeleton Lv.5, Spirit Lv.32 and Thief Lv.32
Boss: Wyvern Lv.14
Music Track: Baljhet Mountains
     

     
 
Garibaldi Temple
 

The Garibaldi Temple is more your classic series' Chapel, with stain-glass windows as the recurring visual. Its mostly a straightforward romp through the bending and twisting temple halls; there is readily accessible second floor, which is easy to miss, but nothing of any importance (at least in Hector's mission) lay within. The challenge picks up in the temple's latter half, where the persistent dead barons and dead fencers (both Lv.12) will pick apart those who haven't yet mastered the fighting system. Hector will eventually reach a dead end, where he'll first meet with Trevor Belmont for the obligatory test battle. The battle is unwinnable and doesn't count as a real boss encounter--it exists only for storyline advancement. The most important item to collect here is Brute Force Lv.1, which is a special move for the battle-type Innocent Devil.

There's only one way out of here: Hector will have to retreat to the temple's warp room and use it to return to the Baljhet Mountains, from where he'll gain entry to the Mortvia Aqueduct. After gaining the services of a devil-type Innocent Devil, Hector can return here and use its primary special move, the Magic Circle, to slink beneath a cracked wall in the far corner of the temple's left side. He'll from here gain access to the temple's cavernous basement, an unholy citadel in contrast, and travel a spiral path to where the walls come alive with evil pulsation; more ominously, he'll encounter the game's two secret bosses, for which he'll be no match at this point in time. Otherwise, the Tower of Evermore is located in the temple's villa area, but it cannot be accessed directly from here; rather, Hector can only exit this particular tower after reaching it from the forest's Tower of Eternity.

Lesser Enemies: Skeleton Lv.9, Orc Lv.7, Bone Soldier Lv.13, Efreet Lv.11, Cyclops Lv.8, Ghost Lv.11, Fleaman Lv.7, Armor Knight Lv.15, Fenrir Lv. 10, Dead Fencer Lv.12, Dead Baron Lv.12, Thief Lv.15, Blaze Master Lv.14, Wizard Lv.8, Lesser Demon Lv.13, Phantom Sword Lv.15, Spectral Sword Lv.15, Slogra Lv.14, Ectoplasm Lv.16, Blood Skeleton Lv.75 and Evil Core Lv.42
Tower of Evermore: Rapid Sniper Lv.40, Red Ogre Lv.75, Flame Demon Lv.43, Basilik Lv.46, Iron Gladiator Lv.47, Spirit Lv.32, Great Armor Lv.46, Fleaman Lv.75, Thief Lv.32, Blaze Phantom Lv.44, White Dragon Lv.38, Final Guard Lv.75, Fishman Lv.45, Lizard Shaman Lv.43, Skeleton Rider Lv.45, Efreet Lv.45, Blood Skeleton Lv.75, Death Ripper Lv.40, Merman Lv.35, Frost Dragon Lv.39, Jin Lv.45, Executioner Lv.47, Frost Demon Lv.38, Armored Splinter Lv.44, Cyclops Lv.75, Dark Warlock Lv.42, Gi-Lee Lv.31, Assassin Zombie Lv.44, Thunder Dragon Lv.40, Amduscias Lv.44, Thunder Demon Lv.43, Duke Mirage, Ghoul Lv.75, White Gravial Lv.43, Basilik Lv.46, Death Ripper Lv.75, Slogra Lv.45, Gaibon Lv.45, Cockatric Lv.46, Harpy Lv.46, Iron Gladiator Lv.47 and Golden Bones
Boss: (1) Legion Lv.52, (2) Nuculais Lv.53
Music Track: Garibaldi Temple
Second Track: Garden in Garibaldi
Basement Track: Catacombs of Grief and Sadness
     

     
 
Mortvia Aqueduct
 

Upon entering the Aqueduct, Hector will have separate meetings with Zead and St. Germain wherein his so-called allies' behavior becomes more and more bizarre. The aqueduct, a series of small reservoir towers and canals that act as a conduit to transport water to several areas of Valachia, are filled with expected enemy types like mermen and fishmen, who pack the small bridges and other water-filled structures. To gain access to the main facility, Hector will have to knock off a gunnery troop and again use a turret--this time to knock down a damaged pillar so that it may be used as a bridge to cross over a long gap that precedes the entrance.

The facility entails a three-floor maze of stone walls and partly flooded chambers. Hector must find the right path to arrive back on the first floor and to the facility's final wing, where a collapsing bridge will drop Hector to the flooded battlefield below; upon defeating the boss, Hector will locate a bird-type Innocent Devil, which will help him escape from this room and more importantly reach the next area--the Forest of Jigramunt. The forest in question is of course in proximity to the area's warp room; from nearby, Hector will thanks to the assistance of the bird-type I.D. be able to cross a gap to forest's entrance. Hector can return to this area later and from the same place reach Dracula's Castle, which will be accessible in light of receding flood water.

Lesser Enemies: Merman Lv.15, Bone Soldier Lv.13, Thief Lv.15, Armor Knight Lv.15, Orc Lv.14, Ectoplasm Lv.16, Dark Warlock Lv.17, Fishman Lv.16, Frost Dragon Lv.19, Gaibon Lv.17, Blaze Master Lv.14, Ghost Lv.11, Wolf Skeleton Lv.17, White Dragon Lv.38 and Fishman Lv.45
Boss: Skeleton Diver Lv.24
Music Track: Mortvia Aqueduct
Second Track: Mortvia Fountain
     

     
 
Forest of Jigramunt
 

Storyline-wise, Hector will witness a meeting between Zead and St. Germain, which for him will answer a question of allegiance (or at least he thinks). The Forest of Jigramunt is another of those "one-floor" areas comprised mostly of mind-numbing split paths and hordes of annoying enemies packed within each pathway. The forest's dark, dank decor is kept somewhat lively by the ever-present cricket chirps; without a map, though, it may be easy to become confused by what is one indistinguishable pathway after another. Except for a sealed-off secret area (blocked by heavy statues that can only be plowed away through the use of Iytei, a battle-type I.D., and its Shoulder Ride skill), the path is straightforward to the forest's exit, where a familiar Dracula X boss creature awaits. Beyond its habitat is the Town of Cordova.

It's in the forest's garden area where you'll locate the Tower of Eternity, which doesn't count for map coverage but stands for fifty floors' worth of madness. You'll encounter groups of similar and paired enemy types (the pool consists basically of the forty enemy types you've faced to this point) as you climb to the tower's top, which holds a Kit Bag and an Attack Up. It's from this tower top where you can also reach the Garibaldi Temple's Tower of Eternity, which you can see in the distance; though, you'll need to use the Long Glide ability of a fully evolved bird ID if you hope to reach it. Otherwise, there's within the forest a secret entrance that leads back to the Abandoned Castle.

Lesser Enemies: Sniper Orc Lv.24, Vassago Lv.25, Bone Soldier Lv.18, Spirit Lv.19, Red Ogre Lv.25, Dark Warlock Lv.17, Assassin Zombie Lv.24, Wolf Skeleton Lv.23, Thief Lv.21, Basilik Lv.23, Thunder Dragon Lv.20, Ectoplasm Lv.22, Lizardman Lv.23, Flame Demon Lv.38, Great Armor Lv.25 and Minotaurus Lv.30
Tower of Eternity: Skeleton Lv.1, Zombie Lv.5, Bone Soldier Lv.18, Orc Lv.14, Armor Knight Lv.15, Ghost Lv.11, Cyclops Lv.8, Fenrir Lv.10, Skeleton Lv.9, Skeleton Blaze Lv.5, Wizard Lv.8, Fishman L.16, Merman Lv.15, Phantom Sword Lv.15, Spectral Sword Lv.15, Cockatrice Lv.6, Fleaman Lv.7, Efreet Lv.11, Lizardman Lv.23, Spirit Lv.19, Dead Fencer Lv.30, Dead Baron Lv.31, Lesser Demon Lv.23, Slogra Lv.14, Gaibon Lv.17, Skeleton Rider Lv.26, Spirit Lv.32, Blaze Master Lv.14, Assassin Zombie Lv.25, Vassago Lv.25, Red Ogre Lv.25, Thief Lv.21, Sniper Orc Lv.24, Basilik Lv.23, Wolf Skeleton Lv.23, Great Armor Lv.25, Flame Demon Lv.31, Thunder Demon Lv.27, Frost Demon Lv.28 and Executioner Lv.26
Boss: Minotaurus Lv.30
Music Track: The Forest of Jigramunt
Second Track: The Cave of Jigramunt
     

     
 
Cordova Town
 

The forest exits into the lifeless town of Cordova, which has been overrun mostly by zombies and ghouls. Hector will take to the streets and early on decide between a number of split paths, each with its own dangers. To the left of the town well, Hector will locate a mysterious "chair" room, where the surrounding environment is as strange as the room's purpose unclear (in reality, it over time becomes stocked with all of the chair types that Hector finds during the course of his adventure; though, no reward is offered for finding them all). Uncommon to Cordova Town is that it features two warp points--one for each each half (the suburbs and the center), which tells you that are multiple secrets to uncover. For now, you'll want to dredge through the streets and alleyways and finally track down Isaac at the town hall, where provided will be the greatest test thusfar.

After Isaac again relieves Hector of his presence, in part due to Julia's interference, the forgemaster will collect a mage-type Innocent Devil. This new ally will help him to escape the town using its Time Stop skill, which breaches the time-barrier that was magically placed on the Eneomaos Machine Tower and its surrounding areas. While there are no further necessary items to be found here, Hector can return later and with the assistance of a devil-type I.D. fully explore the town. Doing so will uncover secret entrances to the Aiolon Ruins and, within the town's basement level, the Mortvia Aqueduct.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie Lv.26, Great Armor Lv.25, Vassago Lv.25, Ghoul Lv.27, Dead Fencer Lv.30, Dead Baron Lv.31, Lizard Shaman Lv.28, White Gravial Lv.27, Assassin Zombie Lv.24, Skeleton Rider Lv.26, Thief Lv.21 and Executioner Lv.26
Boss: Isaac Lv.34
Music Track: A Town Called Cordova
Chair Room Track: Waltz of the Weary Chair Room
     

     
 
Eneomaos Machine Tower
 

The Eneomaos Machine Tower is your more subdued series' clock tower--four floors of typical fare in terms of the enemies and challenges (including another instance of necessary time-stoppage, to this time race up a stairway before it retracts into the ground) you've seen to this point. You'll split your time between exploring the tower's innards and its outer regions (harpy-filled balconies, mostly) to travel a not-so-obvious path. Mainly, you'll discover that there's no conventional way to reach its second or third floor and in turn escape from them. In the case of the former, you'll have to find the dead ends--rooms whose very floors are large gears--and repeatedly strike the grooved cylinders on the rooms' sides to to spark movement until the large gear locks in place on the next floor.

After defeating the boss and finding a devil-type I.D., Hector will have to figure out a way to get out of this place (because the large gears are now locked in place, their spin cannot be reversed). Instead, Hector will have to use his new devil-type I.D.'s special power, the Magic Circle, to slip underneath the balconies' grates, and in following some cracked walls, and begin his trek down to second floor, where he'll have to use the area's portal room to escape, desirably to Cordova Town.

Lesser Enemies: Sniper Orc Lv.30, White Gravial Lv.27, Vassago Lv.34, Iron Gladiator Lv.31, Undead Lord Lv.33, Flame Demon Lv.31, Great Armor Lv.35, Harpy Lv.32, Lizard Shaman Lv.28, Death Ripper Lv.29, Dead Baron Lv.31, Necromancer Lv.31, Zombie Lv. 42, Wight Lv.35 and Dead Fencer Lv.30
Boss: Saint Germain Lv.37
Music Track: Eneomaos Machine Tower
     

     
 
Aiolon Ruins
 

Once back in Cordova, Hector can head left of the portal room and in close proximity find another barred grate under which he can slip using the devil-type I.D.'s Magic Circle power. This will lead him to the Aiolon Ruins (another "one-floor" area), a series of eroded buildings, dimly lit tunnels, and specially crafted shrines. After traveling its long entrance, to start, Hector will again have to man a gunnery post (after slaying its temporary patrolman) and blow open the way to the ruin's underground, which has multiple split paths. To attain a 100% completion rate, Hector will need the assistance of a Proboscis, a fairy-type I.D. that can read ancient script and in the proper room press for Hector an out-of-reach button.

Though there are no boss creatures lurking, Hector's trip through the ruins is not without a point--he will eventually interrupt a confrontation between Trevor and Isaac and in doing so initiate a storyline sequence where Zead appears and reveals the location of the fleeing Isaac's secret base underneath the Abandoned Castle. The game will show mercy, forgoing backtracking and instantly placing you at a convenient point within the castle. Though, should you return here, the ruins do contain a secret exit back to the Abandoned Castle (take a left before reaching the final save room and at its end break through a cracked wall).

Lesser Enemies: Bone Soldier Lv.18, Undead Lord Lv.33, Assassin Zombie Lv.34, Jin Lv.36, Necromancer Lv.35, Thunder Demon Lv.38, Armored Splinter Lv.33, Vassago Lv.34, Rapid Sniper Lv.31, Skeleton Trooper Lv.35, Wight Lv.35, Flame Demon Lv.38, Fishman Lv.35, Slogra Lv.37, Great Armor Lv.35, White Dragon Lv.38, Spirit Lv.32 and Gaibon Lv.34
Boss: None
Music Track: Aiolon Ruins
Second Track: Aiolon Cave Temple
     

     
 
Infinite Corridor
 

In their final meeting in the Abandoned Castle, Trevor will open for Hector a portal to Isaac's secret hideaway--the Infinite Corridor, a bizarrely crafted chaotic realm featuring long, winding stairways and similarly designed pathways decorated mainly by a whole lot of green cubes adorned by maddening patterns of vertigo. It's here, especially, where Hector's abilities and his command over Innocent Devils will be most tested (not to mention his resolve in repeatedly battling white dragon forms and curse-inducing enemies like spirits and ectoplasm). The path is fairly straightforward and worry-free despite the area's intimidating aura.

If Hector hopes to fully explore the corridor to collect its hidden treasures, he'll have to take the time to evolve Innocent Devils in certain ways. For instance: Only Golem type battle I.D.s can lift open the heaviest of shutters; and only the most evolved bird-types can clear the longest of gaps. Because its crowded with experience-heavy foes, this is the best place to hand around if you want to quickly gain levels. Once the boss is located and defeated, more storyline advancement will commence; most ominously, the events caused by Dullahan's defeat will beckon forth the return to this world of Dracula's Castle.

Lesser Enemies: Spirit Lv.32, Final Guard Lv.42, White Dragon Lv.38, Unicorn Lv.39, Undead Lord Lv.38, Blaze Phanton Lv.39, Bone Soldier Lv.38, Ectoplasm Lv.37, Gi-Lee Lv.31, Thunder Dragon Lv.40 Amduscias Lv.39, Wight Lv. 36, Undead Lord Lv.43 and Spectral Sword Lv.47
Boss: Dullahan Lv.49
Music Track: Infinite Corridor
     

     
 
Dracula's Castle
 

Out of the sea rises Dracula's Castle, and this event does more than just trigger the potential return of Count Dracula: Game-wide, ponds, streams and even whole rivers previously displaced by the castle's mass will regress back from whence they came. This will in multiple areas open up secret rooms and reveal hidden goods that Hector may want to collect before taking the final challenge. The castle is actually broken up into three sub-areas: A large first floor; seven floors in following, starting again at "one"; and then the famed castle keep (so there are actually three completion rates entailed). Upon entering, Hector will find himself the target of the ever-present Slogras and Gaibons (their advanced forms are the castle's most recurring enemies), who at this point have just about given up on a return to boss life. Hector will whip around the castle boundaries--mostly its balconies and outer walkways--to find a true entrance and in doing so face in succession many inescapable battles. He won't find a save point until this floor is cleared.

To describe the Count's haunt beyond this point would be to call it atypical; really, it's just one like-themed chamber after another separated by an extremely large number of "connector" rooms that test the player's attrition more than they test Hector's skill in battle. After seven floors of repetition, with much more in the way of inescapable battles, Hector will find his man--Isaac, who provides the means for their final showdown. Hector will through Isaac's defeat learn of an even grander scheme that results in the return of Count Dracula, who must be confronted in the castle keep after climbing its long stairway. First, though, there's the little matter of dealing with his closest ally, who put it all together. The final battle will soon be at hand. It should be noted that Hector can find within the castle's sixth floor a pumpkin-type I.D., which can be awakened by striking its egg with a Pumpkin Mace, whose creation requires much in the way of forging.

Lesser Enemies: Slogra Lv.45, Gaibon Lv.45, Rapid Sniper Lv.40, Spirit Lv.32, Red Ogre Lv.48, Frost Demon Lv.43, Armored Splinter Lv.44, Final Guard Lv.42, Undead Lord Lv.43, White Dragon Lv.38, Flame Demon Lv,43, Frost Dragon Lv.39, Executioner Lv.47, Fleaman Lv. 40, Skeleton Lv.38, Vassago Lv.41, Efreet Lv.45, Jin Lv.45, Zombie Lv.42, Ghoul Lv.42, Assassin Zombie Lv.44, Cyclops Lv.47, Death Ripper Lv.40, Harpy Lv.46, Amduscias Lv.44, Iron Gladiator Lv.47, Thief Lv.32 and Gi-Lee Lv.31
Boss: (1) Isaac Lv.50, (2) Death Lv.51, (3)
Dracula, (4) Dracula's Ghost
Music Track: Dracula's Castle
     

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