Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
main platforms XBLA
timing RTA
framerate ~60
style metroidvania

The Castlevania: Symphony of the Night aka SOTN speedruns focus on movement and efficient combat. Alucard, Richter and Maria have their own separate categories and unique playstyles. The runs feature heavy usage of many mobility-based special abilities with complex, fighting game style inputs. This wiki focuses mainly on the PSX, PSN and Xbox360 version of the game for Alucard and Richter and Sega Saturn for Maria. The Saturn and Dracula X Chronicles/Requiem versions of the game work differently and would be covered in separate pages that we will potentially make in the future and link as separate categories.


Main article Alucard

Alucard runs feature the most wide range of mechanics and playstyles as well as the most heavy use of various glitches.



Main article Richter

Richter runs start at full speed and never slow down. Very heavy in execution and extremely merciless due to his low hp.



Main article Maria

Played on the Sega Saturn. Categories are separated between emu and console due to significant differences in performance. Maria starts with all of her powers unlocked like Richter, but is much more resilient.


Input Reader / Input Mechanics

  • The game requires every direction of a motion to be inputted exactly, no input approximation is included in the engine. For example J+874126+J would result in a failed wingsmash due to the missing 3 diagonal.
  • Special move inputs are non exclusive and can be buffered into each other or from other actions. For example a jump can be inserted into the airslash move input just before pressing attack: 823+jump+attack
  • Inputs are buffered/stored for 19 frames or until 25 frames have passed since the button started being held. For example if you hold up for 15 frames it will only be stored for another 9 frames in the motion for an airslash before you have to input down.
  • After holding a direction for 29 frames it stops being counted towards an input with the exception of some hold or charge moves.
  • Typically moves require pressing the activation button at least one frame after completing the motion input.
  • Some character states can ignore inputs or clear the input buffer entirely.
  • Whenever Alucard transitions from a ground state to an air state, there is a 7 frame period where he retains some properties of ground state. He can walk, but still has falling speed, and can jump, allowing you to get an extra horizontal boost if a jump is too far to make normally.
  • Black screens buffer one input.
  • Blue doors buffer one input.
  • Level Up animation buffers one input and halts buffer decay until the end of the animation. Example: you can do a wing smash input half-way, hold inputs during freeze, then finish the input after the animation.


All categories are timed in RTA. Time starts upon gaining character control and ends at final boss death. Runs are submitted with second accuracy with the exception of top times. Guide for precise run timing:

Version Differences for main Alucard and Richter categories

Platform Frame Rate Notes
Xbox 360 XBLA NA ~59.94 Some console models seem to lose additional time, we have not confirmed why yet. Significantly faster loading times. Playing while online causes lag due to xbla time attack leaderboards. No texture mapping glitches. No third outer wall warp glitch.
Xbox 360 XBLA EU ~60
psxjin ~60
Bizhawk Audio Throttle ~60
Bizhawk Clock Throttle ~59.29
PlayStation NTSC ~59.29
PlayStation PAL ~49.76
PlayStation 2 unconfirmed
PlayStation 3 PSN unconfirmed
PSP PSN unconfirmed