Castlevania II: Simon's Quest/Berkeley Mansion
Town of Jova
You start out in the upper left corner of the Town of Jova, one of the locations least affected by Dracula's curse, although the townspeople are by no means unaware of you and your plight. You begin the game with the regular whip, and 50 hearts to your name. There are three items for sale here, two of which you must buy, and one which you will be tempted to purchase, but might be better off leaving. The two items which you need are the Holy Water, sold inside door C, and the White Crystal, sold by a merchant walking around just outside of door C (point D). However, they each cost 50 hearts, so you'll need to earn another 50 to buy them both. The optional item is the thorn whip, sold behind door B for 100 hearts. However, only a short distance away in the Town of Veros and for only 50 hearts more, you can purchase the Chain Whip which is twice as strong as the Thorn Whip. Therefore, it may be wiser to skip the purchase of the Thorn Whip.
To the left of town is Belasco Marsh, a dangerous area with strong monsters and poisonous marshes. You are highly advised not to visit the marsh until you become substantially more powerful. To the right of town is Jova Woods, a far safer area though not without its own dangers. Before you leave town, be sure to make note of where the church is (door A), but remember that you can only visit the church to restore your health during the day time.
|First thing to do in this town is buy a White Crystal.||The trader is standing at point D. The White Crystal is an important, and needed to obtain further crystals.||Yes|
|A crooked trader is offering bum deals in this town.
||The English translation is wrong, the Japanese text read: "In the towns there are sellers who do business in hiding."||Yes|
|13 clues will solve Dracula's Riddle.||The 13 clues are contained in Clue Books which are well hidden throughout the land.||Yes|
|You have a friend in the town of Aldra. Go and see him.||The speaker is referring to the Town of Aldra on the other side of the Dead River.||Yes|
|A magic potion will destroy the wall of evil.||This villager is speaking of holy water, which can be purchased in town.||Yes|
|Clues to Dracula's riddle are in the town of Veros.||You can talk to more villagers in Veros, which will be your next stop.||Yes|
|A flame is on top of the 6th tree in Denis Woods.||The sacred flame is actually in Dabi's Path.||No|
|Rumor has it, the Ferry-man at Dead River loves Garlic.||The Ferryman at the Dead River will have no special reaction if you show him Garlic. He is fascinated by another item.||No|
|Town of Jova
In the beginning of the game, your goal here is to collect as close to 250 hearts as you can before the morning of the second day begins. It's very difficult to earn that many, but you can certainly come close. Be sure to buy one of the two 50 heart items from town (preferably the Holy Water since it can be used as a weapon) before you arrive so that your heart count is zero. The beginning of Jova Woods is flat before you have to jump up a step. Your best bet for collecting hearts is to walk back and forth between the step and the area to the left. You will encounter two skeletons every time you walk back and forth. A werewolf will appear on the far left, which you should let follow you back to the right before you attack it in order to optimize your time.
Spend the night in the woods, attacking skeletons and the occasional werewolf, and try to amass as many hearts as possible.. Remember that during the night, it takes twice as many hits to defeat the monsters, but they drop larger hearts. When the next morning begins, return to Jova and purchase the remaining item you need. Then head back into the woods, and cross it entirely to reach South Bridge.
Note: If you're serious about collecting hearts, it's better to visit one of these locations:
- At the eastern edge of Jova Woods, move back and forth between the woods and South bridge. These monsters respawn when you cross the transition, at least two being visible each time.
- Veros Woods west at night, on the other side of South Bridge. Cross back and forth on the highest platform and you will encounter skeletons at a high frequency. Be sure to make your way back to Jova when the clock reaches 1:04:00 so that you arrive at town by daybreak.
- Go back into the Town of Jova as night falls and proceed up to the top level. Traveling back and forth, you will encounter numerous zombies which can drop half-hearts. It is entirely possible to amass not only many hearts but also enough experience to reach level 1 before daybreak, at which point you can immediately use the church to heal if necessary and proceed to make your other requisite purchase.
|Veros Woods west|
You will encounter skeletons and mermen on South Bridge. Mermen jump out of the water in an effort to ambush you. Remember that, in this game, all enemies' appearance points are predetermined, and the mermen are no exception. They do not jump out of the water randomly, but rather appear at strategic points along the bridge. They are most likely to appear right as you are jumping over gaps in the bridge, thereby making it possible to swing your whip mid-jump and destroy them before you land. If you don't time it properly and miss, don't panic. Just wait until you land and look for a good opportunity to strike. Mermen stick around just long enough to belch a fireball at you before diving back into the water. If necessary, you can wait them out.
Veros Woods west
|Veros Woods east|
|Town of Veros|
When you first arrive in Veros Woods, you'll see a set of platforms that you can use to reach the upper level, or you can use the Holy Water to break the lowest block. The purple liquid is poisonous marsh, not water. You won't drown in it, but your health will begin to drain if you stand around in it. It's best to take the upper path, not just because it's safer, but because of the opportunity it present to collect hearts from the skeletons that patrol the platform. If you walk back and forth on this platform, you'll be presented with numerous skeletons to attack and earn hearts from. Once you have at least 200 hearts, or the time reaches 1:14:00, head to the right.
In the next screen, the path branches. A set of stairs climb down into the underground while the ground level continues to the right. The ground level leads to Veros Wood east, and eventually to Berkeley Mansion. The stairs lead to the Town Veros, which should be your first destination. Climb down the stairs, and do your best to enter before 1:15:00 or nighttime is likely to fall before you finish exploring the whole town. If you were unable to get at least 150 hearts, you may need to spend another night collecting hearts. If you collected at least 150, but not 200, ignore purchasing the dagger, and pick it up on your way back after clearing Rover Mansion.
Town of Veros
|Veros Woods west
Veros is smaller than Jova, but there are some important things to find. When first entering a building, it may appear abandoned. However, if you use Holy Water on the floors or walls, you'll find secret passages where merchants hide out. In the first building (door A), break through the right wall and buy the Dagger , then return outside. Continue to the right, stopping at the Church (door B) if needed, and go into the open building on the right side of town (door C). Use Holy Water on the floor, climb down to the bottom, and buy the Chain Whip from the merchant waiting below. If you throw Holy Water along the floor on the middle level, you will find another clue book (see below).
You're now prepared to visit the first mansion. There are two methods of reaching the mansion. One is to return the way you came, and reach the mansion via Veros Woods. The other is to exit the town to the east, and ascend Dabi's Pass before doubling back to the west and passing through Denis Woods. Neither way is shorter, although the Veros woods method is safer.
|A rib can shield you from evil.||Once you collect it, equipping Dracula's Rib will allow you to use the part like a shield.||Yes|
|You look pale,my son. You must rest in the church||Talk to the priest in the church to restore your life.||Yes|
|Clues to Dracula's riddle are in the town of Alba||There is a typo in the English localization: the original Japanese text referred to the town of Aljiba.||Yes|
|Clues to Dracula's riddle are in Berkeley Mansion.||You can find hidden Clue Books in the mansion by using Holy Water on particular walls to reveal them.||Yes|
|Laurels in your soup enhance its aroma.||This clue merely points to the existence of Laurels, but does not indicate their true purpose.||No|
|You've got a friend waiting for you in the town of Aljiba||More clues are in Aljiba.||Yes|
|C||"Clear a path at Berkeley Mansion with a white crystal."||You'll need the white crystal in order to access the platforms beyond the entrance of Berkeley Mansion.|
Veros Woods east
|Veros Woods west
Once you leave the Town of Veros, head left and back up the stairs, then to the right. If necessary, you can hit the Skeletons on the platforms above the marsh much more easily with the Dagger than the whip. In the next screen, watch out for a merman when you go to jump across the pond. Once again, you can use a safer method of attacking like throwing Holy Water to get rid of the merman before you try to cross. Head right one more screen and you'll be outside Berkeley Mansion. Walk to the door and push to enter.
Surviving in a mansion isn't very different from surviving the wilderness. However, mansions contain many traps not found in the outdoors, including false floors and spikes. False floors are illusions and Simon will fall right through them. False floors are typically two blocks wide. Spikes cause a lot of damage, and can remove significant chunks of Simon's health. To make matters worse, spikes are often found beneath false floors. There are two tricks you can use to avoid falling through false floors. The first trick is to use Holy Water. When you throw a vial of Holy Water at the floor, if it passes through the floor instead of breaking open, you know you have found a false floor. The second trick is to watch the enemies move. Skeletons will not turn around until they have reached the edge of a platform. Therefore, if you see a Skeleton turn around in the middle of a platform, it's a safe bet that it turned in front of a false floor.
When you first enter the mansion, you may be surprised to see a ledge high above the water with no apparent method of reaching it. The trick is to activate the White Crystal . Activating the crystal will allow you to see an otherwise invisible platform that rises and falls between the floor and ledge above. Jump on the platform and ride it up to the top. It is important to note that Simon is very sensitive to the momentum of these moving platforms. That is, he will jump much higher when the platform is moving up, and he will jump much lower when it is moving down. If you wait too long to jump up to the ledge, and the platform begins moving down, you will certainly be unable to reach the ledge, and you will likely fall in the water. Be sure to jump up to the ledge while the platform is still rising. Then very carefully make the leap from that ledge to the floor on the right, and watch out for the spear wielding Armor that patrols the space.
Walk to the right and you will see two staircases, one going up and the other going down. Your goal should be to climb to the top, so take the ascending staircase. As you return to the left, watch out for the bouncing devil that approaches you. These demons drop large hearts, but they spit two fireballs at you at a time. Jump up the platforms to the level above, removing the enemies as you climb. At this point, you have a choice. You can explore the region to the right, or take the staircase up. The region to the right dead-ends at a wall at point A. However, if you use Holy Water at this point, you will find the first clue book. Just watch out for the spikes the lead to the book.
After you climb the stairs, and walk to the right, you will have your first encounter with a false floor. The first two blocks in the elevated section are fake. If you try to jump on them, you will fall to the floor below. Instead, jump through them, and you will safely land on the real section of the floor. Continue to the right and on to the next screen. You will encounter a slightly tougher Skeleton Knight who is capable of throwing bones at you. Defeat it and climb down the stairs. You will now be at point B.
Mansions present an excellent opportunity for you to maximize your heart collection (and experience points) without fear of the clock advancing. The number of days that go by in the game is a factor in the quality of your ending. Since time "stops" in the mansions, you can spend as much time as you like in them, and it will not affect your ending in any way. Therefore, it is important to take advantage of this and use these opportunities to reach 256 hearts, and level up if at all possible. Point B on the map is an excellent place to do just that. If you walk back and forth between these two pillars, skeletons will continuously appear on either side of you. You can whip one, turn around, and another will appear. Repeat this until you have 256 hearts. Then climb up the steps to the left and advance to point C.
Carefully jump over the spikes. There's a merchant here who sells Oak Stakes for 50 hearts. Stakes are required to complete the mansions, so purchase one. Past the merchant at point D is a wall that can be broken with Holy Water to reveal a second Clue Book. Return to the right and visit point B again to collect the hearts you lost purchasing a stake.
Climb down the next flight of stairs. Once again, you have a choice; climb down another flight, or explore the dead-end to the right. And once again, if you explore the dead-end and throw Holy Water at the wall at point E, you will expose the third and final Clue Book in the mansion. Return to the left and climb down the steps.
After dropping down to the lower portion of the floor, pay special attention to the Skeleton to the right. If you look closely, you will notice that he will double back when he reaches the second pillar at point F. This is an indication of a false floor. If you fall through it, you will be forced to return to the left, and double back all the way through the mansion to return to where you once were. Instead, jump over the false floor and proceed to the right. You'll arrive in a large room with a few skeletons hung from the ceiling, and a crystal ball. Use the Oak Stake on it (make sure the stake hits the crystal or you'll have to go buy another one) to reveal a bag containing Dracula's Rib . If you equip the Rib, whenever you're stationary you'll have a shield that can block fireballs and other small projectiles.
With the Rib in your possession, head back left, and this time, intentionally drop through the fake floor at point F. Being careful not to fall in the water, make your way to the left, on to the next screen, and up the stairs. You will now be near the starting point of the mansion. Continue to the left, jump over to the ledge, and drop down through the gap to reach the mansion entrance. Walk to the left to return to the outside. If you are in need of health, return to the Town of Veros. Otherwise head right to begin the second phase of your journey: retrieving Dracula's heart from Rover Mansion.
|A||"A symbol of evil will appaer(sic) when you strike the stake."||Strike the crystal with the stake to get one of Dracula's parts.|
|D||"Destroy the curse and you'll rule Brahm's Mansion."||The English translation misses the point; the original Japanese text mentioned the curse of the river.|
|E||"A flame flickers inside the ring of fire."||The English translation is wrong, the Japanese text read: "The source of the holy flame sleeps even now in the land that is forever closed off from daylight".|