Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow Cheats & Secrets for Game Boy Advance

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow key art

Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow Cheats & Secrets for Game Boy Advance

Originally released in May 2003, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the final Castlevania game for the Game Boy Advance. Additionally, it is the second Castlevania game for the Game Boy Advance to feature direction from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night mastermind Koji Igarashi. Like Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow is one of several Metroidvania-style Castlevania games and follows the “Igavania” style of gameplay the series is famous for. Often considered one of the best Castlevania games, Aria of Sorrow is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night and is the first game in a duology of titles starring new protagonist Soma Cruz.

Igarashi would work to make Aria of Sorrow a unique Castlevania game in comparison to his other GBA Castlevania, Harmony of Dissonance, based on criticisms that the game received. Overcorrecting for the dark appearance and visibility issues of Circle of the Moon, many players would find Harmony of Dissonance to be too bright and have a garish color palette. Additionally, Harmony of Dissonance would be subject to criticism regarding its music. As a result, Igarashi would bring back the core creative team from Symphony of the Night to work on Aria of Sorrow, including character artist Ayami Kojima and composer Michiru Yamane.

While Aria of Sorrow would not sell very well in Japan, it would prove to be a massive success in the West. It is the best-selling Game Boy Advance-era Castlevania game and would also receive considerable critical praise. The game currently sits at an impressive 91% on Metacritic and is one of the highest-rated Game Boy Advance titles.

Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow Premise

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow gameplay

Unlike most Castlevania games, Aria of Sorrow takes place in the modern era. 36 years prior to the game’s start, the forces of good defeat Dracula and seal his essence and powers inside a solar eclipse. Later, in the year 2035, a solar eclipse is set to happen again, giving the forces of evil their one chance to resurrect the Dark Lord. Players take on the role of Soma Cruz, a young transfer student studying abroad in Japan. Unknown to Soma Cruz, he is the vessel that the spirit of Dracula will need to achieve corporeal form, resulting in Soma suddenly receiving strange powers prior to the onset of the solar eclipse.

Gameplay in Aria of Sorrow is strikingly similar to other “Igavania” Castlevania games or Metroidvanias. Players explore a large interconnected map that is separated into distinct regions or biomes. Each of these areas of the map contains useful upgrades for the player to acquire that then unlock subsequent areas of the map. Similar to Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow incorporates light role-playing mechanics in the form of defeating enemies to earn experience and level up, with players becoming stronger with each level they gain.

Aria of Sorrow‘s unique contribution to the Castlevania series is the Tactical Soul System, which sees Soma being able to absorb the abilities of defeated enemies in combat and traversal. Guardian, Bullet, and Enchant Souls are blue, red, and yellow and give Soma varying abilities related to stat improvement, ranged attacks, and other abilities. Ability Souls are silver in color and take the place of the traditional upgrades that gate progression in a Metroidvania.

Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow Main Characters

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow concept artwork

The central figure in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the young student Soma Cruz. Unbeknownst to Soma, he is the physical vessel for the soul of Dracula. This makes Soma the target of the forces of good and evil, with both sides hoping to sway the young hero to their cause. Contrary to other Castlevania games, Soma will meet and befriend a wide-ranging cast of allies and regularly interact with them in the game’s hub area. Main characters in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow include:

  • Soma Cruz: The protagonist of Aria of Sorrow and its sequel, Dawn of Sorrow. Soma Cruz is a reincarnation of the physical form of Dracula and the vessel for his resurrection. As such, he is capable of absorbing the powers of monsters from within Dracula’s castle.
  • Mina Hakuba: Soma’s friend and daughter of the priest of the Hakuba Shrine. She is caught up in Soma’s journey when the two visit the Hakuba Shrine on the night of the 2035 solar eclipse.
  • Genya Arikado: A mysterious and enigmatic government agent and ally to Soma Cruz. He is secretly Dracula’s son, Alucard, in disguise.
  • Hammer: A military soldier under orders to investigate the strange happenings as a result of the eclipse. He sets up shop in Dracula’s castle and provides Soma with equipment and items.
  • Julius Belmont: The last descendant in the Belmont line and the Vampire Hunter responsible for sealing away Dracula in 1999. He appears in the castle as an amnesiac in 2035 and is an enemy to Soma.
  • Graham Jones: The main antagonist of Aria of Sorrow, Graham Jones is a missionary secretly working to facilitate Dracula’s resurrection. He hopes that Dracula’s possession of Soma’s body will help bring about the apocalypse.
  • Dracula: The vampire lord and master of dark magic, Dracula is a semi-immortal being of immense power. After being sealed away in a solar eclipse, his powers reach through the fabric of reality to prepare a vessel for his return, Soma Cruz.

Games in the Castlevania Series

The Castlevania series is one of the most important franchises in gaming. The first several games in the series are noteworthy for being some of the best and most groundbreaking action-platformers of their time. Later, the Castlevania series would become one-half of the Metroidvania portmanteau along with Nintendo’s Metroid, establishing an entire subgenre of gaming. Since its debut in 1986, there have been more than 15 mainline Castlevania games and several compilation titles. Games in the Castlevania series include:

  • Castlevania (1986)
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (1987)
  • Castlevania: The Adventure (1989)
  • Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (1989)
  • Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (1991)
  • Super Castlevania IV (1991)
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (1993)
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines (1994)
  • Castlevania: Dracula X (1995)
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
  • Castlevania Legends (1997)
  • Castlevania 64 (1999)
  • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (1999)
  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (2001)
  • Castlevania Chronicles (2001)
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (2002)
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (2003)
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (2003)
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (2005)
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (2005)
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (2006)
  • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (2007)
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (2008)
  • Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (2009)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (2010)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (2013)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (2014)
  • Castlevania Requiem (2018)
  • Castlevania Anniversary Collection (2019)
  • Castlevania Advance Collection (2021)

Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow Cheats & Secrets

Similar to the other two Game Boy Advance-era Castlevania titles, Aria of Sorrow has a plethora of cheats and secrets for players to discover. There are the typical character name cheats that affect gameplay as well as some Pro Action Replay cheats players can utilize. Many of the game’s “secrets” fall under the category of useful glitches and exploits players can take advantage of to get ahead.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Character Name Cheats

No Enemy Souls

Players can play through all of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow without using the Soul system by starting a new game and entering the name NOSOUL. This will transform Aria of Sorrow into a more traditional Castlevania experience.

No Items

Start a new game of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and name your character NOUSE to play through the game without using items. As you might expect, this makes the game significantly more difficult.

Play as Julius Belmont

After completing Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow at least once, start a new game. Enter JULIUS as your character name to play through the game as Julius Belmont. Julius does not have access to Aria of Sorrow‘s menu and can only wield one weapon, the Vampire Killer. However, the trade-off is that he begins the game immensely more powerful than Soma Cruz.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Secrets & Glitches

Alternate Endings

Similar to Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has multiple different endings. In order to obtain the best ending, players must acquire the three specific Souls that are described in the Ancient Book items. These are the Flame Demon, Succubus, and Giant Bat Souls.

  • Best Ending — Before fighting Graham, equip the three souls (Flame Demon, Giant Bat, Succubus). Defeat Graham and then enter the Black Mist door to fight two more bosses. Defeat them both for the “True” ending and to unlock Sound Mode and Boss Rush Mode.
  • Good Ending — Before fighting Graham, equip the three Souls. Enter the Black Mist door after defeating Graham, beating the first boss, and losing to the second boss. This results in the “Good” ending and unlocks Boss Rush Mode.
  • Bad Ending — Defeat Graham without equipping the three Souls to earn the “Bad” ending.
  • Worst Ending — Lose to Chaos to unlock the “Worst” ending.

Hard Mode

In addition to unlocking Boss Rush Mode, getting the “Good” ending or better also unlocks Hard Mode for subsequent playthroughs. When starting a new game, players can select between Normal or Hard difficulty. Hard Mode introduces some unique items and equipment not available in Normal Mode.

Hard Mode Items

The following items are only available in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow‘s Hard Mode:

Death’s RobeClock Tower, western side of the middle section. Requires Giant Bat Soul
Death’s SickleClock Tower, hallway between Death’s boss arena and the Save Room. Requires Giant Bat Soul
Kaiser KnuckleHidden room above the Study Save Room
Silver GunArena, room just past the entrance
Tear of BloodTop Floor, upper-right corner of the stairs just before the Throne Room

Boss Rush Mode

Beating Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and earning the “Good” ending or better unlocks the Boss Rush Mode. Players can access this mode under the “Special” section of the game’s menu. Boss Rush mode pits players against Aria of Sorrow‘s rogues’ gallery and rewards them with special items for achieving good times.

Boss Rush Mode Rewards

Complete Boss Rush Mode with the following completion times to earn specific rewards:

6 Minutes or morePotion
Between 5 and 6 MinutesExcalibur
Between 4 and 5 MinutesPositron Rifle
4 Minutes or lessValmanway

Sound Mode

Beating Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow with the “Best” or “True” ending unlocks Sound Mode. This allows players to listen to any music from the game.

Soul Eater Ring

Trying to collect 100% of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow‘s available Souls is a time-consuming process. That said, players can speed it up using the Soul Eater Ring. This ring greatly increases the rate of enemies dropping Souls and becomes available after defeating Death. Once players beat Death, head to Hammer’s shop to purchase the Soul Eater Ring for 300,000G.

Chaos Ring

Collecting 100% of the Souls in Aria of Sorrow will net players the Chaos Ring. This incredibly useful ring grants the wearer infinite MP. After achieving 100% Soul collection, head to the Chaotic Realm. The Chaos Ring awaits players in the room just past the one with an Alastor and Erinys in it.

Easy Quick Gold

Getting enough gold to buy the Soul Eater Ring can take a long time. Thankfully, there’s a helpful workaround players can use to quickly gain large sums of Gold. Once players defeat Julius Belmont, it becomes possible to enter the Chaotic Realm. Players will eventually reach a room that resembles where they fought the Manticore. This room is where players will need to farm a specific enemy.

The lamps in this room will spawn Mimic enemies that resemble the blue money bag pick-ups. Defeating these enemies over and over again will eventually net the player the Mimic Soul. Equipping the Mimic Soul results in money bags spawning any time Soma takes damage, equal to the amount of damage received. With the Mimic Soul in tow, head to The Arena and enter one of the Torture Rooms. Use this method to quickly farm Gold, heading to Save Rooms to heal periodically when health gets low.

Quickly Farm EXP

Though it’s not reachable until later in the game, the Chaotic Realm holds one of the best EXP farms in Aria of Sorrow. Equip Soma with both Roginus’ Spear and the Erinys Soul and head into the Chaotic Realm. Players will eventually come across a Shadow Knight they can quickly kill for roughly 3,300 EXP. Find a spot to quickly exit and re-enter the room to earn thousands of EXP per minute using this method.

Easily Defeat Iron Golem

Equipping the Killer Mantle Soul before fighting the Iron Golem will make the fight against this boss significantly easier.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Pro Action Replay Cheat Codes

Whether playing natively on a Game Boy Advance or via emulation, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a large variety of Pro Action Replay codes. Players using a Game Boy Advance will need the Pro Action Replay peripheral. Players using an emulator can simply enter any of the following codes into the emulator’s “Cheat” menu.

Master Code (Must Be On)33C92B74 18DA8263
7CDD4B33 E0034760
All ItemsB1CE3E61 A35C448A
7356CB4D 432A928B
All Accessories9B8FBF4E A11455D3
7EFB3FA7 F5F956F9
All ArmorF1BEB854 65720626
917C653D 93BFC393
All WeaponsB441A0BB 64920A6C
886951A1 0119C52F
All Enemies in Bestiary7E887BDD 2D9EC95B
9C333714 89CA884B
All Ability Souls0A47A77A 51259D60
All Bullet Souls6D4C8BF5 4C7F638A
0E584750 D8F27A87
All Enchanted Souls5B6FBEAC 8073182E
A8E60B21 16684C76
All Guardian SoulsA0855863 20FC32C1
BDA65F34 AF5A7B09
Defeating Enemies Always Drops Souls3A3F558D C999D031
Infinite HP4457425C EBBCDE6E
Infinite MPEA058030 BBA4BB9C
Max CON533EF4DC 664BF0AB
Max INTEC20560d 202223AD
Max LCK837A4C46 54C57CDB
Max STRE162BB18 DB32B080
Max HP875290BE 88D09E3A
Max MP9745D846 2D698989
Max GoldB79DD421 5017E94E
Quick Level UpAAEA095F 01EFB53C

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Cheat FAQs

What is the best weapon in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow?
The best weapon available to players in the base game/Normal Mode is the Claimh Solais. In addition to the weapon having already great stats, its Holy elemental affinity makes it especially powerful against late-game bosses. Further, the weapon has some of the best range of any sword in the game.

Does higher Luck make Souls drop easier in Aria of Sorrow?
Unfortunately, the Luck stat has very little bearing on Soul drop rates. The only way to increase Soul drop rates is to use a Pro Action Replay cheat or to acquire the Soul Eater Ring after defeating Death.

Does Julius Level Up in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow?
Playing in Julius mode offers players significantly higher starting stats and power. However, the trade-off is that Julius cannot use Souls, cannot change weapons, and cannot access the menu. In order to improve Julius’ stats, players need to collect Orbs from defeating Aria of Sorrow‘s bosses.

What’s the best way to farm Gold in Aria of Sorrow?
The best Gold farming exploit involves getting the Mimic Soul in the Chaotic Realm. With this Soul equipped, Soma will earn money bags equal to the amount of damage he receives.

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