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Published September 4, 2018

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is one of the best Metroidvania games to ever exist and playing the game on Nightmare Mode has posed quite a few problems for even expert gamers such as myself. When I first played Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon on Nightmare Mode, I quickly realized that this was not going to be a simple re-run through the park; nightmare mode came with tougher enemies. So, the first thing I felt was necessary to do was to take into account my 3 characters’ strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve played this type of game on other difficulty modes before such as Castlevania I & III; beating these types of games on other difficulties has made me an expert in how to tackle these “problem areas” in the game and develop my own strategies geared toward the game.

The solutions I offer are twofold, one; I’ll be talking about the characters and how their independent strengths are going to keep you alive as well as themselves. The second, I’ll be discussing how the little things that you do in the game can make a big difference like getting the subweapons. Having said that, here is my characters and strategies for Nightmare Mode.

Gebel and Miriam are going to be the go to 80% of the time

First off and I want to make this clear, you will be leaning on Gebel and Miriam a majority of the time simply because they’re the “canyon jumpers” of the group. I cannot tell you how many times I thought I was going to be okay just jumping across a simple gap in the game when I fell completely through and died. So, my first piece of advice is this, if you think you’re not going to cross a simple gap or if the gap looks a little farther away than you can jump then switch to Miriam and have her clear the gap.

Feel free to do the same with Gebel, but Gebel’s true strength lies in his cape attack – most enemies and bosses take 2x normal damage when Gebel attacks at close range. I’ve used this on Bloodless when I fought her at the end of stage 6; Gebel’s attack does the most damage to her at close range. Use Miriam and her tri-daggers to hit Bloodless from the ground as a backup plan if you don’t have Gebel.

Gebel is right at home here; use him here

Alfred in water, W.D.S.D (What did Sypha do)

Alfred, as you well know, is an amazing alchemist and has control over every element including water but there’s a trick to it. Do you remember in Castlevania III when Sypha got a hold of her Freeze Book and used her Ice spell to freeze water; that’s exactly what Alfred can do. I’ve noticed that the water in the game does not flow in two directions, it usually only flows in one direction and that’s in the opposite direction.

Have Alfred do this…..

So, just have Alfred freeze the water then have either Miriam or himself hit it to shatter the “icy water”. This is a useful technique to use when you’re tired of getting attacked by the frogs in the water; Alfred can do the same thing to the lava on one of the levels; freeze then break it so its not a hazard.

On the water here, and you’re golden!

Don’t leave the level without the secret item

Each of the 8 levels have a secret item and 9 times out of 10, you’re going to be choosing who you give it to and why you should. I’m going to share with you a little strategy that I came up with; I’d give all the Heart secret items to Alfred since his HP total was lower than everyone else then when I got his life bar even with everyone else’s then I started giving it to someone else who needs like Gebel.

Don’t ever leave a level without the secret item because its going to only help you and if you’re doing this game on Ultimate Mode then you’ll appreciate the help. The secret items are a blessing and come through in a pinch when you need some life replenishment as well as a pick-me-up when your life is almost gone; explore whatever alternate path that’s open to you, but DON’T LEAVE THAT STAGE WITHOUT THAT SECRET ITEM!!!

You have your orders, check the screenshot

Your subweapons are power; use it and them!

Out of the 3 characters that you have with you on Nightmare Mode, one of them uses subweapons and the other uses spell scrolls. Overall, a particular strategy to always keep in mind is – your subweapons are powe!. Don’t be afraid to use them especially since Miriam’s tri-dagger subweapon can hit enemies above you and at a distance at that.

Subweapons are power, yours; use them!

If you have Alfred’s lightning bolt scroll then use its power to get rid of enemies far away; this way you can conserve your current character’s health as well as that of your comrades. Here’s a hint, if Alfred is dead and you’re face to face with the fire breathing Chimera with rider; Miriam’s axe weapon will take the duo out instantly. There’s always a Plan B when your A falls through; I always leave Alfred to freeze/shatter the fire breathing Chimera but I got Miriam as my B if my A – Alfred falls or dies.

Miriam for the win!

Alfred’s alchemical barrier is a lifesaver; abuse it!

Alfred’s fire shield, as I forgot most times, can be used on other characters when you switch characters after he’s activated it. Abusing Alfred’s alchemical barrier is going to save your life many a time in the game, but don’t make my mistake and forget that Alfred isn’t the only one who can take advantage of his fire barrier especially in levels where enemies are trying to land on you from above.

Keep in mind too that using Alfred’s alchemical barrier in conjunction with Miriam’s tri-daggers will make you unstoppable not to mention that you won’t have to worry about airborne threats. Also, using it on Gebel when he’s dealing with those ugly purple gargoyles, you won’t succumb to their green & black energy orbs. Never forget, Alfred’s fire shield, once activated and you switch characters, will provide extra protection which most characters need.

No level 8 on Nightmare Mode

This isn’t so much a tip as it is a warning, but apparently Nightmare Mode doesn’t have a Stage 8; the logic of course is that it stars Zangetsu who, unfortunately, turned to the dark side. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing because the way that Level 9 is structured, you’ll still get the same bang for your buck that you otherwise would if you were going to stage 8.

Stage 9 boss, Zangetsu – Demon Lord!

Stage 9 is challenging and if I do say so myself, the individual bosses that the characters have to fight on their lonesome is just terrific; the bosses are not hard at all. All it really takes to destroy them is a little ingenuity and critical thinking (both I’m a master of).

To some nth degree, you’ll be thankful that there isn’t a stage 8 especially if you’ve been feeling the heat from previous levels on Nightmare Mode; so it’s both good and bad. After you complete stage 7 on Nightmare Mode, you go straight to stage 9; so mind that while you’re traipsing about the game.


Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a great game that has caused a lot of gamers to ask questions and seek solutions regarding their gameplay while using the characters in the game. Miriam and Gebel will be your go to 80% of the time, gamers will be good as gold as long as they remember that Alfred is good in water and can freeze it as his female counterpart from Castlevania III.

There’s a secret item on each of the eight levels; getting the secret items is paramount to survival and so is using subweapons especially while using characters who have them. Alfred’s alchemical fire shield is a lifesaver in bad battle situations; don’t be afraid to use it then switch characters because the benefits of using it is absolute especially if it keeps your chosen character safe from falling enemies. Nightmare Mode has no stage 8 so it’s safe to say that gamers will still get their money’s worth of the game being sent straight to stage 9.

If you have any questions or comments on my post or if you see something in my post that catches your eye then please send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you and Happy gaming.


R.J’s Last Minute Tip

When you fight Zangetsu on stage 9, keep your distance from him after he finishes an attack because then you’ll be able to predict whether he’s going to launch another attack or if he’s going to do his scythe dash which is also easy to avoid; I’d use Miriam for that because her high jump ability makes avoiding Zangetsu a breeze.

Pretty sure he’s going to scythe dash thereafter






  1. Bill Bill

    Your explanation of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moonespecially in Nightmare mode is very detailed, and appreciated for the strategies you gave. I have heard about this but never played, and now I feel informed enough to buy it. Keep up the great reviews and help. Do you like this mode over others? Is it a bigger challenge?

    • Rodney McGill Rodney McGill

      I wasn’t a fan of Nightmare Mode before and/or when I was playing it but I slowly fell in love with it as I was playing it; it is challenging but it is also doable and you get extra lives like no other. 

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