Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is a freakin’ blowout! I’ve read my share of reviews on the game; there was some good, some bad but I was thoroughly impressed with the game and the aspects of it after playing through it myself. Sadly, this was another game that I didn’t largely want because of, what I felt was blasphemous filth, regarding the Belmont family but the gameplay was mind-blowing; Simon was a little hard to get used to but it was an enjoyable experience playing with him as it was playing with the other two.
The levels were not so complex as they are “side-winding” like I swear I was in the Abandoned Mine and I must have walked around a million times before I actually found the secret(s) within the level. The boss fights are awesome and easy; they provided their own challenge. The Nightwatchman was a pain in the ass, he made the Necromancer look like Strawberry Shortcake, but the battle was still fun.
So while I was playing, I ran across a few things that really stuck out to me and I wanted to make mention of these things so as to not just prepare future players for this awesome game but to help them get more into the game. Having said that, here’s what I learned while playing Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate.
Pay attention to your map
This is one of the biggest pieces of advice I can give, and gamers would do well to heed it because if you’re looking for a secret or need a hint about something you’re missing, the missing pieces of the map will lead you there ten times out of ten. Look at your map and often; other reasons to look at your map is:
I. To see the total secrets that lie in the area; the worst thing you can do is to wander around trying to find a secret and you’ve not the special ability to get it thereby wasting precious gaming time.
II. Explore other exits that exists within an area; doing this will often lead you to secrets or access to secrets from those exits you’ve visited or are in at present.
Case in point!
Sometimes the map won’t always tell you exactly what you’re missing; sometimes you’ll have to take a chance and look down to see hidden areas like the hidden mine cart that leads to a secret ammo chest in the Abandoned Mine on Trevor’s run. Unmoot point: Pay attention to your map!
Abuse certain moves i.e. Chain barrier, chain shredder final
Remember when Gabriel used Chain Barrier, it was lethal and dealt enemies tons of damage especially those who were slow to react. The Chain Shredder is another good move to use because enemies often walked right into the attack which made it a lethal move. However, some moves will only become available after getting the Combat Cross like the Chained Grab; look to your skill page and memorize the moves because they will come in handy given that:
A. Enemies take more damage and you see firsthand which moves work against which enemies; this can be a problem with Simon because he doesn’t get a lot of combos to start with but still get good ones before his endgame.
B, The speed of the enemy makes a big difference because if you’re up against an enemy like the Electric Mermen then you’re better off using combos that don’t leave you open to attack.
C. Area attacks can thin enemy herds in minutes like the Tornado and the Spinning Chain; both are good at drawing enemies in or keeping them at a distance depending on your preference.
Abuse all of your moves and the ones you have at your disposal because those will open the door to more moves; you want that, trust me.
I had to learn this the hard way; don’t rush. Rushing will definitely make it so you spend more time on a level than you want to. Take your time and explore every inch of a level because there are times when you’ll be kicking yourself because you rushed to get somewhere you don’t belong yet; other reasons you shouldn’t rush is:
III. Eight times out of ten, you’ll miss out on an alternate route that you can get to right that moment instead of having to come back to it later on which works out to your advantage because the fewer secrets you have to find when you come back to that area, the better.
IV. Clues lie everywhere within a level whether you need them to complete a puzzle or need the scroll for info regarding their scenario.
Don’t rush getting through a level because you’ll discover more when you take your time and learn about the threats in the area such as those who took the life of those worthless Brotherhood of Light idiots!
Alucard’s Mist Form is a literal lifesaver, use it!
Alucard’s Mist Form is a great offensive and defensive ability because it not only takes life away from your opponent, but gives some of that life (about 25%) to you; it’s a great pick-me-up when you need life fast and the nearest health font is miles away. Alucard’s Mist Form can make practically any common enemy no more than a minor annoyance; what’s also great about this ability is:
D. While it takes life from your opponent and gives it to you, you don’t have to work as hard trying to destroy your enemies especially if they’re of a smaller stature which means they’re easier to kill or take more damage.
E. Bosses are not immune to the effects of the Alucard’s Mist Form, I used it on Dracula when I fought him and he took damage and I got to refill a bit of my health; the Daemon Lord is the only one who is immune to the effects of Al’s Mist Form.
Alucard’s Mist Form is a literal lifesaver; abuse it, it doesn’t say not to. Plus, you can control how much magic you burn using it if you need a quick life bar top-off.
Use Alucard’s Wolf’s Form in combat
Alucard’s Wolf Form can be used to access secret doors of the wolf likeness throughout his run in the game, but that is not the Wolf Form’s only ability. Alucard’s Wolf Form is a valuable asset in battle and it can also give Alucard a huge advantage in battle which:
V. Gives Alucard a slight attack boost (33%) which goes a long way in battle when you’re trying to quickly end that boss or deal enough damage to that boss to get some of your magic restored so you continue using your Wolf Form.
VI. If you use Alucard’s Wolf Form on enemies, you’ll often find that his Wolf Form is a power that you should not hesitate to abuse in battle.
Alucard’s Wolf Form is powerful and can make a lot of battles with tough enemies a breeze; the attack power increase is definitely welcomed especially against stronger enemies that Alucard encounters like the Gargoyles who can deal big damage in a small amount of time.
Simon’s abilities are not there for decoration
Simon gains command over abilities that make him a formidable force and while they might not increase Simon’s attack power or make him invincible, they’re handy in their own right especially Simon’s ability to power up a special weapon before unleashing it similar to his father, Trevor. Simon’s Spirit of Belnades ability shields him from danger or taking unnecessary damage. The Spirit of Schneider makes it so Simon’s enemies especially if they’re aerial in nature will be dead long before he will. But, Simon’s abilities are not there for decoration; you’ll want to use them at times when:
F. You’re trying to get the upper hand in battle and the Spirit of Belnades coupled with the powered up Oil Flasks can make Simon practically untouchable.
G. At all times; enemies can kill you over and over at the beginning so it helps to take advantage of whatever special ability Simon has at the moment whether it is the Spirit of Belnades or using the powered Axe to take out the zombies at a distance so as to keep them taking your health.
Simon’s abilities may not seem like much but they’re a great asset in the right battle situation; abuse his abilities and don’t stop trying to find alternate ways to use them like using the Spirit of Schneider combined with the axe to deal 2.5x normal damage to enemies. Simon’s abilities are not there for decoration; don’t ignore them.
There’s a way to get everything, just play and enjoy
As you explore, you’ll see more open spots and spaces on the map; don’t worry about this for now because you’ll get everything you need before each character’s endgame. The important thing(s) to keep in mind while playing is:
VII. Every character has an “ultimate” power that allows them to get items in previous stages. For example, once Simon gets the Combat Cross, he’ll be able to return to grip points in various areas of the castle and use the teleporter to return to those areas to 100% them. For Alucard, it’s his Demonic Wings which will allow him access to higher places within previous areas. Trevor, once he gains his Shadow Magic and the Improved Combat Cross, he’ll be able to 100% previous areas.
VIII. Immersing yourself into the gameplay will keep you from getting bored like reading up on your enemy and just enjoying the action.
Getting everything in a particular characters’ “game through” is definitely necessary because that extended life bar/ammo/magic will go to benefit the next character in line to be used. So enjoy the game and play it.
Don’t forget to make “notes” with Simon and Trevor
The map is a huge cacophony of rooms and riddles (given the outlay of the map of the given area) and sometimes it can be challenging to connect one secret to another. By connect, I mean one secret leading to another. This is often a problem I faced when I was running around with the father-son duo, Simon and Trevor when it came to maps of their area walkthroughs. Making a note on the map is necessary and definitely an overall big help, it’s something you should practice on account of:
H. A previously mentioned tip, secrets do not always “flock” together so getting to an area secret near another secret is sort of randomized so leaving a “note” will make all the difference.
I. I’ve witnessed some secrets not revealing themselves right away; this is more than enough reason to leave a note on the map in that particular spot. Ultimately, you need to know where you have to return to later on.
Don’t ever hesitate to leave a note on the map because most secrets will reveal themselves when you’re within their range, but there’ll always be that one or two that require that you’re within arm’s length of that particular secret in order for the map to acknowledge it.
Don’t hesitate to use Light Magic to heal yourself when fighting Dracula as Trevor, it won’t heal Dracula
A funny thing, Light Magic. The principle is that when you use Light Magic you’re instantly given back a percentage of your health when you’re using Trevor as is established early on. Trevor will have to use Light Magic to heal himself and counter Drac’s Chaos Magic. However, Light Magic, as I experimented with when I played, can not only heal you when you strike Drac, but can heal you even if he’s using his Void Sword. Take advantage of this you should; the reason:
IX. You don’t have to wait until Drac goes Chaos Magic to use Light Magic to heal yourself which give you a supremely powerful advantage.
X. Using Light Magic against Dracula while he’s using his Void Magic will not heal him, he’ll take damage and you get to keep the health you take from him. Win-win
I’m not saying abuse Light Magic against Drac when he’s using his Void Magic because you’ll still need Shadow Magic to counter his Void Magic, but what I am saying is that you have little to worry about when it comes to repercussions when using Light Magic to heal while he’s using his Void Magic because even after Drac does his Void Magic circular shockwave; you’ll still have Light Magic active which will cause the shockwave to pass over you but use Shadow Magic to counter thereafter.
Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate is a game of wide room areas filled with dangerous enemies but paying attention to the map will get you where you’re going quickly along with abusing certain moves of each character you’re using. Keeping your eyes open while you practice the “don’t rush” rule will ensure that you don’t miss anything that you can get right then.
Also, it pays to remember that Alucard’s Mist Form and Wolf Form are among the most powerful weapons in his arsenal; they’re battle ready. Enjoy the game and remember as well that Simon’s abilities are not there for decoration but worrying about getting everything immediately should not be a concern because there’ll be time for that before the character’s endgame level.
Don’t forget to make notes for Simon and Trevor when you’re traversing different areas because secrets are not always as apparent as they appear on the map and Light Magic, when used by Trevor, will heal you when you strike Drac while he’s using his Void Magic but don’t abuse this.
Do you have any questions regarding my post; if so, what are they and can I help you get those questions answered? Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you before the day is out. Thank you and Happy gaming.
R.J.’s Last Minute Tip
Use Alucard’s Mist Form even if you have very little magic left because a little health will go a long way; destroying enemies will give you back some magic.