Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (2005)

by Ji-yeong
6 minutes read


Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a pivotal entry in the series, marking a high point for handheld gaming with its rich narrative, innovative gameplay, and beautiful, gothic-inspired art. It captures the essence of Castlevania while pushing the boundaries of what is expected from a portable title.


Set in a sprawling castle filled with menacing foes and intricate puzzles, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow continues the tale of Soma Cruz, a young man burdened with the dark potential to become the new Dracula. Players must navigate through this dangerous world, mastering the art of the magic seal to defeat enemies and prevent a dire prophecy from coming to fruition.


“Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow” is a 2005 action-adventure game developed and published by Konami.

The story of “Dawn of Sorrow” continues from “Aria of Sorrow”. Dracula has been defeated, with his powers assumed by his reincarnation, Soma Cruz. With the help of his allies, Soma avoids becoming the new dark lord. However, a cult forms with the intention of bringing forth a new dark lord by killing Soma.

The year is 2036, one year after the events of “Aria of Sorrow”. Soma Cruz finds himself at the center of this mysterious cult’s plan to resurrect their evil lord and master, Dracula. In order to save himself and protect the lives of those he loves, Soma must infiltrate the enemy’s home base, a towering replica of Dracula’s castle teeming with monstrous creatures.

“Dawn of Sorrow” incorporates many features from earlier Castlevania games: the combination of elements from platform games and role-playing video games, the “Tactical Soul” system featured in “Aria of Sorrow”, and a dark, gothic atmosphere. The game introduces new gameplay elements, like the “Magic Seal” system, which requires the use of the DS stylus to draw a pattern to defeat powerful enemies. It also features a distinctive anime character design and a multiplayer mode, where two players compete for the fastest times on a pre-rendered level.

“Dawn of Sorrow” was commercially successful. It sold more than 15,000 units in its first week in Japan and 164,000 units in the United States during the three months after its initial release. The game received high scores from many video game publications and was considered one of the best games on the Nintendo DS for 2005. The game was re-released in Japan in June 2006, and later in North America during 2007 as part of the “Konami the Best” line.

“Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow” is a testament to the enduring appeal of the Castlevania series. With its engaging storyline, innovative gameplay mechanics, and atmospheric setting, it offers an immersive gaming experience that continues to captivate players even years after its initial release.


The game features a rich cast, including Soma Cruz as the hero, his friend Mina, and allies such as Julius Belmont. Antagonists include the enigmatic cult leader and various monsters and bosses that inhabit the castle.


Dawn of Sorrow introduces innovative DS features, such as the magic seal system, which requires players to draw symbols on the touchscreen to defeat bosses. The game also includes RPG elements, with a vast array of weapons, spells, and souls to collect and customize Soma’s abilities.


As a standout title in the Castlevania series, Dawn of Sorrow expertly blends action, adventure, and RPG elements to create a memorable experience. It remains a testament to the potential of the Nintendo DS as a platform for deep, immersive games.

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