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The One Rule Every Bloodstained Boss Had To Follow

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to the 1997 PlayStation classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night offers an old-school, Metroidvania experience. This comes as no surprise, as former Castlevania series producer Koji Igarashi helmed the project. Bloodstained is the first title created by Artplay, the studio he founded following his departure from Konami. 


Igarashi put his considerable experience to good use during Bloodstained's development cycle. In a recent interview with Gamasutra, he shared some design philosophies that guided the game's creation. Some were straightforward, such as including gothic horror elements and his focus on delivering a game system that would feel familiar to returning players. Others were more unusual, including a rigid policy pertaining to the game's bosses.

"I wouldn't call it a design guideline but Bloodstained does follow a strict rule that I always make the team [adhere] to," said Igarashi. "That is...the developer who creates the boss must beat their own boss without taking a hit and only using a dagger!"

For Igarashi, this rule is all about fairness and replayability. "We make sure that it's possible to beat a boss without taking a hit regardless of the difficulty and by doing so, we reduce the number of unfair enemy attacks," he continued. "Removing the "unfairness" allows players to think about what they could have done to avoid a Game Over. It makes them want to challenge the boss again using a different method. It's a golden rule we follow in our games."


This method proved a success for Bloodstained, which earned high marks from critics following its release. PC Gamer complimented the game's tough but satisfying boss fights. Game Informer expressed a similar sentiment, highlighting the need to try out different builds and skill combinations to overcome Bloodstained's big bads.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is available now for Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.