Prelude to the
Dark Abyss
House of
Sacred Remains
Mysteries Lab
Dark Palace
of Waterfalls
Garden Forgotten
By Time
Pagoda of the Misty Moon

Opening Sequence
As you start up Castlevania: Lament of Innocence for the first time, view and listen to the opening text; or you can refer to the manual to gain a more detailed idea of the back story going into the game's events.  When the main title appears, go into the Options screen, if you wish, to change spoken language (subtitles in English appear either way).  You can also change the Key Configuration, Sound Settings, or toggle the vibration on or off.  Once your Options are set up the way you like them, select "New Game" and jump into the story for yourself.

After selecting a name for your saved game, sit back to watch the opening movie.  Leon enters the castle grounds and meets his first ally, an old man named Rinaldo, who runs a shop just outside the castle.  From him, Leon gains the whip that he uses throughout the game, which means that you don't have to face any of the castle's dangers unarmed.  You can also gain some useful information about Leon, Rinaldo, and the castle itself here, so don't skip the sequence!

As the FMV ends, Leon finds himself just outside Rinaldo's shop.  As you currently have no gold, there is no reason to return inside for now.  Instead, run forward and left.  At the edge of this clearing, you find a trail that continues on toward the castle.  As you move from one screen to the next, continue following the trail to the castle's drawbridge, which opens to welcome the hunter in a very brief cutscene.  Now the Prelude truly begins.

As you enter the large entrance hall, use your whip to destroy the large candles located in the room in order to collect your first few Hearts.  You don't need them yet, but it's never too early to start building them up.  From this point on, you should collect the Hearts from any other candle stand that you pass by.  Then, run through the door that was located to Leon's right as he entered the castle.  This is the eastern wall if you look at your map screen.

This first hallway contains two doors -- one to the right, and one at the end of the hall.  The one as the end is closed off for now -- you are only here at the moment for one thing, the Save Room located to the right of the hall.  Enter and save your progress thus far.  Now head back to the entrance room, and enter the doorway along the west wall opposite you.  Once again, you enter a hallway with a door to the right and one straight ahead.  This time it is the right-hand door that is blocked off.  Open the door at the end of the hallway to begin the game's brief tutorial section.  Whether you feel that you need the hinds and practice, or not, there are valuable items to be found within.  Besides, you have no choice -- you need to visit the Tutorial in order to unlock the eastern hallway.
As you move through each room of the Tutorial, screens pop up to teach you tips on navigating through the castle, and you get the chance to practice these skills for yourself.  In this first room you learn how to double-jump.  First run straight ahead and collect your first special item -- the Marker Stone 1.  This item allows you to place a dot on your map screen, so you can mark a special location to revisit it at another time, or to remember it for other reasons.  The mark left by this particular stone is in red.  After you pick up the stone, move to the right of the room's entrance, leap onto the stone pedestal, and execute a double-jump up to the walkway at the top of the room.  Run along the walkway to collect a Potion, then head through the door to the next room.

This next area teaches you how to hook your whip onto a railing, or similar feature, and use it to swing yourself up.  Collect the Serum from the center of the room, then move to the base of the balcony across from the entrance.  Double-jump and use your whip to swing up onto the balcony to collect the Marker Stone 2.  You can then repeat the process on the balcony to the right of the entryway in order to move on to the next Tutorial section.

Here you get your first taste of combat.. This third Tutorial room holds three Skeletons, which you must defeat in order to exit the room.  This is not a difficult fight, so you have the chance to get the hang of fighting without any real danger.  Keep to the outside of the group of Skeletons and attack them with quick attacks and combos.  Use the advantage of your longer whip, and don't let them get close enough to attack Leon in return.  The Skeletons fall in short order, at which point you receive the Quick Step technique for use in future fights.  Take the time to practice it a few times, if you like, outside combat.  Then go through the door along the right-hand (eastern) wall.

This room teaches you one of the tricker maneuvers in navigating the castle -- swinging from one pole to the next, which requires some sense of timing.  Before you begin to swing, jump down into the pit, in the center of the room, where you can collect an Uncurse Potion that is located on a stone block.  Use the block to jump back up to your starting position.  Stand at the edge of the pit, jump forward, and as you reach the height of your (single) jump, press square to latch onto the overhead pole with your whip.  This flips Leon up and over the pole, and toward a second bar.  As Leon reaches the top of this flip and starts to descend, press square again to latch onto the second pole, which will in turn flip Leon over it, and safely lands him on the other side of the pit.  If you fall, return to the start via the stone block and try it again.  Pay close attention to the timing.  Once you've navigated Leon to the other side of the room, collect the Magical Ticket waiting there, then head through the door.

This final Tutorial room holds a graduation ext of a sort.  Here you face one more fight, this time against an enemy that takes no damage from normal attacks, the Golden Knight.  First head to the center of the room, taking care to avoid the Knight's attacks in the process, and grab the Svarog Statue.  This is your first relic, and the key to defeating this enemy.  To activate the relic, press square as you guard, and do the same if you wish to deactivate it.  This particular relic causes flames to follow Leon as he moves around, which in turn can damage the Knight as he walks into them.  Of course, you need to build up MP in order to use the relic in the first place.  When the Knight begins to glow purple, go into a guard stance.  AS the foe strikes Leon's guard with his special attack, Leon gains a few MP, which can then power the relic.  As this is a solo enemy (it isn't too deadly), wait until you build up your full MP bar before activating the relic, then run circles around the Knight.  As he moves to follow Leon, he steps into the flames, damaging him until he dies.  Head through the final doorway, in order to return to the original hallway, and end your Tutorial.
Into the Castle
With the Tutorial out of the way, you can finally enter the main body of the castle and really begin your quest.  Head back into the entrance hall (check your Map Screen if you've gotten disoriented in the Tutorial rooms) and return to the eastern hallway to save your progress once more.  After you save, you can continue on through the doorway at the end of the hall.  Here a room with five glowing platforms greets you.  These platforms aare used to access the five different sections of the castle, at the end of each of which a boss fight occurs.  The walkthough from this point on does not need to be taken in a strick order.  So, if you get stuck in one area, move on to another for a while.

Before you head onto the platforms, go to the southwest corner of the room (along the wall to your right as you enter) in order to grab the Marker Stone 3.  You may notice a doorway along the southern wall -- although you can't go very far along this path yet, go ahead through the doorway, down the long winding starwell, and through the door at the bottom.  In the center of this B1 room, you can find a High Potion, and item that may come in handy if you become wounded.  To Leon's left, upon entering, is a locked doorway that you cannot enter until the endgame.  To the right is another Save Room.  Save your game if you wish, then return to the platform room.

As you reach the top of the stairs, and re-enter the room, head up the small staircase to the platforms.  Run straight ahead to collect the shining item on the center one.  This is Map 1, which maps out much of the House of Sacred Remains -- not all of the rooms appear on the map automatically, and you need to explore some blindly.  But, it does give you a head start in finding your way around.  The House of Sacred Remains is a good beginning area, and it should be your first destination.  As Leon collects the map, he automatically continues onto the center platform, and he immediately rises to the first main area.
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