Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is an action role-playing game developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. It was directed and produced by Toru Hagihara, with Koji Igarashi acting as assistant director. It is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, taking place four years later. It features Dracula's dhampir son Alucard (returning from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse) as the protagonist, rising from his slumber to explore Dracula's castle which resurfaced after Richter Belmont vanished. Its design marks a break from previous entries in the series, re-introducing the exploration, nonlinear level design, and role-playing elements first experimented with in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.Symphony of the Night initially sold poorly. However, it gradually gained sales through word-of-mouth and became a sleeper hit, developing a cult following and selling over 700,000 units in the United States and Japan. The game garnered widespread acclaim, often cited by critics as one of the best video games of all time, praising its gameplay innovations, atmosphere, visuals and soundtrack. It is also considered a pioneer of the Metroidvania genre (alongside Super Metroid), inspiring numerous exploration-based action-adventure games. Symphony of the Night would have a lasting impact on the Castlevania series, with numerous subsequent mainline entries adopting its gameplay model.

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