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Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

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Title Screen

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
Publisher: Konami
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Released in JP: May 8, 2003
Released in US: May 6, 2003
Released in EU: May 9, 2003

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.

BugsIcon.png This game has a bugs page
DCIcon.png This game has a Data Crystal page

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is a Castlevania game that, shock, isn't about one of the Belmonts! Instead, we get some white-haired emo kid that happens to have the ability to absorb souls.


Read about notable bugs and errors in this game.

Unused Foreign Scripts

The script for the French and German versions of the game are still present in the US version. With that, there's also some unused graphics including (surprise) French and German versions of some of the status effects. The French script can be found starting from 000F916A in the ROM, and the German script can be found starting from 001075CA.

Unused Text


There're several values of money unit that got unused, probably because Aria of Sorrow directly copied several values from Harmony of Dissonance.


Text located at address 080F8080.


Text located at address 080F8088.


Text located at address 080F8098.


Text located at address 080F80A0.

Cagnazzo Soul

At the end of the Bullet (Red) Souls name/description blocks and prior to the respective Guardian (Blue) Souls name/description blocks, there is an unused entry for Cagnazzo's soul. This entry is independent of the one at offset 10 of the Guardian Souls table (when considering the Guardian Souls table as starting from Flying Armor = 0 rather than from the unused entry).

Annotation Address Region(s) EN/FR/DE Name Addresses EN/FR/DE Name EN Description Addresss EN Description FR Description Address FR Description DE Description Address DE Description
Unused Cagnazzo Entry (USA) Bullet/Guardian Souls (Names & Descriptions) 0x080F37B8 0x081026B0 0x08110688 Cagnazzo 0x080F58D4 Punches enemies. 0x0810450C Frappe ses ennemis. 0x08112B94 Versetzt Gegnern Schläge.
Unused Cagnazzo Entry (EUR) 0x080F37CC 0x081026C4 0x0811069C 0x080F58E8 0x08104520 0x08112BA8
Used Cagnazzo Entry (USA) Guardian Souls (Names & Descriptions) 0x080F3878 0x0810277C 0x08110750 0x080F5A88 0x081046BC Assène coups de poingaux ennemis. 0x08112D80
Used Cagnazzo Entry (EUR) 0x080F388C 0x08102790 0x08110764 0x080F5A9C 0x081046D0 0x08112D94

There is no other indication that Cagnazzo would have had a different soul or a Bullet rather than Guardian Soul in the text-focused immediate vicinity of these addresses other than its placement between the two sections, and the unused description and used description have identical or near-identical text and phrasing. However, the two French descriptions are phrased differently.

Unused Graphics

Various Objects

To do:
Break this sprite sheet into individual files and provide a meaningful description

Several unused graphics can be found inside the game's tiles, such as items, weapons, and a doll that was seemingly meant to have an attack and a hang-glider.

CastlevaniaAOS KonamiManWoman.gif
Sprites of Konami Man and his accomplice, Konami Lady. They are former Konami of Japan mascots and have made appearances in several of the company's games.

CVAoS-081CBE0C palette 08209AE0-00.png
A scrapped alternate version of red door, Harmony of Dissonance style. The red door itself is actually modified from Harmony of Dissonance. All Harmony of Dissonance palettes are intact.


A single frame of Alucard is included in the bell's graphics.

CVAoS-081CBE74 palette 08209F54-00.png
Here's the closest suitable palette for the single Alucard frame.

Save Room

To do:
If this is present in the final game it needs a proper rip without a watermark; otherwise belongs in the prerelease namespace.
Early Final
CV Aria GBA SaveRoomDifferences-1.png CV Aria GBA SaveRoomDifferences-2.png

There is a different version of the game's save room, possibly an early version that was later improved before the launch date.

(Source: Nintendo World Report)

Unused Key

To do:
Get a code that will work on hardware (e.g. GameShark).

Open Sesame? In Item list.

A Skull Key is present in the game, but is unused and has no effect. It's possible that there were going to be locked doors around the castle, as in Harmony of Dissonance, but the idea was scrapped, probably fairly early on. The Visual Boy Advance RAM code 020132AD will add the item to the inventory. Alternatively, using Debug warps from Debug mode menu #4531 listed below will bring this key into consumeable item list.

Chaos Listing

CastlevaniaAOS ChaosList.png CastlevaniaAOS ChaosProfile.png

Apparently the final boss, Chaos, has a listing in the game that was taken out before release. The different graphics for the boss in the listing show that it may have been early in development when it was removed. Add this Action Replay V3 cheat to add Chaos to the Enemy List: CF7FE189 33328B68.

While this entry remains unused in the base game, it was later shown in the Castlevania Advance Collection when accessing Aria of Sorrow's Encyclopedia.

Debug Menu

Castlevania AoS Debug000.png

You can access the debug menu with the GameShark code:

5F1A6135 63794818
  • Selecting "Start" makes the game begin like normal.
  • Selecting "Trade" brings up the file select screen for item trading mode.
  • Selecting "Staff Roll" starts up the credits sequence.


Castlevania AoS Debug025.png

If you select Exit, you get this menu, which lets you start a normal game from various locations.

  • 0.Entrance
    • Warp to the event that Soma is awake in the beginning, without any additional statements.
  • 1.Adoration Hall (Chapel)
    • Warp to the save room before the Manticore boss battle. From this point, Soma would be at level 99, with souls of Axe Armor, Black Panther, Skula and Valmanway sword, Dracula Tunic, Satan's ring equipped. Warping to any save room from debug menu "EXIT" will be considered a success save and the game can be interrupted by using "Sleep" option.
  • 2.Library (Study)
    • Warp to the save room before the first Yoko encounter and Great Armor boss battle.
  • 3.Dance Hall
    • Warp to the area next to the upper save room in Dance Hall.
  • 4.Harem (Inner Quarters)
    • Warp to the save room before the Head Hunter boss battle.
  • 5.Babylon (Floating Garden)
    • Warp to the room before Julius boss battle, with black door locked.
  • 6.Clock Tower
    • Warp to the save room before Death boss battle.
  • 7.Water Vein (Underground Reservoir)
    • Warp to the long room with Tritons, Gorgons and Skyfish near the event room that Yoko was attacked by Graham.
  • 8.Arena
    • Warp to the elevator room before Balore boss battle.
  • 9.Saijo-Kai (Top Floor)
    • Warp to the save room in Top Floor.
  • Chaos Start
    • Warp to the save point at the start of Chaotic Realm. The transport point is bare-bone without the usual transparent effect, as Julius can still be fought if you turn back to Floating Garden.
  • Chaos Boss
    • Warp to the Chaos boss battle directly, with a slight difference: Player can pause or open map when Chaos is sealing Soma's soul powers.
  • Boss Rush 1P
    • Warp to the last room in the Boss Rush mode area directly.
  • Boss Rush 2P
    • Warp to the save data choosing menu when player choose the bonus Boss Rush Mode from title screen.
  • VS Legion
    • Warp to the room directly before Legion Boss battle.
  • VS Balore
    • Warp to the room with Giant Bat soul candle, and Balore is considered to be still alive and can be fought.
  • VS Collector
    • Warp to the left room directly before Collector (Head Hunter) boss battle.


Castlevania AoS Debug001.png

Selecting 1967 brings up a menu, which allows for testing objects and enemies.


Castlevania AoS Debug003.png
Selecting ENEMY gives you a screen where you can select an enemy using Left and Right on the D-Pad. Then, pressing A or B loads a room from the game with the desired enemy placed inside it; A for one enemy and B for maximum available enemies.

In this mode, player must use Start + A combo in order to access statement menu. Select button doesn't work.

Castlevania AoS Debug004.png
You can select any enemy in the game, even the final boss, which behaves strangely in a wide room. When Soma and enemies are in place, you can push L + R combo to access enemy select menu in order to choose other enemies.

The area used in this mode is composed by a series of isolated rooms, similar to the boss rush arena but much shorter, with a corrupted version of Head Hunter boss room not seen in the actual game. If players get into this area by using warp glitch, the total map rate would be increased.


Selecting SDTEST opens up a sound test menu, but there is only a blank white screen, so it's hard to use. A will play a song/sound effect, B will stop all sounds playing, and the D-Pad will change the selection.


Castlevania AoS Debug006.png

Selecting START immediately spawns you here, at level 99, equipped with the Axe Armor, Black Panther, and Skula souls, armed with the Claihm Solais, and wearing Dracula's Tunic and Satan's Ring. Most likely used for testing the final boss in its proper environment.


Castlevania AoS Debug002.png

Selecting OBJTEST brings up this sprite of Julius Belmont, which loops through his idle animation. Pressing Down on the D-Pad allows you to watch his next animations.


Castlevania AoS Debug010.png

Selecting 2229 immediately spawns you in this room in the Clock Tower, right into a hazard. Pressing Start will just make the game stop, with some objects still moving when pausing (Much like Maxim mode in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance). Select button doesn't work.

  • Ironically, in final version's Julius mode the game cannot be paused by pressing Start directly during action.


Castlevania AoS Debug011.png

Selecting 2739 brings up another graphics testing menu. The functions that have text "PUSH SELECT + B TO EXIT." written on-screen can be quit by using said command.


Castlevania AoS Debug012.png
Yet another menu inside a menu.

Castlevania AoS Debug013.png
DISP TEST brings up most of the exterior background of the Clock Tower, which can be panned around with the D-Pad.

Castlevania AoS Debug014.png
LINK TEST puts you, as a doll version of the protagonist (which is used by a Bullet soul), in a warp room that you cannot exit. You can still move about, and even jump, but not much else. Pressing the Start button will just pause the animation of the doll and his sprite. Select button doesn't work.

Castlevania AoS Debug015.png
VRAM HIT TEST puts you in the very first room in the game, at the top, as a bat that can somewhat move around freely. However, another copy of the bat lags behind, and the camera struggles to look at both sprites at once. Both Start and Select buttons don't work. Going too far from the start point, or colliding with another object, will crash the game.


Castlevania AoS Debug017.png

This just shows a graphic of a bat.


Castlevania AoS Debug018.png
This menu has only two options.

Castlevania AoS Debug019.png
SIO TEST 0 spawns the player here, with a broken HUD. The player can't get out of the room, Start button will just make the game stop and can't access statement menu (aka 2229). Select button doesn't work.

Strangely, pushing SELECT + B combo gives a blank white screen, making it hard to check functions and forcing the player to reset.

Castlevania AoS Debug020.png
SIO TEST 1, on the other hand, brings up a screen with ASCII art Japanese characters reading "transmission", and a menu for linking two games together via a GBA Link Cable.


Castlevania AoS Debug021.png

This menu gives you the ROM revision and a list of places to warp to. You'll start at level 45, with all weapons, equipments and consumables upon warping, and automatically obtain all souls... Or so you'd thought it might be.

Japan US
CastlevaniaAoS-DebugAllSoulJP.png CastlevaniaAoS-DebugAllSoulsEN.png

For some reason, the "all souls obtained" debug flag did not apply to Japanese version correctly, so you only warp in the destined position with the equipped souls preset in such version - Lightning Doll and Black Panther.

  • EVENT02:GRA :
    • Warp to the room before the first Graham encounter room in Castle Corridor.
    • Warp to the room near the save point in Study, before the first Yoko encounter room.
  • EVENT04:JB :
    • Warp to the room inside the "Loading" area between Castle corridor and Dance Hall, before the first Julius encounter room.
    • Warp to the room inside the "Loading" area between Floating Garden and Clock Tower, before the second Graham encounter room.
    • Warp to the room with gears in Clock Tower, before The second Yoko encounter room.
    • Warp to the room in Underground Reservoir before the event that Yoko was attacked by Graham.
    • Warp to the room with Giant Bat soul candle in The Arena, before the encounter that Julius found his lost memory. Balore considered to be defeated at this point.
    • Warp to the room with an armored soldier holding sword in background, before the great stairway in Top Floor.
    • Warp to the room before Julius battle in Floating Garden with black door already removed.
    • Warp to the room before Chaos battle.
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player beat Graham by not equipping the corresponding souls during battle.
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player beat Chaos, begins from castle crumble.
    • Warp to the Great Armor boss room and directly in battle, before the double jump Malphas soul and Hammer encounter.
    • Warp to the room next to Castle Corridor entrance, with Yoko lying on the ground upon player walks to the entrance room.
    • Warp to the Julius mode ending scene.
    • Warp to the Graham battle room directly, Soma will be at Level 99, with Bastard Swords, Casual Clothes, and the souls of Flame Demon, Giant Bat and Succubus automatically equipped.
    • Warp to the ending scene if the player lost Chaos battle.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

Japan US Europe
Castlevania - Akatsuki no Minuet (Japan) 000 title.png Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (USA).png CastlevaniaAoS(E)Title.png

Aside from usual term naming differences, the position and layout of the big "Castlevania" text on the title screen is also slightly different. The Trademark is labeled differently in the European version, as the "TM" trademark symbol is moved from the "Aria of Sorrow" text to the "Castlevania" text, and the "®" registered trademark symbol at the right of "Castlevania" text is removed.

Revision Differences

Castlevania Advance Collection

Original Advance Collection
CastlevaniaAoS(E)Title.png CastlevaniaAoS-CollectionTtile.png
  • The "Soul Trade" function is disabled in the Advance Collection version.
Original Advance Collection
Castlevania - Aria of Sorrow (U) 001.png CastlevaniaAoS-Collection 002.png
  • The original soft reset function (Press A+B+SELECT+START at the same time) and original key config screen are also disabled in favor for the collection's own soft reset/config functions.
  • The "Licensed by Nintendo" black-white screen is disabled, but still present in the ROM.