Castlevania: Rondo of Blood[a] is a platform-adventure video game developed by Konami for the PC Engine's Super CD-ROM² System directed by Toru Hagihara. It is set in the fictional universe of the Castlevania series, where the protagonist Richter Belmont goes to save his lover Annette, who was abducted by Dracula. It was released in Japan on October 29, 1993. A direct sequel to it, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, was released in 1997. The game was remade for the Super Nintendo as Castlevania: Dracula X, and the PlayStation Portable as Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. In 2008, the original game was released for the Wii's Virtual Console service in Japan and for the North American and PAL regions in 2010.
The objective is to guide the primary player character Richter Belmont through nine stages, with four alternate routes, as he searches for his kidnapped beloved Annette and ultimately confronts Dracula in his castle. Richter makes use of a whip as his main weapon and one of six sub-weapons: an axe, a dagger, holy water, a grimoire, a pocket watch, and a cross. While exploring the castle, Richter can rescue four maidens, including his distant relative Maria Renard who then becomes a playable character. She attacks using her doves and one of six sub-weapons: a white tiger kitten, dragon whelp, baby phoenix, turtle, egg or musical notes. She is more agile, can do a double jump, and can do twice the amount of damage that Richter does in each normal attack because the doves she shoots out return to her and therefore can do a second hit of damage on the way back, but she takes much more damage each time she is hit than Richter does when he is hit.
Rondo of Blood incorporates elements from the earlier Castlevania games which typically featured linear gameplay and a member of the Belmont clan as the protagonist, and the later entries which emphasized untimed exploration of the environment. Rondo of Blood makes use of untimed stages with a clear beginning, but more than one ending to some levels; this then affects the subsequent environment, monsters, and boss monster that the player character encounters at the end of the level. Items such as money, hearts, and food can be found scattered throughout the areas. Rondo of Blood also features the Item Crash ability reused in subsequent Castlevania titles, which allows a sub-weapon to be used in a super attack. Its direct sequel, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, reuses many of the monsters.