Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night debuted its Castlevania-inspired stage-based Classic Mode last month, and if you were up to the task, there’s another challenge to face: 1986 Mode. It’s even stricter.
To unlock 1986 Mode, just start up Classic Mode and, while you’re still on the title menu, enter these button inputs: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, Square, Circle. You’ll see “1986 Mode” appear.
(If you aren’t playing Bloodstained on PlayStation, substitute Square for the left face button and swap Circle for the right face button. For instance, on Xbox, you’d end the code with the X and B buttons.)
From there, you can hit “Start Game” and you should see an “86” icon when you select your difficulty.
From what I’ve played, 1986 Mode is more of a control-restricting variant of Classic Mode than anything else – but it’s surprisingly cool in practice. It feels much more fitting. IGN was able to confirm some of the changes, most of which have to do with Miriam’s movement. She can’t backflip, slide, readjust her jump mid-air, or leap onto staircases. You’ll need to be precise with the whip, too.
The timing on this news is uncanny, as I just picked up the Castlevania Anniversary Collection on sale and started bouncing around the series this past weekend – so far I’ve made it through Castlevania and Super Castlevania IV, and I left off with Kid Dracula. I’ll admit: I’ve been save scumming like a maniac.
After I finish my full playthrough of the compilation, I’ll circle back to Bloodstained’s 1986 Mode once I’m (hopefully) in tip-top shape. It’s been a blast reliving these memories. Bury me with my Holy Water.