Every one of Koji Igarashi's Castlevania efforts has its fair share of secrets, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is no exception. The game is packed with hidden rooms and special items, and the coolest of them all is the 8-Bit Nightmare – an entire level which pays tribute to the classic Castlevania games of old.
The level is fairly linear and uses a cool NES-themed art style (complete with fitting music to match), but finding it is pretty tricky unless you know exactly where to look. That's where we come in.
To find the 8-Bit Nightmare stage, you first need to have access to the Hall of Termination section of the castle. You hit this point around half-way through the game, so you won't be able to find the hidden level right from the beginning.
Once you've explored the Hall of Termination, head to the section's teleportation room – we've highlighted it on the map below.
Exit the teleportation room and attack the ceiling of the room you enter. You can use any weapon for this, even a sword which has no 'arcing' attack. You'll see the ceiling crack and then eventually break completely, granting you access via your double-jump move.
The room you enter initially is packed with treasure, and if you somehow broke in by accident and weren't aware of it, you might assume that's all there is to find – but this is classic Igarashi level design.
He's hidden a room within a hidden room, you see. Head to the left of the room and attack the wall, and you'll gain access to a second secret location.
Inside, there's a painting of Igarashi himself (what a card he is!) as well as a bookcase. Push up next to this and you'll enter the 8-Bit Nightmare. A word of warning – this level is insanely hard, even when you're 50 percent of the way through the game. It's perhaps wise to wait until you've got better gear and have levelled up a little more before tackling it for real.
As for the level itself, it's quite short and there are no items (outside of three shards) to collect. However, the end-of-level boss gives you the 8-Bit Nightmare material once defeated, which can be used to upgrade your weapons, so it's worth returning to this area if you want to max your equipment out.