Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, released in Japan as Castlevania: Akatsuki no Minuet (キャッスルヴァニア ～暁月の円舞曲～?), is an action-adventure game developed and published by Konami for the Game Boy Advance. It is part of Konami's Castlevania video game series, and the third installment of the series on the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in North America on May 6, 2003 and released in Japan on May 8, 2003. Although Aria of Sorrow sold poorly in Japan, selling only 27,000 units nearly one month after its release, it was commercially successful in the United States, with more than 158,000 units sold three months following its release.
Aria of Sorrow is set in the year 2035, where Dracula has long been sealed away from a battle in 1999. His powers are to be passed on to his reincarnation. The plot follows the journey of Soma Cruz, a teenager granted occult power as a result being a potential vessel of Dracula's reincarnation as he battles dark figures who wish to inherit the undead lord's power.
Aria of Sorrow takes many elements from other Castlevania games, including Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, which was in production at the same time as Aria of Sorrow. The game incorporates the combination of elements from platform games and role-playing video games that were initially utilized in the best-selling Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Aria of Sorrow introduces several new features to the series, such as the "Tactical Soul" system and a futuristic storyline, a contrast to the medieval setting of many other Castlevania games. Aria of Sorrow received praise from several video game publications, with many considering it one of the best games in the Castlevania series since Symphony of the Night.
Konami released a sequel to Aria of Sorrow, titled Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, on August 25, 2005 in Japan. It incorporates many elements from its predecessor, including the "Tactical Soul" system featured in Aria of Sorrow. Aria of Sorrow was also re-released as part of Konami's "Konami the Best" line on November 3, 2005 in Japan, and in a dual pack with Harmony of Dissonance, titled the Castlevania Double Pack, in North America on January 11, 2006.