The Blood Stained Sanctuary, known as the Sacred Grounds in the Aeon Genesis translation (聖域 Seiiki), is a hidden stage required to pass in order to get the game's final ending. If the player has acquired the Booster v2.0 and the Iron Bond, they can enter the Prefab Building after defeating the Undead Core and then go down the open passageway to access the area.
The first part of the Blood Stained Sanctuary requires Quote to travel down six steps filled with death spikes, then cross under a protruding column of blocks to reach a higher ledge without any spikes. A couple of weapon energy capsules sit on smaller ledges and can also be found as the player makes their descent down a long vertical passageway. Above a row of red spikes will be a Life Capsule, and at the end of the row is the door to the next section. The player encounters Curly Brace next to the door and is required to take her in order to proceed. If Quote tries to exit without taking Curly, he will re-appear at the door after a brief disappearance.
B2 is a wide and open area that mostly involves Quote to travel to the right in order to reach the end. Multiple blocks fall from the ceiling and do a small bounce when they hit the floor before going through the ground. The blocks do 10 damage to Quote on contact.
Along with the descending blocks, multiple Butes enter from either side of the screen and swarm around Quote. They do 5 damage to him if touched, and any defeated Butes will be replaced with new ones.
The player exits this area by falling through the opening at the end of the room.
This is the longest of the three rooms in terms of length. Most of it is separated into smaller sections that are barricaded by Deletes.
Near the end of B3 is a missile ammunition upgrade, and following that is an enclosed area where Quote and Curly fight the Heavy Press. After defeating it, it crashes to the ground and creates a hole that Quote can fall through.
Corridor is the room which can be accessed from Passage? after the Heavy Press falls through four rows of blocks and destroys them, opening the path to the door on the bottom right. In it, a ghost of a puppy can be found, which pleads Quote to kill Ballos because that is the only way Misery can be freed. After that, the player can proceed to the Seal Chamber.
The Seal Chamber is the final room in Cave Story, and houses the true final boss, Ballos. The floor of the chamber is littered with bones, likely the people Ballos murdered in his fiery rampage, possible along with the warriors who attempted to fight him in the past. During the battle, Ballos repeatedly slams the ground, sending shockwaves of these bones at Quote. Clearing the four-phase fight with Ballos within this chamber is the only way to achieve the final ending.
- Bute - Angel-like creatures that mostly appear in groups. Some stay in one place and shoot arrows, while others fly or wield swords and run on the ground.
- Mesa - Larger angel-like creatures that stay in one place and throw a block that moves in an arc.
- Rolling - Typically found in pairs, they move along the edge of the screen in a continuous direction.
- Delete - Block farther access into the Blood Stained Sanctuary. After taking a certain amount of damage, they count down from 5. When the timer is finished, they explode.
- Green Devil - Flying creatures only seen during the second phase and third phase of the Ballos fight.
When the player progresses through the Blood Stained Sanctuary for the first time after loading from their last save, the game automatically pauses to display narration at the top of the screen. This narration tells the story of Ballos as well as his connection with the Demon Crown.
- Did you know that the woman named Jenka had a younger brother? His name was Ballos. And like his sister he possessed magical powers that no man had.
- He led and protected the people with his magical power. They loved and trusted him,
- Even more than their own king.
- Jealous of Ballos, the resentful king caught and imprisoned him. His punishment was severe and cruel. Humans truly are terrible creatures...
- Ballos was driven into a state of pure, uncontrollable rage by the punishment. Weakened by the torture, he was helpless to contain the fury. The king and kingdom were swallowed by Ballos' wild magical force. The life he loved so dearly was turned into ruins in a single night...
- ...Shrouded only by fiery hot ashes.
- Driven insane by his punishment, Ballos was confined to the floating island in the sky by his sister, Jenka. That was all she could do. For Jenka, killing her own younger brother would be impossible.
- Jenka's witch daughter, Misery, is to blame for the Demon Crown... She forced Ballos to create it. Because of this offense, she was cursed by the Crown, compelled to obey whoever possessed it. The curse can be lifted if the Demon Crown is destroyed.
- The Demon Crown will be restored anew an infinite number of times so long as Ballos' heart still beats...
- That is the supreme magical power of his eternally enraged soul. It is intrinsically imbued into his evil creation, the Demon Crown.
In the PC version of Cave Story, the Blood Stained Sanctuary is the only area where the 290 Counter comes into play. At the start of the area, the game indicates the activation of the item before dropping all weapons to level 1. The timer starts as soon as Quote enters the Blood Stained Sanctuary. It keeps track of time when the player has control of Quote, but pauses during a cutscene or during any narration that occurs when the player goes through the Blood Stained Sanctuary for the first time after loading a game.
Upon defeating Ballos's final form, the timer stops automatically and proceeds to the game's final ending. The player's fastest time is displayed on the title screen for the PC freeware the next time they load the game.
Alternate title screens
The title screen changes based on the player's fastest completion of the Blood Stained Sanctuary. If beaten within a certain range, the character selector and music will change accordingly.
|5–6 minutes||Curly Brace||Running Hell|
|4–5 minutes||Toroko||Toroko's Theme|
|3 minutes and under||Sue Sakamoto||Safety|
- There is a sign found at the beginning of the Blood Stained Sanctuary that says, "Welcome to Hell!"
- The chest in room B3 gives the player a Missile Launcher or add ammunition to their existing one.
- If the player carries the Super Missile Launcher, they will receive a 24 maximum missiles upgrade.
- If the player carries the regular Missile Launcher, they will receive a 32 maximum missiles upgrade.
- If the player carries no Missile Launcher, they will obtain a loaded standard Missile Launcher with a 100 missile capacity.
- In the room accessed by defeating Heavy Press, the top-right door leads to the Statue Chamber, a room that shows statues of all the previous Demon Crown owners, with the Doctor being the current one. The statues can be destroyed and broken into the shapes of Quote, Curly, Toroko and King. Checking these statues in Cave Story 3D will increase the players maximum HP by 1 point each
- Please kill my master. That is the only way Misery can be freed... ...The only way to avoid a repetition of this tragedy. - Ghost Puppy in Corridor
|Blood Stained Sanctuary|
|General||Blood Stained Sanctuary • Statues • Curly Brace • Puppy|
|Enemies||Bute • Mesa • Rolling • Delete • Green Devil|
|Bosses||Heavy Press • Ballos|
|Locations of Cave Story|
|World||Island • Surface|
|Within the island||First Cave • Mimiga Village • Egg Corridor • Bushlands • Sand Zone • Labyrinth • Waterway • Egg Corridor? • Outer Wall • Plantation • Inner Wall • Last Cave • Balcony • Blood Stained Sanctuary • Wind Fortress|