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Castlevania
Deadseries.png
Logo of the Castlevania series.
Genre(s) Action-adventure game
Developer(s) Konami
First release Castlevania
September 26, 1986
Latest release Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth
October 27, 2009
Official website Konami Tokyo
Konami USA

Castlevania is a video game series created and developed by Konami. The series debuted in Japan on September 26, 1986, with the release of Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ Akumajō Dorakyura?, Devil's Castle Dracula)[1] for the Family Computer Disk System (FDS), followed by an alternate version for the MSX 2 platform on October 30. Although the MSX 2 port (localized in Europe and Brazil as Vampire Killer) was released first outside of Japan, the series did not receive wide attention outside of Japan until the FDS version was ported to cartridge format for the Nintendo Entertainment System and localized for North American and European releases of Castlevania in 1987.[citation needed] The series soon became one of Konami's flagship series.[citation needed]

The Castlevania titles have been released on various platforms, from early systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System to modern consoles. It has also been released for Pocket PCs and mobile phones.[2][3]

Contents

Games

Screenshot of Castlevania on the NES.

The very first console title, Castlevania, released in 1986 by Konami, was a typical platform game in which the player takes the role of Simon Belmont, a descendant of the Belmont clan, a family of vampire hunters. He travels to Dracula's demonic castle, Castlevania, and fights his way through, eventually destroying Dracula himself. Belmont's main weapon is the Vampire Killer whip, while the secondary weapons are powered by Hearts, found by whipping candles. Common secondary weapons include a dagger, holy water or an axe.

Castlevania II features several exclusive elements, including a world map the player was free to explore and revisit. The player could also purchase supplies, equipment and weapon upgrades in several different towns. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, released in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, while having more in common with the original NES Castlevania, included new features such as alternate paths with different stages and multiple playable characters.

A major turning point in the gameplay mechanics of the series was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, released in 1997 for the Sony Playstation. Symphony of the Night introduced a new style of gameplay, termed "MetroidVania" or "Castleroid" due to its similarities with the side-scrolling games of the Metroid series. It also used console RPG elements, such as collectible weapons, armor and other items. Some subsequent Castlevania games have since followed this.

Ayami Kojima's art was introduced since Symphony of the Night, and has been featured in a few other titles. Years later, the first two Nintendo DS Castlevania returned to the anime style used in the original Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, among other titles, in hopes of broadening the player demographic by not discouraging slightly younger Nintendo DS owners to be put off by Kojima's art.[4] Dawn of Sorrow was the first game to do this, and the second DS release Portrait of Ruin followed with the same style.[5]

The first games in the series to employ 3D graphics were Castlevania and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness for the Nintendo 64.

Koji Igarashi has stated that if The Dracula X Chronicles does well, the series may return to the more traditional style of the original games.[6]

The success of the Castlevania series has resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 7 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Most Games in an Action Adventure Series", "Largest Number of Platforms for One Series", and "Longest Castlevania Title" for the 1999 release Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.[citation needed]

Common elements

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Gameplay

The earliest games borrowed source material from motifs in iconic horror cinema and other monsters from the Universal Horror and Hammer era of films. Examples include werewolves, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, Medusa, The Grim Reaper and Dracula himself.[citation needed] The earlier games paid homage to these films. The staff roll of the original Castlevania mentioned famous movie actors such as "Christopher Bee" (sic). Later games also include include many monsters from mythological sources.[citation needed]

Plot

Most of the Castlevania video game franchise has been about the vampire hunting family of the Belmonts and Dracula. Almost every hundred years, Dracula is resurrected and the Belmonts must defeat him.

Though most games in the series involve the Belmonts or their descendants, some protagonists, such as Soma Cruz, are completely unrelated.

The series is loosely based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The novel is included in the official timeline of the series, with Castlevania: Bloodlines taking place shortly afterwards.[7] The connection even goes so far as to claim that Quincy Morris, a character from the novel, is in fact a Belmont descendant.

The most iconic weapons of the series is the Vampire Killer whip.[citation needed] It is the legendary weapon used by the Belmonts in the fights against Count Dracula, although it is sometimes passed through other families as well. Other names and terms used for it are the "Mystic Whip," and the "Whip of Alchemy." The story of its origin is shown in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, where it is created by Rinaldo Gandolfi for Leon Belmont, through the use of alchemy. This whip is later fused with the soul of Leon's betrothed, Sara Trantoul, to create the Vampire Killer.[citation needed]

According to the Portrait of Ruin, only those possessing the "Belmont Warlord Chromosomes" are able to use the whip's full potential without paying a price, for the whip simply drains the life of users who are not of the Belmont lineage. This was learned by John Morris, for after his battle with Dracula, he noticed that his injuries never healed. Unable to fully utilize the Vampire Killer whip's powers without harming his own life, he soon succumbed and died. However, his son, Jonathan Morris, was able to receive the whip's full power for a short time through a ritual that was performed by the Lecarde sisters. The ritual required Jonathan to defeat the whip's memory of the previous owner, which was an entity bearing the likeness of Richter Belmont.[8] After Jonathan defeated Dracula, the whip was soon returned to the Belmont family.[citation needed]

The upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is described as a reboot of the franchise. However, very few details of the plot are known.[9] "...we knew we would have to drop the existing timeline and story. This would be a new story that would not tie-in directly to anything that has come before, so that new players could just jump straight in."[10] It's not part of the so-called timeline. This is an original, standalone product. We didn't want to follow the timeline because we felt it would put us in a bit of a box in terms of what we could do creatively... A lot of people don't understand the timeline. Even the fans - a lot of them don't really understand it...So this is a rebirth, definitely. It doesn't follow a timeline. It's not, people use the word canon, it's not canon. It's an original game."[11]

Development

Localization

In Japan, the series is known as Akumajō Dracula ("Devil's Castle Dracula").[1] However, not every installment of the franchise had that title. For example, the first two installments for the Nintendo Game Boy were released under the title Dracula Densetsu ("Dracula Legend") and the game known in North America as Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse was originally released in Japan as Akumajō Densetsu. Castlevania: Bloodlines was also released as Vampire Killer in Japan.[citation needed] Starting with the release of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance for the Game Boy Advance, the Japanese games adopted the "Castlevania" name for a brief period. According to series producer Koji Igarashi the developers chose to adopt the Castlevania title as a way to involve scenarios that do not solely revolve around Dracula himself.[12] After some demand from fans in Japan, Konami returned to the Akumajō Dracula title with the Japanese release of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.[citation needed]

The series is also known for the differences between the Japanese and English language versions. Particularly in earlier installments, the localization process usually removes a heavy share of violence, nudity and religious imagery. Removal of such material is prevalent in Nintendo and Super Nintendo titles Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and Super Castlevania IV, because of Nintendo of America's strict censorship policies at the time.[citation needed] Castlevania: Bloodlines, for the Sega Genesis, was renamed Castlevania: The New Generation for European release to avoid the reference to blood used in the American title. In addition, blood was re-colored and the gore removed throughout the European version. Although censorship policies vary from country to country in Europe, Germany's strict "decency standards" inevitably affected the content released throughout the entire continent.

Music

Discographies of Castlevania

Castlevania: The Original Game Soundtrack
Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight Official Soundtrack
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Original Soundtrack

The music for the first Castlevania game was composed by Kinuyo Yamashita, of Konami's Kukeiha Club of composers, shortly after graduating from college.[13][14] She was credited under the pseudonym James Banana for her work on the Disk System version of the game.[15]

Most of Castlevania's music changes from game to game, but some themes recur often. These include Vampire Killer, composed by Yamashita, Bloody Tears (血の涙 Chi no Namida?), first composed by Kenichi Matsubara, and Beginning by Masahiro Ikariko, Kazuhiko Uehara and T-San,.[citation needed] These three tracks first appeared in Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse respectively. Several songs, including both Vampire Killer and Bloody Tears were also featured in the soundtracks of other Konami games, including Wai Wai World, Contra: Hard Corps, and Konami Krazy Racers. 柴田直人プロジェクト (Naoto Shibata PROJECT)'s version of Bloody Tears is often incorrectly attributed to Cradle of Filth on various peer-to-peer networks,[citation needed] but can actually be found on Perfect Selection: Dracula Battle, an album featuring hard rock renditions of several classic Castlevania themes. Rap group Army of the Pharaohs also used a sample of the song as a background for their song, also called Bloody Tears.[citation needed]

Reception

Aggregate review scores
Game Game Rankings Metacritic
Castlevania (GBA Re-Release)
70.85[16]
Simon's Quest
The Adventure
61.38%[17]
Dracula's Curse
Belmont's Revenge
81.88%[18]
Super Castlevania IV
79.17%[19]
Dracula X
73.75%[20]
Bloodlines
81.88%[21]
Symphony of the Night
93.38%[22]
93 [23]
Legends
57.17%[24]
Castlevania (1999)
72.71%[25]
78 [26]
Legacy of Darkness
63.80%[27]
Circle of the Moon
87.81%[28]
91 [29]
Chronicles
73.53%[30]
69 [31]
Harmony of Dissonance
84.09%[32]
87 [33]
Aria of Sorrow
87.69%[34]
91 [35]
Lament of Innocence
78.24%[36]
79 [37]
Dawn of Sorrow
89.92%[38]
89 [39]
Curse of Darkness (PS2)
70.60%[40]
70 [41]
Portrait of Ruin
84.82%[42]
85 [43]
The Dracula X Chronicles
81.50%[44]
80[45]
Judgment
52.71%[46]
49 [47]
Order of Ecclesia
85.60%[48]
85 [49]
The Adventure ReBirth
83.29%[50]
82 [51]

The Castlevania franchise has recived significant amount of critical aclaim, with the most aclaimed game being Symphony of the Night for the PlayStation and the most panned being Judgment, with aggregate scores of 93 and 49, respectively, on Metacritic and 93.38% and 52.71%, respectively, on GameRankings.

Many of the games have appeared on lists of "best games ever". Symphony of the Night apeard at #16 on IGN "Top 100 games" and was one of the first to be introducted on the GameSpot "The Greatest Games of All Time". Both aclaimed the game to succesfully making a game in 2D while the industry was moving to 3D.[52][53] Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse was named the 9th best 8-bit game by GameTrailers.[54] Super Castlevania IV was named the 11th best game of the SNES by ScrewAttack on their "Top 20 SNES Games"[55]. The series as a whole was also named one the 4th best franchises in game ever by IGN, behind only Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda and Mario, and citing Symphony of the Night, Aria of Sorrow and Super Castlevania IV as highlights.[56] Aria of Sorrow was also named the 2nd best game on the Game Boy Advance and one of the must buy for the system, acording to the same website.[57][58] Three games apeared on Nintendo Power "Top 200 Games", namely Castlevania, Aria of Sorrow and Circle of the Moon, at #23, #22 and #108 respectively.[59]

Merchandise and other media

Simon Belmont was one of the stars in the animated series Captain N: The Game Master.[60] He was a member of the N-Team, a group of mostly video game characters who defended Videoland against the antagonist Mother Brain from Metroid. He does not appear in the Captain N Valiant Comics series because his copyright was owned by Konami.[citation needed] Dracula (referred to only as "The Count" in the series) was also one of the villains in Captain N. Alucard also appeared in one episode, though he was portrayed as a rebellious skateboarding teenager. Several other Castlevania monsters appeared with minor roles, including Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, and the Skull Knight. Simon is portrayed as egotistical on the show and his physical appearance is radically different from his design in the videogame series.

Action figure and collectible manufacturer company NECA officially licensed Castlevania to produce a line of models of characters due for distribution in October 2007. The first series includes Simon Belmont, Dracula, Alucard, and the Succubus from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.[61] Hollywood stuntman Daniel Weinstein served as the model for the Simon Belmont figure.[62][63]

In 2005 IDW Publishing released a comic book adaptation Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy written by Marc Andreyko with art by E. J. Su. It was based on the Castlevania The Adventure.[64]

On October 13, 2006 comic book writer Warren Ellis announced on his blog that he is on board to pen an animated film adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for Project 51 Productions. James Jean will be the art director.[65]

In the chapter W is for Winner of Maddox humor book The Alphabet of Manliness, Castlevania is listed as an example of a winner. In particular, he names Castlevania, Dracula's Curse, Super Castlevania IV, Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow as "winners".[citation needed]

In 2008, a graphic novel adaption of "Curse of Darkness" was released by Tokyopop in English.[66]

Film

In November 2005, Crystal Sky Pictures acquired the rights to adapt the video game series into a motion picture. The company attached Paul W.S. Anderson to write and direct the film adaptation, with production slated to begin in mid-2006.[67] Later in the month, Dimension Films entered negotiations with Crystal Sky for North American distribution of Castlevania. The film adaptation was estimated to have a budget of $50 million.[68] In July 2006, producer Jeremy Bolt explained that Castlevania will "integrate a Dracula origin story... with the story of the Belmonts". Bolt also said that the film would refer back to early versions of the games.[69] Director Anderson reiterated Bolt's description, adding that Dracula and Simon Belmont would be key characters in the film. Anderson also indicated that the "very lush, Romantic, Gothic look" of the 3D incarnations of the Castlevania series would be used in the film. He also expressed his hope in using the games' composer, Michiru Yamane, to score the film's soundtrack.[70]

In November 2006, Rogue Pictures replaced Dimension Films, who reneged over script differences, in handling North American distribution of Castlevania, with Crystal Sky Pictures handling international distribution. Paul W.S. Anderson described Castlevania to take place in many time periods, but primarily in 15th century Transylvania. The director and producer Jeremy Bolt had scouted locations in Hungary and Romania, with plans to build castle interiors in Budapest. Principal photography was slated to begin in spring 2007.[71]

In January 2007, director Anderson said the studio was still finalizing the film's budget, and filming would begin in fall or winter in Transylvania and Hungary. According to the director, the filming was postponed because production had desired snow on the ground for the film's forest scenes. Anderson described the locations: "It was like discovering Mordor as a real location — epic, dramatic, and above all scary. These locations haven't been shot properly in a mainstream movie, so that is always extra exciting... to put something on camera that hasn't been seen before". The director also revealed that post-production and effects work for Castlevania would be done in London.[72]

In June 2007, Anderson conceded directing duties to Sylvain White in order to take on the project Death Race, a remake of Death Race 2000. White, who played the Castlevania video game in the early 1990s, was attracted to the prospect of filming a vampire film. White explained: "Most of the vampire films have been present or set in the future, from Blade to Underworld, and I was attracted by the chance to make a dark, epic period movie that almost has an anime feel to it". The new director, who negotiated a salary of seven figures, will rewrite the script with Anderson's assistance. The premise will follow Trevor Belmont and his younger brother Christopher as they are ordered into service to the church, to take the cursed castle of Dracula and live up to the legend set by their ancestor Leon. Production of Castlevania was slated to begin in late fall 2007 in South Africa and Romania. Castlevania was planned for a late 2008 release.[73] In October 2007, Anderson said that he hoped to have a script within two or three weeks before the onset of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. Producer Jeremy Bolt said that production was intended to begin in spring 2008.[74]

In December 2007, Rogue Pictures halted active development of Castlevania due to the writers' strike and, later, the sale of the studio to Relativity Media and possibility of a screen actors' guild strike. Despite the shelving, White remains committed to direct the film.[75] "We still want to make the movie, but I can't say we're going into production in January or anything like that. It's a project that everybody likes. I love the videogame. I think the script is really strong. Everyone is really enthusiastic about it, but we're still in the process of deciding when the movie gets shot," Anderson explained.[citation needed]

On May 27, 2009, the Castlevania film was reported as officially canceled.[76] However, on July 22, horror website Bloody Disgusting broke the news that Saw co-creator James Wan had been signed to pen a new draft, as well as to direct.[77] A few months later it was reported that Paul W. S. Anderson is still circling the project.[78]

References

  1. ^ a b Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles Opening Movie
    * Japanese: 悪魔城の城主、邪心の神、ドラキュラ伯爵の復活であった。 * Konami translation by Ken Ogasawara: Dracula, lord of darkness, master of the devil's castle, walks among us.
  2. ^ http://classic.pocketgear.com/software_detail.asp?id=27053
  3. ^ http://www.konamimobile.com/gamedetail.aspx?rkw=castle
  4. ^ "Whip Smart: Konami's Koji Igarashi On Mastering Castlevania". 2005. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050815/sheffield_01.shtml. 
  5. ^ "Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin Updated Hands-On". 2006. http://www.gamespot.com/ds/action/castlevaniaportraitofruin/news.html?sid=6156293&mode=all. 
  6. ^ "Castlevania: the mega-interview". Game Radar. 2007. http://www.gamesradar.com/psp/f/castlevania-the-mega-interview/a-20070312121437520086/g-2007020210261331098/p-4. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  7. ^ "Castlevania Storyline". The Castlevania Dungeon. http://castlevaniadungeon.net/storyline.html. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  8. ^ Jonathan: The vampire's control seems to be fading. It's a success! / Charlotte: Well, of course. "No problem", as you would say. / Loretta: We... What have we been doing? / Stella: ... The heir to the Vampire Killer. Jonathan Morris, correct? I apologize for all that we have put you through. / Jonathan: Huh? Oh sure. N-No problem. / Stella: And Miss Charlotte, thank you so much for setting us free. / ... / Stella: One more thing. It's about the Vampire Killer. / Loretta: We can perform a ritual to unlock the power of the whip. Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Limited. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. (Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Limited). Nintendo DS. (2006-12-05)
  9. ^ http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/210643/konami-announces-castlevania-lords-of-shadow-at-e3-press-conference/
  10. ^ http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=15533
  11. ^ http://www.videogamer.com/ps3/lords_of_shadow/preview-1975-2.html
  12. ^ "New 3D Castlevania on GameCube?". GameAreFun. 2002. http://www.gamesarefun.com/news.php?newsid=3627. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  13. ^ Personal site of Kinuyo Yamashita, Work
  14. ^ Personal site of Kinuyo Yamashita, Message Board
  15. ^ Castlevania Realm, Credits List
  16. ^ Castlevania for Game Boy Advanced- GameRankings
  17. ^ Castlevania: The Adventure for Game Boy - GameRankings
  18. ^ Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge for Game Boy - GameRankings
  19. ^ Super Castlevania IV for SNES - GameRankings
  20. ^ Castlevania Dracula X for SNES - GameRankings
  21. ^ Castlevania Bloodlines for Genesis - GameRankings
  22. ^ Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for PS - GameRankings
  23. ^ Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (psx: 1997
  24. ^ Castlevania Legends for Game Boy - GameRankings
  25. ^ Castlevania for N64 - GameRankings
  26. ^ Castlevania (n64: 1999
  27. ^ Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness for N64 - GameRankings
  28. ^ Castlevania: Circle of the Moon for GBA - GameRankings
  29. ^ Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (gba: 2001
  30. ^ Castlevania Chronicles for PS - GameRankings
  31. ^ Castlevania Chronicles (ps: 2001
  32. ^ Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance for GBA - GameRankings
  33. ^ Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (gba: 2002
  34. ^ Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for GBA - GameRankings
  35. ^ Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (gba: 2003
  36. ^ Castlevania: Lament of Innocence for PS2 - GameRankings
  37. ^ Castlevania: Lament of Innocence(ps2: 2003
  38. ^ Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for DS - GameRankings
  39. ^ Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (ds: 2005
  40. ^ Castlevania: Curse of Darkness for PS2 - GameRankings
  41. ^ Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (ps2: 2005
  42. ^ Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin for DS - GameRankings
  43. ^ Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (ds: 2006
  44. ^ Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for PSP- GameRankings
  45. ^ Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (psp: 2007): Reviews
  46. ^ Castlevania Judgment for Wii - GameRankings
  47. ^ Castlevania Judgment (wii: 2008
  48. ^ Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia for DS - GameRankings
  49. ^ Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (ds: 2008
  50. ^ Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth for WiiWare - GameRankings
  51. ^ Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (wii)
  52. ^ [1]
  53. ^ [2]
  54. ^ [3]
  55. ^ [4]
  56. ^ [5]
  57. ^ [6]
  58. ^ [7]
  59. ^ [8]
  60. ^ "Captain N - Television Series - Characters - Simon Belmont". Captain N Network. http://cnn.captainn.net/tev_char_simon.html. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  61. ^ "Player Select Castlevania Series 1". [9]. 2007. http://www.necaonline.com/series/detail/97. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
  62. ^ http://www.stuntmen.com/about/lifetime_members.shtml
  63. ^ http://daniel.weinstein.net/
  64. ^ "Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy". The Castlevania Dungeon. http://castlevaniadungeon.net/Features/cvcomic.html. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  65. ^ Ellis, Warren (2006). "Castlevania". WarrenEllis.com. http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=3133. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  66. ^ "Manga + Comics: Castlevania: Curse of Darkness". Tokyopop. http://www.tokyopop.com/product/1824/CastlevaniaCurseofDarkness/1. Retrieved 2009-03-07. 
  67. ^ Michael Speier (2005-11-02). "Dracula ready for close-up". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117932196.html?categoryid=1079&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  68. ^ Michael Fleming; Ian Mohr (2005-11-07). "Dimension does Dracula". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117932541.html?categoryid=1079&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  69. ^ Stax (2006-06-28). "Castlevania, Death Race Buzz". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/715/715319p1.html. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  70. ^ Chris Carle (2006-06-29). "Anderson Discusses Castlevania". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/715/715945p1.html. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  71. ^ Adam Dawtrey (2006-11-02). "Rogue enters 'Castlevania'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117953168.html?categoryId=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  72. ^ "Castlevania Update". IGN. 2007-01-23. http://movies.ign.com/articles/757/757382p1.html. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 
  73. ^ Michael Fleming (2007-06-13). "White stakes out 'Castlevania'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117966892.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  74. ^ Cindy White (2007-10-23). "Castlevania Gears Up Pre-Strike". Sci Fi Wire. http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?id=44910. Retrieved 2007-10-23. 
  75. ^ Michael Fleming (2007-12-05). "Strike stalls two more features". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117977088.html?categoryid=2821&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  76. ^ Castlevania Movie Bites the Dust
  77. ^ "SDCC '09: James Wan to Write and Direct 'Castlevania'!". Bloody-Disgusting. 2009-07-22. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/16838. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  78. ^ Paul W.S. Anderson Returning to 'Castlevania'?

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Castlevania series (also known as Akumajô Dracula in Japan, which means Demon Castle Dracula) is a series of 2D platform and 3D games developed by Konami. The series has become one of the most famous and beloved franchises in the history of gaming, featuring characters like Simon Belmont, Alucard, and music like Bloody Tears.

Contents

Story

Castlevania centers arounds the conflict between the Belmont family and Count Dracula that began in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. The feud between them originated in the 11th century and has stretched throughout the years all the way into modern times. Dracula seeks to wipe out humanity after humans wrongfully accused his wife Lisa of being a witch and had her executed. The Belmonts have sworn to oppose Dracula and destroy him no matter what.

Chronology

Here can be found a synopsis of each of the Castlevania games:

Main article: Castlevania storyline

Bram Stoker's Dracula

The Dracula that exists in the Castlevania universe is loosely based on the character created by Bram Stoker. The series has attempted to incorporate some of the history of Stoker's Dracula into its Dracula in games like Castlevania: Bloodlines, which was the first game to link the Castlevania storyline with Bram Stoker's famous novel.

The games deviate from Stoker's character in that its Dracula has nothing to do with Vlad Tepes. Instead, as seen in Lament of Innocence, Dracula was originally a man named Mathias Cronqvist, who happened to be a close friend of Leon Belmont. Mathias became a vampire at the end of the game and would eventually declare himself Lord of the Vampires years later.

Gameplay

Although Symphony of the Night introduced RPG and Adventure elements to the series, all Castlevania games are 2D platforming games, except for the four that are in 3D. Castlevania Judgment is the first game in the series to be a fighting game.

Classic Castlevania

The pre-Symphony of the Night Castlevania games were very linear in nature. The player played as a member of the Belmont Clan (or as John Morris in Castlevania: Bloodlines) and fought with a whip passed down in the Belmont clan: the Vampire Killer. The hero could also fight with a sub-weapon such as the axe, the holy book, or the cross, amongst many others. These sub-weapons consumed hearts in order to be used.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest took a different direction from the other games. Instead of being linear, the player had the freedom to go wherever they wanted to on the map, so long as they had the means to get there. The game also mixed in some minor RPG elements and overall played more like an adventure game rather than an action game. This was also the first Castlevania title that allowed players to purchase items at a store.

The first games had a very limited gameplay. The character couldn't change direction mid-jump or jump on or off stairs, and the whip could only be used in one direction. However, later games such as Super Castlevania IV, fixed these issues, but only in the last classic Castlevania, Rondo of Blood, could the player fully control the character.

Metroidvania/Castleroid/Castletroid

When Koji Igarashi took the direction of the Castlevania series, he introduced some RPG and Adventure elements to the series. The first game to feature these changes was Symphony of the Night, on the Playstation. Rather than playing through linear levels, the player could freely move in the castle à la Metroid (hence the name given to the genre: Castleroid, Castletroid, or Metroidvania). It also took some RPG elements, such as the inventory, the equipment or the experience system, which worked by defeating enemies or by collecting special items. A magic counter was added, in addition to the hearts counter for the sub-weapon.

It should be noted that almost all Castleroid of the series feature a classic mode without inventory or equipment.

3D Castlevania

The four installments in 3D of the series are often considered as inferior to the other games. IGA himself has said that he has yet to find the good formula to make a 3D Castlevania.

N64 Castlevania

Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness were the two first tentatives for a 3D Castlevania. Actually, Legacy of Darkness is more a Director's Cut of the other game, as it features the same locations with extra levels and two extra characters. The gameplay is basically the same of the classic 2D Castlevania, but in 3D. The game was linear, but some levels, such as the villa, were non-linear.

The main issue of Castlevania 64 was its camera, which sometimes acted in a strange way, although it was fixed in Legacy of Darkness. Another common complaint was about the learning curve needed for the controls.

Another 3D Castlevania was planned for the Dreamcast, but the project was eventually canceled when Sega left the hardware business.

PS2 Castlevania

Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness were developed by IGA for the Playstation 2 (Curse of Darkness was ported to the XBOX), and were his first attempts at a 3D game. These games are similar to the Castleroid gameplay style featured in earlier games, only they are now featured in a 3D setting.

Both games received very mixed reviews due to poor level design and graphics. Critics, as well as fans, complained about spending too much time going through empty corridors instead of fighting monsters.

Music

The music in Castlevania includes some of the most well-known soundtracks in video game history. Among the most famous are "Vampire Killer", "Bloody Tears", and "Theme of Simon Belmont." The music of the series is featured during the performances of Video Games Live.

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Castlevania series
Games
CastlevaniaVampire Killer • Simon's Quest • The Adventure • Dracula's Curse • Belmont's Revenge • Super Castlevania IV • Rondo of Blood • Bloodlines • Dracula X • Symphony of the Night • LegendsCastlevania (64) • Legacy of Darkness • Circle of the Moon • Harmony of Dissonance • Aria of Sorrow • Lament of Innocence • Dawn of Sorrow • Curse of Darkness • Portrait of Ruin • Order of Ecclesia • Judgement
Characters
Castlevania | Sorrow series
Equipment:
Weapons | Spells
Misc
Storyline | Castlevania Dracula Begins


This article uses material from the "Castlevania series" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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