[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/castlevanialogo_4507.jpg]]

[[DescribeTopicHere Die, Description of Castlevania! You don't belong in this world!]]

''This article is about the series as a whole. For the first ''Castlevania'' game, see ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaI.

An old saying posits the following: "[[AsLongAsThereIsEvil True evil never dies]], and all that is necessary for its triumph is for good men to do nothing." As it so happens, the Belmonts are [[JumpedAtTheCall absolute workaholics]] -- and [[BadassFamily very]], '''[[BadassFamily very]]''' [[BadassFamily good men]].

For over twenty years, Creator/{{Konami}} has been chronicling the adventures of the extended Belmont family and their neverending quest to rid the world of [[{{Dracula}} Count Dracula]] and his [[HauntedCastle eponymous castle]]. ''Castlevania'', one of the longest-running franchises in the platformer genre, is the co-inventor of {{Metroidvania}}-style gameplay and one of the earliest adopters of [[RPGElements [=RPG=] elements in a non-[=RPG=] title]]. The series is notable for pursuing a Gothic approach to both the audio and visuals (the latter becoming more and more baroque as graphics engines advanced), and it's also respected for helping to define NintendoHard back in the day (an ideal occasionally upheld in newer entries of the series).

Centuries ago, the [[EvilOverlord dark lord]] Dracula rose to power, and his power helped create a demonic castle filled with [[FantasyKitchenSink all manner of folkloric beasts and mythical monsters]]. Dracula spread his dark influence across the countryside until a vampire hunter, Simon Belmont, broke into the castle armed with the enchanted whip [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "Vampire Killer"]] and a plethora of appropriate sub-weapons [[note]](such as daggers, throwing axes, holy water, and boomerang crucifixes)[[/note]]. Belmont sent Dracula to hell, but every few years, Dracula would return (either through his own dark presence or the machination of his cult followers), and with his return, [[LegacyCharacter a member of the Belmont clan]] [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute (or a friendly substitute)]] would walk right up to the castle gates and begin vanquishing the horrible night.

As the ''Castlevania'' series continued, its gameplay evolved, although the iconic elements -- the Vampire-Killer whip, the sub-weapons, and the focus on combat and exploration -- remained. Most games of the series can be divided into three categories:

* '''Classicvanias''' -- the earlier entries in the series, including the self-titled debut. Falling an inch short of PlatformHell on many occasions, early Castlevanias were strictly about making your way through Dracula’s castle, [[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou not getting murdered by his army of ghouls, not getting murdered by mistimed jumps, not getting murdered by bottomless pits, and finally, not getting murdered by the Big D himself]]. The whip and sub-weapons were your sole protection from darkness, alongside a few pieces of roast meat [[SuspiciousVideogameGenerosity just lying on the ground (or embedded in walls)]]. The exception to this rule is ''Castlevania II: Simon's Quest'', which was an early example of...
* '''{{Metroidvania}}s''' -- the hybrid platform [=RPGs=] that have dominated the series' 2D outings since ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' (where this particular style was codified). Exploring every nook and cranny of Dracula’s castle and fighting elaborately conceived bosses takes precedence, while the difficulty tends to be more forgiving thanks to experience points, weapons, and the ability to jump beyond a perfect 45-degree angle. ''Castlevania II: Simon's Quest'' is an early example of this style, although it involved towns and mansions rather than taking place entirely in a castle.
* '''Modernvanias''' -- the free-roaming 3D outings (which try to update the combat and exploration experience, often with mixed results). Plot is king here, as each outing attempts to add more to the mythos than just text on a pixilated screen. The fighting systems are largely inspired by modern [[HackAndSlash hack 'n' slashers]] like VideoGame/DevilMayCry and VideoGame/GodOfWar, although many of the franchise’s traditional elements are often brought in creative ways.

''Castlevania'' has been infrequently adapted into other media (including comic books, manga, and ''Captain N: The Game Master''). A live-action Castlevania movie, as well as a WarrenEllis-penned animated adaptation of [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Dracula’s Curse]], both appear to have fallen into DevelopmentHell.

For a ''very'' in-depth analysis of everything ''Castlevania'', visit [[http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/ Mr. P's Castlevania Realm]] and [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/ The Castlevania Dungeon]].
----
!!These games are as empty as your soul!:
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania I}}'' (1986; [=NES=])
* ''Vampire Killer'' (1986; [=MSX2=])
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' (1987; [=NES=])
* ''VideoGame/HauntedCastle'' (1988; Arcade)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventure'' (1989; Game Boy)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' (1989; [=NES=])
* ''[[VideoGame/KidDracula Akumajou Special: Boku Dracula-Kun!]]'' (1990; Famicom)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIBelmontsRevenge'' (1991; Game Boy)
* ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'' (1991; [=SNES=])
* ''VideoGame/KidDracula'' (1993; Game Boy)
* ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChronicles Akumajou Dracula]]'' (1993; Sharp [=X68000=])
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' a.k.a. ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Dracula X: Rondo of Blood]]'' (1993; PC Engine, re-released on PSP with Symphony of the Night)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaBloodlines'' (1994; Sega Genesis)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDraculaX'' a.k.a. ''Akumajou Dracula XX'' a.k.a. ''Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss'' (1995; [=SNES=])
* ''Castlevania: The Bloodletting'' (Cancelled; Sega 32X)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' (1997; [=PlayStation=] and Sega Saturn, re-released on PSP with Rondo of Blood)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegends'' (1997; Game Boy)
* ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}}'' (1999; Nintendo 64)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegacyOfDarkness'' (1999; Nintendo 64)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaResurrection'' (Cancelled; Sega Dreamcast)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' (2001; Game Boy Advance)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChronicles'' (2001; [=PlayStation=]; Remake of 1993's ''Akumajou Dracula'')
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance'' (2002; Game Boy Advance)
* ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow]]'' (2003; Game Boy Advance)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence'' (2003; [=PlayStation 2=])
* ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow]]'' (2005; Nintendo DS)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness'' (2005; [=PlayStation 2 and Xbox=])
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' (2006; Nintendo DS)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfShadows'' (2007; Mobile phones)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheDraculaXChronicles'' (2007; [=PlayStation Portable=]; 2.5D Remake of ''Rondo Of Blood'')
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' (2008; Nintendo DS)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'' (2008; Wii)
* ''Pachislot Akumajo Dracula'' (2009; Arcade)
* ''Castlevania The Arcade'' (2009; Arcade)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventureReBirth'' (2009; [=WiiWare=])
* ''Pachislot Akumajo Dracula II'' (2010; Arcade)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'' (2010; Xbox Live Arcade, later released in 2011 for PSN)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' (2010; [=PlayStation 3=] and Xbox 360; UpdatedRerelease in August 2013, including a PC version)
* ''Pachislot Akumajo Dracula III'' (2012; Arcade)
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadowMirrorOfFate'' (2013; [=Nintendo 3DS=])
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'' (2014; [=PlayStation 3=], Xbox 360, and PC)
[[/index]]
----
!!What are books and comics? A miserable little pile of secrets!:
[[index]]
* ''Akumajo Dracula: The Battle of the Old Castle'' (1987; Futabasha)
* ''Akumajo Densetsu: Genuine Vampire Hunter'' (1990; Futabasha)
* ''Literature/WorldsOfPower 4 - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest'' (1990; Scholastic)
* ''Akumajo Dracula: Akuma no Chi Chi no Akumu'' (1992 - 1995; LOGOUT)
* ''Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy'' (2005; IDW Publishing)
* ''Akumajō Dracula: Curse of Darkness - Prelude to Revenge'' (2005; Konami)
* ''Castlevania: Curse of Darkness'' (2008; Dark Horse)
* ''Akumajō Dracula: Lament of Innocence'' (2007 - 2008; Weekly Konami)
[[/index]]
----
!!What a terrible night to list specific series tropes:
* AllThereInTheManual: Averted, as ''Castlevania'' has a history of providing in-game text moving the plot forward, even in its earlier 2D entries.
* {{Alucard}}: He is Dracula's son.
* AnachronismStew:
** Try modern-style prison islands and evil [[RobotBuddy Robot Buddies]] in the mid-1800s ''Order of Ecclesia''.
** Said Robot Buddies predate ''Ecclesia'' (in-universe), to boot!
** Motorcycle-riding skeletons in ye olde Wallachia in ''Castlevania 64.''
** The very first instance in the whole series: Frankenstein's Monster showing up in the original ''Castlevania'', circa 1691, 127 years before Mary Shelley wrote the novel.
** A lot of the [[HyperactiveMetabolism food items]] in the Metroidvania games are examples too, with modern hot dogs and hamburgers showing up centuries before they were invented. ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness Curse of Darkness]]'' are especially big offenders in this regard.
** ''Castlevania 64'' has the Room of Inventions which has a radio, a zeppelin (model), and other assorted bits of SchizoTech.
** FashionDissonance is in full effect throughout the entire series. It's probably easier to list which of the outfits were ''accurate'' for the time period.
* AnimatedArmor: Axe Armors are the most famous, but later entries in the series introduce a number of other types, wielding weapons such as bombs, rocks, and even a giant KillerYoYo.
** The various elemental armors in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon''.
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil: Dracula often uses this as an excuse for his numerous comebacks. Mind you, evil occultists are usually the ones who resurrect him, so it's not like this is a total AssPull.
* AuthorAvatar: In ''Order of Ecclesia,'' IGA designed Shanoa after his wife, and Albus after himself.
* BackFromTheDead: ''Guess.''
* {{Badass}}: If your last name is Belmont, and you own a whip, ''you are this.''
** This includes anyone closely related to the Belmont family by blood (John Morris), by friendship (Alucard, Grant [=DeNasty=]), or by marriage (Sypha Belnades).
** Special mention goes to Simon Belmont, who didn't just kick Dracula's ass with jack shit, but after being cursed by the vampire's dying breath, decided the best solution was to '''resurrect Dracula himself so he could kick his ass again!'''
** Extra special mention goes to Julius Belmont, who defeats Dracula once and for all (with some help from Alucard, admittedly), then returns in his fifties and beats the ever-loving crap out of Dracula's reincarnation. Then he returns one year later and (though non-canonical) ''does it again''.
* BadassFamily: You needn't look further than the Belmont clan. Though you'll also find the Belnades, the Morrises, and the Lecardes if you do. Of course, everyone in Dracula's family is a badass, but there's a lot of infighting.
* BadassLongcoat: Many of the heroes from ''Symphony of the Night'' onward, and not just the Belmonts -- though Richter seems to have started the trend.
** Soma Cruz stands out for his Badass Pimp Coat. You have to love a guy who can kick ass in calf-length ''white fur.''
** And if it's not a longcoat, it's a BadassCape. See Alucard in ''Symphony''.
* BadWithTheBone: One of the most common enemies in the series are bone-throwing skeletons. A few even throw their own skulls!
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: A recurring theme, given that most of the protagonists are largely noble defenders fighting a man who turned his back on God and humanity alike.
** There must always be a Dark Lord in existence to serve as the balance to God, or so Celia from ''Dawn Of Sorrow'' believes.
** ''Lords Of Shadow'' subtly gets in on this with the presence of Light and Shadow, which defines not just the magic system and rival groups, but Gabriel's own struggles to overcome the darkness within him after losing his wife.
* BallisticBone: The signature ability of standard non-[[UndergroundMonkey prefix]] skeletons.
* BatmanGambit: Dracula and his minions manipulate friends and allies about as much as they manipulate the dark powers. You'd think by now the average Belmont would recognize he's being had.
** Especially considering [[spoiler:their entire rivalry with Dracula was born from being tricked into granting him his power.]]
* {{BFS}}: Some of the high-end swords in many games. Shanoa can also make a Big Fucking Sword, a Big Fucking Axe, a Big Fucking Hammer, a Big Fucking Scythe...
** There are entire classes of BFS and BFA weapons in ''Curse of Darkness.''
* BigBad: Almost always Dracula. Even when he's not around, his very existence drives the plot somehow.
* BiggerBad: [[spoiler:Chaos.]]
** Dracula becomes this in games where he isn't the BigBad.
* {{Bishonen}}: Nearly all of the male characters from ''Symphony of the Night'' on, given the predominant art style. Before that, they were mostly ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian''-esque bruisers with whips.
** Although there's just as many exceptions. Julius Belmont from the ''Sorrow'' games is a pretty manly grandpa, as is Gabriel Belmont from ''Lords Of Shadow''.
* BlackMagicianGirl: Female protagonists have a certain tendency to be witches ''and'' romantic interests, although Yoko Belnades from the ''Sorrow'' games subverts this by being a romantic interest for Hammer and not Soma. Averted by Shanoa, who's more of a MagicKnight.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: Many enemies can take a defensive stance or put up a forcefield to stop all your attacks. Especially difficult if it already takes a lot to take down. Thankfully Soma can turn those abilities back at them.
* BonusDungeon: An optional series of rooms filled with tough enemies, with no save points, exists in quite a few games starting with ''Circle of the Moon'', usually giving a very useful item as a reward.
** The [[spoiler:Reverse Castle]] from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' is the most well-known example, even though [[spoiler:you need it to see the true ending.]]
* BonusFeatureFailure: Almost every [[{{Metroidvania}} Metroid-ish]] ''Castlevania'' has an unlockable mode where you play as another character who can't do most of what the main character can, such as opening the menu, collecting items, or sometimes even levelling up. They do, however, often have balancing factors like increased damage, and always have moves which allow them to explore all the castle.
* BossBanter: In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia Order Of Ecclesia]]'':
-->'''[[spoiler:Barlowe]]:''' How dare you! Even forgetting! [[spoiler:Who raised you! ''YOU!!'' '''''STUPID DISCIPLE]]!!'''''
* BossRush: In most of the later games.
* BottomlessPits: The early games weren't just sadists in this regard, they enforced it regardless of logic. A screen that scrolled up suddenly meant any holes were fatal, even if there was ground a screen below.
** A ''pixel'' below, even!
** Even if you're going down anyway, you still usually died if you didn't take the stairs.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: ''Waaaayyyyy'' too frequent in ''Castlevanias''. From [[spoiler:Soleiyu Belmont]] in ''Belmont's Revenge'' to [[spoiler:Richter]] in ''Symphony'' to [[spoiler:Stella and Loretta]] in ''Portrait'' to [[spoiler:Gabriel Belmont]] in ''Lords''.
* BroadStrokes: The Bram Stoker ''{{Dracula}}'' novel is supposedly canon with this series, as evidenced by the Morris family being present.
* BrutalBonusLevel: Overlaps with the optional rooms mentioned above.
* BurnTheWitch: Ties heavily into the backstory of ''every'' female character in ''Dracula's Curse'' and ''Curse Of Darkness''. It even happened to Alucard's poor mom, thus sending Dracula into his Europe-cursing fit of rampaging misanthropy!
* CanonImmigrant: Quincey Morris from Creator/BramStoker's ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'', thanks to ''Bloodlines''.
* ChangingOfTheGuard: How the Belmont family works. Since Dracula is effectively immortal, the Belmonts have to continually train their sons and daughters into vampire hunters, occasionally relying on other branches of the family or the odd one out, like [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness Hector]] or [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Alucard]].
* ChaosArchitecture: The castle itself, and the TropeNamer.
* ChurchMilitant: Bunches. By the time of the ''Sorrow'' games and ''Portrait of Ruin,'' the Church is actually hiring and training witches, notably Yoko Belnades and Charlotte Aulin. ''Order of Ecclesia'' posits a whole sub-organization of the Church whose entire purpose is to find a non-Belmont-linked way to defeat Dracula.
** Leon Belmont got his start in the Crusades.
* ClassicalMovieVampire: How Dracula was depicted in early outings. And by depicted, we mean he looked ''exactly'' like the Christoper Lee Dracula.
* ClockworksArea: The Clock Tower levels.
* ClownCarGrave: Zombies usually rise in infinite numbers, and some coffins repeatedly spawn mummies.
* CollisionDamage: The enemies are usually deadly on touch.
* ColossusClimb:
** The battle against Eligor in ''Order of Ecclesia'', who is bigger than the game screen and requires you to shatter the gems on his body before he drops and you get a chanch to stab him the face.
** A Colossus Elevator Ride takes place against The Forgotten One in ''Lament of Innocence''.
** The Titans in ''Lords of Shadow'', complete with [[VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus hanging on for dear life while they try to shake you off, and stabbing their weak points in various parts of their body]].
** Menace in ''Harmony Of Despair'' is easily the biggest boss in the game, to the point that you and your buddies have to utilize a few well-placed platforms, unless you knock him on his ass with a well-er-placed bone hammer.
* CombinationAttack:
** Jonathan and Charlotte in ''Portrait of Ruin''. They're not the only ones, though: Several bosses such as Slogra and Gaibon, Werewolf and Minotaur, and recently [[spoiler:Dracula and Death]] use them, too.
** ''Harmony Of Despair'' lets you and a friend pull off "Dual Crushes" if you activate the right buttons at the same time (and have magic to spare).
* TheConstant: Dracula's castle is [[{{Bizarrchitecture}} an ever-changing structure]] ("a creature of chaos" as ''Symphony of the Night'' puts it), but the corridor in its entrance stays the same throughout the games.
* ContinuingIsPainful: More prevalent in the early Classicvanias. If you die, you lose your sub-weapon along with any power-ups you had for it, your whip is downgraded to its weakest level, and you lose most of your hearts.
* ContinuityNod: After 20 years, what do you expect? Bosses that appear several times throughout the series, the first and last levels of the original ''Castlevania'' being reused in many games, and several minor background elements that are callbacks to previous games.
** ''Harmony of Dissonance'' and ''Symphony of the Night'' repeat ''Simon's Quest'' in having to gather Dracula's remains to finally confront and beat the Prince.
** Also in ''Symphony of the Night'', Alucard faces evil versions of his three companions from ''Castlevania III'': Trevor, Grant, and Sypha, who actually fight pretty much like they played in that game. Trevor fights like a typical Belmont, Grant chucks knives around and walks on the ceiling, and Sypha uses Fire, Ice, and Lightning magic. The three show up again in near identical forms in the Nest of Evil section of ''Portrait of Ruin''.
** Julius Mode in ''Dawn of Sorrow'' basically ''is Castlevania III'' again, with Julius standing in for Trevor, Yoko taking the place of Sypha, and [[spoiler:Arikado resuming his role as Alucard.]] Pity they [[DummiedOut didn't get]] Hammer to stand in for Grant, though.
** In ''Order of Ecclesia'', Shanoa's dialogue just before she enters Dracula's castle references ''Simon's Quest'': "I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!"
** Gabriel in Lords Of Shadow's second DLC says "Enough talk, have at you!" to Forgotten One before the first fight: fitting, considering [[spoiler:Dracula said the same thing to Richter in the Symphony intro, and Gabriel is very close to turning into him.]]
* CoolOldGuy: Julius Belmont, Morris Baldwin, and Hammer. Technically, [[spoiler:Alucard]] counts by the time of ''Sorrow''.
* CopyAndPasteEnvironments:
** ''Lament of Innocence'' and ''Curse of Darkness'' were ''really'' bad about this. The 2D games, however, avoid this trope almost completely, with ''Portrait of Ruin'' being an exception.
** Copy And Paste ''Enemies'', on the other hand...
* CrapsackWorld: The regular arrival of one is usually a good tell for when Dracula's coming back (it's certainly no coincidence that he managed to come back for ''both'' World Wars.)
* CreepyDoll: Marionette and Killer Doll. Puppet Master from ''Dawn of Sorrow'' also uses them. ''Chronicle'' has small clown dolls and hover dolls, though the latter has voice that is just too cute to be creepy.
* CrisisCrossover: The plot of ''Judgment'' involves Aeon, a time traveler, pulling various characters from the timeline, plus even a character from an [[AlternateContinuity alternate continuity]], into a dimensional rift in order to prevent [[BigBad Galamoth]] from rewriting history.
* CuteMonsterGirl: The DS ''Castlevania'' titles are absolutely packed with these, so much so that one promotional wallpaper for ''Portrait of Ruin'' was the entire female bestiary in adorable chibi form.
* CuteWitch: Two varieties. The Student Witch enemy is particularly adorable. Charlotte in ''Portrait of Ruin'' also qualifies.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: The vast majority of the time, Dracula is stupidly GenreBlind. During the FinalBoss fight of ''Portrait of Ruin'', however, he suggests that since there's two of the heroes, he might as well do some double-teaming himself and asks Death to back him up. And in ''Rondo Of Blood'', Dracula's first act upon resurrection is to tear ass through Richter Belmont's hometown.
* DarkFantasy: Lots of gothic horror-themed enemies ([[DemBones skeletons]], [[NightOfTheLivingMooks Zombies]], vampires, AnimatedArmor, etc.) and some magic. The ''Chronicles Of Sorrow'' and ''Lords of Shadow'' games have Soma Cruz and Gabriel Belmont, respectively, [[YourSoulIsMine eating their enemies' souls to gain their abilities.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil:
** Alucard, despite being [[{{Dhampir}} part vampire]], is a good and noble person.
** Soma and Yoko have a discussion about this in ''Aria of Sorrow.'' [[spoiler:Soma himself is an example.]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Lords Of Shadow]]'', the reboot of the franchise and the darkest entry of the series thus far.
* DefectorFromDecadence:
** In ''Curse of Darkness'', Hector worked for Dracula as a Devil Forgemaster (which seems to be like a blacksmith except making monsters in addition to weapons), but left his service, suppressed his magical powers, and would have married a human woman. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the 'OhCrap'...
** Alucard fits in this category rather well, trying to stop Dear Old Dad and show him the error of his ways.
** Leon in ''Lament of Innocence'', to the point of [[LawfulStupid refusing to take a sword with him when he goes to storm a vampire's castle]], because he feels the sword is no longer his to take.
* DegradedBoss: Both kinds are incredibly common across the Castlevania series. Werewolf, Dogether, Wyvern, Minotaur, Slogra, Gaibon, [[IAmNotShazam Frankenstein's]] [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Creature]]... It is also cyclical, with enemies going back and forth between boss status and mook status across games.
* DemBones: There are lots of animated skeletons. The main varieties are human skeletons and snake skeletons.
* DenialOfDiagonalAttack: In earlier ''Castlevania'' games.
* DestructibleProjectiles
* DevourTheDragon: Dracula does this with Death in ''Portrait of Ruin.'' However, Death ''told'' him to do it.
* {{Dhampyr}}: Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes, better known as Alucard.
* [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu Did You Just Kill Death With a Whip?]]
* DigitalBikini: See MagicPants below.
* DirectionallySolidPlatforms: Well, it is a platform game.
* DistressedDamsel: Serena in ''Haunted Castle'', Lydia in ''Harmony of Dissonance'', and four women in ''Rondo of Blood'' including Maria and Annette. Mina Hakuba becomes one in ''Dawn of Sorrow.'' [[spoiler:It's actually a doppleganger, as part of a BatmanGambit by Celia.]]
* {{Dojikko}}: Student Witch attacks you by flying on her broom... then falling down on your head. Though this could be an intentional attack. [[AssKicksYou It certainly wouldn't be the first time]]
* {{Dracula}}: [[SarcasmMode Just some minor character you've probably heard of once]].
* TheDragon: Death usually fills this role, Though many others have also served this purpose, notably named characters like Carmilla and Shaft.
* DreamMatchGame: ''Judgment'' and ''Harmony of Despair''.
* DualBoss:
** Most famously: The Werewolf and the Minotaur.
** [[DegradedBoss Slogra and Gaibon]] in ''Symphony of the Night'', Dragon Zombies in ''[[NintendoHard Circle of the Moon]]'', gets upped to ''three'' in ''Symphony of the Night'' and ''Portrait of Ruin'' with the Zombie Clones.
** In the ''first'' ''Castlevania'' the battle against Frankenstein's monster and [[TheIgor Igor]].
*** From the same game, the Mummies, which also appeared as a DualBoss in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Dracula's Curse]]'' ([[RecurringBoss twice]]!).
** The FinalBoss battle of ''Portrait of Ruin'' when [[spoiler:[[BigBad Dracula]] and [[TheDragon Death]] team up to battle the two heroes.]]
* EasyAmnesia: Averted with Shanoa, as she loses her memories at the beginning of the game, doesn't get them back, and it changes her personality considerably. Played straight with "J" or [[spoiler:Julius Belmont, who loses his after the trauma of finally slaying Dracula, yet regains them after going on a sabbatical at his castle.]]
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: A RunningGag and a ContinuityNod in the series.
* EldritchAbomination: Double as EldritchLocation. Dracula's Castle/''Castlevania'' itself. Alucard calls it a ''Creature of Chaos'' in ''Symphony''. And as revealed in ''Aria'', the castle spawns from the Chaotic Realm in response to the Dark Lord.
* ElegantGothicLolita: Loretta, maybe Stella too.
* EnemiesWithDeath: Duh. Death is [[TheDragon the [recurring] Dragon]] to Dracula, of course he doesn't like anyone who would oppose him!
* EqualOpportunityEvil: Dracula's army contains pretty much every sort of monster you can think of, and many you can't. See [[http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/ Mr. P's Castlevania Realm]] for a list of Mooks and bosses.
* EveryProperLadyShouldCurtsy: Persephone curtsies before doing a vertical flying kick at the player.
* EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce: A recurring theme, due to Dracula's penchant for resurrection. The Belmont clan stands as the force that can seal him away again, but if he ever triumphs, there will be no hope for humanity. The events leading up to ''Aria of Sorrow'' finally set up Dracula for his final defeat, but there are still those who wish to see him reborn anyway (keeping the trope intact).
* EvolvingAttack: Item Crashes.
** The early Classicvanias enabled you to power up your sub-weapons. The items that do this can be found in certain areas, but it's usually done by using your sub-weapon enough times. Powering them up increases the number of them you can have onscreen at once.
* EyepatchOfPower: Trevor sports this in ''Judgment'', and you can also give Gabriel a [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid Solid Eye]] from the Extras menu once you beat the game.
* FairySexy: The Fairy familiar.
* FaithHeelTurn: Mathias becomes Dracula as a result.
* FakeDifficulty: Tricky [[JumpPhysics jumping physics]] in the older games.
** And recoil. And birds.
* {{Fanservice}}:
** Carmilla in ''Castlevania Judgment'' has JigglePhysics, a {{Stripperiffic}} outfit, and her special attack includes a closeup of her crotch in the foreground.
** ''Judgment'' Sypha as well. When she ''turns around'' her boobs bob up and down, and her ample chest is well, so ample, it's a wonder she ever managed to dress up as a man and ''convince'' people! (Though she did say they only get in the way.)
*** As of Pachislot, not only does she stop 'dressing like a man', she also sports CleavageWindow, wears a pink skirt, and some of the bonus sections had her using 'transformations' a la a MagicalGirl.
** Shanoa and her SexyBacklessOutfit, with some type A ZettaiRyouiki for good measure.
** Simon Belmont's ''Castlevania Chronicles'' design. And Isaac. Kojima and IGA love them some redhead.
** Arguably the classic designs are pretty hot as well. Trevor's original armor is backless, and...mmmm...loincloths.
** Who likes short shorts? Well, ''Super Castlevania IV'' Simon, for one.
** Angela in the Pachislot series is basically a scantily clad casino girl designed so she vaguely fits in the Castlevania universe.
** Certain female enemies are [[FullFrontalAssault stark, bare-arse nude]], usually the "demonic seductress" archetype (Lilliths and Succubi). Others have skimpy outfits and [[{{Gainaxing}} Gainax]] (Certain incarnations of the Witch).
* FantasticNatureReserve: The castle serves as one.
* FantasyKitchenSink: The majority of demonic forces originate from Western lore, including Greek mythology, but a few Eastern monsters like Tsuchinoko or Jiang Shi also appear.
** Implied in ''Curse Of Darkness,'' in that Devil Forgemasters are responsible for designing the monsters, which they base on folklore and legends they heard. Thus why Dracula has such a varied menagerie.
* FateWorseThanDeath: Alucard grants this to a succubus by killing her in a dream world.
-->'''Alucard:''' Demon, death is too good for you!
* FauxActionGirl: Medusa. Despite being a legendary monster, she's the easiest boss in almost every game she appears in.
* FetchQuest: ''Castlevania II: Simon's Quest'' started the series' use of this trope, but ''Portrait of Ruin'' and ''Order of Ecclesia'' were {{egregious}} offenders.
** While ''Harmony of Dissonance'' and ''Curse of Darkness'' contain weird little furniture based subquests that are optional, for a gamer obsessed with OneHundredPercentCompletion, they are just as hugely aggravating.
* FightingYourFriend: Juste versus Maxim, Hector versus Isaac, Nathan versus Hugh, the entirety of ''Judgment''...
* {{Fireballs}}: Scattered all over the place. Dracula practically has the copyright on the three fireball salute, which he calls "Hellfire".
* FlechetteStorm: The Knife Item Crash, starting with ''Rondo of Blood'', has the user throw a multitude of knifes in rapid succession at the enemy. This attack varies with the game it appears in.
** It re-appears in Portrait of Ruin as a special attack. It comes in handy against most enemies.
** Also a power used by the bird-type and Battle-type Innocent Devils in ''Curse of Darkness'', in the form of Bone Shot and Heavenly Sword. Bone Storm doesn't quite count, given how awesome it is.
** Grant can perform this kind of attack in at least three ways in ''Judgment''.
* FlyingFace: The medusa heads.
* ForebodingArchitecture: Certain kinds of door.
** Especially so are the ones that (a) are shaped like some kind of beastie's jaws and (b) open for Belmonts. Shudder!
* {{Forgiveness}}: Alucard's mother mentions how Dracula could never forgive the peasants for killing her, and begs him to do so. She was a saint.
* TheFourGods: Maria's super attacks in ''Rondo'', ''Symphony'' and ''Judgment''.
* FrankensteinsMonster: A recurring boss-level foe, regardless of the game's time period. Early games went ahead and called it "Frankenstein", but more recent entries instead call it "The Creature".
* GeniusLoci: The castle itself. It might be a full-fledged example or it might be merely an extension of Dracula's will. Either way, ''creepy place''.
* GlassCannon: Richter and Maria in ''Symphony of the Night'' take damage horribly in comparison to Alucard. Not helped by the fact that they don't level up, and their only way of healing is through save points and HP Max Ups.
** And again during Richter Mode in ''Portrait of Ruin''. They can at least level up this time, but there's still almost no health.
** ''Judgment'' made Death into this, which is either totally bizarre or completely in-character.
** In ''Order of Ecclesia'', the Death Ring makes Shanoa into one of these -- it makes her die in one hit while boosting all of her stats, excluding Luck (but including Defense).
** In ''Circle of the Moon'', combining the Black Dog and Pluto cards will turn Nathan into a skeleton that [[BallisticBone throws bones]]. He occasionally throws a large bone that deals an automatic 9999 damage, but he [[OneHitPointWonder dies in one hit while in this form]].
* GodIsGood / GodIsEvil: A bit of a theme throughout the series. Dracula's origin story came from a hatred of God after losing his wife, while Leon Belmont, who also lost his wife (due to Mathias' scheming), remained steadfast in his faith. Alucard and Celia Fortner seem to believe that in order for God to be wholly good, evil must exist in the form of a Dark Lord to oppose Him. In addition, some of the item crash powers Richter and Julius use draw directly on divine might.
* GoodIsNotNice: Alucard. Steadfast champion of goodness, is very cold, blunt, and aloof.
* GorgeousGorgon: Medusa, although this varies from each game.
* GoroawaseNumber: In many of the {{Metroidvania}} games, the meat item restores 29 HP. Why? Because in Japanese, "2 9" can be read as ''niku''. ''Niku'' is also the Japanese word for "meat".
* GrandTheftMe: This is ''how'' Dracula was to come BackFromTheDead in the ''Sorrow'' games.
** He does it in [[spoiler:Curse of Darkness too. Devil Forgemaster Bodyjacking. Initially Hector was the target, but when he resisted the curse, Isaac's body was used as the vessel.]]
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: In-canon, [[spoiler:''Order of Ecclesia'']]. In-franchise, ''Circle Of The Moon'', ''Castlevania Legends'', and any other release that wasn't blessed with future {{Continuity Nod}}s.
** A meta-example of this is probably the reason gamers will never receive an installment chronicling Julius Belmont's exploits in 1999; expectations would just be too damn high for the story of [[spoiler:how Dracula finally ''died for good''.]]
* TheGrimReaper: He is also often TheDragon and on a FirstNameBasis with Alucard; if you consider ''Kid Dracula'' to be canonical at all, he may have even helped raise him. According to the enemy list and manual of ''Symphony of the Night'', he is Dracula's close personal friend.
* TheGunslinger: Henry Oldrey and Albus. Also possible for Soma if you manage to locate the right weapon.
* HairTriggerExplosive: The two games on the {{Nintendo 64}} have the item "Magical Nitro" which is used in conjunction with "Mandragora" to make an explosive that destroys cracked walls. However, the game cautions that the Nitro is extremely volatile; the player must avoid jumping or being hit by enemy attacks or else the Nitro explodes and instantly kills the character.
* HalfHumanHybrid: Alucard... [[OurVampiresAreDifferent he's not your]] [[{{Dhampyr}} ordinary vampire]]...
* HauntedCastle: It was even the title of one of the games; the most unfair, [[NintendoHard hair-pullingly difficult]] game in the entire series.
* HeadlessHorseman: The Dullahan.
* HeartContainer: In all of the Metroidvania titles except the ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Sorrow]]'' games.
* HeroicAlbino: Some of the Belmont clan seem to be this, owing to the art style used. None of them are explicitly described as Albino, though -- they're just white-haired.
** By that token, Soma, Hector, and some incarnations of Alucard may or may not also qualify (for certain values of "heroic", of course).
* HeroicSacrifice: The oddest example so far, [[spoiler:the Golem in Judgment. He defeats the Time Reaper so Aeon can finish mending the rift in time. In the process of this, the Golem loses all sentient thought the rift gave him, and is destroyed some time later by a Vampire Killer.]]
** In ''Order of Ecclesia'', [[spoiler:Shanoa attempts one of these, but Albus takes the punch in her stead. D'aww.]]
* HolyBurnsEvil: Holy Water bursts into flames once its container break upon ground impact.
* HolyHandGrenade: One of the most useful sub weapons is Holy Water, which can cause tons of damage in the right circumstances. The cross and bible subweapons also count. Also, some of the games have holy elemental weapons, like the Claimh Solais in the ''Sorrow'' games.
** Item Crash cranks this UpToEleven. '''HYDRO STORM!''' '''GRAAND CRUZ!'''
* HotterAndSexier: The IGA era titles introduced nudity and fanserive everywhere.
* HotWitch: A common baddie in the IGA titles, who ShowSomeLeg with their witch costume. In the DS titles they [[FanServicePack got an upgrade.]]
** Some of the protagonists as well; Sypha (indicated in ''Judgment'', goes full-blown in ''Pachislot 3''), Yoko, possibly Charlotte, etc...
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: According to Dracula, anyway.
--> '''Dracula''': "What IS a man?! A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk -- HAVE AT YOU!"
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: The Belmont clan has this as a hereditary job description: Vampire Hunter.
** Walter Bernhard in ''Lament of Innocence'' incites people to hunt ''him'' for his amusement, usually by kidnapping and turning their loved ones.
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Food instantly heals you, although if you eat something rotten, it also instantly harms you... The ''Sorrow'' games feature an ability you can equip to turn poisonous food edible.
** The flavor text in ''Order of Ecclesia'' is very amusing about these. Rotten pot roast is described as "Your ticket to a brand new echelon of stomach problems."
* IAmLegion: A RecurringBoss, introduced more recently than many examples.
** Referred to as [[KurtVonnegut Granfaloon]] in [=SotN's=] english translation. ''Cat's Cradle'' used the word to refer to a false grouping of people, so it makes an odd bit of metaphorical sense.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Many, many Castlevania titles have had the subtitle "X of Y" or "X of the Y". ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' was the first to do it, though it seriously started to pick up after ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''. One title even has ''two'' "X of Y"s with ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadowMirrorOfFate''.
* IHateYouVampireDad: Subverted; Alucard tends to mourn him afterward.
* ILetYouWin: ''If'' you defeat [[TheGrimReaper Death]] in ''Portrait Of Ruin'', he will tell you he was holding back. Same goes for [[spoiler:Julius Belmont]] in ''Aria Of Sorrow''.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Maria Renard (animals), Charlotte Aulin (books).
* InexplicablyPreservedDungeonMeat: Used throughout the series. The pre-''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'' games typically allowed the player to break open walls to reveal different kinds of meat. Games after ''Symphony'' had food items just sitting on the floor out in the open or dropped by monsters, including cartons of milk that should've gone bad even faster than the meat. However, it also zigzagged this trope by including spoiled food items as well.
* InNameOnly: Simon Belmont from ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' has jack-all to with Simon from the games, and it's a particularly egregious example as the Captain N creators clearly never played the game or any of the other games the series was based on.
* InUniverseGameClock: ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'', ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'', and ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}}'' all have day/night cycles.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Several examples amid the {{Metroidvania}}s:
** ''Symphony'' has the Crissaegrim, which can do tons of damage in rapid fire, without breaking stride. If you manage to equip ''two'' Crissaegrims at once... holy hell, it's almost like cheating.
** ''Aria of Sorrow'' has the Claimh Solais, the best weapon due to its speed, power, and reach. It also had the Crissaegrim, but the (low) damage it dealt nerfed it into uselessness.
** ''Dawn of Sorrow'' finally balanced both by slowing down the Claimh Solais, and the rapid attack sword (Now the Valmanway) has decent attack power. Forging the Claimh Solais also requires sacrificing a decent Boss Soul, preventing 100% completion for that play through.
** Several games (Aria, Dawn, and Portrait) also have an item that grants essentially limitless MP, although latter games limited its effectiveness and you need to wait a few seconds for it to replenish if you run out completely. It comes late in the game, but makes replays a cakewalk.
** Death's Scythe in ''Curse of Darkness'' arguably counts, but it is '''such''' a pain to make. On higher levels, it is also outclassed by the [[GoodOldFisticuffs Force Glove]] in terms of damage per time. It's also available in both Sorrow games and just as powerful there, but it's Darkness-elemental which many enemies resist and the shaft has no hitbox, meaning it misses enemies that are standing too close to Soma.
* InformedAbility: The Belmonts are supposed to be the best vampire hunters around, but you'll have a much easier time beating the game with a little girl or a high school student. The Vampire Killer is supposed to be the best weapon to use against Dracula and his minions, but you'll find high-end swords can be much better.
** [[EasyModeMockery YOU ARE JUST NOT MAN ENOUGH TO BEAT THE GAME AS RICHTER!]]
** Naturally, this only applies when ''you'' are the Belmont. Julius is easily able to prove his worth time and time again, [[CutscenePowerToTheMax as long as you aren't controlling him]], in the ''Sorrow'' series. Ditto Trevor in ''Curse of Darkness'' to an extent! He's got an edge with the different whips though.
* AnInteriorDesignerIsYou: Sorta. There's one room in ''Harmony of Dissonance'' that you can "decorate," but you can't actually move the furniture. Just acquire it.
** Hector has this weird chair-collecting subquest in ''Curse of Darkness''.
* InvisibleStreaker: The "Invisible Man" enemy, which starts out wearing a hat, trenchcoat, and pants, but quickly [[BattleStrip throws them off]] to charge at you [[FullFrontalAssault naked]].
* ItemAmplifier: Some games have an Ankh item that increase the effect of healing items when equipped.
* JamesBondage: Richter Belmont, Soleiyu/Soleil Belmont, Hugh Baldwin, Maxim Kischine, arguably Simon Belmont (a curse eroding your soul is sure gonna limit your mobility) in the spiritual sense, and Morris Baldwin in ''Circle of the Moon'' literally.
** It's not limited to the heroes! Leon finds Joachim locked in the basement in ''Lament of Innocence'', and [[spoiler:considering his [[{{Fanservice}} clothing]] and what it hints at with regard to the lurking background plot, Isaac should go here too.]]
* JokeItem: Several crafted items in ''Curse of Darkness''; the paper airplane in ''Portrait of Ruin''; the [[{{Gradius}} Vic Viper]], Twinbee, and Konami Man in ''Order of Ecclesia''. The Alucart equipment looks to be this, but [[LethalJokeItem it does have a purpose.]]
* JustifiedSavePoint: As of late, they've been in front of statues of angels, the Virgin Mary, or like religious figures (''DawnOfSorrow'' had {{Valkyries}}). Makes sense since [[FridgeLogic it's probably sanctified ground]], and thus [[GoodHurtsEvil repels monsters]].
* {{Kamehamehadouken}}: The specialty of the Nova/Beam Skeletons that have shown up in several of the Metroivania titles now.
* {{Knockback}}: One of the main forms of difficulty in the earlier ''Castlevania'' titles.
* LampshadeHanging: Maria introduces her special attack in ''Judgment'' with "This is my special!"
** Dracula does it first in ''Portrait of Ruin'', commenting about how he and Death should get to double team, too.
* LedgeBats: The bats, birds, and Medusa heads all make platforming a pain, as they usually gather where there are pits and spikes.
* LegendaryWeapon: The Vampire Killer Whip is considered the ultimate undead-killing holy weapon.
* LethalJokeCharacter: Maria in ''Rondo of Blood'' / ''Dracula X Chronicles''. Beat the game with her and [[EasyModeMockery you'll get flamed for not being man enough to use Richter]].
* LethalJokeItem: Put on all three Alucart items in ''SOTN'' and you gain a + 30 luck bonus.
** There's also the Cream Pie subweapon in ''Portrait of Ruin'', which is dark-aligned and thus does nice damage to holy-aligned enemies when mastered. The easiest way to kill the rather difficult [[spoiler:spirit memory of Richter Belmont]] is to simply throw 200 cream pies in his face.
** In ''Rondo of Blood'', a Key must be held in place of secondary weapons. It can't be used to attack and trying to make Richter item-crash with it will just [[BreakingTheFourthWall make him wonder what the hell you're trying to do]]. However, since Richter is invulnerable while performing item-crash and the key's item-crash consumes no hearts, you can spam it to get out of tight situations -- just don't do it on moving platforms.
*** The key actually ''can'' be used to attack, and does insane damage -- it just has pitifully short range.
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Kid Dracula'' series.
** Also, ''Portrait Of Ruin'', which has quite a few FunnyMoments.
** And the Pachislot, which probably harbors on the silly end of the SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness.
* LivingLabyrinth: Dracula's castle points and laughs at mapmakers. Metaphorically, of course.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Twice in Dracula's case; it also justifies the [[NonstandardGameOver bad ending]] of ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
** [[PowerOfLove Subverted]] with [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Gabriel Belmont. Even after he lost his true love, he is still sane enough to save humanity from the darkness, thanks to the consistent encouragement from his love; even after he becomes Dracula (a different one), he simply hides himself in darkness without harming any other humans.]] However, double subverted that after beating the Forgotten One, he became disgusted with humans, became a closer-to-classic Dracula, and waged war against humanity... until the Stinger in the end of the first game anyway.]]
** [[spoiler:Mathias]] intended [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Leon Belmont]] to obey the trope, but Leon finds the very idea ridiculous.
** Played straight with Brauner in ''Portrait''; [[spoiler:in his case, it's the death of his daughters that pushed him over the edge]].
* MadArtist: Brauner in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin''. In a sense, the point of the whole game.
* MagicKnight: Shanoa. Also Juste Belmont, who is not only strong physically, but also the one augmenting most magic in his arsenal.
** The Devil Forgemasters are the other side's equivalent.
** Alucard belongs here, too (the guy gets around, tropishly).
** [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon Nathan Graves]] also qualifies, wielding both a Hunter Whip and magic cards. His game even has a Magician Mode where you have all the cards available from the start.
* MagicPants: Averted with the Werewolf in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' (and all other games which reuse those sprites), who turns into a naked human while dying ([[MaleFrontalNudity who clearly has something between his legs]]). ''Dracula X Chronicles'' played this straight by adding a little black loincloth, both in the 2D and 3D versions of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'' (but not in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'', which uses the same sprites). ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia'' similarly alters the ''Rondo'' sprites, but with a pair of boxer shorts instead (although added rather more clumsily, [[DigitalBikini spontaneously appearing between frames]].)
** The She-Wolf in ''Bloodlines'' and the ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' Werewolf also turn into naked humans, but they are positioned a bit more modestly (though you can see [=PoR=] Werewolf's buttcrack).
* MagicSkirt: In ''Bloodlines'', Eric "Spear Dude" Lecarde's short tunic stays in place even when completely upside-down and pole-vaulting.
** ''Rondo of Blood'' subverts this very cleverly. Maria holds her skirt so as not to flash the world or trip when she somersaults.
* ManaPotion: The Mana Prism restores all magic in games that use it.
** In some games, hearts restore magic instead of sub weapon uses.
* TheManBehindTheMan: There are a few hints dropped that Death may actually be the man behind the man to Dracula, or that Death obeys a power beyond Dracula.
* TheManBehindTheMonsters
* MarketBasedTitle: It's called ''Castlevania'' in the west because "The Demon Castle of Dracula" isn't very trademarkable, and probably is harder to make look good on ad copy.
** ZigZagged somewhat, as a few games from the early 00s went by the name of ''Castlevania'' in Japan as well, including most recently ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Lords of Shadow]]''.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: Dracula races in ''VideoGame/KonamiKrazyRacers'' and Simon fights in ''VideoGame/DreamMixTVWorldFighters''.
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Dracula and Lisa, with tragic results; ambiguously implied for Alucard and Maria.
* MegaManning: Key gameplay element in ''Dawn of Sorrow'' and ''Aria of Sorrow.'' Shades of it appear in ''Portrait of Ruin'' and ''Order of Ecclesia''.
* {{Metroidvania}}: One of the trope namers, along with ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}''. Some of the games follow this formula, as early as ''Simon's Quest'', but it was ''Symphony of the Night'' that made the series known for this.
* MirrorMatch: In ''Lament of Innocence'', you can play as [[spoiler:Joachim Armster]], and while playing as him, you end up fighting a doppelganger of yourself. Ditto for [[spoiler:Trevor Belmont]] in ''Curse of Darkness'' and [[spoiler:Albus]] in ''Order of Ecclesia''. And that's without counting the numerous doppelganger bosses.
* MoneySpider: What bats are doing with a bag of money, is left unanswered.
* MonsterMash
* MultipleEndings: First featured in ''Simon's Quest'', most of the {{Metroidvania}}s except for ''Circle of the Moon'' have multiple endings; there is at minimum a bad ending for rushing through the game and a good ending for thoroughly completing the game.
** A weird habit for several games is that the 'worst' (Or, at least, the easiest to get) ending is actually not that bad, while the 'moderate' ending is the DownerEnding. ''Simon's Quest'' was especially weird, as the worst ending ended happily, the moderate ending had Simon dying, and the best ending had Dracula [[SequelHook coming back from the grave.]]
* MyDeathIsJustTheBeginning: Essential in ''Legacy of Darkness''.
* NamedWeapons: Pretty much every weapon used by a character, although the Vampire Killer is the most obvious example.
* NinjaMaid: The Zombie Maid and Persephone.
* NintendoHard: Many of the early games in the series, before the {{Metroidvania}} phase kicked in with ''Symphony of the Night''.
** ''Circle of the Moon'' is pretty hard, even if you know the right cards to get. And the most useful cards force you to go through the BonusDungeon to get them.
** And ''Order of Eccelsia'', which is full of Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders, and most bosses can kill you in 2-3 hits, and some of them have instant-death combos.
** Out of all the already NintendoHard [[FanNickname Classicvanias,]] special mention must go to the arcade game ''VideoGame/HauntedCastle''. Not so much for the [[PlatformHell platforming]] and hard-to-kill creatures (of which there is plenty of both), but for the fact you only get TWO lives to beat the game with. Yes, an arcade machine with a life limit. Lose both lives, and your third token will throw you back to the very beginning.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Celia Fortner in ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
** Stella's implied to do this in some of the extra bonus artwork.
* NoGearLevel: Near the beginning of ''Symphony of the Night.''
** You can actually continue doing this if you so desire. It's challenging but kinda hilarious (and CrazyAwesome) when Alucard beats the shit out of the Grim Reaper with his bare hands.
* NonstandardGameOver: ''Dawn of Sorrow'' has this if you enter a room without equipping Mina's pendant.
** In ''Order of Ecclesia'', [[spoiler:failing to set all the villagers free before confronting Albus]] will result in this.
* NoOntologicalInertia: Dracula's castle always crumbles to dust upon the [[LoadBearingBoss death of its owner.]] Explained by Dracula and his castle being symbiotically linked.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Everyone in North America thinks Simon Belmont's name is pronounced "Sigh-mon". In the original Japanese, it's "Shee-mon". It's really supposed to be a French-sounding name, pronounced "See-mohn".
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Lisa was burned at the stake for practicing medicine. Considering [[{{Dracula}} who her husband was]] and [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge his reaction]], this trope is deconstructed.
* NoodleIncident: The 'Battle of 1999' is often referenced in the 'Sorrow' games, but the player is never told exactly what happened during the final epic battle between the Belmonts and Dracula. The two people who were alive for it (Julius Belmont and Alucard) are notoriously tight lipped about the whole thing.
* NorioWakamoto: Dracula's voice for most of the Japanese games.
* NostalgiaLevel: Pretty much every single area in the original appears in the sequels. Areas of the castle shown in subsequent games also have a habit of returning. They even tend to have the same items hidden in the same locations. The two most noteworthy locations are Dracula's Keep and the Main Entrance.
** ''Castlevania Chronicles'' pulls a nostalgia screw on players in the first level. Whip the place in the wall where there was delicious masonry pot-roast in the original game, and you will be rewarded not with lunch but rather '''an infinite flow of flea men'''.
* NotSoDifferent: If you think about it. Leon or the Belmonts in general aren't so different, from [[spoiler: Mathias]]/Dracula. They're both powered by [[PoweredByAForsakenChild souls]] to try to off each other. The Vampire killer is [[spoiler: Sara]], while [[spoiler: Walter]] is stuck inside the Crimson Stone.
* OfCorsetsSexy: Stella, of ''Portrait of Ruin'', wears a loose-fitting corset as part of her costume. And although they're (sadly) [[InformedEquipment not seen wearing them]], corsets can be found and equipped as armor by the female protagonists in the DS games.
** Carmilla's top in ''Circle of the Moon'' looks to be one as well.
*** The Succubus in Symphony of the Night seems to wear nothing but a corset.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Julius Belmont has the distinction of being described, within canon, as the strongest Belmont in history, and his sealing of ''Castlevania'' within the solar eclipse with the help of an army is the stuff of legends (also resulting in Dracula reincarnating as a ''good guy''). He's also the only Belmont thus introduced whose main story has ''never'' been playable, only later missions as bonus material.
* {{Omake}}: The 4-koma comics, only the Dracula X and Order of Ecclesia ones have been translated so far.
* OnceAnEpisode: Certain things are sure to reappear from time to time in the series. For example, there's often a "Clock Tower" level with spike pits, conveyor belts of some sort, and usually a lot of flying Medusa Heads clogging up the area.
* OneToMillionToOne: Dracula occasionally teleports this way, becoming a mass of bats.
* OneWingedAngel: Dracula, every game. He actually only has one form at the end of ''Symphony of the Night'', but that's because he did the usual two forms in the ''Rondo of Blood'' CallBack at the beginning.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIBelmontsRevenge'' also has only one form for Dracula -- perhaps because he comes right after the fight with [[strike:Soleiyu]] [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Soleil]].
** In ''Order of Ecclesia'', he doesn't transform at all; [[MundaneMadeAwesome he just starts walking around]]. And it's still one of his strongest forms across all the games.
** Death also has a second, more monstrous form in some games.
* [[OnlyKnownByHisNickname Only Known By Its Nickname]]: Castlevania is actually the name of Dracula's castle, but it's more commonly just called "Dracula's castle".
* OrbitingParticleShield: This is an incredibly common ability in the series. ''Circle of the Moon'' has an entire subset of shield powers with many variations on this. The ''Sorrow'' games have the Buer [[PowersAsPrograms soul]], which are fire particles, and more appear the more copies of the soul you have.
* OurFairiesAreDifferent: The Innocent Devil fairies in ''Curse of Darkness'' (especially the Proboscis Fairy, what the heck), and the Pixie/Half-Fairy/Han'yousei familiar in ''Symphony of the Night''; the Fairy is pretty usual for her species.
* OurMonstersAreWeird
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: When you think about it, Dracula is less of a vampire and more of a Japanese-style Demon King. He rarely even turns other people into vampires.
* PimpedOutDress: Some of the 3D games have pretty elaborate outfits, as does ''Order of Ecclesia''. Even the sprite-based games can have fancy dresses.
* PlotCoupon: Three games require the player to collect Dracula's body parts before heading to the final confrontation. Several other games require you to collect different items to progress, or get the good ending. Classic games have orbs dropping from the boss which the player has to collect.
* PowerOfFriendship: Justifies the true ending in ''Harmony Of Dissonance'', where Juste saves his best friend Maxim from needless death thanks to Dracula's mind control.
* PowerOfLove: Noted as a contrast to LoveMakesYouEvil above. The most obvious example might be Leon Belmont, who after the tragic death of his lover in the hands of the villains swears that he and his descendants will hunt the night to prevent the same tragedy from happening to other humans again; he himself also stated this is the only way to prove his love for the deceased Sara. It also justifies the good ending of ''DawnOfSorrow''; [[spoiler:Mina's Talisman given to Soma (if you remember to wear it) also keeps his weary, gullible heart from [[LoveMakesYouEvil going wrong]] in the bad ending.]]
* PowerUpLetdown: Trying to use the Alucart Shield (if you weren't watching the last consonant or were just curious) in combo with the Shield Rod. Cue Alucard pulling his cloak around dramatically...and then going "?"
** Trying to summon using the Killer Fish soul in ''Aria'' results in the fish dying unless you're underwater. [[SchmuckBait The soul description does warn you about this side effect.]]
** Attempting an Item Crash with the Key in ''Rondo of Blood'' leads to Richter powering up...and falling back to earth with a ? above his head, wondering what the heck you're trying to do. Then again, the key [[LethalJokeItem does have its uses]].
* PunctuatedPounding: [[spoiler:Master Barlowe]] really [[VillainousBreakdown losing his shit]] in ''Order of Ecclesia''.
--> ''"DIE, SHANOAAA! HOW DARE YOU! *Punch* EVEN FORGETTING! *Punch* WHO'' [[spoiler:RAISED ''YOU! *Punch* YOU..! *Punch* '''STUPID DISCIPLE'''!!! *MegatonPunch*]]"''
* {{Prequel}}: ''Four times''. It's almost as if every director wanted to be the one to tell the earliest story in the timeline...
* PrettyInMink: Soma's huge fur collar in ''Aria Of Sorrow''.
** His [[spoiler:prior incarnation has this, too, in ''Lament of Innocence''. Work it, Mathias.]]
** Chronicles Simon has a sexy fuzzy collar. Or half of one.
* PullingThemselvesTogether: Red skeletons, one of the more common enemies in the series, reform themselves after they've been destroyed.
* PunBasedTitle: ''Castlevania'' is an obvious pun on Transylvania.
* RainOfBlood: The death animation for most of the mains, starting with ''Rondo of Blood'', as well as [[spoiler:a specific attack by Dracula's third form in ''Dracula X Chronicles'' which literally causes the blood to rain down from above]].
** The poorly received SNES adaptation of ''Rondo of Blood'' censored this in a... questionable manner. They turned all the blood white, which makes what Death is doing when Richter hits him look... funny.
* RandomDrop: Ever since the Metroidvania era began; recent games have even started displaying the drop rates too.
** RareRandomDrop.
* RapidFireFisticuffs: The Sacred Fist sub-weapon from Harmony of Dissonance.
* RatedMForManly: The old school barbarian looking Simon, with the leather and crotch plate. The action figure/toy/collectible model/whatever you want to call it looks even more manly. Also, from Haunted Castle, fighting Dracula again to save his woman.
* RealMenEatMeat: In several of the side-scrolling ''Castlevania'' games, you must find power-ups that resemble various cuts of meat to regenerate your health.
* RealMenWearPink: Juste Belmont from ''Harmony of Dissonance'' likes... decorating a room.
* RecurringRiff: The big three tunes are "Vampire Killer", "Bloody Tears", and "Beginning" from the first three games in the series, in that order. Individual character themes such as Simon's and Dracula's Dance of Illusions also count.
* RecycledTitle: Both the NES and N64 versions are just called ''Castlevania'', as is the European version of the PS2's ''Lament of Innocence'' and the European version of the GameBoyAdvance's ''Circle of the Moon''. Also, about half the games in the series before the 32-bit era were called ''Akumajou Dracula'' in Japan.
* RefusalOfTheCall: The cancelled Dreamcast entry was to star a Belmont named Victor who wanted nothing to do with his family's heritage, but [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive the call found him anyway.]] Makes you wonder WhatCouldHaveBeen if it had come out.
* RegeneratingMana: Games that use a ManaMeter almost always have it slowly fill back up.
* ReincarnationRomance: There's a pretty widespread {{fanon}} assumption that just as Soma Cruz in the ''Sorrow'' titles is the reincarnation of [[spoiler:Dracula]], Mina Hakuba is similarly the reincarnation of [[spoiler:Dracula's two previous wives, Elisabetha Cronqvist and Lisa]]. People who [[DieForOurShip aren't fans of the Soma/Mina pairing]] understandably have an issue with this. There's no WordOfGod one way or the other, too, so the slapfights go on...
* RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain: Dracula is usually only vulnerable to headshots, from the first game onward.
* ReverseShrapnel: A few of the Item Crashes, the Cross and Axe particularly.
* RewardingVandalism: Candles are made to be broken. So are some walls. And floors. And clocks. And chandeliers.
* RoundhouseKick: Several moves, including Persephone's attack.
* TheRuinsICaused: A Castlevania staple. Unusual in that it's technically the same castle that crumbles every time.
* SamusIsAGirl: Sypha Belnades. At first. Afterwards, impersonator, ''Judgment'' or ''Pachislot'' does away with it.
* SayMyName: Quite frequent in the series.
** Maxim from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance Harmony of Dissonance]]'' yells "JUSTEEE!" when beaten.
** ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]'': Switching characters has the current character shout the next character's name. "Yoko!" "Julius!" "Alucard!"
*** And when you reach the final boss in Julius Mode, you get one depending on which character is leading the strike: "ARIKADO!" "VERUNANDES!" "YURIUSU... BELMONDOOO!"
*** The lead's heavy-hearted 'Soma...'.
** ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin Portrait of Ruin]]'': Like Dawn of Sorrow above, your characters call each others' names when switching, or when summoning them onscreen for support. This results in...
*** Jonathan! Charlotte! Jonathan! Charlotte! Jonathan! Charlotte! Jonathan! Charlotte! Jonathan! Charlotte!
*** Loretta! Sister! Loretta! Sister! Loretta! Sister! Loretta! Sister! Loretta! Sister! Loretta! Sister!
** Upon his defeat in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia Order of Ecclesia]]'', [[spoiler:the Fake Boss]] Albus bellows a truly epic "SHAAANOOOAAA!"
** Thanks to ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'', we also have "LORD DRACULAAA!", "LORD DRACULAAA!", and "LORD GALAMOOOTH!"
** One character pressing the "Dual Crush" button near another results in them calling the other character's name in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair Harmony of Despair]]''.
* ScarfOfAsskicking: Appears on several characters throughout the series.
* SdrawkcabName: Other than {{Alucard}}, there are Puwexil (a gigantic skull that attacks with an oversized tongue, his name backwards is essentially "Licks You Up") and Koranot (a golem, his name backwards is "Ton 'a rock"), two bosses in ''Super Castlevania IV''.
* SecretCharacter: In almost every game since ''Rondo''.
** ''Rondo of Blood'': Maria.
** ''Symphony of the Night'': [[spoiler:Richter]] and Maria (only in the Saturn and PSP versions).
** ''Harmony of Dissonance'': [[spoiler:Maxim]], and for the boss rush, [[spoiler:Maxim and Simon Belmont]].
** ''Aria of Sorrow'': [[spoiler:Julius]].
** ''Dawn of Sorrow'': [[spoiler:Julius, Yoko, and Alucard]].
** ''Lament of Innocence'': [[spoiler:Joachim, notable for being the only outright villain to play this role. Stella and Loretta, being brainwashed, don't count in that category.]]
** ''Curse of Darkness'': [[spoiler:Trevor Belmont.]]
** ''Portrait of Ruin'': Sisters mode, Richter mode, Old Axe Armor mode.
*** Or rather "Richiter Mode"...
** ''Order of Ecclesia'': Albus mode.
* SequenceBreaking: There is no need to get the cleansing item to beat ''Circle of the Moon'', and consequentially no need to get the heavy ring either, letting you skip two of the eight main levels (if you can survive being that underleveled in the waterway).
** If you know which three souls you need to equip to reach the true ending in ''Aria of Sorrow'', you can skip the rooms where you learn this information. This includes the area behind the Chronomage, which you could only pass with Galamoth's soul, which is the main reward for defeating Legion. Thus, you can also skip the Underground Cemetery. (Though getting the GoldenEnding requires that you collect every soul in the game, meaning you can't skip anything.)
** In ''Dawn of Sorrow'', large sections of the game can be skipped either after the first playthrough, or with some other method of accessing the cross-hilt dagger Cinqueda -- Because it has a special move that teleports you, it can trigger every single door-switch from the wrong side. Other tricks exist to bypass barriers meant to block you until you got a specific item.
* SequelDifficultySpike
* SexyBacklessOutfit: Shanoa in Order of Ecclesia. Mmmm...
* ShapeShifterMashup: Scylla.
* ShoutOut: One of the bosses in ''Order of Ecclesia'' looks a lot like [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Raoh]]... There's also Zephyr in ''Dawn of Sorrow'', which is a ShoutOut to [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Dio Brando]]
** There are plenty of Shout Outs to classic vampire stories and movies; for instance, Literature/{{Carmilla}} is named for the eponymous villain of the [[OlderThanTheyThink first]] LesbianVampire story, and the boss "Olrox" in ''Symphony of the Night'' is a fudged translation of [[LooksLikeOrlok Orlok]], from the classic film ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}''.
** Also, the Grave Digger monster in ''Order of Ecclesia'' bears an uncanny resemblence to Wrestling/{{WWE}} wrestler The Undertaker.
** ''Symphony of the Night'' and ''Harmony of Dissonance'' have spells that allow you to summon shield orbs a la ''{{Gradius}}''.
** The Griffon Wing relic, which lets you triple-jump and beyond, lets Jonathan in ''Portrait of Ruin'' do an underpowered [[StreetFighter Shoryuken.]]
** The [[http://community.livejournal.com/kamenrider/175438.html Kicker Skeleton]] in ''Aria of Sorrow'' spends all day jumping in the air and [[Franchise/KamenRider Rider Kicking]] you, its ScarfOfAsskicking flapping in the wind.
** The Yeti monster in ''Dawn of Sorrow'' has a ''Franchise/MetalGear'' style! above its head in its info box, and again when it returns in ''Order of Ecclesia''. Also, his bestiary picture in [=DoS=] looks pretty much like the infamous Bigfoot photography.
** There's also a boss battle in ''Order of Ecclesia'' that is a parody of ''Bomberman''.
** ''Castlevania: The Arcade'' [[spoiler:has a hidden ending that is a parody of the love confession scene from ''TokimekiMemorial'']].
** The Pneuma glyph in ''Ecclesia'' allows you to dish out Reppukens and Raging Storms. [[FatalFury Geese]] [[SNKBoss Howard]] would be proud.
** And of course, the requisite shout outs to the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker, such as his name (mangled) being in the credits of [=CV1=], John Morris' father being Quincey Morris and Mina Hakuba of the Sorrow duology's name being similar to Mina Harker.
** The credits on the first Castlevania for the NES consisted purely of shout outs to classical monster actors and the roles that made them famous. Dracula being played by Christopher Bee, for example.
** In the Saturn version of Symphony of the Night, Maria can summon a [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/Images/Screens/nitmb.png blue dragon]], which looks like the [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/Images/Weird/SotN/ssdracx-dragon2.gif Intruder/Fire Dragon]] from ''Life Force''.
** In perhaps one of the most obscure shout out ever on the series, the first name of Castlevania 64's Belmont is Reinhardt, and the person who introduced actor Max Schrecks to director F.W. Murnau (of ''Nosferatu'' fame)? Max Reinhardt.
** Another [=JoJo=] reference can be found in the Stone Mask item.
** ''Lords of Shadow'' is chock full of these, though they are, in fact, shout outs to the Castlevania series at large. For instance, part way through the game, Zobek has this to say about the Combat Cross, your main weapon: "The Villagers called him 'God's Savior' and his weapon they called 'Vampire Killer'. Ah, Gandolfi, how that would make you smile." Also, before the fight with Carmilla: "Poor, beautiful Carmilla, you will cry bloody tears before this night has ended!" Many of the boss characters (Cornell, Malphas, Brauner, Olrox, Carmilla) are named after characters from other games. Even the song that plays in the Music Box level (Level 9-3) is the (in)famous theme from the original Castlevania, "Vampire Killer." Mercury Steam went out of their way to include many different shout outs for their reboot.
** A subtle one from ''Portrait of Ruin'': [[{{Rugrats}} "JONATHAN! CHARLOTTE!"]]
** Among dozens of other cross Konami references: The Bat familiar acting like The Vic Viper's (and other main ships) Options from {{Gradius}}, even going so far as to add extra bats as the main one levels up. It's awesome and adorable.
** The Crimson Mask has appeared in a few games. Its design is a red copy of Char Aznable's iconic mask.
* ShowgirlSkirt: The Fairy familiar in ''Symphony'' wears a white skirt.
* ShutUpHannibal: "Your words are as empty as your soul!"
* SinisterScythe: Death, duh. Ups the ante by attacking with mini-sickles and a double-bladed version in ''Aria of Sorrow'', further upped in ''The Adventure Rebirth'' which introduces laser scythes.
** Some games let you equip Death's Scythe.
* SlouchOfVillainy: Dracula has used his immortality to not only perfect it, but teach it to his children, underlings, and even ''[[spoiler:reincarnation]]''.
** Shaft, his dark priest lackey, also has somewhat bad posture, though his is perpetual and doesn't just appear in conjunction with a throne and a wineglass.
** Richter displays the slouch in a piece of official art for ''Symphony of the Night''.
** Walter has one as well in ''Lament of Innocence''
* SmartBomb: Some games have these. For an example, a cross sometimes qualifies as one.
* SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom: Many games have them.
* SoundOfNoDamage: A snapping or metallic sound effect is used for this throughout the series.
* SpikesOfDoom: In the games without lives, these become the biggest non-enemy hazard.
* SpinoffBabies: ''Kid Dracula,'' starring (what is generally considered by many to be) Alucard as a child. Certainly the goofiest game in the series. The final boss got a cameo in ''Symphony of the Night'' and factored into the story of ''Judgment''.
** Yes, it's Alucard, not Dracula. The Japanese players' guide confirms it by stating that Kid Drac's cape is 'papa's old one'. Though one WMG theorizes that it's another son of Dracula's.
* SpritePolygonMix: ''Symphony of the Night'' and ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
** Even more so in ''Portrait of Ruin'' and ''Order of Ecclesia''.
* StandardPowerupPose: Pretty common while doing big name moves like Item Crushes.
* StockWeaponNames: If the whip isn't the weapon, then these come into play.
* StoppedNumberingSequels
* StormingTheCastle: It's either the entire game or the last level.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Shanoa, the new heroine in Order of Ecclesia, by means of a really amazing SexyBacklessOutfit.
** Carmilla and Maria are this in ''Judgment''.
** If guys count, Isaac fits in here, too. Dracula is a DirtyOldMan.
** The [[HornyDevils Succubus]] from ''Symphony of the Night'' has not only forgotten her pants, she's [[VaporWear not even wearing panties]]. That's right; the sprite is naked from corset to boots (nothing's shown of course).
** The Belmonts, in their classic designs, are also male examples.
* SuperDrowningSkills: None of the Belmonts could swim until ''Symphony of the Night'' granted Richter the ability to touch water and not die. Justified for Alucard as one of his vampiric weaknesses.
* SuperNotDrowningSkills: A number of examples, including Alucard, Shanoa, and Julius.
** Alucard gradually loses HP upon exposure to water until you get the Holy Snorkel--er, Holy Symbol in ''Symphony of the Night''.
** John Morris and Eric Lecarde of ''Bloodlines'' weren't exactly water-soluble either. They only took a modicum of damage, but as long as they were still onscreen, it wasn't instantly fatal.
* TearfulSmile: [[spoiler:Shanoa at the end of ''Order of Ecclesia''.]]
* TearsOfBlood: A recurring decoration, an area obstacle in ''Chronicles'', and an occasional Carmilla attack. "Bloody Tears" is the name of one of the series' Recurring Riffs.
* TemporaryPlatform: Scattered across the series.
* TheBadGuyWins: In one of the games, (specifically, [[spoiler:''Legacy of Darkness''), after you overcome the final boss, you find out that he was a decoy, the whole thing was a set-up, and you've played into Dracula's hands and only aided him.]] Ditto for [[spoiler:''Lament of Innocence'']].
* ThisIsUnforgivable: Alucard to the succubus in ''Symphony of the Night'', Nathan to Carmilla in ''Circle of the Moon'', and Soma to Celia in ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: Charlotte at the start of ''Portrait of Ruin'' and the Bible subweapon.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: The Heaven Sword and Runesword weapons in ''Symphony of the Night''.
* TimedMission: Most of the non-metroidvania platformer installments have a timer ticking down in each level. The only non-metroidvania installments that don't have a time limit are ''Bloodlines'' and ''Rondo of Blood'' (as well as its [[ReformulatedGame remixed SNES port]] ''Dracula X'' and [[UpdatedRerelease PSP remake]] ''Dracula X Chronicles'').
* TimeStandsStill: Stopwatches are a recurring item; some games also use this situation as an obstacle.
** Said obstacle is usually passed, oddly enough, by using a time stop power.
** Aeon's special attack in ''Castlevania Judgment'' also does this.
** Saint-Germain did it first in ''Curse of Darkness''.
** ''Literally'' inverted in Aria of Sorrow; one enemy uses a stopwatch on you and reverses time to send you back in the previous room. Said enemy is quick enough to prevent being hurt until you have a way of negating his effect.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:In ''Aria of Sorrow'', Soma Cruz learns he is the reincarnation of Dracula.]]
** [[spoiler:''Lords of Shadow'': Gabriel: "Eu sunt Dracul!"]]
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: If the villagers didn't kill Lisa by burning her at the stake, then Dracula wouldn't have gone to war against humanity.
* TreacherousAdvisor: [[spoiler:Barlowe]] in ''Order of Ecclesia''. Not helped by the fact that [[spoiler:he raised Shanoa from her childhood.]]
** It's possible he didn't ''intend'' to pull a FaceHeelTurn; Dracula has a knack for messing with people's heads.
* TrickBoss: Scylla, Paranoia and the Hydra from the Rondo remake.
* TrueBlueFemininity: Several ladies were blue, from good guys to the enemy maid Persephone.
* TrueFinalBoss: In ''Dracula X Chronicles'', Dracula goes OneWingedAngel ''after'' his OneWingedAngel form. [[OhCrap Oh dear.]]
* TurnsRed: A ''lot'' of bosses. Gaibon from Super Castlevania IV probably started its origin without going OneWingedAngel though.
* {{Uberwald}}: Subverted in ''Bloodlines'', as the final battle actually takes place in England, not Romania.
* UnholyNuke: "Demonic Megiddo" is the Dark Lord's most powerful attack, and tends to be a OneHitKill super powerful spell used mainly by Dracula or Death.
* UniqueItems: Frequent in the series. The most powerful weapons are often in secret rooms or obtainable after boss fights. In Aria of Sorrow, the souls of the bosses and a number of other creatures are only obtainable once.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Legacy of Darkness'' for ''Castlevania'' on Nintendo 64, which was originally going to be called ''Castlevania: Special Edition''.
* VampireHunter: Just about everyone.
* VariableLengthChain
* VictoryIsBoring: Subversion: Richter Belmont seemingly summons the castle back just to be a hero again, but he's actually under MindControl.
* VideoGameLives: Only in the non-metroidvania platformer installments. The {{Metroidvania}} installments uses {{Save Point}}s instead.
* VideoGameRemake: The original ''Castlevania'' has been remade several times; notable versions include ''Super Castlevania IV'' and what would later become known as ''Castlevania Chronicles''. Also, ''Dracula X: Rondo of Blood'' was remade for the PSP.
** There is also ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventureReBirth'', which is a re-imagining of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventure''.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Shanoa]] in ''Order of Ecclesia'' is tricked into [[spoiler:reviving Dracula]] in the bad ending. [[spoiler:She]] still contributes to [[spoiler:his revival]] anyway if you bypass the bad ending, having [[spoiler:brought Dominus to Barlowe, who then uses it on the stone artifact containing Dracula's spirit.]]
** [[spoiler:Hector]] almost becomes one of these in ''Curse of Darkness''; his [[FoeYay rival]] actually does.
** Leon Belmont becomes one in ''Lament of Innocence'', as [[spoiler:his defeat of Walter allows Death to steal Walter's power and give it to Mathias, who then uses it to become the king of the night, Dracula.]]
** Poor, poor Cornell. [[spoiler:By sacrificing his wolf-half to save his sister, he ended up giving Dracula exactly what he needed to resurrect.]]
** Of late, in ''Lords of Shadow'', [[spoiler:Gabriel]] turns into this [[spoiler:when we learn that Zobek used him the entire time to get to the God Mask and gain more power, as well as a few other revelations]], and like a good ol' one-two punch, [[spoiler:Zobek, powerful though he is as one of the Lords of Shadow, winds up having been used by Satan the entire time as a way of getting to the God Mask.]]
* VillainBasedFranchise: Dracula is the BigBad of almost every game, and is somehow involved in the few where he's not.
* VillainTeleportation: Dracula.
** Subverted by Alucard, who inherited the powers from his old man, but obviously uses it for righteous means.
* WeirdMoon: Most games in the series content themselves with an inexplicably gigantic moon, but ''Symphony of the Night'' takes the cake. ''[=SotN's=]'' moon appears crescent when viewed from the clock tower, full when viewed from the outer wall and Olrox's quarters, and full with a blood red tint when viewed from the castle keep. In all but Olrox's quarters, the moon is also terrifyingly HUGE. And yet, all of these locations are a short walk from each other, with the outer wall, clock tower, and castle keep all being ''right next door''.
** At times, the moon displays a vague but definitely seeable skull pattern.
** In the intro for ''Castlevania Judgment'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYfzDiCxDyA the moon is portrayed in such a size it would actually be BIGGER than the Earth itself]], unless the satellite has broken orbit and is on a collision course for Eastern Europe.
** A more subdued variation occurs in ''Bloodlines'', during the final segment of the final stage. The moon, in all its largeness, is prominent in the background as you climb the first of three boss-room towers, and is turned blood red by the powers of Death as he manifests to attack you. The subsequent towers are presided over by the still-red moon.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Since the games work as a prequel (and sequel) to Bram Stoker's novel, Quincy Morris is eventually revealed to be of the Belmont family. Therefore it's rather strange that Van Helsing (a much more famous vampire hunter) is never mentioned.
* WhipItGood: The foundation of the Belmont offense, as well as many other protagonists.
* WithThisHerring: The knife is the weakest of the special weapons, on par with the un-upgraded whip, in most Classicvanias. Starting with ''Rondo of Blood'' they've tried to make the knife a more viable choice through low ammo cost, rapid fire, or powerful item crashes.
** In ''Lament of Innocence'', the dagger is pretty weak by itself. Combine it with the Yellow Orb (gotten by beating Succubus), and it can easily clear rooms at a moderate 10 hearts.
** It's damned useful in ''Symphony of the Night'' for powering up a particular sword, or healing Alucard after he uses a certain spell. Just stand near a bunch of Bloody Zombies and spam it like a madman.
** The Metroidvania entries tend to start you with a really lame weapon. ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' starts Jonathan with the legendary Vampire Killer, but he can't use it so it's pathetically weak. It can be upgraded later, though.
* WolfMan: They are recurring enemies, but there's also Cornell.
* WorldOfHam: The series is ''very'' over-dramatic, as befitting its source material. Especially any time there's voice acting involved (see below). But the quality is usually high enough that it ''works''. And, occasionally, Konami throws in little jabs to imply they're not taking it completely seriously either. But regardless of if you do, or laugh, or are somewhere in between, it's still one of the only game series that can have a stage entitled "Atop the Corpses of thy Brethren" and not sound out of place.
* YouMonster: "Die, monster! You don't belong in this world!"
* ZettaiRyouiki: Charlotte Aulin and Sonia Belmont. Also, Carmilla and Maria in Judgement.

''"But enough tropes,'' '''''HAVE AT YOU!!!"'''''
----