[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ariaofsorrowcover_1446.JPG]]

The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' duology of ''Aria of Sorrow'' ({{GBA}}) and ''Dawn of Sorrow'' ({{DS}}).

!''Aria of Sorrow''

In the year 2035, Soma Cruz is a seemingly OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent ([[NewTransferStudent Transfer Student]] in the English version) who gets transported to Dracula's Castle (AKA Castlevania), thought to have been sealed permanently during the [[NoodleIncident battle of 1999]], during an eclipse, along with fellow student Mina Hakuba. Also at the scene is government agent Genya Arikado ([[PaperThinDisguise he's Alucard]]), who suggests that Soma venture further into the castle to discover the secret of its reappearance. Soma contains the Power of Dominance, which allows him to [[YourSoulIsMine take the souls of his enemies]] and [[SoulPower conform them to his will]]. It is revealed later that a mad cultist named Graham Jones is behind everything and believes himself to be the reincarnation of Dracula. Obviously he has to be stopped.

[[spoiler: After defeating Graham, [[LateArrivalSpoiler we learn]] that it is not him, but Soma who is the reincarnation of {{Dracula}} after his [[DeaderThanDead final death]] in 1999. Soma later meets with a mysterious man named J, who is actually the man who defeated Drac in 1999, Julius Belmont, who had contracted LaserGuidedAmnesia. After a GetAHoldOfYourselfMan scuffle, Soma goes to defeat the embodiment of Chaos and saying to Julius that if he becomes Dracula, he wants Julius to be the one to kill him. ]]

!''Dawn of Sorrow''

The box, manual and introduction [[LateArrivalSpoiler make no effort to hide]] Soma's status as Dracula's reincarnation. The game starts with Soma living a normal life with his [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend not-girlfriend]] Mina when he is suddenly attacked by cult leader Celia, who wishes to create a new dark lord. After the fight, Soma [[WithThisHerring charges into the cult's base with nothing but a rusty pocket knife and the clothes on his back]]. Oh, and [[BagOfSpilling he doesn't have any of the souls from]] ''[[BagOfSpilling Aria]]'', [[JustifiedTrope having dumped them in the Chaotic Realm to reseal Castlevania and all]]. This time, the castle is somewhere in Europe and is apparently an "exact replica" of Castlevania (how the TropeNamer for ChaosArchitecture can have an "exact replica" is never explained).
----
!! ''Aria Of Sorrow'' and ''Dawn Of Sorrow'' provide examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Graham Jones, although his AGodAmI phase discards most of his affability.
** Dmitrii Blinov as well. His main motive is curiosity about his abilities.
* AllTheWorldsAreAStage: The Chaotic Realm.
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: For no clear reason, Celia's skin is light gray.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Hammer.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: Getting the bad ending when fighting the TrueFinalBoss in ''Aria''.
* AnotherSideAnotherStory: Julius mode in both games.
* TheAntiChrist: Soma is Dracula. See "BlessedWithSuck"[=/=]"CursedWithAwesome" below.
** AntiAntiChrist: He doesn't ''want'' to be Dracula.
* TheAntiGod: [[spoiler:Chaos fits the bill, as well. It's literally the very source of Dracula's immense power, and can choose other Dark Lords if necessary. Helps that it's a full-blown EldritchAbomination, too.]]
* ArbitrarySkepticism: Soma is perfectly OK with thinking he's been teleported from Japan to Europe to Dracula's castle, but tell him he is merely inside an eclipse? You're insane!
** At least Europe is a place and not an astronomical event.
* ArtShift: The character portraits of the first game were drawn in a gothic style pictured above (the typical Ayami Kojima style fans are used to since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''). The second game went for a more animesque style.
** Which resulted in a bit of a BrokenBase, with some members of the FanDumb slamming ''Dawn'' (and later ''Ruin'') solely due to the art style.
* ArtifactTitle: ''Dawn'' does not take place in Dracula's Castle[=/=]Castlevania. The cult's base is said to be a replica of Castlevania, but again (see top), that makes no sense '''at all'''.
* ArsGoetia: Used as enemies. Their souls roughly match up to the abilities they are said to grant.
* AvengingTheVillain: Subverted. When Soma [[spoiler:kills Dmitrii, Dario at first appears to be pissed because his comrade died, appearing to set up the trope. But he quickly reveals that he just wanted to beat Dmitrii himself]].
* AwesomeYetImpractical: Guns. Despite how awesome it is to bust a cap in evil's ass, even the strongest gun pales in comparison to even most of the mid-game weapons.
* BackgroundBoss: ''Aria'' has a lot of these: Death's first phase, Balore, Graham's [[OneWingedAngel second phase]], [[spoiler:Chaos]], as well as the background mook, the Kyoma Demon. ''Dawn'' has the Puppet Master.
* BadassGrandpa: Julius Belmont.
* BadassLongcoat: Soma and Julius. In ''Aria of Sorrow'', Soma's looks like a [[PrettyInMink fur coat]], but in ''Dawn of Sorrow'', it's a [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Ky Kiske]]-style trenchcoat.
* BagOfSpilling: Justified in ''Dawn'' - since Soma didn't have any reason to use Power of Dominance for long time, all souls were released. He still can slide and backdash right at the beginning, while in ''Aria'' that was done with Gravekeeper and Skeleton Blaze souls, respectively.
* BaitAndSwitchBoss:
** The Giant Bat appears in ''Aria'', only to be crushed by Balore. You get the Giant Bat soul anyway in the room after the boss room.
** [[spoiler:Just as it seems in ''Dawn'' that you're gonna fight Dimitri again, his power of dominance that he copied from Soma didn't quite work out, and the fusion of all the shit he's absorbed breaks out to become the real final boss. A bit of a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere, that.]]
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: Both Arikado and the cultists in ''Dawn'' appear to believe that the universe requires a supreme evil being (whether Dracula, [[LateArrivalSpoiler Soma]], or someone else) to balance out God. The cult tries to force the issue, while Arikado and Soma come to the conclusion that the universe will balance things out eventually.
* BallisticBone: Deconstructed with skeletons absent-"mind"edly throwing away their own heads along with bones.
* BerserkButton:
** Graham Jones doesn't take kindly when someone other than him shows signs of being Dracula.
** Hurting Mina in front of Soma isn't a good idea. [[spoiler:Unless of course you WANT Dracula back.]]
* {{BFS}}: There are many ones. For example, Claimh Solais, which is bigger than Soma himself.
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Graham]] in ''Aria of Sorrow'' and Celia in ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
* BiggerBad: ''Aria of Sorrow'' establishes that [[spoiler:Chaos is the bigger bad for the entire series.]]
* BilingualBonus: Both "Arrikado" and in Dawn of Sorrow the Cursed Clocktower Slotmachine door is labeled "573" which in Japanese is pronounced "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami Go-Na(na)-Mi]]" (See Marketing). Doubles as a StealthPun.
* BishounenLine: Soma is the chronologically latest of Dracula, and by far the bishiest.
* BlessedWithSuck[=/=]CursedWithAwesome: Soma is Dracula. This gives him many important abilities, but also means that a bunch of people attempt to either turn him into Dracula proper or eliminate and replace him.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: At one point you'll find a Satan's Ring to use. But in Japan it was called the "Dark Lord's Ring", so considering the context it actually is the Dracula's Ring we've been colecting since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest''. The names of some enemies are misspelled too. "Curly" should be Kali, "Skull Millione" should be Scarmiglione and so on.
* BodyguardCrush: Very subtly implied in ''Dawn'' while using the Alra Une soul. She adds [[{{JapaneseHonorifics}} -sama]] to Soma's name and seems to almost lovingly embrace him. [[http://i464.photobucket.com/albums/rr6/Milen_Anessar/DoSshot01.jpg Observe.]]
* BodyHorror: [[MemeticMutation Good]], [[spoiler:Dmitrii]], [[SmugSnake you]] [[OneWingedAngel look]] [[EvilIsNotAToy kinda]] [[{{Gorn}} cool]]!
* BookEnds: Depending on how you look at it, the ''Sorrow'' series provides the ultimate closure for Dracula. For one, compare Soma to [[spoiler:Mathias]]; [[RuleOfSymbolism the color of their garments and hair are almost completely reversed.]] In ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Lament of Innocence]]'', we see [[spoiler:Mathias]] falling out with the Belmonts and the beginning of his [[StartOfDarkness descent into darkness]]. In the ''Sorrow'' games, Soma gets to live a relatively blissful life, has a good ally in the form of Julius Belmont, and, just as he is the latest incarnation of Dracula, [[spoiler:his love interest Mina Hakuba is heavily implied to be the reincarnation of Dracula's loves, Elisabetha and Lisa.]] [[WildMassGuessing Perhaps]] God gave [[spoiler:Mathias]] [[MyGreatestSecondChance another shot at happiness?]]
* BoringButPractical: The Medusa Head Soul in both games makes you hover in the air for a pittance of mana. [[GameBreaker Almost indefinitely. Against bosses with raised weak points that sweep the ground regularly.]]
** In ''Dawn of Sorrow'', jump kicking damage is based on air time rather than distance. Guess what Medusa head [[ForMassiveDamage lets you do]] with the kick.
** The Axe Armor soul is your garden variety ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' overhead throwing axe. And as usual, it's one of the most useful weapons in the game.
** The Headhunter boss's soul in ''Aria'' is a passive soul that gives Soma multiple stat multipliers based on how many souls he's collected. Unless you're actively avoiding killing monsters as much as possible...
** Giant Ghost soul in ''Aria'' creates a barrier that protects you against projectiles. Pretty much ANY projectile. Can make Death's first form fall down easily!
** Killer Mantle disposes of any Golem (except Big Golem) in ONE HIT. Makes it easier to grind for Flesh Golem and regular Golem souls, and later for Iron Golem.
* BossRush: Present in both games as an unlockable mode.
* CallBack: The FinalBoss of Julius Mode calls back to the first Dracula fight in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' [[spoiler: when Soma starts out [[SlouchOfVillainy slouching on a throne]] with a wine glass, which he then hurls to the ground before the fight starts.]]
* CaptainErsatz: Zephyr in ''Dawn'' is basically a palette swap of Dio Brando from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', with the same abilities and everything. You even fight him outside of the clock tower, much like the final battle between Dio and Jotaro.
* ChaosArchitecture: Somehow ''Dawn of Sorrow'' completely ignores this, taking place in an "exact replica" of Dracula's castle, completely ignoring its stats as [[TropeNamer a creature of chaos]]. The need to have this plot point is unclear, as the story behind the castle [[spoiler:(except possibly [[{{Hellgate}} what is under it]], and even that may be a creation of the cult)]] has no meaning at all.
* TheChosenOne: Soma, though as the chosen villain instead of hero (but luckily for him, he is able to [[RefusalOfTheCall resist]]).
* CleavageWindow: Celia [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080811123810/castlevania/images/c/c0/Celia-full.gif sports one]] on her otherwise conservative robes.
* ClimaxBoss: [[spoiler:Julius Belmont]] in ''Aria'' and [[spoiler:Soma himself after he became Dracula in the bad ending]] in ''Dawn''. Possibly [[spoiler:Aguni/Dario in the Soma playthrough of ''Dawn''.]]
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Hammer. Used to [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] the oddity of opening a weapon shop on the doorstep of a magical castle full of monsters.
* ContinuityNod: The save rooms in Aria have [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Alucard's save coffin]] in the background.
** ''Dawn'' has several to ''Aria'', of course.
** Soma's NPC allies all have a counterpart in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse''. Genyo is Alucard, Yoko is a descendant of Sypha, Julius is a descendant of Trevor and Hammer shares many physical and personality traits with Grant. None the least of which is his [[HopelessSuitor crush on Yoko]], a Belnades witch.
* ColorCodedCharacters: We have [[TheBigGuy Hammer]] wearing green, [[TokenGirl Yoko's]] first outfit contains pink, [[RetiredBadass Julius]] is in brown, and [[BigBad Graham]] [[ManInWhite wears white]] (standard for the evil religious zealot). [[TheHero Soma]] wears white and blue on top of a black shirt, possibly a nod to his dual nature. [[TheObiWan Arikado]] subverts the trope by being a good guy who wears black but is not an {{antihero}}.
** There are two kinds of Medusa Head, one which turns you into stone and one which doesn't. The former is colored with lighter colors than the latter, which has been in the series since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood''.
* CollisionDamage: With Julius as the only exception in ''Aria'', and Dario and Dimitri in ''Dawn''.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Dmitrii can absorb certain Guardian souls, some of which, when you use them, force you to stand still. However, when ''he'' uses them, he can walk around all that he pleases.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Those who play ''Aria'' followed by ''Dawn'' may find it confusing when the "jump" button becomes the "special attack" button.
** Unless you've been playing [=SNES=] games all your life, then this trope has suddenly been played in your favor. (In fact, [=SNES=] games using B for jump and Y for attack is likely the reason it is that way in Dawn and all DS ''Castlevania''s, ironically an attempt at averting this trope).
** The game lets you change out the controls... too bad you can only do it for Soma mode ([[spoiler:Julius Mode is stuck with the defaults, as he can't access the menu and thus the options]]).
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: In Julius Mode, Dark Lord Soma has shown himself to be much smarter than he was as Dracula. He actually relies on the souls he's absorbed, and if he has you cornered against the wall in his second form [[ArtificialBrilliance He'll repeatedly hit you with the Abaddon soul, making impossible to escape.]]
* DarkIsNotEvil: Despite his background, personality, and [[BadassInANiceSuit black suit]], Arikado is your most helpful ally. Even when he [[spoiler:unseals his powers in one ending of the second game, he still acts the same instead of [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity losing his mind]], a common side effect to such actions]]. It's probably no accident that the BigBad in the first game [[spoiler:wears white]]. Soma himself, despite having dark powers, isn't inherently evil.
** In fact Yoko explicitly invokes this trope to Soma when she explains the nature of his powers.
* DealWithTheDevil: ''Dawn'' features the Devil Soul. It's a familiar soul - press R and you will begin to [[CastFromHitPoints lose ten HP a second in exchange for much higher power]]. It'll stop before it kills you though. Great if you're good at not getting hit or if you're doing the Boss Rush.
* DeflectorShields: Witch and Giant Ghost souls in ''Aria''.
* DegradedBoss: All the early bosses in ''Aria'', like Creaking Skull, Manticore, or Great Armor, later become regular enemies.
* DemonicPossession: Soma ends up unknowingly sharing his body with Dmitrii's spirit and, when Arikkado [[spoiler:reveals that the "Mina" that Celia murdered was actually a doppelganger to trick him into going evil]], Dmitrii then leaves his host after he finished copying his abilities, painfully, it should be noted as well. It is also implied in the very bad ending (the one where Dario is killed without killing Aguni).
* DiscOneNuke: The Nightmare and Mandragora souls in Aria and Dawn respectively. Possible to acquire early, powerful for the entire game, for a reasonable MP cost too.
** The very first enemies in Aria, zombies, will [[RandomlyDrops occasionally]] drop the Baselard, a short knife. As revealed in the LP of the game by LetsPlay/RoahmMythril, the Baselard very quickly proves to outclass almost all of the weapons you find in the early game. For such a small, fast weapon, it does a surprising amount of damage.
* DoNotRunWithAGun: If you're running, you stop when you use a weapon or a Bullet soul. However, if you jump and attack in midair, you can continue moving forward while attacking at the same time. A few weapons are exceptional in that you can continue running as you use them.
** Subverted with a combination of a few select Bullet souls (like Killer Clown) and the backdash or front dash (Werewolf) ability. The Front dash cancels the animation of the bullet soul and allows you to instantly use it again while simultaneously retreating/charging at them. While this CAN be devastating and capable of clearing rooms, it eats through your MP like crazy and it really is not recommended until you get the Chaos Ring. However, the ability to set up 9 Amalaric Snipers at once is awe inspiring.
** The Valmanway doesn't require you to be still to attack, as Soma doesn't actually ''animate'' as the weapon is so fast. It doesn't even get a special attack because you simply don't need one.
* DoubleJump: But of course. Soma does a flip in Dawn on his second jump, though.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:[[BatmanGambit Dmitrii kills himself after his fight with Soma in a gambit to have his soul absorbed by Soma so he can copy his Power of Dominance. Things go doubly well for him with Celia's fake Mina doppelganger, allowing Dmitrii to resume a human form.]]]]
* DumbMuscle: [[PlayingWithFire Dario]] [[TheBrute Bossi.]]
* DummiedOut: Originally there was a bestiary entry for [[spoiler:Chaos]], but it was removed, being unavailable outside of the hacking. [[spoiler:It showed that Chaos has 9999 HP, is No. 113, resists dark, its description is ''"[[BiggerBad The root of all chaotic things.]]"'' and it uses an otherwise unused picture of Chaos.]]
* EarnYourBadEnding: Julius Mode in ''Dawn''.
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: The FinalBoss of ''Dawn'', Menace, which is a fusion of all the souls that Dmitri absorbed.]]
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: A rather low-key version. Enemies and certain armor items do have elemental strengths and weaknesses, but most of the time you can get by just fine without paying attention to them.
* EnemyOfMyEnemy: A few rooms after meeting Graham at the entrance of the Clock Tower, Yoko uses this saying and teases that Soma doesn't want to be her comrade when he objects slightly...
* EvilLaugh: Soma gets an ''epic'' one as the FinalBoss for Julius Mode in Dawn.
* ExcaliburInTheStone: The Excalibur weapon allows you to swing an enormous sword, and ''the stone it's still embedded in.'' However, in the original legend, Excalibur was ''not'' the sword in the stone.
* EyeBeams: Balore.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Soma in the bad ending.]]
* FinalBoss: [[spoiler:[[BiggerBad Chaos]]]] in Aria and [[spoiler: Menace]] in Dawn. [[spoiler:Soma, reincarnated as Dracula becomes this in Julius Mode of Dawn.]]
* FlashStep: The special move for high level daggers in ''Dawn''. Great for [[DoorToBefore activating switches]] from the [[SequenceBreaking wrong side]].
* FleurDeLis: The background of one of the areas in ''Dawn''.
* FlunkyBoss: ''Aria'' has Legion, the corpses of whose shell can drop out and attack on their own. ''Dawn'' has the Puppet Master (creates floating doll enemies), Abaddon (directs the movements of a colossal swarm of insects), and [[spoiler:Menace (spawns creatures that look a lot like [[Literature/TheLangoliers Langoliers]])]].
* {{Gainaxing}}: The Valkyrie soul in Aria of Sorrow summons a giant naked woman to take a sword swing and jiggles appropriately.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: [[spoiler:Chaos]] in Aria. It has no backstory, no explanation, no lines, its just...there. The most we get is that [[spoiler:defeating it ''somehow'' prevents Dracula's power from consuming Soma.]]
* GenerationXerox: The cast of protagonists bears a striking similarity to the cast of ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse]]''.
** Alucard was a playable character in that game. Julius and Yoko are descendants of Trevor and Sypha respectively.
* GenderBender: The Curly soul in ''Aria'' and the Valkyrie soul in ''Dawn'' will briefly turn Soma into the respective female enemy.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In ''Aria'', [[HornyDevils a Succubus and a Lilith]] appear to have been taking a bath together in one room, and the Lilith is hidden underwater at first. In both games, quite a few of the humanoid or partially humanoid enemies have sprites that make it obvious that they're completely naked. The sprites are actually anatomically correct in many cases, but it's fairly subtle due to the GBA and DS's resolution. This is also true of some of the background art. Also, see ImprobablyFemaleCast.
** One of the bedrooms in ''Dawn'' is filled with female enemies, some on the bed within the room.
* GlassCannon: On a NewGamePlus on Hard mode in Aria, your character will likely be this, especially in the beginning. You start with all your items and almost all souls, including ridiculously game-breaking weapons. However, there's no equivalent game breaking armor, and while most enemies will go down in one to three hits, they'll still do a surprising amount of damage.
** The Lubicant soul increases your attack power as you lose HP. It's very useful for clearing Boss Rush mode quickly, if you dare, as you begin with [[HPToOne a spoiled milk.]]
* GodWasMyCopilot: You know that odd guy who keeps telling you what to do, helps you understand your power, and protects all {{Distressed Damsel}}s in the area? Well, he's not God, but [[spoiler:Alucard]] is the [[BigGood next best thing]] in this series.
* GoldMakesEverythingShiny: Joyeuse, the gold sword.
* GoldenEnding: 100% in either exploration or soul collection in ''Aria'' changes the best ending a little, with Soma bragging about how cool he's become and Mina [[ShipTease holding his hand at the very end.]]
* GottaCatchThemAll: The souls offer a bonus of the Chaos Ring, which restores magic at hyper speed, basically making infinite magic use.
* GuideDangIt: The steps to unlocking the real ending in ''Aria of Sorrow''. [[spoiler:There are some vague clues and a sort of logic (you need to equip souls that give you Dracula's traditional abilities), but it still requires finding just the right enemies to get souls from, and the clues are very easy to overlook. Not to mention you still need to work out WHERE you need them equipped.]]
** Also from ''Aria'', how to get Legion's soul, the only boss whose Soul you may get or not. [[spoiler: you have to attack its outer shell made up of corpses first. This shell is made up of four segments, which break off with enough damage, exposing its core. The catch is, you must ''not'' destroy the core without getting rid of all the bodies surrounding it. If you do, you kill it anyway, but you won't get its soul. And, since it's a boss, [[LostForever you cannot fight it again for its soul]].]]
* GunsAreWorthless: Played mostly straight in Aria, where the handgun is only obtainable at a point in the game that you can easily have the InfinityPlusOneSword by (and even if you don't, it's still weak compared to everything else). The Positron Rifle is decent enough, but a BraggingRightsReward due to the quick finish of Boss Rush (which requires getting the good ending and being able to kick every boss's ass in under 5 minutes) required. There is a hard mode exclusive Silver Gun though, which is pretty good (as in, workable, but like every other weapon, outclassed by the InfinityPlusOneSword). Averted in Dawn, where the handgun is a great early weapon if bought from Hammer when first available (you can also find it a bit later) with its high firerate (if combined with any form of LagCancel), and the [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Silver Gun]] works great for a bit after that, but the lack of upgrades after the Silver Gun make it worthless for endgame.
** Then again, the guns have an attack range across the entire screen and do hit scan damage, and don't require using any mana(as well as having infinite ammo), so they're not totally useless.
* HeartContainer: Unlike most {{Metroidvania}}s, they are absent in both Sorrow games.
* HelpfulMook: Bone pillars allow you to stand on them, as does the Catoblepas. If you don't have double jump or flight (and even if you do), they can help you reach slightly higher places.
* HeroAntagonist: Julius, Alucard, and Yoko in Julius Mode of Dawn Of Sorrow against the now VillainProtagonist [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie Soma]] after the bad ending -- although the player plays as the hero trio.
* HeroOfAnotherStory: Julius was the Belmont who permanently destroyed Dracula ''forever'' by sealing his castle in another dimension in 1999. So far, there have been no games that take place during 1999, so we have to take his word for it that it was the last hurrah for both old Drac and the Belmont clan.
* HighPressureBlood: Anything that bleeds in ''Aria'' will emit jets of bright red blood with a distinctive spraying sound.
** [[strike:[[BlackBlood Black]]]] [[BlackBlood Orange Blood]]: For some reason, any non-scenery blood in ''Dawn'', whether it comes from you or your enemies, is orange. It's possible that this was an attempt to make the blood look [[RealIsBrown more realistic]] that backfired.
* HolyHandGrenade: The Claim Solas sword, and a couple of the soul attacks.
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Her Own Petard]]: In the bad ending to ''Dawn'', [[spoiler:Celia fakes killing Mina. Without Mina's talisman to absorb the darkness spawned by his rage, Soma becomes Dracula, just like Celia wanted... and then brutally kills Celia in his anger. Nice work, Celia. Rest in peace.]]
* HotWitch: Yoko Belnades, who doubles as a CoolBigSis to both Soma and Mina. Celia, the cult leader from ''Dawn'', is possibly an EvilIsSexy example.
** The normal Witch enemies as well. Sometimes you just want to stand there and watch them [[{{Gainaxing}} bounce.]]
* ImprobablyFemaleCast: The Inner Quarters in ''Aria''. Practically all of the enemies there are [[CuteMonsterGirl Cute Monster/Humanoid Girls]] of one kind or another. Fun fact: If [[http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net/games/ariaweird.html the results of using a certain debug code]] are any guide, the area was originally going to be called "The Harem". Also, a single room in ''Dawn'' has a similar theme. As it so happens, it's a bedroom.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: The Claimh Solais in ''Aria'', or the Chaos Ring + Red Minotaur soul. ''Dawn'' had a great balance with the weapons and souls, but the three weapons that stand out as the best weapons are the Claimh Solais, Death's Scythe, and the Valmanway.
* ItCameFromTheFridge: Spoiled Milk. "It expired THREE YEARS ago."
* ItemCrafting: In ''Dawn'', Yoko's primary gameplay role is to fuse souls you're willing to part with with weapons to create upgraded weapons. This is the only way to get most of the better weapons in the game. Sort of a mixed blessing, as if you want to make the best weapons, you'll have to spend significantly more time grinding for rare souls than you otherwise would. On the other hand, buying cheap weapons, grinding for certain common souls, using them to make moderately good weapons, and selling the now much more valuable weapons back to Hammer is an excellent way to make money.
** Sadly, it does borderline on the worse side since you need to give up some pretty rare souls in order to get certain weapons. The worse of it though is that specific weapons require you to give up BOSS souls. To Elaborate, Boss souls can only be gotten once. In order to get a second copy of the soul, you need to be in New game +, the very reason why you are making such a weapon in the first place. The Valmanway and the Death's Scythe are both final weapons so it is understandable (but both are endgame souls so you aren't getting another one for a LONG time). But the Balmung is the worse offender as it requires you to give up Gergoth, and it isn't even a final weapon...
*** Which brings up the most reliable weapon you can get without boss souls, the Gungnir. Most of the stuff you get to forge it is rather easy. The Halberd can be gotten through enemy drops, and the rest of the souls are easy to farm. The only hitch is Slogra so you won't get it before early endgame but it doesn't matter since you can stil get it before fighting Death (arguably the reason WHY you need the weapon in the first place as the bosses before this can be beaten without a weapon of mass destruction).
* JerkAss: Dario.
* KaizoTrap: In ''Dawn'', if you kill and seal a boss during an attack, the attack will keep going during the boss's death animation. [[ThatOneBoss Death's]] [[ThatOneAttack skull attack]] is by far the worst offender. As if the seal system needed any more reasons to be the ScrappyMechanic...
** Death's battle in ''Aria''. Upon defeat, Death drops his scythe. Which can kill you.
* KnightTemplar: Celia's cult from ''Dawn'', With Light. Believing that GodIsGood, they reason that in order for God to exist, the Dark Lord must stand opposite of him. And since Soma [[RefusalOfTheCall rejected his status as such]], Celia's going to offer him up as a sacrifice to create a new one. [[spoiler:In the ending, Arikado affirms that the cult's way of thinking was right, but that if the world truly needs a Dark Lord, [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil nature will respond of its own accord]].]]
* KnockbackEvasion: The Zombie Officer soul allows you to stop aerial knockback, while the Iron Golem soul in ''Aria'' ignores knockback and flinching completely.
* LagCancel: Backdash can cancel out of many moves and are key for good boss rush times. Landing also works, but some items (Hammer, Broadsword, Balmung, etc.) don't cancel. The werewolf soul in ''Dawn'' does a strange forward dash, which is very spammable for lag cancelling, and filling the screen with soul attacks. Even better, ducking allows Soma to lag cancel his backdash, and some attacks cut off the ducking animation, thus allowing him to attack even faster by lag cancelling his lag cancel.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: Julius has this for a few decades. While he doesn't know anything about his life or family, he has somehow taken care of himself for all this time.
* LethalJokeItem: The Waiter Skeleton soul. Try it on an [[MightyGlacier Iron Golem]].
* TheLegionsOfHell: While the series as a whole has featured devils and imps as enemies for some time, they're especially plentiful and varied in these games. ''Dawn'' provides a possible explanation. (See "PlanetHeck" below.)
* LevelGrinding: Annoyingly, ''Dawn'' has a perfect leveling curve, if you don't avoid enemies you should always be around the right level, but encourages every ''other'' form of grinding. To get any Soul beyond the most frequently dropped and frequently encountered ones to a decent level (or found in the first place) you need to grind with the Soul Eater Ring (double soul drop rates) equipped. And to afford the Soul Eater Ring, you need a ''lot'' of money. The only way to afford this (as pretty much every enemy drops the same amount of money regardless of strength) is to grind zombies and fuse their souls into weapons and sell the weapons. This takes about 14 or so trips with each trip taking 8 or so minutes with decent LuckStat. Once you spent 2 hours on the Soul Eater Ring, you spend more time repeatedly killing various enemies with [[RareRandomDrop low soul drop rates]] (many are 1% before ring and luck bonus, while others only appear in a single room). Of course, this only really applies if you're going for OneHundredPercentCompletion, but there are benefits to doing so...
** To further help your luck, there is the Three 7s suit you can pick up, but only after you grind enough money so the last three digits are ''777'', which allows the room containing it to open. This occurs in a couple of other places - yes, you need to grind money to complete the map. [[spoiler:Cursed Clock Tower's needs 573 while the third needs 666]].
** Taken to extremes if you're attempting to get the [[OneHundredPercentCompletion Sky Fish soul]] in Aria, a monster that is [[MetalSlime damn near impossible]] to see, even with the time-stopping Chronomage soul, let alone kill. God help you if you don't get the soul on the first try...
* LightEmUp: The Claimh Solais, Erinys soul in ''Dawn''.
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler:Graham]]
* LosingYourHead: Skeletons absentmindedly throw their own head, and still throw more bones while headless.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Soma has this problem. [[spoiler: He always has.]]
** [[ThePowerOfLove Subverted]] with [[spoiler:the ending of ''Dawn'', where it is Soma's thoughts of Mina that prevent all of the souls released by Menace from overwhelming him and turning him into the next Dark Lord.]]
** In other words, this is a two-sided case that persists in the Dracula character, losing his loved one makes him turn to evil, but as long as he has her he can maintain being good.
* MeaningfulName: More like initials, and it's possible this is entirely unintentional, but the initials of both Dimitri and Dario, D.B., are an inversion of what Dracula's initials would be in japan: B.D.: Burado Dorakyura.
* {{Meido}}: In both ''Aria'' and ''Dawn'', the Persephone enemy, a cutesy ninja maid that debuted in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChronicles''.
* {{Miko}}: Mina is a member of the Hakuba Shrine. In ''Aria'', she even wears the proper attire.
* MultipleEndings: Both games come with three endings--the lame one (when everything is cut short and you don't learn anything), the bad one (when Soma turns and tries to kill everyone), and the good one (when everyone lives happily ever after. More or less).
* MultiStageBattle: Something similar happens with Gergoth in ''Dawn of Sorrow'', you fight him on the top floor of the Condemned Tower, and during the fight you and he end up falling all the way down to the bottom floor once he TurnsRed
* MusicalNod: Julius's theme in ''Aria'' is "Heart of Fire", one of the few themes from the original ''Castlevania'' that isn't a RecurringRiff in the series.
** It actually quotes "Don't Wait Until Night" from ''HauntedCastle'' in the first half of the track, starting a recent trend of reusing Haunted Castle music. In the sequel, the theme of the Mine of Judgment, Basement Melody also it's originally from Haunted Castle.
* MythologyGag:
** Julius Mode in ''Dawn'' is based on ''Castlevania III''.
** The battle with [[spoiler:Evil Soma]] in ''Dawn'' is a call back to the final battle in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood Rondo of Blood]]'', complete with the same battle opening, the same music, and the same [[spoiler:transformation into a giant demon]].
*** As well as [[spoiler:Creator/HikaruMidorikawa doing a superb rendition of Drac's EvilLaugh from that battle while teleporting.]]
** When Arikado causes several monsters to die in ''Aria'', you may recognize the attack as the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Soul Steal]]. [[spoiler:That's your first clue that Arikado is Alucard.]]
** Most of ''Aria'''s pedestal souls are monsters from ''Symphony'' who were never adapted for GBA graphics. Most prominent are the Hippogryph, Malphas (the first time this name is used for him in English; he was called Karasuman in ''Symphony''), and Galamoth.
* NinjaMaid: As mentioned, Persephone. She stand prim and proper when you enter the room, then as you approach she does a curtsy and welcomes you ([[GratuitousJapanese in Japanese]])... Then proceeds to assault you with kicks.
* NonStandardGameOver: How badly did you mess up? Enough that getting the bad ending in ''Dawn'' unlocks another play mode where [[spoiler:the other characters team up to take down the now evil Soma]].
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Depite being Dark Lord candidates, Dario and Dmitrii are treated mostly like jokes in ''Dawn.'' Dmitrii looks especially weak, that is, until the climax...
* [[NotUsingTheZWord Not Using the D Word]]: No one ever refers to Dracula directly when discussing the prospect of Soma becoming the dark lord [[spoiler: or in the bad ending, where he actually ''does'']] despite the fact that the "dark lord's" identity is blatantly clear.
* NoodleIncident: The Battle of 1999 has not been featured in any game.
* NostalgiaLevel: ''Dawn'' features the Silenced Ruins, an area that looks exactly like a rather run-down version of the first level of ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania|I}}'', although since it's deep underground you can see caverns (and in a couple of places lava) through windows and holes in the wall. It even has a [[RearrangeTheSong "Vampire Killer" arrangement]] as its background music. Of course, this isn't the first time this has been done; ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' and ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'' had similar levels at the start of its castle, although it wasn't underground.
** Almost every enemy in the Floating Garden is a creature or summon from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon''.
** In ''Dawn'', if you note carefully, the areas are like in ''Aria'' in terms of map location. Think about it, a clock tower on the top right which is first entered by a long corridor, then the clock tower linking to the upper part of the castle, with another identical corridor to start that area off. That setpiece is in both games. And that's not to mention similar map design in the clock towers, the gardens in the castle centre, the chapel that extends towards the right of the map, and the guest house style area that is pleasant but creepy at the same time towards the top left. Maybe that's what Celia meant about it being a replica...
* OlderThanTheyLook: Graham (like Dmitrii and Dario) was born on the day of Dracula's destruction in 1999. ''Aria'' takes place in 2035.
* OldSaveBonus: If you start ''Dawn'' while ''Aria'' is in your GBA slot, you start with Rare Ring, which makes those rare drops more likely to drop. Also Yoko's shop gets a Mina doll in background.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Soma starts out as exactly this.
* OutsideTheBoxTactic: ''Aria'' has a specific unusual "attack" that is the only practical way to kill a certain enemy. The game makes it fairly obvious what the attack and the enemy are, though.
* PaperThinDisguise: Quick hint to [[spoiler:Genya Arikado]]: Pronouncing your name funny ''does not count as a disguise''.
** Possibly [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], since [[spoiler: Genya Arikado]] is how you would pronounce it in Japan, where Soma lives, and it's not like Soma has any idea that this is an alias for [[spoiler: Alucard]].
* ParrotExposition: Soma has a tendency to repeat things being told to him, though admittedly all of it sounds kind of fantastical.
* PlanetHeck: The final stage of ''Dawn'', the Abyss, very obviously takes place in Hell.
** {{Hellgate}}: Apparently the castle the cult uses as its base has one below it.
** CirclesOfHell: The Abyss consists of several different themed segments, including a [[FireAndBrimstoneHell traditional fire-and-brimstone area]] and a [[BloodyBowelsOfHell bloody meaty area]]. There's also an area that's [[StealthPun frozen]] [[DivineComedy over]].
*** This last one may be a {{shout out}} to the Reverse Catacombs in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony]]''; while at the very bottom of the Catacombs is a river of molten lava, at the top of the Reverse Catacombs is a river of [[MindScrew molten ice]].
* PoisonMushroom: There are poisonous items like Spoiled Milk, Tin Can Food (hundreds of years old food) and rotten meat that will damage Soma if you eat it. Unless you equip the [[NotCompletelyUseless Flesh Golem/Ghoul]] soul (depending on the game), where it will instead heal you.
** Alternatively, you may eat it and run around at low hit points while spamming your [[DesperationAttack "best used at low HP"]] attacks like Lubicant. The key to every BossRush SpeedRun.
* PostEndGameContent: Boss Rush mode and Julius mode. In Dawn Julius mode is [[spoiler:[[AnotherSideAnotherStory how the game continues after the bad ending]]]].
* PowerCopying: Dmitrii Blinov has the ability to use any enemy ability he's hit by. In your fight with him, he'll mimic any Bullet and Guardian Souls you use against him, but he'll only utilize what you hit him with last, so you could... say... use the Student Witch soul and throw an easy-to-dodge cat at him, [[PowerupLetdown forcibly locking Dmitrii into a laughably easy attack pattern]] (all you'd really need to worry about then would be a simple [[KnifeNut stabbing attack]]). If you want to make him look even more ridiculous, hit him with the Cave Troll soul: any enemy ability he copies is restricted to level 1, meaning that instead of the longranged tongue attack with half screen range Soma gets at level 9, he'll be stuck with an ineffectual mildly rude gesture that has an even shorter range than his knife.
** After his initial defeat, he seemingly dies and his black soul enters into Soma--but it's not Soma gaining dominance over a human soul, it's just Dmitrii inserting himself into Soma so he can copy Soma's basic ability to copy other powers by absorbing souls. Unfortunately, this double level of Power Copying overwhelms Dmitrii and he transforms into a massive abomination.
* ThePowerOfLove: Soma's friends--particularly his attachment to [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend Mina]]--are the main reason he is able to fight off Dracula's influence. In one ending of the second game, when he thinks [[spoiler:Mina has been killed, he {{Face Heel Turn}}s to get revenge for her death]].
* PrettyInMink: Soma's fur collar in ''Aria''.
* ThePromise: In ''Aria'', Soma gets Julius to promise to kill him if he turns evil. In ''Dawn'', Julius warns Soma early on to be careful, otherwise he'll be forced to carry out his promise. [[spoiler:In the bad endings of both games and in Julius Mode in ''Dawn'', Julius keeps said promise.]]
--> '''Soma:''' ... I've got a favour to ask of you.
--> '''Julius:''' What is it?
--> '''Soma:''' From here. I will set off to fight against my own fate. If I lose the battle... And I become reincarnation of evil, I want you to kill me.
--> '''Julius:''' ... I will... I promise.
--> '''Soma:''' Thanks. Now I can go into this battle without reservations.
--> '''Julius:''' Farewell, my friend. Don't let me use that whip again.
* RandomDrop: Enemies can drop souls, one or two items and sometimes money and hearts.
** RareRandomDrop: some souls can be stupidly hard to get. Tsuchinoko from Aria and Peeping Eye from Dawn get the honour of being the most difficult ones in each game.
*** Skyfish in ''Aria'' says StealthHiBye.
* ReachingTowardsTheAudience: Dawn of Sorrow's box art.
* RealTimeWeaponChange: The Julius Modes.
* RecurringBoss: Balore reappears in ''Dawn'', sporting a damaged eye from his last battle with Soma in ''Aria''. Dario escapes from his first fight, only to be fought later when his powers have increased [[spoiler:due to being bonded to the fire demon Agni--[[GuideDangIt who you need to use a particular hidden soul to enter the mirror and kill in order to progress in the story]]]]. Oh, and Death pops up too.
* ReincarnationRomance: It's implied that Mina Hakuba is [[spoiler:the reincarnation of Elisabetha and Lisa, as in ''Film/BramStokersDracula'', where Dracula's reincarnated wife was named Mina Harker]].
* ReligionOfEvil: The BigBad of the first game was the head of a sect that focused on the apocalypse while the second game had cultist Celia and her minions trying to [[BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil recreate the dark lord in order for a perfectly good God to exist]].
* SayMyName: Soma's name is often called in dramatic moments.
** Also, in Julius mode, each character calls for one another when switching. Prepare to hear lots of "Yoko!" "Julius!" and "Alucard!" over and over again.
* ScratchDamage: Can be subverted to a degree in Dawn, as it has a soul that gives a flat damage reduction and with it equiped, all attacks that'd do 1 damage normally do 0 damage. This makes it so that Soma doesn't flinch when hit by such attacks, but he still bleeds like a stuck pig while shrugging them off which makes it look pretty amusing.
* SealedEvilInACan: Dracula's castle is kept sealed away within an eclipse.
* SequenceBreaking: The Succubus glitch in ''Dawn'' allows you to turn a temporary FlashStep special move into a permanent change in location, allowing you to warp past solid walls. Even without canceling out of it, it can activate a few [[DoorToBefore Doors To Before]] from the wrong side. (This type can even be pulled off in Julius mode via [[spoiler:Alucard]]).
** Also easily done in ''Aria of Sorrow''. You can actually ignore two areas and just go directly to the floating gardens. This allows you to pull off some serious shenanigans and get Skula before you get Undine or the Slide. You'll eventually have to backtrack, but by the time you've beaten Death, you would have acquired some seriously awesome stuff.
* SharedLifeMeter: In ''Dawn'', all three characters in Julius Mode share a life and magic meter.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Mina is totally not Soma's girlfriend. Totally.
** In the good ending of ''Dawn'', Mina also pulls a He Is Not My Boyfriend. Sure. And shoes are made of sushi.
* ShipTease: Hammer and Yoko are fond of doing this to Soma and Mina.
** Subverted with TheStoic Julius. He seriously wants Soma and Mina to become {{Victorious Childhood Friend}}s and seems to know that if Mina were to die that Soma would become Dracula. He also deliberately counters their SheIsNotMyGirlfriend speech above with a Don't Deny It speech.
* ShoutOut:
** The Legion soul in ''Aria'' is based on the laser from ''{{Gradius}}''. It even fires three as though they were from Vic Viper and the options. Another ''Gradius'' references can be found in ''Dawn'': the Bat Company boss sometimes forms into the shape of a ring-spitting Moai head, a common enemy in the Gradius series.
** There is a skeleton enemy that occurs in a single location in ''Aria'' who wears a ScarfOfAsskicking and whose only attack is the [[Franchise/KamenRider Rider Kick]]. It has a chance of dropping a Red Scarf or an Ancient Belt, and its soul lets you do the kick yourself.
** The Ape Skeleton [[Franchise/DonkeyKong throws barrels]].
** Cagnazzo, Scarmiglione/Skull Millione, and Rubicante/Lubicant in ''Aria'' are members of the Malebranche from the ''[[DivineComedy Inferno]]'', as are Barbariccia, Draghignazzo, and Malacoda in ''Dawn''. It's possible that ''Dawn''[='=]s [[PlanetHeck final area]] is also intended to be an ''Inferno'' reference, especially given that it has multiple segments with different themes, one of which is frozen.
** Being a high schooler and a [[spoiler:(reincarnation of a) vampire]], Konami couldn't resist making Soma full of [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Jotaro and Dio]] references.
*** The Cagnazzo soul is basically a stand, complete with the "Ora ora ora!" shout.
*** Many of Soma's other shouts are theirs, though some are slightly altered. Blocking with the Final Guard elicits a "Muda!" Others happen after major knockback or healing himself to full by draining enemies.
*** What used to simply be the [[TimeStandsStill clock]] item was turned into a colossal reference in Aria. First [[spoiler:Soma encounters an enemy with a confusing power that won't let him get near. Then he gains the ability to move through stopped time. Finally he learns to stop time himself]]. Sound familiar? The series' visual effect is even modeled after the ''[=JoJo=]'' [=OVAs=].
*** Zephyr in ''Dawn'' shows up to reference everything else about Dio that Soma missed.
** Mina takes her name from the heroine of the original Bram Stoker novel (for bonus points, "Hakuba" is as Japanese as they could ever make "Harker" to be).
** The UniqueEnemy [[spoiler: Chronomage, who can stop time]] is depicted as [[spoiler: a [[Literature/AliceInWonderland White Rabbit in Victorian dress with a pocketwatch.]] ]]
** The Headhunter boss resembles [[ReturnToOz Princess Mombi]] to a T.
*** Or Princess Langwidere in the original Oz books, who was conflated with Mombi in the film.
** ''{{Popeye}}'' of all things gets one too. There is a usable healing item called Tinned Spinach and the description reads as "May give the illusion of bulking up muscle mass." Sadly, it neither heals you very much nor give you a temporary boost in attack power.
** It may or may not have been intentional, but Menace's "antibodies" are remarkably similar to TheLangoliers.
** Bat Company could be a reference to the band Music/BadCompany. The official player's guide even makes a joke about it.
** Its seems more than just coincidence that the enemy [[MonsterClown clowns]] sometimes drop [[UsefulNotes/McDonalds hamburgers]] when killed.
** The werewolf's punching, dashing, fireball-throwing, and RollingAttack are awfully reminiscent of John Talbain from VideoGame/DarkStalkers.
* ShownTheirWork: [[http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEdecade/SEdecade2031.html There's actually going to be a solar eclipse in Japan in 2035.]] Also, there was indeed [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_August_11,_1999 a total solar eclipse in 1999]], the maximum being in ''Romania'', where Dracula's castle usually reappears.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The English version of ''Aria'' in particular has quite a few questionable translations or outright errors in the names of enemies, e.g. Kali became Curly and Scarmiglione and Rubicante became Skull Millione and Lubicant. ''Dawn'' turns Agni into Aguni. Both ''Aria'' and ''Dawn'' turn Alraune into Alura Une. There are also a number of weapons whose names get strange spellings, including the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Claimh Solais]], whose spelling in the original (Irish) mythology is Clai­omh Solais.
* SuperSpeed: Sky Fish.
* SuddenlyShouting: Julius does this when you fight him as the final boss of the bonus mode.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Soma [[spoiler:if you play your cards wrong]].
* SuperpowerfulGenetics: Julius, Yoko, and Arikado get their abilities from these.
* SuperTitle64Advance: '''D'''awn of '''S'''orrow on NintendoDS.
* SuspendSave
* TakenForGranite: Stone status paralyzes you until you finish ButtonMashing. Attacks that hit while in stone form cause double damage, even when the petrifying hit [[ClassicVideoGameScrewYous throws you into spikes]].
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: [[MarilynManeuver Use the Persephone soul on the Student Witch.]]
** This also applies to enemies such as Persephone. Any wind move can cause this effect, such examples being Spin Devil and even the Devil's death animation.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Soma gives one to Dario Bossi before their second battle.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler:Dmitrii Blinov.]]
* TheStoic: Arikado.
** And Julius. Just like Arikado, he is never seen laughing throughout the game--let alone smiling at all. He is heard laughing at Soma and Mina at the end of the best ending of ''Dawn'' with Yoko and Hammer, though.
* TimeStop: Chronomage's soul. It's even called ''Time Stop''. However, it doesn't works on [[http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Time_Stop#Time%20Stop%20Immunity some enemies]], and it's crucial to killing Sky Fish.
* TomatoInTheMirror
* TookALevelInBadass: Soma, according to his dialogue in the best ending of ''Aria''.
* TrialBalloonQuestion
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: One of the things that make these games unique in the series.
* TurnsRed: Death's second part, and a regular enemy - Gaibon. Both do it literally and metarophically, though Gaibon does that on his last hit points, while Death... well you still have the other half of fight.
* UnderTheSea: In both games. As per Metroidvania rules, you'll need an upgrade to get far in either.
* UndergroundMonkey: ''Aria'' has many, many palette-swapped enemies with slight differences in their stats or behavior. ''Dawn'' is a little better about this (and also makes the Underground Monkeys' appearance slightly more different than a simple palette swap) but still has several examples.
* UniqueEnemy: The Chronomage, Tsuchiniko, and a flying fish enemy in ''Aria''; several more in ''Dawn'', most notably the Flying Humanoid, the Yeti, and the Mothman. There are a few enemies in both games that don't have a gimmick but only spawn in one room anyway though.
* UnwinnableByMistake: In ''Dawn'' a bad throw with the Puppet Master soul can get you stuck inside a wall. The Suspend feature, thankfully, can allow you to escape, but it's not immediately evident.
* VictorGainsLosersPowers: Soma himself does this. Every soul is from an enemy, most of the time, one you'll meet, even for basic attacking souls. Like he can get the Skeleton soul to throw bones from the Skeleton etc. In ''Aria'' you have to beat bosses to get the soul in the next room, which is often of a completely different creature, but in ''Dawn'', this is played much more straight and you get the soul of the boss you killed instantly.
* WakeUpCallBoss: The Puppet master. One of the first bosses to punish you heavily for the "Just beat him til he dies" strategy. [[spoiler:If you don't destroy the puppets he uses to switch places with you, you're never gonna stand a chance.]] Once you figure out how he works, he easily becomes a [[WarmUpBoss Warm Up]] though.
* WarmUpBoss: The first couple bosses in both games qualify, though Flying Armor is especially noticeable, with his slow and weak attacks. He only has one attack that might surprise you, and after the first time, it won't surprise you again.
* WallMaster: Mudmen. Paranoia in ''Dawn'' is more like a Mirror Master, as is the Kyoma Demon enemy in ''Aria''.
* WeirdMoon: In ''Aria'', the entire castle is inside an eclipse, whatever that means, but you can still see the (full!) moon outside. And then, to [[spoiler:enter the Chaotic Realm]], you have to pass through what appears to be ''an eclipse inside the eclipse''.
* WhamLine: Soma: "I remember now. I am Dracula."
* WhatTheHellHero: In ''Dawn'', Dario calls out Soma for [[spoiler:apparently fighting Dmitrii with enough lethality to apparently kill him]], prompting Soma to apologize for his actions. This (and EvenEvilHasStandards) is then subverted, as Dario then snidely remarks that [[spoiler:''he'' wanted to be the one to kill Dmitrii ("Ah, what are you talking about? I just wanted to beat that stuck up jerk to death with my own hands!"). Oh, and Dmitrii actually isn't dead, as [[{{Foreshadowing}} alluded by]] the acquistion of his soul by Soma after their fight.]]
* WithThisHerring: At the beginning of the second game, an evil cult has arrived, ready to kill/turn Soma (hey, whatever works), attacks him and his best friend, and the world could plunge into darkness. What does Arikado toss to him to fight this menace?!... A knife. Really? You'd think he'd have a better arsenal at his disposal.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Soma Cruz in ''Dawn'' - kill Mina, and he is going to kill you in revenge and proceed to become this, requiring Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades, and Alucard to stop him.
* YouCantFightFate: Not alone anyways. [[spoiler:And if everything goes terribly wrong there's a [[HeroAntagonist team]] ready to end [[VillainProtagonist you]]]].
* YouHaveResearchedBreathing: Sort of. ''Aria'' has two ability souls of note--the first is Grave Keeper, which allows you to do a backwards dash (almost every other game has it naturally), and the Kicker Skeleton is the second, where you can do a drop kick after a double jump (normally a requisite of the double jump in other games). Neither of these are technically mandatory.
** In ''Dawn'', he starts the game with both of those powers, despite having released all his souls at the end of ''Aria''.
* ZettaiRyouiki: [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080227203541/castlevania/images/c/c2/MinaDawn.jpg Mina]] in ''Dawn of Sorrow''.
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