[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/orderofecclesia_3051.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[SexyBacklessOutfit Her face is up there.]]]]

''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}: Order of Ecclesia'' was released for the NintendoDS in 2008.

{{Dracula}} has been [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]] but evil is still afoot. With no Belmont in sight, the church has been desperately trying to find a way to destroy Dracula once and for all that doesn't involve a whip.

Enter the [[TitleDrop Order of Ecclesia]], whose glyph-based magic system has made great progress. They have discovered a spell, Dominus, that has the power to destroy Dracula once and for all. Shanoa, under her master Barlowe's order, plans to absorb the glyph and destroy Dracula.

Unfortunately, Albus, a member of Ecclesia and a close friend of Shanoa, chooses then to interrupt the ceremony; he attacks Barlowe and runs off with Dominus. Shanoa recovers a few weeks later, with her memories gone, and learns Albus attacked Wygol Village and kidnapped all the villagers. Barlowe sends her off to rescue the villagers, recover Dominus, and fulfill [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Mankind's Greatest Wish.]]

Compared to [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow the other]] [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin DS games]], ''Order of Ecclesia'' is much harder. Shanoa cannot take many hits, her ability to attack is limited by her [[ManaMeter MP]] (granted, it fills up much more quickly than it has in previous games, but it's still a major limiting factor,) and leveling up doesn't make hard enemies suddenly trivial. Shanoa can absorb [[MegaManning glyphs from fallen foes]] and can [[CombinationAttack combine them]] for stronger attacks. Still, many fans were complaining [[ItsEasySoItSucks the other games were too easy,]] so here we are.
----
!! ''Order Of Ecclesia'' provides examples of:

* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: Unlockable by beating the game on Hard Mode lv1, which increases it to 255, when normally you'd be somewhere around 60-70 at most at the end of the game.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Shanoa- Looong dark hair and a personality to match (although we don't know what she was like pre-EmotionlessGirl status.)
* AltumVidetur: Appears a lot throughout the game, from glyph names to names of locations.
* AntiVillain: Albus is a [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains type IV]].
* AuthorAvatar: Koji Igarashi designed Shanoa as an envisioning of his wife, while he designed himself as Albus.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:Albus's sacrifice results in this.]]
* AwesomeButImpractical: Surprisingly enough, the potions (at least, in normal mode, after you rescue Aeon). While they're useful for healing damage (and, of course, the more expensive potions heal more), they're less cost-effective than Aeon's food items.
* AwesomeYetPractical: Meet the Fidelis Medusa glyph. If you take the time to get it to level 3 (which doesn't take long since the grey Medusa Heads have a 100% drop rate for it) it can shield you from most projectiles, ward off GoddamnedBats, petrify certain monsters rendering them weak and stationary, and break walls to find secret treasure or passages you might otherwise ignore.
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler: Barlowe upon the reveal. It's also heavily implied that he was like this all along, and that his betraying Shanoa was due to his insanity, as, during his TeleportSpam attack, he says, with each punch, "HOW DARE YOU...! EVEN FORGETTING... WHO RAISED YOU...! YOU... STUPID DISCIPLE!!"]]
* BattleBallgown: Shanoa's dress has armor on the gauntlets, leggings, bodice, and down the sides of her skirt.
* {{BFS}}: Taken to ridiculous extremes with glyph unions, in which the weapon can be at least twice as wide as Shanoa, and ''3 times as tall''.
* BenevolentArchitecture: The entire boss fight against [[GiantEnemyCrab Brachyura]]. It involves climbing up a shaft in a long platforming sequence, luring the boss into breaking three stone barriers in the way up, and then boarding an ''extremely'' quick elevator with ''spikes on the underside'' to finish the boss off. This makes no sense the more you think about it.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Albus has this towards Shanoa. [[spoiler:[[KnightTemplarBigBrother It's the motivation for all of his actions]].]]
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The returning [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Leap Stone]] relic somehow became the Ordinary Rock. Either someone left in a placeholder joke while they looked up the canon translation and forgot, or believed [[DoubleJump double jumping]] needed to make less sense in all directions.
* BonusDungeon: 2 of them, in different flavors, even. Training Hall is a PlatformHell. Large Cavern is full of DemonicSpiders and a BonusBoss (a ChineseVampire)
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Shanoa defeats Dracula and saves the world, but Albus is dead, Barlowe, the man who raised both of them, was revealed to be a batshit insane Dracula worshipper, and the ending states flatout that the only people who will even remember the events of the game are Shanoa herself and the villagers she rescued. On the plus side, even if Shanoa won't be remembered, she ''still'' saved the world, Albus retrieves her memories, and it's implied that the villagers, who are actually descendants of the Belmont line that have lost their way, have begun training themselves in the ways of the Vampire Hunter.]]
* BloodMagic: The Glyph Union with all three Dominus glyphs. It does [[OverNineThousand 9999]] damage to everything on the screen. Including you. [[CaptainObvious Which means that you die.]]
* BoisterousBruiser: Death, more so than ever before. "HERE IT COMES! TAKE THIS! BURN! GO! DIE! Thy time to die IS NOW!!! I SHALL CUT YOU DOWN!!!" The candle of your soul has burned itself out. GAME. OVER. Hahahahahahahahaha..." Also, to a slightly lesser degree, Albus. "POW!!! BANG!!! Like you can hit me...USELESS! HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, YOU PUNY HUMAN? THINK YOU CAN DODGE THIS!?!?!?"
* BossBanter: HOW DARE YOU..! EVEN FORGETTING..! [[spoiler:WHO RAISED YOU! YOU..! '''STUPID DISCIPLE!!!''']]
* BraggingRightsReward: The Boss medals, which you earn by [[FlawlessVictory defeating a boss without taking damage]].
* BribingYourWayToVictory: If you want to get the best helmet in the game, Queen of Hearts, you have to play through Hard Mode with a level cap (Lvl 1 or Lvl 50 are your initial options). If you want to unlock the ability to set the level cap to 255, you have to play though Hard Mode with level cap set at 1... or you can just buy ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment'' for the Wii and sync the two games together to get both rewards.
* CallingYourAttacks: Albus, CLEARLY, calls out the name of nearly every single thing he fires from his gun. "VERTICAL SHOT! OPTICAL SHOT! GLYPH AND BULLET! GLYPH BULLET! STINGER SHOT! LETHAL SHOT! GASPAR SHOT! BLAST CANNON! MAX SHOT!" And let's not forget Dracula himself. "FATAL RAIN!! DESTRUCTION RAIN!!! DEMONIC MEGIDDO! GIGA DEMONIC MEGIDDO!!! DARK METAMORPHOSIS! SOUL STEAL! LIFE STEAL! SOUL BLAST! DARK INFERNO!"
* {{Cameo}}: The first boss is VERY similar to the final boss of ''[[{{Contra}} Super Contra.]]''
** Pneuma + Weapon Glyphs = Crissaegrim.
** This little girl you rescue mentions, after you complete her third quest, that she dreams of a man fighting with a whip.
** Anyone who played ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}'' may have this strange feeling when listening to Sorrow's Distortion [[spoiler:Albus's boss theme]].
* CastFromHitPoints: The Dominus glyphs. The two attack glyphs (Dominus Hatred/Anger) decrease your HP by 1/6 its maximum per use, and Dominus Agony costs 66 HP every second it's active (and also increases your Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, and Mind stats by 66 each while it's active).
* CatGirl: Shanoa can transform into one with the right glyph. Aside from granting her different attacks, it also enables her to talk to the [[CuteKitten cats]] in Wygol Village and enemy catwomen will become friendly and even aid her in battle.
* ChewingTheScenery: Brachyura's "SHOOOOOAR" and Albus's "SHANOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!"
* ChurchMilitant: A portion of the Church has been looking for a way to defeat Dracula without relying on a Belmont. [[spoiler:Of course, it's soon realized that they only wanted to defeat the seal.]]
** [[spoiler:Then again, they could have been looking for a way to destroy Dracula when they started, but his seal drove them insane. Dracula has a knack for [[BrainwashedAndCrazy doing that kind of stuff to people]].]]
* ClimaxBoss: [[spoiler:Barlowe]]. He's the last boss before you go to [[spoiler:Dracula's Castle]], you fight him after you find out about [[spoiler:Albus' motives and the true nature of Dominus]], and he has his own battle theme music.
* ColossusClimb: The battle with Eligor. Albus can kind of cheat with his teleporting though, and if Shanoa takes time to get the Redire glyph from Training Hall before fighting him, she can use it to quickly get to his weakpoint as well. Both characters might have some trouble actually taking him down without destroying the crossbows on his flanks, though.
* ContinuityNod: Shanoa's dialogue just before she enters Dracula's castle references ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest Simon's Quest]]'': "I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!"
** The names of the boss battle themes reference other ''Castlevania'' games in order of release date. See ThemeNaming below.
* CopyAndPasteEnvironments: Despite the visuals being genuinely very beautiful, there are many times when you'll see relatively distinctively complex map formations repeated verbatim in a conspicuously unlikely way. This is especially apparent in the caverns of the mountain area maps.
* CostumePorn / PimpedOutDress
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Dominus [[CastFromHitPoints uses your life force to cast it.]] Needless to say, equipping all three Dominus glyphs is a bad idea [[spoiler:unless necessary]] (see BloodMagic above).
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Shanoa has several attacks that are rapid fire but deal little damage. On the enemy side, Dracula's [[ThatOneAttack wave of]] [[GoddamnedBats bats]] bypasses MercyInvincibility and [[ThatOneAttack will shred you]] if you don't know how to handle it.
* DeathOrGloryAttack: The Death Ring and Dominus Agony significantly increase your raw damage-dealing ability at the expense of your own survivability. Ideal in boss fights as long as you don't end up making a mistake.
* DebateAndSwitch: "Is the [[HeroicSacrifice complete destruction of an innocent individual]] justified if it could destroy the ultimate evil?" When the game starts, Barlowe certainly agrees and Albus violently doesn't. We're not sure what Shanoa's position was before she lost her memories, and it isn't until the ClimaxBoss that we learn of the price. Instead, just before the ClimaxBoss fight, we promptly learn that [[spoiler:the sacrifice would have ''freed'' Dracula instead of destroying him, and Barlowe is insane, rendering his position as obviously wrong.]]
** Revisited later, [[spoiler:when Shanoa uses Dominus to finish off Dracula after all, and Albus sacrifices his soul in her place.]] There is an important distinction, however: [[spoiler:Barlowe tried to sacrifice ''another's'' life without their knowledge or consent, while Albus sacrificed his ''own'', knowing full well what he was doing, and Shanoa ''tried'' to do the same as Albus.]]
* DegradedBoss: Giant Skeleton.
* DemonicPossession: One of the villager quests is freeing a girl from demonic control by bringing back her cat.
** [[spoiler:This is also the most likely reason for Barlowe's FaceHeelTurn -- he was possessed by Dracula, kind of like how Richter Belmont was possessed by Shaft.]]
*** Possibly not, given that [[spoiler:Dracula asks Shanoa if she was the one who freed him. Barlowe was simply DrunkOnTheDarkSide, or simply AxCrazy.]]
*** On the other hand, we have [[spoiler:Albus, who is possessed by Dracula after being consumed by Dominus. He briefly regains control to tell Shanoa to run, before Dracula takes over and launches into his BossBanter and the battle itself.]]
* DigitalBikini: See MagicPants below.
* EarlyGameHell: Present in all modes, but especially so in Hard mode. The ''tutorial'', of al things, plays more like a BossFight in this mode, teaching you that you don't have to expect any form of mercy from the game on this difficulty setting. It's only after a few levels, when you've been able to collect stronger glyphs, better armor and more health/mana, that the game becomes a bit easier.
* EasyAmnesia: Averted (mostly) with Shanoa: she loses her memories at the beginning of the game, doesn't get them back [[spoiler:until Albus wrestles them back from Dominus at the end]], and it changes her personality considerably. The last one does have a bit of TakeOurWordForIt, though, since we don't see much of her before the incident.
* EmotionlessGirl: Shanoa, post-amnesia, who even flat-out admits to a more cheerful NPC that she doesn't smile. [[spoiler:Inverted at the good ending, where she gives one smile for Albus before he [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended to a higher plane of existence]].]]
* EscapeRope: The Magical Tickets that can be found as RandomDrops inside regular chests or just bought from the village store. They immediately take you back to Wygol Village and can be used anywhere, anytime with the obvious exception of boss battles.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: A couple of the female villagers flirt with Shanoa.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning[=/=]IncendiaryExponent: [[spoiler:Albus]] can do spinning jump kicks ''that are on fire.''
* EverythingsCuterWithKittens: There are cats you can rescue and take back to the village. When you meet them at the village, you can [[VideogameCrueltyPotential attack them]], play with them using the stylus, or use the catgirl transformation glyph to talk to them. You even have to save one as part of a villager quest.
* EvilElevator: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in the fight with Brachyura, where an elevator [[BenevolentArchitecture with spikes on its underside]] is what finishes it off.
* FanService[=/=]{{Stripperiffic}}: Shanoa has to wear a SexyBacklessOutfit, as she must expose her back for glyph absorption.
* FourIsDeath: The Death Ring adds 44 to several stats.
** Both the HP and awarded EXP of Death are exactly 4444.
* GiantEnemyCrab: Enter Brachyura, who chases you up a lighthouse. You need to [[DeathFromAbove drop an elevator on it]] [[LudicrousGibs to finish it off.]] It's obviously [[ShoutOut referencing]] the [[MemeticMutation meme]], as killing it without getting hit earns you the Brachyura Medal, which actually refers to it as a GiantEnemyCrab. Also, the Bestiary description states that it "comes from the depths of Transylvanian history."
* GlassCannon: Shanoa is a pretty good example of this as far as ''Castlevania'' protagonists go: she can take far less punishment than most {{Metroidvania}} heroes and most bosses can kill her in 5 hits or less even if you're sufficiently leveled, but she has far higher damage potential than most other characters, thanks to her rapidly regenerating MP she can use to spam spells at a safe distance and the ability to level up much higher than any other ''Castlevania'' hero.
* GratuitousIambicPentameter: For most of the game, Barlowe speaks this way.
* TheGunslinger: Albus.
* [[spoiler:TheGreatestStoryNeverTold]]
* {{Hammerspace}}: Justified. Shanoa's tattoos allow her to manifest weapons in her hands.
* HealthDamageAsymmetry: Inverted in hard mode, where monsters attack power can be as much as 10 times of their own HP.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Shanoa attempts this in the ending, but Albus takes her place instead.]]
* HyperDestructiveBouncingBall: The ''Globus'' glyph sends out two of these. They can get very destructive in tight spaces and are one of the easiest ways to defeat the [[DemonicSpiders Double Hammers and Weapon Masters]] in the [[BonusDungeon Large Cavern]].
* TheJerseyDevil: They're in Argila Swamp.
* LargeHam: [[spoiler:Barlowe after TheReveal. (DIE SHANOA!)]] Also, Albus. (OPTICAL SHOT! MAX SHOT!)
* LaughingMad: [[spoiler:Barlowe during the fight against him while using the Electrus attack, as well as when being regranted strength by Dracula to break the seal.]]
* LethalChef: Played with in the case of Aeon. While his backstory shows him to be a lazy "chef" whose restaurants have all failed, Shanoa (his only customer at this point) doesn't seem to mind his cooking too much, [[FridgeBrilliance probably because she's forgotten what good food tastes like.]] Aeon's food items are also more cost-effective at healing than the potions.
* LethalJokeItem: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] with the Death Ring, which appears on the surface to be 100% useful (giving massive stat-boosts and the chance of a OneHitKill). Then you find out that when it says "[[ExactWords hits may cause instant death]]", it doesn't just apply to ''your'' attacks...
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Shanoa is mostly spell-based compared to the mostly warrior-styled ''Castlevania'' heroes. She starts off with horrible attack power and what might be the least useful (if [[AwesomeButImpractical cool looking]]) backdash in the series. By the end, she can be so [[GameBreaker brokenly loaded]], the game expects you to take down the [[FinalBoss final boss]] as part of the timed boss rush mode.
** It probably has more to do with the diminished physical weapon choice, and a lot of the physical weapons aren't as useful as in previous games.
*** In a sense, the game pretty much forces you to actively use spells, because the physical stats are only two of the many that cover attack damage. You can still get them stronger by maxing out their attributes, but it is much easier to spam Nitesco to max out light damage than it is to run up close to the enemy to whack them in the face.
*** Ultimately, the main reason you'd want to use spells is that they generally have much longer range than melee weapons, and since Shanoa's MP regenerates at rapid speed and using melee weapons consumes it as well, there's no real restrictions to using spells over weapons.
* LivingShadow: Blackmore, a boss.
* MagicKnight: Shanoa.
* MagicPants: Played straight. The game uses the [[MaleFrontalNudity Werewolf sprites]] from ''RondoOfBlood'', except with the addition of a pair of boxer shorts ([[DigitalBikini that spontaneously appears between frames]]) on the dying human.
** Female werecats don't appear to be wearing anything when they die, but they collapse in such a way their arms and legs cover anything too explicit.
* ManaShield: An item allows you to take damage to your heart supply rather than your health bar.
* MetroidVania: Obviously, but it really comes to a head when you play this game [[spoiler:on Hard with a cap set at Level 1]]. It becomes almost like ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' with how desperate you become for Health and Mana upgrades.
** The Metroidvania aspect is also relatively diminished in this game compared to previous entries, as a lot of the areas are smaller and more linear, and upgrades are of somewhat less focus.
* MirrorMatch: [[spoiler:Albus vs Albus anyone?]]
* MoreDakka: [[spoiler:Albus fires that gun of his REALLY fast in Albus Mode.]] Made even more awesome by the fact that this game takes place in the early 1800s and that the first semi-automatic firearm wasn't introduced until 1885.
* MsFanservice: Shanoa.
* MultipleEndings: Two of them here. To get the good ending, you have to [[spoiler:rescue all of the trapped villagers.]] The bad ending borderlines on NonStandardGameOver.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Dominus = Dominate.
** Dominus is [[AltumVidetur actually from the Latin word for]] "lord" or "master".
** And if that wasn't enough of a clue, Hatred, Anger, Agony.
* NiceHat: All of [[RetiredBadass Daniela]]'s quest rewards are nice hats. The Boss Rush mode has the most earnable treasures yet (11) and they are all headgear that reduces the cost of Glyph Unions for specific type of weapons. The nicest hat is probably Laura taking [[PimpedOutDress all the jewels]] you've brought her to make the Royal Crown. Unless you count the game's [[InfinityPlusOneSword hardest earned treasure with the best stats]], the Queen of Hearts. Hey, man, you have a lot of... [[Creator/MitchHedberg cranial accessories]].
* NightmareFuel/TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: Death will occasionally mock the "GAME OVER" screen from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' after he kills you.
* NintendoHard: This game on Hard mode. Enemies deal absolutely INSANE amounts of damage and some of them are faster, demanding you to use everything you've got and come up with some new strategies.
* NoDamageRun: Get through a boss fight with no damage, and you get a [[BraggingRightsReward medal]]. Hey, another use for the Death Ring!
* NotCompletelyUseless: The Scutum glyph will let you ignore Goliath's "punch debris from the ceiling attack." More importantly, this will nullify Dracula's destruction ray. Even more importantly, this glyph and another Scutum glyph is the easiest way to avoid Dracula's wave of bats...as well as Eligor's arrows.
** Volaticus, the flying glyph, is given to you very late in the game. Useless? Not if you want to get through the Large Cavern.
* NumberOfTheBeast: The Final Knights have 666 EXP, and the HP costs, attack strengths, MP costs, and stat boosts of the Dominus Glyphs are full of 6s and are obviously meant to invoke this. (See the CastFromHitPoints entry above.)
* OneHitPointWonder: The Death Ring grants incredible stat boosts, but ''any'' hit will be fatal.
** Level 1 mode makes Shanoa/[[spoiler:Albus]] a three (or even two) hit point wonder for most of the game, so the Death Ring becomes a very good item to use.
* OneWingedAngel: Subverted by [[spoiler:Dracula, of all people. He doesn't transform; he just starts walking around and using different attacks.]]
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: This time around, the {{Chupacabra}} hang out near Dracula's quarters, and it turns out a [[spoiler:[[ChineseVampire Jiang]] [[BonusBoss Shi]] moved in to the [[BonusDungeon cave next door]]]], creating an oddly multicultural vampire gathering.
* PimpedOutDress: Shanoa.
* PlatformHell: The Training Hall.
* PlayerNudge: [[spoiler:If you don't rescue all the villagers, you get the bad ending halfway through the game. This bad ending pans over all the villagers you failed to rescue.]]
* PoorCommunicationKills
** CannotSpitItOut: Albus, just ''tell'' Shanoa that [[spoiler:Barlowe is tricking you into freeing Dracula with Dominus]] and be done with it.
*** [[spoiler:It's never implied that he knew that Barlowe was planning to revive Dracula. He only wanted to warn Shanoa that using Dominus would kill her.]]
* PowerCopying: That's how Shanoa learns many of her abilities. You want to summon Zombies? [[spoiler:Steal the ability from an enemy summoner.]] Fireballs? [[spoiler:From a fire demon.]] As a bonus, in many of these cases, you literally have to absorb the Glyph as the enemy is casting the spell, preventing it from going off successfully in the process.
* PowerWalk: [[spoiler:Dracula.]]
* PreMortemOneLiner: "Go to Hell." Bye-bye, [[GiantEnemyCrab Brachyura]].
** [[spoiler:"Showtime." Courtesy of Albus.]]
* PressXToDie: Equip Dominus Anger, Dominus Hatred, and Dominus Agony[[note]]Yes, you need to equip the back glyph as well, even though no other combo in the game includes one.[[/note]]. Press Up + X to die.
** [[spoiler:Except at the very end, where you need it to finish Dracula off and trigger the final cutscene. You better be quick about it too - if you aren't, Dracula will cast Demonic Megiddo, aka a giant explosion that will instantly kill you. It can be avoided by flying into the corner of the boss room, but it goes on forever and since you can't use the glyph union in midair and it doesn't work after he casts the spell even if you use cheats to make yourself invincible, you have no choice except give up and die regardless.]]
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom: Same attack as below, even.
* PunctuatedPounding: [[spoiler:Barlowe.]]
* PuzzleBoss: [[WallMaster Wallman]]. How do you defeat a demon that keeps hiding in the walls, throwing VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}-style explosives at you, and has a ''limitless'' supply of healing items? [[spoiler:Absorb the glyph that allows him to enter walls... ''[[TeleFrag while he's still in one]]''. Alternatively, you can absorb the glyph ''before'' he enters the wall, which will leave him [[HoistByHisOwnPetard unable to escape the explosives that he's tossed into the room.]]]]
** [[spoiler:You also have to go through that wall.]]
* RandomDrop: Enemies will drop money, usable items and objects for the various missions you'll go through. You can also get them from chests that replenish themselves.
** RareRandomDrop: Of course, some drops won't be as easily gotten as others. Merman meat, only gettable with a 6 star chance from a merman-unrelated enemy (Lorelei), is quite the offender, as you need it for better potions. About chest drops, those only available in the brutal Large Cavern can be quite frustrating too.
* RapunzelHair: Shanoa.
* SealedEvilInACan: Dracula.
* SecretCharacter: [[spoiler:Albus]] is available when you get the good ending.
* SequelDifficultySpike: It's shades harder than its predecessor ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin''. This can come off as a [[ItsHardSoItSucks shock]] to players who grew up with ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' and its successors.
* SexyBacklessOutfit: Shanoa wears a backless dress, which is [[JustifiedTrope necessary]] because she absorbs [[InstantRunes Glyphs]] through a large and intricate tattoo on her back. ...For an EmotionlessGirl, she sure does lift up her hair sensually.
* ShootTheDog / WhatHappenedToTheMouse / LeftHanging: [[spoiler:At the end, Shanoa saved the world. But what happened to her after that? She lost everything at the end. The last shot of her is in the forest near Castlevania's ruins.]] The game itself says she was never heard from again.
* ShoutOut: Goliath is basically a boss-monster-ified [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Raoh]], even reenacting his dying pose. Which makes him another classic [[ShonenJump Jump]] villain like [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Zephyr]] to [[CaptainErsatz appear]] in the series.
** The requisite {{Gradius}} shout out occurs three times:
*** One of the villagers hums the first few notes of "Challenger 1985", the BGM of the first stage of the original ''Gradius''/
*** The Vic Viper itself is a collectible item.
*** One of the bosses summons [[EenieMeenieMinyMoai Moai heads]] as [[TemporaryPlatform temporary platforms]]. Don't destroy them or you won't survive the [[KillItWithWater waterfall]] attack.
** The "Grave Digger" enemy looks a lot like [[ProfessionalWrestling The Undertaker]], and another enemy, the Mad Butcher, is [[Franchise/TheTexasChainsawMassacre Leatherface]] in all but name. Oh yeah, a cannibal killer with a chainsaw [[AnachronismStew in 19th century Europe]].
** ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' again, mostly recycled from ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]''. [[TinMan Axe-wielding tin robots]], [[ScaryScarecrows impaled-corpse scarecrows]], and... [[CowardlyLion Cat]] [[CatGirl Girls]], [[SubvertedTrope Oh My!]]
** When Albus activates the elevator to crush Brachyura, he says [[Franchise/MetalGear "Show time."]]
** Albus's Quadruple Ignis, a spinning fire kick, looks exactly like [[StreetFighter Fei Long]]'s Shienkyaku, a spinning fire kick.
** The quest that has you retrieve a gem for one of the villager's cat is named [[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Tom and Jewelry]].
** In an in-series shoutout to ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'', as Shanoa arrives at Dracula's castle, she yells "I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!"
*** In the [[http://legendsoflocalization.com/shanoa-and-the-castlevania-ii-reference/ Japanese version]], before Shanoa storms Dracula's castle, she declares that she is [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars a sword that cleaves evil]].
** Dracula's phrase, ''"I'll bring the life out from you"'', is very similar to Astharot's from SoulCalibur.
** [[spoiler:Barlowe]] quotes [[Anime/MobileFighterGGundam Master Asia]] while punching, at least in Japanese. [[spoiler:"You stupid pupil!"]]
** The ''Pneuma'' Glyph references [[FatalFury Geese Howard's]] ''Reppuken'' attack, and can be dual-wielded for ''Double Reppuken''. Their combined charged attack just ''screams'' Raging Storm.
* SlasherSmile: [[spoiler:The last expression you see on Barlowe's face if you choose to use Dominus on the seal after failing to save all the villagers.]] An obvious hint that he's not what he seems and that you should shoot for the good ending.
* StealthPun / BilingualBonus: One enemy is a former human that was a victim of an Une attack. Its name? Chosen Une.[[note]]Une is French for "one".[[/note]]
* SwissArmyHero: Aside from the CatGirl form mentioned above, Shanoa can also obtain glyphs that change her form into a bat-woman and an automaton (a [[StoneWall slow, but sturdy]] little robot). The enemy bat-women keep attacking her, but enemy Automatons will promptly fall in love with Automaton!Shanoa when they spot her.
* TarotMotifs: Most Rings are named after Major Arcana cards.
* TheFool: The "Fool Ring" reduces all stats, except luck, which is drastically increased.
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Remember that tune from the intro movie? Are you feeling down after [[spoiler:killing Albus and Barlowe]]? Well, have we got music for your ears!
* ThemeNaming: The BossBattle [[BattleThemeMusic tracks]] are, in order of appearance: [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony]] of Battle, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance Dissonant]] Courage, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'s Distortion, [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Lament]] to the Master, Chamber of [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin Ruin]], and [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia Order of]] the Demon.
* TheStoic: Shanoa's emotions are repressed because of her amnesia.
* TookALevelInBadass: The tinmen are MUCH harder than they were in ''Symphony of the Night'', even despite having basically the same attack patterns. This is because they can whack you even if you jump over them (double jump works though), move faster than you, and can do a lot of damage VERY quickly.
* TookAShortcut: All the villagers are nothing more than normal, yet quirky {{NPC}} townsfolk. Which makes it all the more remarkable with the monster-infested locations you rescue them from, as they all note that they will trek all the way back to the village by themselves right after you save them, and they do. It's more ridiculous when you realize one's a frail old woman and two of them are children, with one being a girl you save from an ''underwater cave infested with evil creatures'', yet they make it back a lot easier than you would. [[spoiler:Then again, they ''are'' descendants of the Belmont family.]]
** It's implied from one of the first villagers you save that they all have [[EscapeRope Magical Tickets]] on them, which warps the user straight to the village.
* TurnsRed:
** Dracula decides to ditch his OneWingedAngel routine for once and simply decides to start [[MundaneMadeAwesome walking around the arena]] after you weaken him. Oh, and his attacks become ''much'' more brutal and difficult to dodge. Good luck - you'll probably need it.
** Brachyura as well. Literally. You have to make him do that for him to knock the ceiling out so you can climb higher, and repeat 3 times.
* TwentyBearAsses: Nearly all of the side quests involve killing the living hell out of a certain enemy over and over until you get it to drop its rare item (Kiler Fish drops Raw Killer Fish, Altair drops Eagle Feather, Dark Octopus drops Black Ink, etc.) Only a few of the side quests actually do something different, such as the ones where you have to snap photos of rare enemies for the local paper.
* [[spoiler:TreacherousAdvisor:]] [[spoiler:Barlowe.]]
* UnableToCry: Shanoa laments this after [[spoiler:Albus' death]] in the path to the good ending. [[spoiler:Subverted in the actual ending]].
* UnderTheSea: Kalidus Channel and Somnus Reef.
* UnwittingPawn: Shanoa must learn Dominus so [[spoiler:Barlowe can free his master, Dracula.]] In the bad ending, she falls for it.
* VillainousBreakdown: After TheReveal, [[spoiler:Barlowe]] throws all restraint out of the window and promptly starts to [[ChewingTheScenery Chew The Scenery]] all around.
* WakeUpCallBoss: Meet the Giant Skeleton. Pray he doesn't corner you.
** Brachyura, the GiantEnemyCrab after that, fits better. The first two bosses hit hard, but have simple attack patterns. (In fact, the Giant Skeleton comes back as a mook in a later level.) Cue Brachyura, a four-stage boss that renders your best weapons useless (Except Ascis/Axe) because he's beneath you. You ''have'' to learn his patterns in order to get to the top and deliver the now-famous finishing blow.
** It says a lot about this game that the first stumbling block ''is a DegradedBoss later.''
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Albus did all of the things he did to reseal Dracula so his sister won't have to, and for a very good reason: [[spoiler:Had his sister gone through with the attempt, she would have died.]]
* [[spoiler:WhenSheSmiles]]: [[spoiler:Albus's last wish is for a smile from Shanoa. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming She grants it.]]]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: Thought [[spoiler:Barlowe]] would be the final boss, think again! You still have a whole castle to explore, along with a few more boss fights. Then again, you probably should have known that the game wouldn't have ended at that point, because the castle is shown on the menu screen.
* ZettaiRyouiki[=/=]OperaGloves: Shanoa's {{Ms Fanservice}}y outfit.
----