Video Game / Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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What do you do when you find yourself without a castle? You build another.

"A new, vital heart, pulsing with the old blood."
Pixel IGA

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a 2-D Metroidvania (or as the Kickstarter calls it, an "Igavania") game for the PS4, Xbox One, Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, and PS Vita. It is directed by Koji "IGA" Igarashi, acclaimed producer of Castlevania titles from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and progenitor of the Metroidvania subgenre, and developed by ArtPlay and Inti Creates of Mighty No. 9 and Azure Striker Gunvolt fame (and it shows) until they parted midway during development with DICO taking their place, and the PlayStation Vita port being developed by Armature Studio.

You play as Miriam, an orphan who was taken in by an alchemist at a young age and became a host to a magi-crystal curse that calls forth demons to Earth and slowly turns its host's skin to crystal. Awakening from slumber ten years later, she must now traverse a demon-filled castle summoned by her former friend, benefactor, and original host of the curse, Gebel, whose curse has taken much of his humanity and has now driven him to rain hell on Earth and destroy the human race.

The Kickstarter campaign was launched on May 11, 2015. The first wave stretch goals were reached within hours of the campaign's launch, and since then stretch goal after stretch goal was revealed and subsequently crushed. By the end of its campaign on June 12th, it had raised a whopping $5,545,991, becoming the most funded video game on Kickstarter, after Torment: Tides of Numenera held that record for over two years, and remained so for about a month before Shenmue 3 surpassed it. It is also the ninth most funded Kickstarter campaign overall.

Although there is no official release/street date as yet, the Kickstarter page lists pledges that receive the game as having an estimated delivery date of early 2018.

In addition to the main game itself, as part of a stretch goal, a Retraux spinoff title named Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was created and released in 2018 by Inti Creates.


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night contains examples of:

  • 2½D: The game is presented in this style.
  • Achievement System: The Kickstarter featured one in which fans could participate in numerous multimedia projects during the backing campaign to unlock "Backer Achievments". Collecting enough Backer Achievements would unlock non-stretch goal bonuses, such as revealing stretch goals early, getting a 1" backer button, and adding New Game+ and a special costume to the game.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: People thought this about Shovel Knight's cameo when they saw the design. Lifting a shovel does wonders!
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: For a specific mechanic; the Shards system that gives Miriam new abilities is rather unabashedly similar to Souls, including their method of acquisition (slaying enemies until they drop) and the various subtypes in which specific Shards fall into specific categories of which a single Shard can be equipped at once.
  • Ascended Meme: The Kickstarter campaign clearly references the infamous prologue of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Then there's this Word of God interview answer:
    Igarashi: A creator’s value is determined by his next game, but a creator unable to make the sort of games he wants isn’t really a creator at all. He is just a man… and we all know what that is.
  • Asshole Victim: The Alchemist's Guild. They created Gebel to start the magi-crystal curse and bring demons from Hell to Earth in order to stomp out the influence of science. Needless to say, they were also destroyed by Gebel.
  • Blood Bath: The second demo boss, Bloodless, first appears bathing in blood...
  • Bloody Murder: ... before using said blood to conjure her dress, parasols, and offensive repertoire.
  • Body to Jewel: The magi-crystal curse slowly turns its host's skin into stained glass-esque crystal. However, its progress can be delayed by surrounding the affected regions with magic runes, which stops the crystallization effect. Of the currently revealed characters, both Miriam and Gebel are affected by it, to varying degrees.
  • Bonus Boss: Anyone who purchases the Kickstarter Edition of the game gets to challenge the extremely difficult secret boss, "Igarashi," for a shot at acquiring his Swordwhip.
  • Boss Rush: One of the game's features will allow you to run through all of the bosses in the game. IGA states that this feature is intended to allow players to practice against bosses without having to hop around the castle to look for them.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Guns have an ammunition capacity that is consumed each time Miriam attacks with one.
  • Button Mashing: You can mash the attack button while wielding Short Swords to perform continuous stabs.
  • The Cameo: Shovel Armor, a giant Armor enemy based on Shovel Knight, will appear in the game thanks to a collaboration with Yacht Club Games.
  • Cheat Code: Included courtesy of a stretch goal. Alongside traditional cheat codes and joke cheat codes, there will also be special cheats for unlocking the Let's Player-designed cosmetic gear and joke mods.
  • Clothing Damage: The boss Bloodless Shows Damage; she loses pieces of her dress the more you whale on her.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Comes in two varieties: the standard version, which only comes in local flavor, and "Asynchronous", where you will be able to cooperate with other players passively, such as borrowing each other's power.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: There will be a special mode dedicated to this, featuring specially-designed stages where players team up with each other and fight for points. Special to this mode are especially difficult bosses, which will drop crafting materials only found in this mode.
  • Creator Cameo: IGA himself is featured in the game as a Kickstarter backer-exclusive Bonus Boss.
  • Creepy Cathedral: Wouldn't be Castlevania's successor without one.
  • Doom Magnet: The "Dark Curse" that the Alchemist Guild claimed would come was of their own making, infusing "pure" orphans with dark magics that would turn them into beacons that would draw demons to earth.
  • Epic Flail: The Dullahammer wields a flail that's basically its own head on a chain.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Dullahammer. IGA claims that he's a fan of these kinds of enemies.
  • Former Friends Photo: Promotional materials contain an old photo of The Hero Miriam, her aloof ally Johannes, and the Big Bad Gebel chilling out as friends during happier times.
  • Gag Boobs: Let's say that the first boss, Vepar, that looks like Scylla from Castlevania, has an ample bust, even in proportion to her body. With nipples even. To be fair, she is a few stories tall. Amusingly, hitting her in the breasts deals extra damage.
  • Game Gourmet: The game plays with this, by giving the player character a permanent stat boost every time they eat a new food item.
  • Gem Tissue: The game is set in a world where a wide-spread demonic affliction causes the victims' flesh to randomly crystallize, often forming unsettling stained glass-like shapes. The heroine of the game is also afflicted and has multiple patches of crystal on her body, most prominently a rose-like one over her heart.
  • Hair Decorations: Whatever Headwear you have equipped will show up on Miriam, from her standard "Aries Horns" jewelry to a head band to even a cute li'l bear hat.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare Difficulty.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Shards impale themselves into Miriam before she shoves them in and gains their power.
  • Item Crafting: Miriam's experience in alchemy will allow her to combine materials dropped from her enemies to forge new weapons.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas are available for Miriam to wield, and utilize a unique one-handed "swing and sheathe" animation mo-capped from IGA himself. As the result of the vote from the "Sword or Whip" teaser site, one Katana is also the game's Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the first Shards Miriam obtains allows her to fire a flame blast from her palm that deals minor magical damage. It can also be used to ignite certain environmental elements, such as cannon fuses.
  • Kick Chick: When unarmed or using Shoes, Miriam delivers swift martial arts style kicks to handle enemies. Notably, the demo gives her Kung-Fu Shoes that are slightly stronger than the initial Long Sword.
  • Konami Code: The teaser site reacted to this if you tried it.
    Pixel IGA: Did you really think that would work here?
  • Lag Cancel: Miriam can use her backdash to cancel her normal attack.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: All demons suffer from this upon defeat, although the effect is pronounced clearly only on bosses (especially Vepar, which is huge): Killing a demon turns their entire body into crystal which then shatter, and a shard of this shattered body may then be absorbed by Miriam.
  • Magic Versus Science: Scientific advancements have cast doubt on the magic of old. The Alchemist Guild tried to stagnate scientific progress, claiming that those who put more faith in Science instead of Magic would instigate a demonic invasion, just so they could retain their prestige and wealth.
  • Meaningful Name: The "stained" in "Bloodstained" describes the stained-glass appearance of the crystallizing curse affecting the bodies of the main characters. The "Blood" part is just there because Igarashi likes blood. Maybe.
  • Metroidvania: A side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements, just like the most of IGA's Castlevania games. Interestingly, Igarashi has decided to coin the term "Igavania" for this type of game, as it's kinda his thing, as well as to avoid Trademark issues from mentioning the Metroid series.
  • Multi-Platform: Both the prequel game and the game itself are set to be this. While Bloodstained itself will not be on the Nintendo 3DS, its Retraux prequel game will. Even the Linux version of Bloodstained will likely run on other UNIX-like operating systems that have a Linux compatibility layer (such as the various BSDs).
  • New Game+: As a reward for reaching 50 Backer Achievements and obtaining the Pyrite Coin, this will be included in the game.
  • Not the Intended Use: Once again, the backdash is indeed the fastest method of travel.
  • Parasol of Pain: Bloodless carries one parasol to attack you, and she also regularly conjures animated parasols as attack drones.
  • Player Data Sharing: The asynchronous multiplayer which was unlocked as part of the stretch goals will let players influence each other's games in ways such as lending one another power.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: One minor side effect of the magi-crystal curse is that it changes the victim's hair color. Both Miriam and Gebel were originally blonde.
  • Promoted to Playable: The whole point of Boss Revenge Mode. Unlike the main game, where you fight the bosses to save humanity, Boss Revenge enrolls you as the bosses of Bloodstained and pits you against the heroes on a quest to destroy humankind.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Roguelike Dungeon Mode will allow for procedurally generated castles, where no two castles are the same every play. At the end of every castle, you can receive a code that will let you share that particular permutation with other players.
  • Retraux:
    • One of the levels is designed like this.
    • Classic Mode puts an interesting twist on this. Instead of the graphics being Retraux, the game design is. In this mode, assets from the castle are rearranged to remove all Metroidvania elements and turn the game into a six-stage, Nintendo Hard, straightforward trip to the final boss, akin to the very first Castlevania games.note 
      • On a more traditional note, Classic Mode will also feature new 8-bit tracks for all six stages of Classic Mode.
    • There was a prequel game planned that is to be presented in 8-bit graphics. This eventually evolved into Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.
  • RPG Elements: Comes with the Metroidvania territory. Alongside the standard elements common to many of IGA's past works, a revised loot system will also be introduced to accommodate the new Item Crafting mechanics, where enemies can drop materials and magi-crystals needed to create new gear, as well as the standard items.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: In addition to weapon, body, and accessory equipment categories, Miriam can equip Scarves as their own category.
  • Scenery Porn: We haven't seen much of the game, but what we have seen looks absolutely stunning.
  • Shout-Out: Several to Azure Striker Gunvolt, which, given the game's former developer, is no surprise. For example, Miriam can learn Voltaic Chains, the ultimate Limit Break from Gunvolt, and she can also be customized to wear Lumen's hair ribbon in gameplay.
  • Something About a Rose: The predominant motif. Miriam's crystal skin takes the appearance of blooming roses, and rose petals and roses are featured heavily in various concept art. The logo even contains a rose, and blue roses appear as the replacement for Hearts to restore Miriam's MP.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Given a discreet justification. Gebel wants Miriam to absorb shards to further her crystallization. So putting his minions in increasing levels of strength will allow her to absorb stronger and stronger shards.
  • Speed Run: The aptly named Speed Run Mode will allow players to time attack the game.
  • Spiritual Successor: This game is one for the Castlevania series (particularly the 2D sidescrolling "Metroidvania" style), following the heavily supported Mighty No. 9 (Mega Man) and Yooka-Laylee (Banjo-Kazooie).
  • Start X to Stop X: The Alchemists planned to summon the demons from hell in order to prove that only the Alchemists were fit to protect humanity. Emphasis on the word "planned".
  • Sword Beam: An unusual take; concept art depicts Miriam as being able to fire energy from her sword that takes the form of a wolf's head.
  • Take That!: One screenshot of the quest system in one Kickstarter update shows a list of quests involving avenging the deaths of several characters who have the same name as Castlevania charactersnote , as a jab against Konami for killing the Castlevania series.
  • Use Your Head: The Dullahammer uses its own head as a flail.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The boss featured in the demo, Vepar, is only somewhat stronger than the local mooks and can be defeated simply by employing Attack! Attack! Attack! until she dies.
  • Warp Whistle: As standard of Igavania titles, Miriam will be able to use warp gates to take her across the castle in a flash.
  • Whip It Good: Miriam can equip Whips, as with many of her spiritual predecessors. Unlike them, however, Miriam delivers a swift overhead crack that has relatively slow attack speed, but great range.
  • Whip Sword: The exclusive weapon for backers who buy the Kickstarter Edition is the Swordwhip. It can be obtained by defeating the Bonus Boss "Igarashi," who himself wields the Swordwhip.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: While the Kickstarter page makes several references to Castlevania, they explicitly make a point to never actually mention Castlevania by name, usually calling it "that game" or some variant thereof.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: The electricity coursing through Voltaic Chains is blue, as with the Azure Striker's electricity.

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