Video Game: Castlevania 64 aka: Castlevania Legacy Of Darkness
"Courage, don't leave me."
— Reinhardt Schneider
"Whatever awaits, I have no regrets."
— Carrie Fernandez
Castlevania 64 (Japanese: Akumajō Dorakyura Mokushiroku, "Demon Castle Dracula Apocalypse") was the first 3D entry in the Castlevania franchise, one that was later given an Updated Re-release known as Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.Actually, this game's proper name is merely Castlevania; the "64" is only added to differentiate it from the oft-remade adventure of Simon Belmont. For clarity's sake, however, we'll stick with tacking on the "64" moniker.Both games chronicle the adventures of Reinhardt Schneider, a member of a Belmont branch family who inherited the Vampire Killer, and Carrie Fernandez, related to the Belnades clan, as they enter Dracula's castle to take the vampire out. In addition to these stories, Legacy of Darkness also follows a werewolf named Cornell eight years prior who enters the castle to rescue his sister Ada; he also finds and liberates a boy named Henry Oldrey, who grows up to become a soldier for the church who — wait for it — enters Dracula's castle, only his mission is to rescue children there.Most players think they hit the Polygon Ceiling really hard, especially in light of the recent release of the critical darling, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Koji Igarashi, himself, effectively struck them from the official canon at the same time he disowned Castlevania Legends, but he seems to have warmed up to them significantly in later years — they were both included in the more recent publications of the CV timelines (though minus the descriptions), and Legacy of Darkness star Cornell has roles in both Judgment and Lords of Shadow.
Castlevania 64 provides examples of:
Action Bomb: Blue Skeletons are ignited to explode, and they chase the player characters relentlessly to hurt them.
Chained by Fashion: Cornell, the initial protagonist of Legacy of Darkness, was supposed to be in the game in a ball-and-chain prisoner outfit.
Childhood Marriage Promise: Under a pretension of Puppy Love, Malus pesters Carrie to marry him in her bad ending. After she accepts, he ominously says, "Now we have a binding contract..."
Creepy Child: Malus, who, after being seemingly escorted out of the castle, is suddenly back with worrisome dialogue. He's actually Dracula himself, reincarnated in a younger body.
Deal with the Devil: Buy too much stuff from Renon and you'll have to fight him later when he comes to collect his "payment".
Dem Bones: Very first enemy to be fought, they are later shown to be led by King Skeleton who can call them to his side at a whim.
Difficulty Spike: The nitro/mandragora escort business; before it, you are happily whipping or magig missiling enemies on your oath, but now you have carefully move a dangerous item along a hazardous path.
Disc One Final Boss: Used on two different occasions during the game. The first example is the Behemoth encountered in the Castle Center, which uses the same battle theme as the final boss. The second is Dracula's Servant atop the final stage, which has a unique battle theme to himself.
Early Bird Boss: Skeleton King, thanks to appearing before the player gets the hang of the controls.
Easy-Mode Mockery: If played on Easy, the game ends after the Behemoth boss battle in the Castle Center.
Fast-Forward Mechanic: The Sun and Moon cards can be used to advance the current time so you can (among other things) have certain timed encounters and battle vampires during the day when they're weaker.
Flunky Boss: King Skeleton summons common skeleton enemies to its aid by bashing the ground with its bone-club.
The game doesn't really tell you that the ending is in fact impacted by how much time you took to get there.
Most of the secrets require the player to locate insanely-placed invisible platforms that are usually exactly halfway between the nearest savepoints and / or right before the end of the level. There is never any indication of the platform's position, and one even has a gap deliberately placed right before the nearest visible platform to kill you on the way back.
Happily Adopted: Carrie mentions that she was raised by a loving and caring step-mother who ultimately sacrificed herself to save her, to contrast the villainous Actrise who just casually claimed she slew her own biological child as the first of 100 child sacrifices to resurrect Dracula.
Hedge Maze: The villa stage has a nasty hedge maze you have to run through while being chased by its gardener and his two stone dogs. Of course you only have to explore about an eighth of the maze and, if you know where to go, will likely get through before the chain-saw monster and his pals even shows up.
Intimidating Revenue Service: Renon starts out as a demon shopkeeper; you can use his contract to summon him if you should happen to find it lying around for a Dungeon Shop, and purchase any supplies you need. Just before the final boss, he shows up to let you know you won't see him ever again, but how the story plays out depends on your spending habits; if you were thrifty, he tells you a war is brewing elsewhere, which will give better profit margins than selling chicken drumsticks to a single adventurer. If you spent more than 30000 gold, he reveals that there was some fine print in the contract that Carrie (could not read because it was written in a demonic language); specifically, there's a tax on his services that he has to collect now, and that tax is your soul! Cue fighting for your very life.
Lizardmen armed with tridents, dual weapons and swords and shields are an encounters in the Undergorund Waterway and inside the Dracula's castle.
Player character also comes across one Heinrich Meyer, a merchant who was turned into a lizardman when he came to the castle looking for a good deal. He helps the player by giving information regarding the upcoming nitro and mandragora business, and handing out a key.
Stock Subtitle: Used for the original Japanese title, Demon Castle Dracula: Apocalypse.
Storybook Opening: The game starts with the book already open on the a page holding the file select menu. Starting a new game results in your signature appearing on the document, and the pages flipping backwards to reveal it's a copy of the Necronomicon.
Super Drowning Skills: Handwaved by the protagonists by having them remark that the water has been 'poisoned' by the evil of the castle. The steam that rises whenever you fall in seems to suggest a more malicious chemical at work, though.
Villain Ball: In the good endings, the player doesn't catch on the ruse that Dracula that they just defeated was just an impostor until Malus reveals himself to be the real Dracula, for no other reason than to give the player a True Final Boss.
War for Fun and Profit: In the final, non-confrontational (if you played your cards right) encounter with Renon, he states he is needed elsewhere, since an impending global war is about to break out, and it is going to open wonderful business opportunities.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In the path to good ending, Vincent appears to dose Dracula, who has again assumed the shape of young Malus to trick the player character, with holy water. After the ensuing True Final Boss fight, he disappears from the game.
Wicked Witch: Actrise, who is willing to slaughter children in order to gain her goals.
Broad Strokes: Reinhardt and Carrie's games travel through Cornell's variations of the levels and omit lines of dialogue they had in the original, so there's still some merit in owning both games if you want the whole story.
Cores and Turrets Boss: The "Crystal Laser of Doom" in the Tower of Science, which consists of a large, central crystal and several self-repairing turrets of various types placed around it.
Embedded Precursor: Completing the game as Cornell unlocks the story modes of Carrie and Reinhardt, the original heroes of Castlevania 64.
Fan Disservice: One of the Spider Queen's attacks is to reel in your character with web and chew on him/her with her second mouth. The one that's right at crotch-height on her, latches onto him/her at waist-height, and is complete with thrusting movements.
Fur Against Fang: The game fits this trope nicely. It not only has a higher than usual number of vampires, but lead character Cornell is a werewolf.
The Resenter: Ortega, Cornell's rival, who envied Cornell's mastery of his alternate form and sought Dracula's help to match him.
Schizo Tech: Henry wields a gun as his primary weapon, which can be reloaded with cartridges. While revolvers did exist during the time period in which his story takes place (1852), cartridge rounds did not, only coming into existence four years later.
Shock and Awe: The Vampire Killer's final powerup grants it lightning properties in Legacy of Darkness; this replaced the fire effect from 64.
Super Mode: Cornell's werewolf form enhances his strength.
Took a Level in Badass: Henry is first met in Cornell's storyline as a helpless young boy that must be escorted out of the premises into safety. His storyline saws him grown up into a tough-as-nails knight armed with a flintlock gun who goes back to the Dracula's castle to save a group of children kidnapped by his followers.
Unlockable Content: With each child Henry frees, a new option is made available to the player.
Updated Re-release: Though it would be better to call the game a complete version of the original release.
Walking Shirtless Scene: Part of Cornell's outfit is an open shirt, and he looses it completely in his werewolf form.