Video Game / Castlevania: Bloodlines

The 11th game in the long-running Castlevania series, Castlevania: Bloodlines (Vampire Killer in Japan and Castlevania: The New Generation in Europe) was released for the Sega Genesis in 1994. This game is notable for the fact that it ties the Castlevania story with that of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

It's the early 20th century, and the first World War has begun. Orchestrated by the vampire Elizabeth Bartley who wishes to use the countless souls to raise Dracula from the dead. With no Belmonts in sight it falls on John Morris, son of Quincey Morris, and Eric Lecarde, inheritor of the Alucard Spear, to stop Elizabeth from resurrecting Dracula once again.

The game's storyline continues in 2006's Castlevania: Portrait Of Ruin.

Strangely, it is the only original Castlevania game on a console prior to The Fifth Generation of Console Video Games to still not have a Virtual Console release. Good luck not resorting to piracy.

Bloodlines provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The plot.
  • American Kirby is Hardcore: In the Japanese and European versions, Eric has a bishonen look, while in the American version, Eric's face was changed to look more barbarian-like.
    • Also, instead of Boomerang Crosses, it's a Bladed Boomerang, and there's no hearts, just crystals
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Stage 2 and Stage 3 feature these.
  • Bishōnen: Eric Lecarde in the Japanese and European version.
  • Black Blood: The censored versions of the game replaced all of the blood with light blue water and recolored the reddish zombies to be bright green.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: When Eric dies, his spear impales him on landing.
  • Blade on a Stick: Appropriately vague, since Lecarde's weapon could become a spear, an axe-head spear, or a trident.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Out of all the Classicvanias, this one had the most blood in it by far. Though, coming from a Sega Genesis game, this is hardly surprising. Yet somehow it got an "all audiences" rating.
  • Boss Rush: Stage 6
    • Interestingly, it's presented as a boss rush within a boss fight. You encounter Death and think you have to fight him, but he's invulnerable. Instead of attacking, he summons a circle of tarot cards that cause different effects when you hit them with your weapon. Three of them take you to easier versions of the Stage 2, 3 and 4 bosses; two cause Death to launch a pillar of flame at you; and one gives you healing items. After you've hit them all, you fight Death himself on the same life bar.
  • Bowdlerize: In the European version, all the blood was removed.
    • Eric's death animation was also altered so that his spear didn't impale him.
  • Building Swing: John can swing off ceilings with his whip.
  • Death Dealer: A more literal example than most, in that Death uses tarot cards during his first phase.
  • Degraded Boss: Some of Stage 6's monsters were bosses in the earlier levels.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted when playing as Eric, who can twirl his spear in all eight directions. Somewhat averted when playing as John, who can attack upper left, upper right, and downwards while jumping.
  • Difficulty Levels: Easy and Normal. Expert can be unlocked by either completing the game on Normal or inputting the Konami Code on the title screen.
  • The Dragon: Drolta Tzuentes, who is actually the second-to-last boss after John/Eric defeated Dracula's first form, despite what the American manual says.
  • Dub Name Change: Johnny to John, though it's not too different compared to other examples.
    • Eric's spear became the Alcarde Spear due to a mistranslation. You can imagine the Epileptic Trees this caused.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: As per Konami game at the time, you have to beat the Expert mode to get the full ending.
  • Eternal Engine: Stage 4, the German weapons factory (the staple Castlevania clock tower in all but name).
  • Everything Is Badass In Texas: John Morris (AKA the guy with the whip).
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: In the fifth stage, Versailles Palace has these in one section, though amusingly they instantly kill any Axe Knights that happen to get caught under it.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: How in the hell did this get a GA rating under Sega's rating system?
  • Goroawase Number: The number 573 (ko-na-mi) is used to activate an Easter Egg via the option menu. Setting the BGM to 05 and SE to 073 before exiting activates remixed music from the NES ''Castlevania'' trilogy after collecting enough power-ups.
  • Happy Dance: If you die during the Gear Steamer (the Stage 4 boss) battle, it will celebrate by spinning around and raising its hands in joy.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Like good old Vlad Tepes, Erzsébet Báthory was upgraded to vampire status as "Elizabeth Bartley".
    • Also, Drolta Tzuentes was based on on Bathory's real-life servant, Dorottya Szentes.
  • Hunk: John Morris
  • Incendiary Exponent: Upgrade your weapons enough times and they're on fire for maximum damage. Shame you lose it on getting hit once.
  • Interface Screw: The control-reversing pollen from the giant roses in Stage 5-1, as well as Stages 6-2 (where the screen splits into 3) and 6-3 (the inverted stage, and the vertical controls are reversed).
  • Internal Homage:
    • Stage 1-3 matches stage 02 from Castlevania, but includes slight changes.
    • Bloodlines also includes remixed music from the three NES Castlevania games.
  • Konami Code: Inputting it on the title screen unlocks Expert difficulty without having to complete the game on Normal first.
  • Limit Break: A lesser version of the Item Crash (from Rondo of Blood) appears in this game.
  • Losing Your Head: It's hard to pull off, but the Harpy enemies in stage 3 can be decapitated without immediately killing them. Following the ensuing bloody mess, they'll keep right on attacking.
  • Magic Skirt: Eric's tunic, which stays in place even while completely upside-down and shooting upward.
  • Named Weapons: Eric wields the Alcarde Alucard Spear. And of course, John has the Vampire Killer.
  • Nintendo Hard: It's bad enough that the game's difficulty gives Rondo of Blood a run for its money, but the limited continues are what really seal the deal. The Easy-Mode Mockery doesn't help either.
  • Off with His Head!: You can actually decapitate Harpies in the Italy level with Eric, although, it's pretty hard to do.
  • 1-Up: These are often hidden in some rather hard-to-reach places.
  • Password Save: At the end of each stage, you get a password with number of lives and continues remaining.
  • Revenge: the main motive for Eric Lecarde to hunt down Elizabeth Bartley.
  • Rise to the Challenge: Stage 2-2 has water steadily climbing. As an Auto-Scrolling Level, you're free to climb up beyond the camera. In the next stage, you find the enemy that causes the water to rise, and need to kill it before you drown.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Although the reference is pretty obvious, the Big Bad is called Elizabeth Bartley, not Bathory.
  • Super Drowning Skills: A little relaxed by this series' standards; falling into water doesn't kill you unless you fall off the screen; it simply causes you to take heavy damage. If you have low enough health however, it will kill you.
  • Timed Mission: Stage 2's Water Mage mid-boss, who floods the screen with water until he's dead. Take too long and you get to see Eric and John's Super Drowning Skills on display in the heat of battle.
  • Whip It Good: Morris steps in to keep this a Castlevania game.
  • World Tour: Unique among the series for its usage of this trope. Granted, you only journey across Europe, but it's still fitting.
  • World War I: In the game's backstory, the Big Bad of the game, Elizabeth Bartley was the mastermind behind the Archduke of Austria's assassination, which started World War I.