[[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 solar 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.

!''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 made to be a similar substitute to the sealed Castlevania.
----
!! ''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.
* AlreadyUndoneForYou: Justified in ''Dawn''. Julius is running ahead of Soma, yet Soma still has to fight the bosses. Turns out Julius can't use Seals for some reason and only killed them for long enough in order to leave before they could regenerate. [[LampshadeHanging Soma isn't too convinced]], as it is impossible for the player to leave a boss room until the enemy is dead and sealed.
* 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 to replace him 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 - and to be fair, he didn't really get much time to react to the former before being told the latter.
* ArtShift: The character portraits of the first game were drawn in a gothic style pictured above (the style of Ayami Kojima fans have grown used to since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''). The second game went for a more {{Animesque}} style, which was one of the most criticised aspects of the game.
* ArtifactTitle: ''Dawn'' does not take place in Dracula's Castle[=/=]Castlevania.
* 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 [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou 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 and Aguni. [[spoiler:However, the latter subverts it; while he can normally only be seen inside the background mirror during your rematch with Dario, Paranoia's soul allows you to enter the mirror and battle Aguni directly to continue towards the best ending]].
* BadassGrandpa: Julius Belmont. In his fifties or no, he can still storm the castle with the best of them.
* 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: Partially justified in ''Dawn'' - since Soma didn't have any reason to use his Power of Dominance for a long time, all of the souls he collected were released... though it doesn't explain what happened all his gear and loot from the previous game. That said, he retained the ability to slide and backdash from the very start of ''Dawn'', whereas in ''Aria'' he needed the Grave Keeper and Skeleton Blaze souls to perform each skill respectively.
** Similarly, he requires the Kicker Skeleton soul to perform a drop kick after a double jump in ''Aria.'' While this power isn't immediately available in ''Dawn,'' reacquiring the Malphas soul also restores the ability to drop kick.
* 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 Dmitrii again, his [[PowerCopying stolen Power of Dominance]] didn't quite work out, and all of the monster he absorbed fuse and break 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: [[{{Pun}} Humerus-ly]] deconstructed with Skeletons absent-mindedly throwing away their own heads along with bones.
* BattleThemeMusic: In ''Aria of Sorrow'', there's separate boss music for Julius (a combination of two old tunes, "Don't Wait Until Night" and "Heart of Fire"), and in ''Dawn Of Sorrow'', [[spoiler:Soma]] uses Dracula's fight music, "Dance of Illusions".
** ''Aria of Sorrow'' also had a separate boss theme for fighting [[spoiler:Graham]], and [[spoiler:Chaos, the final boss, has two separate battle themes for both his phases]]. There is also both a regular boss theme used for most bosses, and a major boss theme used for [[WarmUpBoss Creaking Skull]] and Balore.
* BerserkButton: Graham Jones doesn't take kindly when someone other than him shows signs of being Dracula.
* {{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''.
* BilingualBonus: Both "Arikado" 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 chronologically the latest incarnation of Dracula, and by far the bishi-est.
* BlessedWithSuck[=/=]CursedWithAwesome: Soma is Dracula. This gives him many powerful 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 collecting since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest''.
** The names of many enemies in ''Aria'' are misspelled too. "Curly" should be Kali, "Skull Millione" should be Scarmiglione, [[UnfortunateNames "Lubicant"]] should be Rubicante.
** Also in ''Aria'', a handful of souls have decidedly unhelpful or outright wrong descriptions. For instance, the game claims the Dead Warrior allows the player to "deflect normal attacks by pressing UP + B," when what it really does is allow the player to ''cancel their own'' normal attacks by using a Bullet soul. The Zombie Officer soul's description says "Jumping while taking damage restores health," but all it does is allows Soma to cancel aerial knockback by jumping after taking a hit.
** ''Aria'' keeps at it with its weapon names. A holy spear is named "Ronginus' Spear" (as in Saint Longinus, who pierced Jesus' side with a lance on the cross), Katar was renamed to "Cutall," [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking the Claiomh Solais is mispelled as "Claimh Solais,"]] the list goes on.
* BodyguardCrush: Very subtly implied in ''Dawn'' while using the Alra Une soul. She adds [[UsefulNotes/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, in a game featuring bosses with raised weak points whose attacks sweep the ground.]]
** In ''Dawn of Sorrow'', jump kicking damage is based on air time rather than distance. Guess what Medusa Head lets you do with the kick.
** The Axe Armor soul in ''Dawn'' 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 and guaranteed drop that grants boosts too all stats but LCK 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. Boy, are you ever going to miss it [[NoSell in the sequel]].
* BossRush: Present in both games as an unlockable mode.
* CallBack: The FinalBoss of Julius Mode is one large reference to the first Dracula fight in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''.[[spoiler:The heroes enter to find Soma [[SlouchOfVillainy slouching on his throne]] with a wine glass in hand, which he then hurls to the ground after a brief exchange of words. Soma's phases also match up with Dracula's phases - though the former also mixes it up with a few of his souls as well]].
** During the intro cutscene to ''Aria'', a large amount of enemies appear in the starting area and surround Soma and Mina. Arikado makes short work of all but one enemy with a spell, turning them into orbs of light that fly into him. [[spoiler:To be specific, he uses Soul Steal - almost exactly as it first appeared in ''Symphony of the Night.'']]
** 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.
* 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. [[spoiler:Makes sense, considering it's implied Alucard is also venturing through Castlevania at the same time Soma is]].
** ''Dawn'' has several to ''Aria'', of course. Most notably, many areas in ''Dawn's'' castle (which is claimed to be a replica of Dracula's Castle - not the actual one, which was sealed in an eclipse [[spoiler:and destroyed with Chaos]]) match up to certain areas in ''Aria's'' castle. [[labelnote:Full details]]The Pinnacle and Top Floor are in roughly the same location, both are connected to the Clock Tower on the right and an additional two-part residence (Dance Hall and Inner Quarters/two sections of the Demon Guest House) to the left, a garden (Floating Garden/Garden of Madness) in the very middle, a church-themed area to the right (Chapel/Dark Chapel), a sprawling underground cavern (Underground Reservoir/Subterranean Hell) that requires the ability to walk underwater to traverse, Balore's location (The Arena/Wizardry Lab) in the lower left, an additional much smaller area to its right (Underground Cemetery/Silenced Ruins), a "hidden" underground section (Forbidden Area/Mine of Judgement), and a secret area is isolated from the rest of the castle with its own map and can only be accessed after avoiding the "fake" ending (Chaotic Realm/The Abyss, defeating Graham without Dracula's souls equipped/killing Dario instead of Aguni).[[/labelnote]]
** Soma's NPC allies all have a counterpart in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse''. Genya 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. 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 yellow while the latter is blue, 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 and even keep attacking with his Bullet soul all he pleases. This can get especially silly when Dmitrii is strolling about in the midst of a tornado spewing massive swarms of indestructible locusts at you.
* 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]]).
* 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 Guardian soul - press R and you will begin to [[CastFromHitPoints lose twenty HP per second in exchange for much higher power]], though it'll stop draining your health before it kills you (but still provide the power boost). Great if you're good at not getting hit and/or doing the Boss Rush.
* DeflectorShields: The 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 Arikado [[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).
* DifficultButAwesome: The Final Guard soul in both games. It's a rare drop from a very tough enemy (making it a pain to even acquire in the first place), can only be used on the ground, freezes you in place and stops you from doing anything else while it's active, and has an excruciating MP cost. However, it grants ''instant'' invincibility on demand so long as you're grounded and provides even more lengthy invincibility frames if you block an attack - during which you can deactivate the soul and move or attack again. Though it has a short delay after you turn it off before you can move again in ''Dawn'', proper use of it in either game effectively gives Soma the ability to parry almost every attack in the game.
* 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 weapon, it does a surprising amount of damage with its good ATK boost and high speed.
** Bhuj, an axe, in Dawn. Not entirely for its damage, either. The true magic is the fact that it's a tier 3 weapon that takes Axe Armor and Manticore Souls to create, which are both common enough, and sells for 10,000G. The absolute earliest you can make it is midway through the Wizardry Lab (the second area), but there are no convenient Axe Armors up to that point. No worries, just carry on a little bit to the first accessible part of the Demon Guest House, and you'll find a room with two, both of which you can kill in one shot with a maxed Skeleton soul, while the Manticore in the Wizardy Lab near a room transition on the floor to a hallway with a Stone Golem in it is perfectly placed for farming. Get nine each of their souls, plus the axes the Axe Armors are liable to drop (buy more from Hammer if you didn't get 9 in the first place), make a bunch of Bhuj, and then sell them for an easy 90,000G. Repeat it a few times and you'll have no trouble whatsoever footing the bill for that Soul Eater Ring. It even works great later in the game, too.
* 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: Though you'll need Malphas' soul to do it. Soma does a flip in ''Dawn'' on his second jump, though.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Dmitrii kills himself after his fight with Soma and allows him to absorb his soul. [[ThanatosGambit However, he takes the time to copy Soma's Power of Dominance and later takes over the body of the doppelganger Celia tries to trick Soma with, 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 hacking. [[spoiler:It showed that Chaos has 9999 HP, is No. 113, resists dark, its description is ''"[[GreaterScopeVillain The root of all chaotic things.]]"'', and it uses an otherwise unseen picture/form of Chaos.]]
** Unused portions of the script and a voice clip from [[spoiler:the Dark Lord Soma]] indicate Hammer was intended to be playable in ''Dawn of Sorrow's'' Julius Mode.
** Using glitches to enter [[spoiler:Julius Mode's final battle with Soma as Dracula reincarnated]] in ''Dawn'' as Soma causes the boss to begin the fight with an otherwise unused voice clip.
--> [[spoiler:Dracula]]: Kuru ga ii... ningen-me![[note]]Come... filthy human![[/note]]
* DwindlingParty: Despite the reputations of the supporting cast, this happens in a nonlethal sense over the course of the two games, aside from Julius Mode itself. Hammer goes AWOL and becomes a shopkeeper as soon as we meet him. Yoko is stabbed by Graham in ''Aria'' and becomes a non-combatant in ''Dawn''. Julius is fought to a stalemate by Soma in ''Aria'' and defeated by a post-ritual Dario in ''Dawn''. And just before ''Dawn's'' final boss fight, [[spoiler:Dmitrii kills Celia as part of a sacrifice for more power and takes down Arikado]].
* EarnYourBadEnding: Julius Mode in ''Dawn''.
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler:The FinalBoss of ''Dawn'', Menace, which is a fusion of all the souls that Dmitri absorbed.]]
** [[spoiler:Not to mention Chaos in ''Aria'', a good contender for the most Eldritch of any abomination in the entire franchise.]]
* EldritchLocation: [[spoiler:The Chaotic Realm in ''Aria'' and the Abyss in ''Dawn''.]] Both areas are a surreal amalgamation of rooms mashed together with no real thought for logic, are isolated from the rest of the castle in some way, and contain the TrueFinalBoss in both games.
* 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.
** Interestingly, certain weapons such as the Kaiser Knuckle, the Killer Mantle's soul, and Balore's soul in ''Aria'' have [[NonElemental no attribute assigned to them, allowing them to bypass resistances]]. This allows them to make short work of a Final Guard, who are resistant to ''all'' attributes in the game otherwise.
* 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.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: Soma's relationship with Mina in ''Dawn''. [[spoiler:Especially in the GoldenEnding.]]
** [[spoiler: However, Celia also seems aware, and exploits it to try and force Soma to become the new Dark Lord by killing a doppelganger of Mina in front of him.]]
* EvilIsVisceral: In a word, Graham's final form is '''[[NauseaFuel disgusting.]]''' [[labelnote:For those with a strong stomach...]] It takes the appearance of [[FanDisservice two giant pale women conjoined at the stomach]] [[EyesDoNotBelongThere with eyes on the back of their hands,]] [[{{Gorn}} severed below the waist with their skin and muscle torn off from the chest down to expose ribs and pulsing organs.]] Graham himself is [[BodyHorror partially fused with their combined heart,]] with a halo formed from [[EyeScream a golden ring stabbed through the eye sockets of the women]]. Yeah, pass the BrainBleach.[[/labelnote]]
* EvilLaugh: [[spoiler:Soma gets an ''epic'' one as the FinalBoss for Julius Mode in ''Dawn''. Unfortunately, he really only has the one voice clip...]]
* ExcaliburInTheStone: The Excalibur weapon allows you to swing an enormous sword, and ''the stone it's still embedded in.''
* EyeBeams: Balore in both games, though it takes form slightly differently. Strangely, his soul has nothing to do with lasers in either game...
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: Graham's OneWingedAngel form has eyes on its hands. [[spoiler: Chaos' true form also has four eyes in each corner of its room; destroying them lowers the core's defense]].
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Soma in the bad ending of both games.]]
* FantasyGunControl: Subverted. There ''are'' modern firearms in these games, but they're very scarce and come much later in the game than needed. By the time you pick them up, you'll likely have swords that far outclass them.
* FetusTerrible: Legion's shell of bodies in ''Aria'' invokes the image of a fetus in the womb, and defeating it reveals the inner core is a cage that really ''does'' contain a fetus of some kind. Notably, defeating Legion without completely destroying its outer shell causes the fetus to burn up after the cage breaks, but if you fully destroyed the shell, it instead floats into the air and briefly opens its eyes before transforming into a red soul to be absorbed by Soma.[[note]]This is also the only way to lose a unique boss soul that can't be acquired elsewhere, [[GuideDangIt so defeating the core without fully destroying the shell means losing out on that 100% soul rate for that playthrough.]][[/note]]
* FinalBoss: [[spoiler:[[GreaterScopeVillain 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, it's 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. Certain unused assets suggest Hammer was also intended to be playable at some point, filling in the role of Grant.
* 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. You'll find that two Witches have brought in their Apprentice to consort with a Lilith and a Succubus in a Yoko costume and have dragged in one of the Persephone maids to join them.
** Only visible in the debug menu (which in turn can only be accessed by hacking), the internal name for the Inner Quarters is the "Harem."
* 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 a [[HPToOne Spoiled Milk.]]
** Using the Devil soul in ''Dawn'' eventually turns Soma into this. It stops draining health if Soma doesn't have more than 10 HP without revoking the power boost... but you still don't have more than 10 HP, so just about anything will likely kill you.
* 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: Collecting all attainable souls in either game comes with the reward of the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Chaos Ring]], which constantly regenerates MP faster than you could ever hope to deplete it - in other words, unlimited MP.
* GreaterScopeVillain: ''Aria of Sorrow'' establishes that [[spoiler:Chaos is the BiggerBad for the entire series.]]
* 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 [[spoiler: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 Claimh Solais sword, Ronginus' Spear, the Valkyrie soul in ''Aria'', the Erinys soul in ''Dawn'', and a handful of others.
* [[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, [[GoneHorriblyRight just like Celia wanted... and then brutally kills her in revenge.]] 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.]]
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: Graham Jones is exactly this. While normally an AffablyEvil antagonist throughout the game, he breaks down when confronted with the possibility that he is not the reincarnation of Count Dracula as he had believed his whole life. [[spoiler: It reaches its peak in the Throne Room if Soma battles him with Dracula's souls equipped and proves himself the true successor to the Dark Lord.]]
* 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. Just before you first fight him, it seems he's genuinely angry with Soma for [[spoiler: killing off his comrade]]... and then brushes it off when Soma tries to apologize, claiming he just wanted to do it himself.
* 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 does it again in ''Aria''. Upon defeat, Death lets his scythe go spinning through the air - except it still has a (very large) hitbox, meaning it can easily hit and potentially kill an unwary Soma.
* 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]].
** Yorick is one as well. The novelty of the soul is that it does pitiful damage even compared to the skeleton soul, its miniscule reach and the fact that it is required to be kicked in order to deal any real damage. The lethal factor is that it does 10x the amount of damage if the kick is successful. While its range makes it an utterly terrible weapon against a lot of creatures, it can turn several enemies and bosses into JOKES when used correctly due to how absurd the damage gets when it gets strong enough.
* 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, dressed in an all-white suit with white hair (even though he's only 36 during the events of ''Aria'')]]. His OneWingedAngel form takes it UpToEleven - a pale mockery of Dracula's final form from VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight, complete with a "halo" of a golden ring looped through the eye sockets of two stark white women and a much larger halo made of skulls raining down devastating beams of light.
* LosingYourHead: Skeletons may absentmindedly throw their own head, not that it'll stop them from throwing more bones.
* 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.
* MarilynManeuver: Various wind effects can make certain female enemies like the Student Witch or the Persephone go through this.
* MeaningfulName: More like initials, and it's possible this is entirely unintentional, but the initials of both Dmitrii 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 (where everything is cut short and you don't learn anything), the bad one ([[FaceHeelTurn where Soma turns evil and becomes the Dark Lord]]), and the good one (where 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, is also originally from Haunted Castle.
* 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''.
** As noted under ContinuityNod, if you look carefully in ''Dawn'', the areas are like in ''Aria'' in terms of map location.
* ObliviousToLove: Yoko to Hammer, moreso in ''Dawn''.
* 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.
* OurCryptidsAreMoreMysterious: Some opponents are cryptids.
* 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[=/=]HughMann: 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]] [[Literature/TheDivineComedy 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: Besides Soma himself, 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 long-ranged 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.
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom: Balore might be big and slow, but if he hits you, it'll ''hurt''.
* RandomDrop: Enemies can drop souls, one or two items and sometimes money and hearts.
** RandomDropBooster: In addition to the Rare Ring for items, the Soul Eater Ring increases the chance for souls.
** 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'' gives a 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.
** [[spoiler:Soma as the Dark Lord pulls this on whichever playable character is active when you begin the final boss battle]].
* ScratchDamage: Can be subverted to a degree in Dawn, as it has a soul that gives a flat damage reduction and with it equipped, 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.
** Wonky collision detection in ''Aria'' makes it possible to clip into walls while riding on the back of a Catoblepas or Gorgon, as well as use the Giant Bat soul to turn virtually every solid wall into a warp zone. Proper application of the two can result in Soma warping from the Castle Corridor to the warp room in the Chapel to fetch the Malphas soul, warping from the Floating Gardens to the ''Arena'' for the Giant Bat soul, warping from there to the Top Floor en route to an even more advanced warp into the Forbidden Area for the Claimh Solais before finally warping [[spoiler:''[[UpToEleven into the Chaotic Realm, right in front of Chaos' chamber]]'' for the final boss battle]].
* 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 ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}}''. It even fires three as though they were from Vic Viper and the options. Another ''Gradius'' reference 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.
*** Taking this further with a nod to ''Franchise/KamenRider'''s own [[MythologyGag mythology gag]] monster, the [[SpiderPeople Arachnes]] in ''Aria'' shoot volleys of needles in the same manner as [[Series/KamenRiderRyuki Dispider]].
** The Ape Skeleton [[Franchise/DonkeyKong throws barrels]].
** Cagnazzo, Scarmiglione/Skull Millione, and Rubicante/Lubicant in ''Aria'' are members of the Malebranche from the ''[[Literature/TheDivineComedy 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. Other blue souls that manifest entities to protect or assist in battle all pretty much resemble the other known stands
*** Blocking with the Final Guard elicits a "Muda!"
*** Healing himself to full by draining enemies causes Soma to quote Dio when he drained [[spoiler:Joseph]].
*** 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=]. Furthermore, to extend the resemblance, in Dawn of Sorrow Soma can throw knives with a red soul during the timestop that will freeze in time as they leave his hands, exactly like Dio does it in Stardust Crusaders. This effect also turns up in Portrait of Ruin when Jonathan uses the Stopwatch and then starts throwing knives.
*** Zephyr in ''Dawn'' shows up to reference everything else about Dio that Soma missed.
*** Kyouma Demon resembles the Hanged Man Stand, and several bosses in Dawn of Sorrow utilize mirrors to escape Soma's attack, forcing him to manipulate their reflections to make them vunerable.
*** A massive Battle Tendency reference appears in the Chaos Realm in Aria, where you can encounter a Skeletal Charioteer in a room that resembles part of the Arena section of the Castle, which has quite a striking resemblance to the chariots used by Joseph and Wham in their fight.
** 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 gives you a temporary boost in attack power.
** It may or may not have been intentional, but Menace's "antibodies" are remarkably similar to Literature/TheLangoliers.
** Bat Company could be a reference to the band Music/BadCompany. The official player's guide even makes a joke about it.
** It seems more than just coincidence that the enemy [[MonsterClown clowns]] sometimes drop [[UsefulNotes/McDonalds hamburgers]] when killed.
** The Poison Fist is a supposed kung fu technique popularized in Japan by [[Main/TheEighties 80s manga]] such as the obscure ''[[Manga/{{Kinnikuman}} Kinnikuman]]'' spinoff, ''[[Anime/TatakaeRamenman Tatakae!! Ramenman]]'' and Wong from ''Manga/TekkenChinmi''. The game has their anime adaptations' purple color when attacking.
* ShownTheirWork: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_September_2,_2035 There's actually going to be a total 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.
** FutureImperfect: That said, the script says the the Sep 2 eclipse will be the first solar eclipse of the 21st Century. As the two OtherWiki articles show, that's a load of crock.
* 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.
* SurprisinglyHappyEnding: The Castlevania saga ends not with the final destruction of Dracula, but with his redemption, the final destruction of [[GreaterScopeVillain the source of his evil, powers and castle]], and a second chance for him to live a good life.
* 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]].
* 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.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: In ''Aria'''s extended ending, Soma begs for mercy upon realizing [[spoiler: Julius is dead-set on killing him to prevent him becoming Dracula]].
* TimeStop: Chronomage's soul. It's even called ''Time Stop''. However, it doesn't work 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''.
* TookAShortcut: Early on ''Dawn'', Julius leaps over a drawbridge in order to enter the castle, leaving Yoko and Soma behind. Later you find out there was a switch right there to lower the bridge and he didn't have the decency of pushing it. You then come across him [[TheWorfEffect having trouble fighting Dario.]] Julius comments he had been able to kill the previous bosses despite not knowing how to use Magic Seals. Soma understandably thinks that makes no sense.
* 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 the fight to go.
* 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: Finally... I clearly understand... everything. I am... Dracula.
* WhatTheHellHero: In ''Dawn'', Dario calls out Soma for [[spoiler:apparently killing Dmitrii]], 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]].
--> Dario: Ah, what are you talking about? I just wanted to beat that stuck up jerk to death with my own hands!
* WitchClassic: The witches, of course.
* WithThisHerring: At the beginning of the second game, an evil cult has arrived, ready to kill Soma and/or turn him into the Dark Lord (hey, whatever works), attacks him and his best friend, and puts the world on the verge of plunging into darkness. What does Arikado toss to him to fight this menace? ...A knife. Really? You'd think between him and Soma, they'd have a better arsenal than that at their disposal.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Soma Cruz in ''Dawn'' - kill Mina, and he will gladly embrace his destined power as the Dark Lord... and immediately put it to use slaughtering you in revenge.
* YouCantFightFate: Not alone, anyway. [[spoiler:And if everything goes terribly wrong, there's a [[HeroAntagonist team]] ready to end [[RogueProtagonist 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 the power to backdash and slide, and regains the drop kick alongside double jump 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''.
----