The second Castlevania game for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, released in 2005.This installment takes place three years after Dracula's defeat at the hand of Trevor and his comrades. In Dracula's final breath, he cast a curse that ravaged the European countryside, spreading disease, mob violence, and heresy in its wake. During this time, Hector, a former henchman of Dracula's, seeks revenge against his former compatriot Isaac for the death of his fiancée Rosaly.Gameplay-wise, it retains a similar design aesthetic to its immediate predecessor, with two important wrinkles: there's a lot of Item Crafting, and you can also forge your own Mons to follow you around and fight enemies. These "Innocent Devils" will evolve into new forms depending on what types of weapons you use, so there's a lot of different things to try.
Curse of Darkness provides examples of:
After Boss Recovery: A field of light appears after each boss battle to completely heal Hector and the Innocent Devils with him.
A.I. Breaker: Dracula's first form can be caught in an infinite combo through use of the weapon Hien. By repeating the weapon's first attack over and over, you can end the battle before he does anything.
Anachronism Stew: Items like Japanese Weapons, Sweatshirts, bombs, Ramen noodles, Pizza, miniguns, and a Laser Blade in the 15th Century Valachia? These have the loose justification of being created by somebody with explicitly magical powers who's (for the stranger things) using obscure materials like an Immortal Fragment stolen from a time traveler and a weapon made with material lifted from a Minotaur (the Gatling Gun and Hien) or Glow Dust taken from a Dullahan in what seems to be an alternate dimension (Laser Blade). As for the reason the bosses have strange things like Shortcake, Cheese, Ramen, and Tomato Juice, there is no reason given. note The reason the Skeleton Diver has Sushi is clear, you're ripping a chunk of meat off his ride!
Arc Number: In addition to the Old Save Bonus listed below, Proboscis Fairy's "Just A Little" healing skill can heal you for either 1 or 573 HP.
Arm Cannon: The Ironside Innocent Devil has a machine gun built into its arm.
Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Corpsey's main form of offense, contrasting the Rasetsu, who's more careful but equally powerful on offense.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Seven-branched Sword and Death's scythe are among the most powerful weapons in game, but are also infused with the dark element, which means that a good portion of the monsters you'll come across will only receive half the damage.
Batman Gambit: Isaac pulls this on both Hector and Trevor. He lures Hector (to whom he serves as a worthy opponent) along with the promise of eventually facing him in battle, and at the same time draws Trevor's attention. When he slips into the Infinite Corridor, Trevor is forced to let Hector into it... which leads to Hector accidentally breaking the seal on Dracula's Castle, Isaac's goal the entire time.
Batter Up: A baseball bat with nails put through it is one of the Special Type weapons.
Bonus Feature Failure: Unlike in all other games, where you at least have the option of using bonus characters and items in a new game, here the item you get from beating the stupidly difficult and tedious Crazy mode isn't even useable in any other difficulty level, even though it does the exact same thing the one in Lament of Innocence does.
Boss Room: Like in Lament of Innocence, they can be identified by being being circular rooms in you map that are behind doors that are emblazoned with skull and crossbones.
Call Back: At the beginning in the Abandoned Castle, you receive a Dragon Crest which is needed to advance though. You also climb a peculiar set of stairs. Both reference Walter's Castle from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. (The only difference is the location of where the crest is used.)
Cast from Hit Points: Your Innocent Devils essentially do this, as their health meter consists of Hearts instead of having Hearts and health in separate meters like most Castlevania games, and both casting and getting hit by an enemy will deplete their Hearts.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Isaac uses the same moveset as Hector, except that while the latter has to build up each special attack with a series of blows, Isaac can use all the special attacks that would normally require a combo at will.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: The actions in Curse of Darkness are similar to Lament of Innocence (the previous Castlevania for the PS2), but the controls were moved to different buttons. Block went from R2 to R1, hard attack went from triangle to circle (and vice versa) and open door went from square to circle.
The Dandy: St. Germain. The interesting part is that he's not the kind of dandy that would be prevalent in the game's time period (the 1400s), as he wears a top hat and carries a saber and a dueling pistol.
Defector from Decadence: Hector left Dracula's side and renounced to his powers. This is the main reason for Isaac's hate for him.
Dem Bones: Skeletons with swords are an early enemys that can be smashed to pieces with a single hit. The game is also a rare example where they actually wear clothes other than armor.
Depraved Homosexual: Isaac via subtext. His behavior towards Hector seems more like a jilted lover than a betrayed comrade, and his confrontation with Trevor has some very rape-like undertones.
Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The "Dragons" rode by the Skeleton Knights/Troopers are basically small, Fire-Breathing T-Rexes.
Dishing Out Dirt: Like the spear example, you can unleash earth-based attacks with the two-handed Axe Type weapons.
Drop the Washtub: Sitting in one of the chairs causes one to fall on Hector, complete with canned laughter.
Dual Boss: Technically (though only one healthbar is used), the Skeleton Diver (a spearman skeleton riding a huge undead fish) and Isaac fighting alongside his Innocent Devil Abel.
Dungeon Bypass: Playing as Trevor allows you to skip certain areas entirely and move with much more freedom as you don't have the Innocent Devils and thus don't really need them to surpass certain obstacles and most hidden areas are already uncovered for you. For example, you can get to Aiolon ruins from Cordova without facing Isaac or even visiting the Clock Tower.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Attacking a certain enemy with an element he's weak against will deal double damage to him, while hitting him with an element he's resistant against will half the damage. Said elemental damage can be inflicted thanks to certain weapons or the Innocent Devil's attacks.
Evil Laugh: Isaac has a crazy laugh in both the Japanese and English voice tracks. Hearing it in a battle is bad sign, since he's about to kablam you across the arena with a certain attack.
Evil Plan: Dracula via Isaac runs one through the game.
Evil Knockoff: During his second boss battle, Isaac will summon black-colored versions of the Innocent Devils you can find. Namely, a Iyeti, a Rasetsu and a Crinsom. If you play the game as Trevor, you'll have to fight his doppelganger instead.
Expy: Hector is similar in appearance, weapon skills, and his usage of familiars to Alucard.
Fighting Your Friend: The second boss battle against Trevor has him testing that Hector is strong enough to enter the Infinite Corridor.
Gambit Roulette: The plan to get Hector to resurrect Dracula hinges on him getting powerful enough to perform the needed tasks, and not dying or getting sidetracked.
Gatling Good: The minigun is one of the Special Type weapons, which comes with infinite ammo.
Glacier Waif: Equip a two-handed axe or sword and your attack speed will drop considerably. Spears have a milder case of this.
Glass Cannon: The Rasetsu and Corpsey aren't really resilient against damage, but they can rip your enemy a new one with their swords and vicious attacks.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Trevor has Good Scars, with a classic case of "scar over his eye" to show that he is a badass.
Gorgeous Period Dress: Saint Germain has an outfit that's used specifically to make him seem even more bizarre and out-of-place. Not only is it an anachronistic example of it—being of an 1800s gentleman style in a game set in the late 1400s—but no-one else in the game uses it fully. Only one other character has an even borderline case, and Julia's dress is far more muted and "realistic". Other characters tend towards relatively mundane attire or Impossibly Cool Clothes.
Weapon forging, innocent devil raising, drops (Which you need for the forging), and steals, there's a lot of stuff that you'll be looking up if you want 100%.
Some of the steals require maneuvering the enemy into a specific position or waiting for a specific attack, which isn't usually obvious.
Harder Than Hard: The Crazy mode, available after beating the game once, where all the enemies are twenty levels stronger, which means that they take absurd amounts of abuse to kill and who kill you in one or two hits, while still dropping the same amount of experience as their low-level counterparts in the Normal mode.
The second battle against Trevor: "So, this is the best the Devil Forgemaster can do?"
Isaac, second battle: "Atone in death, you damned traitor!"
Dracula himself, of course: "You die at my hands. You should be honored." Followed by classic evil laughter.
Dracula's final form gives you nothing but Evil Laugh.
Headless Horseman: The Dullahan, minus Horse. But that dosn't make him any less dangerous.
Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The first fight with Trevor Belmont is like this. It's a little less irritating than usual examples, since you don't actually have to beat Trevor to get the "you still lose" cutscene, just whittle away a small fraction of his health bar.
Healer Signs On Early: The very first Innocent Devil that Hector receives is a Fairy, which starts out with a healing power.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Despite the Gothic Horror-like settings, there's a huge Wyvern residing on the top of Bahljet Mountains. Also one of the possible final evolution of the Bird Type I.D., specifically the Carmesi and Indigo.
In addition to the traditional Red Skeletons, there's one that works for the player: the Fairy type of Innocent Devil. They can't be hit by enemies, but they can't attack enemies themselves; they're meant for healing Hector and opening certain locked chests.
Even the Red Skeletons, however, can be killed for good if you use the right Mage-type Innocent Devil, whose spell can randomly one-shots undeads, including Red Skeletons.
Item Crafting: Hector can create weapons and Innocent Devils from the materials found throughout the game.
It's All Upstairs From Here: The two towers, the Tower of Eternity and the Tower of Evermore. Both are optional bonus areas, the latter accessible only through the former (and a properly upgraded pet) and starts from the top, but contain uber-XP enemies with extremely rare crafting components.
Joke Weapon: Every weapon type has a silly example with low damage output. This includes a deck brush, classed as a pole weapon, whose final charge attack is instead of a flashy attack or quick stabbing motion, involves Hector dash-sweeping in front of him for as long as you mash the triangle button.
Lethal Joke Character: Pumpkin from Lament of Innocence appears again, this time as a secret Innocent Devil who is almost useless in combat (and very easy to kill by monsters), but provides huge stat bonuses for the player as long as it is alive.
Hector can have this fighting style if equipped with rapiers and/or knuckles type weapons, which are weaker than usual but can strike several times in a row and have good comboes.
When playing as Trevor, he is just plain mean. The fact that he can't heal as easily as Hector does little to negate how easy it is for him to shred... well, pretty much anything. He eats boss health bars like candy.
A Load of Bull: One of the level bosses is a giant undead minotaur which tries to crush Hector with columns adorning its arena.
Louis Cypher: Zead who occasionally advises Hector, who turns out in the end to be Death. He uses the Sdrawkcab Name approach, but to add a twist, he reverses the Japanese pronunciation of his English name (in Japanese, the "th" is pronounced as "S" or "Z")..
Metal Slime: Golden Bones. Immensely rare, can take a real pounding before dying, and they drop the Miracle Egg, which is required to craft certain weapons.
Mighty Glacier: The Mercury Golem and Ironclad Innocent Devils are like this. Slow yet very durable. As a bonus, Mercury Golem has a skill that increases its attack power, makes its attacks fire-elemental and makes it aggressive as hell, basically temporarily turning it into a Lightning Bruiser.
Mons: The Innocent Devils are a cross between this, Summon Magic, Familiar and Attack Animal. Hector "forges" them to fight alongside him in combat (and presumably did the same for Dracula when he worked for the Count). You can have one out at a time and they will evolve into different forms depending on what weapons you are using.
Monster Arena: The game features two of these, Tower of Eternity and Tower of Evermore, with the second one being accessible only after you complete the first one.
Multi-Melee Master: Hector can istantly use without restrain or flaws several kinds of weapons, ranging from swords to rapiers to huge axes to polearms to Wolverine Claws to bizarre weapons without problem.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Hector's defeat of Dullahan turns out to be a vital step in Isaac's plan to resurrect Dracula a century early. Lampshaded:
Isaac: You've resurrected the castle! *slow clap* Hector, bravo!
Nothing Is Scarier: The chair room. It serves for nothing, other than just, well, sitting in everything you see while Creepy Circus Music plays in the background. From a rocking chair, to the electric chair (that does nothing), and even the cannon, all settled in a simple and placid background of a sunny meadow. It becames at first interesting, then later rather boring... but stay just a few minutes more, and you'll start thinking what the hell is that room doing there, what purpose does it have, and why anything is happening there.
Old Save Bonus: If you have a save file from Lament of Innocence present on your memory card, a Moai Head spawns near where you start the game: it can either heal you for 573 HP or be sold for ten times as much gold.
Ghouls looks identical to common Zombies, except that they don't feel pain (hence you can't stop their attacks) and can grab Hector and chew him up, dealing moderate damage. This becomes deadly with their level 75 counterpats.
Spirits and Evil Cores have similar attacks in which they stick on Hector and damage him.
Possession Equals Mastery: As soon as Hector creates a weapon from scratch, he can use it at its top. Justified, since this is likely the power of Devil Forgemastery.
Power Crystal: Every Innocent Devil has a purple glowing crystal embedded on them.
Public Domain Artifact: The ancient Japanese ceremonial Seven-Branched Sword can be crafted through the combination of seven separate and distinct swords. It appears as a slightly purples hued blade with three pronged blades on either side of the main one, and is one of the few weapons that deals dark damage.
Random Drop: The game has any number of items that only very rarely drop from enemies. This is the only way to acquire many of the materials needed to make weapons and armor. However, most of the materials can be stolen from other enemies, so it's not quite so bad.
Sequential Boss: Death again. This time he's on both ends of the sticks, as the game segues straight to him in normal gameplay (though Trevor gets healed for no reason after the fight right before Death) and in Boss Rush Mode you get a chance to recover before Death, but you also get shipped straight to Legion after knocking him out.
Shield Bash: A spiked shield is one of the Special Type weapons.
Spinning Clock Hands: During the boss fight against him, Saint Germain is able to speed up time, though only for the purposes of status effects. When he does this, a silhouette of spinning clock hands appears. He generally only does this after poisoning Hector, who normally takes poison damage every few seconds. The spinning clock hands will cause him to take poison damage twice a second, rendering him stunlocked until the poison wears off or he uses an antidote.
The Phoenix special attack "Big Bang" will destroy or at least severely damage the enemies caught by it at the cost of the Phoenix's own life. Interestingly enough, this is the only technique which can be used to take down Isaac's Innocent Devil Abel for good.
On the villainous side, the Ifrit enemies, if damaged enough, will try to grab Hector and explode. If you manage to free yourself in time, you can steal from them before the explosion.
Technicolor Toxin: When poisoned, Hector will turn green and emit green bubbles. However, at least one poisonous attack is a purple liquid spit.
Telescoping Staff: you can build the Nyoi-Bo staff using Orichalcum, five bamboo spears and five bamboo swords. It's quite weak, but has the greatest reach and is perfect againsy multiple, weak opponents.
The mysterious St. Germain, who gives vague advice to Hector and throws insults at Zead, and claims to be fixing disruptions in time. Some of his ability is showcased during his boss fight, but it's stated that he is not permitted to use his full potential in most instances.
This is also one of the primary features of the Mage-type Innocent Devils, who can stop time briefly.
Treacherous Advisor: Zead introduces himself as a monk who is out remove the curse resding in Vallachia, and helps Hector to Isaac's trail. He is actually Death, who is manipulating him in a plan to resurrect Dracula.
Weaksauce Weakness: Enemies with specific elemental weaknesses can be brought down quickly by taking advantage of said weaknessess.
What Happened to the Mouse?: When Isaac attacks and nearly kills a weakened Trevor, Julia mentions she found him and patched him up, but after that, he disappears for the entire rest of the game, even the ending.
Womb Level: The extra bosses are within the Cathedral, are the most evil beings in the game (even more than Dracula, bringing forth the question of why evil is in the CHURCH), and most of the lower levels leading to its lair seem to be made of flesh.