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.
Anachronism Stew: Seriously, how Japanese Weapons, Sweatshirts, bombs, Ramen noodles, Pizza, miniguns, and a Laser Blade were avaible in the 15th Century Valachia? Unless Rule of Cool is invoked...
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.
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. The scythe however still manages to be Awesome yet Practical in battle due to having the greatest damage output of them all.
Bag of Spilling: Justified. Hector abandoned all of his powers and equipment to live a normal life, but when Isaac ruined it, he came after him for revenge with the only weapon he had on hand. Isaac taunts him for trying to do it With This Herring, and then sets up means for Hector to regain his powers so it'll be worth it when they fight.
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.
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.
Defector from Decadence: Hector left Dracula's side and renounced to his powers. This is the main reason od Isaac's hate for him.
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.
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 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.
Holy Hand Grenade/One-Hit Kill: While fighting mooks, there's a small chance that one of them will randomly drop a Rosary, which will eliminate every enemy onscreen in a flash of light. One of the Mage type spells can istantly kill a single undead enemy (even the normally invincible Red Skeletons).
Improbable Weapon User: A bat? A little weird considering the time period, but otherwise fine. A spiked shield? Not exactly conventional but you could see how that would hurt. Using an electric guitar, in the 15th century, to destroy the living dead through the Power of Rock? Now that's just silly.
Of course, this is discounting the minigun......Did we mention this game is in medieval times?
The minigun at least has the Hand Wave that the key ingredient must be taken from St. Germaine who is a time traveler. Still doesn't explain the infinite ammo, though.
While it isn't a weapon you wield, the Ironside ID has a machine gun built into its arm, and it just requires you to beat up many enemies with Ironside to obtain, unlike the minigun example above.
Awesome but Impractical: By the time you can obtain it there isn't anything left to kill with it. The weapon attacks slowly lowering its overall damage output and since it is a dark elemental weapon half the enemies in the game resist it.
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.
Invincible Minor Minion: 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.
Joke Weapon: LOTS! The mentioned infinite-ammo minigun and electric guitar are only a few compared to a deck brush (a spear type weapon), a frying pan (mace type weapon), unlimited shurikens, a whip shapedlight-saber, the Death's Scythe (to a certain extent, due to its absurd damage and difficulty to create), and many, many more...
Go on, try to whack your opponents to death with the Piko Piko hammer.
Lightning Bruiser: Corpsey, Rasetz, Indigo, and Crimson are fast, durable, and strong. Also, 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.
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, 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.
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. Likely the same is true for Isaac.
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.
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.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Isaac and Hector again. Isaac, the red-haired villain, is shown to be crazed and passionate, whereas Hector is more calm, logical, and collected.
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.)
Stuffed into the Fridge: Isaac gets Hector's wife Rosaly accused of witchcraft and manipulates the trial to ensure her conviction. She's burned at the stake and Hector vows revenge.
Taking You with Me: 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.
Time Master: The mysterious St. Germain, who gives vague advice to Hector and throws insults at Zead. 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.
Unwitting Pawn: Hector for most of the game. Trevor could count as well.
Weaksauce Weakness: Enemies with specific elemental weaknesses can be brought down quickly by taking advantage of said weaknessess. Also Isaac's Innocent Devil Abel can only be killed by the Phoenix's Big Bang.
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.