Video Game / Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

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"Once I was strong. Powerful beyond measure, beyond imagining. It has been an age since I last fed... but I will return. I will live again. I will have my vengeance. Nothing will stand in my way. They will pay. Even if it takes an eternity, they will pay... For I am the dragon, Dracul! I am the Prince of Darkness! That... is my vengeance."
Dracula

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 is an action adventure game developed by MercurySteam published by Konami for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, and the sequel to the 2010 Castlevania Continuity Reboot Origins Episode Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (aka God of War in Europe with friggin' werewolves). It was released in North America on February 25, 2014; Europe on February 27; and the UK on February 28; a demo was included for free with the download of Mirror of Fate HD.

At the end of Lords of Shadow, Gabriel Belmont gave up his humanity and became the vampire lord Dracula. But after a millennium of war with those who betrayed him, even he yearns for release from his immortal bonds. In the modern day, a weakened Dracula's only hope lies in a final task: fight through the forces of Hell and Earth to face a powerful enemy from his past one last time. But to do so, the vampire lord must reacquire his old powers – and only his castle holds the key.

The first, and only, batch of DLC, titled "Revelations", released on March 25th, and follows Alucard.

Previews: trailer 1, trailer 2, trailer 3, trailer 4 trailer 5, trailer 6.

Due to the Twist Ending in the first Lords of Shadow, expect unmarked spoilers.

Lords of Shadow 2 provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: Quick-time events return in the sequel, though unlike the first game, you can turn them off from the menu, at the cost of losing out on some Experience Points.note  If ticked, Dracula will succeed on all of the QTEs without the player's input.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Of an odd sort, with Zobek/Death. Granted, in the original continuity, Death has always been a villain, but he was also a close ally of Dracula's, with the games often referring to him as Dracula's confidante. In this game, he's an undeniable Enemy Mine to Dracula who cares nothing for anyone and is pretty clearly manipulating Dracula for his own personal gain. Death does occasionally refer to Dracula as 'friend,' but in a way that is practically dripping with venom.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Played straight with Abaddon. In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Abaddon was a locust demon with the ability to summon swarms of insects against you. Even a single rush of his swarm could stun-lock and potentially kill you, leading many players to consider him That One Boss. Lords Of Shadow 2's version is just a generic demon of the fallen angel variety. He's a very big generic demon, mind you, but not really special and is generally considered a Breather Boss despite him being immune to Dracula's Game-Breaker Whirlwind move.
  • A.I. Breaker: A downplayed one present in Agreus' hideout. Getting caught in his vision cone will cause the faun to bellow and rush you. But achieving this purposefully and then using the mist form or your own agility to evade him will yield Agreus... skulking away from your position, frequently to the other side of the garden which, obviously, gives you a whole lot of time to finish up the puzzle.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The memorials found in-game imply that four hundred years had passed between Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2's prologue, during which Dracula ran rampant. The scrolls also seem to indicate that the year the game takes place in is 2057.
    • Producer Dave Cox has clarified a few story points on his Twitter account, such as the fact that Satan was killed off for good, that Gabriel saw his destiny in the Mirror before shattering it, and that he is now the master of the Earth.
    • Satan's acolytes are never referred to by name, even in the ending credits where it shows who voiced them, except in the section of the Travel Book where it lists characters, enemies, and bosses.
  • Alternate History: Based on the City Memorials, Lords of Shadows 2 takes place in a world where the centuries-long struggle between Dracula and the Brotherhood of Light is considered to be historical fact. This makes sense, considering that the game's prologue has Dracula wiping out an entire army by way of a gigantic explosion that could be seen from space. Something like that would be hard to keep secret.
  • Always Night: Justified, as the entire game takes place in a single night. However, it is heavily implied that the shadow encompassing the castle is artificially created.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The DLC is an add-on story campaign that focuses on what Alucard was doing before and during the main game.
  • Anti Anti Christ: What Dracula eventually becomes when Alucard helps save him from himself.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Although the original Carmilla is quite dead, Inner Dracula revives a version of her from Dracula's memories during Dracula's sojourns into the castle.
    • Marie as well, though just what she is isn't made entirely clear. See YMMV.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Dracula is fond of these.
    Dracula: I am the only one who lives forever!
    • Even Satan gets one.
    Satan: If I cannot rule the world of men... then no one will!
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    Golden Paladin: God is with me, monster!
    Dracula: That will be your ruin.
    Raisa Volkova: We killed Him and His precious son! And you two are next!
  • Bag of Spilling: The first half of the game revolves around Dracula and his quest to regain all of the powers which he had lost after several centuries of comatose slumber.
  • Bald of Evil: The second Acolyte, being a child of Satan, fits this rather well.
  • Belly Mouth: Raisa Volkova gets one when she goes One-Winged Angel for the second time.
  • Biblical Motifs: Golly, where to even start?
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The game split the difference between Satan and the blood of the Bernhard Castle, with the former being the actual objective for Dracula to achieve his death, and the latter being the primary factor keeping him from doing so. Zobek also becomes an important antagonist, but is not given the same focus as the other two.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The protagonist of this game is a ruthless vampire lord, but he fights against Satan who is even worse.
  • Black Speech: The language spoken by Satan's demons. The fact that that it is immediately translated via subtitles and that Dracula responds to the Train Demon's taunt confirms that he understands it.
  • Blood from the Mouth/Vomit Indiscretion Shot:
    • Dracula destroys the Siege Titan by vomiting gallons of corrupted blood on its power crystal.
    • Medusa barfs corrupted blood on her sisters shortly after Dracula meets her, the end result being the Gorgon.
    • After being defeated by Dracula, the Toy Maker pukes up the corrupted blood of Dracula's castle, returning to normal in the process.
  • Blood Magic:
    • All of Dracula's abilities orbit around this trope.
    • Dracula's living castle is similarly powered by the blood of all those Dracula has killed.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: Dracula regularly gets covered in blood after eviscerating his opponents.
  • Book Ends: Dracula walks out of a church after the prologue, and the game ends with him walking back into it.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Kleidos Challenges are similar to the first game's trials, but have a twist. You have to fulfill multiple (as opposed to Lords of Shadow only) criteria and survive to unlock the next challenge. Fortunately, they don't involve any specific platforming-time trials, but they're still a lot more difficult than the rest of the game.
  • But Thou Must!: It is impossible to avoid the slaughter of an innocent family in the beginning of the main game. Refusing leads to a... fiery Non-Standard Game Over.
  • Cessation of Existence: This happens to Satan after Dracula kills him, according to the Word of God.
  • The Chosen One: Gabriel is still God's chosen champion, even after becoming the Prince of Darkness. This is the reason why hallowed spells don't harm him like they would other monsters.
  • Cigarette Burns: While they have her in captivity, Zobek puts his cigarette out in Volkova's eye.
  • City Noir: The modern-day city you get to explore is this, rife with corruption, decay, indoctrinated political leaders, and a police force who are just puppets in the hands of the Satan's children.
  • Colossus Climb:
    • Dracula fights a massive Siege Titan in the prologue.
    • The Gorgon too has be scaled in order to reach each of her heads.
    • The final battle begins with another, much shorter climb up the Leviathan.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • An enormous statue of Satan can be seen in Dracula's Throne Room.
    • Gabriel mentions Chupacabra's irritating tendency to steal magic artifacts.
    • Dracula awakens in the very same church seen in the epilogue of Lords of Shadow 1.
    • In Castlevania City, there is a local business called Bernhard Metals, Ltd.
    • Baba Yaga's music box from the first game can be seen on Zobek's desk in a cutscene shortly after Dracula kills the second acolyte.
    • At the end of the tutorial level, Dracula matches the crusader's prayers word for word, referencing him being a member of the Brotherhood of Light in the first game.
    • The sprawling metropolis that serves as the game's setting is none other than Wygol, the snowy mountain village that you visited in Chapter V of Lords of Shadow a thousand years earlier. In the modern day, it has been renamed "Castlevania City".
    • Victor Belmont uses many of the same moves Gabriel had in Lords of Shadow during your fight with him (e.g. Chain Saw/Direct Counterstrike), to the point of using his discarded relics (Seraph Shoulders) and sub-weapons (the Dark Crystal/Daggers)!
    • The beast Satan summons is called Leviathan. You might remember its man-eating spawn swimming through the depths of the castle in the first game's Reverie DLC.
  • Controllable Helplessness:
    • Shortly after Dracula reawakens, he shambles down a city street, then encounters a hostile monster; in his weakened state, he can barely fight back.
    • Similarly, Dracula can barely walk after being electrocuted by the second Acolyte, Nergal, with you still in control. This turns out to be important; the only way to fight him is to make Dracula crawl back to his castle, bringing Nergal with him.
  • Crapsack World: This game takes place in a world where a several-century-long war against a vampire lord is historical fact, Satan's followers are unleashing a plague that turns people into monsters, and the riot police of the city are described by the in-game text as being unscrupulous. The world of the Lords of Shadow saga is not a nice place to live.
  • Creepy Cathedral: Beside being decrepit and dusty, the walled-off floor of the old stone church Dracula wakes up in is covered in demonic-looking statues.
  • Damage Discrimination: Averted. All enemies will harm their allies if you play your cards right. This is widespread among mob groups where one large enemy (e.g. Jailer/Riot Mech) is surrounded by three-four mooks (Minions/Riot Police).
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Some of the Void Sword's attacks, like Blizzard, Icy Crest, and Hoarfrost Fog accomplish this. Not only do they freeze the target into a solid block, but also make any other attack with the whip or the claws inflict greater damage for a limited time.
  • Darker and Edgier: Taken even further than the first game. If the first game's moral conflict could be summed up as Light Gray vs. Black, then this game is beyond question a very, very Dark Gray vs. Black.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • Dracula's Theme (the tune you hear in the menu screen) is already a pretty somber song, but it comes back when Dracula meets Marie again. The "dark" part comes in when Dracula flares up in a bitter rant.
    • The same type of reprise can be heard during the latter parts of the final battle against Satan.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • It's one of Dracula's powers, and it allows him to possess beings around him by turning himself into blood and entering their bodies. However, this doesn't last long, as Dracula's blood impairs the body quickly, making it stagger and move slowly, and it eventually explodes into Ludicrous Gibs.
    • Satan possesses Alucard for the final battle.
  • The Dreaded: Invoked by Dracula in the trailers.
    Dracula: All shall come to fear me.
    • In case you had any doubts, Dracula is so feared that Zobek and even Satan are scared of him. Dracula has to fake his own death to bring them out into the open.
  • Diesel Punk: The design aesthetic of the "Riot" enemies (The Police and Mecha), plus the city as a whole.
  • Dungeon Punk:
    • The Brotherhood of Light's aesthetic. Of particular note is the Siege Titan that's powered by a magical crystal.
    • There's also the Ensnared Demon, which is stated to be a steampunk battery that is fueled by, you guessed it, a captured demon.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Of a sort. After a thousand years of torment, Gabriel Belmont is finally allowed to live in peace with his son, Walking the Earth with him as it rebuilds from the Apocalypse.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Leviathan, an ancient, godlike beast imprisoned by Satan for thousands of years. He plans to destroy the world with it.
    • Inner Dracula, also known as a blob of blood given a purpose and sentience.
  • Eldritch Location: The transition areas between the castle and the city, the blood-soaked arena conjured by Inner Dracula, and the final battle which takes place on the Leviathan's decapitated head definitely qualify.
  • Empathic Environment: Aplenty. Always Night, Grave Clouds, and Cue the Sun are just the crown of a glacier of Lords of Shadow 2's environmental symbolism.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The game opens on the night of the Apocalypse, with Satan returning to bring Hell to Earth.
  • Evil Versus Evil: It's Dracula, the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness, versus Satan, the biblical Prince of Darkness.
  • Familiar: Dracula has a wide range of monsters bound to him.
    • Dracula's bats will find wall outcrops for him to grab onto or distract enemies.
    • He can take on the form of a rat, with up to eight more of them following him around.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • When fought, Raisa Volkova makes sexually suggestive remarks to Dracula... after showing her hellish Game Face.
    • The topless Dark Crystal witch makes her triumphant return at one point.
  • Finishing Stomp: Done to the second Acolyte. Also combines with Your Head Asplode.
  • 5 Bad Band: Naturally.
    • Big Bad: Lucifer the Fallen, for self-explanatory reasons.
    • The Dragon: Guido Szandor, Satan's third acolyte, is the one in charge of the Corrupt Church and the Religion of Evil, both of which contribute to Satan's power.
    • The Brute: Abaddon, a fallen angel in charge of all the lesser demons accountable for the Hell on Earth.
    • Evil Genius: Nergal Meslamstea, Satan's second acolyte and an Evil Sorcerer who had brainwashed the national police force into serving him.
    • Dark Chick: Raisa Volkova, the first acolyte and the head of a pharmaceutical corporation responsible for turning people into soldiers worthy of her father.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Dracula is unable to die by any means except the Vampire Killer Combat Cross. However, it is possible to die in combat.
    • Although Dracula is pretty much a demigod who can go toe-to-toe with Satan himself and come out on top, he is incapable of defeating Golgoth guards in straight-up combat and must always sneak past or avoid fighting them if they do spot him.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Riot Police all wear pseudo-GP-5 gas masks. Justified, as, by the time you run across them, there will be a manufactured virus blanketing the city.
  • Genius Loci: Dracula's Castle is alive, and would rather not have the vampire lord leave.
  • Ghost Butler: One is present in Zobek's Emporium and Dracula's not amused by it.
  • God of Evil: Dracula intends to be the one and only "Prince of Darkness", as a screw you to God, Satan, the Brotherhood of Light, and just about everyone else who manipulated him and ruined his life.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Latin mostly, although we also have Demonic Speech and in one case, ancient Enochian, the language of Satan.
    • All prayers and/or chants are predominantly in Latin.
    • Same goes for the clerics of the Brotherhood and their spells.
    Roland and Dracula: Ubi fuerint haec nomina, ei digna Dei! Praecipimus vobis, atque ligamus vos ut non habeatis! Potestatem per pesten nec per aliquod! Quodeumque maleficium nocere ei incantationem neque! In anima, nec in corpore!
    • Ditto for Dracula's demented blood-written ravings in Revelations.
  • Grand Finale: For the Lords of Shadow series.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Dungeon Jailers can attack by grabbing and hurling a minion at you. They make a cartoonish 'poing!' sound effect when they bounce off the walls.
  • Guide Dangit: Trying to get to all the collectibles for that 110% completion can take hours upon hours if one doesn't consult a walkthrough.
  • Haunted Castle: Bernard Castle, a centuries-old keep filled with a Fantasy Kitchen Sink of monsters and spirits.
  • Hero Antagonist: Both the Brotherhood of Light and the Belmonts, with the latter being a clan of heroes who have sworn to destroy you. They are also your descendants. In reality, however, the last Belmont, Victor, becomes far more open-minded when Gabriel offers his aid.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A continuing subject from the first game is also invoked in one of the trailers.
    Friedrich Nietzsche: He who fights monsters should beware, lest he become a monster himself.
  • Hide Your Children: Averted. One of Dracula's first acts upon waking up from a centuries-long coma is to butcher a young girl and her parents to rejuvenate himself. The girl's actual death isn't shown, but her panicked scream leaves no doubt.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: After waking up in the present day, Dracula stumbles upon one of Satan's demons. At this point, Dracula is blood-starved from being asleep for several centuries and can barely attack or dodge. Zobek's bodyguard winds up bailing you out right before it can deliver the finishing blow.
  • How We Got Here: The game opens with a weakened Dracula waking up after centuries of sleep in modern day, and then flashes back to centuries earlier to show how he got there.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: It is quite amusing to witness Dracula tuck the recovered Vampire Killer, which is almost as long as his shin, inside his coat with no difficulty whatsoever. Beside all of his remaining relics.
  • I Am the Noun: Both Dracula and later his doppelganger love this trope.
    Dracula: I am the dragon.
  • An Ice Person: The Primordial Void Gem that Dracula collects off of a Stone Golem allows him to perform ranged attacks with his Void Sword.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: From easiest to hardest, the skill levels are named Twilight Knight, Creature of the Night, Lord of Shadow, and Prince of Darkness.
  • Immediate Sequel: The game starts at the end of Lords of Shadow's epilogue. Played with, however, in that the sequel game to the main plot of the first game, Mirror of Fate, is a long time before this one. This serves as an immediate sequel to the Distant Finale of the first game, but not to the gameplay.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Again, lots.
    • Dracula impales a Dishonored Vampire through the head with his sword after it attempts to hurt his son.
    • When Dracula performs a finishing move on a harpy, he will often impale her on her own spear.
    • In fact, this is how the majority of bosses die as well.
  • Infant Immortality: Zigzagged with young!Trevor. Early on in the main story, you're expected to protect him from the frenzied Dishonored Vampires, and during that sequence, Trevor's unkillable. That being said, it is still possible for him to die if you loiter and let the vampires slit his throat via a scripted grip attack.
    • Averted with the version of Trevor present during one of Kleidos' challenges: he'll be gunned down by the Infected if you're not careful.
  • Kill the God: Gabriel kills Satan at the end of the game.
  • Konami Code: Shows up both as a code and in-universe.
    • As a code, it allows accessing the Cheat Menu. Entering it during the loading screen makes Dracula (or Alucard in Revelations) wink at the player themselves.
    • In-universe, one of the Brotherhood knights attacking Dracula's Castle went insane and was going over a ritual that involved all of the steps, with "grab the air" for B and "jump" for A. He fell to his death while attempting to “press Start.”
  • Laser Blade: Dracula's mystical Void Sword has a blade made of pure energy rather than sharpened metal, though it looks metal enough.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Dracula suffers from this at first, but manages to remember everything by the finale of the game.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • Every trailer and piece of advertising will instantly give away The Reveal from the first game that Gabriel Belmont became Dracula.
    • Somewhat averted with Zobek. From the trailers and first couple of hours of gameplay, it's clear he's a much darker character than the noble knight he initially presented himself as, but it's not outright shown that he's in fact the third Lord of Shadow, which was arguably the first game's big reveal.
  • Level-Map Display: A plain automap is filled in as the player progresses; unfortunately, it's two-dimensional, shows only a few rooms at a time, and the only alternative view is a drawing of the castle or city that does not show level geometry.
  • Limit Break: The Dragon Talisman: When you have five dragon scales, using it causes Dracula to go into a cutscene where he turns into a dragon made of shadows and chaos, before crashing down and doing damage that will kill just about everything in the game short of a boss in one hit. It also makes Dracula invincible and locks him into stronger than normal chaos claws for about half a minute after.
  • Looks Like Orlok: The Dishonored Vampires you encounter early on in the game are plain repulsive; with an ill-shapen skull, protruding jaws and nonexistent ears they bear a resemblance to the first game's ghouls rather than vampires.
  • Love Redeems: A major theme. Dracula's love for Marie and Trevor causes him to slowly rediscover his humanity over the course of the game, which ultimately results in a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Magic-Powered Pseudoscience: The Ensnared Demon relic you can find is stated to have originated as a steampunk battery that had implausible mechanics that only really served to use a demon to fuel the battery itself.
  • Mêlée à Trois: After the plague outbreak, the Corporate and Demonic enemies will fight each other within the bounds of Castlevania City.
  • Memory Gambit: The entire plot of Lords of Shadow 2 is based on one of these. During the prologue, Alucard convinced Dracula to fake his own death because he knows it's the only thing that would cause both Zobek and Satan to come out into the open, allowing Dracula to destroy them both in one fell swoop. Laser-Guided Amnesia would accompany that fake death. The “memory” part of the gambit played out when Gabriel teamed up with Zobek: Death couldn't read his blanked-out memories.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • As soon as you begin the first real level of the main story, Dracula uses his blood magic to create his Badass Longcoat, the same way he makes his whip.
    • Dracula's bats can distract enemies, but they're used more often to find footholds for Dracula to leap to.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In the beginning of the game, the blood-starved Dracula murders and drains an innocent family. After he's restored, he peers into the room, sees what he's done, and turns away his head in shame.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Non Standard Game Over: Besides failing the QTEs, there are a handful of circumstances that give a lengthy cutscene before going to the game over screen:
    • During Carmilla's chapter, Dracula's being corrupted by her blood; if your real health falls below the black bar that's at the start of your health meter, you get a cutscene where Dracula is fully charmed and follows Carmilla into the darkness with a lovestruck look on his face. There is a similar cutscene if he chooses the wrong one of the two Maries.
    • When you first encounter Nergal Meslamstea, he begins subjecting Dracula to electric torture. If you don't limp away from him and lure him to Castlevania where he's weak enough to even the odds, you get a cutscene where Dracula is set on fire as Nergal opens a portal to Hell for Satan to capture him.
    • When fighting Inner Dracula, attempting to use the mist form to escape his life-sucking attack results in a short scene of Inner Dracula absorbing his normal self.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The City of the Damned is practically littered with countless, deformed skulls. Skulls also represent Dracula's and Alucard's available experience points.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: See Wham Episode.
  • One-Man Army: Dracula is shown wiping out half a million knights by himself.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In a true Castlevania fashion, during the opening siege, Dracula doesn't bother getting off his Cool Chair until the invaders actually breach into his throne room.
  • Perpetual Storm: There seems to be a whirling one hanging over the main tower (the Throne Room) of the castle, complete with a lightning striking its steeple every once in a while.
  • Player Inventory: One of the novelties if compared with the first game. The inventory is now divided into infinite-ammo subweapons powered by a regenerating gauge, and six limited-ammo items that grant new abilities. One of these is essentially the old Dark Crystal Smart Bomb subweapon (only now requiring five parts instead of four), while the others are a health potion, an item to briefly grant infinite magic power using the same mechanics as the introductory chapter, an item for finding secrets, an item that grants a temporary boost to mastery (weapon level) and unlocks all abilities, and an item that renders enemies extremely vulnerable when struck and grants experience per hit rather than per kill.
  • Power of the Void: One of Dracula's new weapons is the powerful "Void Sword".
  • Powered Armor: Some of the enemies wear such armor, with medieval design touches. Alucard also wears such a suit — not that he needs it, but it obscures his identity until The Reveal and makes him look badass even with the helmet off.
  • Psychological Torment Zone: This is what the Castle segments are made of. It is a Mental World where all of its “inhabitants” – omitting Dracula – are mere projections of his psyche animated by Inner Dracula. And the Demon's goal would be to stop its host from leaving this illusion.
  • Rated M for Manly
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of Satan is this, complete with burying their parishioners alive so they would have a closer link with their lord and indoctrinating those with authority and political power.
  • Rip Van Winkle: After an encounter with Alucard in the Middle Ages, Dracula is comatose for many decades until the 21st century comes around. As a result, he loses many of his memories and powers, and has to retrieve them.
  • Rule of Three: The number three is surprisingly a big motif in this series: there are three Lords of Shadow, Gabriel had to find three pieces of the God Mask in the first game, there are three kinds of gems that increase his health and magic bars and you have to find thirty of each, Satan has three acolytes, you play as three different characters in Mirror of Fate, and Trevor asks Gabriel to find three pieces of the mirror in this game. There are more instances of the number three appearing, but there are too many to list here.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Ensnared Demon is exactly this, a battery that is powered by a demon trapped within.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: The game's noticeably more casual if compared to the first Lords of Shadow thanks to the improved mechanics that grant Gabriel the ability to dodge/block mid-air, toning down of the Fake Difficulty, and the add-on of quite a few Game Breakers that are available from the get-go.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Dracula's rat transformation is very similar to a scene from Bram Stoker's Dracula. Another similarity to a scene from that movie is the cutscene after Carmilla is defeated, where Dracula pets the white wolf that transports him between the city and castle while Marie watches.
    • When Dracula and Victor have to jump out a window to get a momentary respite from Abbadon, the way Victor jumps, combined with his white-hooded ensemble, makes him very closely resemble an assassin.
      • Additionally, when leading Dracula up to the back entrance into the underground catacombs where the survivors are living, Victor uses parkour after double jumping up a series of beams. More specifically, he uses the Prince's wall run before diving onto the balcony.
    • The third acolyte, a Satan-worshiping cleric named Guido Szandor, is almost certainly named for Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the real-life Church of Satan. He may also be a reference to Ghostbusters villain Ivo Shandor, who is also the leader of a cult whose goal is to summon an evil deity to bring about the apocalypse.
    • In the Revelations DLC, while scouring the Toy Maker's quarters, you come across a dead knight identified as "Angry Sir Rolfe", who complains that the solution to the Toy Maker's trap is so complicated that he'd almost wish for it to be just having to wait until being picked up by a magical tornado. This is a shout out to The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, who started his online career by reviewing Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, where such an event actually happens. There, this doubles as a Mythology Gag.
    • Nowhere outside of the Lords of Shadow series is Alucard's wolf form ever stated to be white. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night even explicitly shows it to have gray-blue fur. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate changes the fur's color to silver, and this game makes a big deal of repeatedly referring to Alucard as "The White Wolf." Why is this significant? Because of the game company White Wolf, producers of many popular Gothic Punk Tabletop RPGs, most notably Vampire: The Masquerade.
    • Chupacabra gets behind a shop counter, but has a raised step behind it. Dracula peers at it and Chupacabra says "The world is what you make of it. If it doesn't fit, you make alterations." This is all a direct reference to Silverado.
    • The Lair of the Gorgon Sisters, being a single block suspended on chains above a pit, strongly resembles an Inferno faction's outpost building from Heroes of Might and Magic V.
    • The map rooms that Dracula uses to warp around the city and castle look like they were taken right out of the opening credits to Game of Thrones.
    • Partway through her boss fight, when Carmilla summons a spectral version of her true form that floats above her, a certain other vampire with a similar ability springs to mind...
    • Higher-level demons from Satan's army vaguely resemble Tyranids.
    • At one point the Travel Book refers to Hell as Avernus.
    • The “Client Satisfaction” war memorial mentions the Jericho Unit, a group of specialists who battle the supernatural.
  • The Siege: The Brotherhood of Light besieged Dracula's castle in the past, only for Dracula to wipe them out all on his own.
  • Spiritual Successor: With the RPG and exploration elements, this game could be considered a spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: Dracula can summon his Void Sword, Chaos Claws, Shadow Daggers, or his Shadow Whip on the fly. The latter two are justified as they are formed directly from his own blood.
  • Spot the Imposter: Towards the end of Carmilla's chapter, Dracula is put into a Spot the Imposter scenario with his wife Marie and Carmilla pretending to be Marie. It's fairly obvious which one is the fake, since Carmilla still talks like The Vamp.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Various stealth-based elements, which involve the use of Dracula's Plague of Rats power among others.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Vampire Killer Combat Cross is the only thing that can kill Dracula, and by implication of his bloodline, Alucard. The weapon serves to be the end goal of Dracula's journey until Alucard reminds him of their plan. Then it is still very important, but is to be used on the vampires after Satan and Zobek are defeated, and is ultimately not used on them at all.
  • Symbol Swearing: The in-game lore entry of the Chupacabras, courtesy of the Master Librarian.
    Master Librarian: Damned duck-billed platypus! Don't run off with my #&¿%# books! Bring back my stuff, you macrocephalic baboon! And don't you ever come back!
  • Tagline: "Blood is Family. Blood is Power. Blood is Everything."
  • A Taste of Power: You get to see a full-powered Dracula destroying entire armies through the opening tutorial, but then have to reacquire all those abilities as a weakened Dracula in the modern day.
  • Teleport Spam:
    • Dracula's and Alucard's new dodge move has them blink from place to place by transforming into a flock of bats.
    • Raisa Volkova abuses this via her Flash Step, thus making her somewhat of a Puzzle Boss.
    • The Chupacabras is still fond of this when he's not behind bars.
  • That Man Is Dead: A sentiment echoed by many of the monsters in the game.
    • Such as Alucard, though he's rather calm about it.
      Alucard: Trevor died a long time ago, father. I am Alucard.
    • And Dracula.
      Dracula: I am no longer Gabriel, woman! I am the dragon, Dracul! I am the prince of darkness!
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Book of Dracul, a reskinned version of the Travel Book from the first game.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: Castlevania City looks like any other real-life urban environment which makes sense, considering all magic has been relegated to the footnotes of world history.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Stealth sections. Zobek explains that due to your current weakness, any encounters with the heavily-armored Golgoth Guards will be best approached with stealth rather than brute force. But then that's applied to every section where these Guards come along. Presumably even with all of his power intact, Dracula still doesn't have the necessary strength and experience recalled to face them until just before the Final Boss, when no more Golgoth Guards appear.
  • Unexplained Recovery:
    • It's never really explained how Zobek survived seemingly being killed off by Satan at the end of the first game, though it is heavily implied that he is just as undead as Dracula.
    • Likewise, Dracula recovering from his apparent death at the end of Mirror of Fate is never elaborated on, though the fact that his dissolution at the end of the battle was different from that of other vampires indicates that he wasn't gone for good, and Alucard was waiting for when he would come up again.
  • Unholy Ground: What common folk think of Dracula's castle and the wasteland surrounding it. The first settlers dared set foot onto it only in the middle of the eighteenth century.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Virtually none of of the Castlevania City citizens find the fact that an emaciated old man just got slingshot straight through the church's stained-glass window, landed and survived a fifteen-stories-high fall, and that another man in a splendid business suit just levitated down all that astounding, and resume their normal activities mere minutes after everything settles down. Justified, as, according to all the memorials you can discover, weird... stuff – mysterious disappearances, sightings of an ethereal wolf, semi-regular earthquakes – has been happening all over this city for centuries. People simply got used to it.
  • The Unfought: You don't fight Guido Szandor, the final acolyte. First Alucard stops you from attacking him, then Satan kills him after being summoned.
  • Unwinnable by Design: It is physically impossible to uncover the hideout of the third Acolyte before Alucard. Even if you dart to the Cathedral right after you defeat Zobek and disregard any optional fight on your way – the quickest way being warping to the Arts District using the Downtown Map Room, and then backtracking through the museum – Alucard will still be waiting for you to turn up.
  • Urban Fantasy: Much of the game involves you playing as an immortal vampire in a modern-day setting.
  • Useless Useful Spell: The Bat Swarm sounds fascinating on paper, but in practice it's going to be shelved really quickly. Most of the more powerful enemies are outright immune to it, so it leaves you with the weakest of the mooks to use it on. But even then, there are two outcomes. Either the blinded/stunned enemy will remain fixed in place trying to shake the bats off, or the opposite, go berserk and start running about, ramming into anyone it its way. Yes, than includes you, which is obviously more bad than good. The one good thing about the Swarm is that after it wears off, the mook in question will immediately enter the “low-health/grapple-able” phase (regardless of its hit points), thus allowing you to run up to it and execute it with a finisher.
  • Vampire Bites Suck:
    • When Dracula chomps into an opponent, he not only reduces them to a desiccated husk, but his lower face and chest get covered in bloody spatter. He can also dismember his victim with his bare hands seconds later.
    • Averted when Dracula feeds on Marie and Carmilla, making this more of a Kiss of the Vampire.
    • Alucard gets a subverted version of this, preferring to first slice open his victim's throat with his Crissaegrim and only then either feed or lick the blood off the blade.
  • Vampiric Draining: Dracula can bite into opponents to drain their blood and even draw blood lost in battle into himself.
  • Video Game Dashing: You can propel yourself in any direction, even while in the air, with the dodge button.
  • Villain Protagonist: You play as the Evil Overlord Dracula, and the game doesn't even try to hide that he's a monster by now. In fact, the first thing he does upon finding himself in a room with family of muggles, weakened and hungry, is kill and drain all three of them. Ultimately subverted. See Anti Anti Christ.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • Dracula. He does at least wear a coat, but it's always open in the front. It might be a concession to his extremely messy feeding habits.
    • Alucard, too, for in all likelihood the same reason.
  • Walking Spoiler: Just getting a good look at Dracula or hearing him speak gives away The Reveal from the first game that Gabriel Belmont became a vampire lord.
  • War Memorial: One of the lore-based collectibles strewn across the modern city with Apocalyptic Logs being the castle equivalent. Finding them all, however...
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Castlevania City is somewhere in Middle to Eastern Europe, except the city itself looks like Budapest, Madrid and London had a child together and left it up in the mountains somewhere.
    • Cars and Trucks in the city have American, European and Japanese influences.
    • Elevators are referred to as lifts and the elevator buttons are in Japanese.
    • Castlevania City's architecture is predominantly Gothic, but there are Romanesque and Baroque influences as well, along with various modern architectural styles including high-tech, which is seen in some of the skyscrapers and high-rises. The part of the city right outside of the church where Dracula woke up looks like a mix between Times Square and Piccadilly Circus.
    • The Riot Police are wearing WW1-WW2 era gas masks, and their assault rifles look like they're PPSh-41 submachineguns with extra furniture on them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Dracula's Rage Against the Heavens is driven by the injustices inflicted upon him and his bloodline in the past.
    Dracula: ...And did they tell you of your own death at my hands? Did they tell you what would happen to our child? Did they?! Did they tell you that blood would fight against blood, for all eternity!? [...] Tell me, is this God's reward for the devoted and the foolish?
    Marie: You are no fool, Gabriel.
    Dracula: I am no longer Gabriel, woman! I am the dragon, Dracul! I am the prince of darkness! I am, and will be, forever, a thorn in His side! That is my vengeance!
  • Wham Episode: The last flashback sequence, in which Dracula learns the Memory Gambit he had made with his son, and it fully cements his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Wham Line:
    Dracula: That is why the power of your God cannot destroy me... because I am His chosen one!
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of Dracula's first acts in the modern day is to drain a family dry, including their young daughter. Though afterward, once he's rejuvenated, he catches sight of the bodies and the look on his face implies he's very unhappy with what Zobek fed him while he was in a blood-starved frenzy.
  • You Have Failed Me: Satan quite graphically murders Guido for failing to kill Dracula before his return.
    Satan: I despise incompetence.
  • You Killed My Brother: Agreus, brother of Pan, is after Dracula for this very reason.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2