[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2444768-gabriel_26_7570.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''[[TagLine Dark times need a dark hero.]]'']]

->''"Such a sad tale is ours. A tale of heroes who strove to save humanity, only to lose our own."''
-->-- '''Gabriel Belmont'''

'''''Castlevania: Lords of Shadow''''' is a 2010 action adventure [[ContinuityReboot reboot]] of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' franchise developed by Spaniard studio [[VideoGame/CliveBarkersJericho Mercury Steam]] with oversight by Creator/HideoKojima and published by Creator/{{Konami}} for UsefulNotes/PlayStation3, UsefulNotes/{{Xbox360}} and PC. Upon its release, the game was the first true 3D ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' title since ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 in 2005.

Taking place in an AlternateContinuity from the previous games, the story concerns Gabriel Belmont, an orphan raised by the [[ChurchMilitant Brotherhood of Light]] on a quest to defeat the eponymous [[BigBadEnsemble Lords of Shadow]]. Earth has been cut off from the Heavens, leaving the souls of the dead forever trapped in the mortal realm and giving unholy abominations free reign to prey upon the human race. In these [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt dark times]], humanity's only hope lies in Gabriel fulfilling the prophecy of a pure-hearted warrior who will unite the powers of the Lords of Shadow and restore balance to the world. Gabriel himself also has a personal [[JustForPun stake]] in the matter: his wife Marie was recently killed, and he hopes the power the Lords of Shadow guard, pieces of an ancient relic called the [[MacGuffin God Mask]], will give him [[{{Necromantic}} a way to bring his love back]].

Traveling through ancient groves, mausoleums, forgotten temples, swamps and castles, Gabriel must face [[FantasyKitchenSink all manner of characters both mortal and immortal]][[note]]Many of whom had appeared in previous Castlevania games, but who were originally public domain characters to begin with[[/note]], and come to terms with [[DoomedProtagonist his own terrible destiny]].

''Lords of Shadow'' were followed by ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadowMirrorOfFate'' released in 2013 for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS (later ported to UsefulNotes/PlayStation3, UsefulNotes/{{Xbox360}} and PC), and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'' for [=PlayStation3=], Xbox360 and PC, released in February 2014. It also had an August 2013 UpdatedRerelease with the {{DLC}} {{Expansion Pack}}s included, ''Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Ultimate Edition''.

The games feature an extensive [[Characters/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow character sheet]].

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!!''Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow'' provides examples of:

* [[ABoyAndHisX A Girl and her Golem]]: Claudia and her Black Knight Golem. She's a telepathically-communicating CuteMute [[LastOfHerKind who is also the last of the]] {{Precursors}}, he's a humongous {{Golem}} feeding off the souls of the monsters trying to do her harm.
* AbsoluteCleavage: Carmilla in human form.
* AnimalMotifs: Aplenty: Cornell and wolves, Carmilla and bats, Malphas and crows, and Gabriel and birds of prey. [[spoiler: He switches to dragons.]]
* AdaptationalVillainy: Sort of with Cornell, the hero of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegacyOfDarkness'', is the first of the three Lords of Shadow.
** [[spoiler: it's revealed that the Lords of shadow are the soulless bodies of three of the Brotherhood's founders whose souls rose to heaven as beings only second to God. Meaning Cornell is a heroic person, but just not the part you fight.]]
* AdaptationalWimp:
** Subverted with Carmilla and Death. They've both lost their signature powers (a giant floating skull that weeps acid blood for Carmilla and millions of sickles for Death), but have new powers making them equal to their classic counterparts: lightning for Carmilla, and Death is a powerful necromancer who can control who lives and who dies across the world.
** Justified in the case of Dracula, [[spoiler: since the story takes place before he becomes a vampire. By the end of the two DLC chapters he has gained power equal to what he's supposed to have if not more.]]
** Played straight with Brauner. In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'' he had the ability to create {{Portal Picture}}s and even [[ArtInitiatesLife bring his paintings to life]], and he was so powerful than he almost managed to steal Dracula's Castle away from him. Like Carmilla and Death he loses his original powers, but unlike them his new powers are nowhere close to equal to what he had before.
* AdvancedAncientAcropolis: Agharta, former home of the {{Precursors}}.
* AerithAndBob: Gabriel, Marie, Claudia, Laura... ''Zobek?'' [[spoiler: You'll notice it fits better with Carmilla and Cornell.]]
* AgonyBeam:
** Utilized by powerful vampires, like Carmilla and Laura.
** Also used by [[spoiler: Zobek, by manipulating the Black Knight's gauntlet.]]
* AirJousting: With ''[[spoiler: Satan, no less!]]''
* AlternateContinuity[=/=]ContinuityReboot: Is a retelling of the classic ''Castlevania'' continuity.
* AnachronismStew: Although this game is set in the year 1047 AD, most of the deceased knights that you stumble upon are wearing Renaissance-era plate armor. Clothing styles and architecture are also of Renaissance era instead of 11th century era.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie:
** The three eponymous Lords of Shadow -- Cornell, Carmilla, and Death -- [[spoiler: used to be the founders of the Brotherhood of Light.]]
** And then [[spoiler: Gabriel becomes {{Dracula}}]].
* AnimeHair: Laura, whose hair would have to be [[RapunzelHair twice as long as she is tall]] to make her crazy bouffant possible.
* AntiHero: Gabriel, who starts out as a [[ClassicalAntiHero Type I]], but turns into a [[UnscrupulousHero Type IV]] by the end of his journey. A double subversion in that [[spoiler: approaching the conclusion of the main game he discards his doubt and becomes an IdealHero. That period of noble-minded valiance doesn't last long, though, as he falls from grace to become – astonishingly enough! – an AntiVillain. [[note]] Granted, an Anti-Villain who's ready and waiting to commit homicides.[[/note]] Ultimately, however, it is played straight, as he returns to being unscrupulous by the time ''2'' rolls about.]]
* ArtShift: The ''Reverie'' and ''Resurrection'' [=DLCs=] feature new hand-drawn cutscenes as opposed to the pre-rendered cutscenes of the main game.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Exploding Quake skill, which requires a whole slew of button mashing to pull off. [[note]] Here's the in-game instruction for this move: “<...> Tap the [[X]] button, then press and hold the [[Y]] button until you smash the Combat Cross against the floor to start the combo. Each subsequent [[Y]] press will create an additional explosion, climaxing with a final press and hold of the [[Y]] button for the last devastating attack.” Scared yet? [[/note]] You will buy this skill just because it opens up the ''much'' better Ultimate Shadow.
* {{Badass}}: Gabriel Belmont, so very much.
* BadassGrandpa: Zobek, a gray-haired warrior who can fend off enormous titans, packs of ghouls, and dozens of undead vampires all by himself.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: The plot revolves around stopping the titular lords, who are -- among other nastiness -- barring the way for dead souls to Heaven.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Played with. Most of the monsters you fight look fairly nasty. [[spoiler: However Carmilla, Zobek, and eventually Gabriel, continue to be good looking... at least in their human forms.]]
* BigBad: [[spoiler: Satan is the puppetmaster behind all the events in the game, and its final boss.]]
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: The spell separating the Earth from the Heavens is broken and Satan is banished to Hell, but Marie cannot be brought back to life, and is forced to leave Gabriel behind as she passes on to Heaven. Then Gabriel ends up [[{{Dracula}} the immortal vampire]] in the process of cleaning up the final legacies of the Lords of Shadow, forever separating him from his love.]]
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Unlike the first series of games where one side was clearly good and evil, this series is a lot more ambiguous. Dracula has become the Prince of Darkness and terrorizes the world, but the Brotherhood of Light knew what he would become so they convinced his wife to keep his son's birth a secret so said child may one day destroy him. However, it is implied that [[spoiler: Gabriel going down the path where he became Dracula was the only way to stop Satan.]]
* BladeBrake: Gabriel uses his Combat Cross to stop his momentum when fighting Malphas and Carmilla.
* BoringButPractical:
** The direct heavy combo might qualify as this. It's one of the very first upgraded moves you can acquire, and chances are, you will put it to good use. It's easily the most damaging non-magical skill, the combo can be built indefinitely, and it's one of the few moves which strike the ground before you, meaning it is critical when facing skeleton warriors and/or unique sludge-summoning enemies (the Black Knight and Laura's toys). This skill plus an enemy that is distracted/dazed by a fairy equals mincemeat, enjoy.
** Guillotine. The ease-of-use of this airborne finisher you obtain during the tutorial is not be undervalued, and with Shadow Magic active you can effortlessly bypass the hundred damage cap per hit.
* BossBanter: Almost every boss capable of coherent speech is quite chatty during their respective battles.[[spoiler: Special mention goes to Pan, who is all but ''begging'' you to fight him.]]
* BrokenBird: Malphas, whose love was killed by Literature/BabaYaga, and who fell off the DespairEventHorizon because of it. [[DrivenToSuicide Quite literally, too]].
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl: Gabriel and his wife Marie are explicitly stated to be this.
* BusCrash: [[spoiler: Baba Yaga is killed by Zobek immediately after she sends Gabriel forward on his mission.]]
* ByronicHero: Gabriel overtly recognizes that he has done [[DirtyBusiness "questionable things,"]] as he puts it, during his quest... but that doesn't stop him from seeing things through to the end regardless of his angst.
* ChosenOne: Gabriel, the "pure-hearted warrior" spoken of in an ancient prophecy.
* ChristianityIsCatholic: Notably averted. The game takes place six years before the Christianity-shattering East-West Schism.
* ChurchMilitant: The Brotherhood of Light.
* ClockPunk: Areas present in the ''Reverie'' DLC share this motif. The Founders' Quarters tower even has gigantic cogs sticking out of it!
* ColossusClimb: The Titan boss battles, which borrow heavily from TropeCodifier ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus''.
* CompilationRerelease: ''Lords of Shadow'' was re-released together with both its DLC and an HD version of ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadowMirrorOfFate Mirror of Fate]]'', plus a demo of ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2 Lords of Shadow 2]]'', in November 2013.
* CreatorCameo: Creator/HideoKojima voices [[TheScrappy Chupacabras]] in the Japanese track.
* CrusadingWidower: Gabriel, whose wife has been killed shortly before the story opens.
* CuteMute: Claudia, though she is capable of communicating through {{Telepathy}}.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Shadow Magic is not inherently evil, though it does require proper discipline to [[DrunkWithPower prevent it from corrupting you]]...
* DarkerAndEdgier: Easily one of the darkest entries in the ''Castlevania'' series, given both the level of {{Gorn}}, bucketloads of BlackAndGreyMorality, and the exceptionally CrapsackWorld setting.
* DespairEventHorizon: Gabriel at the end of the game is a broken man, having learned both [[spoiler: that he killed his own wife under Zobek's control and that the MacGuffin he spent the entire story assembling can't bring her back]].
* {{Determinator}}: Gabriel perseveres despite some [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone revelations]] that would have broken a normal man to bring back his wife. Unfortunately, things go FromBadToWorse afterwards.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Gabriel takes out both [[spoiler: [[TheOldGods Old God]] Pan ''and'' {{Satan}} himself. The bestiary does specifically state that such beings are weaker outside of their home domains, however.]]
* DirtyCoward: The priest in charge of Wygol Abbey, who hoarded the only thing that could protect the village from the vampires for himself, leading to the devastation of his parishioners. PoeticJustice ensues.
* DownerEnding: At the end of the ''Resurrection'' DLC [[spoiler: Gabriel abandons what's left of his humanity to defeat the Forgotten One, shatters his Combat Cross to pieces, and then returns to the human world to become Dracula.]]
* DropTheHammer: Cornell's weapon of choice.
* DistantFinale: The epilogue picks up [[spoiler: nearly a thousand years later, with Zobek attempting to recruit/blackmail the now immortal Gabriel into preventing Lucifer's second coming.]]
* DyingRace: ''Numerous'' in-game foes and allies belong to a species that are slowly dying out. Goblins and trolls are on the verge of extinction, the very last ogre had taken refuge in Malphas' stronghold, giant spiders are being poached for their precious silk, the Old Gods are being replaced by one God, and dragons died out long before the game's events. The sequel adds harpies, lycans, and vampires to this list, as well.
* EldritchLocation:
** The Necromancer's Abyss in Chapters X-XII gets more and more uncanny as you progress, until it's become an AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield.
** The Dimensional Prison holding the Forgotten One also goes from lava filled ruins to [[AlienGeometries giant landmasses floating in nothingness]].
* EndOfAnAge: The game opens with the Old Gods and lesser mythological creatures slowly dying out. The former is because of the increased spread of the One Faith, and the latter because of the ever-expanding human race.
** DeathOfTheOldGods: The story takes place in an era where Christianity is slowly displacing the Old Gods humanity once worshiped in bygone times. [[spoiler: Gabriel eventually ends up killing Pan, one of the last surviving Old Gods.]]
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler: Zobek, the man that has helped you throughout the entire story, is the Lord of the Dead, and the final of the three Lords of Shadow.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Even after becoming the Queen of Vampires, Carmilla still despised Friedrich von Frankestein's heinous experiments on humans. She spends several ''centuries'' [[{{Fingore}} torturing him]] [[AndIMustScream for his crimes]].
** Laura also qualifies, sparing Gabriel when she sees him and Marie embrace, and later enlisting his help in dealing with The Forgotten One.
* EvilOverlord: The eponymous Lords of Shadow. [[spoiler: Gabriel also ends up becoming ''the'' evil overlord of the series, {{Dracula}}]].
* EvilPlan: [[spoiler: The entire plot was orchestrated by {{Satan}} to obtain the [[MacGuffin God Mask]] in order to ascend into Heaven and usurp God. He was the one who manipulated [[EvilAllAlong Lord of the Dead]], Zobek, into casting the spell that separated Earth from the Heavens and then manipulated Gabriel into killing his own wife. This leads to Gabriel's quest to vanquish the Lords of Shadow and reunite the three separate pieces of the God Mask, after which Lucifer promptly eliminates them both. Unfortunately for him, [[SpannerInTheWorks Gabriel won't stay dead]].]]
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The final stage of the main story: the three towers of the Lord of the Dead.
* EvilMakesYouMonstrous: The Lords of Shadow all went from normal humans to demons with decidedly monstrous true forms. [[spoiler: Subverted with Gabriel, however; he's fairly humanlike even as a vampire, and this is in an universe, where to take on the visage of a human, a vampire must survive for a few ''centuries''.]]
* EvilMakesYouUgly: The Abbot in Wygol village, Baba Yaga, and Malphas.
* EyeScream: Gabriel pokes out both of the Giant Ogre's eyes during their confrontation.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: After having to become a vampire with the help of Laura, Gabriel executes the Forgotten One, destroys his combat cross and returns to Earth, where he goes on to become the EvilOverlord Dracula.]]
* FanDisservice:
** The demon summoned by the Dark Crystal sub-weapon is very female, very topless, and ''very'' hideous.
** Carmilla's OneWingedAngel form, which transforms her from EvilIsSexy into a hideous, naked humanoid bat monster.
--->'''Carmilla:''' [[{{Yandere}} Look upon Carmilla... am I not beautiful?]] ''(cackles)''
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Gabriel becomes an immortal vampire who will never see his wife again, and is destined to do battle with the Brotherood of Light and his own descendants for the rest of time.]]
* FallenHero: The Lords of Shadow, [[spoiler: and in the epilogue, Gabriel as well]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** [[spoiler: The fact that Gabriel killed his wife is flat-out shown in a vision in ''Chapter 1''.]]
** The increasingly ominous tone of Zobek's narration as the story continues.
** When Gabriel, after several instances of fighting alongside with Zobek, Zobek's narration says [[spoiler: that the vampires' reckoning is coming in the form of a "Knight in Shining Armor with Death at his side."]]
** Baba Yaga saying that the "[[{{Satan}} King of the Angels]]" told her Gabriel would arrive.
** The priest in Wygol Abbey jabbering on about how the Devil has been taunting the holy man in his dreams about the arrival of Gabriel and Zobek.
** Gabriel's profile mentioning he may be an illegitimate son of the Cronqvist family. [[spoiler: Mathias Cronqvist was Dracula's original name in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence''.]]
* FromBadToWorse: [[spoiler: Gabriel awakens to find he stabbed Claudia in the chest, and it's all downhill from there...]]
* FullBoarAction: Gabriel can capture and then ride around on a giant boar in certain sequences.
* GeniusLoci: A scroll you find speculates that Bernhard Castle, where Carmilla and the other vampires now live, may be a sentient creature. This is [[UpToEleven confirmed]] in the sequel.
* GhibliHills: Gabriel travels through a number of picturesque European mountain chains during his quest.
* GlassCannon: Reapers, which can kill you in two hits, but also die from two hits. Appropriately, they show up only in the finale of the game.
* GodIsGood: Gabriel clearly believes so, and [[spoiler: Satan is clearly furious that mankind can ask for redemption.]]
** GodIsEvil: What fate makes Gabriel turns out to be an antithesis to his belief above, "Where is this brother who is the supposed savior? Where is this warrior of light? More lies dreamt up by the Church to keep us subservient to their will, no doubt. How is it possible that God exists when he allows the murder and killing of so many of our brethren?"
* GoneHorriblyWrong:
** [[spoiler: The founding members' of the Brotherhood of Light plan to purify themselves and ascend to Heaven as powerful spiritual beings worked well enough, but the evil they left behind in their bodies grew into the Lords of Shadow.]]
** Gabriel fulfills the prophecy and defeats the Lords of Shadow just like the Brotherhood of Light and Pan wanted him to, [[spoiler: but then goes on to become a more terrible monster than all the Lords of Shadow combined.]]
* GoodIsNotNice: '''The Game.'''
* [[GratuitousForeignLanguage Gratuitous Romanian]]: "[[IAmTheNoun Eu sunt]] [[{{Dracula}} Dracul]]!" is delivered in a conversation otherwise held in English. It's not even the last line of the scene.
* GrimUpNorth: The Land of the Vampires is in a very cold climate that gets little sun. Adjacent to their kingdom is Wygol Village, which instead of being a [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia friendly haven for the player]], is a Eastern Europe hellhole constantly under attack by the monsters.
* GroinAttack: Gabriel knees the gremlins in the groin when he catches them, and then they explode.
* GroundPunch: Gabriel has a move that involves punching the ground to create several explosions of magic around himself.
* HauntedCastle: The eponymous Castlevania, though it is never addressed as that until the sequel.
* HeroicSacrifice:
** [[spoiler: Marie, Claudia, and Pan all surrendered their lives so Gabriel could continue on his journey.]]
** [[spoiler: At the end of ''Reverie'', Laura makes Gabriel drink her blood until she is fatally drained so he'd have the strength necessary to survive inside the Forgotten One's prison.]]
* HeroicSecondWind: [[spoiler: After Zobek offs Gabriel, the spirits of the departed with Marie in charge resurrect him so he can break the spell that separated the Earth from Heaven.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Fighting against hosts of monsters alone and without sleep or much food is not good for Gabriel's sanity, though as TheStoic he doesn't show it much. Two thirds of the way in, though, and Zobek begins to describe him as talking to Marie as though she were still there. [[spoiler: To his credit, he's resolute enough to ask for forgiveness when made aware of his unwitting evil acts, yet he immediately reverts back when his long-awaited reward is yanked from under his nose.]]
* HijackedByGanon:
** [[spoiler: You've been playing as Dracula's past self all along, and you just hijacked the BigBad title from both the Lords of Shadow and Satan.]]
** [[spoiler:Of course, that happens after the game is already hijacked once, by Satan. You expect to fight the Lord of the Dead in a climactic showdown that the entire game has been building up to. Zobek appears, reveals that he was EvilAllAlong and is the Necromancer himself, he gives Gabriel a big, winded speech, and even offs Gabriel... and then Satan appears, anticlimactically does away with Zobek, and takes over as the real final boss.]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Almost every boss is killed by wresting their weapon away and planting it in their skulls.
* IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels: Squire (easy), Warrior (normal), Knight (hard), and Paladin (very hard)
* ImAHumanitarian: Baba Yaga makes some comments about how "tasty" the knights who failed to get her the Blue Rose were during the Music Box level.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice:
** In the tutorial level, Gabriel impales a Warg on a nearby ''sharpened log''.
** Cornell is spiked through the roof of his mouth.
** Carmilla gets impaled on one of the steeples of her own castle.
** Gabriel stabs one of the Necromancers through its face.
* InterfaceSpoiler:
** A minor example: the life and magic bars start off being able to be filled up to half of their visible length, and thus when you get all the upgrades for them, you have more or less twice as much health and magic you had in the beginning.
** In the UpdatedRerelease version on UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}, the achievement description for "Chapter XII" is "[[spoiler:Defeat Satan and save the world]]".
* InterfaceScrew: Snow and ice will hit screen in snowy and frozen environments.
* ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne: Gabriel loses everything he loves and slowly gives up more and more of his humanity as the story progresses.
* JitterCam: Not to a huge extent, but the camera is never completely still. It's especially noticeable in the menus which have this effect as well, probably to complement the book motif.
* KarmicDeath: The abbot Vincent Dorin was indirectly responsible for an entire village being killed by vampires because he kept the only artifact capable of killing them to himself. Guess what becomes of him when he is left at the mercy of vampires when the artifact is taken from him by Gabriel Belmont and Zobek.
* TheKillerInMe: [[spoiler: Gabriel killed Marie, under the effects of the [[ArtifactOfDoom Devil Mask]].]]
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Claudia.]]
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler: Gabriel kills around 90% of the entire cast, save for Zobek, who's offed by Satan, and Satan himself. Nevertheless, the latter two do not survive the events of the sequel.]]
* KleptomaniacHero: Gabriel taking gems from his fallen brethren. Scrolls of the fallen also suggest nearly all Brotherhood of Light members loot the dead for such items, as they are too precious to leave behind. Most of the Brotherhood are suitably somber about it. Gabriel specifically kneels and crosses himself over dead knights before searching them.
* KnightInSourArmor: Gabriel. After having done so many terrible things to some others -- or so he said, he still continues his journey bitterly thanks to the heavy weight the world has placed upon him as well as the thought of his beloved wife.
* LargeHam[=/=]EvilIsHammy: Most of the villains fall under this. Special mention goes to Cornell, [[spoiler: Zobek, and Satan.]]
* LastOfHerKind: Claudia, last of the [[{{Precursors}} Agarthians]].
* LightningBruiser:
** Cornell, thanks to his [[SprintShoes Cyclone Boots]]. Also serves as a WakeUpCallBoss.
** Olrox, who can be miles away one moment and right in your face the next.
* LoadBearingBoss: When Malphas goes down, so does her entire fortress.
* TheLowMiddleAges: The game takes place in 1047 AD.
* ManlyTears: [[spoiler: When Marie's spirit ascends into Heaven during the ending, the uber-badass Gabriel Belmont breaks down and starts sobbing.]]
* MindScrew: [[spoiler: The epilogue jumps the story forward to present day, reveals Zobek is still alive, and also that Gabriel has become a world weary {{Dracula}}, Prince of Darkness.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler: Zobek.]] Unfortunately for him, [[spoiler: Lucifer]] is the true manipulator of the entire game.
* MilkingTheGiantCow: The Lord of the Dead spends almost five minutes prancing around Gabriel, gesturing wildly while [[MotiveRant gleefully describing his evil plan]].
* MuckingInTheMud: The Dead Bog. Complete with murderous [[TheFairFolk naiads]] and QuicksandSucks if you don't get to safety in an allotted amount of time.
* MythologyGag:
** Gabriel's outfit is based on the crimson armor Simon Belmont wore in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest''.
** The Lord of the Lycans is named Cornell, the werewolf protagonist of ''[[VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}} Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness]]'' and who is a playable character in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment''.
** The Queen of the Vampires is named Carmilla, a vampire familiar of Dracula who featured heavily in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaJudgment''.
*** One of Zobek's narrations also says that Carmilla will cry 'bloody tears', the name of a music track from several games and Carmilla's signature attack in the original continuity.
** The Crow Witch is named Malphas, a reoccurring crow demon enemy first appearing in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''.
** The demon fought in the ''Resurrection'' DLC is named The Forgotten One, after the optional BonusBoss of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence''
*** Gabriel's in-game profile suggests he may be an illegitimate son of the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Cronqvist family]].
*** The castle the vampires reside is said to have belonged to the [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Bernhard family]].
*** The Combat Crosses, the Brotherhood's signature weapon, were created by an alchemist called [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLamentOfInnocence Rinaldo Gandolfi.]]
** The small town in the land of the vampires is named Wygol Village, the main setting of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaOrderOfEcclesia''.
** In the epilogue, a dead [[VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV Slogra]] can be seen sticking out of the rubble in the church.
** It is mentioned villagers started calling the Combat Cross the "[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaI Vampire Killer]]".
** The song in the music box stage is an arranged version of the ''Vampire Killer'' theme from the first game.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmUZ8B2pgAc Waterfalls of Agharta]]'' and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8Uqy9L_xtk Belmont's Theme]]'' are rearranged versions of ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgit8zlIupo The Waterfall]]'' and ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sX3fjpkFwk Simon's Theme]]'' respectively from ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV''.
** Gabriel's response to one of the Forgotten One's boasts is taken straight from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''.
--->'''Gabriel''': [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Enough talk... Have at you!]]
* {{Necromancer}}: Several, including the third Lord of Shadow.
* {{Necromantic}}: Gabriel, in a rare heroic version, wants the God Mask because it may be able to bring back his dead wife.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Averted. Unlike the original series, where everybody had an American accent, the ''Lord of Shadows'' series is pretty good about everyone having a European accent since the game takes place in Medieval Europe. Granted, it seems like they can't quite decide which specific ''part'' of Europe (you have characters with English, Scottish, and German accents ''in the same family''), but it's something.
* NoticeThis: Corpses of deceased knights carrying scrolls, winches, switches and levers glow bright yellow. Enemies awaiting the finishing blow -- or which are stunned and can be mounted -- as well. Grapple points glitter blue. The lifebar of bosses who cannot be killed by normal means changes to silvery-white.
* NotSoDifferent: All three of the Lords of Shadow deliver speeches like this to Gabriel. Carmilla even goes so far to say that Gabriel is even worse than her, [[spoiler: since killing the Lords would also kill their heavenly counterparts, which Gabriel was all ''too'' willing to do.]]
* OlderThanTheyLook: Laura and Carmilla [[TheUndead obviously]], but also Claudia, whose longevity is a genetic trait of her people.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Possibly getting skewered by Carmilla [[spoiler: and, much later, Satan, but this one's obligatory,]] doesn't seem to deter Gabriel in the slightest.
* TheOnlyOne: Gabriel is apparently the only one who can defeat both the Lords of Shadow and [[spoiler: Lucifer. This is justified, as Gabriel has {{God}} on his side for the final battle.]]
* TheOphelia: Played straight by poor, poor Malphas. [[LoveMakesYouEvil Knowing her story]], even Gabriel regrets having to kill her.
* OrgasmicCombat: Just close your eyes and listen to some of Gabriel's grunts. Heck, even the sounds he makes while climbing sound dirty!
* OurGhoulsAreCreepier: Rather than being undead, the ghouls in ''Lords of Shadow'' are living beings descended from [[ImAHumanitarian cannibalistic humans]]. Also a case of ShownTheirWork, as this is pretty much what ghouls originally were.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: They look more like pygmie chimpanzee-men than the usual gremlins you may be used to. They're fond of throwing around grenades, too.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: At the very least, mention must be made of the Wargs, which are horses that have contracted lycanthropy and are ridden by ''other werewolves''.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The vampires here are fairly standard, except they can't assume human forms unless they're at least several centuries old. They also have [[BuffySpeak weird Crab-leg-claw-talon thingies]] protruding from their shoulders in addition to large bat wings. Olrox and Brauner aren't even human in origin; they're ''demons'' that Carmilla turned into vampires.
* PowerGlows:
** Cornell when he transforms into werewolf form, and the stone pillars which hold his power near the end of his boss battle, as well.
** Pan, whose animal forms are covered in neon-blue runes.
** Gabriel glows red or blue respectively when he uses Shadow or Light magic.
* PrecisionFStrike: When Claudia is trying to distract the Stone Idol Titan.
--> '''Claudia:''' Down here, ''you bitch!''
* ThePrecursors: The architects of Agharta and their Titans, who were eventually all wiped out by Cornell.
* PreOrderBonus: Gamestop preorders got a black Castlevania shirt with a Combat Cross motif. Best Buy preorders got a download code for ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''.
* PressXToNotDie: Used for grabs, avoiding certain enemy attacks, platforming, and boss battles. They come in a few forms: [[SmashingSurvival mashing one of the four face buttons as fast as you can]], hitting a shoulder button to avoid falling, twirling the left stick to {{catch and return}} things, and timed button presses based on two on-screen circles intersecting.
* PropheticFallacy: When Zobek first unveils that Gabriel must fulfill the prophecy that would “deliver [them] from all evil,” he fails to mention the consequences. [[spoiler: Justified, in that neither Zobek nor Satan, were aware of the “completed” version of the prophecy, and that Gabriel would have to trade in his humanity to achieve his goal.]]
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: The story is in many ways a chronicle of how heroes can descend into evil and madness, especially in the ''Reverie'' and ''Resurrection'' add-ons.
* RatedMForManly
* RealIsBrown: Averted. Despite its "gritty" art direction, the game uses a wide range of colors, from lush-green swamps and forests, to stark-white glaciers, to dark-blue castles gleaming in the night. Only the Land of the Dead uses a predominantly brown color palette.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Zobek is the Lord of the Dead, Gabriel killed his own wife, and Satan is the TheManBehindTheMan.]]
* RewardingVandalism: A series mainstay. Even in this game, breaking pots, crates, and barrels will usually net you refills on your sub-weapons.
* RightBehindMe: Done to Gabriel by Skeleton Warriors, Dracolich Necromancers and more. Gabriel's reactions range from shocked to DullSurprise.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge:
** Gabriel's devotion to destroying the Lords of Shadow is half the hope to save Marie and half revenge on all the creatures of evil that he believes killed her.
** The Black Knight also goes into one after arriving to find [[spoiler: a dead Claudia with one of Gabriel's daggers sticking out of her chest.]] Cue UnstoppableRage.
* SceneryGorn: Later stages shows how far the influence of evil is displayed, from decaying corpses in an abandoned village to the Land of the Dead, the very definition of HellOnEarth.
* SceneryPorn: To an absolutely ''ridiculous'' extent. A very early level, a bog, may have you remarking upon how gorgeous the foliage is and marveling that the swamp is filled with decaying corpses of ''green dragons''.
* SchizoTech: The game is supposed to be set in 1047 AD, yet Frankenstein's laboratory is filled with mechanical devices powered by electricity, a mechanical spider powered by a ''vampire embryo'', and a '''Tesla coil''', in spite of Nikola Tesla not being born till 1856 AD.
* ScrewySquirrel: The Chupacabra for the player.
* SequelHook: After the credits, we see [[spoiler: Zobek is still alive in modern day, Satan is about to return, and Gabriel has become the immortal {{Dracula}}.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: The Forgotten One from the ''Resurrection'' add-on.
* ShoutOut:
** [[Franchise/StarWars "Search your soul, Gabriel. You know it to be true."]]
** "[[VideoGame/{{Portal}} The Cake is not a lie!]]"
** Beating the game lets you equip Gabriel with a [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots Bandanna and Solid Eye]].
** The scroll of one deceased knight mentions a "[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Deku]][[SpellMyNameWithAnS h]]" tree. When you enter said tree, it is filled with spiders.
*** From another scroll has a knight named [[VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle Hoagy]] vowing revenge for his fallen companions [[VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle Sister Laverne and Brother Bernard]].
** During the ''Reverie'' DLC, you come across a scroll which mentions a time machine built by [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Emmett Marron]].
*** With additional BilingualBonus for Marron being the French and Spanish word for "brown".
** In the ''Resurrection'' DLC, there is a scroll that mentions the "Beast of Aaargh". It's pointed out that it's not clear if there is actually a Beast of Aaargh, or if the knight who wrote this line [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail died while writing it]].
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: The three Lords of Shadow to the [[spoiler: three founding members of the Brotherhood. Simply put, the founders used a conduit spell to become angelic beings, but their dark sides were left behind as a result.]]
* StealthMentor: Pan in a sort of way. [[spoiler: His boss battle is also a way to teach you how to fight Satan. He even states this in one of his BossBanter quotes.]]
** It also forces Gabriel to realize he's been a bit of a selfish prick.
* SnowMeansDeath: The Bernhard castle is constantly snowy and covered in ice.
* StartOfDarkness: [[spoiler: For Gabriel it is the ending of the main game.]]
* SwampsAreEvil: Goblins, trolls, poisonous bogs... and clingy naiads that have ''really'' let themselves go.
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Gabriel. Even Zobek states this in one of his late-game narrations, "He's so dark, so beautiful."
* {{Telepathy}}: How Claudia communicates with Gabriel.
* ThatManIsDead: "Don't you ''dare'' call me that! [[IAmTheNoun EU SUNT]] [[{{Dracula}} DRACUL]]!"
* ThemeTuneCameo: Baba Yaga's music box plays some of the series' recognizable tunes, such as Vampire Killer.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill[=/=]RasputinianDeath: The climax of the Carmilla boss battle has Gabriel stabbing her multiple times with a stake, then impaling her on the steeple of one of her towers, ''then'' spiked through the heart with such force the ''ground behind her quakes''. No wonder the Combat Cross' stake extension breaks off after that.
* {{Tragedy}}: ''Lords of Shadow'' is all about {{Fallen Hero}}es, how YouCantFightFate, and that [[DeathOfTheOldGods all things come to an end]].
-->'''Gabriel''': Such a sad tale is ours. A tale of heroes who strove to save humanity, only to lose our own.
* TragicDream: [[spoiler: Gabriel's hope of resurrecting Marie from death is shattered at the end of his journey, when he learns the God Mask couldn't bring her back after all.]]
* TragicHero: Gabriel, who loses his wife, his humanity, and in the end [[spoiler: [[TragicMonster his soul]]]].
* TragicMonster: [[spoiler: The ending reveals Gabriel became Dracula after the events of the game.]]
* TronLines: Pan's animal forms feature these.
* UnblockableAttack: Any attack indicated by a white charge-up.
* [[UndeadChild Undead]] EnfantTerrible: Laura, the immortal, temper-tantrum throwing, AgonyBeam spewing child vampire who very, ''very'' nearly charbroils Gabriel.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The much-maligned platforming and stealth sections in the DLC.
* TheUnfought: [[spoiler:Zobek, who Satan upstages as the final boss.]]
* UnreliableNarrator: [[spoiler: Zobek, who hides the fact he's the final Lord of Shadow from the audience, but doesn't even know himself that [[BrainwashedAndCrazy he's under Satan's control]].]]
* TheVamp: Carmilla, who tries to seduce Gabriel with promises of pleasure and power before their fight.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: In some sequences you're free to endlessly light enemies on fire, jump on monsters' backs and snap their necks, turn them into living bombs, and plenty of other horrible things.
* VillainProtagonist: [[spoiler: The DistantFinale reveals Gabriel became Dracula after the events of the game, and the sequel further confirm his status as one such character. [[GoodAllAlong How well he dons that mantle is a whole another matter, however]].]]
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[TheVamp Carmilla]] makes this offer to Gabriel, only to go in a rage when you turn her down. [[spoiler: Satan]] also offers this to Gabriel, but is quick to go back on the deal when Gabriel {{death glare}}s him.
* WhamLine: "Don't you ''dare'' call me that! [[IAmTheNoun EU SUNT]] [[{{Dracula}} DRACUL]]!"
* WhamShot: In the epilogue, [[spoiler: Gabriel and Zobek fight briefly before Zobek's outfit changes from a cloak to a business suit. He pushes Gabriel out of a window, and Gabriel falls into a modern day city.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: It's not wholly clear what happened to the Devil Mask after [[spoiler: Satan had been defeated.]] Gabriel holds onto it in the intro cinematic of ''Reverie'', but it's never elaborated on whenever he got rid of it or kept it.
* WhipSword: The Silver Warrior uses one during his BossBattle.
* WhisperingGhosts:
** Disembodied voices can be heard during the Dead Bog stage.
** [[spoiler: The souls of the dead that engulf Gabriel once he gets fried by the Lord of the Dead's {{Agony Beam}} also whisper things like, "Your time has come!", "Stay with us!" and "Come with us!"]]
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: [[spoiler: Gabriel, in the epilogue, lives to modern times as the immortal Dracula. Unfortunately, it seems all he really wants to do is die. Zobek tries to recruit him to prevent Satan's return, and promises to free Gabriel of his immortality if the fallen hero does.]]
* WickedWitch: Baba Yaga. She sends Gabriel on an errand to recover a special flower that would make her a HotWitch, but it's never revealed if it worked.
* WomanInBlack: Carmilla, who wears flowing long black robes and will enslave, torture or kill you if you dare cross her.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Dracula.
* WorthyOpponent: The Forgotten One calls Gabriel this after their brawl.
* YinYangBomb: Gabriel gets two of pendants that let him use Light and Shadow magic in battle. Switching between the two on the fly can cause some truly devastating combos.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness:
** This is how Gabriel deals with every mount that isn't a shapeshifted Pan. The spiked chain Rinaldo Gandolfi created was for such a purpose.
** You can also do this to your own white pieces after winning the Vampire Wargame.
** Also done by the BigBad, [[spoiler: Satan, once Zobek is no longer necessary.]]
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