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YMMV: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Satan. You have infinite magic which you can use to heal whenever you need it, and he does piddling amounts of damage himself. It's basically impossible to actually lose the fight unless you're just not trying. Very unexpected for the final boss.
    • Except in Paladin Mode where his attacks do a lot of damage (and only one is blockable). While you have infinite magic, he can drain your health faster than you can heal if you're not careful. Not to mention that he can heal too.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Combat Cross. Is there anything this weapon CAN'T do once fully upgraded? It has more reach than most spears, it can be swung around for massive Area attacks, it doubles as a grappling hook, you can put a stake on the other end for ye olde vampire killing, you put spikes on its chain for dominating huge monsters so you can control them, you can catch objects thrown at you and throw them right back at the enemy with it.
  • Breather Boss: Pan's is not a really difficult boss, considering that he's a Physical God. However, it should be noted that he was out of his "area", which weakens him, and his objective was not to kill Gabriel, but to teach him how to fight against Satan.
    • The three Scarecrows, the two Necromancers, and Gravedigger also count.
  • Broken Base: The split sprang up around the increased emphasis on plot and presentation as well as the more action-based gameplay. Incidentally, these Base-Breaking issues have some uncanny similarities to a few that have sprung up with Metroid: Other M, an installment in the fellow Trope Naming franchise for Metroidvania which came out a few months before this game. Both games have had detractors who have lamented each game taking a page from Metal Gear, in regards to each having longer cutscenes and such.
  • Complete Monster: Satan is a Manipulative Bastard, operates as The Chessmaster once he appears, and is The Man Behind the Man to the Lords of Shadow themselves. Satan arranged every atrocity in the game, from Gabriel Belmont's wife's death at Gabriel's own hands and the deaths of countless innocents, so he could set everything up to return to Heaven and take it over to complete his revenge on God. When he appears, Satan attempts to eliminate his final pawn Zobek, and keeps the souls lost on the way trapped in Limbo. Satan corrupted The Lords of Shadow in to the monsters they had become, also making him responsible for all the innocents the werewolves and vampires had devoured. Using Zobek as a proxy and pawn, he manipulated the entire events of the game to gain access to Heaven, with only Gabriel to stand against him at the end. When he faces off with Gabriel, he attempts to paint himself as justified, but Gabriel sees through it, declaring Satan to be the egomaniac he is who seeks domination and hatred over all things.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The entire soundtrack is excellent, though very different from the upbeat music found in the series' 2D outings.
    • Although the music is also a huge Base Breaker, as many of the series' long-time fans lament the lack of classic tunes and mostly orchestral, atyhmospheric music, as compared to the more modern, jazz and rock-heavy classic soundtracks.
  • Demonic Spiders: Swordmasters, who can dodge, block, and counter-attack on par with many of the game's bosses (some of whom, it should be noted, you will have less trouble with than a group of three Swordmasters.) Creeping Coffins can be demonic spiders as well (bonus points for actually resembling spiders), at least in groups. Ironically, the game's actual Giant Spiders aren't that difficult.
    • The Swordmasters being demonic spiders makes it incredibly cathartic when you finish one off by knocking it to the floor, stealing its weapon and stabbing it right in its irritating, ghostly face.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The Castle is the second, not the final act of the game. The final act of the game is in the Land of the Dead. A massive, barren, and very very brown wasteland.
    • It's even worse when you consider that the area where you start in the Land of the Dead HAD quite a feel, being mostly dark with purple lines.
    • The DLC chapters are also considered to be subpar by many who enjoyed the game to buy it.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Gabriel is rumored to be a son of the Cronqvist merchant family. Considering what became of the last Cronqvist we saw in the series....
    • Zobek is alive and well at the end, and talks to Dracula like they've been friends for a while. But then, he's the Lord of the Dead, a.k.a. Death — of course he and Drac are pals.
  • Fridge Logic: The Priest sacrificed Wygol Village just for the Holy Water subweapon? Sure, it's effective, but can the old man even use it? Or if this version repels vampires all on its own, how come it doesn't work that way on your belt?
    • Claudia is mute and talks to people through telepathy, she also converses with her Golem like that, which might be justified as he's an organic, albeit magical creature (At least he looks organic once you've taken off his suit of armor). But how the heck can she distract a Titan by yelling at him telepathically? They are just rocks and magical runes... or do they have a brain, do they feel pain? If that's the case, I think we're stepping into Fridge Horror territory if we start thinking about how the second Titan must have felt, lying around, shattered in pieces for decades...
      • Given that, according to the bestiary, the Golem is the magitek equivalent of a cyborg, that is the reanimated corpse of a mute killer seeking redemption by helping around an innocent ward, and that the Titans are magical creations of Claudia's people, it could be easily the Fridge Horror case with the shattered Titans being all suffering, broken animated beings simply too damaged to carry on their mission. Rather than a brain, Claudia's Gift may require just a living soul to work, afterall. Even if they were simply soulless beings, it would have had no sense making them unable to be controlled by the Gift, given that from what we could glean all Agarthians had telepathic and magic abilities, and Claudia just uses is as a stand-in for her useless voice box, but nothing prevented her from using the Gift for its intended purpose.
      • Another example of Fridge Logic could set in, as, if Claudia's telepathy could control Golems, she could have been much more effective than acting as a mere element of distraction. However, for every intent an purpose, despite she's older than she looks, Claudia is a juvenile member of an extint race, and if her father left her a magical zombie/robot/cyborg/guardian thing, it's because he felt her unable to fend for herself.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-game variation. Abbot Dorin: "I know who you are! You're sent by the devil! He told me! He always does! He mocks me with it!" Turns out he was right...
  • I Knew It: Many fans were speculating Gabriel would become Dracula before the game was even out.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Claudia's constant reminders to find the four Crystal Shards in Chapter 2-7. It doesn't help that her telepathic voice uses the exact same audio filter as a certain Guildmaster.
    • Chupacabras's tauntings are also quite annoying.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The entirety of the game as a whole, but especially the 11th Chapter - literally the final area. Falling from the platforms (though not lethal this time) and the cutscenes of traveling between portals just give you breath-stopping creeps.
    • Gabriel's murder of his own wife and Claudia under the influence of the Devil Mask counts too. Being mind-controlled to do something so horrific?
  • The Scrappy: Chupacabras. If players weren't annoyed that they stole your items and then made you play Hide and Seek, they were even more annoyed with the fact that it's a completely different creature with the name of the South American myth slapped on it.
    • Also, on a side note - Chupacabras had been in Castlevania since Symphony Of The Night, although they suffered from a Dub Name Change and are called Cave Trolls in the western versions. Now this game introduces another sort of Cave Troll: A sort of cute mixture of a gorilla and a tapir, whose first appearance doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny, as well as a Bait-and-Switch Boss.
    • Even worse, you don't even get to kill the annoying thing when you do catch it. Gabriel simply grabs the Chupacabras and forces it to give back his gear, then it vanishes.
      • This is also an interesting case in that the Chupacabras gets a Take That, Scrappy! in the same game that it first appears in: at one point you find a scroll on one of the dead Brotherhood knights talking about how he's been setting up an extermination squad to drive the Chupacabras extinct. Clearly the developers knew just how much their players were going to hate those things.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Played with. A character like this is introduced but after a few missions of annoying you, she's killed. And There Was Much Rejoicing.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending. "No...please, stay! Stay with me!"
    • There are a hell of a lot! The tragic death of Claudia and her Black Knight at the hands of Gabriel. Later, Pan's Heroic Sacrifice. Finally, the revelation of the horrible truth about Marie's death!
  • That One Boss: The Silver Warrior aka Pan, at least in the first phase when you have no magic to heal with. He has lots of fast attacks that are difficult to predict (However, the vast majority of them is blockable), and to kill him you have to complete a quick time event that manages to be quite difficult despite consisting of only one button press, because the ring you have to watch to get the correct timing is moving very fast across the screen, and the rings themselves move way faster than the other ones in the game.
    • Cornell, also. The hardest boss in the game, moreso than the Silver Warrior or even Satan! Also arguably the most fun.
    • Olrox is just like Cornell: a brutal Lightning Bruiser. Unlike Cornell, he gives no warning before using his charge attack. Also, he likes to Teleport Spam sometimes, and there's no warning of when he's going to stop, where he'll appear or which attack he'll use after teleporting. On top of that, he has a separate attack that will change direction mid-blow to hit you. Even worse, his battle comes right after That One Level, the Clock Tower. And finally, when he gets low on life, he uses corpses stored in coffins around the room to restore a large portion of his health, and he's practically guaranteed to do it at least 3 times before you manage to destroy the corpses.
    • As you'd most likely guess from his name and the fact that he's described in story to be extremely powerful, Forgotten One is a hard boss, but most of it unfortunately relies on Fake Difficulty: the segments between the 2 fights are supremely annoying timed platforming gauntlets not suited for the game's physics or controls, any weak points beyond the first one require you to jump to hit him, where you're unable to dodge anything, none of his attacks can be blocked, most of them have very similar tells and getting your Focus Gauge high enough to get any Neutral Orbs off him beyond the first weak point is an exercise in futility, very few of his attacks leave him open long enough to hit him at all and only a select few leave him open long enough for you to actually hit him and back off before the next attack, every time you take off enough of his health to trigger a QTE and the next checkpoint involves a different minigame where you need to figure out what you're supposed to do on the fly or risk losing all of your hard-earned progress, neither of the stages you fight him in have any Neutral Orb fountains or Health Fonts, and to rub the constant dying in even further, the game uses yet another ill-timed Shout-Out ("Avoid fighting like a dairy farmer.") as one of the "tips" you see when you die.
    • And when you get him to low life? He stops roaring, which is the only safe time to hit him for an extended amount of time and he becomes even faster.
  • That One Level: The Abandoned Wing in the Reverie DLC, where you spend the majority of the level sprinting across the surface of the water while trying to avoid being eaten by aquatic horrors. Not only does it require precise timing, not only do the ice platforms break if you stand on them for more than a couple of seconds, but Gabriel has a habit of falling into the water mid-sprint for absolutely no reason. This level has caused more than a few players to Rage Quit.
    • The Clockwork Tower also qualifies, arguably being the level that has a lot of difficult plataforming to do, and the only enemy that you face in the level is the Electrical Monstrosity, which you already defeated a couple levels ago. Luckily, the Monstrosity cannot heal this time.
    • The third-to-last level also qualifies, being the longest level in the main game, with A MASSIVE LOT of plataforming and puzzle-solving to do (not difficult, but extremely tiring), and two boss fights in-between plataforming. The two bosses are Necromancers, which are not really difficult, but are tiring to beat, as they summon two types enemies during the battles: Reapers, which you were already fighting in large groups during the level, and that are capable of killing you in two strikes (while also being killed in two strikes), and zombies, which while very easy to deal, can easily break your focus by hitting you with attacks that barely deal damage anyway.
  • That One Sidequest: Most of the trials are funny to do. Timed trials, with special mention to the titans's ones and Olrox's one, however, are not.
  • The Untwist: The trailer makes it clear that "there is no resurrection! Only the living death you see before you!"
  • What Could Have Been or In Name Only (it depends on who you ask, hence it's presence here): Prior to the game's release Konami announced the game as simply "Lords of Shadow,"note  so as not to compete with Castlevania Judgement.
    • In addition to the "What Could Have Been" side, at one point the game was going to reboot the franchise by being a remake of the original Castlevania with Simon Belmont as the main character. This leads to Fridge Brilliance when you notice that Gabriel Belmont's armor is similar to the armor Simon Belmont wore in Castlevania II Simons Quest. The brilliance? Simon Belmont was the hero of the first Castlevania game in the original series, while Gabriel Belmont is the protagonist in the first game of a new Castlevania "series"note . The similarities in their armor may have been made to reflect on that!

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