While I've been more tolerant of the character changes in Castlevania: Judgment than many others, there were always a few aspects that stuck out to me. For instance, Eric Lecarde. Considering he was portrayed as a close friend of John Morris in Castlevania: Bloodlines, it was odd that he, being born into a family meant to work alongside them, would become so bitter about them and their whip. Even if he was a rebellious teenager. And then I thought of something. Castlevania: Bloodlines, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin after it, tied their Dracula-resurrection plots to the military struggles of the time. Something could have happened between the previous Dracula battle in 1897 and Eric's involvement in Judgment, estimated to take place in 1907, that would cause the Spanish-born Eric to resent the American-born Morris family. Like, say, the Spanish-American War and its aftermath? —Falcon Pain
From the same game, and somewhere between Fridge Brilliance and a Stealth Pun, Cornell is looking for a cure to his lycanthropy. When he asks Sypha, who is still in full-on Van Helsing Hate Crimes mode in this game, she tells him that no known solution exists. "Death is your only salvation." So what does Cornell do for the remainder of his storyline? He seeks salvation fromDeath. —Falcon Pain again
As another person who actually liked the game, I was always puzzled why the developers didn't include insanely popular new character Soma on the roster. Then I realized there was an in-story justification for this — during his mirror match, Aeon mentions having multiple copies of an individual in the time rift is dangerous. Having Soma present would have meant two Draculas. —Kazmahu
In Symphony of the Night, the music for the Alchemy Laboratory area is called "Dance of Gold". A common practice among alchemists was the search of a chemical formula capable of transmutating base metals into gold. —Caiahpasthesympathist
I always wondered how sealing Dracula's castle away would have killed him for good; the center of chaos reasoning was kind of "eh", but then it hit me — the center of chaos is the Crimson Stone from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, the stone that gave Dracula his power originally. The way the core "shatters" like a gem breaking seems to give credibility to this.
This also explains how the "perfect replica" castle in Dawn of Sorrow was created; the cult just made a new Crimson Stone to be a new Chaos. (Which lends a whole new meaning to their grooming Dracula candidates, since someone would eventually need to be sacrificed to power it.)
That explains why they needed to kill Soma first. Soma was going to be the sacrifice, like Walter was for the original Crimson Stone!
Neat little thing that I noticed recently. In most Castlevania games, Death typically talks to you like you're scum or lower than dirt when compared to his master Dracula. Yet in Aria of Sorrow, he's strangely quiet during your fight with him as Soma. Then again, why would he dare insult his longtime master and closest thing to a friend?
I was wondering the other day about why the Whip's Memory in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin showed Richter Belmont in his Rondo of Blood attire, besides sprite recycling. Then I thought of something: between his two game appearances, Rondo of Blood was the only one where he was actually fighting Dracula and his hordes of darkness. He was brainwashed to lead Dracula's castle in Symphony of the Night, so that would not reflect well on the Vampire Killer.
In Symphony of the Night, in the PSP version, when you look up the Frozen Half enemy in the enemy encyclopaedia, there's a note saying they're transsexual. At first, you might think that that's a weird thing to work into designing an enemy... then you think about the genre the Castlevania games take their inspiration from, and you realise that you are fighting sweet transvestites from transsexual Transylvania.
Have you ever questioned why the Holy Water subweapon created a trail of fire whenever you threw it on the ground? I did, and never really understood why until it just randomly hit me. Most, if not all, the battles take place in Castlevania, which is for all purposes an extension of Dracula himself. Holy Water in other media tends to cause evil creatures to burn on contact. Castlevania itself is an evil entity, which is why the flames arise.
This makes extra sense in that it doesn't burst into flames in Simon's Quest. Most of that game takes place far from the castle, and even when you get near it, the castle is arguably dead anyways.
In Simon's Quest, only two bosses outside Dracula appear, and they are both easy by Castlevania standards. While this is probably just coincidence, considering that Dracula himself is also easy, take note that the two bosses are Death and Carmilla, two faithful servants of the count. Why would they want to stop you when you are trying to resurrect their master? Both are probably going easy on you.
This piece of brilliance came to me when I looked at this picture◊ depicting just about all the playable characters in Castlevania games (except for some really obscure unlockable characters). At first I thought "This is cool, but why is Leon holding Sara? She was never playable." Then I remembered that in Lament of InnocenceSara bound her soul to the Whip of Alchemy, turning it into the Vampire Killer. So, in effect, she has been kind of playable in almost every game in the series! And, of course, Leon holds her just as every other Belmont to wield the whip has. Kudos to the artist for a nice bit of symbolism there.
Why does Julius have abilities like the double-jump and the ability to walk underwater in the Sorrow games? Because he already went through Dracula's Castle and still has the items/relics which gave him those skills!
Fans were concerned when Sypha seemed to have been Dummied Out of the Pachislot game in favor of Angela. Then a possible explanation hit me: Sypha stayed behind because she was pregnant.
Two bits at the price of one from Mirror of Fate: The game's acts are in Anachronic Order, with Simon first, then Alucard and finally Trevor as playable characters, but the three share the EXP accumulated. This at first glance causes some Fridge Logic and allegations of Gameplay and Story Segregation, as by the end Trevor is far more experienced than his future self Alucard. Nothing of the sort, it is actually perfectly explainable: Vampire!Trevor has awakened from 30 years of slumber, so he is far from being in perfect shape, both physically and emotionally, with new unsettling powers to get used to; at the end of his act, he has recovered a mere fraction of his old strength. Still, there seems to be one last discrete discrepancy: Trevor, at his prime, could not defeat Dracula, yet the far weaker Alucard succeeded. This is actually easier to explain: Alucard does not defeat Dracula alone; he is the player character alright, but he's fighting in tandem with Simon, and the combined experience of the two by that point easily surpasses the lone Trevor's.
In the secondLords of Shadow game, the stealth sections are almost all disliked, and with the exception of one, they all make sense. The enemies there are supposedly unkillable, but we know that Dracula can take down tougher enemies than this; however, when you first start playing, you're very weak and even Zobek, aka, Death himself is hesitant to face down Satan's Children, the Acolytes, and he knows that he can't match the Big Bad at all. So, even if you could face those bodyguards and win, you might alert the Acolytes that you're running around, and going up against all of them when you're weaker than Zobek? Would make for a very Bad End for everything.
In Dawn of Sorrow, you can find Excalibur, though it is rather humorously still stuck in the stone, since Soma isn't a reincarnation of King Arthur, but of Dracula.
The entire plot of Portait of Ruin revolves around a powerful vampire, Brauner, usurping Dracula's power by sealing Dracula away from his castle. We also know that sealing Dracula away from his castle before killing him is what ultimately killed him for good about 50 years later. Thus the brilliance comes in — it was probably the events of Portrait of Ruin and Brauner's seal that gave the Belmonts both the idea and the means (though not exactly the same method) to seal Dracula's castle away from Dracula and thus finish him once and for all, meaning Brauner's plot unintentionally ended up saving the world in the end.
Juste Belmont is said to have magical powers because he has more of the Belnades blood in him than the other Belmonts. His descendant, Richter, also has the previously unseen Item Crash ability. Perhaps this is more magical power manifesting?
Isaac had Rosaly burned to get revenge on Hector, but it's revealed that Isaac's sister Julia is a dead ringer for Rosaly. Perhaps he used Rosaly as a scapegoat to protect his sister?
In Lament of Innocence, Death still attacks you after beating Walter in Joachim Mode. If Joachim killed Walter before Leon got there, Matthias didn't get to steal Walter's soul. Death attacks because he's pissed that Joachim ruined the plan.
One interpretation of the Nation of Fools portrait in Portrait Of Ruin is that the ruined carnival featured is where Brauner lost his daughters in World War I. World events, however, paint another possibility. Up until 1944 — the year Portrait Of Ruin takes place in — Romania had been under a fascist government that embraced Nazism between World Wars, executed up to 380,000 Jewish Romanians and 11,000 Roma (gypsies), and sent another 1.2 million Romanians to their deaths in Nazi Germany's doomed campaign against Soviet Russia. The vampire Brauner is a fictionalization of a real-life Romanian-Jewish surrealist that lived during that time. The portrait world is a gypsy carnival being destroyed from within. Its boss is Legion, a monster encased in a shell of corpses at the heart of the carnival's destruction. It's a surrealist representation of what Castlevania!Brauner's seen his home country become: a Nation of Fools.
Also within Portrait Of Ruin, we have how you first meet the Sisters and Brauner. You first meet Loretta in the City of Haze after destroying Dullahan, and you meet Brauner and the Sisters in the Sandy Grave Portrait. And yet both times, they seem to check up on the state of things or seem outright surprised to see Johnathan and Charlotte there. Why is this? In the Sisters Mode, which serves as a prologue to Charlotte and Johanthan's story, you were required to go through the paintings and destroy the same bosses that Johnathan and Charlotte fight. Each boss destroyed weakens Brauner's hold on the castle. Sadly, when the Sisters get to Brauner, it's here that they get turned into Vampires and brainwashed. The reason they were probably checking up/surprised to see Johnathan and Charlotte within the portraits is because Brauner is fixing the damage the Sisters did and making sure they uphold, re-establishing his hold on the castle by bringing the previously destroyed bosses back.
In Order of Ecclesia, Dracula breaks the tradition of having 6666 HP, instead having 9999. 9999 is just 6666 turned upside down.
In Portrait, one of the stronger weapons is a whip made of a rose stem. This is not just the idea of thorns being painful. Roses were traditionally believed to have the power to ward off evil. In fact, in the original Dracula novel, while it doesn't come to pass, Van Helsing does comment that he wanted to try using rose thorns on Dracula to see if it would work.
Similarly, the knife subweapon probably originates from the knife used to kill Dracula in the original book.
At the start of Aria, Arikado tells Soma that if anyone stays in the castle for too long, they'll die. This seems like a lie, in that you can Take Your Time as much as you want... but in the Classicvanias, staying too long in one place will kill you because the timer runs out.
If Eric Lecarde, the son of Adrian "Alucard" Tepes and Maria Renard, passes as Spanish, and "Cruz" is a Spanish surname... is Soma Cruz descended from himself?
Eric can't be Maria's son, since he was born in 1892, when she'd be 112. But it's still possible for Eric to be Alucard and Maria's descendant, and for Soma to be Eric's descendant in turn.
When playing Dawn of Sorrow, this troper noticed that in order to get most of the Souls in the game more powerful, you need to own more copies of it to use them at their full potential. This somewhat contradicts Aria of Sorrow, where Soma only needs one copy of a soul to get its full power. However, consider the difference of location in the games. In Aria, you're going through Castlevania, the domecile of Dracula himself (who Soma is a reincarnation of), whereas in Dawn, you're going through a mere replica. Maybe the reason that Soma needs more Souls for more power in Dawn is because he's not somewhere he's inherently connected to his power/castle.
On a semirelated note: Dawn is more user-friendly than Aria. Aria doesn't tell the player how to use souls in combat, but Dawn has a tutorial that shows what kinds of souls there are and which buttons to press. Soma's just figuring out his powers in Aria, and knows exactly how to use them by Dawn.
The very first soul that Soma acquires is a Flying Skeleton, which throws spears. It's rather appropriate for Dracula's reincarnation to use a weapon used for impalement.
All four of the Dark Lord candidates have something in common with Dracula in addition to their powers.
Graham has his One-Winged Angel form (technically Menace is Dmitrii's, but that was unintentional, uncontrollable, and required Soma's power), but also Dracula's ability to attract cults.
Dario has Dracula's affinity for fire, in addition to his anger issues.
Dmitrii's copy ability is like the poor man's substitute for Dominance. His ability to manipulate events when he doesn't even appear in the picture is similar to Matthias manipulating Leon.
Soma has Dracula's Power of Dominance, aka the power to "Steal men's souls and make them [his] slaves", as well as being Dracula's true reincarnation. It's worth mentioning that Soma is a normal human being who gained supernatural powers upon taking in monsters souls, much like how Matthias Cronqvist, the man who would become Dracula, originally had to take the soul of Walter Bernhart into the Crimson Stone to become a Vampire himself. Like Matthias pre FaceHeel Turn, Soma is a good person and remains so while Mina is alive and well, but can easily fall back into evil should the object of his love die, much like how Matthias decided to Rage Against the Heavens in the form of Dracula upon Elisabetha's death. In short, Soma is very much like pre-Dracula Matthias.
Thanks to the Netflix series shedding light on where the Belmont clan originated, and the origin of Trevor's name from a Welshman who accompanied Leon (Trefor with an "F"), it is possible to pinpoint where Trevor's descendants got their names from:
Christopher: Named after Trevor's middle name, also Christopher.
Soleiyu / Soleil: Named after the French word for "sun," as part of the French origins of the clan.
Simon: Also taken from French heritage, where it is normally pronounced as "Símon".
Juste: See above, this time with the French term for "justice".
Richter: Due to the Belmonts becoming more well-known in Wallachia than in their original France, Germanic names began to pop-up, with Richter's being the most notable, being the German word for "Judge". This could also work as a shout out to the German narration of Rondo of Blood.
Julius: This is due to the fact that he was the man that destroyed Dracula on the day that was prophesized by Nostradamus, July 7th, 1999, "Julius" being the root word for "July".
Abit of Fridge Brilliance this troper ran into when replaying Dawn of Sorrow. After you beat Dmitrii and he seemingly dies, if you return into his room later, you'll find it's inhabited by a Quetzocoatl. Normally most people would overlook it or only care enough to grind for it's soul, but it does have a meaning there if one considers what happens later in game. A Quetzocoatl is essentially a White Dragon controlled by a Fleaman. Dracula literally means "Son of the Dragon". Given that Soma is Dracula's reincarnation who absorbed a soul he couldn't use but was still within him (Dmitrii), the placement of the enemy is Foreshadowing of what Dmitrii is trying to do to Soma: hitch a ride on him to get control of his powers!
Both the games Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Castlevania Chronicles have a boss fight against a werewolf who starts out human, but transforms to start the battle. What is sad is that the wolf-people may have had no control over their transformations and they appear to die after their transformations. How can we be sure that the werewolves are aware of Dracula's influence over them? For all we know, they could be brainwashed into changing into their wolf forms and get killed by the Belmonts without a chance at redemption for their actions!
If it helps, the She-Wolf in Chronicles is the only boss not to emit the boss death scream or explode/crumble to dust. Instead, she keels over and reverts back into her naked human form before a cloth appears and whisks her body away.
Dominus is Dracula's power; using it is essentially equivalent to invocating the powers of Chaos itself, explaining why it comes at such a steep price: only the Dark Lord himself can properly wield an unholy power that he gained in a Deal with the Reaper. A "regular" human is doomed to have their soul taken as tribute, possibly an effect of Soul Steal/the Power of Dominance.
What happened to Dario and Dmitrii in Julius Mode in Dawn? When you fight them, they don't even talk, which is really weird given that they were part of the reason why everyone was in the castle in the first place. No one tries to reason with them. In normal mode, at least Dario yells at Soma before fighting. What did Dracula do to them? What's more, Dmitrii is arguably dead at this point, and under Soma/Dracula's dominance. Is this what happens to humans whose souls Dracula steals and enslaves? Can't talk, can only do what Dracula says?
The Power of Dominance is full of horror if you think about it. What exactly could someone do with the power to enslave someone's soul and force them to do anything?
In Dawn of Sorrow's bad ending, Dracula is successfully reincarnated. Who's to say that the Vicious Cycle of him returning every 100 years hasn't restarted?