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Video Game / Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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What do you do when you find yourself without a castle? You build another.

"A new, vital heart, pulsing with the old blood."
Pixel IGA

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a 2D Metroidvania (or as the Kickstarter calls it, an "Igavania") game for the PS4, Xbox One, Windows, and Nintendo Switch. It is directed by Koji "IGA" Igarashi, acclaimed producer of Castlevania titles from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and progenitor of the Metroidvania subgenre, and developed by ArtPlay, DICO, and WayForward. Inti Creates (developers of Mega Man Zero and Azure Striker Gunvolt) also originally assisted with development until they parted ways and were subsequently replaced by DICO.

You play as Miriam, an orphan who was taken in by an alchemist at a young age and became a host to a magi-crystal curse that calls forth demons to Earth and slowly turns its host's skin to crystal. Awakening from slumber ten years later, she must now traverse a demon-filled castle summoned by her former friend, benefactor, and original host of the curse, Gebel, whose curse has taken much of his humanity and has now driven him to rain hell on Earth and destroy the human race.


The Kickstarter campaign was launched on May 11, 2015. The first wave stretch goals were reached within hours of the campaign's launch, and since then stretch goal after stretch goal was revealed and subsequently crushed. By the end of its campaign on June 12th, it had raised a whopping $5,545,991, becoming the most funded video game on Kickstarter, after Torment: Tides of Numenera held that record for over two years, and remained so for about a month before Shenmue III surpassed it. It is also the ninth most funded Kickstarter campaign overall.

The games' launch month is currently stated to be June 2019, with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC versions coming on the 18th, and the Switch version coming on the 25th.

Speaking of Inti Creates, despite leaving development, they stuck around to fulfill a particular stretch goal to create a retraux spin-off title to the main game, which became Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.


Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night contains examples of:

  • 2½D: The game is presented in this style.
  • Achievement System: The Kickstarter featured one in which fans could participate in numerous multimedia projects during the backing campaign to unlock "Backer Achievments". Collecting enough Backer Achievements would unlock non-stretch goal bonuses, such as revealing stretch goals early, getting a 1" backer button, and adding New Game+ and a special costume to the game.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: People thought this about Shovel Knight's cameo when they saw the design. Lifting a shovel does wonders!
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: For a specific mechanic; the Shards system that gives Miriam new abilities is rather unabashedly similar to Souls, including their method of acquisition (slaying enemies until they drop) and the various subtypes in which specific Shards fall into specific categories of which a single Shard can be equipped at once. In addition, you can sacrifice Shards to craft weapons.
    • The same applies to Glyphs and the concept of a female protagonist having to fight against a brother figure who did everything for them but lost themselves to the power they have.
    • Quite a few of the enemies are very similar to classic Castlevania enemies. For example, the Morte, Bone Morte and Dullahammer Heads function almost identically to Castlevania's zombies, skeletons and Medusa Heads respectively.
  • April Fools' Day: In 2019, it was announced that the game would be receiving a Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition called Bloodstained: Bloodstained Edition. For $999 ($666 for backers), you get a physical copy of the game inside a blood bag filled with a half quart of Koji Igarashi's blood (suspiciously tagged "Involuntary donor"). It's marked as blood type AB- (which was never verified) and doesn't ship to North Korea, Transylvania, international waters, Antartica, or Pangea.
  • Ascended Meme: The Kickstarter campaign clearly references the infamous prologue of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Then there's this Word of God interview answer:
    Igarashi: A creator’s value is determined by his next game, but a creator unable to make the sort of games he wants isn’t really a creator at all. He is just a man… and we all know what that is.
  • Asshole Victim: The Alchemist's Guild. They created Gebel to start the magi-crystal curse and bring demons from Hell to Earth in order to stomp out the influence of science. Needless to say, they were also destroyed by Gebel.
  • Blood Bath: The boss of Church of Dian Cecht, Bloodless, first appears bathing in blood...
  • Bloody Murder: ...before using said blood to conjure her dress, parasols, and offensive repertoire.
  • Body to Jewel: The magi-crystal curse slowly turns its host's skin into stained glass-esque crystal. However, its progress can be delayed by surrounding the affected regions with magic runes, which stops the crystallization effect. Of the currently revealed characters, both Miriam and Gebel are affected by it, to varying degrees.
  • Bonus Boss: Anyone who purchases the Kickstarter Edition of the game gets to challenge the extremely difficult secret boss, "Igarashi," for a shot at acquiring his Swordwhip.
  • Boss Rush: One of the game's features will allow you to run through all of the bosses in the game. IGA states that this feature is intended to allow players to practice against bosses without having to hop around the castle to look for them.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Zigzagged. Guns allow Miriam to equip special ammunition that is consumed each time she attacks with one, but there is a much weaker back-up if her currently equipped ammo runs dry.
  • Button Mashing: You can mash the attack button while wielding Short Swords to perform continuous stabs.
  • The Cameo: Shovel Armor, a giant Armor enemy based on Shovel Knight, will appear in the game thanks to a collaboration with Yacht Club Games.
  • Cheat Code: Included courtesy of a stretch goal. Alongside traditional cheat codes and joke cheat codes, there will also be special cheats for unlocking the Let's Player-designed cosmetic gear and joke mods.
  • Clothing Damage: The boss Bloodless Shows Damage; she loses pieces of her dress the more you whale on her.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Comes in two varieties: the standard version, which only comes in local flavor, and "Asynchronous", where you will be able to cooperate with other players passively, such as borrowing each other's power.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: There will be a special mode dedicated to this, featuring specially-designed stages where players team up with each other and fight for points. Special to this mode are especially difficult bosses, which will drop crafting materials only found in this mode.
  • Creator Cameo: IGA himself is featured in the game as a Kickstarter backer-exclusive Bonus Boss.
  • Creepy Cathedral: Wouldn't be Castlevania's successor without one.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: If Miriam tries to fire a gun, it stops her in place on the ground; however, she remains mobile while airborne, so she can fire them while jumping towards her foes.
  • Doom Magnet: The "Dark Curse" that the Alchemist Guild claimed would come was of their own making, infusing "pure" orphans with dark magics that would turn them into beacons that would draw demons to earth.
  • Epic Flail: The Dullahammer wields a flail that's basically its own head on a chain.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Dullahammer. IGA claims that he's a fan of these kinds of enemies.
  • Former Friends Photo: Promotional materials contain an old photo of The Hero Miriam, her aloof ally Johannes, and the Big Bad Gebel chilling out as friends during happier times.
  • Gag Boobs: Let's say that the first boss, Vepar, that looks like Scylla from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, has an ample bust, even in proportion to her body. With nipples, even. Even more glaring because she's a few stories tall. Amusingly, hitting her in the breasts deals extra damage. Later versions, however, drastically reduced her breast size from the previous 2016 backer beta iteration, though she still has some jiggle despite her smaller breasts.
  • Game Gourmet: The game plays with this, by giving the player character a permanent stat boost every time they eat a new food item.
  • Gem Tissue: The game is set in a world where a wide-spread demonic affliction causes the victims' flesh to randomly crystallize, often forming unsettling stained glass-like shapes. The heroine of the game is also afflicted and has multiple patches of crystal on her body, most prominently a rose-like one over her heart.
  • Gratuitous French: For some reasons, when Miriam executes a 3-kick special combo with shoes-type weapons, she counts "Un, deux, trois".
  • Gravity Screw: One development update shows Invert skill, which rotates everything except Miriam 180 degrees, causing her to walk on ceilings. As the developers themselves put it, now you can play inverted castle any time!
  • Hair Decorations: Whatever Headwear you have equipped will show up on Miriam, from her standard "Aries Horns" jewelry to a head band to even a cute li'l bear hat.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare Difficulty, which was implemented thanks to meeting its stretch goal.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Miriam can cook various meals that can replenish health with ingredients she can find from enemy drops or buying them from a shop, and eating the meal for the first time can grant her permanent stat boosts.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Shards impale themselves into Miriam before she shoves them in and gains their power.
  • Item Crafting: Miriam's experience in alchemy will allow her to combine materials dropped from her enemies to forge new weapons.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Katanas are available for Miriam to wield, and utilize a unique one-handed "swing and sheathe" animation mo-capped from IGA himself. As the result of the vote from the "Sword or Whip" teaser site, one Katana is also the game's Infinity +1 Sword.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the first Shards Miriam obtains allows her to fire a flame blast from her palm that deals minor magical damage. It can also be used to ignite certain environmental elements, such as cannon fuses.
  • Kick Chick: When unarmed or using Shoes, Miriam delivers swift martial arts style kicks to handle enemies. Notably, the demo gives her Kung-Fu Shoes that are slightly stronger than the initial Long Sword.
  • Konami Code: The teaser site reacted to this if you tried it.
    Pixel IGA: Did you really think that would work here?
  • Lag Cancel: Miriam can use her backdash to cancel her normal attack. Well-timed jump landing can also do this as well.
  • Lethal Joke Item: One of the most expensive items in the Supply Post early on is a pair of bunny slippers. Bunny slippers that are more powerful than claymores, guns, and spears, have among the fastest attack speed of any weapon (since Miriam's kick animation is among the fastest of her attack animations), and turn Miriam into a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: All demons suffer from this upon defeat, although the effect is pronounced clearly only on bosses (especially Vepar, which is huge): Killing a demon turns their entire body into crystal, which then shatters, and a shard of this shattered body may then be absorbed by Miriam.
  • Magic Versus Science: Scientific advancements have cast doubt on the magic of old. The Alchemist Guild tried to stagnate scientific progress, claiming that those who put more faith in Science instead of Magic would instigate a demonic invasion, just so they could retain their prestige and wealth.
  • Meaningful Name: The "stained" in "Bloodstained" describes the stained-glass appearance of the crystallizing curse affecting the bodies of the main characters. The "Blood" part is just there because Igarashi likes blood. Maybe.
  • Metroidvania: A side-scrolling platformer with RPG elements, just like most of IGA's Castlevania games. Interestingly, Igarashi has decided to coin the term "Igavania" for this type of game, as it's kinda his thing, as well as to avoid Trademark issues from mentioning the Metroid series.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Like in Curse of the Moon, the twin demon serpent Valac not only has plenty of sharp teeth in his mouths alone, but also teeth lining up his underside from chin all the way to tail.
  • Multi-Platform: Both the spin-off and the main game itself are set to be this. While Ritual of the Night itself will not be on the Nintendo 3DS, Curse of the Moon will.
  • New Game+: As a reward for reaching 50 Backer Achievements and obtaining the Pyrite Coin, this will be included in the game.
  • Not the Intended Use: Once again, the backdash is indeed the fastest method of travel.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Some enemy design can be quite baffling. Take example Valac, gigantic twin serpents with teeth along their bellies and multiple arms that make them look rather centipede-like.
  • Parasol of Pain: Bloodless carries one parasol to attack you, and she also regularly conjures animated parasols as attack drones.
  • Player Data Sharing: The asynchronous multiplayer, which was unlocked as part of the stretch goals, will let players influence each other's games in ways such as lending one another power.
  • Power Copying: Taking cues from the Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow games, Miriam she can gain a crystal "shard" from slain enemies, which grant her various abilities and passive effects. These shards are split into the following categories: Trigger (special attacks), Effective, Directional (functions similarly to Trigger shards, but Miriam can freely aim them with the right analog stick), Enchant (grants passive abilities or boosts), and Familiar (summons an ally). Collecting more of the same kind can also power up said shard's powers.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: One minor side effect of the magi-crystal curse is that it changes the victim's hair color. Both Miriam and Gebel were originally blonde.
  • Promoted to Playable: The whole point of Boss Revenge Mode. Unlike the main game, where you fight the bosses to save humanity, Boss Revenge enrolls you as the bosses of Bloodstained and pits you against the heroes on a quest to destroy humankind.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: The Rogue-like Dungeon Mode will allow for procedurally generated castles, where no two castles are the same every play. At the end of every castle, you can receive a code that will let you share that particular permutation with other players.
  • Retraux:
    • One of the levels is designed like this.
    • Classic Mode puts an interesting twist on this. Instead of the graphics being Retraux, the game design is. In this mode, assets from the castle are rearranged to remove all Metroidvania elements and turn the game into a six-stage, Nintendo Hard, straightforward trip to the final boss, akin to the very first Castlevania games.note 
      • On a more traditional note, Classic Mode will also feature new 8-bit tracks for all six stages of Classic Mode.
    • There was a prequel game planned that is to be presented in 8-bit graphics. This eventually evolved into Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.
  • RPG Elements: Comes with the Metroidvania territory. Alongside the standard elements common to many of IGA's past works, a revised loot system will also be introduced to accommodate the new Item Crafting mechanics, where enemies can drop materials and magi-crystals needed to create new gear, as well as the standard items.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking: In addition to weapon, body, and accessory equipment categories, Miriam can equip Scarves as their own category.
  • Scenery Porn: We haven't seen much of the game, but what we have seen looks absolutely stunning.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to Azure Striker Gunvolt, which, given the game's former developer, is no surprise. For example, Miriam can learn Voltaic Chains, the ultimate Limit Break from Gunvolt, and she can also be customized to wear Lumen's hair ribbon in gameplay.
    • Just like in Castlevania, the Stone Mask makes an appearance as an accessory.
  • Something About a Rose: The predominant motif. Miriam's crystal skin takes the appearance of blooming roses, and rose petals and roses are featured heavily in various concept art. The logo even contains a rose, and blue roses appear as the replacement for Hearts to restore Miriam's MP.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Given a discreet justification. Gebel wants Miriam to absorb shards to further her crystallization. So putting his minions in increasing levels of strength will allow her to absorb stronger and stronger shards.
  • Speed Run: The aptly named Speed Run Mode will allow players to time attack the game.
  • Spiritual Successor: This game is one for the Castlevania series (particularly the 2D sidescrolling "Metroidvania" style), following the heavily supported Mighty No. 9 (Mega Man) and Yooka-Laylee (Banjo-Kazooie).
  • Start X to Stop X: The Alchemists planned to summon the demons from hell in order to prove that only the Alchemists were fit to protect humanity. Emphasis on the word "planned".
  • Sword Beam: An unusual take; concept art depicts Miriam as being able to fire energy from her sword that takes the form of a wolf's head.
  • Take That!: One screenshot of the quest system in one Kickstarter update shows a list of quests involving avenging the deaths of several characters who have the same names as Castlevania charactersnote , as a jab against Konami for killing the Castlevania series.
  • Title Drop: The opening text crawl mentions Gebel as being the architect of a "bloodstained ritual" that summoned demons back into the world.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Liber Logaeth that Alfred is seeking in Gebel's castle was used by the Alchemy Guild to summon the demons in the first place.
  • Use Your Head: The Dullahammer uses its own head as a flail.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The boss featured in the demo, Vepar, is only somewhat stronger than the local mooks and can be defeated simply by employing Attack! Attack! Attack! until she dies.
  • Warp Whistle: As standard of Igavania titles, Miriam will be able to use warp gates to take her across the castle in a flash.
  • Whip It Good: Miriam can equip Whips, as with many of her spiritual predecessors. Unlike them, however, Miriam delivers a swift overhead crack that has relatively slow attack speed, but great range.
  • Whip Sword: The exclusive weapon for backers who buy the Kickstarter Edition is the Swordwhip. It can be obtained by defeating the Bonus Boss "Igarashi," who himself wields the Swordwhip.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: While the Kickstarter page makes several references to Castlevania, they explicitly make a point to never actually mention Castlevania by name, usually calling it "that game" or some variant thereof.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: The electricity coursing through Voltaic Chains is blue, as with the Azure Striker's electricity.


Example of: