Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Go To

Walter: That power is quite something... but I am beloved by the Night! You will taste my powers!
Leon: I'll kill you AND THE NIGHT!!

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a 3D game released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003, which serves as a prequel to the rest of the Castlevania series.

In the late 11th century, during the Crusades, Baron Leon Belmont's fiancée is kidnapped by a vampire named Walter Bernhard. Under the urgings of his bedridden friend Mathias Cronqvist, Leon renounces his title and leaves behind his sword to rescue his love. Luckily, in the vicinity of Walter's home, he comes across the alchemist Rinaldo Gandolfi, who gives Leon the Whip of Alchemy. Thus begins a journey that in one way or another codifies and justifies the many elements of the Castlevania storyline.

Released shortly after Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, this game would be followed up by that game's sequel as well as another 3D entry in the series, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness.


It is notable for being the first Castlevania game to feature the franchise's modern logo, as well as the first to receive an M rating from the ESRB. It was re-released via PlayStation Network on June 18, 2013 as a PS2 Classic for PS3.

Lament of Innocence provides examples of:

  • After Boss Recovery: The Orbs that you receive after defeating a boss heal you completely.
  • Always Night: Thanks to Walter's Ebony Stone, the castle and surrounding vicinity is forever cloaked in darkness. That is, until Leon kills it.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Inverted. The US cover for the game shows Leon looking upward, probably in prayer, while the Japanese and European covers show him in an action pose (and note how the European cover's done in CG, while the other two retain Ayami Kojima's famed artwork).
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Walter's Ebony Stone, which plunges his castle and the surrounding forest into endless night and makes him Nigh-Invulnerable to everything except the Vampire Killer, and Mathias's Crimson Stone, which grants him The Grim Reaper's allegiance and allows him to absorb Walter's soul when he dies (thus becoming a vampire himself).
  • Anachronism Stew: Laser traps in the eleventh century, anyone?
    • special mention goes to the bland name product Campbell's tomato juice can dropped by the fleamen.
  • An Axe to Grind: An axe is one of the sub-weapons. The most common attack with it involves it spinning in the air.
  • Bad with the Bone: The first type of the Dem Bones enemies have a large femur bone as their weapon.
  • Badass Boast: Both from Leon.
  • Badass Normal: Leon. Unlike later Belmonts, who are all born into the vampire-hunting business, trained for it from a young age, and frequently gifted with innate magical abilities, Leon is just a knight with absolutely no prior experience dealing with the supernatural, yet he still manages to march into a castle full of monsters ruled by an immortal warlord and kick as much ass as any of his descendants. Better yet, he makes it through most of the castle's challenges before even obtaining the Vampire Killer whip, something every other Belmont already has at the start of their journey.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Wherein Mathias Cronqvist becomes Dracula in the endgame.
  • Big Bad: Walter Bernhard. Until he gets Hijacked By Dracula.
  • Big Bad Friend: It's a well-established trope in IGA's games that the protagonist's best friend becomes evil, but they're usually Brainwashed and Crazy and the Disc-One Final Boss. In this game, however, Leon's best friend Mathias turns out to be Dracula, the Big Bad of the entire franchise! He hoped that Leon would be willing to join him in immortality after having lost Sara, but instead Leon vows that he and all his descendants will hunt him down for as long as it takes to destroy him.
    Leon: You used me!
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Joachim's response upon answering Leon's faultless question.
    Leon: Why is a vampire locked away in here?''
    Joachim: Shut up! *proceeds to answer the question anyway*
  • Big "WHAT?!": Walter's reaction when he finds out that Leon can actually hurt him with his Vampire Killer whip.
  • Bishounen: All over the damn place. Even a random dungeon boss is one. Character designs are by Ayami Kojima. What did you expect?
  • Blatant Item Placement: While it is odd how in previous games Dracula lets holy water and crosses lie around his castle, it is justified here by Walter wanting to make the hunters after him think they have some chance.
    • given what is revealed and otherwise implied about the crimson stone it is possible that some of Walter's own habits have been bleeding into Dracula ever since his soul was assimilated
  • Bloody Murder: As you whale on The Forgotten One, he'll eventually start attacking you by showering blood in your general direction.
  • Bonus Boss: The Forgotten One, a skinless demon under lock and key so huge Leon needs to ride an elevator to reach it.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: Joachim mode has no item inventory and Orbs have no effect, making the reward for defeating the Bonus Boss a Cosmetic Award.
  • Bookcase Passage: One of the switch rooms in House of Sacred Remains is hidden behind a spinning bookcase. It can be recognized from the marks it has left on the floor.
  • Boss Dissonance: Depends on the character you are using. Completing the levels with Leon can be challenging, while bosses can easier to handle due to their easily identifiable patterns and the items at your disposal. With Joachim, you can cut through enemies like butter, but have a tougher time with bosses, since he lacks the ability to use items.
  • Boss Room: Easily identifiable by being circular rooms in your map that are behind doors that are emblazoned with a skull and crossbones.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Defeating the Forgotten One gives you the Black Orb, which provides you with a new set of sub-weapon options. This would be really awesome, except that at this point you have already pretty much finished the game. You can at least get some good use out of it during Boss Rush mode, where the Black Orb + Cross combo, for example, will render both versions of the Doppelganger helpless.
  • Breath Weapon: Dullahan, Hellhound, Fishman, Undead Parasite, and The Forgotten One have a fire-breathing attack. This is quite problematic with the latter, since you are right in front of its face when it starts using it.
  • Camera Screw: The game has very few platforming sections, but all of them feature frustrating mid-jump camera moves. Fortunately with two rooms, falling instantly sends you to their entrance, keeping the frustration factor from getting too high.
  • Cartography Sidequest: Better armour will become available in Rinaldo's shop as your percentage from exploration increases.
  • Casting Gag: With Nobutoshi Canna who voices Leon: A mighty warrior with an ambitious friend that betrays him and rejects his humanity using a red stone that summons god-like beings, and Leon swears to take his revenge on that friend. Similar to events in the Berserk
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Often true of Castlevania games with Ayami Kojima's character designs, but particularly the case here. Just look at Leon, Walter, Mathias, and Joachim!
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Elisabetha Cronqvist, as her death drives Mathias away from God, which ultimately leads to him becoming Dracula. In other words, Elisabetha is the initiator of the Castlevania series.
  • Challenge Seeker: Walter encourages Rinaldo to try and help out any would-be hunters intending to storm his castle since it would be more amusing to him as well as to spite Rinaldo.
  • Church Militant: Leon's background in the Crusades.
  • Colossus Climb: A Colossus Elevator Ride takes place against The Forgotten One.
  • Cool Old Guy: Rinaldo, who takes Leon's Lawful Stupidity in stride.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Most of the levels are made from corridors and two different types of rooms.
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Undead Parasite is a giant fire-breathing centipede creature that is infesting the House of Sacred Remains.
  • Cue the Sun: After Leon destroys the castle, Always Night surrounding it subsides, letting sunlight through for the first time in centuries.
  • Darker and Edgier: Hoo boy. This game is damned close to Gorn territory... especially The Forgotten One.
  • Defector from Decadence: Leon, to the point of refusing to take a sword with him when he goes to storm a vampire's castle, because he feels the sword is no longer his to take.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Not only does Leon whip Death to... himself, he also explains why he could.
  • Distressed Damsel: Sara. She doesn't make it.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Mathias Cronqvist. That guy who's mentioned like twice in the intro narration (if you even bothered to listen to it) as being bedridden with grief? Yep, he's not only the game's Big Bad, but also becomes the Big Bad of the whole series.
  • Downer Ending:
    • It's sort of a Foregone Conclusion, being the origin story of Dracula and the Belmont Clan, but things don't end well for Leon at all. He not only loses the woman he gave up everything he had to save, but also his best friend, who sacrifices his humanity to become the infamous dark lord, who leaves the game with his plans accomplished.
    • Essentially one for Mathias as well; he gives up any chance of ever living a normal life just because he hates God for taking his wife away from him, and Leon refuses his offer of immortality and swears that his descendants will destroy him, even if it takes centuries. Mathias sounds genuinely disappointed that after everything, Leon would turn him down, and he doesn't sound all that thrilled to sic Death on him either. More or less, nobody gets out of this story with a happy ending.
  • Dual Wielding: Thanks to his telekinesis, Joachim is able to wield five swords at the same time.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Both female bosses comment on how hot Leon is.
    Medusa: With that body, you'll make an excellent statue.
  • Energy Weapon:
    • Cyclops, Red Ogres, and Peeping Eyes have an attack that has them shooting a laser out of their eyes.
    • Several rooms in the House of Sacred Remains, Ghostly Theater, and Pagoda of the Misty Moon are laser trap rooms, which require you to time your way across them.
  • Ethereal Choir: Appears all over the soundtrack, such as in "Darkness" and "Dracula Appears." "Nightmare Aria" is a particularly unsettling one.
  • Evil Is Visceral: The Undead Parasite's presence in the basement of House of Sacred Remains has turned it into a fleshy pulsating nightmare filled with Parasite Zombies.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Skeleton Flowers laugh at you mockingly if you get hit in their presence.
    • Accompanies Walter's teleports in the boss battle against him.
  • Evil Redhead: Walter. This is based on the concept of strigoi, which, according to old Romanian legends, are people who rise from the dead as vampiric creatures due to their red hair.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Walter's voice deepens as he turns into a demon to fire a massive fireball.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: Mathias renounces God after the death of his beloved wife, which came just after he returned from the crusades.
  • Fallen Hero: Mathias, who was as much revered in the crusades as his friend Leon.
  • Fanservice: The Succubus. Also the metric ton of Bishounen.
  • Final Boss: It's not Walter, or Mathias. For once, it's Death.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Whip of Alchemy gets Fire, Ice, Lightning powers after destroying the respective elemental bosses for each. You retain the ability to switch between them after the whip becomes the Vampire Killer.
  • Flying Face: Medusa is only a head made from snakes that floats in mid-air.
  • Flying Weapon:
    • Flying swords with faces and elemental powers are one type of enemy.
    • Joachim uses floating psionic swords in combat.
  • Foreshadowing:
  • The Four Gods: There are several locked doors that grant access to hidden areas, and the five keys are named (and colored) after the five gods.
  • Four Is Death: Death has 4444 points of health.
  • Gambit Roulette: For Mathias' plan to work, everything would have had to unfold exactly as planned. Which it does.
  • Garden of Evil: A garden is one of the levels, but it is mostly on the inside with random plant enemies due to engine limitations.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Death turns into one in Joachim mode, having absolutely no reason to show up except that he was in Leon mode too. Other than that, he has no business appearing after Walter whatsoever, and the "ending" fails to acknowledge him in the slightest.
  • Glamour Failure: The real Mirage Skeleton among its fakes can be recognized by the fact that it is the only one to have a reflection on the floor.
  • Glass Cannon: Walter. He doesn't have that much health to his name, but his attacks on Normal mode can hit you for around 60 damage a hit if you're wearing the strongest armor. By the way, you have at maximum 300 HP.
  • Golem: The boss of the Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab. You first have to bring it to life with a small puzzle by placing a plate with the letter 'e' on it, to turn the word "meth" (Hebrew for "dead") to "emeth" (Hebrew for "truth").
  • Gorn: If the Bonus Boss isn't one of the goriest boss battles in all of video gaming, it comes pretty damn close.
  • God Is Evil: Mathias's motivation to become Dracula is his belief that God Is Evil.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Despite being a disembodied head covered in scales and snakes, Medusa's quite attractive.
  • Harder Than Hard: Beating the game once gives you the chance to play it in the Crazy Mode. In this mode, enemies are more aggressive and their placement has been re-arranged, bosses have new patterns and attacks, some of the puzzles are changed, and you also have lower stats.
  • Have a Nice Death: There are many different variations of Bloodstained Demise, the theme used for the Game Over screen, each of which was likely intended for if Leon were to die fighting against any of the voice-acted bosses. During each of these sequences, a special quote appropriate to the boss can be heard at the Game Over screen:
    • Joachim: "You're just a human, after all."
    • Medusa: "You will make a nice stone statue."
    • Walter: "Now, you join her."
    • Death: "Death overcomes all."
      • Moreover, there are two additional variations of the theme, both of which involve Sara Trantoul crying out in distress over Leon's demise. These were likely intended for if he died fighting against the Undead Parasite and Golem bosses.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Leon, in the second half of the game. Sara slowly succumbs to vampirism, and has to die to save her own soul and to complete the Vampire Killer. Sara's death is devastating to Leon, but it also gives him the conviction to destroy Walter and Dracula. His leitmotif reflects this.
  • He Was Right There All Along: The Golem boss waits patiently in pieces for you to bring it back to life.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After Leon went through hell to rescue Sara, in the end it's revealed she had been given the vampire's curse by Walter and will turn eventually. The whip as it is cannot even scratch Walter, let alone defeat him, and Leon is told that if it were in its completed form, Leon will have a chance. Thing is, in order to make the whip whole, he must kill a tainted soul with it. IE Leon must kill Sara. Naturally, Leon refuses to entertain the thought, but Sara begs him to do so if her death can prevent other victims from becoming like her. With a heavy heart, Leon follows Sara's wish and kills her, thus creating the Vampire Killer Whip.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Man Behind the Man, Mathias, becomes Dracula in the end. Not really a surprise, since this is the origin story for the Belmonts.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: Walter counts until the moment you hit him with the Vampire Killer. If you don't and try to hit him with any other whip or attack instead, it'll be to no effect whatsoever. He can hit back, though, so unless you switch to the Vampire Killer, you'll eventually end up dead.
  • Horny Devils: The Succubus, though her role is limited to draining Leon's health through kisses.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Walter makes a hobby of inciting others to hunt him. Possibly with a hint of Who Wants to Live Forever?, as it's indicated that he developed this hobby out of centuries of boredom. He's not stupid, however. Until the creation of the Vampire Killer, Walter is seemingly invincible.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Dracula relies on Death to do all the heavy lifting in the endgame, such as stealing Walter's vampire soul and being the Final Boss. Justified since he's only just become a vampire in the first place, and won't become Dracula as we know him for a couple of centuries yet.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: The origins of the Belmont family whip are revealed, as Leon finds himself being asked by his fiancée, who has already begun the irreversible process of turning into a vampire, to kill her. He does.
  • Immortality Immorality: Mathias seeks to become an immortal vampire to give the proverbial middle finger to God.
  • Immune to Fire: Fire Elementals and Flame Zombies are immune to the fire whip.
  • Inescapable Ambush: Nearly every single room acts this way the first time you visit it; bars will drop down on doors and keep them shut until you have defeated all the enemies that just spawned.
  • Instant Runes: Joachim's ranged powered move has him summon a magic circle that unleashes a massive beam.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Joachim will be invulnerable when he uses a powered move that creates a massive beam; this is invaluable because he has a very limited moveset and cannot dodge or block a lot of enemy attacks.
  • James Bondage: Leon finds Joachim locked in the basement.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Walter attempts this by asking Leon how he "enjoyed his little gift" (i.e. vampirizing Sara), probably trying to antagonize Leon into growing enraged and being blinded by it so he can easily dispose of him. Leon doesn't take the bait and basically gives a restrained Nice Job Fixing It, Villain remark about giving him exactly what he needed to kill him.
    • Mathias feels this way about God, believing that he cruelly took his wife away despite fighting in His name.
  • Kiss of Death: This is the Succubus' grab attack, kissing Leon to drain his health and recover hers.
  • Later Installment Weirdness:
    • This title actually blends a mix of Metroidvania and the Classicvania elements as while Leon does have stats like an RPG, they don't increase due to leveling. Rather, his stats are dependent entirely on the items he finds and equips. The game feels more like a Hack and Slash than any of the previous games have been so far.
    • This is the first and last game that forces item usage to be done in real-time. Given its status as a Scrappy Mechanic, this is likely intentional.
    • This is also the first time the hero actually begins with a sub-weapon, the Knife, equipped, unlike others where you have to find one first. Granted, this is a plot-point that (barely) balances out Leon's Lawful Stupid decision to leave his sword behind.
  • Lawful Stupid: Leon "I don't belong to the army anymore, so it wouldn't be right for me to take an army sword with me to the vampire's castle..." Belmont. Of course, he had plans to take weapons from dead hunters in the area to compensate. Leon actually DOES take a weapon with him, as he actually begins the game with the Knife subweapon equipped, unlike other games where you have nothing until you find one. Granted, it's also just a knife, so not very useful compared to the sword he left behind, but it's not like he went ENTIRELY unarmed.
    Rinaldo: ...Honest to a fault...
  • Leitmotif: There are several.
    • The title track is Leon's theme, and although its main melody isn't heard anywhere else in the game, it contains part of "Prologue to the Black Abyss".
    • The melody of Joachim's boss theme, "Melancholy Joachim," probably represents vampires in general. It appears during Walter's boss theme, "Dark Night Toccata," and also during "Dracula Appears."
    • "Dracula Appears" contains the melody of "Prologue" as an Ironic Echo of Mathias' and Leon's friendship.
    • The melodies of "Vampire Killer" and "Bloody Tears" (in a major key!) appear in the credits song, "Admiration Towards the Clan," to triumphantly herald the beginning of the Belmont legacy.
    • "Castlevania Reincarnation," which plays during boss fights in Joachim Mode, is a medley of both "Black Banquet" and "Dracula's Castle" from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Pumpkin, who becomes playable after the game is beaten with Joachim: his max HP is lower than Leon's, but he starts with far more MP, hearts, higher defense, and the Vampire Killer whip. He also starts with all special attacks and possesses an unique subweapon that he can't replace that also possesses a random assortment of other subweapons' Item Crashes. He's also a much smaller target and thus he has an easier time avoiding some enemy attacks.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Played straight with Mathias Cronqvist and subverted with Leon, who finds the very trope ridiculous...
  • Luck Stat: Affects the chance of receiving items from defeated enemies. It can be raised with the Coin of Happiness (a random drop from Hanged Man) and the Raccoon Charm (found in the B1F guillotine room of the Dark Palace of Waterfalls) accessories.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mathias/Dracula, who manipulated absolutely everyone in the game to serve his own ends. He got Walter to capture Sara so that Leon would go after her. After Sara started to become a vampire, Rinaldo and Leon had no choice but to kill her and forge a magical weapon capable of killing a vampire. When Leon used said weapon to kill Walter, Mathias used Walter's soul to complete the Crimson Stone, which made Mathias the King of Vampires. Mathias' expert ability to manipulate people is foreshadowed very early, during the prologue, when it mentions he's a renowned battle strategist.
  • Menu Time Lockout: Averted. You can rearrange the items in your inventory as much as you want, but to use or equip them, you have to open a real-time window: attempting to do so in your inventory causes a message to pop up telling you to do so, which makes you wonder why they were so insistent to force you to do so to begin with.
  • Metroidvania: You are free to explore the areas in the castle, but you have to finish all five of them first to access the final area and the Bonus Boss. Unlike most games of the type, you already have all the movement skills you need to finish the game right from the start, and the only item that directly affects it in some way (Wolf's Foot) is only needed to access another bonus area.
  • Mirror Match: At one point of both Leon's and Joachim's modes, you'll eventually fight bosses that are essentially their Doppelgangers.
  • My Greatest Failure: Rinaldo failed to protect his family from Walter, who vampirized Rinaldo's daughter and in turn killed his wife and son. He had no choice but to hunt her down and kill her with the alchemy whip.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Forgotten One.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice job making Dracula, Leon!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Mathias actually seems to believe that after everything Leon has suffered over the course of the game, that he would actually accept a We Can Rule Together offer. He was wrong.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The game is called Castlevania, but the location is Walter's Castle in the Forest of Eternal Night, not Castlevania as in Dracula's Castle. That's because this is the origin story for the series.
  • Noodle Incident: Just how DID Mathias acquire the Crimson Stone? Unfortunately, the game doesn't give any explanation for this whatsoever
  • Not Quite Saved Enough: Leon Belmont just saved his lover Sara Trantoul from the vampire Walter Bernhard. Just when Leon thought he could just put everything behind, he found out one nasty thing: Sara has been vampirized and is about to suffer a Fate Worse than Death. He's forced to use his Whip of Alchemy to put Sara out of her misery, incidentally evolving it to the legendary Vampire Killer.
  • Oh, Crap!: Walter gets a MAJOR one when Leon smashes his Ebony Stone with the Vampire Killer.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ:
  • One-Woman Wail: "Prologue to the Black Abyss". Also appears in "Prologue" and in Leon's theme, "Lament of Innocence".
  • Origins Episode: The game explains the origins of Dracula and the Belmont clan's feud with him. It's not the only Castlevania Origins Episode, but it is the one that ended up being canon.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: A flying gargoyle that can turn you into stone is one of the enemies. There's also a fleshy version with the same skillset.
  • Personal Space Invader:
    • The Hanged Man enemies are zombies that can grab your player character and will continuously bite them.
    • This also applies to the Succubus and her draining kiss.
  • Philosopher's Stone: It's important to the backstory. There are a couple of vampire-enhancing alchemic stones going around that were made during failed attempts to create it.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The ladies in the game wear quite fancy ones.
  • Power Floats: Joachim's powers allow to hover over the ground.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Vampire Killer is made with Sara's tainted soul.
  • Power of Love: Leon Belmont, who, after the tragic death of his lover at the hands of the villains, swears that he and his descendants will hunt the night to prevent the same tragedy from happening to other humans again; he himself also stated this is the only way to prove his love for the deceased Sara.
  • Prequel: To the rest of the Castlevania games.
  • Pretty in Mink: Mathias's big fur collar.
  • The Promise: In the ending, Leon tells Death that he'll never forgive Mathias for becoming a vampire and manipulating all that has happened. In addition, he says that from this moment on, he and his kinsmen/descendants will hunt the night, thus marking the centuries-long war between the Belmont Clan and the Undead forces.
  • Promoted to Playable: Joachim after you finish the game for the first time.
  • Pumpkin Person: The hidden character Pumpkin, who is basically a burlap sack fashioned into a humanoid shape with a pumpkin for a head. He fights much like Leon, only with a different (permanent) special weapon.
  • Random Drop: Two thirds of the enemies have at least one item hidden on them, ranging from common healing potions to useful accessories.
  • Rare Random Drop: Every relic except two are found throughout all the levels, like good hidden items should be. With the exception of two. These two are the rare drops for somewhat difficult-to-kill monsters and it's rather frustrating to try to obtain them...
  • Recycled Title: Much like with Circle of the Moon, Lament was released outside North America as just Castlevania with no subtitle, the same as the original NES game and the first N64 outing.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Certain skeletons and gargoyles have glowing red eyes.
  • Red Is Heroic: Leon's outfit has lots of touches of red.
  • Respawning Enemies: Upon entering a room for the first time, you can't leave until you kill all of the enemies. They'll respawn eventually, but don't have to be killed, and Lament's control system makes it very easy to bypass them. On the Crazy difficulty level, not only are there more enemies, they respawn every time you enter a room.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The Red Skeletons will only re-assemble themselves back to life no matter how many times you try to "kill" them. Fortunately, they are not considered as mandatory targets should the room lock you out and require to you defeat enemies before proceeding.
  • Retcon: Replaces Castlevania Legends as the Origins Episode of the series.
  • The Reveal: Once Walter is defeated, it is revealed that Leon's close friend Mathias has orchestrated the events from behind the scenes. Knowing that Leon will kill Walter upon the death of Sara, he takes Walter's powers for himself to wage a war against God, eventually becoming Dracula.
  • Reverse Shrapnel: Using the Axe with the Red Orb creates this kind of attack.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: As usual, candles provide hearts and sub-weapons upon being whipped.
  • Rolling Attack: If Medusa manages to turn you into stone, it will respond by rolling all over the room.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Implied to be the case for the Forgotten One, a massive demon held in the Prison of Eternal Torture.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: European cover: Leon Belmont is about to whip you AND the night!
  • Secret Character:
    • Joachim Armster, the one time in the series you get to play as a villain. Leads to a Mirror Match in the dungeon where he's the boss.
    • A second secret character is Pumpkin, who appears to be a small child wearing a pumpkin-headed Halloween costume. While he uses Leon's moveset (to the point he is seen pulling himself up ledges in the air; Leon would touch them, but he is smaller...), he has different stats (making him more of a Glass Cannon), a unique subweapon that mixes and matches Leon's subweapon attacks, and gets his own end credits sequence.
  • Sequential Boss: Walter and Death; even in Boss Rush Mode where you're not given the usual hearts and potions between fights, you get sent right to the latter directly after the former.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Good LORD, does this story get there. Near the end of the game, Leon is finally reunited with Sara, only to find she's been bitten by Walter and will soon turn into vampire. Leon has to kill her to complete the Vampire Killer in order to stand a chance of defeating Walter. He finally confronts Walter in his throne room, leaving the player feeling like they can take revenge on him for everything he's put the poor hero through...except, SURPRISE! you just played RIGHT into Mathias' plan and brought about an even WORSE evil than before when he renounces God and humanity, then sics Death on his former best friend after he refuses to become a vampie like him. After defeating Death, Leon swears eternal vengeance on Mathias. The game ends with Leon quietly walking away from the ruined castle with the player almost feeling how empty the poor man is...
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Leon gives this to Mathias after it's revealed he has orchestrated everything in his rage against God. He basically tells Leon that humanity is overrated and that "having eternity" is much better. Leon calls him a fool for throwing away his own humanity for immortality and ruining Leon's life just to spite God.
  • Silence Is Golden: The very final scene is Leon quietly walking away from the crumbled castle in the morning light. No words are spoken, no heroic victory music, nothing. Given the game's Downer Ending, this is quite fitting.
    • Slightly subverted with the following credits song, which adds a touch of bittersweetness with its triumphant cadence and its familiar melodies.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Walter spends most of his time sitting on his throne, waiting for heroes to come to him.
  • Smart Bomb: There's always a small chance that a defeated enemy will drop a Rosary (or a bloody skull in Joachim's case) that will inflict 9999 points of damage to everything in the room.
  • Smug Snake: Walter, primarily because his motivation for doing evil was being a bored, unkillable vampire asshat. Can't get much more smug than that.
  • Spot the Impostor: One of Succubus' attacks is creating two clones of herself, and if you strike the wrong one, you'll be hit with paralysis. The real one can be recognized by the rose petals it leaves in its wake.
  • Staking the Loved One: Rinaldo was forced to slay his daughter who had killed the rest of his family after she had been turned into a vampire by Walter. After failing to slay him, Rinaldo now resides next to Walter's castle to supply those who seek to defeat him.
  • Stance System: Joachim has two fighting stances which can be toggled at will - A ranged stance for firing swords at a distance, and a melee stance for letting out a flurry of slashes around him.
  • Standard Status Effects: Poison staggers Leon with constant damage, Paralysis and Stone freeze him in his tracks, and with Curse, he is unable to use gained skills to perform combos or dodges.
  • The Starscream: Joachim is implied to be this with Walter, but obviously failed to usurp him, since he gets locked down somewhere in the castle.
    Joachim: Damn Walter... I would have won if not for his Ebony Stone!
  • Start of Darkness: For Dracula's eternal war with the Belmonts.
  • Stationary Boss: The chains on the Forgotten One aren't there just for the show.
  • Stripperiffic: The Succubus, whose outfit consists of a pair of panties and a corset.
  • Suicide Attack: If a skeleton enemy loses its sword due to your attack, it will turn red and charge at Leon so that it can blow up on his face.
  • Taken for Granite: Medusa makes an appearance as a boss, along with a shot of the many soldiers who've tried to kill her that she's turned to stone. Leon can only be petrified as a status ailment, though.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Walter's attitude once Leon smashes the Ebony stone. He gets enraged and the boss battle starts in earnest.
  • Theme Music Withholding: The classic "Vampire Killer" theme doesn't make an appearance until the end credits, alongside part of "Bloody Tears" played in a major key.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: "You have become a cursed being and I will never forgive you."
  • Underground Monkey: Mostly prevalent with skeletons (regular, better-armed, teleporting, etc.), zombies (rotting, burning, and freezing) and hounds (regular, bony, and shadowy).
  • The Unfought: You never do get to face Mathias. After giving a Motive Rant, he leaves and pits you against his new servant, Death.
  • Unique Enemy: Storm Skeletons, Mirage Skeletons, and Poison Zombies appear in exactly one room of their respective areas. This holds true even in Crazy Mode, which otherwise re-arranges the placement of enemies.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Almost the entire cast, really. Walter's habitual games combined with Rinaldo's alchemy and Sara's sacrifice enable Leon's defeat of Walter, which allows Death to steal Walter's power and give it to Mathias, who then uses it to become the king of the night, Dracula. Oops.
  • Vampire Refugee: Sara in the middle of the game. Leon makes it to Walter, who oddly gives up Sara without a fight. Not surprisingly, however, it's revealed she was already cursed with vampirism by the time Leon got to her and is slowly turning into a vampire herself. We never see her get that far, but she states she feels her heartbeat slowing and her body temperature growing colder. This is what prompts her to sacrifice herself to make the Vampire Killer, as she has nothing to lose either way and would rather help to destroy evil than join the ranks of the undead.
  • Villain Protagonist: The vampire Joachim Armster is an unlockable playable character and his game ends with him becoming lord of the castle.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Regular zombies have an attack where they vomit a sizeable putrid puddle on the floor.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The Elementals, especially the first one, since you won't have the whip of the opposite element yet. While not incredibly difficult, they require more skill and a defensive style than the typical area boss.
  • We Can Rule Together: Mathias offers Leon a chance to renounce God with him and become a vampire. Although Leon understands where Mathias is coming from, he refuses.
  • Whip It Good: The Whip of Alchemy, which becomes the Vampire Killer by the end of the game.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?:
    • Played with in Walter's case. Rinaldo says early on that he is bored with his immortality and plays his twisted games with mortals simply as a means to pass the time.
    • Leon himself actually all but outright states this one during Mathias' offer of immortality since he feels he'd be living an empty existence if it meant an eternity without Sara. He understands the request and the motive, but refuses on that reasoning.
  • With This Herring:
    • Subverted. Once you get the Yellow Orb from the Succubus, the Dagger subweapon gets a nice power boost at a very reasonable cost.
    • Played straight though with Leon rushing into the demon-infested castle unarmed. (Good for him he ran into Rinaldo...)
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: Rinaldo tries this on Leon a few times, basically telling him that if he reveals too much, it'd prove to be too much of a distraction to him.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: