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YMMV / Castlevania

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The franchise in general:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Parodied in Robot Chicken. A sketch shows Simon Belmont arriving at Dracula's castle. Two werewolves very politely invite him in, only for Simon to start whipping them, then runs off to whip more monsters, who also just wanted to accommodate their guest. Simon then enters Dracula's room, and whips Dracula repeatedly (in the crotch, and then while he's in bat form) while the werewolves from earlier watch in horror.
    Werewolf: What kind of sadist carries a whip!?
    Other Werewolf: ...maybe it's a fetish?
    • The actual skit portrays the werewolves and Dracula as thoroughly underestimating the whip... right up until Simon starts hitting them with it.
    • Similarly, Ninja Sex Party's Starbomb album has Belmont as a party crasher who always shows up and ruins Dracula's get-togethers.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Castlevania producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi attempted to sway younger audiences to the series with simplistic anime-style artwork for Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. IGA went back to Ayami Kojima for the box art of The Dracula X Chronicles, suggesting that the anime approach didn't go too well.
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  • Archive Panic: To get the complete Castlevania experience requires at least 12 different consoles and multitudes of games, some of which only came out in Japan, as well as remakes or alternate versions of games, like Rondo of Blood's many variations.
  • Awesome Art: Ayami Kojima's gothic art must be one of the most recognizable and gorgeous video game art styles out there.
  • Broken Base:
    • There are fans of the original set of games who dislike the 2D maze castles, and younger fans who only know the IGA titles and dislike Lords of Shadow and the original games.
    • Most fans (i.e. fans of both) seem to hate Lords of Shadow, or vice versa. Reasonably, Lords of Shadow fans hate the original timeline (both original and IGA titles) for confusing storylines and not deep-enough plot.
    • Should the battle of 1999 be shown proper in a Castlevania game? Proponents argue that this peak of Belmont history deserves its own game, while opponents feel that no depiction of Dracula's true death at the hands of Julius would do it justice (a sentiment that has gained far more supporters and has intensified immensely ever since Iga left).
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    • Whether or not Castlevania deserves to be part of the namesake Metroidvania. Some fans feel that since Metroid came first, games in the subgenre should just be called "Metroid-inspired". Others feel that Castlevania has refined the formula in its own way to be unique from Metroid.
      • Since then, the term "Igavania" has come into use to some degree, mainly as a more accurate (IGA was the one to make the subgenre) and lawsuit-safe term.
    • The previous broken bases — the original fans, the IGA fans, and the Lords of Shadows fans — have joined forces to bash on Konami for the Pachislot and Pachinko machines as of late, due to their heavy focus on Fanservice and the cancellation of other types of Castlevania gamesnote .
    • Debates regarding the franchise's difficulty can get pretty heated. Some feel that a Castlevania game should be Nintendo Hard and the later games, which are generally much easier, miss the point of the series at best or are legitimately awful at worst due to the lack of challenge. Others feel that the older games are too hard, verging on Fake Difficulty, and the fact that series has gotten easier over time has made it more accessible to all but the most diehard gluttons for punishment, and that the newer games are genuinely more fun because a new player has a better chance of actually making progress in them.
    • Grimoire of Souls. As usual, Konami's fickle reputation when the game was released didn't help the game's reputation, with many believing that merely releasing the game on mobile devices is another death knell to the franchise, combined with solid controls ruined with touch-pad and the gacha system for weapons and equipment. Those who played it were actually surprised and saw it that Konami was actually being more faithful to the original timeline (without all the unnecessary Fanservice elements in the latest Pachinko game), with the game being considered fun on its own, the 2.5D graphics allows nice representation of the 2D heroes like Simon, Alucard, Shanoa or Charlotte. And it has a controller support for those who still can't get over the touch pad problem and the gacha system was MUCH more generous at least for its first run. It's not the exact comeback Castlevania needed so badly, but even the pro-camp was impressed at how much Konami could do for the franchise after the departure of Koji Igarashi.
  • Cant Unhear It: Despite having voiced the character only once, Robert Belgrade is arguably Alucard's most remembered voice among fans and the former's most famous role. This is in part due to delivering a relatively good performance next to Maria's (who was clearly phoned-in) and Dracula's (who takes Evil Is Hammy to a whole new level), on top of having a very classy baritone. His replacement from The Dracula X Chronicles onwards is still seen as good (and we're talking about Yuri Freaking Lowenthal), but Robbie is pretty much the fan-favourite.
  • Character Rerailment: The third Pachinko series is based on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, which gave Konami chance to characterize Sypha Belnades when Trevor already got Curse of Darkness and Alucard already got Symphony of the Night. Rather than refitting her Judgment characterization, which was not that well received, they returned her to a slightly more expanded rendition of her Dracula's Curse personality: less colorful, not at all extremist but at core a nice, amiable and helpful lady. Even those who dislike Pachinko series in general think that this is an improvement over Judgment.
  • Complete Monster: Satan from Lords of Shadow and the sequel and the Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy version of Dracula.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Death. He's generally considered harder than Dracula and is very popular among fans.
    • A few other of Dracula's followers have a bit of this going for them too, such as Carmilla and Slogra. Galamoth from Kid Dracula and SotN is pretty memorable too, but mostly due to his status as That One Boss in the latter.
  • Epileptic Trees: It's commonly speculated that Maria convinced Alucard not to return to his eternal sleep after the events of Symphony of the Night. It's also thought that he stayed with her during her lifetime and fathered children, whose eventual descendant generations later would be Eric Lecarde. Although the radio drama sequel, Nocturne of Recollection, does show them living together, Konami has stayed silent about the possibility of them having children.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • The various succubi, and the related liliths. There is official artwork of the succubus from Symphony of the Night with her nipples exposed, her sprite is bottomless, and a figurine of her with a piece of tape over her possibly-exposed boobs was shown at a NECA convention. Said figure was released with a top glued on to extend the corset- but if one carefully pries it off, sands down the glue and touches up the paint... the top was to please both retail stores and Moral Guardians.
    • Venus Weeds / Alura Une and Witches, among others.
  • Fanon: Most fans insist that Legends did actually happen within the series' lore, regardless of the revised timeline.
  • Fetish Retardant: While the mainline games had plenty of sexy stuff to go around, CR Pachinko Akumajo Dracula ramps up the "fanservice" to seriously tasteless and uncomfortable degrees. Even its original tagline/working title(?) "Erotic Violence" was widely considered to be off-putting.
  • First Installment Wins: Symphony of the Night is near-universally regarded as the best Metroidvania in the series, despite it having been released in 1997 and with many games following after that attempting to emulate its style, and some actually making improvements.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • In almost all of the pre-Metroidvania games, every major enemy and every boss had the universal weakness of the Triple Boomerang Spam; that is, getting a Cross/Boomerang and a III icon, which lets you throw up to three at once.
    • Also the triple Holy Water spam in the Classicvania games, especially in the first. It can outright paralyze many bosses, including Death and Dracula's second form.
    • Sypha and Maria are playable examples. The former's lightning and freeze spells are very powerful, and the latter with her double jumps, slide, fast attacks, and animal friends can rack up a lot of damage. The fact that both take double damage compared to the typical Belmont does little to round out their advantages.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Koji Igarashi said the series is more popular in the US than in Japan, with Dracula X and Order of Ecclesia being released there first.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Medusa Heads and Tin Men, but only for Shanoa, since it wasn't that hard for Alucard.
    • The avian species in Castlevania, especially older titles, rival their Ninja Gaiden kin for being pains in the ass. Just ask DeceasedCrab.
    • Flea Men, thanks to their erratic movement patterns and tiny hitbox. They have Palette Swaps in Aria of Sorrow that are elevated to Demonic Spider status, thanks to their throwing knives. They also come in Armored flavor, giving them a giant battleaxe to swing around.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Similar to the Mega Man series, critics in the mid 2000s were quick to criticize the series for sticking to a formula that seemed to be producing game after game with no end in sight. Come The New '10s, and both series have been left to languish by their companies with no new games made in years.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fact that Iga believed that Sonia and Alucard settling down in Legends and having a child believed to be Trevor from III would ruin the Belmonts' family history by making them descendants of Dracula could definitely be seen in a different light thanks to Order of Ecclesia.
    • Even more so since, according to Lords of Shadows: Mirror of Fate, that timeline's Trevor Belmont is the son of Gabriel. Yes, the same Gabriel that not only became a vampire, but Dracula himself.
    • Patrick Seitz playing Dracula (from The Dracula X Chronicles and beyond) in a series that heavily references JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He was later cast in the 2012 anime adaptation as Dio Brando, JJBA's main vampire antagonist. What a horrible night to be a Joestar...
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Original series:
      • Dracula was once a genius strategist named Mathias Cronqvist. Enraged at God when the love of his life died, Mathias manipulated his best friend Leon into defeating the vampire Walter Bernhard by having Leon's fiancee kidnapped and eventually sacrificed to create the Vampire Killer. Stealing Walter's soul and taking the name Dracula, the new lord of the undead proved his mastery over the night until he lost his second wife Lisa at the hands of the humans. Continuing his war with the Belmont Clan and his and Lisa's heroic son Alucard for centuries, Dracula constantly shows himself a brilliant schemer, who tenaciously returns to life again and again while never losing his charm or style.
      • Death is Dracula’s right-hand and just as devious as his master. Posing as Walter Bernhard’s servant, Death steals his soul for Mathias Cronqvist. When Dracula was killed by Trevor and friends, Death posed as mild mannered priest Zead, guiding reformed Devil Forgemaster Hector on his quest for revenge, succeeding in reviving Dracula’s castle and almost making Hector the vessel for Dracula’s resurrection. Returning time and again, Death frequently employed trickery and was skilled in playing enemies off each other to revive his master, such as when he had Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin defeat the usurper Brauner so Death could finish him off and revive Dracula. Completely loyal to his master, when Alucard, Dracula’s son, confronted Death, the Reaper tried to convince him to return to his father. As clever and as stylish as Dracula, Death has remained a consistent threat throughout the series and all Hunters of the Night know his reputation.
    • Another version of Dracula and Isaac count as well. See those pages for details.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Richter's pimpin' stride is considered incredibly manly... even divine.
    • The only reason Julius' climatic final battle against Dracula in 1999 hasn't been chronicled? It wouldn't do him any justice.
  • Memetic Mutation: Here. Enjoy.
  • Mis-blamed: Heavily debated, but generally the accusations that IGA is sexist, mostly for removing Sonia and Castlevania Legends from continuity (he said he found it unrealistic for a female warrior that far in the past to be accepted and trained, though this is also a story with magic portraits, werewolves, and the literal Grim Reaper.). Not helped by his clumsy explanation when interviewed by EGM and asked whether fans could expect a female protagonist at some point in the future: note 
    IGA: "It's possible I guess. Although, I purposefully left the Sonia Belmont character (from Castlevania: Legends for GBC) out of the official Castlevania chronology. (laughs) Usually, the vampire storyline motifs, females tend to be sacrificed. It's easier to come up with weak, feminine characters. I'll think about it more in the future, though."
  • Moe: Maria, especially in her younger portrayals. Check out her introduction as proof.
  • Narm: Has its own page.
  • Narm Charm: Many of the above have caught on via Memetic Mutation.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Carmilla, according to Judgment. The game's version of Sypha comes from before 1476, and while Dracula was alive back then, she doesn't know him and treats him like a generic vampire that needs to be vanquished. Meanwhile, she knows Carmilla by name and Carmilla knows enough about Sypha's life to taunt her about it. The logical conclusion is that Carmilla was doing her thing even before Lisa's death. Truth in Television; the book Carmilla is older than Bram Stoker's novel by 25 years. Doubles as a Genius Bonus.
    • Christopher Belmont was mentioned as being a legend as far back as the Japanese manual for the original Castlevania.
    • Erotic Violence isn't the first time a pachislot game has been made that's based on Castlevania; three had already been produced at that time.
    • The DS titles weren't the first to use a bishoujo-influenced art style, that honor goes to Rondo of Blood. The reception was different due to Rondo being pre-SotN and looking to be the start of a new generation of the series.
  • Scapegoat Creator: In certain fan circles, particularly the Castlevania Dungeon forums, Iga is blamed for almost everything wrong with the series.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Most IGA-produced games disable the pause menu for unlockable characters. While not having menus for items, equipment, etc. is fine, what isn't is also preventing the player from accessing system options like sound and BGM volume and control configuration.
  • Signature Scene: The staircase climb to Dracula's room. It's one of the most iconic locales of the series, and whenever the game takes place at Dracula's castle (or a copy of it in Dawn of Sorrow's case), there's a good chance you'll eventually run into that outside staircase with the crescent moon and clock tower in the background.
  • Sophomore Slump: The general reception to Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance is that they are competently made, but uninspired rehashes of the Symphony of the Night formula, which was then revitalized from Aria of Sorrow onwards.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: People who are into Dungeons & Dragons may find these to be the best Ravenloft video games. Even the title style and font is similar.
  • That One Boss: Death in nearly every game he's been in poses a significant challenge. As a matter of fact, there's a whole page of them.
  • That One Level: In most games, the Clock Tower serves as a Difficulty Spike where the player is bound to die multiple times. In at least a couple games, the previously mentioned Death serves as the boss there.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Much mention has been made of a battle in 1999 that rendered Dracula as he was traditionally known Deader Than Dead, with Julius Belmont as the star of the fight. However, much to the consternation of the fanbase, there has never been any depiction of it, much less a game that centers around it.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night are the most consistently praised, both by critics and fans. The latter for codifying the Metroidvania style the series would adopt as the standard, and the former for perfecting the stage-based progression with alternate paths and bosses, many secrets, a second playable character, and introducing the Item Crash mechanic. While Classic-style games all but ceased after Symphony's release, it's understandable it's considered the peak of linear gameplay. Symphony, on the other hand, despite having many followup entries that improved its formula and gameplay over time, can't seem to get out of its shadow. Critically, only the two Sorrow games managed to come close.
  • Toy Ship: Carrie and Malus in Castlevania 64, Maria and Eric Lecarde in Judgment. The former can get a bit twisted since Malus is Dracula in disguise.
  • Ugly Cute: The Golem.
  • What an Idiot!: Dracula has a window in his throne room. He's a vampire. Sunlight is bad for him. Sunlight coming in through this window is the cause for his death after his defeat in more than one game. It's entirely possible that he's so damn powerful that sunlight can't hurt him unless he's already had the crap beaten out of him first. Though that's more WMG territory.
  • The Woobie:
  • Woolseyism:
    • The series is known as Akumajō Dracula ("Demon Castle Dracula") in Japan. Likewise, "Belmondo" was changed to "Belmont" in Western releases, "Ralph" to "Trevor," Explanation  Kurusu Sōma the Japanese high school student to transfer student Soma Cruz, among other things.
    • The skull-kicking skeleton enemies were originally named "Soccer Boy," but the English translation gave them the much more amusing name of "Yorick."


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