Castlevania is a video game series created and developed by Konami. The series debuted in Japan on September 26, 1986, with the release of Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ, Akumajō Dorakyura?, Devil's Castle Dracula) for the Family Computer Disk System (FDS), followed by an alternate version for the MSX 2 platform on October 30. Although the MSX 2 port was released first outside of Japan, the series did not receive wide attention outside of Japan until the FDS version was ported to cartridge format for the Nintendo Entertainment System and localized for North American and European releases of Castlevania in 1987. The series soon became one of Konami's flagship series.
The Castlevania titles have been released on various platforms, from early systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System to modern consoles. It has also been released for Pocket PCs and mobile phones.
The first console title, Castlevania, released in 1986 by Konami, was a typical platform game in which the player takes the role of Simon Belmont, a descendant of the Belmont clan, a family of vampire hunters. He travels to Dracula's demonic castle, Castlevania, and fights his way through, eventually destroying Dracula himself. Belmont's main weapon is the Vampire Killer whip, while the secondary weapons are powered by Hearts, found by whipping candles. Common secondary weapons include a dagger, holy water or an axe.
Castlevania II features several exclusive elements, including a world map the player was free to explore and revisit. The player could also purchase supplies, equipment and weapon upgrades in several different towns. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, released in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, while having more in common with the original NES Castlevania, included new features such as alternate paths with different stages and multiple playable characters.
A major turning point in the gameplay mechanics of the series was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, released in 1997 for the Sony Playstation. Symphony of the Night introduced a new style of gameplay, termed "MetroidVania" or "Castleroid" due to its similarities with the side-scrolling games of the Metroid series. It also used console RPG elements, such as collectible weapons, armor and other items. Some subsequent Castlevania games have since followed this.
Ayami Kojima's art was introduced since Symphony of the Night, and has been featured in a few other titles. Years later, the first two Nintendo DS Castlevania returned to the anime style used in the original Dracula X: Rondo of Blood, among other titles, in hopes of broadening the player demographic by not discouraging slightly younger Nintendo DS owners to be put off by Kojima's art. Dawn of Sorrow was the first game to do this, and the second DS release Portrait of Ruin followed with the same style.
The first games in the series to employ 3D graphics were Castlevania and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness for the Nintendo 64.
Koji Igarashi has stated that if The Dracula X Chronicles does well, the series may return to the more traditional style of the original games.
The success of the Castlevania series has resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series 7 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "Most Games in an Action Adventure Series", "Largest Number of Platforms for One Series", and "Longest Castlevania Title" for the 1999 release Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.
Most of the Castlevania video game franchise has been about the vampire hunting family of the Belmonts and Dracula. Almost every hundred years, Dracula is resurrected and the Belmonts must defeat him.
Though most games in the series involve the Belmonts or their descendants, some protagonists, such as Soma Cruz, are completely unrelated.
The series is loosely based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The novel is included in the official timeline of the series, with Castlevania: Bloodlines taking place shortly afterwards. The connection even goes so far as to claim that Quincy Morris, a character from the novel, is in fact a Belmont descendant.
The most iconic weapons of the series is the Vampire Killer whip. It is the legendary weapon used by the Belmonts in the fights against Count Dracula, although it is sometimes passed through other families as well. Other names and terms used for it are the "Mystic Whip," and the "Whip of Alchemy." The story of its origin is shown in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, where it is created by Rinaldo Gandolfi for Leon Belmont, through the use of alchemy. This whip is later fused with the soul of Leon's betrothed, Sara Trantoul, to create the Vampire Killer.
According to the Portrait of Ruin, only those possessing the "Belmont Warlord Chromosomes" are able to use the whip's full potential without paying a price, for the whip simply drains the life of users who are not of the Belmont lineage. This was learned by John Morris, for after his battle with Dracula, he noticed that his injuries never healed. Unable to fully utilize the Vampire Killer whip's powers without harming his own life, he soon succumbed and died. However, his son, Jonathan Morris, was able to receive the whip's full power for a short time through a ritual that was performed by the Lecarde sisters. The ritual required Jonathan to defeat the whip's memory of the previous owner, which was an entity bearing the likeness of Richter Belmont. After Jonathan defeated Dracula, the whip was soon returned to the Belmont family.
The upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is described as a reboot of the franchise. However, very few details of the plot are known. "...we knew we would have to drop the existing timeline and story. This would be a new story that would not tie-in directly to anything that has come before, so that new players could just jump straight in." It's not part of the so-called timeline. This is an original, standalone product. We didn't want to follow the timeline because we felt it would put us in a bit of a box in terms of what we could do creatively... A lot of people don't understand the timeline. Even the fans - a lot of them don't really understand it...So this is a rebirth, definitely. It doesn't follow a timeline. It's not, people use the word canon, it's not canon. It's an original game."
A set of Manga books are being written about the game by Kou Sasakura and are being published by Tokyopop, the secondary title is "Curse of darkness". the english adaptation is by Jeremy Black.
"Ted, whose father is a mercenary in the war against Count Dracula's demon army, becomes the center of a fight between Dracula's top generals."
"The epic battle between good and evil continues. Bearing the weight of his past on his shoulders, Hector carries on with his quest for redemption. Leaving Rosalee's house, he isolates himself from human contact, hoping to find the strength to do what is right. As he looks back on his life with revulsion and disgust, Hector is set upon by Isaac and a bloody battle is waged with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance!"
|The Line of Dracula|
|Related Vampires:||Orlok | Marja Z. Tepes | Elizabeth Báthory | Blacula | Daddy Dracula | Dracula (Batman) | Draculaura|
|Books:||Dracula | Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories | Dracula the Un-dead|
|Films:||Nosferatu | Dracula | Dracula's Daughter | Son of Dracula | Bram Stoker's Dracula | The Batman vs Dracula: The Animated Movie|
|Other Media:||Castlevania | Dracula Origin | Dracula Wikia|