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10,000 years of Castlevania

Even in defeat, Dracula’s curse still ravages the land. Violence, plague, and pestilence blight Europe. As humanity fights to recover, the Devil Forgemaster Hector pursues fellow Forgemaster and facilitator of his wife’s execution, Isaac, to Dracula’s castle. Hector hunts Isaac to the highest point of the newly-restored Castlevania where he unwittingly opens the door for Dracula to be reborn in Isaac’s body. The two battled across two worlds until Dracula was defeated. With no place for him among mortals, Hector retreats to the mountains with the witch Julia where his impact on this timeline abruptly ends.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (Xbox and PS2, 2005)

Read more: Republique review

A follow-up to Lament of Innoncence, this is a semi-irrelevant side-story which adds little to the Castlevania mythos or even to the big world of action games. Based on the LOI engine, Curse offers a more open world to explore and a more developed combat system. Regardless, it was entirely average, but is notable for being the only new Castlevania on Xbox.

Destined to be reborn every one hundred years, though usually able to get up and about far sooner, Dracula rises once again in 1576 where he is met by Vampire Killer Christopher Belmont. Moments from death at Belmont’s hands, Dracula dissipates into mist and Christopher departs, satisfied that the vampire has been slain. From the nearby mountainside he watches the collapse of Dracula’s fortress as a bat rises from the ruins.

The Castlevania Adventure (Gameboy, 1989)

A quick cash-in on the success of the NES games which barely fit into continuity until Koji Igarashi’s 2005 retcon. Notoriously awful in every way, those four stages – with their leaps of faith and crushing slowdown – last a long time.

Dracula waited fifteen years for his revenge against Christopher Belmont, possessing his son – the young Solieyu Belmont – and leading him towards evil. Dracula raised four castles to deceive Soleiyu’s father should he pursue his corrupted son. Naturally, Christopher went on a whip-swinging rampage, hacking his way through the guardians of the four towers, but as the towers fell a fifth rose from the Earth. Here, Belmont Sr fought his son, eventually forcing Dracula from Soleiyu’s body with little harm to the boy. Dracula crumbled moments later.

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (Gameboy, 1991)

Belmont’s Revenge arrived two years after its predecessor and addresses every complaint levelled against the original. It’s longer and less linear, and offers a choice of levels and a selection of special weapons. It’s the best of the Gameboy Castlevanias, and even betters Circle of the Moon, which was released a full half decade later.

In a side story set outside accepted Castlevania continuity, Desmond Belmont hunts down the members of The Order, the cult responsible for Dracula’s resurrections.

Castlevania: Order of Shadows (Mobile, 2007)

Released after the official Castlevania retcon and new timeline, it was confirmed that the mobile phone game wasn’t a part of Igarashi’s plans for the series.