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10,000 years of Castlevania

Another war but the same plan from 1914; the souls of the millions killed have been harvested by Count Brauner and Dracula’s castle is resurrected. Assisted by the ghost of Eric LeCarde, Jonathan Morris (Jr) and Charlotte Aulin journey to the Count’s castle but find him imprisoned by Brauner, wielding Dracula’s power as his own. Killing Brauner frees Dracula, who fights side-by-side with his eternal right-hand man Death against the two vampire hunters.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS, 2006)

Read more: Republique review

Portrait of Ruin is a direct sequel to Bloodlines and succeeds in making a little more sense than the bonkers Genesis/Mega Drive game. It features the second and last appearance of the unpopular anime artwork introduced in Dawn of Sorrow, dropped in favor of tradi-gothic art in the third DS title.

Yet to be covered in a game, the Demon Castle War brings about the final end of the immortal Dracula as Alucard, Julius Belmont and thousands of soldiers wage all-out war against the Count and destroy his body forever.

The hundred-year cycle of the death and resurrection of Dracula’s immortal body was brought to an end with the Demon Castle War but you can’t keep an immortal scourge of humanity down and Dracula’s everlasting soul is reincarnated in the body of Soma Cruz. Dragged against his will to Castlevania, Soma fights Julius Belmont, who allows the boy to live, sensing that his soul is resisting Dracula’s power. Soma escapes the castle, refusing to succumb to Dracula’s control, and returns to his original life in Japan.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA, 2003)

The third and final Castlevania on the Gameboy Advance was the third offering in two years. On both DS and GBA Castlevania has been among the most consistently successful third-party games in an atmosphere where games developed by anyone outside of Nintendo themselves struggle to be noticed.

A Dracula-worshipper named Celia Fortner confronts Soma Cruz and attempts to push him along the path Mathias Cronqvist walked following the death of his wives by killing Soma’s best friend, Mina. In a replica of the Count’s castle, Soma confronts the cult and reduces the castle to rubble, rescuing Mina and returning once again to Japan.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS, 2005)

Dawn of Sorrow was the first Castlevania on the DS and the first to use anime-styled art for its cover and in-game characters – a short-lived experiment which concluded with Portrait of Ruin.

Yep, eight thousand years in the future Galamoth sends The Time Reaper – a futuristic incarnation of Dracula’s right-hand man Death – back in time to eliminate the entire legacy of Castlevania in an attempt to take Dracula’s throne in the Netherworld. Aeon, a guardian of time, draws together heroes from the entire Castlevania mythos to face The Time Reaper, ultimately righting the timeline and foiling Galamoth’s plan.

Castlevania: Judgment (Wii, 2008)

It’s crap, of course – it’s a 3D Castlevania which has been turned into a tournament fighting game and it’s on the Wii. That’s three strikes. With Koji Igarashi overseeing the story it remains canon and may – if Konami decide to bring their next Castlevania into the ongoing mythos – shed light on the future of Castlevania, and the Lords of Shadow.

Dec 3, 2009

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