Portrait of secrets - packed with spoilers

Another year, another Castlevania, right? Aside from a few brief lapses, we've been enjoying a quality castle quest every year since 1997's Symphony of the Night. With that one game, the entire series changed - instead of a straightforward action-slashfest, the games became an open-ended exploration of Dracula's castle, riddled with secret passageways, hidden bosses and an untold number of bonus features.

That tradition continues with Portrait of Ruin. Even though we've long since finished the game, there's still so much to see. As with most Castlevania games, even when you think you're done, you're not. Think you've beaten the game? Chances are you didn't find the Sanctuary spell in Sandy Grave and therefore didn't purify the two vampire sisters. If that's the case, you've got a bit of game left to play. Four entire paintings' worth, actually.

But that's why we're here. We've compiled a list of the nuttiest, spookiest and downright bad-assiest moments from Portrait of Ruin that prove it's one of the best in the series. Hell, it might actually be the best. The only moment we can't get across in pictures is the soundtrack (but not for lack of trying). If you're a diehard fan, however, you know how to wrangle the tunes onto your machine without our help.

But don't think these are the only hidden bits in the game - we just don't have the time to catalogue them all (seriously, there's a lot of fan service in here). For now, let's just dive into the sea of rotting corpses and experience firsthand the unholy hell that is Dracula's castle... when it's filled with paper airplanes and cream pies.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.