Castlevania (universe)

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Castlevania (universe)
CastlevaniaLogo.png
CastlevaniaSymbol.svg
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Designer(s) Hitoshi Akamatsu
Koji "IGA" Igarashi
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Console of origin Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom Disk System)
First installment Castlevania (1986)
Latest installment Castlevania Anniversary Collection (2019)
Article on Wikipedia Castlevania (universe)

The Castlevania universe (悪魔城ドラキュラ, Demon Castle Dracula) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the famous dark-fantasy series created by Konami, inspired by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The series is the second of Konami's to see representation through characters and stages, following Metal Gear. Its logo is a silhouette of Dracula's Castle (often referred to as the titular Castlevania), which most protagonists of the series venture through on a quest to slay Dracula.

Franchise description[edit]

The franchise’s origins took inspiration from many public domain figures such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and the Greek myth of Medusa, as well as the Universal Pictures monster movies of the early-to-mid twentieth century. Now often considered to be a classic series of action platformers based on traditional Gothic horror elements, the Castlevania series made its debut on the Famicom Disk System as Akumajō Dracula ("Demon Castle Dracula"), before being released internationally on the Nintendo Entertainment System as Castlevania. However, the franchise would debut through the game's sister release for the MSX2 in Europe instead, Vampire Killer. The game follows vampire hunter Simon Belmont of the Belmont clan, a bloodline devoted to defeating Dracula whenever he is resurrected; armed with his bloodline's legendary whip, Vampire Kiler, he embarks on a journey through Dracula's Castle to defeat the Count himself. This first installment would notably introduce the concepts of the Belmont clan's continued bloodline, the series' mascot being Simon, and a single warrior (though in later installments, occasionally several) venturing to Dracula's Castle in order to slay him. Simon would later appear in the game's direct sequel, Simon's Quest, originally released in 1987, followed Simon's journey to undo a curse placed on him following Dracula's death. Since these two titles, Simon has most prominently appeared in retellings of the original title, notably Super Castlevania IV, Haunted Castle, Castlevania: The Arcade, and Castlevania Chronicles.

Following this, the series would see other installments that followed predecessors of Simon, notably Trevor Belmont in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, and Christopher Belmont in Castlevania: The Adventure, its sequel Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, and its remake Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth. These installments follow the basic premise of the original game, following a Belmont on his journey to slay Dracula. Dracula's Curse is notable in being one of the first titles in the series chronology, introducing such concepts as alternate routes to Dracula and additional playable characters (including Alucard, the son of Dracula). After these titles, the franchise would begin to see fewer releases on Nintendo hardware for some time, with other hardware boasting features not present in that produced by the company. Games released earlier in this period are Castlevania: Bloodlines and Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which both instead followed descendants of Simon, such as Richter Belmont. Of these, Bloodlines would see a normal release internationally on the Sega Genesis, while the entry more significant to the series' development, Rondo of Blood, would see a Japan-exclusive release on the Super CD-ROM² System, an add-on to the internationally-released Turbografx-16 (known in Japan as the PC Engine). This installment boasted many features that would be incorporated into later titles, such as wholly separate playable characters (as opposed to the switching system of Dracula's Curse) and additional techniques for the playable characters beyond basic jumping and attacking skills. This game would later see an international release when adapted for the SNES as Castlevania: Dracula X, a later release/remaster through The Dracula X Chronicles in 2007, a release on the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2010 (albeit the Japanese original version), and in the Requiem compilation released in October 2018.

Following Rondo of Blood, the franchise would begin to deviate from its side-scrolling platformer roots and expand into a subseries now referred to as the Metroidvania genre, notable for sharing aspects with traditional Metroid installments such as a more expansive, segmented map, secret areas and upgrades, and greater control over the player character and their abilities. The first of these installments was the sleeper hit Symphony of the Night, which followed Alucard, the half-human, half-vampire son of Dracula, on an adventure through two versions of Dracula's Castle to defeat his father and avenge his mother's death, all the while attempting to save Richter from his possession by the dark priest Shaft. This entry is especially notable for the incorporation of RPG elements akin to Simon’s Quest into the formula in which Alucard would gain experience and level up by defeating enemies. Originally conceived as a side story, director Koji Igarashi thought to change up the formula and break conventions for Symphony of the Night after seeing a surprising amount of previous titles in bargain bins, which he attributes to the games’ short length and unnerving difficulty. He aimed to create a game that was approachable for the average player and had more staying power, and forgoing the Belmont family name and Vampire Killer whip gave Igarashi and his team greater freedom in designing the Castlevania game they envisioned. Finally, this title is notable for the change in character designs courtesy of Ayami Kojima, who later redesigned Simon for Castlevania Chronicles and now exemplifies the current style for the series. Symphony of the Night has been ported to several systems since its initial release, starting with the Sega Saturn in 1998 (albeit exclusively in Japan), followed by a retranslation in the Dracula X Chronicles, and finally alongside Rondo of Blood in the Requiem compilation.

The series would also see ventures into the third dimension with two installments released for the Nintendo 64 around this time, these installments being Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. However, both of these titles were panned by critics and fans due to their poor controls and a troublesome camera and are consider two of the worst games in the franchise’s history. Due to the greater critical success of Symphony of the Night, the “Metroidvania” format would be used for the majority of subsequent installments on the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS, starting with Circle of the Moon in 2001 and concluding with Order of Ecclesia in 2008. Igarashi would be directing these portable titles up until the commercial failure of Order of Ecclesia, wherein he would leave Konami in 2014 citing creative differences in his and the company’s directions and kickstart his own spiritual successor, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Following the lukewarm reception to Lords of Shadow 2 in 2014, the Castlevania series has been left dormant for four years until the release of two compilations: the aforementioned Castlevania Requiem in October 2018, and the Castlevania Anniversary Collection in May 2019 in commemoration of Konami’s 50th anniversary as a company, the latter of which places a greater focus on Simon Belmont’s adventures of the 1980s and 1990s and the only one of the two to be released for the Nintendo Switch.

Beyond its success as a 2D adventure series, the series would release later 3D installments to somewhat mixed success. Following the releases of two hack-and-slash-esque games released to the PlayStation 2, a spin-off subseries, Lords of Shadow, was introduced in 2010 by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions following a separate chronology from the previous titles. Many other spin-off titles and related properties have also been released, including Kid Dracula, Castlevania Judgment, and Harmony of Despair, as well as an animated series covering the events of Castlevania III, released on Netflix in 2017 and with its second season premiering in October 2018.

Games in the Castlevania franchise[edit]

  • Castlevania (September 1986, NES)
    • Vampire Killer (October 1986, MSX2)
    • Haunted Castle (1988, Arcade)
    • Castlevania Chronicles (1993/2001, Sharp X68000/PlayStation)
  • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (1987, NES)
  • Castlevania: The Adventure (October 1989, Game Boy)
    • Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (2009, WiiWare)
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (December 1989, NES)
  • Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (July 1991, Game Boy)
  • Super Castlevania IV (October 1991, SNES)
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (1993, TurboGrafx CD)
    • Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (2007, PlayStation Portable)
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines (1994, Sega Genesis)
  • Castlevania: Dracula X (1995, SNES)
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (March 1997, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
  • Castlevania Legends (November 1997, Game Boy)
  • Castlevania (January 1999, Nintendo 64)
  • Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (November 1999, Nintendo 64)
  • Castlevania: Circle of The Moon (2001, Game Boy Advance)
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (2002, Game Boy Advance)
  • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (May 2003, Game Boy Advance)
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (October 2003, PlayStation 2)
  • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (August 2005, Nintendo DS)
  • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (November 2005, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (2006, Nintendo DS)
  • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (2008, Nintendo DS)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (2010, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (2013, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network)
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (2014, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Spin-offs[edit]

  • Akumajou Special: Boku Dracula-kun (1990, Famicom)
  • Kid Dracula (1993, Game Boy)
  • Castlevania Judgment (2008, Nintendo Wii)
  • Castlevania: The Arcade (2009, Arcade)
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (2010, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

This game marked the much-anticipated debut of the highly-requested Castlevania universe, with the addition of two fighters, an Assist Trophy, a new stage with a handful of cameos, 34 total music tracks, and a boss character. This was the first new universe to be featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the only one not to be because of DLC.

Characters[edit]

  • 66.
    SimonIcon(SSBU).png
    Simon: The main character of several Castlevania titles including the first, often considered the original mascot of the series, appears as an unlockable character being revealed during the August 2018 Smash Direct. In battle, he fights using his iconic whip, the Vampire Killer, which grants his normal attacks massive reach at the cost of speed. His attributes and sound effects have been faithfully transplanted from his original games into Smash, including his strut, stilted jumps and aerial mobility. His special moves incorporate classic sub-weapons including the Axe, Cross, and Holy Water, functioning exactly as they did in the original titles. His Final Smash is an Item Crash called Grand Cross, which seals any captured opponents in a coffin before unleashing a flurry of light.
  • 66ε.
    RichterIcon(SSBU).png
    Richter: The protagonist of Rondo of Blood and one of the many descendants of Simon debuts as an unlockable Echo Fighter of Simon, revealed alongside him in the August 2018 Smash Direct. Like the other Echo Fighters, Richter’s voice clips, taunts, and victory animations are all his own. He performs identically to his base character but with one notable difference being the properties of their down special, Holy Water. Many of Simon’s attacks such as down tilt, up special, and Grand Cross are actually derived from Richter’s moveset from Symphony of the Night.

Boss[edit]

  • Dracula: Dracula, the recurring chief antagonist of the series, appears as a boss in Classic Mode and World of Light. His boss fight has two main phases, both with drastically different designs and attack patterns. His boss fight is the only one to feature two phases.

Assist Trophy[edit]

  • Alucard: The main protagonist of Symphony of the Night, a minor ally within other installments, and Dracula's own son. When summoned, he wields the Crissaegrim, can transform into a bat, and can evade attacks by assuming mist form or backdashing. He can be KO’d.

Stage[edit]

  • SSBU-Dracula's Castle.png
    Dracula's Castle: The series's titular castle appears, taking inspiration from its appearance as a final boss arena in various Castlevania games. Enemies and bosses from the series appear here as background characters:
    • Carmilla: A high ranking vampire in Dracula's court.
    • The Creature & Flea Man: Frankenstein's monster and a mutant beast (sometimes referred to as Igor).
    • Death: Dracula's confidant and right-hand man.
    • Medusa: A recurring monster often found within the gardens of Dracula's Castle.
    • Mummy: A recurring monster that is often both a powerful boss or common enemy type.
    • Werewolf: A recurring monster that is often both a powerful boss or common enemy type.

Item[edit]

  • Death's Scythe: Recurring endgame boss Death's weapon, it can be used to instantly KO heavily damaged fighters when inputted like a smash attack.

Music[edit]

Castlevania received a total of 34 tracks and remixes, the most of any debuting franchise in Ultimate.

Original Tracks[edit]

Sakurai noted that Castlevania's music was especially popular among the music composers. As such, Castlevania received 13 remixes in Ultimate, more new remixes than any other universe except Mega Man.

Source Tracks[edit]

Tracks sourced directly from the Castlevania games.

  • "Vampire Killer": Simon's theme, sourced from Castlevania Judgement, which itself is a remix of the first stage theme from Castlevania.
  • "Nothing to Lose": A remix of Dracula's first phase boss theme from Castlevania, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Black Night": A remix of Dracula's second phase boss theme from Castlevania, sourced from Castlevania: The Arcade.
  • "Dwelling of Doom": The theme played inside mansions, sourced from the Famicom Disk System version of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
  • "Can't Wait Until Midnight": A remix of Julius Belmont's theme from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Mad Forest": Sylpha's theme, sourced from Castlevania Judgement, which itself is a remix of the forest area theme from Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.
  • "Simon Belmont Theme": The theme played during the first stage and the final boss, sourced from Super Castlevania IV.
  • "Simon Belmont Theme (The Arcade)": A remix of the theme played during the first stage and the final boss from Super Castlevania IV, sourced from Castlevania: The Arcade.
  • "Slash": A remix of the theme of stage 4 from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Dance of Illusions": Dracula's theme, sourced from Castlevania Judgement, which itself is a remix of Dracula's boss theme from Castlevaia: Rondo of Blood.
  • "Dracula's Castle": Alucard's theme, sourced from Castlevania Judgement, which itself is a remix of the theme of the first area of Dracula's Castle in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  • "The Tragic Prince": A remix of the Clock Tower theme from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Ruined Castle Gallery": A remix of the Castle Corridor from Castlevania: Aria of Shadow, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Jet Black Intrusion": The theme of the first stage, sourced from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
  • "Crash in the Dark Night": A remix of a boss theme from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Ripped Silence": A remix of a boss theme from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Hail from the Past": The theme of Sandy Grave, sourced from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
  • "Jail of Jewel": The theme of the Great Stairway, sourced from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
  • "Twilight Stigmata": A remix of the theme played in the opening movie and in the entrance of Dracula's Castle from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Jet Black Wings": A remix theme played in certain parts of Dracula's Castle in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
  • "Go! Getsu Fuma": A remix of a theme from Getsu Fūma Den, sourced from Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.

Victory Fanfare[edit]

  • "Victory! Castlevania Series": A remix of the stage clear theme from the original Castlevania.

Spirits[edit]

1,050. Simon Belmont
1,051. Richter Belmont
1,052. Trevor C. Belmont
1,053. Maria Renard
1,054. Maria Renard (Symphony of the Night)
1,055. Alucard
1,056. Reinhardt Schneider
1,057. Nathan Graves
1,058. Hugh Baldwin
1,059. Juste Belmont
1,060. Yoko Belnades
1,061. Leon Belmont
1,062. Julius Belmont
1,063. Hector (Castlevania)
1,064. Jonathan Morris

1,065. Charlotte Aulin
1,066. Shanoa
1,067. Gabriel Belmont
1,068. Medusa Head
1,069. Mummy
1,070. The Creature & Flea Man
1,071. Death
1,072. Carmilla
1,073. Werewolf
1,074. Shaft
1,075. Dracula
1,076. Soma Cruz
1,077. Dracula (2nd Form)
1,078. Kid Dracula

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Castlevania[edit]

The series' most well-known protagonist, Simon Belmont, is introduced in this game, as well as many aspects of his moveset and appearance. Both Dracula and his Castle also make their debut in this title. The theme Vampire Killer debuted in this game as well. Every boss to appear in this game except for the Giant Bat makes an appearance on Dracula's Castle, primarily using their original designs.

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest[edit]

A medley of the tracks that play during the daytime and nighttime in this game is available in Ultimate. Carmilla makes her debut in this title, and the crying mask design is used in Dracula's Castle.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse[edit]

Alucard makes his debut in this prequel as one of four playable characters. Trevor Belmont also appears as a Spirit.

Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun[edit]

Kid Dracula appears as a background character in Dracula's Castle, in the form of a silhouette on its walls and as a Spirit.

Super Castlevania IV[edit]

The ability to whip in multiple directions and the ability to move the whip around freely originate in this Super Nintendo remake of the original Castlevania. Additionally, the ability to grab ledges with the whip loosely resembles the ability to swing on hooks in this game.

Castlevania Chronicles[edit]

Simon's appearance in Ultimate is most prominently based on his appearance in this game's original mode, which is based on the original X68000 release of the game.

Rondo of Blood[edit]

Richter originates from this title, as well as his theme Bloodlines. His design is mostly inspired by his appearance in this game as well. The Werewolf's design used in Dracula's Castle comes from this game. Dracula's Dark Inferno attack and transformation are based on this game as well. Shaft and Maria Renard also appear as Spirits.

Symphony of the Night[edit]

Both Alucard's and Dracula's designs from this game is used in their Ultimate appearances. Multiple moves and abilities from Simon's and Richter's movesets are also drawn from Richter's appearance in this game.

Legacy of Darkness[edit]

One of the main characters of two Nintendo 64 Castlevania titles, Reinhardt Schneider, appears as a Spirit character.

Circle of the Moon[edit]

The song that plays in the opening area of the game, Awake, appears as a song on Dracula's Castle. Additionally, the main character Nathan Graves and his rival Hugh Baldwin appear as Spirits.

Harmony of Dissonance[edit]

The main protagonist of this game, Juste Belmont, appears as a Spirit character.

Aria of Sorrow[edit]

The main character of this game, Soma Cruz, along with Yoko Belnades and Julius Belmont appear as Spirit characters. The Harmony of Despair remix of Ruined Castle Gallery also appears on Dracula's Castle.

Lament of Innocence[edit]

The main protagonist of this game, Leon Belmont, appears as a Spirit character. Additionally, Leon's theme from this game appears as a song on Dracula's Castle.

Dawn of Sorrow[edit]

Two songs from this game appear on Dracula's Castle.

Curse of Darkness[edit]

The hero of this game, Hector, appears as a Spirit character.

Portrait of Ruin[edit]

The two main characters of this game, Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin, appear as Spirits. Three music tracks from this game also appear on Dracula's Castle.

Order of Ecclesia[edit]

The protagonist of this title, Shanoa, appears as a Spirit character, along with two songs from the game being featured on Dracula's Castle.

The Arcade[edit]

Two arrangements from this game have been ported over. These include Black Night and Theme of Simon Belmont.

Judgment[edit]

This is Castlevania's first very own fighting game where Simon, Trevor, Alucard, Sypha, Grant, Eric, Maria, Carmilla, Death and Dracula appeared as the playable fighters. Most of the remixed tracks from this game are reused in Ultimate. The game’s characters were redesigned by Takeshi Obata, the artist of the well-known Death Note manga series.

Harmony of Despair[edit]

Simon and Richter both obtain the ability to perform divekicks in this game, the basis for their down aerial. Multiple arrangements from this game are ported to this game.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow sub-series[edit]

The crossguard on the Smash version of the Vampire Killer, making the weapon's handle resemble a cross, is taken from the Combat Cross in this reboot series. Gabriel Belmont, the main character, also appears as a Spirit.

Getsu Fuma Den[edit]

While itself not a Castlevania game, the Harmony of Despair remix of the main theme from this game appears as a song on Dracula's Castle.

Trivia[edit]

  • Castlevania is one of the only three universes with multiple playable characters in which none of them have made a non-playable appearance in the series prior to their playable debuts. The other two are The Legend of Zelda and EarthBound.
  • With the playable appearance of Simon and Richter, Castlevania is the first third-party franchise to have more than one playable representative (the other is Street Fighter) and the only one to debut with more than one character.
    • It is also the first third party franchise to have a clone character (the other is Street Fighter).
      • Currently, as of Ultimate, both Castlevania and Street Fighter are tied for having the most amount characters out of all third-party franchises having two each.
    • It is also notable for having both a character and their clone debut within the same installment, something that has not occurred since Melee with Marth and Roy.
    • Castlevania, Street Fighter, Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem are the only universes with multiple characters to not be introduced in the original Super Smash Bros.
      • Additionally, Castlevania, Mario, Pokémon, and Fire Emblem are the only universes to have multiple playable characters in their debut Smash game.
  • Castlevania is the third third-party series represented in Smash which debuted on a Nintendo console, the others being Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Banjo-Kazooie.
    • Out of these, all debuted on NES except for Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Castlevania is the third third-party franchise along with Namco and Rare franchises to have an item: in this case, Death's Scythe.
    • This also makes it the first third-party franchise with a playable representative to have an item.
  • Castlevania and Bayonetta are the only two universes with significant religious design elements to introduce a playable fighter.
    • Of the two, Castlevania is the only universe which has their representatives use religious-themed attacks.
  • Following Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, and Bayonetta, the Castlevania series is the fourth primary series represented in Super Smash Bros. to include games that have been rated M (Mature) by the ESRB.
    • However, Richter is the second character in Super Smash Bros. who is from an M-rated series, but has never actually appeared in an M-rated game, behind Cloud.
  • Castlevania is the first series in Super Smash Bros. to prominently feature public domain characters, most of which being derived from classic horror novels and their respective film adaptations, which also makes them the first characters in the Super Smash Bros. series who did not make their first appearance in a video game.
    • While Kid Icarus has similarly used public domain Greek deities, none of them have played notable roles in any Super Smash Bros. game.
    • Final Fantasy also featured the Norse god Odin as a summon, who appears on Midgar.
  • Castlevania is the only third party franchise to have a fighter introduced in Ultimate's base roster.

External Link[edit]