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), through which most protagonists of the series venture through on a quest to slay Dracula.
Now often considered to be a classic series of traditional platformers based on traditional western horror elements, the Castlevania series made its debut on the Famicom Disk System, 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 using their Vampire Killer, a legendary whip, on his journey through Dracula's Castle to defeat Dracula himself. This first installment would notably introduce the concepts of the Belmont clan's continued bloodline, the series' mascot being Simon Belmont, 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 and Castlevania Chronicles.
Following this, the series would see other installments that followed predecessors of Simon, notably Trevor Belmont in Dracula's Curse, and Christopher Belmont of 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. 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 ported to the SNES as Castlevania: Dracula X, a later release/remaster through The Dracula X Chronicles, as well as a release on the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2010.
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 games, 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 son of Dracula himself, on an adventure through two versions of Dracula's Castle to defeat his father and avenge his mother's death. This entry is also notable for introducing the concept of having a protagonist character betray the character and become a villain, this game's being Richter after he was possessed by the dark priest Shaft. The series would also see less-successful ventures through 3D installments released for the Nintendo 64 around this time, these installments being Castlevania and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Due to the greater critical success of Symphony of the Night, the Metroidvania format would be used for the majority of subsequent installments, including the trilogy of games released on the Game Boy Advance, and the trilogy released on the Nintendo DS.
Beyond its success as a 2D adventure series, the series would release later 3D installments to somewhat greater 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, following a separate chronology from the earlier 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 2018.
It has been confirmed that there will be a total of 34 Castlevania tracks in Ultimate.
Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 also appears as a Sprit.
Symphony of the Night
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
Circle of the Moon
Harmony of Dissonance
The main protagonist of this game, Juste Belmont, appears as a Spirit character.
Aria of Sorrow
The main character of this game, Soma Cruz, along with Yoko Belnades and Julius Belmont appear as Spirit characters.
Lament of Innocence
Curse of Darkness
The hero of this game, Hector, appears as a Spirit character.
Portrait of Ruin
Order of Ecclesia
The protagonist of this title, Shanoa, appears as a Spirit character. Along with two songs from it being featured in Dracula's Castle.
This is Castlevania's first very own fighting game where Simon, Alucard, Carmilla, Death and Dracula appeared as the playable fighters. Multiple remixed tracks from this game are reused in Ultimate. The game’s characters were redesigned by manga artist Takeshi Obata.
Harmony of Despair
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
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.
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