Honestly, the idea for this article never crossed my mind, and, were it not for how upset I am about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, my heart might not be in it. But, alas, as The Farr called out the entire Game-Flush Staff in his Top Five Lessons I’ve Learned from Final Fantasy, I am forced to display my authority on the series that turned me into a gamer from that exciting day I was in Toys R Us and discovered Dracula was in a video game. It’s been a tumultuous relationship with Castlevania since, and after this last incident, I think the two of us may need to take a break for a while to find ourselves again, but at least this will be a good trip down memory lane to the days when Castlevania was still that great series I fell in love with.
5. COUNT DRACULA RISES BUT ONCE EVERY CENTURY…MAYBE…ALMOST…?
That is what the legends say: Every hundred years Dracula rises from the grave and his powers grow stronger. But he doesn’t really. He’s supposed to. It’s in writing all over the place, but, to quote the late, great Captain Barbossa (though I hate to quote a ninja’s natural enemy), they’re more like ‘guidelines than actual rules.’ I mean, by Castlevania II Konami already flushed that idea down the toilet when Simon himself, in order to heal his cursed wounds, brought Dracula back. So why keep the damn idea? It’s helped ruin the timeline as it is. Well, I guess just like Castlevania will never make much sense, I suppose we’ll never figure out Konami’s motivation here.
4. YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART
Yes, that’s right, the classic Castlevania currency for everything: hearts. And, no, not ripe, red, beating hearts, but those odd Valentine’s Day shaped-hearts. Hearts get you everywhere in the game. Found a dagger lying on the floor? Don’t worry about throwing it at an enemy, because hearts work as a multiplier for every weapon you find. It couldn’t be that you just pick up more daggers. No. The hearts will see you through. What’s more, hearts are in no short supply. They spawn from the very thing that lights the Castle: candles. So the next time you’re short on cash, just remember: money doesn’t grow on trees, but hearts do grow in candles. Run down to the dollar store and buy a few. Whip ‘em good, then take your hearts down to the bank. It’s the best get rich quick scheme ever. Thank you, Dracula.
3. THE BELMONTS HAVE HYDROPHOBIA
Now, I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on this one. These guys can’t even perform a simple frog stroke in the water. They must have a fear of it, and what’s more, it’s hereditary (yes, that’s right scientists, you’ll have to rewrite the book on that one). That, or perhaps it’s the armour they wear that has them sinking like a sack of Stonehenge rocks. These guys train their whole lives for a possible showdown with Count Dracula. They know water is going to be involved. Can’t they work swimming into their workout regiment?
2. CASTLE DRACULA IS AN EASY-BAKE OVEN
No? Don’t believe me? Well, you fool, how else do you explain the random chicken-legs hiding in the Castle’s structure? They haven’t been sitting there for a hundred years since the last Belmont came through and placed his leftovers in the walls ‘just in case.’ After one day that meat would be causing bowl movements rather than health regeneration. No, it must be the Castle. After all, in later games it was established that the Castle is a living organism. I say it’s merely a side effect of its magic. Magic hens lay golden eggs and magic castles bake chicken in the walls.
1. THE BELMONTS ARE A MASOCHISTIC LOT
Seriously. I understand the concept of the blood-feud, and, sure, the entire Trojan War was fought over a woman most of those fighting it had never even met, but who the Hell locks themselves and all their descendants into a never ending struggle with a nigh-indestructible adversary? What’s more, why are they all so eager to live up to their ancestors? Not even the Vikings were this crazy, and they wanted to die in battle. The Belmonts are never going to win. Dracula just keeps coming back and stronger every time, to boot.
Now I’m all for persistence, but why do they keep trying? At least change up the strategy a little bit. I mean, you’re telling me after centuries they can’t think of anything else but storming the Castle with a whip? What kind of person thinks up a plan like that? And speaking of the whip, they need to rename it. Vampire Killer? Obviously it’s not doing its job, because the damn thing kills everything but.
So, there’s my list. In a way, it’s helped me diagnose some of the problems in our relationship (I never realised how unstable the Belmonts really were). Sure, there are a number of other points I’m probably missing, and, yes, a few I left out on purpose (because I could write enough on them for a full article, and probably will), but otherwise it’s complete. Now if only Castlevania could remember what it did to win me over back then. Then we might still have a future together.