Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow – Mirror Of Fate Interview On Designing The Castle

By Spencer . June 18, 2012 . 6:00pm

Trevor in the cathedral

Siliconera sat down with Dave Cox from Konami and Enric Alvarez from MercurySteam to discuss the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series. In this detailed interview, Cox talks about how Mirror of Fate, a Nintendo 3DS Castlevania title, has more exploration elements even though it does not follow the "Metroidvania" formula. Cox also talked about creating the Lords of Shadow saga and how the explained the trilogy to Konami. That’s where Batman helped out.

 

Why did you want to try the Metroidvania style of Castlevania instead of the action oriented Lords of Shadows game.

 

Dave Cox, Head of Product Planning and Development at Konami: Although, this game has a map to explore it is not really a Metroidvania. It is very much an action combat game based on the Lords of Shadow universe. One of the things people really liked about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was the combat aspect of it. Mixing up strategies, using light and shadow magic, sub weapons, and things like that. So, we beefed that up. Our audience was telling us they wanted a bigger exploration element to the game, so we added a more traditional exploration side.

 

I think the inspiration really comes from [Castlevania III:] Dracula’s Curse and not Metroidvania. It’s more about multi-branching pathways, the ability to go back and explore other area of the castle as other characters. It’s definitely not Metroidvania.

 

We didn’t want to do a Metroidvania because one of the things about the Metroidvania series is the games start out bloody hard because you haven’t gotten anything. By the end of the game, you have everything and are super powerful. We really want to have a game that starts out really easy and gets tougher, tougher, and tougher. Exploration has been beefed up for sure, but we don’t want to have a game where you run around collecting loads of things. We want to tell a story. We want players to enjoy the adventure.

 

There are going to be four characters in the game. Trevor Belmont, Simon Belmont, and Alucard have been announced. There’s going to be one more we’re going to announce later. Each one of them has different abilities, skills, and bring something different to the story as well.

 

You will play the characters set by the story, but it won’t necessarily be in chronological order. You might play in different times. You might see certain things when you play through that would have affected the time when you play as another character. You might knockdown a wall with one character and when you go back in with a different character you’ll see that wall knocked down.

 

Swing to the lever 

How else are you going to design levels and place sub items to increase the amount of exploration in Mirror of Fate since the audience said they wanted more exploration?

 

It’s mainly items to help with combat. Secondary weapons, health potions, hearts to power your secondary weapons. For example, in the demo you saw there was a chest that allowed you to increase your health for a particular character. Things like that. It’s not an RPG game.

 

You’re not going to find 15 million swords and none of them are really useful. It’s going to be more about restocking the abilities you really got, using secondary weapons and that kind of thing.

 

Players can go back and once they found an ability [with another character], they can track back and move through the castle. You can make notes [in the  game] about those characters you couldn’t get to because you didn’t have that particular ability. When you play as Alucard you can turn into mist, one of the cool things about turning into mist is you can explore various parts of the castle that you couldn’t as Simon and Trevor.

 

Stake the vampire bat

 

Will there be reimagined characters or enemies?

 

Of course. Reimagined enemies and characters are something we’re really interested in doing. The whole point of doing the Lords of Shadow saga is to tell the story of Dracula. Dracula is the center of the universe and the Belmonts revolve around it. Lords of Shadow 1 is like "Dracula Begins." Lords of Shadow 2 is going to be the conclusion of the saga where you play as Dracula.

 

Mirror of Fate is more focused on the Belmonts. What there relationship is to Dracula. Why is it them that has to go up against him? Part of reimagining the universe is you have to take those iconic monsters that you’ve seen in the previous games and give them a fresh coat of paint and a different perspective. One of the things that people liked about Lords of Shadow was the art direction and people seem to like the character design for this particular game. We want to give it that Lords of Shadow spin, so, yeah, you’ll see skeletons and mermen, all of the kinds of enemies you expect to see.

 

The Dragon 

For Lords of Shadow 2, can you tell us what playing Dracula will be like?

 

F-ing awesome. I mean what can I say? You’re going to play as the most bad as dude.

 

OK, but what kind of abilities will you have. Can you fly around, turn into a bat… sparkle?

 

[Laughs.] Hell no! I think if you look at the trailer you have a good idea of some of the things Dracula can do. I think that’s all I can say at this point.

 

He’s an interesting character. He’s a powerful character. What we want people to understand Dracula and where he’s coming from. You might not necessarily agree with him or identify that, but you can kind of understand how he got to that dark place. That’s what we’re trying to achieve with the series.

 

Enric Alvarez, Head of Studio at MercurySteam: The whole point about Lords of Shadow is telling Dracula’s story. We felt that Dracula was more interesting than being stabbed in the heart every hundred years.

 

We started with Lords of Shadow, which was criticized because the castle didn’t appear until the second half of the game. Once the three games are out there people will understand many of our decisions.

 

What we wanted to show was not Dracula in his castle. We wanted to show Gabriel Belmont in his world and his journey into darkness. If you want to show that you can’t start in the darkness. You have to start by showing how things go dark. You will realize that Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2 are much darker games in every aspect – narratively, visually, even the characters will be more serious. This is fully consistent with our idea. We envisioned this as a trilogy, as a saga.

 

At the end of Lords of Shadow, you may remember [Gabriel] becomes the prince of darkness. We know now, he had a son with Marie, so Trevor starts the linage of Belmonts and Mirror of Fate is about that story. Once that tale is told, we’re done with the saga.

 

DC: When we were developing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow we weren’t sure if people were going to accept it. So, we put the epilogue in there to kind of say ‘hey guys this is where we want to go with it.’

 

Luckily, the game did very well. It’s the most successful Castlevania that’s ever been released in the series’ history. We’ve sold more units than every other game. Konami said you guys get another chance. We said, ‘Great let’s finish our story.’ When players see all three games they will say we did something kind of neat with that character.

 

This is the analogy we used when we were presenting it internally, we said Tim Burton got his Batman and it’s a work of genius, it’s a fantastic movie, it’s Batman there’s no question about it. Then you got Christopher Nolan’s Batman, which uses the same characters and universe, but it is very different. That’s basically how we approached it when pitching it to the senior management. What’s really gratifying and somewhat vindicating is the success of the games. It was more than any of us anticipated. It’s great that we got a chance to finish that and show the whole vision.

 

I think people see the whole vision they may want to play Lords of Shadow again and see it in a different light. There is a lot of loaded stuff in Lords of Shadow that people haven’t picked up on the meaning of. When people play Lords of Shadow 2 and go back to the game they’ll say ‘hey, there’s a lot of meaning here.’

 

Skeleton Axe In the Executioners grip

 

Will we ever see "Tim Burton’s Castlevania" again?

 

DC: [Laughs.] I don’t know. We always saw this as the torch being passed to us. We don’t own Castlevania. We aren’t holders of the key. We’ve got it at the moment. We have a story to tell. We don’t want to keep regurgitating something after this. We want to tell our story and let someone else have a go.

 

I think it’s up to other creators to come along, like it used to be in the past, to give their vision of Castlevania. I think Castlevania means a lot of things to a lot of people. If you look on the Internet, some people love what we do, some people hate what we do, and some people are undecided.

 

Is Óscar Araujo coming back to do the music and will you have any rearrangements for Mirror of Fate?

 

DC: We will have Óscar back to do the music and we are always looking at bringing back old tracks and rearranging them slightly for the new game. He did the music for the trailer for Lords of Shadow 2.

 

EA: You saw the trailer right? That music was recorded in Spain and we tried to attempt a Guinness World Record. We still don’t know if we’re going to get it or not. The Guinness record is about the biggest orchestra ever united for a video game. The previous record was for Onimusha. They got 203 musicians together. We united 227 musicians. That music [in the Lords of Shadow 2 trailer] was recorded by the biggest orchestra ever used in a video game.



  • Vampiric

    I just hope iga gets it back after this

    • Andrew Austin

      No thank you. He drove the series into the ground. I never want to see SotN sprites in a new castlevania game ever again.

      • Derek E Nay

        It was not all that bad. Now if he made a new Harmony of Despair that allows you to make your own castle/levels I would be happy.

        • Testsubject909

          On the note of upgrading Harmony of Despair.

          1. More characters. For example. Albus would be perfect in this. Adult Maria would be awesome, and Axe Armor would be great for kicks too… And I’d like to see Pumpkin…

          2. More items. I know there’s already a lot, but it still feels that a lot of items are still missing.

          3. Power up the characters rather then nerf them. Charlotte lost her infinite MP trick, Shanoa barely has any glyphs to absorb, it just feels like so much attention was given to Soma and Alucard first and foremost…

          4. More stages and more bosses, we’ve already got TONS available.

          5. How about making a full explorable “Journey” section, with drop in drop out gaming. At a book, the host could just “Open” the room and when he’d leave the book area, the game would “Close” again to stop anyone from suddenly popping in. While the Host is in “Open” the doors to leave the area to the next “Journey” section would close. You’d have a feel closer to what an actual Metroidvania would be like.

          6. Add in some interesting alternate plays. Like Boss Rush mode with a singular prize at the end. And alternative Survival stages too, or an Endless mode where you’re fighting against a constant influx of enemies.

          There’s just so much space for improvements…

      • Vampiric

        sprites have soul. Love them

        • Exkaiser

          The problem isn’t the usage of sprites in and of itself, but the fact that Rondo of Blood came out almost two decades ago and they were still reusing its sprites up until Ecclesia.

          Actually, the latest game with them would be Harmony of Despair, which was itself a game based around the concept of reusing content.

          Yes, each game added new things, but they were the minority of creatures and mostly relegated to the protagonists and talking bosses.

          I think Ecclesia had the most new sprites since Symphony, but it cut corners in other areas.

          • Vampiric

            the sprites for each game are different, at least the majority of them

      • Exkaiser

        Symphony sprites? More like Rondo sprites.

        • Andrew Austin

          True, true.

      • fiks

         As if reused sprites mattered more than the games being enjoyable.

        • Andrew Austin

           Were they enjoyable? I had to force myself through Portrait and Eclesia personally. I have a feeling Mirror and Lords of Shadow 2 will be incredibly refreshing. Let IGA RIP.

          • fiks

             I am frankly very surprised to find someone with an opinion like that. Almost all of my friends have played most of the post-SOTN metroidvania games and they loved them and we had a blast playing co-op on Castlevania Harmony of Despair.
            I love stylish, flexible combat-oriented games and am a huge fan of fighting games, but I just have no interest in these god of war style castlevania reboots. Their conflation of things like player power with difficulty in this interview is also amusing and makes them seem illogical to me.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I’m good if he doesn’t, so long as Konami leaves it in the hands of another talented developer.

      The changing of the guard is how Iga’s Castlevania’s came about in the first place, so I’d like to see the series continue passing hands. Maybe they’ll find a new dev that can do for Castlevania what Iga’s SOTN did for it on PS1. That would be better than continuing to retread old ground.

      • fiks

         Changing hands at Konami makes me nervous because of what they’ve done with Goemon and Suikoden.

        • Solomon_Kano

          Hm. Yea, I can understand that. As I said, I hope they leave it in the hands of another talented developer in that event. I wouldn’t want it to just go to anyone (someone even suggested the series should go to any developer in Japan before another western one), but I also wouldn’t want it to stay with the same person forever.

          Even if it goes back to Iga, it would eventually have to go to someone else. He won’t be on Castlevania forever.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      To be honest, while I would like to see a new Metroidvania, I honestly wouldn’t mind if it was developed by someone other than Igarashi.

      It’s a shame Shigeharu Umezaki no longer works for Konami, beacuse I would have loved to see him develop another Castlevania game. Prior to LoS, Circle of the Moon was the best-selling game in the series, so he might have been the perfect man to try and revitalise the series. But sadly, Konami disbanded the Kobe development branch shortly after they released CotM, so…

      In any case, I think giving another producer a chance would be very beneficial for the series.

      • kylehyde

        I second everything.

        I love the metroidvanias, and ironically my favorite of all them is the one that Igarashi has zero involvement (CotM). Circle of the Moon has the difficult and gothic flavor of the classic castlevanias, and certainly CotM show that it can be more than a metroidvania style (the arena in circle of the moon still gives me nightmares). Too bad that this games was really mistreated by Igarashi.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joshua-Woollard/100001069480803 Joshua Woollard

      I don’t mind that these games exists and I’m glad for the people who like them, but they do nothing for me. I do hope that either IGA comes back or the next group to take over is interested in Metroidvania style gameplay.

  • SirRichard

    So, Lords of Shadow 2′s player character confirmed to be Dracula himself! That’s pretty promising, the CGI trailer suggests much faster combat than the previous game’s. Mirror of Fate’s similarities to Castlevania III are also promising.

    I’m really interested to see where they take their story and how they plan to end it; the series has always had its dark elements and dark moments, I’ve always wanted to see what would happen if they just embraced that a bit more.

    • Testsubject909

      Well, we’ve sort of been seeing it with Cox. The retelling of the origins of Dracula and Belmont was pretty tragic and dark in spaces, far more then most recent Castlevania games.

      It is a shame to think that we might not see more Cox made Castlevanias after this, especially since you can feel the love for the series he has, but hopefully whoever gets the baton next will be able to come up with some good work too.

      And if Iga gets it again… I’d really like another online Castlevania game.

      • SirRichard

        You never know, Lords of Shadow 2 might not be their last. The first was an amazing success for the series, and Konami might want to ride that out past three games. Might even continue the LoS series without MercurySteam if they can.

        It’ll be interesting to see where it goes after LoS is finished up. Maybe they’ll finally get around to that 1999 climax they kept talking up in the Sorrow games, that’d be nice.

        • Solomon_Kano

          From Cox’s comments, it’s sounding like he already anticipates Konami continuing LoS without him and MercurySteam, so that’s a safe bet.

          *SPOILER ahead for anyone that didn’t finish LoS.*

          .
          .
          .

          As for ’99, I’m sticking with the expectation that that was the year that LoS’ after-credits scene took place in. That would be a cool way to tie Cox and co.’s idea to bring the series to contemporary time and touch on something from the original series as well.

          • andref

            Well that is an interesting idea what with the ending being in what could be said modern times. Though on another note, the trailer for LoS 2 could suggest we won’t be starting off in modern times since I doubt people with guns wouldn’t retread the old swords, maces and knights in shining arm schtick

          • Testsubject909

            Maybe Dracula landed in the world’s largest LARP session aiming for a Guinness World Record!

          • Solomon_Kano

            Yea, I’d imagine that if LoS2 touches on LoS’ ending at all, it won’t be for long. With Mirror of Fate being its prelude, it’s probably going to be entirely focused on telling the present story of the Belmonts, Alucard, and Drac.

            Then again…

            “So, we put the epilogue in there to kind of say ‘hey guys this is where we want to go with it.’”

            If LoS2 is the conclusion, then they probably do plan to do something with that.

  • Testsubject909

    Ah, it all sounds good to me… Damnit, looks like I’ll be getting that 3DS sooner then I thought… Oh my bank account…

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to this and LoS2.

    • Solomon_Kano

      You and me both. Geez, I need to find a job quicker…

      • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

        Seconded…… [Sniff]

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Ng/100000854638739 Dylan Ng

        Let form a “I want a 3DS” club shall we?

        • Solomon_Kano

          We should take donations, too!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q6NXXGMO5XNSMJ64NIHYHFP56A Vince

    Outside Judgement, seems this is the second time we have a playable Dracula. Unless I missed a certain character from Aria and Dawn…

    • Andrew Austin

      Well…Kid Dracula.

      Ooh! And Konami Krazy Racers!

      • Testsubject909

        And if he counts Aria and Dawn, then Harmony of Despair too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JaeWhy SasuleUchiha

    “Metroidvania series is the games start out bloody hard because you
    haven’t gotten anything. By the end of the game, you have everything and
    are super powerful.”
    That’s exactly what I want and kind of how I wanted to live my life you know you work hard and enjoy the rest of your life rather than keep pushing your limit and challenging. I always love to over powering bosses. But hey it’s just me. That said I’m interested in how they’ll wrap up the story.

    • Testsubject909

      I quite enjoy both paths. It’s been a while since I played a Castlevania game that felt like it had a rising challenge level, so this is an appreciated change to me.

    • http://twitter.com/FaithlessMr Bruno Silva

      Yeah, I also appreciate it best myself, to reach the end of the game feeling like you were reaping the rewards of your hard labor, by simply destroying everything in your way :D

      • Exkaiser

        Honestly, I felt that, in Symphony, once you got the cool stuff the game wasn’t any fun to play any more because it was all so overpowered.

        I mean, the Fist of Tulkas is super-duper awesome. You can throw hadokens and JoJo’s punches, how awesome is that? But it takes only like five shots of the flurry of blows attack to take down Dracula. It’s no effort at all.

        And then there’s the really broken stuff, like the Crissaegrim.

    • fiks

       The comment is also funny because he doesnt seem to take enemy strength and the level design into that equation, lol.

  • Solomon_Kano

    “I think people see the whole vision they may want to play Lords of Shadow again and see it in a different light. There is a lot of loaded stuff in Lords of Shadow that people haven’t picked up on the meaning of.”

    Y’know, that’s something I’m really looking forward to. Having powered through LoS when I got it, some parts of the story were kinda hazy for me when I saw Mirror of Fate’s reveal. I started playing through the game again yesterday and when I got to the part with Pan’s trial, the amount of foreshadowing that game contained just hit me anew. Hearing that some of that foreshadowing extends even beyond the events of that first title is great (and you kinda catch that in the reveal trailer, really).

    Anyhow, I’m glad Cox’s team decided not to go the Metroidvania route for Mirror of Fate. Lords of Shadow was a very narrative-focused experience, so I’m glad Cox and MercurySteam picked a structure that better supported their vision rather than falling back on the Metroidvania mold.

    I also can’t wait for them to show off LoS2. If that reveal trailer was only a portion of what Gabriel will be able to do in the sequel (is his dragon-cloud-looking ability the sequel’s take on LoS’ crystal sub-weapon perhaps?), then I can’t even imagine what else MS has in store. I’m also interested to see what kind of motivation they provide Dracula for the time that we’ll be playing as him. Considering that their intent was to make his side of the Castlevania story more interesting, I’m expecting good things there.

    Whew. If you can’t tell, I’ve rather enjoyed this reboot and I’m greatly looking forward to how Cox and MercurySteam conclude the LoS story. Good stuff, Spencer.

  • epy

    Great interview. Looking forward to LoS2 specially to see how the game will play using Dracula. I wish they had tried something different with the music though. Araujo’s music is very good, but its the kind of music you hear A LOT lately in blockbuster movies and AAA games. Castlevania, both classic and Metroidvania, have always had distinct music that set them apart from, and above, other games. Guess its also part of their vision, but I found the music to be easily the weakest aspct of LoS. Also, strange though, I never felt Metroidvanias were “bloody hard” in the beginning. Challenge was always pretty much the same through the games with some spikes at hard bosses or areas.

    They also threw a few shots at Castlevania up till now. Sure, in some games Dracula only showed up in the end to be the final boss but that was usually because the spotlight was given to other characters for their development. Lament of Innocence and Symphony of the Night explained a lot about Dracula and his motivations.

    Because I read this interview with my old Castlevania fan goggles on (can’t take them off, I tried) a couple of things they said stinged me a little. Hope they don’t
    forget that in games, like movies, best sales in the series doesn’t equal best game in the series. I know they probably are not saying that, but again, these goggles.

    BTW, not related to this per se, but am I the only one that finds Nolan horribly overrated? He made great Batman action movies but everyone treats him like a god of cinema or something, not to mention he’s one of the reasons everyone wants to be dark, gritty and hard-boiled in everything nowadays.

    • Solomon_Kano

      I like Nolan a great deal, but I’ll agree that he’s overrated. The man isn’t God. I’ve enjoyed all of his films that I’ve seen, but the man isn’t Scorcese or Coppola. That said, I can’t really fault him for inspiring others to do the gritty and dark thing. That’s by no fault of his own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Viet-Nguyen/100000070536507 Richard Viet Nguyen

    Ah, so we’re playing as Dracula, huh? Very interesting, though I have to say I’m a little disappointed we’re not gonna play as Alucard. Still, looking forward to it, it’s great to have such a original and interesting take on the tragedy of “Dracula.” May whoever they pass the torch onto next do just as well.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Considering we’ll be playing as multiple characters in this game, I wonder if we might actually get to do the same in LoS2? If so, there may yet be hope for Alucard.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I’m disappointed that you didn’t ask why are there QTEs in Mirror of Fate. That’s what I wanted to know the most. Still, not a bad interview.

    • Testsubject909

      QTE’s are easy enough to figure out.

      They’re cinematic finishers or action pieces that gets the player involved, even if albeit in a minimal fashion. They’re currently as a sort of staple for action games. As such, the question doesn’t need to be asked as the answer will be the same as just about any other game where they use QTE’s. “Because we wanted to get the player involved in those epic moments” will be the mentality here.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        They are a staple in 3D action games, but they aren’t necessary in a 2D platformer. None of the previous 2D Castlevanias had them and we were able to fight large monsters just fine without them.

        They are a pointless and even annoying addition to a 2D platformer, which raises the question why they were added in the first place.

  • esteban cartagena

    IO have Lord of Shadows on PS3 and will be buying LOS 2 but I wont be getting Mirror of Fate unless they release a Vita version. I just dont know why are they releasing it for 3DS only.

  • brian yep

    “It’s not an RPG game.”
    So it isn’t a role-playing GAME GAME.
    Thank goodness for that, it may end up having too much game if it were one of those.

  • DEATH_METAL_FAN

    I need some help. Do any of fans of the 3ds think I should
    purchase it for this game? I am a huge fan of Alucard, but I am not sure if I
    should buy the 3DS for this game unless there are much more impressive games
    that are worth obtaining?

    • Solomon_Kano

      I dunno your particular interests, but I’d say the 3DS’ library is deep enough now that you should be able to find a couple of other games to suit your tastes if you buy one for this. I’m planning on buying a 3DS and, while I’m not getting it FOR this game, this game did contribute to my decision to buy one.

  • DEATH_METAL_FAN

    This game does look quite interesting.

  • DEATH_METAL_FAN

    I hope I can get someone’s opinion of this. Should I really buy a 3ds for this?

    • http://twitter.com/FaithlessMr Bruno Silva

      There are plenty of 3DS games worth getting in my opinion (reason why I got myself one last christmas). No one can really give you a definitive answer because:

      A) The game wasn’t officially released, so no final build of the game was made available still;

      B) Everyone’s opinions may differ greatly, so what others find exciting, you may end up finding boring.

      Here’s what you can do though: look up all the released 3ds games, future releases, and see whether you’d have some more games worth getting for the system. As it stands, no one can ever give you a definitive answer to that question, based upon an unreleased game ;)

    • Laharl

      No, you should buy it for RE:Revelations

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.ballesteros Jan Ballesteros

    I cringe whenever he says lords of shadow was “It’s the most successful Castlevania
    that’s ever been released in the series’ history. We’ve sold more units
    than every other game,” considering symphony of the night sold more
    than it in one console and with a far smaller budget
    http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=castlevania&publisher=&platform=&genre=&minSales=0&results=200.
    He criticizes so
    much of symphony but in the end all he has is a god of war copy trying
    to ape symphony in the hand held calling it a copy of how they
    envisioned dracula’s curse would be. Who is he kidding with statements
    like that? Don’t spit on me and tell me it’s raining Cox. Your Vania was
    promising but it wasn’t a masterpiece so don’t tell me Lords was better
    symphony!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jan.ballesteros Jan Ballesteros

      And by the way why keep the 4th character a secret to the american audience when you told the spanish audience that the 4th character would be Gabriel Belmont. I mean lords is his game so we already know he’s going to be playable at some form even in this game.

      • Testsubject909

        At least have the courtesy of linking to the appropriate page.

        To those wondering, it’s the third one.

        Also, I’ll just want to note, we didn’t know for sure if he was going to be playable here. Sypha could’ve easily filled in for fourth.

    • Solomon_Kano

      And over how many years did SotN reach that amount? The numbers don’t lie, true enough, but Lords of Shadow sold what it sold far quicker than SotN.

      That said, the CV wiki and VGChartz are at odds.

      http://castlevania.wikia.com/wiki/Castlevania%3A_Symphony_of_the_Night

      From the wiki: “Although not very successful during its release in North America and Europe (ONLY 60 THOUSAND IN EACH CONTINENT), Symphony of the Night has become highly sought-after by video game players, and is widely considered to be one of the best in the series and a milestone of the series.”

      Btw, where did Cox criticize Symphony? All I see in this interview is a statement of personal preference regarding the series style…

    • SirRichard

      VGChartz is a horribly unreliable source and is well-known for outright guessing a lot of its totals that aren’t stated/found by other sales-tracking services, mate, I wouldn’t use them to back up arguments if I were you.

      The closest he gets to a criticism of the Metroidvanias is the “15 million useless swords” bit, and having replayed Symphony that’s absolutely true, especially if you get lucky in the Inverted Castle and happen upon a Crissaegrim. He never mentions Symphony by name so it’s more of a general dig, and it’s hardly a big sneering put-down of Symphony!

    • SirRichard

      VGChartz is a horribly unreliable source and is well-known for outright guessing a lot of its totals that aren’t stated/found by other sales-tracking services, mate, I wouldn’t use them to back up arguments if I were you.

      The closest he gets to a criticism of the Metroidvanias is the “15 million useless swords” bit, and having replayed Symphony that’s absolutely true, especially if you get lucky in the Inverted Castle and happen upon a Crissaegrim. He never mentions Symphony by name so it’s more of a general dig, and it’s hardly a big sneering put-down of Symphony!

      • Testsubject909

        I think I only used maybe 10 or so different swords in Symphony of the Night.

        Two of my favorites were Crissaegim and Heaven Sword.

        And then there’s the Shield Rod.

      • fiks

         The problem with stuff like that is it is a criticism of bad/mediocre design decisions, not of an inherent design to metroidvanias.

    • Exkaiser

      Considering he’s getting his numbers from Konami itself and not VGChartz, I’m inclined to believe Cox on this one.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        I agree that Cox’s statement is most likely accurate and LoS really is the most successful Castlevania game so far.

        Having said that, I wouldn’t be suprised if that still doesn’t make it the most profitable Castlevania title for Konami. LoS sold about 1.2 million copies, but that was across two platforms and the development costs, while probably not as huge as some of the blockbusters out there, most likely weren’t cheap. On the other hand, Circle of the Moon was solely developed for a handheld (meaning, development costs were probably very small), yet it sold over a million copies. Considering this, I wouldn’t be suprised if CotM actually made more money for Konami than LoS did.

        In any case, it’ll be interesting to see how Mirror of Fate and LoS 2 will perform. Their sales will determine what LoS’s ultimate fate will be after MercuryStream.

      • fiks

        You overestimate the importance of numbers to PR.

  • Solomon_Kano
    • Testsubject909

      Well… Simon had to be born Somehow…

      You go Trevor!

    • http://twitter.com/FaithlessMr Bruno Silva

      But…isn’t Yoko Belnades her daughter? The blonde girl in Aria/Dawn of Sorrow? Or wait, that isn’t correct, she simply was her descendent, right? I mean, since the games take place in the year 2035, she definitely can’t be Sypha’s daughter.

      But if Yoko is a Belmont, then why would she drop the Belmont from the name and go with the Belnades? And that’d make Julius Belmont her relative somehow, lol. I know the LoS series is supposed to be a reboot, but dang that makes it all that much confusing, lol.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Well, maybe we’ll make it all the way to Yoko in this new universe and see how that works here. I’m interested to see how they change that, if they ever get there.

  • Hating Ass Nigga

    Why couldn’t they just keep that God of War nonsense on the home consoles?

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    So this one will start quite easy and becoming more difficult as we process?^^
    Come one pain!!!^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eugenio-Gil/100000517635083 Eugenio Gil

    Wow great interview! I really like that they want to resurect the old school Castlevania III feel in Castlevania MoT. Plus I am really interested to see how the whole doing things in the castle will affect the castle in another time. It sounds like an interesting idea if done right and can lead to some really interesting stuff. As for LoS2 I can’t wait to learn and see more about this game. The tiny bit of info they have talked about and the teaser has been great.

  • Laharl

    It still sounds like an actionized Metroidvania.

    You explore a non-linear castle leveling up, unlocking new skills to open new areas, the only difference is that the skills you use to unlock area’s come from new characters.

    I don’t see why this guy has such a grudge against MV games, His Trevor/Alucard couldn’t look anymore like the SotN if he tried.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Except it’s not a non-linear castle. There are simply areas that you can’t reach with certain characters that branch off from the main path. A road with a fork in it isn’t non-linear, it just offers a choice of direction. Same thing.

      The inspiration for this game came from the pre-SOTN Castlevania’s. It’s pretty easy to see how this isn’t a Metroidvania when you know what the inspiration for it played like. No RPG elements, no non-linear castle, set skills and weapons as opposed to acquiring new weapons throughout the entire game. That’s not Metroidvania, that’s pre-SOTN Castlevania all over. Where did you even see that you level up in this game?

      • Laharl

        He actually used the term “Non-Linear” several times in the Nintendo Power interview.

        Face it, He wants the SotN fans on board, even if he won’t admit it. Why else do you think Alucard looks as Bishi as ever?

        • Solomon_Kano

          Oh? His description of the game’s structure still isn’t non-linear though.

          And of course he wants SOTN fans on board. The goal is to get all Castlevania fans on board. Why would he need to admit to something so obvious? The reboot may push some fans away, but their intention is to bring a new audience and keep as much of the old as possible. Alucard looks like Alucard should. Considering we’ve seen very few old characters return thus far, how could we have had any expectation as to what old characters would look like when they did show up?

          • Laharl

            It’s a reboot, Reboot it.

            Don’t turn Dracula into Kratos and expect the Classic Fans to be on board with a Bishi/goth Alucard in a half assed GoW/Metroidvania Hybrid.

            EDIT: Look at the new Lara Croft, She’s miles away from the Vapid pair of Boobs in Hot Pants she used to be.

            Don’t completely throw away the Anime Style and Platforming Focus in the reboot and expect to trick classic fans by throwing in Suddenly Anime-Tastic Trevor/Alucard in the sequel.

          • Solomon_Kano

            That’s no trick, that’s a design choice. I’m sure you’ve heard the people who complained about the DMC reboot’s Dante looking entirely different, yes? So “It’s a reboot, Reboot it”? What does that even mean. Every Batman movie ever kept all the parts that make his look identifiable, right? The Hulk has been big and green in every screen appearance. Being a reboot doesn’t mean they’re obligated to keep anything old, but it also doesn’t mean they have to throw it all out. Hence the series still being about Drac and Belmonts.

            Your Lara Croft reference doesn’t really work either, since she’s sported several looks over the years anyway.

            Also, the God of War comparison is trite. Literally the only thing LoS had in common with God of War is the basics of the whip gameplay. God of War doesn’t have strategy in the least. It’s a modern button-masher, and that’s not even a criticism. Just an observation. If you’ve actually played Lords of Shadow beyond the first level then you know LoS is faaar from a button-masher.
            I understand if you don’t like LoS. It wasn’t going to be for everyone and it’s not the best game ever by any means. That said, what value is there in us discussing it if you’re going to make inaccurate assessments of it?

          • Laharl

            A reboot should be different from the original, if you are going to have bishi Alucard explore a Semi-Non-Linear Castle with the whip focused belmonts, Why bother Rebooting?

            That’s right, to add a gritty angst filled Anti-Hero with QTE’s and a Combat Engine ripped straight out of God of War. For Gods sake they both have the same motivation of “I WAS TRICKED INTO KILLING MY WIFE! SO GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!”. The only difference is Gabriel Learns that at the end and Become Draktos in the sequels.

            Lara may have sported different outfits, but they were all a skimpy pair of hotpants on a Vapid Buxom Fanservice girl, New Lara is almost entirely different in every way besides being tough.

            Almost Every Beat Um Up is difficult and requires strategy on higher levels, LoS is hardly brain surgery compared to GoW or DMC at higher levels. Christ, almost every review mentioned how derivative LoS was, the only difference is how much that fact bothered the reviewers.

            EDIT: Really? I got voted down for quoting the Director about the game being non-linear? You LoS Whiteknights are something else…

            And He mentions Leveling up for new moves in several interviews, way to know the game you so blindly insist on defending

          • Solomon_Kano

            Except the motivation behind a reboot, certainly not this one, isn’t “let’s be different to be different”. The series used to be a big console franchise then it spent most of the last generation on portables. Konami wanted to bring it back to consoles, so they gave it to another team to start over. They chose to reboot in the sense of giving a different take on the prior mythology. No reboot ever throws out absolutely everything that came before it.

            You’re right, every review did mention how derivative LoS was. Many reviews also mentioned the depth afforded by its magic and focus systems over such games as God of War, where all you do is mash buttons. DMC and GoW are tougher at higher levels, as are all games. True. Lords of Shadow requires strategy at any level you play on. If you simply ran through LoS pressing anything then you definitely never beat the game.

            Also, I asked you where he said that you level up. That’s not blind defense, that’s you ignoring a question that was asked of you. I missed something he said and asked where he said it. And people will downvote you for anything if they don’t agree with you. The both of us have downvotes in this string of comments. They’re confident in voting against any contrary opinion since they get to stay anonymous.

            In any event, I’m not here to “blindly” defend anything. I’m pointing out that many of the things that you’re saying are inaccurate. “LoS Whiteknights”? Sure. My favorite Castlevania game is one of your beloved Metroidvanias, I’m simply correcting statements made on your part. LoS was an average but enjoyable game. I’m not here to defend it on principal of anything other than you simply making wrong statements regarding it.

            Also, if you’re so convinced that Mirror of Fate is a Metroidvania and you’re spotting all of the things that Cox supposedly isn’t changing from the original Castlevania… then what’s your complaint? You wanted a Metroidvania, if that’s what you think this will be, then what’s the complaint?

          • Laharl

            The motivation for this reboot is to cash in on GoW fame, you seem to be the one blindly ignoring that.

            Yea, So GoW is easier on easy than LoS? All that means is that LoS is a harder game on Easy, it doesn’t make it any more original or any less of a clone.

            He’s said it in several interviews, You should know this being so bent on defending LoS instead of being a hypocrite who accuses me ignoring questions while you ignore publicly stated facts.

            I don’t care if it is or isn’t a Metroidvania. I’m annoyed that he’s dressing up a GoW clone in a Non-Linear Map (His Words) and trying to pass it off as a “Tribute” to CV 3, which was a platformer with branching paths, not backtracking with new characters through the same map looking for new paths. The only thing I see from CV 3 is Alucard and Trevor, who look exactly like their Metroidvania incarnations (SotN and CoD) and nothing like their CV 3 looks.

            If I want a good CV styled game, I’d play Bloodrayne Betrayal. But MoF looks more like a 2D God of War than anything Castlevania.

          • Solomon_Kano

            The motivation for this reboot was cashing in on God of War… a generation after the series had already proved successful? Oh. Wonder how I didn’t catch that. Didn’t realize that God of War was medieval action-platformer with shades of Shadow of the Colossus. Mercy me.

            It’s not a question of LoS being easier or harder, so you missed the meaning in that. It’s that LoS actually requires some strategy over GoW’s simple button-mashing.

            Hypocrite? You sound angry, bud. That’s not ignoring publicly stated facts, I simply don’t watch every interview Cox has had for the game. For someone who so clearly dislikes it, you’re oddly well informed.

            Whoever said Trevor and Alucard needed to look like they do in CV3 anyhow? The game was inspired by CV3, they didn’t say they were out to take its visual style. By that logic Dracula wouldn’t look like Gabriel, hell, he wouldn’t be Gabriel.

            It’s cool though. I enjoyed Betrayal myself, so I can agree on its quality. Good talk, bud.

          • Laharl

            A lot of other modern games were “Inspired” By God of War… So who cares when? You’ve already admitted that LoS took plenty of elements from God of War, and God of War does have the titan battles which also bring shades of SotC.

            And so does GoW on harder difficulties… Your point?

            If I didn’t know anything about it and still hated it, That would make me kind of a hypocrite wouldn’t it? When I see that CV is going back to 2D, of course I research it. Unfortunately it’s just a 2D GoW.

            It has a non-linear map akin to Metroidvania, the leveling elements similar to a SotN RPG, a lesser focus on Platforming and more on leveling and combat, and SotN styled Characters… I’ve yet to really see any of the so called CV3 influence he’s claimed aside from a few names.

          • Solomon_Kano

            Plenty? Whip mechanics = plenty? O…k. There’s a clear difference between “inspired by” and “cashing in on”. Your statement was the latter. They were clearly inspired by God of War for the whip mechanics, that much is obvious. Cashing in on? No.

            And if you still don’t get the difference between “needs strategy on ANY difficulty” and “needs strategy on harder difficulty” then it’s because you don’t want to. The fact the LoS takes strategy no matter how you play it means that it’s a core of the game’s overall design philosophy. Requiring strategy on a harder difficulty most certainly isn’t the same thing.

            That would indeed make you a hypocrite, me not following every interview as you seem to doesn’t make me a hypocrite — and that was the implication of your statement.

            As for your last paragraph, you just spotted various similarities to SOTN… after calling the game a 2D God of War. Note that God of War and SOTN have nothing in common.
            .
            .
            .

            And with that, this discussion is finished. Good talk.

  • Göran Isacson

    This clears some things up- that their intention was always to tell Draculas story, more than the Belmonts story sure explains why the whole Belmont-side of the narrative gets squeezed into one game while two games are dedicated to Gabriel and Dracula. I do admit that, deep down in my fanboy-parts, I think it can’t ever be quite as epic to play “the bad guy” when the bad guy hasn’t had enough time to really set in. The old storylines Castlevania had a Dracula that we had fought for years and years and YEARS. This guy has barely even BEEN Dracula before his story is suddenly at an end. Can’t help but feel it’s all a little bit abrupt, you know?

    Clearer, more thoroughly planned out and possibly a lot more sensible than the sprawling story that OriginalVania turned into, but abrupt nonetheless.

  • Vampiric

    If no iga, then just give it to anyone in japan or do it in house

  • Setsu Oh

    … that is sad.
    i would have liked more games in that kind of view. and of course a platinum edition of the first castle WITH the dlcs.
    because twenty bucks for them….pfff…..harD.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micah-李-文-Jung/100000482007095 Lee MunLim

    why are they doing this my god this sucks 

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