A gameplay concept mockup for Bloodstained.
Yes, the rumours are true. Former Castlevania director Koji Igarashi is indeed working on a spiritual successor to the series, and we can finally talk about it. The game in question is called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Knight, and as you’d expect it’s being partially funded through Kickstarter.
Azure Striker Gunvolt and Mighty No. 9 developer Inti Creates are developing Bloodstained in partnership with Igarashi for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game is described as a 2.5D “Igavania” and features a lady named Miriam as its protagonist.
Bloodstained’s story involves alchemists and demons and all sorts of other arcane nonsense you’re looking for in a Castlevania game. The gist of the story is that Miriam was picked up as an orphan by an alchemist at a young age and turned into the host for some sort of dark alchemical curse. Miriam slumbered for a decade while the curse matured inside her, and when she awakens, she finds demons have entered the world.
In addition to Miriam, the two other characters that are part of the story are Gebel, the game’s main villain, and Johannes, who is described as a support character. Unlike Miriam, who is currently 18, both Gebel and Johannes are older at 30. Character profiles for all three of the main, story-centric characters can be found below.
Main Character: Miriam (age 18)
Picked up as an orphan by an Alchemist at a young age, she became a host for the dark Alchemists’ curse. Although the magicrystals were fused with her body at a young age, for 10 years she lay sleeping while the curse matured to its full form. It was during this period that the demons arrived, meaning that she missed their appearance and awoke with a mild form of amnesia, not quite fully understanding what happened to her.
She is a woman of few words but strong of purpose. Her youth is deceiving, making her seem confrontational and quick to judge, though in reality she is constantly evaluating her next step. The pain she felt as an orphaned child fuels her compassionate desire to protect her loved ones and friends.
Antagonist Character: Gebel (age 30)
Original host for the magi-crystal curse that summons demons to the planet. He was the only one to survive its effects at such a high level. He destroyed the guild that created him, but in doing so realized he was no longer human and had no place on Earth. This in turn, lead him to summon the demon castle from hell to appear on the planet.
It is said that his real purpose in summoning the castle was to give Miriam a place of her own, but as his Magicrystal disease progressed, he soon forgot his own reasoning. The more he surrounded himself with hellspawn, the quicker the magicrystals engulfed his body. He continues to plot the downfall of man, and how to best convince (or use) Miriam to achieve his dark ambition.
Support Character: Johannes (age 30)
A member of the defunct Alchemist guild and Gebel’s best friend. The only Alchemist who dissented with the plan to call demons to the earth to cement Alchemy as the prevalent philosophy. His rejection of the other Alchemists’ scheme is what kept him from sharing their fate. He has a vague understanding that Miriam’s awakening and the demon castle’s appearance are no mere coincidence.
He is a caring, optimistic, and emotional individual, making him ill-suited for the work of an alchemist. However, his alchemic knowledge is the one thing keeping the magi-crystal curse from consuming Miriam entirely. He continues his devout study in hopes of stopping Gebel and avoiding the mistakes of the Alchemists before him.
Bloodstained features a crafting system whereby you defeat enemies and acquire forgeable materials via their loot drops. Occasionally, you’ll also find rare items and materials that are more useful than the regular drops, and using alchemy you can craft powerful magic skills and weapons to add to Miriam’s repertoire.
Iga is asking for $500,000 in contributions via Kickstarter. Bloodstained has already been partially funded (although just where this funding is coming from hasn’t been explained yet), and the 500k will be used to up the game’s budget, as well as manufacture retail discs for PS4 and Xbox One for Kickstarter backers.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be released in 2017.