Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (キャッスルヴァニア ロード オブ シャドウ Kyassuruvu~ania Rōdo obu Shadō?) is the first Castlevania game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was developed by MercurySteam and published by Konami. Hideo Kojima, who produced the Metal Gear series, worked as an advisor for the Japanese version, taking the Castlevania series into a new horizon according to the E3 press conference.
The game is a self-contained reboot of the series, and thus not canon to the previous games. The game follows the epic quest of Gabriel Belmont, who seeks revenge against the murderer of his wife, and his battle against the mysterious Lords of Shadow who drive the world into darkness.
In December 2010, Konami announced two DLC packs for the game in order to continue the story: Reverie (March 2011) and Resurrection (June 2011).
On June 5, 2013, the game was announced to be re-released on PC during August 2013 as an Ultimate Edition, including Reverie and Resurrection. A collection edition was released on October 31, 2013 which includes Lords of Shadow, all its DLCs, Mirror of Fate HD and a playable demo for Lords of Shadow 2.
- See also: Lords of Shadow Timeline
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow takes place at the end of days. The Earth's alliance with the Heavens has been threatened by a dark and malevolent force - the mysterious Lords of Shadow - and darkness reigns the world. Across this shattered land, the souls of the dead wander unable to find peace, whilst creatures of evil roam free wreaking chaos and death upon the living.
Gabriel Belmont is a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights who protect and defend the innocent against the supernatural. His beloved wife was brutally murdered by the evil forces of darkness and her soul trapped for eternity. Neither living nor dead she realizes the horrific truth of what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny - and hopefully salvation for the world... but at what cost?
The Official Digital Toolset for Dungeons & Dragons
Thus, Gabriel must travel the destroyed world, defeating the evil tyrants in order to use their powers to bring balance back to the world. Armed with the versatile Combat Cross - the world's last hope must encounter the three factions of the Lords of Shadow and end their unholy rule.
The character Gabriel travels to a forest looking for someone known as the Guardian of the Lake. He meets with the guardian, Pan (voiced by Aleksander Mikic), at the Lake of the Oblivion, where he tells him that there the living can communicate with the dead. Gabriel says the Brotherhood of Light sent him because they dreamed that a message from his deceased wife, Marie, awaits him at the lake, which will hold a clue to the world's salvation. With Pan's permission, Gabriel crosses the lake and communicates with Marie. She informs him that Spirits who founded the Brotherhood of Light are attempting to tell her that the power of the Lords of Shadow is the means to the world's salvation.
After Marie disappears, a man from the Brotherhood of Light called Zobek introduces himself to Gabriel as an old acquaintance of Pan, who felt that Zobek should lend him assistance. Zobek states that a prophecy has been kept a secret by a select few, and that it tells of a pure-hearted warrior who will claim the Lords of Shadow's power to overcome evil. He says that they must enter the lands of the Dark Lords in order to unite the Heavens with the world again, and that with this Gabriel can bring Marie back from the dead. Gabriel decides to leave for the Land of Lycans and asks Zobek to go to the Land of the Vampires to prepare, and that afterwards they should go onto the Land of Necromancers together.
Land of the Lycans
Gabriel journeys to the Land of the Lycans and meets Claudia (Emma Ferguson), a mute girl who can telepathically communicate and read minds. In exchange for catching evil souls, she is protected by a golem called the Black Knight Golem. Claudia reads Gabriel's mind and discovers why he has journeyed to the Land of the Lycans, and offers to help him. They decide to rest and during the night, Gabriel stabs her and suddenly awakens from what was seemingly a dream. Pan materializes before Gabriel and cautions him not to let the darkness possess him, and that he must take the Black Knight's gauntlet for his own benefit. Gabriel exclaims he will not harm his two companions, but to his shock, notices the dagger is protruding from Claudia's corpse. The Black Knight discovers this and attacks Gabriel, who both engage in a fight before Gabriel kills him and procures the gauntlet.
Gabriel buries Claudia and continues the journey, eventually encountering the Dark Lord of the Lycans, Cornell (Richard Ridings). Cornell defies Gabriel and tells him that three founding members of the Order fought the spawns of Satan in God's favor, and in their commitment to the crusade they found three places where God's power was intense. They used this to transform into the Spirits with power only second to God's, but when they ascended to the Heavens they left behind their dark sides. Cornell reveals what they left to be the Lords of Shadow, which includes himself. Gabriel defeats Cornell and receives a piece of the God Mask. Pan appears in the form of a giant eagle and tells him the other two pieces remain, and takes him to the Land of the Vampires.
The Vampire Castle and the Land of Necromancers
Gabriel rendezvous with Zobek in a village, and the two men obtain a sacred relic from the village's abbot who fell into madness. The vampires then try to kill Gabriel and to burn the village, but the warrior subdues their lieutenant after an intense battle. On the following day, Gabriel leaves the village and, with the help of a villager, finds the entrance of Carmilla's castle. As he enters the castle of the Vampire Dark Lord, Carmilla (Sally Knyvette), the young vampire Laura (Grace Vance). After they play a game of vampire chess, Laura tries to kill Gabriel. She stops when she realizes the importance of his quest, and leaves. Gabriel then continues his ascension and kill the second general of the vampire army.
He eventually encounters Carmilla at the top of the castle. A battle ensues between them and Gabriel kills her, gaining the second piece of the God Mask. Gabriel then departs for the Land of the Necromancers through a portal Pan made. Pan challenges Gabriel to a fight, much to his confusion. Pan suffers a mortal wound afterwards, and tells Gabriel he challenged him in order to sacrifice himself to open a pathway to Gabriel's journey. Gabriel encounters the Necromancer, who transforms into the Dracolich. Gabriel defeats the titan for the last part of the mask.
Zobek then appears before Gabriel with the Devil Mask, who wears it over his face and discloses that he is in fact the Lord of the Necromancers, and the one who cast the spell that separated the Earth from the Heavens. He knew this would persuade the Order's founders in Heaven to contact the Brotherhood of Light. Zobek states he did this because he grew tired of the Lords of Shadow diverting the power amongst the three of them and not seeing the potential they had in combining it. Desiring this power, he searched Hell to acquire it, until an evil force entered him and expanded his knowledge of the dark arts. Zobek says according to the prophecy, all he needed was for Gabriel to restore the power of the Spirits, while using him to avoid suspicion from them. Gabriel says he will not let him stand in his way, but Zobek mentions he used the Devil Mask on Gabriel to have him kill Claudia so he could take the Black Knight's gauntlet, which allowed Zobek to control Gabriel if he ever became a threat to him. Zobek also used the mask on Gabriel to kill his wife Marie, orchestrating the events of the story.
Satan (Jason Isaacs) emerges and takes the God Mask from Zobek, revealing himself to be one responsible for granting him power and knowledge in Hell, and that he masterminded everything from the start so he could have revenge on God and return to the Heavens. Gabriel confronts Satan and defeats him, releasing the dark spell that trapped the souls of the deceased in limbo. Before passing onto the Heavens, Marie tells Gabriel he has been granted new life to redeem himself, and that she loves him. Gabriel asks if the God Mask can bring her back, but finds out it only allows the wearer to see through God's eyes. Marie says it is too late for her, and kisses Gabriel before departing with the God Mask.
Reverie and resurrection
- Main article: Reverie
- Main article: Resurrection
After Marie's departure, Laura contacts Gabriel and asks him to return to Carmilla's castle. By killing the three Lords of Shadow, the barrier of a dimensional prison shattered, and the Forgotten One, a powerful demon, is trying to escape. The two allies find their way to the entrance of the prison, buried in the deepest caves of the castle. There, Laura explains that only dark creatures can enter the prison, and sacrifices her life so Gabriel can go fight the demon.
In the prison, Gabriel finds the Forgotten One who is trying to break the prison's seal, leaving him open for attack. The two fight, but the demon successfully opens the prison's door. Gabriel, in one final attempt to stop the demon, steals his power, and uses it to slice the demon in two. He then breaks his Combat Cross and leaves the prison.
Epilogue: Modern times
- "I cannot die... Yet, I cannot live."
- — Gabriel to Zobek after his transformation
After the ending credits, Zobek is seen alive centuries later during modern times, and has uncovered Gabriel living out an immortal life as a vampire while hiding in a church. Zobek asks him why he has been hiding all this time, but he angrily retorts that he is no longer called Gabriel and says "Eu sunt Dracul!" (Romanian for "I am the Dragon/Devil"). Zobek mentions the acolytes of Satan are preparing for his return and that they must stop him, before he takes revenge on both of them. Before Gabriel disappears, Zobek tells him he will free him of his immortality if he helps him.
- Gabriel Belmont (playable) — The protagonist of the game. He seeks to revive Marie by collecting pieces of an ancient mask.
- Marie Belmont — Gabriel's recently deceased wife.
- Zobek — A mysterious member of the Brotherhood of Light.
- Pan — The Guardian of the Oblivion Lake.
- Claudia — A young mute woman who helps Gabriel.
- Baba Yaga — A witch that helps Gabriel at the price of a blue rose.
- Black Knight Golem — A large golem that protects Claudia.
- Abbot Dorin — A cowardly monk who abandoned his people for safety.
- Laura (playable) — Carmilla's "daughter", who seems to enjoy toying with Gabriel. Playable during Reverie.
- Olrox and Brauner — Carmilla's greatest champions, who lead the Vampire armies.
- Third Necromancer — The only Necromancer who speaks to Gabriel, and then summons the Dracolich.
- The three Lords of Shadow:
- Cornell — The first Lord of Shadow and King of the Lycans.
- Carmilla — The second Lord of Shadow and Queen of the Vampires.
- Lord of the Dead — The last Lord of Shadow and Lord of the Necromancers.
- Satan — The Devil and main antagonist.
- The Forgotten One — A powerful demon seeking revenge, and antagonist in the DLC Chapters.
- Robert Carlyle: Gabriel Belmont/Dracula
- Natascha McElhone: Marie Belmont
- Aleksandar Mikic: Pan
- Patrick Stewart: Zobek
- Grace Vance: Laura
- Richard Ridings: Cornell
- Emma Ferguson: Claudia
- Ève Karpf: Baba Yaga
- Adrian Schiller: Abbot Vincent Dorin
- Jason Sampson: Chupacabras
- Sally Knyvette: Carmilla
- Jason Isaacs: Satan
- Colin McFarlane: The Forgotten One
According to an IGN interview, the game is currently running on a proprietary MercurySteam Engine and has been described as a third person action adventure title with combat, platforming and puzzle elements. The combat is that of Castlevania: Lament of Innocence resulting in combat that feels similar to later games that were also inspired by combat from Castlevania: Lament of Innocence such as Rygar and God of War. The combat is mainly focused around utilizing a retractable chain whip called the "Combat Cross" using Lament of Innocence' system of quick strong attacks and long range area attacks, in addition to other items in the player's inventory such as knives, stakes, holy water.
The whip is used not only for combat, but also for exploration purposes such as scaling walls and swinging across gaps. The whip is controlled by alternating combo's using the (x) or Square and (y) or Triangle buttons this changes dramatically with the press or hold of the buttons and will have a significant effect on the action, also changing depending on whether or not the character is in the air or on ground level. The game features a fixed camera, placed to show off the games advanced graphics.
The developers have tried to reach out to new audiences by distancing this game from previous Castlevania games, but have kept some elements intact as to not alienate current fans. For example, vampires and werewolves are recurring enemies in the game, but new enemies include Trolls, Giant Spiders, Goblins and large scale, fully interactive bosses reminiscent of those in Shadow of the Colossus.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was originally announced during the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig in August. It was announced to the public without the Castlevania title, however, so as not to upstage Castlevania Judgment, which was being shown at the time. The game was later revealed to be a Castlevania title during the 2009 E3 Conference in June. An updated trailer shown at the 2009 Gamescom in August showed a clip which strongly implied that the antagonist was in fact Dracula, however, this was not confirmed for certain in later interviews. Recently according to Dave Cox's twitter page, Gabriel has been confirmed as a Belmont. He also stated that the Combat Cross would not replace the Vampire Killer that the Belmont Clan has used in previous games and as well as stating that the game takes place in 11th century 1047 predating the events of Lament of Innocence, though Dave Cox has stated that the game does not follow the established timeline..
- Main article: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow/Press Releases
References to other games
The game includes in-jokes and Easter eggs nodding to elements from previous Castlevania games, and even other franchises and other media. Please refer to the games or characters pages for more information.
- Main article: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow/Games References
The Collector Edition for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. It contains the game, the soundtrack and an artbook. The box art is different from the normal version. Initial buy price $79.99.
- Lords of Shadow has a "Cheats" menu. It is activated by entering the Konami code, first on the D pad, then on the face buttons: ↑, ↑, ↓, ↓, ←, →, ←, →, , (on PS3) and ↑, ↑, ↓, ↓, ←, →, ←, →, , (on Xbox 360). The code is entered correctly when a sprite of Simon Belmont appears over the Light Magic container that mimics Gabriel's motions. However, activating cheat codes disables achievements/trophies and saving.
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