Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Castlevania 6-5000

I'm not really that familiar with the Castlevania series, but I've seen some of the games played, and it's definitely an appropriate subject for Halloween. The first game was released in 1986 (in Japan, anyway; it was the following year before it came out here in North America), and starred Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter armed with a whip for the purpose of taking down Count Dracula. The Count's minions included monsters from classical mythology and folklore, as well as some from twentieth-century horror films, including Frankenstein's monster and Igor.

Dracula himself was modeled on Bela Lugosi's portrayal of the vampire, although he'd take on other forms in later games. The series has developed a rather complicated mythology, taking place over a span of centuries, with Dracula coming back to life approximately once every hundred years. There are several Belmonts who face him, starting with Dracula's former friend Leon in the twelfth century, and continuing with Trevor, Christopher, Simon (whose adventures take place near the end of the seventeenth century), and Richter. Quincey Morris, the Texan who sacrifices himself to defeat Dracula in Bram Stoker's original novel, was worked into the games' ongoing story as a relative of the Belmont clan. Another significant character in the series is Alucard, the son of Dracula and his second wife, who sometimes assists the Belmonts in their ongoing fight against his father.

While I believe Alucard's real name in the games is Adrian, his more famous appellation first appeared in the 1943 film Son of Dracula, and has been used in several other media since then (sometimes as a son or descendant of Dracula, and other times as an alias for the Count himself, presumably the source for the running gag in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series about how vampires all think no one will figure out who they are if they spell their names backwards).

There's been talk of making the series into a movie, which doesn't sound too promising, considering the track record of films based on video games. Perhaps the fact that the game series was inspired by classic horror movies in the first place would make it better than other such game-to-film adaptations, but that also means that it wouldn't really give us anything we haven't seen before in numerous monster movies. I remember seeing a trailer for the Van Helsing movie a few years ago (I never saw the actual movie), and thinking it looked an awful lot like Castlevania. The main character certainly seemed a lot more like an action hero Belmont than the scientist Abraham Van Helsing from Stoker's book. Personally, I think that if the movie does get made, they should be forced to use the vain, arrogant portrayal of Simon from the Captain N series. {g}

The Angry Video Game Nerd has been covering the Castlevania games recently, so you might want to check out what he has up so far. And in case you haven't seen it yet, his first review was of Castlevania 2.
Tags: books, discworld, monsters, movies, video games
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