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Offline The Puritan

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"Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« on: May 25, 2021, 02:25:55 AM »
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So in 2006, a GameFAQs user named POTRAITOFRUIN accurately leaked that game's plot months before its December release. Supposedly she was part of the gaming press and had gotten to play the game early. Following that, the community looked to her as a credible source of Castlevania news, especially on upcoming projects. One of the last things she wrote on the forums over there was that there would be "two 1999 games." And then she vanished. I'd heard it said (or surmised, not sure) that she had been fired for her earlier POR leak.

Looking back now, what do you think that "two 1999 games" thing was about? Did Konami really have two Demon Castle War projects on the drawing board but axed them early on? Or did she simply misreport what became different games, namely Dracula X Chronicles, Order of Ecclesia, and maybe even Judgment?

EDIT: I just now realized she would have said what she said in 2007, my bad.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 03:20:07 AM by The Puritan »

Offline Flame

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2021, 07:42:57 AM »
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Hard to say. Also hard to verify. Is there any record of that person's posting or anything? Wayback machine maybe? I'd like to see exactly what she had to say concerning POR and anything else. makes the difference between coincidence that a fake leaker got one right, or something else.

Also 2006... Around the time of POR... Remember this was not the best time for Castlevania. It had been relegated to handhelds for a while by that point, with what looked like increasingly small budgets, and supposedly increasingly disappointing sales, and cheaper attempts to broaden appeal, such as DoS and PoR's more generic anime style. The IGA "Alucard Game" teaser was in 2008. And from what we know of that, it was part of several pitches made by different studios and parts of Konami. One of which was the original Lords of Shadow pitch with Simon-Gabriel at a stormy castle.

So this was around the time that Konami was shopping around for what to do with the series, and it's possible that if they *were* planning, as a last ditch effort to increase the brand's buzz, a 1999 game or something, (two games seems odd) if there was anything planned there, it was probably canned when Konami picked Mercurysteam and Konami Europe for the next Castlevania game.
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Offline Foffy

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2021, 09:24:30 AM »
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Presumably she could have known about two prototypes. I think she even spoke about what platforms they were on, and who the protagonists were. Alucard got the PS2 version and Julius was the DS version iirc. She did show footage of Portrait of Ruin months before release, and we knew the bosses and every mode in the game. She even dumped a higher quality version of the OST than the final game, so I think she was closer than what one usually is with regular game press. Then there's her being the first person to talk about Super Smash Bros Brawl's final roster, so I think she may have even been a Konami employee outright.

Of note, 2007 was the year there was no in-house Castlevania game. There was Dracula X Chronicles, which unless I'm mistaken, was an outsourced project. If they got canned, the lack of an internally made game by Konami would explain that gap.

Offline crisis

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2021, 12:13:11 PM »
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I remember that person and I remember that era. Yeah she was very mysterious. I recall her posting “Two 1999 games. That is all.” and vanishing soon after. Everybody here went wild with speculation, but that’s all it was, no other details about these “games” were provided moving forward.

A console version and a portable version sounded the most plausible, although how they would’ve differed would be anybody’s guess


Off topic but somewhat related, I also remember an “insider” that leaked boss info on the yet-to-be-announced Order of Ecclesia. He asked for help on translating the boss crab creature’s English name on the GameFAQs forums. He disappeared soon after, many of us were skeptical & thought the screenshot he provided was a hoax, but history proved that he was in fact legitimate. His identity, along with PORTRAITofRUIN, remain a mystery

Offline The Puritan

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2021, 02:53:00 AM »
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Looking for archived screenies now, but here's what I distinctly remember about the POR leak:

-PORTRAITOFRUIN posted it around August 2006, four months before the game came out
-she spoiled the game's major revelations in her post: Wind is Eric, Stella and Loretta are actually his daughters, and the Vampire Killer isn't at full power in Jonathan's hands because he needs a Lecarde to help him unlock it
-she indeed showed footage of the game beyond what we had already seen from official trailers and gameplay

I'll admit the first two revelations could have been lucky guesses, but the third was so out there that it couldn't possibly be one. That, the dumped OST (which I only now remembered, thank you Foffy), the footage, and all of the above being completely spot-on when the game came out confirmed her legitimacy. So if she made a claim about "two 1999 games", her track record meant you could take that claim with more grains of salt than other purported leakers.

So this was around the time that Konami was shopping around for what to do with the series, and it's possible that if they *were* planning, as a last ditch effort to increase the brand's buzz, a 1999 game or something, (two games seems odd) if there was anything planned there, it was probably canned when Konami picked Mercurysteam and Konami Europe for the next Castlevania game.

Even now, I think two 1999 games was odd as well. I don't personally remember her saying anything about Julius and Alucard though, or that one would be for DS and the other for PS2. I always assumed those were educated guesses by other fans derived from "Two 1999 games. That is all."

But let's say "Julius/Alucard for DS/PS2" was true too. What happened then? Maybe IGA was throwing barebones game ideas at the wall, aka Konami, to see which one stuck. That would line up with his style; he's said that for Castlevania, he prefers to make the game and its mechanics first then craft a story around it, not the other way around.

Konami then showed interest in two ideas: a 2D game following their handheld endeavors since 2001 and a 3D game following LOI and COD. IGA figured that the Demon Castle War was too big for just one game, so he planned to use those two games to tell the final chapter of the Dracula saga. This could also have been fueled by the winds starting to change at Konami, and perhaps IGA figured he'd better tell one last story over two games before he either bowed out and/or the execs moved Castlevania in a new direction. This (completely theoretical) early plan is what PORTRAITOFRUIN heard and leaked before Konami brought us to where we are now.

Yeah... two 1999 games woulda been weird. But it could also have been fun and given us fans closure for the IGA era, if nothing else.

Off topic but somewhat related, I also remember an “insider” that leaked boss info on the yet-to-be-announced Order of Ecclesia. He asked for help on translating the boss crab creature’s English name on the GameFAQs forums. He disappeared soon after, many of us were skeptical & thought the screenshot he provided was a hoax, but history proved that he was in fact legitimate. His identity, along with PORTRAITofRUIN, remain a mystery

I remember him too. Given why and what he posted, he could've been involved in localizing the game for the US. He disappeared after user Semianonymous emailed the screenshots to Konami and asked if they were legit. People joked that Semianonymous had cost the poster his job, moreso after those screens proved real.

Offline Nagumo

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2021, 03:49:08 AM »
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This is unrelated to the PORTRAITOFRUIN leak, but there's also the CV of Carmilla's voice actress, Karen Strassman, which lists "Castlevania: Servants of Chaos" as one of the games she did voice work for. No date is listed for the game, though. I wonder if that could somehow be related to those "two 1999 games".   

Offline Abnormal Freak

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2021, 04:04:55 AM »
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Joke's on all of you, the two 1999 games were referring to the N64 games all along.
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Offline crisis

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2021, 06:43:18 AM »
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Well lets just keep this ball rolling

@Nagumo

I recall several years back (i wanna say around 2011ish) there was this interview on a website of this actor that claimed he did some motion capture work on a cancelled CV game. He said he flew to Japan & all that, I think it was deduced that the game he worked on was Akumajo Dracula PS3/360. Do you have any more info or perhaps the article which featured him? I can’t be the only one that remembers this

Offline Nagumo

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2021, 08:40:25 AM »
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Yeah, that was Troy Baker. If you google his name together with Castlevania, you'll find something.

Offline SecretWeapon

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2021, 03:26:47 PM »
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I wasn't here when this happened (i literally joined the forums when Ecclesia came up). But considering the projects after PoR were OoE and Judgement, it's possible that at some point the plans were more ambitious

Offline Foffy

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2021, 09:38:57 AM »
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I remember that person and I remember that era. Yeah she was very mysterious. I recall her posting “Two 1999 games. That is all.” and vanishing soon after. Everybody here went wild with speculation, but that’s all it was, no other details about these “games” were provided moving forward.

A console version and a portable version sounded the most plausible, although how they would’ve differed would be anybody’s guess


Off topic but somewhat related, I also remember an “insider” that leaked boss info on the yet-to-be-announced Order of Ecclesia. He asked for help on translating the boss crab creature’s English name on the GameFAQs forums. He disappeared soon after, many of us were skeptical & thought the screenshot he provided was a hoax, but history proved that he was in fact legitimate. His identity, along with PORTRAITofRUIN, remain a mystery

She posted a bit more about it than that. She named the platforms and that there would be some connectivity system between the games, which I assume was something like a password or code you get in one game for the other. I imagine this idea, if it had weight, died eventually as Sony and Nintendo likely wouldn't approve of this system between a PS2 and a DS game. Unless my memory is busted, I remember her teasing two games, then naming the protagonists of each and some sort of connection that they had for players to get the most out of having both titles. I do not remember if her leaks here came before or after leaking Dracula X Chronicles and all of the features it had. I might be wrong on this, but I believe she "resurfaced" when there was that 4chan post leaking information about Bloodstained's kickstarter a day before it went live, getting the full name and setting right. That one's a bit hard to confirm because it's 4chan and someone could be playing imposter, but this was at a period where big gaming leaks from coming from /v/. If it wasn't her in that case, it was likely someone from Fangamer who contributed to the campaign.

I used to have the OST she dumped, but lost it many years ago when Megaupload died. Would anyone in the community perhaps have it? I distinctively recall Simon's Theme having completely different starting instrumentation. I don't believe the heartbeat effect was in that version.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 09:50:54 AM by Foffy »

Offline Nagumo

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 07:41:38 AM »
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Could anyone post some links?

Offline X

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2021, 09:50:15 AM »
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Did these OSTs ever end up on you tube? If so you could always rip them from there.
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Offline The Puritan

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Re: "Two 1999 games"- PORTRAITOFRUIN, 2007
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2021, 06:03:50 PM »
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Found this Youtube channel that either she made, or someone else made after she vanished. Seems to be the former.

https://www.youtube.com/user/MsPORTRAITofRUIN

The Stella/Loretta and Richter/Maria vids were uploaded to Youtube after POR's release date, but I do remember she had already leaked them weeks before that on GameFAQs. So if nothing else, she really did have early access to the game.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 06:09:26 PM by The Puritan »

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