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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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What follows is strictly my personal opinion; feel free to disagree and even argue why you think I'm wrong.

Lament of Innocence is probably one of the best games in the series, when taken as a whole. The music, Castle, characters, fast combat (relative to what Castlevania usually has), and sheer level of personality exuded by every facet of the game easily put it up there as one of Iga's crown jewels, right up there with Symphony of the Night.

For years, I talked it up as "required reading" concerning the series.

And now I've reconsidered.

While Lament is something that I think every fan should definitely play as it represents arguably the best 3D take on Castlevania to date, the narrative is, unfortunately, just a gaiden tale -- a side story. It's interesting and fun to play through, but it doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know that was actually important.

For example: Walter is a gloriously magnificent example of vampire melodrama and Exhibit A for how sexy a boisterous scenery-chewing male baritone can be, but he doesn't really move the needle much as a villain. Indeed, he's scarcely a character. He's more like a plot device with dialogue meant to justify Leon being the first Belmont vampire hunter in a world in which Dracula isn't made yet. Nothing of Walter's origin is explained, and, aside from kidnapping Rinaldo's daughter prior to this adventure, we really don't know anything else about him because frankly, Walter is the least important part of Lament of Innocence. He's like Dracula was portrayed in the first Castlevania: he allegedly did some stuff earlier (trust the manua-- I MEAN RINALDO on this) and he totally has to die because of it. He's an obviously evil final boss who shows up to taunt you once or twice before you fight him (and he's not even the actual final boss!). The game doesn't actually need Walter so much as it needs any plausibly powerful monster that could provide that boss battle for you (and preferably hurt and/or kill Sara before you fight it). There was some potential for backstory via Joachim, but his aired grievances are generic, undetailed, and too brief to add significant weight to Walter's villainous role*.

And concerning Dracula's origin story, Lament is just a repackaging of Castlevania 3's story that was gleaned from details in Symphony; Dracula really should stop falling for gentle blondes named Lisa because it will plainly never end well. We don't strictly need to know he was once Mathias Cronqvist. It doesn't progress our understanding of Dracula. And aside from some very subtle yaoi-fuel and scenery-chewing (that term again!) present in the single six minute cutscene in which he appears, there's no reason to find that Matthias adds much to the narrative. Why not have him already as Vlad Tepes, possibly already a vampire, and manipulating Leon into killing a more powerful rival in true Game of Thrones fashion? At least that way he avoids the Edgelord Emo Boi "Oh my wife died so now the Man's gotta pay" plot points we've already seen played out earlier in the series. Aside from establishing that Dracula is prone to that sort of behavior, we learn nothing from it that we couldn't have learned from another version of the plot. He's still a manipulative bastard either way, but removing Elisabetha's death as a motive and making it petty and ambitious instead makes him a Manipulative Bastard who doesn't listen to Nine Inch Nails on a loop. Also, establishing him as ACTUALLY Vlad would spare the story some confusing retcons about how Mathias became Dracula-who-pretended-to-be-Vlad that became necessary in the wake of this game.

Needless to say, we don't learn anything particularly useful with the story as written.

Lament veers closer to earlier Castlevanias in terms of the relationship of story to gameplay: the story is there strictly to justify the gameplay, and you really can ignore it if you want. That being said, like with those earlier games, there's some fun nuggets to dig out if you want to analyze them, like how "Walter" and "Vlad" have similar meanings (they both derive from the same root word, Wald, "To Rule") which helps establish how similar Dracula is to Walter, and denoting him as Walter's "successor". Knowing how the Vampire Killer was created, and by extension, a bit of how it works is kind of neat too, but it didn't really rate the list of important things to know.

If it sounds like I'm dumping on the game, I'm really not. I love it, it's one of my favorites, and it definitely deserves to be remembered as one of the Greatest Hits of the franchise, but in hindsight... the story really isn't as essential to know as I previously thought. Castlevania 3 is still the true starting point of the story, and Lament of Innocence bends over backwards to make sure of it, but sacrifices everything that could have made the story essential in doing so.

All Lament really tells us that we didn't already know is precisely when and why Dracula became such a douchebag to begin with.

Hardly the sort of stuff required reading is made from.

Man, hindsight sucks.



*Maybe add more vampirized former hunters? Their presence alone might have established Walter's role better.


« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 04:17:33 PM by Lumi Kløvstad »
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 04:53:05 PM »
0
What follows is strictly my personal opinion; feel free to disagree and even argue why you think I'm wrong.

Lament of Innocence is probably one of the best games in the series, when taken as a whole. The music, Castle, characters, fast combat (relative to what Castlevania usually has), and sheer level of personality exuded by every facet of the game easily put it up there as one of Iga's crown jewels, right up there with Symphony of the Night.

For years, I talked it up as "required reading" concerning the series.

And now I've reconsidered.

While Lament is something that I think every fan should definitely play as it represents arguably the best 3D take on Castlevania to date, the narrative is, unfortunately, just a gaiden tale -- a side story. It's interesting and fun to play through, but it doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know that was actually important.

For example: Walter is a gloriously magnificent example of vampire melodrama and Exhibit A for how sexy a boisterous scenery-chewing male baritone can be, but he doesn't really move the needle much as a villain. Indeed, he's scarcely a character. He's more like a plot device with dialogue meant to justify Leon being the first Belmont vampire hunter in a world in which Dracula isn't made yet. Nothing of Walter's origin is explained, and, aside from kidnapping Rinaldo's daughter prior to this adventure, we really don't know anything else about him because frankly, Walter is the least important part of Lament of Innocence. He's like Dracula was portrayed in the first Castlevania: he allegedly did some stuff earlier (trust the manua-- I MEAN RINALDO on this) and he totally has to die because of it. He's an obviously evil final boss who shows up to taunt you once or twice before you fight him (and he's not even the actual final boss!). The game doesn't actually need Walter so much as it needs any plausibly powerful monster that could provide that boss battle for you (and preferably hurt and/or kill Sara before you fight it). There was some potential for backstory via Joachim, but his aired grievances are generic, undetailed, and too brief to add significant weight to Walter's villainous role*.

And concerning Dracula's origin story, Lament is just a repackaging of Castlevania 3's story that was gleaned from details in Symphony; Dracula really should stop falling for gentle blondes named Lisa because it will plainly never end well. We don't strictly need to know he was once Mathias Cronqvist. It doesn't progress our understanding of Dracula. And aside from some very subtle yaoi-fuel and scenery-chewing (that term again!) present in the single six minute cutscene in which he appears, there's no reason to find that Matthias adds much to the narrative. Why not have him already as Vlad Tepes, possibly already a vampire, and manipulating Leon into killing a more powerful rival in true Game of Thrones fashion? At least that way he avoids the Edgelord Emo Boi "Oh my wife died so now the Man's gotta pay" plot points we've already seen played out earlier in the series. Aside from establishing that Dracula is prone to that sort of behavior, we learn nothing from it that we couldn't have learned from another version of the plot. He's still a manipulative bastard either way, but removing Elisabetha's death as a motive and making it petty and ambitious instead makes him a Manipulative Bastard who doesn't listen to Nine Inch Nails on a loop. Also, establishing him as ACTUALLY Vlad would spare the story some confusing retcons about how Mathias became Dracula-who-pretended-to-be-Vlad that became necessary in the wake of this game.

Needless to say, we don't learn anything particularly useful with the story as written.

Lament veers closer to earlier Castlevanias in terms of the relationship of story to gameplay: the story is there strictly to justify the gameplay, and you really can ignore it if you want. That being said, like with those earlier games, there's some fun nuggets to dig out if you want to analyze them, like how "Walter" and "Vlad" have similar meanings (they both derive from the same root word, Wald, "To Rule") which helps establish how similar Dracula is to Walter, and denoting him as Walter's "successor". Knowing how the Vampire Killer was created, and by extension, a bit of how it works is kind of neat too, but it didn't really rate the list of important things to know.

If it sounds like I'm dumping on the game, I'm really not. I love it, it's one of my favorites, and it definitely deserves to be remembered as one of the Greatest Hits of the franchise, but in hindsight... the story really isn't as essential to know as I previously thought. Castlevania 3 is still the true starting point of the story, and Lament of Innocence bends over backwards to make sure of it, but sacrifices everything that could have made the story essential in doing so.

All Lament really tells us that we didn't already know is precisely when and why Dracula became such a douchebag to begin with.

Hardly the sort of stuff required reading is made from.

Man, hindsight sucks.



*Maybe add more vampirized former hunters? Their presence alone might have established Walter's role better.


I agree with A LOT of what you said.

Walter was sort of pointless. He was more of just a plot twist device than a character of any substance.

Dracula would be much better as Vlad. Never been a fan of the Mathias backstory. It's one of my biggest gripes of the whole series.

I think Lament should've been Sonia Belmonts reboot. Her against Vlad. It would've been much better imo. A lot of fans (myself included) felt cheated out of her role with the cancellation of Ressurection and her later being wiped from the story. A simple reboot of her as a character would've worked. She should have stayed at the origin of CV imo.

I think story wise the best part about LOI was the origin of the whip. But that could've been told differently of course.

Leon is a weak, uninteresting character.

But I agree it's a great game.

I'm listening to Nine Inch Nails as I write this lol.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 05:13:42 PM by Belmontoya »
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 12:24:11 AM »
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LoI was good for what it was. I enjoyed playing it and some of the music was fantastic. But like Belmontoya I disagree whole-heartedly about the Dracula origins. It should have been left out. Everyone already knew before the game was thought up that Vlad was Dracula. It was a given. The vampirekiller's origin was okay but I felt it detracted from its more divine presence by being a creation of alchemy coupled with a tainted soul rather then an actual holy relic of godly power bestowed upon the Belmonts, possibly by an Angelic being. And also having Mathias/Dracula being the progenitor of the whip via his alchemical book is too much of a stretch for me. It's a very popular theme in Japan to have as much character connections as possible, even if it serves little to no real purpose and is nonsensical. The Belmont origins I don't mind either as that was kinda the point of the game, although Leon seems to be a male personified version of Sonia (minus the french-braided hairstyle and her armour). That thought immediately came to mind when I first saw his images. But fo all it's flaws including the ones they never fixed but made worse in CoD, LoI is still fun to play from time to time.
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Offline Nagumo

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 01:19:30 AM »
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If you wanted to streamline the plot as much as possible, you could just have Dracula be a human Vlad Tepes who becomes a vampire after Lisa died because he cursed God or whatever (just like Bram Stoker's Dracula). The feud between Dracula and the Belmonts, while interesting, feels a bit tacked on because is never referenced again and the Belmonts already had a clear motivation for going after Dracula before then. The whip's origin is not very important, either.

Supposedly, IGA's motivation for creating LoI was because Dracula had been mentioned to be 800 years in RoB, but I'm not sure why he didn't just ignore this, as he had no qualms about ignoring other pre-SotN lore that didn't fit with his vision of the story.

I like LoI, though. However, it's best regarded as a prologue to the Castlevania series rather than the beginning.

Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 01:46:38 AM »
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Quote from: Nagumo
it's best regarded as a prologue to the Castlevania series rather than the beginning.

Took the words right out of my mouth, there.

Quote from: Belmontoya
I think Lament should've been Sonia Belmonts reboot. Her against Vlad. It would've been much better imo. A lot of fans (myself included) felt cheated out of her role with the cancellation of Ressurection and her later being wiped from the story. A simple reboot of her as a character would've worked. She should have stayed at the origin of CV imo.
...
Leon is a weak, uninteresting character.

Leon was... lacking something. Like Walter, he never feels like a fully developed character.

I also agree that Sonia Belmont could have and should have been reinvented for the game -- her "relationship" with the vampire antagonist (be it Walter, Dracula, or Count goddamn Chocula for all I care) would have been easy to work into something that hits home thematically: heroines in mythic storytelling have a lot of connections with the sanctity of natural life, along with birth and growth (and basically motherhood in general), and that makes vampires (as walking and talking corruptions of the natural order of life) diametrically opposed to them in terms of thematic imagery. Sonia would have been a shoo-in for that kind of story given the whole "Sacred Mother of the Belmont Lineage" role Legends gave her. Iga had one hell of an opportunity that he passed up to put his official spin on that.

Maybe Iga was right when he said "the series isn't ready yet" for a female protagonist at the time. Maybe not. I personally don't believe that he was. But we'll never know for certain. I personally think that Sonia would have made a more effective hero than Leon though.

Strictly as a tangential aside, erasing Sonia Belmont's role as the start of the Belmont lineage was hardly the only controversial move Iga made during the production of Lament. It was very much the height of the period where the series was transitioning to his singular vision, and the patchy folkloric version of canon was being largely swept away, tinkered with, retconned and retailored into something that would fit his version. Really, Lament was effectively his giant rubber stamp: "this is the way things are while I'm here, learn to like it."

I firmly believe that heavy handed and absolutist approach to establishing his unified canon vision is why he still has very vocal detractors to this day. It's like when Disney came in and outright told the Star Wars fandom that almost none of the stuff they loved outside the films ever happened and they had to be cool with the decision because it's Disney's show now and what are ya gonna do about it, ya scrubs?

When you take that approach, no matter what good you accomplish afterwards, people are going to be salty because you just invalidated something they loved very dearly. Whether we agree that Iga solved more problems than he caused by doing that or vice versa, it will forever be a divisive decision: the best thing we can do is live with it and try to like what came out during that period (not exactly a hard decision, imo). I would know. I protested Sonia being stricken from canon for damn near 15 years and I'm still not thrilled with it even though I understand perfectly well why it was done. I've always been a Sonia Belmont fan.

I even named my fucking cat after her. :P

But this is veering into the category of "just make a new thread to talk about this" material, so I'll let my keyboard rest.
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 04:03:42 AM »
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Strictly as a tangential aside, erasing Sonia Belmont's role as the start of the Belmont lineage was hardly the only controversial move Iga made during the production of Lament. It was very much the height of the period where the series was transitioning to his singular vision, and the patchy folkloric version of canon was being largely swept away, tinkered with, retconned and retailored into something that would fit his version. Really, Lament was effectively his giant rubber stamp: "this is the way things are while I'm here, learn to like it."

I firmly believe that heavy handed and absolutist approach to establishing his unified canon vision is why he still has very vocal detractors to this day. It's like when Disney came in and outright told the Star Wars fandom that almost none of the stuff they loved outside the films ever happened and they had to be cool with the decision because it's Disney's show now and what are ya gonna do about it, ya scrubs?

I'm in complete disagreement with this sentiment, something IGA has been shown to be through the years is VERY humble and the picture you paint about him has him in a selfish and stubborn light which just is not the case. IGA's attempt to create a timeline was from a standpoint of ATTEMPTING to salvage the series into 1 coherent storyline and he did his best to do that by retconing and adding new games into the mythos, none of this ever came from a giant rubber stamp of "this is mine learn to like it" type of mindset you apparently think he had, this all came from a guy who took over the series and wanted to tie in games that before where pretty much standalone for the most part into 1 canon storyline and while Lament if Innocene is by no means perfect there is no disputing its place in the official canon as the beginning of the Castlevania storyline. Fans can make their own headcannon and ignore that if they want but until Konami revives the series and has someone else take over and officially start a new canon or alter the current one THIS is the canon we have for those older games pre LOS saga.

In short I just think you have the complete wrong idea concerning IGA's motives behind creating the canon for this series, interviews through the years if you have been keeping up would let you know this is a guy who loved the series, has been humble and not big headed in the slightest, and only did what he did to try to give fans the most coherent lore he possibly could.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 04:10:14 AM by DarkPrinceAlucard »


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Offline theplottwist

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 04:19:20 AM »
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I'll second DarkPrinceAlucard's sentiment and add something else: To this day I do not get the ire some fans got from the fact that this or that game is not canon. And every time I ask (save very few exceptions), the ire comes from a misconception.

A game not being canon doesn't mean it "doesn't exist" or that it is "less" than the canon ones. My favorite classicvania is not canon and I don't give a singular shit about it.

Canon is fun because "story", but that's pretty much it. Castlevania's focus is not the story, so I don't get what the big deal is.
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 05:31:03 AM »
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I'll second DarkPrinceAlucard's sentiment and add something else: To this day I do not get the ire some fans got from the fact that this or that game is not canon. And every time I ask (save very few exceptions), the ire comes from a misconception.

A game not being canon doesn't mean it "doesn't exist" or that it is "less" than the canon ones. My favorite classicvania is not canon and I don't give a singular shit about it.

Canon is fun because "story", but that's pretty much it. Castlevania's focus is not the story, so I don't get what the big deal is.

The reason fans don't like it is because we liked the character of Sonia and it meant that there would be no more CV games with her in it.

@DarkPrinceAlucard I don't think Lumi is attacking Iga or accusing him of an inflated ego. She's simply stating that LOI marks a point where he made decisions with the story that she didn't care for.
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 05:38:56 AM »
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\

@DarkPrinceAlucard I don't think Lumi is attacking Iga or accusing him of an inflated ego. She's simply stating that LOI marks a point where he made decisions with the story that she didn't care for.

She is stating more than that dude, statements such as these,

Quote
retconned and retailored into something that would fit his version. Really, Lament was effectively his giant rubber stamp: "this is the way things are while I'm here, learn to like it."

I firmly believe that heavy handed and absolutist approach to establishing his unified canon vision is why he still has very vocal detractors to this day

Namely the bolded part shows that she is of a opinion that IGA is apparently a selfish man who wants and does things heavy handed and absolutist and feels fans needs to  "learn to like it" and as I said IGA simply is just not that type of guy which is obvious to anyone who actually has been watching his work, conduct, and interviews through the years.



« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 05:41:09 AM by DarkPrinceAlucard »


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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 07:16:28 AM »
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She's only stating an opinion about how he handled this isolated game in the series.

I didnt read that she thinks anything negative about him as a person in general from that. More that she thinks in this particular case, he didn't handle it as well as he could have.

Everyone has moments in life where they mistep or make rash decisions. This doesn't put a label on him as a creator for the rest of his life.

Iga is an awesome guy but you're implying that he's never had lapses in judgement, fleeting moments of selfishness or made hasty decisions.

He deserves all the praise he gets but let's not forget that he's human and can make mistakes too.

Maybe in this case he did make a heavy handed decision. That doesn't mean he isn't humble over all.


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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 10:18:33 AM »
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Iga is a very humble guy and was brought up in a culture where humbleness is the norm. However with regards to women with power and strength said culture is uncomfortable with that aspect. Iga was raised in that culture. While he said the world isn't ready for a female lead in the series I feel that he wasn't talking about the world per se so much as it was more about himself. He wasn't comfortable with a female Belmont lead even though the rest of the world wouldn't have minded one iota. The backlash from that point onward obviously got his attention and now he seems to have moved on from his previous mindset. Bloodstained has a female protagonist. Unfortunately for CV as long as Konami continues on their present course we may never see a female Belmont lead let alone an actual console game.
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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 01:04:32 PM »
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Quote
I'm in complete disagreement with this sentiment, something IGA has been shown to be through the years is VERY humble and the picture you paint about him has him in a selfish and stubborn light which just is not the case. IGA's attempt to create a timeline was from a standpoint of ATTEMPTING to salvage the series into 1 coherent storyline and he did his best to do that by retconing and adding new games into the mythos, none of this ever came from a giant rubber stamp of "this is mine learn to like it" type of mindset you apparently think he had, this all came from a guy who took over the series and wanted to tie in games that before where pretty much standalone for the most part into 1 canon storyline and while Lament if Innocene is by no means perfect there is no disputing its place in the official canon as the beginning of the Castlevania storyline. Fans can make their own headcannon and ignore that if they want but until Konami revives the series and has someone else take over and officially start a new canon or alter the current one THIS is the canon we have for those older games pre LOS saga.

In short I just think you have the complete wrong idea concerning IGA's motives behind creating the canon for this series, interviews through the years if you have been keeping up would let you know this is a guy who loved the series, has been humble and not big headed in the slightest, and only did what he did to try to give fans the most coherent lore he possibly could.

She is stating more than that dude, statements such as these,

Namely the bolded part shows that she is of a opinion that IGA is apparently a selfish man who wants and does things heavy handed and absolutist and feels fans needs to  "learn to like it" and as I said IGA simply is just not that type of guy which is obvious to anyone who actually has been watching his work, conduct, and interviews through the years.

I really don't know why some people seem to enjoy taking the harshest possible read on my word choice on this forum, but okay. This isn't exactly new for me here.

To clarify: I'm a fan of Igarashi. I think he saved Castlevania from inevitable obscurity for at least a decade. He made a golden age out of a shit ton of tarnishing bronze. Under him, Castlevania truly found itself because he brought together the people who would redefine it into its current gothic fantasy identity, like Ayami Kojima and Michiru Yamane.

But the way he did it stepped on a LOT of toes. This was, unfortunately, necessary. As the saying goes, "you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs".

By unifying the canon, Iga had set out to make one hell of an omelette, and one of my favorite characters got lost in the crossfire. It's wretched unfortunate, but the price, in the end, was one I was ultimately willing to pay. Because as much as I love the idea of her, Sonia Belmont wasn't exactly handled with a lot of dexterity by her writers and her game was a bit of a mess that contradicted Castlevania 3 a bit, and that's just one thing that Castlevania fans don't ever allow. There are things that just aren't done, and contradicting CV3 is one of those.

So I'm not badmouthing Iga here. I think he was in a position where he'd never have gotten anything done if he'd refused to piss someone off, especially in 2000-2001 as he was readying LoI to be the first step in his grand vision of a Castlevania timeline.

So yeah, I wish he'd rebooted Sonia.
I wish he hadn't stepped on so many toes when crafting LoI even though there was no possible way to do so. I'm human. We occasionally want things we know are impossible.
I wish Lament of Innocence had a more original and essential story (my original point here).
But I don't hate Iga. I pretty much adore every game he crafted in his time as the Executive Producer. Lament of Innocence is, by virtue of the gameplay and music alone, one of the best entries in the series. I'm glad we have it. I'm glad Iga made it.

But it is his rubber stamp moment. It was the definitive moment wherein he made the series his.

And we did have to learn to like it.

That's not opinion. That's documented fact.

I don't hate him for making a necessary management decision that every showrunner who'd ever taken over from someone else has had to make. So no, I don't hate Iga or his first episode on the job, just like I don't hate Russell T Davies for Rose or Steven Moffat for The Eleventh Hour on Doctor Who, or Disney for The Force Awakens or Iron Man 3 even though they are all supremely rough spots for one reason or another.

But Lament of Innocence was definitely and categorically the point where the series changed from one thing into something else. And change is always difficult and often painful.

As for Iga, he's a wonderful man with a lot of passion for his art that I share. I don't think he's selfish in the slightest.

To this day I do not get the ire some fans got from the fact that this or that game is not canon. And every time I ask (save very few exceptions), the ire comes from a misconception.

A game not being canon doesn't mean it "doesn't exist" or that it is "less" than the canon ones. My favorite classicvania is not canon and I don't give a singular shit about it.

Canon is fun because "story", but that's pretty much it. Castlevania's focus is not the story, so I don't get what the big deal is.

Because we get invested in things we like, and we like those things to have value in the greater scope. Cutting a game from the timeline removes its narrative value because it can no longer effectively contribute. Things we want to see built on can no longer be built on. Oftentimes characters we love are doomed to the ash heap of "enjoy never seeing them again, ever", which has so far been true for Legends.

People get mad about Legends not because they enjoyed the game so much as because they enjoyed the doors it opened. By striking it from canon, there was a very real perception (that has so far been proven right) that those doors have been slammed shut and locked forever. People who were upset about Sonia Belmont being thrown away weren't suddenly and arbitrarily made happy again when Shanoa cropped up almost a decade later just because we had a heroine again. We didn't like Sonia because she had pixellated titties. We liked Sonia Belmont, not the general idea of a female protagonist. Fortunately Shanoa became as or more compelling a character than Sonia. But the equivalence between the two characters and stories that several people on several forums have tried to make over the years does not exist.

So when Legends fans like me get a bit salty, it's because while yes, we can go and enjoy the game at any time we like thanks to the wondrous invention of emulation, we can never enjoy the version of Castlevania that could have been if it had remained a relevant and connected part of the story. People genuinely liked the potential of the character, and we were upset to see all that cast out. It's less about what is, and more about what nearly and almost was. IMO, it didn't help that Leon wasn't a huge improvement in our eyes, so there was a real sense of "You traded her for this?!" at the time of Lament's release.

Hoo boy that's one hell of a wall of text I just posted.

Sorry for the long post.

Here's a wall meat for your trouble.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 01:14:18 PM by Lumi Kløvstad »
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Offline whipsmemory

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2018, 01:28:32 PM »
0
I'll never understand how one could possibly prefer Legends as the starting point for the series rather than Lament. Legends actually never added anything to the storyline, and actually retconned Dracula Densetsu somehow, stating that it was not Trevor the first Belmont to fight Dracula but Sonia (while Lament made a perfect premise for it), and added nothing to Dracula's character which was already Dracula and already an evil being for the sake of evil. I know and I agree that Walter wasnt that deep character but i think that was the whole point, he was merely a piece on the chess board for Mathias. I was very satisfied with Lament both as a game and as a starting point for the series, which felt very coherent with all the games already enstablished. Elisabetha and Lisa's death isnt trivial to the series and to the development of Dracula's character, instead i feel it's the very core of the story itself in Iga's vision, and I would add Mina's possible death on Dawn as well, which would trigger Soma into becoming Dracula. The last line in the credits for Lament says "this exquisite play from which two souls will never escape" sums it up perfectly. Dracula eternally losing his loved one, in an endless circle of suffering and un-life of hate, and a clan fighting him to prevent other from suffer what actually both Mathias and Leon suffered, the loss of a most loved one. Can a gothic game get any more romantic and tragic? Bravo Iga

Offline theplottwist

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2018, 01:59:17 PM »
+1
Quote
Hoo boy that's one hell of a wall of text I just posted.

Sorry for the long post.

You never need to be. I live for those, and I always like to read your ideas, even if I disagree.

Now, for the rebuttal.

Quote
By striking it from canon, there was a very real perception (that has so far been proven right) that those doors have been slammed shut and locked forever.

Look, this perception wasn't proven right at all. And this is because IGA didn't have the power to slam any door shut pertaining to what gets produced or not. His only say -- storyline speaking -- was in matters of canon.

Legends was meant to receive a sequel, as we all know, that got cancelled in 2000. That's three years after Legends itself and one year before IGA did the "controversial move". By this time Legends had already trampled all over the previously established story simply by existing. It didn't attempt to "retcon" minor stuff, it outright crapped all over a lot of the storyline, much of it (almost all of it, in fact) having no IGA involvement. And IGA did nothing about it because he had no power to do it at all. The only thing holding Sonia from a sequel was Konami, not IGA, which proved to be true when a member of Resurrection's development team expressed miscommunication between Konami Japan and Konami US. This, in conjunction with the end of the Dreamcast, killed the sequel and "closed" the door, not IGA.

Non-canon games were produced during IGA's tenure (Order of Shadows, Circle of the Moon, The Arcade, to cite three). It's not like while he was there ONLY canon games were made. The door for Sonia remained open, people just didn't take her to a walk. There is no evidence that IGA's statement shut the door on Sonia when other non-canon stuff was being made. Order of Shadows, in fact, does a MUCH better attempt at being canon, and it still isn't.

Quote
we can never enjoy the version of Castlevania that could have been if it had remained a relevant and connected part of the story.

Had it remained a relevant and connected part of the story, there would be no "Castlevania that could have been" because it makes little to no effort to be a relevant and connected part of the story. Sparing you the long-winded details, it contradicts CVIII, CVII, Rondo and SotN, all in one strike.

It was produced to be the start of the storyline, but it still contradicted so much of the foundations that what you think is connected is in fact forcefully glued to the rest with dollar store-brand tape strips plastered one on top of the other, ready to burst at a moment's notice. It's a work that survives MUCH better on its own timeline than on the canonical one. It really is a case of "either Legends goes, or all the rest has to be rewritten". It's a domino effect.

Now, I'm not saying Leon is much better. He's bland and his game, although I like it, is not very good. But his story doesn't make stuff outright stop working like Legends does.

So, when you insist that it should remain canon because "it has more value that way than it being standalone", you're really saying "fuck this entire clockwork built over many years, let's jam this one irregular cog I love in there and see what happens". There is a chance to build a new clockwork for this cog, but it all depends on Konami, and depends on you to stop thinking that Sonia only has value if she has an entire previous timeline connected to her when her story makes no attempt to connect to it.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 02:12:09 PM by theplottwist »
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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Re: Lament of Innocence isn't actually that essential to the story
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2018, 02:33:30 PM »
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So, when you insist that it should be canon because "it has more value that way than it being standalone", you're really saying "fuck this entire clockwork built over many years, let's jam this one irregular cog I love in there and see what happens". There is a chance to build a new clockwork for this cog, but it all depends on Konami, and depends on you to stop thinking that Sonia only has value if she has an entire previous timeline connected to her when her story makes no attempt to connect to it.

I didn't say that I wanted to screw up the timeline. I even admitted that Legends wasn't exactly superb writing and it gets in the way of the revisionist details Iga had in mind for CV3.

Also, on that note (mostly because I guess this is what the thread is about now, my original post be damned), Legends gums up the clockwork of Iga's canon, but Dracula's Curse is notably precious light on story, and it doesn't even name the year (in either the Japanese or English versions) in which it takes place; I actually just now booted up my Roms to make damn sure before I went off and claimed that. It doesn't even say that Dracula had any motive for wanting "to make a bad world filled with evil" other than he's the bad guy so go kill him, nor does it state that Trevor was the first Belmont to face him. It DOES say that the Belmonts "have a long history of fighting evil".

The only time frame it gives for certain is "15th century" which is... like... a lot of years. There was an unspoken implication that it took place around 1476 because that's the year the real Dracula died, but this wasn't actually outright stated as fact in the games themselves until Curse of Darkness in 2005. So at the time of its release, Legends wasn't expressly contradicting anything in the very little narrative CV3 actually brought to the table. What it does contradict a bit is Symphony of the Night, though SOTN wasn't precise in placing Lisa's death on a timeline either -- that it happened was more important than when, nor does it say precisely when Alucard began his rebellion against his father; these were all details that were elaborated on after 2001 and Iga began enforcing his timeline. Which again, I support the timeline.

I'll admit, Legends really does love living dangerously in the grey area of technicality, but I still feel, after all these years, that the amount of work it would have taken to shoehorn it into the canon comfortably is less than, or at most equal to, what it took to replace it altogether.

Otherwise, an excellently written rebuttal, sir. I largely agree with the rest of it.

And, just because you mentioned it: Order of Shadows is still the only game in the series for which Lament of Innocence's precise details are actually important -- it takes place in roughly the same location, Leon's magic gauntlet appears again, etc. And it was never canon at all. I'm torn on how much of a shame that is. Great officially licensed fanfic though. Also I still love how Dracula is supremely hospitable in that game when Desmond shows up.

"Oh! Hi.... Belmont person. Sorry, I just woke up. FFS look at the state of this place. My cultists DO leave a damn mess, don't they? Truly sorry about that. Normally it's not this messy. So, I guess we can do this fighty thing now or after I'm done enforcing some feng shui on this mess. Which would you prefer?"

"NOW ASSHOLE."

"Okaaaaay I'll kill you first, THEN clean up. I guess that makes sense. No point in cleaning up only to spill more blood and having to mop the floors twice amirite?"
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 02:40:03 PM by Lumi Kløvstad »
How not to be a dark lord: the answer to that is a terribly interesting answer that involves an almost Jedi-like adherence to keeping oneself under control and finding ways to be true to yourself in a way that doesn't encourage the worst parts of you to become dangerously exaggerated and instead feeds your better nature. Also, protip: don't fuck with Alchemy or strike up any deals with ancient Japanese Shinigami gods no matter how tempting the deal or how suavely dressed the Shinigami is.

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