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Offline theplottwist

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Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« on: January 27, 2017, 12:37:29 PM »
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I might have done a similar thread before but I don't remember, so here I'm again.

I come to break the "I'll defend what IGA did to the series" streak I'm known for, to speak about something that IGA did (or didn't do, in fact) that really bothers me -- not using the Nazi theme on Portrait of Ruin.

So IGA goes to the lengths of placing a Dracula resurrection in 1944, the climax of Nazism and the Second World War, but does a plot that has nothing to do with it. Nothing. Not even the villain's background has anything to do with the WWII (but with WWI instead). One of the lowest points of humanity and one of the greatest displays of human cruelty and malice, but lol nope. Have a vampire painter instead.

The only thing the WWII has to do with the plot is Brauner using the souls of the dead to revive the castle offscreen. That's it. That could've been accomplished by literally any other plot device, as the series does on other games, and no difference would be felt.

IGA could have done literally anything, from using a villain who IS a Nazi and "wants Dracula's power to win the war", to using a soldier fighting the Nazis who got lost, to using a dude who is a former Nazi that rejected Hitler's ways, to using freaking zombie soldiers referencing the current ongoing war, but no. There is not a single significant thread connecting Dracula to the war.

Is it a low-hanging fruit? It is. Nazis have been explored over and over by fiction. Hellsing has Dracula AND nazis trying to return. But bear with me here: Dracula is called "the root of all evil", he feeds off of human chaos, you do a story about him during the same time of a genocide caused by human prejudice and power corruption, and you can't bother to draw a SINGLE clearer connection between both?

Plot-wise, for me, Portrait of Ruin is the biggest miss on the entire series. Had IGA moved the plot one or two years fowards, and I wouldn't complain one line.

I'm not even saying the plot it has is bad. It sets out to accomplish one theme (the meaning of "Family") and it does it. What I'm saying that you can't go to a restaurant specialized in Brazilian cuisine, and ask for goddamn Sukiyaki. You can eat Sukiyaki another time, but if you go to a Brazilian restaurant, try making an effort to eat Feijoada.

I have some ideas of why this could've happened. Maybe IGA thought this was too sensitive of a subject to delegate to "lol WWII is Dracula's fault because he's eeeeeeevil", or maybe he didn't want to represent anything nazi or war related on the game itself, or maybe even he thought the series had already done something like this (Bloodlines) and didn't want to repeat it. But I dunno. We'll probably never know what he had on his mind here.

EDIT: I also should mention the castle was revived in 1942, and destroyed in 1944. The castle stood there TWO YEARS, basically all through the most relevant part of the WWII, and nothing was done with it WWII-related.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 02:51:53 AM by theplottwist »
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Offline redrum

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 04:53:08 PM »
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Brauner "lost his daughters in the war".  that's the only thing i can think of it having to do with WWII...
i guess it's more that they wanted to expand on the mythos of Bloodlines and WWII was the biggest event to happen during the time period of Morris/Lecarde's immediate descendants.  from what i understand, the japanese usually tend to avoid nostalgia about that period for the most part, which (apart from nintendo's censorship) may explain why there aren't any direct nazi references within the castle itself.


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Offline theplottwist

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 05:08:31 PM »
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Brauner "lost his daughters in the war".  that's the only thing i can think of it having to do with WWII...
i guess it's more that they wanted to expand on the mythos of Bloodlines and WWII was the biggest event to happen during the time period of Morris/Lecarde's immediate descendants.

That was WWI actually.

Quote
from what i understand, the japanese usually tend to avoid nostalgia about that period for the most part, which (apart from nintendo's censorship) may explain why there aren't any direct nazi references within the castle itself.

Them being on the side of the Reich may have something to do with it.
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Offline Aceearly1993

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 05:24:58 PM »
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My thought is the development team really don't want to add more "political sensitive" elements in the plot or game itself.

https://tcrf.net/Castlevania:_Bloodlines
They almost did a Zeppelin airship in Bloodlines but eventually scrapped it for Frankenstein's monster, the worst replacement for a lost stage ever. Maybe the censors are really aware of political elements in video game logic but most players didn't care about it seriously.
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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 06:09:05 PM »
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It was a huge miss in terms of plot. I agree wholeheartedly. If the castle was brought fourth a year or so after 45' then it wouldn't have been such a big deal. But in 1944? It should have had at least something to do with the Nazis. Hitler was hardcore into the occult. He sent members of his Riech society all over the globe, delving into ancient civilizations and recovering artifacts that were considered sacred or holy. He was after Anything, ANYTHING, to help him rule in a Nazi dystopian world. If Castlevania had risen in 42' and fell in 44'? There's absolutely no way the Reich society would have missed that. They'd be all over it like flies on s**t. Hitler, I believe, would also be very familiar with the legend of Dracula and his magical chaotic castle, and would also attempt to utilise it for the success of the third Reich. But it never happened. Instead we have a rather weak story into about WWII and that's it for the connection. Such a wasted opportunity.
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Offline Ratty

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 07:09:59 PM »
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Remember that Japan and Germany were allies in WW2, while Japan had been with the winning side (against Germany) in WW1. And WW2 is not ancient history, there are still some veterans kicking around. It's not like in the English speaking world where you can shoot Nazis in a game, feel good about it and not have to think about it so much. I like Portrait of Ruin and its story, and given the sensitive nature of subject I wouldn't be surprised if a direct order came down from the heads of Konami to NOT allude to it in any way.

PS- Let's not forget that war ended with two atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, which still causes cancer in citizens generations later. Again, sensitive subject.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 07:11:49 PM by Ratty »

Offline suomynona

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 07:22:03 PM »
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Agreed. We need Nazis in Portrait of Ruin.
But, in 1944, Romania was a warfront and there would be bombs and shells dropping everywhere. Two "Kids" and a unarmed priest simply does not walk in. Also, If they're least of British or American, they would be never be allowed onto enemy soil. Romania was cleaned of Nazis only in 1945.

Most disappointing thing is boss for Sandy Grave. There is plenty of other Egyptian bosses you can think, even Yugioh characters. Alongside with Succubus series, definitely one of the worst character design in Castlevania

Offline KaZudra

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 07:23:30 PM »
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US History 101: Come in at the ass end of WW2, then claim to be the ones who kill Nazis just to pass time.

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Offline SecretWeapon

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 09:07:55 PM »
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A part of me believes IGA originally wanted more involvement but was forced to cancel that

-------------------

Astarte is like the only memorable boss in PoR. Get a grip. The Succubus are always memorable, just not super hard

Offline suomynona

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 12:41:16 AM »
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Astarte is like the only memorable boss in PoR. Get a grip. The Succubus are always memorable, just not super hard

For me, those kind of character is unnecessary for series like Castlevania (well, unnecessary in general gaming). I always hated Succubus, making the series sexual and shit. I'd rather have Yugioh Character (God cards) and Doppleganger respectively for Astarte and Succubus (as a SotN boss).

Also, Astarte is memorable for making Jonathan useless and Charlotte useless as well. So not a good mean of memorable.

Online zangetsu468

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 04:02:13 AM »
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I think the whole entire dilemma came down to two things, one which was sensitivity and the other was probably the budget. The whole point of Bloodlines was that you were travelling across Europe, this could have opened some interesting avenues for POR, but the "Portrait" theme completely threw this element out the window. It was basically Castlevania's twist on Mario 64. Even with this, some additional exploration to the portraits themselves could've been better i.e. The "Nation of Fools" where you fight the Legion (a cluster of dead/ undead bodies/ souls) which look much like the effects of a holocaust, would have been an interesting theme to explore. The same goes for a school of witchcraft, albeit to a lesser extent. As for a Pyramid, and an old cityscape, maybe a little less relevant.

As soon as I found out the whole thing was set in Dracula's Castle, with areas only accessible via portraits, I knew there'd be no WWII story tie-in, which is fine, but why not set the game at any other point in history? This is why I'm saying it's a budget thing, there's no reason to do this unless there was direction with the story which then had to be omitted.

The other reason I keep stressing the budget is Richter Belmont. His was actually my favourite fight in the game, and I loved that Jon faced the VK's memory. However, the fact that there's even a Richter/ Maria mode and the previous known Belmont to use the VK just happens to be Richter, in hindsight that additional game mode and Richter himself was probably an afterthought added in to mask what may have otherwise been a mode with John Morris and Eric Lecarde. (This makes sense as there was already a sister's mode where the player couldn't access potions, weapons, use items, etc). I think if Richter was never going to be a playable character, Jon would have simply fought the "VK's memory" who would've been any given Belmont's silhouette, and why not?? This would have left room open for more CV games to fit in between ROB>>>POR.

I love POR, but the game reeked of budget cuts. At least the main boss fights were really cool imo.
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Offline SecretWeapon

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 05:20:08 AM »
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I'd rather have Yugioh Character (God cards) and Doppleganger respectively for Astarte and Succubus (as a SotN boss).

I'm glad you don't work in games then lmao
------------------------------

As i said before, i wouldnt be surprised if the original story draft had actually WWII involvement. The elements are there.

-Brauner is a german name
-The Castle stood up during the height of the war
-Stella and Loretta are italian names (Italian-named sisters subjugated by the German named vampire, clever hah)
-There are references to elements involved in the war, such as London (13th Street), Germany itself/The Holocaust (Nation of Fools/Burnt Paradise), Nazi magic artifact hunting (The Egyptian stages), paranormal obsession (the Witch school stages) and art theft (the portraits themselves)

I can imagine an early plot going something like: Brauner a leader of the Thule Society uses the power of dead souls to raise Castlevania and become a vampire. With it's power he supports the Nazi efforts with monsters (thus the war reaching it's height) and making portals between the Castle and target locations to directly send them. The rest would be pretty much the same, the only thing i'm not sure how to add is the portrait/artist thing in Brauner bossfight (but it could be that he's also an artists and ordered the art thefts)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 05:56:40 AM by SecretWeapon »

Offline suomynona

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 05:32:16 AM »
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I'm glad you don't work in games then lmao

Excuse me but can u tell me what that means?

Offline X

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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2017, 10:17:20 AM »
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Quote
I can imagine an early plot going something like: Brauner a leader of the Thule Society uses the power of dead souls to raise Castlevania and become a vampire. With it's power he supports the Nazi efforts with monsters (thus the war reaching it's height) and making portals between the Castle and target locations to directly send them. The rest would be pretty much the same, the only thing i'm not sure how to add is the portrait/artist thing in Brauner bossfight (but it could be that he's also an artists and ordered the art thefts)

I don't see Brauner as the leader of the Thule society as we already know who that is; Rudolf von Sebottendorff, but I can definitely see Brauner as being one of the more prominent members. Hitler himself eventually becomes the leader of the Thule society by the other representatives, and he transforms them into what we now know as the Nazi party. I like your idea however. PoR doesn't change much, but there is a greater connection to the WWII elements.
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Re: Portrait of Ruin and Nazis
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 10:34:42 AM »
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Using Nazi's could even give Jonathan and Charlotte a darker reason for being there to begin with. 

Maybe they didn't choose to go there.  Some Nazi commander heard rumors of their families powers, rounded them up, and sent them in to clear the path for them.  It would explain why they're so ill-equiped for the job at the beginning. 

Then you could put a group of Nazi's stationed at the entrance blocking you from leaving.  They might not be strong enough to claim the castle for themselves, but they can certainly put a bunch of bullets in two kids that won't listen.  Perhaps even one of the Nazi's is able to read certain runes or give you some kind of solutions for puzzles you couldn't get past otherwise. 


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