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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Perhaps it's serendipity that I was listening to Jorge's Bloodline's OST remasters at the same time I read Waffle's thread about directly adapting Stoker's Dracula, but... when you think about it, Bloodlines is weird even by Castlevania standards. The series had always been very regionally focused, taking place in and around Dracula's Castle (with Simon's Quest, forever the perennial "Odd Child" of the series, having the MOST wandering outside the Castle up to that point). Bloodlines takes the hunt for Dracula INTERNATIONAL, becoming a globe Europe-trotting epic quest to track the beast to its lair and put it down once and for all. The whip had always been wielded by someone named BELMONT, and is now in the hands of some guy named Johnny. Dracula may have been the final boss, but he sure as hell wasn't the primary villain (hello Elizabeth Bartley!). And perhaps strangest of all, the game (and Johnny Morris) ties in with a novel from nearly a hundred years before it that until now hadn't been hinted to be linked to the saga in any way beyond mere inspiration for the main antagonist (possibly because someone saw Coppola's flick and was so inspired that they decided to engage in some light IP infringement).

Which has me wondering. By the time of Bloodlines, a nascent sort-of-almost-maybe canon had begun to emerge (at least in the mind of series fans, always eager to make things fit together as we do), and it has me wondering if this game was meant to tie into the overall series AT ALL, or if the dev team treated it as something blatantly non-canon and experimental and it only got tacked into the rest of the series officially later.
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Offline X

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It's interesting that you bring all this up. I had heard (it was even discussed on another dungeon thread) that Bloodlines was the start of a planned trilogy that never came to fruition. Similar to how Super Castlevania IV was also a reboot of sorts but nothing ever went beyond that. Bloodlines is kind of a strange child in its take on Castlevania and maybe it wasn't intended to be a series continuation, but more along the lines of 'it recognizes the past games narratives only as a sort of history'.
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I think the only thing that made it NOT a main game was just how much it got overshadowed, popularity-wise, by IV. Compared to that game, Bloodlines isn't even a blip on the radar.

Which is unfortunate because Bloodlines is the most stylistically mature and advanced of the 16-bit games. It is much more its own game than the other two, with lots of original boss and enemy design sourced from more diverse folklore.
SC4 is a masterpiece in its own right, but it really is primitive in its presentation. As far as the possible "directions" of Castlevania goes, I feel Bloodlines represents an underutilized / unrealized area that the series could thrive in. Personally, I want more Castlevania with intense funky basslines and uber saturated colors and more explosions and setpieces.

(I mean, the soundtrack!)
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Offline Belmontoya

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I think the only thing that made it NOT a main game was just how much it got overshadowed, popularity-wise, by IV. Compared to that game, Bloodlines isn't even a blip on the radar.

Which is unfortunate because Bloodlines is the most stylistically mature and advanced of the 16-bit games. It is much more its own game than the other two, with lots of original boss and enemy design sourced from more diverse folklore.
SC4 is a masterpiece in its own right, but it really is primitive in its presentation. As far as the possible "directions" of Castlevania goes, I feel Bloodlines represents an underutilized / unrealized area that the series could thrive in. Personally, I want more Castlevania with intense funky basslines and uber saturated colors and more explosions and setpieces.

(I mean, the soundtrack!)

I agree with this in the context of story. Bloodlines did a lot to expand on the lore of Castlevania (they had it even more fleshed out than most people realize). Bloodlines was covered in branches that could take CV in many different directions which was cool, and the implementation and interest in history they had for CV at that time is very inspiring.

However I wouldn't call bloodlines the most stylistically mature. It had a campier vibe and and art direction. I would consider scv4 more mature aesthetically speaking. The overtly saturated colors that you spoke of for example; I wouldn't equate that with a mature look, nor John's huge line backer shoulders and his cartoonish proportions.

I would disagree in that I think SCV4 is not only the more advanced game, but also the most mature. Bloodlines has more gore because Sega wasn't as hard on that kind of stuff than Nintendo, but it looks rougher and offers fewer advancements in gameplay and has less impressive visual effects for the era. Although it does push the envelope as well. It just wasn't as impressive to me and my gamer buds at the time coming off of cv4.

And music wise- especially if we are talking funky bass lines, I think SCV4 delivers on that far more than Bloodlines. The funky/jazzy bass of scv4 is prevalent throughout the whole ost.

That being said, both are incredible moments in gaming and the history of CV overall. I think the years of scv4/bloodlines/rondo were the greatest years in gaming I have lived though thus far.

My friend Mike who posted about the Resurrection drama has some cool info on bloodlines I hope he shares soon. Definitely give him a sub on YouTube.

https://youtu.be/5IIssIeXciE

« Last Edit: September 07, 2021, 12:22:04 PM by Belmontoya »
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Offline Nagumo

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From what I understand, Bloodlines was meant to be the start of a new sub-series (or gaiden) called Vampire Killer. It was already mentioned it was supposed to be part of a trilogy that never happened. I'm only guessing, but I assume this sub-series was going to have an increased focus on globetrotting. I wouldn't be surprised if later entries would have taken place outside of Europe. Regarding canon, it was definitely meant to be tied to the NES trilogy because the director of the game confirmed this. There's also additional supplemental material that references Dracula's Vlad Tepes backstory, which ties it pretty firmly to CV3/Akumajou Densetsu (and there's the Alucard Spear, of course). As for why the main character's name is Morris and not Belmont, this was done to reflect the game's status as a spin-off. The Morris family is explicitly refered to as a branch family in supplemental material, so that explains the logic behind the name change. Interestingly enough, there's no mention in the game or supplemental materials of the Belmonts disappearing or even that the Vampire Killer was originally their whip. That's stuff that was later invented by IGA.

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I think it was mentioned somewhere in another thread that IGA talked about how the Morris family became a part of the Belmont family. He mentioned that one of Trevor's and Sypha's children married into the Morris family. However I feel that it was a bit too soon for such a thing as the sir name 'Morris' is more recent then something that would have been around in Trevor's times. I found this website that talks a bit about the origins of the family name: http://www.irishsurnames.com/cgi-bin/gallery.pl?name=morris&capname=Morris&letter=m

I personally think IGA should have done just a bit more research. After all he also got the date of the Crusades off by several years as well.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2021, 09:35:55 AM by X »
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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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I think it was mentioned somewhere in another thread that IGA talked about how the Morris family became a part of the Belmont family. He mentioned that one of Trevor's and Sypha's children married into the Morris family. However I feel that it was a bit too soon for such a thing as the sir name 'Morris' is more recent then something that would have been around in Trevor's times. I found this website that talks a bit about the origins of the family name: http://www.irishsurnames.com/cgi-bin/gallery.pl?name=morris&capname=Morris&letter=m

I personally think IGA should have done just a bit more research. After all he also got the date of the Crusades off by several years as well.

Honestly, the Crusades being off is just another little thing that shows that Castlevania isn't OUR history per say, as the point of divergence is clearly before Lament -- probably something to do with the fact that monsters are real in that universe. That being said, I can't think of anything that would cause a surname like Morris to develop FASTER, but something may well have -- after all, the name "Trevor" doesn't really show up in OUR historic record in the modern form the series uses until around 1910, but in Castlevania he was sporting it in the 1470s.

That being said, the surname Morris is a modern-ish take on the given name "Maurice" which is itself taken from the Latin given name Mauritius/Maurus, so given that it descends from a Roman given name that pretty closely adheres to the modern name in sound and structure, I think we can cut the name a LITTLE slack -- everything it needed to emerge was already present in the 1480's, so who's to say in the Castlevania version of history it couldn't have?
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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Despite Castlevania being a world full of supernatural enemies, it is still a world very similar to our own. Fans notice these little tid-bits and can't help but point them out. This is why IGA should have done just a bit more research regardless if the CV universe isn't exactly like our own.

Quote
Honestly, the Crusades being off is just another little thing that shows that Castlevania isn't OUR history per say, as the point of divergence is clearly before Lament -- probably something to do with the fact that monsters are real in that universe.

The opening story of LoI states that the church was more interested in fighting heathens, not monsters, which was why Leon left the order. So I do have doubts about the Crusades starting several years earlier because of the supernatural. The opening story dictates otherwise. The Crusades were all about securing the holy land for the Roman Catholic church and this view remained unchanged even in LoI.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 09:51:02 AM by X »
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Offline Lumi Kløvstad

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Despite Castlevania being a world full of supernatural enemies, it is still a world very similar to our own. Fans notice these little tid-bits and can't help but point them out. This is why IGA should have done just a bit more research regardless if the CV universe isn't exactly like our own.

The opening story of LoI states that the church was more interested in fighting heathens, not monsters, which was why Leon left the order. So I do have doubts about the Crusades starting several years earlier because of the supernatural. The opening story dictates otherwise. The Crusades were all about securing the holy land for the Roman Catholic church and this view remained unchanged even in LoI.

I mean, preaching to the converted there.

But my point is that, in a greater scope, the point of divergence in the two histories is likely centuries earlier, with the existence of vampires and monsters having affected history in lots of "little" ways, like the flap-flap-flap of a butterfly's wings. After all, the Church is clearly AWARE of these monsters (they are just not the priority) and is shown later on to have at least one internal division dedicated specifically to fighting them and bankrolling several others, which the Church... verifiable doesn't have and didn't really do.

Who knows? A vampire's manipulations might trigger a war where none happened in our history, and I wouldn't rule out Death deliberately TRIGGERING the Crusades a few years early just for funsies. In fact, depending on how long-term a planner you want to say Death or Mathias is, he might have triggered the Crusades in the first place simply because the Crusades being active in 1094 is a big part of WHY Leon was in Eternal Night to begin with, making Mathias' plan (at least as it happens in game) possible.

After all, Mathias' plan has all the hallmarks of a Batman Gambit, which means everyone the plan accounts for has to behave exactly as the planner anticipates they will, which means NOTHING can be left to chance as the slightest deviation has a strong potential to ruin the whole strategem, which combined with Mathias being called a "genius tactician" reinforces that claim -- he did his homework THAT MUCH. That being said, he's also something of a Xanatos-type, which means he probably had back up plans on top of backup plans in case he catastrophically misjudged Walter, Leon, or Rinaldo, however unlikely that would be.

Death shown to be a similar planner in his few appearances with spoken dialog, so I don't have an ounce of trouble believing he was involved in Early Crusades, regardless of what the canon actually says; it's just something that would be very in-character for him to do anyway.

But all of that is to say this: the existence of fairy tale monsters has INCALCULABLE potential effects on history, and Castlevania's history's parallel course to our own nevertheless DID branch off, and my assertion is that it (very plausibly) branched off WELL BEFORE 1094, and even before Leon and Mathias' lifetimes. And while this doesn't excuse ineffective homework on the part of the dev team, it does at least make room to explain why things ARE that way in that the hypothesis fits the evidence at hand as presented in the games, and even a contradiction with another canon account doesn't really meaningfully affect anything.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 03:38:20 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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But all of that is to say this: the existence of fairy tale monsters has INCALCULABLE potential effects on history, and Castlevania's history's parallel course to our own nevertheless DID branch off, and my assertion is that it (very plausibly) branched off WELL BEFORE 1094, and even before Leon and Mathias' lifetimes.

This is definitely true, but to a point. The middle ages were still the middle ages. The 19th century was still the 19th century. The 20th century was still the 20th century. etc, etc. Despite the fact that there are fairy-tale monsters and the like running around the current evolution of society in the CV universe (and ours) is virtually identical. I'm not disagreeing with you on this as there are notable instances that differ. AoS had a Positron energy rifle while we don't  >:( *sigh* I feel cheated... But the large part of history remaining the same as ours is undeniable. It still follows the current trend of social development that we see in our reality.
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