Castlevania: This Forever Place

I've had an idea for the grandest Castlevania game ever, since around 2005 or 2006.  It has pretty much no chance of ever being made for real, but...hey, I still love this series so much I want to dream.

Features of this game:
* an immense metroidvania adventure, in 3D.
* third-person 3D.  We're going to make it work this time.
* a whopping FOUR castles, each with a different set of about ten to thirteen areas, with the areas roughly corresponding to each other thematically.
* a soundtrack heavily drawn from the rest of the Castlevania series -- so far I've planned to include music from all seven "castletroids", as well as Super IV, Bloodlines, Haunted Castle, Dracula's Curse, and others.  (Yes, this means finally giving Harmony of Dissonance's soundtrack the glory it deserves.)
* areas and bosses inspired by areas, bosses, and music tracks of other Castlevania games.
* gated progression through the game -- explore most of each castle to get to subsequent ones, and defeat select bosses in order to reach further bosses.  Sequence breaking may be possible.
* subweapons to be collected as metroidvania-style powerups, in addition to some powerups that have appeared as other castletroids.


  • edited 2016-11-08 09:01:44

    The layout of the castle is based roughly on the MIT campus, which is affectionately known by its students as "this fucking place" and "Hell".  Of course, I'm rather intimately familiar with this campus, or at least what it was like during the mid 00s.  This layout is then mirrored twice (or three times, depending on how efficiently you mirror things) to create four corresponding layouts.  And just like how walking from one building to another can be a jarring architectural transition, a huge variety of different areas will be quite liberally interconnected in this game.

    Needless to say, the instruction manual will read like there's only one and only one castle.
  • The First Castle is the most normal-seeming of the four, containing such areas as the Grand Study, the Alchemy Laboratory, the Guest Villa, the Trophy Hall, and the Royal Chapel. Adjoining this castle is a reconstructed meso-American-style ruin called the Temple of Doom.

    By itself, it does not feel complete, however, and there are also hints of inaccessible areas, such as one that is later revealed to be the Forbidden Area.

    The Opulent Castle is the second. As its name implies, this castle is far fancier, frequently decorated with gold trim, gemstones in the floor, and chandeliers. Elizabeth Bartley's quarters are in this dimension, as well as an elegant Dance Hall, an Observatory Tower leading up to a Planetarium (thank you Cv64 for the idea), the Battle Arena and the Casino Of The Demon Castle for entertainment, a Theater, and most notably, the Endless Corridor.

    (There's an Infinite Corridor in real life, and there's an Endless Corridor in Circle of the Moon. Both are notably long horizontal hallways.)

    The Impious Castle is the third. It is a stark contrast to the Opulent Castle, as this castle's architecture largely looks ruined and on the verge of collapse, with the exception of locations built using the dead, such as the Corridor of Skeletons. It is also filled with all manner of undead.  Not surprisingly, the Necromancy Laboratory is located here, as are the Isolation Tower, the Graveyard of Heretics, the Abandoned Villa (which is actually inhabited by Carmilla), the Arena of Illusions, and the Haunted Carnival, beneath which lies the Catacombs.

    The Last Castle is the true dwelling of Dracula and his closest associates -- the Bat Corps, Medusa, The Creature and Igor, Akmodan III and Akmodan IV, and Death. Also located there are Olrox and his elegant Quarters (which, after his defeat, reveals that he sends his prisoners to a Prison in the Impious Castle, opening up a previously unexplored area), as well as the Disco Hall, the Treasury, the Power Plant, and of course the Clock Tower. It also contains the Castle Keep, which floats high above the rest of the castle, and most notably above the Mine of Judgement -- the final full-size area of the game. Only by collecting the five body parts of Dracula and his personal ring will these two areas become accessible.

    (The names for the castles are things I came up with just now. They were previously simply "First", "Second", "Third", and "Fourth", but then I realized I could make a pun on FOIL ("first, outer, inner, last", an algebra mnemonic) if I picked "Opulent" for the second castle. The I word for the third castle was difficult to come up with though.)

    The four castles are linked together through a large number of dimensional gates, as well as through a train system (inspired by but hopefully far less boring/annoying than Castlevania 64's) that runs through the massive Underground Waterway that underlies all four castles and cuts into various other parts of the castles.
  • there is a light that never goes out
    Temple of Doom, huh? Can you play as Indiana Jones?

    I mean, I would play this game, although it basically sounds like Every Castlevania Game Ever All Mashed Together. In 3D.
  • edited 2016-11-16 02:40:49

    A feature of this game will be to improve area title card display.

    Currently, in all the castletroids, the title cards are shown whenever you enter any room of a given area for the first time in the entire game, except in Symphony, where the title cards are only shown whenever you first enter a specific room, and this only happens in the first castle (the inverted castle has no title cards at all, despite having names for the areas that are shown in the save files).

    The result of this is that if you enter an area "early" or enter it the "wrong way", in all games except Symphony you'll get the title card, but then when you later come back to explore the area, you get no title card again.

    In Symphony, this problem is solved unless you do actually go through an area "the wrong way", usually by glitching into it, and then you might get the title card as you finally finish the area.  And the inverted castle areas all don't have title cards, so there's that problem too.

    Let's redesign this system.

    Possible objectives:
    * The title card should be prominently displayed upon entering a new area for the first time.
    * The title card shouldn't be displayed when entering a "preview" of an area -- e.g. how you can enter the "back door" of the Colosseum in Symphony and the title card doesn't display.
    * The title card could be displayed any time one enters an area, just to help establish the atmosphere and/or remind the player where they are.

    My design idea:
    1. Have two different area title cards, a larger and more prominent one similar to that of Symphony of the Night (i.e. doesn't stop the action when it displays), and a smaller one that only shows in a corner.  The reason the action doesn't stop is that there will be time-based effects that are synched to the music, and they must not be desynched.
    2. The larger area title card ONLY shows when the player enters an area for the first time, and also ONLY in certain rooms, as dictated by expected game sequence.  It may be shown in any of several rooms, but it's only shown once, which is expected to be the time you finally actually really deal with the area for real.
    3. The smaller area title card shows whenever the player enters an area from another area, unless:
    * the larger title card is shown (the larger card takes precedence), OR the larger title card has not been shown before.  So, before you really "get into" an area, all you get is different music cluing you into the presence of a new area, but leaving it a mystery as to what the area is, so that the first time the name appears is really a dramatic revelation.
    * the smaller title card for that area has been shown within the last 30 minutes.  So if you're just quickly switching between areas for the purpose of navigation, the title card doesn't bother you, but if you're going somewhere for the first time in a while.
  • The story is as follows:

    The year is 2005.  As a semester nears its end, the students at a university begin to panic over projects and papers approaching their deadlines, and their spirits weaken as anxiety rises over the prospect of final exams.  Meanwhile, researcher at this university, Jason Baldwin, hurries toward his lab at midnight, to check on the progress of an experiment.  Armed only with a pocketknife, little does he know that he will be called upon by fate this evening, as the Baldwin family, descendants of the great Morris Baldwin, will face Dracula's castle once more.

    It's silly, yes.  But whatever.

    It could be adopted into The Ultimate Castlevania Game Set In 1999 if you really wanted to.  Just change a few things and replace the protagonist with Julius Belmont.

    Meanwhile, I also considered putting in an alternate character, Ginger Graves.  I'm not sure how she'd differ, aside from being descended from Nathan Graves,
  • After the prologue, the game begins with Jason running across campus, crossing a street, at night.  He walks into an automatic door flanked by tall marble columns.  The camera shows the doors from the outside; the door automatically closes behind him, but does so conspicuously loudly and with an eerie purple glow.

    Cut to following him again, now inside the building.  The building is dark.  Text appears on the screen: "The lights should be on...what happened?"  Jason continues running.  No music plays.

    He runs partway down a long hallway, and finds himself in the middle of a large room, lit by moonlight from large windows.  Blocking his path is a large wolf-like creature -- a warg.

    Jason stops running upon sight of the warg, skidding a little to emphasize the suddenness.  He pulls out his pocketknife.  The camera switches perspective to far-camera 3D, the player gains control of Jason, and "Shudder" from Castlevania 64 begins playing.

    The game begins with a miniboss fight against the warg.  It should be an easy fight, despite the intimidating presentation.  When the warg is defeated, the boss music fades out.

    After the warg is defeated, the lights on the walls and chandeliers come back on, but as candles.  The entire place lights back up.  The music fades in -- "Dracula's Castle" from Symphony of the Night.  Zombies begin rising from the floor and shambling around slowly, moving toward Jason if he is nearby.  The title card for the area appears.

    Thus begins the first area of the game -- the Main Corridor.
  • edited 2016-11-16 07:21:40

    Locations where bathrooms exist in the real-life campus would make good locations for save points.

    They'd also make good locations for warp points.

    The older buildings actually have a thing where men's and women's restrooms are located on different floors, but right above each other.  I could easily extend this to the parts of the castle corresponding to the newer buildings.

    I could make it so that the player-character's gender's restrooms are save points, and the opposite gender's restrooms are warp rooms.
  • The castle is roughly divided into the following areas.  These are placeholder names and correspond to locations with specific analogues in each instance of the castle. 

    1. First Corridor
    2. Old Gallery
    3. Chapel
    4. Courtyard
    5. Modern Gallery
    6. Offices #1
    7. Offices #2
    8. Factory
    9. Residence
    10. Library
    11. Chemistry Lab
    12. Second Corridor
    13. Tower
    14. Arena
    15. Biology Lab
    16. Special Area

    In addition there are two other area locations that are meant to serve mainly as transit between other areas.

    17. Hell (connecting First Corridor, Offices #2, and Special Area in each castle; it is the only access point to Special Area)
    18. Underground Waterway (connecting various points in all four castles at the same time)
  • there is a light that never goes out
    Hell, you say?
  • "Hell" is the nickname of one of many steam tunnels that run beneath and through buildings for heating purposes at real-life MIT. In addition to being a nickname for the whole school.

    In this game, it serves mainly as the access passage to the Special Area part of the map.

    In the first castle, we are reminded that burns on our hands are easier to explain than burns on our foreheads, because there are a number of overhead pipes and other features that are hazardous to the touch. Meanwhile, in the Impious Castle, Hell might actually be frozen over.
  • Thinking of doing some consolidation.

    The First Corridor, Old Gallery, and Chapel all be sub-parts of the same area, the First Hallways.  Offices #1 and Offices #2 are to be eliminated in favor of extending the Modern Gallery, and then putting a Chapel roughly in the middle of these two, and connecting the Chapel to the Arena and to various other areas with a Sky Walkway.

    I've actually got a bunch of ideas for particular area and their bosses, later in the game, but I'm trying to curb my own enthusiasm and not say reveal them yet, and try as much to fill out really broad-scale framework pieces first.

    Here's what I have for the sequence map for the First Castle, for now:

    0. opening: defeat Warg.  Actually let's move the Warg to the far left, so that once you enter you meet the Warg, rather than after running down half the corridor.  This mirrors the opening of Symphony of the Night better.  So now you're at the far western end of the Main Corridor.

    1. Main Corridor.  Music: Dracula's Castle.  The corridor is filled with respawning zombies and a few bats and peeping eyes.  If you go east through the whole corridor, you'll find that in the middle of it is a pool of water (with ways to get around it of course) filled with Mermen.  You'll also run up against a locked Fire Door.  (It leads to the Second Corridor area, which in the First Castle will be called Main Street (tentative name).)
    Going north from the western end of the Main Corridor leads to the Gallery of Flight (tentative name), with different music.  You don't get to see its name yet, though, because this is the "wrong" way into it.
    Going south from the western end of the Main Corridor, you see the Old Gallery which contains various things, from computers that seem to control the security features of the castle as well as old ships put up like museum exhibits.  (The old ships vaguely hint that the Courtyard in another castle becomes the Wrecked Ship.)  This eventually leads to the entrance to the Mad Forest.
    Through the Main Corridor, on the south side, you see the Mad Forest, and as you continue eastward, you see a wall, and then you see an area that looks a little unsolid and shrouded in mist.  (This will be explored much later; it is the Forbidden Area.)
    You're stuck on the first floor of the Main Corridor, but in the middle, above the Merman Pond, you can see a conspicuous doorway on the second floor.  You also see a conspicuous switch far in the distance, across the water.  You can't reach it even if you swim across.  Note that you have no subweapons.

    2. Mad Forest.  This is the area in the Courtyard location.  There is going to be a boss here, I haven't decided who/what yet.  Might be a nimble hunter of some sort.  But beating the boss gets you the Throwing-Dagger.

    3. Then you go back to the Main Corridor and throw a dagger at the switch above the Merman Pond.  Doing this reveals a staircase above the pond that leads up to the second floor, and now you can explore the second floor of the Main Corridor, and also go into that conspicuous door you saw.  (Or maybe you need a key, which you can find on the second floor.)  That door contains a boss, The Alchemist, who is inspired largely by the Water Mage from Bloodlines.  He doesn't just raise the water level though; he also throws various explosives and other items at you.  (Might be interesting to use him to exhibit things you can pick up later...)  He looks kinda like a mad scientist professor and is situated at the front of what looks kinda like a lecture hall, minus the chairs (which would just make a battling arena unfun).

    Eventually, you find the key to the Fire Door that blocks access to the Main Street, which is another east-west corridor.

    4. Main Street is the hub area of the next big "chunk" of the game.  This gives you access to the Study Area (a library-like area) and the Guest House, both near the western end of Main Street, and you can see the Alchemy Laboratory and the Old Lighthouse but not get to them yet.

    I'm not yet sure about how to gate things from here on out, but this is roughly an idea of a possible sequence.

    5. Going north to the Villa eventually leads at its upper parts to the lower part of the Sky Walkway, which allows access to the Chapel (of some more interesting name) further north and downward.  Going west from the Chapel leads to the Gallery of Flight, where there's a lot of open space and a long drop back to the western end of the Main Corridor.  There's also a pit there, and has some locked doors.

    6. Later: access the Alchemy Laboratory, south of the middle of western Main Street.

    7. Then the Old Lighthouse, south of the middle of eastern Main Street.  Finishing this might grant access to Hell, which connects beneath the Main Corridor the pit in the Gallery of Flight, the Chapel, and leads to the Temple of Doom.

    8. At some point, the Trophy Hall, north of Main Street.  Not sure whether this will be accessed from Main Street or from the Sky Walkway or the Chapel first.

    9. Finally, at the end, the Bioengineering Laboratory, with its homunculi and poison-wielding suits of armor.  This area has Circle's Vampire Killer theme.

    The player should notice by this point that they still lack at least one subweapon (probably the cross), and savvy Castlevania fans would notice that no Castle Keep has yet appeared.
  • edited 2016-11-21 05:18:23

    The First Castle thus ends on a warp room in the Bioengineering Laboratory.  So the overall effect is that you start at the western end of the First Castle and work your way to the eastern end.

    This means the Opulent Castle begins on the eastern end and you work your way westward.  However, I don't want the Impious Castle to start on the western end.  Maybe I can have it loop southward, then westward, then northward, and then finish the Opulent Castle and start the Impious Castle around the Chapel.  This might be nice since I plan to have the Opulent Castle's Chapel be the "Chapel of Stained Glass", with beautiful artwork, and then the Impious Castle's Chapel will be either the "Chapel of Broken Glass" or the "Chapel of the Heretic", and will certainly feature broken (and still breaking) glass -- which will draw a strong contrast between the two castles.

    The Impious Castle should begin there and work its way eastward, southward, and westward, then finally northward to almost making a whole loop out of it.  (In practice, with backtracking, it will be more than just a loop, but we're talking about the broad-scale flow here.)  So it ends somewhere in the Gallery area, where you enter the Last Castle.

    The Last Castle leads you from the Gallery area to the Final Corridor (music: Reincarnated Soul) and then lets you explore the entire castle.  This time, you can finally see the Castle Keep south/southeast of the Final Corridor, but it remains inaccessible behind a large gate that requires six artifacts to open.  It should come as generally little surprise that these six artifacts are...
    * Dracula's Fang, proudly worn by the leader of the Darkwing Squadron
    * Dracula's Eye, the source of Medusa's petrification powers
    * Dracula's Heart, the treasure guarded by Akmodan III and Akmodan IV
    * Dracula's Nail, which gives The Creature its life and allows it to command and resurrect Igor
    * Dracula's Rib, proudly worn by Death
    * Dracula's Ring, a treasure possessed and worn by Olrox

    At some point during your progress through the Last Castle, the music for the Final Corridor changes from Reincarnated Soul to Lost Painting, then to the Final Toccata.  The lighting for the Final Corridor also changes depending on this progression:
    * When Reincarnated Soul plays, the indoor lighting is strong but the outdoor lighting is clearly night.
    * When Lost Painting plays, the indoor lighting is weaker, but the outdoor lighting shows a hint of blue in the sky, as if dawn is approaching.
    * When the Final Toccata plays, it is daylight.
    This progression will likely depend on either the number of Dracula-relic bosses beaten or on the time spent in the game (or in the Last Castle).

    When the Final Corridor's music is the Final Toccata, the Final Corridor will also be filled with various difficult, tedious-to-kill enemies, but also have an additional feature: whenever the music's loop finishes, a giant laser of daylight shoots down the entire length of the hallway.  Being in the path of the laser results in instant death.  (The daylight itself has become an antagonist to your efforts.)
  • In addition to the nighttime/daytime hints mentioned above...
    * the Chapel of Stained Glass in the Opulent Castle is intended to have what seem like streaks of daylight streaming in through the windows to a darkened church.  This is in reference to Symphony's chapel, which has white light shining in streams onto the pews.
    * the Sky Walkway area in at least the Opulent Castle will have daylight, but the clouds will be moving by quickly, indicating high winds outside.  This is in reference to Harmony of Dissonance's Sky Walkway and Chapel of Dissonance areas.  You may have to deal with these winds if I decide to make the Sky Walkway area in the Impious Castle broken open, and you definitely WILL have to deal with them in the Last Castle's Clock Tower's upper floors.
  • For anyone curious about references to MIT:

    Follow along with this map of MIT if you want. (Remember to tilt your head a little to the left so that the road at the southern side of the map looks horizontal to you. :P That's how the campus looks on the maps people typically use.)

    The Infinite Corridor -- the long strip of yellow between the numbers 7 and 8 on that map -- is a long hallway located basically at the center of MIT's campus.  To its west is Massachusetts Avenue, beyond which are mostly dormitories, however, this is roughly the center-line of the western half of MIT's core academic facilities.  This inspired the "Main Corridor" I'm talking about, though I'm planning on heavily modifying the layout of the campus map so it's not really going to look good if you are trying to get a 1-to-1 comparison.

    On a few days every year, the sun temporarily shines through the entire length of the Infinite Corridor.  This phenomenon is popularly known as "MIThenge".

    The "Old Gallery" is southwest of it, represented by buildings 1, 3, and 5.  The "Courtyard" is the big green space east of it, Killian Court.  It's not gated off in real life, but it will be in the game, and higher than you can jump (or later, rocket-jump).  Also these odd-numbered buildings are going to be kinda pushed together and simplified into one building, which opens onto the Courtyard.

    I originally wanted to put the Chapel where buildings 2, 4, and 6 are.  It was going to be called "Chapel of Mathematics" or something.  But since I was simplifying the odd-numbered buildings to be one area or sub-area, it seemed better to just change this to the feature that I originally wanted for the center of this area.  See where buildings 6B and 6C are, with a little green space beneath them?  This area is often called the "Secret Ninja Courtyard", because it's a small courtyard with gardens and walkways (and no vehicle access) that's clearly visible from the first floor, but only accessible from the basement.  (Its odd-numbered analogue is the Secret Ninja Parking Lot, which actually does have vehicle access, and no significant plant presence.  I might still do something interesting there.)

    Additionally, a building 6A used to stand there.  It stood unused for a while, like mysterious ruins right before my eyes.  I got a glimpse into it shortly after they started tearing it down.  They did later build 6C here, which is a much newer building that connects to its neighbors directly, but it's because of the mysterious aura that surrounded this place that I decided that it should become the Forbidden Area (First Castle), The Pit (Impious Castle), and the location above which the Castle Keep resides (Last Castle).

    Meanwhile I moved the Chapel over to roughly where building 39 is.  37, 39, 38, and 34, roughly, are going to be that area, and it's going to be moved closer to the rest of the buildings.  I decided to make this the Chapel because a major feature of building 34, as viewed from the street to its north, is its distintive glass facade, which has triangular faces in such a way as to look like it could be part of a church.

    24 and 26 will be similarly combined by a single location that is the Villa I mentioned earlier.  There's a convenience store near here as well as some non-academic offices (such as the careers office).

    Buildings 9, 17, and 33 get combined into the Modern Gallery, of which the First Castle's version is the Gallery of Flight, because building 9 is more recently renovated, and building 33 actually does house the Aero/Astro department and its library, and building 17 is a wind tunnel.  Building 9 has a pit, because the real building 9 has a sub-basement where notable artifacts related to the school's tradition of roof and tunnel hacking can be found.  (Building 9 also has a rather amusing feature in that some of its upper floors don't synch well with building 7 and thus have stairs to nowhere that are closed off as a result.  I haven't incorporated this detail yet.)

    Building 14 is a library.  That will become the Study (AoS Study theme), the Square Library (because it's not Long, unlike the one in Symphony), and the Theater (featuring either Dance of Gold or Swinging Chandeliers, as it does contain a small concert hall) in the game.
    Building 18 is the chemistry building.  It gets to be, in order, the Alchemy Laboratory, the Dance Hall (AoS's Dance Hall theme), some other (Necromancy?) Laboratory, and the Disco Hall (Wandering Ghosts).

    I actually forgot building 13 earlier.  I had planned to use that as an Armory, Prison (, and the Casino of the Demon Castle.  I'm not sure how to work this into the sequence yet.  I might move these areas elsewhere -- the Casino seems to be especially suited for the Arena area, if only because it's large and loud.

    Building 31 is what I called the "Factory" up there.  It's especially notable for its rooftop, on which is situated some industrial-looking stuff.  I could make this an art gallery in the Opulent Castle (after all, it is kinda about filthy-rich decorations and shoving the unsightly things into the Impious Castle), but it'll probably be a Munitions Factory (with Iron-Blue Intention) in the Last Castle as a reference to the fourth level of Bloodlines, and maybe some sort of abandoned (and dangerously decrepit) factory in the Impious Castle.  ("Impious" is starting to sound rather stupid.  Maybe I should change it to "Infernal"?)

    Building 54 is the tallest building on campus, at about 20 stories depending on how you count them.  So it makes sense that I'm going to use it for the tower.

    Buildings 16 and 56 form what I called the "Second Corridor".  This is tentatively "Main Street" in the First Castle, and I'm thinking the Opulent Castle might make this the Market or the Bazaar or something.  Something mundane and "lively", with lots of skeletons and other undead doing things.  In real life this is another corridor that's also heavily traveled and has lots of important features in it such as a big computer lab and a media display screen that often shows weird modern art clips.  I might even put a garden on the roof just for fun.  I dunno yet.

    Building 66 is the chemical engineering building, and building 68 is the biology building.  I've kinda merged them together here, into a smaller area.  It might still have the notable 30-60-90 triangular shape of 66 though.

    Building 32 is the Stata Center, infamous for its architecture.  Before this was built, there used to be a building 20 that stood here, a relic from World War II.  This is a very large building in real life, which means I can still basically whatever notable thing I want here, so I called this the "Arena", which will be the Trophy Room (an idea I'm not really too keen on, but supposedly it has the mounted heads of dead animals, accompanied by AoS's Chapel theme), the Battle Arena (which actually functions and contains the music of AoS's Arena, despite sharing its name with a CotM area), the Arena of Illusions, and the Coliseum.  The last two of these are particularly notable, which I'll mention in a later post.

    The connection between buildings 36 and 32 is actually a column of three short sky walkways.  There is no indoor connection at ground level, last I checked.  But it's just more fun if this were a whole area, right?

    Building 42 in real life is the power plant which supplies heat and electricity to the campus.  The steam tunnels are its way of providing heating.  I've never been inside it, but it makes sense that it would connect to the steam tunnels, which is why I'm going to make its only access underground.  (Obviously, though, it's got a door at street-level in real life.)  While it looks small on the map, 42's out-of-the-way location also meant I could throw in some big random shit here.

    I guess I haven't contained myself any more at this point and I'm just letting ideas spew forth.  Heh.
  • re the Tower:

    I'm not sure what to make the First Castle's tower (I have it down as Lookout Tower and Narrow Tower), but the Opulent Castle has an Observatory Tower (with Tower of Mist as the music), leading up to a Planetarium (a Cv64/LoD reference), in which I'll actually leave no boss but actually a rather relaxing, enjoyable experience, watching the stars.  The Infernal Castle gets an Isolation Tower (with a remix of the Condemned Tower theme from DoS), in which Gergoth is confined, and the Last Castle, of course, has the final and true Clock Tower, which is only accessible from below ground, meaning that you'll have to traverse it from the very bottom to the very top.  The first floor -- actually aboveground and a lecture hall in real life -- will contain a boss fight with Cerberus, and the floors above it will have gears and moving platforms and medusa heads, as is typical for the Clock Tower.  In its upper floors, there will even be a wind effect -- due to its height, and in a nod to the fact that atmospheric scientists have their offices on the upper floors of building 54 in real life.  The Clock Tower gets a dual-mix of AoS's Clock Tower theme and The Tragic Prince, and of course the boss on top is none other than Death.

    re the Arena:

    The Arena of Illusions actually contains two areas, that you transition between every time you walk through a door; one of those areas is the only part of the Infernal Castle that doesn't look broken down or evil, and other is its ruined counterpart.  The boss will probably be Paranoia, who guards the ability to switch between these two versions of the area at will.  This idea, for me, represented the "ghost" of building 20 manifesting through the new building, unexpectedly reverting it to ruins.  The music is the Spinning Tale / Rotating Room music from Super Castlevania IV (a.k.a. "Clockwork Mansion"), probably in its CotM form.

    The Coliseum is an area you enter from the top (the Sky Walkway, probably).  This is a very late-game area, but likely accessible before you fight any of the Drac-relic bosses.  This is because the first thing that happens when you enter this area is that the door shuts tight behind you, no music plays, and you are treated to a pedestal upon which rests the Vampire Killer.  As in, the legendary whip.  (For people who are canon nuts, I could also rename this the Hunter's Whip.)

    When you pick up a typical major upgrade, you get the Simon's Theme motif that's used for Super Castlevania IV's level end victory fanfares.

    When you pick up this whip, however, you get a glorified, grand version of that fanfare.  This is an intentional nod to Metroid Zero Mission's Fully Powered Suit Fanfare, how it's a glorified version of that game's item get theme.

    Then once you have that whip, you can equip it.  And once you do, the floor drops out from under you.  Welcome to the Coliseum.  You will now be tasked with fighting your way through a bunch of rooms filled with all manner of monsters from the easiest to the toughest.  And you will have to survive all of them in order to make it out with that gloriously powerful whip that you just picked up.

    (No, it has no drawbacks.  Get out, Portrait plot point.)

    The music for this area is an expanded version of VK2K2, the boss rush theme from Harmony of Dissonance, which combines both "Vampire Killer" and Dracula's Curse's "Clockwork" theme.

    Unlike all other areas, the Coliseum will allow you to restart from right when you get dropped in for the first time.
  • Mobility powerups and keys will include picking up each of the four traditional subweapons (Dagger, Holy Water, Axe, Cross), and probably some other subweapons, as well as the double-jump, the rocket-jump (which only allows one zoom before landing, but now it can be a horizontal or diagonal zoom), probably diving equipment (to make use of the Underground Waterway), and of course keys and other macguffins.

    Temple of Doom, huh? Can you play as Indiana Jones?

    You can get a whip, and in fact you can get THE whip at the end of the game.  Well, not Indy's whip, but, rather, Simon's (or Morris's/Nathan's if you prefer).

    Also sorry I took a while to reply to you...posted a bunch of things to get them off my mind first.
  • edited 2016-12-10 18:51:55

    Schmoo is the only enemy in the Forbidden Library based on a literary source other than The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Its presence there suggests that Dracula's library includes comic books in addition to literary classics.

    Interesting.  Dracula's library causes a variety of creatures from fiction to become manifested.
  • there is a light that never goes out
    I remember the Schmoo
  • My dreams exceed my real life
  • edited 2016-12-11 16:40:06

    Yeah, basically.

    Apparently the design of the SotN monster with that name can also be traced to a parodical representation of a yokai that's also from a comic strip, albeit a different one.
  • edited 2016-12-29 23:27:02

    So, take a listen to these two tracks.
    Vampire Killer NeoThunder Remix by DJ Ashura
    Simon 1994RD from Contra: Hard Corps

    There's a Disco Hall in the Last Castle.

    That's the perfect place to put the bat boss.  And give it a combination of these two remixes of the VK theme.

    And let's make it the Bat Troupe.  There's no music at first.  A la Peeping Big in HoDiss, you find a lone bat.  Attacking it causes it to put up a weird multicolor shield...and then it shoots up to the ceiling and becomes a disco ball.  Huge numbers of bats begin pouring in.  They form, in order, the following bosses, whose arrival is every couple minutes or so, timed with the music's change to the Cv1 boss theme:
    * Giant Bat (swoops to attack; sort of the "generic" giant bat)
    * Gargoyle Bat (long chain of tail segments, moves everywhere)
    * Zapf Bat (high defense, made of coins, separates into multiple smaller Zapf Bats when killed, and does so twice)
    * Bat Company (a combination of HoDiss's Giant Bat and DoS's Bat Company -- this assumes Bat Form (flies around, spits fireballs occasionally, drills the floor), Hand Form, and Moai Form, and three hits disrupts it and causes it to pick another form)
    * Darkwing Bat (a much faster, more threatening, and better-animated version of SotN's Darkwing Bat)
    Bats continue to pour into the arena as this is all going on.  Darkwing Bat will indeed have the ability to cause wind effects, which affect you but which the other bats get to ignore, of course.

    The only problem with this idea is that it spoils the triumphant return of Vampire Killer in a better version of VK2K2 from HoDiss, in the Colosseum.  Though fwiw, this "VK2K5" will contain both Vampire Killer and Cv3's Clockwork.
  • Originally I thought of putting Paranoia in the Arena of Illusions (in the Infernal Castle), so you have to find your way through a maze of mirror warps to get to the boss and then after you beat the boss you get to explore the maze freely.

    But rather, I think it would be nicer to have it this way:

    * Paranoia boss elsewhere.
    * First time you get to the Arena of Illusions, it should strike you as different from the rest of the Infernal Castle because it's not dilapidated and run-down.  It also restricts you to like one room, with a prominent mirror, whose reflection is a dilapidated and run-down version of the area.
    * Go elsewhere to defeat Paranoia and get its ability to go into the parallel worlds inside mirrors.
    * Now you can navigate into the Arena of Illusions.
    * Go through the area.
    * The boss is Medusa.  Dracula has her locked up in a chamber of mirrors.  She has now reconfigured the mirrors to reflect her petrification beams all over the room.  Not sure what music she'll get.  Portrait's "Piercing Silence" is pretty nice, though I don't want to share it too much as to dilute its impact.

    Paranoia boss should have "Chamber of Ruin" music -- i.e. that playful, demented, and texturally dry-ish track from OoE.  It'll share this track with Wallman and Blackmore.

    The one problem with this is that this puts Medusa in the third castle rather than the fourth one.  I'm not sure how much I care about this.
  • edited 2016-12-30 00:17:27

    Werewolf -- specifically a female werewolf, in reference to Castlevania X68000/Chronicles -- gets the boss theme from that game.

    Not sure about The Creature yet.  Mummy might get Piercing Silence, as its most impressive incarnation I've yet seen is the Portrait incarnation.
  • For reference: The five key bosses are the bosses from Castlevania 1, as in Symphony:
    * the bat whateverit'llbenamed (Bat Troupe as of the moment)
    * Medusa
    * Akmodan III and Akmodan IV
    * The Creature and Igor
    * Death

    Also Olrox.
  • I haven't used Balore yet.

    I wonder if I can do something like what happens with Talos in HoDiss.

    So you fight Balore, and you defeat him.  He is locked up high in the castle.  He falls to his death.

    ...except things don't die properly in Castlevania, so then he becomes The Forgotten One.  But with an INSANE EYE LASER.  The Forgotten One in Lament of Innocence already seems to have a charged mouth laser anyway.
  • Succubus in SotN occupies a dream space, which could be used as a reason to make her a boss and make defeating her grant some other kind of dimension-swap ability.
  • edited 2017-05-16 00:28:31

    Aria of Sorrow features an area called the Floating Garden, which is a courtyard-like space near the top of the castle.  One of its most distinctive features is that it is strangely connected:
    * the part that is in the main castle is just a few large rooms, with exits left and right.
    * the rest appears as apparently isolated chunks on the map.  most of these isolated chunks appear as semi-ruined castle exterior walls.
    * going one direction through the Floating Garden (always moving right, I think) passes through a room in much better condition, which contains a strange gate that can only be opened late in the game.
    * going the other direction through the Floating Garden passes through most of those same rooms, except one of those rooms now instead leads to the next area (according to normal sequence).
    * the background clouds swirl in a strange way, if I recall correctly, and the music is written in such a way (dominant (in minor) or tonic (in phrygian) and tonic (in dorian) pedal points, lack of proper cadences, perpetual and steady rhythmic motion) as to evoke unsettledness.

    All of this, put together, gives an unsettling feeling of traveling through what may be dimensional instability in the castle.

    In the Nanoha series, Precia Testarossa at first occupies a home called the Garden of Time.  It consists of palatial structures, a laboratory, and other factilities.  At the end of the first season, the Garden of Time is lost to a dimensional rift.

    Might be a nice idea to have a "Dimensional Garden", which (as in Aria) jumps unexpectedly through dimensions in non-one-to-one ways, and include bits and pieces that resemble the Garden of Time.

    Where to put it?  Well, there's going to be a Sky Walkway at the top of the Opulent Castle, so perhaps this could be its analogue in the Impious Castle.
  • edited 2017-05-16 00:35:25

    For what it's worth, I like the idea of ruined (and mysteriously empty, possibly) bits pieces of the Garden of Time showing up unexpectedly in some ruined dimension.  Another idea involved incorporating it into something similar to the Cleft of Dimensions in FFV.
  • there is a light that never goes out
    I never liked the Floating Garden, the castle is weird enough without a place that refuses to obey consistent room transitions
  • I never liked the Floating Garden, the castle is weird enough without a place that refuses to obey consistent room transitions

  • Y'know how Nova Skeletons are light elemental?

    So in the Last Castle there's a giant beam of light, too.  (Maybe I'll call it Castlehenge.)  It's like a Nova Skeleton on steroids.

    The Last Castle also has a Disco Hall.  It would feature dancing skeletons, of course, but...wouldn't it be neat if the disco ball in the main hall of that area also reflected damaging light?  Maybe also have Nova Skeletons dancing to the music.

    This speaks to a possible idea involving Dracula's forces gradually turning light itself to evil.  Perhaps features in the First Castle has shrines where holy light represents healing or at least protection from evil, but as you go deeper, and especially in the Last Castle, you increasingly see light- (or holy-)element monsters.
  • there is a light that never goes out
    light turns evil? I like this
  • suddenly thinking that Balore could instead grant a strength ability like Guts Man's Super Arm
  • Also I suddenly had a cool idea for where to put Paranoia but I forgot it

    trying to recall that idea makes me think to put it in the Sanatorium, which would be a run-down version of an actual Sanatorium.  This was probably inspired by this video of an abandoned hospital in Pahokee, Florida.  (h/t to Crystal for posting it elsewhere)
  • this, for a dark sparkly cool club-like place?  maybe a slight joke on 66 by making it cool and chill
  • still wanna decide between AoS's Underground Reservoir, DoS's Subterranean Hell, and OoE's Wandering The Crystal Blue for the underground waterway area

    I would combine Underground Reservoir and Subterranean Hell but the two have very different feels

    i think i'll go with Subterranean Hell actually

    Underground Reservoir doesn't loop very well but i can't think of a way to loop it better.  besides, it might do well for an ice area called "Frozen Hell"

    I was going to do "Frozen Hell" as the Infernal Castle's version of the steam tunnel.  just because.  i was going to use Metroid Fusion's Sector 5 (ARC) theme, which is similar short, and even more evocative of a mysteriously frozen area, but...

    well, AoS's Underground Reservoir sounds more like an actual area theme.  it also has hints of wind, if I want to incorporate wind elements for whatever reason.  the hints of wind aren't in the loop though.  but the track definitely does sound "cold" enough.

    thing is, i'm not sure how big of an area it'd be.  in the Infernal Castle, it'd be basically the transition area to the Haunted Carnival (music: SotN's Rainbow Cemetery).  I kinda feel that the ARC theme leads into it better, but it'd be using non-Castlevania music...

    sudden idea re Haunted Carnival: i had already been inspired by Donkey Kong Country 2, but now i think some Cuphead inspiration might be appropriate too.
  • If you're wondering why i'm not using SotN's "Crystal Teardrops" for that cool stylish club jazz area, that's because it's already supposed to be used in the second castle's power plant area, which is supposed to be inspired by that master vampire's cool-looking lair in the movie Blade II.  all I remember was lots of cool steel blues and some breakable glass platforms and such.
  • edited 2017-12-10 06:08:30

    hmm, I could have AoS's "Underground Reservoir" lead into that.  I don't yet have an idea for the tunnel area leading TO the Lair of the Ancient Master (or whatever I'd call that).  but i don't know what kind of area to make it.  it needs to be fancy, one way or another

    maybe it could be a neat underwater passage with glass views of the water surrounding it?  but in that case it might be more suited to go with OoE's "Wandering the Crystal Blue".  that track sounds fancy.  and brings up an underwater landscape with water plants elegantly billowing gently in the water, and such.

    In case you're wondering why I'm not using the music for CotM's "Underground Waterway" area for my Underground Waterway, that's because that track is just a remix of Cv3's "Nightmare", and that's already being used in the Forbidden Area, which is the First Castle's version of the secret ninja courtyard.

    In case you're wondering why I'm not using the music for AoS's "Forbidden Area" area for my Forbidden Area, that's because I don't think that track stays mysterious enough.  it starts really nicely but then the loop sorta gets a bit too "comfortable" after a while.  maybe it needs more bass and less percussion?  That said I did think of a "Twilight Zone" area (no details yet but just a weirdly fitting name) to go with such music.  I put it in the Last Castle's 39, but I guess it could go various places.  Maybe it should just be just the area in that part of the Last Castle, and have something to do with backgrounds that look like a black night with stars twinkling in the darkness, and something with dimension screwery where the doors don't lead to one another in obvious ways.

    I'm not actually sure what "Twilight Zone" strictly speaking means trope-wise, as I've never watched the TV show by that name nor even gone on the Disney ride, but for whatever reason it strikes me as a term meaning an area where things mysteriously don't make sense and the normal laws of the universe are inexplicably suspended at times.  Sorta like the Chaotic Realm in AoS, actually, except with a lot less washed out colors, even more dimensional fuckery (think of the multi-directional portrait areas in PoR, e.g. Nation of Fools), and corresponding decorations, such as outlines of giant swirly pocketwatches floating in mid-air.  It's a late-game area, it's a mind-screw area, and it won't necessarily even have an explanation, but it's a kind of thing that might have resulted from experiments with dimensional magic gone wrong.

    And AoS's Forbidden Area theme seems to go PERFECTLY with this concept.  it feels empty, and mysterious, but also governed by forces that seem to be going somewhere, but somewhere you can't figure out.  that beat that goes back and forth really evokes it, and the high piano notes sound like a clock ticking away in the background, while the low bass feels like time doesn't pass normally in this area.
  • > time doesn't pass normally in this area

  • i've actually been curious about reusing the the Sun Card and Moon Card ideas from Castlevania 64

    so this might have something to do with this
  • edited 2018-01-29 19:39:42

    Final battle: three phases.

    Phase 1: classic Dracula but in 3D somehow.  music: Dance of Illusions
    Phase 2: large monstrous creature, somewhat messy, probably also some battlefield crowding.  music: Banquet of Madness (Portrait of Ruin Dracula music)
    Phase 3: souped-up classic Dracula, in the vein of the second phase of Order of Ecclesia's final battle.  Dracula fights you in melee and otherwise.  much more chaotic battle; Dracula doesn't just throw magic at you but also attempts to kick, punch, grab, rush, and throw things like pieces of the floor and the walls at you.  music: Don't Wait Until Night x Heart of Fire (Aria of Sorrow version basically).

    I mean, Simon's theme did get a reprise in the last phase of his final battle in SCv4, but we can't just copy that directly, since his theme is in G minor, not D minor.  But we DO have a really, really awesome tune in D minor, that isn't otherwise used yet.  That being Aria's "Heart of Fire" double mix.
  • boss fight options for the regular game:

    In this mode, you will be allowed to pause the game and use recovery items during boss battles.

    In this mode, you will not be allowed to pause the game or use recover items during boss battles.  However, you will be able to enjoy the music without interruption.
  • edited 2018-01-29 19:59:46

    entrance to the Demon Castle Coliseum

    To step beyond will be to test your ability in the Demon Castle Coliseum.
    Once you enter, you will not be able to leave until all are defeated.
    You will be granted an item to aid you, and you may retry if you fail.
    You will be rewarded for your success.

    After obtaining the Vampire Killer Hunter's Whip WHATEVER IT'S CALLED at the entrance to the Coliseum:

    A retry point has been set.  If you fail, you may restart from here.

    The catch is that the boss of the Coliseum is the best damn Bat boss fight ever, with the best damn Vampire Killer remix you've ever heard as the music, and you have to beat the Bat boss to get Dracula's Fang.

    (okay it's not necessarily the best one, but it's still pretty frickin' awesome.  also the game's third)

    Bat boss?  How about Bats boss -- a combination of the Giant Bat, the Gargoyle Bat, the Zapf Bat, the Phantom Bat, the Darkwing Bat, and the Bat Company? at the same time?

    (and now I just need to figure out a way to make defeating one power up the others)
  • edited 2018-01-29 20:00:03

    i'm just not sure if Vampire Killer might lose its impact though, considering that I'd be using a remix of VK2K2 for the Coliseum itself

    FWIW the only other usage is the CotM version of VK which is used late in the first castle, so in the late part of the early game.
  • edited 2018-01-29 20:07:54

    also this will be the epilogue theme

    so basically after you finish the game, you get treated to a dance party where everything in the castle is dancing with you

    the attack button is replaced by the "make sick dance moves" button
  • there is a light that never goes out
    there should be a fake ending where the castle crumbles, and then it says "except NOT!" and then it puts itself back together
  • there should be a fake ending where the castle crumbles, and then it says "except NOT!" and then it puts itself back together

  • edited 2018-01-29 20:08:52

    there should be a fake ending where the castle crumbles, and then it says "except NOT!" and then it puts itself back together

    wait i might actually use this seriously for the Infernal Castle, the one that's like crumbling to pieces

    so it's like, it crumbles but it still stands and it looks even creepier than before
  • there is a light that never goes out
    it would be great
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