Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow – The Epic Konami Interview – Part 2 of 2

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Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow - The Epic Konami Interview - Part 2 of 2If you haven’t already read Part 1 of our huge Dave Cox interview then you may like to begin here.

You’ve said on many occasions now that Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow will not be canonical…

It’s not canonical, no. Some people may want to fit it into the timeline and there’s nothing I can do about that. But our intention was never to have it in the canon. Our intention was always to make something standalone.

Is it simply non-canon or have you knowingly done things to contradict the canon?
In certain parts, yeah.

So you would you call it a reboot then?
Oh yes. There are a lot of references for the fans. Characters from previous Castlevania games will appear. Previous music is used but fully orchestrated and rearranged into the score of this game so that it feels part of the same score. There are lots of nods and winks that will put a smile on your face if you’re a fan. But if you’re a new player then you don’t need to know any of this. It’s a unique story that doesn’t fit into the others, so if you’re new to Castlevania or you’re simply intrigued by the story of a lone warrior battling supernatural creatures with a whip then you can jump straight in.

Vampires a very ‘in’ right now.
Absolutely. I was just saying to someone else that when you start the game, many of the vampires, the grunt vampires, will by quite beast-like. But as you get further into the story they become much more aristocratic.

When you look at the Castlevania series as a whole, it’s actually seen many changes over the years. Castlevania II was a very bold new direction, early on in its history and, of course, Symphony Of The Night was too. So what would you say is the common theme between all the divergent Castlevanias?
For me, and it’s on the first page of the design document, it’s ‘Lone warrior battles supernatural creatures with a whip’. That was it for me because the first Castlevania game I played was the 8-bit game and that’s the game that got me into videogames in the first place. Which I see as fate actually, because the first game I worked on when I joined Konami in 1997 was Symphony Of The Night. And there was a lot of worry about that game, because that too was a departure from what had gone before. It wasn’t a huge departure but there was a bit of a worry internally about whether people would accept it. So, yeah, I got into games because of Castlevania, the first game I worked on was Symphony Of The Night and now here I am producing Castlevania all these years later. It’s a dream come true.

The Combat Cross seems to be a fun new weapon. But Lords Of Shadow’s hero is a Belmont. Why not use the Vampire Killer?
We wanted to be traditional and use the chain whip from the original games. There are references to Vampire Killer, but I don’t want to give too much away because it’s quite an important part of the game. Vampire Killer is kind of in this game but I can’t really say any more than that. But I know that some people are worried that some of they key references won’t be there. They will be there, but we’re just not making ourselves a slave to them. It’s important to me that we get new players involved in Castlevania, that we grow the franchise so that a) we can make another game and b) so that Castlevania can be what it used to be – a mainstream title, very popular, and associated with Konami.