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Konami Officially Announces Castlevania For DS

by Karl Castaneda - May 23, 2005, 12:38 pm EDT
Total comments: 11 Source: Press Release

The official name is Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow


LOS ANGELES – Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Booth #800 – May 17, 2005 – Konami Digital Entertainment - America, a division of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced today new details about Castlevania®: Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS. Set in the year 2036, the newest title in the series continues the storyline that first emerged in the critically acclaimed Castlevania®: Aria of Sorrow for the Nintendo Game Boy® Advance. While the new 2D side scrolling action game will contain all the classic gameplay that fans of the series have come to expect, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow will also incorporate innovative gameplay elements that take full advantage of the portable system’s powerful new technology.

Taking place a year after Aria of Sorrow , the game’s protagonist – Soma Cruz – finds himself at the center of a mysterious cult’s plan to resurrect their evil lord and master Dracula. To save himself and protect the lives of those he loves, Soma must infiltrate the enemy’s home base, a towering replica of Dracula’s castle that is teaming with monstrous creatures. Players’ abilities develop as they collect items and gather experience points by defeating a multitude of gruesome enemies.

In their quest to defeat enemies, players will utilize original gameplay concepts that leverage the Nintendo DS’ touch screen technology. One example is Dawn of Sorrow’s “Magic Seal” system. By using the stylus directly on the screen, players must connect a series of symbols in the proper order to unlock an enchanted opening and disperse their enemy’s magic into it when they are weakened. The touch screen technology will also be used to destroy “Crystal Blocks.” This ability will allow players to access unreachable areas as well as eliminate obstacles. The Nintendo DS’ dual screens also allow game information to be readily displayed. During gameplay, the top screen of the Nintendo DS will display an environment map, as well as information on player status, enemy vulnerability, and acquired power-ups.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow introduces a multitude of new characters into the Castlevania lore. These characters include Celia Fortner, Dario Bossi, and Dmitrii Blinov. Celia is a shadow priest that exercises great magical power and is the founder of a mysterious cult that will stop at nothing to orchestrate the second coming of the “Evil Lord.” Dario Bossi is one of Dracula’s potential successors. He has the ability to manipulate fire, a power he absorbed from Dracula during the time of his last resurrection. Dario’s fiery personality and impulsive tendencies push him to immediate action. Dmitrii Blinov is the other potential successor to Dracula’s rein. He has the power to duplicate magical powers and displays an outward impression of rashness and irresponsibility, but make no mistake, Dmitrii is prepared to take any measures necessary to accomplish his goals.

Also aiding players in their battle against dark forces are “Tactical Souls.” Players can collect the souls of their fallen enemies to gain powerful new attacks and skills. There are numerous varieties of “Tactical Souls” that allow the player to use different power-ups against the deadliest of enemies. Examples of “Tactical Souls” are “Bullet Souls” and “Guardian Souls.” “Bullet Souls” consume magic points while unleashing bursts of magic attacks. “Guardian Souls” consume magic as they create defensive shields or form “helper” demons that the player can control.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow takes advantage of the Nintendo DS’ wireless connection, letting players exchange and/or trade acquired souls to enhance their characters’ strength. An incredibly moving musical score, visually stunning graphics and imaginative special effects round out this uniquely innovative gaming experience.


thepogaMay 23, 2005

Dawn of Sorrow? Awwww, they ran out of musical titles. Song of Sorrow! The subtitles didn't really have anything to do with the game though.

Bill AurionMay 23, 2005

I like how everyone is thinking of subtitles for their games to match "DS"...

NinGurl69 *hugglesMay 23, 2005

Castlevania: Depressing Stuffs.

thepogaMay 23, 2005


Originally posted by: Bill Aurion
I like how everyone is thinking of subtitles for their games to match "DS"...

Having too many puns should be PUNished...

RABicleMay 23, 2005


Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow takes advantage of the Nintendo DS’ wireless connection, letting players exchange and/or trade acquired souls to enhance their characters’ strength. An incredibly moving musical score, visually stunning graphics and imaginative special effects round out this uniquely innovative gaming experience.
At least their not claiming it to have great concept art.

Mr. SegaliMay 23, 2005

I dunno why everyone is so up in arms about the artwork. Look at Rondo of Blood, it's considered the best game in the Castlevania series and I don't recall anyone complaining about it's generic anime artstyle. I look at it as a nod to the Castvania games of yesteryear... before every protagonist looked exactly the same (long white hair)...

ruby_onixMay 24, 2005

It's more about timing and intentions.

Back when they came out with Rondo of Blood, they had just moved to CD, so they decided to include full-motion video. They went with anime, which I think really worked.

For Symphony of the Night, they tossed the FMV, added some dialogue and bad voice acting, and then tossed the FMV back in again somewhat in the form of a good-for-the-time 3D render of the castle. And they went with the very-distinct character art of Ayami Kojima.

Then Iga came into the picture. The GBA games didn't have FMV, mostly because the GBA wasn't well suited to FMV, but partly because Konami and Iga never considered these games to be much of a priority, and FMV is an added expense. Iga was beating Kojima's art style into the ground by insisting that a Castlevania isn't a Castlevania without Ayami Kojima (which is something that simply wasn't true before Iga came along), but since all the GBA could really handle was character art, nobody really complained.

When Iga unveiled the character art of Soma for Castlevania DS, one couldn't help but notice how different it was from Ayami Kojima's art of the exact same character. Iga was breaking his "it isn't a Castlevania without Ayami Kojima" rule. And when asked why, it wasn't so that they could take advantage of the advancements of the DS over the GBA. It was because Castlevania DS was lower on Iga's priority scale than even the GBA games were. Ayami Kojima was "too busy" for this game. And Iga refused to turn this problem into an opportunity, by trying a fresh artist, or including anime FMV in the game. Because both of those things could be construed as threats to his authority, and his rule over the Castlevania series.

Also, there was the instantly-assumed and Iga-approved (since it was convenient for him) "kiddy" theory.

BTW, for those who haven't heard, Iga has apparently heard the complaints, backpedalled a bit, and now apparently there will be some anime FMV in Castlevania DS (which I think has the potential to be better than if Ayami Kojima had provided the character art, assuming they don't cheap out on the anime).

Also, if you want something that's less of an angry conspiricy theory, back in the early 90's anime was fresh, stylish, and new. Nowadays anyone can immitate the typical anime style. So anime has moved on, and is embracing a variety of different styles that vary widely, as most of them are based on manga drawn by different artists with distinct styles. "Generic" anime just doesn't cut it anymore. They need to get an artist with a solid vision behind the animation team. Someone with permission to create and design as he/she sees fit, and would be willing to sign his/her name to that vision. Even if that vision is to be "old school".

But of course, that fits into my "threat to his authority" conspiricy theory, so I don't think that's gonna happen.

jasonditzMay 24, 2005

Stay tuned for our next sequel: Concerto of Unhappy-itude

Wow, that is quite a theory.

All I can say is that I played this game at E3 and it's cool. I'm a big Castlevania fan and I give it the thumbs up face-icon-small-thumbsup.gif It isn't doing anything particularly new (aside from the touch screen stuff), but it's as good as any other Castlevania title.

My only concern is how quick on the draw you'll have to be with the "seal" system. It might be a pain in the butt to have to take your right hand off the buttons, grab the stylus from the out of the back of the system, and then draw on the screen. If it's too fast it'll be annoying.

I'm looking forward to it though.

Mr. SegaliMay 26, 2005

I'm fairly sure Rondo of Blood didn't have FMV... weren't all the cut scenes sprite based like the Street Fighter intros? It also had it's fair share of voice acting and was chalk full of redbook audio.

darknight06May 26, 2005

They were, just with a lot more pictures and a bit more elaborate.

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