Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (悪魔城ドラキュラ 闇の呪印 Akumajō Dracula: Yami no Juin?, lit. "Demon Castle Dracula: Curse of Darkness") is a console video game developed by Konami for the Xbox and PlayStation 2. It was produced by IGA, who has worked on several other metroidvania games in the Castlevania series, including Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Also returning are series artist Ayami Kojima and composer Michiru Yamane.
According to Igarashi, Curse of Darkness is set in the year 1479, three years after the events of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, thus the third official chronological installment according to the Castlevania Timeline. Though defeated by vampire hunter Trevor Belmont, Dracula's curse continues to ravage the European countryside, spreading disease, mob violence, and heresy in its wake. Amidst all this devastation is Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who had formerly worked under the employ of Dracula but betrayed him sometime during the events of Dracula's Curse. Eventually growing disgusted with Dracula's brutal methods, Hector leaves Castlevania to live amongst humans, settling down to live a peaceful life. When Hector's fiance is accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake, Hector learns that her murder was directed by his fellow Forgemaster, Isaac. Seeking revenge, Hector chases his former colleague back to his old home, and back to the demonic life he believed he had left behind him.
- Main article: Castlevania: Curse of Darkness/Gallery
One of two devil forgemasters who served Dracula and later defected. He is enraged with Isaac for the death of his beloved Rosaly. (Playable)
The man who defeated Dracula. He has returned to Valachia because he heard rumors of a Devil Forgemaster wreaking havoc across the land. (Playable, see Trevor Mode)
A witch who has survived the witch hunts. Helps out Hector by tending to his Innocent Devils and selling him goods.
The man who knows too much. He tries to dissuade Hector from pursuing Isaac.
The other devil forgemaster. He blames Hector's defection for Dracula's defeat at the hands of Trevor and company.
A priest who claims to seek the end of the curse and gives Hector clues as to Isaac's whereabouts. His true identity is Death.
He is gone, but he left a horrible curse across Europe. Final boss.
- Main article: Castlevania: Curse of Darkness/Script
A 3D game like Lament of Innocence before it, Curse of Darkness is said to differ from its predecessor in a number of ways, including a more complex, action/adventure style of gameplay, much like Symphony of the Night and Aria of Sorrow. As Hector is not a member of the Belmont clan, he will not be limited to the traditional "Vampire Killer" whip and will have the ability (much like Alucard and Soma Cruz) to equip a variety of different weapons. However, there is an extra gameplay mode after finishing the game that allows players to play as Trevor Belmont, equipped with the "Vampire Killer" and the classic sub-weapons (knife, holy water, axe, etc.).
Departing from the central hub level layout of Lament of Innocence, wherein the player chooses from a number of distinct stages all accessible from a central hallway, Curse of Darkness is said to be a more complete game world, with a complete castle map as in Symphony of the Night. However, the game still uses the same map engine as Lament of Innocence, rather than the square-based grid of 2-D Castlevanias. Furthermore, a noticeable difference in level design is that much of the game does NOT take place in Dracula's castle, but rather exploring forests, mountains, and villages in Europe. The player will be also aided by Innocent Devils (creatures developed by Hector himself), through the Devil Forgery skill, in order to defeat enemies and solve puzzles within the game. The Innocent Devils (commonly referred as I.D's) come in six different types:
- Fairy-Type - An I.D. that supports Hector with healing.
- Battle-Type - An I.D. that utilizes physical and offensive attacks; Has the most heart points.
- Bird-Type - Flying I.D.s that can engage aerial-type enemies.
- Mage-Type - An I.D. that utilizes long distance attack magic.
- Devil-Type - A strong I.D. that utilizes powerful attacks.
- Pumpkin-Type - An I.D. meant for joke purpose;but do raise luck significantly.
- Curse of Darkness Original Soundtrack
- Curse of Darkness Promo Soundtrack
- Akumajō Dracula: Yami no Juin - Fukushū no Jokyoku — A small prologue comic and promo CD packaged with this game as a pre-order bonus.
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (comic) — A comic prequel to this game.
- Dance Dance Revolution: SuperNOVA 2 — Contains a remix of Bloody Tears with Curse of Darkness scenes playing in the background.
- Official Koma — Comic panels associated with this game.
- Pachislot Akumajō Dracula — A pachislot gambling game based on this game.
- Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II — Another pachislot gambling game based on this game.
- Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse — This game is a direct sequel to Dracula's Curse.
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence — The PlayStation 2 game made before this one, uses the same engine.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 12.
- Bradygames Curse of Darkness Official Strategy Guide — US Official Strategy Guide.
- Konami Akumajō Dracula: Yami no Juin Official Guide — Japan Official Strategy Guide.
- This is the only Castlevania game where bats are not an enemy.
- There are many enemies in the game that are palette-swaps or variants of the same enemies with different attacks such as:
- Cyclops = Red Ogre
- Skeleton Rider = Skeleton Trooper
- Skeleton Blaze = Blaze Phantom, Blaze Master
- Ghost = Vassago, Wight
- Efreet = Jin
- Executioner = Iron Gladiator
- Zombie = Ghoul
- Flea Man = Death Ripper
- Wizard = Dark Warlock, Necromancer
- Orc = Sniper Orc, Rapid Sniper
- Lizardman = White Gravial, Lizard Shaman
- Lesser Demon = Flame Demon, Thunder Demon, Frost Demon
- "Castlevania: Curse of Darkness." play Magazine. February 2005. pp. 18-22.
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- Game FAQs
- Official site at Konami (Japanese)
- Curse of Darkness entry at GameSpot, with preview screenshots and videos
- Curse of Darkness game walkthrough