- "I can hide there."
- —Dracula acknowledging a Shadow Portal for the first time in Lords of Shadow 2.
The Plague of Rats, is a stealth ability of Dracula's in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. This ability enables Dracula to transform into a platoon of rats in order to reach previously unreachable areas as well as hide from various enemies.
Throughout the game, there are several unique areas, usually in small corners and in darkened places, that are consistently spitting out black tentacle-like darkness while the area above and around the darkness seems to be slightly distorted as a result of its presence. These areas are known as Shadow Portals, and they can be utilized by Dracula as a means to alter his physical form to take on the appearance of another being; In this case, a small group of rats.
When Dracula comes across a portal, several small rats can be witnessed scampering about near the portal. By entering this area, Dracula can transfer his sentience to one of the nine nearby rats and possess it.
While in the form of a rat, Dracula gains the ability to reach certain areas that he previously could not access and, as a result, can manipulate the environment around him to his advantage and to do things such as distract and hide from enemies, activate mechanisms, as well as find secrets. In addition to these new abilities, eight other rats will also accompany Dracula while he is in his rat-based form.
However, despite the new advantages that Dracula gains as a result, there is still one major flaw to his Plague of Rats ability. For one, the eight other rats that accompany Dracula do so for a reason; The ninth rat that Dracula occupies, despite him inhabiting it, does not share Dracula's enhanced resistance to injury. So should the rat that Dracula is possessing be harmed or killed in any way, Dracula's sentience will immediately transfer to one of the other eight remaining rats so as to prevent Dracula from dying. As a result of this, Dracula must be careful to keep the other rats from being harmed or killed at the same time as hiding from other enemies, for as long as one rat is still alive, Dracula's life will be saved.
Thankfully, should Dracula be low on rats, finding and entering another Shadow Portal at any time will restore any rats he may have lost previously.
- The character Dracula, from Bram Stoker's novel, has the ability to take on the form of a bat, a rat, a wolf or mist form. Gabriel also has all those powers along with a Dragon Form. It's unknown if Gabriel has a wolf form, like Alucard does.
- The rats all have elongated nails and fangs, just like Dracula.
- Additionally, the rat Dracula is currently inhabiting will possess glowing red eyes in a similar manner to Dracula's eyes.
- In one of the rat areas of the Toy Maker's Theater, Dracula must turn into a rat and snap a wire to disable a spinning fan. The player loses one rat in the process due to a falling weight. Interestingly, this weight is labeled "Acme" - and can be a reference to the Road Runner / Wild E. Coyote cartoons wherein the Coyote labels his traps with Acme.