Castlevania: Lords of Shadow tells the tale of a man named Gabriel Belmont, on a quest to obtain a mask from the Lords of Shadow to resurrect a loved one. Set during the end of days, where the earth is threatened by the malevolent Lords of Shadow; the presence of the Lords of Shadow corrupted the balance between Earth and Heaven, which caused the souls of the dead to remain on earth instead of moving onward into the afterlife. Moreover, monsters have appeared on Earth and attack its inhabitants. Gabriel Belmont, a member of the "Brotherhood of Light", sets out to defeat the Lords and resurrect his fallen love, Marie. Lords of Shadow takes Gabriel to the same familiar Castlevania haunts in search of the God Mask.
The game is set in the 11th century in a country that is never specified. The story takes place in a world where all hope is gone. Many demonic creatures have began appearing, killing off human kind. The game's main character is Gabriel Belmont and the story is narrated by Zobek. While Lords of Shadow is a new entry into the Castlevania franchise, it is not a continuation of past events from the series. Lords of Shadow is considered by its developers to be a reboot of the franchise. The Belmont history is no more, and new secrets and revelations are made throughout the game that rewrites the mythology of the franchise.
The game starts off with Gabriel arriving in a small village. He helps the villagers fend off an attack from werewolves. He then enters a forbidden forest. He seeks Pan, a spirit of the forest. As Gabriel's amulet leads the way, he's tormented by dreams of his deceased wife, killed by the evil creatures that are invading the world. On his way to finding Pan, to access the Lake of Oblivion, he runs into trouble with some goblins. Pan appears as a horse and helps Gabriel before disappearing.
After going through the rest of the forest, shifting through a deadly bog and solving a door puzzle, Belmont finally meets Pan in guardian form. Belmont tells the spirit that he's been sent by The Order of Light regarding the whole demon problem. The player discovers that the world has been cut off from the heavens. Basically, God can't communicate and enact his will on Earth anymore. Gabriel asks Pan if all hope is lost and of course Pan answers in riddles. Because the connection to God doesn't exist anymore, all the dead are trapped. The only way to communicate with them is at the Lake of Oblivion and Pan holds the key. The only way Pan will let our hero pass is if he solves a puzzle. The player must move circular platforms to make a bridge so he can walk up to his wife. Every time a platform is moved, a giant pendulum blade that swings over Marie gets lower. Gabriel succeeds but wakes up from the hallucination and walks through the gates to the lake.
Arriving on the frozen lake, Gabriel fights a giant ice golem. Just when the golem is about to get the upper hand Zobek arrives and saves Belmont, much to his chagrin as his kill is stolen at the last moment. Zobek too is with the Order and is friends with Pan, which is why he is here. Hundreds of lost souls wander around the lake and Gabriel manages to talk to Marie. She is being used by the Elders of the Order to communicate a prophecy to Belmont. This means that God is speaking through Marie and that there is still hope. What Belmont and Zobek must do is defeat all the Lords of Shadow to assemble the God Mask so Belmont can become the most powerful warrior on earth, the incarnation of God, and rid the world of evil.
Belmont and Zobek part ways and Belmont heads towards the lost city of Agaratha where the first Lord is said to be found. After traveling through a maze, Belmont makes it to the ruins only to have a near death experience with a golem. Suddenly, a young girl appears and breaks a crystal. Out of the crystal comes a giant, naked, half-woman half-demon monster that obliterates the golem. Before Gabriel can ask who she is, she escapes and he gives chase. He ends up following her into underground caves. After exploring the caves, Gabriel is almost killed by a giant black knight, before the young girl once again shows up and stops the knight from doing anything. It's revealed that the young girl's name is Claudia. She is mute but can speak into people's thoughts and read them, communicating with Belmont.
Claudia is actually the last surviving Aghartian. She used to live a peaceful life many years ago in Aghartha until the Lycans attacked the city. The Aghartians were peaceful beings who had created crystals that were so powerful that nobody ever risked attacking them. They used these crystals to build giant titans that protected them. The war against the Lycans lasted centuries until there were no more crystals. All the Aghartians were killed and those captured were turned into monsters. The titans kept fighting but were eventually destroyed too, leaving the city in ruin. Among the people murdered were Claudia's father. Before he died he created the Black Knight, the girl's guardian who feeds on darkness and possesses her father's personality. The crystals have now become known as dark crystals and can be used to deliver considerable damage onto the enemy.
After reading Belmont's thoughts, Claudia decides that she and the Black Knight will help him in his struggle to defeat the Lords of Shadow.
However, before fighting the evil lord, Gabriel will first have to kill the last surviving Titan(but the sketeton dragon is referred to as a titan and is re-animated near to the end). The Last Titan is huge, much bigger than the ice golem. Thanks to the help of the Black Knight, who cuts part of the Titan's leg off, and Claudia who gives a crystal to Gabriel, our hero kills the final Titan by stabbing it in the face with the crystal. After this long and epic fight, the three decide to go and rest.
While resting, Gabriel has a weird dream where he wakes up Claudia, who tells him that she's seen her fate, just before Gabriel stabs her to death. When we see Gabriel's face, weird silver marks are spread across it. Note that this also happened during his vision of Marie at the Lake of Oblivion. Gabriel wakes up to find Pan standing in front of him, telling him that he must do what he must do and to take the Black Knight's gauntlet. Said gauntlet is extremely powerful and would help Gabriel in his quest. Belmont refuses, telling the spirit that he doesn't wish to betray Claudia. Pan replies that he already has. In horror, Gabriel discovers a dead Claudia, with a dagger, Gabriel's dagger, sticking out of her chest. The Knight appears and Belmont is forced to fight and defeat him. He takes the Gauntlet, buries Claudia and soldiers on.
Gabriel arrives at the entrance of the first Lord's hiding place. The door is unlocked by fairies and he's able to reach the first Lord, Cornell, ruler of the Lycans. Gabriel claims that he must kill Cornell to fulfill the prophecy. The Lord tells Belmont that he is being deceived. He goes on to explain how the Brotherhood of Light came to be (the order Gabriel belongs to). Three founders helped God's fight against the devil and won. They were then lead to three spots where God's influence was extremely powerful. There they sacrificed themselves, turning into powerful spirits, their power only second to God's. However, they left their dark side on earth, these dark sides that were reincarnated into the Lords of Shadow. This means that if Gabriel were to kill a Lord, then the good spirit would die too. Gabriel refuses to believe this and begins to fight Cornell.
Despite Cornell's giant war hammer and the fact that he turns into a very big werewolf, Belmont comes out on top. Gabriel takes his hammer from him, bashes him over the head a couple times, then when the hammer breaks, he takes its handle puts it through Cornell's face. Right after defeating the Lord, Cornell's cyclone boots attach to Gabriel's feet, letting him run faster. A piece of the God Mask falls from the sky and Gabriel takes it. He also witnesses a brief vision of Marie who caresses his cheek and tells him that he's doing good.
Gabriel encounters Pan in eagle form who offers to bring him to his next destination. So starts an epic montage of Gabriel flying an eagle across many lands. They land at the entrance of Crows' Pass. Pan once again can go no farther and when Belmont asks the spirit why he's helping him, Pan simply responds that he is not, and that not everything is what it seems. Crows' Pass is the entrance to vampire territory where the next piece of the God Mask can be found. The Pass is guarded by a once sexy witch who goes by the name of Malphas. The witch must be defeated in order for Gabriel to continue on his quest.
After fighting a giant ogre (Belmont blinds the beast before slitting its throat with a piece of the environment) and playing hide and seek with a chupacabra (a mystical midget that steals all of Gabriel's powers and taunts Gabriel while he searches for the midget), Belmont climbs to the tallest tower and confronts the witch. The witch is actually a giant crow with a skull for a head (the Crow Witch). She controls the local crows and lays eggs. Belmont defeats her by throwing an egg back to her face, grabbing onto her and slamming her face first into the tower before decapitating her.
After her death, the tower begins to collapse and once again Pan appears, this time as a horse, and saves the day. Belmont is dropped off into the Berros Woods and after fighting his way through the woods, comes to a clearing where he can see from afar the massive castle of the vampires. He enters the small village near the castle and discovers Zobek praying near a pile of dead soldiers. It's revealed that Zobek has been following Gabriel since the beginning of the game but Belmont does not know this. Zobek explains that the vampires know they're coming and are getting ready for a fight. He explains that the small village has been safe from any vampire attacks thanks to an abbot who wields a weapon that reproduces the light of the sun. However, the abbot has gone slightly mad, locking himself in his abbey and booby-trapping the whole place. Zobek recommends getting this weapon as it will aid in the fight against the vampires.
Zobek and Gabriel make their way into the abbey and must solve a variety of puzzles and traps, including the classic ceiling trap where
different slabs of rock descend from the ceiling and our two heroes are forced to make haste. Gabriel finds a stake that he attaches to the bottom of his cross. The abbey's underground is also where your first encounter with vampires occurs. Gabriel and Zobek eventually end up getting separated (Zobek falls into a trap) and Gabriel is forced to climb alone to the tallest tower of the abbey where the abbot is hidden.
Gabriel meets up with Zobek and both go to confront the abbot, gone mad and muttering weird prayers. Belmont tells him that he's not worthy of being a man of God since he let most of the people in the village die because of the vampires. Despite the mad man's pleas, Belmont takes the relic and leaves with Zobek. The abbot starts cursing them, telling them that they were sent by Satan and that they must die. Suddenly vampires appear in the tower and make a feast out of the abbot.
As our two heroes are about to leave, a wounded young boy from the village arrives. He says that the vampires have come for Belmont and want him to come to the village. Despite Gabriel clearly knowing that it's a trap, he agrees while Zobek stays to take care of the young lad. After fighting many vampires, a vampire general who goes by the name of Brauner arrives. He wields a giant sword that he throws at Gabriel. Belmont catches the sword mid-flight and throws it back at him. After several throws, Gabriel gets a hold of the general, cuts the hand that was holding the sword off, catches the sword, plants the sword half way through the vampires face and starts stabbing it with his stake in the back. Once Brauner is dead, Gabriel prepares to leave. He's worshiped by the villagers and one of them shows him a secret passage into the vampire castle. Zobek stays behind as he has some unfinished business to attend to.
The secret passage leads Belmont through the sewers. The vampire's defenses are strong but our hero is stronger. He eventually finds the key to the castle and enters the vampire's lair. He solves a variety of puzzles and the sun sets, meaning what used to be three or four
attacking vampires turns into endless waves. Gabriel encounters Laura, a vampire who takes the form of a human. This Lord of Shadow is a female which surprises Gabriel, she's maintained her young girl looks despite being hundred of years old. She will tell Belmont where the queen is, if he plays her favorite board game, Vampire Wargame. After beating the vampire she disappears and Gabriel continues his quest through the castle.
He arrives in the refectory where he witnesses a peculiar sight: a giant evil Butcher brings human limbs out to feed the ghouls. It's revealed that once the vampires are finished sucking all the blood out of the humans, they send it down to the kitchen where the butcher serves it to the ghouls. The problem is that the butcher has a key that Gabriel needs to progress. He faces off with the Evil Butcher who fights with a giant butcher knife. After an epic battle, Gabriel tries to take the giant knife away from the butcher with his cross, but the butcher's force makes it impossible. So Gabriel just lets the cross go, flinging the Butcher's knife into his skull. Gabriel then takes the knife and savagely finishes him off.
Thanks to the Butcher's key, Gabriel makes his way to Dr. Frankenstein's lab. The doctor has since then passed, eaten by the queen for having created ungodly creations. After solving many complicated electrical puzzles, Belmont faces off with one of Frankenstein's creatures: a giant mechanical spider that Belmont defeats by simply making it run out of batteries. After the fight, he finds a red lens that will help him solve one of the many puzzles in the castle.
After solving more complicated puzzles, Gabriel once again runs into Laura. Laura is annoyed for having lost against Gabriel in her game and sends her "toys" after him, giant dolls. After killing the dolls, Laura becomes violent and zaps Belmont to death. As Belmont kneels down to accept defeat, Marie appears. She tells him that it is not his time, that he must still go on. Gabriel refuses, saying that he's done "questionable" things and that he wants to join her in the afterlife. Laura apparently has the power to let her see the entire conversation. She's touched by the love between the two and resurrects Gabriel. This leaves Belmont to soldier on and face the next Lord of Shadow.
After fighting his way through more of the castle and a clocktower, Gabriel must face one last enemy before the vampire queen: Olrox, Brauner's brother and the vampire queen's right hand man. He wields two giant swords and vows to bring Gabriel's head to his superior. Gabriel ends up beating him by taking his sword and sticking it through his neck. He drains him of all his blood and uses the blood to solve a maze puzzle to open the door that leads him to the queen.
The queen goes by the name of Carmilla. She reveals to Gabriel that what Cornell said was true: the Lords of Shadow were created by the founder of Gabriel's order. Carmilla used to be an excellent healer and pure of heart. When she transformed into a powerful spirit, what was left on earth became corrupt and turned into the vampire queen. Carmilla is seductive towards Gabriel, promising him eternal life and pleasure by her side. Gabriel refuses, to which the queen tells him that there is no such thing as bringing the dead back to life and that Marie is dead.
The queen unleashes hordes of vampires onto Gabriel and then turns into her real form, a giant vampire, a Lord of Shadow.
After an epic fight, Carmilla decides that she has lost the fight and tries to flee. Gabriel catches on to her leg but is quickly kicked off. As he falls to his death, he throws his spiked whip that goes through Carmilla's chest. But that doesn't stop her, she starts flying next to one of the castle's many towers. Gabriel plants his feet onto the roof of the tower and pulls at his whip. His force is so strong that his pulling begins to make the tower collapse. He succeeds in pulling and impales Carmilla onto the tip of the tower that collapses... but it's still not over. Carmilla survives and Gabriel starts stabbing her with the tip of his combat cross, where the stake is built in. After enough quick stabbing, he plunges the cross into the Lord's chest and breaks the stake off, finally killing the vampire queen.
After the slaughter, Gabriel gets a new part of the God Mask. Pan appears through a portal telling Gabriel that he's doing well. Belmont doesn't care anymore. The order has betrayed him and all of mankind. He wants answers and of course Pan doesn't give them. He just asks our hero how far he's willing to go for the truth. The final Lord is Death himself, Gabriel steps through Pan's portal which takes him to the the abyss where he can find the last lord. He's not fighting for the order anymore but for his love, Marie.
He steps into Pan's portal and is teleported to a weird land near the abyss that will lead him to Death. He meets an old witch who goes by the name of Baba Yaga. She's crazy and keeps mentioning that the "King of the Angels" had told her of Gabriel's arrival. She can help Gabriel but first he must do something for her: retrieve her blue rose that is locked in a magic box. Belmont retrieves the key of the magic box (that was being held by possessed scarecrows) and Baba shrinks our hero so he can go into the box and retrieve the rose. After dodging all of the music box's traps (the music box plays original Castlevania 2 music), Gabriel is unshrunk and gives the rose to Baba. The witch respects their agreement and teleports Belmont to the Titan graveyard, just outside of Necromancer territory. It's explained that Baba Yaga is slaughtered by Zobek offscreen so she wouldn't "interfere" anymore.
Gabriel finds himself on the outskirts of the land of the dead. He makes his way through the graveyard and meets once again Pan. Gabriel is surprised to see the spirit here and Pan explains that only one of them can come out alive of this encounter. Gabriel is sick of all of Pan's riddles, that he wants the truth. Pan of course doesn't give it to him and turns into the Silver Warrior. Gabriel is forced to fight him and defeats
him by stabbing him in the chest with the spirit's own sword. This is by far the least gruesome fight of the entire game. As Pan collapses, Gabriel asks him why he forced him to kill him. Pan answers that he was testing Gabriel and that he is ready. The only way to enter the Necromancer's territory is by spilling the blood of a God and that is what Gabriel has done. As Pan dies, Gabriel laments his fate, saying that he didn't deserve this. Yet, he decides to go on.
He makes his way to the center of the land, the Crematory Oven. After slaughtering thousands of zombies, he makes it to the Oven where he encounters the Grave Digger who fights with a giant, scorching hot shovel. After an epic fight, Gabriel manages to open the oven, take the gravedigger's shovel and whack the beast on the head with it before pushing the Gravedigger into his own oven. As the beast falls to his death, he slings his tongues out which catch Gabriel and start dragging him down into the oven. Despite Gabriel using the shovel to hold himself from falling it breaks and Gabriel falls into the pit. He manages to hang on to the ledge and get a hold of a sharp rusted piece of metal which he uses to cut the beasts tongue, freeing himself. He climbs out of the oven and continues his desperate quest.
He finally makes it into the Necromancer's Abyss. Gabriel's mental health is in shambles, he hasn't slept in days and has no pity for any of the enemies he crosses. He's called by Zobek the "Prince of Shadow". He soldiers on, killing necromancers and ends up climbing to the highest point of the abyss, where he meets Death. Death calls Gabriel a hypocrite, that Gabriel and he are one in the same. Death takes on the form of a giant skeleton dragon( the LAST titan) that flies around and spits acid at our hero. Gabriel climbs on to Death and crashes him into his own tower. He destroys him and the abyss begins to collapse. Gabriel manages to get to the platform where the final piece of the mask resides.
Gabriel puts the pieces together and assembles the God Mask. As he holds it in his hands, Zobek shows up. He congratulates Gabriel and his quest but says that it's time to end the charades and that the truth must be revealed. Zobek takes out the devil mask and puts it on his face, revealing that he's the final Lord of Shadow. As a Lord of Shadow, he was frustrated that the different Lords didn't unite to take on God and rule the world. By uniting their powers, they could easily trump God and make darkness invade the land. So Zobek decided to go to the deepest reaches of hell where he trained himself in the dark arts. He conjured a spell that kept the dead from going to heaven, cutting the
world off from God. He tricked the order into sending a warrior (Gabriel) to solve the situation. Zobek knew that this warrior needed extreme motivation. So what he did was place the Devil Mask on Gabriel, making Gabriel kill his own wife. He also did the same thing for Claudia. To control Gabriel, he cast a spell on his gauntlet. The spell controlled Gabriel's magic powers and Zobek decides to once more use it on Gabriel, making him defenseless.
After this grand speech, Zobek tells Gabriel that he was but a puppet, and that he served his master well. Gabriel did many terrible, sinful things during his quest and because God can't forgive him, he'll be banished to hell for eternity. Zobek zaps Gabriel to death and stands laughing as the final Lord possesses the mask and ultimate power. Suddenly a voice booms from the sky telling Zobek that he's not respecting the agreement and that he's out of line. Zobek is lit on fire and burns to death. Through the ashes emerges Satan himself, who picks up the God Mask. Satan has been wanting to take revenge on God who banished him and he finally has that chance. He's the one who's behind the entire thing, Zobek was just a puppet.
Gabriel is in limbo where thousands of spirits fly around him, ready to take him to the afterlife. Marie's ghost appears, telling all the spirits to back off, that if Gabriel dies than all hope is lost. The spirits agree and decide to give life back to Gabriel. Gabriel rises and confronts Satan. Satan explains that their is no point on fighting since Gabriel is going to hell one way or another because of the evil deeds he has committed. Gabriel replies that God is great and that he only has to ask for forgiveness and God will welcome him with open arms. Satan denies this, telling him that God does not love him since he's abandoned him. Gabriel knows this is false as he now possesses powers given to him by God. Satan, now wearing the God Mask, and Gabriel clash in an epic battle.
As the battle rages on, Satan begins to realize that Belmont has the power of a God. Belmont uses all the powers he has and beats Satan with his own fists. However, Satan is able to stab Gabriel with his spear. This does nothing to Gabriel who simply takes it out. He then takes Satan in a choke hold. As Satan begins to realize that the battle is lost, he keeps on trying to convince that God doesn't care about humankind anymore. Gabriel says that God's love is great and that He'd never abandon them. All of Belmont's godly powers unleash themselves and obliterate Satan. Exhausted, Gabriel falls to the ground as trapped spirits begin making their way towards the heavens.
Marie's ghost appears once again. Gabriel begs for forgiveness to which she tells him that he's done well. Unfortunately, she too had lied to him: she can not be brought back to life. All hope leaves Gabriel's body and he wishes to die so he can be with her. Marie requests that he stay alive, as he deserves to. Still believing that the God Mask can bring the dead back, Gabriel wears it and he does indeed see his Marie as though she is living. But when he takes it off, she's a spirit again. This reveals that the God Mask was merely a tool to see the dead, bringing them back in a visual form. However, what is dead is dead. Marie flies off, telling Gabriel she loves him. Claudia appears for a brief instance, showing Gabriel that she forgives him. Belmont is left standing there as the camera pans onto the devil mask.
The credits roll...
An epilogue is then shown. A hooded man enters a cathedral. He walks at a quick pace. After briefly staring at a statue of Christ crucified he makes his way to an abandoned part of the cathedral, where he breaks down a wall. He arrives in a large tall room full of gothic statues. At this point, the man's feet leave the ground as he levitates. He levitates to a ledge that enters a big room with a giant stained glass window at the front of the cathedral. The man takes off his hood and is revealed to be Zobek. He begins talking to a man who's sitting on a throne in the shadows, telling him that for a prince of shadow, his hiding spot is strange. The man on the throne asks where Zobek has
been all this time and it's revealed that Zobek still works for Satan. Satan is preparing to march on earth once again and Zobek needs this person's help. He calls this person by his real name: Gabriel. Suddenly the man in the shadows reveals himself. It is indeed Gabriel, or what's left of him. Gabriel now goes by the name of Dracula. It's unclear how he became the lord of the vampires but Zobek states that Dracula must not stay in this state of self pity. Dracula suddenly disappears and Zobek tells him that Satan will turn him into one of his pets and that he must come out of the shadows. Suddenly Dracula grabs Zobek who teleports out of his robe and is revealed to be wearing a modern business suit. He pushes Dracula through the stained glass window and Dracula lands on a busy modern street. It's revealed that hundreds of years have passed since Gabriel defeated Satan. In this shocking turn of events Zobek asks Dracula aka Gabriel if he will help him defeat Satan. Dracula yells and disappears as Zobek simply walks away, leaving the game open for a sequel.
The first DLC available for Lords of Shadow, it allowed players to play as both Gabriel and Laura. Gabriel uses his standard moves and equipment while Laura has the ability to shoot lighting, pass through obstacles by turning into mist and heal HP by feeding on enemies.
Laura summons Gabriel to Bernhardt castle. By killing the three Lords of Shadow, Gabriel unleashed an even bigger evil: the Forgotten One, an incredibly powerful demon whom the Brotherhood imprisoned deep in the center of the castle. The Forgotten One's seal is the reason why the 3 Lords's souls were forced to ascend to heaven originally.
After opening the gate to the fortress, Gabriel and Laura travel through the ancient castle. They gather the blood of the three founders in order to open the gate to the Forgotten One's chamber. However, only dark beings can enter into the dimension where the Forgotten One is kept. To bypass this, Laura asks Gabriel to drink all of her blood. As a consequence, Laura dies and is thus freed from her eternal torment, while Gabriel becomes a creature of the night and steps through the gate to confront what awaits him.
The second and last piece of DLC, it takes place in the Dimensional Rift, the prison where The Forgotten One was sealed.
Gabriel falls down to his knees, feeling pain caused by the presence of the Forgotten One and due to his recent transformation into a vampire.
Shortly after that, a giant white armored hand comes out of the Lava and Gabriel hides behind a rock, while the Forgotten One emerges and starts to climb up the tower-like cave.
Gabriel follows the Forgotten One while avoiding this gaze (which instantly kills him if detected).
At the top, the Forgotten One unleashes his essence upon the first Prison Seal, slowly destroying it. This weakens him greatly and he falls down to his knees. Gabriel charges towards the Forgotten One in an ingame-cutscene and successfully destroys the armor on the Forgotten One's right leg, exposing the black and green-glowing flesh beneath.
After a fierce battle, the first Seal is finally broken and the essence returns to the Forgotten One who continues onward his path to freedom. Another platforming lava sequence where Gabriel must hide unfolds and eventually the Forgotten One uses the same pillar Gabriel is holding onto to destroy a giant gate. When the gate is destroyed, the Forgotten One throws the pillar in the lava, not knowing that Gabriel was on it, and walks away.
On the middle on a platform, he finds the Forgotten One releasing his essence on the final Prison Seal. They fight again and Gabriel manages to break the face armor of the Forgotten One, exposing the right side of his face. Before he could finish it, the final PRison Seal breaks.
The Forgotten One taunts Gabriel, stating he will inflict ten times the pain the Brotherhood inflicted on him as payback. As he prepares to absorb back the dark essence floating to him from the portal, Gabriel jumps in the air and and absorbs it himself, turning his hair white. The Forgotten One yells in anger and tries to crush Gabriel, but he teleports to safety, floating in the air. The Forgotten One yields and asks for mercy, calling Gabriel his liege. Without an answer, Gabriel slices the demon in half.
In the final scene Gabriel looks at his Combat Cross and crushes it in his hand.
The game's main character, he's extremely tormented by the death of his beloved wife, Marie. He can't sleep since the death of his wife, as he's haunted by visions and nightmares. He's eaten up by vengeance and loses all humanity and compassion during the events of the game. All he wants to do is murder the creatures that are responsible for the death of his wife.
Gabriel's wife, she was murdered by axe, by Gabriel under the spell of Zobek and is the reason for why Belmont wants to kill every undead being on the planet. She communicates with Gabriel through visions and is being used by God as a vessel of hope.
This veteran is of the same Order as Gabriel. He's an experienced warrior and helps Belmont any way he can. However, he seems to have a secret agenda and something sinister to hide. He narrates the loading screens.
Pan is a mystical spirit of the forest. He takes many forms including a horse and an eagle. He speaks in riddles and sometimes helps Gabriel in his quest. He's very wise and seems to be pulling the strings from the background and he too seems to have a secret agenda.
Many recognized actors have offered their voices for the game's characters. Gabriel Belmont is voiced by Robert Carlyle. Belmont's wife is voiced by Natascha McElhone. Patrick Stewart is also involved with the game as Zobek and the game's narrator, as is Jason Isaacs who voices Satan.
Lords of Shadow features the same free form 3D action combat as made popular by games such as Devil May Cry and God of War . Gabriel uses his "Combat Cross", a cross that has a whip attached to it of and was drenched in Holy water letting it slay all manner of demons, werewolves, giant golems, and other monsters and undead featured in the Castlevania series.
The combat cross comes with two types of attacks: a heavy attack that deals a lot of damage onto one specific enemy and an area attack that's not as powerful but that sweeps around Gabriel keeping the monsters at bay. You can combine these attacks to form combos that you can purchase. These attacks can be executed in the air on both airborn and ground enemies with certain attacks such as the ground pound helpful in eliminating both enemies in the air and on the ground in one fluent combo.
The cross can be upgraded in different ways. Killing opponents will get you combo points. These combo points can be spent on new combos
for the Cross. All the main upgrades for the cross are usually story focused and happen when you enter a church with a tomb in which you can put your cross. These upgrades can range from a grappling hook to the ability to tear down walls. These upgrades allow you to access previously inaccessible places, like in Metroid.
Gabriel can carry multiple secondary weapons. You start off with daggers that you can pick up after defeating enemies or by smashing vases. You can upgrade these secondary weapons. For example, by upgrading your daggers, you can fire five daggers in a wave. Other secondary weapons include the Dark Crystal. This crystal is ultra powerful, killing all enemies on screen. To use the crystal, you must find three shards hidden around the environment. Other secondary weapons include Fairies that blow up upon contact with an enemy, Holy Water and a Shield.
Gabriel can also grab his enemies by hitting the right shoulder button. These grabs can be done from afar thanks to the cross's chain. Once you've grabbed an enemy, two circles will appear on the screen, one large circle that closes in on an inner circle. Once the outer circle becomes the inner one, you must hit any button to complete the mini game. This will usually result in the execution of the enemy. This mini game is also used during certain sequences such as when your falling off a mount or to finish off an enemy.
Gabriel also possesses defensive moves. Gabriel can block certain attacks. When an attack is unblockable, the game will usually tell you this by making a part of the enemy glow. If you block an attack right before it hits, you can stun the enemy and execute a devastating counter attack. When the attack is too powerful to block, you can dodge roll in any direction.
LoS has a lot of platforming. Gabriel can jump, swing and shimmy his way to safety. Most of the time, you jump from ledge to ledge. To climb up a ledge, you just have to orient the stick up and Gabriel will go up. Like in Uncharted, when Gabriel can make the jump, he pulls out his arm in the direction he can jump to. You can jump down from a ledge by just hitting down and the jump button. The grappling hook comes into play during platforming sequences. You can hook onto things that are shiny and swing around. You can also use it to climb up a wall. From there you can jump and crash through windows or use the swing to jump farther. Note that during these sequences, you cannot control the camera.
Lords of Shadow wouldn't be a Castlevania game without magic. The game offers shadow and light magic that Gabriel can use thanks to amulets that are given to him throughout the story. Both of these magics have their own bars and can be activated when these bars are full. By activating light magic, every hit you land on an enemy increases your health. With shadow magic on, you're attacks deal out more damage. By combining the two, you can perform deadly combos.
You can replenish your magic thanks to neutral energy that you can pick up after defeating enemies. However, you must choose whether you replenish you shadow or light magic. By fighting without getting hit, you fill up your focus meter. Once it is full, every hit you land automatically gives you neutral energy. You can increase your magic as well as your health by finding Magic Gems on dead soldiers. You can combine the magic with side weapons. For example, combining dark magic with the daggers makes for a dagger blast.
Lords of Shadow lets you ride mounts. Some of these mounts are given to you while others are enemies that you must first defeat. These mounts each have their own moves and can be used to solve puzzles. Most mounts can be easily killed once your done with them.
You start the game on a horse and ride it at high speeds during different parts of the game. You can perform localised attacks on enemies that are following you. You can hit the person riding a beast or hit the beast. You can also dodge attacks and will sometimes start slipping off the horse at which point you must do a quick time event.
You can mount giant spiders. You have both a heavy and light attack which usually involves slashing at the enemies. The spider can solve many puzzles in the environment. It can bring down a wall or a tree to make a bridge. It can also create a bridge from web which the player can use to cross large gaps.
The troll is one of the most powerful creatures in Lords of Shadow. It has a basic, strong attack where the beast flails its arms before smashing them on the ground for a powerful area attack. It can also destroy big walls to clear a path for Belmont.
The warg has two different types of attacks. The first one is a claw attack and the other is a charge attack that can instantly kill an enemy. Wargs can jump really far by making the Warg sprint and then jumping. Wargs can also climb vines, which Belmont can't do on his own.
The warthog is similar to the warthogs found in the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in their design. The warthog can use its horn to ram the enemies and can ram through doors.
You fight many different creatures in Lords of Shadow from trolls to golems. Boss battles must be handled in specific ways and some enemies that were bosses in previous stages of the game can become regular enemies in later stages. Some enemies such as trolls, boars or spiders can be mounted and used to wreak havoc or solve puzzles in the environment. For example, the spider can create a bridge that you can walk on and boars can break down doors. You also end up fighting giant golems. These golems can only be destroyed by being climbed on and destroying certain parts of their body. Those fights are particularly reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus.
All you need to know is stored in your journal. The opening page of the journal gives you information about how many Magic Gems you've collected and the state of your cross. You can also view scrolls that you've picked up. One of the most important things of the journal is the combo store. You can buy new combos directly from the journal with experience points that you've earned during the game.
The journal gives you important information about each creature you encounter, telling you what they're weakness's are and their story. The journal also gives you in depth details about some of the story's main characters.
Originally unveiled at E3 2008 as 'Lords of Shadow' with a brief teaser, no other details were shown of the game for nearly a year. Lords of Shadow was then featured in Kojima Productions web teaser for E3 2009 in way of the all-important mask though the viral marketing campaign. This led to much fervent discussion across message boards as the game was theorized to be a spin-off of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear franchise. At Konami's E3 press conference, it was revealed that the game was Lords of Shadow and was still being developed by MercurySteam. Kojima Productions, and in particular Hideo Kojima, would be overlooking the production, with David Cox serving as the project producer and Enric Alvarez as director.
Kojima said that his involvement is limited to "[fixing] things on [his] creative viewpoint". Once penned onto the game, he asked for several redesigns to be carried out to the original project. The extent of these redesigns is not fully known, but they were done to pull the game in line with the Castlevania franchise. Kojima gives the example of asking MercurySteam to redesign Gabriel, and give him a more "heroic" face, which now resembles more that of Robert Carlyle, while at first was more barbaric.
Lords of Shadow uses a proprietary engine developed in house. Cox stated at E3 2009 that the game was approximately 50% complete, and that it was running at a smooth 30 frames per second. He said that forcing the game to run at 60 frames per second was not one of the team's main goals.
The music for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was composed by Oscar Araujo and performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra. Track listing:
- Besieged Village
- The Warg
- Hunting Path
- The Dead Bog
- The Swamp Troll
- The Ice Titan
- Labyrinth Entrance
- Waterfalls of Agharta
- Maze Gardens
- Castle Hall
- The Evil Butcher
- Laura's Mercy
- The God Mask
- Belmont's Theme
- Final Confrontation
- The End
- Love Lost / The Final Battle
Xbox 360 Installation
The Xbox 360 version comes on two discs, installed at 6.6 and 6.2 GB respectively, using a total of 12.8 GB of space. There is a slight improvement to the loading times when the game is installed.