The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow book review
The Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Trilogy has come to an end, and whether you are a fan of the changes that Mercury Steam made in the reboot of the iconic Castlevania franchise or not, you have to agree that it left a pretty interesting mark on the series.
The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a 192-page book from Titan Books featuring character art, stage art, tons of concept art and developmental information including tons of notes and quotes from all three Lords of Shadow titles (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2).
The book is broken down into multiple sections beginning with a long introduction talking about how the Lords of Shadow series came to be, and how a large meeting was held in Konami’s Japanese headquarters with names like Hideo Kojima and Koji Igarashi present. The introduction also gives Cox’s infamous thoughts on the Castlevania series on how the series has been dwindling since Symphony of the Night and was appealing to a small hardcore audience only.
The following two sections focus on Gabriel Belmont/Dracula. There are some pretty interesting stories on how the character was created, since Gabriel is a brand new character, never having any tie-in to the original Castlevania series. The book talks about how the character was originally going to be inspired off the Nintendo 64 Castlevania characters, but in the end Gabriel was given a much different design and look. Mercury Steam always knew from the start Gabriel would be Dracula, and originally they had plans to completely change Gabriel’s look to be a darker-looking creature. Knowing fans would want a more familiar look, they played around with designs which were inspired by all the different adaptions of the prince of darkness over the years. Ultimately they drew much of the influence from Bram Stoker’s Dracula since the team really liked and admired the film.
The Belmont Clan is featured in the next section of the Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow book, giving a bit of character background and information on Marie, Trevor/Alucard, Sypha, Simon and Victor, the last of the Belmonts who was originally set to star in his own game. Alucard has some pretty crazy early designs including an almost wolf-human hybrid, which I am glad didn’t happen, and different armors that almost made it into Lords of Shadow 2. You also see different storyboard images that have never been seen before.
The next sections are allies & enemies, the different whips and chains and Bestiary. The whole section takes a look at the different enemies you face off against in all three titles. I am happy that Mercury Steam used already existing enemies from the Castlevania series while adding brand new ones that work. Bosses were pretty unique especially with Death/Zobek and Satan among the other bosses. The Belmont’s weapon of choice is always a whip, with the most well known one being the Vampire Killer, known as the Combat Cross in LoS.
The final two sections focus on locations and the different environments including the Modern Age, where Lords of Shadow 2 takes place. Not much to say other than some really neat pieces to see especially, how the world in both games really were well designed and Dracula’s Castle in 3D looks amazing.
With The Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, you can enjoy tons of never-before-seen concept art and enjoy some amazing finished works. It is a nice item to have if you really enjoy the Castlevania series, even if you didn’t enjoy the Lords of Shadow series.
Comments are closed.