"IGAVANIA (n): A Gothic, exploration-focused action platformer, designed by one of the godfathers of the genre!"
— Kickstarter description

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a 2.5D action/adventure, role-playing platform game developed by ArtPlay, DICO and WayForward Technologies and published by 505 Games.

It was directed by Koji Igarashi, the acclaimed director of the namesake "Igavania" sub-genre of games. The game is perceived as an spiritual successor of other famous works by IGA, such as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. As such, many enemies, areas, characters, and other elements are directly inspired from Castlevania games and from sources the series draws from.

The game was released on June 18, 2019 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and on June 25, 2019 on the Nintendo Switch.


"You are Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist curse which slowly crystallizes your skin. You must battle your way through a demon-filled castle summoned by Gebel, your old friend whose body has become more crystal than flesh."
— Official game description

Castlevania references


  • The team behind this game includes people who had major involvement on the development of numerous Castlevania titles:
  • In its Kickstarter video, Koji Igarashi portrays Dracula, sits on a throne and does the classic wine glass-throw as seen in Symphony of the Night. He also played the part of a vampire hunter character, holding a whip as a weapon in another promotional video.


  • The game borrows many 2D role playing game elements featured in the Igavania titles, such as the overall platforming gameplay, layout of the maps, experience-based level-up system, and the ability to equip weapons. Recent updates also included the following elements, entities and features similar to some titles of the Castlevania series.
    • As seen on the E3 2016 Demo, Miriam can gain new combat abilities and spells by defeating certain enemies and absorbing their power as her own. This concept is similar to Soma's and Shanoa's specialties.
  • The game's setting itself is similar to Dracula's Castle, but also features outside areas and alternate dimensions like some Castlevania games do.
  • Enemies are based on supernatural entities such as monsters and other mythical creatures, a theme common in Castlevania lore. Some of them, mainly from the Ars Goetia and the Dictionnaire Infernal, appear in both series.
  • The female playable character Miriam, bears a resemblance to Shanoa, particularly on the fact that she has glyph-like tattoos on her left shoulder and back.
  • A gameplay mechanic that is referred to as the Invert shard enables the player to alter gravity by flipping their environments upside-down. It is an obvious allusion to the Reverse Castle in Symphony of the Night.
  • Sitting at a piano with a fairy familiar will make Miriam play it. In the Japanese version of Symphony of the Night, sitting in a chair with a leveled-up fairy familiar would make the fairy sing a song.
  • One of the villagers requests Miriam to kill certain types of enemies to avenge fallen villagers. Several of these villagers share names with Castlevania characters, especially Belmonts (for instance, names include Trevor, Soleiyu, Julius, Simon, Grant and Sypha).


  • Miriam's design and powers share similarities with Shanoa and Soma Cruz.
  • Orlok Dracule, abbreviated as O.D., is a heavy homage to Alucard in many ways, as well as various other demons and vampires.
    • His design is nearly identical to that off Alucard's, with long flowing hair, a cravat, a large cloak, and a sword. Further emphasizing this connection, his stance when confronting Miriam is identical to Alucard's default stance.
    • His attacks include transforming into a bat and charging, transforming into a demonic hound, teleporting in the form of mist, slashing with his sword, firing a wave of fireballs, and grabbing Miriam to absorb her energy.
    • O.D.'s middle name according to his character file is "Fahrenheit", as is Alucard's.
    • Orlok Dracule is named after Orlok, the vampire in the film Nosferatu, and Dracula, the titular vampire of Bram Stoker's novel.
    • O.D. is voiced by Robert Belgrade in English and Ryōtarō Okiayu in Japanese, the same voice actors that portrayed Alucard in both language versions of Symphony of the Night.
    • O.D.'s role is similar to that of the Master Librarian's, being a friendly denizen of the castle that chooses to give Miriam items.
      • O.D. sits above a hole that links to the room directly below. With either the Invert shard or High Jump, Miriam is able to lift up O.D., causing him to raise his arms in surprise and drop an item.
      • Said item is a pair of Nose Glasses, which O.D. will don the next time Miriam visits him after his boss battle. These glasses are similar to that of the Nose Devil Familiar, exclusive to Japanese versions of Symphony of the Night.
      • O.D. sits in the same manner as Alucard, leaning back with his legs crossed.
    • O.D.'s unique ability, Standstill, allows him to freeze time. He uses this ability to throw ice shards, which suspend themselves in the air until time resumes. This maneuver is similar to that of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure antagonist DIO, and by extension Zephyr, who also is an homage to the villain. The visualization of stopped time is similar to the Time Stop soul and the Stopwatch.
      • The sound effect used is nearly identical to that of DIO's timestop in the anime adaptation of Stardust Crusaders.
      • O.D. is pronounced "Dio" but with the syllables reversed, similar to how Alucard is "Dracula" reversed.
  • Gremory fulfills a similar role to Death, particularly in his Portrait of Ruin role. She works to resurrect her master and uses crescent moons that slowly home in on Miriam, working identically to Death's sickles.
    • She also bears similarities to Shaft, manipulating Gebel and being the main target to obtain the true ending during the boss fight against him.
  • Zangetsu is initially hostile toward Miriam due to her Shardbinder background, but later trusts her as the game goes on. The second battle has Miriam remark that Zangetsu could have defeated her if he so desired, but instead held back. This mirrors Julius Belmont and Soma Cruz's relationship, with his Zangetsuto blade even fulfilling a similar role as to that of the Vampire Killer.
    • Ironically, in the retro-inspired spinoff Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, this role is switched, with Zangetsu being the main protagonist and Miriam being a side character wielding a whip. In the first ending, Zangetsu gets overtaken by Gremory's magic and corrupted, leaving Miriam, Alfred and Gebel to face him and end their former ally's life. The following "Nightmare Mode" is identical to Julius Mode, in both the premise, playable characters and final boss. Coincidentally, both do not feature a stand-in for Grant Danasty.
  • A secret boss called the Revenant is a heavy homage to Simon Belmont, with a similar design in both armor and headgear, a whip that is imbued with firethrowing knives, a bladed rood, a spiraling axe and a flaming vial.
    • His undead appearance also resembles the Doppelganger bosses, particularly the Castlevania Chronicles incarnation.
      • His introduction has him leap from a circular door that opens while rotating, similar to how the Symphony of the Night Doppelganger appears.
    • The quest related to him also asks to avenge the death of a bandit named Richter (a nod to Richter Belmont), to which one receives the Bandit Blade. Its special attack has Miriam teleport behind an enemy and strike, much like the Alucard Sword's special technique.
    • The arcane circle that appears behind the Revenant reads "What a horrible night to bear Dracula's curse", referencing both the text that appears when night falls in Simon's Quest and the subtitle of Dracula's Curse.
  • Although this is probably a coincidence, the design of Andrealphus - one of the bosses of the game - looks like that of Death in Castlevania Judgment.




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