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BreakableWall

A breakable wall is a piece of structure that can be destroyed by an action taken by the player, this generally being by directly striking it with a weapon. Once the wall is destroyed, a useful item will usually be uncovered for the player to collect (which in most cases is a health-restoring item).

Description and history[]

Breakable walls have appeared in almost every game that comprise the Castlevania series, starting from the very first game in 1986, and have since become a staple in the franchise. As the series progressed and role playing elements were added to some of the games' mechanics, not only walls, but ceilings and floors were also added to the list of environmental pieces that could be destroyed. Furthermore, instead of simply revealing an item, they oftentimes give access to secret rooms full of treasures, or outright new areas to explore.

In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, breakable blocks can initially only be destroyed by tossing a vial of Holy Water at them (there isn't a breaking animation, they just disappear). Later on, they can also be destroyed by equipping the Nail relic and then striking them with the whip. Some of them conceal special items and even clues. Their contents can also be revealed by equipping the Eyeball relic (in fact, they can actually be collected this way if the player is able to make contact with the item itself, without resorting to destroy any blocks). The ability of being able to see weak points on walls was first introduced in Vampire Killer via the use of the Candle, and would reappear in later games by equipping other items with a similar function, such as the Peeping Eye's soul (Search Eye) or the Eye for Decay.

Symphony of the Night introduced the concept of familiars being able to detect and interact to some extent with either breakable or movable walls. While summoned, the Faerie Familiar is capable of detecting a weak spot on a wall, fly toward it and tell Alucard there is something odd about it. The Devil Familiar, on the other hand, is capable of noticing switches that are far away from Alucard's reach and press them for him, which results in a nearby wall moving out of the way and allowing access to new areas (a similar occurrence would be seen later in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness with the Proboscis Fairy).

While some games lack the presence of breakable walls entirely, these were instead replaced with mechanical barriers that require specific actions taken by the player to make them move out of the way (such as stepping on a pressure plate, interacting with a contraption or utilizing a key in one, detonating a bomb, equipping a special item, or destroying an object to make a wall move or crumble elsewhere) and allow access to whatever secrets they hide behind them.

The only way to destroy the breakable walls in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, is by equipping the Vampire Killer with an item called the Crushing Stone. Once this has been done, the player first needs to lash with the whip once and then keep the Attack button pressed to start gathering energy, and when the button is finally let go, Juste Belmont will perform a powerful whiplash that will break the wall. The presence of breakable walls plays a relevant role in this game, as many of them are scattered throughout the castle and these generally block access to other areas. Furthermore, as the game is composed by two counterpart castles, destroying a wall in one castle will also destroy its counterpart in the other, which in some cases can be a non-breakable wall, thus allowing access to a previously unreachable area.

Two special kinds of walls were introduced in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, one made with the bones of Red Skeletons and the other made of crystals. These immediately reform themselves after being struck, thus impeding further progress, and can only be permanently destroyed by the acquisition of special items given to the player by two of the missing villagers after rescuing them.

In the Castlevania animated series, Trevor Belmont finds a chest containing the Morning Star whip in a secret alcove revealed behind a broken bookshelf in the library of the Belmont Hold. In addition, in the episode "For Love", a piece of wall gets destroyed during the battle between Alucard and Dracula, inside of which a meat dish can barely be seen inside.

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Trivia[]

  • In classic titles, destroying a wall would usually reveal a Meat item. In time, this type of food item became to humorously be known among the gaming community as "Wall Chicken", with the term becoming so popular that it's now part of the gaming community worldwide and being frequently referenced among various forms of entertainment media. Part of the humor comes from the fact that:
    • It would be absurd that someone would store food inside of a building's structure or that it was used as a construction material.
    • It could remain in an edible state after a long period of time.
    • Even if this was the case, it would be all dirty and not advisable to be consumed in that state.
  • In the game Dust: An Elysian Tail, there is a health-recovering item called "Mysterious Wall Chicken", which as its name implies, is obtained by breaking certain walls in a nod to how similar items are often found in the Castlevania series hidden behind breakable walls.
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