Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is a 3D action-adventure video game created by Konami for the Sony PlayStation 2 console. It was originally released as Castlevania (キャッスルヴァニア Kyassuruvania?) in 2003 in Japan. Lament of Innocence is set in 1094, making it the first chronological installment of the Castlevania series.
In the 11th century, when monarchies weakened, local feudal lords grew stronger. The first knights simply protected their lord's domains, but with the reforms of late 11th century, knights also protected the peace. They fought against heretics for God.
One company of knights was said to be invincible due to two men: Leon Belmont, a baron who feared nothing and whose combat skills were second to none. And his friend Mathias Cronqvist, a genius tactician whose education made him an exception, in a largely illiterate society. They trusted each other completely and had a long friendship together.
But one day, as Mathias returned from a victorious campaign, he received news of the sudden death of his wife, Elisabetha. His grief was profound and he became bedridden.
A year passed since then, and because of Leon's efforts, the company stayed undefeated. However, an army of monsters suddenly appeared in Leon's domain. Because of the Crusades in the East, the Church was only interested in fighting heretics, instead of monsters. It was forbidden to fight unauthorized battles, so Leon wanted permission to retaliate, but the Church denied his request.
One night, Mathias struggled from his bed. He told Leon that the monsters were related to a vampire who lived in a castle of the forest, 'Eternal Night'. Mathias said that Leon's betrothed, Sara Trantoul, was kidnapped by this vampire and brought to his castle.
Because Leon couldn't fight the vampire without the Church's permission, he renounced his title as a baron and journeyed to Eternal Night. Leon ran into the forest and met Rinaldo Gandolfi, an old alchemist who lived there. Rinaldo was surprised Leon was not a baron anymore, which made both of them equal in rank. Rinaldo invited Leon into his cottage and told him that he had "unfinished business" with Walter Bernhard, the vampire of the castle. Walter enjoyed playing life and death games with hunters, and allowed Rinaldo to help any that passed by his cottage (Walter thought this made his games "more fun"). But he was never defeated before.
Rinaldo gave Leon a whip made with alchemy, to assist him. Leon asked what alchemy was. Rinaldo explained the principles behind the whip's making, and coincidentally, it was Mathias who taught him alchemy. The arts of alchemy were handed down in Mathias' family, orally.
In addition to the whip, Rinaldo used his own power to channel energy into Leon's gauntlet. This allowed Leon to absorb magical attacks. Thanking the old alchemist, Leon left with the Whip of Alchemy and his enchanted gauntlet. But Rinaldo reminded Leon of one thing - before he could reach Walter's quarters, he must first have to defeat the five castle guardians to open the door to it.
Leon entered the castle and successfully defeated the five guardians. During his battle with the guardian Succubus, Leon learned that Rinaldo's "unfinished business" with Walter was revenge for vampirizing his daughter. Rinaldo told Leon he had no choice but to kill his daughter, after she murdered his wife and son. Leon's mission became a favor to his new friend, as well as rescuing Sara.
He also learned that Walter was in possession of the 'Ebony Stone', the power source that enveloped Eternal Night in darkness. Rinaldo said that if the 'Ebony Stone' was combined with another called the 'Philosopher's Stone', it would accomplish alchemy's goal - immortality. Only two were valuable to vampires - the Ebony Stone and the Crimson Stone, an ultimate source of power that was lost for ages.
The door to Walter's quarters was opened and Leon entered. Walter greeted him for the first time, and after Leon demanded Sara was released, he complied. Sara was no longer of any use to Walter. Infuriated, Leon attacked him with the Whip of Alchemy, but it did nothing at all. Amused with him even more, Walter proposed Leon to fight him in the Castle Keep.
Only concerned for Sara, Leon took her back to Rinaldo's cottage. But after examining her, who was unconscious, Rinaldo discovered bite marks on her neck. She was bitten by Walter. Leon was worried and agitated about what to do. According to Rinaldo, the only way to undo the curse was to defeat Walter. The Whip of Alchemy couldn't do anything. But Rinaldo knew only one way to resolve this and defeat Walter - Sara was vampirized by Walter and had a part of him inside her, a part that could be harnessed by the Whip of Alchemy. Leon had to combine his hatred and kill Sara, making the whip effective against Walter. Leon was shocked and even more worried.
Sara overheard the two. She knew that she was turning into a vampire and volunteered to be killed if it would stop others from suffering the same fate. She gladly insisted Leon to grant her last wish. Leon was doubtful at first, but he realized there was no other choice. It was done and the Vampire Killer was created.
On behalf of Rinaldo and Sara, Leon ran into the Castle Keep and confronted Walter for the last time. Walter saw that Leon had the power to defeat him and he was surprised. After their fight, Walter realized he had lost. But he boasted that he would come back and find the Crimson Stone. Ironically to him, Death entered and took his soul, and then transferred it to the "king who wields the Crimson Stone".
It turned out to be none other but Mathias, Leon's most trusted friend. Mathias elaborated on his scheme - he used everyone and orchestrated everything that happened to get Walter's soul. After Elisabetha died, Mathias felt betrayed by God. He took away the person he loved most, even after he risked his life fighting heretics. He defied mortal life and cursed God forever.
Mathias then offered Leon to join him and become immortal, because Leon suffered the same loss. Leon refused and kept his promise to Sara. Mathias left Death to kill his former friend.
Leon emerged victorious. He then told Death to relay this message to Mathias: "You have become a cursed being and I will never forgive you. This whip and my kinsmen will destroy you someday. From this day on, the Belmont Clan will hunt the night."
The castle fell apart and Leon escaped safely. The sun started to shine in the forest of Eternal Night and the night was gone.
Mathias escaped to foreign lands, where he continued to curse God. He eventually proclaimed himself 'Lord of the Vampires' and 'King of the Night'. He would eventually become known as 'Dracula'.
- Main article: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence/Gallery
|Protagonists and Allies|
An undefeated noble knight and first Belmont clan member (playable).
A man who aids those who come to Walter's castle. Alchemist.
Leon's betrothed who has been kidnapped and taken to Walter's castle.
A brilliant tactician, friend of Leon. He will later be known as Dracula.
An ancient vampire who relishes a challenge.
A vampire who rebelled against Walter (playable).
- Main article: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence/Script
Many game mechanics and elements in Lament of Innocence are taken from the metroidvania style, from the currency, items, upgrades and map style. However, the Experience Points and Level-Up mechanics are not present in this game. The main character's weapons are also limited to the whip, sub-weapons and relics.
As the player progresses through the game, defeats specific enemies, or perform repeated actions, Leon will gain additional abilities, or combos that are signified by a message prompt (e.g. Guarding against 15 enemy attacks will unlock Perfect Guard). Relics and Orbs are likewise the most significant items that the player must find. Several HP, MP, or Heart Upgrades can also be found throughout the castle. Many areas also contain secret parts, puzzles, or numerous environmental traps.
Equipment and items
Normally, Leon will use the Whip of Alchemy that Rinaldo gives him. Later on, after he conquers each elemental boss; namely Flame Elemental, Thunder Elemental and Frost Elemental, he will gain the special elemental whips from each of them. These elemental whips will provide special effects and be required for certain scenes. For instance, Frost Elemental Whip and Flame Elemental Whip are required to break the white giant figure in Anti-Soul lab stage to gain access to a secret room.
After the death of Sara, Leon will gain a new whip called Vampire Killer which is enhanced by Sara's soul. This whip is more destructive to vampires and is required to kill Walter, the vampire master.
In addition, Leon is able to use the sub-weapons, the combination of special charms and orbs. It proves to be the alternative strong weapon to hunt down monsters and ghosts in the game. However, using sub-weapons absorbs hearts every time, unless Leon gains the special item nullifying the use of hearts.
Joachim, the additional playable character, uses his five symbiotic swords as his weapon, just like when he appears as a boss fighting with Leon. The symbiotic swords can be switched between two formations: rotating around Joachim, or hovering behind him. Both formations have a unique attack style (the rotating swords will slash at the enemy; the swords floating behind Joachim will fire forward one by one at a target) and special attack (a rapid fire slash attack and a high-powered magical beam respectively).
Unlike Leon, he cannot use sub-weapons and also cannot use potions or items selling from Rinaldo's shop.
Another additional playable character is Pumpkin, who uses the whip in the same way as Leon. In addition to serving as a humorous counterpart for Leon, he comes with all whip and defensive skills already learned, does more damage than Leon and has his own unique pumpkin sub-weapon that can be powered with orbs gained from bosses as in Leon's game. When Pumpkin stands still for a long time, he will hum the tune of Joachim's theme song.
Joachim Mode: After beating the game once, the player can enter their name as "@Joachim" in order to play as Joachim in the main game. This mode includes none of the story elements of the main game. Joachim does, however, get a unique ending FMV and different images during the credits roll.
Pumpkin Mode: After beating the game once with Joachim, the player can enter their name as "@Pumpkin" in order to play as Pumpkin in the main game. This mode includes none of the story elements of the main game. Pumpkin, too, gets his own unique (and comedic) set of images during the credit roll.
All-Skills Mode: After beating the game once, the player can enter their name as "@llskill" in order to play with all whip combos and defensive abilities.
Crazy Mode: After beating the game once, the player can enter their name as "@Crazy" in order to play Crazy Mode. The game is noticeably harder than usual with modified enemy attacks and even some slightly changed puzzles, but completing this mode allows you to buy a new item called the "Mobius Brooch" which gives you infinite hearts when equipped.
Just like some of the other Igavanias, this game also possesses several "minigames" that, while following the mechanics of the main game, add some fresh air to the overall gameplay. These minigames are:
- Skeleton bowling: In the House of Sacred Remains, on the hallway to the east, once the player has passed the first sealed door, some Skeletons will stand still on a arranged pattern and won't move at all but until the Peeping Eye is destroyed. If the player hits the Peeping Eye once it lowers itself, it will react as a bowling ball and roll in the direction the player has sent it at. If the player knocks the six skeletons, three more will appear forming a diagonal shape. Once these are gone, four more forming a grid will appear. If all this is done without destroying the Peeping Eye, the player will be awarded a unit of Ramen.
- Ride: In the Dark Palace of Waterfalls, there are two door with the appearance of a skull. Entering them will lead to a ride section over a platform. In the tunnel there will be several hazards that can low the player's HP level, as well as several rows of five 10$ gold coins lined up. Catching all of the coins on the skull ride near the elemental boss will award the player the Meditative Incense relic. Doing the same on the skull ride after the Doppelganger will result on a MP Max Up of 20 MP.
- Guillotine race: In the Dark Palace of Waterfalls, if the player stands still in a room with guillotines and inputs the Konami Code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Cross and Circle), a text will appear on the bottom of the screen showing the distance between the player and the blade, getting a "foul" (lit.) message if the blade strikes the player. This minigame gives no reward to the player.
- Flame Elemental
- Thunder Elemental
- Undead Parasite
- Frost Elemental
- Joachim Armster
- Forgotten One
- Walter Bernhard
The three elemental bosses are optional bosses. They are not required to be defeated in order to win the game. However, the special elemental whip will be gained after conquering each of them accordingly. These elemental whips prove to have special attributions and required in certain scenes. It is recommended to conquer these elemental bosses. The Forgotten One is also an optional boss and an orb is rewarded for his defeat.
Michiru Yamane is the composer for Lament of Innocence's soundtrack. Yamane also scored Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Castlevania: Bloodlines. There are many classical influences in the compositions, sometimes fused with a type of powerful, dance-like beat, or slightly breakbeat-like backup and choirs.
- An interesting fact about Lament of Innocence is that it didn't implement an "Experience" system like those present in most Castlevania games since the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in 1997. Some of the most notorious releases in the Castlevania franchise have adopted an experience system which allows the playable characters to level up various stats and abilities (games like Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow and Curse of Darkness, just to name a few). The lack of an experience system meant that for the most part, combat was almost entirely optional, as there would be no rewards for defeating enemies other than the occasional item drops.
- Lament of Innocence was the first game reviewed in the popular Scottish TV show, Consolevania, which was itself named after the Castlevania series.
The Limited Edition for Japanese version Lament of Innocence (Castlevania in Japan). It contains the game, the special music CD, the calendar and Ayami Kojima's reproduction art. Buy price 8800/9240 (including consumption tax) YEN.
- Lament of Innocence Bestiary
- Lament of Innocence Inventory
- Lament of Innocence Items
- Lament of Innocence Locations
- Lament of Innocence Characters
- Lament of Innocence Artwork
- Lament of Innocence Prototype
- Lament of Innocence Categories
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness — The PS2 game made following this one, uses the same engine.
Related music CDs
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Original Soundtrack
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Limited Edition Music Sampler
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 10.
- Official Koma — Comic panels associated with this game
- Akumajō Dracula: Lament of Innocence (comic) — A cell phone comic retelling of Lament of Innocence's story
- Castlevania Special Edition — Preorder limited edition, much harder to find than the limited edition.
- Castlevania Promotional Bandana
- Castlevania Promo Sticker
- Castlevania Promotion DVD
- Castlevania Lament of Innocence Phonecards
- Futabasha Castlevania (PS2) Official Guide — A Japanese Official Guide
- NTT Pub Castlevania (PS2) Official Guide — Another Japanese Official Guide
- Shinkigensha Castlevania (PS2) Official Guide — Another Japanese Official Guide
- BradyGames Lament of Innocence Official Strategy Guide — US Official Strategy Guide
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- Official Konami Site (Internet Archive, Japanese)
- Mobygames entry
- Castlevania Dungeon - Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
|Castlevania: Lament of Innocence|
|Sara Trantoul • Rinaldo Gandolfi • Mathias Cronqvist|
|Joachim Armster • Walter Bernhard • Death|
|Elisabetha Cronqvist • Pumpkin|
|Undead Parasite • Golem • Succubus • Medusa • Joachim • Walter • Death|
|Flame Elemental • Frost Elemental • Thunder Elemental • Doppelganger • Forgotten One|
|Forest of Eternal Night • Castle Entrance • House of Sacred Remains • Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab • Ghostly Theatre • Dark Palace of Waterfalls|
Garden Forgotten by Time • Pagoda of the Misty Moon • Prison of Eternal Torture
|Castlevania: Lament of Innocence Original Soundtrack|
|Futabasha Guide • NTT Pub Guide • Shinkigensha Guide • BradyGames Guide|
|Bestiary • Inventory • Joachim Mode • Pumpkin Mode|