Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (悪魔城ドラキュラ ギャラリー オブ ラビリンス Akumajō Dracula: Gallery of Labyrinth?, lit. "Demon Castle Dracula: Gallery of Labyrinth") is a platform-adventure game developed and published by Konami. It was released on November 16th, 2006 in Japan, and in the US on December 5th, 2006 for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. Portrait of Ruin is the first game in the Castlevania series to feature a cooperative multiplayer gameplay mode, and the first handheld installment to have English voiceovers, outside of its original Japanese release.
Portrait of Ruin is set in 1944 Europe during World War II, and is a continuation of the story from Castlevania: Bloodlines. The game introduces new protagonists and antagonists to the Castlevania series, as well as expand on the two character gameplay found in the previous Nintendo DS Castlevania title, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. The game has met with an overall positive critical response and has received high ratings from reviews, along with several awards.
Portrait of Ruin gives the player control of two different characters: vampire hunter Jonathan Morris, and the young sorceress Charlotte Aulin. Jonathan and Charlotte were childhood friends both descended from legendary clans devoted to the protection of mankind against the forces of evil. Jonathan Morris is the son of Castlevania: Bloodlines hero, John Morris. Unlike the Belmont family, to whom they are related, the Morrises cannot use the full power of the legendary Vampire Killer whip by default. Charlotte Aulin is descended from the Belnades clan, a bloodline known for their magical prowess.
The vampire artist, Brauner, has revived Dracula's Castle in order to bring ruin to the world, and it is up to Jonathan and Charlotte to stop him. Upon reaching the castle, the pair are met with Vincent, a priest who was sent in order to assist in the destruction of Castlevania. While exploring the castle, they encounter a mysterious ghost by the alias of Wind, who is able to impart his knowledge and skills with the pair, while acting as a mentor toward Jonathan. Shortly afterward, the pair discover one of Brauner's many portraits, used to control the castle powers. Understanding the composition of the portrait, Charlotte was able to deduce that in order to sever the link, and essentially weaken Brauner, they must enter the world inside the painting and destroy the evil within. After defeating the headless knight, Dullahan, they are met with Loretta, who informs them that they had marginally weakened Brauner's powers.
After discovering the second portrait, Jonathan and Charlotte encounter Brauner himself, who denies any plot to revive Dracula, citing that he has no allegiance with the Dark Lord due to his continued failures. While traversing one of the many hallways, the pair eventually encounter Death, who is under the belief that Dracula has already been revived. When he discovers otherwise, Death understands the situation and devises a plot to use the young vampire hunters for his own needs.
Shortly after this, Jonathan and Charlotte encounter Stella in the Tower of Death, upon her defeat, she drops a pendant revealing the true nature of the vampiric sisters and the ghost Wind. After seeking the truth, Wind reveals that he is actually the ghost of Eric Lecarde, and that Stella and Loretta are his daughters. He then asks that the pair to try to find a way to restore them to their former selves. Later on, the pair encounter and challenge Death, despite Death's desire to not be associated with Brauner, and reluctantly fights them. After much exploration, Charlotte is able to learn the Sanctuary spell, a powerful spell with the innate ability to dispel the curse of vampirism and allow the dead to rest in peace; it becomes clear that this is the only way to save Stella and Loretta, resulting in Jonathan and Charlotte hunting down the sisters in an attempt to rescue them.
After a relentless battle, Stella and Loretta regain their senses and tell Jonathan they are able to awake the dormant powers of the Vampire Killer, although it could be deadly to Jonathan as he is not a direct descendant of the Belmont clan. Whether or not Jonathan takes them up on their offer is up to the player. If he does, he goes to a test and fights against the Whip's Memory, the illusion of the legendary vampire hunter Richter Belmont. After the battle, Jonathan was realized as the true heir to the Vampire Killer and was able to awaken its powers. Regardless of what choice the player makes, Jonathan is told that in order to defeat Brauner, he and Charlotte must enter Brauner's studio, the Lost Gallery, which was sealed with the power of four locks. After gaining access to this studio, Jonathan and Charlotte are finally able to defeat Brauner, at which time he curses them and says he was only trying to protect his family. At this time, Death suddenly appears to deal the finishing blow to Brauner, thus destroying the seal on the Throne Room of the castle, and allowing Dracula's revival. To counter the two heroes, Dracula and Death form their own duo, with the two of them fighting Charlotte and Jonathan simultaneously. During the subsequent battle, Dracula and Death are nearly defeated, when Death offers his soul to Dracula, to awaken his true form. After a fierce battle, Dracula was finally defeated, and Castlevania destroyed. With his soul no longer bound to the castle, Eric was to soon fade from the Earth, and in one last goodbye, managed to see his daughters and tell them not to blame themselves.
The adventure comes to a close with Jonathan, Charlotte, Stella and Loretta all frantically searching for Vincent, who is believed to be trapped in the rubble of Castlevania, while, unbeknownst to them, he was trying to catch up to them.
- Main article: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin/Gallery
|Protagonists & Allies|
Heir to the Vampire Killer (Playable)
Powerful young sorceress (Playable)
The ghost of Eric Lecarde, trapped in the Castle
A priest sent to aid Jonathan and Charlotte, but requires them to pay for his services
Vampire who controls Dracula's castle through magical paintings
The older vampire twin, strong with physical attacks (Playable)
The younger vampire twin, strong with magical ice attacks (Playable)
Seeks to remove Brauner to return control of the castle to his master, Dracula
- Main article: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin/Script
Partner System: Like Julius Mode from Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, players will be able to switch freely between the two heroes to best utilize their abilities in the battle against the vampires' army. They will also be able to combine their powers to use combo attacks.
Jonathan and Charlotte will explore environments such as Egyptian deserts and misty towns via paintings which Brauner has dispersed throughout the castle. During the adventure, the heroes will fight over 150 enemies. As they progress, the duo will learn new skills and acquire equipment, relics, and items. Much of the equipment found is unique to each character (i.e. the Holy Veil is only for Charlotte, and the Samurai Helmet is only for Jonathan).
A new combat mechanic, the Dual Crush, is also introduced in this title. This ability takes advantage of the partner system by combining the abilities of the two playable characters.
- Entrance - BGM Invitation of a Crazed Moon
- Great Stairway - BGM Jail of Jewel
- Buried Chamber - BGM Silent Prison
- Tower of Death - BGM The Gears Go Awry
- Master's Keep - BGM Gaze Up at the Darkness
- The Throne Room - BGM Overture
- City of Haze (in Entrance) - BGM Victorian Fear
- Nation of Fools (in Great Stairway) - BGM Chaotic Play Ground
- Sandy Grave (in Great Stairway) - BGM Hail from the Past
- Forest of Doom (in Tower of Death) - BGM The Hidden Curse
- Dark Academy (in Master's Keep, remix of Forest of Doom) - BGM Crucifix Held Close
- Burnt Paradise (in Master's Keep, remix of Nation of Fools) - BGM Behind the Gaze
- Forgotten City (in Master's Keep, remix of Sandy Grave) - BGM Sandfall and In Search of the Secret Spell
- 13th Street (in Master's Keep, remix of City of Haze) - BGM Iron Blue Intention
- Nest of Evil (secret painting) - BGM Bad Situation
|Dullahan||City of Haze||600||500|
|Legion||Nation of Fools||2,000||4,000|
|Stella||Tower of Death||2,500||0|
|Dagon||Forest of Doom||1,800||6,000|
|Death||Tower of Death||4,400||0|
|Stella & Loretta||Master's Keep||2,500||0|
|Whip's Memory||Master's Keep||5,000||0|
|The Creature||Dark Academy||4,000||5,000|
|Mummy Man||Forgotten City||4,500||5,000|
|Dracula & Death||The Throne Room||6,666||0|
|True Dracula||The Throne Room||6,666||0|
|Balore||Nest of Evil||3,000||2,000|
|Gergoth||Nest of Evil||3,800||2,500|
|Zephyr||Nest of Evil||3,210||3,210|
|Aguni||Nest of Evil||4,000||3,500|
|Abaddon||Nest of Evil||5,000||4,000|
|Fake Trevor||Nest of Evil||3,800||3,000|
|Fake Grant||Nest of Evil||3,800||3,000|
|Fake Sypha||Nest of Evil||3,200||3,000|
|Doppelganger||Nest of Evil||2,000||2,000|
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin Original Soundtrack
- Castlevania 20th Anniversary Deluxe Music Collection — This sampler Anniversary CD was given away as a pre-order bonus to this game.
- Gallery of Labyrinth (Flash minigame) — A related Flash minigame on the Japanese official page for this game.
- Official Koma — Comic panels associated with this game.
- Castlevania: Bloodlines — The game this game is a sequel to.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow — The previous game in the Dual Screen series (not chronologically).
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia — The next game in the Dual Screen series (not chronologically).
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 13.
- BradyGames Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin Official Strategy Guide — US official strategy guide.
- Konami Akumajō Dracula: Gallery of Labyrinth Official Guide — Japan official strategy guide.
- ↑ Jeux France. April 21st, 2006. Un nouveau Castlevania sur Nintendo DS
- ↑ Nintendo Power. Issue #204, June 2006. 31-33.
- ↑ Nintendo Power. Issue #204, June 2006. 31-33.
- ↑ Konami press release. April 21, 2006. Castlevania returns to the Nintendo DS with Portrait of Ruin
- ↑ Nintendo Power. Issue #211, January 2007. 31-33.
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- Official Site (Japanese, Internet Archive)
- Official Site (North American, Internet Archive)
- E3 2006 trailer at IGN
- Screenshots and art at Konami.com.