The Giant Skeleton, also known as Paranthropus, is a recurrent enemy in the Castlevania series, often appearing as a miniboss and rarely as an end of area boss. It is the skeleton of an enormous humanoid being. It carries around an equally gigantic weapon, usually a femur.
The Paranthropus is a genus of extinct hominins. Also known as robust australopithecines, they were bipedal hominids that probably descended from the gracile australopithecine hominids (Australopithecus) 2.7 million years ago.
Members of this genus are characterized by robust craniodental anatomy, including gorilla-like sagittal cranial crests, which suggest strong muscles of mastication, and broad, grinding herbivorous teeth. However, Paranthropus skulls lack the transverse cranial crests that are also present in modern gorillas.
There is a particular giant skeleton that appears in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow called the Creaking Skull, and whose original Japanese name is Gashadokuro. In Japanese mythology, the Gashadokuro are spirits that take the form of giant skeletons. They are fifteen times taller than an average person and said to be created from the amassed bones of people who died of starvation.
These yōkai roam after midnight, grabbing lone travelers and biting off their heads to drink their spraying blood. A loud ringing sound is usually heard in the ear of nearby victims, foreboding an imminent encounter.
They are said to possess the powers of invisibility and indestructibility; though Shinto charms are said to ward them off.
The Paranthropus has a predictable pattern of attack:
- Chucks a bone forward in an arcing motion.
- Gathers itself for a moment and then swings a bone overhead, crashing it into the ground.
- Jumps into the air, trying to land on the player, and then slides along the ground.
First appearing in Rondo of Blood, the Giant Skeleton is a mid-boss encountered in Stage 3. It attacks with the same pattern described above and can be defeated with 18 whip strikes. Once defeated, the player is rewarded with a Pot Roast and allowed to proceed to the next room.
In The Dracula X Chronicles, after defeating the Giant Skeleton, the player is able to juggle its skull with the whip, earning 100 points at every eight juggles without letting it fall to the ground.
The Giant Skeleton also appears in Dracula X in the Caves, but unlike its Rondo of Blood counterpart, the player can simply evade it and proceed with the level as normal.
Called Paranthropus in Symphony of the Night, a giant skeleton that throws bones at the player. If at least one "CLEAR" save file is present in the current memory card, the Paranthropus will be able to drop the powerful Ring of Varda (it will become unlocked as its rare drop), a ring that greatly boosts all stats; if no complete save files are present, it will drop Turquoises in its place.
A gigantic skeleton wielding a bone. This is one of the first enemies the player will face in Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness. It appears twice as a boss in the first level of the game. In the first battle, after defeating it, it will simply run away and jump off a cliff.
The second battle occurs at the end of the level, during which the skeleton will begin falling apart and finally simply crawl after the player until it is killed. A health restoring item can be retrieved from its mouth after the battle.
The Creaking Skull is a massive skeleton that is too large to properly support its own weight, with its legs presumably having crushed long ago due to not having been able to support the entire monster's weight and leaving only its upper body behind. It slowly drags itself forward, periodically pausing to swing its femur or spew a ball of fire at the player. A second one can be found in the basement section of the Dance Hall, where its soul can be gathered.
Gaining dominance over its soul grants Soma the Guardian Big Bone ability, which is the strongest guardian soul (based on its attack power). With it, Soma grows the Creaking Skull's skeletal club arm to fight any enemies behind him. While not technically useful, it can help defeat those enemies that gang up on him, like Fleamen and Rippers, although it can be replaced with other, more powerful, rear-guard souls later in the game, such as the Big Golem or Cagnazzo.
The Giant Skeleton is an enemy version palette swap of the Creaking Skull and appears close to the end of the game. It is now colored lime-green. It attacks almost in the same way as the Creaking Skull, by slowly crawling forward and swinging its femur. Unlike the Creaking Skull, it can't spew any fireballs, although its strength makes up for it. Its soul is a short-range projectile where Soma throws giant skulls.
Interestingly, when comparing the two enemies, the Creaking Skull seems to have what looks like a heart shielded inside its rib cage, while the Giant Skeleton doesn't.
The Giant Skeleton appears in Minera Prison Island as the game's second boss. It is not like the other giant skeletons found in the series, as its fighting style is completely different. What makes this fight hard is the fact that the skeleton will bend backward if Shanoa ends up behind it, and it is harder to damage and to avoid when it is in this position. It's also the only boss that can be encountered as a regular enemy later in the game, appearing twice in the same room in Tristis Pass, along with a Mimic. Even with these difficulties, if the player takes full advantage of the Magnes glyph and constantly shoots over it when it looms close, it will be an easy battle.
When it is encountered later in the game, it can be defeated as quickly as a normal enemy. Ignis deals lots of damage per hit, and with multiple hits it will defeat it easily.
The Giant Skeleton has three variants in Order of Ecclesia:
- Giant Skeleton: The first variant encountered in the game and the weakest. Wearing no armor and wielding no weapons, it attacks using its arms and legs. This variant is the only one that can bend backward, making it quite a challenge in the early game. It appears as a large, white skeleton, about three or four times the size of Shanoa.
- Skeleton Beast (Barbarian Skeleton in the Japanese version): A more powerful variant encountered from early mid-game onward, the Skeleton Beast cannot bend backward, but swings at Shanoa using a powerful mace. It can deal considerable damage quickly to low-level players. It shares a similar sprite with the Giant Skeleton, but wears short armor and a helmet decorated with black fur.
- King Skeleton: The most powerful and high-ranking variant, encountered in the late game. Its color palette is identical to that of the Skeleton Beast, but it has brown and orange striped fur on its helmet. It wields a long axe. It is usually found in the company of a Great Knight.
- Main article: Giant Skeleton/Enemy Data
|Item Data: Giant Skeleton|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|ATT+5|| Other (Gauntlet)|
| ATT +5|| Buy: $8,000 (later) Drop: Paranthropus, Lion|
|Golden Ring To Rule Over All|| Other (Ring)|
| STR +30, ATT +10, CON +10, DEF +10, INT +30, LCK +5|| Drop: Paranthropus (Cleared game only)|
|Fairly Valuable Ring|| Other (Jewel/Ring)|
| ATT + 6 (with Jewel Sword - Saturn only)|
| Find: Forbidden Library, Castle Keep|
Drop: Fire Warg, Paranthropus, Yorick
Create: Jewel Sword
| Gold + 25|| Rare Drop: Skeleton, White Dragon, Bomber Armor, Balloon, Large Ghost|
Common Drop: Skeleton Blaze, Big Skeleton, Skeleton Flail, Skeleton Spear, Skeleton Ape, Big Balloon, Arabaki, Fleaman Armor
|A white jewel.|| Jewel|
|Sell: $125|| Find: Shrine of the Apostates (Castle A)|
Rare Drop: Giant Skeleton
|Supports a battle from behind.|| Guardian Soul|
|Consume: 5 MP/sec|| 40 AP|| Drop: Creaking Skull|
|Sword forged by the hands of giants.|| Weapon|
| Attrib: Sword|| ATK +58|
| Rare Drop: Giant Skeleton|
|Throws giant skulls.|| Bullet Soul|
|Consume: 19 MP|| 163 AP|| Rarity: 12|
Drop: Giant Skeleton
|Barbarians prefer this tough helmet design.|| Head Gear (Helmet)|
| STR +5, CON -5|| Drop: Skeleton Beast|
|Why do barbarians wear open-toed sandals like this?|| Leg Gear (Sandals)|
| STR +5, CON -5|| Drop: King Skeleton|
|Piecemeal armor worn by barbarians.|| Body Gear (Dress)|
| STR +10, CON -10|| Drop: King Skeleton|
|Medal awarded for defeating the Giant Skeleton.|| Item (Boss Medal)|
|Sell: (cannot be sold)|| Drop: Giant Skeleton|
Conditions: Defeat Giant Skeleton without taking damage.
|Forest of Silence • Castle Wall • Villa • Castle Center • Room of Clocks • Clock Tower • Castle Keep|
|Tunnel • Duel Tower • Tower of Execution|
|Underground Waterway • Tower of Science • Tower of Sorcery|
|Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness|
|Foggy Lake • Forest of Silence • Castle Wall • Villa • Outer Wall • Art Tower • Tower of Ruins • Duel Tower • Tower of Execution • Tower of Sorcery • Room of Clocks • Clock Tower • Castle Keep|
|Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow|
|Soma Cruz • Mina Hakuba • J./Julius Belmont • Yoko Belnades • Genya Arikado (Alucard) • Hammer|
|Creaking Skull • Manticore • Great Armor • Big Golem • Headhunter • Death • Legion • Balore • Graham • Belmont • Chaos|
|Castle Corridor • Chapel • Study • Dance Hall • Inner Quarters • Floating Garden • Clock Tower|
Underground Reservoir • Underground Cemetery • The Arena • Top Floor • Forbidden Area • Chaotic Realm
|Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Original Soundtrack|
|Futabasha Official Guide • NTT Pub Official Guide|
|Bestiary • Inventory • In-Game Formula • Julius Mode • Voice Translations|