Castlevania is atop the gaming mind right now thanks to Friday’s debut of a Netflix animated series (clocking in at a deliciously bingeable length). Here to reintroduce everyone to everything Castlevania — this is a franchise that goes back to the Reagan administration — is Did You Know Gaming, with its own easily binged seven-minute video about the series' canon, inspiration and references.
I didn't know that Nintendo of America has content standards for religious imagery, for example. Or that Koji Igarashi inadvertently painted himself into a corner by setting out a dated timeline for events of the franchise. As a result, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, and its two sequels for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows had to step outside of this timeline.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Koji Igarashi’s role in the creation of the Castlevania series. While he is a well known developer associated with the franchise, he began working on Castlevania with Symphony of the Night in 1997, about 10 years after the first game.
David Cox, the producer for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, expresses one of the truest things said about the creative process, or really any creative work. In dealing with Igarashi, he said "Sometimes you think, 'No, he's not going to like that,' and he loves it, and then other times you think, 'Check this out, it's amazing!' And he'll go, 'Hm, don't know.'"
And if you were wondering, "Hey, here's a valuable Konami franchise that the company is, for some reason, no longer interested in making, I wonder if Guillermo del Toro makes a cameo," ding ding ding, you are a winner!
Castlevania, available now on Netflix, is is based on Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse, which launched in 1990 on the NES. All four episodes released on Friday.