Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

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Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008.

Dracula has been sealed but evil is still afoot. With no Belmont in sight, the church has been desperately trying to find a way to destroy Dracula once and for all that doesn't involve a whip.

Enter the Order of Ecclesia, whose glyph-based magic system has made great progress. They have discovered a spell, Dominus, that has the power to destroy Dracula once and for all. Shanoa, under her master Barlowe's order, plans to absorb the glyph and destroy Dracula.

Unfortunately, Albus, a member of Ecclesia and a close friend of Shanoa, chooses then to interrupt the ceremony; he attacks Barlowe and runs off with Dominus. Shanoa recovers a few weeks later, with her memories gone, and learns Albus attacked Wygol Village and kidnapped all the villagers. Barlowe sends her off to rescue the villagers, recover Dominus, and fulfill Mankind's Greatest Wish.

Compared to the other DS games, Order of Ecclesia is much harder. Shanoa cannot take many hits, her ability to attack is limited by her MP (granted, it fills up much more quickly than it has in previous games, but it's still a major limiting factor,) and leveling up doesn't make hard enemies suddenly trivial. Shanoa can absorb glyphs from fallen foes and can combine them for stronger attacks. Still, many fans were complaining the other games were too easy, so here we are.

Order Of Ecclesia provides examples of:[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Unlockable by beating the game on Hard Mode lv1, which increases it to 255, when normally you'd be somewhere around 60-70 at most at the end of the game.
  • Altum Videtur: Appears a lot throughout the game, from glyph names to names of locations.
  • Anti-Villain: Albus is a Type IV.
  • Author Avatar: Koji Igarashi designed Shanoa as an envisioning of his wife, while he designed himself as Albus.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Albus's sacrifice results in this.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Surprisingly enough, the potions (at least, in normal mode, after you rescue Aeon). While they're useful for healing damage (and, of course, the more expensive potions heal more), they're less cost-effective than Aeon's food items.
  • Ax Crazy: Barlowe upon the reveal. It's also heavily implied that he was like this all along, and that his betraying Sharona was due to his insanity, as, during his Teleport Spam attack, he says, with each punch, "HOW DARE YOU...! EVEN FORGETTING... WHO RAISED YOU...! YOU... STUPID DISCIPLE!!"
  • BFS: Taken to ridiculous extremes with glyph unions, in which the weapon can be at least twice as wide as Shanoa, and 3 times as tall.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Albus is this to Shanoa. It's the motivation for all of his actions.
  • Blind Idiot Translation: The returning Leap Stone relic somehow became the Ordinary Rock. Either someone left in a placeholder joke while they looked up the canon translation and forgot, or believed double jumping needed to make less sense in all directions.
  • Bonus Dungeon: 2 of them, in different flavors, even. Training Hall is a Platform Hell. Large Cavern is full of Demonic Spiders and a Bonus Boss (a Chinese Vampire)
  • Bittersweet Ending: Shanoa defeats Dracula and saves the world, but Albus is dead, Barlowe, the man who raised both of them, was revealed to be a batshit insane Dracula worshipper, and the ending states flatout that the only people who will even remember the events of the game are Shanoa herself and the villagers she rescued. On the plus side, even if Shanoa won't be remembered, she still saved the world, Albus retrieves her memories, and it's implied that the villagers, who are actually descendants of the Belmont line that have lost their way, have begun training themselves in the ways of the Vampire Hunter.
  • Blood Magic: The Glyph Union with all three Dominus glyphs. It does 9999 damage to everything on the screen. Including you. Which means that you die.
  • Boss Banter: HOW DARE YOU..! EVEN FORGETTING..! WHO RAISED YOU! YOU..! STUPID DISCIPLE!!!
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Boss medals, which you earn by defeating a boss without taking damage.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: If you want to get the best helmet in the game, Queen of Hearts, you have to play through Hard Mode with a level cap (Lvl 1 or Lvl 50 are your initial options). If you want to unlock the ability to set the level cap to 255, you have to play though Hard Mode with level cap set at 1... or you can just buy Castlevania Judgment for the Wii and sync the two games together to get both rewards.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Dominus glyphs. The two attack glyphs (Dominus Hatred/Anger) decrease your HP by 1/6 its maximum per use, and Dominus Agony costs 66 HP every second it's active (and also increases your Strength, Constitution, Intelligence, and Mind stats by 66 each while it's active).
  • Church Militant: A portion of the Church has been looking for a way to defeat Dracula without relying on a Belmont. Of course, it's soon realized that they wanted to only defeat the seal.
    • Then again, they could have been looking for a way to destroy Dracula when they started, but his seal drove them insane. Dracula has a knack for doing that kind of stuff to people.
  • Climax Boss: Barlowe. He's the last boss before you go to Dracula's Castle, you fight him after you find out about Albus' motives and the true nature of Dominus, and he has his own battle theme music.
  • Colossus Climb: The battle with Eligor. Albus can kind of cheat with his teleporting though, and if Shanoa takes time to get the Redire glyph from Training Hall before fighting him, she can use it to quickly get to his weakpoint as well. Both characters might have some trouble actually taking him down without destroying the crossbows on his flanks, though.
  • Continuity Nod: Shanoa's dialogue just before she enters Dracula's castle references Simon's Quest: "I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!"
    • The names of the boss battle themes reference other Castlevania games in order of release date. See Theme Naming below.
  • Copy and Paste Environments: Despite the visuals being genuinely very beautiful, there are many times when you'll see relatively distinctively complex map formations repeated verbatim in a conspicuously unlikely way. This is especially apparent in the caverns of the mountain area maps.
  • Costume Porn / Pimped-Out Dress
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Dominus uses your life force to cast it. Needless to say, equipping all three Dominus glyphs is a bad idea unless necessary (see Blood Magic above).
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Shanoa has several attacks that are rapid fire but deal little damage. On the enemy side, Dracula's wave of bats bypasses Mercy Invincibility and will shred you if you don't know how to handle it.
  • Death or Glory Attack: The Death Ring and Dominus Agony significantly increase your raw damage-dealing ability at the expense of your own survivability. Ideal in boss fights as long as you don't end up making a mistake.
  • Debate and Switch: "Is the complete destruction of an innocent individual justified if it could destroy the ultimate evil?" When the game starts, Barlowe certainly agrees and Albus violently doesn't. We're not sure what Shanoa's position was before she lost her memories, and it isn't until the Climax Boss that we learn of the price. Instead, just before the Climax Boss fight, we promptly learn that the sacrifice would have freed Dracula instead of destroying him, and Barlowe is insane, rendering his position as obviously wrong.
    • Subverted later when Shanoa uses Dominus to finish off Dracula after all, and Albus sacrifices his soul in her place.
  • Degraded Boss: Giant Skeleton.
  • Demonic Possession: One of the villager quests is freeing a girl from demonic control by bringing back her cat.
    • This is also the most likely reason for Barlowe's Face Heel Turn -- he was possessed by Dracula, kind of like how Richter Belmont was possessed by Shaft.
      • Possibly not, given that Dracula asks Shanoa if she was the one who freed him. Barlowe was simply Drunk on the Dark Side, or simply Ax Crazy.
      • On the other hand, we have Albus, who is possessed by Dracula after being consumed by Dominus. He briefly regains control to tell Shanoa to run, before Dracula takes over and launches into his Boss Banter and the battle itself.
  • Digital Bikini: See Magic Pants below.
  • Easy Amnesia: Averted (mostly) with Shanoa: she loses her memories at the beginning of the game, doesn't get them back until Albus wrestles them back from Dominus at the end, and it changes her personality considerably. The last one does have a bit of Take Our Word for It, though, since we don't see much of her before the incident.
  • Emotionless Girl: Shanoa, post-amnesia, who even flat-out admits to a more cheerful NPC that she doesn't smile. Inverted at the good ending, where she gives one smile for Albus before he ascended to a higher plane of existence.
  • Even the Girls Want Her
  • Everything's Better with Spinning/Incendiary Exponent: Albus can do spinning jump kicks that are on fire.
  • Everythings Cuter With Kittens: There are cats you can rescue and take back to the village. When you meet them at the village, you can attack them, play with them using the stylus, or use the catgirl transformation glyph to talk to them. You even have to save one as part of a villager quest.
  • Evil Elevator: Inverted in the fight with Brachyura, where an elevator with spikes on its underside is what finishes it off.
  • Fan Service/Stripperiffic: Shanoa has to wear a Sexy Backless Outfit, as she must expose her back for glyph absorption.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Enter Brachyura, who chases you up a lighthouse. You need to drop an elevator on it to finish it off. It's obviously referencing the meme, as killing it without getting hit earns you the Brachyura Medal, which actually refers to it as a Giant Enemy Crab. Also, the Bestiary description states that it "comes from the depths of Transylvanian history."
  • Glass Cannon: Shanoa is a pretty good example of this as far as Castlevania protagonists go: she can take far less punishment than most Metroidvania heroes and most bosses can kill her in 5 hits or less even if you're sufficiently leveled, but she has far higher damage potential than most other characters, thanks to her rapidly regenerating MP she can use to spam spells at a safe distance and the ability to level up much higher than any other Castlevania hero.
  • Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: For most of the game, Barlowe speaks this way.
  • The Gunslinger: Albus.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told
  • Hammerspace: Justified. Shanoa's tattoos allow her to manifest weapons in her hands.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shanoa attempts this in the ending, but Albus takes her place instead.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The Globus glyph sends out two of these. They can get very destructive in tight spaces and are one of the easiest ways to defeat the Double Hammers and Weapon Masters in the Large Cavern.
  • The Jersey Devil: They're in Argila Swamp.
  • Large Ham: Barlowe after The Reveal. (DIE SHANOA!) Also, Albus. (OPTICAL SHOT! MAX SHOT!)
  • Laughing Mad: Barlowe during the fight against him while using the Electrus attack, as well as when being regranted strength by Dracula to break the seal.
  • Les Yay: Two female villagers constantly flirt with Shanoa, and the Werebat enemy will joyfully exclaim "Let's play, cute little kitty!" every time one sees her.
    • One of the female villagers, in particular, is all but explicitly in love with Shanoa. She even makes her a wedding dress.
  • Lethal Chef: Played with in the case of Aeon. While his backstory shows him to be a lazy "chef" whose restaurants have all failed, Shanoa (his only customer at this point) doesn't seem to mind his cooking too much. Aeon's food items are also more cost-effective at healing than the potions.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Shanoa is mostly spell-based compared to the mostly warrior-styled Castlevania heroes. She starts off with horrible attack power and what might be the least useful (if cool looking) backdash in the series. By the end, she can be so brokenly loaded, the game expects you to take down the Final Boss as part of the timed boss rush mode.
    • It probably has more to do with the diminished physical weapon choice, and a lot of the physical weapons aren't as useful as in previous games.
      • In a sense, the game pretty much forces you to actively use spells, because the physical stats are only two of the many that cover attack damage. You can still get them stronger by maxing out their attributes, but it is much easier to spam Nitesco to max out light damage than it is to run up close to the enemy to whack them in the face.
      • Ultimately, the main reason you'd want to use spells is that they generally have much longer range than melee weapons, and since Shanoa's MP regenerates at rapid speed and using melee weapons consumes it as well, there's no real restrictions to using spells over weapons.
  • Living Shadow: Blackmore, a boss.
  • Magic Knight: Shanoa.
  • Magic Pants: Played straight. The game uses the Werewolf sprites from Rondo of Blood, except with the addition of a pair of boxer shorts (that spontaneously appears between frames) on the dying human.
  • Mana Shield: An item allows you to take damage to your heart supply rather than your health bar.
  • Mega Manning: That's how Shanoa learns many of her abilities. You want to summon Zombies? Steal the ability from an enemy summoner. Fireballs? From a fire demon. As a bonus, in many of these cases, you literally have to absorb the Glyph as the enemy is casting the spell, preventing it from going off successfully in the process.
  • Metroidvania: Obviously, but it really comes to a head when you play this game on Hard with a cap set at Level 1. It becomes almost like The Legend of Zelda with how desperate you become for Health and Mana upgrades.
    • The Metroidvania aspect is also relatively diminished in this game compared to previous entries, as a lot of the areas are smaller and more linear, and upgrades are of somewhat less focus.
  • Mirror Match: Albus vs Albus anyone?
  • More Dakka: Albus fires that gun of his REALLY fast in Albus Mode. Made even more awesome by the fact that this game takes place in the early 1800s and that the first semi-automatic firearm wasn't introduced until 1885.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shanoa.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of them here. To get the good ending, you have to rescue all of the trapped villagers. The bad ending borderlines on Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dominus = Dominate.
  • Nice Hat: All of Daniela's quest rewards are nice hats. The Boss Rush mode has the most earnable treasures yet (11) and they are all headgear that reduces the cost of Glyph Unions for specific type of weapons. The nicest hat is probably Laura taking all the jewels you've brought her to make the Royal Crown. Hey, man, you have a lot of... cranial accessories.
  • No Damage Run: Get through a boss fight with no damage, and you get a medal. Hey, another use for the Death Ring!
  • Not Completely Useless: The Scutum glyph will let you ignore Goliath's "punch debris from the ceiling attack." More importantly, this will nullify Dracula's destruction ray. Even more importantly, this glyph and another Scutum glyph is the easiest way to avoid Dracula's wave of bats...as well as another boss's extremely devastating attack.
    • Alternatively, you can go with the far more dangerous option and Kneel Before Zod.
    • Volaticus, the flying glyph, is given to you very late in the game. Useless? Not if you want to get through the Large Cavern.
  • Number of the Beast: While "666" never comes up in its entirety, the HP costs, attack strengths, MP costs, and stat boosts of the Dominus Glyphs are full of 6s and are obviously meant to invoke this. (See the Cast from Hit Points entry above.)
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The Death Ring grants incredible stat boosts, but any hit will be fatal.
    • Level 1 mode makes Shanoa/Albus a three (or even two) hit point wonder for most of the game, so the Death Ring becomes a very good item to use.
  • One-Winged Angel: Subverted by Dracula, of all people. He doesn't transform; he just starts walking around and using different attacks.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: This time around, the Chupacabra hang out near Dracula's quarters, and it turns out a Jiang Shi moved in to the cave next door, creating an oddly multicultural vampire gathering.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Shanoa.
  • Player Nudge: If you don't rescue all the villagers, you get the bad ending halfway through the game. This bad ending pans over all the villagers you failed to rescue.
  • Poor Communication Kills
    • Cannot Spit It Out: Albus, just tell Shanoa that Barlowe is tricking you into freeing Dracula with Dominus and be done with it.
      • It's never implied that he knew that Barlowe was planning to revive Dracula. He only wanted to warn Shanoa that using Dominus would kill her.
  • Power Walk: Dracula.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Go to Hell." Bye-bye, Brachyura.
  • Press X to Die: Equip Dominus Anger, Dominus Hatred, and Dominus Agony[1]. Press Up + X to die.
    • Except at the very end, where you need it to finish Dracula off and trigger the final cutscene. You better be quick about it too - if you aren't, Dracula will cast Demonic Meggido, aka a giant explosion that will instantly kill you. It can be avoided by flying into the corner, but it goes on forever and you'll eventually run out of MP and thus you won't be able to do anything except give up and die regardless.
  • Punched Across the Room: Same attack as below, even.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Barlowe.
  • Puzzle Boss: Wallman. How do you defeat a demon that keeps hiding in the walls, throwing Bomberman-style explosives at you, and has a limitless supply of healing items? Absorb the glyph that allows him to enter walls... while he's still in one. Alternatively, you can absorb the glyph before he enters the wall, which will leave him unable to escape the explosives that he's tossed into the room.
    • You also have to go through that wall.
  • Random Drop: Enemies will drop money, usable items and objects for the various missions you'll go through. You can also get them from chests that replenish themselves.
    • Rare Random Drop: Of course, some drops won't be as easily gotten as others. Merman meat, only gettable with a 6 star chance from a merman-unrelated enemy (Lorelei), is quite the offender, as you need it for better potions. About chest drops, those only available in the brutal Large Cavern can be quite frustrating too.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Shanoa
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dracula.
  • Secret Character: Albus is available when you get the good ending.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: It's shades harder than its predecessor Portrait of Ruin. This can come off as a shock to players who grew up with Symphony of the Night and its successors.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Shanoa wears a backless dress, which is necessary because she absorbs Glyphs through a large and intricate tattoo on her back. ...For an Emotionless Girl, she sure does lift up her hair sensually.
  • Shoot the Dog / What Happened to the Mouse? / Left Hanging: At the end, Shanoa saved the world. But what happened to her after that? She lost everything at the end. The last shot of her is in the forest near Castlevania's ruins. The game itself says she was never heard from again.
  • Shout-Out: Goliath is basically a boss-monster-ified Raoh, even reenacting his dying pose. Which makes him another classic Jump villain like Zephyr to appear in the series.
    • The requisite Gradius shout out occurs three times:
      • One of the villagers hums the first few notes of "Challenger 1985", the BGM of the first stage of the original Gradius/
      • The Vic Viper itself is a collectible item.
      • One of the bosses summons Moai heads as temporary platforms. Don't destroy them or you won't survive the waterfall attack.
    • The "Grave Digger" enemy looks a lot like The Undertaker, and another enemy, the Mad Butcher, is Leatherface in all but name. Oh yeah, a cannibal killer with a chainsaw in 19th century Europe.
    • The Wizard of Oz again, mostly recycled from Symphony of the Night. Axe-wielding tin robots, impaled-corpse scarecrows, and... Cat Girls, Oh My!
    • When Albus activates the elevator to crush Brachyura, he says "Show time."
    • In an in-series shoutout to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, as Shanoa arrives at Dracula's castle, she yells "I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night!"
    • Dracula's phrase, "I'll bring the life out from you", is very similar to Astharot's from Soul Calibur.
      • I thought he said "I'll wring the life out of you".
    • Barlowe quotes Master Asia while punching, at least in Japanese. "You stupid pupil!"
    • The Pneuma Glyph references Geese Howard's Reppuken attack, and can be dual-wielded for Double Reppuken. Their combined charged attack just screams Raging Storm.
  • Stealth Pun / Bilingual Bonus: One enemy is a former human that was a victim of an Une attack. Its name? Chosen Une.[2]
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Shanoa, of course. So much so that some women even flirt with her! As do a couple of the guy characters, and several of the enemies... yeah, EVERYONE wants Shanoa.
  • Tarot Motifs: All the Rings are named after Major Arcana cards.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Remember that tune from the intro movie? Are you feeling down after killing Albus and Barlowe? Well, have we got music for your ears!
  • Theme Naming: The Boss Battle tracks are, in order of appearance: Symphony of Battle, Dissonant Courage, Sorrow's Distortion, Lament to the Master, Chamber of Ruin, and Order of the Demon.
  • The Stoic: Shanoa's emotions are repressed because of her amnesia.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The tinmen are MUCH harder than they were in Symphony of the Night, even despite having basically the same attack patterns. This is because they can whack you even if you jump over them (double jump works though), move faster than you, and can do a lot of damage VERY quickly.
  • Turns Red: Dracula decides to ditch his One-Winged Angel routine for once and simply decides to start walking around the arena after you weaken him. Oh, and his attacks become much more brutal and difficult to dodge. Good luck - you'll probably need it.
    • Brachyura as well. Literally. You have to make him do that for him to knock the ceiling out so you can climb higher, and repeat 3 times.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Barlowe.
  • Unable to Cry: Shanoa laments this after Albus' death in the path to the good ending. Subverted in the actual ending.
  • Under the Sea: Kalidus Channel and Somnus Reef.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Shanoa must learn Dominus so Barlowe can free his master, Dracula. In the bad ending, she falls for it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After The Reveal, Barlowe throws all restraint out of the window and promptly starts to Chew the Scenery all around.
  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: Meet the Giant Skeleton. Pray he doesn't corner you.
    • Brachyura, the Giant Enemy Crab after that, fits better. The first two bosses hit hard, but have simple attack patterns. (In fact, the Giant Skeleton comes back as a mook in a later level.) Cue Brachyura, a four-stage boss that renders your best weapons useless because he's beneath you. You have to learn his patterns in order to get to the top and deliver the now-famous finishing blow.
    • It says a lot about this game that the first stumbling block is a Degraded Boss later.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Albus did all of the things he did to reseal Dracula so his sister won't have to, and for a very good reason: Had his sister gone through with the attempt, she would have died.
  • When She Smiles: Albus's last wish is for a smile from Shanoa. She grants it.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Thought Barlowe would be the final boss, think again! You still have a whole castle to explore, along with a few more boss fights. Then again, you probably should have known that the game wouldn't have ended at that point, because the castle is shown on the menu screen.
  • Zettai Ryouiki/Opera Gloves: Shanoa's Ms Fanservicey outfit.
  1. Yes, you need to equip the back glyph as well, even though no other combo in the game includes one.
  2. Une is French for "one".