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Koji Igarashi says the Zelda franchise inspired his work on Castlevania and Bloodstained

The man has great taste

Koji Igarashi has quite the legacy of games under his belt, creating some of the best Castlevania games in the franchise, and creating a hit sans Konami with the Bloodstained series. Now in a new interview with Limited Run Games, Igarashi says various Legend of Zelda titles helped inspire him with his creations.

Jeremy Parish sat down with Igarashi for a chat about his game design philosophy, which is where we find out how Igarashi pulled ideas from his Zelda experiences to create some of his many titles. In particular, Igarashi points out that Zelda games showing items in plain sight but out of reach until you gain new abilities really stuck with him, as did the fact that you don't need all heart pieces to complete a Zelda game, but you can hunt them down if you're looking for extra content.

RUMOR - Warren Ellis may not work on Netflix's Castlevania series after the fourth season

A lot of people came together to make Netflix's Castlevania a success, and that includes Warren Ellis, the comic book writer who handled the story for the first three seasons, as well as the upcoming fourth season. It seems Ellis' work might end there, though.

Ellis has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by several women, which has lead to him being removed from multiple projects. While not 100% confirmed, it seems likely that Ellis will no longer be involved with Castlevania going forward. You can real Ellis' defense against the allegations below.

While I've made many bad choices in my past, and I've said a lot of wrong things, let me be clear, I have never consciously coerced, manipulated, or abused anyone, nor have I ever assaulted anybody. But I was ignorant of where I was operating from at a time I should have been clear and for that I accept 100% responsibility.

Long before the Netflix deal, Castlevania's animated series was going to be a direct-to-video trilogy

We got a much better outcome!

Netflix has found great success with their Castlevania animated series. Season 3 was a success, and season 4 is already in the works. Netflix definitely made the right move picking up the pitch, but there was a time long ago when Netflix wasn't even in the picture.

In an interview with AWN, executive producer Kevin Kolde reveals that people were working on a Castlevania pitch all the way back in 2012, and the original plan was quite different from what we got today. The team involved back then were going to create a direct-to-video animated trilogy, but as they saw direct-to-video die out, they waited a number of years until a better opportunity presented itself. That's what eventually lead to a pitch for Netflix.

“They went for it pretty quickly, but I think it was still a difficult decision for them because they were dealing with a lot of animation that was more kid-focused and this was very much adult animation. But we were lucky enough to work with people like Larry Tanz and Sam and Adam Deats at Frederator Studios, who decided this show was still worth doing.”

Castlevania animated series executive producer talks about the show's gore, and what's coming in season 4

Blood and guts for a reason

While the Witcher has been a runaway success for Netflix, it's not the only game adaptation that's bringing in the viewers. Castlevania has been going strong for three seasons now, and fans are still clamoring for more.

One thing viewers have noticed is just how intense of the show's gore can be. In an interview with AWN, executive producer Kevin Kolde explains why the show takes that approach.

“With Castlevania, that gore can make the story more real. You don’t want it to be gratuitous, but it’s a brutal world we’re trying to show with realistic people and their children and how they’re impacted by these events. Things like that absolutely needed to be in there.

It’s a strange thing to say, but it’s one of the reasons we didn’t hold back in the show with violence or content. We never said, ‘Oh, we can’t do this because it’s animation.’ We treated it more like an action show and there’s so many dark themes and visuals in an action show, so why wouldn’t we do the same with Castlevania? That’s what gives this show its popularity. There were very few moments where we said, ‘No we can’t do this, it’s too much.’”

While there's sure to be more blood and guts in the series' future, it's the storylines with characters that people are most interested in. For those who are eager to see what comes up in season 4, Kolde was willing to share this tidbit.

"We have the challenge of bringing together all the things we set in motion at the end of Season 3 and also wondering how we’re going to top this last finale in Season 4. We’re pretty sure people are going to be happy with the new season.”

Konami Europe adds 12 Castlevania soundtracks to Spotify

I know what I'm doing for the rest of the day

When it comes to great game soundtracks, the Castlevania franchise almost always delivers. There are countless fantastic tunes among the many series entries, and now Konami wants to make it easier for you to enjoy them.

Konami Europe has opened up an official Spotify account, and their first order of business was adding 12 different Castlevania soundtracks to their playlist. You can sift through the various albums by checking out the official account here.

Check out a fan-made mini-doc on the making of Super Castlevania IV

One of the all-time greats

After the success of the original Castlevania it would not take long before Konami started plans for the first 16-bit entry in this series. In this episode we dive into the development of Super Castlevania IV for the Super NES and Castlevania Bloodlines for the Mega-Drive/Genesis.

Thanks to MysteryMan for the heads up!

DC Comics' writer Scott Snyder talks about his fondness for the Castlevania series

Praise for the classics

While Castlevania hasn't gotten much new content in the way of games lately, its been lighting up the charts on Netflix. The animated series is doing a lot to stir up nostalgia in some lapsed players, and that includes DC Comics' writer Scott Snyder. In an interview with Comicbook.com, Synder talks about his time with the Castlevania series, both when he was younger and nowadays.

"We bought an arcade this past Christmas, and it's really like a PC in an arcade cabinet; you can get any old game through Popsicle through its library, and we've been playing the Castlevania games. Look, I love the classic Universal Monsters -- Invisible Man, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man -- from when I was a kid. In the house, I have my action figures from when I was a kid: The glow-in-the-dark Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Boris Karloff Frankenstein -- all of it. I adored that game and I remember struggling with the Frankenstein Monster, with the Igor on his shoulder, and throwing holy water to keep him from getting closer and closer. I don't think I ever beat the first one, but I did get to Dracula."

Character artwork from Castlevania's third season shared

Building character

Powerhouse Animation Studios has shared some fancy artwork over on Twitter. The company has tweeted out character sheets for the Vampire Sisters that appear in the third season of the series. You can get a close look at how the characters were designed, and see some notes and details you might not have picked up on while watching the season. Hopefully Powerhouse Animation Studios shares even more behind-the-scenes looks like this going forward!

Writer on Netflix's Castlevania series discusses the huge success Season 3 saw, reconfirms Season 4

A top 10 winner

A fourth season of Netflix's Castlevania series was confirmed recently, and it came quite quickly after Season 3 released. This lead many to believe that the series is doing quite well for Netflix, but it seems the show is doing way better than most imagined. Series writer Warren Ellis put together a personal blog sharing some inside info on just how huge Season 3 was, which you can read in full below.

So, we had our Netflix call about the 28-day data on CASTLEVANIA Season 3 last week. And, because Netflix data is protected, I can’t actually tell you all the exact numbers. What I can say is that season 3’s popularity was an order of magnitude over that of season 2, and season 2 was popular enough to get us season 3. It turns out season 3 did, really, shockingly well. Shows tend to show a little attrition in the third season, and it was, quote, “unusual” to see the audience actually rise by a multiple factor.

Season three was in the Netflix Top 10 — not for animation, not for tv, but for all Netflix content — for a week or two in 40 countries. That was huge. Thanks to everyone in the world who posted screenshots of their local Top 10 banner, by the way — all of you joining in to share that made it pretty easy to calculate, and it was wondrous to see them all rolling in.

And I have to thank our partners at NX, and Brittany and Jeff at DKC, for helping us to get there.

So we’re on for season 4. We don’t expect too much of a covid-related delay, but if that one guy who keeps tagging me on IG to demand “season 4 NOW” could fuck off, I’d appreciate it.

Four seasons of an Anglophone adult drama animation about vampires, moral philosophy and toilet paper. Which is not a niche production, but something with an audience of (stops, sees Netflix sniper rifle dot)… many, many millions. Who saw that coming? If it turns out that this weird thing is what prised open the door on doing adult-oriented drama narrative in English language animation, I would be delighted. Because we just proved that the audience is there, in the same numbers that show up for live-action drama.

In conclusion: thanks very much, everybody.

Netflix confirms fourth season of Castlevania

You can count on Dracula

The third season of Netflix's Castlevania debuted quite recently, but Netflix is already looking ahead to the future. The company took to Twitter to confirm that a fourth season of the series has been greenlit. No word on when to expect its release, but I'd imagine we're in for a bit of a wait. We'll keep an eye out for more info.

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