Hello and welcome to P-Vock's Music Box, the weekly blog where I drop some music from my neverending Music Box to help get you set for the weekend. Welcome to October, the spooky month. I'm not super into the idea of horror, I'm a little bitch and don't find being afraid to be fun. That said, the settings of many horror works I am a massive fan of. So let's kick off this spooky scary month, with a beloved series with an iconic gothic horror inspiration.
Castlevania is an absolutely incredible series that I adore. It may not be designed to scare you out of your slacks, but it definitely takes a ton of inspiration from classic horror works. You fight through monster-infested caverns, haunting altars where many a terrifying summoning took place, and the lairs of many vile creatures on your quest to kill the resurrected Dracula. While not a horror franchise, the gothic horror setting is unmistakable and beloved.
This series is all about its incredible atmosphere, heart-pounding gameplay, intense difficulty, and absolute banging OSTs. Yes, this is yet another franchise that I could have a whole weekly column just to show the various beats I love. I could show my favourite track, Wicked Child. I could blast the iconic Vampire Killer that is basically the main theme of the series. I could even pick something a little more unique like Lost Painting or Divine Bloodlines. "There is just too much to choose from," is not what I'll be saying today.
With many franchises, I just can't pick which track. That was not the case here. I have known for months that come October, I wanted to talk about Castlevania. I always knew what track I would play as well. So sit back, relax, and get ready to weep unto the earth some bloody tears.
I don't care. You cannot tell me that this is anything short of a jam. It starts off just creepy enough to fit the aesthetic of the series, and then composer Kenichi Matsubara just fucking hits you with that rhythm and it becomes a blood-pumping thrill ride. I love this tune, from the NES version to every modern version that just exemplifies everything I love about it. I know not everyone loves the classic beeps and boops of older game console soundboards, so let's get some CD-quality audio in here.
This absolutely phenomenal remix is my favourite version of Bloody Tears from the games. This gem hails from later ports of the much-beloved entry, Symphony of the Night. SotN is often cited as the best Castlevania and a game so good it helped create a subgenre of video games, the Metroidvania (we may be back soon with the other franchise that helped do that), and the music is a huge reason why. Oh my Alucard, I love this music so much. So please, let me indulge with just one more version.
For those who don't know, Castlevania got a whole damn Netflix animation that is absolutely amazing. One thing I love is how sparingly it uses fanservice. Sure, the characters and setting are very much from Castlevania 3, but it doesn't waste time trying to cram in as many winks to long-time fans. So the few fanservice moments are beyond incredible. That includes the absolutely phenomenal fight scene to cap off Season 2, accompanied by a beloved track that gives me chills every single time I hear it.
This is it. This is the one. This is overall my favourite official version of Bloody Tears and I cannot get enough of it (Sorry about the few sound effects, this was the cleanest version I could find). If you want an amazing gothic horror experience, go watch Castlevania on Netflix and consider picking up some of the games that are now way easier to get than ever before. There are three incredible collections that cover some of the best entries in the series, and you will not regret it. I hope your weekend is anywhere near as epic as this music, and I'll see you next week with another blood-curdling edition of P-Vock's Music Box. Stay Brutal, and Bloody.