Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. October is here, and the spooky season is upon us. The fall aesthetic is in full swing and fear is back in fashion.
I could despair at the horrifying horrors that await me. I could wallow in the turbulent shift in my work schedule as I spend October building a haunted house. I could cry bloody tears at the annoyance I feel at people posting a billion images on social media with skeletons and ghosts. OR
I could get excited. Because, after years of waiting, Netflix Castlevania is BACK with the release of Castlevania Nocturne, and HOO BOY is it ever a treat!
To celebrate Richter Belmont coming back in glorious fashion, let's embark on a journey through Dracula's Castle and enjoy some incredible tunes.
Divine. Freaking. Bloodlines. This is probably my second favourite track in the entire series (beaten by Wicked Child, a track I have covered and mentioned many times). That quick prologue is so motivating. The quick, steady, rise in volume from the underlying hum really gives you this feeling of getting up after taking a big blow. All while these inspiring notes caress your ears and say "It's about to go down" before the absolutely incredible melody kicks in and blasts you away with the force of a morning star whip right to the face.
This theme has essentially just become Richter Belmont's theme and I honestly believe that it has legitimately helped make the character so beloved and a natural choice for one of the two Castlevania reps in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate back in 2018.
Another romp to kill ole Vladdy begins with this jam, and it makes it feel so good to be back.
While Divine Bloodlines is probably the most iconic character theme in the series, Vampire Killer is the main theme of the whole series at this point, and this is probably the best version of the tune. Another quick buildup transitions into some triumphant notes that really deliver the vibes of cheesy and campy horror movies from the 80s, which is something the series plays with so effortlessly, without reducing the cool and intense factor of the track. They even somehow manage to make the sound of a door hype as hell in this track, which is infinitely impressive.
I think this track is a perfect portrayal of what Rondo of Blood is: a familiar Castlevania experience with a ton of its own flair that really helps it stand out as one of the best in the beloved franchise.
You know what you're getting if you're familiar with the series, but it has just enough flashy undertones and unique elements that make it pop.
The vibes are immaculate and they only get better.
Did I mention cheesy 80s media? While the instrumentation absolutely nails the gothic aesthetic, the melody (especially with that electric guitar) is about as 80s as one can get. When you reach Stage 7, you're nearing the end of the game, and the difficulty of a Castlevania title may be finally getting to you. It's a tough challenge that makes you want to smash a controller and never turn on a TV ever again. This music has the perfect amount of cheesy "don't give up" energy.
Richter's character is often more human than other Belmonts. He's rarely portrayed as just a regular action movie star and more of a lovable dork who is doing his best and a little more timid than your Simons and Trevors. This track almost feels like every preceding Belmont is rising from the grave to encourage Richter. To tell him that he can do it.
That last bit has absolutely no relevance in Nocturne at all, I swear . . .
I love Castlevania. The aesthetic. The atmosphere. The characters. THE MUSIC. It all just comes together to create a series I never tire of. I rewatch the first Netflix show yearly, and I'm sure I'll be doing the same with Nocturne henceforth.
If you never play a Castlevania game, do yourself a favour and check out the Netflix shows. They are absolutely phenomenal with god-tier writing, glorious actions, quotable characters (Netflix Trevor is such a damn mood), and absolutely unmatched music.
And if you do ever play the games, enjoy one of the greatest franchises in all of gaming.
Thank you so much for checking out my content, and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.
PS. Of course we got a hype new version of Divine Bloodlines in the show, and people have already created some incredible remixes of it.