BY JOSEPH WALTER
- !!! TRIGGER WARNING !!! TRIGGER WARNING !!! TRIGGER WARNING !!!
This is NOT a safe space.
The nearest safe space is deep within the S5 0014+813 Black Hole. Please proceed there.
While not quite the next installment of the "Fan Page of Lunacy" tragedy, I've been observing and collecting other oddities to satiate the curious lusts of those who absorb horror as if it were sustenance.
Lo, fine tangents did take place on the very special Castlevania page I help Admin with an english teacher, an ATM repairman, an absent god, a fading wraith and, of course, the main man himself, and I wanted to share them with you.
But, it's beyond than that. It's less about that page, and more about the culture of these so-called fans. Insanity brews in all corners of this fandom, and I think it's high time the light reveals the rotting flesh on this corpse of a fan base.
This lunacy is unlike what other fan groups produce, such as Metal Gear fans proclaiming "Ground Zeroes" is worth $30+ or Ace Combat fans believing they would make excellent fighter pilots.
No, it's a very special insanity. Obsessive. Zealous. Cult-like.
And, in "celebration" of the supposed "return-to-form" from infamous ex-CV producer Igarashi's Kickststarter success in the form of "Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night," it's time the world knows just how incredibly absurd this "fan base" is.
Before we begin, here's a helpful guide for if you ever need to interact with a concentration of "Castlevania" fans in any capacity:
EX. 1: Religious fervor
I get it: People are fans of things. Huge fans. I consider myself a fan of all kinds of things… even a passionate fan. But I've never been comfortable in completely submerging myself into the various things I love, using it as some kind of sustenance.
The sad truth about the niche nature of Castlevania is that the people who enjoy it try to prop it up as something akin to this hidden gem of perfection, and those that don't know of it are mere plebeians. It's a hipster-haven.
I was like that once, and I couldn't be more embarrassed about it.
But even so, CV fans take it beyond that. They take it to a level in which the series is this ultimate display of good vs. evil, with complex themes and morals, with nearly-religious levels of devotion required to fully enjoy. Unfortunately, the series, no matter how much I love it, is far from that fine art that they proclaim it to be.
Let's talk about this guy:
So, I could sense some undeserved aggression festering in this stand-offish comment, and decided to attempt to defuse this often-volatile member.
I use "people" loosely.
Earlier in the day, he had claimed the reboot series, "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow" was part of the same universe as the original timeline (which started in the mid-eighties, and "ended," albeit unofficially, c.a. 2009).
That's just simply not the case. There is absolutely no possible way that the two timelines are one and the same. There are far too many differences (such as entire origins for well-known characters being vastly different.)
Even if one was to believe this by grasping at the most straws allowable by modern physics, the creators of the franchise themselves have stated "Lords of Shadow" to be a reboot/reimagining.
But tell that to a rabid, over-zealous fan….
After being vanquished from our group, he decided to take his now-fuming wrath elsewhere, and erupt like an active volcano over the apparent injustice of his banning due to his zealotry.
EX. 2: the self-righteous and the sanctimonious
This mini-saga is something I wish to cover in greater detail sometime in the future, but in a nutshell, there's a sizable group of the fan base that (in my opinion) has wrongful disdain for it.
Sure, as a reboot/reimagining, it shakes up various plot points (mainly the roles of certain characters) but, as a whole, it retains the entire CV experience: Whip-wielding warrior goes on a lengthy quest to, typically, save their lover and the world, which is being jeopardized by Dracula and all sort of mythical monsters in a haunted castle. This warrior will platform, whip, and use sub-weapons on this often-difficult quest, which is what practically all the CV games were like up until 1997.
This genre was maintained until the release of "Lords of Shadow," which was more like a 3D version of the classic action-platforming genre.
The genre change and story-changes were like venom to "die hard" fans, who claim the series lost the "CV magic," but fail to see that it's right in front of them.
But that's beyond the point.
The point is that many feel it is their sacred duty to honor the great Prophet IGA and tell the tales of TURUEEUU Castlevania as if it were Scripture. To not do such a thing would require the most die-hard among us to commit seppuku.
This, of course, leads into...
EX. 3: The Cult MindSet
There is an entire page dedicated to these people, who "fight for the heart and soul" of the franchise. The heart and soul. The heart and soul.
They've been compared to, quite accurately, a cult, and have proven time-and-time again to live up to this reputation and beyond.
With their charismatic leader, they follow his words like some divine prophet, and go on utterly ludicrous crusades, making lists of "demands" towards Konami, the owners of the franchise.
It is impossible to have any basic conversation with these people in regards to the franchise.
They've got the most dangerous aspects of any herd-mentality group: No moderates, only hyper-die-hards, while also somehow wrangling in a sizable group of casual fans.
Casuals as in the people who only like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers or the Green Ranger without any real reason. Except in CV, they all just like SOTN, and SOTN-styled games, generally disregarding the earlier entries.
And don't even get them started on LOS.
But what has caused the greatest amount of devotion amongst these devoted subjects?
The man known as "IGA" to his lap-dogs, Koji Igarashi, father of the SOTN-styled games in the franchise, despite leaving Konami, announced his Kickstarter for a game in this style, without the Castlevania brand (obviously.)
It was funded within a day.
And, of course, the cult had this to say:
He donated five-thousand dollars to this cause.
Are you fucking kidding me?
This is… this is so preposterous. This wanton expenditure on such a pointless, frivolous endeavor is appalling to me from a financial stand-point, and even an ethical one. Couldn't this have been better spent towards curing cancer or something? No, your cult-like obsession has dictated that you support your fever-dream as feverishly as humanly possible.
This legitimately sickens me. I'm at a loss for words.
Oh, and in case it wasn't clear, there is a large swath of this fan base that treats Koji Igarashi as some sort of incarnation of a god.
I'm done with this topic. It's too infuriating. One more example to go though, before we wrap the article.
..... no, I want to be done, but there's more. To anyone with any semblance of fiscal prowess, avert your eyes immediately:
Crowd-funding is something that, despite its fad-like popularity, hasn't panned out for any single high-profile, hype-fueled game. None.
"Mighty No. 9" is infamously a no-show, and "Star Citizen" is currently facing accusations of monetary abuse while failing to provide any solid evidence of the promised content. What makes "Bloodstained" any different?
And, really, in the end, what's the point?
You're paying for what, in reality, will be nothing more than a semblance of what you really want. This isn't going to be "Castlevania: The 1999 Demon Castle War." This is going to be "Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night."
You're paying for what is legitimately an imitation of the portion of the Castlevania franchise you crave. It may play the same, sound the same, and even have some visual flair that's the same, but it won't be the same.
"Mighyt No. 9" isn't going to be Mega Man. "Star Citizen" won't be "Wing Commander." "Yooka-Laylee" isn't Banjo-Kazooie. They never will be.
The people that poured money into "Bloodstained," including this raving cult-leader, are the same people who declare "Lords of Shadow" to be a "disgrace" to the Castlevania series, and, more importantly "NOT Castlevania." Yet here they are, supporting something that is distinctly and literally NOT "Castlevania."
This just proves the existence of the misguided mindset that this unfortunately large section of the fanbase has. They're presented with something that is not only Castlevania in name, but in content, and refuse it due to fear of change while openly accepting what is a pale imitation of their preferred gameplay and style.
I thought they were true fans? There's more to Castlevania than it's gameplay, you know. Don't they know about the rich lore? DON'T THEY KNOW THAT CHANGING THAT RICH LORE IS AN AFRONT TO GOD? But as long as they get their Metroid-styled clone, they'll be satisfied.
I'd go as far as to say this proves that they aren't actually fans of Castlevania, but fans of a specific gamestyle. You can't go on endless rants about how "Lords of Shadow" ruined the series with its "changes" and then openly support something that has next-to-nothing to do with the franchise.
Hypocrisy is a pretty interesting thing.
The most hilarious element of this is that, if "Bloodstained" were an official CV game, they'd be like "WHERE ALUCARD? WHERE BELMONT? WHERE DEMON CASTLE 1999 WAR? THIS ISN'T MY CASTLEVANIA." On the flip-side, if "Lords of Shadow" was a stand-alone title, people would more than likely be like "WHY ISN'T THIS CASTLEVANIA? THAT GUY HAS A WHIP, IT COOL. MAN, FUCK, WHY CAN'T THERE BE A NEW CASTLEVANIA LIKE THIS?"
But I digress.
For all I know, "Bloodstained" could turn out to be a great game..... but no matter what way you look at it, it's just never going to be what they all so deeply desire.
... wow, that was a long rant. I'm sorry.
EX. 4: Psychosis
For those curious about the actual definition of psychosis, here it is: "a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality."
Some people take their Castlevania obsession so seriously that it's essentially a concentrated, illegal dose in the form of a suppository, that results in mindless internet squabbling taking a turn for the deranged.
Now, before I present an example of this pitiful, final group, I'd like to deliver some backstory, and admit a dark truth about myself.
You see, I must come clean: Despite my position of divine power as Admin, I do thoroughly enjoy riling up people who are prone to any of the antics described by this article. The difference is that I try to back up any opinion I have with a solid fact (like all who argue should) so that I'll have at least a sliver of the upper hand in such utterly meaningless squabbles.
Now that I've confessed, let me set the scene: There once was a member in our upstanding group that quite enjoyed ragging on a number of controversial things with an air of superiority. He loved to belittle his adversaries. In fact, many of these opinions were often prefaced or punctuated with proclamations of some variation of "I'm an English teacher," as if it had any effect on making him be taken more seriously. The most frustrating element was that he danced so precariously on the line of what was ban-worthy. He never broke the rules, but pushed them to their absolute limit.
I butted heads very often with him, even before ascending to Adminship, but the battles only worsened after the promotion, with him claiming that I was "unfair" and blah blah blah, and always targeting him, blah blah blah. In truth, we received multiple complaints about him fairly often, so I merely responded to his belittling attitude in kind.
However, one fateful day, embroiled in some frivolous squabble, he made a statement that reeked of such elitist superiority, that I may have gone too far. I jumped in to state that I'd take his opinion more seriously, if he didn't have such a shit track-record. Then I unleashed the coup de grace: A screen cap of some hilariously awkward and misguided 2008 post from GameFAQs where he praised his beloved IGA, and then claimed that "Castlevania Judgment" would be this amazing game. ("Castlevania Judgment" is seen as a complete failure nearly across the board amongst all Castlevania fans. I kinda like the "Power Stone" feel, but that's just me.)
That was the book that broke the English teacher's back.
Just a couple of hours later, I was privately bombarded with a relentless barrage of angry, personal insults.
About the "English teacher" quip: When engaged in argument with him, I'd often sarcastically agree with something like "Oh, well you're an English teacher so I guess you're right." He seemingly never picked up on the fact that stating he was an English teacher was his own go-to prop-up. It had nothing to do with his spelling or grammar, but everything to do with him obsessively stating his profession as if it were some form of authority to be respected in regards to his opinions on an obscure franchise. But also, yeah, you better work on that spelling and grammar, you disgrace.
Now, going back to my "psychosis" accusation: Keep in mind that this furious rage was caused because I posted an entirely relevant piece of information into a conversation in order to support my point. It was not a personal attack, nor was it revealing a private component of his life. It was an internet comment (albeit an embarrassing one) about the quality of a video game and blind devotion to its creator, completely available to the public eye.
So the normal human would respond with a rebuttal like "that was so many years ago, and I know better now, nice try." But no, not a Castlevania fan. No, they have to accuse you of being a lunatic for posting an internet comment, and then proceed to eat their own genitals by going through every available scrap of personal info on your Facebook, attempt to insult you, and then claim no one loves you. Great reasoning there, dummy. You're certainly the better man!
He's long gone now, though, you see. He finally crossed the line and that was that.
If there's a lesson to be learned, I'm sure it's something like "don't become obsessed with one of your interests to the point where it warps your actual perception of reality."
Yeah, that sounds about right.