Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror or Fate's story unfolds across four chapters set in different time-periods, each chronicling the exploits of a given hero. Though any hero may journey into a same-named area, as seen in another chapter, its structure will surely differ for convenience of the current storyline (an unpassable gate blocking off a given hero's access to certain portions of an area, for example). The following stage overview adheres to the chronology as experienced in the game.

 

Chapter I: Gabriel Belmont

     
 
Crumbling Tower
 

Gabriel's intro mission begins within a forest, its shadowy shrubbery as toned by the nighttime sky seen above. Gabriel's brief foray into the forest will see the path barred by a few shadow crawlers; since this is a tutorial phase, he's in no real danger, but he can only advance if the player is successful in hitting certain buttons at the correct time. As he slide down the side of a mountainous slope, the scene shifts to a bridge, where he'll battle more shadow crawlers and inform the player of a few more basic techniques. The completion of this tutorial prompts a cut-scene wherein Gabriel does battle with the Daemon Lord, which is the "boss" of the tower and the outpost within which it's embedded. Gabriel will summarily dispatch of the monster, with no effort required by the player.

Lesser Enemies: Shadow Crawler
Boss: Daemon Lord
Music Track: -
     

Chapter II: Simon Belmont

     
 
Cursed Village
 

Simon's quest begins at the outskirts of the Cursed Village, its woodland and residential features still suffering from a state of decay. Soon zombies will begin emerging from the ground, their violent demise earning Simon experience as the still-functioning tutorial explains. Simon will then enter into a destroyed building and learn how to both pull and push boxes and turn switches; the events of a cut-scene that follow will earn him the Throwing Axe sub-weapon. More zombie-skewering remains before Simon learns how to destroy barrels and other debris, which in this case block a passage he must crouch through. The path quickly spills into the next area.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Castle's Outer Wall
 

As Simon approaches the castle from the woodland's end, he finds that the drawbridge has already begun to close. Looking for an alternate route in, he climbs down below into a network of caves, clearing the way of more undead foes; a series of drops leads him down into the watery depths, where he lays eyes upon the Lost Soul, which quickly retreats into the castle's underground entrance. Simon gives chase, but not before swimming about the castle's moat, in which he can drown if he doesn't grab some air via the pressurized, bubble-spewing vents.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Forgotten Caves
 

The sub-entrance leads into the Forgotten Caves, which are essentially more watery depths, filled with rope bridges, broken bridge structures, and an unwelcoming pool of water waiting below; if you should decide to take a swim, the electric mermen tadpoles will attempt to rush you, urging you to stay in motion using your new underwater swimming technique. Simon will tangle with some merman before shimmying across connecting ropes while under duress from steam-releasing vents. After another skirmish with mermen, he'll have to ledge-jump and generally climb out from this abyss. After some effort, he'll again meet the silent Lost Soul, which triggers a cut-scene. In following, he'll do more climbing and dodge more steam vents before finding the Spirit of Belnades, which is essential for crossing beneath a damaging, soul-infested waterfall that showers the area's exit point. He'll first test it out in a forced battle against mermen and harpies. When the coast is clear, he can head back to the deadly waterfall and pass beneath it using his new magic power. This will lead him into the next area.

Lesser Enemies: Merman, Merman Tadpole and Harpy
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Deadly Waterfalls
 

Simon's trek through the castle's cavernous basement isn't quite over. The early going features more of what you've already seen: Spirit-infested waterfalls whose deadly showers require the Spirit of Belnades to pass beneath plus more ascension via ledge-climbing, your progress stalled by horizontal steam vents. The most prominent obstacle is a puzzle that involves shifting a wooden crate around and past these waterfalls while reserving as much magic power as possible; your forward progress rides on your box-pushing skill. A few intermittent skirmishes with mermen is all that remains before Simon breaches the rocky, battered surface, where zombies and harpies feel more at home. Once the stony interior of the castle is breached, a short elevator ride will carry him up to the real destination.

Lesser Enemies: Merman, Zombie and Harpy
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Castle Hall
 

A hole in the ground gives way up into the main hall, whose left side shows that the previously unreachable entrance has since been forcibly opened by the skeletal remains of some humongous creature. Moving right, Simon will spot a scaven, which flees on sight; giving chase through the pillared corridors will lead him to the game's first real boss encounter. After said boss, the Night Watchman, has been dismissed, Simon will continue to the hall's right side, where he'll find no further access--the path barred by a locked door. Instead, he'll have to retreat a bit and ride an elevator, which will carry him down into the next area.

Lesser Enemies: Scaven and Flying Scaven
Boss: Night Watchman
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Guards Room
 

The elevator's doors open, emptying our hero into the Guard's Room. Immediately, he'll find a switch that controls a nearby gate. The problem? The switch must be jerked to the left repeatedly to keep the gate sliding upward, where it'll eventually lock in place; any stall in the action will see the door immediately slam down to its closed position. Opening the gate sounds trivial until you consider that zombies will be endlessly emerging from the ground while you attempt to do so, putting Simon in a position where he'll have to tactically clear the field while trying to find time to open the gate. Once the deed is done, he'll move forward a few steps to find his old friend the Lost Soul, whose appearance confirms that Simon is moving in the correct direction.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Cells
 

The Hall gives way to the Cells--the castle's prison/dungeon. To reach the cells, themselves, he'll have to first train himself in the utilization of a mine carts, the one immediately available needed to travel across a long rail that rests above a large abyss. He'll be greeted by zombies, of which we've seen enough. A quick drop into a steam-filled pit followed by an elevator ride upward will lead to our next cut-scene, in whcih he finds the Oil Flask sub-weapon and meets a new enemy: The skeleton warrior, who he'll learn to effectively fight. He'll battle several of them, in fact, before he'll be allowed to continue onward to the next area.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie, Rotten Zombie and Skeleton Warrior
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Inner Cells
 

The Inner Cells are a continuation of the same prison theme. After more trouble with skeleton warriors and box-pushing, he'll spot the Spirit of Schneider lurking in an unreachable cell; he'll have no choice but to instead drop down into the prison's dreary lower levels, where more skeleton warriors await. After a hopefully quick squeeze through a rocky tunnel (where the falling rocky debris serves as a warning that a zombie arm will reach through and grab onto those who loaf about), he'll continue the descent to find (a) a locked gate to the left, and (b) and elevator to the right. For now, his only option is the elevator, which takes him down into the next area. Simon can return here later, via a teleporter, and use a newer weapon to procure the Spirit of Schneider; the path that lay beyond features an increased enemy assortment and leads to a lower level of the Kitchen.

Lesser Enemies: Skeleton Warrior, Harpy, Zombie and Rotten Zombie
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Vertical Prison
 

Yep--there's more in the way of real-estate cordoned off for the purpose of incarceration. After giving a quick hello to the Lost Soul, he'll discover the area's namesake: A large vertical passage suffering from a bit of flooding, its hanging cells worn and uninhabitable. A quick flip of a switch will make the tower's plight worse, as its lower portion will become flooded. In order to reach the top, Simon will have to slowly swim/climb his way upward and activate more switches, which will continue flooding the passage and supplying vertical access. A scant few skeleton warriors will put up resistance, but they can be otherwise drowned if you flood their territory before swimming through it to find the next switch/prize. Simon's flooding of the prison, as we see in other cut-scene, leads to the cracking of its foundation on the right side, causing a sinkhole that empties the prison of its liquid content while completely filling a ditch outside the castle walls.

Lesser Enemies: Skeleton Warrior
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Kitchen
 

Free from cold steel of the prison sections, Simon enters into the devilish Kitchen, where he'll find headless animal carcasses hanging within a wooden storage room. He'll ride up an elevator situated against the castle wall, from which he'll see an interesting sight: A flaming humanoid-shaped object plunging into the lake that was created moments ago. The continuation of the cut-scene sees Simon knocked unconscious by a hunchback, who drags him over to a boiling cauldron as stirred by its giggling companions. Simon regains his senses and now has to fight off a large pack of them; in continuation, he'll travel up and around a few narrow stairways, which stationed hunchbacks clog up with their firebombs, before facing another pack of them in the furnace room. A few more stairways and some climbing are all that remain between him and next area.

Lesser Enemies: Hunchback
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Theater
 

An entrance stairway leads directly into an actual theater, the slope of the aisle prompting Simon to jump on-stage. He'll here meet two new enemies of the same class: The macabre puppet and the macabre puppet unleashed. As the battle transition from one phase to the next, a quick cut-scene focuses on a ceiling grate and unknown figure running about on the floor above. When Simon clears the area of evil, another cut-scene gives us a better look at the figure who was scurrying about upstairs; a quick exchange with the Lost Soul about the figure's identity bears no answers, but the path forward is revealed. The proceeding banquet hall and twisting corridors are domain to more puppets, who at this point are worth a lot of experience. The real objective is to crawl into a crevice and climb up a chasm that takes us out of here.

Lesser Enemies: Macabre Puppet and Macabre Puppet Unleashed
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Terrace
 

The castle's large porch, its decayed foliage on display, is home to harpy leaders, who waste no time getting up close and personal. After the initial greeting party has been killed off, Simon will ride a large elevator up to the Terrace's second floor, where he'll encounter more of the same. With no more in the way of obstacle, he'll exit left into the next area. While small in structure, the Terrace is a nice spot to reenter again and again in lust of the precious experience that will make the difference when challenging the upcoming bosses.

Lesser Enemies: Harpy Leader
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Ballroom
 

This lavish area introduces us to yet another minor enemy: The werewolf, whose defensive posture will frustrate whip-happy foes. They'll soon be joined by a harpy leader, which will make for a challenging air-land battle. The curtained portals and garish artwork will offer little comfort as you deal with the troublesome duo. Wiping out all resistance is your only goal in this area; like the Terrace, the Ballroom is a particularly confined area--a connector in what seems like a string of them--and exists only to stall your progress.

Lesser Enemies: Werewolf and Harpy Leader
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Courtyard
 

The castle's outer midsection gives us a look at the estate's many towers, its roof structures, and a few statues, but it offers nothing for a hero who doesn't possess the grip ability. For now, the one-"room" area is another short connector, its left exit taking us to a place where the action will begin to heat up. Simon will return here in a bit, using a pathway that branches out from the Library, and find the Combat Cross, which triggers a boss battle in the outer courtyard. When things have been settled between Simon and the ghostly adversary, he can use his new weapon to scale the wall above the left exit point to procure some loot.

Lesser Enemies: Zombie and Skeleton Warrior
Boss: Necromancer
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Library
 

The dimly lit Library, with its decrepit bookshelves and tattered interior, is immediately interesting due to the Wraith, which slinks about the background. Ignoring the non-threat, Simon moves left and crawls under a stairway; he stops to give attention to a bookrack, making contact with which unleashes the spell book enemy. After shredding some control-freak tomes, he spots a bemused hunchback on the balcony above; its only purpose is to highlight his next destination, from which he'll climb to the upper levels of the library. Here an obvious podium acts as a switch to remove from the doorway a large demonic statue that blocks the path forward; the branching pathway leads into an interior portion of the Courtyard, as mentioned in its own description. Once the Combat Cross is secured, Simon can reach the library's heights, where he'll find the teleporter room. Though, continuing to climb and swing his way upward will lead him to this area's exit point.

Lesser Enemies: Magic Book, Hunchback and Werewolf
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Toy Maker's Funfair
 

The funfair, which stretches across the castle heights, shows itself to be immediately unfriendly by pitting Simon in an inescapable battle with a considerable amount of werewolves and their empowering magic-book allies. The unintended prize for victory is a ticket into the deadly amusement park, its first attraction a deadly carousel within which Simon becomes trapped, forced to duck and weave around the blunt objects jutting out from its center; after an exhaustive exhibition and a storyline explanation for his escape, some mysteries are solved, yet still other questions arise; there's no time to stop and ponder--Simon must climb his way atop the carousel and secure an elevator ride upward.

Lesser Enemies: Werewolf and Magic Book
Boss: None
Music Track: -
     

     
 
Main Tower Outside
 

The tippy-top of the eroded estate will mostly test your platforming skills. Simon will right away board a counterweight lift, which functions via his turning of its circular lever; as he ascend, a pesky gargoyle will attempt to break the lift's chain with its fire breath, requiring Simon to activate the Spirit of Schneider to help handle the multitask. Directly above are more lifts, which he'll have to maneuver to their respective peaks for the purpose of letting them drop and quickly jumping onto their counterweights as they rise in response. He'll have a curious encounter with that same gargoyle, which flees before defeat but foreshadows future trouble; that is, it'll attempt to screw up Simon's wall- and rope-climbing exploits as he nears the summit. Use of the Spirit of Belnades will be required to fend off the platforming-stunting barrages. If he can endure, he'll be able to serve a fresh dish of revenge to our gargoyle friend, who can finally be destroyed in a fair encounter. All that remains, now, is for Simon to crash through the stain-glass window atop the locked door that rests between he and his destiny.

Lesser Enemies: Gargoyle
Boss: Succubus
Music Track: -
     

Page 2: The Next Two Chapters | Back to Stage Listing | Back to Game Page