Recently, I expressed my delight at the original Belmont, Simon, seemingly preparing to get his due in the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate for the Nintendo 3DS.
But all of the talk of gender in games– that is to say, the treatment of females in video games– 1UP has decided to take this week to explore the topic of Gender and Sexuality in Video Games. And one such topic which came up on the Retronauts blog, courtesy of my wife, Nadia, is that of a Belmont who has gotten an even shorter end of the stick than Simon. And she was the original Belmont, at least in a different sense.
Emphasis on “she” and “was.”
Following the success of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Sonia Belmont was introduced to fans in the Game Boy title Castlevania Legends as the original Belmont in the series’ timeline of events– the clan matriarch, to put it simply. You can read about her emergence and how she came to be exiled from the series canon by producer Koji Igarashi here.
To be fair, his reasoning is sound– at least in part. In that time period, having a woman fill what would be seen as a man’s role would seem out of place, though he seemed keen to explore this with the ambiguous gender-identity of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse‘s Sypha Belnades in the Wii trainwreck known as Castlevania: Judgment. Still, the way he presented his case could probably have used just a little more tact.
Interestingly enough, Sonia was at one time slated to appear in a Dreamcast game called Castlevania: Resurrection, though the title would never come to fruition. More interesting still is that 1UP Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Parish points out in the comments that “the premise of that game has basically been, uh, resurrected for Mirror of Fate. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if MercurySteam dredges Sonia up for it.”
Wouldn’t that be something, if two formerly dismissed Castlevania heroes (or legends, if you prefer) were both given new life and a new place in the spotlight in the same game?