GAMING: Castlevania

Castlevania: symphony of the night just came out on xbox live arcade recently, and I start playing it…and you’re using crucifixes and Bibles as weapons and the “game over” screen has a crucifix disrepectfully treated and such…I’ve read here that some Catholic gamers are fans of the series, an when I was younger I enjoyed playing them, too, but how do you think we should deal with this?

It’s just Bram Stoker-style vampire lore, like Van Helsing using the host as a weapon in Dracula. No actual disrespect is intended, as far as I figure.

Oh, I’m sure Konami, being a Japanese company, has so little intimate understanding of the faith that they didn’t mean any disrespect - of course, they could just not care - but that doesn’t make it right for us to play the game, or use the host as weapons, etc…of course, maybe I’m missing something. Obviously, vampires not being real, there’s no contingencies in the Catechism or Bible that makes using these kinds of things as weapons against them permissible, so I’m not sure what to do.

I am quite sure that in today’s world any manufacturer of computer games that insults any religion and uses graphics that defame the essential symbols of that religion know exactly what they are doing and why, and that those who play these games can either support what amounts to a hate crime, or they can spend their time and money elsewhere. If you buy a game, video, CD, DVD, magazine, comicbook or any other media that directly insults a religion and defames religious figures you are indicating support for the content. If that the use you have for your time and money, at least know what you are choosing.

Hey, don’t be accusing, please…I didn’t buy the thing, and expressing opinions of religion or a specific religion is everyone’s right. I was just wondering if maybe I was making a bigger deal out of this than I was or missing something.

All the Castlevania games are are good fun romps through large evil castles playing off classic vampire lore (admittedly rather badly, but that just makes it funny and cheesy).

Also, puzzleannie, don’t be too sure – Japanese pop culture borrows all types of symbolism, religious and otherwise, from all over the world without necessarily understanding much at all. If anything, it’s a way of saying ‘hey, this is neat and interesting’. Take it in the spirit it’s meant, friendly and in good fun.

defaming another religion or the important figures of another religion, whether Buddha, Mohammed, or Jesus is not good clean fun, it is hate speech. If I understand not to mock the sensibilities of the Japanese then they understand enough not to mock mine.

Well I suppose it might depend on whether, assuming vampires and demons and such were real, it would be permissible to use a sacramental or holy object to kill them, and beyond that, whether throwing such an object would be disrespectful and/or permissible.

Are you sure you know enough about Japanese sensibilities not to accidentally violate them? Ever stick your chopsticks straight down in rice (by the way, this is mocking their religion, as you’re making an offering to the dead), use them to gesture at something (symbolic violence), or put soy sauce on rice in a Japanese restaurant (like asking the chef for ketchup for your filet mignon)? And believe me, that’s just the beginning of all the myriad ways you can offend the Japanese :wink: But they cut Westerners quite a bit of slack on such things, as long as we’re not out to offend – can’t we do the same?

Religious symbolism is not meant as defamation or mockery in the Castlevania games. It’s a gameplay device, and one already thoroughly explored by Western vampire movies and novels from Stoker on down. It may look a little strange through the looking-glass of Japanese pop culture, but it isn’t hate speech – if anything it’s flattery. Remember, good artists copy, great artists steal.

If you don’t like the game’s aesthetics, don’t play it – but you’re missing out :slight_smile:

I understand how it’s a bit unfair to condemn them for it, but it still sounds to me like you’re making a “they did it, so it’s okay now” case, when I’m not even sure Van Helsing and whatnot use these symbols acceptably…can anyone please use some sort of quotation from Scripture or the Catechism here instead of (and no offense meant) feelings or guesswork?

Granted, I read Dracula when I was a kid and played old Castlevania games and never really had this much of a problem…I just took it in stride. I’m not sure whether that was a good ay to do it or no.

I found this in an online Catholic encyclopedia:

“Real Sacrilege. Real sacrilege is the irreverent treatment of sacred things as distinguished from places and persons. This can happen first of all by the administration or reception of the sacraments (or in the case of the Holy Eucharist by celebration) in the state of mortal sin, as also by advertently doing any of those things invalidly. Indeed deliberate and notable irreverence towards the Holy Eucharist is reputed the worst of all sacrileges. Likewise conscious maltreatment of sacred pictures or relics or perversion of Holy Scripture or sacred vessels to unhallowed uses, and finally, the usurpation or diverting of property (whether movable or immovable) intended for the maintenance of the clergy or serving for the ornamentation of the church to other uses, constitute real sacrileges. Sometimes the guilt of sacrilege may be incurred by omitting what is required for the proper administration of the sacraments or celebration of the sacrifice, as for example, if one were to say Mass without the sacred vestments.”

Wow! 3 or so years later and here comes my reply!

I have played this game almost a couple of times through and I have to say it really does seem to sit in the gray. I mean, on one part it seems to affirm Christianity in its story and at other times it seems irreverent (with the use of sacred objects, especially when interspersed with occult/cursed objects) and synchronistic (sp?) in its treatment of religions in general. I wish I could offer a conclusive answer but all I have to say when I think about this or any game like it in the gray is listen to the voice of your conscience and keep the ten commandments (especially the first one) and the teachings of Jesus, especially, “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” (Matthew 5: 30)- not taken literally but with reference to keeping pure in mind, body, and spirit- and, “where your treasure is, there also is your heart”; St. Paul also speaks out against mingling with paganism and things unholy, and in giving due reverence (a gift of the Holy Spirit), honor, and respect to God (fear of the Lord, another gift of the Holy Spirit). Ultimately then we should listen to and be guided by the Holy Spirit, who inspired Sacred Scripture and whom works through the voice of our conscience and gives authority also to the teachings of our Church (along with Christ and our Father). This may come at the cost of you “severing” any connection you previously had with the game, but in keeping holy and close to God you have a lot more to gain.

I always saw it as “Remember, you’re fighting for the Lord here, and there’s nothing Satan and his minions hate more than what is holy to the Lord.”

Tell that to the moronic Twilight legions! LOL....it'd be like finding out there's no Santa Claus as a kid LOL

[quote="CeaselessMedik, post:3, topic:68260"]
Obviously, vampires not being real, .

[/quote]

I began looking into the “Lords of Shadow” revamp series (mostly because of Robert Carlyle, Patrick Stewart, and Jason Isaacs being leads in the voice cast), and it does have its moments of supporting the Christian ethos - that only what is holy can defeat evil. You also see in the original story that God allows evil to happen to us so we might be strengthened in those times of suffering. And imagine my surprise when one hears Latin coming from the hero, Gabriel Belmont (Carlyle).

Here are both:

  • “Oblivium sempiternum daemonis” – “Eternal oblivion for demons”

  • “Christus vivit. Christus regnat. Christus ab omni malo te defendat. Maledicti et Excommunicati daemones, in virtute ritorum sanctorum Dei nominum, Messias, Emmanuel, Sother, Sabaoth, Agios, Ischyros, Athanatos, Jehova, Adonai et Tetragrammaton, vos constringuimus et separamus a creatura, vita, et ab omni loco et domo Ubi fuerint haec nomina et signa dei; et Praecipimus vobis, atque ligamus vos, ut non habeatis potestatem, per pestem nec per aliquod quodcumque maleficium, nocere ei neque in anima neque in corpore.” (Translation below)

“Christ lives. Christ reigns. Christ, may he defend you from every evil. Cursed and excommunicated demons,in the power of and observance of the holy names of God: The Messiah, Immanuel, Saviour, of power and might, Agio, Ischyras, Athanatus, The LORD, O Adonai and the Tetragrammaton, we draw you up and bind you, separate you from the creation, from life, from every place and home where the names of God and the signs of faith have been, and we command you such that you are powerless, whether by ruin or by means of any misdeed, to do harm against (his) body or soul.”

By the look of the prayer, and the research I’ve seen, it’s a prayer of exorcism. Imagine that!

It’s a story worth exploring, and taking what is positive from it.

I guess if ever it was appropriate to resurrect a seven year old thread, a thread about Castlevania would fit the bill. That Dracula just won’t stay dead! :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

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