Most dark, scary and creepy bosses from Castlevania saga

Castlevania is one of the most famous platform RPG, so famous that, together with Metroid, created the genre metroidvania. The gothic setting has some horror elements, especially in the design of the enemies or in some specific sections. Demons, skeletons and giant abominations are classic creatures, but mixed with a twisted Japanese design conferring to Castlevania a really interesting and wide set of enemies. The bosses are especially interesting, huge and terrible foes sometimes bigger than the screen itself. If some battle are against very regular creatures, some of the bosses are nightmarish beasts which could be proper enemies of a horror game.

In the following article you can find the most scary and creepy bosses of Castlevania saga, according to my taste. At the end it will be also a boss from the recent Bloodstained, spiritual sequel of the almost deceased Castlevania saga. Be ready to jump into nightmarish castles, where the vampires are the last of your problems.

  • Balore – Dawn of Sorrow

A hulking abomination with a green skin, wired teeth and a metal mask surrounding its head. The boss design is the classic “creature” from a gothic setting, probably the subject of an experiment, but with an overall disturbing design. The creepy monster uses the brute force against the main character, unleashing the fury of his giant fists.


  • Puppet master – Dawn of Sorrow

Maybe it doesn’t look from this image, but this is where the nightmares are born. A huge wooden puppet, mixing into the design a sort of skull together with a spider, hanging from the roof. The Puppetmaster’s eyes move in random directions, bulging out in a really disturbing way. It also has a giant mouth full of pointed teeth. The fight is also really horror-oriented, thanks to its disturbing attacks. It will often regurgitate from its mouth half-dozen of flying puppets, which will attack the player. But the creature has also another peculiar and deadly attack. It will create a puppet clone of the main character, and it will try to push it inside an iron maiden. If not destroyed on time, the player will exchange place with the puppet, receiving a huge damage from the iron maiden.


  • Menace Dawn of Sorrow

Final boss of the game, the creature is a really colossal zombie, one of the biggest bosses of the saga. The design is full of details, interesting colours and forms. Organic and inorganic merged together in a really scary giant. Human faces are morphing like organs in its body, for example in the mouth or in the knee. Also the skeletal face shows an extra set of jaws, just to highlight its feral behaviour. The boss will principally use its size to smash the player, but will also summon from his body creepy flying parasites.


  • Gergoth – Dawn of Sorrow

A sort of zombie dinosaur, and one of the most scary bosses of Castlevania. The skin is almost melted, probably because the undead body is rotting. There are wounds and bones opening everywhere, while the tale is missing a half. But the most terrifying element is only shown during its beam attack. The creature will pull off the skin from its face, revealing the muscle and the bones above it, before unleashing a deadly beam. The fight takes place in a very tiny space, and it is difficult to avoid all its attacks, especially a cloud of toxic gas.


  • Eligor – Order of Ecclesia

A colossal centaur protected by a heavy armour, and full of weapons. The monster is like a gothic version of a tank or an aircraft, heavily protected and a fully equipped. The most creepy details is that the armour is covering something organic beneath, something probably made of twisted meat. The only apparent detail of the abomination lurking under the seal of the armour is a giant eye in the helmet. The design is simple, but effective to create the idea of “something wrong”. The boss is practically an entire level by itself, and the player can jump around while destroying the many weapons and avoiding blades and arrows.


  • Maneater – Order of Ecclesia

At a first glance, this creature is only a mass of skulls with their tongues out. However, the truth is far more grotesque and disturbing. The tongues are instead the body of huge parasites, which inhabits the giant skulls. The boss fight takes place inside a huge chapel entirely made of skulls and bones, just to add another creepy detail. The boss is sadly a quite standard fight, and will mainly attack by regurgitating bones through its mouths.


  • Behemoth – Portrait of Ruin

The upper half body of a Minotaur, horribly cut in the middle. The organs are exposed, as part of the spinal chord. The creature will drag around in the floor, in an almost pity way, trying to charge at the player. There is something almost sad in the torments that this creature probably endured, but combined with its aggressive behaviour , it creates a really creepy boss.


  • Scylla – Symphony of the Night

A water monster with a very peculiar design, far from the Greek creature that inspired it. The monster is composed of a naked female figure, fused at her belly with 3 wolf heads, which then evolve into a mass of tentacle-like snakes. The design is not only innovative and bizarre, but also a bit disturbing in how so different animal motifs are combined together. The boss has many independent attacks, coming from the different parts, and she is also able to raise the level of the water, trying to drown the main character.


  • Granfaloon – Symphony of the Night

A giant sphere composed entirely of dead bodies. Of course this abomination could only be the final boss of the underworld section of the Castle. The reality is that the amalgam of bodies is only a shell protecting the real creature, which is composed of tentacles, able to shoot energetic rays. The most creepy detail is that while the player is damaging and removing the shell, the dead bodies will fall on the ground to attack the player, like a rain of tormented souls.


  • Beelzebub – Symphony of the Night

This is really where the nightmares were born. Beelzebub is a boss that will surely stick in the memories of any player, especially for the gross and disgusting design, more than for the batte itself. Basically he is a giant rotten corpse, hanging and dismembered by several hooks. The creature is huge and divided in many body parts, which should be destroyed to finally kill this grotesque demon. Even if the main boss is virtually harmless, many giant flies will protect their master by attacking the player. Nothing prepared the player, at the time, for the vision of this gory and grotesque abomination, which for sure can be considered the most disturbing boss of any Castlevania.


  • Special Mention: Bael – Bloodstained

Bloodstained is not an official Castlevania, but it is the recent spiritual sequel made by the original creator of the saga, after Konami abandoned it. The true final boss really deserve an inclusion in this article. A ring composed by three heads connected together by long spiral necks. The first head is a zomb-ish devil, with a creepy expression on his face. The other heads are a hellish cat and a disgusting giant toad, both fused together to create this aberrant abomination. The demon lord can cast many magics, can create a lava pool, attack with a chainsaw-like tongue, and can also bite the main character.


Monster of the Week: the Collector (Darkest Dungeon)



Origin: Darkest Dungeon

AppearanceA creature born from the worst nightmares, the Collector is an eldritch undead horror who enjoys to collect human heads, and probably also souls. The creature is taller than a human, wearing a long, old and yellow robe, aged and ruined. His head  is a grinning skull shrouded by blue flames, protected by a metal cage, which is similar to a torture instrument. The Collector is an embodied nightmare, who hides his creepiest secrets below his coat. Heads and souls of all his victims are merged together in a disturbing amalgam of blue eyes and painful expressions. His body is entirely composed of this mass of twisted souls that he collected, in this way, each new piece of the collection will become a part of him. Another disturbing detail is that he will show the grotesque hell that is hiding under his clothes only when using the attack “Show Collection”. The Collector is so proud of his collection that wants to share it with the new adventurers. A taste of the tormented hell that will wait them, when they will become part of the collection.

Background: The creature is a restless collector, always obsessed to increase his collection with new and exotic pieces. The only problem is that his collection his composed of the heads of the many adventures unlucky enough to meet him. Since he is always hunting and searching for new trophies, there is always a constant chance to meet him randomly, while exploring the dungeons of the game. He will especially target groups of adventurers with their inventories almost full, probably to collect even more rarities from their bodies. Facing the Collector at low level is a nightmare, since the creature is a tough and peculiar foe. Even alone, he is a dangerous enemy if faced at low level, able to damage the party and at the same time to heal himself. However, the most difficult part of the battle is the ability to summon 3 allies, using the skill “Collect Call”. This is also the most creepy ability of the Collector, since his “allies” are the screaming disembodied heads of previous adventurers, supported by their own spinal cord. The Collector will summon pieces of his own collection to help him in battle, with the aim to defeat his opponents, consequently adding new elements to his morbid collection. The three heads show different abilities. One of them is the warrior, able to attack while moving quickly on a temporary ghostly body. Another one is responsible for guarding the Collector, by shielding him from damages. The last one, the female, is instead responsible to buff and heal the other creatures, making the fight even more unbalanced and difficult to win. As macabre ending, after being defeated, the Collector has a chance to drop a dirty bloody bag surrounded by flies… which of course contains the remains of a disembodied head from his collection.


“Cthulhu Mythos RPG The Sleeping Girl of the Miasma Sea” review: fight or flight in a horror JRPG inspired by Sweet Home

Cthulhu Mythos RPG The Sleeping Girl of the Miasma Sea (or Cthulhu Mythos RPG to simplify) is not only one of the games with the longest name ever, but an unexpected call back to the first horror JRPG ever created: Sweet Home. For people that doesn’t know it, Sweet Home was a game created by Capcom in 1989 for NES. If the plot was merely about a TV crew trapped in a haunted mansion, the game has instead really unique gameplay elements, such for example the permanent death of the party characters. Thanks to strong horror elements and a punishing gameplay, Sweet Home is still remembered as the precursor of modern horror games.

Many years after, Cthulhu Mythos RPG could be intended as an indie spiritual sequel to Sweet Home. From the aesthetic, to the complex gameplay focused on the correct amount of horror elements, many things in Cthulhu Mythos RPG are a homage to Sweet Home. But there are also many new interesting and complex mechanics to provide to Cthulhu Mythos RPG its own identity. Cthulhu Mythos RPG is apparently part of a series of indie JRPG quite famous in Japan, but this one is the only one that got translated to English. However, the saga looks interesting, so I hope that also the next entries will be translated. Just by looking at the main art, I feel curious to check the other titles.


As for Sweet Home, also in this case, the plot is really an accessory. Four teenagers decide to challenge their braveness by exploring a haunted house, and of course things will go wrong. The characters are not very deep in terms of personality, from the scared schoolkids to the mysterious policeman, but are instead very different and peculiar in terms of skills and utility in combat. A girl knowing karate could become lethal if equipped with a brass knuckles, while a bizarre nerd can easily learn new magic and possess an item that allows to save everywhere. There are lot of possibilities and combinations, and it is exactly in these role-playing elements that Cthulhu Mythos RPG really shines.

The skills are a deep and interesting feature, able to create a variegate and replayable experience. Not only different characters have different skills, but also at the very beginning of the game, the player can select between a huge lists of skills to create the main character. They are very variegated for utility and applicability, with some of them that are useful in combat, others to avoid enemies, to explore easily or to access to new areas or events. For example, Martial Arts allows the player to be deadly in combat, while Hide or Navigator are useful to escape from combats. But the most interesting skills are the one that allow specific access to otherwise hidden areas, such as Jump, Climb or Swim. These skills also improve the replayability in another run, since a different party could access to different areas in a new play.


The game also features a sort of internal system of achievements. The interesting thing is that each achievement has points associated, based on the difficulty to obtain it, which will increase the starting points used to select skills. The more the achievements obtained, the more the points during the character creation.

Cthulhu Mythos RPG has even more features that improve the replayability. For example, during the dialogues, the player must often decide how to advance in the game. The choices are quite important and heavy, not only selecting the characters composing the party, but also to decide which area to explore. This means that, in a single play-through, the player could not explore all the areas or the events, since many decisions are mutually exclusive. The multiple branches also affect the ending and, according to the forums, the game features around 4 endings. Worth to specify that there is also a powerful secret boss that can be challenged only after obtaining all the endings.

The combat system is simple but anyway satisfying, and players with enough knowledge of old school JRPG will instantly feel at home, with turn-based combats and random encounters. If each character has his own core skills, it is also true that they could learn new spells by using books, or could be personalized by equipping new weapons. The monsters are very interesting, with a nice pixel art. If at the beginning they are more Gothic inspired, such as Zombies or ghosts, or grotesque things, such as a Mass of Cockroaches, later in the game they will evolve into more Lovecraftian creatures.


The weapons are also interesting and quite deep. Handguns and bows uses ammo, while silver weapons are the only ones that can damage ghosts. In Cthulhu Mythos RPG the health is not the most vital parameter, but it is instead the Sanity. Facing a monster for the first time, or specific skills of the most creepy creatures, will damage the Sanity. When this will receive too many damages, the characters will go crazy. It is important to heal Sanity promptly with items, or it could be too late. The Sanity of the party could be also damaged while exploring, for example after finding something terrible and shocking.


Cthulhu Mythos RPG could also be consider a survival horror, not only for the Sanity system, but also for the items management. Each character has only few spaces available to collect items. When burdened, old items could be left on the floor to be collected again lately.

In Cthulhu Mythos RPG, running away and escaping from the mansion are a real and often suggested possibility, especially in a game featuring the permanent death of the characters. By running away, the player can start again the game by keeping all the levels and the knowledge collected. This feature is very interesting and useful. Your party went half-crazy? Run away and try to face the mansion again. Normal difficulty is not so challenging, but in Hard Mode this feature could be very useful.

The game is not perfect, especially from the aesthetic point of view, which is very simple. The backgrounds and the rooms are sadly empty and void, making often very difficult to navigate the mansion, especially without a map. The music and the dialogues are also very minimalist. However, fans of old school horror RPGs will find in Cthulhu Mythos RPG an interesting indie title. The new mechanics, such as the legacy mode, the different endings and choices, are very interesting and will keep the game balanced and replayable.

The developers provided a free key for the review. I would like to remember that the English version of Cthulhu Mythos RPG The Sleeping Girl of the Miasma Sea is available on STEAM.