Nobody loves Grant Danasty

Looks like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate: Superfluous Colons reviews have gone live across the Internet. A quick survey of scores shows surprisingly positive results. I won’t be reading any of them just yet — I’m finishing the game and posting a review to 1UP as a sort of send-off. After all, I got my start at 1UP gushing about Castlevania. Might as well wrap things up by complaining about the series.

So what’s not to like, you ask? Eh, I have a few issues, but the biggest is that, unless things change radically in the final few hours, poor Grant Danasty has been given the shaft… again.

Konami hates this little dude. For a while, I did too. But my recent survey of the NES trilogy opened my eyes to his intended potential. His career was sabotaged right from the start, with his recruitment route in Castlevania III representing the only wholly optional path and making him the only companion character not situated on the game’s critical path — in other words, the only one you wouldn’t encounter by taking one main path or the other.

Then, in coming to the U.S., Konami gimped his ability, stripping him of his ability to throw endless daggers as a default attack and forcing him to expend Hearts to use daggers as a subweapon instead. Worse yet, they used this terrible art in the manual:

130305-grant1Now there’s a face not even a mother could love. (Shoulda taken more limes on that last sea voyage, ya scurvy wretch.)

After that, Grant went almost completely ignored, unlike all his Dracula’s Curse companions. The Belmont legacy speaks for itself, of course. Alucard went on to star in the best Castlevania and appear in two of the DS games, including one in which he was playable… along with a descendant of Sypha (whose magical powers represent a sort of lineage parallel to and intertwined with that of the Belmonts, a la Juste’s spells and Carrie “Belnades” Fernandez) and a Belmont. But no Grant-alike. Nor was Grant represented in Harmony of Despair.

In fact, the one time Konami has deigned to remember Grant was for IGA’s budget brawler bomb, Castlevania Judgment, in which Grant fought as one of many characters. For reference, this is what he looked like:


Insult to injury, man. What about Grant says, “ridiculous Voldo clone?”

The sad fact of Grant Danasty is that the one cool reference back to him came in Symphony, where he shared the stage with the entire Dracula’s Curse crew… and turned out to be a doppelgänger anyway. So his one good showing turned out to be a lie.

Granted, not appearing in Mirror of Fate may ultimately prove to be a blessing. But I kind of feel bad for the guy. The whole Dracula’s Curse cast puts in an appearance throughout Mirror‘s story, even if some of the choices the writers have made feel tragically dumb. But still, doesn’t Grant deserve at least one moment of remembrance that doesn’t turn him into an emo bondage mummy?

16 thoughts on “Nobody loves Grant Danasty

  1. They’re saving him for another game in the annals of LoS, wherein they attempt to copy Assassin’s Creed 4 instead of God of War.

    But seriously, I agree. In some shape or form, Grant– or a Danasty, at least, would make a neat basis for a game– something they should have done a long time ago. Can you imagine an IGA-styled game where they really play up and around with his wall-climbing abilities?

    Also, “Granted”… I see what you did there. ;P

  2. Even Grants name is terrible. Grant Da Nasty. He got short-shifted at birth.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to your poetic final review on 1UP. The Castlevania series right now is in pretty muddled grounds. I do like Lords Of Shadow. But this 3DS one isn’t impressing me from its demo. I’m hoping the final product turns out much better.

    But I suppose it could be much worse for Castlevania as a franchise.

  3. According to Dave Cox’s Twitter he’ll be making an “easter egg cameo” in LoS2. So there’s that.

  4. After your excellent design analyses of the NES trilogy, I’d be really interested in seeing you do something similar for SotN. Personally, I loved it back in the day, but when I replayed it last year with the sole intent of seeing how its design stacked up to other Metroidvanias, I decided that it was a surprisingly carelessly designed game. I think it has a lot of cool ideas, for sure — the doppelganger fight among them — but I also think that the way those moments intersect misses a lot of the deliberate intent that you found in CV1 and CV3 in spades. I’m curious to see what you’d decide if you dove back in with the same mindset you had from those earlier articles.

  5. Looking forward to the review. I have to decide whether I’m actually going to go through with my pre-order or not, and the way things are going, yours might be the final straw.

    That being said, I did confess to enjoying Lords of Shadow, so my perspective may be a bit different. I still want another IGA-vania, though, dang it!

    • Even if you like Lords of Shadow, Mirror of Fate is a different game. And a worse one.

  6. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say on it. I just read Colin’s review over at IGN, and his take agrees with the impression I got from the screens and gameplay trailers I’ve seen. On the other hand, all of the other reviews are much more positive.

  7. Colin Moriarty tore it apart, but I felt like he spent too much time comparing it to other Castlevanias rather than rating it on its own merits. I’ll be interested to see what you conclude. I loved Lords of Shadow enough to forgive some clunkiness, but not if the game is dull at it’s core.

    • Unfortunately I feel like it’s lackluster by any definition. I’d hoped for better.

  8. Now that Platinum has finished MGR, should Konami keep them around to make a similarly airy action game around Grant?

  9. There was always the possibility that the popularity of the Pirates franchise could have led to him being re-imagined Jack Sparrow style. Now, would that be better or worse than Yummy Mummy up there?

  10. And here I thought you were being serious when you said that Grant’s treatment is your biggest issue with the game.

    Glancing over at Gamerankings, I see two reviews that gave it respectively 25/100 and 9/10. I’m not really familiar with either site, but it’s always interesting to see a game with truly mixed reception.

  11. Am I the only person whose mind immediately jumped to “Danasty Warriors” when they saw this post?

  12. I’m looking forward to reading your review. Also, I received my hardcover Anatomy of Castlevania book yesterday and it’s great. I’ve already exhausted my wife gushing about the intricacies of 2D game design and excitedly pointing at the book. Looking forward to future volumes.

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