Excerpt from "Traveling the Beautiful Borgo Pass"

What is more synonymous with vampires that graveyards? This quiet, idyllic areas are, yes, the home of the dead, but don't worry about exploring these lands, the dead don't mind. They're dead. They'll hardly notice at all (except for the ones that are, well, a little undead). Within the graveyards of Castle Dracula you'll find many open expanses of lush grass and tended bushes, all marked by the ornate stone edifices of the recently departed.

How recently? Well, with the increase of tourism in the region more than a few people may have fall en prey to some of the dangers lurking within the castle. But fear not, we're sure you won't meet that same fate.

About the Cemeteries and Graveyards:

Due to the natural association between vampires and graveyards (one being buried in the other), the Castlevania series is marked by many, many cemeteries in its long library of games. Interestingly, it was not the first game in the series but it's arcade off-shoot, Haunted Castle, that featured the first true cemetery in the series. Stage 1 of the game, often called the "Graveyard", is marked by a long stretch of cemetery, old grave markers and fallen tombs, that lead hero Simon Belmont in the castle grounds as the sun sets behind him. The hero has to battle through the graveyard, and into the mausoleum at the end, before taking on Medusa for the right to move deeper into the game.

The Castlevania Adventure has its own cemetery, although nowhere near as elaborate as that seen in Haunted Castle. The first stage of this portable title finds hero Christopher Belmont trudging through dead woods, scaling up cliffs and walking past old graveyards on his way towards the castle proper. His progress is blocked by the hulking armored Gobanz, a fearsome foe to take on the relatively underpowered vampire hunter.

Of note, the remake Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth also features a cemetery in its opening stage. This far more elaborate area features large mausoleums and gravestones, dotting a perilous journey from cemetery to castle bridge, as Christopher is tasked with besting first the Phantom Bat and then Giant Eye before he's able to enter the castle proper.

Stage 3' of Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood is a mixture of various stage types, featuring mountains and caverns dotted with gravestones and marshes. The traditional exit out of the stage will find the heroes battling against the Minotaur while the secret exit from the stage (accessed directly via a spike ball breaking through the ground deep in the caverns) pits the heroes against Dogether, the menacing eye.

The interweaving castles of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance feature their own graveyard and mausoleums. The Wailing Way is a transitional area (with a few nice treasures contained within) that leads into the Shrine of the Apostates. Early access in Castle A gated by the shrine, with the Living Armor blocking access to the Lizard Tail (which grants hero Juste Belmont the ability to slide). Meanwhile, in Castle B, that same boss chamber is guarded by the Cyclops, an optional boss that only guards a Heart Max Up.

Finally in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow we have the Underground Cemetery, a section deep under the castle made up entirely of connection hallways of mausoleums. This section of the game leads to a prominent fight against Legion, the hulking collection of bodies in its massive room. This section of the game is required so that hero Soma Cruz can gain the Galamoth soul which grants the hero immunity to time stop effects. This is the only way to get past the Chronomage enemy, who blocks required progress in the game.

Other Cemeteries and Graveyards:

Multiple cemeteries appear in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Camilla Cemetery resides East of Aljiba and is where (with a judiciously placed garlic) Simon is able to gain the Silver Knife, a powerful dagger (that does consume hearts upon use, unlike the game's basic dagger). A damage-boosted jump at the West side of the graveyard, will also allow the hero access to parts of the game they shouldn't have until much later. The dead end Storigoi Graveyard is another location with a secret item hidden, a laurels bag that can also be gained with a well placed garlic. And then there is the Vlad Graveyard, the last connecting section of the game between Ghulash Town and the ruins of Castle Dracula.

With a style reminiscent of Castlevania II, it seems only fitting that Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia would have its own cemetery to explore. The Giant's Dwelling is an old and ruined landscape dotted with graves. These starting sections lead into a ruined mansion which, at the end, is guarded by the Goliath, and powerful and dangerous version of Frankenstein's Creature.

And then there are the Lords of Shadow games. Two cemeteries mark progress through Chapter 10 of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow as hero Gabriel Belmont heads deep into the final lands of his adventure, those of the evil Necromancer Zobek. The Titan Graveyard, full of the dead, leads to the Fire Pinnacle and then blazing depths of the Fire Cemetery, burning hot with the fires of the damned.

Finally, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate features the Cemetery and Crypts, a connecting series of areas that find this game's version of Trevor Belmont exploring deep under the Vampire Castle, looking for a means into the castle proper. Progress, though, is gated by the Lady of the Crypt, a creature that seems female at first glance, until the rest of this carapace is expose, revealing a giant, underground abomination meant to lure men to their doom.

Cemetery in Haunted Castle

The Cemetery in Haunted Castle

Camilla Cemetery in Simon's Quest

Camilla Cemetery in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Cemetery in the Castlevania Adventure

The Cemetery section of Stage 1 in The Castlevania Adventure

Cemetery in Dracula X

The Cemetery section of "Release from the Thirst for Blood", Stage 3' of Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood

Wailing Way, Castle A in Harmony of Dissonance

The Wailing Way, Castle A, in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Wailing Way, Castle B in Harmony of Dissonance

The Wailing Way, Castle B, in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

Underground Cemetery in Aria of Sorrow

The Underground Cemetery in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow