Simon Belmont
Castlevania character
Simon Belmont as he appears in Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls
First appearance
Created byAkihiko Nagata
Voiced by
In-universe information
OccupationVampire hunter
WeaponVampire Killer Whip

Simon Belmont (シモン・ベルモンド, Shimon Berumondo, Simon Belmondo) is a fictional character who serves as the first protagonist to appear in the Castlevania series. He appears in Castlevania, Vampire Killer, Haunted Castle, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Super Castlevania IV, and Castlevania Chronicles, and acts as a supporting character in Castlevania Judgment and Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. He also appeared as a playable character in DreamMix TV World Fighters and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Simon has received positive reviews from critics.

Character design and appearances

In 1691, Simon Belmont kills Count Dracula in an event that is retold in multiple games (Castlevania, Vampire Killer, Haunted Castle, Super Castlevania IV, and Castlevania Chronicles).[1][2] By the events of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, the now deceased Dracula has placed a curse on Simon and all of Transylvania. Simon breaks the curse by gathering and incinerating Dracula's remains, though it is hinted that Dracula will return when his skinless hand rises from his grave. Simon is one of only two Belmonts to have faced Dracula twice in his lifetime, the other being his ancestor Christopher.[3][4]

In Haunted Castle, Simon is blue-haired and has a wife called Selena, who is kidnapped by Dracula directly after their marriage. It is actually unknown if this is Simon at all. The guide to the game calls him Simons, a descendant of the canonical Simon, while a newsletter by Konami itself names him William.[5]

Although Simon is the first Belmont to appear in a Castlevania game, in the Belmont lineage, Leon Belmont originates the direct bloodline of the clan. It can then be presumed that he is followed by Trevor, Christopher, Soleil, Simon, Juste, Richter, and then Julius. In Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, Simon is playable in the Boss Rush mode, looking exactly as he did in Castlevania. In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Simon is an extra character purchased as downloadable content, the sprite from the original game also being reused here. A special stage that recreates the game's castle layout can also be purchased.[6]

Simon Belmont appears in the rebooted series Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, as the son of Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades, and grandson of Gabriel Belmont, later known as Dracula.[7] He seeks revenge for the murder of his parents and throughout the game is unaware that Dracula is his grandfather.[8] But, Konami shows the early design of young Simon as Gabriel Belmont a new protagonist at the game.[9]

Simon's Castlevania Judgment incarnation was designed by Death Note artist Takeshi Obata.[10] He has red-orange hair comparable to that of Light Yagami (the protagonist of Death Note), a jacket with many belts on it that exposes his muscular chest, and bandages on his forearms. The Bradygames Official Guide states that Simon is 23 years old and approximately 185 cm (6 ft 1 in).[11] Series director Koji Igarashi emphasized that these designs were different from what he envisioned, Simon in particular, but commented that this was how Obata envisioned them.[12] He added that while the design felt radically different, so did Kojima's.[13] Simon's design by Obata was criticized, which was perceived as too derivative of Obata's work on Death Note.[14]

In other media

Simon appeared in Captain N: The Game Master, a television cartoon featuring characters from contemporary games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. He is depicted as an arrogant and egotistical vampire hunter who competes with the main character Kevin Keene for the heroine Princess Lana, who he carries a torch for. Simon has a whip and a backpack of resources which he uses throughout the series. His appearance in the cartoon was met with criticism. Ben Rhudy of Monsters and Critics stated that he looks nothing like his video game counterpart, and that the show's creator DiC should have consulted the game before choosing this design.[15] CBR is critical of the "cowardly" portrayal of Simon in the cartoon series, and felt that the creators should have drawn more from the source material.[16]

Simon also appears in several games outside the Castlevania franchise including the 2003 crossover fighting game DreamMix TV World Fighters,[17] the 2017 action game Super Bomberman R,[18] and the 2018 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,[19] as well receiving an amiibo figure later.[20] First 4 Figures made a figure of Simon as part of a line of Halloween figures which was modeled at the original NES box art.[21][22]

Reception

CBR refers to Simon as the face of the Castlevania series, having been the protagonist of the original game, as well as multiple games overall.[16] This is also the view of TheGamer, who calls him "the face of the franchise and the Belmont who started it all, Simon had headlined more games than any other Belmont in the series."[23] In another discussion of the Castlevania characters, TheGamer celebrates Simon's multiple character designs, and decides that he is the most legendary vampire hunter of the Belmont clan.[24]

Nintendo Power listed Simon as its seventh favorite hero, stating that while it respects all of the vampire hunters in Castlevania, he was the first.[25] According to Nintendo Power, the worst cover for a Nintendo Power was one depicting Simon Belmont holding the decapitated head of Dracula (the scene was a depiction of Castlevania II). It is considered the worst cover because hundreds of parents called in to complain about the goriness of the cover. It was reported in the complaints that children suffered nightmares resulting from the image.[26] The use of a whip is considered one of the features that make Simon Belmont a memorable hero character,[27] which is echoed by CBR in saying "he's not Simon Belmont unless he cracks out his classic whip."[16] GamesRadar+ stated that Simon Belmont deserves his own movie,[28] while Kotaku expressed concern that in such a movie Simon might be armed with a sword instead of whip.[29] GamesRadar+ also called Simon in Castlevania Judgement sexy and said that "Simon's Judgment apparel is a lot of belts and leather wrapped around an exposed torso".[30] Game Informer criticized the character design in Castlevania Judgement.[31] Chris Morgan for Yardbarker described Simon as one of "the most memorable characters from old school Nintendo games".[32]

Complex Networks listed Simon as a top 10 best vampire hunter in video games,[33] and top 2 among most drastic character makeovers in gaming.[34]

Simon Belmont's inclusion in the roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was received enthusiastically. Before his inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, multiple gaming websites called for his inclusion, including GameRadar,[35] Game Informer[36] and Complex.[37] He has been described as a fan favorite character.[38] USgamer praised the addition as he defines "old school Nintendo nostalgia".[39] VentureBeat also praised for giving a neglected character a chance.[40] While Destructoid praised and said "The axe, the cross, the holy water items, they're all here, and they work wonderfully within the confines of Smash".[41] Polygon ranked Simon as top 12 character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,[42] while Paste magazine ranked him as top 5.[43] Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek ranked Simon as 48th of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, criticizing his appearances as it lacks the impact of most of the other guest characters.[44] HobbyConsolas included Simon Belmont on its "The 30 best heroes of the last 30 years."[45]

References

  1. ^ "IGN Presents the History of Castlevania - IGN" – via www.ign.com.
  2. ^ "Castlevania Chronicles: We've Been Killing Dracula for 25 Years from 1UP.com". 1Up.com.
  3. ^ February 2014, Bob Mackey 25 (25 February 2014). "A complete history of Castlevania box art". gamesradar.
  4. ^ "Whip it average! Review". GameRevolution.
  5. ^ Game Simulation Video series: Akumajō Dracula (arcade version) (in Japanese).
  6. ^ "Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Adds Co-Op Classic".
  7. ^ "Interview: Dave Cox - Castlevania: Mirror of Fate". Nintendo Life. July 3, 2012.
  8. ^ "The Latest Castlevania Game Originally Had Simon Belmont In It". Kotaku.
  9. ^ "Konami shows off early design of young Simon Belmont". Destructoid. 14 July 2011.
  10. ^ September 2008, NGamer_UK 03 (3 September 2008). "Castlevania Judgment". gamesradar.
  11. ^ "Interview: Noisycroak On Traversing Castlevania 's Musical Timeline". www.gamasutra.com.
  12. ^ Chris Kohler (July 23, 2008). "Why a Fighting Game? Castlevania Creator Explains Himself". Wired.
  13. ^ "Video Games Daily | Castlevania Interview with Konami's Koji Igarashi, October 2008". Games.kikizo.com. 2008-10-22. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  14. ^ David Oxford (2008-06-27). "Passing Judgment on Wii's Castlevania". Kombo. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  15. ^ "DVD Review: Captain N The Game Master – The Complete Series". Monsters and Critics. 2007-02-12. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  16. ^ a b c "Simon Belmont: 19 Things Castlevania Fans Forget (And 1 They Wish They Could)". CBR. 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  17. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (January 12, 2004). "World Fighters". IGN. Archived from the original on April 5, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  18. ^ McWhertor (April 21, 2017). "Pyramid Head, Simon Belmont and Vic Viper coming to Bomberman for Switch". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Frank, Allegra (August 8, 2018). "Castlevania's Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "Simon amiibo Figure by Nintendo - Super Smash Bros. Series". www.nintendo.com.
  21. ^ "That's One Pissed-Off Simon Belmont". Kotaku.
  22. ^ "Simon Belmont Figure Is Modeled On The Original NES Box Art". October 13, 2015.
  23. ^ "Castlevania: 10 Strongest Belmonts, Ranked". TheGamer. 2019-11-09. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  24. ^ "Castlevania: Every Belmont Who Encountered Dracula Twice". TheGamer. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  25. ^ Nintendo Power 250th issue!. South San Francisco, California: Future US. 2010. pp. 40, 41.
  26. ^ Barkan, Jonathan (18 June 2018). "Remember CASTLEVANIA II: SIMON'S QUEST's Controversial Nintendo Power Cover?". Dread Central. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  27. ^ Rogers, Scott (2014-04-16). Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-87719-7.
  28. ^ Wales, George (6 February 2013). "50 Videogame Characters Who Need Movies". Gamesradar. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Castlevania Movie Sees Belmont Armed With "A Fucking Sword"". Kotaku.
  30. ^ March 2015, Henry Gilbert 13 (13 March 2015). "A purely scientific study in unclothed gaming guys". gamesradar.
  31. ^ Juba, Joe. "The Belmont Clan Reduced to Broken Brawling". Game Informer.
  32. ^ Morgan, Chris (October 6, 2021). "The most memorable characters from old school Nintendo games". Yardbarker.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "The Best Vampire Hunters in Video Games". Complex.
  34. ^ "Stylin' On Ya: The 10 Most Drastic Character Makeovers In Gaming". Complex.
  35. ^ April 2015, GamesRadar Staff 06 (6 April 2015). "13 characters who need your vote in the Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot". gamesradar.
  36. ^ Shea, Brian. "10 Characters We're Voting For As Super Smash Bros. DLC". Game Informer.
  37. ^ "25 Characters We Want To See In "Super Smash Bros. Brawl 4"". Complex.
  38. ^ Machkovech, Sam (August 8, 2018). "Smash Bros. Ultimate adds fan faves Simon Belmont, King K Rool, tons more". Ars Technica.
  39. ^ Oxford, Nadia (August 16, 2018). "Smash Bros. Ultimate New Challenger Spotlight: Simon Belmont's Roots Shine Like Candle Flames".
  40. ^ "The RetroBeat: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gives neglected characters life". August 22, 2018.
  41. ^ "Review: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Destructoid. 8 December 2018.
  42. ^ Parish, Jeremy (December 3, 2018). "We rank the Smash Bros. (and friends)". Polygon.
  43. ^ "Ranking Super Smash Bros Ultimate's New Fighters". pastemagazine.com. December 26, 2018.
  44. ^ "Super Smash Bros. Characters Ranked". Den of Geek. March 7, 2019.
  45. ^ "Los 30 mejores héroes de los últimos 30 años". March 2021.