Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (2006)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (2006) Review

Konami’s Gothic Masterpiece Returns on the Nintendo DS

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is a side-scrolling action RPG developed and published by Konami for the Nintendo DS. Released in 2006, it is the sixth installment in the Castlevania series on the handheld console and the second to feature the “Dual Hero” gameplay system.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin takes place in 1944, during the midst of World War II. Jonathan Morris, a young man from England, sets out to investigate the disappearance of his friend, Professor Owen. His search leads him to Castlevania, Dracula’s cursed abode, where he encounters Charlotte Aulin, a spellcaster with tremendous magical abilities.

Together, Jonathan and Charlotte learn that a vampire named Brauner is using Dracula’s castle and mystical paintings to open portals of Death, threatening to plunge the world into darkness. The duo team up to defeat Brauner and seal the portals, preventing the resurgence of Dracula and his evil forces.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin retains the classic side-scrolling action gameplay of previous Castlevania titles, but introduces several new features and mechanics. The most notable addition is the “Dual Hero” system, which allows players to control two characters simultaneously. Jonathan Morris wields the legendary Vampire Killer whip, while Charlotte Aulin can cast a variety of spells and use familiars to assist in combat.

Players can switch between the two characters at any time, either to adapt to different situations or to perform powerful combination attacks. For example, Jonathan can use his whip to stun an enemy, while Charlotte can follow up with a powerful spell to finish them off.

In addition to the Dual Hero system, Portrait of Ruin also introduces a new “Portrait System.” By collecting portraits of various enemies and bosses, players can gain new abilities and enhance their characters’ stats. Portraits can be equipped to either Jonathan or Charlotte, allowing players to customize their playstyle and experiment with different combinations.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin features a vast and interconnected world to explore. Players will travel through a variety of environments, including the castle’s grand halls, lush gardens, and treacherous dungeons. Along the way, they will encounter a wide range of enemies, from classic Castlevania monsters like zombies and bats to new and deadly creatures.

The game also incorporates platforming elements, as players must navigate through treacherous chasms, scale walls, and jump over obstacles. Exploration is rewarded with hidden items, secret areas, and powerful weapons and armor.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is known for its challenging and memorable boss battles. Each boss is unique in terms of design, attacks, and weaknesses. Some bosses require players to use specific strategies or exploit their environmental weaknesses to defeat them.

One of the most iconic bosses in the game is Brauner himself, a powerful vampire who wields a variety of dark magic spells. Brauner’s battle takes place in a swirling vortex of darkness, and players must use all of their skills and abilities to overcome his formidable powers.

Graphics and Sound

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin features beautiful and detailed 2D graphics that bring the gothic world of Castlevania to life. The game’s environments are rich and atmospheric, with a dark and brooding color palette that perfectly captures the game’s horror aesthetic.

The soundtrack is equally impressive, featuring a mix of haunting melodies and adrenaline-pumping action cues. The sound effects are also top-notch, with every sword swing, spell cast, and monster roar adding to the game’s immersive experience.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin was a critical and commercial success, selling over a million copies worldwide. It was praised for its innovative gameplay, beautiful graphics, and challenging boss battles. The game is considered by many to be one of the best Castlevania titles on the Nintendo DS and a worthy successor to the classic Symphony of the Night.

Portrait of Ruin’s success helped to revitalize the Castlevania series and paved the way for future installments. The game’s Dual Hero system and Portrait System have become staples of the series, and its gothic atmosphere and challenging gameplay continue to inspire and delight fans today.


Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is a masterpiece of gothic horror and action RPG gameplay. Its innovative Dual Hero system, deep exploration, challenging bosses, and beautiful graphics make it a must-play for fans of the series and newcomers alike. Whether you’re a seasoned vampire hunter or a first-time explorer of Castlevania’s dark world, Portrait of Ruin is an unforgettable adventure that will leave a lasting impression.

Review Score



Cover Art


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More