It's understandable some folks are unaware that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is the third and final chapter of a trilogy, what with it having a "2" instead of a "3" in the title. In fact, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate for the 3DS (also ported to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as Mirror of Fate HD) is the true second chapter, and there are a handful of events from it that play into the plot of Lords of Shadow 2.
So, for anyone who has missed or forgotten the events of the first two games in the saga, consider this handy guide your one-stop shop for all things story related the Lords of Shadow series.
Reading this will completely spoil the best parts of the first two Lords of Shadow games' plots. Proceed only if you're willing to accept the risks therein!
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
It's the year 1047, and the end of days is near. The holy Brotherhood of Light, defenders of good and opponents to the forces of evil, are on the brink of failure. The wicked Lords of Shadow have severed the channel connecting heaven and earth. Darkness, in all its forms, floods the land.
A formidable brother of light, Gabriel Belmont, may hold the key to Earth's salvation. The spirit of his recently deceased wife, Marie, who fell at the hand of evil, idles in limbo. Neither dead nor alive, and painfully aware of the crisis at hand, Marie reaches out to Gabriel from beyond with the promise of a solution to right humanity's plight.
Gabriel heads for the Lake of Oblivion, where the living can communicate with the dead if deemed worthy by its guardian, Pan. There, Gabriel meets Zobek, a founding member of the Brotherhood of Light, before conferring with Marie's spirit. The Lords of Shadow, who possess immense power and a fragment of a life-giving artifact, the God Mask, must be defeated, not only to restore peace on Earth, but also to revive Marie.
Gabriel and Zobek set out on their own in search of the Lords of Shadow, and it isn't long before Gabriel finds himself in the land of lycans. He encounters Cornell, a powerful lycan lord, who bestows key info upon Gabriel: the three founders of the Brotherhood of Light, including Cornell's former self, are the reason the Lords of Shadow exist at all. When the good part of their spirits ascended to the heavens long ago, their dark remnants ultimately transformed into the Lords of Shadow. Despite the separation between good and evil, the death of a Lord of Shadow also applies to his counterpart in heaven. Undeterred, Gabriel slays Cornell and collects the first part of the God Mask. He then travels to the land of vampires, defeating the second dark lord, Carmilla, before heading to the land of the dead for the final showdown with the lord of the dead.
The lord of the dead commands three powerful necromancers, two of which are ultimately defeated by Gabriel before he confronts his third target. Gabriel prevails, and acquires the final piece of the God Mask, but something isn't right. He has not killed the true lord of the dead, but instead, he has killed the third necromancer in disguise. Zobek, it turns out, is the true lord of the dead. Long ago, he conferred with Satan, displeased with the fact that the power of darkness had to be shared among the other Lords of Shadow. Satan gave Zobek the Devil Mask and the power to sever the line between heaven and earth.
Zobek set that plan into motion and used the Devil Mask to manipulate Gabriel into murdering his own wife. Marie had discovered Zobek's true identity, and by getting Gabriel to kill Marie, Zobek secured his secret identity, while also motivating Gabriel to defeat the other lords while in search of the God Mask. Before Zobek gets the final say, Satan appears and wrenches the mask from Zobek. In a twist of fate, Satan reveals that he was only using Zobek to acquire the God Mask in hopes of usurping heaven's throne. With his new target in sight, Gabriel confronts Satan, and ultimately wins, regaining control of the God Mask and freeing the souls trapped in limbo, including Marie. Before she departs, she explains that the God Mask only allows the owner to see through the eyes of God; Gabriel can't use it to bring her back to life.
Lords of Shadow: Reverie and Resurrection Downloadable Content
After Marie passes on, Gabriel is contacted by Laura, a girl he met while in the land of vampires. She informs Gabriel that the Forgotten One, an ancient evil, has awoken during the turmoil between heaven and hell and is attempting to use the chaos to his advantage. To get to him, Gabriel must take on the darkness that fills Laura. In this moment, she offers him her blood, and he accepts it, taking on her immortality and starting down the path toward his current identity: Dracula.
Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
The story fast-forwards generations. Simon, son of Trevor and grandson of Gabriel, is on Dracula's trail after the slaying of his mother. Along the way, Simon recovers his father's sacred weapon, the combat cross, which was lost during his own attempt to slay Dracula, years ago. Simon arrives at Dracula's throne, combat cross in hand, before the game takes a step back in time.
The next chapter opens on the vampire Alucard, rising from his tomb. Unsure of the events leading up to his new form, he looks into the mirror of fate. In it, he sees the one responsible for turning him into a vampire: Dracula. He travels to Dracula's castle and encounters Simon, never partnering with him, but twice saving him from sudden death nonetheless. Alucard eventually arrives at Dracula's throne just in time to interrupt Simon's arrival. Again, the game takes a step back, this time to Trevor Belmont, Simon's father.
Trevor, with a wife and a newborn Simon to protect from the forces of evil, sets out to destroy Dracula, knowing full well that he's also killing his father in the process. The two meet, and Trevor loses. Before he ultimately passes on, he tells Dracula, formerly his father, Gabriel, that he is his secret son. Marie had kept him a secret from Gabriel, having learned of his destiny to become the evil lord he is today. Hearing this, Dracula has a change of heart. Before Trevor's life fades, he attempts to turn him into a vampire. Having seemingly failed to do so, he buries Trevor.
Next, we see Dracula standing over his son's tomb. However, the grave marker doesn't read Trevor. Instead, it's marked for Alucard, the inverse of Dracula's own name. Having witnessed Alucard's rise from the grave earlier in the game, we know that Dracula was more successful than he realized.
The game returns to where it left Simon and his father, Alucard, standing before Dracula in his throne room. The two take on Dracula and defeat him (as much as you can defeat an immortal), but the lord escapes before his castle begins to collapse. Simon escapes to the mountains where he witnesses his family's unfortunate legacy crumble before his eyes. Alucard seeks out the remaining fragments of his former weapon, the combat cross, and escapes with it before the ruined castle overcomes him.
Thus ends our guide to the history of Dracula, Alucard, and the Belmont family, leading up to the events in Lords of Shadow 2. There are a lot of revelations to keep track of, and this trend continues through to the end of the saga's third and final chapter.
What will ultimately become of the two immortal Belmonts? Don't ask. I don't want to spoil it!