***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
There have been few games with a character as conflicted as Gabriel Belmont the protagonist in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. You see Gabriel, never stops mourning the loss of his beloved Marie. Because of his inability to surpass such heartbreaking loss, Gabriel is condemned to wander the land without reason or cause. Stopping only to help those who are too weak to defend themselves. Although a broken man, he does not give up his sense of duty, justice, or his conscience.
One would expect that a person who has lost everything that holds meaning to them would result in a shadow of their former self. But Gabriel proves himself time and again to be a fearless warrior in the face of insurmountable odds. Evils minions, be it wargs to death himself, do little to deter Gabriel from his quest to find meaning in his life again. Much can be said about how a personís life is the mold for the character that one develops, but what happens when that same mold can turn out to be the undoing of the object it is intended to shape?
You see, were the tragedy comes into play is when you realize that Gabriel is the puppet and central figure of evils intricately laid out plans to overtake the remaining light in the mortal realm. Through master manipulation of the Lords of Shadow themselves, the Prince of Darkness uses his will to take hold of Gabriel and use him to commit the most brilliantly heinous act possible: the death of Marie by Gabrielís own hand.
Unfortunately that is only the first of various atrocities that he commits under the control of evil & conversely for the ďgreater goodĒ. From there on we witness him take the life of Claudia, an innocent soul that set out to help Gabriel knowing what her fate would be and embracing it until her end, in the hopes of setting humanity free from the dark shadows that loom around them. We also make witness to him taking his final step into darkness. In order for him to set foot into the nether realm where the The Forgotten One, a merciless demon with insurmountable power resides, he must drink the blood of Laura. Laura having been taken from her parents and made the Vampiric daughter of Carmilla, Gabriel helped Laura awaken love and friendship that resided with in her when she witnessed his love and dedication to his Marie. Because both knew there was no other choice, Laura gave up her life with Gabrielís help, taking in her curse and giving him undead immortality. With this curse/gift, he faced and destroyed The Forgotten One only after having given up his last traces of humanity.
Because of Gabrielís inability to accept the fact that Marie is gone, we start to witness Gabrielís decent into darkness. But now you have to ask yourself if the reason for his downfall into darkness is his own doing. If Gabriel would have simply accepted the fact that Marie was gone would he of become such a bitter individual devoid of sight into a future filled with loneliness and pain? But then again it was that same stubbornness and blind promise of hope that allowed him to push through to the very end. This all makes you wonder, are the concepts of virtues really a redeeming feature of humanity, or are the unraveling of us. Because of unwavering resolve we come to see a man give up his humanity, resulting in an even greater evil being brought into the world: Dracula.