|“||Our power doesn't make us good or bad. Our choices do.||„|
|~ Miriam in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night|
Miriam (ミリアム Miriamu ) is the main protagonist and playable character in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Crystals that harbor demonic power have been embedded into her skin at a young age as part of a dark curse. She takes it upon herself to confront a fellow Shardbinder and an old friend, Gebel, in order to end his reign of terror and hopefully, find a way to reverse the curse that is currently inflicted on her.
Miriam also appears in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon to accompany Zangetsu on a perilous journey to vanquish a powerful Archdemon, however, whether she is permitted to come along, left behind, or killed is entirely up to the player. Miriam reappears in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 where she reprises her role as Zangetsu's traveling companion along with her old comrades and three new allies.
- Picked up as an orphan by an Alchemist at a young age, she became a host for the dark Alchemists’ curse. Although the magi-crystals were fused with her body at a young age, for 10 years she lay sleeping while the curse matured to its full form. It was during this period that the demons arrived, meaning that she missed their appearance and awoke with a mild form of amnesia, not quite fully understanding what happened to her.
- She is a woman of few words but strong of purpose. Her youth is deceiving, making her seem confrontational and quick to judge, though in reality she is constantly evaluating her next step. The pain she felt as an orphaned child fuels her compassionate desire to protect her loved ones and friends.
The character design of Miriam features a stained glass theme. This concept came about when developing the backgrounds of the game's characters. Miriam is inflicted with a curse which originates from a crystal and slowly expands across her body over time. Around each mark are glyphs which contain powerful magic and suppresses the curse, preventing it from spreading further. IGA imagined how the cursed crystals would be contained and it happened to resemble stained glass. However, IGA didn't release this until the designer Yuji Natsume pointed this out to him while showing the concept of his idea to him.
Because character designs needed to feature the crystals to a certain extent, Miriam's clothes had to be designed to reveal certain parts of her body. In the beginning her design was more Gothic lolita inspired, but later armor parts were added make her attire look more like something one could fight in. IGA also specially requested the designers they didn’t need to make the designs symmetrical, and to make Miriam’s right arm less encumbered. Her horns are just for decoration.
In the early planning documents, the protagonist of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was male. The decision to make the protagonist female stems back to when IGA was producer of the Castlevania series and he received many requests from fans for a playable female character. This concept was already applied before in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
Because IGA's titles have sold well in America, he and his team had many discussions about what would fit the needs of the American market, and what the prevailing social climate was currently like before the Kickstarter was started. He said: "Americans really love tough female characters. It's also a country where a lot of questions and problems about gender are currently being advanced, and there’s many people who believe “there’s been nothing but male heroes in video games; please make games with both genders.”"
Another factor which contributed to the decision was the idea that female hero would be more motivating to male gamers, as well as to women who would like to control a female avatar. IGA has also been on record saying he decided to once again create female lead because he is creating a completely new world with Bloodstained and the game marks a fresh start.
Initially, it was considered to make Miriam similar to Frankenstein's monster, either consisting of stitched together body parts or an material like clay, and infused with life. When considering these options it was eventually decided that a human connection was needed and these ideas were discarded in favor of making Miriam a human being.
|“||Miriam isn't one to shy away from danger, but she deserves to be armed with all the facts.||„|
|~ Johannes acknowledges Miriam's instincts in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night|
Miriam is generally a brave, selfless, and determined individual who uses her gift in demonic magic to protect those she holds dear. Potential risks that may arise in dangerous situations do little to discourage Miriam from pursuing a course of action she deems necessary. For example, she accepts that she must enter the demonic citadel alone despite Johannes's initial objections. As shown during her first encounter with Gebel since her awakening, Miriam has a rational outlook on her curse and does not wish for it to corrupt her. Her awareness of the dangers associated with seeking out too many shards allows her to be cautious when it comes to acquiring them. As such, she trusts Dominique and later Anne with handling those that she does not need.
Likely because of the trauma she experienced as a child, Miriam is generally a stoic person. However, in spite of her experiences (or perhaps, because of them), she has a great deal of empathy for others, especially suffering innocents. Notwithstanding the importance of her mission, she still sets aside time to help the survivors of Arvantville, such as gathering ingredients during her trips inside the castle to cook meals for an elderly villager in need of comfort.
Miriam is fiercely opposed to evil in every shape and form be it either human or demon. When Dominique explains the reasoning behind her betrayal, Miriam immediately points out the faults in her logic and coldly vows to stop her, brokering no further discussion. She does, however, spare Todd the Demon Barber and Orlock Dracule, both self-professed demons, as soon as she's convinced they mean no harm.
While Miriam's past trials have afforded her a wisdom beyond her years, she is still physically only 18 years old. There are moments when this shines through, such as when she grows excited upon successfully preparing food; or when, in a fit of childish rage, she threatens to kick Benjamin upside the head after finding him still lost in the castle despite multiple attempts (and wayward stones) to send him home.
Due to years of combat training, Miriam is usually very perceptive of her foes. After only a few minutes of observation, she is able to determine that Gebel is under Gremory's control during their first reunion; and that, after their first encounter, Zangetsu had been holding back against her. However, she is not omniscient when it comes down to deciphering other peoples' motives straight away, especially those who are directly involved in her situation. For example, she assumed that Alfred was a foe who wanted the Libre Logaeth for himself when in actuality, he cared for the girl's safety and planned to use the power within the book to banish the castle. Furthermore, she did not suspect that Dominique was working against her until she discovered that she was using the shards given to her for personal gain. The revelation left Miriam disappointed, yet all the more determined to vanquish her and the evil she had secretly perpetrated.
In Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Miriam appears as one of the characters Zangetsu can recruit on his journey. Whether she lives, dies, or is ignored is up to the player's discretion.
If all three allies are allowed to join, Zangetsu protects them from Gremory's final attack, becoming possessed in the process. Miriam, along with Gebel and Alfred, begin their journey anew to rescue Zangetsu.
In the final confrontation with the possessed Zangetsu, Zangetsu uses his power to disable Alfred and Gebel, leaving Miriam to challenge him alone. At the end of the fight, Miriam is tasked with protecting Alfred while he performs an incantation to defeat Zangetsu once and for all; if Alfred is successful, Miriam and her allies successfully vanquish Zangetsu and allow his soul to move on.
When she was a young girl, Miriam was experimented on by members of the Alchemists Guild, turning her and other victims into Shardbinders. The guild intended to use their cursed power in a demon-summoning ritual intended as an act of revenge against a world that had begun to favor alchemy less as the Industrial Revolution became more prominent. However, on the eve of the ritual, Miriam fell into a deep slumber that prevented her participation.
Ten years later, Miriam awoke on a galleon to learn that her friend and fellow Shardbinder Gebel had taken up residence in a castle summoned from Hell. Intent on fulfilling her promise to stop him should his powers consume him, she travels to the castle with Johannes, who fills her in on the events that transpired during the decade she had slept. When they arrived at a village bordering the castle, Miriam is also introduced to Dominique, a member of the Church that sought to support her on her mission, and learns that she had hired the demon hunter Zangetsu for a separate mission to track down the rogue alchemist Alfred.
As she explores the castle, Miriam learns from Zangetsu that Gebel has been possessed by the demon Gremory, and the only way to save him is to attack Gremory with Zangetsu's katana, the Zangetsuto. Miriam confronts Gebel in the castle's throne room and rather than slay him, she uses the Zangetsuto to cut a visage of the moon, which is in actuality Gremory in disguise. Gebel is freed from Gremory's grasp, but in his weakened state, his body succumbs and he petrifies into crystal.
Miriam pursues Gremory deeper into the castle, only for her, Zangetsu, and Johannes to find Alfred wounded on the floor and near death. Alfred explains that it was he that had put Miriam in the deep sleep ten years before to prevent her presence in the demon summoning ritual because her power alone accounted for half of all the combined power of the Shardbinders. He also explains that he had been searching the castle for the Libre Logaeth in order to banish the castle back to Hell. He had never wanted Miriam to get involved because the demons would inevitably be drawn to the immense power that she commanded. He also explains that Dominique had taken the Libre Logaeth for herself and her own ulterior motives.
After Alfred dies, Miriam seeks out Gremory. Zangetsu uses sealing magic to keep the demon from escaping and dies presumably in the process, but the act gives Miriam the opportunity to attack and slay the demon. With Gremory defeated, Miriam then seeks out Dominique.
Cornered, Dominique uses the Libre Logaeth in an attempt to summon Bael and merges with the powerful demon. Miriam, however, successfully slays the entity and recovers the Libre Logaeth, but not before killing Dominique in the act. With the book in their hands, Johannes uses its power to return the castle to Hell. With their task complete, Miriam returns to the ship with Johannes to set sail back home, who says he may have a method to permanently stop the spread of her body's crystallization. Miriam seemed indifferent by the revelation, but she was hopeful that her curse will come to an end after all.
- It's so hard to believe. I wouldn't even be alive if not for him. He's a good soul.
- Got any new targets for me?
- Have you learned anything new?
- Pay it no mind. I've been through worse.
- You have my thanks. It's nice to know that I have someone on my side.
- It feels like nothing. Just power. And so long as I'm in control of it, human power.
- I cannot. I gave Gebel my word and I intend to keep it.
- Well...back then, the experiments left me feeling stripped of my humanity. The pain from the crystal was a constant reminder. At one point, I lost the will to live entirely. Gebel and I got into a fight over some stupid thing, and I shouted, "How long are you going to pretend you're human? We're monsters now. But I'll never forget what he said to me. "If we ask for the demons' power, then we're monsters. But if people force us to take it, then our power doesn't make us good or bad. Our choices do. That freedom of choice is proof we're human." It cheered me right up. I felt like a person again. And that was when we promised to stop each other if we ever lost the ability to choose.
- Even though I've learned to jump in midair, there are still places in the castle I can't reach. Even Zangetsu must be scratching his head.
- 'Strange demon'? That's it?
- I'm not sure I understand, but it sounds like finding that demon is my best lead.
- Yes, but these are... These are all the rage in Paris.
- With your skill, you could destroy me in a heartbeat.
- You presume wrongly. I'm here to keep my promise to you, and nothing else.
- I swore to you that I would stop you if your Shardbinder power ever manifested itself against your will. You made the same oath to me.
- As you wish. It's time to free you of this once and for all.
- What's going on? No, the corruption shouldn't spread this fast...
- Yes. I have a new promise to keep.
- I thought Alfred was our enemy.
- Doing the right thing isn't a betrayal.
- Oh yes I do. You don't understand what power is for. You wield it stupidly, arrogantly. And now you pay the price.
- The book that started it all. What are you going to do with it?
- True. And demons still remain in this world. We can grieve later, after finishing the last of them off.
Miriam is an ancient female Hebrew given name (מִרְיָם Miryam) that has taken on many other forms in other languages and cultures, like Maria, Mary, Mira, and so on. Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, appears in the Book of Exodus from the Hebrew Bible. The origin of the name is unclear. It may mean "wished-for child", "bitter", "rebellious", "strong waters". The most likely origin, though, is Egyptian mr "love". Mary, the mother of Jesus, bore a Judeo-Aramaic variant of this name, Maryām (מרים).
Appearances in other media
Miriam appears as an unlockable costume that the game's main protagonist can wear during normal gameplay. Much like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the game contains a whip-wielding main female protagonist.
On February 16, 2021, on the official Twitter account of the 2D platformer game Blasphemous, it was announced that Miriam would appear as a guest character in the downloadable pack Strife & Ruin, set to be released two days later, on February 18. In the game, she is helped by the Penitent One to retrieve shards that are scattered in the region of Cvstodia so she can return to her world. Her role during gameplay is that of a quick attack summon assist.
- See: Miriam/Gallery
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