When the original Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon came out, people marveled at the homage it played to the classic Castlevania III. It was a retro-inspired game featuring 8-bit (ish) graphics and sound alongside more tradition platforming game play to compliment Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and its Metroidvania aesthetic. If even included nods to classic characters with Miriam acting as our Belmont-style character, Alfred our Belnades stand-in, and Gebel in place of Alucard.
The one thing people pointed out, though, was that there wasn't a proper stand-in for Grant DaNasty, a character that traditionally hadn't gotten much love in the main Castlevania series, either. But with the release of Curse of the Moon 2 we finally have our Grant analogue... mostly. He doesn't play exactly the same but he does have some wall-clinging abilities that make him a "more or less" kind of nod. His inclusion in the series certainly ups the variety of characters and their abilities, making Robert a welcome addition to the team.
Now to see if he ever shows up in any future games.
Editor's Note: For the bios in the Bloodstained series, we're having to take some liberties. It's our goal to document the single, unified storyline for the series, the same has been done for the Castlevania series but, in the case of Bloodstained, it seems as though the developers have (gleefully) decided to not have a single timeline. Events from one game can contradict another, and no two games seem to reside within the same continuity (even as they share the same characters). While we've done our best, we will point out continuity issues as we see them. Essentially, take everything here with a grain of salt because it's all subject to change the second the developers elect to alter things.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2
Years before the events of Curse of the Moon 2, Robert met fellow warrior Zangetsu on the field of battle. They fought side-by-side in the war together (which war isn't clear, but from the general dates given for these games, we'd have to assume one of the many conflicts associated with the Seven Years War) before eventually going their separate ways, heading home to return to the quiet life.
The quiet life, though, wasn't meant for Robert as the world became filled with demons and devil. There was great evil out there and Robert felt the need to fight it, so his picked up his rifle and went to work becoming a demon hunter. Eventually he once again came across Zangetsu. The demon hunter had another ally with him, Dominique Baldwin, and after some harsh talk -- Robert being none too big a fan of the Church and its acolytes -- the three heroes elected to come together as a team.
Eventually, as they explored the grounds outside the demon Gremory's dank castle, they found a fourth for their crew: Hachi, a corgi in an alchemical suit of armor. Zangetsu knew the dog -- he's a good boy -- but Robert once again had problems as the sniper didn't much care for alchemy, either. Still, Zangetsu vouched for the dog and noted that Alchemy, like all things, could be used for good or evil. It was the intent, and not the alchemy itself, that was the problem, and Hachi was, of course, a good boy and not a bad dog. Banded together, the four fought their way past demons and devils alike, all to take on the final foul evil at the top of the castle, Gremory himself.
However, while the heroes fought valiantly, victory would not be in their grasp for Gremory had other plans. At what should have been the moment of defeat for the demon, the evil creature captured Dominique and stole her away, sealing her within its own foul body. It then ejected the heroes from the castle, gleeful in its newfound power it could derive from Dominique.
All was not lost for our devout demon hunter, though, as her allies dedicated themselves to saving her. Robert, for his part, felt guilty over his initial mistrust of Dominique, noting that she threw herself in the way of the demon's power to save the rest of them. They fought across the demon-infested grounds a second time, this time collecting three shards of a powerful sword, the Zanmato, the demon-slaying blade. With this sword in hand, the heroes confronted Gremory a second time in a new and more powerful form. The heroes once again fought bravely, and at the moment of defeat Zangetsu sliced the beast in twain, freeing Dominique and saving her from the demons.
Their quest was not over, though. As our heroes celebrated, the party was interrupted by the arrival of three allies from Zangetsu's past: Alfred, Gebel, Miriam. These three heroes, who had helped Zangetsu defeat Gremory previously, were gladdened to see their ally alive once more, but they had dire news to report: the demons that had been infesting Earth were coming from the Moon, so everyone would have to work together to find a way to get to this demonic land and rid it of evil as well.
The heroes banded together and ventured, once more, across the land, collecting the pieces of alchemical equipment Alfred would need to build a space machine. Then, when ready, the heroes launched the ship, flying it to the moon to take on the evils there. Once on the surface of this world, the heroes had one more demon infested dungeon to explore, all to take on the source of the demonic evil. And, again, when the demon was beaten to the brink of death, Zangetsu unleashed the power of Zanmato and sliced the evil in twain, destroying it and saving the Moon, and Earth, from the demonic powers. The heroes celebrated for, finally, they had saved the day once and for all.
Like its predecessor, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 has multiple episodes to unlock and play through. In the case of Curse of the Moon 2, the game takes it one step further but having to alternate stories to unlock based on whether you collect the three parts of the Zanmato or not. Get the sword and you save Dominique outright, skipping over an extra episode, "Episode EX", where Zangetsu has to team up with his allies from the first game to try, again, to save Dominique. Both storylines meet up, though, in the last section, "Final Episode", where the heroes fly off into space.
The reason why Miriam, Alfred, and Gebel step in for the EX Episode is that, in the alternate ending for Episode 2, Robert and Hachi are injured in the failed attack on Gremory. They end up having to sit out the next mission, but Zangetsu's former allies are there to assist and help their friend save a ally of his own.
Traditionally, games use the best endings for their continuity. For Curse of the Moon 2, the best ending is the one where the heroes skip over Episode EX, so for our timeline we're using that as the guidepost.
Playing as Robert:
Robert is the closest the Bloodstained series has so far to a Grant analogue. Grant wasn't a strong character, using a weak dagger as well as throwing knives and axes, but his special ability was that he could cling to walls and ceilings to explore new sections of stages. It was a fun ability, but considering Alucard could fly around, Grants uses were limited at best.
Here, Robert can cling to walls briefly, being able to wall kick off and, with more walls to work off of, gain new height. For much of the game the players don't have access to Gebel, so Robert's wall kicks are often the best way to get to out of reach high areas. The problem with Robert is that he's not very strong -- his gun, while great on range, deals the least amount of damage of all the hero weapons. Along with that he has a very shallow jump and barely any health, making him one of the most compromised characters in the game.
He does have a couple of useful things going for him, though. His rifle does have incredible range, and he can shoot enemies all the way across the screen (even before they have the ability to react). Additional he can gain powerful missile and grenade attacks, as well as the ability to three a set of spears at upwards angles. You'll still likely have to pair Robert with other characters to get through the game efficiently, but he's interesting on his own for the occasional bit of use.