Story FAQ list for the multiple Castlevania games. by ReyVGM from the http://www.vgmuseum.com Story descriptions written by Mr.P from the Castlevania Realm http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp Version 0.7 _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/ Enter the Nightmare _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Most descriptions, if not all, are taken from Mr.P's excellent Castlevania website found here: http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp/ Questions at ** reyvgm at hotmail dot com ** Castlevania as subject please. _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/ The Menu _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ 1095 [ Castlevania: Lament of Innocence ] 1450 [ Castlevania Legends ] 1476 [ Castlevania III Dracula's Curse ] 1479 [ Castlevania: Curse of Darkness ] 1576 [ Castlevania The Adventure ] 1591 [ Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge ] 1666 [ Castlevania Resurrection ] *Cancelled* 1691 [ Castlevania ] 1693 [ Castlevania II Simon's Quest ] 1748 [ Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance ] 1792 [ Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo ] 1797 [ Castlevania: Symphony of The Night ] 1830 [ Castlevania: Circle of The Moon ] 1844 [ Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness ] 1852 [ Castlevania ] 1917 [ Castlevania: Bloodlines ] 2035 [ Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow ] 2036 [ Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow ] _/_/_/_/_/ Dracula's Minions _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Not all Castlevania games are offical parts of the story, for example, remember that Vampire Killer [MSX], Castlevania [NES], Haunted Castle [ARCADE], Super Castlevania IV [SNES], Castlevania [PC], Akumajou Dracula [SHARP X68000], Castlevania [C64], Castlevania [AMIGA] and Castlevania Chronicles [PS] all share the 'same' storyline, they all fall into the same 1691 date, even if the games are different. The official 1691 storyline used by Konami is from the Castlevania [NES] game. Same goes with Castlevania Dracula X [SNES] and Akumajo Dracula X [PCE], they both share the same 1792 date, even if the games are different. The official 1792 storyline used by Konami is from the Akumajo Dracula X [PCE] game. _/_/_/_/_/ A Castlevania Story _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1095 Offering: Castlevania: Lament of Innocence [ Playstation 2 ] Supporting Characters: Sara Trantoul, Mathias Cronqvist, Rinaldo Gandolfi Main Hero/Heroine: Leon Belmont, Joachim, Pumpkin Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- It was the 11th century, a time of knights and knighthood. As the system decayed, monarchies began to weaken as local feudal lords grew in power. The knights became their sworn protectors, the defenders of the land and those who were brave enough to give their lives for their lords. However, there remained a lack of any real order; as the chaos spread, rival families continued to contend for control, in bloody fashion, at the expense of the knights who wished only to protect them. It was one thing to defend their masters' land--it was quite another to battle against rival families' independent armies who were looking for nothing more than political gain. The disorder would ultimately call for change: The increasing power of the Catholic Church soon brought forth the Gregorian Reforms of the 11th Century; it was during this period of religious constitution that the knights were elevated to the role of "protectors of the peace and the Church." These knights valued courage and honor, and they proudly fought against heretics and heathens in the name of God. Some knights formed brotherhoods, sects that would fight together with a sacred trust bonding them. In this age, one such company of knights was said to be invincible; it was these two men, Leon Belmont and Mathias Cronqvist, who would unwittingly bring about a new order. Leon Belmont was a courageous young man who feared nothing and whose combat abilities were second to none. Mathias Cronqvist was a genius tactician whose education made him a standout in a largely illiterate society. Together, these two men, bound by an old friendship based completely on trust, had never suffered a loss on the field of battle. One day, however, Mathias suffered a loss of another kind: Upon returning from yet another victorious campaign, he was greeted with the news that his wife, Elisabetha, had died suddenly. Mathias became stricken with grief, and over the course of one year, his condition worsened to the point where he became bedridden. In Mathias' absence, it was up to Leon to represent the company on his own; Leon's efforts proudly kept their company undefeated. But things certainly did not become any easier for them: The reforms of the Catholic Church were a continuing theme throughout Europe, and its burgeoning focus on the Christian Crusades required an increased effort from the knights. Many fell in battle as the territorial disputes became more and more petty. Soon after, the next threat arose. Without warning, a mysterious army of monsters suddenly appeared in Leon's domain. Because the Church had not authorized any battles that were not against its political enemies, Leon was helpless to prevent their sudden rising. When Leon asked permission to sortie--to begin a military-led assault against these terrifying besiegers--the Church had no intention of granting his wish. One night, Mathias struggled out of bed to relay a message to Leon: He knew for sure that the appearance of the monsters was somehow tied to a vampire who resided in a castle within the forest they called "Eternal Knight." The more difficult part for Mathias was informing his friend that Sara Trantoul, his betrothed, had been kidnapped and brought to that castle. With no other choice, his pledge to the Church binding him, Leon renounced his title as a lord and baron so that he could attempt to rescue his beloved without committing treason. He would now have to hurry, braving the forest, to arrive at the site of the uninviting castle. As he neared the outlying areas of the castle, he was overcome by an odd sensation. He curiously surveyed his surroundings and was taken by the voice of an old man: "Ah, he must really like you. You won't be able leave here now." That old man was Rinaldo Gandolfi, an alchemist who lived in this forest ruled by vampires. Rinaldo was surprised to learn that this was the Belmont he had heard about; even though he considered the youth's efforts in coming to this land unarmed to be foolhardy, he bowed with respect. The earnest Leon told Rinaldo his tale and insisted that they were now equals, both in their rank amongst men and in their plight. Rinaldo knew that it was his job to help this troubled soul, so he led Leon to the safety of his cottage. It was here that Rinaldo supplied him with much information: This particular forest was shrouded in eternal darkness because its vampire master, Walter Bernhard, was in possession of something that afforded him this type of power. It seemed that eternal life frequently became monotonous, and Walter would entertain himself by goading vampire hunters into his inescapable forest for an inevitable duel. The fact remained that none could ever come close to defeating him. Walter would initiate the game by taking something valuable away from the hunters--in this case, Leon's beloved, Sara. Furthermore, Walter permitted Rinaldo to live here because he approved of his helping the hunters by selling them necessary goods--this made the game more fun. But how would Leon go about tackling such a foe? There were no easy answers, but Rinaldo assisted by entrusting Leon with the Whip of Alchemy, an artifact, he confided, that was more powerful than any slain hunter's discarded sword that he would find. As one of the handful of people with this knowledge, he explained to Leon the principles behind its making in regard to the secret arts, of which Mathias, who was already an acquaintance of Rinaldo, had taught him--the history of these arts had been handed down orally in Mathias' family. Finally, Rinaldo used what power he had to channel energy into Leon's gauntlet, which would allow him to collect magic power by defending against and absorbing the monsters' attacks. Leon was now ready to retrieve his betrothed, but Rinaldo had one final warning: To gain access to the upper half of the castle, where Walter awaited, Leon would have to defeat five of the castle's supreme guards to break its seal. Leon entered the castle and, suppressing his fear, used its portal room to transport to its five separate areas where the guardians ruled. A Golem, Medusa, the Succubus, an Undead Parasite--they all fell, one by one, to the determined warrior. It was after the defeat of the vampire guardian Joachim Armster that Leon learned that Walter was in possession of the "ebony stone," which was the power source encompassing the forest in eternal darkness. During his repeated visits to the cottage during this time, Leon learned from Rinaldo about the ebony stone and the three others that, when combined, would allow for alchemy's goal--eternal youth to he who was their possessor. To the vampires, only two in particular were of value: The ebony stone, which Walter had, and the crimson stone, an ultimate power source that had been since lost. Leon also learned that Rinaldo's daughter was one of the unfortunate victims of Walter's game-playing. Thus, his mission became an extension of his new ally's, a quest to free more than just Sara. The seal was broken, and Leon entered onto the castle's second level, the Pagoda of the Misty Moon. Walter appeared to him with Sara in his arms. Leon demanded that he release Sara, and Walter willingly complied, for she was no longer of need to him. The infuriated Leon leapt into the air and unleashed a might whip slash, but it had no effect on the vampire, who laughed it off and belittled him; Walter challenged Leon to venture unto the castle's highest point, where they would duel under the light of foreboding moon. For now, Leon's concern was Sara's health, so he brought her out of the castle and to the outside of Rinaldo's cottage. Sara lay unconscious, and Leon was becoming desperate. Rinaldo came out and, as the voice or reason, demanded that Leon get a grip on his emotions and wait inside as he look over Sara. Rinaldo came inside to provide momentary relief for the pacing and anxious Leon--Sara was alive, having survived her earlier encounter, and was resting in the next room. But Rinaldo had other, graver, news: Upon investigation, the teethmarks he found on her neck confirmed that she was indeed vampirized by Walter, and her condition could only be cured if Leon were to destroy Walter immediately. Unfortunately, Leon had not the means for defeating the all-too-powerful vampire. Rinaldo, though, had the solution, however crazed it seemed: Sara had inside of her a part of Walter, an evil sample that could be harnessed; the Whip of Alchemy's potential could be fully realized if Leon were to kill Sara by combining his hatred and the power of the whip, collecting her now-conflicting energies into a package of destruction that could be used against Walter. Sara, who had been listening through the door, realized the inescapability of her predicament. Because she knew that she would soon become a vampire, trapped within an eternal nightmare, she volunteered her life- force for what Rinaldo had proposed. If it would mean that others would live on, she would gladly accept becoming one with the whip. The overwhelmed Leon was not convinced; he was not prepared to let go, to just let her die and then be alone in this world. When the emotions built to a boil, spurned by Rinaldo's pleas, Leon knew that there was no other choice--he would have to accept his fate and strike down the woman he loved. And in one sorrow-filled swing of the whip, the act was complete. And behold: The Vampire Killer whip was born. Emotionally exhausted, Leon swore that he would garner revenge on Sara's behalf. He raced back into the castle and fought through its last line of defense en route to the castle keep. One final staircase led him to the throne room where his target lay waiting. Leon burst through the doors with words of impending doom for the vampire. The overly confident Walter was none-too-impressed with the Belmont; in fact, he saw his own heinous actions more as having given Leon a gift, a whip of unspeakable power. What did impress Walter was when he felt its power, one that not even his precious ebony stone could protect him against. It was only a matter of time before the determined Leon finished the job. Though defeated, Walter bragged about an inevitable return; this was only a temporary defeat, he thought. But Walter wasn't prepared for what would haappen next: An unimaginable pain that saw his life-force extracted by Death, who Walter believed to be his ally. The Reaper instead offered his life-force to the one who had recovered the crimson stone, the latest arrival to the throne room. Mathias appeared before Leon, and he was very pleased. Walter's was indeed the strong vampire spirit that he had coveted. "Why?!" the shocked Leon cried. Mathias explained that Elisabetha's death had hit him harder than anyone had realized, so much so that he blamed God, whose name in which he had always fought, for her death and would curse Him forever by gaining eternal life. And he used Leon, Sara, Rinaldo and Walter to do it. "For if limited life is God's decree, then I shall defy it!" Mathias believed that Elisabetha would have wanted it this way. Leon argued that the Mathias he knew would never marry such a woman. Mathias expected Leon to understand his plight, for he, too, had unfairly lost someone he loved; maybe, he thought, his friend would join him in eternal life to also express a pained hatred. Leon contested that, yes, he struck Walter down with hatred, but he did it with the intention that others might live, which is what Sara wanted; he was sure that Elisabetha would have wanted the same. This is not what Mathias wanted to hear, unfortunately, so he would have to leave his friend behind. "Death--he's all yours," he ordered, before assuming bat form and flying off into the night. Death transported both he and Leon to his own chaotic realm, where the two would see a final battle. Death, too, was overly confident, but Leon knew better--the Vampire Killer whip had the power to destroy vampires and all related to them, including a divine being such as Death. "Nooooooooooooo!" Death screamed as defeat came calling. The departing Reaper, like Walter before him, also bragged of a return, but Leon had a message for him to deliver to Mathias in the meantime: "You have become a cursed being, and I will never forgive you. This whip and my kinsmen will destroy you someday. The Belmont Clan will hunt the night!" Death's violent banishment caused the castle to shake, and it began to crumble piece by piece. Leon hurried out, each step narrowly avoiding the falling debris. As he escaped the ruins of the castle, sunlight finally shined upon the forest. "So, he did it," Rinaldo said from his cottage as a ray of sunlight beam through his window. Rinaldo's burden had finally ended thanks to the Belmont's bravery. Leon returned to his domain, where he would begin to put the shattered fragments back together. And so the Belmont Clan's struggle against evil began. After leaving Leon behind in the castle keep, Mathias escaped to foreign land, where he continued to curse God. Eventually, he named himself Lord of the Vampires and King of the Night. It would be many years before the Belmonts' next battle with either Mathias or any potential namesakes. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1450 Offering: Castlevania Legends [ Game Boy ] Supporting Characters: Alucard Main Hero/Heroine: Sonia Belmont Notes: Please note that self-crowned Castlevania king Igarashi has decided to ommit this game from the Castlevania history, he says that no woman can be a Belmont hero. -------------------------------------------------------- Sometime after her seventeenth birthday, Sonia formed a bond with Alucard, Who had recently been investigating his father's affairs. Sonia, who was gifted with special magical powers by birth, was trained to be a warrior by her uncle. As Alucard grew to love Sonia, he came to recognize her inner strength and helped to complete her training; with a sense of her power, he revealed to her his plan: He was going to end his father's dark reign by confronting him in his castle and dethroning him once and for all. Sonia interjected that she, too, had planned to confront the Count with the same intent. Alucard, shocked by her decision, insisted that she not get mixed up in the crazy war that was about to be waged. Dracula's assaults on all of Europe had gone on for years before, he explained to her, and the Dark Lord was not about to let the threat of a human woman stop him. This Alucard knew all too well. While Sonia presented to him an appearance of subservience, she knew in her heart that she would use her unique powers to fight against Dracula's undead army and eventually accost the Count in the heart of his castle. Not soon after Alucard left for the castle, Sonia began her own journey. As she cut through one boss creature after another, she extracted and absorbed their life-forces using her inborn soul power, which allowed her to harness their very essences as magical attacks. Along the way, she also reclaimed five sacred sub-weapons--an axe, a dagger, holy water, a boomerang and a stopwatch- -that were left behind by her Belmont ancestors. These, she knew, would one day become part of the family's main power source. Eventually, Sonia stormed into the castle, mowed down all opposition, and soon enough found herself high up in the castle's keep. It's here where she caught up with Alucard, who was having little to no luck in locating his father. The surprised Alucard, who never thought she would actually insert herself into his war, desperately tried to convince her to turn away and head home. When she refused, he had no choice but to test her in combat, to see if his instincts were truly correct. Upon feeling the power of the Vampire Killer whip, he came away very impressed by her skills, and therein, subsequently, he knew for sure that it was her destiny to vanquish from this world the enigmatic Dracula. Alucard would help in this effort the only way he knew--by submerging his powers and placing himself into a state of rest, thus doing his part to remove a cursed bloodline from the Earth. In parting, however, he did promise to return, one day, should his father ever rise again. Though her feelings for Alucard were strong, and the thought of losing him resulted in a state of disillusion, Sonia dredged on through into the depths of the castle, where Dracula was hiding. At last, she located the Count on his secret throne in a ceremonial room. After a long, hard battle, Sonia emerged victorious. Though defeated, Dracula swore that he would one day return, for as long as those who were evil existed, they would call upon his name. Sonia scoffed at his defiance and proclaimed that there would always be someone ready and willing to take up the fight against evil, even if she, herself, were the one required to accept the task. He words were true: Soon Sonia would give birth to a new baby boy (perhaps in part Alucard's), a future warrior who would surely continue to wage war on the vampire king and his legion of followers. This hero, whose bloodline would be unlike any other, would grow to be more powerful than any human and surely supreme among vampire hunters. All future Belmonts would come to wield this very same power, whether or not it be their fate to face the trials. What seemed supernatural to the habitants of Warakiya was to the Belmonts only natural. For years, mortals had not the sufficient means nor the will to purge from this planet the purest of evil, but now they had bold representatives who could stand up in their place. The Belmonts would indeed showcase the will, the power and the weaponry to get the job done. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1476 Offering: Castlevania III Dracula's Curse [ Nes ] Supporting Characters: Poltergeist King [ Instruction Booklet Mention ] Main Heroes/Heroines: Trevor C. Belmont, Sypha Belnades, Grant Danasty, Alucard Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- After Sonia's spectacular display in ousting Dracula from his position of power, matters took an unfortunate turn for the worst. Instead of coming to hail the Belmont family as heroic, the people of Warakiya instead began to fear the Belmonts--they became not only suspicious of the family's many abilities but fearful of what could happen if those abilities were used for wrongful means. Forming a coalition, they approached the Belmont family in its home and strongly suggested that it leave the town and never return. The family, though disappointed, willingly complied and ushered itself into isolation. Meanwhile: Fifteen years after suffering his first defeat, rumors of Dracula's return spread across the countryside. The rumors looked to be all the more true when all types of undead creatures and savage demons started scouring through Warakiya and its surrounding towns during the nighttime hours. Things got all the more violent when the monsters began setting fires, east and west, leaving carnage all throughout the landscape of Transylvania. With their town being destroyed little by little, the Warakiyan natives fled for their lives, helpless to stop the monsters' march. Gauging the chaos from a distance, Trevor knew what he had to do: It was time for him to take command of the Vampire Killer whip and the five mystic sub-weapons, to charge full force to the castle, and to confront the Prince of Darkness like his mother did years earlier. Though, because Dracula's army was so huge and the odds were thus so great, Trevor was not opposed to accepting help from those with a certain know-how. Along the path to the ancient castle, he found help in the form of three allies, those whom would offer assistance in the form of unique power and special abilities. First he met Grant Danasty, the quick and agile pirate whose family was killed by Dracula; Grant was transformed into a vile beast by Dracula's dark magic and was forced to guard the clock tower outside of Warakiya. It was Trevor's whip that undid the transformation and returned to Grant his sanity. In a graveyard, he met Sypha Belnades, a woman gifted with great magical power; having had a bad life, Sypha threw it all away in favor of becoming a vampire hunter. She was ambushed by a Cyclops and magically embedded within stone. After being freed from her inanimate state by the Cyclops' destruction, she joined Trevor and aided him with her strong magic spells. Then, finally, Trevor met with a freshly re-risen Alucard in the catacombs; Alucard sensed that his father had returned, and he waited patiently in a dark cavern for Trevor (whose power Alucard could easily sense) to arrive. He would test Trevor's mettle in a contest and hope to gain his trust so that the Belmont would help him reach the castle. With the aid of his newfound allies, Trevor traveled by land, by ship, through caves and clock towers, through a sunken city, and finally through Dracula's Castle before reaching the castle keep for yet another duel. After defeating the Dark Prince and ending his dark reign, Trevor and his friends headed home, where their separate relationships began to grow. Grant and Trevor became great friends, and they together started Warakiya's rebuilding process. Alucard, whose inner struggle always suppressed his happiness, spent time with his new friend before submerging his powers once again. And Sypha Belnades took Trevor's hand in marriage and undoubtedly helped to continue strengthening the Belmont family chromosomes. After this victory over the Count and his evil forces, the Belmont name became legend, and the people that had earlier discriminated against and persecuted the clan now came to embrace and champion the family. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1479 Offering: Castlevania: Curse of Darkness [ Playstation 2, Xbox ] Supporting Characters: Isaac, Julia Laforeze, Zead, Saint Germain Main Heroes/Heroines: Hector, Trevor Belmont. Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- Though Trevor Belmont and his comrades successfully banished the hated Count Dracula, the Dark Lord did not pass from this world in silence. With his final words, Dracula left on Europe a demonic curse that for years following enshrouded the continent in misery and torment. Ravaged by hideous plague and dire famine, the people's hearts turned black and murderous; the weak were slain without pity while the land was pillaged and scourged without remorse. Dracula was gone, but his very influence was still ever-present. Everyone, including even the mightiest of heroes, was confused. Everyone was confused, that is, except for the devil forgemaster Isaac, who had convinced himself of the "truth": For years, he and fellow forgemaster Hector served as underlings to Count Dracula, for whom they used their powers to magically craft new monsters to serve in the Dark Lord's growing army. Soon before Dracula's defeat at the hands of Trevor and friends, Hector betrayed the forces of evil by severing all ties in hope of reforming his ways and learning to lead a normal life. Isaac had come to blame Dracula's defeat on this event, and he vowed revenge against Hector on behalf of his fallen master. To initiate his plan, Isaac targeted Hector's wife, Rosaly, who inexplicably found herself accused of being a witch. Using his effective brand of manipulation, Isaac helped orchestrate a sham trial that found Rosaly guilty of witchcraft; she was thereafter burned at the stake as Hector, who relinquished his powers upon abandoning his evil ways, watched on helplessly. Enraged, Hector vowed to extract his own measure of vengeance against the arrogant Isaac. Hector eventually tracked Isaac down at an abandoned castle. Isaac, with by his side a fully powered devil-type I.D. (Innocent Devil), greeted Hector at its entrance; having cleverly lured Hector to this location, he reiterated his stance that the blame for Dracula's defeat lay at the hands of the traitorous forgemaster. Hector cared not for formal chatter and was ready to fight, but Isaac wasn't worried; after all, without his powers, Hector wasn't even able to protect his own wife. The ball was in Isaac's court. Isaac's plan, in fact, was twofold; knowing his former friend to be revenge-mad, he would flee and force Hector to give chase, whereby he'd suffer humiliation on two fronts: Hector would have to regain his since-relinquished powers, which he admitted brought him much shame, and he'd at full power face and suffer defeat at the hands of Isaac! Hector would have to give in--to honor the memory of his wife, he vowed to reclaim his powers and at all cost use them to hunt down Isaac. Hector charged into the abandoned castle and was quickly reminded of the dangers he once helped fester. He had to become stronger, and the discovery of a powerful tombstone was the first step. On the tombstone lay an inscription left by Isaac, who by this act showed how desperately he hoped for Hector to fully regain his powers. Hector obliged; he staged a dark incantation and freed from the tombstone a low-level fairy-type ID His concentration quickly shifted at the sound of clapping of hands. The arrival was that of Zead, an enigmatic man who sought to abolish the curse that was afflicting Europe; Zead was impressed by Hector's show of power and revealed to the forgemaster his intent to purify the land. He revealed, also, that it was indeed Isaac, deemed an "impediment," who through his own mastery of devil forgery was helping to keep alive and protect the dark curse. Hector, considering the man's advice, thanked this new ally. After defeating its main guardian, Hector escaped from the castle and exited into the Balijhet Mountains, where he freed from its holding a fighter-type ID More importantly, he stumbled across a brook where he was taken aback at the sight of a young woman who bore a remarkable resemblance to Rosaly, his deceased wife. The woman, named in actuality Julia, introduced herself and inquired about his hurried state. He was looking for, he explained, his "worst enemy," Isaac, of whom Julia was quite aware. Knowing his intent, and more personally sharing this same enemy, Julia offered to Hector her services. Her specialty? Well, as an escape witch, she could see the future. Also of interest was her expertise in witchcraft; she led Hector to her nearby cabin, from where she could prepare elixirs plus other special items and furthermore look after his Innocent Devils. Hector climbed to the mountains' highest point, where stood the Garibaldi Temple. Before he could enter, his determined march was interrupted by the mysterious St. Germain, who had a request for him: "Stop chasing Isaac." When Hector inquired as to why, Germain cryptically responded, "I seek to maintain the flow." Germain boasted that he knew more than Hector could ever imagine, as part of his "arrangement," which lent to his request credibility. Hector was anything but open to this request, but he surmised by the man's tone that he found yet another of Isaac's enemies. Hector forged forward regardless. In the heart of the temple, Hector met with none other than Trevor Belmont, who immediately recognized the devil forgemaster's crest. However, there would be no negotiating--Trevor, in his ongoing investigation of the curse, was here to fight, and he unleashed his legendary powers upon Hector, who was hardly a match. This subject wasn't evil, Trevor thought--he was too weak in his cause; though, Trevor believed Hector's words when he insisted that he, too, was hunting Isaac. "Hector," Trevor considered. "I'll remember the name." Hector gathered himself and retreated back into the mountains; now boasting a bit more power, he was able to breach the entrance to the Mortvia Aqueduct, where at its entrance a very pleased Zead stood waiting. Zead reported that he saw Isaac flee to the village via the forest, and he was now certain that Isaac was the source of the curse. Moments later, Zead began to hesitate and stumble about, tripping over his own words; without warning, he made a quick exit much to the confusion of Hector. Stain Germain appeared soon after, expecting to see someone else. Though disappointed by the lack of his expected guest, he had for Hector more of his own advice: "Avoid Zead," he suggested; Germain insisted that Zead, as someone not of his recollection, should be tracked down and watched. Hector had no reason to trust Germain, and his advice was still not welcome. "You've been warned," Germain sighed in parting. After scouring the aqueduct, Hector finally reached the Forest of Jigramunt, where from a distance he spotted Zead and Germain having a little chat. He ducked behind a tree and gave listen. Zead warned Germain not to go beyond his bounds--that it was a matter of fate. It was ludicrous to lend information to an outsider, Zead lectured, but he made no direct reference as to whom this "outsider" was. Tired of Germain's interference, Zead extended from his sleeve a blade and launched an attack; Germain used his power of time to evade the repeated stab attempts. "I will keep returning," he before vanishing promised a flustered Zead. "No one escapes from me," Zead laughed to himself. The eavesdropping Hector now knew for sure that these two were indeed enemies. The forest's vacillating path led Hector to the Town of Cordova, where at its midway point he finally tracked down Isaac. It was still too soon for a final battle, Isaac belittled, but he wanted just a little taste of Hector's progress. Hector fought well, which in itself was gratifying to Isaac, who wanted to see his former friend regain full power. Their encounter ended when a concerned Julia interrupted. "Brother, stop!" she shouted toward Isaac, much to the shock of Hector. As per his plans continuity, Isaac fled; Julia restrained Hector and prevented him from giving chase. Isaac was under Dracula's curse, she reasoned, and it was up to Hector to free him not with anger; she could live with her brother's death by Hector's hands because she knew that Isaac still harbored a deep respect for his former friend. Hector came to his senses and took to heart her plea. Though she continued to speak of an ill feeling that would surely not bode well, he bid her farewell with silent hope. With the assistance of a newly acquired mage-type ID, Hector entered into the originally impenetrable Eneomaos Machine Tower, where at its top he again met with St. Germain, Zead having failed to slay him. Germain was truly the master of miraculous escapes, but he found himself in a harrowing position: He was stuck within a magical barrier placed upon the tower and its outlying regions. He wondered how it was that Hector breached it. Though trapped in this barrier, Germain could still physically affect events, and there was one in particular he engineered--an encounter between himself and Hector, which would help Germain to extract all of the information needed. The violent altercation was brought to a halt when Hector finally wrestled Germain to the ground. Germain surrendered, promising to no longer interfere. For fate was truly Hector's, he learned. Realizing the man's power, he now sensed a new destiny for Hector: "Walk the path without fear, for you are alone." He added: "Give my regards to Zead." Hector retreated to Cordova, where his growing power (a new devil-type ID) guided him into the Aiolon Ruins. Deep into the ruins, he found himself witness to another meeting--a fierce battle being waged between Trevor Belmont and Isaac. It was a fluke that Trevor defeated Dracula, Isaac taunted. But this battle would see no victor; at the sight of Hector, to the dismay of Trevor, Isaac again fled the scene. Trevor was happy to learn that Hector and Isaac were indeed enemies, as the forgemaster swore, but he was displeased with Hector's continued meddling. He left to continue his search, stranding Hector. However, Zead appeared and lamented at such a lost opportunity. There was hope; Zead spoke of a secret hideaway back at the abandoned castle where Isaac was sure to be hiding. However, Zead's behavior again became erratic when the grateful Hector passed along Germain's regards. "No--it can't be," he spouted before making another abrupt exit. Though nonplused, Hector started the long journey back to the castle. He arrived at the castle's keep, where Trevor Belmont was investigating. "A hidden chamber beneath the castle is not possible," Trevor thought. "Not unless the blood of my clan..." The still-puzzled Hector struggled to understand, but there was no time to ponder, because Trevor had no choice but to fight the forgemaster; he needed to know how much power Hector had regained. The result of the proceeding battle was encouraging--as opposed to their first encounter, Trevor felt as thought he was fighting a whole different person. This power would be needed to further hunt Isaac, and Trevor would assist; using a dagger, he sliced open his hand and used the family's sacred blood as a key to open a magical gateway. "Your heart might waver if you think about what's within," Trevor warned. "But you must concentrate on your mission. Show him no mercy," Trevor inspired. The gateway led Hector to a bizarre and chaotic infinite corridor. Using all of his regained power, Hector successfully overcame every challenge presented, which culminated in the defeat of the corridor's guardian, the considerable Dullahan. The guardian's defeat was felt continent-wide, as powerful earthquakes shook the entire land. In the most unexpected turn, the chaotic force caused Dracula's feared castle to rise up from the sea's depths! In the panic, Isaac sneaked up behind the unsuspecting Trevor and stabbed him through the chest. It was all becoming clear: It was Isaac who left that gateway for Hector to find, and he did it for the express purpose of harnessing the demonic energy generated during the battle between the fully powered Hector and the corridor's guardian. This magic, when channeled, would be more than enough, Isaac knew, to set in motion an even grander plot--he would scurry to Dracula's re-risen castle and once again attempt to resurrect the Count! Hector rushed to the site of the castle's rising. Before he could enter, Julia stopped him. The curse was still emanating from the castle, she warned, remnant of the Dark Lord's magic. "All because of me," Hector believed. If it was demonic power, however, Hector could surely find its source. Still, even though Trevor survived the near-fatal injury, thanks to Julia's magic, he would be in no condition to battle a freshly risen Count, which put the whole mission in doubt. Though, Hector vowed again that he would garner revenge in the name of Rosaly. Sensing his anger, Julia reasoned with him: "Don't let the curse take hold. It's not worth the price of revenge for your wife." Again taking her words to heart, Hector set off into the castle as mankind's only hope. "Please don't die," the helpless Julia worried. Hector braved Dracula's legendary haunt, cutting through the nastiest of his forces. When he reached the castle keep, the weary warrior was anything but consoled. "You resurrected Dracula's castle--bravo!" the awaiting Isaac celebrated. Hector fell right into his plot. Hector lost his edge, and Isaac lost his pride and home; now Hector would suffer as Isaac did and die a gruesome death! The two equals battled in spectacular fashion, but it was Hector's sense of justice that edged him to victory. As he went for the kill, he was heavily subdued by an image of Julia; he remembered her words and realized that his impulse for revenge wasn't really him--it was the curse at work. Before he could consider further the meaning of these events, a jubilant Zead made another unexpected entrance, applauding Hector's actions. These efforts were a boon, Zead cheered, for Hector's moment of wavering was all that was needed. Zead revealed that he was the mastermind behind the entire series of events, and he used both Hector and Isaac. Only a forgemaster could be the vessel for Dracula's reawakening, and that was why Zead brought them here. When Hector resisted the curse, he was made useless, but his immobilization of Isaac was a nice consolation, for the fallen forgemaster would surely do; Isaac's prone body was swiftly sealed within a casket and transported away. It then became apparent to Hector just who was the erratic Zead--it was none other than Death itself! Zead confirmed the notion by extending its feared scythe and thereby taking its real form. Though, not even the sharpest of armament would deny the enlightened Hector, and Death would find its name to be most appropriate. With Dracula's top agent out of the way, Hector hurried to the castle heights, desperate to prevent the Dark Lord's return. It was too late--the casket housing Isaac's frame exploded, revealing a reborn Count Dracula. Dracula immediately recognized the traitorous Hector and wanted answers. But Hector had a question of his own: "Why attack humans?" It was Dracula's senseless slaughtering of their kind that forced Hector to disobey. Dracula disagreed that it was "slaughter"--he was simply cleansing the world of a plague, of a race not worth the very air they breathed. The powerful had always judged the weak, Dracula mused; humans judged him, after all. "It's not your job to judge humans," Hector insisted. Dracula, who believed sympathy to be a form of weakness, wasn't interested in Hector's viewpoint; he wanted only to inflict punishment, which in this case was death. The final battle was waged, raging across two separate realms. In the end, it was the clear-headed Hector that triumphed over the inexpedient Count. The transformation was not complete--Dracula would not come to re-inhabit this world. Dracula took some solace, for the curse would linger in the souls of people until they met their oblivion. But Dracula forgot one thing: Hector was a devil forgemaster; he could turn the curse aside--transform it into something harmless. These discouraging words were enough to hasten Dracula's painful demise, which left behind only Isaac's stained corpse. After a moment of reflection, Hector realized that Rosaly's death and Isaac's anger were caused by the curse. With that said, Hector enacted one last incantation--to turn aside the curse, as he had promised, and again relinquish his powers. "The struggle is over," Hector said, relieved. "Now I can die in peace." Before he could fall into a state of depression, Julia arrived to console him. "You must live according to your heart," she confided. Further conversation would have to wait, for the host-less castle began to crumble "Farewell, Isaac," Julia uttered one last time before their portal-assisted escape. From a distance, the pair watched on as the castle collapsed into the sea, and they hoped that its banishment would free people's hearts. The curse's mark wouldn't easily vanish, they agreed, and people would have to find hope in each other. They would have to have faith in the morrow. For now, it was time to head home. Back at the machine tower, St. Germain had some closing thoughts: "Faith in the morrow. Those are fine words." But not for him. As one who traveled through time, he saw the morrow a bit differently. All the same, the flow of time had at last stabilized. With that, Germain would head far into the future to see what awaits--to perhaps witness the final battle between Dracula and the humans. Would they remember Hector's bravery? Or would it all start anew. Those were his answers to find. Back at the cabin in the isolated mountains, Julia wondered what Hector would do now. He had many friends to conceal from the humans, and he would have to find some hidden place where he could live in peace. "No need to search out such a place," Julia comforted. "I know of one." For her advice Hector would be in her debt. She suggested that he stay in the mountains and live with her, which to Hector was an intriguing prospect. "To stay here with you, Julia," he said noddingly, "t'is not a bad idea!" As he had sought, Hector's life would begin anew. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1576 Offering: Castlevania The Adventure [ Game Boy ] Supporting Characters: None. Main Hero/Heroine: Christopher Belmont Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- A century later, Dracula rose again to assault mankind. This time, it was Christopher Belmont that took command of the Vampire Killer whip and stood up to protect Transylvania. Like his ancestors before him, he faced the trials and fought his way across the Transylvanian countryside and into Dracula's deadly castle; his brave actions in facing his destiny meant yet another confrontation between good and evil. It was no surprise, then, that Christopher was able to get the best of Count Dracula and outlast him in a battle for the ages. However, there was more to it than anyone could expect: Just before the final blow was to be struck against Dracula, the cunning Dark Lord quickly, cleverly, used what remained of his magic power to transform himself into mist, which created the illusion that he had been thoroughly defeated. Satisfied with what he thought was the banishment of his enemy, Christopher raced out of the crumbling castle to make a daring escape. Christopher climbed to a nearby mountain cliff (as had become standard Belmont procedure) where he watched the castle collapse unto itself. When the coast was clear, Dracula shapeshifted into bat form and hastily, nonchalantly, escaped from the wreckage. Though devastated from the battle, weakened to the lowest of levels, Dracula would live on in his depleted state for many years, patiently waiting to strike again. This time, though, the Belmonts would never see it coming. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1591 Offering: Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge [ Game Boy ] Supporting Characters: Soleiyu Belmont Main Hero/Heroine: Christopher Belmont Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- Sixteen years had passed since Christopher Belmont defeated the Count, and he was living a rather peaceful life when a special day was about to precipitate: It was time for him to hand down the Vampire Killer whip and the mystic sub- weapons to his son, Soleiyu Belmont, who had come of age and was ready to take his place in line as the next vampire hunter. It was not just Christopher but the whole town that was preparing for the big event. But the night before the celebration, Dracula seized the opportunity and struck a stinging blow. Having largely remained in mist form for those prior sixteen years, Dracula finally regained enough of his power to the point where he could recall his ability of possession; in mist form, he seeped his way into the room of the sleeping Soleiyu Belmont and possessed the youth, coaxing him onto the side of evil. Though his power was slowly returning, Dracula was in no condition to fight a war or to even lead his own army in its march toward world domination. So he would instead use his new outfit, the now-Soleiyu-Demon, as a temporary resource until he was ready to assume his rightful form. Using his new host body, with its powerful bloodline, Dracula would raise his dreaded castle from the depths. But first, he held his ring finger into the air and conjured the formation of four separate castles: The Plant Castle, the Cloud Castle, the Rock Castle and the Crystal Castle, and he assigned to each its own boss guardian to preside over and protect it. If Christopher were to come looking for his son, the Count would have an efficient means of stalling his efforts. Come morning, Christopher was awakened to the news that his son had mysteriously vanished and that four castles had appeared out of nowhere. Having no other choice, the aging Christopher was forced to again call upon the power of his family's sacred weaponry. Enraged by this plot, as if himself possessed, he entered into into each of the castles, undeterred, braved their many dangers, and defeated the four bosses. Yet Christopher had only succeeded in spoiling Dracula's initial plan: Because he still hadn't yet regained enough power to raise his castle, even in possessing Soleiyu, Dracula instead finished the deed using the life-force energy of the four bosses that Christopher just defeated. Unfazed by unwittingly contributing to Dracula's plan, Christopher penetrated the Count's newly risen castle. Christopher braved the bloody road and reached the highest point of the castle, where he was relieved to find Soleiyu waiting in a chandelier-filled hall. His relief, though, turned to shock when his son refused an embrace and instead challenged him to a duel to the death. Thus, an intense battle between father and son echoed into infinity; in the end, Christopher's will for peace shined through, and his glancing blows knocked the remaining Dracula essence right out of Soleiyu, who soon after came to his senses. With his son now safe, Christopher entered into the last leg of the castle and prepared for another battle with the Count. It wasn't going to be easy, though--Dracula had by now regained enough power to retake his rightful form, and he was more than ready for another round with the Belmont warrior. Still, then, for the sake of all humankind, the steel-willed Christopher was once again able to defeat the Prince of Darkness. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1666 Offering: Castlevania Resurrection [ Dreamcast ] *Cancelled* Supporting Characters: None Main Heroes/Heroines: Sonia Belmont, Victor Belmont Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- Set in 1666, the stars are Sonia Belmont from 1400's and Victor Belmont, a vampire killer from the 1800's. So how does that make sense? Simple - time travel. Apparently these two Belmonts were summoned to take care of the evil that a new Countess is trying to bring into the world. [ Info taken from the Castlevania Dungeon ] ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1691 Offerings: Castlevania [ Nes ], Vampire Killer [ MSX ], Haunted Castle [ Arcade ], Super Castlevania IV [ Super Nes ], Castlevania [ PC ], Castlevania [ Commodore 64 ], Akumajou Dracula [ Sharp X68000 ], Castlevania [ Amiga ], Vs. Castlevania [ Arcade ], Akumajou Dracula [ FDS ], Playchoice 10 Castlevania [ Arcade ], Castlevania Chronicles [ PS ] Supporting Characters: The Merchant [ MSX Only ] Main Hero/Heroine: Simon Belmont Notes: All of the above offerings share the same storyline, even if the games are different. -------------------------------------------------------- Through the incantations and ceremonies of evil souls who wished to bring upon the end of the world, Dracula had once again been resurrected, and it was only a matter of time before his army of the undead began to terrorize Transylvania once again. As the theme goes, Simon Belmont, the great-grandson of Soleiyu, donned his battle gear and took command of the Vampire Killer and mystic sub- weapons in preparation for another war against evil. Simon fought his way through the monster-inhabited yet beckoning countryside and arrived at the Count's daunting castle. Once inside the house of horrors, Simon negotiated his way through six torturous castle sections before arriving at the dreaded heights of the estate, the castle keep where many a battle had been fought. Dracula, who had been defeated by Belmont warriors time and time again, was waiting intensely for this moment, for he would finally get to extract revenge on the family after a one hundred-year wait. Though the throne room appeared to be empty, Dracula would soon emerge from his coffin and launch an assault in the only way he had ever known. Dracula fought as hard as he could and made sure to get in his fair share of offense, but in the end, ultimately, it was Simon Belmont who stood victorious. The pained Belmont warrior picked himself up and escaped from the castle and to a nearby mountain cliff where he watched on as the castle crumbled to the ground. Though he thought his trials were over, Simon would soon learn that they were just beginning. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1693 Offerings: Castlevania II Simon's Quest [ Nes ], Castlevania II Simon's Quest [ Tiger handheld ] Supporting Characters: The Ferryman [ Nes Only ], The Merchants [ Nes Only ], The Villagers [ Nes Only ], The Priest [ Nes Only ], The Crystal Trader [ Nes Only ], Hidden Souls [ Nes Only ], Oak Stake Salesman [ Nes Only ] Main Hero/Heroine: Simon Belmont Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- After defeating Count Dracula at the heights of Castlevania and destroying his haunted abode, Simon Belmont continued the family's legend by earning even the respect of kings. Through his heroic efforts, he had indeed proven himself to be the culmination of a noble bloodline. However, that fame came with a price: Two years later, Simon started to grow ill--he began to feel pain all over his body because the wounds inflicted upon him during his battle with Dracula just would not heal, and the anguish therein began to gnaw at his soul; in time, he would surely succumb to the pain. More troubling to him was the fact that even though Dracula had been defeated, his forces continued to roam free; as a result, the Transylvanians were forced to hide in their homes at nighttime as swarms of zombies marched through the streets. None of the citizens could understand why evil remained strong despite the defeat of its leader--and it slowly started affecting them, too, as normal citizens began taking on a deviant nature, be it a cynical attitude or the playing of mean-spirited pranks. With no answers apparent to him, Simon fell into depression. One night, a beautiful maiden appeared to him in a dream and revealed that his "pain" was none other than the effect of Dracula's curse! She explained to him that in order to lift the troubling curse, he'd have to scour the countryside to collect the five body parts of Dracula--his rib bone, his heart, his eyeball, his nail and his ring--and burn them away in the heart of his castle. In closing, she said, "If you have the courage to risk your life, then you will find the strength to win again." As most beautiful visions do, she disappeared as though never having been. Simon quickly absorbed the meaning of her words; come morning, he grabbed a hold of the Vampire Killer and set out to complete a new quest. Though, Dracula was more clever than anyone suspected, as the maiden foretold: He knew very well that he had the propensity to infect the Belmont hero with a curse, so before his defeat two years earlier, he ordered that his dark forces keep him safe until his next re-rising by dividing up his remains and by hiding them in five local mansions. The mansions chosen were Berkeley, Rover, Laruba, Bodley and Brahm's, and the forces of evil were ready to guard the remains at all cost. Despite their earnest efforts, Simon dredged through monster-filled towns, graveyards and marsh pits; he gathered, traded for, and mastered in the use of new magical items and weapons; and he infiltrated the mansions, solved their respective puzzles, and collected the five body parts of Dracula. As he traveled into the town of Fetra, which lay not far from Castlevania, he noticed that the town habitants were anything but welcoming. Instead, they were decidedly prepared to blame him for all of the trouble, as if the presence of the Belmont's justice-presiding power was necessitating all of the incurring evil. All of the accolades in the world couldn't prevent Simon from facing such opposition, a problem his family had dealt with in the past and would ultimately have to deal with again and again. In this case, the elders knew that Dracula's forces were living on as a residual effect of the curse inflicted upon Simon, and they wanted no part of him. Regardless of their advice and their belittling words, he entered into the ruins of Castlevania and proceeded to its basement, where he burned the remains of the Count in a fiery blaze. Having taken the proper measures, Simon watched on as Dracula, zombified, somehow arose from his slumber to mount a lightning-quick assault. The Count, though, in his weakened state was no match for the power of Simon's flame-enhanced whip. Finally, the curse was gone--Simon would live on to continue his family's bloodline, and the monsters would be banished from this world. With this experience documented, the Belmonts would be ready for any similar curse-inducing antics in the future. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1748 Offering: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance [ Game Boy Advance ] Supporting Characters: Lydie Erlanger, The Merchant Main Heroes/Heroines: Juste Belmont, Maxim Kischine Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- After Dracula's defeat, the world was at peace, as it usually existed after the banishment of the Dark Lord. But evil never takes a holiday, and its slow rebuilding and eventual dominance were imminent. Fortunately, vampire killers were perennially keeping sharp in fear of such an occurrence. Juste Belmont, the grandson of Simon, and his friend Maxim Kischine were two such warriors; the two friends trained together diligently, and while the rivalry was friendly, both were hoping for the sacred honor of receiving the Vampire Killer whip and mystic sub-weapons. After it was decided by the Belmont elders that Juste was the subject worthy of receiving the title of "Vampire Killer," a disappointed, self-doubting Maxim set out on a training expedition to hone his skills and clear his mind Two years later, Maxim surprisingly resurfaced only to show up at Juste's doorway; though, the reunion was anything but sedate--Maxim's body was covered with wounds, and his pain was instantly noticeable. Juste listened intently as his friend informed him that their childhood friend Lydie Erlanger had been kidnapped; sadly, Maxim's wounds were so great that they had deprived him of his memory, which entailed his two years away and the circumstances surrounding Lydie's kidnapping. Ignoring his injuries, recalling faint memories, Maxim led Juste to the location of Lydie's disappearance. Working through the fog, the two men stood in front of an enormous castle, in awe of the undocumented manor. "Could this, perhaps, be the infamous castle of Dracula?" they discussed. The pained Maxim urged Juste to hurry inside and save their friend, and he promised to join him in the search when his pain subsided. Juste braved the huge haunt only to find that others, too, were also scouring the castle in search of Lydie--mainly Death and the rest of Dracula's forces, for Lydie would indeed serve as the perfect sacrifice to conduct their master's return. However, neither Death nor his allies could find her. Indeed, all parties in question were equally confused about the entire matter. Disregarding Death's discouraging words, Juste charged forward, mowing over the wave of undead castle habitants. Eventually, Juste met up with Maxim, who seemed a bit disoriented; they later met up again, but this time, Maxim's tone seemed more like that of insanity. This pattern of events continued. Amidst the confusion, Juste located a mysterious gateway and eventually caught up with Death, who by that time had figured it all out: It seemed as though Maxim had been possessed by Dracula's spirit, by some unknown means; to protect Lydie (who somehow wound up by his side) from himself, Maxim, his memories being suppressed to accommodate Dracula's possession, stashed her away in the castle before escaping. As a strange byproduct of this possession, a second castle was spawned--"a transient one," as Death noted, a darker version borne specifically out of Maxim's conflicting will to both harm and protect Lydie. Death quickly exited to the second, real castle via the gateway's portal, and Juste followed closely behind. Now able to move between the two overlapping castles, Juste had two more confrontations with Maxim that confirmed Death's words; the first saw Maxim sic a Shadow boss on his friend, and the second saw the resistant Maxim reveal the truth: When he had left for his training expedition, it was out of jealousy. When he skirted across Castlevania during that time, he figured that he could prove himself worthy by doing what Simon had done a half-century before; that is, he'd earn respect by collecting Dracula's remains, by gathering them into the castle, and by then out-dueling the Count in a battle. Unfortunately, by collecting the body parts, Maxim was instead possessed by a spirit essence as a harbinger for Dracula's resurrection. Dracula's influence caused him to kidnap Lydie for evil's ill intention. So with the possession not yet overcoming him, he instead hid Lydie and the body parts throughout the castles and escaped from them. Having told Juste the truth, with that weight off his shoulders, Maxim accepted that his end could be near; as a last request, he handed Juste his bracelet, a family heirloom, by which to remember him. For Juste, there was only one solution: Find Lydie and then locate Dracula's remains and destroy them before it's too late. Juste finally located Lydie atop the castle keep of the real castle, but his impetuous nature blinded him to one detail--that Death had been tailing him the whole time, and he instead led the Reaper right to her. Death immediately took Lydie into his skeletal arms and vanished to a sealed location. Juste's only other option at this point was to search both castles for Dracula's remains and use them to break the seal. Using all of his special abilities, Juste collected the body parts and opened the way to the heart of the real castle, where he found Maxim and Lydie together. It seemed as though it was too late: Lydie lay unconscious and Dracula's possession had finally overcome Maxim's will. Sadly, Juste would now be forced to battle his own friend. When the battle was over, Juste stood over his injured and fleeting friend, who continued to fight the possession. When it appeared that all was lost, that Maxim would perish, he gazed upon Juste's wrist only to see the bracelet with which he had entrusted him. To see his friend honor him in that manner was like a light of hope, and it gave Maxim the courage that Juste knew he had--to fight just a bit longer. Unable to wait out this event, Dracula seized the opportunity; he escaped from Maxim's body and used his collected remains to pull himself back together. As the now-free Maxim grabbed Lydie into his arms and fled from the scene, Juste and Dracula, the two polar but confident adversaries, prepared for a final showdown. In the end, as it had happened a half-century before, the Belmont defeated the weakened Dracula, thereby ending Maxim's burden and submerging both of the vile castles. Outside, away from the ruins, Lydie awakened after the castle's violent banishment, having completely forgotten the events past. Maxim repeatedly insisted on telling her the truth, that he had kidnapped her while under possession, but Juste felt it best to leave the matter be in order to save face on behalf of his friend. When it almost came to blows, Lydie stepped in and brought both to their senses. It didn't matter, she pleaded. Thus, for the time sharing a smile, they agreed to begin the long journey home, where all would be right again. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1792 Offerings: Akumajo Dracula X Chi No Rondo [ PC Engine CD ], Castlevania Dracula X [ Super Nes ] Supporting Characters: Maria Renard [ Super Nes Only ], Annette Renard, Iris [ PC Engine CD Only ], Terra [ PC Engine CD Only ], The Ferryman [ PC Engine CD Only ] Main Heroes/Heroines: Richter Belmont, Maria Renard [ PC Engine CD Only ] Notes: All of the above offerings share the same storyline, even if the games are different. -------------------------------------------------------- Almost a half-century had passed before the groundswell of evil again began to grow to a boil. A sure sign of its impending uprising was the sudden emergence of the dark priest named Shaft. Shaft, who was a master in the black arts, wanted nothing short of world conquest for all of his kind. Knowing that the power of the vampire hunters might be too much of an obstacle, he gathered together his followers and held an unholy ritual where they sacrificed a young woman with one goal in mind: To resurrect Count Dracula. And indeed, the Dark Lord lived again, and, concurrently, Castlevania sprang itself up from the depths. Shaft knew all too well that his best bet was to play the role of subservient to Dracula, who was more likely the key, the pure representation of evil's lust for dominance. Dracula, now more wise to his opponents' sense of justice and emotional status in light of his encounters with Soleiyu Belmont and Maxim Kischine, formed a plan: He knew that his only true hope to defeat the Belmonts lay with the propensity to blind their justice-seeking nature by enraging them in other ways. If he could only take something of theirs, he thought, maybe he could achieve this goal. With the dark priest Shaft by his side, he certainly had an edge. In the meantime, Richter Belmont was living a peaceful life with his girlfriend, Annet Renard. One night, without warning, Dracula's plan was set in motion: He commanded his forces to head out into Warakiya, to ravage Richter Belmont's entire home town, and to kidnap some of the town's women before leaving the ruins. While studying a rough sketch of Castlevania's interior, Richter looked out the window only to catch sight of the many skeletons and demons laying waste to his town. Without hesitation, he grabbed hold of the Vampire Killer whip and mystic sub-weapons, he scoured the town, and he quickly terminated the undead fleet. But it was too late: Four town women--including Annet and her younger sister, Maria--had been kidnapped and taken to Castlevania. Richter hopped into his horse-pulled carriage and raced toward the castle. Moments later, Death flew in from the blindside to instigate some mind games- in this case, it was a swift toss of sickle in the Belmont's general direction. After a short battle, where Richter held his own, the belittling Death, having sent his message, flew off into the distance. Undeterred, Richter arrived at the castle. Once inside, he located Shaft almost immediately in the main halls, where the dark priest was holding Maria in suspended animation, no doubt ready to banish her into a netherworld. At the very sight of Richter, though, Shaft released the spell and vanished. Maria was more than just happy to be saved--the magically gifted youth was determined to aid Richter, to assist him with her magical prowess for the rest of the journey. Continuing on together, they scurried through the castle and its outland, where they battled and defeated the same old faces of Dracula's army while saving the other missing women. When Shaft intervened with his nostalgic bag of tricks, he, too, felt the power of the whip. With the dark priest out of the picture, finally, Richter reached the castle's clock tower, where he located his beloved, Annet, who was being held within a locked and sealed off room. Relieved to see her alive and well, it filled Richter with a sense of virility, and, despite having always dreaded his vampire-hunting destiny, he was now more determined than ever to vanquish the Dark Lord. High in the castle keep, another confrontation with Dracula was at hand, and, as had his ancestors, Richter emerged victorious from the deadly duel. After the battle, he embraced with his future family, Annet and Maria; and after staring down the castle from a mountain cliff, with a sense of satisfaction, the trio began the long journey home. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1797 Offerings: Castlevania: Symphony of The Night [ Playstation ], Dracula X: Nocturne In The Moonlight [ Saturn ] Castlevania: Symphony of The Night [ Tiger Handheld ] Supporting Characters: Maria Renard [ Playstation Only ], Lisa, The Ferryman, The Master Librarian Main Heroes/Heroines: Alucard, Richter Belmont, Maria Renard [ Saturn Only ] Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- Four years after Dracula's latest defeat, another devious plan was in the making. Without explanation, Richter Belmont disappeared, not a trace of him to be found. Within one year's time, it became clear that Richter would not be returning--at least not on his own power. So Maria Renard set out to look for him. It was then that fate intervened: Castlevania suddenly materialized from out of the mist as if to show her the way. Meanwhile, powerful forces were struggling for the soul of Alucard; sensing that the balance was threatened, that the scales were falling too far in evil's favor, Alucard was forced to raise from his slumber to investigate these matters. And it was only a matter of time before the castle beckoned him, as well. Alucard infiltrated the castle and defeated any foe in his path. Eventually, he ran into Maria in the castle's Marble Gallery, where he explained to her how and why the castle's appearance changed since she'd last been there. The two agreed to go their separate ways and exchange information when available. Continuing on toward the heart of the chaotic estate, Alucard found a throne room where he met a man who claimed to be "the ruler of this castle." From his past contact with the family, especially Trevor, Alucard was sure that it was Belmont blood in his presence. After defeating the man's personal guardians, he met up with Maria and relayed to her these happenings; while she initially refused to believe it, Maria later conceded that it could be Richter. However, she insisted that if it were true, it had to be because he was under someone or something's control. To be sure, Maria, who had by now taken a liking to the half-breed, handed Alucard a special pair of glasses that would allow for its wearer to see beyond this plane. Alucard took her advice and headed toward the dreaded castle keep. There, he ran into what he now knew was Richter Belmont. Richter explained to him: "Count Dracula rises but once every century, and my time is over. But if I could resurrect him, then the battle will last for eternity!" Thereafter, he challenged Alucard to a contest and then immediately, fiercely, began to attack using his legendary powers. While Alucard was shocked by the Belmont's words and actions, he quickly slipped on the glasses and found the answer: Richter was indeed under the control of an unknown presence, which hovered over him like a dark green cloud. Alucard avoided striking Richter and took the brunt of his attack while remaining focused on the hovering sphere. He attacked the sphere diligently until it faded away, whence the real perpetrator of the entire plot, the revived dark priest Shaft, finally revealed himself. Shaft had planned to coax Richter to the side of evil, using a spell, so that no other vampire hunter would ever be a threat to he or Count Dracula. With Richter, the greatest threat, eliminated and furthermore aiding them, instead, the dark forces would have been unstoppable. Though the plot had failed, Shaft was well prepared and thus had a backup plan; using his dark magic, he created a perfect replica of Castlevania except upside-down! He then escaped to the new castle where he would focus on his real, more important goal: To resurrect Count Dracula once again. Richter came to his senses and recognized Alucard as the one who had fought beside his ancestor Trevor Belmont. But there was no time for small talk--Alucard strongly suggested to Maria that she usher Richter out of the castle and to safety. It was his business, he felt, to transport to the second castle and deal with the imminent threat. Alucard faced more intense challenges in the second castle, but by sheer force of will, he worked his way to the reverse Marble Gallery, where Shaft was about to complete his ritual. Alucard succeeded in eliminating Shaft, but it was too late--the incantation was complete, and Dracula was ready to return to this world. The reunion between father and son was anything but pleasant: Dracula was very displeased that his son was still siding with the humans, especially after they had killed his mother without provocation hundreds of years earlier. The mind games were futile, and Alucard knew that his father could not be allowed to roam free among the living. A grueling battle followed, and in the end, Alucard was the victor, having overcome his father's onslaught using a power Dracula could never understand: Love, for humans and for his mother, Lisa. Alucard had parting words for his father, a message from that same Lisa: "She said to tell you that she would love you for all eternity..." "Forgive me, Lisa," Dracula muttered in solace before being painfully ushered back to his resting place. Alucard escaped from the castle and arrived at seaside, where Maria and Richter were waiting. The two consoled Alucard knowing that the encounter with his father, as always, was one defined by mental anguish. Before doing what he had always done--submerge his powers to remove from the Earth his own cursed bloodline--he offered them some words of encouragement and some advice. Though she wished him well, Maria cared more deeply for Alucard than she had let on, and Richter sensed it. "Don't you want to go after him?" Richter asked. She confessed yes, and Richter's words ("Go after him, then--perhaps you can save his haunted soul") gave her the courage to do just that. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1830 Offering: Castlevania: Circle of The Moon [ Game Boy Advance ] Supporting Characters: Hugh Baldwin, Morris Baldwin Main Hero/Heroine: Nathan Graves Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- In 1820, Dracula was again resurrected early in what was becoming a common stunt by deviants. History repeated itself and Dracula was not able to reach full power; thus, he was defeated by Morris Baldwin and members of the Graves family, a group of friends all descended from the famed Belmont clan. Having almost been killed, Morris came to realize the power possessed by the evil Count Dracula and his minions and how dangerous the combined forces could be at their peak. As the one assigned responsibility of housing the Vampire Killer whip and the mystic weapons, Morris knew that it was important to hand down the artifacts to the appropriate party. Hence, he trained two youths--his own son, Hugh Baldwin, and Nathan Graves, the son of his close friends- accordingly with the fear that Count Dracula would one day return, perhaps again early, wherein he'd be no match. As the two youths grew together, they became great friends and blossomed into the warriors Morris knew they could be. Even though it was obvious that Hugh was superior in skill, Morris continued to favor Nathan; Hugh could never understand why, and, over time, he became jealous and hateful of Nathan to the point where the good friends instead became rivals. Hugh grew even more enraged when it was decided by Morris that Nathan should be the next in line to wield the Vampire Killer and the sacred weapons. From the circumstances surrounding, Hugh strongly believed that he was the more logical choice, but the answer still eluded him. Through time, his hatred for Nathan only grew. In 1830, Camilla was risen from her grave. As a devout follower of Dracula, perennially craving leadership, her very first act was to prepare a ritual that would serve to reawaken the soul of her dark lord. As the ritual was underway at the ancient Castlevania, Morris Baldwin and his students sensed the imbalance in nature that they felt could very well be the rising of the infamous Count Dracula; the three hurried to the beckoning castle to prevent such an unnatural occurrence, sprinting through the main halls and into the Ceremonial Room. They found that it was too late: Camilla's ritual was completed, and Dracula, though not at full strength, was back to threaten humankind as Morris had feared. Dracula immediately recognized Morris as the one who had sealed his fate ten years earlier, and he gained an early advantage on the trio by blowing open a hole in the ground of the Ceremonial Room. Amidst the chaos, Nathan and Hugh plummeted to the castle depths, which left Morris to be captured by the demonic duo of Dracula and Camilla. Now Dracula had the perfect plan: He would drain away Morris' power, his life- force, and use it to restore his own. Meanwhile, Nathan and Hugh had reached the bottom of the abyss. When they landed safely, Nathan suggested that they stick together and escape from the depths, but Hugh, feeling that he had something to prove, belittled his former friend, pushed him aside, and set out on his own to rescue his father. Regardless of Hugh's discouragement, Nathan picked himself up and persevered through the castle of horrors. He eventually located Hugh, who still wanted nothing to do with him. When they met a second time, Hugh was roughed up but continued to feign a tone of superiority toward Nathan because he knew that his former friend had beaten bosses that he could not. Much later, as he neared the heights of the castle, Nathan entered the keep only to find Hugh waiting; while he was ready to breathe a sigh of relief, his weariness would have to subside quickly; Hugh, whose hate had grown so much that his diminishing spirit easily came under a Dracula-enhanced spell that magnified this hatred infinitely, grabbed his sword and launched an assault. It was on this day, though, that Nathan proved himself to be superior. Defeated, heaving observed himself externally while under the spell, Hugh finally realized why it was Nathan that was chosen to be the recipient of the whip and the weapons. The truth set him free, and he humbly gave Nathan the blessing to continue on and rescue their master. In the next room, Nathan found what Dracula was protecting--the key that would unlock the door in the Ceremonial Room. Nathan hurried to meet his destiny. Once inside its inner throne room, a fully-powered Dracula began to attack Nathan in his typical fashion. Nathan won the first encounter and was able to rescue Morris; Hugh finally arrived at the throne room, too, and took his father into his arms. Before scurrying to safety, the two encouraged Nathan to enter into the ambient blaze that would lead to a final battle with Dracula's true form. Absorbing their words, Nathan confidently entered into the realm wherein the Dark Lord awaited, and ultimate good and ultimate evil would battle once more. When the battle was over, Nathan stood victorious. Defeated, Dracula called his demise but a "wasted opportunity," echoing the hollow words he had spewed again and again. "I will continue to be revived." Nathan confided, as Sonia Belmont once did, that someone would always be there to stand up to him. As the castle began to submerge, crumbling piece by piece, Nathan hurried out and located Morris and Hugh by a mountain cliff. Morris was truly proud that his students were able to resolve their issues with their minds rather than with their fists. Hugh, too, was proud of his friend's efforts, and, comfortable with the knowledge that he would have to restart his training, he expressed his newfound respect for Nathan with a friendly challenge to stay sharp. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1844 Offering: Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness [ Nintendo 64 ] Supporting Characters: The Ferryman, Ada, Young Henry Oldrey, Rosa, Renon, Charles Vincent, Mary Oldrey, Malus, Lizard Man Main Heroes/Heroines: Cornell, Reinhardt Schneider, Carrie Fernandez, Henry Oldrey Notes: This is another game that the self proclaimed savior of Castlevania, Igarashi, has decided to eliminate from the timeline. -------------------------------------------------------- About fourteen years later, early proceedings began by a trio--Death, Gilles De Rais and Actrise--to raise Count Dracula from the grave, and they would do this by sacrificing a human woman to the spirits of chaos. About this time, a young man named Cornell was on his way home from severe ascetic training. When he arrived at the village limits, his heart stopped as he found that the village had been burned to the ground by the forces of evil. More urgently, his sister, Ada, had been kidnapped by an unseen assailant. Cornell, aided by his man-beast powers that allowed him to transform into a werewolf, set out to rescue his sister from whomever or whatever it was that kidnapped his sister and destroyed his village. During his journey, it was revealed to him that his sister would be used as part of that human sacrifice to once again raise Count Dracula. What Cornell was more shocked to learn was that his close friend, Ortega, a fellow man- beast, was responsible for torching the village, kidnapping Ada, and delivering her to the trio; to verify his actions, Ortega intervened several times to antagonize Cornell. In their more recent history, Cornell had defeated Ortega in a "friendly" contest to see which of the two was superior amongst the man-beasts, and he did this by showcasing his unique ability: In its history, he was the only member of the order who could break the man-beast seal and release his beast form, able to switch between the two states as he so pleased. The man-beasts had long ago sealed away this power when they sought to live in harmony with the humans. Ortega was always jealous of Cornell's propensity, and his defeat in their friendly contest was the straw that pushed him over the edge. Despite Ortega's interference, Cornell endured; he slaughtered all foes in his path, he saved a few lives along the way (mainly that of Henry Oldrey, who would one day grow up to become a suited church knight), and he finally reached the castle's heights. At the top of a tower, Ortega arrived to lay down a challenge. With the assistance of Dracula's dark magic, he, too, could now break the seal, and he transformed into a large chimera and attacked vigorously. Still, it wouldn't be enough to stop what was a determined Cornell, and his defeat was imminent. While in defeat Ortega's burden thus ended, he wouldn't apologize for his actions; he could only accept what he had done--that is, accept what he was- and instead offer a newfound respect for his former friend. Though shaken by the encounter, Cornell's mission was not over: He now knew who was behind this plot, and the castle keep was now his only destination. He entered into the throne room to find the Count waiting for him. The two locked horns in an inevitable duel. When Dracula finished testing the limits of Cornell's powers, realizing his adversary worthy, he employed a stall tactic by attempting to attack Cornell's psyche through a series of taunts. Mainly, Dracula knew of a secret that Cornell had been trying to hide for many years--that Ada was not his sister by blood; rather, she was adopted as his sister when found as a survivor of the war fought between the humans and the man-beasts. Cornell refused to be blinded by hatred and burdening half-truths, and the battle with Dracula's true, more powerful form was his only escape. After defeating the Dark Lord, Cornell watched helplessly as Ada was quickly encapsulated within a crystal, of which Dracula grabbed a hold with the intent of dragging it down into the underworld with his submerging body. For Cornell, there was only one option: Harnessing all of his strength, he projected forward his werewolf form--its very essence separating itself from Cornell--in order to smash the crystal and thus save his sister; therein, the wolf form was effectively substituted as her replacement. With his sister in his arms, he hastily escaped from the castle. Though he would never be the same, Cornell had triumphed. That night, as he, Ada and Henry Oldrey warmed themselves by a fire, Cornell reflected on his trials, and the Count's words continued to echo in his head. Ada had to know the truth, he felt, but the words escaped him. He stumbled and stuttered, looking for the words, but he repeatedly came up empty. Then it happened: As he started to speak, Ada interrupted--"It doesn't matter if we're blood relatives, together we can do anything!" she proclaimed. "How did you know?" Cornell asked. Though she would give no explanation, her mere words and expression were enough for Cornell to find his peace. What Cornell was blind to was one unfortunate detail: After Dracula's defeat, Death and Actrise were able to extract the crystal, which held Cornell's wolf form, from the underworld. Using the wolf form, a power more enormous than they could realize, they were able to use it as a true sacrifice to the spirits, to ensure that Dracula would be reborn into a new body--this one especially gifted with a violin. In essence, Cornell was only able to buy the future heroes few precious years before the inevitable, real re-rising of the Count. Unwittingly, he had contributed to what was Dracula and the trio's plan all along. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1852 Offering: Castlevania [ Nintendo 64 ] Supporting Characters: Charles Vincent, Rosa, Renon, Malus, Lizard Man Main Heroes/Heroines: Reinhardt Schneider, Carrie Fernandez Notes: The other game, god Igarashi, has decided to eliminate from the Castlevania timeline. -------------------------------------------------------- The trio's incantation held true, and Dracula was indeed reborn into this world. Unbeknownst to them, he grew up and lived among the people, who were given nary a clue that they were imbuing in the presence of ultimate evil. His power was growing, as was evil in the world, and soon, people began to return to the path of wickedness. Heathens gathered with the belief that the Dark Lord would finally raise from his slumber and lead them to victory. Death and Actrise, too, continued to plan for his return. Meanwhile, somewhere in Wallachia, a young man named Reinhardt Schneider was coming of age. Reinhardt, an heir to the Belmont clan of legend, was faced with a dilemma: Since it was difficult to prove that such links still remained to the family of legend, as the surname had been since lost, Reinhardt always felt that he had to prove to himself, and to all of Wallachia, that he could live up to his ancestral legacy. He grabbed the Vampire Killer whip and the mystic weapons and vowed to hunt down the forces of evil. He would not be alone: Carrie Fernandez, a magically gifted young woman descended from Sypha Belnades, would do her best to deal with side-matters concurrent to his journey. Reinhardt followed a trail through the Forest of Silence that led him to the ancient Castlevania. From there, he searched the castle and its outland high and low looking for answers. He met a few friends along the way, too: First, there was Charlie Vincent, a master vampire hunter who insisted that it was his destiny to destroy Count Dracula; the foolhardy hunter made no bones about his mission to reach the Dark Lord first. Renon, the demon salesman from Hell, proved to be an unlikely ally despite his questionable intention. And then he made the acquaintance of the enigmatic Malus, a young boy whose family was supposedly killed by Dracula years before. Reinhardt rescued the boy from the castle's monster-inhabited Villa; while for this act Malus was gracious, the boy continued to lurk about, his actions thereafter becoming more and more suspicious. Finally, he met a beautiful woman named Rosa in the Villa's indoor rose garden. What he discovered is that all who lived in the Villa were under the influence of Dracula's curse, Rosa especially. While consumed deeply by the curse that threatened to make her an eternal slave to the Count, she had not yet been overcome--still, an inescapable conflict existed within, and, though she took a liking to him, she did her best to distance herself from Reinhardt. Though Reinhardt insisted on trying to save her from an undead fate, she warned him over and over again that there was no hope of saving her soul. Much later, in the heart of the castle, he again encountered Rosa, whose pain had boiled over so much that she tried to destroy herself by exposing her flesh to a beam of sunlight; Reinhardt stopped the event, to her dismay, and tried to ease her pain through even religion. "God forbids suicide," he lectured. His efforts proved to be for naught when in the castle center Death intervened to force a confrontation between the two; Rosa could not resist the vampiric urge anymore, and a saddened Reinhardt was forced to unleash his wrath. Though justified, he promised to extract revenge for her soul by destroying the Count and his followers. Reinhardt arrived at the top of the clock tower. Before he could even gather his bearings, the unseen Death attempted a surprise attack. The scythe sped toward the now-sensing Reinhardt, who could muster no defense. Suddenly, Rosa appeared and threw herself in front of Reinhardt, shielding him from the attack by instead taking the fatal blow. As she lay in his arms, Reinhardt wondered why she would come to his protection after the preceding events. "Because you are pure and have the power to defeat Dracula," she admitted. When Rosa confessed a fear that her soul could know no forgiveness, Reinhardt placed in her hand a cross and assured her that God forgives all. As she fade away, the enraged Reinhardt stood up to deal with her tormentor. "I will never forgive you!" he shouted at the all-too-pleased Death. An encounter was theirs. After tangling with and vanquishing Death, Reinhardt arrived at the castle keep. While Reinhardt investigated his empty casket, Dracula appeared from behind and began to attack in his usual method. The vampire menace fell briefly to Reinhardt's onslaught; it was "too easy," Reinhardt thought. However, there was no time to reflect: The castle started to crumble and shake, and Reinhardt struggled to escape. He climbed to the top of one of the castle's steady towers, where he was met, conspicuously, by a unicorn-riding Malus. Much to Reinhardt's disbelief, the seemingly innocent boy turned around and claimed to be Vlad Tepes Dracula incarnate, bragging that the "Dracula" Reinhardt defeated was merely his servant. This looked to be reality when Malus revealed his true self by transforming into a rather youthful-looking Count Dracula. The two battled atop the tower, the struggle between good and evil in their hands. Reinhardt unleashed his fury and brought Dracula to knees, from where he evaporated into nothing; just then, Malus appeared from out of the mist, "free from possession," Reinhardt thought. "Is it over?" Malus asked. "Is Dracula dead?" As Reinhardt went over to console the child, a vial of holy water exploded in front of him, knocking him back and engulfing Malus' flesh. "Don't be fooled," an arriving Charlie Vincent boasted. "That boy is Dracula." His plan thwarted again, the Count used his remaining power to magically usher both he and Reinhardt into a desert realm and to transform himself into the behemoth-like Drago! Though the battle that followed was increasingly violent, even in this, his most powerful form, Dracula still was not able to negate the cruel hand that fate had dealt him; he was defeated yet again, and his plot to fool all of Wallachia had failed. Reinhardt escaped from the desert realm and watched from seaside as the castle collapsed into the ocean. Exhausted, he looked toward the heavens; a lone rose fell from the sky, its meaning eluding him. To his surprise, this divine contact signaled the sudden re-materializing of Rosa, whose soul had been saved by the defeat of Count Dracula and her will to be forgiven; finally, she was free of his curse. Sharing a hug, the pair pondered the events past. They knew that the battle was eternal, that Dracula would continue to return to this world. "That is the fate of humanity," Rosa considered. Reinhardt, as he always had, proclaimed his faith in people. "As long as we have hope, evil can never defeat us!" ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 1917 Offering: Castlevania Bloodlines [ Genesis ] Supporting Characters: Quincy Morris, Gwendolyn Main Heroes/Heroines: John Morris, Eric Lecarde Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- More than a half-century later, Dracula made his inevitable return. His reign was ended when he was defeated by Quincy Morris, another in the line of Belmont descendants, who stabbed him through the heart with a wooden stake and sent him back to his eternal grave. Because the pain endured was so great, Quincy died moments later. Unbeknownst to Quincy, two youths--his son, John Morris, and John's friend Eric Lecarde--were watching the encounter from the shadows and witnessed his act of bravery. The scene changed their lives forever, and, as they grew older, the two swore to honor his memory, to rid this planet of the evil creatures of the underworld. Twenty years later, in the ruins of Castlevania, an amateur witch named Drolta Tzuentes was dabbling in arcane magic when she inadvertently cast a spell that resurrected to this world Elisabeth Bartley, a regal countess and the very niece of Count Dracula. Back in 1421, Elisabeth was found kneeling over a man whose neck showcased two puncture wounds; she was tried as a vampire and executed immediately thereafter. Now undead, thanks to Drolta's magic, Elisabeth was hell bent on extracting revenge of humankind by reviving her dead uncle, who would no doubt be willing to participate in the fun. Elizabeth dug up his corpse and carted it over to England, from where she would prepare for his return. In the meantime, she traveled around the world and enlisted the services of evil and its dark forces; with the assistance of such a huge cast of supporters, she would be able to create diversions all over the globe, starting with the freshly risen Castlevania, for any heroes who would dare to try to thwart this plan. Her assumption was correct: John Morris and Eric Lecarde, now warriors in their own respect, were drawn to the castle and knew immediately that Dracula's return could be imminent; it was in their best interest, with that knowledge, to put a halt to Bartley's macabre objective. John took hold of the Vampire Killer whip and the famous weapons and started to proceed when Eric stepped in and made a proposition: He volunteered to take John's place in the battle due to the plight of recent events (in her rampage, Bartley had turned the love of his life, Gwendolyn, into a vampire, ending her life as she knew it and the happy couple's plans along with it). John refused the offer but vowed to fight with his friend's agenda present in heart and mind. Eric, satisfied with this course of action, would instead stand on the sidelines and cheer on his friend's efforts, wanting nothing more than for John to end Bartley's evil plan in return. With all bases covered, Bartley began the unholy ritual. The many monsters stationed around the world, starting with Drolta's mechanized knight that had taken control of Castlevania, did their job well in decoying John and slowing down his progress. After defeating the knight and ending Drolta's involvement, he followed the monsters' trail, traveling to Greece, to Italy, to Germany, and to France before finally arriving in England, more specifically to the Castle Proserpina, where the ritual was being held. Death, Medusa and other familiar faces did their damnedest to preserve the ritual, and the final obstacle, a battle with Bartley herself, bought them further time. By the time John finished off the vengeful countess, it was too late: Dracula was back, his strength fully restored. A final staircase brought John to the castle's throne room, where the Prince of Darkness was all too eager to tangle once more with a member of the family he despised. The battle was epic, a struggle unlike any other, but the bloodline was still strong--John was successful in his goal to remove Dracula from this world and garner revenge on behalf of his friend. Thereafter, John escaped from the castle and, fittingly, watched from a seaside mountain as the castle crumbled to the ground. With Dracula back in a state of rest, the world was safe--for now. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 2035 Offering: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow [ Game Boy Advance ] Supporting Characters: Mina Hakuba, Yoko Belnades, Hammer, Genya Arikado Main Heroes/Heroines: Soma Cruz, Julius Belmont Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- In 1999, the world prepared to welcome the turn of the century with a celebration--mankind would marvel at its progress as it breached the century mark. Those with evil hearts, though, would hold their own celebration, a festival to make good on a prophecy made by Nostradamus. As stated in part one of the multifaceted prediction, Dracula returned to this world and was just as soon defeated. It was a group of vampire hunters, led by Julius Belmont, the heir to the Belmont clan of legend, that ultimately "sealed" Dracula's fate by destroying his spirit and finally ending his regeneration cycle by, with the help of Hakuba Shrine priests, sealing away the castle, the symbol of his demonic power, within the darkness of an eclipse. Over the course of the next thirty-plus years, the Catholic Church did everything in its power to wash away any evidence of the event and any proof that Count Dracula or the Belmonts ever existed. Only those who lived underground kept alive the rest of the prophecy: "In the year 2035, a new master will come to the castle, and he will inherit all of Dracula's powers." In the year 2035, in Japan, the people gathered together in anticipation of the first solar eclipse of the century. Soma Cruz, a high school exchange student studying abroad, and his childhood friend Mina Hakuba were on their way to the top of the Hakuba Shrine (which was owned by Mina's father) to get a better look at the celestial event. While they were climbing to its top, they noticed that the stairway felt longer than usual, as if some force was trying to keep them from their destination. Once through the actual shrine gate, Soma and Mina were rendered unconscious by the chaotic darkness surrounding the pitch black sun. When Soma awakened, he found himself within the confines of a castle; by then, Mina had already awakened and was surprised to see in her midst Genya Arikado, an acquaintance better identified as a cold-looking National Intelligence agent who often frequented the Hakuba Shrine. Genya explained to a confused and defensive Soma that they were actually within the eclipse, where Dracula's castle had been sealed, and not in Europe where the castle would typically emerge. Before Genya could offer any further explanation, a pack of skeletal foes charged into the room; Soma instinctively took on an offensive, and upon slaying the pack's ringleader, a winged skeleton, he was overcome by an odd sensation. As Genya had expected, Soma absorbed its soul; from witnessing this act, Genya was now sure that Soma was the worthy subject he seeked--one with "dark power." Hence, Genya gave Soma an order: "Go to the Master's chamber." After some argument, knowing that resistance was futile, Soma finally agreed to leave Mina behind in the safety of the halls and head off into the castle's haunted interior. Soma searched the castle far and wide, and his became a journey for enlightenment, a quest to find out who he truly was and what was really going on. His spirit only grew stronger: Along with the learning of new abilities, he mastered his power to absorb souls; he confidently destroyed all monsters in his path and collected their souls, thus harnessing them as new powers and destructive weapons. His meetings with other castle habitants helped answer some questions: Graham Jones, a missionary, recounted to him the legend of the vampire hunters sealing Dracula away in 1999. Yoko Belnades, a member of the church, relieved him with the knowledge that his natural "dark power" (as Genya coined it), as ruler and commander of the monsters, did not necessarily make him "evil." Yoko also warned him that Graham Jones, who he encountered earlier, may very well be the one to "inherit Dracula's power." And then there was Hammer, a soldier who was dispatched to investigate the shrine; after Soma freed Hammer from a boss' holding, the feisty soldier helped by supplying to him better weaponry. Finally, Soma met a man known only as "J" who had been suffering from amnesia since 1999; J came to castle in curiosity of the underground prophecy, in hope that he might regain his memory. From his meetings with the youth, J, too, came to recognize the dark power within Soma. A second meeting with Graham proved Yoko's words to be true: Soma learned that Graham was born on the same day that Dracula was destroyed. It wasn't coincidence, Graham thought--he insisted that it was his destiny to inherit Dracula's power and become the dark lord incarnate! To belittle Soma's efforts, his insecurity prevalent, Graham claimed not to have harmed him during their previous meeting because he had no fear of the young man or the dark power that he possessed. Pouting that he would not allow Soma to rule, the somewhat jealous Graham exited to the castle's throne room. Word of this meeting was enough to make Yoko believe that Graham, though quickly gaining power, was now off balance and thus susceptible; when Graham learned of her presence, he eventually caught up with Yoko in the castle's depth and attempted to eliminate her. Soma arrived just in time to scare him off and save Yoko from any further damage. Genya, too, arrived at the scene and agreed with Yoko that Graham had absorbed the castle's power. He turned to Soma and again demanded that he hurry to the throne room, assuring him that Yoko, like Mina, would be taken care of. Soma, who was tired of being manipulated, scurried out of the caverns and intensified his efforts. His final meeting was another with J, who by now had regained enough of his memory to remember that he, Julius Belmont, was the one that vanquished Dracula back in 1999. Soma informed Julius that Graham was indeed Count Dracula incarnate; Belmont, though, had a hunch that he was not. "Pray that my hunch proves to be wrong," Julius said, ominously. Belmont remembered one other thing, which spurned his new goal to locate the Vampire Killer whip, which he had sealed away in the castle, back then, as a symbol to further weaken Dracula's spirit essence and magical powers. Soma finally arrived at the Master's chamber, the throne room within the castle keep. It seemed to be too late: Dracula's power was well within Graham's reach. Soma pleaded that Graham use his powers to let he, Mina and the others escape, but Graham had no such inclination, for he would instead use his powers to destroy Soma for what he felt was grand theft--that Soma had committed the unforgivable crime of "stealing" the souls of his demons. A battle commenced, and in the end, Graham could not overcome his adversary. "This cannot be! Does this mean that I'm not Dracula?!" a gravely dejected Graham uttered before his obliteration. Having now absorbed even Graham's powers, Soma finally came to realize the cold truth: It was actually he who was Count Dracula! Or was he? Genya again entered the picture to clear things up: He explained that he brought Soma to the castle because his and Dracula's powers were one in the same. So, using Soma as a host, he would teach the youth how to use his natural ability to absorb souls and spirits in hope that Soma, as "the Dark Lord," would gain entry into a sealed location where "only Dracula could go." This entryway, inhabited by a stream of chaos, was the source from where the Count's power was leaking out, and Genya needed Soma to breach this seal. Genya's plan, while dangerous, was dependent on Soma breaching the seal and forcing it closed before himself fully absorbing Dracula's power, in which case he would truly become the Dark Lord incarnate. Soma, his spirit weakening, quickly headed toward the sealed location. The entryway opened as planned. It seemed like clear sailing until Julius Belmont arrived with the Vampire Killer whip in hand; as he had suspected, Soma was "the Dark Lord," the one he was destined to vanquish from this world. Refusing to heed Soma's words, he launched an attack with his legendary powers; though, they weren't enough to stop the determined Soma. Soma knew, however, that Julius was going easy on him, that he was holding back; Julius confirmed this theory, revealing that he held back because he sensed Soma's true spirit within. Before moving on to complete his objective, Soma asked a favor of Julius: He asked the old vampire-hunting master to kill him if he were to lose the final battle and thus become the reincarnation of the Dark Lord. Julius agreed to his request, hoping that it wouldn't be the case. To a chaotic realm he traveled, and he dredged his way through to its point of origin. Though, Soma couldn't help but feel some doubt--after all, he had been lied to several times and couldn't anymore tell fact from fiction. Sensing his diminishing spirit, to show their support, Mina and the rest combined their abilities to psychically contact Soma with words of encouragement; this act of faith was indeed the reaffirmation he needed. He entered into the source, suppressing all doubt. In a battle for his life and the lives of his friends, Soma came through: He released the captured souls into the grasp of the chaos and thus destroyed it, resealing the castle in the darkness of the eclipse, ridding himself of the flowing power, and thereby transporting he and his friends out to the safety of the Hakuba Shrine. Outside, an unconscious Soma awakened atop the shrine in the arms of Mina. This he wanted Mina to know: While the fight was over, Soma knew that even though he would never change that somewhere deep down inside of him the spirit of Dracula lay sleeping. Much to his relief, Mina promised to always stand by his side, to again show her support should something bad ever happen. The two good friends then turned their attention to the sky, where the eclipse was finally ending. ======================================================================== ============================================================================ Time Period: 2036 Offering: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow [ Nintendo DS ] Supporting Characters: Mina Hakuba, Hammer, Genya Arikado Main Heroes/Heroines: Soma Cruz, Julius Belmont, Yoko Belnades, Alucard Notes: None. -------------------------------------------------------- It had only been one year since the solar eclipse of 2035 and the events entailed, but Soma Cruz' life would never be the same. Soma had truly come to believe that his was the rebirth of Count Dracula, that the power suppressed within would one day manifest itself into a new Dark Lord. But he had the emotional support of his close friend Mina, with whom he was enjoying a nice walk along the streets of his home town in Europe. When their topic of discussion turned to Soma's "power of dominance" over souls, those he had long since expelled, the conversation was violently interrupted by the sudden appearance of Celia Fortner, a magically gifted shadow priestess and founder of a new mysterious cult; the ill-intentioned Celia quickly conjured some lesser demons and stood ready to sic them on Soma. Genya Arikado, who was investigating the cult because of a plot to eliminate the very Soma, arrived to counter the threat; though, the prepared Celia used her magic to create a barrier separating Soma from his friends. Genya managed to toss to Soma a knife, with which he able to finish off the demons and absorb their souls, thus rediscovering his power. Thereafter, Celia disappeared, somewhat satisfied. "The power didn't return," Genya revealed to Soma. "It was always with you." But Genya also had a word of warning: There was an investigation to be completed, and Soma was to stay out of it. Never one to let things settle, Soma utilized information gathered by Hammer and arrived at the cult's hideout, a large castle within a snowy mountain area. Hammer, too, made a surprise entry, which wasn't well-received. Hammer assumed that by tailing Soma he'd get to meet with Yoko Belnades, on whom he had a secret crush. Disappointed by her absence, Hammer insisted that he set up shop to aid his young friend, but, more so, he wanted to use Soma as a middle man should Yoko eventually appear. In the meantime, Soma hurried to the castle, where at its entrance stood Yoko Belnades and Julius Belmont, who had since joined in the Church's undertakings; they, too, were investigating the cult and urged Soma to leave, for they'd be forced to destroy the young man should the darkness draw him in. Soma wouldn't budge--after all, as he noted demonstratively, they tried to hurt Mina, who meant everything to him. Though Julius understood the sentiment, Yoko couldn't. But when Julius left abruptly, to infiltrate the castle, Yoko had no choice but to ask Soma to escort her to the safety of the nearby village, where she, too, would set up shop. From here, across the way from the now-giddy Hammer, she taught Soma about seals--special gates used to draw in dark power. Monsters exposed to darkness were said to be invincible, so this power he'd need. Though creeped out by the presence of Hammer, "that rough-looking guy," Yoko would stay here and assist in the fusion of new weapons using remnants of Soma's soul-collecting. Soma worked his way into the castle and into its Wizardry Lab, where the trio of Celia, Dario Bossi and Dmitrii Binov--the latter two Dark Lord candidates- had been expecting him. The unimpressed Dario was ready for a fight, but there was in contrast the reserved Dmitrii, who belittled his hotheaded ally for judging by appearances. Though the alliance was uneasy, it had a goal: To play on Soma's fears--that he was a danger to others. They revealed that they wanted to raise the Dark Lord, yes, but not for the purpose of evil. "For God to be perfect," Celia believed, "there must be a being of perfect darkness." Since dark power, which to them was of great importance, was growing faint, a Dark Lord was sorely needed. For now, the two candidates would let Soma live, to test separately their need for ultimate power, which by shattering Dracula's soul they'd attain. It was in the chapel where Soma tracked down Dmitrii, who was at the time finishing off a Malachi and in the process demonstrating his unique attribute- -the ability to copy others' powers. Dmitrii confided, eerily, that he had no real intention of going along with Celia's plan--that he only wanted to know the true significance of his abilities. Soma won the ensuing battle but showed pity; though he didn't finish off the depraved Dmitrii, he was overcome by an odd sensation. Had he absorbed a human soul? He wasn't sure. Hurrying along to the garden, he located Dario, who showed no sympathy for his fallen ally. "Who cares?" he thought. He would have liked to finish off the gent. No--Dario wanted to become the Dark Lord out of arrogance, the same self-importance that cost him the following battle. Though he still wanted to go at it, Celia arrived and talked Dario into showing patience, for Soma would soon be theirs. Besides--she didn't want to lose her last candidate. Before teleporting out, Celia challenged Soma to reach the castle's top floor. Upon arriving at the guest house, Soma was obstructed by Arikado, who was supposed to be watching over Mina. Arikado again expressed his dissatisfaction with Soma's continued participation; Soma had to at all times remain under observation, and letting him roam about was dangerous. Soma was given leeway, though, because the cult had to be stopped at all costs. Most importantly, Arikado handed to Soma a special talisman that was property of Mina; she had requested that he wear it--that it would protect him from the darkness. With that, they went their separate ways: Arikado departed to track down Dario, and Soma would head to a condemned tower, where Julius was investigating the presence of a powerful barrier; unable to crack it using his legendary powers, Julius could only retreat and instead join the efforts of Yoko and Arikado. It started to seem hopeless. Though, continued meetings with Celia and his distant friends led only to the heightening of Soma's resolve to reach castle's highest point. And he indeed reached the castle heights, where a showdown with Dario was his reward. Soma was determined to prove to the deviant that a "Dark Lord" he wasn't and would never be, to which Dario responded: "What's the point of power if you don't use it? It's survival of the fittest." During the chat, Soma noticed something strange--that by gazing into the chamber's large mirror he could see not a reflection of Dario but instead a flaming apparition. Using one of his soul powers, he entered the mirror realm and slayed the demon, Aguni, which had fused with Dario's soul. Upon returning to the real world, he found an exhausted Dario, who realized that his powers were gone, cut off at the seams; Dario had no choice but to flee. Celia made another grand entrance and, while disappointed by these happenings, she claimed to know of another way to awaken the Dark Lord. She invited Soma to breach the heart of the castle, where she had set up something he might want to see. Soma followed suit and arrived at the castle center, where he found Mina bound to a tree. Before he could react, Celia fired a magical blast that de-spirited and killed Mina, an intentional act designed to draw upon Soma's hatred. Infuriated beyond all control, Soma gave in, and the chaotic forces started to gather in anticipation of the Dark Lord's rebirth. Soma didn't care about the result, as long as he'd have his revenge. "Don't be fooled!" shouted the unseen Genya Arikado. "That Mina is a fake--a doppelganger!" Thanks to Mina's talisman, which Soma had equipped earlier, it wasn't too late--the chaotic forces were held back before a transformation could complete. And Genya was correct: The fake Mina revealed itself to be Dmitrii, who had not been defeated--as thought by everyone, including Celia--but had instead taken control of Soma by copying his "power of dominance" and laying low. He escaped from within Soma when the boy's emotions shifted, and he had now, himself, gathered and absorbed all that was needed to take his place as the Dark Lord. "Only the ability was needed," he confirmed. Pleased with this unexpected twist, Celia and Dmitrii departed. Arikado, suspecting that the duo departed to the basement, again asked that the vulnerable Soma stand aside while he handle the threat. Soma wouldn't comply. Soma followed Arikado back the tower, where Julius would attempt to destroy the barrier. Using all of his raw power, knowing the painful result, Julius came through and opened the way, exhausted and now useless to the cause. "Aging is a terrible thing," he said, subdued. But for Soma there was still work: He entered the portal, which took him to the Abyss. At its end, he found Arikado felled. It was too late: Dmitrii had gained dominance over a calamitous demon, and Arikado's dark power, its flow reversed, couldn't overcome Dmitrii's sacrifice--Celia, who never knew his true intentions. "She wanted to see the Dark Lord, after all," Dmitrii quipped, snidely. Suddenly, as he celebrated prematurely, the shocked Dmitrii lost total control, unable to grasp an unknown truth: The power of dominance isn't easily contained, and, unlike Soma's, his soul couldn't withstand a power that great. It was only a matter of moments before he would succumb. When Dmitrii finally keeled over, all of the souls contained within him were expelled; without a host, they fused together to form and unleash a beast--the gigantic Menace! Arikado was quickly banished, leaving Soma alone to deal with the nightmare. Soma took to the battle, and after a grueling, brutal encounter, the Menace was chopped down piece by piece. As the chaotic forces gathered thereafter to banish into their netherworld the Menace, Soma took the opportunity to expel his collect souls into the chaos to once again seal them away. The pure scale of this event rattled and shook the castle, which began to crumble. Soma and Arikado quickly escaped and made their way to seaside, where they watched the castle's ultimate collapse. Though victorious, Soma's curiosities were still prevalent. Was he inevitably the Dark Lord? If the Dark Lord is opposite to God, does it require an ultimate evil? Perhaps there would one day be a reason for a Dark Lord, Arikado considered, but that didn't mean it had to be Soma. As they pondered the day's events, a group of friends--Yoko, Hammer, Julius, and even Mina- came to greet them. Soma ran to embrace his most trusted friend. As the group teased the youths about their ever-growing relationship, Arikado stood alone, in his mind a poignant thought: "If the world needs a Dark Lord, one will emerge, even if it's not Soma." The only question that remained: "Would Dracula ever be reborn again?" _/_/_/_/_/ Death Visits _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ If you are going to steal this guide, at least give credit to where it's due. Other than that, anyone is free to do whatever they want with this guide. Email me at ** reyvgm at hotmail dot com ** for questions or for submissions or whatever else. Don't forget to pay a visit to Mr. P's Castlevania Realm at www.vgmuseum.com/mrp _/_/_/_/_/ Versions _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ Version 0.1 The start of this Story FAQ. Thanks to Mr.P and Kurt Kalata. Version 0.2 Added the Game Boy Advance Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow storyline, thanks to Mr. P. Version 0.3 Fixed a few things. Version 0.4 Added the PS2 Castlevania: lament of Innocence story, thanks to Mr.P and his excellent writing abilities. Version 0.4.1 Fixed random things. Version 0.5 Added a few notes to some of the games. Version 0.6 Added the NDS Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow story, thanks to Mr.P. Mr.P rewrote all the story descriptions, so they are changed here too. Version 0.7 Added the PS2 Castlevania: Curse of Darkness story, thanks to Mr.P. _/_/_/_/_/ Thanks _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ -= Websites =- Mr. P's Castlevania Realm for most of the material. http://www.vgmuseum.com/mrp The Castlevania Dungeon for some of the material. http://www.classicgaming.com/castlevania -= People =- Thanks to Mr. Perfect. Thanks to Kurt Kalata.