DraculaDracula as he appears in Symphony of the NightJapanese name
Dorakyura Vurado Tsepeshu
Dracula Vlad epe (, Dorakyura Vurado Tsepeshu?), formerly known as Mathias Cronqvist (, Matiasu Kuronkubisuto?), is the primary antagonist of the Castlevania series, as well as the final boss of most of the games. He is loosely based on the character of the same name in Bram Stoker’s novel and the historical figure, Vlad Drculea.
Originally a human called Mathias Cronqvist, Dracula fell into madness after the death of his first wife, and became an immortal vampire thanks to the powers of the Crimson Stone. With his dark powers, he built his army of creatures and his fortress, Castlevania. Since the 11th century, the Belmont Clan stood in opposition to Dracula, and legendary warriors confronted him each time he came back from the dead. He was eventually definitively destroyed in 1999 by the last descendant of the Belmonts.
Dracula serves as the final boss in almost all of the games, except the first and the last two games in the timeline’s chronology (Lament of Innocence, Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow) and a game where the final boss wears his likeness (Harmony of Dissonance).
The man later known as Dracula was originally born Mathias Cronqvist. Sometime during the mid to late 11th century, he served in a company of knights alongside then Baron Leon Belmont. With Mathias’s brilliant military strategies, and Leon’s skill with a sword, their company was unstoppable. Little is known of Mathias’s early life or his family, save that they seem to have been longtime practitioners of Alchemy and had advanced further into the study than most alchemists could have ever dreamed. Mathias was very well educated, and quite skilled in the art, though he never told Leon or any of his other compatriots of his knowledge, with the notable exception of Rinaldo Gandolfi, whom he had met at an unspecified time. Mathias married a woman named Elisabetha who he was deeply in love with. While away on a campaign against heathens in the east, Elisabetha died due to illness. Upon returning and learning of her death, Mathias was overtaken with despair so profound that he became bedridden, presumably worrying Leon considerably, as Mathias was the strategist and tactician of the company.
During that time, Mathias grew angry at God for allowing Elisabetha to die such an early death while he was away risking his life and fighting in God’s name. He thought it was unjust and unfair for God to take away what mattered most to him, when he had given God so much, and when Elisabetha was such a pure and blameless woman who has not deserved to die. Mathias began searching for ways to become immortal and show God that he didn’t have a final say in everything, and that he could defy God’s decrees by existing outside them, and scorning God in his eternal life. He learned about the Crimson Stone, considered to be a treasure among vampires. Through some means, the stone came into Mathias’s possession, and he planned to use it to ascend to immortality.
Through his acquiring the arcane relic, an evil deity known as Death bound himself in servitude to Mathias, as Death would only follow he who controlled the Crimson Stone. With the stone, Mathias could not only control the powerful spirit creature, but also absorb the souls of slain vampires and add their powers to his own. As an effect of this, humanity would be lost, and he would become a vampire himself. The young Knight then had all the resources he needed to plan his scheme to become an immortal. Mathias eventually came in contact with a powerful Vampire Lord named Walter Bernhard, who had somehow obtained the Ebony Stone, another vampiric treasure that locked his forested realm and castle in eternal night, thereby making him the most powerful vampire. The only thing of value that Walter desired was the Crimson Stone, which was believed to be lost for ages, but was secretly held by Mathias.
The vampire was bored due to his own immortality, and in order to distract himself from that, he enjoyed playing life and death games with brave humans. To raise the stakes of the game – to make the human more interested – he would steal that which is most precious from his target. Mathias suggested targeting Sara Trantoul to Walter, the fiance of Leon Belmont. The knight would make an interesting player in Walter’s game, because according to Mathias’s stories, his combat prowess was second to none. Walter, who didn’t realize he was being tricked, ordered his forces to invade Leon’s domain in order to capture Sara.
All went according to Mathias’s ingenious plan; Leon went to Walter’s castle to save Sara, and due to a series of planned events, was able to defeat Walter. When Walter was dying, Death appeared and took his soul and granted the vampire’s power to Mathias, who had materialized in the castle. It was only in his final moments that Walter realized what was happening, and what Mathias’s true intentions were. Due to absorbing Walter’s soul, Mathias became the most powerful vampire, though the Ebony Stone eluded him, as it was destroyed in Leon and Walter’s battle.
Mathias then declared that he had never spent a better night, and gave Leon his gratitude. A confused Leon demanded an explanation, to which Mathias replied that he needed a powerful vampire’s soul, and he knew that Leon had it in him to destroy Walter so that he could take the soul. Leon sensed a rage from the Vampire Killer, which he used to kill Walter, and asked in disbelief if his best friend had abandoned humanity. Mathias confirmed this and revealed his motive. He admitted that everyone involved in the ordeal were just pawns in his plan to become the most powerful vampire and curse God forevermore because of God’s cruelty. Mathias then offered Leon eternal life as he too suffered over the death of his beloved. Leon refused, because eternity without the one he loved would be empty, and Mathias’s twisted plan had cost Sara her life. Mathias believed that Leon out of all people would be the one to understand him, but when that wasn’t the case, he became a bat and flew away, and the two would never meet again.
Mathias went in hiding in foreign lands and he continued to curse God. Eventually, he named himself Lord of the Vampires and King of the Night.
At some point during Mathias’s unholy life, he built a magic castle in the province of Valachia where he would recruit humans and other beings who had turned their back on God, or were shunned by the light. Mathias granted some of them the forbidden knowledge of Devil Forgery and allowed them to practice their rites in his castle.
One day, he met a kind woman named Lisa, with whom he would eventually become romantically involved. She reminded Mathias very much of Elisabetha, which was mostly the reason why he had fallen in love with her. Lisa loved Mathias very dearly despite his views on life and they would eventually have a son together named Adrian Fahrenheit epe, who would be later known as Alucard.
Eventually, rumors started to spread that Lisa’s medicinal practices were a form of witchcraft. This caused her to be arrested and sentenced to death by the authorities. Lisa was captured and crucified, an event Adrian witnessed but was prevented from intervening in. As the execution would have traditionally occurred during the daylight hours, Mathias would not even become aware of it until hours later, and when he learned of this, it drove him over the edge. Eventually, he changed his name to Dracula Vlad epe and plotted his revenge against mankind for ruthlessly taking away what mattered most to him.
Dracula, angered at humanity for the loss of Lisa, sent his legions against the people of Europe. The church sent many armies in opposition, but none returned.
After several months, Dracula’s forces had almost completely wiped out the armies sent by the Eastern Orthodox Church, and had conquered whole countries. One night, Isaac, a General in Dracula’s army, reported the Belmont Clan had started an offense in the west. A vampire hunting descendant of Dracula’s old friend, Leon, who went by the name Trevor C. Belmont, was planning to assault Dracula’s Castle. Because Dracula was responsible for the death of Leon’s betrothed, Sara, Leon committed his kinsmen to hunting down and destroying Dracula. Isaac requested the opportunity to face Trevor himself. Instead, he was sent to find Hector, another General who was previously ordered to assassinate Belmont, but had deserted. Dracula planned to meet his old friend’s descendant himself and waited for the hunter in his throne room.
Dracula eventually faced the vampire hunter along with the rebel, Grant Danasty (who had earlier been turned into a demon by Dracula’s forces in a failed attempt at overthrowing him before Belmont freed him from the curse), the sorceress Sypha Belnades, and his own son, Alucard, who had chosen to oppose his father. With much effort, the Vampire Lord was finally slain. For the first time in hundreds of years, the immortal Dracula was at last dead, though his scheme to decimate humanity had not ended. With his final breath, he uttered a curse that left the land to rot while poisoning the minds of its inhabitants, who pillaged and scourged it without remorse.
A few years later in 1479, Death sought to resurrect Dracula by using the Count’s traitorous Devil Forgemaster General Hector as a vessel for Dracula. Because Devil Forgemasters were suffused within Dracula’s magic, only they could make suitable hosts for the Count to inhabit. However, they would have to be fully enveloped within the curse that Dracula left behind that was plaguing the land and its people.
Though Hector was Death’s (who disguised himself as Zead) ideal choice for a body for Dracula’s reawakening, he rejected the Curse, causing Death to compromise and use Isaac for the vessel. Isaac was killed in cold blood by Hector, and Death used the corpse to resurrect the Count, causing the first reawakening of Dracula from the dead. Dracula intended to execute Hector for deserting him earlier. However, because the resurrection was only partially successful, Hector was able to thwart both Death and Dracula and send the Count back to the grave, as well as nullify his curse, finally freeing the land from its venomous grip.
A century later, Dracula rose again. It was at this time that Dracula’s one hundred year regeneration cycle became manifest. Due to the power of Christ weakening every one hundred years, men’s hearts grew black with chaos. They sought to resurrect Dracula so that he may cleanse the world. He was brought back in 1576, and because his powers were linked to his castle, his stronghold returned with him.
Strengthened from his slumber, the Count resumed his quest for revenge against humanity and began attacking Transylvania with his hordes. Once again, the only ones that could hope to stand against him and his throngs of followers were the Belmont Clan with their holy whip, Vampire Killer. Castlevania was invaded by Christopher Belmont, and the vampire hunter and Dracula engaged in a death duel. Christopher thought he had sent the Count to his grave, but Dracula turned into mist and feigned death. Though his castle was destroyed, and he was too weakened from the battle to assume his regular form, Dracula would bide his time, waiting for the right moment to strike back against the Belmont Clan that had caused him so much trouble.
Dracula resurfaced fifteen years later in 1591, magically influencing Christopher’s son, Soleiyu Belmont, while still trapped in mist form. He planned on using the Belmont to become whole, and he cast a curse on the young vampire hunter that would cause Soleiyu to do his bidding. Christopher Belmont came to the aid of his son, and was forced to battle him. Christopher defeated Soleiyu, and expelled Dracula’s presence from his mind. By that time, using the spirits of four elemental castles, Dracula regained his corporeal form, and he battled Christopher Belmont for the last time. Christopher was victorious and destroyed Dracula, sending the vampire to sleep for one hundred years more.
Dracula rose again in 1691 on an Easter night when his followers convened in a monastery to perform the unholy ritual to return him and his castle to the world and plunge mankind into darkness and despair. Dracula was defeated by Simon Belmont, but not without dealing a critical blow to Simon’s back, and casting a curse on him. Similar to when he was defeated by Trevor Belmont in 1476, Dracula left a curse on the land before his passing.
Though Dracula was dead, he left both Transylvania and Simon Belmont in dire condition. The only way to expel his curse was to collect his remains and destroy them within the ruins of Castlevania. Dracula’s monstrous followers had free reign over many territories in the land while Transylvania was cursed, and they hid the Count’s remains in heavily guarded mansions. The weakened Simon Belmont retrieved all of the remains in 1698 and took them back to Dracula’s Castle, where he burned the remains he had recovered. To Simon’s surprise, however, Dracula’s ghost manifested through the Fang of Vlad, a remain unknown to Simon and tried to destroy him, but Simon defeated Dracula again, lifting the curse from the land and from his own body.
Dracula’s remains would wreak havoc in the world again when a young vampire hunter named Maxim Kischine sought out Dracula’s remains as a means of proving himself as a hunter. He was envious of the Belmont Clan’s status, and wanted to confirm that he was stronger than them by finding the remains of Lord Dracula. Like Simon Belmont fifty years earlier, Maxim retrieved all pieces of the remains in 1748, but possession of Dracula’s body parts caused Maxim’s mind to split in two, birthing an evil spirit within Maxim.
Because Dracula was partially brought back in the world through Maxim, Castlevania reappeared. Because the evil spirit did not have full control of Maxim, the Castle wasn’t whole. One half of the Castle was in the earthly realm, while the other half resided in a spiritual realm. The evil Maxim and the original Maxim wrestled for control of the body. Death aided the evil Maxim, because if the evil one took over completely, it would cause the Castles to unite.
Death saw Lydie Erlanger, a young maiden whom Maxim cared for, as a means to this. If the evil Maxim partook of the maiden’s blood, her sacrifice would provide him the strength he needed to overcome the regular Maxim. Death’s scheme was foiled by Juste Belmont, the grandson of Simon Belmont, who exorcised the evil spirit from Maxim by gathering and presenting Dracula’s remains. The spirit was drawn to the remains and relinquished its hold of Maxim’s body, materializing as Dracula’s phantom. Juste defeated the wraith, which mocked the Belmont Clan’s quest as being futile, because Dracula would always return, and they were doomed to hunt him for all eternity.
Dracula revived in 1792, one hundred years after his defeat by Simon Belmont. He was brought back by the zealous dark priest Shaft and his congregation, who sacrificed a maiden to resurrect the Count and his castle. When Dracula returned, he dispatched his forces to pillage the land. They kidnapped young women from a village, one being Annette, girlfriend of Richter Belmont. The Count sensed the connection she had with his mortal foes, and, moreover, was taken with her beauty. He offered her immortality so she could rule the world by his side, but she refused him, saying she would rather die. Richter eventually rescued all the maidens from Dracula’s clutches, slew Shaft, and defeated the Count. At this time, Dracula had become amused by the never ending cycle he shared with the Belmonts. He knew he would return, so he wasn’t dismayed by his defeat. Richter told him he had no place in the world, but Dracula said that it was not his choice that he continued to return. He comes back through the will of humans that call upon him. Because of that, Dracula asked Richter if he could truly be called evil. Richter then told Dracula that while it was true that humans have had evil desires such as power, they also had other, good desires as well, and declared that evil will eventually fall permanently. As he was disintegrating, Dracula, while conceding Richter’s claim that evil would eventually be vanquished, nonetheless laughed at him in full confidence that he would return, and that the Belmont’s hunt was in vain.
Although defeated, Dracula returned five years later in 1797, due to the efforts of Shaft’s ghost. This time, it was his son, Alucard, who confronted him. Dracula was somewhat shocked to see his son again and awkwardly tried to convince him to see things from his point of view. He was upset about him constantly siding with the humans, despite everything they had done. He asked him if he had forgotten what the humans did to his mother, Lisa. Alucard replied that he would never forget such an atrocity, but unlike him, he did not seek revenge against them, because that is not what his mother would have wanted.
Alucard told his father that he could not allow him to plague mankind yet again, and the two family members came to blows. Because Dracula’s resurrection was not complete, he was defeated by his son. At the end of the battle, Dracula set everything aside and only wanted Alucard to tell him Lisa’s final words. Alucard told his father that she said to not hate humans; that if he could not live with them, then at least do them no harm. She also told Alucard to tell his father that she would love him for all of eternity. For the first time in hundreds of years, Dracula was regretful for what he had done. He called out to Lisa to forgive him for his transgressions and said his goodbyes to his son as he faded away in death.
Dracula rose sometime in the 1800s. After 1797, the Belmont Clan faded away, and other organizations emerged with the hope of holding back Dracula and his forces in the Belmonts’ stead. The most successful group was Ecclesia, due to Barlowe, the leader of Ecclesia, making a breakthrough discovery with the creation of Glyphs, symbols that utilized the power within all things, which the Ecclesia members were able to use in combat.
Because of Ecclesia’s success, those in positions of power entrusted the organization with Dracula’s bodily remains so that they may destroy the remains and hopefully end the scourge of Count Dracula for good. Barlowe developed the ultimate glyph, Dominus, from the remains of Count Dracula. Barlowe used the cover story that Dominus would be used to destroy the Dark Lord, but in truth, Ecclesia’s true purpose was to fulfill the wish of mankind, which in Barlowe’s mind was the resurrection of Count Dracula. Barlowe’s plan was to use Dominus to destroy the seal on the remains that prevented Dracula’s reemergence in the world. Barlowe needed someone to host the Dominus Glyphs, and he chose his disciple, Shanoa, who was unaware of the true intent of Ecclesia, and that using Dominus would end her life. Shanoa discovered the truth and defeated Barlowe. The remains of Dracula then surged large amounts of dark energy into Barlowe, which he was able to use to resurrect Dracula at the cost of his own life. After Barlowe sacrificed his life force to the bodily remains, the Dark Lord and his castle returned yet again.
Shanoa infiltrated Castlevania and made her way to the Throne Room where Dracula ruled over his castle and subjects. Initially, Dracula thought that Shanoa was the one that brought him back, and asked her if she wished for eternal life or a place at his side in return for her service. Shanoa told the Count that she had in fact gone there to destroy him. Dracula was amused by her response and welcomed her challenge, telling her that he had not danced in a while. Shanoa’s own power was not enough to destroy Dracula, but when she used the Dominus Glyphs that she was hosting, to the Count’s surprise; she was able to defeat Dracula with his own power, sending him to his death.
Dracula would be resurrected some time later by unknown means, only to be killed by a distant relative of the Belmont Clan, Quincy Morris in 1897. Before being killed, however, he nonetheless managed to mortally wound Morris in the process.
Quincy’s son, John Morris, confronted Dracula during World War I, alongside Eric Lecarde, when Dracula was resurrected through the efforts of his niece, Elizabeth Bartley, and her accomplice, Drolta Tzuentes. Elizabeth had the Crown Prince of Austria assassinated, which resulted in war breaking out across the world. She planned to use the souls of the millions that died as a result of the Great War to revive her uncle. The resurrection rite took the two women all across Europe, and they were chased every step of the way by two vampire hunters – John Morris, the son of Quincy Morris who carried the Belmont Clan’s Vampire Killer, and Eric Lecarde, a revenge-seeking Spaniard whose girlfriend was vampirized by Elizabeth. The hunt came to ahead at Elizabeth’s castle in England, where she and Drolta succeeded in resurrecting Dracula. The reawakening of the Dark Lord was short lived, however, as John and Eric scaled the castle and killed Elizabeth, Drolta, and Dracula himself. Even though Dracula was slain, John paid the ultimate price as well, and died from his dependency on the Vampire Killer. Since he was not of the Belmont Clan, using the whip too much came at the cost of his life.
In 1944, Dracula was revived again by the vampire Brauner and as a result of the unprecedented state of despair the world was in during World War II. Brauner, having lost his daughters in the first World War, sought revenge on humanity and planned on using Dracula’s power as a means to that. Brauner immediately sealed Dracula away, as he only desired Castlevania’s power and legions of monsters for himself, and had no intention of serving the Count.
Brauner used paintings he made that were inundated with magic to secure his control of the castle. Jonathan Morris, the son of John Morris and the keeper of the Vampire Killer, and his partner, a magician named Charlotte Aulin, were dispatched by the Church to investigate the castle, and the possible resurrection of Count Dracula. Through Charlotte’s understanding of the paintings’ magical composition, the duo was able to enter the paintings and destroy the evil within them, thus weakening Brauner’s hold of the castle. Jonathan and Charlotte defeated Brauner, but the vampire was ultimately slain by Death. The death of Brauner relinquished the seal he had used to keep Dracula from returning, and with him gone, the Count was resurrected again to assume lordship of his castle. Dracula, in an unprecedented manner, suggested to Death that they use their combined power, and then fought Jonathan and Charlotte in a two-on-two duel, eventually resorting to using Soul Steal on Death via the latter’s request in order to transform into his true form and gain an advantage. Nonetheless, Jonathan now had the power to destroy Dracula outright, and just as he had brought him to his knees, the first rays of the sun entered through the window, vanquishing the Vampire Lord, although not before the Count mused that he’ll someday regain his full power, and that he’ll see which of them will have the last laugh in response to Jonathan stating that Dracula will never win.
The final resurrection of Dracula took place in 1999, when he rose one last time, and began a vicious campaign to destroy all of mankind. He conducted a war similar to that one in 1476 with a massive army of monsters and demons. He was defeated by Julius Belmont with the aid of Alucard, a Belnades, military forces and other allies, and his bodily remains were destroyed. Furthermore, a ceremony was conducted by the Hakuba family in which his powers and castle were sealed away inside a solar eclipse in a Shinto ceremony, thus finally ending Dracula’s regeneration cycle and his tie with Chaos, the primal source of his Dark Lord powers and castle. Though the cycle of Mathias Cronqvist may have at last ended, the legacy of Dracula continued, as he was reincarnated 36 years later as Soma Cruz.
Dracula has been depicted many different ways over the course of the series. His appearance changes in nearly every game he is in. In the earliest titles, Dracula has a rather ethereal appearance, presenting himself as a very decayed and aged man with a long red cloak in the original Castlevania on the Nintendo Entertainment System. This look was taken even further in Vampire Killer, where he has no flesh on his body and his bones are exposed. In Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, he greatly resembles Death. He is shrouded in a black mantle and his face is that of a skull.
Dracula’s in-game depictions are very different from his appearance in the official art for those games, which display him as a more atrocious version of the Bla Lugosi vampire stereotype with a widow’s peak hairstyle. He reflects this image in such games as Haunted Castle and Akumaj Dracula (X68000), in which he wears a tuxedo with a cape. In some cases, such as Symphony of the Night, he is also depicted with shoulder-length and unkempt white hair as well as a goatee, which bore some resemblance to how Bram Stoker’s Dracula described him in the narration.
Sometimes Dracula sports a dark sorcerer like appearance with long flowing robes as seen in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and Castlevania: The Adventure. In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Dracula appears as a young man with purple hair. Aside from displaying certain Japanese anime clichs, he still wears attire like he did in earlier games, like a tuxedo and a long dark cloak.
When Ayami Kojima became the regular illustrator of the series, Dracula took on an especially regal air with lavish clothing, as seen in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, and Castlevania: Curse of Darkness. Dracula’s appearances have been very inconsistent over the years. Sometimes he is an old man, other times he is young (Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin); sometimes he’s ghostly, other times he appears fairly regular, but he always retains vampiric archetypal traits. As a human, Dracula was Mathias Cronqvist, a young man with long dark hair and light blue eyes.
Regardless of how he appears in various games, Mathias and Soma Cruz notwithstanding, he is generally shown to have a very tall disposition, appearing at least twice as tall as his opponents in his more “human” form, usually requiring that his opponents jump to hit him.
Dracula has shown a certain level of inconsistency regarding his personality, although common elements have been an outstanding malice regarding the human race and God, and a well defined superiority complex (he thinks every creature is inferior to him) when confronting his enemies. When facing his son, Alucard, Dracula shows a softer side, and a clear love for his son, and also expresses his eternal love for Alucard’s mother as well. After his death in 1797, Dracula becomes much more consistent, and seems devoid of many emotions, though the hostility and superiority complex still remain.
Some of his most consistent traits however are his deep cruelty and indifference to all the destruction he brings with him, while somewhat taking pleasure on the suffering he inflicts on others. He also justifies his actions by claiming that it is not by his power that he comes back, but through the malice of humans that makes his return possible, going as far as questioning whether he is truly “evil” because of this.
Despite being challenged and defeated numerous times by the Belmont Clan, he always seems to play with them at first before using his full power, possibly underestimating them while at the same time enjoying his battles with the family, something he does mention from time to time as he even looks forward to his next encounter against the Belmonts after being defeated.
However during his defeat in 1797, he actually feels for the first time regretful of his actions after knowing of Lisa’s wish for him, although during his subsequent revivals he seems to feel nothing of that. A possible reason for this could be that the evil of humanity ensures that Dracula remains constantly evil and as such an embodiment of malice. Whenever Dracula’s background is explained he often becomes what he is as a result of the loss of his loved ones and thus he can be seen as a rather tragic villain. In addition, upon being defeated by Alucard the second time, he implies that, despite being at war with God, he still retained some knowledge of the Bible, as he quoted the Book of Matthew’s warning about losing one’s soul in their pursuit of gaining the world.
Unlike many recurring video game villains, Dracula is never really seen abusing his minions in any way. In fact he addresses to any of his subordinates respectfully and politely whenever he engages in any conversation, and even extends this trait to his enemies. He is also shown to be fairly grateful, as he often blesses and rewards those that serve him or otherwise helped in his resurrection, be it directly (as in the case of Shaft) or indirectly (like Shanoa) by usually offering power, a high rank within his army or even immortality.
When he is manifested through Soma Cruz, however, Soma’s personality is much more aggressive and sadistic than Dracula usually is. He murders Celia partly out of anguish for Mina’s supposed death, but mostly because he finds her infuriatingly annoying, despite the fact that it was Celia who brought Dracula back into the world. When Julius, Alucard and Yoko confront Dark Lord Soma at the end of Julius Mode, he taunts them throughout their battle, more so than Dracula’s usual manner of taunting.
Count Dracula is an immortal vampire holding the position of Dark Lord, who draws upon the power of Chaos and is looked upon as the King of the Night and the embodiment of evil. Many lesser creatures of darkness and obsessive humans are fanatically devoted to him, and subscribe to the belief that he will cleanse the world from its sullied state and bring about a new order. Their belief in this is so strong that until his regeneration cycle ended in 1999, Dracula was certain to return after death due to his servants yearning for him. Because of this, Richter Belmont accused Dracula of stealing the souls of men and their freedom. Dracula rebutted that freedom is always sacrificed to faith and asked Richter if he was truly before him by choice. Earlier in the same conversation Dracula said that the world invited him to return, with humanity calling him with praise and tribute.
In some of his earlier conceptions, as mentioned in the Japanese manual to Akumaj Densetsu (Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse), Dracula was a passionate demon worshipper who sold his soul and that of his son, Alucard, to an evil god in exchange for his power. Later developments retconned Alucard as having been born as a vampire-human hybrid, but Dracula’s pact with the evil god remained as the means through which he became the Dark Lord, obtaining control over the legions of darkness.
Dracula’s power ultimately came from his possession of the Crimson Stone, which he never lost. With it, he absorbed the soul of a dominant vampire lord, Walter Bernhard, thus gaining his powers. Dracula came to resemble Walter by having his own magical castle, legions of monsters, as Walter did before him, and even using some of Walter’s attacks. Furthermore, Dracula’s ability to repeatedly return from the dead may have been inherited from Walter Bernhard, as after being defeated by Leon Belmont, Walter said that with his powers, he would surely come back to life.
As a Dark Lord, Dracula has many supernatural powers that are not part of a mere vampire, as he clearly surpasses every one of them becoming more like a demon king, as he is mentioned as such in some manual descriptions or enemy data. His dominion over demons and monsters from the Demon Realm was given by Chaos, an ancient powerful entity that feeds on evil and darkness from the hearts of mankind. His resurrection cycles are also fueled by this force and act as a via to resurrect him in a Black Mass, performed by his loyal followers who know the ideal moment and years to hold it; as humanity forgets about god and lost their faith by time.
The origin of Dracula’s Castle, which is said to be the symbol of his demonic power in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, is not known, and it is also unknown if it has any link with Walter Bernhard’s castle. Ideally, it seems more likely that Dracula gained ownership of the Bernhard estate when he claimed his soul in the Crimson stone, thus forming Walter’s powers with Mathias’s souls, along with a spiritual contract claiming the castle. Early in games the castle was said to be haunted or cursed. The castle, as it was stated by Alucard, is a “creature of chaos”. The castle is linked to Chaos, the force that Dracula controls and gives his powers as a Dark Lord, this is the reason why Dracula can change its appearance every time at will in each resurrection. It is not a inanimate fortress, but an entity.
Historically though, it is also logical to believe that Dracula constructed his castle somewhere in between the events of Lament of Innocence (1094) and Dracula’s Curse (1476), which is around the time when Vlad the Impaler (the real life Dracula) ruled. It is not stated entirely, but how Dracula is able to gain control over monsters is shown in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Soma Cruz, the reincarnation of Dracula, inherits his power of dominance over the creatures of the night. However, his influence over mankind is never fully stated, but can be logically debated and assumed. If one follows the original Bram Stoker novel and film, Dracula may have gained his legions of followers through hypnotic abilities; on the other hand it may be that he is merely a charismatic and highly persuasive individual. During his time as the Dark Lord, he may have tricked humans into believing that he would be its true savior, or perhaps is merely held in high esteem by satanic cults.
Dracula has displayed great powers in battle. These include, but are not limited to the ability to spawn fire in various forms, such as simple balls of flame or burning meteor-like spheres; control over bats and other creatures of the night; the ability to transform into a wolf, mist, a bat, or other, more hideous forms to heighten his powers; a vast array of acidic Blood Magic; among other powers, such as teleportation.
He also has the Power of Dominance, which allows him to absorb the souls of monsters and use their abilities as his own, Devil Forging, which creates loyal minions from wisps of conjured matter, and he is highly adept at the secret art of Alchemy and is a genius tactician. Dracula’s Demonic Megiddo proves how much destructive force Dracula can throw out.
Through his union with the human Lisa, Dracula had a son. His son would be born Adrian, aka Alucard. Despite emulating his father early in his life, Alucard decided that he did not want to follow in his father’s evil footsteps and battled with him many times. It is said he chose the anagram “Alucard” (“Dracula” spelled backwards) for his new name as a symbolic gesture, meaning he would go against his father’s doings from that point on, like a kind of “anti-Dracula”.
When exactly Dracula fathered Alucard, and when he knew Lisa, for that matter, is unclear, although it is known to be before the events of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.
Although, even if Alucard would fight his father, Dracula still loves his son and he is quite fond of him.
In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, it is revealed that the main character, Soma Cruz, is in fact a reincarnation of Dracula. In the year 1999, Julius Belmont, the modern day member of the Belmont Clan was finally able to defeat Dracula for good and seal away his Castle.
As well as having many of his tremendous powers (which Soma unlocks through the course of the game), Soma bears a striking resemblance to Mathias Cronqvist, the original human form of Dracula which started it all. However, as evidenced by his polar opposite color motif (Mathias was predominantly dressed in black with red trim and aura, while Soma is dressed in a white coat with blue trim and aura), Soma may be considered as a second chance for Mathias in a new life: by choosing to go down a different path when the truth is revealed. His journey continues in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow.
While Soma is his own entity, he is also technically a continuation of Dracula, albeit in reincarnated form and as a protagonist. However, it is argued by fans whether he is truly the same character in a new life or a different character altogether who just happens to have inherited Dracula’s power.
Apart of Soma Cruz, three other people were considered as potential Dark Lord Candidates: Graham Jones, Dario Bossi and Dmitrii Blinov. Unlike Soma, the candidates found place in sharing their birthdays with the day of Dracula’s death in 1999.
Dracula makes an appearance in the game Castlevania Judgment. This is the first time that Dracula appears as a playable character (not counting his possible “reincarnation” Soma Cruz or the parody “Kid Dracula”, who might be Alucard instead). His battle theme is “Dance of Illusions”.
In Judgment, Dracula is summoned into a time rift by Aeon, along with a number of his enemies and his allies Carmilla and Death. In his story, Dracula takes advantage of the time rift to get revenge on many of the people who defeated him, including Simon and Trevor Belmont. After fighting and defeating most of the others in the rift, including Aeon, Dracula encounters the Time Reaper, a being sent by his rival Galamoth to wipe him from history. In the ensuing battle, Dracula is victorious, therefore securing his existence.
Dracula appears in the Pachislot games as the final enemy Trevor Belmont encounters. He retains his appearance from Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. As these games take place in a separate timeline, this version of Dracula is not considered as canon.
Dracula appears as a boss in Classic Mode and Adventure Mode: World of Light in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he uses many of the same attacks he does in his various appearances. He also briefly appears as a shadow in Dracula’s Castle stage background via a flash of lightning. Dracula’s appearance was taken largely from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. When fought, he utilizes Hellfire, Dark Inferno, Demonic Megiddo, and transforming into a swarm of bats similar to in Portrait of Ruin. After his HP is drained, he transforms into his giant bat-like demonic form from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood/Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, and attacks via uppercuts, firing an orange fireball as well as three miniature homing fireballs, pounces, slams, and releasing a blast of energy.
In the World of Light adventure mode, he acts as one of Dharkon’s lieutenants during the second act, and a revived version of him appears alongside the other bosses to be fought if the player decides to fight both Dharkhon and Galeem simultaneously. Dracula is first found inside Dracula’s Castle in the Dark Realm, where the player must traverse the castle and blast away ghosts along the way using cannons. If all of the ghosts are felled, the player will recruit Richter Belmont immediately prior to the first battle with Dracula. Upon defeating Dracula, the player is awarded with his spirit, which is an upgradable primary Ace-tier spirit; Dracula may then be enhanced into Soma Cruz, easily one of the most powerful spirits in the entire game.
Aside from Simon and Richter’s Classic Modes, Dracula also acts as the final boss for both Pac-Man and Luigi. In Simon’s and Luigi’s Classic Modes as well as World of Light, similar to in the original Castlevania, the first form uses “Nothing to Lose” while the second form uses “Black Night” as their background music (with the specific versions being the Castlevania: Harmony of Despair mix and the Akumaj Dracula: The Arcade mix, respectively). Richter’s fight with Dracula may instead randomly play “Dance of Illusions” from Castlevania Judgment throughout the whole battle rather than the tracks used elsewhere, and Pac-Man’s fight with Dracula always uses “Dwelling of Doom”, which is taken directly from the Famicom version of Simon’s Quest.
He also appears in the trailer announcing Simon and Richter Belmont’s playable status, Vampire Killer, where Simon briefly confronts Dracula, only to be knocked back and threatened to be incinerated by the vampire lord’s flames, and his descendant Richter suddenly appears to knock away the flames, with Dracula then being defeated via a combined effort by the two Belmonts. Alucard is also briefly seen giving Richter some assistance in the fight.
Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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