|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
"Die, monster! You don't belong in this world!"
- – Richter Belmont
Castlevania is a classic series of platform games, where the player controls a vampire/monster hunter that fights vampires (with a whip), other undead, and most everything else you can think of. Early games were infamous for their difficulty, but when the series took a turn to what people call "Metroidvania" the difficulty dropped in favor of exploration, cool level design, and (somewhat rarely) Awesome story ideas. The newer games are a bit too /v/ for most of /tg/'s liking (as well as the bulk of the Castlevania fanbase). Konami's sudden pachinko and mobile gaming obsession unfortunately ensures that there won't be any future entries for a long while, if at all.
Since the series is popular, some people decided to come up with a Dungeons & Dragons-style datasheets for stuff from the series, effectively turning the franchise into a setting. Pathfinder outright includes the normally unkillable Bloody Skeleton in its core Bestiary (which are a favorite of player-controlled necromancers since the investment in them is hard to lose) and the Medusa (be)Head(ed) enemy as a monster in the Carrion Crown adventure path.
The usual resulted.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Storyline
- 3 Aesthetic
- 4 Canon Games
- 4.1 Lament of Innocence (Castlevania 0)
- 4.2 Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse (Castlevania 1)
- 4.3 Curse of Darkness (Castlevania 2)
- 4.4 Castlevania: The Adventure/Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy (Castlevania 3)
- 4.5 Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Castlevania 4)
- 4.6 Vampire Killer/Castlevania/Haunted Castle/Super Castlevania 4/Castlevania Chronicles (Castlevania 5)
- 4.7 Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest (Castlevania 6)
- 4.8 Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance (Castlevania 7)
- 4.9 Dracula X: Rondo Of Blood (Castlevania 8)
- 4.10 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (Castlevania 9)
- 4.11 Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia (Castlevania 10)
- 4.12 Castlevania: Legacy Of Darkness (Castlevania 11)
- 4.13 Castlevania 64 (Castlevania 12)
- 4.14 Intermission Lore
- 4.15 Castlevania: Bloodlines (Castlevania 13)
- 4.16 Castlevania: Portrait Of Ruin (Castlevania 14)
- 4.17 Intermission Lore
- 4.18 Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (Castlevania 15)
- 4.19 Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (Castlevania 16)
- 4.20 Castlevania: Judgement (Time/space fuckery)
- 5 Non-canon Games
- 5.1 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- 5.2 Castlevania: Legends (The other Castlevania 2)
- 5.3 Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon (The other Castlevania 10 but in Lords of Shadow timeline)
- 5.4 Castlevania : The Arcade ( Light Gun Arcade Game)
- 5.5 Castlevania : Order of Shadows (Mobile Phone Game)
- 5.6 Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 1, 2, and Mirror of Fate (Tribute reboot)
- 5.7 Kid Dracula
- 6 Dungeons & Dragons rules
- 7 Weapons and Items
- 7.1 Holy Rod
- 7.2 Moon Rod
- 7.3 Shield Rod
- 7.4 Fist of Tulkus
- 7.5 Holbein Dagger
- 7.6 Werebane
- 7.7 Shotel
- 7.8 Jewel Sword
- 7.9 Stone Sword
- 7.10 Marsil
- 7.11 Inferno
- 7.12 Gurthang
- 7.13 Mablung
- 7.14 Mormegil
- 7.15 Mourneblade
- 7.16 Obsidian Sword
- 7.17 Terminus Est
- 7.18 Brutal
- 7.19 Heaven Sword
- 7.20 Red Rust
- 7.21 Claimh Solais
- 7.22 Masamune
- 7.23 Glacial
- 7.24 Tempest
- 7.25 Cruel
- 7.26 Savage
- 7.27 Soul Blades
- 7.28 Armor Lord
The earliest Castlevanias are known for their challenging difficulty; the appeal of the gameplay is comparable to that of other platformers like Mega Man. Although mobility and attack options are limited, they are such that games are won by
skill banging your head on bullshit puzzles that are impossible to solve unless you buy the Official Strategy Guide, which was Nintendo's plan all along, not luck. Starting with Symphony of the Night, the series took on a more exploratory and RPG approach not completely dissimilar to the Metroid series, which lead to the coining of the phase, "Metroidvania" or "Igavanias" (from Koji "Iga" Igarashi, the producer of the series).
Being sidescrollers, early Castlevanias have the player advancing from left to right as they're assaulted by various creatures of the night with the player's usual method of attack being a metal whip called the Vampire Killer, the iconic weapon of the game. This whip has moderate range, such that enemies can be dispatched from a safe distance and is the main weapon of most Castlevanias. When the Vampire Killer isn't present, player characters tend to make use of a variety of weaponry ranging from various swords and shields to spears and staves.
Common gameplay mechanics throughout the series include smashing sources of light to collect hearts (which don't recover health) and/or secondary weapons which are fueled by said hearts. Common sub-weapons include throwing-daggers, throwing-axes, crosses that function as boomerangs, holy water that causes fire to erupt from the ground, and watches that stop time. Starting in Rondo of Blood/Dracula X, players gain an ability called "Item Crash" which unleashes a powered-up version of the equipped sub-weapon at the cost of a chunk of hearts. While the sidescrolling Castlevanias tend to be linear with players going level to level, exploration-based Castlevanias naturally have save points in various areas. Beyond these common mechanics, there are numerous game mechanics that only appear in specific games such Castlevania 64's day & night cycle and time limit or Portrait of Ruin's dual protagonists.
It goes without saying that 3D Castlevanias are overall not nearly as well received as any of the classic Castlevanias or Igavanias, try as they might to translate the 2D gameplay to a 3D format. Most of the 3D Castlevanias suffer from poor or stiff controls and camera problems which, coupled with recycled environments and repetitive hallways, can be off-putting. Players will find themselves locked in rooms, facing various mobs and doing precarious platforming with varying levels of annoyance. Regardless, all of these games contribute something noteworthy to the legacy of Castlevania and its evolution before the series was tragically slain and its corpse used in the making of various pachislot games.
The Story of Castlevania takes place over centuries, covering the heroic efforts of many in their attempts to fight back the creatures of the night and defeat the Lord of Darkness himself, Dracula. The basic plot of many games boils down to Dracula being revived and the protagonist(s) setting out to defeat him at all costs. Even in games where Dracula starts off dead, the main goal is typically to stop him from rising again by stopping antagonists that are actively trying to revive him using sacrifices and convoluted schemes. Story-wise, the Belmont family are the main characters of the games since they wield the Vampire Killer, but many installments involve the absence of the Belmonts and the need for somebody else to substitute.
The very first Castlevania is not the first slaying of Dracula in the overall story, as there are many prequels that detail events that transpired between Dracula's birth and his defeat by Simon Belmont. There are several retcons that occur throughout the history of the series with certain games being completely removed from the timeline or events being vague in their placement (Castlevania Judgement). All in all, most Castlevania games can be placed in one unified timeline starting with the Belmonts' Eternal Vow to defeat the Forces of Darkness to Dracula's final death and defeat of his successors.
One important note: Between all the games below, Castlevania has become at least as much a design aesthetic as a game series.
This aesthetic includes:
- Clockpunk, even before clocks were invented.
- Gothic horror.
- As much of the classic Universal monster library and medieval demonology as will fit in the console at hand.
- References to classic horror in general.
- Lots of what TVTropes calls "Ham and Cheese", usually from Dracula.
- Anime design principles. Not typical modern stuff, mind, but the old kind of anime that featured lots of blood and guts and ultra-violence.
- Leather armor on the Belmont (or Belmont equivalents), stylish and fancy suits on the vampires, and a tendency towards "combat waifu" design on the women. Plated armor is for enemies.
- A musical style that mixes the Baroque and Modern Action Music (by the latter, we mean more or less Rock, especially electric guitar, with some Techno and Metal elements as appropriate as well), almost always in a minor key.
The fact that it was so much an aesthetic is reflected in the fact that Igarashi was able to create a highly-successful continuation of the gameplay and aesthetic sides of the series without using the Castlevania name.
Lament of Innocence (Castlevania 0)
A long time ago, during the year 1096, there were two knights who were friends; Baron Leon Belmont, and Baron Mathias Cronqvist. Leon was the fighter, Mathias the tactician and scholar. Together they lead a company of knights who were greatly successful during the First Crusade. During the crusade, Mathias's wife Elisabetha had taken ill and died. Mathias cursed God's name, and decided that if He would take away Mathias's wife while he was fighting God's war, Mathias would defy him and live forever. Using his knowledge of alchemy, specifically in utilizing the souls of beings to grant power and gain dominion over them, Mathias created a magic gem called the Crimson Stone which, when filled with the soul of a Vampire, would grant him immortality without being bound to any master.
Mathias baited a powerful Vampire named Walter Bernhard, known for kidnapping the loved ones of powerful mortals to bait them into his great castle to fight for his amusement, into kidnapping Leon's future wife Sara Trantoul. Walter possessed the Ebony Stone, the twin to the Crimson Stone (the two together being a corrupted, unmerged version of the Philosopher's Stone), which granted many powers that the Vampire did not understand. He knew that it created a shroud of eternal night and believed it would allow him to control Death himself (a property actually belonging to the Crimson Stone). Believing himself to be immortal and unbeatable, he anxiously awaited the fun a knight of the Church would bring. Mathias, feigning illness, informed Leon the Vampire had taken his bride-to-be and where Walter's castle could be found.
However, Leon was forbidden from pursuing the Vampire due to the Church pursuing punishment of heresy before destruction of monsters. Forced between love and duty, he broke his oaths and entered the Forest of Eternal Night on foot. There he met an Alchemist named Rinaldo Gandolfi (a former adventurer who had failed to rescue his own daughter from Walter in the past) who enchanted his armor and gave him a whip formed of Alchemy that was particularly strong against magical beasts.
Leon battled through Walter's castle, arranged in a grand hall with a room filled with magical elevators leading to other portions of the castle.
- Within the Anti-Souls Mystery Lab, an Alchemy wing filled with libraries and furnaces, he fought an unfinished Golem.
- In the Garden Forgotten By Time, he fought through prehistoric and unnatural flora and fauna before killing an extremely large Medusa that resembled a Beholder.
- In the House of Sacred Remains, the former chapel that was in a state of terrible disrepair even before Walter's minions converted much of it into a torture maze, he fought a mass of flesh and demon insects feeding on it from the former slaves.
- In the Dark Palace of Waterfalls, a massive underground series of chambers and sewers connecting to aquifers and complexes inspired by Escher, he fought Joachim Armster, a Vampire servant of Walter's imprisoned within the maze of water for trying to usurp him who wielded multiple swords telepathically.
- In the Ghostly Theater, a massive complex of rooms and halls decorated anachronistically for grand performances with cast and audience stuck forever in a show, Leon found a suspiciously vacant stage with only one seat; here, a Succubus posed as Sara and attempted to assassinate him.
After clearing the castle, Leon assembled the key to the Pagoda of the Misty Moon (a translation error, the intended meaning is "Shrine/Temple Of The Misty Moon") where Walter confronted him, congratulating him and returning Sara. Leon attempted to use his whip on Walter, who was unaffected claiming that Death could not take him. Leon returned Sara to Rinaldo's cottage where he discovered she had been turned into a Vampire by Walter. The only way to save others from her and Leon's fate was to kill her and bind her soul within the whip. Thus was born the Vampire Killer whip. Leon, enraged and heartbroken, battled his way through the castle keep where he discovered the key to a hidden room behind a painting depicting a powerful monster not long after confronting a Doppleganger of himself. Entering the Prison of Eternal Torture, which consisted of a bloodstained hallway, a miles-long staircase in almost pitch-black darkness, and finally a room covered in spikes and chains housing the upper half of a gigantic monster that was flayed alive and left to rot and be consumed by giant maggots yet was still alive; the Forgotten One, which in it's youth challenged God and almost destroyed the world. Leon tested the Vampire Killer by killing the Forgotten one by destroying it's exposed organs, then it's remaining hand, then finally collapsing it's skull (yes, the VK is that fucking powerful). Satisfied Sara's sacrifice was not in vain, Leon destroyed the last of Walter's servants and challenged him in his throne room. Leon defeated the arrogant Vampire, who was shocked to find Death take his soul and deliver it into the Crimson Stone. Mathias appeared, reclaiming the Ebony Stone for himself, and revealed his plot to Leon. He offered Leon immortality at his side, which was then rejected (apparently Mathias thought doing what God had done to him would make someone else come to the conclusion God was to blame for that too). Mathias fled, leaving Leon to fight and banish the grim reaper himself with a message for Mathias; the Belmont clan would use the Vampire Killer to hunt him, and all other monsters, forever. The castle fell apart and the sun returned to the forest.
Leon's family no longer had the support of the Church. Although not branded outright heretics, they became pariahs and their wealth and prestige diminished greatly. Despite this, they continued to hunt and destroy monsters, using the Vampire Killer and passing it between father to son and brother to brother. The spirit of Sara within the whip refused to be wielded by the impure or one not of her lost love's family; any who attempted to claim the Vampire Killer wasted away as Sara fed on their life force. But every beast destroyed by the Belmonts was claimed by Mathias unbeknownst to them. With his alchemy, Mathias absorbed the powers of the Crimson and Ebony Stones, making the power of Dominion his own. Every creature he claimed became an extension of his own will, although Walter's soul within him gave Sara's power the ability to harm him and any pawn of him with ease.
Mathias traveled far and wide, even journeying to Hell itself to battle Lucifer for the title of Prince of Darkness. Mathias traveled to the realm of Chaos, absorbing the energies of the beings within and forcing them into the shape of a great and ever-changing castle who's very grounds can be the size of a province and who's immensity defies the laws of physics, the titular Castlevania. Mathias even dominated abominations and unknowable horrors, pressing beings such as Cthulhu and the kin of Walter's Forgotten One into service as mere guards within his halls. Taking on the name of Vlad Tepes, or Dracula, he claimed Walachia as his own and dared God to move against him. God indeed responded, by giving Vlad hope of redemption. Within his new kingdom was born a woman named Lisa, the reincarnation of Elisabetha. Vlad fell in love with her as he had her past life, and married her. After she gave birth to a son whom he dubbed Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes, Vlad retired from gathering the forces of darkness and ruled his people wisely and justly. Lisa was skilled with the healing arts, and with the spread of the Black Death in the 1400's did her best to ease the suffering of the people. But in a frightened riot, Lisa was burned at the stake as a witch. Vlad finally became Dracula, and enacted a war of genocide against the human race. He selected humans with dominant personalities and a talent for Alchemy, called Devil Forgemasters, to lead his armies as the forces of darkness were unleashed and caused immense suffering on every continent. Dracula sipped wine served by Succubi to the wails of the hundreds of dead and dying within dungeons below. The rivers of blood nourished Castlevania, and hellish weapons were forged using the souls of the doomed. Anywhere his minions treaded was cursed, a spreading toxic influence of evil that warped the wildlife into twisted beasts, filled men's hearts with sin, and rendered the landscape inhospitable. Adrian, who was told by his dying mother that mankind suffered more than enough hardship, was unwilling to be a part of his father's evil and vanished for a time before returning using the holy blade of his mother's ancestors and using the name Alucard to wage a one-man war on Dracula.
In a silly non-canon (maybe) side story, a small boy (or monster) in burlap clothes wearing a pumkpin on his head trick-or-treated Walter's castle.
Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse (Castlevania 1)
The Eastern Orthodox Church sent the armies of Europe to slay Dracula, who became additions to Dracula's army of the undead. Without any other option, the Church secretly called upon the Belmonts, who have been pushed to the fringes of society by the fearful populace, to put Dracula to death. In 1476, Trevor Belmont reached the edge of Dracula's castle and fought his way through. Along the way, he was joined by a former thief named Grant Danasty (whose entire family had been killed by Dracula when the nobles of Wallachia rebelled against him, followed by Grant being turned into a giant hulking brute when he attempted to get revenge), Sypha Belnades (a witch who's parents were killed by the same riots that killed Lisa, who grew up at a monastery and befriended the remaining Feyfolk unaligned with Dracula before becoming an official assassin of the Church), and finally Alucard (The son of Dracula and a human woman who was burned as a witch, in his first appearance before his more famous appearance in Symphony).
Trevor's path was long (and in fact during a playthrough multiple times players have the options to choose one level over another) and lead from Warikiya (Wallachia?) town outside Dracula's castle to the town clock tower, through the forests surrounding the countryside, through a marsh where Dracula's fishmen navy breeds, on a ghost pirate ship (which is for some reason located in Dracula's lake) which they used to reach the island Castlevania is located on, through a sunken city populated by ghosts (which floods as you reach the end of it) then through the mines (which are being washed away as you cross them) and mountains on the cliffface (which are crumbling) and into Dracula's dungeons, tower leading to Dracula's gates (where you fight Frankenstein's Monster, even though he was created in 1792) across Dracula's bridge and aqueduct, through the catacombs and into the ramparts then the castle armory, through the main hall (where once again, Death has his ass beaten) and into Dracula's own clocktower, then finally into his keep and throne room to confront him. Dracula initially fights by teleporting and causing magical flames to shoot out of the floor, but after enough strikes with the Vampire Killer he assumes a form more befitting the new lord of Chaos; six grinning faces that vomit poison blood topped with an exposed brain. After whipping the flesh from the skulls of those faces, Dracula assumed a final form; that of a giant Demon man-bat which warped reality around him and shot lasers from his hands and eyes. After being defeated in this form, both Dracula and his castle as well as the bulk of his armies were pulled back into the realm of Chaos. Trevor and his allies watched the castle crumble and the dawn finally return to the world. Grant and Trevor became rivals for Sypha's affection, although in the end it was Trevor who won her over causing succeeding Belmonts to inherit her magical affinity. Grant became the leader of the new Wallachia and rebuilt the towns and villages destroyed by Dracula's armies. Alucard, ashamed at taking part in patricide and guilty over being unable to save his father, took to a long sleep within his coffin.
Trevor, Sypha, Grant, and Alucard also spent a great deal of time eating fully-cooked porkchops they found whenever the Vampire Killer was able to break through a wall. You know, because video games.
The events of Dracula's Curse are retold in the Netflix Castlevania series, which is notably FAR more violent (and less musical) than the game.
During the events before Dracula's Curse, one of Dracula's Devil Forgemasters named Hector began to question his loyalty. Hector was born with the ability to communicate with spirits and animals, and was neglected by his devout mother who believed him to be evil and his father who's only interest was in governance. His fey friends became enraged at mankind's neglect of their friend and caused the local Church to catch fire, giving him a chance to escape to a being they said would understand him; Vlad. His surrogate father positioned him as the controller of the myriad horrors within his castle during the time of peace and taught him the advanced Alchemy including the creation and manipulation of life. With the death of Lisa he commanded Hector and his fellow Forgemaster Isaac to send forth the beasts under their command to raze Europe while Death commanded the armies remaining in Wallachia. He also sent them whatever they required to forge greater beasts and weapons including souls and blood. Isaac and Hector, both runaways feared for their abilities who found prestige and respect as Dracula's generals, would diverge in ideology. Hector became disgusted with Dracula's slipping sanity and cruelty, and simply abandoned his position to live under an assumed alias in a village after Dracula ordered him to track down and wipe out the Belmonts, leaving his army to infest the countryside and block Trevor's path from time to time instead. Isaac by contrast became obsessed with impressing their master, forging more and more wicked weapons and creatures and inventing horrors never before seen in heaven or hell. Hector's disappearance concerned Dracula, who at this point still had the capacity for human attachment (not to Isaac though), and sent Isaac with several cultists and a werewolf to find Hector's body for honoring, or his treachery and return him for torture. Isaac decided instead to simply off Hector either way, and ensure Dracula's favor would fall on him alone. While the werewolf tracked Hector's scent to the village where he'd taken shelter, it decided to prey on some of the townsfolk. The screams of a small boy who's parents had previously been eaten by Hector's werewolf forces brought the former general to reveal himself by killing the werewolf. Isaac and Hector engaged in battle, although the death of Dracula at Trevor's hands caused Isaac enough of a shock that Hector was able to beat him and leave him for dead. For three years Hector lived in the village, and became engaged to a woman of faith named Rosaly. Sheltering himself in the ruins of the countryside surrounding Dracula's former castle, Isaac was left a ranting and wailing mess clothed only in the tatters of his former uniform and tattooed in the emblems that once adorned the coat. He blamed Hector for the death of Dracula, waited until he had achieved happiness before spreading the rumor that the apples Rosaly sold in the next village were poisoned. Hector came to the town that day to find the village square empty save Rosaly's charred skeleton hanging in the town square, having been burned by a fearful mob, while Isaac stood atop a nearby building and cackled insanely. By the time that Hector reached the roof, Isaac was long-gone. Hector returned to the chapel and dug out his old uniform, then set out in pursuit of his former ally.
Curse of Darkness (Castlevania 2)
To simplify a lot of time-wasting plot, there's two characters who appear constantly; a monk named Zead who is actually Death in disguise guiding Hector into killing Isaac and becoming Dracula's new body, and Saint Germaine who is dressed like a flamboyant Victorian ringmaster/gentleman and is Death's arch-nemesis as well as a time-traveler. Germain is the strangest part of the Castlevania canon, seemingly only being there to lead into a crappy fighting game called Castlevania: Judgement that he doesn't even appear in, and may be part of a dropped plot for the series which was largely killed after this game.
At the start of the game, Hector finally caught up to Isaac at their former base of operations called the Abandoned Castle, a fragment of Castlevania left in the mortal world. Isaac taunted Hector, and goaded him into pursuit. Hector fought his way through the remnants of his own former army haunting the walls, first through the primary part of the castle which had begun to show signs of neglect. When Hector reached the stairway that would have lead to Dracula's chambers he instead discovered a room still partially within the realm of Chaos where the soul of one of Dracula's army was contained. He claimed it as a servant, gaining the loyalty of a small infant fairy. As he completed the ritual "Zead" appeared and told Hector that Isaac had fled out the back of the castle to take refuge in a chapel in the ruined town of Cordova through the mountains. Hector continued on through a small pond to reach the overly large catacombs, and after breaking a pillar and entering through a portion of the collapsed floor above reached the castle dungeons/laboratory where many skeletons were chained to the wall and dried bloodstains covered most surfaces. Hector then reached the higher reaches of the castle decorated with lordly furnishings such as lopsided paintings, burning fireplaces with lit candles, decaying curtains, gilded surfaces and carved ornamentation on the wall, ceiling, and floors, which lead to a decorated room where he faced a giant clockwork knight powered by a demon. After defeating it he used a chair lift to reach the rear exit to the castle into the mountains where he discovered another soul within Chaos; this time, a molten golem.
While exploring the paths of the Baljhet Mountains that had been carved with pillars, decorated walkways, eternal braziers, and stairs to aid travelers in happier times, Hector reached a crossroads with an elaborate door to the massive aqueduct complex Dracula erected in his benevolent period where a young woman was digging herbs from the ground. Hector was amazed at how much like Rosaly she appeared, and asked her if she had seen a man with the same symbols as he wore crossing though. She was cautious until Hector confirmed the man to be his enemy, whereupon she offered to keep the creatures that he freed from Dracula's power safe. Identifying herself as Julia, a prophesying witch who had fled western Europe due to the Church's relentless persecution, she offered him hospitality at her home further up the mountain. Hector continued his journey, reaching a fortress that used to protect the path into Wallachia with cannons and a barricade protecting it. Hector utilized a cannon outside the walls manned formerly by skeletons to blast his way in, and defeat the garrison of creatures within. At the summit of the mountain, he faced a Wyvern that had kept travelers out of Dracula's lands and killed it.
Upon reaching the other side of the mountain ranges, Hector made his way to a former monastery called the Garibaldi Temple, passing by a massive tower which seemed to reach the clouds and could not be entered. At the entrance to the temple he encountered Saint Germain. Disregarding Germain, Hector entered the monastery to find it had been taken over by Dracula's former minions. There was no indication of the fate of the humans that once resided within, and the temple entrance halls were either completely intact with stained glass windows or portions that are damaged including smashed windows, large holes in walls, bloodstains both large and small, and rubble suggesting a small battle occurred at some point involving something large and wounded. Further into the monastery, he found long hallways wrapped around square dead gardens. Beyond that was much more somber hallways, dimly lit by tinted candles where motifs were more depictions of the grim reaper and angels, which had windows to view the outside gardens where only trees and a worn statue of an angel were still visible. Within the main chapel, a room full of tinted windows and depictions of heaven, Hector encountered Trevor Belmont. Recognizing Hector as a Devil Forgemaster, Trevor attacked and the two battled until Hector was exhausted. Surprised that Hector had been so easy to defeat when the Forgemasters were the equals to Death, he remembered that the events of Dracula's Curse had only been possible because of a Forgemaster traitor and put two and two together. Hector continued into the catacombs, fighting Demons and Slogras (skeletal bird-like servants of Death) until he could empower his Golem so it could open the entrance to the Mortvia Aqueduct leading from the mountains to the town.
Hector began by walking along aqueduct pathways lined with hooded statues when he encountered first Zead, then Saint Germain who were both surprised to see Hector, having been waiting for each other and leaving before they could meet. Hector traveled though the aqueduct canals, each ending in a large tower with aesthetic fountains within until he reached another large fortress occupied by monsters armed with cannons, this one to control sea travel into Dracula's realm. Hector once again commandeered an artillery piece with which to blast away the beasts, destroying a tower to create a bridge across in the process allowing him to enter the aqueduct fortress keep. He continued through the fortress interior, decorated with further hooded statues and fountains of various shapes and sizes depicting everything from lions to dragons and tattered banners of Dracula's reign hanging in windows, while fighting various aquatic and wild foes lead by more of Death's servants, the giant demons called Gaibons. Finally exiting the fortress, he reached the edge of a lake where Dracula's castle once stood. Continuing on past the old remnant he entered a large room with a pool and a walkway leading over it, which collapsed as he tried to cross leaving him on a small patch of land around which patrolled a skeleton shark mounted by a skeleton wildman, who used to execute prisoners for Dracula's spectatorship. After defeating the pair, he discovered another entrance to Chaos where he freed the spirit of a giant crow who carried him across the water to the entrance to the Forest of Jigramunt.
As soon as he set foot in the forest, Hector heard voices and ducked behind a tree to watch the exchange between Zead and Germain. Hector then continued through the forest made up of paths similar to those in the Baljhet Mountains, former sites of small fortifications in extreme states of disrepair, a burned-out windmill by a river, a length of actual forestland with a barely-visible path, and a series of caves including a former mine and an underground Colosseum where he fought a massive Minotaur who's back was split, exposing it's spine.
From the back of the Colosseum Hector entered the town of Cordova (where Trevor began his journey in Castlevania 3), finding it completely devoid of life with undead such as Zombies, Ghosts, and horrible patchwork beings formed of multiple corpses alongside warbands of Lizardmen. Every building was completely vacant and boarded up, with the roofs crumbling and falling inwards. When Hector reached the church, no longer the giant cathedral that Trevor has scaled but instead merely the walls of the first story and a facade, he encountered Isaac and the two fought (the fight is portrayed in the demo cinematic of the game, albeit with Hector's fully-leveled up demon against Isaac's, even though Hector doesn't even have the Devil-type companion yet). Isaac commented his powers were returning as expected and rushed forwards to continue the duel until Julia appeared and begged her (big reveal moment) brother to stop. Isaac, annoyed, stated it's still too early to finish off Hector anyway and disappeared in a magic circle on the ground. Julia stood in Hector's way to prevent pursuit, and after being accused of manipulating Hector for Isaac she told him that she wanted to see her brother freed from Dracula's Curse and that to do that Hector had to grow stronger both in his capacity for combat and his spirit as well. She claimed that the only being she could trust to free Isaac instead of merely slaying him is Hector due to their history, and that if it did come down to slaying him Hector is the only being she would accept doing it. Hector then left the cathedral, contemplating her words, and found another of the gateways into Dracula's Chaos. This one contained a Mage-type Innocent Devil, who had the power to stop time for a short few moments. This allowed him to pass through the street that lead to the Eneomaos Machine Tower (possibly the same Clocktower Trevor freed Grant from due to it's location, although the Clocktower in that game fell apart at least to some degree due to having to escape as debris fell from the ceiling after the defeat of the possessed Grant; this may be another tower in the same location, or was rebuilt either by monsters or the lingering influence of Castlevania, or may possibly only appear to be standing as it currently exists outside of time. It's all open to interpretation) which was lined by enchanted fires that blew out and sealed the door to the first courtyard if he tried to approach normally.
The path to the Eneomaos Machine Tower was made up of three garden courtyards leading up to the entrance with brown grass and dried fountains and squatting monsters such as Orcs. The courtyards were bordered with buildings long since collapsed, with only a few shattered walls standing and barely visible from the walkway. Hector encountered another obstacle, this time a twisting path of stairs that raised from the ground at the pull of a lever but withdrew back into the ground after a mere three seconds. Once again, the aid of the Mage enabled him to reach the doorway to a short stairway that lead into a very, VERY tall tower. The inside of the tower was quite old, and a few pieces of information within said that a mad nobleman named Eneomaos built the tower in ages past for an unknown reason. Everywhere behind cages and inside walls where damaged had exposed the hollow interior was machine components still moving in time for an unknown purpose, from cogs to springs to chains to weights. Hector was able to skip exploring much of the tower due to his use of a room on the first floor where a disk was lifted by a screw mechanism as a kind of elevator. By jamming his weapon into the screw, he was able to turn it and use the elevator to reach the much higher in the complex. At the higher reaches of the tower, it became apparent that it was once part of a much larger building as walls trailed off from the already massive building at a height where the ground could no longer be seen over the mists, and windows that appeared to stretch into large dormitories could be seen below the exterior walkways. Upon going around the outside of the complex from the exit of the first elevator, Hector reached a second within a small side tower. Once again using a screw-elevator mechanism, he exited near the top of the tower. The upper chambers were much more intact than the lower ones, with intricate cages and complex machinery still running at full strength. Upon reaching a room with a large engine and a store of replacement parts, Hector dislodged a lose cog that set in action a Rube Goldberg device of machine components breaking down until a piston was sent flying through a wall, exposing a hallway. Through this hallway he reached the stairs leading to the very rooftop courtyard of the massive tower, where he found Saint Germaine casually leaning on a small tower at the center on which was a clock face. The two fought and Germain surrendered, promising not to interfere more and disappearing. Past the tower roof on the other side lay another portal into Chaos, where Hector discovered a small loyal Devil to bring under his control. This Innocent Devil allowed him to use Isaac's trick of turning into a symbol on the ground and move almost anywhere, easily crossing the rubble and hidden passages of Wallachia. Hector finished exploring the top of the tower, which was increasingly showing it's advanced state of disrepair now that the time warp had ended as he progressed. Hector retraced his steps to the Temple, where he was able to use his Demon to reach a second catacomb hidden behind a wall. Within, the stacks of bones gave appeared to be covered in purple ooze the further down he progressed until the final path, far below the surface, gave way to flesh and cancerous growths on the bones leading further still while Demon fetuses within floating eggs drifted through. At the end of the pathway was the door to a nightmarish room, lined with flesh and with a floor made entirely of an unknowable number of naked human corpses. On the sides of the walls was a staircase made of bone, leading up to a gigantic ball called "Legion" of pure evil made of similar bodies to the ones below at the top of the room. He ascended the staircase, attacked by corpses that stood from the floor to block his progress while filling with a pus-like acid until they burst, and hacked away at the corpse-ball until the core was exposed. The core then cracked and exploded, with a being made of pure light emerging. The being was called the Nuculais and was in the shape of a humanoid although it lacked any form of features barring an exposed heart. It morphed it's hands into blades and leaped into the floor, leaving behind a surface of plasma, to get around the room and attack Hector. Upon defeating it the creature exploded into pure light. He then returned to Cordova, and used the abilities of the Devil to travel beyond the magical gates at the top of the village hill that kept the bulk of Dracula's forces trapped within the Aiolon Ruins.
The Ruins consisted of a deep and ancient forest which had overtaken the ruins of a previous civilization, which blends real-world architecture and iconography of different kinds into the general feel of a long-abandoned city in the hills. He once again encountered a fortress protected by cannons, this time an ancient fort of times long past that had become a bastion of Dracula's forces. Once again, Hector commandeered a cannon and blew the piss out of the fortifications and stormed the gates, pacifying all resistance. Utilizing an underground tunnel full of statues and carvings where more Slogras and Gaibons appeared, Hector found Isaac and Trevor locked in combat and evenly matched. After seeing Hector, Isaac claimed to have already gotten what he needed and taunted Trevor by saying that his defeat of Dracula was only a fluke before claiming that he would kill both of them before vanishing. Trevor finally believed Hector was an ally but accused him of getting in his way any left, after which Zead appeared out of nowhere and told him that Isaac could be found in a hidden room below where they first met, the Abandoned Castle, and in the exchange Zead panicked and seemed to think Germain had changed history. Hector then returned to the Abandoned Castle, to the long open stone staircase up to the top tower where he encountered the Golem and found that a metal staircase had been lowered. In the higher room, Hector found Trevor and told him what Zead had said. Trevor claimed it was impossible, that only the blood of a Belmont would be able to open that chamber before realizing that was why Isaac had attacked him. Trevor then attacked Hector to test how much stronger he'd become, and noted that Hector fought almost as if an entirely different person. Trevor then cut his hand with a dagger and allowed his blood to fall on the floor, which caused a magical rune to appear.
After stepping on the rune, Hector found himself in a room not unlike anything else in the castle, although in a much better preserved state. Upon exiting it however he found himself standing on a path of stone leading upwards from the room, which was externally the bottom floor of a massive tower, floating in a void of purple with ghostly lanterns lining the path; the Infinite Corridor, which lay within the Chaos Abyss where Dracula had been banished. He followed the path to another similar tower, then a third, then to a small portion of battlements all floating within the nothingness. Past that, stone walkways lined with running water with cracks in said walls also somehow leaking water despite nothing being behind them. In the sky, large chunks of what had also once been Castlevania floated in storm clouds. He continued through these upwards paths, towers, and waterways until he reached an apparent dead-end of a shattered stone walkway. But upon walking partway up, Hector found himself in a totally new landscape, floors and partial walls that appeared to be made of bismuth with carved pillars, tiles depicting strange designs, and candles situated atop root-like organic structures which floated in a maelstrom of wind and floating debris despite being calm within. Each "room" ended in another staircase to nowhere which when ascended somehow lead to another such room. He eventually reached a large example of such rooms, which lead to more debris from Castlevania, then to more bismuth rooms, then finally to a four-way hub lit by iron lanterns on dead trees and at the center of which lay a large lavender crystal formation, which lead to a bismuth room where a seemingly infinite number of the skulls of some animal blocked his progress (which the Mage was able to stop time to enable him to cross), leading finally to a final walkway. At the end, he entered a bizarre room lined by shelves filled with jars in which severed heads floated and was lined by columns that appeared to be spinal cords erupting from a fleshy entrance in the floor. The master of the chamber, the Dullahan, was left there by Trevor due to it's lack of loyalty regarding who it slays, making it the perfect jailer to the beasts of Castlevania. After it's defeat, the souls it had consumed escaped and it burned to nothingness. After it vanished completely the rune at the center of the room began to glow, and Wallachia shook and buckled as massive vortexes in the sea caused the water levels across the country to recede, and Castlevania re-formed and returned from the depths to the world. Back in the Abandoned Castle Trevor was stabbed through the back by Isaac, who revealed he had baited Trevor into sending Hector to the seal which could only be broken by a great deal of demonic magic and by fighting the Dullahan, he had broken it simply by being near it. Isaac then cackled like a madman as he left Trevor to bleed to death on the decaying carpet. Hector managed to return to the mortal world, and quickly made his way to the bridge from the Aqueduct that lead to the castle. As he approached the bridge Julia appeared and implied that the reason Dracula's Curse had continued to spread was its source was never banished, that now it could be sent with Dracula himself back into the abyss. She told him to give up his grief and regret and focus on defeating Dracula again. Hector knew his knowledge of demons would enable him to find where the Curse originated, but Julia explained that she found Trevor near dead and he would not be able to help.
Hector's Golem forced open the gate to Castlevania for him to enter, where he found himself in beautiful marble hallways populated by Dracula's strongest servants. After fighting through the gatehouse and ramparts, he entered the main hall and battled through Dracula's elite. Exiting through a side staircase, Hector came to Dracula's torture chambers; chambers lined only by iron maidens with wire floors above large pits, every surface somehow covered in blood and gore. The connected hallways were lined by long corridors where giant spiked mechanisms separated segments above further blood-collection channels. Empty cells, stacks of bones, and shackles on the walls to force people to watch their friends and family reduced to pulp decorated other areas. Past that was the dungeons proper and the catacombs (conveniently in one place) where Dracula likely entombed the bloodless remains of the humans he found particularly interesting. Above that, Dracula's inner hallways which were decorated with statues of demons, highly elaborate carvings of demons in flight, painted frescoes with iconography of Wallachia's nobility, carvings that depicted humans suffering or weeping with altars surrounded by candles and obscured by piled skulls, and candle holders in the shape of a coffin containing a vampire in rooms with high tiled ceilings and dark hallways lit only by moonlight against curtains. After a great many such hallways, Hector reached the entrance to the Pinnacle; a shattered staircase leading from the main castle keep to a tower that only existed from the place the staircase reached it and upwards. Within was Dracula's inner sanctum, a dark room decorated with black and gold engravings where black magic bled like water, where marble pillars lay between sconces where candles burned purple light, where on the walls lay four glowing orbs held up by golden statues of hands and a large statue of demons kneeling before teeth and eyes; one had cracked open, revealing a (still alive) incubating demon akin to those floating freely in the catacombs of the Gaibaldi Temple. On the ground lay a swirling purple energy contained by the iron wire floor. Here Isaac had waited, congratulating Hector on his restoration of Castlevania. Promising Hector's gruesome death was at hand, he attacked while cackling insanely. Hector defeated each of his Devils, and slammed Isaac to the floor ready to stab him to death with his own glowing purple (a recurring evil color apparently) sword before he recalled Julia's warning not to let the Curse take hold of him. He fell to his knees, recognizing that the bloodlust in him was Dracula's will trying to control him. Zead stepped into the room, clapping as a magical coffin rose from the floor and pulled the unconscious Isaac into it. Zead explained that since Devil Forgemasters are the only beings infused with Dracula's magic, one of them would need to become his new body. He voiced regret that Hector, the stronger of the two, had been able to resist the Curse before revealing Dracula's soul was now taking control of Isaac's body. Hector correctly identified him as Death before he was pulled into the Chaos Abyss where the bottom of the Pinnacle tower resided permanently and Death had been banished by Trevor and his allies. Standing on the hems of Death's massive cloak, he battled the Grim Reaper's body and avoided his blades. After severely weakening the Reaper, Hector was pulled back to reality and exited the chamber to reach the last staircase, which had not yet emerged from the Chaos Abyss and lay within a maelstrom of purple smoke and clouds. At the top of the stairs was the floating structure that Hector saw far above in the Infinite Corridor, Dracula's Throne room which was still incomplete with the walls and ceiling having not reformed. Only the back wall, a few pillars depicting vicious draconic serpents, and the throne itself still existed. As Hector entered the coffin that had drawn Isaac in opened and revealed the reborn Dracula.
Dracula greeted Hector, asking why he had betrayed him. Hector replied that Dracula's persecution of mankind and indiscriminate slaughter forced him to, and they had a back and forth conversation about humanity before fighting. Hector beat Dracula's first form, the usual fly/teleport/shoot fireballs (and now lasers) with the added power of forcing bloody spikes from the ground that chased Hector around the room. After taking significant punishment, Dracula shattered the remnants of Castlevania around him save a single piece of ground and transformed into a massive demonic black dragon with four feathered wings. Dracula attacked with various powers using black magic of all kinds as well as his own claws before succumbing to his own power in Hector's control. Dracula, defeated and near death, returned to the throne room with Hector and realized he could not fully merge with the impure and damaged Isaac. He claimed that although he could be temporarily banished again from the world, his Curse could never be lifted and would cause the wickedness in mankind's hearts to obliterate themselves. Hector replied that being a Devil Forgemaster he had the power to diminish it into a harmless state. With that, Dracula was pulled back into the Chaos Abyss and Isaac's body collapsed lifeless. Hector drew the Curse (which was apparently all of the purple glowing shit everywhere throughout the game) into one final Innocent Devil (the form of which is not shown), and with the loss of the energy Castlevania was again pulled into the Abyss with it's master. Julia appeared and created a magical rune on the floor with her staff which returned them to the mortal world. As they disappeared, she said one final goodbye to her brother's body. Castlevania shattered once more into lifeless stone and dust back in the material plane, and remnants of the Curse disappearing into the world around. The dark clouds around Wallachia departed and the sun shone again for the first time since the death of Lisa. Viewing the crumbled remains of the castle Hector and Julia acknowledged the Curse had touched the heart of every human, but both still had "faith in the morrow". Saint Germain is then seen in the clocktower, giving an ending narration directly to the player. Hector and Julia are then seen walking the road to her shop in the mountains. Upon being asked what he intended to do now, he replied that he had to find some hidden place for his free-willed monsters. She offered him to stay with her which he happily accepted. It's unknown if they had any children or what happened to his many Innocent Devils after his death (or even if they did die, as he still has the power of Dracula and Julia is a powerful witch) as Curse of Darkness came near the end of the series and thus can't be referenced later without retcons.
Throughout his journey, Hector collected many chairs. Many were anachronistic, and likely were somehow involved with Saint Germaine. Hector stored them within a pocket dimension where he could happily sit in Dracula's throne and play Pachinko next to a flush toilet nearby all day erryday. Because vidya. Within Dracula's Castle, he found a special Innocent Devil; Pumpkin, the non-canon(?) hero from Leon's time, had somehow been forced into servitude under Dracula and was freed by Hector! Adorbz. This is Pumpkin's last appearance in the series.
Hector also fought his way upwards through one giant tower, the Tower of Eternity in the Forest of Jigramunt, then flew to the Tower of Evermore outside the Garibaldi Temple from it's top and fought his way down to the bottom. There was no real purpose for this except to kill more shit.
Castlevania: The Adventure/Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy (Castlevania 3)
Originally a Gameboy (not Color, not Advance, not DS; that big blocky black and white screen Gameboy that sucked batteries like Drac himself during a heatwave) game, the story was later retold in a short comicbook series released by IDW. Initially there was confusion as to who the main character was, since the English version of the game box, manual, and advertising stated that Simon (a later Belmont) was the main character when in fact it was Christopher, a new member of the family. Since this was around the time that Castlevania's storyline was actually beginning to link game to game, Konami had to clear up the mystery of the Belmont family and timelines by clarifying it goes Trevor, then Christopher, then Simon (the original Belmont video game hero) with Leon being added later as the one that preceded Trevor.
Exactly 100 years after Trevor defeated Dracula, the powers of Dracula's Curse return to the world. The Belmont clan had grown powerful and rejoined the nobility of the rebuilt Wallachia after Dracula's first defeat, although the people were still highly superstitious and believed the magic that the Belmonts were able to use was black magic rather than holy. Cultists have spread, worshiping Dracula instead of God, and their nightly heretical rituals and sacrifices (initially animal, later human) strengthened the returning Curse.
The vidya version is extremely basic. Christopher fights his way through a forest, then a graveyard, until he encounters an evil knight which he fights and kills. He then entered the bat-filled dungeons of the castle, then made his way into the caverns below it, and fought a small army of Flea Men. He then progressed into the castle itself and was menaced by constant spike traps in floor and advancing wall varieties before fighting a Harpy. He then progressed into the castle courtyard, through the halls, then confronted Dracula himself who first did the standard "teleport around the room and throw fireballs" trick he always does before turning into a giant bat that shot smaller bats. After being defeated, Castlevania (this time resembling more a giant insect hive than a castle proper) crumbled as Christopher watched from a nearby cliff. After he left however, Dracula (in bat form) burst from the rubble and flew off...
The comic story is CONSIDERABLY more complicated. The Belmonts are local nobility, and the past heroes of the clan are regarded as saints and are immortalized within the Church. Dracula himself had three wives at some point in the past, which was never previously shown. Christopher Belmont shook off his recurring dreams of finding his young son turned into a vampire by Dracula, and married a woman named Illya the same day as cultists within the town, lead by a noble family that were the descendants of the mortal servants of Dracula, secretly resurrected him with sacrifices of cultists. While Christopher consummated his marriage, Dracula broke into the family cemetery and defiled the corpses and graves of the clan, in particular Christopher's parents, with the symbol of Dracula's dragon heraldry carved into the walls of the tomb. Ilyana and Christopher armed themselves with the Belmont relics (the axe, watch, holy water, cross, and dagger-the subweapons of every game) while Gaspar, the patriarch of the Totoya clan that had been entrusted to keep the Vampire Killer safe and hidden, returned it to the two warriors. Gaspar, his grandchildren Viktor and Pascha, the Belmont family servant Deimos, and the two wedded Belmonts set off on horseback towards the location where the traitor nobles were located. In the meantime Sona, the eldest daughter of the traitor clan, had resurrected Dracula's form from an emaciated skeleton bat to his blue-skinned red-eyed glory using her own blood before becoming his lover. As the heroes entered the lands of Dracula's spreading curse they were attacked by zombies. Viktor's throat was torn open by Dracula himself before he captured Ilya and flew to await the return of Castlevania itself. Viktor, now a vampire, attacked the heroes. Gaspar allowed himself to be bitten in order to use the time of transformation to relay information to Christopher about Dracula's current actions and strength. The heroes killed Viktor and forced the transformed Gaspar to lead them to the cave where Dracula had made a home in the skeleton-filled section of subterranean caverns normally used by Belmonts to reach his castle with Sona, whom he had been callously draining for sustenance and otherwise forced her to walk naked through the caves until needed. As Dracula attempted to turn Ilya into a new bride the heroes attacked him. Gaspar's last act of freedom before using Pascha's holy blade strike at Sona to take his own life was to break the chains holding Ilya in place. Sona was beheaded, but Dracula escaped in bat form while dragging Christopher through the ceiling. In midair, Christopher used the Vampire Killer to break Dracula's neck and ride the disintegrating corpse to safety. Viktor and Gaspar were buried in the Belmont cemetery while Pascha was made a vassal of the clan. However, when Christopher and Ilya conceived a child it was shown to have Dracula's pointy ears and glowing red eyes...
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Castlevania 4)
Yet another original Gameboy game.
Christopher's son, Soleiyu Belmont, had been turned into a demon/vampire by Dracula on the day he was to be passed control of the family and the Vampire Killer in 1591. Christopher first had to conquer four castles held by Dracula's minions.
- The Crystal Castle is an elaborate series of halls full of waterfalls, with the sunken city that Trevor once braved now having risen to surround it. The boss of the area was the Dark Side, an elemental wizard.
- The Rock Castle, partially formed out of the same caves where Christopher fought Dracula before, full of hieroglyphics and ancient traps. The boss was the Iron Doll, a goat-headed demon wearing a suit of armor.
- The Plant Castle was not a physical building so much as a marsh with vines and branches making a massive palace, with rope bridges and ropes forming the pathways between sections. Kumulo and Nimbler were the bosses of the castle, a pair of living statues with goatlike heads attached to moving walls.
- The Cloud Castle was a fortress resting in the mountains surrounding Castlevania that resembled a decrepit eastern monastery (possibly the Garibaldi Temple). The castle boss was the Angel Mummy, a humanoid being stuck to the wall with a human skull and a dragon head on the tail, both of which breathed fire and swapped vertebrae by firing them like boomerangs to each other. In the middle of the body was a scowling face which roared at Christopher.
With all four castles conquered and the orbs the bosses dropped collected, the hive-like Castlevania rose again from the lake in the same way it had for Hector. Once again he braved the courtyard, this time pursued through the main hall by a giant tunneling serpent-like Bone Dragon. He then traveled through the chapel and encountered his son in the keep, ready to die to buy Dracula enough time to be fully resurrected. Soleiyu fought the same as Christopher using a dark whip, but was unable to defeat his father and was cleansed of Dracula's control by the Vampire Killer and the spirit of Sara. Christopher left his son to recover and traveled through an outdoor hall decorated with statues of the Grim Reaper bowing to their master before descending on a rope to the same place he had (in the previous game) fought Dracula before. Using the souls of the four beings Christopher defeated, Dracula reclaimed his old form and attacked Christopher by...teleporting around the room and telepathically juggling energy balls and throwing them at him. This time, Dracula was defeated without taking a second form. Christopher and Soleiyu watched Castlevania crumble again into the lake. This time, no giant bat or vampire baby was seen and Soleiyu spent the rest of his life dedicating himself to cleansing the land of any presence of Dracula or the Curse.
Vampire Killer/Castlevania/Haunted Castle/Super Castlevania 4/Castlevania Chronicles (Castlevania 5)
The very first Castlevania game, starring a Belmont that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger Conan The Barbarian and He-Man had a lovechild that stole Indiana Jones's whip. First released for the floppy disk (look it up, kids) peripheral for the Famicom, AKA Japanese NES. Americans then Europeans got it as a cartridge game later, before it was ported back to Japan as a cartridge not long before the launch of the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom. To date, the game has had a grand total of seven rereleases with the most recent ones being graphical and control upgrades.
Dracula's Curse has never been weaker thanks to the efforts of Christopher and Soleiyu, but as the strength of Jesus Christ grew on Easter 1691, the power of Dracula grew in the hearts of the wicked as well. Cultists held a Black Mass on the ceremony of the hundred years since he had been defeated, which succeeded in resurrecting him and making Castlevania manifest once more in the lake in Transylvania (no mention of Wallachia). The next Belmont in line, Simon, was eager to fight Dracula as his before him did. Simon made his way through Dracula's castle, starting with the entrance way, another hall with insta-kill spikes, a broken rooftop, an underground cavern that leads to a garden, a prison, and a bridge leading to a clock tower. Simon also had to fight many monsters along the way, which include the return of Giant Bats, Medusa Heads, Mummies, The Frankenstein Monster who has decided to partner with the annoying hunchbacks, and once again Death.
Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest (Castlevania 6)
7 years after the events of Castlevania, Simon slowly starts to die from a curse that was placed on him by Dracula in their last fight. Simon goes to his family graveyard to pray, when he meets a old woman who tells him about the curse. After this, Simon must find 5 remains of Dracula that were found and hidden by his followers in 5 mansions and burn them to stop the curse.
In this game, the standard level system is replaced by a more nonlinear, free roaming style similar to Metroid (hence the term Metroidvania) with several RPG elements. Hearts are also now used as currency instead of ammunition. This makes a lot of the game walking back and forth and grinding for hearts in order to buy all the items you will need on the journey. Along the way Simon will encounter townsfolk who will give him "advice" in the form of "clues" which usually end up not making any sense (Because this was still the age of that good ol' ENGRISH that was hilarious to see but nobody fucking understood).
There is also a day and night system which will switch between the times of day every so often. The times of day have a lot of effects. During the daytime, enemies are weaker, but give out less hearts. During the night,monsters are stronger and take more hits to kill, but give out more hearts. Shops are also closed during the night.
The 3 bosses in Simon's Quest (yes only three) can hardly be called bosses. Death can be avoided entirely by just walking past him, the new boss Carmilla is only limited to crying Bloody Tears (heh), and Dracula is a pathetic excuse for a final boss who looks like Death and throws Sickles instead of flames ( although you can just spam flame on him when he spawns and kill him before he even can attack at all).
Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance (Castlevania 7)
Juste the stand users goes against DRA Zu Wardo.
Dracula X: Rondo Of Blood (Castlevania 8)
Dracula X: Rondo Of Blood was a new game with a new Belmont named Richter.
Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (Castlevania 9)
Now this is the one people probably remember fondest, the PS1 darling which paved the way for an entirely new genre of gaming as well as a more in-depth look at edgelord darling Alucard, who was now the lone playable character.
After the intro which was just the end of Rondo - even including the part where Richter can get his ass bailed out by a little girl. Dracula was considered very much dead at this point with absolutely no hope of returning again...
Except not. 1796 rolls around and Richter Belmont ends up missing while Castlevania returns with seemingly no presence of its owner. Alucard is awakened, concerned about what this all means, and he is also accompanied by a grown-up Maria Renard on her own hunt for Richter.
As it turns out, Richter was indeed here all along, claiming himself to be the new owner for some stupid reason. Alucard is given some glasses by Maria and manages to undo Richter's mind control to reveal the real perpetrator: SHAFT! Shaft was a cultist dedicated to bringing back Dracula and wipe out the Belmont Clan. He fails. Drac re-extends his offer to his son to join forces and kill humanity and avenge his mother (Since Al's mother was burned for being a witch), Al tells the old man to stuff it (His mom made him promise that he wouldn't come to try and wipe out humanity despite being a bunch of pricks). Cue one road trip through a Castlevania turned upside-down, and they fight again. Alucard manages to do away with his father and reminds him of his mother's last wish, which finally gets through to the old bastard (even though he comes back to do the same shit again). With nothing left mooring him, Alucard resolves to end his damned bloodline and vanish into nothingness while Maria is conflicted because she kinda got the hots for a half-vampire.
Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia (Castlevania 10)
Following the adventures of Richter Belmont, there's a group called the Order of Ecclesia who intend to take the Belmonts' place as demon hunters. Their main claim to this is the Dominus Glyphs (essentially the same thing as Soma does, except now there are three slots to do shit with and less shopping with souls).
Shanoa is a woman of this order who is meant to be the next bearer of these glyphs, but they're suddenly stolen by Albus, a colleague. She runs into a deserted village and discovers that its inhabitants have been abducted by Albus, suspiciously interested in their blood. Even more suspicious, Albus even gives away two of the big Dominus Glyphs after some quick matches. At the end of this hunt, she finds out that Albus was possessed by the last glyph and his intentions with the villagers? Turns out they're all descendants of the Belmont bloodline and his hope was that their blood would help him control the glyph from overwhelming him. He dies and Shanoa takes the glyph and Albus' soul, realizing that her emotions and past were all stripped from her.
So she confronts her master about all this. Turns out that he was actually planning to resurrect Dracula (SURPRISE!) and by dying, brings back Castlevania. Now with the full power of Dominus, she has to run her way on through and fight off the big guy. The issue here's that doing so quite literally requires someone to sacrifice their life. Well, Shanoa still had a body, so it fell upon Albus to take her place and give her back her memories.
Castlevania: Legacy Of Darkness (Castlevania 11)
The second Castlevania game released for the Nintendo 64, this was a prequel to Castlevania 64 despite being released after the first in 1999.
The protagonist this time is Cornell, a member of a werewolf tribe who sees his settlement burned to the ground and his sister kidnapped by Drac's minions. Along the way of tracking his sister's scent, he's harassed by Ortega, a rival werewolf who joined forces with Drac for the chance to finally come out victorious. This rivalry comes back many times, only finally ending right before facing Dracula, though this also required Cornell to burn out his werewolf powers and inadvertently seal the doom of the ritual needed to restore ol' fangface to his full power.
Castlevania 64 (Castlevania 12)
As the title indicates, this was the first Castlevania game released for the Nintendo 64. It's Also the first to use a day/night cycle and a timer which determines whether or not you get the good ending. Because evil decides to not faff about now of all times.
1852 sees Dracula's power returning again, so it falls upon Reinhart Schneider, descendant of the Belmonts, and magician Carrie Fernandez to stop this. They're initially harassed by an aristocrat vampire type, whom pretty much fits the bill of being Dracula. They find allies in an old vampire hunter, a seemingly friendly vampire hunter, a demonic merchant, and a strange boy.
Failing to reach the deadline sees the vampire hunter killed by the vampire and thus both die with the threat seemingly vanquished. Succeeding sees the heroes kill the vampire to realize that he's not really Drac and it's really the kid, whom then sucks everyone into an alternate dimension to fight his new monster-mode.
The Events of Bram Stoker's Dracula takes place around this time. Quincy Morris, a character from the novel, doesn't die and has a son in this timeline named John Morris, who would take up the Vampire Killer years later.
Castlevania: Bloodlines (Castlevania 13)
Castlevania: Portrait Of Ruin (Castlevania 14)
Frustrating as a time skip to Castlevania fans due to the massive events. In this time World War 2 occurs which Dracula has involvement in somehow, and in 1999 there is a war called the "Demon Castle War" which is essentially World War 3 (when Nostradamus predicted another World War supposedly) during an eclipse where the fate of the world would be decided. The reason the Belmonts took a break from using the Vampire Killer was to save their strength for this war. Alucard acted as a secret agent wearing sunglasses, and the nations of the world fought against Dracula's infinite monster hordes as Julius Belmont defeated Dracula for the last time, killing him for real at long last somehow. That time travel asshole from Curse Of Darkness, Saint Germain, also played a part apparently.
Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (Castlevania 15)
So it's now 2035, several years in the future and everyone's pretty sure Dracula's finally dead. Shit's never so easy. Unlike the majority of the games, which tended to take more European tomes, this one went for a distinctly Japanese backdrop before entering the castle.
Enter Soma Cruz, average pasty-faced high schooler who's accompanied by his childhood-friend-who's-so-not-his-gf Mina Hakuba (Totally not Harker, we swear). One day when they were looking at the solar eclipse, they both find themselves drawn into a world beyond the moon, which turns out to be Castlevania. He is immediately met by Secret Agent Genya Arikado (three guesses who it is, first two don't count), who explains that 1) Soma has the power to absorb the souls of slain monsters and use them as weapons, and 2) he should find the center of this castle to find a way out.
Along the way, he's met by a kindly missionary/secret cult leader named Graham Jones, Yoko Belnades (descendant of Sypha), U.S. Army Guy Hammer, and J (Amnesiac guy who's secretly Julius Belmont). The former is immediately considered dangerous because he doesn't believe the castle to be dangerous because he's the next successor to Dracula (he was born on the day Drac died, which is pretty ominous to be fair...). Yoko and Al both agree that this guy's a nutcase and at the throne room, Soma and Graham have their big bad duel.
Thus is the big spoiler revealed: Soma's actually the reincarnation of big ol' Vlad Tepes himself. However, this isn't all well and good and Soma's forced to fight his way out of being overrun by the Castlevania's flow of chaos. He's then set upon by a no-longer-amnesiac Julius, who deduces that Soma's Dracula. They have their match, but Julius notices that Soma and Dracula aren't as identical as he thought, and as a guarantee Soma makes Julius promise that if he ever goes Full Drac, Julius would be there to kill him again.
Thus motivated, he manages to break the chaos (by killing his past self) and is finally free to go home.
Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (Castlevania 16)
This sequel to Aria of Sorrow is different in two fundamental ways: The first is the far more animu artstyle (whereas the former had art similar to SotN) and the second is that this was on the Nintendo DS and thus had to use touchscreen mechanics, though this extends only to "draw patterns to kill bosses".
It's a year after Aria, and we're back into Soma Cruz the neo-Dracula. He's then set upon by a cultist named Celia Fortner, who claims that she'll kill Soma and bring about the real Dracula. Soma's pissed that his powers are still around when he thought they were gone for good. Convinced that he's not safe, he joins the old gang and breaks into Celia's fake castle and starts reaping tallies between her minions and the demons. Celia's right hand man, Dmitri Blinov, turns out to more of hassle to kill than the rest.
Celia manages to piss off Soma enough to go Dracula by killing of (a doppelganger) of childhood friend Mina, but a gift she handed him and Alucard's intervention manage to reverse the transformation, however Dmitri manages to copy Soma's soul-taking shtick. When they find the crazy duo again, Dmitri kills his bitch of a boss and becomes powerful enough to take on Soma...except the strain of so many souls ends up overwhelming him and becoming their own menace. Despite being the real Dracula, Soma's able to fare little better and instead flees the castle out of fear that his responsibility was supposed to be to become Dracula again.
There is also a mode that you can unlock called Julius Mode. This is in an alternate universe where Soma becomes the new Dark Lord, which makes Julius get out of retirement to once again kill Dracula. Along side him are Yoko Belnades and Alucard as a clear reference to Castlevania 3 (Hammer was also shown to have text data of him joining Julius but he is not playable in the game, although he most likely would have played similar to Grant Danasty to complete the original group).
Castlevania: Judgement (Time/space fuckery)
Remember that Saint Germain Doctor Who type shit from Curse Of Darkness? Here's where that plot ended up. The final Castlevania game in the canon continuity, its an arena-based fighting game along the lines of Super Smash Brothers (Where Simon and Richter would incidentally end up about a decade after this game's release) where players would have to use their powers as well as the various sub-weapons famous to the series.
One of the bosses from Symphony Of The Night, Galamoth, has usurped Dracula as chief evil ten thousand years in the future (Though where the present lies in canon isn't really specified, if it existed) and sent his minion the Time Reaper (Unrelated to Death) back in time in order to kill Dracula. Ideally, this would result in Galamoth ruling all of time, despite potentially triggering a paradox.
Aeon, time-traveler and presumed servant of Saint Germain, pulls various characters from across Castlevania history to fight each other and to decide who gets to kill the Time Reaper.
The characters are Simon Belmont (From the original), Trevor Belmont (3), Grant Danasty (3), Sypha Belnades (3), Maria Renard (Rondo/Symphony), Eric Lecarde (Bloodlines), Shanoa (Ecclesia), Alucard, Carmilla, a Golem, Cornell (Curse of Darkness), Death, Dracula, and Aeon himself. They fight on ten different stages, the ultimate winner defeating the Time Reaper and setting the timestream back to the way it should be. If you thought the anime school
girlboy-ification from the Sorrow games was bad, this game is your worst nightmare as every character is reduced to anime-esque clothing that male strippers would find too revealing, the female characters are thrown into gothic lolita dress (even the actual lolita) other than Sypha who is now a Final Fantasy-style nun despite being a (not very stereotypical) witch, and nobody knows or can explain what the fuck happened to Grant, Death, or Cornell. The chief suspect in all this is the fact that Konami decided to hire the artist for Death Note, Takeshi Obata, to design the characters here, which is very obvious - if you need proof, just look at Simon and then at Light Yagami.
This is where Castlevania proper ended, with Konami deciding to make God Of War clones (as discussed below) in an attempt to reboot the whole thing before giving up entirely, eventually cutting off all their franchises (If you thought this was bad, just look at what happened to Metal Gear and Silent Hill), and deciding the future was in repurposing them all as mobile games and pachinko machines. No, really.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
A Kickstarter game that's a spiritual successor to Castlevania in the vein of other retro-darlings like Mighty Number 9 (The Mega Man spiritual successor which released to poor reviews despite earning a shit-ton of backer bucks followed by shitshow of a development period) and Yooka-Laylee (A Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor which released to divisive reviews, though without any grand mess in the development) run by Koji Igarashi himself and a new studio now that Konami's given up on making video games. At the very least, there's been some frequent communication from the team, and were able to release a retroclone in the style of the original Castlevanias in compensation for the delays. It finally released in June 2019 to a generally positive reception, with noted exception going to the Nintendo Switch port (While problematic, they're far from the first to suffer from having a port to that thing be considered the weakest port of the mainstream consoles and the team's been actively working to improve the experience).
Our main protagonist Miriam, who's pretty much a copypaste of Shanoa from OoE/Soma from Aria and Dawn down to the "steal enemy souls for new powers" bit, but her powers are derived from some alchemical ritual that lets her absorb demonic energy. See, the Alchemists created a bunch of people like her in order to summon demons from the pits of Hell in a gambit to scare people away from that trite "progress at the sake of spiritualism" dealio that the Industrial Revolution presented. It backfired horribly and instead the Alchemists and most of Europe get ravaged for ten years with the only surviving members of the ritual being Miriam (by being rendered comatose through unknown means) and Gebel (who managed to survive the mess of being used as demon fuel and acted as a moral guide for Miriam) while the Guild falls apart. Some years later, Miriam awakens and finds out that Gebel has returned to the Alchemist base in order to summon a giant castle filled with demons. Together with junior Alchemist Johannes (who acts as the crafter/stay-at-home husband), Dominique (an exorcist of the Catholic Church who also runs a market) and her contracted swordsman Zangetsu (voiced by David "Solid Snake" Hayter), Miriam delves into this castle to uncover just what turned Gebel to attempt wiping out humanity and prevent him from using a legendary tome to summon the most powerful daemon of them all.
Castlevania: Legends (The other Castlevania 2)
A now non-canon entry released for the Game Boy in 1997, this game introduced the first female Belmont, Sonia, who was apparently also the first Belmont to fight Dracula in 1450 with the help of Alucard.
This game was pretty much hated by everyone, including Igarashi himself, so when Lament of Innocence retconned it with the tale of Leon and Mathias, nobody really minded.
Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon (The other Castlevania 10 but in Lords of Shadow timeline)
Released on 2001 as a launch title for the Game Boy Advance, this game has events that are absolutely unrelated to the larger lore of the series, most critically being that the Belmonts have absolutely no involvement here. Instead, we take the role of Nathan Graves, apprentice to vampire hunter Morris Baldwin. He's also accompanied by Morris' son, Hugh, the rival who's pissed that his dad likes Nathan enough to hand over the protagonist-mandated whip.
Lady Carmilla decides to resurrect Dracula (Gabriel) this time, and for the ritual she needs the blood of an enemy. Thus she stages the ritual in 1860 with such pomp that Morris, Hugh, and Nathan are all present. Carmilla resurrects the big guy, who then blasts the two juniors down an obscenely long pit (which they somehow survive) and kidnaps Morris. With no way up, the two apprentices decide to make their own routes up to rescue the old man. Along the way, Nathan has to come across and kill several bosses, including Death (Who's here because he's Drac's majordomo and thus must always be a boss), Carmilla, and a brainwashed Hugh (who took the rivalry a bit too far).
The main system implemented in this title was a collectible card system that was established because Pokemon was still fresh on people's minds and Yu-Gi-Oh was slowly gaining traction to becoming the TCG behemoth it is. These cards were split between Greco-Roman deities and mythological creatures and by mixing and matching cards from each group, you developed new power ranging from the mundane elemental damage on whips to some more intriguing ones like summons and turning into a 1HP skeleton with a weapon that could instakill anything on a crit.
Castlevania : The Arcade ( Light Gun Arcade Game)
In this light gun arcade game, you play as a generic vampire hunter and a generic gunner(and a witch). You attack by using a "light whip" which you swing at the screen to attack the monsters on screen. The sub weapons are used with a bottom button and the heart meter goes up to 25 hearts. While this was released for Japan in 2009 and planned for Europe, it was only shown at test locations and can only be found in Japan.
Castlevania : Order of Shadows (Mobile Phone Game)
Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 1, 2, and Mirror of Fate (Tribute reboot)
This could have been so much more...
This series of games (The numbered ones being on PS3 and Xbox 360 while Mirror of Fate was Nintendo 3DS) was supposed to be chronicling an alternate canon which explained the origin story of Dracula. What resulted was fraught with problems, with the least of them being that Dracula was really a guy named Gabriel Belmont. In truth, these games were already considered derivative and response was rather mixed. Being that this was not "Blockbuster Success", Konami decided to stop producing the IP beyond the few remasters of old ports and their obsession with pachinko machines.
In this setting, Gabriel's a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an order who protects the people from the villainous Lords of Shadow (Carmilla, Zobek-not-Death, and Cornell, who turn out to be the evil halves of the Brotherhood's founders) and their minions. Gabriel is set up to fulfill a prophecy that would see a pure-hearted warrior kill the Lords for good and reconnect Heaven and Earth and let the dead reach heaven instead of rotting in Limbo, while Gabe himself wants to put together a mask that the Lords guard the pieces of to bring back his dead wife. While on his journey to kill Zobek, he finds out that not only was it Gabe himself who murdered his wife while under mind control, but that absolutely everything was a plan by Satan himself to get revenge on God for that casting-out business. Gabe's had enough of this bullshit by this point and kills Satan hard enough free the souls from Limbo, his wife included. With nothing left, he decides to gather more power by killing some even-more-ancient evil and by this time, he's well and fully Dracula.
Mirror of Fate was a side-sroller that brought together the tales of Simon Belmont (grandson of Gabriel who now wants to off the old man in revenge for his parents), Trevor Belmont (Gabe's son), and Gabe himself in a rather confusing story which also introduces Alucard to this continuity - but in no way that anyone'd recognize (it's undead Trevor).
The second game has Dracula wake up in decidedly more modern times with all his awesome powers missing (because video game logic) and learns that Satan's trying to make a comeback since there was no opposition. The only way to return to max power is to go through his own castle, facing off against the new Brotherhood of Light in the meanwhile. At the end, Gabe realizes that he was part of a ploy with his son that would see both Zobek and Satan truly dead. The former takes offense to this and is killed while Satan makes his return and takes possession of Alucard-Trevor. Al gets exorcised, Satan gets killed for good and thus can Gabe finally be done with this mess.
A simplified game that is almost a parody of Castlevania, featuring chibi versions of Castlevania characters while the OC characters would show up in games released later. Strangely it ties into the plot of Castlevania: Judgement and Symphony Of The Night, given this is the origin of Galamoth who attacks Dracula on his 1009th birthday while in Symphony he is a boss described as having a 1000 year plan to defeat Dracula and in Judgement he sends his version of Death to kill Dracula 1000 years in the past in order to take control of time.
Dungeons & Dragons rules
The following are /tg/ created statblocks for Castlevania monsters, should you want to convert the Castlevania vidya games into a Dungeons-and-Dragons type of system.
Small Undead Hit Dice: 2d12(13hp) Initiative: Speed: 20ft, Climb 20ft AC: 17(+4 Dex, +2 Natural, +1 Size), Flatfooted 13, Touch 15 Base Attack/Grapple: +1 / -2 Attack: Slam +5 Melee (1d4+1) Full Attack: Slam +5 Melee (1d4+1) Face/Reach: 5ft / 5ft Special Attacks: Venomous Spittle Special Qualities: DR 5/Bludgeoning, Undead Traits, Spider Climb Saves: Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +0 Abilities: Str 13, Dex 19, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1 Skills: - Feats: - Environment: Any underground Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 2 Treasure: - [[Alignment]]: Always Neutral Advancement: 3-6HD(small)
"A skittering sound above you makes you look up. You see a bundle of bones clinging to the wall, almost like a spider. Drops of green ichor trail down from it."
Spittlebone are the reanimated remnants of the bones of those who died by poisoning. They have a single skull and spine surrounded by a network of ribs from several bodies. They have four short limbs, apparently all hands, who end in bony fingers that let them grip wall and ceilings with ease. Their skulls constantly exude a thin, dripping ooze which is highly toxic to those who come in contact with it.
Most spittlebones prefer to lie in wait and ambush prey, dripping venom down on them from above. they are not above attacking foes directly in combat however, though their slam is relatively weak.
Venomous Spittle(Ex): Spittlebone skulls constantly produce a thin liquid poison that drips from the eye and nose sockets of the creature. This is a contact poison (DC 10) with initial and secondary 1d4 points of strength damage. They can deliver this poison in one of two ways. In melee they spin their head around, splashing the poison on all adjacent targets. Alternately they cling to a high ceiling or wall and wait for a foe to come underneath them, then they tip over and dribble poison down over their foe. Both of these are ranged touch attacks. When dripping the poison downward the range increment is 20ft. The save DC for this poison is constitution based.
Spider Climb(Sp): A Spittlebone can traverse any surface, even vertical ones, with perfect ease as though permanently affected by a Spider Climb spell. If this effect is dispelled for any reason the Spittlebone may resume it as a free action on its turn.
- Venus Weed
Large Fey Hit Dice: 18d6+90(153) Initiative: +6 Speed: 0ft (Immobile) AC: 21(-1 Size, +2 Dex, +10 Natural), Flatfooted 19, Touch 11 Base Attack/Grapple: +9 / +24 Attack: Briar Whip +15 melee (1d8+7 Bludgeoning and Piercing plus Blood Drain) Full Attack: 4 Briar Whip +15 melee (1d8+7 Bludgeoning and Piercing plus Blood Drain) Face/Reach: 5ft x 10ft / 30ft* Special Attacks: Alluring Scent, Spell-like Abilities, Chaparral Lash, Blood Drain Special Qualities: Passive Form, Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron, Low Light Vision, Regeneration 5, Tremor-sense 120ft, Cold Iron Shear Saves: Fort +11, Ref +13, Will +12 Abilities: Str 25, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 22 Skills: Bluff +27, Concentration +26, Diplomacy +28, Sense Motive +24, Listen +22, Spot +22 Feats: Alertness, Awesome Blow, Negotiator, Improved Bullrush, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-like Ability x2(Spike Growth, Entangle) Environment: Any Forrest Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 18 Treasure: Standard Alignment: Usually Neutral Evil Advancement: -
What appears at first glance to be simple white rose in the midst of a patch of briars sways briefly as you come closer. The rose suddenly begins to grow in size, exploding in girth as the figure of a beautiful woman with blue-white hair rises from the center of the now enormous rose. She casts a sly wink in your direction as as a flurry of thorny briars lash out at your party.
Venus Weeds are dangerous and devious fae creatures that enjoy luring humanoids to be their doom. They appear to be human or elven females rising from the center of an enormous rose, surrounded on all sides by thorny briar. Despite their appearance as plants, these creatures are Fey, and quite intelligent, and can lay surprisingly devious traps via their unique abilities.
Venus Weeds feed only on blood, and will attack just about anything that gets near them if they are hungry. If not hungry they can be quite charming and personable, but make no mistake, they have no sense of friendship or camaraderie with other creatures and will just as easily consume someone who's done them favors in the past of other food is scarce.
Occasionally, however, they will lure in a suitable subject for a dalliance to satisfy their need to reproduce. Such subjects generally do not survive the process, but certain softer-hearted Venus Weeds may keep them around as pets if they prove competent and complacent enough. Such unions cause the venus weed to expand in much the same way as human would in pregnancy, however they do not deliver a single child, but rather expel a cloud of diaphanous seeds, each of which with a the tiny figure of a female held aloft by a small, feathery seed stem. These seed children scatter to the winds, and few ever take to germination. Those who do will spend a good 5 years underground developing a network of roots(using a natural Diminish Plants effect to kill off existing vegetation) before rising up from the earth and taking their first look around. Such young Venus Weeds are often the target of those who would attempt to harvest them for guardians. (See below). They typically reach full maturity in about 15 more years, and can live for up to 200 years, though their age never shows on their beautiful, timeless faces.
Venus Weeds speak Sylvan and usually common.
Because of their vine's unique animated properties they can effectively fight at quite a range from their actual bodies, and they make use of this ability to thwart foes, Using Bull Rushes and Awesome Blows to knock adventurers back while grappling with spellcasters and ranged attackers, all the while protecting themselves with Spike Growth and Wall of Thorns.
Alluring Scent(Su): The Venus Weed's signature weapon is their beautiful and deadly fragrance. This scent can travel for a half mile or more, depending on wind conditions, and permeating a large selection of its hunting grounds. All vermin and animals with an intelligence score of 2 or less that are exposed to this scent are inexorably lured toward the source of the scent with no saving throw. All other creatures that smell it must make a Willpower save (DC 25) or become complacent and calm, suffering a -2 to all skill checks, attack and damage rolls, and to initiative rolls for 1d4 hours. Any male Humanoid or Monstrous Humanoid that comes within 60ft of a Venus Weed must make an additional save, at the same DC, or become Charmed, as the spell, for one day. A creature that succeeds their save against this effect is immune to that particular Venus Weed's Alluring Scent for 24 hours. This is a Mind Affecting Effect. Creatures who do not breath are immune to this effect. The save DC is Constitution Based.
Spell-like Abilities: At will: Entangle, Detect Animals and Plants, Snare; 5/Day: Diminish Plants, Plant Growth, Spike Growth; 1/Day: Greater Magic Fang, Speak with Plants, Wall of Thorns. Caster level 20th, Save DC 16 plus Spell Level.
Chaparral Lash(Ex): A Venus Weed grows at the center of a wide network of thorny vines, woody roots, and lashing tendrils. These are a mix of the Venus Weed's body and natural plants that they have co-opted into a symbiotic relationship. In either cast, they are able to fight effectively against any creature within 30ft. They may take all normal combat options(including special attacks such as Trip, Disarm, Grapple, or Bull Rush) as if they were anywhere within 30ft of their central stalk. Attacking the Vines and plants does little as their regeneration, coupled with their Plant Growth ability can reinvigorate their surroundings, however making an attack on the vines performing a special action(like those Grappling an ally) that deals at least 10 points of damage will disrupt the attack. That damage, however, is not transferred to the Venus Weed. Only attacking the main stalk can damage a Venus Weed.
Blood Drain(Ex): The briar thorns on a Venus Weed's tendrils are hollow and drain blood from their foes. A Venus Weed deals 1 point of constitution damage from blood loss with each successful melee hit as well as each successful grapple check. On a critical hit this increases to 2 points of constitution damage.
Passive Form(Ex): A Venus Weed can assume the form of a small, simple rose to conceal themselves. They cannot see, but can still hear and use their tremorsense ability. Changing form one form to another is a move action.
Regeneration(Ex): Only fire and cold iron weapons with at least a +1 enhancement bonus deal normal damage to a Venus Weed.
Tremorsense(Ex): A Venus Weed can detect the location of any creature that is in contact with the ground within 120ft of it.
Cold Iron Shear: Young Venus Weeds, those who have established themselves and have just sprouted above ground but have not yet reached maturity, can be controlled by careful pruning like a plant, however the tools used must be made of Cold Iron. These Dwarfed Venus Weeds(see below) are generally easier to control than Wild Venus weeds, or even domesticated Venus Weeds left unchecked.
Venus Weeds have a +4 racial Bonus on Grapple Checks. This bonus in included in the stat block above.
Capturing a Venus Weed
Gathering an Adult Venus Weed from the Wild is very, very problematic. Between their offensive capabilities, not to mention their ability to charm, simply approaching them is difficult. Even then, harvesting them is amazingly difficult as their roots can extend for 50ft or more outward from their central body, and up to three times as far downward. It's generally much easier to harvest them while young.
Harvested when they have just sprouted, an Immature Venus Weed is much more tractable. (Diminutive Fey, 1d6+1 HP, Str 8, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12; AC 15 (+2 Size, +2 Dex, +1 natural) Spot +4, Listen +4, Alertness. No attacks, DR 1/Cold Iron, Spell-like Abilities: 5/Day: Entangle, Diminish Plants). In this smaller form, they usually rely on their fragrance to draw forth insects and small rodents which they feed on while establishing their Chaparral network of roots and vines. When harvested in this stage, they can be pruned back(see Cold Iron Shear) into a Dwarfed Venus Weed.
Dwarfed Venus Weed Medium Fey Hit points: 18d6+54 (117 hp) AC: 21 (+3 Dex, +8 Natural) Attack/Grapple: +9 / +18 Attack: Briar Whip +14 Melee, 1d8+5 range 10ft Stats: Str 21, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 19 Replace Improved Bullrush and Awesome Blow with Sidestep Charge(Psionics Handbook) and Combat Reflexes
Abilities: Dwarfed Venus Weeds no longer have the Chaparral Lash Ability. Their Tremorsense is limited to 60ft. The Saves for their Alluring Scent ability is reduced to 23. Their Spell Like Abilities are caster level 15th, and the Save is 14 plus spell level.
Other than these changes, they are identical to their Wild Cousins. Dwarfed Venus Weeds, however, are generally instructed to slay anyone they cannot charm, and send their charmed charges to their doom in other traps, or to incapacitate intruders for their masters to deal with. If they have been roughly or improperly treated, however, they may be willing to aid a party in order to get revenge on their former masters... this is rare, however, as Dwarfed Venus Weeds are just as immobile as their wild counterparts and not likely risk being discovered as traitors if they cannot escape. Dwarfed Venus Weeds speak Sylvan, Common, and whatever language or dialect their masters generally speak, as well as possibly other common local languages.
The Dwarfing process, sadly, renders these Venus Weeds sterile and unable to reproduce.
- Axe Armor
Large Construct Hit Dice: 3d10+30 (45 hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 20ft AC: 21 (-1 size, +0 Dex, +2 natural, +8 adamantine full plate, +2 heavy steel shield) Touch 9, FF 21 BaB/Grapple: +2/+6 Attack: +1 Large Throwing Axe +3 (ranged) or +1 Large Throwing Axe +7 (melee) or Slam +6 Damage: +1 Large Throwing Axe 1d8+6 or Slam 1d8+5 Space/Reach: 10ft/10ft Special Attacks: -- Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 5/adamantine, Construct Traits Saves: Fort +1 , Ref +1 , Will +1 Abilities: Str 20, Dex 11, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1 Feats: -- CR: 3 Alignment: Neutral
- Flea Men
Small monstrous humanoid Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp) Initiative: +11 Speed: 20ft AC: 20 (+1 size, +7 Dex, +2 natural) Touch 19, FF 13 BaB/Grapple: +1/-3 Attack: Medium Dagger +9 (ranged) or medium dagger +9 (melee) Damage: Dagger 1d6+1 Space/Reach: 5ft/5ft Special Attacks: Sneak Attack +1d6 Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft, Amazing Leaper, Uncanny Dodge Saves: Fort +1 , Ref +9 , Will +2 Abilities: Str 13, Dex 25, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 8 Feats: Improved Initiative, Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse, Leap Attack Skills: Climb +5, Jump +30, Spot +2 Equipment: Medium Dagger CR: 2 Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Amazing Leader (Ex): A Flea Man has a +30 racial bonus to jump checks, and can take 10 on such checks even when distracted.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As per the Rogue class feature.
Weapons and Items
Like the monster conversions above, these are weapons and items which exist in the various Castlevania games, now D&D-ified for your dice-rolling, Cheetos-munching pleasure.
This blessed and anointed rod functions as a +1 Alchemical Silver Holy Light mace when used in combat. Additionally, it allows its wielder to Smite Evil (as a 5th level Paladin) once per day. If the wielder is a Paladin, or otherwise has a Smite Evil ability, they gain the ability to use this power one additional time per day as a 5th level Paladin or their character level, whichever is more beneficial.
This weapon appears at first glance to be a heavy silver and iron rod with a moon and stars motif. It grants the wielder low light vision(or Doubles the range of their existing Low Light Vision) when held. While out of direct sunlight(at night, underground, inside large buildings, etc) the wielder of this staff can touch a series of runes(as a move action) and transform it into a +2 Heavy mace, each of its bladed fins appearing to be a crescent moon. Twice per day, while the rod is in weapon mode, the wielder of this staff can command the blades on the staff to fly out, dealing 3d8 points of slashing damage to everything in a line 30ft long and 10ft wide (reflex save DC 14 for half) before returning to the Moon Rod's Head.
This simple looking iron rod functions as a +2 Defending Light Mace and grants its wielder several advantages when using a shield. While a character wields a Shield Rod, the shield bonus to armor gained from wielding a Shield(and only that from a shield, not the bonus gained from the Two Weapon Defense feat tree or other source) is increased by +1. A character wielding a Shield Rod can invoke the Shield spell with a command word twice per day. Additionally, up to three times per day as a full round action, a character can use the power of the Shield Rod to draw out the magic of any spell 4th level or lower that was used to enchant their shield, casting it as a Spell-like Ability at a caster level equal to their character level or the shield rod's caster level, whichever is higher. (For example, a 10th level Cleric with the Shield Rod and a +1 Blinding Heavy Shield of Bashing could use the shield rod to cast either the Searing Light spell(from the blinding enchantment) or the Bull's Strength spell(from the Bashing enchantment). This ability can be used on specific shield enchantments (like Bashing) as well as armor enchantments that can have been applied their shields (Such as Energy resistance).
Fist of Tulkus
These heavy blue leather and silver gauntlets give their wielder the ability to Produce Flame, as the spell, at will as a swift action at first caster level. In the hands of non-monk, they gain the unarmed damage and flurry of blows ability of a 5th level monk. A Monk who dons these gauntlets improves his or her unarmed damage and flurry of blows ability as though they were five levels higher.
This +2 Keen Dagger slices the air so cleanly that it leaves a crescent shaped "blade" of vacuum behind it. Attacks with the Holbein dagger can re-roll any miss chance due to concealment on, as the dagger's crescent lash may strike where the blade would not.
This +3 Alchemical Silver Bane Shapechanger Rapier is considered Keen when wielded against a Lycanthrope. Additionally, the weapon grants its wielder the following special ability: As a standard action with the Werebane you may lash out in a flurry of thrusts. As a standard action, you may make two attacks against a single opponent with the Werebane. Both attacks use the same attack roll (with a -4 penalty) to determine success and deal damage normally, however you may apply precision damage only once. If the attack roll was a critical hit, only the first attack was a critical hit, all the rest deal normal damage.
For every five points of base attack bonus you have above +6, you may add one additional thrust to this attack, to a maximum of four attacks at a base attack bonus of +16. However, each attack after the second adds a cumulative -2 penalty on the attack roll (for a total penalty of -6 for three attacks and -8 for four).
Damage reduction and other resistances apply separately against each attack.
This blade appears to be a scimitar at first glance, though its curve is much deeper and the weapon is edged along the concave of the blade. Said to be weapons of the wild Wind Dervish of the East, this weapon is more dangerous when thrown. The Shotel functions as a +1 Thrown, Returning Scimitar. When used as a thrown weapon, however, the weapon's Enhancement bonus increases to +3 and it gains the Keen special quality.
This +1 Platinum Sabre (Platinum follows the same rules as gold for Heavy Weapons, Magic of Faerun 179. It deals 1d8 points of damage and has a critical threat range of 18-20. Any character without Exotic Weapon Proficiency(Heavy Weapons) takes a -4 penalty on attacks with the Jewel Sword. They may wield the Jewel Sword in two hands to avoid this penalty.) has a heavily jewel encrusted pommel and crossguard, and a line of priceless jewels long the spine of the blade. The weapon glows with a silvery light whenever it's within 30ft of unclaimed gold, silver, or jewels(this includes hidden, buried, unattended or forgotten money, but not coinage or jewelry currently held or carried by a person). Additionally, if the Jewel sword delivers the final blow on an enemy, there's a chance it will conjure a small gemstone. There's a 20% chance that any time the Jewel Sword slays a foe that a random jewel(or jewels) will be formed from the wound. The jewels would be worth 1d4-1(chance of 0) + the creature's HD total times 10 in gold. (i.e, if it slew an ogre, a 4 HD creature, then you would roll 1d4-1(chance of -0) and add the ogre's HD total(4,) multiplying the final total by 10 to determine the price. If the roll's total was 3, then (3 + 4) x 10 = 70gp; one or more small gems whose total is 70gp will be found in the wound.) This ability can only affect creatures with 4 or more HD. Class levels do not count toward a creature's HD total for the purposes of this effect.
This exceptionally heavy +3 Longsword is actually made of a polished and alchemically treated stone. It has hardness 15 (8 for Stone, +1 for Alchemical treatments, and +6 for the enhancement bonus) and 35 HP (2 HP base plus 3HP for alchemical treatments plus 30hp for Enhancement bonus). When the Stone Sword scores a critical hit, the victim must succeed a fortitude save (DC 22) or be petrified by the curse of the blade as a Flesh to Stone spell.
This powerful blade of flame was said to have been crafted by demons long ago. It functions as a +4 Inferno* Bastard Sword. Twice per day, with a command word, the wielder of Marsil can call down a Flamestrike spell, caster level 10th, centered on himself. This spell will not damage the wielder of Marsil.
Price: +3 bonus Property: Weapon Caster Level: 15th Aura: Strong; (DC 22) Evocation Activation: Standard(Command) and - Synergy Prerequisite: Flaming Burst
This weapon's hilt is decorated with extensive flame and fire motifs in gold and brass and always feels warm to the touch
An inferno weapon functions in almost all cases as a flaming burst weapon. However, when the command word to activate the flaming effect is uttered the weapon's primary striking portion(the blade, axe head, tip, etc) transforms into a flickering sheet of white hot flame. This does not change the weapon's hardness, hit points, or weight, nor does it prevent the weapon from being sundered or disarmed. In addition to its flaming burst properties, all weapon damage dealt by an inferno weapon(the base weapon damage and its enhancement bonus, positive strength bonus, precision damage, and similar damages) is considered to be fire damage. Speaking the command word to turn off the flaming property reverts the weapon to its normal form.
An inferno weapon cannot also be enhanced with glacial or tempest.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Wall of Fire
Cost to Create: Varies
Known as "Gurthang the Bloody", this vicious weapon hungers for the life of its foes. It functions as a +2 Vampiric, Wounding Longsword. Additionally, for up to 10 rounds per day, it can allow its wielder to restore lost life as though they had Fast Healing 3, so long as they make at least one successful attack and deal damage to a living creature with a normal circulatory system(humanoid, monstrous humanoid, animal, giant, magical beast) each round with Gurthang.
Mablung, the Sword of Defense, was created by the same ancient master who devised the Shield Rods. Mablung is a +4 Defending Longsword, but otherwise has all of the same functions as a shield rod.
Mormegil the Dark is an unholy blade forged with evil intent. It is a +2 Unholy Bastard Sword in most people's hands. In the hands of an Undead, however, the blade becomes a +4 Unholy Surge Bastard Sword. All intelligent undead who hold Mormegil are considered fully proficient with it and can use it one or two handed.
This rune etched +2 Cold Iron Bastard sword howls when wielded, and can draw energy from the spirit and magical essences that animate give life to all beings. Every time this weapon strikes a foe, its wielder heals one hit point worth of damage as though with the Fast Healing ability.
This deadly blade is carved from a massive spike of pure obsidian and imbued with dark magics. This +4 Unholy, Keen, Mighty Cleaving Greatsword is preternaturally sharp. The Obsidian Sword gains a +4 circumstance bonus to cleave attacks, and a +4 circumstance bonus the roll to confirm a critical hit. These bonuses stack.
An ancient executioner's weapon, this +3 Brutal Longsword is permanently covered in a deadly poison. Every time the weapon strikes a foe, that creature must make a fortitude saving throw(DC 14) against initial and secondary 1d4 points of Constitution damage. If used in a Coup de Grace attack, the base fortitude save DC versus death is 15+damage dealt. Terminus Est can be used, when held in two hands, to perform Executions and grants a +10 competence bonus on Profession(Executioner) Checks (See Book of Vile Darkness for Execution rules).
Price: +1 Bonus Property: Weapon Caster Level: 7th Aura: Moderate; (DC 18) necromancy [[Category:Dungeons & Dragons]] Activation: -
This weapon is set with bronzed spines and embossed runes of battle. It feels very heavy for its size.
A Brutal weapon deals particular ferocious telling blows in combat. A brutal weapon automatically deals maximum weapon damage when a critical hit occurs. For example a Battle axe (normally a x3 critical weapon) would deal 3d8 damage on a successful critical hit. A +1 Brutal Battle axe would deal 27 damage on a successful critical hit just as though you had rolled the maximum value on each of the dice(3d8+3 maximized for 27). This enhancement cannot be added to any weapon that already has a critical enhancing effect (such as keen, impact, cruel, or savage.)
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Slay Living or Circle of Death
Cost to Create: Varies
These +4 Thrown, Returning Longswords of Distance are always crafted in pairs, though not always found together. Anyone who acquires a matched pair of Heaven Swords may utilize their special ability. As a standard action at will they can hurl both blades at once while speaking a command word, duplicating the effects of a Twinned Whirling Blade spell. The Heaven Swords will return to their wielder after this attack as if they had been thrown normally.
This dull and rusted falchion's blade is bright red with vivid rust, though it never seems to degrade further or fall apart. While it seems to function for tests as a Masterwork Falchion, when wielded in combat it becomes a -1 Cursespewing Falchion. While some will be tempted to continue using it for its unique abilities, beware, for its curse is not restricted to those whom it strikes. There is 10% chance that a player will lose their action when wielding Red Rust as though they were affected by Bestow Curse. Also, on a roll of a natural 1, a character wielding Red Rust automatically strikes himself.
A weapon crafted for the explicit purpose of destroying evil and impurity, this +4 Large Alchemical Silver, Axiomatic, Holy Greatsword is considered medium size for the effects of wielding it. Its unique cross-shaped blade also allows it to function as a Holy Symbol.
Masterwork Bastard Sword Masamune lowers your AC by ten. Every time you slay an enemy while wielding Masamune, roll 1d10. On a 10, Masamune gains an additional +1 enhancement bonus.
In addition, you gain the Flurry of Blows class feature of a 14th level Monk, but this Flurry can only be used while wielding Masamune two-handed.
Price: +3 Bonus Property: Weapon Caster Level: 15th Aura: Strong; (DC 22) Evocation Activation: Standard(Command) and - Synergy Prerequisite: Icy Burst
This weapon's hilt is enameled in white and blue with many crystals on dangling silvery-white chains and feels icy cold to the touch
A glacial weapon functions in almost all cases as an icy burst weapon. However, when the command word to activate the frost effect is uttered the weapon's primary striking portion(the blade, axe head, tip, etc) transforms into a flickering sheet of crystalline cold. This does not change the weapon's hardness, hit points, or weight, nor does it prevent the weapon from being sundered or disarmed. In addition to its Icy Burst properties, all weapon damage dealt by a glacial weapon(the base weapon damage and its enhancement bonus, positive strength bonus, precision damage, and similar damages) is considered to be cold damage. Speaking the command word to turn off the frost property reverts the weapon to its normal form.
A glacial weapon cannot also be enhanced with inferno or tempest
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Wall of Ice
Cost to Create: Varies
Price: +3 Bonus Property: Weapon Caster Level: 15th Aura: Strong; (DC 22) Evocation Activation: Standard(Command) and - Synergy Prerequisite: Shocking Burst
This weapon has lightning jags in gold and copper across its form and hums with power when picked up.
A tempest weapon functions in almost all cases as an shocking burst weapon. However, when the command word to activate the shock effect is uttered the weapon's primary striking portion(the blade, axe head, tip, etc) transforms into a flickering sheet of arcing lightning. This does not change the weapon's hardness, hit points, or weight, nor does it prevent the weapon from being sundered or disarmed. In addition to its shocking burst properties, all weapon damage dealt by a tempest weapon(the base weapon damage and its enhancement bonus, positive strength bonus, precision damage, and similar damages) is considered to be Electricity damage. Speaking the command word to turn off the shock property reverts the weapon to its normal form.
A tempest weapon cannot also be enhanced with inferno or glacial.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Lightning Bolt
Cost to Create:Varies
Price: +1 Bonus Property: Weapon Caster Level: 12th Aura: Moderate; (DC 21)Necromancy Activation: -
This weapon is enameled in brilliant red that makes it look as though it is covered in fresh blood. A trio of large spikes jut from its pommel.
A Cruel weapon deals telling blows in combat with grim efficiency. All critical threats are considered automatic successes(meaning that every threat is an automatic critical hit). This enhancement cannot be added to any weapon that already has a critical enhancing effect(such as keen, impact, Savage, or brutal) and does not stack with feats or class abilities that improve critical hits such as Improved Critical, though a character can use the more advantageous ability on a given attack roll.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Slay Living or Circle of Death
Cost to Create: Varies
Price: +1 Property: Weapon Caster Level: 12th Aura: Strong, (DC 21)necromancy Activation: -
This black, rune-glyphed weapon is covered with jagged edges and sharp spikes. It seems eager for battle.
A Savage weapon deals a much more dangerous strike when a telling blow occurs. The critical multiplier for weapons with a x2 multiplier increase to x3, the multiplier for a x3 weapon increases to x5, and the critical multiplier for a x4 or higher weapon increases to x7. This enhancement cannot be added to any weapon that already has a critical enhancing effect(such as keen, impact, Savage, or brutal) and does not stack with feats or class abilities that improve critical hits such as Improved Critical, though a character can use the more advantageous ability on a given attack roll.
Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Slay Living or Circle of Death
Cost to Create: Varies
Soul Blades are a name for spirit with a dual nature, very like ghosts, who dwell on the ethereal plane, but manifest on the material plane in the guise of an animated physical weapon. Soul blades are related to poltergeist phenomena in that they are not a single spirit. Rather they occur whenever a a large number of creatures of the same race, or with the same purpose, have died in a certain area. The trailing wisps of spiritual energy that once bound their soul join together to form a Veilegeist, a Spirit made of many undead spirits. While the Template specifies using a single creature as the "base" creature, understand that Soul Blades are composed of the undead energy of thousands of creatures, the "base creature" was simply the most dominant bit of soul present.
Creating a Soul Blade
Soul Blade is an inherited template which can can that can be added to any fae, giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid. A Soul Blade uses the base creatures statistics except as noted here.
Size and Type
The creature's type changes to Undead. Do not recalculate Hit Dice, base attack bonus, or saves. Size is unchanged.
Soul Blades are ethereal creature, even when they incarnate. They have a fly speed of 30ft with perfect maneuverability.
Soul Blades are Ethereal Creatures. On the Ethereal plane they have a Deflection Bonus to Armor Class equal to their Charisma Bonus(minimum of +1). See their Incarnate ability below for more information about Soul Blades on the Material Plane.
As Base Creature
As base Creature.
A Soul Blade retains the Special Abilities of the base class and gains the following Abilities.
Incarnate(Su): Soul Blades normally exist on the Ethereal Plane, much like ghosts. As a Standard Action they can Incarnate, taking a semi-physical form of a ghostly, immaterial humanoid figure wielding a large, physical weapon. Their body is immaterial to anything which does not affect ethereal creatures and weapons and spells both pass through it without harm. Their weapon, while physical, is actually an extension of their body. Attacking the weapon is like attacking the creature itself, and the weapon has an Armor Class equal to the Base Creature(with a size modifier as if two sizes smaller than the base creature). Damaging the weapon is like dealing damage to any other creature, not an object. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity for attacking the weapon as you would with a sunder attempt. A Soul Blade in Incarnated form cannot be disarmed, and cannot be tripped or grappled by creatures not on the ethereal plane.
The weapon that forms when a Soul Blade incarnates is empowered by their spiritual essence. It assumes the form of a single magical weapon of the type and abilities of the Soul Blade's choice, though it always forms with the same powers. Once a power has been applied to the Blade, it cannot be changed. The weapon's total market price bonus cannot exceed one half the Soul Blades hit dice total(rounding down), and its Enhancement bonus to attack and damage cannot exceed their Hit Dice total divided by four, rounding down(minimum of +1).
When Incarnated a Soul Blade attacks with its weapon as though it were wielded by a creature of the Base Creature's size and abilities, including strength. The attack is physical, but can strike incorporeal creatures as though always enhanced with the Ghost Touch special quality, regardless of enhancement bonus.
Rejuvenation(Su): A Soul Blade cannot be disposed of merely by destroying its physical, or even ethereal, form. A Soul Blade that is destroyed will reform in 2d4 days, returning automatically to the location it was created at. The only way to permanently set a Soul Blade to rest is to fully placate the Veilegeist, the multitude of pained spirits that give it power.
Veilegeist: Soul Blades are made up of the combined spiritual energy and the emotional suffering and pain of hundreds, or even thousands, of dead beings. This emotional energy is powerful, but unstable. Creatures may attempt to bargain or reason with, or placate the Veilegeist with a diplomacy check. The Soul Blade's initial reaction is Hostile to most creatures, depending on the nature of the Veilegeist.
During each round of combat there is a 5% chance that some aspect of their opponents will remind some component of the spirits that make up the Soul Blade of their past life. In such a situation the Soul Blade will take no offensive action, as though dazed, though it will still defend itself. If a Diplomacy check is made to influence the Soul Blade during such a round it gains a +4 bonus.
Setting a Soul Blade to rest requires discovering what is still driving the spirits to prowl the mortal realm. Some Veilegeist are made up of the victims of wars, soldiers and innocents alike slain by greed and a lust for power. Such spirits may seek vengeance on the powers that killed them, or on those who emulate them, or they may seek to protect others from suffering a similar fate. Still other Soul Blade are the result of the deaths of guardians of some great purpose. More than one city or castle has a ghostly, patrolling Soul Blade which still stands guard over its masters demesne, even if its master has long since passed away.
Hardness(Ex): The weapon that a Soul Blade Incarnates as has a hardness score of 10 plus 2 points per +1 enhancement bonus.
Spell Resistance(Su): Soul Blades have a spell resistance equal to 15 plus Hit Dice.
Str +4 , Dex +4, Con -, Int +0, Wis +0, Cha +2
As a creature with the Augmented Subtype, it retains the features(and thus skill points per HD) of the base creature. Do not include Hit Dice from class levels in this calculation. Treat skills from the base creature痴 list as class skills, and other skills as cross-class.
As Base Creature +2
- (as in, Not a chance)
Sample: Hunting Girl
Soul Blade Elven Ranger 4 Medium Undead(Augmented Elf) Hit Dice: 4d8 (18hp) Initiative: +4 Speed: 30ft (Fly 30ft, Perfect) AC: 22 (+2 Size*, +5 Dex, +1 Deflection), Flatfooted 13, Touch 22 Base Attack/Grapple: +4 / +8 Attack: +11 Rapier (1d8+5 plus Bane Humanoid[Shapechanger]) Full Attack: +11 Rapier (1d8+5 plus Bane Humanoid[Shapechanger]) Face/Reach: 5ft / 5ft Special Attacks: Favored Enemy(Shapechanger), Spells Special Qualities: Combat Style, Elven Traits, Hardness 12, Incarnate, Rejuvenation, SR 19, Undead Traits, Veilegeist, Wild Empathy Saves: Fort +4, Ref +9, Will +2 Abilities: Str 18, Dex 20, Con -, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 12 Skills: Handle Animal +8, Hide +12, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge(Nature) +8, Listen +8, Search +8, Spot +8 Feats: Endurance (B), Improved Initiative, Track(B), Weapon Finesse. Environment: Any Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 6 Treasure: None Alignment: Lawful Neutral Advancement: By Character Class
You see an ornate silver rapier hovering in the air in front of you, surrounded by the wispy outline of a nude female. As you approach, the blade springs to attention, wielded by the steady hand of the ghostly figure in front of you.
The Hunting Girl, as such spirits are called, are the spiritual essence of the tortured innocents slain by evil were creatures, often mixed with the emotional energy of those who hunt such evil beasts and failed. While they do not always appear as women, the spirit which commands this Soul Blade is female. The Hunting Girl seeks to slay were-beasts of all ilk, and her unique Soul Blade manifests as a form of spiritual silver, rather than steel, to combat their damage reduction. The Hunting Girl, if startled or confronted by any living creature will seek to defend itself, especially against unnatural creatures such as undead and those with the tint of evil. The Hunting Girl can, however, be reasoned with if treated with dignity and respect.
The Hunting Girl speaks Elven, Common, and Sylvan.
The Hunting Girl, if confronted by by were creatures of any ilk, will almost move to attack, and will strike with great hatred. Otherwise the Hunting Girl singles out the most likely looking target and flies down to strike. The Hunting girls spellcasting is weak, but it usually uses Summon Nature's Ally I to call forth enormous blue ravens (treat as a Hawk).
Favored Enemy Humanoid(Shapechanger)(Ex): The Hunting Girl gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humanoids with the Shapechanger subtype. Likewise, it gets a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.
Spells: The Hunting girl casts spells as a fourth level ranger. It knows one first level spell per day, and usually prepares Summon Nature's Ally I.
Combat Style(Ex): The Hunting girl has chosen the Two-weapon Fighting Style, but does not use a second weapon.
Incarnate(Su): The Hunting Girl is an ethereal creature, but it incarnates on the Material Plane as a +1 Alchemical Silver Bane(Humanoid[Shapechanger]) Rapier.
Rejuvenation(Su): If slain or destroyed, either on the Material or Ethereal plane, The Hunting Girl reforms in 2d4 days. Attempts to put the spirit to rest have all failed, and it's likely that The Hunting Girl will only ever reach true peace if all Were-creatures are destroyed.
Veilegeist: The Hunting Girls Ideologist shows a strong empathy for elven characters, and any elven character who attempts a diplomacy check against it gains a +4 bonus. Comparatively, it seems to fear and distrust undead creature, and such beings suffer a -8 penalty to diplomacy checks to influence the Veilegeist. Even though the Hunting Girl is hostile to most creatures, it will not usually attack unless provoked.
Large Undead Hit Dice: 20d12 (130hp) Initiative: +0 Speed: 20ft AC: 33(-1 size, +20 Natural, +4 Shield*), Flatfooted 33, Touch 9 Base Attack/Grapple: +10 / +24 Attack: +20 Mwk Bastard Sword (2d6+10) Full Attack: +20/+15 Mwk Bastard Sword (2d6+10) Face/Reach: 10ft / 10ft Special Attacks: - Special Qualities: Blindsight 60ft, DR 15/Bludgeoning and Adamantine, Low Light Vision, Force Shield, Turn Immunity, Undead Traits Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +12 Abilities: Str 30, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1 Skills: - Feats: Power Attack(B) Environment: Any Organization: Solitary Challenge Rating: 10 Treasure: Gear(Large masterwork Bastard Sword) Alignment: Neutral Evil Advancement: -
"You see what appears to be a large suit of armor, holding a massive blade, blocking your path. Runes of binding are etched into the blue-enameled steel and flare to life as the armor begins a menacing advance on your position."
Armor Lords undead crafted from the spectral remains of knights who died in service to their master. Their souls are collected and bound to an immense suit of armor, animating it as a defender. These soulbound suits of armor are the perfect guards for sensitive areas. They cannot be reasoned with, placated, deceived, or easily destroyed. They have no intelligence to speak of, and can follow only simple orders.
If threatened, most Armor Lords will use their Force Shield ability first to gauge the power of their attackers before moving to strike the most dangerous down first. They are methodical, and once they have chosen a target only that target's destruction will stay their hand as long as they can reach it.
Blindsight(Ex): An Armor Lord's preternatural sense allows it to maneuver and fight without benefit of its visual senses. Invisibility and darkness don't affect their attack rolls, and they don't need to make spot or listen checks to notice any corporeal creature within the range of their blindsight.
Force Shield(Su): At will as a swift action an Armor Lord can manifest a 10ft diameter translucent Wall of Force attached to their left arm. They may use this as a Tower Shield for all purposes, including using it for cover, but it has no maximum dexterity bonus, no armor check penalty, and no arcane spell failure chance. This shield is immune to all forms of attack except for the following: Disintegrate or Mordenkainen's Disjunction will both destroy the shield. It can, however, be restored as a swift action on the Armor Lords next turn.
Turn Immunity(Su): An Armor Lord's binding magic is extremely powerful. It cannot be turned by a cleric with fewer levels than it has HD.
Creating an Armor Lord
Armor Lords are created by binding the spirits of the dead to a suit of armor. In order to create an armor lord you need a large suit of masterwork platemail (1,150gp), a Large Masterwork Bastard Sword (370gp), and the bodies of at least 10 humanoids whose souls will be co-mingled into the Armor Lord, and a number of Onyx gemstones worth 1,000gp
Creating an Armor Lord requires a 20th level spellcaster with the spells Create Greater Undead, Wish/Miracle, Wall of Force and costs 7,000xp.
Rumors of a more powerful Armor Lord, known as an Armor Guardian or Guardian Lord, circulate among the whispered rumors of necromantic circles. Guardian Lords are said to be twice as powerful as Armor Lords (40 HD, BAB +20, 60 Str, 260hp) with enchanted blades (large +5 Vorpal Bastard Sword: +49 melee; 2d6+30 19-20, x2 and vorpal) great defense (Immune to Fire, Cold, and Lighting, DR 20/Adamantine and Bludgeoning and Magic, SR 55) and the ability to create towering infernos at will (Spell-like Ability: At will: Wall of Fire [Caster level 40th])