While mostly known for the Belmonts, the Castlevania series has had an excellent variety of memorable characters. This year, I wanted to highlight some of the more iconic heroes of the series, as well as some personal favorites.
Simon wasn’t the first Belmont to wage war against Dracula, but he was the first hero of the Castlevania series and has appeared in the most games. Because of that, he’s also the most well-known, and is the icon of Castlevania.
Unlike later installments in the series, the first game didn’t give Simon much of a back story. He was just a guy who went to kill Dracula in the year 1691. Things got more interesting when the sequel came out. Taking place seven years later in 1698, Simon set out to recollect Dracula’s remains so that he could lift a curse that was placed on him when he killed Dracula the first time. Beyond that, most of Simon’s appearances were either in remakes or as a bonus character. He was also in a few fighting games, including Castlevania Judgment, and some fans still want to see him make an appearance in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros series.
He was also a character in the animated series Captain N: The Game Master, but most fans prefer to ignore that. Still, it goes to show how far he penetrated pop culture.
The son of Dracula owes his popularity to being the main character in Symphony of the Night, although it was not the first time he was a playable character in the series. His first appearance was in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, set in 1476, where he could be recruited by Trevor Belmont as an optional second character.
Being half human, Alucard was always at odds with his father’s hatred of humanity. But being half vampire allowed him to make several appearances throughout the series’ time line, even in the future-set Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow. It was only when Richter Belmont succumbed to the powers of darkness in 1797 that Alucard needed to face his father and ensure that humanity maintain a fighting chance.
It was quite a twist to feature Alucard in Symphony in lieu of the usual whip-wielding vampire hunter, but it really only came down to the developers being tired of using the same old formula.
With the fall of Richter, the Belmonts could no longer wield the crucial Vampire Killer whip, and it was passed into the possession of the Morris family for safe keeping. Quincy Morris dared not use the weapon, opting instead for the good old fashioned wooden stake. His son John used it to take down the Countess Elizabeth Bartley in 1914, but only discovered afterward that it drained his life.
Jonathan, the third in the Morris line to inherit the whip, made the most use of it. Along with his friend Charlotte Aulin, he set out to stop a vampire named Brauner from using Dracula’s power for his own crusade against the humans. Jonathan was the only Morris able to unlock the full power of the Vampire Killer, but only used it to stop Brauner, and subsequently Dracula, lest he suffer his father’s fate.
Soma is one of the most unique and interesting protagonists in the entire Castlevania series. He’s an 18-year-old youth studying in Japan (and is Japanese, himself, according to the Japanese storyline) who gets trapped in Dracula’s castle during a solar eclipse in the year 2035. Dracula had already been permanently destroyed in 1999, but his castle, or the residual essence of it, was still filled with evil forces seeking a new master.
I’m not going to spoil anything, but it’s interesting how they handled the story and Soma’s character in Aria of Sorrow and its sequel Dawn of Sorrow, especially since they’re set in the future. That, alone, is really unique for the series, which is known for its Gothic historical settings.
Eric was the childhood friend of John Morris, and together, they set out to destroy the Countess Elizabeth Bartley in 1914. Aside from the helper characters in Dracula’s Curse, Eric was one of the first main characters of the series not to use a whip. Instead, he relied on the Alucard Spear, a weapon forged by Dracula’s son. It’s also rumored that the Lecarde family bears some blood relation to Alucard.
I admit, Eric is one of my favorite characters in the series, largely because he appears in two of my favorite games, Bloodlines and Portrait of Ruin. But he was also crucial in aiding the Morris family when they couldn’t harness the full power of the Vampire Killer. Ultimately, though, he ends up being a slightly tragic character.
(Coincidentally, my name is John, and I also have a childhood friend named Erik. We’ve never gone vampire hunting, though.)
The protagonists of the Castlevania series have mostly been men, with any female characters relegated to supporting roles. The first exception to this was Sonya Belmont from Castlevania Legends. While the character was popular with fans, the game was retconned from the official time line, and this left fans wanting a new “official” female protagonist. The result was Shanoa in Order of Ecclesia, who ended up being a pretty cool character in her own right.
Shanoa was a warrior of the Order of Ecclesia, an organization created in the early 19th century to fight back against Dracula after the fall of the Belmonts. She has the ability to absorb magical glyphs, which allows her to use different weapons as well as other abilities. But due to an accident, she loses her memories and emotions. She soon realizes that she is being used as a pawn in another attempt to resurrect Dracula, and is willing to sacrifice even her own life to stop it from happening.