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    Castlevania Series Story FAQ by ReyVGM

    Version: 0.7 | Updated: 02/26/06 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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