Since the beginning, CastleVania has been a blending of the classic horror movies, by putting Count Dracula at the head of the pack, and having other monsters serve as bosses (Frankenstein, The Mummy Man, etc.) Vampires have been part of lore and legends throughout history. However, they were first made popular through Bram Stoker's Dracula, written in 1897. Yet how well does Bram Stoker's story fit into the CastleVania lineage?
Please note that the Castlevania timeline is very inconsistent. There are a few loop holes - for one, the American Castlevania 3 instruction manual specifically states that Trevor's adventures take place 100 years before Simon's, whereas the official Japanese version has Christopher (and the Gameboy titles) following Trevor's Adventure. This was likely a mistranslation, however. Also, the resurrection dates are not always exactly 100 years, but this can be acceptable. This official timeline was previously found at Konami Japan's Castlevania page, which has since been dismantled, for whatever reason.
There's also some confusion about the games featuring Simon Belmont. For all intents of purpose, the MSX Vampire Killer, NES Castlevania, SNES Super Castlevania IV, arcade Haunted Castle and X68000/PSX Castlevania Chronicles are just different versions of the same story. They also all have the same name in Japan (simply Akumajou Dracula.) Therefore, they are counted as one. The only real difference between any of them is that Haunted Castle has the unnamed main character fighting to save his newly-wed wife from Dracula.
By nature, vampires must have blood from others to survive. Vampires often make victims drink blood from their veins, thus infecting them. When they die, then that person would come back to life as a vampire. Vampires can only come out at night, as they are much weaker in daylight (as they cannot use many of their powers.) Unlike many vampire movies and novels, vampires do not burn into ash at sunlight. Garlic and crosses repell them, while holy water can inflict burns on vampires. Although they remain primarily in human form, they can also turn into a bat, a wolf, or turn into mist to float around freely. In all of the CastleVania games, the hero kills Dracula simply by repeated whips. This does not seem possible. In the lore it is said that, first, a stake must be driven into the heart of the vampire. Then, there are two methods to make sure that the vampire stays dead: (1) cut off the vampire's head, stuff the mouth with garlic and put it face down, or (2) throw the vampire, in its coffin, and sink it to the bottom of a body of water. This is where the mystical blood of the Belmont family comes in, allowing them to kill the vampire without the use of the methods above. A spiritual Good vs. Evil, if you will.
The beginning of the Belmont conflict against Count Dracula seems to begin with Sonia Belmont in CastleVania: Legends. The Belmonts were continually called to use their superhuman abilities and hard trained skills for the side of Good. When Count Dracula and his army of darkness began to cast a shadow over all of Europe, a Belmont was never far. The Belmont Clan would have their mettle tested many times, and always prevail. Their stories are told with you, the player, as their guide.
1450 - Castlevania: Legends
If you venture back as far into the Belmont family history as has been revealed, you will find Sonia Belmont. She was the first (so far) known Belmont to pick up the whip and collide with destiny. The Count knew that no mere mortal was a match for him, and thus set out to cover the world in darkness. He had gathered many followers and very little resistance. However, the resistance that came in the form of Sonia would be his demise - for now. Her powers were so strong, that the people of Romania feared her, and thus had the Belmonts exiled.
1476 - Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse
Next in the line of active Vampire Hunters was Trevor Belmont. Son of Sonia Belmont, it has been believed that he is the love child of Alucard. He was called to action when Dracula was prematurly risen by some of his followers (whom he promptly slaughtered and sacrificed for thier services). The Count now had two purposes, to cover the world in darkness, and to destroy the Belmont family. He had dreamt of this for the duration of his ten year slumber, but any dream of a Belmont would become his nitemare. The people of Romania had to search for a hero, a Belmont. Lucky for them, the Belmonts were not sore for being exhiled, and had even sent Trevor to live there under cover incase Dracula ever rose again. Trevor, having learned from Sonia, and with the help of three brave fighters: Grant DaNasty, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard son of Dracula, managed to give Dracula his first hundred year sleep, the maximum he could be entombed to. Trevor was also victorious at gaining the trust of Romania, which became once again home to the Belmonts.
1576 - The Castlevania Adventure
Dracula rises from his hundred year hibernation, sure that his plan had worked and that he no longer had to fear the Belmont family. He was dead wrong. Christopher Belmont set forth to prove this to him. During the confrontation with Christopher, Dracula felt it would be better to turn tail and run. He would not stand a chance against a Belmont so he searched for some leverage.
1591 - Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge
Fifteen years later, Dracula found Christopher's son, Soleiyu. He kidnapped Soleiyu, forcing Christopher to be more careful in his second battle with Drac, for one mistake and Dracula would have Soleiyu killed. Christopher found and rescued Soleiyu, and set forth to destroy the Count with raging fury.
1691 - Castlevania
Another hundred years passed, and Dracula rose from his sleep with a plan. If he was defeated again, he would not sleep alone! He began reaking havok and quickly drew the attention of a new Belmont. Simon was the great-grandson of Christopher, and had been trained with the experience of two great Vampire Hunters before him. However, all the training he had would not prepare him for what Dracula had planned. Simon made it to Dracula with all the skill of a warrior, and promptly slayed him.
1698 - Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest
Simon thought that his torments were over when he defeated Dracula. What did not know was Dracula had placed a curse on him before their battle had ended, and slowly Simon would fall ill and die. One of the village elders told him that the only way to break the curse was to resurrect Dracula and burn him. Simon would need the Count's body parts to do this, and the Count knew it. The Count had previously ordered his followers to scatter his body and guard it's pieces with their lives. He knew that he'd be sacrificing an early resurrection, but it was worth it to him. He would sleep his hundred years, and when he awoke, Simon would be long dead and the Belmont family lineage with him. Simon set forth to gather Drac's parts. He resurrected the Count and burned him, lifting the curse.
1748 - Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
Lydie Erlanger, Transylvanian youth, has been kidnapped and brought into the mysterious castle in the fog. Her friend, Juste Belmont (grandson of Simon) and Maxim Kischine, must enter the once again and slay the forces within. Once inside, Maxim begins to act funny - in his jealousy, could he be conspiring against the Belmonts? It is discovered that Maxim tried to recover the body parts of Dracula burned by Simon in order to prove his worth as a Vampire Hunter, and ended up being possessed by Dracula, and kidnapped Lydie so he could resurrect once again. Naturally, Juste puts a stop to all of these plans, and the world is safe again.
1792 - Dracula X: Rondo of Blood
Once again, Count Dracula comes back to the mortal plane and he awakens having learned a small lesson from his last endevor. The kidnapping of Soleiyu almost helped him, so he would try it again. This time he learned of a Belmont named Richter. He observed Richter for a while and learned that he had a girlfriend, Annette Renard, and several friends in the village. His time act was now. He kidnapped Annette, her sister Maria, a village Nun named Tara, and the village doctor's daughter named Iris. Richter set forth on his long journey, not knowing if things would turn out for the better. Too many innocents were involved, things did not look good. Shortly though, Richter found and freed Maria who helped him in his quest. Together they freed all of the captives, and slayed Dracula yet again.
1792 - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Four years after Richter's battle with the Count, darkness came yet again. A Dark Priest named Shaft, was hungry for ultimate power and thought he could achieve this with the help of Dracula. He set forth to resurrect Drac yet again, but first he would remove a major obsticle in his path, Richter Belmont. He placed a spell upon Richter and actually managed to get him to side with evil. This large shift in power caused Alucard to awaken from his slumber. Alucard had put himself to sleep after standing along side Trevor, hoping to seal his cursed bloodline. Alucard now had to stop Shaft to prevent all of mankind from being extinguished. During this battle he crossed paths with Maria several times, and discovered the source of Richter's defection. He went on to defeat Shaft, and then his father, Count Dracula.
1830 - Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
The dark priestess Carmilla seeks the return of her master, Lord Dracula. Using the life power of the captured vampire hunter Morris Baldwin, two young disciples, Hugh Baldwin and Nathan Graves, must not only save him but stop yet another resurrection of the evil lord Dracula.
1844 - Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness
Through the necromancy of his followers, Dracula is once drawn back into land of the living earlier than usual. However, his body is not fully regenerated. After destroying local villages, he begins to kidnap children, looking for a suitable soul. It is then when man-beast Cornell steps in and attempts to stop this plan. He is not entirely successful.
1852 - Castlevania 64
Eight years down the road, a man of Belmont lineage named Reinhart Schneider, a small girl, descendent of Sypha Velnades named Carrie, and a gun-wielding knight named Henry all began their siege on Dracula's castle.
As documented in Bram Stoker's Dracula, it was in 1897 that Dracula rose again, by unknown means, and had Jonathan Harker as his guest. In a final showdown, Quincey Morris and Jonathan Harker dug a knife into the chest of the sleeping Dracula. Quincey, however, did not survive the gash inflicted by gypsies under the influence of the Count's hyponotism. Although the book does not mention this, Quincey's son, John, was hiding in the background, and had witnessed the whole event. It is also not mentioned that Quincey was a member of the Belmont family lineage. Logically, this is improbable...there is no way a little two year old (since John was born in 1895) could follow his father across the countryside to Romania to witness the final battle. And Quincey must be a widow, since he tried to court Lucy early in the novel.
1914 - Castlevania Bloodlines
Not long later, a witch practicing black magic accidentally resurrected Elizabeth Bartley, one who was tried and convicted of being a vampire years before. She was, in fact, the niece of the Count Dracula, and decided to try to raise her uncle. John Morris, along with his pal Eric Lecarde, knew that they had to stop Bartley and Dracula once again.
ITEMS OF NOTE
Various names of places/characters in Castlevania have been based off of legend. The town of Veros, for instance, comes from Verossa, and Warakiya comes from Walachia, two cities that had to do with the reign of Vlad Tepes (Dracula.) Grant DaNasty was named after the Dinesti family, rival of the Tepes clan. Thanks to Andromeda for this information!
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