1479 - Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

t the time of Dracula's great war against humanity, there existed two human heretics that served as lieutenants to the Dark Lord. They were known only as Hector and Isaac. The blasphemers turned their backs on humankind, thus relinquishing their surnames. Dracula had taken them as his apprentices, and he taught them the dark art of Devil Forging.

A Devil Forgemaster was granted the ability to call forth remarkably loyal creatures known as Innocent Devils to assist them in battle. A Forgemaster's powers were on par with even Death's; therefore the two young men were at the vanguard of Dracula's dark army.

Sometime during the war, Hector became appalled at Dracula for arbitrarily slaying the humans on a mass scale. He eventually betrayed his master and relinquished his powers to live a normal life amid the humans. Hector met a woman named Rosaly whom he fell deep in love with, and was leading a normal, happy life despite his profaned history as a servant of Dracula.

Three years after the war, Europe was within the venomous grip of Dracula's Curse. Sacrilege, pestilence, and mob violence engulfed the continent. Sadly, at some stage in such madness, Rosaly was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.
While Hector was bound and forced to watch his beloved suffer and die, Isaac, his former comrade, made it clear to Hector that he had put it within the people's hearts to murder her.

Hector, infuriated, set off toward his former home of Valachia to kill Isaac in cold blood for the slaughter of Rosaly.
When he arrived, Isaac and his Innocent Devil, at the entrance of an Abandoned Castle, greeted him. Isaac explained that he felt it was because of Hector's betrayal that they had lost the war and lost their master. He killed Rosaly as revenge, and as an incentive to lead Hector back to Valachia so he could kill his former ally himself.

The truth of the matter was that without Devil Forging, Hector was powerless against Isaac, who had remained on his heretical course and retained his powers. Isaac was not enthralled to manhandling Hector with his great powers, and Hector knew he could not slay Isaac without his forgotten abilities. Isaac forced Hector to relearn the dark art that he hated so much.

Isaac excused himself as Hector set off through the Abandoned Castle in pursuit.
While exploring the ruins, Hector met a monk named Zead, who was spellbound by Hector's display of Devil Forging.
Zead was aware that Hector was in search of the other Devil Forgemaster, and he revealed that Isaac was on his way towards the Chapel on the other side of the mountain.
It was valuable information, but Hector was a bit suspicious of why that was a concern of Zead's. The monk made clear that he had gone to Valachia to cleanse the land of the pestilent curse, and that Isaac was the blight's protector. Consequently, Isaac was a natural hindrance to Zead's cause.

It all made sense, so Hector set off through the ruined castle and continued through the gloomy landscapes of Valachia, and on into the Baljhet Mountains. In the mountain range, Hector came across a woman who had a striking resemblance to Rosaly.
She introduced herself as Julia and elaborated, revealing herself as a witch who had escaped from the lands to the west, where her kind was relentlessly hunted. Being that Isaac was her enemy, she agreed to help Hector by selling him goods at her nearby shop and taking care of his Innocent Devils. Hector was fascinated by how much she reminded him of his love.

Once he made his way past the mountains, Hector approached the beautiful, yet disgraced Garibaldi Temple – the place where Isaac was headed.

At the Temple's entrance, an oddly dressed man named Saint Germain appeared. The man knew everything regarding Hector's quest in Valachia – from his pursuit of Isaac, to the murder of Rosaly.
Hector angrily demanded to know how he had learned such things, but the gentleman would not tell him. Before vanishing into thin air, the fellow cryptically said that the fate of the world would be determined by Hector's actions.

Though Hector was baffled by the encounter, he pressed on through the Temple.
While inside one of its lofty, yet dim chambers, Hector was addressed by a man who recognized the Devil Forgemaster's crest that he wore.
In turn, Hector took note of the whip the man was brandishing, and instantly thought of the hero who'd slain his master three years prior. When Hector admitted to being a Devil Forgemaster, the man suddenly attacked.

Hector was overwhelmed by the holy warrior's superior strength and ability. As he thought, his assailant was none other than Trevor Belmont – the living legend that liberated Valachia and destroyed Lord Dracula.

After defeating Hector, Belmont reflected on there being two Devil Forgemasters at some point, and recollected how one of them had abandoned their powers. Due to Hector's inferior capacity, Belmont spared Hector, passing him off as the one who'd betrayed Dracula, and continued his search for Isaac.

Walking along a channel of the Mortvia Aqueduct, once again, Hector encountered Zead. The preacher informed him that Isaac had made his way to the ghost town beyond the forest, after which, Zead awkwardly excused himself in hasty fashion.

Almost instantly after Zead's exit, the eccentric Saint Germain appeared in a flash of light, claiming he was expecting someone else. Before taking leave, Germain warned Hector not to be taken in by Zead's words.
Hector wasn't quite sure what to make out of that. The most important thing to him was finding and killing Isaac, and Zead recurrently pointed him the right direction.

It wouldn't be long until Hector saw the strange duo again. Following his venture through the Aqueduct, voices alerted Hector as he entered the Forest of Jigramunt.
The Devil Forgemaster spied the two arguing while he concealed himself. They were debating matters he didn't quite understand – something regarding not interfering with the affairs of fate.
What Hector did easily comprehend was that the two were mortal enemies, as Zead wielded a blade against Germain, who deftly avoided each and every strike. After declaring he would keep returning, Germain disappeared in a flash of brilliance. Using his blade to open a dimensional rift, Zead entered, vanishing himself.

After a long and perilous journey past the woods and through the haunted town of Cordova, Hector finally caught up with Isaac, who waited in a dilapidated courtyard. During the battle between the two, Julia unexpectedly appeared, interrupting them and revealing that Isaac was her brother. Isaac agreed to stop and withdraw for the time being. Before leaving, he warned Hector that the only way he'd defeat him was to regain even more of his powers.

Hector was enraged at Julia for getting in his way, as his chance to achieve his revenge was lost at that time. Julia told Hector that her brother had succumbed to Dracula's Curse, and she did not want Hector to fall prey to the same fate, exclaiming that it is not what Rosaly would have wanted of him. Hector listened to her reasoning and apologized, but he soon set off for Isaac again.

Hector's progress was momentarily thwarted when he came upon the Eneomaos Machine Tower. Some sort of strange magical barrier blocked the entrance, but Hector was able to circumvent it with the use of one of his Innocent Devils.

At the tower's peak, Hector found Saint Germain simply waiting. The man stated that he had fallen into Zead's trap. When Hector went within the tower, he wasn't aware that he had crossed through Zead's mystical obstruction. Germain proclaimed that within the barrier, he was able to have a physical effect. He challenged Hector to a duel as a means of answering some of his own quandaries.

After being defeated, Germain promised not to interfere with Hector anymore. When Hector directly asked Germain who he was, the gentleman said that he was a traveler, only partially there, who was not allowed to adjust reality. He assured Hector to walk the path that was meant for him without fear. The barrier lifted after the battle, and Germain vanished once again.

In the Aiolan Ruins, Hector found Isaac locked in combat with Trevor Belmont. The arrival of Hector complicated matters for Isaac. After making a cut across Belmont's chest with his spear, and claiming he had what he came for, Isaac retreated.

Isaac withdrawing at the sight of his former ally assured Belmont that Hector and Isaac were indeed at ends with each other. Regardless, Trevor declared that Hector was only meddling, and told him to yield.

When Trevor was gone as well, Zead emerged from behind Hector. As usual, the robed figure told Hector where Isaac was headed – The Abandoned Castle, in a hidden chamber beneath the ruins. When Hector mentioned that Saint Germain would no longer intrude, Zead panicked and left in a hurry.

At the Abandoned Castle, after following a secret passage, Hector discovered Trevor Belmont waiting in a large, empty room. Hector informed the vampire slayer that Isaac was in the hidden chamber.
Belmont wanted to see just how much power Hector had gained, and without warning, he attacked the Devil Forgemaster.

Belmont was surprised and peculiarly pleased that Hector was able to hold his own. Trevor Belmont claimed that he was testing Hector – for only those with advanced powers could enter the realm to which Hector was headed.
Belmont used a dagger to spill a bit of his own blood on the floor, which triggered a magical gateway. That was the reason Isaac had fought the Hunter, to get a bit of his blood to use as a key. Hector entered the threshold while Belmont stayed behind.

The portal took Hector to a hidden pocket dimension, where a Dullahan guarded some kind of seal. When Hector defeated the creature, the room shook. The Abandoned Castle quaked as cyclones raged, lightning crackled, and thunder roared.
Dracula's Castle rose from the deep and stood tall and proud against the intimidating storm clouds.

In the Abandoned Castle, Isaac suddenly appeared behind Belmont and gouged him with his spear. The evil Forgemaster clarified that the magic power caused between Hector's battle with the Dullahan was enough to break the seal within that outlandish dimension and bring about the resurrection of Castlevania.

Isaac left Belmont for dead in a puddle of blood.

Hector, having left the bizarre dimension, approached Dracula's Castle to be met by Julia. The witch informed him that she barely saved Trevor Belmont's life, but if Dracula had revived with his castle, Trevor would be no help to them.
Though Julia had rescued the Hunter, his fate was still uncertain. Dracula's Curse emanated from that very castle, and being a Devil Forgemaster, only Hector could find the source and stop it. Alone, he entered the Castle.

Near the Castle's highest point, Hector found Isaac, and the two engaged in their final battle. Hector finally killed Isaac, and once he did, he received the revelation that the bloody vengeance he sought was Dracula's Curse having an influence over him. He realized the Curse, and rejected it.

From the shadows, Zead materialized. It came to light that Zead was behind everything. He used Hector to revive the Castle and Lord Dracula. As Devil Forgemasters were suffused within Dracula's magic, only they could be the vessel for Dracula's reemergence. Hector rejected the Curse, thus Isaac would have to be the vessel.

Hector… would have to be brushed aside.

Zead revealed his concealed weapon, and in so doing also revealed his identity. In truth, the monk was Dracula's servant Death in disguise.
Hector and the divine being engaged in a huge battle. The Devil Forgemaster overcame even Death, and he set off towards his final task.

Hector continued up the spiraling staircase towards the throne.

When Hector entered the Throne Room, Dracula was reborn from inside the coffin that held Isaac.

For the first time, Dracula was brought back from the dead.

He had not changed.
His hatred for the humans had taken root, and so had his ideologies. Dracula planned to punish Hector for betraying him, but like Death, like Isaac, and like his other servants, Dracula was defeated by Hector's hand.

Dracula's transformation was not complete, and Hector had regained his full powers. The circumstances enabled him to overcome his former master.

Even with Hector's victory, Dracula's Curse still permeated the land, and due to it, humans would surely obliterate themselves. As a Devil Forgemaster, Hector had the ability to convert Dracula's Curse into something harmless.

As such, Hector invoked his final forge.

Once all deeds were done, the castle began crumbling. Hector realized that the whole demise – Isaac's madness, Rosaly's death – they were all products of Dracula's Curse.

With nothing left to live for, Hector planned on dying there with his former master, former allies, and former home. Julia appeared, and she convinced Hector that he had paid his debt, and that he was deserving of life.

With Dracula's Castle destroyed, and the Curse with it, the Sun shot through the clouds, and the constant gloom that had taken Valachia captive was dispelled. Hector and Julia put their faith in people – faith that in time, they would be able to overcome the Curse.

As for Saint Germain - with the flow of time finally stabilized, he would depart that era, and travel far into the future. His destination would be the final battle between Lord Dracula and the humans.

Julia invited Hector to live with him, which he gladly accepted.
At last, Hector would live in true peace, without the shadow of Dracula, Isaac, or Castlevania looming over him.

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