1797 - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

egendary Vampire Hunter, Richter Belmont, succeeded in ending the scourge of Count Dracula in 1792, but all was not well. Four years later, beneath the light of a full moon, Richter mysteriously vanished. Maria Renard, a loyal friend of Richter's who helped him slay Dracula, set off to look for him.

She had no idea where to begin until destiny showed her the way. Castlevania, the estate of Lord Dracula said to rise once every century, materialized from the mist before Maria, daring the young girl to enter. . .

Meanwhile, powerful forces rattled the soul of Alucard, the son of Count Dracula, awakening him from deep sleep. Alucard had made an alliance with Trevor Belmont in 1476 to destroy Dracula during the Count's war against humanity. After the deed was done, Alucard submerged himself within what was supposed to be an everlasting slumber in order to purge the world of his accursed bloodline.

Alucard rose from centuries of sleep, not knowing why he was awake. He was naturally drawn to Castlevania, his old home. Alucard ran through the woods toward the Castle's drawbridge, and gracefully made a huge leap, just barely getting in before the bridge closed.
Thence forth, there was no turning back. Alucard intended to stay until he figured out exactly what was happening. What had caused him to wake, and what caused the Castle to return? As he progressed through bleak halls, the dim Castle gracefully lit up. The Castle acknowledged its new guest, and greeted him accordingly.

Rows of undead zombies awoke and attacked. Alucard effortlessly tore through the weak, mindless defenses, but halted upon seeing a familiar face.

Dracula's trusted confidante, Death, approached for a chat. The dark being would not plea Alucard return to their side, but demanded the attack on the Castle stop. When Alucard refused, Death told him that he would regret his choice and they'd see each other again. Before taking leave, Death effortlessly stripped Alucard of his weapons and armor, including his Alucard Sword, a family heirloom from his mother's side. Death hid them in unknown locations, leaving Alucard to press on without his provisions.

The half vampire explored the laboratory of the Castle, searching for answers to his questions. He noticed a young blonde haired human girl in the great Clock Room within the Marble Gallery. He paid her no heed and continued on his way until she called for him to wait.
She was confused by Alucard and his presence. She realized that he seemed human. . . but something was different about him. She asked him who he was and why he was in the Castle. Alucard introduced himself, telling her he had come to destroy the Castle. The youth grasped that he wasn't going to tell her more, but stated that their goal was the same, so she would trust him for now. She introduced herself as Maria. Before departing, she said that maybe they would meet again, if Alucard managed to live long enough.

Alucard continued up through the inside of the castle's large defensive Outer Wall, and into its grand Long Library. Though haunted, the Library was as majestic as one could imagine. Within a restful cavity of the Library, Alucard found who he was searching for, the Library's eccentric old caretaker - The Master Librarian.

The Librarian bore no ill feelings toward the half vampire, despite Alucard betraying his father. Alucard asked the old man for help, but the Librarian was loyal to the Count, and did not wish to support a cause against his Master.
Alucard expected as much and told the old man that he would be willing to pay for his services. The Librarians ears perked, and he decided that he could help the Young Master after all. The Librarian flaunted his repertoire of weird and wonderful objects to Alucard. What intrigued the Young Master was a trinket called Jewel of Open, which would allow entry to areas sealed by locked blue doors.

Once Alucard obtained the Jewel and other articles he needed, he returned to the Laboratory and opened a door that he once could not pass. Beyond, he found Maria Renard once more.

After teasingly chiding Alucard for his cold demeanor, she said that she had been in the Castle before, but it was now much different than she remembered. Alucard explained that the Castle they stood in was a creature of chaos that may take many different incarnations. Maria had thought that perhaps her mind was playing tricks on her. After the brief exchange, they each went their separate ways and met again within an elevated room in the lofty Royal Chapel. Alucard destroyed an aggressive monster while Maria watched.

The young girl complimented Alucard on his strength. Not one to waste time on games of flattery, Alucard urged Maria to get to the point. She asked him if he had heard the name Richter Belmont before. Alucard was familiar with the Belmont Clan, having joined forces with Trevor Belmont ages past. Maria told him that Richter had disappeared a year ago, and she knew he had to be in the Castle somewhere. With a chivalrous tone, Alucard assured the girl that he would let her know if he encountered Richter. Maria courted his gesture fancily, calling him a gentleman and thanking him. After which, the two separated again.

While exploring the Castle's Coliseum, Alucard found himself locked inside a tournament battlefield inside an empty auditorium.
Empty save for one soul.

Above the field and in the throne of the Master of Ceremonies sat a young man who let off villainous laughter. He welcomed Alucard to his Castle.
The halfling inquired who he was, but the man ignored the question and summoned two monsters to destroy the trespasser who invaded his Castle. As two hideous beasts appeared on command, the man vanished into the darkness.

After dispatching of his adversaries, Alucard reflected upon the young man. He had smelled his blood. . . it was the blood of a Belmont. Alucard was certain of that, but wasn't certain what to make of that development, or why the young Vampire Hunter would be the Lord of the Castle, but he continued searching, eventually going deep into the understructure of the castle. Within a long vertical tunnel of the Underground Caverns, Alucard found a mysterious room where he fell asleep.

He emerged in a surreal nightmare, hearing the voice of his mother calling him. There she was, his blameless mother, Lisa, tied to a stake with human villagers ready to torture her to death, as they had done long ago. His mother, the human woman that loved Vlad Tepes Dracula, and with him, conceived their half human, half vampire son, Alucard.

Everything except Alucard and Lisa was frozen in time.

Alucard's emotions welled up, and he called back to his mother, telling her that he would save her. He wouldn't let the same thing happen all over again. This time he could stop it, and make everything better. Lisa eased her son's worries, and told him that it was alright. If her death could save others, she'd gladly surrender her life.

Alucard pleaded with his mother not to go, but she insisted. She told Alucard to watch her die, and to listen to her final words. Alucard listened.

Lisa told her son that he must despise and prey upon humans.

Alucard was taken aback. She went on, saying that it is better for them to perish than compound their sins. She wanted her son to slay one of the humans that was persecuting her. Alucard refused intensely. It did not happen that way. His mother never said such a thing. Lisa ordered Alucard to kill the humans, and tried to convince him that it would bring them happiness.

Alucard soon realized that the ghoul before him was not his mother, but some sort of demon in disguise. He demanded that the creature reveal itself.

A seductive Succubus appeared in Lisa's place, haughtily laughing at Alucard. She enjoyed that the half vampire had broken free of her spell. She seemed aroused by his resistance. Alucard was insulted that the creature had taken the form of his mother, telling the deceiver that death was too lenient a sentence for one such as her. The bewitching vixen dared Alucard to attack with her come hither tone.

Alucard defeated the beautiful temptress. She smelled his blood, and asked if he was a vampire. The Succubus discerned by Alucard's strength and beauty that she had indeed been defeated by the son of her Lord Dracula.

Alucard explained that by dying in the dream world, her soul would be left wandering for all eternity. The Succubus begged for her soul, but it was too late.

When Alucard returned to the waking world, he found a Gold Ring, which had once not been in the room. It bore an inscription, saying "Wear… Clock." He kept the trinket and continued lower into the castle, eventually facing Granfalloon, the grotesque mass of corpses in the Castle's lowest point. Within the bottom reaches, Alucard obtained armor that would allow him access to a certain area of the Royal Chapel that had been too dangerous to traverse due to lethal traps.

The Darkling headed from the bleak underside of the castle to the cloud enshrouded towers of the Chapel, and entered an open air dining room that hung suspended in the sky overlooking beautiful evergreen woodlands. Maria waited inside. She had wondered if Alucard found Richter.

Alucard responded, saying that he had encountered a Belmont, but wasn't sure if it was this Richter she had told him about. He told her that the Belmont was the Lord of the Castle.

Maria was shaken at hearing that. She refused to believe it, and hurriedly ran off in a worried fuss. Behind her laid a Silver Ring, with the inscription ". . .in. . . Tower."

The Young Master wore both rings and put the inscription together, reading "Wear in Clock Tower." Alucard departed the Chapel and headed to the south east, towards the room with the large clock face where he first met Maria. When we wore the rings, a flash appeared, the hands around the clock moved quicker than usual, and the bell tolled thirteen times. Afterward, a trap door opened beneath Alucard, revealing a path leading below.

Alucard boarded a pulley elevator and descended. He found himself at the very center of Dracula's Castle. A huge arcane structure with a room was found within. Alucard stepped into the bizarre room. From the look of it, he was standing on the ceiling, and the floor was where the ceiling would have been. The whole place appeared upside down.

Maria waited inside. She called Alucard's name from the darkness and apologized. She knew for certain that Richter had joined the enemy. She was familiar with Richter's character, and deduced that someone must be controlling him. She insisted that no harm befall Richter. Alucard wasn't concerned with technicalities. The only thing that mattered to him was for Belmont to be stopped.

She knew. She handed Alucard an odd item, to which he inquired what it was. They were Holy Glasses that allowed the wearer to see past evil illusions. Alucard told her that she had best pray for the soul of her friend and then set off to the top of the castle – to the Throne Room.

When Alucard reached the peak of the castle, he saw the same blue clad young man from before. Richter Belmont, the man who destroyed Dracula.

The Vampire Hunter said he had been waiting for Alucard. Alucard wanted to know why a Belmont would plan the resurrection of Lord Dracula. The man answered that Dracula rises but once a century, and after that time, Belmont's role is over. He wanted to relive the glorious battle he had with Dracula five years ago. Alucard realized the young man had been driven mad with the spirit of battle, and suffered a feeling of worthlessness without it. It consumed him, and was all he lived for. Richter felt that without Dracula, his life had no purpose or meaning. He needed Dracula just as the black hearted men who underwent the resurrection ritual needed him. Alucard told him that if those were his true feelings, then so be it.

The two clashed in a vicious battle. Richter began only testing Alucard, but after Alucard withstood his first onslaught, Richter applied more power. The Vampire Hunter demanded that Alucard fight more; fight harder, telling Alucard that he was not even a challenge.

Alucard was not focusing on hurting the Belmont. With the glasses Maria had given him, he saw a small green orb floating around Richter. He reasoned that it was controlling Belmont, and attacked the otherwise invisible sphere.

After Alucard shattered it, Richter was jolted, and Maria entered the room, urging the half vampire not to hurt Richter. A fourth presence emerged, the apparition of the Dark Priest Shaft - the one that had been secretly influencing Richter's actions. Richter had killed Shaft five years ago, but the ghost of Shaft returned to haunt his slayer.

Shaft warned the trio that Dracula's resurrection was at hand, and there was nothing they could do to prevent it. As the poltergeist escaped, clouds parted, and a massive Castle shot through the turbulent heavens with its peaks pointing toward the earth. It settled in the sky. The entire structure was curiously turned upside down.

From the first Castle's keep, Richter, Maria, and Alucard watched the surreal sight of seeing another Castle appear. Alucard knew Shaft had gone to the second Castle. Richter was surprised that he was face to face with Alucard, the son of Dracula. The same Alucard that had teamed with his ancestor, Trevor Belmont. Alucard did not have time for pleasantries, and told Maria to take Richter out of the Castle to somewhere he could recuperate, and that he would finish Shaft and prevent the resurrection of his father. Maria agreed, and Alucard embarked toward the new Castle.

It was a twisted version of the place he had already been. Though the same structure was present, the entire thing was inverted, and it carried a sometimes dreamlike, sometimes hellish tone. Its origins were left to mystery, and it followed no logic or reason. As Alucard explored the second castle, he encountered certain monsters that guarded Dracula's bodily remains. Alucard sought these select creatures in order to obtain the relics. He was also reunited with the equipment Death had taken from him earlier.

Within the Reverse Caverns, Alucard met with Death once more, just as the dark being said they would. Death offered Alucard a final chance to cease his attack, and to that Alucard said that so long as he had a breath in his body, he would never stop. Death decided that as such, he would dine on Alucard's soul that night.

Not even Death could withstand Alucard's offensive, and after the being dissipated, he relinquished his precious piece of his Lord's remains. With all the remains in his possession, Alucard visited the Black Marble Gallery, and went to the great clock room. A flash appeared, the hands around the clock moved quicker than usual, and the bell tolled thirteen times. Afterward, a trap door opened beneath Alucard, revealing a path leading below. The remains had granted him access to the final area.

Alucard boarded a pulley elevator and descended. He found himself at the very center of Dracula's Castle. A huge arcane structure with a room was found within. Alucard stepped into the bizarre chamber.

Shaft waited inside. He commended Alucard for making it as far as he had, but told him he expected as much from the son of Count Dracula. Alucard asked why Shaft had made Richter Belmont the Lord of Castlevania.

Shaft told that for centuries, Vampire Hunters had defeated evil with Holy powers. But, he had planned on turning them against each other. With Richter Belmont as the Lord of the Castle, other Hunters would stand against him, but since the Belmont's powers are supreme among Hunters, none would be able to defeat him. Shaft coerced Richter to his side and removed him as a threat. It was all toward his goal of cleansing the world in the forge of Chaos.

Alucard told him that his plan had failed, but Shaft responded dubiously. Shaft wondered aloud what would happen once he destroyed Alucard's weak human side.

Alucard crushed The Dark Priest in battle, revealing Shaft's power to be insufficient, though Shaft department with a measure of contentment. He said his goal was achieved, for Count Dracula had come to purify the world with the flames of Chaos.

The room fell to blackness, and Alucard heard a voice that was familiar to him. A voice he had not heard in a long time.

Alucard's father congratulated him for his victory over Shaft. Alucard said to his father that he was hoping they would not see each other again, and that he could not allow him to leave to plague the world.

Dracula was tired of Alucard's fondness of humans, and reminded his son of what they had done to Lisa, Alucard's mother, and Dracula's beloved. Alucard would never forget such a thing, but he told his father that he did not seek revenge against them for the atrocity that happened centuries before.

Alucard and Dracula followed completely different paths. Alucard walked the path of forgiveness and peace, and Dracula, one of revenge and bloodshed. Each of them realized there was no changing the other.

Dracula declared that it was time for Alucard to finally reject his weak human side, and to join him in remaking the world.

Alucard defeated Dracula in the name of his mother. Dracula wondered aloud how it came to be that he was defeated. Alucard responded, telling him that he was doomed ever since he lost the ability to love. Dracula found some humor in Alucard's words, and took them sarcastically.

Before leaving his son, The Dark Lord wanted to know Lisa's final words.

Alucard responded. "She said do not hate humans. If you can not live with them, then at least do them no harm. For theirs is already a hard lot." Those were the words Alucard had lived by, which had taken him down such a disparate path from that of his father.

Alucard continued, "She also said to tell you, that she will love you for all of eternity."

After knowing her final words, a hint of humanity shot through the Count's cold, unforgiving being for the first time in a long while. Dracula pleaded for Lisa's forgiveness.

The two family members bid each other farewell, and Alucard told his father that he would miss him, despite everything that had happened through the eras.

Once Dracula was destroyed, both of his Castles were destroyed with him in a grand display. Outside in the ruins, Alucard admired the tranquility of his homeland, Transylvania.

He reunited with Richter and Maria. The young Vampire Hunter apologized to Alucard, feeling it was his fault Alucard had come to blows with his own father.
Alucard reassured him, for he had his own reasons for confronting Dracula.

Richter and Maria wondered what Alucard would do now that the ordeal had past. Alucard told them that the blood flowing through his veins was cursed, and it would be best for the world if he disappeared for all eternity. After that, Alucard said they would not see him again, and departed.

Richter sensed Maria's feelings, and urged the young girl to follow after him. Maria admitted that she could not let Alucard disappear from her life, and Richter encouraged her.

Richter and the spunky young girl he had met years ago said their goodbyes, and Maria Renard followed Alucard as the sun rose over old Transylvania.

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