”The only true” Dracula

I doubt there are many who don’t know who Count Dracula is. Most also know who the fictional character is based on. The lord of vampires, seen in many movies, was originally created by author Bram Stoker, who modeled the count after the Romanian despot, Vlad Dracula. The bloodthirsty tyrant is most known for his highly imaginative ways of killing his adversaries – real or suspected.

BramMost known is likely impaling (which gave him the moniker Tepes, the Impaler). Sometimes Vlad would have the stakes used for impaling rounded and oiled to cause a most slow and painful death. Based on tradition and recorded history, Vlad can be seen as a true monster, yet things are not quite so simple. He was also a strong ruler, who even before reaching the throne, made several political enemies, who might have exaggerated his actions.Vlad

There is no doubt, however, that he wasn’t responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people, mostly Turkish Ottoman invaders.

In any case, this man and his alleged love for carnage inspired the Irish author to write a classic novel called Dracula about the royal vampire. The character eventually expanded into a major pop culture icon – leading to many movies, books, games and copycats.

Castlevania gamers also know exactly what Dracula’s role in the world of the series is. Or do they? Since now, the developers have kept the mythology originally created, present – in one form or another. In a seemingly increasing number of CV games the Master of the Castle we have known so far isn’t present at all. Soma Cruz (Aria of Sorrow) inherits the vast powers of the Dark Count and almost turns into Dracula himself. Walter Bernhard ( Lament of Innocence), resembles Dracula in many ways; his gestures, his goals, his hobbies and his taste in decoration, but is not (I think) a predecessor nor a henchman of Dracula. The Vampire artist Brauner resurrects and assumes control over Dracula’s Castle, without help from its real master.

MathiasLoI revealed something quite puzzling about the original Dracula of Castlevania. It seems he wasn’t originally Vlad the Impaler after all, but rather “Magic Stone Mathias”. Though originally only speculated, Koji Igrashi has confirmed that Mathias is indeed Dracula. The prologue of Symphony of the Night specifically mentions that he is “Vlad Tepes Dracula”, but, how and when he assumed this identity, remains to be seen. The name ‘Dracula’ holds different meanings and could be even considered a title when adjusted to Castlevania universe. The whole name, however, is a different story.

Though many feel that the altering of the so far known saga of the Dracula of Castlevania is a bad move, there are good sides too. The story is no more tied to the characters created by people outside the series nor to the original story of Dracula the book character. It can be molded by resourceful people, turning it into something completely fit for Castlevania. I do, though, understand not that many play Castlevania for the story. But maybe this will change, just as so many things have changed over the series’ one-fifth of a century long history.

On a personal note, I do not, at least yet, see Mathias as I see Dracula: a megalomanical warclock who’s afraid of nothing, waging a war against the whole world and especially the Belmonts. On the other hand, nothing has been (I think) closed in (some think this is unfortunate, for not all appreciate the “rewriting” by Koji Igarashi), so I’m not going to make any radical assumptions on the story now being developed..

DracThe above mentioned good side may also be a bad side. Many would have been completely satisfied with the already presented “birth” of Dracula and persona and if it is done again, will the outcome be decent? If a next team or the one after that or someone who will develop a smash hit equal to SotN, won’t prefer the current Dracula, will they also develop a new, in their minds, better version of him? Will he eventually end up a Santa Claus-like figure, thought to be one, but in reality being a combination of many? I don’t think a “spirit of Dracula” is a bad idea, but at the same time I hope for a shred of logic. In other words, Dracula most also have a persona.

Dracula is an important part of the continuance of Castlevania, just like the Belmont Clan. While forming the story, he should not be cast aside as an insignificant character. We shall wait and see. ”Have at you!”

Written by: A-Yty


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