† First names: Adrian Fahrenheights. His whole name can be seen on the closing credits of Dracula’s Curse, where Tepes is mentioned as his last name. Tepes, however, is the Romanian moniker of Vlad Dracula himself and not a surname.
† The only playable character who was not wiped out from the chronology when Legends, Castlevania (64), Legacy of Darkness and Circle of the Moon were officially separated from it.
† Was inspired by a real person and a fictitious character; the real Vlad Dracula had an illegitimate son and the old vampire movies frequently used a character called ”Count Alucard, the Son of Dracula”. Alucard has also been a pseudonym of Dracula himself in numerous works of fiction, like Hellsing (both the manga and the anime). The main character ‘ D’ of Vampire Hunter D anime, (which assumably was an inspiration to the makers of Castlevania) was likely another inspiration for Alucard. Both are the sole sons of Dracula, half-human, half-vampire who use swords as their primary weapons and battle vampires.
† The other one of Legends’ endings explains Sonia gave birth to a baby boy soon after the events of the game. It was long speculated that the child was Trevor and the father was Alucard. Since Legends is not part of official canon and the claim was never proven right, it is likely to remain unconfirmed.
† ”Genya” means ”illusion”. ”Arikado” means ”to have horns”. It also resembles Alucard pronounced in Japanese (”Arukaado”).
† Simon, Dracula and Alucard all appear in the Captain N cartoon. Just like Simon, Alucard has almost nothing in common with his Castlevania counterpart. Instead he is a rebellious 90’s skateboarding teenager with a puffy hairdo.
Symphony of the Night
Dawn of Sorrow (unlockable)
Aria of Sorrow
Two sides, one objective
After beginning his life again as a vampire Dracula likely did not believe he could ever feel human emotions again. After meeting a woman named Lisa things changed. The two fell in love and a half-vampire, half-human boy was conceived by their union. The child inherited traits both vampiric and human. The boy was named Adrian, but later in life he would call himself Alucard.
As Adrian grew, he was found to possess the same kind of powers Dracula gave up his humanity for. Despite this, he had also inherited the gentle characteristics of his human mother. This humanity would soon be tested, however.
Lisa was quite skilled in medicine for her era and often helped the sick and needy of her neighbourhood. Because of this and possibly because the populace had found out she was having an affair with a vampire, they branded her a witch. The people dragged her to townsquare. After a quick trial she was burned alive, as was the common practice at the time. Adrian witnessed all of this. Noticing Adrian was about to exact his revenge on the people, Lisa used her last living moments to urge her son to leave the humans alone and not harm them. She told him to deliver the same message to his father. Perhaps because Adrian was not yeat ready to forgive the humans, Dracula would hear this message centuries later.
A lost love in his life as a human had driven Dracula to hate God and make himself live forever, but a lost love in his eternal life was what truly made him to strive to end the world. The death of Lisa caused him overwhelming rage and he therefore swore to wipe out humanity as a revenge. Certain that Adrian shared his hatred, Dracula began training his son in the dark arts and to fight. Likely because he was still clouded by hate, Adrian accepted his father’s teachings and practiced. Later the time finally came when Dracula prepared to throw the world of humans into oblivion and Adrian was meant to stand by his side.
But Lisa’s last words kept echoing in Adrian’s mind. Her last wish was that neither he or his father would give in to rage. Adrian faced a difficult decision. He still respected his father, but began to have doubts about aiding him reach his destructive goal. Convinced that Dracula would never understand his inner conflict, Adrian left his place at his father’s side and went dormant beneath the earth to relieve himself from the burden of decision, allowing fate to dictate the course of action.
The canon events of Castlevania have been clarified after Legends came out. The official timeline ignores it and it is therefore up to one’s interpration if Alucard first rose to meet Sonia Belmont or Trevor Belmont and his allies.
Legends (1998) – 1450
After Dracula became a threat to the world, it was up to the 17 year old Sonia Belmont to fight her way into his castle and end his reign of evil. Alucard had decided to do the same, so he crossed paths with Sonia. The two had, however, met each other before and were in fact lovers. This is why Alucard didn’t want Sonia risking her life by fighting Dracula. Sonia kept her head, feeling that it was her destiny to destroy the vampire. Since Alucard was unable to talk Sonia out of her intentions, he decided to test her to see if she was strong enough to oppose his father.
Sonia won the duel. Alucard was astonished by the young vampire hunter’s strength. He knew now that he wouldn’t have to stop his father personally, but instead the difficult task could and should be for Sonia. Alucard’s emotional bond, though thin, could have jeopardized the mission. Alucard decided to do something to weaken the malevolent will of Dracula. He would bid a sad farewell to Sonia and put himself to deep sleep to nullify the effects of his cursed blood on the world. Despite the grief caused by the couple’s final mutual moment, Sonia succeeded in her task, just like Alucard wanted.
Dracula’s Curse (1990) – 1476
Though Alucard’s absence was without a doubt a problem to Dracula, he continued to carry out his plans. The considerable powers of the vampire lord began affecting the whole of Europe. People tried to stop Dracula, who was more than pleased to crush their efforts. The situation seemed hopeless, but the populace eventually found a member of the then-spurned Belmont family; a young vampire hunter named Trevor Belmont. Trevor began his battle against Dracula’s forces and on his way to Dracula’s castle, met the recently risen Alucard. The two fought and Alucard attacked in a manner very similar to his father – teleporting around, occasionally firing three fireballs.
Having tested Trevor’s strength, Alucard felt Trevor would be a valuable ally and decided to rise against his father. With two other warriors, Sypha Belnades and Grant DaNasty , Alucard and Trevor made their way to Dracula’s castle.
The battle was painful for both Dracula and Alucard. Alucard’s opposition undoubtedly drove Dracula deeper into desperation. Despite his conflicting feelings, Alucard defeated his more powerful father with the help of his allies in the colossal castle’s highest tower. Dracula’s curse guaranteed, however, that his spirit would remain even with his body destroyed. Feeling guilty for killing his father, Alucard bid his comrades a farewell, assumably immediately going dormant to again seal away the dark powers he had inherited from Dracula.
Symphony of the Night (1997) – 1797
Four years ago Richter Belmont banished Dracula back to the abyss. But now Richter is missing and Maria Renard is looking for him. Meanwhile, somewhere in Romania Alucard is waking up from a dream that was meant to be eternal. After seeing his father’s castle once again appear out of the mist, he enters it to investigate the matter.
While scouring the castle Alucard meets Maria . She explains how she ended up in the castle and tells Alucard about Richter. Afther hearing the name Belmont, Alucard immediately remembers his former comrade Trevor who helped him defeat Dracula 321 years before. Alucard and Maria would meet later, but went their separate ways for the time being. Alucard decides to not only find out why the castle has re-risen but also why Richter is missing.
After investigating the castle thoroughly, killing many of Dracula’s minions, Alucard finally meets Richter. But something is wrong. Instead of pursuing the castle’s demise, he declares himself its lord. Instead of killing Richter, Alucard decides to follow his instincts which tell him the Belmont member was not acting under his own will. With the help of Maria, Alucard finds out the dark priest Shaft has placed a curse on Richter. Alucard meets Richter in his father’s throne room and succeeds in breaking the spell and restoring Richter to himself. But Shaft is not about to give up yet. He escapes to another, more powerful version of Dracula’s castle. Richter has heard about Alucard before and recognizes him as the man who helped his ancestor Trevor. Weakened by Shaft’s spell, Richter can’t continue into the second castle, so Alucard decides to finish what he had started.
After fighting the stronger foes of the inverted castle Alucard finds Shaft at the center of the castle. Shaft is not surprised by his master’s abilities, which had gotten him this far. He explained the reason for his own actions, which were, of course, to awaken the true lord of the castle. He had decided to eliminate the threat the vampire hunters posed to Dracula by pitting them against each other. This is why he had controlled Richter’s mind and made him the so called lord of the castle. Alucard says the plan had failed as he was able to knock Richter back into his senses. Shaft questions this and begins a duel from which Alucard emerges victorious. With his dying words Shaft claims he has succeeded: Count Dracula had come to purge the world in the flames of chaos. Suddenly the room was filled with dark energy and Alucard knew his father had arrived.
Centuries had passed since the father and son last met, but the reunion was far from warm. Alucard was swift to announce he hadn’t changed his mind. He had hoped he wouldn’t have to meet Dracula again. But now that it had happened he couldn’t let Dracula back into the world. Dracula was unable to understand why Alucard continued to defend the humans and angrily asked him if he had forgotten what they did to his mother. Alucard answered that he could never forget but doesn’t harbor revenge against them either. Dracula remained absolute in his goal and ignored his son’s words as the product of his ”weak human side”. He decided to solve the situation by destroying that side.
Another battle between father and son lay ahead and though fighting alone this time, Alucard was more determined than ever. And so the bitter struggle ended as it did the last time. Alucard told his father to go back where he came from. The broken Dracula could only wonder how he had been so defeated. Before disappearing, Dracula urged to know Lisa’s last words. Alucard was finally able to tell him. He repeated the message. ”Do not hate humans. If you cannot live them, at least do them no harm”. Lisa had also said she would love Dracula forever. The remorseful Dracula begged his dead wife’s forgiveness before bidding his son farewell and falling back into the beyond. Alucard rushed out of the castle, which started to collapse after Dracula was destroyed. After getting out Alucard meets up with Richter and Maria, who also made it out in time.
Richter was sorry that Alucard had to fight his father because of him. But Alucard assured that he had his own reasons for destroying him. Richter suspected the experience had been very painful, which Alucard admitted but continued by saying that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Assuming he would not meet the two again, Alucard says goodbye to Richter and Maria. As Alucard was leaving, Richter notices Maria longing after his company. As Richter asks Maria if she wants to follow him, Maria admits it. Hoping that Maria could ease Alucard’s tormented existence, the two part ways.
It is so far unclear what happened in Alucard’s later life. It is fairly sure he participated in the battle of 1999, which ended with Dracula’s powers and castle being sealed away in an eclipse. This, however, has not been confirmed yet.
Aria of Sorrow (2003) – 2035
In the year 1999 a group of warriors and experts of fighting forces of darkness finally ended the regenerating power of Dracula by sealing away his forces and castle into an eclipse. 36 years later people gathered to watch a similar eclipse. The same eclipse transports a group of people into Dracula’s castle. Among them is Genya Arikado, who works for an organization possibly involved with supernatural events and who by few is known by the name Alucard. The most pivotal to all this is Soma Cruz, who questions Arikado about what is going on.
Though he helps Soma find out why he was brought into the castle, Arikado clearly knows more than he is telling. Arikado, however, tells Soma about his unique ability to use the souls of his enemies to his advantage. Soma learns to use the ability, but at the time, does not know why he possesses it.
Eventually Soma does get his answer, after reluctantly stopping the cult leader Graham Jones, who is after Dracula’s powers. Arikado shows up and knows its time to tell Soma what he already seems to have understood. Soma Cruz is Dracula – or rather someone with the same soul. That is why he is able to harness the soul of the creatures inhabiting Dracula’s castle. Arikado and the coalition trying to prevent Dracula’s return knew to expect the day the power separated from Dracula and his soul would reunite. Since this was going to happen anyway, Arikado arranged it so that Soma would be in a place where both were able to use their powers.
The seal holding the chaotic power under control at the center of the castle was about to break. The power inside was seeping out. It had to be closed more strongly. This could happen only in where only Dracula could go. Arikado was therefore unable to do more. The task was up to Soma.
Soma makes his way into the source of the chaos. Before he begins to restrain it, Arikado, along with the rest who are in the castle, encourage him. Eventually Soma succeeds and the castle sets him and everyone else free. Arikado is grateful to Soma for ending the threat. But he knew that someday someone would choose a different path than Soma by following in Dracula’s dark footsteps. Arikado believed that Soma and he would then meet again. A year later this happened.
Dawn of Sorrow (2005) – 2036
A year ago Soma Cruz was able to push back the energy stalking his soul which could have turned him into the destructive monster that Dracula had been. Dracula’s castle, along with all its might was still kept a prisoner inside an eclipse, but Soma, who possessed Dracula’s soul was free and there were still people willing to free the Dark Lord. One of those factions was a cult led by a woman named Celia Fortner. The cult believes that for perfect good to exist an embodiment of perfect darkness must exist.
Fortner tracks Soma down and attacks him on a street as he and Mina Hakuba are reminiscing the events that took place a year ago. Arikado, whom the annoyed Fortner refers to as ”the guardian”, is near and throws a dagger to Soma for protection before Fortner isolates Soma with a lightning, forcing him to destroy the creatures she set loose on him. One by one Soma steals the creatures’ souls, after which the barrier between Soma and the others breaks down. Celia Fortner exits swiftly after threatening to destroy Soma by any means necessary.
Soma is dazzled by the return of the power of soul dominance, but Arikado explains Soma always had the power. He just didn’t have any need for it after escaping Dracula’s castle and releasing the souls he had taken as he ventured through it. Soma asks Arikado what he knows about Celia Fortner, who obviously knew Arikado. Arikado explains that Fortner is a high priestess in a growing cult which Arikado and his organization had been monitoring for some time. He tells Soma about the cult’s objective: to release the Dark Lord, just like so had tried and succeeded with Dracula. Arikado concludes by urging Soma to keep out of things and let Arikado and the organization deal with the situation.
But worried especially for Mina, Soma can’t just let it be. He breaks into the cult’s headquarters, a replica of Dracula’s castle. Inside he meets two men, both of whom turn out to be Soma’s adversaries. Dmitrii Blinov has the ability to copy magical abilities and Dario Bossi attacks with fire. The cult considers both candidates for the next Dark Lord.
After soma has confronted Dario and Arikado assuming he has killed Dmitrii, Arikado finds Soma and tells him Mina is safe with members of the organization. Though Soma was able to reject the morbid power a year ago, he is still considered a risk, which is why Arikado had entered to castle to keep an eye on him. Mina had told Arikado to give Soma a pendant and a letter telling him to use it when necessary. Soma tells Arikado everything he has found out and though suspicious of Celia’s plans, he can’t stop Soma from continuing. Both decide to carry on on their own and part ways.
Arikado and Soma next meet in the clock tower, where Celia Fortner shows up too to tell everyone Dario has grown stronger after she had linked him with a fire demon. Leaving with a threat that Dario would rise into the Dark Lord, Celia disappears. Arikado goes after her. Soma pursues Dario.
Meanwhile, Julius has caught up with Dario and has tried to stop him, but has obviously failed and is kneeling as Soma enters the scene. Worried for Julius, Soma is ready stop Dario right away. Dario taunts him to follow him into the castle’s highest tower, as he is not in full power yeat. After Dario leaves Julius convinces Soma he is alright and to be careful with Dario. Soma follows Dario into the castle’s top floor.
Instead of attacking Dario himself, Soma simply renders him powerless by destroying the fire demon Aguni to which Celia had linked Dario with. Powerless, Dario escapes and Celia arrives. Soma would like to finally end the chase, but Celia continues with his plan and tells Soma she would wait at the center of the castle to settle everything once and for all. As Soma makes his way there, he is awaited by a horrid sight.
Soma sees Mina chained at the middle of the room. Celia threatens her life. Horridied, Soma urges her to stop, but before his eyes Celia shoots a bolt of energu at Mina and she dies.
According to canon, Soma wears the pendant given to him by Mina and is able to hold his rage long enough to keep him from succumbing to his dark side. Arikado shows up and reveals that ”Mina” was merely a dopplganger, after which Dmitrii Blinov appears from a light. Though Soma hadn’t fully given in to his hate, his wavering was enough for Dmitrii’s return. His initial defeat to Soma was part of a plan to duplicate Soma’s ability to take souls, which he would use to become the true Dark Lord. Arikado proclaims he would not let that happen, but Dmitrii warns him not to threaten him, since he had scanned the previous lives of the soul Soma had. This maybe a reference to the original Dracula, Alucard’s father and it seems that for some reason, Arikado doesn’t want Dmitrii attacking him. After Dmitrii and Celia leave the scene, Arikado tells Soma he knows where the couple fled, but once again pleads to Soma to stand aside. Once again Soma refuses. Arikado, however, wants to get to the place with Julius before Soma.
Soma makes his way to the passage leading to a dimensional vortex where Celia and Dmitrii are hiding. Arikado and Julius discuss about breaking the gate leading to dimension which only Julius is able to open. Julius succeeds, but is weaked by the act and is unable to go on. After Arikado descends into the pit, Soma shows up and tells Julius to rest and let Arikado and Soma finish the fight. Julius encourages Soma as he follows Arikado’s path.
After finally reaching the innermost core of the dimension, Soma meets Arikado, who is on his knees. Dmitrii had taken the essence of a powerful demon as Arikado had not made it in time to stop him. Also, by sacrificing Celia, Dmitrii had thwarted Arikado’s dark powers, making him powerless against him. Dmitrii decides to determine the true Dark Lord once and for all by defeating Soma. But after beginning to use the imitating soul dominance power, something had begun happening. Arikado tells Dmitrtii that his soul was not meant to do what Soma was able to do naturally. The power to own souls was too much for Dmitrii’s own soul. Furious, Dmitrii sweeps Arikado aside with an energy attack. Eventually all the souls Dmitrii had hogged, broke out violently, merging into one nightmarish entity of demons. Soma was able to stop the monster, but after ending the threat the souls seemed to flow into Soma. Arikado regained consciousness at the last minute and yells Soma to leave the castle collapsing from the stream of souls. Both made it out in time.
Outside, Soma ponders the purpose of the Dark Lord. Arikado admits that Celia was telling the truth when se said that the Dark Lord is the polar opposite of God. Soma reasons that then the world will always beckon such a creature. Arikado tells Soma not to misunderstand. Even if such a need exists there is no reason for Soma to fulfill it. Saddened, Soma thinks that what just occurred would not have happened if he didn’t exist. Arikado reminds Soma that he is neither a god nor a demon and can never achieve perfection. Arikado starts to wonder if Soma actually wants to be the Dark Lord, but Soma confidently declines. As Hammer, Mina, Yoko and Julius arrive at the scene, Arikado tells Soma to hold on to his decision and join his friends.
And alone, away from Soma and his close ones, Genya Arikado enigmatically ponders out loud. ”If this world needs a Dark Lord, it will emerge even if it’s not you, Soma..”.
Abilities, arsenal and appearance
Though Alucard’s abilities and the level of his powers have varied depending on the game, he is considered one of the most powerful and versatile playable characters in the series. As a human/vampire hybrid he possesses many vampiric powers and assumably none of their weaknesses, such as a fatal vunerability to sunlight or a mortal dependency on human blood. On the other hand, his humanity possibly excludes powers he would possess were he a full vampire, such as immortality. Alucard is centuries old and has always looked young, but is unlikely to live forever. His long age may have been affected by the long states of dormancy he has many times intentionally fallen into.
In Dracula’s Curse his sole direct attack weapon was the ball of destruction, which, after upgrading, could be fired the way Dracula often does: three projectiles in a triangular formation. He could also morph into a bat and use the stopwatch. Alucard’s appearance was similar to Dracula’s. Both were modeled after classic vampires of popular culture. Resembling the vampires of the old black and white horror movies, their appearance was a reminder of the aforementioned movie’s relevance to Castlevania at the time. His short black hair was brushed backwards, he wore an aristocratic cloak and had visible fangs.
Symphony of the Night revealed Alucard completely changed. His hair was now long, white and curly. His face was androgynous and pale and his eyes were gray. Perhaps because of the game’s immense popularity and esteemed position in the series, later Castlevania protagonists (Juste and Soma, for example) look much the same. The clothing was more suitable for battle than before. He had protective gear on his knees and wore boots . He wore a cloak and had gloves. As was the case in Dracula’s Curse, Alucard and Dracula again look much alike. Alucard’s basic weapons were swords, dozens of which can be found over the course of the game. In addition to this, he employed the classic subweapon arsenal (stopwatch, dagger, axe, holy water, cross) and also Aguen (lightning), the rebound stone, Bibuti (powder) and the Holy Book plus several spells which could be performed with specific movements of the controller. He also had four different types of familiars to help wipe out enemies and find secret passages. Alucard’s vampire abilities went through a thorough change too. After progressing enough, he was able to transform into a wolf, a bat or mist.
During the short duel of Legends, Alucard only used a sword. His appearance mimics how he was in SotN: long blond hair and almost identical clothing. The difference to previous incarnations was his bluish skin. This is the most noticeable though perhaps unintentional similarity with all the previous versions as Dracula’s skin, too, has the same color.
Aria of Sorrow introduced Genya Arikado whose true identiy was hinted strongly enough to make it clear to the players that he was Alucard using a pseudonym. Alucard was not directly in battle, so instead of a vampire prince or a warrior he looks more like a modern businessman, agent or movie gangster with his dark designer suit and leather shoes. His face is the same as in SotN, which makes perfect sense – not just continuity-wise, but also because Ayami Kojima designed and illustrated him for both games. And like in SotN, his hair is long, but black and straight. Because his role was more that of an outside adviser, he is not seen using weapons or his powers with the exception of the game’s beginning during which he renders the group of monsters threatening Soma harmless with the soul steal spell seen in SotN. After Soma defeats Graham Jones, Alucard tells Soma he arranged him inside the castle because it was a place he could use his own powers. The only place where Alucard has been witnessed using his powers to full extent has been in Dracula’s castle. According to this interpration, Alucard is therefore strongest when inside the castle.
Dawn of Sorrow used a colourful anime style in its character illustrations. Despite the style, Alucard looks like he was in AoS, complete with the same clothes. In the non-canon ”What if..”- side story mode which was modeled after the style of Dracula’s Curse Alucard is one of the three playable characters. His array of attacks is limited to sword and the triple fireball. He can now only morph into a bat. As the side story begins Alucard’s appearance has changed into how he was in SotN (complete with the same sprite). As Julius meets him in the castle he tells taking all his powers to full use was necessary, apparently explaining his changed appearance.
Popularity, position, purpose and player perspective
Alucard is regarded by many as the series’ best and most prominent character because of his abilities, skills and story. This is annoying to some ”old school fans” (mainly those who have played the series since its NES days), saying his popularity is because many started playing the series only after SotN, the game regarded by many as the best in the series, came out. This drew the attention away from the original story of the battle between the Belmonts and Dracula.
It is, however, undisputable that Alucard is versatile. His character profile and abilities are lucrative for a video game character . The playability is extremely fluent especially in SotN and the vampire abilities make the gaming action fulfilling. Alucard is also one of the few playable characters in the series whose personal motives and life outside the games have been descripted relatively extensively. His emotional conflict with battling Dracula is, due to blood relation, deeper than to any other who has opposed him.
It is also true that Alucard has been given much room in the series when considering he is essentially ”just” a supporting character when put into persective of the whole series. This makes some of his appearances seem a tad calculated. But his popularity cannot be denied and belitting that or denying his potential would make little sense. His playable appearance in Dawn of Sorrow tells a lot, as it was likely affected by both fan feedback and possibilities playing-wise.
Whatever one may think of Alucard, it is good if he reappears later, as long as it is justified by whatever story he appears in.