† Grandson of Simon Belmont
† Juste is a French name that means a righteous person.
Playable in Harmony of Dissonance
Heir of the Morning Star
Harmony of Dissonance was the first Castlevania game designed by Koji Igarashi’s team since Symphony of the Night. During the time between those releases, Konami’s other studios in Kobe and Nagoya had designed three Castlevania titles. Unlike in SotN, those games barely dealt with the previous events in the series timeline. With the return of Igarashi’s direction in HoD, the expectations were high regarding the background story and cast, especially when Ayami Kojima would be responsible of the game’s concept art. As a result we got — apart from perhaps a bit too repetitive story — references to Simon Belmont, and a protagonist resembling Alucard from SotN. Juste’s albinoesque appearance might be a result of the controversial romance of Alucard and Sonia Belmont centuries ago, or the magical genes of Sypha from Dracula’s Curse, or perhaps he just suffers albinism.
However, Juste has almost perfectly inherited his grandfather’s skill of whipping the Morning Star. The subweapon arsenal consists of all the traditional ones: Dagger, Holy Water, Boomerang, and Axe — as well as the newer additions: Holy Book and the Sacred Hand. Juste utilizes his weapons with the help of the magical element books, the same way that Leon Belmont used his crimson stones nearly 700 years earlier. Juste’s movements are developed throughout the game. The special skills include back and forth dashing, sliding, and certain super jumps. As seen in SotN and Circle of the Moon, Juste also utilizes a strong amount of different armors, clothes and ornaments. The whip, however, stands as the main weapon.
Harmony of Dissonance (2002) – 1748
55 years had passed since Simon Belmont had collected all of Dracula’s body parts together, raising him alive, and ultimately destroyed the final pieces of the Dark Lord. Dracula’s curse was abolished, and peace was to be maintained for the next hundred years. But something went wrong.
Juste Belmont, an offspring of the legendary family of vampire hunters, had earned his place as the head of the clan, thus the possessor of the Morning Star whip and certain magic skills. Grandfather Simon Belmont had early realized, that the young man would be suitable as a vampire hunter, and now this objective had been fulfilled. But there was also someone else enthusiastic about Simon’s narrations: Maxim Kischine, Juste’s childhood friend. Maxim envied Juste because of his abilities and position as a member of the Belmont clan. Maxim decided to leave the village, and — according to his words — join a training expedition. In reality, Maxim was looking for Castlevania, the mythical castle, along with the remnants of Dracula, thereby repeating the same actions Simon Belmont did 55 years ago. Juste’s reputation as a vampire hunter would be crushed. Maxim did indeed find the the ruins of Castlevania, but the spirit of Dracula got control over him. After some time Maxim temporarily became conscious, but realized that his memories from the last two years had been wiped out. Maxim returned to his home village, but very soon the villagers noticed that Lydie Erlanger, Juste’s girlfriend, had been kidnapped. Maxim recalled the location of the castle, and decided to guide Juste there.
Juste understood being in the same position as his grandfather did 55 years ago. Dracula had exploited Maxim, and was about to rebuild his castle, awakening the army of undead at the same. But there was something missing, preventing Dracula to get full power — a victim, that happened to be Lydie. Juste had no choice but to go look for Lydie and the regenerated body parts of Dracula.
Inside the castle Juste met Death, servant of Dracula, who was surprised yet delighted for finding out that his master’s powers were returning. Death was also looking for Lydie, assured he would find her soon, whereas Juste would just ransack the castle for nothing. After Juste had found a few Dracula’s body parts, he faced Maxim, who seemed confused and weak, since Dracula was getting a stronger control over him. Juste decided to continue his search. When he arrived in the utmost chamber of the castle, Juste ran into Death again, realizing he was too late. Death explained, how Maxim had subconsciously tried to protect Lydie by hiding her into the real castle. Laughing, Death vanished through a mystic gate to the other castle, where Juste followed him. In the real castle Juste met Maxim, who explained everything: the quest for Dracula’s body parts was caused by envy, and Death was speaking the truth. Maxim realized his end would come soon, and gave Juste his family bracelet as a memory and a strengthener. The rest of the body parts had to be found and destroyed as soon as possible. The fate of Lydie, and the whole world, was dependent on Juste.
Finally, Juste found Lydie beneath the hearth of the castle, but at once Death appeared in the room. Juste realized, that the old Grim Reaper had taken advantage of him in the search for Lydie. Death kidnapped Lydie, and vanished to a secret place holding her in his arms. Juste couldn’t help but to search for the last of the body parts, which would allow him to open a way to the center of the castle, where Lydie would presumably be found.
After the painful quest and ruthless battles Juste managed to discover all of the body parts. The doorway to the heart of the castle could now be opened. In the room below Juste saw Lydie, lying unconscious on the floor. Next to her was Maxim, whose mind had been totally possessed by Dracula. Juste had no choice but to fight his old friend. After the battle, the exhausted Maxim knew his end would have come. Struggling against Dracula’s spirit inside him, Maxim gazed upon Juste’s wrist. Juste wore the bracelet that Maxim had given to him earlier on. This gave Maxim some courage. Suddenly, Dracula escaped Maxim’s body. Utilizing the body parts around the room, he was embodied as what seemed weak, but willing to fight. Even though Dracula used all of his powers metamorphosing from ghost to a huge monster, the Count was no match for the toughness of Belmont.
Castlevania was once again destroyed along with its Master. Maxim felt quilty for what he had done, and Juste didn’t seem to have too much sympathy for him either. But after Lydie pointed out that the actions of the past didn’t matter to her, Juste decided to leave it behind as well, and the triad continued their life as friends. Residents of Transylvania would again sleep their nights in peace — at least for the next 44 years.
A Relatively Famous Belmont
Little is known about the post-HoD life of Juste. Apparently, Richter Belmont is the son of Juste and Lydie. As a legacy for his successors Juste left even more developed vampire hunting skills.
Juste had rather good basis to become a popular videogame character: he has something to offer for almost everyone. The Alucardish, mystical appearance designed by Ayami Kojima delights many. He utilizes magic like a half-wizard, while still being one of those old school whipping Belmonts. Juste is theoretically an important character in the series, since he gives some hints about the past of the Belmont clan, which has influences from the Belnades family — and perhaps ultimately — Dracula himself. (Few agree the latter, though.) However, while the story of Harmony of Dissonance was so unambitious, and there’s not much space left in the timeline for a new adventure, it is almost certain that we will never again see Juste as a playable character in the series.