† Richter is a German name and means “judge”.
† The first playable Belmont able to travel in water and run.
† The cancelled Castlevania: Bloodletting, which later became Symphony of the Night, had two characters whose sprites, and perhaps character profiles, were merged in Richter after the cancellation.
† Richter is Juste’s son or (more likely) grandson.
Playable and other appearances:
Dracula X – Chi No Rondo (Rondo of Blood)
Castlevania – Dracula X
Castlevania – Symphony of the Night (unlockable)
Portrait of Ruin (unlockable)
The Dracula X Chronicles
The beginner of the end
Richter Belmont is presumably the grandson of Juste Belmont. He has, however, more in common with a more distant ancestor; Soleiyu Belmont. Both were personally tormented by the dark energy of Dracula and as a result, they began acting against the very principles of the Belmont clan. The difference between the two is that Richter got to vanquish Dracula in a duel before his temporary fall from grace.
Richter has been playable four times, but in the actual chronology he has two separate appearances (DX Chronicles includes the original Dracula X, SotN and an improved version of Dracula X. If all are included separately, his record is seven games). He first appeared in Dracula X – Rondo of Blood, which came out in 1993. Three years later came out Vampire’s Kiss/ Dracula X for the SNES, which was basically a peeled version of RoB for markets outside Japan (its place in the series continuum is the same as RoB’s).
Since Rondo of Blood was published in its original form only in Japan and since Vampire’s Kiss/Dracula X was lukewarm compared to it, Richter’s perhaps most known first appearance happened in 1997, when Symphony of the Night was released. This is ironic since Richter was at least partly an antagonist and had no primary playable role. Instead he is playable after finishing the gam – as a character without spoken lines, original story or upgrading possibility.
Richter’s final appearance in the Castlevania chronology was in 1945, although not in corporal form. Presumably soon after the events of SotN a prophecy was made according to which no Belmont should use the Vampire Killer before the year 1999. Thus Richter appears to have been the last Belmont to use the legendary whip before the battle of 1999.
Jonathan Morris needs the whip’s full power to fight Brauner, who is controlling Dracula’s castle. To gain access to the real whip, he needs to defeat its ”memory”. The whip’s memory appears to test Jonathan’s abilities in the form of Richter, utilizing the late Belmont’s abilities. After Jonathan proves himself worthy, ”Richter” says he is now counting on him. After this he gives the real Vampire Killer to Jonathan.
Richter’s position as a playable protagonist took an unexpected rise when Konami rather surprisingly announced that the original Rondo of Blood, which had so far been published only in Japan, would finally be coming out in Europe and America. The collection, named the Dracula X Chronicles, includes the original RoB and its arranged version with 3-D effects and cutscenes of the game and Symphony of the Night.
Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (1993) – 1792
When Richter was 19, Dracula was resurrected from the grave by his followers. With him, came hordes of the undead and demons. The dark juggernaut not only killed and ransacked, but also took four women from Richter’s home village: Iris, Tera, Maria and Richter’s beloved Annette. He followed the bloody tracks to Dracula’s stronghold, defying increasingly powerful foes ultimately managing to save all the imprisoned villagers.
Making his way deeper inside Dracula’s castle, he broke its defenses, facing Dracula’s most powerful servants. Among them was the dark priest Shaft. Richter fought Shaft twice inside the castle, but was unable to destroy him completely. Nevertheless, Richter made his way to the castle’s innermost area, Dracula’s throne room. After a bitter struggle, Richter proved himself worthy of his ancestors by defeating Dracula. Dracula however, threatened the two would meet each other again. Dracula’s spirit seemed to escape the castle instead of perishing. Both Dracula’s threat and this sight would later prove true.
Symphony of The Night (1997) – 1797
Richter vanished mysteriously at age 24, five years after the latest rise and fall of Dracula. The 17-year old Maria went looking for him across the Romanian countryside, finding Dracula’s castle appear from the mist. The castle was without a doubt connected to the disappearance of the vampire hunter, so Maria began exploring the enormous structure. She didn’t find him before Alucard, however, who had risen from his slumber shortly after the castle appeared. Alucard later meets the suspicious Richter, who declares himself lord of the castle and commands two of Dracula’s powerful minions to attack him.
Maria and Alucard find out that Richter is not himself at all. Clinging to life as a mere spirit, Shaft was controlling him through a dark spell, which brought out the selfish and destructive side of Richter. Alucard finally faced him in the very same tower Richter defeated Dracula five years ago. He demanded to know why a Belmont would resurrect Count Dracula.
Since Dracula came back on his own once a century, Richter believed his time was over as he had vanquished him already. Thus he felt useless without a reason to employ his vampire hunting skills. But if Dracula were alive again, the battle would continue and he would still have a purpose.
With the help of Maria, Alucard managed to break the spell without harming Richter and ultimately finished Dracula’s castle as well. Richter felt ashamed for his fall and was sorry for Alucard, who had to fight Dracula instead of him.
It is likely Richter didn’t use the Vampire Killer from there on, since he was the last known Belmont to use it before Julius, who used the whip 202 years later. It is not certain if Richter’s short time as Dracula’s minion was the reason for this or if the prophecy about the Belmont not using the whip before 1999 was made regardless of it or even before Richter’s time. It is also possible that it was Richter himself who delivered the weapon to the Morris family.
Powers, abilities and arsenal
Richter is without a doubt one of the most powerful Belmonts. Alucard says he is ”supreme among vampire hunters”. The most famous of Richter’s powers is probably ”Item Crash”, which ables him to perform a unique super-attack depending on the sub-weapon he’s using.
His ”trademark” moves are the backflip, spin kick, air dash and the slide kick. Including all his appearances he has used the Holy Book, rebound stone, the lightning-striking Aguen and the Bibuti powder, but also the classic Belmont subweapons . As a scenarioless extra character Richter has actually been able to fly (or rather, able to jump continuosly without the need for a ground contact), but since this is not part of the official timeline, it can’t really be included among his real abilities.
With his powers and fighting techniques, Richter has many similarities especially with Julius Belmont who has been able to perform pretty much the same feats and displayed the same abilities. Both also have two separate cross weapons.
Personality, popularity and appearance
Richter is considered extremely popular and it could be said that fame-wise he is a close second to the most well-known Belmont, Simon. A rather significant factor contributing to this could be his originality among the gothic-themed series’ usually very stern protagonists.
In the illustrations of RoB his gestures are exceptionally colourful for a Castlevania character. In one of the game’s cutscenes he expresses strong hate towards Dracula and laughs benevolently at Maria, who, at only 12 years of age believes herself to be strong and experienced enough to be a vampire hunter. Generally speaking, this is one of the few, if not the only time a Belmont shows a sense of humour. In SotN, he is far more serious and regular, which, however, could be a consequence of the curse Shaft placed on him.
Though Richter’s appearance has changed somewhat between different games, there haven’t been versions radically different from the previous ones (unlike Simon, for example). His sprites have been pretty much the same every time. In each version the connecting features are also white and blue clothing, blue eyes and dark hair.
In Rondo of Blood, he has short, black hair and is wearing a slightly ragged battle suit. He’s also wearing a white headband. In the prologue video of RoB, he’s wearing a greenish jacket, which he changes into his battle clothing after Dracula’s monsters appear. His appearance in RoB somwhat resembles Ruy from Capcom’s Street Fighter beat ‘em up series.
In Symphony of the Night his hair is long and dark brown. His clothing is more casual, almost regal. He’s wearing a long blue coat, white pants and brown boots.
The character illustrations of RoB seem to combine the previous versions. His clothes are pretty much the same as in SotN, but the coat is longer and divided at the bottom. He’s wearing gloves, but the boots are slightly different than before. Including the rolled up sleeves, his style strongly resembles Trevor in CoD. Like in the RoB version he has a white cloth, but instead of the head, he has it wrapped around his neck. The hair length is pretty much the same as it was in RoB, but dark brown, like it was in SotN