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The Black Mass (also known as Dark Ritual) is a ceremony the Followers of Darkness hold every one hundred years to resurrect the Prince of Darkness, Count Dracula. The ritual usually takes place inside a desecrated church, where an abducted maiden is placed lying over a coffin containing Dracula's remains, and then is sacrificed by plunging a sword through her heart in order to make her warm blood moist the remains inside, thus awakening the vampire. When this happens, thunder and lightning usually join the moment, and a great surge of energy emerges, shattering the coffin to pieces and killing most of the attendants. A variation of this ritual has the leader of the ceremony hack out the heart of the maiden, hold it in his right hand and squeeze it, making it explode into a rain of blood, spraying all over the coffin which now lies on an altar.
The most well-known of these rituals took place in 1792, when it was leaded by the dark priest, Shaft, setting the events of Rondo of Blood. However, not every time Dracula has returned from the dead has needed the celebration of a black mass. Five years later (1797), Shaft's soul, now transferred into a crystal ball after dying at the hands of Richter Belmont, was able to orchestrate a chain of events which culminated with the resurrection of Dracula at the Reverse Castle Center.
While both Chronicles and Super Castlevania IV are considered to be remakes of the original Castlevania to some extent, each one takes a different approach as to how Dracula came back to life. In Chronicles, a formal black mass is held, while in Super Castlevania IV it's stated that every one hundred years the forces of good mysteriously start to weaken and the forces of evil gain a foothold into our world, manifesting themselves in the form of Dracula, allowing him to rise from the grave.
During the events of Simon's Quest, it was Simon Belmont himself who had to burn Dracula's relics at the deepest chambers of Dracula's castle, in order to bring him back to life and destroy his ghost.
- Black Mass is also the name of the opening track on Castlevania Chronicles Original Soundtrack.