Cerberus is a recurrent boss in the Castlevania series. It is a large hellhound with three heads. It possesses an extraordinary jumping ability and can spit fire, or, as the series progressed, each head can breathe a different elemental-based attack.
In Greek mythology, Cerberos (in Greek Κέρβερος Kerberos, "demon of well"), was the dog of Hades. He was a canine monster with three heads (although sometimes it's said that he had fifty or a hundred), and with a many-headed serpent in place of a tail.
Cerberos guarded the door of Hades and ensured that the dead did not leave and that the living could not enter. He was son of Echidna and Typhon, and the brother of Orthrus, a two-headed hellhound.
The myth of a supernatural guard dog watching the gates of the underworld dates back to ancient Indo-European mythology. Other such watchdogs of the underworld include the bloodstained dog, Garmr, of Scandinavian mythology, who serves a role much akin to Cerberos, and their more benevolent cousins, the Welsh Cŵn Annwn, who were the spectral guard dogs of the paradise otherworld, Annwn.
Cerberus appears in the same room in the Ruins of the Castle Dracula where the Giant Bat appeared in the original Castlevania. It only has one head in this game, and is thus commonly unofficially referred to as a "hellhound". Its hind quarters are rotted away, much like those of the Behemoth from Rondo of Blood. It can breathe flames and when it howls, the glass in the background will shatter and fall, potentially causing damage.
Early prototype versions of this game show a completely different sprite for this enemy (see below). Its attacks are also slightly different in frequency and he also tries tackling the player.
Cerberus is the first boss of Dracula X. He starts the fight by howling and jumping into the screen. He will close into Richter's position and, after being hit or being too close, will jump back and release a flame attack that traverses along the ground. He will jump forward afterward. Oddly enough, his howl resembles more that of a feline than a canine.
Cerberus is the boss of the Abandoned Pit to the Catacomb. He has four main attacks:
- Shoots a single fireball (35 ATT, Fire).
- Shoots a series of eight fireballs (35 ATT, Fire). During this time, his heads will appear to be rotating on his body after shooting one fireball each.
- Pounces on the player.
- Sits and shoots a stream of fireballs (40 ATT, Fire). This will be done only if the player's position is higher than him.
Cerberus can be easily defeated, though. For example, if Alucard brings either the Holy Water or Vibhuti sub-weapons, and stands on top of a column, Cerberus will try to aim diagonally but most probably won't be able to aim properly and miss. Alucard may then just drop several flasks/ashes at him, dealing heavy damage.
Note that while his fireballs are multicolored, all of them are Fire element attacks.
The player will be quickly overwhelmed by a pack of Cerberi as soon as they enter the Villa. They are very quick and agile, and some also have the ability to spit fireballs in a spreading manner. Once the first wave has been survived, the gate that leads to the Villa's courtyard will open. Still, more Cerberi will leap over the fences and attack again. Once they have been dealt with and when everything seems to be calm again, the entire scenery will darken and the Ghost Cerberus will appear, who is more fierce and dangerous than his brethren and can unleash a large and continuous stream of flames upon his preys.
Exclusive to the original Castlevania (N64), an invisible platform located at the right side of the screen when the level starts, can be climbed upon. From there, the player may have an easier time dealing with the pack, given they can use ranged attacks.
Cerberus appears at the end of the Catacomb as the first boss in Circle of the Moon. This time he looks very similar to the Wargs from Symphony of the Night, but even if he appears to have only two heads in this portrayal, if one looks closely to his in-game sprite, a third ear can be seen on the upper part of his body, which most probably belongs to a third head. The Double necklace can be found in the next room after defeating him. His attacks include:
- Quick pouncing and biting.
- Summoning two electrical spheres which hover high up and project bolts of lightning to the ground (an attack similar to the one used by Shaft in Rondo of Blood).
- Leaping onto a platform and unleashing a devastating fiery beam which covers almost the entire room.
While Cerberus himself doesn't appear in Order of Ecclesia, a set of three glyphs, the Custos, must be found in order to complete the game (each glyph representing one of his heads). Two of them are arm glyphs and the third is a back glyph (which works like a harmless version of Dominus Agony).
Eventually, Shanoa will find a statue of Cerberus in the Forsaken Cloister and will make a comment about it, hinting the player must find all three glyphs and use them in that room. Also, every time she absorbs one of these glyphs, she will comment about returning to the statue. These glyphs are:
|Enemy Data: Cerberus|
|Image||Name - Game|
|'|| 1. Ruins of the Castle Dracula|
|'|| 1. Town|
|Watchdog of Hell.|| Strong: Fire (absorb)|
| Guard: Life Vessel|| Abandoned Pit to the Catacomb|
| ''Abil: Claws and bites|| HP: 40|| Villa|
| ''Abil: Breaths fire|| HP: 40|| Villa|
| ''Abil: Darkens sky|| HP: 60|| Villa|
|'|| HP: 40|| Villa|
|'|| HP: 40|| Villa, Castle Center (Reinhardt-Only)|
|The gatekeeper of Hell, this dog-beast guards Dracula's castle annex and attacks intruders with his scorching "Napalm Breath". His ferocious, cunning nature makes him the ideal watchdog.|| HP: 50|| Villa, Castle Center|
|'|| Strong: Light|
| Guard: Double|| Catacomb|
|'|| HP: 1400|
Exp: +1 level
| Steal: ~52 silver, 50 copper|| Castle Keep|
|Item Data: Cerberus|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Increases the player's maximum HP (life) capacity.|| Item (standard)|
| Maximum HP + 5|| Find: Found throughout the Castle, often in containers.|
Drop: Most bosses.
| Effect: Restore all life and increases Max HP|
|Another jump can be performed while in mid-air.|| Magic Item|
| Find: Catacomb|
| Effect: Allows Nathan to perform double jumps.|
- Some names from the Japanese instruction booklet of Castlevania: Dracula X were poorly translated to English. The Japanese versions generally use the Greek spelling, which appears to have confused translators unfamiliar with it.
|John Morris - Eric Lecarde|
|Elizabeth Bartley - Drolta Tzuentes - Dracula|
|Cerberus - Armor Battler - Wizard - Heavy Armor - Great Axe Armor - Golem - Snake Dragon - Gargoyle|
The Creature - Gear Steamer - Talos - Silhouette Demon - Princess of Moss - Death - Medusa
|Ruins of the Castle Dracula - Atlantis Shrine - The Leaning Tower of Pisa|
The Munitions Factory - Versailles Palace - The Castle Proserpina
|Akumajo Dracula X|
|Bestiary - Inventory|
|Castlevania: Dracula X|
|Richter Belmont - Annette - Maria - Dracula|
|Keruberosu - Myotia - Dyurahan - Minotaurusu - Ghost - Lypuston - Salamander - Carmilla - Death|
|Stage 1 - Stage 2 - Stage 3 - Stage 6 - Stage 7|
|Stage 4 - Stage 5|
|Stage 4' - Stage 5'|
|Divine Bloodlines - Dracula Music Collection|
|Bestiary - Inventory|
|Castlevania: Circle of the Moon|
Sealed Room - Catacomb - Abyss Stairway - Audience Room - Triumph Hallway - Outer Wall - Machine Tower - Eternal Corridor - Chapel Tower - Underground Gallery - Underground Warehouse - Underground Waterway - Observation Tower - Ceremonial Room - Battle Arena