Dracula's Castle (ドラキュラ城 Dorakyura Jō?), also known as Demon Castle (悪魔城 Akumajō?) or Castlevania, is Dracula's lair and symbol of his magic. It houses an army of his supernatural minions, and tends to collapse when Dracula is defeated. Yet, it is able to restore itself and reappears intact in later games, even the ones where Dracula has not yet revived himself.
The exact location of the castle is impossible to determine. Being an entity of chaos, it has the ability to reemerge in different places whenever it revives. Still, the vast majority of times it has reappeared was in Europe, in Transylvania.
If one takes into account the events from the original 1987 novel that inspired the series, as well as real historical landmarks where Vlad III Drăculea was known to inhabit, that may be indication that the castle from the series was at some point located somewhere in Transylvania or in northern Wallachia, where one of the voivode's real castles, Cetatea Poenari, is located.
Nevertheless, due to its supernatural nature as symbol of Dracula's magic and its ability to revive in different regions, the castle in the series cannot be considered the same as the historical landmarks. It does not exist in the earthly plane but is, in fact, a spiritual world atop another dimension.
The appearance of the castle also varies; in artwork for the original Castlevania it appears to be on top of a mountain, while in Symphony of the Night it is located off the shore of a lake, and in Curse of Darkness it resides by the ocean (maybe the Black Sea). In Symphony of the Night, Maria Renard remarks the castle is different from how she remembers it (she had fought in it five years earlier during the events of Rondo of Blood). Alucard, who had probably once lived there, notes the castle is "a creature of chaos", hinting at the castle's origins and explaining its constantly changing nature.
It is possible the castle originally belonged to Walter Bernhard. His castle had the familiar strange keep structure present in Dracula's Castle. If this was the case, the castle dates back to at least the 11th century. In 1094, the castle appeared more like a traditional medieval castle than the more elaborate Gothic architecture seen elsewhere. One factor in favor for Walter's castle being Castlevania is that, in Curse of Darkness, the abandoned castle is the place where only a Belmont's blood can gain access to the infinite corridor. Seeing as Leon Belmont was the first Belmont proclaimed at Walter's castle, the abandoned castle could be Walter's original castle.
A factor against the theory of Walter's castle becoming Castlevania is that at the end of Lament of Innocence, Mathias Cronqvist (Dracula) leaves the castle in the form of a bat and it is not known where he went, or if he ever returned. The Japanese instruction booklet for Castlevania: The Adventure outright states Dracula to have built his castle himself at the outskirts of Transylvania. Koji Igarashi has also expressed that one of the reasons for the change of the franchise's Japanese title from "Akumajō Dracula" to "Castlevania" was due to there being no Dracula, nor his castle, on a given game, indicating that the castle seen in Lament of Innocence might indeed not be the same castle that Dracula uses later down the chronology.
Following Dracula's defeat in 1999, the castle was sealed into an eclipse, and was visited by Soma Cruz in 2035. In 2036, Celia Fortner and her cult built a castle immensely similar to Dracula's to foster the growth of a new Dark Lord. As her plan ruins, the castle completely collapses.
Rooms and featuresEdit
- See also: Environments
Castlevania's interior constantly shifts between games, below are a few of the rooms that have appeared.
- Abandoned Pit to the Catacomb
- Arms Depot
- Buried Chamber
- Nest of Evil
- Underground Labyrinth
- Underground Waterway
- Main article: Dracula's Castle (Simon's Quest)
- Main article: Dracula's Castle (Curse of Darkness)
- Castlevania: Bloodlines features an English castle called The Castle Proserpina, which serves as the final level of the game, in which Elizabeth Bartley, and later Dracula, reside.
- Castlevania: Circle of the Moon is set in an Austrian castle owned by Camilla and used as the site for a resurrection ritual for Dracula.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance features a false castle, spawned from Maxim by collecting Dracula's relics, which created a new soul inside of him and a castle with two layers, each one representing an individual half of Maxim — the good half represented by a more realistic and structurally complete castle, and the evil half represented by a decaying castle accompanied by a red sky. These were both evidenced to be portions of the actual castle, as merging them (in actuality the merging of Maxim's two personalities by eliminating the "good" one) would create the complete castle.
- Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is set in a castle belonging to Walter Bernhard. Whether Dracula now owns this castle or if it is another castle altogether is unconfirmed.
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is set in a castle which serves as the base of operations of With Light, a sect commanded by Celia Fortner. This castle was destroyed after Menace was defeated by Soma Cruz.
- Castlevania: Curse of Darkness begins in an old Abandoned Castle resembling Dracula's Castle (specifically the one in the original Castlevania), in which Hector chases Isaac. Whether it is an old castle once used by Dracula or another entirely is debatable.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Despair features several incarnations of the castle which have been manifested through the Grimoire.
- Several real life castles have served as inspiration in Dracula's design over the games:
- Neuschwanstein Castle: On the cover of Perfect Selection Dracula album and for Symphony of the Night's intro cutscene.
- Mont Saint-Michel: On the American Symphony of the Night cover and for the design of Castlevania (N64).
- Alcázar of Segovia: On pages 2-3 of the Akumajō Dracula (X68000) instruction booklet, and on page 8 of the Symphony of the Night instruction booklet.
- Bran Castle: In the background of the Rondo of Blood cover and the American Dracula X cover.
- ↑ Dawn of Sorrow's Library
- ↑ Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: Dialogue with Graham Jones
- ↑ Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: Dialogue with Genya Arikado
- ↑ Akumajō Dracula: Kabuchi no Tsuisoukyoku
- ↑ Castlevania: The Adventure instruction booklet story translation
- ↑ Gamers.com Koji Igarashi interview backup
- ↑ Real life castles article at the Castlevania Dungeon
- ↑ Akumajō Dracula (X68000) instruction booklet
- ↑ Castlevania: Symphony of the Night instruction booklet