- "You too shall be my puppets!"
- —The Puppet Master in Harmony of Despair's second chapter intro
The Puppet Master appears in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow as the first boss of the Demon Guest House, more or less the fourth boss the player will fight in the game. He appears as a traditional marionette with four appendages, namely arms, as well as a demonic head, all hanging down from strings on the ceiling. He only has two attacks, one of which isn't considered to be an attack on itself but can still be considered dangerous.
The first attack consists of him opening his mouth to summon a couple of floating French Dolls that must be destroyed. Although they have no experience value whatsoever, as well as not dropping anything, they may overwhelm Soma if too many of them are allowed to fill up the room.
His second attack must be dealt with as quick as possible. A doll is summoned in one of his hands, and there are four iron maiden torture chambers lying around the room. If the doll is placed in one of these iron maidens, he automatically switches Soma's place with the doll inside the device, and he takes almost death damage. However, the doll can be destroyed. On "Normal" mode, it takes two hits to destroy it, and on "Hard" mode, it takes four. The hand moves pretty slowly, however, so the player should be able to destroy the doll easily. One useful tactic when replaying the game is using Death's soul, which will make short work of the dolls and the demonic play toy as well.
The soul he gives up upon defeat is a bullet soul which grants Soma the Substitute Puppet ability. While it isn't an attack itself, it allows Soma to throw out a puppet and switch places with it. This is helpful in unlocking the Subterranean Hell and Condemned Tower areas. However, the Bat Company soul proves to be much more effective later on in the game, as it allows him to fit through the same holes he can throw puppets into. This puppet throwing ability was later used by the unlockable character, Old Axe Armor, in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.
The Puppet Master reappears in Harmony of Despair as the boss of the second chapter. He appears in the trailer, taunting: "You, too, shall be my puppet!". He later appears in a castle resembling the Demon Guest House. He has no new attacks, but the pink marionettes he summons will curse players if they make contact. He will also pull himself throughout the area after taking enough damage, not being restricted to his own room. If he's within reach of an iron maiden, he will create a puppet in his hand. The player must strike the doll three times in "Normal" mode, and five in "Hard" mode. Failure to do so before he throws the puppet into the iron maiden results in teleporting a player to that location, and they suffer heavy damage in the process that also ignores the character's Defense. This attack is upgraded in Hard Mode to instantly kill players, unless they equip a suit of Ancient Armor beforehand. His theme is "Into the Dark Night".
Due to the Puppet Master's constant swarm of cursing dolls, magic based characters like Charlotte or Shanoa are of unwise use, since a single touch of the dolls will deplete their MP to 0, rendering them weak until they can regain a substantial amount to strike back. Characters like Soma and Alucard will have an easier time, but some reliance of skills on the former and good weapons on the latter, can provide only a decent foot ground to fight.
Instead, whip-reliant characters, like Jonathan or Richter, are more recommended for a much safer and reliable time. This is largely because their spinning whip technique (by holding down the attack button and pressing in any direction) will provide a much needed and effective shield against the swarming dolls that come from multiple heights. Furthermore, this technique can be put to great effect to cancel the Puppet Master's voodoo attack, as it can quickly destroy the doll on his hands (provided a reasonable distance is between both), which is especially true in higher difficulties, where more hits are needed to stop him. Due to these advantages, they also have the best time of any kind of character in spamming their skills, since they have little fear of being cursed.
The only downside is that the whip's strength is dependent on the level of sub-weaponry they are carrying, and thus can require some grinding to put a good fight; but by the time he is faced, the player should have enough power to face the still basic opponent, or have a more developed skill/level set for the harder difficulties.
The Puppet Master also moves across the stage after a certain amount of time, in which the player must pursue to avoid getting harmed by his voodoo attack on the iron maidens distributed around the map. As the player progresses through the stage, they will encounter several iron maidens with nearby wooden boxes which can be pushed in front of them to limit the mobility of the Puppet Master. They are near the center-right, center-left, and near the top of the map respectively. Of special care is a tower of Bone Pillars at the middle of the stage which can provide a much needed shortcut back to the center of the map, and thus is recommended to keep alive as one can stand on them without sustaining damage. Destroying them will make pursuit much more difficult and almost guarantee death.
Overall, the Puppet Master is tricky and irritating, rather than powerful, and thus should be handled with patience rather than brutality.
- "I need only to put this puppet, right inside here".
- "Take this!"
|Item Data: Puppet Master|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Throw a puppet and switch places with it.|| Bullet Soul|
| Find: Demon Guest House|
Drop: Puppet Master
| Effect: The player throws a puppet forward and switches places with it when it lands.|
|Throw a puppet and switch places with it.|| Bullet Soul|
|Consume: 10 MP|| Rarity: **|
Steal: Puppet Master (0.3%)
|Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow|
|Soma Cruz - Mina Hakuba - Julius Belmont - Yoko Belnades - Genya Arikado (Alucard) - Hammer|
|Celia Fortner - Dario Bossi - Dmitrii Blinov - Soma Cruz (Julius mode)|
|Flying Armor - Balore - Malphas - Puppet Master - Rahab - Gergoth - Zephyr - Bat Company|
Paranoia - Aguni - Abaddon - Death - Menace
|The Lost Village - Wizardry Lab - Garden of Madness - The Dark Chapel - Demon Guest House - Condemned Tower|
Cursed Clock Tower - Subterranean Hell - Silenced Ruins - The Pinnacle - Mine of Judgment - The Abyss
|Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Original Soundtrack|
|DoubleJump Books Dawn of Sorrow Official Strategy Guide|
Konami Akumajō Dracula: Sōgetsu no Jūjika Official Guide
|Bestiary - Inventory - Julius Mode - Voice Translations|