- "Heir to the ancient Belmont clan of vampire hunters, his blood dooms him to oppose the might of Count Dracula. Wielding the holy whip of his ancestors, the young vampire killer begins his quest!"
- —Official background.
Reinhardt Schneider is a vampire hunter from Konami's Castlevania series. He appears as a playable main character in Castlevania and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, both of which were published on the Nintendo 64 in the late nineties. His back story and quest is just about the same for both games. A young, broad-shouldered man who wields the Vampire Killer whip as his main weapon, Reinhardt is a formidable warrior and a noble soul.
Reinhardt was a Belmont descendant who boasts a deviating surname (though in development his name was given as Schneider Belmont). Growing up, he was often teased by his schoolmates, as they couldn't believe that he was actually directly connected to the famous bloodline. These experiences polluted Reinhardt's mind with feelings of self-doubt, though they eventually manifested and strengthened his will to prove himself as a warrior. He was eventually chosen to receive the title of Vampire Hunter, and with it the weapons that accompanied the honor. He was fiercely trained by his father, who taught him the true values of a vampire hunter and a man of God.
When the time has come, Reinhardt sets out to destroy Dracula, knowing he has to overcome many dangers to achieve his goal. His quest sees him fighting his way through a cursed forest and a cursed castle, where Reinhardt has to defeat several gruesome beasts. However, when Reinhardt reaches the mysterious Villa mansion, he encounters a woman named Rosa who, Reinhardt is shocked to find, is a vampire, albeit unwillingly. Instead of attacking the Vampire Hunter, however, Rosa helps him and Reinhardt leaves the Villa thankful for her help, although he is worried about what will happen to her next.
This would however not be the last time he meets Rosa, as he at a later stage of his quest sees her, despairing at her fate as a cursed creature, attempting a sunlight-assisted suicide, and the vampire hunter finds himself for the first time ever saving a vampire's life. He gets little gratitude in return, however, as Rosa says he should have let her die. She departs with an ominous warning.
When Reinhard, after overcoming the monsters and riddles of the Castle Center, encounters Death, one of Dracula's most dangerous lackeys, his worst fears comes true when he sees Death has brought Rosa, and Death forces the vampire to fight Reinhardt. The emotionally charged battle ends with Reinhardt winning, but Rosa surviving, and she and Death disappears in a puff of smoke.
But Rosa still wasn't completely in evil's power, and when Death attempts a cowardly ambush atop the clock tower (after Reinhardt travels through the Duel Tower and the Tower of Execution) to kill Reinhardt, Rosa appears once more to shield Reinhardt from the attack and absorbs the fatal blow. She did believe in him, after all, and he returns the favor by promising the fearing Rosa that God would forgive her tortured soul. He then proceeds to destroy Death and sends the evil demon back to Hell.
Reinhardt goes on to defeat Gilles de Rais in the Castle Keep. Malus appears and they leave the castle after a short conversation. As they ride home on horseback, Reinhardt speculates that Malus may be the next hero to fight Dracula. Malus' eyes then ominously glow red.
Reinhardt defeats Gilles de Rais in the Castle Keep and the castle begins to crumble. As he escapes, Malus appears riding a winged demon and attempts to kill him with an arrow. Atop the Clock Tower, Malus reveals that he is Dracula and transforms from a boy into a man. The two battle and, after defeat, Dracula turns back into a boy. He attempts to fool Reinhardt into thinking that Dracula merely possessed him. Charles Vincent arrives on the scene and douses Malus with holy water, exposing his evil nature. Malus then transports Reinhardt to a desert realm and transforms into a giant monster. After defeating Dracula's final form, Reinhardt is transported to reality where the castle sinks into the lake.
"Will this struggle against Dracula never end?" he wonders, grief ridden. Suddenly, a few rose petals drift down from the sky, followed by a single red rose. Rosa appears where the flower lands: human, whole, and freed from Dracula's curse. The two embrace, and Reinhardt expresses his renewed hope for the future.
- Konami of Europe's Reinhardt Schneider profile (Internet Archive)
- Reinhardt Schneider at the Castlevania Fan Wiki.
- Gamepro scan at Castlevania Dungeon