Shanoa (シャノア?) is the heroine of Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. She represents the Order of Ecclesia, the only group who seems up to the task of defeating Dracula in the Belmonts' absence. She is able to absorb Glyphs using the large rune on her back, which provide her with magical weapon abilities. Although she is often seen wielding an ethereal crimson-colored rapier, Shanoa can use any other weapons granted by her glyphs.
Shanoa is able to equip three glyphs, much like Soma Cruz's souls. She can combine them to unleash devastating combos either with a spell or a massive weapon; such as a large Holy Claymore or a hail of daggers. The weapons range from scythes, axes, daggers, lances, hammers, and swords, while spells range from summoning a fierce wind, lightning orbs, giant stone fists, fireballs, ice shards and blasts of light or darkness. Shanoa's glyphs also allow her to swing from place to place using magnetic forces or transform into monsters such as a cat-woman or a winged werebat.
Shanoa was chosen as a vessel for Dominus by Barlowe. However, before the performing of the ritual, she was attacked by her adoptive brother and fellow Ecclesia member, Albus. Since that time, she has lost her emotions and memories. Upon awakening, Shanoa heard Barlowe's version of the events and received the order to retrieve him and Dominus from Albus.
She ventures upon the Wygol Village and travels across the various dungeons while saving the villagers, and aiding them through Quests. All of these trapped Wygol villagers mention something about a "man" who imprisoned them in Torpor Glyphs. In several occasions, she meets Albus carrying a part of the Dominus Glyphs, and it was further revealed that he was actually behind the capture of these villagers. He offers the two parts of Dominus to Shanoa as "gifts", and without question, she willingly absorbs the two, believing that it was all for the mission entrusted to her by Barlowe.
However, at the Oblivion Ridge, Albus did not give the third Dominus Glyph to Shanoa, but instead explains to her the true nature of these glyphs; that the Dominus is a copy of Dracula's power himself, and the usage of the Dominus takes toll on one's life. Shanoa, feeling betrayed, returns to Barlowe, explaining the situation. She is then tasked to take the corrupted Albus down for good at the Mystery Manor.
The event in Mystery Manor plays a crucial role in determining the endings of the game. As the following events differ depending if the player successfully saves all thirteen villagers or fails to save at least once. There are two possible routes to the ending this game which is explained after the fight between Shanoa and Albus.
After the battle, Shanoa finally absorbs the remaining part of Dominus. She heads back to Barlowe in Ecclesia believing that she has already completed her mission, the only remaining task is to execute the spell beside the coffin, in order to "save the world". Unbeknownst to her, it was all lies and tricks by the old man, as she fell into the ground, losing consciousness. The screen fades to black, showing a Game Over screen.
After the battle, Shanoa finally absorbs the remaining part of Dominus. After this process, she began hearing various conversations between Barlowe and Albus. It was revealed that the latter's plan to steal the Dominus was in order to save Shanoa from the threat of using the glyph. This scene also hints that Shanoa slowly remembers parts of her memories by calling Albus her "brother". The soul of Albus manifested as the voice, since it had been merged with the last part of the Dominus that she absorbed. His only advice was to avoid casting the union of Dominus at all costs. Shanoa heads back to Ecclesia to confront Barlowe. This time, she does not follow the magician's orders, and the two had a fight, resulting in Barlowe's defeat. However, he offered his life in the coffin that houses Dracula, which then causes the dark lord's castle to arise again.
The heroine, now alone in Ecclesia, heads to the castle to banish Dracula, as she is the only one capable of doing the task. Shanoa battles Dracula at his throne room, not long after he would unleash his ultimate magic upon being defeated. However, if the union of the Dominus Glyphs is cast by the player, the spell will be countered, killing Dracula once again. The cost of this is Shanoa's life, but a turn of events occurred as the soul of Albus appeared once again, trading his own with Dominus for Shanoa's revival. Just at this moment, he requested her to smile again and she does, signifying that Shanoa has indeed recovered her memories and emotions. She is able to escape the castle just before it crumbles. It was later revealed that all records of Ecclesia were erased and destroyed, probably a doing of Shanoa as a revenge for the cult.
Shanoa is able to equip a glyph on each arm and on her back. Arm glyphs can call forth close-range weapons like swords and spears, long range weapons like throwing axes and bows, or elemental attacks like fire and ice. Basically, she can utilize all the weapons and elements all the other vampire hunters in the series can use, with the notable exceptions of whips, vials of holy water and crosses. Each of these attacks consumes MP. Her left and right arm glyphs can be performed very rapidly if alternated one right after the other or can be combined in a powerful Glyph Union attack, which consumes Hearts rather than MP. Back glyphs give her an ability that she can turn on and off at will.
- Main article: Shanoa/Item Data
- Main article: Shanoa/Judgment
Shanoa appeared as an unlockable character in the 3D fighting game Castlevania Judgment for the Wii. She is unlocked through a Wii-DS connection option from the game Order of Ecclesia for the Nintendo DS, or by beating the True Story with her. Her outfit is something resembling a nun's.
- Main article: Shanoa/Harmony of Despair
Shanoa plays in the co-op game Castlevania: Harmony of Despair much as she does in Order of Ecclesia. The selection of glyphs available to her is limited, but makes her powerful. She can equip two glyphs as her primary attack glyphs, and up to four sub-glyphs. Magnes is her only back-glyph.
- Shanoa is one of the two female characters who are the main and only protagonists in their own games, along with Sonia Belmont. Order of Ecclesia is the first "Igavania" game to feature a woman in the lead role.
- In a interview for Gamespot Iga mentioned that Shanoa is a codename, so her birth name and bloodline is not known.
- Michelle Ruff, Shanoa's English voice actress, also voiced Maria Renard in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.
- Official Shanoa's bio - Konami Castlevania website.
- "Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Announced for Nintendo DS" -Kotaku