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Poor fool; if I could only make you see. Now die, and YIELD DOMINUS TO ME!!
~ Barlowe before fighting Shanoa

Barlowe is the central villain of the Castlevania game Order of Ecclesia. He is an elderly wizard and the mentor of the heroine Shanoa and her brother figure Albus. He appears at first as a wise man dedicated to protect the world, but he is in fact a disturbed fanatic wishing to resurrect Count Dracula at the cost of his disciple's life. His name is likely a reference to Kurt Barlow, the vampire from Stephen King's novel, Salem's Lot.

Powers and Abilities

Barlowe is a highly powerful and skilled mage scholar, who researches led him to invent a new form of magic. He masters a wide array of spells, seals and rituals. While he mostly casts his spells through bewitched grimoires levitating around him, he is seen casting powerful battle magic (in the intro), flying, and teleporting on his own.

He probably devised himself every spell used by the heroes, and likely masters them since he taught them all.

Personality

Barlowe presents a wise, noble, gentle, and caring facade, expressing praises and pride in his disciples’ success, but the truth is much gloomier. He is in fact a demented fanatic, who believes to be granting the wish of humanity by condemning it to servitude or worse under Dracula's heel. He is so delusional he is unable to even fathom why his disciples are horrified when learning the truth.

Barlowe drops the mask.

He is cold, uncaring, haughty, callous, hateful and cruel, dismissing Shanoa's pleas without paying them any mind. He is a good liar and manipulator, but despite appearing collected at first glance, he is violently unhinged , expressing manic glee and psychotic smirks as he drops the mask and flying into violent rages at the first mishap.

He is self-righteous to such a point he only regards his disciples as disposable pawns, being enraged by their "betrayal", as if they were the ones who wronged him by refusing to comply. The game data clearly states that he has lost his mind, and Shanoa reacts to his true self with disappointed disgust.

Sadly, the original Japanese data explains that he was corrupted by the evil energies radiating from Dracula's remains. The Occidental translation only hints at it by calling him a "pitiable madman". This means that he was once the fatherly mentor he now pretends to be, wishing to destroy Dracula in earnest until he got twisted into worshipping him instead.

Backstory

Full view on Barlowe.

After Richter Belmont, and later Alucard, destroyed Shaft and Dracula, the Belmonts mysteriously vanished, leaving others to handle the threat of the King of the Night's upcoming return.

Barlowe is a seventy-two year old magician researcher, founder and leader of the titular Order of Ecclesia, a secret society of mages able to cast spells through magical symbols known as Glyphs.

He is all but stated to have adopted and raised the heroes, making them very powerful and dedicated mages warriors.

One fated day, he entered in possession of a relic keeping Dracula's soul sealed to prevent his resurrection. How he did is unspecified, though he might have been entrusted with it. Alas he secretly harboured much gloomier motives. Barlowe told his disciples that the relic's destruction would end Dracula forever. He also harnessed the Count's demonic might into three powerful Glyphs called Dominus, which he presented as the only way to destroy the relic, hiding its true origin. Finally, he raised Shanoa for her to one day perform the deed.

Little did she know that Dominus is in fact intended to break the seal and bring Dracula back; nor that it consumes the life of its user, which would also remove her as an obstacle after she fulfils her purpose.

Role in the Game

The story begins the night of the ritual. Shanoa inadvertently tells her friend Albus that Barlowe chose her to use Dominus, leaving the young man distraught. When the ritual is about to begin, Albus barges in and absorbs Dominus, causing Shanoa to faint and to become amnesiac and emotionless.

Albus protests that Barlowe always told him that the Glyphs would be his to bear, accusing his master of deceit. Barlowe reasons that he originally wanted Albus to perform the ritual but noticed that Shanoa was more suited to the role, but Albus fires his most powerful attack at him. Barlowe counters it with a high-level Lightning spell, prompting Albus to flee.

Following this, Barlowe orders Shanoa to find and bring back Albus. At the start of Shanoa's quest, he teaches her again to master all the Glyph spells she forgot. Later on, he directs her quest as she reports her progresses to him and provides her advice and guidance.

When Shanoa finally catches up with Albus, he reveals that he had realized that Dominus was lethal and thus wanted to spare Shanoa from such a fate. He also began to suspect that Barlowe had ulterior motives and that Dominus was better left unused. Unfortunately, Albus fell prey in turn to Dracula's corrupting power radiating from Dominus and abducted thirteen descendants of the Belmonts, before fighting Shanoa in the Mystery Manor.

  • Albus is a highly powerful and considerably dangerous enemy who wields the enchanted gun Agartha. He is very fast and fires either regular or magical gunshots: the Vertical Shot (two circling waves of light and darkness in whirling motion), his best attack Omega Shot (in fact the Acerbatus spell, a gigantic but slow-moving energy ball dealing crippling damages that can curse Shanoa, which can be stolen from him), and the Torpor spell (three magic crystal trapping Shanoa and leaving her open for attacks). He also uses Quad Ignis: a devastating combo of flaming kicks; and in Hard Mode Ignis, Grando and Fulgur: the common Fire, Ice and Lightning spells. Albus is vulnerable to the Dark Element, so do not hesitate to cast the Umbra spell and its variations.

Should Shanoa defeat Albus without rescuing every captive, she will return Dominus to Ecclesia without suspecting anything and trigger the bad ending of the game. In this scenario, Shanoa uses Dominus and dies, fulfilling her secret purpose. However, Barlowe's treachery and Dracula's return are only slightly hinted.

If on the contrary the requirements for the good ending are met, Albus warns Shanoa not to use Dominus with his dying breath. As such, upon coming back to Ecclesia, she refuses to obey when Barlowe orders her to use Dominus at last. She accuses him of sending Albus on a fool's errand to keep him away from the ritual, and to have sealed Shanoa's emotions and memories himself to make her easier to control.

Barlowe first attempts to deny, though very unconvincingly, before revealing his true colours. He claims that since humans' malice keeps bringing Dracula from the grave, it is them who call for his return without end and strive to live under his rule. Having seen Albus harness the Glyphs, he decides that he can do it just as well, opting to tear Dominus from Shanoa's flesh and sacrifice her whether she wants it or not.

After Shanoa mortally wounds Barlowe, the twisted fanatic sacrifices his own soul to break the seal and resurrect Dracula. As such, Shanoa is left with no other choice than to storm the newly risen Castlevania, risking her life to challenge the Count.

In the end, she destroys him with Dominus, surviving the use of the Glyph thanks to Albus' sacrifice. As he departs to the afterlife, she finally recovers her emotions and smiles sadly, finally ready to live her life to the fullest.

Boss Battle

Die Shanoa! How dare you! Even forget... Who raised you! You... stupid disciple!
~ Barlowe's rant.

Barlowe is a formidable mage who can pose a serious threat. He is very resilient and his attacks are powerful and fast, but Shanoa can deal with him without major trouble if she learnt the pattern of his attacks. He resists the Dark element, but he is weak to Light as well as slashing attacks. He flies high and teleports, so Shanoa must use far reaching weapons and spells.

The student faces the master.

Barlowe is a formidable mage who can pose a serious threat. He is very resilient and his attacks are powerful and fast, but Shanoa can deal with him without major trouble if she learnt the pattern of his attacks. He resists the Dark element, but he is weak to Light as well as slashing attacks. He flies high and teleports, so Shanoa must use far reaching weapons and spells.

Barlow masters four spells: Ustio throws seven homing fireballs in succession; Tonitrus surrounds him with a lightning sphere before he charges very fast twice while laughing madly; Globus launches two purple energy balls bouncing twice or thrice against walls, and can be stolen from him; Glacius freezes the entire floor and can only be avoided by jumping at the right timing.

When damaged enough, Barlowe starts using his deadliest attack: He teleports and dashes at Shanoa from both sides of the screen to land magic-infused punches dealing crippling damage. He charges around five times in very fast succession, each time from a different side; while cursing Shanoa for forgetting what he has done for her, highlighting his delusion.

External links

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             CastlevaniaLogo.png Villains

Original Series
Major Villains
Carmilla | Chaos | Death | Dracula | Shaft
Secondary Villains
Actrise | Albus | Barlowe | Beelzebub | Brauner | Celia Fortner | Dario Bossi | Dmitrii Blinov | Elizabeth Bartley | The Forgotten One | Galamoth | Gilles de Rais | Graham Jones | Isaac | Joachim Armster | Legion | Medusa | Menace | Olrox | Ortega | Stella and Loretta | Succubus | Time Reaper | Walter Bernhard

Lords of Shadows
Dracula | Satan | Zobek | Carmilla | Satan's Acolytes (Raisa Volkova | Nergal Meslamstea | Guido Szandor) | The Forgotten One | Inner Dracula | Toy Maker

Netflix Series
Dracula's Army
Dracula
Dracula's Court: Carmilla | Godbrand | Isaac | Hector | Death
Minions: Blue Fangs | Slogra and Gaibon | Priory of Lindenfeld (Prior Sala | The Visitor) | Dragan
Council of Sisters
Lenore | Morana & Striga
Others
The Church (The Bishop | Archbishop) | The Judge | Sumi and Taka | Saint Germain

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