|“||I'LL MAKE YOU MY MASTERPIECE!||„|
|~ Brauner (taking his art a little bit too seriously).|
Brauner is the central villain of the Castlevania game Portrait of Ruin. He is a former artist who became a vampire following World War I and attempts to resurrect the Castlevania to take it over. He resembles Olrox, who in turn is based on Count Orlok, but both Vampire Lords have little in common. He is based of Victor Brauner, a real-life surrealist painter who thought himself as a seer. A different character of the same name appears in the reboot game Lords of Shadow.
Brauner is calm, collected, refined, and polite, albeit aloof, uncaring and scornful. But to his core, he is very cruel, hateful, misanthropic and power-hungry, filled with seething, barely contained anger. He explodes in rage when denied and stubbornly clings to his vision even as it crumbles around him. Also, he appears excitable and quite disturbed, considering his frantic yells when fighting.
Brauner staunchly hates humanity, regarding them as hateful, violent and self-destructive. He regards World War I as the proof that humans are unfit to live and deserve eradication. (Little did he know that World War I was the doing of Elizabeth Bartley, though she indeed has nothing to do with the political powder keg that led to it.)
He is also exceedingly arrogant, being disdainful to the heroes whom he regards as beneath him, and to Count Dracula himself, whom he regards as a loser. He considers that Dracula lost his right to be the King of the Night, due to his repeated defeats at the hands of the Belmont Clan, being the only vampire in the series who resists his innate dominion. He regards himself as a worthier ruler of the Castlevania. But he sees its Dark Powers and armies of monsters as a mean to his end in his demented quest for revenge.
However, he is genuinely fond of (what he thinks are) his daughters, being fully willing to stop his plans if it means keeping them safe. All in all, he is a broken man deeply traumatized by the horrors of World War I and the loss of his beloved family.
His desire to exterminate humanity is an unhealthy way of lashing out in grief, and his deluded obsession with taking the Lecarde sisters as his own is an even less healthy way to cope with his loss. Being a vampire severely corrupted his pain and turned it into malevolence, blind hatred and ambition.
This makes him at the same time one of the most disturbing, but also the most pitiable villain of the series. He is the only vampire who retains a somewhat human heart, albeit horribly warped by his new, evil nature.
Powers and Abilities
Brauner is a highly powerful Vampire Lord, who manifests his enormous dark powers through his art, which he calls the "Blood Art Technique".
Not only can he enter portraits at will, and then travel through them by making float and teleport, but he can go from painting to painting. He can also use his painting to influence the real world, like he did when he took control of the Castlevania. He gains power from his portraits. The more he makes, and the more they influence a defined place, the mightier he becomes.
He relies primarily on them in battle, as he can make he paints become real and cause his painting to affect the real world. He mostly uses them to bring enormous monsters to existence.
His painting can be entered, casting the visitor into a vast world looking exactly like what they represent, full of details and traps likely of his design.
Brauner used to be a painter, until World War I laid waste all over Europe, claiming the lives of his beloved twin daughters. Enraged, he relinquished his humanity and became a vampire, intending to wage his own war on mankind. In 1942, he used the souls of the victims of World War II to resurrect the Castlevania, then used his bewitched paintings to take control of it, preventing Dracula's return. He later ambushed and murdered Eric Lecarde, one of the heroes of Castlevania Bloodlines, who defeated Dracula alongside his friend John Morris in 1917.
Noticing the striking likeness between Eric's daughters Stella and Loretta and his own, he persuaded himself that they were his daughters reincarnated. As such, he turned both into vampires and brainwashed them to believe that he was their father.
Role in the Game
In 1944, Brauner does not only confronts John Morris' son Jonathan and his friend and partner Charlotte Aulin, but Dracula's right-hand man Death, who is outraged that he would dare claim ownership of the Castlevania and determined to put an end to his "reign".
As Jonathan and Charlotte wander through the Castlevania, they enter Brauner's paintings to destroy the Evil within and weaken the Vampire Lord's grasp over the Castle. They eventually learn the truth about Stella and Loretta and, upon defeating them, manage to restore them to their human selves with the "Sanctuary" spell. They then defeat Brauner himself, who is finished off by Death to lift his seal and allow Dracula's return.
If Jonathan and Charlotte defeat Stella and Loretta without curing them of vampirism, Brauner appears in a flying portrait, shielding them and begging for their (un)lives on his knees. He swears to abandon his plan in exchange for letting them all go, and departs with them as the Castlevania crumbles. This leaves the heroes frustrated, but relieved that Dracula will not return.
Brauner is a very powerful foe who can prove really challenging. He attacks by painting two blood-red lines on his portraits that appear for real and cross the entire screen in various pattern, in order to hurt the heroes and trap them into a corner. The heroes can destroy the lines before they reach them. He is rather hard to get close to, so it is best to attack with spells from a distance, and strike between his attacks.
Brauner can also enter his painting to animate it and attack through it, and draw monsters that come to life: tentacled monstrosities spinning through the air and poisoning the heroes at contact from green paintings; gigantic spectres with many hands that curse at contact from grey paintings; and a swarm of floating heads petrifying at contact from blue paintings.
Brauner is fought again in the exact same fashion in the medley game Harmony of Despair.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Another powerful vampire named Brauner appears in Lords of Shadow. In this game, Lieutenant Brauner is a demonic vampire spawned directly from Hell, who was never human to begin with. Along with his older brother Commander Olrox, Brauner serves as the major henchman of the Queen of Vampires Carmilla.
Carmilla sends her children, under Brauner's command, raiding the nearby Wygol Village on a regular basis. The game's primary protagonist Gabriel Belmont confronts the vampire in the village, with the intend of cleansing the land of the vampires' blight.
Brauner is a very violent foe who attacks relentlessly with his claws and his sabre, but his attacks are easy to telegraph and he is extremely vulnerable to Holy Water. He can toss his sabre towards Gabriel and turn into a swarm of bats to harass him, but all in all he poses little threat.