What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets!
~ Dracula's iconic quote (taken from the French writer André Malraux.)
Count Vlad Tepes Dracula is the primary antagonist of the Castlevania/Akumajo Dracula video game franchise. He is a former Holy Knight who renounced God following the Death of his wife and became the Lord of Darkness, the personification of Chaos, source of all Evil. He is based on Bram Stoker's character, in turn based on the infamous Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia. His tragic Start of Darkness was inspired by the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola.
Dracula appears as a completely different character in the Lords of Shadow reboot series. He is once again a Holy Knight turned evil by the death of his wife, but he transitions from heroes to villain protagonist, before his final redemption.
Dracula looks like a classical Vampire Lord, with chalk-white skin and red eyes, clad in rich medieval attire and a long, high-collared black and red cape. However, depictions vary from game to game.
The early games depict Dracula looking like Bela Lugosi's portrayal in the 1931 Dracula film; clad in the "classical" tuxedo and cape, and occasionally with grey hair. Symphony of the Night set his aspect as a tall, elderly and noble-looking vampire with long grey hair, a moustache and a goatee, wearing an ornate coat and the "classical" cape. He is sometimes portrayed with ornate robes, and sometimes younger.
When fought as a boss, Dracula almost always transforms into a gigantic demon of variable aspect, who most often resembles a humanoid monster with horns and bat-like wings.
His most common demon form appears as a dark blue demon, looking like a mix between a dragon and a gargoyle, with wings attached to his arms, which was also seen looking like a black, bat-like demon; but he has also been depicted resembling a Mesopotamian-looking idol, an insectoid dragon, or a purple devil. In some cases, he has turned into a giant bat, an immense vampiric face, a gigantic and devilish goat head, or turned his cape into a repellent amalgamation of demonic figures with giant arms and wings.
Freedom is always sacrificed to faith good hunter. Or are you truly here by choice?
~ Dracula to Richter Belmont.
Dracula is cruel, ruthless, hateful and disdainful, yet poised and regal, with aristocratic manners and imposing presence. He is very courteous and well-spoken, usually greeting the heroes and discussing their motives, though he frequently laces it with sarcasm and dark humour. There are games however in which he displays nothing but scathing spite and arrogant taunts.
He is cordial to his high-ranking generals and generous to those who resurrect him, granting their wishes if they pledge obedience. Yet, he is unforgiving to traitors, manipulative of his servants, and not above killing people he dislikes on the spot. He is finally highly intelligent and cunning: manipulating unsuspecting people, acting through proxies, or scheming to confuse the heroes and plague them if they win.
Lisa's death caused Dracula to loathe mankind, whom he regards as petty, greedy and worthless. He states that everyone, including the heroes who confront him, has Darkness in their hearts and should stop denying their selfish desires. He also states that there is no freedom and that people are willing slaves to their religions; which he compares to his own harvest of human souls. Finally, he describes humanity’s ambition and violence as the reason he keeps coming back.
Dracula often taunts his foes, telling them that they struggle in vain and that he will always return despite their best effort. He is very, though rightly, confident in his abilities and considers himself superior to any opponent. However, his softer side resurfaces when confronting his son or remembering his wives. Even in battle, he does not bear ill will towards Alucard, and he has once expressed regret over his evil ways after being reminded of Lisa's last wish.
Powers and Influence
You should bear that in mind. God is unable to help the souls of those terminated by my hand!
Dracula is frighteningly powerful. It has been speculated, but not confirmed, that the longer he is around, the younger and mightier he becomes. When he unleashes his full might, he becomes a huge demon and his power skyrockets.
He wields the power of Dominance (to absorb the souls and powers of any being), Mimicry (to copy someone else's power), and Hellfire (to conjure and shape fire from Hell itself). He can sense people's presence and connections to others; manifest himself where he is not physically present; create and transform immense locations like his Haunted Castle that he completely controls.
He can also cause disasters, plagues and rains of blood; cast an everlasting night on his domain; drag his foes into hellish planes; possess things and people; and cast a wide array of curses over entire countries, to the point of withering the land and corrupting the population even after his death.
Dracula has complete control over Evil and Hell. He draws power from the Chaotic Realm in which human malice gathers. All monsters and malevolent beings pledge loyalty to him; most regarding him as a "savior" able to cleanse the world anew. His mere presence is enough to drive normal people mad and to corrupt his surroundings. He is also able to increase the evil in people’s hearts and to surround himself with evil energy or pure Darkness.
Dracula is unmatched in the common vampiric powers. In addition to turning into a wolf, a bat or a cloud of mist, he can turn into a gigantic swarm of bats or a cloud of poison, and change his cape into bat-like wings or worse. He has incredible strength and he can compel hordes of animals, control the weather, and drain blood at mere contact.
Not only Dracula "lives" forever, but he can only be harmed when struck in the head or the chest with specific weapons. Even worse, he always resurrects 100 years after being killed, when enough human malice gathers. Not counting those who resurrect him through Dark Rituals.