Elizabeth Bartley (the incorrect romanization of Ersébeth Bathory) is a Vampire Lady and Count Dracula's niece, who serves as the central villainess and the second-to-last boss of the 1994 Sega Genesis game Castlevania: Bloodlines, which is known in Europe and Japan as Castlevania: The New Generation and Vampire Killer respectively.
She is based on the infamous Countess Ersébeth Bathory the "Bloody Countess": a child-murderer who was rumoured to bathe in her victims' blood to retain her youth, and is as such linked to many vampire stories.
In the non-canon comics Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy, expanding the story of Castlevania the Adventure set in 1576, the Bartleys are a noble line of worshippers of evil, who resurrect Dracula. Whether they are related to Elizabeth is not known.
In the same fashion, the Bodley Mansion where Dracula's servants are keeping one of his remains in the game Simon's Quest, set in 1698, is believed by some to be a mistranslation of Bartley Mansion.
Few details are given about Elizabeth Bartley. She seems to be very collected, refined and dignified, yet cruel, ruthless, uncaring and power-hungry.
She earned one of the heroes' staunch hatred for turning his beloved into a vampire and forcing him to destroy her, but once again, whether she did it to purposefully antagonize him or to merely sire servants is never explained, though the former is likely.
Whether or not Elizabeth Bartley shares her historical counterpart's vicious sadism and gruesome habit of killing girls to bathe in their blood is not known, but a distinct possibility. (Story wise, it is Actrise who is a child murderer and Carmilla who bathes in blood.)
What is sure is that she is highly intelligent and scheming, single-handedly causing World War I. She knew how and when to strike, and skilfully used it to spread her influence throughout Europe.
Powers And Abilities
Elizabeth is enormously powerful. As Dracula's niece, her abilities are similar to his own, and she has enormous control over monsters. She has great knowledge of magic and arcane rituals.
She can fly, teleport, summon monsters and conjure elements, and is bound to master all the classical vampire powers (exceptional strength, speed and stamina, hypnotic gaze and presence, shape-shifting, and control over feral beasts and the weather.)
Elizabeth Bartley's backstory is also lacking in detail. She is an ancient and highly powerful Vampire Lady, referred to as Dracula's niece. Still, whether she was sired by him or became a vampire through other means is unknown though.
When she was born and where she lived is not known. What is sure is that she is one of his high-ranking vassals.
She might have served him for centuries, and might have worked alongside Carmilla, as like her she was involved in witchcraft at some point in the series' history. She was captured and executed for vampirism in the early 1614. (The year the real-life Countess Bathory died imprisoned.) The English translation has her executed in 1412.
Role in the Game
Elizabeth Bartley is resurrected by the witch Drolta Tzuentes in 1914. In the original Japanese version, Drolta is an expert witch who meant to revive her and serve her, while in the English translation she is an amateur witch who revives her by accident.
(Drolta Tzuentes is the incorrect romanization of Dorottya Szentes, the name of a servant of the historical Ersébeth Bathory who helped her in her killing-spree.)
Elizabeth roamed Europe and gathered many monsters to serve her, turning several humans into vampires in the process. (Among her victims was the girlfriend of Eric Lecarde, one of the two main heroes.)
Elizabeth took profit of the extremely tense political context and staged the murder of the Crown Prince of Austria, leading to World War I. She built Castle Proserpina in England as her base of operations. She then used the souls of the casualties of the war to resurrect Dracula, who in turn used it to spread evil and monsters all over Europe, leaving the Castlevania in ruins to create bases in several countries.
In 1917, John Morris, who is related to the Belmont Clan, and his best friend Eric Lecarde set out to destroy Dracula. They visit each country plagued by Evil and free it of the presence of demons by killing the Boss Monster who rules each location. They eventually storm Proserpina Castle and confront many of Dracula's servants, including Death in person, before destroying the vampires and setting Europe free from Evil, yet still war-torn.
Elizabeth Bartley is fought in her coffin room. She first summons Medusa to battle the player, to the point that it almost seems that she transform into Medusa to battle. Immediately after Medusa is dealt with, Elizabeth takes the matter into her own hands.
- Medusa attacks following a defined pattern but without her signature snakes or eye-beam: first by spitting fire into two interconnecting waves then as a straightforward blast, then by swiping her tail, then by stabbing with her claws several times. She must be targeted between her attacks.
Dracula's niece is a force to be reckoned with. She conjures four to six orbs rotating in the air and starts teleporting around while leaving afterimages and firing red energy balls. The heroes must get close and strike her repeatedly.
If they do not manage to strike her as many times as there are orbs rotating before said orbs gather into one, they will unleash a powerful attack, which depends on their colour: Either a fire blast, a lightning bolt or a giant sword.