Elizabeth Bartley (the incorrect romanization of Ersébeth Bathory) is a Vampire Lady and Count Dracula's niece, who serves as the central villain 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, which expand the story of the game Castlevania the Adventure set in 1576, the Bartleys are a noble clan of worshippers of Darkness, who take part in Dracula's resurrection.
Whether or not 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.
Elizabeth Bartley is an ancient and immensely powerful Vampire Lady referred to as Dracula's niece. Whether she was sired by him or became a vampire through other means is unknown though. What is sure is that she is one of his high-ranking followers. She might have been serving him for many centuries, and might have worked alongside Carmilla given that they were both involved in witchcraft at some point in the series' history. She served Dracula until she was captured and executed for vampirism in the early 1600.
Few details are given about Elizabeth Bartley's character. When she was born, where she lived and how she became a vampire is not even disclosed.
She seems to be very refined and dignified, yet very cruel and power-hungry. She earned one of the protagonist's staunch hatred for turning his beloved into a vampire and forcing him to destroy her, but she does not seem to think much of it, and while her motivation for it was unknown, it seems she was more interested in siring more servants than in antagonizing him.
Whether or not Elizabeth Bartley shares her historical counterpart's vicious sadism and gruesome habit of killing young girls to bathe in their blood is not known, but quite likely. (Story wise, it is Actrise who is a child murderer and Carmilla who bathes in blood.) What is sure is that she is a very intelligent and manipulative strategist who single-handedly caused World War I.
Role in the Game
Elizabeth Bartley is resurrected by the witch Drolta Tzuentes in 1914. In the Japanese version of Castlevania Bloodlines, Drolta resurrects her on purpose to serve her, while in the Occidental version Drolta is an amateur witch who resurrects her by accident. (Drolta is based on Dorottya Szentes, a servant of the real 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 the casualties was the girlfriend of Eric Lecarde, one of the games' primary protagonists.)
She took profit of the extremely tense political context and staged the murder of the Crown Prince of Austria, leading to World War I. She later used the souls of the victims of the war to resurrect Dracula, who in turn used it to spread his influence all over Europe, leaving the Castlevania in ruins to establish several bases in different countries, basing himself in Proserpina Castle in England.
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 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 dashing forward 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 the orbs gather into one, they will unleash a powerful attack, which depends on the orbs' elemental property: Either a fire blast, a lightning bolt or a giant sword.