|“||In the year 2035, a new master will come to the castle, and he... will inherit ALL of Dracula's powers.||„|
|~ Graham Jones' self-serving prophecy.|
Graham Jones is the main villain of the Castlevania game Aria of Sorrow. He is the disturbed leader of a popular religious cult, who persuaded himself to be Count Dracula's reincarnation and sets out to become his successor, only to be defeated by Dracula's real reincarnation, the primary protagonist Soma Cruz.
|“||Relax. My name is Graham. Let's just say... I'm a missionary.||„|
|~ Graham Jones|
Dracula was defeated for good by Julius Belmont in august of 1999, after an all-out conflict involving a coalition of armies and many priests during which the Castlevania was sealed in a solar eclipse, ending the Count's cycle of resurrections. However, Dracula was to reincarnate and a few people born the very day of his last defeat inherited some of his Dark Powers: Graham Jones, Dmitrii Blinov and Dario Bossi.
Graham used his power to establish a cult, which grew in influence over the years. He preached about Dracula's last defeat and prophesized that during the first solar eclipse of the century, Dracula's reincarnation would rise as the new King of the Night.
|“||I was born on the very day that Dracula was destroyed... So, in short, that means that I AM Dracula!||„|
|~ Graham Jones summing up his delusion.|
Graham appears at first glance as someone refined, courteous and friendly; yet ambitious, self-righteous and prone to murder those he regards as hindrances. Contrary to Dracula, he has no hostility towards mankind, but it is obvious that he seeks his throne for malevolent purposes, very likely world domination.
At second glance however, Graham comes out as a rather pathetic big bad wannabe. He suffers from severe cases of delusions of grandeur and paranoia, as well as a twisted messiah complex; all linked to his obsession of being Dracula. When he sees no obstacle in his way, Graham welcomes people within the Castlevania as his guests. But as soon as he realizes that Soma has closer links to Dracula, he comes to regard him as a rival whom he must get rid of immediately.
Despite Soma's clear, repeated statements that he has no interest whatsoever for Dracula's throne, he reacts like most paranoid people do: perceiving a threat where there is none and being unable to stand the existence of a contradiction to his own vision of the world. When he gains control of the Castle, he comforts himself in his belief that he really his Dracula and that Soma's power is but a coincidence. Yet he still cannot admit that someone else could wield Dracula's power and regards it as an affront, resolving to kill Soma to prove his superiority.
Powers and Abilities
Graham inherited some of Dracula's power, but to what extent is not known, since he only uses magic after absorbing most of the Castle's power. It can be guessed that he inherited the ability to master black magic and demonic rituals.
After absorbing power from the Castlevania, he becomes able to control the monsters, to float, to teleport and to use Dracula's signature attacks. He even becomes able to assume a mightier form, though he summons demons to fuse with rather than transforming into one like Dracula did.
In the Game
Because of the day of his birth and his powers, Graham convinced himself that he was Dracula's reincarnation. Knowing about the Castlevania's location, he waited for a solar eclipse to enter it and claim what he regarded as his legacy. However, when that day arrived in 2035, the Castle which was seeking a new lord sensed Soma Cruz's connection with Dracula and transported him and his friend Mina Hakuba within its walls.
Since the Castle's demonic influence would eventually prove fatal to Mina, Soma set out to find an exit, and discovers in the process that he wields the Power of Dominance: one of Dracula's primary powers, which absorbs the soul and the powers of those whom he defeats.
Graham and Soma eventually meet when roaming the Castlevania, both looking for the Throne Room. (Graham so that he could take over the Castle, Soma so that he could get out.) At first, Graham greets Soma amiably, telling him more about Dracula, the Castle and its upcoming heir. Later, Yoko Belnades (descendant of a clan of powerful magic-wielders) attempts to stop Graham's goals but he stabs her in a rage and departs when Soma enters the scene.
Graham meets Soma again a while later. He explains his beliefs about being Dracula, and suddenly notices that Soma wields the Power of Dominance and controls the souls of many monsters. Not believing this, he takes his leave, determined to take control of the Castle before Soma.
Graham eventually reaches the Throne Room and manages to absorb most of the Castlevania's dark power, increasing his own to an incredible extent. This comforts him in his delusion and he convinces himself that he has truly become the King of the Night. He later confronts Soma and attacks him under a futile pretext, but he stands no chance against the real reincarnation of Dracula and ends up killed.
|“||The souls of MY demons are under YOUR control. Can I forgive such a crime? NO! NEVER! You're guilty of grand theft. Therefore, I sentence you to death. And as a special treat, I myself will deliver the punishment!||„|
|~ Graham Jones to Soma Cruz.|
Graham is considerably powerful but he can be defeated without major problems if Soma proves cautious enough. Graham hovers over the ground and fights in the exact same fashion as Dracula, teleporting in and out and using the Count's two signature attacks: "Hellfire" (three fireballs that spreads outwards, that must be struck or jumped over) and "Dark Inferno" (several spheres of dark energy at variable height that must be jumped over or ducked under).
Graham can only be harmed when struck in the head, but Soma can strike him several times before he teleports away. Using weapons that strike diagonally enable Soma to wound him without jumping, and as such to score more hits. After a while, he starts appearing in the center of the room and using "Dark Inferno" to send three dark spheres rotating outwards around him. Soma must use long-range attacks or strike after he sends the spheres away.
Graham later fuses with a gigantic figure, consisting in Siamese androgynous demons linked through their eyes and their innards, with eyes on the back of their large clawed hands. Graham attacks continuously with very damaging claw swipes, while a ring of skulls hovers over it and fires a devastating lightning blast.
Soma must target Graham's human body, located on the common heart of the Siamese demons. Once again, using weapons that strike diagonally is a better choice. It is advised to use a sword large enough to reach him while Soma is crouching, and keep this position to avoid the claw swipes, while gliding away whenever he unleashes his lightning blast.
If Soma defeats Graham normally, he will manage to exit the Castle without troubles and the game will end. If on the contrary he battles the deranged missionary with the Succubus, Fire Demon and Bat Souls equipped, (representing Dracula's powers to drain life, control Hellfire, and turn into a bat-like demon) the Castle will recognize Soma as its true heir and transfer all the powers absorbed by Graham to him, pushing him dangerously close to becoming the new King of the Night.
To avoid this gloomy fate, Soma must enter the Chaotic Realm, the demonic dimension where Evil and human malice gathers, that only Dracula can enter. There he has to fight Chaos, the core of all evil which was formerly personified by Dracula. If Soma loses to Chaos, he will become the new Evil Incarnate, if on the contrary he manages to defeat it, he will manage to exit the Castlevania with Mina and his friends.
- Graham Jones' first name comes from the popular American televangelist Billy Graham. This is an allusion to the charismatic exterior he presents to the outside world.
- Graham is based on Jim Jones, the creepy cult leader and mass murderer who founded a sect called the People's Temple, before leading all his followers to commit suicide together in the jungles of Guyana in 1978. This is an allusion to his true, twisted nature and his false promises of grandeur to his cultists.