|“||It will be a nice prelude to defeating Walter. I'll beat you to a pulp!||„|
|~ Joachim before fighting Leon|
Joachim Armster is a Vampire Knight in the Castlevania game Lament of Innocence. He was sired and enslaved by Dracula's predecessor Walter Bernhard, whom he yearns to overthrow. Walter threw him in jail and uses him as an obstacle against the primary protagonist Leon Belmont. Joachim is notable for being the first and only villain of the series that can be played in a mainstream game. (Not counting Albus and the Lecarde sisters, both redeemed anti-villains.)
Joachim was turned into a vampire by the Vampire King Walter Bernhard, wielder of the powerful Ebony Stone and ruler of the Forest of Eternal Darkness. Whether he was already a swordsman with psychic powers back when he was human, or if he gained his abilities upon transforming is never explained. It can be guessed that he fought in the Crusades, like Leon before him. Some sources state that Walter lured him with the prospect of immortality.
Joachim was at first one of Walter's top henchmen, but he grew to covet his lord's throne for himself and eventually attempted to kill him and usurp his kingdom. Walter easily defeated him, but rather than killing him, he threw him in a cell blocked off by waterfalls without feeding him with blood, to make sure that he would not escape since running water is like acid to undeads and unholy beings. Walter then made Joachim one the five guardians that must be defeated to reach his throne room, to keep using his might for his own gain.
Joachim is prideful, boastful, power-hungry, violent, vindictive and revengeful. He hates serving under someone and deeply resents his defeat at the hands of Walter, being unable to cope with the fact that someone surpasses him and jealous of his ownership of the Ebony Stone. Judging from his interaction with Leon, he appears to dislike small talk and being reminded of his failures, but to greatly enjoy battles and bloodsheds. He has a low opinion of humans and expresses disbelief when bested by one. Nevertheless, he displays a code of honour by staying true to his words.
Powers and Abilities
Joachim is a highly powerful fighter. Given the challenge he presents when greatly weakened by thirst, one can only imagine how formidable he would be at his peak. He is an expert swordsman, hinted to be able to wield several swords at once.
He also has tremendous psychic powers, which mostly manifest by his ability to levitate and to make his swords fly around him, so as to send them to attack his foes at high speed from many sides. He is also able to attack with blasts of psychic energy of variable size and might. Finally, he displays impressive feats of magic, though whether they are linked to his psychic powers or his vampiric nature is unknown. He can create crystals that generate a defensive barrier around him, or to warp his swords through wormholes, among others.
Joachim spent many years in his cell, starving and craving for revenge. One day, Walter kidnapped a noblewoman named Sara Trantoul to lure her fiancé Leon Belmont in a cat-and-mouse game for his entertainment. Leon fought his way through Walter's castle and eventually reached Joachim's cell. The Vampire Knight attempted to kill Leon and drain his blood, in order to gain enough strength to break free from his cell and take revenge on Walter, but he got defeated and died, lamenting that if he had had the legendary Crimson Stone, he would have been powerful enough to defeat Walter.
Joachim is a highly powerful and dangerous enemy, who hovers over the ground surrounded by five swords which levitate around him. Leon must destroy the three crystals located in the room to lower Joachim's defence, and attack him as much as possible before he recreates the crystals.
Joachim will attack by striking with his swords, by making his swords whirl around him, by hurling two swords like boomerangs, by hurling his five sword at once, by repeatedly teleporting all his swords all around Leon, and by making streams of fire, multiple stalagmites of orange energy or blue energy blasts erupt from the ground. Joachim is vulnerable to attacks of the Ice Element.
Despite being a villain (albeit an arguably sympathetic one), Joachim can become a playable character. The game is more difficult using him instead of Leon, because he is physically frailer and is unable to carry healing items. However, he is fast and he can send his levitating swords in formations and use a wide array of very powerful attack spells.
Finishing the game with Joachim triggers a non-canon ending in which he becomes the new Lord of the Castle.