Ortega is a major antagonist in the Castlevania game Legacy of Darkness. He is a beast-man and the former childhood friend of the protagonist Cornell, who sold his soul to Count Dracula out of bitter jealousy.
Ortega is a lion type beast-man with extreme pride and craving for might, which led to his downfall. He has a strong superiority-inferiority complex, being very confident yet very insecure, and unable to admit being second to someone. He willingly, although pushed by jealousy, sold his soul to Dracula for the sole purpose of beating Cornell in battle.
Dracula's influence vastly amplified his negative traits, to the point of betraying his entire kind to the King of the Night. He is condescending and patronizing, however, when defeated he comes to realize the errors of his ways and expresses guilt for his crimes.
He is strong enough to effortlessly lift up the Castle's portcullis with one hand, and he can transform to a humanoid lion, the same way Cornell can turn to a wolfman. But he never fights under this aspect, which is but a transition towards his full transformation. Whether he shares Cornell's power to fire energy blasts is unknown, but likely.
Ortega is from a tribe of beast-men able to turn into powerful were beasts. (They seem also able to communicate with beasts and to summon beast-spirits through talismans.) Long ago, they sealed their powers to live in harmony with humans but sometimes the seal could break, forcing them all into their beast form in a state of feral rage.
One day, the seal broke and the out of control beast-men attacked and destroyed a nearby village, killing everyone within save from a baby girl named Ada. Overcome with grief and sadness, Cornell took Ada in and raised her like his sister, giving her a talisman to protect her in case the seal would break again.
Ortega and Cornell were best friends and rivals since childhood and underwent an arduous training in martial arts to become soldiers for their tribe. However, Ortega was jealous of Cornell's superior skills, leading to frustration and resentment over the years.
When Cornell became able to control his beast-man transformation and power through intensive aesthetic training, Ortega's jealousy reached its peak and he challenged Cornell to a battle. However, without beast-man powers he was no longer a match for his friend, who effortlessly defeated him.
Ortega went to the Castlevania, which had been risen by Death, Actrise and Gilles de Rais in order to resurrect Dracula. Dracula easily broke the seal keeping away Ortega's beast-man powers, and vastly increased it.
In exchange, Ortega became a servant of the Count and led Dracula's forces towards the beast-men's village, where they slaughtered most of the population and abducted Ada. Ortega knew that Cornell would follow Ada's scent to the Castlevania and storm it to rescue her, and he counted on it to challenge his former friend and prove his superiority.
In the Game
Ortega hid Ada from Dracula's servants in the Castle's Clock Tower as a bait and greeted Cornell when he entered the Castle, revealing that he was behind the attack.
As Cornell fights his way through the Duel Tower, he is forced to fight the survivors of his tribe, locked into their feral beast forms and turned into mindless killing machines by Dracula. Ortega ambushed Cornell atop the duel tower and forced him to fight a giant wolfman, another of their fellow beast-men whose power was brought to its fullest potential, to show him what would await him when they would do battle.
- The giant wolfman, known by fans as the Warewolf, is very slow but very resilient and uses powerful attacks. The battle takes place on a small platform surrounded by red-hot iron railings, hindering Cornell's movements. If Cornell falls on the railings, the heat gradually depletes his life-points. The Warewolf attacks with strong uppercuts, which it can infuse with electricity and which likely send Cornell onto the railings; with a body slam that Cornell must dodge to get behind the beast and strike its vulnerable back until it gets back up; and with a sonic shockwave which it telegraphs with a menacing roar.
Ortega awaits his former friend on the terrace atop the Room of Clocks and tells him that he disobeyed his lord to settle their score, being unable to forget the humiliation of his last defeat. He uses his newfound power to turn into a huge chimera and attacks him.
Ortega poses a considerable challenge. He is very fast and is always behind Cornell, forcing him to keep the lock-on activated to avoid being taken off-guard. He glows a specific colour following the attack he uses:
When he glows blue, he either delivers a powerful claw swipe, jumps high in the air to trample Cornell or leaps towards him. (Later during the fight, when he glows blue and leaps, he catches Cornell between his fangs and shakes him violently, dealing crippling damages.) When he glows green, his dragon head breathes a stream of acidic fumes that deals high damage and poisons Cornell, which needs to be cured. When he glows red, he starts flying away and his eagle head releases rings of energy that confuse Cornell and revert his commands. (Cornell must head towards left to move to his right, or towards his right to move to his left.) This move does not deal damage but can hinder Cornell considerably. When wounded enough, he starts glowing yellow to either breathe a huge stream of fire, or send many huge fireballs rain from the sky, causing flames to erupt where they land.
Cornell needs to move constantly and to strike Ortega on his sides, so as to avoid his counterattack more easily. Having the two power-ups and lots of healing items are highly advised. Also do not hesitate to turn into a wolfman to gain better offence and defence.
When defeated, Ortega turns back to normal and apologises to Cornell, having understood at last that while he got mightier, Cornell's stronger and clearer mind made him indeed the worthier of them. He reveals Ada's whereabouts and throws himself from the terrace to his doom, to make sure that the power he could no longer control would not cause any more damage.