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Offline TheouAegis

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I dunno, I still don't see it...
« on: January 13, 2021, 02:06:24 PM »
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So I just watched most of all Dracula battles throughout the series, including all the non-canon ones. Prior to Rondo, when Dracula explicitly says, "Grant me power!" before the demon appears, we never actually witness Dracula turning into a demon.

In CV1, he gets decapitated, his body explodes, and then there's suddenly a demon who, to be fair, resembles a stubby, deformed Pazuzu.

In Vampire Killer, presumably his soul is transferred into a painting with a glowing crystal embedded in it -- not a demon.

In Haunted Castle, his soul flies off-screen and then he returns as a giant bust of himself. This was what happened with Medusa originally -- in CV3, she had a full body, then by CV1 she was simply a head. It could be argued we see her alternate between full-bodied and decapitated throughout the series because she's constantly regenerating her power between games: she gets a body, loses it, fights as a head while her body recovers, gets defeated as a head, then goes back to her body which has had time to recover. Back on track, Dracula isn't a demon here either.

In the first Gameboy games, Dracula just turns into a bat, not a demon. In the third game, after Dracula is defeated, the screen flashes and there is suddenly a demon there. We don't actually witness Dracula turning into a demon.

We don't see anything in CV2, presumably because Dracula was too weak.

CV3 arguably has the first "verifiable" transformation into a demon, as this time his head stays on the screen while the demon appears. However - and this is why I put quotes around it - multiple heads then appear. There are many multi-headed demons in classic lore, including Judeo-Christian angels, that even spew bile like the creature in the second phase of the battle. Additionally, the Devilman series, which had been around nearly two decades by the time CV3 came out, has the demon Jinmen, which absorbs the souls of its victims and displays their faces on its body. But I acquiesce, taking into consideration the Haunted Castle battle, this second form could very well just be a hideous "bust" of Dracula. The third battle, on the other hand, I still refuse to accept was Dracula. It's very clearly Pazuzu, inspired by The Exorcist. CV1's final demon arguably resembled Pazuzu, but this one unarguably is Pazuzu. And again, we never actually witness Dracula turning into Pazuzu, it just appears out of thin air. Then of course, there is also the whole matter of Dracula being a sorceror who can summon demons, and not explicitly a vampire or even someone with demonic powers (yet).

CV4 has Dracula turn into a swarm of bats, which burn up in the sun. There is no demonic transformation at all.

RoB is the first time Dracula explicitly turns into a demon. Or rather, technically, he asks some entity to grant him power, at which point he turns into a demon. Or does he? Just before he pleads for more power, we see a dark, shadowy presence converge on him. So then does he actually turn into the demon, or does the demon consume him? I argue that throughout the series, prior to Castlevania 64, what we actually see is Dracula being consumed by demons who perceive him as too weak after the hero defeats him. DoS for once actually shows Dracula (Soma) turning into this demonic entity, but is he actually turning into the demon, or is the demon breaking out of him? Regardless, DoS takes place long after the other games in the series, so it warrants a separate argument...

Bloodlines arguably shows Dracula turning into a demon, but that game takes place much, much later chronologically than the others as well, as it's technically a relatively modern story.

The fact of the matter is the primary antagonists of the series have been trying to harness the powers of demons. Dracula was arguably the best of the group, in spite of getting his butt handed to him repeatedly. Just because someone tries to harness demonic power, it doesn't mean they themselves don't get overtaken by the demons. A person typically summons a demon, attempts to consult with it, and then if the person is too weak, gets possessed by that demon or murdered by its influence. The manuals and some of the haphazardly written games lead us to believe Dracula had full control over the demons he summoned, but looking at his boss battles, it seems evident to me that somewhere along the way he messed up big-time and got possessed by a powerful demon. Not to diminish Dracula's spiritual power, I think at some point, after being resurrected a few times or utilizing his influence over the demons (and Death), Dracula certainly could have eventually turned himself into a demigod. But all the evidence I've seen from the games taking place prior to RoB suggest to me that he was simply an astute practitioner of dark arts who got consumed by the demons he tried to control.
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Offline X

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 05:32:24 PM »
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I would argue that Dracula did in fact have control over the demons he summoned -However- after being beaten down by said Belmont hero and/or others, he loses control because he has been weakened and thus, is taken over. It would take a tremendous amount of power and disciple to contain such monsters within one's self, which of course we see Dmitri attempt in DoS but ultimately failed to do. Dracula was obviously able to to do this very well, but as mentioned before, once weakened he lost that control. I do believe in a CV1 interview it was stated that after Dracula's demise the curse was unleashed from his body and physically manifested into the monstrous creature we see during the second fight. And I do agree that by the time Rondo rolls around Dracula has gotten much stronger that he is better able to control the curse within himself to a far greater degree. The dragon-like beast he becomes at the end of Rondo is still Dracula though as Dracula is very much conscious but twisted in physical form. This is proven true when he laments his defeat at the hands of Richter.
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Offline JR

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 07:11:03 PM »
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To me, it's still mindblowing that the whole "curse of man" creature from CV1 wasn't Dracula, yet influenced a ton of transformations over the years.
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Offline zangetsu468

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 12:42:19 AM »
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To me, it's still mindblowing that the whole "curse of man" creature from CV1 wasn't Dracula, yet influenced a ton of transformations over the years.

To me it’s still mind-blowing that the only reason there was a CVII Dracula, was Simon not realising or stumbling upon Dracula’s Fang prior to burning his body parts on the altar.. 
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<[Judgement]>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                              
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                                 ^      l   v  ^    v     ^          ^   
            +<<<<<Legends>HC>OOS>LOD>64       ^
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            v                           l     BE>> * <<<BE    RE
            v                           l      ^               ^       ^
LOI>CVIII>COD>AR>BR>CVC>CVII>HOD>ROB>SOTN>OOE>BL>POR>AOS>DOS>>>KD
                                                                          v
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BE=Bad Ending
RE=Richter Ending

Offline comeau

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 12:11:20 PM »
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To me it’s still mind-blowing that the only reason there was a CVII Dracula, was Simon not realising or stumbling upon Dracula’s Fang prior to burning his body parts on the altar.. 
He wasn't aware of the exacts of how many Relics there were, right? That being the case, it doesn't surprise me that he'd miss one in the limited amount of time that he had before he would succumb to Dracula's curse. And even then, being that the Fang was hidden inside of the ruins themselves, it seems like a deliberate ploy on the part of Dracula's followers.

In any case, regarding the exacts of whether Dracula was subsuming demonic power to transform himself, or if he was being overtaken by them ... the most interesting points to me are the original lore details of the "pact with an Evil God", and how that plays into the finale of Castlevania III. Going off the Japanese translation, my initial impression of the phases of the fight were:
1) Regular old Count Dracula
2) Collapse of bodily integrity, transformation into a many-faced entity representing an amalgam of souls
3) Subsumption of/integration with the Evil God or its physical embodiment, the "Pazuzu" entity as referenced by the OP

Once you start looking at things through the lens of canon that was later introduced (specifically from the Sorrow series) and try to reconcile that with the earlier depictions of Dracula's magical abilities, that's when you run into the issue of whether he's being "overtaken"; or simply drawing more from the corrupting wellspring known as "Chaos".

Offline Super Waffle

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 01:40:34 PM »
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CV Dracula is a demon in the sense he's the first example of the "Demon Lord" archetype that's become prevalent in a lot of today's Japanese media.

Which means Dracula is an 80s precursor to this guy



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Offline zangetsu468

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 02:22:53 PM »
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This is another way to think of it. In PoR, once Death & Dracula’s first forms are defeated, Death says “My Power... Use my power!” Dracula then performs soul steal on Death to make his final transformation. Previously the power flowing to the throne room was blocked by Brauner, then presumably Johnathan heads to the Stella and Loretta, performs the ritual and heads directly to the throne room with Charlotte for the final boss fight. (i.e. not a lot of time in the real world passes between the Brauner fight>Death/ Dracula fight). One could make the argument that Dracula, rather than using his own surplus power, generally steals/ syphons it from numerous lesser demons when in desperation, the only exception to this rule being OOE, where he pulls an SFII Animated Movie Bison on Shanoa.... Even then, guess what move he uses (albeit a physical iteration).. Yep, “Soul Steal”. Go figure.

Without being too literal, I still see it as Dracula’s ‘demonic form’ where it’s physical appearance  is influenced by lesser demons (similarly to Menace in DoS). Only Dracula has much more dominance over this form, so did Soma in comparison with Dmitrii failing and accidentally creating Menace.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<[Judgement]>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                              
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                                 ^      l   v  ^    v     BE>>> VK<**   
                                 ^      l   v  ^    v     ^          ^   
            +<<<<<Legends>HC>OOS>LOD>64       ^
            v                           l              ^                ^
            v                           l     BE>> * <<<BE    RE
            v                           l      ^               ^       ^
LOI>CVIII>COD>AR>BR>CVC>CVII>HOD>ROB>SOTN>OOE>BL>POR>AOS>DOS>>>KD
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BE=Bad Ending
RE=Richter Ending

Offline JR

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 09:47:47 PM »
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To me it’s still mind-blowing that the only reason there was a CVII Dracula, was Simon not realising or stumbling upon Dracula’s Fang prior to burning his body parts on the altar..

Huh. Never knew about that one.
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Offline X

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2021, 09:04:04 AM »
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Dracula's fang was an unused component in Simon's Quest. However IGA once more took this to its literal conclusion and weaved a story behind its absence.
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Offline comeau

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2021, 12:08:32 PM »
+1
Dracula's fang was an unused component in Simon's Quest. However IGA once more took this to its literal conclusion and weaved a story behind its absence.
"Unused"? I'm aware that there's an unused inventory icon for it, but its apparent "absence" was explained by/in a Japanese guidebook written at the time of the CVII's Famicom release in 1987. As for storyline material written after Igarashi joined the production/direction of the series, I don't recall him doing anything specific with the Relics, aside from their inclusion in SoTN and Harmony of Dissonance.

Offline zangetsu468

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 04:00:53 PM »
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"Unused"? I'm aware that there's an unused inventory icon for it, but its apparent "absence" was explained by/in a Japanese guidebook written at the time of the CVII's Famicom release in 1987. As for storyline material written after Igarashi joined the production/direction of the series, I don't recall him doing anything specific with the Relics, aside from their inclusion in SoTN and Harmony of Dissonance.

Precisely. The game’s official story mentioned in this guidebook is pretty much a write-off in the west. There’s another old thread on this translating that the guide specifically mentions Dracula attacking Simon “with the fang”(the scythe-like projectiles which spin around the screen). The unused slot for the fang, the lack of traditional bosses, etc probably relates to the time and budget constraints, which in this case were baring their fangs.... (Bloody hell🩸).. added to the fact it would’ve been strange to have no final boss - however, given the rest of the game, it would made for an interesting ’best ending’ if Simon could’ve collected the fang in under a specific time limit (or something..)

Back to the og point, CV Curse of Darkness Dracula’s final form is shown in CoD’s bestiary. Given iga’s canon (not prior) it doesn’t make sense for CVIII Dracula’s second or final forms to not be him, given he was at the height of his power in CVIII(absorbed the souls of many vampires via the crimson stone and hadn’t died since LOI). Whether there is a process by which Dracula summons the souls/ power to transform into a ‘collective’ demonic entity, it’s still him. (CV1 is a bit of an odd one given the demon form looks odd, the music completely changes and the transformation process isn’t typical).

Specifically back to CViii, I think years ago I may have posted something regarding this(although memory could fail me) that the 3 forms of Dracula somewhat appear to relate to the 3 Glyphs of Dominus. The first form of Dracula using flaming pillars (Hatred), the second form Agony appearing as a legion/ whaling wall(spherical edition) perhaps resembling all of the souls he’s absorbed, with Anger being the last form. But it’s just a theory..... I’m not finishing this sentence for copyright reasons.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<[Judgement]>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                              
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                                 ^      l   v  ^    +<<<<<<<BE
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                                 ^      l   v  ^    v     BE>>> VK<**   
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            +<<<<<Legends>HC>OOS>LOD>64       ^
            v                           l              ^                ^
            v                           l     BE>> * <<<BE    RE
            v                           l      ^               ^       ^
LOI>CVIII>COD>AR>BR>CVC>CVII>HOD>ROB>SOTN>OOE>BL>POR>AOS>DOS>>>KD
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                                                                         BE>*  
BE=Bad Ending
RE=Richter Ending

Offline Shiroi Koumori

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2021, 11:53:52 PM »
+1
But it’s just a theory..... I’m not finishing this sentence for copyright reasons.

You made me laugh too much on that unfinished sentence.  ;D

Offline X

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Re: I dunno, I still don't see it...
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2021, 12:03:45 AM »
+1
*chuckle* nice one zangetsu468  ;D
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