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The entire Castlevania timeline explained

Since the release of the original game in 1986, the Castlevania series has become something of a cult sensation. The franchise spans multiple consoles, devices, and media, including animated television and comic book adaptations. Through the series, Konami helped establish the action-adventure gothic-horror genre and the Metroidvania sub-genre. Both styles continue to exert their influence on the industry.

Castlevania features over 15 titles, not including the many spinoffs and non-canon works it has spawned over the past three decades. Drawing inspiration from horror cinema and literature, the premise centers on the eternal feud between the monster-hunting Belmont clan and Count Dracula, who revives at least once a decade. Part vow, part curse, the descendants of the Belmont bloodline are forever bound to combat the immortal Lord of Darkness. With so many entries, the series' narrative can prove tricky to follow. We've laid out the key events of the main series released by Konami. This excludes the Lords of Shadow reboot developed by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions, as the games exist outside of the canonical timeline.

Sharpen your stakes. It's time to crash Dracula's castle.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Set in 1094, Lament of Innocence establishes the origin of the conflict between the Belmont clan and Dracula. The game follows Leon Belmont and his good friend, Mathias. When the vampire Walter Bernhard kidnaps Leon's fiance, the pair travels to his castle to rescue her. Leon saves his fiance, Sara, but fails to kill Walter. After discovering Sara is turning into a vampire, she sacrifices her tainted soul to create a weapon capable of stopping Walter — the Vampire Killer whip. 

Leon returns to the castle, slaying Walter with the whip. Mathias reappears at that moment, using an artifact to absorb Walter's soul and transform into a vampire. After revealing he'd orchestrated everything, Mathias escapes with his newfound power. For his betrayal, Leon vows that his kinsmen will use the whip to destroy Mathias one day. According to the epilogue, Mathias went into hiding, eventually becoming the legendary Dracula.

Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse & Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

In the centuries following the events of Lament of Innocence, the people of Wallachia, afraid of their supernatural power, drove the Belmont clan out of the region. By the year 1476, Count Dracula and his forces have ravaged much of Europe, plunging the land towards evil and darkness. Unable to combat Dracula themselves, the Church summons Trevor Belmont, the current wielder of the Vampire Killer whip, to defeat the count and his army. Trevor recruits three companions on his holy quest across Europe: Sypha, a witch; Grant Dynasty, a freedom fighter; and Alucard, Dracula's son. Together, they make their way to Dracula's throne room and destroy him. Their job done, Sypha settles down with Trevor, Grant starts to rebuild Wallachia, and Alucard disappears, heart heavy with guilt.

Curse of Darkness takes place in 1479, three years after Castlevania 3. Though defeated, Dracula's curse continues to corrupt Europe, spreading disease and violence. The game follows Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who worked for Dracula but betrayed him. When another Devil Forgemaster, Isaac, arranges for Hector's fiance to be burned for witchcraft, Hector takes up his old powers in a quest for revenge. This path leads to Dracula's unsuccessful reincarnation inside of Isaac before Hector defeats him and uses his powers as a Devil Forgemaster to break the curse.

Castlevania: The Adventure / The Adventure ReBirth

Dracula rises again in Castlevania: The Adventure, exactly one hundred years after his defeat at the hands of Trevor Belmont. Faced with the dark lord's return, Christopher Belmont takes up his family's sworn mission, braving Dracula's dark castle alone. The young hero fights his way through a host of traps and monsters before battling Death on the castle's ramparts. His servant vanquished, Christopher faces Dracula in his throne room. The vampire hunter returns the count to the afterlife, restoring peace to Transylvania once again. This single-handed victory turns Christopher into a local legend, a story passed down through future generations of Belmonts.

Konami released The Adventure for the Game Boy in 1989. In 2009, they launched a remake of the game titled Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth via WiiWare. As of March 26, 2018, you can no longer purchase ReBirth due to Nintendo's decision to shut down the Wii Shop Channel.

Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge

15 years after defeating Dracula and destroying his castle, Christopher Belmont holds a coming-of-age ceremony for his son, Soleiyu. As part of the event, Christopher passes the mantle of vampire hunter to Soleiyu, who inherits great magical power. Having waited for this occasion for over a decade, Dracula uses the last of his own power to twist Soleiyu's inheritance against him, turning him into a demon. Dracula assumes human form with the demon's aid and raises four castles from the earth with a hidden fifth castle serving as his new base.

Christopher fights his way through the four castles, defeating their demonic rulers and weakening the spell ensnaring his son. Entering Dracula's secret lair, he battles Soleiyu and breaks the dark lord's hold on him. Deprived of Soleiyu's aid, Dracula uses the spirits of the four castles to complete his rebirth, only to be defeated by Christopher once more. Soleiyu, recovered from the dark curse, carries on the family legacy.

Castlevania and Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest

Thanks to Christopher Belmont's bravery, Transylvania enjoys another century of peace until Count Dracula's resurrection shatters it in 1691. Following in the footsteps of his forebears, Simon Belmont takes up his whip and enters the dark lord's castle alone. Fighting his way to the count's resting place, Simon faces off against the vampire, destroying him and his stronghold.

This story is told through the original Castlevania game, which has gone through several iterations. Konami released Vampire Killer, a parallel version of Castlevania, for the MSX2 computer a month after the original game launched. Super Castlevania 4 is an updated remake originally published on the Super Nintendo. Similarly, Castlevania Chronicles is an enhanced port created for the PlayStation.

Set in 1698, Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest follows Simon as he seeks to undo a curse placed on him by Dracula at the end of the original game. To do this, he must find the five parts of Dracula's body and return them to the ruins of his castle. Along the way, he liberates several towns from Dracula's minions before fighting Dracula's ghost and breaking the curse.

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

By the year 1748, the Vampire Killer whip passes to Juste Belmont, Simon's grandson. After embarking on an expedition, Juste's best friend, Maxim, suddenly appears covered in wounds and missing most of his memories from the previous two years. Ignoring his condition, Maxim leads Juste to the place where he believes their childhood companion, Lydie, is being held captive. There, they discover a menacing castle.

The men split up to cover more ground. Each time they reconvene, Maxim's personality seems to shift. Through Death, Juste learns that two spirits inhabit Maxim's body. One is his original spirit, the other an evil double created when Maxim assembled the six pieces of Dracula's remains. After regaining more of his memories, Maxim confesses to being Lydie's kidnapper. Juste tracks down Lydie, who Death then abducts. After defeating Death, Juste searches for Maxim, picking up Dracula's remains as he moves through the castle.

Harmony of Dissonance has three possible endings based on the player's actions. In one, Juste must fight a possessed Maxim before fleeing the collapsing castle alone, unable to save either friend. In the second, Juste kills Maxim before Dracula's spirit possesses him and leaves the castle with Lydie, unharmed. In the third, Maxim resists the possession, allowing Juste to defeat Dracula in a weakened state. All three friends then escape the castle together.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood & Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

In the year 1792, Richter Belmont enters Dracula's castle to save his kidnapped fiance, Annette, in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. Fighting his way through waves of minions and monsters, he frees other captured women along the way, including a distant relative, Maria, who becomes a playable character. The ending, including Annette's fate, differs depending on how many women Richter saves. You can also defeat Dracula as either Richter or Maria, though both achieve the same result. Konami released an adaptation of Rondo of Blood for the Super Nintendo titled Dracula X. Another adaptation, Dracula X Chronicles, was released for the PlayStation Portable.

Set in 1796, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night takes place fours years after Rondo of Blood. Awakened from his slumber, Alucard, Dracula's dhampir son, returns to the series when Dracula's castle reappears and Richter goes missing. With the help of Maria from the previous game, Alucard finds and breaks the control spell on Richter before defeating his father. Alucard then vows to disappear. Depending on your earlier choices, Maria may or may not go after him.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Not wishing to remain reliant on the Belmont clan, the leaders of the world look for other methods to counter Dracula's power, founding several research organizations in the years after the dark lord's defeat. In 1862, Barlowe, the leader of the Order of Ecclesia, makes a breakthrough: Dominus, a triad of powerful glyphs capable of defeating the count. Barlowe chooses Shanoa, an order member, to serve as Dominus' vessel, but during the ritual, Albus, Barlowe's pupil, steals the glyph, and Shanoa loses her memory. 

Barlowe sends Shanoa to retrieve Dominus. She tracks Albus to a village, discovering he has kidnapped the locals to perform experiments on them. As she frees the villagers, she encounters Albus twice, who gives her two of the Dominus glyphs. After the third Dominus glyph possesses Albus, Shanoa fights and kills him, absorbing the glyph with his mind and soul. Through his memories, she learns he stole Dominus because he knew using it would kill Shanoa and that the villagers were the descendants of the Belmont clan. He'd hoped to use their blood to control the glyph, letting him defeat Dracula in Shanoa's place.

Shanoa confronts Barlowe, and he reveals his plans to use her to resurrect Dracula. When Shanoa defeats him, he sacrifices himself to complete the resurrection. Shanoa then faces the count, destroying him with the Dominus glyph. However, the power comes at the cost of one soul. Albus pays the price, letting Shanoa live on.

Castlevania: Bloodlines

In the year 1897, Quincy Morris, a descendant of the Belmont clan, dies after staking Dracula through the heart. Quincy's son, John, and his friend Eric Lecarde, having witnessed the battle, vow to continue Quincy's fight against evil. 20 years later, an amateur witch accidentally brings vampire Countess Elizabeth Bartley, Dracula's niece, back to life. Elizabeth, intent on resurrecting her uncle, carves a bloody path through Europe.

Either John or Eric can take up the quest, pursuing Elizabeth across the continent as she conducts the resurrection ceremony. Though John makes the more traditional choice, Eric has good reason to hunt Elizabeth, who turned his love into a vampire. The chosen hero fights their way through famous locations including the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Lost City of Atlantis before cornering Elizabeth at a castle in England. There they battle Death and the countess before defeating the risen Dracula himself.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

In the year 1944, the lost souls of those killed during World War II cover the globe. An ancient vampire, uses these souls to summon and take control of Dracula's castle. Stella and Loretta, twin vampires and his adopted daughters, join their father in his plot. Two heroes travel to the castle to face the new threat: Jonathan, son of John Morris, and Charlotte Aulin, a powerful mage. Though Jonathan wields the Vampire Killer whip, he cannot access its full power as he is not a direct descendant of the Belmont family.

After entering the castle, Jonathan and Charlotte meet a ghost who calls himself Wind. He shares his knowledge with them, acting as a mentor figure for Jonathan. In pursuit of their vampire foe, the heroes travel through a series of magical portraits created to control the castle's power. During their exploration, they discover Wind is actually the ghost of Eric Lecarde and that Stella and Loretta are his daughters. Charlotte uncovers a spell allowing her to dispel the twin's vampirism and saves them at Eric's request. Returned to their senses, Stella and Loretta help Jonathan awaken the dormant powers of the Vampire Killer whip, enabling Charlotte and Jonathan to defeat their sire, slay the risen Dracula, and release Eric's soul.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow & Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

In the year 1999, Julius Belmont destroys Dracula completely, ending his cycle of regeneration by sealing his castle within an eclipse. 36 years later, Soma Cruz, a transfer student visiting Japan, is pulled into a solar eclipse alongside side his friend, Mina. Within the eclipse they discover they've been transported to Dracula's castle. Monsters attack them and Soma uncovers his power to absorb the spirits of creatures he kills. Entering the castle, he learns he is a potential vessel for the reincarnation of Dracula's powers. With the help of companions he meets along the way, Soma fights off Dracula's influence and destroys the castle before returning with Mina to Japan.

Dawn of Sorrow picks up in 2036, a year after the events of Aria. Celia Fortner, a cult leader, attacks Soma, hoping to kill him and reclaim his power to create a new dark lord. Soma tracks Celia back to her lair, a copy of Dracula's castle, where he defeats two other dark lord candidates, Dmitrii and Dario. Soma chases Celia to the castle's center where she kills a doppelganger of Mina in front of him. Dmitrii's soul, previously absorbed by Soma, enters the doppelganger. Dmitrii absorbs the souls of several powerful demons, which transform him into a gigantic creature. Soma defeats the creature, once again rejecting the power of the dark lord and fleeing the castle with his friends.