Actrise (魔女アクトリーセ Majo Akutorīse?, Witch Actrise) is a major antagonist in Castlevania (N64) and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. She is a witch who, alongside others, seeks the resurrection of their master, Count Dracula.
Actrise is a woman whose ambition lies in power and beauty (her own naturally). In an attempt to fulfill her wishes by gaining immortality, Actrise pledged herself to Dracula's service by slaying 100 children, among which was her own child. She became one of Dracula's lieutenants along with Death and Gilles de Rais, and together the three sought the resurrection of their Dark Lord. At some point during this time, she alongside de Rais also proceeded to vampirize J. A. Oldrey, thus forcing his family, Mary and Henry, to cut ties from him. During Cornell's infiltration of the dark castle, Actrise only appeared once to taunt the man-beast after the latter defeated de Rais in a brief duel, and also hinted alongside her ally that Cornell's man-beast abilities would make a worthy opponent for Dracula regarding the latter's goals. She appeared again only after Dracula had been defeated by Cornell. She was present in the throne room as Death sacrificed Cornell's wolf form in the ritual to revive their dark lord.
After Dracula was reborn as a child, the three lieutenants conceived a plan to stop the two vampire hunters who had come to investigate the dark happenings around the Castle. In order to stop the hunters, Death and Actrise each took to distracting and impeding their progress through the castle while Gilles assumed the role of Dracula. As a fellow practitioner of magic, Actrise pursued Carrie. She would offer the girl the opportunity to join her side, which was naturally refused. In a later effort to break the girl's spirit, Actrise had Carrie battle against another Fernandez warrior who had been turned into a vampire. After Carrie had climbed through the Tower of Sorcery and reached the top of Room of Clocks, Actrise confronted Carrie one last time. She shared her story with the girl of how she became an evil sorceress in the service of darkness. Actrise herself showed no remorse for her actions, yet Carrie felt only pity for the "pathetic" woman, which infuriated Actrise, also expressing irritation at how Carrie's appearance reminded her of her child before they died. Proclaiming to love nobody but herself, Actrise moved to the center of tower and challenged Carrie herself, vowing to gouge the girl's heart out and present it to Dracula.
In one last attempt to stop Carrie from reaching Dracula's throne room, she engaged the girl in a battle of magic. She used her dark magic to summon crystal shards in an attempt to impale her opponent. Actrise's vanity and over-confidence in her own power would unfortunately be her downfall. The witch proved to be no match for a descendant of the Belnades Clan, and perished by Carrie's hand. While dying, she could only express disbelief that she could even be bested in battle, ultimately being sealed inside one of her own magic crystals and then promptly shattering with her still inside (although not before revealing a bit of her true physical appearance). Actrise died never realizing that she was little more than an expendable pawn for Dracula's schemes.
Actrise's first priority is protecting herself behind a bastion of gems. The smaller crystals are easier to break than the larger ones, and should be destroyed first in order to attack her (the barrier of crystals reappears at a fixed interval). After receiving damage, Actrise will surround herself with a protective maelstrom of crystal shards. When she finishes summoning her primary shield, the shards will traverse the tower's top, demobilizing Carrie (until she takes damage) if she's in their path. Actrise's other attacks (all of which are magic-based) include:
- Summoning crystals that emerge from the ground where the player is standing (in Castlevania she summons crystals more quickly than in Legacy of Darkness).
- Shooting two, rather slow, homing bolts.
- Raining down two arcs of homing bolts onto the player.
- Ricocheting a homing bolt off of several stationary crystals.
- Magic mastery: Shaft can use many types of magic attacks, namely crystals and homing bolts.
- Vampirism: It is implied that Actrise is capable of turning people into vampires, since she was cited alongside Gilles de Rais as being responsible for Oldrey's vampire nature, and she also turned Camilla Fernandez into a vampire.
- Immortality: Actrise claimed that she had gained immortality as a result of her swearing allegiance to Dracula and killing over a hundred children, or more specifically, the infanticide of her own child. However, her defeat at the hands of Carrie and perishing shortly thereafter indicated that either Dracula lied to her about this, or that her immortality only extended to natural causes.
- Mary Oldrey:
- Yes, the vampire Oldrey is my husband. There was a man named Gilles de Rais and a woman, Actrise. They made him what he is today.
- Carrie Fernandez:
- I have the power to subdue Dracula himself. You had no chance. Dracula knows this. He used you merely to delay me.
- Quite a show there, lobo.
- It's all the crystal could contain, but it should be sufficient for the ritual.
- She has such power it is almost terrifying... only a child, but a true Fernandez.
- She was a Fernandez too, a warrior who came to fight the dark lord. We took her alive, and made her a vampire. [...] She had great spirit and struggled mightily against the curse. But now she is wholly a vampire, desperate for blood. Ha, what joy! Two cousins fighting to the death!
- It is a simple matter... sacrifice the lives of 100 children. I slew my own child to attain the prize of eternal life!
- Oh dear, you make me so sad... looking at me just as my child did... how pitiful! I love no one in this world other than myself!
- I will gouge out your heart as a gift to my lord!
- It can't be! You have defeated me! Me! Me!!!
- Main article: Actrise/Gallery
- Throughout both games, her name is translated as "Actrise" and "Actrice". Although the former is more commonly used, "Actrice" is more appropriate because it is the French word for "actress".
- Actrise's character art from Castlevania was drawn by Yasuomi Umetsu. Her costume and coiffure are not historically accurate: the dress is an amalgamation of later fashions; she would have worn a bonnet instead of a hat.
- Actrise's theme is the 18th track on Castlevania: The Original Game Soundtrack (released in Japan and Europe). The slightly dissonant music features a tinkling piano and bells; the sinister, disjointed nature of the composition is indicative of Actrise's simmering madness.
- When defeated, her face will turn monstrous; presumably showing her true appearance, having surrendered her soul to Dracula.
- Actrise's boss battle theme is the same one used by J. A. Oldrey, his female victim, Rosa, and Malus, or more specifically, his true form as Dracula.
- Although Actrise is known to be able to turn people into vampires due to her actions to Oldrey and Camilla, it's never indicated whether Actrise herself is a vampire.
- Given her use of crystals during her boss battle, as well as her status as a witch, it is possible that the Tower of Sorcery has some connection to Actrise.
Notes and references
- Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.
Mary: There was a man named Gilles de Rais and a woman, Actrise. They made him what he is today.
|Forest of Silence • Castle Wall • Villa • Castle Center • Room of Clocks • Clock Tower • Castle Keep|
|Tunnel • Duel Tower • Tower of Execution|
|Underground Waterway • Tower of Science • Tower of Sorcery|
|Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness|
|Foggy Lake • Forest of Silence • Castle Wall • Villa • Outer Wall • Art Tower • Tower of Ruins • Duel Tower • Tower of Execution • Tower of Sorcery • Room of Clocks • Clock Tower • Castle Keep|