Within Ecclesia lies the remains of Dracula, a nearly indestructible relic that if destroyed, will prevent Dracula's resurrection. Barlowe's research has resulted in Dominus, a weapon powerful enough to perform such a task, and Shanoa is tasked with its use. However, right before Shanoa prepares to do so, Albus, another of Barlowe's disciples, steals Dominus and flees. Barlowe then orders Shanoa to locate Dominus and bring it (and Albus) back, if possible.
In actuality, the Order of Ecclesia exists for the sole purpose of the resurrection of Lord Dracula, and the relic in Ecclesia is actually a seal to confine him. It is Barlowe's true intention to have Shanoa sacrifice her life with Dominus to resurrect the dark lord. In addition, Barlowe, after Albus refused to let Shanoa undergo the ritual due to realizing the cost toward her life, manipulated him by claiming he'll let him take Shanoa's place before sending him on what was ultimately a wild goose chase specifically to get him out of the way so he wouldn't interfere with the ritual. In the bad ending, after Shanoa finds Dominus, she uses it on the seal and dies, releasing Dracula. However, the results of this action are not shown and it is initially unbeknownst to the player that Dracula was actually resurrected and not destroyed (although Barlowe's true nature is briefly shown as Shanoa dies, giving the player a slight hint about what's really going on).
However, should you meet the requirements for the good ending (rescuing all the villagers), Albus will warn Shanoa not to use Dominus, and she ends up refusing Barlowe's will. Barlowe then reveals his true intentions: to kill Shanoa and use her sacrifice to free Dracula from the seal. He tries to defeat Shanoa and fails; however, he succeeds in awakening Dracula by sacrificing himself to undo the seal on the vessel containing Dracula's soul, with Shanoa implying immediately beforehand that Dracula possessed Barlowe to do so.
Although Barlowe at first seems to be calm, helpful, and even somewhat fatherly towards Shanoa, his true intentions and personality were revealed after Shanoa denied his orders to use Dominus to destroy "Dracula's vessel". In actuality, Barlowe is insane and quick to anger, believing Shanoa to be a traitor and praising Dracula as a god, to the extent that he would give his life to see Dracula reborn (which ends up being his demise). This is reflected by the fact that he is a dark-aligned enemy during his boss fight. Shanoa believed that he was just "another victim of Dominus", and this is supported by his Japanese description reading that Barlowe was driven mad by Dominus' influence.
- Magic mastery - Much like the members of the Belnades Clan, Barlowe controls Fire, Ice and Thunder, and uses them via his magic tomes. Barlowe can also fly.
- Superhuman strength - Barlowe displays inhuman strength, being able to punch Shanoa and send her flying. This is likely an effect of his magic mastery, which allows him to temporarily strengthen his punches by fueling them with magic.
- Glyph use - Although Barlowe himself believed Shanoa to be the only one able to use glyphs, after discovering Albus's ability to absorb them, Barlowe displayed the ability to use glyphs as well, particularly Globus. He also believed himself to have the power to master Dominus.
- It's possible that Barlowe, like Albus, was using an artifact to host his glyphs. Barlowe's books may have been the material focus that allow him to cast glyph spells.
If Shanoa does nothing during the training, Barlowe says to her:
- (Absorbing the glyph) What are you doing? Take in that Glyph.
- (Attacking) No need to hesitate. Attack me with that Glyph.
- (Absorbing the Glyph Union) The Glyph Union, Shanoa. Search your mind.
- (Go to the next room) We do not have time. When you are ready, go to the next room.
As the tutorial is finished, Barlowe says:
- I'm counting on you...
- Crouch down to check for treasures in the earth.
- Don't panic if an enemy flings you. Just jump or back-dash to regain control.
- You've always been a gifted warrior... Your latent talent has not lost its spark. I've faith in you; you will fulfill your role.
- In Castlevania's shadow, evil thrives. Its memory alone attracts foul fiends. To win, one must exploit their weaknesses. The skeleton, for one. He shrugs off ice, but fire devastates. And, of course, a simple, violent blow works wonders too.
- Poor Albus was a brother to you once. He genuinely cared.
- With Glyphs in both arms, alternate to launch a series of attacks. But know this too: The timing varies. Practice, and you'll see.
If aiming to get the good ending, Barlowe must be fought in Ecclesia as the game's ninth boss.
He flies around the room and tries to hit Shanoa with diverse spells. He may also cast Globus, being more prone to do it during the first half of the encounter. While it's also possible to absorb this glyph from a Demon Lord, it is much easier to steal it from Barlowe.
One of his attacks consists in surrounding himself in an electric barrier, followed by launching himself ricocheting through the room at great speed. One way to avoid this attack is by running to either edge of the room and double jump as he ricochets toward that side.
His next attack actually consists in two attacks that work in tandem with each other. First, he'll float in place slightly above the floor and drop a book, which as it makes contact with it will freeze the whole area. If Shanoa is standing on the floor as it is being frozen, she'll freeze too, which triggers Barlowe's second attack. He'll charge a large ball of electricity and shoot a bolt of lightning from it. While it is avoidable with rapid button mashing, it's also difficult due to the amount required.
His next attack consists in him floating high above the room while he takes out a book. He will start conjuring a spell which will engulf it on fire and then shoot several of these at Shanoa's direction. Only dodge those which are strictly necessary, as moving too much usually ends in one getting hit due to each book being launched at the current player's position.
When his health is low, he'll cry out "Die, Shanoa!" and teleport around the room to try and punch the player five times. Getting hit by this attack once, usually means receiving the following as they knock the player around. On an interesting note, he says something with each punch:
- How dare you...
- ...even forgetting...
- ...who raised you...
- ...stupid disciple!
This may imply that Barlowe considers his betrayal to Shanoa as if it was actually her who was betraying him, which also indicates that Barlowe was truly a madman as the description reads.
Barlowe is weak against Light based attacks (conversely to Albus, the previous boss, who is weak against Darkness), which makes Luminatio spells particularly efficient against him (especially Vol Luminatio, which has tracking capabilities, proving it useful against highly mobile targets). Wearing a Diamond Ring (or preferably two, as their stats stack), as well as Onyx Pins, will provide both an offensive advantage as well as good protection against him during the encounter.
Casting as many Universitas Glyph Unions (Light + Darkness) as possible at the beginning of the encounter will greatly weaken him, effectively shortening the overall length of the battle and slightly turning the odds in the player's favor. However, if the player is looking to steal Globus from him, it's then advised to use the glyph unions after successfully having absorbed the spell, since, as mentioned above, he tends not to cast it as frequently during the second phase of the fight.
|Item Data: Barlowe|
|Image||Name - Game
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Unleash an energy sphere.||Glyph
Consume: 50 MP
||Steal: Barlowe, Demon Lord
|Medal awarded for defeating Barlowe.||Item (Boss Medal)
|Sell: (cannot be sold)||Drop: Barlowe
Conditions: Defeat Barlowe without taking damage.
- For additional artworks, please visit Barlowe Artwork.
- Barlowe's in-game sprite seems to have been designed after the Priests from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. This is further supported since Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia draws many other gameplay elements from that game.
- Barlowe's true status as an enemy is foreshadowed in the tutorial when he tells Shanoa: "So armed, you can wield Glyphs against your foes. Imagine I am one of them, and strike!"
- On the English localization, Barlowe's enemy description says that his body has been turned into a vessel for Dracula. On the Japanese original, however, his description instead says that he has been driven mad by Dracula's influence, mentioning nothing about his body becoming a vessel to Dracula.
- However, just before Barlowe sacrificed himself to undo the seal on Dracula, Shanoa notes that she senses a different power emanating from him, implying that Dracula did possess Barlowe in his final moments.
- Elements of his character, namely his servitude to Dracula and being a madman, were also reminiscent of the character R. M. Renfield from the original novel. Also, like Renfield, Dracula ultimately ended up being responsible for his death.
- Should the player use the Dominus Glyph Union to defeat Barlowe, instead of him screaming in agony, he will simply appear standing beside Shanoa and say "Damn you for giving me trouble." before the Game Over screen appears. However, the game will register as if Barlowe was in fact defeated until the last save is reloaded.
- Michael McConnohie, Barlowe's English voice actor, also voiced Rinaldo Gandolfi in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence.
- Barlowe, as well as his and Ecclesia's true intentions of reviving Dracula, were referenced in Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, with it also being implied that Barlowe's actions led to the then-current leaders trying to suppress Ecclesia's history to cover up their mistake.
- His name is likely a reference to Kurt Barlow, the vampire from Stephen King's book, 'Salem's Lot.
- When he punches, he does it in a manner similar to the character Master Asia from the anime series Mobile Fighter G Gundam.