Bat Form is the ability to transform one's body into a bat, acquiring with this the usual characteristics of these types of mammals, the most prominent being the ability to fly. This ability is mostly associated with vampire lore (which, depending on the source, only some races of vampires can develop). The most well known vampire character to employ this ability is without a doubt Count Dracula, who has been frequently portrayed in diverse forms of media as being able to transform his whole body into a bat; the Castlevania series being no exception, where he's usually seen turning either into a giant bat or, more frequently, into a colony of bats.
Alucard, Dracula's son, and Soma Cruz, his reincarnation, can take the form of a bat in many games. Alucard, being a dhampir, naturally possesses (or acquires throughout the course of a game) this ability, while Soma eventually develops it thanks to his power of dominance over souls.
- 1 Game specific information
- 1.1 Vampire Killer
- 1.2 Haunted Castle
- 1.3 Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
- 1.4 Super Castlevania IV
- 1.5 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- 1.6 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
- 1.7 Castlevania: Lament of Innocence
- 1.8 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow
- 1.9 Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
- 1.10 Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
- 1.11 Castlevania Judgment
- 1.12 Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls
- 2 Other appearances
- 3 Item Data
- 4 Gallery
- 5 Trivia
- 6 See also
Game specific information
Although not a true usage of this form, Dracula, during the second phase of the final battle, utilizes a variation where he spews a colony of bats out of the mouth of a painting in his likeness.
Although the player doesn't actually utilize this form, Dracula during the final battle transforms into a swarm of bats in lieu of his usual teleport ability, marking the first time Dracula is shown using this ability. He would later use it as an offensive attack separately from his teleport ability.
Alucard is able to transform into a bat in Dracula's Curse at any time by pressing ↓ and [JUMP] at the same time. Flying around as a bat allows him to avoid obstacles, although it consumes Hearts at a steady rate. Being hit by an enemy while in bat form will cause him to revert to human form; this can be very dangerous, as this ability is generally used for flying over big "bottomless" chasms which, if hit in midair, usually means instant death as Alucard will helplessly plummet down to his death if the player isn't able to transform back into a bat fast enough.
Although it is never utilized or encountered in gameplay, defeating Dracula will feature a scene where the room that he and Simon Belmont are in has sunlight pouring inside, with Dracula turning into a swarm of bats in a desperate attempt to escape, only to be trapped in the rays of sunlight and have the bats collapse one by one and die before combusting.
In Symphony of the Night, Alucard is able to turn into a bat once he finds the Soul of Bat relic. While in bat form, he will normally fly at a slow speed while consuming MP. The powerful Wing Smash, which causes his bat form to dash across the screen at high velocity while dealing out Hit damage, can be pulled off if the player knows the button combination (hold [JUMP] + ↑↖←↙↓↘→, release [JUMP]). The Wing Smash ability varies depending on the version of the game. In the PlayStation version and ports, it has a fixed duration and Alucard will automatically leave bat form after a short dash. The dash can be extended by re-inputting the command for the spell during the previous one, allowing a Wing Smash to continue until Alucard either hits something or runs out of MP. In the Saturn version, the Wing Smash won't automatically end and will continue for as long as Alucard doesn't hit something or run out of MP.
Alucard can gain additional abilities for his bat form by gaining additional relics, including:
- Fire of Bat: This relic allows him to shoot fireballs while in bat form.
- Echo of Bat: This relic gives him a sonar which will allow him to see what is ahead in dark areas.
- Force of Echo: This relic causes his sonar to deal damage.
If the Bat Familiar is out while in bat form, it will mistake him for a possible mate and a heart will appear over its head. Smitten, it will follow him much more closely, making it more useful. Also, additional bats will be summoned depending on the familiar's level (one additional bat for every 20 or so levels). If the Fire of Bat relic has been found, whenever Alucard fires off a fireball while in bat form, any bat familiars following him will launch a fireball as well. The bat familiar has no action to match the Wing Smash ability, however.
The color of the currently equipped cloak, as well as the customizable Joseph's Cloak, affects the color scheme that Alucard's bat form will take.
Soma Cruz can also take the form of a bat in Aria of Sorrow, where he can activate the Giant Bat's soul to do this. While in bat form, equipping the Flame Demon's soul (Hellfire) and the Succubus' soul (Death Touch), allows him to shoot fireballs; equipping the Bat's soul (Echo of Bat) allows him to use this ability; equipping both Blue Crow's and Red Crow's souls allows him to summon crows in rapid succession (although the limit of the soul is still considered).
Throughout the game, Soma can find three ancient books, each of which give a hint about a particular soul combination that has to be used at the Top Floor. Ancient Book 2 says: "The second spirit is the King of Bats."; if all three correct souls are equipped while dealing the last blow to Graham's first form, Soma will then be able to confront his second form, eventually accepting his condition as the reincarnation of Dracula; then the good ending become available to the player. Giant Bat is the only one of these three souls that is not a random drop, being granted after defeating Balore.
In speedruns, the Giant Bat Soul is used extensively due to how it affects wall-zipping mechanics in the game: Soma is pushed upwards when inside a wall in human form, while the Bat Form is pushed left or right. This allows for quick out-of-bounds navigation of the castle.
The Giant Bat itself is formed from a colony of bats when preparing to attack Soma Cruz. However, shortly after forming into the Giant Bat, it ended up suffering a premature end by being squished in Balore's hand.
Although the Bat Form is not an actual gameplay element used by the player, the ending of the game has Mathias Cronqvist turning into a bat after revealing he had turned himself into a vampire to spite God over Elisabetha Cronqvist's death and having Death dispatch Leon Belmont after the latter refused to condone his actions.
In Dawn of Sorrow, Soma can transform into a bat by activating the Bat Company's soul. Equipping the Flame Demon's soul (Flame Ball) allows him to shoot fireballs while in bat form. Soma is also able to summon a Fleaman while in bat form by activating the Fleaman's soul (Hopping Man).
Alucard could take the form of a bat in Dawn of Sorrow by selecting it as a sub-weapon.
Dracula in the third phase of his final battle will occasionally utilize this move to turn into a colony of bats.
- Main article: Owl Morph
In Portrait of Ruin, instead of a bat, Charlotte Aulin can change (or make Jonathan change) into an owl by casting the Owl Morph magic spell to fly around, which is essentially the same as changing into bat form in previous titles, although no extra abilities can be acquired for this form other than just flying to access hard to reach areas.
During the final battle with Dracula and Death, the former will occasionally transform into a swarm of bats, requiring Jonathan and/or Charlotte to jump high to evade the swarm. Close inspection of Dracula's Teleport ability in this game also shows that he splits into a swarm of bats while the teleportation beam is emitted and reforms into his body after fully teleporting.
The Giant Bat enemy occasionally adopts the Bat Form (more specifically, the swarm variation) during the boss fight against it.
Castlevania (animated series)
Some vampires are able to transform into bat form in the animated series. In particular, this ability has been shown for Alucard and Lenore. In both cases, the transformation is in the form of a bat swarm.
|Item Data: Bat Form|
|Image||Name - Game
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|He does have the power to transform into a bat and fly around. ()||Alucard|
|Transform into a bat and fly freely through the air. Gradually consumes MP.||Action
Alucard (requires Soul of Bat)
Transform into a bat and back: [ ]
Fly freely: directional pad
|Transform into Bat||Relic (Form)
|Find: Long Library
||Effect: Enables Bat Form ability|
|Shoot fireballs as Bat||Relic (Form)
|Find: Clock Tower
||Effect: Allows the Bat Form to shoot fireballs using the attack button. Also allows the Bat Familiar to shoot fireballs if it is equipped.|
Consume: 8 MP
||Sequence: While in Bat Form hold [JUMP] + ↑↖←↙↓↘→, release [JUMP]|
|Transforming into a bat gives you the ability to fly.||Guardian Soul
|Consume: 30 MP/sec||Find: The Arena
||Effect: One of the three souls that represent Dracula's powers required to continue the game after the Graham boss fight.|
|Transform into a bat and fly.||Guardian Soul
|Consume: 15 MP/sec||Rarity: 100% drop rate.
Drop: Bat Company
|Consume: 1 MP/half-second||Find: Starts with
||Effect: Transform Alucard into bat. Only available in Julius Mode.|
|Transform into a bat.||Relic (Form)
|Find: Long Library
||Special: Allows access to new areas.|
- In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the tail-like formation which the bat familiars take when following Alucard while in bat form is reminiscent of how Options follow the player's ship in the Gradius series.
- In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Gandrayda's character can take different forms during his fight against Samus Aran. One of them, the Swarmbot-G, looks like a bats cloud similar to Dracula's Bat Moon in Portrait of Ruin.