In Irish and Celtic mythology, the Dullahan (or Gan Ceann, "without a head" in Irish) was a type of unseelie (dark) fairy, often represented in the form of a headless man riding a black horse and carrying his own head in his arm, which he often used as a lantern to light his way, and sometimes as a ball to indulge in macabre ball games. His eyes would be massive and darting, while his mouth would constantly display a frightening smile touching both sides of his face.
The ancient Irish believed that when a Dullahan stopped riding, a person would die. He would call out the victim's name and kill them by taking away their soul. The only way to be saved would be to present him with gold. Being scared by the material, he would flee.
This monster inspired the famous Headless Horseman from the 1820 Gothic novel The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, who would track down Ichabod Crane at the end of the story, as the latter leaves the village of Greensburgh.
Dullahan's appearance changed with the games. He is sometimes seen riding a horse or wielding a shield.
He first appeared as a rapier-wielding headless skeleton in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (called the Headless Hunter). This form was used again in Super Castlevania IV, where his skull (or an unsuitable one) is carried in one arm. In Symphony of the Night, translated as Dhuron, he gained the ability to raise his sword in the air and have it charged by electricity, making him more dangerous.
In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, he appears as a regular armor without a head, armed with a sword and a shield with a face on it that breathes fire. This sword and shield armored version returned as a boss (although now decorated with some furs and a red coat) in the subsequent Curse of Darkness, Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade and Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II.
There are a few differences between all four of these versions of Dullahan, however. Dullahan in Lament of Innocence had a normal silver sword and his shield was decorated with a face. In Curse of Darkness, Dullahan's sword and shield are glowing and purple, and as stated before, he wears furs and a red coat and is much more agile. The Arcade version of Dullahan looks much like in Lament of Innocence but lacks a shield. Pachislot II's Dullahan looks like the Dullahan from Curse of Darkness, but with no shield, a different sword and riding a horse.
This enemy first appeared as a boss in Rondo of Blood, where it is shown as a ghostly knight wearing heavy armor with no helmet and armed with a giant lance. Its zombie-like head floated about the room. This style boss returned in Dracula X and Portrait of Ruin.
Dhuron is encountered as a lesser enemy in the Long Library. It is a purple skeleton wielding a rapier in one hand and his own head in the other. He only uses his sword to attack, although he can also cast a lightning bolt on his sword to boost its attack strength and strike faster at Alucard (his sword will be shining and its power doubled from 15 ATT to 30 ATT in the powered-up state).
- See also: Dead Warrior
In Circle of the Moon, Dullahan rides half of an undead horse that is missing its hind quarters. He holds his sword above his head while charging back and forth. His design, including garments and a cape, is reminiscent of the Headless Horseman.
Dullahan is fought in a large square room in the Infinite Corridor, the walls of which are covered in alcoves containing heads in glass boxes.
The enemy himself a large suit of armor, with a fur-lined neck and red coat. He wields a glowing purple sword and a glowing purple shield. Both armaments are covered in ghostly purple human faces and the sword emits a trail of what seems to be souls.
He will attack using sword slash combos and shield rushes. He will occasionally leap into the air and slam his sword into the ground, emitting several shockwaves. It can be stolen from when he is in the air and just after he hits the ground.
He also has two charged up attacks:
- He will hold his sword outwards above his head with both hands, where it will emit a blue glow from the tip and slam it into the ground, surrounding himself in a damaging blue aura.
- He will charge his sword pointing straight above his head, where several blue rings with appear around the sword, and swing it down, firing a laser out of the tip. Dullahan will spin around to cover the whole room with the laser.
Dullahan is the first boss in the game; he is a gigantic, headless knight who has his head floating around him. If the head attaches to his body, it will unleash a series of heavy damaging dark energy rays, each aimed to the player's current position and with slight homing capabilities. After he vomits about five of these, the head will detach and float about again. Damage can only be done to his body, whilst attacking his head will have no effect.
Concept art for a skeletal Dullahan boss was provided on the website for the game, although the boss did not make it into the final version of the game.
- Dullahan Battle Video - Nico Nico Douga video (registration required)
- Another Dullahan Battle - Nico Nico Douga video (registration required)
The headless Dullahan appears mounted on a horse and armed with a sword in Pachislot Akumajō Dracula II. In order to be defeated, he must first be knocked off of his horse and then slain.
Dullahan looks like he did in Portrait of Ruin. He is not a boss, but an advanced enemy. Instead of his body being vulnerable and head invincible, it is the opposite; his head being the only weak spot and his armor invulnerable.
Dullahan appears as a boss in Grimoire of Souls. He appears way bigger than previous appearances and retains his appearance from Portrait of Ruin, which is implied to be the result of the Grimoire text it occupied being rewritten to such an extent that it became abnormally powerful due to Hermina's meddling. Because of this, Jonathan Morris was left in danger of being killed by it (and indirectly endangering the catalogue version of Charlotte Aulin, thanks largely to her ties to the era the Grimoire represented).
- See: Dullahan/Enemy Data
|Item Data: Dullahan|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Tanned leather cuirass|| Body (Body Armor)|
| DEF +2|| Find: Alchemy Laboratory|
|Long bladed sword|| Short Sword (Rapier)|
| Attrib: Cut|| ATT +5|| Drop: Armor Lord, Dhuron|| Special: ↓↘→ + [Attack] for repeated strike (ATT = 15)|
|Plate armor made of platinum|| Body (Body Armor)|
| DEF +150|| Drop: Dark Armor, Dullahan, Holy Armor|
|The legendary Thunderbird is said to have been able to release lightning. Has the power of Electricity.|| Attribute Card|
| Attrib: Electricity|| Drop: Were-Panther (1.1%), Dullahan (1.4%)|
|If you use it, you will be taken to the front of Rinaldo's house.||Leon Belmont|| Buy: $200 Find: Castle Entrance, Rinaldo's Shop|
|1000 years old, millennium vintage.|| Recovery Item|
| HP +80|| Drop: Axe Knight, Dullahan|
|A crystal that glows a strange purple. Very rare, said to fall from the sky.|| Material|
| Steal: Dullahan Lv.49|
|All stats increased.|| Pick-Up|
| ATK +5, DEF +5, HP +50, Hearts +5|| Find: Aiolon Ruins, Dracula's Castle|
Drop: All bosses, excepted Isaac's second fight, Death and Dracula.
Conditions: Item disappears if the player does not pick it up before leaving the Boss Room.
|Spring off partner's shoulders to jump again in midair.|| Relic|
| Find: City of Haze|
|A powerful rapier glyph.|| Glyph|
| Attrib: Slash|
Consume: 10 MP
| ATK +11|| Drop: Dullahan (10%)|
|Standard breastplate made of iron.|| Chest (Body Armor)|
Soma, Alucard, Jonathan, Julius, Richter
| Attrib: Lightning -25|| DEF +6|
| Rarity: **|
|Unleash a vengeful spirit.|| Bullet Soul|
|Consume: 15 MP|| ATK +12|| Rarity: ***|
Steal: Dullahan (2.8%)
- The Dullahan-type enemies from some Castlevania titles bear an uncanny resemblance to the "Headless Horror", an enemy from the 1988 mythological-themed, side-scrolling fighting game Altered Beast. In Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, a similar enemy was introduced, known at the time as the "Headless Hunter". The similarities go as far as portraying him holding his skull in one hand and attacking with the other (although in the Castlevania games he was given a rapier). His clothing, however, is almost identical, consisting of an old and ripped purple robe.
|Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade|
|Vampire Hunter - Lady Gunner - Little Witch|
|Death - White Dragon - Dullahan - Minotaur - Water Dragon - Were Wolf - Harpy|
|Ruins - Palace - Underground Waterway - Ramparts - Clock Tower|
|Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX|