Elizabeth Bartley (エリザベート･バートリー Erizabēto Bātorī?, Erzsébet Báthory) is a character and boss in Castlevania: Bloodlines. She is the vampiress niece of Count Dracula and one of the main antagonists in the game.
In 1421, regal Countess Elizabeth Bartley was tried as a vampire and found guilty after being discovered kneeling over the body of a dead young man. He had two puncture wounds in his neck. It is uncertain the method by which her sentence was carried on, but the fact is that she was indeed guilty, and not only was she a vampire, she was the niece of Count Dracula.
Nearly 500 years later, in the ruins of a mysterious castle in Transylvania, an amateur witch by the name of Drolta Tzuentes cast a spell that inadvertently brought Elizabeth back to the land of the living. The resurrected vampiress was then bent with only one objective: to revive her dead uncle. For this end, Bartley had the Crown Prince of Austria assassinated, and thus led Europe into the chaos of World War I.
Elizabeth Bartley was executed in 1614, but resurrected 300 years later to seek revenge upon mankind. Her first recorded action was to start World War I by assassinating the Crown Prince of Austria in June, 1914. She planned to bring about the revival of Dracula by gathering the souls of the dead from the war. Between 1914 and 1917, Bartley transformed Eric Lecarde's girlfriend into a vampire, prompting the young hunter to seek revenge on her.
In 1917, the events that take place in Castlevania: Bloodlines, she attempted to stop heroes John Morris and Eric Lecarde from thwarting the resurrection of the Count. Her plan, however, ultimately failed, as she, and later Dracula himself, were slain by the two vampire hunters.
The heroes reach a luxurious chamber decorated with two statues that appear to be guarding a coffin that lies between them. A familiar figure will then show her face at last: Countess Elizabeth Bartley. Before even giving our heroes a chance to react, she quickly adopts (or summons) a gruesome form which immensely contrasts with her eternal youthful beauty: the gorgon Medusa.
Medusa attacks by spewing two fireballs that undulate across the screen, one high and one low; the player must position himself among the safe spots left by their trajectories. She will also breathe a stream of flames upward that will then descend near the ground; crouch to avoid taking damage. Next, she'll slither her serpentine tail and lash it in a whip-like manner all across the floor; perform a well-timed jump in order to avoid it. Between all of her main attacks, she'll slowly move forward, performing short lunges while swiping with her claws.
Once this form has been defeated and realizing that she's completely cornered, Elizabeth will be left with no other option than to face the heroes all by herself (unless the player is playing on Easy, in which case Elizabeth's death animation will play after defeating Medusa and the player will beat the stage). Her boss fight is rather unconventional, as she'll start by teleporting over her coffin and summon a number of elemental orbs that will then start circling, proceeding next to teleport to either side of the room that is farther away from the player and then command one of the orbs to transform into an attack themed after the element it portrays, whether it is magic, fire, lightning, or a very fast-traveling dagger which stands for physical damage.
To defeat her, remain near the center of the screen and hit her as soon as she materializes, forcing her to teleport to the other side of the chamber. Each time she's hit will make one of the circling orbs to disappear and her health bar to deplete a little. Keep doing this until all orbs are gone, at which point Elizabeth will teleport back to the center of her lair and conjure a larger amount of orbs.
Once her health bar has been completely depleted, the vampiress will finally succumb, with hellspawn flames engulfing her as she makes one final attempt to return to the safety of her coffin and shrieking in agony as her body explodes into a mass of blood that splatters all over her chamber, leaving behind only her lavish garments slowly floating down as the sole testimony of her ever existing.
- Main article: Elizabeth Bartley/Gallery
- Countess Erzsébet Báthory was an infamous serial killer, one of the most prolific female ones in history, who's thought to have killed up to 650 victims over her life, all young women. This, along with myths about her bathing in their blood to keep herself youthful, has led to her commonly being associated with vampires. In addition, the Countess was distantly related to the historic Vlad III Drăculea, but, contrary to the game's background, she was his cousin rather than his niece.
- Bartley's Japanese name, Erizabēto Bātorī (エリザベート･バートリー), is an antiquated way to render Erzsébet Báthory's name and was probably intended as a direct reference to the historical figure. The Japanese version also places Elizabeth's death in 1614, further reinforcing the connection, as this was the year of Erzsébet's death.
- According to an internal document shared by Konami's Chicago offices to Electronic Gaming Monthly as part of the prerelease of Castlevania: Bloodlines, the idea of Bartley being Báthory is brought up, giving her backstory up to her execution in 1614, including her marriage to Ferenc II Nádasdy and occupation of Čachtice Castle. Her executioner is stated to be György Thurzó in the document, while her relationship with Drolta is reversed, with the sorceress instead being the one who inspired Elizabeth to "torture her servants in the basement".
- The game states that Elizabeth had assassinated the Crown Prince of Austria to trigger the events of World War I. In reality, the crown prince, Rudolf, took his own life in 1889. It was his cousin, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 led to the war.
- In the fight against her, she either transforms into or summons Medusa, and is referred to as "Medusa" in the end credits of the American localization. The in-game animation is unclear as to whether this is a form she takes or a summon she performs, as the sprites are simply swapped out.
- Supporting the theory that Medusa is indeed Elizabeth under that form, is that when playing on Easy mode Elizabeth dies right after killing Medusa, as if Medusa was her all along, and when killed and losing her powers, she is forced to return to her humanoid form while dying.
- The color and uniquely dragon-like form of Medusa might be a reference to the historical Báthory's coat of arms, which featured a long, light-green dragon with a prominent claws (or fangs) motif and a long whip-like tail curled numerous times along it, very similar to how Medusa has hers in the game.
- Elizabeth Bartley was a planned character for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night but was scrapped.
- The lead female antagonist in the canceled game Castlevania: Resurrection, known as The Countess, may in fact be Countess Elizabeth Bartley; however, she was portrayed as Dracula's lover in that game, so this link is uncertain.
- Bartley's actions were indirectly responsible for the events of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (which is the direct sequel of Castlevania: Bloodlines), as her triggering World War I led to the deaths of Brauner's daughters and ultimately to his turning to villainy, and which in turn led directly to Eric Lecarde's death at the hands of Brauner and his own vampirized daughters, Stella and Loretta.
- In Castlevania Judgment, the bathing in blood element of her backstory is given to that game's version of Carmilla. They are likely separate characters, though. Eric's ending mentions "Dracula's niece" (Elizabeth Bartley), not Carmilla (who has no known blood ties to Dracula).
- Her name resembles that of her uncle Dracula's (Mathias Cronqvist) first wife, Elisabetha. However, it's unknown if there is any relation between both. More so, because other than Elizabeth's family relationship to Dracula and her date(s) of death, no other details are given.
- It's unknown the year when Elizabeth was born. The original Japanese version of Castlevania: Bloodlines states that she died in 1614 (the English version sets her death in 1421) and it's heavily implied that she was already a vampire by then, although it's unknown if by that time she had already surpassed the approximate lifespan of a human. Elisabetha, on her part, died several years before, in the 11th century, and it can be deduced that Elizabeth became a vampire after Mathias's own turning (whether Elizabeth's was by turning or by being born as such). Nevertheless, since Elizabeth's birth date is unknown, as well as if her father or mother was a sibling of either Mathias, Elisabetha or Lisa (Dracula's second wife), it's still plausible that both women could be contemporaries enough for the latter to have been named this way to honor the memory of Elisabetha.
- It must be noted, though, that Castlevania: Lament of Innocence came out several years after Bloodlines, and the choosing of name for Mathias's wife could have been either deliberate or merely coincidental, the latter without any intention of implying a reference between both characters.
|John Morris • Eric Lecarde|
|Elizabeth Bartley • Drolta Tzuentes • Dracula|
|Hellhound • Armor Battler • Wizard • Heavy Armor • Great Axe Armor • Golem • Snake Dragon • Gargoyle|
The Creature • Gear Steamer • Talos • Silhouette Demon • Princess of Moss • Death • Medusa
|Ruins of the Castle Dracula • Atlantis Shrine • The Leaning Tower of Pisa|
The Munitions Factory • Versailles Palace • The Castle Proserpina
|Akumajō Dracula X|
|Bestiary • Inventory|