Castlevania Wiki
Advertisement
Castlevania Wiki

The Medusa Head is a recurring enemy in the Castlevania series. It is a monster created in great numbers from the head of Medusa.

Origins

Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini (1554).

The fact that the head of Medusa appears as an individual enemy, apart from Medusa herself, may stem from her legendary origin's story, where she was beheaded by the hero Perseus.

Since its ancient Greek origins to modern times, the head of Medusa has frequently appeared in art, superstition and even fashion. The gorgoneion was a special apotropaic amulet showing the Gorgon head, used most famously by the Olympian deities Athena and Zeus; both are said to have worn the gorgoneion as a protective pendant, and are often depicted wearing it. After receiving Medusa's head from Perseus, Athena placed it on her aegis (or her shield in other versions of the story) to imbue it with its power.

Mask of Gorgon Medusa (130 AD) from the Romano-Germanic Museum in Cologne.

Gorgoneia appear frequently in Greek art at the turn of the eighth century BC. In the sixth century, gorgoneia of a canonical "lion mask type" were ubiquitous on Greek temples. Apart from temples, the Gorgon imagery is present on garments, dishes, weapons, and coins found across the Mediterranean region from Etruria to the Black Sea coast. On mosaic floors, the gorgoneion usually was depicted next to the threshold, as if guarding it from hostile intruders. On Attic kilns, the gorgoneion over the kiln door protected from mishaps.

The Gorgon imagery remained popular even in Christian times, especially in the Byzantine Empire, including Kievan Rus, and was revived in the West by the Italian Renaissance artists.

More recently, the gorgoneion was adopted by Gianni Versace as a logo for his fashion company.

Description

Spawned from the hair of Medusa, Medusa Heads fly through the air in an attempt to ram into the player. They usually appear in areas where there is a hazardous series of platforms. They may also appear in games where Medusa herself is not present.

The standard Medusa Head normally flies in a wave-like pattern, usually making them hard to dodge, but aside from that they don't do anything else.

In Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, another variant was introduced. The Medusa Heads from this game home directly at the player, similarly to how Ghosts attack in other games, instead of flying aimlessly in wave-like patterns. Interestingly, the Ghosts in Simon's Quest are the ones which fly in a wave-like pattern and determining the spot where they appear according to the player's position on the screen, making both of these enemies exchange their usual patterns to some extent. The homing behavior on Medusa Heads has not been used as often as the original kind, making their most prominent appearances in Castlevania (N64) and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.

Another time when the basic attack pattern of the Medusa Head has been altered was in Castlevania: Bloodlines. In the last stage, Medusa Heads will start appearing while the player is attempting to cross a crumbling bridge. They enter from either the top or the bottom of the screen, stop in midair, and shoot a fast traveling fireball at them.

In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, a new gold-colored variant was introduced. Their behavior remained the same as the blue variant and had no impact on gameplay whatsoever, so they were just added for aesthetic reasons. However, since the release of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, they were given the ability to petrify the player on contact. This could be extremely dangerous as petrification could lead to landing on spikes or in front of other enemies. While this variant is often simply called "Medusa Head", it has also been called "Gold Medusa" on occasion.

Yet another variant was introduced in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, called the Gorgon Head. These also have the ability of petrifying the player upon contact; however, they will only appear after five of the other two kinds combined have appeared. Killing a Gorgon Head has a 100% chance of leaving a Fidelis Medusa glyph.

Summoning

In some games, the player is able to summon a Medusa Head, either as a quick summon or as a familiar. A Medusa Head (of varying sizes) will appear and usually shoot beams from its eyes which will induce petrification to any enemies they come in contact with.

Appearances

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Medusa Heads in Simon's Quest behave a bit different than those present in most of the other games in the series. They simply home toward the player, not unlike the way Ghosts used to do in the original Castlevania. Interestingly enough, Ghosts are now the ones who travel in a wave-like pattern, just like Medusa Heads did in the first game.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Gold Medusa Heads will not petrify Alucard if he has the Medusa Shield equipped. Instead, they will act exactly like the blue variant.

Castlevania (N64)/Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness

Medusa Heads materialize out of thin air in front of the player in certain areas. They usually appear whenever they are attempting to make a difficult jump over a hazardous area (such as poisoned water, spikes or lava), trying to make contact with them in midair and send them down to their untimely demise with just one hit. They display electric bolts around them while spawning, although the reason for this is unknown as they don't deal any kind of elemental damage.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

Only the normal blue-colored type appears in this game. Despite of this, they have the ability to petrify the player upon contact, a feature only Gold Medusas may have in the rest of the games.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

In addition to the standard and gold Medusa Heads, an exclusive gray variant appears in Order of Ecclesia, called the Gorgon Head. It appears in the Mechanical Tower and the Forsaken Cloister. This variant has the peculiarity that a single Gorgon Head will appear whenever five Medusa Heads have appeared in the aforementioned areas, regardless of type or if they were killed or not.

The Gorgon Head is more akin to the gold Medusa Head, as it causes petrification on contact. Another particularity is that the Gorgon Head has a 100% drop rate, and will always drop the Fidelis Medusa glyph when killed, which allows Shanoa to summon up to six Gorgon Heads (depending on the glyph's level) that rotate in a circling formation around her.

Akumajō Dracula: The Arcade

Medusa Heads will try to hinder the player's progress across narrow walkways in the Clock Tower.

Other appearances

Enemy Data

Main article: Medusa Head/Enemy Data

Item Data

Item Data: Medusa Head
Image Name - Game
Description
Type / Users Attributes / Consume Statistics / Sell Found Notes
Resist Stone Icon.png Resist Stone (jpn) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Resistance to stone [use] Medicine (Attribute Potion)
Alucard 
Attrib: Stone
Drop: Gargoyle (Saturn only), Medusa Head
Medusa Shield Icon.png Medusa Shield (jpn) - Symphony of the Night [edit]
Gorgon-Headed Shield Shield
Alucard 
DEF +1, ATK +13
Drop: Medusa Head
Effect: Projectile Block and shield attack
Special: Shield Rod Spell or Mablung Sword Spells (30 MP): Summon Medusa - Laser Attack
Wrist Band Icon.png Wrist Band (jpn) - Circle of the Moon [edit]
Cotton armband. Arm (Bracelet)
Nathan 
STR +5
Drop: Will O' Wisp, Ectoplasm, Gremlin, Spirit, Devil Tower, Bat, Medusa Head, Were-Panther
Hard Ring Icon.png Hard Ring (jpn) - Circle of the Moon [edit]
Defense increases while equipped. Arm (Ring)
Nathan 
DEF +50, STR -10, LCK -10
Drop: Stone Armor, Death Mantis, Medusa Head
Pendant Icon.png Pendant (jpn) - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
The kind of charm you can purchase anywhere. Goods
Juste Belmont 
DEF +1
Rare Drop: Medusa Head
Medusa Pendant Icon.png Medusa Pendant (jpn) - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
This pendant increases its user's resistance to petrification. Goods
Juste Belmont 
Rare Drop: Gold Medusa
Money Bag 3 HoD Icon.gif $100 - Harmony of Dissonance [edit]
Pick-Up (Money)
Juste Belmont 
Gold + 100
Rare Drop: White Dragon Lv2, Gold Medusa (doublepack)
Common Drop: Disc Armor, Skeleton Mirror, Spriggan
Blue Soul.png Medusa Head - Vector ZERO - Aria of Sorrow [edit]
Ability to stop in mid-air. Guardian Soul
Soma 
Consume: 10 MP/sec  Drop: Medusa Head
Guardian Soul.png Medusa Head - Vector ZERO - Dawn of Sorrow [edit]
Become capable of hovering in one location. Guardian Soul
Soma 
Consume: 10 MP/sec  Rarity: ***
Drop: Medusa Head
Medusa Whip PoR Icon.png Medusa Whip - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
A whip that can turn its targets to stone. Weapon (Whip)
Jonathan 
Attrib: Stone
ATK +30
Sell: $3,500 
Drop: Medusa Head
Effect: Enemies weak to the Stone attribute are petrified.
Spell PoR Icon.png Summon Medusa - Portrait of Ruin [edit]
Summon Medusa and activate the eye of petrification. Magic Spell
Charlotte 
Attrib: Dark, Stone
Consume: 25 MP 
Base Attack: 6/12 (Half/Full charge)
Drop: Medusa Head
Effect: Summons Medusa's head which shoots a petrifying beam in a wide arc.
Special: Fully charged: No distinct changes, besides raised damage.
Mirror Cuirass OoE Icon.png Mirror Cuirass - Order of Ecclesia [edit]
Mirrored armor protects the wearer from petrification. Body Gear (Armor)
Shanoa 
DEF +40, STR +8 MND +7
Find: Large Cavern
Drop: Gorgon Head
Effect: Resist Stone
Fidelis Medusa Icon.png Fidelis Medusa - Order of Ecclesia [edit]
Summon Medusa Heads in a strangely familiar pattern. Back Glyph
Shanoa 
Attrib: Stone
Consume: 80 MP 
ATK +1
Drop: Gorgon Head
Effect: Summons Medusa Heads.
Seven of Skulls - Encore of the Night [edit]
Card
Alucard 
Find: Castle Keep, requires Goggles (...)
Medusa Shield Icon.png Medusa Shield - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Gorgon-headed shield. Shield
Alucard 
DEF +3, ATK +1
Sell: $3,750 
Rarity: ***
Drop: Medusa Head
Guardian Soul HD Icon.png Medusa Head - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Gain the ability to hover in one location. Guardian Soul
Soma 
Rarity: ***
Steal: Medusa Head (0.6%)
Guardian Soul HD Icon.png R. Medusa - Harmony of Despair [edit]
Gain the ability to hover in one location. Guardian Soul
Soma 
Consume: 8 MP  Steal: R. Medusa (5.5%)
First Obtained: Chapter 10

Gallery

Main article: Medusa Head/Gallery

Trivia

  • In Medusa's first appearance, in the 1987 game Castlevania, she actually appeared as a large floating severed head (reappearing in this form in Lament of Innocence). It wasn't until later installments when she was given a full body.
  • Medusa Heads, Gorgon Heads and Medusa, are all ancient Greek female legendary creatures called Gorgons, despite the fact that in the Castlevania series the enemy called Gorgon is inspired by an ox-like mythological creature of Libyan origins.
  • Medusa Heads are infamous for knocking players off of platforms. They are often considered to be one of the most annoying enemies in video game history.[1]
  • Even though they don't make a true appearance in the Lords of Shadow games, they make a cameo on the carousel wheel in the Toy Maker's Funfair area in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate.
  • According to Greek mythology, the amphisbaena –a serpent with two heads, one on each end of its body– was spawned from the blood that dripped from the Medusa's head as Perseus flew over the Libyan Desert with it in his hand.

See also

References

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Gorgoneion. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Castlevania Wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Advertisement