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"The dark priest called Shaft, come to cleanse the world in the forge of chaos."
— Shaft introducing himself to Alucard, in Symphony of the Night

Shaft (シャフト Shafuto?) is a dark priest and loyal servant of Count Dracula. He was introduced into the series in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and reappeared in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. He served as the secondary antagonist of both games.

History[]

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood/Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles[]

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"Servants, come forth from the gates of Hell! Attack! Rid my master's castle of this pest!"
— Shaft to his servants

In 1792, Shaft resurrected Count Dracula and aided him in his plans to kidnap several young girls, including Maria Renard and Annette, in order to provide his master with a bride. Richter Belmont encountered him at least once in his adventure, and Shaft was defeated after conjuring several monsters previously fought by Simon Belmont.

Exclusively in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Shaft's final fate depends on the protagonist's actions. If Richter or Maria failed to rescue Annette, she takes the place of Shaft Ghost as the boss of Stage 7 and Shaft Ghost survives, arriving before Dracula is killed and protecting him long enough for him to escape. If Annette was rescued, then Shaft Ghost is properly fought and destroyed.

After his defeat, Shaft would come to exist only as a spirit transferred and kept in a crystal ball.[1]

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night[]

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"Ha... I die victorious... Count Dracula rises even now! Let him purge the world in flames! Hahaha!"
— Shaft's last words to Alucard

In 1797, Shaft kidnapped Richter Belmont and brainwashed him, knowing no one could defeat him because he was the strongest of all vampire hunters. Shaft was instrumental in using his evil powers to control Richter, turning him against anyone who would seek to defy the Count (unbeknownst to Maria and Alucard). Maria guessed that he was under supernatural coercion and helped Alucard see past Shaft's deceptions. Alucard was able to save Richter instead of killing him and put an end to the dark priest's ambitions. However, Shaft, knowing he ultimately succeeded in his goal of resurrecting Dracula, was content even after Alucard tracked him down to the Reverse Castle and defeated him.

Abilities[]

  • Magic mastery: Shaft can use many types of magic attacks, most of which are fire, ice or lightning-based. Shaft usually uses his magic through his orbs.
  • Summoning the dead: Being a necromancer, Shaft can resurrect the dead.
  • Immortality: While Shaft can be killed, he can return in ghost form.
  • Projection: While merged with his crystal ball, Shaft was capable of projecting his corporeal form. This was best evident with his interaction with Alucard just prior to their battle.

Appearances[]

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood[]

Summons[]

Shaft will initially not fight the player himself, but instead summon four bosses from the original Castlevania (in the same order as they appeared in that game, just excluding Death as he has his own boss fight): the Giant Bat, Medusa, the Mummy Man and Franken.

Attacks/Abilities:

Shaft[]

Once all these monsters have been taken care of, Shaft will teleport back into the chamber to fight the player himself. With this intent, he will summon two magical orbs with elemental properties; these can transform into large flames that can be redirected with a strike; float to the top and unleash lightning downward; or be commanded by Shaft to simply rotate around a point, creating an obstacle for the player.

Attacks/Abilities:

ShaftShaft DXC
(RoB/DXC)
Name Alt. Name HP EXP
Shaft - 92 4,000
Location
6. Ceremonial Room

Shaft Ghost[]

As his penultimate form, Shaft manages to cheat death again for one last shot at the hero(ine). When the player enters the ceremonial chamber in the Clocktower, Shaft's empty cloak will suddenly appear on the altar located there and soon come to life. Shaft Ghost attacks mainly by flying around the room, constantly pausing to summon the rotting remains of two past enemies: the Wyvern and the Behemoth. The Dead Wyvern breathes fire and dives at the hero, while the Dead Behemoth leaps out from the ground itself.

Attacks/Abilities:

ShaftghoShaft Ghost DXC
(RoB/DXC)
Name Alt. Name HP EXP
Shaft Ghost Ghost of Shaft/Shaft's Ghost 92 3,500
Location
7. Clocktower

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night[]

Shaft is first encountered during Richter Belmont's boss fight in the Castle Keep, although not in physical form; he appears as a green crystal ball hovering over Richter and controlling his actions, and cannot attack on its own. The orb can only be seen as long as Alucard is equipped with the Holy Glasses Maria Renard gave him at the Castle Center. Even though Shaft's HP is only 10, his defense is so great (5,000 DEF) that each hit will only deal 1 point of damage. Although he has no weakness, it's recommended to use a Holy or Stone attributed weapon, such as the Holy Sword/Rod or the Medusa Shield, since Richter is immune to those elements. Destroying the orb will release Shaft's ghost from it, and after a short conversation, Alucard will be granted access to the Reverse Castle, where he will be able to continue his quest.

Shaft returns as the penultimate boss directly before encountering Dracula. He utilizes orbs (30 ATT, Hit) as he did in Rondo of Blood, although they are far more numerous. The orbs use the same elemental properties, although they attack in completely different ways. They can turn into flaming spheres that launch toward Alucard's general direction and which will burst into towering flames on impact (42 ATT, Fire). When two orbs become parallel with each other, they will launch lightning continuously between them (43 ATT, Thunder). The orbs will also occasionally start to rebound around the room (64 ATT, Hit).

Shaft-bub
No. Name JPN Level HP
145 Shaft シャフト Shafuto 88 1,300
Strong Immune Weak Absorb EXP
- Poison - - -
Location Drop Guard
Reverse Castle Center - -
Description "Dark Priest of Dracula."

Other appearances[]

Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night[]

Main article: Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night/Arcade Mode

Shaft appears as an opponent in Story Mode. He also is available as a playable character in Arcade Mode.

Name Title HP EXP
Shaft 3,800
Drop Steal Location
Demon Corridor
List of Spells
Skill Cost Effect

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[]

Shaft makes an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Spirit. His spirit can increase magical attacks.

Quotes[]

Symphony of the Night (original version)[]

  • We'll see what happens when I destroy your weak human side!
  • But my goal has achieved. Count Dracula has come forth to purify this corrupt world with the searing flames of chaos!

The Dracula X Chronicles[]

  • How lovely... A fitting girl for Count Dracula. Now, come to me.
  • Ha! So much the better. Besides, once you marry my lord, "death" will lose all meaning for you.
  • Hmm, intriguing. Strong indeed. Very well, then. Face me!
  • Shafton Fire!
  • Shafton Lightning!
  • Protect me!

Trivia[]

  • The four bosses Shaft summons in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood are the same first four bosses that appeared in the original Castlevania: the Giant Bat, Medusa, the Mummy and The Creature (Death is not summoned in this encounter as he has his own boss fight).
  • Dx-cloaked
    The Ghost boss in Stage 4' of Castlevania: Dracula X (a remake of Rondo of Blood) is basically Shaft's (or more precisely his ghost's) equivalent in the game, at least in appearance.
    • However, Carmilla's abilities in the same game are the ones that are nearly identical to Shaft's own powers in Rondo of Blood, conjuring two orbs that unleash elemental attacks (Carmilla's riding skull's eyeballs in this case).
  • In Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, the remake of Rondo of Blood, Shaft's skin tone was changed to match the Symphony of the Night artwork of his ghostly self.
  • The Dracula X Chronicles also changes the storyline of the original game to some extent by giving Shaft a larger role. He was ironically responsible for detecting and unlocking Maria Renard's magical potential (rather than Maria getting caught while trying to be a heroine), and was also the one to explicitly kidnap Annette due to her bond with a Belmont.
  • In The Dracula X Chronicles Shaft's possession of Richter Belmont is foreshadowed during the first battle with Shaft, where before summoning monsters to fight Richter he uses an incantation that's similar to the one possessed Richter will say while summoning a Minotaur and a Werewolf to deal with Alucard in Symphony of the Night ("Servants, come forth from the gates of hell! Attack! Rid my master's castle of this pest!").
  • Also in The Dracula X Chronicles, if the player didn't meet the conditions to fight and defeat his ghost, Shaft will appear after Dracula's second form is defeated and the two villains will flee, thus ending the battle –and the game– prematurely.
  • The Necromancer boss from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon also shares a resemblance to Shaft, or more precisely to his ghost, mainly being a floating robe with a very similar design. He is even given some antagonistic lines similar to those usually said by Shaft, being the only regular boss in the game to have this treatment.
  • According to a post by David Cox on Facebook, in the Lords of Shadow universe, Zobek is an amalgamation of Shaft and Death.[2]
  • Shaft's possession of Richter Belmont in Symphony of the Night was referenced by Alucard in Richter's Palutena's Guidance conversation in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
    • In addition, Mewtwo's classic mode route, Psychic Control, has him having one of his previous opponents as his "ally". Richter acts as his ally in the fifth round, which apparently is a reference to Shaft brainwashing him in Symphony of the Night.
  • Shaft was given a mention in Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, where Lucy Westenra speculates from the records that Maria's abnormally high magic potential at her age was likely the result of it being awakened by Shaft. Genya Arikado (a.k.a. Alucard), hearing this, curses him as a malcontent and deduces that Shaft most likely did that as a gift for Dracula.
  • His name may be a miswriting of the German suffix -schaft, which equates as "-hood" or "-ship" for words such as bruderschaft (brotherhood) or partnerschaft (partnership).
  • While Shaft hasn't made any appearances in the two Netflix animated series, Castlevania and Castlevania: Nocturne, some characters from both series seem to borrow aspects from him:
    • The Bishop apparently borrows some traits from Shaft, such as also being a malevolent priest and even sharing some physical resemblance to him.
    • Sala also seems to borrow certain traits from Shaft, such as being a monk whose ultimate goal is to resurrect Dracula.
    • The Vampire Magician wears a cowled robe similar to Shaft's and even uses floating magical orbs to cast spells. However, Adam Deats later confirmed this character was instead based on the Necromancer from Circle of the Moon.[3]
    • Vaublanc seems to be a loose reference to Shaft. He wears a similar robe and cowl, and even shares some of his mannerisms. Likewise, most of Erzsebet Báthory's followers also wear similar robes.

See also[]

References[]

External links[]

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Characters
Protagonists
Richter Belmont · Maria Renard
Supporting cast
Annette · Tera · Iris · Ferryman
Antagonists
Dracula · Shaft
Lesser roles
Sacrificial maiden
Bosses
Wyvern · Serpent · Werewolf · Bone Golem · Minotaur · Dogether · Dullahan · Carmilla · Laura · Hydra
Lesser Vampire · Death · Giant Bat · Medusa · Mummy Man · The Creature · Shaft Ghost · Dead Behemoth · Dead Wyvern
Areas
Common areas
Prologue · Dinner of Flames · A Nightmare Reborn · Hear Now the Requiem of Blood · Bloodlines
Main path
God, Grant Me Strength · An Evil Prayer Summons Darkness · Atop Countless Terrors · The Devil Flies By Night
Alternate path
Breaking Through the Front · Release from the Thirst for Blood · Fortress of the Water Demon · Wandering
Music
Divine Bloodlines · Slash · Akumajō Dracula X · Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles Original Soundtrack
Guides
Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo Strategy Guide · Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo Official Guide
Konami Akumajō Dracula X Chronicle Official Guide
Archives
Bestiary · Inventory · Maria Mode · Akumajyo Dracula Peke · Voice Translations
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Characters
Protagonists
AlucardMaria Renard (Saturn · DXC)Richter Belmont
Supporting cast
Master LibrarianFerrymanLisa
Antagonists
DraculaDeathShaft
Bosses
Dracula's Castle bosses
Slogra and GaibonDoppleganger Lv. 10HippogryphKarasumanMinotaur and Werewolf
Lesser DemonOlroxSuccubusScyllaCerberusGranfaloonSkeleton Leader (Saturn)
Reverse Castle bosses
Darkwing BatThe CreatureAkmodan IIMedusaFake Trevor, Fake Sypha and Fake Grant
BeelzebubDoppleganger Lv. 40GalamothShaftTrue Dracula
Areas
Dracula's Castle
Final Stage: BloodlinesEntranceAlchemy LaboratoryMarble GalleryOuter WallLong Library
Clock TowerUnderground CavernsRoyal ChapelOlrox's QuartersCastle KeepColosseum
Abandoned Pit to the CatacombCatacombsCastle CenterCursed Prison (Saturn) • Underground Garden (Saturn)
Reverse Castle
Reverse EntranceNecromancy LaboratoryBlack Marble GalleryReverse Outer WallForbidden Library
Reverse Clock TowerReverse CavernsAnti-ChapelDeath Wing's LairReverse KeepReverse Colosseum
CaveFloating CatacombsReverse Castle CenterSoul Prison (Saturn) • Hell Garden (Saturn)
Music
Dracula's CastleCastlevania: Symphony of the Night Original Soundtrack
MIDI Power Pro6Dracula X: RemixiesDracula Music Collection
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles Original Soundtrack
Guides
Futabasha Gekka no Yasōkyoku Official GuideNTT Pub Gekka no Yasōkyoku Official Guide
Shinkigensha Gekka no Yasōkyoku Official GuideBradyGames Symphony of the Night Official Strategy Guide
Prima's Unauthorized Symphony of the Night Strategy GuideKonami Akumajō Dracula X Chronicle Official Guide
Archives
BestiaryInventoryCreditsAchievements & TrophiesRichter ModeMaria ModeThief Mode
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