Vampires are one of the three main supernatural races found within the Lords of Shadow saga, which also includes the Lycanthropes and the Necromancers. They inhabit the Land of the Vampires, a godless land of ice and cold. They live in the Vampire Castle, the former home of the Bernhard Family, and feed on the people of Wygol Village. The game has a vast mythology for the history on the creation of vampires; in some cases, going much deeper and in a very different direction than the original series' timeline.
The vampires were created by the Queen of Vampires Carmilla, who was created when her good half ascended into Heaven to become a nigh-omnipotent angelic being. Her evil half was left behind to conquer her realm and infect those living there.
A vampire can be born from many different creatures; the ceremony itself involves the exchange of blood between the 'host' and the soon-to-be vampire. However, vampirism has to be accepted by the recipient, so it remains exclusive to intelligent creatures. It should be noted, however, that Trevor Belmont's transformation into the vampire Alucard was so far the only known exception to this rule; Trevor was dead at the time he was exposed to the blood of Dracula, so he couldn't choose whether to accept the curse of vampirism or not, although his body still transformed into a powerful vampire, albeit hundreds of thousands of times slower than usual, with Alucard only awakening thirty full years later.
Young vampires are bestial in appearance. The lowest ranked vampires usually take the form of a creature with bat-like appearance. Over the centuries, as they become more powerful, vampires appear more human-like and are able to transform at will from their true form into human form.
One can usually ascertain the power of a vampire by its appearance, and any vampires that appear totally human are usually incredibly powerful, possess superhuman strength and speed, and are extremely dangerous. Indeed, many of the oldest vampires are mistaken for high-born aristocracy.
Vampires can sense the living - that which is their source of sustenance, blood, the life force of all living things. Drinking blood allows them to maintain their strength and power, and also restores their vitality. With the combination of Laura's bloodline and the power of the Forgotten One, Dracula would replace the dark queen and become the most powerful vampire lord in history. Indeed, he skipped the period of time where a vampire appears monstrous and has appeared in human from the very beginning; Dracula's blood is so powerful that Alucard, the only known vampire he has personally sired, also skipped this period of a monstrous appearance, albeit with a few side effects such as grey skin and black eyes, arising from his being dead during the transformation.
Vampires also sometimes gain extra abilities based upon every detail involved in the instant of their "birth", each placing a permanent mark in the new creature. For instance, as he was transformed into Alucard under a full moon, Trevor Belmont was strongly affected by its wild influence, leading to him developing various wolf-related abilities, such as his Wolf Form, which is his ability to transform into a White Wolf, and the Spectral Wolf, which allows him to project a ghostly, intangible wolf through his environment and then teleport his real body to its location.
Powers and abilities
- Immortality - Vampires have an infinite lifespan and are not subject to disease or old age. If they have not fed for prolonged periods of time, they begin to slowly show signs of physical age and weakness if they have not fed at all in centuries.
- Superhuman strength - Vampires are stronger than humans and grow stronger with age. Dracula is the strongest vampire ever to exist, being over 966 years old and possessing the immense power of the Forgotten One.
- Superhuman speed - Vampires possess speed far beyond that of humans. Elder vampires such as Carmilla and Dracula, who appear human in appearance, can move extremely fast should the need arise.
- Shapeshifting - Only elder vampires can change into their true forms when they are in a tough battle. A vampire's true form is a general reflection of its personality and heart. Only Carmilla and Dracula have been known to change to their true forms in the Lords of Shadow series, with the exception of Cornell and Zobek, whose true forms are reflections of their domains as Lords of Shadow. Carmilla's true form is that of a winged, bipedal and humanoid vampire-bat beast that is similar to vampire warriors and demonic vampires. Dracula's true form is that of a black and silver dragon that has several traces of fire on its body and gives off a black smoke. As vampires, they can shapeshift into common creatures of the night such as bats, rats and wolves (forms which are not often seen in-game). Alucard's wolf-forms resemble that of a werewolf and regular wolf.
- Hematophagy - While immortal, vampires must feed on blood to retain their powers and strength. This is also the process of spreading vampirism. Human blood is most sought for, but vampires can drink the blood of almost any creature and monster, even other vampires (as seen with Alucard and Dracula).
- Electrokinesis - Elder vampires can summon and control electricity.
- Mist Form - Elder vampires can take on a mist form to pass through obstacles or dodge attacks.
- Swarm of Bats - Powerful vampires like Carmilla, Dracula and Alucard can summon deadly swarms of bats.
- Teleportation - Elder vampires can teleport.
- Healing Factor - Drinking blood heals their wounds and restores their stamina and vitality.
- Flight - Vampires fly with their bat-like wings. Elder vampires can levitate high above the ground without wings.
- Seduction - Both female and male vampires are capable of charming and/or possessing weaker life forms.
- Carmilla - The Original Vampire and the former Vampire Queen.
- Dracula - Gabriel Belmont's new identity, "Prince of Darkness" and the current Vampire Lord.
Victims of vampirism
- Laura - Taken from her family and turned unwillingly by Carmilla.
- Lieutenant Brauner - A demon summoned from Hell and willingly turned by Carmilla.
- Commander Olrox - A demon summoned from Hell and willingly turned by Carmilla.
- Gabriel Belmont - Willingly turned by Laura.
- Alucard - Unwillingly turned post mortem by his father Dracula.
- Vampire Warrior
These are newly created vampires that show little humanity. They have wings like bats and bat-like faces, and have the ability to fly. These particular vampires show the signs of being recently turned and cannot hide the fact that they are low level creatures bent to the will of the Vampire Lord. They are fairly weak in comparison to older vampires. They burn when exposed to direct sunlight and begin to turn to ash, unless they move back into darkness.
- Ancient Vampires
Some vampires were powerful demons before they were turned, summoned by the Dark Lord long ago. These vampires were thus forever trapped in vampire beast-like forms and could not take human form, instead retaining bestial traits. They are spawns of Hell and possess vampiric powers, which make them formidable foes. They act like leaders over the Vampire Warriors, directing the attacks upon human populations (as it was shown in the attack upon Wygol Village). Commander Olrox and Lieutenant Brauner belong to this vampiric category.
- Elder Vampires
Human vampires that have lived for centuries regain their human forms. While in human form, they are able to fly without wings. In addition to superior vampiric physical abilities, they display the power to transform into mist, summon shadowy swarms of bats, cast protective force fields and possess electrokinesis, as demonstrated by Laura and Carmilla.
- Vampire Knight
Following the death of Carmilla and Laura, a new, purer lineage of vampire arose in the castle, formed via a deep bond with their new lord. This species is characterized by its cunning, speed and savage cruelty in combat. The next stage of vampire evolution has produced a species that is both beauty and the beast, with an insatiable lust for blood.
- Dishonored Vampire (Apterovampiris)
According to their biography, after Dracula was thought to be destroyed after the battle against the Belmonts, their blood bonds were destroyed and they returned to their primal forms feeding on vermin.
When Dracula returned from the dead, the vampires were so ashamed of their behavior that they cut their wings off but kept the bestial look as a symbol of loyalty to their lord and a reminder of their shame.
They are loyal until the castle corrupts them to turn against Dracula. They sometimes carry shields, not only for defensive purposes, but the shields can also drain Dracula's life from a distance, making it a priority to destroy them.
|Enemy Data: Vampires|
|Image||Name - Game|
|A Vampire can be born from many different creatures; the ceremony itself involves the exchange of blood between the 'host' and the soon-to-be Vampire. ()|| Strong: Fairy|
Weak: Dagger, Light Fairy, Holy Water ×3, Divine Shield ×2, Crystal ×3
| Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8|
|This Vampire is a powerful demon, turned by the Dark Lord long ago. ()|| Strong: Dagger, Fairy ×3, Light Fairy|
Weak: Explosive Dagger, Holy Water ×2, Divine Shield, Crystal ×2
| Brauner (Chapter 5)|
|Another demon-spawned Vampire, he and his younger sibling were both inhuman before the Dark Lord found them and turned them. ()|| Strong: Dagger ×2, Fairy ×3, Light Fairy|
Weak: Explosive Dagger, Holy Water ×2, Divine Shield, Crystal ×2
|The three founding members of the Brotherhood of Light were brave warriors who sacrificed their physical bodies in order to become spiritual beings, able to fight God's wars against evil. ()|| Strong: Dagger ×3, Fairy ×3, Holy Water ×3, Crystal ×3|
Weak: Divine Shield
| The Throne Room|
|Just like the Lycanthrope Dark Lord, the Vampire Queen was granted an animal-like manifestation of the dark parts of her spirit. ()|| Strong: Dagger ×2, Fairy ×3|
Weak: Explosive Dagger, Holy Water ×2, Crystal ×2
| Drop: Seraph Shoulders|| The Throne Room|
|Following the death of Carmilla and Laura: a new, purer lineage of vampire arose in the castle formed via a deep bond with their new lord. This species is characterized by its cunning, speed and savage cruelty in combat. The next stage of vampire evolution has produced a species that is both beauty and the beast with an insatiable blood lust.|| Difficulty: 3/5|
| Drop: 30 Magic|| Vampire's Tower, Throne Entrance, Castle Hall|
|A former knight chosen by the Brotherhood to defeat the Lords of Shadow and restore light to the world, Gabriel fulfilled his mission but at a heavy price. Tormented by the death of his wife, betrayed by his faith and led down a path to eternal darkness, he returns from oblivion to the highest tower of the castle, in search of revenge on those who wronged him.|| Strong: Bat Projectile, Stopwatch, Boomerang, Electric Bomb|
HP: 1200 (Act II), 1500 (Act III)
Exp: 2500 (Act II), 3000 (Act III)
| Throne Room, Mirror of Fate|
References in Fallen Knight Scrolls
|Item Data: Fallen Knight Scrolls|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Text: Behind this door lies the great animated chessboard, designed by vampires to kill time during their long nights. It is said that a human is invited to play from time to time. If he wins, he is received into the vampire clan. If he loses, he is included on the dinner menu.|| Item|
| +XP|| Find: Castle Hall ( )|
|Text: They came through the windows like black mist, carrying women under their dark wings. Those who were unconscious were laid on the table, while the rest toyed with those who tried to escape. The game was a depraved version of hide-and-seek that always ended the same way: The girl's throats open and their captors enjoying their blood.|| Item|
| +XP|| Find: Vampire's Tower ( )|
|Text: I've come too far to give up now. I must find the orbs that Dracul created with his blood, only then can I break the Dragon Seal and face him once and for all. Entrusted to their fellow vampires, the magic spheres must be kept hidden somewhere in this tower, under the watchful eye of the guards.|| Item|
| +XP|| Find: Throne Entrance ( )|
- The game suggests that as Gabriel Belmont went on his journey, he was slowly being groomed into being the Prince of Darkness sent to destroy evil forces and take his own place. In time, he would become a vampire lord himself, known as Dracula, holding the powers of all three Lords of Shadow. How similar or different his vampirism is to Carmilla's breed is unknown.
- Carmilla's dialogue with Gabriel concerning his future strongly supports this belief, but it could also mean that in attempting to claim the powers of the founders he would fall as they did. While this is implied, it's never truly stated.
- Vampires in Lords of Shadow differ from biological specifics of vampires in the original series. In the original series, young vampires may still retain their human features, albeit taking on more bestial features (mainly a bat-like face, pointed ears and clawed hands) when hunting their prey (mainly humans). This makes it possible for even lesser vampires to trick their prey into trusting them, before they make their strike. Most vampires show some resistance to the sun, although sunlight does weaken them. In some cases, if a vampire takes enough physical damage, sunlight will then destroy the weakened vampire (as shown at the end of some battles with Dracula). As a result, most vampires choose to hide, sleeping in their coffins when the sun rises. Vampires do not project a reflection on mirrors, which is a warning sign. Vampirism can be brought on by a vampire's bite, by curses, or by the use of the Crimson Stone. Vampirism is in most cases non-curable (except when caught early enough, and with the use of a Purifying Crystal, Sanctuary spell or through a miracle). The more powerful vampires, such as Dracula or Olrox, are capable of changing into secondary forms showing their inner demonic nature and personality.
- Lords of Shadow, along with Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, is one of the few games to portray lesser vampires as common enemies. In most games in the original series, vampires are used sparingly, they are saved as major bosses, and in most cases, the final boss. Lords of Shadow is also one of the few games in which vampires will attempt to grab the player to bite and drink their blood. This has little effect in the gameplay, however (as it does not infect the player).
- Vampires have no reflection in mirrors, they can, however, see visions reflected in the Mirror of Fate.
- When a mortal first becomes a vampire, aspects of their surroundings influence certain powers they obtain. For example, Alucard died/turned on a night of a full moon; this granted him the ability to shapeshift into a spectral white wolf and a white werewolf form.
- Interestingly, the wings of the Vampire Knights are similar to those of Satan.
- The Dishonored Vampires share physical characteristics with Ghouls, such as their jaw.
- Vampire evolution in the Lords of Shadow universe seems to reflect how vampires changed in literature and pop culture over time, going from bestial monsters to the more attractive human appearance.
- The popular depiction of vampires being sexualized is not shown, but subtly hinted at throughout the games: Carmilla is shown twice to attempt to seduce Gabriel, and a City Memorial hints at human women falling for Alucard when he fed on them in the hotel of Victory Plaza. It's also subtly incorporated in the appeal of Carmilla, Dracula and Alucard.
- In the Art of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow artbook, the Vampire Knights are referred to as "High Vampires" in their concept art.