The Werewolf, also known as Wolf Man, is an enemy in the Castlevania series. He is a man with lycanthropy who transforms into a ferocious beast when the moon is full and has developed a taste for blood. He is occasionally paired up with another fellow werebeast: the Minotaur.
A werewolf is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction (often a bite or scratch from another werewolf).
A few references to men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology. The Neuri was a tribe which transformed into wolves once every year for several days and then changed back to their human shape. Lycaon was transformed into a wolf because he had ritually murdered a child. Virgil at one point also wrote about human beings transforming into wolves.
The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore, existing in many variants, which are related by a common development of a Christian interpretation of underlying European folklore developed during the medieval period. From the early modern period, werewolf beliefs also spread to the New World with colonialism. Belief in werewolves developed in parallel to the belief in witches in the course of the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Like the witchcraft trials as a whole, the trial of supposed werewolves emerged in what is now Switzerland in the early 15th century and spread throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century.
Werewolves have also been referenced in various written works. The main antagonist of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, although referred to as a wolf, is closer in overall demeanor to a werewolf. In Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula, the eponymous antagonist was cited to be responsible for the existence of werewolves, which led to the two often being used together in later media.
While short stories of werewolves became more common during the 19th century due to the emerging popularity in Gothic horror themes of that era, the inclusion of the werewolf in the Castlevania series was probably mainly influenced by Universal Pictures' 1941 film, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney Jr. playing the role of the eponymous titular antagonist monster and establishing it as a household name in classic horror cinema and popular culture, and which produced a number of sequels, spinoffs, and more recently, remakes.
While both namings, "wolf man" and "werewolf", are used to refer basically to the same creature, there is a distinction regarding their physiology for each one:
- The term "wolf man" is generally used when the monster retains several traits of its human form after its transformation, such as standing straight and walking on its hind legs, with the main changes being only the growth of hair all over the body, elongated fangs, claws, pointy ears and the appearance of whiskers. It's also common that it keeps some (if not all) of its clothes after the transformation.
- The "werewolf", on the other hand, is more beast-like, muscular and larger, has an elongated canine-like muzzle with even larger fangs, its ears are larger and pointier and they're often located on the top of the head, similar to most types of canids. While it can indeed walk on its hind legs, it's often seen displacing itself on all fours, displaying with this beastly speed and agility. All this in conjunction give the monster more the appearance of a wild animal. It's also worth noting that all (or at least most) of its clothes generally get ripped off during the transformation process, leaving the individual naked or wearing only a loincloth once they transform back to their human form.
Werewolves (also known as Wolf Men, Lycanthropes or Lypustons) are common werebeast foes. Their appearance in the series isn't surprising; mythologically, werewolves and vampires are closely related, and some cultures consider them the same manner of creature. An aversion to silver is a trait common to both, werewolves and vampires, and both are creatures cursed to roam the night in search of innocent victims to sate their hunger. The victim of a vampire or werewolf becomes one themself.
Werewolves were considered to appear in the first Castlevania, but didn't make it into the game. Early design materials included in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection show a concept for a "Pistol" loaded with silver bullets that could kill a werewolf with a single shot, but was not really effective against other enemies. Another idea for a sub-weapon was a "Transformation" that would transform the player instantly into a werewolf for a few seconds. During that time, the whip would be more powerful.
First appearance of the Wolf Man/Werewolf in the series. The Wolf Man wanders Jova Woods, the immediate forested area that lies east of the town of Jova, where the game starts. It moves at a slow pace and starts hopping up and down when approached, changing direction if the player comes from behind. Unlike the Skeletons that also inhabit this area, it takes two strikes of the Leather Whip (the weapon the player starts the game with) to kill a Wolf Man. While dealing with them is almost a trivial process during the day, care should be taken when approaching one at nighttime, as it will then take double the damage to kill it (four strikes from the Leather Whip); this is especially true if the player comes from behind, as this must be done in a way that only the tip of the whip hits the Wolf Man, lest it changes direction and starts hopping toward the player, which with the added resistance it gains during the night, as well as the surrounding Skeletons, all in conjunction can make dealing with them an unexpected ordeal.
The Wolf Woman initially appears as an ordinary damsel at the top of the Clock Tower, although she'll quickly transform into a werewolf right in front of Simon. During the first phase of the fight, she'll jump around at great speed all over the screen, ripping and throwing chunks of wall and parts of the clock at him, making it very hard –but not impossible– to hit. Once she runs out of pieces of the scenery to throw, she'll rip the minutes hand of the clock and use it as a heavy melee weapon, although due to its weight she'll also become slower and more vulnerable to attack during this phase.
Her defeat will shift her back to human form, where a cloth will then come out from nowhere and modestly cover her nudity before her body vanishes completely as the cloth is carried by the wind.
A human like silhouette under a full moon can be seen emerging from the top of a tower in the distance at the end of the second stage in Rondo of Blood. The shadow then emits a terrifying howl and its body suffers a dramatic transformation. Turning into a wolf, the figure strikes from the sky and the boss battle begins.
The Werewolf crawls on the edges of the screen and launches himself to strike from the chamber's walls and ceiling. He rushes at high speed when cornered and will often perform a low, sliding kick. He's also able of hurling a mass of magical energy in an undulating manner to strike from a distance. Once his health bar has been depleted, he will use his last ounce of strength to perform a devastating attack on the the player's current position in a last attempt to finish them off, transforming back into a human and dying afterward.
Its human sprite is completely nude in the original PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16 Mini versions, as well as in Dracula X, while he wears undergarments in both The Dracula X Chronicles (both versions, remake and original, as well as ports based on this version of the game, such as Requiem) and Virtual Console versions of Rondo of Blood.
The version of Dracula X included in the Castlevania Advance Collection has alternative censorship of the human sprite.
A Werewolf appears in a boss battle accompanied by a Minotaur, both summoned by a possessed Richter Belmont in the Colosseum. He strikes with punches and kicks, performing uppercuts and rushing at the player. Alone, it's an easy fight, but together with the Minotaur it makes this a difficult ordeal. Both monsters reuse their sprites from Rondo of Blood, although none of them are given any new frames of animation; as such, all of their attacks are composed of rather imaginative ways of recycling their old frames. As a result, both creatures now possess a whole new repertoire of attacks which they perform in tandem, although these are just variations of their classic attacks. Since both monsters are considered to be werebeasts, they will take increased damage from the Were Bane.
When the player reaches the Reverse Colosseum, a large pack of Werewolves can be found accompanied once more by Minotaurs. Now they are randomly encountered and are more powerful than the ones fought before, although since the player should also be much stronger, they should pose not much of a problem. Their large numbers still make it difficult to pass through the stage, however.
In the original Castlevania 64, Werewolves are uncommon enemies, only seen in the Forest of Silence. As the most balanced of the game's werebeast enemies, Werewolves combine speed and agility with moderately high damage attacks. Following the first stage, Werewolves are only encountered again during the Duel Tower portion of Reinhardt's quest.
In Legacy of Darkness, Werewolves are common enemies Cornell (who is also a werewolf himself) often encounters. They come in many sizes, some even being three times larger than him. They are some of the fastest enemies in the game and attack with their claws while chasing the player. However, none of them possess the same energy blades Cornell has.
The Were-wolf is a fast enemy somewhat similar to Were-Panthers and Were-Jaguars. His attack pattern consists in rushing at the player and swiping with his claws, then leaping over them and rushing again from the other side. Just crouching as they attack will evade both their swipes and jumps, while also leaving them open for a counterattack.
Werewolves only appear in the Floating Garden. The Werewolf's soul grants the Energy Guyser ability, which allows Soma to summon a fountain of magical fire that deals continuous Flame damage (it cannot be used in midair, though). It also rarely drops the valuable Black Belt accessory, which grants overall physical boosts (DEF +2, STR +5, CON +2).
Werewolves only appear in The Pinnacle and the Condemned Tower; however, there's an abundance of them, so acquiring their soul is easy. They retain their appearance and attacks from their Symphony of the Night variants.
Like in Symphony of the Night, the Werewolf is fought once again as a boss, this time at the end of 13th Street. While not being as mobile as in previous incarnations, he's much bigger and powerful this time around, and his attacks can deal some serious damage if the player is not careful.
He has four attacks:
- Picks up one of the lamp posts in the background and throws it like a javelin at the player's direction. This gives him long range capabilities to some extent, but unlike the rest of his attacks, he cannot perform it an infinite amount of times since the lamp posts are destroyed in the process and there's only a limited number of them. Staying near the entrance and under the small piece of roof there will generally make the projectile get impaled on it while the player is safe underneath. This, however, will usually trigger the boss to follow-up with one of his other attacks.
- Rushes at the player and swipes rapidly at them with his claws. Remaining on the ground will result in the creature clawing straight forward, while maintaining a high altitude results in an uppercut.
- Suddenly lunges forward, grabs the player and proceeds to bite them with his powerful jaws. This attack ignores the player's defenses and deals heavy damage.
- Lets out a loud howling, summoning with it a pack of wolves from the background that come rushing at the player. They can either be killed with normal attacks or avoided altogether.
Both Jonathan and Charlotte have their own advantages and equipment that can enable them to defeat the Werewolf, but since he's more vulnerable to Fire-based spells, using Charlotte may prove to be more effective. Equip her with the Explosion spell and try to use it as often as possible. If Charlotte happens to get the Salamander spell before this fight, then she may find it worthwhile to use as it will deal more damage. As for Johnathan, he can use the Flame Whip, as well as his Uppercut (although very risky in this fight due to it having to be used at close range), both which deal Fire damage, with the latter also dealing a lot of base damage to the beast.
Another strategy to defeat the Werewolf easily consists simply in casting the 1,000 Blades Dual Crush as soon as one enters the boss arena. Doing this, however, will most likely trigger the boss to rush forward amidst the rain of knives and allow him to score a hit. If the player is willing to sustain the damage, though, they can simply cast 1,000 Blades a second time, which will usually be enough to fell the beast.
Werewolves only appear in the Oblivion Ridge. One is encountered before fighting Gravedorcus, and then they start appearing more frequently in the areas beyond. They retain their appearance and attacks from their variants in Rondo of Blood, Symphony of the Night and Dawn of Sorrow. While not being a major threat this time around, ten of them are required to be killed in order to complete Irina's second quest: "Do You Hear Howling?".
This is one of the only games where the Werewolf is seen wearing undergarments when he dies. This shows that this game involves at least a certain degree of censorship, as was also shown with some enemy name changes.
While there are no "werewolf" enemies in Judgment, Cornell himself is one.
- Main article: Lycanthrope
One type of lycanthrope is the Greater Lycanthrope, which is much larger than their smaller kin. These are described as being pure-bloods that are spawned by the Dark Lord himself, with their condition of not being considered a curse but rather one that the individual has willingly chosen. The Dark Lord of the Lycanthropes does not grant this gift to anyone, with only a handful of such acolytes being ascended to such a position. Thus, the Greater Lycanthropes are kept as his elite guards and used for special missions due to their fearsome nature combined with their intelligence that made them formidable foes.
In addition to the standard werewolf, three elemental variations exist in Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, which include the Shadow Wolf, Frost Lycant, and the Divine Wolf.
Castlevania (animated series)
A werewolf-like monster called "Brawler" appears in Season 3, having a close resemblance to his Symphony of the Night counterpart (which the series takes heavy inspiration from). His possible resemblance to the game is further supported as a Minotaur-like creature, called "Deadfast", also makes an appearance, and likewise, he closely resembles his Symphony of the Night incarnation.
Along with other monsters, he ambushes Trevor and Sypha, mostly going after Trevor; but after a hard hand-to-hand fight, Trevor manages to break its knee and cut its throat. He then drags its corpse to Lindenfeld, where one of the villagers asks to have teeth taken from it in exchange for a few pieces individually.
Unlike the games, Brawler is a night creature and not a real werewolf (shapeshifting lycanthrope).
- Main article: Werewolf/Enemy Data
|Item Data: Werewolf|
|Image||Name - Game
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Owned By Karate Master||Fist
Special: ↓↘→ + [Attack] for Flurry of Fists
|Yasutsuna-Made Katana||2 Handed Weapon (Katana)
||ATT +60 DEF -20
||Effect: Sonic Edge while walking|
|Increases attack power while equipped.||Arm
||Drop: Earth Armor, Hopper, Merman, Werewolf
|Recover 50 HP.||Recovery Item (Food)
||Drop: Gorgon, Fox Hunter, Hipogriff, Merman, Werewolf, Were-Horse
|Proof of excellence in martial arts.||Goods
|DEF +2, STR +5 CON +2 (...)
|Common Drop: Werewolf
|Rare Drop: Catoblepas, Werewolf, Gorgon
|Creates a fountain of magical fire. (A gushing fountain of magical power.)||Bullet Soul
Consume: 28 MP
|A black belt worn by skilled fighters.||Goods
|ATK +7, DEF +2, STR +5
|Rare Drop: Werewolf
|Perform short dashes.||Guardian Soul
|Consume: 15 MP/sec||Rarity: **
- Main article: Werewolf/Gallery
- The fact that Werewolves drop the Black Belt accessory in some games may stem from the legend that wearing a belt made of wolfskin is one of the alleged methods to become one of these beasts. A popular case is that of Peter Stumpp, a 16th century German serial killer who was known as the "Werewolf of Bedburg". He claimed that the Devil gave him a magical belt which enabled him to metamorphose into a werewolf. Removing the belt, he said, made him transform back to his human form.
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|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|
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