The Castlevania franchise manages to cover roughly 1,000 years of a single family’s history between Lament of Innocence and Dawn of Sorrow. Their lifelong feud against Count Dracula is as epic as any video game story, but the fact that Castlevania took its time crafting its world slowly with every entry has only made the series more beloved.
This is a universe that grew organically with time, cultivating characters and themes that always fit in naturally. Unfortunately for some Belmonts, this also means that not everyone can be a success story. The Belmonts obviously have to beat Dracula back, but it’s simply illogical to think that every Belmont rose to the occasion without screwing things up in the process. The best Belmonts make it through Dracula’s Castle with ease, but a few have made a mess of things on their way out.
10 Successful: Simon Belmont
There’s no Belmont that’s a better success story than the OG, Simon Belmont. For years, people feared and hated the Belmonts, but Simon rose to the cause to clear his name and save the countryside from Dracula. When Dracula’s curse poisoned Simon years later, he revived the Dark Lord just to kill him a second time.
Simon is one of the most hyper-competent Belmonts around, and if Super Castlevania IV is to be believed, he’s incredibly skilled with the Vampire Killer– more so than just about any other vampire hunter in the family. Very few have managed to fight Dracula twice, but Simon holds that honor with pride.
9 Ruined Everything: Leon Belmont
Simon may have been the first Belmont the series introduced to fans, but Leon is chronologically the first Belmont in the entire series, kicking off his adventure in the 11th century. Formerly a crusader, Leon ventures into a mysterious castle– unarmed– to rescue the love of his life. He fails, she becomes the Vampire Killer, his best friend becomes Dracula, and the Belmonts are cursed to fight against the dark lord for the rest of eternity.
To be fair to Leon, things really were out of his control. He basically stumbled into something he had no part in, completely outclassed, but still managed to survive. He got his family cursed, and they’re now locked in battle with Dracula, but… someone has to be, right?
8 Successful: Christopher Belmont
The main character of the Game Boy duology, Christopher Belmont predates Simon in the canon and also got to fight Dracula twice, as we learn during the events of Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge.
Christopher is not only able to defeat Dracula twice, he’s able to do so comparatively easier than other Belmonts. Not just that, he’s able to defeat his son, Soleil. Given that each new Belmont is canonically stronger than the last, this is an understandably impressive feat. Christopher also starred in the excellent Castlevania Rebirth for WiiWare.
7 Ruined Everything: Soleil Belmont
Christopher’s son, Soleil should have been the main character of Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge before he was possessed by Dracula. He remains the only Belmont in the series to be possessed directly by the dark lord himself (although not the only Belmont to be possessed.) Unfortunately for Soleil, he’ll never get his chance to fight Dracula.
Christopher saves him, but Dracula never revives again in Soleil’s lifetime. Not that he’d fare well if Dracula did come back. Soleil may have been caught off guard and comparatively younger than other known Belmonts, but he didn’t have the force of will to fight off Dracula’s possession– a precedent that’ll come to haunt the family later.
6 Successful: Trevor Belmont
Canonically the first Belmont to successfully defeat Dracula, Trevor’s a pretty big deal. Granted, he’s not as big a deal now that Leon’s the first Belmont, but being able to actually defeat Dracula is pretty significant. Trevor’s also one of the few Belmonts to build up a solid group of allies. Marrying Sypha Belnades ensures that the Belmont family has allies for centuries to come.
Trevor even faces off against Dracula a second time in Curse of Darkness, but he’s unfortunately wounded before he can ever reach the count, leaving things up to Hector instead. Either way, Trevor makes it considerably far and likely would have been able to handle Dracula himself.
5 Ruined Everything: Sonia Belmont
Sonia Belmont didn’t so much ruin things as her very existence did. Kind of. She’s not a bad character by any means and Castlevania Legends establishes her as a fairly competent Belmont, but that in itself is a problem as Legends takes place before Dracula’s Curse, when Trevor defeats Dracula for the first time.
Not just that, Legends ends with Sonia and Alucard having a baby together: Trevor. This completely muddies up the series’ canon and creates a connection between the Belmonts and Dracula that simply did not have to be there. It’s no wonder Igarashi retconned Legends the first chance he got.
4 Successful: Richter Belmont
Rondo of Blood is probably the most positive campaign against Dracula a single Belmont experiences. Richter’s town gets burnt to the ground and his girlfriend kidnapped, but he’s able to take out all of Dracula’s forces, kill Death, Shaft, & Shaft’s Ghost, and then finish off Dracula himself. And all of this while having saved his girlfriend, Maria Renard, and two other women in the process.
Interestingly, Richter’s final conversation with Dracula hints at something deeper within the vampire hunter. Even a Belmont desires. As Dracula burns to death, Richter is left to ponder the Count’s words as he heads home, having fulfilled his destiny. Unfortunately for Richter, Rondo of Blood is only the beginning of his story.
3 Ruined Everything: Richter Belmont
Richter may be the most competent Belmont when it comes to actually taking on Dracula, but he does not handle post-Dracula life well at all. Due to insecurities stemming from Richter having already fulfilled his life purpose to defeat Dracula in his 20s, Shaft is able to possess Richter and influence him to resurrect Dracula.
Richter’s actions mess everything up so bad that the Vampire Killer curses the Belmont family and outright rejects them until 1999. Richter locks the Belmonts out of their ancestral whip, forcing the Morris family to take on the weapon and lose their lives in the fight against Dracula, since only a Belmont can handle the Vampire Killer’s true power.
2 Successful: Julius Belmont
The Belmont who finished Dracula off for good, Julius Belmont is the single strongest character in the Castlevania franchise. Although the Battle of 1999 caused Julius to lose his memories for years, he eventually regaining his identity during the events of Aria of Sorrow. There, Julius put up a solid fight against Soma, and it’s suggested he would have won had he gone all out.
By Dawn of Sorrow, Julius is prepared to take out Soma should he fall to Dracula’s influence. Julius’ non-canon mode even proves that he’d be able to take up the Vampire Killer and put down Soma Cruz should the situation present itself. Julius is basically the one Belmont who’ll always be guaranteed to set things right.
1 Ruined Everything: Gabriel Belmont
Ah, Gabriel. The Belmont who screwed up so bad he literally became Dracula. To be fair, Gabriel is from an alternate continuity and basically takes Leon’s role in Lords of Shadow, but this doesn’t really change the fact that he allows himself to become completely corrupted, to the point of turning into the Dark Lord.To Gabriel’s credit, Satan is a larger threat who he does actively fight against, but Gabriel’s also fine taking out the Belmonts – his own family in this canon– time and time again. It’s a fairly interesting interpretation of Dracula and genuinely one of LoS’ better qualities, but it doesn’t exactly speak well of Gabriel’s competence.