300 years after the events of Castlevania Season 4, Castlevania: Nocturne begins during the on-going French Revolution, where the common folk are waging a war against the elites and the abbey. Little do they know that the elites are actually vampires, and they have the Abbot’s support because he has the means to make the Night Creatures out of ordinary folk, which is something that the vampires need, while the Abbot needs the vampires’ might to fight the masses. The arrival of the Vampire Messiah, Erzsebet Bathory, is imminent, as is the eternal eclipse, because she is apparently the devourer of lights. The Abbot is ready to seal the deal by sacrificing his daughter, Maria. However, Richter Belmont (Maria’s cousin), Tera (Maria’s mother), Annette (who is looking to avenge his friend-turned-Night Creature, Edouard), and Mizrak (the Abbot’s confidant who has realized that the abbey is doing ungodly things) are not in the mood to let that happen. So, armed with Olrox’s suggestion to use a magic book to send the Night Creature-making machine to Hell (literally) and their individual skills, the heroes march into the abbey to save Maria and stop Erzsebet and her minions.
Some of the night creatures begin to rebel.
After Erzsebet brings upon the eclipse, Drolta leads the army of vampires and Night Creatures to wreak havoc on the townsfolk. Erzsebet performs some kind of spell on herself while looking at the eclipse, which allows her to fully transform into the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Given her cat-like features and the color combination of her dress, it’s a clear reference to the daughter of Ra, i.e., the sun god. According to ancient Egyptian lore, she was the personification of vengeance and the cause of the unbearable temperatures in the desert and plagues across the country. Sekhmet was apparently deceived by Ra in order to stop her lust for blood. In retaliation, Sekhmet depowered the sun. Erzsebet’s version of Sekhmet is clearly doing the same. In fact, she is a vampire, and hence, her bloodlust makes sense. As she rides into the town, Tera, Annette, Mizrak, and Richter are stopped in their tracks by the guards of the abbey.
Given how the heroes have fought things that are deadlier than a bunch of men with swords and shields, they clear the path almost instantly and barge into the abbey to stop the Abbot from sacrificing Maria. Richter and Annette take care of creatures inside the church, and Tera disarms the Abbot and frees Maria. The Abbot is clearly regretful about having to sacrifice Maria because she is his daughter, but emotions mean nothing when they don’t translate into action. Anyway, Tera starts reading from the book that’ll open a portal to Hell. Annette heads to the dungeons to use her powers to push the Night Creature-making machine into the portal. Richter, Maria, and Miizrak are tasked with handling Drolta and her army of vampires. Annette tries to free the transformed Edouard, but she is forced to fight the Night Creatures, who are loyal to the Abbot and the vampires. However, two of the Night Creatures, who have started to remember who they are because of Edouard’s kind words, rebel against the head of the Night Creatures. This gives Annette the opportunity to plunge her sword into one of the leaders of the Night Creatures and take it out of its misery.
Olrox rescues Mizrak
Drolta proves to be too powerful for Richter, despite his reignited sorcery skills. So, Maria tag-teams with Richter to take down Drolta. Mizrak takes on the rest of the vampires on his own, but even they begin to overpower him. Olrox, who has been witnessing all this from the shadows, joins the fight, but only to protect Mizrak because he loves him. Annette tries to free Edouard, but Edouard says that his work isn’t over yet and that she should focus on destroying the Night Creature-making machine. Edouard states that he isn’t ready to leave and that he wants to bring light into the darkness of the dungeons with his songs, literally and metaphorically. It’s possible that he hasn’t come to terms with the fact that he is a monster, physically, with the soul of his older self. The literal prison reflects the mental prison he is in. As soon as he learns how to accept himself, he’ll probably gain total freedom.
That’s all sweet and poetic, but a frame of Erzsebet walking towards the abbey extinguishes all sense of hope. We get glimpses of Tera uttering her spells, Annette pushing the infernal machine into the portal, Richter and Maria fighting Drolta, and Mizrak fighting the vampires. However, as soon as Erzsebet enters the building, everyone is stunned. I love how it all goes black-and-white, and we get a reaction shot of all the characters in the room. It’s a simple and great way to establish the prowess of the character in question and the helplessness of everyone who is not on Erzsebet’s side. The Vampire Messiah makes a mockery of the heroes as she swats everyone like they are made of nothing. When Mizrak rushes to make his final stand, Olrox sweeps in and takes him far away from the abbey. This infuriates Mizrak because he wants to be with his newly-made friends, even if it is in vain. Olrox says that he loves Mizrak and doesn’t want to see him die. Mizrak doesn’t reciprocate Olrox’s feelings and starts running to the abbey after insulting Olrox and his heartlessness.
Did Richter, Tera, Annette, Maria, and Mizrak defeat Erzsebet?
Assuming that Erzsebet is there to kill Maria, Tera pleads with her to take her life instead of her daughter’s. Erzsebet surprises everyone by saying that the sacrifice will be forged in blood, but it won’t involve death. It’ll involve conversion into a vampire. Since Erzsebet needs a virgin and someone that the Abbot loves, she wants Maria. Tera still nominates herself because the Abbot loves her too, and she has already proven her resilience by killing her sister instead of letting her be Erzsebet’s blood bag. By the way, since Tera has stopped her incantations, the ghouls from Hell have started to creep in through the portal. Edouard steps in to save Annette after killing some of the Night Creatures. The machine continues to do its work, but Edouard’s intervention gives Annette the opportunity to exit the building. When she makes it to the ground floor, she sees Tera in Erzsebet’s arms and Richter barely managing to fight the vampires while holding onto an unconscious Maria. So, Annette makes a hole in the walls of the church, and that allows her to escape along with Richter and Maria. When the townsfolk learn about their failure, they start to throw stale bread and tomatoes at them. So, they keep running while assuring themselves that this is their only option. Mizrak joins them as they make it to the town’s outskirts. Erzsebet infects Tera and turns her into a vampire, while the Abbot stares at all this with a shocked expression on his face.
During Castlevania: Nocturne‘s ending, Drolta looks out of the hole in the wall. The Abbot realizes that she’s going to kill them, but he can’t do anything about it. He is foolish for thinking that the vampires would honor some kind of deal that would give him an equal partnership in the quest to oppress the revolutionaries, and he doesn’t have any option but to bear witness to everything that he has unleashed. Coming back to the heroes, Richter, Annette, Mizrak, and a barely conscious Maria stop to take a breather, and they are immediately ambushed by Drolta and her vampires. Olrox sees all this but doesn’t intervene.
Drolta moves in to kill Richter. However, she is stabbed through her chest by a familiar sword. As the dust settles, we see that Alucard has joined the fight. The shot of him impaling Drolta, with the eclipse in the background, is gorgeous. Of course, Alucard recognizes the young Belmont and states that he is willing to join his fight. It’s impossible to assume where Alucard has been all this time. He clearly hasn’t lost a step. And the most important thing is that, now, the heroes have a fighting chance. Is this an example of deus ex machina, i.e., an impossible situation is solved by an unexpected element? Yes, but Alucard is a character that exists in the franchise, and his sudden reappearance is surprising, but in a good way. Or is that the fan inside me that’s speaking? Possibly, yes. What did you think of that ending? Are you unhappy or glad that Alucard is back? Do you think he’ll be able to beat Erzsebet? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.