Castlevania isn't really known for its story, characters, or any of that jazz. Nevertheless, it's had its fair share of protagonists throughout its life (which is now likely over) that have had memorable designs and abilities.
I know Alucard gets a lot of love, but I have to give the position of "best lead" to Soma Cruz, the hero of Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow.
This is a series that had put us in the shoes of vampire hunters for nearly every entry. Alucard was one of the rare exceptions, being the renegade son of Dracula himself, but for the most part, you were always someone equipped for the job.
He's a Japanese high school student - or exchange student if you're playing the localized versions (eat your hamburgers, Apollo), which in and of itself would normally knock him down a peg on the ladder of good protagonists for me. After all, what's a student compared to a trained vampire killer, or the son of Dracula? But here's the thing: he's not just any old high school student. This guy is the reincarnation of Dracula, stripped of his memories and given a second chance at life as a good person. Even his gameplay differs from the usual Castlevania protag, and plays off of his role as the former Lord of Evil, with him absorbing the souls of monsters and using them to fight.
|I mean, he can throw bones and axes and stuff too. I just chose a picture of angel wings and lightning to emphasize his newfound goodness.|
|Take THAT, Dracula! Oh, wait... he is Dracula. Take THAT, Dracula's successor!|
|Soma sports more modern clothing than Mathias, as he lives in the year 2035, over a thousand years later. The parallels to his old self, however, are very apparent. Why is he Japanese this time? Because the game was made in Japan, I guess.|
While Soma's games tell us how Dracula was defeated for good, we never got to see the actual battle. Koji Igarashi, the head honcho behind the franchise, seemed to be building up The Battle of 1999 as a future game. However, the last few games in the series rebooted the universe entirely, and Konami, who the Castlevania IP belongs to, has now renounced the video game business. It's a real shame, as the 1999 game was definitely something a lot of fans were looking forward to. While we'll never get to experience it for ourselves, there's a fan project attempting to tell its story that's worth checking out. It's not a game, but it's something.
|Julius Belmont, the final successor of the Belmont clan, defeats Dracula for the last time in 1999 with the help of Alucard and his friends. This art is a fan rendition by PixelProspector on Twitter.|