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Barlowe

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Poor fool; if I could only make you see. Now die, and YIELD DOMINUS TO ME!!
~ Barlowe before fighting Shanoa

Barlowe is the central villain of the Castlevania game Order of Ecclesia. He is an elderly wizard and the mentor of the primary protagonist Shanoa and her friend Albus. He appears at first as a wise man dedicated to protect the world, but he is in fact a disturbed fanatic who wishes to resurrect Dracula at the cost of his disciple's life. His name is likely a reference to Kurt Barlowe, the vampire from Stephen King's book, Salem's Lot.

Characteristics

Barlowe is a highly powerful and skilled mage, who masters a wide array of spells, seals and rituals. Though he mostly spellcasts through many bewitched grimoires levitating around him, he is seen casting powerful battle magic (in the intro), flying and teleporting on his own. He probably devised himself all the spells used by the protagonists, and likely masters them since he taught them all.

Barlowe has adopted and raised the protagonists, making them into very powerful and dedicated mages and warriors. He presented the facade of a wise, noble and caring mentor, expressing praises and pride in their successes, but sadly the truth is much gloomier. He is in fact a deluded and demented fanatic, who thinks to be granting the wish of all humanity, and dismisses Shanoa's arguments. He is self-righteous, callous, uncaring, cold and cruel, only seeing his disciples as disposable pawns. The game data clearly states that he lost his mind, and Shanoa reacts to his true self with disappointed disgust.

History

After Richter Belmont, and later Alucard, defeated Shaft and Dracula, the Belmonts mysteriously vanished, leaving others to handle the threat of the King of the Night's upcoming return.

Barlow is the founder of the titular Order of Ecclesia, a secret society of mages able to cast spells through magical symbols known as Glyphs. One day, he came in possession of a relic that keeps Dracula's soul sealed and prevents his resurrection. Whether he was once determined to destroy Dracula for good but got corrupted by the Count's foul energy radiating from the relic, or has always been a fanatic hiding his true intention of bringing back the Count behind a facade of benevolence is never explained.

Barlowe told his disciples that the relic's destruction would end Dracula forever. He also harnessed the Count's power into three powerful Glyphs called Dominus, which he presented as the only way to destroy the relic, while hiding its true origin. Finally, he raised Shanoa so that she could one day perform the deed. Little did she know that Dominus is in fact intended to break the seal and bring Dracula back; nor that it consumes the life of its user, which would also remove her as an obstacle after she fulfils her purpose.

In the Game

During the night when Shanoa was about to use Dominus, she inavertently reveals to her friend Albus that she was chosen by Barlowe, leaving the young man distraught. Albus later disrupts the ritual and absorbs Dominus, causing Shanoa to faint and become amnesiac and emotionless. Albus protests that Barlowe always told him that Dominus would be his to bear, calling his master a liar. Barlowe reasons that he originally wanted Albus to perform the ritual but noticed that Shanoa was more suited to the role, but Albus attacks him. Barlowe counters his disciple's attack with a powerful lightning spell, prompting Albus to flee.

When Shanoa finally catches up with Albus, her friend reveals that he had realized that Dominus was lethal and that he wanted to spare Shanoa from such a fate. He also suspected that Barlowe had ulterior motives and that Dominus was better left unused. Unfortunately, Albus fell prey to Dracula's corrupting power radiating from Dominus and abducted thirteen descendants of the Belmonts, before fighting Shanoa in the Mystery Manor.

  • Albus is a higly powerful and considerably dangerous enemy who fights with the enchanted gun Agartha. He is very fast and he attacks with regular gunshots or magical ones: the Vertical Shot (two circling waves of light and darkness in whirling motion), the Max Shot which he used against Barlowe (in fact the "Acerbatus" spell, a giant energy ball dealing crippling damages that can curse Shanoa, which can be taken from him), and the "Torpor" spell (which fires three magic crystal that trap Shanoa and leave her open for attacks). He can also use "Quad Ignis": a devastating combo of flaming kicks; and when fought in Hard Mode "Ignis", "Grando" and "Fulgur": the common Fire, Ice and Lightning spells. Albus is vulnerable to the Dark Element, so do not hesitate to cast the "Umbra" spell and its variations.

Should Shanoa defeat Albus without rescuing all the captives, she will return Dominus to Ecclesia without suspecting anything and trigger the bad ending of the game. In this scenario, Shanoa uses Dominus and dies, fulfilling her secret purpose. However, Barlowe's treachery and Dracula's return are only slightly hinted. If on the contrary the requirements for the good ending are met, Albus will warn Shanoa not to use Dominus with his dying breath.

Upon returning to Ecclesia and confronting Barlowe, she refuses to obey Barlowe, when he orders her to use Dominus. She accuses him of sending Albus on a fool's errand to keep him away from the ritual, and to have sealed Shanoa's emotions himself to make her easier to control.

Barlowe first attempts to deny, though unconvincingly, before revealing his true colours. He claims that since humans' malice keeps bringing Dracula from the grave, it is them who call for his return without end and strive to live under his rule. He then resolves to take Dominus from Shanoa and sacrifice her whether she wants it or not.

After Shanoa defeats Barlowe, the pitiable madman sacrifices his own life to break the seal and resurrect Dracula. As such, Shanoa has no other choice than to storm the newly risen Castlevania, risking her life to challenge the Count with Dominus.

Boss Battle

How dare you! Even forget... Who raised you! You... stupid disciple!
~ Barlowe's rant

Barlowe is a formidable mage who can pose a serious threat. He is very resilient and his attacks are fast, but he is weak to the Light Element as well as slashing blows. He flies around the room, teleports, and uses his grimoires to cast powerful spells: "Ustio" launches seven homing fireballs in succession; "Tonitrus" surrounds him with a sphere of electricity before he charges twice while laughing madly; "Globus" launches two purple energy balls that bounce twice or thrice against walls, and can be stolen; "Glacius" freezes the entire floor and can only be avoided by jumping at the right timing. Should Shanoa get caught by "Glacius", Barlowe will strike her with a lightning blast that she would not be able to dodge.

When damaged enough, Barlowe will start using his most dangerous attack: He teleports and dashes at Shanoa from the left and right sides of the screen, trying to strike her with magic-infused punches that deal crippling damage. He charges around five times in very fast succession, each time from a different side; while cursing Shanoa for forgetting what he has done for her, highlighting his delusion.


 
Castlevania Villains


Original serie: Major Villains

Dracula | Chaos | Death | Carmilla | Shaft | The Castlevania |

Original serie: Secondary

Actrise | Barlowe | Beelzebub | Brauner | Celia Fortner | Dario Bossi | Dmitrii Blinov | Elizabeth Bartley | The Forgotten One | Galamoth | Gilles de Rais | Graham Jones | Isaac | Joachim Armster | Legion | Medusa | Menace | Olrox | Ortega | Stella and Loretta | Succubus | Time Reaper | Walter Bernhard |

Lords of Shadows: Major Villains

Satan | Dracula (alternate) | Zobek

Lords of Shadows:Secondary

Baba Yaga | Cornell | Carmilla | The Forgotten One (alternate) |


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