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Carmilla (Castlevania)

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But isn't this world hellish already? People are intrigued by darkness, and covet power and chaos.
~ Carmilla

Carmilla is a major recurring villainess of the Castlevania franchise, with an increasingly prominent role in each game in which she appears. She is an immensely powerful and influential Vampire Lady and one of Count Vlad Tepes Dracula's highest ranking followers, along with Death, Shaft and possibly Olrox. She is based on the eponymous villainess of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's short story Carmilla.

(It must be noted than in the story Carmilla is but an anagram of the villainess' real name Countess Mircalla Karnstein.) Another villainess in the same name appears in the reboot game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.


Castlevania Judgment provides information about Carmilla's character and history. She is described as a Vampire Lady who worships Dracula as a god and created the Golem, another playable character. The game also implies that Carmilla was already established as a Vampire Lady even before Dracula started to wage war against mankind for the death of his wife Lisa, and started serving him a while later.

During the events of Castlevania: Dracula's Curse, she staged a lot of trials for witchcraft, in order to destroy the witches who would not side with Dracula. She enjoys bathing in the blood of her victims, she hates those who use the powers of Darkness while opposing her lord, and she holds strong contempt towards humans but not outright hatred. (She believes that Darkness is the true nature of mankind and that their fight against it is delusional.)

Castlevania: Simon's Quest

Vampira Mask

"Vampira" (Carmilla's mask).

Carmilla appears in this game under the name of Vampira. She is the boss of Laruba Mansion who guards Dracula's Ring: one of Dracula's remains, which Simon Belmont has to gather in order to free himself from Dracula's curse which is eating away his soul. Carmilla is never met in person and controls a giant mask-like creature to fight Simon on her behalf. The mask floats around the room, shedding tears of acidic blood. Simon must avoid the tears and get away from where they land to avoid droplets, while attacking "Vampira" at long range.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood/ Dracula X

Carmilla is fought as a boss in Rondo of Blood and appears in its remake Dracula X.

Laura and Carmilla

Carmilla (atop her skull) and Laura.

In Rondo of Blood, Carmilla awaits Richter Belmont (or Maria) in the Torture Chamber. Richter must first defeat the "Vampira" floating mask before confronting the Vampire Lady alongside her vampire servant Laura. (A nod to the protagonist of Le Fanu's short story, who is Carmilla/Mircalla's target and finds herself infatuated to her due to her influence.)

Carmilla stands atop a giant skull and attacks by firing flames that separates into several smaller ones. Richter must attack at long distance or jump to reach her, while Avoiding Laura, who tries to grab him and hold him in place. When her mistress is defeated, Laura takes off her robe and attacks Richter with jumping kicks in quick succession. Richter must avoid it and strike right after.

Skull Sorceress

Possessed Annette

In Dracula X, Carmilla fights once again by proxy. Should Richter fail to rescue his girlfriend Annette on time, she will be possessed by Carmilla and attack him. The resulting Skull Sorceress attacks from atop a giant skull, in the exact same fashion as Carmilla. The Skull's Eyes float around the room and attack by infusing themselves with fire and charging at Richter, by infusing themselves with energy and rotating around one another across the room, and by conjuring lightning bolts to strike the ground. (These are the exact same attacks used by Shaft's Orbs of Sorcery in Rondo of Blood.) The Skull Sorceress must be fought like Carmilla in the original game.

Circle of the Moon

Carmilla is the central antagonist of Circle of the Moon. There, she holds a ritual in her own Evil Castle in Austria to resurrect Dracula, and prepares a second one to restore his full power. Just as Dracula resurrects, Master Morris Baldwin, his son Hugh and the protagonist Nathan Graves appear to confront the King of the Night. Unfortunately, Dracula effortlessly casts Nathan and Hugh into the subterranean levels and abducts the elderly vampire hunter, in order to sacrifice him during the full moon. Carmilla sends the Necromancer after the two protagonists should have they survived. It is more or less implied that she captured Hugh Baldwin and brought him to Dracula, who braiwashed him and used him as an obstacle for Nathan.

Carmilla (Circle of the Moon)

Carmilla in Circle of the Moon.

Carmilla confronts Nathan as he fights his way throughout Carmilla's castle and defeats her subordinates. Once again, Carmilla fights atop a gigantic, floating, demonic skull, but this time, she is considerably mightier and can put up a serious challenge. Nathan must jump on the platforms to reach Carmilla and strike her, since the skull is impervious to damage. It is also highly advised to be at high level and to uses the Magical Cards' elemental shield, which provides a good offence and defence combo. Carmilla attacks by sending purple bubbles, poisonous fumes, purple lightning bolts that strike the ground, a huge wave of purple sonic booms, a gigantic, long-lasting, purple beam; and by sweeping towards Nathan. Standing behind her at all time is a good way to dodge her attacks, save from the purple bubbles.

Castlevania Judgment

I shall enjoy your cries of agony.
~ Carmilla
Carmilla (Castlevania Judgement)

Carmilla, as seen in Castlevania Judgement.

Carmilla appears as a playable character in the fighting game Castlevania Judgment, sporting a rather... peculiar outfit and acting like a sadistic femme fatale, which is somehow out of character towards the dignified Vampire Lady seen in the other games.

Carmilla fights mostly at close range, grabbing her opponents to slice them with her blades. She has medium-level attack and defence but she is quite proficient with combo and special attacks. She uses attacks with rather disturbing names, according to her femme fatale characterization, such as "Maiden Pull", "Bloody Hell", "Merciless Dance" and "Wicked Game", consisting mostly of repeated slashes and slicing combinations. Her finishing move is called "Maiden's Feast": she sends all of her blades to strike her foe, which she locks in a huge, woman-shaped, Iron Maiden. She then taunts her foe one last time before locking him/her in the torture device and landing the final blow.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

See also: Carmilla (Lords of Shadow)

You are betrayed. There is no resurrection. Only this living death you see before you! Join her then!
~ Carmilla

Lords of Shadow

An unrelated character features as the tertiary antagonist in the reboot game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. She is the Queen of Vampires and one of the three eponymous Lords of Shadow. Three holy people who upon ascending to Heaven, left behind their dark half, who was reincarnated into demonic beings. Each Lord of Shadow ruling over one major Evil kind, the werewolves, the vampires and the necromancers.

Upon becoming the Queen of the Vampires, Carmilla turned Walter Bernhard's family castle into her own demonic Vampire Castle (a possible nod to the Demon Castle of the mainstream games). She summoned two powerful vampire-demons, Lieutenant Brauner and Commander Olrox to be her generals and bodyguards. She then plunged her entire country into an everlasting wintery night, so that daylight would never shine upon it and endanger her kind; and made the nearby Wygol Village as a "food supply" for her minions, who storm it on a regular basis. She also kidnapped a young girl named Laura whom she turned into a vampire.

The game's primary protagonist Gabriel Belmont sets out to kill the three Lords of Shadow, in order to assemble the powerful God Mask and resurrect his deceased wife. (Not knowing that he is but a pawn in Satan's plot.) After killing Cornell, the Werewolf King, he invades Carmilla's domain, killing her generals and storming her castle. Carmilla confronts him in her throne room and attempts to lure him by her side; (rightfully) claiming that he has no chance to fulfill his goal, even if he were to kill the three Lords.

Carmilla (Lords of Shadow)

Carmilla in both her humanoid and her demonic forms.

At first, Carmilla flies over her Throne Room surrounded with a force-field protecting her against all attacks. Gabriel must avoid the continuous streams of lightning she unleashes towards him, and fight all her vampire minions to the last one. It is best to save Gabriel's magic for the second stage of the fight.

After a while, Carmilla starts destroying her Throne Room and reveals her true, bat-like form. She then starts to chase Gabriel to strike him with her claws, while still spawning vampires. Using a defensive force-field and Light Magic is quite useful against her. The more damages she takes, the bigger the chasm in the room becomes. She will also attack by summoning swarms of shadow bats, powerful lightning bolts, and lightning blasts that cause an electric explosion. In the end, it will cause a long cut scene during which Gabriel has to strike at the right time to impale her and kill her.

Lords of Shadow 2

Carmilla Lords of Shadow 2

Carmilla as a "human"

Carmilla returns in Lords of Shadow 2, in which she once again serves as an antagonist. Centuries after Gabriel Belmont destroyed the Forgotten One, became Dracula and all but wiped out the Brotherhood of Light, he fell into a slumber that lasted until modern times. He then sets out to regain his lost powers and weapons in order to defeat Satan once and for all and become mortal again. Moving between the present and the past, Dracula discovers that his Demon Castle itself is trying to keep him as the King of the Night, whom it needs to exist.

Carmilla manifests herself under her human aspect within some sort of dream and tricks Dracula into drinking her blood, which is poisonous to him. She intends to deplete his strength until she becomes able to take over his body and his kingdom, while proclaiming that she "loves" him and that they are bound by destiny. Dracula avoids its effect by drinking blood from his "resurrected" wife Marie, and tracks down Carmilla throughout the library onto the rooftop. There, Carmilla shape-shifts into Marie to trick him, but he recognizes his real wife despite Carmilla's deceit and drinks from her. Furious, Carmilla creates a jail around Marie and engages a long boss battle that can prove very challenging.

The first stage of the battle is very similar to that in the first game. Carmilla surrounds herself with a force-field and calls forth vampire warriors, while conjuring lightning bolts upon herself to cause a lightning shockwave or charging at him. Dracula must defeat her minions and strike her repeatedly with fire based spells, until her force-field breaks.

Carmilla then starts turning into black mist to warp through the arena and charge at Dracula, while and conjuring lightning bolts that run along the ground, while still calling forth vampires. This time, Dracula must wait until she turns back to normal and use ice spells to freeze her solid before striking.

For the third stage, Carmilla surrounds Dracula with afterimages of herself and conjures rings of lightning that close upon him, that must be jumped over. Dracula must destroy all the afterimages before attacking her, and gains from her the power to turn into mist.

Carmilla's Guardian

Carmilla's Guardian Entity looks like her demonic form in the first game

Carmilla then conjures an ethereal guardian entity that strikes Dracula or tries and squeeze him, conjures gusts of wind to push him away, or hurls devastating lightning blasts. Dracula must first turn into black mist to enter Marie's jail and drink from her. Once again, Dracula must use ice spells to freeze her and pummel her. When defeated, she tears the jail open and attempts to kill Marie, only to get killed by Dracula.


  • The English version of Castlevania: Judgment backstory for Carmilla seems to be attempting to hybridize or cross over Sheridan Le Fanu's novella Carmilla, and that of Elizabeth Bartley who is based on the legendary Blood Countess Ersébeth Bathory. Le Fanu's Carmilla was notably less cruel despite being very much a vampire, and laid in a coffin filled with blood instead of bathing in it. She can be seen as a tragic character, and while Laura fears her, she feels pity for her in the end. Elizabeth on the other hand, is known historically to have been a vicious and sadistic individual, and truly did believe that bathing in the blood of young women would keep her young and beautiful.
  • Carmilla's mask is another reference. In the story, Carmilla takes advantage of the anonymity of a masquerade ball to look for victims. In the games, her mask represents the ballroom masks that Carmilla wore to the many parties she went to, using it to hide the fact that she was a vampire in the novel she came from.
  • In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, her castle is located in Austria, where the story of Carmilla take place.
  • Le Fanu's Carmilla's real names is received from the supposedly-long-dead Austrian countess Millarca Von Karnstein.
  • A model of Carmilla atop her skull can be seen in early footage of the Nintendo 64 game Castlevania. However, she was never present in the final game.
  • In Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, a statue which can be found within the Skeleton Cave, is clearly intended to resemble Carmilla's mask (Vampira) from Simon's Quest and Rondo of Blood.
  • It is noted that "Vampira" is the alternative name of Carmilla in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest in the Clue 13.
  • Carmilla is the most sexualized character in Castlevania: Judgment, wearing a very provocative costume that shows most of her breasts, buttocks, thighs, shoulders, armpits and back.

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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