Count Cagliostro is the main antagonist of Hayao Miyazaki's film The Castle of Cagliostro. He is the count and regent of the European country of Cagliostro, the world's smallest nation. He comes from a line of counterfeiters stretching all the way back to the Middle Ages, who have been partly responsible for almost all major financial crises in European history. Many spies and detectives from all over the world have tried to crack their secret over the centuries, only to die a grim death in the dungeons of Castle Cagliostro, which in the modern age is outfitted with ancient traps augmented by modern technology. The Count's butler Jodo doubles as the leader of a group of assassins known as the shadows.
Cagliostro vs. Lupin
In the movie, the last count of Cagliostro is pitted against the famous thief Arsene Lupin III. As a teenager, Lupin tried to take on the castle singlehanded and barely escaped alive, assisted by a young girl. Years later, after robbing a casino, Lupin recognizes the money he has stolen as counterfeits created by Cagliostro (known as 'goat bills' after the Count's personal crest). Lupin decides to return to the Count's castle.
On arriving, he learns that the Count is due to marry the young Lady Clarisse, the last princess of Cagliostro. He needs the ancient rings of both himself and his fiancée to fulfill his goal: to cement his power and recover the fabled ancient treasure of Cagliostro. Clarisse despises the Count and constantly tries to escape. By coincidence, on one escape attempt she is saved by Lupin, and before being recaptured, leaves her ring with him. The Count sends Jodo and his ninjas to kill Lupin.
Lupin's old foe, Japanese detective Zenigata, comes to the castle to help him catch Lupin. When Zenigata becomes a nuisance, Jodo allows the detective to fall through a trapdoor into the dungeons where he will be 'forgotten.'
Lupin, meanwhile, visits Clarisse in her prison chamber, promising to help her. The Count traps him, and drops him down a similar trapdoor, before realizing that Lupin has left him with a fake ring.
In the dungeons under the castle, Lupin and Zenigata temporarily join forces and uncover his counterfeiting operation. When Lupin tries to rescue Clarisse again, the girl threatens to drop her ring into the lake unless the Count spares him. The Count agrees, but breaks his word as soon as Clarrisse submits. Lupin is saved escaping in the Count's autogyro.
The Count proceeds to have his wedding to Clarisse, heavily sedating her to make sure she complies. The wedding is stopped by Lupin and Zenigata. A fight between the Count's forces and the police breaks out. Zenigata leads a camera crew to the Count's printing presses, exposing his operation to the world.
The Count's fight with Lupin brings them to the clock tower of the castle. Lupin bargains for his and the girl's lives by revealing the key to the ancient treasure - to fit the two rings into the clock face. The Count agrees, then betrays them again, pushing them both into the lake around the castle. He then climbs up the wall to the clock face and inserts the rings as instructed. While they do reveal the treasure, the rings also start the giant clock's hands to move quickly towards the midnight position. The Count is crushed to death between the two hands of the clock.