The Succubus is a recurring foe in the Castlevania series, most often appearing as a boss but sometimes seen as a regular enemy. It must be noted that each game features a different succubus, and that each boss battle against a succubus provides an emotional challenge for the protagonist.
In folklore, succubi are female demons who magically seduce men, most often in their dreams, to drain their life-force. Their portrayal in the Castlevania games is very faithful to the legends, but it insists on the deadly seduction and makes them somehow linked to vampires. Although a different creature, the games feature a regular enemy called the Lesser Vampire which presents similarities with succubi, looking like a female bat-like monster.
Succubi are powerful, cunning and deceptive demons who mostly use their shape-shifting powers to lure the heroes before attacking them. They enjoy playing with their preys' emotions and revel in their torment, and mostly act in a flirtatious way. Also, each significant succubus seems to have a high position among their lord's henchmen.
Symphony of the Night
The most memorable succubus featured in a Castlevania game, and a big fan favourite, appears in Symphony of the Night. She is one of the four most powerful bosses found in the regular Castle, along with Olrox, the somehow optional Granfaloon, and Richter Belmont who is controlled by Shaft to serve as the puppet-king of the Castlevania.
She awaits the primary protagonist Alucard in what seems to be a strange saving point, but is in fact an entry towards the nightmare she created. There, she traps Alucard in his memories of his mother's execution and distorts them to convert him to the side of Evil, by making his mother tell him to hate humans. However, Alucard sees through her deceit and battles the Succubus to the death. When defeated, the Succubus understands that her foe is the son of Count Dracula and begs for mercy. However, she learns the hard way that Alucard treasures his memories of his mother more than anything. Outraged, he kills her and traps her soul forever within her own dream world.
The Succubus is at level 25. She is very powerful and can put up a serious challenge, so it is advised to confront her at a level matching her own. She divides herself in twelve succubi who shoot energy balls that fly around Alucard. Alucard must target the real Succubus; the only one who does not shoots energy balls. The Succubus will also expand the claws on her wings like spears and fly at close range to curse Alucard and drain his life-force.
It must be noted that the Succubus in among the fallen bosses that Dracula summons during the final battle, before crushing them and draining their blood to heal himself.
Lament of Innocence
Another Succubus appears before Dracula's rise as the King of the Night, under the orders of his predecessor the Vampire Lord Walter Bernhard. This blonde Succubus rules over the Ghostly Theatre and is one of the five guardians that Leon Belmont must defeat to reach Walter and save his betrothed Sara Trantoul who has been abducted. She appears before Leon assuming Sara's aspect to make him drop his guard, and attempts to stab him from behind. She almost succeeds but he escapes her trap at the last second. The Succubus then taunts him, saying that she finds him attractive in misery and that she would enjoy owning him for eternity. Enraged Leon fights and kills the Succubus, whose dying words reveal that Rinaldo Gandolfi, the alchemist aiding Leon, was also a victim of Walter's sick game.
The Succubus is quite powerful but not that hard to defeat. She flies around the room and attacks by conjuring poisonous plants from the ground, by wrapping her wings around her body to charge like a drill, by surrounding herself with a tornado to charge towards Leon, by firing three pointed projectiles of energy, and by creating two doubles of herself to attack. (Leon must find the real one.) Leon must dodge her attacks and strike her repeatedly. When her life-points run low, the Succubus will conjure spiked vines from the ground to track down Leon and will fire a long lasting, pointed beam.
A similar looking Succubus appears as a character in the Castlevania Pachislot games, spin-offs of the Dracula's Curse and Curse of Darkness games featuring mini-games of symbols sequences.
The Adventure ReBirth
The remake of Castlevania the Adventure features a boss of undetermined species who could be either a succubus or a lesser vampire; as she uses magic like the succubi and conjures bats like lesser vampires. She attacks by conjuring a swarm of bats infused with purple energy, or five similar swarms of bats counter clockwise around her; by summoning living shadows that move along the ground; and by shooting four blue fireballs on each side which make fire to erupt where they land, leaving little place to dodge.
As regular enemies
Succubi appear as regular enemies in some games, being very similar to the monster called Lilith (which is also based on a deadly temptress from legends). In Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow and the medley game Harmony of Despair, they appear under the aspect of a female protagonist, and the heroes must strike them to reveal their true form. They fly at close range to absorb the heroes' life-force. In Portrait of Ruin, the succubi fight in the same way but do not transform, instead taunting the heroes as they come close.
In Aria of Sorrow, the primary protagonist Soma Cruz (who is the good reincarnation of Dracula) must equip the souls of the Succubus, the Flame Demon and the Giant Bat when fighting Graham Jones to unlock the real ending. The Succubus represents Dracula's power to drain life-force, the Giant Bat represents his demonic transformation and the Flame Demon represents his power over Hellfire.
Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate
A succubus is fought as a boss in the second game of the reboot series Lords of Shadows. She is a servant of Dracula who seduces and captures men to bring them to her lord. She drags Simon Belmont within her illusionary world made from men's fantasies and tries to seduce him to drain his soul, but he resists and destroys her.
The Succubus flies over the room and attacks with spinning charges, blue fireballs in rapid succession, or blue shockwaves around her; forcing Simon to jump and strike her. After a while, she surrounds herself with a force-field and starts firing blue energy waves along the ground. Simon must strike the force-field until it breaks then attack the Succubus. Simon must also use his whip to pry away the Succubus' female slave from her when she drains her life-force. When she divides into three succubi surrounded with force-fields, Simon must break them like he did until he finds the real one.
An incubus called Magnus serves as the main villain of the radio drama Castlevania: Nocturne of Recollection, a sequel to Symphony of the Night whose place in canon is hard to define. Contrary to his female counterpart, he does not appear as a seducer, being more malevolent and ambitious. Also, his power is linked to his claws and breaking them renders him powerless.
Just like the Succubus of Symphony of the Night, to whom he might be related, Magnus seeks to turn Alucard to the side of Evil and uses elements of his past to torment him. However, he fully knows who Alucard is and is better prepared. His ultimate goal is to make Alucard the successor of Dracula and the new lord of the Castlevania. Magnus enslaves Lyudmil, a vampire who was Alucard's friend and servant during his human life, and sends him in a killing spree; while he tries to separates Alucard from his love interest Maria Renard. He also abducts a young vampire hunter named Alexis, who created a potion able to kill demons. In the end, Magnus and Lyudmil confront Alucard, Maria, Richter Belmont, Alexis and his friend Cyril. Alucard manages to free Lyudmil from Magnus' control, who in turn reveals the incubus' weakness, leading to his defeat.
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
Lords of Shadows:Secondary