Series one-time producer, IGA, was an unabashed fan of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. That was his absolute favorite game, and he loved dropping in nods to that game through his run. That's why Symphony of the Night, which starred Alucard, also featured a boss fight with three evil doppelgangers of his companions from Castlevania III, and why Dawn of Sorrow featured a three-hero bonus mode where the character explore Dracula's castle a la the play style of the NES classic.
That's why it was no surprise when it was eventually announced that Konami planned to release a (semi-)sequel to Castlevania III. Set three years after the events of the NES title, the new game, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (see, because "Curse" is in both names) the game explored the overworld of Romania and featured at least one character returning from the original game. The main protagonist, however, was someone new, one of Dracula's own warriors who had left the life of evil, retiring to a small town to live peacefully for the rest of his day. Well, until crap happens and of course he goes out to right wrongs and blah blah blah.
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Raised from a young age within the walls of Dracula's castle, Hector was a natural Devil Forgemaster, one of Dracula's elite monster creators. Able to create and raise creatures of great evil and grand power, Hector (and other, including his friend Isaac, another foundling among Dracula's ranks) fueled Dracula's limitless armies, creating the minions that walked the halls of the demonic abode.
However, despite working for Dracula, Hector was not such a huge fan of the "killing all humans" part of Dracula's evil plans. Eventually he defected, fleeing to Wallachia, hoping to never have to deal with Dracula's magic again. There, in a church, he met a sister, Rosaly, who tended to his wounds and gave him comfort. Eventually the two fell in love and went off together to find peace and happiness. And for a time they did... until Isaac returned to their lives.
Enraged at Hector's betrayal of his sacred trust with Dracula, Isaac arranged Rosaly's murder (fridging the poor girl before the game even really gets started). Hector, distraught at his love's death, swore vengeance and went on the offensive, hunting Isaac first at the ruins of Dracula's castle and then throughout Romania.
On his travels chasing down Isaac, Hector encounters a number of possible allies. There was Zead, a local priest who advises the Devil Forgemaster of Isaac's movements, helping his follow the path of his enemy. St. Germaine, a curious traveler with great knowledge, came to advise Hector along his path, warning him of trusting the enigmatic priest, Zead. And there was Julia, a witch who lent aid to Hector, helping his store and care for the devils he created. He also met, and fought with, Trevor Belmont, the great vampire hunter who was on his own quest to defeat Isaac. Initially distrusting of Hector, Trevor attacked the Devil Forgemaster, thinking him an agent of Dracula.
As Hector crossed through the countryside, he battled friend and foe. It was eventually revealed that Julia was Isaac's sister, and she warned Hector of killing Isaac out of revenge, advising him that doing so would only strengthen Dracula's curse (title drop) upon the land. When the time came, and the two had this last battle, Hector finished off his foe not out of revenge, and not by taking the darkness in himself, but only because there was no other way to end Isaac's own madness.
Still, with Isaac dead, the curse lived on. As was soon revealed, Zead was actually Death in disguise and, using the corpse of Hector's foe, Death had a host for the Dark Lord, Dracula. Hector fought and defeated the Grim Reaper, but this didn't prevent the vampire lord from coming back to life once more. Hector fought and bested the vampire lord, ensuring that Dracula's dark hold on the land would, for a time, finally be lifted.
Released from the dark magic binding him, Hector was free to pursue his own life once more. He met back up with Julia who invited the Devil Forgemaster to live with her. He accepted, finding some kind of peace (and, apparently, moving on pretty quick after the death of Rosaly).
The story recounted above is taken from the events in Curse of Darkness. There was a prequel mange released in Japan (and eventually translated over for U.S. audiences). Although an officially licensed tie-in, the comic's story has a questionable place in the continuity of the series. Although it covers the events of Hector's early life in great detail, we don't use any of that background for this page. Since we aren't sure how official it really is, as far as Konami is concerned, it doesn't fit our needs on this site.
Although a sequel in some respects to Castlevania III, Curse of Darkness is a essential a sequel to the mechanics of Lament of Innocence. Built on the same engine, the game plays remarkable similar to Lament. Of course, improvements were made, such as adding in more exploration and a larger world to explore, but if you didn't like Lament there probably wasn't much in Curse of Darkness to win you over.
Castlevania Netflix History:
Arriving in season two of the Castlevania anime, Hector (voiced by Theo James) is one of Dracula's lieutenants, and one of only two of them that are human. Along with Isaac, Hector served as a Devil Forgemaster for the Dark Lord (much like his alluded to role in the back-story of Castlevania: Curse of Darkness). Together, the two worked to supply Dracula with the forces he'd need to wipe all of humanity off the face of the Earth.
The fact that both of them, Hector and Isaac, were human but still served at Dracula's side, this despite his plan to wipe most (or, really, all) of humanity from the planet, proved to Dracula that these two were his most loyal soldiers. He put them in charge of his plans for conquering Wallachia (and then the world), even ranking them higher than the other vampires in his legion. This pissed off some, like the vampire lord Godbrand; for one lieutenant, Carmilla, she saw it as an opportunity.
Testing each of Dracula's men -- Hector, Isaac, and Godbrand -- she settled on Hector as the most likely to come to her side. Hector, being a fairly innocent man (all things considered), wanted nothing more than to remove the evil from the world. He felt that evil came from humans and, he hoped, the population of humans could be culled back to just a small, docile herd, protected and maintained for their own good. Carmilla convinced Hector that Dracula didn't share this vision but, instead, Carmilla could ensure the protection of this herd of humans. All she needed was Hector's help.
Together, the two (Carmilla and Hector) set about a plan to move Castle Dracula (which could move itself about via magic and clockwork) to the seaside town of Braila They managed to convince Dracula and the rest of the vampiric council of this plan under the guise that it would cut off the escape route of humans from Wallachia via Braila's sea port. In reality, though, Carmilla had her own forces massed at Braila, waiting in ambush, for when the castle appeared.
Once at Braila, Carmilla and Hector left the castle, dragging behind them a chained up Bishop (who had been killed days earlier and then turned into a zombie via Hector's forge magic). They had the Bishop bless the waters of Braila, making them holy (and therefore toxic to the undead). When Dracula's forces went out onto the bridges of Braila, Carmilla's armies attacked, destroying the structures and plunging Dracula's minions into the sea where they burned up. Then, using ballistas, Carmilla's men launched a counter offense, sending their own bridges across the sea so they could attack the castle.
This plan would have worked perfectly except the castle was then pulled away from Braila by a trio of heroes (Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard) who, at another location, used their own magic to drag the castle (effectively kicking and screaming) away from Braila This left Carmilla and Hector stuck at the town, unable to take over the Castle and rule in Dracula's stead.
Thinking he had an ally in Carmilla, Hector stuck around Braila, waiting for her next plan. Carmilla, though, had Hector thrown in chains so he could be dragged back to her lands. With much of her army lost when the castle moved, Carmilla had need of a new host of minions, and what better way to get them than via a Devil Forgemaster. She sent of for her lands, Hector in tow, to plan her next means of becoming absolute ruler of Wallachia.
Season three of the series finds Hector dragged to Carmilla's castle, bound in chains, beaten, and lacking his boots as the army trudges through the snow. Once at the castle he was stripped of his clothes and thrown in prison, given little more than moldy bread to eat. Despite the fact that Carmilla needed him for his Devil Forgemaster powers, she still took out much of her anger (for her failed attempt on Dracula's power) on Hector.
It wasn't Carmilla, but her sister Lenore who came to see Hector during his imprisonment. Although he didn't trust her at first, even making an attempt on her life (which went predictably poorly as she had vampiric powers and he was just a naked prisoner), eventually the two came to a kind of understanding. Maybe even a friendship, he thought. She brought him gifts of food, or books to read, furniture for him to study at, and he told her about his life, his powers, and his reasons for joining with Dracula.
Over time he was even allowed out into the castle grounds (once he was dressed, of course), under the guard of Lenore but still allowed to walk around in the fresh air. He was forced to wear a leash, which Lenore said was because he'd tried to take her life, but just being out in the air and allowed to have some kind of freedom was a big change, one that he appreciated.
Eventually, Lenore revealed that the vampires didn't even need Hector. Her sister, Morana, had struck a deal with the mercenaries of the local kingdoms which gave the vampires all the bodies they needed for whatever military quest they would launch. Without the need for his Devil Forgemaster abilities Hector could go free. Lenore just needed to know what he wanted.
As it turned out, Hector wanted Lenore. He'd fallen for the young-looking lady vampire and, very soon, the two fell into bed together. She begged him to promise her his love, his loyalty, his devotion, which he gladly did in a moment of climax. Unfortunately for Hector this had all been part of Lenore's plan. She'd been the local blacksmith and had him make her rings of enslavement. Whoever wore a ring and said words of devotion would be enslaved to anyone that had the other ring. She gave a ring to each of her sisters while the one of Hector's finger (that she slipped on while they had sex) forced him to obey their every whim.
The vampires had everything they wanted: an army of men, a second army of monsters ready to be forged, and a Devil Forgemaster at their beck and call. All it cost was Hector's freedom, which was tricked away from him. He was reduced to the status of a pet, a plaything for Lenore as she used him for his gifts and treated him poorly otherwise.
After being placed under the control of the Sisters, Hector went to work creating their army of Night Creatures (aka the Innocent Devils from the game series). He was commanded to build this army, and via the curse placed upon him the creatures under his control would also be under the control of the Sisters. However, whether an oversight or simply a limitation of the curse, Hector was still free to do as he liked outside of the commands given to him. This left him free to plot and plan and wait for the right moment.
When not directly observed by Lenore or the other vampiric guards in the castle, Hector went about setting traps, putting runes around the castle for his own purposes. These runes would come into play when, eventually, Isaac stormed into the castle grounds. Using a portal he'd found on his own adventure, Isaac was able to land directly in the courtyard of the castle with his horde of Night Creatures in tow. The demons then set about the grounds, attacking the vampiric guards and laying waste to all that got in their way. This was where the runes came in as they did their own damage to the vampires in the castle, further weakening the forces within and leaving Carmilla vulnerable to attack.
Although Hector expected Isaac to come for revenge for Hector's part in the betrayal of Dracula, Isaac had already forgiven his fellow forgemaster. Instead, Isaac wanted the head of the true mastermind behind the betrayal: Carmilla. To that end, Hector aided his ally not only with the runic traps but also by cutting off his own finger, thus cutting off the ring that controlled him and removing Carmilla's control over Hector's horde of Night Creatures. This left her with no defenses except her own abilities, and Isaac went off to fight the vampiric queen and end her potential reign of terror.
Left in his workshop, Hector hung back with Lenore who, due to her being a politician and not a warrior, was not equipped to fight in the battle at the castle. She was protected, such as it was, now suddenly finding herself bound to Hector for her own safety (and not the other way around). When Isaac returned it was to declare his victory over Carmilla, having watched her die. Hector then revealed that he'd also been working on a way to resurrect Dracula, that he'd been in league with the vampire Varney and the magician Saint Germain to pull Dracula's soul out of Hell into a new host. Hector had provided the spells, and the means, and Dracula could soon return. It was, he assumed, what Isaac wanted.
However, Isaac had no interest in pursuing that life again. He stated that was going to go off, with his horde, and find a new life, one not build on destruction. He advised Hector to do the same. This left Hector and Lenore alone in the castle together for a life, Hector assumed, they'd live in peace. Lenore, however, had no desire to be under the control of anyone. He watched as she chose to end her life her way by walking out into the daylight to watch the sunrise. What happened to Hector after this, if anything, was not revealed.
Playing as Hector:
Hector was a pretty strong fighter. Since he wasn't a Belmont, his weapon selection wasn't limited, allowing him to equip all kinds of weapons he could find (essentially letting him function more like Alucard). His great improvement was, of course, the ability to create six different types of Devil to use in battle:
- fairy-type: healing and restorative devils (a la the fairy familiar in Symphony of the Night)
- battle-type: melee fighters with great strength (who also can open metal doors, giving them a Metroidvania-style use in exploration)
- bird-type: air-based fighters (who also allow Hector to cross long gaps)
- mage-type: weak melee fighters that can cast powerful attack spells (as well as a "stop time" ability)
- devil-type: balanced fighters )who can transport hector underground)
- pumpkin-type: weak devils (likely included in the game as a joke) that give Hector huge stat bonuses when use.
The increased abilities and ability to explore more of his world gave Hector a lot of playability. Mixing up the various Devils and finding the right balance for the various sections of the game gave Curse of Darkness some much-needed depth.