The Succubus is an interesting creature in Castlevania lore. A recurring beast -- sometimes as a boss, sometimes as just an enemy -- the Succubus has become a fan favorite despite never having a storyline of her own. She's shared a number of scenes, taunting the heroes with her beauty and their desires, but not once has she ever had the influence on the story that, say, Carmilla or Shaft has managed.
It's easy to see why she's captured the minds of the fans (and, no, it's not just because she wanders around topless or naked in the various games). Her first appearance ever was in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in one of the game's more elaborate scenes, pretending to be the long-dead mother of the hero, Alucard, before fighting him in the dream world. It's the kind of iconic moment that stays with fans.
Of course, in her appearances as a boss since that moment, she's largely stayed to the same shtick, tempting the heroes with their fantasies and dreams. None of the moments since have been as iconic as that first scene, but the do continue to confirm the indelible presence of the villainess in the Castlevania series.
Castevania: Lament of Innocence
In her first appearance in the series, chronologically, the Succubus acts as a guardian of the Ghostly theater, one of five key locations that protect the seal placed upon Walter Bernhard's castle. The hero, Leon Belmont, went to the castle to find his kidnapped love, Sara Trantoul, and while he knew the evil vampire living within the castle had to be stopped, his primary goal was saving his soon-to-be-wife. This was an opening the Succubus attempted to use.
Upon entering the Ghostly Theater's main hall, Leon was confronted by a vision, that of Sara. THinking he had found his love, Leon begged her to come with him. Upon turning his back, though, "Sara" pulled a knife and tried to stab him in the back. Leon, though, suddenly knew an attack was eminent and dodged. He realized that the woman that appeared as Sara wasn't his fiance and demanded the truth be revealed. That's what the Succubus showed her true form, taunting Leon before attacking him. The two fought, but of course it was Leon that bested the demon, sending her back to Hell.
Realizing that his quest to save Sara couldn't be as easy as simply finding her unguarded, Leon ventured forth deeper into the castle, now aware that illusions could be cast to distract him and take him off his guard.
Frankly, the Succubus's plan in this game wasn't all that impressive. She didn't keep the illusion going for very long, and almost immediately gave up the game. While we give her credit for hte illusion she should have made a more convincing scenario to truly tempt Leon. Chronologically speaking, she does learn from her mistakes...
Castevania: Symphony of the Night
For her next big appearance, the Succubus had a more elaborate illusion, this time tempting the soul of Alucard. When exploring Castle Drcula, ALucard came upon a save point that, unlike all the others he'd found before, glowed an evil purple hue. Entering the save point, he was put to sleep into a strange and evil dream. Within he bored witness, once more, to the death of his mother, Lisa.
Lisa was a witch, but a good one, a woman dedicates to science and healing. The villagers in town, though, did not view it that way, seeing her magic as evil, in no small part because she was also the wife of the "evil" Count Dracula seeking to punish the Dark Lord the villagers burned Lisa at the stake and Alucard, young at the time, was forced to helplessly watch his mother's death.
Using this scene, the Succubus tried to get into Alucard's mind, playing the part of Sara so her words would change her very thoughts. Instead of beseeching ALucard to spare humans and take no revenge for her death, "Lisa" instead told Alucard to attack the humans, to free them from this word as a kind of twisted kindness. Resisting the words of his "mother", Alucard fought off the spell, realizing it was all a trick.
That was when the Succubus revealed herself, laughing at his misery before attacking the half-vampire. Unfortunately for the Succubus, as before, her wiles and powers were no match for the blade of the hero and Alucard, as Leon had before him, sent the Succubus back to Hell to contemptate her next move.
This illusion is much more interesting and, of course, it was the first real time it was done in the series (as Symphony of the Night predated Lament of Innocence in release order). This is a fan favorite sequence because of how different it is from the main battles of the game. Succubus plays a game, toys with the heart of the hero, something no boss had done before. It struck an iconic moment that all over versions of Succubus tried to capitalize on after.
Lords of Shadow History:
Castevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate
Her next and final role as a villain wasn't in the main Castlevania series but, instead, as part of the Lords of Shadow sub-series. Here, acting as the final boss for Simon's main quest, the Succubus once again tempteed the soul of the hero with his desires and needs, althohgh she didn't take the form of any person he knew, for once.
When Simon reached the top of the castle he found an old Cathedral, damaged and ruined. Entering, though, he discovered a paradise, like the inside of a palace or estate. WOmen loged everywhere and they all beckoned him promosing all kinds of unearthly desires. All Simon had to do was give in, to join their tempting flock. But while the Succubus's promises were tempting, Simon knew they were hollow and false. Resisting her charms, Simon decided to attack the demon instead, to clear one more evil from the world.
Once his battle against the Succubus was done, the illusion faded, revealing he was really in the keep of the castle and all that had happened had been watched by the Dark Lord, Dracula. But, before the two can fight, Alucard shows up and the chapter ends.
Using the Succubus as the end point for Simon's adventure is, honestly, a tad weird. She doesn't try to tempt him with visions of a lost love or his dead mother, just with sex and power. It's not really a solid culmination of his story (what little there is) nor does it illuminate anything about his character before or after. It's an interesting moment in a game often bereft of interesting moments, but the whole sequence is ultimately as hollow as the demon's own illusion.
As a boss the Succubus only appears three times in the series. As an enemy, though, she has many additional apperances. The first of these is in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon with a small, winged enemy that will fly around and attack you. The base version is called "succubus", but there are four additional version that appear in the game: the Nightmare (unreleated to the horse-type creature also called "Nightmare"), Fallen Angel, Lilim, and Lilith. Each of these upgraded versions looks like the basic Succubus but they have the ability to summon five rings that will circle them before shooting out towards the hero, homing in dangerously to deal nasty amounts of damage. While fighting them can be difficult, the upgraded versions of the succubus (known as the "lady bats") are worth a lot of experience, so grinding levels on them can be quite useful.
A different enemy form of the Succubus appears in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow in two different forms. The base version is called "Lilith" and she appears as a naked women with bones for wings. The upgraded, and more difficult to kill, version is the Succubus. She will appear as Mina Hakuba calling for help to tempt the heart of hero Soma Cruz, but when you get close she'll rise up and attack, and she's much harder to kill than her Lilith brethren.
For Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, the Succubus will appear as friend Yoko Belnades but, again, will attack when you get close. And yes, there is a lesser version once again known as Lilith as well. Also worth noting that this is the same version of the demon reused for Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.
The Succubus of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin no longer pretends to be anyone else to draw the hero in. She can, however, tempt the heart of Johnathan Morris with her wiles. It may be better to fight her as Charlotte Aulin to evade her romantic assault. And, once again, there is a lesser form known as the Lilith as well.
Finally, it's worth noting that the Succubus does not appear by name in Order of Ecclesia but the Lilith form does in essentially a reskin of the enemy from previous games.
Fighting Against the Succubus:
The Succubus battle is, frankly, laughable pathetic in Symphony of the Night (but then so are most of the other's in that game is you level up at all). The Succubus will fly up into the air and prepare to attack with -- shooting out hearts to stun and charm the hero so she can land a melee attack, creating duplcates acros the area that will shoot homing projectiles, or shooting out spines from her body in eight directions (radial) to stab the hero. But the fact is that if you keep hitting her repeatedly she'll fly back and up, trying to get out of range. Just repeat this over and over and you can kill her before she even lands an attack.
In his battle against Succubus in Lament of Innocence, Leon has to dodge a number of attacks from around the arena. The demon can summon flowering vines that act as turrents, shooting out fireballs at the hero. She will also dodge arount he room, shooting out ranged attacks at two different speeds: fast (pink) and slow (green). She'll also spin around as a form of in-close area attack, preventing Leon from getting in too much damage hand-to-hand. Eventually she'll also use her illusions to create duplicates of herself, only one of which will be the real version. She will also try to charm Leon, casting a bolt from the heavens to stun him so she can come in close and plant a dealy kiss upon him. Past a certain point she even begin to summon giant vines that will crawl after Leon, dealing large amounts of damage. It's all a bit frenetic but, frankly, not that hard to work through as she telegraphs all her moves, making them fairly easy to dodge or block.
For Mirror of Fate, Succubus combines all of her tricks from before into another hectic little fight. She fly around the room, shooting three missiles directly at the hero that they'll have to dodge. Get in too close for too long, though, and she'll do a spin attack at close range to knock you back. And she can do a radial blast as well to push you even further back and keep you better in range of her missiles. Damage her enou8gh and she fly to one of her ladies and feed off them, granting her an invicibility shield that you'll have to attack and break before you can begin damaging the Succubus again.
With her shield up, the Succubus will continue to shoot out missiles but she can also cause an electric blast to hit the floor and then radiate out, like a wave, that you'll have to leap over. When you've broken her shield she'll continue her pattern until you damage her enough, then she'll try to feed on another woman. This time you can break their connection, ripping the woman away (with a Quick Time Event) and prevent the dream demon from raising her shield. The battle will continue like this until she's at a quarter health.
Now, get ready for phase three, as the Succubus will feed on three women at once (no stopping this) before forming three shielded copies of herself. At this point the three versions will be arranged in a triangle, all of them shooting the homing missiles at you, and you'll have to figure out which Succubus is the real one by attacking their shield. You can land a few attacks before it switches up and you have to try again. Eventually, though, you'll be able to break the shield. Then you just have to weaken her for the last bit of her health before you can deal the killing blow.