notquitedracula: (Default)
💀 Player Information
Name: Matt
Age: 32
Contact: Plurk (m_logan_2k2)
Characters In-game: None

💀 Character Information
Name: Soma Cruz
Canon: Castlevania (Sorrow arc)
Canon Point: Post second game by a couple years
Age: 23
Description:
5'11", 160 pounds. White hair, red eyes, fangs - classic albino, yep, nothing special here. He's pretty damn distinctive, really - even his method of dress is something that sets him apart. He wears a white trench coat like a cloak, blue jean bellbottom pants, white leather boots that have armor plates at knee, heel and toe, and a black turtleneck as everyday attire, for pity's sake.

Physical changes:
Well, the fangs are something he didn't have before. They're going to make eating an interesting proposition (not that he actually has to do that anymore, since... well, Hell).

Powers:
First and foremost is Dominance. The legacy of Dracula, this enables him to absorb the souls of monsters and demons and make their powers his own. In Dracula's case, it actually gave him command over living monsters and demons, so that may be an eventual evolution of it here, but for now, it's the same it was in the games. Or it would be, if, y'know. He could actually kill anything down here.

Second, he has a large collection of abilities that he's already collected. Listing them all here would take... a long time, and be pretty boring to read, honestly. So I'll just provide a link to a page that lists a lot of them and their effects. The limitation here is that he can only use three at a time (not counting ability souls, which there are exactly six of, and can basically all be used at once), and only in a combination of bullet-guardian-enchant (red-blue-yellow). He can switch on the fly, but let's say it takes him a full turn to do so to prevent game breaking. It should be noted that while his arsenal is vast, very little of it is actually all that powerful - he's like a Swiss Army knife, decent for a lot of jobs but not great at any of them.

He might be able to steal abilities from low-level NPC demons, but only with mod permission.

He also has access to some pretty strong sealing magic, but it's meant to keep high-level demons from drawing strength from Hell, so... yeeeah, that probably won't be very effective here. He might be able to learn more, eventually. (He can use the ones he has to seal doors, though - this is what the cult did with them.)

History:
Have a wiki link!

Hell Status: Limbo case

What Brings Them To Hell: Soma's record is mostly clean. Dracula's is decidedly not.

The Pitch:
The dichotomy represented by Soma's dual nature makes him a natural for the Limbo route. He's a violent pacifist, he uses dark power in the service of the light, he's freaking Dracula reborn and given a second shot at the whole life thing.

He's an interesting mix of flaws and strengths - an albino who can benchpress artillery (at least with the right souls equipped), a vampire who can stand under the naked sun, and a natural romantic who has no idea what to actually do on a date. He's kind of a derp, really.

Soma is one of my favorite characters of all time. I won't make any bones about it. He's fun to play, he's fun to play with, and his unique makeup presents some opportunities for shenanigans in this game that I really, really want to play around with. In short? I think he'll have fun, here.

Setting Fit:
After spending a while in the Limbo Hotel, Soma will get fed up with the place and go shopping for somewhere less gray to hole up. Shenanigans will likely begin from there, possibly related to whatever of Dracula's old minions he can dredge up (or what new ones he can recruit). He may eventually end up a reaper - he already knows where he can get the scythe for it, after all!

Samples:
Thread 1 Tiny bit of fourth-walling here, but it's an example of Dracula's personality bleeding through.
Thread 2
notquitedracula: (Default)
Personal
Name/Nickname: Matt
Age: 30
Personal Journal: None
E-mail: derrickjcross at that email service belonging to Google
AIM/MSN/Plurk: Plurk: m_logan_2k2

Character Information
Name: Soma Cruz
Series: Castlevania
Gender: Male
Anime\Manga\Game\Movie\Book: Games: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Dawn of Sorrow

--Those Little Details that Matter most--
Appearance:
Soma is, first and foremost, an albino. He has white hair that he keeps a tad long and shaggy for your average male, red eyes, and extremely fair skin. He does not suffer the majority of health issues associated with his condition, but prolonged exposure to direct sunlight is discomforting for him (for more reasons than one). This is why he typically wears dark, long-sleeved, turtle-necked shirts and full-length jeans. The duster he favors (white with blue trim) adds an additional level of protection, as well as a certain amount of style - he tends to wear it more like a cloak than a coat, with his arms out of the sleeves.

His facial features are sharp, some would say aristocratic, most would say fey and somewhat scary. His eyes are a deeper crimson than is common in albinos, owing to his peculiar heritage, and his canines are perhaps a bit more pronounced than a normal person's might be. He's just a shade above average height, with an athletic, whipcord build that makes him look a little scrawny under the coat he favors. Lastly, he has a predatory aura he's not at all aware of, which tends to put people on their guard.

History:
Hooo boy, this is gonna be a trip.

Soma's history begins long before his birth, in the late 11th century AD, with a man named Mathias Cronqvist. Mathias was a well-known and respected alchemist and scholar, as well as a genius tactician and long-time friend of Leon Belmont, an English knight in the service of the Church. Mathias returned from a victorious campaign to find his beloved Elisabetha had died suddenly; this caused his health to fail, rendering him bedridden for over a year. During that time, Leon's lady was kidnapped by a vampire by the name of Walter Bernhard, the demented, sadistic lord of a castle in Transylvania who loved nothing more than to play games with the hunters who came to slay him. He was also the owner of an alchemic artifact known as the Ebon Stone, which was the source of both his power and his curse of vampirism. Leon defeated Walter by completing a whip originally created by Rinaldo Gandolfi, the Vampire Killer which now lies at the center of the Belmont clan's power. To do so, he had to sacrifice one who was tainted by a vampire but who had not yet succumbed to the curse - his lady, Sara Trantoul, who gave her life willingly to complete the whip. Upon defeating Walter, however, he learned (from no less a source than Death itself) that the man behind it all had been Mathias. Having cursed God for allowing his beloved to perish, Mathias wanted Leon to experience the same despair and join him in his cause. Leon refused, and thus began the long-standing feud between Mathias and the Belmonts.

Sometime later, Mathias - now living in the province of Wallachia - fell in love again, this time with a woman named Lisa who strongly reminded him of Elisabetha. Together they had a son, and together his wife and son may have eventually redeemed him. Unfortunately, his wife was accused of healing others by means of witchcraft and executed during daylight hours, when Mathias could not intervene (their son wasn't yet old enough or strong enough to do so). Sometime after this, he began to call himself Dracula Vlad Tepes, and the rest is history. Over eight games' worth of history which I will now gleefully skip over because it has no relevant character development whatsoever, beyond the fact that it happened to Dracula and that Soma is the reincarnation of same.

Hokay. Fast forwarding to 1999, when Dracula's revival cycle is broken finally and completely by Julius Belmont (with the aid of an unnamed Hakuba priest presumed to be Mina's father, Dracula's son Alucard, and the witch Yoko Belnades), his castle sealed inside a solar eclipse. At the instant of his death, three people were born - Graham Jones, Dario Bossi, and Dmitrii Blinov. These three each inherit some measure of Dracula's power, and end up as members of the same cult (though it isn't explicitly stated with regards to Graham, I believe this to be the case based on empirical evidence). They keep their shenanigans secret for 35 years, during which time a fourth claimant to the mantle is born - Soma Cruz, 2017.

Soma lives a relatively normal life, despite the fact that he's an albino and makes most people really, really nervous just by existing in the same room. He lives in Japan near the home of his friend and obvious-to-everyone-else love interest Mina Hakuba, attending school alongside her and generally being a person living in modern society. During an eclipse in the year 2035, he and Mina journey to the Hakuba shrine to observe a solar eclipse - only to find it takes them longer than usual to get there. Sound ominous yet? Naturally they end up falling unconscious at the top, and wake up in a vastly different location - the courtyard of Castlevania. They're greeted - if you can call being told to get out 'greeted' - by Genya Arikado (who is quite certainly not Alucard, no, not at all, why would you even assume such a thing?) and then attacked by a horde of skeletal nasties. Arikado - who is still not Alucard - defeats them all and absorbs their souls, leaving Soma to face the one he missed; he ends up doing the same soul-sucking thingy. Naturally this means he must slog through the castle to the throne room, facing unspeakable horrors along the way! He does so, gaining power and knowledge during the journey. The most important thing he learns before the big reveal is that he has a Dark Power - the Power of Dominance, which is what allows him to nom the souls of monsters.

He meets several people during his journey. Graham Jones, an insane missionary who wants to become Dracula and resents Soma's power. Yoko Belnades, a descendant of the witch Sypha Belnades and an agent of the Church. J, the amnesiac vampire hunter who turns out to be Julius Belmont - yes, the same Julius Belmont who destroyed Dracula and bound him and his castle to a celestial event to end his regeneration cycle. Last (and least) Hammer, an army man turned... shopkeeper? Okay, I guess it works, though I have no idea how he gets his inventory, considering how difficult it is to get around the damn castle. Anyway, Soma reaches the throne room with the aid of his newfound powers and puts Graham out of everyone's misery, taking Dracula's mantle for his own in the process. Arikado, who I will now stop pretending is not Alucard in a shoddy paint job, arrives and does something complicated and magical and utterly unexplained to slow down the chaos spreading through Soma, in hopes that he can defeat the corruption at its source. All the while, mind you, Mina is in the castle courtyard with her life force slowly draining away because the castle is an asshat. So yeah, he has that driving him too (it's actually the main thing driving him, since I seem to have gone into silly mode and may not have made that plain). He and Julius fight at the entrance to the realm of Chaos, and Soma makes Julius promise to kill him if he fails after delivering a most righteous beatdown to the aged vampire hunter. His mind thus at ease, Soma enters Chaos with no regrets. To sum up, Soma succeeds and everyone lives happily ever after.

...Or at least until Celia decides that she really, really wants to ressurect Dracula anyway, over Soma's dead body if necessary. She's found the other two heirs to the throne, Dario Bossi and Dmitrii Blinov, and if Soma won't man up, well, they'll just have to kill him and take the mantle back, now won't they?

The vast majority of the second game is more of the same thing - crazy people who want to become Dracula, improbable shopkeepers, his not-girlfriend hanging on the outskirts of it all, and Alucard being mysterious, though at least this time he's telling Soma NOT to walk into the teeth of Hell. Not that it matters, because he does it anyway - it's time to end this, and the means to do so has been conveniently placed before him. How they managed to rebuild That Goddamn Castle is a bit of a mystery, but hey, they've got a crazy death cult behind them - nothing's beyond the realm of possibility.

Defeating Dmitrii Blinov gives Soma his first real shock - although Soma's certain he hasn't done enough damage to kill the man, he still falls dead, and his soul enters Soma's body, bestowing no particular power but sitting there like an ectoplasmic timebomb. This troubles him throughout the castle, right past Dario Bossi and his (literal) inner demon. It all comes to a head when he reaches the room and trap Celia set for him - Mina, strapped to a wall and about to be murdered in the name of resurrecting Dracula. ...Except, as the pendant he's carrying reminds him, it's not really Mina, it's a doppelganger. A doppelganger, as in the monster known to copy people's bodies? That's not at all om--okay, I can't even finish that sentence with a straight face. Of COURSE Dmitrii's soul hijacks it, and hey, guess what? He's absorbed Soma's power of Dominance! After Dmitrii and Celia wander off to find something stronger for Dmitrii to absorb, Alucard and Julius head for the tower to break the seal on its lower levels. Soma, naturally, follows. And it's at the moment he enters that portal to Hell that things go weird...er.

AU: Nope, unless you count a bit of headcanon about his armory.

Personality:
Soma is fiercely loyal to his friends, with Mina first and foremost. He will go to any length to protect them, up to and including walking through a close approximation of Hell itself - twice. He tends to take on more than is his fair share of responsibility, but he's usually strong enough both physically and mentally to shoulder the burden.

Although he was reluctant at first, Soma has made peace with his birthright. As the reincarnation of Dracula, he is determined not to fall victim to his predecessor's cursed fate, and his friends are right there with him to make sure he doesn't; this hints at a natural, personal magnetism or ephemeral quality that Mathias (the original Dracula) perhaps lacked.

An iron will and strong intellect are apparent in his journey through the castle and its manifold traps and travails. He solves puzzles intended to kill those too weak to provide the castle's master with entertainment (a throwback to when the castle was the home of Walter Bernhard, Dracula's predecessor) and holds himself together through mental shocks specifically designed to break his psyche.

Soma fears becoming Dracula, because doing so would mean betraying everything he's ever stood for. He also fears losing his friends, whether physically or metaphorically; on at least one occasion this is used in an attempt to turn him into Dracula. As far as hopes go, he just wants to get home, finish what he started, and live his life in peace, with his friends close to hand. His desires for the future aren't really discussed in canon beyond surviving to see the next dawn without becoming manifest evil, but that's a pretty good one, I think.

Abilities/Powers?:
...I can't just say 'yes' and leave it at that, can I. Damn it. Okay, but remember - you guys ASKED for this.

The Power of Dominance, Soma's inheritance from Dracula, gives him the ability to dominate the souls of monsters and demons he defeats. By the canon point I'm taking him from, he's already gone through the castle like a tornado, so I'll just provide a link to a list of the souls available in the game and have done with it. Some of these, obviously, will not work within the game, but the majority should be compatible. He can only use one each from the Bullet, Guardian and Enchanted sets at a time, can set up two 'sets' of souls via Doppelganger, and his immunity souls are not retroactive, meaning he can be poisoned, turned to stone, or cursed if he lets his guard down. He does have a high natural resistance to these things, however, so don't expect them to run a full course or be necessarily fatal.

He has some natural magical ability all his own; mostly he uses it to enhance his physical attacks, but he can also perform a number of magical seals designed to entrap and destroy more powerful demons/monsters. They work on anything that draws on an outside force for power - whether chaos, light, darkness, juju, gogo juice, dragon veins, ancestral spirits, totems, or whatever - by cutting off the flow of power. In most cases this results in the enemy's destruction, but creatures with stronger wills (humans for example) may survive, though they will be greatly diminished. The strongest seal at his disposal is capable of dealing with manifestations of abstract beings such as Death. It's possible he could learn some True Magic, but given his already expansive arsenal... I rather doubt it.

For purposes of sanity, I am severely limiting his potential armory. He will retain Kaladbolg (a dark sword tempered by faeries, which may be Excalibur on its day off); Claimh Solais (an immense blade that shines with its own holy light); Nebula (a holy chain that can pick its own targets); Gungner (Odin's thunderbolt; a spear that's guaranteed to pierce its target); Battle axe (just your standard double-bit battle axe); Morgenstern (a brutal mace); Yasutsuna (a katana famed for severing a demon's arm); and last, a 9mm handgun loaded with blessed silver bullets.

In addition, he will have Dracula's Tunic (which has merged with his coat, and repairs both it and his other clothing automatically), Mina's talisman (which provides some protection against dark forces that might try to possess him or take over his body), a number of health/mana potions (no more than nine of either), anticurse and antivenom potions, and a bunch of random food items.

Last but not least he has Dracula's soul, and with it some of his memories. It's hard to say how much of them, but it's likely he'd be a quick study at alchemy (and European history) if given the chance. I am *not* giving him this talent from the outset, because this section is already far too long (this is the second draft, believe it or not, and the first was twice as long). Unlike other times I've played this character, Dracula will *not* be making an appearance as a sentient Other in Soma's mind - it'd be far too convenient in this setting for him to be able to ask the old count questions.

Which direction do you think your character will head?: ...Straight into the teeth of Hell, of course. Compass-wise, North. Castles play something of a large role in Soma's destiny, and whether he can see it or not, he'll be drawn to Xan's not-so-humble abode.

Third Person Sample:
This log is actually still ongoing, but it's technically Soma taken from the end of the *first* game, rather than the second. Shouldn't make much of a difference, though, aside from him being somewhat more mature and sure of himself in the second game.

First Person Sample:
I expected to find myself in Hell, and this isn't a far cry from it, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the one I was aiming for. Has anyone got the slightest idea what this place really is? I'm not sure I buy the story I was fed by the guy claiming to be a god. I know God, and I know the devil, and this guy felt like a lot closer relation to the latter than the former.

I don't know what world this is, nor how I came to be here instead of where I belong, but if any of you meet a woman named Celia Fortner or a man named Dmitrii Blinov, be cautious. They are extremely dangerous - Celia as a schemer and a powerful witch, and Dmitrii because he's stolen a power he cannot possibly control. They plan to resurrect something ancient and evil, and are not above sacrifice to do it.
notquitedracula: (Default)
Character Name: Soma Cruz
Series: Castlevania (Sorrow arc)
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Species: Human/Reincarnated Vampire

Appearance:
Soma's average height with a whipcord build that hints at some form of athletics practice. His most distinctive physical features are his hair (short, somewhat shaggy, and pure white) and his eyes (red, piercing, and intimidating). His mode of dress hints at medieval European noble attire, with his white trenchcoat being an obvious modern equivalent to the cloaks worn back then; this is enhanced by the way he usually wears it, with his arms out of the sleeves. Oh, and the fur ruff. He has one, and it is epic. I'm not sure why he has it though, as it's nowhere to be seen in Dawn. Maybe because it was cold?

At any rate. Soma's an albino, as evinced by his hair and eye color. This also means he stays pale (no tanning) and gets sunburned easily. Classic albinism also leaves him open to some other nasty side effects, but his inheritance probably renders all that a moot point.

Most people are intimidated by Soma's appearance; he looks like he should be looking down his nose at people with a full-blown sneer, and ordering someone put to the sword. Of course, he doesn't do that - not only is it douchey and illegal, he's just not that kinda person. But he looks like he should be, and that's the impression a lot of people get before they talk to him and learn what an awkward derp he really is.

Personality:
Soma is fiercely loyal to his friends, with Mina first and foremost. He will go to any length to protect them, up to and including walking through a close approximation of Hell itself - twice. He tends to take on more than is his fair share of responsibility, but he's usually strong enough both physically and mentally to shoulder the burden.

Although he was reluctant at first, Soma has made peace with his birthright. As the reincarnation of Dracula, he is determined not to fall victim to his predecessor's cursed fate, and his friends are right there with him to make sure he doesn't; this hints at a natural, personal magnetism or leadership quality that Mathias (the original Dracula) perhaps lacked.

An iron will and strong intellect are apparent in his journey through the castle and its manifold traps and travails. He solves puzzles intended to kill those too weak to provide the castle's master with entertainment (a throwback to when the castle was the home of Walter Bernhard, Dracula's predecessor) and holds himself together through mental shocks specifically designed to break his psyche.

Soma fears becoming Dracula, because doing so would mean betraying everything he's ever stood for. He also fears losing his friends, whether physically or metaphorically; on at least one occasion this is used in an attempt to turn him into Dracula. As far as hopes go, he just wants to live his life in peace, with his friends close to hand. His desires for the future aren't really discussed in canon beyond 'surviving to see the next dawn without turning into a manifestation of evil,' but that's a pretty good one both for where he comes from and the KH universe.

Abilities:
Core to his inheritance is the Power of Dominance. This enables him to absorb the souls of monsters he defeats in battle, taking one or more of their abilities for his own. This is by no means a certain thing - sometimes it can take hundreds of kills for him to absorb a soul, and he absolutely -cannot- absorb human souls (though they can willingly enter him under certain circumstances, as demonstrated by Dmitrii in Dawn).

He also has some command over magic; he usually uses this to enhance his physical combat abilities, but Dawn shows that he's quite capable of learning other spells, especially sealing magic.

The souls Soma collects are divided into four categories: Bullet (Red), Enchant (Yellow), Guardian (Blue), and Ability (Silver). He can use one of each of the first three at a time, with the ability to switch to completely different ones on the fly (this is not instantaneous, but it doesn't take long).

Bullet souls are magic attacks, they drain mana per use and have a wide range of power levels. Enchant souls provide a stat boost or situational ability (such as immunity to poison or curses) at no mana cost; these abilities are lost when the soul is unequipped. For sanity's sake, I'm nullifying the stat boost souls entirely and not including them in the list.

Guardian souls have a wide range of uses; they can provide temporary abilities or transformations, they can summon familiars, they can act as persistent area-effect attacks, and I'm sure there are other uses I'm not remembering offhand. The downside of all this is that they all drain mana constantly while in use. And lastly: Ability souls each grant Soma a specific ability. They're always active, all at once, and there are only six of them. None of the granted abilities cost mana to use.

A complete list of the souls available to Soma as well as their type and cost can be found here; he won't be gaining any new ones in-game unless mods decree otherwise.

Items:
Kaladbolg - A sword out of Irish legend, Kaladbolg is known for being able to decimate multiple opponents and cleave the tops off hills. It bears the Darkness attribute and increases Soma's magical attack power.
Claimh Solais - Another Irish legend, Claimh Solais is a sword of Light. A full six feet in length (seven if you count the handle), it's said to be irresistible in battle, cleaving through any armor with ease. It's strong against beings of darkness and is Soma's strongest physical weapon.
Gungnir - Spear of the Norse god Odin. It pierces through everything its blade touches, and never fails to strike whatever it's thrown at. In Soma's hands, it has the Lightning element and casts a bolt on crit.
Pocket Knife - A completely ordinary pocket knife. This is what Soma is armed with when he begins his trek through the castle, and it serves him well until he can find something stronger.
Coat - Gameplay suggests that Soma's coat acts as a sort of hammerspace, containing his weapons and armor as well as whatever other bits and bobs he picks up.
Dracula's Tunic - A garment imbued with Dracula's powers. Although the lack of sprite appearance change is caused by console limitations, I'm going to headcanon that Soma's coat absorbs whatever armor he equips, maintaining its regular appearance. The tunic provides moderate (say, 20%) resistance to all elements and a decent amount of physical protection - not the best of anything, but a good all around mix. It also boosts his magic power.
Mina's Talisman - More important than all the other things he carries combined, this pendant is a constant reminder of what Soma is fighting for. When Mina is present (as in, in the same world) it forges a telepathic link between them. It has the power to prevent him from succumbing to darkness for a short time.
Potions - A small variety of potions; Health, Mana, Antivenom, Anti-Curse, and Anti-Petrification. He has three variants of HP and MP potions, with 9 regular (1/10 heal), 5 hi (half heal), and 2 super (full heal) of each and 5 each of the others.

History:
Soma's history begins long before his birth, in the late 11th century AD, with a man named Mathias Cronqvist. Mathias was a well-known and respected alchemist and scholar, as well as a genius tactician and long-time friend of Leon Belmont, an English knight in the service of the Church. Mathias returned from a victorious campaign to find his beloved Elisabetha had died suddenly; this caused his health to fail, rendering him bedridden for over a year. During that time, Leon's lady was kidnapped by a vampire by the name of Walter Bernhard, the demented, sadistic lord of a castle in Transylvania who loved nothing more than to play games with the hunters who came to slay him. He was also the owner of an alchemic artifact known as the Ebon Stone, which was the source of both his power and his curse of vampirism. Leon defeated Walter by completing a whip originally created by Rinaldo Gandolfi, the Vampire Killer which now lies at the center of the Belmont clan's power. To do so, he had to sacrifice one who was tainted by a vampire but who had not yet succumbed to the curse - his lady, Sara Trantoul, who gave her life willingly to complete the whip. Upon defeating Walter, however, he learned (from no less a source than Death itself) that the man behind it all had been Mathias. Having cursed God for allowing his beloved to perish, Mathias wanted Leon to experience the same despair and join him in his cause. Leon refused, and thus began the long-standing feud between Mathias and the Belmonts.

Sometime later, Mathias - now living in the province of Wallachia - fell in love again, this time with a woman named Lisa who strongly reminded him of Elisabetha. Together they had a son, and together his wife and son may have eventually redeemed him. Unfortunately, his wife was accused of healing others by means of witchcraft and executed during daylight hours, when Mathias could not intervene (their son wasn't yet old enough or strong enough to do so). Sometime after this, he began to call himself Dracula Vlad Tepes, and the rest is history. Over eight games' worth of history which I will now gleefully skip over because it has no character development whatsoever, beyond the fact that it happened to Dracula and that Soma is the reincarnation of same.

Hokay. Fast forwarding to 1999, when Dracula's revival cycle is broken finally and completely by Julius Belmont (with the aid of an unnamed Hakuba priest presumed to be Mina's father, Dracula's son Alucard, and the witch Yoko Belnades), his castle sealed inside a solar eclipse. At the instant of his death, three people were born - Graham Jones, Dario Bossi, and Dmitrii Blinov. These three each inherit some measure of Dracula's power, and end up as members of the same cult (though it isn't explicitly stated with regards to Graham, I believe this to be the case based on empirical evidence). They keep their shenanigans secret for 35 years, during which time a fourth claimant to the mantle is born - Soma Cruz, 2017.

Soma lives a relatively normal life, despite the fact that he's an albino and makes most people really, really nervous just by existing in the same room (something to do with his eyes). He lives in Japan near the home of his friend and obvious-to-everyone-else love interest Mina Hakuba, attending school alongside her and generally being a person living in modern society. During an eclipse in the year 2035, he and Mina journey to the Hakuba shrine to observe a solar eclipse - only to find it takes them longer than usual to get there. Sound ominous yet? Naturally they end up falling unconscious at the top, and wake up in a vastly different location - the courtyard of Castlevania. They're greeted - if you can call being told to get out 'greeted' - by Genya Arikado (who is quite certainly not Alucard, no, not at all, why would you even assume such a thing?) and then attacked by a horde of skeletal nasties. Arikado - who is still not Alucard - defeats them all and absorbs their souls, leaving Soma to face the one he missed; he ends up doing the same soul-sucking thingy. Naturally this means he must slog through the castle to the throne room, facing unspeakable horrors along the way! He does so, gaining power and knowledge during the journey. The most important thing he learns before the big reveal is that he has a Dark Power - the Power of Dominance, which is what allows him to nom the souls of monsters.

He meets several people during his journey. Graham Jones, an insane missionary who wants to become Dracula and resents Soma's power. Yoko Belnades, a descendant of the witch Sypha Belnades and an agent of the Church. J, the amnesiac vampire hunter who turns out to be Julius Belmont - yes, the same Julius Belmont who destroyed Dracula and bound him and his castle to a celestial event to end his regeneration cycle. Last (and least) Hammer, an army man turned... shopkeeper? Okay, I guess it works, though I have no idea how he gets his inventory, considering how difficult it is to get around the damn castle. Anyway, Soma reaches the throne room with the aid of his newfound powers and puts Graham out of everyone's misery, taking Dracula's mantle for his own in the process. Arikado, who I will now stop pretending is not Alucard, arrives and does something complicated and magical and utterly unexplained to slow down the corruption spreading through Soma, in hopes that he can defeat the corruption at its source. All the while, mind you, Mina is in the castle courtyard with her life force slowly draining away because the castle is an asshat. So yeah, he has that driving him too (it's actually the main thing driving him, since I seem to have gone into silly mode and may not have made that plain). He and Julius fight at the entrance to the realm of Chaos, and Soma makes Julius promise to kill him if he fails after delivering a most righteous beatdown to the aged vampire hunter. His mind thus at ease, Soma enters Chaos with no regrets. To sum up, Soma succeeds and everyone lives happily ever after.

Or they would if Soma actually made it that far. Turns out he made a side trip into la-la land before he got to Chaos...
notquitedracula: (Swording is imminent)
Player} Matt (no personal journal)
Age} 29
Other Characters} Already play someone in the game? List them here.

Character Name} Soma Cruz
Series} Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Age} 18
Suitability} N/A, he fits with the setting just fine
History}
Soma is the protagonist of the Castlevania game Aria of Sorrow. He was born in 2017, making him the most modern of all Castlevania protagonists to date, and is 18 years old for the duration of the events of the first game.

In 1999, the vampire Count Dracula was defeated and destroyed by the efforts of the most recent scion of the Belmont clan and a team of magicians gathered from around the world. His castle, an immortal creature of pure chaos, was sealed within a solar eclipse by the Hakuba clan of Japan.

Fast forward to 2035. Soma Cruz is a foreign exchange student, studying in Japan while living near the family shrine of his childhood friend Mina Hakuba. The Hakuba Shrine is dedicated to eclipses of the sun; during a ceremony for the first such eclipse of the new millenium, Soma and Mina collapse upon passing through the gate to the ceremony grounds. On waking, they find themselves somewhere else - a castle courtyard that neither of them have ever seen before. They're greeted rather brusquely by Genya Arikado, who Mina seems to recognize; she tells Soma he's telling the truth, that they really have been sucked inside the eclipse. Needless to say, Soma's somewhat incredulous. Before Arikado can tell them to get out while they can or stay put while the professionals deal with the situation, they're attacked by a group of skeletal soldiers. Arikado takes out most of them, but one gets past. Soma defeats it with a pocket knife, absorbing its soul in the process. After a few cryptic remarks Arikado tells him he must go to the castle's throne room, where all will be revealed; he then puts up a protective barrier around the courtyard to keep Mina safe while Soma sets out.

Over the course of his trek through the castle's hellish halls, Soma meets several other people. First off is Graham Jones, a missionary from an unnamed church. He senses Soma's power on their first meeting, but dismisses Soma's explanation of what it is as impossible. Turns out he's under the impression that -he- is the reincarnation of Dracula, having been born with a similar power at the moment of Dracula's demise.

The next person he meets is an older man with amnesia; he goes by the initial J, that being all he can remember of his real name. J is a vampire hunter who has been drawn into the castle by a call he cannot describe; it eventually is revealed that he is Julius Belmont, the man who destroyed Dracula in 1999. He also senses Soma's power, but is reluctant to defeat a man he's come to think of as a friend. In their eventual duel, both he and Soma hold back, and Soma extracts a promise from the hunter that he'll kill Soma if he fails in his mission and succumbs to Chaos.

Yoko Belnades enters the picture soon after his first meeting with J. She's the descendant of Sypha Belnades, and is just as powerful a witch as her ancestor was. She's come to the keep as Arikado's backup, assisting him with the investigation and planned destruction of the castle. She remains a constant supporting pillar for Soma throughout the game, giving him calm and kind advice when he needs it most - right up until Graham tries to kill her. Soma carries her back to the castle courtyard and leaves her in the care of Arikado and Mina before going back to finish what he's started.

Last and possibly least is Hammer, a soldier from the Japanese army. He's a macho guy who turns out to be a bit sweet on Yoko, and the game's shopkeeper. He cracks a few jokes (mostly at Soma's expense) and is generally an affable but ultimately useless member of the game's cast. I suppose everyone has their niche; he sells weapons and other items of interest he found around the castle to Soma from a barrel at the castle's entrance. Now, back to the plot.

After making his way through the castle, collecting many monstrous and demonic souls, Soma confronts Graham in the throne room. Clearly insane at this point, Graham has assumed the mantle of Dracula's power, something he was never meant to have. Soma defeats him in both of his forms, and in so doing takes the mantle for himself. This triggers a transformation in Soma, unlocking the memories of Dracula that rest within him. Only his trek through the castle, facing the horrors it holds and overcoming them, was able to prepare him for this. He keeps his own will, barely, and calls Arikado (Dracula's half-human son, Alucard) out of the shadows. Arikado tells him the whole story, and directs him to the heart of the castle to confront the source of the chaos that's slowly driving him insane. Along the way he faces Julius Belmont, and they duel. After defeating him, with both of them having noticeably held back, Soma makes the hunter swear to kill him if he fails to defeat chaos itself.

At this point there are two potential paths. On the first path (which is considered canon) Soma defeats the chaotic heart of the castle and escapes with his friends, and his power goes dormant until the start of Dawn of Sorrow. On the second path Soma is defeated by Chaos and is fully consumed by Dracula, and Julius keeps his promise (this can also happen if you defeat Graham without the proper souls equipped). I'm taking him from the moment he enters the realm of Chaos; without the influence of the castle's heart he's stable, but he can still go either way.

Personality}
Fierce loyalty is the driving force behind Soma's actions. He's more than willing to walk through Hell itself (or something close enough as to make little difference) for his friends despite the danger to himself. He isn't above sacrificing himself to ensure that his friends survive, but he's not suicidal. If he can find a way to get out with them, he'll do it.

His main anger trigger is having his friends put in mortal danger. This is seen with both Mina (more determination than anger) and Yoko (when Graham stabs her). When he's determined or angry, he's a force to be reckoned with. Armed only with a pocket knife and a power he doesn't understand (and barely knows how to use), he fights his way through a flying spear-hurling skeleton, a horde of zombies and homicidal bats before he finds a better weapon. And the very first 'boss' he faces? An animate, giant freaking skeletal torso with a club probably made from its own femur. Guy's got some serious testicular fortitude.

He's got impressive mental fortitude as well. Some of the things he faces in the castle would give Lovecraft pause for being too damned freaky. I refer primarily to Legion, the giant corpse ball with a tentacled, laser-firing core, but there are others (Chaos comes to mind). Then there's the fact that he's actually Dracula. Getting through that realization without losing himself speaks volumes for the strength of his will, even if he DID have help.

So far we've got loyalty, anger, brass balls, and an iron will. What else is there to this guy?

Quite a bit, actually. It's revealed in the game's opening that Soma is studying abroad as an exchange student. Generally speaking, the people who do this are pretty intelligent. Soma is no exception; he speaks two languages fluently and can read and write in at least one more (probably even more than that, now that he's inherited all of Dracula's memories), and the country he's spending his senior year in is noted for its high educational standards. Also of note in this vein is his ability to think quickly and react based on heat-of-the-moment observations.

Interpersonal relationships are a bit of a gray area. He's fine with friendship and quick to offer it, but anything deeper is unfamiliar territory. He's almost completely oblivious to his feelings for Mina (and hers for him), and overt expressions of affection leave him feeling awkward. He's probably going to opt for the prana restoration ritual ninety-nine percent of the time.

Abilities} Power of Dominance: Soma can absorb the soul of any monster or demon he defeats, gaining a portion of its power. This DOES NOT work on humans or near-humans. He can use one ability from each of three main types (Bullet, Enchantment, and Guardian) at a time, as well as six Ability souls which are always passively available. The Bullet and Guardian souls are the equivalent of magic spells, and he has somewhere between 30 and 40 souls between the two categories. They include but are not limited to elemental attacks, transformations, mobility enhancements, short-term stat boosts, and healing abilities. Whichever Enchantment soul he uses is 'always on' and does not draw mana, unlike the other two, and tends to be a general stat boost or immunity effect. He can use only one from each of these three categories at a time, and generally cannot use a Bullet and a Guardian at the same time (there are some exceptions to this rule, but they're rare). Of them all, Guardian souls use the most mana (most of them being persistent, as opposed to the average Bullet soul's per use cost).

Canonically, the 'endgame' trio is Flame Demon (throws between 3 and 5 homing fireballs), Succubus (minor self-heal via dealing damage) and Giant Bat (transformation, can spit fireballs). These are the souls he has to use to fight Graham in order to get the good ending; I offer them here as an example of his higher-end abilities.

Baggage} See comments below.

Notes} Despite his power and the origin of that power, Soma is still partially human. Unless he completely loses himself, he will remain such.
Sample} Let there be... Pancakes!

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