The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG
Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure
Kids these days, right? They grow up so fast. They're born, they go to school, they buy turtles from a pet shop, then they lose them down the sewers so the turtles can get covered in mutagenic goo, grow to become humanoid super-turtles, get trained by a giant rat in the ways of the ninja, and become protectors of New York. Tale as old as time, you know? Something every kid goes through.
But those turtles, man. Those were something special. Not just any turtles could have handled the goo. Not just any turtles could have learned ninjitsu with such ease. These were special turtles. Brave turtles. Honorable turtles. Angry turtles... well, okay. Just one of them.
While each of the turtles was special in their own way, Raphael became the best warrior of the bunch. Strong and fast and deadly, Raph was the one who could reliably handle himself in a fight no matter what... so long as he kept his anger in check. But, man, was it hard for him to keep it in check. No one had a shorter fuse than Raph, which would get him into trouble time and again. The Shredder knew how to push his buttons, as did the Krang, the Triceratons. Hell, everyone knew. It was hard not to know. He'd blow his top for anything little slight, and then it was uncontrollable rage monster time.
The Hulk was a mild-mannered, self-controlled man in comparison to Raphael is what we're saying.
Despite his rage, Raph can be trusted in a fight. He's the turtle that always has your back, the one that will always pick you up when the chips are down and you've been beaten, bloody, are there on the ground on your back. He's who you turn to.
That's different from being the leader, though. Raph is not the leader of the turtles, and that's something that makes him quite angry at times. But then, everything makes him angry, so that's not really a surprise.
Although its arguable how much the evil of the vampire's "demon" or "dark side" plays into making a vampire evil, it's hard to deny the fact that there are any number of truly staggeringly evil vampires in history. But then plenty of humans have been staggeringly terrible as well, so perhaps it's not the vampirism but the humanity that causes the evil.
All of that is a round-about way to discuss Raye who, by all accounts during her time as a vampire, was a very evil person. As one of Dracula's minions (although she prefers the term "co-conspirator"), Raye had the pleasure of fighting by Dracula's side for more than 200 years (and if you think, "well, why didn't I see her in one of the Castlevania games, then?" the answer is, "because she was smart enough not to get killed."). During that illustrious time (of Dracula dying and coming back over and over again), Raye effectively lead the troops and minions, keeping the peace among the slathering and drooling beasts that roamed Romania.
But how did she get to this place? She wasn't embraced by Dracula, that much is clear -- all of Dracula's off-spring share powers and abilities, and Raye has never exhibited any of those powers before. No, Raye was her own person long before she came into Dracula's employ.
Truly, Raye was one of the few people in Romania to be converted into vampirism by someone other than the Dark Prince. A roaming, wandering vampire found the teenaged girl as she was walking through the shadowy woods near her home and quickly, surprisingly, she became a vampire. Unlike many vampires, Raye had no teacher (the vampire that embraced her quickly attacked and ran), so she had to find her own path, her own way to use her new powers.
So how does a sweet-natured girl become a slathering hell-beast? It was he vampirism right? Maybe, but just as possibly it was the social mores of the time period that dictated her behavior up til that magic moment. Being a vampire, she was freed of worrying about mortals. She could have finally been able to be the girl she always wanted to be.
In essence, it's a little of both, then. A Human becomes an evil vampire because the evil of the vampire frees the human to do as they truly want. And for Raye, that was to be the best, most evil vampire she could.
While Raye was evil basically from the moment she became a vampire, it was through a further curse (laid on her by Darkmoon) that she found new levels of power and rage. Drkmoon cursed her to have a soul (something Darkmoon had been cursed with as well) which effectively meant that the "dark magic" within a vampire gets replaced with the goodness the transition to vampirism removed. At least, that's how it was supposed to work. That's how it worked for Darkmoon (who became reasonably less evil afterwards).
For Raye, though, the dark magic never left her. Instead, she had both the evil of her vampire and the good of her humanity warring in her mind. It made her lust for vengeance, desire more power than she'd ever wanted before. Instead of working happily for a master vampire, Raye wanted to be a master.
And then, once she'd achieved that, she'd set her sights on revenge. Darkmoon would pay, oh yes, and so would anyone aligned with him.
The Raye of Earth 2
It's arguable which comes first: the vampirism or the evil. Sure, some humans are evil by nature, but certainly the dark magic of being a vampire drives many to the same fate, to become evil beasts from beyond the grave. However you lok at it, Raye was evil as a vampire.
Why she became a vampire is a question one would have to ask her sire. She's not of of Dracula's "children", so she wasn't turned simply because Dracula wanted a girl around the house. No, she was drawn to Dracula's evil magic, the need to serve as one of his minions. She grew in power, and became one of his trusted lieutenants.
And then she met Darkmoon. This young vampire, brought in by Dracula as one of his new "sons", caught her eye, and the two quickly hit it off. Young love can even strike ageless vampires, and the relationship between the two undead was hot, heavy, and cold-blooded.
When Dracula died (as he so often did, at the hands of a Belmont of course), a decision had to be made: bring Dracula back or argue for a new way of life. Darkmoon argued for the latter, that as one of Dracula's children he could take the demon lord's power and put it to better use. Raye agreed, and the course of history for the world was forever changed.
And yet, not all was right at home. A new, younger woman caught Darkmoon's eye. Raye sensed a new love within her one-time beau, and the two vampires grew distant. It was only a matter of time, then, before Raye made a play for power on her own....
As Darkmoon was never cursed on Earth 2, this version of Raye wasn't either. She's all vampire, without any pesky Light magic or "souls" bringing her down. That still leaves us with a very evil vampire, though, one bent on taking of the Romanian throne and ruling the world as she desires. And she just might have the power to do it.
Unlike Dracula's children, Raye doesn't have a traditional "demon form". She does, however, have a large stock-pile of Light magic, one of the few vampires to master that craft. It makes her dangerous in way unsuspecting heroes may not be able to anticipate.
Everyone knows the story: the townsfolk are frightened because an ancient evil has awakened. "Oh no, what will we do?! Our daughters aren't safe!" they cry out, desperate for a hero. Sure, it's a story everyone has heard, but in the case of Richter Belmont, it's also his life. Richter is a hero, and when the dark evil comes about, it's his job to take it out, mano-a-mano.
Which is why it sucks that he's just so bad at it. Oh sure, he gets the principles of being a hero. Heck, he even faced off against Dracula once and won (a few other times Richter wasn't really at his best, and shouldn't really count anyway if you ask him). But there are days (many, many, many days) where all Richter really wants to do is hang out in a tavern with some good booze, a fine-looking woman (not necessarily the one he's married to), and to while away the hours listening to whatever crappy bard is around that day.
All bards are crappy. It's a rule of the universe.
Sadly, Dracula always has this way of coming back (over and over and over), and who are they going to call when the shit hits the fan (or blood, we if want to keep the metaphor on topic)? Richter. Man just wants to get his drink on, people!
Richter is a Cowardly, greedy, womanizing drunkard. This is not a character flaw (not in Richter's eyes, anyway) -- it's his strength, the whole of his being that Richter has done his best to cultivate and improve upon (usually though more mead and ale). It does mean that when the going gets tough, Richter will usually nip off in the opposite direction for a quick smoke and maybe a pull from his flask. There are other heroes, right?
When he does get himself into a situation where he has to actually be a hero, Richter has all the skills and weapons of the famed vampire hunting clan, the Belmonts, at his disposal. His primary attack, the Vampire Killer whip, can be directed with surgical precision (unless he has a hangover, then he's not to be blamed for where that whip ends up).
Along with the famed whip, Richter has access to the various secondary weapons of his clan: axe, boomerang cross, dagger, and holy water. He can even cast an "Item Crash", which sends out a super-powerful version of his attacks (although he does find this attack quite draining).
Richter Belmont II
The realms of Dracula's castle are a weird and wonderful place (and we use wonderful to mean "full of wonder", since they're also dangerous, horrifying, deadly, creepy, icky, menacing, and will prove staggeringly suicidal for anyone stupid enough to enter). The magics of the realm (usually dark, certainly catastrophic) can cause any number of (ghastly) creations and (unintended) reactions. And it's from one of those magic episodes that we have the Richter Clone (aka Richter II, Evil Richter, and, ironically, Richter the Good).
You see, in the lands of Romania there are such things a "doppelgangers", beings that can magically take on the form of other living creatures. Sometimes these beings permanently take on the form (and personality) of another sentient being, and can actually take over their entire lives if not stopped. The Richter Clone was one such being, created as an evil version of the hero, Richter Belmont, and intended to take over Richter's life (and probably kill him as well).
But there was a small issue. See, to create an "evil" version of a person, the magic looks to invert the original person's morals. Unfortunately, Richter Belmont is a largely amoral person. Inverting Richter Belmont actually had the unintended consequence of actually making someone more good than Richter, not more evil (as that's almost impossible to do). As such, Evil Richter is, in fact, Richter the Good, a more kind-hearted (is still impeccably lazy) individual. When the Richter Clone took over Richter's life, he actually ended up making things better: Richter's wife, Annette, was happier; Richter's town, Aljiba (maybe?) was safer, and Richter's job (fighting the forces of the undead) was done marginally better.
It's a weird, wonderful realm.
As mentioned, the Richter Clone is a better person than Richter Belmont. While he shares the same basic motivations and personality traits (a bit on the lazy side, with an over-powering need to drink and get laid), his inverse-personality means that he actually errs on the side of being good. When it comes to his personal life, the Richter Clone actually stays in a monogamous relationship (one with a whole lot of sex), and only drinks to relax (and certainly only in moderation).
When it comes to his work life -- that of a Vampire Killer -- things are a bit more muddied. See, it's not that the Richter Clone isn't good at fighting (he's quite good at it in fact, even if he can't use the holy items Richter Belmont uses, since he's still technically an unholy being), but he's fighting two overpowering urges:
- Richter Belmont is a lazy sonofabitch, and the Richter Clone has to fight the urge to sit back, put his feet up, and drink a pint any time the world is in danger.
- Technically, the Richter Clone is a Vampire Helper, not a Vampire Hunter. To go after the forces of evil strikes against the core of his being. He wasn't made to fight evil, only good.
The Richter Clone is good, but part of him wants to do bad things. It's not much of a conflict, though, since most of him wants to run from battle and settle into a nearby tavern.
In the end, as with the original recipe Richter, the Clone ends up not doing much (but what he does he's slightly better at).