Harmony of Dissonance – 1748 AD
50 years after Simon vanquishes the night, Juste Belmont is his grandson and a weird castle appears, but it’s not totally Dracula, it’s his curse or consciousness or something manifesting in Juste’s pal Maxim. They win.
Rondo of Blood – 1792 AD
Richter Belmont era. Evil wizard Shaft brings Drac back to life, Richter does win but Shaft is able to slowly take control of Richter’s body or compromise him or something. Basically Richter falls out of sight and disappears. FWIW, the SNES port of the game alters events ever so slightly, making it a “different” version of these events.
Symphony of the Night – 1797 AD
Alucard wakes up, having been resting since 1476-ish. Alucard rebels again against Drac, wins the day, Richter vanishes and the Belmont clan kinda does too. The Vampire Killer whip goes with them…
Order of Ecclesia – 18XX
With the Belmonts missing, the Order steps up to fight Drac’s minions. Shanoa is supposed to be a vessel for Dominus, a spirit / magic that could fight back the encroaching evil. SURPRISE that plan goes haywire, but she is eventually successful.
DRACULA – 1897 AD
This is fascinating. During the 16-bit days, Konami titles like Castlevania would appear on both the SNES and Genesis. However, the Genesis versions would differ wildly from their SNES counterparts – see Contra, Sparkster, Tiny Toons etc – and Castlevania’s major difference was the lack of any Belmont involvement.
Instead, the lore pulled in John Morris, the son of a character found in the (public domain) Dracula novel. So while the book isn’t part of the canon, Quincy Morris and his lineage become caretakers of the Vampire Killer whip while the Belmonts sort their shit out.
BLOODLINES – 1917 AD
John Morris and Eric Lecarde battle Dracula’s niece, Elizabeth Bartley, and prevent her from summoning Dracula. John has the Vampire Killer, but it’s supposedly not at “full power” in the hands of another bloodline.
Portrait of Ruin – 1944 AD
John’s son Jonathan Morris, along with Charlotte Aulin, team up to battle an evil painter who wants to take over Castlevania. He’s basically undone by a reunited Dracula and Death, but the do-gooders are successful and Drac is pushed back yet again.
After this point, things actually get a bit hazy…
Aria of Sorrow – 2035 AD
While you don’t play as a Belmont, you do find out that Julius Belmont apparently sealed Dracula away in 1999… and it stuck. Like, he’s super gone, for real this time, thanks to a revived Vampire Killer, a solar eclipse and numerous other folks helping out.
Aria stars Soma Cruz, a teenager who discovers he can absorb monsters’ souls. The tl;dr of the game is that Soma is Dracula reincarnated, and you basically fight this evil programming inside your body, as well as new baddies trying to make their own bodies suitable for Dracula’s soul.
Dawn of Sorrow – 2036 AD
This time a group of weirdo cultists tries to goad the Drac out of Soma, or at least create some new being on the same power level. Soma and pals fight them off and bring to a close the rise/fall/redemption tale of Mathias / Dracula.
While I would love more Castlevania games set in this timeline, this is a pretty cool arc that has a conclusive ending and wraps things up quite nicely.
And the rest!
During the series’ heyday, Koji Igarashi scrubbed a few games from the timeline and generally kept fans abreast of where each game did or did not fall into the official series of events. Now that he’s left Konami – to work on Bloodstained y’know – we can pretty much consider this world wrapped up.
Lords of Shadow didn’t take off so there’s no telling what will become of Castlevania in the next 30 years… I just hope there’s more than erotic gambling in its future…