Richter Belmont (リヒター・ベルモンド, Richter Belmondo) is a character from the Castlevania series. A member of the legendary Belmont Clan, Richter is chronologically the seventh Belmont to assume the role of vampire hunter, and is renowned as "the greatest of all Belmont Warriors" during his tenure. Since debuting as the main protagonist of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Richter has gone on to become an unlockable playable character in later Castlevania games.
Born in Wallachia in 1773, Richter Belmont is the sixth direct descendant of the Belmont Clan, succeeding Juste Belmont and preceding Julius Belmont. The Clan was founded in 1094 by Leon Belmont, who swore that he and his descendants would always "hunt the night" in the wake of his betrayal by Mathias Cronqvist, his once-best friend who willingly transformed into a vampire and would later become known as the infamous Dracula.
Unlike a typical vampire hunter, Richter boasts peak human physiology, thanks to the Belmont Clan's centuries-old training regimen and the magical blood of Sypha Belnades, a powerful witch who married Richter's distant ancestor, Trevor Belmont, after they defeated Dracula. Like Juste, Richter is also able to utilize the magical capabilities he inherited from Sypha. In Richter's case, he is able to use an Item Crash, which unleashes the hidden power of a sub-weapon, such as the Hydro Storm of Holy Water and the Grand Cross of a Cross.
In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Richter's story begins as he is training with the Belmont Clan's heirloom, a holy whip known as the Vampire Killer, and studying a map of Dracula's Castle. However, his training is interrupted when he sees smoke rising in the direction of Aljiba, the hometown of his fiancée Annette. Rushing there on horseback and fighting briefly against Death, Richter finds Aljiba in flames and Annette kidnapped by the newly resurrected Dracula and his army of monsters.
Entering the castle's halls and avoiding a grotesque monster known as the Behemoth, Richter rescues Maria Renard, a 12-year-old vampire huntress and distant relative of the Belmont Clan. Although Richter chuckles dismissively at Maria's claims of being a vampire huntress, he later accepts her enthusiastic help upon being impressed by her mastery of magic and dominion over animals. En route to stopping Dracula and saving Annette, they rescue Iris, the daughter of a doctor, and Tera, one of Aljiba's nuns.
Richter then makes his way to the Castle Keep for a final showdown against Dracula, with both combatants offering differing views on humanity. After a fierce battle against the fully powered Dark Lord, Richter succeeded his distant ancestor Simon Belmont as the fourth Belmont to kill Dracula. With Dracula defeated, Richter, Maria, Annette and the other women escape in time to watch the sun rise over the castle's rubble.
Five years later, Richter is brainwashed by the dark priest Shaft not long after he entered Dracula's newly reconstructed castle to investigate. Maria entered the castle herself to investigate his disappearance, which in turn forces Alucard to awaken from his centuries-long slumber, due to the unexpected lack of a Belmont to handle what is going on. These events lead to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which culminates with the brainwashed Richter doing battle with Alucard in the Castle Keep. Alucard is able to see Shaft's enchantments controlling Richter before he ultimately saves Richter.
Because of the prophecy originally stated by Nostradamus about the end of the world and the return of Dracula in 1999, Richter bequeathed the Vampire Killer to other descendants of the Belmont Clan, those being that of the Morris Clan. The Morris Clan was given official guardianship over the Vampire Killer sometime before 1897, holding onto it until the time came for the Belmont Clan to reclaim it.
However, a caveat came with those who were not a direct descendant of the Belmonts: the Vampire Killer would slowly drain the life away from its wielder, a fact discovered by John Morris and his friend Eric Lecarde in the aftermath of their encounter with Dracula. During the events of Castlevania: Bloodlines, John was wounded during the battle against the Count and his niece, Elizabeth Bartley; however, his wounds were not healing, similarly to the curse that Simon Belmont endured centuries before. Some time before the beginning of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, John's wounds ultimately claimed his life; his son, Jonathan, inherited the whip without learning of its secrets, which John had done because of his desire for his son to rely on his own strength instead of the whip's.
In Portrait of Ruin, Jonathan and his childhood friend Charlotte Aulin can undertake the test of unlocking the Vampire Killer's full power during their mission to destroy Dracula. Due to Richter being the last full-blooded Belmont to wield the Vampire Killer, the whip's power manifests as a memory of him that wields a fully powered version of itself, several of Richter's sub-weapons, and his Grand Cross Item Crash. Upon defeating the Whip's Memory, Jonathan is given a few words of encouragement from Richter's spirit: "I'm counting on you..."
As a playable character
Main article: Richter (SSBU)
Richter appears as a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and was formally announced alongside Chrom, Dark Samus, King K. Rool, and his ancestor Simon during the Super Smash Bros. Direct on August 8th, 2018. According to information published by Nintendo Dream in early 2019, Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that Richter and Simon's inclusions were facilitated by the combination of them being popular requests on the Super Smash Bros. Fighter Ballot and the small number of third-party series to represent in the Super Smash Bros. series.
In an interview with Famitsu on December 12, 2018, Sakurai mentioned that he and the development team sought to make Richter and Simon function as similarly to their Castlevania appearances as possible. To reflect this, their designs are based on their appearances in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair; in the case of Richter, he also wears his glove and wrist tape from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, while his hairstyle is a combination of his Rondo of Blood and Harmony of Despair designs.
Richter and Simon's whip-based tilt attacks also have ranges similar to the Vampire Killer's standard attack in Castlevania's NES installments, whereas their smash attacks have even longer ranges. Overall, the Vampire Killer grants both Richter and Simon the overall longest ranges out of the cast, while the Vampire Killer itself can be swung freely like Chain. In order to compensate, however, Richer and Simon's movesets are sluggish and their whip-based attacks are reliant on precision in order to be fully effective.
Although Richter is an Echo Fighter of Simon, Sakurai noted that Simon's moveset takes inspiration from Richter's Castlevania techniques to a greater extent as well, making them derivatives of each other. On a related note, there is one notable mechanical difference between them: Richter's Holy Water possesses the Aura effect, whereas Simon's possesses the flame effect. This gives him situational differences in certain matchups: unlike Simon, he can harm red Pikmin, but he cannot remotely detonate explosives (such as Bombs). Otherwise, their moves are identical. Aesthetically, Richter has his own taunts and victory poses in reference to Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night, while his Holy Water's flame is blue compared to Simon's red flame.
Names in other languages