Richter Belmont (リヒター・ベルモンド, Richter Belmondo) is a protagonist in the Castlevania series. Like his ancestor Simon Belmont, Richter is a renowned vampire hunter, to the point that he has earned the moniker of "the greatest of all Belmont Warriors".
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, as well as in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Richter's story begins as he is training and studying a map of Dracula's Castle before seeing smoke rising in the direction of Aljiba, the hometown of his fiancée Annette Renard. Rushing there on horseback and briefly encountering Death, Richter finds Aljiba in flames and Annette kidnapped by the newly resurrected Dracula and his army of monsters.
Entering the castle halls and avoiding a grotesque monster known as the Behemoth, Richter rescues Annette's younger sister, Maria, and the two team up to stop Dracula and save Annette. En route, they rescue Iris, the daughter of a doctor; and Tera, the village nun.
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 became the fifth Belmont (after his immediate ancestor Juste) to stop Dracula's influence from affecting the world, and the fourth Belmont (after his distant ancestor Simon) to kill him. With Dracula defeated, the castle begins to collapse, and Richter, Maria, Annette and the other women escape in time to watch the sun rise over the 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.
In Castlevania: Nocturne of Recollection, a year has passed since Richter was saved by Alucard. Soon after alerting Maria of vampire attacks in the village that she and Alucard resided in, Richter proceeds to investigate said attacks. After a brief interaction with fellow vampire hunters Cyril and Alexis, Richter quickly takes Maria back to her and Alucard's home upon her inadvertent affliction from Cyril's potion.
Later, after another brief encounter with Cyril, Richter allies with him in order to save Alexis. Richter and Cyril proceed to meet with Alucard and, during their discussion, they are met by an injured Alexis, who is being trailed by Lyudmil, Alucard's former servant who is the vampire responsible for the attacks on the village.
Richter allies with Alucard to stop Lyudmil and Magnus, an incubus who served under Dracula and now seeks to make Alucard the new lord of his father's castle by emotionally breaking him via manipulating Lyudmil and shattering Maria's trust in him. Upon subduing Lyudmil with assistance from a now-healthy Maria, Richter and Maria assist Alucard in his battle against Magnus. Thanks to Richter drastically weakening the incubus by destroying his claws and Maria helping Alucard overcome Magnus' mental torture, Alucard is able to kill Magnus, preserve his humanity, and bid farewell to a dying Lyudmil, who was freed from Magnus' enchantments shortly before passing.
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.
During 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, their 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 a 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). 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.