"Castlevania" known in Japan as "Akumajou Dracula", is a franchise of gothic horror games centered on the Belmonts, a clan of vampire hunters, and their fight with Dracula. The franchise has featured multiple genres such as platforming, RPG, action-adventure, hack and slash, and been released on a wide variety of systems/hardware. Castlevania is one of Konami's flagship franchises. The franchise has expanded into other media, including comic books, an animated television series, and several spin-off video games.
The Castlevania franchise heavily references the iconic horror movies. Werewolves, zombies, Frankenstein's monster, and Count Dracula himself make recurring appearances. Alucard, first introduced in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, is also a reference to the character of the same name from the 1943 film, Son of Dracula. The games also include folklore and mythological monsters such as Medusa, as well as direct references to literary horror. Castlevania mainly takes place in the castle of Count Dracula, who resurrects every hundred years to take over the world. With the exception of some games, the players assume the role of the Belmonts, a clan of vampire hunters who have defeated Dracula for centuries with the Vampire Killer. The Vampire Killer is a legendary whip that is passed down to their successors and can only be used by them.