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Longtime Castlevania fans know Victor Belmont as the last surviving member of Gabriel Belmont’s line, thanks to his emergence in 2014’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. But like any good vampire hunter worth his robes and hood, he was actually slated to debut nearly 15 years earlier in the canceled SEGA Dreamcast game Castlevania: Resurrection.
Now, after more than 20 long years of hiding in the shadows (and presumably biding his time), Victor’s canceled SEGA game appears to have emerged in a newly-unearthed demo for Resurrection, which surfaced this week in a video posted by the Dreamcast Info Preservation Games website. While the game itself was never released, the apparent demo shows the finished parts as a fully-functioning 3D platformer; though the protagonist we actually see in action is none other than Sonia Belmont.
Via Polygon, Castelvania: Resurrection did get a closed-door demo showing at E3 in 1999, and the new video shows a pre-release build that contains 5 levels, each of which are accessed separately via a developer’s menu. While it’s left to our imagination — at least so far — to picture how Victor might’ve looked in the canceled game, Victor has the distinction of being among the last Castlevania characters that Konami introduced, before scaling back its console gaming plans in the wake of hits like Metal Gear Solid 4 and Lords of Shadow 2 during the PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360 era.
With a long lineage dating all the way to the original NES, the Castlevania franchise was already well established in fans’ hearts by the time Castelvania: Resurrection was slated to make its Dreamcast debut. In an interview from 2007, Greg Orduyan, the game’s art director, said Sony’s planned release of the PlayStation 2 effectively drove a nail in the coffin not just for Resurrection, but for “every single DC [Dreamcast} game Konami was developing worldwide.”
According to the preservationists, Resurrection would have taken place in the year 1666, and would have connected Sonia and Victor Belmont, born in different ages, via time travel. The game’s main protagonist, they added, would have been an unnamed female vampire. The five levels available in the demo video include Courtyard, Stairs, Hall, Corridor, and Chapel.
Despite the new find, Castlevania: Resurrection still remains out of reach as a playable game for fans — though when you’re dealing with creatures as long-lived as vampires, there’s always hope it might emerge somewhere down the line. In the meantime, we’ll hang onto our vampire-slaying whips while we brood in the shadows over what might have been.