Frankenstein's Creature

Like Medusa, Frankenstein's Creature (often referred to as "Franken" in the series, or "Frankie" by fans) is a monster that has appeared steadily throughout the series but never has had a major plot line of his own. Although many other lieutenants serving Dracula have been featured in some major plot line, ensuring the vampire's resurrection or hatching plans to thwart the heroes, Frankie has always been left to silently guard a room, biding his time until a hero comes his way.

This is likely due to the fact that while the creature was actually a fairly intelligent (some might even say genius-level) creation of Doctor Victor Frankenstein -- at least, that's how he's depicted in Mary Shelley's original novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus - he's often depicted in film and on TV as a mindless shambling beast. This was certainly the case with the Universal and Hammer horror films which often focused on the doctor and not the monster. When the monster was show, he very rarely talked and often was just a big, dumb, hulking beast set about to scare the villagers and cause wanton carnage.

It's sad, really, that the series never gave Frankie proper story. He's a tragic figure, more misunderstood man than horrible monster, and a storyline that actually focused on the creature, maybe as he gave aid to the heroes on his own quest for redemption, could have been intriguing. Sadly that never occurred and, with the state of the series as it currently stands, likely never will.

Fighting Against Frankenstein's Creature

In his first appearance in the series, all the way back in the original Castlevania, the danger isn't Frankie so much as his partner in crime, Igor (a hunchback character who doesn't appear in the original novel but does show up in the Universal horror series, with the name spelled "Ygor"). Here, Igor is an invincible form of a fleaman who will bounce around, spitting fireballs at the player while Frankie simply marches back and forth. If you hit Igor with an attack he'll be stunned for a few seconds, making it easier to layer the damage onto Frankie, though. Also note, although their coloring is different in Vampire Killer the fight against Frankie and Igor is essentially the same.

When next he appears in Haunted Castle, the Creature is not chained to a wall, unable to approach the hero. He does, however, add a new attack that will come to be one of his staples as the series carries on: Frankie will smash the wall with his fist, causing bricks to rain down randomly from the ceiling. These bricks, this time around, come down a very slight, but certainly deceptive, angle, meaning the hero will have to be careful about where he steps to avoid any damage. Otherwise, just stand back so your attack is just in range of Frankie (without getting close enough to get attacked by Frankie and his chains, but otherwise this fight is fairly manageable. Just make sure to take care of the fleamen from the previous screen or they'll be as annoying here as Igor was in the first game.

Frankie appears twice the next time he's summoned, over in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. This time he's free of the hunchbacks (and Igor) and, instead, is roaming on his own. Although the room layouts are different in his two appearances (and you only have to ever fight one of them based on which route through the game you take), the basics of the fight are the same. Frankie will walk forward, slowly, towards the player. He'll then either kick out before stomping his foot on the ground (causing a rain of stones) or he'll chuck a brick underhanded, causing it to arc up before hitting the ground. Generally the hero can layout on a ton of damage, so the fight is more about avoiding the bricks than worrying about an opening to use.

His fight in Super Castlevania IV works a little different;y. Instead of using stone, Frankie now chucks jars of fluids. Each of these fluids will have a different effect: pink will cause a wash of flame that covers about half the floor of the room, green will burst in air and cause a rain of fire, and grey will summon a second Frankie and the two will shamble about. While this seems like a lot to keep track of, Frankie can be easily cheesed here just by standing in the right spot and either throwing axes so they hit Frank and his potions as they're thrown, or stand closer to Frankie and whip upwards each time a bottle is about to be chucked. Either way, this fight is extremely manageable.

Frankie appears as one of four bosses grouped together as the opening salvo of the fight against Shaft in Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood. Frankie appears fourth, after the Giant Bat, Medusa, and the Mummy, but while he's grouped with his friends from the original Castlevania, his fight is much more akin to Castlevania III's battle. Frankie will move back and forth, generally towards the player, and can attack either by a strong melee punch (if the hero is too close), by leaping in the air and then causing a rain of stones when he lands and shakes the rooms, or by a new ability, a charged lightning attack he'll shoot towards wherever the hero was. This is this first fight that really feels at all challenging, not only because he's boss four of a five boss rush but also because he's strong and his attacks can prove difficult to dodge.

When the remake of Castlevania appeared on the Sharp X68000 Frankie was downgraded to sub-boss. Appearing late in the game in the Mad Science Lab / Torture Chamber area, the player will encounter Frankie chained up to a lightning rod. The monster will be revived and will start moving towards the hero, madly swinging his chains as a whip. He can also dash attack at the player, cornering them further. That said, there are stairs and a platform at either end of the room, and you can easily jump over the Creature and actually escape his room without having to fight him, moving on into the level. It's a curious inclusion, to be sure, but this boss can pin you down quick and destroy you so it is best to take this mercy from the developers.

Frankie is a mid-boss again in Castlevania: Bloodlines, showing up part way into the Munitions Factory level. Here it's a whip-vs-whip battle (or whip-vs-spear if you play as Eric Lecarde) as a very tall Frankie will comes at our heroes with one of three attacks: either he'll spin his chain in a (mostly) screen-filling spiral, he'll do a forward whip attack with his chain, or he'll punch the grounds, sending a jolt of electricity along the ground. Note that you have to whip Frankie in the head this time, so it's not as easy to layer on the damage as in previous incarnations.

Arriving in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Frankie (or, as he's called here, "the Creature") is one of five bosses from the original game in the series reappearing in the Inverted Castle. Frankie only has two attacks here; either he can roll up into a ball and roll back and forth along the room, like it's a half-pipe, forcing you to jump and dodge, or he'll stop and swing his hammer down on the ground. Not that with a long weapon you can hit Frankie when he's standing and he won't be able to hit you back with the short range of his hammer. It's an annoying fight, but not a hard one, and soon enough Frankie will die, providing you with the Tooth of Vlad, one of five relics needed to access the final boss fight.

The Creature isn't actually a boss in either Castlevania for the N64 or it "director's cut" version, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Instead, he's called "the Gardener" here and he patrols the gardens of the the Villa waiting for heroes to wander into his hedge maze. He, and the two stone dogs given to him in the game, are all unkillable although they can be stunned and stopped for a time via attacks. However, if the player is unlucky enough to get hit by the Gardener's chainsaw arm (yes, he has a chainsaw for an arm as he's based on the model originally intended for scrapped fifth hero Coller) it's instant death. Be careful any time you have to face off with the Garden, and judiciously use your attacks, if you have to, to escape his clutches.

By the time of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Frankie has been downgraded all the way to regular enemy. Appearing in the Eternal Corridor, Frankie with slowly trudge his area, punching the ground occasionally (which, if he catches the players in this attack, will deal massive damage). He does however drop two really good pieces of armor, so grinding him could provide beneficial gear (along with a fair bit of EXP). Similarly, the Creature is a powerful (but still normal) enemy in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. He'll power up when approached, trudging towards the player and bashing at them with his electrical fists, which can deal a solid amount of damage, so you may not want to fight him often. If you do choose to grind on him, though, you can get the Regenerator soul, which will heal you over time.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin at least brings the Creature up to full boss level again. In the Dark Academy (the alternate version of Forest of Doom), Frankie will appear as the guardian of the zone and he can be pretty tough to beat. He can punch at the players, and try to grab them in a choke hold. He'll also shoot out a wave of lightning at the players. He'll quickly leap in the air whenever the heroes get close (and especially if they try to jump over him), regularly smashing into them for damage. And he can bend back his forearms and shoot out, from his elbows, guided missiles or a barrage of machine gun fire. Note, later, once the Nest of Evil is unlocked, you can find a room with two Frankies in it. They have the same attacks as before, but their combined force can be ridiculous. If you manage to survive long enough in the room, though, the doors will open allowing you to escape.

Once Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia rolled around, Frankie was back to being a regular enemy (one armed with a lightning gun in one hand and a flamethrower in the other, mind you), but now he's joined by a couple of other similar creations: Enkidu (who carries a great column that he tries to smash into the hero), and Rebuild (who has a flurry of melee attacks and can quickly close on the hero to use them). And then there's Goliath, a hulking version of the Creature who acts as the boss of the Giant's Dwelling.

This hulking beast has a variety of attacks he can unleash: He'll jump up and crash into the ground, causing a wave of damage to emanate out. He'll punch the ceiling, causing debris to fall. He'll swing his arms and then punch the ground, causing spikes to plunge out. He'll also take long strides, almost like he's kicking the player (although you can position yourself just right and duck beneath him as he goes over). If he manages to corner you while he does this, he'll combo-punch for massive damage. And, at the halfway point of the fight, he;ll crouch down as if guarding. You have to wait him out here because if you get close and attack he'll grab you for a powerful choke hold.

Finally, the last time we see Frankie in a powerful form is as a sub-boss in Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth. Here, a pretty beefy looking Creature will appear, and he'll have three attacks. He'll punch at the ground when the hero is close, he'll grab a chunk of stone and chuck it overhand at the player, and sometimes he'll jump up and punch the ceiling causing debris to fall. He's a fairly manageable fight, although he can move quickly so you'll want to learn his patterns to effectively deal with him.

And then, last but not least, we have one more appearance of the Creature, here in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. He's back to being an enemy and his design mirrors that of Portrait of Ruin and his attacks are similar, but because he's just an enemy you can avoid him as you like; he's not a forced fight. You are forced to deal with the R.The Creature, though, in the Retro Castle mission, and, as before, he'll show up with Igor in tow. Due to how powerful you can be in this game, though, this Retro Creature actually isn't that hard to deal with, which is nice.

Technically the Creature doesn't show up in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but an alternate abomination from Friedrich von Frankenstein does. Called, appropriately, the Mechanical Monstrosity, this beast is the closest Lords of Shadow ever got to a proper Frankie. The beast resembles a scorpion made of metal, wood, and blood, and it's a grotesque thing that you have to fight twice.

The first time you encounter the monstrosity, it'll be for a pretty basic fight. The monster has two forms of attack; it can either hit you with its claws or shoot lightning at you. Both attack, it should be noted, as easy to dodge. Attack repeatedly, and avoid attacks, and eventually you'll do enough damage to get the monstrosity to a point where it needs to heal. It'll move to a lightning machine and try to heal up, but if you hit a button on the floor the power will change and the monster will be further damaged. Repeat this for a few cycles and the monster will give up and run away.

The next area, though, you'll have to fight the monstrosity again. The beast will have one new attack, using magnetics to pull in metal objects as a kind of barrier that it can also chuck at the hero. The basic patterns are still the same, though, and this time the monster doesn't have a machine it can use to heal. Just damage it down far enough and then be ready for a Quick Time Event (of course) to finish out the fight. Easy.

Other Appearances of Frankenstein

It's the mad doctor, and not the proper creature himself, that shows up in the Lords of Shadow series (the scorpion-like abomination detailed above notwithstanding). He worked out of Bernhard Castle, conducting mad experiments to study the secret of live eternal. Eventually he is captured by the evil countess Carmilla so he could serve as her blood-bag and torture play-thing. Why she did this isn't ever explained, although fans presume it's because, once, Carmilla treasured life and though she became a vampire she still found what the doctor did repulsive and, thus, felt the need to punish him for centuries over his misdeeds.

While you never encounter him directly, only hear the stories of him, you can find six of the doctor's fingers (as collectibles) in the expansion Reverie, which is a rather grotesque reminder of the fate that befell him.

Frankenstein's Creature in Pop-Culture

Dr. Frankenstein, and his various creatures, are among the most regularly adapted monsters in the whole of horror cinema. Based on Mary Shelley's novel, these beasts have appeared in both the Universal Monsters (where the emphasis was on the creature as a monster and the doctor as a misguided man seeking knowledge) and Hammer horror (where the doctor is the real monster and the focus of the films) series of films. But there are still plenty of other adaptations of the creatures as well, many of which we cover on this site.