It's interesting how the events of the 2015 Kickstarter campaign for Bloodstained influenced the development of characters. Specifically, when first announced Gebel was the villain of the piece. Once a hero, Gebel was corrupted by the dark magic thrust upon him and became the villain of the piece. All well and good on its own, but then the Kickstarter did well enough to warrant a mini-prequel. Thus we have Curse of the Moon which takes place before the corruption and casts Gebel as a hero.
The character explores the castle, becomes teammates with Zangetsu, Miram, and Alfred. You gain an appreciation for him as a hero that will make his eventually heel-turn in Ritual of the Night more poigniant. It's like the hell-turn Maxim took to motivate the plot of Harmony of Dissonance, except we get to play with the character first. We feel for the villain and what he's been through because we got to bond with him first.
That's good storytelling, and it's all thanks to the Kickstarter campaign working out the way it did.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
Once trained as a demon hunter, Gebel was infused with dark magic allowing him to take on the demons more effectively. Unfortunately, in working against the demons he was captured and imprisoned by them. It was only through the actions of three heroes -- Zangetsu, Miriam, and Alfred -- that Gebel was freeds from his imprisonment. Vowing to aid them in their quest, Gebel joined the party, allowing them to explore deeper, and more effectively, into the dark domain of the demons.
Ascending the castle of the demon Gremory, Alfred aided his companions with his ability to turn into bats, which granted them access to new areas of the castle that would otherwise be blocked to them. With Gebel's assistance, the heroes quickly fought their way through the castle, eventually leading to the confrontation with the dark demon itself. The battle against Greamory was tough, leading to a fight atop the castle keep itself, In the end the demon was defeated due to the combined strength of the four heroes.
However, dark magic was unleashed with Gremory's defeat. Zangetsu, who had been cursed long ago by demons, was unable to prevent himself from absorbing the magic. He became the new Emperor of Darkness. His party fled, unsure of how to handle this demonic twist.
In the outer castle grounds, Gebel spoke to his resolve to see the evil of the demons ended. He also hoped to see his companion, Zangetsu, freed of the evils of the curse. Joining together once more, the three heroes ventured back into the castle's lands to battle the darkness. Their fight was tougher this time around, the castle more devious, but they eventually ascended the castle, destroying all evil in their path.
Instead of going to the keep, though, the heroes decended into a hell-like plain, finding new challenges crafted for each hero. Seperately, they fought through these new puzzles, and together they unlocked the way forward, allowing them to decend one last staircase to Zangetsu's new throne room.
His dark power revealed, Zangetsu used his power to stun Gebel (and Alfred), leaving the hero unable to move while Miriam had to fight the demonic king on her own. However, at times Zangetsu's power waned, freeing Gebel to aid his companion when he could by crafting platforms of bats for her to stand on and gain an height advantage over the traps Zangetsu would drop.
Once Miriam had weakened Zangetsu enough, Gebel was free to aid Miriam in protecting Alfred while the alchemist cast a binding spell. Once read, the incantaion sealed away Zangetsu's dark curse, freeing the man. Unfortunately this also led to the heroes death, but as Gebel and his companions left the castle, the were at least assured that his soul was now free and on its way to the afterlife.
While I question how some of the events of these two games, Curse and Ritual, tie together, it all at least makes sense in the case of Gebel. After the events of Curse he's forcibly infused with the demonic shards, turning him into a villain. Sure, he was a hero here, but outside forces made him go bad. Perfectly logical.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has not been released yet. Although bits of the story have already come out, much of what is known about the game is essentially supposition and rumors. Until the full game is released and we can see the final, complete plot of the game, we are unable to write about the story.
Playing as Gebel:
Considering we have a Belmont-type (Miriam) and a Belnades-type (Alfred), it only made sense (especially considering IGA's known love for the character) that we'd have a, Alucard-style character in the game as well. What's amazing is just how much of a clone of Alucard Gebel truly is. Sure, he has a different backstory, but the guy essentiall looks, and functions, the same way. He can turn into a bat and fly around. He's Alucard!
Okay, so his main attack is different. Gebel really works the bat theme, throwing bats upwards as his primary attack (as opposed to outward balls of destruction). He is, also, not the strongest of the characters -- his bats are pretty weak, and he has a smaller health bar than Miriam or Zangetsu. If one of the other heroes is dead, or you're playing in Nightmare Mode, Gebel works great as a backup. Most of the time, though, you'll likely rely on him for his bat powers, than then play as a different hero for most of the action.