The Doppelganger is Dracula's Curse's
most infamous boss creature. This amoebae-like foe can change its shape to
mimic that of any of the four heroes. If you switch allies anytime during
the battle, the Doppelganger will immediately change form, too. However tough,
the Doppelganger can't mimic all of your attacks: As Trevor, it can use the
whip and only a boomerang; as Grant, it'll use only his throwing dagger; as
Sypha, it'll use the staff and her fire spell; and the Alucard form will just
bombard you with his three-way balls of destruction. If you switch allies
quickly, you can get a quick hit in on the Doppelganger before it can match
your move, and this can be repeated again and again to destroy it without
it ever launching an attack.
Simon's reflection (which we'll call
the "Mirror Creature") comes to life as a doppelganger. It jumps
and crouches, cleverly moving about, and has the ability to whip in six directions--just
as Simon does--the range of its attack making one of the toughest of its kind.
Its speed is its most considerable trait, as it can quickly escape attempts
to corner it by swinging its whip like a buzzsaw. Also
of concern is that it can use Simon's current sub-weapon and through its repeated
use drain his heart-total. It has one minor weakness, to keep things
somewhat fair: Whether it's worth it or not, direct contact with Simon will
damage the doppelganger, for the first time reversing video-game canon. Depending
upon your energy-level, a direct slugfest may or may not be the best strategy.
Symphony of the Night
Alucard meets this boss again in Symphony,
twice in fact, and it's learned a few more tricks. The first form, Doppelganger10,
will try to execute a combo where it comes in from the air with a downward
sword slash and then sneaks in another while standing right next to you. When
farther away, it'll constantly hurl daggers your way. The Doppelganger is
good at dodging attacks, and it takes it to another level by turning itself
into mist and reforming elsewhere when it seems that you've finally found
an opening. Only through patience will you defeat it. The second form, Doppelganger40,
continues its sword-slashing ways--now with a poison effect--but it trades
up its dagger for the rebound stone, which it can throw in threes. Instead
of mist, this stronger 'Ganger instead uses its bat form to execute a bat-dash
across the room.
Lament of Innocence
So it was Leon who first had to deal
with this cretin. He'll find it lurking in the Dark Palace of Waterfalls.
The Doppelganger, you'll learn, has most of Leon's fighting abilities--whip
combos and advanced defense maneuvers--and his sub-weapons. It dodges attacks
well, and its own offense will seemingly override yours, so you'll have to
catch it off guard in order to get in successive shots; if you dodge its whip
combos and wait for it to rest instead of trying to force things, you'll have
better luck. If you stay away, the Doppelganger will start using its sub-weapons,
some of which can be used in orb-powered form. The best bet is to keep things
close and force it into a game of whip-play. When it's almost defeated, it'll
flee for its survival. In "Crazy Mode,"
this battle differs a bit in that Leon will instead face two of these
Doppelgangers at once.
Leon will run into this menace again
on the first floor of the Pagoda. This time, the angered Doppelganger will
forgo whip-play and use its fire-enhanced limbs. It will constantly be dashing
toward you with combinations of fiery punches and kicks, most of which will
knock you far back. As it was before, the Doppelganger still evades well and
its offense will override your own if you try to attack while it's starting
to execute a combo. When things get heated, the Doppelganger will crash itself
into the ground and cause flames to spread along the floor in an "X"
shape; this is its most devastating attack if it connects. Otherwise, the
Doppelganger can still use its regular and orb-powered sub-weapons.
Portrait of Ruin
If there are more characters to be
had via the game's partner system, then the Doppelganger is prepared with
more forms than ever before. The copycat demon will assume the identity of
whichever hero character possesses the overall stronger statistics, and it
will equip itself with whatever striking or sub-weapons said character has
selected at the time. It will do this for characters Jonathan, Charlotte,
Richter and Maria (with in the case of Richter and Maria an obvious
main weapon) and fight in a fairly typical reactionary strike-and-jump manner;
for the mode "Sisters," wherein Stella and Loretta storm the castle,
the Doppelganger will somehow mimic both sisters at once, a battle
that is in reality the Stella and Loretta encounter fought in the other mission