I'm not sure if the names for the stages have been documented or anything, but I'll try to use the ones from the games as often as possible. Here's the first two. Hope you'll enjoy them.
Buffy took quick stock of the situation, she didn’t like what she was seeing. “This place is huge, I mean look at it, five towers. Who designed it?”
“Satan,” Xander quipped. Taking a few practice swings with his whip, he was pleased to discover it worked pretty good.
“Not far off the mark there,” a stranger remarked. Everybody tensed up, slowly a cloaked figure stepped into the light off to their right.
“Who the hell are you?” Buffy demanded, her crossbow was held casually pointing downwards, but it could be raised and fired in a fraction of a second.
The strange figure chuckled and pulled back his hood revealing strong European features, a handsome face and burning eyes. “A friend little, Slayer, I am a traveling merchant. You will find riches beyond imagining within these walls, but be warned the gold is cursed. I will offer wares, enchanted weapons or other useful items in exchange for it. All you need do is pick up my scroll.” The merchant smiled as he vanished from sight, in his place floated a golden blue scroll, flames licking at its edges.
Xander shuddered. “Talk about creepy, but mom warned me about him on the way here.”
Tara nodded and cast an illumination spell, though it wasn’t completely necessary under the full moon. “I sensed no malice from him, only avarice, he covets the gold.”
“Ok, so where to?” Buffy asked, admittedly she appeared more on edge than usual, and for good reason. Her Slayer senses were going off the charts.
“Straight ahead,” Xander said, studying the map he discovered a glowing path leading from the massive front gate, to an evil looking gargoyle’s face. Underneath it were the words, Courtyard Guardian.
“Why do I get the feeling it won’t be that simple?” Buffy switched weapons again, her Slayer senses couldn’t be trusted to help her in detecting possible threats, but that didn’t stop her from feeling more aggressive than usual. She needed to kill something, preferably right now.
“Probably ‘cause it won’t, Buff,” Xander told her, “let’s move.” Taking the first step forward, he was nearly mutilated by a near invisible crow, Tara blasted it with a flame ball spell. “Thanks.”
“Heads up, evil skeleton dude,” Buffy alerted, pointing at the walking pile of bones guarding a short flight of stairs leading to a platform.
“Time to see what this puppy can do.” Xander cracked the whip, it lashed out like a rapid moving snake, as soon as the skeleton was struck it evaporated into smoke leaving behind a glowing red heart shaped wisp of energy.
Buffy pouted. “No fair, why can’t demons do that?”
“Castlevania controls the laws of physics here,” Tara explained. “Don’t trust everything you see,” she warned. Xander nodded and silently took the lead, she and Buffy followed after him, as they ventured further into the den of evil, ominous music began to play.
Death appeared before Dracula once more, the master of Castlevania did not say a word, or indeed acknowledge his presence.
“The Belmont is here,” Death announced.
“I know, as well as a Belnades, and the Slayer.”
Death made a fist. “Belmont’s heir robbed me of her soul four years ago,” he said with burning red eyes.
Dracula smiled revealing his fangs. “How fortunate, long have I wished to turn a Slayer.”
“This isn’t an ordinary Slayer,” Death advised cautiously.
Dracula laughed. “What do I care for a Slayer? Only Belmont’s whip can stop me, and only a Belmont can wield it, now stop pestering me and prepare the others.”
Death inclined his head, briefly he twisted the handle of his scythe in his hand. “As you desire.”
“They don’t give us a break,” Buffy complained, hacking a bat in half she eyed the sky warily for more.
“The forces of evil are strongest here,” Tara said, slowly she’d begun to exhibit more confidence, not only in herself, but also her underused skills.
Xander whipped another skeleton, his whip also destroyed one of the candlesticks. A strange looking coil of chains fell to the ground. “What is that?” he wondered.
“Pick it up,” Tara urged, “it was meant for you.”
Shrugging Xander knelt to claim his prize, as soon as he touched it Vampire Killer changed from a leather whip into a metal one with a barbed tip. “Holy, how did that happen?”
“I think you answered your own question, Xander,” Buffy replied. Together the three of them climbed another set of stairs and passed into the front hall, candles flickered giving off an eerie light and the music started to change.
“Ok, who builds a front hall on the second floor?” Xander demanded. “This is an architect’s nightmare,” he added, and then he leapt off of a crumbling block.
“Is anyone else concerned about that music?” Buffy asked.
“To be honest, I didn’t really notice it,” Xander returned.
“I think we’ve reached the first of Dracula’s guardians,” Tara said. With a sudden, loud, cry a giant vampire bat appeared. Xander ducked low to avoid the first attack, Tara hurled another fireball striking the beast in the wing, it did not immolate the bat.
Buffy took a careful step back, her crossbow sang, and an arrow pierced the beast’s hide. “It isn’t dead, Xander why isn’t it dead?”
“Remember what Tara said? About laws working differently here?” At Buffy’s confused nod, Xander quickly opened the map, underneath the gargoyle face. Which Xander claimed represented the guardian, was a new bar of red lines, two of which had turned white. “Well, it’s like a videogame boss fight, these demons get health bars,” Xander explained.
Buffy stared at him. “We’re inside a real life videogame?”
“Kind of.” Xander whipped the bat, three of the red lines turned white. “And it would appear I’ve got the most effective weapon.”
Buffy nodded. “Gotcha, Tara, we’re distraction detail so Xander can kill this thing.” Tara flung another fireball at the bat, she didn’t say anything, Buffy sighed. “My life officially makes little sense anymore,” she muttered. With all three of them working together, the battle didn’t last much longer, Xander’s whip tore apart the beast easily. Once it finally evaporated, or exploded, or whatever it did, a large glowing red sphere appeared.
Hovering briefly in the sky where the guardian died, it then fell to the ground.
Tara took a step back. “Evil… It-It’s very energy is dark.”
Xander grunted and picked the orb up. “This is how Death controls these things, we need them to battle Death once we reach him. The energy gathered is the only way to actually destroy Death for tonight, and Dracula after him.”
Buffy’s face paled. “We have to fight Death?” she asked in a subdued tone.
“He’s one of Drac’s pals,” Xander admitted. The look in Buffy’s eyes hurt him deeply. “It’s just a personification thing, we aren’t literally fighting the full force of Death, Buffy, he said.
“You could have warned me,” she snapped, sounding slightly hysterical.
“I’m sorry,” Xander returned.
Tara placed a soothing hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “We’ll be together, you won’t be alone, it’ll be ok.”
Buffy nodded. “I get it, no time for meltdowns, it’s apocalypse preventing time.” Shouldering her crossbow, she led the way out of the room and into the hall. Xander eyed the map briefly, it was definitely going to be a long night.
The Entrance Halls
When Buffy felt the grimy hands of the zombie on her neck she thought she was dead, the crack of Xander’s whip changed all that, the zombie immolated itself and a tired Buffy gulped some water, Tara picked up a roasted chicken leg.
Buffy still had trouble understanding how, food produced from whipping candlesticks, and breakable walls, could restore so much stamina. This never-ending gauntlet of enemies, however, required that she put aside her questions and just accept it.
“Your ancestors were seriously tough, Xander,” Buffy said, panting slightly. Even with Slayer stamina this was tasking her.
Xander nodded. “The armor helps, you, and Tara really shouldn’t be here.”
“Don’t start,” Buffy snapped. She smiled slightly and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is just what I need to unwind after a summer of Slayage absence.”
“Besides, I think we have enough cursed gold to buy some stamina enhancing protection from the merchant,” Tara chimed in with a friendly smile.
Xander grinned. “That’ll be useful, some eye candy would be really appreciated right about now.”
Tara blushed at Xander’s joke. “I-I-I’m flattered, but I-I’m not that interested in guys, especially my own cousin third or fourth generation removed,” she reminded.
Buffy shot Xander a studious look. “I don’t know if Anya would appreciate you checking me out, but I have to admit I’ve kinda wanted to try on something as daring as that little number you’re wearing, Xander,” she said, flashing him a sultry smile.
Xander sighed. “Right, Buff, let’s stick to leaving the comedy to me.”
Getting to the scroll was a pain and a half, but the new outfits for Buffy and Tara were a welcome reprieve, judging from how stronger they were looking, and feeling. At least to Xander’s practiced eye. Of course his practiced eye was really the Belmonts’s armor’s practiced eye.
Tara was dressed in a flowing outfit of greens and blues, with two large rings on her wrists, the Merchant claimed that this outfit once belonged to Carrie Fernandez, one of Tara’s ancestors, how he got it Xander didn’t really want to know.
Buffy on the other hand was wearing something Faith would have shied away from, it was pretty damn revealing, it covered her chest in a bat shaped bustier, but left very little for the imagination. The Merchant claimed it belonged to the other Slayer who befriended the Belmont family.
“Like what you see, Xander?” Buffy asked teasingly.
Xander had to nod, what else could he do. “I think Riley is going to like it even more when we get back.”
Buffy blushed. “Xander,” she muttered, “why’d you have to go and say that?”
“These outfits at least are soaked in good auras, even if yours is a bit, d-d-daring, Buffy.” Tara blushed, she loved Willow, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t appreciate another woman, if she wanted to.
“Ok, now that we’re all protected from the onslaught of Dracula’s minions, let’s take out the next Guardian.”
Medusa smiled as she appeared from a large collection of small snakes, Xander didn’t like the looks of things, Buffy meanwhile started using her sword to hack at the bitch. Tara unleashed a burst of ice magic, Xander blinked, according to the map they were actually doing more damage than before.
“Belmont’s heir,” Medusa actually spoke, “look into my eyes, “she insisted.
“Sorry, but I’ve heard all about the story of Persius,” Xander returned with a smirk. Unleashing Vampire Killer he knocked off a considerable chunk of her health, hissing at him she lashed out with her stony gaze.
Tara pulled one of the mirrors off the wall and reflected the burst of energy back at her. Medusa screamed as she turned partially to stone, unable to move, Tara shuddered slightly. “Xander, use Vampire Killer, quickly!”
Nodding Xander flicked his whip again, Medusa’s lower body exploded and she cried out, her torso began to float around the room. “Oh that can’t be good,” Xander said, checking the map he saw Medusa’s life bar return to full strength.
“What happened?” Buffy asked, ducking a swipe from Medusa’s clawed hands.
“Uh, I think she has more than one form, you know like how the bosses of Final Fantasy can morph into new attack forms when you do enough damage to them,” Xander explained.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Terrific, let’s take the stone making bitch down already.”
“You will pay for what you have done to me!” Medusa screamed.
“Xander, catch,” Tara called tossing something at him.
Xander caught it, it looked like a cross, but it was a little different. “All four sides are an even length, what is this?”
“It’s a sub-weapon, I-I-I mean, an extra weapon. Those hearts you’ve been absorbing from the candlesticks and fallen enemies power it,” Tara explained. Xander grinned, he liked the sound of that, taking careful aim he tossed the cross at Medusa. He was expecting it to hit her and explode, or something, what happened instead was that it flew through the sky, struck Medusa. And then like a boomerang came back to him.
“Accursed Belmont,” Medusa said, her face twisted into a dark sneer and she tried to petrify him again. Xander tossed the cross at her again, ducked the energy beam she had shot and lashed out with Vampire Killer. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Medusa’s death cry signaled the end of the fight, Xander watched her evaporate, sighing with some exhaustion he retrieved the red orb of evil energy from the now defeated enemy.
“These things are going to get harder as we progress, aren’t they?” Buffy asked, passing Xander a roast chicken leg, Xander took it and ate it.
Tossing the bone behind him he nodded. “Kind of the deal when you’re fighting the forces of Dracula,” he said.
“So, where to next?” Buffy wondered.
Xander examined the map carefully, they’d past through at least four rooms of the castle’s front entrance. Shrugging he rolled the map back up. “Not sure, there seems to be a branching pathway to choose from in the next room, come on ladies let’s pick our next destination,” he said leading the way.
Dracula crushed the fine goblet in his hand, he rose from his throne and shot a glare at his so-called ‘Guardians’. “Is it too much to hope, that this time one of you can actually kill the Belmont whelp, before, he arrives at my tower?” he demanded with a growl.
“You expect one of them to actually defeat a Belmont?” Death asked with a smirk.
Dracula shot him a glare. “You wish to challenge him now, old friend?” he asked with a sneer of contempt.
Death shook his head. “Actually, I propose we use some of the energy that Castlevania has absorbed from the Hellmouth to create, a new Guardian.”
Dracula stroked his beard thoughtfully, his lips pulled up in the barest hint of a smile, cunning and calculating. “Yes, something more appropriate for our little Belmont,” he said.
“Then I have your permission?” Death wondered.
Dracula nodded. “Yes, Death, find a suitable enemy to battle this new Belmont. Perhaps one he has faced before.”
“As you command.” Death offered a theatrical bow and vanished.
Dracula returned to his throne, his gaze falling upon his other Guardians. “Well, what are you still doing here, get out of my sight!” he ordered. One by one, the Guardians quickly rushed from his throne room, fear of being returned to Hell on a whim making them practically walk over one another.To Be Continued