In the 1989 Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for the NES, Alucard is initially a boss encountered over the course of the game by the primary protagonist, Trevor Belmont. If the player defeats Alucard, he can be utilized as a playable character in the game. This was a significant departure from the first two Castlevania games for the NES, which only featured Simon Belmont as the primary playable character, and Alucard's abilities, a fireball attack and the ability to transform into a bat, were unique elements introduced into the series. Following the defeat of Dracula and the game's conclusion, Alucard voluntarily goes into a protracted sleep to ease his feelings of patricide and to prevent his powers from harming the world. Alucard's following appearance in the series is in the 1997 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, where he is featured as the game's protagonist and primary playable character. Due to the brainwashing of the current member of the Belmont clan, Richter Belmont, Alucard heads to his father's castle to find Richter and ensure that Dracula does not return into the world. He encounters Richter, who has been controlled by the dark priest Shaft into believing he is the lord of Dracula's castle, and Alucard manages to free him from the spell controlling him. In response, Shaft creates an inverted version of Dracula's castle for Alucard to travel through, and Alucard defeats Shaft, and ultimately, Dracula as well. Symphony of the Night also expands on Alucard's background, revealing how his human mother, Lisa, was hunted down and executed by humans who believed her to be a witch. Despite this, Lisa admonished Alucard to respect humans and not hate them as his father did. Alucard's placement as a protagonist was unusual for the series up to that point, as previous Castlevania games had featured often members of the Belmont clan as the protagonists. In the 2003 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for the Game Boy Advance, Alucard is present in disguise as the enigmatic Japanese government agent Genya Arikado in order to prevent the powers of his father, who was finally killed by Julius Belmont, from ending up in the wrong hands. He meets the game's protagonist, Soma Cruz, and explains his "power of dominance," or his ability to absorb the souls of the monsters he defeats and use their abilities. He instructs him to seek out the castle's throne room, where Soma realizes that he is Dracula's reincarnation. Arikado subsequently advises Soma to destroy the flow of chaos in the castle to free himself from his fate, which Soma succeeds in doing.
Alucard reprises his role as Arikado in the sequel to Aria of Sorrow, the 2005 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS, where he works to stop the machinations of a cult headed by Celia Fortner to create a new dark lord by killing Soma. Arikado initially requests that Soma does not become involved, but later gives him a letter and talisman from Mina when he encounters him later in the game. After both of Celia's "dark lord's candidates," Dmitrii Blinov and Dario Bossi, are defeated, Arikado stops Celia's attempt to force Soma to awaken into the new dark lord, but inadvertently allows Dmitrii to revive himself. He confronts him, but is stopped when Dmitrii uses Celia as a sacrifice to seal his powers. Following Soma's battle with Menace, a giant demon that sprouts from Dmitrii, Arikado explains to Soma that he is not destined to become the dark lord, nor does he need to.In the game's Julius Mode, Arikado is playable as Alucard after he is found in the castle