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Castlevania, known in Japan as , is a console video game developed and published by Konami for the Family Computer Disk System in Japanmarker in September 1986. A year later, in May 1987 it was ported to cartridge format and released in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) followed by a European release in 1988. It was re-released for the Family Computer (FC) in cartridge format in Japan in 1993. It is the first game in Konami's Castlevania video game series.

Gameplay

Screenshot of Castlevania on the NES.
Castlevania is a typical platform game of the 8-bit era: the game is composed of six levels, which are played in a strictly linear progression. The player controls Simon Belmont, whose primary mode of attack is via his whip by pressing the B Button, which can be upgraded by obtaining special items throughout the course of the game which extend its length. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack. By breaking candelabra and certain other items located throughout the castle, Simon collects hearts, which can then be used to activate whatever sub-weapon he possesses at that point. Simon can only carry one sub-weapon at a time. The A Button allows Simon Belmont to jump just like other platformer games, such as Super Mario Bros.

Each of Castlevania's six levels conclude with a boss fight: these bosses are generally taken from horror literature or legend, and include a vampire bat, Medusa, mummies, Frankenstein's Monster and Igor, and the Grim Reaper. This boss in particular is also infamous for being very difficult.

Plot

In the year 1691, Transylvania has been at peace for one hundred years thanks to the efforts of Christopher Belmont destroying the vampire Dracula. Dracula has been resurrected again, however, and Simon Belmont goes to defeat him with the Vampire Killer.

Simon enters Castlevania, Dracula's immense castle, and proceeds up to its master's keep, along the way fending off all sorts of nasty creatures and dangerous traps.

In the ending, Simon successfully defeats Dracula, leading to the events of the video game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.

Development

Versions and rereleases

Castlevania has been ported to a variety of different video game consoles, handheld game consoles, home computer systems, and mobile phones. The NES release of the game was adapted for video arcades both as a part of Nintendo's Play Choice 10 series and (with the addition of a two-player competitive play mode) the Nintendo Vs. Series.

In 1990, versions of the title were released for the IBM PC Compatible, the Commodore 64 (both developed by Unlimited Software), and the Commodore Amiga (developed by Novotrade).

A ROM version of the game was released for the Japanese Family Computer in 1993. The port omitted the name registration screen from the original Family Computer Disk System version and included an "Easy" mode.

In 2002, Konami released the first three NES Castlevania games for PC Microsoft Windows as the Castlevania and Contra: Konami Collector's Series. This was later added to GameTap in 2006.

In 2004, Castlevania was released for the Game Boy Advance as part of the Classic NES Series. The mock ending credits of the game, which are mostly puns on the names of veteran horror movie stars, were removed in this version.

In 2007, it was released through the Wii Virtual Console.

In 2002, Upstart Games ported a mobile phone version of the game from the original Japanese mobile game. That version was upgraded in 2004 with improved graphics, and was subsequently released in Europe for multiple handsets. A third mobile phone version was produced in late 2004, with even better graphics, but has only been released in Japan as of early 2005.

The same storyline and setting has been reused for different games in the series on different platforms, including the MSX (known as Vampire Killer in Europe), the Super NES (as Super Castlevania IV), and the X68000 (which was later ported to the PlayStation and released as Castlevania Chronicles), as well as an arcade game remake called Haunted Castle. While all of these games share a variety of elements with Castlevania, including title (in the original Japanese, all were simply called Akumaj┼Ź Dracula), they are totally different games.

Audio

Track listing




Reception

Castlevania was rated the 23rd best game made on a Nintendo System in Nintendo Power's Top 200 Games list. The re-release of the game on the Virtual Console for the Nintendo Wii was rated a 7.5 by IGN, saying that the graphics show their age after 20 years, but the soundtrack is famously creepy and the game is still atmospheric and challenging.

References

  1. KONAMI, Devil's Castle Dracula Synthesis Site
  2. .


External links




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