It is the year 1691, the land of Transylvania has been at peace for one-hundred years now, thanks to the efforts of Christopher Belmont. The peasants and villagers have begun to purge their minds of the memories of the times when the lands were dominated by chaos and shadows, times when the undead walked the earth. However, there are those that remember that the evil Count Dracula returns every one-hundred years to plague the land, bringing with him the forces of Hell. Thus, one evening, the Prince of Darkness rises and returns to Castlevania, his ancestral home, calling forth his minions to purge the world of human flesh.
The people cry out for a hero — someone to defend them from the evil desires of the Count. Thankfully, they don’t have to look very far, for within the land of Transylvania the Belmont line still lives, as Simon Belmont, great-grandson of Solieyu Belmont, takes up the legendary whip called the Vampire Killer, and sets forth on his journey through the darkened countryside to the dark lord’s castle.
It is true that Super Castlevania 4 is somewhat similar to this game and far superior in many respects but this game still manages to stand on its own years later. It is must buy for fans of the early nes/snes/early gameboy series. It is challenging but still fairly fun after all these years and like all other castlevanias that came after it, it too has an amazing and memorable soundtrack.
Castlevania 4 is what could be described as a ‘partial remake’ of this game, in the sense a couple of the early stages have similarities, but the level designs after that are very different.
Graphically and sonically it can be considered one of the highlights of the NES catalogue. It’s hack and slash gameplay is also great fun and is very rare on 8-bit machines. The NES version is also probably the best conversion of this game. Having played the Amiga and C64 conversions, the NES stands head and shoulders above both of them.
The one thing about this game is that it’s just riduculously hard at times. Try getting past the medusa heads and the crushers on level 2-2 without the time freeze watch. Try getting through across that cavern with the raft on level 4-1.
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