Castlevania 1 again by mistake. The original hud is back at the top of the screen, all the Castlevania 2 rpg elements have disappeared, no more day/night cycle, hearts are back to fuelling sub weapons and the original art style has returned. In fact I'm sure some of the art has been taken straight from the first game, like those orange blocks.
And the music is awesome.
Castlevania III is actually a prequel, set 100 years in the past, starring Simon's ancestor Trevor Belmont. Even now the Belmonts are famous as being vampire hunters, but the villagers fear their awesome skills so they kick them out of town. And then vampires back come and wreck everything, huge shock. So Trevor has to come over and sort this situation out.
This bit looks better than anything I saw in Castlevania 1, now I'm out of those crappy grey ruins.
I like the background to this place, it looks a lot less... messy than the areas I've seen so far. All the tiles seem to be where they should be for once.
This version also has a simpler font for the hud, but more layers to the music. Konami were able to enhance the music with their VRC6 sound chip built into the game cart. But the NES doesn't support extra sound chips like the Famicom does, so the music had to be reworked for the western release.
Which is a big shame, because the music in this sounds way better with the three extra sound channels, and to be honest I'm tempted to drop Castlevania III right now and play this instead.
Castlevania 1 did.
I guess I need to keep leading him around, using the platforms to jump over him as he follows me. Then I can get in a quick hit or two before running off again. What I definitely don't want to do is jump on his sword again.
Fortunately I've got lives so I don't have to replay that much of the stage to get back here. Less would have been better though.
Castlevania 1 didn't have.
Well it seems that I have two paths to travel, and two versions of the game... so we're going split up. It'll mean I can't compare them directly any more, but that's boring anyway. Castlevania III will go down to the creepy forest, while Akumajou Densetsu will take the high road to the tower of cogs.
Okay, that tree looks way better than anything in Castlevania 1 or 2. It's even got creepy eyes hiding in the shadows, watching me.
Wait, I can just hit the fireballs with my whip? Son of a bitch.
Wow, the forest stage doesn't have a boss fight? Well, uh, okay then! I'm not complaining.
Can you tell what I've done wrong here? That's right, I tried to jump up a staircase without thinking, and now poor Trevor's going to fall right through all the way down the tower to his death. Man, I really hate the way these Castlevania games handle stairs. I must have more deaths due to stair related incompetence than I do from enemy attacks.
Uh, this is a dead end, I've ran out of green blocks to walk on. Unless... I've got to jump onto that big grey cog? But it's grey, grey means background! And if this doesn't work I've lost my last life.
Actually by some miracle I did manage to jump from there to safety. So zero lives, but I'm still going.
And now I've got to climb all the way up this bloody huge tower again... great. Fortunately I have infinite continues though, so I'm in no danger of losing the game. And Castlevania III has PASSWORDS, so I don't have to finish the whole damn game in one sitting.
Annoyingly though, he can climb walls like he's Spider-Man, and keeps throwing axes down at me. Though I think if I can get some distance from him and throw some daggers his way I can wear him down.
Honestly the game is so much like Castlevania 1 that it never occurred to me that I'd have to read dialogue or answer questions. And now this guy's patiently waiting for a response to a question I can't even understand.
Hey, this is the Japanese version and it still says 'Castlevania' on the map. When I played the western version I figured that was just the game title written on the map, but I guess this place really is called Castlevania.
And this guy is awesome. His regular attack is throwing daggers, he can climb up walls... he can steer himself mid-jump!
I'm finding it a bit awkward to pull off the wall climbing, but it's definitely a handy skill to have. This is finally starting to feel like an actual sequel to Castlevania, rather than a stand-alone expansion pack.
Apparently in the western version of the game, this guy has a crappy stabbing dagger rather than a throwing dagger, which seems like a bit of a drastic change. I'd check that out myself, but that means replaying these two stages all over again (with worse music). It doesn't really seem worth the effort.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN CASTLEVANIA III...
Unlike the one near the start of Castlevania, this guy splits into smaller bats when he's hit. And then the smaller bats split into even smaller bats when I hit them. I start off fighting a giant bat, but I end up taking on a swarm.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN AKUMAJOU DENSETSU...
This seems to be the same forest stage I was playing through as Trevor, but I'm racing through it as this guy. There wasn't even a boss fight on this stage if I remember right, so replaying it isn't so bad.
BACK TO CASTLEVANIA III.
If I wait around long enough it seems that the drips will have melted a path through to that lower room, which might be full of awesome pick ups. I don't really like to wait around too long in a game with a timer though.
A bit early for the final boss battle isn't it? This is only stage 5-5.
Unfortunately for poor Alucard, this seems like a good place for me to stop playing. Because otherwise I could keep going for hours.
I wasn't impressed with this one at first. It seemed obvious that Konami saw the response to Simon's Quest and thought 'oh crap, this isn't working... quick, we need to remake the first game again!' But the more I played it, the more it won me over. This might actually be the best of them so far, and I do want to keep playing, so it gets the star.
1986 - Castlevania (NES)
1986 - Vampire Killer (MSX2)
1987 - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
1988 - Haunted Castle (Arcade)
1989 - Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy)
1990 - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
1991 - Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy)
1991 - Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
1993 - Akumajō Dracula / Castlevania Chronicles (X68000)
1993 - Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo / Rondo of Blood (TurboGrafx-CD)
1994 - Castlevania: The New Generation / Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis/Mega Drive)
1995 - Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss / Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES)
1997 - Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)