Monday, 25 July 2011

Vampire Killer (MSX2)

Apparently this was made about the same time as the original Famicom/NES Castlevania game, and was actually the first of the series to get a release in Europe.

The intro reminds me of Castlevania, as Simon Belmont walks up to the gates of Count Dracula's fortress.

Castlevania (NES)
Actually, that's more or less the same picture. I thought Vampire Killer was supposed to be a different game, not just the MSX2 port of Castlevania.

Damn, that's a bit of a let down really.

Yeah, this is exactly the same. Same music (the song called 'Vampire Killer', actually), same movement, same level. Even Simon's awkward walking animation is the same.

I'm not sure about the swirly trees (or Simon's pink outfit), but I think overall the game is nicer looking than the NES version so far.

Castlevania (NES)
Then again you can't really get worse than the NES version's trees.

Castlevania (Amiga)
The Amiga version really tries though.

Wait, hang on, this part isn't in Castlevania. The gameplay is the same but the level design has changed. This is a different game after all!

I tried to get into that blue chest, but it seems unsmashable. Oh well, it's probably not important.

I tried breaking into another chest, and accidentally broke the wall instead.

Inside I found a silver key. It did not open the chest.
Excellent, the silver key opens this door! I'm actually making some progress.

Wait... I needed a secret key to open the door to the next level? That's not exactly great game design.

I found this guy hidden in a wall. He was wearing white to start with, but I whipped him red trying to kill him. Then I guess I must have bought something from him because now I've got a jar in my item box and I'm down 30 hearts.

I've got a brown key, but nothing to use it on. Though I'm betting it'll open that chest over there if I can just find out how to get there.


Damn, I got killed before I could use the key. And then I respawned without it!

Fine, I'll just find another key. I bet they're lying around everywhere.


Hey, it's the leaping merfolk from Castlevania again in the castle basement. I managed to avoid them in that game, but now it seems that I've used up all my luck. They leaped up and knocked me into the insta-kill water.

But wait, I've finally found something! A locked door, and a box! And I've got no keys on me. Son of a bitch!

Plus I'm getting sick of being continually harassed by these damn bats. It's kinda frustrating to try to navigate stairs when infinite bats keep flying across the level.


NO I don't want to buy another jar! I was just trying to... I dunno, get through the wall to that box.


Okay this place is just leading me around in circles. I need to find another silver key and then get back to that door again. Wherever it is.

It would be really nice to have a map right now. Or maybe I've had a map the whole time and I just don't know how to bring it up.


Well I opened that box. It totally wasn't worth the effort. It was just another one of these things that look like paper wrapped in ribbon.

Okay, this is ridiculous. This game is making me miss Medusa heads and boss fights. I eventually looked up how to use the map (apparently the document in the ribbon was a map, and I activate it by pressing F2).

Hmm... no this isn't really helping. Apparently there are only 6 screens in this level, and I've been to all of them. Those two at the top look like they lead somewhere, but they actually wrap around at the sides, so I could actually just keep circling through those two rooms forever.

I think the trouble here is that the key I need is probably hidden in a wall. So unless I go hitting every wall with my whip I'll never find it.

Next game then.

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)


  1. Hey there, thanks a ton for this incredible blog. I thought I'd let you know that they are one and the same game, but in Europe/Japan "Castlevania" is known as "Vampire Killer", just so that you know bud. Keep up the great work on the site and thanks for even having something awesome and nostalgic to look at.

    1. Wrong. Castlevania is known as Akumajo Dracula in Japan. Vampire Killer was just the title of the MSX version in Europe.

      Anyway, Vampire Killer can be a bit tough if you don't know how to use your auxiliary items, since they require typing certain keyboard keys.

  2. Thanks for reading the blog! I'll keep the games coming as long as people keep wanting to see them.

    It could drive a person crazy trying to figure out the Castlevania series, but from what I understand there are TWO original Castlevania games, the MSX2 version and the Famicom Disk System version, both called 'Akumajou Dracula' in Japan, both released in the same year. The MSX2 version was released in Europe as 'Vampire Killer', and the FDS version got a NES/C64/Amiga/DOS release in Europe and North America as 'Castlevania'.

    Plus there's a game called 'Vampire Killer' in Japan, but that's actually known as 'Castlevania: Bloodlines' in the US and 'Castlevania: The New Generation' in Europe, and is a sequel to the original Castlevania.

    And the game known as 'Castlevania' in Japan is a PlayStation 2 game known as 'Lament of Innocence' in North America.

    Apparently Castlevania, Vampire Killer, Haunted Castle, Super Castlevania IV, and the game eventually released in Castlevania Chronicles are all just called 'Akumajou Dracula' in Japan. Some of the remakes are more similar than others to the original, but as far as I know none of them are exactly the same game.

    Though I guess I'll soon find out.


Semi-Random Game Box