Monday, 8 August 2011

Haunted Castle (Arcade)

This shares the same name in Japan (Akumajō Dracula) as both Castlevania and Vampire Killer, and is the first arcade game in the Castlevania series.

There's actually at least five games just called Akumajō Dracula, annoyingly. They could have at least given them different subtitles or something.

It seems that legendary vampire slayer Simon Belmont has settled down, dyed his hair blue, and has gotten himself married!

But his marital bliss will be short lived. While Simon and his new wife continue their long trek home from the church, Dracula himself watches from a distance, unseen.

To be fair though he is pretty well hidden.

Alas, Dracula swoops down and kidnaps the bride, with poor Simon powerless to stop him.

I would have thought it'd be more sensible to just kill Simon now while he's unarmed and defenceless, but I'm not a vampire, I don't know how this shit works.

Anyway, Simon gears up and races off to rescue his beloved Mrs Belmont. And he'll probably try to grab some revenge too while he's out.

Fucking flying creatures... I just don't know how to deal with them. You'd think I'd be better at this by now, but I've apparently learned nothing from my months of gaming.

Mighty Simon Belmont, slayer of vampires, humbled by a pair of bats zero seconds into the game.

Uh, well it's a typical early Castlevania game so far, with the whip, hearts for ammo, stairs I can't jump from, no real control of my jumps when I'm in the air etc. Plus the bats of course.

I think besides from the graphics, the main difference from the games I've played so far, is that I barely made it off the first screen before dying.

Death by stairs. I tried to jump up to attack the skeleton at the top, which of course didn't work, so tried falling off to attack the ones on the ground instead. But he sticks to the stairs until he can walk off, so I was caught in a crossfire of bones and killed.

Back to the start of the level then.

I really wish hearts were healing items in Castlevania games.

These zombies are a bit of a pain in the ass because they just keep crawling out of the ground. I sat at their spawn point killing them, but they just keep appearing. 


Hey, I think I've made it past the first stage! That wasn't so bad.

What the FUCK? Now the walls are out to kill me? This game is taking the piss.

Also, I'm all out of continues. Three extra tries and then it's game over, back to the intro video and demo. Though at least I can take some small consolation that Simon gets hit by the bats in the demo too.

I should give up right now because there's not a chance I'm going to get anywhere in this game, but I'm too curious what's on the other side of that wall. I want to see if I can at least finish stage 1.


Okay, I've been through a few times and I think I know what I'm doing now. For one thing I need to avoid these statues when they tip over. They look harmless but they're not.

When I reach the wall I need to crouch and whip any bricks flying out from the bottom three rows until there's nothing left of it.

Then I stay on the platforms to leap across the burning grass.

But try not to leap into the tree monster at the end. Six hits is enough to take him down.

I jump across the zombie spawn point before any can climb out, and keep running.

Then I get stuck on the stairs again and killed. Yeah, I haven't quite figured this bit out yet. I'm working on it.

The good news is that now I respawn at the wall when I die. The bad news is I have to get past it each time, and the bricks take off half my health bar with each hit.

Hey this is better. Those skeletons dropped some weaponry for me. Finally I have a use for all those hearts I've been picking up.

And then I'm killed by bats. What do you mean you can't see any bats, they're right there! One's under the second cross from the left, the other is underneath the 94 door.

Well fuck it, I'm done. I lack the skill to get any further in it, and the interest to get any better at it. Suddenly Castlevania on the NES seems a lot more reasonable in retrospect.

Oh alright, fine...


Medusa! I should have known you were, in part, responsible for my misery somehow! And now I'm going to blow you to pieces.

Well I lasted about 5 seconds against her in total, including the 3 seconds I'd been fighting before I took that screenshot. And I didn't even get a cool game over picture for my trouble. You know, I think given the choice I'd actually rather go back to Simon's Quest than play this one more time.

Next game.

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. Heheheh, this was one of the funnier blogs..:)

  2. Konami had this thing about making the export versions of some arcade games ridiculously hard, where the Japanese versions are much more reasonable in comparison. This game is one of those.

    There are also multiple versions of the export version. The more common version K, which isn't the parent in MAME for some idiotic reason, is easier than the version M that MAME players are used to.


Semi-Random Game Box