GamaChronicles: Castlevania (Day 6 of 7)

Today on GamaChronicles, we are going back to the main games in the Castlevania series, and taking a look at the best console games, starting with Super Castlevania IV.

GamaChronicles are week-long features of a topic, game series, or cultural icon, with drip-content released on a daily basis. Check back every day for updates.

Super Castlevania IV

My personal nostalgic favorite in the series, Super Castlevania IV took the series’ graphics and music to new heights.

Super Castlevania IV features expanded play control, 16-bit graphics featuring SNES Mode 7, and a soundtrack featuring brand new pieces and arrangements based on previous Castlevania music. Following the same setting as Castlevania on the NES, the game takes place in 1691 Transylvania, where the vampire hunter Simon Belmont must defeat the vampire Dracula. The game received critical acclaim with some calling it one of the greatest video games of all time. Wikipedia

Check out this walkthrough of Super Castlevania IV on YouTube to see it for yourself:

Castlevania Bloodlines

A cult classic and considered by some to be the last “true Castlevania game” in the series.

Bloodlines was only Castlevania game on the Sega Genesis. The game’s storyline concerns a legendary vampire named Elizabeth Bartley, who is Dracula’s niece, suddenly appearing in the 20th century. Plotting a sacrificial war in order to bring her uncle back to life, she orchestrates the beginning of World War I. Quincy Morris’ son, John, and his best friend Eric Lecarde, vow to take up the fight against evil. Together they manage to prevent Dracula’s full resurrection. Wikipedia

Check out the following walkthrough of Castlevania Bloodlines on YouTube:

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PC Engine CD in Japan only)

Rondo was only released in Japan (as a stand alone game) and is considered one of the best in the series. Dracula X was a lame attempt to release it for U.S. audiences, but fell FAR short of the source material.

Taking place in 1792, Rondo of Blood centers around the eternal conflict between the vampire hunters of the Belmont clan and the immortal vampire Dracula, who has once again been resurrected. The protagonist is 19-year-old Richter Belmont, heir to the whip “Vampire Killer” and Simon Belmont’s direct descendant. He comes to the castle after his beloved Annette is kidnapped by Dracula’s servant Shaft as bait for a trap. Richter makes his way through Dracula’s castle, defeating his minions, including the spirit of Death, a headless knight, and a minotaur, all of whom attempt to stop Richter. Along the way, Richter can free various women kidnapped by Dracula’s servants to feed him, including his distant relative Maria Renard, an orphaned 12-year-old who insists on joining him; Terra, a nun who mistakes him for a manifestation of God; Iris, the daughter of the village doctor; and finally Annette. After vanquishing Shaft, Richter confronts Dracula himself. Wikipedia

Check out the following walkthrough of Rondo of Blood on YouTube:

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Behind this horrible cover art lies a legendary experience. Symphony really started the entire Metroidvania movement, and is one out the finest games you’ll ever play.

Symphony of the Night was released in 1997 for the original PlayStation. It was directed and produced by Toru Hagihara, with Koji Igarashi acting as assistant director. It is the direct sequel to Rondo of Blood, taking place four years later. It features Dracula’s son Alucard, rising from his slumber to explore Dracula’s castle which has re-appeared after Richter Belmont vanished. It marked a departure from previous games in the series, introducing exploration, non-linear level design and role-playing elements.

Check out the following walkthrough of the PS1 1997 Symphony of the Night on YouTube:

GamaFact: You can experience playing Super Castlevania IV and Bloodlines your self on PS4, Xbox One, Switch (I have the Switch version), or Microsoft Windows as part of Konami’s recently released Castlevania Anniversary Collection.

You can also play the first three console Castlevania games and the two GameBoy games as well. Cool thing is you can play both the English and Japanese versions of several of the games. Especially check out the Japanese version of Castlevania III as the music was slightly better in the Japan version due to the game including a special audio chip in the Japan cartridge.

As it appears Konami chose to only sell the Collection digitally, links below to purchase on each respective platform’s website:

Nintendo Switch

PlayStation 4

Xbox One

GamaFact Part Deux: You can actually play Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night as part of the PS4’s Castlevania Requiem.

Just be warned that Symphony of the Night is not the 1997 original (see YouTube walkthrough above) but is based on the updated PSP version that changes parts of the script and voiceovers. While fans of the original may find that annoying, new players should be just fine. Most importantly you get to play Rondo of Blood which some consider the best Castlevania ever.

Link to game in the PlayStation store below:

Castlevania Requiem

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