A tribute to the best NES game of all-time.
November 01, 2005

I was about 6 or 7 years old when my parents bought me my NES game console. I didn't have that many good games as they were pretty expensive in those days, but got to play many of them thanks to rentals and friends. One of them lived next door and had a much older brother who would let me come over, play and occasionally lend me games since he had a crush on my sister. One of the games he had was Castlevania, which is and forever will be my favorite video game of all-time. I was a bit scared of the game, which is why it most likely the reason for my obsession.

The plot, like so many games of it's time is simple and seems to be Largely influenced by the the Hammer Horror films of the 60's and 70's, especially "Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter" . You're Simon Belmont, Great-Grandson of Christopher Belmont. Your mission is to track down Count Dracula who has risen from his slumber after 100 years to once again reak havoc on the living. You have to fight your way through seven stages. Battling skeletons, ghosts, bats, floating Medusa heads and an assortment of other grotesque creatures to track him down and destroy him once and for all.

The difficulty of the stages can be downright frustrating. It's one of the games that will have you biting the control pad (we ALL have teeth marks in them). But damn, it is a lot of creepy fun. The music is some of the most catchy and memorable of all Nintendo games. It's creepy and gets stuck in your head. You'll find yourself humming it for days on end. Castlevania was followed up with two great sequels for NES. "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest", which is similar in graphics, style and music but is a Role-playing adventure game like the excellent "Legend of Zelda" in which you have to collect the five body parts of Dracula and destroy them. then there is "Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse" which is a return to form and much more like the first.

I didn't actually own Castlevania it until after the NES craze died down and Super NES and Sega Genesis took it's place. About two years ago I foolishly sold my game console along with the 70 + games I had. Thanks to the emulators and Roms, downloaded off the internet, I can still play them, but it's not as fun. A friend told me that the original has been re-released for Game Boy Advanced, but I doubt it is the same. Hopefully someday, we'll see specially priced re-release of this timeless classic in it's original 8-bit form for the newer systems. Here's hoping.
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