Castlevania 3 Menu: Stages - Manual - Walkthrough - Passwords - Weirdness - Opening - Ending - Foreign

Castlevania 3: Foreign Release Info

Akumajo Densetsu (Legend of Demon Castle) was released in America as Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse. The Japanese version used an extremely advanced memory mapper developed by Konami known as VRC6. Konami (and many other companies) actually developed their own memory mapper chips in Japan, but most had to use Nintendo mappers when brought to the US. The Japanese version of this game included slightly improved graphics in some places, and immensely better music (using lots of digitized instrument samples.) While the American version used the very advanced MMC5, it was still not as powerful as the Konami one, and thus things were altered.

Among the bizarre changes: The lettering used on the menu is different - the Japanese version has the same font in the original, while the NES version uses a more stylized gothic font. Also, the "HELP ME" code does not work in the Japanese version. The cross in the intro sequence is not as detailed (the American is on the left, Japanese on the right.) I don't know if this is for religious reasons or mapper capabilities.) The clouds in the prologue sequence move to the left in the Japanese version - they're entirely static in the American one.

There are small changes to the enemy design. The zombies look significantly less human in the NES version. The igor monsters are actually little demonic frogs in the Japanese version. And the Levaiathan Gargoyle is comprised of different colors. Also, the statues in level 8 of the castle are unclothed like SCV4.

NES Version Famicom Version

For some odd reason, Trevor is left handed in the American version but right handed in the Japanese one. He shakes his compatriots hands differently. In Sypha's case, it even looks as if he's holding out her hand, to kiss it.

NES Version Famicom Version

There are also small gameplay differences...the enemy damage structure is was altered. Rather than having the stage dictate the damage (i.e. two bars for the first two stages, three bars for the third and more, etc.) damage you take depends on the enemy that hits you. This makes it harder early in the game, but easier a bit later. Grant always has a throwing dagger that he can use at any time, and The final battle with Dracula is easier because you restart outside his chamber (instead of before those swinging pendulums.) I actually own the cartridge of this, but due to the differences between the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom hardware, the music does not play correctly.

Thanks to Alexandre Kubrusly for the information about the handshake switch, and the pictures.

Check out samples from Dracula Best 1 to hear the Japanese version.

You can also download the NES versions MP3s to compare.

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Castlevania Games - Castlevania 3 - CV3 Foreign