Konami Collector's Edition: Castlevania and Contra

Platform: Windows

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People have been clamoring for a Castlevania anthology since the day I started this site. Finally, we get one - kind of. The Konami Collector's Package included five classic NES titles: Castlevanias 1-3, Contra and Super C, and one apparently hidden game (Jackal) for $20. The unfortunate downside? None of these titles are enhanced. At all. They're basically ROMs bundled with an emulator and put on a CD. And not only that, but the collection of pretty barebones too. The instruction manuals are recreated on the CD in Acrobat PDF format, but there's not much in way of paper instructions. No art galleries, no Japanese versions, no historical notes or interviews - nothing. Just cheap shovelware. Admittedly this collection is cheaper than buying all of the NES games seperately, but still - these games can be downloaded easily off the Internet and played for free.

As for the emulator - it's fairly decent. It offers pretty good sound, filtering to make the graphics a little cleaner, and most importantly, runs Castlevania 3 rather nicely.

Most of the games are the same as the NES games, with changed copyright dates and references to Nintendo removed. However, the biggest change is in Castlevania 2. For some reason, the password system is entirely different. All of the vowels have been removed, and replaced with symbols like $ and @. There's a few possible reasons for this. For one, it could have been done to eliminate confusion between certain characters (1 and I, 0 and O). It also renders all passwords useless, so maybe they didn't want cheating. And the third theory is that, apparently somewhere along the line, Nintendo instituted a policy that password systems couldn't use vowels, so there couldn't be any naughty words (such as the infamous Metal Gear NES code).

I'm not sure if that's true or not, but perhaps this was a late cartridge revision that never saw release. Of course, all of this makes even LESS sense, because the emulators includes a save/load system that eliminates the point of passwords.

And on a final note: they actually managed to fix the mispelling of "possess."

Thanks to Mr P's Castlevania Realm for the package scans, and the people on the FEFEA boards for the Castlevania 2 info.

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Castlevania Games - Konami Collector's Package