Kurt here! It's been nearly ten years since the last update, so I figured I'd finally put something up here.
Over the years, I'd had people e-mail me asking if I would ever update The Castlevania Dungeon again, and the answer is, probably not, at least not beyond this news page. I've moved on to other things, including Hardcore Gaming 101, which has been around since 2004 or so, and has expanded into book publishing, with over twenty titles available focusing on a variety of retro video game topics. I also helmed an enormous book on Japanese RPGs from Bitmap Books, and I also freelance here and there.
One of those books published by HG101 is focused entirely on Castlevania, which is the third one we published back in 2014. I had always meant for it to be The Castlevania Dungeon in book form, though so much of it was edited, revised, or completely rewritten that I don't even know how much of the original content remains. It focuses mostly on the game reviews and Weirdness/trivia, so it's not comprehensive compared to the site, but it has most of the essential stuff. There's also an edition available in Spanish from Gamepress!
As I've gotten older, I've found myself missing certain aspects of the Olde Internet. Fan sites like this one were prolific back when I began The Castlevania Dungeon back in 1997 - heck, it's not even the only large Castlevania site still around - but nowadays they're a bygone relic, replaced by wikis that are able to remain more current and comprehensive, despite being navigational nightmares and lacking editorial oversight. So, I'd rather keep the site as it was back in 2010, as a sort of museum to what things were like ten years ago, even if much of the writing is dated, silly, or downright embarrassing. Remember, I started this when I was fifteen years old, and I'm now forty - there's a reason so much of it had to be redone for the HG101 book! If you're curious, part of the old 1998-era site has been preserved here, as well as another version from 2005 here.
The Castlevania series hasn't seen a lot of movement since the book was published, which covered everything up through Lords of Shadows 2, released in 2014, so it's more current than the site. However, there have been some updates that are worth mentioning:
-Koji Igarashi left Konami to kickstart his own Castlevania-style game, Bloodstained. The core game, a Metroidvania in the style of Symphony of the Night, as well as its first retro-style spinoff, Curse of the Moon, were covered in the HG101 Digest Vol. 6. A few other things, like some fan games like Castlevania: The Lecarde Chronicles, were covered in HG101 Digest Vol. 4. (We use the digest format to update topics from previous books without having to re-issue revisions, though we may do that some day for Castlevania.) My review of Curse of the Moon 2 can be found in Nintendo Life.
-Both Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood are available on the PlayStation 4, which is basically just a port of the PSP game with the remake cut out. There's also the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, which includes eight games from the 8/16-bit era. Haunted Castle is missing from this, but it can also be found on the Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection (along with some actually decent shoot-em-ups like Gradius II), as well as separately as part of Hamster's Arcade Archives. The Castlevania Advance Collection includes all three Game Boy Advance games, plus the SNES Dracula X as a bonus - I also wrote about this over at Nintendo Life.
-The demo for Castlevania: Resurrection for the Dreamcast was leaked earlier in the year, allowing anyone to try it out for themselves. It's obviously pretty early in development, but after 20 years, it's cool to finally see it. Various beta ROMs of Castlevania Bloodlines were also released, showing some of the content cut from the final version - you can see a lot of this over at The Cutting Room Floor.
-Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls was originally released as a freeware gacha mobile games, though as far as English-speaking territories, this seems to have only come out in Canada before its plug was pulled. It was recently revived, minus the monetization, on Apple Arcade. Unfortunately I've never been able to try this out, so hopefully Konami decides to put this on the Switch or something like that in the future.
-HG101's podcast, the Top 47,858 Games of All Time, has ranked a few of the Castlevania games. I've also appeared on a few other podcasts, including the Limited Run Games podcast, chatting with Jeremy Parish about the series, as well as ranking all of the mainline 2D games on Retronauts. That last bit was what got me to finally update this page here!
-The Castlevania animated series finally came to fruition, and ended up being pretty good (though I haven't finished the third season yet). The pacing is sluggish in spots though, and it's also overly violent, in a way that makes sense for a vampire-themed story but out of place when placed next to the video games, which are comparatively sanitizied. Still, they managed to make some effective villains, and the chemistry of the main trio is enjoyable, plus there are some stellar animated sequences. And spite of its tone issues, it feels more "Castlevania" than the Lords of Shadow games did.
-Not Castlevania related but perhaps of interest, but before the end of the year, we'll be putting out HG101 Digest Vol. 7, which covers the Metroid series in its entirety, as well as some other Nintendo properties like Kid Icarus and Punch-Out!!
Please continue to follow Hardcore Gaming 101! I'm also HG_101 on Twitter, where I post site updates and other interesting retro video game tidbits.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has a new trailer, courtesy of SpikeTV
and Gametrailers.com. Check out the trailer below.
The forum is heating up with discussion, so come check it out!
(BROKEN LINK REMOVED)
There have been no news about a new Castlevania title for some time...
there was a registered Konami title name "Castlevania: Mirror of Fate"
since February. Now, a N1ntendo.n blog post (in another
shows us that there may be more to this title. N1ntendo.n
article here for great justice.
The article mentions the title "Castlevania: Mirror of Fate".
From what the sources say, and from what Neogaf
the title is being worked on by David Cox and Enric Alvarez
(Castlevania: Lords of Shadow). The rumor in the grapevine
it will be a title made using 3D Polygons, but with 2D gameplay
(sidescroller) and Metroidvania elements.
On October 14, 2011, Ocean
(and a number of other Game Marathon event sites) will be running a
Castlevania Series Gameplay Pseudo-Marathon! Since a lot of
newer Castlevania games are rather long, they are not including all of
them, but the list is still quite extensive. And, you can run
your own personal marathon alongside them if you so wish, and chat with
them and/or the other groups doing the marathon, online. The
entire event is being streamed. More info about the
marathon events are usually done for charity. Feel free to
contact Ocean City Trinity if you would like to participate in the
event, or if you would like to make a donation.
Gamescon in Colonge came and went... and, while there was some info on
"Zone of the Enders", and some "Metal Gear" stuff (as usual),
Castlevania dazzled us with... with.... actually no, there was a whole
'lot of nothing with regards to Castlevania.
of Despair, a one-year old game for XBLA, is getting a PSN version
coming out next month. That's about it. See the
Kotaku article here.
It has all of the DLCs from the XBLA version.
According to this article from Oxcgn.com,
there are a number of upcoming titles coming out from Konami, and one
of them is called "Castlevania: The Complete Chronicles. Now,
keep in mind that this is an article about a Leak, so right now
are quite hot with talk, speculation, and opinion. Certainly
"Complete" collection sounds big. Really big. Will
obscure titles, perhaps? Maybe something like "Castlevania:
Arcade" with Motion controls? Some speculation is that this
is limited only to the Playstation Vita handheld console, while others
say that this is in no way exclusive to that system. Feel
sign up and post if you want to discuss!
According to the Konami
Castlevania Facebook page, Konami will be at Gamescom in
Cologne in the next upcoming days (direct
link here). Our forum
speculates that there will be some talk about some upcoming Castlevania
games, as we have heard on the
(thank you, Relyonhorror.com) that there has been some confirmation on
a 25th Anniversary Project of some type. Our good buddy at
Relyonhorror also reports that Mercury Steam (the team behind
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow) is currently working on two unannounced
(as of yet) games, though David Cox claims in his Twitter Feed
that "The anniversary requires a lot of planning to do it justice and
we didn't have the time or resources to do it justice" and "We are not
going to be a part of any potential Castlevania anniversary. I cant be
any clearer than that :)"
So there you have it. IF Konami
is indeed working on a 25th Anniversary Project for Castlevania, then
perhaps more info will be found at Gamescom... but although Mercury
Steam is working on some titles, David has (as of now) been quite clear
that his team is not working on anything related to the anniversary.
Feel free to discuss this further at our
forums. The threads are hot and full of pages!
everyone! Just wanted to let everyone know that I have some
control over the site, so now I will be seeing if I can fix and patch
up all the little errors that have been plaguing us for a while.
On top of that, I will see if we can implement some kind of
news/blogging system for the dungeon. As it stands, it's
good ol' HTML which, while nice, it's not very friendly for posting
news and information in a quick and efficient matter.
I wanted to talk about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its two DLC
updates "Reverie" and "Resurrection", as well as "Operation:
Akumajo" and "The
which are two groups who would like to bring awareness to Konami of the
fan appreciation that exists for the series, but also to let them know
that fans would like more out of the series (especially since this year
marks Castlevania's 25th Anniversary and Konami seems to be celebrating
it by... not doing much at all)... but it will take more
than one little news update blurb to talk about the LoS DLC chapters.
So, more to come in the future!
I suppose that first and foremost, I should apologize for the tardiness
of this update. I'm busy, but I promise to let you know if I ever drop
the site for any reason (don't see that happening...). Still, feel free
to send me an email to give me a kick in the butt if I'm slow about
these things. But enough talk, have at you!
While we still don't have any screens or
release dates, we did get a
confirmation of "Harmony of Despair" via the Xbox Live "Summer of
Arcade" promotion, along with a few other upcoming downloadable titles
(such as the new Tomb Raider). Will keep you updated on this one, but
at least we know we can expect it sometime this year on Xbox Live (and
On the subject of release dates, we now know
to expect Lords of Shadow
to arrive sometime "late this fall." Be sure to check out Joystiq's
impressions of the game,
noting that Lords of Shadow "could be an excellent action-adventure, if
not a fitting resurrection of Konami's undead franchise." Check out the
E3 trailer for the title below:
One final note: I'm ready to move ahead on
making changes to the site.
Anyone who is intending on helping out in a major role on this site,
please let me know via one of the links below! Thanks again to everyone
sticking with the Dungeon!
June 15 is the day E3 starts! I'm quite positive we'll get some kind of
Castlevania coverage, for which I'm quite excited. Lords of Shadow is
almost upon us! I suspect a new trailer along with a final release
date, but we'll see. Maybe some more information on the oft rumored
"Harmony of Despair" multiplayer title? Until then, though, take a look
at the recently released trailer for Encore of the Night, the iPhone
puzzle game that apes Symphony:
I'd like to post a quick message, let everyone know what's happened
over the last few days. First and foremost, I'd like to thank you all
so much for warm messages I've received since I announced that I'd be
joining the Dungeon team. I was a bit apprehensive about the original
post, but I've felt nothing but welcomed, so thank you so much.
I'm still lobbying emails and sorting things
out, but another thing has
become quite clear: there are many people excited about helping on this
site. A full administration team is being formed, allowing different
people to focus on their strengths within the series. The final result
will be quicker updates and greater depth in every section. It's also
important to update the look and feel of the site, update the code to
modern standards...but one thing at a time of course. Castle Dracula
wasn't built in a day after all (well...).
I envision something truly phenominal for
the site in the future.
Imagine the breadth of information available for any one game in the
series--now imagine that type of information on every game, all in one
location. Rest assured, I'm going to do everything in my power to help
make that happen, and I'll post regularly to let everyone know how
that's coming along. Thanks again, see you around!
Hello fellow Castlevania fans! My name is William Cain, and I'm joining
the administration here at the Dungeon. While I may not be a name you
immediately recognize, I actually created the Aria of Sorrow Citadel
hosted right here at the Dungeon (albeit, I created it nearly 10 years
ago...). Don't worry, I'm quite a bit better at web development now
than I used to be. When I saw that Kurt needed help keeping the Dungeon
up to date, I jumped at the chance! That was over a year ago.
Right after I comitted to helping out around
here, I had some family
emergencies, work and school picked up big time, and I sat dead in the
water. I've come back now, and I've got every intention of bringing the
Dungeon back to full speed. I'd love to hear from you, get some input
on what needs to be done around the site, and make it a reality! Right
now, I know there are some broken links around the website, and I
realize there is quite a bit of missing content (Lords of Shadow comes
to mind!). I'll do my best to rectify this. At some point in the
future, I'd also like to revamp the Citadel to be easier to navigate,
clean up the HTML, change the design, and maybe cover Dawn of Sorrow
while I'm at it.
Please do contact me, and bear with me as I
get my bearing around here.
This is a big responsibility, and I do not take it lightly. I'm looking
forward to interacting with all of you soon! Thank you so much for
visiting, and Kurt, thanks for the chance! Feel free to contact me
using one of the methods below:
So, it's not hard to see that this site is barely updated anymore. I
haven't "deserted" Castlevania, inasmuch as I hate the series now or
anything. I still buy all of the games, still write about them, and
still defend their egregious flaws, which I guess qualifies me as a
member of the IGA Defense Force. I just spend all my free time updating
and I just don't have the time to update on the minutiae of Castlevania
anymore. However, in order to keep this site up against that
God-forsaken Castlevania wiki (where I just had to edit the Oz
entry, because no, Leon is NOT based on Leon Belmont, he's based on the
Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz), I'm looking for staff members to
keep up the site.
Mostly what I want is for people to update
and maintain any part of the
site that can be improved. A lot of stuff from the GBA Castlevanias on
just have reviews and such, and there's a lot of extra stuff to be
added. Whatever that stuff is, would ultimately be up to the staff
members. New features, new sections, adding artwork and music,
whatever. The only thing I don't want changed is the reviews, which are
going to be updated soon anyway. So, for the requirements:
-First and foremost, you MUST be able to
understand HTML and to a
lesser extent, CSS. You don't need to be able to rewrite it or
anything, but you need to be able to, say, hit the "View Source" button
and know what's going on with each of the tags, and where to insert
text. Please don't e-mail me and say "I want to help but I don't know
HTML, can I join anyway?" because the answer will be no.
-Ideally you'll have working on some type of
webpage in the past,
double-plus-excellent if it's Castlevania related. The reason for this
is working on webpages is often (being honest here) ridiculously
tedious, or at least very time consuming. I don't want someone to
volunteer and then realize that cataloguing hundreds of screengrabs and
writing descriptions is actually reasonably hard work, and drops off
the internet. If you're 100% sure that you have the resolve to stick
with it for some semblance of time, then go for it.
-I can't really pay you. Sorry, I would pay
people if I could, but
realistically that wouldn't work. You get your name on the page,
though, and it's worth some internet street cred, so there's that. If I
ever meet you in person, I'll buy you a drink, I guess.
If you've read all of that and think you're
still down with it, drop me at line at firstname.lastname@example.org,
along with a few quick sentences of what you've worked on, why you want
to be involved in the Castlevania Dungeon, and how you can make it suck
less. Ideally I'd like a few people to it doesn't all fall under one
person (and I'd be pitching in here and there too.)
Finally got off my butt and posted the review of Castlevania Rebirth,
which is mostly just an update version of the one that appeared over on
the HG101 Blog.
While we're here, also check out a quick look at Koumajou
Densetsu, a classic-style Castlevania side-scroller with
Touhou characters. It sounds cooler than it really is, sadly.
-There was a new Castlevania game revealed
at E3 - kind of. The
previously unveiled Lord of Shadows, a gothic 3D action-adventure
developed by Spain-based development team GET NAME is now apparently
Castlevania: Lord of Shadows. Hideo Kojima is involved too, although I
can't imagine his involvement moves beyond signing some forms here and
there. The other Castlevania game announced awhile ago by Koji
Igarashi, the "true" sequel to Symphony of the Night or whatever, seems
to have disappeared off the radar. Is that still in the works? Is
Igarashi still involved with Castlevania? It's all conjecture at this
-The soundtrack for the Akumajou Dracula
Pachislot game is out in
Japan. Pachislots ("pachi"nko + "slot" machine) are one of the many
inventions of the Japanese that continue to mystify and confound
foreigners, considering they're little more than loopholes around
Japanese gambling laws, but they're big business, and there are a lot
of tie-ins with other media. Why they went with Castlevania - based off
Curse of Darkness for the PS2 nonetheless, a game which wasn't exactly
greeted with warm reception by much of anyone - is just as confusing,
-1up make a trip to a Japanese arcade and
did a hands-on video of the Castlevania
arcade game, which is something like a first person shooter
with a whip. How weird. Their feelings are not positive.
-The Castlevania movie project seems to be
dead. Good riddance.
-The Angry Video Nerd is revisiting the
Castlevania series. Check out Part
I and Part
-Castlevania Adventure Rebirth (or Dracula
Densetsu Rebirth) should be
due out in Japan this coming week. Their previous games - Contra
Rebirth and Gradius
Rebirth were both pretty good. This is supposed to be a
ground-up remake of the first Castlevania
Gameboy game - let's see how it all sorts out. In the
meantime, some pictures:
This holiday season, us North Americans get two Castlevania games - Order of Ecclesia and Judgment, the former
being the usual portable Metroidvania-type, the latter beind a bizarre
one-on-one brawler. Also check out the full Castlevania
Judgment sound rip, courtesy of CapcomMDB.
A quick clarification on the preorder bonuses at Gamestop - apparently,
they ARE actual physical CDs. My store couldn't find one when I picked
it up, but called me back later to say they'd found it. Not all stores
have it, so call around your area until you find one that does.
As for the game itself? It feels very
disjointed at the beginning, but
after an hour or so of play, it's beginning to come together. I didn't
like the music much at first, but it's definitely growing on me. The
plot also isn't completely terrible! (Yet.)
QUICKIE UPDATE 2: Soundtrack links removed.
In the ten years plus this
site has been around, Konami has never had a problem with us hosting
game rips or sampler CDs, but hey, now they do! Awesome.
Well, it's been something like a year since the last update. As I'm
sure everyone has figured out, the Dungeon is no longer being updated
regularly, mostly because (A) I spend most of my spare time working on HG101
(a fantastic site, if I do say) and (B) there are other more dedicated
sites that have taken up the flag on updating over every single bit of
minutuea. That being said, to all of the people e-mailing me - yes, the
site will still be updated upon new releases. And hey! There's some
news to report:
-Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia should be
out tomorrow (Tuesday? Maybe
Wednesday?) in the States, and people have already been pirating the
Japanese version for a day or so now. Early reviews from Play Magazine,
Game Informer and Electronic Gaming Monthly have indicated that it
shares more with Simon's Quest than the previous Metroidvania games,
and is also significantly more difficult. That sounds like great news
to me. Apparently Gamestop is giving away codes for soundtrack
downloads (boo) and rumors about Gamecrazy giving away actual CDs seems
to be unsubstantiated. Too bad, the Portrait of Ruin preorder set was
majestic. Some soul was kind enough to rip the soundtrack already -
EDIT: LINKS REMOVED.
-Castlevania Judgment for the Wii comes out
in NA next month, and in
Japan in early 2009. I got to play a demo of it awhile ago, and it's
pretty bad! I don't think that's unexpected though. You can read some
brief impressions over at Siliconera,
and check out a quick
I took of it. I was amused by the Takeshi Obata redesigns, just because
I like to see different takes on beloved characters, but I really think
they overstepped some boundaries by turning Eric Lecarde into like a
thirteen year old boy. I mean, in Bloodlines, that dude had a dead wife
he was taking revenge on. Now he looks like the kind of weenie that
would cry if a girl talked to him. The whole thing reeks of Japan's
outgoing experiment to try to sell the Castlevania series to their
countrymen, and at this point, it's just mind boggling. They will
probably fail, again, although it's probably not their fault, because
some completely terrific games (No More Heroes, The World Ends With
You, Valkyria Chronicles) have kinda tanked there, leading me to
believe that, probably, Japanese Gaming is Doomed.
-There's also that weird Castlevania
which is kind of a light gun game except you whip enemies instead of
shooting them? I'm approximately 10,000 miles away from any of these
machines, so the best I can do is link you to some other articles.
Everyone's hoping they'll do a Wii port, which will be nice, but
probably unlikely unless they find something else to bundle it with. I
would severely like to take this opportunity to ravage the embarassment
known as WiiWare, but I'll leave that alone...for now.
-There's a Castlevania
pachinko slot game
too? It seems to feature the characters from Curse of Darkness. If
you've been anywhere in Japan, you know that the country sure does love
that quasi-legalized form of gambling, and have stuck the most random
properties onto it.
-The first issue (of two) of the Castlevania:
Curse of Darkness
manga was just published in North America, courtesy of Tokyopop. Like
Judgment, it's one of those synergy things to get the Japanese to buy
Castlevania, and I can't really recommend it. The art is way far from
Ayami Kojima, and it's not like Curse of Darkness had anything remotely
resembling an interesting plot. It's meant to be a prologue to the
game, for those who remember it. I guess it's nice to have in English
for collectors though.
-Actionbutton.net nominated Castlevania
as one of its Top 25 Games of All Time. It's a fun read, and does a
great job of illustrating why Bloodlines is such an excellent title. I
admit to slightly preferring Dracula X (not posing, I swear!) just
because of the level designs and huge amount of hidden and unique
stuff, but Bloodlines gets a bad rap compared to the (slightly
inferior) Super Castlevania IV.
-This is extremely old news, but months ago
there was a blog post by
someone who read the Castlevania movie script, and said it was pretty
bad. I would believe this. I went to go look for the link and it seems
to have been removed due to corporate overlording.
-There was rumblings of a 360/PS3 game at
Tokyo Game Show. Konami seems
to be tossing a lot of Castlevania at us recently, so maybe it's high
time they actually give Igarashi a budget to make something to rank up
next to Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry.
-I'd also like to take the time to apologize
for some of the reviews on
this site. Many of them were written right as the game was initially
released. Harmony of Dissonance was actually pretty great back in 2003,
but time has not been kind to it, and in hindsight, it's easy to see
that it's the weakest of the Metroidvanias (although not quite as bad
as some people make it out to be - dashing around is still pretty fun.)
Someday I might get around to fixing these up, and updating the site in
general, for some of the more recent games where coverage is not quite
up to snuff. There are reasonable DS emulators out now, which is great
for screenshots and such. No promises though!
The Dracula X Chronicles -
featuring the 2.5D remake of Dracula X, in addition to portable
emulations of the PC Engine Dracula X and Playstation Symphony of the
Night - is now out in the States, and there should be much rejoicing,
because it is a fantastic package. For $30, it's about the most value
packed game you can buy short of The Orange Box. Even if you're one of
the few people that hate it for some reason, you should try downloading
Order of Shadows, the awful cellphone game that, if nothing
else, should help put things in perspective. You may also be interested
in the Dracula
X Chronicles soundtrack, compiled from a few of the different
rips floating around the net (thanks to JILost and Chernabogue54). The official
should be out within the next week if you're interested. If you're
curious to find some of the many secrets and unlockables, check out here
The big news this update is the long awaited return of the Artwork
section, which includes several brand new contributed scans of some
cool Japanese Famicom strategy guides, as well as some (100% clean)
doujinshi. If you're curious for Dracula X Chronicles news, you can
read more at High
whose been doing a pretty rad blowout on it. There was an interview in
Play magazine recently about it too, although they seem to be unaware
of the hidden stage pieced together from bits of other levels. (It's
Stage 5', the weird one available only after beating the game. Also
playing catch-up in including pages 11, 12 and 13 of the Bloodlust of the
Countess Pt. 2 comic, and adding a better soundtrack rip of Castlevania Legends.
Oh crap guys:
This site is nearly ten years old, and ever
since, we've all been
clamoring for a port or a remake or SOMETHING of the PC Engine Dracula
X. And now, here we are, with a full 2.5D rendition for the PSP a la
Maverick Hunter X and Megaman Powered Up, along with new Ayami Kojima
character designs. Hate polygons? Don't worry, Konami's including the
original version as well. Plus, a full port of Symphony of the Night
(still 2D) will also come on the UMD, apparently with a better
Anyway, read more in the 1up
preview or take a look at a video of the
first level. The song "Beginning" hasn't sounded this good
since Dracula Battle. Apparently it is scheduled for a fall release.
In other minor news, parts of the Portrait of Ruin page have
been receiving secret stealth updates. An official
has also been announced. Since it'a a dual CD set with a total of 74
tracks, you can probably expect both an OST and a full set of
arrangements, probably like the ones on Konami
Japan's web site.
Speaking of which, check out that site for a quick game of "Docchi Demo
No Problem!", some kind of nonsensical Flash game. Symphony of the
Night should be hitting the Xbox Live arcade in March (apparently just
a straight port, with an option for filtered graphics) so get those
Microsoft Points ready if you've somehow never experienced it before.
OK! The Portrait of Ruin
review is finally done. After having time to settle in, I'd still say
it's the best of the portable Castlevanias thus far. There's been some
disgruntlement regarding the level designs - but honestly, if it
weren't for the Internet, I would've have even known I was supposed to
hate them. They're just as good as Symphony/Aria/Dawn, so as long as
you haven't worn out on the formula, you'll probably have a blast. It's
certainly a lot fresher than Dawn was. Anyway, the page has a ton of
artwork that Konami has released, if you haven't seen it already,
including a bunch of completely unfunny comics.
Some other parts of the site have been
updated, mostly the Characters
sections. More to come later on that end. Also, the Media
section finally has a bunch of soundtrack added to it, so it's a lot
more orderly than before, and has the full OSTs for Lament, Curse, Dawn
and Portrait. I still want to redo parts of it, but it's functional for
now. This is a bigger update than I've done on a longtime, so I'm sure
there's something horribly, horribly wrong somewhere. Next overhaul up:
the Artwork section!
The full Portrait of Ruin soundtrack is ready to download. You can grab
the full pack (37 songs) here,
or just grab this second
pack, for everyone who already downloaded the first set.
Earlier this week, some jackass pirates were running around the
GameFAQs boards, proclaiming that the latest Castlevania, Portrait of Ruin,
was somewhat underwhelming. These are all filthy lies. I'm only 380%
through the import version so far (trust me, it will make sense when
you play it) but it's a damn fine game, with a lot of interesting stuff
added to the formula with an awesome soundtrack to boot. Anyway,
initial impressions are up,
along with some new artwork snagged from Konami's page. More updates
Also, here are a handful of MP3s, newly
recorded to sound much better
than the leaked version from months ago. You can download the complete
- when I finally get around to overhauling the soundtrack section, I
think I'll just be putting each CD in a huge ZIP file, now that
broadband is a lot more prevalent than it was when I started this site
nearly ten years ago.
Okay, so, it's been like a year and a half since the site overhaul, and
some pages never quite got transferred over. Well, the Characters
section is finally nearing completion. A lot of stuff still needs to be
added for Portrait (once Konami releases the assets so I can stick them
up), plus the Dracula and Grim Reaper pages need to be added, but it's
off to a good start. Random other fixes, changes and additions have
been made around the site, mostly too many to mention. Added pages 8,
of Bloodlust of the Countess, an ongoing fan comic by Michael Erickson.
You can find the rest in the Theater.
There are two new videos from the Leipzig concert, thanks to CapcomMDB:
As for random other news - the Japanese version of Portrait of Ruin
(dubbed "Gallery of Labyrinth" over there) is scheduled for release
around November 16th, while the American version, complete with an
awesome collector's set, is due on December 6th. Konami has updated
their site with the intro.
I'll be grabbing the Japanese version, so expect some more stuff come
then. The site itself needs some more updates, mostly to sort out all
of the music. Most of the reviews are also either (A) in drastic need
of updating or (B) really bad. So hopefully I'll get around to
rewriting a bunch of them.
Finally, you may remember the
Castlevania/Contra NES collection that
Konami released on the PC a few years back, which included Castlevanias
1, 2 and 3, along with Contra and Super C. Well, that's made it on to
game download service Gametap,
further fleshing out their expansive library. They've also added the
massively awesome Silent Hill 2 (one of the best horror games out
there, second only to Resident Evil 4) is also out, just in time for
I hear there's an article on Castlevania's 20th anniversary on 1up.com,
you should check it out. In the meantime, I guess this acts as an
official unveiling of Castlevania
Chronicles: Dracula's Curse,
a homebrew remake of Castlevania 3 for Windows. Developed by extremely
diligent forum members Jorge Fuentes and John Morris, it was eventually
abandoned as real life issues took over, but a few levels are
completed, and it plays fantastically. Definitely worth grabbing. Also
added pages 6
of Bloodlust of the Countess, an ongoing fan comic by Michael Erickson.
You can find the rest in the Theater.
Got an actual preview up for Portrait
including some hands-on impressions and exclusive (read: taken at an
odd angle with a digital camera) pictures of the game in action. Also
included are four MP3s from the game, which all seem to be arranged, as
they're too high quality to come out of the DS sound synth.
Also, here's the song
that plays in the trailers, although it's full of sound
effects. Thanks to whomever recorded this, I completely forgot where I
grabbed this from.
Also, the Oretachi Geesen Zoku port of Haunted Castle
for the Japanese PS2 was released last week, so I've put up a revised
review as well as impressions of the disc. I've also posted the MP3s from the bonus mini CD,
which includes the whole soundtrack, along with a new remixed track.
Scans of the packaging should hopefully be coming soon.
Hey, legitimate news on the new DS Castlevania!
Portrait of Ruin for the DS takes place
during World War II, and stars
hunter Jonathan Morris and female magician Charlotte Orlean as they
attempt to destroy two vampiric sisters who are looking to resurrect
Dracula. What's awesome is that this sounds like a direct sequel to the
underrated (and still better than Super Castlevania IV I tell you)
Castlevania Bloodlines for the Genesis. Given the age of the character,
the "Jonathan Morris" here is probably not the same as the "John
Morris" from Bloodlines, most likely his son. With the young female
character in tow, it's also giving off a classic Dracula X vibe.
The biggest question, though, is if it'll be
a classic action-style
Castlevania or continue the trend of exploration-based games from the
past few years. The press release is very vague on this. Hopefully
it'll be playable at E3. Otherwise, all we have to go on is the
released artwork. The legions of people who feel that anime is simply
beneath them are already pissing and moaning, because it isn't the same
worn out Ayami Kojima illustrations. (Yet I wonder if there's a cross
section between the people who complained that Dawn of Sorrow sucked
because it was more of the same?) One of the pictures also shows a
battle that seems to take place in Egypt (AWESOME), so maybe you get to
travel the globe, again like in Bloodlines.
This whole idea excites me greatly. The
current released is slated for November 2006.
This is more than a little bit late, but it bears clarification - at
the end of March, an image supposedly from the cover of a new issue of
Gamepro revealed the name of the new DS Castlevania game to be "Dual
Moons". News spread around blogs and even professional web sites, who
made entries in their database for it.
Not long afterward, this following image was
Yup, the whole thing was an April Fool's
joke started by one of the Dungeon's forum members. The full image was
While many were angered or simply unamused,
it says a lot for the
gullibility of a lot of places to list incredibly shifty rumors
starting on a message board and spread them around as "fact". Good
going guys! You can read a history of the shenanigans over at the forum.
The great part is, Konami has apparently
given a real name for the new
DS game - Portrait of Ruin, currently due in November. Hopefully E3
will reveal more details.
Just a quick news update - a small budget publisher named Hamster
is bringing the arcade Akumajou Dracula (Haunted Castle) to the PS2
this May as part of the "Oretachi Game Center Zoku" series.
Unfortunately, this is only set up to be in Japan. And unlike American
arcade compilations, there's only this single game on the disc.
However, they do come with some nifty bonuses like a music CD and
superplay DVD. You can preorder it at Play
Asia. Other titles being published at the same time are
Pooyan and Contra.
Just a minor update before the end of the year - the Curse of Darkness page has
been updated with several new images, including some of the preorder
comic from Japanese game, courtesy of Vampire Killer.
Check them out for higher-res pics. Particularly cool is the poster
from the soundtrack, contributed by CapcomMDB. Also added several magazine scans,
mostly courtesy of Mike Robbins, which includes a cool Castlevania
retrospective courtesy of the British mag Games(tm). Finally added some
pics of the Famicom/NES GBA version of the
original Castlevania. Pages 4
of Bloodlust for the Countess Part 1 added to the Fanfic Theater section
also, courtesy of Mike Erickson.
Konami also released official soundtracks
for Curse of Darkness and
Lament of Innocence. I won't be putting up MP3s of these, as most of
the music is available here as rips, but I urge everyone to buy copies
of them, if possible. Reviews will be forthcoming, but in the meantime,
check out VGM World
or Play Asia
to order copies. Konami is also releasing a combo CD soundtrack with
both Aria and Dawn of Sorrow at some point in the future. Also be out
on the lookout for the Aria/Harmony
two-pack, which includes both rare games for the price of one.
Also take note of the new URL:
castlevania.classicgaming.gamespy.com. The old one will still work for
The storyline section
has been updated a bit to add the new games and a few more details.
Konami has released an Xtreme
a program which takes over your computer with sounds and Flash and all
kinds of other nonsense. Finding this on their official page is an
adventure in and of itself, although I've provided it here. The most
interesting part of this is the timeline, which alters the spelling of
several Castlevania characters. Sypha is now Cypher? (as noted on the
European Castlevania 64 soundtrack and the item in Harmony of
"Eric Lecarde" is now "Eric Ricardo", "Maria Renard" is now "Maria
Larnett", "Christopher" is now "Christoph", and so on. Whether these
are now Konami's "official" spellings of the characters or whether it's
just some ridicilous mistranslations, I'm not sure. Regardless, it is
Also: scans from the NES Game Atlas and Top
Secret Password guides have been added to the magazine scan library.
These were dated as July 2004 on my hard drive, so they've been sitting
around for a long time, and I'm not sure at all who contributed them.
But to whomever - thanks! The NES Game Atlas was this awesome guide
that included complete maps and walkthroughs for several popular NES
and Gameboy games, including the Castlevanias. It is, to date, the best
thing Nintendo Power has ever done.
comic, The Belmont Legacy
can now be found in collected form at your local bookstores or what
have you. This is several months late coming (again), but up now is a
quick review and a few pages to look at.
Also, in the past week, a Castlevania movie
was announced, with Paul
Anderson attached to direct. He's been known for his video game movies
(both Resident Evils and the original Mortal Kombat), along with other
movies, both good (Event Horizon) and not-so-good (Alien vs Predator.)
Coupled with the recent announcement of the animated series, I have to
wonder - why? Is Castlevania really popular enough to spawn all of
this? Production isn't slated to start until mid-2006, but I'd really
be surprised if this ever got off the ground. (Remember the Metroid
movie, supposedly being directed by John Woo? Yeah, I still don't see
that around.) You can read the official word over at Variety.
Tons and tons of images added to both the Curse of Darkness and Dawn of Sorrow
pages, including box scans, wallpapers, advertisements and lots of
other stuff. Thanks to my roommate Matt for letting me snag his
scanner, the other roommate Commie for letting me grab the American
version of Dawn of Sorrow, which I still don't own, and JerkOfWonder
from the forums for a few of the strategy guide scans.
Since the new MP3 area is still under
construction, here's one more MP3
from Curse of Darkness that wasn't on the sampler. Also one of the best
songs in the game.
Finally, Ben Roberts has contributed an MP3
from his ska band, Div and the Divs. It is quite amusing. Make sure to
a Belmont Sucks.
Curse of Darkness has been out for a little over a week now. It's not a
spectacular game, but it's not bad either. Check out the Curse of Darkness review.
More will come soon, but apparently Gamespy is migrating some files to
a new server, so there may be some hiccups for a little while.
Also realized that a bunch of comics were
missing from the fanfic section, so check out the Theater,
if only because there are several awesome comics. Except the ones I
drew. With pen and paper. And print outs and tape. Man they suck.
Apparently the Curse of Darkness sampler CD is out at certain outlets.
I still need to look into this myself, but Maddi-chan of the forums was
awesome enough to rip it, of which you can find the luscious fruits
Some people have been expressing dismay over
the music in Curse of
Darkness thus far, and I'm wondering that maybe they have heard some
kind of flim-flam music masquerading as Castlevania, because 90% of
this stuff is awesome. At least two of the songs begin with the exact
same drum beat
as "Beginning" from Castlevania 3, which is cool in itself - makes one
wonder if those will be associated with Trevor. Anyway, if Curse of
Darkness ends up being terrible - which I'm fairly confident at this
point that it won't - then at least its existence is justified by this
soundtrack. For the record, track 1 is the demo track, track 2 is the
mystery track ripped from the demo below, and track 10 is the Isaac
battle theme. The rest is all new. Enjoy.
Random other stuff added up too - the Curse of Darkness preview
has been updated with demo impressions, and several new pictures added
to the Dawn of Sorrow
page (still need to add packaging and ad scans). The History
section is underway, with all of the mythological references up from
the old site, updated with some of the new enemies from Dawn of Sorrow.
And the Characters
section has started reconstruction, with the Bosses section back up
(though nothing new added to it yet.)
Also, it's been brought to my attention that
there are two Volume 13 Jampack demo discs. one of
which does not have a Castlevania demo on it. Make sure to check the
label on the front.
Dawn of Sorrow has been out in America for about two weeks now, just in
case you haven't heard. It's one of the most popular games on GameFAQs,
only beaten out some game called "Grand Theft Auto", which shows that,
at the very least, there are a lot of people playing this awesome game.
The new Playstation Jampack demo disc
(Volume 13) also has a playable
demo of Curse of Darkness. So far, most of my initial impressions stand
- the game still looks god-awful, with big, flat, boring level designs.
Still, even with this, they're at least more varied than Lament of
Innocence, with the demo showing off a few outdoor areas. There seems
to be quite a lot of depth, both in the numerous weapons and their
associated combo attacks, and the Innocent Devils, which already play a
huge role in combat. The camera requires a bit of taming, so those used
to having a set viewpoint may be irritated, but as long as you're okay
with switching lock-on targets, it's not a huge problem. The early
reviews are netting it 7s, but the demo has me convinced that it will
still be a worthwhile game. The only thing remains to be seen is how
the exploration elements are used - if there's a lot of backtracking,
the crappy levels could end up hurting it.
Anyway, the music featured in the demo is
all awesome. Thanks to Omega
Maximus and Amgeoffrey12 of the forums, here are five tracks ripped
from the game, including three not actually used. The level theme is
amazing (the one heard in the trailers), and Isaac's battle theme rings
pretty closely to the guitar-driven rock battle theme from Symphony.
In other news, a Castlevania animated series
is currently being
planned. Apparently based off of Castlevania 3, it will be Warren Ellis
and designed by James Dean. The source
column is light on info, but check out the concept artwork.
Also, everyone should check out this awesome
Castlevania Flash movie. I know that the words "awesome" and
"Flash" seldom go together, but this time, it is justly warranted.
Just more MP3s. Most of these are remixes from previous games, nothing
exciting. I still need to unlock the sound test. The below MP3s have
also been corrected with better track names, which should reflect the
Dawn of Sorrow is out in Japan, and it is indeed quite good. I'm too
exhausted to really write much about it, and I'm not really TOO far to
say anything significant, but overall it's a nice improvement on Aria.
The castle areas so far still lack imagination (although the Forgotten
Village is gorgeous), although some of the boss battles so far have
been excellent, although still not very hard. I've recorded several
MP3s below. Initially, I've been rather disappointed in these songs,
and from the posts
over at the forum,
a lot of people feel the same way. But admittedly, a lot of the songs
have grown on me. Most of the music is by Masahiko Kimura, who composed
much the Castlevania 64 soundtrack. Some of the tracks are definitely
reminscent, although with far stronger
melodies than the atmospheric N64 games. Anyway, listen and decide for
yourself. Look forward to a review and more MP3s within the next coming