Platforms: NES, PC, Commodore 64

This is the first Castlevania that made it over to the United States. The plot was simple -- you were to take over the role of vampire killer Simon Belmont and you must kill Dracula, who rises every 100 years to do evil things. The first three levels compromise one castle, then you are tossed into the dungeons where you enter the second castle (and you're greeted by Frankenstein at the entrance!) Then you trek through the castle, face the Grim Reaper, and finally kill Dracula himself. Simple plot, yes. But the interesting gameplay made this an excellent game, one of the best early Nintendo games (right up there on the class list with Metroid, Punch Out!, The Legend of Zelda, and Kid Icarus.)

One downside I can find it this game is it's extremely difficult (but then again, most Castlevania games are very hard.) I personally have never beaten the game. Trying to defeat Frankenstein is one of the hardest things on the face of the earth, due to the invincible little Igor fellow who jumps around throwing fireballs. I think I got up to Dracula, but never could beat him. After all Konami is known for enemy bosses that refuse to die. Most of the music is excellent, either the kind that you hum when you're bored, or the kind that will spook you out. The sounds are good enough for a Nintendo (including a cool little digitized grunt whenever Simon gets hurt!) Still, it's loads of fun, and I've seen this game ranked as Favorite NES Game on several people's web page. Just make sure you have a high tolerance for frustration, because you'll definitely need it.

Also, there is a PC version of this game, althought I've never played nor seen it. I have, however, played the Commodore 64 game. Unfortunately, the disk was corrupted, so only the first level works. But trust me, you're better sticking with the NES version anyway (if I find it for a C64 emulator, I'll post it.)

How to beat the later bosses

Read the Castlevania instruction manual!

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