OK, so it’s been a while since the last time I played the original NES Castlevania, and I was a little out of practice. It took some time for me to get back up to speed and re-learn the best method of getting through the game, and even then, I wasn’t able to do a no-death run. However, I did manage to do a one-death run (got annoyingly knocked off the bridge before the clock tower), and since we’re nearing the end of October, I’ll be satisfied with that.
I don’t really have a whole lot to say about the original Castlevania. It still holds up as a solid game today, and it was a good foundation for a great long-running series. Replaying it almost feels like visiting a historical landmark. The gameplay, the characters and the music that we’ve come to be so familiar with, and that has resurfaced in so many subsequent games since, all began right here (and, I suppose, in the MSX game Vampire Killer). I guess this is true of many classic games, but it’s hard to think that at one time, the original Castlevania was the only Castlevania, with nothing in front of it or behind it.
It was also one of the first games I was exposed to on the NES. I was probably about eight-years-old and my family was living in an apartment at the time. We had some neighbors that had an NES, and they had a pretty good collection of games for it, too, including many standards like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Contra, Double Dragon, and Mike Tyson’s Punch-out. I wasn’t very good at any of them, but I remember one of the neighbors could get all the way to at least the Grim Reaper in Castlevania.
When I eventually got my own NES and subsequent Nintendo consoles, I remember renting other Castlevania games over the years, but strangely, I didn’t actually start buying them until after the turn of the century. I don’t know what took me so long.
Anyway, I now move on to Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. It’s not one of my favorites, but not necessarily a bad game, either.