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Castlevania / Akumajō Dracula series

Group Description

Castlevania, or Akumajō Dracula (Japanese: 悪魔城ドラキュラ, "Devil Castle Dracula"), is a series of action games by Konami. The series' setting and plot elements are loosely based on Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, focusing on the titular fictional character. Most of the protagonists in the series (with a few notable exceptions) belong to the Belmont family and are vampire hunters who venture into Dracula's castle with the goal of defeating the powerful vampire following one of his resurrections. The games usually take place in a dark castle and its surroundings, which are populated by horror-themed enemies.

Classic Castlevania games are 2D platformers in which the protagonist advances through linear stages, defeating regular enemies and bosses. Members of the Belmont family are armed with a whip, which they can also use to destroy parts of the scenery (candle, walls, etc.) to obtain hearts, food and items. Health can be replenished by eating; hearts are used to execute special attacks with equipped items, e.g. throwing axes, daggers, holy crosses, etc.

The first game in the series came in two variants, one of which, Vampire Killer (1986), introduced non-linear exploration elements to the standard action platforming formula. Simon's Quest (1987) expanded upon that idea and added light role-playing elements such as a world map, monetary system, and a day-and-night cycle.

Of the subsequent installments, Symphony of the Night (1997) took the farthest step on the RPG road, adding experience points and leveling-up to the core gameplay. It also greatly expanded the playing environment, introducing large interconnected stages, some of which could be explored in a non-linear fashion. Some of the series' further incarnations emulated this gameplay concept.

Together with Metroid, later Castlevania installments lead to the concept of a sub-genre dubbed Metroidvania, in which traditional platform elements are combined with heavier character customization and a large game world that the player can explore in a non-linear fashion.

Trivia

Simon Belmont, the protagonist from the first installments of the series, appeared as regular character in the Saturday morning TV cartoon Captain N: The Game Master.

Information also contributed by Guy Chapman
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Game Titlesorted in ascending orderYearPlatformPublisherMobyScore
Castlevania1986Amiga, Arcade, Commodore 64, DOS, Game Boy Advance, J2ME, NES, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii UKonami, Inc.3.86
Vampire Killer1986MSXKonami Industry Co. Ltd.4.00
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest1987NES, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii UKonami, Inc.3.38
Haunted Castle1988ArcadeKonami Industry Co. Ltd.3.03
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse 1989NES, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii UKonami, Inc.3.86
Castlevania: The Adventure1989Game Boy, Nintendo 3DSKonami, Inc.3.63
Akumajō Special: Boku Dracula-kun!1990DoJa, NESKonami Corporation3.93
Super Castlevania IV1991SNES, Wii, Wii UKonami, Inc.4.09
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge1991Game BoyKonami, Inc.3.61
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood1993TurboGrafx CD, WiiKonami Digital Entertainment, Inc.3.82
Castlevania Chronicles1993PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, Sharp X68000Konami of America, Inc.3.62
Kid Dracula1993Game BoyKonami Corporation4.19
Castlevania Bloodlines1994GenesisKonami (America), Inc.3.91
Castlevania: Dracula X1995SNESKonami (America), Inc.3.57
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night1997PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PSP, PS Vita, SEGA Saturn, Xbox 360Konami of America, Inc.4.06
Castlevania Legends1997Game BoyKonami of America, Inc.3.25
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Limited Edition)1997PlayStationKonami Corporation4.86
Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness1999Nintendo 64Konami of America, Inc.2.89
Castlevania1999Nintendo 64Konami of America, Inc.2.95
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon2001Game Boy AdvanceKonami of America, Inc.3.84
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance2002Game Boy AdvanceKonami Corporation3.75
Konami Collector's Series: Castlevania & Contra2002WindowsKonami of America, Inc.4.00
Castlevania: Lament of Innocence2003PlayStation 2Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.3.86
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow2003Game Boy Advance, J2MEKonami of America, Inc.4.20
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness2005PlayStation 2, XboxKonami Digital Entertainment, Inc.3.73
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Selected Covers

Castlevania DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Castlevania

Selected Screenshots

Title screen (EGA)
Screenshot from Castlevania