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Every hundred years, the dark vampire known as Dracula resurrects and terrorizes the land. A vampire hunter named Simon Belmont bravely ventures into the Count's mansion in order to defeat him. Along the way he'll have to defeat skeletons, bats, fishmen, medusa heads and other evil creatures.

Castlevania is a side-scrolling platform action game. The player takes the role of Simon Belmont, who is able to jump and crack his whip directly in front of him. Power-ups can be obtained by defeating enemies or by whipping candles that appear in the castle. One such power-up increases the power and length of Simon's whip. Different weapons can be gathered which consume hearts when used, these hearts can also be collected from monsters and candles. Additionally, some walls will hide secrets such as the health-restorative turkey or the Double and Triple shot abilities for the weapons Simon has collected. At the end of each section of the castle is a boss, which must be defeated. Progression through the castle eventually leads to a confrontation with Count Dracula himself.


Castlevania NES The first level
Castlevania Amiga Stage 09 Boss
Castlevania Commodore 64 Oh no! Ghouls!
Castlevania Commodore 64 A puma sits on top of the staircase

Promo Images

Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "悪魔城ドラキュラ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Vs. Castlevania" -- Arcade title
  • "Castle Vania" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Akumajo Dracula" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter! NES Adzuken (861)
Hurts So Good NES TheoryOfChaos (55)
An okay, if a somewhat shoddy conversion Commodore 64 Westwurtzly (1054)
Whip it, baby! NES Katakis | カタキス (39532)
The whip-wielding franchise-starter NES Multimedia Mike (19814)
its you versus the count in a thrilling duel to the death! NES benjamin grimes (10)
Whip it good, this is an excellent action/adventure(?) game for the NES! NES OlSkool_Gamer (102)
Not scary, not original, not fun, not good, very bad. DOS Jim Fun (252)
This port could have been much better... Amiga powerstone05 (332)

Critic Reviews NES Jun, 2011 A 100
The DOS Spirit NES Dec 03, 2013 5.5 out of 6 92 NES Aug, 2003 9 out of 10 90
Power Play NES Mar, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Video Game Den NES May 30, 2017 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
FNintendo Nintendo 3DS Mar 01, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Gaming since 198x NES Nov 17, 2010 4 out of 5 80
FileFactory Games / Gameworld Network Wii May 03, 2007 70 out of 100 70 (UK) Wii Jun 15, 2007 7 out of 10 70
1UP Game Boy Advance Nov 03, 2004 C+ 58


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Game Boy Advance version

The Game Boy Advance version of the game has some different names for certain items and characters. For instance:
  • Count Dracula is now simply called "The Count".
  • The Holy Water item called "Fire Bomb" in the manual.
  • The Vampire Killer (Simon's whip) is now called a "Magic Whip".
  • Even though the game takes place in Transylvania, there is no mention of this anywhere in the game or the manual.
  • There is also no mention of the hero's name, Simon Belmont.


This game was remade a decade after, but this time for PSX, known as Castlevania Chronicles.


Beat the game once and head to the second part of level two. Climb the stairs, get to the top of the screen and jump on the first moving platform. A blinking treasure will come out of the ground. If you examine it closely, it's a Moai head! Devoted Konami fans will recognize this Easter Island statue from the Gradius series, which seems to be obsessed with them for some odd reason.

Unused sprites

There are a number of unused sprites found in the NES Castlevania ROM, most notably a cross, a cupcake, and a love letter, and a basket with kittens inside(?!).


  • Game Informer
    • August 20012 (Issue #100) – #48 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • Translations

    Akumajo Dracula means "Demon Castle of Dracula".
Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck, Foxhack and MAT

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Contributed to by Luiz Pacheco (1305), PCGamer77 (3237), Michael Cassidy (20647), CrankyStorming (3011), chirinea (43099), is_that_rain_or_tears (658), gamewarrior (5115) and Katakis | カタキス (39532)