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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

MobyRank MobyScore
NES
75
3.7
Wii
61
3.1
Nintendo 3DS
...
...
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Description

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is the second game in the Castlevania series. After the vampire killer Simon Belmont destroyed Count Dracula in the previous game, an evil curse possessed him. The only way Simon can break the count's curse is to find five of Dracula's body parts (which are mysteriously strewn throughout Transylvania) and burn them.

Gameplay-wise, Simon's Quest is quite different from its predecessor, combining side-scrolling action and platforming with strong role-playing elements. The game does not feature the traditional stages but allows the player to freely roam the land of Transylvania in the style of Nintendo's Metroid. The game world is divided into outdoor areas, dungeon-like mansions containing crucial quest items, and towns, where Simon can talk to non-player characters, rest, and buy items in shops. Some areas can only be accessed by equipping and using specific items that must be bought or found.

The RPG elements are present in character growth, monetary system, and weapon upgrades. Simon's initial whip can be replaced by more powerful variants that can be purchased in various towns. Hearts are used as currency in the game and are obtained from defeated enemies in different quantities. The same hearts also function as experience points: after Simon has accumulated a set amount, he levels up and his attributes are increased.

The game features a day and night cycle that occurs at accelerated pace in real time. At night, enemies inflict more damage, but also drop more hearts upon defeat. Shops are closed during nighttime, and townspeople are replaced by wandering zombies.

Screenshots

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest NES Cemetery
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest NES The priest can heal you whenever you need it
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest NES Reached another town
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest NES Whip slap is useful

Alternate Titles

  • "ドラキュラII呪いの封印" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Akumajou Dracula II: Noroi no Fuuin" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Simon, is there ever a good night to have a curse? NES Adzuken (691)
scour the country side, and hunt for the counts missing body parts! NES benjamin grimes (10)
This is what NES value games were all about NES Mike Hotch (3)
This title doesn't deserve its good reputation at all NES Bregalad (914)
One of the best NES games out there... NES Cormana6868 (16)
In principle, one of the most disgusting video games ever NES Multimedia Mike (17464)

The Press Says

Joystick (French) NES Jun, 1990 95 out of 100 95
Power Play NES Jun, 1989 82 out of 100 82
100 aktuelle PC-Spiele NES 2001 4 out of 5 80
Tilt NES Jul, 1990 16 out of 20 80
Player One NES Sep, 1990 72 out of 100 72
Mag'64 Wii Nov 12, 2009 7 out of 10 70
IGN Wii Oct 31, 2007 7 out of 10 70
GameSpot Wii Nov 05, 2007 6.5 out of 10 65
Thunderbolt Games Wii Jul 09, 2010 5 out of 10 50
HonestGamers NES Dec 31, 2003 3 out of 10 30

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Another "black sheep" turns out to be a gem 5 chirinea (33100)
May 30, 2012

Trivia

Endings

The game features three different endings, which are activated based on the amount of game-time it took the player to finish the game. The first one is for three days or less, another is for eight days or less and the third is for any time playing over that. The endings are different between the US and Japanese versions of the game. It's debatable which of the three is the better ending (the fastest ending isn't considered the best), however it seems that in two of them, Simon Belmont does not survive the curse Dracula placed upon him.

Famicom Disk System Version

The original Japanese version of the game, named Dracula II: Noroi no Fuuin, was not released on a cart. It was available for the Famicom Disk System, an add-on that lets the Famicom play video games straight from a special floppy disk.

There are some differences between this version and the US one:
  • It does not use passwords to record the player's progress, it saves the data to one of three save files on the disk.
  • It has different music because the Famicom Disk System has an extra sound channel that was not available via other means.
  • The mansion music also plays when the player is at their outside entrances.
  • There are some sound differences: the glass-shattering effect of holy water doesn't exist, the sound effect for Simon falling into water is altered, the secret-discovering sound plays only when the player initially talks to hidden souls and not after, and there are snazzier sounds for the Ferryman's actions and the Deborah Cliff tornado-soul ride.
  • There are deviations on some names (most notably, Simon's last name in the Japanese version, as is usually the case with the family name, is Belmondo. Also, Camilla Cemetery is instead called Carmilla Cemetery).
  • It has a slightly higher enemy rate.
  • It's possible to purchase garlic and laurels even after Simon's stock is filled.

Garlic Exploit

In the original Japanese Famicom Disk System-only version of the game, it is possible to beat the last boss using only a single piece of garlic. Doing this really takes a long time though. Just drop a piece of garlic on the floor, move and wait for the boss to hit the garlic. It will be hit 256 times without having the ability to move, then die. In the western cartridge port of the game, Konami made the supply of garlic vanish for the final battle, probably because this trick was well-known in Japan.

Innovations

It was the first game to feature a day/night cycle.

Novel

A 1990 novella based on this game was published by Scholastic as part of their Worlds of Power series for children at risk of losing their literacy to video gaming -- books based on non-Nintendo-owned NES games, all attributed to the author F.X. Nine (though this one is also credited: written by Christopher Howell, a Seth Godin Production). At the ends of chapters, hints for the completion of the video game appear in spoiler-secured upside-down text.

Nintendo Power Controversy

The second issue of Nintendo Power had a cover based on Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. It depicted a man in a suit of armor (probably Simon Belmont) holding Dracula's severed head. The cover prompted several phone calls from mothers who claimed it gave their children nightmares.

The Black Dahlia Murder

The American death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder, used this game as inspiration for their first release, What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse. The title is derived from the phrase "What a horrible night to have a curse" which appears onscreen during transitions from day to night. The song What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse from their third album Nocturnal is a downloadable track in Rock Band, bringing Castlevania to that franchise in a sort of round-about way.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #3 Best Nintendo Game in 1989
Information also contributed by Andreas Vilén, Bregalad, CaptainCanuck, Dracula Marth, Pseudo_Intellectual, ResidentHazard and WildKard.

Related Web Sites

  • Castlevania Dungeon (Fansite dedicated to everything and anything Castlevania.)
  • Howard & Nester do Castlevania 2 (A regular feature in Nintendo Power magazine, Howard & Nester was a comic strip about two game whizzes who would one-up each other, while disclosing hints and tips, in the settings of various recently-released games for the NES platform. In the November / December 1988 two-page installment, they figure out how to find Bodley Mansion.)
  • OC ReMix Game Profile (Fan remixes of music from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, including the album "Sonata of the Damned".)
  • Play "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest" online! (The entire game can be played on this website, which uses a Java-based NES emulator called vNES to call up ROMs for its visitors.)
  • Video review of Castlevania II (The Angry Video Game Nerd, Jame Rolfe, reviews Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. This is Jame Rolfe's first Angry Video Game Nerd review.)
  • Video review of the Castlevania series (WARNING: Language) (The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe, reviews games in the Castlevania series. In part 2, he takes a second look at Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and reviews Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, both on NES.)
Contributed to by GTramp (28619), Sciere (233783) and Roedie (5227)