aka: Akumajō Dracula, Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania, Castle Vania, Vs. Castlevania
Moby ID: 2062
NES Specs
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Description official descriptions

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.


  • アーケードアーカイブス VS. キャッスルヴァニア - Japanese Nintendo Switch / PS4 spelling
  • 悪魔城ドラキュラ - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (NES version)

17 People

Produced By
  • Konami
Directed By
Screenplay by
Music by
  • Christopher Bee
  • Belo Lugosi
  • Boris Karloffice
Mummy Man
  • Love Chaney Jr.
  • Barber Sherry
Vampire Bat
  • Mix Schrecks
Hunch Back
  • Love Chaney
Fish Man
  • Green Stranger
  • Cafebar Read
  • Andre Moral
  • Jone Candies
The Hero
  • Simon Belmondo



Average score: 78% (based on 45 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 228 ratings with 9 reviews)

its you versus the count in a thrilling duel to the death!

The Good
this is a video game legend. this game is what every platform game should be-entertaining, and enjoyable. you must journey through the counts castle, in a bid to make it to the tower-where the master of the house, the count, awaits you. i find this games level design and overall layout very enjoyable to watch, as the detailed backgrounds and locations really show what the programmers can do. the music is spot on, and you,ll be humming the music from this game long after you have switched the game off. i have completed this game many times, and the playability of this game mean it is worth a re-play every now and then.

The Bad
the difficulty level. it is very challenging to the trainee and master alike, and bosses such as the grim reaper and the count himself, will test all of your game playing skill. and if by some stroke of luck you survive the game, a second, tougher quest awaits you, and this is for a master, since enemies appear more, and they get in your way, like in stage 29, you must travel across the outskirts of the castle, whilst killing bats and hunchbacks!

The Bottom Line
if you want a game that gives you a challenge, and takes all of your skill to master, then look no further , since this masterpiece is great fun to play, and offers a memorable game play experience.

NES · by benjamin grimes (9) · 2005

The whip-wielding franchise-starter

The Good
Ah, the game that kicked off the whole Castlevania franchise. This true classic remains as fun today and it was when it was first released.

I really liked the unlimited continues, and the fact that when you got to the final showdown with the Count, and failed, the game would start you just down the stairs from the Count's chamber. This is particularly advantageous since the first time I ever met the Count, it took me the better part of an entire day of trial and error to beat him.

I enjoy the fact that Castlevania plays like an encyclopedia of classic monsters and horror movie adversaries: You have your basic ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and bats. There are the fish monsters, Medusa heads, hunchbacks, Frankenstein monsters, and unkillable skeleton warriors. Even the Grim Reaper makes an appearance pulling sentry duty for the big Drac-man.

It's amazing to play this game and appreciate how well all of the best gameplay elements came together. Not only were the graphics top-tier, they were incredibly well-designed and consistent. At the start of the game, you scan Dracula's castle, including the tower that you must eventually hike up to. During level 3, you hike across a long bridge and you see the tower again in the background. I just think touches like that are genius in graphical design.

The tunes are all classic, which explains why they seem to be re-used in every subsequent Castlevania game. Hey, don't mess with success!

The Bad
Hunchbacks and floating Medusa heads. I did not like the hunchbacks or floating Medusa heads in this game. They had an alarming tendency to knock you around at the least opportune times.

Simon has also been rather difficult to control during his NES adventures. He's very slow and clunky, has no jump control, and his whip only goes in one direction (forward). At the very least, the designers took this into account and programmed the game's enemies and challenges accordingly.

And I was always frustrated that using the boomerang weapon depleted hard-earned heart points. The thing comes back to you, right? So you should receive some kind of reimbursement on your heart points. It only seems fair.

The Bottom Line
Experience the creepy glory of the original Castlevania.

NES · by Multimedia Mike (20603) · 2005

Hurts So Good

The Good
Ahh, the 80's - when we wanted our games to HURT us. Make us bleed and sweat and cry and throw the controller across the room. No saving every five seconds, no health packs around every corner, a great early-generation platformer like CASTLEVANIA punished failure, clumsiness, inattentiveness, hell, they even punished SUCCESS by ratcheting up the difficulty yet another agonizing notch every step you progressed. And here you've got six levels of beautiful raggedy-Gothic 8-Bit visuals and palm-sweating jumps, capped by boss fights that demanded the best (at the time) in pattern recognition and twitch-timing. The continues, sending you to the beginning of the level, gave you just enough reason to hope you could learn from your mistakes and take that boss down this time. But you had to earn your way back.

The CASTLEVANIA franchise has always thrived on theatrical atmosphere, colorful monsters, and stirring musical themes - and that formula arrived here fully intact. Given how few colors and patterns the designers had to work with, the pacing and foreboding sense of place they managed to coax out of the old Famicom is a marvel, one that pointed the way towards a more mature breed of gaming.

The Bad
The clunky controls have been voluminously documented in more comprehensive forums than this, and the Medusas and Hunchbacks put up a good fight against the birds from NINJA GAIDEN as "Most Annoying 80's Game Scrub Monster Ever". But you could argue that without these agonies, the triumph wouldn't taste so sweet.

The Bottom Line
The doesn't-need-to-be-humble start to one of the greatest franchises in video games, and a masterful artifact of the time when platform games were designed to take on in one brutal sitting.

NES · by TheoryOfChaos (23) · 2006

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Also released May 2019, part of Anniversary Collection, including a Windows version Andrew Fisher (695) Jun 23rd, 2023


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.


Akumajo Dracula means "Demon Castle of Dracula".

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(?!).

Version differences

The Famicom version has an optional easy mode which is neither present in the original Disk System release nor the international releases. It features several differences in game balance, for example no knockback and less received damage.


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

Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck, Foxhack and MAT

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Luiz Pacheco.

NES added by PCGamer77. Arcade added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo 3DS added by CrankyStorming. PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. J2ME added by chirinea. Wii U added by is_that_rain_or_tears. Game Boy Advance, Wii added by gamewarrior. Commodore 64, Amiga added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, PCGamer77, Satoshi Kunsai, Jeanne, Guy Chapman, chirinea, monkeyislandgirl, LepricahnsGold, Zaibatsu, Patrick Bregger, Thomas Thompson, Rik Hideto.

Game added July 23rd, 2001. Last modified August 30th, 2023.