aka: Akumajō Dracula, Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania, Castle Vania, Vs. Castlevania
NES Specs [ all ]
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(prices updated 9/27 8:49 AM )

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 225 ratings with 9 reviews)

Not scary, not original, not fun, not good, very bad.

The Good
Quite impossible to think of anything to type in this section... The game had bad graphics, a bad story, which on top of everything was not original at all, the game is boring, and extremely repetitive at times.

The Bad
Oh, the bad section, how I long to type here for games I hate! And Castlevania is definitely one of them, the story is boring, typical, and unoriginal, gameplay is EXTREMELY repetitive, especially when you have to kill the SAME enemies over 50 times (really, no kidding) just to pass by one place, and for a game constantly advertised as SCARY, it's just extremely BORING, all you do is jump, walk, fight, and to keep it short, do that for the WHOLE game. That brings us to graphics, whoever created this catastrophe definitely didn't care to design it with good graphics, at least as ONE attraction...

The Bottom Line
Never, ever, ever, make the mistake of spending money on this game, or even letting it take up the few KB's that it needs on your computer...

I describe this game as horrible, I know there are many hardcore fans, but I just can't enjoy this total catastrophe.

DOS · by Jim Fun (207) · 2002

Whip it good, this is an excellent action/adventure(?) game for the NES!

The Good
More of an action game, this is the game that made me as a kid, want to go out and buy a bullwhip. And I did, thats no joke. I was in love with this game from the time it was released in the coin-op version. It later became my first NES game I purchased.

You start out at the castle gates and work your way through the levels until you are finally at the top of the castle where the vampire is waiting. The levels all end with a mini-boss. Some pretty cool weapons can be found along the way including a stop watch that stops time. The mini-bosses are pretty fun to fight which were a big black bat, Medusa, Two Mummies, Frankenstein & Hunchback, The Grim Reaper and then the final boss is the Vampire. There might have been one more but they're pretty fun to kill.

The difficulty was enough to give you plenty of game play time, it took me awhile to be able to win the game. Pretty good "Translyvanian" kind of music, perfect for the haunted castle theme.

The Bad
Controlling your guy was pretty sluggish and difficult.

Everytime you get hit, you fly backwards which can be extremely annoying when you are standing on ledges fighting off enemies. Actually, it was annoying at any point in time.

There was also no way to save, one could argue the game wasn't long enough to need a save method. I think it might have been. There were continues though.

The Bottom Line
Some pretty sweet whip crackin' action, definitely one of the classics of the 8bit era and definitely my favorite series from Konami.

NES · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004

This port could have been much better...

The Good
This game did have its positives, first and foremost, the graphics. They are very good (as you can see in the screenshots section). The bosses look more weird than normal ports (NES for example.).

The Bad
The big problem with this game is the controls. Your attack is delayed by a second which means you're easy bait for enemies. Also Simon looks a bit to macho looking in this port.

The Bottom Line
This game isn't that bad but could be better. It's fun to see the graphics though.

Amiga · by powerstone05 (343) · 2007

[ 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

Related Games

Castlevania Chronicles
Released 2001 on PlayStation, 2008 on PSP, PlayStation 3...
Super Castlevania IV
Released 1991 on SNES, 2006 on Wii, 2013 on Wii U
Haunted Castle
Released 1988 on Arcade, 2017 on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Castlevania: Harmony of Despair
Released 2010 on Xbox 360, 2011 on PlayStation 3, 2019 on Xbox One
Castlevania: Dracula X
Released 1995 on SNES, 2014 on Wii U, 2016 on New Nintendo 3DS
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Released 2001 on Game Boy Advance, 2014 on Wii U
Castlevania: Anniversary Collection
Released 2019 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...
Vampire Killer
Released 1986 on MSX, 2014 on Wii U

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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

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. Amiga, Commodore 64 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.