aka: Akumajō Dracula, Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania, Castle Vania, Vs. Castlevania
NES Specs [ all ]
See Also
(prices updated 9/21 11:49 PM )

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)

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

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

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

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: Anniversary Collection
Released 2019 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
Released 2001 on Game Boy Advance, 2014 on Wii U
Vampire Killer
Released 1986 on MSX, 2014 on Wii U

Related Sites +

Identifiers +


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. Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. J2ME added by chirinea. Wii U added by is_that_rain_or_tears. Wii, Game Boy Advance 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.