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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 Amiga Title
Castlevania Commodore 64 Introduction
Castlevania DOS Kill bat
Castlevania Amiga A giant bird dropped something on Stage 11

Promo Images

Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "悪魔城ドラキュラ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Vs. Castlevania" -- Arcade title
  • "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
  • "Castle Vania" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Arcade Archives: Vs. Castlevania" -- Nintendo Switch / PS4 title
  • "Akumajō Dracula" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter! NES Adzuken (854)
Hurts So Good NES TheoryOfChaos (55)
An okay, if a somewhat shoddy conversion Commodore 64 Wurtzly (1138)
Whip it, baby! NES Katakis | カタキス (42793)
The whip-wielding franchise-starter NES Multimedia Mike (20636)
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 (243)
This port could have been much better... Amiga powerstone05 (348)

Critic Reviews

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) NES May, 1989 857 out of 1000 86
Power Play NES Mar, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Lens of Truth NES Apr 26, 2009 8 out of 10 80
HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) NES Dec 31, 2003 8 out of 10 80
NES Times NES Aug 05, 2010 8 out of 10 80
NES Fanz NES Jan 03, 2005 4 out of 5 80
64 Power / big.N / N Games Game Boy Advance Mar, 2005 75 out of 100 75
Retro Archives Commodore 64 Oct 19, 2018 11.5 out of 20 58
Retro Archives Amiga Oct 19, 2018 9 out of 20 45
Indie Hive NES Jun 06, 2019 Unscored Unscored


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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.


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 Web Sites

Contributed to by Luiz Pacheco (1303), PCGamer77 (3229), Michael Cassidy (21113), CrankyStorming (3002), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (442114), chirinea (46992), is_that_rain_or_tears (664), gamewarrior (5042) and Katakis | カタキス (42793)
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