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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 NES The first level
Castlevania NES Title screen
Castlevania NES The red skeletons can't be killed; you can only knock them down temporarily.
Castlevania NES Japan Title screen

Promo Images

Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Magazine Advertisement Part 2
Castlevania Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "悪魔城ドラキュラ" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Vs. Castlevania" -- Arcade title
  • "Castle Vania" -- Brazilian CCE's Top Game title
  • "Akumajo Dracula" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Just leave it to Simon Belmont, vampire hunter! Adzuken (854) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Hurts So Good TheoryOfChaos (55) 4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
Whip it, baby! Katakis | カタキス (40955) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The whip-wielding franchise-starter Multimedia Mike (19999) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
its you versus the count in a thrilling duel to the death! benjamin grimes (10) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Whip it good, this is an excellent action/adventure(?) game for the NES! OlSkool_Gamer (102) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

Game Freaks 365 Nov 01, 2007 9 out of 10 90
Retro Game Reviews Jan 02, 2015 9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars 90
Retro Archives Oct 19, 2018 17.5 out of 20 88
The Game Hoard Oct 11, 2018 6 out of 7 86
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Dec, 1988 9.8 out of 12 82
Power Play Mar, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jan, 1989 81 out of 100 81
Video Game Den May 30, 2017 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Just Games Retro Oct 22, 2006 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
RetroGame Man Feb 20, 2017 7 out of 10 70


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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.

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(?!).


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


Akumajo Dracula means "Demon Castle of Dracula". Information also contributed by CaptainCanuck, Foxhack and MAT

Related Web Sites

PCGamer77 (3232) added Castlevania (NES) on Sep 27, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Luiz Pacheco (1305), Michael Cassidy (21222), CrankyStorming (3007), chirinea (45544), is_that_rain_or_tears (673), gamewarrior (5083) and Katakis | カタキス (40955)