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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 Somewhere in the basement
Castlevania NES These traps can crush me if I'm not careful.
Castlevania NES Famicom Disk System Title
Castlevania NES Frankenstein's monster and Igor: Using the holy water to create a fire under the monsters' feet.

Promo Images

Castlevania Magazine Advertisement Part 2
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot
Castlevania Screenshot


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! 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 (42876) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The whip-wielding franchise-starter Multimedia Mike (20636) 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

Questicle.net Jun, 2011 A 100
The Retro Spirit Dec 03, 2013 5.5 out of 6 92
Pixel-Heroes.de Aug, 2003 9 out of 10 90
Game Freaks 365 Nov 01, 2007 9 out of 10 90
The Game Hoard Oct 11, 2018 6 out of 7 86
Video Game Den May 30, 2017 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
NES Times Aug 05, 2010 8 out of 10 80
Joystick (German) Feb, 1989 8 out of 10 80
NES Fanz Jan 03, 2005 4 out of 5 80
The Video Game Critic Dec 06, 2004 B 75


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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

PCGamer77 (3225) added Castlevania (NES) on Sep 27, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Luiz Pacheco (1303), Michael Cassidy (21110), CrankyStorming (3001), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (462572), chirinea (47082), is_that_rain_or_tears (664), gamewarrior (5042) and Katakis | カタキス (42876)
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