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Taking place 100 years before the events of Castlevania 1 and Castlevania 2, Dracula the Vampire has risen up to threaten the small village of Warakiya. Citizens who had banished the Belmont family now beg for Trevor Belmont's help in slaying Dracula. In his strange castle, Dracula has been assembling a massive army of undead creatures to sweep the Earth clean of life and bring everlasting darkness. Trevor agrees to help and equips his family's hereditary whip, the "Vampire Slayer", in order to destroy Dracula.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is a side-scrolling platform game. The gameplay is nearly identical to the first Castlevania game. The player takes the role of Trevor Belmont who is able to move left and right, jump, attack with his whip straight ahead and use a special weapon. These special weapons consume hearts, which can be found by defeating monsters or destroying candles. Power-ups include: a throwing dagger, a throwing axe, A time-stopping stopwatch, a cross-shaped boomerang and a vial of holy water. Additionally there is a double shot (II) and triple shot (III) power-up which increases the number of special weapons that can be used at one time. Trevor is defeated if his life meter runs out, and can find a roast turkey power-up to replenish it. Trevor progresses through each level defeating monsters and eventually encountering a boss creature. At different points in the game the player will be able to chose between different paths, which will determine which levels are played.

At the end of certain levels, the player may encounter a companion which can be recruited. Only one companion can accompany Trevor at any time; accepting a new companion means rejecting the existing one. Once recruited, Trevor can change between his own form and that of the companion. Each companion has an independent life meter and has unique abilities such as powerful magic, the ability to climb walls or flight. These abilities may also affect the types of power-ups that appear in candles and the exact function of special weapons.


Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  NES Dracula can conjure flames.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  NES Throwing an axe in the head of a sword-wielding skeleton.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  NES The Grim Reaper's second form looks scary, but is actually quite easy to kill.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  NES Which way should I go, to the clock tower or to the haunted forest?

Promo Images

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  Magazine Advertisement
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  Screenshot
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  Screenshot
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse  Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "悪魔城伝説" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Akumajou Densetsu" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The last and best Castlevania installment for the NES Multimedia Mike (20636) 4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars4.67 Stars
A must play, the best NES game made Scott G (793) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Castlevania III: Action-Packed! Non-Linear! Dracula's Son! ETJB (480) 4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
A slight disappointment TheNightWalker (16) unrated

Critic Reviews Jun, 2011 A+ 100
NES Fanz Jan 03, 2005 5 out of 5 100
Nintendo Land 2003 98 out of 100 98 Apr 01, 2011 19 out of 20 95
IGN Jan 12, 2009 9 out of 10 90
RetroGame Man Jul 30, 2018 9 out of 10 90 Oct 05, 2017 9 out of 10 90
All Game Guide 1990 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) May, 1992 10 out of 12 83
N-Force Sep, 1992 70 out of 100 70


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Japanese version

The Japanese version of Castlevania III has a few differences from the U.S. version, but here's the biggest one...

The Japanese version was built around a special mapper chip Konami created, called the VRC6. (In Japan, most third-party Famicom developers used to create their own custom memory mapping chips to enhance the power of the Famicom/NES.) The VRC6 had one special power to it: it allowed the system to play digital instrument samples during music playback, and Konami made major use of it for the Japanese version's music. In short, the Japanese version's soundtrack is better sounding.

Also changed between the two versions were the Hunchbacks (they were frog-like monsters in the Japanese version), some nudity, and the damage system (in the Japanese version, the amount of damage you took depended on what hit you). Trevor's name was "Ralph Belmondo". The zombies, mudmen, leviathan and mummies had more animation to them with slightly different sprites. Instead of having his regular stabbing dagger, Grant uses throwing daggers as his regular weapon (because of this, Grant can only collect the axe and stopwatch as his alternate weapons). Also, the Japanese version is easier than the North American version.


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • October 1990 (Issue 15) - Best Nintendo Game of the Year (NES version)
    • February 2006 - #119 out of 200 of the "Greatest Games of Their Time"
Information also contributed by Big John WV and CaptainCanuck

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Longwalker (768) added Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES) on Oct 10, 2002
Other platforms contributed by Michael Cassidy (21110) and gamewarrior (5042)
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