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Castlevania: Bloodlines

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Castlevania: Bloodlines
Bloodlinesboxart5
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Japanese Name
バンパイアキラー Vampire Killer
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)
Platform(s)
Media(s)
8-megabit cartridge
Rating(s)
VRC: GA
Director(s)
Tomikazu Kirita (Producer)
Designer(s)
BUNMIN
Composer(s)
Genre(s)
Platform game
Mode(s)
Single player

Castlevania: Bloodlines is the only Castlevania game developed for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It was released in North America on March 17th, 1994 and in Japan one day later. The game is notable for being loosely tied to the Dracula novel written by Bram Stoker.

The game was promoted as a completely original vampire themed action series at the time of its release, known as "Vampire Killer", the game's Japanese title. A preview of the game that appeared in the back of the Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo Strategy Guide, referred to the game as a Castlevania Gaiden. [1] [2]

StoryEdit



In the 19th century, Europe's greatest nations had gone to great lengths to maintain a balance of power throughout Europe. The inhabitants sensed that a war would unfold sooner or later and countries formed several alliances, who in turn harbored feelings of distrust against each other. On June 1914 at Sarajevo, the Crown Prince of Austria was assassinated and resulted in a chain reaction of violence across the entire continent. It was said that a strange beautiful woman was involved within the shadows.

It was Elizabeth Bartley who had plotted together with the dark sorceress Drolta Tzuentes to unleash an international global war and use the souls of the dead to revive their Lord, Dracula.

Two men, descendants of the legendary Belmont family of vampire hunters, named John Morris and Eric Lecarde, arose to counter the threat.

Together they traveled to the ruins of Dracula’s castle but were unable to find any trace of the Vampire Lord. After learning that Elizabeth was nearby, they followed her in hot pursuit while fighting their way all across Europe. With much effort, John and Eric were able to finally end the menace of Dracula and Elizabeth after a final showdown in Castle Proserpina.

Victory would soon be tainted when they learned of the terrible price that came by using the whip’s full power.

Gameplay Edit

25248

John Morris has to jump to the top the tower while dodging incoming enemies

Castlevania: Bloodlines holds true to the premise of the original game but with notable additions. Making your way through six linear stages is required, facing enemies and obstacles along the way. A boss is fought at the end of a level but are usually also encountered when reaching its midpoint. Unlike most other Castlevania games that came before the setting is not limited to in and around Dracula's Castle, and is spread out over several other places in Europe as well. The game allows two characters to be controlled, each of who control differently and can travel through different sections of a stage only accessible to them.

John controls like a traditional Belmont and thus wields a whip - which can upgraded three times instead of the usual two - and has access to three separate sub-weapons. He is able to charge the power of the whip when holding down the attack button and then lands a powerful blow with it. The fourth power-up changes the Vampire Killer into a flame whip and boosts the capability of the sub-weapons as well. Something that sets John further apart from most of his Belmont predecessors is that he is able to whip downwards while in the air, and can also use his weapon to swing from ceiling to ceiling.

Eric is a more powerful character than John due to being slightly faster and his weapon - the Alucard Spear - has a longer range. The spear can also be upgraded a total of four times, and Eric has access to the same additional weapons as his partner. He is able to attack in eight different directions, upwards by lifting his spear and downwards by performing a dive attack while airborne, as well as diagonally, tough he must land a horizontal hit before hitting diagonal on the D-Pad is of any worth. Eric's two special abilities are twirling his weapon back and forth, and using a huge leap to reach a platform stationed right above him.

The game is noteworthy for utilizing special effects generated by the Sega Genesis sometimes resulting in unique obstacles that had never appeared in any of the previous titles. Notable examples include the rotating tower of Pisa and the upside down rooms in Castle Proserpina.

CharactersEdit

Characters
Playable Characters
Image Name Information
CHJohn
John Morris
(Johnny Morris)
Born on December 12, 1895 in Texas, USA. John Morris is the son of Quincey Morris, the hero who killed Dracula in 1897, but lost his life in the ordeal. (...)
Eric-pose18
Eric Lecarde
Born on May 3rd, 1892 in Segovia, Spain. Eric Lecarde is John's best friend. He comes from a noble family in Segovia, Spain and wields the Alucard Spear, which was forged by Dracula's son, Alucard. (...)
Villains
Dracbl2-1-
Drolta Tzuentes
(Dorothea Szentes)
She is an mysterious old witch and a servant of Elizabeth. She obstructs the vampire hunters quest by controlling demons.[3]
Elizabethbartley
Elizabeth Bartley
(Elizabeth Báthory)
Dracula's niece, Elizabeth, was brought back from the dead by a dark sorceress named Drolta. Elizabeth sought a means to bring her uncle, Count Dracula, back from the grave, as well. (...)
Dracbl1
Dracula
The embodiment of evil. He was killed in 1897 after a confrontation with Quincey Morris, but his devoted servants would see him return to the world of the living at any cost. Elizabeth and Drolta seek to bring the Dark Lord back to life, but they are pursued by two vampire hunters. The Count's body rests in Elizabeth's Castle Proserpina, located in England.

MusicEdit

The music from Castlevania: Bloodlines was composed by Michiru Yamane, who would later continue to work on several other games in the series, including Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Some of the tracks would become recurring in later titles in the series. The Sinking Old Sanctuary, would later be reused in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness. Iron Blue Intention was reused in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and in Castlevania: Judgment as a character theme for Eric Lecarde.

Themes from the Castlevania trilogy for the NES can be accessed using a password and can be played in the sound test as well.

GraphicsEdit

Castlevania: Bloodlines displays effects like rotating backgrounds, reflections in the water, a tower that sways from left to right, and very diverse colors. Keeping in line with Super Castlevania IV, the game's mood is more dark and gruesome than the previous titles, resulting in censorship in European versions. While the environments are a step back from the earlier mentioned title, due to lack of multiple scrolling layers and animation in some instances, the game provides very richly-detailed backgrounds. Another noticeable feature is the multi-joint effect seen in several enemies.

Textual ReferenceEdit

Castlevania: Bloodlines attempted to make a connection with the novel Dracula written by Bram Stoker and does this by writing one of the characters - Quincy Morris - into the continuity of the Castlevania series and claiming that he was a Belmont descendant. This leads many people to assume that the novel is part of the official timeline, which in some instances would cause severe inconsistencies, though in reality this is not the case. The book itself was never included in any of the official timelines, and only an (as of yet) unchronicled event involving the character.

The backstory of the game refers to real life accounts of World War I, suggesting that one of the main antagonists ordered the assassination of a real life person called Franz Ferdinand of Austria and thereby causing the conflict.

The vampire Countess Elizabeth Bartley is loosely based on the actual historical figure Erzsébet Báthory. Drolta Tzuentes is based on one of her servants who aided her in murdering several young women.

Regional VariationsEdit

Eric-Eric

Eric's two faces

The game underwent censorship when localized to PAL regions in both Europe and Australia because of its dark themes. Because it was forbidden to use the word "blood" in video game at the time, the game was redubbed Castlevania: The New Generation. The Japanese and North American title screen was originally red and depicted a sea of blood. This was changed to blue to make it look like water and also has no dripping effect. The palette colors for some enemies like zombies and medusa heads were altered to make them less menacing looking.

This meant the blood drips in Stage 1 and 6-2, the blood fountain were removed completely. Finally, Eric's death animation is different; his spear doesn't impale him the moment he dies like in other versions.

Due to running on PAL Mega Drive, Castlevania The New Generation suffers with decreased play-speed, but other than the censorship and lowered speed, The New Generation incarnation plays similarly to other versions.

The Japanese version is closer to its American counterpart but still includes some changes. The game is titled Vampire Killer, the normal mode is less difficult (fewer enemies and more powerful heroes), and the password screen doesn't show after a stage is completed but only appears when your character runs out of lives.

Other notable things are that Eric's facial features in his artwork are more feminine (bishōnen), which was changed in the other versions by making his face more masculine looking in the intro and ending.

StaffEdit

Bloodlines7

Credit sequence from Castlevania: Bloodlines.

  • Programmer: M K1 Hanaten
  • Enemy Program: Takashi Takeda
  • Trap and Enemy Program: Kenichiro Horio
  • Wandering Programmer: Koji Komata
  • Program: Hidenari Inamura
  • Main Designer: BUNMIN
  • Design: MAMUUN
  • Special Design: TAT, Norio Takemoto
  • Sound Program: Atsushi Fujio, Osamu Kasai
  • Sound Design: Michiru Yamane
  • Package Design: M. Yoshihashi, Kaori Sasaki

EndingsEdit

There are four endings in Castlevania: Bloodlines. The ending players receive depends on which character they choose to play as. The ending simply depicts the respective character witnessing the crumbling of Castle Proserpina.

For John Morris, the ending says that he has stopped the resurrection of Dracula, and if you beat the game on Expert mode, you will receive another screen of John striking an action pose that says the blood of Vampire Hunters courses through his veins.

Eric's ending tells us that he's fulfilled his destiny, and if the game is beaten on the hardest mode with him, the reward is a close up of the Spaniard and the declaration that greater unknowns await him in the future.

After that, the credits roll while a sequence of the bosses is displayed.

TriviaEdit

  • The game is first to refer to the legendary Belmont whip as the Vampire Killer. The whip is called "Vampire Killer the Sorcery Whip" (妖鞭バンパイアキラー).
  • The game was originally released as a side story of the Castlevania series.[4]
  • The American Bloodlines manual states that Drolta was an amateur witch who casts a spell which inadvertently brings Elizabeth Bartley back to life. However, Drolta plays a much more prominent role in the Japanese game where she is instead a dark sorceress who intentionally resurrects Elizabeth.
  • The Belmont warrior and the woman shown at the intro are most likely a reference to Trevor and Sypha, or Simon and Serena.
  • The game was rated "GA" for "General Audiences" by Sega's VRC ratings board, but possesses a considerable amount of violence and gore for an "all ages" game.
  • This game marks the first time the Vampire Killer is referred to by name in a North American release; older titles simply refer to the weapon as the "mystic whip" on the games' packaging.
  • Interestingly, almost all the fire effects used in the game are a bluish tint. This may be due to the traditional belief in Japan and elsewhere in the Far East that blue flame (or fire which turns blue) indicates the presence of a spirit.
  • For this game, the traditional hearts that are normally gathered and used to power the sub-weapons were replaced with small crystals that perform the same role. This would be used again in Castlevania 64 5 years later.
  • "THE DISCOLORED WALL" (Stage 3 BGM · The Leaning Tower of Pisa), contains a repeating melody which closely resembles one in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera (one of the parts in which it is heard is during "Down Once More" when the Phantom sings, "Hounded out by everyone/Met with hatred everywhere/No kind word from anyone/No compassion anywhere...."). It is unknown whether this tune was inspirational or if the stage music was intended as a sort of tribute to Webber's work. 
  • The box art of the North American version was created by Tom Dubois.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. MegaDriveFAN June 1993 issue.
  2. Akumajo Dracula X: Chi no Rondo Strategy Guide . p. 33.
  3. European manual page 56
  4. Page 33, Rondo of Blood Strategy guide book

External LinksEdit

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Castlevania: Bloodlines. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Castlevania Wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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