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Haunted Castle

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Haunted Castle
GALLERY
RELEASE INFORMATION
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Released date(s) February 1988 (Japan)
September 22, 1988 (USA)
November 1998 (Europe)
May 25, 2006 (Japan, PS2 re-release)
Platform(s) Arcade
PlayStation 2 (re-release)
Media(s)
Rating(s)
CREDITS
Director(s)
Designer(s)
Composer(s) Kenichi Matsubara
GAMEPLAY INFORMATION
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single player

Haunted Castle is the name of an arcade game released in 1988, by Konami. In Japan, the game is known as Akumajō Dracula (the name given to all the older Castlevania games), so besides the different name it gained in the west, Haunted Castle is indeed a game from the Castlevania saga. It is one of four Castlevania arcade games released (along with the PlayChoice-10 and Vs. Castlevania and Castlevania: The Arcade).

StorylineEdit

The storyline is similar to the older Castlevania titles, in which Dracula wakes up to wreak havoc after a hundred years of slumber and Simon Belmont enters the castle in order to take him down.[1] The most notable difference is the presence of Serena, whom he is marrying at the beginning of the game. She is kidnapped by Dracula during the wedding, prompting the main character to travel to Dracula's castle and rescue her.

The main character and his bride are not named in the English version of the game, but they are given names in the Konami Best Selection Help Video, which also gives a text story of this game. It is not known if the Japanese version of the game gave the characters names.

Character GalleryEdit

See also Haunted Castle Artwork

Characters
Image Name Information
Simon-hc
Simon Belmont
(Simon Belmondo)
The main character of the game. He was to marry Serena at the village's church, but Dracula interrupted the wedding.
Hc-simwife
Serena
Simon's bride, who was captured by Dracula during her wedding.
Drachc
Dracula
The fiend who returned. The main antagonist and final boss of the game.

Gameplay Edit

Haunted Castle is a typical platform game comprised of six levels, which are played through in a linear progression. The player controls the main character, whose primary mode of attack is via his whip. He must fight various enemies which consist partially of skeletons, zombies, fishmen, and hunchbacks. By destroying certain enemies, he can switch his weapon to a more powerful chain or sword. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack which consist of dynamites, boomerangs, stopwatches, crosses, and torches. Hearts are collected to use each of these "sub-weapons". The player can only carry one sub-weapon at a time.

Each of Haunted Castle's six levels conclude with a boss fight: these bosses are generally taken from horror literature or legend, and include Medusa, Frankenstein's Monster, and of course, Dracula.

Critical reactionEdit

Many gamers have criticized Haunted Castle for certain gameplay problems: The main character, whose sprite is rather large when compared to other Castlevania games' characters, is an easy target for enemy and obstacle hits. This is made worse with poor hit-detection.

Another big gripe among gamers is the game's difficulty. The game must be completed in one life; If the main character loses all of his life or falls into a pit, the game is over. While it was possible to continue, the game would start the player off back in Stage 1 after 3 continues. However, the player is given the option of adding additional energy to the health meter in replace of continuing, although it too is limited.

Many assume these factors are what contributed to Haunted Castle's poor sales when it was released to arcades.

PortsEdit

In 2006, a small Japanese game publisher called Hamster ported the Japanese version of Haunted Castle, Akumajō Dracula, to the PlayStation 2 as part of their "Oretachi Gēsen Zoku" ("We Are Arcade Gamers") series. The game is an emulated version of the arcade original. Included as bonus material were a mini-CD with the game's soundtrack and a mini-DVD with a music video and half of an instructional playing video.

This port was not released outside of Japan.[2]

Fan SpeculationEdit

The game's placement in the Castlevania chronology is somewhat disputed as many fans consider it to be a revision of the first game. Technology wise it predates Super Castlevania IV, another supposed revision of the first game, but the two games seem quite similar despite their varying gameplay.

Meanwhile, some elements may suppose that the game occurs in 1695 or 1696, as the graves in the background of the first boss fight show years ending with 91, 92, 93, 94 and 95. Then, this game would take place before Simon's Quest. Despite this, it is not known how Dracula would be reborn after just 4-5 years instead of one hundred.

Hcyears
Graves in the first Boss room.
MSXPopolonAdded by MSXPopolon

See AlsoEdit

Related ProductsEdit

External LinksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Nintendo Power, July 2008, 48
  2. [1]

ReferencesEdit

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