- "Tonight fear won't sleep."
- —Catchphrase from the Japanese advertisement.
Vampire Killer (known as Akumajō Dracula in Japan) is the second game in the series and the only one released for the MSX2 home computer. It was released in Japan on October 10, 1986 roughly one month after Castlevania appeared on the Famicom Disk System. It is a remake of the original game, but key gameplay differences emphasize exploration and puzzle elements rather than straightforward action.
Transylvania enjoyed a century of peace thanks to the legendary hero, Christopher Belmont, a vampire hunter who vanquished Count Dracula one hundred years earlier with a holy whip named Vampire Killer. The people of a Transylvanian village were enjoying their fortune with an Easter celebration in honor of Christ's resurrection, but every one hundred years, the power of Christ weakened, and the hearts of men turned black as they yearned for chaos and destruction. During this time, they sought to revive Count Dracula so he may spread chaos and ruination throughout the world. While the Easter celebration carried on with a grand carnival, evil men gathered in a monastery at the edge of the village and conducted a black mass to resurrect Count Dracula.
The men succeeded in bringing their master back. A bolt of lightning enveloped the monastery where they held the rite, signaling the resurrection of Count Dracula. When the Count returned, his Castle, which had fallen one hundred years prior, reappeared in Transylvania, and his legions of loyal minions reformed.
Simon Belmont, the descendant of Christopher Belmont, knew that as a member of the Belmont Clan and the current wielder of the Vampire Killer whip, it was his duty to bring peace and stability back to Transylvania by destroying Dracula. The Count was said to grow in strength with each resurrection, but Simon pressed on. He took the very same whip Christopher used to kill Dracula one hundred years before and entered the Castle alone. Simon proved himself a mighty vampire hunter by withstanding the monsters and traps of Dracula's Castle, and in the end, destroying Count Dracula himself.
Vampire Killer consists of six non-linear stages with a boss at the end of each stage. Each of these stages are made up of three separate areas with a door at the end that requires a special key to unlock. These keys are hidden throughout the areas and often require a puzzle to be solved in order to obtain it. All of the levels consist of separate screens and often loops at times, creating the illusion that Dracula's castle is a maze.
Simon's primary weapon is the traditional Vampire Killer whip which can be upgraded to two more powerful forms; these upgrades are more rare than the ones found in the original Castlevania. Items can be collected by killing enemies, hitting candelabras and opening treasure chests. These chests can be opened by picking up regular keys, which Simon can carry several of at the same time. A rare master key can also be picked up and can be used several times instead of disappearing right away. Aside from the whip, Simon can use both secondary weapons and other primary weapons that replace the Vampire Killer. Daggers, Axes, and Crosses are these kind off weapons and are either temporary or are lost if not collected again after usage. Simon's sub-weapon arsenal is relatively smaller than in other Castlevania games, only consisting of the Holy Water and the Hourglass. These sub-weapons cost hearts to use. Simon can only carry one sub-weapon at a time.
Other magical items include: Rings, Shields, Crystals, Potions, Boots, Wings, Maps, Rosaries, and Bibles. All of which offer several abilities and effects.
In order to obtain some of these items, the service of the old crone is required. They are spread throughout the castle and are usually hidden from plain sight. When encountering a old crone it's common practice to whip it repeatedly until it offers you an item. Any whipping done thereafter will bring about a different result, which may not always be in your favor. The merchant's color at the time provides a hint. The goods that are offered cost heart just like sub-weapons.
After beating the game, player returns to the first stage; though, this time, the challenge-level will now increase due to a larger selection of minor enemies.
Broadsword: Unlike in the rest of the Castlevania series, the knife will take the place of your primary weapon. You can throw two of them at a time, and they will travel the length of the screen.
Battle Axe: Like the knife, the axe takes the place of your primary weapon. The axe acts more like a boomerang here, traveling half the length of the screen before returning. Players must catch the axe upon its return or lose it completely.
Battle Star: The cross also takes the place of your primary weapon and acts much the same as the axe. The cross can cover almost the entire length of the screen. Like the axe, you must catch it in order to continue using it.
Holy Water: The Holy Water works like it does in the other Castlevania titles. It is thrown in a small downward arc and burns the floor on impact. Enemies who step into the blaze will be dealt damage. Hearts are consumed for each use.
Hourglass: This weapon works like the stop watch from the previous titles. Once activated, it will freeze enemies on screen for a set amount of time. Unlike the stop watch, the hour glass can even freeze boss characters.
See also Vampire Killer Artwork.
The protagonist and playable character of Vampire Killer. He is a descendant of the legendary hero Christopher.
The first merchant in any Castlevania game.
The main villain and final boss of the game, found in the Castle Keep.
Vampire Killer is also the title of a ZX Spectrum Game by Scorpio Gamesworld known mainly for it's hilarious cover art. It's unrelated to Konami's games.
"Vampire Killer" is also the title of a famous song played in many Castlevania games.
"Vampire Killer" is also the name given to the legendary whip wielded by several heroes in the Castlevania saga. It was originally created with alchemy by Rinaldo Gandolfi in the Castlevania: Lament of Innocence game.
- Castlevania - Vampire Killer is a rearrangement of the original Castlevania.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX - Contains music from this game on Disc 1.
- MSX & MSX2 MEGA-ROM Guide Book - Contains a guide for this game (Japanese).
|Vampire Killer (MSX Game)|
|Simon Belmont - Old Crone - Dracula|
|Phantom Bat - Queen Medusa - Mummy Man - Frankenstein Monster - Grim Reaper - Count Dracula - Spirit of Dracula|
|Stage 1 - Stage 2 - Stage 3 - Stage 4 - Stage 5 - Stage 6|
|Underground - Vampire Killer - Stalker - Wicked Child - Walking on the Edge - Heart of Fire - Out of Time|
Nothing to Lose - Poison Mind - Black Night - Voyager
|Bestiary - Inventory|