It is the year 1691...The land of Transylvania has been at peace for 100 years now, and the peasants and villagers have begun to purge their minds of the memories of the times when the lands were dominated by chaos and shadows, and when the undead walked the earth...However, there are those that remember that the evil Count Dracula returns every 100 years to plague the land, bringing with him the forces of Hell...Thus, one evening, the Prince of Darkness rises and returns to "Castlevania," his ancestral home, and calls forth his minions to purge the world of human flesh.
The people cry out for a hero — someone to defend them from the evil desires of the count. Thankfully, they don't have to look very far, for within the land of Transylvania the Belmont line still lives, as Simon Belmont, great-grandson of Christopher Belmont, takes up the legendary whip called the Vampire Killer, and sets forth on his journey through the darkened countryside to the dark lord's castle...
Upon arrival, the young man fights his way through legions of zombies, gigantic bats, and even faces Death himself, but in the end, he makes it to the Count and in a battle to end all battles, he comes out the victor...
The price? The evil master places a curse of death upon Simon, which will lead him into a long and dangerous journey in the very near future...
Castlevania is a typical platform game of the 8-bit era: the game is comprised of six levels, which are played through in a strictly linear progression. The player controls Simon Belmont, whose primary mode of attack is via his whip, which can be upgraded by obtaining special items throughout the course of the game which extend its length. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack. By breaking candelabras and certain other items located throughout the castle, Simon collects hearts, which can then be used to activate whatever sub-weapon he possesses at that point. Simon can only carry one sub-weapon at a time.
Many modern gamers have criticized Castlevania for certain control-related problems: Simon cannot change direction in mid-jump, and neither can he jump on or off of staircases. However, older gamers see this as an added challenge that is missing from newer games and that the gameplay only contributes to the game's reputation as one of the more notoriously difficult games for the NES.
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