• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

When all you have is a whip...Let's Play Castlevania: The Adventure

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
In the uncropped box art shot, Plant Castle is also in view, so the piece does a great job of depicting the full initial scope of the game with its composition. Christopher tangling with the Iron Doll in its proper Rock Castle habitat just completes it as an authentic tableau.

7FtCYtL.png

I'm also a big fan of the Dracula Densetsu II cover for the evocative framing and use of colour, and Christopher's particular representation. There are very few "canonical" illustrations of him and this is one, which characterizes him as an older Belmont than the standard. We would have Julius later, but Ayami Kojima renders him at best a very idealized mid-fifties gorgeousman as is her wont. Christopher is a minor protagonist in the series's overall standing despite fronting three different games, and one of the few characteristics there are to latch onto with him is that he is vaguely middle-aged by those later days, and kind of a craggy tree trunk of a man who's mundanely aging despite still retaining his ripped physique.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(1).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(2).png

Let’s get it started.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(4).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(6).png

We’re going to do the stages in a moderately random order, starting with the Crystal Castle.

Castlevania_2_NP_02.jpg

Nintendo Power introduces the castle to us.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(7).png

This is actually a pretty good intro to the things that have and haven’t changed, all in one short screen: The backgrounds remain beautiful for the era.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(9).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(10).png

The whip still starts small and is powered-up by crystals into the chain whip.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(11).png

Notice we have a heart meter now? There are small and large heart pickups dropping from candles, instead of them being mostly coins.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(12).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(13).png

Birds (ravens, eagles, whatever) are an enemy that swoops back and forth diagonally at you.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(14).png

These blocks, rather than falling immediately, slowly crack as you stand on them until they crumble.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(15).png

We still need to climb ropes from segment to segment.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(16).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(17).png

A second crystal lets you shoot fireballs from the whip.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(18).png

Bats return, and these Evil Armors (which just walk slowly back and forth) are a redraw of the Evil Armor from the last game. (They do take a bunch of hits to kill, though.)

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(19).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(20).png

And here, next to a moving platform I’ll need to jump across, is our first subweapon: The Holy Water!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(21).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(22).png

As is typical, you hold Up and press Attack to throw it, and it makes a little flame that damages enemies where it lands.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(23).png

Another nice change from the last game: Christopher has learned to swing his whip while hanging from a rope!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(24).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(25).png

Not every area transition is a rope: There are classic scrolling doors, too.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(27).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(28).png

Dropping down onto this moving platform lets me swap for the other available subweapon, the Axe.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(29).png

It throws at a high arc, per usual.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(30).png

These little things are platforms, by the way, in case you were wondering. They do look like they should be background, eh?

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(31).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(33).png

As we cross to the left, dark shadows appear on the water. Those are Mermans.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(34).png

A single hit can kill them once they’ve leapt from the water.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(36).png

Upwards!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(37).png

And we find our pal Punaguchi, who hasn’t changed a bit.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(39).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(41).png

And in the next room, Big Eyes fall from the ceiling.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(42).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(43).png

Another important change: You can hold Jump and press down on ropes to slide down quickly.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(43).png

The fact that moving spike walls will kill you dead has not changed.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(44).png

In both of these rooms, the spike will come right up to the rope. You need to jump on as they move away, and slide down fast.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(45).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(46).png

There’s a series of nooks to jump off into in this room. It’s actually significantly easier than the spike wall rooms in the first game, assume you know the sliding trick.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(47).png

Then a short climb while Big Eyes fall down on you. Feels familiar.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(48).png

Then we have crossroads: Up or down? This is a genuine choice; both paths lead to the same place.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(49).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(50).png

Going up leads you to Punaguchi and then some platforming with bats.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(51).png

Again, much easier than the first game: The platforms give you a few second before they crumble rather than falling immediately, and the bats stay low and are less aggressive.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(53).png

Then you need to get past these weird floating jellyfish monsters to get to the door. (They move wildly and take two hits to defeat.)

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(54).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(56).png

Going down gets you to this dagger-throwing landbound Merman. He takes 3 hits but is very aggressive; practically a miniboss.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(58).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(60).png

Then we have platforming through this flowing-water section.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(61).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(62).png

Mermen will pop out of the shallow water and send fireballs floating along the top of it. The water also pushes you slowly towards the edges.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(63).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(64).png

Then this route also features Jellyfish. Then we’re in the same place.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(65).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(67).png

Through the door is more crystal block platforming.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(68).png

Then the boss arena.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(69).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(70).png

This boss is Dark Side. The black storm cloud appears above, and then Dark Side appears, first briefly as a crystal (which is when it’s vulnerable) then as a wizard.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(71).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(73).png

It then raises the staff and summons lightning that’ll hit wherever you were standing and also ripple out. The storm cloud can only move so far left or right, so you just need to go to the far edge of the screen and jump the ripple, then cross to hit the crystal twice, then retreat.

Castlevania_2_NP_09.jpg

Nintendo Power gave some tips for fighting Dark Side.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(76).png

When you beat Dark Side, an orb flies into the sky, and you get points for your remaining time, hearts and life.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(79).png

We can see on the stage select that the Crystal Castle has now crumbed, and we can move on to the next stage. Next time!
 
Last edited:

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(39).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Crystal_(41).png

And in the next room, Big Eyes fall from the ceiling.

I looked up a map again and apparently all three of those ropes in the first eyeball room lead to secret passages through the ceiling; one is a dead end, one lead to a single candle, and one goes up two stories to three candles over some crumble blocks. Must be some goodies up there!
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
I looked up a map again and apparently all three of those ropes in the first eyeball room lead to secret passages through the ceiling; one is a dead end, one lead to a single candle, and one goes up two stories to three candles over some crumble blocks. Must be some goodies up there!

I'm not going to be anywhere as good about showing off secret passages in this game. Apparently I was crap at finding them, because there really aren't any in my memory.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Belmont's Revenge has maybe the highest concentration of breakable tiles in the series, which is fun. Suspect every corner of stage geometry.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I'm not going to be anywhere as good about showing off secret passages in this game. Apparently I was crap at finding them, because there really aren't any in my memory.

I looked ahead at the rest of the maps, and it looks like there's one in each stage, and every single one uses the same rope-through-false-ceiling trick. You can probably find them fairly easily with that info, if you care to.
 

Albatoss

Mellotron enthusiast
(She/they)
Belmont's Revenge has a fair bit more music than The Adventure, and it's overall a really good soundtrack. Hidehiro Funauchi returns as the composer/sound designer, and as far as I can tell he worked on this game by himself in that capacity. Some links to what's appeared so far:

Opening - This game has one! It's just a text crawl, but it's there.
Castle - The password input theme. This and "Opening" are both quite somber for Gameboy tunes.
Journey to Chaos - Stage select theme. I love how haunting it is, and it's achieved with some simple delay effects.
New Messiah - The Crystal Castle theme. It's my favorite song in the game and one of my favorites in the whole series, and in general it kicks a tremendous amount of ass. Manabu Namiki arranged this tune for Adventure Rebirth and it's simply incredible there.
Road of Enemy - Every stage has a room before the boss where you can grab a few extra hearts and maybe some wall meat, and this theme plays in those rooms. It's nice and foreboding. Belmont's Revenge doesn't use bass panning as extensively as The Adventure, but it shows up pretty prominently here and in the boss theme.
Evil Gods - Speaking of which! I love that it goes so hard. And there's percussion! I also like how the very start of the track sounds kind of like a monster's roar, which is a nice touch.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I remember what it felt like to listen to better rips (these very same ones in fact; thanks for your service, explod) of the soundtrack and discover that "Journey to Chaos" had an entire second half of melodic progression I'd never heard--the official releases of the music cut the track short, and in-game I'd never lingered that long on the stage select screen. It was momentous, and even through the general superlative quality of the music overall I think the game excels particularly in these smaller, intermissionary tracks that might go ignored in other contexts. Here, they're uniformly sentimental, creaky and mournful in just the right ratio--a tone which is rarely achieved in the series to the same effect, with the closest I can think of happening with Harmony years later. Perhaps that connection was perceived by others too, with it remixing the Christopher duology's game over jingle for its own use.

Since we're past it now, I just want to highlight The Adventure's credits theme in "The Legend of Dracula". It might be my favourite in series, stiff as that competition is. I just love the range and contrast in Funauchi and others's work for these games that they can deliver these blistering and aggressive riffs and then adjust to a sensitive and longing coda and the transition reads so naturally, and all on a Game Boy's sound hardware. Whatever takeaway there ends up being about the games as total packages the music can never be reduced to be lesser than it is.
 
Last edited:

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Belmont's Revenge has a fair bit more music than The Adventure, and it's overall a really good soundtrack. Hidehiro Funauchi returns as the composer/sound designer, and as far as I can tell he worked on this game by himself in that capacity. Some links to what's appeared so far:
Dang, yeah, this is really good stuff!
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(1).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(2).png

Next, let’s jump over to the Rock Castle. Upon reflection, this game has the most “castle” of any Castlevania. I mean, usually they only have one castle, and this one is just drowning in them.

Castlevania_2_NP_05.jpg

Nintendo Power introduces the Rock Castle.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(4).png

Check out that background. Damn.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(6).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(7).png

Mudmen make the triumphant return (despite not being mentioned in the manual). They once again drop from the ceiling and pop up out of the ground, but now whipping only makes them collapse into liquid; it doesn’t destroy them. They’ll rise up again after a few seconds.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(8).png

That can be an issue where there are several of them to keep track of.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(9).png

Bats also return. They seem somewhat less aggressive than the first game, actually.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(10).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(11).png

Ropes take us downwards.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(13).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(14).png

Remember the Under Mole boss from the first game? Now it’s a stage hazard. They pop out of those holes and bounce around.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(15).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(16).png

And the spike platforms return as well. This time, none of these spikes will instant-kill you, and those little circles behind the spikes will flash a couple of times before the platform emerges.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(17).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(18).png

This combines to make the entire experience a lot more manageable.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(19).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(20).png

Then another corridor of Under Moles. They did a really impressive job of re-using assets and ideas from the first game while making them overall more playable.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(22).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(24).png

And jumping down a set of spike platforms. Watch their order carefully—just jumping right down is liable to get you stabbed.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(25).png

Then we need to climb down several screens of rope, with an indication that we’ll be climbing back up shortly.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(26).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(27).png

After we cross this spike platform trap, of course. This one is clever, because you want to drop to the bottom one and then jump as the progressively higher ones come out, and work your way across at the same time.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(28).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(29).png

Then back up the ropes and through the door we saw before.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(30).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(31).png

Then another tricky, clever area: In here, whipping the candles has consequences! If you knock them all out, the room goes dark and those pillbug-things come alive.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(32).png

The safest way to get through is to avoid hitting candles altogether.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(33).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(35).png

Especially since there are Bats, holes in the floor, and Big Eyes falling from above.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(37).png

Down the rope to a second room of the same gimmick.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(38).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(39).png

The pillbugs are harmless in their rolled-up form. You can even stand on them.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(40).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(41).png

The darkness effect wears off in the next room.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(42).png

Then we have a new version of the crushing spikes. You might think you need to carefully maneuver under them, but there’s a much easier way through.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(43).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(44).png

The screw holding them up is vulnerable. Whip it half a dozen times (duck when it rises) and the whole thing will collapse.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(45).png

On the second screen, crossing vs. going straight down is strictly optional in this case.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(46).png

If you destroy it and cross, you can get a Battle Axe. But in both cases you drop into the same area afterwards.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(47).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(48).png

Remember the miniboss merman in the last castle? He’s not optional this time.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(50).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(51).png

When you drop down, you can time your whip swings to hit candles and snag recovery items as you fall.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(52).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(53).png

Then we’re in the boss arena. Whipping the candle turns the lights out…until Iron Doll appears.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(55).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(56).png

He’s pretty easy, you just need to whip and step back out of the range of the sword swings.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(58).png

But when you’ve depleted half of his health, his armor will explode off and he’ll reveal his second form.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(59).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(62).png

This form jumps high and shoots crescent-shaped blasts from his sword when he swings. I always wish for a backdash or slide ability in this part of the fight.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(63).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Rock_Castle_(64).png

Another orb rises when he’s defeated.

Castlevania_2_NP_11.jpg

Nintendo Power tells us about fighting the Iron Doll.

Join us next time for another castle!
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I really love how the eyeballs are utilized here. It's fine enough when they drop from gaps above, or even when The Adventure in its first stage has them plop down through screen transitions you yourself will have to traverse, somehow--there's license to be inexplicable with stuff like this, in games like these. But what has always (or ideally) set Castlevania apart is that it does take these seams and stitches in world design into account and adjusts its presentation accordingly to imbue the setting with a dose of believability that otherwise wouldn't be there. In the Rock Castle's pillbug section, climbing up the ropes into the secret room for some goodies has a material reward but also seeing that the eyeball procession can be traced back further than just their immediate spawning point on the screen below; they roll into view from some unseen place behind another transition, creating a visual continuity between the rooms and a suggestion of more besides--Crystal Castle has a similar spot in its rafters. Rondo showcasing a non-aggressive, cyclopean worker endlessly hauling and setting off rolling balls with the aid of a pulley system was a few years off at this point but the same kind of mindfulness and drive to explicate exists even in a game that has much less room and opportunities to breathe and define its world with.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Let’s do a few bonus bits between castles.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(1).png

I'll check out the password system, first.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(2).png

Responding to Mogri’s question: The password that appeared in Nintendo Power does nothing. I just get an “incorrect password” beep.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(3).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(4).png

This password starts you with 9 extra lives.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(5).png

This one gives you the sound test feature.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(12).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(13).png

Special thanks to Albatoss for linking all the game’s music, by the way. I've never been good about discussing game music.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(14).png

And this one puts the game into the harder “Expert Mode.” This brings back the "every hit downgrades your whip" mechanic from the first game, but otherwise doesn't change enemies or damage.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(15).png

Here’s the secret area in the Crystal Castle that I missed before.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(16).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(17).png

You can climb any of the three ropes, but the leftmost one allows you to keep climbing

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(18).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(19).png

There’s a crystal and an axe here.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(21).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(23).png

And a pair of secrets I missed in the Rock Castle. First, in this area where you go up and down, you can actually just jump through this fake wall and skip a few screens.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(24).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(25).png

And second, at the end of the first “darkness” area, you can climb up the rope to a bonus area.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(26).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_bonus_(27).png

You also get an axe and a crystal here (but getting them both makes the lights go out). As Peklo mentioned, you can see where the falling Big Eyes are coming from.

And finally, Castlevania Crypt has a full set of maps if you want to see the full levels laid out.

We'll continue on to Plant Castle in a couple of days.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Oh, I was looking at the kingdom site for maps, but that other one has GBC versions too, nice.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Upon reflection, this game has the most “castle” of any Castlevania.
Does that mean Simon's Quest could have been called Mansionvania?

(Now I'm wondering - were they referred to as mansions in the Japanese version?)
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)

5WG3NvI.png

Since we're talking miscellania, did you know both of Christopher's games were re-released within a decade of their debuts? Konami GB Collection was a four-in-one line of rereleases of Konami GB material for the platform put out in four volumes in '97 and '98 in Japan, and later on (in weirdly shuffled volume order) in 2000 in Europe. The game selection remains the same between regions, as none are dependent on a grasp on a language, but the presentation differs: the original lineup had Super Game Boy support with palettes and unique game borders, and within the cartridges the cast of Tokimeki Memorial would present the game selection and give light advice on playing them. The European releases would predictably remove this framing device for its mostly unknown context to audiences outside of Japan, and neither do the Super Game Boy features remain--instead, the collections are Game Boy Color-compatible with their palette support. I would say the Japanese releases are infinitely more interesting as artifacts, and personally I have the Japanese volume 3 which includes Dracula Densetsu II within--there's actually a material difference in having access to multiple regions with Belmont's Revenge, as in the English releases Christopher's sub-weapon pool consists of the holy water and axe, but in Japan the axe is replaced by the cross. There's no clear-cut argument for which is the better pick, as both possess distinct and highly relevant uses within the game's level design, and so both versions of the game remain equally relevant in mechanical terms.

4Z0mmmY.png
8886odt.png

The collections are also the source of some of the very rare visual depictions of Christopher, and as such valued by Belmontologists far and wide.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Neat. The Windows/PC styling in the framing graphics is kind of a weird choice for a portable collection though.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
I had no idea there were GBC remakes, though in retrospect I’m not surprised; Konami has always been particularly good about re-using and re-releasing their IP. (I had also considered doing my screenshots in color like some of my other LPs, but wasn’t feeling it and eventually decided it was better to the original artwork shine through anyway. Fun fact: I started putting together notes and screenshots for this LP in 2018, got distracted, and never got it started.)

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(1).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(2).png

Anyway, Plant Castle!

Castlevania_2_NP_04.jpg

Nintendo Power introduces the Plant Castle.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(3).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(5).png

The backgrounds take another step up, because those flower bulbs? They OPEN as you walk past them!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(6).png

A bunch of Under Moles bounce in to greet us.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(7).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(8).png

The upper route is actually a bit more hazardous here, because the Bats can knock you up into the spikes just as they can knock you down into holes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(10).png

Circle around and there are Big Eyes rolling down at us.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(11).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(12).png

Again, both up and down are valid routes, but the Big Eye infested bridge (that you can destroy with Big Eye explosions!) isn’t really worth the rewards to me.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(13).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(14).png

The bottom is just a straight shot full of Punaguchis.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(15).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(16).png

Then up and around.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(17).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(18).png

Being able to whip while climbing makes all the difference here, because ol’ Skelly will come sliding down the ropes to throw bones at you, and there are also Bats poised to knock you down.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(19).png

One hit is enough to knock out Skelly.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(20).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(23).png

This feels like the easy-mode version of the rope-climbing exercise from the first game.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(24).png

These mega-bats will split into two normal bats if you whip them while they’re still hanging, or wake up and flap around as a giant bat if you get too close.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(26).png

This room inexplicably has jellyfish.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(28).png

Then we get the real version of the bridge. That swamp down below is not actually safe.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(30).png

I mean, it's safe in that you can walk on it, but your speed is reduced and it’s full of regenerating Mudmen.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(29).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(31).png

Fortunately, there’s a central stopping point to get back up if you blow a hole in the bridge, and there aren’t any ceiling spikes to keep you from jumping the Big Eyes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(32).png

So then, on the next screen, they introduce the ceiling spikes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(33).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(34).png

But surprise! You have to blow a hole in the bridge to continue!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(35).png

Then a breather room.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(36).png

Now for a new puzzle: These spiders drop down and their webs can be used as ropes. You need to let them drop so that Christopher has something to hang onto.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(37).png

If you let them go all the way down and back up, they’ll spit fireballs at you, too.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(38).png

The first section is just to show you what’s going on. I feel like Konami games are often very good at the "disguised tutorial" approach to game design, where you can learn how to do the thing without big penalties for failure before you have to do it for real. This one definitely is.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(39).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(40).png

The second is over a pit. You want the first spider as low as you can.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(42).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(43).png

Then we have some Big Eyes rolling by.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(45).png

If you time your jump correctly, you can just walk right between them.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(47).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(48).png

Then a quick walk under some spikes, and we’re in the boss arena.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(49).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(51).png

These two statues move back and forth and both spit fireballs and try to drop their tridents on you.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(52).png

You want to ride the central platform up to hit them in the face. Fortunately, their fireballs can be destroyed by whip strikes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(53).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(54).png

The Battle Axe is also really good at hitting both their heads and their fireballs.

Castlevania_2_NP_13.jpg

Nintendo Power gives advice for fighting Kumulo and Nimbler, who are clearly a cloud pun. Why aren’t they in the Cloud Castle, one wonders? Was it a last-minute swap?

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Plant_Castle_(55).png

The orb rises, the castle crumbles, and we move on. One more castle to go!
 

Albatoss

Mellotron enthusiast
(She/they)
Ripe Seeds - The Plant Castle theme; it's the shortest theme out of the four starting castles. It's also my least favorite, but that's not a knock against the song itself at all; it just has really stiff competition.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(1).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(2).png

Welcome to our fourth stop, the Cloud Castle. (With the reminder that the order I did these castles in is entirely arbitrary. I don’t remember actually saving a lot of passwords as a kid; I think I just started with a different castle each time I played.)

Castlevania_2_NP_03.jpg

Nintendo Power introduces the Cloud Castle.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(3).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(4).png

You can’t tell from the still, but each of those big windows has flashing mountains in it. The flames at the top move, too. Have I mentioned how impressed I am by the background detail they crammed into this game?

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(7).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(9).png

Birds attack in this opening corridor. They attack at a diagonal arc now, rather than the straight lines of the original game.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(10).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(11).png

The second room has an Evil Armor and a moving platform. I’ve lost track if I mentioned that Evil Armors take 3 direct whip hits now, rather than two.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(12).png

Easy steps.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(13).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(14).png

The gimmick to these mace-ropes is that they’ll rise while you’re hanging on them…but the bottom part is obviously also spiky. So you need to jump and cling to a lower part, then jump off before you rise into the ceiling spikes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(15).png

There’s a series of them.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(16).png

This is simpler than it looks. Just jump, jump, jump.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(17).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(18).png

Cross to more platforming. You actually want to just walk off the edge onto that platform so you don’t jump into the spikes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(20).png

This is, again, much easier than it looks.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(21).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(22).png

Down the ropes, and it’s obvious we’ll be back up the other side.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(23).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(24).png

In this room, the spikes rise and fall, and you need to maneuver across the ropes without landing in them.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(25).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(26).png

Notice that these two are connected by a pulley? When one rises, the other falls. Also, because of the low ceiling, you again want to walk off onto the platform rather than jumping.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(27).png

Jellyfish. They actually briefly freeze when you hit them, which compensates for the fact they need several strikes to kill.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(28).png

Another tricky one. You need to walk off the platform onto the right rope (which will fall, pulling the left one up), then hope quickly over to the left rope and then the second platform.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(29).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(30).png

Do you have an upgraded whip? This is really tricky if you don’t!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(31).png

Rest room with a crystal and an axe.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(32).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(34).png

Our old pal the knife-throwing merman miniboss. He should have a name. I mean, we fight him more than anybody else in this game! Anybody have a good name suggestion?

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(35).png

Then another set of pulley rope puzzles. In this case, the pulley ropes move continuously and you’ll move with them if you’re hanging. Notice the spikes on the pulleys themselves?

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(37).png

The pulleys switch directions every few seconds, which is the real key here. Just wait for a rope to be going the way you want, and you’ll have far fewer problems with jumping around. For instance, I want to ride this one up.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(38).png

Then move quickly through the following sequence.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(40).png

This particular Punaguchi is a pain in my butt. (I notice I’m complaining more in this castle than the previous few. It’s not actually more difficult—they’re all around the same difficulty level on the whole. I think I’m just crabby today.)

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(41).png

That lower candle is a crystal, if you need it. The platforms are far enough apart you want the second one to be really low before you jump.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(42).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(44).png

This area has another cool flashing background.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(48).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(49).png

Platforming and Punaguchis.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(50).png

Then we’re at the boss arena, home of the Angel Mummy.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(53).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(55).png

Angel Mummy has an upper and lower head. Fortunately for us, both are vulnerable.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(61).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(60).png

The ribs fly off the longer neck, shrinking it. They boomerang off the screen and back to the other head and lengthen that neck. Then it spits a fireball.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(63).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(64).png

Then thing is, you can concentrate on the lower head, duck the ribs and whip the fireball, and this is all pretty straightforward and quick.

Castlevania_2_NP_12.jpg

Nintendo Power’s comments on fighting the Angel Mummy.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(65).png

And the final orb rises. That’s all four castles! But wait…there’s more. Next time!
 

Albatoss

Mellotron enthusiast
(She/they)
I've always had a lot of trouble with this boss for some reason, lol. Anyway:

Praying Hands - The Cloud Castle theme. This is my second-favorite of the four castle themes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(32).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Cloud_Castle_(34).png

Our old pal the knife-throwing merman miniboss. He should have a name. I mean, we fight him more than anybody else in this game! Anybody have a good name suggestion?

Roger!
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I can't think of any interesting feedback, so just know that I am still reading and enjoying this LP.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
"Praying Hands" is so good that they never dared to officially rearrange or remix it--save an appearance on 1992's excellent Perfect Selection: Dracula New Classic synthesized symphonic arrange album, where the track selection received some uncommon representation from the Game Boy games surely because of their relative recency at the time.
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(2).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(3).png


Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(4).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(5).png

The screen shakes, and Dracula’s castle rises from the earth.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(6).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(7).png

Then we get a view of the castle map, as is common in other games.

Castlevania_2_NP_17.jpg

Nintendo Power introduces Dracula’s Castle.

Castlevania_2_NP_16.jpg
Castlevania_2_NP_15.jpg

Also noted, Dracula’s Castle actually has two parts (and will be two entries).

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(10).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(12).png

Welcome to the beautiful courtyard.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(13).png

There are birds, but they aren’t threatening.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(15).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(17).png

Zeldo, on the other hand? He hits hard and takes five hits to destroy. He’s threatening.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(19).png

The courtyard gets a little repetitive, with a few more platforms and Birds and another Zeldo, but then we come inside.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(20).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(21).png

Platforms over spikes with a Bat to knock you in.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(22).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(23).png

Spike platforms that emerge. You can actually just cross the top one if you hurry.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(24).png

I used a fireball to kill the Bat before crossing. These also give you plenty of time to get across.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(25).png

I didn’t need that axe anyway.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(26).png

Then the gloves come off.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(28).png

This room isn’t nice. Punaguchi will be spitting energy balls while you’re trying to kill Zeldo, and the spike platform will make the bouncing of those energy balls erratic. Getting up the rope to attack Punaguchi without taking a hit is tricky. (Punaguchi’s energy balls are one of the few attacks in this game that downgrade your whip in normal mode.)

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(29).png

Giant Bats.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(31).png

Hey, a hidden room! I actually found this one!

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(33).png

It just has some hearts inside, though.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(34).png

Then we go down and run into Skelly.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(36).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(37).png

There isn’t actually a wrong way down this set of ropes, just ways that make you slightly more like to get pegged by a thrown bone or accidentally land in spikes if you aren’t playing attention.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(38).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(39).png

The Evil Armors just slow you down.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(40).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(42).png

This is another fun trick: You need to jump to a spike platform from the moving one, then drop down onto the other moving platform.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(43).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(44).png

Then down past some bats, and we have a crossroads.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(46).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(47).png

Up is a set of spike platforms (you have to jump and cross the bottom one, then to the ledge, then to the upper one. The ceiling breaks open for some Wall Meat, and there’s an axe on the upper right.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(48).png

Then up to Giant Bats.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(49).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(50).png

And up again to a really painful Punaguchi—if you don’t have fireballs, you’ll probably die trying to deal with that.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(51).png

But…wait, this looks familiar.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(52).png

Aww, crap, it loops.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(53).png

You actually can go up or down from the first rope, but you need to go down from the Bat room to avoid the looping screens. That takes you to a double-Punaguchi room.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(54).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(56).png

Then a corridor full of Mudmen.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(57).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(58).png

These weird things are actually the boss arena.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(59).png
Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(62).png

The boss crystal activates a scrolling screen for the battle with Bone Dragon. It winds up and down through the holes.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(65).png

You need to get to the front and stay there, because the screen scrolls fast enough and the dragon is long enough that it’s easy to get trapped against the screen and take a hit.

Castlevania_2_-_Belmont_s_Revenge_Drac_Castle_(66).png

The dragon’s only vulnerable point is its head. You only get one, maybe two hits in at every pass.

Castlevania_2_NP_14.jpg

Despite this only being the halfway point of the castle, the Bone Dragon is boss enough for a Nintendo Power commentary block.
Tell the truth: How many people actually made it here back in the day? I know I didn’t with any regularity.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Ok, this time I have some comments. The statue in the first screenshot looks really cool (as do the backgrounds generally, but that one really stood out to me), and this boss fight looks really neat. Clever concept, and the head looks pretty good.
 
Top