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Whipping A Dead Mr. Hed: The Castlevania Thread Of Sacred Remains

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
Despite the series still being rather moribund, Castlevania still deserves a thread for discussing old games and foolishly hoping for new ones.

I have decided that I need to give Simon's Quest another go. There is no part of this game that appeals to me, but it's Castlevania, and I feel I must play through as many entries in the franchise as possible since new ones are but a cruel dream.

Any general tips to help me through this just awful experience?
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
What's the experience you're hoping for? If you just want to speed through it, then you may as well spoil yourself.

The game is a curiosity, but it doesn't deserve (most of) its malign reputation. Just know that it's more of an exploration than a straight action game.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I advise getting a silk bag from the graveyard duck so you can live longer.

:rolleyes:

In all seriousness, have you finished any of the mansions yet? I'd assume so if you've already got the Morning Star.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
It works as a shield when you equip it. I used the old NES Power guide to get through the game. If you can find it on-line it does a good job of directing without hand holding!
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
It works as a shield when you equip it. I used the old NES Power guide to get through the game. If you can find it on-line it does a good job of directing without hand holding!
Are we talking about the coverage in Issue 2 of Nintendo Power, the feature from the NES Game Atlas, or something else entirely?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I remember that guide - still have it, even though it fell apart and I had to staple the sections together without the cover...

Anyway, you can check it out on archive.org here.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Any general tips to help me through this just awful experience?

A change of attitude would be a good place to start. If you're looking to have an enjoyable time with the game you need to be open to enjoying it, to being curious about it, looking for how it tried to solve the problems presented by its design goals and finding pleasure in the unique experience those solutions formed.

If that's too big a task, then look for a game you'll like spending time with.

Also make sure you throw holy water at every surface.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I poked around a bit more this morning. Using half remembered second hand knowledge and blind luck, I recovered Dracula’s rib, nail and ring. Plus, a flame whip and magic cross. I still don’t know how to jump over high cliffs or even what to do when I have all the pieces.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
You'd get the flame whip with one mansion to go with the optimal route, so you'll get to use it for two (and all the exploration in between), at least.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
You won't get anything to jump over high cliffs. Those are basically one-way paths. (You can come in from the other side eventually, though.)

It'll be pretty obvious when you hit the last town where to go when you've got all of Drac's body parts.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I got all the Dracula bits and killed him for what surely must be the final time. I did not have much fun, though I could imagine some kids long ago must have enjoyed taking months and months to find all the ins and outs of this bizarre journey. It's sad that most of the ideas in 2 where never brought back or expanded upon. The N64 entries had the day/night cycle and invisible time limit that decides the endings, but that's pretty much it.
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
They're collectively the final boss of Harmony of Dissonance, too.

Order of Ecclesia evokes Simon's Quest in the general feel of interacting with townspeople and exploring the countryside, even if the structure is markedly different. Tomm even stuck a great call-back in the English script.
 
I think Simon's Quest is great, but you must think of it at the impact of the time, where all nintendo games are incredibly linear action platformers. And here you can explore, go at your own pace. It's messy, sure, but stuff like this and Rygar (and Metroid, natch) blew my mind as 12yo. They seemed boundless, and chaotic. LOVE IT. And I def think it's a necessary step to SOTN.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy

As some who followed the development of Castlevania 64 running up to it's launch on places like The Castlevania Dungeon, I knew a lot of content was cut, most famously Cornell and Kohler. However, I had no idea just how much of a rushed together mess the first game was, and that it was the team's first real 3D project. I am impressed at how the team was able to fix and improve so much in less than a full year with Legacy of Darkness, and it's a shame that it apparently sold very poorly and is now super hard to find. Cornell's storyline is maybe the best told narrative in the whole series. That isn't saying a lot, of course.

I always thought IGA striking all the games he didn't work on between Symphony and Harmony from continuity was rather petty. Add together that with his comments that Sonia could not be the progenitor of the Belmont clan because she's a woman and the doll like natures of Shanoa and Miriam, and I don't think he's... a great guy.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Well, given the implications in Castlevania Legends, that's probably for the best. (Speaking of which, that game is all sorts of meh.)
 
i think that the 64 games are both underrated. There is some weird difference between Schneider and Carries campaigns in each version,. I forget what that is, but i remember preferring elements in the original ones.

I like there was some restrictions to fighting true last boss too. Oh! and one of the Vampire acolytes was named after famed serial killer and friend of Jean d'arc, Gilles Des Rais
 

Kishi

Little Waves
(They/Them)
Staff member
Moderator
I always thought IGA striking all the games he didn't work on between Symphony and Harmony from continuity was rather petty.

It's not that he didn't work on them; for KCEK's games, it's that they were made as side-stories with no connection to the existing timeline in the first place. The N64 games are dropped in the middle of the nineteenth century with no accounting for the hundred-year rule, and Circle of the Moon pointedly features a storied family of Dracula hunters who aren't the Belmonts, who hand down to the next generation a magic whip that isn't the Vampire Killer. Legends infamously supplants Castlevania III as the Belmonts' first battle with Dracula (a bad idea in the first place, for multiple reasons) for the sake of inserting lore that retcons all subsequent Belmonts as Alucard's progeny.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
KCEK's games aren't even all congruent with each other. Consider how 64 takes place in 1852 and says Dracula has returned after a century's slumber; and then Circle takes place in 1830 and also features a resurrection of Dracula. They were clearly playing fast-and-loose with the series, lifting certain ideas and iconography to do their own thing, unfettered by chronological concerns. Which is fine by me, but obviously they don't fit into an overarching series narrative.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
There's critiquing Igarashi's work itself and what ideas are expressed therein, and then there's conjecture based on shaky side-taking fan-driven arguments about which leg of the series is worthy or not or who treated it best. He has clear narrative preferences displayed throughout his career but I would not ascribe "pettiness" as a personal quality as to the decisions he made when shepherding the series through the years. If anything, he greatly valued the works of others and leaned on it for inspiration and reinforcement, and sought to showcase works that others might not have had the opportunity to play.

As for the N64 games, I think the ostensible jump in quality/amount of content contained within Legacy of Darkness when compared to the initial release is frequently overstated. Yes, there's a partly public story there of all the scrapped ideas later reinstated and reshaped for the revision, but playing the original as an individual experience does not leave one feeling as if it's particularly barren of meaningful material or lacking in the concepts it explores. They're both good takes on the same overall narrative and world, and most of what they are is shared between them.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
He has clear narrative preferences displayed throughout his career but I would not ascribe "pettiness" as a personal quality as to the decisions he made when shepherding the series through the years. If anything, he greatly valued the works of others and leaned on it for inspiration and reinforcement, and sought to showcase works that others might not have had the opportunity to play.
Yeah, absolutely. IGA constantly showed respect and admiration for the series' heritage. That he went as far as remaking titles like X68000 and Rondo of Blood just so they could get a wider (and international) audience is the big one, but even most of his own games were direct sequels and/or homages to previous ones. His deep appreciation of the series should not be in doubt.
 
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R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
In Curse of Darkness, Trevor is the only returning character and
get's more or less killed off near the endgame
, and Portrait of Ruin
kills off both Jonathan and Eric offscreen
and devotes most of it's story to dancing around the reason the Belmonts vanished. I do think some of the plot threads IGA introduced like the Demon Castle Wars and the mystery of the Belmonts were really cool, but they never got to go anywhere.
 

LBD_Nytetrayn

..and his little cat, too
(He/him)
Late to the thread here, but just wanted to throw in that Simon's Quest is one of my favorites of the entire series, and it didn't take months to beat back then. ;P
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
It's not that he didn't work on them; for KCEK's games, it's that they were made as side-stories with no connection to the existing timeline in the first place. The N64 games are dropped in the middle of the nineteenth century with no accounting for the hundred-year rule, and Circle of the Moon pointedly features a storied family of Dracula hunters who aren't the Belmonts, who hand down to the next generation a magic whip that isn't the Vampire Killer. Legends infamously supplants Castlevania III as the Belmonts' first battle with Dracula (a bad idea in the first place, for multiple reasons) for the sake of inserting lore that retcons all subsequent Belmonts as Alucard's progeny.

On stream the other day, I was trying to keep track of how many "no, really, THIS was the first Belmont" moments the series has, and boy, Konami sure did love going back to "this is REALLY where it all started" on this series, didn't they? Even if we don't assume we're meant to think Simon is the first Belmont to kill Drac, there are still AT LEAST FOUR different versions of "this is the beginning of the Belmont story" out there, at least two of which make the world a lot smaller, which I kind of hate on its own, but also in specific ways I hate.

-There's a brief window where Castlevania: The Adventure (1576) was chronologically the first in the series, but Dracula's Curse came out so closely after, that I don't really think Christopher is meant to be THE FIRST BELMONT, because this had to be developed contemporaneously with CV3. Still, worth mentioning.
-In Castlevania III (1496), we're told Trevor/Ralph has power to kill vampires, but it's heavily implied he's the first to destroy Dracula, thusly cursing his own bloodline. Also heavily implied that Sypha is the matriarch of the Belmont clan.
-In Castlevania Legends (1450), we're told that, no, that's not right, Sonia Belmont was the ODK (Original Dracula Killer), and, as Kishi mentioned, that she boned down with Alucard, so not only are all the Belmonts part vampire, but they are also SPECIFICALLY related to Dracula himself, which... why? No. Stop.
-In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence (1094), we're told again that, no, that's not right. Leon Belmont was the first Belmont, 400 years before Trevor, and also, his best friend is Dracula, but I guess that's fine because who would remember that after hundreds of years, and it doesn't tie them by blood.
-In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (1047), we're told yet again that, no, that's not right, either. Gabriel Belmont was the first Belmont, and also Trevor is his son, and also also Trevor is actually Alucard for some reason, because Gabriel Belmont IS fucking Dracula. Like... come the fuck on with this shit.
 
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