Haunted Castle (video game)
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Japanese arcade flyer
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Haunted Castle, known as Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ?, officially translated Devil's Castle Dracula) in Japan, is the first arcade game in the Castlevania series, released by Konami in 1988. It was later re-released on the PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan, as part of the Oretachi Game Center Zoku collection. The game follows the vampire hunter Simon Belmont as he goes to rescue his wife Selena from Dracula.
Haunted Castle is a typical platform game with 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 spiked mace or sword. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack which consist of bombs, 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. Like in other games of the series, these bosses are generally taken from horror literature or legend, and include Medusa, Frankenstein's monster, and of course, Dracula.
A small Japanese game publisher called Hamster ported the Japanese version of Haunted Castle to the PlayStation 2 in May 2006 as part of the Oretachi Geasen Zoku Sono series. This game port was not released outside of Japan.
The soundtrack was composed by Kenichi Matsubara, who previously did the soundtrack to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. There are a several notable music tracks in Haunted Castle that have been reused in other Castlevania games. The well-recognized "Bloody Tears" (first heard in the previously released Castlevania II) is used in this game as the theme for Stage 3. Another arcade piece, the Stage 1 theme "Cross Your Heart", was recently reused in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin under the title "Crucifix Held Close". It is also part of the "Akumajo Dracula Medley" that appears in Konami's Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 (originally appearing in the Japanese arcade and PlayStation 2 music game series Keyboardmania), along with "Bloody Tears". "Clockwork's Beat", which plays during Stage 5, was remixed in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow under the name "Underground Melodies" (actually the name of Haunted Castle's Stage 4 theme). Finally, "Don't Wait Until Night", played during Stage 6, which borrows hints of "The Silence of Daylight" (the town music from Castlevania II),, was remixed in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for Julius' theme "Heart of Fire", though this particular song is actually a medley of the Haunted Castle tune and "Heart of Fire" from Stage 5 of the original Castlevania.
- Konami Game Music Collection Vol.1 (Media notes). King Records Co., Ltd. 1988.
- Konami Official Guide: Akumajō Dracula X Chronicle, pg. 121
- Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. (23 October 2007). Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. "Japanese: 悪魔城の城主、邪心の神、ドラキュラ伯爵の復活であった。 Konami translation by Ken Ogasawara: Dracula, lord of darkness, master of the devil's castle, walks among us."
- "Haunted Castle". The Castlevania Dungeon. Retrieved 11 July 2011.