Haunted Castle (video game)

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Haunted Castle
Haunted Castle flyer.jpg
Developer(s)Konami
Publisher(s)Konami
Designer(s)Masaaki Kukino[1]
Composer(s)Kenichi Matsubara[2]
Masahiro Ikariko
"T"
SeriesCastlevania
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
ReleaseArcade
PlayStation 2
  • JP: May 25, 2006
PlayStation 4
  • JP: December 1, 2016
  • NA: September 14, 2017
Genre(s)Platforming
Mode(s)Single-player
CabinetUpright
SoundYamaha YM3812, Konami K051649, Konami K007232
DisplayRaster, 256 x 224, horizontal orientation

Haunted Castle[a] is a side-scrolling platform game released by Konami for the arcades in 1988. The game serves as an adaptation of the original Castlevania (hence the Japanese title), but was not marketed as part of the series outside Japan. Unlike VS. Castlevania (an earlier Vs. System version released exclusively in North America in 1987), it is not a direct port of the NES version, but rather it is a completely new game running on custom JAMMA-based hardware.

The game has the player controlling Simon Belmont, who embarks on a journey to save his new wife Serena from the clutches of Count Dracula. Simon must trek through six stages in order to reach the Count's lair.

Gameplay[edit]

Haunted Castle is a typical platform game with six stages, which are played through in a linear progression. The player controls the main character, whose primary weapon is a 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 flail or a sword. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack which consist of bombs (powerful ground attack), boomerangs (straight attack), stopwatches (stop enemies), crosses (powerful straight attack), and torches (work like the Holy Water in the other Castlevania games). 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, being a series staple, Dracula.

Development[edit]

Audio[edit]

The soundtrack was composed in part 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" and as an unlockable song in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. 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),[citation needed], 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.

Releases[edit]

A PlayStation 2 port of Haunted Castle was released by game publisher Hamster in May 2006 as part of the Oretachi Gēsen Zoku series. This port was only released in Japan.[6]

In September 2017, Hamster released the game for the PlayStation 4 as part of their Arcade Archives line of digital releases. This version includes the option to play the Japanese, North American and European versions of the game.[7] Haunted Castle is also included in the Arcade Hits Anniversary Collection, released digitally on April 19, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC (via Steam). Unlike the stand-alone Arcade Archives release, the version of the game included in the compilation varies depending on the region.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ, Akumajō Dorakyura, lit. Demon Castle Dracula)[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Szczepaniak, John (4 August 2014). The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers. 1. SMG Szczepaniak. pp. 231–232, 235, 242–245. ISBN 978-0992926021.
  2. ^ Konami Game Music Collection Vol.1 (Media notes). King Records Co., Ltd. 1988. Archived from the original on 2009-06-13. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
  3. ^ "New Kit From Konami". Cash Box. February 27, 1988.
  4. ^ "Konami Official Guide: Akumajō Dracula X Chronicle, pg. 121". Archived from the original on 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
  5. ^ Konami (2010-08-04). Castlevania: Harmony of Despair. Konami. Japanese: 歴代の「悪魔城ドラキュラ」シリーズから選ばれた登場キャラクターを操作して、仲間たちと悪魔城に乗り込み、宿敵ドラキュラ伯爵に立ち向かおう。 English translation: Take control of past protagonists from the Castlevania series to brave the Demon Castle alongside friends and defeat the ancient enemy Count Dracula.
  6. ^ "Haunted Castle". The Castlevania Dungeon. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2017-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-21. Retrieved 2019-03-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)