Haunted Castle (video game)

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Haunted Castle
Haunted Castle flyer.jpg
Designer(s)Masaaki Kukino[1]
Composer(s)Kenichi Matsubara[2]
Masahiro Ikariko
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4
  • JP: February 1988[3]
  • NA: September 22, 1988
  • EU: November 1988
PlayStation 2
  • JP: May 25, 2006
PlayStation 4
  • JP: December 1, 2016
  • NA: September 14, 2017
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 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 a completely different game running on custom JAMMA-based hardware.

Simon Belmont's wife Serena has been kidnapped by Dracula, and the player must finish six stages to reach the ending.


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 flail or sword. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack which consist of bombs (this game's holy water), 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, being a series staple, Dracula.



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.

Versions and re-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.[5]

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.[6]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ, Akumajō Dorakyura, lit. Devil's Castle Dracula)[4]


  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.
  3. ^ Konami Official Guide: Akumajō Dracula X Chronicle, pg. 121
  4. ^ Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. (October 23, 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.
  5. ^ "Haunted Castle". The Castlevania Dungeon. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
  6. ^ https://store.playstation.com/#!/en-us/games/arcade-archives-haunted-castle/cid=UP0571-CUSA09306_00-HAMPRDC000000001