Castlevania (NES)

Game Profile

Enter at your own risk! If you think it’s scary on the outside, wait till you see the basement.

You’re in for the longest night of your life. Ghosts, goblins, demons, wolves, bats – creatures lurking around every corner. The further you delve into the castle, the worse they get... Better explore every nook and cranny - it's your only chance of finding a weapon or two. You’re gonna need ’em. Because when you finally meet the Count, you know he’ll be going for the jugular. So keep your courage up and your stake sharp...and say your prayers.

Castlevania marked the beginning of Konami’s world famous and critically-acclaimed vampire hunter series.

Game Review

Wii U eShop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Just like Dracula, it keeps coming back to life...

Konami, admittedly following the lead of others such as Nintendo and Capcom, sure likes to remind us it was making awesome games way back in the 1980s. "Hey", it says, "remember how great Castlevania was on the NES?" We sure do, Konami and, oh look, now...

Game Review

3DS eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Drac attack

A while back we were "graced" with the arrival of Castlevania: The Adventure on 3DS Virtual Console, an overly simplistic attempt to bring the series to handhelds. Now the NES original has arrived on the service as well, but is it still worth going batty...

Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Introducing Belmont

The first NES Castlevania was like a breath of fresh air when it was first released. Capcom's spooky, but cartoon-like Ghost 'n' Goblins was the closest thing on the market, but Konami's game was a little more mature and serious. The gothic feel for which...

Game Screenshots

Related News

Random: Disney Engineers Play NES Classics In Innovative Fashion

Disney Engineers Play NES Classics In Innovative Fashion

8-bit, 8-player, 8-projector madness!

Disney has always been known for its innovative flare, including within the videogame industry through its licenses and Disney Infinity titles. However, Disney Infinity is not the topic of discussion here, for the Disney Research team has revolutionised a way of revisiting NES classics in the form of...

Video: Join Us For Nintendo Life's Haunting Halloween Night In

Join Us For Nintendo Life's Haunting Halloween Night In

No Tricks here, just Treats for your Wii U and 3DS

Halloween is a wonderful time of year to watch scary movies, eat candy and play spooky video games, as opposed to being out in the cold. To help you decide on your entertainment for this ghoulish evening, we've come up with a list of games that can be played on your Wii U and 3DS, with many of these...

Nintendo Download: 19th December (North America)

19th December (North America)

Knytt Underground, Classic Konami, 3D Sega and more

It's that time again, North America, when we can calm down from Nintendo Direct madness and consider the week's download options; this is the last pre-Christmas update, too. This week brings us new offerings on the Wii U and 3DS eShop platforms, with plenty of diversity and styles to choose from...

Game Trailers

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (61)



JNoodles said:

I don't understand why this had to be released AFTER Super Castlevania IV was released. SCIV is a remake of Castlevania. Better graphics, better music, better jumping control. I suggest you all just buy Super Castlevania IV.

On a side note, a want to see Castlevania: Bloodlines and Contra Hard Corps for download in the near future.



FencerMusashi said:

It may not be as pretty as the remake (Super Castlevania VI) But this one is nostalgic. And in my opinion 5 times as fun.



Christopher said:

5 out of 5 + 5 more = 15! This is an epic game! I love this game, and if you can learn the moves, it can be beat within a half hour! Very fun, and addictive!



Nero said:

Just saw that this was out on VC. Downloaded it and wow, the emulation of this PAL version is horrible. Yes PAL versions does moves slower in some games but this is just terrible. So slow like you are walking in syrup. I really hope they release an update.

The game is great just not this version.



Bass_X0 said:

I suppose Jonno, they released the best in the series (on consoles available to virtual console) first then they are going back and releasing the series chronologically. Besides, this game is more for completists I guess. Normal people will be content with Super Castlevania IV. Also, its fun to compare the original to the remake to see whats different and improved.



Yoshi175 said:

I thought this was a completely different game then super castlevania IV, and the levels are different



ricketycricket said:

i liked this game a lot, but castlevania 2: simon's quest was by far the best castlevania game i've ever played.



deggs said:

I used to love this game. It is true that Super Castlevania 4 is somewhat similar to this game and far superior in many respects but this game still manages to stand on its own years later. It is must buy for fans of the early nes/snes/early gameboy series. It is challenging but still fairly fun after all these years and like all other castlevanias that came after it, it too has an amazing and memorable soundtrack...

The one I'm really hoping for right now for VC is Castlevania 3 because I never got to play it at the time (it came out really late in the nes' lifecycle and not too long before Super Castlevania 4). That one is supposed to really build on the foundation of this game while also offering the player the chance to play as different characters and chose different paths.



William said:

In my opinion, I like Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest. Not because of the "game time" that is implemented in other games than this, but... I just like to play it anyway. It's not my favorite game, but what the heck?

__Mr 64


Mr 64 said:

It may seem odd for Konami to release the first Nintendo incarnation of the game after the fourth, goodness knows what the logic was.

Castlevania 4 is what could be described as a 'partial remake' of this game, in the sense a couple of the early stages have similarities, but the level designs after that are very different.

Graphically and sonically it can be considered one of the highlights of the NES catalogue. It's hack and slash gameplay is also great fun and is very rare on 8-bit machines. The NES version is also probably the best conversion of this game. Having played the Amiga and C64 conversions, the NES stands head and shoulders above both of them.

The one thing about this game is that it's just riduculously hard at times. Try getting past the medusa heads and the crushers on level 2-2 without the time freeze watch. Try getting through across that cavern with the raft on level 4-1. Arghhh!!!

As for the PAL slowdown, I grew up playing the PAL version, so I was totally unaware of the difference until I played the GBA conversion that ran at 'full speed'. I'm not sure which I prefer as I'm used to the PAL version!



CrawfordTexasJingoJango said:

When I was fifteen, I hit my NES with a sledgehammer over this game. Actually, it was the raft in 4-1 mentioned above.

Damn bats!

Anyways, this game is super-badass



ham said:

Right on, Simon's Quest lovers! I will skip this one, but I would snag Castlevania II and III in a heartbeat. Please Konami... pleeeeeeeeeze.



Sasquatch said:

I grew up playing games so insanely difficult (like this one) that we screamed until our ears bled while playing them, but strangely came back for more and more.

Maybe we early gamers were just closet-masochists...

Whichever the case, I still manage to enjoy this game thoroughly, but my opinion may be clouded by the sheer visceral nostalgia this game evokes. Oh well.



William said:

Hi. I know that I can post on the forum, but I'd like to see it on here too. Is it really worth the download on the VC, or would I be better off downloading SC IV for the SNES version? I, however, enjoy playing Castlevania: Simon's Quest, minorly because it has no "time limit" for each set stage... it's just me, but I like it. Wished it was out for the VC, though. Oh well.



nephew77 said:

This game features some remarkable music. Check out the Minibosses' cover of its tunes. Castlevania is quite difficult, but I find that it draws me back again and again. This one is a 5/5 for me.

__Billy Pilgrim


Billy Pilgrim said:

Woah! I haven't played this game since I was a kid, I didn't realize how hard this game is. I'm slowly remembering the torture I went through as a kid trying to get through this game, but now I have less time to do so. What a fun game.



Kevin said:

This game is excellent and well worth the money. Hopefully 2 and 3 will be released soon!



nephew77 said:

Castlevania's music is more than memorable: It's danceable! If you don't believe me, listen to the Minibosses cover.

The difficult curve in this action game is rather steep. Veteran players will find this one rewarding; those not accustomed to the 2-D platformer convention of the bird knocking the player into a bottomless pit will find it frustrating. Either way, it's great fun with excellent replay value.



evil_ernie said:

just downloaded this game. its fun. but the jumping sucks. i mean the jumping really, really sucks.

still fun, just in an insanely frustrating kind of way.



ccorr said:

This is one of the only NES games that had, as far as I could tell, a pretty much perfect conversion from the arcade. I remember playing this in the arcade way back in the day, and it seemed identical (graphically and in every other way).



usmc2003 said:

The best Castelvania of all time.
This game turned me on to nintendo after I saw a friends brother playing it.
I just remebering it being harder when I was younger.
The raft in 4-1, the Medusa heads, and worst of all the fight with Death, he was harder than Dracula!
I was fustrated so bad with him it almost brought me to tears.
Oh the age of classic games.
CV4 was a retelling of CV1 I did not like Dracula not having a bat form on this one though.



Sharecrow said:

This is fun and tough. I never really thought of SCIV as a remake of it, though I guess it is the same story. I think both are worth playing in their own right. SCIV is a little more fun, though, just a little easier I think. That's just my opinion.

I agree that the grim reaper is harder than dracula...I was stuck on him for a good while....



learn_japanese_ds said:

I want to get a Castelvania game but I'm not sure if I should get this one or get Simon's Quest. I here Simon's Quest is just ridiculously hard, anyone have any advice?



whalleywhat said:

Everyone complaining about this not being as good as IV or the new Castlevanias is lame. No multi-directional whipping, no save points, no armor or swords, no swinging, no Mode 7. Hell, you even have to push forwards before you jump or you just jump up and down. But this is the very core of the gameplay that has sustained this franchise for decades. This game is a BLAST! I'd glady spend 500 points on it any time. Can't wait for III.



Sharecrow said:

Just for the record, I like 1 a lot more than 4. And I like 2 more than either of them but that's just me.

@Learn Japanese DS - I would say it depends on what type of game you would prefer to play. Most people probably favor 1 to 2. 1 is linear, shorter, and, in my opinion, tougher than 2. 2 is non-linear and the clues and guidance you get in the game are cryptic at best. You have to almost take an old-school trial-and-error approach to get through it if you aren't using a walkthrough. I figured it out on my own long ago, but it took forever.

@whalleywhat - I can't wait for 3 either. That was my absolute favorite of the NES games in the Castlevania series. I can't give that game enough compliments....it was basically perfect in my opinion.....



Marvel_Maniac said:

Just bought it this morning. I played through to the Grim Reaper. That is one tough sucker. Actually, the worst part of him is getting through the hallway leading up to him. I managed to take him out on my second try (with the cross of course) but I don't think I could repeat that feat so easily the next time. Certainly is a tough game, but not impossible. It just takes a certain amount of replays and memorization to get through the tricky stuff.

I highly recommend this game to anyone interested in the franchise, or good adventure sidescrollers.



stinssd said:

The first has to be my favorite simply because it was first, but each entry in Castelvania has something worthwhile. (At least the NES entries)



Adamant said:

Just downloaded this one today - the assurance that the final boss would have me cursing and swearing is a bit exaggerated - I found him really easy. Just wait a split seconf after he opens his cape, then jump towards him and whip his head, and you'll dodge the fireballs. Once he turns into a monster, freeze him with the holy water and whip him good. I took my share of hits from his monster form, but the vampire form went down without damaging me once I got the pattern down.

Quest 2, however... holy crap, THIS is hard. The second boss (Medusa) is making me cry here. Stupid Medusa heads EVERYWHERE on level 2 too, and you die in four hits this time around. This game isn't effing around in Quest 2, I'll tell you that.



Tweek said:

Dracula, the Final Boss, wasn't a huge problem for me. The boss I had the worst time with was easily Death. Jeez, i can't stand him!



Fuun_Saiki said:

What an awesome game. I finaly beat it today (thanks to Adamant's tactic for Dracula's last form, I must admit) and I'm finding hard to recall a better gaming experience.

Death's stage was a nightmare! I survived the last bit by constantly throwing crosses at the axe armours and medusa heads the whole time. I employed a similar tactic for Death, which was helped by the fact that I earned a 'III' stone in the previous section. Such an intense battle! I literally laughed out loud when I saw Death burning.

Now for hard mode ._.



classicmike said:

I have just downloaded this today and this one is also the first castlevania game I have ever played, so I am still learning the controls. It is, however, a great game and it is a fun one too! Overall, i give this game a 4.5/5 for being fun but at the same time hard.



Ricardo91 said:

I originally played this game as part of the Classic NES Series for GBA. I thought it was fun for the first few levels, But by the time I got to Frankenstein in lv. 5 the game started to get on my nerves. Level 6 and Death just plain infuriated me, and ruined the whole game for me. Got I hated that bastard! The game got most of it's challenge from clunky controls, a deceptive health meter, and those damn medusa heads I HATE EM I HATE EM I HATE EM!! It did get me involved in the Castlevania series though so I can thank it for that.

Oh, and the music was great. 3/5. I want to give it a 2, but it earns a bonus point for Vampire Killer and being Castlevania.



Ricardo91 said:

After losing to death for the upteenth time (Those medusa heads in the hallway always roughed me up beforehand), I traded it for Circle of the Moon, which admittedly I enjoyed a lot more.

I can't believe this game actually gets harder after you beat it.



Epyo said:

Ah, the greatest video game series in history!

Super Castlevania IV is a retelling of Castlevania 1. That is, it has completely different gameplay and levels, but you're still Simon Belmont adventuring to kill Dracula in 1986....er, 1691.

As for the quality of this game, it's pretty damn fun, as long as you go in expecting extreme difficulty, and slow, feel-good whipping action. It is quite well-designed, it looks great, and has some atmosphere--not very common on the NES! The music is second best on the system, right below Castlevania III, which, as a game, is pretty much superior in every way to this game, and possibly every other game on the NES. SMB3 might put up a fight.

lol opinions.

Anyway, this is a good VC buy, at least until Castlevania III comes, because it's the same general thing, with a crapload of improvements.

And, as for whether this or SCVIV is better, that depends on the player.



Dormin87 said:

The difficulty is utterly ruthless in places, but that doesn't stop me going back to it. I only actually beat it a few days back, but the sense of satisfaction was great.

One note though, I have encountered a game killing glitch. If I pick up an invincibility powerup, then head through a door, the game totally freezes. Has this happened to anyone else?



Beau_Skunk said:

A very challenging game, but a great, and classic title. I love the Castlevania series, even though I admit, I missed out on quite a few of the games in the series. Wip it! Wip it good!



Eltigro said:

Recently voted one of the most difficult games by Screw Attack, Castlevania was the only one on their list that I've ever completed. I still love it and play it on my NES on occaision. I love the opening music and the theme of the first stage. I even love the sound of Simon walking past the map in between stages. I remember throwing my controller in anger at dying once again at the hands of... well... Death. And the feeling of exultation when I finally, at last, beat Dracula and saw the ending sequence. Too bad it was in the middle of the night and so I couldn't whoop and holler about it. Much love and admiration about this game. But if you haven't played this game, don't expect SotN. This isn't it. SotN was a long way off and it shows. The game has some unevenness and can be very frustrating. But at the time it came out, this was the game for me.



Cally said:

This game has fantastic style, like the whole series. The whole theme of beating through classic monsters all the way up to the final boss, Dracula, is great, with cool variety in environments up to that point. Great music, character design, and good gameplay mechanics, with the whip and a secondary weapon. I beat this game when I was a kid and find it to be easier than I remember, but it is definitely a challenge--though mostly a fair one. A great, classic beginning to a great series. 5/5

EDIT: Everybody raise your hand if you LIKE medusa-heads! . . . . . . .

. . . . . I don't see many hands. See Konami? That was MEAN. (sorry, was just playing Rondo of Blood)



RetroNL said:

A true Nes classic, although I wasn' t that fond of it like most people . there where dark games that inspired me more like Ninja Gaiden. But this title showed good samples of what it will become after this first version.
3 stars



pikmin95 said:

Has anyone noticed that Castlevania takes up 94 blocks now? I found that out on my Wii Shop Channel. It seems like a LOT for an NES game.



slangman said:

The WORST pal conversion on VC. The music is completely butchered and sounds more like funeral music plus I find the slowdown too obvious. A decent game ruined by somebody who can't/won't be bothered to properly optimise this game.



GN0LAUM said:

I've made a commitment to myself to beat this game on each Halloween day until I die.

I'm addicted.

At first it was unmercifully difficult and now I can play through it in an hour while using 3 or 4 continues. Its actually a far better experience once I came back to it, knowing what I was in for. This is now only my list of my top 5 favourite Castlevania games:
Dracula X
Symphony of the Night
Lament of Innocence
Simon's Quest



Roo said:

There are many game series that I adore, such as F-Zero, Metal Slug and Sonic The Hedgehog; There are several game series that I loathe, like Contra, Mortal Kombat and Mega Man.

Castlevania is the only videogame series that has made no impact on me. It's just Castlevania.



Mr_64 said:

I quite like the ominous tone brought to the music by the PAL slowdown. Perhaps it's because I grew up with the 50hz version? I think it makes the game all the more sinister! At 60hz tempo, the tunes are far too jolly!



Kaluba said:

I'll probably pick this game up from the Wii Shop Channel. I have a free download available because I spent 500 Wii Points on the Internet Channel a while back. This is probably what I will download. I've had my eye on it for a while.



XGBA said:

Wow! The Castlevania title that started it all! What a classic!



NeoShinobi said:

A legenary game. But also one of the weaker ones in the series simply because of how frustrating it can get IMO.

The music is awesome though.



JustanotherGamer said:

The first Castlevania way back in 1987. I put the cartridge in and when the sound of the first door opened! It was a "WoW" moment At the time this game was awesome. One of the classics that really made the most of the limited capabilities of the NES. Getting to Dracula was a chore but when you first got to take him on... Epic at the time.



Retrogamer88 said:

i love everything about this game,music,gameplay and the sprites of course,such a classic game



HolyBlade said:

This is the NES Castlevania that I keep going back for more, Castlevania 3 is just too damn hard. A true 8-bit classic, with brilliant music and plenty of challenge.

Funnily enough, you can finish the six levels of this game in about 20-30 minutes if you know what you're doing. Of course, the first attempt to do it won't be easy AT ALL (especially if you neglect the hidden power-ups).



nesdude136 said:

castlevania did good all the way up to snes but then went down hill after super castlevania 4. i love the first one, and it will always be my all time favorite nes game ever

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...