Castlevania Bloodlines
Image: Konami

Castlevania has been in the news a lot of late, but not for the reasons you might expect. No, Konami hasn't announced a new video game in this popular series, but it has kept the name alive via the excellent Netflix series. We've also seen Castlevania gobble up column inches thanks to the release of a demo of the Dreamcast entry – a game that was never completed.

Sticking with that topic, a pre-release version of Castlevania: Bloodlines (beta 0.5) has been shared online recently, giving fans of the game a chance to sample some of the content which didn't make it into the final product, such as the famous airship level which was shown in some previews at the time.

According to the Castlevania Wiki:

The second was Beta Version 0.5, which has been known about for longer than the previous beta and which was leaked in 2014 to the Castlevania Dungeon forums. This was a version evidently provided as a preview to game magazines prior to the game's release and offers several more finished stages than the 0.3 beta. However, these stages still differ from those in the final release in that they have several areas that did not make it into the final game, such as a zeppelin and molten steel areas in Stage 4. Several enemy and boss sprites are also different than those from the final release. Some of the original sprites from the 0.3 beta have carried over into this updated version, only to be scraped or otherwise changed in the final release.

This beta was obtained by user TARA200 and put up for auction on eBay, resulting in some images of the demo with their name plastered upon it for the auction page.

Pop over to segasaturno.com for a download link, but remember that you'll need to use an emulator or a flash cartridge to play it. It's also worth noting that this is very rough and unfinished, even for a beta, and is riddled with bugs. But hey! At least the Konami code works.

Still, it's an interesting look at what could have been. If you fancy playing the version we actually got, then be sure to download Castlevania Anniversary Collection on your Switch.

[source segasaturno.com, via twitter.com]