Haunted Castle

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The Belmont Clan's not-so-fondly remembered arcade adventure.

Haunted Castle is a platformer game developed in 1988 by Konami for arcades as a remake of the original Castlevania. In 2019, Haunted Castle was re-released as part of Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam.

Plot

Dracula has kidnapped Simon Belmont's bride on his wedding day, so Simon goes to Dracula's castle to defeat him and rescue his bride.

Why It Sucks

  1. Sprites are large and clunky, giving little room for the player to maneuver and dodge incoming attacks, it doesn't help the fact that Simon moves extremely slowly.
  2. The enemies are so overpowered that a bone tossed by a skeleton can kill you in only two hits even with full health. This only applies to Version M. The other versions, international version (E and K) and the Japanese version (N and P), do not have this issue.
    • The difficulty and enemy strength ended up being changeable in this game's Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection release.
  3. Enemies are often positioned to knock you down into the many bottomless pits.
  4. In a shameless attempt to milk the player for more money, you're only allowed to use a limited number of credits per game, and only a single life per credit. Credits can either be used as lives, extra health or to play the game with full health, in which case you must beat the whole game on one life.
  5. Awful bosses, most of whom can be stun-locked and quickly defeated with the right weapon. In particular, Dracula's final form is just a large head that sits in the bottom-left corner of the screen and can be defeated in just a few seconds by repeatedly whipping him.
  6. Some animations are laughable like Simon's walking animation, looking like he's having a stomachache.
  7. Death doesn't even appear in this game and he is one of the main antagonists in the franchise who has appeared in almost every game in the series.
  8. Dracula's final form looks ridiculous.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Good soundtrack. The songs "Cross your Heart" and "Don't Wait Until Night" have reappeared in future Castlevania games.
  2. Nice graphics for its time.
  3. Some decent level ideas, which would be executed a lot better in Castlevania III and Super Castlevania IV. But the first stage adds a Yellow Devil style pattern of blocks coming at you from the entrance gate!

Videos

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