Castlevania is an iconic series of gaming, both retro gamers and modern gamers know the name and have some understanding of the franchise. Just like Mario and his antics, Castlevania is almost timeless, or at least Konami would love for it to be. With most things retro there are fans out there that have taken it upon themselves to use tools to rework, hack and hopefully improve on the original Castlevania. This article is about some of the best, and a few bad, hacks available.
1) Fan Edition (I and II mashup)
Castlevania II is regarded by many as the “worst” Castlevania till the discussion reaches the Nintendo 64 versions. That is harsh. Castlevania II, while quite a departure form #1 and #3, was not all that bad. Fan Edition takes some of the graphics from the second Castlevania and mashes them up with new level layouts (and a ton of level 1 bosses in the first level). Things are changed up quite a bit here, not just a level edit and might be worth checking out for those that want Castlevania II graphics mashed into the style of the first one.
2) Dracula’s Revenge (Don’t fall in the pits, we don’t have insurance)
Dracula’s Revenge changes up the level design quite a bit and for the most part, it doesn’t make sense. There are holes in the main chamber that are completely out of place, felines that are everywhere and candlesticks well out of reach of your character. I would probably skip this one unless you are a completist when it comes to Castlevania hacks.
3) Morgot G (The gothic backgrounds return)
This hack does its best to give the impression that you are in another time. The opening scene, where you get your whip upgrades, is several decrepit castle entrances (apparently not the right ones). Once inside the first area things are just as dingy. There are platforms all over the place though, again, out of character for this game and takes you out of the novelty of playing a “new” Castlevania game.
4) Opposing Bloodlines (New Belmont and enemies)
This hack features a new main character graphic and new enemies (pulled from classic NES titles). Kind of like a King of Fighters mashup where you are whipping the hell out of Kid Icarus and little hyper Links (get it?). The level layouts don’t seem to have been messed with in this one, just the enemy graphics, so the adventure may not be all that “new” for old hats. We covered Opposing Bloodlines previously.
5) Skel’s Revenge (Take control on a skeleton, for a night)
This is an interesting hack that changes quite a bit of the game around, almost feels brand new. You are given control of a skeleton from a later level (a shielded one) and fight enemies that are new to me (I have never been a master of Castlevania so they may be later level enemies). The levels are changed up a bit so those that know the original like the back of their hand (which side is that anyhow?) will still find some challenge here.
There you go, five unique takes on the original Castlevania. Go ahead, tear the list apart and sound off on what you think should have been featured! I dare you, find a better hack.
Additional Castlevania coverage:
Castle of Shadows review on Android (similar to Castlevania)
Castlevania historical article
Castlevania Compendium by Hardcore Gaming 1o1
Castlevania: Spectral Interlude review on ZX Spectrum
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night historical article
Castlevania themed Super Nintendo
Castlevania II historical article
Dire Straights (Super Castlevania IV style game)
Pyronaut (Castlevania II hack)
Super Castlevania IV historical article
Wai Wai World fan translation (features Castlevania aesthetics)