We are now in front of one of the most famous and beloved Konami franchises. It is a saga that from its inception has been something to talk about and is still in force. Without a doubt, it is a reference in this industry that we love so much, so it is almost an obligation that we talk about it in this beautiful section full of nostalgia, pixels and memorable titles.
In Castlevania the story revolves around the Belmont family, a line of vampire hunters who, every 100 years, clash with the imposing Count Dracula and give him to go. Go that the villain is insistent. You control Simon Belmont, who eventually starred in several installments of the series. One of them even bears his name and we will be doing the honors next week. Simon has a whip called the Vampire Killer, which he can improve in length and strength by taking a few power ups along the way. In addition, the hero can find some secondary weapons that are extremely useful, such as the ax, the boomerang or the holy water, among others. Here I must mention that, when playing a Castlevania, I always look for the boomerang and try to keep it throughout the game, since I consider it to be the best weapon, but specifically in this first installment of the NES, the holy water is of great help, especially in the fight against death.
This title marked that milestone that we all know of hitting the walls to find a good piece of chicken or a complete chicken so that, in the purest Macario style, we get stuck and regain our energy. It is already a reflection that we all have and it is very gratifying when, indeed, something is behind that wall destroyed by our whip. It should be noted that these chickens are not hidden only in the limits of the stage, but also within some blocks that you can destroy while you adventure in the 18 scenes that the game has. Don't be fooled by the number, as each level is very short and the time you need to invest to get to the final battle with Dracula is about half an hour at a normal pace. As for the speedrun, the world record for the American version is 11 minutes and 19 seconds, a figure that the Italian SBDWolf reached.
A funny thing that happened to me when I replayed Castlevania was that it was not as difficult as I remembered it. I have always had it classified in my mind as one of the most complicated games on the NES, but the truth is not so much. I mean, it's not a walk in the park either, but once you master the techniques to use on enemies, the picture becomes quite clear. Beyond its difficulty, it is an experience that all retro game enthusiasts must live.
I can not fail to mention the music, especially because in this first appearance of the Belmont on the 8-bit console par excellence, we were able to meet some of the most iconic melodies with which to date we can easily identify this saga. Kinuyo Yamashita and Satoe Terashima did an excellent job despite being the pinnacles of Yamashita in the industry. Unfortunately, Konami rarely gave credit to Terashima. Beyond that, in this game the way of recognizing the team was very peculiar and ingenious.
Once you defeat Dracula and see how his castle collapses, some names begin to appear on the screen that, at first glance, have nothing special, but if you look closer you will realize that they are pure hesitation. The Count appears as "Christopher Bee", alluding to Christopher Lee, who played him repeatedly. "Boris Karloffice" as Frankenstein refers to Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt), an English actor who also transcended for playing the famous monster. Finally, Kinuyo Yamashita is mentioned with the name James Banana, which comes from James Bernard, who composed the music for the 1958 film Dracula. This matter has already become very cultured, but I find it curious that the developers have thrown the stitch of surrender tribute to the greatest representatives of the classic horror genre.
I like to know in depth the video game sagas that I like the most, going to the origin and from there, moving towards the most recent. Castlevania is a very large franchise that has been present on almost every console, so it should not be taken lightly. It is true that today it has been deformed and Konami is no longer what it was before, but I think we should be grateful to be able to continue playing these wonderful classics that, at least in my case, complemented my childhood years and hold invaluable memories.