Castlevania still isn’t old after three decades (Game Museum: Castlevania 1986)

" Step into the dark and enter the deadliest place on earth. You have arrived in Castlevania and are here to destroy the evil Count's curse forever.

BingMag.com Castlevania still isn’t old after three decades (Game Museum: Castlevania 1986)

" Step into the dark and enter the deadliest place on earth. You have arrived in Castlevania and are here to destroy the evil Count's curse forever.

From the Castlevania Handbook

Since the making of so many games relies on technology, so Games, at least on the surface, become obsolete much faster than other mediums over time (although a good design can keep a game fresh for years). In an era when games are becoming more complex and longer, the simplicity and elegance of the old games of the Nintendo era find a special attraction. The passage of time has made it easier for us to understand the value of the philosophy behind their design, which always gets to the point quickly and avoids stretching and ropes. A game doesn't need dozens of hours of content to be fun. The sheer focus on one thing and the fast paced process makes old games just as playable today as they were in their heyday. This is exactly why the first version of Castlevania has stood the test of time. Castlevania is a game that knows exactly what to do so that everything serves its design purpose. The gameplay is stilted and slow, but deliberate. Every action, from jumping to attacking, is subject to this mode. The thoughtful placement of enemies in the environment makes you remember the design of each stage better and react more accurately the next time. This isn't Super Mario where you run, jump and hope for the best score. In Castlevania, the slightest mistake can cost you dearly, yet the many checkpoints between stages (usually three per stage/level) mean you're not going to go back too far after each gameover. The game's difficulty level delivers a riveting challenge, but you don't need to be a master at everything to complete Castlevania. You just have to be patient, resilient and a little selfless.

Patience is extremely important because the gameplay of Castlevania is quite methodical. Simon Belmont reacts very quickly and accurately, but there are also a few catches that, of course, give the game a certain rhythm; For example, you cannot change your direction while you are in the air. When you give Simon a direction, he only moves in that direction and that's it. When you get hit here too, you'll find the game punishes you for bad platforming. Just one careless jump on the enemy is enough to fall into the same deep pit you were running from. During the attack, when Simon whips, he stands motionless. So be strategic in your attacks and attack at the right time. Otherwise, you'll be in a vulnerable and defenseless position.

None of this means you should play conservatively. Castlevania rewards players who not only dedicate themselves to the flow, but who reach a rhythm and stick to it. Some steps are like dancing. If you want to win, you need to know exactly what steps to take. Even in the early stages, like stage 5, you can see that the problem cannot be solved with just the strength of the arm, and you have to maintain the rhythm and algorithm of the enemy's strikes. Medusa's heads rise and fall in a wave-like rhythm, never attacking alone, and are placed in places where there is a deep pit all around them. Every single button you press, from moving to jumping and attacking, must be well thought out in order to defeat Medusa.

For example, in stage 9, you have to be patient, not only in pressing the game buttons, but also in psychological opinion From this point to the last giant, there is no more straight line, but [game enemies like] crows, skeleton pillars, and other white skeletons keep blocking your way. You'll have to wait to see where the crows will feather, when the pillars will throw fireballs so you can counterattack, and what's the best way to attack the skeletons between the two deep pits. Since you're dealing with not one but two final giants at this point, it's extremely important that you don't take too many hits [and have a full health bar] before you get to them. It is not enough to know how to whip, you must know "when" to whip. Fortunately, Simon has access to other secondary weapons that are useful for fending off some enemies. Pressing up on the controller dpad will activate the weapon you are currently holding and part of the health bar will spend ammo on the weapon. Secondary weapons are found inside breakable candles and come in handy when the whip goes unused and give you the upper hand in combat. Knives, for example, are thrown to far distances and to whatever They will collide in front of you. They don't do much damage, but are useful for taking out weaker monsters from a distance. Axes are also thrown from a distance, but their direction of movement is not straight, but arc-shaped, so it can easily destroy winged enemies who are in the air. The cross is like a boomerang that damages multiple enemies with one throw and returns to you. You can also pour holy water on the ground in front of your feet so that its sediment will harm the enemies who step on it. Finally, with a special clock, time and enemies can be stopped so that you can saw off stronger enemies for a short period of time (but this weapon is not very useful against the last giants).

Secondary weapons can be upgraded up to twice. . If you get hit 10 times with your weapon (both enemies and enemies), you'll gain the Double Shot ability, allowing you to fire two secondary weapons at the same time. If you use the mentioned ability 10 times, you will reach Triple Shot, so you can throw three secondary weapons at the same time. Of course, every time you go back to another secondary weapon, the shots you got are reset and you have to hit 10 from the beginning to get them. So you should take full advantage of all these features. Simon's Whip, the Vampire Killer, can be upgraded by finding Morning Stars inside the candles. You can upgrade it once with four of them, but you need eight to upgrade again. The former almost doubles the weapon's damage and the latter increases the length of the whip.

Upgrading the whip and secondary weapons are all you need to overcome Castlevania's difficulty and obstacles. The gameplay is tough, but fair, as the challenges gradually get harder to get used to. The deeper you go in this castle, the more damage the enemies can do. In the first 6 stages, you die in 8 hits, but by the last stage, Simon can only take four hits. So there is plenty of time to get familiar with the game controls and react to attacks faster than ever. Placement of enemies is getting more and more complicated so that the game will challenge your skills.

Stage 11 is where you wake up from slumber and try to get to know its control better. Eagles fly overhead and occasionally drop Fleamen [hunchback enemies] in front and behind Simon. You have to kill them all with precise timing or they will fill the whole screen like insects. At the same time, you have to move here and there to avoid the eagles of Samaj. It is impossible to stop for a moment and catch your breath. The game wants the work rhythm to be maintained at all times. One wrong step can be fatal.

Except for the fight with Dracula, all the last giants are at the end of each stage. So if you die, you usually go back three scenes and have to start the whole stage over again. This kind of game forces you to go through the pre-boss environment in the most professional way possible and with the most health bar. This is where reaching the last giant's room and defeating him has a very special sense of accomplishment. A clear example is stage 15. You have to go through all two difficult scenes to reach the last giant. In the first one, you have to account for these: skeletal pillars and red skeletons that come back to life after death. The latter is an invitation to battle with ax-armored armor and the unsteady heads of Medusas that pour forth. Going through these and reaching the last giant with enough health bar will test all your skills, stamina and reaction speed to the point of insanity.

BingMag.com Castlevania still isn’t old after three decades (Game Museum: Castlevania 1986)

The bosses themselves are the foundations of this final test. Most of them don't have a complicated algorithm to hit, but since you have to go through the whole stage every time you get to them, you'll find yourself fighting them with a low health bar most of the time. With a little practice, you will see that the last giants die easier than going through the stages and the total number of enemies. Although the later games greatly improved the design of Castlevania's giants, this version also has unique and memorable bosses. Each of them is inspired by a monster from a classic movie (most of them are made by Universal Pictures); For example, a big bat, a big head of Medusa, two mummies, Igor and Frankenstein, death itself and Count Dracula. When the credits roll, it means that you have almost defeated the most iconic monsters in the history of classic cinema.

The special control of Castlevania has given a certain momentum to the gameplay, which is completely related to its scary mode. Naturally, a lot of tension is felt when you see that you cannot go through the stages by empty running. In this way, you can better appreciate the amount of precision and detail spent in each image. The different styles of nested architecture used in Dracula's castle imply that this is an evil mansion. Dreadful halls call you to a ruined place, but this introduction does not drag much and we quickly get into the story and its special set pieces. The castle is home to numerous crypts where Mermen [mermaids, but male] roam freely. Garden on the roof on the mountains The Transylvanian casts a shadow. The whole structure of the castle is put together with a clock tower full of screws and wheels, as if it came from another time and place. Cinematic quality and attention to detail have made the environments feel more immersive than ever. Even though it is 8-bit, Castlevania has a powerful atmosphere.

Kinuyo Yamashita and Satoe Terashima's music has been able to power this atmosphere. Immersive music gives every part of the castle a unique sound, from memorable sensual reverberations to energetic melodies you'll be humming forever. The loud opening music of the game plays while Dracula's castle can be seen in the distance and in the first cutscene. "Vampire Killer" is also a song that gives a beautiful sense of Simon's determination to single-handedly kill Dracula. The Wicked Child track is also an energetic and fast-paced track, and Walking Edge is dark and almost brutal. Tracks like Heart of Fire and Out of Time, when they're so great, take away the bad feeling of dying late. Visually, musically, and atmospherically, Castle Dracula feels anything but monotonous. Even though there have been many sequels to this series, the first Castlevania with its fast-paced, highly rewarding gameplay, and the way it presents itself is good enough to become a must-have experience in any course. Simplicity never gets old in game design, and ultimately leaves plenty of time for focus focus for a seamless blend of fun and challenge. Nintendo's console is full of classic games, but few platformers have come out with such confidence. Time has been kind to Castlevania and it keeps getting stronger and stronger; As the centuries-old curse of Dracula comes to the Belmont family stronger than before.

Source: Goomba Stomp

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