Platform: Famicom Disk System, Nintendo NES
Wikipedia: Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
First release: August 28, 1987
Castlevania – a video game developed and published by Konami for the Famicom Disk System, and then for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The first Castlevania game for the NES was met with a fair amount of success–at least enough to force Konami to consider developing a sequel to the game. As with most sequels in the early NES days, many fans were expecting more of the same gameplay found in the first game, which is to say more platform jumping, more candle whipping, and more turkey eating. But that was not the case, and Konami decided to go an entirely different route with Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest by making it more of a role-playing game with platforming elements–that had more in common with Vampire Killer–rather than a pure platformer. It turned out to be a relatively unpopular decision, as Simon’s Quest wasn’t quite as popular as its predecessor.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest was the first Castlevania to have anything that even comes close to resembling a structured storyline, but to be fair, the previous games really didn’t require one. You find out that just before Simon destroys Dracula in Castlevania, he puts a curse on Simon, one that will haunt him until the day he dies. To get rid of the curse, Simon has to scour the countryside of Transylvania to find Dracula’s organs, bring them together in Dracula’s castle, and resurrect him. Dracula’s body parts have special powers, which are very useful during the course of Simon’s journey. One such power is Dracula’s rib, which serves as a shield capable of deflecting enemy projectiles.
Like its predecessor, Simon’s Quest is a side-scrolling game. In it, the titular hero wields a variety of whips and assorted thrown weapons against the hordes of monsters ravaging Transylvania. Attacking is handled with one button, while the other button makes Simon jump. Special weapons are thrown by holding up on the control pad while attacking. It’s quite simple, but considering the game’s age, that’s not particularly surprising. Incidentally, that was the same battle system used in both of the other NES Castlevania titles.
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