NES Works Gaiden #15: The Other Castlevanias (Vampire Killer / Haunted Castle / Super Castlevania IV / Castlevania Chronicles / Vs. Castlevania)
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Halloween season is here once again, and you know what that means: Time for more Castlevania-themed NES Works videos. It's the Pumpkin Spice of retrogaming YouTube videos. This year, we're looking at the OTHER Castlevanias—that is, the other games that relay the exact same story as the original Castlevania (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nealF8LlXxs), tracking Simon Belmon's trek through Dracula's castle. All of these games cover the same narrative and gameplay beats.
Vampire Killer for MSX is in some ways the game most like Castlevania—it was produced in tandem with the NES game, using many of the same gameplay assets—yet also the least like it. So contradictory! Haunted Castle feels like the mutant version of the NES game. Not the kind of mutation that leads to super powers like the X-Men. The kind like when that guy falls in the toxic sludge in RoboCop. Super Castlevania IV—well, no need to belabor the point (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eXtQVjv3uE). And finally, Castlevania Chronicles, the final (and arguably) greatest exploration of Simon's journey. Mercilessly difficult, but so artfully crafted and filled with inventive moments that you can't help but want to keep dashing yourself helplessly against its proverbial rocks.
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