Castlevania 1 and 3 - Versions, Music, Experiences

BerryTogart

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Over the years I realized castlevania 1 is my number one game that I enjoy playing overall. It has great gameplay, setting, music, graphics.
With all the compilations, emulation, remakes, etc. it's easy to miss one or the other version.

Please share your experience on great versions and your impressions which are out there and a bit of their cons and pros. (e.g.: I believe the Anthology does not have full audio on Castlevania 3? Is there even anything out there like a remake? Is it all emulation?)
 

GutsDozer

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I've got the complete sound track on vinyl. It's amazing. They even included the US and JP Castlevania Soundtracks.
 

yagamikun

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There are no modern remakes or reimaginings of the early Castlevania games. Only the recent anthology and I think Castlevania 1 and 2 were on the NES Classic console. Konami hasn't done much else, sadly. That said, the Anthology is pretty good overall with minimal input lag, and I haven't noticed any weird omissions. I believe it was done by M2 if I'm not mistaken, so the quality shows through. Also glad that they included both the US and JPN versions of each game. When I need my fix, though, I play on hardware. Still nothing like it. :)

Castlevania 3, specifically the Japanese Akumajou Densetsu, is hands down my favorite of the classic series - even above Rondo on the PC Engine. It's a huge game, with a variety of paths, stages, and characters. The music in the JP version is phenomenal as well. I also like how Konami tuned the difficulty in the Japanese version over the US version - it's much more even throughout and much less frustrating at the end.
 

HMG

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What, no Castlevania 2?
 

ggallegos1

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I've got the complete sound track on vinyl. It's amazing. They even included the US and JP Castlevania Soundtracks.
I want this soundtrack as well. I have the sotn one from mondo and it's fantastic.

Castlevania 1 is a fun one, hard if you're impatient and try to bum rush your way through.

On topic, would Super Castlevania 4 count as a remake in your mind? It's a fantastic game but definitely feels immensely different.

Additionally, i haven't tried out the Castlevania Chronicles on the PlayStation. I hear it's unnecessarily difficult
 

BerryTogart

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I've got the complete sound track on vinyl. It's amazing. They even included the US and JP Castlevania Soundtracks.
Can you drop a photo or give me some specifics? Might try to hunt it down (if it is expensive it might be possible to get a digital representation). Is this the original soundtrack or rearranged?
 

profholt82

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2 of my favorite games on the NES. I dont dislike Simon's Quest, but I like how I can still pop in and play 1 and 3 and have fun for an hour or 2. Simon's Quest is more of a chore due to all of the RPG elements and whatnot. Have to be in the mood for that.

The soundtracks, atmosphere, gameplay, level design, all just ridiculously on point in those games. They deserve their legendary status. 3 has some special chips soldered onto the board which enhance the soundtrack if I recall. That's what gives it the multi-layered sound compared to other games. It's a similar concept to the Master System FM sound feature.
 

BerryTogart

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There are no modern remakes or reimaginings of the early Castlevania games. Only the recent anthology and I think Castlevania 1 and 2 were on the NES Classic console. Konami hasn't done much else, sadly. That said, the Anthology is pretty good overall with minimal input lag, and I haven't noticed any weird omissions. I believe it was done by M2 if I'm not mistaken, so the quality shows through. Also glad that they included both the US and JPN versions of each game. When I need my fix, though, I play on hardware. Still nothing like it. :)

Castlevania 3, specifically the Japanese Akumajou Densetsu, is hands down my favorite of the classic series - even above Rondo on the PC Engine. It's a huge game, with a variety of paths, stages, and characters. The music in the JP version is phenomenal as well. I also like how Konami tuned the difficulty in the Japanese version over the US version - it's much more even throughout and much less frustrating at the end.
Does the jap version of castlevania 3 include the full extra audio? I have a twin fami but there seem to be some issues with sound balance for which you'd need to open up the thing and fix some resistors which I'm hesitant to do.
 

profholt82

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Can you drop a photo or give me some specifics? Might try to hunt it down (if it is expensive it might be possible to get a digital representation). Is this the original soundtrack or rearranged?
There have actually been quite a few vinyl releases of different Castlevania soundtracks. Here is an overview on discogs.


One of my local game shops has a selection of multiple game OSTs on vinyl available. One of the Castlevanias may be one of them, I'd have to check. It's actually become a semi-common thing the past few years for classic game soundtracks to get vinyl releases.
 

HornheaDD

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What, no Castlevania 2?
I love Simon's Quest.

"Oohh sploosh sploosh, SotN is like Metroid."

Yeah well Simon's Quest was like Metroid first, bish. There's a cool NES romhack out there that gives you a map, as well as translation fixes, inventory fixes, and it cuts the "What a horrible night to have a curse" hard pauses out.

Definitely makes the game more enjoyable than before.
 

GohanX

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Play the FDS version of Castlevania 1. Most people think the game is hard already, wait until they play the version with saving and loops like a shooter, getting harder each time (for the first few loops anyway.)
 

Azathoth

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Being the talentless old man I am, I've began to appreciate the Famicom cart version with its easy/baby/retard setting that removes knockback.
 

oliverclaude

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I recommend Castlevania Chronicles, the remake of the first Castlevania game for the X68000. Luckily you don't have to get into the Japanese home computer scene in order to play it, because there's a fantastic port for the PS1. Read all about it here. IIRC, the US version is the way to go, since the Japanese version has a small glitch and the PAL one is, of course, 50Hz. Together with a PS2 Saturn controller you'll have a great experience.
 

yagamikun

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I recommend Castlevania Chronicles, the remake of the first Castlevania game for the X68000. Luckily you don't have to get into the Japanese home computer scene in order to play it, because there's a fantastic port for the PS1. Read all about it here. IIRC, the US version is the way to go, since the Japanese version has a small glitch and the PAL one is, of course, 50Hz. Together with a PS2 Saturn controller you'll have a great experience.

The US Disc has become crazy expensive, but you can still grab it on US PS3 for an $8 download - which is handy. The Japanese disc isn't much cheaper these days. That said, I have the Japanese disc, but I play on a Japanese PS3 rather than a PS1 so I haven't run into the music glitch. Both versions include 4 different soundtrack variants you can choose from if you hold L1 and R1 when you press start from the main title screen. The original X68000 release had three different soundtrack variants based on different Roland syths of the day (depending on what Roland soundcard you had in your X68000 PC), and the fourth soundtrack was made brand new for the PS edition. Each soundtrack has a completely different feel, and many songs have slightly different arrangements per soundtrack. It's a really cool hidden addition.

Does the jap version of castlevania 3 include the full extra audio? I have a twin fami but there seem to be some issues with sound balance for which you'd need to open up the thing and fix some resistors which I'm hesitant to do.

You mean in the Anthology? It sounded correct to me. I have it on my Switch for when I travel, but I haven't played that version in over a year. I'll have to boot it up to check. I play the game cartridge mostly on a RetroUSB AVS (FPGA NES clone), which sounds identical to a stock Famicom. I wasn't aware that the Twin Fami has an issue with VRC6 music. Interesting.
 

profholt82

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I love Simon's Quest.

"Oohh sploosh sploosh, SotN is like Metroid."

Yeah well Simon's Quest was like Metroid first, bish. There's a cool NES romhack out there that gives you a map, as well as translation fixes, inventory fixes, and it cuts the "What a horrible night to have a curse" hard pauses out.

Definitely makes the game more enjoyable than before.
It sounds like that hack sucks a lot of the charm and character out of the game.
 

profholt82

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Fair enough. I might seek it out. It does sound interesting. I just tend to like some of the weird quirks of the game that others rag on.
 

oliverclaude

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Great infos there all aroung - thank you guys
Don't be so eager to thank us, Berry. You haven't played the tower of dolls stage in Chronicles, yet. The place which all Master Tasukes will enter at some point: the dollhouse of hell... muahhahaha!

Fun aside, I'm pretty curious about your thoughts on Chronicles. A lot of players, who adore the first NES Castlevania like you do, dismiss Chronicles. I guess it's the uncanny valley effect for them. A lot like with the Rockman remakes for the Mega Drive. Be it as it may, you'll sure enjoy the various soundtrack variations.
 
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