2D: Castlevania Stages 16-18

This is the end, my friend. Funnily enough, the last level of Castlevania turn out to be less difficult than you’d expect — certainly much less difficult than it would seem on paper. Or maybe these stages just seem that way, since you only have to make it through two stages, and the boss doesn’t […]

2D: Castlevania Stages 13-15

After the unevenness of the fourth area, Castlevania‘s fifth set of stages picks up the pace with a challenging level trio that make use of all the skills a player has acquired to date and tells a concrete visual narrative in the process. After having re-entered the castle through the catacombs (or whatever) and defeating […]

2D: Castlevania Stages 10-12

I’m sorry to say it, but the fourth area of Castlevania is easily the game’s low point, both literally and metaphorically. After spending the entirety of stages 07 through 09 making a precarious walk over high, crumbling bridges and desperately trying to avoid allowing Simon to be knocked to his death by falling, you begin […]

2D: Castlevania Stages 07-09

So this is where Castlevania gets mean. The Medusa Heads seemed maddening, but they were really just a warm-up for what’s to come. After the first two level sets, you’ve come to terms with the core mechanics of the game and hopefully found the “rhythm” by which Castlevania works. So, now the game completely destroys […]

2D: Castlevania Stages 04-06

I just realized that in writing about the level design of Castlevania, I have inadvertently ripped off Glass Knuckle’s A Critical Look At Mega Man Stages thread. I am a talentless hack. But you already knew that, I assume. Image cropped from neoseeker.com With its second set of stages — each level in Castlevania comes divided […]

2D: Castlevania Stages 01-03

The first stage (or rather, three stages) of Castlevania stands one of those iconic gaming structures, like Super Mario Bros. World 1-1 and the Green Hills Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sequels have recreated, re-presented, and otherwise regurgitated the layout, enemies, and mechanics of this set of screens. Sometimes it’s a light reference, sometimes — […]

2D: Simon Belmont

Let’s talk about one of the most incredible revelations I’ve ever experienced while playing a video game: The way Simon Belmont walked in Castlevania. Look at those amazing three frames! No, seriously, look at them. They kind of blew my mind at the time. The fact that Simon had an intermediate frame of animation for […]