Retro Metro #6: Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

I chose this game because it’s retro (duh) and because this issue is as close as we’ll get to Halloween, and this game is about vampires. (As you can see, this is the third Castlevania game, but since it’s a prequel to the other two, I think we’re good.) The story behind this game is that you are Trevor Belmont, who must head to Dracula’s castle and kill him. The cool thing about this game is that there is a world map, and after most levels you can chose which level to go to next, and so make different paths from the start to Dracula’s castle. The ending of the game changes depending on which side character, if any, you take with you. (More on that later.)

The gameplay is pretty simple: B makes you attack with your whip, and A makes you jump. You have to walk through levels, kill enemies and bosses, and survive to the end. In addition to your whip, you can pick up limited-use ranged items and use them by pressing Up and B at the same time. You can also pick up helmets, which make your whip (or other weapon, if you are playing as another protagonist) stronger and have farther range. These last until you die (by losing a life, not just by losing all of them) or until the end of the level, whichever comes first.

You also have the option of picking up new characters along the way once you defeat them as bosses; which one you can get depends on the path you take to Dracula’s castle. You can switch between Trevor and the others by pressing SELECT. The three characters you can get are:

  • Alucard, the one I got, by picking the lower level on the map most of the time. He shoots some kind of ball-like projectile; you shoot more once you pick up a helmet or two (the accumulated helmets are kept separate per character). He also can turn into a bat at the expense of Hearts (items you collect that can be spent on special moves).
  • Grant, who moves quickly, can climb walls, and change directions in the middle of jumping, and;
  • Syphia, who attacks enemies with magic, such as a homing attack, fire, etc.

As far as health goes, you get a bar (well, health pieces, like in The Legend of Zelda) and a certain number of lives. When you run out of health, you lose a life and start at the previous checkpoint; when you run out of lives, you can continue, but must start at the beginning of the level. The bosses at the end of each level also have a health bar.

As a side note, the graphics are considered really good for an NES game, and the music is considered really good (though I always play with the sound off, so I can’t corroborate). In fact, pieces from this game been released in multiple video game music albums.

Now we come to the question of how you get this game. The simplest answer would be to buy it on the Nintendo eShop (it is on both the 3DS and the WiiU); a cool upside to this is that, as I have mentioned in previous articles, you get restore points, and so can save and restart wherever you like. I guess you could also buy the cartridge, but there is a good chance it won’t work properly.

Well, that’s Castlevania III in a nutshell. Good day/night/whatever, and happy belated All Hallows’ Eve!  


About Ben Buyer 13 Articles
Howdy-ho! My name is Ben Buyer, and my interests are pretty eclectic, ranging from Latin, to old video games, to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (which some consider old), to South Park (and to a lesser extent, Futurama and The Simpsons), to Magic: the Gathering™. So, yeah, th-th-th-that's all, folks!

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