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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 2:18 am 


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Turrican wrote:
Interesting reading. I already knew that the "C" is for Christopher, so there may be some documentation out there explaining that. Game manual, or guide booklet or something.

Also, the Jiangshi were so popular that they managed to appear in Super Mario Land, with their characteristic jump, didn't they? :)

Konami never officially revealed what Ralph/Trevor C. Belmont's middle initial in any document. I'm assuming they left it ambiguous on purpose to avoid any overlapping between Akumajō Densetsu and Dracula Densetsu.

The back of Castlevania II's box actually has a screenshot with jumping zombies. I have to wonder if the code for that behavior still exists within the game.

BulletMagnet wrote:
In case anyone hasn't seen it yet, if you thought Simon Belmont's appearance in Captain N was embarrassing, have a gander at what was once in the works.

On the other hand, that Double Dragon concept art actually looks decent though. Very faithful to the character art for the first NES game and much better than the show we actually got years later.

I can understand why they would take that approach with Castlevania though. By the 1980's the Universal monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy) were already seen as cheesy relics from the 1950's, so instead of trying to take the material seriously, they went with a more comical take. Not saying it's right, but it makes sense when you consider that context.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:26 pm 


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happy to see M2 was involved in this recent Castlevania compilation. I assume it's quality. Has anyone tried this yet? I may pick it up this weekend but still have to figure out which platform to go with, dpads on both ps4 and Switch are less than ideal...
https://twitter.com/M2_game/status/1128859281674067969


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:45 pm 


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The Pokken Pads for Switch are supposed to have pretty good D-pads...
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:17 pm 


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Actually I have that Pokken pad, it's not bad but the buttons and d-pad are a little mushy, especially compared to something like a Saturn or SNES pad.


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 Post subject: Re: vania is a adventure
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:23 pm 


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Given that M2 is behind the collection and their track record of putting in the extra coin for enthusiasm; I wonder if they separately build a mode that corrects the mess that is the performance of The Adventure.

Can anybody tell?
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 Post subject: Re: vania is a adventure
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:43 pm 


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Ronyn wrote:
Given that M2 is behind the collection and their track record of putting in the extra coin for enthusiasm; I wonder if they separately build a mode that corrects the mess that is the performance of The Adventure.

Can anybody tell?


It seemed accurate to me, but the game was always a bit slow. It has graphical glitches on real hardware too. M2 has offered games with improvements before, but since this is emulation, I wouldn't expect them. I actually kind of like the game despite its flaws, though.


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 Post subject: Re: vania is a adventure
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:23 am 


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Seems that Castlevania vet Bloodreign stumbled upon a Highly Unusual review from back in the day comparing Nightmare Creatures and Symphony of the Night, and I independently re-discovered it looking up some info about Nightmare Creatures the other day.

I like Nightmare Creatures as much as the next guy, but this is Something Else. Brace yourself for a paragraph of true vintage insanity:

https://ew.com/article/1997/10/24/pc-ga ... ony-night/

...I've played a bit of the PC version of Nightmare Creatures within the last few years, and I don't think there's any fog in the game at all, unless I'm misremembering or it's present in one of the other format releases.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:08 am 


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Played some SotN last night. I honestly don't remember the opening hour or so being such a snooze. Played up until Doppleganger boss and was having trouble playing interested. Plus, it looks like ass on the PS4, sadly.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:54 pm 


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Marc wrote:
Played some SotN last night. I honestly don't remember the opening hour or so being such a snooze. Played up until Doppleganger boss and was having trouble playing interested. Plus, it looks like ass on the PS4, sadly.

WOW, this is so interesting, your experience is completely different from mine. The beggining is my fav part of SotN.

A couple platforming puzzles, like the elevator in Alchemy Lab(which there arent to be found really past that point), some cool bosses, some "ha!" moments (like the first boss shooting fireballs that you can block with your new found shield), and having your first big decision on your route (I think the dilemma is "chapel or underground cave", something like that). At the end of that hour of play you should also be able to grab a nifty short range weapon, if that's tyhe style of combat you decide to go with (knuckles in hidden room at Castle Keep, and I think nunchucks or even the Basillard knife in the Underground Caverns). Pretty cool toybox feel at that point


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:56 am 


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The first part of the game is usually where my interest is at its greatest. Great introduction with the entryway, love that main theme there and atmosphere with the background sound effects. Gameplay feels the most pure here being you're not overpowered (yet) and leveling up actually feels like it makes a difference at this point in the game. I usually keep pretty good momentum for 70% of the first castle, as I pick up items I need along with using some tricks to get items early which is always satisfying. I start to snooze a bit in places like the catacombs. It's when I get to the inverted castle that I go into complete auto-pilot mode and my brain shuts off. There's not as much that's meaningful to do here (not many necessary items to get) and so it's usually a rush to the main bosses then the center of the castle just to get it over with.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:48 am 


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I think I was just in a shitty mood, because I threw it back in last night and ended up playing for the best part of three hours. And it's always fascinating to find something new in a game you've played multiple times - I didn't realise until now you could sit in the confession booth! The soundtrack is divine, I end up lurking around certain areas just so I can listen to the music. It's the movement that seals it for me, traversing the maps simply feels fun in a way that few other games have really managed to catch, and that's where I never really got on with Super Metroid for instance. Yeah, it's still brilliant. You can complain about it's balance and difficulty all day, and there's very little I could really argue back with, but it just works.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:08 am 


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Marc wrote:
I think I was just in a shitty mood, because I threw it back in last night and ended up playing for the best part of three hours. And it's always fascinating to find something new in a game you've played multiple times - I didn't realise until now you could sit in the confession booth! The soundtrack is divine, I end up lurking around certain areas just so I can listen to the music. It's the movement that seals it for me, traversing the maps simply feels fun in a way that few other games have really managed to catch, and that's where I never really got on with Super Metroid for instance. Yeah, it's still brilliant. You can complain about it's balance and difficulty all day, and there's very little I could really argue back with, but it just works.

100% agreed with all of that.

yeah the movement is sooooo satisfying

and that OST really is god-tier(few works deserve that status but this is one of 'em). absolute pick-up-your-jaw-from-the-floor stuff. I also linger in some spots to take in the music haha.
It is so powerful and elegant and expertly put together. What's even more impressive is how all the pieces are perfect fit for their environment. Truly perfect fits. Lots of rockers and neo-cassical awesomeness, but the more ambient tunes are every bit as good as those. On that front, the Chapel, Underground Caves, Catacombs and Save screen themes get me every time

some times I'll even load up the game and use it as a soundtrack while doing other stuff. teleport in an area, stay there for a while, then go to another one etc etc. I have my ps2 hooked up via optical to a nice external audio DAC, an into my hifi system (a very nice vintage integrated amp and killer vintage speakers). The sound quality that way is unbelievable (I need to get the OST on CD though. but in the meantime, playing the music via the game itself will do)


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:35 am 


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Balls, I've unlocked 98.9% of the map, but really struggling now. I remember being stuck at a similar point last time I played it through. I'm gonna have to use a guide aren't I....
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:33 am 


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It's been awhile, but I remember there being one particular hidden room that requires some really bizarre, unintuitive sequence to unlock, one I doubt anyone would have figured out without a guide, as nothing in the game so much as hints at it.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:00 pm 


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BulletMagnet wrote:
It's been awhile, but I remember there being one particular hidden room that requires some really bizarre, unintuitive sequence to unlock, one I doubt anyone would have figured out without a guide, as nothing in the game so much as hints at it.


You mean near the beginning in the tower of mist where you have to stand around waiting for an elevator and end up getting Kaiser knuckles?
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:31 pm 


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I was thinking the Jewel Sword's room, which is indeed pretty much bullshit. :lol: I'd have put a shaweet hinty mural on the wall or something. Maybe an audio clue when inadvertently triggering the first step ala the gears elsewhere, too.

Feels like it was done the way it was to sell CERTAIN VICTORY guidebooks. Image Although I do kinda like it when a game has one or two utter obscurities that the audience might organically turn up years down the line.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:50 pm 


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Forgot about that, as if there isn't enough useless shit in Sotn anyway
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:04 pm 


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Well it at least ensures that you'll find something new in a second playthrough if you did the first one blind :lol:

But even then, there's so many toys to play with in that game that there's even place for a 3rd and 4th playthrough...


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:59 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Feels like it was done the way it was to sell CERTAIN VICTORY guidebooks


I feel like this is a thing that happened quite a bit in YE OLDEN DAYS.

Castlevania fuckin rules though, of course. I should never have sold my GBA double pack but I have remedied the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:56 pm 


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Behold, revorutionary game design Image Image

Spoiler: show
Image


tbh there's a million and one things I'd have that game do differently, but *~Magical Vacation Dracula~* will always get away with murder just as it is. Beautiful, inimitably atmospheric, infernally diverting things tend to. Image
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:35 pm 


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BIL wrote:
tbh there's a million and one things I'd have that game do differently

That is so easy to say with hindsight tho.


Besides : sometimes a game doesn't need to satisfy the most demanding edge-of-your-seat GAMEPLAY HOUNDS. Sometimes, a game can just be a chill time... and still be a grand ol' time


Anyway, maybe it has more to do with my way of rating games : I tend to look at the amount of things done right in a game, instead of looking at the number of missed opportunity. And when you stack games up using the parameter of "the amount of things they do right", then SOTN hangs with the best of 'em. using that parameter, I reiterate.

I've never been a "this game coulda. this game shoulda" guy. that's just not my style. so maybe that is what informs my indestructible love for Symphony


Last edited by FinalBaton on Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 am 


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I am a simple man. Most of my rating just has to do with if I had fun or not. Some people look for an insane challenge. I only go super hard on a game with multiple plays and hardcore self imposed challenges if its a favorite. Speaking of which I've done some crazy shit in Aria of Sorrow and Baldur's Gate II.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:33 am 


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FinalBaton wrote:
That is so easy to say with hindsight tho.


Besides : sometimes a game doesn't need to satisfy the most demanding edge-of-your-seat GAMEPLAY HOUNDS. Sometimes, a game can just be a chill time... and still be a grand ol' time


Anyway, maybe it has more to do with my way of rating games : I tend to look at the amount of things done right in a game, instead of looking at the number of missed opportunity. And when you stack games up using the parameter of "the amount of things they do right", then SOTN hangs with the best of 'em. using that parameter, I reiterate.

I've never been a "this game coulda. this game shoulda" guy. that's just not my style. so maybe that is what informs my indestructible love for Symphony


Oh yeah, I'm all about kicking back with that game. I revisit every couple years and without fail, it takes up a solid two weeks of my free time just messing around / rediscovering stuff. To say nothing of the OST and general aesthetic... the hand-drawn stuff is of course ageless, but lately I've gained a fondness of the sparingly-used polys, too. I'd thought they might age horribly, all those years ago at release. But those, and the slight flange effect on its sounds, I wouldn't change either for the world.

Honestly, I'm pretty sure most of us in the sidescroller thread could make a good go of my #1 want: Battle Arena ala Circle of the Moon (COTM's Arena is great, but Nathan is effectively Richter mode aka SRS BUSINESS - I want Alucard and his massive sparkly toybox). On revisits, without fail, I'm floored by how smoothly SOTN handles. I make a point of stripping Granfaloon to his rotten core just to dodge those wicked homing lasers with the ultra-fine doublejump mechanic. I think it was years before I even found out about that phase, because there's no real reason to piss him off, and you'll probably kill him before then anyway if you're battering him with Soul Steals and Axes (the logical subweapon choice for that boss, I always found).

There's a handful of other spots offering similar fleeting thrills - fighting Doppleganger mkii with the Army Knife, tearing Galamoth's nutsack apart after ghosting through his brutal punt, and single-session Richter Mode is good fun as well. Also doing silly things like getting into the Coliseum's attic before getting doublejump. I'd just like something formalised to make the noobs go "WOW ITS IMPOSSIBLE." Put something cool at the end, like the Crissaegrim. Not a boss rush, mind! Harmony of Dissonance has one, and it suuucks. Waste of fine BG art.

Any further modification feels moot to me at this point, since Order of Ecclesia exists, and its very smartly holding back of the nonlinear castle until the player had acquired endgame power + mobility is pretty much what I wanted from a "Hard SOTN," back in the day. I just wish it wasn't on a tiny portable screen. That game actually has some serious goddamn feel to it, both visceral punch and aesthetic sheen. Listen to this evil verve, goddamn. Ineffably fond of equipping DOMINUS AGONY and a pair of rapiers, then HOKUTO HYAKURETSU KENning the fuck out of intimidating BLACKMORE; damage output skyrocketing in a hammering racket as both combatants' HPs plunged into the red. It's killing me but I'm killing you a lot worse, motherfucker! Image

Hard to get the luxuriant SOTN feels without a big screen, big speakers and big couch though! EDIT: I mean you can do the latter but it's not the same!
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:38 am 


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I need to replay CotM, I made my way to the final boss, but I didn't dable in the Coliseum at all. will try that at some point

I'm a stubborn "crt or nothing" fool so I played it on what I could find for cheap : the Super Retro Advance converter for SNES. It's not the best solution visually, it was okay, but maybe I'll wait to get a Gameboy Player setup to give it another go. we'll see

BIL wrote:
Hard to get the luxuriant SOTN feels without a big screen, big speakers and big couch though! EDIT: I mean you can do the latter but it's not the same!


When I play SotN, not only do I use my usual setup of comfy couch, large hi-class standard def RGB crt and pumping the sound through my very nice hi-fi system, but I go the extra mile with the sound : I use a PS2's optical out to get the best sound quality possible, into a very nice external audio DAC, and then into my hi-fi. The sound quality I get is absolutely out of this world, and it legit gives me goosebump. no jokes


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:51 am 


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If there's one thing I'd change about COTM, it's the way it forces you to replay it multiple times to unlock each class. If it's of any use, here's a full unlock file - I highly recommend Magician mode, some serious glass cannon antics to be had with the brilliant Mars Unicorn blade. Pointblank mechanic included! Image

I would've just made them five separate characters, selectable at the outset. Paletteswap + Headswap 'em up. They're all good fun but if you don't love the game like I do, it's a pretty big ask having to clear the game four times for 'em all.
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:58 am 


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Thanks for the unlock file! That'll be handy


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:07 am 


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Baton keep in mind you only really need the player now. Should be doable for 15-20 shipped. Maybe less with luck. If you don't already have an sd launcher its a good investment.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:38 am 


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blackoak wrote:
let's see if this can summon BIL back, hehe...

http://shmuplations.com/castlevania/
(castlevania 1-3 commentary from director Hitoshi Akamatsu)


Just caught up to this Image Many thanks as always Image

sonnayuumi wrote:
Akamatsu was very strict about being sure the player controls, the timing of the graphics, and the resulting effect of pressing a button were all very closely aligned.


Akumajou Dracula, second only to its shameless rebuild Ninja Ryukenden for sidescrollers I play to forget bad controls. I wish Mr. Akamatsu could've slapped some sense into those Holy Diver jokers!

Quote:
I once asked him about the fight with Death, and how insanely hard it was. He told me, “The game design idea there was to get players to understand how to use the cross and axe subweapons. If you can defeat him with only the whip, that means you’re really good.” I can’t defeat him with the whip alone. But if you read the movements of the sickles, I understand it is possible (albeit very difficult) to beat him with just the whip. Apparently the test players were able to do it.


Sheeeit Image Death is love, Death is life.

This is the reason that I came here
To be so near to such a person


Classic boss. A STRATEGIC ENCOUNTER. Shoulda been TLB tbh.

Quote:
Like most people, I thought that was just a powered-up monster form of Dracula, and I joked as much in front of Akamatsu one day. He completely refuted that idea though. (laughs) “That is a monster borne from the curse of man.” He added, “In a truly peaceful age, Dracula would not exist.”


KVLT Image

When you see this world we live in
Do you still believe in man?


Quote:
Given the “exploration action” nature of Simon’s Quest, I asked Akamatsu whether Metroid was an influence on the development. He told me, “If I had to say, I was thinking more of Konami’s own Maze of Galious.”


I was looking into Konami's "maze action" games a few years back, the (very different) FC version of Galious included... tbh I thought Dracula II came off really poorly in comparison to it. :lol:I was surprised reading this that Dracula II didn't suffer from a sudden developer change, or anything... the comedown from the first game's tight stage design to those lame mansions, I'd always assumed it was born of unfortunate circumstances.

Having said this, hearing Akamatsu helmed it redoubles my conviction that it's worth playing simply to get all the references in later games. Two out of three ain't enough!

From that page, I also missed the Great Rondo Name Convention Bunfight! I didn't know we still had those! Image

But you young noobs ain't seen SHEEEIT. Image

>>BEHOLD<<
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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:57 am 


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BIL wrote:
sonnayuumi wrote:
Akamatsu was very strict about being sure the player controls, the timing of the graphics, and the resulting effect of pressing a button were all very closely aligned.


Akumajou Dracula, second only to Ninja Ryukenden for sidescrollers I play to forget bad controls. I wish Mr. Akamatsu could've slapped some sense into those Holy Diver jokers!


This is why I find it puzzling that a "control fix" hack for Castlevania III even exists.


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 Post subject: Re: Castlevania Miscellanies
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:17 am 


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Turned out I was missing the secret near the beginning in the merman's room. How in shit am I supposed to know that the tunnel needs to be gone through in both wolf and bat form?

The jewelled knuckles I just.... know about. I presume I read about it in a guide or something as a teen.
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