6/01/12

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has a new trailer, courtesy of SpikeTV and Gametrailers.com.  Check out the trailer  below.  The forum is heating up with discussion, so come check it out!

5/21/12

There have been no news about a new Castlevania title for some time...
...UNTIL NOW!
Apparently, there was a registered Konami title name "Castlevania: Mirror of Fate" since February.  Now, a N1ntendo.n blog post (in another language) shows us that there may be more to this title.  N1ntendo.n article here for great justice.  

The article mentions the title "Castlevania: Mirror of Fate".  From what the sources say, and from what Neogaf also says, the title is being worked on by David Cox and Enric Alvarez (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow).  The rumor in the grapevine says that it will be a title made using 3D Polygons, but with 2D gameplay (sidescroller) and Metroidvania elements.

9/20/11

On October 14, 2011, Ocean City Trinity (and a number of other Game Marathon event sites) will be running a Castlevania Series Gameplay Pseudo-Marathon!  Since a lot of the newer Castlevania games are rather long, they are not including all of them, but the list is still quite extensive.  And, you can run your own personal marathon alongside them if you so wish, and chat with them and/or the other groups doing the marathon, online.  The entire event is being streamed.  More info about the Marathon here.

These marathon events are usually done for charity.  Feel free to contact Ocean City Trinity if you would like to participate in the event, or if you would like to make a donation.

8/23/11

Well, Gamescon in Colonge came and went... and, while there was some info on "Zone of the Enders", and some "Metal Gear" stuff (as usual), Castlevania dazzled us with... with.... actually no, there was a whole 'lot of nothing with regards to Castlevania.

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, a one-year old game for XBLA, is getting a PSN version coming out next month.  That's about it.  See the Kotaku article here.  It has all of the DLCs from the XBLA version.

8/16/11

According to this article from Oxcgn.com, there are a number of upcoming titles coming out from Konami, and one of them is called "Castlevania: The Complete Chronicles.  Now, keep in mind that this is an article about a Leak, so right now our forums are quite hot with talk, speculation, and opinion.  Certainly a "Complete" collection sounds big.  Really big.  Will we see obscure titles, perhaps?  Maybe something like "Castlevania: The Arcade" with Motion controls?  Some speculation is that this list is limited only to the Playstation Vita handheld console, while others say that this is in no way exclusive to that system.  Feel free to sign up and post if you want to discuss!

8/14/11

According to the Konami Castlevania Facebook page, Konami will be at Gamescom in Cologne in the next upcoming days (direct link here).  Our forum speculates that there will be some talk about some upcoming Castlevania games, as we have heard on the grapevine (thank you, Relyonhorror.com) that there has been some confirmation on a 25th Anniversary Project of some type.  Our good buddy at Relyonhorror also reports that Mercury Steam (the team behind Castlevania: Lords of Shadow) is currently working on two unannounced (as of yet) games, though David Cox claims in his Twitter Feed that "The anniversary requires a lot of planning to do it justice and we didn't have the time or resources to do it justice" and "We are not going to be a part of any potential Castlevania anniversary. I cant be any clearer than that :)"

So there you have it.  IF Konami is indeed working on a 25th Anniversary Project for Castlevania, then perhaps more info will be found at Gamescom... but although Mercury Steam is working on some titles, David has (as of now) been quite clear that his team is not working on anything related to the anniversary.

Feel free to discuss this further at our forums.  The threads are hot and full of pages!

8/11/11

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to let everyone know that I have some control over the site, so now I will be seeing if I can fix and patch up all the little errors that have been plaguing us for a while.  On top of that, I will see if we can implement some kind of news/blogging system for the dungeon.  As it stands, it's using good ol' HTML which, while nice, it's not very friendly for posting news and information in a quick and efficient matter.

I wanted to talk about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its two DLC updates "Reverie" and "Resurrection", as well as "Operation: Akumajo" and "The Castlevania Syndicate", which are two groups who would like to bring awareness to Konami of the fan appreciation that exists for the series, but also to let them know that fans would like more out of the series (especially since this year marks Castlevania's 25th Anniversary and Konami seems to be celebrating it by... not doing much at all)... but it will take more than one little news update blurb to talk about the LoS DLC chapters.  So, more to come in the future!

Jorge D. Fuentes
magus4600@h0tmail.com

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6/24/10

I suppose that first and foremost, I should apologize for the tardiness of this update. I'm busy, but I promise to let you know if I ever drop the site for any reason (don't see that happening...). Still, feel free to send me an email to give me a kick in the butt if I'm slow about these things. But enough talk, have at you!

While we still don't have any screens or release dates, we did get a confirmation of "Harmony of Despair" via the Xbox Live "Summer of Arcade" promotion, along with a few other upcoming downloadable titles (such as the new Tomb Raider). Will keep you updated on this one, but at least we know we can expect it sometime this year on Xbox Live (and presumably PSN).

On the subject of release dates, we now know to expect Lords of Shadow to arrive sometime "late this fall." Be sure to check out Joystiq's impressions of the game, noting that Lords of Shadow "could be an excellent action-adventure, if not a fitting resurrection of Konami's undead franchise." Check out the E3 trailer for the title below:

One final note: I'm ready to move ahead on making changes to the site. Anyone who is intending on helping out in a major role on this site, please let me know via one of the links below! Thanks again to everyone sticking with the Dungeon!

Source: Joystiq

William Cain
wcain89@gmail.com
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6/12/10

June 15 is the day E3 starts! I'm quite positive we'll get some kind of Castlevania coverage, for which I'm quite excited. Lords of Shadow is almost upon us! I suspect a new trailer along with a final release date, but we'll see. Maybe some more information on the oft rumored "Harmony of Despair" multiplayer title? Until then, though, take a look at the recently released trailer for Encore of the Night, the iPhone puzzle game that apes Symphony:

Source: Joystiq

William Cain
wcain89@gmail.com
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6/08/10

I'd like to post a quick message, let everyone know what's happened over the last few days. First and foremost, I'd like to thank you all so much for warm messages I've received since I announced that I'd be joining the Dungeon team. I was a bit apprehensive about the original post, but I've felt nothing but welcomed, so thank you so much.

I'm still lobbying emails and sorting things out, but another thing has become quite clear: there are many people excited about helping on this site. A full administration team is being formed, allowing different people to focus on their strengths within the series. The final result will be quicker updates and greater depth in every section. It's also important to update the look and feel of the site, update the code to modern standards...but one thing at a time of course. Castle Dracula wasn't built in a day after all (well...).

I envision something truly phenominal for the site in the future. Imagine the breadth of information available for any one game in the series--now imagine that type of information on every game, all in one location. Rest assured, I'm going to do everything in my power to help make that happen, and I'll post regularly to let everyone know how that's coming along. Thanks again, see you around!

William Cain
wcain89@gmail.com
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6/04/10

Hello fellow Castlevania fans! My name is William Cain, and I'm joining the administration here at the Dungeon. While I may not be a name you immediately recognize, I actually created the Aria of Sorrow Citadel hosted right here at the Dungeon (albeit, I created it nearly 10 years ago...). Don't worry, I'm quite a bit better at web development now than I used to be. When I saw that Kurt needed help keeping the Dungeon up to date, I jumped at the chance! That was over a year ago.

Right after I comitted to helping out around here, I had some family emergencies, work and school picked up big time, and I sat dead in the water. I've come back now, and I've got every intention of bringing the Dungeon back to full speed. I'd love to hear from you, get some input on what needs to be done around the site, and make it a reality! Right now, I know there are some broken links around the website, and I realize there is quite a bit of missing content (Lords of Shadow comes to mind!). I'll do my best to rectify this. At some point in the future, I'd also like to revamp the Citadel to be easier to navigate, clean up the HTML, change the design, and maybe cover Dawn of Sorrow while I'm at it.

Please do contact me, and bear with me as I get my bearing around here. This is a big responsibility, and I do not take it lightly. I'm looking forward to interacting with all of you soon! Thank you so much for visiting, and Kurt, thanks for the chance! Feel free to contact me using one of the methods below:

William Cain
wcain89@gmail.com
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Thanks again everyone!

3/11/10

So, it's not hard to see that this site is barely updated anymore. I haven't "deserted" Castlevania, inasmuch as I hate the series now or anything. I still buy all of the games, still write about them, and still defend their egregious flaws, which I guess qualifies me as a member of the IGA Defense Force. I just spend all my free time updating HG101 and I just don't have the time to update on the minutiae of Castlevania anymore. However, in order to keep this site up against that God-forsaken Castlevania wiki (where I just had to edit the Oz entry, because no, Leon is NOT based on Leon Belmont, he's based on the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz), I'm looking for staff members to keep up the site.

Mostly what I want is for people to update and maintain any part of the site that can be improved. A lot of stuff from the GBA Castlevanias on just have reviews and such, and there's a lot of extra stuff to be added. Whatever that stuff is, would ultimately be up to the staff members. New features, new sections, adding artwork and music, whatever. The only thing I don't want changed is the reviews, which are going to be updated soon anyway. So, for the requirements:

-First and foremost, you MUST be able to understand HTML and to a lesser extent, CSS. You don't need to be able to rewrite it or anything, but you need to be able to, say, hit the "View Source" button and know what's going on with each of the tags, and where to insert text. Please don't e-mail me and say "I want to help but I don't know HTML, can I join anyway?" because the answer will be no.

-Ideally you'll have working on some type of webpage in the past, double-plus-excellent if it's Castlevania related. The reason for this is working on webpages is often (being honest here) ridiculously tedious, or at least very time consuming. I don't want someone to volunteer and then realize that cataloguing hundreds of screengrabs and writing descriptions is actually reasonably hard work, and drops off the internet. If you're 100% sure that you have the resolve to stick with it for some semblance of time, then go for it.

-I can't really pay you. Sorry, I would pay people if I could, but realistically that wouldn't work. You get your name on the page, though, and it's worth some internet street cred, so there's that. If I ever meet you in person, I'll buy you a drink, I guess.

If you've read all of that and think you're still down with it, drop me at line at coolata42@yahoo.com, along with a few quick sentences of what you've worked on, why you want to be involved in the Castlevania Dungeon, and how you can make it suck less. Ideally I'd like a few people to it doesn't all fall under one person (and I'd be pitching in here and there too.)

3/10/10

Finally got off my butt and posted the review of Castlevania Rebirth, which is mostly just an update version of the one that appeared over on the HG101 Blog. While we're here, also check out a quick look at Koumajou Densetsu, a classic-style Castlevania side-scroller with Touhou characters. It sounds cooler than it really is, sadly.

10/28/09

Please download the Castlevania Rebirth soundtrack!

10/27/09

The forums are back up! They're a bit glitchy but they should work. Thanks at Aaron at Kontek in getting them set up!

Dracula Densetsu Rebirth is out in Japan, lucky for those with Japanese Wiis...

10/26/09

Well, the transition is complete. IGN/Gamespy has wiped everything, and The Castlevania Dungeon has a new URL - please use http://www.castlevaniadungeon.net from now on. You can find my other ex-Gamespy sites at www.hardcoregaming101.net and contra.kontek.net. Anyway, for various Castlevania related news from the past several months (year?):

-There was a new Castlevania game revealed at E3 - kind of. The previously unveiled Lord of Shadows, a gothic 3D action-adventure developed by Spain-based development team GET NAME is now apparently Castlevania: Lord of Shadows. Hideo Kojima is involved too, although I can't imagine his involvement moves beyond signing some forms here and there. The other Castlevania game announced awhile ago by Koji Igarashi, the "true" sequel to Symphony of the Night or whatever, seems to have disappeared off the radar. Is that still in the works? Is Igarashi still involved with Castlevania? It's all conjecture at this point.

-The soundtrack for the Akumajou Dracula Pachislot game is out in Japan. Pachislots ("pachi"nko + "slot" machine) are one of the many inventions of the Japanese that continue to mystify and confound foreigners, considering they're little more than loopholes around Japanese gambling laws, but they're big business, and there are a lot of tie-ins with other media. Why they went with Castlevania - based off Curse of Darkness for the PS2 nonetheless, a game which wasn't exactly greeted with warm reception by much of anyone - is just as confusing, but okay.

-1up make a trip to a Japanese arcade and did a hands-on video of the Castlevania arcade game, which is something like a first person shooter with a whip. How weird. Their feelings are not positive.

-The Castlevania movie project seems to be dead. Good riddance.

-The Angry Video Nerd is revisiting the Castlevania series. Check out Part I and Part II.

-Castlevania Adventure Rebirth (or Dracula Densetsu Rebirth) should be due out in Japan this coming week. Their previous games - Contra Rebirth and Gradius Rebirth were both pretty good. This is supposed to be a ground-up remake of the first Castlevania Gameboy game - let's see how it all sorts out. In the meantime, some pictures:

11/28/08

This holiday season, us North Americans get two Castlevania games - Order of Ecclesia and Judgment, the former being the usual portable Metroidvania-type, the latter beind a bizarre one-on-one brawler. Also check out the full Castlevania Judgment sound rip, courtesy of CapcomMDB.

10/22/08

A quick clarification on the preorder bonuses at Gamestop - apparently, they ARE actual physical CDs. My store couldn't find one when I picked it up, but called me back later to say they'd found it. Not all stores have it, so call around your area until you find one that does.

As for the game itself? It feels very disjointed at the beginning, but after an hour or so of play, it's beginning to come together. I didn't like the music much at first, but it's definitely growing on me. The plot also isn't completely terrible! (Yet.)

QUICKIE UPDATE 2: Soundtrack links removed. In the ten years plus this site has been around, Konami has never had a problem with us hosting game rips or sampler CDs, but hey, now they do! Awesome.

10/20/08

Well, it's been something like a year since the last update. As I'm sure everyone has figured out, the Dungeon is no longer being updated regularly, mostly because (A) I spend most of my spare time working on HG101 (a fantastic site, if I do say) and (B) there are other more dedicated sites that have taken up the flag on updating over every single bit of minutuea. That being said, to all of the people e-mailing me - yes, the site will still be updated upon new releases. And hey! There's some news to report:

-Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia should be out tomorrow (Tuesday? Maybe Wednesday?) in the States, and people have already been pirating the Japanese version for a day or so now. Early reviews from Play Magazine, Game Informer and Electronic Gaming Monthly have indicated that it shares more with Simon's Quest than the previous Metroidvania games, and is also significantly more difficult. That sounds like great news to me. Apparently Gamestop is giving away codes for soundtrack downloads (boo) and rumors about Gamecrazy giving away actual CDs seems to be unsubstantiated. Too bad, the Portrait of Ruin preorder set was majestic. Some soul was kind enough to rip the soundtrack already - EDIT: LINKS REMOVED.

-Castlevania Judgment for the Wii comes out in NA next month, and in Japan in early 2009. I got to play a demo of it awhile ago, and it's pretty bad! I don't think that's unexpected though. You can read some brief impressions over at Siliconera, and check out a quick video I took of it. I was amused by the Takeshi Obata redesigns, just because I like to see different takes on beloved characters, but I really think they overstepped some boundaries by turning Eric Lecarde into like a thirteen year old boy. I mean, in Bloodlines, that dude had a dead wife he was taking revenge on. Now he looks like the kind of weenie that would cry if a girl talked to him. The whole thing reeks of Japan's outgoing experiment to try to sell the Castlevania series to their countrymen, and at this point, it's just mind boggling. They will probably fail, again, although it's probably not their fault, because some completely terrific games (No More Heroes, The World Ends With You, Valkyria Chronicles) have kinda tanked there, leading me to believe that, probably, Japanese Gaming is Doomed.

-There's also that weird Castlevania arcade game, which is kind of a light gun game except you whip enemies instead of shooting them? I'm approximately 10,000 miles away from any of these machines, so the best I can do is link you to some other articles. Everyone's hoping they'll do a Wii port, which will be nice, but probably unlikely unless they find something else to bundle it with. I would severely like to take this opportunity to ravage the embarassment known as WiiWare, but I'll leave that alone...for now.

-There's a Castlevania pachinko slot game too? It seems to feature the characters from Curse of Darkness. If you've been anywhere in Japan, you know that the country sure does love that quasi-legalized form of gambling, and have stuck the most random properties onto it.

-The first issue (of two) of the Castlevania: Curse of Darkness manga was just published in North America, courtesy of Tokyopop. Like Judgment, it's one of those synergy things to get the Japanese to buy Castlevania, and I can't really recommend it. The art is way far from Ayami Kojima, and it's not like Curse of Darkness had anything remotely resembling an interesting plot. It's meant to be a prologue to the game, for those who remember it. I guess it's nice to have in English for collectors though.

-Actionbutton.net nominated Castlevania Bloodlines as one of its Top 25 Games of All Time. It's a fun read, and does a great job of illustrating why Bloodlines is such an excellent title. I admit to slightly preferring Dracula X (not posing, I swear!) just because of the level designs and huge amount of hidden and unique stuff, but Bloodlines gets a bad rap compared to the (slightly inferior) Super Castlevania IV.

-This is extremely old news, but months ago there was a blog post by someone who read the Castlevania movie script, and said it was pretty bad. I would believe this. I went to go look for the link and it seems to have been removed due to corporate overlording.

-There was rumblings of a 360/PS3 game at Tokyo Game Show. Konami seems to be tossing a lot of Castlevania at us recently, so maybe it's high time they actually give Igarashi a budget to make something to rank up next to Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry.

-I'd also like to take the time to apologize for some of the reviews on this site. Many of them were written right as the game was initially released. Harmony of Dissonance was actually pretty great back in 2003, but time has not been kind to it, and in hindsight, it's easy to see that it's the weakest of the Metroidvanias (although not quite as bad as some people make it out to be - dashing around is still pretty fun.) Someday I might get around to fixing these up, and updating the site in general, for some of the more recent games where coverage is not quite up to snuff. There are reasonable DS emulators out now, which is great for screenshots and such. No promises though!

11/5/07

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles - featuring the 2.5D remake of Dracula X, in addition to portable emulations of the PC Engine Dracula X and Playstation Symphony of the Night - is now out in the States, and there should be much rejoicing, because it is a fantastic package. For $30, it's about the most value packed game you can buy short of The Orange Box. Even if you're one of the few people that hate it for some reason, you should try downloading Castlevania: Order of Shadows, the awful cellphone game that, if nothing else, should help put things in perspective. You may also be interested in the Dracula X Chronicles soundtrack, compiled from a few of the different rips floating around the net (thanks to JILost and Chernabogue54). The official CD should be out within the next week if you're interested. If you're curious to find some of the many secrets and unlockables, check out here too.

6/24/07

The big news this update is the long awaited return of the Artwork section, which includes several brand new contributed scans of some cool Japanese Famicom strategy guides, as well as some (100% clean) doujinshi. If you're curious for Dracula X Chronicles news, you can read more at High Score Online, whose been doing a pretty rad blowout on it. There was an interview in Play magazine recently about it too, although they seem to be unaware of the hidden stage pieced together from bits of other levels. (It's Stage 5', the weird one available only after beating the game. Also playing catch-up in including pages 11, 12 and 13 of the Bloodlust of the Countess Pt. 2 comic, and adding a better soundtrack rip of Castlevania Legends.

2/1/07

Oh crap guys:

This site is nearly ten years old, and ever since, we've all been clamoring for a port or a remake or SOMETHING of the PC Engine Dracula X. And now, here we are, with a full 2.5D rendition for the PSP a la Maverick Hunter X and Megaman Powered Up, along with new Ayami Kojima character designs. Hate polygons? Don't worry, Konami's including the original version as well. Plus, a full port of Symphony of the Night (still 2D) will also come on the UMD, apparently with a better localization.

Anyway, read more in the 1up preview or take a look at a video of the first level. The song "Beginning" hasn't sounded this good since Dracula Battle. Apparently it is scheduled for a fall release.

Richter
Maria
Shaft
Annette

In other minor news, parts of the Portrait of Ruin page have been receiving secret stealth updates. An official soundtrack has also been announced. Since it'a a dual CD set with a total of 74 tracks, you can probably expect both an OST and a full set of arrangements, probably like the ones on Konami Japan's web site. Speaking of which, check out that site for a quick game of "Docchi Demo No Problem!", some kind of nonsensical Flash game. Symphony of the Night should be hitting the Xbox Live arcade in March (apparently just a straight port, with an option for filtered graphics) so get those Microsoft Points ready if you've somehow never experienced it before.

12/10/06

OK! The Portrait of Ruin review is finally done. After having time to settle in, I'd still say it's the best of the portable Castlevanias thus far. There's been some disgruntlement regarding the level designs - but honestly, if it weren't for the Internet, I would've have even known I was supposed to hate them. They're just as good as Symphony/Aria/Dawn, so as long as you haven't worn out on the formula, you'll probably have a blast. It's certainly a lot fresher than Dawn was. Anyway, the page has a ton of artwork that Konami has released, if you haven't seen it already, including a bunch of completely unfunny comics.

Some other parts of the site have been updated, mostly the Characters and Storyline sections. More to come later on that end. Also, the Media section finally has a bunch of soundtrack added to it, so it's a lot more orderly than before, and has the full OSTs for Lament, Curse, Dawn and Portrait. I still want to redo parts of it, but it's functional for now. This is a bigger update than I've done on a longtime, so I'm sure there's something horribly, horribly wrong somewhere. Next overhaul up: the Artwork section!

11/21/06

The full Portrait of Ruin soundtrack is ready to download. You can grab the full pack (37 songs) here, or just grab this second pack, for everyone who already downloaded the first set.

11/19/06

Earlier this week, some jackass pirates were running around the GameFAQs boards, proclaiming that the latest Castlevania, Portrait of Ruin, was somewhat underwhelming. These are all filthy lies. I'm only 380% through the import version so far (trust me, it will make sense when you play it) but it's a damn fine game, with a lot of interesting stuff added to the formula with an awesome soundtrack to boot. Anyway, initial impressions are up, along with some new artwork snagged from Konami's page. More updates coming soon.

Also, here are a handful of MP3s, newly recorded to sound much better than the leaked version from months ago. You can download the complete set here - when I finally get around to overhauling the soundtrack section, I think I'll just be putting each CD in a huge ZIP file, now that broadband is a lot more prevalent than it was when I started this site nearly ten years ago.

Invitation of a Crazed Moon
Victorian Fear
Silent Prison
Jail of Jewels
The Gears Go Awry
Chaotic Playground
The Hidden Curse
A Small Prayer

10/29/06

Okay, so, it's been like a year and a half since the site overhaul, and some pages never quite got transferred over. Well, the Characters section is finally nearing completion. A lot of stuff still needs to be added for Portrait (once Konami releases the assets so I can stick them up), plus the Dracula and Grim Reaper pages need to be added, but it's off to a good start. Random other fixes, changes and additions have been made around the site, mostly too many to mention. Added pages 8, 9 and 10 of Bloodlust of the Countess, an ongoing fan comic by Michael Erickson. You can find the rest in the Theater. There are two new videos from the Leipzig concert, thanks to CapcomMDB:

Concert Video
Practice Session

As for random other news - the Japanese version of Portrait of Ruin (dubbed "Gallery of Labyrinth" over there) is scheduled for release around November 16th, while the American version, complete with an awesome collector's set, is due on December 6th. Konami has updated their site with the intro. I'll be grabbing the Japanese version, so expect some more stuff come then. The site itself needs some more updates, mostly to sort out all of the music. Most of the reviews are also either (A) in drastic need of updating or (B) really bad. So hopefully I'll get around to rewriting a bunch of them.

Finally, you may remember the Castlevania/Contra NES collection that Konami released on the PC a few years back, which included Castlevanias 1, 2 and 3, along with Contra and Super C. Well, that's made it on to game download service Gametap, further fleshing out their expansive library. They've also added the massively awesome Silent Hill 2 (one of the best horror games out there, second only to Resident Evil 4) is also out, just in time for Halloween.

7/27/06

I hear there's an article on Castlevania's 20th anniversary on 1up.com, you should check it out. In the meantime, I guess this acts as an official unveiling of Castlevania Chronicles: Dracula's Curse, a homebrew remake of Castlevania 3 for Windows. Developed by extremely diligent forum members Jorge Fuentes and John Morris, it was eventually abandoned as real life issues took over, but a few levels are completed, and it plays fantastically. Definitely worth grabbing. Also added pages 6 and 7 of Bloodlust of the Countess, an ongoing fan comic by Michael Erickson. You can find the rest in the Theater.

5/29/06

Got an actual preview up for Portrait of Ruin, including some hands-on impressions and exclusive (read: taken at an odd angle with a digital camera) pictures of the game in action. Also included are four MP3s from the game, which all seem to be arranged, as they're too high quality to come out of the DS sound synth.

Behind the Gaze
Hail from the Past
Jail of Jewels
Piercing Gaze

Also, here's the song that plays in the trailers, although it's full of sound effects. Thanks to whomever recorded this, I completely forgot where I grabbed this from.

Also, the Oretachi Geesen Zoku port of Haunted Castle for the Japanese PS2 was released last week, so I've put up a revised review as well as impressions of the disc. I've also posted the MP3s from the bonus mini CD, which includes the whole soundtrack, along with a new remixed track. Scans of the packaging should hopefully be coming soon.

4/31/06

Hey, legitimate news on the new DS Castlevania!

Portrait of Ruin for the DS takes place during World War II, and stars hunter Jonathan Morris and female magician Charlotte Orlean as they attempt to destroy two vampiric sisters who are looking to resurrect Dracula. What's awesome is that this sounds like a direct sequel to the underrated (and still better than Super Castlevania IV I tell you) Castlevania Bloodlines for the Genesis. Given the age of the character, the "Jonathan Morris" here is probably not the same as the "John Morris" from Bloodlines, most likely his son. With the young female character in tow, it's also giving off a classic Dracula X vibe.

The biggest question, though, is if it'll be a classic action-style Castlevania or continue the trend of exploration-based games from the past few years. The press release is very vague on this. Hopefully it'll be playable at E3. Otherwise, all we have to go on is the released artwork. The legions of people who feel that anime is simply beneath them are already pissing and moaning, because it isn't the same worn out Ayami Kojima illustrations. (Yet I wonder if there's a cross section between the people who complained that Dawn of Sorrow sucked because it was more of the same?) One of the pictures also shows a battle that seems to take place in Egypt (AWESOME), so maybe you get to travel the globe, again like in Bloodlines.

This whole idea excites me greatly. The current released is slated for November 2006.

4/13/06

This is more than a little bit late, but it bears clarification - at the end of March, an image supposedly from the cover of a new issue of Gamepro revealed the name of the new DS Castlevania game to be "Dual Moons". News spread around blogs and even professional web sites, who made entries in their database for it.

Not long afterward, this following image was posted:

Yup, the whole thing was an April Fool's joke started by one of the Dungeon's forum members. The full image was later revealed:

While many were angered or simply unamused, it says a lot for the gullibility of a lot of places to list incredibly shifty rumors starting on a message board and spread them around as "fact". Good going guys! You can read a history of the shenanigans over at the forum.

The great part is, Konami has apparently given a real name for the new DS game - Portrait of Ruin, currently due in November. Hopefully E3 will reveal more details.

3/2/06

Just a quick news update - a small budget publisher named Hamster is bringing the arcade Akumajou Dracula (Haunted Castle) to the PS2 this May as part of the "Oretachi Game Center Zoku" series. Unfortunately, this is only set up to be in Japan. And unlike American arcade compilations, there's only this single game on the disc. However, they do come with some nifty bonuses like a music CD and superplay DVD. You can preorder it at Play Asia. Other titles being published at the same time are Pooyan and Contra.

1/28/06

First update of the new year - inbetween other projects (read about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Space Harrier, Marl Kingdom, and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum), I've updated the Dawn of Sorrow page to include stage descriptions, intro, endings, and a little bit of weirdness. Also added two new pieces of artwork for Dawn of Sorrow, done by Ayami Kojima, found here and here. These are the posters from the new Aria/Dawn of Sorrow soundtrack recently release. Much like the other soundtracks, I won't be posting MP3s of these, although the game rips can still be found on this page. Anyone interested in purchasing it should check out VGM World. Also added some magazine scans (here and here) to the Rondo of Blood page, courtesy of Dracula Xtacy. Also added a new fanfic by the title Cygneus Mortualia: Requiem of Souls, although it has yet to be formatted and entered properly in the fanfic section.

12/29/05

Just a minor update before the end of the year - the Curse of Darkness page has been updated with several new images, including some of the preorder comic from Japanese game, courtesy of Vampire Killer. Check them out for higher-res pics. Particularly cool is the poster from the soundtrack, contributed by CapcomMDB. Also added several magazine scans, mostly courtesy of Mike Robbins, which includes a cool Castlevania retrospective courtesy of the British mag Games(tm). Finally added some pics of the Famicom/NES GBA version of the original Castlevania. Pages 4 and 5 of Bloodlust for the Countess Part 1 added to the Fanfic Theater section also, courtesy of Mike Erickson.

Konami also released official soundtracks for Curse of Darkness and Lament of Innocence. I won't be putting up MP3s of these, as most of the music is available here as rips, but I urge everyone to buy copies of them, if possible. Reviews will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, check out VGM World or Play Asia to order copies. Konami is also releasing a combo CD soundtrack with both Aria and Dawn of Sorrow at some point in the future. Also be out on the lookout for the Aria/Harmony two-pack, which includes both rare games for the price of one.

Also take note of the new URL: castlevania.classicgaming.gamespy.com. The old one will still work for awhile though.

11/13/05

The storyline section has been updated a bit to add the new games and a few more details. Konami has released an Xtreme Desktop, a program which takes over your computer with sounds and Flash and all kinds of other nonsense. Finding this on their official page is an adventure in and of itself, although I've provided it here. The most interesting part of this is the timeline, which alters the spelling of several Castlevania characters. Sypha is now Cypher? (as noted on the European Castlevania 64 soundtrack and the item in Harmony of Dissonance?) "Eric Lecarde" is now "Eric Ricardo", "Maria Renard" is now "Maria Larnett", "Christopher" is now "Christoph", and so on. Whether these are now Konami's "official" spellings of the characters or whether it's just some ridicilous mistranslations, I'm not sure. Regardless, it is certainly bizarre.

Also: scans from the NES Game Atlas and Top Secret Password guides have been added to the magazine scan library. These were dated as July 2004 on my hard drive, so they've been sitting around for a long time, and I'm not sure at all who contributed them. But to whomever - thanks! The NES Game Atlas was this awesome guide that included complete maps and walkthroughs for several popular NES and Gameboy games, including the Castlevanias. It is, to date, the best thing Nintendo Power has ever done.

The Castlevania comic, The Belmont Legacy can now be found in collected form at your local bookstores or what have you. This is several months late coming (again), but up now is a quick review and a few pages to look at.

Also, in the past week, a Castlevania movie was announced, with Paul Anderson attached to direct. He's been known for his video game movies (both Resident Evils and the original Mortal Kombat), along with other movies, both good (Event Horizon) and not-so-good (Alien vs Predator.) Coupled with the recent announcement of the animated series, I have to wonder - why? Is Castlevania really popular enough to spawn all of this? Production isn't slated to start until mid-2006, but I'd really be surprised if this ever got off the ground. (Remember the Metroid movie, supposedly being directed by John Woo? Yeah, I still don't see that around.) You can read the official word over at Variety.

Tons and tons of images added to both the Curse of Darkness and Dawn of Sorrow pages, including box scans, wallpapers, advertisements and lots of other stuff. Thanks to my roommate Matt for letting me snag his scanner, the other roommate Commie for letting me grab the American version of Dawn of Sorrow, which I still don't own, and JerkOfWonder from the forums for a few of the strategy guide scans.

Since the new MP3 area is still under construction, here's one more MP3 from Curse of Darkness that wasn't on the sampler. Also one of the best songs in the game.

Cordova Town

Finally, Ben Roberts has contributed an MP3 from his ska band, Div and the Divs. It is quite amusing. Make sure to grab Being a Belmont Sucks.

11/11/05

Curse of Darkness has been out for a little over a week now. It's not a spectacular game, but it's not bad either. Check out the Curse of Darkness review. More will come soon, but apparently Gamespy is migrating some files to a new server, so there may be some hiccups for a little while.

Also realized that a bunch of comics were missing from the fanfic section, so check out the Theater, if only because there are several awesome comics. Except the ones I drew. With pen and paper. And print outs and tape. Man they suck.

10/22/05

Apparently the Curse of Darkness sampler CD is out at certain outlets. I still need to look into this myself, but Maddi-chan of the forums was awesome enough to rip it, of which you can find the luscious fruits below:

Abandoned Castle - The Curse of Darkness
Followers of Darkness - The First
Baljhet Mountains
Belmont - The Legend
The Man Who Destroyed Dracula - Part 2
Garibaldi Temple
Mortia Fountain
Followers of Darkness
The Forest of Jigramunt
Insane Aristocracy
The Sibling's Sad Destiny
Eneomasos Machine Tower
Aiolon Ruins
The Power of a Hunter - Part 2
The Dark Holy Man
Dracula - Part 1
A Toccata into Blood Soaked Darkness

Some people have been expressing dismay over the music in Curse of Darkness thus far, and I'm wondering that maybe they have heard some kind of flim-flam music masquerading as Castlevania, because 90% of this stuff is awesome. At least two of the songs begin with the exact same drum beat as "Beginning" from Castlevania 3, which is cool in itself - makes one wonder if those will be associated with Trevor. Anyway, if Curse of Darkness ends up being terrible - which I'm fairly confident at this point that it won't - then at least its existence is justified by this soundtrack. For the record, track 1 is the demo track, track 2 is the mystery track ripped from the demo below, and track 10 is the Isaac battle theme. The rest is all new. Enjoy.

Random other stuff added up too - the Curse of Darkness preview has been updated with demo impressions, and several new pictures added to the Dawn of Sorrow page (still need to add packaging and ad scans). The History section is underway, with all of the mythological references up from the old site, updated with some of the new enemies from Dawn of Sorrow. And the Characters section has started reconstruction, with the Bosses section back up (though nothing new added to it yet.)

Also, it's been brought to my attention that there are two Volume 13 Jampack demo discs. one of which does not have a Castlevania demo on it. Make sure to check the label on the front.

Finally, a few links:

Vampire Killer A superb site with lots of nice scanned artwork.
Dawn of Sorrow Glitches Pretty self explanatory, lots of cool exploits.

10/18/05

Dawn of Sorrow has been out in America for about two weeks now, just in case you haven't heard. It's one of the most popular games on GameFAQs, only beaten out some game called "Grand Theft Auto", which shows that, at the very least, there are a lot of people playing this awesome game.

The new Playstation Jampack demo disc (Volume 13) also has a playable demo of Curse of Darkness. So far, most of my initial impressions stand - the game still looks god-awful, with big, flat, boring level designs. Still, even with this, they're at least more varied than Lament of Innocence, with the demo showing off a few outdoor areas. There seems to be quite a lot of depth, both in the numerous weapons and their associated combo attacks, and the Innocent Devils, which already play a huge role in combat. The camera requires a bit of taming, so those used to having a set viewpoint may be irritated, but as long as you're okay with switching lock-on targets, it's not a huge problem. The early reviews are netting it 7s, but the demo has me convinced that it will still be a worthwhile game. The only thing remains to be seen is how the exploration elements are used - if there's a lot of backtracking, the crappy levels could end up hurting it.

Anyway, the music featured in the demo is all awesome. Thanks to Omega Maximus and Amgeoffrey12 of the forums, here are five tracks ripped from the game, including three not actually used. The level theme is amazing (the one heard in the trailers), and Isaac's battle theme rings pretty closely to the guitar-driven rock battle theme from Symphony. Enjoy.

Theme 1
Theme 2 - Demo Level
Theme 3
Theme 4 - Issac Fight
Theme 5

In other news, a Castlevania animated series is currently being planned. Apparently based off of Castlevania 3, it will be Warren Ellis and designed by James Dean. The source column is light on info, but check out the concept artwork.

Also added a full map of Dawn of Sorrow, courtesy of the fine fellows at Doublejump Books. Buy their awesome strategy guide! Immediately!

9/5/05

Here are the rest of the Dawn of Sorrow MP3s, so the entire soundtrack is now up. I'll get it on its own page eventually, but in the meantime, check out the review for Dawn of Sorrow.

Intro Movie
Hammer's Theme
Yoko's Theme
Name Entry
Prologue
Storyline
The Pinnacle
Chaos
Game Over
Black Battle
Boss Battle 1
Boss Battle 2
Boss Battle 3
Final Battle 1
Final Battle 2
Dance of Illusions
After the Battle
Credits

Also, everyone should check out this awesome Castlevania Flash movie. I know that the words "awesome" and "Flash" seldom go together, but this time, it is justly warranted.

9/1/05

Just more MP3s. Most of these are remixes from previous games, nothing exciting. I still need to unlock the sound test. The below MP3s have also been corrected with better track names, which should reflect the English version.

Basement Melody
Beginning
Vampire Killer
Bloody Tears

8/28/05

Dawn of Sorrow is out in Japan, and it is indeed quite good. I'm too exhausted to really write much about it, and I'm not really TOO far to say anything significant, but overall it's a nice improvement on Aria. The castle areas so far still lack imagination (although the Forgotten Village is gorgeous), although some of the boss battles so far have been excellent, although still not very hard. I've recorded several MP3s below. Initially, I've been rather disappointed in these songs, and from the posts over at the forum, a lot of people feel the same way. But admittedly, a lot of the songs have grown on me. Most of the music is by Masahiko Kimura, who composed much the Castlevania 64 soundtrack. Some of the tracks are definitely reminscent, although with far stronger melodies than the atmospheric N64 games. Anyway, listen and decide for yourself. Look forward to a review and more MP3s within the next coming days.

Lost Village
Wizardry Lab
Garden of Madness
Subterranean Hell
Condemned Tower
Dark Chapel
Cursed Clock Tower
Demon Guest House

Other tiny things added - the story text for Castlevania Resurrection as well as a few new fan MP3s:

Chris Romero - Slash
Crystal Moon - Wicked Child
Jorge Fuentes - The Sinking Old Sanctuary (CotM Mix)
Jorge Fuentes - The Clocktower's Beat
Joe Lordi - Wicked Child

Dawn of Sorrow Trailer
Curse of Darkness Trailer

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