Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

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North American box art.

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is an action platformer by Konami released on the Famicom on 1989-12-22. Though the title numbers it the third game in the Castlevania series, it's actually the sixth Castlevania title released, and is a prequel to the first Castlevania. In this game, you play Trevor Belmont, ancestor of Simon Belmont. The game play functions very similarly to the original Castlevania, while adding new features to the engine including alternate playable characters and branching routes to the end.

Personal

Knowing that Castlevania games were well-liked by my friends, and having seen a lot of coverage of them in gaming magazines, I bought this game shortly after it came out. It was the very first Castlevania game I ever played and I found it to be particularly difficult; the furthest I got on my own was to the mummy bosses. This, I think, led to my dislike of the early Castlevania titles that are stage-based rather than the later titles which are adventure based (Metroidvanias).

Status

I used to own this game, but I no longer do. I presume a friend borrowed it and never returned it, although I might have sold it. I have not beaten it and have no interest in trying.

Review

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5 4 5 7 4

Best Version: NES

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • The game has great graphics and sound for the NES, and the Japanese release even featured an additional chip in the cartridge which expanded in the capabilities of the audio and grgaphics.
  • The addition of the three playable characters adds more depth replay to the game allowing the player to try to beat it with all four characters. I also like the cut-scenes with them.

Bad

  • Getting hit knocks you back and often kills you, and it happens at an annoying rate.
  • Trevor is extremely vulnerable on stairs, and there are a lot to have to walk up.
  • I don't like how you can only have one secondary character with you at a time. Although it makes for an interesting mechanic, it doesn't work thematically.
  • Despite having four playable characters, the designers couldn't be bothered with making even one of them a woman or person of color.
  • The medusa heads are obnoxiously difficult to deal with.
  • The game keeps a tally of points, which have no bearing on the game.

Ugly

  • Like the original, the game is just too damn difficult to the point where I don't feel like ever trying to get good at it. The game should have been easier and the hard mode you see the replay should have been replaced with the game they actually shipped.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

Videos

Longplay.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Japanese 悪魔城伝説 Akumajo Densetsu Devil's Castle Legend

Links

Link-MobyGames.png  Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-StrategyWiki.png  Link-ROMDetectives.png  link=https://tcrf.net/Castlevania_III:_Dracula%27s_Curse tcrf.net/Castlevania_III:_Dracula%27s_Curse