Castlevania (悪魔城ドラキュラ黙示録 Akumajō Dracula: Mokushiroku?, lit. "Demon Castle Dracula: Apocalypse") is a video game developed and published by Konami for the Nintendo 64. It is part of the Castlevania video game series and was first released in North America on January 26, 1999. Fans and media alike nicknamed the game as "Castlevania 64" to differentiate it from other games in the series that bear the same title.
- Transylvania, in 1852. The Province of Wallachia. In this time of peace and plenty, no-one foresees the return of ancient horrors... But the old legends live, and soon the land will again be plunged into darkness. The people have returned to the path of wickedness, and the bonds that seal their evil ruler's spirit are weakening. Deep in his castle, he stirs from a century of enforced sleep... Count Dracula awakes.
Reinhardt Schneider... Heir of the ancient Belmont clan of vampire hunters, his blood dooms him to oppose the might of Count Dracula. Wielding the holy whip of his ancestors, the young vampire killer begins his quest!!
Carrie Fernandez... A young girl gifted with great magical powers. Sensing Dracula's return, she sets off alone to the dark castle. Now she must wield her inherited power in the fight against evil...
- Main article: Castlevania (Nintendo 64)/Gallery
|Protagonists and Allies|
Heir to the Vampire Killer whip.
Heir to the powers of the Fernandez (Belnades) clan.
Believes himself to be the greatest of vampire hunters.
A woman whose transformation into a vampire is not yet complete.
A human who was transformed into a Lizard Man.
A witch who seeks eternal beauty.
In the guise of Dracula to mislead intruders.
A cousin to Carrie Fernandez turned into a vampire.
A devil salesman. It appears as if he is aiding the heroes...
A young boy who is the reincarnation of Dracula.
Players can use the R Button to center the camera behind the character; this can also be used to lock onto enemies. C Up toggles between three camera settings: "Normal view" is the default camera angle, "Battle view" is recommended for fighting, and "Action view" is recommended for platforming. Pressing and holding C Up also allows the player to view the environment from a first-person point of view, which can be useful for looking for unusual things that could hold secrets. Sometimes the camera will switch to "Boss view" or a fixed perspective. At these times, it may not be possible to change the camera angle using C Up or the R Button.
Carrie and Reinhardt can perform a wide variety of simple actions. Using the controller's Analog Stick, they can walk, run, about-face turn, and stop. The A Button allows the character to jump. Simply pressing the button will result in a vertical jump, and while combining the jump button with analog commands, allows the character to sidestep or do long horizontal jumps. Pressing and holding the A Button while near a ledge also allows the character to hang onto it; pushing ↑ on the Analog Stick will make the character pull themselves up onto the ledge. Pressing C Right allows the character to open doors, examine objects, pick up items and talk to people. Using the Z Button can make the character crouch; moving the Analog Stick while the Z Button is pressed will allow the character to move slowly while in a crouching position. If the Z Button is pressed while running, the character will slide instead, allowing them to inflict minor damage to enemies.
Carrie and Reinhardt also have offensive abilities that are unique to their character. Each has a primary (distance) and secondary (short-range) attack. By pressing the B Button, Carrie is capable of shooting bolts of homing magical energy. This attack can be charged up by pressing and holding the button. Reinhardt attacks with the Vampire Killer whip. Both Carrie's magic and Reinhardt's whip can be powered up by picking up crest items that are randomly dropped by enemies or even found by breaking candles, furniture or by interacting with certain objects in fixed locations.
Pressing C Left performs the character's secondary attack. In Carrie's secondary attack, she hits enemies with her metal rings, while Reinhardt slashes with a dagger. Players can also throw a sub-weapon at enemies by pressing the C Down button. Sub-weapons consume a certain amount of Red Jewels per use. The four sub-weapons and required jewel points include: the Knife (1), Axe (2), Holy Water (3) and Cross (5).
|1||Forest of Silence|
|8||Room of Clocks|
While in development, Castlevania was known simply as "Dracula 3D".
The music for Castlevania was composed by Masahiko Kimura, Motoaki Furukawa and Mariko Egawa. Tomokuni Katayama performed the violin solo, a rendition of "Bloodlines" from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, that greets the player on the title screen. The soundtrack was released in Japan on March 26, 1999. It was also released in Europe under the name Castlevania: The Original Game Soundtrack.
Castlevania garnered respectable scores upon its release, including 9/9/8/9 from EGM, 8.2/10 from both IGN.com and GameSpot and a 4.5/5 from GamePro. However, it has since acquired a negative stigma in the media. The game has been criticized in the past for having first generation graphics, a problematic camera and a steep learning curve for controls.
However, some claim that these negative impressions have come from people who only played a little of Castlevania 64. The first level in the game, the Forest of Silence, is by far the blandest level due to a colorless environment with poor textures. However, many players also note that Castlevania improves dramatically in both graphics and level design as players progress - as one of the EGM reviewers once said "trust me - it gets better". Although on a technical level the game cannot compare with first and second party titles for the Nintendo 64, the review scores show that Castlevania 64 holds its own alongside most third-party titles, and is known for its moody ambiance and compelling characters.
Defenders of the game also respond with the fact that Castlevania 64 was the first game that KCEK had ever programmed in 3D. They also speculate that the programmers were just trying to rush for a holiday release. Many elements of this claim are evident, such as how the werewolf Cornell and chainsaw-wielding Coller were cut out of the game's final version. Technical problems and sacrificed material would later be addressed in its prequel, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.
- The Japanese and European versions of the game feature voice acting for Gilles de Rais in the Castle Keep level, while the US version doesn't.
- The Japanese version saves to the cartridge, while the US and European versions save to the Controller Pak.
- The Villa's exterior is based on one of the façades of the French château Azay-le-Rideau.
- Carrie's alternate costume is a homage to Maria Renard's dress in Rondo of Blood.
- Reinhardt's alternate costume is a homage to Simon Belmont's outfit in the original Castlevania.
- The chainsaw-wielding Frankenstein-like monster found in the Villa's hedge maze is basically the remnants of a character that was going to be playable in the game named Coller, but was later scrapped before the game's release. Besides the chainsaw, his main weapon in combat was to be a shotgun, which was apparently re-used (as a magnum) for Henry Oldrey's gameplay in Legacy of Darkness.
- Castlevania: The Original Game Soundtrack — The Castlevania 64 original soundtrack.
- Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness — A rearrangement of this game including a prequel main storyline and sometimes considered to be a "director's cut".
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 7.
- Futabasha Akumajō Dracula: Mokushiroku Official Guide — A Japanese official guide for this game.
- Shinkigensha Akumajō Dracula Mokushiroku Official Guide — Another Japanese official guide for this game.
- NTT Pub Akumajō Dracula: Mokushiroku Official Guide — Another Japanese official guide for this game.
- Millennium Official Castlevania 64 Strategy Guide — Official US guide.
- BradyGames Totally Unauthorized Castlevania Strategy Guide — An unauthorized US guide.
- Prima's Unauthorized Castlevania 64 Strategy Guide — Another unauthorized US guide.
- Castlevania (Nintendo 64)/Prototypes — Information about the beta version of the game.
- Konami of Europe's Official Castlevania website (Internet Archive)
- Castlevania at GameFAQs
- Castlevania Realm
- Castlevania speedruns at Speed Demos Archive
- Title at MobyGames
|Forest of Silence • Castle Wall • Villa • Castle Center • Room of Clocks • Clock Tower • Castle Keep|
|Tunnel • Duel Tower • Tower of Execution|
|Underground Waterway • Tower of Science • Tower of Sorcery|