Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, known in Japan as Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin (ドラキュラⅡ 呪いの封印? lit. "Dracula II: Seal of the Curse"), is an action/adventure platform game developed by Konami in 1987 for the Famicom Disk System. It was ported to cartridge format in 1988 and released in North America for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
After Simon delivered the final coup de grace to the Prince of Darkness, the Count placed a dark curse upon him that would send him to an early grave unless Simon revived him. Moreover, Dracula's minions are once again stirring throughout the land of Transylvania, ravaging throughout the many villages and terrorizing the townsfolk.
Simon takes up the legendary whip, the Vampire Killer, once again and travels throughout the land to the towns of Jova, Veros, Aljiba, Aldra, Oldon, Fetra and Ghulash to liberate the people and seek help from them as he searches for the Count's body parts which have been hidden in five different dark manors (Berkeley, Rover, Brahm's, Bodley and Laruba) throughout the land.
Once all the parts of Dracula's body were in place, Simon took them to the ruins of Dracula's Castle and burned them. Simon didn't expect, however, for Dracula's ghost due to the power of a sixth remain, Dracula's Fang, which was hidden inside the ruins. Simon fought Dracula again and this time finished him for good (or so the people thought, though Dracula would return in the 18th century).
Simon's Quest's environment differs from the linear castle of the first game, and is instead an open-ended landscape interspersed with towns, cemeteries, manors and dungeons. The passage of time in game causes day to become night and vice versa. Enemies are stronger at night, zombies invade towns and the townspeople are nowhere to be seen as they are hiding in their houses from the monsters. New to the series are several RPG elements, such as an inventory and a leveling system which causes Simon's health to increase whenever he collects a specific amount of Hearts. During the day, townspeople offer hints (although the player must be aware that some of these may be half-truths or outright lies), and merchants sell items (such as whip upgrades) in exchange of Hearts. The amount of time it takes to complete the game also affects how well Simon fares at the ending.
Sub-weapons return from Castlevania. Old weapons include the Dagger and Holy Water, while new ones include the bouncing Diamond and Laurels of invincibility. Dracula's remains also offer stat benefits when collected, such as an immunity to poison.
The mighty hero who had slain Count Dracula seven years prior and now 29 years old. After Simon had put away his enemies' flesh for another hundred years of slumber, he noticed his body began to slowly decay.()
The Demon King who Simon sealed away seven years earlier. During his battle with Simon, Dracula had cast a deadly curse on him. The more Simon's body will demolish, the more he will grow in power and will ultimately be resurrected if Simon were to die.
- The format for telling (game) time is DAYS:HOURS:MINUTES.
- The first nighttime cycle begins at exactly 18:00 PM and ends at day 01, 6:00 AM (game time).
- Each nighttime cycle begins at 18:00 PM and lasts until 6:00 AM the next day.
- Each daytime cycle begins at 6:00 AM and lasts 12 hours (game time).
- Game time does not pass while inside a church, while inside a building in town, or in a mansion.
- Game time does pass if you are on the outside part of a town, or while "in the wild".
- Every time you gain a level, there will be certain enemies that will not give you XP (but you will still gain hearts from them).
- American version - "What a horrible night to have a curse" - When the sun goes down during gameplay.
- Japanese version - "And so the shiver of the night has arrived" (ソシテ センリツノ ヨルガ オトズレタ Soshite senritsu no yoru ga otozureta).
- American version - "The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night" - When the sun comes back up during gameplay.
- Japanese version - "The nightmarish night has ended" (アクムノヨウナ ヨルガアケタ Akumu no you na yoru ga aketa).
- "You now prossess Dracula's Rib" - A typo of "possess".
- "A symbol of evil will appaer when you strike the stake" - A typo of "appear".
- "Let's live here together" - Spoken by an old woman in a house.
- "Take my daughter, please!!" - Spoken by an old man in a village.
The game includes three different endings, determined by how long it took for the player to complete the game and how many continues were used. All three are variations of the same ending, but with different twists featured.
Complete the game in 15 days or more.
Neither Dracula nor Simon survive the battle. Dracula's grave is shown and text appears telling the player that:
Complete the game in 8 to 14 days.
Simon defeats Dracula but eventually succumbs to the curse anyway. Simon kneels by Dracula's grave and text appears telling the player that:
Complete the game in 7 days or less.
Simon defeats Dracula and is freed from the curse. He kneels by Dracula's grave and text appears telling the player that:
Simon walks away from the grave, but that night Dracula's hand pushes through the dirt.
Like several other Konami games of this era, the staff are only credited by aliases and their specific roles are not given in the game itself. What follows in the in-game credit list, accompanied by those whose full names and roles have been identified:
- Invincibility: Akamatsu (Hitoshi Akamatsu; game designer and director)
- Permanance: Iwasa
- Philosophy: Togakushi (Noriyasu Togakushi; character designer)
- Masterpiece: Kawanishi
- Sensitivity: Hatano (Yoshiaki Hatano; sound effects)
- Excellence: Terashima (Satoe Terashima; music composer)
- Ambivalence: Kuwahara (Yasuo Kuwahara; game progammer)
- Flourish: Higasa
- Warm-Heart: Matsuoka (Nobuhiro Matsuoka; game programmer)
- Admiration: Ohyama (Hideki Ohyama; character designer)
- Superiority: Murata (Kouji Murata; audio programmer and music composer)
- Synchromism: Matsubara (Kenichi Matsubara; music composer)
- The phrase "The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night" used to signify the coming of daytime was referenced by Shanoa in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, when she mentioned that she was "the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night".
- The artwork for the game, featuring Dracula emerging on a balcony, bears a striking resemblance to the cover of the 1983 Dungeons and Dragons module entitled "Ravenloft".
- One of the manors, Brahms, is somewhat of a typo but sounds similar to "Bram", as in Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.
- The phrase "What a horrible night to have a curse" used in this game to signify the coming of nighttime was used as the name of a Black Dahlia Murder song from the album "Nocturnal". Similarly, the open portion of the music played in the forest during daytime, "Bloody Tears", was used in the With Dead Hands Rising song "A Ghost for the Broken Hearted" on their album "Behind Inquisition".
- In the MMORPG Everquest II, the zone Loping Plains is beset by a curse every night and the message "What a horrible night to have a curse" appears in the player's chat window. When day breaks, the message "The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night" is also displayed in the chat window.
- Even though the best ending implied that Dracula was restored to life regardless of Simon's efforts, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance does not consider this specific aspect of the ending canon due to the narrative explicitly stating that Dracula was still dead fifty years afterward.
- Director Hitoshi Akamatsu cited The Maze of Galious (sequel to Konami's MSX game Knightmare) as an inspiration for the game.
- Simon's Quest Collectors Cards — A small set of trading cards featuring new art for Simon's Quest.
- Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin Kanzen Hisshōbon — A Japanese guide book for this game.
- Nintendo Power - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest guide — A US guide for this game.
- NES Game Atlas — Contains stage maps for this game.
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (wrist watch game) — A Tiger LCD Watch game based on this game.
- Electronic Castlevania II: Simon's Quest — A simplified version of this game in LCD handheld format by Tiger Electronics.
- Akumajō Dracula Famicom Best — Contains the Simon's Quest original soundtrack.
- Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX — Contains music from this game on Disc 1.
- Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin SOUNDTRACKS — New recording original soundtrack.
- Worlds of Power - Simon's Quest — Children novel.
- Howard & Nester
- Captain N: The Game Master — Has episodes featuring elements of this game (especially The Greatest Game Master).
- Castlevania — Simon's Quest is a sequel to the original Castlevania.
- Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance — Official sequel to Simon's Quest.
- Castlevania: The Adventure — Originally considered to be a sequel to Simon's Quest in America.
- Super Castlevania IV — Originally localized to be a sequel to Simon's Quest in America, but now considered a remake of the original Castlevania.
- English Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Manual at Mr. P's Castlevania Realm
- Japanese Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Manual at Mr. P's Castlevania Realm
- Angry Video Game Nerd - 2009 episodes
- Angry Nintendo Nerd - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Angry Video Game Nerd - Castlevania: Part 2
- Angry Video Game Nerd page on Cinemassacre.com
- Cinemassacre Productions home page
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest at the Castlevania Fan Wiki
- MobyGames' entry for Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Konami Wii Order Page (Japanese)
- Castlevania Dungeon - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Castlevania Realm
- Simon's Quest: Redacted - A dialog patch that fixes the game's typos and replaces the false hints with real hints.