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Castlevania Legends (悪魔城ドラキュラ 漆黒たる前奏曲 Akumajō Dracula: Dark Night Prelude?) is an action-adventure platform game developed by KCE Nagoya and published by Konami in Japan in 1997, and in North America and Europe in 1998. It is the fourteenth installment in the Castlevania series, and the third and last to be released on the Nintendo Game Boy, as well as the last Castlevania game to be released on an 8-bit system. It was released on Nintendo Switch Online on October 31, 2023.

According to the game's storyline, it was set before any of the previous games in the series and dealt with the origins of Dracula and how his feud with the Belmont family first started. When the first official timeline was published, it was retconned out of the storyline. The game now takes place in an alternate timeline, separated from the main chronology.[1][2]

Plot[]

The year is 1450 and a mysterious man made a pact with an evil deity to become immortal and conquer the world. Having become a powerful Demon King, he summoned evil demons from the underworld and sent them out to overthrow the entire European continent. He became known as Count Dracula, and nobody dared to oppose his might.

The Belmont family, a house of nobles living in a remote area of Transylvania, had a young girl with powers not possessed by common folk. Sonia Belmont was looked after by her grandfather who trained her in the use of his special whip that contained magical powers.

One night, when she was 17 years of age, she encountered the young enigmatic Alucard, and formed a bond with him. He was the son of the feared Count, but he had decided to turn away from him and his evil deeds.

The mansion where Sonia was born was one day suddenly attacked by grotesque monsters. When she returned to find her home in ruins she encountered her grandfather breathing his last. Before he passed away, he passed his whip on to her and told Sonia to use her special abilities to rid the land of evil.

Sonia traveled across the Transylvanian countryside to Dracula's Castle, destroyed Dracula's minions, and eventually defeated the Count himself. After having crossed paths with Sonia, Alucard decided to seal himself away before she would press on to face his father, unable to deal with seeing his father dying as well. However, Sonia gave birth to a child not soon after that would continue both his legacy and that of the Belmont Clan.

Characters[]

Characters
Image Name Information
Pose-sonia1
Sonia Belmont
(Sonia Belmondo)
The first Vampire Hunter from House Belmont to become legendary. She is a master of the whip and possesses special abilities that normal people do not. (...)
Alu-sword
Alucard
The enigmatic son of Dracula. He did not support his father's action and changed his name to his current alias to show that he opposed the Count's evil ways. (...)
Dracgb31
Dracula
An immortal vampire and master of the Demon Castle. In his mortal life he made an pact with an evil deity. He gained tremendous power and decided to conquer the world. (...)


Gameplay[]

Castlevania Legends consists of six timed stages, each ending in boss battles. Obstacles such as pits are found along the way, as well as trap rooms that can cause instant death. The control scheme is similar to the previous two Castlevania titles released for Nintendo Game Boy, with a few notable improvements. The option to use sub-weapons has been removed. In addition, Sonia Belmont is able to slowly crawl, which Christopher was unable to do in the previous Game Boy installments. This move is required to avoid getting hit and to slowly travel through cramped corridors.

Instead of sub-weapons, Sonia can unlock powerful Soul Weapon abilities from defeated boss creatures. Soul Weapons consume Hearts and are chosen from a menu by pressing the SELECT button during normal play. The effects of these abilities include freezing enemies for a short time (Wind), refilling Sonia's health bar (Ice), killing or damaging all enemies onscreen (Fire), fire out a wave of energy that shoots through anyone in its path (Saint), or destroying an enemy and nullifying its projectile attack (Magic). A new ability called Burning Mode can be initiated by pressing the A and B buttons at the same time; this makes Sonia invincible for a limited amount of time, increases her walking speed and makes her whip attacks stronger.

Because the game was released very soon after Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, its design was influenced by the open-ended gameplay of that title. Multiple paths can be chosen, which often lead to a special item that can be collected. However, there's only one correct route to take to the end of the stage.

Another example would be the hidden stage that can be accessed by finding its hidden entrance in Stage 5, The Cathedral. Playing this stage is essential for getting the special ending because one of the special items that are needed to trigger it can be found there.

The game's regular weapon, the whip, can once again be upgraded by collecting Crystals found by hitting candles. Light Mode selectable at the start of the game, lets the player start with a fully upgraded whip. Unlike the previous Game Boy Castlevania titles, should Sonia take damage by an enemy, the power of the whip will not decrease to a previous form. When the whip is fully powered, it can launch fireballs straightforward. Another staple that the game shares with the previous two entries is the absence of staircases and their replacement with ropes.

A notable feature in the Japanese version is the option to save after each stage, while most previous games in the series do this by the means of a password system. The other versions of Castlevania Legends continue this tradition.

Dialogue[]

Main article: Castlevania Legends/Script

Music[]

Most of the music of Castlevania Legends was newly composed. However, the first stage notably has a modified version of "Bloody Tears" as its background music, and the final battle's background music begins with an excerpt of "Vampire Killer".

The music of the game has been commercially released as part of Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX (2010).

A sound test was originally intended to be featured in the game, but the idea was scrapped. It was programmed and is fully functional, though, and can be accessed by entering a GameShark code once the player starts a level.

Stages[]

Stage Name Boss Music
1 Outside the Castle Creatures Bat Bloody Tears
The Creatures Bat is a fiendish artificial life form that was created by fusing the abilities of a bat with those of a human. The Bat can fly and attacks with superhuman strength.
2 Inside the Castle Death Dragon Inside the Castle
This legendary monster was slain by Count Dracula himself and then was brought back as a living corpse. The dragon attacks by breathing flames.
3 The Clock Tower Grim Reaper Clock Tower of Darkness
This apparition received great power of magic in return for being bound to Count Dracula in an eternal master-servant blood contract. The Grim Reaper also brandishes a very sharp sickle.
4 The Top Floor of the Castle Alucard Highest Castle Floor
In order to pass on to Sonia his own hope of slaying his father Count Dracula, Alucard lurks somewhere in Dracula's castle, waiting for the fateful day when he must rise to his final test.
? Dungeon of Silence Executioner Dungeon of Silence
5 The Cathedral Dracula Underground Watercourse
Master of the evil castle, this legendary Prince of Darkness undertook a transmigration from his human body and, in so doing, came into a magic ability powerful beyond imagination.

Related pages[]

Related products[]

Related games[]

Related music albums[]

Related guides[]

References[]

  1. Castlevania timeline.
  2. GAME SIDE, February 2009. (Japanese)

External links[]

Castlevania Legends
Characters
Sonia Belmont · Dracula · Alucard
Bosses
Creatures Bat · Death Dragon · Flying Wolf · Grim Reaper · Medusa · Jumping Demon · Executioner
Stages
Outside the Castle · Inside the Castle · The Clock Tower · The Top Floor of the Castle · The Cathedral
Secret Passage
Music
Akumajō Dracula Best Music Collections BOX
Guides
Nintendo Power Guide · Futabasha Official Guide
Archives
Bestiary · Inventory · Castlevania: Resurrection
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