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Hitoshi Akamatsu was the head director of the creation team behind the original Castlevania, and it is also known that he and his team were in charge of the creation of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse and Snake's Revenge (a non-canonical sequel to Metal Gear) released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

BackgroundEdit

During the 8-bit era, all Japanese video game developers had to go by pseudonyms, presumably in an attempt of game companies to diminish head-hunting by other rival companies. One of the downsides of having those fake credits was that nobody actually knows for certain who created the Castlevania series. The best guess is a Mr. "Hitoshi Akamatsu", but unfortunately he seems to have disappeared from the gaming industry during the early '90s. There is, however, a small record of the games he collaborated in. Many attempts have been made to track down Mr. Akamatsu, but to date there has been no success.

In an interview with game creator and director, Masahiro Ueno (main director of Super Castlevania IV), he confirmed that the same team was responsible for the development of the three Famicom Castlevania games: Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. In an unpublished interview with the creator of Haunted Castle, he said that the head of the original Castlevania was Hitoshi Akamatsu, the same as the sequels.

Surprise Attack

Ending credits from Surprise Attack (Konami, 1990)

Presumably, while still working at Konami, Mr. Akamatsu was also part of the development teams behind the arcade games Time Pilot (Konami, 1982) and Surprise Attack (Konami, 1990).

Recent info regarding the development of Castlevania games by a former employee who worked alongside Akamatsu revealed that he was indeed behind the creative process and gave key ideas for the game's design and lore. He was a fan of western movies and had many ideas that resulted into the parody/tribute of horror films that were the first three games. Akamatsu was very strict about being sure the player controls, the timing of the graphics, and the resulting effect of pressing a button were all very closely aligned. He was very particular about the way the controls felt and making sure they felt satisfying to the player. In Castlevania, he wanted controls where eventually, after playing enough, Simon's movements would feel like an extension of the player's own limbs. According to him, Simon's weapon of choice, the whip, is a reference to Indiana Jones.

Akamatsu tried to make all three original games with a vision of a movie director, but unfortunately, the sequels to Castlevania sold poorly, so he was demoted to working in one of Konami's game centers and then he quit. According to Akamatsu, Konami placed profits above all else, and developers who weren't creating games that made lots of money were all eventually axed one-by-one. 

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