Castlevania Wiki
Castlevania Wiki

Hitoshi Akamatsu (credited as Trans Fishers and also as Vram Stoker in the original Castlevania)[1] 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.


During the 8-bit era, Japanese video game developers often had to go by pseudonyms 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 it is uncertain who created the Castlevania series. The best guess is Mr. Hitoshi Akamatsu, but unfortunately, it seems he disappeared from the gaming industry during the early 1990s. However, there is a small record of the games he collaborated in. Many attempts have been made to track him down, but to date there has been no success.

In an interview with game creator and director, Masahiro Ueno (main director of Super Castlevania IV, where he is credited as "Jun Furano"), 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 In an unpublished interview with the creator of Haunted Castle, he said that the head of the original Castlevania was Hitoshi Akamatsu, as well as the aforementioned sequels.

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). It is also believed that the first game for Konami h worked on was Finalizer for arcades.

Recent info regarding the development of Castlevania games by a former employee who worked alongside Mr. Akamatsu revealed that he indeed was behind the creative process and gave key ideas for the games' 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. It is known that Mr. 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.

Mr. Akamatsu tried to make all three original games with a vision of a movie director, but unfortunately, the sequels to Castlevania sold poorly. After working on Snake's Revenge, he went back to Konami's arcade division and co-directed Astérix together with Masaaki Kukino. He was also supposed to direct a baseball game called Slam Dunk, but he quit halfway through the project and began working in one of Konami's game centers. He eventually quit working at Konami entirely and later directed two fishing games at a company called Vingt-et Systems. He dropped out of the game industry entirely in the early 2000s.

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