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For other uses, see Dracula's Castle (disambiguation).

The Devil Castle Dracula: The Battle of Old Castle[1] (悪魔城ドラキュラ 古城の死闘 Akumajō Dorakyura Kojyō no Shitō?, lit. "The Devil Castle Dracula: The Desperate Struggle in the Old Castle") is a Japanese gamebook (choose-you-own-adventure style novel) published by Futabasha in 1987.

The book features the young actor Simon Belmont, who shares the same name with his ancestor, filming his namesake's adventures. Dracula is accidentally unleashed on the world again, whence he kidnaps Simon's movie costar, Lucy Lane, and it is up to the new Simon to defeat him.


The player begins the game by rolling 5d6 and assigning the values they receive to values A-E. If they roll a 1 or a 2, they can reroll the value once, but must keep whatever comes up. However, be warned that certain combats are impossible to win with a value of 1, so it is recommended to simply reroll everything from the start if you end up with a 1 in any value. If the player does not have any dice, they can turn to random pages and use the printed dice faces on them for any dice related checks.

When encountering a combat, the player will be given a letter (for example 'A') and a value. The player must roll 1d6 and add the number to the player's stats in that letter, then compare this combined value to the enemy's strength. If they exceed the enemy's strength, they win. On a tie, the player must reroll until a victory or loss is decided.

Hearts are used as currency and start at 10, as does health. If the player finds encounters the same source of health or hearts multiple times in their quest (which is very likely due to the looping nature of the castle), they may acquire them once more. However, only one of each item can be held at any given time.

Gameplay flow[]

The player moves through the castle, which is based on the MSX version of Castlevania 1, Vampire Killer. Similar to that game, merchants can be found in various locations selling important items and memorization and routing is mandatory for getting through the castle. The castle is clearly based on the source text, with level demarcations and familiar bosses: the giant bat, Medusa, the mummy, Frankenstein and his monster (who is also named Frankenstein in the book), and Death, each requiring a unique door key to reach and each of whom drops an orb of a different color, all of which are required to open the door to Dracula's lair.

However, the castle is interconnected in various ways unique to the gamebook. For example, in the river where the player encounters fishmen in level 1, Simon can be knocked down into the water and get washed away into level 4. Additionally, there are myriad warps present if the player takes the wrong turn, warping Simon back and forth between levels within the castle. Because of this, it is technically possible to fight Death before the giant bat, for example. Beyond that, if Simon reaches a door he cannot open, he must pay a penalty (at times quite a steep one) and is warped back to earlier in the castle.

Although the story generally follows the 'plot' of the first Castlevania game, it adds characters and side-plots that result in new bosses and fights, as well as unique relationships to monsters. For example, Simon is attacked by vampires several times towards the end of the game, may temporarily make an alliance with a crow, and encounters a werewolf and a monster girl. Additionally, Dr. Frankenstein himself is portrayed as a largely sympathetic character and his monster's aggression a product of the evil influence of dark support from figures like Dracula rather than due to a flaw in the doctor's research or his own evil intentions. Lucy Lane, Simon's eventual wife (and who would eventually give birth to his children as well according to the Epilogue), also briefly becomes a vampire and Simon must resist her attempts to persuade him away from his Golden Rosary, which is required to defeat Dracula.


In-story chronology[]


  • Despite being an official product, The Devil Castle Dracula: The Battle of Old Castle is not canonical to the official Castlevania timeline.
  • According to the book, Dracula's Castle has been owned by the Belmont Family for two hundred years.
  • The book is the first Castlevania product to feature a werewolf.
  • Dracula is said to have been sealed in the dark world by the original Simon Belmont 400 years ago. However, it is also mentioned Francoise, the daughter of Gregoriano IV, received a golden rosary from Simon. Gregoriano IV is said to have ruled Transylvania 500 years ago. It's not clear whether or not this is an oversight.


  • The movie in the gamebook is produced by Universe Studio, a parody of Universal Pictures, and 19th Century Wolf, a parody of 20th Century Fox.
  • The book was published in 1987, making it one of the earliest Castlevania products.

Related products[]


  1. The title of this gamebook appears translated to English as such on the back cover of the publication itself. In most other instances, the Japanese title Akumajō (悪魔城) is generally translated to English as "Demon/Devil Castle Dracula" instead.
  2. Page 5: Universe Studio News Vol. 732 (April 13, 195X)

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