Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is a Metroidvania video game by Konami released on the Famicom Disk System in 1987-08-28 and later ported to the NES in 1988. As the title suggests, it is a Castlevania game and the direct sequel to Castlevania, however the format has been slightly modified to be more of an adventure game, making it the first Castlevania title to be a Metroidvania.
In the game's story, though Simon Belmont vanquished Dracula, he didn't properly dispose of his corpse, and the vampire's body parts have been scattered throughout the land allowing his spirit to cause mayhem, especially at night. You must gather his body parts in order to resurrect Dracula and destroy him properly once and for all.
I had the LCD game and saw Castlevania II in video game magazines and even found the game's manual in the snow while walking home from a friend's house, all before I ever had a chance to play the game. When I finally did play it, I was very disappointed. I died very quickly from being knocked into pits, and had no idea what I was doing. From everything I read about the game, it was pretty much unplayable without a walk-through, so I never bothered to get very far.
Years, later, I remember telling a friend of mine that I was sure someone made a translation patch for the game fixing all of the terrible dialogue, but, unable to find one, I decided to make one myself, which I did. It was even featured on The Angry Video Game Nerd and several other game review shows.
I do not own the game, nor have I beaten it.
Best Version: NES (Translation Patch)
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The adventure element of the game is really quite nice. I prefer it over the stage-based system of the original.
- The idea that Dracula's body parts hold a curse over the land, and must be collected and killed properly, is a pretty cool plot.
- The graphics are great for the platform.
- The soundtrack composed by Satoe Terashima and Kenichi Matsubara is fantastic.
- I like the idea of multiple endings depending on how quickly you can beat the game.
- Having items and Dracula's body parts give you bonus abilities based on which one is selected is a good mechanic.
- The save feature in the FDS version is great, it's a shame the NES version got a password system.
- The manual has a nice layout and attractive drawings.
- The game requires far too much grinding for hearts.
- People late in the game often give you advice that you would most certainly have known by then.
- The text for the three endings don't really fit with how well you do in the game.
- The text read out and day/night transitions are obnoxiously slow.
- The poorly translated dialogue and manual makes it impossible to progress very far, and thus makes the game unwinnable without several explicit hints.
Game manual (uses Eras typeface).
Nintendo Power, 1988-09 - cover.
Nintendo Power, 1988-11 - Howard & Nester comic.
|English||Castlevania II: Simon's Quest|
|Japanese||ドラキュラII 呪いの封印||Dorakyura II: Noroi no Fuin||Dracula II: The Seal of the Curse|
- thealmightyguru.com/Games/Hacking/Hacks/SimonsRedaction.html - Translation patch.