Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (book)
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is a young adult novelization of the video game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and was published by Scholastic in July of 1990. It is the fourth book in the Worlds of Power series, and, like all books in the series, it is attributed to "F. X. Nine," though the internal text lists the author as Christopher Howell.
In the book, Simon Belmont, hero of the Castlevania series, travels through dimensions to find video game wiz Tim Bradley, a junior high school student. He needs Tim's help to collect Dracula's body parts and defeat the vampire once and for all before Dracula consumes Simon's spirit.
I read my first Worlds of Power book, Blaster Master, in the early 1990s, but I didn't read any others until 2007 when, being nostalgic for the story, I ordered several other books from the series. One of them was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, which I promptly read and groaned my way through.
I own a second edition mass market paperback and have read it.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- I like how the author employs the seven deadly sins as warning signs of Simon being corrupted by Dracula, though he doesn't follow through on all of them.
- For fear of being killed by Dracula's minions, the townsfolk are unable to give direct answers to Simon and Tim, so they have to speak in riddles. This is a nice way cover up for the shortcomings of the poor translation.
- Although it takes some liberties with the body parts and locations, the game covers a lot of events and locations from the game.
- Castlevania is the American name for Dracula's castle located in the region of Transylvania, which is pretty clear from reading the manuals of the games. However, the author describes the entire region where Simon lives as "Castlevania."
- The author describes the controller of the NES as a "joystick" even though it clearly doesn't have one.
- The hints at the ends of some chapters are mostly useless.
- The author calls a store "The Ye Olde Shopp," but, in antiquated text, "ye" means "the," so, it's really called "The The Old Shop."
- The re-created cover art completely eliminates Dracula. This was either due to censorship or a lack of time. Either way, it loses a lot of the quality of the original.
- I noticed a handful of typos throughout the book.
- Tim's obsession with chocolate is brought up far too frequently, and his "temptation," is unimpressive.
- The writing is extremely hokey, even for kids:
- "I'll drink your spirit like cherry pop!" "It doesn't taste like cherry pop at all!"
- "He was really in kind of a jam, and it wasn't the grape kind, either."
- The fight with Thanatos was very childish. "Cucumber breath!"
- Tim Bradley defeats Dracula, not through combat or intelligence, but by telling him bad jokes.