Castlevania, part 2
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was the first Castlevania title I remember extensively playing. I may have played Castlevania 64, but that game was awful and nearly everyone chooses to forget it. I bought my GameBoy Advance in 2001 or 2002, and Circle of the Moon was one of the first games I got for it, as well as one of the first games for the system in general. I foolishly looked either online or in a code book at cheats for the game, and discovered that if you used a certain name as your character’s name, then you’d get a boost to all of your fighting stats. What I didn’t realize was that you would also not be able to use magic, so while I ended up beating Circle of the Moon, I didn’t see all that the game had to offer with its magic system.
Still, I was hooked on the basic premise and idea behind Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I loved the huge castle you got to explore, slowly earning new powers and abilities that allowed you to access new areas of Dracula’s castle. I loved the gothic atmosphere of the whole game, how Universal Pictures monsters would show up to fight you amidst the new horrors the Konami team created for the game. Exploring the castle was fun, and I loved using whips and various weapons. And the music was excellent, perfectly setting the tone and dragging you into the game.
If you’re interested, here is a speedrun of the entire game of Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. Whoever recorded this beat the game in 24 minutes, which is just crazy. I’m sure I spent at least 10-15 hours playing the game.
There was a second Castlevania game on the GameBoy Advance, but sadly, I never played it. I’m not sure how I skipped it, but I still need to play Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. I’m only half certain I never played it, as I don’t remember the main character and his unique Flash type look. However, I did play the third Castlevania game, Aria of Sorrow, which was excellent.
Aria of Sorrow took the Castlevania story to new, interesting places, most notably into the future. Dracula’s castle appears during a solar eclipse, and the main character, Soma Cruz, not even a Belmont this time, has to go and defeat Dracula’s minions and those responsible for bringing the castle back. There actually was a pretty decent plot in this game, and the gameplay of course was top notch as always. I have a tendency of getting lost easily in Castlevania games, so I’m nearly always super frustrated while playing them, but that hasn’t detracted from my enjoyment of the series. However, I tend to miss out on certain things in the games, and so I tend to achieve the worse possible endings. I think this game suffered the most from it, as I doubt I even fought the true end boss of the game. But that was years ago, so I barely remember.
Here’s a speed run of Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. 28 minutes! Insane!!
Next time, the Castlevania DS games!