Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

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JaySevenZero
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Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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OneCreditBen
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Re: 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by OneCreditBen »



For reference: Here's a Live One Credit Clear of Castlevania 3 (JP Version) from October 2021, using Sypha.

It remains the only time I've managed to get a full 1CC done on this, so far. I'm happy it happened live.
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stvnorman
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Re: 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by stvnorman »

Was there ever a better looking and sounding NES game? I definitely can’t think of a more atmospheric one. It might be a return to the original’s gameplay and quite a few of its themes, but it’s way more than just more of the same, with its multiple characters and multiple pathways offering loads to keep going back for, and some wonderfully varied but always haunting backdrops to do it against. Maybe not the best Castlevania but I reckon it’s up there with the best of the NES.

Three word review: Welcome back Castlevania!
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jkeysgamer
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Re: 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by jkeysgamer »

Growing up the NES was an absolute staple of my childhood. I can distinctly remember the very first time I saw games like Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and yes, Castlevania. Like the afore-mentioned Mario Brothers and Zelda series, Castlevania was part of a club of franchises who’s second installment was a vast departure from the first, only to have the third game be a welcome return to form. 



For me, Castlevania II lacked the charm that the first one had. But when I first saw Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse I was blown away! Not only did this look and feel like the original game that I loved, but it was even better! This was the first time (outside of Ninja Turtles perhaps) that I remember being able to change characters at will - which to my 10-year-old self opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Add to that branching paths and the game felt enormous.



Sadly, when I was away one weekend during high school my mom sold my NES and all my games. To be fair I hadn’t played them in a while, but it still stung. Years later - as an adult - I bought another NES and Dracula’s Curse was among the first games I purchased. Last year I sold a large part of my collection for some needed cash and replaced the games with a flash cart. I did keep a few select cartridges however, including Castelvania III. Partly because it’s special chip set makes it one of the few games you can’t actually run on a flash cart, but also because this game still holds a special place in my heart, and therefore deserves a place on my shelf as well.
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Alex79
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Re: 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by Alex79 »

This was a great game overall and I found it both more challenging and interesting than the first in the series. Nice you can switch characters, even if I only used the others for a brief moment of time (the witch against the doppelganger fight, and the hunchback on another boss). Amazed how well these games have held up, though. They're still a lot of fun to play, and I can't honestly say the same for many NES classics.
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Mr Ixolite
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Re: 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Much like A Link To The Past or Super Metroid, Castlevania 3 is a sequel that looks back to the first game in the series and supercharges it, and for my money it is entirely a good thing. Bigger levels, more levels and more characters, all contained in a top tier audiovisual package on the NES. I spoke of how the original Castlevania makes you feel like you’re on a journey and that feeling returns with a vengeance here as you now trek through winding paths of the Transylvania countryside before even reaching the castle, all lovingly traced on an elaborate world map.

The game also further codifies the Castlevania bestiary and Iconography, and truly introduces the fun of seeing what new spins get put on recurring enemies; Will the mummy show up and where? What’s the fight against Death gonna be like? As such, the multi-stage final boss fight against Dracula with his utterly bizarre second form and his Pazuzu-looking bonus third form is one of the most memorable in the series to me.

Beyond improving on its predecessor across the board Draculas Curse also sets the stage for the magnificent Rondo Of Blood to complete the evolution of this flavor of Castlevania years later, but even by itself it stands as one of the best games in the NES library for me. It's a game I will complete and then immediately go "I should do that again sometime and try a new path", even if I will probably always beeline for Alucard and his platforming-cheesing Bat Form.


3 word review: Bat over pits
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OneCreditBen
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Re: Our next podcast recording (3.12.22) - 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by OneCreditBen »

I'm really happy that the one time I've ever beaten this game on a single credit, only exists in a live format.

It's not to say I won't do it again, but it's hard for me to recreate the magic that I felt when I managed to piece that run together. My process with tougher games remains the same. I'll work on individual parts, before I feel like I've got the toughest bits mastered, then I'll try to put it all together.

It was October 2021 when this happened, and I'd been failing pretty consistently both on and offline to put a clear together. I got a good bank of playing time though, and had one chance to tackle it live on a Thursday night.

It was a pretty stressful time back then, because I was juggling a failed house move that eventually fell through nearly a year later, a job that was clearly going west, Covid was still a thing and the very next day after this stream, I had to get up at 5am to drive to the airport and fly to Russia, to judge some fights. Wild.

I'd never done a complete one credit clear in practice all the way through, but I was as sharp as I'd ever been at Castlevania 3.

There was a real sense of this being the only chance I'd have of having at attempt like this after I managed a good early start. However, I wasn't nearly well as practiced at the final levels of the game, and there were a few deaths. You couldn't have scripted it much better in a lot of respects as I battled my way through the final levels, getting to Dracula with 2 attempts left, and needing the Lightning Book to vanquish all three forms, on my very last life.

The ending and my emotional spiel is very apt, and I chopped the clear up into an individual video. It did quite well, boosted by a fortunate bit of algorithmics.

Never forget, we're all capable of such gaming feats, if we're afforded the luxury of time; ironically the one thing we've got less of as our years advance. I'll do this again at some point, hopefully live, and I look forward to taking the time to learn this unholy adventure again, and maybe getting even better. I'm not saying that I could do this without dying, but then I always say that.

An 8 Bit Masterpiece.
And that Japanese Soundtrack tho!
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psychohype
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Re: Our next podcast recording (3.12.22) - 548: Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Post by psychohype »

What a classic, this game! Although I never got to play Castlevania III as a kid, I finally got the chance to test my mettle against its gauntlet of punishment when it was included in the superb 2019 Castlevania Anniversary Collection. This is one of the most satisfying retro games to complete, especially if you go on to finish the game having tried all the different optional paths.

There’s a lot to recommend about this game, particularly for the perpetual challenge-seeking types who can’t wait for the next FromSoftware game. If you enjoy that kind of slowly earned victory that only comes from failing and repeating … and failing again until you finally triumph, there’s a good chance you’ll really enjoy Castlevania III. In fact, I say go all the way and play the more difficult NES version of the game, without the use of save states, but that’s just me.

If you’re new to Castlevania III, you’ll want to pay attention to the first level. You’ll notice that the first challenge room in this particular Castlevania is not the left-to-right corridor with the shambling zombies. The first challenge area in this game is a vertically oriented cathedral room filled with beautiful stained glass windows, a few easy-to-avoid bats, and—most importantly—a bunch of staircases.

I think this is deliberate. It’s the game telling you in no uncertain terms, “Buddy, you’d better get used to how this works.” You might even do something stupid like walk straight off a ledge and die when you thought you were about to climb the staircase that was right there at the edge of the platform. It’s OK. You’ll figure out very quickly that there’s a certain timing to your inputs, particularly with regards to climbing stairs. But figure it out you must, because you will be climbing a lot of stairs, and it won’t be as calm and simple as it is in this tutorial. Anyone who has played through the rest of the game will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Have fun!
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