Review of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for the NES Mini Classic
By: Kevin Magnus

I remember back in 1986, when the very first Castlevania game for the NES came out. It was one of my favorite games at the time. If I recall correctly, it was given to me by my mother for a Christmas gift. The following year, I was consumed with the epic journey through multiple floors of a castle, battling monsters, zombies and other baddies. That was until I finally reached Dracula! I got lucky that day, as I beat the king vampire on my very first try.

I was bummed because defeating the game was so much of my nine and ten year old life. But then, I found out in 1987, that the journey was not over! I had learned from one of my Nintendo Power Magazines, that Konami was releasing Castlevania II: Simon's Quest in the coming months! But how was that possible, as I a laid a whooping on Big Daddy Drac in the first game.

Well, as it turned out, what you did not know, something happened in the first Castlevania in the closing moments. Mister Long–in–the–Tooth saw that defeat was inevitable, so he put a deadly curse on Belmont (you), right before the death blow was delivered.

Which brings us to my review of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for the NES Mini Classic! Though, I admit that I did get my tubby hands on the game (again for a Christmas gift), that was over thirty years ago. I actually bought myself the NES Mini Classic for Christmas last year, so I could have something to open, but that is an entirely different story (and here you wondered why my poetry was so sad).

Sorry, I digress. So, in part two of Castlevania, you again play as, Simon Belmont. This time his quest is to recover the Count's body parts from a plethora of creepy mansions hidden them away, in order to break the curse.

I think that one of the things that makes Castlevania II more enjoyable than the original, was how that in the sequel it did away with the linear level structure. Which means you could only travel in one direction, and allows the player to explore towns, mansions and forest which all become haunted at night.

Yeah, there is a night and day setting too! You will quickly find that those forests and mansions have plenty of tricky jumps and monsters to battle. They kept a few things from the first game though, like holy water and daggers as your sub–weapons which enables you to unleash a massive attack on your enemies.

Like I mentioned a moment ago, there is a night and day setting. But, what I forgot to mention was that during your night adventures, evil creatures appear in the villages! Those monsters that we face during the day time (in other locations), become stronger and harder to kill. That and, it is a cool visual effect, as the sun dies down and a screen pops up which reads: What a horrible night to have a curse.

As I think about everything, I believe another big difference from this game and the original is the structure of the quest it self. This is a traveling adventure game, and you get to go through many mansions, (my favorite) talk to the village people for clues! Although, I have to tell you all now if you have never played this game, is that some of them give you red herrings instead of actually information.

Another part of the quest is the player collects and uses hearts to buy weapons and various items that will help you along the way.

If you do not cheat, it will take you a while to find Count Dracula's castle. But mind you that you will need to have all of his body parts, to get to this final stage of the game. Once you get there, the bags levitate away from you and head toward an altar of sorts. Once they are gathered together, the bags erupt into a giant fire ball! The flames disappear and the king vampires stands before you. I won't tell you how to defeat him, but I will say that using Diamonds makes it a walk in the park.

I guess this is where I have to rate it, huh? Well, that is easy as it is one of my absolute favorite games besides Punch Out. Love that game too…anyway, I give Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for the NES and NES Mini Classic five zombie fightin', dead body parts collecting, whippin' Dracula's candy–ass stars!

Now, maybe I see as to why I am so, dark…nah! Don't forget to read my stuff over in the poetry section!

—Kevin Magnus