Long before The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, original NES owners grappled with this 1986 game’s baleful digital vamp, who waited, nestled in his coffin, atop a towering 2D castle.
As Simon Belmont, players cracked a whip to vaporize candelabras and lash throngs of ghouls, skeletons and zombies, all while jamming to memorably fugue-like 8-bit tunes.
While Castlevania took a page from Super Mario‘s platform-leaping puzzles, it was the game’s gothic vibe and distinctive secondary weapons – throwing knives, bottles of flaming oil, a crosswise boomerang, a time-stopping clock – that distinguished it from other platformers. It also had one of the more difficult boss battles in gaming history – the Grim Reaper, aka “Death,” who introduced carpal tunnel to a new generation.
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