Title: Akumajo Dracula
Genre: Action
Developer: Konami
Released by: Konami
Date: September 26, 1986
Japanese level: 1
MSRP: 2980 yen
Current Price: 1500 yen

All NES gamers should have fond memories of the first Castlevania. One of Konami's first true FC classics and the first non-Nintendo disk game to get any degree of popularity, Demon Castle Dracula is a truly great piece of work and is an example of everything an action platformer should be. Maybe they should have made it a little less challenging, though... Konami is still going at it with this series, but in the end you can always go back to the original.

Konami released this gem on the FDS in 1986, and finally re-released it in Famicom cartridge format in 1993 in fairly limited numbers, making the cart release one of the Holy Grails of game collectors in Japan currently. The only major difference between this disk game and the USA NES game is that you can save your game after Game Over (touroku = entry, kesu = erase). The ending calls you by name, and still has the various punny credit names in English. As an aside the disk image of this game floating around on the Net is permanently trained for infinite energy and hearts - a good or bad thing depending on how good you think you are.

There's a bug in one version of Akumajo or Castlevania that I wasn't able to confirm but is in more than one codebook I own: on level 18, go up to the first stairway and crouch, then from the crouching position immediately start going up the stairs. When you make it to the top, immediately crouch and go back downstairs, stay crouched and go back upstairs, etc. If you do this long enough you'll supposedly notice Simon levitating above the stairs; you can make him go up and up until you get to various silly bugged screens. Anyone care to try this out?