Thursday, September 30, 2010

October! Castlevania!

It'll be October 1 hour from now.*  That means Halloween is coming, and I've got that itch to replay the classic trio of NES Castlevania games. 

When I was a kid, I always loved Halloween more than Christmas.  Not only were the decorations wicked cool (ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, vampires, etc. beat out reindeer, elves, and a fat bearded guy in red), but you got to wear costumes and go around scaring people, and the school Halloween party we had in elementary school always resulted in lots of cool (if cheap) swag.

Then I got into RPGs.  Sorry Santa, you may have beaten the Martians, but the Monsters win the title.

Every October I get that itch to play the Castlevania games.  Something about the original three on the NES just really hit that sweet spot for me.  The first one is uber-tough, the second is not that hard at all, but is just fun to run around the map searching for all the goodies, and the third has a bit of difficulty and also tactical choices about which way to go and which allies to take and when to use them.  Of course, I love Symphony of the Night too, but those 8-bit games are what I think of when I think of Castlevania.  There's a reason I named my blog this way.

I'm also reminded of my success three years ago running Ravenloft (the original module) for my friends in Yamanashi.  That was a fun mini-campaign.  It was meant to be a one (maybe two) shot, but took us 5 sessions, I think.  Strahd won in the end, but it was a lot of fun getting there.

Man, I'm glad it's October!

*yes, this post is basically pointless


  1. Yeah, a great trio of games for sure... a great series, period. Believe it or not my first D&D experience was playing as Simon Belmont in a friend's game that he based off the Transylvania map for Castlevania II that ran in an issue of Nintendo Power magazine.

  2. I can believe it. My brother also ran Simon Belmont as a character (somewhat based of his personality in the Nintendo Saturday morning cartoon, whatever it was called).

    I've also made a couple of 'Transylvania' maps over the years, using that Nintendo Power map as a base for one, just using elements from CVII and CVIII for another.

    And of course when I finally got around to using the "Haunted Keep" in Karamiekos, it was a CV themed vampire's lair -- including spots where the PCs got 'refreshed' at the end of each level just like in the games.

  3. There is little better in life than the first Castlevania.