Castlevania: Bloodlines

Journey back to 1897 and the Transylvanian countryside of Romania. It was a time of fear and dread for the simple people of this European country. They lived under the dark rule of Count Dracula for many years. He was a ruthless warrior when he was alive, but he was even more terrifying in death! For you see, Dracula is king of the vampires!

But even one as powerful as Dracula has enemies. From the early 16th century the Belmont's, including Trevor, Christopher, and the legendary Simon had been fighting Dracula and his minions throughout Europe. Finally, in 1897 Quincy Morris, a descendant of the House of Belmont, overcame great odds to defeat Dracula and send him to his eternal grave. Unfortunately since Quincy was so badly beaten in his battle with the Count, he lost his own life moments after plunging a wooden stake into Dracula's chest.

Quincy's legacy has continued, however. His son John Morris and John's childhood friend Eric Lecarde had witnessed the Quincy/Dracula showdown from the shadows. That scene changed their lives forever as they grew older they swore to rid the planet of the evil creatures of the underworld.

Twenty years later... Elizabeth Bartley. The name conjures up images of a regal countess who, in the year 1421, was found kneeling over the body of a dead young man. He had two puncture wounds in his neck. She was tried as a vampire and found guilty. Her sentence was...to gruesome to mention in these pages. What is important is that she was indeed guilty. And not only was she a vampire, she was the niece of Count Dracula!

Now, in the ruins of a mysterious castle in Transylvania, an amateur witch by the name of Drolta Tzuentes, dabbles in arcane magic. She casts a spell which inadvertently brings Elizabeth Bartley back to the land of the living! Now that she has returned, Bartley is bent toward one goal, reviving her dead uncle, Count Dracula!

In a twist of fate, Morris and Lecarde have been drawn towards the ominous castle. Their task is simple, defeat Bartley before she can complete her macabre objective. Completing their task, however, will involve many perilous encounters and life or death acts of bravado. Is your heart strong enough for this challenge?

Released on March 17th, 1994 for the Sega Genesis, Castlevania: Bloodlines was the first game of the series which gave the player a choice of 2 different characters. First, John Morris, the whip wielding son of the legendary Quincy Morris, and John's close friend Eric Lecarde, who is armed with spears throughout the game. Whether you choose to play as John or Eric, the goal of Castlevania: Bloodlines is the same, make your way through 6 challenging stages and destroy both Elizabeth Bartley and her uncle, the evil Count Dracula. The stages are not all located in one castle as in previous titles, instead they are scattered throughout Europe in locations like Romania, Greece, and Italy. The traditional hearts to power up sub-weapons are not in this game, instead Bloodlines uses gems which are reminiscent to Sega's Sonic The Hedgehog series. The game features a unique list of enemies, containing both old and new villains, and 20 different bosses located at the middle and ends of the stages to prevent your succession.

Castlevania: Bloodlines wound up being the sole game of the series released on the now defunct Sega systems. Bloodlines was not a well known title among the mainstream video game fans. However it's uniqueness and long, challenging stages have given the game a cult following similar to that of Super Nintendo's Dracula X. Despite not being as popular as other titles, Bloodlines is still a game that should be part of the true Castlevania fan's collection.