Castlevania 64

In earlier times, peace and prosperity reigned across the land, and no-one thought to question their good fortune or fear for the future...

Then, in the middle of the 19th century, a dark shadow spread across Wallachia, Transylvania, home to many a vampire legend. The spirits of the depraved and corrupt had roused the king of evil from his enforced sleep of 100 years...

Shapeshifting into a bat, a wolf, or coils of mist, he stalked the land...

Seeking the dark and shunning the light, he cursed the gods as he hunted...

Damned to eternal life, he sucked the blood of one young maiden after another...

Count Dracula, Lord of Darkness and Master of the Castle of Death, had arisen again...

The peace and prosperity of the people utterly destroyed, a black cloud of despair spread over the land. Evil beings roamed through the towns, and those who refused to pledge allegiance to Dracula died horrible deaths.

It was then that two warriors came forth, called by fate to hunt down the Lord of Darkness and deliver the people from his evil...

Released on January 26th, 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Castlevania 64 is the tale of 2 members of historic vampire killer clans. Reinhardt Schneider, member of the legendary Belmont clan, and Carrie Fernandez, who is part of the Belnades clan. It is the year 1852, the Province of Wallachia. In this time of peace and plenty, no-one foresees the return of ancient horrors... But the old legends live, and soon the land will again be plunged into darkness. The people have returned to the path of wickedness, and the bonds that seal their evil ruler's spirit are weakening. Deep in his castle, he stirs from a century of enforced sleep... Count Dracula awakes.

Reinhardt Schneider... Heir of the ancient Belmont clan of vampire hunters, his blood dooms him to oppose the might of Count Dracula. Wielding the holy whip of his ancestors, the young vampire killer begins his quest!!

Carrie Fernandez... A young girl gifted with great magical powers. Sensing Dracula's return, she sets off alone to the dark castle. Now she must wield her inherited power in the fight against evil..

Castlevania 64 was the first 3D game of the series. It's actual official title is Castlevania, however most fans refer to it as Castlevania 64 to avoid confusion with the original NES game. At the start of Castlevania 64 you have the choice of playing as either Reinhardt or Carrie. Both set out on a quest to stop Count Dracula's impending return to power after a century of dormancy. The characters travel to, and explore Dracula's grand estate in their mission to defeat the count, and his hoard of undead minions.

Castlevania 64 has been heavily criticized for many aspects from the game, particularly the bad camera angles, as well as how the endings for the player are determined. The game works on a timer that controls the flow of time from night to day and vice-versa. The timer is used, in terms of days to decide whom you battle at game's end, and the consequences of those battles. The longer a player takes to beat the game, the worse ending they will get. This turned out to be a disastrous concept that annoyed Castlevania fans. Konami's first attempt into the 3D gaming world for Castlevania was unsuccessful. After seeing negative results and feedback from Castlevania 64, a sequel/prequel was released later that year called Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, also on the N64. While Legacy of Darkness was considered a better game, it still did not live up to the expectations of many fans.

The release of 2 poorly received titles in 1 year, combined with the failed efforts of Castlevania Legends on the Game Boy from the previous year, put the series into a downward spiral that took several years to bounce back from. If it wasn't for the immense popularity that Castlevania received from Symphony of the Night just 2 years prior, the series would have been in even more trouble. The lack of success of the Castlevania N64 games may have also contributed to the cancellation of Castlevania: Resurrection. The late 90's was not the best time to be a fan of the series. The franchise did not regain popularity until around 2003 with releases like Aria of Sorrow, Lament of Innocence, and even Harmony of Dissonance. While Castlevania 64 is liked by some fans, it is remembered by most as a failed attempt to transition the series into the 3 Dimensional video gaming world.