The Devil lives again – reborn as Dracula! Thrills and suspense in a great adventure. You’ll never get to sleep tonight!
Dracula is back again. The setting is an ancient castle in the tiny European kingdom of Transylvania. Devils and demons are on the rampage. Young Simon Belmont stands alone against the forces of darkness threatening the once peaceful land. Armed with only the mysterious whip bequeathed to him by his father, he heads for Dracula’s Castle…
Released on October 30th, 1986 for the Japanese MSX2 Home Computer, Vampire Killer is a retelling of the original Castlevania story featuring the heroics of the legendary Simon Belmont. During medieval times around the 12th to 13th century a city was suddenly founded in Europe by a large group of Germanic immigrants after the collapse of their ancient city. Within there, a bit earlier during the latter half of the 10th century in the pleasant Transylvanian country, the so-called Germanic society were unable to defend their town. Since ancient times the Transylvanian people has spoken about the “legend of the hero Christopher”. Once in a hundred years a group of evil men are said to conduct a black mass during each century to resurrect the devil Dracula at the tower of Colbert, where he was sealed by the legendary hero. And exactly a hundred years has passed since he was sealed at that Tower. On an Easter night ominous clouds covered the sky when a thunderstorm tore into the darkness, evil had returned. The city had been demolished by evil spirits and paganists. To solve this crisis, Simon, a descendant of Christopher, took his father’s enchanted whip and headed to the castle haunted by the evil spirits.
While this is a popular misconception, Vampire Killer was not the first Castlevania game ever made. It was released in Japan one month after Castlevania made it’s debut on the Japanese Famicom, making it the second game in the franchise. The Original Castlevania game was not released to the United States until 1987, which caused some people to think Vampire Killer was the founding father of the series. Vampire Killer was also released in Europe, but unfortunately never made it to the United States. The game play for Vampire Killer is very similar to that of the NES Castlevania. While the castle layout is completely different, the storyline is still the same. Simon must conquer 6 stages of pure hell, and destroy Count Dracula. He can be equipped with a Whip, Axe, Dagger, or Cross as his main weapon, and has 2 Sub-Weapons available, Holy Water and the Hourglass. Vampire Killer also contains all of the enemies and bosses from its predecessor, along with a few new additions to torment Simon Belmont.
The graphics for Vampire Killer are slightly better than Nintendo’s Castlevania, however beating the game is far more difficult. You are given only 3 lives to complete the game and there are no continues. When your character perishes all 3 lives, you must start from the beginning of the castle. Luckily there were Game Master Cheat Codes available for the MSX2 that gave your player 100 lives, level select, and even a continue feature. Vampire Killer is a hidden treasure of the Castlevania franchise. Many fans of the series have never even heard of Vampire Killer, and only a small amount that are aware of it existence have even played it. However it is one of the original Castlevania titles, and is still an important part of the history of one of the greatest video game franchises of all time.