I was 7 years old, I had just been introduced to the NES at a friends house, I was introduced to a variety of games; Super Mario/Duck Hunt, Contra, Jaws, Castlevania....
And looking back I think I was very confused by Castlevania.
-You have a guy, who wears very little clothing, it is all leather and he wields a whip...ok.
-The music is creppy yet really cool.
-Because I didn't understand the controls that well I never figured out how to fire the secondary weapon, so it seemed to be that every item in the game was useless.
-Jumping was horrible.
-Whenever you fell it seemed like something was pulling you down really fast.
-I could never figure out the stairs.
-And the big bat always killed me.
despite all of that, something kept drawing me in to play the game every now and then, maybe it was the music or maybe the desire to figure out what the heck was going on. I eventually got my own NES but never owned Castlevania myself, so I forgot about it for a long time. Then I one day I began listening to a certain podcast
and the first one I listened to happened to be about none other then Castlevania. Not half way through the podcast I got a rush of nostalgia and busted out a NOT-emulator and a NOT-rom of Castlevania and started playing while I listened to the rest of the show. The game was still hard but I now figured out all the controls and my dexterity was better then when I was 7. Still, the game was tough, I only got halfway through the 3rd level before game over, but I was happy, that was way further then I had ever gotten before.
Now the classic game of the month
is Castlevania, I had to beat it. I work nights at a motel so I have alot of time to waste at a computer so I began my quest of finishing Castlevania once and for all. Now some people consider quick saving to be cheating but I only saved at the beginning of checkpoints because I got tired of having to start all the way from the beginning each time I ran out of continues. So no I didn't beat Dracula the way I was meant to, but none the less i did beat him, and believe me it was still no easy task.
I always hear how everyone hates Frankenstein because of his little monkey friend hopping all over the place, But I believe those people have never faced the Grim Reaper and his 4 flying scythes, he made Frankenstein seem like a walk in the park.
The final level was a real bitch, it probably took me longer then all the previous levels combined. You had to time everything exactly right and keep moving, it was genius, I felt a sense of accomplishment after I had mastered it. But then there was Dracula, it took me about 5 minutes before I realized that you had to hit him in the face. It took alot of persistence dodging the fireballs and jump whipping him in the face, but I finally got him.
So now after have finished Castlevania I thought about what had changed from my childhood experience.
-Still a leather clad dude with a whip
-I absolutely love the music
-I get the controls now but they still are a pain, having to press up and fire to get your secondary weapon to go is awkward
-Jumping is still horrible
-I think Simon actually falls faster then the pull of gravity
-The stairs still don't make sense
-I can now kill the first boss without being hit once!
So not much has really changed, I just got some mad skillz.
So at least now I can say I have played through Castlevania, but the true test will be playing through it without saves. Maybe I'll give that a try with you all on friday the 13th, I think I will at least make it to the last level this time without saves. And good luck to the rest of you, see you on the IRC channel