Return to Castlevania’s roots with Arcade Archives’ Haunted Castle

Simon Belmont makes the leap to coin-op

This week’s release from the good folks over at Hamster returns to the formative years of one of gaming’s most-loved franchises, as Konami’s whip-crackin’ adventure Haunted Castle joins the Nintendo Switch Arcade Archives range.

Released in arcades back in 1988, Haunted Castle was the first Castlevania title developed specifically for the coin-op market, following the home console success of 1986’s Castlevania and Vampire Killer, and 1987’s Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. A hodge-podge of lore and features from the monster-hunting series, Haunted Castle sees Simon Belmont battle through six stages in order to rescue his wife Serena from the evil Count Dracula. Oh, we also get to see our boy Simon getting married in a slick white tuxedo… during the middle ages.

Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber NintendoComplete.

Despite the punch-up in tech power, Haunted Castle features numerous mechanics and elements familiar to Castlevania, from its locations and monsters, to its use of whips, morning stars, and throwable sub-weapons. Haunted Castle also contains both remixes and debuts of several popular Castlevania themes. For many, Haunted Castle was an entry into the Castlevania franchise, and while it’s hardly up there as one of the series’ best iterations, its importance in bringing the legendary brand to a wider audience cannot be discounted.

Haunted Castle is now available to download on Nintendo Switch, priced at $8. It was previously released on PS4. It should also be noted that Haunted Castle is available as part of the Konami Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection, although the Hamster release allows players the choice of Japanese, U.S., or European ROM sets.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.