April 9, 2012
Castlevania II is all about dark settings, vampires, creatures of the night, monsters and exploration, and this game provides you with all of this and much more. Adding a bit of RPG elements to a game that used to be very linear made it a whole different experience. It is definitely not the easiest retro game you would buy, but the great challenge is enough to keep you coming back to this game and replaying it from time to time.
Controls are easy, yet a bit stiff and cloggy at times though. Move with the D-Pad, crouch with Down, jump with A just as in any other respectable Nintendo game, and unleash your whip with B. Pressing Up and B at the same time will activate the special weapon. Pause the game with Select and open the info subscreen with Start.
The informative subscreen:
This contains important info about your adventure. T- 00:00:00 indicates the time of the day and how many days have passed since you started, E – 0000 shows your experience points, L – 00 displays your current level, and <3 – 0000 counts your hearts which are used as a currency plus helping your Experience to rise. Underneath you will see information about your whip and special items, under the whip information there are current Dracula pieces that you may equip by selecting them with the D-Pad. Under Dracula’s pieces you will find the special weapons. You can select these and activate them by pressing Up and B. Just under is your Laurel and Garlic count.
Night and day:
The game has a time element which is quite useful and very different from other classics. Check your clock since the time of the day will change every six hours. During the night enemies are way stronger than in daytime; however, the loot is more valuable. Monsters that drop a small heart would normally drop half a large heart instead, and monsters that would drop half a heart would drop a full heart, and so on. Night and day still run inside mansions, not only outside. Remember this.
Night: “WHAT A HORRIBLE NIGHT TO HAVE A CURSE!”
Day: “THE MORNING SUN HAS VANQUISHED THE HORRIBLE NIGHT.”
Before you start:
This game is awesome, but it can be tiresome to remember all stuff you have to complete. You may want to keep a piece of paper and a pen nearby to write down a password or location as there is a great risk that you will get lost. Advancing to the next level means that you get more Health Points, as well as refilling of the Health Point bar. So, if you feel that you are getting weary and too far from a town, defeat more monsters and loot their hearts to advance to a new level.
Town of Jova: The whip, The knight and The holy water!
Simon (the hero) starts in the town of Jova. Townsfolk here have a lot of info to tell, and there is a church situated here. Your first goal is to obtain holy water which costs 50 hearts, but Simon already has 50 hearts to begin with which is great. Thus, you are able to get this item that will accompany you throughout the whole game. Walk to the right, get down the first set of stairs you find and enter the door that has a cloaked man outside. Another man in a cloak will be inside. Buy the holy water from that guy.
Now for some grinding. You will need a total of 150 hearts to obtain a better whip (first out of five) and to get a white crystal. Make sure to equip your holy water and go to the screen on the right to encounter some action. This area is full of Werewolves and Skeletons. The skeletons die easily, but the wolves can be a problem, so hit them with holy water and then finish them off with a whiplash. Night time will most likely come when you are here. You may keep killing all sorts of monsters on this screen or return to town, which is full of zombies during the night! They are very easy at this point and will provide with plenty of hearts, just keep moving so they can respawn.
When you have accumulated 150 hearts and it is daytime you may return to town to puchase your white crystal and whip. The crystal is sold by the man just outside of where you got your holy water and the whip is sold on the other side of town. There is a door close to a set of stairs where it can be bought. Enter and another cloaked dude will be there. Get your whip, heal at the church and then buy your crystal. We are done with Jova, but we will return soon.
Simon says: “I came back to Jova after meeting with that young lady, still had some strength in me to move. The smell of evil is all around me but only my holy water-soaked whip and me can face it now. I can barely believe that I have to put Him together after all the effort to slay Him… Hope the light protects me in this journey and my curse is lifted.”
Town of Veros: The Edge of the Chain…
By going forward from our grinding spot you will find a bridge where water creatures roam. Get past through the next screen and you will find a set of stairs, go down and the Town of Veros will appear. Be careful, this town features vampire bats and powerful zombies. Kill as much as you can because you will need a lot of hearts. 150 to be exact for the opportunity to buy a chain whip or 200 for the dagger. The chain whip will be with you for a really long time and is very effective because it gives a hit which has the same power as 4 holy waters. This will kill most enemies in one or two hits.
When you have enough hearts, return to the town of Veros and get to the door that is on the right edge of town. After going up the stairs you will see an empty house, but you can break the bricks on the floor to go down and obtain the whip! The first house, between the two spaces of water has a dagger, you may buy it if you wish or not. After getting your whip, leave the town right from where you came and return to the stairs. From this area, go right and keep slaying monsters until you reach the doors of a large estate – The Berkeley Mansion.
Berkeley Mansion: The House of Dracula’s Rib!
Simon Says: “After visiting the nice townsfolk of Veros, I got word from them that Dracula’s servants were pesking above. I rushed back and forward, stumbling upon a Mansion. As I entered I was greeted with monsters, grieving servants of the Dark Lord.”
As you enter the mansion you see a huge pond of water which cannot be crossed. But since you got your white crystal you will be able to create a platform which will let you go to the upper side of the mansion. Make your way through by eliminating monsters with your whip. Go up the stairs and keep tossing your holy water for one very good reason… You will come across some annoying fake floors that the holy water can detect.
Eventually, another man in a cloak can be found. This merchant has a very important oak stake that costs 50 hearts. You will need it to obtain Dracula’s Rib, so buy it and proceed down the stairs by slaying all the skeletons on the way to gather more hearts, which will hopefully help you to level up. A chamber with seven hung men holds the rib of Dracula. Inside, the glowing sphere has to be destroyed with the Oak Stake in order to get the item.
And now, you possess Dracula’s rib. This body part can be equipped and will provide you with a shield that reflects fireballs. Make your way back outside and rest. The quest is just starting but you have come a long way. Note: If you have enough hearts you may buy an additional oak stake. It will make your way easier inside the next mansion. This, since you only have to find the glowing sphere to obtain another one of Dracula’s pieces.
Aljiba and Dabi: Deadly Spices, Burning Holiness and Silver Daggers.
After getting Dracula’s rib, go right from Berkeley Mansion and keep gathering hearts as they are needed for future items. Pass through the forest and you will eventually reach a place with purple bricks called Dabi’s Path. This trail is an important area, as it holds the sub-weapon that will help you kill Dracula at the very end. Go right two screens and then down through the blocks. There are two fake bricks that you can break with holy water. Destroy them, walk to the left where two cage-like doors appear and break the wall as well. Acquire the Sacred Flame and give yourself a high five.
You may equip the Sacred Flame and toss it like holy water, but keep in mind that it consumes one heart per use. Go right through the forest, killing spiders and skeletons to obtain valuable hearts and experience. Ignore the stairs, keep going right and you will finally find the town of Aljiba.
Aljiba is a nice town and there are many items of importance here. Climb the last set of stairs on the right edge of the town and enter the door. This room appears to be empty, but the ground can be destroyed in order to find a merchant who sells Laurels for 50 hearts a piece. Its very important that you get four of these. Get out of the house and travel up the stairs. At the left edge of the town you will find a knight who will kindly trade you a white crystal for a blue one. You need this magical crystal later on in the game.
The last thing to obtain from the town of Aljiba is garlic and you only need two. So go back to the door which is surrounded by two little pits of water, get in, break the ground and find the merchant. Exit the town to the right and get ready to fight in Carmilla’s Cementery. Hands come out of the ground here. Slay them! Toss a garlic on the ground at the dead end and go left. You will come across a cloaked man, but his clothes are golden! Schnazzy! He will give you a silver knife that apparently is going to ”save your neck”. This weapon is very useful as it pierces enemies, but unfortunately it will consume one heart if used.
Go back to Aljiba and keep going to the left back into the woods where you will find some stairs. Get down there and proceed through the underground path. Keep going to the right past the two moving platforms. A river appears, a dead end of some sorts. Equip your blue crystal and kneel. After a few seconds, the screen will scroll down and a new underground path will be revealed. This leads you to another mansion.
Simon Says: “After going through Dabi’s Path I stumbled into Aljiba. People is slowly losing their will to talk to me or face me when I go to towns now. A nice gentleman gave me a Crystal of power and a word of advice. I should give honor to those who deserve it to proceed. Right after Dabi I came to a river of water, infested with the Dark Lord Plague. I kneeled and Prayed and found an underground path, thanks to the Light and powers of this magical crystal.”
Rover Mansion: House of Dracula’s Heart!
Rover Mansion is not difficult at all. When you first enter, just move straight forward and you will find a couple of water pits to jump over. The wall there is an illusion, so it is OK to go through it. Keep moving forward, right, and then after you find a moving block, go down. There are some skeletons here. After a while you will come to a couple of spiked pits. The merchant is there. Buy the oak stake and backtrack to the stairs, go up the stairs, and then around the jumpy ledges.
Drop down and go right where you find more of these ledges and then go right to the room with the hung men. Shoot the crystal ball with the oak stake and you are done here. You have now acquired Dracula’s heart which will help you to get to certain spots in Castlevania II. Head back out and get ready for some exploration and a lot of backtracking.
Chapter 4: It Is Sometimes Important To Go Back…
A lot of grinding on this trip back to Jova is necessary. You will need 250 hearts since there are some good stuff in store. Go left when Jova ha been reached. You will find Belasco Marsh – a place full of poisonous water. Eat a pack of laurels to pass through and keep going left and you will eventually come to the dead river, along with a ferryman. He will take you to two different places given you have the correct item equipped.
If Dracula’s Heart is selected, you will go to Braham Mansion. This place is going to be explored shortly, but for now keep going left to a place called Jam Wasteland. Not much to be seen except for a tricky part with some moving bricks. Make sure to wait until the bricks are at the top before jumping forward. Once the obstacle has ben crossed, a cliff with a cloaked man will appear. The man will hand over a Diamond — another subweapon which is pretty powerful as it bounces off the walls.
Now that you have the diamond we can go back to the dead river. Talk to the ferryman without the heart equipped and you are going to end up in the Town of Aldra. A knight can be found here, talk to him to exchange the crystal and re-stock on laurels here if necessary. When finished, go left to Sadam Woods.
After passing through the woods you will find a set of stairs. Use them in order to discover Storigoi Graveyard. This place is very important because you can retrieve the Silk Bag here — an item that lets you carry more laurels. When the leftmost side of the cemetery is reached, right after the two bone dragons emerge from the ground, throw a garlic on the ground. Another man in a golden cloak will appear. Talk to him and you will get the silk bag which can hold up to 8 laurels.
Return through the same path to a place filled with slimes, just right after the stairs that brought you to Stoirgoi Graveyard. The town of Ondol can be found here. This litte village has a morning star for sale. This will be the last whip that can be bought in Castlevania II. Go back to the dead river from Ondol and head to the right path which will lead our hero to face two new mansions — Bodley’s and Braham’s Mansion.
Simon Says: “As I get closer to the dark lord’s presence, the stronger these fiends are… Garlic has shown me the way, and Dracula’s Heart has also shown me that his servants are not all zealish to him, some have betrayed him.”
Chapter 5: Braham, Bodley, Eyes and Nails.
Braham Mansion: House of Dracula’s Eyeball and Death!
This mansion is extremely easy to navigate through. The path is very straight-forward, jumps are easy and enemies are child’s play to eliminate now that the morningstar is equipped. Follow the stairs and it is impossible to get lost. Make sure to have your holy water with you to check for fake walls ground. Follow the path straight, get to the top of the mansion and then go down on the right side. You will find the recurring cloaked man that sells oak stake and then go down on the right side of the mansion. A room where bats will soon appear. Then Simon will face an enemy from the past.
Simon Says: “Braham Mansion seemed to be empty, even reassuring, but the chills in my body rose when I saw death itself lurking again, trying to get a piece of me. Whip in hand I faced it, knowing that my cause was just and that not even death could stop me, not again.”
Death is surprisingly easy to beat. It has an attack pattern and you can use holy flames to stop it. Once defeated, Death will drop a Golden Knife — an amazing subweapon that unfortunately costs two hearts to use, but burns enemies to the ground. When the item is obtained, proceed to the next room, use your oak stake and grab Dracula’s Eyeball which can reveal hidden secrets when equipped.
Get out of this mansion and head back to the town of Ondol. From there, go left until you find Deborah’s Cliff. Kill the mummies and ghosts and keep going left prior to a place where you obviously cannot proceed. Equip the red crystal and kneel. A spirit from above will then come and take you to Bodley’s Mansion. Go left and follow the trail to a Bodley’s Lake. Kneel again with the red crystal to reveal an underground path. In turn, this subterranean way will take you to a place called the Uta Lower Road. Go to the left and soon you will find a man in a cloak who will hand over the last whip upgrade. Just smash the bricks on the right-hand side to free him. Thank the kind man and backtrack to Bodley’s Mansion.
Bodley’s Mansion: House of Dracula’s Nail!
This mansion is a tough cookie. There are a lot of hidden rooms and secrets, particularly the oak stake merchant, which is a hassle to find. Go up the stairs and then to the right side of the mansion where you can go through an illusion wall. After a while you will find a place where seven men are hung. Move down from there and find another illusion wall, which will lead you to the gold cloaked man that will sell you the oak stake. The floor is also fake to the left. Head down and go right, break the crystal ball with your oak stake and you will now possess Dracula’s Nail, which lets you break bricks with your weapon, just like holy water does. Exit this mansion by going left. After you pass the water part, there is a wall of illusion that can be breached. Go through it and get the hell out of there. We will not be returning here ever again.
Simon Says: “I faced death itself, one of Dracula’s servants. It left me a golden knife.. Dracula’s Eyeball is letting me see things, things I barely understand, secrets that only the dark lord may understand.. I can only wonder if this curse will be my end…”
Chapter 6: The Betrayal and Truth
Simon says: “Laurels have helped me through the last tricks of the dark lord. As I get closer to Castlevania I can feel the itch in my whip to burn the dark lord. Carmilla has shown her true face, after facing her I know my fate is sealed, but I can still spare this world from oblivion, all I have to do is defeat her, even if it means my own death.”
Rest at a nearby town if necessary and re-stock on laurels as four of them is preferred. Head left and go back to the Uta Lower Road, pass through it, and you will reach a very dangerous place called Joma Marsh. This area is long, extremely long, and you will probably need a full health bar to pass through it.
Laruba’s Mansion: The House of Carmilla and Dracula’s Ring!
This is a long mansion but there are luckily no dead ends or fake walls. Follow the stairs and proceed to the right side of the first room. When you reach the topmost right of the mansion and passed one screen to the right, take a leap and follow the stairs that are next to the spiked wall. Jump through the spiked pit and buy an oak stake. Follow the road down and left to get laurels for free. Fill the Silk Bag and remember to keep at least eight laurels when you exit this mansion. Head left and you will come to the room where Carmilla’s true form lurks.
Carmilla is crying fire at Simon, but by equipping Dracula’s rib, all the flares will bounce off. Slash her with your whip or use Sacred Flames to burn her down. Once you defeat her, she will drop the Magic Cross. Proceed to the room on the right, break the crystal ball and Dracula’s Ring has been acquired, which is the last piece of the puzzle. NOTE: you may ignore Carmilla to get to the Ring; however, keep in mind that the bridge to Castlevania is cursed and can only way to get in is by using this Magic Cross.
Chapter 7: Castlevania
Simon says: “This is it, all the clues I received are clear now, Carmilla betrayed me, but the cross I took from her and Dracula’s ring show me the place where the abandoned Castlevania lies. The bridge magic will not be a problem with This cross protection… time to get there, revive him and then remove my curse… no, remove this curse from the earth no matter what happens.”
First of all, go heal if necessary, although it is likely you will not take any damage in Castlevania at all. From Laruba, keep going to the right through the Uta Lower Road and then back to Bodley’s mansion. Eventually you will reach a town called Doina where people are very hateful. Proceed to the right through the north bridge and then until you hit Dora’s woods. After a while the ghostly town of Yomi will emerge and finally Vlad’s graveyard as well, which is a great place to level up. Keep heading right and you will get to the west bridge of Castlevania. Break the bricks with the aid of Dracula’s nail or holy water and enter.
Castlevania: The Abandoned Count Residence:
Where is everyone? The place is completely empty, go right straight, break the bricks with some holy water and move down the stairs to the left. It is difficult to miss from this point.
Dracula: The Dark Lord:
After the unification of all the pieces, Dracula will appear from the flames! Equip your laurels, and use them to gain invincibility from his dark powers! Utilize the Sacred Flame so that Dracula stops in one place and whip him until he is dead once more. Transylvania is now free from the curse!
There are three endings to this game.
If you take too long to finish off Dracula, Simon dies right at the battle with Dracula.
If you can slay Dracula within three days, Simon lives on and a hand appears from Dracula’s grave.
If it takes six to ten days to kill him, Simon lives to tell the tale but dies shortly after. This is the ending shown in the last video.