Awesome Music: Castlevania
Deborah Cliff isn't the only place where you might want to bang your head.
has a proud tradition of awesome music. All the versions here are the originals (when available), since there's enough remixes out there to choke a horse.
The Big Three
Simon's Quest (II)
Dracula's Curse (III)
- "Stalker", so cool they used it twice.
- "Wicked Child". If you don't like beeps and boops, try the metal version from our friends at Overclocked Remix.
- "Walking on the Edge".
- "Heart of Fire", an epic track before fighting Death itself for the first time in the franchise history. For an equally awesome remix with "Don't Wait Until Night", go to the Aria of Sorrow section.
- "Out of Time", The Final Stage.
- "Nothing to Lose" and "Black Knight", the themes for the Dracula fight.
- "Voyager", the ending theme.
- A notable remixer Goat was re-arranging the Castlevania III soundtrack. When he got "Deja Vu", which is essentially "Vampire Killer", he decided to create a medley of the whole original Castlevania soundtrack: Scourge of 1691. And it's Awesome.
- "Ecran Titre", the theme from the Amiga version of Castlevania.
- The US and the Japanese versions of the soundtrack sound different since the former lacked the VRC6 chip which gave extra sound channels for the Famicom. Opinion is divided on which version is better, though most listeners agree that each version has at least some tracks which sound superior to their counterparts in the other version (for example, "Beginning" and "Mad Forest" are widely regarded as superior in the Japanese version, but "Rising" is regarded as superior in the American version).
- "Overture" from Castlevania 3 never seems to get the attention it deserves; its weird time signature is a particular selling point.
- "Clockwork", the relentlessly energetic Block 2 (Clock Tower) theme. Since you'll be spending twice as long in the Clock Tower as you will be in any other level (once to go in, once to get out again), it's fortunate that it has such excellent music.
- "Mad Forest", the theme from the forests in Block 3; Japanese version for extra awesome.
- "Dead Beat" provides an appropriately tense atmosphere for Block 4 (the caves) on the Alucard path.
- The eerie, minimalist "Nightmare", which plays in Block 5 in the Alucard path.
- "Demon Seed", which plays on Block 6 of the Alucard path. Damn if this isn't unbelievably creepy for 8-bit.
- The sinister "Anxiety", which plays on Block 4 (the Ghost Ship) on the Grant/Sypha path and Block 7 on the Alucard path. A well-named track likely to inspire that feeling in the player.
- "Rising" plays on the Grant/Sypha path in Block 5, which rather appropriately features a vertical autoscroller, and creates a real sense that the game's tension is building.
- The equally appropriately named "Stream" plays during Block 6, the "water level", on the Grant/Sypha path, and keeps the energy of both the game and the soundtrack flowing.
- "Aquarius", the intense Block 7 stage music on the Grant/Sypha path, and its remix from Circle of the Moon.
- "Riddle" plays during Block 9, the second to last section of the game, and is as frantic as late game music should always be.
- "Clockwork Vampire", Dhsu's remix of the Castlevania III clocktower theme, is simply epic.
- As was said above, a remixer named Goat re-arranged the soundtrack.
The Adventure/Belmont's Revenge/The Adventure ReBirth
- "Meet Lord Dracula (Meeting With Dracula)" is a greatly underestimated song from an unfairly shunned game. Assuming you don't mind Beeps and Boops, you might find yourself hypnotized by this one.
- "Banquet of Spirits" has a somewhat mournful, yet classy tone to it. Like the above (and most of Legends' music) it can easily stick in your memory.
Super Castlevania IV
- "Battle of the Holy", one of the only worthwhile songs in the god damn hard Castlevania Adventure, Christopher Belmont's debut game (The final stage theme, "Revenge", being the other.) Yep, the game may be frustrating. But that piece of music pretty much makes up for it.
- The extremely catchy "Death Fair" makes one of the most diabolical stages in gaming history much more tolerable.
- They improved on Christopher's awesome with his next game, Belmont's Revenge. Here's "Original Sin", a great badass tune that just tells you that Chris has come a-knocking, and he's out to get Dracula for taking his son.
- The absolute best piece, by far, from Belmont's Revenge has to be "Praying Hands", though New Messiah, "Ripe Seeds", and "Psycho Warrior" deserve a mention as well. Also, even though "Illusionary Dance" may be the ultimate official theme for Dracula, "Sons of Satan" is a good runner up. And then there's "Chromatische Phantasie", the theme for the battle against Christopher's son, Soleiyu. It is amazing that the original Game Boy was capable of such awesome.
- Here comes The Adventure: ReBirth! Yes, it's filled to the brim with remixes from other games, but they're awesome remixes, with 'Retro' written all over them. "Reincarnated Soul" from Bloodlines, "Lullaby Sent to the Devil" from Haunted Castle, "New Messiah" from Belmont's Revenge, "Final Road", A.K.A the X68000 Load BGM, "Aquarius", "Yet Another Vampire Killer Remix", "Demonic Revival" from Haunted Castle, "The Last Fight" also from Haunted Castle for Dracula's 2nd phase, "Riddle" from Castlevania III, and lastly, "The End of Day" from Belmont's Revenge. Shame "Battle of the Holy" isn't there, but as previously mentioned, that was one of only two worthwhile songs in the original game anyway.
- Although that "Battle of the Holy" doesn't appear in game, it appears in the soundtrack inside the Akumajou Dracula Another Medley, along with a version of "Lost Painting" from SOTN, all in good ol' 90's arcade-styled splendor. You can listen to the medley here.
- This fan's rendition of "Battle of the Holy" ranks alongside the one they actually put in the game.
Akumajou Dracula X68000 / Castlevania Chronicles
- "Theme of Simon", from Super Castlevania IV. Used for a Theme Music Power-Up during the Final Battle and as a "stage complete" Sting (see first 4 seconds of link) throughout.
- Treasury Room.
- Dracula's theme from Super Castlevania IV. A very creepy little piece.
- Another great one from Super Castlevania IV is Room of Close Associates. Pleasant dreams.
- "Clockwork Mansion" from the same game. Slightly repetitive, sure, but very original, creepy and tension building.
- Not complete without this.
- The Circle of the Moon version of this is pretty awesome as well.
- Secret Room and the super awesome Ending.
- The library stage (7). Different to most of the soundtrack, nice and ambient.
- The cave.
- It's been written that the "Submerged City" theme was the most complex piece of 16 bit music ever composed. It's Bach meets Jazz meets Funk, all awesomely blended together.
- And in between the above two, "The Waterfall". Minimalist piece that will remind you of dark, dank, ruins.
- This piece of music from Stage 6-2 totally feels like a symphony. It starts with the swinging chandeliers and just blows your mind onwards, adding both stress and awesomeness to the sequence.
Rondo of Blood / Dracula X / Dracula X Chronicles
Symphony of the Night
- In addition to having the original X68000 and Arranged version of the soundtrack, the remake also had the recordings of the CM-64 and SS-55 external midi versions (the second disk on the playlist). And the original X68000 could support other midi devices.
- The intro/title screen music, "Black Mass", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- The Boss music, "Creatures in the Depth", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- "Thrashard in the Cave", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- "Tower of Gears", the Clocktower theme, Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- "Moon Fight", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- "Tower of Dolls", Original, SC-55 and Arranged.
- "Etude for the Killer", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- The Dracula theme, "You Goddamned Bathead", Original, SC-55, and Arranged.
- "Mother Earth", the ending theme, Original, SC-55 and Arranged.
- The Loading BGM, will be later known as Final Road courtesy of various soundtrack CDs and Castlevania Rebirth. Original, no arrangements.
Castlevania 64/Legacy of Darkness
- "Prologue", the opening level theme. Very rockin'.
- "Moonlight Nocturne", the intro theme before the title appears (between the Prologue and the actual game), and one of the most freakin' epic and ominous intro themes in existence.
- "Nocturne", a solemn, beautiful vocal hidden track that becomes all the better if you can understand the lyrics. This English version of it, from a later rerelease, is one of the rare examples where a translation of a Japanese song manages to preserve both meaning and rhythmical/intonational structure, and is at least as good as - if not better than - the original.
- "The Tragic Prince". Possibly the single most rockingly awesome piece from Symphony of the Night; just get past that sneaky intro that lulls you into a placid state before pounding you with the most incredible guitar riffs. Amazing.
- "Door of Holy Spirits", the background music to the Reverse Colosseum. Not for the musical quality, but for how it takes an otherwise-plain-looking area (albeit upside-down) and turns it into scary.
- "The Door to the Abyss"; it's just demented.
- "Dracula's Castle". Rocks in an '80s synthesizer sort of way.
- Harmony of Despair welcomes us back to 1997. Manly Tears optional.
- "Lost Painting", the surreal, ambient number that plays in some areas of the Inverted Castle.
- "Final Toccata". Admittedly, Youtube's limited audio here doesn't quite do it justice, but you have to love such a multilayered decadently evil-sounding organ-tacular 5/4 time track. Seriously. Some tropers may find it driving them insane - it does play almost everywhere in the Inverted Castle - but it's still fantastic.
- If you think THAT's an evil sounding organ-tacular piece, try Chaconne in C Moll! It's exclusive to the Saturn version of the game, sadly - it plays in the Haunted Prison, one of the two Saturn exclusive areas of the game. But this music more than makes up for it, it's practically Ominous Pipe Organ embodied.
- "Marble Gallery" and "Crystal Teardrops". Also, two of the best boss themes ever, "Festival of Servants" and "Death Ballad". Then there's "Rainbow Cemetery", which plays in the Catacombs, and "Curse Zone", which plays in the Reverse Catacombs, both of which have this distorted, other-worldly feel to them.
- "Wood Carving Partita" As can be seen from the huge list above, it's cruel to try and pick only a subset of the awesome tracks in SoTN, but it's simply impossible to ignore the haunting strings of "Wood Carving Partita", played in the Long Library.
- The end credits song "I Am The Wind" is a really perfect song for Alucard, it's a song that will really touch your heart and emotions when you first hear it. It's a shame that later versions of this game have replaced it (such as the PSP and Xbox 360 versions).
- "Guardian", the track that plays in the Saturn version of Sot N when you fight Maria.
Circle of the Moon
- The opening theme to Castlevania 64 has a violin version of "Bloodlines" (Richter's theme) from Rondo of Blood with the child character Malus. Of course, it gets a bit creepier in hindsight when you find out a bit more about the kid...
- The Level 3 stage music, Annex Silent Madness. It fits the Villa area perfectly, giving it an aura of mystery, and is even better if you played Legacy of Darkness...
- The Level 6 stage music, The Sinking Sanctuary.
- The Level 7 stage music, Thorny Grave.
Harmony of Dissonance
Aria of Sorrow
- Awake! This is one of THE quintessential tunes.
- "Proof of Blood" from Circle of the Moon. Easily one of the more memorable final boss music pieces in a Castlevania game.
- "Fate To Despair" is also a memorable tune from this game.
- The title screen has a truly haunting tune, perfect for setting up the mood of the game.
Dawn of Sorrow
Portrait of Ruin
- "Heart of Fire", Julius Belmont's theme. It takes a song from the obscure arcade title Haunted Castle, a song from the original Castlevania of the same name, and puts them together in one rockin' medley. You hear it in the battle with him, and again in Julius Mode, in the Castle Corridor in place of the regular Castle Corridor music.
- "Top Floor", and the regular Castle Corridor music.
- Aria of Sorrow has one of the best Clock Tower themes out of the series as well.
- Hammer's shop has this awesome theme. Why they didn't reuse it for Dawn of Sorrow is a mystery for the ages.
- "Sacred Cave", the theme to the Forbidden Area. It's a very calming and nice sounding track, with a mysterious sound to it.
- "You Are Not Alone" a short piece that plays at the most heartwarming moment, where all of Soma's friends root for him when he's about to destroy Chaos, the castle's source of power and evil.
Order of Ecclesia
- The OST contained two discs: One with the original DS music, and the other with the arranged music, or rather the originals before they were converted to DS.
- Portrait of Ruin brought us "Piercing Silence", one of the two boss themes which plays for the Wake-Up Call Boss Dullahan and the more classic bosses, like Death and Medusa. It pratically screams "you're fucked" and warns you that no, this Metroid Vania is NOT that easy.
- "In Search of the Secret Spell", played in the Underground Pyramid in the game's second version of the Egypt aesthetic. The way this blends with the flickering, almost magically-charged backgrounds and foregrounds in the area creates an atmosphere that's bloody brilliant.
- Despite the slew of excellent tracks in the game, its crowning achievement is easily the theme of the final battle, "Banquet of Madness". If it wasn't made apparent that you're about to face what could be the most spectacular battle in history by the fact that Death and Dracula are tag-teaming you, much less by the fact that, halfway through the fight, Dracula uses his soul-stealing powers on Death, essentially the keeper of souls, transforming into a hideous beast with all the power that implies (including a one-hit kill), the haunting tune that accompanies this epic showdown will do the trick.
- "Invitation of A Crazed Moon". Like all Castlevania first stage music, it is awesome in its own way, and most importantly it doesn't get old, considering that we will visiting that particular area a lot.
- "The Gears Go Awry" is, hands-down, the best clocktower-level theme in the series.
- "Hidden Curse" is also pretty nice, as is "Overture", a Castlevania III remix.
- "Gaze Up at the Darkness".
Lament of Innocence
- Order of Ecclesia has longtime Castlevania composer Michiru Yamane and another Konami composer, Yasuhiro Ichihashi, continuing to provide us with damn amazing scores, such as Ebony Wings, "Sorrow's Distortion" (Albus's theme), and "An Empty Tome" (the music for the first part of Dracula's Castle).
- "Dissonant Courage", one of the boss themes, will likely set even the most anti-digital headbanger off with digitized drumming, a jaw-dropping bass and one of the catchiest melodies ever.
- "An Empty Tome" is particularly awesome not just because of the song itself, but because of how it was used, making it one of the best examples of this trope. The music starts playing at a moment where the main character has just defeated a difficult boss, lost a lot of her friends, and is finally venturing into Dracula's Castle to finish things. And when you do enter the castle, you discover that it's about as big as the rest of the game combined, and it's also the most difficult area yet, as opposed to every other Metroidvania so far, where you start off in the castle. The sense of accomplishment in reaching this level, combined with the music, made this one of the best moments in gaming in 2008.
- "The Colossus", one of the best final level themes ever.
- "Chamber of Ruin", a boss battle theme from within the castle. As one of the comments on the video states, the first 40 or so seconds symbolize the threatening nature of one of the bosses that uses this theme, and then suddenly a mad beat kicks in symbolizing Wallman's flamboyant silliness.
- A theme barely heard in the game, but "Lone Challenger" is awesome anyway.
- The theme for Minera Prison Island, "Rhapsody of the Forsaken" is one of the better early game themes.
- The remixed version of "Riddle".
- "Order of the Demon". They did the unthinkable by replacing "Dance of Illusions" as the Dracula Fight music, and then surprised everyone by having their replacement be one of the best final boss themes of all time.
- "Lament to the Master", the theme for the battle against Barlowe, really captures the mood of the fight.
- "Hard Won Nobility".
- "Emerald Mist" captures the state of the world in one of the first outdoor stages in a Castlevania in a long time. Its somber nature really makes one feel truly alone.
- "Wandering the Crystal Blue".
- "Jaws Of The Scorched Earth" is a very serene and melancholy-inducing theme. Also note the awesome bass part towards the end.
- "Unholy Vespers" has ominous and chaotic pipe organ fitting for a catacomb that's full of reanimated dead. The part at 0:52 really takes the cake.
Curse of Darkness
Harmony of Despair
- The game may be accused of suffering from hitting the Polygon Ceiling, but no one can deny that Lament of Innocence has some great themes, such as "Melancholy Joachim", "Lament of Innocence/Leon's theme", "Bizarre Room", "House of Sacred Remains", "Dark Night Toccata" and, of course, the absolutely epic remix of "Dracula's Castle" and "Black Banquet" from Symphony of the Night: "Castlevania Reincarnation".
- This is Death's only chance to be a final boss to date, and with it comes a suitably atmospheric theme: "Evil's Symphonic Poem".
- The Judgment version, which also incorporates the classic boss theme "Poison Mind", complete with counter-melody.
- Both "Dark Palace of Waterfalls" and "Ghostly Theatre" are wonderfully atmospheric and fitting to the locations where the pieces belong to.
- "Anti-Soul Mysteries Lab".
- It's hard to say whether "Fog-Enshrouded Nightscape" is eerily beautiful or creepily serene...
- The main menu has a mysterious, eerie feel to it with the chanting, and that is awesome.
- Along with remixes of some recent 'Vania tunes, there are also brand new original tracks. The stage 3 theme, "PHANTOM OF FEAR".
- "CRIMSON BLOOD", possibly the best new track of the entire game. It is, sadly, unused throughout the course of the game - unless it is chosen as a stage or boss music in the options screen (it works very well for the final boss beatdown).
- "Tanz mit einem Clown" is pretty good as well.
- The game's version of Portrait of Ruin's "Hail to the Past".
- The latest DLC gives us remixes of music from an old, obscure Konami game known as Getsu Fuhma Den. Here's "Go! Getsu Fuhma" and "Ryu Kokki".
- Harmony of Despair finally gives "Nothing to Lose" an awesome remix.
- The gameplay in Castlevania Judgment may not be up to snuff, but the music is still as good as ever: "The Darkness of Fear", the game's main theme.
- "Trezire De Spirit" may just be one of the most epic Castlevania (or for that matter all video games in general) songs to ever exist, if not THE most epic. The most awesome thing about it is that is was created solely for a Pachi-slot game!
- "Reinlich" from the second Pachi-slot game isn't too bad, with its vocals.
- The Pachislot version of "Divine Bloodlines" is perhaps the best one.
- From the third game comes this one.
Lords of Shadow
- Too bad the game itself got cancelled but we did get to hear "Have Mercy" at least.