Video Game: Castlevania: Dracula X

Castlevania: Dracula X (aka Vampire's Kiss) is the port of then PC-Engine-only Rondo of Blood for Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1995.

Evil men resurrect Dracula, who then proceeds to kidnap Richter Belmont's girlfriend Annette and her younger sister Maria and hides them in his castle. Richter then must follow his ancestors' footsteps by taking the horrors of castle by himself.

Dracula X / Vampire's Kiss provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The Dark Priest Shaft is nowhere to be seen in the SNES version. While he wasn't exactly an important character in the PC Engine version, it made the reveal of him being the mastermind behind the events of Symphony of the Night less impacting than it should have, as most overseas players who went into Symphony of the Night from the SNES version of Dracula X had no idea who Shaft was.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The background of the boss fight against Cerberus in the first stage, since it takes place among the blazing village.
  • Bowdlerise: The item crash for Cross in the original game has Richter summoning a giant crucifix that sweeps up across the screen repeatedly, whereas in here, he simply calls a bunch of boomerangs that fly randomly around the screen.
  • Cherry Tapping: The key does minimal damage, but it can still be used to defeat enemies. Somebody has actually defeated Dracula with the key.
  • Double X: Used by the Japanese title of the game; Akumajō Dracula XX.
  • Evil Laugh: Dracula's teleportations have him laughing evilly. When he turns into his demon form, it is accompanied by a deepening one.
  • Fake Difficulty: The final battle comes off as this, as you fight Dracula on a series of pillars under the constant threat of being knocked into the pits!
  • Flying Face: Flying ghost skulls appear in Stage 5.
  • Knock Back: Getting hit sends Richter back a few paces, usually to a bottomless pit. Getting hit while crouching doesn't have it.
  • Last Ditch Move:
    • The bats that form giant bat boss shoot away at you after the final blow is struck.
    • Ghost turns into a pile of dust upon defeat, and the pile explodes, sending pieces of it everywhere.
    • The werewolf boss does a flaming gound punch before turning back to human and disintegrating.
  • Leap of Faith: Falling into a pit in the last section of Stage 3 sends you to alternate Stage 4, and from here only the worst ending can be attained.
    • This is almost never intentional, though, since there are many Bottomless Pits along with tons of Ledge Bats, effectively making this one of the hardest areas in the game.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The key's Item Crash costs no hearts but makes Richter invulnerable, allowing him to dodge attacks with ease. It only damages enemies he touches directly, but he floats higher than a normal jump, allowing him to kill enemies on higher levels from below.
  • Market-Based Title: The subtitle was changed to Vampire's Kiss for the European release.
  • Multiple Endings: The background for the ending credits depends on the girls you rescued.
  • Necromancer: The priest of evil Shaft from the original game is replaced by an unrelated wizard named Ghost, who can summon skeletons to its aid.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game is even harder than the original due to Richter's slower speed (though no less agile), tough enemies from last levels being in the earlier ones and having a lot more Bottomless Pits.
  • Password Save: A password is awarded alongside with points at the end of each stage.
  • Reformulated Game: Since the SNES version was made on a 16-Megabit (2-Megabyte) cartridge, while the PC Engine version was a CD-ROM game (540-Megabyte), a straight port was pretty much impossible, so the stages were replaced completely to fit into the smaller ROM size. The plot is pretty much the same, except that Maria and Annette were now sisters, the other two girls are missing, and Shaft is nowhere to be seen. Maria is no longer a playable character; when she is rescued, she simply wishes Richter luck.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Annette and Maria were unrelated characters in the PC Engine original. In the SNES version, they were made into sisters. This relation is referenced in the localization of Symphony of the Night.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • Ghost has two stages: First one has him summoning skeletons and firing fireballs, and once his health meter goes down, he enters the second phase where he surrounds himself with flying grave stones and summons green mudmen.
    • As usual, Dracula turns into his One-Winged Angel demon form in his second phase.
  • Shout-Out: According to Word of God, a copy of the eponymous castle from The Castle of Cagliostro is in the game.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Even if you don't rescue Annette and Maria and fail to get a happy ending, the credits music is still a triumphant remix of "Bloodlines".
  • Take It to the Bridge: The falling bridge segment from the original game's last level is moved to as early as Stage 2.
  • Underground Level: Stage 4', which puts elements from original game's said level into a underground cavern.
  • The Worm That Walks: The boss from Stage 2 is a group of bats that come together to form one giant bat. It turns back to them when hit, and moves around the arena.