Video Game: Super Castlevania IV
The first Super Nintendo Entertainment System
entry in the ever popular Castlevania
A retelling of Simon Belmont's first go at Dracula's castle (Just so you know, in Japan, the game is simply called Akumajo Dracula
, which is the same title the original game had).
It was one of the first games to appear on the Super NES, and was an exceptional display of the console's layering and Mode 7 graphical capabilities. Gameplay wise, SC IV
improves the gameplay tenfold by allowing Simon to whip in any direction he wants as well as give him better jumping physics so the player has better control over where he lands. Add wonderful graphics and a spooky memorable soundtrack to all this and you've got what many gamers consider to be one of the best entries in the franchise!
Super Castlevania IV provides examples of:
- Anti-Frustration Features: In level VI the screen right before the ghostly dancers boss, you can whip the wall at the very end to get a 1-up. Giving you unlimited attempts at the boss (Granted you don't die from the restart point)
- The last stage makes you fight four bosses in a row, but there are checkpoints and meat between each one. Even if you get a game over on Dracula, you still start at the stairs leading to his room.
- Boss Bonanza: The game ends with four separate boss fights in a row, none from earlier in the game.
- Bottomless Pits: As is typical in most Castlevania platformers, when you're in an area that scrolls up, any platform that is scrolled off even one pixel below the bottom of the screen effectively ceases to exist—if you try to jump onto such a platform, you're instead greeted with Simon grunting and your Life Meter emptying out.
- Level 2-1 had a handwave showing spikes in the upcoming pit before Simon traversed enough stairs to make them offscreen.
- Bowdlerise: The US port imposed bouts of censorship on the game, including removing the nipples off the bare-chested Medusa, covering up some topless statues, changing the buckets of blood in stage 8 into green slime, and making Simon's whip sound mushier and less like a real chain-whip would.
- Building Swing: Some objects you could hook onto would let you swing Simon across gaps and hard-to-reach items.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation: This is one of eight games that detail Simon Belmont's assault on Dracula's castle in 1691. However, it should be noted that, unlike most examples of the trope, the game isn't just a graphical update of Castlevania I. Rather it is a completely new game that happens to take the place of the original.
- Clockworks Area: Block-A, the clocktower.
- Dance Battler: The waltzing ghost bosses.
- Darker and Edgier than the original Castlevania I in its music.
- Degraded Boss: Slogra and Gaibon first debuted in this game. They were the fourth and third-to-last bosses in the game (followed by Death) with only 2 chickens between them. Oh, and the next continue point is after you fight all three bosses. This is when they were at the height of their power, and were degraded in later Castlevania games.
- Denial of Diagonal Attack: Averted for the first time in the series' history. You can whip in eight directions. A mechanic that wouldn't show up again until Julius Belmont arrived on the scene.
- Difficulty Spike: Blocks 3-2 and 3-3 are arguably when the game decides to stop pulling its punches. Given that the average player likely breezed through the first two stages with few problems, it suddenly comes as quite a wake up call.
- Even those two blocks are nothing compared to Level 6. If you know how to handle yourself, the first five levels are fairly easy, but once you actually get to Dracula's front door, the game decides to stop screwing around.
- Eldritch Location: The castle and its environs. As early as level 2-3, you find yourself wandering through a shallow stream. For an extended period of time, the water flows uphill.
- Everything Is Trying to Kill You A sentient demonic table?! (Block 6-3)
- Inconsistent Translation: The exact placement of Super Castlevania IV in the Castlevania canon (whether it's a retelling of the original or a sequel to Simon's Quest) has been under much speculation for years among English-speaking fans due to the inconsistent translation that was given to the opening intro. On one hand, the intro clearly states that the last time the Belmonts fought Dracula was over a century ago. On the other hand, it also says that Simon must "once again" fight Dracula, implying that Simon fought him before. This dilemma has since been clarified by official websites and sources, clearly establishing Castlevania IV as a remake.
- Alternatively, you could see the game as an AU Broad Strokes interpretation of the original game.
- Jump Physics: Finally, a Belmont that can control his jump in mid-air!
- Musical Nod: The final stages of the game have the famous themes "Vampire Killer", "Bloody Tears", and "Beginning" as their background music.
- Near Victory Fanfare: Once you get Dracula below half his health, Simon Belmont's theme replaces Dracula's on the soundtrack.
- Nintendo Hard: If you know what you're doing, the first five levels are a cake-walk. But once you enter the Castle proper, it truly becomes Castlevania.
- One to Million to One: Akmodan II, who teleports as a stream of loose bandages.
- Punny Name: The names of the dancing ghosts boss in stage 6 are Paula Abghoul and Fred Ascare.
- Rise to the Challenge: Oh God. In block B-2, upon entering the uppermost spire, of Dracula's castle, you'll see a spiked cog at the bottom of the screen. You have a 5 second headstart to put as much distance between you and it, before it comes after you. If you stop for anything, such as items or to fight enemies, and God forbid you miss a jump, you'll get run over and die instantly.
- You'd think the second half would be a breather, since it stops chasing you, right? WRONG. Now you have climb a winding staircase, which includes a series of jumps across diagonally moving platforms, over bottomles pits, oh, and there's spikes on the ceiling in case you jump or swing too high.... or at the wrong time. Have fun.
- Scenery Porn: Compared to the previous games.
- Sdrawkcab Name: A few of the bosses, including Koranot (Ton 'o' Rock) and Puwexil (Licks You Up).
- Shout-Out: In the American version's manual, the dancing ghosts are given the names of Paula Abghoul and Fred Askare, after, who else but professional dancers Paula Abdul and Fred Astaire.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Level 7: The Library. The level has such peaceful music which does NOT complement the library of death
- Tech Demo Game/Visual Effects of Awesome: Konami made excellent use of the barely-utilized Mode 7 graphics system. The rotating rooms, swinging chandeliers, and Technicolor Death of many bosses looked great. Of course, that was back in 1991.
- Theme Music Power-Up: After you've finally drained Dracula's health bar enough for him to turn into his second form this piece of epicness begins to play it also happens to be the main character's theme song and first level's theme.
- Turns Red: A handful of the bosses. Dracula in particular changes his attack pattern various times as his health is lowered, without ever turning into a giant monster.
- Unique Enemy: A few, most notably the giant centipede in the library, which can be killed before it leaves the screen by whipping it in the head fast enough.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: A hidden room in Stage VI features the ghost of an old man and his dog with the dog running about the room. The dog will harm you if you run into it but it doesn't actively attack you. Whip it down and the old man will fall to his knees, mourning the loss of his friend before they both fade away.
- Whip It Good: Brought to the pinnacle of video game perfection. Simon can whip in any of the eight directions and can control his whip when brandishing it about as realistically as you could in real life.
- He can even block, simply by holding the attack button.