The first Castlevania game for the Game Boy, released in 1989. It also received a Compilation Rerelease in the first volume of the Konami GB Collection (released only in Japan for the Game Boy and in Europe for the Game Boy Color) and in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection.
It is 1576, and Dracula once again awakens from his slumber of a hundred years to terrorize Transylvania. As Christopher Belmont (Simon's famed ancestor), the player is tasked with hunting down Dracula.
This game is particularly known for introducing the "whip fireball" to the series, a new whip upgrade that shoots a fireball in the direction of whipping. This power-up returns in the next two Game Boy entries (Belmont's Revenge and Legends), as elemental variations in Circle of the Moon, and as an equippable item in Harmony Of Dissonance.
The Adventure also received a Milestone Celebration re-imagining titled Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth. It also serves as inspiration for a comic book, Castlevania: The Belmont Legacy by IDW Publishing, which loosely adapts the events of this game.
Castlevania: The Adventure provides examples of:
- Advancing Wall of Doom: Stage 3 features these prominently. Not only do you have to destroy gigantic screws in order to keep the spike-laden roof from crushing you to death in the first third of the stage, but you also have to contend with the rising spike floor variety as you SLOWLY climb up ropes in order to survive the second third of the stage, and then outrun a spike wall for the final third.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The game is quite a bit more generous with health powerups than previous installments. Doesn't make the game any easier, though.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Fireballs don't work on the first boss. They also don't work on Dracula's bat form.
- Degraded Boss: The Giant/Golbanz, the very first boss, shows up as a sub-boss in the final stage.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The English manual is pretty ambiguous about the game's setting and the protagonist's identity, never mentioning him by name. The print ads for the American version promoted the game as Simon Belmont's third adventure, following the original Castlevania and Simon's Quest. On the other hand, the Japanese manual is pretty clear in identifying the protagonist as Christopher Belmont, Simon's ancestor, who was actually mentioned in the manual for the first Famicom game. The game's sequel, Belmont's Revenge, would be more consistent with the Japanese setting.
- The End... Or Is It?: After the credits roll and our standard The Ruins I Caused shot, all is well in the world. But wait... what is that bat flying out from the ruins of the castle?
- Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Bosses are typically easier than the levels themselves. The boss of the third stage particularly stands out, having a predictable pattern and considerably less health than the other bosses.
- Zig-Zagged with Dracula. His first form is very simple if you kill him quick enough, but then he transforms into a bat. As a bat, Dracula flies back around on the top of the map, releasing smaller bats to attack the player. Hitting him at all without him hitting you is almost impossible, especially because Christopher is so damn slow!
- Enemies with Death:
- Subverted by the fact that Death doesn't even appear anywhere in the game.
- However, there is a Grim Reaper-esque enemy in the game that throws sickles like a boomerang.
- Faceless Eye: The Big Eye enemies.
- Fake Difficulty: Christopher is unbearably slow, making parkour sections frustrating, there are several sections where a cross must be collected to avoid being hit as soon as you spawn in the next area, and stage 2 can become unwinnable if you take the wrong path halfway through, because there is no way to go back if you take the wrong path.
- Fragile Speedster: The second boss fight pits you against a bunch of these. The third boss also counts.
- Flunky Boss: Dracula's One-Winged Angel form only attacks by summoning bats to attack Christopher.
- Made of Explodium: The rolling eye enemies explode when they're killed. The explosion is potent enough to blow apart pieces of the bridge in Stage 2.
- Mighty Glacier: The first boss. Also, Christopher, if his whip is maxed out.
- Nintendo Hard:
- Though there are only four stages in the game, said stages are quite lengthy and you only have three lives (assuming you don't pick up 1-ups) before starting over at the beginning of the level.
- Christopher is also the slowest-moving Belmont in the entire series. Until ReBirth, that is.
- One-Winged Angel: Dracula turns into a huge bat upon being defeated in his humanoid form.
- Power Up Let Down: Christopher's whip downgrades by one level whenever he gets damaged by the enemy. And unlike other games in the series, there are no sub-weapons. Better get used to the Vampire Killer...
- Rise to the Challenge: One of the sections in the third level has rising spikes.
- Rush Boss: If you didn't find the secret after the Advancing Wall of Doom in the third level and you took a huge beating beforehand, the third boss becomes this.
- Dracula's humanoid form dies quite fast if you know what you're doing, but he can also absolutely destroy you if you don't know what you're doing.
- Slow Motion: The first thing you will notice when playing this game, and also the main criticism, is how slow and clunky Christopher Belmont is, the NES Castlevania games were a little slow and clunky, but in this game it becomes much, much worse, that's why levels take so long to clear and parts of the game can easily become chores, to make it even worse, two enemies on the screen at the same time is enough to cause slowdowns.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The extremely-grueling third level is coupled with probably one of the more cheerful-sounding tracks of any Castlevania game.