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Castlevania NES Box Art


This is a basic guide to CASTLEVANIA on the NES. This guide covers all enemy types, powerups, levels and items. It is meant to serve as a basic guide and a reference to those who wish to play and / or experience the game and need a little help or advice. This is NOT a complete guide or a walkthrough. If you want a complete guide, you could find some over at GameFaqs but it's not, in our view, entirely neccesary for a game this straight forward.



 Simon Belmont

Simon BelmontYou take on the role of Simon Belmont, vampire hunter of the legendary Belmont clan of monster killers. His goal is to find and destroy Count Dracula. His primary weapon is the whip, better known to some as the Vampire Killer. It is the whip used by all Belmonts and was created with Alchemy specifically for vanquishing vampires. It can be upgraded throughout the game and you can also find other sub-weapons for him. These are limited to how many hearts you have, so best to save these for bosses. Simon has a few flaws to watch out for. Getting hit when there is a death pit behind you will most likely result in death. Whenever he takes damage, he freezes and is thrust backwards so death pits can be a real pain. 




CandlesIf there's one thing you'll be seeing all over the place in Castlevania, it's candles. Wall candles, floor candles etc. These hide important items, either hearts, powerups or health and you should whip every single one you see. Who knows what amazing things you might find?

Occasionally you'll find a very special candle. Whip it to reveal a rosary. Pick it up and see what happens!






They give you ammo for your subweapon. A small heart is worth 1, and large heart is worth 5.



Whip Upgrade

Whip Upgrade


Collect this to enhance the power and reach of your whip.


 Pot Roast

Pot RoastEating this will restore some of your health. A very appreciated item when you find it. Something they hide in walls. Whip the walls to break the blocks and reveal the pot roast inside.


 Double Damage

Double Damage

If you find one of these you'll be able to do double the damage you usually do. A valuable item.



 Triple Damage

Triple Damage

Like the double version, only triple. A very valuable item, especially during boss fights!





Sub-Weapon. A throwing dagger will hit enemies directly in front of you.




Sub-Weapon. The axe when thrown will hit enemies above and in front of you in an arch. 



Holy Water

Holy Water

Sub-Weapon. The holy water will cause anything that touches it to burn and die. Shatters on the floor setting that spot ablaze.




boomerangSub-Weapon. A cross-shaped boomerang that will hit enemies in front of you then come back and hit them again and sometimes might even hit enemies behind you on the way back.





Sub-Weapon. Will freeze all enemies in their tracks for roughly 5 seconds.





Very powerful item that will obliterate all monsters on the screen in one blow.



 Invincibilty Jug


Rare, and extremely powerful. This item will make you invincible to all damage for a short period of time.



Money Bag (Red)

100 money

Will give you 100 points.



Money Bag (Purple)

400 bag

Will give you 400 points.



Money Bag (White)

700 bag

Will give you 700 points.






Considerably fast enemies, constantly respawning and will bombard you unless you kill them quickly. Very weak enemies but multiply quickly making them a little dangerous, especially near pit falls in which they can knock you back if you get overwhelemed (ultimately ending in an obvious death).  All in all, however, they should prove little problem for the experienced vampire hunter.




Vampire Bat

 BatThey are a bit of a pest. They fly at you across the screen, and path isn't exactly a straight line. Alternate between standing and crouching depending on their height and the length of your whip when they come towards you to whip them to death.





Black Leopard

Black LeopardThey sit ready to pounce when you approach. When you get too close, they will spring to life with a leap and dash back and forth to destroy you. A well timed whipping (either crouching or standinging depending on whether they are mid leap or not) will take them out.






 White Skeleton

SkeletonWhite Skeletons move back and forth whilst lobbing bones at you in an arching manor. If near a ledge, they may jump down. If they hit you with a bone they take away health plus cause knock back which is a serious pain. They are weak, however, and can easily be dispatched with a single strike of the whip, considering you can reach them.




Red Skeleton

Red Skeleton
Like the regular skeleton, except these ones are soaked in vampire blood and thus, cannot truly be killed. Whipping these will shatter them to bones, which, in a very short while will reform as a red skeleton again. The idea is to whip them, and in that short amount of time, make a move on.





RavenThey are similar to bats in many respects except their pattern is considerably different. Easily taken down with a whip considering you can successfully hit them.





 Bone Pillar

Bone PillarTwo skeletal dragon heads place atop of each other front to back that spit fire balls. These are a little tougher than some other enemies because they take multiple whips to take out. Be prepared. When they glow they are about to spit fireballs, so figure out which one is about to spit (top or bottom) and stand or  crouch respectively to hit the fireballs away then whip at the bone pillar itself.




 Medusa Head

Medusa HeadVery much servants of Medusa herself, these floating, bobbing disembodied heads are considered by most to be the most annoying enemies in the history of all Castlevania. When they attack, it is in an endless stream and they are difficult to predict in order to hit them. Because of this, they often knock you back off of ledges and into death pits. They are weak however, if you are able to hit them in the first place.





MermanMermen are not handsome men with fish tails. They are demonic scaley beasts from Hell and they like nothing more than popping up out of water with a leap and attacking you. They are pretty tough to kill as well, requiring more than just the regular single whip to defeat. Multiple hits will be needed. Coupled with the ability to leap out from beneath, you'll find this monster a bit of a nuisance.




 Black Knight

Black KnightWe are getting to the tougher ones here now. Black Knights are heavily armoured undead that weild a spear and can do a lot of damage if you let them. Furthermore, they are hard to kill considering their armour. It will take several whippings to take out these beasts. Might be worth considering using some secondary weapons on these too.




 Axe Man

Axe-ManThe tougest of the regular monsters, the axe man will launch spinning axes at you from across the screen which can seriously mess you up. Like the Black Knights, they are also heavily armoured  and even carry a shield too, meaning it will take more than just a standard hit from a whip to take them out. This may be a secondary weapon job too.





 Giant Bat

Giant BatThe Giant Bat is the first boss you will encounter in the entrance halls of the castle. It will fly about the screen occasionally swooping down to hit you. This boss is a very easy battle. You can easily avoid its swoop attack and even if you fail to do so, you'll still be able to take it out fairly easily, earning you all your health lost back in turn (since the level will be complete). It is strongly advised that if you want to make this fight go by quickly, to use the AXE subweapon. It's arching angle when thrown will hit the bat a lot and sometimes dealing more than one damage on its way back down. 



 Queen Medusa

Queen MedusaThe Queen Medusa boss has two forms of attack – she usually swoops in towards Simon to try and collide with him, and when both close to Simon and the ground, she drops serpents on the ground, which advance towards you; these are easily beaten with a couple flings of your whip. Thankfully, there is a way you can make this boss battle MUCH easier – and that's by using the Watch sub-weapon, if you picked it up near the end of Stage 05, as it can freeze Medusa, allowing you to freely whip away. If you do not have the Watch, the Boomerang also works fairly well, as does the Holy Water, as Queen Medusa does tend to swoop near the ground. As long as you attack quickly and repeatedly, you should end up outdoing her in terms of damage dealt, as she also tends to stop for a second when she receives damage as well. After around 8–12 hits, she will be defeated.

 Mummy Man

Mummy ManThe first thing we should note is that the fight doesn't start until you walk far enough to the right, meaning you can get the first candle before it begins. The lower left-hand block has some Pot Roast in it. Whipping the far right mummy will immediately start the fight. All the mummies do is walk back and forth while shooting bandages occasionally. The bandages move in a wave pattern and always start out by going downwards. Keep in mind the mummy men attack from both sides at once. If the mummies line up (and stack on top of each other), you can really damage them quickly. This is some sort of hit-box glitch as a couple of Boomerang items can kill them both off when this happens. So make your way to the left and attack from there. You can get under the platform and use your sub-weapons from here, and if they do stack on top of each other you can pounce on them for extreme damage thanks to that hit-box glitch.

 Frankenstein & Igor

FrankThere are two monsters here, but it's Frankenstein you will need to attack to grind its health down; Igor can only be stunned, but he deals damage by hopping around the room shooting fireballs at you. They both start out at the right side of the room; if you are quick enough, you can jump onto the low ledge and get a few hits in. Frankenstein slowly walks around and is less of a threat than Igor. Try to keep your distance and use the ledges to jump over them if it looks like they are going to corner you. Whip Igor to stun him for a couple of seconds, and quickly attack Frankenstein. Using the Dagger/Boomerang allows you to stay close to Igor preventing him moving around much, so whip him while using sub-weapons to attack Frankenstein. If you have Holy Water & a Shot Multiplier, you can get to the lower right ledge and repeatedly throw Holy Water to stun-lock Frankenstein and drain his life meter away before Igor is released.

Grim Reaper

Death This is a challenging fight if you're not prepared due to the amount of damage this stage deals to us plus how the Grim Reaper fights. By himself he isn't hard as he just swoops down and just travels across the screen and you can use the edges to jump over him. The hard part is the scythes. It spawns up to three that will slowly move in your direction (they semi-home in on you). If you have Holy Water, this is easy to beat. Once he spawns in on the right, you can turn around and use Holy Water that locks him in place and lets you just repeat it until it is dead. Most people are going to have a challenge however. Using Sub-Weapons to help damage the Grim Reaper and take out the scythes is the more traditional method. The Boomerang does a decent job if you stagger your shots, especially if you have a double or triple shot. Also be ready to use the sides to jump when you need to. It is definitelly advised that you stay on the move.

 Dracula (Phase 1)

DraculaDracula will appear in his cloaked, humanoid form. You'll see him briefly flash before he materialises in a random part of the room, and when he does, he'll open his cloak and shoot three fireballs in your direction, at varying trajectories. It can be difficult, but it is possible, to evade them by jumping over or walking under them if Dracula fires them low/high enough, but it is very risky. Do not forget, on a full health bar, you can only afford to be hit no more than a total of three times in this fight. The key is timing and positioning. Dracula can only be damaged by attacking the head. Standing far enough away and making a standing jump, whipping him in the head and immediately whipping again when you land usually means you'll deal a point of damage and extinguish the fireballs he shoots right after. Be cautious though as he materialises randomly in the area. It takes 16 successful hits to defeat this first phase. (If you get hit by his fireballs at the exact time you hit him, you can kill him in one hit).

 Dracula (Phase 2)


Cookie MonsterNicknamed Cookie Monster, he has an attack pattern of high jumps towards you while shooting fireballs. The only part that takes damage is still the head, but because he's constantly on the move, it offers you less time to do it, leaving you open to attack. If you remembered to collect the Holy Water from the candle at the left side, it will come in really useful as it locks Dracula in place for a few of seconds if it connects. If you can throw a Holy Water to catch Dracula in place, you'll have enough time to attack with two jumping whips to the face, then throwing another Holy Water to keep it frozen in the same place, and repeating this process over, you should have a good chance of avoiding his attacks and cleaning out his life meter, and upon doing so, win the game!




Click HERE to return to the Castlevania Documentation Directory.

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