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Super Castlevania IV is still an SNES Masterpiece

In this article we’re going to go back to the year 1991. Sega was getting ready to battle it out against Nintendo with the Genesis and the NES wasn’t consider retro yet. Super Mario World, Pilotwing and F-Zero are great games, but there was one game that seems to stand out and Super Castlevania IV is that game. The game is just incredible and we’re going to discuss why it still remains a masterpiece till this day.

Music

The first thing I want to discuss is the music. The music is fantastic and still sounds amazing even though it was released in 1991. It captures the feel of the game from the haunting menu screen music playing to Dracula origins the game is flooded with music to enjoy. Simon’s Theme playing in the first level truly describes the character you’re playing and all the level describes the atmosphere.

Levels like the dungeon really capture the eerie feel of what it’s like to be trap in there. Also, Clocktower level give the player the sense of how close you are to reaching the destination of Dracula. When you meet Dracula, you are given the theme that plays at the beginning of the game for a final showdown giving you chills down your spine. However, once you’re close to beating him in the fight Simon’s theme plays making you feel like a totally badass.

Listen to the music here if you’re interested! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBZb7zjJvj4&list=PLQYxyaOqFrRf6mNA5Mtn0-Po7QaHzNfNI

Short Facts about the great Levels

Super Castlevania has up eleven levels to go through that puts a test on the players ability. Let me briefly break down the levels.

Map A

Outer Walls– Great start for the first level as it gives the player the feel of how the mechanics work in the game and the boss skeleton knight Rowdain is easy to defeat.

Outer Grounds– The forest has a lot of foes that will pose to be a problem in the begin, but eventually will be become easy in the end. It has great music to boot at that. I hate those silly crows  that fly around and other monsters though. The mid boss Medusa is simple and if you have a boomerang the fight becomes more easy. Later in the level you will be in swamp going through the water currents leading to the next stage.

The Lake– An Underground cave that has a rock monster that spilt himself each time you hit him. The cave also can collapse causing your health to disappear. Later in the level you will encounter a monster that will try to push you off the level with its acid.

 

This part was hard for me as I kept dying a lot from them. The boss is the two headed hydra Orphic Vipers. One will shoot close range projectiles and the other will shoot long range one. It best to get rid of the long range projectiles hydra as the fight becomes easier.

Spinning Tales– A tricky level due to it having an insane amount of traps. Many of the levels doors are false and to boot that you will have to fight the mini boss Puwexil. After that fight, you will go into a rotating room(Mode 7 graphics!!) that will make you rely on your grapple to hang.

After that, you will be in a swirling background that if you make one mistake, you will loses a life. If you get through this, you will face the boss Koranot.

The Courtyard– Finally, you reach the entrance to the castle. But monsters will still attack you especially the harpies dropping fleamen. However, weirdly enough there’s no boss here.

Map B

The Haunted Hall– Simon made it inside Dracula’s castle, but this level consist of many annoying foes like the Zombie dogs and humans attacking you from both sides. Also, you have the swinging Chandelier that will test your jumping skills. And more distractions like ghosts, flying coffins, and attacking tables. At the end of the level you will face the boss called the Dancers, which is simple to defeat.

The Library– Entering the library of the castle requires you to jump on top of books from place to place. Also, you will need to avoid spikes that come from the ceiling, which can be annoying to deal with. Passing that will let you fight the boss Sir Grakul.

The Dungeon– The hardest part of the game in my opinion as you will have to deal with the eyeballs that will cause you to die. Also, many platforms in this level will make you fall into the acid(blood in Japanese version) which will make you lose health. Dealing with the spikes can be gruesome at times considering one hit and you’re dead. At the end of the level they’re disappearing platforms, which you will have to time according to get to the boss Frankenstein’s monster.

Japanese version

The Treasury– The room filled with gold, but don’t get too greedy as the gold skeletons will attack you relentlessly. They’re wind tunnels that will cause you to lose your balance in this level and they’re some flying coffins, but it isn’t so bad. The boss is Zapf Bat, which is a bat entirely made out of gold.

Map C

The Clocktower– The clocktower is a test to see if you can time your jumps just right as they’re many cogs that you will have to jump from. Also, this level makes uses of grappling a lot from getting from one platform to another. Once you mastered that, you will face the mummy Akomdan.

Tower of Fiends and Dracula’s Chamber– Now you’re very close to fighting Dracula himself, but you will have to cross a breaking bridge. Also, they’ll be stairs that will break as soon as you step on them. A spinning spike will be at the bottom making the player go really fast to the top of the level. Once you’re at the top, you’ll have to face four bosses Slogra, Gaibon, the Grim Reaper and then Dracula himself.

That being said, the level design is great because they’re many challenges that the player will encounter and it still enjoyable to replay till this day as you can unlock hard mode.

Secrets

Super Castlevania has some hidden secrets that are quite interesting. They’re three hidden routes that the player can take in some levels of the game.

In stage 3-1 you can find a wall of pillars that can be destroy. You’ll find a side room containing hearts, cash bags, and some roast.

In stage 6-2 there’s is a secret area in the third archway with a chandelier containing no guard. If you hit the floor a couple of times, it’ll crumble leading you to a secret area with a ghostly man and his dog.

In stage 9-2 you can find a wind tunnel that will suck you into a secret room fill with bonuses.

Here’s an old video showing more secrets of the game

With many secrets, cool music and challenging level design, Super Castlevania stood the test of time as a great Super Nintendo game to play. Even though other Castlevania games like Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood are amazing, Super Castlevania should not be overlook. So grab your old Snes or Snes mini and play this Snes masterpiece as you will not be disappointed because you’re not just playing with power, you’re playing with SUPER POWER!!

Check out my other articles on my website if you’re interested!

https://koizugaming.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Talik Saad

Artist, Blogger, Content Creator and Steamer

Hello fellow gamer! My name is Talik and I like to draw concept art and play video games in general. I created this blog to reach out to other gamer to discuss different games. If I am not on here I’m either working or streaming. Will be creating Youtube content in the near future as well :) Nice to meet you guys!! :) 

Talik Saad

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