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Haunted Castle is an arcade game released in 1988, by Konami. In Japan, the game is known as Akumajō Dracula (悪魔城ドラキュラ). Haunted Castle is a game from the Castlevania series. It is the first exclusive arcade game in the Castlevania series. It was later re-released on the Sony PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan.
Haunted Castle is a typical platform game with six levels, which are played through in a linear progression. The player controls the main character, whose primary mode of attack is via his whip. He must fight various enemies which consist partially of skeletons, zombies, fishmen, and hunchbacks. By destroying certain enemies, he can switch his weapon to a more powerful spiked mace or sword. In addition, various "sub-weapons" can be obtained which provide different means of attack which consist of bombs, boomerangs, stopwatches, crosses, and torches. Hearts are collected to use each of these "sub-weapons." The player can only carry one sub-weapon at a time.
Each of Haunted Castle's six levels conclude with a boss fight. Like in other games of the series, these bosses are generally taken from horror literature or legend, and include Medusa, Frankenstein's monster, and of course, Dracula.
"Count Dracula slept for a hundred years. As he did, the village was at peace, and Dracula was nothing more but a mere legend.
However, one day a young couple named Simon and Serena were celebrating their wedding at the village's church. The couple were very happy as the wedding bells rang. Their future seemed blessed, but suddenly, the empty sky filled with dark clouds. With a rolling thunder that shook the earth, Dracula once again awakened from his slumber. Asking for Serena's blood, he flew down during the wedding, and took her with him. To save Serena, Simon headed for Dracula's demonic castle."
A small Japanese game publisher called Hamster ported the Japanese version of Haunted Castle to the PlayStation 2 in May 2006 as part of the Oretachi Game Center Zoku series. This game port is not slated to be released outside of Japan.
There are a several notable music tracks in Haunted Castle that have been reused in other Castlevania games. The well-recognized Bloody Tears (first heard in the previously released Simon's Quest) is used in this game as the theme for Stage 3. Another arcade piece, the Stage 1 theme Cross Your Heart, was recently reused in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, under the title "Crucifix Held Close". It is also part of the Akumajo Dracula Medley that appears most-recently in Konami's Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 (originally appearing in the Japanese arcade and PlayStation 2 music game series Keyboardmania), along with Bloody Tears. "Underground Melody" which plays during Stage 5, was remixed in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Finally, Don't Wait Until Night, played during Stage 6, which fittingly borrows hints of "The Silence of Daylight" (town music from Castlevania II)[, was remixed in ]Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow for Julius' theme known as "Heart of Fire", though this particular song is actually a medley of the Haunted Castle tune and "Heart of Fire" from the original Castlevania.