Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
|Castlevania II: Simon's Quest|
Also known as: Dracula II: Noroi no Fuuin (JP)
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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is a very different beast than its predecessor, featuring a big, non-linear world to explore as opposed to straightfoward platforming levels, inspired by Konami's earlier MSX title Maze of Galious. While infamously cryptic and frustrating at times, it laid the groundwork for a much more beloved game.
It's also infamous for its hilariously inept translation, though the original Japanese version doesn't make much sense either, thanks to Konami's brilliant decision to give many of the villagers intentionally misleading dialogue.
Hit Deborah Cliff with your head to make a hole, and don't forget to visit the graveyard duck to live longer.
- 1 Sub-Page
- 2 Unused Enemy
- 3 Dracula's Fangs
- 4 Title Logo
- 5 Unused Sound
- 6 Unused Text
- 7 Regional Differences
- 7.1 Title Screen
- 7.2 Prologue
- 7.3 Save Screen/Password
- 7.4 Pause Screen
- 7.5 Game Over
- 7.6 Music
- 7.6.1 Message of Darkness (Naming BGM)
- 7.6.2 Within these Castle Walls (Castle BGM)
- 7.6.3 Bloody Tears (Roads by Day BGM)
- 7.6.4 The Silence of the Daylight (Town by Day BGM)
- 7.6.5 Dwelling of Doom (Mansion BGM)
- 7.6.6 Monster Dance (By Night BGM)
- 7.6.7 Last Boss
- 7.6.8 Game Over
- 7.6.9 A Requiem (Ending BGM)
- 7.7 Sound Effects
- 7.8 Ending
- 7.9 Toast
- 7.10 Credits
- 7.11 Easter Egg
- 7.12 Miscellaneous
An unused enemy. Judging from the tileset it's stored in, it was probably supposed to appear in a mansion. These graphics replace the normal zombie graphics from outside of mansions, with concept art suggesting that these mansion enemies were to be "Frankensteins".
Stored with the rest of Dracula's remains are a pair of vampire fangs, which suggests that Simon was meant to collect six parts of Dracula instead of five. Oddly enough, one guidebook makes mention of Dracula's fangs, being how the Count is able to attack in the Last Battle. The Tooth of Vlad also appears in the plot of Harmony of Dissonance and in Symphony of the Night as part of the method to engaging in the true final boss fight of both games.
Mistakenly, two tiles in the title logo went unused, meant for the letter 'S' in "Simon's" and the letter 'Q' in "Quest".
An unused sound effect, similar to a menu selection noise.
An unused loud rumbling or explosion sound effect.
These messages can be viewed in-game by accessing any dialogue with Pro Action Replay (PAR) code 00007FXX enabled, where "XX" is the given text ID.
Starting at line 0xCF50 in the ROM data:
This is similar to the Ferryman's dialogue when you have the Heart equipped ("Let me show you the way"), but he never says "I'll show you the way." Nor does any other character in the game, for that matter.
Starting at line 0xCCE0 in the ROM data:
It's obvious that these were meant to be displayed when Simon gains an experience level, but they're not. Furthermore, it's not possible to go above Level 6 in the final game.
At lines 0xCCD0, 0xCF90, 0xD1F0, and 0xDC60 in the ROM data:
All four of these memory addresses contain an instance of "Nothing.", which is never displayed anywhere in the game. They're probably placeholders or memory fillers, but may also have been intended for empty rooms.
Find more differences between both games
The title screen was completely redone. The blood effect that would drip from the title was removed, and the title screen itself was shifted down a few pixels. The European title screen is based on the American one, and only the copyright and license info has been changed.
Serif typeface: The specialized font used on the prologue screen alters the apostrophe symbol (in the Japanese version, it basically looked exactly like a period) and the comma (aside from an extra pixel, also looked exactly like a period) to look more distinctive. However, the period itself appears to have been shifted a couple pixels upward due to the font's design. The space between the two dots in the colon has also been narrowed.
The FDS version has a save feature, whereas the cartridge versions use a password system. The American version uses the basic Latin alphabet and numbers for its passwords. However, the European version eliminated all vowels and some letters and replaced them with special characters, in order to avoid profane passwords like that one infamous Metal Gear password.
Interestingly, the American version uses a tileset trick to keep the word "YOUR" in "ENTER YOUR PASSWORD" from touching the message border. This results in the word "YOUR" looking slightly misaligned from the rest of the text. However, the European version does not have enough tile space for this tileset trick as a result of adding the new characters, so the entire text display (message, password field and input screen) was shifted one pixel to the left instead. In the process, the underscore cursor in the password field was accidentally left untouched, resulting in it appearing misaligned with any characters entered.
In NES version, some connective letters were stretched for better cohesion, and the colon was given drop-shadow to make it visible in some mansion scenes.
The FDS version had a Save option on the Game Over screen that boots you back to the title screen after. Since the NES version lacked battery backups, Save was changed to "Password" and altered so it returned you to the game after giving you your password for that session.
Like other video games ported over from the Famicom Disk System to the Famicom/NES, the game's entire soundtrack had to be redone by Konami to compensate for the lack of the additional wavetable channel exclusive to the FDS. However, the unusual year-long gap between both versions allowed the sound engineers in charge to use their added experience with the hardware since the original game to radically rework the entire soundtrack.
The original FDS soundtrack only has rather-muffled bass drum sampling that's used sporadically, and instead primarily uses the noise channel for percussion. Along with updating the compositions, the NES port updates the bass drum sampling to sound cleaner, as well as adding new snare drum samples all throughout its soundtrack, and even touching up the noise channel to sound less scratchy and give it more impact for cymbals and snare hits.
Additional changes include playing with volume levels more (i.e. fading notes in and out more smoothly and creating volume swells for emphasis) and using duty cycle modulation to simulate the sound of "plucking" notes.
Message of Darkness (Naming BGM)
The original FDS version did not have any drums (noise or sampled) whatsoever, while the NES version adds percussion with bass and snare drum samples, along with adding "slapback echo" and reverb effects in various places to the pulse channels.
Within these Castle Walls (Castle BGM)
Both versions arrange the second half of the song rather differently from each other:
- The FDS version just mutes the backing in the second half while replaying the main melody of the first section again before restarting. It also features no samples at all, using only cymbal hits from the noise channel.
- The NES version arranges the second half of the song in a higher key than the original, and slowly builds up the song in an ascending manner before bringing it to a more bombastic conclusion and restarting again. Also, the NES version adds kick and snare drum samples throughout the song.
Bloody Tears (Roads by Day BGM)
- The FDS version does not play any percussion during the intro of the song, and when looping back to the intro the percussion is made silent before resuming with the main portion of the song.
- The NES version adds percussion to the intro with bass drum samples along with a couple snare hits, in the form of snare samples and the noise channel playing snare hits simultaneously. Additionally, when the song loops back to the intro, percussion is added with cymbal hits from the noise channel alongside occasional snare drum samples.
The Silence of the Daylight (Town by Day BGM)
The ending of the NES version sharply deviates from the original, going into a more freestyle kind of playing rather than being subdued like the FDS version.
Dwelling of Doom (Mansion BGM)
- When in front of the entrance of a mansion, the mansion theme starts playing in the FDS version. In the NES version, it plays when entering the mansion instead.
- The NES version also has more slapback echo applied to it, giving it more of a "bouncy" feeling overall compared to the original FDS version.
Monster Dance (By Night BGM)
Besides having stronger bass drum samples and adding new snare samples, the NES version plays some extra notes right before leading into the final part of the song.
The NES version adds more variation to the rhythm/percussion, changing the percussion to play a stop-start beat/rhythm before the song loops again.
- The NES version actually plays at a slower tempo than the FDS version, and sustains the final note longer as well.
- Also, while the original FDS features no percussion at all from either the noise or sample channels, the NES version adds a single kick drum sample to the beginning of the song and nothing else.
A Requiem (Ending BGM)
- The ending theme was redone to sound less repetitive. Specifically, the original FDS theme simply loops itself 4 times before concluding.
- On the other hand, while the NES theme is shortened to loop only 3 times before finishing (due to the lack of credits), the second loop is played in a variation at a higher key. It still has greater variation between the parts, with the song gradually increasing the percussion with each subsequent section, until it finally builds up to a full set with not only kick drums but also snare drums with samples and the noise channel.
- The holy water makes no sound when hitting the ground in the FDS version, whereas in the NES version it retains the sound from Castlevania.
- Some sound effects used both pulse channels in the FDS version, and were changed to use only one pulse channel in the NES version, since this would have completely interrupted the music otherwise.
New File Sound
The sound used in the FDS version for creating a new file. No surprise that it went unused on the password-based NES release.
- Quite a few of the sound effects lost their echo in the NES version.
- Sound effects that primarily relied on the extra wavetable channel in the FDS also had to be altered for the NES.
- The NES version had slightly higher tones than the FDS version.
The NES version of Tornado Transmission's sound effects are different from the FDS version, and the two sound effects of the FDS version are actually shared.
Konami messed up the order of the epilogues in the endings. The epilogue in the second ending says Simon died, but you can clearly see Simon standing before Dracula's grave. That epilogue should go instead in the third ending, where the sky is dark and gray. Inversely, the epilogue in the third ending is intended to go with the second one.
The FDS version shows the amount of in-game days it took you to finish the game in the form of a "toast".
The FDS version contains a credits sequence excised from the other versions.
Programmed with the following characteristics Invincibility Akamatsu Permanence Iwasa Philosophy Togakushi Masterpiece Kawanishi Sensitivity Hatano Excellence Terashima Ambivalence Kuwahara Flourish Higasa Admiration Ohyama Warm-Heart Matsuoka Superiority Murata Synchronism Matsubara Circumstance Konami
In the FDS version, if the game is beaten on day 69 exactly (yes, ha ha), the line "SEE YOU AGAIN" appears. This goes unused in the NES version, which lacks such credits.
- The NES password stores more information than the FDS saves. The passwords remember your laurels, garlic and oak stake. In the FDS version, you always start without laurels, garlic or oak stake. Additionally, the player always begins at the starting point (Town of Jova) if continuing the game via a save file regardless of where the game saved progress.
- In the FDS version, you are able to slowly kill Dracula by stunlocking him with garlic. To avoid this, the NES version removes all your garlic when you enter the fight with Dracula.
- The loading screens that would pop up when starting a game, leaving towns, approaching a mansion, etc., are not present in the cartridge versions.
- In the FDS version, the life amount screen remains for longer than on the NES version.
- In the FDS version, jump height is several pixels lower than that of the NES version. It's thus impossible to reach Laruba Mansion from Carmilla Cemetery as a result.
- In the FDS version, the Mansion BGM will be played outside the mansion to curb loading screen problems. The Mansion theme will also fade out and back in during a day-to-night and vice versa transition.
- The European version fixes the infamous "Prossess" typo when obtaining Dracula's body parts.