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Proto:Castlevania: Bloodlines/Version 0.1

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Castlevania: Bloodlines.

To do:
  • Sound rips, more palette change screenshots, etc. In other words: a lot.
  • Rip the unimplemented Stage 4 ~ Stage 5 object graphic assets.
  • Now that 0.5 has been released, some things need to be updated here as well
Download.png Download Castlevania: Bloodlines Version 0.1
File: Castlevania Bloodlines Ver01.zip (1 MB) (info)

On July 1, 2018, a v0.1 prototype of Castlevania: Bloodlines was posted in the Castlevania Dungeon Discord channel, having apparently been in the possession of collectors for some time prior. The cartridge label and EPROMs give a build date of August 4, 1993, more than 7 months before the game's retail release. Only two stages are implemented at this point.

Stage Select


Entering the Konami Code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A) at the main menu unlocks a stage select (technically, stage entrance) instead of Expert mode. After entering the code successfully, a chime would be heard and a box with number will appear on the top left corner of the logo ; press A to increase the value by one, B to increase it by 10, or C to decrease it by one. Upon starting the game, you will be warped to the selected stage entrance. All values above 29 will crash the game at a black screen. Interestingly, this cheat was mentioned in the Castlevania Bloodlines strategy guide on the Sega Channel January 1996 dev disc.

Stage 1 Stage 2 Broken
  • 0 = 1-1
  • 1 = 1-2
  • 2 = 1-3
  • 3 = 1-4
  • 4 = 1-3 (B)
  • 5 = 1-3 (C)
  • 6 = 1-4 (B)
  • 7 = 1-5
  • 8 = 1-6
  • 9 = 1-7
  • 10 = 1-8
  • 11 = 1-9
  • 12 = 1-10
  • 13 = 1-11
  • 14 = 1-7 (B)
  • 15 = 1-6 (B)
  • 16 = 1-10 (B)
  • 17 = 2-1
  • 18 = 2-2
  • 19 = 2-3
  • 20 = 2-2 (B)
  • 21 = 2-4
  • 22 = 2-3 (B)
  • 23 = 2-5
  • 24 = 2-6
  • 25 = 2-5 (broken)
  • 26 = 3-1 (broken)
  • 27 = 3-2 (broken)
  • 28 = 3-3 (broken)

The Konami Code also has interesting side effect - soft-resetting the console will allow the player to resume at the stage where they are before the reset. In extension, soft resetting also allows difficulty changes in the options screen and character swapping. This feature even survives in the final version of the game, although the method to access it is slightly altered.

Controller 2 Commands

To do:
Is there some button combo that enables invincibility?
  • Stage skip: Hold Up or Down and press A to warp to the next or previous stage entrance, respectively (same order as the table above). The last defined entrance seems to be invalid, as you emerge from the bottom of the screen partway through stage 2-5 and fall to your death; immediately warping to the next entrance from here will return you to the beginning of stage 1-1.
  • Life refill + 99 gems: Press B to instantly max your character's life bar and gem count.
  • Toggle sound: Press C to toggle both music and sound effects on or off. Note that the music will remain silenced until you either die or enter a new area.

General Differences

  • Regional lockout is not yet implemented, but the game does recognize whether you are playing on a Japanese or US console and changes the title on the copyright screen accordingly ("VAMPIRE KILLER" for Japan, "CASTLEVANIA BLOODLINES" for the US). The European title is not yet present at this point.
  • The opening cinematic before the title screen is completely different from the final version, and matches a pre-release screenshot shown in the November 1993 issue of EGM. It lacks the final's font fading effect for the text, and consists of only one screen. Interestingly, the text on this screen survived into the final game almost completely unchanged.
Prototype Final
Only blue and red? Are there hedgehogs and echidnas now? What is a Belmont? A miserable pile of knockback!
  • The title screen is missing the background present in the final version, and the "BLOODLINES" lettering does not yet feature the dripping blood along the bottom. The raster effect used to "stretch" the title onto the screen is also much different.
  • Game difficulty is set to Easy by default. Normal is available, although Expert seems to be nonexistent in this build.
  • Players (amount of lives you start with) is set to 4 by default instead of 3.
  • The "PRESS START TO EXIT" text in the options menu is absent.
Prototype Final
How generous. How stingy.
  • In the final version, setting BGM to 05 and SE to 73 in the Options menu, exiting back to the main menu, waiting for the title screen animation to replay, and then entering the Konami Code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A) at the main menu will unlock a 9 lives setting in the Options menu. In the prototype, this is a whopping 30 lives instead, and only requires the Konami Code.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-Password.png CVBloodlines-Final-Password.png
  • The password screen is not yet complete, and consists of a simple blue grid on a black background.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-CharacterSelect.png CVBloodlines-Final-CharacterSelect.png
  • The background brick cell of the character select screen is less detailed in the prototype.
  • The world map displayed between stages in the final game is absent.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-StageStart.png CVBloodlines-Final-StageStart.png
  • The "STAGE X START", "PAUSE", and end-of-stage score tally text is absent.
  • The game's sound driver seems to be running on the main 68000 CPU at this point in development, rather than the Z80; as a result, both the gameplay and music will frequently slow down when more than a few sprites are active on-screen, and music tracks will restart between areas. Turning off sound by pressing C on controller 2 will alleviate some of this lag.
  • Unlike later builds and the final, the player character is not allowed to jump while he's on the stairs, or under narrow paths which are one character's height (an attribute which was carried from Castlevania III).
  • There is a timer in the HUD, though it continuously counts upwards and doesn't seem to do much else, thus led to its removal in an unknown time between this prototype and the v0.5 build.


  • Picking up a gem or a subweapon doesn't count instantly as they do in the final game, as they will only count once their floating animation to the upper HUD is complete. By extension, damage taken would only be reflected on the health bar once you land.
  • The blue gem in the HUD will blink when you have enough gems to use the current subweapon.
  • Picking up a gem when the counter is at 99 awards an extra life - you only seem to be able to do this once. On the other hand, regular life refills is awarded at every 20,000 points.
  • Dying would only reduce gems for a certain amount instead of resetting to 0.
  • When the player grabs the end-level orb at the end of a stage, the gameplay pauses immediately instead of slowing to a stop after a few seconds.
  • The subweapon system works differently in this build. You can pick the same subweapon twice in order to enhance it to the level 2 version. The level 2 subweapons behaves exactly as the Item Crash version of subweapons in the final game, and this system was tweaked entirely between this prototype and the v0.5 build.
    • The character-specific Item Crash can be obtained by picking the same crystal ball twice (basically picking up the same regular subweapon thrice in a row) instead of automatically available when picking up the third coat of arms. Unlike in later revisions, this special Item Crash will not be removed when getting damaged, picking up a regular subweapon will remove them instead.

BGM/Sound Effect Differences

  • Each time you enter a different room in a stage, the music completely restarts, even if it has the same music as the previous room. This also includes door transitions.
  • The SE selection in the options menu only goes up to 98, versus the final's 206.
  • The BGM selection in the options menu only goes up to 19 instead of the final's 30. The "stage clear" theme cannot be selected here, though it is present in the game.
  • As the death theme does not exist yet, a sound effect is played instead.


  • The title screen music is completely different, and resembles the invincibility item theme used in the final game (which is absent at this point).

BGM #09

  • BGM #09 is a rather strange, unused tune that is not present in any of the known later builds.

BGM #14

  • Different instrumentation is evident at the start of the track.

Stage 4

Stage 5

  • The themes for stages 4 and 5 use some different instruments and are missing several details.

Character Differences

Eric Lecarde

  • Eric's stair-climbing sprite isn't properly anchored to the terrain unlike John's, causing his sprite to bounce with each step.
  • It takes longer for Eric to stop attacking with his spear.
  • Eric's spear does not retract when he attacks.
  • When moving the spear to the other side, it moves diagonally to the other side instead of spinning.
  • Spear jumping makes no sound at all, and unlike later builds the spear jump has a delay before it is usable.
  • When spear jumping, Eric will shift to the left or right at the apex of the jump depending on the direction he's facing before the jump.
  • Picking up the third coat-of-arms does not apply the animated fire on Eric's spear when on idle.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-019.png CVBloodlines-Final-019.png
  • Eric's spear does not impale him upon dying.

John Morris

To do:
Find out more differences with John Morris.
  • John's general move speed is much slower than in later builds.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-018.png CVBloodlines-Final-018.png
  • Instead of disintegrating into blue light when dying, John's body will bounce onto the ground once and turn into a pile of bones afterwards.
  • The grip detection instantly occurs when the whip's tip collides with ceiling during a diagonal upward whip swing. This stays true In version 0.5, while in final extra hold of attack button is needed to make John grip the ceiling.
  • When performing a ceiling swing with John's initial whip, his whip will remain leather until he reaches halfway through the swing where it becomes the chain whip momentarily. This behavior was changed in between v0.5 and the December prototype, where the whip will always be a chain whip during a ceiling swing, regardless of the whip's unpowered stage.
  • John's whip doesn't make a sound when attack button is held against certain enemies.

Level Differences

Stage 1

  • The opening cinematic hasn't been implemented yet.
  • Stage 1-1 starts immediately instead of fading in from black. (It's worth noting that a few rooms in the final game still exhibit this problem, depending on how they are entered.)
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-1-1.png CVBloodlines-Final-1-1.png
  • A lantern containing a 1-up item is present high above the first staircase in stage 1-1, which can only be obtained with John's level 3 whip, Eric's spear jump, or a subweapon.
  • The air bubbles in the water section do not appear.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-001.png Castlevania - Bloodlines (U) -!-001.png
  • The goofy-looking Mermen received noticeable redesign in later builds, as well as their water splash shot.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-Merman.png CVBloodlines-Final-Merman.png
  • The last candle at mermen area holds a 1-up item in the prototype; its position makes it too easy to farm multiple extra lives by re-entering such area over and over, and a subweapon takes its place in later builds.
Prototype Final
150 years were not kind to this monster. Not to be confused with Cerberus.
  • The midboss in stage 1-2 uses a completely different design, somewhat resembling the Behemoth first seen in Rondo of Blood. In addition to its howling and flame attacks, it also has a charge attack, which the final version does not have. Hitting the enemy will cause it to recoil and restart its current attack, making for a relatively easy fight. The enemy also takes visible damage as its life is depleted, and does not decompose after the final hit.
  • Prototype stage 1-6 has slightly different amount of skeletons.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-1-7.png CVBloodlines-Final-1-7.png
  • The background is yet to be implemented in prototype stage 1-7, and the palette of spinning cogs were changed from reddish to greenish after the v0.5 build for an unknown reason.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-1-8.png CVBloodlines-Final-1-8.png
  • More prototype stage 1-8 background differences, with certain candles moved around for the final.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-1-10.png CVBloodlines-Final-1-10.png
  • The prototype stage 1-10 uses a simple blue background that lacks the final's moon object - instead opens a round hole as placeholder.

Stage 2

  • Falling into the water in stage 2-1 will cause the screen to scroll downwards, breaking the reflective water effect slightly. This was fixed in the final game.
  • The sprites used to mask the top of the water line in stage 2-2 onwards use the wrong tiles, appearing as broken bits of columns.
  • Using John's whip swing move in stage 2-2 will cause the screen to scroll upwards very quickly.
  • The watermancer midboss in stage 2-3 doesn't lock the screen or start the midboss theme, but can still raise the water level. He's also the only midboss present in the stage at this point, and takes far fewer hits to defeat than in the final game.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-2-4.png CVBloodlines-Final-2-4.png
  • There are stairs present at the beginning of stage 2-4, meaning you can climb back up to stage 2-3 and fight the midboss again. Doing this after the screen has started scrolling will cause it to awkwardly jump back to the top of the stage. This staircase was completely removed in the final game.
  • The rafts in stage 2-4 appear as strangely-colored blocks.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-Drown.png CVBloodlines-Final-Drown.png
  • Staying on the stairs as the water level goes down in 2-4 would not kill the player right away, at least until the player moves once the screen locks at the exit. As the water level scrolls down, the character sprite can be occasionally seen stuck in-mid air, and moving will drop them to the ground below.
  • Drowning in water is instant death in the prototype, while the final release shows some degree of mercy by changing it to just remove several units of life meter.
  • The background in stage 2-5 repeatedly cuts off on the left side of the screen as you progress through the stage, and ends abruptly just past the final staircase. The final game masks the left side of the screen and extends the right edge of the background to fix this.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-2-5.png CVBloodlines-Final-2-5.png
  • The breakable wall in stage 2-5 cannot be completely broken, rendering the Pot Roast unobtainable. To get rid of this issue it was partially redesigned for the final.
  • Disarming the minotaurs at the very end of 2-5 will cause them to pick up weapons off the ground, a behavior that's absent in the following prototype. It is also possible for both minotaurs to pick up the same weapon.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-2-6.png CVBloodlines-Final-2-7.png
  • Stage 2-6 is the Golem boss room; the penultimate room with the charging minotaurs seen in the final game is not yet present.
  • The palette of the background received minor adjustments by adding several purplish variations.
  • The Golem does not display its HP on the HUD, a bug that was still present in the Death boss rematch in the December prototype. Its head also doesn't break at any stage of the battle, though it can still be defeated.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-V03-GolemDead.png CVBloodlines-Final-GolemDead.png
  • Touching the Golem during its death animation will damage the player.
  • The game loops back to stage 1 after the score tally.

Stage 3-1


  • Only accessible by choosing stage entrance 26 from the stage select.
  • The stage seems to be a miscolored copy of stage 2-1, with no background, reflective water, or enemies.
  • Exiting this stage leads to stage 2-2.

Stage 3-2


  • Only accessible by choosing stage entrance 27 from the stage select.
  • This stage does resemble the final stage 3-2 and uses the proper graphics; however, the layout is very different, and the only objects present are a random smattering of candles. Most of the staircases are inaccessible, as you cannot jump off of stairs in this build.
  • Exiting this stage leads to stage 3-3.

Stage 3-3


  • Accessible by either completing stage 3-2 or choosing stage entrance 28 from the stage select.
  • This is a very incomplete version of the final stage 3-5; the only valid level elements present at this point are a single screen of miscolored tiles and a few candles. The only thing you can do here is fall through an endless stream of garbage tiles.
  • Using the stage skip function here will return you to stage 1-1.

Graphical Differences

To do:
  • Mermen, Medusa heads.
  • Rip the unimplemented object graphic assets.
Prototype Final
CVBloodlines-EricWalk-Proto03.png CVBloodlines-EricWalk-Final.png

Eric's walking animation was redone so he's holding his spear down by his side instead of up on his shoulder.

ROM Header

(C)T-95 1993.NOV
GM T-95076-00

The ROM header contains both the Japanese and US game titles, as well as the number "03". The November 1993 date seems to be incorrect, based on the date written on the cartridge label and EPROMs (August 4, 1993).