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Proto:Castlevania: Bloodlines/Version 0.3

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This is a sub-page of Proto:Castlevania: Bloodlines.
CVBloodlines-Title-ProtoNOV93.png
Hmmm...
To do:
Sound rips, more palette change screenshots, etc. In other words: a lot
Hmmm...
To do:
Rip the unimplemented Stage 4 ~ Stage 5 object graphic assets.

On July 1, 2018, a v0.3 prototype of Castlevania: Bloodlines was posted in the Castlevania Dungeon Discord channel, having apparently been in the possession of collectors for some time prior. Only two stages are implemented at this point, which unfortunately means that the zeppelin and molten steel areas seen in the famous v0.5 prototype are nowhere to be found.

Stage Select

CVBloodlines-StageSelect-ProtoNOV93.png

In this build, 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, a number will appear; 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)

Controller 2 Commands

Hmmm...
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.
  • The password screen is not yet complete, and consists of a simple blue grid on a black background.
  • The world map displayed between stages in the final game is absent.
  • The "STAGE X START", "PAUSE", and end-of-stage score tally text is absent.
  • The game code seems to be horribly optimized at this point; both the gameplay and music will frequently slow down when more than a few sprites are active on-screen.
    • At random instances there would be input lag.
  • There is a timer in the HUD, though it continuously counts upwards and doesn't seem to do much else.
  • Picking up a gem or a sub weapon 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.
  • 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.
  • The game awards life refills at every 20,000 points.
  • When the player grabs an orb at the end of a stage, the gameplay pauses immediately instead of slowing to a stop after a few seconds.
  • There's a strange feature in this build which you can pick the same sub weapon twice in order to enhance it to the level 2 version. The level 2 version of sub weapons appears to be the same as Item Crash version of sub weapons in the final game, hence this feature might be removed in an unknown time between this prototype and the December 1993 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.

Sound 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 has two digits instead of the final's three digits. It also 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.
  • The title screen music is completely different, and resembles the invincibility theme used in the final game (which is absent at this point).
  • BGM #09 is a rather strange, unused tune that is not present in any of the known later builds.
  • Music of Stage 4/Stage 5 have some different instrument samples, and missing several details.
Hmmm...
To do:
Insert sound comparison here

Character Differences

Eric Lecarde

  • Going up or down stairs makes Eric move slower, and oddly, bouncier.
  • 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, instead of spinning, it moves diagonally to the other side.
  • 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.
  • Eric's spear does not impale him upon dying.
Hmmm...
To do:
Find out more differences with John Morris.
.

John Morris

  • 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.

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.)
  • A lantern containing a 1up is present high above the first staircase in stage 1-1, which can only be obtained with either a level 3 whip or a subweapon.
  • The air bubbles in the water section do not appear.
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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The breakable wall in stage 2-5 cannot be completely broken, rendering the pot roast unobtainable.
  • 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 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. 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

Hmmm...
To do:
Mermen, Medusa heads
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

SEGA GENESIS    
(C)T-95 1993.NOV
VAMPIRE KILLER  
                
                
CASTLEVANIA BLOO
DLINES          
              03
GM T-95076-00

The ROM header contains both the Japanese and US game titles, as well as the number "03" (presumably referring to the version number, 0.3). The November 1993 date seems to be incorrect, based on the "1993.10.7" date written on the later v0.5 prototype.