Why oh WHY won't they remake THESE Castlevanias?

Posted by rafoXxX (71 posts) -

God-friggin-dammit!!! Fuck the upcoming Lords of Shadow! Why? 'Coz it ain't a 2D side-scroller. Simple as that. Castlevania just does not work as a God of War clone. I mean, it works, but it's not Castlevania in my book. Just ends up bein' another God of War clone.
It might be good, story-wise, and that's the part that frustrates me the most. Wouldn't it be awesome to have this kind of gritty "seriousness" and fleshed out storytelling specifically in a remake of Simon's Quest or Dracula's Curse? I mean, both those games were already pretty gritty and "serious", just that they were filled with "bad translation disease", not to mention lack of text space.

So, here's an idea I've had ALL MY FUCKING LIFE:
(but first a bit of backstory)
Ever since I played Simon's Quest back in 1989 (this being the very first Castlevania game I'd ever played) I've been hooked on Castlevania games. I loved Simon's Quest. I really did. I thought it was an epic, sinister adventure. At the time, there were no walkthroughs or anything, so either you figured things out by word of mouth or NINTENDO POWER. Although even with the latter you'd only get a few hints. I was lucky enough to have a random kid randomly mention in a random conversation the "kneeling at Deborah Cliff" bit. Lucky break. But really, it was all about exploration and riddle-solving. Granted the riddles were bad translations, borderline "engrish", but some actually did help me. So, I explored... Talked to everyone, hit every single block in every single screen with holy water flasks, jumped into every wall in case it were invisible... This rocked! I couldn't stop thinking about Simon's Quest.
And at the time I never understood why the 1st Castlevania was such a big deal. I thought it was boring. Just a regular old "hold right, fight boss, hold right some more" platformer. Simon's Quest was a whole big huge adventure that took place in a world big enough to explore and let the imagination soar, and that took me months to figure out and complete! 
Then along came Castlevania III, and I understood.
At first I was dissapoiinted that this was just another "hold right till end", but little by little as I played I started to realize I was playing a friggin' AWESOME game! The music... The branching paths... The other characters... Even the graphics, the level variations, the map... It slowly started to sink in that this was probably what Castlevania should be, now and forever. 
And then much later I played SOTN. What can I say?... Mind = BLOWN. It was non-linear! Had an actual inventory! The graphics! The music! This was like Simon's Quest but a million times better!
I loved SOTN. A lot.
But you know what? All the while, as I played an replayed SOTN, I kept thinking: "Man, it'd just be death-dealingly-AWESOME if they remade Simon's Quest with SOTN's production quality..."
 
Now, Konami's gone and remade a few Castlevania games quite a few times. The original Castlevania was remade so many times I just end up ignoring them all. Recently they remade Rondo of Blood. That game did not need a remake. It did not. The original already kicked ass. Sure, it sold like crazy, and yeah, it being finally ported over was nice, but it did not need to be remade.
 
So (finally) my eternal, wishful, probably not original, idea is this:
 
Why oh why won't Konami remake Simon's Quest and Dracula's Curse, Bionic Commando Rearmed style, goddammit?!?! Simon's Quest could really be epic! It could be "the next step" from  the "metroidvanias", way larger in scale! It would have a whole semi-open world to explore, not just a castle. Here's a list of features I think would make this an instant classic and just headplodingly good:
 

Castlevania Chronicles: Simon's Quest

  • Side-quests! Give those townspeople a purpose! You want someone to sell you their laurels? Well, first you gotta do them a little favor. Already, this could lead to a way more fleshed-out game! The dudes that trade those damn crystals... make 'em be "main quest" related. They won't trade unless you do whatever they ask of you first.
  • A well-made day/night cycle that would actually influence not only enemies' strength but also be related to quests and events. Imagine some dude asked you to pick an herb for them that only grows at night in the Veros Woods. Or maybe one of the mansions only appears at dawn or dusk. There would of course be a visual way of telling what time of day it is, whether by the ambient lighting itself, or by some small, non-intrusive hud element . In towns, you would see people going into their homes and such as night approaches.
  • Reintegrate the classic subweapons as subweapons are supposed to be used. Finding some of them could well be quest related.
  • The currency would of course not be hearts, but gold, such as it's been in all metroidvanias since SOTN. Hearts could still play a role, such as ammo counters/mana recharge for subweapons, why not...
  • Those creepy guys in cloaks that hide behind floors or walls in houses, or give you the oak stakes in the mansions, or like the guy that gives you the flame whip, they could be part of a secret, shady sect of Belmont followers that help when and however they can, often from "behind enemy lines" even. They might've been formed after Trevor's adventures.
  • In mansions, before obtaining a Dracula's piece, there'd be obligatory boss fights. This of course instead of like in the original where for example you could just walk on by Death itself, get your Dracula's piece, and waltz back out as if on a guided tour.
  • A map system, of course. It'd be cool to have a reference to the name of the area you're in, maybe in the sub-screen. Finally you'd know if you were in Veros Woods, Camilla's Cemetery, or Jam Wasteland.
  • Dumb stuff would be done better. The crystals that open new areas would have an explanation, like they summon the help of God or someshit. So for example you kneel (pray?) on that god damn Deborah's Cliff holding the red crystal, and a powerful gust of wind lifts you up to it's top, instead of a tornado warping you to another location.
  • You would not die in water. At the most, there could be poisonous ponds/lakes that damage or poison you if fallen in.
  • Graphics related: SOTN style graphics would be fine, I think. For the outdoor areas where there were "ladders" in the original, instead there could simply be side paths represented graphically. There could be signposts in these crossroads indicating what leads where. But then you could also just check the map. Of course different areas would have different artistic design, so for ex. the Aljiba Woods and the Veros Woods would not look like the same cookie-cutter woods.
  • Gameplay related: Like SOTN when controlling Richter. Not much more to say than that.
  • Story related: Finally Simon, the original Belmont (I don't mean timeline-wise), could have his epic, tragic story told with full detail. He was cursed as Drac died, so he could be sort of a tortured soul as he knows this quest will not end well for him, whether he undoes the curse or not. Even if there were different endings, I think it'd be cool to have Simon die either way, so as to feel some "emotional attatchment" to this character you play as throughout the game. If not, he'd be just "another Belmont". Also 'twould be cool if he was all haggard and worn. And with a beard.
  • The final in Dracula's castle would of course NOT BE FRICKIN' EMPTY, and Dracula himself would not be a total pushover. Actually, Drac's castle could be a mini-level like the size of one of the Portrait of Ruin areas.
 
And there it is. Even before SOTN and all the other metroidvanias, I always imagined a remake of Simon's Quest to be something like this. God DAMN I would crap myself if they did something even remotely similar.
 

Castlevania Chronicles: Dracula's Curse

  • Again, graphics and gameplay updated to be SOTN-like. The characters' sprites were already there, even!
  • The partner system could very well be much like it is in Portrait of Ruin. Could even allow for a co-op option maybe?
  • The partner's gameplay mechanics themselves could very well be improved upon. Grant's wall hugging made easier, Sypha's magic made a wee bit more "complex", like being able to choose what spell to use instead of that being determined by whatever spell drops from candles, and Alucard's cape-fireball attack would be a wee bit more damaging (but not much).
  • Map system would also allow for Stage Select, much as in Rondo of Blood.
  • Frickin' KICKASS updated soundtrack.
 
Both of these could very well have bonus content, like Boss Rush mode and stuff like that.
 
That's it really. This one doesn't really need improvement otherwise. I wouln't even add too much more to the story than what was originally there. I say leave it as bare-bones as it was, which was good enough although 'twould be nice to improve on the dialogue between the other characters when you meet them.
 
No more to say on the matter. Whaddyall think? Am I alone in this desire? I would imagine I'm not.
 
One last thing: If you're big on Caslevania, and you'd like to imagine what an updated CV3 Drac's Curse soundtrack could sound like, check this guy out! All CV3 songs remade SOTN style (and quality)! No joke, this dude nailed it. Go download. Listen. Rejoice.
But then, if you're big on Casltevania, you probably know this dude.
#1 Posted by rafoXxX (71 posts) -

God-friggin-dammit!!! Fuck the upcoming Lords of Shadow! Why? 'Coz it ain't a 2D side-scroller. Simple as that. Castlevania just does not work as a God of War clone. I mean, it works, but it's not Castlevania in my book. Just ends up bein' another God of War clone.
It might be good, story-wise, and that's the part that frustrates me the most. Wouldn't it be awesome to have this kind of gritty "seriousness" and fleshed out storytelling specifically in a remake of Simon's Quest or Dracula's Curse? I mean, both those games were already pretty gritty and "serious", just that they were filled with "bad translation disease", not to mention lack of text space.

So, here's an idea I've had ALL MY FUCKING LIFE:
(but first a bit of backstory)
Ever since I played Simon's Quest back in 1989 (this being the very first Castlevania game I'd ever played) I've been hooked on Castlevania games. I loved Simon's Quest. I really did. I thought it was an epic, sinister adventure. At the time, there were no walkthroughs or anything, so either you figured things out by word of mouth or NINTENDO POWER. Although even with the latter you'd only get a few hints. I was lucky enough to have a random kid randomly mention in a random conversation the "kneeling at Deborah Cliff" bit. Lucky break. But really, it was all about exploration and riddle-solving. Granted the riddles were bad translations, borderline "engrish", but some actually did help me. So, I explored... Talked to everyone, hit every single block in every single screen with holy water flasks, jumped into every wall in case it were invisible... This rocked! I couldn't stop thinking about Simon's Quest.
And at the time I never understood why the 1st Castlevania was such a big deal. I thought it was boring. Just a regular old "hold right, fight boss, hold right some more" platformer. Simon's Quest was a whole big huge adventure that took place in a world big enough to explore and let the imagination soar, and that took me months to figure out and complete! 
Then along came Castlevania III, and I understood.
At first I was dissapoiinted that this was just another "hold right till end", but little by little as I played I started to realize I was playing a friggin' AWESOME game! The music... The branching paths... The other characters... Even the graphics, the level variations, the map... It slowly started to sink in that this was probably what Castlevania should be, now and forever. 
And then much later I played SOTN. What can I say?... Mind = BLOWN. It was non-linear! Had an actual inventory! The graphics! The music! This was like Simon's Quest but a million times better!
I loved SOTN. A lot.
But you know what? All the while, as I played an replayed SOTN, I kept thinking: "Man, it'd just be death-dealingly-AWESOME if they remade Simon's Quest with SOTN's production quality..."
 
Now, Konami's gone and remade a few Castlevania games quite a few times. The original Castlevania was remade so many times I just end up ignoring them all. Recently they remade Rondo of Blood. That game did not need a remake. It did not. The original already kicked ass. Sure, it sold like crazy, and yeah, it being finally ported over was nice, but it did not need to be remade.
 
So (finally) my eternal, wishful, probably not original, idea is this:
 
Why oh why won't Konami remake Simon's Quest and Dracula's Curse, Bionic Commando Rearmed style, goddammit?!?! Simon's Quest could really be epic! It could be "the next step" from  the "metroidvanias", way larger in scale! It would have a whole semi-open world to explore, not just a castle. Here's a list of features I think would make this an instant classic and just headplodingly good:
 

Castlevania Chronicles: Simon's Quest

  • Side-quests! Give those townspeople a purpose! You want someone to sell you their laurels? Well, first you gotta do them a little favor. Already, this could lead to a way more fleshed-out game! The dudes that trade those damn crystals... make 'em be "main quest" related. They won't trade unless you do whatever they ask of you first.
  • A well-made day/night cycle that would actually influence not only enemies' strength but also be related to quests and events. Imagine some dude asked you to pick an herb for them that only grows at night in the Veros Woods. Or maybe one of the mansions only appears at dawn or dusk. There would of course be a visual way of telling what time of day it is, whether by the ambient lighting itself, or by some small, non-intrusive hud element . In towns, you would see people going into their homes and such as night approaches.
  • Reintegrate the classic subweapons as subweapons are supposed to be used. Finding some of them could well be quest related.
  • The currency would of course not be hearts, but gold, such as it's been in all metroidvanias since SOTN. Hearts could still play a role, such as ammo counters/mana recharge for subweapons, why not...
  • Those creepy guys in cloaks that hide behind floors or walls in houses, or give you the oak stakes in the mansions, or like the guy that gives you the flame whip, they could be part of a secret, shady sect of Belmont followers that help when and however they can, often from "behind enemy lines" even. They might've been formed after Trevor's adventures.
  • In mansions, before obtaining a Dracula's piece, there'd be obligatory boss fights. This of course instead of like in the original where for example you could just walk on by Death itself, get your Dracula's piece, and waltz back out as if on a guided tour.
  • A map system, of course. It'd be cool to have a reference to the name of the area you're in, maybe in the sub-screen. Finally you'd know if you were in Veros Woods, Camilla's Cemetery, or Jam Wasteland.
  • Dumb stuff would be done better. The crystals that open new areas would have an explanation, like they summon the help of God or someshit. So for example you kneel (pray?) on that god damn Deborah's Cliff holding the red crystal, and a powerful gust of wind lifts you up to it's top, instead of a tornado warping you to another location.
  • You would not die in water. At the most, there could be poisonous ponds/lakes that damage or poison you if fallen in.
  • Graphics related: SOTN style graphics would be fine, I think. For the outdoor areas where there were "ladders" in the original, instead there could simply be side paths represented graphically. There could be signposts in these crossroads indicating what leads where. But then you could also just check the map. Of course different areas would have different artistic design, so for ex. the Aljiba Woods and the Veros Woods would not look like the same cookie-cutter woods.
  • Gameplay related: Like SOTN when controlling Richter. Not much more to say than that.
  • Story related: Finally Simon, the original Belmont (I don't mean timeline-wise), could have his epic, tragic story told with full detail. He was cursed as Drac died, so he could be sort of a tortured soul as he knows this quest will not end well for him, whether he undoes the curse or not. Even if there were different endings, I think it'd be cool to have Simon die either way, so as to feel some "emotional attatchment" to this character you play as throughout the game. If not, he'd be just "another Belmont". Also 'twould be cool if he was all haggard and worn. And with a beard.
  • The final in Dracula's castle would of course NOT BE FRICKIN' EMPTY, and Dracula himself would not be a total pushover. Actually, Drac's castle could be a mini-level like the size of one of the Portrait of Ruin areas.
 
And there it is. Even before SOTN and all the other metroidvanias, I always imagined a remake of Simon's Quest to be something like this. God DAMN I would crap myself if they did something even remotely similar.
 

Castlevania Chronicles: Dracula's Curse

  • Again, graphics and gameplay updated to be SOTN-like. The characters' sprites were already there, even!
  • The partner system could very well be much like it is in Portrait of Ruin. Could even allow for a co-op option maybe?
  • The partner's gameplay mechanics themselves could very well be improved upon. Grant's wall hugging made easier, Sypha's magic made a wee bit more "complex", like being able to choose what spell to use instead of that being determined by whatever spell drops from candles, and Alucard's cape-fireball attack would be a wee bit more damaging (but not much).
  • Map system would also allow for Stage Select, much as in Rondo of Blood.
  • Frickin' KICKASS updated soundtrack.
 
Both of these could very well have bonus content, like Boss Rush mode and stuff like that.
 
That's it really. This one doesn't really need improvement otherwise. I wouln't even add too much more to the story than what was originally there. I say leave it as bare-bones as it was, which was good enough although 'twould be nice to improve on the dialogue between the other characters when you meet them.
 
No more to say on the matter. Whaddyall think? Am I alone in this desire? I would imagine I'm not.
 
One last thing: If you're big on Caslevania, and you'd like to imagine what an updated CV3 Drac's Curse soundtrack could sound like, check this guy out! All CV3 songs remade SOTN style (and quality)! No joke, this dude nailed it. Go download. Listen. Rejoice.
But then, if you're big on Casltevania, you probably know this dude.
#2 Posted by kevinski (459 posts) -

I agree that Simon's Quest would be ideal for a remake, although I'd like to see the original game remade similarly. Yes, AGAIN. First off, Simon's full adventure would make an excellent two-pack, and I think that it'd be awesome for both fans of classic-style Castlevania games AND Metroidvania games to get something new. While SCIV garners a lot of praise. 
 
Now, to touch on some of your bullet items: 
 
Side Quests - I wouldn't mind seeing a lot of side quests in another Castlevania game. I think that they worked out pretty well in OoE and PoR, but I don't think that they should necessarily all be required (namely day- and night-specific ones - more on that in a moment). Also, I don't feel that the crystals should even all be traded for, nor should they even all be retrieved from people. I think that some of them should simply be found somewhere within a dungeon of sorts (not necessarily a mansion). 
 
Day/Night Cycles - I'd like to see real-time day/night cycles in a Simon's Quest remake, with the time being IP-based to force players to actually play the game at certain times (rather than simply waiting for a period of time to pass) for certain quests. I kinda miss the days of interesting date- and time-based events in games, and I also think that basing it on any sort of internal clock within the game kills some of the charm and intrigue of said events. There would, of course, be perks to encourage players to play at different times of day in addition to the time-specific quests. 
 
(Note: This would, ideally, be a downloadable game, so having an Internet connection should be required.) 
 
Sub-Weapons, Hearts and Gold - I agree that sub-weapons should make a return to their past glory, although they should be fueled by MP, which is replenished by collecting hearts (and over time). And yes, gold should be the currency this time around. 
 
Oak Stake and Fire Whip Guys - Good idea, especially given the fact that Belmonts were - at some point - not exactly on good terms with much of the populace. In fact, isn't this why a lot of the townspeople outright lie to you in Simon's Quest. 
 
Boss Fights - Of course. :P 
 
Map System with Area Names - Yes, although there should be a mini map somewhere on the HUD. The DS games have kinda spoiled me by not forcing me to continually go into the menu in order to get an idea as to where I'm at. 
 
Dumb Stuff Done Better - I agree to an extent, although I think that it'd be nice to have a lot of truly hidden, truly obscure triggers to special events. Sometimes, the Internet really just kills a lot of the intrigue here. 
 
Dying in Water - Oh, I dunno. I'm of the belief that some Belmonts just can't swim. :P 
 
Graphical Style - I'd certainly settle for something of SotN's quality from a graphical perspective, but Simon's Quest does have some exclusive enemies, so I'd also kinda like to see them get new (and high-definition) sprites. 
 
Richter-esque Game Play - I disagree. It shouldn't be so fast-paced. Richter was completely insane in terms of play style. As much as I love playing as Richter, I don't see someone in Simon's condition handling things at Richter's pace. 
 
Story and Character Appearance - I like your ideas here. 
 
Dracula's Castle and Stuff - Yes, Dracula's castle needs stuff in it.

#3 Posted by kevinski (459 posts) -
@rafoXxX said:
" One last thing: If you're big on Caslevania, and you'd like to imagine what an updated CV3 Drac's Curse soundtrack could sound like, check this guy out! All CV3 songs remade SOTN style (and quality)! No joke, this dude nailed it. Go download. Listen. Rejoice. But then, if you're big on Casltevania, you probably know this dude. "
I disagree about this being a suitable soundtrack style for a remake of III. First off, there weren't many tracks in SotN that even contained electric guitars, so I fail to see how this person's take on III's soundtrack is even remotely SotN in terms of style. Secondly, as much as the remixes and otherwise redone music tracks in HD just completely blow my mind, bear in mind that HD is a much faster-paced game. III wasn't a fast game. While its soundtrack should certainly be reimagined for a remake of the game, I don't feel that rock alone fits the bill. I actually like some of the more orchestral tracks in the series.
#4 Edited by rafoXxX (71 posts) -

You're right about the soundtrack, of course. I shouldn't have compared it to the SotN OST. I also like other orchestrated, or "ambient", remixes. 
But then I did say "could be", meaning I'd have absolutely no complaints if this actually was used for a CV3 soundtrack... I mean, the songs are all there, recognizable, and spot on, whether you like 'em metal or not. And they're not all metal... only 80%... ;P
 
About quests: To be clear, I did say "side" quests, so yeah, the quest system shouldn't be a requirement. However, obtaining those darn crystals, or getting that dude to power up your whip for blazing, and stuff like that I think should come with some kind of trade-off like for example a minimum level requirement or, I dunno, having a certain Dracula's Piece on you. After all, these dudes practically act as "metroidvania keys", in that they basically open up new areas.
 
Yes, definately a mana bar for subweapons. I meant that, yes, totally. Say, like in Portrait of Ruin?
 

@kevinski

said:

Dying in Water - Oh, I dunno. I'm of the belief that some Belmonts just can't swim. :P

Heh... Yeah... There's the REAL curse of Dracula right there. 
 

@kevinski

said:

Dumb Stuff Done Better - I agree to an extent, although I think that it'd be nice to have a lot of truly hidden, truly obscure triggers to special events. Sometimes, the Internet really just kills a lot of the intrigue here.

Yes. This is true.

 

@kevinski

said:

Richter-esque Game Play - I disagree. It shouldn't be so fast-paced. Richter was completely insane in terms of play style. As much as I love playing as Richter, I don't see someone in Simon's condition handling things at Richter's pace.

Well, it would be a large world, so t'would be nice to be able to traverse it relatively quickly, wouldn't you say? Anyway, I said SotN's Richter, but I guess Chi no Rondo's Richter'd be better. I think you'd still be hindered by all the same classical trappings as always, like being hit and falling backwards. And the speed ain't that crazy!
I just find Richter's controls are, for me personally, the best in the series. Tight, easy to use but difficult to master, and most importantly "classic-feeling".
Maybe the backflip, slide and item crashes could be learned after doing mini-quests?...
 

@kevinski

said:

Day/Night Cycles - I'd like to see real-time day/night cycles in a Simon's Quest remake, with the time being IP-based to force players to actually play the game at certain times (rather than simply waiting for a period of time to pass) for certain quests. I kinda miss the days of interesting date- and time-based events in games, and I also think that basing it on any sort of internal clock within the game kills some of the charm and intrigue of said events. There would, of course, be perks to encourage players to play at different times of day in addition to the time-specific quests.  (Note: This would, ideally, be a downloadable game, so having an Internet connection should be required.)

Interesting, but wouldn't this create a problem (not that big of a problem really) where you leave the game at 12 noon so Simon's all sunbathing then you return at 12 midnight and for him it's just suddenly nighttime?
And yes, ideally this would be a downloadable. Totally witch'a on that.
#5 Posted by kevinski (459 posts) -
@rafoXxX said:
" Well, it would be a large world, so t'would be nice to be able to traverse it relatively quickly, wouldn't you say? Anyway, I said SotN's Richter, but I guess Chi no Rondo's Richter'd be better. I think you'd still be hindered by all the same classical trappings as always, like being hit and falling backwards. And the speed ain't that crazy!
I just find Richter's controls are, for me personally, the best in the series. Tight, easy to use but difficult to master, and most importantly "classic-feeling".
Maybe the backflip, slide and item crashes could be learned after doing mini-quests?... "
I wouldn't mind if Simon was just a tad faster than the speed at which Alucard moves in SotN. I won't dispute the fact that Richter's controls in SotN are absolutely amazing, but I do think that his controls were even better in PoR. As for Simon eventually gaining Richter's signature moves, I dunno. Really, I'm of the belief that each character should have some sort of exclusive ability that is unique to that character. In Simon's case, I feel that there isn't much in the way to make him stand out, since his most notable ability throughout the years was his ability to whip in eight directions in SCIV. Still, tacking on other Belmonts' abilities just makes it all the more apparent that Simon shouldn't be the star, so I'd honestly prefer to keep Simon as he was, without all of the crazy broken abilities.

@rafoXxX said:
" Interesting, but wouldn't this create a problem (not that big of a problem really) where you leave the game at 12 noon so Simon's all sunbathing then you return at 12 midnight and for him it's just suddenly nighttime? And yes, ideally this would be a downloadable. Totally witch'a on that. "
Not really, as long as saves were only available at inns or something. This doesn't make anymore sense than time not passing inside of mansions in the original Simon's Quest. In my opinion, Castlevania lends itself well to being played at certain times of any given day. For example, if I play HD during the day most of the time, then I can pretty much just leave my equipment alone if I'm wearing a Sunstone. If my gaming habits fell into nighttime, however, then I'd need to swap that piece of equipment out. I believe that side quests would make this very interesting, especially.

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