Castlevania (not to be confused with the original 1986 game of the same name, and known in Japan as Akumajou Dracula Mokushiroku, which is loosely translated to "Devil's Castle Dracula Apocalypse") is a 3D horror action-adventure platformer developed by KCE Kobe and published by Konami for the Nintendo 64 on January 26, 1999.
Often known as "Castlevania 64", this installment is the first game in the franchise of the same name to be brought into full 3D. Players choose from one of two protagonists (the whip-bearing Reinhardt Schneider and the magical gypsy Carrie Fernandez) as they set out in the year 1852 to end the reign of Count Dracula.
An enhanced version of the game, along with a new prequel story (starring man-beast Cornell), was released later in the year as Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness.
Castlevania 64 starts out with players choosing between two different characters to play as. The first, Carrie Fernandez, is a young orphan who possesses the ability to use and create magic. She wears magical armlets that serve as the player's main attack weapon. The other selectable protagonist is Reinhardt Schneider, who derives from the series' legendary Belmont clan. Reinhardt is equipped with both a whip for primary attacks, as well as a sword for close encounters. Both of these characters share the common goal of stopping Lord Count Dracula who's returned to his throne and brings with him the forces of darkness after a century of dormancy.
The plot has some backstory that isn't directly in line with past games in the series. In Castlevania 64's universe, Dracula awakes in 1852 due to human beings' rancor and vanity, this has somehow awaken the monster from his eternal slumber. Of the entire population on Earth, only two very special gifted youths sense Count Dracula's presence. Carrie Fernandez, a young gypsy who has no family, and the latest Belmont Clan Vampire hunter, Reinhardt Schneider, also feels Dracula's arrival. The two set out to Castlevania to destroy the forces of darkness, and end the reign of Count Dracula.
As the two progress, and make their way through the gardens and pass the castle walls, an aristocratic vampire materializes to deliver a warning message to Carrie and Reinhardt that all those who oppose the Dark Lord will perish. Disregarding the creature's threats, the duo proceed on. The player character soon comes across a mansion where they meet Charles Vincent, an older vampire hunter who has also made the journey to destroy the Lord of Darkness. Carrie and Reinhardt also stumble into Rosa, a young girl that is also a vampire. After meeting these characters, the player discovers the route to Dracula's castle, but they must first go through the terrace, a maze, and then the underground area and catacombs to reach the castle itself. Players meet the game's item seller and everyone's favorite demon merchant, Renon. Renon is needed to buy recovery items, more sub weapons and also gives info, since he's not on Dracula's side and only cares about money. As the young hunters make way into the garden maze, they are met by a Frankenstein look-a-like wielding a chainsaw, who is also chasing a little kid. This is one of the game's many boss encounters and sets up a sub character, Malus. The heroes proceed underground and beyond, and this is when Count Dracula begins to feel the pressure. He sends his main generals or servants, Actrise and Death, to stop the pair once and for all. Carrie Fernandez is pitted against one of her only known family members, who is under the control of the generals of darkness. Reinhardt Schneider is put against his love interest Rosa, who he beats, but does not kill.
After the heroes best these last lines of defense, they find themselves ascending the clock tower that will lead them to the castle keep. There, Actrise will be awaiting as well as the one and only Death. After these bosses are vanquished, the player character arrives at the castle keep and set foot in Count Dracula's door step. Once players have penetrated Castlevania, the heroes battle any number of people depending on several factors. If sixteen or more in game days pass, the player receives the bad ending in which Charles Vincent has already arrived and been beaten. The player must then fight Vincent, no matter what. The player discovers that it was not the aristocratic vampire that was Dracula but rather the boy Malus; however, in the bad ending, the heroes are unaware of this and therefore are damned. In Reinhardt Schnieder's ending, he thinks by killing Vincent and the aristocratic vampire, that he's killed Count Dracula, still unaware that Malus is the Lord of Darkness. He and Malus ride off into the sunset. In Carrie's ending, she is taken by Malus or Count Dracula and forced to marry him and therefore is condemned to a life of agony. The Good endings play out if the game is beaten in fifteen in-game days or less, and in them the hero reaches the castle before Vincent and defeats the aristocratic Vampire. Then, Malus appears as an adult possessed by a demon and attacks. The player must then defeat him. After the battle he returns to the state of a child, but before Carrie or Reinhardt go to rescue him, Vincent arrives and pours Holy water all over him, destroying his child incarnation. Players must then battle the new incarnate of Count Dracula as a dragon named Drago. After the player defeats this dragon, they will receive the good ending for that character. For Carrie's ending she places a necklace on her stepmother's grave and finds inner peace. In Reinhardt's ending, the love of his life Rosa, who sacrificed herself for Reinhardt atop the Room of Clocks during the story, is resurrected and is a pure blood human once again. The heroes live on, but Dracula's eventual return is ensured.
Upon finishing the game, players unlocked costumes for both characters that were old outfits from past games in the series.
There are two characters which are playable in Castlevania, down from the developers' original intention to have four. They each have very different storylines and attack styles.
Like his brethren, Ralph, Simon and Richter, Reinhardt (originally named Schneider Belmont) is a vampire killer descended by blood and ancestry from the famous Belmont clan of vampire hunters. The past acts of legend, valor and life-saving are now long forgotten among the Schneider's peers. Schneider vows to renew his family's honor. "Some day, the time will come when I have to fight the dark again!" he mutters.
When Reinhardt's father, Michael, decides to become a vampire hunter to honor the family tradition, Reinhardt spends his time training in a forest near to his hometown of Wallachia. After his father's retirement ten years later, a rumor surfaces that Dracula has been resurrected, and Reinhardt begins his journey to the castle holding the whip of the Belmonts... According to those villagers who know him, Reinhardt has an unapproachable atmosphere around him. This is due to his revered but mysterious background. An intrepid figure, he is a gentle yet highly combative young man with a righteous mind.
The family of Fernandez, Spanish immigrants travelling throughout Eastern Europe, chanced upon Dracula's castle many moons ago, and utilizing a sacred family power of the orb managed to repel bandits, demonic intrusions and all manner of evil from their wagon train. However, after a particularly vicious attack by a form of Dracula himself, the patriarchal figure of the Fernandez family (a great warrior known as Sypha) fell under dark trickery.
The family, although wracked with despair, did not cease to be. A small orphan called Carrie (originally named Carrie Eastfield), exhibited strange talents of light summoning and was traced back to the family after a lengthy search through records by her foster mother. A gentle child, Carrie watched with horror as a band of devils descended upon their Romanian village and attempted to attack her. Diving to save her child, Carrie's mother was killed and at that moment, a great orb of light was instantly summoned by the screaming Carrie and directed at the demons, which promptly writhed in agony and vanished. Her destiny has called, and Carrie realizes she must fight the demonic intrusions.
Carrie's parents exhibited the same power and were condemned and burnt as witches by a suspicious judiciary, fearful of anything that could be likened to the resurrection of Dracula. Only recently realizing this fact, Carrie halts her beliefs in an uncaring God and closes her mind to adults, disliking them. Hearing of Dracula's most recent resurrection, Carrie decides to investigate the castle...
Other Notable Characters
In a tiny hamlet to the south of Wallachia, Malus lived a a happy life with his parents. However, when the resurrection of Dracula occurred, a messenger rode into his village with the news that dark flying figures had been seen in the nearby moors. Surely enough, the hamlet was subsequently attacked and burned to the ground by devils. Amid the ashes, Malus is plucked from the smoldering ruins of his home, borne on the back of a devil, and flown to Dracula's citadel where he remains a prisoner in a dungeon cell. Obviously, the ingenuity of the child knows no bounds, and he seems to have broken free of his prison.
He has no clue to why Dracula kidnapped him, indeed he appears startlingly calm for one so young...
A beautiful yet luckless woman who has recently been infected by a vampire. Once a servant girl in the castle's rose-garden, tending to many bouquets of white satin roses. Alas, since the bite infected her nervous system, she no longer feels like the Rosa of old, but continues to water her roses... although she has found a new liquid fertilizer. Despite her vampiric appearance, her soul has been fighting this state, and she has been known to shout "I curse my own rotting body" and "do not let my unsaved soul die!"
Somewhere deep in her soul lies the promise of salvation, she sees a brave man striding in to save her and the world from the terrible fate that awaits...
Vincent the Vampire Killer
A rather boastful and arrogant, yet slightly jolly fellow, especially for a Vampire Hunter, Vincent calls himself "the strongest vampire Killer". He is a scholar who has spent his entire life studying vampires and lycanthropy, and well-known in literary circles as an authority on these dreaded beings, publishing his results of "field study" in hugely detailed tomes.
His clothing comes complete with a number of additional extras, including holy water, garlic, a wooden stake and a crucifix. Although he loves to sleep, he provides vitally important information in regard to the quest.
Heinrich Meyer, a nearby merchant, visited the castle of Dracula five years prior to ply his trade of wooden artifacts, aware of the presence of evil, but not letting that get in the way of a sale. Once inside the castle, he was offered some tea buy a rather pale looking butler... Waking up three days later, he discovered to his horror that he was tied to a huge wooden operating bench, and a small mad scientist was working furiously on inserting a number of needles into his arm. The rest of his body covered in leeches, Heinrich let out an awful scream and then realized the true terror of his predicament. A thick rasping noise sounded from his lips... As he looked down, he saw blue scales covering his torso and legs. He was changing...
The fearful and quite mad Heinrich, now completely transformed into a lizard man, is kept in a castle bedroom. He keeps a key for company, and runs from the slightest aggression.
Renon the Salesman
Masquerading as a salesman (complete with an old suit, a rather dapper bowler hat and an ornate hand watch), Renon's pointed tail gives his true nature away: he is a devil.
His chosen profession however, is to sell items to adventurers or brave souls who visit the castle, before watching their demise with amused glee. A mysterious man who is initially very friendly and cooperative, though his contract comes with some fine print that is not to be ignored.
Actrise was a stage actress who wished for eternal beauty and fame. To this end, she bargained with the Devil himself, and her soul was thus sold. Now completely deranged after years of creeping madness, she shows her willingness to become a vampire by journeying to the Count's castle and proclaiming her foul deed: She slays one hundred children a year in praise of Dracula, and collects their souls in a number of gems. To make matters worse for this hated hag, she sacrificed her own daughter to the Devil when her contract with him suddenly ended, and was restored to eternal life shortly thereafter.
Sensing the power present in Carrie, Dracula orders Actrise to win over the girl to the cause of evil, or die trying.
The Fernandez Warrior
One of Actrise's brood and Carrie's blood-relation, the Fernandez warrior only appears briefly during Carrie's journey, tormenting and taunting her to return to her family roots and become a witch herself. She can summon in spirits by a simple smile (she calls it her " death grin"), and physical attacks are difficult to land as she lives in the Astral plane, and her earthly body is completely ethereal. Recently vampiric, she strikes with force against her will, as she would never intentionally harm her family.
The confrere of Dracula himself, this lesser God has descended from another world to pursue a perverse set of goals, to confront Reinhardt, blood-relations of the Belmonts, Dracula's arch rivals. Previously, Death controlled the soul of Rosa and sent her to defeat Reinhardt when he realized that Reinhardt could not be swayed to the path of Vampirism. Of course, the pure heart of Rosa allows her to protect Reinhardt, although she herself dies. A now furious Reinhardt faces this flying scythe-wielding fiend, who can summon both sickles and huge green fish to aid him.
Gilles de Rais
A faithful servant who has worked for Dracula since ancient times. His great age makes him the closest to a complete vampire in all facets, but he serves his darker lord all the same. Gilles de Rais knows that Dracula was born again as a human child. In order to locate his master and control the power, he commences a mass kidnapping of all the children from nearby hamlets, using both his devils and the help of Actrise to help his cause. He gathers the children in the castle, and locates the resurrected power of Dracula in a small boy called Malus. However, before the complete transformation and rebirth can be completed, he hears that two vampire hunters have infiltrated his castle. To deceive them, he changes his appearance and behaves as if he is Dracula himself.
After being defeated by the Belmonts, Dracula's material body vanished, and his soul was banished for one hundred years, only to be resurrected in the form of Malus. Malus does not have any memories of his previous life, but the devils notice their evil leader's traits in the immense dark power that Malus wields.
One devil was even honored enough to transform into a demonic steed for the boy. However, another even more frightening power he wields appears to be being summoned by Malus. By the ritual sacrificing of the children captured by the devils, Malus' powers of transformation begin to surface as he remembers his true vicious nature. Malus is only the initial stage of ultimate evil, as Dracula's true form reveals.
A large number of characters and enemies did not make it into the final version of Castlevania.
Cornell (initially named "Cornell Reinhardt") was the first of two playable protagonist characters that were scrapped during the game's development. He did, however, make the cut for the followup edition of the game, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, though his backstory was a bit darker in it's original conception.
Rather than being a member of the man-beast tribe, Cornell's werewolf transformation ability was actually a curse placed by Dracula on his ancestors. The curse was revived when Dracula reawakened and the dark lord's minions proceeded to attack Cornell's village.
In their panic and desperation, Cornell and his sister, Ada Reinhardt, regressed into lycanthropes in their attempt to save a child from nearby a monster. Having witnessed the frightening transformations, the people of the village feared what might happen if the Reinhardts would turn against them, and both captured and executed Ada. Filled with rage, Cornell abandoned his village and made his way to Dracula's castle, with the intent of ending the curse of his blood once and for all.
Coller is the second of two playable protagonist characters which were scrapped from the game's development. Little is known of his backstory, though the developers have stated that he was an artificial human and could not become vampirized.
Bits of Coller's concept and design did make it into the game as a chainsaw-equipped Frankenstein's monster, which acts as the gardener in the Villa's hedge maze.
An artificial human, Coller2 was designed to be the main antagonist of Coller during his quest through Dracula's castle. Whereas the original Coller was quite primitive in construction, his rival's design was sleek and advanced.
When Coller was scrapped from the game, Coller2 went with him. The "2" represents the model number by which she was manufactured.
In volume 3 of Konami Magazine (July 1997), this enemy was introduced and labeled "Majo" (魔女), though it is possible that her true name was Carmilla, as she bears a striking resemblance to the recurring Castlevania villainess. KCEK, the development team behind the game, would later feature Carmilla in their future handheld entry, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon.
Majo was described as being extremely dangerous. After preparing an attack via a high incantation, she would call out 「死を呼ぶ」 ("Death has called!") and cast a spell which could cause instant-death to the castle intruder. An early tech demo trailer of Castlevania showed heroine Carrie briefly battling Majo; it is possible that the enemy was replaced by Actrise as the girl's main rival.
Mummy-chan (マミちゃん) was set to be a regular enemy in the game, who attacked with a Taekwondo fighting style. Her special attack was the "Nerichagi," which could take down the player in one hit. It is highly likely that she would have been an enemy encountered during Cornell's quest, suggested both by the accompanying concept art and that the lycanthrope would have also used martial arts moves to attack.
The soundtrack of the game was composed by Masahiko Kimura, Motoaki Furukawa and Mariko Egawa. It was released on March 26th, 1999 in Japan and May 1999 in Europe.
07. Annex. Silent Madness
08. Hamlet People
10. Maze Garden
11. Mysterious Coffin
12. First Struggle
13. Underground Waterway
14. Ungerground Tunnel. Invisible Sorrow
15. Lamented Rose
16. Dungeon ~ Main Theme
17. Malus Reappears
21. Unexpected Encounter
22. Duel Tower
23. Tower of Science
24. Tower of Execution
25. Tower of Sorcery
26. Second Struggle
27. Toothed Wheel
28. Stairway to the Clouds
29. Third Struggle. Dance of Illusions
30. Moment of Silence
31. Castle Escape
32. Fourth Struggle. Concert of Another Dimension
33. Carrie's Good Ending
34. Bad Ending
35. Schneider's Good Ending
37. Melodies of Castlevania
38. Invisible Sorrow
39. A Night in Peace and Quiet