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Castlevania - Season 4 Week 24


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The NES High Score Club forum arises, lurching, from the dead! Let's play Castlevania!


Post a score and let's get this thing rolling!


Please post any tips you may have - best tip gets 1 bonus point. No continues - only games played from the beginning count! And no leeching (i.e., don't stay in one place and pad your score by repeatedly killing respawning bats) - keep moving forward! And a very Special note: as mentioned in the rules, everyone who rolls the score will have a HSC score of 999,999. Feel free to try to outdo each other if you want to play beyond that point, though. :D


Link to the manual: http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?s...t&p=1159244


This week's competition ends in two weeks on Thursday (October 22nd) at approximately evening sometime PST.



This week's scores:

1292420 shadow460 (+10 pts +1 pt for best tips)

178980 darthkur (+8 pts)

95940 vdub_bobby (+6 pts)

89200 gdement (+4 pts)

84570 Herbarius (+2 pts)

34720 Shannon (+1 pt)

17690 roadrunner (+1 pt)



Twin Galaxies High Scores


2,658,090 Ian D Greenwood

1,835,410 Andrew D Furrer

1,294,230 Daryl Kiddey

999,990 Mike K Morrow

999,990 Jeff Adkins

999,960 Stephen Krogman

190,610 David Sulger

139,180 Mike Soares Jr

95,330 Chris Coats

54,480 Ron Corcoran

35,650 Jared E Oswald





1. darkthur (186 pts)

2. LarcenTyler (100 pts)

3. vdub_bobby (96 pts)

4. Wickeycolumbus (70 pts)

5. Jess Ragan (50 pts)

6. RJ (22 pts)

7. aikainnet (20 pts)

8. shadow460 (11 pts)

9. atari2600land (10 pts)

10. Shannon (10 pts)

11. Atari5200 (8 pts)

12. figgler (8 pts)

13. Jibbajaba (4 pts)

14. gdement (4 pts)

15. ClassicGMR (4 pts)

16. ratfink (2 pts)



Game Info


Released in 1986 by Konami.


Other platforms: Amiga, Commodore 64, DOS, Game Boy Advance, Wii, and MSX under the name Vampire Killer (I think it's the same game?)


Sequels/spinoffs: Lots.





We've played this game before, three years ago. Lots of tips from way back then.


New tips:



Too long to quote, almost a walkthrough. Worth reading: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/151853-castlevania-season-4-week-24/page__view__findpost__p__1863511

Edited by vdub_bobby
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I've read the Rules, this thread and the old Castlevania thread, but I don't find anything about NTSC/PAL.


I'm living in a PAL region, so if I had a real NES I could only play the PAL version of the game.


What makes this important is that this game - like many NES games - doesn't have any speed adjustments to the new region, so the PAL version runs (~17%) slower than the NTSC version.

I took a look at this map to check whether Japan is PAL or NTSC and found it's NTSC. So I think we can all agree that NTSC is the way it was originally intended to be played.

Maybe this should be added to the rules, because it applies to a lot of NES games. Unfortunately it means people in Europe are forced to use emulators even if they have an NES, doesn't it?


However, let me submit my first score, recorded using the NTSC version: 29,370


Edited by Herbarius
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We're not generally so hard-core about the scores that the speed difference matters. If you are in a PAL country, go ahead and PAL away. ;)

Okay, thank you for clearing that up! I'll stick with NTSC anyway.


And my new score: 52,160


Edited by Herbarius
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Oh damnit. I can't believe I missed this. Curse my poor memory. :sad:

You didn't miss it! We're still going, for another week. :)


Awesome! :thumbsup: Castlevania is one of my favorite NES games. It would've been a shame to miss out on that one. Also, thank you very much for resurrecting the NES HSC.





Made it to the Reaper and only needed another shot or two to finish him off. I'll definitely be trying again later.



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:-o darthkur, nice score. It really shows it's one of your favourites...

and seems to completely bash my last hope of regaining first rank on this one... I thought maybe, just maybe, I could beat vdub_bobby, but you got almost twice that high a score! Wow!


Of course, I'm not going to give up, there is still some days to go, and I'll see what I can do. For now things are going not so well, but the fun is what's important and after all, I'm still on the third rank.



Also I have a new, slightly better score to submit: 58,650



And I soooo wanted to pass the 60,000 but... :mad: well, you know the game :-D



I think I lost my last life at almost the same spot that you see in the current AVGN video when he says "this game is simply a masterpiece!" smiling, then he dies (ingame), gets that angry look on the face, drinks some beer and says "Well, I never said it would be easy"

Edited by Herbarius
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Can't get a really good pic of my wife's TV where the NES is hooked up, so I'll post what I got.


476,050. Stage 24. I died in the area where the moving platforms and medusa heads are. I needed the 4,000 point treasure to get another life, and just as I jumped the gap to make it show up, I got bumped into a hole.


Vampire bat: Pound him with the axe, hit him with holy water as he's touching a platform, jump to either of the platforms and wail on him with crosses or knives, or stop time and whip away. He is easy. I've killed him with everything but the cross.


Medusa: Also easy. go to the left side of the screen and hit either up or down and keep attacking. Hit down if you want to save hearts.


Mummies: OK, here is where my strategy turns very different from most, and it will remain that way throughout the game. Use the cross or the knife--they are fundamentally the same weapon although the knife is much weaker. Drop in, skip the knife (second candlestick from left) if you have a cross, then drop to the floor between the mummies. Hit Up and start attacking. It does not matter which way you are facing. When you get hit, move into the corner and face the center, then just keep wailing until either you run out of hearts or you run out of targets. If you run out of hearts, hit down and keep attacking until you run out of enemies. I can usually end this battle with a cross in two to six seconds.


Frankenstein and Igor: Once again, the dagger is what you need. The first time you face them, make sure to hold up on the d pad the whole time you are attacking. Dodge the fireballs like you would dive bombing aliens in Galaga, and hope Igor doesn't decide to hover right on your sprite. You'll probably die the first time, but no worry. When you respawn, hit the leftmost candlestick first and a double shot will drop out. Leave it for a second then hit the next candlestick to make the dagger drop out. You probably see where I'm going here by now. Grab the dagger then quickly grab the double shot.

Go to the first bone dragon and stand there where your whip will barely reach it. Keep whipping at a tad slower pace than the fastest, and you should be able to wipe out all the fireballs and the bone dragon. There is a pot roast in the brick the bone dragon was anchored to. Get it only if you have more than points of damage done to you. If you need to come back for it, kneel to the right of the bone dragon and attack it as above, then get the pot roast when its gone. Killing the second bone dragon is similar, but you mst kneel to the left of it while attacking. It is all in the timing.

Now go attack Frankie and Igor, making sure to dodge those fireballs. Use the kinfe as much as possible that way if you die, the double shot will re appear.

BTW, if you can make it this far with a cross, skip the knife at first. I played this battle with a cross and a triple shot, and it was over in about four seconds.


Death: WARNING: This version of Death has been ranked among the toughest bosses in any video game. This will take a lot of practice and patience. I may take you hundreds of tries to defeat him. there is also a bit of luck involved. Even I can't always kill him on the first try, although he is easy for me to beat now.

Once again, use the cross. To prepare, kill the bone statue at the beginning of the area with your whip. Now move left, knock out the candles and the red skeleton. Grab the cross and go almost all the way upstairs, but when you attack the next bone statue, wait until the red skeleton is nearby. From this point until you get the triple shot, attack only with the cross. Attack the statue when the skeleton stands up. On the third hit, you''l kill both for a 1,000 point bonus. Go upstairs and hit the candlestick to your left. A double shot should drop out. If not, lure the red skeletons together and throw the cross so it strikes both skeletons, then both of the candlesticks. A double shot should drop out here if it didn't earlier. Either way, once both red skeletons are close together and you have the double shot, use the cross to knock them down five times in a row, then go upstairs. Knock out the candlestick furthest to the right, then the next one that's furthest to the right. You should have to face right, jump, attack, face left, then attack. A triple shot will drop out of the left candlestick. Now go downstairs, then back up, knocking these two candlesticks down and grabbing hearts until you have about 50 hearts or so.

At this point, if you aren't participating in the HSC, go downstairs and lure as many red skeletons together as you can, then drop them repeatedly with the cross. When you die, repeat all this again, and keep doing so until you roll the score. You stop getting extra lives based on points when the score rolls, so be aware of this. There are, however, 1up treasures hidden in the second castle.

Oh, yeah, in this section, the top right wall in the white area has a pot roast in it. Remember, don't get it unless you have at least six points of damage. It is not worth coming back for if you take damage in the Hall of Death.

Once you've got the hearts you need, go up to the Hall of Death, knock out the two candlesticks like you have been doing, then face left, hit Up, and start attacking the Axe Knight with your cross. do not worry about the medusa heads as they usually fly into the path of the cross. Don't worry about any other candles, either, but do watch out because many times the clock or dagger will be dropped and you do not want either of those. you can recover your cross if that happens, but it is a pain to get back to the candle where it's located.

Dodge medusa heads until the second Axe Knight shows up, then kill it the same way you did the first. Move to the right until you see a high short platform followed by a long lower one. Knock out the two rightmost candles here, then move the the extreme left of the long platform. The music will change by now, and you must make the jump to the small platform on the upper left. It is not easy without practice. Knock out the candle quickly and move to the right edge. When the scythes first appear, move back to the left edge of the screen, face right, and start throwing crosses. You will miss a lot, and you will take some damage. Death should come into range of the crosses, take anywhere from 40% to 100% damage, then move away. If he doesn't move back into range within a few seconds, chase him down, whipping away the scythes and/or dodging them.

Remember, practice and patience are key here.


Dracula: What weapon do we use? You guessed it--the cross! Here I do things the hard way. I use a mix of the cross and the morningstar in this battle. The morningstar is primarily used for attack, and the cross for defense. Sure I could whip fireballs away, but you will see why I choose to knock them out with the cross instead.

Start by getting the cross from a nearby candle. Drop down to the next platform, walk to the second candle from the right, face right, jump and throw the cross. Run left. The cross will knock out many candlesticks in a row. Don't worry about the items that drop. Go downstairs, back upstairs, rinse and repeat until a double shot drops out. If it's one of the two candles left of the coffin, ignore it. Although you can knock these out and still exit the room, you cannot actually get to the items they drop and still exit.

Keep this up until you have a triple shot, then start knocking out the candles with your morningstar. Keep going up and down and collecting hearts until you have about 40 hearts. Now the fun begins.


Go all the way left as far as you can. The screen will stop scrolling. A holy water is in the leftmost candlestick, and it's prized for its ability to freeze Dracula's second form. Personally, I think it's completely worthless, since it only freezes Dracula while it's actually in contact with him. You could get maybe two hits in during this time, and in that same time I'm getting six hits with the cross.

If you want the Holy Water, do not knock that candle out until Dracula changes forms. This means no attacking him when he's on the left side of the screen, and no throwing crosses in the air. Drat.

I usually knock the candle out ASAP and let the holy water vanish.


Anyway. When Dracula's head rises all the way up and his cape begins to appear, get just close enough that the tip of your morningstar can hit his head. Jump and throw a cross. Jump again and throw another cross. Jump a third time and smack him with your morningstar. Wait for him to open his cape, then jump and smack him with the morningstar again. you can get up to four hits if you are fast.

At this point, you can start throwing crosses like a madman. Jump first, then throw. They will score you some extra hits, but it can really throw your timing off.

Each time Dracula appears, plan to jump. What he does depends on when you jump.

1. If you jump when his cape first turns solid, he will throw the fireballs horizontally just before you land. you can knock the middle and maybe the lower one out, then duck the top one. The timing here is very precise, though. Swing too soon and the fireballs will not have appeared yet. Swing too late and it's ouch!

2. If you wait a split second but not long enough for Dracula to open his cape, he will throw the fireballs diagonally. You can duck under them safely.

3. If you wait until he opens his cape, he will throw the fireballs horizontally and they will pass under you. Swing the whip too late, though, and he'll be invincible again when it connects. this is the safest but slowest way to attack him.


If you're fast, you can jump and strike twice before he launches the fireballs. Jump as in the first situation above, then again as in the third. If you have crosses flying, you can get in four hits for each time he appears.


What I do, though, is attack with crosses only when he first appears, then use the third idea above. that's if he appears close to me or on top of me. I move to the end of my morningstar, then attack as described. If he shows up far away, I turn to face him then throw a cross without jumping. This wipes out the fireballs, and since they are considered enemies, points are scored. Further, since it takes but one cross to wipe out two or all three of them, usually a 1,000 point bonus is scored, and sometimes the 2,000 point bonus is added to that!

When Dracula has one hit point left, stop attacking and defend until he appears in a corner. Attack him then. You don't want his second form to appear in the middle of the screen.

Once he transforms, run to the opposite side of the screen, and start jumping up and throwing your crosses. You may have to knock out some fireballs at ground level with the cross or the morningstar. It helps if you have hilf to full life when you face this boss. If you have full life, you don't even have to defend yourself. When Dracula gets literally on top of you, let him touch you then while you're invincible after the hit, run right through him and to the other side of the screen, then do this whole thing over again. He will die on the way back.


Now go back to stage one and see how it's possible to battle the vampire bat with a cross!


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Ouch. I just think everyone got decimated!! :lol:

Maybe. There were two people - two other people - the last time we played this who rolled the score. I'm pretty sure that, to do that you have to beat the game in succession at least once or twice. And just be warned, the game gets hard the second time through. :evil:

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I have gotten at least to Death the second time through on a single continue. I know I have gone through twice using a few continues. I could probably roll both the score and the stage counter on a single continue. I've got the time on my hands to do it due to a recent injury.


What makes the second go round hard is that you stop getting so many extra lives after 980,000. I know there are 1up icons in the second castle, but I only know the approximate location of one, and that's in the second castle in the next stage after Frankenstein and Igor.


I have evidently stumbled upon a bug in the Mummies boss. There's a way to insta-kill them with the cross. I did this by accident yesterday, but I don't know exactly what I did. Even so, I usually wipe them out in less than five seconds with the knife, so I don't think it is significant.

Even so, the cross is very powerful. Castlevania's cross might just have that kind of power to decimate this boss in one hit every single time.


. That 1up I mentioned earlier is in both castles, and there are extra ones in the second castle. This does not cover the entire second castle, but it gets close!


Oh, yeah, my hat is way off to whoever

. I've killed Death with no hits before, but not without that cross. Edited by shadow460
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You propably will laugh but before watching this video I was alway getting the second treasure (at the area with the fishmen) not by just crouching in that spot, but by GETTING HIT in that spot! I destroyed that one block above, jumped down, turned to the left so I wouldn't fall in the water when I get hit, waited for a fishman to fall down on me, draining some health, which makes the treasure appear just as if you would have crouched.

Yes, that works, in fact that's the way I figured out the treasure in the first place and I assumed it's the only way to make it appear. (I guess the animation when you get hit somehow counts as crouching.) Also it can be difficult to get back to the treasure in time, so the first tries I never got it.


Then when I finally got it I was disappointed it's "only" 1000. I thought when it's so hard to get, and you even have your health drained in the process, it should be more... :D

Edited by Herbarius
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612,650, stage counter says 29. I got to a problem spot in the fourth stage where you have the fish men trying to knock you into the water. It's not much more difficult than the first castle, though...just gotta hit continue and memorize where they pop out and what areas of the plafors to stand on.

I also, for some reason, got many lives taken during the first stage 6. I nearly died there.


I managed to kill Frankie and Igor without taking a single hit on the first castle. Good times :D

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I had a clean run going, then I hit stage 4. I lost most of my lives at the beginning of that stage.

Still, I had the holy water as I got to frankenstein, which is the only way I can beat him. But I messed up and the monkey dude got loose before I hit them. After losing the holy water I had no chance with my last life. Those snake things before the boss sure give out a lot of points though.


It's funny how hard stages 2 and 3 used to be when I was younger. I used to lose my temper on stage 3 especially.

They're so much easier now it doesn't seem like the same game I remember, but I'm using a real cart so I guess it is. :)

Now it's 4 that starts killing me. I guess I'm getting better, maybe I'll beat this game before I die.

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Stage 4 is all about timing. I recommend that whenever your game ends, you record your score, then hit continue and try that area again. If you make it to the end, hop into a pit so you get to repeat it. Keep this up until it is second nature.

In stage 4, the fish man jumps are all triggered by your actions. They are not random at all. I do not remember which ones are missing from the first castle, so some of this won't apply.

The first jump is triggered when you go to the edge of the solid platform and are about to jump onto the moving platform. Let the moving platform slide away, then jump on it when it comes back. Move to the front edge, jump and hit the first candle, and catch the $700 as it drops. Move to the front of the platform to miss the next fish man, then jump onto firm ground.

In the next section, fish men jump when you get to a certain distance from the candles. There's a jump triggered to all but one of them. WAIT until the fish man jumps (two seconds or less), hit him, then jump and hit the candle. Grab whatever drops out and move on. Keep this up until you have the holy water (or you let it drop). Drop to the next platform and wait for the moving platform to arrive. If a fish man jump to the platform above you, face left and hit it as it drops by. Hit the bats as needed, and jump when the moving platform is closest to you. This jump takes precision. Stand on the rightmost block of the solid platform and jump when the moving platform is closest. Duck immediately, hit any bats that threaten you, then jump to the next solid platform.

If a fish man lands up and to your left, face left and hit him as he drops by. Once again, hit the bats as needed. When the next moving platform is closest to you, you can just fall onto it. Move to the front of it with Simon centered on the small block at the front. A fish man will jump and miss you. Don't jump onto the next moving platform right away, as an untimely fish man will usually knock you off of it. Wait until it gets close for the second time, jump, and then you are home free.


In the second part, where you're outside, generally you should jump the bats and hit the fleas. Don't bother hitting the birds with anything--it is unnecessary risk. Stand at chain length and hit the bone dragon when it appears. Swing slowly, though, so your swings are timed to hit the fireballs. It usually casts three fireballs then waits.


The final section is pretty straightforward. It does not change from the first to the second castles.


A note about the bone skulls (the two dragon skulls with one facing each way): Using the cross, do not just wail on them. Wait until they flash, then throw a cross. It will wipe out both fireballs for a 1,000 point bonus. Repeat this three times and on the third hit you will get an additional 2,000 point bonus for killing the bone skull.


In stage 2, where you're jumping medusa heads and pits together, two kinghts are at the far right. Wait until the one on the right is at the leftmost edge of his platform, then jump up and hit him only once. Grab the meat and jump up. Throw a cross at the left most knight, then drop down out of the way so it wipes out the second knight for a 1,000 point bonus.


In stage 5, just above where the cross can be found in a candle, go up but wait for a red skeleton or two to appear before throwing the cross. On the third throw, the bone skull should die and the skeleton will be hit next for at least a 1,000 point bonus. When you're killing those skeletons over and over for the triple shot, if you can trap two or three of them between yourself and the bone skull, you can use the strategy above for the bone skulls and earn up to 15,000 points for the first two hits and up to 31,000 for the last hit. the red skeletons need to be about one or two spaces to the right of the bone skull. This is very difficult to do, especially with three skeletons.


In stage 1, once you get the holy water, use it instead of the morningstar to wipe out the ghouls. If you hit two or three with the morningstar, that's one thing, but if you hit two or three or four with the holy water, that's anywhere from 1,000 to 7,000 bonus points. If you're moving along and you see 'em going under you, chuck a bottle at 'em and rake in some points.


In boss battles, using only the morningstar can save you a few hearts at the expense of hit points. You're not rewarded for the number of hit points you have when the boss dies, but you are rewarded for hearts. You might only get 500 more points this way, but every little bit helps.

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I lost my 3 (!) last lives at the section with the birds dropping hunchbacks on you.


I hate those hunchbacks! You've got exactly one chance to kill them, if your timing is just slightly off they'll just harass you, yes they'll go away eventually, but of course there's more coming from above so the chance to recover is marginal, and there'll be like 2-3 hunchbacks at once, harassing you until all your health is gone...


And there's no candles in that area, so after you lost a life it's tough luck, you're stuck without whip upgrades.


Yes, I know, it's propably like everything in this game, once you get the hang of it you'll wonder why you thought it was hard in the first place (compare Medusa heads).



Yeah, the trick is: When the bird appears STOP, wait until it droppes the hunchback in front of you and then immediately whip... If you continue running they'll drop directly on top of you. After a while there'll be birds coming from behind you as well, but use the same tactic, sometimes turning around to whip the hunchbacks behind you, you'll take some hits, but concentrate on advancing forward (but STOP when the birds appear)... at the end of that section quickly rush through the door, don't give the "dragon" above a chance to attack you... You'll have to fight those behind the door. Try not to die on that bird section and carry either the stopwatch or the holy water over, it'll make things much easier. Apart from that, follow shadow460's tips on how to fight them


Also I didn't realize how hard the catacombs right before the birds really are. I guess I was very lucky the first time through, as I managed to get through on the first try, but after I continue'd it took me several tries until I managed to get through again. shadow640's advice on this section is very solid, too. Of course don't be fooled, those bone-stuff isn't floor. And also the brownish stuff which is below some platforms is NOT walls, either!

Edited by Herbarius
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I managed to roll it, but I got absolutely stuck at Death on stage 5. I played twice today and he or the cronies in that section took at least 20 lives on each play through.


The way I've been running it is to lure one, two, or three red skeletons near to the bone skull, then wipe out both fireballs and all three skeletons with one shot of the cross. I did this anywhere from 5 to 13 times, usually until I ran out of hearts the first time. There are usually about 11 hearts available to you at this point, assuming you have lost a life and started here. Anyway, if all three skeletons are present, it's 16,100 points for each successful throw. This game is kinda odd in that if you have a lot of trouble passing one area, your score will be higher than that of someone who breezes right by. By the time I run out of hearts, I've got the double shot at least. If I don't have a triple shot, I'll repeat this for five more hits, then go collect my triple shot from the candle upstairs and then collect about 50 hearts before I move on to Death.


My best performance was the one where I hit 612,650. For now, that's probably the one I feel like should be on record. I didn't have to repeat the battle with Death at all in that one.

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