Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

castlevania ii simons quest box art review
6.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Controls: 6/10

Much more expanisive game than the original, introduces aspects that influence series in the future

Loses the simple fun of the original, weak Dracula fight

 
Game Info

Game Name:  Castlevania II:  Simon’s Quest

Developer(s):  Konami

Publisher(s):  Konami

Platform(s):  NES

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 28, 1987 (Japan)/December 1, 1988 (US)

ESRB Rating:  Not Rated

castlevania ii simons quest screenshots grim reaper gameplay

Don’t fear the Reaper (or many bosses in this game)

Dracula has been defeated, but Simon Belmont finds his fight isn’t over. Simon finds himself under a curse that can only be lifted by gathering the pieces of Dracula which have been scattered all over the countryside and are being protected by Dracula’s followers. The danger is growing and time is running out…Dracula must be defeated once again!

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (Dorakyura II: Noroi no Fûin) is a non-linear action-adventure game originally released for the Famicom Disk System in 1987 in Japan and then released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. A sequel to Castlevania from 1986, the game was released to positive reviews and has been ported to multiple platforms since its initial release.

castlevania ii simons quest gameplay screenshots

This is the Castlevania I know and love…

Castlevania was one of my all-time favorite NES games and was part of the reason I wanted a NES in the first place. I played the game through and could beat Dracula (which remains a challenge). I couldn’t wait to get Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest and a friend and I begged our parents to buy the two copies of the game we found at a random store for us…I can remember enjoying the basic nature of the game but finding Castlevania II to be a bore in the bigger picture.

One of the nice things about Castlevania was its simplicity. You didn’t need any type of guide, you didn’t get stuck, and essentially you just whipped and beat your way through level after level. Castlevania II completely changed that format. It had you gaining experience, walking around at night and day (with varying degree of difficulty from your enemies) and having to solve sometimes elaborate puzzles by speaking to villagers and others. While it was a deeper game than Castlevania, it wasn’t really what I wanted from the game.

castlevania ii simons quest vs dracula ending gameplay screenshots

Fighting Dracula is always going to be a challenge…ok, maybe not

The gameplay of Castlevania II is very similar to the original game. Your character has a whip and specialty weapons. The game is a bit more like Metroid however in its layout and style. You have to walk around and explore to unlock new areas and there is more exchange between weapons in this entry…you don’t always just get stuck with the weapon you pick up (or accidentally pick up).

The basic graphic designs are in line with Castlevania, but I will say that Castlevania continues to have some of the best 8-Bit music. Simon’s Quest is loaded with fun, and annoyingly catchy tunes that I still can remember thirty years later…that is amazing considering the limited of the NES and its sound system.

For all the walking around and puzzle solving, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest just isn’t worth the time when you can pick up one of the better Castlevania games (it also has the worst Dracula fight of the series). Castlevania II missed the mark for me, but it did lead to one of the best Castlevania games of all time. A lot of the aspects of Simon’s Quest ended up in Castlevania: Symphony of Night…a game that must be played by gamers if you really like side-scrolling games. “What a horrible night for a curse…” Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is followed by Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse in 1989.

Related Links:

Castlevania

Castlevania—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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