AKUMAJŌ DRACULA XX
( Castlevania: Dracula X ) ( Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss )
game Cover
game cartridge
悪魔城ドラキュラXX
©1995 Konami
Release: 1995-07-21 (¥9800)
Cartridge SHVC-ADZJ
Platform game

American Version
country
Released in America as
CASTLEVANIA DRACULA X
( SNS-ADZE-USA )

European Version
country
Released in Europe as
CASTLEVANIA VAMPIRE'S KISS
( SNSP-ADZP-EUR )
Akumajō Dracula XX is an action/platform game by Konami and based on Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo originally released in 1993 for the PC Engine System. Centuries have passed since Simon Belmont defeated count Dracula and foiled his plans for domination. However, peace did not last for long and evil individuals now seek to resurrect the Transylvanian vampire once again, and this time around, Dracula vows revenge and declares war to the entire Belmont family. In an effort to attract Richter Belmont (Simon's great grandson) to his castle, the Prince of Darkness kidnaps his girlfriend Annette Renard and her little sister Maria Renard. Like his ancestors, Richter is a vampire hunter and, without hesitation, he rises up to the challenge and ready himself to take on Dracula's armies of undead beasts and monsters. The player takes control of Ritcher and must journey through several strange and doomed places, from the crumbling ruins of a burning town to the deepest parts of Dracula's unholy castle. His main weapon is the legendary Vampire Killer, powerful whip passed down from generation to generation within the Belmont clan. The game also features a handful of secondary weapons that can be collected along the way, such as the Axe, the Holy Water, the Daggers and so forth... They however come in limited quantities and Richter must constantly replenish them by collecting little hearts scattered around each level (usually hidden inside candles). These weapons can also help the player in desperate situations and unleash powerful attacks (called "Item Crash") that inflict serious damage to most enemies on the screen. Akumajō Dracula XX consists of seven stages (as well as two alternate levels) and a password system allows the player to continue an earlier game.
Related
Akumajō Dracula (Fds) Dracula II Noroi no Fuin(Fds) Akumajō Dracula (Sfc)
Akumajō Dracula X (Pce-SCD²)
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Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo Akumajō Dracula XX is loosely based on Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo, a Super CDRom² game originally released for the PC Engine system in 1993 (picture on the right). Both game share a similar storyline, the same main character (Ritcher Belmont) and various elements and enemies. However, the similarities end here and the Super Famicom version tested here can probably be best described as a downgraded remake of the original. In a nutshell, they are two separate games - levels have a dramatically different layout, most were completely redesigned and the game is a lot shorter with fewer stages. It is also a lot more linear and doesn't really feature the same open-ended stages and alternate routes of Chi no Rondo (only two alternate levels are included in Akumajō Dracula XX). Finally, it is also worth mentioning that Maria was a playable character in Chi no Rondo (option completely removed from Akumajō Dracula XX) which also featured kidnapped villagers (Tera and Iris), some unique and impressive enemies (such as large stone golems) and complex animated sequences and cutscenes featuring CD quality sound and speech.

Akumajō Dracula XX - differences Japan/US/Europe The American and European releases of the game were edited in places. The first obvious difference is the name change - it was renamed Castlevania Dracula X in the Unites States and Castlevania Vampire Kiss in Europe. The European and US versions also appear to be censored and the blood was re-colored white, especially when Richter dies (picture on the left). Another interesting difference is the Cross secondary weapon - although it definitively looks like a crucifix in the Japanese version, it was changed to a cross in the American and European releases. Finally, Death's final death was changed - although he cuts off his head with his own scythe in the Japanese version, it just disappears in a burst of flames in the American and European versions. All the other differences are relatively minor, such as extra copyright information when the American and European versions boot up.

Teaser text from the American version:
The Legend Returns...
Rising up from his eternal sleep, Count Dracula is back again to battle the descendants of the great vampire-stalking Belmont family of the Castlevania series. He has summoned his dark minions - Cerberus, Minaurus, and the Salamander - to bring a reign of terror on the land. Grab your whip and try to defeat these dark forces in this new conversion of the hit Japanese game: DRACULA X. The 7+ stages unfold with myriad possibilities depending on the choices you make during the game. This multi-ending, multi-story feature takes you through many levels of adventure. You must strategically use magical tomes, mystical power-ups and titanic weapons to defeat the horrifying bosses and discover secret bonus levels.

Introduction text from the American version:
Transylvania. The Middle Ages.... An evil darkness had befallen the land, giving rise to sinister vampire legends. Until now the people of Transylvania had grown accustomed to their peaceful existence, secure in the knowledge that their famed hero, Simon Belmont, had sealed the fate of Count Dracula several hundred years prior. Wicked townsfolk, possessed by the Darkness conspired to revive the King of Blood.... Dracula, now undead once more, plotted to exact revenge upon de descendant of the family that destroyed him... Ritcher Belmont. The Prince of Evil viciously attacked the town with his unholy legion. He snatched away Richter's girlfriend, Annet and her sister, Maria. Imprisoning them in his vile castle, he lies in wait for Richter to attempt a rescue. Richter, burdened by his destiny, left for Dracula's castle with his legendary ancestral whip, the determination to save his loved ones and the resolve to send Dracula to eternal damnation once and for all!

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

Director
K. Yamashita
Programmer
Ogawa

Main Programmer
A. S. Minakata

Main Character
Namachuw
Character
Ashenden
Sefu-Haso
Hiro

Sound Design
T. Tomita
Sound Design
M. Iwata
H. Ueko
M. Kimura

Special Thanks
Potechen
T. Kinosita
F. Karakami
Papa
Producer
K. Kinosita

Produced by
KONAMI


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Japanese Guidebook
Japanese Guidebook


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Akumajō Dracula XX manual Guidebook
Click on picture to enlarge

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Annette and Maria:
Richter's girlfriend and her sister can be rescued during the game. Interestingly, Akumajō Dracula XX can be completed without saving the girls, but this leads to the worst ending and you don't get to fight the vile Death boss at the Clock Tower stage (Level 6). To find the girls, the player must first find the key. It is hidden at the end of the third stage, in a hallway with statues and candles - the last candle hides the key (make sure you don't fall from the pillars that precede this room, or you will be sent to the alternate stage 4 and won't be able to save Maria and Annette !). Collect the key and store it in your secondary weapon inventory (you read this well, you can't use other secondary weapons when you carry the key, but you can somewhat use it as a weak weapon). Then go the level 4 (the mine) and use the key on a door located near a section with large platforms/buckets attached to metal chains. There you will find Maria.

Akumajō Dracula XX - How to find Maria

Annette is a bit more difficult to find - you first have to go to the alternative Level 5'. To do so, go to the end of stage 4 and open the door that leads to the underground lake - this is where Annette is kept prisoner (apparently the door won't open if you haven't saved Maria first, even if you have the key). Once you reach Level 5', fight your way through it until you reach a room with water pouring from a pillar. Hit the hole from which the water spurts - the water level should lower significantly, allowing you to go down and find Annette. All of the above is really tricky to achieve - collecting the key is very difficult (the medusa heads from level 3 will most likely make you fall down to Level 4, which prevents you to collect the key and save the girls) and you must carry the key around without dying once!

Akumajō Dracula XX - How to find Annette and Maria

Alternate routes:
Although Akumajō Dracula XX is a lot more linear than its PC Engine counterpart, the game does actually branch out in a couple of places. In stage 3, there is a room with a series of pillars - jump down between one of the gaps to directly go to stage 4 without saving Annette or Maria. The second alternate route is at the end of stage 4 - there open the door with the key (see the Annette and Maria section aforementioned) to enter the underground lake.

Different endings:
There are three different endings in the game. The first one is the default ending and happens if you fail to rescue Annette and Maria. The second one happens if you only rescue Maria and the last one (and arguably the best) happens if you rescue both Annette and Maria.


LK
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Add your Pov here !

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The image of Akumajō Dracula XX has been severely tarnished by the excellent Akumajō Dracula X Chi no Rondo. Well, this statement is a rather fair argument, the Super Famicom version tested here was initially supposed to be a port of the excellent PC Engine masterpiece... and instead, Konami turned its attention elsewhere and decided to take a detour... That's not to say that the game is bad and Akumajō Dracula XX is a good game on its own merits. Konami has certainly nailed high quality production values here and it looks absolutely gorgeous (although the first levels feel more polished than the rest of the game). Well, my only gripe with Dracula XX is that it feels rushed - a large portion of the enemies has been omitted, the alternate routes are gone and several areas from Chi no Rondo are nowhere to be found. So here you have it, for the series die-hard fans, Akumajō Dracula XX can be seen as a huge disappointment that completely fails to capture its model in any shape or form. For the others, the title is still an excellent (yet insanely difficult) platform game with a rich atmosphere, an awesome gameplay (you can finally jump and land back on a staircase!) and a great addition to the series.




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