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A Waif Prophet comes to Simon in a dream to explain to him that he is suffering the effects of Dracula's Curse (not to be confused with the game called Dracula's Curse), which was cast upon him before Dracula's defeat. Simon may not have long to live. In order to reverse the effects of the curse, Simon must collect the five body parts of Dracula from five well guarded mansions, and deliver them to the ruins of Castlevania. There, Simon can resurrect Dracula in order to face him again in a final battle to decide the fate of both himself and Transylvania.
A very ambitious title for its day, Simon's Quest took the basic gameplay of its predecessor and mixed in RPG Elements such as experience levels, shops, a day-night cycle, and a freely-explorable world. It is the first Castlevania game in the genre it would later help name.
The next game in the series would abandon most of the innovations in Simon's Quest to focus on improving the original Platform Game model. However, Konami would revisit the Castlevania II mold with Symphony Of The Night ten years later, and this style would end up defining the subsequent decade of the franchise.
- All There in the Manual: A lot of the the things the townspeople tell you that are chalked up to Blind Idiot Translation are actually just plain lies. The manual tells you that townfolk, and even some of the books, lie.
- Beef Gate: Left from the starting town, the fireball spitting fast-moving monsters that take 8 hits with the starting whip to kill ensure that the player knows he's supposed to start out by going to the right. Their first hit generally knocks you back into town, but if you get past them, there's also a poisonous marsh with additional monsters in said marsh that inflict heavy damage.
- Blind Idiot Translation: Subverted. It was widely believed that the nonsensical clues were a result of bad translation (Certainly a common problem with video games) but it turns out the original Japanese version is just as incomprehensible. Like the "Graveyard Duck?" It really does refer to the waterfowl.
- Blob Monster: One of the blue enemies.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The wounds from Simon's battle with Dracula in the previous game are the setup for this one.
- Collision Damage
- Continuity Nod: The final part of the game has you revisiting the ruins of Dracula's Castle from the previous game.
- Cue the Sun: Whenever the game changes from night to day.
THE MORNING SUN HAS VANQUISHED THE HORRIBLE NIGHT.
- Dark World: "What a horrible night to have a curse."
- Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: Losing all your lives will simply dump you back the start of the screen you were currently on. Sure, it'll strip away your hearts, but it doesn't take long to mine those (especially at night).
- Dem Bones: Skeletons are common enemies, some of them throw bones at you.
- Eternal Equinox: Day always starts when the timer hits 06:00, night always starts when the timer hits 18:00. The timer resets at 24:00, making day and night equal length. The first day is shorter than the others, as it starts at noon.
- Fake Platform: Plenty.
- Fan Remake: There's been numerous attempts at 'fixing' the game, expecially after The Angry Video Game Nerd made his first video. But the most complete one is called Castlevania II: Dracula's Shadow. Adding new characters, item crashes, alchemy, new areas, bosses, and a host of other improvements while making the game a whole lot clearer. You can check out this review for more details.
- Follow the Leader: After The Angry Video Game Nerd ripped this game a new one purely as a comedy bit he didn't really mean as James Rolfe, real angry video game nerds everywhere started bashing it furiously in droves for real. Including those who have never actually played the game before.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The gold knife.
- Guide Dang It: The Angry Video Game Nerd had a field day with this one as his first episode.
- See the All There in the Manual entry.
- The Hero Dies: Implied in the worst ending, since Simon is not standing by Dracula's grave, though the text is cheerful. Outright stated in the moderate ending, though he is standing in front of the grave.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: The reason the townspeople often lie to you is because they blame Simon for Dracula's curse that has befallen the land.
- Infallible Babble: Averted. The townspeople will often offer clues that are misleading, confusing, or just plain false.
- Invincibility Power-Up: Laurels, which make you invincible and can be stockpiled.
- Kill It with Fire: The Sacred Flame, the Flame Whip.
- Level Up Fill Up
- Metroidvania: Predates SotN by eight years.
- Multiple Endings: Take too long to kill Dracula, and it's Downer Ending time for you! Of course, once you know where time runs and where it doesn't, the bad ending is easily avoidable.
- Some guide at GameFAQs or somewhere once made an elaborate explanation of the three endings pointing out how there is an extremely complex system that calculates several other things in addition to time, but almost no one can understand it and somehow time always seems to be the main deciding factor.
- Mood Dissonance: related to the above entry, the "Worst" Ending (the one you get if you take too long) is in black and white and Simon is not standing at Dracula's Grave, implying that he died, but the text is the most uplifting of the three endings and there is no mention of Simon dying. the "second worst" ending is in color on a bright sunny day, and Simon is at Dracula's grave, but the text is the most bleak and depressing of the three, explicitly stating that Simon dies. and finally, the "Best" ending has Dracula's hand breaking through the soil.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The second to last town thinks you're the direct cause of all the havoc that's being wreaked throughout Transylvania. Dracula's minions are still out for blood, after all. The last town is deserted.
"After Castlevania, I warned you not to return."
- Plot Coupon: This game introduced the concept of collecting body parts to reach the final Dracula fight, which was repeated in Symphony of the Night and Harmony of Dissonance.
- Short-Range Long-Range Weapon: Averted. The dagger has a short range, no cost to use, and can be spammed. The silver knife and golden knife can only be thrown one at a time, and they cover the whole screen.
- Sequel Difficulty Drop: Getting past the obtuse hints, the sequel to the first is ridiculously easy due to enemies that freeze whenever you hit them.
- Game Breaker: The sacred flame.
- Sequel Hook: The "best" ending shows Dracula's hand rising out of the dirt in front of his grave.
- This example is notable because the next game ended up being a prequel. The story timeline wouldn't be advanced until a half decade later.
- Shout-Out: The infamous line "DON'T LOOK INTO THE DEATH STAR" likely refers to Fist of the North Star, rather than the more infamous battle station.
- The artwork of Dracula on the front cover of the game resembles the Clyde Caldwell cover of the original Ravenloft module from AD&D. "Resembles" here means "identical except that Dracula/Strahd is looking at the viewer instead of directly forward, and Simon Belmont is superimposed on the foreground."
- The Heavy Metal Band "The Black Dahlia Murder" named their first demo album after the quote at the top of the page.
- Skippable Boss: Most avoidable reaper ever. Even if you do fight him, he's pathetically easy, which is funny, considering he's usually the hardest boss of most of the Castlevania games he's in.
- Super Drowning Skills: For some reason, Simon Belmont sinks like a rock.
This guy can go all over fighting hordes of evil monsters... but he can't even ----ing swim!?
—The Angry Video Game Nerd
- Time Keeps On Slipping: The only game in the series besides Symphony of the Night and Castlevania 64 to have a simulated real-time clock.
- Weaksauce Weakness - Compared to other incarnations, this version of Dracula is perhaps the easiest to dispatch, with a couple of glaring, "he can't hurt you if you use this" methods of taking him out. There's the obvious method of spamming laurels, which should last you more than long enough to win, or spamming the Golden Dagger or Sacred Flame at Drac, which freezes him in place and prevents him from attacking.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: What Dracula's curse entails for Simon.
- Continuing Is Painful: Dying on your last life results in the reduction of your heart count to zero. Since hearts are used as currency and ammunition and every item has an expensive price tag, this always equates to a severe loss of time invested in collecting them.
Oh look! I finally got enough hearts to go and buy a plant that I need to cross the swamp. Now let me get to the store. Oh shit! It's fucking night time!! Now the stores are all closed and I have to wait for it to turn day again! Oh well, I might as well kill some zombies in the meantime and stock up on some more hearts. *Dies on his last life* Oh shit!! Now I have to start all over again!
—The Angry Video Game Nerd
THE INDEX LIST HAS VANQUISHED THE HORRIBLE NIGHT.