Vampires, Ghosts and Magicians haunt the virtual console

By Spencer . October 29, 2007 . 5:57am

samuraig.jpgNintendo has a handy Halloween themed list of virtual console games this week starting with Castlevania II: Simons Quest. Simon’s back to tackle Dracula again, only this time there are more RPG elements and multiple endings depending on how fast you beat the game. Then from the realm archives of the TurboGrafix-16 is Samurai Ghost, a bizarre action/platformer with an undercurrent of Japanese mythology. Magician Lord is in the list too even though it doesn’t have a macabre theme to it. Well Elta can transform, which is kind of like dressing up and an integral part of Halloween festivities.


Castlevania(R) II Simon's Quest (NES(R), 1 player, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Fantasy Violence, 500 Wii Points): In this one-player adventure, you'll take on the role of Simon Belmont once again and duel to the death with Count Dracula. Grab your legendary whip, Vampire Killer, and roam freely through Transylvania on a quest to find the count's missing body parts-these are the key to breaking an evil curse. This quest won't be easy, though, for you must battle hideous fiends who stalk the land. In addition to the intense action and tight control the Castlevania series is known for, this sequel also introduced several unique game-play elements into the fold. Build experience the longer you play, buy weapons and items from merchants, or talk with villagers to get clues (some of which are false). Watch as day turns to night and then back again. Take a deep breath, steady your nerves, and help Simon end his curse and defeat the count once and for all.


SAMURAI-GHOST(TM) (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older – Animated Blood and Violence, 600 Wii Points): This action platformer features a samurai ghost from the depths of the underworld. In a past war, Kagekiyo managed to defeat the shogun Yoritomo and his clan. However, their evil spirits were not completely destroyed, and now, in the world known as Dark Side, they seek the time of their rebirth. In order to shatter those ambitions, Kagekiyo must make his way across seven zones and head for "The Heart of the Darkside" where Yoritomo lies in wait. Use spirit weapons to power up your sword, or other items, such as candles to recover health, and defeat the endless hordes of enemies. Each zone is not only protected by a boss but also includes demons as well as real samurai from 12th-century Japan. Get ready for some intense one-on-one combat action.


MAGICIAN LORD (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen – Blood and Fantasy Violence, 900 Wii Points): Released in 1990 and regarded as one of the NEOGEO's earliest signature games, this side-scrolling platformer mixes action with the mystical world of fantasy. A magician named Elta, last descendant of the famed Magician Lord, takes on an epic adventure to save the world from the evil Gul-Agieze. Elta must battle through eight stages, collecting the eight tomes of power that are key to defeating Gul-Agieze and his evil plans. By obtaining orbs in one of three colors (elements) that appear during the game, Elta's offensive powers and jumping abilities can be strengthened. The effect varies considerably depending on the combination of elements, though, and Elta can transform into six different forms: Waterman, Dragon Warrior, Shinobi, Samurai, Raijin or Poseidon. Can you help Elta to become the new Magician Lord?

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  • EvliAkito

    I hope I’m not the only one that likes Castlevania 2. If you just grab a walkthrough and quit bitching about the in-game hints being worthless, it’s pretty damn fun.

  • LoganX1187

    Feh. What they needed to do was retranslate Simon’s Quest before putting it on the virtual console. “Talk with villagers to get clues (some of which are false)”… yeah right. More like (some of which are so horribly translated that they are completely unintelligible).
    And I quote: “Get a silk bag from the Graveyard Duck to live longer”… Huh?! Great game, terrible translation. What a shame they didn’t fix this. I’ve waited 19 years to play Simon’s Quest and actually understand what the heck they were talking about… I guess I’ll have to just keep on waiting.

  • EvilAkito

    In all fairness, I recall that Iga said in an interview that the Japanese version had the same issue, so it wasn’t the fault of a bad translation. I do agree that in-game hints should actually be useful, but at the same time, it’s a shame that so many people can’t overlook that one flaw and enjoy the game for its good qualities. I mean, try beating the original Metroid without a walkthrough. That game doesn’t have false hints, it has no hints at all, yet it’s considered a classic.

    In my opinion, they’re both fun games, but one gets tons of praise (probably more than it deserves) and the other is almost universally considered a terrible game.

  • LoganX1187

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not faulting Simon’s Quest – I love that game. Before the “Metroidvainias” came along and added the exploration and mild RPG elements that are so well suited for these games, Simon’s Quest was my favorite Castlevania. Even now it holds a special place in my heart. I’d just once like to play it and have everything people say make sense.

    I think the original Metroid is almost unplayable, but when they released Zero Mission they fixed every problem that game had and made it the classic everyone has always said the original was. I just want someone to care enough to do that for Simon’s Quest. Now I know they are just shoveling out the original game to the virtual console, but I’d gladly pay more for retranslations and remakes that are well done. The Virtual console provides an excellent delivery method for doing exactly that, and I’m hoping that we’ll begin to see developers realize and exploit this.

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