Fortune brought me to the unreleased Castlevania arcade game. And while playing the game someone else was able to snap a few camera phone quality pictures from the inside so you can see more than a lovely cabinet. When you start Castlevania: The Arcade you get to pick one of two characters: a generic Vampire Hunter and a Lady Shooter. We’re hunting vampires so I went for the Vampire Hunter. Two people can play Castlevania: The Arcade so you can have one of each character for balance purposes.
The photo above is of the
mood lamp whip controller. Yes, you actually whip Dracula’s minions in this light gun-like arcade game. To strike you point the whip controller at the skeleton you want to hit then swing the controller.
Monsters have HP, but the whip does enough damage to crush most skeletons with a stream of blue light in a single hit. However, the whip doesn’t double as a magical gun and it can’t elongate to hit the two other skeletons hanging in the back shooting flaming arrows. Sub weapons like daggers are used to kill them. A button underneath the whip controller activates your sub weapon and the red button on top cycles through available sub weapons. You can replenish your sub weapon stock by collecting hearts scattered on the stage. Some skeletons drop them, but it’s much easier to collect them Castlevania style by whipping candles and wooden crates.
Castlevania: The Arcade doesn’t skimp on the monsters. Most of the skeletons on the first stage sluggishly crawl towards the screen. There were a few reaction based skeletons that leap out of nowhere, prepared to take half of your life bar from a single sword hit. I’m not sure if it was the machine I played on, but Castlevania: The Arcade can be quite punishing. Two sword slashes and it’s time to roll out the quarters. Arrows deal less damage, I think the cabinet I played on lets you take four or five arrows before you’re dead. I can’t confirm this since I didn’t die from arrows, but it looks that way.
Death was waiting at the end of the first stage. He a few moves like throwing his sickle, bombarding you with purple orbs, and flying towards the screen. What do you do when Death stares at you straight in the face? Shake. Shake hard and fast. You don’t have enough daggers to kill Death so the first boss fight became some sort of rapid waggling challenge. The whipping motion can negate Death’s ranged attacks, like his barrage of glowing purple energy balls, too.
Get back Death! I just want to go inside Dracula’s castle!
Castlevania: The Arcade felt slick and very polished for a location test build. It’s unclear when Konami will start spreading Castlevania: The Arcade in arcades and if it will ever come out in North America. Don’t be surprised at all to see Konami bring this to the Wii in the future either. The whip and its button layout felt just like holding a heavier Wii remote. Actually, why isn’t something like this coming out for the Wii already? Oh, that’s right we’re getting Castlevania: Judgment instead. Maybe next year we’ll see Castlevania: The Arcade in stores.
Photo credit Siliconera.