1698 AD

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Seven years after Simon Belmont bested Dracula, the vampire's dark magic still hung over the land. The townsfolk were afraid to go out at night as the forces of the demon king were still spread across the land, terrorizing travelers when the sun went down.

Simon, too, had problems. Although he bested Dracula, the vampire had his revenge. Upon his death he cast a curse on Simon -- the hero would die if he didn't find Dracula's body parts, take them to the ruins of Dracula's castle, and then destroy the body fully.

Of course it wasn't that easy. Simon had to track across the whole of the lands, knowing that if he didn't move fast enough he was going to die. He fought Carmilla (spelled Camilla in this game) and the Grim Reaper in their mansions, houses of evil filled with Dracula's dark magic. He was able to gather the body parts they were defending and these he was able to take to the castle rubble.

However, upon destroying Dracula's remains, the vampire rose again, whole. Simon was forced to fight the Dark Lord again, this time committing the foul demon to a sealed grave where the vampire hopefully was going to stay for all time.

Important Information

Castlevania II, along with Vampire Killer, are the two games in the series most credited with influencing Symphony of the Night and it's follow-ups. Castlevania II is exploration-heavy, requiring the player to search all of the land for items, weapons, and body parts in their quest to destroy Dracula. The player has to talk to villagers, learn where all the secret places and items are, and do so in a speedy manner. It was quite a revolutionary little game, and quite the divergent sequel from its predecessor (especially for American audiences never exposed to Vampire Killer due to that game's Japanese-only origins).

Unfortunately, Simon's Quest is not as beloved in the US as its predecessor. While the exploration-style gameplay was ground breaking, the translation of the game into English was flawed at best ("god-awful", "atrocious", and "fucking incomprehensible" also being applicable terms). Many of the clues to finding the items needed for the quest had to be parsed from the townspeople, and when they weren't even speaking clear English, or saying anything even closely resembling the original clues in the Japanese game, it did make for a confusing mess of an adventure.

The game had three endings, depending on how long the player took to finish the game. The best of the lot has Simon survive, but shows Dracula slowly rising from the grave again (at least his hand emerges). In one of the alternate "bad" endings, Simon dies having failed to completely seal Dracula's dark magic, while in another the game simply states that Dracula is dead at the hands of Simon Belmont. The best ending is the one that's considered canon.