1792 AD

Castlevania Dracula X: Rondo of Blood

100 years after Simon Belmont defeated Dracula (for the first time), the demon King's dark presence begins to fill the land again. The dark priest Shaft (yo damn right -- and yes, we at the Inverted Dungeon will hold off from doing further Shaft jokes again... at least in this article) managed to resurrect the Dark Lord, and the two of them hatched a new plan to kill the Belmonts and win the day (for once).

Dracula's minions kidnapped four women from the local town (Aljiba, bearing a similar layout to its appearance in Castlevania II), including Annette Renard, Richter Belmont's betrothed, and Annette's little sister, Maria. Richter, enraged at this, took up the family whip and charged into Dracula's lands to save the day.

As he battled through the castle and its surrounding grounds, Richter saved each of the women. Unexpectedly, Maria joined Richter in his cause, using animals as her weapons in the battle against the forces of evil. The two managed to save Annette, and then battled Shaft. The dark priest (of funk and soul... sorry) defeated, the last demon to be destroyed was Dracula. That battle raged on, but in the end it was Richter and Maria who stood victorious while Dracula's castle (and symbol of his power) crumbled to the ground.

Important Information

This is one of the few non-American Castlevania titles covered on this site -- it's the most complete version of the game, and the one everyone considers to be "in continuity". For many years (14 to be exact), Rondo was unavailable in the United States -- it was a Japan-only release for the PC Engine (the TurboGraphix 16 in Japan). The TurboGraphix never took off in the US like it did in Japan, so Konami (presumably) didn't see the need to spend the money to localize the game for a very small audience in the US.

After 14 years, however, the game was finally released, in a form, in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. The game had a 3D remake of the original game, as well as (in unlockable form) the original game and the sequel, Symphony of the Night. Although many Americans had imported the original game (for a hefty price), this release allowed everyone a chance to play the game (finally!).

American audiences were not completely unaware of Richter's adventures, though. The SNES had a remake/re-interpretation of the game called Castlevania: Dracula X (producers called it a "separate continuity" from the original game, but at this point it assumes the same place in continuity as Rondo). This did come to the US, and featured (in many cases) far superior graphics, although the music was not as good (the original was able to have CD quality sound), and the anime cut scenes from the original release were completely absent from the game. Additionally, Maria (an unlockable hero part way into the game) was not available for use in the SNES version -- you could save her, but not play as her.

To note, although The Dracula X Chronicles purports itself to be the complete collection of Dracula X games, the SNES remake was not included in the package.