astlevania: Bloodlines is the only Castlevania game published by Konami for the Sega Genesis. It was first released in Japan under the title Vampire Killer on March 18, 1994. It was made available in North America on August 4, 1994, and on March 20, 1994, it was released in PAL regions, titled Castlevania: The New Generation.
It features copious amounts of blood and gore when considering the time of its arrival. Because of this, it was heavily censored in Europe. The word "blood" is not included in the title and other appearances of blood are removed. The North American version is very faithful to the Japanese original, but its Normal Mode is more difficult, and Eric Lecarde, one of the playable characters, is portrayed with more hard edged masculine features, straying from his original bishounen image. There are also storyline differences between the American version and Japanese version, primarily involving Drolta Tzuentes, one of the game's villains.
The story makes references to real world historical figures besides Vlad Tepes. The setting of the adventure is Europe in 1917 during World War I. Elizabeth Bartley, who is based on Erzsébet Báthory, orchestrated the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, thus causing the Great War. Some stages take place in famous European landmarks, like Versailles Palace, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Castle Dracula, which is based on Bran Castle in Transylvania.
Bloodlines bridges the Castlevania series with the novel Bram Stoker's Dracula. The protagonist of Bloodlines and other playable character, John Morris, is the son of Quincey Morris, the Texan hero from the novel. At the beginning of the game, players choose either John Morris or Eric Lecarde to use as their character.