Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
astlevania III: Dracula's Curse is the third and final Castlevania game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The title is a bit deceptive, as this game is technically not the third game in the Castlevania series chronologically. Besides Castlevania and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, there is Vampire Killer, Haunted Castle, and Castlevania: The Adventure that came before it.
The gameplay is very similar to the first Castlevania game, except there are alternate paths which players may choose, adding variety in how the game can be played and finished. There are also additional characters to play as, so the player isn't limited to using the Belmont vampire hunter.
This game illustrates the story of the first Belmont to battle Count Dracula. Its position as such was usurped by Castlevania Legends, a 1998 Gameboy game. However, Legends was retconned by Castlevania producer, Koji Igarashi, thereby making its events void in Castlevania canon.
There are many differences between the North American and Japanese releases of Dracula's Curse. The graphics are a bit different and at times superior in the Japanese version because of a special mapper chip in the cartridge that Konami developed. There is a noticeable difference in the music's sound quality. The Japanese version uses more powerful sounding synths due to including a VRC6 music microprocessor chip that allows more channels to be used. The American version was also censored in different spots to avoid nudity or religious references. The North American release is more difficult than the Japanese version.
There is supposedly an animated movie in the works that is based on Dracula's Curse. It is being written by Warren Ellis and art directed by James Jean.
Dracula's Curse was first released in Japan on December 22nd, 1989, then in the United States on September 1st, 1990, and finally on December 10th, 1992 in Europe. It was later released on Nintendo Wii Virtual Console in late 2008 for European audiences, early 2009 for Americans, and April of 2009 in Japan.