Castlevania: Rondo of Blood

In Castlevania

After finally getting the opportunity to play through this Japan only release, I can safely say that it does indeed live up to its cult status praise and adulation.
After suffering through the disappointing 'Castlevania: Dracula X' on Super Nintendo, I was relieved to hear that the original 'Dracula X: Chi No Rondo' for the TurboGrafx/PC Engine CD-Rom was not the same game. Thankfully it isn't.

In fact, this is probably the best of the traditional side-scrolling Castlevania series.
As the direct prequel to 'Symphony of the Night', the story follows the heroic exploits of Richter Belmont in his quest to defeat Dracula and his minions.

This game manages to tie in the events from 'Simon's Quest' and the rest of the earlier games in the series to fit the more current titles.

Game play wise, it's similiar to 'Castlevania III'. There are multiple routes to take through the game, and you can choose wich path to take on the fly. This makes playing through the game again more enjoyable and essential if you're trying to get 100% completion.

Along the way, you'll find secret paths that lead to alternate boss battles and locked doors where you rescue the four maidens being imprisoned by Dracula. You can even rescue Maria Renard (who appears as a much more grown-up version in 'Symphony of the Night') and she becomes the second playable character.
The game is challenging but not frustrating. There are very few "cheap" parts (like the ones that ruined 'Dracula X'). The unlockable "level select" option makes it easy to go back and replay stages you might have messed up on.
So game play is good.

Graphically the game looks better than just about any TurboGrafx release. Definitely on par with the Super Nintendo titles, but not quite as good as 'Symphony'. At any rate, it sure doesn't look like an 8-bit game (x2 or otherwise).

The sound and music is good (especially with the CD quality soundtrack). There is some voice acting as well, but it was all in Japanese (with Japanese subtitles) and I think the opening sequence was spoken in German, in the version I played. It sounded convincing though.

If there's a downside to it all, it would have to be the childish anime cutscenes throughout the game. The big-eyed, cutesy looking characters just doesn't suit the Castlevania look at all. Fortunately, this was improved upon in the sequel.

The final verdict... PLAY THIS GAME. If you're a fan of the NES Games, then you'll feel right at home with this one.
Now if only Konami will give us a true American release.

I will be waiting...

Death to cutesy anime.

I've never played Dracula X, and I've always heard conflicting reports on its quality. No one told me it was bad or good, but they stood by their opinions. But if cheapness was the big problem, I think I'll steer clear of it.

As for Rondo... I never downloaded a Turbographx emulator, but I think I'll be doing so soon...

I'm not only a fan of the NEs ones, i like all them except a few. and ive always wanted to play this game.

very nice review ZEN. now i have to check this game out. the name alone says it kicks ass

I have a working burned copy, there was a site up a while ago that gave instruction, if anyone needs Hooking up I'd probably do for nothing seeing as it is the christmas season
Note: PM me if interested with info.

i'd love that!

if it'll run on a PC i'd fancy a copy

It will with .

It will with

awesome. thanks Luke

It will with
How did you get that to work in Magic Engine?
I can seem to find the function to make it read the image from the drive.


It will with
How did you get that to work in Magic Engine?
I can seem to find the function to make it read the image from the drive.


Magic Engine is very anti-piracy, you'll need to burn the disc, it should work then, if it's burned properly.

I most Definately Want This!

Yes, Magic Engine is indeed the best and what I use, but unfortunately costs $35 a pop. I'll see if i can't include some sort of alternative to the demo version... I could also send people the Japanese Dracula X (Play as Maria!) for Saturn free, all I ask is it does eventually come full circle.

You Rock!

I never did play this, and I probably never will but I hope I do some day. Is it that much better than Dracula X? Cause I actually liked Dracula X.

My friend who is ungodly insane at Castlevania claims that the Dracula X for SNES feels like a ripoff after playing the Turbografx 16 one. I never played Dracula X for SNES very long so I can't say, but I will admit I loved Rondo of Blood.

Has this been emulated? If so, where might I find it?

if you're on broadband, I have it and could send it.

PM me if you're interested.

if you're on broadband, I have it and could send it.

PM me if you're interested.

Great! Does it work with a regular Turbo Grafix-16 emulator? Also, I have broadband at home. I won't be there for a couple hours. I'll PM you then. Thanks.