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Ultimate Castlevania

Hack of Castlevania


This patch intends to offer the definitive version of Castlevania for the NES for its 30-year anniversary.

The 1.1 version completely changes all of the game’s graphics, including backgrounds, font and item sprites.

ATTENTION: It must be used exclusively with the standard american ROM: Castlevania (U) (PRG0) [!].nes

THE GRAPHICS: it aims to stay as close as possible to the original concepts, but with a better presentation. Lots of graphical upgrades and clean-ups were made, including enemy, item and boss sprites. All backgrounds were touched up to make the castle looks nice, dark and architecturally consistent. Fonts and items were redesigned too.

THE SKINS: The patches offer 3 possible skins for Simon Belmont for you to choose. Check out the Skins Guide file included in this folder to see the options.

THE GAMEPLAY: everything was a little rebalanced. Overall, the idea is to make the difficulty progression a little more gradual, and to make the gameplay even more strategic and thoughtful than it already was.

  • You start with zero hearts, so you keep the short whip for a little longer, and you should really learn to survive with it.
  • Big Hearts now are worth 3 units, and they’re more rare, so you’ll have to really use you Subweapons toughtfully.
  • Candle placement was completely changed. There are much less of them (and their position is now more coherent, no more weird floating candelabras).
  • Subweapons were replaced to really help you. With a few exceptions, you’ll always find the perfect weapon for each situation… somewhere.
  • All enemy attacks deal 1 less point of damage than normal. This makes the last 3 Blocks a little more forgiving. You’ll notice that the bosses now put up some fun fights, instead of butchering you instantly.

CRAZY MODE: The same as above, but all enemy attacks deal 2 more points of damage than they did in the original game.

EXTRA STUFF: I’ve designed a digital new version of the original american instruction manual. It’s included in this folder.

Huge thanks to Dan for his tool Stake.

YYCHR helped a lot too, thanks to whoever created it.

Hope you like it!


ROM / ISO Information:

  • File: Castlevania (U) (PRG0) [!].nes
  • Size: 131,088
  • CRC32: 39C879BB
  • MD5: 00D93C9F 6B8AEFB8 B6C02B20 147DF4EC
  • SHA1: A31B8BD5 B370A910 3343C866 F3C2B299 8E889341




ContributorType of contributionListed credit

User Review Information

An obvious labor of love

Reviewed By: AdamDravian on 29 Oct 2018

I honor of Halloween time, I spent an evening playing through Castlevania with this hack.

I’m not intimately familiar with the original game (I’ve played it many times, but it’s been years), so I can’t speak for how well this hack rebalances it. However, judging the difficulty of this hack on its own merits, I can tell you that it was hard, but not impossible. Medusa Heads are still prone to knocking you into pits and Flea Men are still the bane of my existence. I’d say the difficulty curve felt about right to me, though there were a few levels where I desperately needed some of that yummy rejuvenating wall meat, but I kept finding hidden wall hearts instead. Though this hack apparently reduces the number of hearts you get for sub-weapons, I never felt like I didn’t have enough.

I really enjoyed the subtle changes to the graphics. I felt they enhanced the atmosphere while remaining true to the flavor and spirit of the original game. So it still feels like the same old classic game, but it’s just … a bit nicer looking. Nothing felt wrong or out of place, as is often the case with fan modifications like this. It’s obvious that a lot of thought and care went into this hack.

I played through the game using the 1st of the three Simon Belmont sprite options, which seems to be a slight modification of Trevor’s sprite from Castlevania III. I personally thought it was an improvement over the original Simon sprite, since I dig my vampire slayers to sport the long-hair headband ’80s Conan the Barbarain look.

One of the real stand-out features of this hack is that it goes the extra mile by including a high-rez remake of the game’s NES manual. Again, this remains true to the style of the original game, but the art is hi-rez and it includes some rad new art done by this hack’s author. I was happy to find that the manual also features a retranslated version of the story that seems to stay true to the original Japanese game (before Nintendo of America removed the religious references).

The only downside I found with this hack is that I couldn’t get it to work with NaOH’s Improved Controls hack. But for those who don’t mind Castlevania’s clunky original controls, I highly recommend giving this hack a try.

Version 1.1 Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
I wish all games had a hack like thisNiggelMyNiggel18 Oct 20201.1Yes
Add wine sauce on meatonepiecefan200713 May 20201.1Yes
An obvious labor of loveAdamDravian29 Oct 20181.1Yes