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Castlevania II English Re-translation (+Map)

Hack of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest


This is an English re-Translation of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. In addition to translating the ROM, an in-game map is added, and the Japanese staff credits were re-added to the game. The patch is for the NES version.

Note: Since release, the black-screen crash bug mentioned in several reviews has been fixed.

The translation is based on the original Japanese text. According to the author, extensive research was performed on the meaning of the sometimes cryptic original Japanese text in the game, and special attention was paid to make sure that all the translated text makes sense and is understandable, without undermining the loyalty in translation to the original Japanese game.

Features include:

  • NTSC version (there is also a PAL option)
  • MMC4 chipset (there are also MMC3, MMC1, MMC5, UNROM and VRC6 options, see the vending machine)
  • Reintroduced some features that the English releases removed from the Japanese version — Includes the extended ending text, as well as Konami-style Start text on the power-on screen.
  • Map function — An in-game map is included. It helps understand the layout of the game world, and to know the name of whichever place the player currently is in. It compensates for the lack of actual game manual, which in the Japanese releases included a map. Press the select button to view the map in the game.
  • SRAM save function — Game can be saved at any time into internal battery-backed memory and loaded later.
  • Cinematic prologue
  • Seamless fading between night and day times
  • Quality-of-life improvements to game controls: Jump down stairs with down+A, hit stun on stairs, Simon blinks when hurt
  • Extra dialog in select locations — Small changes that improve the game experience without changing the nature of the game.
  • Language — English.

For more patching options and more up-to-date versions see the following link:

There is also a document that lists in detail all the dialog in the original English and Japanese versions of the game, explains their meaning, and takes educated guesses on why certain lines were translated the way they were:

ROM / ISO Information:

  • Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (U) [!].nes - GOODNES 3.14
  • CRC32: A9C2C503
  • MD5: 1B827C602C904D8C846499C9F54B93E0
  • SHA-1: D6B96FD98AE480C694A103FE9A5D7D84EEAFB6F7
  • SHA-256: F045D72683D3156555ECCBB56090888F03A15E5B25E59DB49DCA7A87330472D3




ContributorType of contributionListed credit

User Review Information

Definitive Castlevania II

Reviewed By: timeisup on 11 Apr 2020

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (AKA Dracula II: The Accursed Seal in Japan) has been the redheaded stepchild of the original NES trilogy and the series as a whole until it at least got some credit 10 years after it’s release as being the predecessor to Symphony of the Night’s Metroidvania genre spawning. Completely retranslated from Japanese to Finnish (and then to English for us!), this seems closer to the intent of the original Famicom Disk game in keeping the clues obscure and mysterious but without the poor translation that made it worse to the point of being useless.

Much better than Simon’s Redaction, which is a very vanilla translation for beginners only. That translation might have removed the seemingly pointless story threads and meaningless or false comments from villagers and scrolls, but that also removes the character and flavor of Simon’s Quest completely. This translation is truer to the Japanese (or so it seems, I’m not a native Japanese speaker) and still has some useful yet poetic riddles for you to figure out. If Redaction is the Easy mode, this is Normal. Like Redaction this speeds the day-night transition but actually removes the dialog box completely and makes the transition seamless.

The cinematic intro is a nice touch but has a flaw as others pointed out (screen freezes on black if you watch the whole way through.) I hear, occasionally, a random “woo” sound from Simon as though he’s been hit even though I haven’t and the map screen refreshes enemies. So if you are standing in the wrong spot, you’ll be hit. (If you know what you’re doing though, you can farm for hearts much more efficiently using this screen.)

Now that we’ve got some of the quirks out of the way, let’s mention one of the best features: SRAM. That’s right, save slots. About 20 of them! The coolest thing about this as they act as a work around with the game over penalty of losing your HP (hearts) and XP (experience points). That’s right, even though you do lose that as normal when you continue, if you choose save instead, you can load that game and restart right where you died (not the first town) and have all your HP and XP still. Hooray!

His site has lots of features to customize this hack by patching this and that feature out if you don’t like it. It also has some translation comparisons showing you his journey to create this. Personally, I like to remove the map screen personally because not only do I not ever use it, I like having a proper pause screen (not a menu).

The flaws of Castlevania II remain, of course. Uninspired world and mansion layout. Simple and easy bosses. Largely empty and unimaginative mansions with no real threats but occasional enemy respawning spam attack. Almost the entire catalog of sub-weapons are useless. However, if you’ve come to realize like I have, Simon’s Quest is a survival horror game for the minimalist speed-runner in us all. All Simon needs are his whip, holy water, a crystal and a good set of boots. Learn the fastest route and this patch will give you the best experience for this game. Headache, BS free, great dialog that is actually useful and still fun and you can save your progress and not be slowed down by losing HP, XP as long as you choose the save feature over continue.

Unfortunately, other patches such as double hearts and false floors from the Annoyance Fixes hack do not seem to work with this patch. I added them and they caused the game to go glitchy after one game over. A few updates and this could be perfect. I’d give it an 8.5/10.

Version Recommended - Yes

User Reviews
Lifting a curse becomes easier with a mapleszy09 Feb 20212.12.0.1Yes
I only wish that this were the game I had as a kid.scruntle21 Jan 20212.9.9.1Yes
THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF THIS GAMEscorpion2314 Apr 20202.9.8.19Yes
Definitive Castlevania IItimeisup11 Apr 20202.9.8.19Yes
What a Horrible Night to Have a CopyrightMr. Pennington04 Jan 20202.9.8.19Yes
Say Hello to the REAL Simon's Quest!Riggan22 Jan 20192.9.8.19Yes
Good with some flawsGyroblock25 Nov 20182.9.8.19Yes
Best Version, But Needs WorkVasid21 Nov 20182.9.8.19Yes
Almost perfect!!WebSlinger27 Feb 20182.9.8.19Yes
Huge Improvement But Not Without A Few QuirksEldrethor26 Feb 20182.9.8.19Yes
It's just betternesfan12 Dec 20162.9.8.17Yes
Awesome castlevania 2 hackGreyfox02 Jan 20162.9.8.17Yes
Best Castlevania II Hackrafael01 Jan 20162.9.8.17Yes
Simon gets new life!darkanx04 May 2014N/AYes
The Way Simon's Quest Should Have Been ReleasedKlaviaturist28 Dec 2012N/AYes