Among the great classic games, there is Castlevania: Bloodlines for the Sega Genesis. This game is a 1994 hidden gem that deserves more recognition and appreciation.
Castlevania: Bloodlines is the only Castlevania game that was released on the Genesis. It’s one of the most unique and creative entries in the series. It introduces new characters, locations, and mechanics. For instance stages are inhabited by sub-bosses and bosses. A mention to the mutton chop use to recover life bar points and hidden behind cracking walls on the first stage.
The game takes place in 1917, during World War I. A vampire named Elizabeth Bartley is brought back to the land of the living by an amateur witch Drolta Tzuentes. Countess Bartley is now trying to resurrect her uncle, Dracula. To achieve her goal, she is using the souls of the war victims. Two heroes rise up to stop her: John Morris, the son of Quincey Morris who killed Dracula in Bram Stoker’s novel, and Eric Lecarde, a Spanish nobleman who wields the Alucard Spear. Together, they travel across Europe, from Romania to England, to defeat Elizabeth and her minions before she can complete her diabolic ambition.
The game lets you choose between John and Eric as your playable character, and they have different abilities and paths. John can use his whip to swing across gaps and attack enemies at different angles. We have a video walkthrough from YouTube for John. Eric can use his spear to perform high jumps and stab enemies from a distance. We have a video walkthrough from YouTube for Eric. Different paths are generated for each character. Both of them can also use sub-weapons like axes, boomerangs, and holy water.
The game has six stages, each with a different theme and atmosphere. You’ll visit a ruined castle, a factory, a tower, a palace, a cathedral, and finally Dracula’s castle. The game is full of references to history, mythology, and literature. For example, you’ll fight a boss based on the Greek god Poseidon, another one based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, and another one based on Frankenstein’s monster. The vampire herself named Elizabeth Bartley in the game might be based on Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory, The Bloody Countess as Valentine Penrose titled her book.
The game also has some of the best music in the series, composed by Michiru Yamane, who later worked on Symphony of the Night and other Castlevania games. The soundtrack is catchy, atmospheric, and diverse. It ranges from rock to classical to folk to techno. Some acclaimed tracks are Reincarnated Soul, Iron-Blue Intention, Calling from Heaven, and The Sinking Old Sanctuary.
Castlevania: Bloodlines is a masterpiece that every fan of the series should play. It’s challenging, fun, and rewarding. It’s also a rare and expensive game nowadays, so if you can find it for a good price or play it on an emulator or on the Castlevania Anniversary Collection or Sega Genesis Mini or Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack through the Sega Genesis App , don’t hesitate to do so. You won’t regret it.
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