Through many of your adventures in the many games of the Castlevania series, you may ask yourself, "Why doesn't this place ever look the same?" Like in all other games that have an evil leader with a castle (see Mega Man), it always looks as though their manor is newly constructed in each title. Alucard explains in Symphony of the Night that Dracula's castle, though the same construct, alters its appearance each time it ascends from the Earth's depths and subsists as a "creature of chaos." This is not to say that the castle is always 100% different--there's often a hint of the original Castlevania's main halls, among others. Not so sure? Have a look below.
This is the prototype for the castle entrance: (1) A first main hall with scattered platforms and stairways. The background has a stone wall that shows signs of age, a unique window design, and many curtains lining the pillars that hold up the ceiling. Enemies that usually lurk here are zombies, bats and leopards. (2) The second is what I call the "fishman room." Up top, there's a big wall that can only be traveled around from below, using a flooded basement-type area where endless fishmen lurk. The big wall usually can be broken somewhat to find a power-up. (3) From the other side of the big wall, you'll enter into another hall that's reminiscent of the first. It of course contains all of the same features.
Notice that you can match the pillars with the beginning of this castle with the ones in the first? There are exactly six blocks between each pillar, just like in Castlevania, and you can see the remains of the windows from the first game in between them. If you go in close enough, you can even see the designs on the walls are the same--those little gray spots all over the place. The rest of the castle seems to be closed off, as the part you see directly above the text doesn't exist in the first game--though those arching windows do resemble the ones in the top part of the fishman room.
It's not an exact remake of that same level, but it's definitely the same idea. The red worn-out curtains, pillars and square windows are back, but the distance between pillars fluctuates between 4 and 6, and there are two statues built into the background. Zombies and axe knights will block your path. This is clearly not a typical reconstruction of the main halls and exists only as a token reminder of its root.
This is yet another remake of that same stage. The pillar alignment is almost identical to the first, and the platforms after the first five pillars are very alike. The statues from the Dracula's Curse are also present-- which at least shows some continuity, even though the game is a prequel to Super Castlevania IV. Zombies and axe knights are back, combined with bats, leopards and others.
This stage is almost a complete remake of the original. The pillars don't appear until the end, and there are too many windows, but the alignment is perfect. The breakable wall near the fishmen is still there, too--containing a power-up rather than the usual energy replenishment. The second hall is bereft of multiple platforms, which changes things very little. Zombies, bats and fishmen are all where they rightfully should be.
This isn't exactly a typical remake of that original level, since, technically, this game hit the arcades before Castlevania hit the NES. The structure of the stage has you climbing mostly upward, battling hunchbacks, axe knights, harpies and ghosts, rather than zombies and bats. The only real reminder is the familiar Vampire Killer music that can be heard stage-wide.
The very first stage is another remake of that level. Zombies and bats stalk you at first, as per usual, but a Floating Eye follows you from outside only to greet you in the next room. The pot roast is not in the wall where it usually is; rather, there's a trap in its place to fool fans of the original Castlevania. However, fishmen still populate the pool of water. Then it's that same final hall with more zombies and bats before the Phantom Bat boss.
Click on the "More Halls" link below to see more instances of these familiar halls, or, if you wish, you can skip to castle keep similarities and check out other similar recurrences within the games' respective castles.