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Titled From the Memory Bank, this blog shares
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Recently Added

7/24/17: I've posted a "Memory Bank" piece for Dracula X: Chi no Rondo. This will be the last Castlevania-related memory piece, actually. Future Castlevania blog posts will likely appear in the "Treasure Trove" section, within which I focus on current experiences (new games plus re-plays of those older).
6/15/17: The Order of Shadows MP3 listing has been updated to accommodate the arranged version of the game's soundtrack, which composer Vincent Diamante recently released to the public. Many thanks to VGMuseum overlord Rey for sending in the files.
4/23/17: Two quick items today: First is a new chapter in the Crossman's fan fiction Darkness Never Dies (the ninth chapter in the story's third arc). And then there's a new "Fun Fact" for Symphony of the Night called "Cardiology Test," which points out an interesting attribute about save rooms. Also, I'd like to remind everyone that I cover new happenings on my news wire page, whose latest headline pertains to Simon Belmont's future appearance in Super Bomberman R.
3/29/17: Well, isn't today your lucky day: It seems that I've got another one of these "Memory Bank" pieces up for viewing. This one is for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. So set aside a Sunday or six and give it a read.
3/3/17: I've posted a new "Memory Bank" piece for Castlevania 64. Now you, too, can share in my horror!
2/22/17: Here's some more audio goodness from BJBergeed and the crew from Tailikku: four missing tracks from Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth (Stage Intro, Vampire Killer [Second Version], Final Battle Intro, and a standalone version of Riddle) and all of Rondo of Blood's cut-scene dialogue (both Japanese and English versions--all ripped from Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles).
12/21/16: Just a heads up: Castlevania: Dracula X is headed to the New 3DS Virtual Console, as reported here. Also, I've updated the re-release information for games like Vampire Killer and Kid Dracula. I want this information to be as current as possible, so if you can, kindly alert me to any missing re-release info. I make this request because Konami tends to sneak some of these out under the radar. And, well, that's all I got for this year. Here's to hoping that 2017 brings something more substantial. Enjoy your holidays, everyone! (Update: Apparently Dracula X missed its target date. I'll update my information when it actually releases.)
11/2/16: BJBergeed is back with even more musical goodness. This time it's with the full soundtracks for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate, and Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2. We're talkin' over 240 MP3s and 2 gigabytes worth of Castlevania goodness.
10/19/16: I've got another big musical update today. BJBergeed, via Tailikku, has submitted the following soundtracks: The Commodore 64 version of Castlevania. Three separate sound-card variations for the IBM PC / DOS version of Castlevania. And CR: Pachinko: Akumajou Dracula. Also, the long-lost The Demon Guest returns with a MIDI composition of Pagoda of the Misty Moon from Lament of Innocence. Not related to music is Danny's interesting "Guarded Entry" submission on Symphony's Fun Facts page.
9/10/16: I've got a couple of random bits today. Dusk Raven has contributed two Battle Arena-based tips for Circle of the Moon: "Fighting the System," which I've classified as a code, explains how to use magic power where the game attempts to forbid it; and the exploit "Battle for Eternity" shows you how to glitch your way into full Arena accessibility. Also, Danny has helped me to clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding name-entry codes for Symphony of the Night (most of them turned out to be fake). The information on the Symphony and Nocturne code pages has been updated.
9/7/16: You know--I almost forgot that my News Wire page existed. I've kind of been out of the loop over the past few years. Allow me to begin remedying the situation by directing you there for news about the digital re-releases of two older games: Super Castlevania IV and Haunted Castle. Their respective game pages, too, have been updated to reflect this information.
7/31/16: Pretty big musical update this week. Tailikku has provided rips for two separate soundtracks: Castlevania Tribute Volume 1 and Castlevania Tribute Volume 2. He's also contributed all other non-Castlevania tracks for Wai Wai World and Wai Wai World 2: SOS!! Paseri Jou. This brings the total number of audio files on the site to over 2,000! Thanks to everyone involved!
7/24/16: Our boy Danny returns after a ten-year absence with some Symphony of the Night tidbits: He's got three new glitches/fun facts (four if you include a small addendum to the already existing Flip-Flop Flame entry), the recognition of some unused audio, some newly found information about the Ring of Pales, and a correction for the code page's
Librarian Secret.
6/22/16: I've added a new game page for CR Pachinko: Akumajou Dracula, the latest of Konami's Japan-only pachinko machines. The page is largely barren for now, but this will hopefully be remedied in the future (if I can ever be motivated to care, that is).
6/12/16: Castlevania maestro Sr. Lan Belmont returns with a special rap-style arrangement of Super Castlevania IV's Treasury Room.
6/2/16: It's a quick turnaround for our busy pair, as Mark supplies a new character model (the Arachne from Aria of Sorrow) and The Crossman whips up a new chapter for Darkness Never Dies.
5/30/16: Following a long absence, Mark "Top Modeler" Patraw returns with another sterling work: The transparent Hunting Girl from Symphony of the Night. Also, The Crossman is back with a new chapter in the fan fiction Darkness Never Dies.
11/5/15: Add Vampire Killer to the list of "Memory Bank" pieces. There are only a handful of series-related pieces remaining, and they should all be landing within the same two- to three-month window.
10/27/15: Here's another piece of my history: It's my story with Castlevania: Bloodlines. Please try to contain your excitement. Oh, and The Crossman has submitted a new chapter (the 8th entry in the third branch) in his long-running fan fiction Darkness Never Dies. Combined, they should keep you busy for at least the first half of the NBA season.
9/13/15: I've got a new blog entry up for Castlevania: Dracula X. Give this, uh, "quick" entry a look if you want to know how I really feel about that game.
8/7/15: A couple of small notes: Thanks to information received from contributor SallongSword, I've added two "localized" translations to the games page--two Japanified titles for Castlevania: Order of Shadows and Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night (neither has actually been released outside of North America, no). Also, I've updated the re-release information for Symphony of the Night and The Dracula X Chronicles in regard to their PlayStation Vita compatibility. If I'm missing re-release information for any game, please let me know.

Past Updates...

General Updates

9/5/14: Before I get to this "month's" new additions, I'd like to mention that I'm going to be making a little change to how I list site updates. Until presently, I'd wait for a satisfactory amount a material to accumulate before bringing light to it, which always worked out to about a month's time, but such a method no longer make sense when certain realities are considered (a slowing down of contributions, the Castlevania series torpedoing, and my general disinterest). So I'm instead going to break the updates into two types: "Recently Added," which will be updated every time something is added to the site, and "General Updates," which will be reserved for special announcements and my usual ramblings.

And now, for the last time, the medium-sized list of death:
- Sir Lan Belmont has provided ending videos for Castlevania: The Adventure (Konami Classics version) and Harmony of Dissonance (for Simon Belmont, specifically).
- Model-maker Mark has whipped up two amazing new creations in the form of a Castlevania: The Adventure papercraft diorama and a series of interchangeable Castlevania creatures.
- Aya79's game-collection page is eight items richer.
- T.D. Stoneheart has directed two new tracks for the Ainaveltsac Medleys album plus a new variant remix.
- Intros have been added to the "Part 2: Legacy of Sorrow" portion of the fan fiction Darkness Never Dies.
- SolarCiel informs us of a useful exploit for Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (check the addendum to the breakable-brick tip).

Also, for those who have been keeping up with it, my previously discussed Memory Bank blog has two series-related pieces chronicling my history with Castlevania and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, respectively. Future Castlevania-related pieces will be appearing over time. Thanks to anyone who's given it a look.

4/11/14: This is just a quickie update to note, if you haven't guessed by the slight visual change to the link index above, that I've started my own blog. I'm calling it "From the Memory Bank: My History with Video Games." What I'm doing is taking games that have resonated with me through the years and detailing my history with them--discussing my history with each title, sharing stories about my gaming experiences with friends and family, and having fun writing about my favorite hobby. I've got about 8 entries up at the moment (not including the first post, which details the mission objective) and plan on adding at least one a week.

I'll be honest and say that Lords of Shadow and the recent series' news haven't been doing it for me, so I'll be focusing my energies elsewhere for a while. Of course, the blog will be covering Castlevania games, which will include a lot of extra details never mentioned in any of my reviews or other more-formal platforms.

Give it a look if you're desperate for reading material.

2/26/14: So Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has been available for a few days, and the reviews seemed kind of mixed. From my view, having not yet played it, it looks like a solid game that's content to simply deliver a more-seasoned helping of a dish we've already tasted. It finds itself tasked with a difficult mission that future entries will also undertake if they follow its lead; that is, they'll have to compete in the highly volatile AAA sector, whose increasingly risky ventures are symptomatic of a console industry ruled by staggering budgets and a narrow-minded fanbase with a rapidly decreasing attention span. I mention this because of recent comments made by Dave Cox, who stirred up some trouble with his assessment of the current industry. More on this in a bit.

I don't have anything new to share on the Lords of Shadow front, since I never got around to finishing the boss descriptions. I've been too preoccupied with other games, mainly. I'll eventually get back into the groove and output a whole lot of work in quick bursts. Though, I can provide a more timely update if anyone can contribute scans for the game's packaging (any version from any platform).

As for site activity over the previous few months:
- Stoneheart has completed another track for this Ainaveltsac Medley album, bringing the total to 32.
- Dracula9, who previously contributed some artwork, has joined the MP3-making party with a collection on 17 remixes. There's also a bonus MIDI composition--a Circle of the Moon track that can be found here.
- I've added some screenshots for the original Lords of Shadow. I've also added a few shots for the HD version of Mirror of Fate.
- Sr. Lan Belmont returns to the fray with two new art pieces.
- And in case you missed it: NES Castlevania titles have been appearing on all iterations of things called "Virtual Console."

To finish up on my previous thoughts: I don't personally know Dave Cox, so I can't confirm if his opinions suggest a painful industry reality or if he wants to play a role in continuing to push things in that direction. Either way, it's more than sad that Konami is intent on following this ruinous path, since Castlevania doesn't deserve to be misguidedly reimagined as a "blockbuster" franchise steeped in super-derivative modern action-game formulas with little to no regard for its roots or cherished source material. Yes--sometimes things need to change, as I've pled for years, but that doesn't entail following industry trends and currying favor with a crowd that only buys games that are heavily marketed and promptly brushes them off in favor of next week's chart-topper. It worked once, with the first Lords of Shadow, but Konami can't gamble on the hope that lightning will continue to strike (and I've seen no proof that the sequel will be a big seller). Do we really want to see the day when Castlevania is permanently put on the shelf because a highly marketed entry doesn't achieve its ridiculously projected sales-total of, say, 4,000,000? There's no need to take that kind of risk. If Konami allegedly wishes to serve a "wider public" with big-budget games, it should do so by brewing up new franchises created specifically for this purpose.

Rather, the company should reconsider on how to slot the series. While it's true that I'd like to see Castlevania stand tall amongst the big boys, as it once did, it's just not feasible at this point in time. However, there is value in a Castlevania series positioned in a more-stable "niche" category, which isn't synonymous with "low-selling"; it can certainly find success with smaller, better-focused games that can accumulate 400,000-plus worth of sales where it's easiest to do so--on portable game systems and today's many digital services. Without the worry of physical distribution costs, auteurs like Koji Igarashi can be free to experiment with new types of gameplay in an environment where people are starved for them.

It at least deserves that chance.

10/27/13: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD has arrived for your digital pleasure, which is just the spark I need to get back into the swing of things. I've updated Mirror of Fate's game page to reflect this happening, and I've set up new pages for the soon-to-be-released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection (which combines the original Lords of Shadow and the previously discussed Mirror of Fate HD) and the further-off Lords of Shadow 2. Things to do before Lords of Shadow 2's 2014 release include finishing up on adding the original Lords of Shadow bosses to the big list and adding some media to the previous Lords' respective game pages.

Though there hasn't been much activity over the last six months, there have been a few notable additions:
- Contributor Khala has done yeoman's work in supplying actual quality images for the Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness weapon pages (replacing my poor-quality rips from a decade ago).
- Legacy of Sorrow, the second part to the fan fiction Darkness Never Dies, is again being rebooted. New chapters are already present.
- Sallongsword has contributed a "help" document called "Castlevania: Mirror of Fate - Map Files," which functions as advertised.
- Stoneheart, the artist formerly known as tduyduc, has whipped up four new tunes (tracks 29-32) for his Ainaveltsac Medley collection.
- The relentless Druid Vorse has made his mark on the "High Score" page by maxing out Order of Ecclesia's stat-page.
- I've put up a quick preview for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

I'll be needing a little help in regard to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection, for which I'll need all the scans I can get. Thanks in advance to anyone who can send them in. In the meantime, enjoy some news, participate in a poll, or, like, don't.

4/4/13: This update is all about Lords of Shadow. Though I stated, originally, that I was going to wait for the trilogy to be completed before giving it proper representation, I realized by doing so that I was resigning myself to an unimaginable amount of work piled into a single period. So I've instead prepared the site as best I can for the arrival of Lords of Shadow 2, whose content will now be easier to manage.

We'll begin with the recently released Mirror of Fate:
- I've got scans of its North American casing (there is no manual). I had planned to also scan its pre-order bonus material, but it simply wasn't possible. I can explain why in one word: GameStop. Though, that's my fault for doing business with them when I should know better. If anyone took the trouble to scan the bonus material, I'd appreciate it if you could contribute your work.
- Kev has provided the casing scans for the European version, which does include a manual!
- The general information, hero descriptions, and weapons page have been filled in. Also, the "Media" page is now home to official art and official comic strips.
- Its lesser enemies, bosses, Dracula forms, and supporting cast pages have been filled in--though, mostly without images, which I'm at the time unable to produce in high quality.
- It has its own stages and codes pages.
- Its story has been added to the storyline section, which now has a subsection devoted to Lords of Shadow.
- Its enemies have been added to the main lesser enemies and main boss pages, where they're covered in more detail.
- The four playable characters have been added to the heroes section, which now also segregates the Lords of Shadow trilogy.
- Its many secondary characters now populate the supporting cast and Dracula's allies pages, which get the same treatment.

There's also a whole lot of new material for the original Lords of Shadow:
- Its dedicated storyline page has been updated to include the events of the DLC chapters Reverie and Resurrection.
- Gabriel's profile has been added to heroes section.
- The supporting cast and Dracula's allies join their Mirror of Fate companions.
- Some general information has been filled in (enemy descriptions and weapons), mainly.
- There are now scans for the North American Xbox 360 and PS3 manuals.
- The bosses have been added to the main boss list. Though, they're at the moment place-holders. I was going to work on those next, but I ran out of steam and needed a break. I'll fill them up with text in a few months when I've recharged.

There are a few miscellaneous updates:
- The main boss listing has changed a bit, its index now separating Lords of Shadow and "Gaiden" titles into their own categories; their respective monsters just seemed out of place grouped in with those from the original series.
- Camilla/Carmilla now has her own page in the recurring boss section.
- There are two new chapters for "Part 1" of the fan fiction Darkness Never Dies.
- Dracula Fan's collection has grown by double digits.
- And I've put together my own "Essay": I'm calling it Mr. P's Top 250 Games, which lists my favorite video games (of course including Castlevania titles) and those for which I have at least an appreciation. Its likely to balloon by increments of 50 as the years go on.

As I add all of these new characters to my many lists, I'm rewriting old descriptions where I can. I apologize for the pretty bad quality of most of the writing--a lot of which was done over a decade ago and seems to have been produced as if I was under some type of deadline. The lesser enemy list is particularly disastrous ("Boy this guy's dangerous!"). It's just one of many things that'll improve over time in addition to general site navigation and the "cramped" nature of the game pages.

2/22/13: Year #14 of this aging site starts with a glimmer of activity and does so right before the bomb hits on March 5th, which is of course the release date for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. The last two months have been drenched in developer interviews and general newsbits, for those who devour Castlevania news. The site updates in regard to the game's release will begin shortly after the fifth, starting with scans of the packaging material and pre-order bonuses; the usual enemy listings, character profiles, and story-based elements will start appearing after I've spent some time with the game.

It's the last month of the dry spell, yes--but there's some new material for us to gobble up:

- SolarCiel has provided manual translations for the two versions of Akumajou Special: Boku Dracula-kun (Famicom and Game Boy). The translations appear in image form, the Japanese symbols cropped out and replaced with English text. You can otherwise locate these images on the game pages for the Famicom and Game Boy titles.
- Squalid Pumpkin's Metroidvania List has been updated to include recent releases.
- The Demon Guest breathes a bit of life into the Midis section with Inner Quarters, which is an Aria of Sorrow piece.
- The ongoing saga of Darkness Never Dies has seen the addition of three new chapters--one per sub-story.
- Newcomer Lapistmacir has given birth to a budding art page.
- Stoneheart has written up his second entry to the Essays section--a piece entitled The Scariest Enemy in Castlevania.

I'll see everyone next month and in the meantime leave you with this question: Do these rockin' guys provide the best metal-remix version of Dr. Wily's Castle, like, ever? You decide.

Past General Updates: Interested in reading out about when big site events went down? Click this link to view the longform updates that began way back in November of 1999!

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