Dracula's Curse is unique in that it's the first game of the series to offer you alternate paths; there are at least three instances where you can decide between a forked road. Listing the stages was a task, so wait for the images to load, and follow along as best you can. Note: Remember that certain enemies are replaced during the second quest: Skull heads for Medusa heads, armed knights for Stage-2 knights, and robed zombies for Stage-14 zombies.

     
 
Stage 1: Ruins of Warakiya
 

The town is abandoned, as you'd expect whenever Dracula's around. You'll start off in this desolate area and traverse through a chapel, where a few skeletons and bats will impede your progress. The top portion of the chapel exits downward into a graveyard, where zombies will march toward you. Sandwiched between this and another graveyard is the town's outer limits, where hunchbacks and bone pillars lurk. Working your way to the end of the graveyard, more zombies will rise up, with bats also coming your way. At the end of the graveyard is the game's first boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Skeleton, Bat, Ghost, Bone-Throwing Skeleton, Bone Pillar, Hunchback, Zombie and Medusa Head
Boss: Skull Knight
Music Track: Beginning
     

     
 
Stage 2: The Clock Tower of Untimely Death
 

After finishing the first stage, a forked road leads to the woods and this tower. This stage is optional, even though traversing it appears to be an early entrance into the castle. The clock tower consists of many vertical chambers filled with spinning gears, rotating cylinders, spikes pits, and, of course, Medusa heads. Jumping onto those gears, along with the spokes and pendulums, is essential to moving forward. When you get to the top, you'll meet the boss, who becomes the spirit helper Grant Danasty when defeated. When the task is complete, the bridge leading to the castle will collapse, so you'll have to go down the same way you came up to get to the next stage. Grant's jumping and climbing abilities will come in handy, as you can just crawl over walls, moving along speedily on the way down.

         

Lesser Enemies: Knight, Medusa Head, Skeleton and Scimitar
Boss: Nasty Grant
Music Track: Clockwork
     

     
 
Stage 3: The Woods
 

If you chose not to go through the Clock Tower, you'll start here. If you did go through the tower, you'll skip through the first part of this stage, but you won't miss much--just a trio of smashing spike pistons and a ghost. Either way, you'll have to deal with swooping owls and dual assaults by hunchbacks and bone pillars. Midway through, you'll pass through a door and be presented with a choice of two more paths: Continuing along through the woods or skipping along to another stage, the marsh pits. If you continue through the woods, you'll have to tread through a storm of balloon pods and fend off the tricky spiders and whip-toting skeletons to reach the boss. Its defeat will give you the option of taking along another spirit helper.

         

Lesser Enemies: Owl, Blood Skeleton, Bone Pillar, Balloon Pod, Whip-Toting Skeleton and Spider
Boss: Cyclops
Music Track: Mad Forest
     

     
 
Stage 4: The Haunted Ship of Fools
 

This ghostly ship is on its way to Castlevania with a delivery of mummies and a cyclops. You'll start on the deck, where you can practice your mast-jumping. Once inside, the dangerous Dhurons debut to make platforming a terror. Once past them, it's on to the neglected innards of the ship--some floors will break away when you walk upon them--this means that you'll have to move quickly to avoid the ghosts hoarding the area. Once past the main deck, you'll enter into the cabin area to face a mid-boss. After its defeat, you'll continue through more of the same. The final test on this stage includes mast-jumping high atop the ship. If you reach ship's end, near the cargo area, you'll face two more bosses.

         

Lesser Enemies: Dhuron, Ghost, Blood Skeleton, Bone-Throwing Skeleton and Raven
Mid Boss: Medusa
Boss:
(1) Mummies, (2) Cyclops
Music Track: Anxiety
     

     
 
Stage 5: The Marsh Land - from Stage 3
 

If you chose the other path midway through the third stage, you'll wind up here, in the murky marsh land. From the many mud pits, mad frogs and mud men will emerge quickly for surprise attacks. You'll have to be careful not to sink too far into the mud while striking and dodging, to avoid all the mud habitants. This becomes more difficult when you descend into the marshy areas within the narrow caves; here, you'll be forced into the mud, where mud men team up with conveniently-placed bats. If you manage to survive, you'll descend into one final mud pit to face the boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Mad Frog, Mudman and Bat
Boss: Phantom Bat
Music Track: Dead Beat
     

     
 
Stage 6: The Catacombs
 

The eerie music will tell you that something big is waiting here. The quirk of this stage is that its horizontal areas are split into upper and lower paths--it's a case of "pick your poison." The upper path has slimes, balls of destruction, mummy men and spike traps; the lower path has many more spike traps, including crushing pistons, and more difficult jumps due to those dangers. Most of the lower path can be traveled if you allow the dripping acid to clear away the bricks that block the doorways. This whole mess empties into a small den where the boss and potential ally await.

         

Lesser Enemies: Ghostly Eyeball, Mummy Man, Fireman, Slime and Ball of Destruction
Boss: Alucard
Music Track: Nightmare
     

     
 
Stage 7: The Deadly Tower - from Stage 4
 

If you went through the haunted ship of fools, it'll take you here--the tall tower that rests at the start of the bridge to the castle. As you'd expect, the stage is crammed with vertical areas, those of which are infamous. In one such chamber, you'll have to climb while avoiding the fire of bone pillars that are stacked conveniently on the room's sides. Another vertical chamber scrolls frantically, and it's guarded by regular knights. Its most daunting horizontal shaft is another side-stacked bone pillar room--only this time there are winged guards endlessly flying in, too. Your patience and ingenuity will be tested in each instance. If you're insane enough to get by all that madness, the boss awaits you at the top of the tower.

         

Lesser Enemies: Bone Pillar, Winged Guard, Knight, Axe Knight, Ball of Destruction and Raven
Boss: Frankenstein
Music Track: Rising
     

     
 
Stage 8: Castle Bridge
 

After exiting Frank's chamber, you'll wind up at the start of that bridge. You'll traverse a long water-filled bridge, inhabited by fishmen and nested upon by those annoying ravens. You'll then enter a small tunnel-way guarded by axe knights and bone pillars. You'll emerge to the second portions of the bridge; weakened, it'll collapse, piece by piece, as you walk over it--to make it worse, there will be more ravens flying nesting about, so you'll have to pull off some fancy whip-and-jump combos if you hope to plunge. If you make it across the bridge, the watery bosses await you in a small stream.

         

Lesser Enemies: Hunchback, Skeleton, Fishman, Raven, Bone Pillar and Axe Knight
Boss: Water Dragons
Music Track: Stream
     

     
 
Stage 9: Death Chamber - from Stage 6
 

After defeating Alucard on stage 6, another series of cavernous catacombs await. More of the same tricks from that stage will be found here--this with mummy men, decaying bricks and more floating eyes abound. After storming through a crowd of more mummy men, you'll reach a split path. The top path leads to the second part of this stage while the other leads to stage 10. If you continue along this stage, you'll again face narrow passages with spike-lined ceilings and blocks that fall from the ceilings to form a way up. After this short distance, you'll meet the boss who fights similarly to an earlier foe though stronger.

         

Lesser Enemies: Ball of Destruction, Ghostly Eyeball, Mummy Man and Blood Skeleton
Boss: Skull Knight King
Music Track: Nightmare
     

     
 
Stage 10: Sunken City- from Stage 6
 

You come here if you took the other path after the sixth stage. Early on, other than fishmen, resistance is scarce. Since the flooding is stable at this point, the only real dangers are the skeledragons that are placed in troubling positions. You'll eventually run into the boss near a dam; after a short squabble, he'll break through the dam and flee. The water level will start rising frantically, so you'll have no choice but to hurry in your pursuit. The key in this situation is to hurry while knowing which enemies to avoid fighting--so that you won't waste time and drown. In a panic, you may miss a stairway and be tempted to go after power-ups that are out of the way. In any event: When you've reach the city's limits, the boss will reappear to finish the deal, but the water level will still be rising.

         

Lesser Enemies: Scimitar, Fishman, Bat and Skeledragon
Boss: Bone Dragon King
Music Track: Aquarius
Rising Water Theme: Pressure
     

     
 
Stage 11: Castle Basement - from Stage 9
 

If you took the split path through the ninth stage, you'll enter Castlevania through its basement--the oppresive underground caverns. The stage will involve many instances of having to ride hovering platforms over long water pits while avoiding enemies and the low-hanging stalactites that line the ceilings. Fishmen, bats and knights will be this stage's conveniently-placed variety, as they'll impede your progress via the moving platforms. The path you take through the final vertical area of this stage will determine how easily you reach the boss. ("Take the left tunnel, Indy!")

         

Lesser Enemies: Bat, Fishman, Scimitar, Mummy Man and Whip-Toting Blood Skeleton
Boss: Frankenstein
Music Track: Demon Seed
     

     
 
Stage 12: Mountain Range - from Stage 10
 

If you went through the aquatic ruins, you'll skip over stage 11 and enter the second sub-level of Castlevania--most likely the longest stage in the game. Early on, there will be instances of having to wait for dripping acid to clear away blocks, long treks over decaying bricks, and another where you'll have to wait for blocks to fall from the ceiling to form a way upward. After a squabble with a mid-boss, you'll enter a really long vertical area that requires that you wait for many blocks to fall before you can reach the top--this is quite a task, if I can say so. A series of moving and spinning platforms rooms follows. This leads to a final scrolling vertical chamber filled with winged guards and knights. Finally, as if you haven't been tested enough, you'll meet a boss trio.

         

Lesser Enemies: Dhuron, Hunchback, Bat, Axe Knight, Blood Skeleton, Medusa Head, Knight, Winged Guard and Mummy Man
Mid Boss: Phantom Bat
Boss:
(1) Mummies, (2) Cyclops, (3) Leviathan
Music Track: Anxiety
     

     
 
Stage 13: Lookout Tower - from Stage 8
 

This is the first level of Castlevania you'll face only if you took the ship of fools/castle bridge. You'll start off by having to utilize tricky floating platforms while dodging balls of destruction, followed by a skirmish with some bone pillars. The three proceeding rooms feature more fun: Harpies dropping hunchbacks, more mast-jumping, and bone pillar-axe knight combos. A raven-nested collapsible bridge leads to a downward-scrolling vertical chamber comprised completely of decaying bricks. When you escape from that chamber, you'll face the same trio of bosses that you otherwise would have faced on stage 10.

         

Lesser Enemies: Scimitar, Harpy, Hunchback, Ball of Destruction, Bone Pillar, Axe Knight, Raven and Whip-Toting Blood Skeleton
Boss: (1) Mummies, (2) Cyclops, (3) Leviathan
Music Track: Aquarius
     

     
 
Stage 14: Main Hall
 

You'll enter here from both stage 12 and stage 13, and then it's pretty much linear from here on. You'll immediately recognize, from its backgrounds and music, that this stage is very reminiscent of the first stage of the original Castlevania (see here)--it's sort of a combination of that game's first and fifth stages. In the halls themselves, you'll be attacked by zombies, bats and axe knights. After another rotating-platform test, you'll then enter an torture room-like portion of the stage, which is littered with slimes, bone-throwing skeletons and axe knights. You'll ascend from a staircase into another hall and make your way over a collapsing bridge guarded by a lone knight. The boss awaits you at the end.

         

Lesser Enemies: Bat, Zombie, Axe Knight, Spider, Dhuron, Slime, Bone-Throwing Skeleton and Knight
Boss: The Grim Reaper and Grim Reaper 2
Music Track: Déjà vu
     

     
 
Stage 15: Castle Leg
 

This stage definitely challenges stage 12 for the game's hardest. You'll start outside in the courtyard, an area where harpies drop hunchbacks (joy). Entering into the castle's water supply system, crushing spike traps precede the game's toughest vertical chamber, which is guarded by another round of side-stacked bone pillars and winged guards. This is followed by another long vertical--this a scrolling chamber guarded by sword-wielding skeletons and balls of destruction. By now, you'll reach the source of the water, a water-filled double-decked bridge patrolled by fishmen and ravens. The final challenge has you travel over more rotating platforms while fending off Medusa heads before reaching the really difficult boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Harpy, Hunchback, Bone Pillar, Winged Guard, Ball of Destruction, Scimitar, Axe Knight, Raven, Fishman and Medusa Head
Boss: Doppelganger
Music Track: Riddle
     

     
 
Stage 16: Castle Keep
 

It all leads to this--the final stage. You'll start off on a short bridge, encompassed by the fog-filled sky. What else but ravens would nest here. As usual, the bridge leads into a clock tower; this one is different in that it's only one down-scrolling vertical chamber flooded with Medusa Heads. It empties into the two-room inner den: One room is filled with decaying, guarded by bats and perfectly-placed bone pillars; the other features whip-toting blood skeletons and spiders. Finally, you'll have to cross a huge gap by jumping from pendulum to pendulum while avoiding bats. When you make it across, a door leads outside to that familiar staircase that will take you to the game's final boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Raven, Blood Skeleton, Medusa Head, Bone Pillar, Spider, Whip-Toting Blood Skeleton and Bat

Boss: (1) Dracula, (2) Dracula's Ghost I,
(3) Dracula's Ghost II

Music Track: Pressure
Castle Keep Track: Overture
     

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