This Castlevania installment allows you to pick which order you'd like to complete the initial four stages. Since the first four have no particular order or Mega Manlike rewards, I'll list them in the order I usually complete them.

     
 
Crystal Castle
 

The whole castle is made of pure crystal. The first area has tide-changing water with ravens hovering all around and crystal platforms that break apart as you walk on them. Another watery area follows that has fishmen jumping all around. Next you'll have to slide down ropes, timing it so you can dodge the spike walls that move back and forth. A split path follows: The first has a room with a knife lizard, with more water with fishmen jumping about below; the other has more crystal platforms that break apart as you walk on them. Both lead to rooms with two Octos. The eerie music signals that the boss is near.

         

Lesser Enemies: Fishman, Knight, Bat, Big Bat, Knife Lizard, Punaguchi, Rolling Eye, Ravens and Octo
Boss: Darkside
Music Track: New Messiah
     

     
 
Cloud Castle
 

The long entrance into the castle has many ravens flying around. Inside, you'll have to maneuver across ropes attached to spiked balls, them raising as you climb. Other obstacles here are knights, bats and moving platforms. In the next area, you have to climb down and around a wall, dodging the up-and-down-moving spike-lined floor at the bottom. A single knife lizard lies before a room filled with pulleys that you must climb, all of which switch directions as you're doing so. The last danger is the punaguchis that ride the platforms on the path to the boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Raven, Big Bat, Bat, Zeldo, Knight, Octo, Knife Lizard and Punaguchi
Boss: Angel Mummy
Music Track: Praying Hands
     

     
 
Plant Castle
 

First you have to cross a bridge infested with undermoles. A couple of tricky, spike-lined caves lurk ahead. You'll then come to a bridge with rolling eyes atop, punaguchis below. Hitting the eyes makes them explode, leaving holes in the bridge. Next is another bridge, with rolling eyes again on top but with mad men in the grassy area below. Yet another bridge lurks beyond, rolling eyes atop, punaguchis below; you have to blow open a hole downward to proceed on. In the next room, you can destroy the spiders (you don't have to) and climb on their spindles. The boss chamber is ahead, and rolling eyes and punaguchis clutter it up.

         

Lesser Enemies: Spider, Rolling Eye, Big Bat, Bat, Octo, Rope Skeleton, Undermole, Madman and Punaguchi
Boss: Kumulo and Nimbler
Music Track: Ripe Seeds
     

     
 
Rock Castle
 

The Rock Castle gets more dangerous as you get deeper. You'll find pulleys that descend as you climb on them--bowing to your weight--and more exploding eyeballs. As you do get deeper in, the candles are the only source for light, so hitting them will result in the screen going dark; letting the lights go out make you susceptible to falling in pits as well as being susceptible to enemies, such as the mollusks, who come alive when light is scarce. The boss is waiting for you after a long drop down.

         

Lesser Enemies: Undermole, Bat, Madman, Rolling Eye, Mollusk, Punaguchi and Knife Lizard
Boss: Iron Doll
Music Track: Psycho Warrior
     

     
 
Stage 5: Castle Entrance
 

The long entrance into Castlevania is guarded by many ravens and zeldos. Once inside, there are a couple instances of rooms where you have climb upward on long spike-tipped platforms that shoot out from the walls, with assorted enemies guarding each. Next is a long climb down a vertical area with rope skeletons, knights and bats. Another room of shooting spike platforms rests before a split path: Going upward leads to several areas requiring tricky jumps, but it leads back to where you started; going down leads to similar-looking areas (a visual trap) that do lead to an exit. Thereafter, only mad men populate the boss' chamber.

         

Lesser Enemies: Raven, Zeldo, Big Bat, Bat, Knight, Punaguchi, Rope Skeleton and Madman
Boss: Bone Dragon King
Music Track: Original Sin
     

     
 
Stage 6: Chapel
 

The initial hall has several moving platforms and knights blocking the way. Ahead, there are two rooms with huge, crushing spike beds; you have to destroy the device that connects them to the ceiling to walk atop them and move on. The next several rooms hold all sorts of other spike-lined traps. Moving on, you'll venture into a pulley room similar to the one in Cloud Castle, with knights present. The final hall has knights, ravens, zeldos, crystal platforms that break apart as you walk on them, and spiders whose spindles you must climb. Punaguchis are the final foes before the Marble Gallery-type chamber leading to the boss.

         

Lesser Enemies: Knight, Spider, Raven, Punaguchi, Zeldo, Big Bat and Bat
Boss: Soleiyu-Demon
Music Track: Passpied
     

     
 
Stage 7: Final Leg
 

This quick-breather of a stage definitely challenges for the title of "Shortest Ever"--with that said, there isn't much to this area besides the scary sickle-wielding skeletons that populate the background. The short stage, itself, is just the means to let you power up the whip and gain a sub-weapon before the ultimate battle that is to come. When you come to a gap, you'll drop down into a small shrine that holds a single candle; simply whip the candle and await the presence of the Prince of Darkness.

                    

Lesser Enemies: None
Boss: Dracula
Music Track: Road to the Enemy #2
     

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