If you were to parody Castlevania and mix it in with a bit of Mega Man,
you'd have a good idea about what Kid Dracula is like. The star of
the game is a cutesy Alucard (son of Dracula, for the uninitiated)
that must go throught many wacky levels to save the world from Garamoth,
a big Godzilla-type thing from the prehistoric era. For whatever reason,
Konami deemed this game unappropriate for the United States, even though
the Game Boy version was later released in America. Kid Dracula is a very weak link to the Castlevania series...a label on
the cart that I own even calls it "Castlevania Jr." It has very little
to do gameplay wise to the CV series, even though music from it
was featured in the Dracula Music Collection CD that came with Dracula X:
Nocturne in the Moonlight for the Playstation.
The game starts off with Kid Drac hopping out of his coffin and heading
through the castle, off on his adventure. Along the way, you'll make
your way through the clouds, swim underwater, survive the perils of
the arctic, play through a city infested with UFOs and King Kong rip-offs
and even play a quiz game with the Statue of Liberty (which is completely
incomprehensible due to my utter lack of Japanese knowledge.) You'll even
head through a pirate ship, go through ancient Egypt and finally head
into outer space for the final confrontation with Garamoth.
If those locations sound a bit wacked out, the enemies are equally weird.
The first levels contains ripoffs of familiar Castlevania bad guys like
Frankenstein, zombies, bats, etc. although the first bosses are a set
of Ku Klux Klanmen. You'll also fight chickens, witches that resemble
Samantha from Bewitched and Japanese ice skaters. Weird, yes.
But intruiguing, to say the least.
There are also tons of bonus games that appear
after each level. Like Super Mario Bros. 2, you can use the coins
you collected in the level to gain more lives, but there is a great variety
of games. There are understandable games like roulette, but others
border on downright bizarre (one seems to be a game about guessing the
color of dancing girl's underwear, but again, I can't understand Japanese
so I'm lost here.)
Kid Dracula's main weapon is a fireball he can charge up like a Mega Buster,
but he acquires different powers through the levels. Some of these include
a five way homing fireball, an exploding firebomb, the power to turn into
a bar (what vampire would be without that?), flipping gravity to turn upside,
freezing enemies and other such powers. You start with three hearts but your
max life can be incresed to five by finding heart boxes. You lose these extra
hearts when you continue though. There IS a password feature to help.
The visuals are very bright and cheery, very crisp and clear. There are some neat
pixel based effects throughout the game (especially some fire effects near the end
of the game.) The music is pretty good too, the first level being a remixed version
of the Castlevania 3 level 1 tune (called Beginning.) The game controls pretty well too,
although the way Kid Drac recoils when he gets hit can be a bit irritating (he hops backward
a few times, making it impossible to judge whether Kid Drac will fall of a precipice.
The game as a whole isn't too hard, although you tend to get sent back
kinda far when you die (depends on the level actually) and the final
boss sequence is maddening...you have to defeat a flame lion, run through
an area with falling spikes, dodge robots, defeat a robot that attacks
when its head screws off, and then finally face Garamoth himself. All
with only getting hit five times. God forbid you run out of lives, then
you can only take three hits. The sequence with jumping onto moving
platforms through a vacuum tube is pretty tough, and all of the slowdown
in the section make it a bit annoying too. But other than sections like
this, the game isn't too bad.
Given how difficult this game will actually be to FIND, I can't
actually recommend you go out and spend like $50 on it. But if you
happen to stumble upon it, then it's a worthy action addition to the