Fidelity Concerns: Dracula II: Noroi no Fuuin vs. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

After focusing on the VRC6 vs. the MMC5, I decided maybe we should highlight the Nintendo FDS vs. the Nintendo MMC1.  The beloved game Castlevania II:  Simon’s Quest was originally released for Famicom Disk System before it was released as a cartridge.  The Famicom Disk System version featured a “save” system that allowed the player to actually save their progress on the disk, while the Nintendo version we know and love featured a password system.

What is interesting to note:  Dracula II:  Noroi no Fuuin only utilized the Nintendo FDS.  Castlevania II:  Simon’s Quest was one of the first US games to use the Nintendo MMC1.  The MMC1 is the famous chip used for Megaman 2.  The main feature of the MMC1 was that it allowed for game saving and vertical/horizontal scrolling…. (which makes me think – why couldn’t you save in Megaman 2… or the US version of Dracula II for that matter?)

Anyhow, strangely, the US version of the music is actually more advanced than the Japanese version, containing first party (H. Maezawa) remixes of the original tracks.  Let’s look at the classic Castlevania series theme “Bloody Tears”, which was introduced in this game:

(credit: Divisiblebywaffle)

So this is the Famicom Disk System version.  It features the 2A03 and the Nintendo FDS.  Here’s the US Nintendo version:

(credit:  KamilDowonna)

I’m not sure which version I like better.  Both have a certain charm.  I think the MMC1 version has more… weight.   The Nintendo FDS version is lighter and more lively.  I don’t know if I think that’s the best “mood” for the game.  At any rate, I hope this was informative.  Comments are welcome.

About Classical Gaming

Steve Lakawicz holds an MM in Music Performance from Temple University as well as a BM in Tuba Performance from Rutgers University . His teachers include Paul Scott, Scott Mendoker, and Jay Krush. His love of video game music has lead him to form a blog, Classical Gaming, to promote discussion both casual and academic about the music of video games. He is the co-founder of the video game/nerd music chamber ensemble, Beta Test Music and regularly composes/performs chiptune music as Ap0c. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he teaches college statistics at Temple University. View all posts by Classical Gaming

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