Tag Archives: castlevania

Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks: Castlevania Legends (GB)

Welcome to another edition of Lesser-known Video Game Soundtracks.  Today, we’ll feature a game that even Konami wants to disappear with a soundtrack written by, well… I’m not even sure.

Continue reading


Covering a Tune: Arranging Music for Groundhog’s Day with Beta Test Music – Part 2

On February 2nd, my band, Beta Test Music (betatestmusic.com), will be performing another big concert of video game music and other nerdy favorites at First Unitarian Church in downtown Philadelphia (see here for information and tickets).  This series of posts will highlight the music that I arranged for the concert, explaining the choices in musical selection, instrumentation, and overall presentation.

In Part 1, I discussed my musical selection process for my medley of music from Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania III) for Beta Test Music and 2a03+VRC6.  Today, in Part 2, I will discuss the specific methods I used to arrange and compile the entire piece.

Continue reading


Covering a Tune: Arranging Music for Groundhog’s Day with Beta Test Music – Part 1

On February 2nd, my band, Beta Test Music (betatestmusic.com), will be performing another big concert of video game music and other nerdy favorites at First Unitarian Church in downtown Philadelphia (see here for information and tickets).  This series of posts will highlight the music that I arranged for the concert, explaining the choices in musical selection, instrumentation, and overall presentation.

In Part 1, I’ll discuss one of the biggest arrangement projects I’ve done in my entire life – Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania III) for Beta Test Music and 2A03+VRC6 (FC/NES) accompaniment.  Yep, that’s live music + pre-programmed NES.  On this blog, I talk about these chips all the time.  Now it’s time to actually use them.

Continue reading


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.