Simon gets it whipped

vol 100

One of my favourite games from the era of the first Game Boy Castlevania II – Belmont’s Revenge. Castlevania is always a blip on my radar because you get to go up against vampires. I’m not a big fan of vampires.
But Castlevania II was something else. It was the first time i realized that there are other Belmont’s on the hunt; Christopher in this case. And he moves slower than Simon. The Belmont’s are on a permanent sunday stroll through the park. But Christopher’s animation suggests that he’s not pacing himself to smell the flowers. He’s on a constant workout with a pair of dum bells. The short jump and the walking animation suggests that he skipped leg day on every occasion. But my daydreams about Christopher’s journey ran wild because of the box art.
For comparison; here is the japanese version:

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With it’s classic aesthetic it communicates the plot and introduces the important characters. Dracula is looming over Christopher, the portrait of his son and the scenery where the game takes place. Christopher’s son gets kidnapped by Dracula, turned into a demon and now shall help him restore his former power.
Now here is the cover we europeans and the us got:

img_3312

As a kid this thing drove me nuts. The title explodes in an electric sizzle while we witness Fabio’s rage drunk cousin on a demonic home invasion. He looses his balance and tries to get himself upright with a dash of his whip while the home owner pleads for his buddies inside to call the cops.
It is not a bad cover. It gives you the gist of the proceedings while the japanese cover makes an effort to illustrate a more believable monster hunter while communicating what’s up.

The one thing that stuck with me over the years was the soundtrack. Without the atmospheric 8-bit sound curtain the room would have fallen apart. I’m still humming those tunes sometimes. And due to the wonders of modern technology and generosity it’s available to almost everyone[1].

No other Castlevania game afterwards captured me like this one. The SNES release was neat but i’m still struggling with that one after a while. It’s like the first Metroid or any other kind of nostalgia driven franchise these days. It’s only an echo of the raw thing you felt, processed through the filter of aging.


[1] My favourite track; Praying Hands. Here’s a Playlist of the whole soundtrack.

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Retropie update

I planned on writing about what i did with the Retropie but my head wasn’t in the (video) game.
So here is a short update.

I got the SFC30 controller from 8bitdo. But since the Bluetooth adapter that is integrated in the Rapsberry Pi3 freezes the system every time it looks for devices to connect. (sorry for the clutter and image quality)

8bitdo SFC30
Next thing i got was a screen to hook the Retropie up to.

Screen

My brother and i are currently looking to get a weekend off to spend on reliving our glorious Nintendo World Cup days.

That is a thing i experienced with a lot of people i talked about the project; a rekindling of the joy they experienced with these games.

Other things that need attendance are:

  • Hook up a USB soundcard since i currently can’t use a bluetooth speaker.
  • Get rid of the two power-supplies needed to power the Raspberry Pi and the monitor, and replace it with one that also features a USB charging port.
  • Building a case to mount the Raspberry Pi and a USB-hub to the backside of the monitor’s case.

If you have a tip or case idea or just want to talk about old video games and contact me at heliocentricbs@gmail.com