Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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SonicPanda Oct 12, 2010 (edited Oct 12, 2010)

Halloween's getting closer, and I've been in a CV kind of mood. Anybody feel the same?

Just to kick things off, the Lords of Shadow thread started to spin off in this direction, so let's start with the most basic question - what would you say are the best CV tunes? I'll add my own with links shortly.

EDIT: OK, my top 25 (not in any real order, I don't want to choose):
Battle of the Holy - Castlevania: The Adventure
The Silence of Daylight - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Bloody Tears - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Beginning - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Mad Forest - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Simon's Theme - Super Castlevania IV
Ruined Castle Corridor - Aria of Sorrow
Clock Tower - Aria of Sorrow
A Clashing of Waves - Order of Ecclesia
Sorrow's Distortion - Order of Ecclesia
Proof of Blood - Circle of the Moon
Condemned Tower - Dawn of Sorrow
Jail of Jewels - Portrait of Ruin (prefer the DS take)
Hail From the Past - Portrait of Ruin (prefer the original take)
Thrashard in the Cave - Castlevania X68000
You Goddamned Bathead - Castlevania X68000
Cordova Town - Curse of Darkness
Dracula's Castle - Symphony of the Night
Requiem For the Gods - Symphony of the Night
Crystal Teardrop - Symphony of the Night (it's all about 1:07)
Creatures in the Depth - Castlevania Chronicles
Tower of Dolls - Castlevania Chronicles
Etude For the Killer - Castlevania Chronicles
Stone King Golem - Lament of Innocence
Leon's Theme - Lament of Innocence

Phew.

Angela Oct 12, 2010

I'll compile my favorite CV tunes in a bit, but I too would like to throw in a question to get the ball rolling:

"How and when did you get first get introduced to Castlevania?"

I regale my own experience with a sharp degree of accuracy, since it was such a vivid one.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was a cold evening in November of '87.  I was over at a friend's, and we were checking out his latest NES games.  (He had a birthday just a few days prior, so he scored pretty well.)  Lunar Pool, Elevator Action, and Kid Niki: Radical Ninja were three of the four newest members of his NES family.  After those, he pulls out this one particular cartridge, and tells me that this game is especially cool.  Andres puts it in, but just at that moment, his parents call him down for supper.  Having eaten prior to coming over, I decline his offer for a bite, and instead opt to try this 'especially cool' game for myself.  As I fire it up, the light above my head suddenly goes out.  A blown bulb, I suspect.  Raised not to gaze at the TV in a dark room if I could help it, I get up off the floor to turn on the lamp by his dresser.  His was an insanely small room, but even so the lamp's light didn't do much to illuminate.

Traversing through Drac's castle for the first time ever, listening to the slight tinge of eeriness that the music was giving off, soaking in the view of the decrepit castle walls and curtains, and perishing quite a number of times to that dreadful 'death theme' tune before even getting to the boss, something began to dawn on me: I was vaguely unsettled by this game.  Suddenly, I wished Andres would hurry the hell up with dinner and get back up here.  He does, just as I used up my final life on a Medusa head that knocks me straight into a pit in the early part of stage 2. (Or Stage 05, by the game's account.)

His eyes shift toward the lamp on the dresser.  "I think the bulb burned out", I answer as I point upward before he asks.  "Oh," he replies.  And then, before anything else could be said, he says, "You've gotta go now.  My aunt's coming over to visit." 

And with that, I find myself outside in late autumn's night.  It got dark out.  Real dark.  And windy.  Home was just a three-block walk, but after my feeble, seven year old self experienced Castlevania, it suddenly seemed like a mile.  I was half-terrified by the notion that a pack of gray-clad zombie ghouls would come rushing at me down the street.  Or a red and black hound from hell would leap from any one of the neighbors' porches and run me down.  Or a giant bat would swoop in from one of those looming tree branches and take me away.  "What a horrible night to have a curse", indeed.   

My brief time with Castlevania was an affecting one.  It took me another good year or so before I could muster up the courage to play it again.  I fire up the game again from time to time, and even now at the less fraidy-cat age of thirty, I still marvel at how well Konami was able convey such an immersive atmosphere back then.

Idolores Oct 12, 2010

Unlike all you miserable pile of secrets, I simply was not interested in CV as a young boy. I accepted that it was a good game because all my friends went on at length about it, however. My young mind was too fixated on a certain blue robot to give a shit (an obsession that lasted well past the NES days).

It wasn't until the AVGN's retrospective that I began to take notice. I decided to start basic, opting to begin with the NES trilogy and move my way up.

Experiencing these games for the first time as a 25 year old was magic; I was swiftly reminded of how thematically sophisticated NES titles could be. The cast of enemies and monsters played out like a rogue's gallery of old horror movie villains, and the spooky set pieces such as cemetaries, decrepit castles, and dank underground catacombs were chilling to play through. Konami obviously had their eyes set a little higher when it came to presentation, and that goes for all three NES CV titles.

Unlike many, I had serious issues with Simons' Quest, feeling that while it isn't terrible, it's certainly the weakest game in the trilogy. It was made up for with CV3.

When I get my computer going again, I'll do Super Castlevania IV on SNES and Bloodlines on Genesis. Now that I have a PSP, I can check out that Rondo of Blood remake, too.

Smeg Oct 12, 2010

SonicPanda wrote:

Hail From the Past - Portrait of Ruin (prefer the original take)

I clicked on the thread to ensure that this received mention, and here it is in the first post. Most if not all of the post-SotN games are often lumped together and dismissed, but I thought the Portrait of Ruin soundtrack was great and this track in particular.

Bernhardt Oct 12, 2010 (edited Oct 12, 2010)

Idolores wrote:

Unlike all you miserable pile of secrets, I simply was not interested in CV as a young boy ...
Experiencing these games for the first time as a 25 year old was magic;

For whatever reason, my brother and I never took notice of the series until Castlevania IV on the SNES. Favorite Castlevania ever.

Just like you, I never had the chance to look up CV I ~ III until Wii VC.

Idolores wrote:

Unlike many, I had serious issues with Simons' Quest, feeling that while it isn't terrible, it's certainly the weakest game in the trilogy. It was made up for with CV3.

There's where our opinion diverges: I've been having the time of my life with CV II, possibly even more than I have been with CV I!

I usually hate level-building, or gold-hoarding, but in CV II, I'm rather enjoying just killing monsters for l00t, and then turning it in for better equipment. The non-linear nature of the game takes getting used to, but once you stumble onto to something yourself, you feel so good that you figured it out on your own! There are, however, plenty of things not self-explanatory about the game...but I don't want to get too much into that.

...

One of these days, I'm going to complete CV I in a single sitting; that's the only way to complete a CV game, because passwords take away all your weapons and extra lives, and save states, well, re-starting a game midway through doesn't let you warm-up; that's what those first levels do, is help you warm-up for the harder stuff.

Besides, NES games, most of them were designed to be completed in a single sitting, anyway.

CV II, I have been using save states, but that's just to bypass the convoluted password system. Imagine going all the way through a game, and then copying the password down wrong to continue it later...all the progress lost! It's happened to me before...and it's turned me off of a number of games because of it...

Pellasos Oct 13, 2010

my story is pretty simple. i saw the first castlevania on the NES in a store after school when it was still fresh. they had it running on their demo NES for several weeks and kids were lining up to play. pretty much everyone loved it at the time. although i found it to be pretty creepy for a videogame, there simply wasn't anything like it at that time, i couldn't stop playing whenever i got the chance. i fell in love with simons animated sprite and the weapon subsystem was so expansive, the whip unique. don't get me started on the music, it's crazy good and my favorite CV score to this day.

the store quickly ran out of copies, so i had to check out different stores in my area until i could persuade my parents to buy us a copy. it took a few more weeks until i got the holy grail in my hands, i'm happy to this day wink

funny tidbit: my brother managed to one-life this game because he was too scared to die.

SonicPanda Oct 13, 2010 (edited Oct 13, 2010)

Angela wrote:

I'll compile my favorite CV tunes in a bit, but I too would like to throw in a question to get the ball rolling:

"How and when did you get first get introduced to Castlevania?"

Simon's Quest wasn't just my first Castlevania game, it was my first Konami game. OK, technically it was my friend's game, but I mean first exposure. We went in without any guide whatsoever (we didn't have the crystal necessary to see the first palace's elevator and thought that we had to time our jumps to match airjets from below) and didn't do very well.
I evetually found a password to help us out and we beat it, but got the bad ending because we didn't wait two weeks worth of gametime or whatever.

I finally got my own CV game in '92; my mom worked at a comics-and-cards store at the time, and traded a full duplicate set of hockey cards she'd collected to a friend of the owner, who let me pick seven NES games from his collection in a trade. One of the lot I grabbed was the first Castlevania, and at that point, my impression was, 'wow, this is an awful lot like Ninja Gaiden' instead of the other way around. Never finished it, sadly. I blame those stupid divebombing Fleas near Frankie.

Amazingu Oct 13, 2010

Idolores wrote:

Unlike all you miserable pile of secrets, I simply was not interested in CV as a young boy. I accepted that it was a good game because all my friends went on at length about it, however. My young mind was too fixated on a certain blue robot to give a shit (an obsession that lasted well past the NES days).

That's pretty much how I felt about it.

I was aware of the CV series because I had seen them on display in stores, and I even rented Simon's Quest once (absolutely hated it), so the series completely dropped off the radar for me until the second SNES game.
Thus, Super Castlevania also passed me by when it was new, and I never tried it until much later, when I was able to acknowledge it has some really neat features (making use of mode 7 mostly) but it still didn't fix what has irked me about this series FOREVER: ie absolutely lousy controls (why can't I MOVE during a jump!? Why am I STUCK on staircases!?), and hideously frustrating level design. Does EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN CV NEED A CLOCK TOWER WITH MEDUSA HEADS!? DOES IT REALLY!?

And that's one of my other beefs with the series as well. Far too much rehashing of old enemies, areas and music. As a major Mega Man fan, I can't help but notice how relatively free of enemy and music repitition that series has managed to stay in the past 20+ years.

CV never managed to catch my absolute, undivided attention until SotN, and that remains my hands-down favorite to this day.

Other Metroidvania games have been hit or miss though, so I've never actually felt a particularly strong bond to the series.

Angela Oct 13, 2010

Amazingu wrote:

Thus, Super Castlevania also passed me by when it was new, and I never tried it until much later, when I was able to acknowledge it has some really neat features (making use of mode 7 mostly) but it still didn't fix what has irked me about this series FOREVER: ie absolutely lousy controls (why can't I MOVE during a jump!?)

Technically, you CAN move during a jump in Super Castlevania IV.  For a 2D-based Belmont, Simon had surprisingly flexible controls. 

Rondo of Blood, however, made jumping a restrictive hassle once again.

Angela Oct 13, 2010 (edited Oct 19, 2010)

SonicPanda wrote:

OK, my top 25 (not in any real order, I don't want to choose):

No love for Rondo of Blood?  Unnatural!  BEGONE....!!  *hurls a bulb of garlic at the Panda*

You didn't explicitly state whether we should choose originals or arranged, so I went with a mixture of both.  Assume that the ones listed are the original versions, unless otherwise noted.  I've opted not to do an overall ranking, but instead chose to rank the songs within each respective game.

Castlevania I-III:
1) CV1's Wicked Child
2) CV1's Heart of Fire (Akumajo Dracula MIDI collection)
3) CV1's Poison Mind
4) CV3's Flashback

Castlevania IV:
1) Theme of Simon (Perfect Selection Dracula Battle II)
2) Bloody Tears

Haunted Castle:
Don't Wait Until Night - Original Version & Perfect Selection Dracula Battle I

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge:
Praying Hands (Perfect Selection Dracula ~NEW CLASSIC~)

Rondo of Blood:
1) Cross A Fear - Original Version & Dracula Battle Perfect Selection I
2) Bloodlines
3) Opus 13
4) Requiem
5) Vampire Killer
6) Illusionary Dance
7) Poison Mind (Dracula X Chronicles Version)

Bloodlines:
Requiem For The Nameless Victims - Original Version & Dracula Battle Perfect Selection

Symphony of the Night:
1) The Tragic Prince
2) Crystal Drops
3) Requiem of the Gods
4) I Am The Wind
5) Lost Paintings
6) Rainbow Cemetery (Akumajo Dracula MIDI collection)
7) Dracula's Castle
8) Master Librarian
9) Demonic Banquet

Akumajo Dracula Apocalypse/Castlevania 64:
Opening ~ "Sign of Blood Relationship"  (The actual game's opening, for the full violin effect.)

Lament of Innocence:
Ghostly Theater

Aria of Sorrow:
Ruined Castle Corridor - Original Version & Destined Cruz Arranged Version

Dawn of Sorrow:
1) Demon Castle Pinnacle
2) Cursed Clock Tower
3) Condemned Tower

Portrait of Ruin:
1) Jail of Jewel
2) Silent Prison
3) The Gears Go Awry
4) Hail From The Past

Order of Ecclesia:
1) Rhapsody of Indigo Sorrow
2) Prologue ~Again~

Dais Oct 13, 2010

many people have bought into the bullshit Lords of Shadow has given them and it almost makes me physically ill

I don't begrudge anyone enjoying the game or even thinking it's a good game all around, but to believe that it has achieved anything remotely notable in terms of gameplay, storytelling or music....these people deserve the rut the industry has driven itself into.

GoldfishX Oct 13, 2010

Castlevania Games: I saw the original featured in The Official Nintendo Player's Guide and it looked like a cool platformer with a really cool style. My friend had CV2 and neither of us could really figure the whole thing out, but we played the hell out of both of them. CV3 was the big one that got me excited and had me playing the most. It was featured in Nintendo Power and I remember pleading with my parents to get me the game. To me, it's still the pinnacle of the series and I played it a ton (but actually only beat it for the first time a couple years ago...so far, once with Grant, once with Sypha). I got to play CV4 on a rental and loved it, but SNES purchases were few and far between and I just never got it. I bought it some years later when the SNES was phased out and played the crap out of it. 1, 3 and 4 are extremely replayable and enjoyable. I played CV Adventure and subsequently, I missed out on the much improved sequel because the original CV Adventure was awful.

I read much about SOTN when I was researching Playstation games I wanted and I was initially excited about it. But...to be perfectly honest, I got bored with it within two hours (once the smooth control and 32-bitness wore off) and my save file sat in limbo. I picked it up and eventually mapped out most of the castle, but never really went back to finish it. It was okay, but never got past that. I missed the platforming and fast paced action from the others and the atmosphere boost and RPG elements were poor compensation once the novelty wore off. I played Circle of the Moon a ton, especially when I got the Gameboy Player (it came out when very few new 2D games were available) and I had a really good time with it. I didn't care for the next one at all and while the one after that seemed much improved, it saw less than a couple hours of playtime before it became a chore to play. I remember ranting on this board how bad Lament of Innocence looked and playing it a bit did nothing to make me feel better about it. I seem to recall Curse of Darkness coming out and then some crappy Castlevania fighting game and maybe some more Metrovanias on the DS for good measure that I'll pop on my flash cart and pretend I'm interested in...they all kind of blend together, nothing vaguely resembling the series (especially the gameplay) I used to love when I was younger. How hard is it...Use CV3 as a blueprint -branching paths, multiple characters, straight levels, butt-kicking music- and then go to town on the atmosphere and special effects. We're probably more likely to see a Tokimeki Memorial tie-in before we see anything like that. Can anyone confirm Iga is done with this series or am I just stuck hoping that is the case?

Before someone mentions it, I DID play Chronicles when it came out, but I keep getting stuck in the gear tower level. I couldn't advance past there...maybe I got a faulty copy of the game? I was having a blast with it, then...nothing happens!? Also, Rondo is awesome when I can get to the Wii that has it downloaded, but I really wish I had played it "back in the day" and not as a reminder now of how truly awesome the series used to be.

Castlevania: The Music

Musically, Bloody Tears IS the series for me, in its CV2 US version 30-second nutshell. Out of Time, Heart of Fire, Wicked Child (CV1), Mad Forest, Aquarious (CV3), Simon's Theme, Treasure Room (CV4) and Den, Op. 13 and Bloodlines (Rondo) are ones that stick out immediately and stand out above a crowded pack of classics. Really, there's not a bad track to be found anywhere from the original to Rondo (including the Gameboy games) and it's all basically required listening.

And...yeah, I'll just kinda stop there about the music. I couldn't pretend to be interested enough in later entries to remember much, although the castle entrance music for SOTN is probably the best thing Yamane ever wrote and Awakening from Circle was bloody awesome.

Amazingu Oct 13, 2010

Dais wrote:

but to believe that it has achieved anything remotely notable in terms of gameplay, storytelling or music....these people deserve the rut the industry has driven itself into.

Are there any people like that?

I've read several reviews of the game, and they all seem to say what you just said.

Angela Oct 18, 2010 (edited Oct 18, 2010)

Gametrailers.com is up to the third part in their Castlevania Retrospective series.

The Castlevania Retrospective:
http://www.gametrailers.com/game/the-ca … tive/13944

This one covers the 3D titles, which I find the most fascinating since they're the ones I'm least familiar with.  I'd gotten through most of Lament of Innocence, but only a fraction of Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness.  I haven't even played Curse of Darkness.

For those who bore the brunt of beating all the 3D games, which would you say was the best?

Zane Oct 18, 2010

I downloaded CV3 on the VC last week. I made it all the way to level 7 and I reset without creating a save state or writing down my password. Had to start over from scratch, but this way I got to see all of the other levels. This game is a goddamn testament to how great this series was. Between this and CV4... man. The music, the mood, the level design. All of it is just so great.

Angela Oct 19, 2010

I plan to tackle Castlevania IV again soon, but I've been enjoying the ever-loving cross out of Rondo of Blood.  Strictly as Maria, though; I haven't the patience to play as Richter anymore.

Suddenly, it's become the most ideal Castlevania for me.  Maria's ease of use allows for a traditional, straightforward action-based Castlevania that doesn't bust your balls due to a rigid control scheme.  It's bliss.

Amazingu Oct 19, 2010

Angela wrote:

I plan to tackle Castlevania IV again soon, but I've been enjoying the ever-loving cross out of Rondo of Blood.  Strictly as Maria, though; I haven't the patience to play as Richter anymore.

Suddenly, it's become the most ideal Castlevania for me.  Maria's ease of use allows for a traditional, straightforward action-based Castlevania that doesn't bust your balls due to a rigid control scheme.  It's bliss.

This.

A thousand times this.

Whenever I play a New Game on the PSP version, I rush to get Maria as quickly as possible and never look at Richter again. EVER.

Uncontrollable asshole.

SonicPanda Oct 19, 2010

GoldfishX wrote:

Before someone mentions it, I DID play Chronicles when it came out, but I keep getting stuck in the gear tower level. I couldn't advance past there...maybe I got a faulty copy of the game? I was having a blast with it, then...nothing happens!?

Definitely sounds like a faulty copy. There's three more stages besides. At least if you had the full clock tower stage, you got to see the greatest boss in the history of the series.
Chronicles is probably my favorite 'traditional' CV, even as it features the slowest Belmont outside of The Adventure. Some of the setpieces (like that whole boss encounter I just linked) are brilliant, the soundtrack is full of great pieces I've not heard to death in other entries, and the length is just right (if I may be granted a moment's heresy, SCIV feels about 3 or 4 stages too long to me). The Rebirth game they put on Wiiware recently is right up there, too, though I hate that they left out a cover of Battle of the Holy for yet another friggin' version of Vampire Killer. Sigh.

Ashley Winchester Oct 20, 2010

Amazingu wrote:
Angela wrote:

I plan to tackle Castlevania IV again soon, but I've been enjoying the ever-loving cross out of Rondo of Blood.  Strictly as Maria, though; I haven't the patience to play as Richter anymore.

Suddenly, it's become the most ideal Castlevania for me.  Maria's ease of use allows for a traditional, straightforward action-based Castlevania that doesn't bust your balls due to a rigid control scheme.  It's bliss.

This.

A thousand times this.

Whenever I play a New Game on the PSP version, I rush to get Maria as quickly as possible and never look at Richter again. EVER.

Uncontrollable asshole.

It's sad, but I have to concur. I just couldn't stand playing as Richter. However, once I unlocked the original Rondo, all the problems I had in the remake seemed to vanish for some reason. When I went back to the remake they returned. I can't really explain it.

Jodo Kast Oct 20, 2010 (edited Oct 20, 2010)

My first memory of Castlevania is from a birthday party I attended at age 11 (1987). The party was inside a shopping mall, in an arcade. I think the name was "Aladdin's Magic". I saw one of my friends playing a game with floating hearts and skeleton creatures. The character itself was using a whip.

The first CV game I received as a gift was Simon's Quest, so I had much more familiarity with that than the first one. CV III was a huge relief, since it didn't require me to seek assistance (no weird things like kneeling and worrying about Dracula's body parts). CV IV had an even bigger impact. It was after playing CV IV that I decided to play the first CV, at age 15.

Edit:

I got CV III from some guy that had lost my NES Batman cartridge. I originally never intended to ask for (not buy) CV III from my parents because of the difficulties in Simon's Quest. So it was through the loss of Batman that I discovered Castlevania. I would hardly call Simon's Quest a good introduction. I always played the games I received as gifts, since they were all I had. I didn't know how bad they were because no one really knew how bad they were. We were all learning at the same time.

Angela Oct 20, 2010

Ashley Winchester wrote:

It's sad, but I have to concur. I just couldn't stand playing as Richter. However, once I unlocked the original Rondo, all the problems I had in the remake seemed to vanish for some reason. When I went back to the remake they returned. I can't really explain it.

You're running on a bit of an unclear statement here.  When you say "all the problems I had in the remake", are you specifically referring to the Richter controlling issues, or problems with the remake in general?

Pellasos Oct 20, 2010

i stick with the belmont characters whenever possible, that's why maria rarely gets played. i only pick her whenever i feel like colorful candy.

Angela Oct 20, 2010

Pellasos wrote:

i only pick her whenever i feel like colorful candy.

And ice cream! 

Beats pork chop any day.  wink

Ashley Winchester Oct 20, 2010

Angela wrote:
Ashley Winchester wrote:

It's sad, but I have to concur. I just couldn't stand playing as Richter. However, once I unlocked the original Rondo, all the problems I had in the remake seemed to vanish for some reason. When I went back to the remake they returned. I can't really explain it.

You're running on a bit of an unclear statement here.  When you say "all the problems I had in the remake", are you specifically referring to the Richter controlling issues, or problems with the remake in general?

Yeah, I knew it was pretty unclear after I wrote it but I was just too lazy to fix it. The whole statement solely refers to playing as Richter. Still, I wonder if this has anything to do with the screen size affecting the area size.

Bernhardt Oct 21, 2010 (edited Oct 21, 2010)

Finally d-loaded Castlevania III ~ Dracula's Curse on Wii VC; from both gameplay and graphical stand points, it seems just like a more polished remix of the first Castlevania. The concept of taking alternate routes through a game is always very appealing for me...think Star Fox, or Star Fox 64, if you're still having trouble grasping what I'm trying to convey.

Which game do y'all believe is more difficult? The original Castlevania, or Castlevania III? Speaking of the original Castlevania, I'm able to reach the 5th set of levels, the level after the Frankenstein boss.

In the first Castlevania, they have this weird stage-labeling shtick; what you might think are the same stage, they actually divide and label as different stages - the first boss fight is labeled as being in Stage 3.

P.S. Just finished Castlevania II within the past week or so...easiest Castlevania ever. Still enjoyed it more than all get-out, though!

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