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.